The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “deficit

Budget 2016: A First Step

Posted on March 24, 2016

IN ONE OF THE FUNNIER EPISODES OF THIS MANIC BUDGET WEEK, host Ellen DeGeneres aired a segment showing Canada’s response to the threat of Americans moving up here to escape Donald Trump, titled, “We’re nice, but we’re not that nice.” You can view it here. The reality is that we might be even nicer at the moment. During an American election season revealing far deeper divisions in the electorate than many realized, this week’s federal budget couldn’t set a more different tone. It was breathtaking in its own way, covering everything from deep investment in Indigenous Peoples to seasonal Employment Insurance programs, from tackling nagging infrastructure shortfalls to invigorating benefits for children and seniors, from beginning to make right the abiding gaps in veteran’s care…


Posted on April 3, 2011

The big question: “Why are we wasting 400 million dollars on an election campaign nobody needs?” A valid query, except that’s it’s about 100 million dollars off the mark. Two years ago, in an election campaign called by Stephen Harper against his own election law (every four years), the PM continually maintained that the price was $300 million. Now that he’s in an election campaign with his government found in contempt of Parliament, he and his ministers keep saying the price has gone up by a $100 million in two years. They’re fibbing by a fair margin. According the Globe and Mail yesterday, Elections Canada estimates that this election will be $300 million. But that still doesn’t answer the question: Why do it? Many…

The Great Reversal

Posted on December 8, 2010

So, Barack Obama caved in to the wealthy. He likely had to if he hoped to win re-election, but still his recent decision has left a bitter taste in many mouths. By going back to the Bush tax cut era, where the wealthy just got a whole lot richer, the President has set in motion a series of events that will likely keep America mired on the brink of financial ruin for a decade or more to come. What’s with this modern era? As gaps between rich and poor grow ever wider, the relentless pressure to provide even more breaks for the wealthy just seems to pick up steam. In a word, in most of the industrialized world things have become “intractable.” The rationale…

The Sour Smell of Success

Posted on October 21, 2010

The Bank of Canada’s Mark Carney released an update on the Canadian economy yesterday that told us third-quarter growth has been disappointingly less than expected and that the next four quarters will also fall behind expectations.  He then informed Canadians that we’ll eventually get out of this economic quagmire. Carney was only doing his job of warning Canadians and trying to keep them believing at the same time.  It’s a high stakes, high-wire performance, meant to instill confidence and propel cautious actions. Hidden in Carney’s report are two key issues of concern that speak to difficult days ahead. The first is our national productivity.  A sound economy is one innovative enough to create a rising standard of living and has enough tax revenue to support…

I Hear the Pain a’Comin

Posted on June 29, 2010

As the dust settles on the recent G8/20 gatherings, the overall grading of its outcome has been deemed “mediocre.”  If there was any hope that the recent effort could provide new life back into the G8 and perhaps extend it longer life, there is less optimism for it today. I had an interesting call this morning from a member of the German delegation who specializes in international development.  I had met him at a previous G8 run-up gathering and appreciated his candour.  He expressed frustration at what he termed the “zero-sum game” regarding child and maternal health.  “All of the delegations knew going into these sessions that your PM was pressing us to donate more to the maternal health initiative, but at the same…