Friday, June 16, 2017

He Can Talk The Talk

But his sandal-clad feet cannot walk the walk.

After the disastrous tenure of Paul Wells as national political affairs commentator, it was a real pleasure to see that The Toronto Star has called Tim Harper out of retirement. In his column today, Harper reminds us of some things that Justin Trudeau acolytes would prefer to ignore.

Among Trudeau's less-than-stellar achievements thus far,

Constitutional Debate, Anyone?
... this government is now facing the prospect of having a budget bill split, or stalled, in the non-elected, non-accountable Senate. It has wandered into this muck by tabling the type of omnibus budget bill it railed against in opposition when it was done by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and by appointing independent senators who have taken that label literally.

Sen. André Pratte may have been quite right in pushing to have the government’s infrastructure bank yanked out of the Liberal budget bill for separate scrutiny. And Trudeau’s point man in the Senate, Peter Harder, may have been quite right in arguing that splitting the bill would mean a spending bill would originate in the Senate — powers the upper chamber does not have.
Harper suggests as with other issues, this one will escape the public's scrutiny thanks to the impending summer recess.

But when we all return from our summer holiday, there are other issues that the public will likely notice.

The Federal Deficit
On the economy, they will see that behind what looks to be a chugging locomotive is a federal deficit that goes much beyond — almost three times beyond — the $10 billion or so Trudeau promised in 2015. It conjures memories of a mocking Harper holding his thumb and forefinger almost together and laughing at Trudeau’s plan for those “tiny” deficits.
Indigenous Issues
... the Trudeau Liberals lifted expectations sky high for historic national reconciliation with First Nations.

But they have not walked their talk on spending on health and social services for Indigenous children living on reserves. They have instead ignored a series of non-compliance orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which ruled in January 2016 that Ottawa was discriminating against the children. It is also seeking individual hearings for thousands of children taken from reserves and placed with non-Indigenous families in the so-called ’60s Scoop, despite losing a court battle over compensation.

The inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women has turned into a morass, way behind schedule, certain to miss its deadline, sure to seek more money and losing the support of frustrated family members. Thursday, it lost another key member, Tanya Kappo, one of the Idle No More founders, who resigned as a community relations manager, one more dropping shoe indicating the commission is floundering.
The Environment
...the Trudeau government is still operating under the Harper emission targets, and it faces challenges with Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. So far, the Trudeau environmental package includes a carbon tax in return for a pipeline, and the future of that Trans Mountain pipeline is clouded by the chaotic politics of British Columbia.
I feel bitter about this government, given the fact that it rose to majority status thanks to the promise of doing things differently. Thus far, outside of a more pleasing manner, I see little to distinguish Justin Trudeau from the neoliberal policies of the Harper government.

Time for people to start paying attention again.


  1. Like you, Lorne, I applaud Tim Harper's return.

    1. His analytical abilities are much-needed these days, Owen.

  2. Who would have thought Lorne that Trudeau would have carried forward with Harper's neoliberal policies. I don't think anyone who voted for Trudeau thought for a moment that Trudeau along with promoting a neoliberal agenda would be supporting a corporate/military complex, domestically and globally.

    I don't think anyone saw it coming. What his behaviour does reveal however is the extent of his deception almost right from the beginning, shortly after the liberals formed a majority government.

    There will be more destructive neoliberal policies to come including foreign policies. Trudeau and particularly his side kick Freeland are counting on Canadians NOT paying attention.

    Let's see if Canadian's see the real neoliberal Trudeau behind his smiles and charms. I think they will.

    1. Hope springs eternal, Pamela. Actually, if one wants to see the arrogance that is part and parcel of the Trudeau brand, an arrogance that he thinks gives him license to betray the voters, one only has to watch his contemptuous responses these day to questions in the House of Commons.

  3. "After the disastrous tenure of Paul Wells as national political affairs commentator,"

    thank you for that

    always an over-rated gossip monger not worthy of a national platform

    1. He was clearly out of his league, Northern.

  4. OMG. It's a full meeting of the Trudeau Haters Club!! All that's missing is the Mound of Misogyny so you can go down on your knees and start kissing his ass.
    Tim Harper is way past due and so are you. But I can only imagine your fiendish glee when you read his article, it's so obvious that's all you live for the pure expression of hate, you dirty old thing. Have you no respect for all Trudeau has done to dismember the Harper legacy and restore the respect of the world for this country? Why do you give him no credit for his support for women and LGBT rights? I guess I'm going to have to remind people of the Ellen Page case, and your shabby role in it. You know it's funny, the opponents of Jeremy Corbyn also like to claim that he wore sandals. Your knowledge of politics is so pathetic, and mediocrity clings to you like a wet blanket or a diaper. Did you not watch Trudeau answering opposition questions for more than an hour on Wednesday from all MPs including backbenchers. Have you no idea how many death threats Trudeau receives you do you really want him dead? How dare you call most Canadians who support him "acolytes" you skunky old hater. And in the absence of an alternative, do you not even understand that by attacking Trudeau in such a disgusting manner you are only paving the way for the return of the Cons. Oh well, I'll save my other comments for a series of posts I plan to write. And hopefully when I've finished with you, you will understand that Trudeau represents the views and values of the new generation, and although he is not perfect, he deserves better from the likes of you....

    1. One of the things that I have appreciated about the progressive blogsphere, Simon, is our overall ability to disagree with civility, not rancour. Your response disappoints me, not because you obviously take great exception to my criticism of Trudeau, but because you resorted to ageism and ad hominems.

      You are better than that, Simon.

    2. I rather agree with you Simon. Curmudgeons, be they left or right wing, differ only in who is their target. Bitter and angry tends to impair one's political vision.

  5. Before the end ofJan 2016, less than two months after Trudeau's election, I criticized Trudeau on iPolitics. Well, the kind people there (not the nutbar Cons the site is infested with) thought I was being highly premature. Hah!

    There are two types of commenters I find - those who have some overall grasp of international politics and the economics behind the US/EU oligarchal nudge, nudge, wink, wink attitude of business/government looking out for themselves and not the great mass of people whether foreign or domestic; the others are purely domestic commenters and couldn't tell you the difference between a neoliberal and a neocon if you gave them all day to do it.

    I sorrowfully put Simon in this latter category. His is a purely domestic view untainted by knowledge of all the forces involved. Thus his emotional outburst, because he doesn't understand what people are getting at here. He is not aware of the knowledge he's missing. Corbyn, his latest love, is a rather pure socialist which I personally find great. Trudeau is about as opposite as you can get without being Trump, May, Israel's government, or the Saudis. He is both a neoliberal in business matters (can you dig that infrastructure bank?) and a neocon ( Freeland yapping on about the Russky threat and stationing our bewildered troops on the Latvian border with Russia, while giving two-thumbs up to the "intellectuals" running Ukraine). Not only that, to rapt applause of his selfie handsome ways, he says whatever seems to be the spirit of the day in whatever province he finds himelf in. Two-faced isn't a fair summary - he has three or four. Pipelines? Yes, Ms Notley! Environment? Yes, eco-greenies everywhere! - we're down on that, everyone needs to be green! Oil sands? Why, we shall be responsible stewards! Seaports shipping out LNG and dilbit? Of course! - and I can assure you I have every confidence in our Coastguard and oil-response teams and a big methane explosion is unlikely!

    The man has not got a comprehensive overall plan. He justh wanth to make everyone happy! The gruesomely awful Canada 150 documentaries and ads on CBC telling us what great people we are and having refugees agree on camera, is only different in kind from Harper's 1812 soliloquies, where Canadians magically became the British soldiers on colonial duty who actually repelled the Yanks.

    They're all at it, these pols, trying to whip up patriotism, so that we'll all happily march off to shoot foreigners for business interests, while claiming we're lilywhite people whose only ambition is to be loved and cuddled by all the other nations on earth for being so nice.

    What a blind spot the average yokel has when it comes to politics, remortgaging the homestead to buy a car, maxxing out credit cards, and hoping that by sheer luck, everything will turn out just fine. Happy-go-lucky we are as a populace, and JT, well he's a smiling saint with great hair, is he not? He'll look after us and never guarantee public-backed returns on private depositors to the infrastructure bank. Plus, we need more free trade, it'th justh wunnerful. No wonder people respond to phishing emails.

    Good thing I'm old. Another 30 years of this rubbish would reduce me to croak-faced senility if I were 40 now.


    1. Thank you for your insightful analysis, BM. It is always good to hear from you.