Christmas comes early on Parliament Hill. Members of Parliament are off this week on their holidays—and whenever the government is on break it’s something of a reprieve for the rest of us, too. It’s also a good opportunity to look back at all that’s been done, which unfortunately for us means looking back at all the damage that’s been done.
I’ve been keeping track of all the policy changes and other antics that catch my attention, over the course of this second session of the 41st Parliament, and have compiled them on a separate page of this blog (which I’ve called “A government play-by-play,” for lack of a better title). I’ll be doing the same thing throughout 2015.
This session was perhaps not as horrific as some others—there was no widespread gutting of environmental legislation or refugee policy, no tossing of science libraries into garbage bins—but surveying the past few months can be a depressing activity regardless. It doesn’t help that our environment minister has returned just in time for the holidays from the latest UN Climate Change Conference, having helped secure yet another useless agreement.
The last few months were dominated less by new legislation than by Supreme Court challenges to previously introduced legislation (including those involving prostitution, refugee health care, Indigenous rights and jurisdiction, and voting rules)—and of course by the Conservative government’s appeals of each of these. We’ve also entered the last push until election time, which means money being splashed around in a variety of ineffectual ways (or, as with income-splitting, which actually increase wealth inequality). More on this, I’m sure, in the months to come.