Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Harper playing rabid partisan politics with nuclear safety

Is there no partisan low to which our Prime Minister won't stoop? We have a developing health crisis in this country due to the problems at the Chalk River nuclear reactor and Harper's answer is that this is a product of Liberal appointees? Huh? What planet is this guy on that he would raise such a partisan, time-wasting sideshow of an argument to a problem at the forefront of the nation's public attention right now? The details:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has accused the Liberals of blocking the production of medical isotopes, suggesting the Opposition has jeopardized the health and safety of “tens of thousands” of Canadians through its political appointees to the federal nuclear regulator.

The Prime Minister made the surprising charge during Question Period when asked about the government's emergency legislation that will compel an Ontario nuclear reactor to restart for 120 days so it can alleviate a global shortage of medical isotopes.

The legislation will be introduced later Tuesday.

The government blames the shutdown of the Chalk River nuclear reactor, responsible for half of the world's medical isotopes, on a battle between the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Atomic Energy Canada Ltd. – a dispute that Ottawa says must come to an end.
Here's attack dog Harper needlessly pouring flames on the barbie:
“The continuing actions of the Liberal-appointed Nuclear Safety Commission will jeopardize the health and safety of lives of tens of thousands of Canadians,” Mr. Harper said.

“Since when does the Liberal party have a right from the grave, through one of its previous appointees, to block the production of necessary medical products in this country? This is not in the public interest ... The longer this goes on the greater will be the public health damage and the Liberal party is standing in the way of fixing this.”

Mr. Harper said the government had independent advice that there is no safety concern with restarting the reactor.
Since when is nuclear safety a partisan issue? And how dare he impugn the integrity of these appointees as he's doing in the House of Commons like this? Suggesting that for partisan reasons they are keeping the reactor shut and ignoring public health concerns. Say it outside the House, Mr. Harper, as you so famously taunt others.

This is reinforcement of the view that, despite all protestations to the contrary, Harper is the politician on the federal level who is not a leader. Leaders don't finger point at every turn. They wrestle with a problem and do their damnedest to solve it. Whining about regulators, who may have been appointed by Liberals but who are doing their jobs is petty, beside-the-point rhetoric. Nothing more.