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Canada’s Council Of Fools

Canada’s Council of the Federation

The provincial premiers of Canada met this past week in what they have come to call the Council of The Federation. These semi-regular get togethers used to be called First Ministers’ Meetings but that appellation was no longer grand enough for a group of political hacks who see themselves as leaders and statesmen.
A better name for the meeting would be The Council of Fools because that is precisely what they are, a group of cynical, self-serving politicians with little to no vision and just enough authority to be dangerous to the nation’s prosperity and future.
For decades, this group of provincial premiers gathered regularly to condemn the federal government while at the same time begging for more federal money. They met, had nice lunches and dinners, provided quick sound bites for the television news shows, posed for photographs and then trundled off home after agreeing to study their latest ‘agreements in principle’. It was then, as it is now, all talk which accomplished nothing.
The COF hard at work accomplishing nothing
They demanded that the federal government (Ottawa) stop interfering in areas of provincial jurisdiction like the delivery of health care and so, Ottawa has now done exactly that. It still, as it required to do, provides funding for healthcare but it has backed off completely from dictating how healthcare is delivered by the provinces. You would think that would please the Council of Provincial Twits but of course it hasn’t. Instead, they now criticize Ottawa for what they call its lack of leadership and participation.
It’s hardly surprising. The provincial governments have completely undermined Canada’s healthcare system through mismanagement of cost, inefficient delivery mechanisms, a lack of consolidated buying power at a national level and sheer stupidity.
There have been countless studies done on Canada’s healthcare system with countless more recommendations on how to improve and fix it. Those studies and recommendations lay on book shelves gathering dust, ignored by The Council of Would Be Leaders who haven’t got a clue what leadership actually requires.
Quebec Premier Charest gives
B.C. Premier Clark some insight on
how his province successfully extorted
revenues from Newfoundland’s hydro
power plants in Labrador.
This is a group of cheap small-town politicians who have no national vision, no concept of Canada as a nation and whose primary objective is little more than pointing fingers and finding more sources of money to try and fix the financial mess they have created over the years in their own provinces.
Successive governments in Quebec have demanded and received money from Ottawa far beyond their rightful share of transfer payments which they have squandered on everything but for what it was originally intended. As a result, Quebec is the highest taxed jurisdiction in North America and still has a budget debt that is staggering.
Ontario Premier McGunity who has
elevated cynical and wasteful politics
to an art form.
In just nine years, the current Liberal government under Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has managed to take the richest province in Canada and turn it into a have-not province. Mr. McGunity has managed to rack up more debt than that of all previous premiers combined and his policies have resulted in high unemployment, more than 1 million people without access to a family doctor and billions squandered on government scandals in eHealth, The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission, sustainable energy and the latest, the Ornge Air Ambulance fiasco. Under Mr. McGunity, the province has seen its credit rating downgraded and its debt service cost increase as a result.
Alberta which is experiencing an upsurge in prosperity thanks to its vibrant energy sector is led by a premier who stood by with a deer-in-the-headlights glazed look while the American government considered the Keystone Pipeline that would connect the oil sands in her province to the refineries in Texas. When it became clear that the American administration was going to drag its feet on approving the pipeline, she made no effort to lobby the Obama Administration on behalf of her province or its citizens and industry. 
Alberta Premier Redford who mananged
to squeeze in the COF meetings before
jetting off to the Olympic Games at
taxpayer expense
She has had no difficulty, however, in dropping a quick $83,000 in tax payer cash to get herself over to the Olympic Games. No doubt the International Olympic Committee will look kindly on Ms Redford’s support of their efforts and will consider buying some of Alberta’s oil as a result of her careful priority management.
And then there is Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia.
I used to think that Dalton McGunity, Ontario’s Premier, was not only the most dishonest politician in Canada but also the most stupid. While I still believe Mr. McGuinty is the most dishonest, there is no question that for lack of intellectual ability, Ms Clark is in a class by herself.
Former radio show host and now
Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark
There is an election looming in British Columbia and Ms Clark is far behind in the polls and her re-election is in question. It’s small wonder. She is, to put it bluntly but accurately, an idiot who has successfully made Dalton McGuinty’s cynical approach to politics looks positively visionary. In an attempt to improve her re-election hopes, Ms Clark is now demanding a ‘fair share’ of Alberta’s oil sands profit in exchange for allowing a pipeline across her province that would connect the oil sands to the ports on the Pacific coast in British Columbia.
Her stand is quite popular with many in British Columbia who are Canada’s equivalent to many of the day dreamers who live in California and who actually believe she is sincere about her expressed environmental concerns. Popular it may be, unconstitutional it definitely is but then why spoil the beauty of a cynical political ploy with legalities and nation building? The simple fact is that Ms Clark’s cheap trick is a violation of three different sections of the Canadian Constitution and a complete lack of understanding of how this nation actually works but then, what else can you expect from a former radio show host.
She, along with her provincial colleagues from across the country are the Council of the Federation and it is both an embarrassment that this is the best that Canada can come up with in the way of leadership and a threat to the nation’s future.
One thing is clear, the COF never met a photo op
it didn’t just love
By any other name, the Council of The Federation has squandered opportunity after opportunity over the years, falling back on territorial protectionism, jurisdictional disputes and lack of vision but always banding together to attack the federal government. 
Canadians as a whole and as citizens of our individual provinces are not well-served by this abrogation of leadership. It is an unbelievable lost opportunity that costs the country both in terms of tax dollars and prosperity. It is a humiliation made all the more so considering the fact that Canada has one of the most stable societies and economies in the world despite the best efforts of the provincial premiers.
One shudders to think what this Council of Fools would do if they had to deal with circumstances like those in Greece. Perhaps Ms Clark would have considered forming her own provincial army and actually invading Alberta while Ms Redford was indulging herself at the Olympics at taxpayer expense.
The only bright side to all of this is that Ms Clark’s power play will be for nothing and in the not too distant future, she will be back on radio, Ms Redford will run out of money in London and come home and all of the weighty discussions of the Council’s meeting last week will be……as they always are…..ignored and soon forgotten. 
Canada’s provinces, you see, are led by those who do not have an attention span beyond the photo op. It is small wonder so many beyond special interest groups are not only disillusioned but completely fed up with the politics and politicians our tax money buys these days. 
It seems to me to be an incredible expense to Canadians for something so divisive, ineffective and small-town cheap.
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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01439444791204784574 bertie

    I would say you are bang on in your assessment of the premiers.It took PM Harper little time to figure this out and put the premiers in the spotlight,taking the blame for their own ineptness.You have named them properly “FOOLS” They stand in front of the television cameras and lie their laughing fool faces off to the Canadian public ,all the while being asked stupid questions about how bad PM Harper is and where is PM Harper when he is needed by the ignoramus Canadian pressasses.Thank goodness we have a Prime Minister who will not play these sillyass games and is looking out for Canada.I would cut off all transfer payments to these welfare provinces and have meeting with the Premiers only when all of them balance their budgets.That would show us who the real leaders are,NFLD,ALTA,SASK would probably pass and the rest would sink. Also start charging BC for the pipeline that is going through Alberta carrying natural gas and also anything coming too or leaving BC should have a tariff or some sort of payment to Alberta.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      I think we should put the blame squarely where it belongs and that would be on the people who elect fools. Ontario voters have elected Dalton McGuinty three times despite the lies, the mismanagement and the outright corruption. It is the same in BC and Alberta and, of course, Quebec which will go to the polls shortly where voters will once again vote for entitlement and the appearance of nationalism rather than for long-term prosperity.

  • Joseph

    The biggest change to this confab has occurred since Harper became PM.
    Used to be the Liberal PM of the day would attend these things, get piled on by the prems, and then cut a special deal for Quebec in time for the photo op.
    The last disaster was the one Bucky Dithers tried to get his “fix” for a generation, believing that if the wheeling and dealing was done in front of a live audience, the prems wouldn’t dare play hardball…..was he wrong.
    The prems keep doing this to prove they can make the fed, particularly the PM, bend to their will, and help them reduce their deficits. This plan works if the prime minister actually shows up. Its amazing the prems that have been around for a while have not figured this out. I did notice that Charest was notably quiet this time.
    The next show to drop on this group of fools is if they demand Harper shows up for the next time, he may insist that unless they have an agreement first between themselves what they want to ask for that isn’t written into law currently they can forget it.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      For a very long time, the premiers have demanded that Ottawa step back and not meddle in provincial affairs. They now have a prime minister that has done exactly that and they have come to realize that without federal involvement, they have no one to blame for their individual and collective mess but themselves. It was pretty clear at this last meeting that they just don’t get it and are short of more than just a clue or two.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01205187684027341520 Kathy Russell

    Once again you are spot on with your observations. Leadership seems to be becoming extinct in the world.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      We are nations starving for real leadership and vision but all we keep being offered is cynical and self-serving politics. It is small wonder that our democracies are in such terrible economic and social disarray.