Tories: Canada’s big government party -

Tories: Canada’s big government party

Federal spending has climbed 22 per cent under Harper Conservatives


Federal program spending has soared under the Conservatives, driven by billions in stimulus outlays and higher health care costs. The feds spent $270.5 billion in 2010-11, up from $222.2 billion in 2006-07—the Harper government’s first full year in power—an increase of 22 per cent. The Tories are now looking to chip away at those totals through a strategic operating review. Provincial health transfers, however, are slated to continue rising by six per cent annually until 2013-2014.

Postmedia News

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Tories: Canada’s big government party

  1. You can’t compare 2006-2007 to 2010-2011 due to the economic collapse, no matter which party was in charge in those years.  Yes, it does make for a totally gotcha soundbyte, but I’m of the party of evidence and common-sense, and not so full of the Kool-Aid that I can’t see that.  The question I would like answered is what was the increase, if any, during the first year of Harper over the last year of Martin?

    • You can compare them, because Harper and Flaherty both committed themselves to a no-deficit policy. In fact their certainty totally ignored the reality of the situation at the time. While the rest of us understood that the global meltdown would be a game changer they promised it wouldn’t.. So a comparison is not only fair it should be welcomed by the promise makers.
      Another part of their fiscal management policy was to reduce corporate tax rates right at the moment they had to know that their previous promises couldn’t be adhered to.
      I agree with evidence based utterances which is why I can question the Harper party’s actions, but as for common sense that doesn’t appear to exist anywhere and it certainly doesn’t apply in the machinations of international finance.

      • Well, you do have a couple of points there.

  2. I’m less bothered by the increase in spending than the fact that Harper drove us straight into a structural deficit, destroying the culture of deficit aversion Canada had created. He had undone the hard lessons of the 1990s, that we will have to learn again the hard way.

  3. The real question here is whether, in a minority government, the CPC were fighting to spend more against a more fiscally conservative opposition, or were trying to show fiscal restraint against an opposition that pushed for additional spending.

    Because in the latter scenario, it would be pretty obvious media narrative-shaping (and thus poor journalism) to then turn around and call the CPC a “big government party.”

    • Which is why I want to know the comparison between Martin’s last and Harper’s first years.

      • Spending increased under both Martin and Harper minorities. 

        • Yes, I knew that.  So, how much did Martin increase it in his last year and how much did Harper increase it in his first year?  And I don’t just mean spending, I mean the deficit/negative surplus.  Which includes revenue.

    • Although ultimately the CPC did sign off on those bigger budgets, no?

      Ie, the CPC had options:
      – they could have ‘allowed’ themselves to be defeated after proposing a budget with no or extremely limited stimulus, which might have led to a coalition
      – ‘engineered’ an election call.

      Admittedly choosing either of those options would take some serious consideration, but they were available.