George Macvicar
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Our federal government is continuing its philosophy of offering up on one hand and taking away on the other!

Earlier this month in a late Friday afternoon press release, the Conservative government announced it was backing away from a clause in a pilot EI program introduced in August to claw back more from recipients if they ventured out into the workforce to supplement their EI.

Political dis-favour obviously reached the ears of these schemers (strategists) in Ottawa, and the decision to recoup more funds from the Employment Insurance program to slay the federal deficit lost the ‘flavour of the day’ for the Conservatives.

Now the feds are planning to download to fishers the cost of doing business with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ottawa wants fishers to pay for at-sea observers, gear tags/tabs and logbooks – a cost which had always been in the federal government’s court.

Liberal MP Judy Foote labelled the Conservative plan a way of “forcing fishers to pay for those tools that are essential to monitoring the fishery to ensure its sustainability, as a Conservative tax on fishing.”

She added “the long term viability of the industry depends on good conservation practices and strict control of licences and tags. By walking away from such a critical responsibility, the Harper government may very well jeopardize the overall viability of the Canadian fishing industry.”

Federal Finance Minister John Flaherty has promoted good government and sound financial management as the reason for the Conservatives weathering the international financial crisis of three years ago – a crisis that is still looming over the financial community/countries in Europe, and indirectly North America as well.

What Mr. Harper, Mr. Flaherty and their fellow Conservatives expect is the people, who had and continue to have the least impact on the international financial crisis, to bear the brunt of re-affirming a balanced budget in this country, not the so-called ‘financial wizards’ who triggered the crisis at the outset.

George Macvicar, Editor/Manager

Organizations: Employment Insurance, Conservatives, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Geographic location: Ottawa, Europe, North America

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