We all know to take them with a grain of salt. Election promises from the party you support are things you hope will happen, and election promises from the party you despise are usually considered rubbish. I know that some will follow through and some will not. I get it. I’m still hopeful that some things will happen, but I know others may be a longshot.
Sure, there have been blatant failures on election promises. Promise to support women in achieving equality? Of course! It’ll get you elected! But in 2006, 12 of 16 Status of Women Canada regional offices were closed. TWELVE. But that was just an election promise, right? There has to be some concessions to balance the budget, right?
In my head I swear I can hear Conservative politicians say “Hey, upset Canadian ladies, you need to calm down. Be good team players, mmmkay?”
Sure, the Conservative Party of Canada touts their plans for solid economic policy. They promise in elections to keep taxes low, create more jobs, bring Canada back to glorious financial prosperity.
But, it seems like this is being done at the expense of Canadians, particularly those who are young, poor, unemployed, who identify as aboriginal, as newcomers, or those who have served our country in the military. How do we know this? Well, let’s forget election promises, and look at the actual budget.
While I don’t expect politicians to follow through on election promises, I do expect money budgeted for social programs, services, and branches of government to be spent. I may not always agree on how it’s allocated, or the priorities set by the government in power, but I do generally anticipate that it’s spent within the fiscal year for which it is budgeted.
The problem that has been becoming increasingly apparent over the last few months is that not only has the Conservative Party’s track record on not following through on election promises been atrocious (anyone remember Steve’s plan to abolish the Senate, oh, a decade ago? Then promptly appointing over 50 Senators? Seems like recent events may have reminded him it’s not such a bad idea), but they can’t even manage to spend the funds allocated to services and institutions designed to serve people who need it most.
In November of 2014, it was discovered that over a billion dollars meant for Canadian Veterans services went unspent. After spending countless dollars on our military, sending our members of the military overseas to serve and fight, and having them come home physically impaired and psychologically impaired, Veterans Affairs Canada, under the Conservative Government, returned $1.13 billion dollars unspent on services and programs dedicated to supporting members of the military facing financial hardship or coping with real effects of combat. One in six members of our armed forces are coping with PTSD, depression, or addiction issues. And the department returns money to the federal purse.
In the spring, an internal report showed that in 2013-14, the $97.1 million dollars went unspent in 16 major programs, including initiatives for youth employment programs, services for people with disabilities, immigrants, literacy initiatives, and others. Nearly $100 million dollars, people.
In June, Aboriginal Affairs was found to have a spending shortfall of over one billion dollars. Later that same month, the RCMP updated an original report on missing and murdered indigenous women, sharing that over 1200 indigenous women had been murdered or gone missing since 1980. I guess it’s true that the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women just isn’t really high on Steve’s radar, anyway.
This week, after weeks of increased awareness of the years-old Syrian refugee crisis, and very graphic photos of the desperation of displaced people in refugee camps and horrific images of children’s bodies washing up on shores after unsafe attempts to find safe haven, reports that $350 million dollars for refugee resettlement and application processing went unspent were shared and honestly, I just can’t take it any more.
The mismanagement and misspending of federal funds. The inability to follow through on not only election promises but programs and initiatives to serve Canadians who need the most help. The pompous revelry that this government enjoys when talking about a pending budget surplus that they achieve through pulling money from Employment Insurance and federal departments simply not spending the funds budgeted to implement programming.
The complete and utter assholery that is going on here is just too much to take.
Even if we don’t believe all the campaign promises, even if we don’t agree on what federal priorities should be, I expect people to at least be capable of doing their jobs, creating and funding the programs they have committed to in the federal budget, and supporting fellow human beings.
The Conservative Party of Canada has demonstrated time and time again that they cannot do this. That they are not capable.
It is time for them to go.
And then do it.
Elections campaigns are about promises. We all know that. But if you lied on your resume, you were really bad at your job, going against your workplace policies, and breaking the law, you’d be fired. It’s time for Steve to be fired. It’s time for all of them to go.