Xtra
2 min

Ministerial tantrums

Last week, Amnesty International wrote
Jason Kenney and Vic Toews an open letter regarding the “suspected war criminal”
hunt. It listed a number of concerns about the process and said that if
these people were actual war criminals, simple deportations to places where they
won’t face justice are problematic (in a constructive tone, one might
add). Jason Kenney responded with a letter of his own that ignored most of the
criticisms in favour of disdain and included populist noise such as “I have listened
to your concerns, and, frankly, I prefer the common sense of the people and the
law.” Because childish tantrums in open forums are befitting of a minister of
the Crown.

Speaking of the “suspected war criminal”
hunt, Vic Toews thinks it’s working so well that he wants to expand it. Privacy
laws be damned; informing on your neighbours is doubleplusgood!

Brazilian newspapers are detailing the diplomatic faux pas that Harper made in Brasilia. Harper’s people deny it, of course, which again shows that their media-controlling ways or presidential
envy haven’t abated in the slightest on this trip.

As some of us have been aware for some
time, Conservative cabinet minister Denis Lebel used to hold a Bloc Québécois
membership. Oh no! But doesn’t that make him as much of a problem as Nycole
Turmel? Yes and no. Lebel changed parties, full stop. Turmel was supposedly a long-time
activist with the NDP yet took out a membership
with the Bloc “to help a friend” in a manner that still doesn’t fit logic or
reason. She held these two allegiances simultaneously. Thus, the NDP narrative is that she has always been a federalist and that it won her from the separatist fold. Never mind that the two cannot reasonably exist together in the same space and time. That is where the
problem ultimately lies, and it's not being addressed by the partisan sniping.

What’s that? The government’s new Shared
Services Canada doesn’t have a business plan to show how it’ll achieve its goals
of shared services and savings? You don’t say! It’s not as though the
Canadian government doesn’t have a history of spectacular IT failures resulting
from improper planning or anything such as that. Tony Clement begs to differ. It seems that his definition of having a “plan” is to have a “goal,” yet he has nothing about implementing it. This has worked out so well in other similar situations.

Here’s a look at job cuts in the public
service thus far. It should be noted that these are from before the latest round of the Strategic
Review.

A French ambassador says that Canada is too
small
 to develop the Northwest Passages for shipping, though others dispute that this is simply a question of political will.

Farmers in Western Canada are debating the
future of the Canadian Wheat Board. The agriculture minister, Gerry Ritz, says that he will ignore them and abolish it anyway. He seems undeterred by the law that states that such a move requires a plebiscite from farmers.
Also, discussions should not include the blatant falsehood, which Ritz is
peddling, that the CWB can still operate without being a single-desk seller.

And at least one of those expelled Libyan diplomats has applied for refugee protection, which may not be that much
of a surprise.

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