disable ads

October

September

  • retweet
    MPlib
    NEITHER COMPLACENCY NOR BULLHEADEDNESS IS THE RIGHT POLICY: While Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver was in New York today telling financial reporters that all is well economically in Canada, the latest report on GDP growth was published - showing NO GROWTH in the Canadian economy in July. The country has stalled again, and Mr Oliver is stuck with the same old ineffectual Harper-government bromides which have produced for Canada the worst record on economic growth since the sorry days of R.B. Bennett in the 1930's. Worse still for Mr. Oliver, even the Canadian Taypayers Federation has now gone public in denouncing the government's flagship promise about "income splitting". Since the last election, Mr. Harper has repeatedly pitched the notion that he needs to balance the books in 2015 for one prime purpose -- so he can introduce income splitting as a tax cut. But like the late Jim Flaherty, the CTF says this ill-advised Harper campaign promise is too expensive and entirely unfair to the vast majority of Canadians. Said the CTF last Friday: "... The problem with this pledge, presumably written on the back of an envelope as the campaign bus pulled out of Ottawa, is that it's been denounced by every credible economic think tank, representing every shade of the political spectrum. Even the federal finance department has weighed in -- that analysis is so damning that nearly everything but the commas was redacted before it was released to the public ..." That having been said, will the government change course or will all the complacency and bullheadedness continue?
    Sep 30, 2014 10:07 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    MR. HARPER DEFLATES EXPECTATIONS OF PROGRESS It's a basic expectation of every new generation of Canadians that if they work hard and make the most of their opportunities, they will achieve a quality of life that surpasses their parents. But for many young Canadians, the inevitability of such progress seems doubtful. Long after the end of the 2008 recession, Canada's unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 stays stuck stubbornly at something over 13%, nearly twice the rate for the economy as a whole. There are 240,000 fewer jobs for young Canadians today than just before the recession. And perhaps even worse, despite a steadily growing population, youth participation in the labour market is down by four full percentage points, reflecting an increasing number who are giving up their search for employment. Job quality has deteriorated. In all of 2013, of the woefully inadequate 99,000 jobs in total generated by the entire Canadian economy, 95% were just part-time - meaning lower wages, fewer benefits and less security. Over the past 12 months (August to August), only 81,000 new jobs in total were produced across Canada, and only 15,000 of them were full-time. International investment banker Morgan Stanley reported last week that Canada is among the three worst countries in the industrialized world for creating low-paying "crappy" jobs. This reinforces a 2013 study by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce that found good-paying, high-end jobs were being generated in Canada at a much slower pace than low-end jobs. Real wage growth is weak. Savings are down. Living costs are up, as inflation begins to tick higher. And more than half of the employees surveyed recently by the Canadian Payroll Association reported that it would be difficult to make ends meet if their paycheques were delayed by more than just one week. Adding to this concern, Canadian households are carrying close to $1.64 in debt for every $1.00 of disposable income, a level of financial vulnerability that global experts have described as "anything but sustainable." And costs keep rising. Some two-thirds of middle-class parents worry they may not be able to afford access to post-secondary education for their children. In more than 40% of "empty-nester" families, the kids have moved back home (or never left) because they cannot yet make a go of things on their own. The housing and other start-up costs now confronting them are far more formidable than their parents had to face. The Conference Board has done a series of analyses of income inequality in Canada. The latest was published about a week ago. They have concluded that we are becoming a more unequal country, with one of the biggest income gaps growing between younger Canadians and their older counterparts. Many youth feel increasingly left behind, even left out altogether. Last week, I asked the Harper government if they thought this was a problem. In their usual cavalier fashion, they just sloughed it off. While Conservatives remain fixated on cutting taxes for the wealthiest 15% in our society - tax cuts that even the late Jim Flaherty depicted as too costly and unfair - young Canadians are being told to curb their hopes and ambitions and settle for mediocrity. That's just not bold enough. Canada can choose to do better.
    Sep 29, 2014 10:17 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    So happy to welcome old friend Sam Gee back to Regina for a visit - lots of folks gathered to greet him at Lee's.
    Sep 28, 2014 5:35 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    An awfully expensive photo op for a deal that is still nearly a decade away from full implementation http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/politics/story/1.2780754
    Sep 28, 2014 5:34 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    As usual, St George Orthodox Cathderal is hosting a big Fall Supper in Regina - lots of people in the queue, smells great!
    Sep 28, 2014 4:03 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Big crowd of Reginans flow into Nikkei exhibition at RCMP Heritage Centre about treatment of Japanese Canadians during WW2
    Sep 28, 2014 3:31 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Volksliederchor Harmonie performs at Wascana Bandshell, part of Sk Choral Fed's participation in Sk Culture Week
    Sep 28, 2014 1:00 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Final March Past at the Police + Peace Officers Memorial Day in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature
    Sep 28, 2014 10:51 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Honour guard stands over police head-dresses while the names of all fallen police+peace officers in Sask are read at Memorial Day
    Sep 28, 2014 10:11 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Large parade of police + peace officers on parade in Regina as part of national memorial day for fallen officers.
    Sep 28, 2014 10:03 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    The Chinese Cultural Society of Sask present its annual China Night - congrats again to Victor + Kathy Chang
    Sep 27, 2014 6:20 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Spending an interesting morning listening to concerns of prairie KAIROS activists - discussing corporate social responsibility + water.
    Sep 27, 2014 11:25 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    One of Wilf Perreault's great "alley" paintings decorates the walls of Wascana Rehab Centre - where ALS Walk begins this morning
    Sep 27, 2014 9:08 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Getting ready for the annual "Walk for ALS", starting at Regina's Wascana Rehab Centre - cloudy morning, but not bad!
    Sep 27, 2014 8:44 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Good friend Wilf Perreault was beaming last night at the opening of his Mackenzie Gallery Exhibition - huge crowd of admirers
    Sep 27, 2014 7:47 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    "In the Alley" is the title of Mackenzie Art Gallery's massive and amazing exhibition of the works of Wilf Perreault
    Sep 26, 2014 10:04 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Justin Trudeau is posing a key question about Iraq for which Mr. Harper has provided no answer - who made the first request/offer? http://lpc.ca/9k5d
    Sep 26, 2014 8:58 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    This is "Essential Skills Day" - encouraging employers to invest in the quality, success + prosperity of their employees!
    Sep 26, 2014 6:46 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Wall St Journal has demolished Mr Harper's yarn on jobs. We're not 1st in the world - we're 16th after US, UK and 13 others. For young Canadians, economy is dismal; 240,000 fewer jobs than before the recession. The Conference Board says youth are not doing as well as their parents.
    Sep 25, 2014 11:59 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Harper Government squirming today in Question Period about engagement in Iraq - will NOT commit to bringing any changes before Parliament. Mr Harper provides more information about Canada-in-Iraq to the Wall Street Journal than he is willing to provide to Parliament.
    Sep 25, 2014 11:35 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    AN AGENDA TO STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY Yesterday, the House of Commons voted in principle on Conservative MP Michael Chong's proposed legislation to loosen the grip of Party Leaders over their respective Members of Parliament. It passed easily. Justin Trudeau and almost all of our Liberal Caucus voted in favour. Among other things, the draft law suggests that Party Leaders should not have the authority to sign (or refuse to sign) the nomination papers of all their candidates. It also gives Parliamentary Caucuses the power to initiate a process to fire their Leader. And so forth. Some herald this vote as a great break-through. Others say it is more symbolic than real because, to get support (especially from his own Prime Minister and Cabinet), Mr. Chong had to water-down his proposals so far that they're now merely options to be considered, not mandatory change. Let's hope they will make a difference in empowering individual MPs. But more will be required. During his run for the Liberal leadership, Justin Trudeau made a number of specific proposals for democratic reform. For example, he was the first to require his entire National Liberal Caucus to publish all their travel and hospitality expenses on a pro-active basis. His plan has since been adopted and implemented by the entire House of Commons. He has also introduced legislation to reduce government secrecy and bolster public Access-to-Information. And he has accomplished some actual Senate reform - more than anyone else - by proposing a non-partisan, non-patronage selection process and by requiring all previous Liberal appointees to withdraw immediately from the National Caucus and to serve as genuine independents. Liberal reform plans also include more free votes in Parliament. Party discipline would apply only in three specific circumstances - i.e., (i) when a "confidence" issue is involved according to Parliamentary traditions like on a Throne Speech or a Budget, (ii) when a vote relates to a specific campaign promise made to Canadians and upon which the government got elected, and (iii) when a matter is rooted in the Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedoms. Otherwise (and in the vast majority of cases), the "whips" would not apply and MPs would be free to make their own decisions and assume their own responsibilities. Minister would have to work harder and in a more cross-partisan fashion to win approval for what they want to put before the House. We also need to restore stronger Parliamentary control over the public purse - historically, that is what a Parliament is for! For example, there could be an annual deadline date for the presentation of each budget. There could be accounting consistency between the Estimates (before spending) and the Public Accounts (after spending) so MPs can actually "follow the money". The House could demand a costing analysis attached to every government Bill. And the government could be required to seek Parliament's approval before borrowing any money. Beyond that, we need a truly independent and properly resourced Parliamentary Budget Officer. There should be an impartial system (as some provinces have) to identify and eliminate purely partisan government advertising. And there need to be strict fences built around the use of secret Committee proceedings, Closure, Omnibus Bills and Prorogation to prevent their misuse to undermine transparency and accountability. And two other ideas: Elections Canada must be adequately staffed and funded, with independent investigative powers and enforcement authority to fight voter suppression and electoral fraud. And Canada should have a "preferential ballot" in its voting system. This would help ensure that successful election candidates actually get at least 50% of the votes cast, and their campaigning would need to be more civil and respectful because they would have to be concerned about Second Ballot choices. Old, divisive "wedge politics" wouldn't work anymore. Candidates would need to focus on what they can achieve in common, not the personal vilification of their opponents. What do you think? Good ideas are always welcome.
    Sep 25, 2014 9:55 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    In Question Period, Justin Trudeau asks about the Conference Board report on worsening prospects for youth. HarperCon answer doesn't even mention youth. Finance Minister Oliver refuses to connect EI credits to actual job creation. He also refuses to remove govt incentives to fire people. Economists Mintz, Moffatt, plus three major business organisations support Justin's plan to exempt new additional jobs from EI taxes.
    Sep 24, 2014 11:50 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    WINNING APPROVAL FOR JUSTIN TRUDEAU'S PLAN It's good to see that Justin Trudeau's proposal for an EI premium exemption on new and incremental job creation is earning broad policy approval. Economists Jack Mintz, Mike Moffatt and Stephen Gordon have been favourable toward the concept as a better idea than the government's EI tax credit which is totally unrelated to new jobs, puts a cap on growth and could even create an incentive to fire people. Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Restaurants Association and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association all approved of Justin's idea. For the same amount of money as the government will put into its defective tax credit (to encourage maybe 25,000 jobs), Justin's plan would help foster the creation of more than 175,000 new jobs. It's obviously a more productive and cost effective way to proceed.
    Sep 23, 2014 4:54 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    In Question Period, HarperCons oblivious to Canada's jobs problem - there are 230,000 more unemployed Canadians today that before the recession. Young Canadians are facing deflated expectations according to Conference Board report today - there are 240,000 fewer jobs for Canadian Youth. That's why the new EI credit needs to be corrected to directly reward job creation and remove a perverse incentive to fire people.
    Sep 23, 2014 11:52 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Justin Trudeau's better plan for cutting EI premiums closely resembles a positive plan proposed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in 2011. HarperCons have slashed "Building Canada" infrastructure fund by 87%. Only 6 BCF commitments made in this entire construction season.
    Sep 22, 2014 11:57 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Harper government's narrative on Climate Change omits that in 2006 they cancelled a fully funded plan to achieve 80% of Canada's goals. If Canada's government were more credible on the Environment, Canadian energy producers would have better market access at better prices.
    Sep 22, 2014 11:34 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Wishing every success today to Brian Gallant and New Brunswick Liberals - building a new and better government!
    Sep 22, 2014 5:53 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    IS MR. HARPER'S TAX CREDIT AN APOLOGY FOR TFW FIASCO? This past summer, I had the opportunity to meet with many individuals and organizations, representing both employees and employers, about the mess the Harper government has made of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. That program functioned pretty successfully for more than 30 years - until the Conservatives seriously messed it up after 2006. The numbers of TFWs coming to Canada exploded - on track to rival total new immigration. That's when stories began to circulate about displaced Canadian workers, depressed wages and exploited foreigners. The Auditor General exposed some of the program's weaknesses and faulty administration. Liberals called for a detailed Parliamentary review to ensure the rules were appropriate and properly enforced. The Conservatives just sloughed it all off. They were in complete denial - until reports of abuses erupted in a media frenzy this past spring. Almost overnight, the government swallowed itself whole. From being the great "enabler" facilitating the use (or misuse) of more and more foreign workers, they became the great "enforcer" bent on shutting the whole thing down. From one extreme to the other. Both wrong. A great many employers in Saskatchewan are enraged at the government's erratic incompetence on this file. This province has a hot economy with the lowest unemployment in the country and the highest number of job vacancies. Finding employees is a big issue. To meet job market demands, more public and private investment is required in higher education and skills training for homegrown Canadians. But beyond that, there's also a legitimate and urgent need for a sensible program, run with integrity, to help fill jobs on a limited basis when Canadians simply cannot be found. It must be based on accurate community-by-community job market data. The rules need to be clear, consistent and genuinely enforced in cooperation with provincial governments. Program administration must be efficient, transparent and accountable. And the emphasis needs to be on newcomers becoming landed immigrants, permanent residents, citizens and taxpayers - not just temporary folks to be used on the margins and tossed away. The Saskatchewan government has long argued for a better system with a clear pathway to citizenship through the provincial Immigrant Nominee Program. More than two years go, Saskatchewan asked Ottawa to increase its nominees from 4,000 annually to 6,000. Mr. Harper said no. Over these past two years, the Feds allowed this province only an extra 700 or so. So it's no wonder we've got a problem - caused by the Harper regime. Knowing all this TFW bungling was generating a deep sense of betrayal, even anger, in the business community, Mr. Harper thought a quick tax cut might smooth things over - so, 10 days ago, he rushed out an ill-conceived Employment Insurance tax credit. It too is a public policy failure. The credit is totally unrelated to the generation of any new jobs. It's calculated on the amount of EI premiums an employer pays, up to a maximum of $15,000 in premiums per year (i.e., it's capped at the equivalent of about a dozen employees). Go over that limit and you get nothing. So it encourages firms to stay small. It punishes growth and ambition. It puts a cap on jobs, and could even be an incentive to reduce wages or fire people. The Harper regime increased job-killing EI payroll taxes in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to rake in an extra $1.8-billion every year going forward. The rates are now frozen at that higher level. The government's own Chief Actuary says they're excessive. They can and should come down. But a great many economists like Jack Mintz at the University of Calgary say this government's defective tax credit is not the right way to do it. One alternative would be to cut EI premium rates across the board. Or, if that's deemed unaffordable right now, the government could take the advice previously offered by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and provide an EI premium holiday on each new and incremental job an employer creates. For the same $550-million the Conservatives are going to spend on their misguided tax credit, with no assurance of any new jobs, the CFIB's earlier proposal could help to foster as many as 175,000 new jobs over the next two years. That's why Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is promoting it.
    Sep 22, 2014 5:50 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    WHAT DO BULLDOZERS, REGIONAL CABINET OFFICES, CELL-PHONES & GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING HAVE IN COMMON? Answer: They are all recent examples of Harper government mismanagement and waste! Masters of hypocrisy, these Conservatives preach prudence, eviscerate federal programs and services and fire thousands of public employees while squandering millions of tax dollars in so many other ways. Some examples: * A bulldozer used in certain illegal activities was confiscated. The courts ordered the equipment destroyed. Instead, the government sold it privately for $5500. They then claimed that sale was "by accident" and bought the dozer back - at a cost of nearly $75,000. What a Keystone Cops operation! * Tax-paid offices exclusively to service Cabinet Ministers are proliferating across the country. Instead of having one per province (as used to be the rule), the Conservatives now have 16 of them. The number of full-time political staffers in regional offices has increased by 50% and the budget to pay their salaries are ballooned from $1.6-million to $2.7-million - all during a period of so-called austerity. * Austerity notwithstanding, the Conservative addiction to tax-paid government advertising is also relentless. The vast majority of it is unrelated to any useful information the public needs to know - it's mostly "image" advertising to polish tarnished Conservative credentials. Something over a half-a-billion dollars has been wasted in this way, including hundreds of expensive (and annoying) TV ads during events like the NHL playoffs which can cost an eye-popping $100,000 for every 30-seconds of airtime. * This government cannot even pay its bills on time. In the last two years, it has incurred close to $300,000 in extra "late fees" on cellphones and other wireless services. Such sloppiness is all too characteristic of Harper government operations. From these so-called "little things" to big screw-ups like the botched procurement of F-35 stealth fighter jets, the debacle around temporary foreign workers and the discredited design of their faulty EI tax credit, and more, Mr. Harper's Conservatives are often a wasteful managerial embarrassment. Not to mention that still unexplained $90,000 secret payment by Mr. Harper's hand-picked Chief-of-Staff to his self-proclaimed favourite Senator, Mike Duffy!
    Sep 21, 2014 6:45 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Finance Minister Oliver could take his own advice. Growth, demand & infrastructure investment need boosting in Canada too. Only 15,000 full-time jobs created in past 12 months. http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-18/canada-s-oliver-eases-austerity-push-as-g-20-gathers.html
    Sep 21, 2014 4:20 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    If this is true, it's appalling. This is an issue the Auditor General should investigate pdq! http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/canada/story/1.2773090
    Sep 21, 2014 10:54 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Glorious fall Sunday in Saskatchewan - hopefully good for the harvest and good for the Roughriders!
    Sep 21, 2014 9:46 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Volunteers getting ready for Scotiabank's "AIDS Walk for Life" going today from City Square Plaza around downtown Regina
    Sep 21, 2014 9:45 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    The inimitable Jean Freeman acknowledging her ACTRA award and her 80th birthday - Congratulations!
    Sep 20, 2014 3:12 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    The great Ritchie Hall heading up the Roughrider team at Breakfast for Learning Pancake flipping contest
    Sep 20, 2014 1:58 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Teams flipping pancakes to raise funds for Breakfast for Learning - great cause - Roughriders team wins!
    Sep 20, 2014 1:57 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Grandmothers-4-Grandmothers "Art in the Attic" sale in Regina today - supporting Stephen Lewis Foundation. Well done!
    Sep 20, 2014 12:36 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    TODAY'S QUESTION PERIOD Here are three questions that I asked today at the beginning of Question Period in the House of Commons. *** 1. The latest report from Stats-Canada revealed the loss of 112,000 private sector jobs. Through the past 12 months, only 15,000 full-time jobs have been generated in the WHOLE country in a WHOLE year! There are 230,000 MORE unemployed Canadians today than before the recession. So, if the government has $550-million to invest, why not provide an exemption from Employment Insurance payroll taxes for every Canadian employer who creates a net new job? 2. The design of the government’s EI credit is totally UNconnected to more employment. It puts a cap on growth and actually creates a perverse incentive to fire people. In previous Budget submissions, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business proposed exactly what the Member for Papineau proposed this week – and I quote the CFIB – an “EI holiday on INCREASED payroll”. For the money the government has already earmarked, this could help generate 175,000 net new jobs. So, why not? 3.Another flawed idea is the government’s proposed Income Splitting scheme. From the C.D. Howe Institute to the late Jim Flaherty -- that scheme has been panned as too expensive and unfair to 85% of Canadians. Mr. Flaherty called it an “election bauble”. Federally, it will cost nearly $3-billion, but the Mowat Centre says it will ALSO cost the PROVINCES another $1.7-billion – taken from healthcare and education. Will the government listen to Mr. Flaherty, and say “no” to this costly, unfair bauble. *** The Harper Conservatives had no answers, no plan for jobs and growth, and no explanation for why the Prime Minister is contradicting his former Finance Minister.
    Sep 18, 2014 11:41 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Standing ovations for Ukraine President Poroshenko in Canadian House of Commons; good visit with Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland
    Sep 17, 2014 11:19 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    House of Commons filling with MPs and guests to hear President Poroshenko of Ukraine - where 1.25 million Canadians trace their heritage. Support for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine is NOT a partisan issue in Canada - crosses all Party lines.
    Sep 17, 2014 11:04 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    From the government's own figures, here are the facts about Employment Insurance Premium Rates over the past 20 years See the numbers at http://bit.ly/XdX2Kw
    Sep 16, 2014 2:27 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana

  • « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 ... 48 Next »

MP
Ralph Goodale

Date Range

  • order:
  • date range: -
Support Politwitter.ca
disable ads
Newsletter
user online (29) viewing this page (1)
view mobile version
FEEDBACK & SUGGESTIONS
Processing time: 0.2272 seconds