Canadians have the right to expect higher standards of those involved in politics. We eloquently and verbosely complain to our local MP all the way up to Ottawa. We complain in English, we complain in French – we complain on Twitter and on Facebook pages and via email. If there’s one message I’ve received during the process of mailing horse slaughter info to Canadian politicians, it’s that for every one positive response you receive, you’ll get five more from politicians who are so clueless that they shouldn’t be allowed to open their mouths without a teleprompter.
MP Bruce Stanton will delete any messages and block you from his FB page if you are not a constituent – no matter what you write. As a result of posting horse slaughter info on his page, I am now blocked. I can understand that he won’t have time to address non-constituents, but to BLOCK Canadians from his page is really outlandish behaviour for a politician.
The Stupid doesn’t stop there either. I received a response to an email from Dr. Colin Carrie (yes, MPs in Canada really do send all their letters on archival paper with the
edges lightly toasted). Don’t let the “Dr.” title confuse you – he’s not a medical doctor, he’s a chiropractor who has worked closely with naturopaths and homeopaths to make both of those disciplines more mainstream. He also introduced a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act to de-list vitamins, thus removing many safety provisions. PM Harper appointed him Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, so you’d think he’d recognize the word “toxin” when he saw it in print. Or perhaps as a promoter of homeopathy, he thinks that there’s nothing wrong with a little homeopathic dose of phenylbutazone? I do wish Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq would rein him in – and why is she completely silent on the issue of adulterated horsemeat?. It’s highly ironic that someone who endeavours to promote “natural medicine” sees no problem with the phenylbutazone contamination of horsemeat, which was pointed out to him in the letter to which he is responding!
Next up is MP Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board and Industry Minister; he also lost out on a race for party leadership to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He’s also famous for championing a memorial to an ally of Chairman Mao – you know, a brutal dictator. Tony must be getting some of his dictates directly from Beijing, because he blew off one of my emails by trying to assure me that the CFIA had everything under control, no horses were even offended that they were being slaughtered, and that all horses were fully withdrawn from the presence of systemic drugs. When you come to think of it, doesn’t it seem odd that a food source has to be held on a feedlot to “withdraw” all the drugs from its system before it can be eaten? And what’s with Tony’s comment about a horse being “eligible” for slaughter? What horse would choose to be eligible for a one-way trip to Hell?
But next up boys and girls, is where the organic waste material really hits the fan. Calgary MP Rob Anders was first elected in Calgary West as a Reform MP in 1997. He was the only MP in Canada to vote against making Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen of Canada, calling him a “terrorist.“ He then went on to establish himself as a bit of a crank when he signed a card in support of Canadian troops with the handwritten message: “When in doubt, pull the trigger,” (or shoot the captive bolt, it’s all the same to him) He’s most famous for falling asleep on camera during a legislative session – a group of MPs were hearing from an organization that helps former soldiers who are homeless. Anders showed up later, then started text messaging on his phone, then fell asleep. He denied that he fell asleep and suggested that his accusers were “NDP “hacks” who praised Vladimir Putin. Makes total sense right? He was kicked off the Veterans Affairs Committee after its president said he was dumbfounded that Anders had slept through the group’s presentation.
I would like to be charitable and believe that Rob Anders suffers from narcolepsy, a debilitating condition that can interfere with one’s life at any unforeseen moment. I once had a prof who had narcolepsy. But when he woke up he never called his students a bunch of NDP hacks. He’d simply say “sorry about that.” We accepted that. When I Googled Mr. Anders however, I found a possible reason for his dimwittedness. The poor man was born – appropriately – on April 1, 1972, April Fools’ Day. Maybe he’s suffering from Harpo-lepsy? In any case, I’m sure he’s just as effective awake as he is asleep. And here’s his verbatim response to an
email from Animal Alliance, which is why he’s here in our roll call of short-sighted, “hard-of-reading” MPs. Anders has apparently got his nose out-of-joint over Canada’s lack of an abortion law, or he’s accusing the writer of some form of speciesism, or he was rudely and prematurely awoken from his nap in the legislature and wasn’t given time to collect his thoughts. In any case, it would seem he’s not of an anti-slaughter mindset, from what we can tell.
But occasionally, we do hear the odd speck of truth from a Canadian MP. Twice in recent history, once by MP Ryan Leef and again by Environment Minister Peter Kent, PM Stephen Harper has been introduced as the “Prime Minister of Cannibal.” What’s that old saying about “First time it’s funny, the second time it must be true…”? The Conservative Party of Cannibals … as a nickname it kind of fits.