Weekly Commentary  

Dollar is up, common sense down

Good news on the job front for the second month in a row. Over thirty thousand new entrants into the workforce found work, most of it full time. That doesn't mean we're out of the global downturn. It does show however that our approach and actions to soften the blow of the worldwide downturn have been having a positive effect.

The International Monetary Fund says that Canada was the best placed going into the recession and that we're the best positioned coming out. They say our stimulus package per capita was the largest per person in the G-8, but that our deficit is the smallest and shows good fiscal management.

To top things off this week the federal finance minister, Jim Flaherty received an award in Europe for best finance minister of the year.

So, over all, while we are by no means out of fiscal danger of the global downturn, we are faring better than most.

This week in the House of Commons, while we were enjoying some encouraging signs about dollars, we were seeing some discouraging lack of sense. I'm referring to some bizarre votes on issues related to dealing with serious crime.

I've heard concerns around the riding for years about something called 'discount crime'. That's where convicted criminals get double or triple time off their sentences depending on how long they were in remand awaiting trial. Canadians from coast to coast of all political stripes have been frustrated by this policy for years.

So we became the first government to deal with this by tabling legislation to end that policy. We agree with most of you that serious violent offenders should not get discounts for hurting (or killing) people. Imagine our shock then when the federal Liberals gutted that legislation in the Senate and have allowed that odious discount practice to continue.

Sadly, they didn't stop there. They also weakened the penalties we had put in place to seriously deal with serious dealers.

If that wasn't bad enough, brace yourself for the whopper.

When it comes to listing the vilest types of crimes, trafficking in children has to be near the top of any caring person's list. To show how concerned we are with the thought of children being sold as slaves we also brought in mandatory jail time for people convicted of that atrocious activity. Imagine our shock when Opposition members voted against that one too.

Can anybody explain to me why on earth anyone wants to let convicted child kidnappers and traffickers walk (or prowl) our streets without having to go to jail for their crimes against kids?

On a positive note, talking about Senators, it was great to see our former local Senator, Ross Fitzpatrick receive a high reward, the prestigious "Order of British Columbia". Ross served us well in this constituency for over eight years. Yes, I know he was a Liberal Senator but I also know he worked hard on our behalf for the things that matter most to us.

Congratulations Ross, on your well deserved recognition.

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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