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Questions and more questions about Canadian politics

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Photo: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/Secretary of Defense/flickr

We begin June as we ended May. With more questions than answers.

Item: Enterprise Cape Breton President John Lynn got fired after hiring four Tories with connections to federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay -- without benefit of documentation or competition. The federal integrity watchdog uncovered a "pattern" that created an "appearance of patronage." But he claimed he found "no indication of a direct involvement" by MacKay.

Does anyone out there seriously believe Peter MacKay wasn't involved?

Item: "I frankly don't understand people who are walking away... from something that's proven to work," Prime Minister Harper declared last week during an international conference on maternal health. He was referring to parents rejecting overwhelming scientific evidence supporting vaccinating children against disease.

Is this the same man who made his politician's bones dismissing, then minimizing equally overwhelming evidence of climate change? And speaking of things "proven to work," why won't the prime minister allow Canada's maternal health funding to be used providing safe abortions in developing countries when the World Health Organization says unsafe abortions cause eight per cent of maternal deaths?

Item: In less than a month of operations, the Nova Scotia Government has spent $19 of the $21 million it had allocated to keep the Yarmouth-Portland ferry afloat for the next seven years.

Is this an inevitable start-up blip, or will the former government turn out to have been right the first time when it pulled the plug on the ferry?

Item: A Lunenburg County judge last week sentenced a 24-year-old former drug addict to two years in prison in a 2012 sex-for-drugs case. According to the judge, the young man has made "great strides" -- he completed rehab and has been drug free ever since, landed a job, pays his bills and tried to make amends to those he's hurt -- and his pre-sentence report suggests his rehabilitation is on track if only he can steer clear of negative peer pressure.

Given all of that -- and the negative peer pressure endemic in jail -- why did the judge insist on prison time when even he acknowledges the young man wouldn't pose a threat if allowed to serve his time in the community? 

This article first appeared in Stephen Kimber's Halifax Metro column.

Photo: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/Secretary of Defense/flickr

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