This is the week that was

by Aaron Wherry

We explained everything you needed to know about the Conservatives’ carbon tax farce. Thomas Mulcair accused Conservative MPs of lying. Greg Fingas considered how the NDP should respond. The Ottawa Citizen wondered how stupid Conservatives thought Canadians to be. Thomas Mulcair hoped the media would report the truth. The Conservatives were outraged. Elizabeth May and Stephane Dion lamented. Dan Gardner invoked Monty Python. Clare Demerse explained the problem with the Harper government’s approach. And the farce was particularly strong in the Conservatives who ran for office in 2008.

The fall sitting began with talk of a new omnibus budget bill. The Harper government referred its Senate reforms to the Supreme Court and Stephane Dion chided the Conservatives. Conservative MPs dealt with budget cuts. China divided the cabinet. Joe Comartin was named deputy speaker and promptly laid the smack down. And the Harper government appealed a Quebec court’s decision on gun registry data, while an Ontario judge struck down another of the Conservatives’ changes to the justice system.

Thomas Mulcair rallied the New Democrats and chastised the Conservatives. Stephen Woodworth had postcards and petitions on his side as Motion 312 received its second hour of debate. The New Democrats called on the Prime Minister to meet with the premiers. The Liberals tried to compare Mr. Harper to Mitt Romney. The NDP’s concern about the trade deficit was actually a concern about the account deficit, which was maybe not worth being concerned about. The Conservatives refused to table a separate bill to change MP pensions. Kevin Page restated his concerns about the government’s budget cuts. And Stephen Harper honoured Peter Lougheed.

And this week had four sketches.

Previous weeks that were here.




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This is the week that was

  1. “The NDP’s concern about the trade deficit was actually a concern about the account deficit, which was maybe not worth being concerned about.”

    The NDP are right. When discussing trade balance, economists always refer to the current account. According to Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, the current account is “a broad measure of the trade balance including income on investments.”

    On the Statistics Canada website, one can see how the current account (trade) balance is calculated. It shows the difference between imports and exports of: a) goods and services; b) investment income; and c) transfers.

    According to Investopedia, its definition is: “The difference between a nation’s total exports of goods, services and transfers, and its total imports of them.”

    Stephen Gordon is being dishonest claiming the current account is *calculated* by the “national accounting” model of the economy. That only shows the *relationship* between the current account, private spending and investing, and public taxes and spending, not how’s it’s actually calculated:

    CurrentAccount = (savings – investment) + (taxes – spending)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_deficits_hypothesis

    • According to the “twin deficit” theory, a trade (current account) deficit is just as bad as a budget deficit. In fact all the bankrupted US PIIGS (America, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) ran huge trade deficits before their debt crises hit.

      Neo-cons said their trade deficits were no big deal, too.

      According to an earlier Maclean’s article (before Mulcair said anything and the political reactions were cooked up):

      “There isn’t such a thing as a free lunch: to the extent that a country continues to live beyond its means—i.e. runs large deficits with the rest of the world—it is being bankrolled by foreign creditors. …
      “The current account deficit is getting at least as ugly as that other kind of deficit.”
      http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/09/13/what-canadas-trade-deficit-says-about-our-vulnerability-to-a-global-slowdown/

      • Aaron Wherry, you are one wierd looking bugger. Your head looks like this big ass light bulb with hair.

        • What does this nonsense have to do with the trade deficit debate?

          • What debate would that be? You’re the only one commenting you fucking idiot.

          • I’m challenging Stephen Gordon’s position, which I find debatable, by giving the other side of the story. One could consider it a form of debate… Someone can read what they wrote and read what I wrote then make an informed decision. I am merely opposed to personal attacks. They only serve to derail the discussion… That’s Harper’s MO…

  2. The NDP plan is a declaration of war against the average Canadian whom would have to pay indirectly more for goods & services that use carbon with a cap & trade increasing their final costs to the consumer. Extorting industries to purchase carbon offsets outside increases their costs if they do not pass the costs on it will lower profits resulting with lower dividends payable to pension plans hence less for pensioners to share. We live on a carbon based planet with carbon based lifeforms a NDP plan increases prices on everything in proportion to the amount of carbon emitted with their production, transportation to market or use entailed, gas would be + $3.00 a liter if the industry has to purchase carbon credits from government, 40% of everything you use contains a carbon factor. Sector specific encourage industries to re-invest, a 18% reduction of refinery emissions (equal to the amount of carbon in a human body) by stopping leaks gives 18% more product to sell.

    • The Conservative plan (direct regulation of carbon emissions)
      is a declaration of war against the average Canadian whom would have to pay indirectly more for goods & services that use carbon with regulations increasing their final costs to the consumer. Extorting industries to conform to emissions regulations increases their costs if they do not pass the costs on it will lower profits resulting with lower dividends payable to pension plans hence less for pensioners to share. We live on a carbon based planet with carbon based lifeforms a Conservative plan increases prices on everything in proportion to the amount of carbon emitted with their production, transportation to market or use entailed, gas would be + $3.00 a liter if the industry has to purchase carbon credits from government, 40% of everything you use contains a carbon factor. Sector specific encourage industries to re-invest, a 18% reduction of refinery emissions (equal to the amount of carbon in a human body) by stopping leaks gives 18% more product to sell.

      (…of course, cap-and-trade is generally considered to be a more efficient and less costly way to reduce emissions vs. direct regulation)

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