Hopes and fears of 2014

Blake Doyle
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With the obituary for 2013 now inked and complete, we can focus all our energies on the year ahead. As with any uncertain journey there is trepidation and enthusiasm. This year I wanted to reflect on my hopes and fears for the year 2014.

A new year represents a fresh start to many, not so much a continuation but a new beginning. My hopes would include prosperity and health for all Islanders this year; both wishes may be stretch goals in the current environment.

We are, unfortunately, increasingly reliant on the federal government for both health and prosperity. To the benefit of Islanders a hope would be that federal-provincial relations are strong and constructive over the coming year.

For future Islanders I would hope that the public debt not only be drastically reduced, but that an effective plan be implemented to manage our crippling provincial financial load.

With greatly reduced capacity to invest, government lending agencies, hopefully, will reduce their compulsion to create false economies through corporate welfare grants. A more Darwinian approach to business success is long overdue.

I would hope that businesses have the confidence to make investment in 2014. Without this necessary stimulation from the private sector our general economy will suffer. A consequence of a flourishing economy will be wage growth amongst the earning taxpayers, and increases in discretionary expenditures are needed at this time.

I also hope our system of education will make progressive reforms to improve educational outcomes. We are arguably doing a disservice to our future generation(s) as they will be disadvantaged to compete in a global economy.

I hope that people will be able to adapt to last year’s increases in taxation, my fear is that they will not accommodate new tax burdens and the recession we are teetering upon may be long and difficult.

Further fears would include challenges in the construction sector brought about through enthusiastic supply. The compounding impact of this will be the employment lures to other provinces and when our market recovers the workforce may not be available to support our demands.

I fear government’s insatiable need for revenue may raise taxes rather than managing expenses. The result of this will be a deferral in economic recovery. The uncommon bedfellows of business and organized labour may rally in common cause under the assault of cash-starved governments.

The power of fear is paralyzing. Hope is the best defence. We must be mindful of our environment and manage costs prudently, and if we turtle our fears will be realized.

I hope that we see leadership from the business community, labour, citizens and government. We will need a new pact with a collective commitment to transform traditional economic approaches. I hope that we are courageous enough to take required actions and that we will see benefits transferred from the general economic growth that will be occurring in other geographies during 2014.


Blake Doyle is The Guardian's small business columnist. He can be reached at blake@islandrecruiting.com.

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Recent comments

  • Robert Bennet
    January 05, 2014 - 13:52

    Sordid Affairs - precedent for Political Awakening: No longer is there presumption of truth (or trust) in government but rather an assault upon civil society, perhaps an abhorrent rise of fascism; Look at the rise of fascist parties in the 1930's. How did they adopt extreme ideologies so quickly? Do you recognise the symptoms today?; ‘Character’ and ‘Livelihood’ assassination without due-process; MPs emasculated via Nomination Certificates and Omnibus bills; Rampant ‘in-camera’ politicking; Outrageous cover-ups; Rubber stamped legislation excessively limiting debates; officials ordered into silence; The Press denied the right to enquiry; Subversive fraud – Robocalls using the conservative party’s database and ‘Elections Canada’ preferring charges against braggart ex-Tory staffer and ‘party lawyer’ coaching every conservative party witness involved in the investigation; Back-Room deals; New ‘Gag Orders’ within all employment contracts; Cynically - Assets sold and Services reduced distorting the pre-election budget; $billions diverted into CSEC spying; $millions funnelled into partisan Deloitte audits; Question Period scripted and voiced by un-elected perverted automatons; Breech of taxpayer’s trust; MP expenses still concealed (approx $450 million in 2013) despite Senate scandal; Advanced education funding slashed and Fisheries libraries’ content burnt – a knowledge massacre; Is it not a role of government to fund science or protect libraries? Outrageous!; Entrenched culture of corruption; F-35 ‘untendered’ $billions contract fiasco; The plan to replace 50-year-old Sea Kings years behind schedule and $200 million over budget; Ubiquitous deceit; Outrageous unaccountability by the PM; Over $105 million spent on Economic Action Plan advertisements; Elimination of collective bargaining; Subversive abandoning of senate rules (and Governor General’s unique authority) regarding due-process and the suspension of senators; Retroactive residency rules ‘invented’ to whitewash senate audits; Auditor General investigation all expenses; In 2014 we will closely observe ‘on-camera’ his face, his fabrications, his particular prejudice for judgement without due-process; His reference to washed, then sequestered emails for the RCMP to parade as truth, whole and nothing but. Indeed - the full truth will spotlight ‘Nigel Wright’ and Senator Gerstein’s party ‘slush-funding’ of partisan Senators and Journalists. There is no place for an untrustworthy PM (or party); You PM, exhibit a perverted relationship with ‘truth’. You are the new ‘LOW’ in political history. You have severely betrayed the common people. Your secretive regime and perverted rationale for shrouded lies are an affront to Common’s and Senate decency. You are ‘NOT’ above the Governor General; Try your lies again in 2014, under oath, and stir up honest people more, then observe the consequences. You are now the ‘expendable’ kicked to the curb without due-process and your initial motive for cover-ups, will be revealed.

  • Wheres the Obituary on PEI Tory Party Anyhow??
    January 04, 2014 - 09:00

    Any summary of the past year must include headliner reference to the total destruction of the PEI Conservative Party. funny eh?

  • What about your Tory Party "Friend"????
    January 04, 2014 - 08:28

    I see an obvious lack of fear Mr. Doyle must bear while he tries to rebuild the train wreck PEI Conservative Party with a bunch of disconnected hacks, in his article. Happy New Year friend!!!!