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November 25, 2005
The Great Liberal Giveaway, Interrupted

It's no secret that PM Paul Martin played Monty Hall most of this year to keep his minority Liberal government from falling after the exposure of Adscam. A 5$ billion deal for the NDP last spring kept Jack Layton temporarily on Martin's good side, and lately the Liberals have tried using the same tactic with the Canadian electorate at large. Scott Deveau at the G&M takes a look at the largesse offered by the Grits in a panicked attempt to stave off a no-confidence motion this session:

With an election pending, the government has given new meaning to term Liberal spending.

It all started with the mini-budget released Nov. 14, which promised wide-ranging tax cuts and spending across most sectors. In addition to another Air India inquiry and reforms to income trusts, there have been so many spending promises it's been hard to keep track.

The G&M list takes a look at this session in particular, when Martin and his party started to turn the Commons into Crazy Paulie's Deal Emporium, offering cash by the bundle for just about every constituency possible. It's not just the cash, either, but also tax cuts on top of them. It starts with the release of the Fiscal Update on November 14th, but it escalates as the obvious intention of offering a no-confidence motion became clear. The Grits reached the apex of their spree on Novermber 22nd and 23rd with this list of handouts:

# Defence Minister Bill Graham promised up to $5-billion to purchase 16 military transport aircraft.

# Human Resource Minister Belinda Stronach promised $1.8-billion for Ontario labour-training programs, the lion's share of the $9.2-billion promised nationwide in the mini-budget.

# A $2-billion compensation package announced for native victims, who were sexually and physically abused, at residential schools.

# $110-million for better security on Canada's urban transit systems.

# $342-million over the next three years for arts centres.

# $755-million in emergency aid for grains and oil seeds farmers.

The Liberals used the Sponsorship Program as their personal checkbook to keep themselves in power. Now, with the lights on, they're raiding the general fund to buy as many votes as possible without regard to the long-term consequences. Canadian voters will have an opportunity to put a stop to this, but at least the combined no-confidence vote expected Monday can interrupt it for now.

Addendum: Bill Teach at the Pirate's Cove has another, more humorous item about one constituency that Martin has not yet tapped:

A former Canadian Minister of Defence has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on with Alien ET Civilizations. Paul Hellyer, Canadas Defence Minister from 1963-67 under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, publicly stated: "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head." Hellyer warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. Mr. Hellyer went on to say, "I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something." Time is on the side of open disclosure that there are ethical Extraterrestrial civilizations visiting Earth, a spokesperson for the Non-Governmental Organizations stated. Our Canadian government needs to openly address these important issues of the possible deployment of weapons in outer war plans against ethical Extraterrestrial societies.

I suppose that this may be the scary "hidden agenda" that the Grits keep accusing Stephen Harper of having -- a thirst for intergalactic war. If they start losing ridings to the Tories, look for television ads that appear to be recycled from old episodes of "V". Jane Badler Lives!

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 25, 2005 7:42 AM

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