We can't all just get along - Macleans.ca

We can’t all just get along


No sketch today on account of other responsibilities. In lieu, here’s today’s exchange of ironies between Jack Layton and John Baird.

Jack Layton: Mr. Speaker, we understand that the Prime Minister is involved in secret back room talks with the leader of the Bloc Québécois on the parole system. Is this the same Bloc Québécois that we see in the Conservatives’ nasty ads. Imagine this. We have the Prime Minister and the leader of the Bloc working together to design Canadian public policy and yet officials from both parties say the talks are going well. Is this some kind of a new coalition? Is he making the bloquistes the driving force behind government policy? How is it possible?

John Baird: Mr. Speaker, I hope the coalition over there is not coming apart at the seams. Let me say this. We are very concerned that so much important legislation, written by the hand of the Minister of Public Safety, has been stuck in committee for more than 18 months. This government will work with anyone who wants to finally get tough on crime and on criminals.

Jack Layton: Monsieur le Président, la réalité c’est que les députés du Bloc sont ici légitimement. Ils sont ici en raison des votes des Québécois et, malgré les attaques partisanes, les conservateurs, qui cherchent à diviser, qui cherchent à faire peur, qui cherchent à mettre de l’huile sur le feu, négocient avec le Bloc québécois quand cela fait leur affaire. C’est la réalité. Le Bloc a appuyé deux budgets conservateurs et les libéraux le reste. Il me semble que c’est le temps de mettre du NPD dans vos programmes…

John Baird: Mr. Speaker, we believe we have an important responsibility to make this Parliament work and that is exactly what we have been doing. What we have been incredibly frustrated with is that the NDP and its coalition partners have been standing in the way of so much important legislation to get tough on crime, to get tough on violent criminals, to keep our communities safe. We can only hope when the time comes that New Democrats will stand up, do the right thing and join the crime fighting efforts of this government.

Jack Layton: Mr. Speaker, who is dancing with whom? The Conservatives had no problem counting on the Bloc to pass their first two budgets and then counting on the Liberals for all of the rest of them. What are the results? No job recovery, pensions at risk, the cost of heating, the cost of the HST, the cost of living going up. That is what happens with these kinds of dances that go on. We have offered practical solutions to make life more affordable. Why do Conservatives dance with the Bloc instead of working with us to make life more affordable for the Canadian people?

John Baird: Mr. Speaker, I can say the first thing I did in this Parliament was to work with the NDP to pass the Federal Accountability Act. We wanted to eliminate the role of big money in politics and we did so. We did a lot of good and that is great for Canada. What I can say about this is the budget that the Minister of Finance will present in a short while will be focused on jobs, it will be focused on the economy, it will be focused on our efforts to make Canada a magnet for jobs, investment and opportunity, and the very last thing that we should do when we have seen some difficult economic times in recent years is to bring in a whopping tax increase, something that the NDP is too excited about.


We can’t all just get along

  1. LAYTON: No job recovery…


  2. You gotta love John B. – I wish I was a constituent of his so I could personally vote for him next election which by the looks of it won't be until next year. If Jack was smart he would start zeroing in on disaffected liberal left wing nuts now.

  3. And now we have the dreaded Separatists…..' working together to design Canadian public policy'

    Wait…aren't they the villains in Parliament?

  4. We're still waiting for it. Hasn't come yet.

  5. Don't worry, Stephen Harper himself has said several times that any bill passed because of Bloc support is illegitimate and should not be respected.

    Oh wait, that was opposition Stephen Harper….

  6. I encourage everyone to look at this chart from Statistics Canada in January. There has indeed been a job recovery.

    The job recovery is almost complete. We're almost back to where we were at peak pre-recession employment, short by 30,000 jobs, out of total employment of 17.2 million.

  7. And it was wrong.

  8. According to the most recent estimate, Canada has recovered all but 30,000 jobs of the 428,000 jobs lost in the recession. The January numbers are due tomorrow, and they could be enough to push Canada back over the pre-recession threshold.

  9. Yes, they were wrong.

    And in the meantime new people are out looking for work.

  10. Playing the selective statistics game, eh, CR?

    We're not nearly back to where we were. Not true at all, CR. And, really, it's quite unlike you to regurgitate Tory Talking Points so uncritically.

    1. On the numbers actually employed alone, we are not there yet, as you admit.
    2. Factoring in population growth, the raw numbers show we are even further behind. As the Globe (in Emily's link) points out employment is "even farther away from where it needs to be just to keep pace with the growing population"
    3. These reflect the number of people applying for and looking for work. Your stat does not factor in those who stopped looking and are off EI.
    4. Public sector employment grew at a faster pace than private sector employment.
    5. The unemployment rate is still behind where we were before the recession.
    6. And most importantly, it counts each employment the same. For that chart, a full-time position is the same as a part-time position, and part-time employment grew at a fast pace than full-time employment.
    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/71-001-x/2010012/par… (note: data is worse than indicated in this summary and was later corrected)

  11. Actually, the chart he links to is the corrected chart. He is technically, if quite selectively, correct. Total jobs now are just shy. But that is not even half the story. See my comment below.

  12. I get why someone who would only ever vote Conservative would like Baird. He is partisan to the core, will clearly ignore questions from the other side to spout talking points on unrelated issues his party wants to press, will ignore reality in defence of the party's cause, etc. He's a loyal partisan pitbull.

    But, in all seriousness, what redeeming qualities does he have as an elected Member of Parliament representing all constituents of Ottawa-Nepean? Beyond a good loyal soldier/rabid partisan, I honestly don't see any.

  13. Somewhere in Baird's rant about 18-months of stuck bills he forgot to mention the real parliamentary constipation — his boss' prorogation addiction. Certainly one has to account for that in the whole Harper scheme of things, no?

  14. Yes, I know…and it's still shy of pre-'recession' levels…much less all the new people out looking for work since that time.

  15. Okay sorry….I should have waited till I read this. LL

  16. What's your point? It takes time to recover jobs lost in the recession, and Canada is going in the right direction. Perhaps you could run for office so that after the next recession you will be able to just wave that magic wand and *poof*, all the jobs will be back. Until then, our real world government has our real world country on the right track to recover from a very real recession. Or did I misunderstand, because of my being a twit and all?

  17. Ted, I accurately point out the latest job numbers from Statistics Canada, and your response is to accuse me of "regurgitating Tory talking points"? I'm disappointed. That's not the Ted I know.

    Canada has recovered almost all the jobs it lost in the recession. The unemployment rate is still 1.7 points shy of 2007 levels, due to population growth, but the simple fact is that Canada has made a substantial recovery that places us at the top of the world.

    New jobs are being added every month. Clearly, Canada is on the right track. It should be interesting to see the latest job numbers, which are due tomorrow.

  18. "We can only hope when the time comes that New Democrats will stand up, do the right thing and join the crime fighting efforts of Batman…oh wait, I mean this government."

  19. Job numbers perhaps but there's very little to indicate that the quality jobs have returned. An accounting tech now working as a cashier is working but their earning power is considerably less. ( An example but it fits. )
    Not to say the numbers lie, they just aren't going into detail.

  20. If you mean me, I've been in office, thanks.

    After recessions, jobs always come back, and usually far more than before.

    However we've been out of 'recession' for well over a year now.

    This is why they're calling it a 'jobless recovery'

    And even that 'recovery' is in doubt.

  21. He's also a liability in the fight for the middle ground voter. Every party unfortunately has at least one rabid gospel.

  22. Oh, I can get why any constituent would want an MP like Baird. He obviously loves his job and he has excellent skills at getting his message across. Sure he`s partisan, but you know he will fight for his constituents.

    Contrast Baird with a couple of Liberal MP`s along the 401 in Toronto—-one a former hockey player and the other a former mayor. I guess they will run again but I don`t know why they would bother—-they look like they hate their jobs and show zero enthusiasm about their role as an MP.

  23. CR, to counter a true statement – we have not yet recovered from the recession jobs-wise – you provided a single misleading fact, easily countered. Maybe you weren't aware how the Tory war-room is hanging onto and pushing that one misleading fact and, if that is the case, I apologize for lumping you into the same category as those liars.

    I would hope we were adding new jobs every month. We would be in serious crap if we were not. However, we are not at the top of the world, as Emily's link and other data now shows, not even at the top of the G8 in terms of jobs or GDP or economic growth.

    Jobless rate is still behind. Full-time employment – the kind that sustains families – is still way behind. That is not a job recovery.

  24. There could also be a direct link between prorogation and global warming, not to mention that wet summer in Saskatchewan, and some people believe prorogation may be behind that recent dust-up in Egypt.

  25. True, he's not as bad or as much a liar or as much a waste of space as say a Dean Del Mastro or Rob Anders.

    And every hockey team needs their John Kordic. But you'll never see them in the Hall of Fame, and there's a good argument they do more harm to the team than good (Williams was a career minus and almost always a double digit minus; Leafs beloved Wendel Clark was even worse and a career -129).

  26. CR, to counter a true statement – we have not yet recovered from the recession jobs-wise – you provided a single misleading fact, easily countered

    We have not yet fully recovered from the recession jobs-wise. We have mostly recovered. Jack Layton stated that there was "no job recovery". This is demonstrably untrue. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been recovered, to the point where the number of employed Canadians is almost at pre-recession levels.

    Obviously we're not out of the woods yet, in terms of the unemployment rate and FT/PT, but it's sheer sophistry to say "there is no job recovery" simply because we haven't fully returned to Canada's record low unemployment rate of 6% in 2007.

    I apologize for lumping you into the same category as those liars

    Geez, even your apologies are partisan.

    However, we are not at the top of the world, as Emily's link and other data now shows, not even at the top of the G8 in terms of jobs or GDP or economic growth.

    You claim Canada isn't at the top of the G8 in terms of job recovery? Source, please. What country is above us?

    Canada has weathered the recession better than any country in the G8, in terms of economic growth and every other metric. Some other countries had a higher growth rate in the last quarter, simply because their economies had fallen so much farther than ours did.

  27. Incredibly, this is the fourth time the link to that article has been posted in this thread.

  28. Well if you'd paid attention to it the first 3 times…..LOL

  29. There are not enough thumbs down in the world

  30. In my very first comment, at the top of this thread, I cited the "short by 30,000 jobs" figure (the revised number that the G&M article was reporting).

    That should have been your first clue that I already read it.

  31. Oh, c`mon Mikey, I`m just trying to illustrate how silly this whole obsession with prorogation has been and still seems to be for you guys.

  32. Yikes! A short quote, then a single original word, and just look at the mess I started…

  33. Except you also said….'There has indeed been a job recovery…The job recovery is almost complete.'

  34. According to Statistics Canada, Canada has recovered all but 30,000 jobs of the 428,000 jobs lost in the recession. 93% of the jobs have been recovered, so in terms of job numbers the job recovery is almost complete.

    That doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet, as Ted and others have pointed out. We still need to reduce the unemployment rate by 1% and improve the FT/PT mix. But we have recovered most of the jobs that were lost in the recession.

  35. MYL, you're always stirring up trouble… ;-)

  36. The jobless rate is still high, as that G&M article points out. Also, the new jobs are crappier. They probably pay less, are more likely to be temporary, and probably pay fewer benefits to workers.

    Employers may think it's almost a full recovery, but workers getting paid less for fewer hours would not agree

  37. Sorry, Blue, Harper is never going to live down his cowardly behaviour. 'Eek! There's a big bad coalition under the bed! Mommy GG, come and prorogue me quick!'

  38. Here's a hint CR….we have thousands of jobs we can't begin to fill

    Meanwhile we have a massive amount of unemployed people….who will never get their old jobs back. And asking 'would you like fries with that' is not a substitute.

    So dress it up and put lipstick on it….but we haven't even come close to moving forward from the 'recession'.

  39. Did TD see this coming? No.


  40. At least it's more current than AdScam.

  41. "What we have been incredibly frustrated with is that the NDP and its coalition partners have been standing in the way of so much important legislation to get tough on crime…"

    Wait a sec… if you're negotiating with the Bloc to 'get tough on crime', and the Bloc is a 'coalition partner', then how can you be frustrated with them? Obviously the Bloc isn't standing in your way.

    Gotta love logic-defying rhetoric. Only in QP.

  42. A job recovery has occurred only when the unemployment rate has returned. So we're at least 1% away. Not bad, but not nearly there either.

    Unfortunately it's worse than just 1%. What is really shocking is comparing the number of pre-recession full time jobs to the number of post-recession full time jobs. We are really far off when you compare apples to apples. I'm not going to have time today to dig through the byzantine Stats Canada website, but I'll try over the weekend.

  43. "Source please": http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business…. (Fifth time now I believe)

    "“The political tone to the revisions is more important than their economic significance,” Mr. Holt said. “We can't lay claim to being the best-performing economy anymore.”

    He said past performance is a poor predictor of what will happen next. In a research note this week, Mr. Holt highlighted five reasons why the U.S. economy will do better than Canada's this year and next, including more fiscal stimulus, greater pent-up consumer demand, suddenly cheap house prices, depleted business inventories and Canada's lagging export competitiveness.

    Canada continues to face challenges in export markets, productivity, competitiveness and unit labour costs. And all of those factors will limit economic growth and job creation in the months ahead, he said.

    Ultimately, the jobless rate is better gauge of whether the labour market has returned to pre-recession conditions, TD's Mr. Gauthier said. And at 7.6 per cent (unchanged since December), it's still more than a full percentage-point higher than what it was when Canada tumbled into recession at the end of 2008.

    There's also some evidence that the quality of the jobs created since the recession isn't the same. Toronto-based economist Arthur Donner said high-wage, goods-producing industries are still about 40 per cent below pre-recession levels. Governments have played an outsized role in job creation."

    Unfortunately, online, they only have the article. I've been trying to find the graphs that went with the article showing growth and GDP increases in most other developed countries quite a bit ahead of Canada 2 or 3 of the G* countries ahead. The article is from last Friday and my print edition has gone out with recycling, but I'll see if I can't find the graph online when I have some time.

    Careful defending Tory Talking Points, CR, especially when they become anything but spin. While it is true that, because of Liberal economic and fiscal and banking policies, Canada weathered the storm better than any other and suffered far less, we're on the other side now and other countries are bouncing back faster. Which is not to say we're doing poorly at all – thank goodness for the Liberals and strong Canadian banks on that front – but we are no longer leading.

  44. Except you can't say "we've recovered most of the jobs" when more of the jobs recovered were part time, and most of those lost were full time.

    For the job recovery to be complete, people would have to be working about the same number of hours. Otherwise they're worse off than they were before.

    Under your logic, the government could simply hire everyone in Canada to deliver one flyer a week at piecemeal rates, and you'd be claiming full employment. It's a ludicrous stretch of a claim and I'm sure you must know this.

  45. We can't say he'll fight for his constituents until he takes up the fight against his own party on an issue his constituents want. Until then, the best we can say is that he fights for his party.

  46. As I've reminded you elsewhere, Ted, unemployment went up because more people who had quit looking are re-entering the workforce thanks to a good economy. It's actually a good sign.

    As I've also pointed out to you elsewhere, Canada still leads the G8 in job recovery and economic recovery. I look forward to your response after you've had a chance to do your homework this weekend.