This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Clay Feet of the Idealistic Reformer

Formulating a future for Canada with the incoming Liberal government, it seems certain Canada's new prime minister will be reaching to the past; so much for out with the old, the stale and the corrupt and in with the fresh, with young, new ideas and the champions of justice and fairness. The last Liberal government was not able to overcome the excesses and corruption of the one it inherited when Paul Martin took the reigns finally dropped by Jean Chretien.

Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper speaks to supporters on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015: CTV News
The scandals of sucking at the endless trough of tax money and the endless rewards given to Liberal faithful, disgusted Canadian voters sufficiently to bring back a Conservative government, one that former Prime Minister Stephen Harper forged from a coalition between the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform parties. The scare-mongering was that Mr. Harper held a secret agenda close to his chest until it was revealed through nine years of governing that the agenda was to govern like a centrist.

Chretien-Trudeau combination bringing in the old to represent the new Canada: Canadian Press

Jean Chretien took care, like Brian Mulroney before him, to feather his future nest; the former paving the way for business with China, the latter in a crooked under-the-table deal with a German arms manufacturer's lobbyist. It was the indefatigable Chretien who led high-powered trade missions to China, making valuable contacts useful to him once he represented a law firm post-governance, to usher Canadian companies into China and pocket the legal fees.

Chretien saw China as the goose laying his golden eggs. Justin Trudeau raised eyebrows when he mused admiringly of China's Communist regime's ability to govern with no interference. No profit to be made in the pursuit of human rights, after all. And, so now that Mr. Trudeau is in the position of selecting his advisers and his ministers, can Canada anticipate a new direction, leaving the old corrupt entitlements of the Liberal Party behind?

He has appointed, it seems an old bureaucrat, Peter Harder, a Liberal party stalwart and incidentally president of the Canada China Business Council (CCBC) to help usher in the new Canada that Trudeau promised voters. Another CCBC director, former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall will be on board, as will be Martin Cauchon, another CCBC vice-chairman, a Chretien-era cabinet minister.

A vice-president of Power Corporation of Canada, yet another CCBC vice-chairman, Peter Kruyt, will help lead Canada to a full free trade agreement with China, along with John Manley, formerly a Chretien Liberal cabinet minister, currently president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. There are close connections between the CCCE and the CCBC to cement Canada's chief executives' inroads into the Chinese trade market.

Mr. Harder has as many engaged tentacles as any powerful Liberal octopus; a "senior policy adviser" with Dentons Canada LLP, a global law firm with 4,000 of its 6,500 lawyers working in China for Dentons' Beijing Dacheng Law Offices, specializing in deal-making with Chinese state-owned companies. And who has been engaged as company counsel? None other than Jean Chretien. Surprise; the top official at Dentons-Dacheng is chairman of the board, Peng Xuefeng, also member of the Communist party-dominated Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Where Chinese President Xi Jinping has ruled over a regime busy arresting hundreds of human rights lawyers, the Canadian firm hasn't been touched. Jean Chretien's son-in-law, president of Power Corporation, Andre Desmarais, pioneered Canadian investments in China. Even Pierre Trudeau served time on Power Corporation's international advisory board; Trudeau-era mandarin Michael Pitfield was a Power Corporation vice-chairman.

And Canadian diplomat and one-time senior UN official Maurice Strong served in the past as president of Power Corporation and then Petro-Canada, and for Ontario, the head of Ontario Hydro. Maurice Strong has been lauded as a committed environmentalist, right down the Liberals' alley, eager to invest in carbon taxes. During the Iraq oil-for-food issue a cheque was discovered for almost $1-million made out to Maurice Strong from Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad, through a Jordanian bank account.

Mr. Strong was the architect of the 1997 Kyoto accord, crafting it so well that China as the world's swiftest-growing economy and fast becoming the world's worst carbon polluter, was off the hook for consequences. And though Canada signed the Kyoto Accord, the successive Liberal governments failed spectacularly to curb Canada's greenhouse-gas emissions, leaving Prime Minister Harper in no position to reduce them, while becoming the whipping boy of environmentalists.

We've come full circle. Justin Trudeau, as the newly-to-be-sworn-in Prime Minister of Canada will be attending the global conference on climate change in Paris in December to discuss Kyoto's conclusion.

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