The Shotgun Blog
Friday, October 28, 2005
The Perpetual Squeaky Wheel
My fellow Canadians...Please, brace yourselves for what may well be the greatest shock of your lives. According to THIS, the Canadian government has deferred to the supremacy of the francophone dominion to the east and bent the rest of Canada over, to give them a sweetheart deal...
Ottawa is preparing to sign a special child-care deal with Quebec that would give that province more autonomy over how it spends its share of the early-learning pie than has been granted to other provinces [...]
The decision by Quebec to sign on to the federal program will provide the province with an extra $1.25-billion over five years [...]
As with the others agreements, there will be a requirement that the province must account to its own people about how the money is spent. But, unlike the others, there will be no demands that the money is to go specifically toward child care. It could, instead, be used for "related objectives for the well-being of families."
That could mean education, child-assistance programs and programs to help families better balance the home and the workplace, said a source in the Quebec government, which had demanded the more flexible wording
But don't worry that this deal may be borne of Quebec's much-rumored attitude of superiority, over Canada...Oh my, no.
Transport Minister Jean Lapierre, Mr. Martin's Quebec lieutenant, was even more direct.
"Obviously Quebec is a model for the whole country and you don't ask Quebec to start up a new system when they're already spending $1.2-billion a year," he said. "Obviously they're not in the same situation that any other province is so it cannot be the same arrangement."[emphasis added]
Well, obviously! Now, I feel better -- don't you?
I am not a fan of the National Daycare initiative...In fact, I think it stinks. It's just another way for the socialist government to gnaw through the tensile strings that hold families together. It is a high-cost program, that will ensure children see their parents less -- and parents appreciate the costs of raising children less. As with any program designed to benefit those who do not work for what they get.
Aside from that though, If you are going to foist it on the taxpayers, do you think it would be too much to ask for it to be implemented fairly? Well, it would seem as though it is.
I have a question for Paul, and the supreme beings of Quebec. Pardon my French, but would you mind lubing me up a bit next time, before you throw that big fat French sausage in my behind? It's starting to chafe.
Dammit! And I haven't even had my coffee, yet.
Posted by Wonder Woman on October 28, 2005 | Permalink
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"Deferred to the supremacy of the francophone dominion," etc., etc., etc.?
Honestly, if this kind of spittle-flying, eye-buldging, mouth-foaming vitriol can be managed this early, perhaps you should skip the coffee.
Posted by: Voice of Reason | 2005-10-28 7:20:32 AM
This amounts, if it can be spent at Quebec's discretion, to a simple increase in transfer payments.
I don't see Mr.Lapierre's squaring the idea of Quebec being a model for the whole country while having a different situation and arrangement.
Maybe Mr. Lapierre means the kind of 'model' that does fashion shows putting clothes on and by 'whole country' he means Quebec is putting the Whole Country on.
Posted by: Speller | 2005-10-28 8:20:53 AM
I don't see how it could ever be implemented fairly - the entire premise is unfair from the get-go. It is a way to rip even more money out of the hands of people who would probably never vote for the Liberals anyways, and use the money to buy the votes of two groups: urban couples with kids who both work, and professional babysitters.
Quebec is indeed unique within Canada. People there are more finicky about selling their votes - probably because there are so many offers open to them at any one time. That's why the federal government must tailor its crooked, unfair welfare program to particular crooked, unfair political situation of Quebec.
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-10-28 8:36:59 AM
I know I'm beating my head against a wall, but where exactly does any level of government get the legal authority to spend time and money on babysitting, pardon me, child care?
It's not an area constitutionally mandated to either Ottawa or the provinces. Why do we let them meddle in areas that are not their jurisdiction?
Canadians, wake up. If governments weren't meddling in so many areas that weren't their business, you wouldn't have such a large tax bill and then you could pay for all of your own choices.
And there's the biggest problem. Canadians have been brainwashed into believing that their personal choices should be funded by everyone else.
Posted by: Kathryn | 2005-10-28 8:47:17 AM
If Quebec is already spending $1.25b on daycare then why do they need more from the rest of us?
They are constantly touting their system as a great success that should be emulated across the nation. If so, where is the need for doubling the amount of money they spend on it?
Why not just honest and tell us it is just an extra splash of money thrown at the province to mollify them and buy votes; "Hey sweetheart, here's a billion dollars, go buy yourself something nice"
Posted by: rhebner | 2005-10-28 8:51:29 AM
This is driving me absolutely batty. I recently posted on this garbage - I'm becoming more livid by the second (and I'm one of the mild-mannered ones!).
Posted by: Shane O. | 2005-10-28 10:14:31 AM
What about child abuse? Did we learn nothing from residential schools?
Posted by: ld | 2005-10-28 10:30:14 AM
There is currently a documentary movie playing in Quebec about the horror that is the Quebec Child Protection Agency, or whatever they call it in French. I didn't see it, but I'm told it's a shocker. Among many problems, it seems that children seized from families "for their own good" are held in cells that are far worse than the cells in which convicted criminals are kept.
So much for trusting government-certified, tax-funded professionals with your children.
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-10-28 10:45:10 AM
"Kathryn: It's not an area constitutionally mandated to either Ottawa or the provinces. Why do we let them meddle in areas that are not their jurisdiction?"
Because, since the 60's, Canadians have been encouraged to believe that for there is no problem, big or small, that they shouldn't expect the government to solve for them. Are you afraid of trans-fats but too lazy to read labels? Do you always wear a bike helmet but you want everybody else to wear helmets too? Done and done. Did you decide to have children and now you would like to go back to work but childcare costs are cutting into your vacation funds? No worries, the government will take care of them for you!
Now Canadian children can be taught from almost birth about the dangers of global warming, the glories of multiculturalism as a replacement for nationalism, and of course that a Liberal government will take care of them. Always.
Posted by: MustControlFistfOfDeath | 2005-10-28 11:16:49 AM
MustControlFistfOfDeath, I hear you about no problem too big or too small. Last winter, Parliament got busy on a Do Not Call list because, horror of horrors, people are _inconvenienced_ by telemarketers. Why is there never any thought given to people inconvenienced by government meddling?
Here are some questions for anyone reading this who believes that government involvement makes things better. Can you name one program that has solved the problem it was meant to fix? How about any program that stayed on budget?
You can't because programs are set up with platitudes as goals, open-ended funding and no way to monitor and measure results. These programs serve to make voters feel soft and gooey and vote the charlatans back in. They have nothing to do with the well-being of Canadians and everything to do with politicians getting elected. You are being played for suckers.
Posted by: Kathryn | 2005-10-28 12:12:09 PM
In my opinion, one of the biggest problems is not taken into consideration. It is the lack of births.
The only way I can think of it is consider it a problem of values. Is it more important to have 2 cars in the driveway or have more children?
Posted by: Rémi houle | 2005-10-28 1:05:09 PM
Kathryn, is it frustration talking or do you mean what you are saying? If you do, it seems you are advocating anarchy, i.e. no government, as social rule. Is this what you think would be preferable? If you had the most dedicated, trustworthy person present himself as a political candidate, would you not give him the slightest chance to try and make good on his word? And the argument that no honest person enters politics isn't true.
I agree that big government generally means big problems but you can't cram millions of people in a given area and expect that things will magically settle and organize by themselves. When left to their own initiative, most people are simply too greedy and selfish to behave without at least some form control or direction.
Let's get ourselves elected and let's do it right.
Posted by: Maple stump | 2005-10-28 1:29:47 PM
Another telling example of special treatment for Quebec: when Jack Layton rants in Question Period about "privatization of health care" he mentions Alberta and B.C. but never, never Quebec.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-10-28 2:38:35 PM
[QUOTE] When left to their own initiative, most people are simply too greedy and selfish to behave without at least some form control or direction.[UNQUOTE]
Lemme see if I understand this - people are too greedy and selfish to be trusted with running their own lives, but they're not too greedy and selfish to be trusted with running other people's lives?
"Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority.
"They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority."
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-10-28 3:24:45 PM
Maple stump, I am not frustrated, I’m disgusted. Of course government is needed. The question is: how much? The prevailing answer seems to be as much as possible. My answer is as little as possible.
How’s this for advocating anarchy? If it was up to me, I would close down every government ministry, department, agency and program that is not constitutionally Ottawa’s jurisdiction. I would terminate everyone toiling away in those endeavors and I would immediately remove their budgets from any future tax requirements. None of that “we’ll keep collecting the money and blow it elsewhere” line of thinking.
We have one PM and 38 cabinet ministers. Look more closely and notice how many are not federal responsibility or overlap each other. Lots of government could be cut without coming within miles of anarchy.
Since I’m really getting into this fantasy world, I’d do the same to every province, as well.
(Quoting my own post on the Shotgun last spring): “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Martin said something like “health, sport, woman’s issues, the gun registry, proposed Do Not Call lists, day care, housing, the cities, marketing boards – these aren’t our jurisdiction or the programs just don’t work – we quit. Our core businesses are defense, justice, customs and immigration, monetary policy, foreign affairs and we will concentrate on these until they work. Talk to your province or municipality about the other stuff.” And then the province or municipality could look at the constitution and say “Nope, not our jurisdiction.” And then people could look to themselves or private organizations to fill the need. Or realize that program X is just isn’t needed at all.”
Now, your comment about getting ourselves elected and doing it right, I presume you’re referring to the CPC. I haven’t heard much from them about limiting the size and scope of government. Maybe it’s electoral suicide to announce their intentions to do so, but anything else is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Too much government is too much government, no matter the party affiliation. It gives them too much direction and control over peoples' lives.
Posted by: Kathryn | 2005-10-28 4:20:33 PM
Kathryn: I fear you're right. The CPC (unlike Reform) has no intention seriously to reduce the federal presence in jurisdictions within which it should not act.
There are 38 cabinet and sub-cabinet ministers for two reasons:
1) Buying off special interest groups;
2) Buying off MPs who will never make as much money again.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-10-28 5:46:22 PM
Mark and Kathryn, I fear you are both right!
Did you witness that spectacle of Stephen Harper running around "ME TOOING" every outrageous spending promise that Dithers pitched during the Last Waltz to Nowhere in May?
Ho Ho Ho! 23 Billion Dollars on vouche-safed Socialist spending initiatives.
Some of them spanning a time frame of TEN YEARS.
No wiggle room left for Conservative policies or balanced fiscal policies let alone Conservative spending initiatives.
Liberal/Tory same old STORY!
There is NO Gravity.
Canada just SUCKS!
Posted by: Speller | 2005-10-28 11:04:31 PM
As far as I can discover there was only one media story on this (and not in any actual newspaper), the kind of military sole-sourcing that drives one nuts (hint: Quebec): "Military spending $355 million on newly adapted armoured vehicle, OTTAWA (CP)", Sept. 22
Excerpts from the DND News release (essentially copied in the CP story):
"Army to Acquire New Multi-Mission Vehicle
NR–05.077 - September 22, 2005"
'The Canadian Forces is increasing the capability of their wheeled light armoured vehicle fleet with the new Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle (MMEV). The Minister of National Defence today announced the Government’s intent to undertake a project, potentially valued at up to $750 million, to design, develop, and deliver 33 MMEVs for the Army. The Government is entering into negotiations with Oerlikon Contraves Canada, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for the prime contract for the $100 million first phase–design and development– of the MMEV project...
“This contract will build economic strength in the region,” said Quebec Regional Development Minister Jacques Saada. “The MMEV project demonstrates that Quebec industry has a depth of knowledge and skill that is second to none.”..
Following the successful completion of the first phase of the MMEV project –design and development– the Department intends to proceed with subsequent development, testing and initial production phases. These follow-on phases will provide the Army with three prototypes and an initial fleet of six vehicles, including ammunition, communications and information management systems, and interim logistics support. The full production of the MMEV fleet is expected to begin in 2010.'..
And only five years (maybe) until operational. And the LAV III chassis that will be used is produced in London, Ontario, by General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada (based on a Swiss Mowag design)--and will also I am sure be sole-sourced.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-10-29 1:57:09 PM
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