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Tuesday, March 20, 2007 

Harper Plays 'Word Dinkery' With Saskatchewan

I live on the Canadian prairies. People have their own way of talking out here. Lots of colourful phrases. When someone is playing word games, they might be accused of 'word dinkery' .... dinking around with your words. Want an example?

After yesterdays budget, Stephen Harper can be accused of word dinkery for the way he dealt with the Province of Saskatchewan on the matter of fiscal fairness.

Excerpt from Stephen Harper’s Letter to Premier Calvert, June 10, 2004

“The Conservative Party of Canada will alter the equalization program to remove all non-renewable resources from the formula, as well as move the program to a ten-province standard.”

Conservative Party Platform 2004 ('Demanding Better')

“A Conservative government will also revisit the equalization formula. We will move towards a ten-province standard that excludes non-renewable resource revenues from the equalization formula, and do so in a manner that ensures no provinces receiving equalization will receive less money during the transition to the new formula than the current formula provides.”

Conservative Party Platform 2006 ('Standing Up For Canada')

“Work to achieve with the provinces permanent changes to the equalization formula which would ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula to encourage economic growth. We will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula.”

Question by Stephen Harper to Prime Minister Paul Martin in the House of Commons, November 16, 2005

“The prime minister is also failing Saskatchewan on equalization. The government promised to reform the equalization program in 2004 for Saskatchewan. The government now says it will not get to that until at least 2006, costing Saskatchewan over 750-million dollars in lost revenue. When will the prime minister overrule his finance minister and make the changes necessary, so that Saskatchewan does not lose this money?”

In yesterday's Federal Budget, Harper 'said' that he was removing non-renewable resources from the equalization formula. He then set a cap on the amount Saskatchewan could qualify for!! At no point, in ANY of Stephen Harper's statements, did the concept of a 'cap' get mentioned.

Where I come from, we call this, 'word dinkery'.

Government of Saskatchewan News Release

I just e-mailed my Sask MP, Lynne Yelich about this. I will point her to this page when I get a reply.

Thanks a tonne.

I guess I should really email my MP - Tom Lukiwski too ( instead of my usual whinning on this blog) ... thanks

Do you think this could cost some seats in Sask?

Actually, yes ... and his MP's in Saskatchewan are nervous. Here is an article on the letter they wrote Harper last summer warning him about the consequences of NOT keeping the promise.

I'm not so sure LD. Sask got everything it asked for _except_ a formula that exempts O&NG 100%.

They got more than the $800 M that they asked for, they got options on what formula they want to use. Sure, there's a cap, but really, that's fair for all the other provinces too. We are, after all, a "have" province.

I think most people will agree that its a good compromise.

Cheers,
lance

"He broke his promise to Saskatchewan. He ignored the warnings of conservative MPs concerned that breaking that promise would cause "no end of political difficulty during the next election"
Editorial
Regina Leader Post
Mar. 20, 2007

"Even Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall - who will never be viewed by Conservatives as 'unfriendly' said he was "upset and that the people of the province will be as well"
Murray Mandryk
Regina Leader Post
Mar. 20, 2007

You need to stop talking to Tom Lukiwski, smalldeadanimals Kate, or whomever ever else is feeding you bullshit.

Harper is a liar.

I'm not so sure LD. Sask got everything it asked for _except_ a formula that exempts O&NG 100%.

But that's the point. That's what they promised. You can't make a promise to give me a bag of chips and then eat 1/2 of it and say, well, you got everything you asked for except that other half bag of chips. A promise is a promise. You either fulfill it or fall short of it. Harper fell short of it. That makes him a liar just like every other politician out there.

Sure, there's a cap, but really, that's fair for all the other provinces too. We are, after all, a "have" province.

Then why make the promise in the 1st place?

I think most people will agree that its a good compromise.

I would totally disagree with you there.

I think most people will agree that its a good compromise.

I would also say that a compromise is something that occurs when two people negotiate on something and come to a position somewhere in the middle. Where was the negotiations here? How is this a compomise? Harper promised something and then gave us less than what he said. That isn't a compromise. It is not living up to your word.

LD, the question was, do you think it would cost seats? It wasn't, "do you think Harper kept his promise?"

I don't think the budget will cost the CPC seats. Like I said, it's the spirit of the promise not the letter of the promise.

The SK. gov't is yelling in faux-outrage with the purpose of trying to push Carriere off the grid locally.

Cheers,
lance

All this word dinkery is enough to give me chills.

I'm going to put on my bunnyhug.

lance ... harper proved in the House of Commons what a low life he is today. He is a pathetic, sniveling little wiener who dreams of being significant on the world stage. He is petty and far too obsessed by right wing economic mythology and idealism.

He is a small, mean spirited ideologue how clearly lies and cheats in his attempt to gain power.

Your defence of him speaks volumes.

As I said, you should stop listening to smalldeadanimals Kate or whatever other right wing extremists you talk to.

Rob ... what did you think of harper's comments in the House today? Unbelievable ,'eh?

The SK. gov't is yelling in faux-outrage with the purpose of trying to push Carriere off the grid locally.

What then about the Sask Party outrage?

"He is petty and far too obsessed by right wing economic mythology and idealism."

After a 7% increase in spending after this budget I can not believe you wrote that.

Do the words mean anything to you or are they simple nice-sounding catch phrases?

Cheers,
lance

Peter, I don't disagree. The CPC broke their promise. I said it at my place.

It's the difference between governing a nation and promising the world to everyone when in opposition.

Yes it's annoying and I do think less of them because of it, but it won't move my vote because there are other allocations that make up difference.

As far as negotiation . . . who walked out of the equalization negotiations and decided instead to negotiate through the press?

I'll give you a hint, his initials are LC and he's our Premier.

Cheers,
lance

lance you are digging yourself into a hole.

My comments about Harper being petty - which he is - has NOTHING to do with an 'increase' in his spending ... it has to do with his UNprimeministerial behaviour in stating that oppositon MP's care more about the Taliban then Canadian forces. That is stupid, cheap, mean spiritited, and not becoming of the person who is allowed to be PM.

Your nastiness to Calvert proves that all of you Tories are so driven by your right wing world view .... no wonder the guys YOU support (all 16 Conservative MLA's who went to jail for fraud) might win here again ...

I guess Saskatchewan should get ready for a bunch of right wing criminals to take power again ...

I wonder what the reaction would be from the Sask Party/Conservatives if it was a Liberal and or NDP government that made a promise 4 or 5 times over, claimed to the mountaintops that they were the party of kept promises and then subsequently broke their promise ?

I too shall email my MP....

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