The Centre for Strategic Centrism


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We Avoided the Sub-Prime Kind of Problem

In case there was ever any doubt that Stephen Harper and his Conservative colleagues were making it up as they go along, this week provided a hearty helping of new evidence.

First, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page called the Conservatives’ bluff on their fairy-tale-esque economic forecasts.

This evening, the Globe and Mail reports that sub-prime lenders informed the Prime Minister about the dire straights facing thousands of Canadians (as many as 25,000 according to the Globe) who run the risk of losing their homes despite meeting their mortgage payments as a result of unavailable capital. If you’re confused about this, you’re not alone. After all, on February 23rd, Prime Minister Harper boasted on CNBC that “we avoided the sub-prime kind of problem.” If you’d rather watch him say it, you can watch the video tape evidence here.

So, Mr. Harper, if you don’t think 25,000 Canadians losing their homes (through no fault of their own, never missing a payment), then I would defy you to convince those 25,000 families of that. I suspect most Canadians – like myself – would view that as a significant crisis. 

P.S. If you’re interested in yet another example of how the new Ottawa works since Canada’s New Government ended the influence of well-connected lobbyists, take a look at what The Hill Times had to say about the lobbyist that the sub-prime mortgage brokers have hired to try to bend the ear of the Prime Minister:

Kaylie Wells 
Crestview Public Affairs 

Crestview Public Affairs is seen as a firm with close ties to the Conservative government. Mark Spiro, a principal at the firm and one of its founders, does political organizing for the Conservatives and is expected to work on the party’s national campaign in the next election. Ms. Wells, whose clients include Rothmans, Benson & Hedges, the World Wildlife Fund Canada, and Nova Scotia Power Inc., was a staffer to former Ontario premier Mike Harris. 

It’s a new Ottawa, indeed.


Filed under: Oh, Canada

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