Monday, February 23, 2009

One of the More Disgusting Things I've Read Recently

This weekend I was checking out Canadian Cynic and blogging contributor "LuLu" had posted about the harpo government's saying "fuck you!" to accountability. According to the Globe & Mail:

OTTAWA — The Harper government has delayed for months the release of notes on conference calls held at the height of last summer's deadly listeriosis outbreak — a lag some experts say breaks Ottawa's own information laws.
Privy Council officials at first said they had records as requested, but needed four months “to consult other government institutions” about them.
Then Ann Wesch, the access to information director for PCO, wrote a letter dated Feb. 10 stating that in fact “the records retrieved do not fall under the scope of this request. Therefore we have no records relevant to your request.”
The explanation for the flip-flop? Records retrieved were handwritten notes — not minutes or transcripts, said the PCO analyst questioned about the response.This, despite the fact that the word transcribe is in part defined in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary as “make a copy of, esp. in writing .. . write out (shorthand, notes, etc.) . . . .”

As University of Ottawa expert on federal information law put it:
“It is silly,” he said. “I would even say it's infantile to be making this sort of distinction.
“This goes against the spirit of the act and the letter of the [Access to Information] act.”

As was stated earlier in the article, twenty people died because of this failure of oversight. We all remember at the time that harpo was lamely arguing that these deaths were the fault of the Liberals, as if his own sweeping changes to the regulatory regime never existed. (We also remember Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz making jokes about poisoned food and deaths during press conferences at the time.) Now, despite the fact that harpo is blaming the Liberals he lacks the confidence to provide us with the information about what his government was doing in response to these deaths. But we have a right to this information. This is OUR government. There is no "national security" issue at stake here (which harpo loves to use to hide information about his torture policies).

This contempt for democracy, this contempt for accountability, this callous disregard for human life, this craven toadying to corporate interests, this is all an excellent example of the sort of long-standing behaviour that should have written off this party of morons, losers, murderers and thieves long ago. This is the party that pompous idiot Charles Adler had the gall to describe as "mature." This is not maturity. This is a bunch of brazen vandals spitting in our faces, confident that there is nothing that can be done about it. And you know what? Thanks to the cowardly, useless AND COMPLICIT Liberal Party, combined with the ignorance and confusion of almost half the electorate (this includes the full-time stupid 30% of the population that will stick with "conservatism" through thick and thin), there really isn't anything we can do about this.

In the face of murderous negligence and subsequent callous contempt for the law, for the principles of open government, the decent portion of Canadian society is powerless. This has to change.


Beijing York said...

I wish we could sue this government for breaking its own laws. I wonder if they have a delete immediately after read policy for e-mails?

thwap said...

If only we lived in a world where garbage such as this didn't have such broad appeal.