To reinforce his obvious campaign themes about fear and insecurity, Stephen Harper has taken to describing Canada's current economic situation as a "crisis." If that's his pitch, one should ask under whose watch did this so-called "crisis" develop? Our country is no doubt in an economic mess, but calling it a "crisis" is simply a scare tactic.
The Harper Conservatives will force another odious "Omnibus Budget Bill" through the House of Commons this week. For all the verbiage in this budget legislation, the Conservatives are doing little of consequence to deliver what Canadians really need -- i.e., more economic growth and less inequality.
When Canada's annual budget deficit came in bigger than expected at $26.2 billion recently, the news didn't spark a sell-off in the markets or an emergency debate in parliament. But that doesn't mean Canadians should be complacent about balancing the budget. As taxpayers, we need to keep our politicians focused controlling costs, keeping taxes affordable, and balancing budgets -- the straight and narrow path that leads us far away from the fiscal cliff.
This hydra-headed Trojan horse budget implementation bill -- where the open-ended omnibus character masks its stealth-like impact -- will have prejudicial fallout in nearly every conceivable domain. Simply put, this legislation and the process of its implementation represents an affront to all Canadians, and Canadians should be appalled by it.
We need a balance between ecology and economics, between the effects of the tar sands and the money it makes. However, this approach does not conform to the narrow and myopic world view of the Harper Conservatives. The Conservative majority rests on less than 40 per cent of the vote, yet for them this justifies demonizing and dismissing the other 60-plus per cent.
Do our MPs honestly expect that the budget debate was on our minds while we enjoyed the weather this past weekend and fired up the BBQ to celebrate the arrival of summer? How many of us while flipping burgers were bemoaning the details about the omnibus budget bill to our assembled guests and neighbours?
Whether it's marginalizing low-income seniors by increasing the qualifying age for OAS, or cutting funds to regional development programs that create jobs, or not announcing any new funding for affordable housing -- when the existing program funds are set to expire soon -- this budget is simply wrongheaded, misguided, prejudicial, and disconnected from the needs of Canadians.