I read Paige MacPherson’s so-called taxpayers’ wish list for New Brunswick. MacPherson is one of the Atlantic directors of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The Federation says it’s a taxpayers’ advocacy group. They are a non-profit organization but the decisions are taken by a board of directors that can be as low as three members.
The wish list is presented as the one that New Brunswick taxpayers are looking for the Higgs’s government to implement. First of all, I wonder who MacPherson consulted to come up with her wish list.
When you read the wish list, it is clear it is the one that the business community has been lobbying for in this election. They are against the carbon tax and they are for reduced spending and a balanced budget, an open and competitive economy, and exploitation of natural resources.
The real wish list for citizens and taxpayers is certainly different.
Citizens are looking for their government to provide public services (health, education, transportation, etc.) that responds to their present and future needs.
Citizens are looking for a plan to combat climate change so that there is a future for their children.
Citizens are looking for jobs that pay more than the minimum wage and to have protection in their workplaces.
Citizens are looking for a real fight against the scourge of poverty.
Citizens are looking for pay equity in the private sector.
Citizens are looking for a decent revenue on the exploitation of our natural resources.
Citizens are looking for a reduction in the inequality between the rich and the poor.
Finally, citizens are looking for everyone, meaning the rich to pay their fair share in the development of our society.
That is a citizens’ wish list.
Jean-Claude Basque is a coordinator with the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice. The Common Front is New Brunswick’s largest anti-poverty coalition.