- Bruce Johnstone reminds us that much of Stephen Harper's low-wage, anti-worker agenda has been rather poorly hidden for a long time:
Everything from growing trees for farmers to processing immigration applications to inspecting meat to examining evidence in criminal investigations, all of the activities being cut are providing an important, even critical, service to the public. How does that increase efficiency, reduce redundancy or improve service?
The short answer is: it doesn't. That's not even the point.
The point is Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants Canadians off the federal feed bag. Whether its changing the rules for Employment Insurance, raising the age of Old Age Security payments to 67 from 65, or getting out of the business of selling wheat and barley or growing trees for western farmers, the PM's policy purpose is the same: to restructure and permanently reduce, not only the size, but the role of government in our society.
Harper once told a U.S. think-tank: "You won't recognize Canada when I get through with it.''
Don't say you weren't warned.- Meanwhile, Mike de Souza notes that for all the Cons' attempts to distinguish between greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of air pollution, they're now doing everything in their power to eliminate public-sector tracking and regulation of both.
- Elizabeth Thompson reports on the appalling lack of follow-up on hidden foreign bank accounts shielding millions of dollars of high-wealth money from the CRA. But it's well worth looking past the single example of LGT Bank at the myriad of other tax-evasion conduits which have channelled money out of Canada for the sole benefit of those who already have the most.
- Finally, Sixth Estate neatly documents the stunning effects of a B.C. bill intended to prevent environmental groups from pointing out examples of preventable disease - which if the legislation were enforced as written could go so far as to outlaw telephone books.