Toronto – July 6, 2016 – When Ontario had its credit rating dropped, the screams from conservative politicians and their advocates were deafening. The then Prime Minister Stephen Harper was aghast, remarking he was witnessing something “unthinkable a generation ago”. Joe Oliver, the finance minister at the time, chastised the Ontario Liberal government for not “conducting its finances in responsible way”. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation called it a devastating blow to our reputation and our pocket books.
When Alberta had its credit rating downgraded due to the decline in oil prices, the outrage from right-wing media and politicians was so loud and angry that Premier Rachel Notley referred to them as the “the Anger Machine”. Wildrose leader Brian Jean called it a “wake-up call” that the Alberta government had become too “expensive” and “wasteful”. The Alberta Conservatives claimed the downgrade was “a major blow to our economy”.
But where is the outrage from the Anger Machine after the province of Saskatchewan recently had its credit rating downgraded; the province led by the right-wing Saskatchewan Party under Premier Brad Wall? The only sound coming from conservatives, their advocates and the right-wing media is silence. It is notable to see this group, which usually gets really worked about these sorts of things so quiet and subdued all of a sudden. No comments from right-wing politicians. No comments from the federal Conservative Party. No comments from right-wing commentators in the news or social media.
The Anger Machine did plenty of screaming at the premiers of Alberta and Ontario holding them personally responsible for those provinces’ credit ratings downgrades. But when the right-wing chorus sees one of their favourites like Brad Wall faced with a credit downgrade, there is stunned silence – and very loud hypocrisy.