Flip Flop : Your Conservatives At Work (for the month of May 2009)

Jim Flaherty Then :

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was facing a deficit of $5.9-billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, according to the fiscal update he released last fall. To achieve a surplus, Mr. Flaherty pledged to reduce government spending by $4.3-billion and predicted the government would earn $1.6-billion from changes to public sector compensation and the gains on purchases of insured mortgages from banks.

Jim Flaherty Now :

Mr. Flaherty revised his projection again this week, citing a deeper-than-expected recession, higher-than-anticipated employment insurance payments and the rescues of Chrysler and General Motors.

Lisa Riatt Then (UPDATE : here she is trying to sound the alarm bells about how the isotopes shortfall is a “really, really” bad thing)

“Ensuring that the Canadian medical community receives a consistent and reliable supply of medical isotopes has been of critical importance to me,” (Lisa) Raitt said

Lisa Raitt Now (UPDATE : Here she is saying, a few months later, “not to worry. There is no shortage of isotopes in the world”)

During this extended outage at Chalk River, other isotope-producing countries have the capacity to assist in minimizing production shortfall.

These countries all have different sets of constraints and capacity, and we will need to work through those. There is good will amongst all and a willingness to be helpful. They also fully recognize that Canada stepped up to the plate and provided a significant amount of additional isotope capacity when the Petten reactor in the Netherlands was down.

I know it’s very easy to beat up conservatives because they waffle sooooooooooooo much but I think Flaherty got a raw deal. The poor guy probably made inane statements about how everything was a-ok after being asked to by the big guy PM Harper and now he is paying for it. It’s not Flaherty’s fault that we have a deficit of $50 billion, but he is at fault for saying Canada is at a better state than it really was.

It’s not Lisa Raitt’s fault that she inherited a leaky and crumbling nuclear reactor but then to go claim that the safety would be reviewed and a plan would be put into action which is TO SELL THE NUCLEAR PLANT TO A PRIVATE PARTY!!!! That’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard. So much for ensuring a ensuring safety and a steady supply of isotopes. Let’s shut down the reactor and find some buyer who would restart the reactor as it is now.

Just go through the interview (Liveblogging Lisa Raitt on the sale of AECL’s reactor building division) and get ready to swear over Lisa’s incompetent handling of the crisis.

And when the National Post is making fun of the conservatives, then you KNOW there is trouble brewing.

Taxes – You May Hate Them But You Need Them

<HT: CathieFromCanada>

Ever since I became a Canadian one thing that has been consistent, when I go out of the country and sometime within Canada itself, I come across people from all walks of life who perpetuate the belief that Canadians have the most regressive and oppressive tax system in the world.

Unfortunately, having to contribute 39% of my salary as taxes to the various branches of the government, I cound never really counter the argument. I knew that my taxes were going towards the health services, schools, roads, etc but there was no hard data to support my belief that the taxes we give in Canada give us unprecedented services.

Well, today that changes. For all you whiners and cry babies who moan and groan about paying taxes, read this the next time you have to pay taxes.


The majority of Canadian households enjoy a higher quality of life because the public services their taxes fund come at a solid bargain, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Canada’s Quiet Bargain: The Benefits of Public Spending responds to incessant calls for tax cuts and concludes public services make a significant contribution to the majority of Canadians’ standard of living – worth at least 50% of their income.

“What passes for a tax cut debate in Canada is really only half a debate,” says economist Hugh Mackenzie, the study’s co-author and CCPA research associate.

“Our taxes pay for services that are extremely valuable to Canadians. The suggestion we often hear, that taxes are a burden, hides the reality that our taxes fund public services that make Canada’s standard of living among the very best.”

The study shows middle-income Canadian families enjoy public services worth about $41,000 – or 63% of their income. Even households earning $80,000-$90,000 a year enjoy public services benefits equivalent to about half of their income.

The study also shows 80% of Canadians would be better off if the federal government hadn’t cut the GST; 75% would be better off if their provincial governments invested in public services instead of broad-based income tax cuts; and 88% would be better off without federal cuts to capital gains taxes.

“Tax cuts are always made to sound like they’re free money to middle-income Canadians – they are anything but,” says Mackenzie. “We’re far better off with the public services our taxes fund than we are with tax cuts.”



Chrysler LLC threatened last night to pull the company’s production out of Canada – a move that would throw 9,000 employees out of work – unless governments here provide $2.3-billion (U.S.) in loans and its Canadian union agrees to slash labour costs by 25 per cent.

At a parliamentary committee hearing last night, Chrysler president Thomas LaSorda said the company would commit to maintaining roughly a quarter of its North American production in Canada if its “needs” are met.

Ah, yes.  The “you want these jobs to stay in Canada, you gotta pay for it” routine. We have seen it from GM and now from Chrysler. Boy, these companies sure are prudent in the art of blackmail.

In my opinion, these companies are on their way out, either way. We can throw money at them, give them tax benefits, or maybe give them the whole nine yards, these companies WILL fail. If not now, then sometime in the near future. So why does it seem like a good idea by the government to put money (our money) in this business? I would rather that the government spend those billions of dollars in repatriating the displaced workers!! Why is that so hard to do?

Part of the problem is probably the workers themselves. They are unionised and losing these companies would make a dent in their status quo. I have no clue how much these workers are paid but I have heard that the amounts are way above the average in Canada. Moreover, their voices in the political spectrum is loud. They represent a block of votes that could easily go the other way if an MP does not do their biding.

I am all for unions but this is getting ridiculous. Seems like these unions need to be taken to the washers kicking and screaming. I know there is going to be a huge impact on the Ontario economy (I have a couple of relatives working in the auto related industries) but I’d rather have the impact now when the economy is down in the dumps, than when it is recovering 2 years from now.

If I understand this correctly, to save their voting bank, the MPs are going to allow the GM deal to go through and, most likely, the Chrysler deal too. And we, the tax payors, will get shafted.

Stephen Harper Continues To Blow


“I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the most emotionally expressive guy,” said Mr. Harper, when asked whether he might want to show more empathy with Canadians becoming increasingly fearful for their economic future.

No one is asking you to pull out a handkerchief and start sobbing into it, Mr. Prime Minister. Just tell us what plan of action or just say something nice to let all Canadians (Update: god, what gibberish. I meant to say : Just tell us what the plan of action is or just say something nice to calm all Canadians).

“But look, the main thing I think a government has to do at a time like this is not panic. There’s a lot of people out there not panicking. I think there’s probably a lot of great buying opportunities emerging in the stock market as a consequence of all this panic.”

I have no clue what prompted this idiotic statement from our prime minister. I mean, he is right, this is a great time to buy at the stock market but I don’t think that would be priority number one for thousands of people who have lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector, or have problems selling their homes, or are generally wary of the economy (that would be everyone) right now. Only someone completely out of touch with reality would try at create a silver lining where none exists.

It will be interesting to see what plans for immediate relief other parties have. I believe we will be hearing more durnig the day today.

The Green Shift

Well, well. Stephen Dion finally shows some spine and comes out swinging. I had thought that he was going to be a foot note in history books but looks like he is fighting to be on the front pages.

I read the plan (PDF) and on paper it looks like a bold initiative and seems do-able. Here is my take on the plan:


I was once part of a focus group where environment was the focus. I remember one of the questions was, how much would you be willing to spend more per month to help pay for the environment. And it was obvious right away that the younger crowd (less than 40 year) was willing to put in more money than the older crowd (a couple of the oldies actually said “the environment can go to hell”). This was a couple of years ago and environment is not on top in the minds of fickle minded Canadians. However, what we need desperately is leadership in fighting global warming. And for my money, Stephen Dion has come up with a very good plan. Will I have to pay for it? Of course, the gas prices will go up, the food costs will go up, the manufactured items will go up and jobs will be lost. So, I and millions will have to pay for the cost in some form. But if it’s good for the economy in the long run and helps my kid, I will pay for it.

I think that this plan is revolutionary and very helpful to the environment and the economy. That’s right, the plan helps save taxes for individuals and the industrial sector. Do not be sucked into this belief that the plan is going to hammer the economy. The industrial sector (the largest polluters) will be getting major tax breaks from the plan. The small businesses will get larger cuts from the plan so it’s win win for all parties concerned. The plan proposes to set up auditing to make sure that each dollar earned from the polluters will go to the Canadians in form of tax breaks and credits.

Politically, this plan will be a hard sell. I mean, Alberta and Saskatchewan would be violently opposed to the plan. Ontario’s manufaturing sector will be opposed to it as well. But if the message can be streamlined by the Liberal party and can elucidate the key points of the plan, majority of the Canadians will go for it. And the Liberal, once in power, can cajol and negotiate it’s way to implementation of the plan.

I intend on watching the Liberals very closely on this. If they ho hum their way through the PR campaign of the plan, I am going to assume that they have every intention of loosing to the Conservatives and vote another way. If they take the fight to the Conservatives, I will be a big proponent of the Liberals and talk to all my friends and acquaintenances to vote Liberals.

Next few months would be interesting.

GM Lies…..

………but gets away with it.

An Ontario Superior Court judge has chastised General Motors Corp. for announcing the shutdown of a truck plant in Oshawa, Ont., two weeks after signing a new contract with the Canadian Auto Workers that contained commitments that the plant would be kept open.

Mr. Justice David Salmers granted an injunction yesterday ordering the union to end a blockade of the company’s Canadian head office and limit its pickets to 20 people, but said the auto maker “should not be rewarded for improper conduct.”

An end to the picketing. Isn`t that what GM wanted all along?

The corporations that rule Canada and US are completely oblivious to the pains and aches of the regular hard working people who actually help the economy. This really bugs me to no end. GM lied out right and the judge admonishes the company and does absolutely nothing about it. This is pathetic. Good ole corporations win all the time.