There’s a statute of limitations on political blame – and the time’s up for this Liberal government.
Two years ago this month, Justin Trudeau won a majority government.
This anniversary is a line of demarcation between blaming the previous government for all its current problems and shouldering responsibility for those it has failed to fix.
But just try telling that to the prime minister and his cabinet parade of blame-shifters, who see former prime minister Stephen Harper’s handiwork in all that is failing them now.
The time has arrived to cease boasting how they, not the Conservatives, are the party of pipeline approvals when it was a Liberal re-reset of the National Energy Board’s application criteria which delivered the death blow to the Energy East megaproject.
No longer can the Trudeau government receive this week’s scathing assessment of its all-talk-no-walk tackling of climate change from the environment commissioner and shrug it off to inherited Conservative inaction.
No longer can they be told by the information commissioner—as they were this week— that they’ve become more secretive than ever and insist they’re an improvement over the last government.
(In a related vein, they can’t keep highlighting Harper era scandals with the eager release of legally-requested documents and then cover up their own mistakes with heavily-censored access requests.)
They can’t keep pointing back in time to the Harper era’s handling of the Omar Khadr file as justification for their $10.5 million payout when the human rights violations driving that compensation cheque occurred under former Liberal rule.
They can’t keep suggesting the Harper government has alienated indigenous people and then take two years to appoint an action ministry to do something beyond talking or giving leaders a one-hour hearing with the premiers.
And they can’t keep linking the botched Phoenix payroll system, with its insidious inability to deliver the correct pay to public servants, as a Conservative-engineered boondoggle. Their fix should be in place by now.
Governments get two years to repair the damage from regime change before the public tires of their chronically shirked responsibility.
The Blame Harper game is over.
From now on if the government fails to act, Justin Trudeau should look in the mirror.
And that’s the last word.