This looks familiar

The Conservatives unveil their budget plans a week early


Two months after the Conservatives prorogued Parliament to “consult” with Canadians, government officials have revealed the broad outlines of Ottawa’s plans for the March 4 budget. In short, it’s more of the same—it includes no new spending or tax measures, and no cuts to pensions, health care or education transfers to the provinces. Despite signs the worst of the economic crisis has passed, the federal government will push ahead with $19 billion worth of stimulus spending announced last year. “Having prorogued Parliament ostensibly to recalibrate and plan the budget, the government is now saying the budget will contain essentially nothing,” said Liberal finance critic John McCallum. “That kind of contradicts their rationale for prorogation.”

CBC News

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This looks familiar

  1. I love how "consult" is in sarcastic scare quotes in this Need to Know segment, followed by the author's contemptuous summary that "In short, it's more of the same", followed by two scathing comments from the Liberal finance critic with no opposing view presented.

    What I like about Macleans is the diversity of viewpoints; I just wish the Need to Know section, which seems intended to be more factual than opinion-based, was presented without the blatant partisanship.

    • And how, exactly, would you have put it?

    • Absolutely. If I wanted to read CBC's point of view I would go read the National Post.

    • Dmitri Soudas on prorogation: "This is the time to recalibrate, consult and deliver the next stage of our plan that we outlined last year in Budget 2009."

      • Yes, wouldn't it have been better to include that comment, with attribution, in the piece?

        • Under what circumstances could the way it's presently phrased be construed as factually wrong?

  2. Oh.. oh.. wait. I think I might have cottoned on to it.

    Is Harper playing the long game? Here's the situation as I see it right now.

    Canada's economy is starting to recover.
    Bank of Canada's guarantee about low interest rates ends in June.

    So, come June, the Bank of Canada is, with a recovering economy, start looking seriously at interest rates because their main goal is to control inflation.

    Of course, if interest rates go up to combat inflation, there's a lot of folks out there who are going to find their homes have become unaffordable, and be foreclosed onto the streets. You can bet they're not going to be happy, even though they're the ones who are largely at fault for their own situation.

  3. Excuse me? I was under the impression that part of the pirogies rational was to keep Canadian politics from becoming a distraction during the Olympics. What part of, the Olympics aren't over yet, doesn't the Government understand?


    "Liberal trade critic Scott Brison said the prorogation, combined with Monday's disclosure of budget details, amounted to a "jihad" on Parliament by the Conservatives."

    Jihad: I don't think that word means what you think it means.

  4. None, which is why I didn't claim it was factually wrong.

    It does come across as contemptuous and sarcastic, however, as does the ensuing bit about it being "more of the same".

  5. Or, one could view the media coverage as accurate if the statements and actions of the government are indeed found to be contemptuous and sarcastic.

  6. Parliament was prorogued on December 30, 2009 and a new session begins on March 3, 2010. This is not a few days or even 21 days. This spans 64 days before MP's that Canadians elected may question this strange thing of a government. Were not statements made during the weekends as well? It might be good to read all the things that this government did during this period that they were not held accountable for or being questioned in our House of Parliament. They act more like a dictatorship every increasing day.

    • I tend to agree. If a government isn't sitting and available for questions by the Opposition, I don't believe that they should be making any kind of policy announcements. That isn't being accountable.

  7. Parliament was to reconvene Jan 25th, Harper pushed it back to March 3. That's 5 weeks. He offered to sit two extra weeks, so that brings us down to three weeks. Three weeks, and people are freaking out.

    The media is flat out lying to Canadians by saying this is a three month prorogation, but that's to be expected seeing as how they are the absolute worst media in the entire world. Sadly, many Canadians like tenni here are very, very ignorant and don't know that parliament isn't meant to sit 365 days a year and that month long breaks around Christmas are not uncommon. You do realize that MPs take months, plural, off in the summer, and have for over 140 years? Of course you don't, because you are pig ignorant.

    Three weeks. People freaking out about three weeks, and it's not like Chretien didn't prorogue under shadier circumstances.

    • I guess I'm "very, very ignorant" or "pig ignorant" to point out that the act of proroguing Parliament is not what people are freaking out about. It was its cost and purpose.

      First, the cost: 30+ bills, about a third of which were "law and order" pieces, died on the order paper (that was roughly half of Harper's legislative agenda); Stacking the Senate; killing committees that were exposing lies told by Ministers of the Government.

      And the purpose? A moving target.

      In an early election call and two suspensions of Parliament (in just four years), Harper has killed scores of his own bills. This last suspension happened just after the House voted against the government regarding Parliamentary privilege.

      We're not all pig ignorant. We know that when someone sacrifices 50% of their own legislation by shutting down Parliament, he's doing it for a reason. It allowed him to appoint Senators, yes … but mainly it killed all of those pesky Parliamentary committees which would have continued to meet even when Parliament was in recess.

      PS: It's not nice to call people names just because the hold informed opinions that differ from yours.

  8. But they didn't prorogue to recalibrate. It was to get more senators. No wait, it was for the Olympics. No … it was to prevent market instability. No, it was to protect the reputation of our troops. Why do the Liberals hate our brave men and women over there?

    • Yes, because you should never do something for more than one reason.

      Again, it’s only a few weeks. But if the Opposition really want to stick it to the Cons, they just have to show up on the first day back and pick up exactly where they left off. Just like if they had come back from Harper’s other proroguement with the Coalition still intact.

    • As I understand it, it has something to do with the CBC.

  9. Perhaps the Conservatives wanted to give The Coalition Parties the chance to digest the gist of the budget before they get back into the house.

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