Letter to the Editor published in the Victoria Times Colonist, 7 February 2007
The Conservative government’s decision to spend $3.4 billion on four “super-jets” is good news for defence contractors, but bad news for ordinary Canadians who support other priorities. Climate change, child care, housing and health and education require a substantial injection of federal funds.
But sadly, ramping up defence spending seems to be the top priority for the Harper Conservatives.
Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Gary Lunn has touted a new $300-million energy efficiency program, which essentially restores a program cancelled by his government in 2006. This investment, which is needed, is one-tenth the magnitude of a single defence contract.
Defence personnel are entitled to adequate wages and benefits, but under the cover of “supporting our troops” the Conservatives have opened the money taps for transnational firms like Boeing.
Issues like climate change and poverty pose a far greater threat to this country’s well-being. What good is having a representative at the cabinet table when that representative remains silent in the face of skewed priorities?