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Government money should be spent wisely

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 11:28 am

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Dear Editor.

Our MP Blake Richards recently sought input from constituents on the upcoming budget. Here are a few ideas from your local Green Party Association.

First what we do NOT want – more wasteful spending:

• $100+ million spent on Economic Action Plan advertising.

• $2.5 million spent advertising the non-existent Canada Job Grants.

• $16.5 million spent to promote pipelines.

• $24 million spent on international promotion of the oil sands.

• $8.25 million spent by the PMO

• $19,000 per day to hire consultants to help his government “save money.”

Constituents in the riding of Wild Rose are a bright bunch. No amount of advertising deceives us into believing it’s a good idea to gut environmental regulations; spend millions of dollars on what should be industry-funded research and public relations; or muzzle scientists who disagree with government policies. Expensive messaging does not make up for a failure to gain the public’s trust through thoughtful discussion and action.

Some ways those wasted dollars could be put to better use:

• Keeping Veterans Affairs offices open to properly assist Canadians who’ve served our country.

• Supporting the government’s assertion of Canada’s world-class research by continuing to employ the more than 2,000 federal scientists laid off.

• Keeping research facilities open, such as the world-class Experimental Lakes Area and the science libraries that are being culled.

• Bringing much-needed funding for research and staff back to our national parks, including Banff National Park within our riding.

Recently named “third highest spending MP in Canada,” Mr. Richards should also concern himself with cutting his own costs. For example, instead of spending $35,000 per year on mailed-out newsletters, why not ask constituents to subscribe if they are interested? Or provide a digital option to reduce the costs of paper, printing, and delivery?

It’s time the Conservatives backed their “fiscally responsible” words with thoughtful action. In the eyes of the Canadian people, desperate efforts to slash expenses after increasing our national debt by $123,500,000,000 since 2006 does not constitute fiscal responsibility.

Mike MacDonald,

Wild Rose Green Party Association, Banff-Airdrie


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