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When a population suffers major harm as a result of repression by its government, and the latter refuses or neglects to redress the situation, it is the responsibility of the international community to act in its place. But the international community does not fully assume its responsibility to protect the Venezuelan people.
Nine-million baby boomers will retire from the workforce over the next two decades, and when they do, they will start to consume the most expensive forms of government programs. This is great news for seniors, but terrible news for our public finances and for young Canadians forced to foot the bill. Generation Y has been dubbed the "Millennial" generation because we came of age at the turn of the new millennium. A more fitting name for this cohort is Generation Screwed.
Dozens of Venezuelans gathered last Saturday in a citizens' assembly across many of Canada's largest cities and demanded, in a public declaration, the restitution of constitutional order in Venezuela and that the sovereignty of their country be respected.
Venezuelan Vice-president Nicolas Maduro condemned as "miserable" the proposal from Canada to send a diplomatic mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) to study the crisis in Venezuela.
The management of public finances may not have received due attention from the premiers in Halifax. But as our federal and provincial political leaders gear up for next year's budget season, they would be wise to acknowledge the seriousness of growing government debt and put forth bold plans to balance their budgets. Kicking the debt down the road simply isn't an option.
Small spending allotments are trampled by spending cuts to health and essential service agencies. A mention of money being set aside for Aboriginal education is accompanied by a cut of two per cent to Aboriginal Affairs, and 5.7 per cent cut to Health Canada. This seems like a "take from Peter to give to Paul" kind of game, with no one being the clear winner.
With the budget coming up, we need to talk Old Age Security (OAS). The cost of the OAS program will explode, going from $36 billion in 2010 to $108 billion in 2030. Refusing to deal with this problem for partisan reasons would be completely irresponsible to future generations, if not shameful.
The government has decided to make cuts to Old Age Security (OAS). The truth is that OAS is economically beneficial to all of society -- seniors on OAS spend all of their money in their neighborhoods. That is money reinvested in our economy, in small businesses that in turn create jobs.
A federal government concerned about what's being passed along to the next generation would be a leader in global negotiations for a strong, binding agreement to cut carbon pollution, put in place domestic rules to make polluters pay, and focus on building clean energy infrastructure instead of doubling down on tar sands. Instead, it's doing just the opposite.