Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Hate When That Happens!

We all know Harper to be a control freak, so little stories like this make me chuckle.

Two Conservative MPs have broken ranks with the government over support for the asbestos industry as Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff faces criticism in Quebec for opposing the export of what he called such "dangerous substances."

Conservative MP Dona Cadman of British Columbia told Canwest News Service Thursday she would love to see asbestos mining operations in Quebec shut down, adding "I could get myself in a lot of trouble for this."

Ontario Conservative MP Pat Davidson told the Sarnia Observer last week — after the Canadian Medical Association called for a ban on asbestos use and exports — that "I'm definitely not supporting the mining or exporting of asbestos."

Now, as things go, these two backbenchers aren't going to make a whit of difference in terms of party policy, but the dynamics are worth noting. Both MP's, are relative newbies, obviously aware of the risk but still willing to stake their claim. Once the House resumes, will they still have the chance to make such proclamations? We'll likely never know because the press doesn't exactly hound these people.

Oddly though, they are aligning themselves with Ignatieff. Ohh, that has to tick off the PMO. I mean, Harper is not one to seek allies, nor one to push his party to seek common ground for resolution. EI anyone?

His loyalists, like Dimitri Soudas, have to of course make this all about Ignatieff. I mean really...whenever something happens in the Conservative Party...it's all about the Liberals. (I hear therapy is cheap these days.)

Harper's spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, said Conservative MPs can say what they like, but that does not change the government's policy to "defend and promote the safe usage and export of chrysotile (asbestos)."

He blasted Ignatieff for flip-flopping on the issue and accused him of readiness to shut down a one-industry region. "He's a touring recession," Soudas said.

Ha! Who exactly is a touring recession? Could it be the guy running around the country announcing, re-announcing, and issuing cheques? Have you read the latest debt numbers? Are mirrors verboten in your party?

During a visit to the Thetford Mines region in early August, Harper reiterated the government's support for the export of asbestos, and blasted the Liberals and the NDP for being "urban" parties that don't understand Canada's rural regions.

"We're a nation of regions. We can't travel across Canada and threaten to shut down regional economies without compromising Canada's future," he told a local newspaper in an interview. "These parties have a completely urban perspective. They don't understand regional economies and the nature of the Canadian economy."

Uh, translated that means, 'Can't touch that! (sans music). We need seats...to hell with health!'

To be serious for a minute though, the plight of the countries we export to is certainly not top of mind for this government. The 'Pull yourself up from the bootstraps' screed comes to mind...addressing an audience with no boots of course.

Kathleen Ruff, a longtime human rights activist who lobbies MPs to take a stance against asbestos, praised Ignatieff as "very gutsy" for making his statements in Quebec. She reiterated her criticism of the government for blocking an effort since 2006 to have asbestos listed as a hazardous substance under the international Rotterdam convention.

Being gutsy involves taking thoughtful stands. It's so much more than talking 'tuff' and taking positions built on ideology.

Sadly, that's all our PM seem to know.

He must really hate, when this stuff happens. It highlights his obduracy and that makes me chuckle.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Off topic from the Globe and Mail;

Employment insurance was the big issue in June as Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper locked horns in a classic minority Parliament power play, but Liberals now say it's just one file among many and EI will not trigger a fall vote.

After a flurry of news conferences and private meetings, the Liberal Leader and the Prime Minister agreed in June to a bipartisan panel on reforming Canada's safety net for the unemployed, and a summer election was avoided.

But Mr. Ignatieff's campaign co-chairman and a Liberal member of that panel are now saying that even if it fails to produce a deal, Liberals will not force an election on EI alone.

Liberal Senator David Smith, co-chairman of the national Liberal campaign, said EI is not a “defining issue” that merits bringing down the government.

That still leaves open the possibility of a no-confidence vote on other issues, such as the state of the economy, but the senior Liberal is clearly throwing cold water on election speculation as MPs prepare for next week's caucus retreat in Sudbury.

“I don't see an election being fought over unemployment insurance,” said Mr. Smith, using the program's original name. “It's an important issue and it's an issue that we want to address … but I don't see that as the defining issue that would trigger an election.”

Cherniak_WTF said...

Quite right Anon....but that is just another "I told you so moment".....

Still, Harper IS a control freak and if he ever tips into into the high 20's in popular vote, I expect to see more dissenters break rank...

KNB said...

Ewww...cutting and pasting off topic, without a point or an opinion.

Whatever can it mean?

Anon patrol!

We never said we'd take the government down solely on EI.

Hilarious how the right live and die by press stories, then decry them when it doesn't suit their needs.

Hypocrites all!

Cherniak_WTF said...

We never said we'd take the government down solely on EI.

The leader of the federal Liberal party has threatened to push for an election if the minority Conservative government doesn't support proposals to reform the employment insurance system.

"There are issues on which I'm not going to budge or bend. We've got eight per cent unemployment. We've got surging insurance claims across the country."


"I've told my people I want a platform in June," he told reporters.

"And don't derive electoral timetables from that," he hastily added. "You asked me a question, I'm giving you an answer. I'm not playing games with you."

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/05/03/ignatieff-liberal-platform.html

Cherniak_WTF said...

So KNB, you were saying?

Anonymous said...

CTV June 21, 2009;

The Liberals have called for national EI standards that would set the eligibility mark at 360 hours.

The party also wants the self employed to become eligible for EI.

Ignatieff warned that if that there aren't sweeping changes to the system, the Liberals will be forced to "reconsider our options."

"We're not going to go on and on forever here," Ignatieff said. "This thing has a fixed deadline. We must achieve results for the Canadian people. If we can't then we're going to have to reassess the situation."

THIS THING HAS A FIXED DEADLINE

hahahahahahaha!!!!ROTFLMAO

KNB said...

Uh, I was saying:

"And don't derive electoral timetables from that...

Good grief people. This is not deep stuff. You either read the quotes or eat the junk that surrounds them.

Cherniak_WTF said...

"I've told my people I want a platform in June," he told reporters.

"And don't derive electoral timetables from that," he hastily added. "You asked me a question, I'm giving you an answer. I'm not playing games with you."


So Iggy is being deliberately vague?

We are talking about two things.
The platform delivered does not equate with a timetable.... fine that is okay with me.


The second is an answer to YOUR stating:
We never said we'd take the government down solely on EI.
Well it seems that he did...

KNB said...

c_wtf, No, he didn't.

Look, I'm a Lib and if I thought that was it,THE criteria, I'd be mad as hell.

Media has pushed it, but not Ignatieff.

It's the summer for gawds sake. Pushing junk is what they have to do.

Buying it? Well that is up to us..all of us.

KNB said...

Could we get back on topic here folks?

Just sayin...

RuralSandi said...

Since when, if you learn more info, is it flip-flopping to change your mind?

I didn't realize the intensity of the damage of Canadian asbestos in India until I saw the documentary on it and if I'm not mistaken, Ignatieff saw that documentary - hence a change of mind.

Pardon me, but it makes sense.

Jon Pertwee said...

That particular anon is known by many names at Red Tory's. He's a dude from Surrey with some major issues. So dont worry about him - he's nuts.

FredfromBC said...

RuralSandi said...

Since when, if you learn more info, is it flip-flopping to change your mind?

------------

Absolutely. That's what makes it so hilarious when Liberals try to bash the Prime Minister on the Income Trust issue...

Jon Pertwee said...

"Absolutely. That's what makes it so hilarious when Liberals try to bash the Prime Minister on the Income Trust issue..."

Because its a big liar accusing a big liar of lying? Or do you think Harper is some night in shining armour flying out of the Albertan hills on a white flying horse?

How about it FredfromBC?