Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stephen Harper's Evil Genius

Evil Geniuses?
There's little doubt that Stephen Harper is at the top of his political game, advancing his conservative agenda through Parliament with the skill and confidence of a world class maestro conducting an attentive and eager orchestra.

With the opposition Liberal Party in shambles and the largely inexperienced Ndp obsessed with a leadership race, it falls to the press to hold the Prime Minister accountable to the Canadian people.
Unfortunately for us, the press is being led around the political ring by Mr. Harper, who is demonstrating an unrivalled expertise at devious manipulation.

For all its self-proclaimed political savvy, the press has demonstrated a singular lack of understanding at the political process that Mr. Harper has embarked upon and its members remain sadly unawares that they are being managed.

And so, their latest reaction in relation to the awarding of the 33 billion dollar shipbuilding contract demonstrates how little they truly understand our dear leader.

As of late, Mr. Harper has been widely praised by the Press and even across the Parliamentary aisle in the opposition benches for taking the decision not to award the now famous shipbuilding contract based on political opportunism.

Readers are reminded that a committee of federal government bureaucrats was tasked with choosing the winning bids, based on merit alone.
If there were any lingering doubts that $33 billion in federal shipbuilding contracts would be awarded on the basis of merit, not politics, Wednesday's announcement giving the lion's share of the work to Halifax's Irving Shipbuilding put them to rest. Winnipeg Free Press

The outcome is one to celebrate, not because Quebec lost, but because the federal government depoliticized the process and handed over the decision-making to an arm's length group of some 20 civil servants.Calgary Herald

By all accounts, the shipbuilding contract process was like nothing anyone had ever seen. Everything was kept tightly held to just a few bureaucrats. There were no leaks. Not even the cabinet was involved, nor did the Prime Minister have a clue as to the successful shipyards until shortly before the announcement was made public. Globe and Mail
So in order to accept the premise that Mr. Harper chose a selection process based on merit alone and forwent political considerations is to belie everything we know about Mr. Harper, who is described by his enemies and rivals (and some colleagues) as the most politically partisan and viciously ruthless political animal seen on the Canadian political scene in modern times.

He is a man who cavalierly threw almost a billion dollars in taxpayer money at Quebec for no other reason than to curry favour in run up to the 2008 federal election.

Ethics? Altruism? Non-partisanship.
Can these adjectives actually describe Stephen Harper?
As Judge Judy is fond of saying, "If it doesn't sound true, it probably isn't"

On October 12, five days before the announcement of the winners of the contract, I told readers that Quebec would be shut out. Read the blog piece

So what did I know that every one else didn't?
Did I have inside information or was it a blind guess?

The answer is neither, just an abiding faith in the fact the Stephen Harper hadn't changed a whit and remained the same partisan SOB which he always was.
Running true to form, there's just no way a 33 billion dollar contract would be awarded without political considerations.

And so it logically follows that if the final awarding of the contract was to be given over to the bureaucrats by Harper, the conclusion that the committee would eventually come to, had to be foregone.

The Davie shipyard, Quebec's entry in the contract competition, can be best described as a business basket case, in and out of bankruptcy protection over the last twenty years, kept on life support by the Quebec government's willingness to bail it out. It's something that all the insiders knew.
"After the warship project was finished in the early 1990s, MIL-Davie Shipbuilding, along with the Davie yard in Lauzon went into receivership. After being bought by the Quebec government, Davie was sold to Dominion Bridge Company for $1. In 1998, the parent Dominion Bridge Company went into bankruptcy and the Davie shipyard went into trusteeship in 1998. It was sold again in 2000 and became Industries Davie, Ltd. In 2006, the shipyard was sold to TECO Maritime ASA of Norway which saw it restructured into a new company called Davie Yards Incorporated.
In early 2011, TECO announced that Davie Yards Inc was in receivership and announced a bid by Fincantieri – Cantieri Navali Italiani of Italy and Fincantieri subsidiary DRS Technologies Canada to purchase the shipyard from TECO. This deal fell through in July 2011.
After the Fincantieri deal fell through, the yard underwent financial restructuring in July 2011 in order to qualify to bid for a portion of the $40 billion contract known as the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy which will see ships built for the Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Forces and Department of Fisheries and Oceans. This procurement strategy had its bidding deadline extended by 3 weeks specifically to accommodate the Davie restructuring."  Wikipedia
Based on merit, there's just no way the crippled Davie shipyard could compete with the other bidders and the only way it could ever dream of being selected would be by way of political interference, just like the F-18 maintenance contract that was re-directed away from Winnipeg to Montreal by Brian Mulroney back in 1983.
Obviously that wasn't going to happen this time around.

Harper didn't need a committee to tell him what he and the insiders already knew, that Davie wouldn't be selected. If Quebec was to lose, how much better would it be for the government if some nameless bureaucrats take the fall resposibility for the decision.

And so Mr. Harper cleverly took himself out of the picture, turning the selection process over to the 'non-partisan' bureaucrats, full well in knowledge that they would select exactly what he wanted them to - ABQ (Anyone but Quebec.)

Today, not only has Mr. Harper reaped the political benefits of awarding the shipbuilding contracts outside Quebec, (where unlike Quebec, showering gifts do produce political returns) he is enjoying the wholly undeserved accolades of being nonpartisan.

For our experienced and supposedly skillful journalists and political pundits, to shower Mr. Harper with praise over this supposed newly-found political non-partisanship is to have us believe that Mr. Harper betrayed a thirty year reputation of extreme partisanship in one fell swoop.
It strains the bounds of credulity, to say the least.

You can believe my unlikely explanation or you can believe that Harper, as the pundits tells us, truly was reborn as a honest, forthright and nonpartisan leader.

As unlikely as my explanation may seen to be, namely that Harper had this whole thing figured out in advance, it is infinitely more credible than the idea of a new and improved Harper.

Quebec had no chance to win this contract from the gitgo because the Davie bid was clearly inferior.
Everybody knew it, except those in Quebec who continue to believe that the province is owed a disproportionate amount of federal largess.

We didn't need a long and expensive selection process to figure all this out. The selection process was nothing more than a staged pantomime, with most of the players not realizing that they were being played.

And so, Mr. Harper outsmarted us all and his cynical charade couldn't have turned out better.

As Mr. Harper  heads out to Australia for a Commonwealth conference, basking in the glory of the accolades to his non-partisan leadership, there's hardly a peep over the fact that he just hired another unilingual English speaker to the very senior post government position of Auditor-General.

How will he brush this away?

With a complicit RoC Press corps, more interested in defending a shared Anglo agenda, then reporting the truth.

Well-played Mr. Harper, I salute you.


  1. Editor: My my my! Are we readers tasting the wrath of your sour grapes? Are you actually trying to tell us that Harper is more partisan than any other PM.

    My God, man, you then contradicted yourself re Mulroney's wrenching the F-18 contract out of Winnipeg's hands to pass over to Montreal. You don't remember how Herb Grey, a Trudeau Lieutenant, threw $34 million at Lasalle, QC-based Maislin trucks circa 1980 to see the company go bankrupt mere months after Grey pissed that lucrative wad of money against a wall?

    Between Trudeau and Chrétien, how many millions upon million upon millions did they throw at Laurent Beaudoin and Bombardier? How many billions in hush money did they throw at the PQ over the decades to shut them the hell up (yet they didn't)?

    If the deal was so fixed, you'd think between Rae and Mulcair, they'd be yelling bloody blue murder, yet barely a peep against Harper between them! Is the media really as stupid as you'd like them to believe? There seem to be some pretty savvy veterans still in the media.

    How about Mulroney and his farewell tour prior to quitting his office? Not only that, he hoarded thousands of pictures with his entourage and world dignitaries that he kept for free only to then "give" them as a "gift to Canada" through the National Archives enabling him to take a big, fat tax write-off.

    Just because Chrétien wasn't found with his hands dirty in the sponsorship scandal means sweet f--k all that he knew nothing about it. I don't believe it. Oh, and Martin made sure his Canada Steamship Lines was incorporated, not in Canada, but in the Caribbean where the corporate tax rates are a joke. It should be called Barbados Steamship Lines, really?

    Oh, yes, and how about Chrétien changing the name of Montreal International Airport to Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport? Wasn't he a little confused? Shouldn't that big white elephant up in Mirabel bear his name? That was HIS white elephant! He pissed billions down a black hole for the sake of that white elephant!

    Okay, it's YOUR blog. I suppose if Howard Galganov can bash Obama ad infinitum, you can do the same to Stephen Harper, but don't try to sell Harper as the Black Night when your faves are not one iota better.

    Oh...and why don't you write again about how your buddy, Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest is flip-flopping how to create a proper mandate for his recently announced inquiry into construction fraud? The Minister of Labour has been threatened with getting her legs broken. I'll bet nobody will step forward to testify now. Seems like the ol' intimidation tactics of the 1970s and before are coming back in a new wave.

    You also forgot to mention Harper is scrapping the gun registry. Let's face it, it was a big fat gaff of your buddy, Chrétien's. Another $2 billion pissed against a wall, not to mention Jane Stewart's billion dollar debacle........

  2. Mr.Harper keeps on winning more points from me. Knowing full-well that giving the Kweebs the shipbuilding contract will in no way win him political favour in a province chock full of ungrateful scum, he goes next door and gives a nice big middle finger (en francais maybe?) to the Vampire-Squid that is Kweebec!

    You go Stephen! Destroy'em!

  3. Like him or not, Harper is getting shit done.

  4. Evil Genius!
    At least the word Genius is in there.
    Oh, those cats are so cute.
    I hope he names one of those new Naval Destroyer Ships HMCS Meow Meow.

  5. Another unilingual appointment. Why not...the country is majority unilingual english, is it not...??

  6. I have to agree with the PM on this one (even though I know from people in the PMO they think he is a prick), because we know very well what would have happened at Davie - ships that would cost double, and at the very least 30% more than elsewhere in Canada because of the mafia and all their white-collar collaborators here, AND they would be sub-standard with respect to the current demands of the Canadian Navy.

  7. Personally, I wouldn't want to give such huge contracts to anyone in this province - for anything.
    We need to get rid of the two main criminal organizations who cost us billions per year (FTQ and CSN), before we spend more.

    And either way, why would they accept "english" money? English money (and immigrants) are the reason they are so miserable after all.

    Get rid of the PQ, the FTQ and the CSN, and we'll become 100% more productive as a province.

    The only part that bothers me is that politicians shouldn't give out "gifts" only to get electoral support. Sounds a lot like Maurice Duplessis and his "vote for me and I'll give you a washing machine, don't vote for me and you don't get your bridge"

  8. So after all your huff and puff of your peice, you basically confirm that T
    HE RIGHt decision was made. Cool, nothing to see, move on.

  9. Anon @ 11:08AM: The correct term for what the despicable and despotic 20th Century monster Duplessis practiced is called pork barrel politics. Joey Smallwood, the small mind that he was (Churchill Falls 'n' all), was also a big fat pork barrel practitioner.

    Aside from the loyal blue voters in Central Nova (the folks of New Glasgow who launched Mulroney's career and kept Elsie Wayne in office along with none other than John James "Goldilocks" Charest in 1993) when nobody else, BUT NOBODY ELSE, voted PC again. There are few Maritimers who are big conservative supporters, but there are loyal pockets at best.

    Anyway, as stated previously, I'm tickled pink that Quebec missed out on the shipbuilding gravy because no doubt, the union interference would have resulted in severe cost overruns. Anybody remember the Montreal Olympics? QUÉBEC SAIT FAIRE! Kay-bec knows how!

  10. Now get to work repealing decades of expensive socialist nonsense forced upon the country by the worst PM in our history. That’s right repeal the charter and everything connected to it such as the bilingual, multicultural BS…

    Trudeau and kebec forced all this upon Canada to change our real BNA, UEL history.

    Kebec deserves nothing. They did not vote for you. They have spent the last 5 decades wiping out of proud and real English speaking history in kebec with racist, bigoted language laws such as bills 22, 178, 101…They have been a drain on the country since Trudeau and liberals forced trough an equalization policy which funnels billions yearly into kebec. The province is technically bankrupt and rotten to the core; beyond corrupt from the top down.

    No knew seats for kebec either.

    Keep up the good work PM Harper.

  11. Anon @ 3:36PM: Hear hear!

    One story I haven't talked about in a long time was almost 30 years ago when I graduated from university. My first job was with the feds (with a terrible recession coming on). Those who were hired to work on the French team were given bilingual bonuses even though their mandate was only to work on French cases. Those who worked on English cases were offered no bonus. Had they worked on both, OK, but for no other reason than they were Francophone Quebeckers, they were accorded $800 bonuses over and above everyone else.

    I hope Harper hires only unilingual Anglophones for all the top positions. I think the tail has wagged the dog for long enough.

    Want federal money, Goldilocks? To quote what ex PM Brian Mulroney said to Canadian author Peter C. Newman, well...listen for yourselves:

  12. Mississauga,

    Seems like you are happy with your life in Ontario. Do you not know that it is Quebec's money that is used to build Ontario's automotive and nuclear industry as well as to build Toronto to be the center of finance?

  13. Troy:

    Ohhhh....really, Troy. You send me a portal link of the RRQ, a composite organization of numb-nuts and nincompoops with the storytelling equivalence of the National Inquirer and other ragtag tabloids, like Le Journal de Montrésl?

    I suppose you believe in fairies, Santa Claus and the Great Pumpkin as well. Linus Van Pelt was a 2-D cartoon character in Charlie Brown's Peanuts gang who believed in the Great Pumpkin, and while I'm sure you're not a cartoon, to send me that link makes me think you're two-dimensional, or have a two-digit I.Q. ...or both! Is that how you really want to convey yourself?

  14. ...again, to Troy. Forgot to mention that yes, I do love Ontario as does my companion whom I took from her digs in Quebec and settled her here in Ontario.

    If what you said is true, I'm sneezing bricks (sh--ting them, really) that our infrastructure made from Quebec oatmeal is going to collapse on us soon.

    Sorry, pal, your beliefs are most misguided, and BTW, as my late mother, MSRIP said to me many years ago when I was an adolescent "angryphone", there's no perfection anywhere. This is absolutely true, but while a race horse named Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes race and the triple crown of thoroughbred racing in 1973 by 31 lengths, Ontario is 31 million lengths closer to perfection than Quebec will ever be, certainly within your lifetime!

    The main thoroughfare I drive to work on here in Mississauga is being freshly paved mile by mile, and every time I look at that fresh black asphalt smoothing out the road, I say to myself that THIS is language police money very well spent. BTW, even BEFORE they start paving a new section, it's STILL in better shape than most roads in Quebec are today. Our worst are better than your best.

    A big stretch of the Gardiner Expressway, a raised highway similar to your inferior Metropolitan Blvd., was closed last weekend, one of many for structural maintenance and repaving. Those moronic entry and exit ramps on the Met are so short, it's a wonder more drivers don't smash into the walls at the end of the entry ramps, and it's another example of QUÉBEC SAIT FAIRE! Kay-bec knows how!

    We fix our roads! We fix our bridges and trestles! What we don't do is spend on language legislation or allow union goons to coerce our workers and government officials. That's YOUR Quebec's specialty.

    Troy, if you ever decide to come to Ontario, you'll see how roads SHOULD be maintained, how parks should be maintained with working facilities and equipment, and be kept in pristine condition, and how language police SHOULD be a non-issue, or at best, a much lower priority.

  15. I'll say Harper is evil, apparently he's doing an about face and giving Quebec 3 more seats in parliament! (Quebec was supposed to get ZERO seats; as is, Quebec is already over represented).

    This is uncool. Not only does Quebec not deserve more seats, it should have existing seats taken away!

  16. Mississauga,

    You really are short-fused, are you not? It was a sarcasm, written in jest on my part.

  17. @ Troy
    " "

    And they will eventually win. It's such a pity that we don't march like them, it's such a pity we don't have a party our own who could defend our rights...basically we are cowards and they know this.
    It's such a shame we don't stand for US !

  18. I don't know, but I'm kind of glad that allos and anglos don't have an equivalent of the rrq. I think organizations like that do more harm than good for the population they purport to represent. They surely do contribute to tarnishing of the image of that population.

    This is not to say that anglos and allos shouldn't defend themselves, but it's not necessary to have such an aggressive and repugnant group to do it. Brent Tyler is doing a much better job, for example, by tirelessly challenging Quebec in the courts of law.

    In a nutshell, I think that an emergence of some advocacy group would be welcome, but not one that would stoop to the level of the rrq. I, for one, would welcome with open arms someone who would follow in the footsteps of M.Richler and expose Quebec's shady side to the American audience. This is the MOST sensitive issue for Quebec - not to let Americans know what's going on here - the the feds are very complicit in helping Quebec stay out of the spotlight, for the sake of "national unity", of course...

    In regards to the rrq, I have a different sort of problem. The allo/anglo stance against these groups to me is less relevant than the lack of any stance against it by the majority (franco) population. There is no denunciation of the rrq in the press, media, politics. Instead, we have total silence on the issue of a very vocal group that is loud and mainstream enough to be heard and make itself known by the use of the internet and by frequent demonstrations organized in most public places. To me, this indicates passive tolerance of such movements by the majority, and maybe even tacit support. Or maybe, it's fear of being scapegoated and called a traitor to the nation - fear that Quebec's ruling class and its accolades (mainstream media, unions, civic organizations) instilled in the franco populace very efficiently.

  19. For those who are want to know more about the fear tactics, vilification, and ridiculing of those who speak up against the rotten status quo, read up on Gilbert Rozon, Gaetan Frigon, Gerald Deltell, or Maxime Bernier.

    Note the shit storm that they stirred up by making a single passing comment in a context of an interview, and the fact that none of the 4 never publicly repeated their opinion on the issue ever again (in all 4 cases, it was a one-off affair).

  20. Troy: Yes, if you catch me at a stressful moment, the water in the tea kettle will boil. I found this posting surprising based on your previous posts, so it looks as if I bit and you got me. April fool, however, is five months away!

  21. To Troy & Mr. Sauga re: sarcasm.
    A word of advice- sarcasm just doesn't work in print.
    Been, there, done that....

  22. Some Dude: You're right re the three seats. Has the Quebec population grown to represent the 3 seats? I have a feeling not, and I don't know why he's even THINKING of offering Quebec an olive branch.

  23. Quebec to get 3 more MPs in new distribution...sick!!!

    This is beyond ridiculous. The country is heavily in debt, we are heading into a double dip recession in the new year and what is this so called “conservative” government doing? Well why not spend a fortune and ad more seats to the house of commons, yes indeed, more MP salaries, expensive staff, expensive offices, more pensions…more money flushed down the toilet yearly. This will cost the taxpayers millions upon millions more yearly. Just sickening!!!

    Here is some free advice idiots. Reduce the amount of seats where the provinces are over represented such as Kebec. This fixes the problem without costing a fortune. No need to cost country a fortune and ad all these new seats. Its pretty simple, reduce the amount of seats in certain provinces and in turn the provinces now underrepresented will be represented properly. Rep by pop!!! No more new seats, especially for Kebec, they are over represented already.

    We have enough politicians already costing us way too much money. Think dummies, think!!!

  24. Anon, Oct 27 @ 8:45PM:

    I feel your pain, believe me. I can only conclude that Harper is offering Quebec an olive branch, but Quebec doesn't merit the extra representation UNLESS their demographics have really grown enough to earn the seats.

    When he was PM, Brian Mulroney held a referendum in 1992 that in part guaranteed Quebec 25% of parliamentary representation even if Quebec's demographics fell below 25%. While it's easy, I suppose, to call the voters there idiots, I suppose too it's not fair to do so because plenty of conditions were attached. Senate reform was mentioned, and that was a popular proposition, but there were so many caveats that made voting yes in the referendum too unappetizing to the majority of voters, including me.

    After Robert "Pinocchio" Bourassa (as lebelled by the late and great Sophie Wollock, former editor of The Suburban, Montreal's largest English community paper) tabled and passed Bill 178, an override to a Supreme Court ruling labelling French alone on signs and in other aspects as unconstitutional pissed me (amongst others) off enough where I rooted for the non-ratification of the Meech Lake Accord of 1987.

    As far as I'm concerned, [former Newfoundland Premier] Clyde Wells and [former Manitoba MLA] Elijah Harper are biiiiig heroes for having had the courage to stand for their convictions in the face of adversity. In Wells' case, it was dowright vindictive lambasting by Mulroney becase Wells overturned [the former Newfoundland premier] Brian Peckford's prior ratification of the Accord. [Former Prime Minister] Trudeau also was chastised in Mulroney's book for his criticism of the Accord. If Mulroney chooses to, and I believe he'll stew, seethe and burn about it until his judgment day, and it looks good on him!

    My belief is Brian Mulroney's raison d'être for becoming PM was to top and outclass PET by bringing Quebec onside to the Constitution. I think he believes this would have made himself a "kingmaker" of some kind, putting his self-interests ahead of the people of Canada's collective interests.

    Quebec has stolen the national agenda long enough and it's time to put Quebec in its place!

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