Election Musings (April)

The By George Journal is compiling quotes about the federal election and the Canadian political scene. Month to month, we keep a running list. Here are the clippings from April.

  • “It is a prudent and principled plan that will see Canadians more prosperous, more secure and ever more confident in our country’s place in the world. The dramatic plunge in oil prices has taken its toll on our economy. Still, the news for Canada is, by and large, good. Amid the tumult, our country remains a beacon of economic stability and security built on a foundation of sound financial management.” – Finance Minister Joe Oliver on delivering the federal Conservative budget
  • “For generations, Canadian families have understood the path to prosperity: don’t compromise tomorrow by spending recklessly today; don’t pile on debt you can’t afford; and, invest sensibly for a secure future. For governments, the principles are the same.” – Joe Oliver
  • “Over the last several budgets the Tories have shown sustained discipline over spending, while reducing corporate tax rates, arriving in the end at the long-promised balanced budget.” – Andrew Coyne
  • “The Harper government has shown the necessary discipline to get the books back into the black. We’re also encouraged that they’ve resisted the temptation to go on a spending spree in an election year. Moving forward, it will be important to control spending—future spending in this budget is still projected to outpace inflation—and instead begin to apply the savings to our federal debt, which now sits at well over $600 billion.” – Aaron Wudrink, Canadian Taxpayer Federation federal director
  • “Battle lines for the upcoming federal election took shape after Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivered a scatter-gun budget designed to appeal to families, small business owners, savers, cities and seniors.” – Les Whittington
  • “Those elusive middle-class voters will have a choice, between a governing party that says it has made them so much better off already, and two opposition parties who insist the middle class could be so much better off in the future under a different government.” – Chris Hall
  • “The budget brief really wants to sell average Canadians on the idea that the Conservatives are the champions of the middle class, not Justin Trudeau and the Liberals… These are the kitchen table issues the politicians are going to duke it out over.” – Anthony Furey
  • “Mr. Harper is stubbornly clinging to his view that the best thing for him to do in our society today, despite increasing inequality, is to help the wealthiest few at the expense of everyone else. He wants to increase the Tax-Free Savings Account, which is very nice if you have $60,000 in your back pocket. It doesn’t help the average middle-class family very much.” NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
  • “It’s very much a plan for the Conservatives re-election strategy. With this budget they are helping those who need it least. They are not helping the middle-class and there’s no real plan for growth.” – Justin Trudeau
  • “There are some winners in Budget 2015. If you’re a wealthy CSIS agent with a stay-at-home wife who believes the beheaders are coming to the 905 belt — this, my friend, is the budget for you.” – Michael Harris
  • “Budgets are always a strange brew of politics and fiscal policy. Under this government they have tilted away from fiscal accountability toward pure political messaging — complete with hundreds of colour photos. Now they are such evanescent political tools they don’t even bother printing many of them.” – Robin Sears
  • “It is time to get every PSAC member to vote to rid Canada of the Conservatives once and for all. Never has political action been more important. We’ve had enough of the attack on labour rights and on equality groups… We are saying enough is enough. We have to defeat this government.” – Robyn Benson, PSAC union president
  • “They (PSAC and federal unions) clearly want a Liberal or an NDP government to negotiate with who will roll over and accept their positions. I’m here for the taxpayer. I’m here also for the public servant who wants to work hard, who needs sick benefits when they are truly sick. ”- Treasury Board President Tony Clement
  • [on Tuesday on possible coalition with NDP]  “I don’t know. … Honestly, I don’t want get into hypotheses. Maybe, but maybe not.” – Justin Trudeau, Liberal Leader
  • [on Wednesday on possible coalition with NDP] “There’s too many big issues on which the NDP and Liberal party have deep disagreements when it comes to economic growth, when it comes to trade, when it comes to the Constitution and how easy it should be to break up this country. I do not see any possibility of coalition with the NDP regardless of who the leader might be.” – Justin Trudeau, Liberal Leader
  • What we can take from Tuesday’s musings and Wednesday’s total walk back is that the idea of a coalition is to be kept out of the public conversation till after the election. That the Liberals do not want the notion even to be contemplated till they see what the landscape is after the vote. …For the goal of defeating Harper really is the first and prime consideration, and regardless of what Trudeau says now, any combination — coalition, treaty, arrangement, alliance, fix — which achieves that will be as music to his ears and Eden honey to his supporters. – Rex Murphy
  • “For generations, Liberals played the political game in a country that essentially had two players. The middle was their playground. Liberals have never had to thread the needle with a much larger NDP opposition outflanking them, making the party of the nuanced middle run the risk of pushing positions that could be interpreted as NDP-lite.” – Tim Harper
  • “Lost in all the coalition talk, as polls show either the Conservatives or Liberals are within reach of forming a minority, is that in either case Mulcair stands to hold the balance of power.” – Michael Den Tandt
  • “…between now and October, we can expect to see a lot more images of him (Thomas Mulcair) hobnobbing at sporting events, such as last Wednesday’s Sens-Habs matchup, and sipping beer in pubs. Intellectual Tom is becoming Everyman Tom and the race becomes one of three, not two.” – Michael Den Tandt
  • “The Liberals have told Canadians that budgets balance themselves. I can tell you they do not. Budgets require a plan and a discipline to follow it.  The opposition’s plans are far from complete or coherent… a tax and spend agenda that Canadians simply cannot afford, a risk our country should not assume and a debt burden our children should not bear.” – Finance Minister Joe Oliver
  • “Embarking on a major stimulus program when the economy’s growing, and driving us back into deficit, makes absolutely no long-term economic sense whatsoever.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • “Progressives often get caught up with demonizing Stephen Harper for all the evil that he is, and that’s not how the majority of Canadians look at him. Even the more than 60 per cent of Canadians that don’t vote for Stephen Harper don’t think of him as an evil person, and don’t look at his policies as incredibly radical, so it’s important for progressives to speak in the frame that a majority of Canadians think in.” – Robin MacLachlan, a former NDP staffer, as interviewed in The Hill Times
  • “Previous elections have seen him (Stephen Harper) campaign as the Eeyore of Canadian politics, spreading gloom and fear about the nightmare voters would endure if they elected a Stéphane Dion, Michael Ignatieff or Jack Layton. Yet overnight, he seems to have been reborn as Ronald Reagan, a sunny optimist trying to bolster the collective spirits of the nation.” – John Ivison
  • “They have an idea, and they put a title on it, the ‘Conservatives helping Canada act’ and they expect the public will be fooled by the title rather than by the content.” – Peter Julien, NDP House Leader
  • “One could ultimately say there is the legislative agenda, and then there is the spin agenda, or the election agenda, and I think we’re going to see a great deal of propaganda, Conservative spin coming out on April 20 (return of Parliament).” – MP Kevin Lamoureux, Liberal House Leader
  • Now two years on, the Senate expense scandal has led many to wonder if Canada even needs the upper chamber. Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) already felt the Senate should be abolished. With the influence of the trial, that rises to 61%. – Mainstreet Technologies survey findings
  • “The key for Harper and the Conservatives will be to convince voters that Duffy (and Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau) are the rotten (and removed) fruit in an otherwise fine bin of apples.” – Neil Godbout, managing editor of the Prince George Citizen


(ed. – By George will be adding to this list of quotes throughout the month (last updated on Mon. 27th). To see more quotes and related By George articles on the election and/or politics, check our archives for tagged posts on “2015 Election”,“politics”,“election”, and/or “quotes”.)

Also, see the previous month’s “Election Musings” from:




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