As the nation prepares to celebrate the Return of the Light by marking the birth of the Golden Child on Friday, it has become obvious there has been a fundamental shift in Canada’s constitutional structure.
For while the likes of John McCallum, Harjit S. Sajjan , Bill Morneau and others scurry from airport to airport, the Prime Minister has become, well, sort of the Governor General, albeit the latter appears more focused on public policy lately having been usurped in his ceremonial role.
Indeed, PM mini-Margaret and Sophie Gregoire have been so busy posing for magazines and performing other functions more typically associated with members of the Royal Family, that we must pose the question: Who really is behind the Wizard’s curtain and running Canada?
Not that whomever that is is actually doing that bad a job. The ridiculous promise – never seriously questioned by media during the election campaign – to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of next week, has been shelved (even the do-over promise of 10,000 appears highly unlikely). The promise to withdraw CF-18s from combat over ISIS territory is, um, on hold as is the undertaking not to purchase new F-35s fighters. Changes to the Canada Pension Plan involving additional premiums also slipped into limbo (see Morneau above). On the downside, that “modest” $10 billion deficit is now looking a lot more like $25 billion and, if full implementation of the promise to enact all the recommendations in the residential schools report comes through, you can add about $8 billion to that over a number of years.
All of which is fine, except we still don’t know who is actually making all these decisions because it’s surely not the Golden Child whose birthday Dec. 25 will, we are confident, get more coverage in Canadian media than will the other birthday associated with the Holiday formerly known as Christmas. (we note that the only “Holiday” card we received this year that included the C-word came from a west coast friend who is Sikh).
Anyway, we now understand why two nannies are necessary at 24 Sussex. Between magazine shoots, trips to a couple of airports to take selfies with Syrians and approving sneaky last-Friday-afternoon-before-Christmas press releases regarding a free pass for First Nations leaders who refuse to be transparent with their own people, the burden of office is palpable. Even those of us who will never be Royals have to agree.
Despatches from the West indicate the nation’s other media darling, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, is merrily throwing Calgary and, when she gets the chance, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall under the bus.
Never mind that jobs continue to disappear at a pace exceeding 500 per day thanks to a dizzying combination of childish NDP policies and despondent oil prices, Ms. Notley takes every opportunity, our spies inform us, to cancel meetings in Calgary with little or no notice and “hates the place.” Little wonder. It must be excruciating for full blown socialist eco-extremists such as Notley and the rest of her caucus to find themselves in the hideous the position of trying to negotiate pipelines to tidewater after having dedicated their entire lives to destroying the industry that has sustained them. Hopefully, the price of oil will rebound so the beatings can resume in earnest.
As for Mr. Wall, we are told that with an election coming this spring in Saskatchewan, Notley is dedicated to putting the interests of her comrades in the Saskatchewan NDP ahead of those of Albertans and refuses to form any associations mutually beneficial to the two energy provinces.
So, first New Year’s prediction is: before year’s end Brad Wall will announce a royalty structure in Saskatchewan that will drain every penny of oil and gas investment from Alberta.
Lastly, hats off to the Sultan of Brunei who this week banned Christmas and did formally and swiftly what western liberals have been working on gradually for years.
We also note that while Britain continues to work itself into a frenzy over banning Donald Trump and city councilors in Vancouver and Toronto react against the latter’s alleged Islamophobia, there has been little coverage and no protest over the $20 billion net worth Sultan’s behaviour from our nation’s media or political cognoscenti. Christmas, schmismas. Bah, Humbug.