Listening to the debate on infrastructure initiatives, one thing is clear, it will take considerable time for any money injected into the economy to offset the downturn. Most expert analysis agrees that it will be 2010 before any impact is felt, which is troublesome, considering economists expect us to hit bottom later this year. In many respects, whatever the government does now, it is too late in terms of avoidance, rather a strategy for the other side. The reality of delayed return started my thinking- just where in the hell has the Government of Canada been the last year?
Did you know, that apart for the fall farce, it will be 221 days since Parliament last sat, when Flaherty delivers his budget? Think about that, in the face of an economic storm, our government has been AWOL. A highly relevant fact, for a myriad of reasons, particularly this crap coming from the Conservatives. Bragging about the earliest budget delivery in history, arguing ad nauseum about all the early steps they took to cushion the blow now, steady hands at the tiller, etc, etc.
Let's review the facts, and then judge if Canadians should be concerned. Last spring, this government muddled through the entire session, with an agenda that was considered "light" by every one's standards, so thin MP's had trouble keeping busy with government business, nothing on the plate, talk of "retooling" and the government needing "new ideas". SPENT. Remember that the Parliament was sent home early for the summer break, June 20th 2008.
Prior to Parliament's return in September, as the economic storm gathered further, the Prime Minister decided to manufacture a crisis of confidence, as he began the march towards an election. Before Parliament could reconvene, Harper plunged the country into another election. While people were touring the country, kissing babies and wearing cute sweaters, the economy was crumbling and Parliament sat empty.
After the election, a period of inactivity, but finally Parliament reconvened. When it did, and no reasonable person disputes this fact, the government came forth with a commitment of nothingness, using disingenious data. All the inaction, and Canadians were given such a disaster that Parliament was forced to evaporate once again, the government still at a standstill.
Everybody already knows the above timeline, but when I hear talk from the likes of Baird about "quick action" and recognizing the gravity, the proud record of pre-emptive measures, it's worth remembering- 221 days of a Parliament completely AWOL, during the worst economic crisis in at least a generation. More staggering, the government points to its record, as evidence of staying ahead of the economic curve, and yet 221 days of NOTHING, over seven months of NADA. So, when you understand the reality of no impact from a stimulus until 2010, it's "too late" for measurable difference in 2009, it really begs the question- where was the Government of Canada during the crucial time? Either on holiday, forcing an election, proroguing Parliament or spending all their energy trying to kill political opponents. That's it, while Rome burned. A disgrace, by any measure.