Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Justin's Comments Were Justified...

First off, let's get one thing clear: One would be crazy to think Justin meant what he didn't really even say the other day. I mean, who in their right mind would believe the opponents' claim that the hyper-patriotic Justin - growing up at 24 Sussex, whose father GAVE this country it's Charter of Rights, and who wept as he brilliantly eulogized his late father... WHAT sane person could possibly insinuate Trudeau was saying that he "wanted Quebec to separate"?
The FACT is that Justin - like many of us - is fed up with the knuckle-dragging policy created by this "government of stupid". They have NO social conscience - and in a Province where that is paramount, many, many are just as angry. He clearly indicated that it would take this bill and roughly "10,000 other things" that are part of the Harper agenda to make him that disconcerted - but also pretty much indicated, in stating this, that he would not consider it.
Another FACT that many don't want to discuss just yet... but is coming: Stephen Harper and most of his Western Reform Caucus talked about "Firewalls" and wanting an autonomous Alberta at the height of the Chretien years. Anybody in the group of critics probably didn't want to open THAT can of worms... but, believe me, it is open. The Reform/Conservative Western core caucus has a lot of former Western Separatists in it... Remember the old WCC Party (Western Canada Concept)? Guess who supported and funded them?
Firewall Harper is going to be discussed now - BECAUSE, Harper (if he wasn't serious) was simply expressing his anger at the Chretien Liberals not having policy that reflected the positions his rural Alberta voter base espoused. If we're going to discuss Justin's remarks, then Firewall Steve is also fair game.
Let's add one more point here: Justin's comments will stand him in good stead in his riding, and in Quebec, because he has clearly tied himself to the anger seething throughout Quebec against the Harper agenda. He has also done the Liberal Party a huge favor. Standing up and saying it like it is. Not a bad idea. His love - our love - for Canada is the driving factor behind these remarks. I think Quebecers will understand Justin's venting - and moxie - and quietly understand that "Les Rouges" stand shoulder to shoulder with them on matters of most all public policy.
Rogue MP? Doubt it... Justin walks proudly in his father's footsteps. He showed the cajones his father had, and stood up for socially conscious Canadians everywhere. P. E. T. was not some crusty old politico smoothed over by "political correctness" or held back by "poll numbers".... he had moxie and sharply criticized his detractors. Justin showed he has that hin him this past week. For that, we all thank him.
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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Parliamentary Budget Officer Slams Harper Government on Pension Changes

Stephen Harper's very own appointed Parliamentary Budget officer is presenting a roadblock to Harper's wish to have his way with the pensions owed to Canada's millions of seniors. Here is more detail from the Goodale Weekly update:


Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer (a person hand-picked by Stephen Harper himself) today lined-up with many other respected experts to say Canada’s Old Age Security program is fundamentally sustainable, and does NOT require the cutbacks Mr. Harper is threatening.

Those threats began in a speech the Prime Minister gave last month in Switzerland. He has since confirmed he wants to hike the eligibility age for Old Age pensions from 65 to 67.

Mr. Harper claims Canada can’t afford these pensions anymore. But he’s wrong – experts for the University of Calgary, York University, UBC, the OECD, private sector firms, the government itself, and now the PBO – are all basically saying: “It ain’t broke, so don’t fix it!”

This controversy starkly exposes this government’s priorities. They pump billions into bigger jails and costly fighter-jets, but they cut back on pensions and healthcare.

They preserve the most expensive tax preferences for the wealthy, but they chop the modest benefits of the most vulnerable. The Old Age pension pays just $540/month. Three-quarters of those receiving it live on less than $40,000/year. Without it, one-third of seniors could fall below the poverty line.

Delaying the pension doesn’t miraculously make the human needs go away. Neither does it save much money. It just dumps the financial burden onto provincial welfare. And ultimately, there’s only one taxpayer.

This past weekend, Mr. Harper came up with a new excuse for chopping pensions – he wants older people to work longer, whether they’re physically up to it, or not.

Not only is this mean-spirited; it’s also an admission of failure in labour markets.

Yes, we need a growing workforce. But Mr. Harper’s dragooning of older people to fill the gaps – even against their will – assumes only the most mediocre gains from immigration and abject failure in preparing young Aboriginals to succeed in the mainstream of Canada’s economy.

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