I felt like I needed to get that out-of-the-way in the title, before starting my post with this additional disclaimer. I don’t dislike or look down at poor people either. I was one myself – sort of, as a child who asked for little and needed little. I grew up in what I would call a middle class area in Toronto and it could have gone either way for me. I went to good, not great schools and my interests growing up were certainly not school, but instead hockey, baseball, wallball and soccer. If my parents had allowed me to drop out of school (like that was ever an option) to play sports, I would have done it in a heartbeat.
But I didn’t.
And as I grew older and realized I knew people who were much better with money than me, and I knew people who were much worse, my life decisions were made. Spend $20.00 on cigarettes to be cool, or get good grades to build a future for myself. With the support of my parents and some really awesome – incredibly smart friends in high-school, I worked my ass off on my academics, kept my nose clean (very clean actually) and when I turned 14, I got a job in the summer so I could have spend money.
I worked all summer and made $200.00 which I used to purchase a refurbished ghetto blaster. It was huge, black and had movable speakers. It was awesome and I loved it. But it also made me realize that I worked so hard the whole summer and within 5 minutes all that money was gone and if I wanted to get more, I would need to earn it.
For the better part of the next 4 or 5 years my sister and I worked for North York Parks and Recreation – sometimes in 3 different facilities on weekends, in the summer and sometimes both. At one point her and I worked all day during the week in the summer, and on evenings and weekends – we had 3 jobs - we made some good coin at $5.25/hour, and we learned it’s more fun to earn your money than to be given it in the form of say an allowance or a handout.
So there is the basis for what I’m about to say and how it relates to my frustration with voters in Toronto and the promises (handouts) being offered by the Liberals and NDP.
Now, please all you tree-hugging, left-wing “commie pinkos”, I’m not heartless. I’m what you would call a social Conservative, much like the party in power, actually. I do understand there are some legitimate reasons why people cannot work, I also know there are many illegitimate reasons why people choose not to work – those ones like to play the system. I think those in need should 100% be supported by the rest of the citizens of this country, rich and not-so-rich alike, and yes they deserve our support. No one likes to see people living on the street, just as no one likes to find out that the guy next door living on welfare has a bigger TV than you and takes more trips than you because he’s living of your sweat and blood.
I also like trees, a lot. I think we need to keep the environment in check at all costs and we need parks and clean water and safe foods, as much as we need smaller, accountable government and to know that our tax dollars are going to help pay for roads, hospitals, social programs and to make our country safer and cleaner for us residents and for tourists. I do not, however, think it is ever acceptable to get caught up in scams and schemes which use taxpayers money to allow non-arms length business interests to get rich. The Liberal Ad Scam make me sick to my stomach. George Smitherman and his reluctance to provide his donor list in the last municipal election proved – no so much in the facts as he has yet to produce his list – that Liberals feel they can run government in a much different manner than you or I would.
I think I saw a Liberal ad last night during the hockey game in which Michael Ignatief referred to the Liberals and being your Liberals, like family. Really? Yikes. Much like the family I don’t already speak to, I don’t need that relative who is going to go though the drawers in my house looking for spare change to take and them blame it on the Conservatives…
Get my point.
Now I know if you are still reading you are either a Conservative and are nodding your head up and down, or you are a Liberal supporter and are cursing me under your breath. I fell I need to provide examples of what I feel are dirty politics by the Liberals and NDP which go far beyond their massive egos which lead them to believe in the first place that we need yet another election because “Stephen Harper doesn’t treat Canada fairly”. No, he doesn’t treat you fairly and there is no better ego fix for Iggy or one-liner Jack Layton that to be Prime Minister, or Deputy PM. This is very much an ego-based election than it is one based on policies.
As a country heading out of the recession which began September 15th, 2008, Canada has received top marks for being one of the countries least affected. I know being in the finance industry, that I saw the job losses, the bankruptcies and the reduction in hiring, but I have also seen the turnaround at a time when other countries are still wallowing in despair. But the Liberals would have you believe that was a fluke and now, if you re-elect Stephen Harper and the Conservatives they are going to buy helicopters (or fighter jets) and have corporate tax cuts… Yeah, and?!? If that is what is keeping Canada out of the recession – defense spending and allowing businesses to continue to operate, should we now decide that is bad? I’m not sure I’m following Iggy’s logic.
I know, Iggy… Let’s follow the Liberal model and spend as much as we can to buy votes and not worry how we are going to pay for it. Case in point, Universities are a provincial responsibility, yet just a day into the election, here is Iggy promising to give each student $1000.00 towards their education (hear Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty scratching his head?).
Okay, so you want to pay off the university kids right, for the easy vote. A vote for Iggy means a vote for lower tuition. Good one. I’m glad Universities make so much money that they can forego those funds. Wait, they can’t. So that money is going to come in the form of new taxes. Thanks Iggy. I know tuition is out of control, trust me. I worked all summer while in University to pay for my tuition when it cost me $3000-4000 for the year. It’s higher than that now, but when I was working minimum wage was $5.35, now it’s $10.25 in Ontario – thank you again Dalton.
So when I received my spring newsletter from my MPP, who turns out to be Dr. Eric Hoskins, (who knew since I’ve lived here for almost a year and didn’t know he was the MPP – but I guess in times of election, it’s time to show off your pictures in the neighbourhood helping out and of you with your fellow Libs), I wanted to see what platform he was standing on. Fortunately for this post, our MP, Dr. Carolyn Bennett also crept out of the woodwork. Her claim to fame was a private members bill to prevent the killing of the long-form census… Oh yes.
So I decided to take a peek into these beautiful newsletters to see what the good doctors was doing for the folks in my ward, an ethnic part of Toronto which contains an affluent area and some pretty run down areas.
Here is why – as a member of the workforce since I was 14, I will not be voting Liberal;
Under the section entitled “Tax cuts, Benefits and Tax Credits Working For You” I found;
- The Libs permanently cut taxes for 93% of Ontarians (I am disregarding this since I vote for the person, not the party. With no supporting figures to support this claim, I choose to ignore it and look for the footnote instead).
- Eliminated income taxes altogether for 90,000 lower-income people (Wouldn’t lower-income people pay less taxes anyways?)
- The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit lowers our hydro bill by 10% every month for the next 5 years (maybe to offset the disaster that was the Clean energy act and smart meters).
- Increased the child benefit by $1000… For low-income families (I’m okay with this but have always wondered how to be sure this credit gets spent on the kids? Make it payable to a day care or for a live-in caregiver?)
- Introduced a permanent sales tax credit… For low-income families (in what form?)
- Introduced a property tax credit and energy tax credit… For low-income families
- and paying my family $1000 because they feel guilty that they put in the HST.
So moral of this story… The Liberals want low-income families to feel welcomed in Ontario. They obviously feel that the middle and upper-middle class can fend for themselves. You know that group, right… The group who work long hours – usually both parents, hire caregivers, send their kids to programs, private schools or after school programs, buy clothing and accessories for their kids, and for themselves, and who visit attraction in Ontario, eat out, volunteer their time and give to charity, you know the ones who, in a nutshell, stimulate the local economy due to their disposable income. The message from the Liberals… We’ll help you, but you must be poor. Frankly, I appreciate the efforts here, really I do, but I expected that from the NDP.
I guess when you aim your campaign against the Conservatives being for big business and for the “rich” you can’t put anything in your platform to assist the middle class or upper-middle class. They, who are you elected officials, making over $100,000 per year must be able to go it alone if you vote for the Liberals. Raise your families, stimulate the economy AND help the lower-middle class and lower-class.
A vote for the Liberals is a burden to anyone who has worked hard to further themselves and their families. Seriously… Why try? Find a job working for cash, and live off the handouts. Where is the incentive?
At least the party that gave us George Smitherman (where is your donor list George?) and the eHealth scandal is not afraid to come forward and talk about their spend-first, tax later campaign against the middle class.
Federally, all the Liberals are doing is complaining that Stephen Harper, if given a majority government, will suddenly switch his agenda from that of leader of this country – steering us out of a recession, to Stephen Harper, the man who will waste money on helicopters and corporate tax cuts… Yeah, right Iggy. That’s it… You believe that, because no one else does, or at least anyone educated doesn’t believe that, and I’m sure people who do believe it can be bought with fancy credits.
So what else have the Libs taken credit for?
- That 200,000 more students are attending college, university or learning a trade
- that they’ve increased graduate spaces
- Capped tuition fees
- Invested $6.2 billion dollars in higher education (umm, we’re in a recession guys)
- recovering 91% of jobs lost in Ontario during the 2009 recession comparing that total to the 12% recovered in the US
- They created a tax reform plan. I love plans!
- Invested $10.8 billion in transit since 2003 (cause that makes it look better)
- Established Metrolinx
- Committed $8 billion to Transit City
- Committed $11.5 billion to a $52 billion dollar project in Toronto and Hamilton for more rapid transit.
- Reduced crime by 17% since 2003.
- Ensured safe drinking water and resurrected the dead.
Wow. A lot of claims, commitments and a LOT of spending! No worries about raising the deficit to stay in power, eh?
I’m just concerned that Ontario will do what Ontario likes to do and that is vote Liberal regardless of the policies or the parachuted candidates dropped into ridings by Iggy and friends. Paul Martin, Jean Chretien were the same. Stephane Dion was… Let’s not go there. Bob Rae, they are all the same. They are political celebrities who are above you and you should know that. They make the bucks but criticize the Conservatives for wanting to allow people to make a living. They want you to put them in power so they can run the country for their egos, not because they have a special policy or idea. Ask Iggy or Jack Layton – all quips aside – what they would do different to steer Canada away from the recession and they’ll tell you Stephen Harper wants to but helicopters. They won’t tell you that deep down inside they know that giving tax cuts and tax credits to people means either a giant deficit or higher taxes. The can’t tell you that because who the hell would vote for that?
They won’t comment to you that Stephen Harper also promised money to help students pay for their post-secondary education – but only after the debt is paid off because that is fiscally responsible. As a person who has NEVER charged a single purchase on my credit card that I did not have the money in my bank account to pay for, I don’t understand the Liberals being okay with adding and adding to the debt and deficit and paying millions of dollars in interest. What a waste. Stop cutting taxes, stop giving credits, pay off the debt and deficit, then use the money that was paying down the debt to pay for social programs or to provide cuts for the poor.
I guess I would be asking for too much.
It just irks me that I try to keep my expenses to a minimum and being fiscally responsible in my house but come election time people vote Liberal without a hint of what the Liberals will do once in power, which always results in a raise in taxes (hello, HST!!!).
So please, read the literature that comes in and don’t believe the big red Liberal machine. Ask questions, call your MP and MPP on their claims and see what they really stand for. Is it you and your riding or is it about them getting elected?