Per Diem

   It seems that Canada has found itself in a whole lot of doo-doo. This over a part needed for the pipeline that feeds natural gas from Russia to Europe. The six Russian turbines were in Montreal for scheduled repair, when they got frozen there by Canada’s sanctions against Gazprom and its oligarch boss. Now the repaired part is needed back, so that the pipeline can be repaired and can bring its flow back to 100% before the coming winter. Gazprom, aka Russia, has reduced flow to 40% and says it will stay there without the parts.

As I start to write this, there is a House of Commons committee discussing the decision made by the government, to allow the turbines to be shipped back to Germany and re-installed on the Russian pipeline. As I finish writing, the committee has finished its discussion and have decided to form another committee in a few weeks that with look into the matter further. Seriously? This is my tax dollars at work? The part will already be attached and operational!! For right or wrong forming a committee is not going to change this fact!! Why do we need to pay some politician a per diem, to sit on a committee, that is going to discuss the redundant???

   I understand that investigation is required when action by the government may break, bend or ignore its own rules. Like the Canadian government implementing of the Emergency Measures Act or the Jan. 6th Commission into the gong show that took place at the US Capital Building, these are events that need to be scrutinized. What happened during these events matter to their respective citizens, a committee is justified. But this is pipeline part! No one wants to send it back but it is needed. I think it is easy enough to understand what’s happening, I don’t need to pay for a committee to tell me the pros and cons of the events that are transpiring. I don’t need a 200-page critical report!! That will take 6-months to publish!!! That’s 6-months of per diem paid to some first-term politician, so they get a bigger pay cheque! I want a tax credit!!!

It doesn’t take much, to understand the dilemma the Government of Canada found itself in. Sending back the part(s) let’s Russia weaponize its energy even further, but not sending it back will most definitely impact the average German citizen and create a winter of hardship they probably aren’t willing to sign up for. Sending back the part makes Canadians look hypocritical, but not sending back the part would make Canadians look callous and uncaring, because they’re not the ones facing a winter with no heat. Sending back the part is no guarantee that Russia will actually resume gas flow to Germany, but not returning the part means there is no hope for that outcome. I understand the dilemma the government was faced with. I really don’t need a politician to ask a government minister to explain their decision. I don’t care which side of the decision you stand on, unless you are truly stupid, no one needs to explain why they did what they did to you. We all deserve a tax credit!!!

   Personally, I support the decision to return the six turbines. I don’t want to see Europe’s energy situation worsened because we withheld the part. I would suggest that the turbines be handed over to the German government and they can decide whether they get installed or not. The pipeline is in their country after all. I want them to be able to cook food in their homes and power the factories that are producing armaments destined for Ukraine. I know that Europe wishes it could turn off the tap right now, but that’s not the current situation, and people need to be realistic.

I know that Zelensky is going to publicly speak out about it, he’s that kind of leader. He’s calling out everyone! But this is a war being fought on more than one level and not every battle will be won. I think Zelensky has proved himself smart enough to understand this. Let’s not forget that he’s been forced to order retreat within his own borders, in the name of the greater good. He gets that his rhetoric is required, just like admonishing the Germans for not shutting down the pipeline in the first place. There are optics to be considered. But I think at the end of the day, we’ll still be friends.

   A committee to tell me what’s going on, is not a requirement. The politics that continue to play out within chambers of parliament and the non-stop creation of committees and their sub-committees is costing me a fortune. I don’t want any more inquiries into things that are simple to see and understand. I don’t want to pay an elected official and their staff a per diem to investigate the obvious. There is no doubt that conversations were had, and the right questions were asked and answered before the decision was made. I don’t need a committee to tell me that it was a no-win decision in the first place!! I don’t need a committee to tell me that the Liberal government pooped out a sanction, then stepped in it!! I ain’t blind!! We don’t need to spend money on this!!!

The Canadian support of Ukraine is unchanged by returning the part. Yes, we are eating some crow, foreign and domestic, but we’ll get over it. The return of the turbines will be water under the bridge by the next news-cycle (just google fist-bump), and the average Canadian will have moved on. To the majority of Canadians, this is already a non-thing. It’s a moral argument not a legal one. Agree, don’t agree, what’s done is done already. There isn’t much more to talk about. But now, thanks to one House of Commons committee (all party), whose members already get a per diem, and could have easily seen the obvious, we get to hear about Russian turbines again in a month when the new committee is formed, and 6-months after that when the release their findings. During that time my tax dollars will be spent on daily per diems to the politicians that get placed on this committee. I’m serious… there needs to be a box on my tax return that I can tick and get my rebate!!






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