At a press conference yesterday, Liberal MP John McCallum called out the government for promoting ignorance. Well yes, they have been – where’ve you been the past…five years or so? “Stephen Harper doesn't like to let facts or truth get in the way of his ideological agenda,” McCallum said. “He will stop at nothing to dumb down debate to a catchphrase.” Of course – isn’t that how one talks politics at their local Tim Horton’s?
To that end, the Liberals will be introducing a Private Members’ Bill as soon as the House returns that will make changes to the Statistics Act in order to a) keep the long-form census mandatory, and b) remove the threat of jail time for non-compliance, and keep the penalties restricted to fines. I haven’t heard any indication as to which MP plans to give up their slot for this, and when it’ll appear on the Order of Precedence, but I’ll try to find that out in the next few days.
While certain media outlets and foolish television hosts drooled over images of Stephen Harper on that ATV in the North, let me remind you, he’s riding a four-wheeled ATV on the controlled course of an airport runway, in a huge bulky jacket and bubble helmet. It’s a tightly controlled and eminently safe environment. He’s got a long way to go before he even approaches the manliness of Vladimir Putin – or Barack Obama, for that matter. (Oh, and this counts as dancing? Outside of a junior high school dance? I think these straight white male reporters need to give their heads a shake).
Regarding those alleged terrorist arrests in Ottawa, Vic Toews wants you to be vigilant, while Michael Ignatieff says that we shouldn’t start engaging in witch hunts and walking around feeling menaced. Which narrative do you think will get better play in the media? Oh, and CSIS and the RCMP apparently weren’t simultaneously engaged in turf wars during the investigation and arrests. Good to know.
And it’s Pride in Ottawa this weekend, so I’ll be on the lookout for some politicos out and about. I don’t expect to see too many federal Liberals, however, seeing as they’ll be off to Baddeck, Nova Scotia for their national caucus, which begins Sunday night.