We are living in interesting times, as the saying goes. Here in Canada, the house of cards that is the federal Conservative government of Stephen Harper is starting to self-destruct; the only surprising thing to me is that it took this long to happen. The Harper government is throwing bodies overboard as fast as they can, hoping to avert the crisis and avoid closer scrutiny by voters and the media. Senator Mike Duffy, receiver of $90,000 personal cheques from Harper’s Chief of Staff and filer of dubious expense claims, has left the Conservative caucus but remains at the taxpayer’s expense a member of the Senate. Senator Pamela Wallin, whose exorbitant expenses were much defended by Harper & friends up until very recently, joined Duffy in his departure from the Conservative Senate caucus late last week, but (like Duffy) continues to receive her salary from us the taxpayers. Early this long weekend Sunday, as Stephen Harper prepared to exit the country for a visit to South America, Nigel Wright (writer of the afore-mentioned $90,000 personal cheque to Duffy) also announced his resignation from the PMO.
What other grenades remain in this government’s closet, waiting to explode? Stay tuned; but as a climate activist and mom who has seen her children’s health and climate stability being sacrificed on the alter of Harper’s pro-oil, short-term-profit agenda I’m having the best Victoria Day weekend I’ve had since Harper came to power in 2006. My schadenfreude meter was particularly high this morning when I noticed the hashtag #PMHarperShouldResign was trending on Twitter in both Ottawa and Toronto. Now that’s the start of a good holiday Monday!
One of the Canadians who has been speaking out fearlessly about the federal government’s muzzling of scientists and artists while it pursues its fossil-foolish goals is Toronto artist and writer (and friend of 350orbust) Franke James. Franke has a new graphic book, Banned On The Hill: A True Story of Dirty Oil And Government Censorship, and she’s got a IndieGoGo campaign to help spread the word about the book, which tells the story of how a single-minded focus on tar (“oil”) sands expansion at all costs, including democracy, is playing out in Canada right now under this government. If you want to support this talented and outspoken artist, as well as Canadian democracy, consider donating to the Banned on the Hill campaign.
And under the heading of I-can’t-believe-she-can-say-this-with-a-straight-face:
More on the Harper Government woes:
Huffty Duffty sat on a wall,
Huffty Duffty had a great fall.
All Harper’s Horsies & Cheque Writing Men
Couldn’t put Huffty together again
*thanks to N Lumley for the share*