Monday, June 23, 2014

The Long Reach Of Partisan Politics

h/t Montreal Simon

In Ontario, we noticed the long federal reach of divisive partisan politics during our recent election. Joe Oliver, our alleged finance minister, interposed his views, lamenting the fiscal state of Ontario that, according to him, is bringing down the rest of Canada. Of course, the disingenuous Uncle Joe denied trying to interfere in our electoral contest. Indeed, he kept up his unsolicited advice post-election, suggesting the following to Premier Kathleen Wynne:

“We hope that her government will follow our lead toward a balanced budget,” he said. “Canada cannot arrive at its potential if the biggest province remains in difficulty.”

In her column today, The Star's Carol Goar offers a pungent rebuttal and some advice to the minister and his government:

He ignored the fact that Ontarians had just rejected his formula, championed by defeated Conservative leader Tim Hudak. He ignored the fact that Ontario is struggling to replace its manufacturing base. And he ignored the fact that Ontario, unlike Ottawa, doesn’t have resource revenues pouring into its coffers.

Compounding the problem, observes Goar, is the fact that the Harper regime is doing nothing to help the province regenerate its economy. In my view, this sad state is the result both of partisan prejudice and a paucity of ideas from the regime's braintrust, Nonetheless, The Star offers some suggestions that we can be certain will be ignored:

- Close the multitude of tax loopholes that allow the country’s wealthy elite to stash income in shell companies that pay low corporate taxes; hide assets in offshore tax havens; write off personal expenses and exploit all the tax credits, deductions, refunds and allowances in Canada’s 3,236-page Income Tax Act.

While the late Jim Flahety closed some loopholes, much more needs to be done.

- Restore Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s original purpose.... If the federal government made it clear that CMHC’s first job is to make housing affordable, it would alleviate the need to build social housing, remove some of the risk from the real estate market, encourage residential construction and boost employment — all of which would benefit Ontario.

- Pay as much attention to Ontario’s mineral wealth as Alberta’s oil reserves.

While the regime can't do enough to promote and develop the tarsands, it has shown no interest in helping Ontario finance the infrastructure needed to mine the Ring of Fire and its rich chromite reserves.

- Fix Ottawa’s unfair equalization system.

Oliver ignored Ontario’s claims that it was being shortchanged by hundreds of millions under the convoluted formula Ottawa uses to ensure the financial burdens of all the provinces are comparable. But now Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Frechette has confirmed Ontario is being underpaid by $640 million this year. That revenue would allow the province to knock 5 per cent off its deficit.

I expect that little attention will be paid to these sensible suggestions. As we have all learned over the years, Harper and company have developed a long list of enemies. Given its ideology and its resounding recent rejection of Harperesque medicine through his surrogate, Tim Hudak, there is little doubt that Ontario has a prominent place in that pantheon of distinguished Canadians.


  1. They seem convinced that the enemies they are making in B.C. and Ontario are of little consequence, Lorne. They do, indeed, live in a bunker.

    1. Hopefully they will discover there is a cost to such a mentality, Owen. Many report that the support among their base is eroding as well. It would appear that a scorched earth policy may ultimately consume the arsonists themselves.

  2. As posted earlier, in part to Simon .. (seems it applies re Partisan, Energy Partners and/or distorted religious influence upon The so called Harper Government of (Redacted) of a minority of informed Canadians)


    .. Wonder what Rex Murphy (or anyone for that matter) thinks about Evangelicals planning to swamp federal riding nominations? Conservative, Liberal and NDP races to ensure Evangelicals take over The House of Commons?

    Why else would Harper & PMO and Party have already preempted 1/3 of Conservative Party riding associations with their preferred nominees? Or perhaps I am wrong, and that 1/3 of ridings are arranged/annointed by intention, as Evangelicals! In which case we can expect to see the remaining 2/3rds of federal ridings get Evangelical Conservative (Harper) Party nominees efficiently put in place.

    Now what do you think Canadians in every province might feel about extreme escalation of partisan evangelical fixing of riding nominations to attempt to ensure a fixed federal election outcome in 2015 ?????


    Well here we are (Canada & Canadians of all provinces) in 2014 still struggling with the 'non' election fraud of 2011 that 'never happened' to 226 ridings, Sona, Del Mastro, bagman Gerstein, Duffy/Wright.. plus the various robo-suppliers (Matt Meier etc) to the Harper Party & its hordes of thousands of lawyers, the endless ads for economic Action vapor strategies, our non existent or rusted navy assets, royal canadian air farce assets piloted by skilled foreigners (what?) Express Entry for any & all 'skilled vacancies' ie teachers, accountants, scientists, welders.. and probably firemen or preachers before we wake up & tune out Kenney, Alexander, Clement, Moore et al.

    Why don't we just outsource or offshore our 'skilled' political & governmental needs..? As one put it bluntly.. what does Pete MacKay offer that an old rubber boot can't do..? Surely that dim wizard Harper & consort Ray Novak can be replaced by several rabbis or frackers or partisan pricks stationed in our PMO.. or The Senate?

    1. We can only hope, Salamander, that Canada's self-proclaimed Natural Governing Party learns to its dismay in 2015 that the electorate has looked farther afield ideologically for 'replacement workers' to substitute for this collection of miscreants.