disable ads

January

  • retweet
    MPlib
    MR. HARPER'S ECONOMIC POLICIES FAIL CANADA To satisfy his political ego, Stephen Harper is obsessed with pushing the notion of "income splitting" for wealthier taxpayers. And he's doing the country a serious disservice. Mr. Harper made the ill-considered commitment to implement this scheme four years ago, during the 2011 election. It was conditional on having a balanced budget. The former Finance Minister, the late Jim Flaherty, tried twice to steer the government away from the idea. First, he noted there was no compelling economic necessity to obtain a balanced budget before the 2015 election. Mr. Harper quickly contradicted him and insisted on claiming a balance this year no matter what. The reasons are political, not economic. Secondly, just after his last budget, Mr. Flaherty warned that income splitting would be expensive and unfair because the vast majority of Canadians could never qualify. He was right. Over the government's 5-year fiscal planning horizon, Mr. Harper's scheme will cost more than $10-billion, barely 14% of households will be eligible and among those that are, the biggest gains go to the most wealthy. But still, since 2011, Mr. Harper has been focused on little else. To concoct the appearance of a balanced budget, and thus meet his income splitting pre-condition, a great deal has been compromised: • veterans have been seriously short-changed and mistreated; • public safety and security have been neglected; • major military equipment has been delayed; • a gaping 5-year hole has been torn in federal funding for municipal infrastructure; • important federal assets like community pastures and an historic tree nursery have been dumped; • job-killing employment insurance payroll taxes have been hiked and then frozen at levels that are $5-billion too high; • indeed, the net federal tax load was increased four years in a row. Besides victimizing a large number of ordinary Canadians, all these measures have one other characteristic in common with the faulty notion of income splitting -- they all do nothing for economic growth. Growth is Canada's most compelling economic priority -- to lift the middle-class and balance the books. But Stephen Harper has the worst record on economic growth since R.B. Bennett in the Dirty Thirties. Falling oil prices are now making Canada's problem even worse. The Conference Board is saying Alberta may actually fall into recession. Saskatchewan is certainly on the cusp of tougher times. Oilpatch jobs, investment plans and export values are all slumping. The Bank of Canada is warning of a serious slowdown. Government revenues will decline. The risk of deficits is looming once again. And still Mr. Harper goes whistling past the graveyard. He still doesn't get the need for growth and the federal government's strategic role in helping to drive it. To start with, he should take Jim Flaherty's advice and shelve his discredited income splitting scheme. He should also slash the massive amounts of money he wastes on government advertising and a bloated Cabinet. Instead, he could make a truly transformational investment in community infrastructure, higher learning and skills, research and innovation, more effective trade and marketing, and smart energy sustainability. These things drive growth, bolster the middle class and help balance the federal books. Income splitting does not.
    Jan 15, 2015 7:53 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Just had a great morning with students at Sedley School - what a treat! Really enjoyed it. Thanks for the invitation!
    Jan 14, 2015 8:48 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Dr John Meehan SJ, President of Campion College at University of Regina - guest speaker at Intercultural Dialogue Institute
    Jan 13, 2015 7:03 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan speaking to a roomfull of Regina Liberals - building hope for the future with hard work now!
    Jan 13, 2015 4:07 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Finished the working day in Regina in an excellent meeting with Adam Vaughan, Louis Browne + Regina's Anti-Poverty Ministry
    Jan 13, 2015 4:03 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Very useful Adam Vaughan MP visit to Regina today continues - at North Central Family Centre and Argyle Park Housing Co-op
    Jan 13, 2015 1:25 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Housing, infrastructure + economic growth lead lunchtime meeting with Regina Chamber of Commerce + city councillors with Adam Vaughan
    Jan 13, 2015 11:48 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Good discussion about homelessness today between MP Adam Vaughan + Regina Councillor Shawn Fraser + his team at YMCA
    Jan 13, 2015 10:38 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Happy to have my colleague MP Adam Vaughan in Regina today talking infrastructure + housing - great meeting with Mayor Fougere.
    Jan 13, 2015 9:02 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Another athletic title for Regina's Leboldus High School - winning the BRIT basketball tournament in Saskatoon. Congrats!
    Jan 11, 2015 6:38 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Hey CTV Regina, Happy New Year (Malanka) - look who's celebrating at the Ukrainian Orthodox Auditorium tonight
    Jan 10, 2015 7:29 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Tavria intermediate dancers open Malanka (New Year's) celebrations at Regina Ukrainian Orthodox Auditorium
    Jan 10, 2015 4:55 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Part of the vigil at L'Institut Francais" at the University of Regina today - remembering the victims of this week's horror in France
    Jan 10, 2015 11:03 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    THE ECONOMY, SILK PURSES AND SOWS' EARS Jason Kenney squandered millions to advertise a non-existent Jobs Grant. He relied on Kijiji for labour market data and orchestrated the Conservatives' Temporary Foreign Workers debacle. So he has experience in trying to make silk purses out of sows' ears. But his recent chatter about how devalued energy prices are good for Saskatchewan and Alberta is over the top -- even for him. In effect, he's cheering an economic slowdown, saying it will allow a deficient labour market to catch up to a western economy that's growing too much. Say what? When Tom Mulcair accused the thriving resource industries in western Canada of subverting the national economy through a variant of "Dutch Disease" he was roundly and rightly condemned by many, including Mr. Kenney. But now Mr. Kenney's own remarks are no better. They too are dismissive of western aspirations. They're also an abdication of responsibility. It's his job to deliver a top-notch workforce that meets Canada's potential and he has failed to do so. It's reminiscent of when Stephen Harper foolishly dismissed the 2008 recession as merely "a good buying opportunity". Mr. Kenney should test his energy pricing theories on Premiers Wall and Prentice. Their provincial budgets are being eviscerated as world petroleum prices have dropped by half -- now below $50/barrel. Hospitals, school boards, universities, municipalities and NGOs have all been warned to expect virtually zero funding improvements. Mr. Kenney might try out his views on a roomful of junior oilpatch entrepreneurs, those on the cutting edge of exploration and risk. They might well remind him how his government promised never to undermine their primary source of investment capital, namely Income Trusts, and then proceeded to tax them into extinction. In one bleak day, that move slashed $25-billion from the savings accounts of some 2-million ordinary Canadians. Mr. Kenney could also express his enthusiasm for a weakened energy sector to the rig crews and other employees across the West who are now hearing about deferred development plans and imminent layoffs. They will need more than his sympathy. With increasing uncertainty in the energy sector, job prospects in Canada remain weak, sporadic and inconsistent across the country. National economic growth projections are being reduced. Already tepid business investment plans are being pulled back. And both the volume and the value of Canada's exports are down. Mr. Harper needs to set aside his ill-timed obsession with Income Splitting for wealthier Canadians -- an obsession that his own Jim Flaherty described as too costly and unfair -- and focus instead on genuine, sustained and sustainable economic growth. That would include federal investments in transformative community infrastructure, higher leaning and advanced skills, research and innovation, more effective trade and marketing, and a smart intersection between energy and the environment to gain both social licence and global market access. Silk purses and sows' ears are no substitute for sound economic leadership.
    Jan 10, 2015 5:07 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    An old skate - embedded in the Witness Blanket on exhibit at the University of Regina. To remember to tragedy of Indian Residential Schools.
    Jan 09, 2015 8:22 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    UofR professor Shauneen Pete opening the "Witness Blanket" exhibit, memorializing the tragic history of residential schools
    Jan 09, 2015 8:12 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Glad to see Huffington Post picked up my Blog about Erin O'Toole, Stephen Harper and Robert Borden. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ralph-goodale/erin-otoole_b_6425522.html
    Jan 06, 2015 4:41 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    WILL ERIN O’TOOLE BE MORE LIKE ROBERT BORDEN OR STEPHEN HARPER? It’s good that Julian Fantino has been fired from the Veterans Affairs post in the federal Cabinet. His toxic mix of incompetence and insensitivity were a profound affront to Canada’s veterans. Not much is known yet about his successor, Ontario MP Erin O’Toole. He’s clearly a better communicator than Fantino, but will he be substantively different? One clue may be found in the people he chooses as role models. Among Conservative Prime Ministers, for example, will he simply mimic Stephen Harper, or will he strive to be more like Robert Borden? Prime Minister for almost nine years between 1911 and 1920, Borden was originally a school teacher and a Liberal. He was also the only Conservative PM to deliver a balanced budget in the 20th century. But here’s the key point – as he was sending young Canadians off to fight in WW1, Borden declared there to be a sacred covenant between Canada and its military personnel when they are put in harm’s way to defend our values and our way of life. In war, they “stand ready” to give their all. And when they come home, their country must “stand ready” for them. With respect and gratitude, Canada has a duty to meet the social, economic, physical and psychological needs of returning soldiers and veterans. But that sacred obligation seems lost on the Harper government. With their focus exclusively on claiming a balanced budget in 2015 (so they can proceed with their Income Splitting scheme to benefit a small fraction of taxpayers), the Conservatives have sacrificed a great many important things – including decent treatment for veterans. Senior government managers were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses to slash programs and services to veterans. Nine specialized service centres were closed. Support staff was chopped by 25%. Over a billion dollars in funding – promised by the government and approved by Parliament – was never delivered. The families of thousands of deceased veterans were denied support for dignified funerals. Cemetery care was neglected. Veterans’ health insurance premiums were doubled. Over the past decade, more Canadian military personnel have died by suicide (161) than were lost on the battlefields in Afghanistan. Many more have lingering mental health problems. The government was warned about this growing issue more than two years ago. But still, the Auditor-General reported just weeks ago that those in such distress have to wait months-on-end to get appropriate attention. The government’s pathetic response was a small trickle of new funding spread over 50 years. Meanwhile, Fantino was confronting and insulting groups of Vets who had the courage to protest their mistreatment. He called them “dupes”. He ran away from the families of PTSD sufferers. When that critical report came down from the Auditor-General, he went AWOL (overseas for a week) to avoid responsibility. He even failed to show up for a Parliamentary Committee to defend his budget. But all the wrong-doing cannot be pinned on one discredited Minister alone. What has happened at Veterans Affairs is Harper government policy. That policy saw veterans being hauled through the courts for six long years as the government tried to claw-back some of their pensions. Now, Mr. Harper’s lawyers are in court again arguing that Canada OWES NO SPECIAL DUTY to its veterans. This government is dismissing Borden’s solemn pledge back in 1914 was just political “hot air”. So which is it going to be for Mr. O’Toole? Borden or Harper?
    Jan 06, 2015 10:58 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    May I join with Justin Trudeau in extending Christmas greetings to all Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics. http://www.liberal.ca/statement-by-liberal-party-of-canada…/
    Jan 06, 2015 10:54 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    IIHF - what an extraordinary hockey game and a terrific victory for a great team of young Canadians. Congratulations!
    Jan 05, 2015 7:36 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    CANADIANS CAN HAVE A STRONGER, BETTER PARLIAMENT I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions to a blog I wrote last week about democratic and parliamentary reform. There seems to be some public appetite to make this an issue in this year’s federal election. I hope so. One technical, but crucial aspect of such reform would be Parliament’s control over the public purse. Stretching back to the Magna Carta in 1215, the original purpose of Parliament was to limit the power of the King to raise and spend money arbitrarily. This fundamental principle has been obscured over time. And most recently, Parliament’s supposed “control” over public finances has been thoroughly undermined by an all-too-powerful Prime Minister’s office which treats the House of Commons as nothing more than a ceremonial nuisance. This needs to change. Justin Trudeau, our National Liberal Caucus and last February’s National Policy Convention of the Liberal Party of Canada have advanced several ideas which could help re-balance financial authority within the government and the Parliament of Canada. To start with, MPs must be more than mindless rubber-stamps for the government. They must be the authentic voices of their constituents in Ottawa, and not just mouthpieces for the Prime Minister back home in their ridings. They need more freedom to vote on issues before the House as they deem proper, and they need to assume greater individual responsibility for the decisions they make. There should be a deadline date early each year for the presentation in Parliament of the government’s budget. The annual vote-in-principle on whether the House approves the overall economic policy of the government would need to be a “whipped” vote of confidence upon which the government would stand or fall, but many of the sub-votes on budgetary details need not be “confidence” issues. For example, why shouldn’t a government backbencher be free to vote against excessive, tax-paid government advertising, or in favour of greater support for veterans? The way in which the government reports to Parliament before-the-fact on how it plans to spend public money in the year to come (known as the “Estimates”), and after-the-fact on how it has spent public money in the year just past (known as the “Public Accounts”) must be clarified. Right now, the Estimates and the Public Accounts are presented using two entirely different accounting systems. This makes it virtually impossible to “follow the money”. So the government can easily scoop funding intended for border security and use it instead for pointless gazebos in Muskoka. A billion dollars approved for veterans or community infrastructure can never actually get invested as Parliament intended. And $3-billion in spending on national security can get “lost” altogether. More clarity and transparency are essential for true accountability. In addition to consistent reporting and accounting, the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer needs to be strengthened with adequate resources and genuine independence. The government should be required to seek Parliament’s approval before it undertakes any new borrowing. The use of “omnibus” legislation needs to be severely restricted. And with each new law the government tables in Parliament, it should also table a costing analysis. Above all else, individual MPs must do their homework and do it well. New rules can make sure better financial information is available. But there is no substitute for MPs performing the diligent scrutiny they were elected to do.
    Jan 05, 2015 1:28 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    My good friend Ralph Goodale speaks about the importance of local municipalities in his address to last year's FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) Conference. The Liberal Party of Canada | Parti libéral du Canada, understands the need to work together with local and regional governments. In his words: "Justin, as Prime Minister, would make it a point to meet at least annually with Canada’s municipal leadership. To listen, to understand, to consult and collaborate — to work together to build the strongest and most successful communities."
    Jan 04, 2015 10:04 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    With Saskatchewan's Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, at the launch of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Canada's flag-coming up in February!
    Jan 02, 2015 4:39 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

December

  • retweet
    MPlib
    From windy and not-too-cold Regina, Happy New Year Canada!
    Dec 31, 2014 10:06 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    REBUILDING PARLIAMENT’S CREDIBILITY Saskatchewan Youth Parliament (SYP) is meeting in Regina this week, as it does every year during the Christmas holidays. Young people come from across the province to participate in a real live exercise in how a parliamentary democracy functions. Founded in 1912, SYP benefits from the realism of holding its sessions in Saskatchewan’s Legislative Assembly (courtesy of the provincial government). As an alumnus of this organization (along with John Diefenbaker, Lorne Calvert, Gordon Barnhart and many others), it’s always interesting to drop in when their sessions are underway. This year, during a lunch break, we talked about democratic reform and how to combat the low and declining levels of voter participation in federal elections. It’s clearly time for a serious adult conversation about improvements in Canada’s “first-past-the-post”, “winner-take-all” voting system which leaves too many people feeling their votes just don’t count. As an alternative, this year’s SYP members were interested in “preferential balloting” where a voter actually ranks all the candidates appearing on their ballot from First Choice on-down, instead of just picking one. When the ballots are being counted, if no First Choice actually gets 50%-plus-one support, Second-Choices are added into the tally, and so on, until someone gets across that 50%-plus-one threshold. Justin Trudeau has advocated such a system for Canada. It would help to make voting more meaningful and reinforce the legitimacy of those who ultimately get elected. Preferential balloting would also improve the tone of election campaigning because every candidate would have to be interested in voters’ second and third choices – rather than just vilifying all their opponents. Liberals have also proposed a thorough investigation of other ideas such as proportional representation and possibly mandatory voting (which has existed in Australia since the 1920’s). We have also called for fewer “whipped” votes in Parliament and more “free” votes – requiring individual MPs to assume full responsibility for their decisions – and clear limits on secret committee hearings, prorogations and omnibus legislation to prevent these parliamentary procedures from being misused to stifle legitimate debate and transparency. We have proposed an impartial screening system to eliminate partisan, tax-paid government advertising, and greater House of Commons control over all public finances, including more transparency and a completely independent Parliamentary Budget Officer. We also need to revisit the Harper government’s recent amendments to the Elections Act which tend to undermine democracy, making it harder for some Canadians to vote and easier for some political parties to get away with electoral fraud. Elections Canada needs the authority to promptly investigate and prosecute wrongful campaign behaviour. All of this builds on steps Justin Trudeau has already taken to bolster Canada’s democratic system. He led the way in regular public reporting on the travel and hospitality expenses of all Members of Parliament. He took the first steps toward a truly non-partisan, non-patronage Senate. And he has tabled a much-strengthened Access-to-Information law to reduce government secrecy. With hope and hard-work, 2015 could be the year in which a new government comes to office in Ottawa dedicated to democratic renewal.
    Dec 29, 2014 9:22 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Enjoyed Globe Theatre's holiday performance of "Charlie Brown" last night. Today - off to visit Saskatchewan Youth Parliament.
    Dec 28, 2014 7:40 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Environment Canada's 2015 weather trivia calendar is great, but one question - is photo for August of "Itoona" (Sk) or "Ituna"?
    Dec 26, 2014 5:03 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Best wishes to all at Christmas Time http://youtu.be/I-4XD9Sz0rk
    Dec 25, 2014 6:00 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Mark + Craig McMorris host a big gala in Regina last night, supporting "JumpStart" to help get all kids into sports.
    Dec 24, 2014 4:11 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    INFRASTRUCTURE EXPANSION CRITICAL FOR GROWTH Except for the Harper government, there seems to be complete consensus about the leading importance of municipal infrastructure in building a more prosperous Canadian economy. Globally, the G-20, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development are all promoting it. So are the provincial Premiers, the Bank of Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, along with major “think-tanks” like the C.D. Howe Institute, the Conference Board and the Canada-West Foundation. Add to that the voices of industry – the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Chief Executives, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Construction Association, three different groups of Professional Engineers, the Urban Transit Association and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Internally, even the federal Finance Department agrees. Their analysis shows that expanding infrastructure is the most cost-effective way for the Government of Canada to boost jobs and growth – far more effective than tax cuts, for example. Statistics Canada has pointed out that our greatest gains in productivity have occurred when we were making our biggest investments in infrastructure. And Former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge says that such investments now are especially advantageous because they transform the value of historically low interest rates into long-term capital assets to underpin growth for generations to come. Municipalities are responsible for more than 60% of the nation’s public infrastructure, but with less than 10% of the nation’s tax-base, local governments obviously need more federal support. Many of the physical facilities that our communities depend on today were built decades ago. They’re worn down, while our population and economy have outgrown them. So we’re falling behind in public transit and transportation, adequate and appropriate housing, water and sewer services, flood protection, environmental integrity, recreation, culture and other amenities. All of this makes it hard to understand why the Harper government has chosen to cut its major program for supporting municipal infrastructure projects this year by 87%. It’s been chopped down to just $210-million for the whole country (compared to $1.7-billion last year). Mr. Harper says he may put some more federal money into this program in future years, but at best, it won’t get back to last year’s levels until after 2019. So why this 5-year funding gap? The answer is actually pretty simple. The timing is all contrived to help Mr. Harper claim a budget surplus in 2015 so he can implement his “Income Splitting” scheme. That expensive Conservative campaign promise from four years ago is trumping things like municipal infrastructure (and decent levels of support for veterans too). The late Jim Flaherty warned about this problem. He said this government could actually take some additional time to balance its books. There’s nothing magical about 2015. But Mr. Harper contradicted him. Mr. Flaherty also said Income Splitting in inherently unfair because 86% of Canadian households cannot qualify and thus get nothing from the $2-billion it costs to implement. Canadians would be better off by refocusing available resources on a more substantive and immediate expansion of community infrastructure – creating good jobs today, and laying the foundations of a bigger and better economy tomorrow.
    Dec 22, 2014 9:06 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Some of the great dancers celebrating the 51st Jamhuri (independence) day for Kenya - in Regina last night!
    Dec 21, 2014 5:04 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Maharlika Dancers perform the national dance of the Philippines at the annual Christmas Party in Regina.
    Dec 20, 2014 6:50 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Paintings by Pete Escanlar on display at the Philippine Christmas Party in Regina tonight.
    Dec 20, 2014 6:06 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Philippine Assoc of Sask is gathering in Regina tonight for their annual Christmas Party - it's a big happy crowd!
    Dec 20, 2014 5:24 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    After 2 foggy nights, hoar frost covers Regina's urban forest, now being coated with freezing rain.
    Dec 20, 2014 9:10 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Best wishes to all at Christmas Time http://youtu.be/I-4XD9Sz0rk
    Dec 20, 2014 6:00 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    A startled lama at the Nativity Scene just outside Regina Apostolic Church - big pre-Christmas crowd, especially kids!
    Dec 19, 2014 6:14 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Large crowd from Regina's Pakistani community gathers on steps of Sk Legislature to mourn school killings + condemn terrorism
    Dec 19, 2014 4:40 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    The Broletariat quintet at The Artful Dodger this morning, on Global Regina's Morning program. Merry Christmas!
    Dec 19, 2014 6:58 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    All the servers lining up for the rainbow Youth Christmas Dinner in Regina - always a great success!
    Dec 18, 2014 4:16 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Here's some sound advice from Justin Trudeau for the next federal budget http://lpc.ca/9yqj
    Dec 18, 2014 7:00 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    See how those needing CPP Disability benefits were penalized by the Harper government's obsession with Income Splitting http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/harper-pco-approved-15-month-hiring-process-for-social-security-tribunal-1.2152053
    Dec 18, 2014 5:40 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Happy to join with Justin Trudeau in extending Hanukkah greetings to all my Jewish constituents http://www.liberal.ca/statement-by-the-liberal-party-of-canada-leader-justin-trudeau-on-hanukkah/
    Dec 16, 2014 6:49 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    UofR Board Vice Chair Dan Kwochka + President Vianne Timmons present UofR Community Service Award to volunteer dynamo Renu Kapoor
    Dec 16, 2014 5:40 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Roomful of young entrepreneurs at Junior Achievement's "Jingle Bell" lunch in Regina - inspiring youth, building the future!
    Dec 16, 2014 10:12 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Christmas elves - Margaret Aitken + Jean Cameron - helping me deliver poinsettias today to all the seniors homes in Wascana!
    Dec 15, 2014 7:02 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    CANADIANS LOOK FOR SOME HOPE & AMBITION Since his campaign promise in 2011 to benefit primarily wealthier Canadians through an Income Splitting scheme "just as soon as the federal budget is balanced", Stephen Harper has focused all of his economic attention in that one direction. The push for Income Splitting has trumped every other policy possibility. For example, important services for veterans have been sacrificed, including the timely treatment of mental health issues. Public safety is another field that's been shortchanged - in rail, marine and air safety, search-and-rescue, emergency preparedness, environmental protection and food inspection. The list goes on. $10-billion in community infrastructure investments got postponed. Defence department procurements have been delayed. Federal assets like community pastures across the prairies and the historic tree farm at Indian Head, Sk., have been unceremoniously dumped. Forensic labs, immigration offices, trade services, National Parks - they've all been hit. And employment insurance payroll taxes were inflated and are now frozen at artificially high levels. What was all this for? To position Mr. Harper to claim a surplus so he could impose Income Splitting. As the late Jim Flaherty warned, it's a costly scheme at $2-billion every year, and it's unfair because 85% of Canadian households won't gain a cent. And it does absolutely nothing to stimulate more growth or better employment. That is Canada's biggest economic challenge - a growth rate that is far too mediocre, compounded by a federal government that is far too complacent and unambitious. In a thoughtful essay published just yesterday, Canada's first Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, noted our economy is just "muddling along" and he made a number of crucial observations: * "...the Canadian economy is not firing on all cylinders and we are failing to address major long-term issues..." * "...median after-tax incomes for all families (or real GDP per capita) has been virtually flat since 2007..." * "...Why are we taking resources out of federal labour market training at a time of weak employment..." * "...faster growth is going to require higher investment rates and sustainable public finances..." * "...The austerity approach set out in the 2012 federal budget will succeed in generating a balanced budget, but at a cost: slower growth and degraded public services like support for veterans..." Our country can and should aim so much higher than Mr. Harper's mediocrity. He holds us back. Instead of Income Splitting, Canadians would be further ahead with a vigorous plan for investments in community infrastructure and housing; post-secondary learning and skills; research and innovation; smart, clean sustainable energy and resource development; a diversified, more value-added economy; and aggressive global branding and marketing to rebuild a consistent trade surplus for Canada. These are some of the elements of a better growth agenda - with hope, ambition and hard work, we can regain our economic momentum and rebuild that legitimate expectation of progress among Canadians, from one generation to the next.
    Dec 15, 2014 5:12 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Here's some sound + thoughtful advice from the always valuable Kevin Page. Thank you, sir. http://m.thestar.com/#/article/opinion/commentary/2014/12/13/kevin_page_finance_ministers_need_to_have_tough_conversation.html
    Dec 14, 2014 9:48 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Going to @Corner Gas The Movie in Regina tonight.
    Dec 13, 2014 5:07 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
  • retweet
    MPlib
    Hurray for Nicky+Marina Makris, Nicky's Cafe, annual fundraiser for the LeaderPost Christmas Cheer Fund. Many thanks!
    Dec 13, 2014 9:21 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

  • « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 ... 53 Next »

MP
Ralph Goodale

Date Range

  • order:
  • date range: -
Support Politwitter.ca
disable ads
Newsletter
user online (30) viewing this page (1)
view mobile version
FEEDBACK & SUGGESTIONS
Processing time: 0.1872 seconds