Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivered his first surplus budget to paint a rosy picture for the upcoming election. With a $1.4 billion surplus this year, and steadily growing over the next four, there is now room for new spending programs – or so it seems. The Conservatives have managed to create a budgetary illusion and with balanced budget legislation to take place in addition, it is time we look closer at the numbers. The surplus looks great on paper, but just how great is it?
Toronto-Centre is shaping up to be the battle of media titans as Liberal Chrystia Freeland and NDP Linda McQuaig enter the rink. However, Mulcair’s candidate is attempting to reopen the very Pandora’s box he has been desperately sealing away.
Canadians angry about Conservative austerity measures have a new reason to be upset. While the cuts the Conservatives made directly impacted services, bureaucracy and federal payrolls ballooned as a result of their governance. In short: Canadians lost services and meat so they could keep useless bureaucrats and fat.
Despite a report two years ago outlining wasteful bureaucracy in the Department of Defense, and despite a cut to the department as part of the Conservatives’ effort to reign in their deficit, the number of civilian staff members rose 30% in six years. For a government that preaches fiscal prudence, there is no place they want to seal off more than the Defense department.
Emails show Canadian diplomats and military officials were instructed to downplay the scathing report from the Auditor General which outlined the Government’s waste in the F-35 project when speaking with foreign officials. At one point, they were told to blame it on “bureaucratic” issues.
The Conservatives are one to talk about ethics when Senators from their party committed the same acts as they claim were wrong for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to do. Former NHL Coach and Conservative Senator Jacques Demers, however, did the same thing as Trudeau, painting Tory claims with a thick coat of hypocrisy. While collecting a salary in the senate, Demers collected money for speaking to a literacy charity.
On March 25, the Commons Board of Internal Economy decided to give MPs a pay increase and larger travel allowance. MPs will be getting a 1.6% raise while also receiving 6.7% more money for their travel allowances. The changes were only made public Thursday when it was tabled in the House of Commons. In a time of economic uncertainty and a focus on reducing deficits, increasing MP salaries and travel allowances proves to be reckless and irresponsible.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper wasted $50,000 on the look of his personal government plane with the design revealed on February 24 being applied to the jet. NDP leader Thomas Mulcair accused Harper of blurring the lines between government and party money as the plane clearly didn’t need a paint job and is themed after the Conservatives’ three main colours.