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Inconvenient comments from Conservatives on Budgets

Inconvenient comment #1:














Inconvenient Comment #2:

Former Conservative Finance Minister – the late Jim Flaherty – ruled out dipping into contingency fund last year to balance the books:

Flaherty told CBC News it would be “imprudent” to do so as the fund has frequently proven necessary. “If you do the arithmetic, we could have had a budget balanced by $100,000,” Flaherty said at the time. “I prefer to have a nice clean surplus.”

Inconvenient Comment #3:

Again from Jim Flaherty: this time rejecting dipping into the EI fund to balance the books:

“We do not take […]


A picture (and caption) are worth a 1000 words

I couldn’t help but laugh at the picture and caption the Toronto Star is using of Jim Flaherty coming out of an igloo up in Iqaluit where the G7 Finance Ministers are meeting.

The caption reads:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty exits an igloo in Iqaluit on Feb. 6, 2010, moments after destroying the snow-brick entrance arch of another igloo. Locals had built the snow structures to welcome the G7 delegates.

Flaherty obviously has a knack for wrecking things that he touches, both figuratively and literally.

UPDATE @ 12:25 pm: Here’s another example of a great picture of Flaherty (and homemade description that Steve V very generously decided to add […]


Today’s edition of silly Conservative messaging on prorogue.

The first comes from Jim Flaherty, who completely contradicts Prime Minister Harper’s claims on prorogue being necessary to “recalibrate” the government’s economic priorities:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says shutting down Parliament doesn’t affect his budget consultations – they would be happening whether Parliament was in session or not. But that’s not what his boss, the Prime Minister, is saying about the need to lock up the House of Commons until March. Stephen Harper has said he needed to prorogue to concentrate on building the plan for the second phase of the economic stimulus. But meeting with reporters today in Winnipeg , Mr. Flaherty said “prorogation does not affect the consultations” […]


This is your speech to convince the Canadian public the nation’s finances are in good hands?

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty decided to hold a press conference today, which initially led to all sorts of speculation what it might be – perhaps a crafty move to try and pressure opposition parties not to vote the Conservative Government down?

If that was the goal, I’m not sure this speech is going to do it:

The Conservatives admitted today that the federal government deficit would be worse — a total of $101 billion this year and next — than expected and that the government cannot say when it will balance the books again…In the budget, Flaherty had predicted that the government would begin running budget surpluses again in […]


The Parliamentary Budget Office contradicts the Conservatives (yet again)…

…this time over the issue of whether our deficit we’ve acquired is a temporary thing that will disappear once good economic times come back (the Conservative government/ Jim Flaherty/ Stephen Harper’s view) or whether this is a “structural” permanent deficit that will have to be dealt with. The independent Parliamentary Budget Office led by Kevin Page believes it to be the latter.. and it bluntly states there are 2 options to get rid of it:

The independent Parliamentary Budget Office says the federal government is now running a permanent deficit that can only be eliminated by raising taxes or cutting spending. That contradicts the view of the federal government, which […]


Jim Flaherty doesn’t take defeat well..

A funny story in the Star today (if true) about Jim Flaherty’s reaction to his wife Christine Elliott placing 3rd in the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race, won by Tim Hudak:

While Elliott coped well with defeat, her husband, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, appeared bitter during the crowded celebration at a downtown pub, astonishing Tories with his demeanour. Three sources told the Star that Flaherty told Tory MPP Ernie Hardeman (Oxford) to “f— off” because he hadn’t supported Elliott.

I’m no fan of Ernie’s, but Flaherty doesn’t know Ernie’s political ideology very well if he thought that Hardeman was going to support a “Red Tory” (or at least a […]


Remember, this is a “mild” recession, according to Finance minister Flaherty.

What would a bad recession look like to him, I wonder? Some more terrible numbers out today:

Canada is shedding jobs at a rate not seen since the deep recession of the early 1980s, as March saw another 61,300 workers join the ballooning ranks of the unemployed. The loss brought Canada’s official unemployment rate to eight per cent, the worst in seven years. Statistics Canada noted that since the peak in October, employment has fallen each month for a total of 357,000 jobs lost, representing 2.1 per cent of the workforce. That is the most since 1982.

I think Flaherty’s other talking point has been that from his perspective, it […]


As predicted, Jim Flaherty writes Gritgirl’s newest video.

Our sometimes furious Finance minister couldn’t have handed Gritgirl better material on a silver platter if he’d tried, as I predicted a couple of blogposts ago:

Love the music!


Who do you believe: Jim Flaherty, or the TD Bank?

There’s a wee bit of a discrepancy between Flaherty’s forecast and the TD Bank’s:

The worsening recession will drive Ottawa $18-billion deeper into deficit over the next two years, a leading economist is predicting – an increase beyond existing government forecasts that appears set to push annual budget shortfalls into record territory. The Toronto-Dominion Bank’s calculations – using their updated economic forecasts – would see Canada’s federal debt swell by $81.5-billion over the next two years instead of by $63.5-billion as the Harper government forecasted seven weeks ago.

So do you believe the TD Bank, or do you believe this guy?

I think I’m more inclined to go […]


Shorter Jim Flaherty:

Don’t worry, be happy.

Oh, and by the way, it’s the media’s fault for Canadians thinking we’re going into an economic decline:

“There is a steady drumbeat of negative media coverage on the state of the U.S. economy,” he told a business audience this morning. “Sometimes I think this spills over into Canadian readership and influence on Canadians. Often, when you pick up a newspaper, economic forecasts are being adjusted downwards.

Thanks Jim. I feel much better now.

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