04.22.2015 03:16 PM

Never mind Stephen Harper’s granddaughter  

I’ll bet Stephen Harper is very, very unhappy about what Joe Oliver said.


  1. MC says:

    He’d better be unhappy about it. But, having said that, on the one hand, it was perhaps just too *honest* a statement. The fact is, whether Mr. Mulcair likes it or not, we are always only doing our best in the moment and hoping we aren’t leaving significant problems for the future, but we always leave some (just like every well-intentioned parent almost inevitably creates conditions that will give their child a headache, a heartache or some other cause for therapy); and, further, Oliver probably simply means the problem is so unlikely or so remote and that, even if it occurs, it is susceptible to solutions in the future or to changes in the interim that alter or might even eliminate the impact. But, on the other hand, some honest statements just shouldn’t be said, and Mulcair is right that it is emblematic of a problem attitude that plagues many Tories.

    • Warren says:

      It was dumb beyond belief. That statement is going to show up in LPC or NDP election ads. Count on it.

      • DJ says:

        They’ve probably also got the clip of Harper saying “I couldn’t care less what they say” in relation to the senate scandal.

    • Luke says:

      I agree that part of what Oliver said isn’t as terrible as certain tidbits. I think his intention was to say that there is no sense counting on a projection of what could conceivably happen many decades from now, depending on whether the assumptions used in the forecasting end up being reasonable. Which is a valid point, I suppose. However, the specific words he used, and those that are most quotable and attention-grabbing in headlines, could not be dumber.

  2. Michael says:

    Yesterday, Joe Oliver paid tribute to his grandparents for immigrating over 100 years ago to this land of opportunity.

    Today, he shifted his budget’s problems onto our grandchildren.

    What a juxtaposition.

  3. Jeff says:

    It was a dumb thing to say, but it is more something election campaigners get excited about more than the average voter. In other words there might be some impact there but coupled with reality, I doubt it ends up being any real harm to them.

    The fact of the matter is, that “reality” is that it is a pretty good news budget for the right demographics. I don’t think anyone can even muster any worthwhile criticism of it. Boring.

    • Jeff says:

      Also, Trudeau and Mulcair both panning the TFSA is the dumbest thing they have probably done on any issue. The way they describe it, it shows they do not understand it. The only problem is more middle class families don’t educate themselves about it and use it. They have painted themselves in a corner, and they can have now idea how much of a winner this issue is going to be with their demographics.

  4. Michael says:

    Should Harper resign now? Unless terrorism somehow becomes a bigger issue than the budget, this could end Harper’s career.

  5. George says:

    Wow. What a bonehead! Even if his statement, forged in the crucible of the practices that governments have been following since time immemorial – mortgaging the future for what is politically expedient today – is true, it was ridiculous to say. NDP and Libs will have a field day with this.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall behind closed doors. On second thought, maybe not, I don’t take pleasure in the pain of others.

    What REALLY concerns me is if someone can be that stupid politically, how much more stupid can they be practically? Oh wait, just need to read the budget….

    Can’t wait to retire in Panama pr somewhere else simple and sunny and be done with the chaff that passes as political leadership in this country.

  6. MississaugaPeter says:

    I have not seen the actual footage, but my first take on it is somewhat different from Muclair’s and yours, and that he was sucking up to his boss and referring to a Harper dynasty, whereby the Harpers are the Conservative first family and the Trudeaus are the Liberal first family, much luck the bullshit with the Bushes and Clintons (sorry WK, not a fan) south of us. And that Harper’s granddaughter when she is prime minister will deal with it. Is it possible that Lauren Harper runs for Liberal leader after Stephen?

    • sezme says:

      Why wait? I think Lauren Harper should run for Liberal leader at the earliest opportunity! She might just be an improvement on the current lot.

    • jeff316 says:

      Yes, the media is missing that it was a kiss ass comment gone totally wrong.

      When you lick people’s boots for a living you get a taste of turd now and again.

    • GFMD says:

      Does it violate Mr, Kinsella’s terms of service regarding manners to call this comment somewhere between barely credible and insane?

  7. MississaugaPeter says:

    Autocorrect: luck should read like

    Freudian slip: Second Liberal should read Conservative, wanting a replacement for the “just visiting” Liberal leader for the coming election is to blame

  8. Luke says:

    Seriously. I guess it is easy for me to criticize, what with not being a public figure, but for the love of all things sacred that seems like one of the dumbest things a politician could say.

    I expect Mulcair will make the most out of this one — apart from associating him with stuff I don’t like, such as a wishy washy sovereignty stance and various other things, I do associate Mulcair with a (genuine?) concern for the state of the place for future generations. Olivier’s comment… so terrible it seems designed to make Mulcair look good and the government look absolutely unconcerned about managing the country for the right reasons.

  9. davie says:

    My impression is that most of this ‘Granddaughter’ budget is for this and that in future years. It is as if the Conservatives are saying to us, ‘We have your money. After you re elect us you will get some back.’

    (‘We believe in putting more money in your pockets’…wink wink)

  10. Kevin T. says:

    The only way for Trudeau to fully implode and for the Cons to win another majority also requires that the Cons never do anything boneheaded or stupid between now and voting day. The clock has been set back to zero.

    • edward nuff says:

      I couldn’t help but think of Jay Leno when he famously asked Hugh Grant who was caught with a prostitute LA “what the hell were you thinking.”

  11. tf says:

    The sentiment voiced by Joe Oliver is clearly how the Conservatives operate – short term gain.
    Their principles are based on – “If it puts money in my pocket today, screw the future.”
    That’s why climate change, the oil pipelines, renewable energy or sustainable economies won’t be addressed until they are voted out of office.
    I think the world will only survive if we follow the principles of making decisions based on “seven generations” as espoused by First Nations people.

  12. SF Thomas says:

    No kidding. ‘Not leaving debt for your kids and grand-kids’ has always been one of the bread and butter slogans for conservatives (whether or not they always followed through is of course a different story). Oliver basically just gave the perfect quote for opposition groups to use against the CPC.

  13. andy says:

    The words that lost the election?

    • JH says:

      Oh please! That’s the problem with being this partisan. You lose all sense of perspective. Do you really think this or any of Trudeau’s gaffes are going to change an election 6 months down the road? Like WK says these kind of quotes may end up in some ads, but are not game-changers. If Liberals really want to win this thing, they’ve got to stop focusing on this kind of BS as many do on here. Leave it for the silliness on P&P and that fool Solomon. This is not the stuff of winning federal elections – this is inside baseball crap nobody outside of political junkies, the drive-by media and Ottawa Parliament Hill types pay attention to.

  14. Derek Pearce says:

    I think this is why Oliver is generally SO very disciplined an on message ad nauseum– because he knows if he’s spontaneous he puts his foot in his mouth. Get ready for a return to repeated same answers again and again, irrelevant to the questions…

  15. Kelly says:

    As I said earlier. This confirms people’s suspicions. The Conservative Party isn’t conservative. They are the party of greedy old assholes. Fairness is the driver of election outcomes now. Everything about the Harper plan is unfair to the vast majority of people. Especially the poor and vulnerable. Trudeau has to come out and loudly state that he is privileged and that PEOPLE LIKE HIM are getting most of the benefits of Harper’s policies rather than the poor and the working class and lower income seniors and aboriginals. If he can do that while proposing good fair policies he’ll win. The cognitive dissonance in the con base will be a thing of beauty. If not, the NDP will win a minority. I think I just heard Harper kick another hole in the wall.

  16. .. on the other hand, Ol Joe’s faux pas was great cover for Peter MacKay’s witless braying against the Supremes gun law decision.. and kept warlord military genius Jason Kenney sheltered in the background.. somewhere behind Duffy and his redacted Diaries.. and any other leaks in the Harper Plague Ship as it rides up n down on a reef against a pounding lee shore.

    What next? The Harper Family Secret revealed.. denied as proper anti terrorism secret?

    I’m expecting Pierre Poutine to swim to the surface anytime soon.. and blow the barnacle encrusted bottom off the ridiculous ship HMS Reformertory.. we’ll see how many lampreys swim clear

  17. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Let me get this straight: first they twist fiscal policy into knots to cough up a balanced budget. Then they gladly hand off the future fiscal imbalance to those being born in 2080???

    Somewhere, many a Conservative are bound to be apoplectic.

  18. UFP Ambassador says:

    I’m so glad the Wynne Liberals aren’t leaving any messes for my grandchildren. Nothing but unicorns and lollipops in 2080 Ontario.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

      Ontario’s provincial Liberal government is turning the place into an economic/financial disaster zone (at considerable cost to the entire nation, if we are honest), and the cheering section thereof can’t fathom how a government in Ottawa can cut taxes and balance the books all in the same stroke.

      …and do it without even mentioning climate change!!! O…M…G!!! Surely to God we must spend at least $10,000,000,000 / year until the next ice age so that we may lower global atmospheric CO2 by at least .012 ppm by 2050!!! Don’t you damned Conservatives care about anything!!! Yes, the costs in economic and financial terms will be astronomic, and the results will be, by any measurable standard conceivable, completely negligible and irrelevant…but, goddamnit, it’s THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!

      Ya see.

    • smelter rat says:

      Run along, UFP, the adults are talking.

    • Michael says:

      What exactly does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

      You could also make the comment about the Alberta PCs, led by a former Harper cabinet minister. They have managed to piss away a $120/barrel oil boom.

  19. Steve T says:

    **Poof** That is the sound of the Conservatives losing any positive spin that can be put on the budget. It’s also the sound of Trudeau’s dumb speech taking a back seat to Oliver’s dumb statement. I’ll bet Justin and Tom are each having a big glass of champagne tonight.

  20. Al in Cranbrook says:

    There’s hardly a tax break worth mentioning that wouldn’t save $15 billion from the taxman several decades from now…forget about factoring in inflation.

    Perhaps poor choice of words, but I can think of a number of quotes from the Liberal dauphin that would come across a hell of a lot dumber, if not insulting, to Joe Lunchbucket than this one.

    What this government has done, quite effectively, is to balance responsible governance and the tab therefore that is ultimately picked up by the taxpayer. Thus, if the Libs or Dippers want to launch the next campaign on platforms of pie-in-the-sky, feel-good programs that inevitably turn into annual multi-kabillion dollar bureaucratic wastelands, they’re going to have to explain in no uncertain terms how they intend to raise taxes to pay for them. IOW, this government carefully takes into consideration the burden of taxation, and the other guys clearly do not give a damn about said burden. As someone once very famously said, they’d only spend it on beer and popcorn anyway.

    Too many on this forum and elsewhere think this is all about right wing ideology. No, it isn’t. It is specifically about left wing ideology, and the benefits to Joe Taxpayer of the lack thereof.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      I think what you’ll see from opposition parties (quite rightly) is an admission that they’ll “end tax shelters for the rich.” They don’t have to say one word about raising taxes. The Cons will talk past them and call that a tax hike. So, we’ll have the gov’t and oppo parties talking past each other as was ever thus. It comes down to whether “middle class” voters (including seniors who vote in the highest percentages) look at ending tax shelters for the rich as ending tax shelters for the rich, or as a tax hike.

  21. Dave says:

    No chair in the Langevin Block is safe.

  22. doconnor says:

    Allow me to list some reasons why this comment is significant.

    1. It is true. The respected PBO numbers confirm it. When a Conservative says something true it is a rare and notable event.

    2. It is the same argument used against those who say the deficit shouldn’t be cut so fast. By using it they also also implying deficits are okay.

    3. TFSA are much worse in the long because their tax reductions add to the debt and their compound interest is at a higher rate the economic growth while for government debt its compound interest rate is lower then economic growth.

  23. Bruce Marcille says:

    TFSAs are a great tool: Ask any accountants will advise you use them over RRSPs, depending upon your tax situation and the objective in saving. Correct, it will cost the government tax receipts down the road (2080?) but this is a huge encouragement for Canadians to save today on money the government already taxed. So those of you who claim the fiscal sky will fall in 2080 need to remember that TFSA-funding income was taxed and the government has been receiving and investing that since the year it was earned. As well, the RRSP money gets taxed, but at a lower rate than when it was earned (that`s the whole point.)

    And I don`t have $10,000 a year to invest. But I will downsize at some point, and I`ll want to put that money away to invest in Canada and earn a return; or I may receive an inheritance, God forbid, and the people who earned and paid tax already on that money certainly want it put aside.

    So $10,000/year? Not likely. But $10K in a given year? Very middle-class.

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