Weekly Commentary  

Faint election calls please

That's right. I'm asking you as my constituents to give me a call or an e-mail if you're itchin' for a federal election. So far I don't have any takers. Even while I was door knocking on Saturday morning all I heard at the doors on that point was the same rhetorical question. "Who in their right minds wants another federal election right now?" I was asked.

Just a bit of trivia if we did have a federal vote it would be the 4th election in 5 years! Don't get me wrong, you know I am a keen democrat. It's just that an election every year is bit more democracy than most people can stomach.

At any rate, by the time you read this that question will probably be answered. We have been informed that Mr. Ignatieff will magnanimously inform the rest of us mere mortals whether he has decided (or not) to bless us with a summer trip to the polls.

To answer the door knocking question further, I can now inform you of the names of the only three people I have talked to over the last three weeks who have suggested we should have an election. They are, in alphabetical order, Gilles Duceppe, Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton. If there's a fourth it's probably the guy at Air Canada who rents the four campaign planes to the party leaders during elections.

The Lib leader says he'll be reading the recent Government Economic statement over the weekend before he makes a decision. Well at least that's more than Jack Layton's NDP will do. They loudly maintain that they will oppose and vote against our budgets without even reading them. While that may be a time saving way to oppose something it really doesn't say much for informed debate or intellectual honesty.

So as Mr. Ignatieff pores over the document of the Government's Economic Update here's a sample of what he will read:

  • Our overall stimulus package to keep the economy rolling during this global downturn is valued at $62 Billion.
  • Over 80% of this year's package of projects is already out on the street, creating jobs and moving money.
  • The package has created a temporary deficit which is proportionately smaller than any of the G-7 countries.
  • Canada has a reduced tax rate regime lower than the other G-7 countries
    EI benefits are getting to those in need at a faster rate than ever. An extra 5 weeks of benefits goes to those hardest hit by the downturn
  • Special Billion dollar funds have been put in place to assist communities which have been especially hurt by the downturn.
  • Unique incentives are in place to encourage home buying and house construction
  • Our banking system is still regarded as the most stable in the world
    We are making credit available to large and smaller companies through agencies such as EDC and BDC.

    So, the plan may not be perfect, but most reasonable people agree that it shouldn't force an election.

    Talking about stimulus, West Kelowna is finally getting its new RCMP detachment building. We joined Mayor Doug Findlater as he made the $8.4 million announcement with a smiling Inspector Forgues and a band of his dedicated officers.

    Coincidentally, a lot of those officers also gave their time to the annual ‘Free the Fuzz' fundraiser in front of Walmart this weekend. I got handcuffed once and harassed twice, forcing me to avoid arrest by coughing up a quick bribe. That was nothing compared to our new MLA, Minister Ben Stewart who came with $1500 to get out of jail. Good work Ben!

    So hats off to our hardworking men and women in uniform for putting in extra time to raise funds and public awareness for the Special Olympics!

    And talk about hard work and extra time in uniform...Sid the Kid Crosby and his happy band of Penguins showed you really can overcome the odds and win, even when the experts say you can't.

    This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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