Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tale of the Tape

The other interesting element from Harper's speech, which has been mostly overlooked by commentators to date, was his declaration of war against red tape. Take a look:


This report will emphasize the extent to which we are expediting approval processes - cutting so-called “red tape” - to ensure that stimulus spending, spending that is temporary and targeted hits our economy in a timely manner.

Let me just emphasize this:

We are cutting enormous amounts of red tape and we are doing it quickly.

[...]

That’s why, as I mentioned at the outset, in the 42 days since our action plan was
presented, we have taken extraordinary steps to cut red tape.

[...]

We are, as I’ve said, cutting bureaucratic red tape. And we need Parliament to cut its red tape too.

We cannot have the opposition in Parliament replacing bureaucratic red tape with political red tape.


This, in addition to six mentions of "bureaucratie" en francais.

Obviously, this is a bit of posturing on Harper's part around the 3 billion dollar "slush fund" battle with Ignatieff. But, I also suspect that Harper's zeal for cutting red tape has a bit to do with appeasing fiscal Conservatives who are upset at his free spending budget.

With that in mind, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see Harper and Flaherty coming back to this theme on several occasions in the coming months.

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20 Comments:

  • Perhaps "Red Tape" will be the new "Kitchen Table."

    By Blogger Ian, at 11:30 PM  

  • Red tape, blue sweater, Starting to look a bit like the American Flag isn't he??? It's called "subliminal Americanizing"...

    By Blogger WesternGrit, at 11:41 PM  

  • That's right, WesternGrit, he's trying to subliminally turn us into Americans. Or British. Or French. Or Russians. Or Australians. Or Dutch. Or Czechs. Or Cubans. Or Norwegians. Or Thai. Or Icelanders...

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 12:29 AM  

  • These references to cutting red tape could refer to the fact that the Cons are proposing changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Fisheries Act and the Environmental Assessment Act in order to "expedite" environmental assessments for infrastructure projects. Peter Gorrie wrote about this in the Toronto Star on 21 February under the heading "Hard Times Can Make It Easier To Gut Safeguards", suggesting that the Cons are using the economic crises as a cover to achieve their long term goal of weakening environmental protection laws. John LaForet also discussed this over at his Liberalsonline blog. The proposed changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act are included in the budget. I was hoping Iggy would object to their inclusion, but so far, no.

    By Anonymous LMA, at 12:30 AM  

  • I had to smile. The optics of this were great. The reason why we are in this mess is that a little too much red tape was cut.

    By Blogger Koby, at 1:58 AM  

  • Almost a year ago today I was involved in the creation of a drink called the Red Tape. Expensive and unnecessary, the red tape is:

    2 Parts Red Bull
    1 Part Scotch

    Tell your friends.

    By Blogger Corey Hogan, at 3:35 AM  

  • Oh Invisible... Invisible... Do we have to explain "humor" to you too? Tsk, tsk...

    By Blogger WesternGrit, at 3:40 AM  

  • That sounds like a brutal drink...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:59 AM  

  • This Tory slush fund has the potential to make the Sponsorship funding look like small peanuts.

    By Anonymous Saskleft, at 11:01 AM  

  • What about the green tape? Oh! That's right! His support base is in Alberta.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:01 AM  

  • Does anyone else find it disturbing that what was once called 'accountability' and was promised by Harper at every turn, is now called 'red tape' and is number one on Harper's hit list?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 PM  

  • Anon, Harper is so predicatable that anything he says and does is never a surprise. Right now he seems to think he's Canada's Obama.Lol with a snicker. He is Satan himself but keep acting this way Stevie. As far as I'm conerened, he speaks and looks ridicules, and the average Canadian sees him for the PHONEY he really is. Most women dispise him and don't trust except maybe his wife {I actually feel sorry and embarressed for her} obviously but the rest of us know he's not even a little bit trustworthy and an impulsive liar and bully and boy, do I hate those kind of people. They deserve to live in the gutter.

    By Blogger marie, at 12:46 PM  

  • Yes, but will Harper "cut through the red tape" and push the Tory Senators to finally pass the budget?

    Tories, of course, being the cause of the delay, according to politicians of a certain political stripe.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 6:04 PM  

  • “Yes, but will Harper "cut through the red tape" and push the Tory Senators to finally pass the budget?”

    Paul,

    You miss the point. The real politicians want accountability.

    Recall that Bush/Paulsen said that they wanted $700b to buy toxic securities. Congress gave them the money. Then, Paulsen broke his word and gave money to the banks (including good banks). The economic decline accelerated. The stock market was at a 13 year low.

    So, harper/flanagan are just as incompetent and mustn't be given a blank check. Why the hurry? The money has to be disbursed after April 1st. Most of the money will not be paid for many months. Let's make sure that Parliament does its job.

    This is typical right-wing arrogance/stupidity/duplicity/incompetence. We need the professionals back in power (i.e. Goodman, McCallum etc).

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:52 PM  

  • My apologies, WG. Although I have not infrequently seen Liberals make similar complaints about Harper being "too American" anytime the colours red and blue are used, which is why I thought you were at least partly serious.

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 11:33 PM  

  • Bailout 2008

    Like a bloodied warrior,
    laying broken and torn.

    Like a dying soldier, hopeless and forlorn.

    But the blood, it be green,
    the color of money.

    And the soldier is an economy,
    and it is anything but funny.

    Broken are it's people and shattered are their dreams.

    Thanks to the ultra rich and their full proof schemes.

    It is a tragedy with more pain to come.

    Finance will be Hell, and their wills will be done.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:59 AM  

  • Did anybody else see his red tape joke fall flat in his big speech?
    "That's not blood on my floor, its red tape."

    Of course... nobody was asking about the red stuff on the floor of Harper's office. Mr. Harper - did you kill a hooker*?

    *Its okay to admit it. By the Rene Levesque standard you are allowed to kill at least one poor person before folks get mad.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:43 AM  

  • Jim Tan.....McCallum a Professional? hahahahahahahahahaha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 AM  

  • JT, sorry, but you seem to be missing the news lately.

    It was only this week that the Liberals realized that they had to get the budget passed already to prevent tens of thousands of Canadians who have recently lost their jobs losing EI benefits announced by the Conservative Government.

    The Liberals finally woke up to the fact that continuing to delay the Stimulus package had direct costs to the economy and to the welfare of Canadians.

    Even the reporters were amused that Iggy could barely keep a straight face blaming Harper for delays in getting aid to the people who need it.

    If you want to continue to hold up Iggy's economic team (who presumably were calling the shots for the Libs), go ahead. Competence isn't the word that comes to mind when describing their actions.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 12:11 AM  

  • It cannot have effect in actual fact, that is what I think.

    By Anonymous www.zamora-3d.com, at 3:59 AM  

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