Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fox News CA? Petro-dollar? And what other nightmares are in Harper's bag of tricks?

With news that Stephen Harper wants both Konrad von Finkelstein, and his deputy removed from the head of the CRTC, coupled with news that the P.M. in 2009 lunched with Rupert Murdoch, owner, and Roger Ailes General Manager of Fox News, the right wing's broadcast facility in the U.S. is it any wonder there is rampant speculation that Harper supports a bid by Quebecor to bring a "Fox-North" television channel to Canada, for broadcast to cable subscribers across the country?
True, Harper does not directly appoint the Head of the CRTC, but there is little doubt that the PMO will have undue, and unmeasureable influence on any decision at that rank in the civil service. And he clearly wants a CRTC that supports the granting of a license to Fox News, Canada.
True also that Harper is documented as supporting the religious fundamentalists in their attempt to wrest political power and influence from the small-l liberals, (See Marci MacDonald's The Armageddon Factor).
True also is the theme of "vandalizing Canada" in the words of Jim Travers, Ottawa columnist for the Toronto Star in his analysis of what Harper is actually doing in his decisions...
And the sum total of all of these (and likely many more still to be revealed) is that with a Fox-north Canadian television channel, Harper's ideological stance, including his long-term goal of making the re-election of the Liberal Party of Canada a virtual impossibility, stands a much more likely chance of success, than it does without such a broadcast outlet.
The current federal Conservative Party looks more like the Mike Harris Conservatives of Ontario infamy than it does the Stanfield Tories, or the Diefenbaker Tories, or even the Mulroney Tories, or the Joe Clark Tories. And with the news that the Koch family (oil magnates) in the U.S. supports both the heavy crude from the Canadian Tar Sands, and the U.S. Teaparty movement, along with the lobbying against the Health Reform Bill that passed congress in a weakened state, it is not hard to draw a line between the dots of a Fox News North outlet and the Koch money flow into the Canadian lobbying scene, for convergent purposes to those of Harper and his neo-con cronies...and  just watch the death of Canadian health care, as we now know it, and the rise of the Canadian military from its honoured and honourable history of peace-keeping to entering the war movement with the U.S., and the phony war to secure sovereignty of the Arctic, amid the plethora of national interests vying for hegemony there, and the virtual demise of the middle class, as anyone wishing to notice will see has already happened in the U.S.
Andrew Nikiforuk, in a stunning piece in The Tyee on-line journal, points out the fact that the Canadian dollar is now already a petro-dollar, pegged as it is not to manufacturing but to the export of Canadian Crude from the Tar Sands, exported to the U.S. at the rate of 1,300,000 barrels a day, up from only 600,000 barrels in the last year alone. Nikiforuk compares the increase in jobs in the Tar Sands at 100,000 with the concomitant loss of manufacturing jobs in Ontario and Quebec of 300,000...to which the Quebec financial giant, Desjardins pointed a nervous finger as they noticed this frightening trend, and were paid not a whit of notice for their concern by the federal Conservatives under Harper....
Canada...quo vadis?

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