You can recall Stephen Harper saying we wouldn't recognize Canada when he got done? It meant more than just painting the Government of Canada websites in Tory Blue. He is slowly moving government out of the way of business.
Its happening without any fanfare. You will recall the listeria outbreak from Maple Leaf Foods packaging plants. Twenty-one Canadians died as a result of tainted meat. We use to have meat inspectors that cruised around to all these meat processing plants and made sure things were up to snuff. We allowed the industry to self regulate. That means they make sure they are doing everything the correct way, in this case they failed and we lost 21 people due to their error.
Do you recall Walkerton? In that case the Ontario Conservative government allowed suppliers of drinking water to self regulate. The province down loaded the responsibility, basically getting out of the business. Do you recall how many people died or got severely sick as a result of someone not doing their job correctly, without government inspectors.
Now we are going to the same over flight safety. Canada is the only country in the world to deregulate Flight Safety. Currently it is being applied only with the big airlines. It has a better chance of succeeding here due to the fact the industry is highly union and they have systems in place that would prevent the airline from flying planes that were unsafe or used unqualified flight crews. Still even big airlines could screw up. That's why we have inspectors.
The next step in the plan is to allow smaller airlines to self-police themselves. They are basically doing it now as the federal inspections have fallen dramatically. These airlines can pretty much do what they want. They have no concerns that an inspector is going to catch them out.
Soon I can see the few federal inspectors left turned over to a private company. They will bid for the job, lowest bidder gets it, then we will likely see unqualified inspectors doing the odd check of the airlines.
What's next? I suspect we can see other government inspectors cut back or privatized all together.
If you think I am doing a little scare-mongering here, you should remember that Jim Flaherty and Tony Clement, the two most powerful Ministers in Prime Minister Harper's government ,were the really smart guys that brought us Walkerton.
See Peace, Order and Good Government, eh? -