It seems the free spending Tories can't coerce the Canadian Armed Forces;
Defence plan to cost $50-billion over 20 years
Lieutenant-General Walter Natynczyk, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, said the military would spend between $45-billion and $50-billion on planes, combat vehicles, ships and fighters under the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Conservative government's plan for the military that was originally released Monday without comprehensive details.
This is more than double the cost announced by PM Stephen Harper and Defense Minister Peter MacKay
Foreign Affairs Minister Maxim Bernier dates woman with a taste for Bikers. If this fact wasn't noticed by the Hell's Angels, I and most security professionals would be very surprised. This kind of access is second only to actually putting a government official on the payroll. Was she checked for security? What was Bernier thinking? The Tories say it's nobody's business. However, people working in the canadian ports have their spouses checked.
It turns out Mde. Couillard's ties to the bikers were deeper than the government knew. Bernier's former relationship became political fodder once again Friday after Montreal's La Presse newspaper reported that Julie Couillard lived with a man with ties to the Hells Angels three years ago.
Maxim Bernier says repeatedly that the governor of Helman province should be replaced. Aside from being a an amateurish faux pas of meddling in a country's internal politics, in Afghanistan this talk could lead to civil war, as the Governors are usually warlords with only cynical loyalty to the central government. A suggestion that one would be deposed could easily lead to violence against both the central government and Canadian forces deployed in Afghanistan.
Pierre Poilievre defended the use of "in and out" funding to allow the Conservatives to break spending rules. Subsequently, several candidates reported they had been told to say nothing and everything would be "ok". The Tory response was to blame Elections Canada for launching a vendetta, this despite the fact the head and deputy of Elections Canada were appointed by Stephen Harper.
Tom Lukiwski stands up in the house of commons to apologise for egregious slurs against gays recorded on video tape some years ago. This perpetuates the feeling that the Conservatives are the party of intolerance.
Chalk river nuclear plant is shut down for ongoing safety violations. Ministers Tony Clement and Gary Lunn claim that the head of Nuclear safety in canada was being over-zealous. Another case of the Conservatives asking a civil servant to break the rules set down by Parliament. This was to cover their own incompetence at supervising the supply of nuclear isotopes and the safety of nuclear reactors.
An audio recording suggests the conservatives had offered money to Independent(and former Conservative) MP Chuck Cadman not to run. Since Mr.Cadman died shortly afterwards, there is no proof, just Prime Minister Harper saying offers had been made. What those offers were is not clear, although Cadman's wife, who is currently a Conservative candidate, said and subsequently denied that money had been offered.Now why would she change her story?
The Tory policy of opposing gay marriage fell apart(thankfully) when it became apparent that gay marriage is a matter of Provincial jurisdiction. Ostensibly the Tories should've known that this policy was hopeless, but they also knew it would pander to their base. It seemed that they benefited from a measure of intolerance.
As soon as the Conservatives took power, they accepted Liberal turn-coat David Emerson who crossed the floor to become the Trade minister. This after Stephen Harper declared that MP's shouldn't be allowed to join another party, but to run under the banner of their new party first. Apparently this doesn't apply to people who would join the Tories.
I'll update this post when I have time to chronicle the mess in the committees, where law and policy are made, if all the parties try to be civil(the Tories have reduced partisanship to the equivalent of school yard bullying and name-calling). I'll recount another brouhaha where the Tories asked Elections Canada to break the rules rather change them. This view, that the Government can arbitrarily change or ignore laws voted on by parliament, is remarkably adolescent. Despite several years in the house of commons the Tory caucus still seems to think that Canadians vote in a dictatorship and that the two thirds of citizens that didn't vote for the tories deserve no representation.
I'm not the only one who thinks this tally of scandals is long for a government in power for just over two years.
Saturday, May 10, 2008