The Stephen Harper Conservatives returned to power last month in convincing fashion, forming a stronger minority government than they previously held and trouncing the Liberals in the process. One campaign promise that undoubtedly won some votes in this industry was Harper’s promise to slash the federal excise tax on diesel in half – from four cents per litre to two.
However, one must wonder if that promise will ever come to fruition. The promised fuel tax hike is in jeopardy, not entirely because of the Conservatives’ own doing, but because of a shameful move by the just-defeated Liberals and NDPers to form a coalition and attempt to overthrow the government we just elected.
If the Liberal/NDP coalition should successfully overturn the Conservatives, it will be a dark day for Canada, especially if Stephane Dion is chosen to act as PM. (Bob Rae’s not a better option either – as Ontario Premier, the NDPer-turned-Liberal proved he can plunge an economy into recession even without the global pressures faced today).
Canadians made it clear on election day last month that neither the Liberals nor the NDP are the right choice to lead this country through the rough waters ahead. However, due to backdoor politicking, it appears Canada’s decision to re-elect a Conservative government may be for naught. It’s embarrassing really. What kind of message does that send to Canadians? That our vote really didn’t matter, after all?
An unelected Liberal/NDP coalition government would make a mockery of Canadian democracy. Harper himself must share some of the blame for the situation he now finds himself in. His decision to slash federal funding for political parties really shook up the hornet’s nest. (Learn to pick your battles, man!)
But despite his recent missteps, I still feel Harper and his team are best-suited to lead us through this recession. We may never find out if the Conservatives will come good on their promise to slash the excise tax on diesel. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is slated to release the federal budget in January – let’s hope he has the chance.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies