Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bob Rae UEA Fallout

I agree with Bob it is not unpatriotic to criticize the Federal Government policy. History has examples from all parties taking cheap shots on trips abroad. The National Post editorial should have explained why the political stunt  by the Liberals was a failure in more detail.

The editorial criticized Mr. Rae for disparaging Canada’s government after meeting with leaders of the  United Arab Emirates, with whom Ottawa is embroiled in a nasty spat. The editorial didn’t criticize Mr. Rae for his views on the situation. It criticized him for airing them while in another country. There is a convention that elected representatives refrain from overt attacks on their own government while on business overseas. It may be a silly convention — especially when technology means no one ever really leaves home any more — but it’s there. The editorial pointed out that the Liberals have made a habit of ignoring it — first leader Michael Ignatieff  questioned Canada’s human rights record while on a visit to China (well-known bastion of respect for human rights), and now Mr. Rae in the UAE.- Kelly McParland
I am not on privy to the negotiations between the two parties or  interested in giving the Federal Government a pass. I prefer to look at the context of a bigger picture, track record on this government expanding trade since coming to office. Clearly this government has signed more deals and has many more in the works than any other previous government in my history. Does this mean they are unable to mess one up from time to time? No, but based on the over reaction from the UAE, I am leaning to give our Government the benefit of the doubt.
  • This is not a potash deal with a loss of billions in tax revenue. No Net benefit test required.
  • No rallying cry in Canada from any Premier, stakeholders in Canada for more flights.
  • Aviation Management Lobby Groups opposed to expanding the UAE proposal.
  • Unionized labour in the aviation industry are not clamoring on behalf of the UAE.

The media in Ottawa and the Liberals seem very concerned about this trade dispute. How important is this in comparison to the ongoing negotiation with the European Union?  It appears the media and Liberals are deeply affected by the loss of a potential two billion in trade with the UAE. Could this be another example of Liberals  playing small politics like they did with maternal health?

These are the same Liberals that voted against having tankers deliver oil to the Pacific emerging economies via a pipeline in Northern BC? How much in economic development and trade is that worth to Canada? (More than two billion)

An examination of the known facts demonstrates the Federal Government is listening to several stakeholders in Canada and weighing them against the potential loss of trade. The UAE has retaliated with conflating our global fight on terror by closing our Camp Mirage to our military. The UAE has also imposed new visa restrictions making it more costly to visit and do business.

Could it be a problem the UAE leadership does not understand the stakeholders in Canada may have more influence with the Federal government? This minority government may not be interested in fighting with the aviation industry, unions over the loss of jobs that are likely to follow.
I am well aware that some critics argue that the Canadian government has been heavy handed in dealing with the U.A.E., as though we weren’t properly versed in the delicate ways one must handle trumped up royals. Colin Kenny is former chair of the Senate committee on national security and defence.
A Liberal Senator Colin Kenny is clear in his condemning the UAE tactics in escalating the trade dispute over landing rights. The National Post may be projecting their disappointment in Bob Rae for not following the likes of Liberal Senator Colin Kenny. Colin Kenney is a senior Liberal that also agrees with the purchase of the F35.

At the time of closing our Camp Mirage the Liberals did not condemn the UAE for conflating the  trade dispute but decided it was better to attack the Federal Government. They still do. The Liberals think the extra burden on the taxpayers and our military from the decision by the UAE is measured regarding landing rights. Perhaps the National Post is correct Bob should be more balanced in his criticism of the Federal Government and not be a champion for a foreign country to secure extra flights or landing rights at the expense of our military and taxpayers.

I look forward to the voters casting their ballot on  the Liberals obsession on Omar Khadr, Afghan detainees, subsidized abortions in Africa, illegal economic migrants and improved UAE landing rights priorities for the voting taxpayers. I will trust the judgment of the voters to punish accordingly.

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