Categories
Ethics

SNC-Lavalin

Let’s be clear – if the Conservatives had faced the SNC-Lavalin issue, there would have been no scandal.

This is because they would have very quietly given SNC-Lavalin everything it wanted, and let them off the hook for corruption charges.

The only reason this is an issue at all is that there appears to have been a Liberal cabinet minister who was not corrupt. Of course, it also appears that she paid a price for that.

But what we should be talking about is why we would want to let SNC-Lavalin off the hook at all. On the news this morning there was commentary to the effect that ‘everyone wants to make sure SNC-Lavalin is not harmed by these charges’.

But the jobs won’t disappear just because SNC-Lavalin does. Government contracts – like Ottawa’s LRT system – will continue to exist. Other (hopefully more ethical) companies will appear to fill the gap.

Companies shouldn’t get a free pass on their misdeeds (I don’t care whether the U.S. and the U.K. already have laws to this effect – they’re hardly role models).

We should do business properly and ethically in Canada. That means penalizing companies that perpetuate shady business practices. Because companies that get away with bribing officials in Libya won’t think twice about doing the same in Canada.

Of course, like I say, all this goes away quietly under a Conservative government. It just becomes business as usual.

Categories
Media

Groundhogs

I don’t want to sound like a crank, but, why on earth are we depending on groundhogs this day every year to tell us whether we will have more winter?

You all know the ritual. When the groundhog emerges on February 2, if it sees its shadow, it retreats back to its burrow, and we have six more weeks of winter.

My objection is not based on the inherent unreliability of weather forecasts made by rodents, though I will point out that he’s usually wrong. “He was only right about 40% of the time, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

No, my objection is based on the date. February 2nd. We have groundhogs in Canada in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, and in Wiarton, Ontario. They also make predictions, but who cares? It’s February 2nd!

We have never seen winter end on February 2nd in Canada. There’s always six more weeks of winter. So why are we consulting a groundhog about whether or not it will end?

If we adjusted the date by a month (like we do for Thanksgiving) I would be more understanding. But we don’t, and every year, we go through this ridiculous charade of asking a groundhog whether winter will end when we know full well it won’t.

It’s -11 here in Casselman as I type, and it’s snowing. According to real meteorologists, it’s going to remain cold for the next six weeks, at least. Just like it always does.