What does it all mean?


On the same day the Prime Minister promises “major transformation,” Tony Clement hints at deeper budget cuts.

Paul thinks we just heard a Throne Speech. Mark Kennedy figures the age of eligibility for Old Age Security will be raised from 65 to 67. Peter Julian and Scott Brison are worried.

“Now, he’s threatening … seems to be trying to precondition us to cuts to the OAS, which is there to help the lowest income Canadians,” charged Mr. Brison. “At a time when other global leaders at Davos are addressing income inequality not only is Harper ignoring it he’s threatening to make it worse.” Mr. Brison asserted the OAS is “very important for low income seniors and one of the reasons why Canada is successful economically is because we are progressive socially and we help vulnerable people.”

Tangentially, Susan Delacourt notes that the Prime Minister was recently advised to think “big.”

And for whatever insight might be gleaned into where this is all going—or at least what the next little while is going to sound like—here are the official Conservative talking points on the Prime Minister’s speech.

The Prime Minister made it clear to the world that our number-one priority is prosperity – that is jobs and economic growth.

The wealth of western economies is no more inevitable than the poverty of emerging ones.

It is based on the good, growth oriented policies, the tough choices and hard work done in the past.

Under our Government, Canada will make the transformations necessary to sustain economic growth, job creation and prosperity, now and for the next generation.

This means making better economic choices now and preparing for the demographic pressures the Canadian economy faces.

We will continue
· to keep tax rates down
· to make the key investments in science and technology necessary to sustain a modern, competitive economy, and
· to advance our trade linkages.

We will make it a national priority to ensure we have the capacity to export our energy products beyond the United States, and specifically to Asia.

In this regard, we will soon take action to ensure that major energy and mining projects are not subject to unnecessary regulatory delays – that is, delay merely for the sake of delay.

This complements work we are already doing with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to cut the burden of red tape on entrepreneurs.

We will also undertake significant reform of our immigration system.

We will ensure that, while we respect our humanitarian obligations and family reunification objectives, we make our economic and labour force needs the central goal of our immigration efforts in the future.

Canada’s ageing population, if not addressed promptly, has the capacity to undermine Canada’s economic position

Our demographics also constitute a threat to the social programs and services that Canadians cherish.

For this reason, we will be taking measures in the coming months to ensure the sustainability of our social programs and fiscal position over the next generation.

Each nation has a choice to make: whether to create the conditions for growth and prosperity, or to risk long-term economic decline.

Canada’s choice will be, with clarity and urgency, to seize and to master our future, to be a model of confidence, growth, and prosperity in the 21st century.


What does it all mean?

  1. The brakes are off.

    The stimulus of which Steve brags only came about because he faced his political hanging.  Now whenever he and Flaherty get some cockamamie idea there will be no way to counter-act it (beyond massive public demonstrations and outrage) until 2015.

    This type of governing feeds the extremes at the expense of the sensible centre.

  2. So who in the world would have guessed that Mr Brison, a Liberal, I believe, and Mr Julien, another Liberal, one supposes, are worried? Canada has a nationally and  internationally much admired Prime Minister, a Conservative, who has an agenda to take some of the utterly unaffordable bleeding heart Liberalism out of the body politic of the country. And I am not referring to help for the truly needy.

    • What is that you’re smoking?

    • As for the meat of Mr Wherry’s story, summarising the PM’s Davost remarks, should we not all be relieved that Canada has a leader who knows where the priorities lie?    

      • Are you attempting to debate yourself, you little master debater, you?

    • “…who has an agenda to take some of the utterly unaffordable bleeding heart Liberalism out of the body politic of the country. And I am not referring to help for the truly needy”

      Guess you have no choice after you’ve blown over $10 billion on a  year over year basis on badly needed  gst cuts and you need to spend all that money on items the most needy crave, like overpriced jets and superfluous prisons. Still, he did try to shut down insite, bless his little neo con heart.

  3. As for the meat of Mr Wherry’s remarks, are we not indeed fortunate to have a leader who has thought hard about the priorities in what are difficult times? 

    • Stop inhaling.

      • Em, it should be, “There! Are! Four! Lights!”


        • LOL you are the first one to recognize it…congrats!

  4. “Our demographics also constitute a threat to the social programs and services that Canadians cherish”

    Git those old farts out of their wheel chairs and up and doing someting useful i say. Didn’t someone say something about building a pipeline somewhere? I was planning to pick up my OAS cheque but i think i’ll go off and learn how to drive one of them there supertankers…never too old to learn i say.

    • So… what should we do in regards to demographic challenges? 

      Given that people are living longer, healthier lives (and have already spent a lot money I and my children will have to pay back) why shouldn’t older people work longer?   Old age pension was supposed to take care of the twilight years, not guarantee that you don’t work for 1/3 of your life.

      • ‘All those people’ have paid into the pension all their lives.

        Paid for your education, too.

        Work longer?  Sure.  Profs and CEOs and business people…..but explain that to a miner or a construction worker or a labourer.

      • I have news for you, there are already a lot of people who have to keep on working well into their senior years regardless. Do you find this an equitable proposal? Those who can afford to retire will continue to do so; only those who are relatively  poor will be forced to continue working. 
        If Harper really gave a fig about equity surrounding OAS he would if anything claw more back from middle class voter[ fat chance ] who can afford to lose it rather then rob some old farts just because they may live five more years without the aid of a respirator.

          • Indeed…i’ve been creating such jobs my whole life.

          • I think this is a good point.  More seniors working longer means fewer opportunities for younger workers.  In the long term, unemployed younger workers are a far more serious problem for the national economy.

            I agree that the cutoff should be determined by income and not age. I could even support the Conservatives if they would take this step.

    • I’m guessing that the concept of “remaining on topic” has never actually been explained to you.

      • It does require that you expand your thinking outside that
        tidy little box you keep it in. Sorry.

  5. What a pompous ass.

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