Friday, November 28, 2008

Craig Oliver: Today's worst person in the world!

I had laugh last night when Craig Oliver, one of the crony denizens of the Conservative Television Network, tried to frame the issue about the economic statement down to a single statement, which basically was that if the Opposition parties overthrow the government on an issue as petty as party financing, then the wrath of Canadians will know no bounds.

Uh, Craig, maybe should you should nominate yourself as Keith Olbermann's daily "Worst Person in the World." Because it's more than about the $30 million, although changing the rules after the fact is one part of it. The fact is, there is absolutely no stimulus of any kind. Oh sure, there's a few hundred million to the Export Development Corporation (which guarantees accounts receivable for foreign sales) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (often the lender of last resort for start-up companies). But that's peanuts.

Seniors are getting a one year break on minimum withdrawals from their RRIFs but most withdraw monthly and since many have already withdrawn the minimum or more under the old rules (before the markets tanked and so did their portfolios) there's no way they can take advantage.

An increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or the working income supplement? No. An increase in child benefits? No. A cut in income taxes? No!

We need to get money into the system and more money into people's pocketbooks, now. Instead the government is just content to sit on its hands and maybe at some point have some kind of stimulus. All other countries in the G-7 are trying something to benefit their citizens at this time. But, not Canada. One has to think that the Conservatives cut the GST and increased spending drastically on purpose to get us into this fine mess.

Sorry, Craig, but if the Opposition parties do what they have to do and kicks out Harper from Number 24 on Monday it won't just because of the checks they get every three months. If you had bothered to pay attention to what Dion, Duceppe and Layton had said you'd know better than to just pick one issue and run with it.

UPDATE (7:25 pm EST, 1225 GMT): Oh, and another thing, Craig: You forgot to mention the fact that labour rights are suspended at the federal level for the next few years. No right to strike and a cap on wage increases. That's a slap in the face if there ever was one.

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Anonymous said...

I bet the Tories take out the party financing part and leave everything else the way it is. When the Liberals support it, we will all know where they stand, won't we?

BlastFurnace said...

I have a feeling you're right. I'm not counting my chickens until they actually vote. Only when the Opposition -- all of it -- finally gets its act together will I celebrate.

Anonymous said...

This so called Coalition will make
Gilles the new leader of Canada as he will decide which policys will pass or fail in parliment. Is this what any Canadian (outside of Quebec) wants for our county ??

BlastFurnace said...

This one can prove to be quite unwieldly, I have to admit; and having Duceppe as part of the mix is something to ponder. Certainly, I wonder what concessions have been made other than what has been leaked out.

But consider that separatists in Belgium (both on the French and Dutch sides) as well as in Italy (where the rich north is sick of subsidizing the poorer south) are regularly part of governments and no one seems to complain. Ditto with Spain where coalitions are held up from time to time with separatists from Catalonia, Galicia and Eusakdi (the Basque Region).

And several times, Tony Blair had to rely on separatists from Wales and Scotland to avoid defeat on confidence measures (with concessions on transfers to the regional governments) when the left wing of his Labour party rebelled.

So it may be unprecedented for Canada, but other countries are quite used to working with secessionists who are usually more bark than bite. In this case, Duceppe was holding out on transfer payments, he appears to have gotten more of that in exchange for cooperation. (Most places with similar issues, money shuts them up pretty fast.)

For what it's worth, the Constitution only requires an oath of loyalty to the Queen (not to Canada) to sit in the House. The Bloc has taken that oath; so blame the Fathers of Confederation for that. And the last time I checked, a law that called for Nova Scotia to secede from Canada still had not been recinded.

Anonymous said...

Well spoken, but I don't think The Canadian public is yet ready for it.

I also fear the Libs and NDP are looking at a long walk in the wilderness by pursuing this route 6 weeks into a new gov't.

Harper will also swallow h1s pride and cough up some revisons before Dec 8....

Anonymous said...

I for think Harper is prudent with our tax dollars. Wait and see what the US auto company's do and what's in the deal for Canada before dumping billions without security. As for the Forestry sector.. Last time this was tried we were saddled with a decade of countermeaseures for the US. Tax cuts for the needy (business & public) are in order, with a wait and see policy for now