Ms. Freeland goes to Ottawa

The Liberal MP is warmly welcomed


New Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland had a rough go of it yesterday in Question Period. But the heckling was only half of it.

Once she’d actually put her question on the record, Conservative minister of state Kevin Sorenson stood and declared that, “We know her policy. We know the platform she ran on: amen to higher taxes.”

This is a neat trick.

You can’t be expected to know the details of this, but that’s a reference to something Ms. Freeland said three years ago, while appearing on an American talk show to discuss the fiscal situation of the U.S. government. The full transcript of that appearance is here. The context was whether the U.S. government needed to raise taxes to eliminate its budget deficit—specifically, Ms. Freeland was asked to respond after a clip was shown of Alan Greenspan suggesting the Bush-era tax cuts should be allowed to expire. Ms. Freeland doesn’t elaborate on that comment, instead segueing into a tangent about the relative health of the U.S. economy as compared to the situation in Germany. (The Conservative party website makes reference to Ms. Freeland calling for an increase in taxes during an appearance on CNN in April 2012. Again, the context seems to be the U.S. budget. I can’t find the source for the carbon tax reference, but the carbon tax discussion is rather complicated at this point.)

So prospective candidates take note: anything you say publicly can and will be used against you three years from now when you are elected to office.

Nonetheless, did Ms. Freeland somehow otherwise campaign last year in her by-election on a platform of increasing taxes? I confess I’m not fully aware of everything she said during that campaign (here she is ruling out tax increases at least in the short-term and here is what appears on her website under the heading “on the issues”), but I invite tips on anything that might be construed as an endorsement of higher taxes.

Otherwise, the next time you see Mr. Sorenson, you might ask him how he thinks the United States should balance its federal budget and then assign those comments to him as his general philosophy in life.

Update 5:50pm. After posting this, it occurred to me that I should have given Mr. Sorenson a chance to reply, so I emailed his office. Here is his statement.

“The honourable member ran on her record which includes comments made at home and abroad.

“Canadians simply don’t want to pay the higher taxes that the Liberals are notorious for, especially during a fragile recovery.

“Unlike the Liberals, we are proud of our record that includes delivering historic tax relief for all Canadians.”

As an example, I am pointed towards the Liberal platform of 2011, when the Liberal party vowed to rescind reductions corporate tax cuts and set the rate at 18%. I suppose Ms. Freeland chose to associate herself with such a party, but that particular commitment came two years before she was a candidate for the party.


Ms. Freeland goes to Ottawa

  1. This kind of lying from the Cons surprises anyone?

    • It’s as natural as breathing to them.

  2. It’s such a crying shame that Liberals are held accountable for the words they utter. How do people not understand at this point that Liberals never ever ever mean what they say. They just say what they think the current audience wants to hear, it doesn’t mean they actually believe it. Or believe anything for that matter.

    • Would someone please tell Con HQ that Ricky is having a meltdown? They need a temp in here asap.

    • well liberals do believe the best way to increase wealth in the middle class is to raise business tax and income tax on high earners….its there basic ideology. instead of how tories believe to raise the middle class you get them working in better jobs

    • Reality is none of these parties represent the people that make this country work other than to tax us like slaves to feed the notion that big fat government can fix economic problems.

      The reasons the big (NDP/Lib/Con) fat government can’t fix the jobs and economic problems is that it is governemtn bloat consumption causing the problems.

      Want jobs? Leave people with more money to spend and lower the tax inflated costs of goods and services. We pay $45 billion a year in hidden taxes on food, cloths and other. Much of it is protectionist, so with tax inflated protectionism costs, we pay more and get less to spend on other peoples jobs.

      In extreme terms, if government taxed us 100% then there would be no money for other peoples jobs or food. And why its important to get a more economical, efficient and effective government or no real recovery is possible. As it is this bloat that makes us an uncompetitive nation.

    • It’s such a crying shame that Conservatives aren’t. The concept of words and actions matching seems beyond them.

    • What??? It is isn’t the Liberals fault. It is everyone who dares to recall anything they might have said and bring it up later because obviously those people always take what they say out of context.

  3. Tax me more, I have less to spend on other peoples jobs, and it could be your job. Tax me less, I can spend more on jobs. Society works as for the affordable exchange of goods and services for jobs. When some parasite like excessive government waste takes too much of the pie to waste, then exchange of goods becomes unfordable, job losses ensue. Makes us an uncompetitive nation.

    People fail to see that taxing people more to buy jobs means a lower standard of living for all as if we have less money form taxes, devalued money, tax inflated costs, we have less money to employ people. Sure, you buy a job, then those that fund it spend less on someones else’s job. A zero net job effect, just less value for the tax slaves.

    But thats the ruse to sell big government, makes no sense, doesn’t need to make sense either as it is Ottawa. Sell by fear and PR as to keep the government statism bloat.

    As for comparing Canada to the USA, we Canadians pay much more in taxes, about 50% more, which means we have less taxation elasticity. Tax my dentist more and I am sure the extra billings will rise so I have less to spend on other peoples jobs. I know, I lived in USA for 10 years.

    We even tax food and in relative terms, US food is near tax free. But not so in Canada. Its why we pay more in grocries, we are a negative value tax inflated economy of ponzi currency/debt. Too much government for our own good.

  4. So prospective candidates take note: anything you say publicly can and
    will be used against you three years from now when you are elected to

    LOL. Remind us of that next time you bring up something 2002 Stephen Harper said.

    Jesus Christ. Get some frigging self-awareness Wherry.

    And while you’re at it, you might notice who else was piling on Ms. Freeland in a most unflattering way.

    At least, you would if you were actually interested in defending Freeland from sexist smears from your own colleagues instead of taking yet another dig at the Conservatives.

    By the way, impressive fact checking effort. Do you do this on behalf of any other parties?

    • Firewall Letter!
      Second-rate socialist country!
      Northern Foundation!

    • Just so I understand, Wherry did something wrong because he did not write an article on a apology another reporter published?

      You have had some great leaps of logic lately, but this one is pretty spectacular.

      • ….ADHD? Short-term memory loss? Inability to keep your word?

  5. Aaron Wherry, Feburary 2014: “So prospective candidates take note: anything you say publicly can and will be used against you three years from now when you are elected to office.”

    Aaron Wherry, February 2013:
    ““We know what the Prime Minister thinks about workers in Atlantic Canada. He calls them losers, and says that they have a ‘culture of defeat,’ ” Mr. Mulcair continued, proving that no good gaffe ever really dies’.

    Yeah, that was an 11 year old comment there Wherry that Mulcair dragged up and you thought was in great fun.

    So, just to summarize…if you’re a journalist,

    Liberal’s 2 year old “Quebecers are better than Albertans” comment – too long ago, not fair game
    Liberal’s 3 year old “Amen to higher taxes” comment – too long ago, out of context.
    Conservative’s 11 year old “culture of defeat” comment – a really good gaffe that never dies.

    • These are Aaron’s principles. And if you don’t like them, he has other principles.

    • And here he reports on what Mulcair said, and you have a problem with it because, I guess you wanted him NOT to report it?

      The only way a reporter can be unbiased is if they do not report what John things they should not report.

      • Reminder!

  6. Here is Wherry from 2009, referencing, among other things:

    an 8 year old “firewall letter”
    a 12 year old speech
    a 12 year old paper written with Tom Flanagan
    a Master’s Thesis from 1991(!)

    But take something a Liberal said only 3 years ago, and you get this. “So prospective candidates take note: anything you say publicly can and
    will be used against you three years from now when you are elected to


    Aaron, would you care to enlighten us how far back into history we can go for a Liberal before we should be concerned about something they may have said (we know that 3 years is way too long; some journalists thought Trudeau’s 2 year old comments were too far back; it might be even lower than that) and how far back is acceptable for a Conservative? (we know that at least an 18 year old Master’s Thesis can be mined for something, but it could be even higher).

    • Thank you for putting things in perspective and calling Wherry on his shtick.

    • Dear John

      I know from our discussion yesterday that you have some problems understanding basic evidence, but let me help you with it.

      Anecdotes are not evidence. Randomly selecting articles, and ignoring their context, proves only that you are ever so very desperate to prove your paranoid conspiracy theory.

      Look. I get it. You, personally, are beyond help. No amount of rational argument is going to convince you, because you have immersed yourself so deeply into irrational behaviour that you cannot be saved. You have clung to this desperate theory for so long that it may cause you actual pain to let it go.

      I think it is time to remind myself not to waste my time trying to reason with someone who is so clearly unreasonable.

      • Please do remind yourself not to waste time commenting. Thank you.

      • “Dear John” letters are always so poignant.

      • Damn. Gayle just broke up with me with a Dear John letter published on a message board.

        That’s cold, Gayle.

        • Plenty of fish, bro. Be strong.

    • Actually, Wherry also wrote two blog posts in 2009 with the title ‘A Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term’, a quote from Harper 12 years prior. That same quote had already been regurgitated 10,000 times by others, so it wasn’t even original. But it was important that he regurgitated it more than once.

      Wherry’s world:
      Regurgitated 3 year old Liberal quote: bad
      Regurgitated 12 year old Conservative quote: good, so good in fact, it was perfect for the title of more than one blog post.

      Now, I don’t recall Harper saying anything similar in the campaigns of 2004, 2006, or 2008. And Wherry used it repeatedly in 2009. Yet in this article here, for a quote to be repeatable it should be used in a campaign (“Nonetheless, did Ms. Freeland somehow otherwise campaign last year in her by-election on a platform of increasing taxes?”). Confusing… although I am sensing a pattern, somewhere, somehow…

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