Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Factually Fictional

Lawrence Cannon appears to have taken some exception to a story that Embassy ran last week. In this weeks edition, he lashes out:

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has shot back at critics and federal civil servants upset over the government's recent changes to Canadian foreign policy language reported in Embassy.

Mr. Cannon said Foreign Affairs deputy minister Len Edwards is in charge of implementing government policy and would be responsible for dealing with any malcontents within the bureaucracy. However, he said anyone who disagrees with the government's direction is free to leave.
"I've told my people that this is the policy that we carry out and if anybody is not happy with these policies that we're carrying out, well all they have to do is go and run in the next election and get themselves elected and support a policy that is different from ours," the minister said.

Isn't that charming? How utterly typical of this government to ignore the real issue and simply threaten those employees who are raising red flags.

The implications of these changes are far more dangerous than Cannon would have you believe. They are succinctly laid out by Impolitical here.

Obviously, the ramifications of these decisions should concern us all. Both in terms of what it might mean to those it may affect, as well as our standing in the world. Additionally though, I think it's important to take note of the 'attitude' displayed by Cannon.

It's clear that this government in spite of receiving a minority, believes it has a solid mandate to do as it pleases, even when warned of the serious consequences. What's more irksome to me is this though:

"We've been elected to govern the country and the government of Canada puts forward, sets forward its objectives, its policy objectives as it does in any other department. And it is up to the departments to execute the policies that the Canadian population supported and acknowledged by putting this government in place. And that is exactly what we are doing."

What an absolute falsehood. The Canadian population did NOT support these policy changes let alone acknowledge them, because at NO time were they raised in any election. When was the last time we discussed foreign policy? Foreign affairs questions/concerns are routinely dismissed in the HoC and further ignored at committee.

The arrogance is staggering, the assumption completely false, yet it must be said that this is one of the clearest illustrations of just how this government operates. Facts mean nothing.

Here are some other examples of how badly this government is handling foreign affairs issues:

Makhtal's appeal must run it's course
Minority politics threat to Canada's foreign policy
Relations with Mexico at 'Lowest Ever' Level


Anonymous said...

Oh, I just have to shake my head at the response to Makhtal's situation.

Yesterday I heard an interview where they were speaking to his attorney, who explained that they were hopeful the government was formulating a response and that they had always understood the government had wanted to wait until the court proceeding was concluded. The interview was followed by a statement about how the government had said they would issue their formal response today.

And now we get that response. Let me summarize,

"Gotcha with a technicality. While those Kenyans aren't recognized as actually having a legal system any objective body could recognize as legitimate, we're gonna pass. Yeah, best to just kick this ol' can on down the road a bit. See, this foreign policy in support of Canadians just takes too much energy and might even hurt us with our political base. Guess that sucks for you. But, hey, it's been fun chatting with you over the past several months. We appreciate how polite you've been about the whole thing. Good luck, guys. Call John Baird after your client rots in their system a while longer and maybe the good Transport Minister we'll pass the word onto our office. We might think about maybe doing something on down the road. Gotta run, later."

Karen said...

Oh, well done Joseph!

It really is astounding.

You know, it's great that Embassy is writing this and blogs are picking it up, but where is the media that people read on this issue?

The major players need to expose this stuff...yet.

More letters to editors I say!