Someone could have made a bundle five years ago betting that Stockwell Day, alias “Doris”, and a man who believes that humans and dinosaurs cavorted together way back when, would be where he is today. Harper’s cabinet shuffle has elevated Day to the position of President of the Treasury Board. While the Finance Minister is the more prominent economic minister, the head of Treasury Board is the guy that actually wields the knife when it comes to serious budget slashing. And as I warned last week, Harper is set to start hacking away at the country’s core nature in the March budget. Of course, Harper will make all the major decisions but this move is a clear message to his core Christian fundamentalist constituency. Harper’s going to let one of their own heroes symbolically wield the knife.
For those who have (for their own peace of mind) forgotten who this truly awful politician is I urge you to read a piece I did on him back in 2004. While it may be mildly amusing to think of Stockwell walking side by side with dinosaurs, this extremist, mean-spirited, right wing Christian is anything but funny. His history as a politician in Alberta is peppered with bigotry and abuse of power.
In 1997, Day suggested that serial-child killer Clifford Olson should be put into the general prison population and let notorious “prison justice” follow its course. “People like myself say, ‘Fix the problem. Put him in the general (prison) population. The moral prisoners will deal with it in a way which we don’t have the nerve to do.’”
Day was relentless in badgering his cabinet colleagues in the Alberta government to end abortion funding. In 1988 Mr. Day said granting greater access to abortion would prompt a rise in child abuse. “The thinking is, if you can cut a child to pieces or burn them alive with salt solution while they’re still in the womb, what’s wrong with knocking them around a little when they’re outside the womb.” He would deny abortions even to victims of rape and incest.
From 1979-85, Day was administrator of the Bentley Christian Training Centre an independent school run by the Bentley Christian Centre, a fundamentalist Pentecostal church. An Alberta government audit was highly critical of the American curriculum which created “a degree of insensitivity towards blacks, Jews and natives.” Day denied the curriculum was bigoted and declared: “God’s law is clear: Standards of education are not set by government, but by God, the Bible, the home and the school.”
He attacked Lorne Goddard a prominent Alberta lawyer for defending a man accused of having child porn stating: “Goddard must also believe it is fine for a teacher to possess child porn.”
He boasted of the fact that he was one of the first customers at holocaust denier Jim Keegstra’s new garage after he was convicted of hate crimes.
Much later, when he was the Conservative’s foreign affairs critic, Day refused to send condolences to the Palestinian people when Yasser Arafat died. Why? Because he believed (based on an article by fellow right-winger and Bush speech writer David Frum) that Arafat died of AIDS (with the strong hint that this was a result of Arafat’s alleged homosexuality).
Where would Day be on the prorogation issue? In 1995 he mused publicly about canceling the fall sitting of the legislature because “The longer we’re in here, the temptation is too great to come up with more laws and more regulation.” Back when he was running the Bentley school, Day claimed that democratic governments “…represent the ultimate deification of man, which is the very essence of humanism and totally alien to God’s word.”
Lest we forget…these reform party Neanderthals never change. Their bigotry and hatred of secular government are deeply rooted in their Christian fundamentalism. The only thing protecting us from them for the moment is their desire for even more power – that is, a majority. If you need motivation to do everything you can to ensure that doesn’t happen just imagine dinosaur man as Justice Minister in a majority Harper government.
But in the meantime, if Day has influence over the cuts, what might be on his death list? Day stated in 2000 that he would eventually end all taxpayer financing of CBC television and eliminate all cultural subsidies to all cultural institutions and individuals. And he was part of the Klein government which cut health care spending by 30% and hiked health premiums.
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