Monday, July 30, 2007

A column I wish I hadn't read

In my opinion, Geoffrey Stevens is on a par with Jim Travers in the credibility department, which is why I usually ignore both columnists.

However, I was intrigued by the title of Stevens' piece this morning - Colle's not the only minister who has reason to resign.

My first thought was, "Yikes! Are we finally going to see a non-partisan opinion from Mr. Stevens?" I seemed too good to be true.

And it was.

First Stevens goes into an explanation of why cabinet ministers might resign, on either a federal or provincial level. He cites Michael Chong as an example of resignation on a point of principle. Fine.

Then he mentions resignation due to conflict of interest and gives the Chretien-era Defence Minister Art Eggleton as an example. No problem.

However, then Stevens lists the Ontario Cabinet Ministers who have either already resigned, or should have - namely Mike Colle, Harinder Takhar and David Caplan, as examples of the last category; namely 'screw-ups'.

Yes, I agree there too.

However, then Stevens goes a step further and says there should be another category - 'stupidity'. He names Bev Oda as an example:

Stupidity can also be a factor. Take the case of Bev Oda, the heritage minister in Harper's cabinet. She caused a furor in 2006 when she took $5 million a year in federal funding away from Status of Women Canada and $4.6 million from assistance to museums. The stupidity occurred when Oda went to Halifax for the Juno Awards and spent $5,475 in three days on a stretch limo to ferry her about.

Given that her hotel was only a block away from the Metro Centre, where most of the events were held, the expenditure was both grossly excessive and appallingly stupid.

If stupidity were a firing offence, Oda would be history.

So Bev Oda should resign as Cabinet Minister because she hired a stretch limo to go to the Junos? Well, that may be some cause for criticism about waste of taxpayers' money, but I can't see that being a reason for calling for the Minister's resignation.

And I'm sure we could find lots of example of ministerial waste under the previous regime. Joe Volpe's penchant for lavish pizza dinners jumps to mind.

Also, the McGuinty government itself can be cited as an example of waste of taxpayers' money. Perhaps the whole lot of them should resign.

Anyway, that's my rant for today.

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I'll be taking a bit of time off, so you may find comment moderation enabled. Feel free to leave a message anyway - or just go out and enjoy the sunshine.

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Breaking news from National Newswatch - Pierre Trudeau voted "Worst Canadian" in history!


Sandy said...

Thanks for reading the column for me. And,yes, I will be enjoying the nice day. Isn't it amazing? Someone could have a full-time job just fisking -- and the beat goes on :)

Gerry said...

Enjoy your break deserve it...I hear your gonna be hanging out with some real cool friends the next few days...enjoy youself...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Gerry. They are awesome people! I'd better get a move-on though.

Anonymous said...

how about the total waste of money spent on those large red and white sign's plastered to every school in the province. I have heard that they cost over $200 each, and give the illusion that work is being done on the school. Even if a doorknob or washer was changed, the sign went up.

How about the waste of parents having to apply for money to encourage other parents to become engaged in their child's education?

Is that money better spent elsewhere, say on students, supplies, keeping schools open?


PGP said...

I'm inclined to agree about Bev Oda....she's the weakest link in the Harper cabinet and should never have been installed in a ministerial role IMO!

The Limousine expenditures are just a tiny example of her lack of judge ment.
The biggest problem is her inability to understand and manage issues like copyright and her penchant for caving in to special interests.
It's clear that Mr. Stevens has a desire to run her down and believes that defunding tax wasters in the cultural arena is a BAD thing.
I think he's right about her stupidity ... but like any liberal it's for all the wrong reasons!

Brian S. said...

Money isn't the only thing that can be wasted. Both Geoffrey Stevens and Jim Travers should resign for the waste of time it is to read their columns.

Lord Omar said...

Re: Breaking - Pierre Trudeau voted "Worst Canadian" in history!

Joanne, you should be a tad more concerned with the fact Harper made #6 on this 'Worst Canadian' list.
At least Trudeau had 16+ years to foster his notoriety.

SouthernOntarioan said...

I'd hate to flog a dead horse.. but guess what CTV reported about knife crime?

69% of violent crimes involve a knife and as many people are murdered each year with knives as all guns on average.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Speaking of Travers... he has another column that is less partisan although he manages to make a couple of stupid comments.

The big one that I can see is this ridiculous claim that the Tories were desperate to call a spring election. As Paul Wells has said, Harper doesn't want an election, he wants to serve for as long as possible.

Anyways, so not a partisan column, but not a particularly insightful one either.

PGP said...

Omar - Right for all the wrong reasons!

cherenkov said...

It's up to the voters not to elect stupid MPs. Though, somebody should explain that to the people of Vancouver Centre (Hedy Fry)

Crabgrass said...

...and Calgary Southwest.

liberal supporter said...

Pierre Trudeau voted "Worst Canadian" in history!

But the Toronto Sun readers don't agree!

Your people were so busy gagging MPs so they would not tell the Globe what they donate, that they forgot to freep the Sun's poll.