It's the first week back in Parliament and Stephen Harper isn't even there. He is busy in New York trying to prove that he is relevant on the international stage with his comments on Palestine. He even earned a thank-you from Israel.
He also took some time to talk about the Keystone pipeline, and explained that it should be a "no brainer" for the US to approve it. He's right. Why wouldn't the US want a pipeline that magically gets filled with our raw, un-processed oil products? Why would we agree to do this for them? This is crazy, for so many reasons. "Ethical Oil" and all that. On a similar note, the Saudis are getting a little bit tired about the whole thing and the Canadian Government proves that they're nothing more than an industry mouthpiece.
First on the agenda, the Omnibus Crime Bill. Stats Canada just revealed that our crime rates are the lowest that they've been since the 1970's. Sounds like a good time to announce sweeping "fixes". There's a good editorial here.
As well, the Tories have announced a $20-Million dollar contract (or $90,000 a day,as the Globe puts it) to "save money". They didn't really follow standard government tendering protocols either. Sometimes you have to spend money to save money...so I won't be too critical.
The former Chief Statistician comes out swinging over the decision to scrap the mandatory long form census. Pssh. Experts. What do they know? I mean...this guy probably only spent years in school and his entire career working on statistics and demographics, determining the best way to formulate a coherent picture of the make-up of our country so that we can best design government policy. Why would his opinion matter? More here and here.
Government waste doesn't count when it's your government doing the waste. Apparently Peter Mackay used a search-and-rescue helicopter to fly home from a vacation at a remote fishing lodge. But it's okay, because he was participating in a "search-and-rescue" demonstration. A demonstration put together at the last minute. At his request. But he cut his vacation short because of it. Oh...And a Challenger jet flight home on the same day. I think Peter McKay is one of the better Conservatives out there...although it's kind of his fault we had the merger, isn't it?...it sounds like he had some support from military brass based on this link. But it's still kind of stupid.
The Conservatives start to get serious on their talk about reducing/eliminating funding for the CBC. I love that they go on Sun News to talk about it.
And speaking of dismantling...I don't really understand what the wheat board does. I can wrap my head around the basics of why it might be desirable. I can't for the life of me decide why somebody would put energy into getting rid of it.