Vindictiveness on full display
Someone recently emailed me to say that the Harper government’s cutting 700 jobs at Environment Canada was no more than plain "vindictiveness".
It is tough to argue against that.
The environment is the only file where the government spin masters have failed to win the communications battle. The people being laid off are largely scientists associated with climate change and other areas that have embarrassed the government in the past (and will likely do so again in the future).
In my 30 years doing this work I have never been treated with such contempt and arrogance by a government. There is an utter refusal by the Harper government to even politely listen to reasoned argument.
But there is a qualitative difference between marginalizing environmental organizations and explaining a policy that is contradicted by your own government scientists and researchers. So getting rid of them will prevent future clashes between policy and fact. Or better put, between ideology and reality.
So why was Environment Canada cut first? Why not do what governments usually do and wait until the entire government-wide layoff plan is in place and announce the thousands of job cuts all at once? Such sweeping announcements are usually done in an attempt to bury the details.
The government didn’t try to bury the Environment Canada job cuts for a reason, and I believe that reason is to send a message: The Harper government is vindictive so you better not get in their way.
Sierra Club Canada
Cartoon Source: Toronto Sun, August 6, 2011