Official PMO version: “At this meeting, leaders agreed that international coordination is essential to address remaining economic risks and maintain growth not only for Canada but also for our partner countries.”
Unofficial version: “Bonjour. Hello everyone. I’m Stephen Harper. None of you know who I am, but as you might have gathered from all the flags back here, I’m the leader of Canada. Today, I’m obligated to read a minute’s worth of complete bullshit that was written for me before ever coming to France, where I played no significant role of any kind, but pretended to be in high level discussions that will remain an oblique mystery to everyone and could just have easily been sorted out in a jiffy via a short teleconference.”
Suggestion: Feel free to substitute your own counterfactual version of Harper’s platitudinous blather in the comments.
Update: My bad. I forgot that you cannot embed videos from the PMO. Nor can you comment on them or rate them. It’s all part the vaunted “transparency” that The Harper Government® is all about.
Here’s another version complete with the follow-up press conference.
Well, there’s a real shocker. “We are feeling the impacts of global economic factors beyond the control of any one individual or government,” Flaherty said in connection with his department’s monthly fiscal update. Translation: Don’t blame us for the crummy economic forecast; we’re just helpless victims and innocent bystanders!
Although in fairness, it’s hard to get too worked up over Flim-Flam Jim’s prediction that economic growth this year will be less than was originally forecast — 1.1 percent as opposed to an more optimistic estimate of 1.4% that had been made in February. This brings the government’s figures into line with what private forecasters had been saying months ago, and what the Bank of Canada said last month.
What’s perhaps more concerning is a $4.4 billion drop in the budget surplus and a decline in revenue of $1.1 billion led by a 17 percent drop in returns from the GST. Also, despite having apparently reversed its deficit position, program spending has risen by almost $4 billion or 8.4 percent from the first three months of the previous fiscal year. It should be interesting to see what the forecast is going to be once all of the pork-barrel spending promises that have been made over the summer have been factored into the mix in the next budget.