Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Tory Minister Expresses Tory View, Shock and Horror Ensue

- December 16th, 2013

Industry Minister James Moore drew ire this weekend after comments to the effect that it’s not his problem how other Canadians manage their lives.

Apropos of news that British Columbia maintains the highest levels of child poverty in the country, a reporter for Vancouver’s News 1130 asked Moore whether Ottawa has any responsibility for this epidemic.

“Obviously, nobody wants kids to go to school hungry, but yeah, certainly we want to make sure that kids go to school with a full belly, but is that always the government’s job, to be there to serve people their breakfast?” Moore responded. “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.”

Outrage ensued. The Twittersphere called him the Grinch, among other things. Child poverty watch groups want him to apologize.

For his part, Moore claims to have been quoted out of context. Whatever the context his comments were intended to be taken in would be met with great interest, though none of us are holding our breath.

However lacking in compassion Moore’s comments may have come across, they should be of surprise to absolutely no one.

How could anyone with a remotely working knowledge of political ideologies in Canada be shocked to hear a Conservative express what is an entirely predictable Conservative view?

It is no secret that Conservatives tend to see charity as an act up to the individual, not something over which they see the government as having any responsibility.

By definition, Conservatives believe the role of government should be kept to a bare minimum. Anyone having a hard time is on their own, likely victim only of their own poor choices.

The undoing of the social safety net is a point of pride for these Tories. Whether it’s Employment Insurance, CPP or any other program designed with the idea that by helping each other, we help ourselves, Tories see these initiatives as things that develop dependencies among Canadians. Not things that help.

If Moore’s comments are a departure at all, they are only inasmuch as they were perhaps more blunt than the doublespeak Canadians usually hear from this government.

No, Moore’s belief that neither he nor his government have any responsibility in alleviating child poverty is not especially compassionate. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise either.

UPDATE: Moore apologized just before 1pm Monday on Twitter, saying: “An apology. The cause of fighting poverty is not helped by comments like those I made last week. I am sorry.”

 

 

French connection for Royal Canadian Navy?

- November 1st, 2013

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OTTAWA – A French naval defence contractor is meeting potential Canadian business partners for the construction of up to 15 new combat ships — Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) — even before the feds choose a design.

The ships will eventually replace the Navy’s destroyers and frigates.

Officials with shipbuilder DCNS toured several Quebec companies this week as part of a networking opportunity organized by bureaucrats with the Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec.

Patrick Boissier, president and CEO of DCNS, is trying to position the company to provide the design for the new ships to be built on the East Coast as part of the feds’ $36.6-billion shipbuilding strategy. Read more…

Harper to talk security, trade in Asia

- October 3rd, 2013

Prime Minister Harper leaves for Asia

OTTAWA – Helping Malaysia fight back against human smugglers in its waters will be top of mind for Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he lands in Kuala Lumpur Friday.

Harper left Thursday for Southeast Asia, a junket that will also take him to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia.

One of the first items on the prime minister’s itinerary is meeting with coast guard officials from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Authority, following up on a summer goodwill visit with them by the crew of HMCS Regina.

Read more…

Cost of Typhoon fighter jet soars

- July 11th, 2013

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Reports of skyrocketing costs and quality control problems could make the Eurofighter Typhoon too expensive for Canada’s tastes.

German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reports the Typhoon has suffered from shoddy manufacturing and software problems, causing delays and cost overruns.

It says the German defence ministry now “estimates the cost of the program at $22.8 billion by 2018″ for 143 aircraft. Read more…

Hot stuff

- June 26th, 2013

According to a Sierra Club Canada press release, Barack Obama’s global warming bowl of mush yesterday, in which he didn’t even take a clear stand on the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, “may turn out to be one of the most important speeches in American history”. Right. Forget “I Have a Dream” or the Farewell Address or the Gettysburg Address. Give a formulaic shout-out, take off your jacket again, mop your brow theatrically and drone on and your words “may turn out to be” studied, cited and cherished two centuries hence.

Or not.