Tag Archives: Tories

Wildroses in Alberta – but the grass is not always greener on the other side


Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Caucus, (R to ...

Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Caucus, (R to L) Guy Boutilier, Heather Forsyth, Danielle Smith, Paul hinman, Rob Anderson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an interesting twist of fate Alberta, long a stronghold for the Conservatives, is going through some family issues. Till death do us part is not the motto for conservatives today. Alberta is going through growing pains. With an influx of Canadians, of all stripes, change seems to be affecting the province as a whole. The Wildrose party has surged in popularity, but will it last? Cracks in the foundation are already apparent; with Wildrose members sounding both intolerant of immigrants and out of step with Canadian values. In some sense we can draw a comparison to the Republican Party in the United States. With forces split between what is seen as moderates, like Mitt Romney and The Tea Party elements of the Republicans. I sense that this is more of a protest vote; similar to the ADQ in Quebec. The Progressive Conservatives are holding true to the name “progressive”, but will the residents of Alberta give them another chance. With the election near Wildrose party members are under close scrutiny. Can the Wildrose Party grow into a sustainable political force? Or will they continue to bloom and show their true colours?

http://www.thestar.com/mobile/news/canada/politics/article/1164711–tim-harper-alberta-s-wildrose-leader-danielle-smith-s-bumpy-road-to-history

Do the Ontario Liberals want an election?


An interesting game of poker is taking place in Ontario and it seems that the Liberals may have the best hand. Who has the most to lose? At the moment it’s the NDP. No one wants an election and I suspect that if one is called you can kiss all of those NDP seats goodbye. Both the NDP and the Tories cannot afford an election at the moment. In a funny sense if the NDP votes against the budget I am sure the Tories will end up having to support it. The Liberals be in the best position if an election is called. So who will blink first?

Government of Canada cancels the ecoEnergy Retrofit program


EcoEnergy RetrofitThe federal government is suspending a program which offered people financial incentives to have their homes evaluated for energy efficiency and then perform upgrades to improve the rating.

Under the ecoEnergy Retrofit program, homeowners could receive a grant of up to $5,000 to carry out energy saving improvements.

The program technically runs until March 31, 2011, but the government will not accept bookings for pre-retrofit evaluations after midnight Wednesday. Homeowners who have already booked an appointment, have completed an evaluation, or applied for re-entry into the program have until next year to apply for the retrofit grant.

On the program’s official website, the federal government said it was “committed to reviewing its energy efficiency and emissions reductions programs to ensure they continue to be an effective and efficient use of Canadian tax dollars.”

The Conservatives launched the ecoEnergy Retrofit program in April 2007. By 2009, the government had paid out $91 million to homeowners for more than 85,000 home retrofits.

Liberal MPP David McGuinty told the Globe and Mail newspaper the program had become too popular and, therefore, too costly.

“Here is what has really happened — demand tripled since 2007,” the Globe quoted McGuinty as saying.

The federal budget unveiled on March 4 included an additional $80 million for the retrofit program.

Many provinces, such as Ontario, match the federal rebates. Those programs are expected to continue.

For details from the federal government, see the link below.

Tories face $10B deficit, report suggests


Canada risks running a $10 billion deficit in the 2009-2010 fiscal year if the re-elected Conservative government fails to stitch a “looming fiscal hole” that is already raising the spectre of higher taxes and possible spending cuts, a report suggests. That stark prediction was made yesterday by Merrill Lynch economist David Wolf.

That stark prediction was made yesterday by Merrill Lynch economist David Wolf, hours before Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled a six-point economic plan and vowed to keep government spending “focused and under control.”

Merrill Lynch’s report suggests Ottawa may succeed in eking out a small surplus this year, but it is on track to recording its first deficit since the 1990s – a political anathema for Canadians.

Wolf is known for his pessimistic views. His analysis in this case assumes no change in fiscal policy. Nonetheless, some of his contemporaries agree the growing likelihood of a deficit will force the Harper government to make some difficult spending decisions if it intends to live up to its no-deficit pledge.

At least one other economist is taking Wolf’s argument to the next level. Don Drummond, TD Bank’s chief economist, said a multi-billion dollar deficit is not only possible, it is unlikely to be “a one-year wonder.”

For his part, Wolf argues that Canada’s real economy is stagnating amid the global financial crisis. Sharp declines in commodity prices will weigh heavily on exports, while corporate profits are set to fade.

“This fiscal year still looks on track for a small surplus given the better results in the first half of the year, but next year looks awful – we estimate that nominal GDP (gross domestic product), the best proxy for the tax base, will contract outright in 2009 for the first time since 1933,” he wrote. “The effects on government revenues are likely to be profound.”

The last federal budget projected a $2.3 billion surplus for 2008-2009. When asked about that estimate last week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters: “No, actually we’re on track – a little bit ahead of the track – on the surplus.”

Still, some private-sector economists say posting a surplus this year will be tricky. The idea of a deficit, however, is politically taboo. The last time Canada recorded one was in the mid-1990s. At the time, legislators worked tirelessly to slay it and subsequent governments vowed to never to repeat it.

“Given the circumstances that we’re in, a budget deficit is more of a political issue than an economic issue,” said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

“If it is caused by the fact that the global economy is struggling mightily (rather than by overspending), then a deficit is something we probably have to accept.”

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Conservative suggests immigrants are to blame for much of the crime in Canada


Calgary Tory offers no apology for immigrant-crime comment

by Jason Fekete; Thursday, September 25, 2008 – Canwest News Service
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=0add4a8…

CALGARY – Local Conservative incumbent Lee Richardson expressed regret Thursday – but offered no apology or resignation – for controversial comments he made suggesting immigrants are to blame for much of the crime in Canada.

But opposition parties and leaders representing minority groups are demanding the Calgary Centre Tory candidate – whose riding population is almost one-quarter recent immigrants – immediately apologize and either resign or be turfed for his “disgraceful” remarks.

“(Stephen) Harper must fire this man right away,” Liberal Leader Stephane Dion told reporters on the campaign trail, suggesting the comments reek of “intolerance” he attributed to the former Reform party.

“He cannot be a candidate anymore.”

The remarks were denounced by police officials, criminologists and immigrant aid groups, who noted there’s no data suggesting immigrants are to blame for a disproportionate amount of crime either in Calgary or across Canada.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper – who already has been knocked off-message a few times this campaign by candidates making inappropriate comments – could face the fallout at a campaign event Friday in Calgary.

“Mr. Richardson has clarified his remarks, and from our perspective the matter is over,” said Kory Teneycke, Harper’s chief spokesman.

The political firestorm stems from an interview with a Calgary weekly newspaper published Thursday, in which Richardson is quoted as saying many crimes aren’t committed by people who “grew up next door” and that immigrants aren’t as law-abiding as the rest of the population.

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Harper Tory campaign takes new hit. Candidates who are off the message and out of order. How many more are like this in his party?


In the latest embarrassment for the Conservative campaign, a candidate who blogged after the July beheading on a Winnipeg-bound bus that Canadians should be allowed to carry concealed handguns for protection has resigned from the Toronto Centre race.

Musings on women, gays, native protesters and hate-speech laws.

(1) Law-abiding men and women should be allowed to carry concealed handguns, saying: “If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they’d be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they’d rather be helpless and rely on government.”

(2) The end of human rights commissions and hate-speech laws.

(3) His political views were not entirely in keeping with the Conservative party

This is why Harper needs to change the focus to himself. He needs to find a better “pool” of conservative candidates.

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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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Tories widen their lead. Is Canada becoming more conservative or do we just like Harper?


A new poll suggests the Conservatives have solidified a substantial lead over their closest rivals, thanks at least in part to a lack of confidence in Liberal helmsman Stéphane Dion. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll, conducted Sept. 10-13, gave the Conservatives 40 per cent support across Canada, followed by the Liberals at 26 per cent.

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Awash in cash, Tories expected to cut GST to 5 per cent


The Harper government is expected to announce plans to cut the GST to 5 per cent when it updates Canadians this afternoon on Ottawa’s swelling budget surplus. The timing of the fall economic statement has been moved up, sources say, to give the Conservatives one last chance to goad opposition Liberals into triggering an election.

Today’s move also helps the Harper government drown out anger expected to surface tomorrow, the first anniversary of its controversial income trust tax, when the Tories broke an election pledge to protect trusts.

Ottawa is awash with cash because a commodity price boom for resources such as oil is swelling its coffers with corporate and personal income tax revenue. Toronto-Dominion Bank chief economist Don Drummond now forecasts Ottawa is headed for a surplus of $14.5-billion this year, before any measures announced today – up from the $3.3-billion the Tories forecast in March.

Mr. Drummond, who met with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on the fiscal outlook last Friday, said he expects tax measures because the Tories are anxious to unload an embarrassment of riches. They attacked the former Liberal government for hoarding surpluses and do not want to be painted as hypocrites. n fact, Mr. Drummond says, Ottawa has enough surplus cash in years ahead to afford to cut the GST to 5 per cent from 6 per cent, and still have room for an across-the-board one-percentage-point cut to personal income tax rates, as well as a one-point reduction in the corporate tax rate.

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Unless he fails in DonValley West Progressive Conservatives must to stick with John Tory


Unless he fails in Don Valley West Progressive Conservatives, in Ontario, must stick with John Tory, like glue, no matter what happens in this election. John Tory has a personality, great intellect and an eagerness to think out of the box. His business savvy has made him an important asset to the PC Party. Unfortunately the religious schools issue, albeit an honourable endeavour to fix an issue that Dalton Mcguinty was unwilling or unable to handle, cost him a substantial amount of votes in this election. He remains everything that Ontarians want all politicians to be. John Tory is a rarity, and he almost seems “too good” for politics. Maybe Ontarians were just shocked to see a politician that was actually honest? It was just not normal, which also explains his popularity. It seems unlikely that John Tory will be Premier; however I would not count him out yet. I will wait until October 11 for the final tally. We should remember that Dalton McGuinty did not win in 1999, but he became premier in 2003. Bob Rae lost elections before he finally took power in Ontario. Most importantly, among many voters, he came across as an honest man that people actually liked. The polls also suggest that Tory himself is more popular than his party and Dalton McGuinty. This says a lot about the character of John Tory. He obviously left a lasting impression on the voting public. Even if the Tories were to lose, they would be fools to put all the blame on John Tory. I would say that all of the right-wing conservatives who are opting not to vote in protest of John Tory and soft Liberals, who want to vote for Tory but won’t are to blame. Being from the Don Valley West riding myself, it shows a lot of courage for him to actually run in a riding, not considered a “safe seat”. If John Tory wins his riding of Don Valley West, he deserves another try. If Dalton McGuinty becomes Premier, and we go through another 4 years of “fiberal” politics, I am certain he will be the premier the next time around.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario