Thursday, March 07, 2013

EI Backlash

Stephen Harper does not play well with others. Chantal Hebert writes:

Under Harper, the First Ministers no longer gather and the unsolicited input of the premiers usually falls on deaf ears.

The adoption without compensation to the provinces of a potentially costly law-and-order agenda; the imposition of a new funding formula for medicare and the implementation of an EI reform that stands to transform the seasonal economies of parts of Quebec and Atlantic Canada are all cases in point.

Now Harper proposes to claw back funds that are used by the provinces for job training. There has been no discussion about the proposal. The prime minister conveniently ignores the fact that Canada -- from the very beginning -- has been a federation. The concept implies co-operation between constituent parts. But, Hebert writes,

In a previous life Stephen Harper advocated the creation of a provincial firewall to shelter Alberta from the policies of the federal government of the day. The concept must have stuck with him. As prime minister, he has presided over the building of an increasingly thick firewall to insulate his government from the input of the provinces.

Not only does he ignore the founding fathers, he also ignores recent Canadian history. He assumes that Quebec will live quietly in its own parallel universe, even as he gives Pauline Marois the ammunition she needs to argue for Quebec's independence:

But this comes at a sensitive juncture — with the Parti Québécois in power but also against at a time when a major backlash against the latest EI reform has been gathering steam.

The issue is gaining traction weekly in Quebec and mobilizing opponents right across the political spectrum in a way not seen since the 2008 culture cuts.

In the House of Commons on Monday, former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion read out a list of former Quebec Conservative candidates who have added their voices to the chorus that is calling on the government to rethink its EI reform. 

Atlantic Canadians are as infuriated as Quebecers by Harper's EI reforms. Just as the prime minister didn't foresee the meltdown of 2008, he doesn't see the perfect storm which is headed his way.


Anonymous said...

Harper sees the storm. However, one of the Dictators in the 30's thought, he was invincible? Harper believes he is invincible too. The other Dictator, lied, deceived and cheated to win too.

Harper getting rid of E.I. means? E.I. is a provincial responsibility. That is just more money for Harper's coffers.

I see no purpose for Harper, what-so-ever. Why are the tax payers paying for, useless dead wood? Why are we buying homes, for Harper's Cons? Why are we funneling billions of our tax dollars, for Harper and his Cons, to thieve and abuse? Harper has certainly outlived the need, for a Federal government. Harper's corruption is not sustainable. Provinces would be better off, uniting on their own.

Owen Gray said...

The latest polls suggest that support for Harper is falling, Anon.

We live in hope.

thwap said...

Stupid or evil. Or both.

That about say it for harper.

Owen Gray said...

Harper isn't just stupid, thwap. There is something genuinely malevolent about him.

And he gets away with what he does.

Fightfordemocracy said...

In the small northern town I grew up in there was a demonstration of 500 people against the EI "reforms". This is an amazing turnout for that place. But where were they when Harper prorogued parliament to avoid losing a non-confidence vote?

I find that the middle-class types I unfortunately have contact with just don't want to know about anything beyond TV shows or hockey. They have every opportunity to educate themselves but don't.

I am hypersensitive to tyranny because I taught myself to read German in order to read Der Spiegel. I have read a huge amount on WWII, Hitler, long term effects etc. It was like a course in Tyranny 101.

The CBC is very critical of the German citizen under Hitler but frankly, if Harper decided to set a large prison camp in the north, the people I know wouldn't say boo. People assume anyone in prison deserves to be, just like the Germans.

Well, those middle-class types better wake up. Harper is working his way up the food chain. One day they might find the medical care they count on just isn't there any more.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

212May the perfect storm blow him all the way back to Alberta. . .never to be seen again.

Owen Gray said...

As Plato wrote, Fighting, the price of apathy in public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that a growing number of Canadians feel as you do, Phillip.