Liberals vs. Liberals

Today, the Prime Minister stated that more Canadians are working today than before the global economic crisis hit.

Dalton McGuinty’s Chief of Staff on Twitter:

Did you know Ontario has recovered 96% of the jobs lost during the recession? It’s true, and shows the plan is working.

From Global Toronto:

The NDP would scrap $850 million a year in planned corporate tax cuts of $1.4 billion this year and $1.8 billion next year to offset the lost HST revenue, said Leader Andrea Horwath.

“The HST is simply a shifting of tax burden off the corporate sector onto the backs of individuals,” she said.

“We would claw back the corporate tax cuts the government has implemented and cancel the future ones.”

Scrapping such a big slice of corporate tax cuts would hurt the fragile economic recovery by raising taxes on the struggling forestry and automotive sectors, warned Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

“It is about the most short-sighted, dumb public policy pronouncement one can envision,” said Duncan.

Dwight Duncan is the Ontario Finance Minister.

Meanwhile Michael Ignatieff suggests freezing corporate tax cuts. And Scott Brison is none too pleased about the Conservative record and believes that the federal Liberals can do better.

UPDATE: David Akin asks the question,

Alright, I admit it. When a journalist asked Liberal Finance Critic Scott Brison a devastatingly worded question there was no way to answer safely, I smiled.

Here’s the question put by Sun Media’s David Akin:

“The Liberal finance minister in Ontario was asked this week about corporate tax cuts, his program. The NDP there would like tax cuts to be cancelled and his response was, and I’m quoting now, ‘It is about the most short-sighted, dumb public policy pronouncement one can envision to cancel corporate tax cuts,’ and I wondered if he knows something you don’t.”

Frankly, any honest reporter would admit there is great pleasure in seeing a politician squirm because of your question. Upon hearing the question, Brison did squirm. Then his response went from refusing comment to repeating his line that the previous Liberal government in Ottawa cut corporate taxes when the government was in surplus and he called on the current Conservative crowd to adopt that same policy and cancel the cuts scheduled to go into effect next year. All in all, Brison made the best of a situation he couldn’t win. When your provincial cousins call your policy “short-sighted” and “dumb” what possible response can you give? Something tells me there were probably some interesting calls between Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park not long after Brison’s news conference.

Comments

comments

  • Allan Wood

    Always nice to see the Provincial Liberals supporting the Federal Conservative government policies. Yes it is working Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Brison. Perhaps you should look for another wedge issue that does not make you appear dumb.

  • Liz J

    I really think Scott Brison should retire from politics and take up deep sea fishing.

  • batb

    I hope those calls between Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park continue for a long time and turn both Liberal Parties into butter, just like what happened to those tigers going round and round that tree in the, now banned, story Little Black Sambo. (As long as they don’t use it to butter up their constituents!)

  • Anonymous

    Like any government in pre-election mode, both the Federal CPC and the Ontario Liberals are trying to blow smoke up our butts about how their job programs are working.

    Unfortunately they’re both BS’ing to a certain extent. I don’t have figures to challenge their totals, but one thing I know for sure is that many well-paying trade and professional jobs have NOT come back, and alot of people, especially older middle-class workers have had to settle for lower-paying entry-level jobs in new fields. So, not exactly the full recovery we wanted.

    I’m not totally pessimistic; I think that barring another bubble collapse or equivalent disaster, the North American economy will continue to improve over the next 24 months, allowing whatever party’s in power at the time to beat their chest.

  • batb

    ‘Don’t think that McGuilty’s party’s got a lot to beat their chests about: hydro bills, even using Smart Metres, way up, Caledonia, the fact that the guy’s AWOL toujours, siempre, all the time. He doesn’t even, like former Toronto Mayor Miller, acknowledge receipt of e-mails. The few times I’ve written him have fallen on deaf ears: rien, nada, nothing. No response.

    Now, he’s talking about not remaining in office for his whole term if he’s elected again.

    Duh-lton McGuilty: no chest to beat.

  • Anonymous

    anything Harper does = GOOD
    anything McGuinty does = BAD

    … got it. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    anything Harper does = GOOD
    anything McGuinty does = BAD

    … got it. Thanks.

  • batb

    You’re not paying attention.

    Under the Liberal Party of Ontario, Ontario’s now a have-not province, whereas Canada, under the Conservative Party of Canada, is performing better than other G-7 countries — even noticed by the international press.

    What’s your beef? At least be specific.

    Oh, and you’re welcome.

  • Anonymous

    Canada survives economic downturn better and recovers faster = Harper’s credit

    World economic downturn hits industrial/manufacturing/service/knowledge industries (…Ontario’s base) hardest = McGuinty’s fault.

    … got it. Thanks.

  • Cytotoxic

    I’m not arguing that McGuinty is anything other than awful, however, Canada’s good performance is in spite of Harper and due to the excellent policies of the Martin/Chretien Liberals in the 90s and NAFTA/GST policies of Mulroney. Anything else is bunkum.

  • batb

    That’s nonsense, Cytotoxic. Chretien and Martin siphoned off million$ of EI funds to create their bogus surpluses and, then, there’s Adscam. Anyone want to tell me when Canadian taxpayers get the over $40,o00,o0o the Librano$ stole from us back?

    I’ll concede that Paul Martin as Finance Minister might have made some good decisions — that was his job for crying out loud — but to say that the past five years of governance by the CPC, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, hasn’t contributed anything to Canada’s comparative economic well-being is garbage — or, in your words, bunkum.

  • batb

    And, despite “the excellent policies of the Martin/Chretien Liberals,” Martin flew foreign flags on his fleet of ships, in order to avoid paying hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tax dollars to Canada. I’m not aware of any similar skulduggery going on in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s personal affairs nor in his government. As far as building on past governments’ accomplishments, that’s what any good government does and the CPC should be congratulated for running with the positive for the good of Canadians. As for the garbage governments inherit from past regimes, the CPC is doing a pretty good job of chucking the Liberal refuse, of which there’s a pile, despite the howls of the Opposition and their buddies in the MSM.

    Pretty much every “scandal” the Liberal$ and their accomplices in the media have tried to run up the flagpole has flagged, if you’ll pardon the pun.

    So, if the Liberal$ want to waste their time, and their constituents’, by doing everything they can, telephone calls or no telephone calls, to discredit the federal CPC or the provincial Conservatives, let them go at it. Just remember the tigers running around the tree: That’s a lot of butter for Conservative pancakes.

  • batb

    And, despite “the excellent policies of the Martin/Chretien Liberals,” Martin flew foreign flags on his fleet of ships, in order to avoid paying hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tax dollars to Canada. I’m not aware of any similar skulduggery going on in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s personal affairs nor in his government. As far as building on past governments’ accomplishments, that’s what any good government does and the CPC should be congratulated for running with the positive for the good of Canadians. As for the garbage governments inherit from past regimes, the CPC is doing a pretty good job of chucking the Liberal refuse, of which there’s a pile, despite the howls of the Opposition and their buddies in the MSM.

    Pretty much every “scandal” the Liberal$ and their accomplices in the media have tried to run up the flagpole has flagged, if you’ll pardon the pun.

    So, if the Liberal$ want to waste their time, and their constituents’, by doing everything they can, telephone calls or no telephone calls, to discredit the federal CPC or the provincial Conservatives, let them go at it. Just remember the tigers running around the tree: That’s a lot of butter for Conservative pancakes.

  • Anonymous

    but to say that the past five years of governance by the CPC, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, hasn’t contributed anything to Canada’s comparative economic well-being is garbage — or, in your words, bunkum.

    It’s well-known that Harper & company initially intended to deregulate Canadian banks. Thank… God, I guess … that they didn’t get to that before the crisis.. It only took a good, sharp jab from a coalition threat to get stimulus rolling.

    I guess we should be grateful that they haven’t really broken anything (other than outsourcing foreign policy) . So, sure, they get credit for that.

  • real conservative

    Sad that McGuinty’s crew woke up in the final hours of their mandate, but good for conservatives. Brison is quick on his feet but not as smart as be believes he is, which is a problem for Iggy.

  • DougM

    “I don’t have figures to challenge their totals, but one thing I know for sure is that many well-paying trade and professional jobs have NOT come back”

    So you admit you don’t know anything on the one hand, but claim that you know it for sure on the other. Sheeeesh! A Lieberal indeed.

  • DougM

    Bull. The reason everyone from the US to Euro Money mag as well as the Brits wre saying they had a lot to learn from Canada was due to the economic polices brought in to deal with the crisis. Granted there were barriers to some of the kind of sub prime idiocies that went on in the states, but the programs this government brought in; the ones that garnered the accolades were not Martins or Chretians. Unless in their delusional world, the Liberal party now claimed to run the Conversative party too. Although perhaps its not that far fetched and indeed is the reversal of Kenn2’s hypothesis – anything good must therefore come from the Lieberals so if its working it must be due to them even though they weren’t in power when it happened….

  • DougM

    Yup and Iggy figured torture was fine – except when it wasn’t. And then he thought we should have been in Iraq, but didn’t really,…wink wink. And the US is “Your contry as much as it is mine, right?” But no, today I’m a Canadian through and through. So on that basis alone he should be associated with intellects the size of Sarah Palins. Perhaps if we concentrate on a record of reality vice interpretation it would be good….?

  • DougM

    Deep sea fishing takes a knowledge of seamanship, responsibiity, navagation and the handling of small vessels. Deep sea captains take customers to sea which can turn into a pretty hostile envrionment very quickly. Why on earth would you want Brison to take on a calling which is so far over his head the moon is within easier reach and put innocents lives at risk?

  • Liz J

    Well, I’d assume he’s start at the bottom!

  • Anonymous

    but the programs this government brought in; the ones that garnered the accolades were not Martins or Chretians.

    Of course, you must be right. Please list those accolade-worthy programs, so I don’t make this grievous error ever again.

  • Anonymous

    Really? This passes for an argument? You’ve done better.

    Have a nap and try again.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Doug. Just…wow.

  • batb

    “… damaging our stature in the world.”

    That’s a laugh, kenn2.

    With whom is our stature damaged? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Vladimir Putin? Osama Bin Laden? Barak Obama? Kim Jong-il? the Chinese leadership (and Maurice Strong)? Hugo Chávez? “Uncle” Fidel Castro?

    With enemies like them who, boo hoo, don’t like our policies (well, I guess not as we’re not playing footsie with them) we should be holding our heads high.

  • DougM

    Ahh yes Kenny, our usual response to being pilloried – devoid of fact, support or detail you can offer – well, an exclamation mark. You can do better…or can you? Still its nice to see your Liberal paymasters offer, what? Time and a half for the weekend?

  • DougM

    We went through this a few months back and I gave you the quotes and the links to prove and support the facts – I’m not doing it again. There are memory exercises that can help you.

  • DougM

    It is to laugh. So you want supporting fact (though they’ve already been given) in one case but when you have no data to support something that inane but claim it as fact you don’t see the argument? Whooooee, it that isn’t rather ripe with the imbedded Lieberal notion of “We know what’s best for you and don’t you dare ask us to prove it.” Long night last night?

  • batb

    Doug, it seems to be one long night for kenn2 whose motto seems to be “don’t confuse me with the facts” — or, at least, “let me confuse you without the facts”!

    As you point out, this is the MO of the Liberal$: They’re superior to the rest of us, something that’s obvious only to them, but that’s never stopped them from looking down their noses at the rest of us.

  • batb

    Doug, it seems to be one long night for kenn2 whose motto seems to be “don’t confuse me with the facts” — or, at least, “let me confuse you without the facts”!

    As you point out, this is the MO of the Liberal$: They’re superior to the rest of us, something that’s obvious only to them, but that’s never stopped them from looking down their noses at the rest of us.

  • Gabby in QC

    About those bank mergers …
    http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/plocal/CTVNews/20021101/manley_bank_merger_021101/20021101/?hub=TorontoHome
    “Manley blames banks for merger collapse: report

    … The officials also say Manley is angered by reports of a split between him and Prime Minister Jean Chretien over the issue. …
    The officials told the Post the government has not closed the door on bank mergers and is encouraging the Senate banking committee and the Commons finance committee to fast-track hearings designed to clarify the rules for a merger.
    The officials also deny interference from Chretien, saying he encouraged Manley to establish the two committees reviewing the merger approval process. …
    The Globe and Mail reported Friday that the banks were expecting to hear detailed public interest guidelines in a speech given by Secretary of State Maurizio Bevilacqua on Oct. 10 in Toronto. With knowledge of the guidelines, the two banks were then expected to announce their merger plan shortly thereafter.
    However, The Globe says the Prime Minister’s Office reviewed Bevilacqua’s speech and decided not to announce the public interest guidelines, but to submit them to the Commons committee.
    The Globe said bank executives interpreted the PMO decision as a delay tactic and a rejection of their plans.
    Meanwhile, Canadian Press reported later Friday that the Bank of Montreal had hired one of Chretien’s former top advisors to sell the merger proposal to the prime minister.
    CP says Peter Donolo, Chretien’s former communications director, was hired several weeks ago by the bank to guide the proposal through federal channels.
    One senior Toronto banker told CP that Donolo’s failure to convince Chretien of the merits of the deal has closed the issue of mergers for the time being.”

  • Anonymous

    One fluffy, detail-free quote from EuroMoney, zero links, and a whole lotta Liberal hate. And pretty much repeated here. That’s what you excreted a few months back. Nothing then, and nothing now. At least you’re consistent. Sorry about your memory though.

  • batb

    Great catch, Gabby.

    kenn2 …?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the opportunity.

    The bank merger thing – interesting, but it’s getting a bit off-topic isn’t it? If your point is that the Liberals aren’t perfect, and that they were capable of screwing up… point taken. I confess that I don’t recall this 2002 incident or all the details around it, but this was a one-time merger proposal, complete with some internal miscommunication. With benefit of hindsight, I think that everyone agrees that the Bank of Montreal and the Bank of Nova Scotia have both thrived, so the merger wasn’t necessary, then, was it? So… despite the confusion, somebody made the right call, whoever it was. Same as Harper making the right call on nixing the potash buyout. The country’s assured well-being should come before a company’s right to milk us.

    Of course, banks merging is a potentially anti-competitive situation, and one part of regulatory oversight. More important to the health of our banks was and is the direct regulation of their operation and financial stability: the type of loans, mortgages and other financial products that they are allowed to offer, restrictions on what other areas they can dabble in (insurance, hedge funds, brokerages etc) and, most importantly the amount of leverage (is that the right word?) over their debt… ie the banks can’t have obligations that are more than X times their deposits.

    By comparison to the American banks, Canadian banks had healthy deposits, they weren’t over-leveraged, and they weren’t engaged in an unregulated free-for-all with near-fictional financial instruments like CDOs and the like.

    In case you’ve forgotten, Harper allowed private mortgage insurers into the Canadian market. Most of these new players are (oops were) the same ones issuing mortgage insurance in the States to anyone with a pulse and a signature. Yes the same insurers who went bust after Americans started defaulting and the insurers couldn’t begin to cover their obligations.

    When these newcomers were offering to guarantee 40 year, ZERO down mortgages in Canada, CMHC was pressured to follow suit. I cannot fathom the thinking of any government, company or individual (other than a gambler) being comfortable with a ZERO down mortgage. Hell, 10% down was scary enough for us.

    Fortunately, Canadians didn’t get into the refinance merry-go-round that happened in the US, and as the US housing went over a cliff, Flaherty set the limit back to 5%down/35-year amortization.

  • Gabby in QC

    Kenn2 one day ago:
    “It’s well-known that Harper & company initially intended to deregulate Canadian banks. Thank… God, I guess … that they didn’t get to that before the crisis.. …”

    Yet I’m the one going off- topic, according to Kenn2 26 minutes ago:
    “The bank merger thing – interesting, but it’s getting a bit off-topic isn’t it?”

    To be perfectly frank, the mortgage & subprime issue is well beyond my expertise, so I won’t tangle with you on that topic. But since you mentioned bank mergers, well, that is within my limited level of expertise, i.e. checking up some facts and throwing them out there for anyone’s consideration.

    Have a nice evening.

  • Anonymous

    There actually is a difference between ruling on mergers, and bank regulation in general.

    Perhaps you know even less about banking than you think.