Stephen Harper has shaken a bottle of
champagne sparkling cider, held it against the collective ass of Canadians, and let the cork fly into our nether regions with a monotone “Bonne année Canada, happy new year Canada.”
At this time last year Canadians by the thousands held cold weather protests against dictator Harper’s proroguing of Parliament when, it must be remembered, his government was facing defeat in a motion of non-confidence over its handling of prisoner transfers in Afghanistan. (Transferring them via Afghan handlers, it was alleged, had led to instances of torture.) Never mind, countered the Tories, we need to move that off the front pages, for the sake of our troops, so we’ll ask/instruct the Governor-General to prorogue Parliament for an election to “recalibrate”.
That solved so much,didn’t it?
House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken, in a win for the Opposition, demanded the government release most, if not all, pertinent documents pertaining to the prisoner transfer issue. Yet, despite such a moral victory, we’ve heard precious little about it since.
“Lake Wastemataxes” was the name coined by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff for the infamous fake lake built inside the Direct Energy Centre (near Toronto’s Lake Ontario shore, mind you) – the government’s showcase for Canada to visiting members of the media to the G-20 summit. This, and party favours built in Tony Clement’s riding (the proximity to the earlier G-8 summit seemingly of no concern), were symbols of the restraint-preaching government’s hypocrisy. Oh, and then there was that small matter of G-20 security…
With Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett hopeful her Private Member’s Bill might reinstate the mandatory long-form census, while Republican-style Conservatives rejoice that it has been nixed, this issue will only have legs so long as Canadians can be convinced that what will be missing from future, Conservative-drafted surveys is more important than whatever perceived intrusiveness our longstanding, highly-respected census gathering techniques have against it. But, since the pros don’t fit on Conservative t-shirts as easily as the cons, Canadians may be denied the facts about this – or the facts about Canadian society which the Conservatives do not wish us to know.
When they return in late January, Members of Parliament will vote on Bill C-393 which aims to modify the ineffective legislation known as Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime. I wish this would enjoy all-party support but it seems that it has its detractors both among government and opposition members.
While we are sometimes too powerless to persuade these head-strong Parliamentarians about all things, a victory for us now and then is possible.