For a government that touted its record on public safety, this budget shows that its priority is anything but. Instead of cutting the bureaucrats they added when elected in 2006, the Conservatives took a direct assault on services Canadians need.
For a government that claims to be good economic managers, they sure can afford to waste a lot of money during rough economic times. Having increased spending by over 40% when they initially took office in 2006, the Harper Conservatives managed to get Canada into deficit before the World’s economic crisis ever happened. In fact, if the economic crisis wouldn’t have happened, the Conservatives would have been exposed as the worst economic managers in history – even beating Mulroney when the deficit struck $56 billion.
Flaherty’s new budget outlined the increase of retirement age from 65 to 67 but meanwhile the golden pensions of MPs remain in tact and will only be discussed this fall. Again, the Conservatives put ideology ahead of the wellbeing of the population, but don’t count on the opposition to provide a real alternative.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced yesterday the first budget since the Conservatives won their coveted majority. The budget aims to cut $5.2 billion over 3 years by cutting an average of 7% per program and will phase out over 19,000 civil service jobs. It is worth noting that in the first 2 years of their first mandate back in 2006, the Conservatives increased program spending by over 40% and this budget is a far cry from restoring Canada to a prudent economic state.
The Conservatives may have attacked Bob Rae in a recent set of attack ads but the Liberals are exchanging fire, blasting them on their economic record. However, no ad has been released – yet.
Lisa Raitt’s expenditures while being CEO of the Toronto Port Authority have again come under scrutiny by NDP MP Olivia Chow who demanded the government release the details back in 2009.
As one of the advocates for a free market and little government intervention Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party have proven to be one of the biggest interveners of our day. From the Postal Workers dispute to the potential Air Canada strike and likely to the many future walkouts, the Conservatives will interfere with the will of the free market and levy its heavy hand as government.
As a part of Harper’s announced “major transformations,” the retirement age will be increased to 67 from 65. The argument is that our current Old Age Security system is unsustainable but when you look at the way the Conservatives manage your money and when you look at their pensions, you just have to wonder if it is necessary.
In the May 2011 election, Harper won on the premise that he was a good economic manager and the media touted his management as supreme. Apart from that propaganda, the numbers tell a different story. Despite the 2008 recession being caused by external forces, Harper’s mismanagement is as much to blame for the 2008 crisis and the mess that has yet to be cleaned up.
The Conservatives may claim they are good hands on the wheel in terms of the economy but it is no secret that they dug us into a whole. They claim Canada is leading the G8 out of recession but after the UK (77%), Germany (80%), and France (81%), Canada’s debt to GDP ratio is 84%. Below is a glance at Canada’s debt over the years.
Canada can apparently afford:
In light of Harper’s “major transformations” to the pensions of ordinary Canadians, it is time we take a look at MP pensions. MPs are eligible to take home half of their $157,000 per year salaries starting at 55 as pensions and receive benefits as long as they serve for 6 years. This is way more than the pennies any working Canadian will ever see at 65 – now imagine 67. Many more senior MPs get significantly more than that.