It’s a fact: Canadian politics are boring lately. Since Harper went to ground and the media obediently took the oath of Omertà, there’s been very little in the news except the weekly notification of which worthy provincial celebrity has dropped out of the Liberal leadership race, plus bonus polysyllabic mistrals spluttering forth from Ignatieff, who has not yet been informed that he is a walking dead man.
I think that part of the problem is that the Canadian political establishment is filled with Canadians, and that, further, those Canadians are also politicians. And that, furtherer, those Canadian politicians are in a minority government whose opposition has not yet chosen their leader. It’s a bit like being Frodo and watching the Witch King of Angmar trying to choose which sword with which to skewer you; one tends to get very quiet.
Now, finally, there’s some conflict, some controversy, some life in Canadian politics, and it’s all because of a maverick geologist. CTV has the report.
Isn’t it always? Casting suggestions include: Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt, Jackie Chan, and, of course, George (DemocracyMan) Clooney.
A B.C. scientist fired for lampooning an order to call Stephen Harper’s Tory government “Canada‘s new government” is back on the job.
Geologist Andrew Okulitch said Tuesday he was reinstated as a scientist emeritus with the Geological Survey of Canada after a call from the deputy minister of natural resources.
The 64-year-old Saltspring Island resident, who has worked for the federal government for 35 years, said he was fired Sept. 5 after he e-mailed an undiplomatic response to a government directive.
The government memo ordered him to use the phrase “new government of Canada” on official correspondence from the Geological Survey of Canada.
Okulitch immediately fired off an e-mail saying civil servants are not paid to mouth political slogans.
He said the policy was “ridiculous and embarrassing” and said he will use Geological Survey of Canada in any official correspondence “as opposed to idiotic buzzwords coined by political hacks.”
Minutes later he received an equally blunt e-mail from the Natural Resources Ministry saying Okulitch‘s misdirected views reflect the decision to immediately remove him from his position…
“They are basically apologizing by reinstating me,” he said…
Okulitch said the government shouldn’t be ordering the supposedly unbiased civil servants to adopt government slogans.
Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said he believes in the new government slogan, but it’s not something bureaucrats are expected to adopt.
“I’m proud to use it,” he said in Ottawa. “We’re proud to be the new government of Canada. This is not something that we expect department officials or bureaucrats to use at all.”
The e-mail that went to Okulitch should never have been sent to him, Lunn said…
The Prime Minister’s Office could not be reached for comment on its new slogan.
I prefer this one:
Actually, civil servants are paid to mouth political slogans.
Under the Harper government, as we know, press conferences and the hallway cabinet question are banned, so Harper’s been reduced to hiring paid flacks as his mouthpieces.
It seems to be working–anyone heard of the new rules for ISPs?
“The bill, which failed to advance past first reading, called for Internet service providers to install new systems capable of capturing data and identifying specific subscriber activities. The law could have been be used to compel disclosure of tracking data such as cellphone usage as well as transmission data, including telecommunications and Internet usage information.
Most troubling was the lack of judicial oversight that accompanied the proposals. These are the same concerns that have surfaced in connection with the United States surveillance revelations. Law enforcement authorities, defined to include CSIS agents, police and Competition Bureau investigators, were granted the right to obtain ISP subscriber information simply by requesting it — without a warrant. ”
From The Star
And Michael Geist
Sorry–off on a tangent there. I meant to point out that Harper is being fairly sucessful at trying to smuggle by all the crap he’d prefer we not notice, and trumpeting that which he wants us to.
Except the whole ethics thing.
Yes, at least the Liberals can stop infighting long enough to cooperate on that, thank God.
And thanks for the info; BoingBoing is yammering on about their bloody digital copy protection laws, and here we have something that’s much more of a threat than the idea that Sony could crap all over your MP3s. Never heard a word about that.
Thank the CBC–I first heard about this on the radio weeks ago but haven’t seen shee-zit about it out on the ‘net. I’m not even sure where it all stands right now. I’ve searched a few places with little luck and had almost resigned myself to hearing about it in some press release as “another tool in TWAT”–be that as it might–from the Conservative Press Corps.
Call Stockard Channing – oops, I mean Stockwell Day, your MP. Although I’m sure it will cause him to put a tap on your phone.
Don’t you mean Doris?
And why would I want water flowing from my phone?
And wouldn’t that be more an evironmental department issue than Public Security (a term that reeks of 1984 or Fatherland Insanity–sorry–Homeland Security).
Well you are publicly insecure, so who’s in charge of that.
Oh, right. Dubya.
OT: Put the Two Bench in the fridge. But it may have to stay there until January or so. I think I have a gig for next year. Now to make it that far.
We’ll leave it on the porch–by January it won’t need refrigeration.
What’s “OT” mean, BTW?
OT = Off Topic.
By January you’ll need a broom to sweep up the shattered pieces. You’ve been in Lotusland too long if you’ve forgotten that.
Pingback: Pirate Bay -> Prorogue Bay for a day, eh! « raincoaster