Parliament's budget watchdog has put a price tag of under $1.2 billion on the Liberal's employment insurance proposal, showing the Conservative government "wildly overestimated" the cost at $4 billion for partisan purposes, Montreal Liberal MP Marlene Jennings said Wednesday.
Jennings told Canwest News Service a report prepared for the Liberals by parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page contains an estimated cost of less than $1.2 billion for the Grit proposal for a national eligibility standard for employment insurance benefits. That is less than the $1.5 billion the Liberals estimated themselves.
The finding shows the Conservative government distorted the price during bipartisan talks that broke down over the summer.
The Liberals came with a proposal, using INDEPENDENT analysis from the TD Bank to cost out their proposal. They didn't try to snow anyone with low ball, partisan orientated figures. That's where the 1.5 billion price tag came for the temporary reforms, it was always OBJECTIVE, if anyone bothered to look. In the face of Conservative hyper partisan distortions, the Liberals asked for clarification and low and behold, a surprise to no one, their numbers were correct, even a touch HIGH. What's left, is a disturbing picture of manipulation, exaggeration and purposely SABOTAGING what was supposed to a bi-partisan attempt to get a compromised solution. Remember all the pundits praising Harper in June for his magnanimous tone, where are you now?
By all accounts, call him naive, Ignatieff genuinely thought the two parties would get something done. The Conservatives reacted by placing a pit bull on the committee, failing to offer up anything, while simultaneously putting all energy into scoring points and making the Liberals look "reckless". These are facts, not opinion, any dissenter is left with the ludicrous to justify. With that in mind, how then does any REASONABLE observer truly think the Liberals can continue to "prop up" this government? Does this EI panel not highlight all that is wrong with this government, how they operate, how they have lost the moral authority to govern?
The Liberals made a tactical decision to move away from the singular focus on EI, which is wise on several levels. That said, don't let that decision disallow some serious outrage over this release from Page. This is how we highlight the need for an election, this is the "last straw" so to speak and we challenge rational people to deduce otherwise.
Parliament is DYSFUNCTIONAL, parliament doesn't work, parliament is a JOKE (as you tell us daily). Who is in government? Do they deserve to continue on when they have shown no capacity to make it work, rather they do all in their power to render it meaningless? We reward that behavior in Canada? The Liberals are expected to put aside all that is evident in the name of some obscure responsibility to avoid an election? Give me a break, this EI debacle should be in every opinion piece, on every front page, as we all try to digest just why it is that Ignatieff says no more.
Lose the short term memory here, remember your chronology, remember the committee's, the manuals, the poison pills, the master strategist forever preoccupied with scoring points, the attacks ads over and over, the dishonest forecasts, all the ridiculous pressers about doctored tapes, all the freaking nonsense- it's unparalleled, unseen in our history, unseemly and unattractive. No, we don't need a change in Ottawa, everything is just peachy with this bunch at the helm. Remember your chronology when the Conservatives rise in Parliament and introduce their EI reforms, in a naked attempt to counter the Liberals and appease Canadians. Yes, remember what went on all summer. Just this once, could you please?