Category Archives: Steve

Last Night’s Debate Winner: Mainstream Media & Corporate Canada

This will be a short rant, but I’d like to throw in my $0.02 about the debate last night.

The focus was the ‘economy’, with Stephen Harper’s pants clearly in a flame (not just a smolder) as he lied about creating 1.3 million full time jobs over the last 10 years.

And how many good paying full time jobs have been lost, Herr Harper?

Exactly.

He was also lying about good financial management, failing to remind Canadians that he and his Cons engage in routine ‘bait and switch’ planning, wasting valuable resources over 10 years simply so they can say they are running a surplus right now.

But let’s not get distracted by the actual debate.

Let’s zero in on the winners:  mainstream media and corporate Canada.

The Globe and Mail, with the host editor in chief David Walmsley, got to frame the structure of the debate and control the content.  They claim that the questions were unique and were not shared with any party leader.

That I would actually believe because Stephen Harper doesn’t need the questions because he always has the same ‘learn by rote’ bullshit answers of ‘stable, steady as she goes economy, safety and security, blah blah blah …’  Honestly, Mulcair was really no different with his ‘national day care this, pay civil servants more that …’

It was tired and dull.

Only Trudeau stood out by answering the question with questions, pushing Canadians to think about Canada under Stephen Harper.

Are we better or worse off than 10 years ago?  Definitely worse.

But I’m getting distracted.  The Globe was the clear winner because they were handed a complete monopoly on the delivery of the debate. I’d be curious to know if they got a spike in subscriptions.

Also, on a whole, corporate Canada was a clear winner because we didn’t talk about (at least in any great detail):

  • Electoral reform that will keep the likes of Stephen Harper out of power in Canada FOREVER
  • Scandal after scandal after freakin’ scandal that Stephen Harper wants Canadian to think are not important
  • The slaughter of First Nations women across the country or disproportionately high suicide rates
  • Funding for the Tar Sands compared to funding for things that matter more to ALL Canadians on a day-to-day basis
  • Stephen Harper turning the mess in the Middle East into a campaign of racism and anti-Muslim interests
  • Women and children
  • Infrastructure, education and the environment (I know, I’ve mentioned that twice)
  • Etc etc etc

Framing the debate about the economy and ignoring the kagillion other issues that affect Canadians on a day-to-day marginalizes the interests of Canadians and therefore marginalizes their interest in the election.

So … on October 20 when Stephen Harper has won yet another landslide election because progressive voters in Canada choose to attack each other instead of their common enemy, mainstream media and corporate Canada will be the greatest beneficiaries of a Harper government to 2019.

Category: media, Steve, Uncategorized

When Will Stephen Harper Take Credit for Cheap Gas?

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The collapsing oil price has some analysts wondering if the Tar Sands glut will ever end, taking the fortunes of the Conservative Party of Canada and Stephen Harper with them.

The only true positive out of Stephen Harper’s reign of error has been the collapse in prices at the pumps.

For most of the country the price was about $1.20 to $1.35 (or higher) as early as the beginning of 2015.  While prices were slow to slide, they eventually tanked to less than $1.00 in most parts of the country.

This is exceptional news for most commuters, as we pay for gas in some form or other, be it for our own cars or the vehicles that transport us from A to B.

Stephen Harper is a seasoned expert when it comes to avoiding any responsibility, even though he apparently is the leader of this country.

However – and unfortunately for all of us – it won’t be long before Stephen Harper starts taking credit for changes in gas prices, claiming some kind of ‘genius’ for it’s impact on Canadian consumers – especially those in Eastern Canada – and ‘putting more money into the hands of Canadians’.

We know that about 60-70% of the country will understand it’s complete tripe.  Now … what about the other 30% of the population that still laps up his crap?  Will they wake up in time to realize that they’re being lied to?  Will they finally wake up to the miserable reality that is a Stephen Harper Conservative government and take their vote elsewhere?

A Balanced Budget Isn’t A ‘Left’ or ‘Right’ Thing

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Individuals, regardless of political bent, rarely incur deficits in their home on an annual basis.

Yes, it’s more of a challenge for people who are poor or who have financial restraints to balance their budgets compared to those who have much deeper resources, but ultimately, they must balance their budgets.

These days, it seems someone’s life is measured by how well they’ve managed to control their financial impulses, regardless of what political stripe they wear.

We all have to make choices, some painful and awkward, that send us on the proper path towards financial independence.  To fail in this means surrendering our lives to bankers, pay-day loan companies and credit card usury.

Which makes the whole discussion about deficits in Canada at the federal level very confusing for the average Canadian.

Stephen Harper hasn’t been able to create a surplus in nearly all the years that he’s run Canada and yet claims he’s the only one capable of running the country from a sound fiscal perspective.  This is like claiming it’s OK to run to the credit card company to finance your mortgage.

Under Stephen Harper the fiscal deficit has EXPLODED and he’s asking us to allow him to continue?

(And white-collar rich and old white men that should know better continue to believe this horse shit?)

Justin Trudeau says it’s OK to run up deficits in the wake of the election because, well, we may have to.  The only ‘positive’ legacy the Liberals have are the years when Paul Martin was finance minister and Canada had half a chance of emerging from the financial restraints imposed by mafia-like organizations like the Moody’s or Dominion Bond Rating Service.

Tom Mulcair and the NDP are the only main party promising to control themselves when elected to office and maintain a balanced budget.  If you don’t believe the promise, look to the records of provincial NDP management:

Let the numbers speak for themselves …

I won’t bore you with my own bias.  Let’s let the numbers speak for themselves:

Fiscal-Record-balance-yrs1

More importantly, consider the share of GDP compared to fiscal deficits:

Fiscal-Record-GDP-jpg

My sentiments?

I personally believe that every financial house should be in order.  We should encourage saving, reward investment in our community and our peers and grow from our own pool of financial resources.

It must start at the federal level and the federal government needs to HELP all other levels of government and even households get their budgets in order.  But they MUST END passing the buck to lower levels that are not in a position to finance projects and services for all Canadians like the Harper government has for the last decade.

We can’t afford it.

Ultimately, those in charge of the federal budget should be able to balance the budget any time, regardless of the market circumstance, by making sure they ‘pull the right levers’ and make prudent investment choices with the money provided by hard working Canadians.

Balancing a 2015/2016 budget will be quite easy when you consider the Harper giveaways to the rich and elite in this country:

  • Tax Free Savings Accounts
  • Harper’s ‘RRSP home loan’
  • The hundreds of billions proposed for military expenses like the failed F-35, Canada’s involvement with crimes against humanity via Saudi Arabia and General Dynamics, etc.
  • Extensive (and expensive) tax cuts to the highest echlons of corporate elite
  • Elimination of the spousal tax plan in favour of something more equitable for ALL Canadian families
  • Cancellation of the billions in subsidies to Canada’s resource and extraction companies (especially oil) in favour of more universal programs for any entrepreneur or small business.
  • Termination of tax deductions that only benefit the elite (eg. sports and music programs for kids) or carbon wasters (eg. gas write-offs come tax time).
  • Endless armies of cabinet ministers and their volumes of staffers created by Stephen Harper over the last decade, costly taxpayers millions on needless bureaucracy.

And so on.

See, a balanced budget is just about setting different priorities and attacking those expenses or programs that make no sense to the AVERAGE Canadian.

Do you want a Canada that only looks out for the 1% or one that balances support for all industries with support for individuals?

Do you want a Canada that supports all individuals, regardless of their ‘status’ as a Canadian, be it rich, poor, etc?

When politicians get into fisticuffs about who can run up the bigger deficit, just ask them what largesse Stephen Harper has created and how quickly they’ll be able to take it down.

Stephen Harper Has Offered the Opposite of Good Economic Management

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Stephen Harper has clearly put all of his eggs in one basket.

Any good economist, portfolio manager or leader knows that you diversify in order to moderate risk.

Stephen Harper came to power by pitting parts of Canada against each other.  He has spent decades leveraging Western frustration and reliance on resources with Eastern manufacturing and slightly more progressive attitudes.

He has built a political career on leaning on the oil industry to elevate his regions of choice and it has been at the expense of a diversified economy.

This recent story from Canadian Dimension paints the true story about how obsessed he truly is with the Tar Sands and how he’ll piss away tens of millions of dollars on PR and lobbying for a single industry as opposed to working to promote Canada on a whole.

And once oil hit the skids and tanked to nearly $40 per barrel (while Joe Oliver and Stephen Harper delivered a budget based on $75 per barrel), we’ve all been caught with our collective pants down and our dollar depressed to unprecedented levels.

A proper audit of Stephen Harper’s budget will clearly demonstrate that they have delivered a deficit YET AGAIN and are lying about this reality.

This kind of economic volatility is exactly the opposite of what Stephen Harper has been promising to Canadians.  His last decade of leadership has been a complete nightmare for both importers and exporters that rely on a stable exchange rate.  Those that believe Stephen Harper is ‘stable’ and helps stay the course are idiots.

It’s very clear that Canada needs leadership that will play up the value of our resources but at the same time, will proactively work on balancing our ‘economic basket’ so that we’re not exposed to any single change in global attitude towards something as unstable as the Tar Sands.

I think most will agree that Canada has a LOT to offer.  We have vast environmental, natural, intellectual, mechanical and other resources that the world wants.  We just have to pull our heads out of the (Tar) Sands in order to see this.

The ONLY party that I and other Canadians should support will be that party which talks about moving forward.  I agree that we need to leave the Tar Sands in the ground.  I agree that Canada has for FAR TOO LONG been a resource supplier for those that control us.

Canada will only truly become Canada when we stop relying so much on the demands of other countries.

Who’s willing to bring us forward?

Category: economics, Steve

On Harper’s War on (the Wrong) Drugs

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Stephen Harper has promised to get tough on drug crime in Canada.

He will put an end to the Constitutionally upheld right to drug treatment centres in Vancouver.

He will make everyone who tokes on a bong or joint a criminal.

He will vastly expand the ridiculously expensive incarceration infrastructure – all at the expense of average Canadians – just to be the ‘tough on drugs’ guy.

Honestly, I don’t know what he’s smoking, but he’s insanely out of step with the rest of Canada.

Prescription drugs account for just as many deaths (if not more) in Canada than ‘illegal’ drugs.

And yes, I’m making that up because Statistics Canada no longer tracks these numbers and gives sociologists and lawmakers something to work with.

But here are some of the facts that I’ve been able to collect after a quick Google search:

  • The harm associated with psychoactive prescription drugs has emerged as one of the leading public health and safety concerns across North America.
  • Canada is now the second-largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids (exceeded only by the United States), according to the International Narcotics Control Board (2013). Globally, North America consumes approximately 80% of the world’s opioids.
  • Deaths related to prescription opioid use doubled in just over 10 years in Ontario, from 13.7 deaths per million people in 1991 to 27.2 deaths per million people in 2004 (Dhalla, et al., 2009).
  • Some First Nations in Canada have declared a community crisis owing to the prevalence of the harms associated with prescription drugs (Dell, et al., 2012).
  • Between 2005 and 2011, there was a 250% increase in the number of emergency room visits related to overdose, psychosis, etc related to prescription drugs.
  • Problematic opioid use is the leading cause of demand for methadone clinics in Canada.
  • Illegal use of Fentynal is one of the fastest growing markets and causes of gang violence and crime.
  • Prescription drugs are now one of the leading causes of vehicle-related accidents and deaths.
  • Legal substances (tobacco and alcohol) account for nearly 80% of the total cost of substance abuse (roughly $32 billion) compared to $8 billion for illegal drugs.

The ‘tough of drugs’ stance is a complete smoke and mirror tactic used by the Cons to play to their base that’s probably fucked up on ‘Hillbilly Heroin’ (ie. Fentynal, Oxydodone).

Stephen Harper has to get with the 20th century and understand that the drug companies that are lining his pockets are the culprits here.

Category: health, Steve, Uncategorized