Greetings, Stand-On Guardians!
In the past I've railed against the current crop of Conservative creeps currently culling our Canadian culture. Wow, try saying that five times real quick...
But after researching this C 38 Omnibus Budget Bill, I need to ask anyone who voted for Harper in the last election to just go ahead and punch themselves right in the junk. Or let one of the other 60% of reasonably well-informed Canadian citizens who didn't vote Conservative to do it for you.
Don't know anything about Bill C 38? Okay, here's a l'il sampler...
- Bill C-38 is set to repeal The Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, a twenty seven year old regulation that forces federal construction contractors to pay decent wages and overtime to workers whether or not they're unionized. If this crap passes (and it looks like it will) greedy employers will be able to offer $10.00 an hour labor jobs that are free of costly benefits and overtime. When Canadian workers justifiably turn up their nose at such table scraps, these shady taskmasters will be free to seek council from international brokers (a.k.a. 'labour pimps') to bring in desperate foreign laborers will happily toil away under such Dickensian conditions. P.S. This same bill also puts pay equity for women in serious jeopardy. Seriously, why would a government do this unless they wanted to assault the already-besieged middle class? Or convince half of the population that we're still living in the Dark Ages?
- Despite strong evidence to the contrary, Harper and his cronies keep predicting doom for Old Age pensions. Personally, I think they're trying to force every Canadian to sink or swim based on increasingly scarce work-related pensions or volatile personal investments. As such, the Reform...er, Conservatives are all hot n' horny to raise the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 67, which will end up costing folks on a fixed income a decent amount of cheddar. That's right, folks, yet another giant "F#ck You!" from the Baby Boomers to people my age and younger.
- Aboriginal suicide rates in this country are over ten times higher then the national average. Instead of trying to figure out why and how to fix it, Harper and company are looking to gut the Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy and cut back on a slew of Native-specific health resources. If we're to believe Gandhi when he said "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members", what does that say about our nation?
- Bill C 38 is set to kick the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Kyoto right in the collective cubes. Removing environmental restrictions dovetails nicely with Harper's wish that the United States keeps mainlining our tar sands oil. Not only will Bill C 38 make it easier to construct oil pipelines in protected tracts of wilderness, our dismantled employment restrictions means that we can thrash the environment on the cheap! Plus, it'll also make big oil totally Teflon when the warranty expires on these things and they start rupturing like party balloons filled with battery acid.
- Sighents iz fer nurds! In addition to slashing the budgets of laboratories and research facilities, funding will be dolled out now in direct proportion to how commercial the research appears to be. Even before this Trojan Horse of a bill got hatched, things were already trending in this direction. Right here in Halifax, it was recently announced that our R.C.M.P. crime lab will be shutting down. This has many local prosecutors and forensics experts worried that the evidence-processing turnaround time will become so slow that it may actually result in procedural acquittals. Can someone please explain to me how this clearly-needed resource is suddenly not sustainable after almost forty years of operation?
- Y'know how we get to lord our superior food production and inspection regulations over Americans? Yeah, well, not anymore folks! If this shit-storm passes you can say goodbye to our high food safety standards. Enjoy those salmonella burgers, dumb-asses!
- Speaking of our friendly neighbors down south, what about the idea of letting American police arrest Canadian citizens on our own turf? Well, if C-38 goes through "the 'Shiprider' program ...will make it permanently legal for U.S. agents to be certified as police in Canadian waters." Wow, I'm sure that won't be abused...
- Employment Insurance "reforms" will force recipients to commute in excess of an hour and accept work that pays 70 to 90% less then their previous salaries. In an era when more and more careers are vanishing in lieu of crappy part time jobs, this appears to be Harper's most convenient solve.
- The Security Intelligence Review Committee, one of the departments designed to keep CSIS in check will be eliminated. Which begs the question: Who's Gonna Be Watchin' The Watchmen?
- In addition to undermining environmental restrictions, Bill C-38 will limit the protection of fish habitats in lieu of industrial development. To make matters worse, the bill will de-fang the "Species At Risk Act", which limits industrial activity in the habitats of endangered and threatened wildlife. Under the new process, Environment Minister and part-time used car salesman Peter Kent could make exemptions to this at will. Sorry, but considering our current environmental record, I've really don't have a good feeling about this.