From the beginning, everything Stephen Harper has done has had one objective: to rig the game in his favour. His latest foray is his attempt to legislatively re-write history. Steve Sullivan writes:
So far, Harper has limited himself to offending democracy and the law. Now he’s re-writing history. Buried in his government’s latest omnibus budget bill is an amendment to the Access to Information Act which denies people the opportunity to make access to information requests for data from the defunct long gun registry.
Big deal, right? The data was destroyed months ago, when the Harper government repealed it. But this amendment is backdated to the day the government introduced the bill to kill the registry — not the day the bill became law. It also would protect the RCMP and other government officials from any lawsuits or prosecutions linked to the destruction of the registry data — retroactively.
Time and again, Harper has sought to place himself above the law. And, time and again, the Supreme Court has told him the the law takes precedent over his wishes:
Stephen Harper is not a good loser — and he’s been losing a lot lately. The Supreme Court justices barely gave themselves time for a bathroom break last week before they came back and shot down the government’s argument that Omar Khadr deserved more time in a federal penitentiary — the third humiliating court defeat for the government on the Khadr file, if anyone’s counting.
But, if he can re-write the law on the gun registry, why not re-write the law on Khadr?
Will Harper amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act to say that all teenagers who went to Afghanistan in 2005 and killed a U.S. soldier cannot be sentenced, even in another country, as a young offender? Could he amend his Life Means Life Act — which is not even close to being law yet — to retroactively apply to anyone named Omar Ahmed Khadr so he can never be released from prison unless Stephen Harper personally says it’s okay?
Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault recently pointed out that had the Martin government taken Harper's tack, there would have been no investigation of Adscam and no Gomery Commission:
Legault herself speculated about what the Liberals could have done a decade ago in order to eliminate the threat of the sponsorship scandal, had they been in a position to do what Harper is doing right now. “Because this could have been done, you know, to erase the authority of the auditor general in 2005 when she was investigating the sponsorship scandal,” she said.
So the man who rode to power on the sponsorship scandal is trying to make certain that Paul Martin's fate is not his own.
It's always about rigging the game.