Federal budget

The federal budget was presented on April 21 by the finance minister.

The federal budget was presented on April 21 by the finance minister who, in keeping with tradition, had purchased a new pair of shoes the previous day.

Just as well he chose a pair of black New Balance sneakers with Tory-blue laces, as he needed to do some fancy footwork in proudly proclaiming that his budget was really balanced. Essentially he moved a couple billion bucks from the emergency contingency fund into general revenue — equivalent of moving almost everything from your savings account into your credit card or chequing account. Those who are completely deaf, dumb, blind and stupid may believe all the balanced budget ballyhoo from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, but those of us not so afflicted can see through it like a pane of glass.

The Tories want it to sound like the opening of the nursery rhyme “Little Boy Blue come blow your horn,” but in reality it’s the closing of another nursery rhyme: “Ring Around the Roses… ashes, ashes, we all fall down”  —  meaning we are all getting burned again.

The budget didn’t mention aid to help save the lives of refugees fleeing by sea from Libya; apparently the Harper government doesn’t care for anything as picayune as floating death traps. They spent about $347 million on the NATO bombing campaign to ouster General Gaddafi in 2011 and another $850,000 for the self-congratulatory mission-accomplished-type fly past for the prime minister, governor-general, their spouses and other Ottawa bigwigs grinning ear-to-ear like conquering heroes. Of course, what NATO really accomplished was to leave a badly broken country with no government, rife for terrorist groups like ISIS to take over, and no rules and regulations in ports, etc. Libya is fertile ground for all types of corruption and skulduggery, not least the human-trafficking to Europe; every day more and more African refugees tragically drown en route to Italy.

NATO members, including Canada, who smashed the country into pieces with its bombs, should definitely be cleaning up the mess and chaos left behind. They should start with urgently doing something for those who risk their lives sailing in overloaded and unseaworthy vessels from its lawless ports, desperately seeking a better life in Europe.

To paraphrase the closing lines of “Humpty Dumpty“ — all the NATO horses and all the NATO men, should try and put Libya back together again.

Bernie SmithParksville

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