Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thank You Linda Keen and Sheila Fraser For Protecting Us From our Government.

Canada’s Auditor General Ms. Sheila Fraser is one of my heroes. I now have another hero. She is Linda Keen, the head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. This is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal that is responsible for the safety of the nuclear industry in Canada. Those decisions should not be made by elected partisan political operatives no matter how “accountable” they see themselves.

We see the Harper Cons interfering politically and inappropriately once again as the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resource, thought it was his place to threaten Ms. Keen with termination for not toeing his partisan line.

The Cons should know better that to take such heavy handed approach and if they don’t know better, they are not ready for prime time governance. Sure the issue around the safety of the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Chalk River facility and the need for the production of the medical by product of radioactive isotopes is a political decision.

There should be no trade-off between these values and they should not have to compete. Good competent effective government provides both nuclear safety and necessary medical services. We did not have good competent and effective government in this situation and that is now obvious.

To resort to bullying Ms Keen because she was a “Liberal appointee” as a consequence of Harper’s personal and his governance incompetence is beyond the pale. To threaten an independent commission, which we all rely on to be political independent and to make sound decisions about nuclear safety, because she did not follow the directives of her political masters is dangerously irresponsible.

Character is a quality often overlooked when we reflect on those who govern us and who act on our behalf in governing agencies, boards and commissions. Thankfully we have people of exemplary character like Ms. Keen and Ms. Fraser to protect us from our governors. They both did their jobs on OUR behalf, especially when it counts and the stakes are high.

If anyone should give reasons why they should not be fired, it is Mr. Lunn. As for Mr. Harper, we know, given his patrician controlling leadership style Mr. Lunn was not acting alone but merely as the PM’s emissary. Before you can respect someone, you have to trust them. Before you can trust them you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Mr. Harper’s has proven time and time again he is a flawed leader. It is time for him and his government” to go. Bring on the election so we can put the Cons out of our misery.