The topic was the increased cost of all the ReformaTories’ proposed tough on crime legislation.
Responding to a series of softball questions (it was John Oakley after all) about the costs (now admitted to be $2 billion by the Cons) versus the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s estimates of $8 to $10 billion, Toews had these gems to offer:
“What I believe is going to be happening is there's going to be a shift in the expenses from the provincial coffers to the federal coffers.”
“Now there will be additional expenses from some of the other legislation that we’re bringing in, but quite frankly I think it's worth the cost.”
“I'm quite frankly quite puzzled as to where he gets his numbers.”
“The cost benefit analysis is often difficult to estimate in straight dollars but I can tell you that the benefit to ordinary Canadians far outweighs the costs that our government is prepared to keep dangerous individuals in prison.”
All of which is to say that any cost estimates put out by this government are, at best, based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation over drinks at Hy’s, and will be spun in the general context of “it’s worth it” to “protect Canadians”. (And coincidentally, protect Con votes. But we won’t go there.)
And just in case there was any doubt as to who the good guys are, he threw out this little gem as well.
“Our Liberal opposition seems to think that ordinary Canadian citizens should be locked in their own homes and the dangerous criminals roaming the streets. We think the reverse should be true, that it’s the dangerous criminals who should be locked up and ordinary citizens should be entitled to walk the streets any time of day or night.”
Sure. Got it already. But “dangerous criminals roaming the streets” don’t scare me nearly as much as people like Vic Toews being on the loose in positions of authority.