When Harper prorogued last fall it was to avoid a vote of non-confidence. This time, it will be to avoid something possibly far more serious — Parliamentary censure of the government, the banishment or imprisonment of Harper and some of his ministers, or the RCMP being asked to execute a Speaker’s warrant.
While the torture allegations are being treated as a partisan issue, I don’t think that is the appropriate frame of view. This is an issue of international law, human rights, and how Canada is going to conduct itself in international military operations. The precise manner in which Canada should deal with detainees and other governments is one that should be scrutinized by Parliament (and, if necessary, the courts) and that scrutiny should occur where Canadians have the opportunity to observe it.
Our procedures for military oversight also need to be examined, to evaluate the question of whether key information is being properly routed up through military and civilian command structures.
The degree to which Vancouver is preferable to Ottawa can hardly be overstated. This ocean city is beautiful, green, and almost infinitely more dynamic than the snowbound bureaucracy out east. Whereas it is a challenge to find anywhere novel to go in Ottawa, Vancouver has a multitude of interesting areas, with the bonus that you don’t need to shiver in your long underwear while waiting for a bus to take you there, even in late December.
It was well worth enduring the bus journey for. It’s a shame there isn’t much here, in the way of environmental policy jobs.
The video above should demonstrate why I normally leave the videography to my far more talented brother Mica. Still, I hope it will convey some sense of what it was like to cross Canada by Greyhound Bus, a few days before Christmas in 2009.
This last section is happening in what may be Greyhound’s oldest bus. The overhead storage space is too small for almost all bags, so there is zero leg room for everyone with carry-on bags piled everywhere.
Still, the end is in sight. One more long and nearly moonless night, and I will be in Vancouver. It is a shame there won’t be much of a mountain view from Revelstoke, due to darkness and bad weather. All my daylight hours were boreal forest or prairie views.
The unscheduled smoke breaks of the driver who took us to Swift Current have left us half an hour behind schedule. Hopefully, I will still catch the right Calgary to Vancouver bus. If so, I will arrive around 8:30am Tuesday.
I am feeling pretty comfortably embedded in things, entering the final stretch.
Batteries are drained: mental along with phone and music. I bought the wrong batteries for my iPod range extender, but may be able to correct the error when in Winnipeg.
I am meeting my cousin there, which should permit a shower, decent food, and mental refreshment.
I have been looking places up on Wikipedia as I pass through. You don’t learn much about them in a few minutes through a bus window. Bus stations, I can report, are highly uniform in content and appearance.