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Transparency and accountability are not partisan issues

We need to demand better from all politicians regardless of party
For your consideration - Thom Barker

The Liberals were supposed to be so much better than the Conservatives they replaced when it comes to transparency and respect for democracy.

They’re not.

Before we go any further, though, this is not in any way, shape or form to be construed as an endorsement of the current Conservatives who appear poised to — although hopefully that will change by 2025 — wrest control of the federal government back.

Pierre Poilievre, with his juvenile slogans, simplistic approaches to complex problems and pandering to fringe voters who profess to embody Canadian values, but do not, is not the answer to the Liberal problem.

Pushing back is.

Specifically, what has my ire up this week is an alleged condition the federal government is putting on recipients of grants from its Community Services Recovery Fund.

This was a good news story. The Smithers Multicultural Society is getting around $85,000 to fund dance workshops intended to help people retain and promote their cultures.

The society gave us the basics, but then said anything else they told us would have to be approved by the federal government.

I want to give the feds the benefit of the doubt, maybe our local group has misinterpreted the conditions of the funding, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard this. And that wouldn’t change the fact that Canadian governments have been on a steady slide in openness and accountability for years.

Just this year, we took another dip in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. In the 1990s our score was as high as 92 (out of 100) and we were in the Top 5 of countries. Now it’s 74 and we rank 14th.

Furthermore, polls suggest the majority of Canadians don’t trust what our governments are telling us.

It’s no wonder considering the armies of “communications” people they have spinning, obfuscating, blocking media and voters from talking to anybody who knows anything about anything. They are turning up to down, black to white and making 2 + 2 = 5.

It’s Orwellian.

If there is anything refreshing about Poilievre, it’s that he appears to speak his mind. Unfortunately, what comes out of that mind is wholly unpalatable.

It’s not good enough to flip-flop between Conservatives and Liberals. And while we’ve never had a federal NDP government, our experience with provincial NDP governments suggests, once in power, they are no better than the other two.

We need to demand better from all of them.

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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