This started out as a really boring week, before it picked up some steam over the long weekend. Can you believe that Parliament only sat from June 2nd-June 23rd? I mean, thank god. Who knows what kind of crazy crap they'd come up with if they actually stayed in session for any period of time. But 21 days? That's crazy. They're not back until September 19th.
Anyhow, I started the week grasping at straws, so we'll start with my panic post.
In honour of Canada Day, let's look back on some history. Did you know that Income Tax in Canada originated during the First World War? Indeed, it was meant as a temporary measure to help pay for wartime spending.
So, doing a bit more research...the Prime Minister at that time? Sir Robert Borden. Who happened to be a Conservative. Yes. The Conservatives brought in a "temporary income tax"...94 years ago. That's probably one of their oldest broken campaign promises.
Moving along to actual items...
This Globe and Mail opinion piece nicely sums up my exasperation with the political landscape of today.
Another Globe and Mail article talks about the Senate and it's handling of the Canada Post back to work legislation, pointing out that their reading of it added a "real, ongoing contribution to public discourse and public policy." Which is a fair point. In the past, Liberal senators have made some remarkable points about drug law, amongst other things. But honestly...we have an entire branch of government in place to add to public discourse and public policy? That seems a bit indirect and frivolous, no? Especially when nobody, especially the Prime Minister, is required to listen to them.
To further honour Canada Day, the "Harper Government" decided to show it's appreciation for the arts. So they've decided to micromanage arts funding because Canada does not want to "fund plays that glorify terrorism." They have cut off the funding to an entire festival because they didn't agree with one of the plays that happened LAST YEAR. Because anything that talks about terrorism is obviously glorifying it.
Slate takes Canada to task for it's stance on Asbestos. They point out that as we're busy exporting the stuff we're making sure we remove every last molecule of it from the Parliament buildings. Another Globe and Mail article on asbestos as well.
Tony Clement steps in it by tweeting a candid shot of the visiting Royals. Once again, I don't think it's the photo or the tweeting that bothers me, it's the complete lack of acceptance that he may have done something wrong. Only a Harper Cabinet Member could be oblivious to the questionable optics of using your government post to put yourself in a position to take a photo of the backs of two of the most privacy-crazed individuals on earth and then tweet about it. And then...standard Conservative response..."We did nothing wrong. You're stupid for even raising this as an issue. The whole thing might even be your fault." Perhaps the last bit might be a bit of a stretch, but not much.
Moving along to even more concern about the G8 Summit. This time, the RCMP has pointed out that if somebody had decided to shoot one of the 8 leaders, Muskoka probably would have worked out pretty well for them. The same report also points out that several planners had little relevant experience, information and file sharing (amongst security groups, I assume) was poor and that six undercover teams were quietly monitoring all protest groups. Because obviously that's going to be your source of assasination attempts and other "criminal activity".
And finally, in our Strange Stephen Harper Obsessions posting for the week, a "show of force" in the High Arctic is planned for the near future. I'm not sure if I'm more troubled by us wasting money running around in the arctic thinking that people are impressed or by us considering 1,000 troops to be a "show of force".
Actually...more finally...let's end the week off with a running list of Strange Stephen Harper Obsessions:
The Long Gun Registry
Per Vote Subsidies
I feel like I'm missing a couple. But honestly...he just can't let some of that stuff go.