The mote in thy brother's eye

Jim Flaherty, Tuesday in the scrums after Question Period:

“I want to talk about taxes. I mean that’s where we need to be now. I mean this (the possibility of Ontario becoming a recipient of equalization payments) is some issue that may develop down the road but I want to deal with the tax issue now. This is a serious situation in manufacturing in Canada and it’s a particularly serious situation in the Ontario manufacturing sector because of the reliance on the auto sector there and, as you know, we have significantly reduced demand in the United States, particularly for like the pickup trucks that are part of what’s made in Oshawa, unfortunately. So we need to address this now. We need a stimulus in the Ontario economy.”

Roger Martin, at about 9:27 of this video:

“One thing (individual Canadians can do to improve Ontario’s competitiveness) is… be more demanding consumers of politics. We have let our governments slide toward doing the easy short-term things and encouraged them to do it. Cutting the GST was a terrible idea. Terrible in every respect imaginable. And we, the electorate, encouraged them. When the Conservative party put forward that, people applauded. That is not being helpful, and it is not being a sophisticated, demanding member of the electorate.”

Some background. Roger Martin is Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and Chairman of Ontario’s Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity. The Institute’s creation was announced in the Ontario Throne Speech in 2001, when Jim Flaherty was the province’s finance minister and deputy premier. After he lost to Ernie Eves for the Ontario Conservative leadership several months later, Flaherty became, in effect, the minister responsible for the IQP. Roger Martin was the Institute’s founding director.

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