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By: Michael Klimuntowski
I don’t blame students for suffering from a bad case of Harper Derangement Syndrome. Heck, if I had gone to the MSU’s Panel Discussion last week undecided and heard Professor MacQueen suggest the Conservative Government staged the Ottawa shooting to pass Bill C-51, I too would vote anybody but Conservative. And if I only relied on The Silhouette as my source of news I’d participate in Professor Clark’s asinine “Hospitality Project” and be regular pen pals with Omar Khadr.
Fortunately, I made my mind up long ago and only sparingly follow our school paper. Let’s discern the radical spin from the facts.
Prime Minister Harper’s legacy is the envy of the world. He has implemented lower consumption taxes, lower income taxes at all brackets, lower small business tax rates, lower corporate tax rates, pension and income splitting for families and seniors, and the lowest federal tax burden on Canadians from every walk of life in nearly 50 years. Furthermore, a 2014 study published by The New York Times stated that “median income in Canada has climbed by 19.7 per cent since 2000.” These are all tangible results felt by our families.
Furthermore, our Conservative government has remained attuned to the fact society is changing. In order to remain competitive in an increasingly globalized economy our government has signed 39 new trade agreements since 2006. This has opened half the world’s economy for business for Canadians.
You may hear claims that Prime Minister Harper doesn’t care about the youth, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Multiple initiatives taken on by our Prime Minister will directly impact our generation. On the horizon we can expect to benefit from increased contribution limits to TFSAs, an increased first-time RRSP withdrawal, and a sounder Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement that will be there when our time to exit the workforce comes. Programs such as the Job Grant have earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars to train Canadians for existing or better jobs, allowing for an easier transition into the workforce.
Under Prime Minister Harper we have seen our country ranked one of the happiest (despite “angry Tom”), most reputable, and most admired in the world by groups such as the Reputation Institute, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN). We have also seen the best job growth since the 2008 recession.
In addition to our domestic prosperity, our government has gained the admiration of our allies through bold foreign policy stances. It was only several months ago when Stephen Harper made headlines across the globe for his comments at the G20 in Australia, telling Vladimir Putin to get out of Ukraine.
Last week’s Munk Debate on foreign policy further highlighted the stark contrast between the Prime Ministerial candidates. When Justin Trudeau was asked how he would deal with Vladimir Putin, the audience burst into laughter before he even answered the question (maybe they expected another hockey-related wisecrack?). Do we really want the divorced-from-reality Liberals confronting the geopolitical challenges of our time?
Over the last nine years Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s leadership has been repeatedly tested by challenges at home, financial turmoil and global conflict. What voters will decide in just a couple weeks is whether our country today faces a more promising future.
As Mulcair’s NDP move to the right, willing to say anything to come to power, and Trudeau’s Liberals move to the left, offering platitudes and cynical “progressivism,” the Harper Conservatives will continue to stand firm on their record and at the helm of our more promising Canada.