Monday, September 19, 2016

Back to Bullshit City

Is our new prime minister just the old prime minister only with a friendlier face? So far, writes Michael Harris, it looks that way and it's time that Justin Trudeau proved otherwise.

"Selfies, canoe sorties, sunrise rituals and tattoos all have their place in post-substance politics. But they do not replace credible legislative action in the long run."

"...Trudeau may have appointed a former regional chief, Jody Wilson-Raybould, justice minister of Canada, but that won’t trick First Nations peoples into believing he has their interests at heart. Buckskin jacket and all, Trudeau is beginning to make them wonder.

"Instead of acknowledging aboriginal rights, Trudeau has allied himself on the infamous Site C dam project with one of the most unpopular politicians in the land, B.C. premier Christy Clark. He granted federal permits to allow BC Hydro to flood 83 kilometres of the Peace River Valley, a highly controversial project opposed by Treaty 8 Indian bands, farmland advocates, and Amnesty International.

"Worse, Trudeau has done this while Indigenous Peoples are arguing against Site C in the courts. Until the courts decide whether the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations gave their “free, prior, and informed consent” to the project, no one knows if this decision by two levels of government is even constitutional.

"And then there is the country’s foreign policy, which was supposed to announce to the world that Canada was back. It really looks like Stephen Harper never left.

"The Trudeau government has denounced any Canadian who agrees with the Boycott, Divest and Sanction strategy proposed by many people around the world to force Israel to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and return to the negotiating table.

"Global Affairs minister Stephane Dion has mimicked the foreign policy of the previous government in Ukraine, where the main thrust seems to be to provoke the Russians.

"Most disturbing of all, the Trudeau government proceeded with the Harper government’s immoral arms sales to Saudi Arabia, granting export licenses to make the delivery of Canadian-made armoured vehicles to that country possible."

"...Trudeau’s moment of truth begins with this new session of parliament. He can change house-leaders and make best-dressed lists till the cows come home, but he has some real governing to do.

"What pipelines, if any? What will electoral reform look like and how will it be advanced? When will Bill C-51 be amended and what will it look like? Will there be a new health accord with the provinces and will it guarantee a national Medicare system for all? And will these measures be truly debated in the House of Commons, or jammed through using the same dictatorial process trotted out so often during the Harper years?"

And, of course, Harris wrote this before word got out that on climate change, Harper's laughable emissions reduction targets are now Trudeau's targets.

Then there's the latest from The Star's Tom Walkom who writes that the much cherished tool of Canadian business for suppressing wages, the temporary foreign worker programme will be returning with relaxed conditions very soon. And you thought Liberal had some connection with liberal. Silly you.

And, since it's piling on day, The Guardian has a detailed piece on Trudeau and Canada's First Nations or what it calls "turning the language of liberation into a contraption of conquest."

It's telling that during the Harper decade of deep darkness, Liberals didn't hesitate to denounce the Conservative prime minister for acts that his Liberal successor continues and yet nary a peep out of those Whig scolds today.


Toby said...

We are watching a charade. We gave up citizenship in order to become consumers.

When in Third World countries I have several times been asked about how to get to America = once or twice Canada but usually America. Never once was freedom an issue. Every time the issue was getting enough money to buy stuff, particularly pickup trucks. The whole world has been sold a stupid dream.

The Mound of Sound said...

It certainly does feel that way, Toby. We're now taxpayers, not citizens, and it's only fitting that we inhabit a transactional democracy - at best. Neoliberalism is premised on this reality for its continuation. The corporate sector has usurped what had been our sovereignty to achieve a form of mercantile power in many cases the rival of our remaining and compromised political apparatus.