Omar Khadr
2 min

Using Haiti for partisan political gain

Oh, the utter crassness of it all. After spending a day posing for the cameras amidst the devastation of Haiti (Look at him visit children in a field hospital! Look at him drinking water from a Canadian-run purification facility! Look at him eating field rations with the troops!), using his paid American media consultants to get onto the Today Show, and using the Canadian Forces troops stationed there as more political props, Harper then had the audacity to make a speech in which he singled out his government’s decision to purchase the fleet of massive C-17 cargo planes as the bestest thing ever and which totally made our ability to respond to the disaster in Haiti possible.

Ahem. It has been pointed out by experts that other military purchases haven’t exactly lent themselves to this kind of response (like Cold War-era Leopard 2 tanks for Afghanistan), or that they’ve killed plans to build Joint-Support Ships, which would have been of tremendous help in rapidly delivering aid and bypassing bottlenecked ports. Oops. Perhaps he should have vetted his speech a little bit before he made all kinds of claims that the evidence doesn’t actually support. Or, you know, not tried to capitalise on the disaster in Haiti for his own partisan political gain.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson let it be known that after due consideration, the government’s response to the Supreme Court decision on Omar Khadr is to not only not ask for his repatriation, but they’ve also sent a diplomatic note to ask that the intelligence that CSIS agents got from Khadr during their infamous visit to Guantanamo Bay not be used in his upcoming military tribunal. Because what? You don’t want to get your hands dirty in that legal fiction of a kangaroo court? Seriously? Obviously, Khadr’s Canadian lawyers are incensed by the government’s behaviour – especially since they ignored said lawyers’ requests for interventions and to be able to have their say. (Also – for Nicholson to put out his statement after six o’clock, well past the daily news cycle, is more proof that they want this story buried and not questioned).

In a somewhat bizarre story, charges were laid against the former chaplain-general of the Canadian Forces for what appears to have been an indecent assault on a male member of the Forces in 1972. The charges at the time would apparently have been “buggery” – an offence that is no longer on the books (thankfully).

Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced the government’s intention to greenwash the Olympics by spending $150,000 on carbon offsets. Because now they can claim that they’re totally doing something about the environment. Really!

Perhaps not so coincidentally, the Green Party points out that yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol becoming legally binding – and yet Canada’s emissions have increased 27 percent. Go us!

Up today – the NDP are holding a press conference to talk about the wish list they sent to Jim Flaherty about the upcoming budget. (Spoiler alert – they want him to cancel the planned corporate tax cuts!)
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