Monday, March 16, 2009

Prentice: Canadians, You're Not the Boss of Us!

Jim Prentice was put in the position of Environment Minister for a reason. Some have speculated that Harper side-lined him because he has aspirations of leadership. Watching him, I don't doubt that those aspirations are real and I have no inside track to Harper's mind, (thank gawd), but I think at least in part Prentice got his new position because he's not threatening. To us I mean. He's business-like, tries to stay above the fray and quietly gets things done. He's on the inside of everything in that government though and he strikes me as the guy who gets 'the agenda' through, almost without anyone noticing.

That said, wait for further spin on this little nugget.

Ottawa has given itself the power to decide whether infrastructure projects aimed at stimulating the economy are subject to environmental assessment, a top minister said Monday.

Ottawa? I know it's common parlance, but let's be clear...the Harper government, (as they apparently like to be called) has given itself the power.

We've already heard some spin on this. The government is saying that it is only cutting through red tape and of course, they are the masters at hitting the buttons that get people incensed.

'Red Tape'! Well who doesn't hate that? Who among us hasn't had to navigate some government bureaucracy only to come away thinking, what an absolute waste of time! The thing is, labelling something doesn't make it so.

While I am sure there is some duplication of effort when you boil down the provincial and federal guidelines, I'm also pretty certain that much of it has been developed for sound environmental reasons and there is no question that this government is happy to be done with what ever might obstruct private sector progress. Even if it is to our detriment.

The impact of this move will come out in the next few days and weeks. It can therefore be exposed for what it is. That said, it had better be jumped on fast and loudly. This cute little word game that the Conservative play to get the masses on their side has to be shown for what it is. Yes, once again I'm going to use the word, lie, because that's what it is.

It's a dilemma though isn't it? I mean, you can't go around screaming, Liar, liar, pants on fire! The Conservatives set things out in the most simplistic terms, without any regard for the truth. Those who disagree are forced to go into long and complicated explanations as to why what they say is wrong and sadly, no one wants to listen for longer than 30 seconds anymore.

At the moment, all I can think of as a counter to this is a short and snappy list of disasters that happened as a result of no oversight and disasters that were prevented as a result of having the right safeguards in place.

Any other suggestion are welcome.


Anonymous said...

"The impact of this move will come out in the next few days and weeks. It can therefore be exposed for what it is. That said, it had better be jumped on fast and loudly."

It will indeed be interesting to see whether or not Iggy is up to the job. So far, only Jack Layton has had the guts to speak out against this move by the Cons to weaken environmental protection under the cover of the budget.

Anonymous said...

Only Layton has the guts? Layton complains and says no to everything - it's not guts - it's in his DNA. He has to get noticed you know.