Thursday, June 18, 2015

He Makes The Rules


                                                http://news.nationalpost.com/

Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault took the Harper government to court this week over the destruction of the long gun registry. Back when the government passed legislation to end the registry, she reminded Public Safety Minister Vic Toews that registry information was subject to Access to Information laws. And, therefore, there should be no rush to destroy that information.

But, on Tuesday, Stephen Harper admitted that the government ignored Legault and pressured the RCMP to destroy the records quickly. There is a paper trail to document that pressure. Steve Sullivan writes:

That includes emails that detail significant pressure on registry officials to destroy the information and destroy it quickly. Pierre Perron of the RCMP’s firearms programs wrote: “Just for the record, (the) minister’s office is putting a lot of pressure on me to destroy the records sooner.” Other officials referred to “pressure from senior RCMP to move up the delete date.” And another Canadian Firearms Program manager wrote: “Between you and me, someone will owe us lots of drinks at (the Prime Minister’s Office) if they want this to happen by end of August.”

And, just to make sure that the government will bear no legal responsibility for its actions, the budget bill contains a clause immunizing the RCMP from the legal consequences of carrying out the government's wishes. Tony Clement claims that this is all a tempest in a teapot. But changing laws retroactively is a big deal. The Harperites have written their own get out of jail free card.

It's clear that the prime minister believes, as he told his security detail, that he makes the rules. His contempt for the rule of law is absolutely stunning.


15 comments:

ron wilton said...

His contempt for Canada and all it was is stunning.

Owen Gray said...

He hates what this country was, Ron. And he seeks to remake it in his own image.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

We have a PM and a government that operates completely in isolation Owen. The arrogance and contempt they show toward Canadians is jaw dropping. These uncouth buffoons with their dictatorial dreams are our government. I always believed it is really important to know politically what is happening in my country. Watching this gang however, is akin to watching the dregs of society pollute and destroy our beautiful country. There is something about them that makes me want to wash my hands.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Pam. They leave a bad smell behind them, because they pollute everything they touch.

Mogs Moglio said...

Ya Owen this 'Harper' Government has set many records for a 'Canadian Government' none to be proud of but ashamed of.

The Harper Cons have taken more Canadian Institutional Branches to court and been sued more by civil servants than any other. Congrats Steve Joe you may have made your high school lose at "Reach for the Top" but you finally made it into "The Guinness Book of World Records" Steve Joe the buffoon.

Mogs

Owen Gray said...

He certainly has set records, Mogs -- of which none of us should be proud.

Scotian said...

I warned of this sort of thing with Harper over a decade ago, and we all know how that ended up for me, which is one of the reasons I have become more than a little bitter towards those that allowed this monstrosity to come to power despite it being obvious for anyone that actually did their homework on Harper to see this coming. That's really all I've got left at this late stage, I told you so, and the knowledge that whatever else my hands are clean in all of this unlike far too many so called self described "progressives".

I've always said that the kind of corruption that steals you tax dollars is far less dangerous and to be much preferred to the kind of corruption that abuses power, steals your rights, and ignores the law because they see themselves as above the law, Harper being our Nixon in this regard. Being Cassandra really SUCKS!!!

Owen Gray said...

The problem with being Cassandra, Scotian, is that nobody likes to be reminded of his or her stupidity -- even though admitting stupidity is the first step on the road to redemption.

Scotian said...

Owen Gray:

Don't I know it. When I talk about living the Cassandra Curse, I mean in full measure, including that side of it as well. For me though there really isn't much left to say, because I did warn of this time and again, I did state chapter and verse what basis I had for these fears, and I did time and again make clear that Harper was something way outside the tradition of even Canadian Conservative thought and that his way of governing, especially should he ever gain majority would be incredibly destructive to the basic fundamental institutions and legal frameworks we all relied upon.

Like I have said many times before, I can forgive the average voter for their ignorance early on, but I cannot those that were in leadership of political parties, and the Libs, for all their faults were the ones who constantly warned that Harper was truly dangerous in ways unlike any before. The NDP leadership had to have seen these things too, but they chose to team up with Harper because they thought it was more important to destroy their electoral threat than their ideological threat, which Harper clearly was even in is "moderate" image.

The partisans also allowed their hatred of Libs to blind them to the far greater threat of Harper, and the fact that even now they cannot allow themselves to see that they did so infuriates me. Whenever they claim the Libs are the same, or that Trudeau is Harper with a smile and hair I just want to reach through the monitor and strangle them, because by now it should be painfully obvious that Harper is unique unto himself in so many ways and far beyond anything anyone else would ever have done whatever their party affiliation.

I know that the record of being right where so many supposedly informed people were wrong should earn me greater credibility, but as you correctly noted instead it only gets me that much more derision. Is it any wonder I have developed the bitter edge and underlying rage towards those that should have been at the forefront of stopping this madness and instead enabled it and now want to be able to profit from it as if their hands were lily white clean? This is one of the reasons I don't blog anymore and comment so little these days, between that and my health issues it makes me wonder why I should bother. I suppose I still do because despite everything I cannot simply walk away entirely. Does that make me stupid or does that make me a person of conviction, or is there even a difference in this case anymore. I wonder.

Steve said...

I guess Harper does not believe in the broken windows theory of crime reduction. Tough on other peoples crimes. Combine this with the imacculate bribe given Mike Duffy and you have a goverment above the law.

Owen Gray said...

Laws are for other people, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

The true test of character, Scotian, is to hold on to your convictions when the evidence tells you you're right and the world tells you you're wrong.

Scotian said...

Well then I am certainly quite the character, although my folks would snark that this was something already well known...*weary chuckle*.

Seriously, I have just gotten that tired of it all, I've been right time and time again, I make a point of trying to be certain of my facts before I interpret their meaning (which is what one is SUPPOSED to do instead of trying to have their own facts), and aside from being a total Harper opponent I've never really had any partisanship for a party or leader, just what I saw as the best way to stop Harper. I suppose for me I am also wondering what the point is because even should we succeed in removing Harper this time out the damage was already done. In minority he was bad enough and laid the groundwork for the absolute grassfire within government structures that we saw during this majority. So much damage that cannot be undone, the work of many decades, has already been done. Precedents have been set that will continue to undermine our way of government, essentially the concept of good government, responsible government was murdered over these last ten years. At best rebuilding things like our scientific infrastructure and our public policy frameworks will be decades, and restoring true arms length independence to things like Rev Can and the RCMP I fear may be even harder now that a government turned them into arms of their party for partisan use.

While yes finally stopping him from doing any more harm is a good thing, unless we get a government that is capable of both recognizing the damage done to these institutions and has some knowledge of how to fix them I don't really see things having much chance of improving, and for me the only party with that knowledge is the Libs. I know people like MoS and to a lesser extent you have essentially given up on the main parties, and in other times I would likely also be seriously looking at the Greens too these days, but for me the need to try and repair what is left of our core governing institutions is too important to ignore, and that also means working with the tools we actually have as opposed to those we wish we had.

I trust the Libs these days more than I trust any other party, not that this is saying a lot since I tend to distrust all parties and politicians to a degree by nature. I am also one of those that accepts the premise that the Lib support on C51 was not principled but clearly for political expediency, and despite the hit it clearly caused them I am still far from convinced they made a mistake. We have seen the damage they took on their left flank, what we haven't seen is the damage going in opposition would have done for Trudeau and the Libs as they were painted between this and the Iraq/Syria position as totally unfit on serious foreign policy and security issues on his right flank.

to be concluded...

Scotian said...

Conclusion:


We have to remember that as important as progressive swing voters are, at least as much are the centrist conservative voters that the Libs also used to be able to attract who stampeded to the CPC in 2011 to give Harper hat majority, and they are the ones that need to be peeled off Harper to ensure his loss, that is short of a true wave election which one can never predict in advance let alone rely upon. Many of those voters may still be willing to consider the Libs because they did this, they also may not, only the election will tell for sure, but this notion that Trudeau and the Libs are proponents of C51, love C51, and their support proves that they are Harper and his CPC in Red, well, I have to say that premise has been infuriating me as well. Castigate Trudeau and company for expediency games on this, I'm fine with that. Make this into something it obviously isn't because it suits one's myth-making/propaganda better, whatever your flavour of it, and for me that puts you far too close to the same category as a CPC partisan/operative. Again, not saying this of you and those like MoS, but I'm sure you have heard/read the many "progressive" voices doing exactly this. So much for the reality based community there where truth and factual honesty was a virtue instead of a burden.

I think more than anything else what I despise about our current political reality is how facts and honesty about them has turned into an old fashioned quaint notion for so many, not just on the right but the left as well. Not to mention the level of disrespect for those who are not willing to share your ideological/partisan view. These days listening to"progressives" trash Liberals and Trudeau I find it very hard to hear much difference in tone and substance from what I hear from CPCers, including in the making up the facts to suit themselves so as to further blacken the names of both Libs and Trudeau. I keep asking, if the Libs are so the same as Harper and his CPC, how is it that until Harper and the CPC we had a fairly progressive liberal nation with strong progressive values and policies in place, and a well developed scientific and factual based policy apparatus? These were all mainly under Liberal governments so it puts the lie to this false comparison and claim, yet that seems to not bother the lefts partisans anymore than Harper's lies did the rights. Why then should I consider that any better than what we have know overall, with the exception of the intentional destruction of all core liberal governing institutions that Harper came with?

Sorry Owen, hadn't meant to do another rant, I'm just so disgusted with what I see these days. I'd feel a lot happier about the possibility of a NDP win if I wasn't seeing all of this crap with it from them, if they were the honest NDP of old, but this NDP feels and acts far too much like a mirror reflection of the current governing party in far too many ways for me to be anything but wary even leaving aside my anger issues for their past actions/inactions.

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau's support for C-51 has really bothered me, Scotian. But I note that Andrew Coyne has praised Trudeau's plan for open and transparent government. Justin is clearly trying to repair some of the damage that Harper has done.

The problem with his support for C-51 is that it hurts his credibility when he calls for change. We're a long way away from an election. And I believe he can recover. But he's going to have to work hard. He needs to regain some public trust.