Budget veers off course

No major manufacturing jobs for Johnny Canuck, just carry on as drawers of water, hewers of wood and diggers of holes

There are several features of the recent Harper government budget that make little sense.

Increasing the allowance for the tax-free cross-border shopping. This is a serious slap in the face for hard-pressed Canadian shopkeepers.

Canceling the Katimavic program. This is a small budget item that has been wonderful for both the volunteers and the communities that are helped.

The approximately $270 million for First Nation education is nice, but until housing and health standards improve, the more building of schools will not really be as helpful as hoped.

The CBC, the perennial whipping boy, suffers yet another cut. This truly Canadian entity has a proud history of innovating and broadcasting and also has been a spring board for countless articles in furthering their careers in various fields. This is the only way many Canadians get to hear from fellow Canadians all across the country. The CBC investigative reporting is excellent and important.

What were the items reducing environmental standards and time limits for hearings doing in the budget? Oh yes, the budget passes (see majority rule) and so do the environmental sections.

This is the same devious procedure as in the previous budget where the inland navigable water legislated changes were considered “budget” items.

In Canada we seem to believe in helping lucrative corporations, eg. oil, Those companies got tax breaks to augment the subsidies we already give them, plus the easing of fishery and other environmental restrictions. We allow raw material to be shipped overseas. No major manufacturing jobs for Johnny Canuck, just carry on as drawers of water, hewers of wood and diggers of holes. Banana Republic ideas.

By contrast, Norway collects a share of the oil profits into a fund which the government may not touch until the oil is gone. In Norway the legacy is a pot of gold. In Canada the legacy is potholes.

Tell your MP of your concerns, it is really important for the future of our country.

Sheila White

 

Summerland