Posts Tagged ‘Joe Oliver’

Two Tory budgets for the price of one.

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

It was Ontario’s turn this past week. How often do we get two Tory budgets at a time? On Tuesday, we had a laugh at federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s expense. And then, right on the heels, Thursday we had a budget redux from Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. There was a new beer tax in Charles’ budget so he must be one of those tax-and-spend Liberals we hear about. Frankly, this liberal would not give you two cents for either budget.

Sousa betrayed Ontario Liberals when he agreed with Ed Clark of TD Bank to raise money on Hydro One—and on the backs of hydro users. Mind you Premier Wynne told Clark to do that and who complains when a banker does what he is told? What Wynne, Clark and Sousa failed to do was put beer in convenience stores where it would be more convenient for the purchaser. They also failed to sell off the Liquor Control Board that would have made much more money for the province than Hydro ever could.

But to follow on the federal budget’s long-term proposals, Sousa had his own ten-year plan for infrastructure. If it had been a 20-year plan, it could have been the most expensive ever. The only problem is that the voters are getting weary of the same-old, same-old promises. The Queen’s image on all those bills is fading badly.

In neither budget was there any help to get our young people working. Promises on the never-never plan are just not winners. What Joe Oliver and his friend Stephen Harper do not understand is that you need to have income to get benefits from tax credits and cuts. Now that Joe and Charles have told us what they are doing for the one per cent, maybe they can give some consideration to the rest of us.

And why the hell, would Charles Sousa decide that the only tax he wanted us to impose was on us beer drinkers? How much tax did he levy on himself and the rest of the Scotch drinkers? This is discriminatory and unfair and we still have to put up with those rotten, smelly, over-priced Beer Stores. Oh sure, now we can pick up a six pack along with the weekly groceries but who is going to take the time to go into a huge grocery store just to get a case of beer? It shows how little the Ontario Liberals know about merchandising.

What we have are two levels of government so out of touch with reality that they fail to pay attention to our real needs. They are offering us nothing but ideology in budgets that are supposed to be about the current tax year. Sure a ten-year plan helps the big plans but if it is vague enough, who knows what they are really doing?


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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Legislating Ideology.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

It is when you listen to the federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver that you realize what a breath of fresh air the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must have been in Mr. Harper’s Cabinet of Inadequate Ideologues. You can also imagine how he would have laughed at Joe Oliver’s suggestion that there be a law passed against deficit budgets. That would be like passing a law that says Canadians cannot have a mortgage or an auto loan.

The ability for a country to borrow is just one of the many strategies available to a finance minister to level out the peaks and valleys of a country’s capital needs. To even think that he can force future finance ministers to accede to his ideology makes Oliver out a fool. A law against deficits would be ignored.

What is particularly galling about the suggestion is that the Conservatives are coming off many years of deliberate deficits because of the 2008 mortgage collapse in the Unites States that put world finances into a tail spin. Canada came through that period relatively unscathed because the Harper government was forced to agree to deficits.

Maybe Mr. Oliver was not paying attention at the time.

What is also a bitter pill is the way the Conservatives have reached their “Nirvana” of a balanced budget at this time. To force through parliament an ill-considered security bill to show the government as strong against terrorism is a sham when there is no accompanying budget to pay for this supposedly enhanced protection.

A good example of this thinking is the non-delivery of new carbines and training with them for the R.C.M. Police. The delay now stretches over six years and Treasury Board has never released the money for these life-saving weapons. And our federal police will continue to be at risk because many gunmen are better armed.

Treasury Board President Tony Clement should take a bow at budget time. He has single-handedly hamstrung the Canadian government on hiring permanent help while wasting funds on casual help and consultants. The truth be known, the Harper Conservatives are the worst managers of Canadians’ money since John Diefenbaker waited for the AVRO Arrow to prove it could fly before cancelling the project and ending Canada’s leadership in fighter aircraft.

What Mr. Harper should have told his finance minister was that predicting a balanced budget this year was a mistake. It has taken a lot of flim-flammery and the loss of some tax savings for the rich. The really good news is that this coming budget will probably be Joe Oliver’s last.


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to