Sunday, November 3, 2013

Seniors Scene

Parliamentary Puerile

Senate antics childish

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chwk

am not impressed with the claims you (Strahl) are making about adding new jobs. Most are underpaid part time jobs without benefits. Many are discontinued before any benefits are available, so even Employment Insurance is not available.


The middle class are becoming poor as their permanent jobs get phased out, and as they house, feed and educate their sons and daughters who cannot find permanent jobs. Manufacture has gone largely to third world countries and many factories are closed. The costs of most groceries and clothing have nearly doubled in the last few years.


We need free trade between provinces and some things done to stop import from other countries of fruit and vegetables that are hard and tasteless and loaded with pesticides. They are cheaper than the homegrown, so poor people buy them thinking they are getting bargains. 


Our natural resources are being shipped overseas to enable manufacturing outside Canada.  The lumber, crude oil and grain should be manufactured in Canada into articles for consumers, so that they will stop going to foreign-owned supermarkets to buy food, clothing, tools and equipment manufactured in other countries by cheap labor. 


Alberta needs more refineries for their crude oil. Sending it by train across Canada to the west and east and south is expensive, slow and dangerous. The findings of scientists in several faculties in the University of Alberta need to be implemented, to clean up old and ongoing pollution


Your short-sighted, short-term views on these matters and others below, are making me ashamed of our government.


The bickering in Question Period in Parliament is childish, evasive and silly. Political parties should work together to find common ground. Federal and provincial government committees should all have members from other parties, first nations and educational institutions.


The Prime Minister should stop making secret decisions and deals behind the scenes. The Prime minister should listen to the elected  members rather than to his staff. We have no confidence that he listens to all Conservative members. A sort of dictatorship has evolved in the Conservative government.


More than half of our voters have lost interest in any party because all are toeing a party line and not listening to their constituents. What is the value of voting in this situation? The wishes of the majority are ignored. The electoral system is unfair in that small parties have hardly any chance of getting a seat.


Regarding the Senate, I know that expense accounts are hard to keep accurate and that filling out forms is very time consuming. The wording is vague too. I believe that nearly all senators, MPs, MLAs, civil servants and employees in the private sector also, have often made inaccurate expense claims.


"Let him that is without sin cast the first stone" Jesus said. Record keeping needs to be simplified and cleaned up first, before any Senator is fired. A trip that has more than one destination and goal is very hard to claim for accurately, and who has the time for that? A clerk can only guess at what entries to make.


All Senators need to have work to do on committees. I am proud of the Senate Committees I see on CPAC television.


Myrtle Macdonald  M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing Research and Education), McGill University. She is a retired registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 92 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.



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