Le vent tourne – but not if Al can help it

I may be often wrong about political predictions but I’m getting great at predicting Al Hogan. I said a couple of days ago that he would ratchet up the assault on Shawn Graham and boy, was I right.

The CRA poll results published in L’Acadie Nouvelle this morning show in their words “Le vent tourne”.

And Al’s two top political stories?

Tories will slash income tax by 8%

Lord to Graham: Stop insulting all of us

Let me deal with the second one first. Al says through his journalist:

If Shawn Graham wants to be premier perhaps he should stop insulting the people who he wants to govern, according to Conservative Leader Bernard Lord.

During a wide-ranging editorial board meeting with the Times & Transcript yesterday, Lord picked apart the Liberals’ proposal on the economy and social programs. Lord recoils each time he hears his main rival insult New Brunswickers’ economic spirit or education test results.

“This thing about running down the province, I’m offended as a citizen but I’m also offended as well as the premier,” Lord said. “I find it offensive to all the people in New Brunswick who have worked hard in recent years to move the province forward. Attack me but don’t attack everybody in New Brunswick.”

This is incredibly smart politics from Lord. Listen to Al’s language on this – ‘recoils’ ‘running down the province’ ‘offensive’.

Wow. This is dirty journalism at its best.

Since when did attacking your rival’s abysmal record become about attacking all New Brunswickers?

But I have to admit, it might be effective. If Al Hogan can convince us that Graham is actually attacking us, he could skim off some votes for his buddy.

I don’t think I have ever seen, in 20 years of watching this stuff, a newspaper allow such nonsense. The Irvings should be ashamed of this crap. As I have said, I have no problem with newspapers taking sides in an election but this is beyond the pale. What’s next? Graham to destroy New Brunswick?


And on the first point about another small round of income tax cuts. Again, it’s great politics but it’s almost comical to watch.

Al publishes a story quoting Lord as saying Graham’s plans are too expensive and irresponsible. At the same time, Lord is going to hire 500 more teachers, 250 more doctors, massive injections in dozens of areas – and cut income taxes by 8%.

He doubled the average property taxes since 1999 but he has even committed to cap assessments in this area.

So where’s all the money going to come from?

Equalization, my friends. He must be banking on a lot of dough from Harper.

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0 Responses to Le vent tourne – but not if Al can help it

  1. David Campbell says:

    I am blown away by this. The more I think of it the more I am amazed. According to Lord and Al Hogan any raising of vital issues such as out-migration, bad educational performance and poor health care outcomes is an attack on the residents of New Brunswick. I stand amazed at this line of reasoning. The Lord government has artfully and skillfully spent seven years trying to downplay these incredibly important issues and when the opposition raises them, it’s an attack on the people of New Brunswick.

    The people have a right to know these issues. And they have a further right to know what the government has been doing to address them.

    Al Hogan, if he had any credibility at all, would have challenged the Premier on this point – directly.

    Keeping the public in the dark may be the mandate of the Times & Transcript but if we ever see the day when politicians can’t openly debate the vital issues of the day without being accused of attacking New Brunswickers, then we really have gone off the edge.

    Even diehard Tories should be outraged at these antics.

  2. scott says:


    Where are the raw numbers for leadership? I read their polling data breakdown on auto insurance and how it impacted different New Brunswickers, etc., etc., but where are the numbers contrasting how New Brunswickers will actually vote? If this is all they got, then they didn’t like the raw numbers. I know if they showed a drastic change from the Omnifacts numbers than they would have received headlines from the Telegraph Journal as well as the Times and Transcript. So why is it buried in the french newspaper where well under a third of New Brunswickers are readers>? Weird.

  3. beatthedeadhorse says:

    Strange how far out of the canadian loop you are and plan to stay.I will spend a little time trying to figure out who you are working for.
    10 canadian premiers and the territories and the fathers of confederation and 32 million canadians agree with equalization.
    This information should make you happy with money invested in the medical system and the education system because you will need them ,once you awaken.

  4. David Campbell says:

    Of decided voters:
    Liberals 44%
    Tories 42%
    NDP 10%

    Preferred Premier:
    Lord 39%
    Graham 35%
    Brewer 8%

    CRA concludes that Moncton will decide the next government. Anglophones in Moncton prefer the Libs (46%) to the Tories (41%).

    The margin of error is 3.8%, 95 tims out of 100.

    Undecided was 13%

    The Libs are preferred in Moncton and the North. Southern NB prefers the Tories by 4%.

    Francophones prefer the Libs 51% to 38%.

    Men prefer the Tories (45%)
    Females prefer the Libs (50%)

    I am sure the politics blogs will have this poll dissected better than me real soon.

  5. scott says:

    Thanks David. Too bad someone couldn’t clear up the “teaching” dilemma that quick. lOL

  6. David Campbell says:

    Strange how far out of the canadian loop you are and plan to stay. I will spend a little time trying to figure out who you are working for.
    10 canadian premiers and the territories and the fathers of confederation and 32 million canadians agree with equalization.
    This information should make you happy with money invested in the medical system and the education system because you will need them ,once you awaken.

    32 million Canadians + me. I think Equalization is a necessary program. I just think that we shouldn’t have as a goal becoming more dependent on it because it can become the subject of political whim regardless of your ‘constitutiona’ argument.

    As for your “I will spend a little time trying to figure out who you are working for” comment, I have received similiar ‘threats’ in the past.

    My interest here is the province of New Brunswick. It’s that simple. If the Tories had moved the province in the right economic direction over the past seven years, they would be getting my vote today. The Tories had a golden opportunity to finally move the province forward and they squandered it, in my opinion.

  7. scott says:

    Do you have the link to those numbers David? CRA didn’t publish them on their “Newsroom” section and I can’t find a link at L’Acadie Nouvelle either.

  8. Cooker Boy says:

    Tommorow’s T&T headline..

    “Graham eats babies!”

  9. scott says:

    Cooker boy: Isn’t that Harper’s job? lol

  10. wellthatsme says:

    Your a strange bird.

    How you could find a “threat” in anything I say,OH I see,sorry.

    Threat to your so called allegations or so called facts you mean.

  11. David Campbell says:

    I have no desire to carry on this futile tit for tat. If you have any specific questions about specific statistics I have put forward on this blog, please tell me and I can clarify. Every shred of data I use comes from Statistics Canada or some other reputable source. I am trying to explain to the few hundred people that drop by every once in a while that we can and must do better in our economic development.

    I can say this. I have had over 200 different people comment on this blog over two years and I have never had anyone try and trivialize what my intent is here. I spend a lot of time researching the facts and I serve them up for discussion.

    I am not sure where you are headed with your little drive by smears but if you read the blog with a little more depth you will understand my position.

    You should also come to the conclusion that my focus (at least outside of an election campaign) is well outside of any political party. I am trying to raise awareness of and interest in a serious attempt to make New Brunswick a strong and viable economy – just like Ireland or any one of a number of examples I have put forward over the months.

    It’s a political season right now and I am rooting for the Liberals. I think if they were to win they would be faced with all the problems that the current administration is faced but I would like to think they would be more proactive about addressing them.

    I could be wrong and if so, they will also be criticized and challenged on these pages.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There is a variety of posters out there, every blog runs into them. Whether it is a political party or some disgruntled voter nobody knows, ironically, the ‘smears’ usually come from people who won’t say who they are or what THEIR agenda is.

    But even the most ludicrous posts serve a purpose, and believe me, I’ve come across some doozies.

    Keep in mind, that ideology does play a part. Take a look at the Saint John Board of Trade’s website. They are RAVING about how wonderful everything is. Although your statistics may be true, there is the point of ‘so what?’

    The Irvings aren’t complaining, the doctors aren’t complaining. The gap between rich and poor is growing, and the rich certainly aren’t complaining.

    Talk to the Irvings and you’ll see that New Brunswick already HAS a strong vibrant economy (just look at their exports and their bank account).

    If you are retired and your pension is still there, your house is paid off, in other words, things ain’t too bad. If you have money and security, life is pretty bloody good.

    Those ‘facts’ are also ‘true’. As you’ve pointed out, in the future the province could very well rely on the feds for half the budget. Perhaps that will be fine, perhaps not, perhaps we should worry about it then.

    Again, that’s true-but hardly the point, which is why this blog exists. Keep in mind one other thing not mentioned, and that is how many employees there are at small businesses. If that information is available it should be posted, because in your blog about small businesses, while there may be fewer small businesses, the ones that exist may have grown and swallowed the others, or tax concessions have simply favoured them more.

    That’s not a shot at you. And hey, I can really take this personally as if you’ll remember I had posts deleted just because of ideological differences on a couple of arguments way back when! You’ve become much more tolerant!

    Personally, I would ignore a comment like the above, but then I would definitely start deleting. I don’t know of any blog (besides Charles) that tolerates personal insults.

  13. David Campbell says:

    While we disagree sometimes, I appreciate your civility. It is possible to use strong language and make points in a passionate way without trying to smear each other.

  14. ohyouknewthat says:

    N.B economic development is as good as anywhere according to statistics.

    “to make New Brunswick a strong and viable economy”

    Then go drill for oil,otherwise quit talking like a college student.

    Like Ireland??? population 4 MILLION

    “raising of vital issues such as out-migration, bad educational performance and poor health care outcomes is an attack on the residents of New Brunswick.”

    A canada wide problem.
    Only option for N.B,Find LOTS oil or join with atlantic canada and The United States.

  15. David Campbell says:

    Is that you vivenewbrunswick? If so, I had wondered where you went. If not, your cousin posts here.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I like it when follow ups are presented as they show just how ludicrous they are.

    There is no point arguing with such commentors, they have their mind made up. For newcomers, just look at the scroll bar that has past blogs. They are all economic statistics, and they all prove that NB’s economic development is nowhere near as good as most places, PEI and NFLD excepting (and hey, Newfoundland has oil!)

    As for the oil and Ireland comments, thats balderdash. The largest economies in the world have hardly any oil. Japan has zero, China ditto. Even places which have oil, like Saudi Arabia, typically have all the benefits going to an upper elite. In fact, just a rudimentary look at world economic history shows that typically the more resources you have, the higher the likelihood they will be exploited and the possessors on the short end of the stick (which is exactly what colonies are)

    There are numerous ways to grow an economy and create wealth, I agree with David in that if you get more foreign direct investment like companies coming in and hiring people that’s one way. However, my point has always been that that won’t happen just with the sales force he mentions.

    There are tons of other things that can be done to grow the economy, and that’s get the money out of the hands of the ruling families who invest little here and exploit the resources. And that’s to tax resources-not give them away as is currently done.

    Not even the liberals are talking about that, although they do pay lip service to small woodlot owners who are facing bankruptcy under this current governments ‘new’ forestry giveaway.

    Finally, outmigration is hardly a problem across Canada. It is a problem in SOME provinces, we can add Saskatchewan, which also has gas.

    As for Ireland, I’ve had differences here as well, however, population has nothing to do with it. A small population can be as wealthy as a large one. But to create an ‘Ireland’ you need a federation that is equivalent to a European Union which created their economy. Canada is nothing like that, so to do that you need not only a provincial aim, but a federal one as well. However, do some research and you’ll notice that while overall the feds are no friends of the maritimes, the province shoots itself in the foot on just as many occasions.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Back to the original post for a second…while I am no Al Hogan fan, I have to agree with some of the points in that article. I think the Liberals are insulting NBers and not by criticizing the results as they see them but by saying that we are “worst” in education (we’re near the bottom but not worst) and that we don’t have a can-do attitude. The tories have made mistakes, the Liberals before them made mistakes and so on and so on. I can’t see how the Liberals plans will make our results into a rosy picture over-night. Making changes to education and health care are good things, I don’t think there is anyone who will disagree with that, but kids aren’t going to become smarter overnight not under Tory initiatives like the QLA or under any Liberal initiatives. As for health care, everyone wants the best and they want it near by and they still want it to be publicly funded but that isn’t realistic. We can’t have a top of the line hospital in every community nor can we afford to offer specialized services everywhere, not if people want to maintain public health care. So in 10-15-20 years time will we see the kids who are in elementary school now have better results when they graduate and will the state of our health care be better? Probably but I don’t have a crystal ball maybe we won’t change our culture and we’ll continue to smoke too much, eat to much and sit on the coach rather than getting out there. Our kids will spend too much time in front of the gamecube and not using their imagination and their brains. if we don’t change our attitudes and our behaviours, it doesn’t matter how much money government’s throw and education and health care we will still have poor results. Government’s can’t solve all our problems, we need to take some of the responsibility as well.

  18. David Campbell says:

    Good points.

  19. Anonymous says:

    That is a good post, but didn’t it just reinforce what the liberals are saying? Criticizing the liberals for criticizing New Brunswickers and then going on to criticize New Brunswickers seems a little illogical, the question is….is it true?

    For education, both parties are promising massive funds. That’s good, and everybody seems to agree. However, the liberals are talking about increasing the physical education requirements in schools. Personally, I’ve never agreed that children should be stuck in a desk and told not to move for eight hours. With the internet able to provide easy answers, it becomes clearer and clearer that it is a babysitting exercise.

    For health care, both parties are promising massive funds. That’s good, and everybody seems to agree.

    So those aren’t the points where the difference lies. Keep in mind that there are two issues rarely discussed in that. McKenna could afford to ‘gamble’ because he had money and a massive majority. These parties can’t, and unfortunately without proportional representation or some other force there doesn’t seem much hope they will be able to.

    Lord tried orimulsion and got burned, so look for politicians to ‘play it safe’-or simply do what the Irvings tell them to. Nobody knows what the election will bring, most seem to think its neck and neck and if we have a similar breakdown, once again there is no ‘wiggle room’. The parties seem to be completely unable to work together at even a basic level.

    As for the points about whether its ‘the people’ or ‘the government’ that is to blame for the ‘can’t do attitude’, that depends on what exactly that means.

    At this blog we’ve been over many places where cities and groups are attempting change, I’ve mentioned the inshore scallop fishery on several occasions, yet without funding, the people ‘can’t do’ it. Part of that problem is once again the media which virtually never talks about such things. The government has very few options in trying to get people’s attention, and we live in an era of anti politics where people don’t trust them even if they do hear the government’s side.

    To analyze any society for responsibility, you have to look at who has power. To say ‘the people are to blame’ is like saying that getting bombed was the Afghans fault because they didn’t go through the trouble of overthrowing their government. It’s hardly fair, and illustrates why I think people are right not to be involved in politics or to make changes. It’s unfortunate, but reality.

  20. David Campbell says:

    Shawn, it would seem, has aquaculture on the radar. Maybe you should float that idea of the inshore scallop fishery. I must admit some ignorance in that area. Aren’t there farmed scallops somewhere in the Maritimes?

  21. Anonymous says:

    All scallops are farmed pretty much, their fairly predictable-that doesn’t make them ‘inshore’. I don’t need to float it though, several municipalities have been talking about it for years, the plans are all drawn up and the MFU is behind it. The government knows all about it, it’s lobbied, their is just no interest by the government. THey’d much rather throw money at the satellite company in Woodstock because its ‘high tech’-even though CRTC regulations may very well put them out of business (and gee, its not like people will pay for seafood eh?)

  22. echowho says:

    The Canadian Press
    Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2006
    QUEBEC — Quebec will pitch a proposal to resolve the so-called fiscal imbalance with Ottawa that will net the province about $2 billion a year, Radio-Canada reported Tuesday.

    The additional funds would be achieved through a transfer of one percentage point of the GST and the adoption of a new equalization formula.

    Radio-Canada said Premier Jean Charest’s government is open to a deal that would allow the province to boost its sales tax by one percentage point to nine per cent. This would be offset by a second reduction in the GST to five per cent, promised by Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the last election.

    The tax change would be conditional on a reform of equalization, said Radio-Canada.

    “It’s the most interesting, most realistic and most politically feasible solution,” a Quebec government source told Radio-Canada.

    The tax transfer would represent an additional $1 billion for Quebec and $2 billion for Ontario.

    The Charest government would be willing to accept a federally commissioned report that recommends increasing equalization by almost $900 million annually.

    That proposal would give Quebec an additional $653 million in equalization payments. The $2 billion figure would be achieved by adding $270 million over three years as compensation for cancelling Ottawa’s day-care program.

    HEY, what about eco,er,econ,ah
    economic development?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Though I don’t understand the last point, equalization can be used for anything-like Ontario’s billion dollar investment in R&D and Quebec’s in pharmaceutical research. THere’s economic development. Sorry if thats what you meant.