Monday, October 31, 2011

The Beaver, The Bear and The Useless

This is not a joke.

Last Thursday at 1:40 p.m. Senator Nicole Eaton of Toronto stood in her place in the somnolent Senate of Canada and proposed that the beaver be fired as the official symbol of Canada. She proposed that the polar bear take its place.

A politician we pay $132,300 base salary a year (plus research grants of $30,000, office budget of $20,000, tax-free expense allowance $10,000, free business class flight for them and families etc. etc.) actually stood up in the Senate and said:

 “While I would never speak ill of our furry friend, I stand here today suggesting that perhaps it is time for change.”

The beaver, she said, is a “dentally defective rat” and “tyrant” that wrecks roads, streams tree plantations, lakes and farmlands.

There’s no clue why she wants the beaver replaced by the bear, except she did tell us the polar bear is “the world’s largest terrestrial carnivore and Canada’s most majestic and splendid mammal, holding reign over the Arctic for thousands of years.”

That’s nice, but why is the outrageously expensive Senate operation promoting nonsense when we still haven’t figured out how to fix the health care system, how to stop the gang wars on Toronto’s streets, how to stop the oxycontin abuse epidemic, eliminate child poverty, stop youth suicides . . . . The list of problems and challenges this country’s politicians face stretch from sea to shining sea.

The Senate meanwhile talks about whether the polar bear should replace the beaver as a national symbol.

We citizens pay an estimated $100 million a year to keep the Senate functioning. It sits 69 days a year. It fulfills no useful purpose. It is not supported by the people, and there never will be agreement on how to reform it.

Folks, it’s not the beaver that should go . . . .

And, do we really want Canada symbolized by a ferocious animal that wanders the world’s harshest climate alone and perpetually hungry like the unfortunate street people? Or is it better to be symbolized by an animal that works . . .  well like a beaver . . . quietly, efficiently, and without complaint to build a better life for itself and its fellow citizens.

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