No More Questions
The only people Harper likes less than environmentalists are journalists. One prominent Ottawa reporter wrote “It is now standard… for reporters to submit questions in writing to the government only to wait hours, days, or even weeks for a committee-approved response.”
Press conferences have effectively been replaced by a “We appreciate your feedback!” comment form. An open letter signed by 9 Canadian journalism organizations said “Genuine transparency is replaced by slick propaganda and spin designed to manipulate public opinion.” Oh come on, is it really that bad?
It is? Okay, fair enough.
Dog Days Aren’t Over Yet
When they’re not busy ignoring the press, the Harper government plays mail carrier to the nation’s watchdogs. Canada’s military watchdog said the Harper government deliberately withheld information for 21 months after Canada was accused of transferring prisoners to be tortured in Afghanistan. Maybe it took them that long because they kept running out of black markers…
Actual document released from Afghan detainee probe – doubles as an excellent metaphor.
I Want The Truth!!
But Harper’s least favourite watchdog was one he bred himself: the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The first one was Kevin Page, a hero to many and haaaaated by the Harper government. When they announced 65 F-35 jets would cost less than $15 billion (what a steal!), Page said they fudged the numbers and it would be more like $29 billion (what an actual theft!). And despite the government’s best efforts to prove Page wrong, now it looks like the F-35s will cost way, way more than even he predicted, making the word “boondoggle” suddenly popular again.
Page even took the Harper government to court after they refused to say where billions in budget cuts were going to come from. Badass!
From future ‘Heritage Minute’ on Kevin Page
Strong. Proud. None of Your Business.
Have you noticed that “Strong. Proud. Free.” slogan being hammered into your brain lately? Have you wondering where it came from? Well you can keep wondering, because the Harper government has made the rationale for the slogan a state secret, to be sealed for 20 years. Because if they made this information public… the terrorists would win?
Playing The Bad-Boy
The Auditor General isn’t a big fan of Harper, and expressed public pissedoffedness at all of the information the government kept secret from him for reasons that were also secret. In fact, Harper’s secrecy was so extreme that it triggered the last federal election. After the government refused to give MPs information on program costs, it was found in contempt of parliament. Voters (mostly over 35) promptly punished him with a majority government. Maybe all the people under 35 should vote this time, hey guys?