When I hear people say that Conservatives are fiscally responsible I can’t help but wonder specifically which Conservatives?
The Harper Conservatives, currently represented here by David Wilks, wanted to buy the F35 fighter jet stating the price tag at $14.7 billion. A review by the parliamentary budget officer put the cost at closer to $29 billion. Not only were they $14.3 billion off the mark, they didn’t follow business rule No. 1 — put the contract up for tender to get the best product at the most competitive price.
Meanwhile, when asked by sitting MPs and the budget officer to disclose details of public spending for parliamentary review, the Harper Conservatives refused. They were taken to court, lost the case (taxpayer funded, of course) but incredibly continued stonewalling and were found in contempt of parliament! So much for transparency and accountability for the taxpayer purse.
During the 2009 global financial crisis the Conservatives were patting themselves on the back for Canada’s stable economy. However many experts attributed the weathering of that storm to pre-Harper policies instituted by the Paul Martin Liberals. No matter, Stephen Harper smugly took credit.
Now the smugness is gone as Harper’s one-trick pony economics have collapsed into recession — part of his “long-term plan,” I suppose. Their worst long-term fiscal decision was eliminating the mandatory long form census. Both the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Chamber of Commerce advised against this simply because good fiscal planning requires accurate information. Obviously the Harper Conservatives aren’t interested in good fiscal planning.
If you want transparency and accountability for your tax dollar, you’ll have to vote for someone other than the local Harper Conservative.