Flashbacks: April

I don’t know what’s more shocking—that St. John’s has actually been seeing a lot of nice weather lately or that April 2012 is already over. Either way, April—like every other month in the surreal hellscape we call “real life”—was pretty funny.

This April saw a civil war rage in Alberta as the governing Progressive Conservatives faced off against their angsty right-wing offspring, the Wildrose Alliance. The Tories ran a terrible and totally uninspiring campaign, setting the stage for a Wildrose victory that all the polls and pundits predicted would usher in a terrifying libertarian dystopia. As it turns out, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith was such a committed libertarian that she told voters the party was totally okay with comments from candidates about, say, the moral imperative to harass homosexuals, or that white people are superior to non-white people; all candidates are entitled to their own opinions! Unfortunately for her, it turned out that homophobia and white supremacy are not actually popular opinions for potential government members to harbour, and their projected majority collapsed into less than a quarter of the province’s seats in what was probably the funniest electoral reversal of fortune in recent memory. If you followed any of this saga on SUN News, Ezra Levant’s palpable heartbreak on election night was really emotionally satisfying.

Like their Wildrose cousins, the federal Conservatives had a pretty rough go of things this month. The Auditor General did a little digging and it turns out that not only did the Department of Defence more or less scam its ministers into shilling for those infamous F-35 fighter jets, but the government ministers in question had already decided to go ahead with the purchase of the jets a month before bureaucrats could even dupe them about it. To make things worse, the government withheld what little (mis)information they had about the jets from Parliament and accused everyone asking for more information of high treason. Whoops! The figures were only fudged by about $10 billion dollars, though, so it’s not actually a big deal or anything.

In other federal news, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms celebrated its 30th birthday this month! To mark this momentous occasion, Prime Minister Harper shrugged that he didn’t actually want to celebrate the Charter in any way because he was sensitive to Quebec’s feelings. This position, of course, is totally consistent with the government’s sensitivity to Quebec’s feelings on all those other issues, like the militant promotion of poorly thought out federal crime legislation that totally alienates la belle province. Or Harper’s past support for funding a re-enactment of French Canada’s greatest national trauma on the Plains of Abraham, or the Conservatives’ decision to scorch the earth of the federal gun registry so thoroughly that Quebec is taking them to court over it. Oh, and Bev Oda was caught spending like a drunken sailor on luxury hotels, limousines and orange juice while in London attending a conference on international aid, but that’s not especially scandalous, as “Bev Oda” has been synonymous with “corruption” since sometime in 2006.

On the provincial front, the much-anticipated Public Utilities Board review of the Muskrat Falls project was made public at the beginning of the month, and much to the chagrin of the provincial government and ex-premier Danny Williams, they repeated in the report what they’d been saying publicly for months; namely, that they didn’t have enough information to come to a conclusion on whether or not the controversial project is, in fact, the lowest-cost option in terms of energy development. In light of this, the government changed its mind and decided it was going to have a dedicated debate on Muskrat Falls in the legislature after all! Eventually, anyways; although it’s doubtful that this will placate an increasingly hysterical opposition or the legion of Twitter conspiracy theorists. The provincial budget also finally dropped after being delayed a month, but the consensus from all interested observers (business, labour, and student alike) is that it’s a pretty humdrum budget. Which is nice, because actually discussing the budget didn’t get in the way of all those other important legislative debates, like yelling hyperboles about Search and Rescue at each other to the point that rational conversation about anything becomes impossible.

There were some other honourable mentions in the news this month. The Tupac Hologram is the greatest development in the history of exploiting dead celebrities, the Swedish Minister of Culture was caught on camera eating a cake in the shape of a clitoris while a man in blackface watched and screamed (no, seriously, Google it), and to clue it all up, Stephen Harper slapped the federal NDP with the world’s laziest Hitler invocation the other day when he declared the party voted against Canada joining World War II (spoiler: the NDP didn’t exist until 1961). Whew!

That’s it for this month, children! Who knows what hilarious social and political dysfunctions May will bring? I know, but I’m not telling until Paul Lane ups his game on Twitter.

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