Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bankrupting us at home, selling our treasures at bargian store prices,diminishing us abroad

Knocking Canada down brick by brick.

They are doing this through other means than the largest deficit in history.

On May 23, the Edmonton Sun reported that the government had quietly sold off historic pieces of silver at below market value. (s/t to The Cantering Castor Canadensis)
Experts consulted by Sun Media were shocked. They say the sterling silver, silver plate and china sold for a fraction of their true value -- particularly given the fact they came from Rideau Hall.
And while the eyes of the nation are focused on the economic disaster the Conservatives are wreaking on us at home, the are busy lowering our presence abroad.

The Conservative government is continuing to quietly close Canadian missions abroad, with the latest casualty the resident consulate in Hamburg, Germany, which will shut down this coming Saturday.

Foreign Affairs officials have defended the moves— which will include South Africa, Malawi, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cambodia this year alone—as an attempt to increase the cost-effectiveness of the department's resources abroad.

However, there are mounting fears the government is trying to "do diplomacy on the cheap" and undermining Canada's international presence by focusing the country's diplomatic efforts solely on trade and economic interests.


However, Mr. Beine said Germany is worried about an apparent trend in Canada's engagement abroad, or lack thereof, in recent years....

Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Bob Rae was more forceful in his assessment of the government's actions, describing them as short-sighted.

"The government has put the department in the ridiculous position basically where if they want to open anywhere, they have to close somewhere," he said. "We're trying to do foreign policy on the cheap, and we are paying a price for it in terms of our international reputation."

NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar described the use of "efficiency" and "cost-effectiveness" as "dangerous buzzwords in my opinion."

"Cost effectiveness has the feel of it that, 'Well we don't really want to spend that much money because it's too expensive,'" he said. "If it's just a paper exercise that this is how much it costs, we'll get rid of it, that doesn't take into account what is Canada's foreign policy goals, what is our attempt have an influence on the world stage."

Mr. Dewar also noticed that the offices that are opening have been based primarily on trade.

"Trade trumps diplomacy right now, and this notion that you can just have trade and lift all boats up," he said.

Taken together we may need an explanation other than mere than incompetence. A government that believes in Canada's past, it's current role in world and hopes to build Canada's future doesn't sell of it's heritage, doesn't pull back from the world stage and doesn't saddle our children with more debt.

A government formed by a party that believes Canada is a "real" country wouldn't do this.  A government led by a mole from the Heritage Institute would.
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