MP Alex Atamanenko responds to reader’s letter

MP Alex Atamanenko responds to Rose Calderon's letter to the editor.

I read with interest the June 12 letter to the editor commenting on my recent column “Two New Solitudes.”

I would like to point out to the author that there were many reasons, which varied by party, that led all members on the opposition side of the House to vote against the budget that brought down Paul Martin and subsequently the Liberal Party.

Above all it had become quite impossible to support a government whose corruption in the sponsorship scandal had just been made quite clear by the Gomery enquiry. Perhaps that’s why she would prefer to blame social programs for the failing economy in Greece instead of the government corruption and tax evasion which were actually responsible.

Equally odd was the notion that the province of Alberta is responsible for propping up Quebec’s social programs when in fact the equalization fund is not paid into by any province at all – it is paid into by each and every one of Canada’s taxpayers and businesses, including Quebec’s.

Instead of bashing NDP social democratic policies and Kootenay union workers for recently having negotiated a decent benefit package it might be wise for the author to ask how it can be, given the vast wealth of resources being extracted like there is no tomorrow, we cannot afford to properly fund health care, child care and education or take care of our seniors and most vulnerable. Instead of the Harper majority we are enduring today, Canadians might have been a step closer to realizing some of these things had Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff agreed to work in a coalition government with Jack Layton when he had the chance.

A viewing of the film, “Poor No More” might give the author a better idea of what can be accomplished under progressive government policies and strong labour unions.

Alex AtamanenkoMP for B.C. Southern Interior