Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Balance

Couldn't have said it better myself so I won't even try.


Labels: , ,

24 Comments:

  • Paul Wells is a centralist so of course he's pissed.

    Ottawa has too much of every provinces money. It is Quebec's money and they have to manage it now. If Ottawa had so much of it that Quebec can now afford to cut taxes then hurray.

    What were you hoping Quebec would do with it's own money- inflate it's already over-inflated government?

    My big fear with the much needed solving of federal-provincial responsibilities would be that the provinces would just make their governments bigger. Well guess what, I'm happily surprised that Quebec is going to manage just fine.

    Any provincial government that can't follow Quebec's lead and cut taxes now needs to join the 21st century or face it's voters.

    Alberta better cut my damn taxes next.
    Ontario better lower theirs as well.

    Gotta love the trickledown tax relief that just started in today's budget. Harper is going to be very popular next election.

    By Blogger molarmauler, at 3:39 PM  

  • Ha ha, it took me quite a long time to see what was funny about this, but at long last it clicked in.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:07 PM  

  • Your link isnt working Dan.

    Try this one to get to Wells piece

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 4:12 PM  

  • Just read a piece about the tax cuts being paid for by the transfers at ctv. I may need CPR shortly.

    By Blogger Jay, at 4:47 PM  

  • molarmauler,

    Ottawa has too much of every provinces money. It is Quebec's money and they have to manage it now. If Ottawa had so much of it that Quebec can now afford to cut taxes then hurray

    If the point of the exercise was to cut taxes, why didn't the Conservative government simply cut income taxes (which are still higher than they were before Harper became PM, btw) for all Canadians? Why should Canadian taxpayers fund tax cuts for Quebeckers? Why are Quebeckers more deserving of tax cuts than the people of Alberta, Ontario, NL and Nova Scotia?

    For years now we've been told by pseudo-federalists like Charest and Harper that the provinces don't have enough money to fulfill their responsibilities while Ottawa has too much. Now we know the truth. Charest is simply too weak and spineless to take responsibility for the government of Quebec's poor decisions and management. While he gives nice speeches about the need for Quebec to have greater autonomy, he is kneeling before Harper and begging him, and by extension the generous citizens of Canada, to fix his problems for him. Some autonomy! Harper, for his part, is all too willing to indulge Quebec nationalists and provincialists in order to win a majority, regardless of the consequences. Brian Mulroney must be so proud.

    Gotta love the trickledown tax relief that just started in today's budget.

    Is that what Cons are calling it? Talk about pathetic self-delusion! What about DIRECT tax relief for ALL Canadians?

    By Blogger Ed King, at 4:53 PM  

  • I don't know about balance.

    Has anyone checked the math?

    I have been checking the data in the tables at this website.

    http://www.budget.gc.ca/2007/bp/bptoce.html

    It looks like they have announced almost $10 Billion more than they have.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 5:09 PM  

  • Paul Wells has it bang on !

    Quebec has overspent for decades and needlessly. They have huge and increasing revenues through Hydro- Quebec.

    They get into a financial mess, insist on duplicating the federal civil service in their own province so they can manage their own affairs, scream Fiscal Imbalance when they can't get out of the red ...

    And the rest of Canada gets to bail them out . . . . again.

    Mr. Flaherty is dreaming if he thinks this will end the fiscal imbalance argument.

    He and Harper have created a precedent and given the issue credibility.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 5:19 PM  

  • Quebec is never going to get a better equalization deal, even the sovereignists know this.

    A rules-based ten province standard which now includes Alberta, and Alberta's oil revenues.

    We've given the sovereignists enough rope to hang themselves. We've given the Quebec provincial government and the Quebec political class enough rope to hang themselves.

    The ability for Quebec to blame the rest of the country for not having enough money is now basically impossible to make.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 5:29 PM  

  • I also admit that I don't see how Quebec being able to afford tax cuts based on federal (ie. all of Canada) transfers being poured into it is good. I admit, economics is my weakest point.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:34 PM  

  • From the Turner Report,

    "Following his remarks, Jim Flaherty’s Parliamentary Secretary, Diane Ablonczy, stood up to thank Duceppe for his support in propping up her government. He stood and answered in English, his eyes flashing and the colour rising in his cheeks. It’s about the money, he said, and after next Monday, when there is a sovereignist government in Quebec led by Andre Boiusclair, then Quebeckers will be spending this money on programs, for an independent Quebec.

    He took his seat, to thunderous applause from his colleagues. Ablonczy sat opposite, looking devastated, with no reply.

    It was a shameful moment, but one of insight. Stephen Harper is a sell-out.

    UPDATE (3:30 pm) — Quebec premier Jean Charest announces he will, if re-elected on Monday, use the new cash from the feds for a universal tax cut for all Quebeckers. Yes, folks, Mr. Harper just bought an election, or gave it a damn good shot. "

    enough said.

    By Blogger s.b., at 5:38 PM  

  • I believe fiscal balance is impossible. I believe what we've seen yesterday is a solid attempt at correcting the imbalance as best as possible.

    The moment you "give" money to a province, it can do whatever it wants with it. I don't remember Charest or members of his team saying Québec needed that money, but rather that transfers to Quéec should be increased, once again not out of necessity, but out of so-called balance. As a Québecer, I'm not too sure that cutting taxes is the best thing to do with the transfers; however, I think it's a perfectly legitimate thing to do.

    I'd also like to reply to ed king,s comment. When a federal government transfers money to a provincial government, it does not do it to lower the tax burden of the population, it's just a transfer that will be added to the provincial budget. With X amount of money suddenly appearing in its budget, a government can do whatever it wants with it, whether it be creating more loans and grats to students, finance hospitals or lower taxes. The point of the exercice is not to lower taxes, but rather to give more money for provincial governments to manage the way the deem fit.

    I think that the Aislin image will join my personal wall of cartoon fame.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 5:39 PM  

  • blame Trudeau, he's the one who bought provincial support for his repatriated constitution by promising to put equalization IN the document . . which means it can never be changed.


    You folks don't sound like loyal Liberals here . . whining on about Equalization . that's the cornerstone of "social justice" in Canada.

    By Blogger Fred :), at 5:45 PM  

  • I'd love to see tax relief across the board and as Ottawa gets more out of the provinces business I expect to see my federal taxes go down and my provincial taxes increase or stay the same (hopefully go down as well - if I'm gonna dream it may as well be in technicolor).

    The point is, Harper has always said the feds need to stick to their area of responsibility and the provinces need to stick to theirs. We're seeing the beginning of this. The feds are letting Quebec look after what it is supposed to and Quebec will have to manage their affairs without Ottawa's help now. If they feel they can afford tax cuts it's their baby.
    Ottawa can't say here's your money but this is how you have to spend it.

    Do I think it's the end of Quebec and Ottawa squabbling over money- no. There will always be fights over who is responsible for what and how to handle problems where responsibility overlaps. But do I trust renewed Federalism and the automatistes- I sure do.

    I also trust Harper will reduce the size of the federal government gradually over time as he is able.
    I believe the feds will be able to reduce their demand on my wallet and deliver what they are mandated to do.
    I will put pressure on my provincial government to reduce their demand on my wallet to deliver what they are mandated to do.

    I don't believe it is Ottawa's job to run my province. So if Ottawa stopping taking and wasting my province's money doesn't reduce my provincial tax, you can be sure my provincial government will have some explaining to do at election time.

    By Blogger molarmauler, at 5:47 PM  

  • I hope whoever designed those silly PLQ campaign posters was fired.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 5:54 PM  

  • Yes, folks, Mr. Harper just bought an election, or gave it a damn good shot.

    My money's on "good shot", not "bought".

    By Blogger WJM, at 6:13 PM  

  • I believe fiscal balance is impossible. I believe what we've seen yesterday is a solid attempt at correcting the imbalance as best as possible.

    What is this "imbalance"?

    How has it been corrected, to the extent it has been?

    How is it still uncorrected?

    By Blogger WJM, at 6:14 PM  

  • What is this "imbalance"?

    How has it been corrected, to the extent it has been?

    How is it still uncorrected?


    Been hiding under a rock? :)

    In a nutshell, both federal and provincial governments have different incomes and different things to spend it on. According to Bernard Landry and other believers in fiscal imbalance, the federal government had too much income for its responsabilities, and Québec didn't have enough income for its responsabilities. Therefore, Landry claimed there was a fiscal imbalance, that Ottawa was getting too much money from taxes and that Québec didn't get enough, creating an imbalance.

    I believe there will always be an imbalance because income will always vary, and needs will always vary. Think of it as a normal scale, where you add and remove weight from both sides. The goal is to have both sides at the same level at both times, but there are times where one side (here, the federal) has too much weight and the other not enough. What the Cons tried to do yesterday was to take away some weight from the federal and give it to the provincial, to make the scale level. However, people will keep adding and removing weight from both sides everyday, the imbalance cannot be solved permanently, it can only be corrected.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 6:28 PM  

  • I think it is fair to say that Trudeau believed in richer provinces helping less fortunate ones.

    Hence the principle of Equalization was put into the constitution.

    This budget isn't about principles.

    It's about politics and is short term thinking that very well might backfire, with long term consequences.

    It's partisan leadership and bad leadership.

    "Rolling the Dice" as a previous partisan Prime Minister used to say.

    Gambling with the future of the country using partisanship rather than leading by statesmanship.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 6:47 PM  

  • Yes Quebec did indeed say it needed the money to pay for programs even though it already spends $1500 per capita more than Ontario. Now they are taking "equalization" money to cut taxes, while still crying foul on social programs they pay too much for already. The whole thing is a ridiculous separatist lie. Quebec needs to cut spending. Their concrete budget alone could be trimmed enough to resolve the "imbalance" Have you ever tried to exit or enter one of their hiways? Quebec is full of corrupt kick back through control of contracting. It has 7$ per day daycare, Ontarions pay $700 to $1000 per month. Their bloated public servive shuts down between 12 and 1:15. They make their own choices, which is fine but the rest of us should not be paying for them. And why would you believe anything a separitist says or play to it anyways? Ever heard of a slippery slope? This is a slippery cliff.

    By Blogger s.b., at 7:00 PM  

  • That's hilarious. Aislin is a god - he used to send me large-sized versions of his Louise Beaudoin cartoons through my mum when she worked at the Gazette. I love his humour!

    On the topic of LPQ posters: I was in my local Liberal MNA's office earlier this evening and a voter told me that despite being a Liberal voter, the campaign posters are just plain 'creepy' and something should be done about it - I had to laugh because she's right.

    By Blogger Sinestra, at 8:57 PM  

  • If the point of the exercise was to cut taxes, why didn't the Conservative government simply cut income taxes (which are still higher than they were before Harper became PM, btw)

    I suspect that it's a lost cause to try to combat this bit of Liberal misinformation, but I'm going to try anyway.

    The Liberals did not lower the lowest income tax rate from 16% to 15%. In the dying days of Paul Martin's government, they promised to do so, and introduced a belated bill to do it, even though they knew it had no chance of being passed before the government fell. (It died after First Reading, and therefore had no effect on tax rates.)

    It wasn't until the Conservative budget of May 2006 that the rate was lowered to 15% for 2005, to 15.25% for 2006, and to 15.5% thereafter.

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 9:09 PM  

  • So the Conservatives are responsible for lowering the lowest rate, and then immediately raising it? Thanks a lot.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 9:18 PM  

  • However, people will keep adding and removing weight from both sides everyday, the imbalance cannot be solved permanently, it can only be corrected.

    So does that mean that there would be circumstances when the provinces would send more money to Ottawa?

    Why or why not?

    By Blogger WJM, at 10:49 PM  

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