Remember that report on the gun registry that the Minister of Public Safety sat on while the vote on abolishing said registry was happening in the House of Commons? The Toronto Star has done some digging and found that not only did the Minister sit on it for weeks, but he wasn’t impressed by the fact that police were using it more, and that there was greater satisfaction by users – not something one wants to hear when they want it gone. And once again, they’re playing politics with the fruits of the public service’s labours, trying to politicize it, and trying to hide any “inconvenient truths” that are contrary to ideology.
Remember a couple of weeks ago there was a story about how political staffers interfered with Access to Information requests? Well, as it turns out, that was just the tip of the iceberg, and the Hill Times has a whole story on the practice, complete with a leaky anonymous Conservative staffer. While it’s no surprise, it’s further evidence of the lengths this government will go to control the message and the agenda, and of once again politicizing the civil service. And while it’s good that these stories are getting out, it needs to be enough to get voters to care about the issue, and not be just another one-off that they’ll shrug off.
Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, ever the firebrand, went ahead and released a position paper that he and the other five Liberals on the Senate security and defence committee prepared on the topic of revitalizing the RCMP. The Conservatives on that committee immediately turned around and blasted him for playing politics. But, um, of course that’s why he did it. He’s almost certainly about to lose the chairmanship of that committee, and he wants to get the information into the public domain before what he sees as the Conservatives’ attempts at delay take hold. It’s too bad that partisanship has taken root in that committee, but Kenny has never been one to be afraid of speaking truth to power (no matter which party is in government), so it’s good to see that he’s not backing down.
On the topic of rogue senators, Senator Elaine McCoy – who I will remind you is made of awesome – wrote an op-ed for the Toronto Star over the weekend in which she lays out the case for an appointed Senate. She proposes the appointments commission-model of Senate appointment, which is probably one of the best (and most realistically achievable) options on the table, and one that deserves more consideration.
Previews for the upcoming budget say no new taxes, and no new spending programs outside of what’s been allocated for the Economic Action Plan™. And also no realistic plan for getting us out of deficit. When opposition MPs learned that the government provided details of it to the media, well, they flipped. Scott Brison said that this incident, along with prorogation, amounted to a “jihad” on Parliament by Conservatives. Tell us how you really feel!
Incidentally, the NDP appear to be starting a weeklong series of budget suggestion press releases, and Monday’s was all about Seniors and the GIS.