Flaherty Says Senate Scandal Disrupting Economic Agenda

Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, has labeled the ongoing Senate scandal as a potential distraction to the economic agenda of the Conservative Party. Mr. Flaherty gave these remarks today, while he addressed reporters at a press conference following his meeting with private-sector economists in Ottawa.

Amid the ongoing crucial debate in the Senate about the disciplinary action against three senators who claimed ineligible expenses, Mr. Flaherty was inquired if he supported a motion to suspend senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, and Pamela Wallin without pay. In his response, Flaherty alleged that “I don’t talk about the Senate because I want to have a long happy life,” adding that “I really have no interest in it, quite frankly, other than it’s disruptive of what we’re trying to do economically.”  However, Flaherty did make it clear that he has “always” been in favour of abolishing the Senate. He explained that “in this day and age to have a non-elected legislative body is an anachronism.”

Apart from that, finance minister maintained that the federal government is on track to balance its budget by 2015-16. One the same day, the Parliamentary Budget Office also mentioned in his fall update that he thinks Flaherty’s prediction to balance the federal books by 2015 may become true. Commenting on that, Flaherty alleged that he was glad to hear that the PBO is in agreement with his forecast, however he did point out that the budget watchdog did not take note of the fact that “we are going to freeze the public service envelope again.”

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