The Commons: The Russians are coming for our pensions

After boasting of “major transformations” to come, the Prime Minister seems suddenly shy

by Aaron Wherry

The Scene. “Oui ou non?” Nycole Turmel demanded. “Oui ou non?”

Will the Prime Minister be cutting Old Age Security benefits, she asked, yes or no? Will the age of eligibility be raised to 67, she wondered, yes or no?

“We want an answer,” she concluded.

In response, the Prime Minister had two answers. “Mr. Speaker, I was very clear. This government will not cut benefits for our seniors. I am very clear,” he declared. “At the same time, we will protect the system for generations to come.”

After jetting off to Switzerland and standing proudly before the global elite and bragging of his stewardship and boasting of “major transformations” to come, the Prime Minister seems suddenly shy. It is as if,  having scaled the rhetorical heights, he was suddenly reminded why he generally avoids high places. And so now he is attempting to stall, perhaps even soothe, with a sleight of hand.

Of course simply stalling won’t carry all the days between now and the delivery of the budget in March. So there is also scorn. Good ole dependable scorn.

“It is for the opposition to scare seniors,” Mr. Harper concluded, “it is for us to protect seniors.”

Indeed, the Prime Minister was similarly disappointed in Bob Rae.

“As I said before, the opposition is scaring our seniors,” he sighed in response to the interim Liberal leader’s first question, “our government will protect our seniors today and in the future.”

Undaunted, Mr. Rae upped his own rhetorical ante. “Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is basically saying, ‘We are going to protect the system by cutting access to it. ‘ That is what he is saying,” the Liberal helpfully translated. “He is not only dumping on the most vulnerable senior citizens, including women who are going to be qualifying for old age security who get their old age pensions, he is also dumping on the provinces, dumping on municipalities, creating a cascade of injustice because of a totally manufactured crisis on his side. It is a well known neo-conservative tactic that the Prime Minister is engaging in. I can tell him we are not going to put up with it and neither are the Canadian people. They will not put up with it. They will not accept it.”

There was not a question here, but the Prime Minister stood anyway.

“Mr. Speaker, even The Globe and Mail said that the leader of the Liberal Party is fearmongering,” Mr. Harper chided, “and that is before all the nonsense we just heard.”

Of speaking in spooky voices, the NDP’s Peter Julian had also accused the government side of inventing its own boogie man.

“In 2032, the percentage of GDP devoted to OAS will actually be declining and yet Conservatives are trying to manufacture a crisis so they can cut benefits to seniors in the future,” Mr. Julian argued, bearing down and edging forward and staring down the Prime Minister as he lectured. “Budgets are choices. Why are Conservatives choosing to spend $30 billion on F-35s, $19 billion on prisons, but claim they cannot find $540 a month for Canadian seniors?”

But here Diane Finley, the Minister of Human Resources, attempted to put all things in perspective.

“Mr. Speaker, we do have an obligation to protect all Canadians, whether that be through our military so that we can protect against foreign invasions,” she ventured, “or, indeed, to protect their financial security.”

And when, 30 years from now, you’re not begging your Russian oppressors for a serviceable stipend, you’ll thank your lucky stars that Stephen Harper was in charge.

The Stats. Pensions, eight questions. Foreign aid, four questions. Crime, equality and education, three questions each. Aboriginal affairs, Service Canada, military procurement and National Defence, two questions each. Government spending, the environment, trade, Sri Lanka, foreign investment, infrastructure and veterans, one question each.

Diane Finley, nine answers. Stephen Harper, six answers. Bev Oda and Denis Lebel, four answers each. John Duncan, Peter MacKay and Julian Fantino, two answers each. James Moore, Tony Clement, Peter Kent, Ed Fast, Jason Kenney, Christian Paradis, Vic Toews, Keith Ashfield and Steven Blaney, one answer each.




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The Commons: The Russians are coming for our pensions

  1. Well I see a pattern:  furious spittle-flecking socialists barking and braying at the government benches, while a cool and calm Conservative calmly replies.  This is why the NDP was named in a study last year as the most uncivil party in the Commons.  

    Even WherrySphere commenter Mark Jarvis, who attended the HoC this week and is palpably hostile to the Conservatives, noted that the Prime Minister speaks in a very soft voice.  Notice how he keeps his hands in the mudra position when he speaks – I’ll bet Emerson taught him that one.

    Judy Sgro is claiming that the Conservatives are “stealing seniors’ pensions” on the Liberal website today.  These people have no sense of proportion, they don’t know when they’ve gone too far, probably because we don’t have a functioning independent press to tell them so.

    “He is not only dumping on the most vulnerable senior citizens including women who are wha wha wha wha wha”

    Earthquake hits; women, minorities most affected.  Shameless pandering.  Women receive $2.60 for every dollar they contribute to CPP, men get $1.60 – equality *that*,  pal.

    • Harper as Buddha…lol…that’s priceless.

       A fast food  come doughnut noshing Buddha maybe?

      That’s the best comment of the day. Next you’ll be telling us he studied  zoroastrianism like Trudeau

      Thatcher took lessons on how to modify her strident delivery by the way…didn’t matter she was still a cow!

    • You really do have a problem with women don’t you?

      • Only the bilious harridans who stalk me here at Maclean’s and add nothing but ugly snark and bitter bile to the conversation.  Kindly find somebody else to stalk, please.

        • And a persecution complex.  You don’t seem to grasp how a discussion site works. 

        • Anyway.  The comment section here is a microcosm of the House, except for the House being majority Conservative:  calm, cool, witty conservatives using evidence-based analysis to advance their positions, and a pack of ill mannered and ill tempered women and – heh – “men” shrieking, making hysterical claims, and generally acting like jackasses.

          That’s why you bozos always lose elections and why Canadians despise you.

          • dis is da best shit i read in a while. yo…. big ups

          • totes love you terrence. 

          • Great standup; when are you taking it on the road?

        • Methinks that you’re full of yourself if you think that anyone would stalk you. Perhaps you should contact “The Authorities” if you have a shred of evidence.

    • dis is da best shit i read in a while. yo…. big ups

    • Hey Titty have you ever wondered why your initials sound like they do. All tits no brains.

  2. Ohhhh …those Russians!

    Sigh.

    •  I wonder if Diane can see them from her house?

      Dumb as a sack of hammers

  3. “Mr. Speaker, we do have an obligation to protect all Canadians, whether that be through our military so that we can protect against foreign invasions,”

    WTF? Now we’re at risk of foreign invasion? And the Cons accuse the opposition of fear-mongering?

    • ‘Lapping at our shores’, remember?  LOL

    • Must be those pirates on the high seas.

    • He has a firm hand on the rocket launcher. I’m thinking it may be time for a psychiatric evaluation.

    • He looks old enough to retire.

      • He acts as if he belongs to a different era/century. 19th century perhaps?

        • He is definitely taking us back, not forward.  At this rate we’ll be discussing a woman’s right to vote by Christmas.

  4. This comment was deleted.

    • Phishing alert!!!!

  5. “…And when, 30 years from now, you’re not begging your Russian oppressors for a serviceable stipend, you’ll thank your lucky stars that Stephen Harper was in charge…”

    Classic! LOL

    But you know, coming from a commie, it’s to be expected he’d play it down right? ;)

  6.  “Mr. Speaker, we do have an obligation to protect all Canadians, whether that be through our military so that we can protect against foreign invasions,” she ventured, “or, indeed, to protect their financial security.”

    That tinfoil hat comment seems to have been missed by all but the present member of the press.  

  7. Duh!  It is simple.  The conservatives want to throw some seniors under the bus so that the bus doesn’t run over seniors.

  8. We heard the Prime Minister announce in Switzerland to the global elite there would be major changes and he stated very clearly that it would be the Old age pension & the supplements given to many seniors whom live below poverty already & will continue to do so as long the Conservative Government is in power. They love the cooperate people with the big bucks to hand to them under the table or how ever they set it up to be done. Seniors needed to be protected from this government. I see it everyday how both provincial & federal Conservatives governments are literally taking the food right out of the seniors mouths.

  9. I’m hoping the media will keep up the pressure on the PM to cut back MPs platinum plated pensions,  way back the same as the best corporate pensions pay;  2% per year starting at age 65.

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