Tag Archives: economy

Flip Flop? – PM changes his tone on running deficits


Harper and our money - we have none

Harper and our money - we have none

We warned you during the election that the numbers did not make sense. As with others in the past who promised no deficits it seems that Harper has retracted on what he said during the election. Flip-flop? We focused so much on the Green Shift that other issues were put to the side. Now we are stuck with this situation. Are Canadians prepared for deep cuts to funding? Show me the money!

With reports from Joe Friesen in Toronto and Ian Bailey in Vancouver

QUEBEC, TORONTO, OTTAWA — Stephen Harper refused yesterday to rule out the possibility of a deficit next year despite his promise during the election campaign that he would not allow one if re-elected.

While the Prime Minister said he intends to maintain a balanced budget this year, he did not say the same for 2009-10.

“I don’t think we’re in a position yet to know all the information in that regard,” Mr. Harper said in Quebec City, where Canada is hosting a summit of French-speaking governments. “It would be premature to speculate on that. I will just say that the Government of Canada will maintain responsible fiscal policies and the Government of Canada will ensure that whatever we do is in the long-run interests of the Canadian economy.”

The government will unveil an updated economic statement this fall. Should revenues be affected by economic turmoil after this year, the Tories would have to choose whether to run a deficit, cut spending or find other revenue sources such as increasing taxes.

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Harper wins again, gaining 16 seats and some in the precious 905 region around Toronto


By ROB GILLIES Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated Press

Oct. 15, 2008, 4:05AM

Harper wins big in the election

Harper wins big in the election

OTTAWA — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday he will reach out to all parties during the global financial meltdown after his Conservative Party won in national elections but fell short of a parliamentary majority.

Harper had called Tuesday’s elections early in hopes of getting his party a majority, and in doing so he became the first major world leader to face voters since the financial crisis.

Instead, the Conservatives will once again be forced to rely on opposition support to pass budgets and legislation — as it has had to since a 2006 election victory.

Harper sought to put a good face on the results Wednesday, pointing to an increased number of seats and pledging cooperation.

“We have shown that minority government can work and at this time of global economic instability we owe it to Canadians to demonstrate this once again,” Harper said. “We hold out a hand to all members of all parties asking them to join together to protect the economy and weather this world financial crisis.”

With nearly all the returns in, Canada’s election agency reported on its Web site that the Conservatives had won or was leading in races for 143 of Parliament’s 308 seats, an improvement over the 127 seats the party had in the previous Parliament.

The Conservative Party needed to win 155 seats to govern on its own.

The Liberal Party, long Canada’s top party, suffered a severe drubbing, dropping to 76 seats from 95 in the previous Parliament, according to the election agency. Bloc Quebecois won 50 seats, the New Democrats 37 and independent candidates 2.

Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion, in his concession to Harper, offered his “full cooperation in these difficult economic times.”

The party winning the most seats generally forms the government, with its leader becoming prime minister. The opposition parties could unite and topple Harper if they won enough seats for a majority, but analysts said that was unlikely because the parties have no tradition of forming such coalitions.

The opposition Liberals have typically been the party in power, forming the government for most of Canada’s 141 years. But the left-of-center vote was divided among four parties, giving an edge to the Conservatives.

Dion’s campaign was hindered by his unpopular plan to tax all fossil fuels except gasoline and by perceptions he is a weak leader. A former professor from French-speaking Quebec, Dion also suffered in other regions because he frequently mangles English grammar and his accent makes him hard to understand.

Dion said Canadians have asked him to be their official opposition leader, a signal that he’s not ready to step down at this point.

If Dion was ousted as leader after a loss, he would be just the second Liberal leader to fail to become Canada’s prime minister. The only other was Edward Blake, who led the party to defeat in the 1882 and 1887 elections.

Many Canadians complained Harper was slow to react as the global credit crisis worsened. He hurt himself by saying during a debate that Canadians were not concerned about jobs or mortgages. A few days later, he said stocks were cheap — just before Canada’s main stock exchange had its worst week in almost 70 years.

Harper later said he knows Canadians are worried and stressed that Canada’s economic and fiscal performance contrasts to the more dire situation in the United States.

Voter turnout Tuesday about 59 percent, the lowest in Canadian history. It was unclear how much stringent new proof-of-identity requirements affected the turnout.

The mistakes Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Greens and Bloc Quebecois made. However there is no mistake when you vote!


Make sure you vote!

Make sure you vote!

In my estimation, these are the errors each leader made during this campaign. They are in no particular order, however I welcome your comments.

Harper and the Conservatives

1. Called the election in the first place, knowing that Canadians wanted the minority government to remain, as is. We wanted everyone to work “together”.

2. The perceived indifference to voters and the electorate during these tough economic times.

3. Hoping to get the election done, before the market meltdown, the Conservatives hoped to get a majority government.

4. Telling Canadians that there were “good deals to be made on the stock market now”.

5. Trying to give leeway, albeit the judges, and more options in allowing 14 year old criminals to be placed as adults in court or placing them in jail for longer periods of time.

6. Cutting off Arts funding and then flip-flopping on that plan. He totally misread the importance of this issue, and the crime bill, in Quebec.

7. The “optics”, no matter how true it may be, of telling Canadians that the “fundementals are sound“. A leader must be able to tell Canadians that he/she will do something, even if nothing is to be done. Canadians need that assurance, however you may feel about that situtation.

8. Offering no ease to the manufacturing section or some kind of plan. People are hurting and loosing jobs in Ontario and Quebec. The perception is that he is uncaring. I know that this is not true, but the the optics are bad.

Dion and the Liberals

1. The Green Shift. You may agree with it, however it needed to be implemented in a different fashion. The economic meltdown has destroyed this plan (albeit unfairly). You need to explain it in layman terms. Just give us the basics. They allowed the Conservatives to control the message. Carbon taxes are not a bad thing and even conservative economists believe it is the best way to deal with taxes. This reminds me of the religious school funding issue in Ontario and how it played out.

2. The unfair perception of Leadership in this campaign. Somehow the Liberals needed to fix that.

3. Not offering clear and precise answers to Canadian voters.

4. Again restoring to “don’t split the vote and vote for the Greens or NDP“. The scaremongering was low! Yes, they just came to my door and told me that and it really pissed me off! This is a democracy, I will vote based on the issues and who “I” feel is the best option for Canada. I do not vote based on fear.

5. The anybody but Harper campaign. I am starting to wonder, can you not offer anything better than that? Old tactics, which makes me believe that they are worried about Jack Layton.

Layton and the NDP

1. Should have “never” tried to stop Elizabeth May and the Greens from appearing in the debate.

2. They should have got their message out even more in the media. Tell people what you are going to do.

May and the Greens

1. Going after a blogger for trying to post a video/audio of her telling Canadians that they were “too stupid”. If you listened to the entire phrase you would understand that she was actually making sense. However, this is a free Country and threatening a mere blogger is a pretty junior mistake. let people decide for themselves.

Bloc Quebecois

1. There biggest mistake is ignoring the NDP in Quebec. They may be in for a surprise come election day.

2. Not running candidates outside of Quebec.

3. Instead of looking for a way to break up the Country, find a cause of unify the country with Quebec culture. I will never understand, if we are a bilingual country, why we were not ingrained in learning French while growing up. Look at some of the European countries and how successful those strategies are.

Conclusion

In the end I cannot tell you who will win and loose. It is too close to call. I know what would happen if people voted how they wanted to. I can only say that Elizabeth May and Jack Layton seemed to perform the best. They had the least amount of gaffs and missteps. The Dion and Harper have not looked good through this election. I sense that the electorate would love to punish both of them and send the NDP and Greens to Parliament in force. However I sense the fear. Even though they want to vote Green or NDP they fear giving the Liberals or Conservatives a majority. The Liberals have done a good job and swaying voters in that manner. That is not a democratic ideal. Our soilders fought in wars for YOUR FREEDOM TO VOTE, so use it! Vote you conscience! Canada will go on no matter which major party is in power. Although I do not agree with his policies, Harper is NOT the devil.

You should not fear making any mistakes when voting. There are no mistakes when you vote based on your conviction and what you believe makes Canada better. If you want to vote Green than do so. If you want to vote for Jack Layton and the NDP, than do so. For the day we start voting based on fear, it is no longer a democracy! it is not longer Canada.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a The G.T.A Patriot

British Nationalize the Banks


The UK government has announced details of a rescue package for the banking system worth up to £50bn ($88bn).

It will initially make the extra capital available to eight of the UK’s largest banks and building societies in return for preference shares in them.

It is “designed to put the British banking system on a sounder footing”, said Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

But the FTSE 100 in London fell 4%. HBOS shares rose 52% but Barclays fell 8% and Standard Chartered dropped 13%.

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Watching the Canadian election debate….


9:42PM: Interesting debate, but I have to say Harper is taking a lot of heat. The environment issue is “killing” him right now. I am not sure if he cares or he is assuming that since the economy is tanking, no one cares. Do Canadians care?

“Canadians care strongly about saving the planet but wrongly believe that many of their fellow citizens don’t”

Do Canadians really care? Or do we simply care about ourselves. What about our future and our children? Maybe we should just watch Wall-E a few more times? Dion just nodded his head really weird, I had to turn the channel to PBS, however “Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…..Driving me nuts! Jack Layton looks so good in a debate.

“Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…..

Tips to the leaders: Elizabeth May and Dion are not doing to bad. Jack Layton needs to get into the mix a bit more. Harper seems to be in sleep mode. I am not sure why he is taking this? BTW – Jack Layton is starting to perk up. Must be the coffee!

Winner for The Environment: Dion

9:51PM: They are talking about Healthcare now. Harper just took a cheap shot. “I still use the public Healthcare system to see a Doctor, however some leaders use private clinics”. Nice! Jack definitely did not like that one. I am not sure why? However, Elizabeth May looked some astonished and confused for a second. I think she was surprised! Elizabeth May just moved the discussion to talk about private clinics moving into Canada. Healthcare is not Dion’s strongest point. Too bad! He did really good on the environment. Harper’s monotone voice is killing me! Jack is going after Dion now.

BTW – Why is Gilles Duceppe in this debate?

Winner for Healthcare: Elizabeth May

9:59: Now they are talking about the Arts! Watch for fireworks! But Gilles Duceppe gets first dibs? “How do you recognize Quebec as a nation and make those cuts Harper”? Huh?

“Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…..

Sorry, I switched channels. Pakin just asked “Are conservatives barbarians?“.

“Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…. Oh my, Palin is doing an awful job. “McCain knows how to win a war!”. She did not even answer the question! Back to the Canadian debate…

Dion is not doing that bad at all. But they are still all ganging up on Harper. I wonder why Harper cut the arts funding now? Should have waited? Harper said “we are getting a bad rap”. But stop the monotone voice!

BTW – Why isn’t Gilles Duceppe running for Prime Minister? Stop trying to rip apart Canada. Run in all of Canada and force us to speak French.

Jack Layton got the last jab!

Winner for the Arts: Gilles Duceppe

10:11pm: Now they are talking about “Crime”! Should be strong for the conservatives. However, Elizabeth May sounds the best so far. However, Harper? Is that really you? You are concerned about young people and gangs. Do I see emotion? I think he is sitting too close to the Liberals. Gilles Duceppe sounds pretty good so far. Pakin is pretty rough on these guys! Elizabeth May hits it again. She is not doing bad at all. “Investing in Kids when they are young”. However, she had a weak shot at Harper. Oh Oh! Harper is talking about the Young Offenders Act. Jack just nailed him! Said that Harper is playing “Political Games!”. I am going to have a hard time picking a winner. Not too sure what the heck Dion just said or why he went down that road, but now everyone is yelling at one another.

BTW – Gilles Duceppe really looks good. He should have run for Prime Minister.

“Palin STILL STILL STILL has that weird smile, STOP IT!”…What the heck is Palin saying? McCain McCain. What is she talking about? Got to win the WAR? Oh! She said “I do not see a lot of progress with the Republicans” Who’s side is she on?…

10:24pm: Now they are talking about Afghanistan. Harper gets a chance to talk and says that we will be out in 2011. Gilles Duceppe just took a shot at Jack Layton and said “if Jack and the NDP had voted against the extension, the Canadian troops would have been moving out in 2009”. Elizabeth May seems to be the smartest one on this one. She is talking FACTS and HISTORY! We need to know what the HISTORY of Afghanistan is before making rash choices. Gilles Duceppe JUST NAILED HARPER!!! “Are you saying that you made an error!” WOW!!! He just brought SENATOR OBAMA into the mix! What the heck! Harper what does this have to do with OBAMA? Its like a school kid who says “he is did it first….”. I think he got backed up into a corner and did not like it. Dion is a non-show in this one. This has been all Elizabeth May and Gilles Duceppe! I think some will have a reason to vote GREEN this time!

“I think that Palin is making a closing speech. She is still talking War and Fear. War and Fear work well on the American public it seems? She seems to think that this is Mad Max, Terminator Salvation or the Watchmen movie.”…..

Winner for the Afghanistan: Gilles Duceppe and Elizabeth May

BTW – Gilles Duceppe could you stop trying to break up the Country?

Harper: “I WILL NOT RAISE TAXES!“. Hmmm! I think I heard that line before from Dalton McGuinty. Let’s see (1) Regan deficit, (2) Mulroney deficit, (3) Mike Harris deficit, (3) Bush BIG deficit,and finally (4) Harper, remains to be seen. I guess, under conservative policies, once you have cut everything, what is left?

http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/467383

http://www.nupge.ca/news_2004/n08de04a.htm

http://www.ctj.org/html/debt0603.htm

http://www.geocities.com/thereaganyears/economicpolicy.htm

Geroge Bush blames the financial crisis substaintial foreign investment and a subsequent increase on bad consumer credit from greedy Wall Street bankers


 

 

President George Bush

President George Bush

A state of the afairs to squash fears amongst citizens in the United States of Amerca is sure to send ripple affects around the world; as we are all intertwined in this financial mess. President George Bush tonight spoke directly to U.S citizens, and candidly explained the situation in America. 

 

  • Housing prices that were valued more than they were actually worth
  • Banks that borrowed too much money
  • The decline in the housing market
  • Securities became unreliable leaving companies stuck with unsellable products
  • Banks began holding on to their money and dening credit to the everyday American citizen

President Bush said that the “irresponsible actions of some…bad decisions” is causing “the market is not functioning properly”. He warned that if action is held up by congress “the stock market could drop even more”. We could end up with “more expensive for credit, even with good credit history”. However he was optimistic and said that there is a spirit of cooperation betweens Democrates and Republicans. This bill will commit a large amount of tax payers money. But given the situtation, if the bill is not passed, it will cost more later for the American economy and the world. His key points to the ballout was to (1) remove risk possed by mortgage back securities, (2) protect tax payers and (3) ensure that there will be no winfall for “Wall Street” executives.

     

George Bush beleives that the plan will solve the financial problem and allow the “flow of credit” to Americans. He beleives that the vast majority of Americians will pay off their mortgages. But what does this mean for the future of America? The first part is to safeguard the financial system. He promised that every savings account will continue to be insured for up to $100, 000. In addition, he said that the laws governing the American financial system are outdated; needing change and modernization. The government should be able to observe, control and ensure that “Wall Street” will never put the system or the American people at risk again. He still beleives that the democratic financial system is the best system one available. His final quote stated that “together we will show the world what kind of country America is”. The world will definately wonder! The question you may ask, if it is the best system, than what makes the U.S different than any other socialist system now that they are essentially owning these companies? Is the problem with America greed? Did they simply learn from history and the depression and wanted to make sure to avoid a global depression?

 

American Wall Street Greed

American Wall Street Greed

One has to wonder, although America is only a portion of the worlds population, they consume the largest amount per-capita basis. Is America’s excess caused by world greed and foreign investment? Is it time for America to learn to live with less? Or is it time for America to embrace a more socialist style of financial system? Has republican or conservative styled economics failed? Or are Western societies just too credit happy, beleiving that they “deserve” to have all of the luxuries of life? Will we ever learn?

 

By Andy MJ
a.k.a. The G.T.A Patriot

We should stay the course! Isn’t that what the captain of the Titanic said before it sank?


By Jim Stanford

Canada and the Economy

Canada and the Economy

We all know the Conservatives are the “rational economic managers,” right?  After all, their tax cuts, free trade agreements, and tough-love social policy are all motivated by the need to free the entrepreneurial beast within us, and allow us to pursue our natural proclivity to truck and trade with wild abandon.  The productivity of the free market is the common intellectual (or should that be ideological?) thread that unites all the disparate, carefully calculated Conservative policy proposals.

How odd, then, that the record of Canadian productivity growth since the Stephen Harper government came to power is so uniquely awful.  StatsCan released their second-quarter productivity numbers on Sept. 10 (http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/080910/d080910a.htm).  Productivity declined by 0.2%, the third quarterly decline in a row.

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Statscan Censorship?


An interesting post on The Progressive Economics Forum

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Censorship in Canada

Censorship in Canada

Once again, there seems to be a heavier hand in editing Statistics Canada’s releases.  This morning The Daily reported that:

“Spending on research and development in the higher education sector amounted to $9.6 billion (current dollars) in the fiscal year 2006/2007.”

but there was no word on whether this was an increase or decrease from the previous period, which Statscan releases almost always have.

The year 2006/7 was the first year that the Harper government was in office.  Investment in research and development is essential to increase our economy’s productivity, which hasn’t increased since the start of 2006 (and has grown at a dismal rate since 2000).

Canada has some of the most generous tax incentives for private R&D in the world, yet Canada has one of the lowest rates of investment in R&D among OECD countries thanks to both low rates of government and business investment in R&D, accoridng to Industry Canada’s Science and Technology Data tables.  Canada’s investment in higher education R&D had recently been relatively good, but it looks like the current federal government may soon rectify that.

The Harper government is laying off federal scientists and forcing departments to slash their R&D budgets .  It is deregulating food safety inspection and transferring or selling off federal labs to the private sector, intent on further commercialization and privatization. They eliminated the national science advisor and have instead appointed Preston Manning among others to help advise on science issues.  This approach to science recently earned the Harper government scathing criticism in an editorial in Nature, one of the most respected science publications in the world.

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