Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Dark and Desperate Cons and the Sunny Budget

Wherever Rona Ambrose goes at the stroke of midnight to receive her instructions from Stephen Harper.

You know that both of them must be screaming with frustration at the sight of Justin Trudeau's budget.

For they must surely know it's going to make Trudeau even more popular.

Because unlike the Con's deathly budgets it's so sunny.

And it is a budget for a better world.

What a difference 11 months makes. Hard to believe now, but just last April the federal finance minister was grimly grinding the deficit down toward zero, and even bringing in legislation to make balanced budgets the law of the land. In retrospect, it was the death rattle of Harperism. 

Different minister, very different times. The budget that Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled on Tuesday delivers big-time on the Trudeau government’s promise of moving toward a more ambitious, more generous and more equitable Canada. The change could hardly be more dramatic — or more welcome.

It provides money where money is really needed. More money for poor seniors, more money for the unemployed, veterans and young Canadians. More money to fix our crumbling infrastructure, and hopefully create more jobs.

It promises a new beginning in the long delayed battle against climate change.

For clean energy enthusiasts, yesterday’s budget brought lots of good news. From public transit to renewables in remote communities, the budget made investments that support a thriving low-carbon economy. 

Since the government’s election last year, Canada has upped its game on climate change. We’ve seen political commitments from the highest levels of federal, provincial, and territorial governments to reduce emissions. And with yesterday’s budget, governments and civil society will now have more resources to do so.

As well as promising more money for our poverty stricken aboriginal people...

Who need it so badly.

And as Jennifer Ditchburn points out, in her new role as the editor-in-chief of Policy Options, it also continues the demolition of Stephen Harper's foul legacy.

If you thought the Speech from the Throne was repudiation of the Conservative decade, take a look at the budget plan. The document is littered with old Liberal programs that are being introduced again, years after they were axed, and Conservative measures that are being deleted. 

Here are some names making a comeback: the Court Challenges Program, the Kitsilano coast guard facility, research funding for Status of Women Canada, sick leave changes for federal public servants, funding for the CBC, funding for promoting the arts abroad, the experimental lakes project in northwestern Ontario. I could go on.

So although it's not perfect, and some promises have had to be trimmed or put on hold thanks to the state of the economy the Cons left us.

It does make Rona Ambrose's obsession with the deficit look ridiculous...

When that deficit is so relatively tiny.

Some commenters had a bit of a panic attack at hearing the news that the Liberals’ inaugural budget contains a $29.4-billion deficit for the coming fiscal year. The Conservatives have gone so far as to call it a “nightmare,” noting that projected deficits through 2020 now exceed $100 billion. 

But compared to the sorts of deficits Canada used to run, this new deficit barely qualifies as a bad dream, let alone a nightmare.

And above all, the new budget does reaffirm our Canadian values, as this pathetic tweet from Jason Kenney makes only too clear...

Who would kill the CBC to fund the Great War on ISIS.

As the only that grubby Con clown could.

And for me at this point, that's all that counts.

The Cons are being destroyed...

Or made to look like idiots.

We have a budget that resembles Canada again, and supports the kind of values we believe in and fought so long and so hard to win back.

It replaces fear with hope in the future.

There could hardly be a greater contrast between this budget and last year’s effort. It’s a new world — and a better one.

Which when combined with electoral reform, should eventually bury Stephen Harper's foul legacy for a long long time...

Leave the dark Cons more desperate than ever.

And if we play our cards right, destroy them forever...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. Anonymous8:05 AM

    Harper showed up in the House of Commons on March 23, to pay tribute to Conservative MP Jim Hillyer, who had died suddenly. Then Question Period was cancelled. Would Harper have show up in the House if the MP had been a Liberal, NDP, Green, or Bloc member?

    1. Yes. I am not a fan of Stephen Harper and I am ecstatic to see the back of him and his government but let's give him his due. When it came to the personal tragedies of his fellow MPs he exhibited a certain amount of class.

    2. hi anon...yes I have to agree with ottlib, Harper did show some class for a few moments. But that still does not excuse the fact that he is not in the House of Commons most of the times, and spends most of his time holding audiences in his office, and no doubt giving Rona Ambrose her orders....

  2. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I wonder how often Rona communicates with Harper (face to face in his office, phone, Skype, email, while jogging around the Parliament buildings together, etc.) so he can feed her talking points?

    1. Ouija board? It worked for MacKenzie-King.

    2. hi my opinion there are two people giving Rona her orders. Jason Kenney who chairs the Cons strategic committee, and of course Harper himself. For if you want to know why the "new" Cons still look so much like the old Cons, that is the reason...

    3. hi, I believe that was considered, but Rona was too dumb to use it....;)

  3. I have no problem going into deficit when it is needed. Like right now. Spending on people and infrastructure. Better than buying a fighter jet that can't fight for billions or prisons for Xmen villains.

    BTW defense junkies. Any dollar of military spending nets a return of 1. Any dollar used for public spending on civilian projects has a return of 4-6. Better to build a bridge than to make the bomb to destroy it. So before one starts shrieking about lost defense jobs, the civy ones make a better return and kill less people.

    1. hi Dan...yes I agree with you it is a matter of priorities, and spending money on infrastructure or investing in our cultural sector, at a time when the cost of borrowing is so cheap is a wise investment in the future. Rather than wasting money on new fighter planes, which we will only need if we get involved in more foreign wars. Which needless to say we need like a hole in the head....

  4. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Liberals' Small Business Tax Rate Election Promise Broken In The Budget!!!!! Bill seems to think that mothers will spend their extra dollars in small business..... When actually they will be running to Walmart or Costco for deals!!!!!! Nothing for small business as usual!!!!! .....oh well back to the promotion of the underground economy for me......... Back to paying cash with no receipt for services starting yesterday!!!!!!!!! Not pleased with the budget at all........ And I voted Liberal..... Oh well, at least my pot is still HST free.......FS

    1. Oh well, at least my pot is still HST free

      Not for long.

    2. hi anon...yes some promises have had to be scaled back or put on hold due to the state the Cons left the economy in. But I believe the small business is about 10% which doesn't seem to high to me, and with the economy showing signs of recovering doesn't strike me as something that needs fixing right away. We have a revenue not a spending problem in this country, and we need to understand that taxes are what make a modern country develop and grow....

  5. Anonymous1:26 PM

    "Jian Ghomeshi not guilty of all charges"

    CONservative judicial system's finest hour......AGAIN!

    1. hi anon...yes I saw that, and while I'm not surprised, it is depressing....

  6. Anonymous3:11 PM

    The Cons ran a budgetary deficit of over 120 billion during the last 8 years promoting crony capitalism, bombs and tarry oil. Although Ro-Na considers the liberal budget a nightmare, in reality Canada is just starting to awaken from the real nightmare.Unfortunately the 10 year legacy of moving in the wrong direction combined with the new challenges has temporarily left us a little groggy.

    1. hi RT....yes the Cons are in no position to tell others how to spend money responsibly when they spent almost a billion dollars on their porky propaganda, millions more on war, and of course billions subsidizing the tar ponds. The fact that they are still trying to brainwash us into believing that they're real economists couldn't be more absurd or more laughable....

  7. e.a.f.4:15 PM

    A. 8:39 a.m. some mothers may "be running to Walmart or Costco", but they usually drive. Then there are all the parents who don't own cars or can't afford a membership to Costco. Those people do spend their money close to home and small businesses do benefit.

    When many receive more money, they spend it locally. Studies have shown the poorer people are the more likely they are to shop at local small business. Getting through huge stores such as Walmart or Costco is simply too much and takes too long.

    For those who are "not pleased" with the budget, please suggest what you would have done?
    Would people have preferred the government not bring clean water to First Nations communities?
    Would they have preferred services to Veterans remained reduced to such an extent more military and Veterans killed themselves than were killed in the wars?
    Would they have preferred people in areas of high unemployment be forced onto welfare rather than expanding E. I.?

    Just what would the complainers about this budget have done differently? Kids are expensive to raise. No one sets out to raise children in poverty. But shit and life happens. People get divorced, get laid off, get sick and can't work, etc. Children wind up in poverty because their parents loose their jobs or are forced into low paying jobs.

    B.C. which has the highest rate of child poverty in Canada and has had for 14 of the last 15 years also has the lowest min. wage in Canada and the highest cost of housing. Making a joint $90K in the Lower Mainland in B.C. is not a lot of money when you consider the rent on a house in the burbs can run $2,600 and that its considered a "deal". In some parts of Canada life is very expensive. Don't suggest people move to other areas, there isn't any work.

    In B.C. a couple pays $133 per month for medical service premiums to the provincial government families pay more. Electricty rates keep going up as does car insurance. tolls on bridges to get to work are over $3 each way. Getting on rapid transit can cost $9 per day.

    The budget has now allocated funding to find out how many foreign investors are buying up Canada. Its a start because here in B.C. the provincial government doesn't think its a big problem because they sure aren't doing anything about it. but then Christy Clark, B.C.'s premier hired a bunch of Harper's laid off "little shits in short pants".

    I didn't have to vote Liberal, it was going to go NDP anyhow, but I'm O.K. with the budget. There is more money for social needs and that goes a long way in my book.

    Canadians on average don't have a lot of money, when you consider a bank did a study a couple of years ago and determined 1/3 of all Canadians would not be able to continue on after 3 months of no income and the fastest growing group of people filing for bankruptcy in Ontario were seniors. when you look at it from that perspective, the budget is O.K.

    1. Anonymous6:13 PM

      Didn't say anything about clean water, seniors, vets........But at the same time there is NOTHING in the budget for small business as promised in the election!!!!!!! Nothing about legalizing pot? I would just like to see them walk the walk. As for the self serving, GREEDY banks..... They make their profits sucking fees out of the poor and middle class taxpayers of Canada to land in the accounts of the rich!!!!!!! Would never rely on a bank study!!!!!! Main reason for bankruptcy are banks and CRA. Please forward study that shows that poorer people shop at a small business over Walmart. FS

    2. e.a.f.11:51 PM

      if you understand politics you'd understand you don't legalize pot in your first budget. voters, the majority expect a few other things to take priority. What the Liberals did do was decide not to appeal the court case regarding growing the stuff at home. that is the first step, small, but they will get there.

      going after the greedy banks again, for political purposes, is not something you go after in your first budget. you lead up to it. Many people own stocks in banks. Lots of pension funds have stocks in banks so if the government is going to raise taxes on banks they have to tread very carefully.

      Main reason for bankruptcy is over spending and/or a sudden loss of income.

      I don't have the name of the study but have seen it referred to in a number of progressive blogs.

      When political parties come to office, they take it slow if they expect to be there for more than one term, unless you know you're going to be a one term wonder. The Liberals are planning on being there for years, so they will take it very slowly but I'm sure you won't get arrested and thrown in the can for smoking weed. Just grow your own and save a little money. Its very easy.

    3. hi e.a.f...I'm happy with the budget, it is as I said in my post, a far more Canadian budget than the Cons ever presented. And the only thing that worries me is the Liberal's refusal to raise the GST when it's clear that the Con's relentless war on taxes is causing a revenue rather than a spending problem, that sooner or later will have to be resolved...

    4. e.a.f.3:10 PM

      Its back to the long term political don't do that if you want to be re-elected. The economy isn't great. Lots of unemployed in Alberta and NFLD, so you wait, then if necessary you increase the GST by about 1/2%. But not until after the next election, or half way through this mandate.

      The first order of business for any party is to stay in power.

    5. Say e.a.f ...... ever thought of starting your own blog? (Or maybe you have one)

      Not even Simon's post was as long as yours.

      Just sayin'.

    6. Trolls generally don't maintain blogs of their own. They tend to lurk under the bridges of the blogs of others. lol

    7. Anonymous11:38 AM

      So my daughter in law and four of her friends packed into a mini van yesterday and left their small town in Ontario, to drive some 80klms to Walmart to spend their money!!!! Nothing for the small business left behind in their own small town. Small town cannot complete with these big box stores!!!!!!! These mothers cannot afford to shop at small business..... Overhead for these small business pits them against these Walmarts and such!!!!!! Maybe if we can decriminalize pot and free up the waste of money with Cops and Courts we could help all small business. Spend a day in drug court in Brampton, Ontario and you will see your hard earned tax dollars just floating through the roof of the building!,,,,,, OK to waste tax dollars over and over again on the war on pot that just cannot be won!!!!!!!! Better to see the Cops and Crowns on the sunshine list I guess!!!!! Almost every Crown Attorney is on that list..... For mere paper fluffing with no convictions!!!!!! But it is just the overburdened taxpayer dollars that's going up in smoke so all is OK right!!!!!! FS

  8. hi FS....As I said above, some promises have had to be put on hold due to the economic mess the Cons left this country in. But like you I would like to see signs of action on the marijuans file. For while I understand that it takes time to set up a whole system of checks and balances, I would like to see marijuana decriminalized immediately, so no more Canadians are charged or jailed for using it....


  10. e.a.f.2:52 AM

    David and Omar, I'm aware we disagree on many topics. If you'd like me to not participate in the blog, fine. I don't really care. If Simon sends me an e-mail advising he'd like me to no longer comment, I'd happily stop. Its his blog, not yours. We will just have to agree to disagree. Some of us are more wordy than others. One could also look at it from the perspective some of you give me so much material to work with.

    1. You didn't answer my question. Do you have a blog of your own? If so, please tell us what it's called. I never said anything about me not wanting to read your comments. But I think it's a matter of courtesy not to be wordy on someone else's blog. Jen Gerson and Ian Capstick are two folks on Power & Politics that take wordiness to a whole new level. Gerson just rambles and repeats herself. Capstick likes to hear the sound of his own voice! 8-D

    2. Disagreeing is fine. In fact it's more than fine. It is your condescension that grates. You talk down to people. And you do this consistently. But whatever. I am sure you "don't really care" to have this personality trait pointed out to you.

  11. e.a.f.1:13 PM

    David, please understand, just because you want to know something doesn't mean you're going to get the answer. its not your blog. If Simon sends me an email to ask me questions, then I'll answer until then, consider this the answer you're not looking for.

    an exchange of opinions is always healthy, wanting to know about the other commenters isn't.

    Are you suggesting I'm Gerson or Capstick? Hope not.......

    Have a Happy Easter, enjoy the day, save your energy for something useful.

    1. "save your energy for something useful." See? lol