By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 0 Comments
On Monday, Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, presented to the House of Commons the government’s main estimates. This was apparently cause for celebration. Indeed, according to Mr. Clement’s office, the main estimates “reflect the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to finding savings and returning to balanced budgets.”
“I think you will find that when you review the estimates, that they do reflect our commitment to sound fiscal management and the commitment to return to the balanced budget within the medium term,” Mr. Clement explained to reporters afterwards. “You will see that the estimates have decreased over the past four years so at this stage of the budgetary cycle, we are continuing to rein in spending. In fact, the estimates are down $4.9 billion from last year.”
But, with a budget still to be tabled, what importance should be attached to the estimates?
“Obviously, the budget is the main economic document of the government,” Mr. Clement clarified. “Having said that, the estimates is a signal of the direction of the government on some basic files and some basic portfolios so it is, I would call it a harbinger, perhaps, a signal of the kind of budget that we will have in 2013-2014.”
On Tuesday, a specific victory was identified and declared as Robert Goguen was sent up to note that, whatever the wild-eyed worries of the New Democrats, the main estimates showed “significant reductions” in prison spending. And lest anyone miss this point, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews followed up with a written statement sent out to reporters by his press secretary. “Last summer, we announced the closure of two prisons to save taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Toews was said to have said, “and yesterday in the Main Estimates, there were significant reductions in the cost of prisons.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Goguen and Mr. Toews, the estimates are apparently not to be taken too seriously. Or at least not quite as seriously as various members of the opposition are now taking them. At least so far as Mr. Clement is now concerned. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 5:33 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Conservative MP Robert Goguen, the duly elected member for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, stood just before Question Period and neatly enunciated the absurdity.
“Over government campaigned against the NDP plan for a carbon tax in 2011,” he declared, “and we campaigned against the carbon tax from the Liberals in 2008.”
Precisely. In 2008, the Conservatives proudly condemned a carbon tax while proposing cap-and-trade. In 2011, the Conservatives proudly condemned cap-and-trade as the equivalent of a carbon tax. (And even so, now, in 2012, the Conservatives can’t promise they won’t pursue cap-and-trade if the United States decides to do so.)
It is an elaborate joke. And the Conservatives are very committed to the bit (and unabashedly so). And so Thomas Mulcair is now stuck between laughing at, admonishing and ignoring the gag.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 5:16 PM - 5 Comments
The Harper government has released the list of 28 parliamentary secretary appointments. I count eight new MPs: Eve Adams, Chris Alexander (who replaces Laurie Hawn at defence), Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Robert Goguen, Kellie Leitch, Chungsen Leung, Michelle Rempel and Susan Truppe.