Allison Budd’s letter “Our democratic institutions at risk,” (Courier, Aug. 23) reads like a list of Conservative party talking points on social media with the associated inaccuracies and unsubstantiated assertions.
Herewith a few (and far from exhaustive) examples.
1. Budd is critical of federal money being used to improve water supply. There have been, and will continue to be, many infrastructure projects. The projects offer significant social and economic benefits, but the private sector cannot — and will not —
invest in or lend to them.
As an example, the CP Railway would not have been built, but for cash, loans, tax concessions and massive land grants from the government of the day. Does Budd think a big chunk of our residents should live under water quality advisories forever? Does she also believe that homes and businesses along Mill Creek should be flooded virtually every spring?
Other infrastructure funding to Okanagan College and to UBC Okanagan will enhance educational opportunities to assist our children to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.
2. Budd provides no evidence for her assertion that “the only consistent foreign policy is to seek a seat on the UN Security Council by borrowing billions to give to UN projects.”
Herewith some facts:
• OECD data on foreign aid show that among the G7 countries, in recent years Canada has devoted a larger share of national income to aid than the U. S. and Japan, about the same share as Italy, and a much smaller share than France, Germany, and Britain.
Further there has been no marked increase in Canada’s share during the term of the Liberal government. The figures for the years 2010 through 2018 are .34%, .32%, .32%, .28%, .24%, .28%, .26%, and .28%.
In a nutshell, the share of national income devoted to aid under the Liberal government has been no larger that the share was under the Stephen Harper government, except for 2014.
3. As regards new NAFTA, former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose and former prime minister Brian Mulroney, at the invitation of the prime minister, helped with the negotiations.
Also note that later in the negotiations, when things got really difficult, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer advocated caving and signing what was on offer. Fortunately, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland held firm and a better deal was secured.
4. The state of the relationship with China arises because Canada, in accordance with legal obligations to the U.S., arrested the Huawei executive and refused Chinese request to release and put at risk what had been achieved in the relationship with the U.S.