Harper’s Pension Bomb

Hey, wasn’t it fun learning the other day from a speech Stephen Harper delivered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that unspecified “major transformations” are coming to our national pension system?

Naïve citizens might have thought a significant issue of this nature affecting the retirement incomes of just about everyone would have been discussed extensively here in Canada beforehand – perhaps even debated in our antiquated parliament! But fuck that noise, apparently. Harper just couldn’t wait to debut his super-secret plan to gut pensions (in mysterious, as yet undisclosed ways) while self-righteously scolding spendthrift world leaders at an elite Swiss resort.

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16 Comments

Filed under STEVEN HARPER Government of Canada

16 responses to “Harper’s Pension Bomb

  1. MoS

    Again Harper reveals how out of touch with reality he is. To go off to Davos and announce, “I’m going to stick it up the backside of pensioners in my crib” is Harper at his most clumsy. Apparently the blowback already has the overstuffed bag backpeddling. The man defines “swine.”

  2. It’s quite remarkable how incredibly tone-deaf the Dear Leader can be at times.

    Just out of curiosity, I went and checked out the Blogging Poodles… unsurprisingly, the ones commenting on it are all wagging their tails and peeing themselves with delight.

  3. MoS

    This is the sort of thing that can turn an electorate against a sitting government. SHarper has spent years persuading Canadians he doesn’t have a “secret agenda” and then goes all the way to Switzerland to reveal that he does. It’s called “major transformations”. So where are the Opposition leaders?

  4. We have Opposition leaders? 😉

  5. ASME

    I am appalled Mr. Harper informed the Canadian public from an overseas position what he is contemplating for OAS and GIS. Baby boomers who are retiring and will retire are not going to be retireing in dire need for the most part. How dare the government consider our tax money theirs. Why didn’t governments from the past including this one invest an estimated amount into the OAS? Perhaps because it was being used for other things such as skating rinks for votes? Anyone over the age of 70 in this country relying upon OAS and GIS are living below the proverty lev

  6. Craig Chamberlain

    I’m guessing this is the last thing our would-be “pensioners” need right now, having seen their investment income all but (?) wiped out — a government that is going to let more of them DIE BEFORE THEY SEE A CENT OF THEIR HARD-EARNED PENSION!

    Shame!

  7. MoS

    I can see it now. Harper returns to Ottawa triumphant. He warns Canadians that, unless that Northern Gateway goes through and Athabasca bitumen is flogged in Asia, why the government won’t be able to fund their pensions. That sounds like just the sort of thing SHarper and Flanagan would cook up,.

  8. I’m not opposed to pension reform per se — everyone knows the demographic challenges the government will face in the medium-term (15-30 years or so) as all these damn baby-boomers stubbornly insist on living far longer than necessary (or desired, in many cases) — but I do think the PM has a duty to have that public discussion with citizens first before trundling off to Switzerland to make a vaguely threatening announcement that when Dad gets home, we’re going to have something nasty shoved down our throats.

    After years of a high-handed (some might say “dictatorial”) style of government under the Chrétien Liberals, we shouldn’t be surprised that now Stephen Harper has a majority he’s carrying on the tradition, but it doesn’t mean we have to like or approve of the approach.

  9. Peter

    but I do think the PM has a duty to have that public discussion with citizens first before trundling off to Switzerland…

    Why?

  10. If nothing else, it was bad manners.

  11. Longer Peter:

    “Isn’t a Canadian prime minister allowed to announce domestic initiatives to an audience of foreign elites? Would it not be rude to do this in the House of Commons and awaken the Calgary MPs trying to catch 40 winks?”

  12. Peter

    No, no, SF, I quite liked Red’s honest response. Indeed, politeness is the only possible rationale I can think of. Especially after the Opposition has responded to so many of Harper’s initiatives with such serious, constructive criticisms and alternatives. Truly the man has no manners.

  13. I feel your pain, Peter, and I know how happier you would be with the Libs, Dippers, Bloquistes, and the Green (to the degree, perhaps, of being tempted to purchase one of their memberships) if they were only more “serious” and “constructive”, characteristics we behind-the-curve dullards prefer to seek and esteem in our governments.

    Understand the Opposition’s predicament, however: responding meaningfully to a party that once thought accusing a prime minister of being a kiddie diddler was “serious” and “constructive” sometimes presents a challenge of insuperable proportions. Let us hope they soon adopt the current government’s Opposition-era tactics, which have clearly proved their electoral utility: the sooner they organise a Mariachi band to serenade Harper’s next batch of Senatorial bench-warmers and nominate an MP to challenge a cabinet minister to fisticuffs on the floor of the House the sooner they’ll start climbing up the greasy pole of Canadian politics.

  14. Peter: It really has nothing to do with demeanor of the Opposition (which, no matter the party, is to behave like reactionary, gainsaying jackasses), but more one of informing the Canadian people — you know, the “majority” of rubes that actually voted for Team Harper — about his impending plans for the nation, rather than revealing them (sort of) to a bunch of high-rollers at a foreign resort. One might have hoped he would have done that during the election… but that of course might have compromised his “steady as she goes, nothing to worry about here, folks” strategy of lulling people into complacency.

  15. Peter

    Well, Red, with the assistance of Sir Francis, I’m trying to collect the whole set of Harper outrages. I may have to move into larger quarters to store them. Yes, arguably he could have shared his musings with the home crowd first, but as arrows aimed at the heart of parliamentary democracy go, I’m holding this one as a trader.

    If we can put our chain-yanking aside for moment, it will be very interesting to see whether the Libs and Dippers can get beyond the ‘Harper wants to starve your Granny” fear-mongering they still seem to believe after three elections can carry them to power, and actually say something interesting about the demographic squeezes we all know are coming. So far the Dips have said cut fighter jets, not pensions, which is pretty much a rote call from the traditional paybook. I don’t expect the Opposition to turn Parliament into a cooperative undergrad seminar, but it would be nice to see someone on that side act like they understand that Harper can’t be blamed for an aging population.

  16. Peter: Agreed. And I think I made my objection to Harper’s approach quite clear from the outset. It’s not the substance of what he may be proposing, but more the manner in which he’s doing it. That said, the Opposition is behaving in a completely asinine fashion with their ridiculous, hyperbolic fear-mongering. To be honest, I can’t blame him for ignoring them completely, but he really does need to engage the representatives of millions of Canadians in a discussion about issues of this nature — or, at the very least, be seen to be doing so…

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