C-38 as literacy test


Environment Minister Peter Kent suggests criticism of the budget bill from four former ministers is based on misunderstanding.

Kent told reporters that the four ministers “seem to be” responding to criticism of the changes levelled by environmental groups, rather than to the actual text of the legislation. “We’ll listen to those concerns, we’ll respond to those concerns, but I think some of the reaction has come before full consumption of what the act says and what the act will actually do.” Asked if he was suggesting the four hadn’t read Bill C-38’s habitat provisions, Kent replied: “I’m saying by their remarks they seem not to be familiar with the specifics of the act, yes, and the way the act will be applied.”

Tom Siddon tells Peter O’Neil that he’s read the portions related to fisheries “two or three times” and Peter notes that Mr. Siddon, in his testimony before committee, cited specific clauses of the bill.

The four former ministers—Mr. Siddon, David Anderson, John Fraser and Herb Dhaliwal—have written an open letter to the Prime Minister in this morning’s Globe.


C-38 as literacy test

  1. What is it about Kent that puts me in mind of squealer the spokesmen for the pigs in Animal farm? He can dance for you all ways.

    • being a piece of sh*t, he’ll fade into dust eventually.

  2. The question is, has Mr. Kent read it, and does he understand it?

    • I’m putting my money on “no” to both. I don’t think many of the CPC cabinet read the bills they peddle – see e.g. Vic Toews.

  3. Kent’s arrogance would be breathtaking if it wasn’t so completely predictable.

  4. This reminds me of all the things they said the fixed date election law would prevent from happening, in their speeches, media interviews and such. And then when it came time that Harper wanted an election, that was fine, because the bill never included any of the crap they sold it with!

  5. “and the way the act will be applied,” is the critical clause here. It’s both what allows him to declare them wrong — whether they are or not — and what should cause us all the greatest amount of concern. I’ve seen a lot of organizations create policies for themselves and when you point out what the wording allows people to do, they’re quick to protest, “But that’s not how we plan to use it..”

    To which the answer always has to be, “Then write it the way you plan to use it, because you can be damn sure that somewhere down the line, someone will use it in exactly the way you weren’t planning to.”

  6. The ex-ministers have understood the text entirely, and the indeterminacy of how it will be applied, is exactly the problem. The incapacity of the present government’s ministers to read their own legislation is shocking, but not necessarily more shocking than their use of that excuse to justify offensive, damaging, and patently incompetent content in their acts. It is as if they didn’t realise that they were responsible for any role besides figure head for their respective ministries.

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