Megapundit: James Moore, son of Trudeau?


Must-reads: Don Martin on Gomery’s comeuppance; Susan Riley on the cabinet shuffle; Richard Gwyn on the Green Shift.

Stuck in the past
Some of us, apparently, haven’t quite gotten past David Emerson’s floor-crossing and the fact that Michael Fortier isn’t an MP.

If Fortier and Emerson awoke today with a burning sensation all over their bodies—less painful than white phosphorous, say, but not by much—it may have something to do with Susan Riley‘s piece in the Ottawa Citizen. She portrays Fortier as an idly rich, over-entitled, unelectable layabout who exacerbates Stephen Harper’s contempt for the democratic process in appointing him with his unconvincing promises to run in an election if and when a riding with a “winning profile” is located. Emerson’s personality fares slightly better, but his CV doesn’t: he stands accused of “negotiat[ing] a flimsy truce on softwood lumber” and, in his previous Liberal life, “putting the brakes on Stéphane Dion’s environmental ambitions” (Aha! So he’s why it’s so difficult to make priorities!) This is all several feet over the top, particularly Riley’s bizarre talk of “class loyalty” affecting the appointments, but we sure loved reading it!

The factors forcing Harper to stock his cabinet with unelected, unelectable and just plain untalented individuals are unlikely to improve in time for the next election, Chantal Hébert warns in the Toronto Star. If Emerson decided to stay on, and to run in Vancouver, he’d have his hands full even in Quadra—which is the only riding he’d have a chance at taking. Meanwhile, Fortier’s odds in Vaudreuil-Soulanges (his stated preference at the moment) are “as long today as in 2006.” And for a party desperate (our word, not Hébert’s) for talented candidates, the Tories’ weakness in urban Canada continues to be an anchor on their ambitions.

Fortier’s installation at international trade is “particularly adroit” of Harper, says L. Ian MacDonald in the National Post. His excellent relationship with Jean Charest will be useful in negotiations over a possible Canada-EU free trade agreement, he suggests, his promotion to a “powerhouse” ministry may boost the party’s fortunes in Montreal. And hanging around at public works, a widowmaker of a portfolio, wasn’t boosting his chances of getting elected. Elsewhere, MacDonald describes James Moore, a fluently bilingual British Columbian, as “one of Trudeau’s children.” We’re sure he’d love that.

The last great megaproject
“In many respects Canada is no longer a nation-state in the common meaning of the term but is instead an ever more decentralized alliance of 10 provincial states,” Richard Gwyn writes in the Star, with the federal government serving only the roles of “note-taking secretariat and automatic teller machine.” As such, he suggests part of the Green Shift’s appeal is that it’s a rare example of a “pan-Canadian program” in an era almost completely devoid of them. Interesting theory, but we suspect Albertans and Saskatchewanians might have a slightly less pan-Canadian take on it.

And here’s the voice of Central Canada himself, The Globe and Mail‘s Jeffrey Simpson, suggesting that while no one wants a repeat of the National Energy Program, something needs to be done about Canada’s growing oil-based “horizontal imbalance.” There’s no political will at the federal level to address the problem, he laments, but sooner or later—as the equalization formula becomes hopelessly “out of whack” and “the gap in the ability of citizens to receive public services among provinces widens”—something is going to have to give.

The Vancouver Sun‘s Barbara Yaffe looks at a study of urban carbon emissions that suggests many city-dwellers, including Vancouverites, have already changed their habits in the face of skyrocketing oil prices, and that a 40 per cent emissions reduction is possible just using existing technology.

Duly noted
The Globe‘s John Ibbitson says Barack Obama’s reaction to yesterday’s US Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment—he supports it, but with an accompanying “dance” about keeping guns out of “the hands of terrorists and criminals”—shows that “one of the greatest powers wielded by a president is the right to nominate judges.” Some Obama supporters may well be “disquieted by his relatively conservative position on gun control,” in other words, but with two “more liberal judges” up for replacement soon, yesterday’s 5-4 ruling reminds them “what the alternative is.”

The Montreal Gazette‘s Janet Bagnall thinks it’s a great idea for the government to force companies to increase female representation on their boards of directors or be shut down, as Norway did. Feh. Typical Scandinavian mushiness, we say. The chairmen of non-compliant boards should be castrated!

Only because we were stuck on the subway with a copy of the Globe, we call readers’ attention to an unusually sane and lucid column from Rick Salutin, who argues we’d all be better off if terrorism investigations were conducted by regular police under regular laws, and prosecuted in regular courtrooms under regular rules of evidence. We agree. The rather crucial question of how we would have “charged, hunted, arrested and tried” the 9/11 masterminds without invading Afghanistan, as he suggests would have been preferable, goes unanswered. But if that’s the most serious flaw in a Salutin argument, you know he’s having a pretty good day.

Justice John Gomery’s behaviour during his celebrated inquiry was certainly odd, the Calgary Herald‘s Don Martin argues—calling Chuck Guité a “charming scamp,” publicly criticizing the sponsorship program early on in the inquiry and generally “unleash[ing] quips and quotes” unbecoming of a man in his position. But at the end of the day, he says yesterday’s court ruling is only a “technical legal victory” for the Jean Chrétien camp. The fact is, “the buck stopped with the prime minister who approved the expenditure, as Gomery declared, even though the rule bending and breaking were arguably freelanced further down the chain of command.”

Near as we can tell, the Citizen‘s John Robson thinks the reason automotive and computer technologies get better but stay the same price, while health care technologies get better and cost exponentially more, is because Canadian health care is run by a bunch of communists.


Megapundit: James Moore, son of Trudeau?

  1. I have to say that I am trying, yet failing to picture the look on James Moore’s face on reading that particular bit of L. Ian MacDonaldness. Or, for that matter, the look on his father’s face. I’m pretty sure that Jed will be cool with it, though.

  2. Forget Moore- I want to see the look on Justin Trudeau’s face.

  3. Gwynn says the rationale for Dion’s Green Shaft tax is to fight climate change. Here’s news for Dion — climate changes all by itself. Change is what cliamte does and has done for the entire history of this planet. Earth always gets warmer or cooler.

    In the past, climate has swung between ice ages and very warm periods without help from factories or SUVs. (By the way, there hasn’t been any warming since 1998). There is no observational data (fudged computer climate models are not evidence of anything) to show that the warm decades of the 1980s and 1990s were anything other than a natural occurrence. The coincidence of rising atmospheric CO2 levels does not equate to cause no matter how many times Al Gore and David Suzuki say it does.

    Dion apparently thinks if we Canadians pay more taxes, we can somehow stop these powerful forces of nature. If Dion truly thinks he can stop climate change, someone should ask him what temperature he would like the global thermostat set at. Then we can start a whole new round of bickering over what is the ideal temperature. Because what suits you will probably not suit me.

  4. Even some oil companies are beyond what JMd is spouting. It seems personal responsibility from the CON side of the table doesn’t involve any sacrifices of consequences, until the black clouds come rolling in.
    Fortier and Emerson, meanwhile, are elaborate hucksters of varied talents. That neither has a particular interest or respect for democracy seems to fit well with the smug naked PM.
    I know, even the current weight loss program doesn’t make that image pallative.

  5. Of course i meant palatable, but maybe pallative can fit somehow…

  6. Fortier’s position in cabinet is illegitimate. Though I can stomach a minister serving temporarily while unelected, I don’t think I can digest the reality of a minister serving for this long without even trying to get elected.

    The fact he’s afraid to run strongly suggests that he’s unsuitable for cabinet. If the people don’t want him, should Harper?

    And, JMD, I learned a long time ago that most climate change denialists are simply liars. The truth is, they just don’t care about the liability being left for my children to pay.

  7. Hi Mark Francis. I guess you didn’t read my post carefully enough to grasp what I said. I stated that climate changes all the time and always has — all on its own. That is not the view of someone who denies climate change.

    I am, however, totally sceptical about significant human impact on what climate does. Any human attempt to redirect the climate is doomed to failure because we don’t understand the complex, chaotic mechanisms that cause climate to change.

    If you are truly worried about your kids’ future, Mark, you would not advocate the expenditure of billions on useless climate initiatives. You would support instead tackling real air and water pollution problems with that money.

  8. JMD, why are you deliberately trying to misunderstand? The term climate change in this context means human-caused climate disruption, not normal variability. By the way there are serious water and air pollution consequences embedded in the climate chagne issue, as well a feature of current and upcoming Alberta Tar Sands developments. Climate change isn’t a separate problem, it’s an overarching environmental issue that requires mitigative action to prevent the human misery of flooding, drought, and famine.

  9. Toby, the term frequently applied to human-caused climate change is AGW , which stands for anthropogenic global warming. “Climate change” means climate that changes. What else could it mean?

    I know the warmies are shifting their rhetoric these days. They have dropped global warming and talk instead about fighting climate change. There is a good reason for this move. The warmies can read the same data as everyone else and they know that the recent warming stopped in 1998. They needed a new label to keep the scam going so they latched onto one that no one can dispute: “climate change”.

    There has always been drought, flood and famine. That’s part of living on an active planet. Do you think Dion’s tax can make these things go away?

  10. Michael Fortier is trying to run in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Undoubtly, he is experiencing a bit of difficulty. He started campaigning in 2006 and opened two offices in Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Now, his staff is down to one part-timer, a poster with a phone number in
    one of the two offices (one is permanently closed). It doesn’t help him to avoid the by-election that is taking place right now…in Montreal and in Saint-Lambert. Digging up in my old political science book, I found the “constitutional convention” that he’s avoiding. Actually, he’s the only Minister in federal politic who will not seek office to become an MP. He’s holding the record for non-democratic behaviour!

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