Canada's Lump of Coal

Monday, January 5, 2004


Written by Kyle Lambert

Kyle is a 3rd year Poli-Sci student at the University of Ottawa and a new cannon.ca contributor

For the first time since 1992, when Kim Campbell graced us with her presence, the Prime Minister, Canada’s #1 government official, holds office without being elected. We Canucks have had a great number of laughs at the expense of our unfortunate American neighbours over their unselected President. But when it comes to our own leader, it appears as though the term “elected” no longer fits, nor does it matter. All that matters are dollars, cents, and “fiscal responsibility”, but I’ll get back to that.

Paul Martin’s name is one which has been spoken, read, and written countless times over the last two or so months. In that time he has gone from PM-in-waiting to un-elected leader of this country. Perhaps I should clarify one thing, in fairness to our new despot, he was technically elected. However, the whopping 3,424 votes received from Liberal party members and personally-selected bandwagon jumpers should not register as significant enough to be leader of an entire country.

I could rant away about the flaws in a system which allows the appointment of a leader in the same manner as is done in China and as was done in the Soviet Union. However, my greatest complaint lies with the appointee, Paul Martin Jr, Canada’s Great White Hope. While Martin may be seen as Canada’s saviour by the mainstream media, I am not so awed. For me, Martin is as great a gift as a lump of the coal transported by his Barbados-based “Canada” Steamship Lines.

Martin has promised to make sweeping changes across the government and country. Yet he has not promised to call an election which would allow us to (gasp!) democratically select our leader.

Since his coronation in November, Martin has made two moves to demonstrate what, in his mind, really matters. First, he froze all pay raises for federal civil service employees, whether deserving or not. However, Martin’s promised fiscal responsibility took a quick nosedive as it was announced that his personally-appointed Ministerial aides would receive a massive pay raise. These aides now make more than elected Members of Parliament.

Unfortunately, Martin’s foolish gift-giving should come as no surprise. Paul has a history of helping his friends at the expense of everyone else. In his time as Finance Minister, Martin approved over $200 Billion in tax cuts, most going to wealthy companies and individuals. All this was done while Martin stole from the Canadian Pension Plan and sliced and diced our valued social services.

While Martin has received lavish praise as one that understands economics, all our new PM really knows is his own bottom line. He fattened it as CSL owner by barely paying his workers and basing operations out of countries with few labour protections. Martin conducted his own business while helping out like-minded CEO’s with his tax cuts as Finance Minister. For Paul Martin, the welfare of Canadians is nothing but a business cost, one which must be minimized, even at the expense of our jobs, health, and fiscal well-being. As long as her stays wealthy and powerful, no sacrifice is too great.

Sure, Paul Martin is a sly and cunning businessman, but is that really what we need?

Happy New Year Canada, it promises to be an interesting one!

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