Monday, April 18, 2011

A bad example

Several years back former Conservative leader Kim Campbell made the infamous comment that politicians should not discuss complicated issues during an election writ period - and she got hammered. I'm starting to wonder if she was right.

Today's SP (Apr 19/11) reports Ignatieff stating that Saskatchewan's "13 stooges" failed to stand up for Saskatchewan during the BHP takeover bid for PCS. I didn't think this issue was that complicated, but apparently it is to the Liberal leader.

When the takeover issue started it was clearly the issue of the provincial government. When the federal government interferes in provincial matters, the provincial politicians get a little testy. The resources of a province are the domain of the provincial government. This issue first had to be decided at the provincial level. When the Wall government said no the the takeover it then asked the federal government to support its decision and the feds did in fact support the provincial government - which included the support of the 13 Tory MPs.

Perhaps Mr. Ignatieff has spent to many years in a country governed as a republic and truly doesn't understand our parliamentary system or jurisdictional rights.


  1. Wow this would seem to be the first acknowledgment by Ignatieff that the West actually exists.

    Hope all the residents out west are enjoying their boom while it lasts. Once Ignatieff and the coalition get in (and they likely will) we can all expect our thriving Province to come to a halt. Cap and trade and hard taxes and regulations on the oil industry are promised in the Liberal platform (and we all know how their sidekicks future Finance Minister Jack Layton and the NDP feel about oil exploration). The old Trudeau mantra of: "Screw the West, and take the rest" seems to be taking a foothold with the Ignatieff campaign team.

    Better be stashing away your earnings Saskatchewan, the recession will begin here the second the Liberals take power.

  2. The end of the world is nigh!!!
    I don't understand why it is bad for Ignatieff to ignore the West but okay for Steven Harper and the 13 stooges to ignore us. I see very little difference.

    And if you want to talk about influence of the West in Ottawa, just look how much this has waned over the past few years as Harper has sought a majority. The big guns in his government now are all from out east. And yet, so many are propagating the myth that Harper looks out for our best interests.

  3. Harper hasn't gone down a path of destruction to the West. What has Harper done for the West, well when the people of Saskatchewan dearly asked the Feds to kill the BHP takeover (despite it being against their philosophy) they responded and vetoed the deal. Regardless of who you wish to give credit too Anon 9:06 (probably Link for his flight out east?), that was the Conservatives coming to the help of Saskatchewan when we asked them too. I can't think of much more that I would want but to know that the Feds had our back when push came to shove in situations like that.

    As for their platforms. If you see very little difference between the Conservatives and Liberals platforms and how they would affect the West then are either ignorant or wilfully ignoring the facts. The cap and trade is another name for a carbon tax is another version of the Green Shaft (oops Green Shift) and the next coming of the National Energy Program. What is that.... the Liberals cap and trade excludes Ontario's nuclear industry and Quebec's hydro industry but does include all the resource industries from Saskatchewan and Alberta? The platform of the Liberals is the same old BS from them, tax the west and send the wealth out east. At least the Conservatives allow us to keep what we earn rather than subsidize Ontario.

    Actions speak louder than appointments, I don't care if his cabinet is from the East as long as they treat the West fairly. Which they have done, coming to our defence with BHP and leaving our industry alone. The Liberals platform attacks our industry allowing them to soften up the East. As I said, "screw the west, and take the rest" has been resurrected.

    Believe me Anon 9:06, I've been looking for any reason to rationalize not voting for Harper this election. I'm begging one of the parties to put forward any sort of a platform that I can realistically support (sorry the NDP's platform is for dreamers and not practical). However, it's become clear that the Liberals simply don't care about our end of the country and I cannot endorse them for that. Why the Liberals didn't run on a more right platform I will never understand. If they had aligned themselves philosophically anywhere close to the Cons and made this a choice between Harper-Ignatieff then I think many in the west would have been more open to Ignatieff. However, he continues to screw us over with his policies. A vote for Ignatieff is a vote for the demise of Saskatchewan emerging as have-province.

  4. Anon 9:30
    I can think of any number of reasons not to vote for Harper. Mention oil to anyone out West and its' kind of like Pavlov's dog with all the hysteria this provokes.It's past time people out here emerged from their little gopher holes and realize that the oil companies are not our friends and that they probably do a lot to whip up this knee jerk reaction out here because it protects their massive profits. And Stephen Harper and his buddies don't do anything about it because they make far too much money off of it. Have you noticed that OPEC says that there is an over supply of oil in the world and yet the price of oil doesn't seem to be dropping???

    I am also looking at the bigger picture of what Harper has done with the institutions and values of our country which quite frankly disturbs me a lot . Oil company profits pale in comparison to this and I can't quite understand why people are not more disturbed by this.

  5. What a piece of revisionist tripe this post is.

    Foreign trade and investment falls under Section 91 of the Constitution - Federal jurisdiction. If a foreign interest is taking over a Canadian company, the Feds have a constitutional role to play to protect national interests.

    The provinces have control over their resources under Section 92, and there may have been a case for Wall to challenge the PCS sale under this.

    Thus, it was an inter-jurisdicational issue.

    To your point that it was provincial first - well, to a degree it was. Wall potentially could have reconvened the legislature and passed foreign ownership restrictions relating to potash resources. This, however, could have caused issues under NAFTA (an area of Federal jurisdiction).

    So instead, the Sask Party did the right thing - they raised awareness then passed the buck to the Feds.

    But in doing so, the "Silent 13" did not publicly jump to the province's defence, as Ignatieff notes. While Wall was traveling the country defending our province, where were our 13 MPs?

    Aside from a few desperate, revisionist, after-the-fact apologist articles that slithered into the papers, the "13 Stooges" were just that. They did nothing.

    Regardless of the politicking about these MPs, Ignatieff is completely correct in his statement when it is considered against Constitutional jurisdiction.

    Your attack on his knowledge of constitutional jurisdiction has no validity.

    It seems a bit rich for a failed tin-pot City Councillor to be giving lessons to a Harvard academic on the "parliamentary system or jurisdictional rights.

  6. The Liberals, the NDP and the BQ all want to charge Western Canada billions of dollars for the right to use our own carbon based resources. Whether it's a carbon tax or cap and trade the scam is the same. Quebec and Ontario get to funnel money from Alberta and Sask. It's only the Conservatives that stand in the way of Eastern Canada raping the west yet again.

    If Iggy and Taliban Jack put in a syphon with the help of the BQ, Alberta will beat Quebec out of Canada and I wouldn't bet against Saskatchewan heading out the door as well.

  7. 11:33 - Thanks!
    Has anyone here also wondered what might happen if we didn't all just blindly vote for the same people over and over again? Especially people who don't do their jobs?
    There is no true debate in this province- all the Cons have to do is mention oil and everyone here votes for them. I personally think we should be a little harder to get and then we can see who promises what (just look at the amount of time everyone is spending in BC , Ontario and Quebec).

    I have been feeling quite angry for quite awhile that city folks in urban Saskatchewan are essentially disenfranchised because of the way our ridings are formed. We really don't have the same concerns and needs of the rural areas and yet Mulroney and his set of Conservatives ensured that we have no voice.

  8. Anon 11:38 Ipod tax!!

  9. My biggest internal debate is figuring out how to cast my vote considering this dilemma:

    I cannot support Ignatieff because it will mean the destruction of the West (any simpleton who looks at their campaign, including his NEP campaign manager, and the Liberals platform can see this)

    I cannot vote Conservative because it would mean voting for Velacott (my riding) and I in good conscience cannot support that man.

    I cannot vote for the NDP because Layton has not advanced a practical platform and by his own admission he knows he cannot form government.

    I suppose I could always burn a vote on the Greens :s

  10. 12:28
    I agree- there is no perfect choice. But I'm not going to vote for someone because of the politics of fear . This means that I won't vote for Harper under any circumstances. Neither will I vote for the Greens (You won't vote for the Liberals but you will vote for the Greens who may pose as much of a threat to the oil patches???)and waste my vote.

  11. Anon 12:50,

    I meant it as a joke as voting for the Greens is essentially like wasting or spoiling your ballot. I agree their platform is absurd as that of the Liberals.

    How can you as a Saskatchewan resident vote Liberal knowing they want to suck every dollar out east that they can?

    Anon 12:28

  12. Because I don't necessarily believe that that's what this means.It is what people tell me it means - but it isn't even an actual policy yet! I believe that at some point we are going to have to make some sort of reckoning with the impact oil has on the environment, and with the fact that we belong to the nation of Canada, and I would rather be setting the agenda rather than blindly reacting to what some people say.

  13. That doesn't seem to make any sense though, the whole premise behind the carbon tax or cap and trade is to make the prairie provinces Canada's dirty little secret. A source of energy, oil and resources that it is able to exploit with the left hand and condemn with the right.

    What exactly do you think is going to happen in any sort of a program that requires industry with huge emissions (ie mining) to pay money to those corporations not (ie. Bay Street).

    Any way you slice this it is going to impact Western Canada. This is not a plan to reduce emissions or to clean up the natural resources sector or to reduce our dependence on natural resources. It is plain and simple a tax that is levied on West to be paid to the East.

    As for your "it isn't even policy yet" attitude, I certainly hope you maintain that mindset when evaluating all policy suggestions by politicians including those from Harper. Any time someone mentions anything policy related your reaction is to stick your head in the sand and say "it isn't even policy yet"

    If that wasn't the general premise I am unsure why no Liberals have responded to Premiere Wall's point that he'd support any program that sees the cap and trade money stay in province to be used. I too would support that (either as a carbon tax or cap and trade program). Just don't suck every penny they can out East.

  14. To ignorant posters above who seem to think that we should just shut down our resources industry just move already.

    First off don't umbrella all natural resources under the guise of OIL. I know your party leaders have trained you to make that connection, but this is in fact a false premise. All resources that require being mined (ie Potash) fall under this umbrella. In case you haven't notice Saskatchewan is a resource based industry. Whether you like big Oil or natural resources or not is irrelevant to the conversation, the fact is Saskatchewan (economically) goes as these industries go. Noticed how our little boom here and all the success we've had is a direct result of our booming resource industry. How the major donors around the province and sponsors are all resource based companies (Mosaic, PCS, Cameco, etc..).

    What is the plan when all our new found wealth is shipped off to Eastern Canada to subsidize the failing industry out there? Do you think the production will stop? That the environmental harms that you complain about will stop? Please, everything will go on as it does but the money will just flow to Ontario (remember how riled up the people were when foreigners like BHP came in and tried to take our money from the people?). Instead of seeing PCS cut a cheque for $27 million to fund the Saskatchewan STARS program they will have to take that money and send it out to Ontario for their programs.

    This has nothing to do with the effects of resource industry, but rather is simply a transfer of the benefit from the industry. We'll be left with environmental harm, exploited land, and other effects while the East can turn a blind eye to what is going on and reap all the rewards.

    Also, for all the Parliamentary experts on here why has no one mentioned that we run a strict party system in Canada. Meaning that if you are a Conservative you vote with the Conservatives, same with the Liberals and the NDP. Very rarely, almost never, will a leader allow his party to vote on an individual basis on major issues. I believe the NDP is the only party that allows MPs to vote as they choose on party member rules. The Liberal MPs allow vote as Ignatieff tells them too, just like the Conservatives due under their leader. This control extends over to much of media dealings and public commentary for all parties. I didn't see one Liberal MP stand up and say scrap the gun registry, and I doubt (based on some Liberal MPs seeking re-election taking heat on not speaking up by their constituents) every Liberal MP was in agreement on the issue. The reality is any backbencher MP is a stooge regardless of their affiliation. We have no idea if the Conservative MPs did appeal to Harper or whether they did nothing. However, in a tightly controlled party system like Canada employs it is not surprising to see MPs tow the company line (ie. in this case not speaking to media on issue while Govt deliberated). If we had a Liberal minority I'm sure for party reasons Harper would have told our 13 stooges to take the gloves off and attack at will the Liberals while they deliberated. It is all gamesmanship and is played by all parties. Had any of our MPs spoken out they would have been booted from the party and sat as independents and then fallen in the next election as we once again race to vote in a party over an individual.

    For all those so concerned about the Conservatives scandals how soon they forgot the disgraced Liberals leaving office after their scandals brought them down. And similarly, we can expect to see more scandals hit which every party or coalition forms the next government.

  15. "I believe that at some point we are going to have to make some sort of reckoning with the impact oil has on the environment, and with the fact that we belong to the nation of Canada"

    The cap and trade has nothing to do with the impact of oil on the environment. It is simply a financial game that says those with emissions must pay a tax. Considering it is near impossible to get the natural resources (more than just oil that the lefties are hung up on) without the emissions it amounts to a separate tax on the natural resources industry.

    This has nothing to do with asking them to reduce, it is just saying keep doing what you are doing as long as you pay Ontario for the right to do so.

  16. 2:10 pm
    The Liberal scandals are always used to excuse Conservative scandals aren't they?? We should be turfing the Cons the same way the Liberals were turfed. Then we can continue to keep politicians honest. But if everyone here just follows the same old tired line that the Liberals did it so its okay if the Cons did it and continues to vote for them than your complaints about the Liberals are hypocritical at best.

    I also certainly don't disagree with the notion that our MP's as a whole are not doing a good job in speaking to our concerns. But this to me means that we should turf them every once in awhile and not accept it.But voters contribute by allowing terms like cap and trade and ipod tax to scare them off from making a change.

    And I still haven't seen anything to prove that the East is going to suck our money away. You all say that but I don't take that as gospel.

  17. Ready the policy Anon 2:29. It is in the Liberal's platform.

    You keep repeating that you are always hearing it but have yet to see any proof. By the sounds of it nothing you hear will convince you, so why no search it out and read it yourself?

    It is one thing to not take what people say as gospel, it is entirely another thing to completely ignore something so significant because you wish to remain ignorant on it. They lay out the plan pretty clearly in their platform.

    Rather than saying you haven't seen anything proven to you, say the truth that you prefer to remain ignorant on the subject. After all that philosophy worked wonders for our environmental policy......

  18. "I also certainly don't disagree with the notion that our MP's as a whole are not doing a good job in speaking to our concerns."

    What a round about way of saying something (you "don't disagree" in other words you "agree") Anything you can do to avoid giving some credit to the Conservatives.

    Stuff like this is the reason politics are so nasty these days. People refuse to acknowledge any good done another party, and any bad done by their own.

    There are good people in every party and there are bad people in every party. There are honest hard workers and there are crooks. This has been evidenced throughout our political history.

    People are so entrenched in their position now that anti-Conservatives cannot even fathom to compliment a Conservative MP or acknowledge they have a done a good job.

    Anon 2:29, you are as much a part of the problem as Harper.

  19. 2:44
    That is exactly my point- thanks for agreeing with me. many people like to slam the Liberals for their problems and yet always find a way to excuse the Conservatives. i would like people to realize this and treat them the same way- turf them when they are in the wrong. But people like you, and others here, always attack those who want this and accuse us of not being fair to the poor Conservatives. I want all and any of our representatives to listen to voters- this doesn't happen if we just follow meekly along with the staus quo or react in fear to phrases like ipod tax or cap and trade. 2:44 - I think you are part of the problem as well as Harper.


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