A little late but Happy New Year everyone. My holiday season was relatively quiet but a very pleasurable event. The presence of my son, grandson and ex at my place for Christmas not only made my Christmas but had my mother beside herself with pleasure. With my son and ex coming from greater distances the visit was short but well worth it. I didn’t receive my grandson’s (age 31/2) last Christmas present until a couple of days after he left, a cold which I am just now getting over. Regardless it was well worth the visit.
I had ended the year deciding I would do my best not to be as politically outspoken. My political outrage has cost me a number of friendships over the year but after watching my grandson run around enjoying his Christmas I realized I need to be outspoken to protect his future. I can rest easier knowing some of us are still fighting for concepts that are not ideologically based but come from a position of good governance with a sprinkle of compassion.
As my grandson acted as Santa’s helper, passing out Christmas gifts while opening his own the fact that 1 in 5 children live in poverty here in BC was not lost on me. As we sat down for our Christmas turkey with all of the trimmings it was comments of politicians past that were dancing in my head. After all only two weeks before Christmas, Industry Minister James Moore, expressed his position on child poverty and I quote ““Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so,” he chuckled to a Vancouver News1130 radio reporter,“. The comment made me sick but the chuckle was disgusting. Hardly the attitude one would expect from a politician supposedly there to represent the people.
I must admit I was also a little concerned with Sean and Taylor’s travel arrangements. They came up from Vancouver Island on the bus and the weather was pretty crazy. Coming over the Rockies in blizzard conditions is never a guarantee for a safe or timely arrival and there was a good storm dumping lots of snow on the passes. And with the ongoing cuts to our safety inspection infrastructure their safe arrival was in the back of my mind.
And those cuts are getting increasingly larger. Following yesterdays CN derailment by Plaster Rock, New Brunswick I did some quick research and it didn’t take long. Transport Canada is facing several cuts related to safety programs. A comparison of the 2013-14 and 2012-13 main estimates shows: aviation safety spending will drop from $231.7-million to $214.7-million (7.3 per cent); marine safety drops from $61.8-million to $57.8-million (6.5 per cent); aviation security drops from $46.6-million to $33.8-million (27.5 per cent) and marine security drops from $20.7-million to $14.9-million (28 per cent).
Because my son and grandson live on Vancouver Island everyone of those transportation systems is needed. If the safety of those travel modes is eroding now, where will it be by the time my grandson gets to an age where he is looking at beginning a family? The cuts that are going on today will be felt much more ten years from now when our grandchildren become the next generation of spending consumers. Many of them won’t even realize what they will be missing.
And I haven’t even started on food safety yet. Meanwhile while all of this is happening the government has spend over $55 million in public relations advertising in 2013. So we have a government with Cabinet Minister’s who don’t believe in helping children in poverty, are currently dismantling the safety net that many Canadians help develop over the past forty years in favour of public relations and an electorate that prefer 30 second sound bytes to facts. Put these few facts together and you have the ideal conditions to dismantle democracy as we know it!
What will our grand children have to look forward to as far as a compassionate, caring country Canada use to be world famous for? Oh, did I mention the $40 million ad campaign the federal government is funding to promote the pipelines.
Canadian businesses no longer have to worry about the free market as long as they have a government that is fully prepared to use tax payer dollars to act as a marketing board for the oil industry. Wheat Board bad, government sponsored oil marketing board good! Do we have a government that is there to provide good governance or is this the new face of a marketing board for businesses that fit the ideology of the powers in Ottawa?
Just one man’s opinion.