Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jim Flaherty Is Dead

After attempting to kill the CBC by slicing its budget to death (while financing private-sector TV networks like CTV and Global), I was hoping the network wouldn't cover Canada's Conservative former 8-year Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's death except by holding an office party.

Instead, they first reported on his death like it was just anyone's, then ran a whole other story to say he will have a state funeral in Toronto.

I understand the ''state funeral'' part, not because he was in charge of running Canada into austerity until just a few weeks ago, but because his friends and Party are still in charge and that's what those people do: spend our tax dollars amongst themselves.

But why Toronto? Hold it in Ottawa - the capital - where he worked and did his evil deeds. Picture this:
Flaherty died of a heart attack Thursday. Colleagues, including opposition MPs, are remembering him as a generous friend who could spar heatedly with someone in Parliament and later laugh over a drink outside the House of Commons.
Laugh over a drink. ''We sure screwed most Canadians on that one! No more benefits for the unemployed, let's toast with this 15-year-old bourbon!''

I don't mean to be an asshole, but the media overall are acting like fucking fanboys now that he's dead, and even the NDP's Thomas Mulcair saying how ''great of a man'' he was though pretty much every single thing Mulcair supposedly stands for and has been fighting for his entire political career was in complete and total opposition to Flaherty's views.

One piece stands in contradiction of them all, and I can't just quote from it since all passages are important, so here it is, from
Flaherty was part of Mike Harris’ government in Ontario, whose cuts to water inspection services led to an E.Coli outbreak that killed seven people in Walkerton, Ontario. The same government imposed massive cuts to welfare and social housing, killing Kimberly Rogers in the process, and years later people continue to die from homelessness.

Flaherty was also part of cuts to healthcare at both provincial and federal levels. As the Council of Canadians wrote last week in an article titled Broken Promises and Abdication: Flaherty’s Healthcare Legacy, “March 31 marks the end of the 2004 Health Accord and the last day Canadian health care will have equalization payments to have-not provinces, national standards, and federal funding tied to achieving set benchmarks. March 31 is also a day to mourn the fact that we remain the only wealthy country with a universal health-care system and no national pharmacare plan.” Healthcare cuts kill, including the Tories' inhumane cuts to refugee health--denying basic health care to people who had fled rape, torture and war.

Flaherty was also proudly part of the Harper government that turns its back on global health crises—boycotting the International AIDS conference in Toronto, imposing a maternal health plan denying abortion, cutting humanitarian aid to Gaza, and defunding Sisters in Spirit that investigates missing and murdered aboriginal women.

While destroying social services, Flaherty and the federal Tories have poured billions into the military, which has killed countless people in 13 years of occupying Afghanistan, the bombing campaign in Libya, and the UN occupation of Haiti. At the same time, Flaherty’s budget policies included the New Veterans Charter—cutting benefits from veterans despite an epidemic of suicides and protests across the country.

Flaherty also pioneered the technique of using omnibus budgets to hide life-threatening cuts, from Bill C-45’s attacks on environmental protection and indigenous sovereignty that sparked Idle No More, to the more recent Bill C-4 that attacks workers—including their health and safety.

We mourn these countless victims of Flaherty’s policies of austerity.
Too soon? It's never too soon for the truth.

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