Monday, July 16, 2007

Bill Casey recognizes Harper's control freak tendencies

Interesting comments in this article from former Conservative MP Bill Casey on his view of Deceivin' Steven from the opposition benches. Casey, of course, was given the boot by Harper for standing-up for the CPC's election promise on the Atlantic Accord, voting against the budget and proving Peter McKay, once again, to be a fibber (Fiberative, perhaps?)

Former Tory MP Bill Casey is puzzled by the Conservatives' strategy of government control, and it's one he's now trying to comprehend from the Opposition benches.

You and me both William, you and me both. Actually I guess I’m more bemused than puzzled.

He said by centralizing services and programs in Ottawa, cutting the budget of Atlantic Canada's regional development body, and breaking signed contracts between provinces, the federal government has painted a picture of Atlantic Canada that he must speak out against.

Casey really shouldn’t be surprised, given his ex-leader’s previous comments on the region:

"Atlantic Canada's culture of defeat will be hard to overcome as long as Atlantic Canada is actually physically trailing the rest of the country." -- Harper

But back to the article, I found it interesting that Casey seemed to almost channel Preston
Manning and the old Reformers here:

"If the people in Ottawa make all the decisions, they'll be made wrong because Ottawa doesn't reflect the country and it certainly doesn't reflect Atlantic Canada," he told the Times and Transcript…. "I believe that the government has a philosophy," he explained. "They want to run things the same across the country. They want to have one system for every program. The problem is you can't have a uniform program in Canada because we don't have a uniform country. Every area has different challenges, different cultures and different situations."

Some rather insightful comments from Casey I thought. Also interesting that the Conservatives sent out an ex-journalist and communications director for Peter McKay, Dan Dugas, to respond, rather than McKay himself.

Come to think of it, has anyone seen McKay lately? He seems to have disappeared since Harper embarrassed him over the whole Atlantic Accord thing and likely signed his political death papers.

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Gayle said...

Peter was in Calgary yesterday, doing that "Stampede" thing (what is it about the Stampede that brings out all the politicians?), and speaking up for the war in Afghanistan.

BlastFurnace said...

If I recall correctly, Preston Manning supported abolishing regional development agencies such as ACOA, FedNor and WD. This was actually something I agreed with him on and still do; although I'd roll them into the BDC.

But Manning also promoted the principle of subsidiarity, that decisions should be made by the level of government closest to the people wherever that was deemed most practical. I was under the presumption Harper believed in that too, but his opening shot at Atlantic Canadians may as well have been aimed at all Canadians.

It's become obvious that Harper, like Dick Cheney, is a micromanaging control freak. If one size did fit all, then Canada would be a unitary state. We're a federation and Harper seems to have forgotten that.

petroom said...

Just a side note. While I appreciate the nickname "Deceivin' Steven", I prefer the one I just read used by Rolling Back the Tide of Extremism...


I like it, perhaps try using it in a couple posts and see how it sounds.

Jeff said...

Peter was in Calgary yesterday, doing that "Stampede" thing

Did he bring his dog with him? :)

If I recall correctly, Preston Manning supported abolishing regional development agencies such as ACOA, FedNor and WD...

You're right, and so did Harper. But the whole Ottawa-based decision making thing was vintage Refooooooorm.

While I appreciate the nickname "Deceivin' Steven", I prefer...Harpie

Harpie is cute, but I'm afraid I'm pretty locked into Deceivin' Steven at this point. I'm hoping it can achieve critical mass and become the Mr. Dithers of our generation...