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Monday, November 14, 2005

Election money for immigration

It's clear that a federal election is in the making in Ottawa with the announcement of $97 billion dollars to be returned to Canadian taxpayers over 5-years according to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, with an immediate cut in tax rates to individuals earning under $35K from 16% to 15%. And there's more - $1.3b in aid for new immigrants too!

But of course...only if the Liberals are re-elected.

It's interesting that this money was "found" in the Federal Budget on the eve of an election...It seems like a sweet late Fall carrot dangled in front of those with something to gain from the Liberal agenda. Include those businesses that would benefit from corporate tax breaks and it looks like you'd have to be, well, a critical thinker to vote for any party but the Liberals.

But ask yourself, Canadian voters - where was this accounting throughout the Liberal's agenda over Paul Martin's term? Why now? Clearly, this play for your wallets is a play for your votes.

The Liberals have a pretty poor record with overall fiscal management, especially in light of Gomery. While I have to applaud a government that will take no more than it needs and work to return the rest, I have to wonder, when I hear so much about improvements needed in access to healthcare and other federal programs (including an understaffed CIC), why the taxes collected wouldn't go to these much needed improvements.

I do hope that despite which party ends up in power after the next election, that programs are supported and new ones created that will assist immigrants. The $1.3B Goodale wants to pump into immigration would certainly be welcome - by me and 700,000 others who reportedly want to eventually make Canada their home.

It will be interesting to see if Canadians vote for their wallets or for their country and each other's best interests (whatever they determine those are) come January.

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