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Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:33 MDT

Canadian government gives Bush Administration gift...

Canadian Politics...of $450 million dollars. To be accurate, the Harper government, through the softwood lumber deal that they've negotiated, provide as part of the $1 billion that won't be coming back to Canada $450 million into a slush fund that the Bush White House can spend as it sees fit. No congressional oversight, no real strings on how the money can be spent. Under the deal, the money has to go to the White House by the 1st of September, just in time for the campaign kick off for the mid-term elections.

I first heard of this little gem from grog's blog. Further follow up shows the transcripts of the hearing where this came up in the first place. Further commentary can be found at The Tyee and rabble.ca. Very little can be found in the more mainstream media, telling in itself, but more on this later.

What this shows is that we have a Conservative government that will go to any length to ingratiate itself to the Bush Administration. If Harper's willing to hand over nearly half a billion of the lumber industries money to a fund that George W. Bush can use pretty much as he sees fit, what else is it willing to do? It would seem that the Harper Conservatives think that making dubya happy will ease Canada/US relations. It will, but only for the time that Bush is in the White House, and he hits his term limit in two years. After that there's a new administration and even if it's a Republican one, it's not likely to be run like the Bush White House.

So we have a deal that gives away $1 billion of Canadian lumber producers money, half of which goes to US lumber producers and nearly all of the rest to a presidential slush fund, so much for the Tory election promise to "stand up for Canada". This just further goes to show that the current crop of Conservatives are just thinly veiled American wanna-bes. The actions of the Harper government would seem to indicate that Stephen Harper wants Canada to become the 51st state, or at the least a vassal state of the US. I suspect if people outside of Alberta start coming to this conclusion as well, Harper may not get a second minority, let alone a majority.

The fact that the mainstream media hasn't picked up on this, other than some comments by Bob Rae that were reported a month ago, is interesting. There are, of course, several reasons that this could be happening. The first and more likely one being that most reporters don't bother reading the transcripts of House of Commons committees and they probably just missed it. Another reason is that the Harper government, like that of Ralph Klein, has shown that it will not talk with reporters that don't report exactly what Harper wants the media to report. Forcing this kind of self censorship is also possibly a reason for why this isn't hitting the media as much as it could or should. It's all part of what would appear to be Harper's plan to keep Canadians in the dark about what his government is really doing, in the same way the Alberta government does with Albertans. How much longer until the federal Auditor General is as toothless as the Alberta one?

Hopefully more news about this fund will begin to surface, on both sides of the border. This will erode at the already falling support of both the Conservative and Republican parties. It's probably why they're both trying to keep it hush-hush.

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