Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the Conservatives’ majority government.
Over the course of the year, there have been many noteworthy successes, as well as numerous issues the government probably wishes never made the public realm.
On Wednesday morning a Conservative strategist and a former NDP communications member were interviewed on a radio talk show. On the issue of the economy, the NDP supporter said Canadians aren’t any better off financially than they were last year, that the youth jobless rate is higher than the official number of 15 percent, personal debt is growing, and there is concern about uncertainty amid government cuts.
In response the Conservative representative he said the prime minister see trade as the key to Canada’s future prosperity, and that Canadians are comparably better off today then others in the world.
“(You’re) right, there are probably people listening today who don’t feel as prosperous as they were a number of years ago, but comparatively they are doing better than the rest world and going forward I think that’s what the prime minister wants to sell,” said the Conservative speaker.
We wonder - whom exactly he is comparing us to? Are we being compared to our southern neighbours? To those in Greece where austerity is now a way of life?
Yes, in Canada we aren’t seeing the same visible level of government cutbacks or job losses as other places in the world and our houses aren’t being foreclosed in great numbers; but, many still live in poverty, where fresh fruit is a luxury and a full belly an unknown.
Parry Sound-Muskoka has the lowest median household income in northern Ontario. To those struggling to find a job or place to live, or to pay rent and feed their children, being told they’re better off than someone else isn’t comforting or a good example.
Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement has done great things for this area. The most recent example is FedNor funding at the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport, which will directly help in the creation of new, well-paying jobs.
Let’s remain focused on producing jobs and education opportunities that will take people out of poverty so that we just aren’t better off than those in many other nations, but the envy of the world.