Tories desperate to cling to power

This week, the Conservative Party of Stephen Harper showed just how desperate they are to cling to power, and at the same showed how they continue to abuse the power they’ve already been given.
After years of Conservatives openly fighting against the very idea of a universal public pension plan like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), suddenly in the waning days of their increasingly unpopular government, a minor miracle has happened.
Last week, Finance minister Joe Oliver announced he and his party suddenly were “open” to allowing voluntary contributions to the CPP.
They don’t support this idea, mind you, but they are “open” to it and will be holding “consultations” on the idea over the summer.
Allowing voluntary contributions to the CPP is not a bad idea in and of itself. In fact, the Conservatives stole this idea directly from the 2011 NDP platform.
In Section 1.1 of our platform, we stated: “We will work with the provinces to build-in the flexibility for you and your employer to make voluntary contributions to your individual public pension account.”
It is very similar to them poaching our idea to lower the small business income tax from 11 percent to nine percent, which can be found in Section 2.1.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so the saying goes.
This new Conservative CPP proposal, while not actually being a proposal but an announcement that they plan to ask others about a possible proposal, still would not be a solution to the pension and savings crisis we face.
Canadians are saving just three percent of their income today because they are buried under a mountain of debt, and secure and well-paying jobs are scarcer than ever.
That’s why the NDP in 2011 also wanted to double payments to the CPP (at a cost of about nine cents more per hour) while doubling the monthly payouts in retirement in addition to the voluntary top-up.
The Conservative announcement really is just a smokescreen to help distract from their ethical failures and our struggling economy.
A Conservative government stealing NDP ideas five months out from an election is the equivalent to them begging Canadians to re-elect them. But what would the Conservatives do with this new power if you handed it to them after Oct. 19?
Why, they would continue to abuse it, of course; just like they did last week when they retroactively changed a law so they wouldn’t have to throw their own staff in jail for breaking it.
It seems there was an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request for information relation to the Long Gun Registry that was filed before Bill C-19 passed Parliament (the bill that abolished the Long Gun Registry).
When an ATIP request is filed, staff from the Information Commissioner’s office gather and provide the information to the person who requested it—provided it does not breach another person’s right to privacy or divulge sensitive information related to national security.
These requests are governed by the Access to Information Act–a law passed by Parliament.
The problem is that in spite of knowing the law, the Conservatives and their staff knowingly, willingly, and illegally destroyed the requested information instead of providing it to the person who legally had requested it.
Now, you’d think the “tough-on-crime” Conservatives would want to get to the bottom this and hold the law-breaker accountable, but you’d be wrong.
Instead of allowing a police investigation and possibly charges, the Conservatives just went ahead and changed the law–and then made those changes retroactive to before that ATIP request was filed.
This story really could be told in one sentence: the Conservatives knowingly broke the law and then they changed the law retroactively so that no crime could have been committed.
It’s like some kind of perverse magic trick—commit a crime and then all of sudden (poof) you’re innocent!
In October, you will have a clear choice: to build a better future and end the lies and corruption in Ottawa, or allow a tired and corrupt government to continue to govern so they can continue to re-write history and protect their friends.
I’m sure you will choose wisely.

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