With a year full of scandal after scandal from just about every cabinet post and involving just about every cabinet minister in the Conservative Party of Canada, I thought that the Conservative government would try to cool things down by offering Canadians a little break from the hardships brought on by the recession that the Conservatives and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty repeatedly said we were never in. With the Liberal Party of Canada breathing down their political necks in the polls the Conservatives have done something I thought they would never have the nerve to do and that is to tell the people of this country that the cost of making sure that their sick and dying love ones are getting the care that they need may just be too costly for the budget to handle at this time. The government of Canada feels bad for you, but there is just not enough money to help needy Canadians this year. I must stick to my plan to reduce the deficit.
Jim Flaherty seems to be saying, “The Conservatives gave you the G8, the G20, Vancouver Winter Olympics, bought jets and helicopters and you still want more? How ungrateful you little people are. Look after your own sick and dying, they are your responsibility after all and leave us in government alone. If you are looking for help by way of federal social programs, or funding, you have come to the wrong place. We in the Conservative Party of Canada have important things to do in the new year and taking care of Canadians in need is just not a priority right now. We regret to inform you that if it is not a new weapon, or a photo opt we just can not afford it right now.”
There was enough money to host the G20 and G8 Summits in Ontario at a price tag of 1.8 billion dollars. To put this amount in perspective, 1 year ago in September the security cost for hosting the G20 summit in Pittsburg cost $18 million; security for the London G20 in April that year cost $30 million. Security for the Vancouver Winter Olympics which lasted 14 days
was $900 million. $1 billion is the entire yearly budget for the Toronto police force, plus overtime. $1 billion is what it costs Canada to support its military mission in Afghanistan each year. What happened here? Why did it cost so much for us when so many others found a cheaper way to do these things? Where did we find the money to do these things, or was watching our spending in this time of financial insecurity not a priority? Is this what is more important than taking care of our sick and dying loved ones?
This is not the only crazy spending that the Harper government sees as a priority though, just think as we go into what is supposed to be the training part of our mission in Afghanistan we are investing in fighter jets to the tune of $9 billion on 65 new fighter jets, plus another $7 billion on such things as future parts and maintenance, or an estimated $16 billion price tag now and rising. The price tag has quadrupled since 2008, when the government first announced that it would purchase 80 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from U.S. munitions giant Lockheed Martin for a total of $3.8 billion. Two years ago, the jets were priced at $47.4 million each. Now the price has jumped to $245 million at a time when the Harper Conservatives are slashing social program spending and they claim that it was the best deal out there and no bidding was needed. Has our need to flex our military muscles taking priority over the need to do right by Canadians who have paid taxes for the services now being denied them?
In terms of helicopters, MacKay said Canada plans to:
- Lease six Russian-made commercial helicopters for up to $36 million. The helicopters, which can transport troops and supplies, will be in service later this summer.
- Purchase six used U.S.-made Boeing D-model Chinook helicopters with medium-lift capabilities from the United States, to be in use by February 2009.
The helicopters, and the training and support needs associated with them, will cost up to $292 million.
- Purchase 16 new F-model Chinook helicopters Boeing for medium and heavy lifting, to be in service by 2013. The deal has been cited at $4.2 billion.
Regarding the unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAVs or drones, Canada’s military will:
- Lease small UAVs (Scan Eagles) from Boeing for work in the Afghan region of Kandahar over the next nine months. The first small UAVs arrived in Afghanistan in June as part of the contract that is valued at up to $14 million.
- Lease a tactical Heron UAV for two years, and possibly three, for use in Afghanistan starting in early 2009. The contract, worth $95 million, has been awarded to British Columbia’s MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates.
- Secure some sort of long-term UAV solution, with details still to be worked out
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/08/07/helicopters-military.html#ixzz19JYCOAE3
Canadians have come to be burdened with a $56 billion deficit, and are braced for the painful spending cuts that are sure to come. The Liberals had money in the bank and refused to spend any on us and got themselves into scandal after scandal until in a fit of anger uncommon in the Canadian voter we stood together and voted them out of power. When they left the Liberal Party of Canada left behind a surplus of money to the tune of $13 billion which Harper and his Conservatives have turned into a $56 billion deficit in just 4 years. Some would argue that our state of poor economy is not Harper’s fault, but let me remind you that at every turn we as Canadians have been told by this government that we are not in any trouble and that we are solid as a rock financially that is until it comes to us getting something from them in the social programs sector and them like magic the truth is revealed,”we are fragile and any increase in social programs could break us”. Finance minister, Jim Flaherty had the nerve to actually compare the Conservative handling of Canadian tax payers dollars with the way the Liberal party handled tax payer dollars. We may not have gotten much in the way of social programs from the Liberals either, but at least they did wipe out our national debt and we did end up with a surplus.
Let us not forget the government who came to power vowing that they were going to abolish the unelected senate and have now taken over control of the senate with a majority it never enjoyed before. With the appointments of senator Don Meredith the ordained minister and the CFL commissioner and Montreal Alouettes player Larry Smith to the Senate shows just of how far the Conservatives are willing go when trying to achieve its own political ambitions and ends. The fact that Senator Larry Smith really wants to be an MP and will be running so to do just that shows how easy it has become for Stephen harper to make a mockery of our system of government.
A government that ceases to care and adopt measures to aid its own people in their times of stress, yet spends billions and billions of dollars to look good in the eyes of the world is doomed to fail. A government who leases equipment to bolster our sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic from the very nations that threaten that sovereignty would appear to be naive at best and or just plain stupid at the worst. A government
who throws parties for other heads of state with the price tag of $1.8 billion dollars when we are in a recession could seem just a little reckless in it’s spending habits. Finally a government of Canada that would tell its voters that they can go to hell if they think that they are going to get any money to take care of the elderly and sick is just plain crazy and needs to be replaced, because they simply do not have their finger on the pulse of what is good for Canada and Canadians.
It would seem that the Harper government takes a stance one day and depending on press reaction and poll points rather than what they truly think is good for Canada will either back it up with action or do a complete about-face depending on the results of the polls or press coverage leading to mass confusion and a mixed message. This political jockeying makes them seem not to know what they are doing at the best of times, nothing but political opportunists at the worst of times and good leaders of this country never.
- Harper gov’t looking into home-care plan: Flaherty (ctv.ca)
- Deadline to slay deficit not set in stone, Jim Flaherty concedes (theglobeandmail.com)