The two political solitudes Alex Atamanenko (MP BC Southern Interior) wrote about in his letter of June 4 (Two new solitudes – Part 1, Trail Times June 4) emerged in 2005 when, he, under the leadership of NDP’s Jack Layton, joined forces with Conservative leader Stephen Harper to vote down PM Paul Martin’s Liberal government.
Now, Atamanenko complains that Canada has changed under Stephen Harper. Well, the NDP and those who voted NDP are not blameless. What did Atamanenko expect; that the majority of Canadians would vote for a dyed in the wool socialist regime?
Hindsight is 20/20 but one could see it coming. The demise of the federal Liberal, and, yes, natural governing party, would lead to an American style extreme right versus extreme left.
The NDP’s new leader Thomas Mulcair is causing the great divide between East and West claiming, among other things, that Canada’s oil sands development has led to “Dutch” disease (a reliance on oil revenue).
I think if Canada had to have a disease, it might better be “Dutch” than “Greek.”
In Greece, an over reliance on generous, unsustainable social programs has led that country to bankruptcy and bail out by other countries such as Germany. The Greeks are now suffering horrible but needed austerity measures, a result of largesse run amok.
Quebec has a similar problem to Greece. Its generous social programs are not sustainable despite being the largest recipient of equalization payments from the same oil sands province, Alberta.
Mulcair wants to keep his votes in Quebec so too bad for those NDP MPs from Western Canada. They now have to trot out the dog and pony show.
The political vehicle Mulcair uses is “environmental sustainability”. If Mulcair and the NDP were really interested in “environmental sustainability and polluter pays programs”, they would apply the same measures and negative publicity to all resource industries, including those in Quebec and in Atamanenko’s riding.
Locally that resource industry, a private sector company and largest single economic driver in the Kootenays, just negotiated with its unionized employees. The result is a substantial 18 per cent wage increase over 5 years, a 12 per cent increase in pension and a $10,000 signing bonus.
None of this settlement is due to the NDP, yet, local unions still go out to support Atamanenko, the same guy whose party wants to penalize the resource sector.