“Bring on the hounds…”


The old man in the hat


old manComposing a bi-weekly commentary can be challenging. Sometimes nothing seems to strike a chord and other times there is so many topics buzzing around that it is hard to focus. This week presents a bumper group of delight!

The first gift was the announcement of criminal charges against Senator Mike Duffy. You remember the Duff- the lad who can’t remember where he lives- PEI or Ontario. No Matter. What is really interesting is that one of the proffered charges is that Duffy took a bribe from Nigel Wright (the Prime Minister’s, aka Stephen Harper, former right hand man). However, there seems to be a contradiction. Nigel Wright was cleared by the RCMP of offering a bribe to Mike Duffy.

Now, you’ve gotta love the Mounties. Either they are devious beyond compare or they are the Keystone Cops. Supposedly the RCMP are totally independent of political interference. Hmm… On the one hand they exonerate Mr. Wright (10 Harper brownie points) and with the other hand vilify Mike (40 Harper brownie points).

But wait. The time line of the court room drama would seem to suggest that this whole mess will be playing out as a public spectacle about the time Stevie H. calls the next federal election (100 Trudeau brownie points).

Maybe the boys (and girls) in RED are not as politically inept as their public persona would appear.

Let’s move on to the provincial scene, where in preparation for the upcoming Provincial Election, finance minister Blaine Higgs has announced that voting for someone other than the Tories would put the provincial financial recovery at risk. Good thing too! I might have been confused about that financial recovery. Guess that bit of good news did not make it up to our end where a bit of money might help fill in a few more potholes on Route 385.

I will give Mr. Higgs credit. For a guy who has strenuously maintained, for the last four years, each year, that the current account will be balanced if we just give him more time, he has a weird concept of time. I guess if the Tories say something often enough, it will just happen. I’m sure if the weatherman keeps calling for rain the prediction will come true. I just hope the Tories have their boat all prepared for the flood!

For the final goodie- let’s return to the federal scene where the CBC reports that the Canada Revenue Agency has declared that the charity Oxfam “can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world if it wants to keep its charitable status for tax purposes. It can only alleviate poverty — because preventing poverty might benefit people who are not already poor.”

For a bit of background on this mind numbing statement from yet another federal body (that is supposedly independent of the government of the day), the federal government has allocated extra money to the Canada Revenue Agency to do tax audits on non profit charities to ensure that they are not using tax exempt donations to lobby for “political” issues.

Who would have thought that anyone in Ottawa was worried that preventing “poverty” was a political issue. Oil Sands, First Nations rights, Mike Duffy/Nigel Wright- probably pretty political- but poverty?
Hmm…… with Harper’s recent historical obsession about celebrating things such as the War of 1812, perhaps he chanced across another reading of around the same era- the French Revolution.

I guess the downtrodden can get pretty political when driven to the wall.

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