05.19.2012 12:00 AM

In today’s Sun: Message this, Angry Tom

What a week newly minted NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has had!

Ever since he donned his tinfoil hat and started hollering at passersby, quite a few of us have started to worry about him. There he stood on Parliament Hill, shaking his fists at the heavens, gnashing his teeth and rending his garments. Sounding crazier than Charlie Sheen on a bad day.

Angry Tom ranted about “Dutch disease.” He raved about how Alberta and Saskatchewan are bad places, run by bad people. He brayed and screeched about how anyone who had the temerity to disagree with him — and there are a growing legion of them — ­ were “messengers” of Stephen Harper.

Angry Tom scared away small children. He terrified the tourists. But he was undeterred. His position was “irrefutable,” he said, and “everyone” agrees that manufacturing job losses are caused by a high dollar, which is caused by surging energy exports, particularly from Alberta.

Well, no.


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    Sam Gunsch says:

    Macro Research Board 2011, cited by Francis in Financial Post… Mulcair is actually late to the issue, seems to me.

    Diane Francis Apr 16, 2011

    Canada’s case of ‘Dutch Disease’,

    ” It’s assumed that when the United States catches cold, Canada gets pneumonia. But the reality now is that if China ever catches cold, Canada will get double pneumonia.

    And the reason is, sticking with medical metaphors, that Canada is weak and vulnerable because it has an advanced case of the “Dutch Disease.” This is an affliction caused by a booming resource sector which drives up the currency’s value, which in turn drives out exporters, manufacturing and tourism.

    Canada’s looming predicament is well described in a report by MacroResearchBoard (MRB), an independent investment consulting firm. Located in London and Montreal, the report is headlined O Canada (Part I) and Uh-Oh Canada (Part II). This study, and its conclusions, should be required reading for every politician and executive in Canada.”

    Canada’s “Dutch Disease”

    McGuinty is not the first to warn about the potential negative economic impacts of rapid oil sands development. Last year, the Montreal-based Macro Research Board predicted a detrimental shift they called the “petrolization” of Canada. Another research institute in Montreal warned that “resource booms don’t last forever” and suggested that Canada take steps to maintain a competitive manufacturing industry.

    Canada’s “Dutch Disease”

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    Penny Mills says:

    Gov’t funded study by Industry Canada shows Mulcair is right.


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    Tim says:

    Sure. Angry Tom. Nice try. It will work as well as angry Rob Ford. Anger is an energy. Right?

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    Tim says:

    Whatever. Anger is an energy. Right?

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      Tim says:

      whoops sorry.

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    VH says:


    Debates about economics are healthy for politics and at least the NDP is willing to talk about things that affect Canadians.

    It’s a standard “contract theory” signal to their supporters and would-be supporters that they’re willing to fight on their behalf and take on flak in that regard to get things done.

    I think you know the rest of what I’d normally say and how this relates to the Fed libs, Bob Rae, Iggy, Paul Martin etc.

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    Dan says:

    Because “the Economist” is a far-left, conspiracy peddling dirtrag for first identifying the dutch disease.

    “A few days ago, this writer questioned the whereabouts of the Conservative party’s anti-Mulcair attack ads.”

    … so he pulled out his trusty list of idioms for “crazy”, and tried to pack them all into one article about Mulcair.

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    Dan says:

    CBC: “Harper government funded study on ‘Dutch disease’, Study for Industry Canada found a third of manufacturing job losses due to inflated currency”

    LINK: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/05/18/pol-cp-dutch-disease-industry-canada-jpbs.html

    Liberal Pundit: “There goes the CBC and Industry Canada, howling and hollaring, sounding crazier than Mel Gibson on LSD.”

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    ottawacon says:

    Seems to me that he is doing a very effective job of dictating the terms of the debate – and leaving no oxygen in the room for the Liberals. He may not have a winnable case against the Tories, but I doubt that is his real objective over this electoral cycle.

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    Anne Peterson says:

    Around the world every year countries give a trillion dollars in subsidies to the oil companies. Some of the oil companies have bigger economies than a lot of countries. If they completely mess up Alberta environmentally and pollute down the NWT rivers it will be the feds (in other words Canadian citizens) who do the clean up.

    And they are getting the oil for a song. They will suck Alberta dry for not much. I couldn’t help wondering why they are not pitching in with their billions of dollars in profits to build the Edmonton McMurray twin highways. After all they are the ones profiting from it. Canadians build the infrastructure, give them tax concessions and everything else they want and they take the profits.

    It is said that in Washington (the government of the US) the banks and oil companies always win because they have bought the politicians or blackmailed them. I wonder if that is the case in Canada and Mr. Mulcair is the only one who has not been bought.

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    Michel Vanderby says:

    While the Cons are positioning themselves as champions of the oil patch, the NDP is positioning itself as champions of the manufacturing industry and small businesses. The Liberals – with their centrist dogma of which only Thomas Friedman would cheer – are positioning themselves into political irrelevancy.

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    dave says:

    I have lived and worked in the oil patch for 4 decades. My area is oil/gas, forestry, ranching, grains, and the business sector serving all of these.Some time ago I thought that it was kind of a’micro’ phenomenon, – those in oil and gas seemed to do ok, but prices were high and other enterprise sometimes had a tougher time making a go of it. I later read about petro states in Africa, the way that government lived on oil royalties, lowered taxes, and so became servants of the (foreign) oil industry, rather than of the population, how other enterprise, especially agriculture could not make a go of it because of the high prices. Looking to the province next door, Alberta, I was never sure whether it was a petro province or not. It seemed to show some attributes.
    I thought that NAFTA set the table for some erosion of our manufacturing. Other free trade (free movement, protection, and subsidization of capital at he expense of local community) have chipped in on this. The Asian manufacturing economy also contributes. The tar sands lead boom, and the increasingly foreign ownership, has accelerated erosion of our secondary and tertiary sectors.
    To me, the foreign owned resource industry has divided this country into included and excluded.

    I have followed this only on the media. I knew what Mulcair was refering to, and I thought it time a major political leader addressed the issue of how far we want to go to being a petro state.

    What strikes me in the reports, is that Dion,Wall, Redford, and Clark have said that Mulcair is wrong…but they have given no explanation of where Mulcair has erred, – at least, I have seen nothing that indicates that any of them know what ‘dutch disease’ or ‘petro state’ means.

    So, as I mentioned, I thought it was right that this issue, finally, be given a public airing. It’s kind of refreshing after so many examples of political leaders refusing to address issues openly.

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    Just Call Me Rick says:

    “We don’t need any ads to scare voters away from this guy,” you can picture Harper musing. “He’s doing that all on his own.”

    I think that Harper’s worried about coalescing the Progressive vote to the NDP if he attacks them. Why do I say this? I’m a Left-wing Lib, and I’m willing to throw the NDP a life-line. I’m a Canadian first, partisan second. And the PC’s gotta go. Canada is hurting.

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    Nick H says:

    Your pivot from “Unite the Left!” to character assassinating Mulcair came so fast you’re giving me whiplash.

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      Dan says:

      That much I understand.

      But calling him crazy for repeating a criticism of the oil sands, based on a concept pioneered by The Economist… it’s not a particularly good way to steal back those NDP voters you guys lost. Or even provide good opposition to Stephen Harper, is it?

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      JamesHalifax says:


      That’s why I buy your books, Warren. No mercy.

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    W.B. says:

    At least he has McGuinty on his side anyway. Dalton backed off at a little whiff of grapeshot, but maybe now he’ll get some backbone; especially with the new study just hitting the news via Canadian Press. I’m sure Mulcair knew Cons and Libs would eventually join forces in a pile on. Shame about Dion though.

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