If you want to know what the Conservatives have learned since their election defeat, Michael Harris writes, you should read the op-ed which Joe Oliver recently penned for the National Post:
Oliver tried to make the argument that the Trudeau government is overturning all the wonderful things done by Side Door Steve (he doesn’t sit in Parliament — he lurks there). Take the Office of Religious Freedom (ORF). Joe sees this Harper-era initiative as a giant step forward for mankind. Others, whose comfort zone isn’t necessarily the Middle Ages, prefer the separation of church and state — a secular approach to governance. (Yes, Joe, it’s a radical thought. But a lot has happened since the Battle of Hastings.)
Joe also slammed the Liberals for scuppering such Conservative initiatives as increasing the OAS retirement age from 65 to 67. And yes, Trudeau did reverse that in his government’s first budget, as promised.
What Joe neglects to mention is that Side Door Steve once promised to never touch Canada’s pension system. Then, one day, he woke up on the other side of the bed and did just that. He even made the announcement in Davos, Switzerland, rather than in Parliament. There was no supporting Finance Department white paper to justify the move. That sent coffee rockets jetting out of Kevin Page’s nostrils. It was Steve in communion with his belly-button — again.
Oliver argues that the Trudeau government is overturning all the brilliant things the Harper government did:
We should have kept those bombers bombing in Iraq, we never should have imposed all those pesky environmental restrictions on pipeline projects, we should carry on stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists and we should have invested $3.2 billion on military spending right away, instead of delaying it.
And he neglects to mention all the things the Harper government overturned:
The Law Reform Commission, disbanded. Katimavik, obliterated. The National Roundtable on the Economy and the Environment, abandoned. Kelowna, dumped. Kyoto, ditto. The Wheat Board, sold. The long-form census, cancelled. The convention on fighting drought in Africa, defenestrated. CIDA, castrated. Priceless diplomatic assets such as Strathmore in Ireland and the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence in the U.K., auctioned off for short-term gain.
There is still some of Harper's legacy which Trudeau hasn't overturned -- the Saudi arms deal, and the Trans Pacific Partnership. So the jury is still out on Mr. Trudeau. But the jury came to a decision on Harper last October.
Joe slept through the verdict.