Whenever you think it's safe to start ridiculing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford again, Peter Goldring opens his mouth, proving that this province remains Canada's Home Sweet Alabamberta of egregious political buffoonery.
Goldring, 69, is the Member of Parliament for Edmonton East and the source many of the more entertaining if inconsequential political stories in Alberta. Yesterday he was back in the thick of it, using the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine as an excuse to demand Canada declare war on Russia.
Well, in fairness, all Goldring was really calling for was "total economic warfare," but that, he added, should only be "the first precursor to much more strident efforts" -- which will be fought, presumably, to the very last German, Frenchman and Italian.
Thoroughly in tune with the sprit of the era, Goldring also demanded the West start a religious war by establishing a competing Patriarchy for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to compete with one inside Russia's borders. Maybe later we can argue about whether it should be Canada's state church.
Goldring has long had a lively interest in foreign policy, and indeed is best known as the country's most enthusiastic advocate of bringing the Caribbean's Turks and Caicos Islands into Confederation, an idea that for some reason has failed generate much enthusiasm elsewhere in Ottawa’s halls of power throughout his 17-year Parliamentary career.
He argued that the Turks and Caicos would be just like Prince Edward Island -- only, you know, farther away, and without potatoes, Anne Shirley or Green Gables.
But Goldring's latest effort should find considerably more sympathy in the bellicose PMO of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as the Top Tory Banana attempts with his friends at Post Media and the Sun News Network to revive the Cold War.
Last December, Goldring engaged in a little "freelance diplomacy," visiting Kiev on his own dime to whip up the crowds in support for the rebels who later toppled the former Ukrainian government in last spring's coup. Later, the Harper Government sent him back to Ukraine in May and June to make impartial observations about the current Ukrainian government's election.
On the Home Front, Goldring is also well known for his view that this homelessness stuff is vastly overstated. "You don’t want to look at it coldly, but they’re really not in desperate need until they’re holding that eviction notice in their hand," he explained in 2012.
In 2009, he railed against what he called the effort to "unhang" Louis Riel, whom he dismissed as a villain.
While he has spent most of his career in Parliament as an MP for the Conservative-Reform-Alliance Party, Goldring spent all of 2012 and bits of 2011 and 2013 in the doghouse after he was accused of refusing to provide a breath sample to a police officer who pulled him over on his way home from a dinner at the Ukrainian Hall. In June 2013, he was acquitted of that change and welcomed back in to the Conservative fold.
Goldring has long been a fervent opponent of roadside Breathalyzer tests on what he calls civil liberties grounds. During his spell in political Coventry, he described himself as a Civil Liberties MP.
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