Has it been that long?
After having blogged steadily for more than eleven years I took a rather longer than expected break this Fall. For the most part this was done to focus on a long-term project that - I hope - will come to fruition in the next few months. More details will be forthcoming sometime later. At least if things don't go completely pear shaped. I also had to deal with a greater than usual number of stupid people. If you've ever spent years carefully building relationships with people - only to have that work rendered useless by some idiot colleague - you will understand my latent anger. That has been my world for the last little while. Mercifully I have resisted the urge to kill the guilty parties. There is an iron rule to bureaucracy: The larger the organization the lower the average IQ.
One day I will be able to explain at greater length. But as you know these walls have ears....
While I've been dealing with micro idiocy the work of the macro idiots proceeds unabated. This frigid bit of sub-arctic tundra we call our home and native land has fallen under new management. Since the retirement of Mike of Blessed Memory as Premier - and the rapid defeat of slicked hair successor - the Imperial Province has been under the sway of that as yet unimpeached criminal organization known as the Liberal Party of Ontario. Their corruption and incompetence is - even in the jaundiced eyes of your humble correspondent - truly remarkable. As many of you know my parents were immigrants from Portugal. I say the following without hyperbole: In Portugal Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty would be behind bars. A former Portuguese Prime Minister was detained for weeks on suspicion of doing far less than the minions and masters of the McGuinty-Wynne Regime are known to have done.
Congratulations Ontario! Along with your Have-Not Status you're now eligible to join the club of incompetently run Southern Europe nation states! Sadly our decline into penury and corruption will be unaccompanied by any improvement in the weather. Ol' Charlie Sousa must be shaking his head in disbelief at the stuff he gets away with these days. Yet here we are. When my tribe arrived on these snow swept shores the WASPs loomed large. Whatever their shortcomings we understood that they were mostly honest and reliable people. Sure we couldn't tell an Anglican from a Presbyterian - and these days no one can - but our pasty faced employers projected an image of ethical conduct that we could only admire. Coming from a country where no one but immediate family could be trusted this was truly a marvel. That generation of WASPs - the firm jawed chaps who'd had a good war - is long dead and buried. Their descendants - their spendthrift heirs - have so succumb to relativism they cannot condemn what would have outraged their grandfathers.
As Ontario - the land of once dull worthies such as Bill Davis and Leslie Frost - slid into the moral abyss we had one point of relief: No matter how bad the circus got at Queen's Park there was always a limit. The final say in the matters that faced the nation rested within the large brain and badly coiffed head of one Stephen Harper, formerly of Leaside. He wasn't really a conservative but he had a distinct rightward limp. He wasn't what we wanted, he wasn't what we needed but he was the best on offer. Yet he was also closest thing we had to an adult in Canadian politics, excepting of course the ernest Mr Wall of Saskatchewan. Kathleen Wynne could spend, tax and regulate her province to the point of breaking but no further. Stephen would soon show up in his fluffy blue sweater and take away the federally subsidized crayons.
Now Father Stephen is gone. What a difference a few months makes.
Ontario's fiscal incontinence would shame a Greek socialist or an Italian gangster. What's left of the oil sector in Alberta is being hammer into oblivion by Rachel Notley's band of economic illiterates. I don't know what's happening in the lower mainland of BC at the moment, though I'm sure Chinese will straighten things out soon enough. The Maritimes remain their charming broke selves. Quebec is bitching somewhat less under a "federalist" government than under a "separatist" government, though I doubt it matters very much. The biggest change is that Ottawa is now under the spell of radical leftists masquerading as moderate Liberals. Cunningly they have chosen a simple minded man-child as their mascot. Just as no one suspected so nebbish a creature as Dalton McGuinty of being a corrupt mastermind, so very few suspect anyone as mentally vacant as Justin Trudeau of being the front for the most radical expansion of government since his father's time.
But that will come later. More recently we have seen a smaller disaster.
Over the last few months thousands of scarcely screened refugees have been let into the country. Since our rather disgraceful treatment of Jews fleeing Hitler, we've made it a rule to admit most of the plausible refugees who find their way into Canada. The odd scammer and criminal on the lam aside, the vast majority have been perfectly harmless. A great number have become good and loyal citizens of Crown and Country. Glad to have them. Thing is that until quite recently refugee meant someone fleeing from a specific evil. There were the Hungarians and Czechs who hated communism and found themselves similarly disliked by the communists in power. The message was get out or get dead. Same goes for the assorted Russians, Ukrainians, Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans who made their way through Pearson International over the years.
What did they all have in common? The place were they wanted to be was very different from the place they were coming from. They were seekers after something new and different. That newness was freedom and that difference was peace. We cannot be so certain of these new refugees from Syria. In a different era, more intellectually and morally confident in the values of Western and Canadian culture, assimilation would follow in good order. The criminal element would be identified and at the very least contained. That was then. Today we face a very important and disturbing question: Does modern Canada have the guts to integrate 25,000 refugees from a medieval hell? At the moment the odds are running strongly against.
These grave problems, the moral questions raised and the issues of national security put forth have all been brushed aside. Petty concerns in the new Trudeaupian Age.
This batch of refugees from Syria was rushed in for one reason only: The need of the newly ensconced Trudeau government to show its moral superiority over their predecessors. Tens of thousands of refugees are admitted into Canada every year without fanfare or notice. Yet King Justin found it necessary to appear in person to welcome a single planeload of refugees from one particular country at one particular point in time. He was using the victims of a brutal civil war to make himself look good. This might have been his idea - one suspects that Gerald Butts is wary of having his ward being more than a whisper's distance away - or it might have bubbled up from the bowels of the PMO. Whatever the source it was political signalling not sound public policy. Justin was showing us how different he was from Stephen Harper, a more moral and more compassionate leader. It's pure image with little substance, the hallmark of his political career thus far.
Yet if the events which transpired in Cologne this last new year were to recur in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, would Justin feel a similar need to show morality and compassion? Would the media have the integrity to call him out for his ill advised policy? A policy driven by the desire to grab headlines rather than the need to secure our borders and to grant sanctuary to those in genuine need.
It's a new day Canada. That doesn't make it a good one.