You may have noticed last week's lack of updates. We here at The Maple Lounge were busy conducting a highly scientific study to discover what Canadians think is the most egregious financial disgrace in the news. Many of our readers are probably suffering from Academy Award hangover so we'll save the results of the survey until the very end. We provided them with four options:
The response to the survey was fantastic. It seems Canadians have money on the mind less than a week after the federal government released its annual budget. Of course there's also the looming RRSP deadline and thereafter the inevitable income tax crunch.
The loonie has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. The strong Canadian dollar continues to hurt Canadian exports and manufacturing sectors, with growth slowing to an annual rate of 1.7% for the fourth quarter of 2004. Not a day goes by when Canadians aren't reminded of how the Liberal sponsorship scandal wasted $100 million of taxpayer money. The Gomery inquiry charged with getting to the bottom of this mess will likely end up costing even more than that $100 million when it finishes up in December 2005 (at the earliest).
It seems justice Gomery works only slightly faster than the accountants at Nortel, who have yet to produce audited financial results for 2004. On January 11th 2005 Nortel restated financial data as far back as 2001, but they continue to leave shareholders in lurch concerning the current state of the company. In a statement released today the company did say that they eventually do plan on filing 2004 audited financial statements, and to hold a combined annual shareholders' meeting for fiscal years 2003 and 2004. As one might expect, the company “ intends to seek a Court order extending the time for holding the Meeting to a date no later than June 30, 2005.”
Can't these guys get anything done on time?
The Envelope Please
We phoned 297,600,352.78 Canadians and were surprised to find that while 75% of Canadians believed the sponsorship scandal was the most sordid tale of lost millions and financial cover-ups, another 50% thought that the sheer cost of the Gomery inquiry outweighed the benefits while a further 32% of Canadians voted for Nortel's accounting woes. No one selected the strong Canadian loonie and its effect on economic growth because nobody actually understands that stuff. All this adds up to 157%, which means that Canadians really miss hockey.
If you don't understand how scientific polls work then please rest assured that our numbers are fully audited by the same firm taking care of Nortel's numbers. If they're good enough for Nortel, they're good enough for The Maple Lounge.