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Well happy anniversary, Conservative Government.   With all of the effort it’s taken us this year to get used to saying “Prime Minister Stephen Harper”, we might have actually forgotten the promises that got him that title in the first place.

Well, we might have.  But we didn’t.

On this election anniversary, we’d like to make sure you don’t forget, either.  So let’s revisit the promises Harper made a year ago today, and evaluate how well each has been kept.

1.  “Clean up government by passing the Federal Accountability Act”

The Federal Accountability act was passed, alright, but we can’t help feeling it missed the point.  Contracts with private corporations, aka the Sponsorship Scandal, are almost completely off the hook.  As we said in September, this bill won’t prevent the abuse of public money seen in the sponsorship scandal or the National Defence contracting scandal. Government funding of non-profit organizations will be much more closely scrutinized, but contracts with private companies will not.

2. “Provide real tax relief to working families by cutting the GST

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is asking all the right questions about this tax cut.  If you only save money when you buy something, who is benefitting? Sure the GST dropped by one per cent, but this has been a boon to the affluent and to corporations.  Working families are scrambling as much as ever, particularly as the divide widens between rich and poor.

3. “Make our streets and communities safer by cracking down on crime.”

All this talk of “cracking down” on this or that is really a bit much. We would rather our government  make communities safer through prevention rather than punishment.  Poverty, marginalization, and lack of access to public services are all contributors to crime.  And all of these three things have worsened under Harper’s government.  Let’s have less tough love and more actual concern.

4. “Help parents with the cost of raising their children.”

Oh, sure, if raising children cost anywhere in the neighbourhood of a hundred dollars a month. The very idea is enough to make you laugh to keep from crying.  As we’ve said, The Tories haven’t created the child care spaces Canadians need. Businesses aren’t welcoming their plans for the private sector to create child care spots, and parents have received a tiny amount of taxable money towards covering their child care fees. It’s shameful that this government could call that a success.

5. “Work with the province to establish a Patient Wait Times Guarantee”

The Harper Conservatives issued a report on wait times the Friday before the Canada Day weekend.  By the time they were back to work Tuesday morning, it was as if it had never happened. The report contained many key recommendations that favour strengthening the public system over the false quick fix of wait time “guarantees”.  Anytime that Harper would like to drop the political games around wait times and commit to an integrated team approach to providing health care services to Canadians, that would be great.

So that’s where we are, on our first anniversary as citizenry and  
government.  All we have that we can celebrate is a string of broken  

Combine that with the 43 per cent cuts to Status of Women Canada’s  
budget, and his appalling record on the environment and it’s enough  
to make you wonder if it’s it too late to talk annulment.

It’s not as if we have any nice wedding presents to give back anyway.