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Harper’s over-the-top partisanship strikes again.

Last night, in an emergency session, Parliament passed legislation which allows the nuclear plant at Chalk River to operate for 4 months and able to operate without the oversight of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the quasi-judicial body that is responsible for the oversight of nuclear plants running in this country. The emergency bill essentially overruled the safety concerns that the CNSC had in ordering the plant to be shut down. This was done in an unusual late night session, and even more unusual, involved actual interviews of witnesses in the House of Commons.

Whether you agree with that move or not is one thing (possible safety hazards vs getting production of medical isotopes going again); what I wanted to focus on today was Harper’s out-of-the-sky charge yesterday that it was “Liberal-appointed commissioners” who were imperiling the safety of Canadians, and the entire world for that matter. Harper’s partisanship was on full display, which Stageleft has kindly listed for all to see (Steve apparently fashions himself as an expert on nuclear safety, all of a sudden).

I decided to take a peek over at the CNSC website and take a look at the biographies of the Commissioners to see how qualified they were – since according to Harper’s description of them, all of them are just Liberal appointed hacks who were throwing up bureaucratic red tape to stop a reactor from running without just cause.

Let’s start with The President of the CNSC; Linda Keen who hails from from Alberta. She has a B.Sc in chemistry and an M.Sc in Agricultural Sciences. She has worked in the agriculture, mining, and nuclear sectors. She was the Chair of the International Nuclear Regulators Association in 2003. Pretty good looking credentials to me.

Dr. Christopher Barnes is next. All this guy did was get a Geology degree in England and then worked for NATO in Wales, and then managed to get 5 scientific awards for his work, including the Queen’s Jubilee medal. Oh, and he also was awarded the Order of Canada. I don’t know WHERE the Liberals got off putting this guy on the Commission 🙄

Dr. J. Moyra J. Mcgill is next up. She has 3 degrees in Engineering, and she’s the current Undergraduate chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University.

That leaves the last 2. First up is Andr Harvey, appointed in June 2006…. hmm.. June 2006…. I believe one Mr. Harper was in government at the time when this appointment was made. – curious… I wonder if he knows Harper is including him in the “Liberal appointed Nuclear Safety Commission” charge. Nevertheless, this fellow has his B. Sc in Civil Engineering and has an M .Sc in Water Management. Last is Alan Graham, who was a Liberal Cabinet Minister for Agriculture in New Brunswick in the 1990’s.

So to sum up, we have 2 Doctors and a Chairperson on this Commission with impressive credentials and with several awards to their credit, and we have another gentleman with good credentials who was an apparent Harper appointee, unless the Liberals did some magic I wasn’t aware of to get him appointed in June of 2006 when they weren’t even in power. That only leaves Alan Graham as a possible argument for him being a political appointment.

In otherwards, this is a Nuclear Safety Commission that has the credentials to back up any decision they make on closing down a nuclear plant or not. Harper’s over-the-top partisanship has impugned these person’s integrity and reputation, and he should be apologizing for it. Since that won’t happen in the House, the Liberals (and every other party for that matter) should be reading these persons credentials out loudly to anyone in the media who will listen. 4 of the 5 may have been appointed when the Liberals were in power, but its rather darn obvious that they were picked for their expertise.

Harper had better hope that no accident takes place at this facility while this 4 month moratorium of bypassing the CSNC is in effect. (Remember, the CSNC shut this plant down because it was lacking the proper safety upgrades the AECL had promised would be installed). His rantings on declaring “there is no health hazard” will come back to haunt him.

11 comments to Harper’s over-the-top partisanship strikes again.

  • "Aaron – the liberals needed questions answered, and by all accounts they were."

    Wow. Did you actually watch question period? Omar Alghabra screams in QP that Stephen Harper will be responsible for the deaths caused by a radioactive meltdown. And you characterize that as a reasonable session of asking and answering questions?

    Incidentally, I thought that Alghabra was the star of "Little People, Big World." Damnit, I switched to CPAC when I was looking for TLC.

  • Gayle

    Yes Kursk.

  • Liberals look bad; Harper is bad.  Blue cats, red cats; all are cats.

  • kursk

    Gayle.. the liberals are claiming Canadians will die, promised to support the measures, changed their minds, then changed them again , all in 24 hrs, and Harper looks bad??

    Ok….

  • Gayle

    Aaron – the liberals needed questions answered, and by all accounts they were. Nice try changing the channel (again). Face it, Harper looks very bad on this one. You cannot hide that by dropping Holland into the mix.

  • Get a load of this letter and look at the date!  In private correspondence, Rubin says, "At the time, I didn’t even think of the similarly unacceptable situation at NRU, but the principle obviously applies, and it has now come around to bite Ms. Keen and her agency on the behind."

  • Oops, didn’t spell out the obvious in the last comment. Hope it fits with the post’s "over-the-top partisanship" theme.

  • Okay. Yesterday, the Liberals went insane in QP, talking about radioactive meltdowns and blaming Harper for putting the safety of Canadians at risk. Typical alarmist, slimeball stuff of the type we are becoming used to seeing from the party of Mark Holland. Today, the Liberals promised to fast-track the emergency legislation. So which is it? Is the government endangering lives by re-opening the facility and, if so, why are the Liberals fast-tracking the bill?

  • Aaron: you’re as usual trying to change the channel when stuff comes up that you can’t defend your Prime Minister from.  There are plenty of other blog-entries on here where you can try to make that claim. I’ll presume since you had nothing otherwise to say on this specific topic that you acknowledge Harper went overboard with his ridiculous charges yesterday.

    Bailey: I don’t doubt Graham’s credentials.. I’m just pointing out he alone amongst the 5 is the only one that could even remotely be charged as being a political appointment purely on patronage.

  • Bailey

    Alan Graham was the longest serving MLA in New Brunswick history.  He was Minister of Natural Resources for 7 years and Minister of Agriculture for 2 years under McKenna.   (He is also the current Premier’s father but at the time of his appointment Shawn Graham was not the leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Party.)  Never the less, I think he’s more than qualified as New Brunswick does have a nuclear power plant and I think he would have been in charge of it as Minister of Natural Resources. 

  • Dude, speaking of over-the-top partisanship, what’s with the opposition politician in Bali right now undermining the democratically-elected government of Canada on the international stage?

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