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ronthecivil

Conservatives - Just not the fiscal kind

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawas-long-term-debt-plans-shelved/article4649919/

The Conservative government no longer has targets for erasing Canada’s federal debt, which grew by $125-billion since the recession.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed Wednesday that the recession has derailed Ottawa’s long-term debt plans and new targets won’t be set until the government starts posting yearly surpluses again – which is not forecast to happen for three more years.

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web-flaherty.JPGMinister of Finance Jim Flaherty speaks with the media at a local store in Ottawa, Oct. 24,2012 . THE CANADIAN PRESS

Regulation

Video: No expiry date for prepaid credit cards: Flaherty

The minister said rating agencies look favourably at Ottawa’s finances but do raise concerns with him about provincial debt loads. He said it’s up to provincial governments to balance their books.

The federal debt stood at $582.2-billion for 2011-12, which is up from $457.6-billion in 2007-08.

It was just five years ago that the government was promoting an ambitious plan called Advantage Canada that promised to erase the country’s net public debt “by 2021 at the latest,” according to Mr. Flaherty’s 2007 budget.

Net debt is a measurement that includes federal and provincial government assets and liabilities, including accounts like Canada Pension Plan funds.

“Obviously that target has been stretched,” said Mr. Flaherty Wednesday, when asked for an update on Ottawa’s long-term debt targets.

Talk of the target disappeared in Ottawa after the recession hit. In recent years, Ottawa has refused requests to provide a long-term assessment of Canada’s bottom line. On Tuesday afternoon after the Auditor-General joined the calls for such information, Finance Canada complied.

The department projected federal debt as a percentage of GDP won’t be erased until about 2042. It also said Canada’s total government net debt stood at 34 per cent of GDP in 2011. When asked directly if his government’s new target for erasing the debt is 2042, Mr. Flaherty replied that any new government targets won’t be set until Ottawa’s back in surplus.

“Our priority now is on the deficit and to eliminate the deficit in the medium term,” Mr. Flaherty said. “We’re still on track to do that. Once we do that, then we can do as we did before in 2006, 2007, and that is start to use surpluses to – in part certainly – pay off public debt and then we’ll be able to plan a schedule for the elimination of federal public debt in Canada.”

Though the Auditor-General called on Ottawa to report on the long-term sustainability of provincial and federal finances, Mr. Flaherty said it’s up to the provinces to report on their own debt projections.

Opposition parties jumped on the Auditor-General’s findings Wednesday, accusing the government of creating a false crisis over public finances to justify changes to Old Age Security and provincial transfers for health and education.

Meanwhile, the fiscally conservative Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation said the government should be pressured to stick with its original debt plan, regardless of the recession.

“By abandoning it, they’re saying they’re adrift,” said Gregory Thomas, the federation’s federal director. “I think the fiscally conservative base of the government has to be profoundly concerned.”

Doug Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, argues Canada’s new recession-era debt load needs to be looked at in perspective.

“It’s the reality that almost every industrialized world economy is dealing with this,” he said. Targeting the elimination of net debt was a reasonable goal before the recession, said Mr. Porter, but he questions the need for a target now.

“To have the federal government basically mandating a target that the provinces have at least as big a say in is perhaps not a useful exercise,” he said. “Canada is still definitely seen as a very favourable investment destination, and part of that is because of the more general perception that our finances are in better shape than most other countries and I think that’s still the case.”

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Lucky only 15% of our debt is owed to foreign nationals.

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Who is surprised by this? The only surprising thing is their admission of this rather obvious truth.

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Anyone who thinks that electing a Liberal or socialist NDP government will be the answer with regards to fisical responsibility needs to think again.

Canada needs smaller government, strict control on the zero growth enviromental nut jobs, immigration reform and drastic cuts to failed and unneccessary taxpayer funded programs like multiculturisim, biligualism and Liberal social engineering.

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Anyone who thinks that electing a Liberal or socialist NDP government will be the answer with regards to fisical responsibility needs to think again.

Canada needs smaller government, strict control on the zero growth enviromental nut jobs, immigration reform and drastic cuts to failed and unneccessary taxpayer funded programs like multiculturisim, biligualism and Liberal social engineering.

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Not the Republican Party, the Tea Party would be perferable.

Less taxes and equal opportunity for all, not whoever happens to be considered a needy tax recipient by many of our gutless potiticians.

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Canada needs smaller government, strict control on the zero growth enviromental nut jobs, immigration reform and drastic cuts to failed and unneccessary taxpayer funded programs like multiculturisim, biligualism and Liberal social engineering.

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Anyone who thinks that electing a Liberal or socialist NDP government will be the answer with regards to fisical responsibility needs to think again.

Canada needs smaller government, strict control on the zero growth enviromental nut jobs, immigration reform and drastic cuts to failed and unneccessary taxpayer funded programs like multiculturisim, biligualism and Liberal social engineering.

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Anyone who thinks that electing a Liberal or socialist NDP government will be the answer with regards to fisical responsibility needs to think again.

Canada needs smaller government, strict control on the zero growth enviromental nut jobs, immigration reform and drastic cuts to failed and unneccessary taxpayer funded programs like multiculturisim, biligualism and Liberal social engineering.

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This is proof in the pudding of how far US political tentacles reach if you see the product of Harper, Blair, Calderon, Sarkozy, Karamanlis, and so on, how their domestic policies are their country's version of George W. Bush's. Fiscal conservative used to be a more reasonable alternative, except for a while now that term is hijacked not by actual fiscal conservatives but fiscally liberal neo-conservatives who spend just as rapidly and recklessly. The populace is a bit slow to catch on due to the divisive nature of politics which is well intended on their part.

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Anyone who thinks that electing a Liberal or socialist NDP government will be the answer with regards to fisical responsibility needs to think again.

Canada needs smaller government, strict control on the zero growth enviromental nut jobs, immigration reform and drastic cuts to failed and unneccessary taxpayer funded programs like multiculturisim, biligualism and Liberal social engineering.

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Lucky only 15% of our debt is owed to foreign nationals.

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As a fiscal conservative, I have to say that the 1960s NDP were probably more conservative than today's 'Conservative Party'...If only Preston Manning could speak publicly.

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Not the Republican Party, the Tea Party would be perferable.

Less taxes and equal opportunity for all, and by all we, of course, mean white, Christian, men with rich parents , not whoever happens to be considered a needy tax recipient by many of our gutless potiticians.

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So you think that only mean white Christain men have any sort of financial acumen? Way to look down up others you racist eurocentric mysoganist!

Beleive it or not one it's a black female that I know that is among the best at math I have met. A blond women is also in the top ten.

Or is being good at math and understanding finance a bad trait to you?

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