As week two unfolded for the new Canadian government, the mood was decidedly much more positive among Bay Street and among Canadians in general.
Stephen Harper is receiving high marks by Bay Street analysts for his cabinet choices. The word on the street is that the new cabinet is a refreshing move to the right and that the new cabinet is a “true-blue” Tory mix, not a pink one as many had suggested. Analysts are describing his choice of ministers as pro-business with “much more depth than anticipated.”
After years of getting nowhere on trade issues with our American cousins, corporate Canada is now anticipating a much more business friendly and amicable relationship. For those Canadians whose livelihood depends on it, such as our farmers and forestry workers, this must be a time of hope at long last.
As well, with a budget expected in about six weeks, Canadians as individuals may soon start to see a real loosening of the tax burden that has made them some of the highest taxed people in the world. The only thing that may hinder the ground that Canadians gain by such a move is for provincial governments to use the opportunity to raise their own taxation levels. Look for this in British Columbia and especially Ontario, two provinces that refuse to acknowledge that their social spending is breaking the backs of its workers. With no political backbone to say no to anyone, taxpayers in these two regions should expect little change.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has promised to continue to balance the books as Ottawa continues to have a steady supply of revenue as the economy stays the course. As the finance minister for Ontario before the McGuinty government, Mr. Flaherty brings with him a knowledge of budget writing, as well as a solid conservative fiscal mindset.
Peter MacKay is being well received as our Foreign Affairs Minister, and is one of our youngest ever. His commanding presence should be an asset to our international dealings.