The Harper Record: A Mixed Bag

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) advocates for lower taxes, less waste, and accountable government. This week on The Harper Decade, CTF's Federal Director Aaron Wudrick evaluates the Conservative government's tangled fiscal record:

"Perhaps strangest of all is the persistent mythology held in some circles of the Harper government as having dramatically cut spending and emasculated government: even after controlling for population growth and inflation, federal spending is up more than $15 billion since 2006. Add in near-record revenues, and seven years of deficits which added a further $150 billion to our federal debt — whatever your take on the Harper government, the notion that they have been shrinking the state simply defies the empirical record." (Click here to read more).

Aaron Wudrick is the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and a former political organizer, campaign manager, lobbyist and lawyer. He holds a degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Waterloo and a Law degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Harper’s 10 Year War on First Nations

“…the Harper government stands out as one of the most racist and aggressive governments that First Nations have had to work with in many generations.” 

Click here to read or listen to Mi’kmaw lawyer, author, and activist Pamela Palmater explain how the Conservatives’ abysmal relationship with First Nations has exacerbated the socio-economic gap separating Canadians and Indigenous peoples:

“Harper isn’t simply neglectful - his government knowingly allows conditions that lead to the preventable deaths of First Nations to continue unmitigated. For Harper’s majority, this is, in fact, the plan – to make conditions so unbearable on reserves that First Nations are forced to leave their communities and give up their lands for resource extraction.(Click here to read more).
The Harper Decade Reading List

A list of links highly recommended by The Harper Decade team:
  1. Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB): According to an analysis by The Canadian Press, Tory, suburban ridings will gain the most from the federal government's newly increased UCCB program. Click here for Jamie Golombek's breakdown of how the UCCB works, and why it will not benefit all Canadian equally.
  2. Climate Change: Alex Bozikovic explores the various ways in which cities around the world are adapting - or failing to adapt - to the increasing effects of climate change.
  3. Expats Lose Right to Vote: Ontario's Top Court has ruled that Canadians who have lived abroad for more than 5 years are not able to vote in federal elections. Click here for Peter H. Russell and Semra Sevi's analysis of the decision, and their argument that "[t]he five-year limitation does not conform to the 21st-century demands of globalization."
  4. HIV: According to a recent study conducted in Vancouver, providing homeless HIV patients with supportive housing could dramatically increase the number of individuals who stick with anti-retrovrial drugs.
  5. Cascadia Subduction Zone: Kathryn Schulz explores the possible consequences of a massive earthquake and tsunami along the North Pacific coastline.
  6. Bill C-51: A journalists' group and a civil rights organization is challenging Canada's new terrorism law, calling the legislation an attack on constitutional freedoms.
  7. Assisted Death: The Conservatives have stalled in taking action in regards to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down barriers to assisted death, showing what Andre Picard considers "contempt not only for the landmark ruling, but for the process of law-making more generally."
  8. Imam Certification: Mustafa Farooq argues that a recent Senate report calling for the certification of Muslim religious leaders aims to create fear.

The Harper Decade is a digital series featuring expert commentary on the changes that have occurred in Canada over the past decade of Conservative rule.
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