Story from Yahoo News about the results delivered by the Conservative Party of Canada.
Note: To understand the numbers in the article, simply multiple the numbers by 10 to compare with American numbers – Canada’s economy is about 1/10 the size of ours. For example, our GDP is $15.7 trillion and theirs is $1.8 trillion. Our national debt is $17 trillion, while their’s is $1.2 trillion.
Canada’s Conservative government looks set to comfortably balance its books in 2015 or even sooner, its latest budget showed on Tuesday, with cuts in spending on the public service more than offsetting a series of modest new expenditures.
The low-key spending plan leaves Prime Minister Stephen Harper well-positioned to offer tax breaks and other initiatives in the runup to an election scheduled for October next year.
“Some people will say this budget is boring,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters ahead of the budget speech. “Boring is good.”
The budget shows a deficit of C$2.9 billion ($2.63 billion)in the 2014-15 fiscal year, up from the previous estimate of C$5.5 billion. That balance includes a C$3 billion contingency fund, which in fact reveals an underlying surplus that year.
Flaherty acknowledged the budget would be narrowly balanced this coming year without the contingency fund, but said he preferred to have a “nice clean surplus next year”.
The government estimates a bigger-than-expected C$6.4 billion surplus in 2015-16. In the year ending March 31 of this year, the deficit is pegged at C$16.6 billion.
[…]Flaherty, who is 64 and battling a rare skin disease, has staked his reputation on eliminating Canada’ small deficit, equivalent to about 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and restoring the reputation the country had before the global financial crisis as having the strongest fiscal record in the Group of Seven major economies.
Germany is currently the only G7 country running a surplus, but Canada’s ratio of debt to GDP is substantially less and it is one of a handful of countries with a triple-A rating from rating agencies.
The next Canadian election is in 2015. I know that the Liberal Party is currently leading in the polls, but I found some good news. The Canadians just redistricted after their census, and there are 30 new electoral districts. If the same turnout occurs in 2015 which occurred in the 2011 election, then the Conservative Party of Canada would get 22 out of 30 of those new seats. However, I am concerned. I want Harper to keep his majority, as he and Tony Abbott (Australia) are two bright conservative stars who show people what conservatives can do.
Letitia posted this article by Jay Sekulow from Fox News.
In its quest for a “deal” with the hostile, jihadist Iranian regime, The Obama administration has thrown an American Christian, Saeed Abedini, under the bus – the latest American victim in the administration’s continual, naïve (at best) quest to bargain with Islamic radicals.
[…]Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Idaho resident, last year received permission to enter Iran to help build an orphanage.
Shortly after his arrival, Iran’s radical Revolutionary Guard arrested him, threw him in one of Iran’s worst prisons, and tried and convicted him on trumped-up “national security” charges – charges that had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with his Christian faith.
Even after President Obama raised Pastor Saeed’s case directly to the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran responded not by releasing Saeed but by transferring him to an even worse prison — a prison full of murderers and rapists, where his life is in danger at every moment.
The Iranian regime rebuked the president of the United States, and we’re now supposed to believe it’s acting in good faith?
President Obama is now trying to spin our stunning act of weakness as a breakthrough for peace. In fact, we were so weak that (according to the administration) that the State Department did not even raise Pastor Saeed’s during the nuclear negotiations.
[…]Iran’s record of wrongdoing is long and sordid.
Beginning with the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, moving through repeated terrorist attacks – from the deadly Marine Barracks bombing in 1983, to the Kobar Towers bombing in 1996, to the direct intervention of Iran’s Quds force against American forces in Iraq – and including ongoing deadly support for terrorists fighting American forces in Afghanistan, Iran has proven by its deeds and words that it is America’s enemy.
If Iran had released Pastor Saeed we would have at least one concrete action to give Americans confidence that this deal was anything other than a disaster. Instead, we are left with nothing but “commitments” from a regime that has proven itself committed only to killing and imprisoning Americans.
To make matters even worse, we have squandered a position of strength.
Iran was suffering under sanctions that were finally beginning to truly bite — wrecking its economy and causing deep discontent within Iraq. This was our opportunity to drive a hard bargain, to reach a deal that didn’t depend solely on Iranian “commitments.”
But we squandered that opportunity and left an American behind.
The Obama administration has betrayed Pastor Saeed.
The Canadian government was “deeply skeptical” on Sunday of Iran’s agreement to temporarily freeze its nuclear program, saying Ottawa’s sanctions against the regime would remain firmly in place until the new deal’s words turned into actions.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird appeared to take a stronger stance on the newly brokered deal than the United States and other allies, saying Canada would be watching Iran closely over the coming weeks and months.
“We have made-in-Canada foreign policy,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“We think past actions best predict future actions. And Iran has defied the United Nations Security Council, it has defied the International Atomic Energy Agency. Simply put Iran has not earned the right to have the benefit of the doubt.”
It’s striking to me that the American government is now to the left of Canada on foreign policy – making deals with dictators that actually set back the cause of freedom and universal human rights. I would not be surprised to see a full-scale war in the Middle East because of this deal. I guess that the Obama administration is so anxious to appear as if they are doing something that they don’t care if Iran nukes Israel in a few months. Because that’s what’s going to happen unless Israel attacks Iran first. Iran was threatening to nuke Israel as recently as last week. It’s hard to interpret the Democrat treaty with Iran as anything other than their stamp of approval on that plan.
New figures show Canada’s crime rate dipped to its lowest level in 40 years last year, the very year the federal government enacted some of its harshest tough-on-crime policies.
Just under two million criminal incidents were reported to police in 2012, about 36,000 fewer than the previous year, according to a Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics study on police-reported crime.
The decline is primarily attributed to decreases in non-violent crimes. In fact, 2012 marked the ninth consecutive year that both the volume and severity of crime was down.
According to the study, 543 homicides were reported across the country, 55 fewer than in 2011. Youth crime was also down.
“As a result, the homicide rate fell to its lowest level since 1966,” the report concluded.
Relaxing gun control laws was also likely a factor:
Although crime rates have been falling for years, the federal government passed a controversial omnibus crime bill early last year. It set a number of mandatory minimum penalties for drug trafficking and sex crimes against children and got tough on pot producers, young offenders, Canadians imprisoned abroad seeking a transfer to a Canadian institution and ex-cons seeking a pardon.
The government also scrapped the controversial long gun registry last year.
A gun registry is nothing but a promise that the government will confiscate weapons later. When the registry goes away, people feel safer about buying guns. The more citizens who are legally armed, the worse it is for criminals.
I’m posting this to show that unlike our own government, some governments are actually doing things that work to solve problems. But all of this goes back to qualifications. Stephen Harper has the BA and MA in Economics. He is an economist, so he understands how laws and policies influence human behavior. That’s why when he makes a policy, he gets the results he wants to get. He actually knows what he is doing. He is actually doing work that he knows how to do. It can happen.
Canadian police say they have arrested two men and thwarted a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack on a Via passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area.
In a press conference that followed an exclusive report by CBC’s Greg Weston, police named the two accused as Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto. They have been charged with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack and “conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”
The two men arrested are not Canadian citizens, police said Monday, but would not provide any details about their nationalities.
The RCMP accused the two men of conspiring to commit an “al-Qaeda-supported” attack.
Police said the two accused were getting “direction and guidance” from al-Qaeda elements in Iran. There was no information to suggest the attacks were state sponsored, police said.
Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan said the two suspects watched trains and railways in the Greater Toronto Area. There was a specific route targeted, not necessarily a specific train, Strachan said, although she declined to reveal which route was allegedly being targeted.
“We are alleging that these two individuals took steps and conducted activities to initiate a terrorist attack,” she told reporters.
The two men are expected to appear at Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto tomorrow.
With Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the helm, the Conservative Party majority gets the job done again!
Too bad Harper is not in charge down here. Democrats think that only married, Bible-believing small business owning Tea Party conservatives who served in the Armed Forces can be domestic terrorists. They think that William Lane Craig is more likely to be a terrorist than KSM. That’s what they believe.
Blazing Cat Fur is the place to be for the latest news from Canada. Best Canadian blog.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the Canadian media will try to blame this on the Amish, or whatever the Canadian equivalent of the Tea Party is. They can’t bring themselves to believe that they made a mistake by ratcheting up unregulated immigration from Muslim countries in order to move their country to the left. Bringing in skilled immigrants who learn English is one thing, but bringing in radical extremists is something else entirely.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says planned changes to the pension plan for members of Parliament won’t take effect until after the next election, noting it would not be fair to change the rules during the current term.
[…]The object, the finance minister says, is for members of parliament and public servants to contribute 50% of the cost of their pensions.
Treasury Board President Tony Clement says changes to the MP pension plan will see them paying almost four times more in contributions.
He says MP contributions will jump to about $39,000 from the present level of about $11,000 and the bill would delay retirement age for a full pension to 65 from the present 55.
The changes, for a while at least, will create a two-tier system — with some existing MPs still being able to collect pension benefits at age 55. After the next election, all new MPs who qualify for the plan will have to wait until they are 65 before getting full pension benefits.
It was also expected that the bill would include cost-saving measures to change the federal employee pension plan so that new workers who join the public service starting in 2013 will see the normal age of their retirement raised to 65 from 60.
Clement says the changes will move public service and MP pension contributions to a 50-50 split, similar to private sector plans.
He says the changes will save taxpayers $2.6-billion over five years.
The bill passed the House of Commons today, and is on its way to the Conservative-controlled Senate. Harper will sign it, and then drink a chalice brim-full with the tears of his pathetic socialist enemies, as is his custom since gaining the majority in 2011.
While chieftains at the government’s largest union celebrated a separatist victory in Quebec on Wednesday, a Conservative MP said he will push for legislation to allow workers to opt out of paying dues.
Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre says by supporting the Parti Quebecois and Quebec Solidaire and other activities, the NDP-friendly Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is not acting in the interests of the majority of its 172,000 members.
Poilievre’s riding is home to thousands of government workers – some of whom have expressed their disbelief to him over the use of dues to fund political and militant activity, including supporting student protesters in Montreal.
He says he will advocate for passage of a private member’s bill in Parliament that would force unions to open their books to learn how dues are spent.
And while he is a parliamentary secretary and can’t introduce private bills, he will encourage and help others draft legislation that would allow union members the choice of paying dues.
“It stands to reason that the law should not force workers against their will to pay union dues to radical causes of PSAC union bosses,” he said.
“Workers should have the right to know how their union dues are spent and if they don’t like what they see, the freedom to opt out of paying them.”
The Conservatives’ budget bill tabled Tuesday will end taxpayer-funded subsidies for federal political parties, a proposal that helped spark the 2008 coalition crisis but was promised again by the Tories in the spring election campaign.
[…]The 2011 Tory election platform cited $27.4 million as the cost to the taxpayer last year of the current $2 per vote subsidy.
[…]The other parties generally, but the Bloc Québécois in particular, do not match the Conservatives’ ability to fundraise from grassroots party members. An end to the party subsidies puts parties that are not effective at grassroots fundraising at a major financial disadvantage.
Returns filed with Elections Canada for 2010 show the Conservative party raising $17.4 million from some 95,000 donors. Other parties were far behind: the Liberals raised approximately $6.4 million from over 32,000 donors, while the NDP raised $4.3 million from just under 23,000 donors. The Bloc Québécois, then the third-largest party in the House of Commons, raised only $640,000 on its own from fewer than 6,000 donors.
The Harper government’s plan to ban corporate and union loans to political parties will further tighten a revenue-raising vise on the opposition parties. The Liberal Party will be especially squeezed, as it prepares for a leadership race in 2013.
The goal of the legislation, which was introduced into the House Wednesday by Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal, is “to reduce the potential for undue influence of wealthy interests in the political process,” according a government release.
But the effect could be to further widen the gap between the Tories’ revenue-raising efforts and those of other parties, who badly trail in total campaign contributions from individual donors.
[…]Individuals will still be allowed to lend money, but their combined loans and donations will not be allowed to exceed the $1,100 annual contribution limit.
Banks and other accredited financial institutions will be able to lend money to parties and candidates, and political parties can lend money to constituency associations or candidates. But the terms must be publicly disclosed, including the amount, interest rate and the names of the lenders and guarantors, allowing other parties and the media to know who is in hock to whom and for how much.
Political contributions from unions are already banned.
We don’t see that level of aggression down here, do we? Canada even requires photo ID for voting, so there is no voter fraud. And they are reforming their immigration and welfare programs to eliminate fraud there, too. Unreal. It’s like they actually think that being conservative means… being conservative. Instead of kow-towing to the leftist media at cocktail parties.
It seems like Canada is embracing the free enterprise system at a time when we are turning our backs on it. And they’ve been reaping the benefits: smaller deficits, less spending and lower unemployment. We will get our chance in November to try and catch up to their financial success if we can kick our socialist President out.