Cheers and Jeers

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Cheers: to at least remembering there’s an issue.

After the crash of Cougar 419, a commission of inquiry recommended that there be a separate regulatory agency to handle offshore safety. There’s been much foot-dragging since, but last Thursday, speaking on other legislation,  federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver provided a small window into the federal government’s qualms about forming such an agency: “I would like to speak very briefly about the creation of a separate regulatory body for offshore safety. … With respect to the actual recommendation, we continue to work with the provinces on this very important issue. We expressed concerns about the fragmentation of our offshore regime and the proliferation of regulatory bodies. We want to ensure that the system is as simple as possible and protects Canadians’ health and safety. We will continue to discuss these issues with our provincial counterparts. Our government has always adopted a safe and prudent approach to offshore drilling, an approach that protects Canada’s offshore workers and the environment.” Sounds like an independent agency is a long, long way off.

Jeers: to contempt. Here’s just one question and answer in the House of Commons on the Senate scandal. The question is from the NDP’s Nycole Turmel: “Mr. Speaker, it is actually a very simple question. The parliamentary secretary has to know: when did the prime minister last speak to (his former chief of staff) Nigel Wright?” And the answer, from Tory Paul Calandra? “Mr. Speaker, clearly what is happening here is that they have nothing to talk about. The NDP members do not want to talk about the fact that the Canadian economy continues to grow. They do not want to talk about the fact that we have opened Canada to a market of 500 million new consumers. They do not want to talk about the fact that we are focused on community safety. They do not want to talk about the great work of our minister of National Defence who is providing our troops with the equipment they need to get the job done. They do not want to talk about the fact that our minister of Natural Resources is opening up new markets for our resources. They do not want to talk about the fact that the minister of Finance is seeing our deficit reduced by an additional $7 billion and we are on track to a balanced budget. They want to talk about the fact that they want to protect these senators. We do not. We are on the side of Canadians. We want them suspended without pay.” Translation? Someone’s scared to answer that question. And many, many more.

Cheers: to pretty adroit work. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary should be commended for its handling of a recent false report of a sexual assault near the Fluvarium in St. John’s. No assault took place, but the police notified the public quickly when the assault was reported, and also notified the public immediately when the report turned out to be groundless.

Organizations: NDP, House of Commons on the Senate, National Defence

Geographic location: Canada

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