Monday, March 24, 2008

Somebody misses his old job

Poilevre gets read to slam McGuinty tomorrow.

Flaherty continues his assault today:

TORONTO — Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty took the extraordinary step yesterday of denouncing Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's management of the economy just hours before the unveiling of the provincial budget.

Mr. Flaherty did not say anything he hasn't already said in recent weeks about the need for the province to heed his calls to reduce business taxes. But the timing of his latest attack, on the eve of today's budget, raised eyebrows around the provincial legislature. A government source called it unprecedented.

The Finance Minister made a special trip to Toronto, where he made a dire prediction about the prospects for Canada's largest economy under the McGuinty government. Without tax cuts, he warned, Ontario is in jeopardy of becoming a “have-not” province for the first time in history.

Even if you want to give Flaherty the benefit of the doubt and assume he's genuinely concerned about the state of the economy, that doesn't explain him making these demands on Budget Day Eve, when the time for changes has long since passed. There is no way to interpret this as anything but political posturing.

Given that, one would assume there's some sort of master plan behind all of this because...well...people always assume there's a master plan behind everything Stephen Harper does. The only game plan I can see is that Harper thinks the economy is ready to tank and plans to scape-goat McGuinty. But even that doesn't fully explain the intensity of the fight Harperty has picked with Queen's Park.



  • The McGuinty government, despite the election results, is not that popular. The Conservatives are shoring up support here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:19 p.m.  

  • Right.. and a poll released a week or 2 ago showed that 2/3 of Ontarions supported McGuinty's POV over Flaherty's. That shoring up isn't working too well, apparently.

    In fact, I'll say it's going to give the opposite effect.

    By Blogger Oxford County Liberals, at 11:24 p.m.  

  • I'm with Scott on this one. This is a classic switch and bait political tactic.

    And the cons are sending their head Hatchet hitman to do the job tomorrow!

    Reminds of the good old Ontario days when Harris was reigning terror on the citizens. Can one image days of action on a national scale?

    By Blogger susansmith, at 12:00 a.m.  

  • I think harper wants to reinforce the notion that Ontarians like having alternate parties at both levels of government.

    so they say something along the lines of...

    "We hate the OLP because they are dirty Liberals who are taxing you so much."

    and then if Duncan or McGuinty fight back it continues to reinforce the notion that Ontarians send Tories to ottawa more when the OLP is in power.

    By Blogger Anthony, at 12:37 a.m.  

  • I believe you're all correct to a degree, but remember the Harperist focus: Majority government.

    Flaherty has produced a federal budget that is already in deficit. In ten more months there will be nothing they can do to erase the red ink.

    BCL is right on. The Harperites, having gone beyond their level of competence need a scapegoat. Ontario is their greatest liability and their only opportunity.

    Blame the province... whatever its political stripe. BC, Alberta, they'll do whatever they do, but the most seats are in Ontario.

    This is a blame shifting exercise by a political wiener who is well beyond his level of competence.

    By Blogger Dave, at 2:16 a.m.  

  • Like on income trusts, Flaherty is getting his material from the civil servants in the Finance Dept. The federal Tories feel they are on the right side of the argument on this one, and economists would generally agree. Whether it is good politics is another question.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 5:04 a.m.  

  • Dave is on the right track. Flaherty's policies are leading us straight to a federal deficit and the Cons will blame "slow growth" in Ontario. They are desperately trying to fool Canadians into believing that the $15 billion surpluses they inherited haved disappeared because of Liebural$$$.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:17 a.m.  

  • I think they want to provoke a backlash from Ontario in the form of questioning equalization (See Jeff Simpson's column today, toward the end to see its beginnings). That way the Tories can run against Ontario and portray themselves as the champion for the "have not" provinces. I suspect the thinking is, "We can write off urban Ontario anyway and we can count on enough of the rural ridings to stick with us, that this is a risk free strategy".

    By Blogger Greg, at 7:35 a.m.  

  • Greg,

    Ontario is now (as of the latest figures) a have-not province. The provinces above the national average in per capita GDP are Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.

    I wonder if Flaherty is planning a return to Ontario politics and stage a coup against John Tory.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 9:34 a.m.  

  • it's coz of the other headlines;

    $24 Beellion dollars spent on security-do you feel safe?

    PMO can't spell Saskatchewan

    Minister parties;Martin in jail

    DND drawings found in dumpster

    NDP in trouble

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:31 a.m.  

  • hosertohooser,

    Take a look at Lord Kitchener's Own, today. This whole equalization thing is going to blow up. I can feel the pressure building.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:05 p.m.  

  • I think "running against Ontario" would be one of the worst election strategies ever. The Tories already have all the seats in the West and they haven't made a lot of friends in Atlantic Canada lately.

    The road to a majority is through Quebec and Ontario...and I don't even think trashing McGuinty would help them much in Quebec.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:28 p.m.  

  • Harper wants a federal election. The Ontario-baiting is to get provincial Ontario Liberals to force federal Ontario Liberals to get some backbone and defeat the Harper government.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 4:03 p.m.  

  • "The road to a majority is through Quebec and Ontario...and I don't even think trashing McGuinty would help them much in Quebec."

    The harper government is exhausted and bankrupt. They're losing it.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:09 p.m.  

  • Aahh,

    Finally the comment by Wheat Seller here that seems solid.

    Another No-Brainer. Lower Taxes equals More Jobs and thus more votes for conservatives.

    Like CG says * hurting and wanting to get back into government * Kinsealla is certainly in that space.

    There is a field day going on at * SmallDeadAnimals * with Warmans, Warrens, Liberals and Alberta Human Right fireworks.

    There are some odd insights about *liberal* blogs too. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 4:18 p.m.  

  • I think "running against Ontario" would be one of the worst election strategies ever. The Tories already have all the seats in the West and they haven't made a lot of friends in Atlantic Canada lately.

    You are right of course, it is dumb. But, the Conservatives are floating this as a possibility themselves. From today's Ottawa Citizen:

    To explain that, you have to go to a theory offered by some Tories -- who say that the party, faced with what is to them a maddening inability to break through in the polls in Ontario, have decided that any growth strategy in seats lies in building in Quebec and in taking the rest of the few Liberal seats that remain west of Manitoba (a theory buttressed by the fact that the Liberals won a byelection by only 151 votes last week in their longstanding stronghold of Vancouver Quadra in British Columbia.)

    There is, after all, a longstanding joke to the effect that the one thing that really unites most Canadians outside the Greater Toronto Area is a shared enmity toward all things Toronto.

    Take that theory, presume that the enmity can be extended to all of Ontario, focus heavily in your vote-getting efforts in the West and Quebec, and maybe -- just maybe -- therein lies the key to a bigger election win, whenever the campaign comes.

    It is dumb, but that is the course they seem to be following.

    By Blogger Greg, at 5:07 p.m.  

  • Pierre as a critic of Ontario? If he thinks it's a bad place to invest, why did he drop out of University to move here?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 a.m.  

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