Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pathetic Political Posturing

Yesterday, I posted about the outrageous pillaging of our groundwater made possible by a government that seems oblivious to anything but its corporate clientele. It is a sad situation which I and many others have known about for a long time; it is the same knowledge that Premier Wynne has long been in possession of, since it is the system of permits her government grants that makes this kind of aquatic depredation possible. Yet to hear her political posturing, it is almost as if it is a revelation to her:
There is a difference between taking water for agricultural or industrial use and taking it to sell bottled water, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday. Some of the conditions of the permits for bottled water use are outdated, she said.

"There's the issue of the quantity of water that's taken, there's the issue of the cost of that water," Wynne said.
Actually, that is not the issue for a lot of people, Ms. Wynne. The real issue, which you are studiously ignoring, is why your government issues such permits in the first place, given that it is yet another sop to your corporate friends and, as the saying goes, a licence to print money.
Environmental group Wellington Water Watchers is urging Ontario not to renew a permit for Nestle Waters in Aberfoyle, Ont., that expired on July 31. It's upset that the company has been allowed to keep extracting water from a local well in the midst of a severe drought in the province.

A water-taking permit remains in force if a renewal application is made at least 90 days before it expires.
Wynne continued with her pathetic political posturing:
"Thirty years ago, we wouldn't have envisioned an industry that took water and put it in plastic bottles so that people could carry it around," Wynne said.

"I mean, we didn't drink water from plastic bottles 30 years ago. We turned on the tap and the fact is our tap water in Ontario is among the best in the world."
If you have the stomach for it, you can watch the following news report that only underscores the political prostitution taking place at Queen's Park.


  1. I live in London, Ont. and pay more than $1 per litre for water (excluding all other added fees and charges). Nestle, who's CEO thinks water is for business and not part of the commons, pays less than $0.004 per litre, and turns around an sells it back to us as drinking water - no value added (other than a "convenient carrying container" [which itself creates more waste]!).

    Geez ... is there something wrong with this picture.

    1. I think the corporate world has done a fine job, UU4077, of convincing people that only their bottled water is fit to drink.

  2. I think Lorne what we are witnessing is a full scale neoliberal policy agenda from the liberals and Wynne is on board with this completely.

    Wynne issues these permits to Nestle's , precisely because of her neoliberal largesse in supporting another of her corporate friends.

    What Ontarians think and want is irrelevant to Wynne. We are instead soft sold and lied to.

    Federally, Trudeau is constantly talking about doing "trade" deals including with China. By the way, for the new Canadian Ambassador to China position , the liberals have chosen a business executive from McKinnsey Consulting ( I may have spelled the company name wrong, but you get the idea).

    So, selecting someone with a strong diplomatic background is not in the cards. The executive has said no to the liberals, but their continuing to try to persuade him to take this appointment. They really want him. He is their number 1 choice.

    It now is business expertise not political diplomatic expertise that matters to the liberals appointing new ambassadors. Do I think this is part of the neoliberal foreign policy? Yes!

    Why else would business knowledge supersede political diplomatic knowledge.

    In 3+yrs Canadians will see provincially and federally how severe the damage to our democracy will be and how our social programs such as health care will be financially starved and become even more inefficient.

    The liberals cannot implement their neoliberal policy agenda provincially, federally, domestic and foreign openly. Canadians would not allow it.
    Liberal will have to do much of this agenda with little or no transparency. They will then initiate a PR plan, like Wynne just did, to soft sell and deceive the Canadian public.

    Trudeau is the perfect patsy to be manipulated by his advisors and ultimately the corporate elite. He accepts neoliberal doctrine without question. His advisors probably don't even use
    the word neoliberal when speaking to him.

    Keeping Trudeau ignorant about neoliberal policy is probably the easiest part of his advisors jobs. Wynne however is smart enough too know what it all means.

    1. As your analysis points out, Pamela, at both the provincial and the federal level, there is a huge disparity between the Liberals' public relations efforts to appear kinder and gentler and the reality of their neoliberal values and policies. Clearly, their behaviour suggests a very low opinion of the intelligence of Canadians.

    2. While one of the top guys at McKinsey, Mr. Barton has wormed his way in Canadian government circles from some vital committee or sub-committee of the Privy Council under the Harperium to the chairmanship of a Trudeau/LeBlanc creation known as the Advisory Council on Economic Growth.

      Speaking of McKinsey, "known for whispering advice to national leaders and CEOs of major corporations", it seems that our main dollar-a-year man can't take the ambassadorship because he'll be occupied "spearheading firm reforms this fall". Good - it needed reforming.

      Keep your participation in the inner circles you can penetrate as part-time as you can and stay focussed on your day job in the Whisper Gang. If possible, see if you can keep that seat on the inside warm enough by looking after the little things: like, for example, introducing the golden boy to the client and potential-client lists at Davos or selling soap for China at cabinet retreats. Saving capitalism is a full-time job and every little win-win counts.

      Maybe later, when time permits. Meanwhile, that "special envoy" gig sounds interesting.

    3. Your link makes for some very interesting reading, John. Thank you. Your commentary also reminds me of a clip I saw yesterday featuring the CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, as she sought to justify the huge increase her company has imposed for their epi-pens. She spoke of how 'we' have brought in legislation in some 38 states, thereby making the pens more widely available. She said this a couple of times, quite unashamedly, perhaps not realizing that some might object to the power over legislation that a major corporation has. Just a small peak behind the curtain, eh?