Is Paul Martin fit to be Canadas Prime Minister?
* Paul Martin reduced the number of unemployed eligible
to receive UI from 74% to 38% and reduced the benefits
for those who do quality.. The UI fund built up a huge
$40 billion surplus - billions were robbed from that
surplus to pay down the deficit. This was not government
money - it was premiums paid by workers and employers
into an insurance fund. Paul Martin just took it anyway.
* Paul Martin is known for having slain the deficit
dragon but in fact he did much more. In his 1995 budget
speech Martin boasted not about bringing down the
deficit (by slashing social spending) but of permanently
changing what government does: Indeed, as far as we
are concerned, it is this reform in the structure of
government spending in the very redefinition of
government itself that is the main achievement of
this budget. ...This budget overhauls not only how
government works but what government does. In
other words, Paul Martin used the excuse of the deficit
to permanently reduce the role of government - whether
in medicare, education, agriculture or food safety.
Heres the record - you be the judge:
* Our next prime minister went on to boast about
knocking Canada back to the 1950s: By 1996-97, we
will have reduced program spending from $120
billion in 1993-94 to under $108 billion. Relative to
the size of our economy, program spending will be
lower in 1996-97 than at any time since 1951. In
fact he did even better. By 1997 we were spending at
the same level as we were in 1949 - even though as a
nation we were three times wealthier.
* There is a huge disconnect between what Paul Martin
said in his public speeches as finance minister and what
he actually did. This is Paul Martin in his 1996 budget
speech: Let us act, not as special interests, but as
stewards of the national interest knowing that the
destiny of our children is in our hands. As he spoke
those noble words there were nearly two million children
in Canada living in poverty, an increase of 10% just in
the two years he had been finance minister, and a higherproportion than almost any other industrialized country.