Thursday, July 13, 2006

Does Steve's Canada include BC?

Unless you lived under a tree during the last two election campaigns and/or we scare mongery Liberals really weren't doing our job properly, you know PM Steve Harper once co-penned a letter advocating building a firewall between Alberta and Eastern Canada. I just didn't know the wall would be on Alberta's western border with BC as well.

It would explain, however, why Steve wrote a letter outlining his thoughts on so called "race-based" fisheries in B.C. the other day to the Calgary Herald. (As in Calgary, Alberta).

While I hear the fishing is pretty good in Cold Lake (spent a summer there with the Air Cadets, no time for fishing though0, his letter was addressing a BC issue, which makes a letter to the Calgary Herald an odd choice to open debate on the issue. Here's just a few pubs that might have been more appropriate places to deposit his (staff's) words of wisdom:

The Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver Province

The Victoria Times Colonist

The Prince Rupert Daily News

Or he could of, you know actually talked to reporters. But that's crazy, forget I mentioned it. Silly me.

I'll leave an alalysis of the merit, or lack thereof, of the content of Steve's letter for others. Long story short, his lack of legal understanding is obvious, and it's simple pandering to his base. And when it comes to letter writing he's no Stephane Dion.

Myself, I look forward to reading PM Steve's next letter, on Quebec's place in Canada, in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

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Red Tory said...

Good point about Harper's curious choice of venue.

Anonymous said...

If you look back - Harper always makes statements and/or threats in provinces and areas where he can't be challenged. He threatened (bully, bully) to call an election on an interview on a radio station in Alberta over the softwood lumber deal - when it's B.C., Ontario, Eastern provinces and Quebec that are concerned.

Mr. Bully is really a "chicken" when it comes to the press - hey, they might ask pertinent questions and get the public to think.

burlivespipe said...

This is another issue of his 'interest' in minority rights. Being from Vancouver, I know that there is plenty of controversy and disgruntlement over native-only fishery and don't doubt that a better solution could be arrived at, however, he has essentially come out against recent BC supreme court rulings which defended the first nations right to the native-only event. Take this along with his approach to the Kelowna Accord, and any piece of work written by his svengali Tommy Flanagan at the elusive Calgary School, and you see who he isn't courting for votes (current immigrants, recent - oh, say within the last 100 years -- all on his '2-do list).
And posting controversial gov't decision thru the letter pages of a newspaper? Nothing says 'power' like a flaming arrow, right?

A BCer in Toronto said...

Like many of Harper's pronouncments, this seems like bad policy but potentially good short-term political strategy for the next election.

Not only does sabre-rattling against native fishing rights cost him no support, but it solidifies his base. But moreover, it potentially forces the Liberals and NDP, who try to draw support from both sides, to come down on one side and alienate the other.

Budd Campbell said...

Conservation should come first, before any uses, Native or Non-Native. Following that, Aboriginal food fisheries. And following that, ... what?

In recent years DFO has had a Native only commercial fishery and a general commercial fishery in which Aboriginal as well as non-Aboriginals could participate. That's been the subject of controversy, when Aboriginal commercial fisheries have opened but not a general one.

I know that Ernie Crey and others cite court rulings in their favour, so I wouldn't mind a link to those rulings.

burlivespipe said...

Most agree that conservation and restoration to the 'now you see 'em, now you don't' fish stocks here on the west coast is priority no. 1. That DFO (and past Liberal decisions) has muddied the waters at times is not questioned either. However, to essentially announce the intent to TAKE AWAY a right granted in the past by a letter in the newspaper, giving it the aura of a declaration and therefore no debate nor consultation, is not the sign of someone looking to reach an agreement. It's about pleasing his constituents who feel the commercial native fishery has punished 'the white guy.' On one hand he's playing to the chinese canadian crowd by reversing his own opinion to have all tax payers pay out for a long-ago decision. Now he wants to alter another policy, one that obviously is geared towards a group that doesn't lean tory, and take away.
Just the manner that he threw this out reeks, in my mind. Sure, behind the curtain he'll confess that he hopes to take away gays rights to marriage, eliminate the native-only commercial fishery window, and what else? And do I need to read it in the Western Standard?