Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Softwood Timber Settlement Deal Likely: A Vote for Common Sense?

It looks as if Canada's Parliament will approve the recently negotiated settlement of the long simmering softwood timber ruckus that has become something of a lightning rod for left winger nutcases in el Norte, complete with all the usual allegations of

fraud! conspiracy! theft! Harper is Bush's toady! Emerson is a Republican Quisling! Bush! Bush! it is all his fault! Bush! Why did Harper not attend the 16th Annual AIDS conference! Bush! Bush!

The first vote in Parliament was split along party fault lines, with the vote going 172-116 in favor. All of the NDP and Liberals save one voted against the agreement, which will return eighty cents on the dollar in settlement to Canada.

A lot of people will bitch about this-in fact, they already are and have been, but the reality is that a settlement that yields eighty per cent of the face amount is a good day's work in the legal field, as against continuing the litigation with no end in sight and no guarantee that payday's going to be any better several years hence or that vindication will come.

It's also a good yardstick to measure exactly who in el Norte is willing to filter the incessant tirade of abuse we've come to expect from our more vocal and fractious neighbours to the north, although it does seem that politicians in Canada who are willing to say "Hey....these folks are our largest trading partner, we're all one big happy dysfunctional family, let's work on common needs and goals" are going to have to suffer just as much abuse as we hear.


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