Peter MacKay and Anne McLellan appeared on Question Period today. The topic was the Martin/McGuinty budget. Title links to the story on the CTV website.
Here is a quote from the website coverage:
McGuinty puts the figure at $23 billion -- something Prime Minister Paul Martin disputes.
On Question Period, Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan put the agreement this way: "You see Premier McGuinty and Prime Minister Martin getting on with the business of governing. And while they may choose to disagree about some gap in terms of transfer payments, what you see here is how the federation works."
MacKay said the gap existed because Martin cut transfer payments while finance minister in the Liberal government of Jean Chretien "while riding the revenues of GST and free trade."
The Liberals also inherited a deficit in excess of $40 billion from the former Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney.
The bolded text is CTV's excuse for Paul Martin's drastic slashing of transfer payments.
Am I wrong, or is that revisionist history?
Mulroney left a huge deficit -- true, but to make that statement without qualifications -- without indicating that he TOO, inherited a huge deficit from the Trudeau era, is misleading.
While it may be argued that slashes in the transfers were necessary to reduce the deficit, it must also be remembered as MacKay said, that the Liberals had the benefits of the GST & free trade. They campaigned on scrapping the GST, renegotiating or getting rid of NAFTA, and did neither. So not only did they gut provincial transfers, they also had an unparalleled tax boon.
The CTV's webwriter made this sweeping half-true statement in the guise of exposition. Or maybe this is what serves as 'analysis' in their newsroom.
The Conservatives (any incarnation, any problem) are to blame.
Many of today's voters either weren't alive or had not arrived in Canada, when Mulroney was elected, let alone Trudeau. Through the efforts of the CBC and other like minded institutions, even people who lived in those times have come to regard Trudeau as some sort of populist, renegade hero. So, it isn't surprising that people will accept this sort of statement without question. It takes much less mental effort to read the news than to think.
The Liberals don't even have to come up with excuses for themselves anymore, they just sit back and 'journalists' do it for them.