Letters to the Editor for Jan. 28

Letters to the Editor for the Jan. 28 issue discuss promises made by the Liberal Party and the state of the Conservatives Party.

Letter to the Editor re: Conservatives anything but dead

When Justin Trudeau in an interview with an influential BBC current affairs show in London right after his stunning election victory said “I left them in the dust”  this was more impulsive optimism than reality.

Not quite Justin! Actually Trudeau won his majority with 39 per cent of the vote, precisely as did Harper in 2008, which means that 60 per cent of voters did not vote for the Liberals. The truth is Stephen Harper left his party in very good shape and in so doing has restored normal politics to Canada by building the Conservative Party as a credible alternative to the Liberal Party who like to think of themselves as the ruling party in Canada.

Who could ever say that 70 years of Liberal rule in our short history is healthy democracy? It’s about as healthy as the Communist party ruling the Soviet Union for 74 years.

The Conservatives have more than a few reasons to be optimistic. Harper has clearly distinguished himself from John Diefenbaker and Brian Mulroney who both left the Conservatives devastated. The Conservatives received nearly 32 per cent of the vote and still have a healthy 99 seats in Parliament and are still the top party in terms of raising money.

Dark economic realities are already clouding the “sunny ways” agenda of the new government. Sagging oil prices and a low loonie will reduce revenue for the Liberals making it much more difficult for them to keep some of their irresponsible election promises.  Hardly seems the right time to institute a national carbon reduction strategy. The cost of the Syrian refugee resettlement pledge was supposed to be $200 million but will likely come in at three or four times that amount. Trudeau’s blind commitment to all 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for First Nations could prove very expensive. Higher deficits, payroll taxes, carbon taxes and increased income taxes will be needed to finance irresponsible promises.

Trudeau will provide a gold mine of ammunition for a capable Conservative opposition with his mistaken, short sighted and reckless management of the finances of the nation and the government’s non-existent foreign policy. The new government has hurt seniors and families by cutting the Tax-Free Savings Account level in half and eliminating the Universal Child Care Benefit.

Conservatives must resist the temptation to go back to “Progressive” Conservatism, learn from mistakes made in the election, regain votes from Canada’s major cities and continue to embrace sound economic and security policies and prove they are “a government in waiting.”

Gerald HallNanoose Bay, B.C.

 

Letter to the Editor re: Liberal international aid

Under the last ten years of Conservative rule, Canada’s share of global aid became the lowest of all industrialized nations. In 2014, the only G7 country with a smaller aid budget than Canada was Italy, which had an unemployment rate of over 12 per cent and whose economy was among the worst in Europe.

The usual argument for this parsimony is it’s somehow better to help Canadians than foreigners, and yet I know of no recognized ethic, religion, or accepted system of morals that says only help those that live near you and forget everyone else. If human life has value, if we believe that every humanbeing has potential, the accident of one’s location of birth shouldn’t be relevant. Recognizing this, Canada has pledged to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign assistance. We are now at less than half that, while our global partners have reached or are close to that goal.

The second usual argument is our weak economy, but despite a deficit of nearly $200 billion, the UK still met their international obligations in 2014. At the height of the 2008 recession, Ireland increased its aid, exceeding Canada’s. The difference between 0.24 and .07 per cent is a rounding error in the federal budget, yet means life and death for millions.

The Conservatives and their tight-fisted policies are now gone, and it’s time to fulfill your predecessor’s oaths, Mr. Trudeau.

Nathaniel PooleVictoria, B.C.