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Seriously Tom, do you hear yourself talking? – Former NDP strategist criticizes Conservatives

May 2018

Re:  “Ford and Kenny will cut for the rich” (Toronto Sun, 14 May):  Tom Parkin, a former NDP staffer and social democrat media commentator, criticizes provincial Progressive Conservative leaders Jason Kenny and Rob Ford for “…bribing voters with public money,” then goes on to outline how Andrea Horwath will give us all sorts of “freebies,” in effect bribing us with our own money.  Seriously Tom, do you hear yourself talking?  Oh, but the NDP will “…ask the very rich to pay a little more…” to fund these promises. Yeah, let me know how that works out.

At least Tom gets one thing right.  His opening paragraph says it all:  “There’s a long and shameful Canadian history of huckster politicians bribing voters with public money.”

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PARKIN: Ford and Kenney will cut for the rich

May 13, 2018

Abel / Toronto Sun

There’s a long and shameful Canadian history of huckster politicians bribing voters with public money.

Now two conservative aspirants are taking it to a high-class art. But there are signs Canadians are getting wise to these tricks.

About 10 days ago, Jason Kenney, Alberta’s United Conservative Party Leader, pledged a $900 million tax cut for Albertans earning over $129,000 — the top 10%.

Yes, that’s $900 million for people who already have the most, taken from everyone else. It’s $900 million in cuts to health care and education and other services Canadians rely on.

And last week, in Ontario, PC Leader Doug Ford joined this exclusive club of Canadian politicians who help those in exclusive clubs. Not to be outdone by Kenney, Ford promised to give away $2.3 billion in public money, with the maximum benefit going to those in the top tax bracket.

Doug Ford’s PCs even dressed it up as a “middle class” tax cut — and, letting down their public duty, many reporters got bamboozled and reported the PCs Leader’s claim as if it was true.

Now some, in response, will defend this deception by arguing that “middle class” is a slippery term — the Ford PCs certainly learned that trick from the federal Liberals.

But the fact is, Doug Ford’s tax cut will give the biggest payout to a Bay Street CEO earning $1 million a year. Sure, maybe “middle class” is vague — but not meaningless.

Ford and Kenney are telling Canadian voters they’d take from the many and give to the few. It’s reverse Robin Hood.

Ford has already promised seven different tax cuts — in a campaign only six days old — cutting $20 billion over a four-year term of office.

How big is $20 billion? Well, Ontario’s drug and hospital insurance programs — ODP and OHIP — are $18 billion a year. The combined budgets of every Ontario hospital are $19 billion a year. So, each year, imagine wiping out big chunks of those.

And Ford won’t say what he’d cut and privatize. He just waves it away with one word — “efficiencies.” Just a $20 billion cut — it won’t hurt a bit. Believe me, folks.

Canadians have been on this cut and privatize journey for a couple of decades now. But maybe something is changing.

Last week, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath launched a campaign ad that was completely different. In 30 seconds she outlined her plan for pharmacare, dental care, student debt and other areas. And at the end, she added, “now imagine a leader who’ll ask the very rich to pay a little more to make this happen.”

Say what?

It seems Horwath may be onto something. Polls show Ontarians responding, pushing Horwath’s NDP into a fairly solid second place with an election on June 7. This could be a change of Canada-wide significance.

Canadians are on a treadmill. The Conservatives cut — so we throw them out and put in the Liberals. Then the Liberals cut — so we toss them out and vote the Conservative back in. And nothing changes.

Horwath’s early success suggests Canadians may want off the treadmill. I’ll wager even many people who get these tax cuts would rather have it invested in a better society.

Cynical politicians have been crushing Canadians’ hopes by turning politics into a competition between bad and worse, selfishness and greed. But maybe they underestimate Canadians.

Tom Parkin is a former NDP staffer and social democrat media commentator

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: http://militarybruce.com/seriously-tom-do-you-hear-yourself-talking/

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