Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 6: Of Mice and Men

Conservatives: Complete Trade Negotiations with EU and India, Endorses Lower Churchill project
Liberals: Early Childhood Learning and Care Fund
NDP: Cancel "subsidies" to the Oil Patch and invest it in clean energy

Let's start with the Liberals today, because, well, quite frankly, they are the easiest to flesh out and analyze.  Long story short, they will transfer $500 million to the provinces, increasing to $1 billion per year by year 4.  The additional money is supposed to go towards new child care spaces with "qualified professional staff" (read: unionized bureaucrats).  This marks the second major spending initiative in the Liberals platform, and the third policy which is designed to cut a cheque to some supposedly needy party out of general revenues.
Cost: $1 Billion per year when fully implemented

The Conservatives essentially announced something today that all good governments would work on - expanding our trade and considering financial support for a hydro-electric project in Newfoundland.  The completion of trade negotiations doesn't cost us anything, in fact it expands our GDP and grows our economy.  The Lower Churchill project provides cheap energy to Newfoundland and Labrador and subverts Quebec dominance in the area.
Cost: Nothing

The NDP got their policy book back from the Liberals today and promptly announced that they will cancel all the "subsidies" and "tax breaks" from the dirty dirty oil patch.  I'm actually rather confused, however.  After all, it is the "tar" sands that are currently generating billions of dollars of economic activity in Alberta directly, not to mention the billions more in economic activity in the rest of Canada as oil men purchase trucks (Oshawa?) parts, manufactured goods and other services, not to mention all the people who reside in every other province in the country and fly into Alberta to work on those same "dirty" projects.  I'm also having trouble reconciling this announcement with yesterday's announcement whereby the NDP promise to grant $4500 per new hire along with accelerated depreciation rates.  Is Mr. Layton now saying that there is a sector of the economy which will NOT be allowed to benefit from those cuts?
Cost: Unspecified

Who wins the day depends on your point of view.  If you live in a major city and feel that the government should create child care spaces for you, then the Liberals win the day, although I can't imagine $1 billion going very far considering the last time they promised a National Child Care strategy it was costed at $5 billion.  If you believe in responsible government, then the Conservatives will win the day, because that's essentially what the Conservatives promised today.  The only way that the NDP wins today is if "clean energy" is somehow code for "Nuclear power plants", but even then they are kneecapping the economic engine of the country to get there.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the breakdown daily. I live in a major city with a childcare shortage and looking last minute for childcare 3 years ago terrified me. Was it at the University where I thought would be best while I finished my degre? No. But I did find childcare and there were a number of spots. There are better ways to provide childcare then throw money at it. Dayhomes are flourishing and I see more and more governement regulated dayhomes to be much more of a sound solution as parents look to be at home full-time and earn money for their family as well.