Why we should watch Stephen Harper and learn

Mark Blinch/Reuters

Mark Blinch/Reuters

Here in the Parliamentary press gallery, we take our role as gatekeepers seriously, which is why we tend to laugh nervously when somebody takes our gate away. Hence the forced hilarity in response to news that the Prime Minister’s Office has been producing, since January, weekly videos of Stephen Harper going about his business.

These videos, which appear on the PM’s website and on YouTube under the rubric 24-Seven, could hardly be more bland. Each runs under four minutes. In one, Harper announced government funding into autism research. In another, he shook hands with Prince Charles in Winnipeg. In a third, he sat down with Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania’s president, to discuss maternal and child health. In yet another, Laureen Harper told schoolchildren, “We need to make texting and driving as unacceptable and intolerable as drinking and driving.”

We were soon told this is an outrage. The Canadian Press rang up the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “In democratic nations, the government leadership does not employ camera operators, sound editors, video editors to produce regular updates on what the leader is doing,” said the CTF’s Gregory Thomas. “That’s a Kim Jong Un kind of operation.”

You can see the similarity. Kim Jong Un presides over a North Korean regime that shoots defectors, starves its population and threatens nuclear war against its neighbours. Stephen Harper appears on YouTube videos throwing paper airplanes in a school gymnasium next to Prince Charles. It’s tomayto-tomahto, really.

To the extent the CTF had a substantive point, it’s wrong. Barack Obama in Washington, David Cameron in London and Tony Abbott in Canberra all produce regular video updates. Canadian prime ministers have had official photographers for decades. The photographers’ cameras these days shoot video. It would be weird if a government passed up the chance to tell its story with moving pictures, an option that is, after all, easily within the technical grasp of most Canadian schoolchildren.

But let me make a grander claim for Harper’s videos. His political opponents had better be watching every instalment, because if Harper’s Conservatives win in 2015, it will be because he routinely does the sort of thing 24-Seven chronicles.

There are always two stories to tell about any government. Any government is a parade of cock-ups and lousy judgment calls. Any government is also an army of people working hard to improve the life of Canadians. We’re loaded for bear when it comes to telling you the first story, as reporters should be. But in an election campaign, the Conservatives will get to talk about the things they’ve gotten right, or tried to. The tale Harper tells at the next election will have a lot more to do with autism research, safe texting and maternal and child health than with Nigel Wright’s cheque to Mike Duffy.

Now, if that’s the test, millions of voters will cheerfully flunk the Harper Conservatives. This government is good at doing outrageous things. Its prostitution bill has come under a lot of criticism. Its cyberbullying bill is loaded with threats to the privacy of Canadians who may have done nothing wrong. Its new privacy commissioner used to help the RCMP invade your privacy. It seems bent on buying F-35 fighter jets, after it got into so much trouble for trying to buy F-35s before the last election.

The current moment is starting to remind me of the period before the last election, which the Conservatives won with a solid plurality of the vote and a majority of the seats. Then as now, there was a lot of good reason to be cross at Harper: Afghan detainees, Bev Oda’s doctored memo, the Conservatives’ refusal to table proper cost estimates for the F-35s. Taken together, these issues were the stuff of Michael Ignatieff’s “Rise up” speeches near the end of the 2011 campaign.

Ignatieff lost. Voters had other concerns on their minds. On those concerns, what do the Conservatives have to show for themselves now? Well, there’s the Luxembourg Income Study, which concludes that Canada has passed the United States as the country with the most affluent middle class in the world. There’s a report from the parliamentary budget officer detailing a recurring $30 billion every year in income tax cuts that have been introduced since 2005. The budget officer specifies that, in the aggregate, those tax cuts are progressive, bestowing more benefit on low-income Canadians than on those with higher earnings. There are successful visits to Poland for the anniversary of the free elections of 1989, to Normandy for the D-Day commemoration, and to Brussels for a G7 meeting on the situation in Ukraine.

Even on the stuff the government likes to talk about, its record is unfinished. It’s frankly amazing to me that, eight months after Harper was in Brussels to announce free trade with Europe, we still don’t have free trade with Europe. It’ll be more amazing if he doesn’t have it nailed down in time for the 2015 election. Then he can make his case for re-election—the case he has been building week after week this year, if anyone cares to pay attention.

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Why we should watch Stephen Harper and learn

  1. …hence, the need for a full Transparency Act, which should have been implemented years ago.

    • I notice the author didn’t go out of his way to tell readers what the viewership ratings of 24/7 are. Its narcissistic(too much botox bother way)not dictatorship(im pretty, im pretty, look at me, im pretty), and people see it for what it is. Narcissism can eventually lead a path to dictatorship though. Any PM that has to stick his spouse out to politic for them is a sign of weakness, this is Canada, not the US, thank cod in Canada we elect a PM not their spouses, that’s nothing more than pandering and desperation, in this country anyway.

  2. Re: the Canada vs US income statement. Did Canada pass or did the US fall?

    • …it’s somewhere up there with the 2% so-called “affluent middle class” that exists somewhere in Canada today ?

    • if i recall correctly, the houses many canadians purchased 20 or 30 years ago have gone up in value while many parts of the us housing market have fared very poorly. that is pretty much the deciding factor.

  3. The comparsion between Canada’s and North Korea’s brand of dictatorship is right on the mark. Canada is experiencing what dictatorship feels like – hopelessness, fear, being ignored, disrespected, not valued, used, and on & on.The current cyberbulling bill introduced because two teenage girls committed suicide has thrown open the door for Harper to add on “spying by police” with no restrictions. Talk about using Canadians for political advantage. It is not surprising when one watched Harper at the meeting with the girls’ parents – complete disconnection by Harper ( but scheming then how to use this to his advantage). Time we righted this type of governing in 2015.

    • You really need to go to North Korea or some Arab countries. Really, you do. Then you would never make silly comments comparing a Canadian Prime Minister to a REAL dictator.

      • Dictatorships don’t usually happen quickly. There would be resistance that way.

        They happen slowly…incrementally…when nobody is looking.

        • Actually, dictatorships usually DO happen quickly. They’re usually the result of military coups.

          As much as I hate Harper and pretty much everything his government has done, and while they do have a serious authoritarian streak (as most conservative governments do), comparing them to places like North Korea and Nazi Germany is just asinine and hyperbolic.

          His opponents need to focus less on his missteps and more on generating policy alternatives. Most people who aren’t conservative partisans and pay attention to Canadian politics are already well aware of their many, many faults. Bringing them up over and over isn’t going to win votes; a credible alternative with strong policies will (not to mention a good ground game and all the other elements of a good campaign).

          • There is more than one kind of dictatorship….and method….Hitler for example was not a military coup.

            Put a frog in a pot of water, and slowly turn the heat up…..

    • You must be delusional to compare any government that has ever held Office in Canada to the regime in North Korea.
      From MacDonald through Trudeau to Chretien to Harper, there have been good,mediocre and poor governments, but none even remotely resemble a dictatorship.
      Get a reality check.

      • Well, the names of demonstrators against the Government are to be sent back to Ottawa. Remember the old “when they came for” quote from the thirties.

        • Actually, J.W.

          The names being sought are those professional protestors or rabble rousers who employ violence as part of their “technique”

          Any government would be remiss for not doing the same.

  4. the wording of the article gives (to me at least) the impression that the author is saying that the 30 billion is an annual saving while it is in fact the total of the savings of all years since 2006. i think harper puts it that way hoping Canadians will make the same mistake

    • I don’t like being “corrected” by someone who substitutes an error for something I got right. The tax cuts are annual; the $30 billion figure is for the year 2014 alone. Harper didn’t say it, the Parliamentary Budget Officer did. You could look it up.


      • Paul, given the respect that Canadians have for the previous Parliamentary Budget Officer, was it convenient to leave out the name of the PBO who made these claims? The report you link is dated May 27, 2014. Kevin Page’s term ended on March 22, 2013, and his replacement was named in September of the same year, so if you really must conflate a report by the Parliamentary Budget Office, with a statement by the Parliementary Budget Officer, then I think you should, at least, name which PBO you mean.

        As to the tax “savings” passed on to Canadians, you are correct, as far as it goes. It might be instructive to note those “savings” year by year, and to compare them to the change in the National Debt, for the same years. Said National Debt has increased by an average of $35 Billion per year for the last 4 years. What would the net savings of the tax payer be for each of those years?

        • Really tired of doing your work for you guys. PBO analyst Trevor Shaw wrote the report. He joined the office when Page was the budget officer. This, too, you could look up.

          • True enough, and you will see that I did look it up, to point out that your claim, that the statement was made by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, was incorrect. It was made by his office or his staff. Nevertheless, your implication that the officer and his office are one and the same thing, might come in handy in an unrelated scandal in Parliament, with regard to the suggestion that it was not sufficient for the NDP to have cleared its actions with the Speaker’s office. According to your logic, the Speaker’s office and the Speaker are one and the same thing….

          • By the way, I notice you didn’t comment on my question of how that supposed $30 Billion in taxpayer’s money compares, year by year, to the $35 Billion average annual increase in National Debt over the past 4 years… Never mind. It was a rhetorical question. I simply don’t want to do your work for you.

      • Can’t be bothered to look it up, but would I be correct in assuming something like half that yearly tax cut comes in the form of annual loses to the treasury of 14 billion or more of gst revenue? A tax cut that has been widely panned by most economists.( and journos) Doesn’t look quite so rosy now, does it! Not that I expect SH to make that kind if distinction. If not for those cuts we might not be talking about annual deficits or major lay offs in the civil service. Bragging about tax cuts( if he chooses to) will be a riskier move than merely claiming…voila… you’re all 30 billion better off under me, so don’t mind all the other crap I’ve pulled.

        • Cutting the federal share of the GST creates tax room for the Ontario and Quebec to raise the provincial portion to battle their deficits.

          Provinces are in charge of the costs of an aging population (health and social services). They need the federal government to create taxing space for them.

          • you can bet yoru sweet little patootie that ain’t what harpers a-selling when he swans about talking about the 30 billion he put back in your pocket, kiddo.

          • And have they raised their share? No! And they won’t most likely because its politically toxic. Which is what Harper wanted anyway. So please spare me the drivel that he wanted to help out provinces. It’s all about gutting the options of future federal govts – particularly ones not his.
            Ask yourself how likey was it ever that spending cash put back into the pockets of voters will be available for provincial govts to take back? It’ll take an extraordinary brave provincial govt to try it – although Wynne might give it a go.

        • KCM2 wrote:
          “would I be correct in assuming something like half that yearly tax cut comes in the form of annual loses to the treasury of 14 billion or more of gst revenue? ”

          And here is a fine example of “progressive” thinking in action.

          Here’s a hint KC…..this is not a LOSS to the treasury; it is simply people who EARNED the money, being allowed to spend it as they see fit. Believe it or not, the people who WORK for their money, are the best decision makers when it comes to how it is spent. That is what progressives have trouble with….they think ALL the money is theirs.

          As for laying off folks in the civil service….good. There are too many of them.

          • Did you enjoy watching the Feds reaching into your pocket book to pay off the multi billion dollar deficit anyway James. I see the part where economic consensus is that the best way to let misers like you hold onto or invest their personal pennies is through an income tax cut( which is progressive) and not through a cut to gst which encouraged spending. A govt with more than 3 working brain cells would have made the gst cut temporary and later cut the PITs of individual Canadians. It has nowt to do with being “progressive” and everything to do with not being a tunnel vision moron like you.

      • The mistake is indeed mine, although it was made honestly. I based my information on a Canadian Press article of May 27th, which, to my mind at least, can be taken as a little vague about whether the $30 billion was total or annual. (The only place I think its clear is near the end where it expresses the savings as a precentage of next years projected revenue).

  5. My feeling is the opposition needs this time to take the line that Harper isn’t delivering on the stuff he has promised, as much as run around screaming rise up! Rise up! Free yourselves from the yoke of oppression – as MI did. With hindsight it’s possible to see now it’s pretty much all MI had really, a sort of hail Mary. Not that Harper shouldn’t come in for some scathing criticism for the anti democratic instincts he has shown. But essentially I think Paul’s right – someone has to strip away the sound manager ball from him. It shouldn’t be that hard for a talented communicator…all kinds of national energy/ resource projects and pipines unfinished, free trade agreements gathering mothballs or unratified. SH’s antagonistic style as an impediment to moving the country foreword – that sort of thing.
    Clearly that’s the line Trudeau had opted for. And while I think Mulcair will and has done a good job of burning Harper from an ethics/ autocrat pov, I doubt the NDP will be able to cash in. The party had no solid record in governing to fall back on; and far too many shaky episodes in the closet when it has had the ball provincially.
    It’s taken far too long for the opposition to key in not on just where Harper’s vulnerabilities are, but just how shaky are his claims to success.

    • Mr. Wells gives a fascinating account of the gas tax reduction the harper conservatives once ran on, and disapepared completely down a memory hole afterward.

    • provincially the NDP were in governance in saskatchewan for 47 years.the province of saskatchewan has the lowest per capita debt than any other province.

      • I didn’t say everything the NDP ever did was/is bad; Barrett in bc for instance brought in ICBC and the ALR. Both of them policies to be proud of. I’m old fashioned enough to think their at their best as the conscience of the land.

    • KCM2 wrote:
      “My feeling is the opposition needs this time to take the line that Harper isn’t delivering on the stuff he has promised”

      That’s the point KC…..Harper HAS delivered; as Paul has indicated. Harper wanted Canadians to keep more of their own money, and he has delivered. Trudeau wants middle-income voters to believe the middle class is in trouble. Problem of course, the middle income looks at what they get to keep now, compared to what they could keep before.

      Do you believe what Trudeau is saying…..or do you believe your own lying eyes when looking at your T4?

      • There’s a raft of stuff Harper hasn’t delivered on – that was my point if not Paul’s. And cutting the gst may be delivering, but since it made little or no economic sense, who cares…beyond ideologues such as yourself?

        • KCM2:

          We actually agree on the GST to a point. I think the consumption tax was less effective than a reduction in income taxes, however, I think all tax cuts are good. Some are better than others’ but overall, any reduction in taxes is a good thing. As for economic sense……I’m all for it. I’d rather that Goverenments of all types spend only what they can afford. Go into debt when you have to, but then pay it off quickly. Harper’s plan; as was pointed out by Paul Wells years ago……is to force any Government in the future to be very careful about what they promise. If they promise too much…then only an increase in taxes will pay for the promises.

          As for who cares about lower taxes…..I’d say anyone that actually has to pay them….which probably leaves you out.

          • Buzzer!!!!!
            Wrong answer James. Logically all tax cuts are not good if they result in bad policy at the imperative or behest of good politics; as with the gst cut. As Brian famously said, he had a choice and better options.
            Wrong place to peddle your ( and Harpers) baloney bud.

          • KCM2

            As you are one of those folks who has never met a tax increase you didn’t approve of…I’m not surprised by your response.

            All tax cuts are good………it is only the size of the cut that needs to be considered.

            If cutting taxes means there isn’t any money available for wasteful “feel good” programs, or vote buying schemes….I’m all for them.

            the GST cut was good…..but it was not as good as a cut to income tax.

  6. Its not the videos that bother me as much as the flouting of taxpayers money to produce them, like the EAP adds. The US lives for entertainment, and the people of the US demand that sort of thing from its president, this is all foreign to Canadians, we have never seen this kind of flouting of the publics money in all the years in Canadian politics(the sponsorship scandal don’t hold a candle to harpers insatiable appetite to the public funds), and it looks more like pandering than authenticity. I mean after all, Harper lives in his own bubble and never allows Canadians a view of his personal side unless it costs the public in the wallet. Just because Harper got a pass from the senate scandal and robocalls from the court, dosnt mean Canadians don’t feel there was any wrongdoing, and the only fingers to be pointed at for these fiascos, is the Harper government, they created these problems. Taxpayers are not as forgiving as this author is. This is all inside the bubble malarkey.

    • I have to laugh at the stink they are making over the NDP mail-outs. My (Conservative) MP (Since 2011) has probably spent hundreds of thousands all by himself sending out highly partisan junk mail (at the rate of about 2 a month). After Harper got elected in 2006, our MP was in fact not Conservative and we received constant partisan junk mail from a Tory MP who was not anywhere near our riding.

      • If we want these mailings to stop….answer is simple in theory.

        The public shouldn’t be footing the bill. Force the Parties to pay for the mailings, and we would quickly see a reduction in the “junk” stuffed in our mailboxes.

  7. I am a conservative but I don’t let politics blind me to reality, Harper is a Orwellian statism managing the people type, thus its a stage show.

    People always think left and right, but there is also statism versus liberty. Me, I am a conservative-libertarian not a conservative-statism. THus, I can’t really buy into Harper’s statism show and BS the people while using taxpayers money for uncommon good.

    Don’t get me wrong, autism research is a good cause and good common use of taxpayers money. When I mean uncommon good, I mean gov-union wages double of real world, bailouts for corporations, banks, unions, auto and other buddies looking for inflated contracts like ship building. I mean defective F35 subsidization to chase moose in the tundra when much cheaper and new F18s are actually better suited to Canada. I mean Air Canada-Boeing scandal like Mulroney-Airbus….you know taxpayers are going to be hooked with the new planes AC is getting.

    I am against uncommon good for no durable value to taxpayers. Its corruption pure and simple. And it isn’t conservative (nor ethical), as is robbing kids and unborn futures for BoC thin air money for statism governemtn debt.

    Sad to say, no good choices on the ballot. Its all about screwing people with hidden taxes, hidden protectionisms driving up the costs of living and wage levels to uncompetitive amounts, so Ottawa gets more GST to waste.

    Reasons Harper and Ottawa can’t solve the economic problems is that its bloat and waste is the people.

    Canada could be a great country, but we waste too much on money for nothing statism and political egos.

  8. I’ve watched Steven Harper. I’ve learned other things.

    • And I’m watching YOU! BG.

  9. Paul Wells is mistaken. These videos are plastered all over Harper’s website and if you think you can avoid them, think again.

    On google search, type in Prime Ministers – note Prime Ministers – of Canada. You are automatically on Harper’s website with his name in such large type it covers your screen, Beside it a cozy picture of Stephen, the misses and kids followed by a large arrow. Click on the arrow and there’s a “news” item describing Stephen latest, mundane activity.

    Scroll down to the next website – Prime Ministers of Canada, Click on it and you’re on Harper’s website again with the heading, Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada on the left side with the Canadian coat of arms and pictures of the former PM’s. Click in Sir John A and you get the same heading and a picture of Sir John A with a very short biography of him. Scroll down to Photos and there’s Stephen Harper’s picture. Scroll down to Videos and there’s Harper’s 24-Seven video. Click on the Sir John A’s link and you get a list of all Harper’s speeches where he mentions our first PM.

    Every former PM’s page has the same heading and photos and video of Harper. Paul Martin’s link is just bizarre. Most of the items listed are about anyone who’s name is Martin who has received an award from Harper or attended some function that Harper wants to brag about.

    No wonder Harper has two planes. He needs the extra one to carry his over-blown ego.

    • And that’s even before we get to the hall somewhere in Parliament that is a shrine to the man. Nothing but wall to wall pics of his right honorableship, according to Kady O’mally. He’s not the only gallactically outsized ego that’s occupied 24 Sussex; but he is the most obnoxious.

      • O’mally completely misinterpreted the pic display which is in honour of party leaders. Guess what? Harper is the ONLY leader so far of the Conservatives. The party is responsible for the display, not Harper. Harper does not even like photo ops.

        • Rubbish. Kady clearly said there were NO other pics on the wall except Harpers. What part of that being narcissistic in the extreme don’t you get?

    • So now Google is part of the conspiracy?

      All these commenters are missing (and proving) Paul’s point. While the press gallery, politically active people, NGOs, etc are all busy losing their minds about this guy, he’s methodically building a boring but managerially competent case for reelection. The videos are a window into the offer he’s going to make to Canadians — budget in balance, someone responsible minding the store, etc. We can laugh them off as goofy but it’s not about the videos its about what he’s doing each and every week, and these snoozer videos summarize this for everybody in plain sight.

      • The PM’s website and automatic opening are courtesy of the taxpaying Canadian people who certainly didn’t have any say in it let alone conspire with the Cons to produce or arrange its placement on google.

        You’ve obviously bought into the Harper propaganda that the so-called “liberal” press are conspiring against him and that NGO’s are just a bunch a foreign money launderers out to get him. The public overwhelming supported the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court over Harper and his personal attack on her. It just may be that his enemies list and trite name calling are no longer salable campaign strategies.

        Anyone can balance a budget. All you have to do is cut expenditures until you match incoming revenues. How Harper accomplishes that will be the issue. In the next election, Canadians will vote on how his management affected their own, their families, their friends and society’s well-being. They will not vote on what the paranoid, egocentric Harper says he’s done in his half billion dollar, tax funded action plan ads or on some amateur promo produced by his 10 million dollar a year PMO hacks which Canadians may very well see as a despicable waste of their money.

        • Budster noted correctly:
          “Anyone can balance a budget. All you have to do is cut expenditures until you match incoming revenues.”

          the problem of course, budster…..is that politicians are only concerned with power; and budgets are secondary considerations. We could easily balance budgets, but all the usual victim groups, unions, special interests, etc……apply too much pressure. Look at what just happened in Ontario.

          Hard to balance the budget, when you promise “freebies” to folks if they vote for you. when the time comes (as it did in detroit) that those who feed off the system outnumber those who pay for the system…..collapse inevitably follows. This is why socialism will always fail.

          • Yes James. Just look at what happened in Ontario. The voters didn’t fall for the guy who can’t do basic math functions and imported the failed economic policy from the US lunatic right wingers, talking points and all. Nor diid the voters miss the “freebies” Timmie promised to the real bottom feeders, the conservatives best pals, corporations.

            Obviously you know even less about Detroit than you know about Hudak’s and his Progressive-in-name-only Conservatives’ promises.

          • budster,

            I knew Wynne would be re-elected, but to be fair, I didn’t expect a majority. I wanted to see the Libs win, as now they will actually have to make some hard choices which will tick off the folks she bought the election with. Unions won’t be happy when the axe falls.

            As for Tim Hudak….blech!!.

            couldn’t stand the guy.

            As for detroit…..i suggest you visit. It’s a shitzhole. Has been for years.

            that’s what happens when the productive folks leave, and the publicly paid retirees, or welfare-for-life communities stay to collect the government cheques that are bound to bounce.

          • You assume that the Ontarians who voted for Wynne were only after something they could get for themselves. There is no correlation between cutting government jobs, deregulation and lowering corporate tax rates to private job creation. One only has to look south of the border to see what an abject failure that’s been. The productive didn’t leave Detroit, the production did, as it did in Ontario and the US and it wasn’t because of high taxes nor was it because corporations couldn’t make a profit. It was due to favourable trade policies with countries where cheap labour is available and workers are expendable. Detroit isn’t the exception, it’s the rule.

            The attack on public service workers is a red herring. Rather than bashing them for their pensions, why aren’t we fighting for all Ontarians to have decent pensions regardless of where they work and to lessen the growing disparity between the haves and have nots? Do we not want a more stable society where we do actually value our fellow citizens, where our children can have a top-notch education, where the neediest are well cared for and where the population is healthy and consequently more productive?

            The choice for Ontarians was what kind of a province do they want be live in and Hudak’s 51st state wasn’t it.

          • Budster wrote:
            “There is no correlation between cutting government jobs, deregulation and lowering corporate tax rates to private job creation”

            You are clearly an economic illiterate.

            1. Cutting Government jobs: If there are too many of them, they are a drain on the public purse. We have FAR too many of them, and they all have much better pensions than workers in the private sector who pay for them.
            2. De-regulation: If the regulations being removed pose an onerous financial, or time consuming burden on private enterprise, it has a huge beneficial effect on the economy. If it is easier for a business to operate in the province…then that is what will happen. If you make it too difficult……they look elsewhere….and no jobs are created.
            3. Lowering Corporate tax rates: Same story….make it cheaper for a business to operate…..and they will. Tax them too much, and they’ll go somewhere else…and again, no jobs created here. I know you won’t believe me…but corporations are not the bad guys.

            budster, if people are allowed to keep their own money, you won’t NEED to provide them a pension paid for by any one else. They will save their own money. What part of that don’t you get?

            I know you want to sit on your moral high-horse and feel good about yourself; and make sure others’ see how “good” you are……..but your ideas actually hurt people……you just don’t know it.

          • Really Richard? 30 years of Trickle Down Economics, deregulation and cutting government service and you have todays US where the middle income workers are disappearing, the poor are in desperate straits, their education system is failing and the American dream is dead. But hey the 1% are just fine and that’s all that counts, right?

          • Budster wrote:
            “Really Richard? 30 years of Trickle Down Economics, deregulation and cutting government service and you have todays US where the middle income workers are disappearing, the poor are in desperate straits, their education system is failing and the American dream is dead. But hey the 1% are just fine and that’s all that counts, right?”

            Budster, you did see the report placing Canada at the top of the heap as far as income is concerned right? Seems something is working right.

            I can understand why you want to use the American economy as your model, but we are talking about Canada; but to be fair, the two systems are quite inter-twined. If American has fallen somewhat (it is still quite rich) it is due to Obama’s fecklessness which has hurt the Americans.

            You say the poor are in dire straits, and the education system is failing kids. True, but you get this part backwards. Did you consider the poor are in dire straits because the teachers unions will not allow useless teachers to be fired (though, Calafornia recently corrected this) and replace them with teachers who actually care about the outcomes of poor students?

            If we are still talking about America, then you should consider what makes people poor? It is a lack of education; that much is true, but it also has a lot to do with culture. Many of the poor in American cities are poor because they are from families with multiple kids, from multiple fathers, none of which pay anything towards their offspring. No Government program can stop this; it has to be stopped by leaders in the communities so afflicted.

            It is not a surprise that the number of food stamp recipients or Americans on “disability” have risen dramatically under Obama……his policies create the demand. If you want to see a better view of this culture, I suggest you google “Obama Phone Lady”

            If you promise enough people freebies, they’ll take you up on it. As for the top 1%…you should be greatful for them. They are the ones paying for it. take them away, and it gets worse.

            (1% is your number, but the reality is that it is the top 20% that pay most of the bills)

        • It is not Harper who is paranoid. It is you. This comment and you reply to Richard in which you display utter contempt for Hudak — by all accounts a capable, sincere and honest person, make it clear that you are inclined to vilify conservative politicians. Your view is warped. I suspect you especially dislike Harper because he is successful. He is also very smart and I think may win again.

          • Hudak’s so capable he couldn’t propel his party to a win with the huge gas plant scandal to run on? He’s so honest he couldn’t bring himself to admit that his million job plan was based on a fundamental math error? He’s so sincere he blames everyone else for his failures instead of accepting the responsibility for his poor decisions?

            As for Harper, I’ll give him this much. He’s smart enough to have conned you.

          • Yes, Wynne and her folks used over a BILLION dollars from the taxpayers purse to save a couple of Liberal seats in close races.

            Wynne and her folks wasted billions on ORNG, wind turbines, and many other failed policies……….

            Wynne and her folks snuck a guy in to erase evidence of wrong-doing by wiping computer drives…….

            And you still voted Liberal.

            Budster……you knowingly voted for crooks, liars, and cheats. I don’t think you are in a position to criticize anyone, buddy.

          • Wow. Your assumption making is in full flight today, Richard. You have no idea where I live, if I am even eligible to vote, whether I voted or for whom.

      • Watched by six people west of Winnepeg – and Paul apparently. Your case ( and Pauls )is hardly water tight.

    • Perhaps but how many Canadians would use Google to find out about Harper?

      • I wasn’t interested in Harper either. I was researching a former PM’s term in office and that’s what came up.

        Maybe Harper’s trying to make himself known to Jeopardy contestants as none of the last six Americans who were asked the name of the PM of Canada or to identify his picture, didn’t know who he was.

        • Correction
          None of the six Americans ………………… knew who he was.

          • Sadly, budster…..

            there are a LOT of Americans who cannot name their current president.

            but they could give you the wedding details of the “kardashians”

          • Apparently Americans do know his name. They elected him president, not the Kardashians.

          • Sadly,

            the kardashians would have done a better job of running the country.

      • No doubt they would have in your little mind, Richard.

        • Well, the Kardashians are pretty good at self-promotion, but Obama is better.

          the difference of course, is that the Kardashians actually make their own money. Obama just spends other peoples’ money.

    • Wiping out the facts of history and rewriting are common tactics.

      • J.W.

        Ask the Ontario Liberals about erasing history…….they’ve done a pretty good job at wiping the hard drives of incriminating evidence about the gas plants.

    • This stuff would have been done by their web guy, in consultation with the PR person. The “big ego” mantra comes primarily from the hostile Parliamentary Press Gallery who have disliked Harper from Day One. I doubt Harper has any bigger ego than others of his stature. In fact, many claim he is particularly down-to-earth and modest. It hardly seems appropriate to blame him for the work of an overzealous webmaster.

      • Yep, lets throw another staffer under the bus. How many is it going to take before you wake up.( rhetorical question there Mary)

  10. Les balles de golf de Stephen.

  11. Wells has consistently been a strong supporter and apologist for a Prime Minister the chattering classes have come to call “Dear Leader” – even Wells makes a reference.

    Wells refers to “cock-ups” and bad judgment calls, but he simple truth is that Harper has consistently been offside with the majority of the electorate on almost every top of mind issue, and when he does look to be on side, it is because he, with a lot of help from the likes of Wells, consistently misrepresents his role. Most notably, on the economy where he takes full credit for Canada skating through the 2008 fiasco without ever giving credit to former Liberal government regulations that blocked banks from getting so deeply into the sub-prime mortgage market that they would torpedo the economy, such as happened in the US, the UK, Ireland, Iceland and a number of other countries.

    Wells, and other Harper propagandists like John Ibbitson at the Globe and Mail, is dedicated to getting Harper re-elected.

    • Wow. You don’t read or understand Wells at all, do you?

      • In fact I have. Wells may be coy but he is most certainly not honest about our “Dear Leader”.

      • Wells is doing Tom Flanagans job for him, he is trying to make a plausible arguments for harper, and it usually gets attention.

    • The Canadian financial system regulatory framework was a joint effort begun by the Trudeau government and completed by the Mulroney government, after severe deficiencies were discovered in the early seventies.

  12. Mr. Wells, your admiration for Harper, you being as plugged into the Ottawa political scene as you are, makes me believe you may have psychopathic tenancies. Your ability to ignore his corrosive effects on our country is really quite staggering. The man has stonewalled the press for his entire tenure as PM, essentially negating the forth estate – a fundamental tenet of democracy – and here you are, a member of the press, congratulating him for publishing these faux news videos instead of actually facing reporters. For shame, Paul.

    • Rob
      The Canadian press have largely been complicit in Harper’s dismantling of this country.
      For decades…and I mean decades…they have known full well of his
      twisted background and his disdain for all things Canadian.
      They have not only known, but they have parked their conscience at the door, and abandoned their one mandate and that is to TELL the TRUTH.

      They are unworthy of our attention, our readership, our respect.
      This is a HUGE story in Canada.
      They have failed us miserably when it comes to revealing the role of the
      Koch brothers American money meddling in our politics.
      It is staggering.
      Google Koch brothers Alberta Oil for a primer.

      We should be asking Wells, Coyne, Hebert, Anderson, Ivison,
      all of them…”What do you know of and think about the Koch brothers
      role in Harper’s agenda?”

      It’s that simple….we need to be demanding their honesty and full disclosure.

      • “Twisted background and disdain for all things Canadian” Judith? How can you not know how delusional this sounds?

        • Harp was once asked if he loved Canada…..I don’t think we got an answer.

          Harper also said ‘Whether Canada ends up as one national government or two national governments or several national governments, or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion’

      • Koch brothers….

        Hmm……she sounds like another one of those folks who believes in the “jewish Conspiracy” mindset of many other “progressive” types.

        If you really want to know about undue influence in Canadian politics…..just look at eco-groups like TIDES FOUNDATION. I’m sure if you dig enough, you’d find that many of these enviro groups receive funding from Canada’s energy competitors. (hello middle east dictators!!)

        • Sure I buy that James, most convincing, supplanting one crazy conspiracy theory on the left with one just as loony from the right.
          Nice cheap shot about all progressives being anti Semitic. Now come back and tell us how the left and progressives were responsible for the holocaust too!
          Jeez I can’t believe this thread. Wells is psychotic and environmentalists are all in the pay of the mad mullahs.

          • KCM2….

            The connection between enviro-groups and petro states has been on display a few times now. Look who has funded most of the anti-fracking movies in Hollywood. There are also American energy lobbyists who are suspected of funding Aboriginal groups in Canada to oppose competing pipelines, and other groups with similar aims.

            It has been reported already. No conspiracy I’m afraid.

            As for “progressives” and Jews / Israel…..just go visit any University campus during “Israeli Anti-Apartheid” week. You won’t find a single conservative supporter amongst them…..but you will find a lot of Liberals / NDP types.

  13. Mr. Wells

    Nice analysis but you missed a recurring theme on the Press gallery getting it wrong.

    Harper had numerous “scandals” going into 2011…. Majority

    Harpers “Scandals” were minor even though cover extensively to those of the Quebec Liberal party … Majority

    The Quebec Liberal Scandals were minor compared to the Ontario Liberal Scandals – majority

    Now the Canadian media have treated the Duffy senate scandal as though the $90,000 was stolen from every Canadian …. ( not that it would matter as it got repaid by some faceless rich guy) they have set up another Harper Majority.

    The voters really don’t trust the media….. lucky they don’t have to get elected every 4 years to hang onto their jobs.

  14. If the Parliamentary press gallery, took their roles as gatekeepers seriously, harper and his gang would be in front of a judge or in jail

    • Oh take a deep breath Jessie, the PPG and the Hardly Boys of RoboCalls Central at the Citizen´s newsdesk, published well over 100 columns of the so-called guilt of the government on the alleged electoral wrongs alone……and yet only a Liberal has been charged with electoral dalliances. Get over it and get over yourself.

      Always preaching that the sky is falling because of conservatives doing this or that has only revealed…more hyperbole, always partisan motivated. Most understand true scandals when they see it and very few of the scandals we have been presented with, have passed the smell test when fully vetted.
      Oh maybe the opposition and media should start a “cultural war” against the Harper Government again…oh yeah they just did on the abortion issue. Create a hornets nest indeed.

      Google the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation and read what they think of Harper´s African Initiative (June 2) on maternal health and children. It would seem that the Canadian media has simply ignored this important meeting of the minds. Funny how the Gates are usually darlings of the smart set… until they disagree. Then media ignore them.

      • 2006 election – In 2011 CPC pled guilty to the In/Out election fraud for transferring $1 million from riding associations to the party
        2008 election Dean Del Mastro charged in 2013 and awaiting trail on 4 counts of election fraud
        2011 election 4 Conservatives paid back money to Elections Canada for overspending. Peter Panashue’s overspending was o egregious, Harper called a by-election which was won by the Liberals.
        2011 election Frank Valeriote Liberal was fined by the CRTC for his failure to identify his party’s association with a robocall
        2011 election Michael Sona, Conservative campaign worker on trial for voter suppression and impersonating an Elections Canada official

        Scandal “A publicized incident that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society.” the free dictionary

        Here’s just a few that meet the definition.
        Clement misappropriates $50 million from border security infrastructure fund, spends it in his riding through his riding office, lies about it and gets a promotion from Harper
        Harper appointed Integrity Commissioner fails to resolve any cases in two years, gets $500,000 in pension money and disappears to Florida away from scrutiny
        Bruce Carson
        Arthur Porter
        The Senate rubber stamping political hacks

      • Melissa Gates is RC. A ‘meeting of the minds’ is not surprising on this question.

      • Susan, if you dig a little, you’ll find that the most deranged harper-haters share a common set of ideas. In no particular order:

        1. Invariably, they are folks who benefit from Government payments in one form or another, and are afraid harper might make some cuts somewhere down the line that will impact their “freebies”
        2. Their hatred of harper is matched directly with harper’s support of Israel, and Jews.
        3. They are folks filled with fear. They don’t think they can make it on their own in this society, and demand Government look after them.
        4. Rabid gay-rights folks who have not yet realized that harper doesn’t really care about sexual orienation, but they need someone to complain about.
        5. Enviro-nuts who believe global warming is a bigger threat to society, than are Russia, China, or Islamic terrorism.
        6. Supporters of the Jihad. Nope…they wont’ find a friend in Harper, but they can at least look to Justin Trudeau…..as Justin just wants to “understand” them.


        • Hear ye, hear ye. The stereo-typing Prince Richard of Halifax is launching his latest tirade against anyone who dares disagree with his lord and master, King Stephen of Corptocracy.

          • Ok, budster…on that list provided. Tell me where I am wrong.

            1. Do the majority of people on a lifetime of welfare of EI benefits tend to support Harper…or other parties?
            2. Of the folks who hate jews and Israel….how many support Harper, the staunchest defender of the Jewish state?
            3. Of the folks who want Government to look after them….how many hold conservative party memberships?
            4. Of the gay rights activists………how many support Harper? (granted, there is a large contingent of gay conservatives…..but they are in the minority)
            5. How many card-carrying Green party members pick Conservative as their second choice on the ballot? How many folks go to an anti-pipeline / oil sands protest, and then sign up for the Conservative party?
            6. How many folks who think people like Omar Khadr is some kind of hero….then go to the polls and vote Conservative.

            budster….every point I wrote above is based in fact. You just don’t like me pointing it out. I am not sure which points apply to you….but one thing is clear, you and the groups described above keep the same company.

          • Richard You also need a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word “fact” and a course in logic.

        • James youre one unabashed bigot, I’ll give you that much. You’re omniscience is truly staggering – are you god by any chance?( I shouldn’t ask a question like that even in jest )

          • You’re…your…
            Drat…how bout an edit function macleans. How’s a semi literate like me supposed to retain his self esteem otherwise?

          • I’m an athiest KCM2……

            I don’t even want GOD telling me what to do.

          • by the way……

            It is not bigotted to point out the obvious.

  15. It is said, that you can use statistics to report whatever conclusion you want. An example would be, to use the tax statistics to report only the aspects of personal income taxes that seem to benefit the largest voter class. One could probably draw a different conclusion, if one were to report corporate taxes, which in turn hide a multitude of personal tax records, and corporate and sectoral subsidies, and responsibilities and expenses transferred to the provinces and even to charities.

  16. Mr. Wells often sounds like he is writing Mr. Harper’s campaign speeches & platform for him (just like last summer Mr. Wells commented on Twitter how Harper could use the online Q&A session that Trudeau, Freeland & Brison did on economic issues against the Liberals.)

    But there’s no doubt that Wells understands Harper better than many do and that he is absolutely correct that Harper is a formidable strategist and politician. Wells is right that although Harper has declined in support a lot since the last election, even now he remains a tough opponent for Trudeau & Mulcair. Each opposition leader has his own strengths, but neither one has yet found a perfect formula to guarantee defeating Harper. Mulcair is a good prosecutor in the House and is popular in Québec, but he has struggled in the rest of the country to get the support that Harper & Trudeau are getting and has not picked up support in the by-elections. Mulcair is unlikely to be able to win Ontario, and is at risk of finishing 3rd there, just like Horwath’s NDP just did provincially. The fact that even an NDP leader as popular as Layton couldn’t beat Harper except in Québec, does not bode well for Mulcair.

    Trudeau probably has more potential support than Mulcair, and that is reflected in the fact that he regularly beats Harper in the polls and in the by-elections whereas Mulcair does not. The Liberals have experience having been in government before, unlike the NDP. But Trudeau himself has not yet been fully tested, he needs to improve his debating skills, and also strengthen his ability to articulate economic issues and give voters a reason why they should switch from the Conservatives to the Liberals. Trudeau is competitive with Harper in Ontario, unlike Mulcair, but the question will be whether Trudeau can run a successful campaign next year and demonstrate that he’s ready for the top job.

    • Rebecca fine correctly pointed out:
      “Trudeau probably has more potential support than Mulcair, and that is reflected in the fact that he regularly beats Harper in the polls and in the by-elections ”

      True Rebecca, however, as you mention later on in your comments…….trudeaus support is not based upon any real accomplishments other than using the right conditioner, and tooth whitening products.

      All one has to do is watch Trudeau speak at length for any given amount of time, and it becomes quite clear he’s really not too bright. to be fair though…….i don’t think becoming a substitute drama teacher really prepares one for leading the country.

      trudeau is popular……because he is NOT Harper. that’s it.

      • She didn’t say any of that. Is there any point in mentioning that to you?

  17. but who watches harpers channel…………no one I know – doesn’t he get 11 hits a week?

  18. Well, there’s the Luxembourg Income Study, which concludes that Canada has passed the United States as the country with the most affluent middle class in the world. There’s a report from the parliamentary budget officer detailing a recurring $30 billion every year in income tax cuts that have been introduced since 2005. The budget officer specifies that, in the aggregate, those tax cuts are progressive, bestowing more benefit on low-income Canadians than on those with higher earnings. =====================================================================
    There is no prize for doing what you are responsible for.

    • Yes there is. It`s called re-election!

      • The cut in income tax didn’t get Paul Martin reelected, did it?

        • Budster,

          If a politician cuts your taxes because he’s trying to buy votes…people see through it. If a politician cuts your taxes because he thinks the tax-payers is the best decision maker about how it is spent……then people will support him.

          Paul Martin was a dithering idiot who couldn’t settle on what his priorities were. He made it plain to see. He was an embarrassment.

          • The Oracle of Halifax now knows what motivates people. Apparently he’s been divining the smoke signals from CPC headquarters.

            Paul Martin protected the banking regulations preventing financial institutions from over leveraging and investing in the toxic mortgage that brought down the global economy. Harper railed against maintaining them.

            In addition he produced a balanced budget, a surplus and was paying down the debt which guaranteed that Canada would not be as severely impacted as the US and Europe were by the global economic meltdown and the recession that followed.

            If that’s your idea of a dithering idiot, you need a dictionary.

          • Budster,

            As I have pointed out on several occassions…..Paul Martin did indeed slay the deficit. Of course, the Liberals had to “steal” the economic policies of the REFORM party to do it….but credit where it is due. That was the one case of the Liberals STEALING that I approved of.

            by the way….the economic policies Martin stole…that ended the deficits, were written by a 27 year old economics student with the initials S.J.H.

            any guesses?

          • Too funny, Richard. The strategies Martin used have been around a hell of a lot longer than the REFORM party and its 27 year old.

            Next you’ll be spinning a tale that Harper invented the wheel.

          • budster,

            You do make a good point that certain policies have been around a long time. I should have credited the REFORM party for having the ballsz to state the obvious, as well as putting the right combination of policies in place to proper effect.

            Still……the platform used to slay the deficit was all harper.

            Oh…and don’t forget the Clarity Act. Harper wrote that too. (as chantal Hebert pointed out years ago)

          • That’s even funnier, It doesn’t take balls to state the obvious.

            If Harper wrote the Clarity Act, Trudeau wrote the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Now you owe Pierre a big thank you, for giving you the right to post you drivel.

          • Budster,

            Here is your problem. You think Trudeau gave us the rights we have today.

            I disagree. We were born with them, and Governments are bodies which take them away.

            By the way…it was the Magna carta that spelled this out…..Trudeau wasn’t around when it was written.

            As for the Clarity Act……..the person who is responsible for it is indeed Stehpen harper. Chretien just gave Stephane Dion harper’s work….and had him re-write it on Liberal letterhead. Sort of like Paul martin’s budgets.

    • The study to which you’ve referred was reported in the New York Tomes. The only mention of Luxembourg was that it along with Norway and Switzerland have higher middle class incomes than Canada. There were only about 20 countries considered in the study and it’s not that Canada’s middle class incomes have grown so much to surpass the Americans, it’s that the US incomes have fallen due to the much more severe hit they took in the 2008 recession.

      Canada fared better in the recession because our more heavily regulated banks were prevented from over leveraging and our deficit had been reduced to zero and some of our debt had been paid down by Paul Martin. Our national debt has grown over $100 billion since Harper took office.

      As to who benefitted from the tax cuts, you might want to read this article for an opposing view.

      • Budster, you’re link is a who’s who of Canadian an international socialists/ marxists. Should we really be surprised they’re opposed to tax cuts? These clowns have never met a tax they didn’t like….and probably for the same reason it applies to you. You simpy don’t trust people to spend THEIR money they way you approve of.

        For those interested….here are some of the “experts” Budster prefers to take as gospel.

        •Peter Bleyer – consultant, former Executive Director, Council of Canadians, and past President, Canadian Council on Social Development
        •Shannon Daub (Secretary) – Communications Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office
        John Doherty (Vice-Chair) – interim executive director for NGOs, former Board Chair, Greenpeace Canada
        •David Langille (Treasurer) – Executive Producer, Poor No More, former Executive Director, Centre for Social Justice
        •Andrew McNeill, National Union of Public and General Employees
        •Brian O’Neill – Member, Nova Scotians for Tax Fairness
        •Toby Sanger, Senior Economist, CUPE
        •David Langille (Treasurer) – Executive Producer, Poor No More, former Executive Director, Centre for Social Justice
        •Andrew McNeill, National Union of Public and General Employees
        •Brian O’Neill – Member, Nova Scotians for Tax Fairness
        NMurray Klippenstein – social justice lawyer, former President, Canadian Environmental Defence Fund
        Neil Brooks – tax law professor, co-author The Trouble With Billionaires
        •Clayton Ruby, CM, QC, lawyer, editor Canadian Rights Reporter
        •Ed Broadbent, former Leader of NDP
        •Marc Lee, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office;
        •David Macdonald, Coordinator, Alternative Federal Budget, CCPA;
        •Jim Stanford, author Economics for Everyone, economist, CAW;
        •Erin Weir, Chair, Progressive Economics Forum;
        •Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives;
        •Richard Shillington, statistician, social and economic policy consultant;

        YOu will also note the link shows dozens of Union supporters.

        I take it back Budster….you are indeed NOT a Liberal. You are a screaming, hysterical socialist.

        No wonder you hate folks who are actually successful without relying on handouts. Maybe you should apply yourself a litte more and see if you can make it on your own.

        I’m getting tired of paying your way.

        • For someone who posts so many references with no links, you might want to actually read what they wrote.

          BTW Richard. name one person who lives in this country who doesn’t use government services.

          • I’m not opposed to Government services budster……I’m opposed to 10 Government workers being paid with my taxes to do a job that 1 government worker could do.

            As for reading what they wrote……I have for the most part, which is why they stood out when I saw their names. They are a bunch of self-righteous socialists who don’t trust people to spend their own money; they would rather distribute wealth they did not earn….to other people who did not earn it.

            Help those in need…I’m all for it. But don’t make people a slave to hand-outs. Doing this eliminates their basic freedoms….but, that is the end-goal of every socialist in any event. They just don’t admit it.

  19. Is any self-described liberal allowed to claim to care about debt after what just went down in Ontario? I think not.

    • The voter is always right

    • Apparently you think not for self-described conservative as well. The national debt has grown over $100 billion since Harper came to power.

  20. More mindless herd speak from Macleans, which has become a reactionary void.

  21. “…affluent middles class…”? Canada, on average maybe slightly better than the States, for axample, but it’s not that much better, and it is definitely NOY getting any better up here either.

    • darn. another typo, sure missing that old editor…?
      NOY -> NOT.

  22. Pure partisan opinion piece. Where is the mention of the constant attack on the charter of rights? Where is the mention of Harper promising to turn Canada into a employers market for employment by driving down wages and increasing unemployment? Where is the unbelievable transfer of public money to Alberta (very likely private/corporate) coffers? Where is the mention of the CGI control over public/private information and the unprecedented level of influence between CGI/RCMP/CSIS/CSEC and the CPC party? Where is the mention on the constant acts of electoral fraud and malfeasance as well as the joke that the CPC has turned the HoC and Senate into?

    I call BS on you Wells. Go put on your blue hat and shirt Wells, the short pants army awaits you.

    • Is that the same CGI which funds half the budget of the “lobby group” Association of Chiefs of Police in Canada. The same CGI/ACPC which took out adverts attacking the Harper Government during the 2011 election?

    • Speck wrote:
      “Where is the unbelievable transfer of public money to Alberta (very likely private/corporate) coffers”

      Based upon the ignorance of reality in that sentence, I would guess that Speck is from Quebec. A lot of Quebecers have bought into the delusion that they pay more than they receive.

      Speck…..if you live in Ontario or Quebec; or frankly, any “have-not” province, you should be on your knees thanking the people of Alberta for supporting you.

      • Were the Albertans on their knees, when they were the recipients of transfer payments from Ontario? No of course not and Harper wanted to build a fore wall around a Alberta. Apparently as a transplanted Albertan and PM of Canada his philosophy is: What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine alone”.

        • Budster,

          I’m not sure if you’re being intentionally obtuse or not……but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume you’re an idiot.

          There is a difference between a province with a small population needing help as they get their economy in order….and a large province such as Ontario or Quebec needing help because they have been led by economic illiterates. Alberta needed help because it had a small population and its resource sector had not yet ramped up. Ontario and Quebec need help because in Ontario’s case….the Liberal polices were just plain bad policy. Quebec is in the same boat for a couple of reasons. A history of bad economic (socialist) policy, in conjunction with Quebec’ers insistence that they get everything they want…and the rest of Canada has to pay for it.

          the philosphy is actually closer to,

          “If you need help, I will provide it, BUT, you need to do some of the work yourself…or you’re cut off”

          • It had to happen sooner or later. The creativity challenged Richard has now reached back to when he was 6 years old for his trite insults.

          • Please note:

            budster has been unable to refute any point I have made, other than providing links to a group of people who are equally unconcerned with personal freedom or rights. Like them, he couches his disdain for the average Canadian under the guise of “social justice” which is just the politically correct way of saying, “Give us your money as we don’t think you are capable of making the correct choice when it comes to spending it”