Another way the House is made irrelevant

by Aaron Wherry

If, as variously reported, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivers the fall economic and fiscal update to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce today, it will be the third-straight fall he has delivered the update to an audience other than the House of Commons. Last year it was the Mississauga Chinese Business Association who enjoyed Mr. Flaherty’s presence, two years ago it was the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

Granted, the last time Mr. Flaherty did deliver the update in the House, what he had to say nearly brought about his government’s defeat.




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Another way the House is made irrelevant

  1. It could be worse.  This sort of thing always reminds me of the 2003 “Magna Budget” here in Ontario, where the actual budget itself was delivered at an auto parts factory instead of in the legislature.

    Sometimes I miss the Tories being in government in Ontario.  Those guys were CRAZY!!!

    • Yes, what ever happened to that kooky Ontario Finance Minister?

      • Yes, what ever happened to that kooky Ontario Finance Minister?

        I think maybe people are assuming that he is now the federal Minister of Finance, but if so, people are misremembering.  She is actually teaching public administration at Queen’s University. Flaherty had already been demoted by Eves in 2003, and the Magna budget was delivered by Ontario Minister of Finance Janet Ecker.

        • Spoilsport.

    • Well, while it’s true they don’t have Ontario to screw up anymore,

  2. This has to be deliberate but I don’t get the purpose of this strategy. To get local media to cover it? They would have covered it anyway, no?

    • It is to prevent the opposition parties from getting to comment to the press immediately after. Basically, it’s a way to win the news cycle with a losing hand… all a part of the permanent campaign and the noble lie.  

  3. Flaherty gets his feed-back from real businesses not partisan MPs who are irrelevant when it comes to actual bean counting.

    Interesting first comment from update in the House link, lol!  My how times change.

    “The man is so surrounded by terrified sycophants – he has lost his grasp on reality.He has a minority – yet he acts like a dictator.
    To our south the man isn’t even in the White House – still some 50+ days before he assumes office – but already Obama has chosen the best of the best from whichever partisan team – in order to solve the problems – and is nudging the field markers such that Bush and his gang are reluctantly being dragged along!”

    • If he’s getting feed-back from real businesses, shouldn’t he be listening rather than making speeches?

      • But he is:
         
        “EI premiums were set to increase in the new year by 10 cents per $100 for employees and 14 cents per $100 for employers. Those increases will now be five cents and seven cents respectively.
         
        The Canadian Federation of Independent Business on Monday called for a delay in the EI hike for 2012, arguing it could dissuade small and medium-sized businesses from hiring. Flaherty froze EI rates in 2009 because of the recession, and last summer held consultations on the premiums.”

    • Flaherty gets his feed-back from real businesses not partisan MPs who are irrelevant when it comes to actual bean counting.

      Well, that’s good to know.  I’d much rather our government listen to unelected business leaders rather than the people we elected to represent us in Parliament.  

      That said, no one’s complaining here  that Flaherty won’t LISTEN to other MPs.  He’s free to ignore them, of course.  However, when announcing government forecasts and/or policy, do you really think it’s appropriate for the Minister of Finance to announce such things in front of an audience of private businessmen rather than in front of an audience of our elected representatives???

  4. It’s just another example of disrespect for the House and Parliament. _They_ are the government and it is their option to reject the Budget, when it is debated in Parliament. The CPC has shown complete disregard for protocol, yet scream high and loud if any one else should be so crass. Yes, the Harper Regime has a majority this time, unlike the last two, but it is still correct procedure to read the Budget in the House first. the Harper Regime is acting in an autocratic fashion more appropriate to a Monarch or Dictator the to an elected (sort of) official. 

  5. Here’s the Harper view of Parliament.

    1. The election campaign is the only thing that matters.
    2. Parliament is merely a way of keeping score on who won the election.
    3. If you win a majority, Parliament means nothing.
    4. If you have only a minority Parliament becomes the continuation of the election campaign. 

    • Repeat when necessary.

  6. While this isn’t a budget it does recall the ill-fated attempt by Flaherty’s Ontario PC brethren to introduce their 2003 budget at the Magna training facility.

    It was one of the final nails in the coffin as people had grown tired of the Harris/Eves crowd and didn’t like this very obvious attempt to circumvent the democratic institutions of the province.

    That that day would come sooner than 2015 for the entire country.

  7. It is gratifying to see that the economic update speech will be delivered to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, since these are the people responsible for running this country according to the dictates set down by the Koch brothers. Maybe next year the speech can be delivered in Houston.

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