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August

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    MPlib
    Justin Trudeau's message about economic growth, opportunity+fairness continued Wed in LaRonge/Meadow Lake, today in Saskatoon
    Aug 13, 2015 9:19 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Justin Trudeau's visit to Regina yesterday generated a positive message about economic growth all across Saskatchewan.
    Aug 13, 2015 9:16 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Justin Trudeau receives a Metis sash during his visit with a packed audience in Meadow Lake.
    Aug 12, 2015 6:41 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    It's a full house in the Alliance Church in Meadow Lake to welcome @JustinTrudeau and Lib candidate Lawrence Joseph
    Aug 12, 2015 6:40 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    LaRonge Chief Cook-Searson+PA Grand Council Chief Michel present a traditional blanket to Justin trudeau. Great Welcome!
    Aug 12, 2015 3:04 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    LaRonge FN Chief Tammy Cook-Searson welcomes Justin Trudeau to an open community Meet+Greet
    Aug 12, 2015 2:38 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Justin Trudeau in LaRonge meets Prince Albert Grand Chief Ron Michel - he + LaRonge Chief Cook-Searson emphasize Aboriginal Education
    Aug 12, 2015 12:27 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    When you see the fire devastation on the edge of La Ronge it drives home how serious this summer's wildfire crisis really was!
    Aug 12, 2015 12:05 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Mayor Tom Sierzycki, Chief Tammy Cook-Searson + Lib candidate Lawrence Joseph greet Justin Trudeau in LaRonge.
    Aug 12, 2015 11:46 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Aug 12, 2015 9:49 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Aug 12, 2015 9:49 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Big busy media scrum at Regina Farmers' Market Cooperative with Justin Trudeau and 6 of his Saskatchewan candidates.
    Aug 12, 2015 9:41 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Big crowd jamming Regina Farmers' Market Cooperative to greet @JustinTrudeau this morning - warm, positive reception!
    Aug 12, 2015 9:01 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    The Regina Farmers' Market Cooperative team ready to welcome @JustinTrudeau this morning - great event!
    Aug 12, 2015 8:06 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Struggling in a weak economy, a great many Canadians doubt Stephen Harper's claim that he's great and that things just could not be better. When this "Report Card" on the Harper record was first posted a few days ago - it attracted more than a MILLION views.
    Aug 10, 2015 6:01 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Zarqa Nawaz (Little Mosque on the Prairie) is the MC tonight on the Regina Folk Festival Main Stage #RFF15
    Aug 08, 2015 5:56 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    The Birds of Chicago open the 2nd night on the Main Stage at Regina Folk Festial #RFF15 - great performance!
    Aug 08, 2015 5:47 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Big crowds for Regina Folk Festival this afternoon - Regina Farmers Market in the background.
    Aug 08, 2015 11:54 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Mr Harper is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts!
    Aug 07, 2015 5:57 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    More favourable reviews of Justin Trudeau strong showing last night in the first leadership debates of this long federal election campaign: “Trudeau lands best punches against solid foes” – Vancouver Sun, August 6, 2015 “Justin Trudeau: A pugilist comes to fight” – Maclean’s, August 6, 2015 « Débat: Mulcair solide, Harper sur la défensive, Trudeau dynamique. » - L'actualité, 6 août 2015 “Trudeau Says Harper 'Disconnected,' Mulcair Offers 'False Hope' At Maclean's Debate” – The Canadian Press, August 6, 2015 “Trudeau comes out swinging…” - Reuters « Trudeau a connu un débat dynamique…» - Alec Castonguay, L'actualité, 6 août 2015 “It was Cautious Tom and Fighting Justin.” - Campbell Clark, The Globe and Mail, August 7, 2015 “Trudeau - who was the perceived underdog going in - consistently seemed to get the better of the one-on-one exchanges, particularly with respect to Senate reform and pipelines.” - Michael Den Tandt, National Post, August 7, 2015 « Justin Trudeau m'a surpris avec son assurance et ses interventions solides pendant la première section sur l'économie. » - Gilbert Lavoie, Le Soleil, 6 août 2015 “Trudeau, who warmed up in the morning with a round of boxing, did the most sparring throughout the debate – repeatedly challenging both Harper and Mulcair and keeping pace with them on key files.” - Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics, August 7, 2015 “…Trudeau handled himself well.” - Dan Leger, The Chronicle Herald, August 7, 2015 “I would be really surprised if this debate did not help the Liberals and Justin Trudeau.” - Chantal Hebert, CBC’s The National, August 6, 2015 « Justin Trudeau a montré une solide connaissance de ses dossiers. Il a manié les chiffres avec aisance. Il a distribué les coups avec aplomb. Bref, il a dissipé les doutes et affiché une belle assurance. » - Patrice Servant, Le Journal de Montréal, 7 août 2015 "[Trudeau] surprised the most, coming across as scrappy, eloquent and well-briefed." - Murray Brewster, Canadian Press, August 6, 2015 "[Justin Trudeau] was articulate, substantive and just feisty enough to get in Stephen Harper’s face on the economy." - Michael Harris, iPolitics, August 7, 2015 “It changes the perception created by two years of Conservative advertising that Trudeau is not ready for prime time. Because this was prime time and Trudeau was clearly ready.” - Craig Oliver, CP24, August 7, 2015
    Aug 07, 2015 8:51 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Some independent views on the first Leaders Debate
    Aug 07, 2015 6:25 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Della Anaquod - a woman of accomplishment+distinction, a First Nations leader + a proud Liberal candidate for Justin trudeau
    Aug 05, 2015 6:47 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Now back in Regina, attending the opening of Regina-Qu'Appelle campaign office for Della Anaquod - strong candidate!
    Aug 05, 2015 6:46 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Aug 05, 2015 5:11 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Aug 05, 2015 11:50 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Summer in Ottawa - the Yoga people occupy Parliament Hill!
    Aug 05, 2015 10:25 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Aug 05, 2015 10:18 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Look at the looks on the faces of the people forced to be props for Stephen Harper's campaign events. Must be a painful experience. http://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/canada/2015/08/03/harper-on-the-offensive-slams-wynne-and-notley/pch114cpt635741970286185090.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox.jpg
    Aug 03, 2015 3:21 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    A STRONG START BY MR TRUDEAU Justin Trudeau's first two days of this very long election campaign showed both strength and clarity -- especially on the economy. He was articulate and substantive on how to drive greater economic growth, generate good jobs and achieve more fairness. When Mr Harper's plan has so clearly failed, the risky course is to stick to that formula for failure. Mr. Trudeau is clearly ready to deliver real change - change that's not just "different", but most importantly "better".
    Aug 03, 2015 2:32 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    With Mayor Fougere + Councillor Findura - serving Mosaic Family Day Pancake Breakfast at Queen City Exhibition #QCX15
    Aug 02, 2015 10:02 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Long line up for this morning's Mosaic community breakfast at Regina's Queen City Exhibition #QCX15
    Aug 02, 2015 8:39 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Here's leadership that's ready to bring real change https://youtu.be/UbI985_oN-k
    Aug 02, 2015 8:04 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    STATEMENT ON THE FEDERAL ELECTION A federal election campaign begins today - prematurely - with the powerful words of a distinguished former Chief Electoral Officer ringing in Stephen Harper's ears. According to J.P. Kingsley, by making this campaign more than twice as long as it should be , Harper is "gaming the system" - i.e., abusing Canada's election laws which are intended to create a fair and level playing field for all Parties and Candidates. Federal campaigns are typically about 37 days long and that is more than enough time from both the candidates' and the public's point of view. But this one will run for 78 days. Harper is trying to run all his competition out of money. He is also trying to run the voting public out of patience - with the aggravation of an extra long campaign he wants people to tune-out and lose interest. The cost to taxpayers is estimated at about $2.8-million per day for every one of the 41 extra days Harper is imposing. Abusive political manipulation is a proven Conservative habit. It has happened in each election since 2006. Remember the "In-and-Out" election financing scam which resulted in a four-year investigation, a police raid on Conservative Party headquarters, charges being laid, a guilty plea, a conviction and the biggest sentence the law allows. Remember Del Mastro (convicted), Sona (convicted), Penashue (resigned in disgrace) and Duffy (on trial). It's time to stop the cheating! It's also time to elect a new government that's not just different, but also decidedly better, with the depth and skill to restore Canada's economic strength. In 2006, Harper inherited the best fiscal situation in the western world, but he burned through it in less than thee years - putting Canada on the cusp of a deficit just before a recession arrived in the fall of 2008. He made Canada weaker and vulnerable. Harper has now presided over two recessions and the worst economic growth record of any Prime Minister since R.B. Bennett in the 1930's. He has saddled the country with $158-billion in new Harper debt. That's $4400 for every man, woman and child in Canada. And he's still in deficit for the 8th straight year, while the economy - on his watch - continues to falter. There are 160,000 more jobless Canadians today than when Harper took office. Job quality is at a record low. Canada has just recorded the worst trade deficits in its history. And household debt is near a record high. Canada needs a new economic plan dedicated to better growth, good jobs and more fairness - especially for the middle-class and all those working so hard to get there. Canada also needs a federal government that is willing to work constructively with the Provinces on vital priorities. For Saskatchewan, that means important things like infrastructure, northern re-development after the wildfires and a more competent grain handling and transportation system. We don't have to settle for mediocrity. We need real change. Throughout this long campaign, I look forward to discussing with voters how, together, we can make Canada and Saskatchewan increasingly more successful.
    Aug 02, 2015 7:32 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Sister Cora Sanchez leads a Unity Dance at the Cordillera Gathering of Filipino Cdns in Regina today. Glad to be here.
    Aug 01, 2015 10:37 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Mildred Fernando calling things to order at a provincial gathering in Regina of Filipino-Canadians from the Cordillera region. Welcome!
    Aug 01, 2015 9:56 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

July

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    MPlib
    HARPER OBLIVIOUS AS CANADA SHRINKS TOWARD RECESSION It's officially five months now - five consecutive months (January through May) during which the Canadian economy got smaller and smaller. The figures for May were published this morning by Statistics Canada. They showed our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank by 0.2% overall, due to declining economic activity in a broad sweep of sectors - led by manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, mining, utilities, wholesale trade, education, health and public administration, finance and insurance, professional services, transportation and warehousing. One more dismal month like that and Canada will once again have passed the economists' threshold for declaring another recession - i.e., two straight calendar quarters (6 months) of "negative growth". The on-going downturn in energy-related industries was expected with oil prices only about half of what they were a year ago, but the larger shrinkage in manufacturing signals a deeper malaise. While oil and gas extraction declined by 1% in May, manufacturing dropped by 1.7%. For months, the Harper government and its promoters have been promising that energy sector troubles would be offset by growth in manufacturing and exports. Lower fuel costs, a slumping dollar and growing demand in the United States were going to be the salvation - or so the Conservatives said. But apparently not. At the same time, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business reported this morning that the mood among small business operators across the country is more pessimistic now than at any time since the last recession in 2008-09. The CFIB said, "Canada's economy still appears adrift." Trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, Stephen Harper gave a series of interviews this week suggesting his economic woes are only "transitory" because the oil and gas sector will soon recover. But the oil price is running below the assumptions he made in his April budget and it shows signs of going lower before any real recovery. He also said record high levels of consumer debt are a sign of confidence, just as independent surveys were released showing economic sentiment among Canadians is at a two-year low. These vacuous comments from Mr. Harper are reminiscent of his deceitful remarks in the fall of 2008 when he denied Canada would fall into recession and projected five more surplus budgets. It was all as phoney as a three-dollar bill - to hide the truth on the eve of an election. And again now. While Mr. Harper spins his nonsense and does nothing to contribute to better economic growth, the Bank of Canada says the economy is "atrocious" and is using the only tool at its disposal to try to trigger some better activity - it has twice this year slashed interest rates. But such monetary policy is a blunt instrument. With rates already as low as they are, there is not much room to move. As well, the commercial banks hoard some of the benefit, not passing it all along to consumers. And to the extent consumers are lured by lower rates to borrow more, their personal debt ratios get worse. In the face of all this difficulty, Mr. Harper retreats to his boast about balancing the federal budget in 2015. But even that has evaporated. Beyond his excessively rosy assumptions about growth, Mr. Harper raised payroll taxes, cut services, sold-off assets at firesale prices, burned through two-thirds of the contingency reserve, clawed back benefits from Veterans, slashed the Mounties, national security and public safety, punched a big hole in community infrastructure, and undermined future support for healthcare and old age pensions ... And still Mr. Harper failed to balance his books - for the 8th consecutive time!
    Jul 31, 2015 12:47 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Mr. Harper staked his economic credibility on balancing the books in 2015. That's his only discernible goal. And he failed...
    Jul 30, 2015 12:11 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Mr Harper told Bloomberg that high consumer debt is sign of confidence, but Bloomberg published stats showing exact opposite. July 24th Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index suggests economic sentiment is at a 2-year low - contrary to Harper spin. High consumer debt is lured by low interest rates. Bank of Canada using its only tool to try to drive some growth because Mr. Harper won't.
    Jul 30, 2015 8:32 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Down at Regina's Farmers Market today, a hypnotist is performing - in town for the Queen City Exhibition
    Jul 29, 2015 11:47 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    I see U of Sask law professor Brent Cotter agrees with my point yesterday about the latest Supreme Court appointment http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Prof+slams+political+Supreme+Court+appointment/11250645/story.html
    Jul 29, 2015 8:29 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Toute évaluation objective de la performance économique donnerait une note d’échec à M. Harper
    Jul 28, 2015 6:01 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Any objective performance appraisal would have to give Mr Harper a failing grade
    Jul 28, 2015 6:00 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    ANOTHER STEPHEN HARPER SENATORIAL RABBIT-HOLE With a rash of bad news about the Canadian economy falling into a second recession and Stephen Harper's deficit not in fact being eliminated, and with Senator Mike Duffy's criminal trial on 31 charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust resuming in a couple of weeks - it was entirely predictable that Mr. Harper would try some stunt to divert attention. So last Friday, he trotted out the notion that he has placed a moratorium on any new appointments to the Senate. Vacancies will continue to accumulate. The Senate will eventually become dysfunctional. And somehow, he says, that will force the Premiers to come up with some plan to either fix it or abolish it. The goofiness of this idea prompted a quick chorus of critical commentaries. Many experts noted that Mr. Harper's "plan" was unprincipled and likely unconstitutional, just like all of his previous schemes to deal with the Senate. Some reminded us that Mr. Harper already made that solemn promise not to appoint Senators, only to violate that pledge and appoint 59 of them (the largest number in history, including the biggest ethical culprits). And far from putting pressure on the Premiers, Mr. Harper's abandonment of his duty to deal with vacancies would first and primarily affect the federal government, because no federal legislation whatsoever can be enacted without passage through the Senate. That's where this pointless diversion should end. Stephen Harper would like nothing better than to see Canadians race down some silly rabbit-hole of all-absorbing constitutional debates about the Senate. So preoccupied, we might not focus as much on the looming court testimony of Mr. Harper's former Chief-of-Staff - about his secret $90,000 payment to Senator Duffy, the meddling of the Prime Minister's Office in a forensic audit, and the plans to cover it up. Far from being distracted, we should find out why Mr. Harper famously described Mike Duffy as the best Senate appointment he ever made. What criteria informed that judgment? And how could this serious scandal consume the full attention of a vast number of people in Mr. Harper's office and inner-circle for months on end, right under his nose, and he didn't notice or bother to inquire? And most importantly, the economy needs Canadians' undiluted attention. The country has just suffered through a second recession on Mr. Harper's watch. The economy is severely under-performing. The growth rate is the worst in 80 years. Business investment is down. This government has recorded more than 50 months of chronic trade deficits, including every month so far this year and the biggest shortfalls in history. Employment is weak. Job quality is low. Incomes are stagnant. Household debt is near record highs. The future for young Canadians is more clouded than ever. Mr. Harper proclaimed a surplus federal budget in 2015, but that's turning into fiction. To concoct his so-called surplus, he assumed an annual economic growth rate of 2%, but the Bank of Canada says we'll be lucky to reach half that. And the Parliamentary Budget Officer says that with growth cut in half, the government must be running a deficit, not a surplus. Canadians cannot afford to be diverted down Mr. Harper's rabbit-holes - not when the ethical conduct of his government is in tatters, and our growth-less economy teeters on the edge of recession.
    Jul 27, 2015 6:08 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    And even Olaf from Frozen turns up as part of the surprise at the Eid dinner in Regina hosted by Pakistan-Canada Cultural Association!
    Jul 26, 2015 6:06 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Ultimate Cdn multiculturalism - Elsa from Frozen is special surprise guest at Pakistan Cda Cultural Assoc Eid dinner last night
    Jul 26, 2015 6:05 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    CONSERVATIVE ATTACK-AD BASED UPON A LIE: One repulsive Conservative attack-ad running on television these days talks about Canada's 2008 recession. If you recall, that was just the first recession over which Stephen Harper has presided - we're now suffering through his second. What a glorious record, as he stumbles from one economic bungle to another! In this television ad, a paid actor reads through a Conservative script suggesting that no one saw the 2008 recession coming. That is a barefaced lie. Just about everyone in the western world could tell the economy was turning downward - everyone, apparently, except the Conservatives. Were they that incompetent, or did they deliberately hide the truth? For several years, officials in Canada's Finance department had worried about fundamental weaknesses in the US housing market and in the American banking system which posed serious downside risks to global economic stability. They urged successive Finance Ministers (including me) to be particularly prudent in financial management and budget-making. There was a high-risk bubble that was about to burst. Ignoring all the warnings in that period between when they took power (February, 2006) and when the recession arrived (Fall, 2008), the Harper regime overspent by three-times the rate of inflation. They mangled the federal tax base. They eliminated all the contingency reserves and prudence factors from the budget-making process. And they put Canada back on the cusp of a deficit once again. In effect, the Conservatives inherited one of the strongest fiscal and economic situations in the western world, and in less than three years, they blew it - BEFORE there was any recession to blame. The recession made things worse, but it was Mr. Harper all on his own who made Canada vulnerable. All through his reckless profligacy, Mr. Harper claimed a recession was unlikely. He promised we would all enjoy "good buying opportunities". He pledged never to run a deficit. In fact he explicitly projected five surplus budgets. And he was completely wrong. Why? It was all contrived to let him sneak past Election Day in the fall of 2008. And now, as Yogi Berra might say, it's "deja-vu all over again". Mr. Harper is in abject denial about another recession, and about the hard reality that, on his watch, the economy is a "serial disappointment". He has the worst growth record of any Prime Minister since R.B. Bennett in the 1930's. He failed to lead this country to full recovery from that first recession in 2008 before the second one hit in 2015. He has run up $157-billion in new Harper debt - so far. His deficits continue. The federal books are not yet balanced in 2015. This will be the 8th consecutive Harper deficit. To try to divert attention from their economic incompetence, the Conservatives have hired an actor to tell lies in a television attack-ad. But the real "bad actor" is Mr. Harper himself.
    Jul 26, 2015 6:00 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Glad to attend Sat afternoon at Eid festivities in Regina's CandyCanePark + tonight at Pakistan-Cda Cultural Association Eid dinner!
    Jul 25, 2015 8:02 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Jul 22, 2015 6:13 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Canada's Finance Minister flees from questions about Harper's recession + Harper's deficit, he further damaging his tenuous credibility.
    Jul 22, 2015 3:49 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) confirms what Liberals warned last week, the Harper government's claim of a surplus is bogus! At an annual economic growth rate of just 1.1% (not 2% as claimed in April), Mr Harper cannot balance his books. If books are not balanced, Mr Harper is violating his own rationale for big tax breaks to the wealthy - 2015 budget is a fraud.
    Jul 22, 2015 8:14 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

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