Saturday, January 31, 2009

Things that stand out from the Budget and today's debate

All the following comes from the government's official budget site, at

"Providing $50 million over two years for a national foreign credential recognition framework in partnership with provinces and territories."

I have no idea what that means. I keep trying to parse it, but it doesn't come through.

Further down, a memorandum informs me that this is a program devoted to examining the credentials (Diplomas? Degrees? Resumes?) of foreign immigrants. That's good, but it could be less flowery.

"Allocating an additional $3.5 million over two years to offer an additional 600 graduate internships through the Industrial Research and Development Internship program launched in Budget 2007."

Just 600 internships? I know that's in addition to whatever the current number is, but that's a very low number. And the funds work out to about 5, 800 dollars per intern- is that in direct cash, is that in services provided or what?

"$20 billion in personal income tax relief"

That's 20 BILLION dollars that are not going to government services this year. (On a totally unrelated note, did you know there are seven remaining Trudeau appointees in the Senate? And one Joe Clark.)

"The Government will provide a one-time grant of $15 million to the YMCA and YWCA to place youth in internships in not-for-profit and community services organizations, with a focus on environmental projects."

That's odd choice to specify the YM and YW CAs. Christian associations, do they offer jobs to non-Christians? I have no idea.

Jean Dorion, BQ, Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher had this to say in today's session:

"The Bloc Québécois has put forward the unanimous priorities of the National Assembly of Quebec. They have been rejected by the Conservatives and the Liberals, who thus choose Canada over Quebec."

Well, yes, M. Dorion. That's because it's the FEDERAL government, not The Quebec-Centric government. What a stupid thing to say.

I need to say that, reading today's debate, one thing strikes me. It's all about the past. Each MP stands up and talk about how things were ten, fifty, a hundred years ago. The Liberals can barely say a hundred words without referencing the previous government, the Conservatives can only talk about promises they've already made, the NDP harp on about what people have said. There's this odd disconnect that nothing is in the "now".