Thursday, June 21, 2012

Self-Inflicted Wounds

Greetings, Stand-On Guardians!

In the past I've railed against the current crop of Conservative creeps currently culling our Canadian culture.  Wow, try saying that five times real quick...

But after researching this C 38 Omnibus Budget Bill, I need to ask anyone who voted for Harper in the last election to just go ahead and punch themselves right in the junk.  Or let one of the other 60% of reasonably well-informed Canadian citizens who didn't vote Conservative to do it for you.

Don't know anything about Bill C 38?  Okay, here's a l'il sampler...
  • Bill C-38 is set to repeal The Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, a twenty seven year old regulation that forces federal construction contractors to pay decent wages and overtime to workers whether or not they're unionized.  If this crap passes (and it looks like it will) greedy employers will be able to offer $10.00 an hour labor jobs that are free of costly benefits and overtime.  When Canadian workers justifiably turn up their nose at such table scraps, these shady taskmasters will be free to seek council from international brokers (a.k.a. 'labour pimps') to bring in desperate foreign laborers will happily toil away under such Dickensian conditions. P.S. This same bill also puts pay equity for women in serious jeopardy.  Seriously, why would a government do this unless they wanted to assault the already-besieged middle class?  Or convince half of the population that we're still living in the Dark Ages?    
  • Despite strong evidence to the contrary, Harper and his cronies keep predicting doom for Old Age pensions.  Personally, I think they're trying to force every Canadian to sink or swim based on increasingly scarce work-related pensions or volatile personal investments.  As such, the, Conservatives are all hot n' horny to raise the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 67, which will end up costing folks on a fixed income a decent amount of cheddar.  That's right, folks, yet another giant "F#ck You!" from the Baby Boomers to people my age and younger.  
  • Aboriginal suicide rates in this country are over ten times higher then the national average.  Instead of trying to figure out why and how to fix it, Harper and company are looking to gut the Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy and cut back on a slew of Native-specific health resources.  If we're to believe Gandhi when he said "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members", what does that say about our nation?  
  • Bill C 38 is set to kick the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Kyoto right in the collective cubes.  Removing environmental restrictions dovetails nicely with Harper's wish that the United States keeps mainlining our tar sands oil.  Not only will Bill C 38 make it easier to construct oil pipelines in protected tracts of wilderness, our dismantled employment restrictions means that we can thrash the environment on the cheap!   Plus, it'll also make big oil totally Teflon when the warranty expires on these things and they start rupturing like party balloons filled with battery acid.  
  • Sighents iz fer nurds!  In addition to slashing the budgets of laboratories and research facilities, funding will be dolled out now in direct proportion to how commercial the research appears to be.  Even before this Trojan Horse of a bill got hatched, things were already trending in this direction.  Right here in Halifax, it was recently announced that our R.C.M.P. crime lab will be shutting down.  This has many local prosecutors and forensics experts worried that the evidence-processing turnaround time will become so slow that it may actually result in procedural acquittals.  Can someone please explain to me how this clearly-needed resource is suddenly not sustainable after almost forty years of operation?  
  • Y'know how we get to lord our superior food production and inspection regulations over Americans?  Yeah, well, not anymore folks!  If this shit-storm passes you can say goodbye to our high food safety standards.  Enjoy those salmonella burgers, dumb-asses! 
  • Speaking of our friendly neighbors down south, what about the idea of letting American police arrest Canadian citizens on our own turf?  Well, if C-38 goes through "the 'Shiprider' program ...will make it permanently legal for U.S. agents to be certified as police in Canadian waters."  Wow, I'm sure that won't be abused...     
  • Employment Insurance "reforms" will force recipients to commute in excess of an hour and accept work that pays 70 to 90% less then their previous salaries.  In an era when more and more careers are vanishing in lieu of crappy part time jobs, this appears to be Harper's most convenient solve.  
  • The Security Intelligence Review Committee, one of the departments designed to keep CSIS in check will be eliminated.  Which begs the question: Who's Gonna Be Watchin' The Watchmen?
  • In addition to undermining environmental restrictions, Bill C-38 will limit the protection of fish habitats in lieu of industrial development.  To make matters worse, the bill will de-fang the "Species At Risk Act", which limits industrial activity in the habitats of endangered and threatened wildlife.  Under the new process, Environment Minister and part-time used car salesman Peter Kent could make exemptions to this at will.  Sorry, but considering our current environmental record, I've really don't have a good feeling about this.  
Honestly, there are about a zillion other things in this gargantuan document that scares the crap out of me.  This is supposed to be a budget bill, yet scads of unrelated riders have been attached to it.  Harper did this knowing that the NDP and the Liberals wouldn't throw the budget baby out with the rank bathwater and risk yet another vote splitting election.  It's like he's holding the Opposition (not to mention the rest of the country) hostage in order to bring Canada in line with his own twisted Ayn Rand-ian / Objectivist  / Neo-Conservative ideals.

The funny thing is, Harper threw a hissy fit back in 2005 when the Liberals attached a few riders to their one-hundred-and-twenty-page budget bill.  Here's what Fibby McTwoface said at the time:

"How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote on a block of such legislation?"  

But now, with Harper's majority firmly entrenched like a tick, suddenly it's okay to table this four-hundred-and-fifty-two page mercantile monolith which has been back-loaded with no less then one-hundred-and-seventy-pages worth of unrelated, decidedly partisan sneak-thievery?  

We have to stop looking at stuff like this and thinking: "Oh, those wacky politicians.  They're always goofing up or acting crooked."

Let me crystal clear right now: Bill C-38 has nothing to do with incompetence or personal gain.  It's a major salvo in Harper's campaign to strip our country of its "socialist" safety nets, allow the rich to get richer off the backs of a shrinking middle class and host a fire sale on our valuable natural resources.  

Please, for the love of everything holy, stop supporting the Conservatives because "yer Daddy always did".  Stop supporting the Conservatives because you consider yourself to be fiscally responsible. Stop supporting the Conservatives because they've tricked you into believing that Canada's economy is in reasonably good shape because of something they did (when, in truth, they probably would have Merrily deregulated our banks had they been in power at the time).  

Remember, just a year before Harper railed against that Liberal budget back in 2005, he wasn't even a Conservative.    

EPIC LINKS  Get informed about Bill C-38 here, here and here

FAIL  Green Party MP Elizabeth May schools Conservatives over their own bewilderingly mammoth budget bill.  


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