Ralph Goodale
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Entries by Ralph Goodale

Why Are Harper and the Bank of Canada Following Contradictory Strategies?

(33) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 12:37 PM

Stephen Harper's vaunted "management" of the Canadian economy is bedevilled by serious contradictions and mediocre results.

Mr. Harper once spoke enthusiastically, at home and abroad, about the central importance of Canada's energy sector. We are a global superpower in oil and gas, he said. And he looked to that one...

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Harper's Budget Delay Shows Fear and Incompetence

(106) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 5:18 PM

Sharply dropping oil prices and a weakened Canadian energy sector are revealing the limited, ineffectual nature of Stephen Harper's economic policies. Those policies, focused almost exclusively on that one sector, are too narrow. They have rendered Canadians more vulnerable and less resilient. And his government seems out of gas.

Unable...

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Will Erin O'Toole Be More Like Robert Borden or Stephen Harper?

(12) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 5:19 PM

It's good that Julian Fantino has been fired from the Veterans Affairs post in the federal Cabinet. His toxic mix of incompetence and insensitivity were a profound affront to Canada's veterans. Not much is known yet about his successor, Ontario MP Erin O'Toole. He's clearly a better communicator than Fantino,...

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Blame Harper for the Shameful Mistreatment of Canada's Veterans

(156) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 4:43 PM

Yes, Julian Fantino's shambolic performance as Minister of Veterans Affairs has earned condemnation from coast to coast, and he should resign. But he is not the ultimate source of the problem for Canada's veterans. That shameful distinction rests with Stephen Harper.

Mr. Harper's government is a one-man show. Mr. Fantino...

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Only Stephen Harper Stands in the Way of an Effective Government

(110) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 1:26 PM

I've watched a good many Premiers Conferences during my 26 years in Parliament. This year's get-together in Charlottetown has to rank among the best for both substance and tone.

On healthcare, services and facilities for the elderly, and retirement incomes for middle-class Canadians, the Premiers were right on-target with the...

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Why Reports Say Canada's Economy Won't Recover For Several Years

(6) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 7:17 PM

This week the Bank of Canada reiterated our country's weak economic standing by downgrading expectations for growth both this year and next. "Right now, we don't have a sustainable growth picture in Canada," Governor Stephen Poloz said. The Bank is now forecasting that Canada's economy won't recover from the doldrums...

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Harper Must Answer For Duffy's Crimes

(43) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 6:17 PM

It's a terribly sad day for Parliament when a member of the Senate gets hauled before the criminal courts to face 31 charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. The formal trial of Mike Duffy is about to begin.

But his personal fate is no longer "the...

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Don't Be Fooled By Harper's "Surplus"

(43) Comments | Posted July 12, 2014 | 11:50 PM

Stephen Harper continues to have the worst economic growth record of any Prime Minister since R.B. Bennett in the 1930's, and the most recent employment statistics, for June, confirm yet again that most of the Canadian economy is stalling.

About 16,000 new people entered the labour force nationally last month,...

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By-Elections: Liberal Momentum Grows While the NDP's Situation Deteriorates

(25) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 6:37 PM

2014-07-02-Byelections2.png

It was Stephen Harper at his manipulative worst when he scheduled four federal by-elections on Monday, June 30 -- i.e., in the midst of a pre-Canada Day long weekend. He wanted to make voting as difficult as possible, suppressing both turnout and news...

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Canada's Middle Class Shouldn't Celebrate

(3) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 1:48 PM

It was fascinating last week to hear a chorus of commentators chattering effusively about a recent New York Times analysis of deepening income inequality in the United States. In particular, middle incomes in America appear to have stalled between the year 2000 and 2010.

Given a decade of such U.S....

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Why Trudeau Has Harper and Mulcair Spooked

(61) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 6:20 PM

It was exactly one year ago today that Justin Trudeau was elected Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Following a campaign that opened the Party to greater public involvement than ever before, more than 105,000 Canadians cast leadership ballots. Justin earned an overwhelming 80 per cent of that support,...

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Fantino and Harper Have Failed Veterans

(3) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 11:25 AM

Last week was a busy one in federal politics.

Parliament resumed after its Christmas recess. Justin Trudeau launched a major Senate reform initiative. The House held an emergency debate about Ukraine. A budget date was announced. The latest economic data reflected poorly on the Harper government. And Mr. Harper...

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A Reality Check on Mr. Harper's "Achievements"

(19) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 5:34 PM

On New Year's Eve, Stephen Harper published a list of what he called his "accomplishments" in 2013. Strangely absent was any mention of integrity, transparency or accountability, or any plan to confront the ethics scandal that triggered police allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust among his most senior...

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No Mountain Was Too High for Mandela

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 12:45 PM

The man who vanquished the evil of apartheid in South Africa was also an honourary citizen of Canada. In truth, he was a formidable citizen of the whole world. His death yesterday triggered a global sense of loss and grief.

Nelson Mandela's life spanned 95 amazing years, including 27 in...

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Think Harper Doesn't Raise Taxes? That's What He Wants You to Think

(96) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 1:17 PM

A government's claims of economic competence must surely depend upon a sound record in certain crucial areas -- such as economic growth, debt reduction, balanced budgets and management of the tax burden.

On all four counts, the Harper regime is a serious disappointment.

Mr. Harper has the worst economic growth...

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Harper's Growth Record Is the Worst Since R.B. Bennett

(349) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 6:46 PM

Stephen Harper went to Russia this week to lecture G-20 countries about fiscal responsibility. It all rang a bit hollow because of his fiscal record here at home.

In 2006, he was handed a steadily growing economy which had generated 3.5 million net new jobs, declining debt and taxes, a...

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Trudeau Raises the Bar for Democracy and Transparency

(11) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 1:31 PM

In the welter of bad news lately about politics and politicians, it's important to maintain some perspective beyond the multiple scandals that have engulfed and so tarnished the Harper government.

Yes, it's the essential job of opposition leaders to expose the government's failings. But criticism alone is not enough. It's...

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7 Conservative Tricks To Faking A Balanced Budget

(6) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 6:37 PM

Before the Harper Conservatives inherited, in 2006, ten years of Liberal balanced budgets and robust surpluses, the last time a Conservative government actually balanced a budget for Canada was 101 years ago in 1912.

The Prime Minister was Robert Borden (originally a school teacher, incidentally). He too inherited his surplus...

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Three Events That Mattered More Than the Budget

(5) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 9:46 AM

While most attention last week was focused on the Harper government's 2013 budget with all it's wishful thinking, missed opportunities and neglected obligations, three other events were probably of greater significance.

(1) Still in the realm of finance, just before his budget, Minister Flaherty strangely instructed his political staff to...

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What I Would Do to Make Canada's Democracy Stronger

(8) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 12:27 PM

Parliament has been back in session for just two weeks in this New Year, and already there's a chorus of complaints about how the place operates -- or fails to operate.

Some people focus on the lack of decorum among MPs, especially during the daily Question Period, and no doubt...

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