Maybe Not a New Leaf for Canada

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 30, 2003 | Go to article overview

Maybe Not a New Leaf for Canada


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Americans can be forgiven for being optimistic about the coming change in political leadership in Canada ("Turning over a new leaf," Friday, Editorial). Optimism about the future is a fundamental part of being American.

Canada's future prime minister, Paul Martin, is not "a fiscal conservative," although he desperately wants people to perceive him as one. In the 1990s, the budget was balanced by dramatically reducing federal transfers to the provinces in education and health care, which led to higher provincial expenditures and a decline in services in these sectors. I believe the correct description is "passing the buck." The only real expense cuts were to our already severely underfunded military. Mr. Martin's tax cuts were a good example of giving with one hand while taking with the other. A reduction in income tax was combined with an increase in employment-insurance (EI) premiums, which go into general operating revenues. Now, the EI program has a surplus that is used by the governing Liberals to fund their pet projects. …

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