Governing by opinion isn’t making anything better

The Conservatives don’t really care for statistics or facts that get in the way of their opinion.  What other reason would a government have to throw its census into disarray than to dismiss any hobbled data it may provide?  That way they can plan for the future based on their neo-conservative ideals rather than empirical evidence. 

Consider that in a short period of time, this government has a strong record of dismissing facts that don’t agree with their legislative agenda.  Why else would the omnibus crime bill and mega-prisons be an immediate priority for our generally law-abiding country that was, and still is, staring down a global economic crisis?

 

Even if these were Canada’s most pressing priorities, why commit so much of our resources to incarcerating petty criminals at American style rates. Texas, with its tough as nails reputation, is changing its ways when it comes to locking up the kind of people that we are about to start imprisoning.  They can’t afford it and locking up more and more people wasn’t solving any of their problems either.

Violent crime has been decreasing year after year in Canada.  Do we have drug and gang problems? Yes, but we should listen to Texas about filling up prison cells with kids serving mandatory minimum sentences for petty infractions.

We have better uses for precious tax dollars already weakened by blind corporate tax cuts: Caterpillar got $5million and served as a backdrop for a Stephen Harper campaign stop in the 2008 election.  Ironically, they were promoting the great investment that tax cuts are for Canada’s economy.  When that company demanded workers accept a 50% pay cut, then left for the US a few weeks back, we saw the dirty underside of no-strings-attached tax cuts in the cold light of dawn.  Know this too; Canada has lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 5 years despite the claims of the tax cut faithful.

It starts to add up and it’s pointing to more red ink, not less.  We are rich in resources but hell bent to get them out of Canada without a single value-added dollar or job. We have committed to spend a significant amount of our tax dollars to put even more people in un-built, mega-jails - which some consider the equivalent of criminal training facilities.  Our corporate presence only exists in such a delicate manner that we have to coddle it or it will threaten to leave. And, oh yeah, we need to cut OAS.  

I don’t remember the sustainability of OAS being a central feature of the election and yet it has appeared less than a year into this mandate and may have been planned all along.  The Conservatives say OAS will fail and the Parliamentary Budget Officer and economists disagree.  Either way, if OAS is in peril, that should be job one for any government since their responsibility is to govern for all Canadians.

We have to fight to keep our social safety net now more than ever.  Let’s face it; losses on that front will pound nail after ominous nail into the coffin of what’s left of the middle class in Canada.  If the Conservatives continue to disregard statistics and facts it could happen sooner than you might imagine.