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They Screwed Up Our Future. Who Are They?

October 7, 2008

I heard part of a speech Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion was making in British Columbia today and it scared me. 

Chretien and Martin

Chretien and Martin

He was being critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper for not having an economic plan, unlike the Liberals who would offer more of the budget control heroics of former Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Jean Chretien. That is when I got antsy and stopped listening.

Chretien and Martin did a great job of balancing the budget and keeping taxes down however, it was at a great cost to the country. Why don’t we have enough doctors and nurses today? Thank these two true “politicians” for their great leadership in the 90’s when they cut back on the funding for educating doctors and nurses which has created the shortage today.

Why is the country’s infrastructure (roads, bridges etc.) in such sad shape and in need of billions of dollars of upgrades? Thank the dynamic duo again for using gas tax revenues to balance the budget rather than building and maintaining roads. Oh, and what about Walkerton and the water contamination that led to the deaths of 7 people? I guess cutting the public health department budgets which resulted in the Ontario provincial government reducing the amount of health inspectors and/or privatizing inspections was not a great tax saving idea.

One could go on and on about how Chretien and Martin sold out our future for the selfish purposes of being re-elected, term after term. However, it is more important to focus on the here and now to ensure that whoever gets elected, we do not repeat history and make this sorry mistake again.
 

 

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2 comments

  1. Education for doctors and nurses is provincial. Harris in Ontario was the one who cut doctor spots in half.

    In 96 he cut 100% of provincial funding for public transit infrastructure.

    Water inspection is provincial and Harris cut that too. Harris gave tax refund cheques to Ontario during these times, so the money was there.

    If you want to blame Martin/Chretien for cutting something you could blame their cuts to the military or failing to meet Kyoto or even the gun registry. The things you list as important were not their fault, sorry.

    You should not comment on politics in Canada if you don’t know about the division of powers between governments. If you had a hockey blog people would consider you an idiot for commenting if you didn’t know the rules of the game, same should go for politics.


  2. Several provinces cut doctor and nurses spots because the Federal government reduced transfer payments. Note, my article indicates it was the Ontario government that cut inspectors again because of reduced transfer payments.

    The Feds do provide infrastructure funding under agreements with the provinces and municipalities but they do not do it enough. My point was that the federal excise tax on gasoline was originally implemented to enure proper maintenance and upgrading of roads and highways. This money was used instead to reduce taxes and balance the budget. There is one billion dollars per year in gas taxes coming from BC alone. At the time, there was only 2 to 3 million per year being spent in BC. This is fact.

    I am quite aware of which level of government provides which services. Perhaps you were not aware that sometimes provincial services rely heavily on transfer payments from the Feds so sometimes services at the provincial and local level are affected by funding decisions in Ottawa.



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