Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Throne Speech

So the throne speech is just over, and here is my first ideas:

It was vague, but here is what I took away.

Mapping of the Arctic Ocean. Okay. I'm not sure why we'd do this except to flex our muscles against Russian incursions. But why not say we are going to put a military presence up north? I don't like these "subtle" signals, that are not really subtle.

Crime. They are going to bring back the crime bills that failed in the previous session. This is the issue they want to fight an election on. I'm all for tougher penalties, but it has to be merged with prevention measures, or we just end up with more crowded jails.

Environment. They are going to bring back the clean air act, but I couldn't tell if they were going to bring back the amended clean air act, or the unamended clean air act. If it is the amended version, I'm all for it.

Tax. This is stupid. Tax cuts for the rich, cut to GST, with an overheated economy and a dollar so high it is killing manufacturing. With these cuts they could have eliminated the lowest tax bracket. There is not a country in the G8 that is cutting consumption taxes. Blatant vote grab that is not in the long term interest of the country. I'm all for corporate tax rate cuts, it helps they economy in a number of ways.

Lowering Inter-Provincial barriers to trade. This I fully support. I hope they don't pooch up the implementation.

Limiting Federal Spending in areas of Provincial Jurisdiction. This sounds very much like the social union Liberal plan. This was woefully unpopular in Quebec, but I like it. I'm always amused when the Conservatives re-release Liberal programs.

1 comment:

Blair said...

Not to be too mean or anything but are you being serious when you write : ”Mapping of the Arctic Ocean. Okay. I'm not sure why we'd do this except to flex our muscles against Russian incursions.” Have you not been paying attention over the last three months to the newspapers, the CBC, the radio? This issue was the lead story on virtually every newscast and newspaper in mid August!

To explain, the reason the Canadian government is putting resources towards mapping the Arctic has to do with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of which Canada is a signatory. Under this convention states are granted sole exploitation rights over all natural resources within a 200-nautical mile (370km) zone extending from their respective coastlines. Countries can then claim the right to exploit a further 150 nautical miles of seabed if they can prove the continental shelf extends that far from their coast. If Canada doesn’t carry out the mapping and present the data within a set time then we foresake any future claim to the natural resources in the disputed area. Even if all we want to do is to protect the arctic from exploitation we would have no legal means to do so because we abrogated the right by sitting on our hands. For someone who is running for public office this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you?