(Note – update as of 27 Sept. The page referenced below has changed somewhat since yesterday, and I confirmed that with someone else, to make sure it was not my imagination. Some of the missing data was restored, even though the headings continue to be deliberately misleading. RA 26 Sept 2015)
As is typical of my prose, this blog was triggered by a real event – an observation of a CBC website, (http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/canada-s-deficits-and-surpluses-1963-to-2015-1.3042571 – which was originally published on April 21, 2015 and was then updated on September 16, 2015.
I saw the earlier version, and recorded data at that time. So I was shocked to see the “revision of history” that occurred in September, conveniently one month prior to a national election in Canada.
When Orwell wrote the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four – only 4 years after the end of the Second World War – he imagined three Super-States in a world of perpetual war. Control was maintained through total public surveillance in what was a police state, with complete control of media and total manipulation of the public by a government and political system set up to provide a life of luxury and privilege to a very few. Critical to this whole scheme was a cult of personality around the Party Leader. Critical to the whole structure was the Ministry of Truth.
The role of the Ministry of Truth was to revise history. The protagonist, Winston, is employed to rewrite records, alter photographs, and dispose of original documents which were incinerated in a “memory hole”. Any dissenting opinions were punished by the Thought Police. If Orwell were to drop in on us today, he would see that in some of his inventions, he was very wrong. But in Canada at least, the Ministry of Truth exists. It goes by other names, but the effect is the same. History is being rewritten, and inconvenient truths dumped in a memory hole.
Where does the Ministry of Truth kick in?
So what do we see when we go to that CBC website? We see a smiling picture of the current Prime Minister, Steven Harper, and two big black boxes signifying a $13.8 Billion Dollar Surplus and a $1.9 Billion Dollar surplus.
If you click on the little arrow to open the display, you see the same box duplicated again (so it appears twice now), followed by two black boxes beside a picture of Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, again with two black boxes and almost identical amounts of 1.4 Billion Surplus and 13.2 Billion Surplus. Chretien managed a Black box of $10.6 Billion and a Red Box with a $38.5 Billion Deficit … but I bore you with details. You can see it for yourself.
LOOK AT THE BLOODY DATES!!!!
So what went into the memory hole? SIX YEARS OF RED INK! Harper’s surpluses are for 2006-2007 – when he was a minority government, and for 2014-2015 – a time period not fully finished and therefore not presumed accurate – only a forecast. The heading of the CBC piece claims to be the deficits and surpluses from 1963-2015, but SIX YEARS ARE MISSING! Until Harper’s Thought Police come to get me, and scrub my websites, here is the missing data:Canadian Deficits 1963-2014
From 2008 until 2010, Harper ran a deficit – a BIG deficit, in fact the second largest in real dollars in Canadian history – $94.7 Billion.
From 2011 until 2013, Harper ran another deficit – another BIG deficit. $71 Billion in red ink.
Over the period from 2006 to 2014, the “Harper Government” added $158.9 Billion to taxpayer debt.
Of our total debt of approximately $600 Billion, Harper is responsible for almost 25%.
No wonder the Ministry of Truth wanted to put this in the Memory Hole.