National programs need reviewing

The Government of Canada will reconvene tomorrow (June 2).
It will be a majority government and for the first time in seven years, the governing party will be able to lead and make hard decisions about the future of our country.
Some of those decisions will appear unpopular to the general public, but will be in the best interests of Canadians.
The GST would never have happened without a majority government. Nor would a national medicare plan have been adopted.
Majorities gave government the power to be innovative.
While the Conservatives campaigned on a plan to reduce corporate taxes by two percent in the election, it would be in the best interests of Canadians to maintain that tax until a balanced budget is achieved.
We all can remember the drastic changes that occurred when Paul Martin, the finance minister in Jean Chrétien’s Liberal governments, cut funding and support for programs across Canada that ended up balancing the budget and paying down the national debt.
It is true that Canada’s economy has grown and we can sustain more debt. But as debt grows, it reduces the ability of government to respond to changing global economies.
The Green Party, as well as the Liberal Party under the leadership of Stephen Dion, have over the last decade promoted the requirement that Canada should reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. Factories, automobiles, and trucks will have to produce cleaner emissions.
A majority government has the freedom to put in place programs to reduce Canada’s carbon emissions.
“Green” technology is a growth industry, and funding more research programs in Canada’s colleges and universities will create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians and Canadian companies worldwide.
A “Green Canada” was not in the Conservative platform, but a majority government affords the party to do things out of the ordinary.
As Canada ages, our medical system continues to face more funding issues. Whether Liberal, New Democrat, or Conservative, all the parties have committed to spending more of the budget on transfers to provincial health-care budgets.
But just transferring funds from one level of government to a second layer of government will not solve the shortage of money in the system.
Canada has 13 different medicare programs. Each province has its own priorities for health care, and every province funds medical care and support of patients differently.
It may be time for a major review of medicare in Canada. Just adding more money year after year eventually will bankrupt both the federal government and the provincial governments.
We all agree that health care is a Canadian right. The issue facing Canada is how can that right be maintained with costs growing so fast? Are there opportunities or programs that can be used to create healthier Canadians that are not being used today.
The government should have a new health “white paper” to assist both national and provincial governments to create savings and develop new programs to sustain medicare in Canada.
There are lots of options available for this new government. There are great opportunities for national debates and changes in thinking.
Let’s hope this Parliament takes the majority and does review national programs.

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