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.
Rae didn’t make his defense against Conservative attacks of his record easy. By admitting on January 11, that the deficit increased and so did the debt, and admitting that some decisions were unpopular, Rae played into the Tory machine and if history has taught us anything, Liberals who get targeted by the machine struggle to win national support.
With Conservatives claiming Bob Rae isn’t ruling out a bid for Liberal Leadership in the 2013 convention, the Conservatives have taken the time and effort to attack him on his record as Premier of Ontario.
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:
Harper’s omnibus crime bill is set to cost Ontario tax payers over $1 billion in increased police and correctional service costs. With this massive jump in spending toward a crime initiative that has failed in Texas, what are the repercussions on the end users – tax payers.
Canada is slowly and barely recovering from the worst economic downturn since the great depression and with the federal budget maxed out as it is, and about to undergo austerity, Harper has decided to ram his ideology down the throats of provincial finance ministers. As we speak, provincial budgets are in bad shape and their debt to GDP ratios are higher than that of the federal government.
The NDP leadership race is soon coming to a close and they will crown one of 8 people as their new leader. The media has claimed a two-way race between Thomas Mulcair and Brian Topp for leader but this speculation is useless as it will be the card-carrying NDP members that will make the final verdict. Based on Liberal failures in the past 6 years, here are some pieces of advice and caution:
The Conservatives like to claim that they shrink government size and spending. Like with Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, spending soared and Canada crashed. Mulroney introduced the GST, but that was not enough to clean his mess. In the 1990s, the Liberals under Jean Chretien took the unpopular decision to make cuts and the way they did it turned out to be widely successful as it gave the Liberal Party 13 years of uninterrupted power. Now, the Conservatives are left with no choice but to try it for themselves – for the first time.