Cheers: to difficult decisions. The provincial government must have known that it was in for a world of hurt when it announced a five-year hunting moratorium on the George River caribou herd, so more power to them for making a hard decision in the interests of having the herd survive. But that’s only a fraction of actually solving the problem; the hard part is going to be actually enforcing the new rules. There’s a lot of Labrador up there, and despite years of brave talk about illegal caribou hunting, no provincial government has gone far enough to actually charge violators and bring them before the courts. They’ve talked the talk, but the only ones doing the walking have been caribou poachers who simply walked away — loading up illegally shot caribou and hauling them to Quebec on snow machines, for example. Until successful charges are laid and processed through the courts, this will be a hunting moratorium in name only.
Jeers: to flying limos. The federal government spent over $1 million flying specially armoured limousines to India by military aircraft for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s last visit there. The RCMP said the limos were a security requirement, but the Indian government was willing to supply armoured limos in that country, and many are mystified and a little insulted by the move. “It’s a very paranoid reaction — to spend a million dollars to bring his own vehicle, I find that to be frankly outrageous that he would impose that cost on Canadian taxpayers,” Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, told The Globe and Mail. It’s also a little funny that, even though the Indian government had offered armoured limousines, the RCMP “determined there were no appropriate vehicles available in India.” Remember that little price tag the next time a federal politician tells you that we all have to tighten our belts.
Cheers: to open and accountable government. You may not be able to get cabinet ministers to do interviews on sensitive issues anymore — often, they’ll only agree to be interviewed by email — but thank goodness the government’s news release service is still churning out the really important stuff. Witness last week’s “Media Advisory: Minister to Attend Annual Volunteerism Luncheon.” The great part of that? The whole news release was 79 words long and more than one-third of that was the minister’s extensive title: “The Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation, and Minister Responsible for the Office of Public Engagement.” Man — does the minister of IBandRDMRR&DCMROPE have foldout business cards or what?