Flaherty explains that extra $11 billion

by Paul Wells

As Aaron point out, the Conservative platform released today contains $1 billion in the first year, rising to $4 billion in the third and fourth years, that weren’t in the budget only 17 days ago. That’s a cumulative $11 billion in extra fiscal room to pay for all the Conservatives’ promises. It turns out that money comes from a “comprehensive Strategic and Operating Review.” That review was mentioned in the budget, but Jim Flaherty didn’t book a dime of savings from it because the review hasn’t been done yet.

Now it’s the basis for all new promised Conservative spending. Now here’s the thing: the Conservatives have already undergone a strategic review, and the results are included in the pre-election budget. This is money the Conservatives have already decided to cut. The savings come to $194.5 million for 2011-12, $796.4 million for 2012-13, and $1.57 billion for 2013-2014. (Most of those savings come from slowing growth in military spending, $525 million below the original budget in 2012-13 and 1 billion in the year after.)

So that means the Conservatives have already cut about $200 million this year, $270 million next year and $570 million the year after, using techniques that they hope will land them up to seven times as much savings in a year, not far down the road.

Wow. What have they been cutting?

I couldn’t get any explanation for that at the budget lockup. The descriptions of the cuts in the budget are perfectly opaque — $14 million at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for “Improving use of internal resources,” $16 million at Quebec Economic Development for “aligning funding with program demand,” and a whopping $190 million at Human Resources for “Improving alignment of program funding with actual needs.”

When I went to the civil servants who were locked in with reporters and copies of the budget to ask, they had no explanation for any of these cuts. “The departments have been informed of the results of the strategic review today,” one official told me. “You’ll have to ask them.”

And then the government fell, and now the departments can’t talk, and the Conservatives tell us they can find $11 billion in savings just like the couple of billion they just found.

Suddenly I needed a much better explanation for the cuts they’ve already announced. The Conservative war room put Jim Flaherty on the phone. Here’s our entire conversation. I informed Flaherty’s press secretary that I would be posting this interview online. It lasts about 10 minutes.

[audio http://www2.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/flaherty.mp3]




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Flaherty explains that extra $11 billion

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, your Minister of Finance!

    Good grief.

  2. Ladies and gentlemen, your Minister of Finance!

    Good grief.

    • Face-palm

    • How did you get firsties and not brag about it?

      • A high degree of self-discipline.

  3. Kudos to Inkless for hunting Flaherty down.

    Jim's a decent salesman but even the best struggle when offering vapourware. I'd summarize his argument as: it's just a matter of scale, we've already found a few hundred million so, while it will be somewhat more difficult to find an order of magnitude greater savings, there is no reason to think we won't. Trust me.

    Probably as good a defense as he can muster, but not very credible.

    Back in the day, I'd have termed it "hoping to find a horseshoe in his ass."

  4. Kudos to Inkless for hunting Flaherty down.

    Jim's a decent salesman but even the best struggle when offering vapourware. I'd summarize his argument as: it's just a matter of scale, we've already found a few hundred million so, while it will be somewhat more difficult to find an order of magnitude greater savings, there is no reason to think we won't. Trust me.

    Probably as good a defense as he can muster, but not very credible.

    Back in the day, I'd have termed it "hoping to find a horseshoe in his ass."

  5. Well Paul, you've been told it took a LOT of discussion, and a LOT of work, and while they'll be more 'aggressive' in future, they wouldn't dream of doing what the Liberals did because that was draconian….

    Blabetty blab, blibbity blib…..bottom line here is that they 'think' a lot of boomers will be retiring this year….

  6. Well Paul, you've been told it took a LOT of discussion, and a LOT of work, and while they'll be more 'aggressive' in future, they wouldn't dream of doing what the Liberals did because that was draconian….

    Blabetty blab, blibbity blib…..bottom line here is that they 'think' a lot of boomers will be retiring this year….

  7. Well I'll repeat this with the link – only a few pages.

    Attrition and hiring/budget freezes are one of the ways they intend to save money without the huge layoffs that happened in the '90's. The target was $4 billion/year but they are still collecting plans from various departments how they will function with less staff/money. Don't forget that baby boomers work in the civil service too, there will be many retirees in the next couple of years.

    "Beyond the existence of a deficit, there are no strong parallels between Canada's financial circumstances in the 1990s and the situation today. The 1990s marked the end of a long series of deficits that pushed the country's debt-to-GDP ratio to 71%. By contrast, the debt-to-GDP ratio in 2009 was 34%. The state of today's economy is much more robust: Canada has climbed out of the global recession and is creating jobs. However, this recovery contributed in large measure to a $53.8 billion deficit. Among its first steps to address the deficit, the government has proposed freezing departmental operating budgets. Doing so could quite possibly lead to future reductions in the public service. " http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublic….

  8. In the debates, Harper will announce the deficits will be gone by 2013, and by the end of the campaign, he will tell people that the deficit already gone.

  9. Well I'll repeat this with the link – only a few pages.

    Attrition and hiring/budget freezes are one of the ways they intend to save money without the huge layoffs that happened in the '90's. The target was $4 billion/year but they are still collecting plans from various departments how they will function with less staff/money. Don't forget that baby boomers work in the civil service too, there will be many retirees in the next couple of years.

    "Beyond the existence of a deficit, there are no strong parallels between Canada's financial circumstances in the 1990s and the situation today. The 1990s marked the end of a long series of deficits that pushed the country's debt-to-GDP ratio to 71%. By contrast, the debt-to-GDP ratio in 2009 was 34%. The state of today's economy is much more robust: Canada has climbed out of the global recession and is creating jobs. However, this recovery contributed in large measure to a $53.8 billion deficit. Among its first steps to address the deficit, the government has proposed freezing departmental operating budgets. Doing so could quite possibly lead to future reductions in the public service. " http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublic….

    • a) the site is dead

      b) please stop repeating partisan nonsense.

      • OMG…will you ever recover from this Miss Manners?

        He's posted it several times already…it's still partisan nonsense.

        • No it is a template for them to follow on how to save money without laying off 45,000 civil service employees like they did in the '90's.

          Day has been asking all depts. to find ways to save money since last year.

          • It's just baby boomers retiring….no template, no ingenious plan, and unlikely to help

          • Pardon me if I laugh. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

            Yes, I know, you've seen this before, yet it bears repeating.

    • "Facing an anticipated federal deficit of $53.8 billion in 2009–2010, and recognizing that the public service workforce was the largest since the 1990s,1 the Government of Canada announced in Budget 2010 that, for the fiscal years 2011–2012 and 2012–2013, the operating budgets for all departments would be frozen at the 2010–2011 level.

      The last time the government faced a similar deficit it implemented a wide cost-cutting and cost-saving Program Review exercise. This paper will discuss the Program Review in the 1990s, the public service reductions that it brought about, and its effects on different aspects of the public service. It will then examine lessons learned with respect to the management of the public service that the present government could examine with a view to reducing the deficit."
      http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublic
      (google Jonathan Mallloy public servic cuts

      • Why not Google Maharishi Mahesh Yogi? Celebrating Perfection in Administration might be a good start. On the other hand, if you're bleeding, try slippery elm bark.

      • Earth to Leo – God I hate ciiches , but I can't think of another one – we are discussing what Flaherty presented in the budget a few weeks ago and what Harper has come up with now. I appreciate your loyalty to the current government, but that is not what the topic is.

    • Too bad the link is dead. You said that well.

  10. In the debates, Harper will announce the deficits will be gone by 2013, and by the end of the campaign, he will tell people that the deficit already gone.

    • What deficit?

      • What recession?

        • What election?

          • What people?

  11. Sincere question since I wasn't paying attention in the 90's.

    What kind of percentage cuts did the Liberals make? Flaherty says 5% of programs is manageable. Is this similar or significantly less?

  12. Sincere question since I wasn't paying attention in the 90's.

    What kind of percentage cuts did the Liberals make? Flaherty says 5% of programs is manageable. Is this similar or significantly less?

    • Sounded like Flahert alluded to 11% cuts. I think it's fair to say there was more fat to cut back then. Even still, if all the wailing and gnashing of teeth we saw in the 1990s around balancing the budget was 11%, with more fat on top, I can't imagine 5% can be achieved by minor things like switching to direct deposit vs. cheques.

      All of this said, I support the exercise. I can't believe they waited five years to do it.

      • The Lib cuts in the 90s included (and perhaps were primarily from) transfers to individuals and other levels of government. Flaherty is looking for his cuts in the relatively small fraction of fed spending outside these transfers. I can't put my hand on that fraction, but apart from defence, it is relatively puny making Flaherty's goal perhaps even more challenging that that of the 90s.

        The reality is that it will be impossible to find $11 billion without moderate to severe degradation to programs. Now, some of that may well be overdue and deserved. But it's just not credible to suggest – as Jimbo did – that the savings are all coming from backoffice stuff like IT.

        • In the interest of clarity, he is ultimately looking only for 4 billion in any one fiscal year. For example, if I fire you next year, I save 50,000 next year, plus 50,000 in each of the next two years, adding up to a savings of 150,000 over the next four years. So Flaherty is looking to find 4 Billion in any one fiscal year, not 11 Billion, technically.

      • Well, thank you. I agree that there was likely more fat to trim then as well as more urgency to do it. I think a 5% cut that leaves the meat (transfer) uncut will be really difficult. I just want to estimate the resulting damage. Its going to fall somewhere.

      • Lazy people like me always look to the last line…

        But Layton is correct on one point: if history is a guide, the Liberals are likely to look a lot less like New Democrats in power than they are on the campaign trail.

        So what do you suppose the NDP would do? We know those on the right resort to magical thinking.

        Those on the left?

        It's so easy when you don't ever have to deliver (or can't deliver) — as the CPC is discovering — in spades.

      • "Jack Layton remarked that the Liberals are famous for using a Xerox machine to copy the NDP's policies during an election, then using a shredder to dispose of them later."

        Good one. A comment from a poster is also truthful.

        "One thing to add to Paul's comments about the 1993 Red Book. In that campaign the real cry to eliminate the deficit came from Preston Manning and the Reform Party who campaigned on a plan to eliminate the deficit in three years – zero in three. Once in office the Liberal approach changed as Paul noted, highlighting the party's willingness to borrow policies from the right as well as the left."

  13. What deficit?

  14. I find it hard to believe that the Minister would be sitting in on long meetings discussing such things as the costs of mailing versus direct deposit.

  15. I find it hard to believe that the Minister would be sitting in on long meetings discussing such things as the costs of mailing versus direct deposit.

    • Hey…stamps are expensive!

    • I can imagine that such a change might involve a lot more changes to underlying processes than you might think.

      • They already do it with income tax, gst rebates etc. Why would the Minister's time be taken up participating in meetings like this, that's my point.

        • Because it wouldn't be done without political pressure?

    • I actually think that the Conservatives have had these savings 'in their back pocket'. Let me explain. They have to negotiate every bill through the house. They know that if they came up with a whole bunch of efficiencies and savings, the opposition would be screaming for that money to be spent elsewhere. I think that they were 'banking' these, for a time when they had a majority, and they could spend them how they wished. Or they could implement them during the year, and have 'found money' that they would announce at a convenient time. If they implemented them, they would have to spend them, but probably not at their discretion. These might be savings that are just waiting to be taken.
      As far as people thinking that there is no fat left to trim, I would bet there is tonnes.
      I would also have hoped that the Conservatives were conservative (get the joke) with their revenue predictions. They might know that there is extra money that will probably be coming in. Again, if they predicted it, the opposition would have demanded that they spend it. If it is 'extra', it can go towards the deficit. I have no inside info, and I am really surprised that Paul never considered this.

      • nice positive spin on "hey Canadians, your government is lying to you, aren't they clever?"

      • Agree with you on the "back pocket" or rather "ace up the sleeve". Kevin Page has been asking for the details on how they will save $4 Billion too. Sad that you can't share information for a cooperative let's do what is best for the country because it all turns into political fodder.

        • Leo, regardless of which party you support, they all play the same political games.

  16. a) the site is dead

    b) please stop repeating partisan nonsense.

  17. Well Good thing we have a treasury board pres we can ask..

  18. Well Good thing we have a treasury board pres we can ask..

  19. The more you squeeze a lemon, the less juice it will give you.

    Likewise, I have a hard time believing that with each subsequent strategic review, there will suddenly be SEVEN times the savings found compared to the previous review. There are only so many efficiencies to be found in an organization.

    Flaherty, you need to be more convincing than this. Much more.

  20. The more you squeeze a lemon, the less juice it will give you.

    Likewise, I have a hard time believing that with each subsequent strategic review, there will suddenly be SEVEN times the savings found compared to the previous review. There are only so many efficiencies to be found in an organization.

    Flaherty, you need to be more convincing than this. Much more.

    • You're missing a very important nuance.

      It's a MAGIC lemon.

    • Flaherty keeps glossing over $11B as a cumulative. Any chance, since none of this has been booked, that much of it is the same savings? ie there is only $4B in total and that is reached in year 3 and nothing further after that?

      Flaherty is quite confusing on the $11B matter.

      • As they keep re-announcing spending programs, they will surely re-announce cuts already made.

  21. You're missing a very important nuance.

    It's a MAGIC lemon.

  22. Flaherty keeps glossing over $11B as a cumulative. Any chance, since none of this has been booked, that much of it is the same savings? ie there is only $4B in total and that is reached in year 3 and nothing further after that?

    Flaherty is quite confusing on the $11B matter.

  23. Does this mean their other post defict promises can come forward a year too…cuz that would be super!

    As for the savings if you listen closely any moment they'll admit they didn't mean F35s. Rather they meant F25s…somewhat less zippier than the 35, but having the advantage that they can be put together in your local conservative riding backyard by any half assed aviation enthusiast.

    Ignatieff should do some serious digging here.

    I've said it a couple of times and i'm likely wrong. But while being a brilliant tactician Harper is only a middling strategist.

  24. Does this mean their other post defict promises can come forward a year too…cuz that would be super!

    As for the savings if you listen closely any moment they'll admit they didn't mean F35s. Rather they meant F25s…somewhat less zippier than the 35, but having the advantage that they can be put together in your local conservative riding backyard by any half assed aviation enthusiast.

    Ignatieff should do some serious digging here.

    I've said it a couple of times and i'm likely wrong. But while being a brilliant tactician Harper is only a middling strategist.

    • Yeah, whenever I get whooped in chess (always!), I never have any idea why my opponent is doing what he/she is doing either, and to make myself feel better, I often resort to making disparaging comments about his/her abilities as a chess player, you know, so long as the games not over yet.

      • And when you praise your opponent/s tactics and then condemn his strategy——well, that just confuses him into submission.

        • Bet Flaherty is a good poker player, lol!!!

          • I had him pegged as more of an experienced VLT player.

        • I'll make it simple for you boys. No i wont, go find out for yourself what the difference is between the two concepts.

  25. Hey…stamps are expensive!

  26. Starting in January 2011, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day in the US will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years.

    No different in Canada.

    Something that shouldn't have been new info in the last 17 days for our finance minister.

  27. Starting in January 2011, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day in the US will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years.

    No different in Canada.

    Something that shouldn't have been new info in the last 17 days for our finance minister.

    • Not exactly true.
      Our baby boom started almost a year later than the Americans and ran until 1966. And our numbers, of course, are much lower so the impact is much less.
      But given a hand, I'm sure there are a lot of 55 to 65 year olds willing to retire now.
      You replace the ones you have to, and that helps the employment scenario, and you keep as many desks empty as you can.
      Not likely the 45,000 Paul Martin wanted to pasturize, but perhaps half that.

      • Our baby boom started in 1946,,,,the year I was born.

        The proportion is the same in both countries.

    • Maybe he didn't want to announce it, so that the opposition didn't force him to spend it?

      • The Opposition can't force the govt to do ANYthing.

        Moreover Harper spent a $12B surplus all by himself….he's planning on spending billions more, that we don't have, on planes and prisons.

        The man doesn't need any help spending money.

        • Riiiigggghhhhttt. Why are we having an election?

          • Well I'd say to try and prevent yet another enormous waste of money…..but actually it's because the govt is in contempt of parliament.

            Plus it's just one of those funny things we do in a democracy.

          • We are having an election because the Conservatives were found to be in contempt of Parliament. They refused to produce figures and details on what they thought the new prisons would cost. This may be because they are completely incompetent and cannot even do basic math.

            Throw the Conservative wasters out.

        • Last time I checked, Emily, the conservatives needed support to pass every bill that they passed. They had to make every bill attractive to at least one party.

          • So to you….cooperation is force?

          • Noooo. That is exactly what I am saying. The conservatives couldn't 'force' anything through parliament. They didn't have the votes. The need the 'cooperation' of other parties.
            So, "The Opposition can't force the govt to do ANYthing." is not true.
            At least one opposition party had to vote for every bill passed.

          • Sometimes they got somebody to cooperate….lots of times they didn't. And it was small stuff.

            But no, short of a confidence vote, the opposition can't force the govt into anything

          • Emily, yet again, every bill needed to be supported by at least one party. There were no times that they passed a bill, and didn't get one of the parties to cooperate. They are a minority gov't, and cannot pass anything on their own. Each party tried to influence every bill, and the CPC had to make sure that at least one party supported every bill, or they could not pass it.

            This can't be any simpler.

  28. What he is not telling us is how they really plan on cutting the deficit…
    …“It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act.” (Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997)

  29. What he is not telling us is how they really plan on cutting the deficit…
    …“It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act.” (Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997)

    • Still whipping that dead horse?

      • Yep, I've always said, Harper's end game is nothing short of destroying Canada, and I'm sure if he gets the chance, democracy in the whole world.

        • and for proof you provide. . . .

          • The quote above genius.

          • 'scrapped the Canada health act' = destroying Canada, and democracy in the whole world.

            Wow, I didn't see it before, but now that a genius like you pointed it out, it is obvious.

  30. Sounded like Flahert alluded to 11% cuts. I think it's fair to say there was more fat to cut back then. Even still, if all the wailing and gnashing of teeth we saw in the 1990s around balancing the budget was 11%, with more fat on top, I can't imagine 5% can be achieved by minor things like switching to direct deposit vs. cheques.

    All of this said, I support the exercise. I can't believe they waited five years to do it.

  31. I can imagine that such a change might involve a lot more changes to underlying processes than you might think.

  32. The Lib cuts in the 90s included (and perhaps were primarily from) transfers to individuals and other levels of government. Flaherty is looking for his cuts in the relatively small fraction of fed spending outside these transfers. I can't put my hand on that fraction, but apart from defence, it is relatively puny making Flaherty's goal perhaps even more challenging that that of the 90s.

    The reality is that it will be impossible to find $11 billion without moderate to severe degradation to programs. Now, some of that may well be overdue and deserved. But it's just not credible to suggest – as Jimbo did – that the savings are all coming from backoffice stuff like IT.

  33. They already do it with income tax, gst rebates etc. Why would the Minister's time be taken up participating in meetings like this, that's my point.

  34. Face-palm

  35. Well, thank you. I agree that there was likely more fat to trim then as well as more urgency to do it. I think a 5% cut that leaves the meat (transfer) uncut will be really difficult. I just want to estimate the resulting damage. Its going to fall somewhere.

  36. While we take a microscope and a pair of tweezers to Harper's numbers,

    the media stands back and applauds Iggy's proposals as if they're gospel.

    Remarkable.

  37. As in Ontario and the first year of Harper's rule, Jim does some creative accounting. As an Accountant, I'd be fired or locked up if I tried anything like this.

  38. While we take a microscope and a pair of tweezers to Harper's numbers,

    the media stands back and applauds Iggy's proposals as if they're gospel.

    Remarkable.

    • Actually, I find that once you get past a couple billion, you can pretty much put away the tweezers.

      • Depends on the font size…

  39. As in Ontario and the first year of Harper's rule, Jim does some creative accounting. As an Accountant, I'd be fired or locked up if I tried anything like this.

    • Flaherty isn't an accountant….he's a lawyer who specialized in car accidents and personal injury.

      Or what's known as an 'ambulance chaser'.

    • Wasn't it only a budget or two back that Flaherty had booked, as he likes to call it, income from disposing of assets. As it turned out assets that could be disposed of hadn't even been identified at that point. I wouldn't say I don't trust him, but I listen to him with a certain amount of skepticism.

      • it's not Flaherty's fault no one wants to buy that Liberal lump AECL! Liberals sabotaged him at Queen's Park when they refused to buy the pieces of the Ontario Hydro, too. Poor Jim Flaherty.

  40. OMG…will you ever recover from this Miss Manners?

    He's posted it several times already…it's still partisan nonsense.

  41. "Facing an anticipated federal deficit of $53.8 billion in 2009–2010, and recognizing that the public service workforce was the largest since the 1990s,1 the Government of Canada announced in Budget 2010 that, for the fiscal years 2011–2012 and 2012–2013, the operating budgets for all departments would be frozen at the 2010–2011 level.

    The last time the government faced a similar deficit it implemented a wide cost-cutting and cost-saving Program Review exercise. This paper will discuss the Program Review in the 1990s, the public service reductions that it brought about, and its effects on different aspects of the public service. It will then examine lessons learned with respect to the management of the public service that the present government could examine with a view to reducing the deficit."
    http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublic
    (google Jonathan Mallloy public servic cuts

  42. What recession?

  43. The question that should have been asked: "Why should we trust any number you provide given that your government fell because it refused to provide background data to the PBO, to parliament, and to the public? Aren't you just making up whatever numbers you want?"

  44. The question that should have been asked: "Why should we trust any number you provide given that your government fell because it refused to provide background data to the PBO, to parliament, and to the public? Aren't you just making up whatever numbers you want?"

    • And the answer should be:
      We gave the answers, and we were defeated simply because they wanted an election.

      It's time we more closely examined the actions of the opposition in triggering this election. They've been given the free ride.

      • Spoken like a true conservative…

        • Answered like a true Liberal. What's your point? Oh yeah, sorry, Cons aren't allowed to question without being accused of thinking there is a media bias and the world is out to get them.

          • Ever heard of accountability?

            After all, Jim IS the Finance Minister, in the government that has had the levers of power, so what's wrong with holding him to a standard?

          • Pssst…accountability is so 2006.

      • Actually, I now believe that PM_SHrug's policy of refusal to abide by his constitutional responsibility to provide parliament with the information they need to do their job of holding he government to account, was a deliberate ploy over a long period of time that was designed to provoke the opposition parties into bringing his government down. So he could get his majority.

        In a way, you could say that the opposition "fell for it."

        I just hope that we, the people, are not taken in by this cynical manipulation of parliament, but that we administer a sharp rebuke that says, "abide by the rules that guard our democracy, buster!"

        • I'm almost inspired, and almost ready to follow you through the streets of Toronto in protest of this abhorrent dictator….except that you are still a child who likes to call people names to score points. Too bad.

      • The tories wanted the election that is not hard to see. The smiles on their faces when their government was defeated told the whole story!

  45. If he keeps at it he might get back to the spending as it was in 2005 before they tried to buy our votes (twice).

  46. If he keeps at it he might get back to the spending as it was in 2005 before they tried to buy our votes (twice).

  47. Flaherty isn't an accountant….he's a lawyer who specialized in car accidents and personal injury.

    Or what's known as an 'ambulance chaser'.

  48. As they keep re-announcing spending programs, they will surely re-announce cuts already made.

  49. No it is a template for them to follow on how to save money without laying off 45,000 civil service employees like they did in the '90's.

    Day has been asking all depts. to find ways to save money since last year.

  50. I refuse to listen to a leprechaun promising gold at the end of the rainbow–that is, until I've had time to explore the fertile ground under his feet.

    Well I oughta…

  51. I refuse to listen to a leprechaun promising gold at the end of the rainbow–that is, until I've had time to explore the fertile ground under his feet.

    Well I oughta…

    • Pardon me if I laugh. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

      – Curly

  52. Here's the plan as drafted by Larry Smith. Vote for the wrong guys and your riding gets no federal money for anything. No CPP, no tax credits, no infrastructure, nothing. And your MP gets no pay. That ought to be worth a few billion.

  53. Here's the plan as drafted by Larry Smith. Vote for the wrong guys and your riding gets no federal money for anything. No CPP, no tax credits, no infrastructure, nothing. And your MP gets no pay. That ought to be worth a few billion.

  54. Pardon me if I laugh. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

    – Curly

  55. It's just baby boomers retiring….no template, no ingenious plan, and unlikely to help

  56. Hey, chill out folks. Contempt has worked so far. Why stop now ?

  57. Hey, chill out folks. Contempt has worked so far. Why stop now ?

  58. Actually, I find that once you get past a couple billion, you can pretty much put away the tweezers.

  59. Jim Flaherty's muse:

    [ urlm.in/hmmj ]

  60. Jim Flaherty's muse:

    [ urlm.in/hmmj ]

  61. Too bad the link is dead. You said that well.

  62. Wasn't it only a budget or two back that Flaherty had booked, as he likes to call it, income from disposing of assets. As it turned out assets that could be disposed of hadn't even been identified at that point. I wouldn't say I don't trust him, but I listen to him with a certain amount of skepticism.

  63. Ignatieff accused the Conservatives of contempt of parliament because they wouldn't provide satisfactory numbers for their proposed programs.
    How much is Ignatieff going to save Canadians by sending the C F-35 jets for a new contract ( if that is possible)? He is already spending that money in his new platform and doesn't know if he even can save money which isn't even likely for many good reasons.
    Is Ignatieff in contempt of parliament or in contempt of Canadian's intelligence?

  64. Ignatieff accused the Conservatives of contempt of parliament because they wouldn't provide satisfactory numbers for their proposed programs.
    How much is Ignatieff going to save Canadians by sending the C F-35 jets for a new contract ( if that is possible)? He is already spending that money in his new platform and doesn't know if he even can save money which isn't even likely for many good reasons.
    Is Ignatieff in contempt of parliament or in contempt of Canadian's intelligence?

    • Uh..they were found in contempt of Parliament. It's not an accusation.

    • Parliament (i.e. the majority of MP's) found the Harper government guilty of contempt of parliament. This wasn't an accusation.- Harper coudn't tell parliament what the F 35's are going to cost – which was actually part of the contempt charge.He now claims he;'got a guaranteed price, which implies there's been a signed contract. The only way we might know what new planes (that we need ) would cost is to have an open bid. But if you follow what's happening in the U.S. , it's not clear even they will end up buying it.

      • Apologies for the typos, I have been out creating jobs in the food and beverage industry.

        • burp

          • I hope you were wearing your EA!P T-shirt whilst creating those jobs

      • Jan makes a good observation. Why did Stephen Harper say he has a guarantee to get the F 35's for his bargain basement price?

        This reopens the contempt issue because if there is a document it should have been included with the rest requested by the committee. Is Harper now acknowledging that the government failed to produce the documents as requested?

        If there is a guarantee, who made it? And why?

        If there is a guarantee is there a actually a contract as well? Why don't Canadians know about it?

  65. Seems as if Canadians have forgotten the millions of dollars the Liberals stole from Canadian taxpayer in the Adscam fraud. Have they also forgot the Liberal record of politicizing the purchase of military equipment for our armed forces? It appears that Ignatieff will continue the horrendous Liberal record given his latest pronouncements.

    Liberals cost us hundreds of millions of dollars by canceling helicopter purchase and leaving Canada with old and inadequate helicopters. Liberals purchased old leaky subs that spent more time in dry dock than in service ( and today we learn that our torpedos won't work with these subs) – what a fiasco.

    Now we have Ignatieff threatening our acquisition of the F-35 jets, which a consortium of countries for the last ten years, for which Canada has contributed millions to come up with the best aircraft at the best price, has accepted . Haven't our military approved this aircraft? Does the visiting professor know more about jets than our and world military officials? Can he be believed, that he will save Canadians money with a new tender ( even if it were possible)?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2

    • I believe that Adscam was found to have taken $3.75M, of which $1M was paid back. That's almost the same that Mulroney stole from Canadians single-handily. Or did you forget that?

      Old scandals aside, who do you think is more honest? Harper or Iggy? It should be an easy question because an honest man wouldn't be found in contempt of Parliament. Well, not in my world anyways. But what do I know? I don't have Family Values.

      • You're black and white view of the contempt charge verges on deplorable. For instance, don't you think an honest man, if running a minority government in which the opposition is led by dishonest men, could potentially be found in contempt of parliament.

        Please note I don't think the above is any more an accurate description of what happened then your grossly over simplistic description. It is merely a thought experiment for you consideration.

        • You are correct. History is not a simple recount of facts and events, but an interpretation of artifacts viewed through whatever bias the observer has. That's what a lot (all?) of this stuff is about including adscams, coalitions, contempt, sexual assault remarks, entitlement, crime bills, etc. So it is up to each of us to sort through it all and come up with themes and ask not "what happened?" but "why do we say this is what happened and what is its significance?"

          My above simplistic argument was a response to an equally simplistic comment that was meant to show the folly of it all.

          So the question is, what themes do I perceive and why?

          One theme I have recognized is that Harper appears to disregard data when it comes to some emotional topics:
          reduce GST (overwhelmingly economists within and outside of Canada maintained it was bad policy)
          crime bills (data & research indicates these bills will not reduce crime or make people safer)
          appoints a climate-change denier (not even AGW but climate change itself! as the head of NSERC)

          I think an overriding theme of it relates to fear. Other people may come up with different interpretations and that's why we have these discussions.

    • How can we forget it? It gets dragged out of the grave here, like, forty times a day.

      As KeithBram put it:

      The current Liberals, headed by a new crop of politicians, are to be held responsible in perpetuity for Adscam. Something that happened under Chretien.

      Harper, on the other hand, isn't expected to honour his own words from less than three years ago.

  66. Seems as if Canadians have forgotten the millions of dollars the Liberals stole from Canadian taxpayer in the Adscam fraud. Have they also forgot the Liberal record of politicizing the purchase of military equipment for our armed forces? It appears that Ignatieff will continue the horrendous Liberal record given his latest pronouncements.

    Liberals cost us hundreds of millions of dollars by canceling helicopter purchase and leaving Canada with old and inadequate helicopters. Liberals purchased old leaky subs that spent more time in dry dock than in service ( and today we learn that our torpedos won't work with these subs) – what a fiasco.

    Now we have Ignatieff threatening our acquisition of the F-35 jets, which a consortium of countries for the last ten years, for which Canada has contributed millions to come up with the best aircraft at the best price, has accepted . Haven't our military approved this aircraft? Does the visiting professor know more about jets than our and world military officials? Can he be believed, that he will save Canadians money with a new tender ( even if it were possible)?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2

  67. What election?

  68. Pardon me if I laugh. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

    Yes, I know, you've seen this before, yet it bears repeating.

  69. Uh..they were found in contempt of Parliament. It's not an accusation.

  70. Why not Google Maharishi Mahesh Yogi? Celebrating Perfection in Administration might be a good start. On the other hand, if you're bleeding, try slippery elm bark.

  71. Lazy people like me always look to the last line…

    But Layton is correct on one point: if history is a guide, the Liberals are likely to look a lot less like New Democrats in power than they are on the campaign trail.

    So what do you suppose the NDP would do? We know those on the right resort to magical thinking.

    Those on the left?

    It's so easy when you don't ever have to deliver (or can't deliver) — as the CPC is discovering — in spades.

  72. How did you get firsties and not brag about it?

  73. An angry guy walks into a bar, orders a drink and says to the barman:
    'All Liberals are arsholes."
    A man sitting at the other end of the bar pipes up, "Hey. I resent that."
    "Why? Are you a Liberal?"
    "No. I'm an arsehole."

    • The difference between the Con war room and Scouts Canada:

      Scouts Canada has adult supervision.

      • Scouts also have a code of conduct.

        • Says the Adscam supporter.

    • A liberal starts a business, he sticks his neck out!
      A tory starts a business, he sticks his hand out!

      • Q: How do you confuse a Liberal?
        A: You don't. They're born that way.

        • Did you hear the one about the fiscal responsible, socially just, law abiding tory? Neither did I!

          • Q: What's the difference between a Liberal and a sack of manure?
            A: The sack.

          • how many liberals does it take to change light bulb?

            Just one, they think the whole world revolves around them.

          • Did you hear the one about the Liberals being destroyed and deserted by their loyal flock of cultists because the Liberals are thieves, liars, and "nurture a culture of corruption"? Neither did I !

    • Whats the difference between a Liberal media hack and a steaming turd? Nothing.

  74. An angry guy walks into a bar, orders a drink and says to the barman:
    'All Liberals are arsholes."
    A man sitting at the other end of the bar pipes up, "Hey. I resent that."
    "Why? Are you a Liberal?"
    "No. I'm an arsehole."

  75. "We graduate these savings…"

    "But I know they're real…"

    "What we're looking for is 5 percent…"

    But… we'll get the job done."

    Beep.

    Good job PW. BS rules!

    • "But I know they're real…"
      ————————————

      flaherty is unsure of what is real or not anymore

  76. "We graduate these savings…"

    "But I know they're real…"

    "What we're looking for is 5 percent…"

    But… we'll get the job done."

    Beep.

    Good job PW. BS rules!

  77. Mr. Wells in this game of "FIND the 4 Billion and win the prize" YOU win.

  78. Mr. Wells in this game of "FIND the 4 Billion and win the prize" YOU win.

  79. Shouldn't the caption be "Flaherty doesn't explain"? Thanks for getting (and posting) a live version of a politician squirming to spin about spin …

  80. Shouldn't the caption be "Flaherty doesn't explain"? Thanks for getting (and posting) a live version of a politician squirming to spin about spin …

  81. Earth to Leo – God I hate ciiches , but I can't think of another one – we are discussing what Flaherty presented in the budget a few weeks ago and what Harper has come up with now. I appreciate your loyalty to the current government, but that is not what the topic is.

  82. .". That's a cumulative $11 billion in extra fiscal room to pay for all the Conservatives' promises. It turns out that money comes from a “comprehensive Strategic and Operating Review.” That review was mentioned in the budget, but Jim Flaherty didn't book a dime of savings from it because the review hasn't been done yet."

    So the libs are promising to cover new spending with revenue from rescinded CIT cuts, that may turn out to be less then adequate.[ they may yet have need of that SOR themselves]

    And the cons are promising to cover new spending from savings that haven't been booked yet, due to the unfortunate fact the review hasn't yet happened . And with a 17 day lead time to boot.

    I do believe i'm prepared to accept new evidence for the existence of fairies and assorted deities. I have about as much chance of turning up one of these unlikely phantoms as finding a fiscally ingenuous party in this country. All we need is for Jack to come along and promise to end poverty by imposing a super tax on the wealthy and we'll have ourselves a full house.

    • Hey – take poverty off the list – we don''t have it – we have low wages, according to Con Candidate Christ Alexander. We're still going to need a super tax on somebody…

      • Perhaps someone should inform CA that we have low wages for many but the same rising cost of living for all. Funny how that if left unadressed long enough can lead to poverty.

        Real wages for many Canadians are still stuck in the somewhere in the eighties but costs sure the hell aren't.

        As an aside: the cost of 4 litres of milk in my community run to about $7 less a little change.

        • Yikes! Stop getting your milk at the convenience store!

  83. .". That's a cumulative $11 billion in extra fiscal room to pay for all the Conservatives' promises. It turns out that money comes from a “comprehensive Strategic and Operating Review.” That review was mentioned in the budget, but Jim Flaherty didn't book a dime of savings from it because the review hasn't been done yet."

    So the libs are promising to cover new spending with revenue from rescinded CIT cuts, that may turn out to be less then adequate.[ they may yet have need of that SOR themselves]

    And the cons are promising to cover new spending from savings that haven't been booked yet, due to the unfortunate fact the review hasn't yet happened . And with a 17 day lead time to boot.

    I do believe i'm prepared to accept new evidence for the existence of fairies and assorted deities. I have about as much chance of turning up one of these unlikely phantoms as finding a fiscally ingenuous party in this country. All we need is for Jack to come along and promise to end poverty by imposing a super tax on the wealthy and we'll have ourselves a full house.

  84. I believe that Adscam was found to have taken $3.75M, of which $1M was paid back. That's almost the same that Mulroney stole from Canadians single-handily. Or did you forget that?

    Old scandals aside, who do you think is more honest? Harper or Iggy? It should be an easy question because an honest man wouldn't be found in contempt of Parliament. Well, not in my world anyways. But what do I know? I don't have Family Values.

  85. Parliament (i.e. the majority of MP's) found the Harper government guilty of contempt of parliament. This wasn't an accusation.- Harper coudn't tell parliament what the F 35's are going to cost – which was actually part of the contempt charge.He now claims he;'got a guaranteed price, which implies there's been a signed contract. The only way we might know what new planes (that we need ) would cost is to have an open bid. But if you follow what's happening in the U.S. , it's not clear even they will end up buying it.

  86. Is there room for another narrative here PWs? One where the libs promise to deliver an unexpectedly attractive if wobbly new set of programmes; and MI does not trip over his eye brows. SH counters with little or nothing but post dated tax cuts.Looks slightly foolish in consequence and decides in his usual spin on a dime mode to up the ante with unannounced, unbooked futuristic spending cuts for cover.
    Or am i giving the chess master too little credit? I mean he's already 4 or 5 years ahead of most of us already. Either he really has a plan and does deserve on that basis, if no other, to be returned to power, or he's simply pulling it out of his ass? I wonder if anyone but him actually knows the answer to that?

    • Is it really so difficult to see the narrative SH is trying to create. Something like this: we are committed to keeping taxes where they are, and in fact we want to lower them more. But first, we are serious about eliminating the deficit, so we are going to do that. The other guys are just interested in raising taxes, CIT yes, but also by eliminating other tax credits (i.e. university text books) – remember, this is SH's narrative – and increasing government spending, and they have no plan to eliminate the deficit.

      And the "families to the back of the line" rhetoric is a straw man, because the CIT cuts have been law for many years now, and the fighter jets have been in process – albeit a somewhat controversial process – for even longer.

      • Your drinking too much of that tory Kool aid. The tories were bound for defict land before the recession and what's more SH has zero room to talk about overspending since he's running record high budgets…he's even left P.Martin in the dust. The cognitive dissonace displayed among partisan continues to astound. Why on earth would anyone take his word for anything given his record.

  87. Is there room for another narrative here PWs? One where the libs promise to deliver an unexpectedly attractive if wobbly new set of programmes; and MI does not trip over his eye brows. SH counters with little or nothing but post dated tax cuts.Looks slightly foolish in consequence and decides in his usual spin on a dime mode to up the ante with unannounced, unbooked futuristic spending cuts for cover.
    Or am i giving the chess master too little credit? I mean he's already 4 or 5 years ahead of most of us already. Either he really has a plan and does deserve on that basis, if no other, to be returned to power, or he's simply pulling it out of his ass? I wonder if anyone but him actually knows the answer to that?

  88. Apologies for the typos, I have been out creating jobs in the food and beverage industry.

  89. Hey – take poverty off the list – we don''t have it – we have low wages, according to Con Candidate Christ Alexander. We're still going to need a super tax on somebody…

  90. The media seems obsessed with the alleged $4 billion hole (in year 4) in missing cuts in the Conservative platform, but totally uninterested in the $4 billion dollar hole in the Liberal platform because the corporate income taxes won't raise anything close to the $6 billion the Liberals are claiming. Reputable eoncomists say $2 billion in increased revenues from the CIT.

    So why hasn't Wells called up Scott Brison and asked him about his $4 billion dollar hole.

    Corporations squeeze 5% out of operating costs regularly. Just look at the record profits of big North American companies coming out of this recession with relatively flat top lines. A government should be able to find 5% savings in the operating budget in 4 years especially after the rapid expansion on the operating side in the last decade.

    The Liberals hole is much more serious, because they are relying on revenue that isn't going to be coming.

    • So why hasn't Wells called up Scott Brison and asked him about his $4 billion dollar hole.

      Maybe because the conservatives are claiming the hole created by the CITs being recinded IS $6 billion? So, go ask yourself just who's nuts here really?

      • Actually since the Strategic and Operational Review is principally in the hands of senior public servants, who according to Jim are fully in support, there is no reason that the wonders of this review are tied to the election of the Conservatives. The Liberals now have a big problem. They will have to tweak their platform to spend all the extra money.

        • Ha! Obviously, the Liberals would say it just goes into debt reduction.

          I applaud the attempt to try to get something out of Flaherty. But, really, have financial predictions according to Harper & Flaherty ever been reliable? That is not meant to be a rhetorical question. Predictions are always fraught with uncertainty which is usually exploited for political gain, but Harper & Flaherty appear to have taken this to extreme levels.

          No one actually believed Harper & Flaherty when they said during the 2008 election campaign that they would never run a deficit. No one – whether Liberal or Conservative or NDP. What distinguishes different voting groups, is whether they care that the PM and Finance Minister go around making ludicrous financial statements. Seems many CPC voters simply don't care. But, if any CPC supporters want to argue otherwise – I'm happy to learn otherwise.

    • The Liberals are relying on massive cash from their Cap & Trade plan that no one in the media seems to give a damn about.

  91. The media seems obsessed with the alleged $4 billion hole (in year 4) in missing cuts in the Conservative platform, but totally uninterested in the $4 billion dollar hole in the Liberal platform because the corporate income taxes won't raise anything close to the $6 billion the Liberals are claiming. Reputable eoncomists say $2 billion in increased revenues from the CIT.

    So why hasn't Wells called up Scott Brison and asked him about his $4 billion dollar hole.

    Corporations squeeze 5% out of operating costs regularly. Just look at the record profits of big North American companies coming out of this recession with relatively flat top lines. A government should be able to find 5% savings in the operating budget in 4 years especially after the rapid expansion on the operating side in the last decade.

    The Liberals hole is much more serious, because they are relying on revenue that isn't going to be coming.

  92. Cuts in the 1990s were huge: massive chops to provincial transfers for health and education, cuts to defense, cuts civil service, here are quotes…
    From Macleans's March 13, 1995:
    "the pain belongs mostly to the 45,000 federal civil servants who will lose their jobs over the next three years because of government cutbacks, along with the unemployed, welfare recipients and old age pensioners who are all likely to see cuts in their benefits in future. Some other losers include members of the arts and culture community; the Prairie provinces, where grain subsidies have been cut by $560 billion; and Ontario and Quebec, whose leaders quickly vied with each other to see which province could feel collectively more humiliated, downtrodden and picked-upon by the federal measures. "

    "The pleasure, not surprisingly, was most evident abroad, where international moneylenders reacted to the tough measures with satisfaction that translated into a slight rise in the value of the Canadian dollar – which ended the week at 71.09 cents (U.S.) – and a slight fall in interest rates. More surprising, that sense that Martin had done his job well was also evident at home. A poll by the Angus Reid Group indicated that two out of three respondents approved of the budget, while the government's support actually increased five points – from 58 per cent to 63 per cent. "

    "Another factor is that the full impact of the budget will only become evident on a gradual scale over the next three years. It will take that long, for example, for the government to buy out or offer early retirement to 45,000 employees, and for the planned $25 billion in spending cuts to take full effect. Similarly, Ottawa will cut 10 per cent out of the $15.3 billion spent annually on unemployment insurance, but it has not yet said whether that will be by tightening the conditions for eligibility, shortening the period of time for collecting benefits or reducing the size of benefits. Over time, welfare programs, which are run by the provinces, will inevitably be reduced because the federal government is also cutting the amount of money it gives the provinces to help finance the program. It is not yet clear what formula Ottawa will use to apportion the money it gives the provinces. But it is almost certain that whatever formula is used will result in a more uneven, patchwork system, with each province designing its own programs. Similarly, as Chrétien hinted strongly in a cbc Radio interview, the National Health Act – which oversees the medicare systems offered by each province – could be rewritten to eliminate guarantees of coverage for a number of medical services that now are offered for free. "

    One only has to read these paragraphs written by ANTHONY WILSON-SMITH to realize how huge those cuts were and how minor the cuts now will be by comparison. What isn't there is the $54 Billion Martin took from EI fund. But from a much smaller gov't cutting $25 Billion+ was a huge chop. The retirements now, combined with a modern data processing/IT system will allow the government to reduce its space rental requirements as well. Selling off valuable properties such as the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will also bring in big bucks.

  93. Not exactly true.
    Our baby boom started almost a year later than the Americans and ran until 1966. And our numbers, of course, are much lower so the impact is much less.
    But given a hand, I'm sure there are a lot of 55 to 65 year olds willing to retire now.
    You replace the ones you have to, and that helps the employment scenario, and you keep as many desks empty as you can.
    Not likely the 45,000 Paul Martin wanted to pasturize, but perhaps half that.

  94. Depends on the font size…

  95. And the answer should be:
    We gave the answers, and we were defeated simply because they wanted an election.

    It's time we more closely examined the actions of the opposition in triggering this election. They've been given the free ride.

  96. Perhaps someone should inform CA that we have low wages for many but the same rising cost of living for all. Funny how that if left unadressed long enough can lead to poverty.

    Real wages for many Canadians are still stuck in the somewhere in the eighties but costs sure the hell aren't.

    As an aside: the cost of 4 litres of milk in my community run to about $7 less a little change.

  97. So why hasn't Wells called up Scott Brison and asked him about his $4 billion dollar hole.

    Maybe because the conservatives are claiming the hole created by the CITs being recinded IS $6 billion? So, go ask yourself just who's nuts here really?

  98. Wow – from this we can clearly see that the Liberals are the party of compassion. They care about the civil servants, they care about the elderly, students, welfare recipients, sick people, etc. How on earth can anyone vote anything other than Liberal – they share our pain. They care about us. Etc, Etc, Etc. How quickly people forget.

    • I get this many thumbs down, but nobody can offer a valid reply to what I wrote. That is strange. . . .

      • I'll give you a valid reply from personal experience. When the liberals are in power, where I live, people are treated equally, our economy is better, people actually feel good about themselves. Jobs are gained through an interview process and based on skills and knowledge. When the tories are in power, where I live, people are kicked out of their jobs, tory supporters get the jobs, children of tories suddenly get government grants to open businesses, the mood is one of doom and gloom and to add insult to injury, they dont even try to hide it. It's blatent in your face patronage. The tories in my community actually tell people to their face that they should pack up and leave. Go west they say. Sad but true, where I live.

        • Can you please provide info about where you live. I will be quite blunt, and I am not trying to be rude, but I have a hard time believing what you say. I would love to be able to research this on the web. Do you have any starting points for my search?

  99. Wow – from this we can clearly see that the Liberals are the party of compassion. They care about the civil servants, they care about the elderly, students, welfare recipients, sick people, etc. How on earth can anyone vote anything other than Liberal – they share our pain. They care about us. Etc, Etc, Etc. How quickly people forget.

  100. Weak leadership, from both Conservative and Liberal leaders. We have the leaders we deserve… Where are the strong, star candidates? A strong leader will attract, and impose if need be, highly qualified candidates in ridings. Best example would be Marcel Massé who was parachuted by Chrétien as a candidate in Hull-Aylmer for the 1993 election and eventually acted as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister responsible for Public Service Renewal, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure. He presided over one of those exercises, the Program Review, which led to the only shrinking of government (1 of 6 government positions in the public service, or 50,000 jobs) in Canada's history.

    Mr. Massé was a highly qualified and experienced manager of governments, provincial and federal, under different parties, and a former clerk of the privy council under Clark. Read his bio – http://clerk.gc.ca/eng/bio.asp?id=21

    Our problem now is that neither Harper nor Ignatieff are bringing in people of that caliber. (Dion did) It's fine to say we'll do a strategic review, it's another to do it successfully. Chrétien, with Massé, did it. Those with a real, non-partisan interest in the matter should read the paper prepared by Jocelyne Bourgon, clerk of the privy council during the Chrétien years, which details how this was done.
    http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/news/art

  101. Weak leadership, from both Conservative and Liberal leaders. We have the leaders we deserve… Where are the strong, star candidates? A strong leader will attract, and impose if need be, highly qualified candidates in ridings. Best example would be Marcel Massé who was parachuted by Chrétien as a candidate in Hull-Aylmer for the 1993 election and eventually acted as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister responsible for Public Service Renewal, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure. He presided over one of those exercises, the Program Review, which led to the only shrinking of government (1 of 6 government positions in the public service, or 50,000 jobs) in Canada's history.

    Mr. Massé was a highly qualified and experienced manager of governments, provincial and federal, under different parties, and a former clerk of the privy council under Clark. Read his bio – http://clerk.gc.ca/eng/bio.asp?id=21

    Our problem now is that neither Harper nor Ignatieff are bringing in people of that caliber. (Dion did) It's fine to say we'll do a strategic review, it's another to do it successfully. Chrétien, with Massé, did it. Those with a real, non-partisan interest in the matter should read the paper prepared by Jocelyne Bourgon, clerk of the privy council during the Chrétien years, which details how this was done.
    http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/news/art

  102. I actually think that the Conservatives have had these savings 'in their back pocket'. Let me explain. They have to negotiate every bill through the house. They know that if they came up with a whole bunch of efficiencies and savings, the opposition would be screaming for that money to be spent elsewhere. I think that they were 'banking' these, for a time when they had a majority, and they could spend them how they wished. Or they could implement them during the year, and have 'found money' that they would announce at a convenient time. If they implemented them, they would have to spend them, but probably not at their discretion. These might be savings that are just waiting to be taken.
    As far as people thinking that there is no fat left to trim, I would bet there is tonnes.
    I would also have hoped that the Conservatives were conservative (get the joke) with their revenue predictions. They might know that there is extra money that will probably be coming in. Again, if they predicted it, the opposition would have demanded that they spend it. If it is 'extra', it can go towards the deficit. I have no inside info, and I am really surprised that Paul never considered this.

  103. Maybe he didn't want to announce it, so that the opposition didn't force him to spend it?

  104. Still whipping that dead horse?

  105. burp

  106. The difference between the Con war room and Scouts Canada:

    Scouts Canada has adult supervision.

  107. Spoken like a true conservative…

  108. Actually since the Strategic and Operational Review is principally in the hands of senior public servants, who according to Jim are fully in support, there is no reason that the wonders of this review are tied to the election of the Conservatives. The Liberals now have a big problem. They will have to tweak their platform to spend all the extra money.

  109. Uhhhh, this is effing scary. These guys are playing a dangerous, dangerous game here.

    After this interview, I have zero confidence in what is going on in Ottawa. How could he not have a single coherent answer for Paul's questions?

    • Practice, practice, practice.

  110. Uhhhh, this is effing scary. These guys are playing a dangerous, dangerous game here.

    After this interview, I have zero confidence in what is going on in Ottawa. How could he not have a single coherent answer for Paul's questions?

  111. In Mr. Flaherty's previous five budgets, his estimates of both debt and deficit have been well removed from reality. In fact, here's what he said in his second budget:

    "To complement the goal of eliminating the country's net debt, the Government will publish a comprehensive fiscal sustainability and intergenerational report with the 2007 Economic and Fiscal Update. The report will provide a broad analysis of current and future demographic changes and the implication of these changes for Canada's long-run economic and fiscal outlook. The publication of a report on fiscal sustainability is motivated by the Government's view that maintaining sustainable public finances at all orders of government is a critical condition to achieving intergenerational equity and strong and sustained economic growth."

    Here's what Mr. Flaherty promised Canadians in the rest of his budgets:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/03/harp

  112. In Mr. Flaherty's previous five budgets, his estimates of both debt and deficit have been well removed from reality. In fact, here's what he said in his second budget:

    "To complement the goal of eliminating the country's net debt, the Government will publish a comprehensive fiscal sustainability and intergenerational report with the 2007 Economic and Fiscal Update. The report will provide a broad analysis of current and future demographic changes and the implication of these changes for Canada's long-run economic and fiscal outlook. The publication of a report on fiscal sustainability is motivated by the Government's view that maintaining sustainable public finances at all orders of government is a critical condition to achieving intergenerational equity and strong and sustained economic growth."

    Here's what Mr. Flaherty promised Canadians in the rest of his budgets:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/03/harp

  113. nice positive spin on "hey Canadians, your government is lying to you, aren't they clever?"

  114. A liberal starts a business, he sticks his neck out!
    A tory starts a business, he sticks his hand out!

  115. it's not Flaherty's fault no one wants to buy that Liberal lump AECL! Liberals sabotaged him at Queen's Park when they refused to buy the pieces of the Ontario Hydro, too. Poor Jim Flaherty.

  116. Ha! Obviously, the Liberals would say it just goes into debt reduction.

    I applaud the attempt to try to get something out of Flaherty. But, really, have financial predictions according to Harper & Flaherty ever been reliable? That is not meant to be a rhetorical question. Predictions are always fraught with uncertainty which is usually exploited for political gain, but Harper & Flaherty appear to have taken this to extreme levels.

    No one actually believed Harper & Flaherty when they said during the 2008 election campaign that they would never run a deficit. No one – whether Liberal or Conservative or NDP. What distinguishes different voting groups, is whether they care that the PM and Finance Minister go around making ludicrous financial statements. Seems many CPC voters simply don't care. But, if any CPC supporters want to argue otherwise – I'm happy to learn otherwise.

  117. In the interest of clarity, he is ultimately looking only for 4 billion in any one fiscal year. For example, if I fire you next year, I save 50,000 next year, plus 50,000 in each of the next two years, adding up to a savings of 150,000 over the next four years. So Flaherty is looking to find 4 Billion in any one fiscal year, not 11 Billion, technically.

  118. Yeah, whenever I get whooped in chess (always!), I never have any idea why my opponent is doing what he/she is doing either, and to make myself feel better, I often resort to making disparaging comments about his/her abilities as a chess player, you know, so long as the games not over yet.

  119. Yep, I've always said, Harper's end game is nothing short of destroying Canada, and I'm sure if he gets the chance, democracy in the whole world.

  120. Actually, I now believe that PM_SHrug's policy of refusal to abide by his constitutional responsibility to provide parliament with the information they need to do their job of holding he government to account, was a deliberate ploy over a long period of time that was designed to provoke the opposition parties into bringing his government down. So he could get his majority.

    In a way, you could say that the opposition "fell for it."

    I just hope that we, the people, are not taken in by this cynical manipulation of parliament, but that we administer a sharp rebuke that says, "abide by the rules that guard our democracy, buster!"

  121. Answered like a true Liberal. What's your point? Oh yeah, sorry, Cons aren't allowed to question without being accused of thinking there is a media bias and the world is out to get them.

  122. I'm almost inspired, and almost ready to follow you through the streets of Toronto in protest of this abhorrent dictator….except that you are still a child who likes to call people names to score points. Too bad.

  123. And when you praise your opponent/s tactics and then condemn his strategy——well, that just confuses him into submission.

  124. You're black and white view of the contempt charge verges on deplorable. For instance, don't you think an honest man, if running a minority government in which the opposition is led by dishonest men, could potentially be found in contempt of parliament.

    Please note I don't think the above is any more an accurate description of what happened then your grossly over simplistic description. It is merely a thought experiment for you consideration.

  125. Scouts also have a code of conduct.

  126. Q: How do you confuse a Liberal?
    A: You don't. They're born that way.

  127. "Jack Layton remarked that the Liberals are famous for using a Xerox machine to copy the NDP's policies during an election, then using a shredder to dispose of them later."

    Good one. A comment from a poster is also truthful.

    "One thing to add to Paul's comments about the 1993 Red Book. In that campaign the real cry to eliminate the deficit came from Preston Manning and the Reform Party who campaigned on a plan to eliminate the deficit in three years – zero in three. Once in office the Liberal approach changed as Paul noted, highlighting the party's willingness to borrow policies from the right as well as the left."

  128. The tories wanted the election that is not hard to see. The smiles on their faces when their government was defeated told the whole story!

  129. Good find, thx.

    The publication "Public Service Reductions in the 1990s: Background and Lessons Learned" also talks about what the layoffs did to the moral in the civil service. They don't want to repeat those mistakes.

    • I certainly agree that the Harper Government™ has found new and different ways to erode morale in the civil service.

  130. Good find, thx.

    The publication "Public Service Reductions in the 1990s: Background and Lessons Learned" also talks about what the layoffs did to the moral in the civil service. They don't want to repeat those mistakes.

  131. Did you hear the one about the fiscal responsible, socially just, law abiding tory? Neither did I!

  132. Agree with you on the "back pocket" or rather "ace up the sleeve". Kevin Page has been asking for the details on how they will save $4 Billion too. Sad that you can't share information for a cooperative let's do what is best for the country because it all turns into political fodder.

  133. A Majority government definitely has the ability to make the spending cuts required in the first 2 years of a 4 year mandate.

    A minority or coalition is not able to cut spending.. Every minor cut (Kairos for example) becomes a battle ground.

    Without looking too deep – Human Rights tribunals and CBC would have well over 1B in government funding.

    I certainly could rather watch my hockey on TSN and take advantage of the TFSA. It is like Mr. Ignatieff says all about choices.

  134. A Majority government definitely has the ability to make the spending cuts required in the first 2 years of a 4 year mandate.

    A minority or coalition is not able to cut spending.. Every minor cut (Kairos for example) becomes a battle ground.

    Without looking too deep – Human Rights tribunals and CBC would have well over 1B in government funding.

    I certainly could rather watch my hockey on TSN and take advantage of the TFSA. It is like Mr. Ignatieff says all about choices.

  135. Bet Flaherty is a good poker player, lol!!!

  136. There was a question by Liberal MP. McGuinty: " When have the Conservatives ever been ahead of their deficit estimates?"

    Answer: Fiscal 2010 $9 B less deficit than budgeted.

    I can't believe that the press lets those kind of statements go unchallenged.

  137. There was a question by Liberal MP. McGuinty: " When have the Conservatives ever been ahead of their deficit estimates?"

    Answer: Fiscal 2010 $9 B less deficit than budgeted.

    I can't believe that the press lets those kind of statements go unchallenged.

  138. Now we have some meat to sink our teeth into! I was beginning to think the entire campaign would be of journos asking harper about Carson, question-rationing, or just seeing steve and laureen watching kids dance, kick and play piano.

    Harper is soft on numbers. Harper makes it up as he goes along. Now we can have a discussion worthy of an election.

  139. Now we have some meat to sink our teeth into! I was beginning to think the entire campaign would be of journos asking harper about Carson, question-rationing, or just seeing steve and laureen watching kids dance, kick and play piano.

    Harper is soft on numbers. Harper makes it up as he goes along. Now we can have a discussion worthy of an election.

  140. Mr. Wells here joins the "dissection" of Flaherty's numbers in his post above.

    A magnifying glass to the right and a blind eye to the left.

    It appears the media isn't even trying to hide their allegiances. Iggy rolls out a bunch of fantasy numbers and the media parrots the promises. No "dissection" there.

    Iggy's goons rough up reporters and shove a pregnant womant at a rally and barely a whisper.

    They unanimously proclaim he had a "good week" while he flanks on stage his candidate charged with a criminal offence (Rodrigues), supports a candidate who defends "the correct" form of rape, and has one who would be in his government as founder of a white supremist party. (Iggy denounces his past statements, but why no word on his being the founder…particularly since it was well known).

    • Your first sentence is accurate. You should have stopped there if you want to get into Heaven.

    • "Iggy's goons rough up reporters and shove a pregnant womant at a rally and barely a whisper"

      Lying troll.

  141. Mr. Wells here joins the "dissection" of Flaherty's numbers in his post above.

    A magnifying glass to the right and a blind eye to the left.

    It appears the media isn't even trying to hide their allegiances. Iggy rolls out a bunch of fantasy numbers and the media parrots the promises. No "dissection" there.

    Iggy's goons rough up reporters and shove a pregnant womant at a rally and barely a whisper.

    They unanimously proclaim he had a "good week" while he flanks on stage his candidate charged with a criminal offence (Rodrigues), supports a candidate who defends "the correct" form of rape, and has one who would be in his government as founder of a white supremist party. (Iggy denounces his past statements, but why no word on his being the founder…particularly since it was well known).

  142. While the media pounds away at a FORMER staff member (Carson) these other current membership issues for Iggy are swept under the rug. A brief mention, then non of the follow up as to how Iggy could have let in a white supremist, why is Iggy standing shoulder to shoulder with a man who stands charged for a crime.

    The reality is the media is wholly uncurious with regards to Iggy's failings and literally rapid about Harper's.

    I our local paper, the fact that a couple of people were ejected from a Harper rally was in THE FRONT PAGE HEADLINE, that is, depicted as, not only the most important political news of the day, but THE most important fact for all to know. The next day Iggy's white supremist candidate story was a tiny blub about twenty pages in, never to be mentioned again.

    The corruption scandal of our generation.

    • "Former" because he had to be fired. "Had to be fired" because he was caught by journalists. "Caught by journalists" because the PMO didn't bother vetting him. "Didn't bother vetting him" because, well, there's only one man with the answer to that question, and he doesn't like to talk to reporters.

  143. While the media pounds away at a FORMER staff member (Carson) these other current membership issues for Iggy are swept under the rug. A brief mention, then non of the follow up as to how Iggy could have let in a white supremist, why is Iggy standing shoulder to shoulder with a man who stands charged for a crime.

    The reality is the media is wholly uncurious with regards to Iggy's failings and literally rapid about Harper's.

    I our local paper, the fact that a couple of people were ejected from a Harper rally was in THE FRONT PAGE HEADLINE, that is, depicted as, not only the most important political news of the day, but THE most important fact for all to know. The next day Iggy's white supremist candidate story was a tiny blub about twenty pages in, never to be mentioned again.

    The corruption scandal of our generation.

  144. What I like about Flaherty is his group of private sector CEO's, Board Members, etc. – most of whom are prominent business leaders – to seek advice on the federal budget and the economy.

    James A. Pattison, CEO, Jim Pattison Group.
    Paul Desmarais Jr., co-CEO, Power Corporation of Canada.
    Geoff Beattie, deputy chairman, Thomson Reuters.
    James D. Irving, president of J.D. Irving Ltd.
    George Gosbee, CEO, Tristone Capital Inc.
    Isabelle Hudon, president, Marketel.
    Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-CEO, Research In Motion
    Jack Mintz, former CEO, C.D. Howe Institute.
    Ajit Someshwar, CEO, CSI Consulting Inc.
    Annette Verschuren, division president, Home Depot Canada.
    Carole Taylor, former B.C. finance minister.

    • Ooh, are we doing support lists now? Because I'd love to start talking about the census again!

    • But does he listen? How many of those I wonder approved of the GST cuts.

  145. What I like about Flaherty is his group of private sector CEO's, Board Members, etc. – most of whom are prominent business leaders – to seek advice on the federal budget and the economy.

    James A. Pattison, CEO, Jim Pattison Group.
    Paul Desmarais Jr., co-CEO, Power Corporation of Canada.
    Geoff Beattie, deputy chairman, Thomson Reuters.
    James D. Irving, president of J.D. Irving Ltd.
    George Gosbee, CEO, Tristone Capital Inc.
    Isabelle Hudon, president, Marketel.
    Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-CEO, Research In Motion
    Jack Mintz, former CEO, C.D. Howe Institute.
    Ajit Someshwar, CEO, CSI Consulting Inc.
    Annette Verschuren, division president, Home Depot Canada.
    Carole Taylor, former B.C. finance minister.

  146. Our baby boom started in 1946,,,,the year I was born.

    The proportion is the same in both countries.

  147. The Opposition can't force the govt to do ANYthing.

    Moreover Harper spent a $12B surplus all by himself….he's planning on spending billions more, that we don't have, on planes and prisons.

    The man doesn't need any help spending money.

  148. I had him pegged as more of an experienced VLT player.

  149. Ever heard of accountability?

    After all, Jim IS the Finance Minister, in the government that has had the levers of power, so what's wrong with holding him to a standard?

  150. I hope you were wearing your EA!P T-shirt whilst creating those jobs

  151. Flim Flam Flaherty in action again. He should go back to ambulance chasing.

  152. Flim Flam Flaherty in action again. He should go back to ambulance chasing.

  153. I think the promises for the distant future were cooked up by the frat-kids in the war room as part of the stable-majority-gov't theme. ie Convince the somnolent public that his transcendence to ultimate power is a given.
    Instead they've turned into a silly boat anchor along with most of their worn-out, too-clever-by-half focus-group and poll-tested tactics.
    Prime Minister Ignatieff – sounds pretty good.
    Lets make it happen.

    • Morning, NPOV. I joined the executive of my local Liberal riding association and I'm working my butt off to put my time and effort where my mouth usually is.

      I encourage you and everyone here to find a candidate you support and get out and help. It's actually quite fun and satisfying.

  154. I think the promises for the distant future were cooked up by the frat-kids in the war room as part of the stable-majority-gov't theme. ie Convince the somnolent public that his transcendence to ultimate power is a given.
    Instead they've turned into a silly boat anchor along with most of their worn-out, too-clever-by-half focus-group and poll-tested tactics.
    Prime Minister Ignatieff – sounds pretty good.
    Lets make it happen.

  155. Maybe Jim's just seen too many of those UFile adevrts, and thinks he'll find those billions in an old jacket pocket? I would like to see him dance though.

  156. Maybe Jim's just seen too many of those UFile adevrts, and thinks he'll find those billions in an old jacket pocket? I would like to see him dance though.

  157. Morning, NPOV. I joined the executive of my local Liberal riding association and I'm working my butt off to put my time and effort where my mouth usually is.

    I encourage you and everyone here to find a candidate you support and get out and help. It's actually quite fun and satisfying.

  158. Q: What's the difference between a Liberal and a sack of manure?
    A: The sack.

  159. Yikes! Stop getting your milk at the convenience store!

  160. Is it really so difficult to see the narrative SH is trying to create. Something like this: we are committed to keeping taxes where they are, and in fact we want to lower them more. But first, we are serious about eliminating the deficit, so we are going to do that. The other guys are just interested in raising taxes, CIT yes, but also by eliminating other tax credits (i.e. university text books) – remember, this is SH's narrative – and increasing government spending, and they have no plan to eliminate the deficit.

    And the "families to the back of the line" rhetoric is a straw man, because the CIT cuts have been law for many years now, and the fighter jets have been in process – albeit a somewhat controversial process – for even longer.

  161. "And then the government fell, and now the departments can't talk, and the Conservatives tell us they can find $11 billion in savings just like the couple of billion they just found."

    They're lying about costs, revenue, spending and deficits. Straight up making things up. Those who could provide specifics are unaware of the cuts being claimed and cannot speak to the media during the campaign. On top of this, there's little in the recent CPC budget proposal that speaks to post-2014 healthcare, $140+ billion infrastructure deficit, $190+ billion needed to modernize the energy grid, etc.

    Thank you for reporting on the current Government's financial fictions.

  162. "And then the government fell, and now the departments can't talk, and the Conservatives tell us they can find $11 billion in savings just like the couple of billion they just found."

    They're lying about costs, revenue, spending and deficits. Straight up making things up. Those who could provide specifics are unaware of the cuts being claimed and cannot speak to the media during the campaign. On top of this, there's little in the recent CPC budget proposal that speaks to post-2014 healthcare, $140+ billion infrastructure deficit, $190+ billion needed to modernize the energy grid, etc.

    Thank you for reporting on the current Government's financial fictions.

  163. You are correct. History is not a simple recount of facts and events, but an interpretation of artifacts viewed through whatever bias the observer has. That's what a lot (all?) of this stuff is about including adscams, coalitions, contempt, sexual assault remarks, entitlement, crime bills, etc. So it is up to each of us to sort through it all and come up with themes and ask not "what happened?" but "why do we say this is what happened and what is its significance?"

    My above simplistic argument was a response to an equally simplistic comment that was meant to show the folly of it all.

    So the question is, what themes do I perceive and why?

    One theme I have recognized is that Harper appears to disregard data when it comes to some emotional topics:
    reduce GST (overwhelmingly economists within and outside of Canada maintained it was bad policy)
    crime bills (data & research indicates these bills will not reduce crime or make people safer)
    appoints a climate-change denier (not even AGW but climate change itself! as the head of NSERC)

    I think an overriding theme of it relates to fear. Other people may come up with different interpretations and that's why we have these discussions.

  164. Wells is quick off the mark to support his right wing buddies.

    He must have a mole working for the left.

    To Harper, 11 Billion is chunk-change.

  165. Wells is quick off the mark to support his right wing buddies.

    He must have a mole working for the left.

    To Harper, 11 Billion is chunk-change.

  166. The corrupt media in Canada is pathetic!

  167. The corrupt media in Canada is pathetic!

  168. Riiiigggghhhhttt. Why are we having an election?

  169. The Liberals are relying on massive cash from their Cap & Trade plan that no one in the media seems to give a damn about.

  170. Well I'd say to try and prevent yet another enormous waste of money…..but actually it's because the govt is in contempt of parliament.

    Plus it's just one of those funny things we do in a democracy.

  171. Because it wouldn't be done without political pressure?

  172. The gov't was ahead $5 billion of forecast in the fiscal year just past. It's not that hard to imagine finding $11 billion over 4 years, is it?

    If you want to find it, it can surely be done.

  173. The gov't was ahead $5 billion of forecast in the fiscal year just past. It's not that hard to imagine finding $11 billion over 4 years, is it?

    If you want to find it, it can surely be done.

  174. Jan makes a good observation. Why did Stephen Harper say he has a guarantee to get the F 35's for his bargain basement price?

    This reopens the contempt issue because if there is a document it should have been included with the rest requested by the committee. Is Harper now acknowledging that the government failed to produce the documents as requested?

    If there is a guarantee, who made it? And why?

    If there is a guarantee is there a actually a contract as well? Why don't Canadians know about it?

  175. "But I know they're real…"
    ————————————

    flaherty is unsure of what is real or not anymore

  176. how many liberals does it take to change light bulb?

    Just one, they think the whole world revolves around them.

  177. In my public sector experience, managing expenditure reductions through attrition is quite effective. Most civil servants who occupy junior positions and who are on the verge of retirement are usually the most useless. In the private sector their position would have been eliminated decades ago, but in the public sector the government waits until the person retires.

  178. In my public sector experience, managing expenditure reductions through attrition is quite effective. Most civil servants who occupy junior positions and who are on the verge of retirement are usually the most useless. In the private sector their position would have been eliminated decades ago, but in the public sector the government waits until the person retires.

  179. What people?

  180. I certainly agree that the Harper Government™ has found new and different ways to erode morale in the civil service.

  181. How can we forget it? It gets dragged out of the grave here, like, forty times a day.

    As KeithBram put it:

    The current Liberals, headed by a new crop of politicians, are to be held responsible in perpetuity for Adscam. Something that happened under Chretien.

    Harper, on the other hand, isn't expected to honour his own words from less than three years ago.

  182. Practice, practice, practice.

  183. Your first sentence is accurate. You should have stopped there if you want to get into Heaven.

  184. "Former" because he had to be fired. "Had to be fired" because he was caught by journalists. "Caught by journalists" because the PMO didn't bother vetting him. "Didn't bother vetting him" because, well, there's only one man with the answer to that question, and he doesn't like to talk to reporters.

  185. Ooh, are we doing support lists now? Because I'd love to start talking about the census again!

  186. I can't believe I didn't think of this yesterday, but I think I just realized where this $11 billion magically came from.

    I'm pretty sure it involves Minister Flaherty, a rainbow, and large amounts of gold…

  187. I can't believe I didn't think of this yesterday, but I think I just realized where this $11 billion magically came from.

    I'm pretty sure it involves Minister Flaherty, a rainbow, and large amounts of gold…

  188. I'll make it simple for you boys. No i wont, go find out for yourself what the difference is between the two concepts.

  189. Pssst…accountability is so 2006.

  190. Your drinking too much of that tory Kool aid. The tories were bound for defict land before the recession and what's more SH has zero room to talk about overspending since he's running record high budgets…he's even left P.Martin in the dust. The cognitive dissonace displayed among partisan continues to astound. Why on earth would anyone take his word for anything given his record.

  191. "Iggy's goons rough up reporters and shove a pregnant womant at a rally and barely a whisper"

    Lying troll.

  192. A high degree of self-discipline.

  193. and for proof you provide. . . .

  194. Last time I checked, Emily, the conservatives needed support to pass every bill that they passed. They had to make every bill attractive to at least one party.

  195. Leo, regardless of which party you support, they all play the same political games.

  196. We are having an election because the Conservatives were found to be in contempt of Parliament. They refused to produce figures and details on what they thought the new prisons would cost. This may be because they are completely incompetent and cannot even do basic math.

    Throw the Conservative wasters out.

  197. So to you….cooperation is force?

  198. Odd the way Jim and his pal Stephen talk about a few billion here and toss a billion there. They never address the huge debt of 62% debt to GDP ratio. The CIA website shows the total Federal debt of $606 Billion dollars. ( factbook/geos/ca.html ) That adds up to a lot of interest being paid out to foreign countries every year.

    I am not a fan of Paul Martin however he did state each year how much money we set aside to pay down the debt. Jim do you understand how an economy has a problem when facing such a massive debt?

  199. Odd the way Jim and his pal Stephen talk about a few billion here and toss a billion there. They never address the huge debt of 62% debt to GDP ratio. The CIA website shows the total Federal debt of $606 Billion dollars. ( factbook/geos/ca.html ) That adds up to a lot of interest being paid out to foreign countries every year.

    I am not a fan of Paul Martin however he did state each year how much money we set aside to pay down the debt. Jim do you understand how an economy has a problem when facing such a massive debt?

  200. Says the Adscam supporter.

  201. Whats the difference between a Liberal media hack and a steaming turd? Nothing.

  202. Flahetry and Harper are trying to do to Canada what Flaherty and Harris did to Ontario.
    It is time to get rid of the conservatives

  203. Flahetry and Harper are trying to do to Canada what Flaherty and Harris did to Ontario.
    It is time to get rid of the conservatives

  204. Thanks for that interview. My lasting impression is about how hard the man works and how hard work it must be to have to do this governing stuff. Thanks again and I will indeed stop shaking my head soon.

  205. Thanks for that interview. My lasting impression is about how hard the man works and how hard work it must be to have to do this governing stuff. Thanks again and I will indeed stop shaking my head soon.

  206. Did you hear the one about the Liberals being destroyed and deserted by their loyal flock of cultists because the Liberals are thieves, liars, and "nurture a culture of corruption"? Neither did I !

  207. Every time elections come around ,the liberals , conservitives and the NDP promise to pay down the devisit and the expenditures exceed even more. To many promises. Were is the integrity and when will the time come when politicians start thinking of the country they serve and not the fat benifits they will get later down the road. I am tired of listening to all this Bull S*** . How about the ordinary citizen who has worked all their lives to retire and become one of many Canadians who will live under the poverty line. CEO's earn millions of dollars and it comes out of the pockets of Canadians . And to many government payouts. If all Canadians said, "enough is enough " Decline their vote just maybe , the leaders might realize they can not fool the people anymore with their bull crap. .
    Feul should be controlled by government , as high costs creates a dominoes affect on the economy.
    I'm fid up with unnecessary spending ,and we have know one to make it better.

    Bert SummerHaze. – U.E.L.

  208. Every time elections come around ,the liberals , conservitives and the NDP promise to pay down the devisit and the expenditures exceed even more. To many promises. Were is the integrity and when will the time come when politicians start thinking of the country they serve and not the fat benifits they will get later down the road. I am tired of listening to all this Bull S*** . How about the ordinary citizen who has worked all their lives to retire and become one of many Canadians who will live under the poverty line. CEO's earn millions of dollars and it comes out of the pockets of Canadians . And to many government payouts. If all Canadians said, "enough is enough " Decline their vote just maybe , the leaders might realize they can not fool the people anymore with their bull crap. .
    Feul should be controlled by government , as high costs creates a dominoes affect on the economy.
    I'm fid up with unnecessary spending ,and we have know one to make it better.

    Bert SummerHaze. – U.E.L.

  209. I get this many thumbs down, but nobody can offer a valid reply to what I wrote. That is strange. . . .

  210. Noooo. That is exactly what I am saying. The conservatives couldn't 'force' anything through parliament. They didn't have the votes. The need the 'cooperation' of other parties.
    So, "The Opposition can't force the govt to do ANYthing." is not true.
    At least one opposition party had to vote for every bill passed.

  211. Sometimes they got somebody to cooperate….lots of times they didn't. And it was small stuff.

    But no, short of a confidence vote, the opposition can't force the govt into anything

  212. But does he listen? How many of those I wonder approved of the GST cuts.

  213. The quote above genius.

  214. I'll give you a valid reply from personal experience. When the liberals are in power, where I live, people are treated equally, our economy is better, people actually feel good about themselves. Jobs are gained through an interview process and based on skills and knowledge. When the tories are in power, where I live, people are kicked out of their jobs, tory supporters get the jobs, children of tories suddenly get government grants to open businesses, the mood is one of doom and gloom and to add insult to injury, they dont even try to hide it. It's blatent in your face patronage. The tories in my community actually tell people to their face that they should pack up and leave. Go west they say. Sad but true, where I live.

  215. Gosh imagine the journalist found it difficult to understand. Now there is a bunch of mathematical genius to be explaining budgets to the Canadian people. They find it difficult to write on anything without their personal bias showing on the left or right. Like the talking heads on TV if brilliance was a blessing that bunch is headed to hell.They always remind me of one who played a certain sport in high school,then when the games are on try and baffle you with their knowledge.

  216. Gosh imagine the journalist found it difficult to understand. Now there is a bunch of mathematical genius to be explaining budgets to the Canadian people. They find it difficult to write on anything without their personal bias showing on the left or right. Like the talking heads on TV if brilliance was a blessing that bunch is headed to hell.They always remind me of one who played a certain sport in high school,then when the games are on try and baffle you with their knowledge.

  217. The Harper regime platform –

    -Prorogue Parliament on multiple occasions at the cost of $millions of taxpayers dollars.

    -$16-30+ Billion on American first strike fighter aircraft.

    -$Billions wasted on G8/G20.

    -$Billions on American style mega prisons.

    -Attacks on low-income seniors.

    -Attack veterans Ombudsman Pat Stogran for doing his job.

    -For the first time in the history on the UN, Canada is in the noose-bleed section & not the main table.

    -A world disgrace from Copenhagen to Cancun with its head up American AXX on climate change.

    -Scrapping of the long-form census in spite of unanimous condemnation.

  218. -$Millions wasted on partisan advertising and Economic Action Plan signage.

    -The biggest spending finance minister in Canadian history.

    -Authoritarian style government Muzzling dissent and stifling free speech.

    -A PM who vowed to "never appoint an unelected senator" who now cant appoint them fast enough.

    -A government who campaigned on accountability & ethics now causing an un-necessary election in 2011 for being found in contempt of Parliament for the first time in CDN history.

    -$Billions to help the Americans control our border & sovereignty.

    -Attack the PBO Kevin Page for doing his job.

    -More $Billions in profits for large corporations, banks & dirty oil. ZERO for health care, day care, pharmacare, retirement, etc.

    -Kill gun control.

    -The largest deficit in CDN history.

    Did I miss anything?, oh that's right its all hidden from both the opposition & the CDN public. get out & VOTE!.

    • Is that you tedbetts ?

  219. Is that you tedbetts ?

  220. Can you please provide info about where you live. I will be quite blunt, and I am not trying to be rude, but I have a hard time believing what you say. I would love to be able to research this on the web. Do you have any starting points for my search?

  221. Emily, yet again, every bill needed to be supported by at least one party. There were no times that they passed a bill, and didn't get one of the parties to cooperate. They are a minority gov't, and cannot pass anything on their own. Each party tried to influence every bill, and the CPC had to make sure that at least one party supported every bill, or they could not pass it.

    This can't be any simpler.

  222. 'scrapped the Canada health act' = destroying Canada, and democracy in the whole world.

    Wow, I didn't see it before, but now that a genius like you pointed it out, it is obvious.

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