Friday, June 01, 2012

A Sledgehammer To Swat A Fly

In this morning's Globe and Mail, four former environment ministers --Tom Siddon, David Anderson, John Fraser and Herb Dahliwal --  published a letter which they have sent to Stephen Harper. The four men -- two Conservatives and two Liberals -- question the wisdom of the Harper government's new environmental legislation, and the process -- the omnibus budget bill -- which is being used to pass it:

We are especially alarmed about any possible diminution of the statutory protection of fish habitat, which we feel could result if the provisions of Bill C-38 are brought into force. Migratory salmon and steelhead are icons of our home province. Our experience convinces us that their continued survival would be endangered without adequate federal regulation and enforcement, particularly in the area of habitat protection.

And they are angry that these changes have been hidden in the budget bill :

With respect to process, we find it troubling that the government is proposing to amend the Fisheries Act via omnibus budget legislation in a manner that we believe will inevitably reduce and weaken the habitat-protection provisions. Regrettably, despite the significance of the legislation, to date the responsible ministers have provided no plausible, let alone convincing, rationale for proceeding with the unusual process that has been adopted. Quite frankly, Canadians are entitled to know whether these changes were written, or insisted upon, by the Minister of Fisheries or by interest groups outside the government. If the latter is true, who are they?

Tom Siddon is particularly incensed at Harper's government:

The people are asking, ‘what is this government up to?’ We’re not stupid, we the people. We don’t understand why you have to roll this all into one bill and ramrod it through Parliament.

“This is unbecoming of the Conservative party to which I belonged.’’

It's  truly sad that John A. Macdonald's Conservative Party has been hijacked by a small but determined group of tinpot dictators, whose philosophy of government the former ministers accurately describe as, "using a sledge hammer to swat a fly."

This entry is cross posted at Eradicating Ecocide.


Silly said...

To understand Harper's supporters, you must understand that Harper has hijacked Sir John A's
Conservatives only in name, and that his supporters know and welcome that. They realize it's very different from the old Progressive Conservative Party, which in their view was merely a mirror image of the Liberal Party, offering no meaningful alternative to it's middle-of-the-road policies. That's exactly what they're getting - bold, risky policies further to the right like those in the Omnibus Bill. How else can you explain Harper's continuing support?

Owen Gray said...

I agree that Harper and his supporters have rejected Sir John and his party, Silly. They take their inspiration from Ayn Rand rather than Edmund Burke.

The question that remains is where will the old Progressive Conservatives go? Will they find a home in the Liberal or New Democratic parties? Will they take back their old party? Or will they continue to live in exile?

thwap said...

I think those four former Wiccan Ministers, i'm sorry, I meant Earth-Goddess Worshipping Pagan Kook Ministers, ... i'm sorry, I meant Environment Ministers, are all just useless NDP hacks.

Just like those veterans' rights activists.

NDP hacks! Everywhere! All of 'em! Unless they're separatists! (By the way, let's kick Quebec out of Canada!)

Owen Gray said...

Sounds like the folks at the Harper Ministry of Truth gave you a sneak peak at what they're working on, thwap!

islandpapa said...

good one Owen

Owen Gray said...

I'm sure that folks on the West Coast must be upset at what the Harper government has in store for you, IP.