Socialist International
2 min

Keeping the civil service non-partisan. Really!

The Clerk of the Privy Council Office is so concerned that non-partisan departments are being politicized into sending out partisan news releases on behalf of their ministers that he’s doing something about it. He’s… changing the headlines of those releases to be ever so slightly less partisan. Because he believes in taking the Treasury Board guidelines seriously. Wow – I’m glad he’s looking out for the independence of the civil service and standing up to this government’s attempts to further politicize it.

In the event that you weren’t convinced the world has gone Twitter-mad, the Finance Department is in on it. Does this mean the fad is now over? Like when grown-ups start using the street slang of youth? And hey, it’s not like they can’t fit this year’s budget details into 140 characters – “No new taxes, no new spending. Go team Harper,” and a hashtag or two. But seriously? Does this also mean that we’ll get tweets from Flaherty – or maybe his deputy minister – on what he had for lunch, and what he thought of the hockey score?

(Apparently there is a second, similar Twitter account, which may or may not be an imposter. Which is the real one? Drama! And you thought politics was boring).

Mexico’s wrath for the Canadian policy requiring Mexicans to get visas before entering the country has just been felt by NDP MP Bruce Hyer, whose green Parliamentary passport was flagged when he tried to go to the country for a vacation and meetings on climate change. Out of pocket thousands of dollars, Hyer went to the Grand Canyon instead, but now says he has one more reason to be grumpy with Harper.

The PMO wants you to know that Maxime Bernier is just freelancing when he’s coming to the defence of climate change skeptics. It’s not official government policy. Really. Government policy is to mouth that they believe in climate change, but to stall and delay and do nothing about it, so really, there should be no cause for confusion.

What’s this? Federal funds are going toward an evangelical youth centre in Winnipeg targeting aboriginal youth? Is there any doubt as to why members of the aboriginal community are raising the alarm that this is just like the legacy of the residential schools, going after their children’s souls? And did I fail to mention that federal tax dollars are going toward this evangelical organization? Separation of Church and State? Anyone? Can somebody please sound an alarm bell?

And the NDP budget suggestion of the day yesterday was about – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – cancelling the planned corporate tax cuts. Incidentally, the Toronto Star crunched some of those numbers, and keeping the cuts wouldn’t do much to help the state of the deficit.
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