Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A NEW Feature - "Conservative Watch:"

Today I noticed a little story on line that mentioned Jason Kenney's office demanding the exclusion of any mention of Gay and Lesbian rights in the recently republished handbook being given to all new immigrants. Initially, Minister Kenney had tried to dismiss the absence of something so central to the political and social experiences of many Canadians by saying it was simply an editorial oversight, then when Canadian Press learned his office formally ASKED for the omission of any mention of these rights, Mr. Kenney offered up excuses that are both lame and insulting.

As I read this article and the revelation within that Mr. Kenney's office had also appointed a long standing Conservative who has very publicly opposes both same sex marriage and equal rights for gays and lesbians to the Board over seeing refugee claims I couldn't help but wonder what happened to the transparent processes that were promised by Mr Harper prior to his ascendancy to the throne ???

Moreover, I started to think about the many quiet little actions being undertaken by the Conservative Government since Parliament was prorogued for the Olympics ... the list I came up with is pretty long ... AND with the House of Commons due to return this week, it is worth putting ALL of these stories in one place for folks to think about them, and whether our Government is seeing to OUR best interests' or whether they are simply trying to keep themselves in power ...

So, in honour of the pending return of Parliament, I would like to offer the stories I have found that should be considered as we evaluate the job Mr Harper and his merry band are doing in Ottawa ... there are more then a few stories that should cause us to pause and ask - WTF ???

For now, here's what I found with a reading of the CBC, CTV and MSN news sites today

- Mr Kenney and the quiet mention of equality rights for gays and lesbians in the new immigrant handbook

- Mr. Baird quietly raising the airport security costs to be paid by travellers just prior to the pending budget that has been promising "NO NEW TAXES" ... reminds me of the first Bush - remember?? "read my lips - no NEW taxes" ... just increase the old ones, and pass off user fees to pay for stuff as a non-tax solution ... a tax is a tax whether it is called a user fee or not !!

- Ms Guergis' now infamous temper tantrum ... seriously, this one is like shooting fish in a barrel ... I will actually just leave it alone ...

- Mr. Bernier expressing the need for skepticism on the issue of Global Warming ... yeah, tell me that Mr Bernier doesn't represent the dominant opinion of his party ??

- Mr. Harper continuing to appoint senators while we still WAIT for his promised Senate reform that would put an end to political patronage appointment ...

- the awarding of 25 MILLION dollars to build and maintain wilderness trails across Canada - a noble project on the surface, until you realize that OVER a third of that money has been given to Snowmobiling clubs to build and maintain their trails ... hmmm, a couple of issues arise here - one is the whole global warming-greenhouse gas thing ... second is the issue of snowmobiles and the environment and the third is - isn't this simply a straight and blatant attempt to win votes ???? I mean - who is represented in the sledder demographic ???

- speaking of government funding - the Feds have announced the provision of 9.4 BILLION dollars for infrastructure funding - again a noble goal designed to get the economy rolling (almost a socialist ideal) - when it is matched by funding from all three levels of government it amounts to over 27 BILLION dollars being invested into the Canadians economy ... the problem arises with the lack of transparency in the whole process and the preference SHOWN to Conservative ridings over regions, areas and ridings that have been hardest hit by unemployment and job loss ... even something as helpful as infrastructure funding has become a political patronage opportunity !!!!!

- and today the Conservatives are already becoming belligerent on the issue of the Afghani detainees ... there is a formal request for information and paper work to allow us to get to the bottom of this, and the Conservatives are already stonewalling ... Come on Mr. Harper - with the stories of a soldier in Afghanistan allegedly executing a wounded Taliban soldier, the murder-rape investigation in Trenton, and the murder investigation here in Brandon, our Military deserve to have the truth revealed!!! The issue of mis-treatment of the detainees is not reflective of our troops in Afghanistan - the issue is about the BUREAUCRATS and their political task masters. Mr Harper - support our troops and release the necessary documentation to get to the bottom of this issue !!!!!

So, there you have it - a partial list of the questionable things our Governing party is up to while Parliament takes a break ... stay tuned. Conservative Watch is about to become a regular column here ... in addition to raising questions about the actions of our Government, Conservative Watch will also be about advocating for issues like housing, poverty and homelessness to be raised in political circles. I don't expect everyone to agree with what I might post here, but I will raise issues that pop up in the media and might otherwise slip away under-noticed.

For now ... I wonder if Mr Harper even realizes how bad lists like this look for him and his government, and if he does realize if he even cares ...

I guess time will tell.

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