Saturday, November 28, 2015

Learning How to Live in the New and Harperless Canada

It's a strange feeling. I want to celebrate the end of Stephen Harper's ghastly Con regime. I want to think that the monster has disappeared into his own darkness.

But I still can't quite believe it. 

And what with the state of the world, and the sound of the Cons grinding their teeth like cicadas, and violence and insanity everywhere.

I'm having a hard time getting into the spirit of the season... 

But luckily a lot of good things really are happening in the New Canada, and this has got to be one of the best.

After getting it together long enough to stop the dictator and save our country, we now seem to be getting serious about trying to save the planet.  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to global climate talks in Paris with a new pledge of billions for the cause and a call for a strong international agreement, promising to follow up with a domestic plan with the provinces – and a new poll suggests that is probably in line with what Canadians want.

And after being seen for so long as the grubby inhabitants of a planet burning petro state, we're now starting to look like the good guys.

At the Commonwealth summit in Malta on Thursday, Mr. Trudeau grabbed a little attention by announcing that Canada will put $2.65-billion over five years into climate-change funds for developing countries – a doubling of previous funding. He announced it behind closed doors to fellow leaders with some flourish, according to aides: “I’m here today not just to say Canada’s back but to show it,” they quoted him as saying.

And flaunting it. Can you believe it?

Even though we are late to the party, we do need to do even more. And the threat couldn't be more ominous.

But of course, if we are to deliver on our commitments we need to control the levers of our energy policy.

And as I said the other day, that means taking control of the National Energy Board and blowing up Stephen Harper's outrageous patronage appointments.

A new online petition is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cancel 49 “future appointments” made by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, saying they were a blatant attempt to maintain Conservative influence over several government bodies after the Conservative government was defeated.

These 'future' patronage appointments, unprecedented in Canadian history, will entrench within the new government the worst tendencies of the Conservative party — secrecy, hyper-partisanship, an incredible disregard for science and evidence-based policy, etc. — that voters so fiercely rejected. 

This is a slimy move, even for Harper. 

And as we do that, we must also prepare to welcome these poor desperate Syrian refugees...

Who will test our New Canada and our caring character to the limit.

But even on that frontier of despair there is this good news. 

The photo of his tiny, soaked sneakers and red T-shirt embedded in the sand sparked international outrage and promises of change for refugees desperate to escape Syria's vicious conflict. 

Now, CBC's the fifth estate has learned that some of Alan Kurdi's surviving family members are being fast-tracked to Canada as part of Ottawa's new refugee settlement strategy.

If the Cons had saved that family sooner, instead of ignoring their desperate pleas for help, little Alan Kurdi might still be alive...

But at least now his death won't be completely in vain. Thank goodness for small mercies.

You know, I've been feeling so shock and awed recently, it's almost as if I have been suffering from PHSD (Post Harper Stress Depression)

But I'm starting to feel better now.

The lights are going on all over Canada.

And I think it's going to be a great holiday season...

Yup. Look for the lights in the darkness. 

Keep celebrating the New Canada.

And have a great weekend everybody...

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  1. At the very least we no longer have a national government that has its head jammed into the tar sand pretending that man made (not sun spots or whatever) global climate change doesn't exist and isn't a humanity threatening issue to be dealt with.

    I personally feel that denialists like Harper and enablers like the clowns of the Sun editorial board should spend the rest of their days on one of the slowly disappearing Pacific islands. I'm sure they're more than happy to deny the rising seal levels or pretend that the island is similar to styrofoam and will float as the waters rise from the melting ice caps. It won't happen because the universe doesn't bend to my whimsy or flights of fantasy but it is nice to wish for once in a while.

    1. hi Dan...yes that's a very nice thought. Although I wouldn't want the Cons to spend their last moments in a tropical paradise. How about Bangladesh instead? ;)

  2. I don't think I'm actually suffering from Post Harper Depression Syndrome but there still is a feeling of unreality when one remembers that ominous, brooding, black cloud is gone. Then there is that feeling of "oh yes, things are better.

    Given the lack of emphasis by the Liberals and the NDP on climate action in the election, I am very impressed by the new Government's actions. Trudeau (and presumably the rest of the cabinet and caucus) actually understand the urgency and gravity of the situation.

    With Harper and Tony Abbot both gone, the world has lost two irrational Climate Denialists. Let's hope this plus Canada's new and vigorous approach to tackling climate change helps COP21 come up with good results.

    Oh course Canada still has Brad Wall. :(

    1. hi jrkrideau...I made up that syndrome, but the situation definitely has left me discombobulated. After steeling myself to attack the Cons for so long, knowing what some of them would like to do to me. Now that the threat is lifted it's a lot harder to motivate myself. But as I said, I am so happy and relieved that the Cons have finally been defeated, and the Trudeau government has so far impressed me with the way they are trying to deal with the real problems we face, and rehabilitating our soiled image abroad.
      But as for Brad Wall...when Newfoundland tosses out their Con government, he's going to be the only Con standing . So we will be able to focus all our fire on him....

  3. Let's hope that the next four years will mark a real transformation for Canada but also for the Conservative and New Democratic parties. The Tories need to do some soul-searching and decide whether they should jettison the bare knuckle fanaticism that ultimately brought them down. The New Dems need to consider whether the people of Canada have proclaimed they prefer the Liberals to remain the centrist party and if it might be time for the NDP to again anchor the Left in Canada. They spent a decade questing for power and ditching principle in the process. There is so much they can do to keep the government honest and to help restore social cohesion and there's never been a time when that was so badly needed.

    1. hi Mound...I certainly hope so too. The Cons and the NDP do have to decide what parties they want to become. And it is time they all started dealing with the very real problems we face, instead of the manufactured ones of the Harper years. We have seen what a nightmare government looks like, surely we all deserve better...

  4. Anonymous12:52 PM

    It is too bad that the Liberals support trade deals that destroy our economy and job opportunities, the fascist-style Bill C-51, no-strings attached corporate tax cuts, income tax cuts for wealthy people and cuts to social programs. They have no plans to help the unemployed and working poor, nor to crack down on rich tax evaders. Then there's the flip flopping on foreign policy and other issues. Other than that, the Liberals have been pretty good so far.

    1. Do you ever read a paper or are you too occupied with your groundless rants? Let's see, they've been in power somewhat less than a month and just look at the cornucopia of changes they've already set in motion. You pull out the real garbage such as "tax cuts for wealthy people" when you should know they're about to introduce tax increases for wealthy people ($200,000 p.a. and up) to offset tax reductions for a fairly broad middle class. How do you know what plans they have? You haven't even got a basic working knowledge of what they're doing. It's pretty obvious why you comment as 'anonymous.'

  5. e.a.f.1:02 PM

    took me a nano second to get over Harper and his regime. took about as long as it took me to take in the map on election night with the maritines going red. I knew the con years were gone. The country was going to make it!

    Yes Trudeau has every right to say, "we're back". we have our country back! We actually have ourselves back, because it is us, the citizens who turned this country over to the Cons. In the end we did not sacrifice our democracy for false security. We always had our security, it was just the cons and their media friends who tried to get us to think we had lost it.

    Whether you believe climate change is happening or not, things are changing when it comes to the climate. Its just the cause some might want to argue about. Even if you can't believe the change is due to humans, then recognize things are changing and we need to ensure humans do not make things worse. We need to plan our coast lines and cities to deal with increased ocean levels and storms.

    Some places like B.C.'s greater Vancouver might want to consider not sending usable houses to the dump and build ever bigger monster houses which use up mountains of granite, marble, etc. The endless building, depletes the earth's resources. We are covering up so much land with blacktop in some areas in Canada, the rain can not be absorbed back into the earth. We destroy farm land for buildings. We need to be careful with that, we don't know where we will be able to grow crops in the future.

    China needs to come to the table and deal with their pollution issues. even with all the things other countries do, if China continues with its current act, we will simply become their enablers.

    1. China, actually, is taking quite a strong stand on carbon reduction and global warming. See the US - China agreement of last year or check out their investments in renewables.

      The Chinese leadership are not anywhere as stupid as the US Republicans or even our dearly departed Cons.

      Much of China's efforts are aimed as much to reduce pollution as to deal with climate change but the two go hand-in-hand.

  6. Anonymous4:06 PM

    You too have a great weekend Simon!

    Love this blog. It gives me hope.

    1. hi anon...thank you for that. I'm really happy to hear that this blog helps give you hope, because there is nothing more precious than that. And I have always tried to encourage people to hope for something better, because we will never make a better world if we don't.
      During the dark years of the Harper regime I set myself two main goals. Get people to believe that we could defeat them, and failing that try to make them laugh. Because hope is easier to find, when your spirit is laughing....

    2. Anonymous9:47 PM

      Gives me hope and makes me laugh. I'm only sorry I found your blog days after the election. Would have loved to have been reading this over last 9 dark years.

      But we are in sunny days now, and it feels great. Will never take my Canada for granted again. Thank you.

  7. I'm still suffering from the horrific cuts Harper made in NGOs, the arts and the sciences. Though I'm not a Trudeau fan (still bourgeois politics, though he has performed rather well so far) it is a relief after the extremely repressive and obscurantist Harper régime. No, I won't have happy holidays - that will require more funding restored and enough work not to be desperate all the time.

    1. hi lagatta...I'm sorry to hear that you are still suffering from the cuts those barbarians made to the arts. I have a few friends who are in the same boat, which infuriates me because they are really talented and the situation is crushing them. But hopefully the new government will provide more support for the arts and sciences, which are so important for a country like Canada. And I'm glad that like me you think Justin Trudeau has performed well, as bourgeois as he might be... ;)

  8. Anonymous3:37 AM

    Conservatives will be more aggressive on the Trudeau plan to pull the fighter jets they committed, but they will find little or no traction poking holes in the climate plan or exploiting Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fiscal plan.

    1. hi anon....I didn't like that article. It sounded like Tim Harper was disappointed that the Cons and their media hadn't been able to bring down Trudeau after only two weeks in office. I mean even if you're not a Trudeau supporter that doesn't sound very fair. Especially not after the way most of the MSM polished Harper's butt for almost ten years...

  9. Anonymous3:55 AM

    Stephen Harper’s parting act of contempt for the public service