Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Jobs and politics: Devastating data for the incumbent in Quebec

- March 7th, 2014

For this tweet, CAQ Leader François Legault was cherry-picking one of the worst data points for Quebec in today’s monthly jobs report from Statistics Canada but he had lots to choose from. It was a very bleak report card for the PQ government of Premier Pauline Marois. The highlight? Statistics Canada found that, in the space of one month between January and February this year, 25,500 jobs disappeared in the province.   Read more…

PBO: On austerity, size of the civil service, and computers

- February 24th, 2014

With just a few weeks to go until the end of Ottawa’s current fiscal year (March 31), the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s latest review of the government’s latest spending plan [pdf] concludes the federal government will spend about $259.9 billion this year or just 0.3% more than it spent in fiscal 2013.

And yet, the PBO believes that spending should have been higher as the government made, but did not follow through on, several spending commitments: Read more…

Ralph Goodale: A focus on the economy and a strong democracy go hand in hand

- February 21st, 2014

Tonight on my program, Battleground on Sun News Network, I talk to the last Liberal finance minister the country has known, Ralph Goodale about some of the issues I raise in my weekend newspaper column.


Trudeau on the economy. Economists on Trudeau

- February 18th, 2014

The video here was released today by the Liberal Party of Canada. It’s just over 7 minutes an in it, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau uses charts and figures to present his diagnosis of what’s wrong with Canada’s economy.

Laval University economist Stephen Gordon watched it and had these thoughts: Read more…

Flaherty and his post-budget QP performance:The record

- February 13th, 2014
Flaherty is applauded

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty receives a standing ovation during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 12, 2014. Mind you, this did not happen until 15:02 pm, or more than 45 minutes after the first post-budget QP was underway. By then, Prime Minister Stephen Harper (seen applauding above at right) had answered an unprecedented 21 questions. (CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters)

Was Jim Flaherty benched during Question Period after suggesting his party might back away from a 2011 platform promise on income splitting? Flaherty said next to nothing in Wednesday’s Question Period, the first one following the tabling of his budget on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the PM took an unprecedented number of questions. And the first minister to follow Harper was Employment MInister Jason Kenney, who, after Flaherty had backed away from the income splitting commitment had loudly affirmed that commitment to reporters.

Today, Flaherty was in the House answering questions — on income splitting, of course — and stuck to a very particular phrase, the same phrase Harper would stick to at an event near Toronto. (Harper was not in the House today.) Conservative sources are telling reporters, including me, that Harper and Flaherty both believe that their campaign commitment of 2011 now needs a re-think. Fine. Still don’t understand why Question Period unfolded in such an odd way yesterday.

So I looked back at all of the 10 Question Periods which immediately followed the tabling of a budget. Turns out Flaherty played a central role in them only a handful of times and in fact, missed 5 post-budget QPs. Here’s the tale of the tape:  Read more…