The Conservative government keeps telling Canadians that everything is fine, and we will balance the budget despite many economists and the Parliamentary Budget Officers’ (PBO) views we will be posting a deficit due to falling oil prices. According to the PBO, Canada will find itself with a tiny deficit of only $400 million for 2015-2016. Such a tiny number compared to the overall scheme of things, yet the Conservatives reputation of the economic stewards of the country is coming under fire by opposition parties.
Rather than actually coming clean and being honest about the situation (which Canadian politics so seriously lacks), the Conservatives are pivoting to security issues to get away from being held accountable for a very tiny deficit. The Conservative base is mainly built on fiscal responsibility and law and order. Civil liberties is also a big part of the Conservative base.
The Conservatives on Friday will table it’s anti-terror legislation, which is turning out to be a big part of their election platform. Will this be a good idea in the Conservative political war rooms? I think they should have just stomached the deficit, and ran on the economy.
This anti-terror legislation is expected to diminish the privacy rights of all Canadians to give tools that the RCMP and other law enforcement has publicly stated in the past that it doesn’t need. This is to respond to the shootings on the hill last year (which was a law enforcement failure not a policy one). Constitutional experts state that Canadian law already provides for greater investigative tools for law enforcement, and laws that diminish our constitutional rights in the name of security is really not necessary. The legislation is also expected to further militarize our police forces, in large part because the RCMP didn’t have carbine rifles (that had long range capability) available a few years ago when some nut job was running around shooting police officers in New Brunswick last year. The RCMP only had shot guns and pistols available for the first few hours of the ordeal due to being poorly equipped. Do we really need to arm our law enforcement with tanks, armored personal vehicles, semi-automatic weapons, because the RCMP didn’t have long range rifles available a few years ago? You can’t fight ideas with guns. You fight ideology with the education and information targeted towards extremists.
I wrote a blog a few weeks ago that politicians around the world came together in defense of democracy and self-expression after the Paris attacks, when at the same time attacking those very fundamental pillars of freedom to catch a few nut jobs. If the Conservatives want to run on security, it might be best to put forth policies that will actually work rather than just throwing money at the security establishment which in over a decade, hasn’t worked in reducing extremist terror and nut job attacks. In fact they are increasing at an alarming rate due to this failed policy, and we have become less secure as a result.
The boys shouldn’t get their toys until they can demonstrate they need them. Just maybe we would be able to save ourselves $400 million in tax payers money as a result, and the budget would be balanced. That would be the less tone deaf thing to do.
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