Relatively Speaking

Here’s another clever video from “Grit Girl” — this time poking fun at Jim Flaherty’s somewhat bizarre, disconnected, and rather tone-deaf pronouncement last week about the recession.

For your complete enjoyment, this was Jim’s kooky musing:

”Most people in Canada came from other places, including the United Kingdom. Most of them came on boats. Most of them came with nothing. Many … died because of disease while they were travelling to Canada. We commemorate that in various places in Canada.

Relatively speaking, this is a mild economic recession. These are relatively mild challenges for us. We will come out of this strongly.”

So there you go, folks. Quit bellyaching already. Your threadbare, disease-ridden, death-prone immigrant forefathers fleeing from the Dickensian horrors of their native land that somehow managed to survive a harrowing, nightmarish, often fatal ocean voyage prior to scrambling ashore in Canada untold decades ago, suffered far more than you can ever imagine.

A valid enough point, I suppose, but rather small comfort I’m sure to the swelling ranks of the unemployed (particularly those unable to obtain benefits or that fall through the cracks) and everyone else on the shitty end of the meltdown that wiped out $50 trillion in assets and brought the global financial system to its knees.

Also, it has to be said a rather contradictory thing to say coming from a Finance minister soon to be presiding over a projected $85 billion in cumulative deficits by the spring of 2013. That’s a whole lotta “mild”… relatively speaking.

But this raised another question, and it may be not an altogether comfortable one for Liberals. While it’s great fun (and easy as pie) of course to ridicule Flaherty for his misbegotten historical reflections, casting him as heartless or clueless or whatever, and to take aim at the Conservatives for flip-flopping all over the place about the economy and “making it up as they go along” as it’s charged, what would the Liberals have done differently had they been in power?

Harper’s Home Improvements…

Here’s something kind of interesting that flew under the radar when the Conservatives introduced their new budget a little while back. This came from the investment folks at ScotiaMacLeod in their February 13 newsletter:

A good friend and accountant to many of our clients pointed out this week that the Federal Government’s Tax Credit for home renovations appears to be little more than a gigantic net with which the tax man shall use to catch thousands of partakers in Canada’s underground economy.

According to our “friend”, receipts for thousands of small-job home repairs shall be submitted to Ottawa from which the auditors will no doubt begin to create a list of carpenters and trades people who might be suspected of occasionally forgetting to include all of their cash income on their annual CRA filing.

If the feds hadn’t initially thought of exploiting the tax credit for home renovations in this way, it’s almost guaranteed that some clever dicks in the CRA will seize the opportunity to do so.