Another Dirty Grain Car Rolls Past

Over the last several years the Governments have been refurbishing the buildings on Parliament Hill. They sand-blasted the exteriors and replaced the existing roofs with new copper sheets and have done massive upgrades to the interior offices etc. Not that I think  that has been a bad idea. I nation should be proud of the seat of government and the repairs and renovation were well over due.
Harper loves to help Canada’s military put a shiny new face forward too.  Little Stevie's enthusiasm for the dirty little war in Afghanistan has helped Canada’s warriors upgrade their rolling stock and to be honest I don’t begrudge them.
Now the  Harper government is also about to spend an obscene amount of money on new state of the art fighter jets for the Air Force. Why exactly we need new fighter jets  I’ll never know particularly when most of the combat missions we have seen in recent years involves IEDs planted by men in sandals and wearing what the Globe & Mail tells me the American military calls “man dresses.”
I read one commentator recently who suggested that it would be a lot cheaper just to buy all those young men with a need for speed new Porsche Carrera GTs. It would help get that out of their system and it would kill a lot fewer people.
I was thinking about all that today when the traffic on Albert Street here in Regina had to stop to let a train go by.  I was struck by the state of disrepair the grain cars were in. They are so dirty and the paint is so corroded off these cars that you can hardly read where it says Government of Canada on the side.  What a mess!
I remember when those cars were brand new.   They looked great. It made you think that the Government actually gave a damn about getting Canada’s wheat to terminals. It made you kind of proud.
The only newer ones I’ve seen these days are owned by the Government of Saskatchewan either re-painted or refurbished during the NDP’s days in power.  It makes me think of the old days when signs heralding improvements here in Saskatchewan used to say “Brought to you by the people of Saskatchewan.”  What a concept.
But I am getting off topic.
What the government spends money on reflects who is in power. Harper and his gang love the military and these days they happily pay truckloads of money to promote them. Here in Regina everything from rock concerts to football games get a military jet flyby. I have often wondered what budget that comes out of, probably promotion and recruiting.

They love showy stuff like the Olympics and hosting the G8 but they don't like the arts,  immigrants or any group that might actually criticize them.
And, when it comes to practical stuff on the ground, like grain cars, who in Ottawa actually gives a damn.  Agriculture Minister Gerry “The Cracker” Ritz obviously doesn’t.  Stephen and the Harpettes don’t really think anyone out here will notice and anyway, our flawed electoral system almost guarantees him a clean western sweep.
I for one miss the time when our government actually gave a damn.

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