Navigating the farce, Joy Smith and Royal Galipeau -

Navigating the farce, Joy Smith and Royal Galipeau


An interesting exchange from the very end of yesterday’s debate on the budget.

Charlie Angus. Mr. Speaker, I had a great deal of respect for Jim Prentice. There was a man who stood up in the House and did not misinform people. He was a man one could say would never lie. Jim Prentice in 2009 stood up as part of the throne speech and said that the government would put a price on carbon. The present Minister of Foreign Affairs went to Montreal and said that the government would open a carbon trading institute in Montreal and “put a price on carbon”. Either they were making that up, they were lying or they thought the Canadian people were stupid, but that was the policy the government ran on: that it would put a price on carbon. I see the bobbleheads who are now repeating this misinformation, the lie about the so-called carbon tax, when the government had told the Canadian people that it was putting a price on carbon I would like to ask that hon. member, what happened to the commitment made by Jim Prentice, an honourable man in the House? Was that just cynicism on the government’s part or was he making it up?

Joy Smith. Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the Prime Minister would never tax the public in any way, shape or form to that end. The fact of the matter is that I have never before been called a “bobblehead” and I take exception to that kind of analogy. I have had nine years of university. I have raised six children. I do not consider myself a bobblehead. I consider myself an intellectual person who works hard to raise the standard of everything I do, and I am saying great kudos to the government and our Prime Minister, who has protected this whole country from financial ruin when a lot of other countries have experienced economic downturns.

Dan Harris. Mr. Speaker, following up on the point that my colleague raised, Mr. Prentice made his comments in response to the Speech from the Throne. The Speech from the Throne actually did say that the government would put a price on carbon, and that price was $65 a tonne. If we take the total output, that would actually mean a $45 billion tax on carbon, which is more than double what the entire Conservative caucus is saying we are pitching. How do we square that circle?

Joy Smith. Mr. Speaker, how I square that circle is that we are living in the year 2012 and the Prime Minister has never, ever said anything about putting a tax on carbon. It is the NDP carbon tax that would raise groceries. It is the NDP carbon tax that would increase gas prices. That is—

Royal Galipeau. Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and I both ran in 2008 against a carbon tax. The party that ran on the carbon tax was relegated to a reduced caucus in the opposition. They are now stuck in the third corner. It is true that we talked about carbon trading with the United States. The United States would not trade. We cannot trade with ourselves, so that is the end of it.

The problem for Mr. Galipeau and Ms. Smith is that their party and government now consider “carbon trading” to be the same thing as a carbon tax. And while Mr. Harper didn’t talk about putting a tax on carbon, he did talk about putting a price on carbon. And so far as the Conservative party and the Harper government are now concerned, a price on carbon is a tax on carbon.

(There could be a discussion to be had about whether cap-and-trade should be pursued in Canada if the United States is not willing to do likewise—something Mr. Galipeau seems to suggest—but it’s a discussion that has been rendered moot by the Harper government’s primary arguments that putting a price on carbon is a carbon tax and a carbon tax is a terrible thing.)


Navigating the farce, Joy Smith and Royal Galipeau

  1. The big problem with the Conservatives is that they do not utilize the resources of their MPs; the same MPs that are elected to represent their constituencies.

    Instead they have become a servile lot beholden only to their own careers, which in turn are held hostage by the PMO – either you sit/stand/march when instructed to or you suffer the consequences.

    Now you may exclaim: What about Stephen Woodworth? And I will reply that he is what is known as a “trial balloon.” Remember, Harper plays a “long game.” Observe that such flights of conscience are notably absent when it comes to the use of Omnibus bills…… even if buried details do not serve MP constituents. Remember David Wilkes?

    So we are left with a governmental caucus that lacks ingenuity and independence and constituents that lack a real voice. This is the new era of transparency and accountability? This is good government?

    • You can’t just go randomly quoting that Andrew around here you know, you’ll just end up confusing the other Andrew.

  2. You were saying something about ‘mind-deadening partisanship’, Aaron? The last episode of The Walking Dead had less mind-deadening than that exchange.

  3. 9 years of university and she doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘bobblehead’…..right as she’s bobbing her head!

  4. It may not be appropriate for government members to question NDP`rs like Angus how they would hope to improve the lives of Canadians with their tax policies, but maybe a journalist could write a researched or even an opinion piece on what an NDP government would look like.

    I do believe we have the ” Evil Conservative Thingy ” thing covered.

    • Since we don’t HAVE an NDP govt, and can’t have until at least 2015….anything written about it would be speculation, not journalism.

      Since the job of the Opposition is to question and oppose the govt, journalism would involve reporting the NDP doing so.

      • Opposition is good.
        But maybe just one piece about what a future NDP gov`t would look like—–if it would help—-a journalist could refer back to some of the scare articles from the msm 7 or 8 years ago.

        • Or perhaps you could get used to the idea that Harper and the boys….being govt….are gonna get criticized. A lot.

          If Dippers make it into govt….criticism of them will then be the main news of the day.

          • Yes, God forbid that the Dippers should ever be criticized at any time before they’re actually elected. Democracy doesn’t work like that. I mean, why would anyone in Canada want critical coverage of a party that might form government someday? It’s so speculative and all.
            I mean, think of Weimar Germany in 1932. What possible interest would anyone have had in an article that was critical of the Nazi Party and speculated as to what they might do if elected?

          • Take a downer, Bean, you’re becoming hysterical.

          • Yes, that’s me. In a constant state of frothing hysteria.

          • Gawd, THAT’S true….get some medication for it!

          • Maybe it’s just me, but I find what they might do more interesting when there’s an election on the horizon and the “might” has some possibility of being realized. At other times I find, what is actually being done by people actually running the country just a tad more relevant.

          • Yes, the writ period is the only time when we should think about what our main opposition parties might do if they form government. Between the writ periods, we shouldn’t think of such things. They are irrelevant.

          • Your regular little strawman routine is pretty weak.

          • Democracy doesn’t work like that. I mean, why would anyone in Canada want critical coverage of a party that might form government someday?

            Indeed, why would they? Harper turned into Chretien even faster than Chretien turned into Mulroney. Recent history would suggest that if journalists actually are ignoring the people out of power and only focusing on the people in power, it’s because they realize that the people out of power will have no trouble WHATSOEVER reversing position the moment they’re in power. Hell, on this file the Tories aren’t even arguing that they’ve reversed position, they’re just pretending that their previous position never even existed.

            I don’t think it’s all that shocking for the press, after YEARS of trying to square the things the PM used to say before 2006 to all the stuff he’s said post-2006 are maybe sick of the game, and have decided just to focus their reporting on the party that’s in power, since it seems clear that anything a party says five minutes before forming a government becomes lost in the sands of time the moment their leader gets to be called Prime Minister. Sure, the pre-2006 rhetoric of the Tories may have led people to believe that “this time it will be different”, but it didn’t take long for most folks to realize that, “No, no it won’t”.

        • Any such piece would be a fantasy, much like whatever the Conservatives will tell you now.

    • Goodluck with that Andrew. Wherry’s constant shilling for the NDP is clearly a full time commitment.

      • Shilling for the NDP? I thought we had all agreed that Wherry is a shill for the Liberals, bought and paid for… If you guys don’t get your stories straight people will begin to suspect that he’s just critical of the government in power.

        Who knows, people may even start to wonder about the integrity and loyalties of single-named, drive-by, newbies who have strong opinions about people but no intelligent opinions – at all – about policies.

        • Yeah, if the Libs/NDP were in govt, and Harp was Opposition they’d be upset that Wherry wasn’t praising the Cons but was instead spending all his time ‘publicizing’ the Libs/NDP.

          When times get tough for Cons suddenly we have newbies claiming journos and posters are paid shills/trolls. It’s as predictable as sunrise.

          Andrew is just another Biff/Chet/Omen/whoever……

          • So you disagree that there are “partisan” media masquerading as “non partisan” ? Or are you naïve enough to believe that ONLY Ezra Levant is a partisan ? Wherry is easily one of the most partisan of the Ottawa media bubble.

          • I think partisan types see partisanship in everyone, whether it exists or not

            I have often thought a journo was party X or party Y….only to have them announce they were voting for the opposite party come the election….so you really can’t tell.

            Not everyone is as flakey as Ezra Levant ya know.

        • You raise a good point. In reality it is more a case of Wherry is staunchly anti-Conservative. Funny how many lefties hang out here in this supposedly “non partisan” environment.

  5. It’s like reading[ and probably listening and watching] a poorly played game of who’s on first…but for some reason it isn’t as funny. The caucus meeting must be a riot. [ remember the python skit – the guys who have to be coached to say neep!…nooop, noop…no no, put your lips together and say, neep!…nope.]