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Ralph Goodale

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness


Harper Should Not Brag About His Fiscal Reputation

With Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) actually shrinking and despite having the worst economic growth record of any Prime Minister since R.B. Bennett, Stephen Harper seems keen to brag about the fiscal reputation of his Conservative Party. Well, let's take a close look. To begin with, here's an interesting question: How many Conservative Prime Ministers in all of the 20th century presented Canada with balanced budgets?
02/02/2015 12:36 EST

Federal Budget Delay Exposes Fear, Incompetence

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 to cope with adverse economic developments, Mr. Harper is now retreating to a bunker. Instead of reaching out to Canadians to show leadership and build confidence, he has punted the federal budget, normally delivered in February or March, into April or later. That means Canada will go without a budget for more than this entire fiscal year.
01/19/2015 05:18 EST

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

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, but will he be substantively different? One clue may be found in the people he chooses as role models. Among Conservative Prime Ministers, for example, will he simply mimic Stephen Harper, or will he strive to be more like Robert Borden?
01/06/2015 05:14 EST
Richard Lautens via Getty Images

Blame Harper for the Shameful Mistreatment of Canada's Veterans

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 has no influence, no independence of thought or action. He just does what he's told. That spinelessness -- his failure to stand-up to Mr. Harper -- is Mr. Fantino's greatest offence.
12/08/2014 04:41 EST
Ben Stansall/WPA-Rota

Only Stephen Harper Stands in the Way of an Effective Government

In nearly nine years as Prime Minister, Mr. Harper has had only two brief meetings with all the Premiers in the same room at the same time. And on the issues raised in Charlottetown -- healthcare, elder-care, pensions, the missing and murdered women, infrastructure, sustainable energy, and a "Team Canada" approach to trade and marketing -- Mr. Harper has largely abandoned the field.
09/02/2014 12:26 EDT

Harper Must Answer For Duffy's Crimes

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. The damage Duffy has done flows directly from the fact that he was a duly appointed Senator. So who put him there? Who gave him that position? Stephen Harper cannot escape responsibility. He demonstrated enormously bad judgment in making Duffy a Senator. Canadians need their Prime Minister to provide fulsome, accurate answers.
07/17/2014 05:17 EDT

Canada's Middle Class Shouldn't Celebrate

The New York Times reported that the Canadian middle class is now richer than America's. Given a decade of such U.S. stagnation, it's little wonder that the income gap between previously affluent middle-class Americans and their counterparts in other countries, like Canada, has narrowed. But there's not a lot of satisfaction to be found in our "catching up" mostly because our southern neighbours have fallen back. Celebrating such relative positioning is a bit hollow.
04/30/2014 12:48 EDT
Richard Lautens via Getty Images

Why Trudeau Has Harper and Mulcair Spooked

It was exactly one year ago today that Justin Trudeau was elected Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. A year later, the positive mood continues. Politics shouldn't be a sour competition among unhappy people about who can make voters angrier. It should, instead, be about who and what to vote FOR, and the greater country we can build together for our children. That attitude is Justin Trudeau's greatest advantage.
04/14/2014 12:37 EDT

Fantino and Harper Have Failed Veterans

You'd think that as a former police chief, Fantino would have some natural rapport with Armed Forces personnel. Instead, to be kind about it, he is acting like a jerk. He shows no compassion or even common courtesy as he goes about chopping federal services to veterans.
02/03/2014 11:37 EST

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

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 personnel. But that little "omission" aside, what about the things for which Mr. Harper claimed credit?
01/03/2014 05:34 EST

No Mountain Was Too High for Mandela

Mandela spoke often about the mountains we all have to climb in life. It can be hard and exhausting, and once you reach the summit, he would say, you look over the top and what do you see? Yet another mountain. But you must keep going. And he always did.
12/06/2013 12:45 EST

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

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. As for taxes, that's where Mr. Harper brags the most. But check reality! While claiming they never raise taxes, the Harper Conservatives have in fact increased the net tax burden on Canadians in each of their last four budgets. It happens in dozens of nefarious ways which they hope you won't notice.
09/23/2013 12:25 EDT

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

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 Harper was handed the most robust fiscal situation in the western world. And he blew it in less than three years.
09/06/2013 05:34 EDT

Trudeau Raises the Bar for Democracy and Transparency

From the beginning of his leadership campaign, that has been Justin Trudeau's strength -- giving Canadians good reasons to vote FOR him, not just AGAINST the other guy. In that constructive spirit, he has also developed an aggressive agenda for Parliamentary, electoral and political reform to strengthen Canadian democracy and improve financial transparency.
06/17/2013 12:31 EDT
Getty Images

7 Conservative Tricks To Faking A Balanced Budget

In Budget 2013, the Conservatives claim they'll eliminate their deficit by 2015. Isn't that convenient -- just on the eve of the next federal election! A close look at their financial plans provides ample reason to be suspicious. Here are seven of their fiscal tricks:
04/26/2013 06:08 EDT

Three Events That Mattered More Than the Budget

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.
03/24/2013 11:02 EDT