I observed with glee the Supreme Court of Canada striking down our old “terrorism” law concerning the ability of the government to hold suspects without charges. Stephen Harper was further ticked off when parliament didn’t play ball with the security rhetoric. I sigh with relief that my beloved Canada found the wisdom to not fall into the traps of our southern neighbors. Of course we were subjected to Harper’s false dichotomy presented to the media scrum that followed the form ” the opposition chose to play politics rather than secure Canada.”
I find this so distasteful considering that the terror attacks in Canada this century have really been limited to Quebecers that got the wrong idea. It amuses me that considering how much more likely you are in Canada to be murdered rather than be subject of an act of terrorism, the Harper government doesn’t offer the same logic regarding murder. Nobody would suggest that in order to prevent and catch murderers we need to do away with habeas corpus. Yet this same logic is applied to the near phantom threat of terrorism.
The Sierra Club, an environmental group that never fails to amuse me with their ignorance, provided me with a hearty laugh this week. They bent the ears of the equally ignorant media long enough to get headlines across the country drawing attention to their last cause: Eliminating the tax break for oilsands development here in Alberta. The tax break was put in place when oil was $25 a barrel and the oilsands were in their infancy. Since oil now hovers around $60, they argue that the development incentive is over and now taxpayers are supporting a booming industry that doesn’t need the money and is a major source of pollution. It makes a nice soundbite to gas starved Ontarians to cut the 1.5 billion dollar tax break- but wait, there’s more. As it turns out, the tax break actually just lets oil company write off all capital depreciation in one year rather than a piece-meal depreciation year by year. In fact, eliminating this “tax break” wouldn’t add one cent to the government coffers.
It would seem that when it comes to snowing over a hapless public with half truths and spurious logic, the Sierra Club has learned well from their governmental nemesis.