Jane Purves, former provincial Conservative Cabinet Minister currently considering a run for the federal party in Halifax is having second thoughts after watching Stephen “the Atlantic provinces has a culture of defeat” Harper pwn the Maritimes in this year’s budget. Is it simply bluster because the budget is so bad for the province that even Rodney identified the problems relatively quickly? Of course – it’s the only position she can take aside from just keeping quiet and risking “what did you think of the budget” questions in a campaign later on. Now that she’s got “second thoughts” headlines she’s covered, even though she supports the rest of it.
Meanwhile, other Bluenose Tories like Bill Casey defend the budget thusly: “The accord is exactly the same as negotiated, that gets lost in the shuffle here. The accord is exactly the same. The promise was to keep it exactly the same. It has no cap.” Sure, we can keep the old accord with the option of taking a new equalization scheme that results in less money going to the province – it’s the classic shell game – step up and lose, whichever you chose. It would be interesting to see if Alberta would ever accept such a deal.
The benefits of the budget are going to be a hard sell out here, but Harper doesn’t give a damn about that. It was calculated to give money to those provinces where he needs to grab seats in order to win a majority, the rest be damned. The piddly 30-odd seats out here on the coast don’t even factor in.