Thursday, June 21, 2007


It's good enough news that the message that Harper and his Cons can't be trusted is continuing to be a main opposition theme. But it's all the better that the same analysis is also coming from the dying breed of principled Cons. Which brings us to John Cummins:
Maverick Tory MP John Cummins is criticizing the federal Transport Minister, a caucus colleague, over suggestions the government has widely consulted on plans to merge three key Lower Mainland ports.

Suggestions by Lawrence Cannon that there has been a positive response to the proposal from international shippers and carriers illustrates the problem at hand, Mr. Cummins says in a letter obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The assertion "is a reflection of the narrow consideration and lack of real consultation that has gone on to date," Mr. Cummins writes in the June 19 letter to the minister.

"Where was the reaction from local communities? This merger continues to be about the needs of shippers, not the needs of the Fraser River or the people who reside near it."...

Mr. Cummins said there was a contradiction between the minister's commitment in the June 16 edition of the Canada Gazette to seek stakeholder views and a May 30 regulatory impact analysis statement in which the minister touts positive responses from ships agents, representatives of ocean carriers that call on West Coast terminals and national supply chain and logistics companies.

"No mention was made of concerns expressed by myself or others with regard to the proposed merger," Mr. Cummins writes.
Of course, it shouldn't be much surprise that the Cons generally see back-slapping as "consultation" and criticism as something to be buried. But when even Con MPs themselves recognize the constant impulse to deny the very existence of competing views, there's all the less reason for Canadian voters to think their government is offering anything but a painfully distorted picture of reality.

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