I understood when Michael Ignatieff passed the Conservative budget. It was important to get money flowing. Brining down the government one the budget would have delayed for months improvements to unemployment insurance (as slight as they were) and infrastructure dollars. But the budget is done.
Todays announcement of layoffs at the CBC was entirely preventable. Never mind that the majority of Canadians support additional funding for the CBC, never mind that last year the Heritage Committee, before the current economic crisis started, after an exhaustive study called for additional funding for the CBC. The CBC didn't even ask for more money. They asked for bridge financing - essentially they asked for a loan against next years budget. Not only did the Harper government said no to all of it but it is clear now that Heritage Minister James Moore irresponsibly leaked the CBC's plans. (It should be noted though that the same government may be willing to give your money to private broadcasters.) This is just the latest in a series of attacks arts and culture.
The CBC layoffs alone are surely not enough to bring down a government, but this is not the only reason, only the final straw.
This government has refused to act on poverty, refused to act on environmental issues, refused to act on employment insurance, and has given only tepid support to infrastructure and economic stimulus.
After refusing throughout the last election to acknowledge that there was an economic problem they have continued to downplay it and pretend that it wasn't as bad as we thought.
This is, in short, an irresponsible government that refuses to govern or even acknowledge reality. The thin infrastructure spending and small extension of unemployment benefits are all that the Harper Government is going to deliver in terms of economic stimulus.
It has been over 3 years since Harper took over the PMO. In that time unemployment is up, the deficit is up, poverty is up, crime is up, just about every major industry in the country is down, the stock market is down, the environment is worse, commodity prices are down, the trade surplus is down, and arts and culture is broken and bloodied.
The Conservative Party of Canada has, in short, in their first 3 years as a governing party brought no new ideas to the table and has accomplished nothing at all except for rewarding their friends and punishing their enemies.
So, we need to get a new government. It is time for Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Layton, and Mr. Duceppe to bring down the government and call an election.
This is not an endorsement of any of the parties, but it is time for the candidates to hit the campaign trail and lay out their plans for Canada in what is bound to be a very long economic downturn.
Please join me here.