Tories spending like drunken sailors

What happened to all this fiscal discipline that Stephen Harper promised us? The http://www.thestar.com/article/183221 reports that the Conservatives are on a spending spree with taxpayers' money, doling out about $10 billion in the past three months. Harper's surprise $1.5 billion announcement in Quebec last week for a national EcoTrust program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants is new money, money Harper, on the eve of an expected Quebec election, said he would draw from the 2006-07 year-end surplus. When the Liberals were in power the Conservatives criticized such year-end spending as "March madness." The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the government has failed to keep its promises on two counts: it is not reining in spending growth, and it is "spending down the surplus" just as the Liberals used to do.Apparently, program spending is growing at a rate of around 7.8 per cent, far in excess of the 3 % level the Conservatives promised in the election. More hypocrisy!


Is Hillier a public servant or a Conservative politician?

General Rick Hillier has described the decade of Liberal rule as the military's 'decade of darkness'. This is not the first time General Hillier has stumbled into the political domain. The fact that the Conservatives are giving the military all the toys they want doesn't justify Hillier's crossing of the line. The miltary was not the only public service to suffer cutbacks while the Liberals fought to cut the deficit and bring public expenditures under control. I worked in a government department where we had to implement a one-third reduction in staff and a substantial reduction in service.

General Hillier should stop his bootlicking of Stephen Harper and get on with his real job. If not, quit and run for the Conservatives in the next election. The last thing we need is a politicized military force in this country.

An Apology to Goodale

Last winter during the election campaign Ralph Goodale and the Liberals came under great attack when the RCMP Commissioner revealed that the RCMP had launched an investigation into possible leaks of a planned announcement concerning income trusts. Now the RCMP has exxonerated Goodale and the Liberals of any wrong-doing in this matter. Meanwhile the Conservatives are running ads in Quebec perpetrating the allegation that Goodale did something wrong. Goodale is owed an apology. I, like others, was guilty of prejudging Goodale and the Liberals on this matter while blogging on the election. I offer Mr. Goodale my modest apology. Stephen Harper should have the decency to apologize and to pull the ad now playing in Quebec.


Harper wants more law-and-order judges

PM Harper today admitted that he wants more law-and-order judges. That is why he is stacking the judicial appointee committes with Tory partisans. This is the guy who promised to clean up government.Imagine the right-wing agenda he would impose if Canadians fooolishly gave him a majority!


Patronage Thrives under Conservatives

Patronage is alive and well under the Harper Conservatives. Just a couple of weeks ago the Conservatives appointed former NL Finance Minister Loyola Sullivan as Ambassador of Fisheries Conservation, a position vacant since the mid-90s and formerly filled by foreign affairs officials with knowledge of fisheries matters.

The Globe and Mail> reports that the Conservative government has loaded the committees that determine who can become a judge, selecting a series of Tories including former politicians, aides to ministers, riding association officials and defeated candidates. Half -- at least 16 out of 33 -- of the people chosen by the federal justice minister as his nominees are conservative partisans.

This stinks to high heaven. The Cons intend to pack the courts with right-wing ideologues! And to think I voted for this bunch last January because they promised change. Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me! Bring on the election soon, please.


Exxon's obscene profits

Exxon,the world's largest publicly owned oil company, announced the largest corporate profit ever, a near $40-billion (U.S.) windfall in 2006.This has sparked an angry backlash, since the announcement was made on the eve of the IPCC report blaming the use of fossil fuels for wreaking devastation on the planet.

Apparently Exxon has been using some of those obscene profits to fund initiatives to create skepticism about the impact of climate change and opposition to policies that would reduce the use of gasoline and other oil products.

Good corporate citizen,eh?