Weekly Commentary  

The dollars and sense

Time off for bad behavior. Big time.

Opposition MP's are proposing this. Suppose a teenager winds up hurting himself while he's say, mugging a senior. His mom or dad will get time off, for a year, paid for by taxpayers, to stay home with him until he's feeling better.

And the parent's employer will have to give the parent up to TWO YEARS leave of absence from work until Junior's injured knuckles are ready for action again.

Here in the constituency people shake their heads.

People here in the Okanagan and Nicola Valleys do have a soft spot for anyone, especially a young person, who wants to get his or her life straightened out.

The federal government gives significant funding to local initiatives which reach out to youth and families at risk recognizing there is clearly a place for prevention and rehabilitation.

President Obama, commenting on the scourge of social problems in many American cities, said that the single greatest reason for youth dysfunction was absentee fatherhood.

Laureen Harper was speaking this week in schools to parents and teachers about limiting time spent on texting and videoing.

However, none of these things is what the Opposition Bill is talking about.

What kind of message does it send to a young person if the sanctions for mauling a senior or gang swarming an innocent teen means mom or pop gets a year off with pay?

Can you hear the fatherly advice?

"Look son, if you're at risk of getting caught doing that home invasion, at least make sure you hurt yourself."

Exaggeration aside, this legislation could become law if the coalition of opposition parties continue to support it.

I will do what most of you want me to and speak against it. I'll keep you updated on progress.

Better news on the international front. Prime Minister Harper took a lead role at two important events this week.

At the G-20 in Korea he was able to highlight the reasons that Canada is now classified as the industrialized country with the strongest economy. Freezing governmental operations spending, reducing the deficit and keeping taxes down all help to keep our economy and jobs growing.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum are both saying Canada is the model during this fragile global recovery.

Later in the week Canada was thanked by NATO and by President Obama for our decision to have our troops play a military training role in Afghanistan. Respecting a previous vote in Parliament, we will not be involved in further combat missions in Afghanistan after 2011.

Our troops were thanked for making real progress (and sacrifices) against Taliban forces. Villages have been liberated. Over five million kids have now been inoculated against polio.

Health centers and schools have been built, women by the thousands are learning to read and irrigation and power projects are underway.

Thanks to our soldiers.

Much is left to be done. Canadian troops will now train Afghan soldiers to protect their own citizens from a heartless enemy.

Canadian troops can also hold their heads high, knowing they have faced the brunt of horrendous vicious attacks and have prevailed as the most skilled, and professional soldiers in the world.

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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