Brian Mulroney made a few headlines across the land today when he addressed a conference put on by the think tank Canada2020. That's an outfit that, while "non-partisan," is very much partial to the rampant exploitation of Canada in the interests of big capital.
In case you've forgotten Lyin' Brian's bona fides, he's the guy who drove the Progressive Conservative Party so deep into the ground that after he handed it off to Kim Campbell it lost all but two seats in the next election, an epic fail the likes of which have never been seen before or since in Canadian politics. That's what brought about the Reform Party's (Canada's Tea Party) rise to a place where they could take over the venerable Tory party.
That was far from his only accomplishment. The wily sleazebag also made a name for himself for the Karlheinz Schreiber scandal, wherein the bagman for the German Thiessen-Krupp conglomerate handed cash-stuffed envelopes to Prime Minister Mulroney, who was apparently having a moment of "poor judgement" at the time.
And who can forget Mr. Mulroney's principled stand against apartheid in South Africa?
Although he never expressed any reservations about the apartheid regime he presided over vis-a-vis Canadian aboriginals, Mr. Mulroney was deeply concerned about apartheid in South Africa, to such an extent that he is to this day considered in some quarters to have been one of the world leaders who headed up anti-apartheid sanctions against that country.
South Africa at the time had the dominant gold coin in circulation among those who need to hoard gold, the Krugerrand. Canada was on the threshold of introducing its own gold coin.
By the most fortuitous stroke of coincidence, after his retirement from politics Mulroney reaped many millions of dollars from a generous sinecure at Canada's biggest gold producer, Barrick.
But that's all in the past. What is Brian's vision for Canada in 2020?
Well, Canada's future hinges on the unhinged and unregulated exploitation of Canada's natural resources. Good leadership is leadership that overcomes the objections of natives and environmentalists and pinkos of all stripes as it secures Canada's future by turning it into a one-trick economy predicated on rampant resource exploitation.
Since the NAFTA deal he lobbied so tirelessly for has all but destroyed Canada's manufacturing sector, he could well be on to something. Like, what the hell else can we do?
Turn back the clock? Undo NAFTA? Make peace with our Indian population? Secure our natural resources for future generations to harvest in a responsible way? Put the interests of Canadians ahead of the interests of multi-national conglomerates? Favour Canadian workers over Filipinos and Mexicans? Favour the environment over pell-mell resource exploitation?...
Nope, not a chance. Our hands are tied... it's time to forget the pipe-dreams and forge ahead with the pipelines.