Nine lives -

Nine lives

Garth Turner walks out on the Liberals


Elected by 12,000 votes in 1988 as a Progressive Conservative, ran for party leadership, sat as a cabinet minister, defeated by 4,000 votes in 1993, elected by 2,000 votes as a Conservative in 2006, kicked out of caucus less than a year later, sat as an independent for several months, welcomed into the Liberal caucus in 2007, defeated by 7,000 votes in 2008, declared as a candidate to be the Liberal candidate in a different riding in 2009, Garth Turner walks away.

After being recruited to run for MP in the Ontario riding of Dufferin-Caledon, and having my candidacy approved by the Liberal Party last July, today I informed the leader of my resignation.

My hope in returning to Parliament was to help clear the path to a viable economic future. Stephen Harper’s $56 billion deficit and profligate spending are massive threats. But also threatening is a lack of debate about viable options and an honest conversation with voters and citizens on the looming consequences.

Therefore it’s hard to see what the coming election will be about if we’re not prepared to discuss the options in the wake of the Harper fiscal disaster. Economic growth alone won’t wipe out an historic debt load or the need for spending cuts and tax hikes. The looming HST in Ontario and BC is likely but a taste of medicine to come. This is what Canadians need to understand.

See previously: Slap fight! Life in a swing riding


Nine lives

  1. The rats are starting to leave the sinking ship.

    • Er..this rat started life out onboard the good ship CPC.

      • Just wait, he is one of at least six that want to leave.I don't care for the man, having lived in his riding, he prefers to ignore what his constituents want, and does what is good for Garth.

    • Jarrid, you know just as well as I do that Turner should not be used as the canary in this mine.

  2. Like most Liberals he wants desperately to raise taxes to pay for extensive new social programs like a short work year, free daycare, light rail boondoggles, and goodness knows what else.

    Ignatieff is smart enough to know that even though he wants to raise taxes he needs to deny it. I guess Garth Turner wanted to speak truth to power and campaign on a pledge to raise your taxes.

    • "Like most Liberals he wants desperately to raise taxes to pay for extensive new social programs like a short work year, free daycare, light rail boondoggles, and goodness knows what else."

      You mean European style economics? You know, because Europe is doing so bad right now and the U.S. is doing so well. I don't care if my taxes are raised, frankly, for how are we going to stop deficit spending and get out of our debt if the government isn't taking in any more money? (Legalizing prostitution and marijuana would be highly profitable, almost another 14 billion a year, but it is "immoral" under the evangelical minds of the Conservatives and too big an issue for any other party).

      Maybe it's just me, but I would love for a politician to come out and say "Listen. We're broke; we need money. I have no choice but to raise taxes." Why is honesty looked down upon?

      The best taxation is where you tax high in the good times, and lower taxes in the bad times. Unfortunately Harper ruined that by lowering taxes in the good times, so that when the recession hit it was impossible to lower it more, and unpopular to raise it. But don't worry. It doesn't matter who gets power in the next election. Ignatieff and Harper will both say that they won't raise taxes, and which ever one of them wins, will raise taxes as soon as possible.

      • Very well stated Mac. The comments in this thread taken together with the comments in the thread on the ransom paid for Fowler's and Guay's release leave me wondering the same thing. What is with the strong desire to deny reality around these parts?

      • Europe?

        It IS doing terrible. That is say the parts of Europe being governed by leftist following the European model. Unemployment in Spain is outrageously high. Britain's fiscal situation is a complete mess.

        Germany on the other hand is doing relatively well because their Conservative prime minister denied Obama's request to spend, spend, spend.

        And no serious analysis of the issues of drugs and the exploitation of women believes it generates revenue. On the other hand, the high social costs it produces are a real drain on the state's resources – that is unless you're of the heartless kind who would ignore people's suffering. (Oh sorry, I guess caring about people's addictions and not wanting women to be exploited is just my backwards evangelical mindset coming through).

      • The liberals had a surplus for one reason, okay, more than one.They looted EI, they cut funding to our military to the bare bone minimum. They downloaded 'everything' onto the provinces, so we paid for that, and we paid higher taxes.Liberal times are tough times.I have voted for both parties, and it will be cold day in hell before I vote that lot back in.

        • Selective me thinks.
          Looting EI – SC said otherwise.
          Military cuts – yes, but so was everything else while the deficit was being addresed. The military was also cut under Mulroney.
          Downloading to the provinces – true. But how else do you cut the deficit? Martin was in the process of restoring health-care cuts/transfers and the military.
          Your problem is??

          • Harper's bizarro governance will likely loot EI again, cut federal transfers for all kinds of social programs, sell off the CBC (tv) and privatize the Mint. Taxes will still have to be raised and all of his rats will still be rats.

    • That statement (raise taxes) is familiar – oh, I know, that is what the Conservatives are always accusing the Liberals of doing.

  3. I'm not a big fan of Garth Turner, but he's right on this one.

  4. Turner is a piece of work, but he also speaks his mind without regard for political consequences.
    Parliament will be worse off without him.

  5. Turner is a real piece of work, but he's also smart and speaks his mind without regard for political consequences.
    Parliament will be worse off without him.

    • very much in agreement. He does have courage, it's his judgement that in question.

      • Garth Turner was pretty much on the money with his warning of the recession coming to Canada. Otherwise, he's a loose cannon, and loyal to no one but himself, let alone to any party.

  6. Yes, if only we had followed Garth Turner's investment advice and bought Nortel shares in November, 2000.

    • Yes, if only we had followed SH's investment advice and bought all those bargins out there at the start of the recesson.

      • Since I know you would never make unsubstantiated assertions, you may want to double check my findings concerning the level of the TSX on Oct. 7, 2008 ( 9520 ) when PM Harper gave his investment advice compared to the present level ( 11436 ). That is a 20 percent increase——that 100 grand you have stuffed in your mattress would now be worth 120 grand had you taken the man`s advice and invested in our stock market.

  7. Here is an excerpt from Garth's blog that Wherry left out:

    Garth Turner on Michael Ignatieff:
    "We should elect people driven to solve problems, not just attracted to power."

    This is a very damning description of the Liberal leader by someone who until yesterday wanted to run for the Liberals in the next electon.

  8. Here is an excerpt from Garth's blog that Wherry left out:

    Garth Turner on Michael Ignatieff:
    "We should elect people driven to solve problems, not just attracted to power."

    This is a very damning description of the Liberal leader by someone who until yesterday wanted to run for the Liberals in the next electon. Did I just hear Garth muttering "he's just in it for himself"?

  9. Here is an excerpt from Garth's blog that Wherry left out:

    "We should elect people driven to solve problems, not just attracted to power."

    This is a very damning description of the Liberal leader by someone who until yesterday wanted to run for the Liberals in the next electon. Did I just hear Garth muttering "he's just in it for himself"?

    • It's also a shot at Harper. They're two sides of the same coin – Harper's done everything he can to hold onto power for the last three years, including an unheard of proroguing of parliament and an unnecessary election in the face of his own law. Ignatieff, sadly, has jumped on board this mentality and is doing everything he can to take power from Harper.

      Heck, it could even be considered a backhand at Layton, judging by how hurt he was when his dreams of being a cabinet member were finally dashed.

    • i am not sure why you are being silly enough to think this only applies to Iggy.

  10. We'll have to wait and see if this is the beginning of a trend but you have to know that anybody contemplating running for the Liberal Party, with its present dearth of policy direction, current weak leadership, (not to mention abysmal resulits in recent polling) is going to have some serious second thoughts.

    I think it's starting to finally sink in with the Libs that there will be no quick fix, to easy ascension to power. It's going to be a slow laborious building of the party from the ground up.

    • And that's not necessarily a bad thing. The right came back stronger than ever after several years in the wilderness – a stronger left is something I could definitely get behind.

  11. Turner is poison in a team sport like politics—-he is much too egotistical to agree to be an equal or a follower on the good ship—Liberal. Iggy is relieved to be rid of him.

    On a side note, I see where the recently appointed Senator Duffy had some kind words to say about Iggy this past week-end in a Sudbury paper. Mr. Wherry may want to take an excerpt from the article so an opportunity may be taken to generate some well deserved praise that could be heaped on the compassionate Duffster.

  12. I'm not a big fan of Garth Turner, but he's right on this one – except for the point about calling it the "Harper fiscal disaster". This deficit baby had four fathers – Stephen, Stephane (and Michael), Jack and Gilles.

    • Wasn't Harper already running a deficit before the stimulus splurge?

      • Let's not try to re-write history here. We all know the big drama over the Coalition and how Ignatieff and his Coalition friends said that the Conservatives had to spend, spend, spend or they'd go to the GG with their threatened Coalition.

        When the Conservatives spent, spent, spent in the budget, Ignatieff crowed about it. They listened to him, Iggy said.

        • That doesn't change the fact that Harper was running a deficit even before the whole party subsidy/coalition fiasco and the subsequent stimulus package. He also ate through some federal savings beforehand, effectively running surpluses on the backs of previous government's fiscal restraint.

          It also doesn't change the fact that the Conservatives have set up a structural deficit – that being a deficit that is based on yearly spending, not temporary stimulus measures. Even Flaherty's numbers, which are likely on the rosy side of things, have the federal government running at $19 billion dollar deficit in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, well after this recession should be done and over with.

          • Funny, I remember Harper paying DOWN the debt by 40 billion and the Liberals saying that money should instead by used to set up a national daycare program.

            Sorry, but we won't be taking lectures on fiscal responsibility from the Liberals.

          • Yes, Harper did pay down the debt by $40 billion.

            However, the country was already running surpluses at that point, there was no fiscal restraint on Harper's part. Furthermore, about $10 billion of that was money saved by the Liberals, to be used for rainy days (hey, like the recession!) or for important social programs (and Harper also put in his version of a national daycare program, it just didn't necessarily provide daycare, just gave money to parents to do with what they wanted).

            But, even if all of the $40 billion was perfectly legitimate and all Harper's doing, he's put himself back into negative territory – $19 billion dollar deficit three years from now? There's no reason for that unless the recovery is so bad that continued stimulus is needed.

            Yes, I know you won't be taking lectures on fiscal responsibility from the Liberals – that's the problem.

          • Define "we" Jesse — is it you and harper and flaherty?

          • Good one!!!! MJ-
            -That statement *we* wont be taking lectures etc* from the Liberals is proof.
            A post from the war room?

        • yours and SH's are the only attempts to rewrite history. As the PBO made clear: "The updated economic outlook based on the PBO survey average results in a status quo budgetary deficit reaching $13 billion in 2009-10, equivalent to 0.8% of GDP. On a cumulative basis, status quo budget deficits amount to $46 billion over 2009-10 to 2013-14."

        • Poor Stephen was led astray by the treachery of others.

          Do you think it's easy making priorities?

          • Indeed..he had no choice.

        • Look who's rewriting history. In fact, Harper is more than happy to take credit now, and is paying plenty of your tax dollars to assure it, that his double-speak and 160-degree turn was all his own doing. The coalition may have turned him to this decision, but he's masterfully made it and embraced it for the chess piece it is. And he's still unwilling to come clean on what he has in mind.

  13. I think Ignatieff's apparent desire to rid himself of Garth Turner actually speaks well of him.

    Granted, he did it in a passive-aggressive, sneaky sort of way. But just because it's Iggy that does it, it doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong.

  14. Thanks tiger—-keep trying to keep them factual.

    • Given the subsequent volatility of the markets that advise to 'ordinary' citizens was highly irresponsible. Are you two seriously claiming that everyone who took his advise would now be a winner? I certainly wont be taking any financial advise from either of you two gentlemen in the future. Not to mention the stress and agonizing this advise would probably have put many 'ordinary' folks through. Any clown could have given better advise, such as: don't panic sell, but perhaps you might want to pay down your mortgage right now, or generally reduce your debt – not go out and look for deals, which may have even encouraged novice investors to do it on margin; not that i'd have any sympathy with anyone who did.

      • Unless you're smarter than the top guys out there, or know specific companies with really good fundamentals which are undervalued, stick to index funds if you're playing the market.

        But even if you'd bought the Dow in early October 2008 — with the American economy in much rougher shape than the Canadian one — you'd have a tidy profit as of today.

        And if you're a novice investor buying on margin, you're an idiot.

        Also if you're taking investment advice from random people on internet discussion boards.

        • But Tiger, he didn't advize folks to only stick to index funds now…did he?

          • It's a truism — when there's blood on the streets, buy real estate.

            When the markets are panicking, it's a pretty easy call that stocks are going to end up undervalued, on average.

            That's the key — ON AVERAGE. Diversify. Spread your risks.

            If you don't, you're spinning the roulette wheel. (And if you then blame others for that — you're an idiot.)

      • For all those income trust trusters who believed Harper, we should all remember…

  15. Well, that's one piece of good news for the Liberal Party this month. Maybe it's the start of a trend?

  16. Garth thought there would be a Fall election, and reads polls.

    Everything else is just classic Turner.

  17. Lets keep this list and see what a fool Garth Turner was for printing such trash against the Greatest Leader Canada ever had… a simple man with Reform roots and ideas who is the most trusted and honest man in the world. Harper told the world: " Canada's Economy is as strong as the Canadian Shield" and his pick the greatest man to come out Ontario Politics won a top award for his predictions and hard work spending our money.

  18. •As Stephen Harper took office in 2006, Canada was entering its nineth consecutive year of budget surpluses. The outgoing Liberals left a positive balance of roughly $15 billion.
    •As of now, Harper's government has amassed a deficit of $55.9 billion, over ten billion more than the previous record.
    •Each family's share for this year's shortfall alone is $3,700.
    •After coming down for more than half a decade, the national debt will rise to its highest level within three years – above $600 billion – according to the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer.
    •The current Harper government increased federal spending to its greatest point, even before the recession in late 2008. When the storm hit, the cupboard was empty.
    •Many people now fail to see how Mr. Harper can even wear the mantle of a ‘conservative' prime minister.
    •The most spending ever. The largest federal government in history. The greatest one-year deficit. The largest national debt. And the fastest descent from a surplus to a deficit on record.

    And may we add job creation of highest number of Senate appointments at 27 to date.

    • Its called a world wide financial crisis that was the worst we've seen since WW2.

      *Harper paid down the debt by 40 billion, money the Liberals wanted to use on national daycare and the Kelowna accord.

      *Harper's attempts to save money by cutting programs like court challenges, politicial subsidies, gun registry, wheat board – you name it, have always been opposed by the Liberals.

      *Harper resisted calls by the opposition to spend more on stimulus and unemployment.

      You want to see this deficit go away ? Kick the Liberals out and give Harper a majority.

    • You forgot to mention all the tax reductions.

      • You mean the GST, yeah thanks Steve. All the other corporate tax cuts were in the pipeline while the libs were in office. Spin it how you like. Eventually Harper's going to wear this deficit.

  19. Sadly we actually can enact opinions into law.