Send Garneau back to Space

The space-station is celebrating ten years today of continuous habitation.  Its my suggestion we send Liberal MP Marc Garneau back up there for the next ten years after he decided it was more important to protect the patents on life saving HIV medications than to save lives in developing countries.  Garneau voted with the Conservative government at committee virtually gutting the ability to make life saving generic drugs in Canada.

Often people suggest that I spend too much time attacking the Liberal party and should be going after the demon Harperites.  I can only add in my defense that the Liberal party has proven time and again, they are Conservative lite on issues involving corporations.  Often to the detriment of Canadians like you and me.  Recently most Liberals lined up to support anti-scab legislation on second reading, only to go missing on third reading or to change their votes.  They have done this at least three times in the last 6 years. 

Take the recent EI expansion bill that would have extended benefits to Canadian workers laid off and with little or limited hopes of finding decent employment in the near future.  People with mortgages, kids in school and or barely keeping the wolf outside.  Now many Liberals voted for the bill despite Iggy saying it would be irresponsible to support it.  Yet just enough Liberals stayed away ensuring the Bill would be defeated. 

Now I know many of these Liberals, especially the ones that did come in to vote for the EI bill do want to move on progressive issues.  Trouble is they can't as Iggy and the Liberal leadership are far more corporate minded.  It really must be hell for Gerrard Kennedy, Ken Dryden, Carolyn Bennett or Hedy Fry in that group.   Why the hell are they still there is a better question. 

I recall many years ago when I was an executive assistant for a BC NDP Cabinet Minister. I was sent out to see what we could do when a first Nations group had blacked the construction of a bridge. The bridge was being built by a logging company to access logging rights in disputed territory. 

After a three hour drive, I was expecting I would be there for several hours and then I would return home late that night.  As the day went on, the bridge construction crew and the Indians sat around a fire, sharing moose-meat stew, smoked salmon and coffee.  We waited for the the owner of the logging company to come.  He was to arrive about two in the afternoon by helicopter.  He was a very wealthy man.

We waited and we waited.  Finally he arrived, six hours late, the setting sun providing a magnificent backdrop for his large yet sleek silver and blue helicopter to swoop overhead like a powerful eagle.  He landed and bounded out toward the fire.  He introduced himself graciously.  He spilled out all manner of flattery.

So after some discussion, it was clear we would need to be there the next day as well. And me completely unprepared.  The big owner of the the logging company asked me if I would like to spend the night at a lodge just over the next range.  A big dinner was being put up, a comfy bed and a hot tub awaited.  It was very tempting until a young member of the band council asked, "Will you go there Ricky, or stay and sleep with the people?" 

I slept in my truck that night near the fire, waking up every hour or so to start the truck and warm up, knowing I had made the right choice for me.  Wouldn't it be good if some of the red Liberals started speaking out, standing up to their party leadership, if they would accept that more can be done, we don't have to settle for less all the time.

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