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Timing is everything

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There are some things in life you can control. Unfortunately timing is not always one of them.

Take this morning, for instance. My timing on arriving to work in a downtown Ottawa still clogged with extra cars because the buses aren’t back up and running yet was perfect. Why? Because just as I was pulling into a parking lot that I expected would be full, another car pulled out and I got one of the best spots available.

Last week my timing was so off that I couldn’t find parking in that lot, the overflow lot or any other lot near my office.

But that’s just parking. I kind of have to have some sympathy for the Conservatives because of their timing.

You see, last March Jim Flaherty introduced a budget that was about as boring and devoid of news as another story about the Obama family. For the most part it was a par-for-the-course budget: spending hikes all over the place but not actually focused on any one thing, no major tax cuts, no major anything.

There was only one item in the budget really that the government bragged about and it was their big-ticket, big-push plan to get the attention of Canadians.

Tax Free Savings Accounts. Sort of like RRSPs but instead of getting a tax reduction for depositing into them, you get to take money out, including interest, without paying any tax.

It was designed to encourage Canadians to save money after years of out-of-control consumerism left Canadians with pretty high debt loads and pretty paltry savings.

Right now the government is advertising hard about these accounts.

But the timing couldn’t be worse.

Why? Because Flaherty just introduced his new budget designed to encourage people to spend more money so the economy gets back on track.

They don’t actually want you to save right now. The government needs you to spend that extra $10 you’re going to see on your paycheque soon from their tax cuts.

If it weren’t another sad indication of life in a crappy economy, it would almost be funny.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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