Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Full Frontal Assault

Bill C-38 is no ordinary piece of legislation. It is a full frontal assault on Canadian institutions and Canadian workers. That point is made this morning by two men from opposite ends of the political spectrum. Andrew Coyne writes that Parliament is defending its vital interests:

It should be noted it is not only the opposition’s interests that are being defended here. It is Parliament’s. Were MPs on the government side more mindful of their responsibilities they would be as vigilant in its defence as the opposition. So while there is a strong element of partisanship in all this, there is also a vital question of principle; though the opposition parties may be accused of past acquiescence or even participation in some of the abuses of which they now complain, that does not preclude them from discovering their backbones now. It may look tedious, even inane — all those MPs bobbing up and down in their place as their names are called, hour after hour after hour — but let us not succumb to cynicism: They are bobbing for democracy.

However, the opposition parties are defending more than democracy. They are defending working Canadians. The bill, writes Ed Broadbent, shows that Stephen Harper is no pragmatist. He is a radical who has Canadian workers in his sights:

So what is Harper up to? Why does Flaherty say any job is a good job? The message to Canadians is that you are lucky to have a job and don’t expect too much. The message to employers is that you can continue to drive down wages, even more so for women, racial minorities and foreign workers.

The Conservatives have reinforced those provisions by attacking the fundamental right of workers to strike in areas of federal jurisdiction. This right is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the two principal Covenants to which Canada has committed itself. It is a right fought for and won by an earlier generation of Canadians. Canada is being reshaped in an ideological direction reminiscent of the 1920s.

Th Conservatives claim that their budget is about "Jobs and Growth." It is about neither. It is about concentrating power in the cabinet. And, in the Harper government, that means concentrating power in the hands of one man. Stephen Harper can only do that if he cripples the institutions and the people who stand in his way.


Peerless Cynic said...

Well said NR. I’m simply amazed at the astonishing lack of interest Canadians seem to have in the direction the country is going. We are experiencing an unprecedented blitzkrieg of policies initiatives that literally erase decades of social progress. Personally, I think both opposition parties should merge and oppose the Conservatives, although I won’t hold my breath...

Owen Gray said...

If nothing else, Peerless, Bill C-38 has united the opposition on one issue.

But things will only change if the Conservative strategy of divide and conquer fails.

Mama Gross-Biker said...

Of the many repressive measures in Bill-38, one of the most telling is the proviso suggesting women should be paid less than men. Is Mr. Harper implying that women are not as valuable as men? - or at least not in the workplace? Perhaps the role that suits them best is to be found in the kitchen.

If women's equity groups haven't been working hard to unseat that troglodyte, they must surely be convinced of the need to do it now!

Owen Gray said...

Harper knows that, if he openly advocates paying women less than men, he'll be given the horse laugh, Mama.

But, if he hides his intention in an omnibus bill, he can play the public for fools -- and get away with it.

Mama said...

Yes, Mr. Gray, he certainly is one.

Owen Gray said...

I take it, Mama, that you think Mr. Harper is -- in truth -- a horse's rear end.

Mama said...

Bless you, Mr.Gray.

Gloria said...

Well, seeing we aren't getting anywhere with the horses ass, perhaps we should go to the horses head. Sadly Harper's head, is still the horses ass.

However, we shouldn't insult the horses. Horses are loyal, beautiful animals, who worked very hard to build Canada.

Harper is merely, a little spoiled boy, from an oil family. Who, has hissy fits when he doesn't get his own way. How can we tell that??? Well, it has been seen by the entire world.

Harper has merged Canada in with Communist China. China has bought up the tar sands. They are bringing, hordes of their own people to work the tar sands. China is bringing swarms over, to build the Enbridge pipeline.

What would happen to Harper and Canada, if all the women did stop working? We pay a hell of lot of taxes. Harper wouldn't have billions of tax dollars to thieve then, now would he?

Owen Gray said...

Taxes. You've said the magic word, Gloria. Harper is on record as saying that there is no such thing as a good tax.

But government can't function without taxes. And government is the enemy.

Spoiled children are much better at tearing things down than building things up.

Beijing York said...

Harper has been introducing legislation and measures to discourage working women since 2006 so this dismantling of pay equity comes as no surprise.

His child care choice (baby bonus) was the first blow. More recently, he rewarded middle-upper class families with stay-at-home moms with income splitting.

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting, Bejiing, that women like Rona Ambrose, Lisa Raitt and Kellie Leitch could support these kinds of policies -- unless they feel that there are two classes of women -- their class and "all the rest."

It's all part of a pattern. The rules apply to you. But they don't apply to us.

Mogs said...

Steve is dead! Along with the 164. He lies he cheats and that is something all Canadian school boys hate!

Owen Gray said...

I read, Mogs, that some of the 164 are having deep misgivings about what they've done.

Perhaps the sheer arrogance of Bill C-38 will be the turning point.

We live in hope.

Mogs said...


I can't believe it from a news paper in the far east to me, I am in David Wilks riding did not vote for him and starting to collect info for the locals who seem to think that federal politics and policies do not affect their lives?

This is a good one I will be sharing with my neighbors prior to the next election.

From the article quoted: "For a brief, shining moment last week, David Wilks stood poised to become the West Coast Bill Casey. The little-known B.C. Conservative MP was going to stand up to the prime minister, the Tory party and the hydra-headed beast that is the omnibus budget bill.

But he blew it."

He could not have been a better assassin on his own political career and aspirations!

I'm going to rub as much salt in this wound that I can! He will not win the next election for being a turncoat and a fraud, like the rest of Harper's con men.

Owen Gray said...

It's too bad Wilks didn't have Casey's backbone, Mogs. Casey hasn't said much since he left.

But he has his self-respect -- and the respect of his constituents.

Mogs said...

Sorry I forgot the link to the opinion article:

Owen Gray said...

Leger hits the nail on the head, Mogs:

From now on, Wilks will be tainted by his sudden loss of fortitude, a fate shared by yes-men and sycophants down through the generations. Where Casey retired covered in glory because he took a stand for what was right, Wilks has been shown to be just another fawning toady.