The throne speech: first, a couple of quibbles - Macleans.ca
 

The throne speech: first, a couple of quibbles


 

I’ll be posting a Speech from the Throne overview soon. But I’m having trouble getting past the claims on its opening pages that seek to set the stage.

In the very first paragraph, for example, the government declares that Canadians “never shrink from lending a helping hand to the most disadvantaged, wherever they may be.” That’s an upbeat allusion to Haiti, of course. But Canada’s development assistance spending ranked 16th among 22 major donor nations in 2008 (the latest numbers I can quickly find). Nothing to boast about, I’m afraid. We shrink.

Then there’s this sentence on page 3: “From coast to coast to coast, almost 16,000 projects are putting Canadians to work while laying the foundation for future prosperity.” As recently as Dec. 2, 2009, the government’s own Economic Action Plan update said: “Funds have been committed to more than 12,000 projects across the country, of which approximately 8,000 have begun.” Even that claim seemed questionable, so I’ll have to see evidence that 16,000 projects are now underway.

But quibbling takes time and there’s much, much more to read.


 
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The throne speech: first, a couple of quibbles

  1. Well there's other ways to lend a hand then giving money for tangible things like development. there's empty criticism of China's human rights record while crowing just yesterday about the trade agreements which allow Canada to profit from those human rights abuses.

  2. Well if it`s quibbling Mr. Geddes wants, he`s come to the right place; I`m sure he`ll have plenty of help with quibbles and numbers here.

    It is hard to believe we are 16th of 22 per capita in major donor nations but I won`t quibble about your research. I know we just finished ahead of Norway and Austria.

    And rather then count all the federally-funded projects underway, let`s just agree that it is 56 billion dollars worth and see if we can`t scale that number down for next year.

    • That's the deficit (at least a few months ago, estimates keep going up quarter to quarter), not the amount toward new projects. Being as you are so into quibbling today. ;-)

      • Long after the glow of stimulus spending has passed and gov`ts stop bragging about it and opp. appear oblivious to it`s initial need, there will be 56(+) billion dollars to pay back. And it won`t matter whether it was caused by insufficient revenue or increased spending.

  3. Why on earth would you question the truthiness of a government that likes to completely make stuff up about such things as the senate delaying bills instead of the government, its intention to hold fixed election dates, its promise to appoint a public appointments commissioner, its promise to reduce spending, its promise not to increase taxes, etc?

  4. According to the link below (see Appendix) Canada is ranked #9 in Net Official Development Assistance in 2008, and #16 in NDA as a percentage of national income.

    http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublic

  5. According to the link below (see Appendix) Canada is ranked #9 in Net Official Development Assistance in 2008, and #16 in NDA as a percentage of national income.

    http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublic

    • Do you know if that includes Afghanistan (and if so how much, i.e. whether military spending is included and not just development)?

  6. Haven't read the speech yet, but according to Conservative insider and blogger Stephen Taylor, "Out of the 6,000 word throne speech, the entire first half will focus on what the government has done with respect to the economy and what it plans to do moving forward."

    3,000 words of bragging? They needed 3 months off to come up with "we've been doing a good job for you"? Is that what a Throne Speech is supposed to be about? Isn't that what they've been spending nearly $100 million of our tax dollars telling us already with the EAP ads every 30 seconds?

  7. Haven't read the speech yet, but according to Conservative insider and blogger Stephen Taylor, "Out of the 6,000 word throne speech, the entire first half will focus on what the government has done with respect to the economy and what it plans to do moving forward."

    3,000 words of bragging? They needed 3 months off to come up with "we've been doing a good job for you"? Is that what a Throne Speech is supposed to be about? Isn't that what they've been spending nearly $100 million of our tax dollars telling us already with the EAP ads every 30 seconds?

  8. Haven't read the speech yet, but according to Conservative insider and blogger Stephen Taylor, "Out of the 6,000 word throne speech, the entire first half will focus on what the government has done with respect to the economy and what it plans to do moving forward."

    3,000 words of bragging? They needed 3 months off to come up with "we've been doing a good job for you"? Is that what a Throne Speech is supposed to be about? Isn't that what they've been spending nearly $100 million of our tax dollars telling us already with the EAP ads every 30 seconds?

    • Actually, that was pretty much the whole theme of the Throne Speech. "Look at what we've already done"

      Probably because there wasn't much new to talk about. Although the bit about supporting the development of new space technologies especially in relation to our Arctic sovereignty peaked my interest. Is Harper looking back to Raygun?

    • "we've been doing a good job for you"

      Pfft. All those commercials, photo ops, billboards and websites and I'm STILL waiting for Stephen Harper to come and fix my broken doorknob.

  9. It includes Afghanistan, but not military spending.

  10. There you go, Maclean's Editor, asking questions. What do you think this is? Some sort of a democracy.

    Why can't we just let Harper say what he wants and bask in his brilliance?

    • Because of rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis

  11. And what's up with changing the national anthem? Is that important to anyone?

  12. You think you're going to get any clarification or confirmation of those numbers? You are an optimist, and I don't mean optimist like the Club kind. You know, Optimist Club, like the Lions Club? Wait, what was my point?

    • Rotary Club. I once read a speech that Chuck Grassley gave to the Rotary Club
      in Lincoln, Nebraska. Just like that.