The Harper government tries to bend time

It is premature to discuss in 2014 what was discussed in 2011

by Aaron Wherry

Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Justin Trudeau’s questions yesterday produced a potentially interesting statement from the Prime Minister on income-splitting.

Income splitting was a good policy for Canadian seniors and it will be a good policy for Canadian families.

So does that mean the commitment is back on? Or remains on? The Prime Minister’s director of communications seems to try to maintain that income-splitting is a good policy without quite committing the government to it.

“It is a good policy,” Jason Macdonald, Harper’s director of communications, said in an email. “It has been good for seniors and it would be good for families but, as the prime minister has said, we aren’t in a position to talk about additional tax relief until we have the fiscal room to do so. That means balancing the budget and creating a surplus before we talk about additional relief.”

Maybe the government won’t be in a position to implement additional tax relief until the budget is in surplus, but it can’t possibly not be in a position to talk about additional tax relief until then because it was already in a position to talk about exactly this kind of tax relief three years ago. Jim Flaherty has said that it will be good to have a “fulsome discussion” about this issue in 2015, but the modern concept of time being what it is, it is difficult to understand how 2014 could be too early to discuss something that was actively discussed in 2011.




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The Harper government tries to bend time

  1. Consistency, hobgoblin, blah,blah …

    • Brian. Mouland¡¡¡

  2. Cons have been tripping over their own feet for some time. They have long since lost the plot in their effort to gain votes. Any votes.

  3. As I said during the campaign, the tax promises were going to be the new bait-and-switch as with the long gun registry. “If you keep on voting for us, we’ll eventually consider talking about contemplating this initiative”

    • …not to mention income trusts – non-negotiable before the election, disposable afterwards.

  4. Some good policies are more doubleplus duckspeak than others and only for a select few . It is about the re-election that will not be fair.

  5. Oh this is rich. Liberals complaining about the Conservative’s not committing to a particular policy. This, less than a week after the Liberals held a “policy convention” where not a single policy was actually defined. Oh, the sweet sweet irony!

    • Wait. The Conservative’s aren’t committed to the incoming splitting policy that they, uh, commited to? Could you clarify?
      Thanks stupie!

    • sixteen months until the next election (assuming Harper doesn’t break his own fixed election law again). What’s the hurry with putting out policy positions already? I don’t see the Cons putting anything substantive in the window yet.

    • Let me see if I understand your logic. Because the Liberal party didn’t define any policies at their policy convention it’s acceptable for the Conservative party to backtrack on their backtracking on a policy that they defined as fundamental three years ago. It’s also apparently acceptable for the Conservatives to say it’s too early to talk about income splitting while they keep talking about it.

  6. If it’s too early for the government to talk about income splitting then why do they keep bringing it up?

  7. I would not put past,that Harper prepares the budgets,and jim
    Flaherty is just the delivery man.Harper’s government is like a
    game of chess.To get to him you have to get to his cabinet pawns
    who are also his fall guys.

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