Unions responsible for financial mess

When it comes to assigning blame to others for UVic’s tight fiscal controls, the union leaders and employees they represent alike should be intellectually honest and remember it was they who chose to perpetuate what their predecessors created, putting the university’s budget on the path to fiscal unsustainability. All since have merely failed to correct this, and this failure is why most students find themselves in a financial mess.

As most know, we don’t have much time before a fiscal collapse hits our little corner of the world, nailing the debt-paying generation hardest of all. Yet unions would blame it all on the administration, ignoring their own irresponsible behaviour in an attempt to cover up their own history of greed. So let me ask you: how much should anyone get for cutting the grass?

William Perry
Community member 


Conservatives do not respect Canada’s democracy

Yet again, the Harper government has tabled an omnibus budget bill — this time, 443 pages that amend everything from the Navigable Waters Protection Act to the Canada Labour Code. By combining completely unrelated measures in a single massive bill, the Harper government is hoping that many of the provisions will not be noticed, or that Canadians’ outrage will be buried — today’s news story, forgotten tomorrow.

What is the government afraid of? What are they afraid Parliamentarians — and Canadians — will discover if the bill is given the proper scrutiny its provisions deserve?

While in opposition, Stephen Harper complained about a 21-page omnibus bill.

In opposition, a 21-page bill was offensive. Now he tells Canadians a 443-page bill is just right.

Recently the Liberal opposition in the House of Commons proposed a motion to place reasonable limits on omnibus bills. The Conservatives refused and voted that motion down.

Canadians expect Parliamentarians to do their job – to scrutinize legislation, to listen to Canadians, to seriously debate proposals, and to make changes where changes are necessary. That is how the best laws are made. The Harper government knows that it is very difficult for Parliamentarians to do their jobs properly when presented with omnibus bills, and that is why it has become addicted to them.

This isn’t how Canadians expect their government to work. We all deserve better.

It is time to deliver a message to the Conservative government: respect our democracy, and respect Canadians. No more abusive omnibus bills.

Senator James Cowan
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate