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About "brian-lilley"

Brian Lilley is the host of Byline on Sun News Network and a senior correspondent for Sun Media's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. His weekly column is published in more than 30 daily newspapers across Canada and he appears on several leading talk radio stations. Watch Byline at 9pm ET Monday to Friday and read Brian's columns in your Friday papers.

Canadian Tea Party quotes

- August 29th, 2011

Louis St. Laurent. Liberal Prime Minister and proponent of small government.

If we want to take our country back we need to look to our history.

Voters in BC told their political masters where to stuff their HST voting out the tax in a referendum. In essence they were acting on the ancient practice of no taxation without representation, a Canadian ideal.

Despite the decades worth of rubbish you have been told about Canada`s history, our country is not traditionally one given to big government or huge spending.  Government social programs did not create Canada nor do they define the nation now. That is what some would want you to believe but it is simply not true.

On Byline tonight I spoke with John Robson about this and we once again discussed the concept that taxation requires the consent of the governed.

People that want big government and high taxation will claim you are American if you believe in these sorts of ideas. Don`t let them bamboozle you, history is on your side. Here are the quotes to prove it.

St. Laurent believed in small government, Laurier believed in liberty. Both were Liberal leaders.

Look at the quote from Nova Scotia`s Isaac LeVesconte who was in the middle of debating confederation. He clearly saw that taxation required the consent of the governed.

We need to make sure today`s politicians do as well.


‘Any ideas of non-essential interference by the Government is repugnant to the Liberal Party.“

Louis St. Laurent, 1957 election campaign, Fearful Symmetry p. 50.

“The good Saxon word, freedom; freedom in every sense of the term, freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom in religious life and civil life and last but not least, freedom in commercial life.”

Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1894 (in a speech in Winnipeg)

“Their [the American] institutions have the same features as our own. There are some points of variance, but the same great principle is the basis of both – that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the unalienable rights of man, and that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. This is the secret of the strength of the British constitution, and without a free and full recognition of it no government can be strong or permanent.”

David Christie in the Legislative Council of Canada 15/2/65, in Ajzenstat et al., eds., Canada’s Founding Debates p. 191.

“Will you permit the sacred fire of liberty, brought by your fathers from the venerable temples of Britain, to be quenched and trodden out on the simple altars they [your ancestors] have raised?”

Joseph Howe, in Halifax in 1835, appealing to a jury to acquit him on libel charges because what he’d published was true, in Gruending, ed., Great Canadian Speeches p. 7 [he was acquitted].

“Every person who had conversed with the most intelligent American statesmen and writers must have learned that they all admitted that the governmental powers had become too extended, owning to the introduction of universal suffrage, and mob rule had consequently supplanted legitimate authority; and we now saw the sad spectacle of a country torn by civil war, and brethren fighting against brethren.”

George-Etienne Cartier in the Legislative Assembly of Canada 7/2/65, in Ajzenstat et al., eds., Canada’s Founding Debates p. 185.

“The right of being taxed only through the action of their representatives, has always been considered one of the dearest privileges a free people can possess, and it is one that comes home to every man’s mind. At present not a single penny of taxes can be imposed upon the country except with the consent of its people. But what will be the result after we are annexed to Canada? What chance would 300,000 people have against three millions…?”

Isaac LeVesconte in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly 17/4/65, quoted in Ajzenstat et al., eds., Canada’s Founding Debates p. 237.

“He was glad to hear the honourable and learned member for Charlottetown (Mr. Brecken) allude to the right claimed by John Bull to grumble and to be stubborn when called upon to resign anything he believed himself entitled to hold; and to hear the honourable member then base thereon an argument for the people of this island being, like John Bull, stubborn in the retention of their free constitution. Such stubbornness was certainly becoming in a free people; but although he would not deny that the sons of John Bull had an hereditary right to assert that privilege, yet he would say it became them not (the descendants of the men who were conquered by the Normans and lost their liberty at the battle of Hastings) as well as it did the descendants of those men whose ancestors (the Caledonians of old) beat back from their mountain fastnesses of liberty the conquering eagles of imperial Rome. He was a descendant of those unconquered heroes of the north, and he would never consent that, in asserting our right to preserve our free constitution, we should adopt the cowardly, cringing tone in which it suited venality and corruption to plead for the attainment of the objects of their selfish designs.”

John McEachen in the PEI House of Assembly 7/5/66 quoted in Ajzenstat et al., eds., Canada’s Founding Debates pp. 225-26.

New minister promises openess at Natural Resources

- May 19th, 2011

From Jessica Murphy:

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000001610 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000001576 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000001576 Rookie MP Joe Oliver, handed a plum gig when Prime Minister Stephen Harper
named him Canada’s new natural resources minister in Wednesday’s cabinet
shuffle, said he’s willing to making his department more open.

Natural Resources Canada was handed the Code of Silence award by the
Canadian Association of Journalists this week, a dubious distinction handed
out annually to the most secretive and clandestine government department in

Oliver said his business background as the executive director of the Ontario
Securities Commission taught him the value of open access to information.

“A critical principle of securities regulation is disclosure. So that’s
embedded in my thinking.”

That business background will also come in handy in his new portfolio, he

“I have experience raising a big amount of capital, among them in the
resource sector,” Oliver said, an experience that gave him background
knowledge on industries he’ll be focusing on in his new portfolio.

Oliver will also have to use his persuasion skills to sell Atomic Energy of
Canada Limited, which the Tories have been trying to unload for more than a


Ipsos leadership poll boosts Harper and Layton, devastating for Ignatieff

- March 26th, 2011

Bloc Quebecois Gilles Duceppe (bottom right), Liberal Party Michael Ignatieff (bottom left), NDP Jack Layton (top left) and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (top right). CHRIS ROUSSAKIS/ QMI Agency

As if the horse race numbers were not devastating enough for the Liberal campaign, Ipsos-Reid has a poll out today showing the numbers behind the horse race.

Bottom line, Harper leads in all but one category, Ignatieff is in third in all but one and Layton is a solid second.

Campaigns matter, things can change but this is not a good place for the Liberals to start from.

Rather than put my own take on the numbers I give you the Ipsos news release. Argue away over what it means.


As Government Falls and Election Ensues, Half (49%) of Canadians Believe Harper would be Best Prime Minister for Canada,
Layton (34%) Bests Ignatieff (17%)

Harper Ahead on all Key Positive Leadership Traits as Canadians Say Healthcare (18%), Economy (15%), Taxes (12%), Jobs (8%) and Trustworthiness (7%) Most Important Issues of the Campaign

Ipsos-Reid–As Prime minister Stephen Harper visits the Governor General and Canada’s fourth General Election in seven years officially begins, a new Ipsos Reid poll reveals that one half (49%, up 1 point since early February) of Canadians believe that Stephen Harper would make the best Prime Minister of Canada. In second position is NDP leader Jack Layton (34%, down 1 point) who has garnered twice as many votes as Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff (17%, up 1 point).

The Conservatives will hit the campaign trail reminding voters of their track record on the economy, while the Liberals and other opposition parties will try to frame the ballot question around ethics, trust, accountability and transparency.

Asking Canadians what they would say is the most important issue if a local candidate appeared on their doorstep, healthcare and health issues take the top spot with mentions from 18% of Canadians, unaided. Following closely is the economy (15%) while taxes (12%) are in third place. Unemployment/jobs (8%) and honesty/trust (7%) round out the top-five issues.

Other issues mentioned by Canadians, unaided, include the environment (5%), poverty/low-income Canadians (4%), seniors/the aging population (3%), debt (3%), pensions (3%), immigration (3%), government spending (2%), welfare and social programs (2%), energy costs (2%), and gas prices (2%) among other issues. Interestingly, 2% of Canadians say they would close the door and tell their local candidate to go away.

Examining key leadership attributes that could be at play during the campaign and in the minds of voters as they decide for whom to vote, the data reveal that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is ahead of his counterparts on every major positive attribute studied. Canadians were asked to pick which of the major leaders is best described by each respective trait:

· Someone you can trust: Stephen Harper (42%, up 6 points since November), Jack Layton (34%, down 1 point), Michael Ignatieff (15%, down 5 points), Gilles Duceppe (9%, up 1 point, 38% in Quebec).

· Someone who will get things done: Stephen Harper (47%, up 4 points since November), Jack Layton (27%, up 1 point), Michael Ignatieff (17%, down 4 points), Gilles Duceppe (8%, down 1 point, 34% in Quebec).

· Someone who has what it takes to lead Canada: Stephen Harper (50%, up 7 points since November), Jack Layton (26%, unchanged), Michael Ignatieff (18%, down 8 points), Gilles Duceppe (6%, up 1 point, 24% in Quebec).

· Someone who is best to manage during tough economic times: Stephen Harper (52%, up 7 points since November), Jack Layton (22%, down 2 points), Michael Ignatieff (18%, down 6 points), Gilles Duceppe (7%, unchanged, 30% in Quebec).

· Someone who wants to be Prime Minister for the right reasons: Stephen Harper (44%), Jack Layton (34%), Michael Ignatieff (16%), Gilles Duceppe (6%, 25% in Quebec).

· Someone who has a vision of Canada that you can support: Stephen Harper (45%, up 5 points since March), Jack Layton (30%, down 2 points), Michael Ignatieff (18%, down 6 points), Gilles Duceppe (7%, up 3 points, 31% in Quebec).

There remains one leadership attribute where Stephen Harper does not lead, but is in a close second place:

· Someone who has a hidden agenda: Michael Ignatieff (46%, up 9 points since November), Stephen Harper (39%, down 6 points), Jack Layton (10%, down 4 points), Gilles Duceppe (5%, up 1 point, 21% in Quebec).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between March 21 to 23, 2011, on behalf of Postmedia News and Global National. For this survey, a sample of 1,014 adults from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and political composition to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


Santa is always welcome

- December 22nd, 2010

Everyone loves Santa Claus, especially this time of year.

Today in Calgary Immigration Minister Jason Kenney welcomed Santa on a visit down south and reaffirmed that Santa is in fact Canadian.

The press release is below.

Minister Kenney Reaffirms Santa’s Citizenship During Special Citizenship Ceremony in Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Dec. 22, 2010) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today reaffirmed Santa Claus as a Canadian citizen during a special citizenship ceremony.

“We wish Mr. Claus all the best in his Christmas Eve duties again this year,” said Minister Kenney. “And rest assured, as a Canadian citizen living in Canada’s North, he can re-enter Canada freely once his trip around the world is complete.”

Santa was on hand to reaffirm his citizenship while 100 new citizens from 32 countries were sworn in.

“This is such an important day for Canada’s newest citizens,” said Minister Kenney. “Today, our history also becomes their history, and their future becomes our future. The Canadian story is depicted in the new citizenship guide Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, a valuable learning resource for newcomers and all Canadians.”

The guide focuses on the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens, and on Canada’s military, scientific, and artistic achievements; and its symbols, values, and institutions. It also provides information on Canada’s North, where the Government is advancing an integrated Northern Strategy.

“The Government continues to invest in measures that exercise Canada’s sovereignty and create more economic opportunities in the North,” said Minister Kenney. “We want to ensure that Santa and all Northern peoples benefit from the considerable progress that has been made.”

NDP ads target Tory audience

- October 24th, 2010
NDP home heating adds

In a new series of TV ads, NDP Leader Jack Layton touts his plan to reduce energy bills.

The NDP is launching a series of ads on TV and radio starting Monday. Today, they unveiled the TV spots on their website.

There are three ads, one for a national campaign as well as tailored spots for Ontario and British Columbia. The message is the same; Canadians deserve a break on home heating costs.

Layton’s message is that the Harper government should remove the federal sales tax from the cost of heating fuel including oil, natural gas, electricity and I presume wood. In much of the country this would be a significant cut – 13% in Ontario, 12% in B.C., 15% in Nova Scotia – due to the HST. And that is part of why Jack Layton is pushing this message, it is his party’s anti-HST sales pitch.

I’ve teased Jack about this on the blog before by calling him a climate change denier and pointing out that lowering taxes on carbon fuels does nothing to reduce the use of those fuels – a major goal of the NDP. Still, this campaign could work.

First off it is pure populism. People don’t like paying taxes especially on necessities like heating fuels. Secondly it plays to an audience that should be an NDP stronghold but hasn’t been, those people that as Stephen Harper likes to say – work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules – in other words, people working hard to make ends meet.

Sure the Tories can mock the NDP on this and point out the hypocrisy on the climate change file. They can claim this won’t achieve any real goals and lowering income tax is the better way to go but that doesn’t really matter.

When the Harper government lowered the GST from 7% to 5% opposition parties said the same thing and trotted out expert after expert to say income tax cuts were the way to go. It didn’t matter, people hate the GST and lowering it was a popular move.

Most voters are not pure ideologues. They may have a particular slant or lean toward one party or another but they don’t reject ideas simply because they are not in line with what a textbook says a Conservative or Liberal or New Democrat should believe in.

This proposal may get scoffed at in Ottawa but I’ll be in plays well at the kitchen table that Layton is so fond of.

You can watch the ads here.