“2012 will undoubtedly be another challenging year”


The Prime Minister’s Office today released this letter from Stephen Harper to the Conservative caucus. We’ll chat about it on Monday. -pw


Dear Colleague:

2011 was quite a year. Canadians entrusted us with a strong, stable, national, majority Conservative Government and we have delivered. We have continued to implement our low-tax plan for jobs and growth – a plan that is working. We have provided marketing freedom for grain farmers, expanded trade and moved forward with the Border Action Plan with the United States. However, there is much more to do.

Canadians have consistently told us the economy is their top priority. They are concerned about their jobs, their families and their financial security. We have listened to their concerns and we have acted with Canada’s Economic Action Plan: our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. Since 2009, Canada’s economy has created nearly 600,000 new jobs and our economic performance is the envy of other advanced countries.

Our Government’s top priority in 2012 will continue to be the economy. With the ongoing economic instability in Europe and the continued slow economic growth in the United States, it is clear the global economy is still very fragile. Too many Canadians are still rightly concerned about their jobs, their savings and their family budgets. Our Conservative Government will continue to focus on creating jobs and economic growth.

Over the coming months, we will be busy planning and preparing Economic Action Plan 2012. Economic Action Plan 2012 will continue our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. It will focus on key areas that will lead to stronger growth and job creation such as:

• Expanding trade and opening new markets – for the export of Canadian goods and services to help our businesses expand and grow.

• Investing in research and development – so that new technologies translate into jobs for Canadians and opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs.

• Contributing to skills training – to help get people into the right jobs and to address skills shortages that hold back growth.

• Eliminating red tape – that stifles growth and kills jobs, so we can support economic growth and entrepreneurship.

• Keeping taxes low – to help families balance their budgets and to provide a competitive business environment that supports job-creating investment and expansion.

• Controlling debt and deficits – to ensure Canada avoids the debt crisis plaguing many developed countries by gradually eliminating our deficit from now to 2015.

As we prepare Economic Action Plan 2012, it is vitally important that we continue to listen to Canadians on the best way to create jobs and economic growth. The Economic Action Plan has been built on the ideas put forward by entrepreneurs, workers, small businesses and ordinary hard-working Canadians. Economic Action Plan 2012 must continue this approach.

Therefore, I am requesting that Ministers take time in the coming weeks to travel the country and consult with Canadians on Economic Action Plan 2012. I want to ensure that our Government gets the views of small business owners, workers, entrepreneurs and hard-working Canadian families on the policies that we should adopt to continue to create jobs and economic growth. We must work hard to ensure the concerns and priorities of Canadians are reflected in our plan.

In closing, 2012 will undoubtedly be another challenging year for Canada. We have come through the global economic recession stronger than almost any other industrialized country. However, there are tough, important choices that must be made to create jobs, keep our economy growing and keep Canada as the greatest country in the world. We must make those choices – choices that will lead to greater prosperity – but we must make them together with the Canadian people.


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“2012 will undoubtedly be another challenging year”

  1. a)  We are pro-prosperity and peace. i mean, who isn’t?

    b) We plan to get to Nirvana by using the same old cliches everyone else does. First we have a PLAN…. that nobody else on earth has EVER thought of!!!  Creating!  Growing! Investing! Trading! Training! Cutting taxes! Eliminating that deficit we created!

    c) Most of all we’ll stick you with the details, hard work and ‘tough choices’. Because you elected us in order to do it yourself! Right?

    d) So it’s all up to you ‘hard-working’ Canadians….not the slackers among you….to get us out of this mess.

    e) So get busy, or it’s ALL YOUR FAULT.


    • There you go again, Emily, completely misreading our Prime Minister’s letter.  Your Point B is a bald-faced lie and I wonder how you sleep at night misrepresenting our Leader like that.

      He has clearly stated he in fact does NOT have a plan, else why on earth would he say “Over the coming months, we will be busy planning and preparing Economic Action Plan 2012″

      Further, his entire letter is to exhort his troops to go out there and find a damn plan from someone!  My question is, just how much of this debt reduction will be found by spending money on country-wide tours for the entire cabinet?  I know economists say you can spend your way out of a recession, but I’m not sure they continued with “in travel arrangements.”

      • Sigh…I know.

        Harper is such a dear sweet man, and I attack him mercilessly.  My bad.

        Claims to have a plan in order to get elected….and then expects us to actually come up with it.

        I just wish Dear Leader had picked a better time of year to send his MPs to the Legion halls of the nation for economic leadership

      • I suppose after spending the week-end gazing at belly-buttons I can understand why you two seem to have such a tiny grasp of reality.

        Look, it doesn`t matter if you are a family of cave-dwellers, a small business, or a country, you will only achieve success if there is confidence in leadership. You may have reasons to dislike the leader but if you don`t have confidence in him, you`re doomed—some of you may not like Harper, but the business community and entrepreneurs who create jobs have confidence in him.
        That`s all this letter is about—-giving the people who need some incentive to get out there and create jobs and wealth a reason to do the necessary investments.

        Don`t you think the bungling leadership the Americans have had the past few years is one of the reason for their poor prospects ?
        How would the business and entrepreneur community feel about a Bob Rae or Justin Trudeau as leader ?—disastrous

        Leadership–Liberals just talk about it—Harper`s actions speak.

        • If you think business and entrepreneurs have confidence in Harper, you’re dreaming in technicolour. He hasn’t done anything to help any of them.

          And they aren’t magically going to ‘get out there’ and create jobs and wealth.

          Fighting 2 wars, huge military expenses, and Wall St defrauding people are what’s damaged the US economy. And it happened before Obama came along.

          It’s called ‘imperial overstretch’…..same thing that ruined Rome

          I have no idea how people would see Rae or Justin, but since neither are likely to be leader it doesn’t matter.

          Liberals have led this country for most of both centuries….and we are now an advanced western country.  Harper cutting the GST, and blowing the surplus are not ‘actions’ to be proud of.

        • Your comment is senseless.  Canadians can and do build successful enterprises of all sorts whether they have faith in a leader or not.  In this case, they might be wise to look askence at the man who reversed himself on income trusts, complained bitterly about the financial banking measures that later proved to save Canada’s bacon, and was the last human being in the free world to observe the 2008 recession.

          • Well, that`s your opinion.
             I was just hoping to explain to the above Lib Conventioneers that getting together for a week-end gabfest and navel-gazing does nothing to help ordinary Canadians.I think you are wrong about the importance of the perception of leadership  by those who want to invest, create jobs, and pay taxes on their profits. If there is no faith in the competence of those who are in control of the business climate, then there won`t be investment.

            Those old talking points about income trusts, 2008 recession mean nothing to forward looking people.

        • I have no confidence in Harper and I don’t consider his crowd of neanderthals to be my government.  Legally they may be but that is all – but in spirit and my heart and mind they are craven interlopers who have no standing.

  2. I can’t wait for a Joe Oliver townhall out here in B.C., the spiritual home of millionaire socialists. 

  3. It’s obviously an attempt to highlight their focus on the economy, in contrast to the coverage of the Liberal convention, which focused on everything else.

    And maybe someone in PMO finally noticed that whatever ‘consultations” they’ve been doing on the budget and their economic program, none of it has involved ordinary Canadians, and none of it has had any visibility.

    This letter is therefore an attempt to create a paper trail where they can at least claim in the future that they wanted to hear from ordinary Canadians, and pretend that caucus did just that.

    • With both oppositions seemingly more concerned about Irwin Cotler`s hurt feelings and the the dippers squeeging for votes by exploiting the plight of underprivileged Natives on Reserves, I suppose Harper hopes that consultations with the people may lead to some useful ideas, since he doesn`t hear many from the opposition benches.

      • It would probably be a good idea to consult with the people not getting their EI checks on time.  What are the chances of that happening? 

        • So you think the road to creating an atmosphere for more jobs is to concentrate on getting the unemployment cheques out on time ?

          • Geez – let the unemployed eat cake?  You’re as bad as the Minister (whose combined income with her Senator husband is what?).  I would think a minimum requirement of a competent government would be to get the checks out on time. 

          • I think we might have some substantial differences of opinion of what constitutes a competent government.

          • No kidding, Calvin.

          • You will need help one day Calvin.  If you think you won’t then you are kidding yourself.  I hope you have to wait for it.

          • What a surprise, a Conservative who doesn’t give a crap about his fellow Canadians. How rare.

          • In a thread about the economy and jobs, Jan posted that it is a priority for a gov`t to get the EI cheques out on time.
            I disagreed with her—-consulting with the people about EI cheques will not help the economy or create jobs.Can you tell me again why you think I am wrong and Jan is correct—please be specific.

          • Sure it is. It undermines confidence in the government, and suppresses consumer confidence.

            EI cheques are a liability that government has to pay out. Just like, say, tax credits, tax refunds, interest on debt, etc. If the government falls behind on its liabilities, that sends a message to all of the people who are expecting these things, that the government is not capable of paying its bills. If the government can’t even get out EI cheques on time to help its own people, how do you think foreign bond holders are going to feel about their interest payments? Can you imagine that they might be less confident in the government’s ability to pay them back? Likewise with business: If you’re running a company operating in Canada, or are considering running a company in Canada, how confident are you going to be that the government will actually follow through on providing infrastructure support or whatever assistance you might need, when it can’t pay its bills on time? Especially when you see that foreign creditors are already getting nervous over the same issue? This is pretty much what happened to AIG. There came a point where nobody believed that it could pay off its liabilities, so the people who had invested in it started trying to get their money out.

            And then there’s consumer confidence. Suppose you’re in a job with no job security. If you see that the government is falling behind on EI payments, what effect will that have on your spending habits? Rather than stimulating the economy through consumption, can you not imagine people deciding to sit on larger portions of their cash if the government safety net  are broken? Low consumer confidence stifles economic growth.

            This isn’t an either-or proposition. The government has to cover its obligations, including those like it. It also should try to stimulate growth–indeed, as I’ve said, the two issues are related. 

  4. I want to ensure that our Government gets the views of small business owners, workers, entrepreneurs and hard-working Canadian families on the policies that we should adopt to continue to create jobs and economic growth.”

    I guess that’s why you shut down unions, threaten the CBC, cut short parliamentary debates, attack environmental groups and generally stifle free and open democratic process.  You don’t fool me with your PR cliches Harper.  If you want to truly do something for Canada then leave it.

  5. Must be nice to live in a bubble and think these ideas are anything but catastrophic to the people of the country.

    “With the ongoing economic instability in Europe and the continued slow
    economic growth in the United States, it is clear the global economy is
    still very fragile” AND ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE.

    What a jackass for a PM.

  6. The only challenge Harper cares about is making sure his rear end (along with those of his fellow thugs) stays right where it is.

  7. I’m glad that calling it the Economic Action Plan 2012 allows it to remain productized so we can spend top dollar on advertising. (make sure the CPC blue and the EAP website’s blue are the same pantone)

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