Jim Flaherty is very disappointed in the NDP - Macleans.ca

Jim Flaherty is very disappointed in the NDP

The Finance Minister offers his preview of the NDP policy convention


Three weeks after asking Manulife to raise its mortgage rate, Jim Flaherty frets—in a statement released by the Conservative party—that the New Democrats do not respect the free market.

“It has recently come to my attention that the NDP will be voting on policy resolutions at their national policy convention this coming weekend.

Normally, I would not comment on such matters. But given the NDP’s position as the Official Opposition and the far-reaching nature of many of the proposals being considered, I am compelled to register my concerns publicly. Many of these NDP proposals would have a negative impact on the economy, stifling job creation and creating hardships for individuals, families, seniors and workers. While we have long come to expect the NDP to advocate for tax increases (which they do repeatedly through their policy resolutions – from a new tax on everyday financial transactions, eliminating popular tax credits for families, imposing higher personal income and business taxes, and much more – Resolutions 1-12-13, 1-29-13, 1-77-13, 1-54-13, 1-77-13, 1-81-13, 1-82-13, 1-84-13, 1-93-13, 5-57-13; Policy Book pages 4 and 8), it is other more jarring aspects of their economic policy resolutions that should give Canadians reason for significant concern.

For example, the NDP will consider proposals to radically change the mandate of the long independent Bank of Canada, effectively making it a political arm of the Government. As recent history has demonstrated, such action leads to serious and devastating impacts on an economy. (Resolutions 1-16-13, 1-30-13, 1-85-13, 1-86-13, 1-89-13; Policy Book page 3).

The NDP policy resolutions would rip up every single trade agreement that Canada has entered into, negatively impacting Canadian exporters. Essentially, the NDP would erect an isolationist wall around Canada, retreating from being a member of the global economy. This would harm Canada’s economy and literally millions of jobs. (Resolutions 4-24-13, 5-58-13; Policy Book page 8).

The NDP policy resolutions would, much like what occurred in many socialist states last century, use the government to forcefully take over almost every major industry in Canada through nationalization. That means the NDP would confiscate and take over companies involved in the oil & gas sector, manufacturing, communications (like radio and TV stations), the mining sector, the financial services sector, the insurance sector, the steel industry, the automotive sector, and more. An economy completely controlled and run for the political benefit of the government, as history has shown, would destroy Canada’s economy and kill literally millions of jobs. (Resolutions 1-91-13,1-95-13, 1-96-13, 1-97-13, 1-98-13).

For those few remaining small businesses the NDP does not propose to outright nationalize, the NDP policy resolutions would reduce them to wards of the state with stifling government control and bureaucratic red tape. This includes proposals that would limit when they could open and would have the government dictate key business decisions. The incentives that help fuel free enterprise, the lifeblood of a market-based democracy would be dead – replaced by control by bloated government. (Resolutions 1-94-13, 1-99-13).

Considered in their totality, the NDP proposals would fundamentally change Canada from a market-based democracy to one resembling a command-economy socialist state – like those that so spectacularly failed in the last century. The fact that the NDP is actively promoting this utterly discredited economic model at their national convention raises serious concerns about their support for Canada’s proud and long traditional of being a market-based democracy centered on free enterprise.”

Here again are the resolutions that will be debated this weekend. The Conservatives have a policy convention this summer. The resolutions submitted for their 2011 convention are here. The resolutions submitted for their 2008 convention are here.

Policy conventions are, of course, tricky matters to navigate for political leaders, presenting, as they do, opportunity for expressions of thought that might not correspond with the leader’s preferred message. Just ask the Conservatives.


Jim Flaherty is very disappointed in the NDP

  1. Jeez, Jimmy, it’s a policy convention, fer gawd’s sake, where all sorts of resolutions are scrutinized and where, no doubt, outlier positions will die in the crucible of debate. As a Harper Con, you’ve apparently forgotten what a democratic discussion of policy options looks like. And anyway, it’s not like members of your own party haven’t spawned their own shopping lists of loopy ideas.

    Being the busy little leprechaun, you should stick to chasing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow known as a balanced budget, rather than looking wistfully over the fence at the conduct of another party that actually tolerates healthy debate in its ranks.

    • Conservatives bad, Dippers Good!

      • Bean now talk like Hollywood injun. With bad script. Very sad.

        • His vocabulary seems to come and go. Is there a name for this infliction?

          • A now he parrots other commenters…a classic feature of echolalia, I would say.

          • I think it’s called affliction. Perhaps you’re the one who’s afflicted — maybe with aphasia or something.

          • I stand corrected, pardon the Freudian slip.

        • ND and fellow-travellers think like Hollywood injun. With bad script. Very sad.

          • What’s that old saw about Imitation being the ultimate form of flattery? Thanks, Bean. Your utter lack of originality has a kind of childish charm about it.

      • I’d be interested to read your “thumbnail sketch” of a Conservative and a Dipper. Might as well throw in a Liberal to complete the picture.

  2. “The NDP policy resolutions would, much like what occurred in many socialist states last century, use the government to forcefully take over almost every major industry in Canada through nationalization.”


    – “Ottawa will deposit $920-million into the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, a corporate welfare slush fund, and spend $92-million on forestry businesses.”

    – “Political considerations are likely to keep Canada from following Washington’s lead and selling its stake in General Motors Co , industry experts say, potentially until after the next general election, scheduled for 2015.”

    – “On Page 6, Ottawa promises $1-billion to the aerospace sector over five years through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative; that’s the main government program for disbursing taxpayer cash to the aerospace sector.”

    – “The chief executive officer of one of Canada’s major banks says the finance minister should stay out of how the industry prices mortgages …. Rick Waugh’s comments in an interview with Bloomberg News follow a high-profile admonishment of Bank of Montreal by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.”

    -“Export and Development Canada, for its part, will also offer commercial loans to interested buyers that represent up to 75 per cent of the purchase price of the C Series. IQ will limit its total exposure to $1-billion, but there are no limits to the amounts EDC is willing to loan, if the commercial risks are deemed acceptable, said EDC spokesman Phil Taylor.”

    – “A Conservative government would restore $300 million in regional funding, party Leader Stephen Harper said Saturday in Yarmouth, N.S …. Harper said the money would flow over four years to federal development agencies: the department of Western Economic Diversification, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and ACOA.”

  3. Canada is even more disappointed with jim flaherty and the cons. they’ve been real busy promoting their economic action plan, to cut essential services like search and rescue, or food safety inspections (who cares about e. coil, listeria, or anthrax, suck it up and cook the food more!), so parliament and the senate can get a fat pay raise and finally helping their buddies import TFWs to displace Canadians. Yep, Canada is defiantly on it’s way to becoming a third world country. Thanks, harpo!

    • Yes, every time I travel abroad, some foreigner takes me aside and points out that, despite our membership in the G7/G8, NATO, the OECD and our high ranking in the UN Development index etc. etc., despite the fact that we are one of the most sought-after destinations in the world for immigration, and despite our comparatively high GDP per capita rating, we are surely on our way to becoming a third world country.

      Like, if Harper were re-elected in 2015, that would automatically make us a third world country. We won’t even have flush toilets, electricity and running water anymore.

      I’m not making this up.

      • But we’re told a carbon tax would turn us into Greece.

        • Why don’t you go take that point up with people who have actually expressed that opinion? Otherwise, you’re debating like a personality-disordered girlfriend.

          • :-) How would you know?

          • Who’s debating- I am simply throwing your sarcasm back at you. And I have no interest in your dating problems.

          • That’s an appropriately personality-disordered response. Thanks for perfectly illustrating my point.

          • I think you’re confusing the word debate and masturbate. You’re not debating squat, you’re just masturbating and trying to jerk off everyone as well.

          • I can certainly see that, in contrast to me, you’re an extremely principled debater.
            So since you say that Canada’s on its way to being a third world country but we’re apparently not there yet, how many years of continued Harper rule will it take to turn Canada into a full-fledged third world country? Can you provide us with an estimate?

      • If Canadians keep loosing their jobs to TFWs, how do you think that will impact the GDP? If people are just scrapping by, they aren’t contributing to the economy, now are they?

        You made up this.

        “Like, if Harper were re-elected in 2015, that would automatically make us a third world country. We won’t even have flush toilets, electricity and running water anymore.”

        No one, but you said that. All I said is we’re on our way to becoming a third world country.

        • Yes, if Harper remains in power, we will all eventually be defecating on railroad tracks.

          • Well, if you happen to be travelling in one of the old VIA rail cars you are already

          • I’m going to assume that you have never visited India.

      • Hey Bean – if you look at the latest numbers Canada might qualify in a G12. Our UN development index rank is now at #11. On the Child Well-Being index we are at #17. But we are #1 on household debt and cell phone expenses. And Canada is the best friend of Israel, the most hated nation on the planet.

        I am not making this up.

        • So that means we’re a third world country? Could you please provide me with your working definition of “third world country”? I would be fascinated to see your response.
          And by the way, WTF does any country’s foreign policy with respect to Israel have to do one way or the other with said country being a third world country?

  4. WoW ! Mr. Flaherty is astounding in his assumptions and projections ! For a guy who did not see the meltdown coming until we were hip-deep in it , he has the nerve to predict the NDP future – get a new crystal ball , Jim.

  5. Oh give it a rest Jimbo. As if you are the expert on managing the economy for the good of the people. It was you brokered the ABCP deal – billions to the bank, starve Canadian seniors especially in Quebec, punishment for not voting Conservative. And don’t forget how you made CIBC give Barrick Gold, one of the richest companies in Canada, a special sweetheart deal cause Peter Monk was sulking.

    Page from Conservative economic playbook – bankrupt the vulnerable, suck up to petulant billionaires. And that is all beside your economic action pork and other sad ways to buy votes. Wonder what your G8 buddies will say when they found out that you weathered the 2008 financial crisis by commiting a massive crime and then your govt went off and commited hundreds more in a vain attempt to cover it up.

  6. It blows my Mind that people vote for the NDP when they know the NDP is so bizarre. I guess it was because there was no chance of them getting into Gov’t. Now that Quebec is trying to upset the apple cart and the NDP is basically talking treason to them and a free turkey in every pot and money on every tree from a magic bank account, Jim has decided to make us aware of the details,
    Thanks Jim, I know your givin it all ya got!

    • Which is not much.