Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Larger Narrative

Not only is Harper defending Ritz, he's alluding to the fact that the public service is to blame. Of course he is. That's what he does. How many times have we seen him do that before?
I think it is really important for Canadians to compare and contrast the Conservatives and the Liberals and their respective visions for the country.
On the heels of Ritz's deplorable comments coming to light, we learn about a plan to deregulate food inspections even further.
If elected, a federal Conservative government plans to stop delivering provincial meat inspection programs in Manitoba leaving local consumers exposed to the risk of unsafe meat.
The plan is revealed in a secret Treasury Board of Canada decision record, dated May 6, 2008, documenting the acceptance of a proposal concerning "Provincial Meat Slaughter Establishments (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia)" which calls for the "elimination of federal delivery of provincial meat inspection programs."
"Meat produced in provincially registered facilities in Manitoba would not be inspected by anyone under this plan," says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union
Keep in mind that this comes after the changes made in April of this year that affected the inspections at the Maple Leaf plant. At that time food inspector's were relegated to reading the reports of inspectors from the plant, not actually doing the inspections themselves.
This plan is really what is at the root of the remarks by Ritz, or Cannon's assistant, or similar remarks made by Tony Clement, in August who avoided the listeriosis crisis all together. (update: Clement denied that he made any remarks today.)
While rarely reported it on, it is well known that Harper's model for Canada is to decentralize to the extreme, have a group of provinces fending for themselves and allow a free market to look after everything else. In other words, government isn't there to look after it's people. One would think that in order to believe that, there has to be a certain amount of disdain held for some of the people they are supposed to be serving. I'm not saying Conservatives are heartless creatures, but I am saying that this particular party is comprised of many people who have a very simple worldview and that is reflected in many of the comments we have heard them make over the years.
In short, we have a government made up largely of people learning on the job, trying desperately to re-shape Canada without letting it's inhabitants know the plan. It's necessary that they do not let us know, because it's a minority position. Is it a valid position? It's valid only in that it exists but one need only look south to see whether or not it's effective.
Compare that group, to the Liberal benches and, well, you just can't. Dion alone has 10 years of cabinet experience and I can't even count how many former Ministers are in the ranks. Separate and apart from that, the vision the Liberals have for the country is one that most Canadians know, expect and share. Fiscal discipline balanced with investment into those areas that require help.
So as vile as the comments were, the story is much larger and it would be nice to see the media expand their narrative to at least examine that. There is an agenda media. You just seem unable or unwilling to explore it.
Update - These are real people, not just stat's.


RuralSandi said...

Don't know why I did it, but I just took a boo over at Blogging made me sick.

All they talk about is that the Liberals are playing gotcha politics. Such hearts they have eh?

If Harper won't fire him, perhaps his riding would show some heart and not re-elect (fire) him.

knb said...

I just did the same thing Sandi and they are spinning this out of control.

They cannot grasp the depravity of their comments in the same way they cannot grasp what their great leader does, stands for and promotes.

Thankfully, they represent a minority of us and the sooner they lose their platform, via Harper's ouster, the better.

As for Ritz's re-election, I don't know. He won 50% of the vote I think. If you're in Con country, I think you'd vote for a blue sweater vest if that what was running.

Deb Prothero said...

This story really is much bigger than the pathetic response of Harper and Ritz (and Clement, for that matter). According to your post, this only came out when a secret Treasury Board document was revealed.

Besides a public inquiry into the listeriosis situation, I want to see all of those documents revealed which show how Harper has made regulatory changes which are now secret. We should be allowed in this election to judge him on his record BUT we can't see what he's done.

knb said...

Agreed Deb, that is why Wayne Easter called the emergency committee meeting last month.

The government not only refused to provide the report, they lied about it.

This is what Canadians are not being told and it's shameful.

Something tells me this is not over by a long shot. Not the Ritz comments per se, but the grander issue.

Any journalist worth their weight, will be digging or should be digging.

They kind of glossed over the whole 'memo' and Treasury Board thing when it happened. Why? It was August maybe? Many said Easter got it wrong. No, he didn't.

Kady was on it, but didn't dig after the fact. I hope to see that now from others too.

Scotian said...

Anyone that was watching the Harper government from the beginning should already have been aware that once Harper discovered he couldn't pass legislation through opposition dominated committees to accomplish his aims that he chose to go the regulatory route and kept those changes as invisible to the public as he could. This is not a surprise regarding the health inspections, is entirely in keeping with the Harper ideology (from the days when he used to be open about it before he finally realized that he could never come to power so long as he campaigned on it given that the vast majority of Canadians disagreed with him as shown by the election results during that period of his political life) of decentralization and deregulation.

This is exactly what I warned about in the last election campaign and even before. Harper is not someone that has any respect for anyone that does not agree with him wholeheartedly, has no compunctions about using the "noble lie" to gain and hold power AND to put his ideology/agenda in place, and no respect for any of our laws (criminal and otherwise) that get in his way (as seen from the Grewal fraud and cover-up through to Cadman) especially our election laws which any supposed believer in a democratic rule of law society (such as I don't know someone claiming to be a law and order type heavy sarcasm) is supposed to follow and defend without reservation.

I said in the last election that the corrupt Liberals were still a less dangerous and unhealthy option than the Harper CPC in terms of the kind of government they would provide, and the past near three years only proved my point. This is a government that has committed more unprecedented acts in its short life than all the prior governments in my 40+ years of life. What is truly frightening though is that for all we have seen to date it is a pale shadow to what we would see if Harper were ever to get a true majority government.

We live in very interesting/dangerous times for the future of this nation thanks to the Harper CPC. One can only hope that on Election Day enough voters decide that Harper has to go. While I would prefer a Liberal majority (as it would force Harper from power within the CPC and hopefully discredit his ideology AND his way of practicing politics and allow something saner and clearly pro-Canadian to come to run the CPC) I'll take a minority, what matters most is removing Harper's hands from the levers of power, because this is the most centralized one man show/government we have ever seen and all that we see from those like the Ag Minister is a reflection of the mindset/attitude of that top down command structure of Harper's view of Canada and how things should be done.

knb said...

As usual Scotian, well said!

You know your history on this guy, Harper. Please, correct me when I'm wrong and give me insight when you believe I need it.

I'm still flummoxed as to why the media doesn't explore him and his motives.

Frustrated would be my f word of choice.

Dame said...

here is my short story .
In the last week in August one day I woke up with a bad headache mostly making my neck stiff as a board.. i hardly could get to showers and keep myself "functioning' the headache became a screamingly bad in the next few days .. I could go to bed by face down between two pillows.. Every Night I toyed with the idea calling 911 ...the only thing what kept me back it was during the long weekend /4 days or so .../ I even e-mailed my Friend If I had a high fever I would be sure it is meningitis of some kind...
after 5 days it slowly got easier ... and after I month my headache slowly disappeared .
Why I am telling this ..
There was no information out for the public Only after 2-3 Months AFTER MOST CASES OCCURED and many deaths ...

this is what makes this case inexcusable. the long delay .

If I am aware of all this while I am having a hard time .... I would have taken some antibiotics immediately..
I was lucky I beat it on My natural way... But not every one is lucky ...

Only Mr Ritz / or maybe NOT????