November 16, 2007

[Denunciation] Neoliberalism & Infrastructure

The following is from a letter I wrote to CBC's The Current, after a show about failing water infrastructure throughout Canada and the rising cost of utilities as a result. I've also added a photo of the Montreal overpass collapse of last year.

This morning as I listened to tales of severely underfunded and malfunctioning infrastructure in this country, I began to wonder .... does anyone not see the correlation between decreased government spending and the demise of public necessities such as functional roads and clean drinking water? The Canadian people need to WAKE UP!

The Harper government recently announced a GST and corporate tax cut that will reduce the government's income by $60 Billion over the next 5 years! Meanwhile, the health care system now requires service fees for nearly every procedure; the cost of education has sky-rocketed; sewage systems are contaminating our drinking water depots; highway bypasses are collapsing; public transportation plans in large cities are constrained by lack of funds; and non-profit organizations that help the social and environmental spheres are pleading for their funding not to be withdrawn! Where is the logic here?

While federal and provincial governments go to great lengths to "attract investment" by keeping corporate taxes, resource royalty rates, and interest rates unbelievably low, municipalities get stuck with giant bills for public projects that they can not afford to pay and everyday Canadians find themselves subsidizing the government's withdrawn funding by having to spend more for individual services that are increasingly becoming privatized.

Are we so blind that we can't see what's happening here? This is neoliberalism: it is in full force right now and we're allowing it to happen. While the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, our sense of community welfare dwindles, our environment continues to face degradation, and our public infrastructure suffers.

It's time to get rid of the string of irresponsible cronyist governments we've had and force our representatives to enact some politico-economic legislation that is in the interest of our community, for once!

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