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Stimulus spending won’t stop because of an election

You may have heard Harper and the Conservatives using the line that if an election were to ensue because of their government’s potential defeat in a non-confidence vote on Friday, it would stop all stimulus package spending on the economy, and would therefore be the opposition parties fault and responsibility for hindering the economic recovery, or words to that effect.

This morning however, Canadian Press (via Kady O’Malley), shows that’s a false Conservative talking point:

More than 90 per cent of the economic stimulus planned for this fiscal year will continue to flow whether or not opposition parties defeat the federal government and force an election on Friday. And that fact blows a big hole in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s best argument for avoiding a summer vote…Out of $22.7 billion in infrastructure and other stimulus measures announced in the January budget, Treasury Board officials confirm that parliamentary approval has already been received for $21.1 billion. “I think it’s largely bogus,” says Allan Maslove, public policy and administration expert at Carleton University. “Governments don’t shut down (during an election), they continue to spend money. So all of those programs that were approved can go forward.”

Kady goes on to berate the Conservatives for trying to use this false argument:

…it’s a good idea to check the fine print before regurgitating talking points verbatim, particularly since this particular claim – that a summer election would result in billions of dollars of stimulus spending being frozen – is one that Conservatives seem especially fond of trotting out when it lambastes the opposition parties for even considering voting against the estimates…if we’re really going to have a debate over whether or not to hit the hustings in July, let’s at least stick to facts.

Hmm.. stick to the facts. That’s a rather hard thing for this Conservative government to do. I’m not sure its possible with this bunch, who have been using blatant over-the-top partisan bluster and half-truths to try and fool Canadians on a number of issues.

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6 comments to Stimulus spending won’t stop because of an election

  • wilson

    ”More than 90 per cent of the economic stimulus planned for this fiscal year will continue to flow whether or not opposition parties defeat the federal government and force an election on Friday.”

    So that means the stimulus money IS in the system and out the door!
    Well that kinda blows a hole in LibDipper attacks on the government, eh.
    Can’t have it both ways guys.

    • Walkswithcoffee

      @wilson,

      Maybe 6% is “out the door”. The fiscal update was a fraud. Nevertheless, Parlament has already approved most of the rest of the spending so the ADMs can spend it as per the budget.

      The facts are, Mr. Harpers’s team has slowed most of the spending, directed most of the stimulus spending to their ridings, and threatened to stop the rest if there is an election.

      Mr. Harper and team are compulsive [insert word if you care].

      Cheers, Eugene Parks

  • Dan

    Dale, if you think the Liberal Party is “socialist” you should probably refrain from talking too much about Canadian politics.

  • Dale

    Project already in the works will continue . . . but there may be few or no additional projects approved.
    The nutty professor . . . Iggy is grandstanding . . . wants to turn EI into the mess it was during the Trudeau years when folks worked a few weeks and collected for a year. Remember the UIC ski teams at Whistler. The lefties will back down, because the bankrupt LPC and the other socialists will have to go into massive debt for an election they surely will lose.
    Remember the EI rules today were created by the Liberals . . . then Martin put the surplus in general revenues and spent it.
    Last week Iggy was upset about the deficit . . . this week he wants to increase it . . . next week he will probably want to reignite the cabal of the incompetents with Layton and the Block.

  • Walkswithcoffee

    Absolutely true, approved projects continue during elections – unless the government says to stop. i.e. Only if Mr. Harper says stop will the approved projects stop. By saying they will stop, Mr. Harper is defacto threatening to stop them. He is the stopper.

  • “Hmm.. stick to the facts. That’s a rather hard thing for this Conservative government to do. I’m not sure its possible with this bunch, who have been using blatant over-the-top partisan bluster and half-truths to try and fool Canadians on a number of issues.”

    Not just half-truths, Scott, but outright lies. One example: Harper has REPEATEDLY said the Candu reactors have NEVER produced 1 isotope. Wrong! One of them has produced LOTS of isotopes during trial testing. Instead of just sitting on the Chalk River file after under-handedly firing Linda Keen a year & a half ago this Con govt. could have been working on getting at least 1 of the Candu reactors up & running instead of cancelling them outright. Instead Harper goes his agenda/ideology route & puts lives at risk on a GLOBAL scale. He will have more blood on his hands. More you say? Yes, think of all the deaths with the Listeria outbreak due to his cutbacks on meat inspection. Those deaths will look minute in comparison to any deaths due to lack of isotopes.

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