Friday, March 31, 2006

Can't win for winning

I have to wonder how government can make anyone happy. A budget eliminating school fees, putting more than $100 million into education, money to hire nine new RCMP officers and eight new RNC officers, and allowing 97,000 more low income earners to qualify for the provincial drug plan. This means that people on social assistance can go to work and still be covered by the drug plan. Even better, people on social assistance who get a job will still get transitional income support for the first month after they get a job, to help with their expenses until the first paycheques come in. I say bravo. There were many other positive things in the budget. You can read about them here.

But listening to the radio this morning and watching the television news last night, I'd swear there had been slashing in the budget other than the slashing of school fees. With few exceptions everyone seems to be complaining. People are saying that this wasn't done or that wasn't done or that there was not enough spent in the budget or that it was not fiscally conservative (too much spent). The resounding reply to this first positive budget in years seems to be "where is mine?". Then the Liberals like Gerry Reid and Anna Thistle come out saying that the budget has done nothing for the regular guy on the street. No, only if you make under $30,000 a year and suddenly have a drug card, are going to get your roads fixed, have at least one child in shcool, are one of the 25,000 people who are affected by Alzheimer's disease in a family member and now can have the drugs to treat this, want more police on the streets, or are just happy that our books are not bleeding red ink anymore.

Then on CBC's the Morning Show, I hear the response from Jim Bennett, the newly annoited leader of the opposition. Now, Jim wasn't in the House to hear the budget since he does not have a seat there. As a matter of fact, he wasn't in the province. He was in Ontario in a court of law working on a case while the budget was coming down. He phoned in his response from Windsor, Ontario this morning. His response? Making fun of the fact that the government cut out small game licenses and what paltry fee cuts there were. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. Then again it must be hard to see the forest from so far away.

I've said before here that I am not of one party stripe or the other. I've voted for them all at one time or another. Right now, I like the Conservatives provincially but not the federal Conservatives. Right now, I am thinking this is a pretty good budget and I am pleased. I also think that the opposition Liberals had better get their act together and get someone who spends more time here in the province to lead their party. Maybe even someone in the house of assembly. Until then, I'll take Danny and Loyola and say "good job". I just wish others could take this money being spent and say the same and not "but, what about 'fill in the blank here'".


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