When Harper first came to power, his most vocal critics were groups that were ideologically predisposed to hate the Conservatives on sight or who had irreconcilable policy differences with them. But, since then, the circle has been expanding to include academics, scientists, economists and even business leaders and, increasingly, it is the basic competence of the government that is becoming the top-of-mind issue. Chantal Hébert http://www.thestar.com/Canada/Columnist/article/605360
Indeed, Harper these days sounds so casual about the spending of public money that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty mused last week that some stimulus money is bound to be misspent in the rush to get cash out the door.
Flaherty spruces up office Flaherty leading by example For the past few weeks, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has been encouraging Canadians to renovate Transportation Minister Jim Bradley makes announcement on proposed legislation to protect young and novice drivers and get dangerous drivers off roads. For the past few weeks, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has been encouraging Canadians to renovate, saying that’s just what is needed to kickstart Canada’s flagging economy. Now, it turns out, Flaherty is leading by example, ordering renovations to his own office on Parliament Hill. While Flaherty vacations with his family during Parliament’s break week, workers are patching and repainting his fourth floor offices. They’re also patching his carpet to repair damaged portions and installing new curtains, said Chisholm Pothier, spokesman for Flaherty. Meanwhile, most of the contents of Flaherty’s office are sitting in the corridor, just a few doors down from the offices of Liberal Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff. House of Commons officials were unable to say yesterday just how much the renovations will cost. But they aren’t likely to boost the deficit or kickstart the economy. The government pays for the paint, the carpeting and the curtains, but the work itself is being done by House of Commons employees already on the payroll. The opposition was quick to paint Flaherty’s renovations in the worst possible light. “For the thousands of Canadians who are waiting for their employment insurance cheques, the first thing that pops into the finance minister’s head is ‘time to redecorate,’ ” said Liberal MP Scott Brison. email firstname.lastname@example.org
The sad part this is not even the tip of the iceberg of the taxpayer’s money abuse we can expect now again..
Federal NDP leader Jack Layton continued to criticize Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s handling of the economic crisis. The depth of the economic crisis is much deeper than the government acknowledges. “I believe the prime minister is still wearing those rose-coloured glasses and that’s getting in the way of him seeing clearly the impact on people,” he said. “ People are really suffering. People literally can’t afford their housing. We’re hearing literally about the death of a homeless person last night and folks who’ve lost their jobs and can’t afford the medications their families need.” In other countries, governments are investing in the new energy economy, training a new workforce, providing child care and supporting small business, Layton said. It’s infuriating to see hundreds of millions of dollars of government money go to large American companies that build cars and are losing money when the government could be helping small businesses, improve drug benefits and fund child care.