Well, I had a wonderful Christmas vacation and now it is time to get back to work and that includes writing my columns. There is nothing that I do as MP that provides me with more comments than my column in the paper. It is great to be able to communicate directly rather than have my comments vetted by someone that has an axe to grind or by a reporter that has news to sell.
In Ottawa we have a paper called the’ Hill Times’ and it is very political as is everything that happens on the Hill. One report that was published in late November was the MP’s Expenses for 2008 and 2009. I was ranked as fourth lowest for MP Expenses Staff and other Expenses out of 308 MPs. Out of the ten MP’s with the lowest expenses seven were from my party. I have in my business life and public life been very frugal; I suppose this trait has a lot to do with my modest upbringing.
I bring this up not to blow smoke but just to emphasize how seldom the good news story is told. We are all aware of the few elected representatives that abuse the privilege of tax covered expenses but seldom hear of those that have held the privilege in high regard.
This leads me to our government and the budget. The tap will be tightened in the next budget as our government plans to bring the it back into the black ASAP. My colleagues from B.C. and I met with the Minister of Finance recently to bring our requests and recommendations forward for the next budget. I cannot say what others said but I can tell you what my comments were. First, I would like to see our government continue capital spending on the TransCanada Highway, and especially from the Alberta Border to the Port of Vancouver. Secondly, I reported that many constituents support the continuation of the Home Renovation Tax Credit.
As we were told to be concise, my third request was for continued funding for Green Programs such as renewable, alternate and efficient energy programs.
Using taxpayer’s dollars in a wise, effective and efficient way is a trust that I and my government take seriously and often calls for tough decisions. As we recover from the economic downturn we can look at the major infrastructure projects that will better serve us in the future but in time people forget and they look at how much they pay in taxes and their National Debt. I will continue to be an influence to keep those two items as low as possible.
Colin Mayes, MP