Who were those people yesterday? And what did they do with the tight-fisted, fiscally responsible, small government, big business advocates who used to be known as Conservatives? I haven't seen this much money being thrown around since Nortel last handed out executive bonuses.
It was truly an amazing performance by our color-blind (Am I blue? Am I green?) minority government. Despite all the public denials, this was clearly an election budget, with cash out to everybody. And the threat to the opposition benches was blatant - reject this budget and you will be publicly and loudly tarred as being anti-(insert your favorite cause/province/sexual orientation/industry/family structure/disability/pet breed here).
Interestingly, the only opposition party in favor of the budget is the Bloc Québécois who's leader was quick to say that the $3.224 billion heading to Quebec will be welcome cash to help fund the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada (assuming of course that the PQ and André Boisclair win next week's Quebec election - not an impossibility at this point in time).
Now the rhetoric really begins.
But in the meantime, we have a pretty good idea what Stephen Harper thinks your vote is worth:
- If you are a family with children under 18 - $310 per child. Woo hoo!
- If you are a senior citizen - you can contribute to your RRSP for two more years. Keep working!
- If you are a long-haul trucker - a cheaper lunch.
- If you are on welfare AND working - $500.
- If you are in the market for a new car - $1,000 to $2,000, but only if you buy a vehicle that costs $5,000 to $10,000 more than any other.
- If you live in the GTA - $0 - you already got yours.
- If you are the Bloc Quebecois - $3,224,000,000. Payable to the country of Québec?
- If you are an oil sands producer - priceless. You get to keep it all and then some.
And you can take that to the bank because the Conservative's new best friends - the Bloc Québécois - will make it so.
Alberta must be so proud of its favorite (adopted) son.