2 min

The news from Davos

From the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, Stephen Harper delivered his earth-shattering speech about the future direction of the Canadian economy. Harper told the gathered economic
leaders – for the benefit of a domestic audience – that he plans to transform
the pension system to curtail government costs and that there will be changes
to immigration (which have already been slowly happening) and to research and
development. Because apparently, we’re Greece. Harper didn’t give any details to
any of these broad themes, but already opposition parties are sounding the
alarm, as is their job.

(Over at Maclean’s, Paul Wells notes that Harper has been building to this
for a few weeks and that most of the things he talked about have
been in the works for a while now, while Aaron Wherry tries to assemble a
picture of what it all means.)

Other news from Davos is that the
government is scrapping its plans for a national securities regulator after the
Supreme Court told them they couldn’t do it unilaterally and had to actually
sit down with the provinces. But this is the Harper government, and we all know
that they couldn’t possibly do that.

Provincial and federal justice and public
safety ministers met over the past couple of days, discussing, among other
things, the new omnibus crime bill. Vic Toews and Rob Nicholson say that the
provinces are already getting increased transfer payments, so they shouldn’t get
any more
 to administer these new inmates that will be created. I’d really
like for Toews to explain to me how imposing mandatory minimums on pot
possession will “stop the revolving door in the justice system.”

We the Media – along with the biodiesel
industry, environmental and aboriginal groups – have been labelled as
“adversaries” to the government in a document obtained under access-to-information laws on the subject of the oil sands. And “allies” include the "arm’s
length" National Energy Board, energy companies, business and industrial
associations, along with Environment Canada itself. Yeah, this is going to end

The New Democrats’ attempt to get the health committee to do a separate study on health transfers has been shut down after a
half-hour meeting yesterday during which they were accused of simply trying to
create a headline and of wasting everybody
’s time.

And in the event you were wondering, here
are the Government of Canada’s linguistic recommendations for tweeting in French.

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