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What Jim Flaherty Really Means

February 21st, 2008

OK, it seems pretty obvious what Jim Flaherty really means by:

Instead of seizing opportunities and taking steps to strengthen our economy we are seeing a lack of leadership, a lack of vision and a lack of economic stewardship. And we are seeing it right here in the manufacturing heartland of the country, the place I proudly call home: Ontario.

But to put this speech in perspective, lets go back a few years. In fact lets go back almost two years, to April 2006. Back when we were still digesting “Canada’s New Government,” back when they were in fact new, and the ministers for this government were all newly appointed: Rona Ambrose was in Environment and had upside. Garth Turner was in the back-benches of the governing side, and his blog was Stephen Harper yaa tis, and Stephen Harper yaa that.

And Jim Flaherty was Canada’s new Finance Minister. In that environement, I spoke thus:

When Dalton’s Liberal’s came to power in Ontario, they bitched and moaned about the state the Conservatives left the finances. They made statements such as ‘they cut taxes too quickly’, ‘they acted irresponsibly’ and &tc. The problem is, one of those Conservative Finance Minister’s, one of the tax cutting ones, was Jim Flaherty.

If you are Jim Flaherty, are you sorely tempted to tell Dalton McGuinty that a) the house was once in order b) the house is no longer in order and c) we blame you for b? For a tax cutter fiscal conservative like Flaherty, is this even more so after the last Ontario budget, in which Dalton McGuinty intentionally built a deficit into the budget for political(?) purposes?

Not being content with that, in October of that year Dalton spoke somewhat out of turn:

“A lot of those people who used to run Queen’s Park, the ones who didn’t get what it takes to succeed in the 21st century, they’re back. They’re running the federal government. It’s kind of like a recurring nightmare,” McGuinty told the closing rally of the Ontario Liberals’ annual general meeting.

“I’m increasingly concerned they still don’t get it that they still don’t understand that it takes more than competitive taxes alone to build a high quality of life in today’s world.”

Good Lord, Dalton! Put away that stone before you break one of the panes on the wall.

So who was surprised yesterday when Flaherty went after McGuinty? Who was surprised when he said “Dalton McGuinty likes to blame others for his problems. But I suggest the problems, in many cases, stem from a lack of innovation, a lack of foresight and a lack of leadership.”? Not me, that’s who. I saw this one coming two years ago.

More at Jack’s Newswatch and Blue Like You. (Hey Joanne, did you consider “Blue By You”? It’s catchy and you could hum along.)

Dalton Dalton Dalton, It's all about me

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