Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stephen Harper and the Courts (On Our Dime)

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it certainly seems like our government spends an awful lot of time in the courts of this country, doesn’t it?

Even as I write this, it appears that our Harper Party Government is bracing for yet another lawsuit.  This time it is the people who were getting prescription heroin to treat their addiction. 

Just the other day, it seems Rona Ambrose got all wound up about this and decided that this should not happen.  These people are addicts and they are seeking treatment to control and hopefully overcome their addiction.  Rona’s decision is forcing these people to go to court if they want to continue their treatments, and it appears that they are going to.

Now some of these cases have merit, the assisted suicide laws, the abortion laws and others have been challenged through the years.  If someone or some group feel that a law is bad and needs to be amended or removed from the books, a court challenge is often the only tool available.

But it seems to me like the current crop in Ottawa go out of their way to get into the court cases when some talk and thought might avoid the whole thing. 

The Harper Government fought the Veterans over whether or not the Vets should be able to sue for the right to sue the government over changes made to their pensions.  The Harper Government is planning to challenge their loss to the Veterans in a higher court.  Why?  Because they can, I guess.

Again, had they sat down with the various Veteran Groups and individuals or even bothered to send out a questionnaire to find out what the Vets thought, these changes might never have happened.  But that would involve listening, something the Harper Party is not noted for.

Last week a Judge handed down a ruling in the Audrey Tobias case.  The Judge acquitted Audrey of the charges of failing to comply in a Census.  I’ll applaud the Judge for putting on his thinking cap and figuring out a way to tap dance through the minefield that this case provided without telling us that it was OK to just say that I don’t want to fill out the Census because of the links to Lockheed Martin and the military industry.

This is an example of how bureaucrats work, there are rules, the rule was broken, steps will be taken… but surely there was some noise that got up to the Ministers in charge of the Ministries involved.  Wouldn’t one of them say that it is insane to take an 89 year young woman to court over this?


But that’s not the worst of it.  When our elected people get into trouble, like Christian Paradis did, why are we paying for their defence?

You might remember the tomfoolery surrounding the “unrelease” of a response to an Access to Information request.  So far we’ve paid close to $500,000.00 for the defence of these actions... to private law firms!

It’s not good enough that they spend our hard earned money on having a squad of lawyers available for the government, but they can ding us on top of that if they think there is a conflict of interest with the in-house legal eagles.  If Christian and his people don’t want the services of the government lawyers, maybe they should be ponying up the cash to pay for outside legal help.

I’ll tell you what, Christian.  If you and yours had bothered to employ the 3 lbs of fat that sits on top of your shoulders, you wouldn’t be in the jam that you are in and I wouldn’t be paying for your furshlugginer legal fees!

 We paid for Stephen Harper to go to the Supreme Court to get an opinion on his plans for the Senate, and we’re going to pay for the court challenge over his appointee to the Supreme Court.

In the West, the members of the Canadian Wheat Board are in the process of trying to sue the government over the closure of the CWB.  The latest one involves the organization Friends of the CWB and they are asking for $17 Billion in payment or the reopening of the CWB.  They say the farmers built up the CWB and the government has to pay if they take it away.  Guess what, if they win their case, we get to pay that too!

I swear it looks like we are governed by a group of Kindergarteners.  Facts don’t matter if they think they’re right,  “Cause I said so” is a valid reason, the threat of punishment is enough to keep people from breaking the rules, and the scariest thing you can say to someone is “I’ll sue you!”

On the other hand, kindergarteners are usually more forgiving and less prone to holding grudges.  This puts them head and shoulders above the Harper Party, doesn’t it?

Cheers! BC

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