04 March 2005

More by-election bull****

Hot on the heels of the announcement by defence minister Bill Graham that the feds are spending $10.0 million to resurface the Goose Bay airfield, Stephen Harper flopped into town with a promise of his own.

I'll leave it to you to judge which is more pathetic: an old-fashioned grab for votes with pavement or total bullshit promises that the politician making them knows he can't keep?

Here's the CBC Radio version of the story and Harper's commitment:

"Goose Bay should have a long-run military operational purpose and we'd obviously consult the town and DND on what that would be," Harper said.

Problem is, Stephen, there isn't an operational purpose for Goose Bay within the Canadian Forces.

Not a sausage.

Bugger all.

Even with the Cold War raging in the 1980s the major mission for Goose Bay was training somebody else's air force. Since then far bigger brains than yours and mine, Stephen, have tackled this problem and failed to find a Canadian operational need for Goose Bay as a military base.

So go ahead and consult, Stephen. Everyone in Goose Bay knows your promise is worth less than a pile of pine marten dung.

While we are at it, let's give you some more good advice.

CBC quotes Harper saying this: "The base doesn't need asphalt," he [Harper] said.

Talk about a Homer Simpson moment.


The base does need pavement, Stephen. I know what your speechwriter was trying to say, but he or she failed miserably. The statement as you read it shows quite clearly that you have absolutely no idea what is going on in Goose Bay at all, in any meaningful way. Now certainly Con and Tory partisans will accuse me of all sorts of heinous crimes - like being a Liberal - but, d'uh - why not accuse me of being a guy while you are at it - , and more importantly, what does that have to do with Harper's fumble?

Harper should have just pledged to work with the community to identify new opportunities in Goose Bay. He could have talked about something modest but workable, like making Goose the centre for extreme testing and training.

He could have done anything except mouth the vacant words he littered on the cracked tarmac.

Which is more pathetic when it comes to politics?

Which breeds greater cynicism among voters?

You make your own choice.

For me, at least I know that when the Liberals are done, the runways, ramps and taxiways at Goose Bay will be ready for another 20 years of aircraft movements.

Something tells me I can't get the same practical mileage from Harper's speech no matter how finely I shred the paper on which it was scribbled.