Thursday, 10 December 2009

Corruption, Lying and Fossils: This Is Not the Canada I Love

According to a survey released earlier this fall, Canada ranks eighth as the least corrupt country: the top (and best) spot went to New Zealand and the bottom, to Somalia. When the results were announced, I remember thinking that, yeah, we are pretty honest. But lately it seems a curtain has been lifted and we are seeing two sorts of corruption which have been present for some time: secret deals made between governments and private enterprise, and systematic lying and misrepresentation about the federal governments aims.

The latest news from Quebec reports that 559 contracts were awarded between April and October, 2009, without calling for bids. This follows on a wave of news since early fall about contractors giving handsomely to election war chests, and, most recently, Liberal party supporters getting permits to expand day care centers.

On the federal level, absolutely shocking behavior of Stephen Harper's government in denying that it had ever been warned of bad treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan is the most recent and blatant example. Yesterday Gen. Walter J. Natynczyk had to recant his earlier testimony when he was informed that, yes indeed, a field report from 2006 said a man detained by Canadian troops had been beaten by Afghan jailors.

To top it off, Canada got its second "Fossil of the Day" award at the Copenhagen conference on global warning, sharing the "honours" with Croatia. It previously been part of a group of industrialized countries who'd won the day before.

This is not the behavior which led me to embrace this country. Something's got to change....

No comments: