You won't find the story on the front page of the TandT. That is reserved for a football story - again.
The big story buried on page 6 of Section A. And it is nothing less than a takeover of our elected government. This is not the fascism of Mussolini. It actually goes further. This is a revolution - a real one.
Democacy is over. That should an extreme statement. Believe me; I wish it were. But the government of this province, and the welfare of you and your family, has been handed over to a gang of self-appointed coroporate bosses.
The story began in mid-December, when Mr. Irving announced in his papers that he had formed a coalition with the government. I wrote at the time that any such move would be contrary to Canadian practice and, indeed, to democracy. In a democracy, you can join a coalition only if your have been elected. And, as I wrote at the time that you have to be invited by government to join.
Mr. Irving's statement was breathtakingly arrogant and anti-democratic. (I say arrogant because it would certainly be arrogant if any of us were to make such a statement. But Mr. Irving seems to think he is not down here with us as a common citizen.He is a person of speical privilege.)
But Mr. Alward, perhaps the wimpiest premier in New Brunswick history, just stood there with his face hanging out. Can you ifmainge what he would have said if you had published a statement that you had declared yourself a member of hie government?)
Then Mr. Irving met with Mr. Alward to inform him he had formed.a gang of buddies from corporate offices ( I expect they will later include a couple of university presidents as potted plants) who would plan the economic future of New Brunswick.
Now, the economic plan is the essential basis off evething else in a province - health, education, roads, social services, everything. The role of the minister of finance is so important that in Britain it carries the lofty title "Cancellor of the Exchequer"' The position is so important that it is not much of an exaggeration to say the minister of finance IS the government.
The premier should have told Mr. Irving that this a a job we elected him and his government to do. But he wimped out again, and approved it.
Now, we have the formal plan Actually, it's not much of a plan - more a PR outline for the cameras. It's full of corporate bullshit that it will apppoint "the best" people, the "most highly skilled". etc. (Ever hear of a company bragging it would hire the worst and least skilled people? Essentially, the new group which will plan our economy and will report to the minister of finance will be made up of private bsuiness honchos. It will be organized as a private company. BUT IT'S WORK WILL BE PAID FOR BY OUR TAXES.We pay for these intruders to rob us.
It will in no way be under the authority of the minister of finance - and there is no provision for any control or evaluation of it. There will be regular reviews of whether it is meeting its goals - But not by any outsider. That fat cats thsemselves will decide how good they are. They will effectively control who gets tax breaks, who gets subsidies, and all the other goodies. This is hiring foxes to guard the henhouse.
The plan promises to bring the "discipline" of the private sector to government. I presume that means the discipline to get cheaper electricity, lower taxes for the rich, cash subsidies, easy regulations, etc.
Given the arrogance and the overthrow of democracy in this document, it is the most important New Brunswick story we shall ever see. It means that whatever whimpering democracy there ever was in New Burnswick is done with. It means we are all going to get ripped off as never before.
So why is it on page A6, sharing space with an ad for wieght loss.? If this is good and sensational,, why isn't the whole front page a photo of Mr. Alward taking bows. Why just a photo of him standing there, perhaps listening. Wasn't he allowed even to hold a corner of the sheet with the logo on it?
I never thought such a thing would ever happen in Canada. I retired here because it was beautiful, and the people were nice. I knew that the business leaders were greedy and uncaring, and the politicians were rag dolls.But I never thought such a thing could happen in Canada.
Now, I see this. And I see a people who, however nice, have never had the courage or, perhaps, the interest to take a stand against the humiliations that are poured on them.
Remember the fuss over the singing of our national anthem in the schools of New Brunswick? Anybody who now can sing O Canada while accepting a plan to destroy all the anthem stands for is nothing more than a lout. making a mockery of our flag and our country, and all the values our anthem represents..
Remember - no blog tomorrow because I'll be in Ottawa having lunch with the secstat Perhaps he'ss ask about democracy in NB. But I doubt it.