Sunday, March 03, 2013

A Nation Of Men, Not Laws

Last Wednesday, Stephen Harper made a Sherman statement about those he has appointed to the Senate:

“All senators conform to the residency requirements. That is the basis on which they are appointed to the Senate and those requirements have been clear for 150 years,” 

That's a bit puzzling. As Tom Walkom writes in The Toronto Star:

That puts someone like Sen. Mike Duffy in a bizarre position. Duffy has acknowledged that he doesn’t live in Prince Edward Island, the province he was appointed to represent. That’s why he’s repaying more than $42,000 in housing allowances that he received to defray the costs of his suburban Ottawa home (which, Duffy admits, is where he actually does live.

All the rules require, says Marjory LeBreton,  is that a senator own property in a  province. By that logic, any absentee landowner can be a senator.  Lebreton's statement is a broadside against what an adviser to George W. Bush called  "the reality based community." The truth is what I say it is:

In effect, as Conservative Senate leader Marjory LeBreton explained to reporters Thursday, senators are deemed to live wherever they say they live — at least for the purpose of collecting their $132,300 sessional salaries.

No one is accusing any senators of fraud. But this government is most certainly accusing E.I recipients of  that crime. And, when they discover that fraud, rest assured that the offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Oh, the privileges of power. You get to make the rules, then declare who is breaking them.

We live in a nation of men, not laws.


Lorne said...

Funny, isn't it, Owen, that these renegades feel so free to rewrite the truth. The BNA Act is quite explicit about the requirements for who can sit as a senator. The most germane part is Section 23, subsection 5, which states: He shall be resident in the Province for which he is appointed.

I fail to see any ambiguity there.

Owen Gray said...

It seems pretty clear to me, too, Lorne. But let's not forget that, during the last election, these folks claimed that a coalition which included the Bloc Quebecois was anathema.

Anonymous said...

Here is why the Duffster is indeed in a pickle:

The eligibility for representing a Province is crystal clear (at least to most of us, including Walkom). You must own property of at least $4K AND you must be a resident of the Province you claim to represent. Duffy had apparently signed a piece of paper claiming that he is a resident of PEI. However, to be eligible for OHIP, you must claim Ontario as your primary residence AND you must live in it for at least 153 days.

Therefore, if Duffy is a resident of PEI, he is ineligible for OHIP and many would say that he had defrauded OHIP. Conversely, if he claims that he is eligible for OHIP, he would in effect be claiming that his primary residence is Ontario. He would then not be eligible to represent PEI.

The same quandary would presumably apply to others, including Wallin.

Interesting that Walkom mentioned the parallel universe and theoretical Physics. In the latter, there is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle which essentially states that you cannot measure precisely two quantities such as the position or momentum of a particle simultaneously. Measuring one of the quantities with more precision automatically is associated with an increase in imprecision in the other quantity. The only trouble with Walkom's assertion is this. Heisenberg's Principle applies to subatomic particles. The Duffster, clearly, is not sub-anything, judging by his picture. LOL

Owen Gray said...

Yet he clearly is trying to defy gravity, Anon. I suspect that he'll only do that if he joins Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station.

The Mound of Sound said...

Owen, when I read this item I thought Harper has added "constitutional lawyer" to his already heavily padded resume. Harper's only familiarity with law is in how to sidestep it.

Owen Gray said...

There are some, Mound, who would argue that Harper's claim that he is an economist is equally as dubious.

Dana said...

Some, Owen ?

No one with even a milligram of real world experience would grant any credibility whatsoever to Harper's claim to being an economist.

The man hasn't worked a day in his fooking life that wasn't on the public tit one way or the other. Citizens of Canada have paid for this c**ksucker either via student loans, Alberta taxes, federal taxes or voluntary contributions combined with federal taxes for his entire useless fooking life.

The best thing this toad faced motherf**ker could do would be to die and for his estate to repay the levels of government that have contributed to his cancerous rise.

Owen Gray said...

The folks Harper boarded with are on record as saying that he used to admire Pierre Trudeau, Dana.

Apparently, when he relocated to Alberta, he underwent a conversion. And, like a lot of converts, he became more Catholic than the Pope.

He preaches the new doctrine at every opportunity. But he rarely practices what he preaches.

Anonymous said...

Funny how no-one mentions this much:

"CTV,  meanwhile, reported that Sen. Pamela Wallin had repaid a substantial amount of money - before - meeting with auditors reviewing her more than $300,000 travel bill"

Owen Gray said...

They're working hard to put out the fires, Anon. But each time they put one out, another flares up.

Now there is the case of Pierre Hugues Boisvenu.