Canada is a country where minority governments … if allowed to function… actually work best. I explained that on this blog prior to the last federal election and urged voters NOT to give Harper a majority.
The country did not listen and ever since the votes were counted, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government have been working hard to prove my point: the abuses of power; the disrespect for public consultation; the dismissal of public submissions, appeals, protestations; and, the beating up of those who cannot fight back (the unemployed, working Canadians approaching retirement, the military, public servants, the CBC) are growing almost weekly.
While attention to the environment, climate goals, consumer protection are diminished in priority and in enforcement.
The methodology behind the announced closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard base is a perfect example of a majority government trampling on the public’s feelings and wishes in a bully-like way that a minority government could not do and wouldn’t even dare try.
There was no meaningful consultation of the public, coast guard auxiliaries, boaters, local, regional or even their supposed friends in the provincial government, adding further embarrassment and exposing even more BC’s ineffectual unelected acting premier, Christy Clark.
Originally, having worked many years covering politicians on various levels, I thought the Kits Base announcement was a red herring: where a government announces SEVERAL cuts, including one indefensible outrageous one; then, in light of ensuing public outrage, backs down from that one; satisfying the citizenry, who go away happy, even thankful … realizing only much later that several other valuable programs and services were also axed, but no longer motivated or widely supported enough for another loud protest campaign.
So voila! The government succeeds with the real cuts it wanted all along … even emerging as a caring, responsive administration by giving up the most outrageous of its originally proclaimed targets.
That would not have (and still may not) surprise me in the case of the Kits Coast Guard Base announced closure.
We all know that it will be only a matter of time when someone is severely injured or dies as a result of an accident or heart attack or boat fire in English Bay, Burrard Inlet, Deep Cove or Indian Arm … and the outrage over the closure will be Front Page news across Canada … for a day or two; BUT much more of an issue in the City of Vancouver itself … where there are NO Tory MPs anyway to vote out of office.
Welcome to majority government under Harper!
Where the Kits debacle is only one of a list of Tory Majority abuses of Canadians in general, Canadian workers in particular,
Most Canadians didn’t notice …until the NDP pointed it out…that there is a single line in the Federal Budget that will wipe out fair wage and working conditions requirements that have been required of federal contractors since 1985. Gone.
And what about those new rules making it easier for Canadian corporations to bring in foreign workers (to work for those new low wages allowed by the move above); new Employment Insurance rules, restrictions; and, how about the rapid-fire introduction of back-to-work legislation for CP Rail before free-market labour-management stresses and pressures had much of a chance to even get started. So much for private enterprise working out its own problems!
The Budget Bill also contains provisions that commercial fisherman Phil Eidsvik has said could destroy public fishing rights by the government signing special “fishery agreements” with private industry “friends”. Disgraceful!
And in case the media decide to write about or delve into these cuts, the majority government, which basically operates similar to a dictatorship, has included in the Budget Bill staffing cuts that federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault could jeopardize a “fragile” access to information system, that actually had been improving during the period of minority governments.
In a minority government … all of this would at least have been discussed, considered, even negotiated with those having different views …and there could have been that magic solution … COMPROMISE.
And don’t get me started on all those defeated Tory candidates who have been given lucrative public appointments, jobs and payoffs. Where’s the fiscal or moral integrity in that? If any Conservative MPs do have any personal integrity left, they’d better keep it to themsleves and vote the way they’tre told: ask MP David Wilks!
But not with Harper’s majority: it’s his way …or the highway.
And the public … or any of their concerns about issues or the Kits Coast Guard Base … be damned. At least until the next election.
Unless my red herring theory proves true.