Thursday, June 04, 2009

Video: It's a serious matter

A look back at the day in Ottawa yesterday in just over two minutes. And for the record, not one "seriously" was repeated in the making of this video. Each clip is a new and independent use of the talking-point. And for those Conservative commenters trying to dismiss the atomic docu-scandal as no big deal, clearly the government at least considers it a serious matter...

This is bigger, however, than the scape-goating of some poor staffer. It's bigger, even, than the embattled Lisa Raitt. As Michael Ignatieff said in QP yesterday, it's about the competence of this government. And increasingly, the Stephen Harper government is proving itself incapable of governing responsibly.

Despite knowing there were serious safety concerns at Chalk River for at least 18 months, and really much longer, the government has done nothing but develop talking-points to blame the Liberals while failing to develop a back-up plan for isotope production. It refused to see the economic downturn coming, then promised no deficit, then used a fical update to attack its political opponents instead of addressing the economy, then dramatically underestimated the size of the deficit to the point of absurdity by delivering the biggest deficit in Canadian history. It ignores a growing chorus of provincial leaders and a majority of MPs that want to fix EI. And now TD economists say its plan to get out of deficit is a joke, and we're in for years more of pain than Harper and Jim Flaherty are willing to admit.

It is a serious matter. When will we have competent government indeed?

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


JimBobby said...

Indeed, the billions that our federal Cons and provincial Libs are throwing down the drain on nuclear technology should be the focus of the story.

AECL has proven time and time again that it does not have the capability to get things done on time or on budget. The idea that we should sell AECL's best parts and hang on to Chalk River is patently absurd. The Mulroney government gave away the profitable part of Chalk River's operation to a private company, MDS Nordion, and entered into a 40 year sweetheart deal to supply Nordion with medical isotopes at below cost prices. Now, we are saddled with a contract to supply isotopes that we simply cannot honour with a 52 YO piece of nuclear junk.

AECL's bid to supply Ontario with $26 billion worth of unproven reactors, still on the drawing board, is at the heart of this lost documents fiasco. The HarperCons desperately want to get rid of AECL. They crippled teh pesky CNSC regulator that was one obstacle to its sale. Now, they've exposed AECL for the money pit that it is and made the asking price go down even further. In the end, GE, Westinghouse or Areva will pick it up for a song and close it down entirely to stem competition.

No nuclear company is capable of getting things done on time or on budget. Areva is the only company actually building a new generation (EPR) reactor. Its Finland project is 42 months behind schedule and 60% over budget. Governments dole out lavish subsidies to these nuke giants and much of those subsidies are used to lobby and procure even more corporate welfare.

Energy efficiency initiatives could cut the need for much new power generation while delivering more jobs much quicker than any questionable nuclear projects can do. The public and our representatives must wake up and realize that investment in nuclear expansion is a complete waste of money and will leave future generations with a toxic radioactive stockpile that must be guarded by paramilitary forces 24/7 for thousands of years --- at taxpayer expense and public peril.

The federal Cons, Ontario Liberals and AECL/Bruce Power are all in bed together on this inappropriate in wasteful use of energy dollars.

Yes, it's a serious matter when secret documents are exposed but what is even more serious is the damning information in those documents and the reason they were marked as secret: embarrassing wasteful spending on a failed technology and an inept crown corporation.


Saskboy said...

And if the media would stick to reporting those truths, JB, we'd be in little danger of nuclear plants being built in SK or ON.