Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stephen Harper G8 LiesHe asked parliament for 80 million dollars for border security, and spent 50 million on useless infrastructure in Musoka, where a Cabinet minister resides.

Harper knew he would be safe as the report would only come out after the election. He will downplay the issue, but by not leaving a paper trail about the investments, you know Harper is hiding something.

The final report on the G8 legacy infrastructure fund concludes that the government “did not clearly or transparently” identify how the money was going to be spent when it sought parliamentary approval for the funding.

Moreover, the report criticizes the utter lack of documentation to explain how and why 32 infrastructure projects in the Parry Sound-Muskoka region in Ontario were selected to receive the government largesse.

The result was that members of Parliament were kept in the dark about the Harper government’s dispersal of tens of millions of taxpayers’ funds, the audit concluded.

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Conservatives Misled Parliament

G8 Spending  Under Scrutiny

Stephen Harper’s government misled Parliament and skirted spending guidelines as it sprinkled tens of millions of dollars across Muskoka to provide a G8 legacy, an independent probe has concluded.The federal Conservatives passed off the $50 million G8 Legacy fund as part of an $83 million investment to reduce border congestion when they sought Parliament’s approval for funding, a report from the Auditor General of Canada said Thursday.

The result was that members of Parliament were kept in the dark about the Harper government’s dispersal of tens of millions of taxpayers’ funds, the audit concluded.

Stephen Harper and his Cabinet have decided to impose sanctions against Syria, said Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister.

The sanctions are mostly symbolic, as Canada exports barely $60 million to the country. The sanctions include a ban on the export of some goods to Syria, limits on travel to Canada by members of the Syrian regime, basically banning trade to the country.

Stephen Harper’s sanctions against Syria come in response to the Middle East country’s violent suppression of anti-government protesters.

In announcing the measures today, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called the Syrian regime’s actions a grave breach of international peace.

Human-rights groups estimate as many as 1,000 Syrians have been killed in two months of protests.

The United States and the European Union have already imposed sanctions on President Bashar Assad and other ministers in the repressive country.

Canada is scrambling to follow suit ahead of this week’s G8 summit in France.

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Canada imposes sanctions

Canada announces sanctions against Syria

Harper flies to greecePrime Minister Stephen Harper will travel to Greece on May 28-29. This follows the G8 summit in Dauville, France which occurs May 26th-27th.

Harper will have contacts with state and political leadership in Athens, in the framework of strengthening bilateral relations between Canada and Greece, while he will also be present at a business forum.

Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will meet with Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou to discuss two-way trade and investment, and international economic and security issues.

He will also meet with the business community and visit a number of historic sites.

Will Harper be laughed at for keeping his promise  to live up to his pledge on deficit cutting in order to secure the global economic recovery ? It seems he is the only one accomplishing this.


The revised 2011 budget that the government will present next month will not show a surplus by 2014-15 as promised in black and white in the Conservative campaign platform, even though the government insists it still intends to deliver on the election promise.

Some of the Canadian government’s budget optimism comes from a plan to examine public sector spending and trim away the fat. Flaherty said that the government plans to undertake a “strategic and operating review” that is expected to save $4 billion annually, without any serious cutbacks.

Even if, in the end, they do balance the books a year early, by not adhering to their campaign promise, the Tories are ignoring one of the cardinal rules in politics: do what you say you’ll do.

Earlier Wednesday, Flaherty had told the Council of the Americas in Washington that his budget would be re-introduced in Parliament and that the country’s books could be back in the black within three to four years.

Still, Flaherty said that taxes would not go up this year, despite the aggressive push to eliminate the deficit.

“We have no intention of raising taxes. Our intention is to continue to lower the tax burden on Canadians and stimulate the private sector, which after all, is the engine of the economy”.

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Budget Lie

Promise not kept, but still

More than 150,000 public servants working in Ottawa awoke May 3rd to a new Conservative majority government, and new anxieties about what that will mean for their jobs. The prospect of layoffs in the federal bureaucracy is a hot topic in Ottawa.

As Conservatives prepare to recall Parliament, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is setting the stage for a clampdown on federal government spending under the newly elected government, that would include cutting the public service by 80,000 — or one-third.

The people who suffer in this scenario are those most dependent on government services such as immigrants, the unemployed, pensioners and military veterans.

The Tory budget that was tabled in March called for a review of spending at all government departments and $11 billion in cuts over the next four years. The budget was never passed.

However, now that the Conservatives have a majority government, the Tories have the ability to push that same budget through.

William Robson, president of the think-tank C.D. Howe Institute, says the government could make some progress on the deficit in the short-term if the economic continues to recover. Robson predicted the Conservative’s corporate tax cuts would lead to an expansion of the business sector.

Even before the latest round of corporate tax cuts, Canada’s oil, gas and natural resource exports nearly had doubled in value in recent years, and now more than 25 per cent of Canada’s economy is directly or indirectly tied to the mining and oil and gas industries, even more so in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, where oil and gas account for nearly 40 per cent of provincial GDP.

John Gordon, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, says he’s concerned by the government’s talk to cut down the public sector.

“Stephen Harper has always talked about smaller government,” Mr. Gordon said. “If people leave through attrition, that means less people to do the work. And if there’s less people to do the work, then something has to give.”

So Public Services are going to be cut while private corporations are getting billions of dollars in tax benefits ? This means less government services in our lives and more money for the rich and powerful. Truly not what the average Canadian wants.

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Public Servants Fear Tory Majority

Harper’s Budget Promise To Cut Down Public Service

Opposition parties may soon lose millions thanks to Stephen Harper.

Stephen Harper will phase out the per-vote subsidies on which federal parties have relied since the end of the Jean Chrétien era. The Conservatives, who have built a tremendously successful fundraising machine, will be just fine; the other parties will be in deep trouble.

Federal Conservatives have raised more money since 2004 than their three federal political rivals combined.

Political parties need money to compete – not just during election campaigns, but between them. And if they were just relying on the money they raise from individuals, without the $2 they get per vote, the opposition parties wouldn’t be competing at all.

In the final quarter of 2010, the Conservatives raised $5.23-million from individual donors – well more than the Liberals ($2.19-million), New Democrats ($1.66-million) and Bloc Québécois ($348,000) combined.

Here’s what parties would have netted each year on the subsidy (based on the election vote totals):

CPC: 10.2 million
NDP: 7.9 million
LPC: 4.9 million
Bloc: 1.6 million
Green: 1.0 million

I don’t see why we’re going to do away with this,” Chretien said in Quebec City.

“And who will this benefit? It will benefit those who have the most money. Suppose the poor wanted to have a political party, they wouldn’t have the means to do it.”

Chretien’s government introduced the subsidies in the wake of corruption scandals, with an aim to reducing graft and donor influence.

He said slashing the allowance could give Canada a system that resembles the one in the United States, where parties must raise billions to fund a campaign.

I think being politically different than the United States is good since it gives more options to choose from in North America. At worse, the per vote subsidy is not bad – not good. Heck it just cost 27 million. If Harper and his intelligent team can cut the budget by 11 billion, I’m sure they can find more democratic ways to cut election spending.

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Parties Will Suffer

Can The Subsidy Backfire ?


Harper appears to have convinced much of the public that corporate income tax cuts and incentives for business are the essential tools for Canada’s prosperity.

In late March, Forum Research reported more than 60 per cent opposed. And on May 2, the parties that strongly opposed corporate tax cuts won more than 60 per cent of the votes, with Mr. Harper getting less than 40 per cent.

Once taxes are cut for corporations the only option left for the federal government to deal with the growing deficit will be to cut transfer payments to the provinces.

The Harper government is lowering corporate income tax rates 1.5 per cent to 16.5 per cent in 2011 and to 15 per cent in 2012.

Cutting the rate further to 16.5% will mean another $2.8 billion annually.

This will have a devastating impact on public services such as health and education. Currently 21.2% ($1.5 billion) of our province’s total revenue comes from health and social transfers and cost shared programs.

We all know a lower corporate tax has little impact on investments. Federal corporate tax rates have fallen 28% in 2000 to 18% in 2010. But investment remained the same !

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The Folly Of Tax Cuts

Tax Cuts Will Be Disastruous

Most Oppose Tax Cuts


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