What does it all mean? - Macleans.ca

What does it all mean?

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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.