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Deficit will linger half decade, watchdog warns

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says that an early return to black ink appears difficult ...Read the full article

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  1. Somethings Never Change from Canada writes: And at last another 10 on top of that before the jobs start coming back.
    It took a couple of decades of credit and living beyond ones means to get into this mess on a worldwide scale. It will take at least that long to recover. Five years seems like an undercalculation.
  2. Proud Canadian from Canada writes: Why is a beaurocrat making this announcement and not the Minister of Finance or Prime Minister. Are these two clowns (Harper and Flaherty) trying to hide behind mommy's skirt? Come on Steve, either govern or get out. When did the employee talk for the boss? Only in Harpoon's government.
  3. J. Michael from Canada writes: I think this is irresponsible. If one’s salary were to drop by 10%, would it be wise to then borrow an extra 10% indefinitely to maintain a life style, or rather cut expenses?

    Clearly Canada's government is presently not fit to govern or is this rather a symptom of a minority. It seems that Canada is losing because it does not have a government with a mandate to govern during these treacherous times.
  4. pants 7 from Japan writes: Half a decade!!!!!!! OMG OMG OMG that must be a long time!!!!

    Oh, wait that means 5 years, not so bad.
  5. Oh Really from Canada writes: It's OK people, as long as you label spending as 'stimulus' there are no rules or concerns. We can spend as much as we like. It doesn't even have to be spent wisely. We can even throw it at the forestry and manufacturing sectors in an attempt to stimulate those otherwise prospectless areas. Who would be against 'stimulus'? By definition it is better than any alternative. So don't worry yourselves so much, it's all good.
  6. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes: Is there any good new these days?
  7. Randal Oulton from Toronto, Canada writes: So basically, this means that in the history of Canada, the 11 deficit free years that Paul Martin brought us are going to be the anomaly. Now it's back to normal for a few more centuries.
  8. bilbo baggins from whirlpool, Canada writes: Clearly this is not the message Mr Harper wishes to present to Canadians.

    I expect that Kevin Page will be 'reassigned' and someone more suitable will take the helm before the position disappears entirely in a budget cut.
  9. Roger Cooper from Canada writes: A dismal science or a divine one? What would Mr. Page have counseled last year at this time, or what will he counsel next? Economics has never been much good at prediction, labouring even to explain the past, as witnessed by the current turnabout.

    Better to apply chaos theory, which promises no predictive capacity whatsoever, except to tell us that even small events can cause wide fluctuations.
  10. Gerry Pankhurst from Westport Ontario, Canada writes: Just one more opinion from one more 'expert' This is becoming tiresome. When they all get together and form a consensus, let me know.
  11. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    Tory times are tough times. Always have been, always will be.
  12. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: bilbo baggins from whirlpool, Canada writes: Clearly this is not the message Mr Harper wishes to present to Canadians.

    I expect that Kevin Page will be 'reassigned' and someone more suitable will take the helm before the position disappears entirely in a budget cut.

    ---------------------------------

    I believe the message has already been delivered by both 'sides'...the coalition planning to return to surplus after 4 years or so and the government - in pre-budget papers released last month forcasting deficit of 2 years (best case scenario) to 6 years (worst case scenario).
  13. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    The GST alone represents 6 billion a point in revenue.

    Could the country use the 12 billion a year that was squandered away in vote candy by the COns ??
    --------------
    The 12 billion a year is quite erroneous and typical of the left to misrepresent fact. A little research from multiple sources will show that 'each' GST point represents $3-4 Billion per year based on full out, non-recession spending. Of course as spending decreases, so would GST revenue decrease.

    First GST 1% cut was on July 2006--the next Jan 2008.

    Your $12 billion per year is pure hokus pokus unless you can provide a credible source. Give it a try.
  14. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: 'Deficit will linger for half decade, watchdog warns'

    George W. Bush: (7 August 2007) 'The fundamentals of our economy are strong'.

    Stephen Harper: (1 October 2008) 'The fundamentals of our economy are strong'.

    Mr. Bush, please announce, before you leave office next week, that the US economy (and by extension that of Canada) is in the toilet, so that Stevie can make the same prognostication next January.
  15. Gerry Pankhurst from Westport Ontario, Canada writes: R. Carriere: You are dealing with the master of 'hokus pokus' and your chances of getting a rational reply, if any at all, are not very good. I doubt if he knows the time of day.
  16. Gerry Pankhurst from Westport Ontario, Canada writes: Anthony B: I see you have ruled out the fallacy being spouted by many, that Mr. Harper wont be around by next January. Right on Tony boy.
  17. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Randal Oulton writes: So basically, this means that in the history of Canada, the 11 deficit free years that Paul Martin brought us are going to be the anomaly...
    ------

    The $54 BILLION question!

    ' The Supreme Court of Canada says that Ottawa illegally collected employment insurance contributions for three years under the former Liberal government.

    In a 7-0 decision, the court ruled EI premiums were inappropriately collected between 2002, 2003, and 2005.

    'This means that employment insurance premiums were collected unlawfully, without the necessary legislative authorization,' Justice Louis LeBel wrote in the decision

    Paul Martin, then-prime minister Jean Chretien's finance minister, brought in new EI legislation.

    New rules made it more difficult for laid off workers to be eligible for benefits.

    In those years, EI rates were set directly by cabinet without proper authorization from Parliament. That violated the ancient constitutional principle of no taxation without representation

    $54 BILLION was used from this 'illegal collection' to pay down debt!

    Your thoughts?
  18. kevin o'connor from Canada writes: We need a massive stimulus and deficits are now a secondary concern. We run a real risk of the economy grinding to a halt. There is a credit crunch, a private sector contraction, and monetary policy is tapped out, i.e. there is only one way out of this mess, government spending. It is the only way to make up the gap left by the meltdown. If we don't spend on a stimulus plan, we will lose more via lost revenue and deflation than if there was no stimulus plan at all. This is not really an arguable point, certainly not on left/right grounds, it's the economic fact. Sure the stimulus money can be frittered away stupidly, especially if it's squandered on business and high end tax cuts. The wealthy and business will simply save it and/or use it to clean up their balance sheets, therefore no spending, no stimulus. We need tax cuts at the low end (raise the rate an individual begins to pay income taxes to $25K is my idea), and extended benefits for the unemployed, both of which are likely to be spent, and will provide short term stimulus. Public works projects in health, education, infrastructure and renewable energy (things that will address pressing long term needs) will provide medium to long term stimulus. We need this, the alternative is worse. We should not worry too much about deficits because the risks of too small a stimulus package are greater than those of too big a one, but we must make sure our government does not waste our money on ineffective measures made to order for their wealthy and corporate supporters.
  19. john deere from Canada writes: Structural deficits - the gift that keeps giving and Stevie's gift to Canada.

    That will be Harper's legacy to Canada: a structural deficit that is a combination of recklessness, stupidity, pettiness and vindictiveness. The four pillars of the Conservative agenda.
  20. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: Randal Oulton from Toronto, Canada writes: 'So basically, this means that in the history of Canada, the 11 deficit free years that Paul Martin brought us are going to be the anomaly. Now it's back to normal for a few more centuries.'

    The myth of Paul Martin slaying the deficit. Let's not forget how this was achieved - reduced federal spending on services, reductions that were foisted unto the provinces and increased taxes. Martin was no financial genius.
  21. Counsellor Abroad from Togo writes: **The $54 BILLION question!**

    Add another $30 BILLION when you take into account the 1999 movement of 'surplus' public service/CF/RCMP pension plan funds by Chrétien/Martin into consolidated revenue.
  22. Peter Wojnar from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    >>R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes: Your $12 billion per year is pure hokus pokus unless you can provide a credible source. Give it a try.

    Everything Vern says is pure hokus pokus, usually worse.

    The GST cut provided stimulus to the economy exactly when it was most needed, that being, well ahead of a global economic downturn. That's one of the reasons why Canada is faring much better than all other western nations during this crisis. Canada actually created jobs in 2008, whereas other countries lost jobs.

    Why did the UK just cut their VAT by 2.5 points? To fight the economic downturn.

    Perhaps if Librano logic thinks a GST cut of 2 points is meaningless then they would also think an increase of 2 points is equally meaningless. So right now if Libranos were in control we might have a GST at 9%, which is only 2 'meaningless' points higher than when the Conservatives took office.
  23. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Deficit will linger for half decade, watchdog warns
    --------------

    Mulroney......CONservative......8 CONsecutive deficits

    Harper.....from inherited $13 Billion Liberal surplus to $30 Billion deficit in less than 3 years.

    What is it about fiscal responsibility that CONservatives ....just don't get ???:
  24. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes:
    Guess the Harper CONservative Economic Policy 'Don't worry be happy' just isn't working.
  25. John Deckhardt from Halifax, Canada writes: What you all fail to realize is that deficits and debt are all part of the typical Conservative right philosophy. You see, the Conservatives or right wing governments will cut taxes and run up debt so that when they are out of power the more Liberal or left governments cannot implement any social programs - unless they raise taxes.

    Thus, the Conservatives or right wing governments affect governing even when they aren't in power. Regardless of how the left wing government acts, the Conservatives or right wing win -- If the left wing government doesn't increase taxes they stop the increase in government spending because the government has to deal with debt servicing. If the left wing government does increase taxes they reinforce the myth of the tax and spend socialists.

    So, the current Conservative government is just setting itself up to curb the next round of Liberal governing.
  26. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Under the Chretien/Martin rule, here are the figures from 'Statistics Canada:

    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/060322/dq060322d-eng.htm

    In 1993 when Chretien-Martin came to power the 'net financial debt' for Canada was $471 Billion.

    By 1998, the debt had risen to $581 billion. In 5 years, the debt increased by $90 Billion.

    With slashes to transfers to the Provinces for YOUR Health Care and education, only then was debt starting to marginally decrease.

    By the time Martin left in 2006, debt was $523 Billion!

    Therefore, in 1993 the net financial debt was $471 Billion
    When Martin left in 2006, the net financial debt was $523 Billion.

    An INCREASE of $52 Billion.

    Add in the $54 BILLION of 'illegal fund collection' of EI mentioned above that went towards debt reduction, and in reality, net financial debt under the Liberal government increased $ 106 Billion!

    The argument will say that Net financial debt /percentage of GDP decreased from 68% to 40%....and GDP is what? Based on what?
    .
  27. Glenn F from Canada writes: Tory times are tough times!

    Oh, how I wish we had a Liberal back in charge of our nation's finances... that Martin fellow was so much better at it!
  28. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: The Conservatives in Canada will run a 30-40 billion dollar deficit this year - Canada's biggest deficit since...the last time we had Conservatives in power.

    Deficit Jimmy is the biggest spending finance minister in the history of Canada.

    The Harper gov't has proven that they are not superior economic managers.
  29. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: The economy is strong, if there were to be a recession it would have occurred already.

    I guess we can safely and honestly say......

    Stephen Harper is ........Aliar.

    Its that simple.
  30. Nick Be from Toronto Canada, Canada writes: you know that any prediction is as good as a bet at the roulette table. I wish these guys would stop with all this crap.
  31. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes:

    The Conservatives in Canada will run a 30-40 billion dollar deficit this year - Canada's biggest deficit since...the last time we had Conservatives in power.

    -----------------------------

    ...and if the coalition forms a government and introduces a 30B stimulus package as planned they will also run a deficit of similar magnitude....

    So just what is your point?
  32. BJ Homes from Ontario, Canada writes: “I don't see a plausible scenario where Ottawa goes into deficit.” Stephen Harper.
  33. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: In fact, Harper's 2006 balanced budget (a product of 13 years of Liberal government) was the first balanced Conservative budget in Canada in 90 years.

    It was interesting that Harper appealed to the electorate with the fact that Canada needed a 'steady hand' on the tiller.

    The recession, that Harper did not recognize until moment after the election, is not a time to avoid a deficit.

    But, the Harper gov't's spending ways, previously, showed weak financial foresight.
  34. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes: John Deckhardt from Halifax, Canada writes: What you all fail to realize is that deficits and debt are all part of the typical Conservative right philosophy. You see, the Conservatives or right wing governments will cut taxes and run up debt so that when they are out of power the more Liberal or left governments cannot implement any social programs - unless they raise taxes.
    -----------------

    Really? Then explain these other facts.

    Trudeau takes power in 1968:

    !971: Net Financial debt: 18 Billion (could not find 1969)

    1985: Net financial debt: $209 BILLION when Trudeau leaves
    .
  35. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: In fact, Harper's 2006 balanced budget (a product of 13 years of Liberal government) was the first balanced Conservative budget in Canada in 90 years.

    It was interesting that Harper appealed to the electorate with the fact that Canada needed a 'steady hand' on the tiller.

    The recession, that Harper did not recognize until moment after the election, is not a time to avoid a deficit.

    But, the Harper gov't's spending ways, previously, showed weak financial foresight.

    --------------------------------

    I'm not disagreeing with that....

    But back to the original point...a coalition, instead of using the 'Liberals are sound finacial managers' mantra and getting the financial ship righted are planning on plowing ahead with massive stimulus spending themselves as the upcoming budget is - mainly b/c if the government doesn't their chances of being brought down increase - thereby resulting in a deficit of similar magnitude.

    So, once again, what is your point other than CPC stimulus/deficit bad, coalition (LPC) stimulusdeficit necessary/good?
  36. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Really? Then explain these other facts.

    Trudeau takes power in 1968:

    !971: Net Financial debt: 18 Billion (could not find 1969)

    1985: Net financial debt: $209 BILLION when Trudeau leaves

    ------------------------------------

    Don't waste your time refering to Trudeau RC...you know that according to most LPC apologists here - the same ones who have no problem with Mulroney's debt - that similar to Japanese history books on WWII Trudeau's debt is irrelevant, doesn't matter, or in some cases I would swear didn't exist.
  37. Loki Peterson from Toronto, Canada writes: I don't believe this story. Harpo said in the last election campaign that he would never run a deficit. Harpo is a man of integrity. He wouldn't make a promise and then break it a few months later. What would the G&M have us believe? That Harpo is a shameless liar? Surely, that can't be true given that the G&M endorsed Harpo in the last two election campaigns.
  38. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Half a decade? I could handle a five year period of deficits but half a decade...wow that's a long time.
  39. MyCanada MyLove from Canada writes: .(00)

    Vern McPherson from Canada writes: 'Could the country use the 12 billion a year that was squandered away in vote candy by the COns ??
    Tell me oh tootless gutless wonders, what good has that silly tax cut done ?? Posted 14/01/09 at 5:44 AM EST'

    Amen! PoliticalVoteCandy CAVITIES & PAINS
    and ADD ...
    $40Billion??? this year mulitiplied by N years
    Most of it in political waste/gimmicks????
    Doubling of federal debt in a decade????

    Thoughts people should keep in mind.


    (oo)
  40. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: Harper soothes the electorate that he is a policy wonk and a cool head.

    My point is, what is Harper? Is he for smaller gov't? Is he for fiscal respraint? His opinion changes moment by moment.

    We will have to wait and see what this budget offers, but Harper's budget is anybody's guess. Uncertain economic times calls for pragmatism. Harper's response is shaky.
  41. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: Harper soothes the electorate that he is a policy wonk and a cool head.

    My point is, what is Harper? Is he for smaller gov't? Is he for fiscal respraint? His opinion changes moment by moment.

    We will have to wait and see what this budget offers, but Harper's budget is anybody's guess.

    -------------------------------------

    There ya go...wait for the actual budget to see what happens instead of automatically assuming the worse...now you're getting it! :-)

    Unlike most of the soothsayer wannabes on here assuming this and that based merely on gerneralisations pulled out of their a$$e$!
  42. Ray 61 from Sault Ste. Marie, Canada writes: Unrelated to this article,it appears no in depth criticism is being allowed regarding the nortel saga
  43. Pierre Dionne from Toronto, Canada writes: I said on these boards, several years ago, when we were wondering what to do with all the big surplus, that we should NOT reduce taxes. They were boom times, and in boom times you collect more than you spend, and you pay down debt.

    Unfortunately, both Liberals and Conservatives were facing intense pressure to reduce tax, and both promised to do just that: Conservative to reduce GST, Liberals to reduce income tax. (I'm talking about the election that saw the Conservative come in for the first time).

    Now, we're entering a recession with absolutely no maneuvering room. And we're going to have deficits. If we had gone in with $20 billion surplus, we would be doing way better.
  44. Peter Grimm from Canada writes: Any idiot that looks to Canadian politics or Canadian economics to determine the cause or duration of a global crisis has their head so far up their a$$ their vision has been obscured.

    Five years of deficit? Tell Japan that 20 years ago when their rising cost of living and emerging third world competition made them redundant. They have not recovered yet,nor will in five more years.

    What fundemental change is going to fix the ailing developed world economy in five years? Are we suddenly going to be able to live the good life while working for third world wages? Will limited resources suddenly stretch to provide the entire world with our consumer lifestyle?

    Wake up folks, there has been a significant paradigm shift - stimulus and deficit spending will not take the developed countries back to the illusion of living beyond our means.

    Blaming Harper or Martin misses the point that all we are really facing is how we redefine our lifestyle to someting sustainable in a global economy - We have three choices - tax ourselves back to the stone age and socialize the hurt, depreciate our currency to lower standard of living for all, or selectively allow some to become dirt poor while a few of us keep up the dream.

    All three options are being pursued by every political entity in the entire developed world and you expect something different from our boys????
  45. JACK V from Canada writes: What are they going to raise taxes ,is this how HARPER is going to pay the debt to help the rich auto sector, steal from the POOR and GIVE TO THE rich.
  46. Derek live..... from the center of the universe from Canada writes: Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Could the country use the 12 billion a year that was squandered away in vote candy by the COns ??

    Vern what you call 'squandered' I classify as a 12 billion dollar economic injection ....others seem to think it is a good idea ....England lowered thier VAT recently .... maybe that is why our economy although battered is statistically better than most ....maybe just maybe the government got it right and got that money into consumers hands at the right time ....
  47. Accountant from Toronto from Toronto, Canada writes: Great so as the baby boomers retire and the workforce shrinks and economic output shrinks, are pension and debt liabilities will skyrocket. Wait to look after the next generation. What a lasting legacy this will be.

    If you invest in anything, make it at least interesting. Perhaps put world class buildings in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal (i.e like the 818m tall Burj in Dubaii). This will make Canada look like a first class economy, and attract business to our country once we get out of this mess. Iconic buildings make cities which make a country.
  48. scott thomas from Canada writes: Thank you, Harper and Flaherty. If you both weren't so stubborn and had not made the useless GST cuts, you would have had room to finance without deficits. Never let it be musunderstood that conservatives are fiscally responsible: look at what Bush has done south of the border. Remember the last string of balanced budgets was due to Clinton down south and to Chretien up north. And if you want to really open up your understaning of fiscal resonsibility going with social responsibility, check out the recored of the three major parties across Canada with respect to budgets. Federally, Provincially, and Territorially, since the mid-eighties, the NDP has the record of the most budgets balanced of any party. (Note this includes conservative, PC, and Socred as one category. This comes from the government's own data.) So look us in the eye, Harpo and Flaherty, and show some shame.
  49. Pierre Dionne from Toronto, Canada writes: Rob,

    So who took the debt from $209 billion to $471 billion?

    That being said, I would also like to point out that GST represents about $5 billion of revenue per percentage point, and not $6 billion (as per Vern), but certainly more than $3 to $4 billion. As per the fiscal tables for Canada, we collected $29.9 billion of GST in fiscal 2007-2008, when the GST was mostly at 6% (3 months at 5%). Granted the lower rate did encourage spending, and we certainly cannot expect to collect as much in a recession. So we can call it an even $4 billon times 2 points = $8 billion of revenue that we should not have given away.
  50. Right Said Fred from Canada writes: We have too many social programs that are a waste and that people rely on for too much. Take health care, we consistently have dumped billions into this the wrong way and what have we gotten, a beleaguered system with long wait times, there are not enough persons to handle everything (hire more nurses, doctors and allied health professionals instead of giving existing ones pay raises). We have squandered billions in military ordering helicopters from Sikorsky and they can't get the job done on time and now costs us more money to finish it! It is time to cut the fat out of the budget and get used to living lite until this mess passes. You can't have your cake and eat it too during this time.
  51. Rusty Waters from Canada writes: PC times are hard times. How true it is.
  52. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Pierre Dionne from Toronto, Canada writes: Rob,

    So who took the debt from $209 billion to $471 billion?

    ----------------------

    Brian Mulroney - with most of that debt being interest on the public debt courtesy of Trudeau.
  53. bob london from Canada writes: 40 years of Liberal management by 'Liberal' governments created a deck of cards supported by bullsh*t. Enough people started to smell something and put in Harper. It will take the generations after the boomers 40 years to fix their mess. Now all boomers, get off the government tit in your job, your company or welfare and get in shape or we are pulling the plug.
  54. Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Right Said Fred from Canada writes: We have too many social programs that are a waste and that people rely on for too much. Take health care, we consistently have dumped billions into this the wrong way and what have we gotten, a beleaguered system with long wait times, there are not enough persons to handle everything (hire more nurses, doctors and allied health professionals instead of giving existing ones pay raises).

    ****************************************
    Right: I have to disagree with you on this one. I am a heavy user of the health care system due to a rather nasty problem. In the past 5 years since I have been sick I have watched wait times drop immensely in Ontario anyway. As well have a number of American friends with the same problem, take my word for this be glad you live here. It is not perfect but it is still excellent care.
  55. rahim ladha from montreal, Canada writes: This does sound like structural deficit......Another thing not mentioned here is the increasing productivity gap between Canada and it's trading partners....which also puts downward pressure in government revenues..
  56. Shivas Irons from Qualicium Beach, Canada writes: Let me see if I have this right. I have no money. My family has no money. My neighbours have no money. No problem. I will spend like crazy on my credit card. All the people will go back to work to provide all the things I really don't need or want. Life returns to 'NORMAL'. I get a bill in the mail. No problem. I make the minium pmt. Next month a slightly larger bill arrives. I go HMMM!!! Long story short, it is hard to spend your way out of trouble. We elected our govt. to govern and lead. It is time for them to get a glove and get in the game not buy season tickets for all their friends.
  57. Central Ontario from Canada writes: He has left out the tax credits that Harper/Flaherty are going to use and CON you to continue voting for them.

    Canadian's need to wake up to this incompetent government.

    They only have THEIR interests at heart, not alll Canadians

    Wake up Canada!
  58. Vote for your country from Canada writes: Any person with even the most remote bit of sense would understand that this current mess is a global one. What good does it do to blame Trudeau or Mulroney or Martin or Harper? Seriously, what? I will be inheriting this mess until the day I die and will be doing my best to pass as little of it on to the next generation as possible. I can only say that it's too bad the sense of those who endured the great depression appear to have jumped a generation. I frankly don't care anymore who caused what. Just do something about it or get the blazes out of the way and let someone else take care of it.
  59. Vote for your country from Canada writes: And folks, there is a difference between a deficit and a debt.
  60. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: So what you have is a public policy expert (Kevin Page) who says tax cuts are not the way to go. On the other hand, you have two public officials (Harper and Ignatieff, each with his own level of expertise in public policy) who call for tax cuts. Too bad that politics might win out over sound public policy. I wonder what that other public policy expert, Kevin Chan, formerly of the Privy Council and now Ignatieff advisor, thinks of all this. I have great respect for public policy experts; their smarts cannot be denied. But will politics trump smarts? And, in all this, I compare the bios of Harper and Ignatieff. One is very impressive; the other one manages to bring hockey into the picture. I can understand the fear! Still, will politics win the day?
  61. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:
    Pierre Dionne from Toronto, Canada writes: Rob,

    So who took the debt from $209 billion to $471 billion?
    ---------
    Of course it was under Mulroney's watch! All I do above is point out(continuously) to the Liberal believers of the media hyped Liberal Party supposed 'deficit slayers' is very far from the facts.

    You write: ' So we can call it an even $4 billon times 2 points = $8 billion of revenue that we should not have given away.'

    Given away to whom? Did it just vanish? GST is collected and paid as a product winds its way to the end user. The end user benefits.

    Was the first GST cut good? Back in July 2006 it was a response to an election promise and the storm clouds were very far away. Was the Jan 08 cut good? Several question marks there. Some say yes, many say no. I say no. Was it a mini pre-emptive stimulous? Different opinions linger. Who really knows? No one on these threads-that's for sure!

    At the end of the day, and regardless of ruling Party, get ready for 40 billion deficit.
    .
  62. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    bob london from Canada writes: 40 years of Liberal management by 'Liberal' governments created a deck of cards supported by bullsh*t. Enough people started to smell something and put in Harper. It will take the generations after the boomers 40 years to fix their mess. Now all boomers, get off the government tit in your job, your company or welfare and get in shape or we are pulling the plug.
    Posted 14/01/09 at 9:19 AM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    ====================================

    booby londin's histrionics are fun aren't they .............
  63. S Rankin from Chatham, Ontario, Canada writes: Gerry Pankhurst from Westport Ontario, Canada writes: Just one more opinion from one more 'expert' This is becoming tiresome. When they all get together and form a consensus, let me know.
    ================================================

    You have not been paying attention. The experts have formed a consensus. All of the major world economies are preparing stimulus packages from anywhere from 2% to 8% of GDP. Canada is on the low end of this range as stated in the article. You think stimulus is a bad idea? Then prepare for the bankruptcy of many more Canadian companies and the lay-off of tens of thousands of Canadians. Won't effect you if nothing is done? Everyone's net worth is taking a hit and the slide is far from over. In fact it is just getting under way. It won't impact you as long as you have your investments in cash, your mortgage paid off and do not intend to sell your house for the next 5-10 years. For everyone else ...well, I guess they can fall back on the soup kitchen.
  64. Knuckles Muldoon from Etobicoke, Canada writes: I was told during the election campaign there would be no deficit. I guess you just can't trust politicians any more. ;-)
  65. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: EI needs to be designed in such a way that the premiums drop and support increases during economic downturns, while the premiums go up and the support decreases during economic booms.

    Increase the GST rebate instead of cutting the GST since this will stimulate more spending and less saving and also won't provide taxcuts to those such as myself whose spending doesn't alter during these types of slowdowns.
  66. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: No sh!t.

    Just like in Ontario when Bob Rae tried spending his way out of a recession using 'stimulus' spending it doesn't work.

    Once Pandora's box is open and large deficits are run it's near impossible to close. Programs, special interest groups and everything in between becomes reliant on the so-called 'stimulus' spending.

    The Conservatives had it right in their economic statement. Cut spending where appropriate and ditch the 'stimulus' spending that has proven not to work.

    Sadly the opposition parties would rather lead Canada down a path to economic ruin.

    We've spent 25 years cleaning up the mess left by Trudeau's spending orgy and sadly no one learned a God damn thing.
  67. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada: Actually, most of the complaining I've been hearing about the deficit is coming from conservative voters who don't believe in the stimulus theory.

    Others simply can't resist the latest delicious irony of Harper being forced to eat his words and demonstrate that he is no better than anyone else at running the government.

    From my own perspective I just want to ensure the overspending isn't built into the budget on a permanent basis.
  68. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Pierre Dionne from Toronto, Canada writes:

    'So who took the debt from $209 billion to $471 billion?'

    That would be the PM who followed the guy who took our debt from $20 billion to $209 billion.

    Let's see....

    Mulroney increased our debt by 125%

    Trudeau increased our debt by close to 1000%

    Nuff said.
  69. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: For the sake of posterity I was hoping this conservative government would be the first in Canadian history not to run a deficit, but apparently the 'dear maker' has an ironic sense of humour.

    Hubris makes fools of us all.
  70. garlick toast from Canada writes: Kevin Page was unable to put an accurate price tag on the Afgan war because of lack of cooperation from the various gov't. depts. involved. His best guess was between 100 and 300 million dollars per month. The American experience is that the ratio between the cost of war and the cost of care for war vets is one-to-one. With that in mind, a five year deficit forecast seems overly optimistic.
  71. JM The Habs Fan from Canada writes: Proud Canadian from Canada writes: Why is a beaurocrat making this announcement and not the Minister of Finance or Prime Minister. Are these two clowns (Harper and Flaherty) trying to hide behind mommy's skirt? Come on Steve, either govern or get out. When did the employee talk for the boss? Only in Harpoon's government.
    ______________________________________

    Really??? This is your concern.
  72. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes:

    'From my own perspective I just want to ensure the overspending isn't built into the budget on a permanent basis.'

    Well Phil one of the items the coalition wants to waste this 'stimulus' spending on is daycare.

    Your wish that overspending won't be built into the budget permanently is a pipe dream I'm afraid.
  73. Silver Standard (Harper hides behind the Queens skirt)) from Canada writes: If we keep 'stimulating' the economy it will be much worst than 5 years...not to mention the inflation.
  74. hangin right from Van, Canada writes: Oh Look,
    I see the GST cuts
    hanging around to haunt Harper for his deliberate mismanagement of the country and its affairs.
    way to go Harper , see what happens when ya screw with the People?
    now the whole country is going suffer because of your selfish greed for power. its gonna come back on ya , just wait and see.
  75. Johnny Test from Pork Belly, Canada writes: mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Deficit will linger for half decade, watchdog warns
    --------------

    Mulroney......CONservative......8 CONsecutive deficits

    Harper.....from inherited $13 Billion Liberal surplus to $30 Billion deficit in less than 3 years.

    What is it about fiscal responsibility that CONservatives ....just don't get ???:

    Of course the Liberals would just massively raise taxes to avoid this right? No one is buying your propaganda.
  76. JM The Habs Fan from ALL politicians lie, cheat and steal, Canada writes: Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: 'Deficit will linger for half decade, watchdog warns'

    George W. Bush: (7 August 2007) 'The fundamentals of our economy are strong'.

    Stephen Harper: (1 October 2008) 'The fundamentals of our economy are strong'.

    Mr. Bush, please announce, before you leave office next week, that the US economy (and by extension that of Canada) is in the toilet, so that Stevie can make the same prognostication next January.

    ____________________________________________

    Ask around or do some reading because Canada is better off than the majority of countries out there. Our economy has good structure. It doesn't mean that you won't feel downturns in the economy. Why do you think our stimulus will be around 2% of GDP and not near the 8% the US is standing at.
  77. Tim N from Canada writes: R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    All I do above is point out(continuously) to the Liberal believers of the media hyped Liberal Party supposed 'deficit slayers' is very far from the facts

    --------

    The Libs were deficit slayers. They were not Debt slayers. Yes, the debt increased from the beginning of the Chrieten era, to the end of the Martin era, however, the deficit (which is the yearly shortly fall) went from an approx. $40 B a year deficit to a $14 B surplus.

    Looking strictly at the accumulated debt, without considering the reduction in the deficit is intellectually dishonest.

    Also, creditting the Liberals 100% with taking our country from a deficit situation to a surplus situation is not correct either, in that it does not give credit to the GST, which was implemented by Mulroney, which allowed us to turn the tide.

    That said, I am disgusted that we are heading back into a multi-year deficit situation. I do not believe it will be 5 years, but much longer. It's a good thing that we have been paying down the debt for the last 11 years.
  78. Joe V from Canada writes: Oh no!

    How could anyone predict that careless stimulus spending would cause budget deficits that will require tax increases in approximately half a decade?

    It's not like this cycle has repeated itself dozens of times before!
  79. Tim N from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: No sh!t.

    Sadly the opposition parties would rather lead Canada down a path to economic ruin.

    Posted 14/01/09 at 10:37

    I thought Harper was releasing the budget. If he believes that cutting spending and not injecting stimulus to the econmy is the right thing, then he should stand for his principles, and table such a budget. If the opposition defeats it, so be it - and we will most likely end up with another election.

    If he capitulates, and runs a deficit, it his his and his alone. If he is such a great leader, then lead. Or is he not 'leader' enough to stand up to the big mean opposition, and do what he thinks is right?'
  80. P Martin from St. John's, Canada writes: Come on coalition. Get rid of this inept bully. Even before this financial downturn happened there was going to be a deficit. Now, it is just going to be much worse.
  81. garlick toast from Canada writes: Governments create deficits, tax payers pick up the tab.
  82. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Loki Peterson from Toronto, Canada writes: Harpo said in the last election campaign that he would never run a deficit. Harpo is a shameless liar?
    --------------

    Bingo.....Harper = Liar
  83. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Johnny Test from Pork Belly, Canada writes:

    'Mulroney......CONservative......8 CONsecutive deficits'

    Spare everyone your drivel.

    The nearly thirty year run of deficit spending that put Canada in this hole started in 1969, during Pierre Trudeau's watch.

    Trudeau ran 15 consecutive deficits from '69 to '84. If you want to point fingers start with that useless t!t Trudeau.
  84. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: JACK V from Canada writes: HARPER is going to pay the debt to help the rich auto sector, steal from the POOR and GIVE TO THE rich.
    ----------------

    CONservative ideology......steal from the poor...give to the rich

    Steal $35 Billion from Canadian seniors.......give $35 Billion in tax cuts to rich oil companies
  85. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: The Liberal and NDP insistence for deficit budgets will last 10 years.

    Tax cuts, bail outs, excessive spending will send Canada into a depression that will last 10 years.

    Everything the Americans did without success, we are doing. This is not a normal minor economic adjustment of the past, we can't stimulate or spend our way out of this.

    The Coalition will be cited by historians as the cause of the Canadian Depression.
    .
  86. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: '... one of the items the coalition wants to waste this 'stimulus' spending on is daycare...'

    Harper doesn't need to do everything the coalition says for pete's sake. All he needs to do is bring out a budget the Liberals can't reject on principle.

    Daycare spending is NOT stimulus spending. It exists to increase participation in the workforce when we already have maximum use of the employable, which is certainly not now.

    Harper still needs to lead. If not, step aside already and let someone else wear the blame.
  87. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Tim N from Canada writes:

    'I thought Harper was releasing the budget. If he believes that cutting spending and not injecting stimulus to the econmy is the right thing, then he should stand for his principles, and table such a budget. If the opposition defeats it, so be it - and we will most likely end up with another election.'

    Tim the Harper gov't put forward an economic update that contained no stimulus spending and modest spending cuts.

    The results are well-known. The opposition cried like a bunch of babies and demanded $30 billion be wasted in the name of 'stimulus' spending.

    Harper either capitulates or his gov't falls. To say a 'leader' would simply allow his gov't to fall borders on stupidity.
  88. concerned voter from Alberta, Canada writes: OK, we all seem to be confused here...who is this man Kevin Page and how is it that a public service bureaucrat can make unchallenged statements at will....and which the MEDIA gleefully report as 'gospel'...unchallenged etc. what exactly is in his job description..I dont think it includes representing himself as the guru on all things concerning future economic policy etc. OK, he can tell us how to calculate the full cost of the Afghamistan conflict (mostly past costing with appropriate projections) using the 'BUDGET documents and actual expenditures' as a baseline, but its surely not within his domain to give us opinions on policies that arent even in place yet. If he really wants to be that then he should resign and become like all the other economists and so called think tanks who are always right 'after the fact ' but cant agree on any real consistant future policy options. witness the comments attributed to him re (immediate) tax cuts vs (sometime in the future) infrastucture spending.... he is frankly taunting the Conservative government and the PM and Finance Minister in particular, taunting them to disagree with him, or more sinisterly to actually fire him or whatever, he is a CIVIL SERVANT after all, not an independant member of the public. Shame on the Media for giving total credance to his words.
  89. Gogh Forit from Canada writes: WHO CARES. WE WILL ALL BE PAYING BACK ANY DEFICITS AND DEBTS SO WHAT'S THE BIG WHOOP. TRUDEAU STARTED THIS DEFICIT DEBT MESS AND SINCE POLITICIANS (MOSTLY LIBERAL) HAVE CONTINUED IN HIS WAKE AND SIMPLY ADDED MORE DEBT TO BE PAID OFF BY GENERATIONS OF CANADIANS. THE NATIONAL DEBT WILL NEVER BE PAID OFF SO WHY WORRY ABOUT IT.
  90. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: The government should let the economy work naturally. Passing debt onto others will just delay the inevitable. 1 year ago we were short of workers and allowing imigration. Now we have an excess of workers. Next year we will be just fine. Markets are markets. Let the system work.
  91. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Tim N from Canada writes:

    'The Libs were deficit slayers.'

    Tim the Liberals started the deficit spending in Canada.

    They take far too much credit for cleaning up their own mess.
  92. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes:
    Mulroney......8 CONsecutive deficits......$270 Billion

    Flaherty......CONservative........$6 Billion Ontario deficit

    Deficits ......its what CONservatives do

    Martin ...Liberal .....slayed the Mulroney deficits and run 10
    balanced budgets

    Deficits ......its what CONservatives do

    Repairing the damage CONservatives do........its what Liberals do
  93. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: concerned voter from Alberta, Canada: FYI

    '... The Parliamentary Budget Officer's responsibilities include providing an independent analysis of the state of the economy, the nation's finances and the government's expenditure plan and an analysis of the expenditure estimates of any government department or agency when requested to do so by a Parliamentary committee that's reviewing those estimates....'
    ~Cynthia Münster, Hilltimes

    http://tinyurl.com/8ak4xu
  94. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: The Conservatives are going to run a $40 billion deficit for 5 years!! Wow, one would think the world was in a massive global slowdown...and then I read the posts here and realize that no the global economy is just fine and this deficit is due to Harper and Flaherty and their GST cuts. Who would have thunk it!! Those evil Conservative deficit spending bastar#@!ds!!
  95. Gogh Forit from Canada writes: Those on the left always avoid using facts as the truth would just render them speechless. Why let the facts get in the way of a good rant. Additionally there is no way of convincing them otherwise as they simply do not have the intellectual capacity to face the truth when it smacks them in the face.
    Word up lefties. We're still paying off the original debt created by Trudeau and the only way a Liberal creates a surplus is on the backs of taxpayers. Martin 'slayed' the deficit by cutting government spending and increasing taxes especially large increases to CP pension contributions and of course the special Liberal fund aka EI. What no Liberal has ever done is to decrease the tax burden for Canadian taxpayers.
  96. JM The Habs Fan from ALL politicians lie, cheat and steal, Canada writes: mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: What is it with CONservatives and fiscal irresponsibility and deficits .....its in their dna.

    ______________________________________________-

    You make it sound like Liberals are Saints. They too have been irresponsible with taxpayers dollars in the past. They too have lied to get into power. I guess for you it's different. You like the colour red and hate the colour blue. Is that why you are so partisan?
  97. North Star from Canada writes: Harper's lasting legacy. Certainly not how Harper wanted history to remember him by.
  98. rick from river city from Canada writes: Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Again I ask, is there ONE single consistent stand point liberal scum can stick to? ONE issue where you won't completely trip over your feet an contradict yourselves on?

    no, for them it's not about the issue but about pouting that they are not designing the solution, that they are not in government. Nothing the Conservatives could ever do would be acceptable.
  99. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Gogh Forit from Canada writes: Those on the left always avoid using facts as the truth would just render them speechless.
    -----------------
    Shhhhhhhhhhh!! Let the left have their fun.

    All the reading fun on these posts would be gone if the normal left posters were not here informing us that a Liberal government would not be running a deficit during these times and that it is those evil, dragon owning, human rights removing, nasty old white man, poor beaters, women pregnant in the kitchen, Hummer driving, bloated Conservatives that cause all the world problems
  100. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Just 6 weeks ago Flaherty promised a $100 Million surplus and 5 balanced budgets.

    See Jim lie

    See Jim run

    See Jim hide

    Who's little Jimmy going to blame it on this time.....there's no Janet Ecker.
  101. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Considering that PM Harper and Mr. Ignatieff are both proposing the same policies of tax cuts, and targetted infrastructure spending it appears there will be a deficit no matter which party is in power.
  102. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: 'We' do what we need to do as we muddle along on this planet; I hope humbled by how ordinary and 'not so clever' we really are...and if anyone posting to this board really thinks they DO have the answers (of course we don't) then what the heck are they doing on the sidelines?
  103. North Star from Canada writes: Harper has lost control of the parliamentary agenda and is beholden to the opposition parties; even Harper supporters here on this thread are blaming the opposition for Harper's budget.

    Harper cannot hold onto his party leadership for long if he is taking his marching orders from the opposition.
  104. Tim N from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Tim N from Canada writes:

    They take far too much credit for cleaning up their own mess.
    Posted 14/01/09 at 11:23 AM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    ----

    Granted - just as the Conservatives do not take far enough responsibility for the mess they helped create.

    As to presenting a 'capitulation' budget not being stupid, I, for one, value integrity more than capitulation. Once Harper shows me that he has principles (beyond getting re-elected) then I will respect him. Until then, he is nothing more than a political opportunists of the same calibre as Chrieten.

    He will release a budget in a few weeks. He, and only he, should be accountable for the contents of that budget. He should not include anything that he does not agree with. If he budgets for a $40 B a year deficit for 5 years, that means that he agrees with that strategy. To say the 'opposition made him do it,' is cowardice of the nth degree.

    If you do not stand for your principles, you stand for nothing.
  105. North Star from Canada writes: In less than 2 months....

    - First it was no deficit, $100 million surplus

    - Then it was a 'technical recession' and the government has in deficit

    - Then it was $30 and 'better in 2 years'

    - Now its $40 million and 'better in 5 years'

    Harper's government cannot be trusted.
  106. Tim N from Canada writes: Shawn Bull from Canada writes: The Conservatives are going to run a $40 billion deficit for 5 years!! Wow, one would think the world was in a massive global slowdown...and then I read the posts here and realize that no the global economy is just fine and this deficit is due to Harper and Flaherty and their GST cuts. Who would have thunk it!! Those evil Conservative deficit spending bastar#@!ds!!
    Posted 14/01/09 at 11:30 AM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    ----

    For me, it's not so much that the Conservatives are running a budget, asit is that they ran the election on 'never' running a deficit, and that in November they were promising a $100 M surplus.

    To go from 'never' to $40 B deficit in less than 6 weeks shows either that they outright lied (and are hoping Canadians are too stupid to see that they lied to them), or that they were completely incompetent. Feel free to pick one.

    Even Dion knew that he would have to run a deficit because of the melt-down that was obivous to everyone (except Harper).
  107. rick from river city from Canada writes: Gee, if the deficit lingers half a decade it may outlive the bankrupt Liberals Party by a year or two..
  108. Billy Bee from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: 'Trudeau ran 15 consecutive deficits and financially fcked this country for the next 25 years. That's what Liberals do'

    Really? How do you explain Martin running surpluses? Isn't he one of thise evil Liberals?
  109. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: North Star from Canada writes: In less than 2 months....

    - First it was no deficit, $100 million surplus

    - Then it was a 'technical recession' and the government has in deficit

    - Then it was $30 and 'better in 2 years'

    - Now its $40 million and 'better in 5 years'

    -------------------------

    NS, last month the feds released pre-budget papers which showed a return to surplus in 2 years (best case scenario) or as long as 6 years (worst case scenario)...this along with the coalition's plan to run deficits with a return to surplus in 4 years.
  110. Concerned Canadian from Canada writes: Central Ontario from Canada writes: ....

    Canadian's need to wake up to this incompetent government. They only have THEIR interests at heart, not alll Canadians
    Wake up Canada!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Government is made of politicians from all parties. Every elected official is in it for themselves. Gone are the days where we were led by officials who believed in doing something for the country. Canada may never wake up as long as the obliquely obtuse abysmally imbecile politicians are present.

    The current economic crisis will be resolved one way or the other. The question is regarding the choice. Do we take control or let somebody else do it for us? As the political classes keep thinking backwards and inside the box, one can assume the latter.
  111. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    concerned voter from Alberta, Canada writes: OK, we all seem to be confused here...who is this man Kevin Page and how is it that a public service bureaucrat can make unchallenged statements at will....and which the MEDIA gleefully report as 'gospel'...unchallenged etc. what exactly is in his job description..
    ----
    Pretty good story here at the Hill Times-gives a good background on how it all works and perhaps a little 'empire building' by Page.

    ' Parliamentary budget officer wants more independence, bigger budget.'

    http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php
    .
  112. David Bakody from Dartmouth, Canada writes: The world is now in deflationary state ......many will not recognize it but big time changes are about to happen ..... as mentioned many time before by me and others who can see the forest beyond the trees ..... we are talking 2015 until things settle ...... look for wage freezes followed by wage roll backs and even pension plans ..... no more multi million dollar salaries for the sports world and CEO's .... and when they loose the working class looses ..... big time.
  113. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Gogh Forit from Canada writes: '...Martin 'slayed' the deficit by cutting government spending and increasing taxes especially large increases to CP pension contributions and of course the special Liberal fund aka EI...

    I'm not sure how anyone gets rid of a deficit except by 'cutting government spending' and there were income tax cuts and increased GST rebates in there that you seem to prefer to gloss over.

    CPP is called a contribution and not a tax precisely because most people get a defined benefit out of it.
  114. evelyn robinson from Canada writes: Toss out the harpercrites and restore sanity to government.
    tax cuts will do little for the unemployed.
    Government should spend IN canada; not buy everything from foreign countries.
  115. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Proud Canadian from Canada writes: Why is a beaurocrat making this announcement and not the Minister of Finance or Prime Minister. Are these two clowns (Harper and Flaherty) trying to hide behind mommy's skirt? Come on Steve, either govern or get out. When did the employee talk for the boss? Only in Harpoon's government.
    -------------------------------
    Because positions like the Parliamentary Budget Officer or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission are independent from the executive branch of the government. They suppose to be watch dogs of the govt that spoke out on issues that's matter to the public ..... well at least until they get fired.
  116. Point Blank from Vancouver, Canada writes: Conservatives are running the country. This is no great shock!
  117. Anti Fascist from Canada writes:
    I believe the economic problems will continue until Canadians start electing Socialist governments. The problems we face are problems of design not chance. The design allowed the greedy pigs to mess up the whole system, we need design change.

    The Liberals and the Conservatives have proven themselves to be completely hopeless, immoral and without vision. They are more attune to the wishes of the USA and Israel than of Canadians.

    Canada for all Canadians not just the corporatists, I say.

    Two shoes to Harper and Iggy! A couple of boots would be fine too.
  118. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Billy Bee from Canada writes: Really? How do you explain Martin running surpluses? Isn't he one of thise evil Liberals?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That's easy. The Fed's reduced expenditures with increasing revenues. In other words, they cut programs (military funding, transfer payments...) and increased taxes.

    As much as you would like to put a political slant on the deficit and blame the CPC for all Canada's woes the fact is that no matter who formed the gov't there would be a budgetary deficit. Of course, our national debt is still around $500M and has been for a decade.
  119. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Tim N from Canada writes: '...To go from 'never' to $40 B deficit in less than 6 weeks shows either that they outright lied... or that they were completely incompetent... Even Dion knew that he would have to run a deficit because of the melt-down that was obivous to everyone...'

    Yes and Harper was very viscious about attacking Dion's assertion that a deficit may be neccesary too.

    This is the most striking evidence to date that to Harper, political expediency trumps everything else, including accountability to Canadians.
  120. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: scott thomas from Canada writes: 'Federally, Provincially, and Territorially, since the mid-eighties, the NDP has the record of the most budgets balanced of any party.'

    If you keep telling the same lie over and over again, it still does not represent the truth. The NDP was never in power federally, so they cannot be given credit for 'balanced budgets.' In the case of Ontario, Bobby Rae managed to double the provincial debt in his five short years in power.
  121. Child of the North in Canada from Canada writes: I can see R. Carriere, Gerry Pankhurst et al as members of the Tory Glee Club jumping around with their pom-poms on the deck of the Titanic trying to convince the passengers everybody is safe after the Captain has hit the iceberg.
  122. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: This bunk about 'Temporary Deficits' has got to be challenged. A deficit is a deficit. Stop the spin. Tell the truth. Have some spine.
  123. The Remnant from Canada writes: :

    Good thing the federal government can go to the Bank of Canada and borrow the money at near-zero interest rates instead of printing up government securities and selling them into the market to be held by private debtors who know that Canadian citizens will have their money extorted from them to pay the principle and interest on these.

    Or...not.
  124. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Anti Fascist from Canada writes: I believe the economic problems will continue until Canadians start electing Socialist governments.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If we villify corporate Canada and they leave for greener, free market pastures how will we pay for all the socialist programs?
  125. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: '...The Fed's reduced expenditures with increasing revenues. In other words, they cut programs (military funding, transfer payments...) and increased taxes...'

    Paul Martin cut over 30 000 civil service jobs, cut hundreds of millions from departmental budgets and cut transfers to the provinces on items of provincial jurisdiction such as 50/50 spending on Healthcare.

    Where are these increased taxes you partisan-cons keep going on about?

    All I saw were GST rebate increases for the poor and an incometax cut across the board earlier this decade.
  126. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: evelyn robinson from Canada writes: Toss out the harpercrites and restore sanity to government.
    tax cuts will do little for the unemployed.

    -----------------------------

    Um, in case you missed it Iggy sez tax cuts are good...

    theglobeandmail.com
  127. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Trudeau - deficit, deficit, deficit every year but one

    David Peterson/Bob Rae - deficit eliminated by Mike Harris

    Joe Ghiz - Liberal premier of PEI takes surplus left by government of Pat Binns and turns it into a deficit 2 years in a row

    Dalton McGuinty - 500M deficit this year

    Janet Ecker - Ontario 6B dollar deficit, not Flaherty

    What is it with Mike Sty not only being a blind apologist sheep but 'Aliar' as well...it's in his DNA.
    ----------------------------------
    The Liberal party of Canada and the various provincial Liberal party are INDEPENDENT and SEPARATE to each other.

    The difference between the Alberta Liberal party and PEI Liberal party are actually bigger than the difference between LPC and CPC.

    This is why I am vote for the liberal at the federal level but conservative(Pre John Tory) in the province.

    The deficit during Trudeau era are in line with the rest of the G7, it's caused by the oil crisis. The deficit only become structural in Mulroney era where the deficit rocketed up compare to the rest of G7.

    Gee, how come all Harper's supporter know so little about civil and history matters and yet speak so loud.
  128. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Billy Bee from Canada writes:

    'Really? How do you explain Martin running surpluses? Isn't he one of thise evil Liberals?'

    Paul Martin is the only fiscally responsible Liberal to ever set foot in the party; but he gets far too much credit.

    All Martin did was cut spending and pass the deficits onto the Provinces.

    The Federal books were balanced; the Provinces saw their deficits and debt climb due to the cutbacks in transfers.

    The overall liability to taxpayers didn't change much...they just moved the pile of shite to a different location.

    Not to mention Martin running surpluses didn't magically eliminate Canada's debt.

    Debt that ballooned by 1100% under Trudeau's Liberals and which it seems we will never actually pay off.
  129. Stephen Green from North Saanich, BC, Canada writes: Well yes, five years is possible, but then other measures can be implemented to quickly recover. How about reducing the cost of government? Increase the GST a half point?

    Why is it that we need a bureacrat in the Parliamentary Library to tell us this -- it is obvious.
  130. Alberta Energy Sector Worker AB from Canada writes: More evidence that the system is failed, broken and only works for the wealthy. It cannot be repaired or regulated to back to “health”. Yes the crisis is global. The neo-liberal model of gangster capitalism is global and is failed. The neo-con ideology defending these policies are being exposed for what they are – an excuse for US war profiteers and their agents to plunder the resources of other nations and expand the domination of US capital. All thinking people can see it. The Harper Reform Party apologists and ideological thugs howl in protest over any suggestion the Canadian crisis has anything to do with the failed policies of the Harper regime and his support base of evangelical speculative vermin. All political parties remain silent at the $490 Billion Canada First Defence Strategy. Harper remains committed to a failed policy of prosecuting an expanding war in Afghanistan as a willing junior partner at the US-NATO imperial council. Harper is dedicated to an expanding war budget now approaching $25 Billion annually while at the same time ceding Arctic sovereignty to US oil and gas speculators. The right-wing mouth pieces defend endlessly the failed economic policies of the Harper administration only to wind up in a dead end of tax cuts for monopoly capital. They enthusiastically advocate the transfer of raw Canadian resources to their friends in Washington claiming that US interests are the same as Canadian interests while gleefully celebrating the loss of hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers’ jobs with a Zionistic zeal rooted in a fear and loathing of workers. These parasitical spokespersons of the pampered classes attempt to hoodwink working Canadians that there is nothing that can be done. Well the first task is to remove Harper from power. Nothing can change until that task is completed first.
  131. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Naomi Y from Canada writes: Trudeau - deficit, deficit, deficit every year but one David Peterson/Bob Rae - deficit eliminated by Mike Harris Joe Ghiz - Liberal premier of PEI takes surplus left by government of Pat Binns and turns it into a deficit 2 years in a row Dalton McGuinty - 500M deficit this year Janet Ecker - Ontario 6B dollar deficit, not Flaherty What is it with Mike Sty not only being a blind apologist sheep but 'Aliar' as well...it's in his DNA. ---------------------------------- The Liberal party of Canada and the various provincial Liberal party are INDEPENDENT and SEPARATE to each other. The difference between the Alberta Liberal party and PEI Liberal party are actually bigger than the difference between LPC and CPC. This is why I am vote for the liberal at the federal level but conservative(Pre John Tory) in the province. The deficit during Trudeau era are in line with the rest of the G7, it's caused by the oil crisis. The deficit only become structural in Mulroney era where the deficit rocketed up compare to the rest of G7. Gee, how come all Harper's supporter know so little about civil and history matters and yet speak so loud. ---------------------------------- ...and the main reason Mulroney ran his deficit was b/c of the interest on Trudeau's deficit...almost 300B. The Mulroney government managed an operating surplus by its third year...only to have it turned into a budgetary deficit by interst on the public debt.
  132. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Tim N from Canada writes:

    'Even Dion knew that he would have to run a deficit because of the melt-down that was obivous to everyone (except Harper).'

    And yet during the election both Dion and Layton both stated unequivocally they would not run deficits.

    Both screamed like children to start running massive deficits after the economic update.
  133. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: '... The Federal books were balanced; the Provinces saw their deficits and debt climb due to the cutbacks in transfers...'

    The transfers were cut mostly to healthcare, and it was a neccesary move.

    The fundamental problem with the 50/50 spending arrangement on healthcare was that the Feds had no jurisdiction to tell the provinces how to spend the money.

    So for every dollar the Provinces invested they were assured of doubling their money, which greatly encouraged inefficiencies in the name of grabbing more dollars.
  134. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Naomi Y from Canada writes:

    'The deficit during Trudeau era are in line with the rest of the G7, it's caused by the oil crisis. The deficit only become structural in Mulroney era where the deficit rocketed up compare to the rest of G7.'

    Naomi Trudeau's spending orgy and deficits were structural.

    When he left office Trudeau was spending $1.23 on programs for every $1 in revenue.

    Trudeau was the most fiscally irresponsible PM this country has ever had.
  135. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Over the years I've found that the best type of Finance Minister for Canadians in general is a redtory or bluegrit like Michael Wilson or Paul Martin. On average they tend to be fiscally conservative but are constrained from their meanest impulses by their socially liberal conscience.

    Pure blood Liberal or Conservative FMs on the otherhand are traditionally disasterous for Canadian finances in one form or another.
  136. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Just 6 weeks ago Flaherty promised a $100 Million surplus and 5 balanced budgets...........

    The Harper governments minority is built around the testimony of proven liars and cheats.
  137. N J from Halifax, Canada writes: Those that blame the GST rate cut for the forthcoming deficit have a short memory and a misunderstanding of the GST. Do you remember when the GST was introduced? The start of the last big recession is when, and it contributed to the deepening of that downturn. The GST is a consumtion tax, therefor when people stop consuming the money collected by the government is reduced. By hiking the GST back to 7% you will only furthur discourage people from spending, reducing the governments take again, not increasing it. It would once again contribute to deepening the recession if it were hiked to 7%.
    The budget money should be spent solely on improving our aged infrastructure, with a focus on environmental improvement, and not on social programs. The introduction of new programs or the enhancing of existing ones will lead to a structural deficit. You only need to look back to the Trudeau years.
  138. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes:

    'The transfers were cut mostly to healthcare, and it was a neccesary move.'

    I didn't say the cuts weren't necessary. The 50/50 spending arrangement certainly promoted waste and inefficiency.

    However the reality is the only Province to truly pass on Martin's cuts to healthcare was Alberta. Martin cut transfers and Klein passed those cuts onto Albertans.

    The rest of the Provinces made up the shortfall by running their own deficits and racking up Provincial debt. To the taxpayer there is no difference; it all has to be paid.
  139. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: There is a reason that the single largest block of voters are centrist and it has to do with the meeting of ideal and reality.

    If one's conscience always runs the show you will soon be bankrupt.
    If you act with no conscience at all you will soon be morally bankrupt.

    It is only when action is guided by reality but tempered by conscience that we have decisions in the best interest of Canadians as a whole.

    For our political system to deliver this we need two strong centrist parties Canadians can use their votes to keep in balance.

    Ironically, Libs and Cons need each other to maintain this balance and keep the fringe away from the national credit cards and bankbook.
  140. Vote for your country from Canada writes: Tim N from Canada

    Thanks for posting sense. What a pleasure it is to read some here.
    Seriously, thanks.
  141. Hugh Draper from Vancouver, Canada writes: Deficits and surpluses are virtually indisputabe parts of the political economy and to claim otherwise is Astrology.
  142. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower:

    Canada could do with a little more reality and a lot less wasted by conscience.
  143. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: '...The rest of the Provinces made up the shortfall by running their own deficits and racking up Provincial debt. To the taxpayer there is no difference; it all has to be paid...'

    Certainly, but you imply that this required nothing of Martin, while I'm asserting it was a difficult but neccesary decision with considerable political blowback.

    Afterall, people cite it here almost daily nearly 15 years later.

    The resulting debt from the province's decade long run on Federal coffers through abuse of the 50/50 healthcare plan, and their endless citing of 'provincial jurisdiction' to keep their equal partner out of the decision making, limits my sympathy considerably.

    Martin did the right thing. Many provinces did not.

    Hardly Martin's fault.
  144. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower:
    Canada could do with a little more reality and a lot less wasted by conscience.
    -----------------------
    Politicians in general will use your conscience to favor their reality..........
    ......and the sheep have neither conscience or reality.

    Cheers
  145. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova - and the main reason Mulroney ran his deficit was b/c of the interest on Trudeau's deficit...almost 300B. The Mulroney government managed an operating surplus by its third year...only to have it turned into a budgetary deficit by interst on the public debt.
    --------------------------------
    you are saying as if Trudeau didn't inherit any debt from the conservative government before him.

    The fact is that Trudeau are in line with his G7 counterpart, whereas as Mulroney couldn't contain the deficit problem while his G7 counterpart did. You can't blame the oil crisis on him.
  146. troy jacob from Canada writes: If Jim is smart, he will; slap large duty on all tech products produced outside of NAFTA, and provide incentives for domestic production of these goods. increase available funding for 'lower end projects' in the arts, and hope those with less disposable income will patronize these giffen arts. there is nothing else he can do.
  147. Mc Steve from Canada writes: Maybe time for the government(s) to purchase any outstanding bonds floating around paying 5-6%, borrow money at 0-0.25% from the US treasury and re-issue 'infrastructure bonds' that pay 1.5%.
  148. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: '...Canada could do with a little more reality and a lot less wasted by conscience...'

    I suppose that depends on whether you think this stimulus package will be the result of real conscience or just old-fashioned political expediency.

    From my perspective we appear to agree.

    I will reserve judgement until Jan 27th however, and hope to be pleasantly shocked by a mostly balanced spending agenda.
  149. dp ludwig from Any City, United States writes:
    uh... the global economy is in a recession... how anyone can expect a surplus in their right mind?

    once again, the canadian sheep public have been fooled by the media into thinking that deficits are automatically an evil thing...
  150. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Naomi Y from Canada writes:

    'The deficit during Trudeau era are in line with the rest of the G7, it's caused by the oil crisis. The deficit only become structural in Mulroney era where the deficit rocketed up compare to the rest of G7.'

    Naomi Trudeau's spending orgy and deficits were structural.

    When he left office Trudeau was spending $1.23 on programs for every $1 in revenue.

    Trudeau was the most fiscally irresponsible PM this country has ever had.
    ------------------------
    OIL CRISIS pushed inflation up around the world and all G7 government running deficit during that period.

    If Mulroney is NOT more fiscally responsible than Trudeau, he did worse compare to the rest of the G7.
  151. Steve I'm Not an Alberta Redneck from Calgary, Canada writes: Somethings Never Change from Canada writes: 'And at last another 10 on top of that before the jobs start coming back.'

    That would be my prediction, too. I started my working life at the beginning of the 80's and within a few months, the ecomonic malaise hit home. It was about 5 years to get control of most of the underlying problems but, despite a couple of false starts, another ten before things started to really turn around. We should also understand that improvements to the Canadian economy tend to lag behind the US by about 3 years.
  152. The Susus from Canada writes: Can I just comment on the title?

    Half decade? Who talks like that?

    I'm assuming it's to make 5 years feel like 10?

    'I hope to return to South America in 5 years'
    'I hope to return to South America in half a decade'

    Yeah thought so, nobody talks like that.....
  153. The Susus from Canada writes: Careful Naomi Y:

    Trudeau was backed by the 'parents of the time' they all wanted social programs for their new families etc., He had opposition, but was tremendously popular and doing exactly what the people wanted on the social front.

    That is not to say it may have been the right thing, but democracy isn't about the right thing, it's about what we want.

    If we all want pink bunny hats and slippers, 'CLAP CLAP, government DO IT!'

    Those same people who ushered in all those social goodies, of course are still the majority now, albeit aging horribly, and now are the ones calling for cutbacks etc.,

    Must be nice to always get ones way, and blame others for the problem.
  154. North Star from Canada writes: Tory times are tough times.
  155. garlick toast from Canada writes: Trudeau kept us out of Vietnam. That alone makes him a great Canadian leader.
  156. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Parliament closed land, Canada writes: Where have those sound, strong fundamentals gone, since the last federal elections? ('Feel this, strong eh?...') --- That was yesterday! -- Now, they are manufacturing consent, one little step at a time, day after day: they now want you to believe that Hell is the way to go... --- Don't worry, as usual, in you comatose slumber, you won't even feel anything is happening... given you do not want ever to know what hit you.
  157. The Susus from Canada writes: Zarny, read up on those times. Everyone loved the spending...well for the most part. They're all blue hairs now and trying to change it around because they don't like paying for others, they only liked it when their families got the goodies.

    Besides, our banking and financial system is debt based, sadly...and thrives on more borrowing not less.
  158. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes:
    Paul Martin is the only fiscally responsible Liberal to ever set foot in the party; but he gets far too much credit.

    All Martin did was cut spending and pass the deficits onto the Provinces.

    The Federal books were balanced; the Provinces saw their deficits and debt climb due to the cutbacks in transfers.

    The overall liability to taxpayers didn't change much...they just moved the pile of shite to a different location.

    Not to mention Martin running surpluses didn't magically eliminate Canada's debt.

    Debt that ballooned by 1100% under Trudeau's Liberals and which it seems we will never actually pay off.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Let see: Surplus/Deficit = Revenue - spending

    Well, I am not a Harper supporter so I can't see any other way to stop the deficit other than increase tax or cut spending.

    First the percentage is irrevelant, 1100% sounds a lot, but he only added 180B over 11 years. While Mulroney increased than by a whopping 400B over 7years.

    Once again, oil crisis pushed up inflation during 70's around the world.

    So Trudeau did better both in terms of %of GDP, or real (inflation adjusted)% inrease year over year.
  159. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Look, if the CPC is smart enough they should be able to deliver a budget that doesn't give away the family car and is in line enough with what a Liberal budget would look like to gain Ignatieff's approval.

    The CPC does not need to appease the NDP or its grumpy french twin the BLOC, to stay in power.

    Does anyone really think Ignatieff wants to wear this recession having passed a budget those two parties agree with?

    ROTFLMAO
  160. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Gogh Forit from Canada writes: Those on the left always avoid using facts as the truth would just render them speechless. Why let the facts get in the way of a good rant. Additionally there is no way of convincing them otherwise as they simply do not have the intellectual capacity to face the truth when it smacks them in the face.
    Word up lefties. We're still paying off the original debt created by Trudeau and the only way a Liberal creates a surplus is on the backs of taxpayers. Martin 'slayed' the deficit by cutting government spending and increasing taxes especially large increases to CP pension contributions and of course the special Liberal fund aka EI. What no Liberal has ever done is to decrease the tax burden for Canadian taxpayers.

    ======================================

    Good factual post. Liberal times are fantasy times.
  161. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Naomi Y from Canada writes:

    'First the percentage is irrevelant, 1100% sounds a lot, but he only added 180B over 11 years. While Mulroney increased than by a whopping 400B over 7years.

    So Trudeau did better both in terms of %of GDP, or real (inflation adjusted)% inrease year over year.'

    No Naomi....when adjusted for inflation Trudeau ran slightly higher deficits as a %GDP and increased our debt by a significant larger amount.

    1100% sounds high because it is high.

    Under Mulroney our debt essentially doubled. The equivalent for Trudeau would have been a debt increase from $20 to $40 billion...not over $200 billion.

    The deficits and debt during Mulroney's gov't were primarily to pay for Trudeau's debt.

    The deficits and debt during Trudeau's gov't were primarily due to Trudeau's spending orgy on programs far outpacing revenue. Structural deficits.

    What is about compounded interest that Liberals find so puzzling?
  162. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    'Deficit will linger half decade, watchdog warns'.........

    What awful news, I was hoping it would only last for 5 years.
  163. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Naomi Y from Canada writes:

    'you are saying as if Trudeau didn't inherit any debt from the conservative government before him.'

    Trudeau inherited a $20 billion debt and a gov't in surplus; which he turned into over $210 billion in debt and 15 years of defict spending.

    The oil crisis didn't last 15 years and Trudeau was already into deficit spending prior to.

    Mulroney was far from perfect; but unlike Trudeau he inherited a dog's breakfast for an economy, a gov't spending $1.23 on programs for every $1 in revenue, an existing $25 billion deficit and had massive interest payments thanks to good 'ol PET's spending orgy.

    Mulroney also implemented policies such as the GST and pushed for free trade to boost the economy.

    Trudeau just spent like a drunken sailor and didn't care when or if his reckless spending would have to be paid back.
  164. Marty Dettweiler from Canada writes: As someone who pays no taxes in Canada - I'm a dual citizen living offshore most of the time - it doesn't matter to me what Canada's deficit is. I come back every few months to maintain my health insurance coverage and that's all that matters to me. Good luck Canadian taxpayers.
  165. troy jacob from Canada writes: Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien, et. al. all had and have the same goal; attract foreign capital at all costs, thereby weakening the intelligence of foreign business partners, then tax everyone until all the filthy rich reside in a Sovereign Quebec that requires nothing but a little foreign oil from time to time. LOL
  166. Lantant in TO from Toronto, Canada writes: Infrasructure spending has to be property implemented to be achieve the desired goal. I have serious concerns that if large blank cheques are given to Toronto, too much of it will be sucked up in bloated union wages and contractor fees and poorly thought out development plans. Miller needs developers and unions to fund his upcoming rerun at mayor so it's a no brainer where his focus will be. If a recession can have an upside, it's Flaherty's opportunity to affect real change. eg Building facilities in remote areas to house drug addicts (expensive and ineffective to jail them) etc...would result in new jobs now and significant ongoing savings. We need to shift many of the underemployed out of the cities. Of course it goes without saying that these jobs would be given to unemployed and be non union.
  167. thomson gary from Canada writes: This is why all those whining for lower taxes during the surplus years were wrong. Ten years of 10 billion dollar surpluses does not come any where near five years of for40 billion dollar deficits.
  168. Uncle Fester from Canada writes: 'Deficit will linger half decade, watchdog warns'

    ..........How can the biggest economic crisis in a century only take .05 centuries to recover from?
  169. Rudy the red-nosed reindeer from Canada writes: 'Paid CON hack trolls are such busy liars'

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...Mrs Sty.
  170. Brett Williams from Canada writes: 'Gogh Forit from Canada writes: What no Liberal has ever done is to decrease the tax burden for Canadian taxpayers.'

    Ummm, the last Liberal govenment cut taxes a fair bit. I dare say more then Harper has.

    The conservative lies will never end. The scary thing is I think some of these people actually believe this tripe. Educate yourselves and learn the truth, don't just talk from the CPC playbook - it's full of holes.
  171. Tim N from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes:

    And yet during the election both Dion and Layton both stated unequivocally they would not run deficits.

    Posted 14/01/09 at 12:21 PM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    Granted, I was overseas for the first week of the elction, but I seem to remember Dion NOT equivocally saying he would not run a deficit, and Harper jumping all over him for not promising to not run a deficit. I believe, in fact, he did say that running a 'small deficit' was probable.

    In any event, I do not hold Harper to Dion's words, I hold him to his own. Passing the buck no longer holds water for me. Harper is PM. He wants to govern like he has a majority, then he should grow a pair, and table a budget he feels is responsible. If he can't deliver a balanced budget, he is either a liar, or too incompetentant to know that he was going to run a deficit. It's not the oppositions fault. If they (the opposition) vote down a reasonable, responsible budget, then they should be held accountable.
  172. troy jacob from Canada writes: I agree with Geordie, except that the right will not splinter, rather, the red tories will be absorbed into a liberal party purged of bluffing commies.
  173. Alberta Energy Sector Worker AB from Canada writes: The sell-out of Canada began long before Harper, Mulroney, Chretien or Trudeau. It began with the St. Laurent Government in its most overt form. The nonsensical musings of who was best servant to monopoly capital is a reflection of crisis in Canadian politics. Since both Liberals and Conservatives have both had a guiding hand in the dismantling of Canadian productive capacity to one degree or another and in fact have been the only 2 parties that have “governed” Canada is an indication that neither has the capability of acting in the interests of the nation. However the party that is currently in power is the Harper regime. Removing this Washington servant and his support base of evangelical speculative vermin is the first step to reclaiming the nation for Canadian workers.
  174. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Uncle Fester from Canada writes: 'Deficit will linger half decade, watchdog warns'

    ..........How can the biggest economic crisis in a century only take .05 centuries to recover from?
    -------
    My 8 Year old niece thinks it'a a very long time while my 90 Year old Grandmother thinks that to be very short....
    I guess time is relatives after all..
    Cheers
  175. Charles Brown from Vancouver, BC, Canada writes: Lets not forget that Paul Martin achieved his so called 'surpluses' by starving the military to vintage and had the luck of doing it in a time of relative stability in the economy, something not difficult to do.
  176. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes:

    1100% sounds high because it is high.

    Under Mulroney our debt essentially doubled. The equivalent for Trudeau would have been a debt increase from $20 to $40 billion...not over $200 billion.

    The deficits and debt during Mulroney's gov't were primarily to pay for Trudeau's debt.

    The deficits and debt during Trudeau's gov't were primarily due to Trudeau's spending orgy on programs far outpacing revenue. Structural deficits.

    What is about compounded interest that Liberals find so puzzling?
    ------------------------------------------------
    In bad times, even the best are hurting, what distinguish between the winners like BMW, Toyota from loser like D3 are that they are doing better than the rest.

    Trudeau performance are in line with the rest of G7, Mulroney did worst in G7. This make Mulroney the PM equivalence of GM.

    I know what compounded interest is. This is why I am telling you, the real annual increase in debt are larger during Mulroney.
  177. Brett Williams from Canada writes: 'Charles Brown from Vancouver, BC, Canada writes: Lets not forget that Paul Martin achieved his so called 'surpluses' by starving the military to vintage and had the luck of doing it in a time of relative stability in the economy, something not difficult to do.'

    If you care about funding the military so badly - you pay for it. The cons should raise taxes then to cover these expenses.

    So take your pick - higher taxes & better military or lower taxes and reduced military. You can't have it both ways.
  178. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: '... And yet during the election both Dion and Layton both stated unequivocally they would not run deficits...'

    Tim N from Canada writes: '... I seem to remember Dion NOT equivocally saying he would not run a deficit, and Harper jumping all over him for not promising to not run a deficit...'

    In either case this habit of pointing fingers and refusing to accept responsibility for one's own actions need to stop.

    Harper is accountable for the government's actions first and foremost.
  179. J Kay from Canada writes: R Carriere; Robert please you are better than what you are doing, especially the misrepresenting of information. It's unseemly.

    Why is it that EVERY conservative herein gives Mulroney a pass for 9 years of continued deficits but they somehow want to paint Martin/Chretien as irresponsible and NOT the government who solved the problem, because of the first 2.5 years of deficits they incurred getting the deficit under control. It's blindingly hypocritical. Furthermore Martin and Chreiten took office in January 1994 (NOT 1993), so you should be using the April 1994 budget figures for the start of their time in office since the budget from January 94 till April 94 was Murloney's.

    2) Regarding EI, again Sir please stop being so disingenuous, it really is beneath you. Martin/Chretien didn't steal a penny from EI. There was no separate EI fund. It was eliminated in 1985 by Mulroney on the advice of the AG. Prior to that the fund was in chronic deficit and would have been more than $32 billion in deficit when Chretien took power. Second the SC ruled that they 'illegally' set rates in 3 years, NOT all 13, so the $54 billion figure is eroneous anyway. In those three years EI premia were in excess of payouts by $7.4 billion cumulatively, nowhere near the $54 billion Con hacks like to regurgitate (please dont be one). Moreover the ruling by the SC was nuanced. It stated that Martin/Chretien set the rates illegally, that is without having parliament approve them. The SC did NOT rule that the rates themselves were illegal, nor that how the money was used was illegal, merely that Chretien/Martin set the rates without parliamentray involvement. Period! All EI revenues have been a part of general revenues since 1985 and that included Harper's years as well.

    I'll address the misinformation regarding Trudeau in a subsequent post. Odd though that Trudeau is so vilified by the right for deficit spending during bad times yet Harper's is about to do so.
  180. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: '...1100% sounds high because it is high...'

    That's nothing. Last week I didn't win a dime at poker.

    This week I won $500.

    That's a infinite percent increase in one week!

    Still won't pay the mortgage, but hey, as long as we're playing games with statistics...
  181. Mike Abraham from Canada writes: bilbo baggins from whirlpool, Canada writes: Clearly this is not the message Mr Harper wishes to present to Canadians.

    I expect that Kevin Page will be 'reassigned' and someone more suitable will take the helm before the position disappears entirely in a budget cut.--------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sure, except that Page does not work for the Harper dictatorship and ideological propaganda machine - he provides politically impartial analysis and works for parliament - remember - that body of elected representatives that we have.....umm....'used to have' back in the days when Canada was a Parliamentary Democracy.
  182. Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: The big problem we have right now is that Harper MAY produce a budget which he thinks the Opposition would like to have (just to keep his job), but the Opposition parties just cannot TRUST Harper because he has not implemented so many of his promises. Even with the infra-structure programmes so very widely being acclaimed as the cure-all for the predicament we find ourselves in, Harper has still not put in place the $3 Billion , which he has been sitting on in that account for three years. WHERE IS IT?
  183. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: The big problem we have right now is that Harper MAY produce a budget which he thinks the Opposition would like to have (just to keep his job), but the Opposition parties just cannot TRUST Harper because he has not implemented so many of his promises. Even with the infra-structure programmes so very widely being acclaimed as the cure-all for the predicament we find ourselves in, Harper has still not put in place the $3 Billion , which he has been sitting on in that account for three years. WHERE IS IT?
    ---------------------------
    May??? Have you followed the news lately, unless Harper is drunk when he gave out all those press release. We WILL have a deficit.

    Also, wireless spectrum auction netted 4 Billion.
  184. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Infrastructure Canada has been sitting on billions earmarked for infrastructure renewal for a couple years now. Their Building Canada program should have already moved on many of these projects, but strangely hasn't.

    Will some of this budget money be repromised to cover the larger than expected real deficit?

    I suspect the actual shortfall minus the stimulus is in excess of $15 Billion right now, and that the real reason Harper is suddenly so interested in 'appeasing' the other parties has more to do with convincingly covering this than any real attempt at providing any stimulus.

    More proof of this is the sudden admission by Flaherty that the total deficit will more likely be about $40 billion.
  185. hangin right from Van, Canada writes: NJ from Halifax,
    you comment on the GST , but the fact is that Harper played the people for fools and wasn't being honest with them when he tried to make the claim they were going to save money from the cut when they would have to spend what little they have to get that feeling and he took away a cushion for these tough times, and it leaves us in the position of being sooo much deeeeper in deficit for a longer period of time . He cut the GST when he should Not have and was warned Not to .
    thats called incompetent and self serving at the cost to the People for a power grab.
  186. garlick toast from Canada writes: The Infrastructure Fund hasn't been tapped because most programs require equal funding from another source, provincial or municipal.Trouble is, all funding roads lead to the tax payer. Being one myself, it's not the taxes, it's the waste, corruption and lack of respect that gall me.
  187. TERRI R from Kimberley, Canada writes: Lets start with how much interest the Government of Canada is going to pay 'private banks' to borrow money to bailout mismanaged corporations, which should go the way of the horse & buggy.(no bailout there)

    We need to get back to the Bank of Canada for our loans, the interest is lower and the GREED;UN-ETHICAL accounting practices will for the most part be allayed.

    The Government of Canada is using PUBLIC MONIES borrowed from private banks to bailout these out dated companies, this money should be coming from the Bank of Canada, the PEOPLES BANK
  188. MyCanada MyLove from Canada writes: .... (00)

    Getting scary as we are likely still in freefall in an abyss. Nortel in Chapter 11, Big 3 headed in that direction, oil south of $30???, natural resources underwater, media companies struggling, CA$ and TSX tanking (~300) ... and I don't think this government, industry, and labour is really understanding the gravity of the situation. Labour is not willing to sacrifice, industry is waiting for handout, and government thinking of political hocus porkus.

    Just spending, 'Spending our way out of recession', is illogical.
    In an era of 'credit crunch', SPENDING should be for PROFIT,
    so that profit is available to mitigate credit or be reinvested.

    The vehicles showcased in Detroit is a case in point they still don't get it.
    Those models are too costly to turn a profit for global communities in
    $$$crunch$$$. Cheap & efficient is what will attract buyers in numbers to turn a PROFIT, while coincidentally stimulate buyers to be more gung-ho as they see themselves getting ahead ... incentive arising from appreciating net self-worth.

    (oo)
  189. Frangesco Bernard from Windsor, Canada writes: R. Carriere, youare going too far back, even though I sometimes say that every time we had a COnservative gov`t. Canada went backwards. Well now look, harpo just added 18 Senators. Their salary is $135,000 a year. What did he do that for?! and he also added a few more ministers in gov`t. This is all at a time when Canada needs less gov`t. Harpo looks out for himself not for the interest of Canada and the Canadians.
    And, about the National debt, Paul Martin started reducing itm and had no deficit, so don`t try to tell me that harpo is able to do that. DUH
  190. troy jacob from Canada writes: He campaigned on a platform of cutting the GST, and followed through! Iggy will get his benefits for the retirees in his constituency, and support. In the next election, the red tories, will be invited to cross the floor, like Belinda Stronach. We will have a liberal majority for the first time in years that is not led by radical socialists, and is 'smart management', oriented. Praise God!
  191. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: garlick toast from Canada writes: '...The Infrastructure Fund hasn't been tapped because most programs require equal funding from another source, provincial or municipal.Trouble is, all funding roads lead to the tax payer...'

    That's right. They set up a system knowing that most municipalities wouldn't be able to to use it, because they first have to get the provinces on board since most municipalities don't have the kind of cash neccesary to be a real partner.
  192. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada writes:

    'We will have a liberal majority for the first time in years that is not led by radical socialists, and is 'smart management', oriented. Praise God!'

    Not a chance. A minority gov't is possible but not a majority.

    This coalition stunt ensures the Libs will lose the meagre support they have out west. They could make gains in Quebec and Ontario but it won't be enough to even come close to a majority.
  193. rick from river city from Canada writes: J Kay from Canada writes: I'll address the misinformation regarding Trudeau in a subsequent post. Odd though that Trudeau is so vilified by the right for deficit spending during bad times yet Harper's is about to do so.

    Deficit spending to spark the economy (and to appease liberal Canadians) is not the same as deficit spending to create an ideological model of a supposed 'just society', whatever that was intended to mean.
  194. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: '...This coalition stunt ensures the Libs will lose the meagre support they have out west. They could make gains in Quebec and Ontario but it won't be enough to even come close to a majority...'

    Funny, but I see it the other way.

    I suspect that by now, given the overwhelming social pressure out west, if one was going to support the CPC, you'd already be doing it.

    Another way of putting it: when you hit rock bottom there's nowhere to go but up.
  195. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes:
    That's nothing. Last week I didn't win a dime at poker.
    This week I won $500.
    That's a infinite percent increase in one week!

    Still won't pay the mortgage, but hey, as long as we're playing games with statistics...
    ------------
    Math and a certain percentage of people don't mix... I lost 50% on the stock market, now I need to gain 100% just to break even.
  196. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: rick from river city from Canada writes: '... Deficit spending to spark the economy (and to appease liberal Canadians) is not the same as deficit spending to create an ideological model of a supposed 'just society', whatever that was intended to mean...'

    Either way I'm sure Harper is breathing a huge sigh of relief that he can cover the more than $15 billlion deficit we'd have anyways with so-called stimulus spending.

    Afterall, throwing in another $15B or so just makes the story more believable.
  197. troy jacob from Canada writes: If Iggy supports the budget, and starts to fashion himself as a pragmatic, progressive, leader. 3 years from now, all will be forgiven, and surely there are others in the Conservative camp like the expelled Nova Scotia MP, who might cross the floor. If a man like John Manley returns to give the party some fiscal credibility, a majority will be possible. All he has to is sit back, appear reasonable, and hammer Harper and Flaherty on every academic error they make. If he can woo Joe Clark, and David Orchard to break up things out west. Anything is possible. Has anyone noticed that Joe Clark is looking like a spry spring chicken these days?
  198. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes:

    'Funny, but I see it the other way.

    I suspect that by now, given the overwhelming social pressure out west, if one was going to support the CPC, you'd already be doing it.

    Another way of putting it: when you hit rock bottom there's nowhere to go but up.'

    Well I work with a number of people who voted Liberal last election and they've all said next time it's CPC.

    Time will tell but since the coalition announced their plans CPC support has gone up in the 4 western Provinces and the LPC and Dippers have both lost support in the polls.

    Of course there is only one poll that matters.
  199. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: '...Math and a certain percentage of people don't mix... I lost 50% on the stock market, now I need to gain 100% just to break even...'

    Most t statistics are made up anyways.

    67% of all people know that.
  200. garlick toast from Canada writes: ''Well I work with a number of people who voted Liberal last election and they've all said next time it's CPC.''

    --------------------------------------

    They lied to you. They have that in common with Harper.
  201. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada writes:

    'If he can woo Joe Clark, and David Orchard to break up things out west. Anything is possible.'

    LOL...Neither Joe Clark nor David Orchard are going to help the LPC break things up out west. Sorry to burst your bubble but the west is pretty much scorched earth for another generation for the Liberals.
  202. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: garlick toast from Canada writes:

    'They lied to you. They have that in common with Harper.'

    LOL...maybe. Liberals do like to lie.
  203. kevin o'connor from Canada writes: The need for surpluses and deficits is obvious. See my earlier post. The real political fight here is Harper-Flaherty. Harper made a fool of him by politicalizing the economic statement and not addressing the biggest crisis in the world economy in 70 years. He probably wants to run Flaherty's show again and throw a bunch of political maneuvers in the budget, and Flaherty wants to address the situation and not be seen as a lame duck ninkampoop. If the budget isn't sensible, the knives could be out on all sides.
  204. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: So Harper keeps his job for another 5 years. That's good news.
  205. J Kay from Canada writes: rick from river city: Rick well isn't that a covenient twist of the facts, except for one glaring omission on your part. Trudeau only began running operating deficits and large ones following the oil shock in 1975. From 1968-1975 Trudeau ran operating surpluses and he reduced the debt (net deficit) to GDP ratio from 26.7% in 1968 to 18.4% in 1974, the lowest level it's seen since before WWII. Trudeau's 'ideological' spending as you put it, corresponded to a worldwide energy crisis, which was then followed by a massive 18 month recession (the 1981-82) recession which was the worst recession Canada had seen since 1939.

    The deficit spending that Trudeau enacted then was NO different at all that what we are now observing with Harper. It was an attempt to stimulate the economy with a Kenseyian style stimulus to bring the country out of stagflation. Trudeau was almost running an operating surplus again in 1981, when the recession hit and thus his administration was hit with a double whammy of negative economic conditions, which in addition to stimulus spending, led to the deficits of the latter part of his tenure.

    Trudeau was no different than his contemporaries in other nations including the US for running deficits during that time or having their economies respond in a similar manner, moreover one of the proximtae causes of the strife that Canada experienced was NOT of Trudeau's making, that being the monetary policy of the Bank of Canada, which was employing a theory of gradualism to mentary policy - now disbanded - which resulted in the sky high interest rates that Trudeau had to deal with.
  206. troy jacob from Canada writes: Well Zarny, I'm pretty sure that if Iggy can demonstrate a party purged of corruption, and woo some of the aforementioned good ole boys. CanWest Global Media would throw their full weight behind him. Your scorched earth theory is not necessarily correct.
  207. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada writes: 'Well Zarny, I'm pretty sure that if Iggy can demonstrate a party purged of corruption, and woo some of the aforementioned good ole boys. CanWest Global Media would throw their full weight behind him. Your scorched earth theory is not necessarily correct.'

    Ummm...the aforementioned good ole boys aren't popular out west. Orchard is already with the Liberals and that did them no good last election. Joe Clark won't do the LPC any good either.

    You are free to hold your own opinion; but if you think Iggy will revitalize the LPC out west you are going to be disappointed.
  208. troy jacob from Canada writes: Zarny, when the people of Saskatchewan realize their options in a recession, they will renounce their foolish hopes of breaking up the Wheat Board. We will require a united front to shut out imports, and put the unemployed to work. This will require tarriffs on foreign goods that will negate any percentages they may have fancied vis a vis independence. Same goes for those who fancy sending potash to fruit plantations overseas. Iggy, and Obama will offer guarantees for Alberta oil that no singular individual can guarantee. Watch the west come to it's knees.
  209. Bill H from Canada, Canada writes: Why wasn't the title 'Deficit will linger a 20th of a century' I like how our news media loves to spell doom and glooom in capital letters all the time! I'm not saying i like a deficit, its just that 5 years is pretty short term as far as i see it.
  210. garlick toast from Canada writes: ''half decade'' is code for ''the foreseeable future''.
  211. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada:

    Canada is a nation of exporters; natural resources and manufactured goods.

    Imposing tarriffs on foreign goods is backwards thinking. The only result would be other countries imposing tariffs on our goods which only exacerbates the problem.

    The automanufacturing sector currently makes more vehicles than domestic demand mandates. Imposing tariffs would only lead to further erosion in the manufacturing sector.

    The Wheat Board issue won't change. Farmers closer to the border with a viable means of getting their grain to market will still favour ending the Wheat Board's monopoly.

    Farmers who live further north will less access to get their grain to market will still favour the Wheat Board's monopoly.

    Neither Iggy nor Obama will offer Alberta anything regarding oil. The west is in a far better position to weather the economic downturn. If the west is on its knees central Canada will already be lying flat on the ground.
  212. troy jacob from Canada writes: Sorry Zarny,

    NAFTA is already in place. Watch the synchronized shutout of foreign goods begin. We already slap huge tarrifs on foreigners. Ever see what it costs for a non-canadian to attend our universities? Why is it backwards? Do you think we should go backwards and undo NAFTA? Do you know the break even cost for Alberta oil vs. OPEC? When those with an alternate solution for selling their wheat realize their is no longer any %age in it, their tune will change. The west is not in such a great position, my friend.
  213. troy jacob from Canada writes: At the end of the day, the policies this government was elected to execute are inadvisable during tough times. Better to build, sustain immigration, and let asians live 12 to a home, work multiple jobs, and send some change home to the family. There is a greater %age in it, because most Canadians won't do that. The foreigners will accept dreams, and education in exchange for our goods like always. When the west realizes there is little more a manager can do save for kill people, combined with the way the media will leave Harper and Flaherty looking like the idiots of broken promises, things will change.
  214. S Rankin from Chatham, Ontario, Canada writes: Knuckles Muldoon from Etobicoke, Canada writes: I was told during the election campaign there would be no deficit. I guess you just can't trust politicians any more. ;-)
    =================================================

    Well your first mistake was believing ANYTHING that comes out of our prime minister's mouth!
  215. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada writes: 'NAFTA is already in place. Watch the synchronized shutout of foreign goods begin. We already slap huge tarrifs on foreigners.' Actually we place no tariffs on foreigners; just foreign goods and imports. Under NAFTA it is illegal for tariffs to be placed on many imports. Your posts suggest you know squat about NAFTA. 'Ever see what it costs for a non-canadian to attend our universities?' Yes...and that is because those students are not subsidized like Canadian students. They simply pay the real cost of their education and rightfully so. 'Do you think we should go backwards and undo NAFTA?' No...but imposing tariffs on imports would be undoing NAFTA so you seem to think we should undo it. 'Do you know the break even cost for Alberta oil vs. OPEC?' Ummm yeah...as P.Eng. in the industry it's sort of common knowledge. The real question is do you know the break even cost? 'When those with an alternate solution for selling their wheat realize their is no longer any %age in it, their tune will change.' No they won't. For those farmers close to the US border or with easy access to get their grain to market ending the WB's monopoly is still advantageous.
  216. troy jacob from Canada writes: as P.Eng. in the industry it's sort of common knowledge. Zarny, America slaps huge 'duty' on goods coming into America, which means the commodities traders won't have anything to trade for.The Wheat board may be the only option for most of them in another two years. NAFTA or no NAFTA. Selling the 'Dream' is the only option. Well, I am not a P.Eng. and you are not an investment banker, however, any fool can tell that harvesting a geyser vs. digging up and refining oil sands bears no comparison. So if we want to sell Alberta Oil, we have to play ball with Obama, who is more likely to co-operate with Iggy than Harper.
  217. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada writes:

    'So if we want to sell Alberta Oil, we have to play ball with Obama, who is more likely to co-operate with Iggy than Harper.'

    There is nothing in reality that suggests this. Obama and Harper are closer on the political spectrum than Iggy and Obama.

    In case you weren't aware the US Democrats are actually to the right of the CPC not the left.
  218. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada writes:

    'So if we want to sell Alberta Oil, we have to play ball with Obama, who is more likely to co-operate with Iggy than Harper.'

    There is nothing in reality that suggests this. Obama and Harper are closer on the political spectrum than Iggy and Obama.

    In case you weren't aware the US Democrats are actually to the right of the CPC not the left.

    Well may be, I do not think so, if so, at the least these right wingers have brains, ethics and integrity.

    I am sure they want to deal that kind people and perspective too. I do not think Harper Conservatives can provide that.
  219. garlick toast from Canada writes: If he sells your oil make sure he remembers to get paid for it.We don't want oil to go the way of softwood lumber.
  220. rick from river city from Canada writes: Harper and Obama will get along just fine. Afghanistan, oil, the Arctic and NAFTA will all be common ground. Iggy offers nothing more than Harper already can other than an ideology that is farther away from the American Democrats.
  221. MyCanada MyLove from Canada writes: .... (00)

    rick from river city from Canada writes: 'Harper and Obama will get along just fine.'

    Ignatieff and Obama are more than soul mates.
    Ignatieff, Obama, Chan ... see the connection? Harvard.

    Bonding through American alma mater is almost spiritual.


    (oo)
  222. rick from river city from Canada writes: Iggy and Obama may both be Harvard but Iggy is old enough to be Obamas father. The sprirtual link across the generations will be weak and certainly does not soul mates make.
  223. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: The 'deficit' will linger for as long as government can continue stealing from the unborn and the next generation/s.
    Governments do not produce anything except more debt, therefore government cannot be allowed to blow more than we give them.
    This would be like you running a debt on your neighbours credit card - there is no mechanism for any possible restraint. Thus we see all the public service sector going on strike for more wages while the private sector loses jobs by the thousands.
  224. Zarny YYC from Canada writes: garlick toast from Canada writes: 'If he sells your oil make sure he remembers to get paid for it.We don't want oil to go the way of softwood lumber.'

    Don't worry. Under NAFTA oil exports are mandated to be sold at market price. No more. No less.
  225. Brett Williams from Canada writes: "Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: Zarny YYC from Canada writes: troy jacob from Canada writes:

    'So if we want to sell Alberta Oil, we have to play ball with Obama, who is more likely to co-operate with Iggy than Harper.'

    There is nothing in reality that suggests this. Obama and Harper are closer on the political spectrum than Iggy and Obama.

    In case you weren't aware the US Democrats are actually to the right of the CPC not the left."

    This is an outright lie. I've heard this many times, but as someone who follows both Canadian and American politics very closely - I can say without a doubt the CPC is farther right then the democrats on many issues.

    It is complicated because they are close in some areas - but overall, Conservatives = Republicans and Liberals = Democrats. That's the truth.

    And I definitely agree that Ignatieff would get along with Obama better then Harper. Canada would have stronger ties and be a stronger country with those 2 leading North America.
  226. Brett Williams from Canada writes: "Zarny YYC from Canada writes: You are free to hold your own opinion; but if you think Iggy will revitalize the LPC out west you are going to be disappointed"

    Maybe - but only because it wouldn't matter who the LPC leader was or what their policies were - some in the West will hate the LPC no matter what out of sheer prejudice and because some have been brainwashed into thinking they are evil.

    But the flip side is that the majority of Canadains will never warm to Harper no matter what. It doesn't matter what he says or does anymore, he will never win a majority.

    And so we have a stalemate of sorts. The cons will always struggle in the East and with the majority of Canadian voters, especially with Harper leading, and the LPC will always struggle in the West.

    Unless we throw out all parties and completely start over, I can't see the above ever changing due to the amount of history between the hatred both sides have.
  227. Dan Laurin from Windsor, Canada writes: It looks to me like we were paying the interest kind of like making minimum payments on a CC. It takes quite a while to pay down enough that the principal starts to fall. The Martin government was doing just this when Harpo took power.

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