The way this government chose to deliver the issue of reforming Old Age Security (OAS) was what surprised Canadian seniors. There was no build up to it, nor was it raised during the recent election. Canadians, especially those nearing retirement age rightly want to know what is going on and when these decisions were made.
Rather than social programs to help the poor and vulnerable, to help seniors, there is an emphasis on fulfilling a right-wing agenda in areas such as crime. This reflects the lack of fact-based policy which is needed in a government that promotes economic growth.
The Prime Minister's efforts to save money on OAS may be laudable, but failing to address the demographic challenges and associated costs of the decades to come will have a serious impact on the young people of today. Our country's next generation will be burdened with debt and will lack the fiscal capacity to deal with the even longer-term issues.
Hey there! Over here! Actually, right behind you. Sorry to interrupt The Game. Or rather, the pre-game. Or the pre-game game. Did you hear that The Huffington Post will be launching a Quebec edition this week? I know, right? They just launched France, and now Quebec. "Le Huffington Post." Sounds like a cigarette. In Quebec's case, a cigarette with cheese curds and gravy -- and really, really good news and content, like the other HuffPost sites, except better because it's in French.
Raising the OAS age will target those least capable of doing without it. Rest assured, no one is going to quit working just because they will now get about $600 a month. But this will be very meaningful for those now living on less since access to Guaranteed Income Supplement is tied to receiving Old Age Security.
Don Drummond should be insulted that his report is going to be little more than political cover for the Liberals. It's going to be a convenient straw man for the party, giving them the option to lay any unpleasantness at the feet of an unaccountable third party.
To what extent is a given budget cut driven by ideology? The introduction of the omnibus crime bill and the elimination of the gun registry are red meat tossed to the Conservatives' electoral base. What other programs will need to go in order to satisfy this core constituency?
For this country's urban intelligentsia (the kind of people who think subsidizing Margaret Atwood books should take priority over buying military helicopters), a reduced CBC budget is more terrifying than a Don Cherry rant.
Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie is quoted in Maclean's as having said the "tail," or administrative staff in Ottawa's Defence headquarters, has grown like topsy and "we've got almost as many people in Ottawa as we have in the regular-force deployable army." One is tempted to ask "what else is new?"
The media couldn't even keep its eyes open during the Manitoba election campaign, only occasionally looking below the surface of the promises and policies. Then again, the resurrected NHL Winnipeg Jets were beginning their pre-season games and the Bombers were in first place. The media can only do so much.
If somehow you have gotten through the last 30 years without HIV/AIDS impacting your life, kudos to you. For the rest of us, it's been different. That's why Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford's proposed cuts to funding to HIV/AIDS prevention and services has provoked outrage.
Maybe British Prime Minister David Cameron will light a policy fire under the Harper government while he's in Ottawa. His Big Society idea challenges citizens to get Big Government out of the way. But putting cost-cutting and community empowerment side-by-side can produce the perfect storm of political opportunism.
As a mayoral candidate, Rob Ford promised the people of Toronto that waste was threatening to engulf the city. But the waste that Ford reported were drowning this city in ever-increasing deficits just don't seem to exist.
The discussion around cutting library services comes from a place devoid of thought or emotion. It comes from a place where numbers on a balance sheet are expected to tell the entire story, when in fact they merely tell us how much things cost.
The connection between the Tea Party ideologues and the Harper government is their stealth agenda to starve governments of tax monies to spend on social programs and downsize to a minimal state the very organizations they were elected to lead.
The popular discontent of the last few months is certainly understandable. What is less understandable is what seems to be a widespread belief among Greeks that the citizens are neither responsible nor have any obligation to bear the consequences for their government's overspending.