Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tony Clement Embracing Big Oil and Big Brother

Nero fiddled while Rome burned but Clement meets with Big Oil and enjoys being "at the center of the political universe" while the tainted meat issue continues to spread. Whats a few poisoned Canadians compared to dining with those at the centre of the political universe? The Conservatives could care less about Canada until it is reconstructed along the lines of our neighbour to the South. Listen to our Great Helmsman Harper:

"Your country [the USA], and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world."-Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.
"A culture of defeat..."- Stephen Harper, negatively describing Canada's Atlantic provinces! May 2001."Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States."- Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.
(quotes courtesy of Buckdog's blog)
Canada's interest for the Conservatives is the U.S. interest. We are to be elevated to the position of chief secure energy supplier for the U.S. even though we might be able to get better deals elsewhere. NAFTA ensures that we supply the U.S. Of course Obama in a bit of populist crapola talks about re-opening NAFTA. That is a non-starter and the Conservatives needn't worry about that even though it would be a good idea from Canada's viewpoint. We could demand a better deal or deal elsewhere. It is not as if there are surpluses of oil and natural gas for the forseeable future!
The Canadian media are joining in the bread and circuses of U.S. Conventions and the election campaign. A waste of air time and a diversion from more important issues. Both Obama and McCain are representatives of the status quo. Anyone ever notice that coverage of anyone such as Nader or the Libertarian candidate for president is nil. Everything is framed within the Tweedle-Dee , Tweedle Dum straightjacket. What one can be sure of is that there will be no basic change that even remotely challenges the rule of capital. This is from the National Post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Clement defends being away during food crisis
Minister representing Canada's interests at Democratic convention
Mike Blanchfield , Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
DENVER -- Dismissing criticism of being AWOL during Canada's food recall crisis, Health Minister Tony Clement said Tuesday his trip to the Democratic National Convention was part of a robust new effort to inject Canadian interests into U.S. politics.
"We believe and the prime minister believes that we have to be more aggressive in representing Canadian values and interests in the American political scene," Mr. Clement told Canwest News Service from the convention on Tuesday.
Mr. Clement arrived Monday at what he called "the centre of the political universe for the next week" with Transport Minister Lawrence Canon and Government House Leader Peter Van Loan.
At least two more cabinet colleagues, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Immigration Minister Diane Finley, are bound for next week's Republican National Convention in Minnesota.
"Having three cabinet ministers here, having cabinet ministers at the Republican national convention, shows a new style, that we're going to take it to the Americans and not sit back and wait for history to happen," Mr. Clement said. "We want to be part of that history."
As chair of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet committee on the environment and energy security, Mr. Clement said it was crucial that he engage his Democratic party counterparts on battling climate change and the search for safe, secure oil and gas supplies -- the latter which has emerged as a key theme in the U.S. race for the White House.
And Mr. Clement said the time to engage the next president is before he is elected.
Mr. Clement's arrival in Denver on Monday drew fire from the Liberals.
"While Mr. Clement is enjoying himself at cocktail receptions at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, people back home are dying," said Liberal Health critic Carolyn Bennett.
Mr. Clement fired back, saying that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was the lead minister on the massive food recall that followed the listeriosis outbreak.
"He is doing a great job and he continues to lead on that. I did a press conference in Ottawa Sunday night. I return tomorrow, as scheduled, to participate in a cabinet meeting. So I'm doing my job," Mr. Clement said.
"This blackberry is on 24/7. I've already had discussions with my officials this morning. I can do that as easily in Denver as last week when I was in Saskatchewan."
Mr. Clement dined Monday night with Gordon Giffen, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada during the Bill Clinton administration, and was to meet with former president Jimmy Carter later Tuesday.
But his key meeting was to come before his departure Wednesday, when he chairs a closed-door discussion on energy security with American oil and gas company executives in Denver.
"We're one of the greatest energy producers in the world, as the prime minister said we're an energy superpower. We should be here," Mr. Clement said.
Mr. Clement played down two key concerns to Canada about an Obama presidency: That he might want to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement ushering in a new era of protectionism; and that his administration views the Alberta oil sands as a dirty energy source.
Mr. Obama lost the crucial Ohio primary after a Canadian official leaked information on his stance on NAFTA, suggesting that his public declarations on renegotiating the pact were only public posturing for votes.
"Presidential candidates utter millions upon millions of words during this campaign that never ends," said Mr. Clement.
"When it comes to the trade file, we have some common interests. There's no question that keeping the border open as possible helps Canada, it helps the United States. That's going to be our message to the incoming president."
In June, Obama's energy adviser Jason Grumet said it was an "open question" whether Canada's oil sands were part of the world's "dirty, dwindling and dangerously expensive" oil supply from which the United States needed to break its addiction.
"We've got to get our message out better about the value of the oil sands. For the first time in history it's the Stephen Harper government that is putting mandatory caps with a trading system for emissions from the oil sands," said Mr. Clement.
"We've got something that we can market to the Americans, saying hey, we're doing our job with the oil sands and other emissions, and we want to work with you to curb emission too."
Ottawa Citizen
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