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FIRST READING: ‘Harper was right!’ — a quick scorecard of examples, from Netflix tax to China policy – County Market

Dec 05, 2023

It turns out his campaign warnings about Liberals blowing out the budget were extremely correct

First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent directly to your inbox, sign up here.

Last week, the Liberals tabled legislation for an eventual “digital services tax” on big tech companies, including Facebook and Netflix.

It’s not entirely surprising that the Trudeau government would look to tax Netflix; it has already used other legislation to subject them to strict content controls. But keen political observers may remember that one of the most-mocked episodes from the 2015 election was a video in which then prime minister Stephen Harper warned that “only our party can be trusted not to bring forward a new Netflix tax.”

There was plenty that Harper got wrong. The Conservatives have openly embraced the notion that they backed the wrong horse in the same-sex marriage debate. There’s no shortage of weed-smoking right-wingers who are happy they can now get their cannabis from a store. And even the most partisan Tory can still be made to shudder by mentioning the words “barbaric cultural practices hotline.”

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