Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Canada Mimics US Republicans

Dear Editor,

Well, it didn't take long for the new Harper government to start showing its true colours. And, if you care about the rights of ordinary workers, it doesn't look good.

With the help of his new "Sarah Palin wanna-be" Labour Minister, Harper has, predictably, legislated an end to the postal lockout. In his infinite "wisdom and mercy," he has imposed a wage settlement on the workers which is even lower than Canada Post had been offering. Canada Post's decision to lock out its workers (if indeed that decision was its own) played conveniently into Harper's hands. It allowed him to impose back-to-work legislation, which fit right in, not only with his own mean-spirited, hidebound ideology, but that of Republicans and Tea-Partiers everywhere. Up until the lockout, at least the mail had been getting through.

Sadly, it now seems our descent into American-style austerity, which treats working people as the enemy and the rich as our saviours, has now begun. And who is the next target, do you suppose? The folks who teach our kids? Fix our roads? Treat our sick? Help the poor? You know the mantra. Our teachers, labourers, health care and social workers just cost too damn much. And after all, jobs in the public sector aren't real jobs anyway.

But if you are a corporation, with way more money than you can roll in, now you're talkin'! Tear up the environment, produce dirty oil and you'll register high on the radar of this government. You're in line, not only for continuing, generous subsidies from the public purse but tax breaks, too!

Brace yourselves, folks. I fear this is just the beginning of a long ordeal for ordinary workers in this country - one which will only end when Harper is gone.  

Larry Powell
Roblin, Manitoba

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