2 min

Fake ministerial accountability

SunTV has been caught staging a fake
citizenship oath-retaking ceremony using mostly bureaucrats from Citizenship
and Immigration as their oath-takers. Seriously. Because they’re totally not
the official media arm of The Party. For his part, Jason Kenney said it was “poorly
handled
” and then sent a departmental communications staffer to SunTV to apologize.
Because apparently ministerial accountability is dead.

Now, this all being said, one has to
wonder why the bureaucrats went along with this in the first place –
though, to be fair, they did try to get SunTV to simply film one of 13 other
prearranged ceremonies, but no. The bureaucrats could have held firm instead
of bending over backward to accommodate the official media arm of The Party,
but they bent over anyway, and when it blew up, they took the blame. But I look at
these bureaucrats who are working under ministerial direction to help SunTV,
and yesterday’s story about the senior managers at Statistics Canada quashing
internal dissent, and I am taken back to the very same point I made yesterday –
have these civil servants forgotten that they swore their oath to the Queen?
They serve the Crown and not the government of the day. It is their job to provide
impartial advice – not to try to make the minister and prime minister look
good. And this goes back to the issue of our lack of civic literacy – people confuse
and conflate bureaucrats and civil servants with elected officials all the
time, because they don’t understand the separation of roles. It seems that some
civil servants need to be reminded of that, too.

After a trip to heritage committee
yesterday, the anti-flag-ban bill has had its draconian penalty clauses
that threaten jail time struck, and it’s now a bill that will simply “encourage” people
to fly the flag more, according to its proper protocol. Seriously. But at least
the moronic bill has been declawed, right? Baby steps.

Despite having apologized for his rope
comments, Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu is now saying that he’s getting great
response to said suggestions that prisoners be given the option of suicide. So
is he unapologizing?

Over at the NDP leadership race, it looks
like Brian Topp is attracting some hefty donations from Bay St lawyers.
Meanwhile, some of the polite sheen looks to be coming off, as Topp’s campaign
workers were trying to convince Saganash supporters that Saganash can’t speak
good enough French to be leader – despite Saganash being from northern Quebec
and quadrilingual. Nastiness ensues.

And Conservative Senator Nancy Greene Raine
wants the integrity of Canadian maple syrup protected from knockoffs, in case
you were concerned about them.

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