LETTER: Lack of understanding of country’s political and economic history

The Stephen Harper Conservatives hold the record on deficits

I see that letter writer Sherry Dumaresq (“Make the politicians pay”, December 8, 2015, posted at 3:00 p.m.) is upset with the “so called new government” that was elected to replace the so-called old government that was rejected by the voters of Canada.

I wonder where Ms. Dumaresq was during the Pierre Elliott Trudeau years as prime minister or what she might have been smoking back then as he certainly did  not  “put our country into a chaotic state and we (have) paid for years and years.”

This is nothing but Conservative Party falsehoods and ignorant voter illusions based on not fully understanding the political and economic history of our country.

Canada’s debt:

– was stable in the $100 billion range during the first Trudeau years (1968-1979),

– started to increase in the early 1980s to $200 billion plus; but,

– took off under the Mulroney Conservatives to peak at $600 billion before the Liberals under Jean Chretien took over running the country; and

– took the bull by the horns after it increased to over $700 billion in 1996 decreasing it to just over $500 billion when Stephen Harper’s UnProgressive Conservatives gained power in 2006; which

– saw it skyrocket again to nearly $700 billion where it stands today.

As for Canada’s debt as percentage of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is a more important measurement, the pattern is much the same, but, please note, that during the Pierre Elliott Trudeau / John Turner Liberal governments (1968-79; 1980-84), the debt to GDP decreased after 1963 but did climb in the late 70s to 30%; however, it skyrocketed to over 60% under the Mulroney Conservatives.

As for surpluses and deficits, perhaps Ms. Dumaresq can tell us which government have had surpluses and which have had deficits during the past 25 years.  Yep, the Stephen Harper Conservatives hold the record on deficits.

Stephen Harper has:

1.steered Canada’s economy to its lowest levels of growth in 69 years;

2.the worst job creation record of any prime minister since 1946;

3.been the first prime minister since the 1950s to oversee a decline in the employment rate;

4.been Canada’s worst salesman as the country’s exports have only grown by a measly 0.3 percent since his party took office;

5.provided good times for Canada’s richest one percent; and

6.overseen the slowest rise in the standard of living of middle-class Canadians and GDP per capita growth since World War II.

As for the “nanny” controversy, please let Ms. Dumaresq note that prior to assuming office, Justin Pierre James Trudeau paid for his nanny from his MP’s salary; however,  the administrators of 24 Sussex Drive felt it was better to retain the nanny and add a second, with both carrying out additional household duties, to assist the PM’s family.

As for Ms Dumaresq’s ludicrous comment about having the government pay for everyone’s nannies so that Justin can support his “lavish lifestyle”, living at 24 Sussex is not a step up in terms of accommodation but a big step down. As for his attending conferences in different countries, what does she expect him to do for Canada – sit a home and watch trucks cross the border like she does?

Ms Dumaresq has no idea of the amount of work done by politicians of any stripe, particularly those at the provincial and federal levels and those who are cabinet ministers. They all carry on work in their chauffeur-driven vehicles either by phone, on a laptop or Blackberry or with their executive assistant and then do hours more work when they get home or to their apartment.  If she would like to slow down the operations of government by restricting all politicians to have to drive their own vehicles, I will gladly escort her  to all the legislative assemblies and the House and Senate to watch her make her pitch.  Again, I do like to see people getting laughed out of a room.

If she wants profit and loss statements of every government since 1968, I can provide her with them….and she will see that the worst governments, fiscally speaking, have been the Mulroney and Harper Conservatives.

G.E. MacDonell


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