It is the calm before the storm in Ottawa, and some very interesting things are going on during the transition. Despite losing the election, Stephen Harper is still the Prime Minister of Canada until about high noon on the 4th of November. That’s when he turns over the keys to the washroom and other important matters to Justin Trudeau.
In the meantime, Canadian military personnel are still in harm’s way in Iraq and Syria. Our CF18 fighters have carried out more than 181 airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, several of them since the election. During the campaign, Trudeau promised to end airstrikes and limit Canada’s involvement to training and humanitarian aid. If I were the parent of one of our CF18 pilots, I might be tempted to call Harper or Trudeau, or maybe both of them at same time, and ask “What the hell is going on, and who is in charge?”
There is evidence that the incoming Prime Minister has already been involved in important decisions affecting thousands of Canadians. Canada Post has called a halt to the program of ending door to door mail delivery. It was good news for hundreds of postal workers who were faced with losing their jobs, and for handicapped Canadians and others who value the delivery service. But I have not able to find a quote from any politician, either Liberal or Conservative, as to who gave the order to change direction.
When governments change in Canada, the transition is less noticeable than it is in Washington. Down there, it’s a two month gap between the election in November, and the inauguration in January. In the days before Franklin Roosevelt, it was a 4 month gap, and lame duck Presidents were known to do some odd things. The American President can appoint a lot of people to fancy high-paying jobs. He can also grant pardons and release folks from prison.
The very least we should do in this country is stop dropping bombs in Syria, if that’s what Justin Trudeau intends to do anyway.
I’m Roger Currie