Yesterday, June 6, the new majority Conservative government introduced its budget – albeit virtually the same one that provided the opposition parties with an opportunity to subject the country to another election which turned out to leave the opposition parties much worse off then they were at the time.
So yesterday, I settled in to watch the budget speech by Finance minister Jim Flaherty on the specially beefed-up CBC National News coverage.
The CBC, in its wisdom, chose not to let me hear the speech, or judge for myself where or if it may have differed from the previous budget.
Instead, it permitted me to watch Mr. Flaherty on a little box at the bottom of the screen, without sound, while news anchor Peter Mansbridge, Power & Politics anchor Evan Solomon, Parliamentary reporter Rosemary Barton, all-time anti-any-government reporter Terry Milewski, CBC National Affairs editor Chris Hall, and senior political affairs analyst Greg Weston eviscerated the budget speech listeners were not permitted to hear.
If you wanted it, it was on CBC.ca – (turn off TV, turn on the website) “we’ve got better stuff for you.”
Then this motley group of commentators, each clutching a copy of the speech we weren’t permitted to hear, were joined on-air by the various opposition leaders, Jack Layton, Bob Rae and Liz May, to explain what the budget failed to do, how it should have spent more money on their issues and how it will fail to benefit a wide range of selected Canadians.
Thanks CBC – I needed that.
Thanks Jack Layton. Already in the new oh-so-civil parliamentary environment Layton insists upon, he proceeded to trash the budget’s shortcomings and to explain how the Conservatives betrayed his trust by not altering the budget content to address his issues.
The Finance minister was still delivering his speech at the time. Presumably Mr. Layton didn’t need to hear it because he too had a copy.
The hypocrisy of Mr. Layton blows my mind. A constantly-smiling toothy man soon to be living in a new level of subsidized housing with his MP wife – the pair of them taking home about a quarter of a million dollars annually and guaranteed a lucrative pension for life on the taxpayer – is on TV bleating about his level of concern for seniors in poverty and the lack of rural doctors and wondering why Flaherty didn’t listen to him.
Every time he casually reminds us all that 60 per cent of Canadians didn’t vote for Mr. Harper as PM, I cannot help my lips moving in the retort-reminder that 70 per cent of Canadians didn’t vote for Jack Layton as leader of the opposition.
And when Bob Rae comes on as the jumped-up temporary leader of the federal Liberals, I find myself muttering again that nobody, except his own constituents, voted at all for Mr. Rae as leader of the Liberals.
Yes, I’m in a particularly snarly mood today, after the Canucks disgraced themselves in Boston,
As the CBC shills debated where Mr. Flaherty will make cuts to attain the balanced budget, I felt that Peter and the senior analysts and parliamentary reporters might have considered they almost outnumbered the politicians, while failing to show the very thing they were supposedly there for, the budget speech.
They might, I think, wonder about that very large number of Canadians who agonize about the millions of taxpayers dollars spent on the CBC and they might also realize that these people won’t go away either.
Maybe Mr. Flaherty will also wonder about the hosts of people the CBC can assemble on budget day to take swings at them and muse on whether there’s a few bucks to be saved there.