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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Where have these people been? 

A coalition of progressive groups calling themselves the Think Twice coalition has FINALLY stepped forward to warn of the danger of Conservative victory.
Its about time.
Members include Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians; Buzz Hargrove, Canadian Auto Workers; Kira Heineck, Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada; Linda Silas, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions; Bonnie Diamond, National Association of Women and the Law; and Elizabeth May, Sierra Club; plus the Canadian Federation of Students, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, Egale Canada, Prevent Cancer Coalition, and the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.
Other than Buzz Hargrove, I haven't heard about any of these groups speaking out in support of the Liberals. There was no coverage that I saw on Friday for the coalition's announcement -- I found this story on Rabble, and that's just preaching to the choir.
But for the record, here's what they are sayng:
What would Conservative policies mean for Canadians?:
They mean privatization and deregulation, and more cuts to social programs.
They mean the end of the national child-care program, and the rollback of the $5 billion deal between 10 provinces and the federal government. This is the beginning of the first new national social program since medicare, but Harper says he will cancel it in exchange for a dollar a day sent to Canadians, burdened with securing and financing their own child care.
They mean abandonment of the agreement just achieved with First Nations at the Aboriginal Summit, and reneging on promised spending to alleviate a housing and health care crisis for some of Canada's most vulnerable citizens, women and children.
They mean more greenhouse gas emissions, the end of the domestic Kyoto plan to reduce emissions by 2012, and moving Canada from a strong supporter of further emission cuts to supporting George Bush's camp.
They mean a health care system based on commercialization, not patient needs; based on competition between health care providers, not collaborative practice; a health care system that would allocate public health care dollars to for-profit business, rather than improving primary health care for our families; and a continuing absence of national standards for home care and inadequate long-term care for our seniors.
They mean the loss of at least $1 billion for affordable housing, and the potential loss of a Canadian housing framework.
They mean no commitment to the income measures and services needed to reduce poverty.
They mean abandoning efforts to protect workers' wages, pensions and benefits in cases of corporate bankruptcy.
They mean massive tuition fee increases for university and college students.
They mean greater trade and foreign policy integration with the U.S., particularly joint military ventures (including participation in foreign conflicts and space-based military systems).
They mean new risks to Canadian women's right to reproductive choice and access to abortion.
They mean abandoning plans for new pay equity legislation.
They mean abandoning plans for a new national strategy for people with disabilities.
They mean less government support for the arts and for public broadcasting.
They mean re-opening the debate over equal marriage rights for same sex couples, and the introduction of unconstitutional legislation.
They mean re-opening the Charter to protect private property rights, which have major implications for environmental protection, labour rights and equality rights.
They mean big tax cuts for corporations, and fewer pollution regulations.
All this, and missile defense, too.
But it may be too late to persuade people to think twice about their votes -- the "racist, homophobic, anti-feminist bigots" have already booked their flights to Ottawa.
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
I can't hear you any more . . .
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right

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