The Conservative government’s “austerity” budget cuts, they’re coming. Huge cuts to social programs and services. Cuts so deep they’ll alter the quality of life of thousands of Canadians. Especially through massive job losses in the public sector. Surely, this is the wrong moment for reckless, ideology-inspired cuts.
Statistics Canada reported last Tuesday that the economy contracted 0.1 per cent in November. In October, the economy recorded zero growth. The budget is expected to slash as much as $8 billion from federal spending.
Not long ago, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warned us that the cuts will slash 60 000 jobs. This report: The cuts behind the curtain: How federal cutbacks will slash services and increase unemployment.
Cuts targeting the wrong places.
How about cutting the lucrative pensions and salaries of our MPs and Prime Minister? MPs earn $157, 000 a year; cabinet ministers, $233, 247. (Maybe the MPs would like to follow the precedent set by former MPs Preston Manning, Werner Schmidt and Lee Morrison, who all refused to accept pension entitlements?). Something about leadership. Or leading by example.
Our Dear Leader, elected by an overwhelming majority of 39% last May, makes $315, 000. He’ll receive $223 517 a year by the time he leaves office after his massive defeat at the hands of the New Democratic Party in 2015.
How about scrapping the Conservatives’ $19-billion tough-on-crime bill C-10 prison plan?
How about we roll back on corporate tax cuts? We racked up this massive deficit through, in part, generous tax cuts and subsidies for the oil companies and banks. Didn’t we? And only this week, one of the beneficiaries, Caterpillar Inc., closed a plant in London, Ont., and rendered hundreds of Canadians jobless.
How about scrapping the $9 billion planned purchase of next-generation F-35 stealth fighter jets, which will cost $24-billion to maintain over 30 years?
How about we don’t partake in Israel’s upcoming costly war with Iran?
How about scrapping our politically-motivated $7.5 million celebration of the Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee? She don’t exactly live here, does she? Besides, for far too long – 6 decades, the longest reign in the Monarchy’s history – she’s been in power. There’s a thing called democracy, which changes leaders regularly. Harper or no Harper, Canadians are addicted to it.
How about we stand up to Stephen Harper and stop his agenda to fundamentally restructure Canadian society, institutions, traditions and values?
Surely, in these tough economic times, it’s madness for Harper to want to balance the Conservative budget deficit on the backs of Canada’s seniors and other hard-pressed individuals and families.
How about…? How about we focus on job creation and not cut essential programs and services?
- Opposition vows to fight cuts to public pension system (windsorstar.com)
- Stephen Harper accused of ‘caviar tastes’ for jets and jails, ‘baloney budget’ for seniors (thestar.com)
- Opposition promises to fight billions in expected federal government cuts (canada.com)
- Despite NDP input, Harper unlikely to alter budget course (ctv.ca)
- Fight, fight, fight (macleans.ca)