Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

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…

Flaherty poised to eliminate deficit but what about the $135 billion in new debt he rang up?

- February 9th, 2014
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

TORONTO – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty adjusts his glasses as he talks to the media prior to holding pre-budget consultations with the business community in Toronto last November (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Conservatives, if you ask them, believe, above all else, in smaller government. U.S. conservative Grover Norquist once said government should be small enough you could strangle it in a bathtub, a line I’ve heard repeated by Canadian Conservatives.

But often enough, the rhetoric of these conservatives does not match what nominally conservative governments do in office. Case in point: The current Conservative Party of Canada government in Ottawa, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his finance minister Jim Flaherty.

Read more…

On economic growth, Liberals rank PMs from first to worst

- February 9th, 2014

It may not be a fair comparison but Justin Trudeau’s tweet is at least accurate.

The country has had two prime ministers from Calgary and each man’s tenure coincided with the two worst economic recessions of the last century.

Read more…

What do you want in the next federal budget?

- October 24th, 2013

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance is easily the busiest committee on Parliament Hill mostly cuz it spends a lot of its time considering hundreds of presentations from Canadians who have ideas about what should be in the federal budget the following spring.

That committee held its first meeting of the new parliamentary session today and immediately got down to work on sorting through ideas for next year’s budget. Here’s the release: Read more…