Friday, May 18, 2007

Tanks for Nothin'

Monte Solberg has been taking some heat lately. Turns out that his Ministry of Human Resources hasn't been providing resources for some very needy humans.

In one of their usual bait-and-switch manoevers, the Conservatives slashed the previous Liberal Summer Career Placement Program, then replaced it with a plan of their own that included revised criteria for funding. Stephane Dion maintains that the new program was underfunded to the tune of $11 million dollars relative to its Liberal predecessor (although Solberg denies this). In any case, dozens upon dozens of worthy community organizations across the country have, for the first time in years, found their funding requests denied. Some of these undeserving organizations included the "Yes I Can" camp for autistic children, the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Center, and a little league baseball league for disabled children.

Happily though, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor was able to find $1.3 billion dollars to fund the purchase of 100 'gently used' Leopard 2A6 battle tanks. If that figure seems a little high, thats because it is - roughly twice as expensive as the Conservatives' initial public estimate. But hey bleeding heart Taliban-lovers, used tanks cost money! So even though its been a bad week for a number of disabled and disenfranchised Canadians, Stephen Harper can sleep easy knowing that he's at least put a big smile on the face of his number one fan, General Rick Hillier.

Addendum: So as not to end this post on a sour note, there is a little bit of good news to report. The Government of Ontario has decided to intervene on behalf of the "Yes I Can" camp for autistic children.

Mary Anne Chambers, Ontario's minister of children and youth services, said she was moved to act after reading in yesterday's Star that Ottawa had rejected the camp's funding request..."We, the government of Ontario, will invest the $38,000 that they have lost in order to ensure that these kids can continue to have a summer camp," she said.


Anonymous said...

Just curious - how many religious organizations have been funded by the CPC? Solberg is one of those religious right wing partisans.

How many of the funds went to CPC ridings?

Love to see a breakdown.

Red Canuck said...

Anon - yes, that would be interesting to know. It has been suggested that funding criteria were slanted in favour of rural organizations, so I suppose that might in itself tend to favour CPC ridings.
Although my post was rather snarky, I didn't mean to imply that the CPC had any malicious intent in denying funding to specific organizations. Rather, it seems to reflect a general carelessness with which the CPC has handled files that didn't fall within their loathsome "5 priority" platform.
In many cases, stable Liberal programs were slashed only because they were Liberal programs. They were then hastily reconstructed and sold with much media fanfare as Tory initiatives, but often in inferior packages, and withou any consideration to the obvious consequences. In other words, Solberg should have foreseen problems like this arising. The tragedy is that the unintentional victims here are some of Canada's most deserving people.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with Harper - all tactics with a lack of detail. Hurry, hurry, get it done. Well, haste makes waste doesn't it.

He doesn't seem to worry about important details like how his policies and priorities affect the Constitution.

Hurry, hurry - protect the strippers from Europe - but, hey, there's a drastic shortage of employees in the Immigration Dept. and they are way behind - oh, well, get the message out and worry about details later.

I put this website address on Red Tory - it's interesting.


Red Canuck said...

Anon - Thanks for that link. It's exactly the kind of website that needs more publicity!