Monday, January 31, 2011

Corporate Tax Cuts And The Harper Deficit

Why the corporate tax cuts the Harper Conservatives have made - and propose to make - are bad for the economy, bad for you, and bad for Canada... Another good Ralph Goodale weekly update:


Nearly four years ago in 2007 – before any recession and while Canada was still surfing on budgetary surpluses built-up by Paul Martin – the Harper government announced further reductions in the federal income tax rate for large corporations, to come into effect this year and next.

I say “further” tax reductions because the rate for these corporations had already been slashed by 35%. It was already the second-lowest in the G-7. It was already 10-points (or 25%) below the American rate.

In other words – BEFORE these latest Conservative cuts – corporate tax rates in Canada were already fully competitive, as confirmed by the Bank of Canada last year. Nevertheless, the Harper government insisted on cutting more.

But something serious happened between 2007 and today. The US housing and banking system imploded, plunging the world into recession and worsening Mr. Harper’s $56-billion deficit.

Suddenly his extra corporate tax cuts didn’t make sense any more, because the surplus was gone. They now have to be paid for with borrowed money -- $6-billion per year.

We said put them on hold! Until the country gets back into surplus, further tax cuts for wealthy corporations are simply not prudent. This is true for three compelling reasons:

1. As mentioned above, Canada’s corporate tax rate is already competitive.

2. The Finance Department itself says such tax cuts are NOT efficient job-creators, rebutting false theories imported from the Republican/Tea Party in the US.

3. Other priorities, more vital to average families, are crying out for attention – like household debt, the high cost of getting kids through college or university, adequate child care, the pressures of caring for elderly parents, and decent pensions.

It’s time to save that $6-billion per year – easing the mortgage Conservatives have loaded onto our children’s future and investing now in the practical needs of families.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kevin Falcon Email Hints At Breakup of BC Liberal/Conservative Coalition

I don't like receiving emails telling me there are "7 Things You Need To Know". Got one today from the young Mr. Falcon. Besides other normal campaign stuff Kevin tosses in what appears to be a threat that I interpret as: "If you don't vote for me, the BC Liberal Party will be torn assunder by right-wingers who want to take it further to the right"...

I might be reading too much into it, but for those who don't believe me, here it is (note point #2 in particular):

Seven Things You Need To Know

Dear X,

With just eight days left until the February 4th membership sign-up deadline, it’s time for another edition ofKevin Falcon’s Seven Things You Need To Know This Week:

1. Pat Bell and Shirley Bond Endorsed Kevin Falcon
We were thrilled to have Pat Bell and Shirley Bond, two senior cabinet ministers from Prince George, join Team Falcon this week ( They are a dynamic, outstanding team in Prince George and at the cabinet table.

2. Kevin is Building a Regional and Philosophical Coalition—The Only Way to Win an Election in BC

The endorsements of Pat and Shirley underscore an important point. The only time the NDP form government in this Province is when free enterprisers split their votes among more than one Party. To win the next election, we need a leader who can keep both our philosophical and regional coalitions together. Kevin Falcon is the only candidate who can do that. He has support from both federal Liberals and federal Conservatives, and support from every region of the Province. Our MLAs understand that, and that’s why they are choosing Kevin to lead (

While the BC Liberals may be a coalition of Center and Center Right politicians and their supporters, they have been fairly "centrist" in many of their policies (the HST and Carbon Tax are examples). Sure there are some MLAs who are federal Conservatives without a real home in BC (and "opportunity" is more important than sitting unelected as BC Conservatives), but for the most part they need to "play nice" and be part of the broad coalition.

With an election almost 4 years away, there isn't really any worry of the government unravelling. There is also plenty of opportunity to appeal to BC voters with visionary policy and moderate, centrist leadership.

Troubled economic times are ahead, and BC needs moderate visionary leadership to ensure the people and their jobs survive.

A very recent poll shows Mr. Falcon as being the least preferred choice for BC Voters to be leader of the Provincial Liberal Party. While the voting populace doesn't all get a say in the BC Liberal Leadership race, who they indicate they'll vote for is a telling tale - and indeed a warning to BC Liberals. A leader must be chosen wisely - with consideration for future voting repercussions. Straddling the center of the political spectrum is a good strategy for continued success.

Oh... One more thing: If people think they'd like to take the party "hard right", perhaps they are better off sitting as independents. Mr. Falcon doesn't need to hug them too tightly. 3-4 years as independents will certainly give them time to cool their heels.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Conservative Deficit Reduction Fraud? According To Page, Yes.

Ralph Goodale shared another very insightful email today... He discusses the economic ineptitude of the Harper Conservatives.



On coming to power five years ago, Stephen Harper promised to create a “Parliamentary Budget Officer” (PBO) as an independent source of financial expertise for the House of Commons.

Mr. Harper didn’t trust the Department of Finance.

He wanted his own hand-picked watchdog to challenge all the government’s financial claims. He personally recruited Mr. Kevin Page.

But that “watchdog” refused to become a Conservative “lapdog”. Mr. Page has exposed multiple falsehoods and fabrications in the financial picture painted by Mr. Harper.

Such truth is an aggravation to Conservatives. So they’ve turned on Mr. Page. They tried to cut his funding to shut him up. Now they’re simply hounding him out of office, heaping scorn on his reports and refusing to renew his mandate.

But despite that abuse, Kevin Page is correct in his assessments far more often than Mr. Harper has ever been.

Another example came last week when the PBO analyzed the government’s so-called deficit-reduction plan. The Conservatives claim they’ll balance the books by 2015.

Mr. Page says there’s not a snowball’s chance!

The Conservatives have so mangled the nation’s finances that their deficit is not just cyclical (temporary), but structural (long-term).

Long before there was any recession to blame, they overspent by three-times the rate of inflation, and wiped-out all the contingency reserves and prudence factors that used to shield the federal budget from nasty surprises – such as the US housing and banking implosion in 2008 which triggered global economic turmoil.

Wishful thinking won’t fix Mr. Harper’s deficit. It will require cuts to expensive pet projects – like his extra tax breaks for big corporations ($6 billion/year), his untendered stealth fighter-jets (over-priced by at least $4.5 billion), and his US-style mega-jails ($10–13 billion).

Without big savings in these areas, the Conservative deficit-reduction plan is a fraud.

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Wanna Fix Politics In Canada? Remove Per Vote Subsidies & Tightly Cap Spending

A lot of talk about party funding lately. Will it be an issue again? Most likely - with the vindictive Harper firmly believing he can "kill the Liberal Party" and force some sort of Lib/NDP merger which would allow for more future Conservative governments in a swinging pendlum, US-style system...

Certainly a merger between the two parties would result in such a system - and would be bad in a very polarizing way - and would result in the left to right swings. It would force the Liberal Party left, and give the Cons their share of Center votes - while helping them appear less extreme on the right.

We won't, however, get into this discussion... Perhaps another day. What we really need to discuss is the fair and balanced funding of parties with the per-vote subsidy program.

To be honest, I have never been a huge fan of per vote subsidies. I was bitterly opposed to the Harper government's attempt to kill them because Harper offered no alternative solution, and was really using the issue to try to kill his opposition - a very dictatorial move.

In sports terms I could highlight one shortcoming of the current system like this: you're the best team in the league, because you happen to be winning, and the league rewards you with the best picks (while sports drafts are always "reverse order" to try to level the playing field). This translates to more funds in our terms. Weak parties get a boost, but 2nd, 3rd, 4th place parties suffer without realizing it. The "leading" vote-getter get's a greater amount, and the weak formula encourages time spent fund-raising (which mostly benefits those with passionate issues - typically not issues associated with middle/center voters). The incumbent also benefits from the "incumbent effect" which ensures a lot of voters just throw their vote to who they feel will win - without even studying issues.

Can we fix the existing system? Sure... But what we need to do is follow the lead of the sports community - which has been working for parity for decades. It is "parity" that we're after, after all, isn't it? We want an equal and fair playing field where parties can exchange ideas with voters, and voters get an equal amount of material from all concerned. How can we manage this?

Cap all spending (just like the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) to create the level/fair playing field. We can even remove the voter subsidy. This is something we can run with as an even more fair "counter proposal". When Harper raises the "kill the subsidy" bs again: "Yes, we agree that we can do better than the subsidy. How? Let's talk..."

Imagine a "cap" on spending that ensures "the party of the rich/elite" doesn't run away with an election? Or the one-issue group that can gather mega millions on one anger-raising issue that helps empty church tithing jars... It's the most fair way to do this.

Don't just set a high cap... Set one that is an average of the 4 major party's spending during the past elections. Make the two biggies work with less (seriously - and I'm a Liberal - no favors here). Let's say the average is $7 million. Say the Liberal or Conservative Party happen to raise $8 and $12 million each. The parties would be capped at $7 million, and they would donate the excess to a "Canadian Fair Elections Fund" - which would be used to promote democratic elections at home and abroad (right now we dip into tax payer funds to finance our "watchdog" teams that observe elections in places like Afghanistan or Haiti). The fund would also encourage "Civics Education" at all levels of schooling in Canada. Parties would quickly become more efficient in where and how they spend (of course), and when they need to cut off fundraising - and actually focus on campaigning and issues.

As a fan of the cap I would like to see it set on the lower end. I think we have a political crisis in this country when the general public is tuned out from politics, and only sees what is filtered to them through the (often-biased/bought-paid-for) media. A low cap would mean less "national campaign" spending... much less... Just a handful of commercials that get roughly equal air-time between parties... The leader's tours would be more important - as would the leader actually visiting a lot of ridings (no "hide-and-seek campaigning anymore).

With very little actual federal level campaigns we might see MPs and hopefuls actually actively engaging the public, and debating issues - which is something direly needed in Canadian politics. We need it to engage voters.

Currently, incumbents (particularly on the side more likely to win localy) hide out during a campaign, while opponents jump up and down and scream "they're too 'chicken' to debate us!" Canadian voters deserve better. Too often untalented, incompetent or just plain dishonest individuals get elected before the public even gets a chance to vet them. Imagine if MPs like Nina Grewal, Rob Anders, etc., actually had to attend all-party town halls and debate issues with other candidates - and see voters other than their own supporters.

The Harper government is a perfect example of what turns voters off - distant, unreachable, with many MPs hidden from public view. Harper is terrified at what several "one-issue" right wing candidates might say - so they are muzzled. In a capped election system few MPs would be able to run in "stealth mode". We would hear the ideas they really espouse. It's not open votes in Parliament that will allow MPs to really represent their ridings - it is the MPs actually mouthing their views.

It's not just this current Conservative government that hides MPs (just more so than any other in recent history)... Most major political movements have that one MLA, MPP, or MP who they would just rather "shut up". Many have MPs who simply ride the coattails of a triumphant party machine, with little or no talent of their own. We see such incompetence displayed when a government like Harper's removes numerous MPs from Cabinet posts due to their utter failure. We see this incompetence displayed when our "new government" goes to international conferences without a clue.

Voters want to see and hear their MPs and hopefuls. If we really want to involve the public in campaigns, politics, and elections, then BRING THE CAMPAIGN TO THEM. Create a cap on spending that ends year-round campaigns, forces wiser ads (perhaps ending a lot of empty rhetoric and smears, or cutting down on it), and forces local MPs and hopefuls to air it out door-to-door, or in community forums. THAT would engage voters. You can't help but get involved if your community hall, school, and post office are hosting "Q&A sessions", "bearpits", and town hall meetings. You can't help but get involved if every MP - even the incumbent - spends time at your doorstep.

We need to bring back the "old days" of stump speeches, local candidate forums, and true electioneering. New technology will help us reach voters, but immersing ourselves in our local communities, while our national campaign spending is capped will be a "saviour" for our democracy.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

BC NDP Looking Like Toast Right About Now...

It's really horrible when this sort of thing happens to further raise public mistrust of anything political.

This is all going to fall firmly into the laps of the BC Liberals... The NDP in BC needed a purge anyways. Looks like it'll happen now.

At this point, it is all still being investigated, but the image of a sitting MLA stapling $10 bills to blank membership forms is not a pretty one...

Things like this have happened in all parties from time to time. More so in some. It generally happens during hotly disputed leadership contests, or tough riding nominations. It just doesn't usually get onto video, then national (soon) airplay...

Oh well - good day to be a Liberal in BC. And to any disgruntled NDP supporters out there: You are welcome in our party. Might do some good to expand the tent out into that direction a little. You still have a few days left to buy Liberal memberships and help a more moderate candidate win...

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Corporate Tax Cuts

Great ad talking about Harper's tax cuts for the rich...

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Liberal Ads Take High Road

It's great to take a shot back at the "Evil Empire" of Canadian Conservatism... The ads are short and to-the-point, and have great visuals. Great job by our new "year-round campaign team", lol...

Now we hope they follow the same strategy that we're following in taking the battle to "Harper territory" in our latest tour... Let's run our ads during programs that Harper would run his ads (hit his target demographic: the "not caring to be more-informed" and "Tim-Horton-y crowd"):

- During Hockey Night in Canada

- On talk radio

- On Sports radio stations

- During sports events

If you really want to take the battle to Harper, running our ads on the 10pm CBC National News won't help that much...

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Racism Rears Its Ugly Head In Canadian Politics... Yet Again

The recent debate of the right of baptised Sikhs to wear the kirpan is reaching ridiculous levels. The closet racism is really starting to raise it's ugly head...

As I posted at Warren's blog earlier, here's a little "edumucation" for all the retreads on the symbolism of the kirpan...

The Kirpan is one of 5 Sikh symbols bestowed on Sikhs who are baptised – a practise originated with the 10th Sikh guru. The kirpan is symbolic (in the Guru’s words, not mine) and displays the baptised Sikhs (meaning “student” or “disciple”) willingness to stand up to oppression and fight for the rights of the oppressed (no shit, I’m serious – quite a noble symbol).

I guess this is why we Sikhs are natural Liberals… We wear the very symbols that require us to stand up for the rights of the oppressed. A good fit…

Of other Sikh symbols the “Kara” is also one of note. You see Sikhs wearing the stainless steel bracelet on their right wrists. In the 1700s these were razor sharp, and used in combat (defensively, and offensively). Now they’re more like a copper golf bracelet. The Kara was to remind the Sikh to always do “righteous tasks” – basically a “do not steal or commit crime with these hands” reminder. The “kacha” (loose boxer shorts) are worn to remind baptised Sikhs to uphold “moral virtues” (you can imagine what that refers to).

Kirpans are manufactured as decorative symbols. They are all made in plants in India and are dull as the blade of a hockey stick. They are purely symbolic. Most baptised Sikhs carry a Kirpan about 3 inches long (no longer than a dinner knife, and duller). Many Sikhs (like my Grandma) wear a kirpan around their neck (on a chain).

These morons opposed to the kirpan are simply appealing to xenophobia, and rabble-rousing. Pretty easy to do in tough economic times.

Just remember folks. You can not stand up for this minority’s rights. You can avoid standing up for the next one. Don’t cry to me when they come for you…

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Harper's "Stiffled Agenda": Of Course Most Reform-a-Tories Support The Death Penalty - Harper Included

Had to post this... Harper's interview was just too "good"...

(Posted earlier over at Blast Furnace and the Scott Ross):

Here's what I posted over at Blast Furnace (and this is all a very clear sign of the real Harper).

Where's the media on this? Last election, he practically had to BEG his people to "shut up" until they get their majority (remember the closed door meeting in Southwest Ontario?). How much more obvious could a stiffled agenda be - let's not call it hidden.

The death penalty - or any other form of State-sanctioned murder - is NOT about what the public wants, BUT is all about human rights. The death penalty is a basic violation of the Universal Human Rights Declaration - something we give China much grief about.

Sure, we'd love to see people like Bernardo suffer (and I'm sure his fellow inmates are doing that, or will, given the opportunity - and much more likely than if he got the easy way out of his miserable life). There is also a faint hope that he will reform, or at the very least show some genuine remorse. We reform a huge percentage of our prison populations, with a low recidivism rate.

Arguments "for" the death penalty seem to brush over the ultimate punishment often (and I do mean OFTEN) given to completely innocent people. How can civilized humans justify that? I mean given both situations, the person incarcerated for life still suffers - most likely more than the one who gets the easy way out (death penalty), gets to watch his friends and family suffer, etc., etc. The alternative scenario is the state-sanctioned murder of someone who is completely innocent - as is understood to be the case in 25-30% of US death sentences.

As Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind". It's true.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Farewell Rainmaker

A sad farewell to Senator Keith Davey today... He passed on at the age of 84. As a lifelong Liberal, I can recall the Rainmaker's effect on the Big Red Machine - how he was always there, organizing, speaking, and most importantly: showing the rest of us his way.

You will be missed Senator!

Edit: Warren has a great tribute post here.

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Accurate Assessment of Conservatives' Economic Failure...

Just read through another very illustrative Goodale Weekly email/report... Once again, Ralph does a great job looking under the window-dressing that is the faux world of "Harper-Land", and cuts right to the chase - the Harper Cons' "con-job" of the Canadian people...


It’s been five years since the Harper government came to power.

Coincidentally, in families across the country, there’s a lot of anxiety about high levels of indebtedness and how to afford many of things that are vital to our quality of life – like child care, post-secondary education, pensions and family care-giving.
These aren’t luxuries. They’re necessities for most families. But helping families make ends meet is not on Mr. Harper’s agenda. He says everything’s just fine.

So let’s look at some facts?

Under the Conservatives, the Canadian cost of living has gone up by nearly 10%, while our standard of living has flat-lined. We’re paying more and getting less.

The average Canadian household is the most indebted in the western world. For every dollar of disposable income, the typical family is now carrying $1.47 in debt. This leaves us extremely vulnerable to rising interest rates, which are inevitably coming.
Job quality has declined. Unemployment remains nearly 2% higher than before the recession. Part-time work is up. Full-time jobs are down. And for young Canadians, joblessness is twice as bad as the national average.

For our children – UNICEF ranks Canada dead last on access to child care. Tuition costs are up by more than 20%. Student debt is rising. Three-quarters of parents say they can’t afford post-secondary education for their kids.

For seniors – the poverty rate is up by 25%. Two-thirds of Canadians have nowhere near enough savings to provide for their retirement. And support for family care-givers is pitiful.

So despite Mr. Harper’s boasting, hard evidence shows why many Canadians feel the last five years have been a waste. And there’s more.

Mr. Harper squandered a decade of balanced budgets, turning $13-billion Liberal surpluses into $56-billion Conservative deficits – and a heavier mortgage on our children’s future.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Nothin' Happenin'... Doin' Nuthin'

Haven't really blogged much lately.

Haven't seen a need. Government still isn't doing anything. Sure, I could just talk about election speculation... or hammer home other issues for the 15th or 20th time, but, it seems an election will most likely be upon us soon enough. There'll be plenty 'o time to go on ad nauseum on why our side is so much better then... probably several times a day...

Just seems we've seen/heard all this before... The media reports (according to Kinsella) all look the same (which is quite true). The blogs look the same... There is a strange absence of foaming-at-the-mouth angry Cons. Perhaps not so strange given the condition of "popular North American NeoConservatism" lately... The right wing So-Cons in the USA are in hiding out of public view hoping things wash over. This creates a void - that the Dems don't seem to want to fill (although, since most of the radio shock jocks and crazy-angry TV talking heads are Cons, it explains the absence somewhat).

North of the 49th, it seems the Cons have completely given up attempting to govern (if they actually ever really began). This "government about nothing" continues to coast while they dig us futher into debt. Neutered due to lack of a majority, they are unable to get into "right wing mode". They seem to feel that one or two pieces of minor legislation are enough for the short Parliamentary sessions. Focus for the Northern So-Cons is re-election, be it by what appears to be tax-payer funding of partisan electioneering (see Kady's blog at CBC), or long recesses to spend most of these months in the riding.

So... Same ol' same ol'.

Are any of us any better off than 5 years ago? I seriously doubt it. More unemployed. No new jobs. Real estate crash just over the horizon (a result of the bubble that was artificially created by Harper and Flaherty with their 0-down 40-year mortgages).

And they wanna WHAT??? Build US-style mega-prisons? Buy Star Wars fighter jets when we're swimming in the largest debt in history? Give more tax cuts to the rich (at the expense of the national treasury - unless they tax the poor somehow... probably with cuts to essential services?)?

Same ol' Neo-Con wannabes.

Same old vacant ideology at work. Canada does NOT need to be another Mike Harris (see "Common Sense" Revolution) basket case. Yet - we see the same things we feared from the HarperCons when they first lucked into office...

Call me in a month... I'll be back.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Conservatives' Mediocre "Vision" For Canada

The party that just hates "elite" experts, scientists, mainstream economists, and SMEs (subject matter experts) has compiled quite a brutal record in "governing" the land over the past year.

Here is Ralph Goodale's take on Conservative mediocrity:


A year ago, the Harper government got 2010 off to a bad start by “proroguing” Parliament – i.e., shutting it down to hide from scrutiny. Not a good omen!

Prorogation was followed by revelations of cronyism in the Geurgis/Jaffer affair which exposed Conservative insiders seeking special favours. Trouble continued with police investigations into Conservative contracting, and Ministers’ offices caught blocking Access-to-Information.

In June, the G-8/G-20 fiasco cost taxpayers a billion dollars for an orgy of Conservative extravagance – from glow sticks and ornamental gazebos to fake lakes.

The misbehaviour continued with Mr. Harper’s attacks on the Census, damaging the credibility of Canada’s official statistics.

That was followed by the high-risk $21 billion deal to buy stealth fighter-jets, with no mission definition and no competitive bidding to get value-for-money.

Meanwhile, our Armed Forces got evicted from their base in the United Arab Emirates, and the Harper government bungled Canada’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.

Then came the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) with news of $10 billion in secret, unbudgeted prison costs.

And then, revelations that veterans are being insulted and mistreated by Harper Ministers and bureaucrats, including the political misuse of private health records. Along the way, the Veterans’ Ombudsman, the PBO, Canada’s Chief Statistician and the senior management team at the RCMP all became political road-kill under the wheels of the Harper regime.

On the economic front, the Conservatives produced the worst federal deficit in history ($56B), a 25% jump in poverty among seniors, and a 50% explosion in household debt.

Worst of all, 13 Conservative MPs from Saskatchewan sat mute and useless while Stephen Harper maneuvered to say “yes” to the sell-out of Saskatchewan’s potash. Only a determined stand by Premier Wall and a forceful political threat by the Liberal Opposition in Parliament forced the Conservatives to back-down.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Ottawa Watch: The Conservatives and the Establishment: The fight to be Ottawa's "New Men"

Good post at this blog. Quite revealing and telling when it comes to what the Cons are trying to establish. For more details read "The Armageddon Factor" (a truly eye-opening read)...Ottawa Watch: The Conservatives and the Establishment: The fight to be Ottawa's "New Men"

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Saskatchewan Conservative MPs... Kinda Like Mushrooms

You know the old adage about mushrooms? You know, how they're grown: kept in the dark and $h!t on...? Kind of like a Saskatchewan Conservative MP... Let Ralph Goodale's great weekly update highlight how this is:


Undoubtedly, the biggest story in federal politics affecting Saskatchewan last year was the near-takeover of the Potash Corporation by a hostile foreign bidder from Australia.

Two things were obvious from the beginning:

• First, this was not a good deal for Saskatchewan; and

• Second, despite the province’s overwhelming opposition, the Harper government really intended to approve it anyway.

The deal would have put jobs, investment and provincial government revenue at risk, to the tune of nearly $6 billion.

It would have destroyed the Canpotex marketing system, jeopardizing world prices and sideswiping other companies in Saskatchewan like Agrium and Mosaic.

In one fell swoop, this deal would have shifted into foreign hands effective control over 53% of the global supply of a fertilizer vital to world food security. Following the prior losses of Alcan, Inco and Stelco – all on Mr. Harper’s watch – this deal would have been the biggest selloff of our natural resources in Canadian history.

All these downsides were abundantly clear to the Wall government, and to other provinces and prominent business leaders who strongly supported Saskatchewan. But in Ottawa, Mr. Harper was unmistakably biased in favour of letting the takeover proceed.

This point has been independently verified in recent investigative reporting in the Regina Leader-Post and the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

What’s most disturbing is that all 13 Conservative MP’s from this province sat mute and useless through this whole affair. As the only other voice from Saskatchewan, I stood alone – day-after-day – asking the necessary questions and defending this province’s interests.

Two lessons are quite clear from this experience:

One – when the chips are down, don’t count on Conservative MP’s to do anything but toe the Harper line. And two – a political monopoly in any province is a dangerous thing because you lose your clout and get taken for granted.

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