David Akin - February 9th, 2014
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.
David Akin - 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.
David Akin - 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…
David Akin - July 16th, 2013
Minister Denis Lebel (left) is one of the pros in Stephen Harper’s cabinet when it comes to handing out federal cash. Here, the mayor of Saint-Edmond-les-Plaines, QC, Rodrigue Cantin gives Lebel a hug earlier this year after taxpayers across Canada chipped in $272,000 to help fix up the community centre in Cantin’s community. See bottom of this post for more info. (PHOTO COURTOISIE/LE POINT)
One of the most important jobs for any minister is handing out tax dollars. The federal government collects more than $245 billion dollars a year in taxes and fees paid by individuals and businesses and, more often than not, spends more than it collects. Some of that spending is unavoidable — think Old Age Security benefits or transfer payments to the province for health care and social services — but a good chunk every year is quite discretionary. And when there’s a political spending choice to be made, you can bet a government minister wants his or her name associated with this decision.
As I’ve written here before, I try to track as many press releases as I can detailing spending announcements through my “OttawaSpends” project and, so far, up until Monday’s cabinet shuffle, Read more…
David Akin - May 10th, 2013
VANCOUVER – BC Premier Christy Clark releases her provincial jobs plan during a Vancouver Board of Trade meeting on Sept. 22, 2011. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY)
“We have set out these bold goals and we are reaching our targets. I’m going to run in the next election on the strong economy. I’m going to run on (being) number one in job creation.”
- Christy Clark to her party’s convention in Whistley, BC, October, 2012
This morning, Statistics Canada released the final report card before Tuesday’s general election in B.C. on Clark’s 17-months-old Jobs Plan. BC is unequivocally not “number one” in job creation. In fact, it is not number one in any employment measurement used by Statistics Canada. And yet, it could be a lot worse, I suppose. So I’m giving the BC Jobs Plan a “C-” at this point. Read more…