In the end, it is hard to see how Justin Trudeauâ€™s earnest entreaties to flinty dictators, or authoritarian kleptocrats, to behave more like virtuous Canadians accomplish anything for those being starved, tortured or jailed in foreign lands.
The deepest irony of the whole Bill Morneau affair is that what started as a well-intentioned attempt to recoup tax advantages from the richest Canadians has turned into hysterical accusations that the boy-scout finance minister is a devious elitist, intent on protecting his own enormous wealth while relentlessly pursuing struggling women doctors, hard-working farmers and loveable corner store owners.
We shouldnâ€™t let the issue fade without hacking away the false claims and apocalyptic predictions surrounding the massive, now doomed, infrastructure project.
â€˘Federal governments have missed two more recent reduction targets and are likely to miss the latest one as well, which calls for a 30 per cent reduction over 2005 levels by 2030.â€˘In her report to Parliament last week, Canada's Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand urged MPs to push the government 'from seemingly endless planning mode into action mode. That shift needs to happen and it needs to happen now because Canada is already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate.'Â â€˘The laggards include Catherine McKennaâ€™s own department, Environment Canada and Climate Change, which was supposed to take the lead.
Moral clarity is difficult in an political environment so riddled with ironies. It is unusual that the New Democratic Party, party of progressive policies and United Church values, is wrestling with accusations of racism and sexism.
But the present can be the worst predictor of the future. Politics is full of shocking reversals, unforeseen calamities and personal revelations straight out of the afternoon soaps.
â€˘What the Liberals need now is nerve, a more detailed defence of their policy and faith that average Canadians will stand with them, despite the noise coming from a well-heeled minority, and their well-paid lobbyists, who are loudly protesting this unexpected attack on their long-standing privileges.â€˘Justin Trudeauâ€™s proposal to eliminate loopholes in the small business tax is a modest step in the direction of tax fairness and Finance Minister Bill Morneau is, in many ways, an ideal spear-carrier for reform.
In Manitoba this winter and now in Quebec, the Trudeau government has too often been invisible on the issue of asylum-seekers.