Politics on TV - Macleans.ca

Politics on TV

Wynne, Redford and Flaherty talk debt and deficit


Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Kathleen Wynne’s victory
  2. Alison Redford and the “bitumen bubble”
  3. Jim Flaherty on debt and the PBO

Kathleen Wynne:

CTV’s Question Period had an interview with new Ontario premier-designate Kathleen Wynne, who said that the critical mass of women leading provinces may change the dialogue at the Council of the Federation, and the way that youth look up to leadership. Wynne said that the issue of Ontario’s $11 billion deficit is extremely urgent, and she wants to stay on track. To that end, she will be taking current finance minister Dwight Duncan’s advice, and plans to work with her caucus colleagues and the opposition to put together a budget that will pass. Wynne said she also looks forward to a collegial and cooperative discussion with Stephen Harper about Ontario’s economy.

Alison Redford:

Kevin Newman spoke with Alberta premier Alison Redford, who said that like Wynne, she came into an existing government and had to very quickly deal with the business of government. With regards to her own province’s $6 billion shortfall in revenue, Redford said that they are looking at different financing models for infrastructure investments, but won’t borrow for operating costs. As part of that, they are looking at what is and is not working with provincial service delivery. Redford said that with 30 per cent of revenues coming from oil and gas, they are focusing on more diversification, and that there are tremendous opportunities to move oil east by reversing pipelines because getting product to tidewater changes revenues.

(By contrast, Thomas Mulcair told The West Block (third segment begins at 17 minutes) that oil should go east for Canadian energy security at the Canada select oil prices, but said nothing about tidewater or world prices).

Jim Flaherty:

After a primer on Canadian debt levels – the totals between the federal government and all of the provinces being $1.05 trillion or 87 per cent of the GDP – The West Block sat down with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty before his trip to Davos, Switzerland. Flaherty said that Canadian growth is about on track, close to two per cent of GDP. Flaherty said that skills training is an issue, and it presents opportunities for private sector, as most young people just need a chance to get connected with business community. On Kevin Page, Flaherty said that the office hasn’t yet been of net benefit to the government, and that the idea was that the PBO would be like Congressional Budget Officer, and report to MPs about budget projections. Flaherty said that Page has wandered off from that role, and would like to see a more defined mandate for his successor.


Politics on TV

  1. I could not stop laughing when I read that Flaherty said that the PBO had yet not been a benefit to the government. Mind you his comment tells you a lot about Flaherty’s misunderstanding of the PBO’s job. I am sure when Flaherty uses government, he means conservative party, not the government of Canada for all Canadians The PBO was not created to be a benefit to the conservatives, although may be that’s how Harper and Flaherty tried to design/constrain that job. It is to be a benefit to Canadian taxpayers and to provide checks and balances to government (read partisan) information. Normally this should be seen as a benefit to the government but with this government, anything that challenges them and provides more information to the Canadian people is seen as a bad thing. One of the PBO’s responsibilities is to increase the accountability of the government. As a taxpayer, I would say that Mr. Page has been a great benefit to Canadians. He should get the Order of Canada for producing all those very well researched reports with such a small team and in spite of the government depriving him of much useful information. I am looking forward to having a PBO that has the same authority and independence as the US GAO. But unfortunately this is not going to happen under this government.

  2. “To that end, she will be taking current finance minister Dwight Duncan’s advice”. She wants to change things, but will take advice from the guy who was in charge when the debt ballooned. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • Oh, was he the one that did it?

      Does the world know this?

      • Who else would it be, he has been Finance Minister since 2005 and Energy Minister twice before and after, so that is where the biggest problems are. Who else would be responsible?

        • Apparently you haven’t noticed the world financial crisis…..going on since 2008

          • Oh! I see, that works for Duncan, but not Harper (I’ve seen many of your previous posts!). Can’t have your cake and eat too Sweetie.

          • Harper didn’t CAUSE IT and neither did Duncan

            So try again honeybunch

          • Emily, restrain yourself. The last hour or so you’re giving “doll” and “honey bunch” to everyone in sight. Warren and GG and I are getting jealous.

            My leg actually tingled when you called me “doll.”

            By the way, the economy hit the skids in August of 2008 when the financial markets came to the stark realization that the communist leaning muslim pretender, Barack Hussein Obama was about to be elected President.

          • The tingle down your leg means your diaper is leaking.

            And the financial crash was during Bush’s term

            Kinsella….because you’re a nuisance everywhere online, and he intends to charge you

            I just find you boring.

          • Ah yes, the leaky diaper business. You know about that don’t you Emily. It happened to your sad old husband didn’t it, every time he heard you come into the room?
            But you must learn to read Emily, something other than the Wikipedia. The crash was precipitated by fear Emily, as all crashes are. Market fear of the muslim pretender.

          • Everyone is aware you’re a senior with cognitive problems. It follows that diapers would also be involved.

          • A “nuisance” you say. Would that be to your agenda?

            And “everywhere” seems a bit of a stretch, but then your railing petty nonsense and misinformation is pretty much ubiquitous, isn’t it?

            For a bored person Emily you’re in an unusual frenzy.