For the record: Rona Ambrose’s letter to Justin Trudeau

‘I am formally requesting a meeting with you at the earliest opportunity’


 
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Photograph by Blair Gable

Photograph by Blair Gable

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose is on a cross-country tour this week ahead of the return of the House on Monday. She speaks a bit later today to an audience of business leaders in Toronto. This morning she released this open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: 

January 18, 2016

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister,

The deteriorating economic situation across Canada is of great concern to all of us who have been elected to serve in the House of Commons.

As Opposition Leader, I am concerned that recent statements made by you and your party during the election campaign to limit deficits to a “modest” $10 billion have been disavowed, and currently there is no clarity on the limit of spending being considered by your government as it prepares to bring in a budget.

In addition, it was disconcerting to read that Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Liberal MP Wayne Easter have publicly stated that they were “not sure whether the (House of Commons) finance committee will be struck in time to get insight from Canadians.” (Globe and Mail, January 13, 2016)

It is essential that as the elected representatives of Canadians, we are able to represent the issues that matter to our constituents and have input into the budget process, especially if the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance is not struck. To ensure the voices of all Canadians are heard equally, I am formally requesting a meeting with you at the earliest opportunity to discuss the rapidly deteriorating economy.

Your government has taken almost no time to turn a surplus (as indicated by the Parliamentary Budget Officer) into a deficit. In addition, the challenge of low commodity prices has devastated the energy sector in Alberta and is impacting the nation as a whole. The Conservative Party believes Canadian families and businesses deserve to see a plan to address these issues. I look forward to sharing my input with you.

I hope you will consider this request in the spirit in which it is made.

Sincerely,

Hon. Rona Ambrose, P.C., M.P.


 

For the record: Rona Ambrose’s letter to Justin Trudeau

  1. “Dear Rona,
    As our economic situation is a direct result of the bungling of the Canadian economy at the hands of the Conservatives the last decade, your request is denied. Say hi to Stephen for me.

    Justin”

    • Don,

      It’s news to the rest of the Canada and indeed, the world that the Conservative government of Canada set the world price of oil, and managed the Chinese, US and European economies.

      Where do you get your news from: the funny pages?

      • And what government decided to so heavily tie our economy to the oil industry? Rather than diversify, the previous government put most of our eggs in one basket. That was a policy decision and it has come back to bite us.

        • I have seen this argument many times recently but I never hear any solutions other than pumping billions of tax payer dollars we do not have into wind and solar farms. These green technology games are very expensive to purchase, install and then require a huge subsidy to keep operating. They are inefficient and a total disaster. Just look at Ontario and Germany as perfect examples of failure.

          Other than subsidies the federal government does not invest in oil production so exactly what eggs are they putting into the basket? The total energy sector only comprises about 8% of our economy. So what diversity are you talking about?

          One of the biggest problems is Ontario. Under McGuinty/Wynne they have lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs due to high taxes and electricity rates. They are in effect driving industry out of Ontario. Over the same time period Ontario has added 300,000 public servants and as a result they are now a Have Not Province.

          • And, Ontario has every right to blame Alberta for many of those lost jobs. A high dollar, pumped up by high oil prices, made Ontario much less competitive, thus losing many of those 300,000 jobs. Petrodollars and all that. Some call them a curse on a countries economy.

            Of course, one could just as easily blame Ontario, because they too did not encourage diversification and investment in increased efficiency while they had the advantage of a low dollar supporting their manufacturing industries. Maybe they’ll do better this time around, though I doubt it.

            Really, what every government in Canada these days seems to do is maximize early profit over longer term investment. For example, maybe if the Oil provinces had taxed more while they had a chance and then used that income to build other industries… but no. Just let companies maximise early profits and invest in more of the same… drill baby drill (okay, dig baby dig for the tar sands). Governments even seem to subsidise their most prominent industries to make them bigger, thus maximising their later taxes (one would presume). Calgary would be doing a lot better right now if some of those empty office towers had a few less-glamorous insurance companies or something. Not the big money that oil brought, but still functioning when everything else went bust. Did the Alberta government subsidise anything besides more and more oil?

            Diversification means more than windmills and solar panels.

        • Actually, every government for the last 60 years has tied our economy to providing oil/natural gas, wood/wood products, fresh water, and other natural resources. That is old news and am not sure why you are only blaming the Harper government for that.

          There needs to be a legitimate transition phase if the world truly wants to go green, but also learn to live with its limitations. Until this is in place, little headway will get made.

          Wind and solar power have been tested for decades and are STILL NOT AS EFFICIENT as carbon based fuels, full stop. Many of the “big oil” companies actually have invested in other “greener” technologies, some with government incentives but it has not been feasible technically (storage capacity physically needed for wind and solar) nor economically (only 50% efficiency as opposed to 90% with fossil fuels).

          Without BILLIONS of dollars for bribes by government for people to go greener, the average person cannot afford “upgrading”. The other reality is that many people and resources NEED the more powerful engines that carbon fuels run…. we need large trucks and trains, etc. to efficiently haul goods from one area to the other… that cannot be done with 4 cycle, battery powered engines.

          Our past, and previous governments HAVE invested in other technologies to boost the economy. We have had tremendous growth in medical reasearch and development in Alberta, as well as new vehicles, as well as information and related technologies (nano technology, etc.) While making gains for certain, they DO NOT come near to generating benefits to the economy as does our natural resources.

  2. Wow the CONservatives obliterated a Liberal budget surplus, created a multi-million dollar deficit, lost track of a few more millions and now have the nerve to write this ridiculous letter. Thank God they’re out!

    • That is true, but justin’s liberals have already “lost track” of over $4Billion in just 2 months… $2.5B unbudgeted to various unknown initiatives under the Paris meetings, $1B for expediting 10,000 refugees to Canada just to meet it’s politically (as opposed to security- and needs-based) deadlines, and another $.5B for Paris and other international photo-opps, oops meetings.

    • The conservatives gave back the $12B defict to you as a GST rebate of two points. I thank them for that. The deficit was mainly created with the forced stimulus spending forced by the opposition in a conservative minority situation. Originally the conservatives had no intent on throwing money away useless stimulus spending that only made road crews rich.

  3. The disingenuous Rona Ambrose……Will the conservatives ever understand why they lost the election?…..the manipulation of the harper regime is only surpassed by the current poor leadership and the deep insincerity proposed in this letter. The Cons might as well have Duffy spin some gratuitous excuse for nation building…….some patriot!

  4. Now we watch the Ottawa media report with a straight face, taking it as a super serious political event, with no hint of irony or context or ridicule (heaven forbid!)

  5. Trudeau should meet with Ambrose before the budget is drafted, as requested.

    Also, Macleans should hold a lottery on how large Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s first budget deficit will be.

    I expect it’ll be between $35 – $45 billion for 2016-2017.

    • Mohogwash Al-Dandy wrote:

      “Also, Macleans should hold a lottery on how large Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s first budget deficit will be.

      I expect it’ll be between $35 – $45 billion for 2016-2017”

      Too late Mo….I’ve already requested something just like this. You do have the same figures though. In my previous post about the projected Deficit expected, my number was 36 billion.

      we’re right in the same ballpark.

      In this case however, I would certainly hope to be wrong; as in I hope my number is far too high.

  6. Incredible political posturing. This is not a story, it is giving voice to a hissy fit because she is no longer in power with inside information/advance input into policy. Why the “open letter”? Did she not get a response to a meeting request done through appropriate channels? Has she sent her policy solutions to the challenges to the appropriate Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries? As an MP, she should be respecting the new government’s right to reasonable time lines (and the challenges from secrecy that Harper’s administration left) to prepare an evidence based budget – that I understand will be required to be debated and voted on in the house. Did Harper allow opposition MP’s their input in drafting the bad faith Omnibus budget bills (that gutted environmental laws and other important protections for Canadians and our lands without input or time for debate)?

    Where she postures “Your government has taken almost no time to turn a surplus (as indicated by the Parliamentary Budget Officer) into a deficit.” – of course they haven’t…they made immediate investments that they campaigned on to rectify infrastructure deficits and stimulate resiliency in the economy. Thank you Rona for pointing out that they have acted quickly!

    As for where she states “In addition, the challenge of low commodity prices has devastated the energy sector in Alberta and is impacting the nation as a whole.” Clearly Rona does not understand the Debt Supercycle and causes of low commodity prices due to increasing wealth inequality shrinking consumer demand that drives the unsustainable growth pump. Additionally, it is obvious that the energy sector has been devasted in Alberta as it was not diversified with what world demand is looking for – clean renewables and retrofit. Subsidies to the established fossil fuel industry were poorly directed and thwarted the growth of renewables in Canada. Had the Harper administration diversified or understood the folly of neo liberal policies and Investor Protection trade deals, our currency would have fared much better with declining oil prices as did the more diversified petro currency countries of Mexico, Norway and Russia.

    Where she states “Canadian families and businesses deserve to see a plan to address these issues” – they will see it when the government has had time to prepare it based on current information (including information that had previously been kept from them by your previous administration) and new research that has to be prepared based on changing global factors.

    I also hope that the Prime Minister will consider this request in the spirit (and inappropriate manner) in which it is made and either ask her for a list of her concerns and proposed solutions or decline it. She can see it when the rest of the MP’s do.

    • Sorry to burst you misinformation bubble Cathie but all the petro countries you are mentioning…Mexico, Russia (which can’t even sell its oil due to sanctions) and Norway which was a big slush fund are having problems due to the drop in oil prices brought on by OPEC. The Peso is in terrible condition just like the Canadian dollar and the leaders of Norway are planning to devalue the Kroner. Vlad Putin’s country is struggling mightily. You might consider doing some research before you make these pronouncements. The truth is that Alberta saw more growth in manufacturing than any other province in the past 1/2 decade. The problem is, most of the manufacturing was for a specific market…parts for the oil and gas industry which until lately was a booming market. It seems BC is doing alright but that and Quebec has Bombardier. Canadian exports are doing very well with a low dollar so is you buy local, you not only support your fellow Canadians but you save money. Also, if you travel in Canada you support your fellow Canadians. Perhaps get involved in winter sports. As for the prime minister’s obligation to take a meeting with the leader of the opposition…hmmm….his daily schedule says he is in private meetings. If he doesn’t have any intention of being collegial, then it really isn’t sunny ways, is it?

      • Gage G.

        You’ll have to excuse Cathie’s anti-captialist screeds. The textbook she is using to fill her comments on this site were second hand when she bought them 4 years ago. She just hasn’t gotten around to updating to the newest editions.

        give her credit at least for managing to avoid the word “paradigm”, which was used in every one of her previous posts, along with neo-liberal agenda, capitalism..etc..etc…

        We’ve heard her type many times before. They have always been wrong, and they have always not been aware of it.

    • I agree with some of what you say in terms of sincerity, etc. but with Parliament being closed for a couple/few more weeks this is likely timely. I think the fact she is making it an open letter is … just being transparent, isn’t it? ;-) (okay, cheap shot) … is to highlight the fact that justin hasn’t reached out to the other parties or much of anyone else on the economy and it has been over 2 months since he has started, and the economy SHOULD BE his #1 priority. It doesn’t appear to be. I have read he has a bit of a junket going around Canada to “consult with” Canadians, but I haven’t seen any open invitiations to those and they sound like the government is telling Canadians that have been in attendance what it is proposing to do, not asking anyone for input.

      Also, justin is the one that PROMISED more transparency and open governance, but so far he has proven little of that. That is all on him, and is of no consequence blaming Harper for things he failed at when justin is doing the same things.

      I have not heard the liberal gov’t investing any $$$ yet into infrastructure, so I am not sure where you are getting that it is, but it is no way to diversify an economy either – fixing/building roads and bridges and rail and waste management. Same as the past 5 governments have done, ho hum.

      The world oil prices are indicative of only 1 thing – how much power the OPEC countries really have over the world. It is them driving the prices and economies down by over-supplying the market, not by lower demand as you state – demand has not changed, in fact it will grow as oil prices drop. Demand for greener technologies is growing, but not fast enought to make it affordable at all. They have been developing green technologies since the 1970s with little headway until recently. Exponential growth won’t happen in them for another decade, so fossil fuels are REQUIRED until a transition can happen.

      I would think justin would periodically meet with the opposition leaders as often as he does with the Premiers, if not more, if he wants to be transparent and involve all Canadian points of view.

      • Jack Jack,

        Rona should have requested a meeting so she could get a selfie……

        Justin would have shown up with his personal photographer, both of his taxpayer funded babysitters, and the entire studio crew of the CBC.

    • Cathie Reid is back and provided us with this gem:

      “Clearly Rona does not understand the Debt Supercycle and causes of low commodity prices due to increasing wealth inequality shrinking consumer demand that drives the unsustainable growth pump”

      Which, is evidence enough that she is still writing posts with the assistance of her marxist economic theory of Transgender feminist studies textbooks opposed to capitalism open to the correct neo-Liberal hating pages.

      Oh well, Cathie….at least you finally managed to create a post without having to fit the word “paradigm” into three of your paragraphs.

      • OK, you and the other posters who have piled on to Cathie’s post haven’t actually commented on the first two paragraphs. Your views on them? Here they are for your quick reference:

        “Incredible political posturing. This is not a story, it is giving voice to a hissy fit because she is no longer in power with inside information/advance input into policy. Why the “open letter”? Did she not get a response to a meeting request done through appropriate channels? Has she sent her policy solutions to the challenges to the appropriate Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries? As an MP, she should be respecting the new government’s right to reasonable time lines (and the challenges from secrecy that Harper’s administration left) to prepare an evidence based budget – that I understand will be required to be debated and voted on in the house. Did Harper allow opposition MP’s their input in drafting the bad faith Omnibus budget bills (that gutted environmental laws and other important protections for Canadians and our lands without input or time for debate)?

        Where she postures “Your government has taken almost no time to turn a surplus (as indicated by the Parliamentary Budget Officer) into a deficit.” – of course they haven’t…they made immediate investments that they campaigned on to rectify infrastructure deficits and stimulate resiliency in the economy. Thank you Rona for pointing out that they have acted quickly!”

        • tim,

          It is ALL political posturing, no matter what side is doing it. I was simply pointing out that Cathie doesn’t have a clue about economics, capitalism, or even just basic common sense. Like most people who realize they are not up to snuff….cathie is trying way to hard. she doesn’t sound like she knows what she’s talking about (she doesn’t)….but she does sound like she’s trying too hard.

  7. Three months in and Justin Trudeau is still talking only election campaign platitudes in his media appearances.

    He is going to be spending 4 days snowboarding and taking selfies with the banksters, plutocrats, 1%’ers, and assorted celebrities in Davos. One would think he would have time to meet with the leaders of the Opposition parties to consult on the budget as Paul Martin and Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper routinely did.

    The arrogance of Trudeau to not even have asked to meet the opposition leaders. A selfie with DiCaprio is more important I guess.

    • WhyShouldI sell Your Wheat
      Angry?
      I would advise that you update your information with internet service or at least a few newspapers. You might witness other perspectives on the inferences you have posted…..or are you simply angry?

  8. This letter, and all further correspondence will be promptly ignored by Trudeau. He has no time to discuss the troubles of the little people, after all he is busy. He has another Mosque to visit, and some very important selfies to take. He hasn’t got the time for trivia like the economy, and the price of groceries skyrocketing across the country. Doesn’t the Rona chick know who he is? He’s a Trudeau, and that name alone should make her grovel at his feet, and be thankful that he even knows her name! She should now her place, and not step out of line.

  9. While I agree with the sentiments, I can’t accept any criticisms from the Conservatives on deficits or accountability.

    Rona is free to ask these questions during parliament. She can request a meeting outside of that, but an open letter is ridiculous.

    But her offering to share her input with Trudeau is pretty funny.

    • I don’t think Rona wants to share input with Trudeau, as much as should would like to explain some basic economics to him.

  10. The place to discuss national issues is in parliament and its committees, not in closed door meetings between party leaders. Let us citizens see the debates and discussions, not have them hidden from us.

    It is a refreshing change, however, to see that the Conservative party leadership now favours opposition parties directly contributing to government policy-making as opposed to the old “We are the governing party, and only we will decide what the people of Canada think.”

    • Wake up my friend, all the plans and ideas are done in private closed door meetings. They are then presented and discussed in parliament. Of course any government with a majority does whatever it wants.

      • You believe that Parliament, and democracy itself, are shams? I hope I never have to wake up to your nightmare.

  11. Deficits are bad we all know this. The liberals are throwing around this infrastructure word like its the holy grail. But never say what they are going to spend the money on. Stimulus spending has to be spent smartly to encourage private industry, spending our tax dollars on random projects and fixing things is just adding to our deficit and future interest payments. Private industry creates jobs not the government. Any trickle down business is still being paid for by our tax dollars with future interest payments we will pay for a long time.

    • Most everyone who buys a home goes into deficit to do so. They borrow money they don’t have and agree to pay that loan off, plus interest, over time. Deficits are not necessarily bad. We couldn’t own our own homes without them.

      Nor could we have public and communal assets, infrastructure, without governments spending our tax dollars. What a mishmash our road and water treatment systems, among others, would be without government planning, management, and spending.

  12. You can’t call what the conservative left behind “a surplus”
    On a side note: I am in favor of eliminating anonymous posts on all comments boards, even twitter. In my experience the majority of anonymous comments are filled with hatred especially on the CBC.ca comment section!!! Check out Ricks Rant from the Rick Mercer Report on January 19, 2016.

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