Postscript: A mockery of the democratic process
By Barry Wilson, CTV Montreal Executive Producer
Published Friday, May 20, 2011 4:18PM EDT
From the man who brought you contempt of Parliament, his latest feat: contempt of the electorate.
Stephen Harper obviously doesn't give a damn what you think and how he spends your money.
Larry Smith was rejected by the voters in the West Island riding of Lac St. Louis. In fact, the Tory star came in third.
The voters decided they did not want him in Parliament, but he will be there, sneaking in through the back door.
Smith and two other defeated Tories will sit in the Senate of Canada, probably the most useless assembly in the western world.
He will earn a base salary of $132,300 and in addition senators can claim up to $20,000 per year in travel and living expenses.
When he was first appointed to the Senate late last year Smith said it would require him to take "a dramatic, catastrophic pay cut."
During the campaign. Smith said "I have no place in the Senate and I have no expectation of returning there."
This appointment makes a mockery of the democratic process.
Jack Layton is right when he says it's an outrage: "a slap in the face of the Canadian voters who just trooped out to the polls to send their own message very strongly in the last election."
Harper himself has often targeted the Senate, but when it suits him, it suits him.
When he was first elected in 2006, Mr. Harper said: "I don't plan to appoint senators; that's not my intention." Instead, he said, he would reform the Senate to ensure its members would be elected.
Canada's upper house is often called the chamber of sober second thought. Now it's the chamber of sober second chance.
It has become the Promised Land for defeated candidates, the personal playground of the PM. Lucky losers indeed. Nothing sober about this.
Bixi should not be funded by Montreal
In my view, a city or town has basic responsibilities: it should keep taxes low; clear the streets and pick up garbage; provide public security; ensure clean water; give us libraries, parks and recreation.
It should not be in the bicycle business.
Why is the City of Montréal rescuing Bixi so it can provide bicycles in London or New York or wherever?
As taxpayers, we are bailing out Bixi to the tune of a $37 million loan and an additional $71 million in guarantees to keep Bixi rolling along.
The Bixi people assure us the money will be paid back.
Well as long as they promise it will be all right -- come on, there are some serious questions here.
Why are we trying to export a local bike sharing program around the world? For pride?
It's certainly not for sound economics.
30,000 Montrealers have signed up for the Bixi program. 1.6 million have not.
As you are writing your cheque for city property taxes which are due next month, think about how your money is being spent, and whether you are being taken for a ride.