The beginning of the end

Ed Smith
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It is my personal opinion that we are close to the end.

The end of what? Well may you ask and well may I answer. I refer, of course, to the end of Canada as a nation respected by the other nations of the world - even the United States - and held up as probably the best country on Earth in which to live.

What am I saying - probably. There is no probably about it. Those of us having had the great good luck to have chosen parents born in this marvelous place are among the most fortunate people on Earth.

That was before; this is now. I'd bet money there are people in airports all over the world trying to turn in their tickets to the immigration lines in Canada. If one were to look hard enough, you'd probably see ships making wide U-turns in the middle of the Pacific and the Atlantic, trying to get back to Vietnam and Nigeria.

Why? They don't want to come here anymore! Why should they? Why should they want to come to a land where they don't get a pension until they're 87? As one fellow put it, "At least back home there's the occasional chicken to behead. In Canada, it's difficult to find one even crossing the road."

Why? Because they're afraid of what they'll find on the other side. It's the same as if they were crossing the House of Commons. What would they find? Conservatives, federal Conservatives, right wing fundamentalist Harper conservatives, and that's enough to scare the braces off Freddie.

I know I'll get the normal number of negative emails from blind-as-a-bat conservatives who can't see what's happening in front of their noses. And far too many nasty epistles from people who either don't know or don't care about what's happening to our province, let alone the Canadian people as a whole.

No one who can count from 1 to 3 or repeat the alphabet backwards needs me to recount the number of injustices lately showered upon us.

I'll just comment on the most important 500. You can also find these by looking up Forbes on the Internet.

Really, I don't have time to do all of these, but I will touch on a few, just to rekindle your memories.

There was the marine rescue station in St. John's. We did a fair amount of ranting and raving about that, but we might as well have been fishing for rock cod in lobster pots. (I know a few of you have done that - I did it once - but don't let that distract you from the principle of the thing.)

The fiasco surrounding the tragic death of the boy on the Labrador coast seems to have died down, and how tragic is that! I don't want to rehash the terrible details of that particular case, but the fact is it need not have happened. Another fact is that it will probably happen again, and again another life may be forfeited to the gods of "cutting back."

So, are we now lying back waiting for that next tragedy to happen? Another teenager? Another Ryan's Commander? And then we'll get all excited all over again and kick and scream for the customary nine days while the feds responsible sit back in their chairs and smile.

They know the drill. I'm not saying they don't care about individual lives. Perhaps I should be saying that, but I'm not. I don't think even the Harper Conservatives are that heartless.

I'm saying that they don't get it. They don't understand. They are totally ignorant, both in the standard definition of that word and the much more applicable Newfoundland understanding.

Even being as charitable as I am towards a group of politicians I consider to have more appropriately governed in the age of the dinosaurs, it's difficult to understand how they can remain unmoved. It must have something to do with suspension - suspension of belief, suspension of emotional attachment, suspension of common sense.

And when it does happen again, will they accept responsibility, or even feel it? Nope. I just hope to God that at least our Liberal MPs are - to quote Ryan Cleary - working like dogs to make the rest of the country see this government for what it is. Nothing else will keep our MPs out of one hell of a long stint in purgatory.

Brother Cleary was talking about pensions when he talked about dogs and their working habits. In fact, I think he was talking about his own. To be reasonably frank with you, I don't give the ugly part of a rat's posterior about Mr. Cleary's personal pension. But I do expect him to care a great deal about mine. That's why he's there.

I'm not getting paid much to work for an increase to politician pensions. He, on the other hand, is getting paid fairly well to see that, at the very least, I don't have to lose any of mine, and further, that my children don't have to wait until they're trembling with fear as to what awaits them on "the other side" before they get any pension at all. I think that's fair.

To continue with this fairness bit, it does seem as though the Harperites have drawn in their devilish little horns on the pension thing, perhaps due in part to the ravings of the opposition MPs, ours included.

The incredible thing to note is that it took practically all 33 million of us standing up and yelping something fierce to get them to see just how stupid their proposals were. Stupid from their perspective means possibly hindering their chances of forming another government.

I wonder how long it would be before we'd have our marine rescue station reinstated and our fisheries situation resolved if the rest of our "fellow Canadians" shouted as hard about them as they did about their pensions.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His email address is

Organizations: House of Commons, Liberal MPs, Ryan's

Geographic location: Canada, United States, Pacific Atlantic Vietnam Nigeria Labrador St. John's Springdale

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Recent comments

  • Kieran
    March 13, 2012 - 12:28

    Good article. Let me sum it all up in one sentence: Tory times are hard times.

  • Agree
    March 10, 2012 - 13:33

    Topic of the year. Good article. If you ruled during the dinie age, they rule the rogue parastic infectious age - local and Fed PC's current. Big difference. Let's call a spade a spade. Question is how to kill them off? New antibiotic medicine to cure sick bunch or some old home remedies if they're resistant? The are killing us off and very destructive. Maybe all out organized war to fight back as citizens locally and nationally one issue at a time. Our voices and organization are desperately needed!

  • Mr Squires
    March 10, 2012 - 08:14

    I agree with every thing you said