Saturday, May 25, 2013

The stench of corruption in Ottawa

My cyber-buddy the Wild Web Woman (she uses another first word – same difference) recently published a commentary/rant about the state of affairs in this wonderful country of ours.  I returned from a week in Ottawa last night and after reading through her piece, was prompted to write this little reflection.


Just back after a week in Ottawa and I almost could smell the stench of corruption (if it hadn’t been for the head cold).  Drove by the Langevin Building and the Parliament Buildings several times and felt extreme disappointment in how low the political process in this country has sunk.  The Parliament Buildings and the Prime Minister’s Office which used to represent something “special” for me have lost that, thanks to the current inhabitants.

I used to be one of those perpetually optimistic and naïve Canadians who believed that regardless of how bad things were, there was a silver lining and it was impossible politicians could be as corrupt as they were said to be.  Slowly, but surely, that optimism and naiveté has been whittled away and reduced to disbelief and skepticism.  For the first time in my history, I don’t believe anything the current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, says.  The same applies to his cabinet ministers. 

Who can forget Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s solemn 2003 pledge after being elected as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party that he would never approve the merger of his party and the Canadian Alliance by Stephen Harper?   It happened about three months later.

I’m not a Tory and never would be (actually I am about as apolitical as they come) but that little drama told me all I will ever need to know about Peter MacKay’s integrity, of which I’m convinced there is none.  I thought up to that point lawyers had a code of honour by which they must abide.  So much for that misconception as far as MacKay is concerned.

As for "Miss Piggy" Mike Duffy and his ilk, I can only hope they will be consigned to the trash heap of history.

You mention Fukushima.  We seem to have forgotten Chernobyl except for the brave and/or deformed souls who still live there or the photographers who sneak in every now and then to record the ongoing devastation. 

We hear so little of the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill which was listed as the 54th largest spill in history in 1989 at up to 750,000 barrels.  The sea life there will never return to normal despite all the well-financed studies.  Or consider the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, considered the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry; the total discharge estimated at 5 million barrels.

There IS reason for hope out there – maybe in the newness of the Ottawa tulips or the anticipation of the first crop of the new peaches & cream corn but it sure as hell isn’t coming from our political and business elite whose main interest is in feathering their own nests and those of their corporate buddies (Koch Brothers and otherwise).

As for OUR pensions, two words – bonne chance!    VP.

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