Warning: Quotations in the introduction of this article may cause nausea, irritability and vomiting. Please view with care and skip to the analysis of these comments if you feel ill.
Introduction: The following are quotes from MP Brian Murphy who asserts that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper “doesn’t care” about greater Moncton or the Atlantic region. We will first list a sampling of these quotes, and then examine whether or not they have any basis in fact.
Quotations from Brian F. P. Murphy, MP:
“…the Harper government, which doesn’t care a whit” (Times & Transcript, November 16th, 2007, p. D7)
“Today, we clearly see the Conservative minority government doesn’t care about Acadians, women, aboriginals and the most in need of our society…”(9/27/06, MP’s website, “Press Release”)
“I am frequently shocked by the Conservative Government of Canada’s attempts to persuade Atlantic Canadians that it cares about this region, only to turn around and prove that, in fact, it doesn’t.” (Times & Transcript, July 11th, 2007, p.D6)
“…cabinet changes continue to demonstrate the Prime Minister’s complete ignorance of the issues in Atlantic Canada. “He doesn’t really care for Atlantic Canada.” (Wednesday August 15th, 2007 Appeared on page A1)
“Shuffle shows Harper ‘doesn’t really care’: N.B. Liberal; Atlantic issues ignored, MP fumes
‘It shows the prime minister’s complete ignorance of the issues in Atlantic Canada. He doesn’t really care for Atlantic Canada,’ said Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Brian Murphy.” (August 15, 2007, CBC News)
“Metro ignored by feds?
Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Brian Murphy said the area is receiving the “short end of the stick” from the federal Conservatives and the prime minister sees no urgency in being a friend to New Brunswick.” (Times & Transcript September 19th, 2007, p.A1)
“PM ignores Atlantic region, By Brian Murphy MP, Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe
Monday’s federal budget clearly shows that the Conservative government is determined to leave Atlantic Canada behind.” (Times & Transcript, March 22, 2007, p.D8)
“…the government does not care about the environment” (Hansard, Tuesday, September 26, 2006)
“…it is very clear to Canadians that there is one side of the House that cares about justice, and that is this side, and one side of the House that does not care about justice. The Conservatives are not concerned with justice issues.” (Hansard, Wednesday, October 4, 2006)
“…it is now clear the new government does not care about those most in need, the poorest citizens and the minorities throughout our country.” (Hansard, Tuesday, October 24, 2006)
“Mr. Speaker, this government does not care about medium-sized cities… We know the government does not care about the charter, literacy, women’s issues, child care and summer jobs.” (Hansard, May 16, 2007)
If Prime Minister Harper were to make comments like that, we would hear howls of protest over the “mean-spirited,” “narrow-minded” rhetoric. But of course when a Liberal like the junior MP from Moncton speaks, even the worst partisan vitriol is honey from the lips to the media.
More recently blogger David W. Campbell (whom we like) posed the question, “If you look closely, what has the Tory government done for Moncton lately?”
Fair enough, we are pleased to answer that question in light of Mr. Murphy’s allegations that our government doesn’t “care” enough to invest in Atlantic Canada. (For fairly complete documentation on Conservative investment in New Brunswick, see our page entitled “Harper Cares.”)
The Harper government has done a lot for greater Moncton in particular. With the recent top up for the Track & Field Stadium, this government has invested about $50 million in the riding in the last two years. Much of this was for needed infrastructure like Dieppe Blvd., the East/West Corridor, the Fundy Gateway and $2.6 million for public transit.
There was also about $150,000 for homeless initiatives, $480,000 for youth at risk, and $1.1 million for the Kay Community Center renovation. That is exclusive of the $18.1 million of ACOA assitance to small business and entrpreneurs in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe.
Brian Murphy’s baseless accusations don’t stop with regional investment either! One has only to witness the Liberal outcry over Status of Women. Murphy still tells women that the Tories “cut” women’s funding when in fact they got rid of bureaucratic waste and raised the women’s program budget to 50% more than they ever had!
If the above documentation were not enough to refute MP Murphy’s false allegations, we were greeted by this press release from the Government today:
Today, our Government announced we are investing in 29 projects across Atlantic Canada under round five of the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) - these projects will receive up to $63 million. Minister MacKay has the lead on this issue.
Our support for programs like the AIF is a statement of our belief that here in Atlantic Canada we have the talent, the expertise, the ideas and the drive to become a centre for world class research and development.
Our Government has a record of investment in Atlantic Canada.
- Since 2006, ACOA has invested over $218 million in AIF assistance to 89 innovative R&D projects across Atlantic Canada valued at just over $544 million.
- In New Brunswick, this has meant an investment of over $49.4 million in 21 R&D projects, for a total project value of nearly $101 million.
The AIF has increased private sector investment in R&D and increased partnering among businesses, the research community and institutions. Our record in Atlantic Canada is one of partnering to drive economic development.
Now you know what? It seems like Brian Murphy is being a partisan lapdog to embattled Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion (see photo here).
Stephen Harper has visited New Brunswick repeatedly and taken leadership by carefully investing to raise the quality of life in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe. On the other hand we have MP Murphy who has done exactly nothing for his riding. His own newsletters are filled with his maneuverings within the Liberal caucus, and provide proof that he has nothing to brag about.
In Brian Murphy and Stéphane Dion we have the dynamic duo of failed leadership. It’s one thing to cheer on the Liberal team, but people of Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview need to take a real hard look at what Brian Murphy has said, and has not done before offering him further support.