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Buried government report reveals looming fiscal crisis

A shocking new report quietly released by the federal government admits that their finances could collapse in the coming decades if politicians don't make responsible choices.

Two days before Christmas, when most politicians and their staffers had long left their offices for the holiday break, the finance department released - without fanfare or wide notice - a surprising update on long-term economic and fiscal projections.

The report warns that lower than expected growth combined with higher program spending "would be sufficient to put at risk the fiscal sustainability of the federal government."

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Bail-Ins Coming? World's Oldest Bank "Survival Rests On Savers"

The world's oldest bank and Italy's third biggest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), is making a last-ditch emergency attempt as the year ends to convince tens of thousands of ordinary Italian savers to help it escape state hands.

MPS shares fell 8.5% in early trading this morning as the bank began its attempt to entice institutional and retail investors to snap up fresh shares. The bank wants 40,000 retail investors and savers to take part in a complex 5 billion [euro] (4.18bn [pounds]) bailout. The Tuscan lender said it is pressing ahead with a highly-ambitious plan to persuade private investors to convert their bonds into shares. This process must be completed in the next two weeks - by the end of the year.

MPS has become the focus of fears about the Italian banking system, which is on the verge of collapse with 360 billion [euros] of bad debts amassed in recent years. Unicredit, Italy's biggest bank, last week announced plans to raise 13 billion [euro] through a record-breaking share issue and slash another 11% of the workforce.

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Ontario's double whammy of debt

Premier Kathleen Wynne's government is finally promising to balance Ontario's operating budget next year after nine consecutive deficits.

But if anybody thinks that means an end to growing government debt in Ontario, they should think again.

The fact is the province plans to continue adding billions of dollars in new debt.

Once you factor in the growth in debt the federal government has planned, the burden carried by Ontarians will actually continue to grow even faster than before.

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Wynne pours cash on Ontario teachers

Apparently Ontario's finances are in such great shape that Premier Kathleen Wynne can afford to open up the spending spigots to buy peace with Ontario's teacher unions in time for next year's provincial election.

Last year, Wynne said she was prepared to loosen the government's purse strings for all public sector workers, presumably because the Liberals have done such a great job of financial management.

As reported by the Toronto Sun's Sue-Ann Levy, documents obtained by the Sun indicate the model, two-year contract extension Wynne is offering teachers to ensure labour peace safely beyond the spring, 2018 Ontario election, include a 4% pay hike, a 4$ annual hike in benefits and a 0.5$ lump sum payment for "supplies".

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Public sector has become an unsustainable monster

When are our federal, provincial and municipal politicians going to acknowledge they've created a public-sector monster the private sector can't afford?

A new study by the Fraser Institute reveals what a monster it's become.

It says that in 2015, the last year for which statistics are available, the public sector workforce in Ontario, at 1.3 million employees, accounted for almost one in five workers (18.7%).

Further, these public sector employees are the "haves", compared to the 65.6% of private-sector workers, and 15.7% who are self-employed, who are the "have nots."

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