Saturday, August 1, 2009

James Travers Does It Again, Go Figure....

Another day, another James Travers PM bash of an editorial. This guy is a complete joke. It took me all of 30 seconds to discount this most recent example of journalism. You see, Travers latest rant is about shipbuilding contracts that are about to be tendered. Of course this also fits in with the conspiracy theories on the Irvings Telegraph-Journal apology, but enough has already been written about that lunacy anyways.

So today Mr. Travesty seems to infer that the government investing $40 billion over 30 years is some type of reason why the PM should be turfed from office. Travers asserts that the PM is floating from one government handout to the next, selectively picking winners and losers. Of course one could ask why Travers never took issue with the Liberals doling out billions to Bombardier, but let's just focus on shipbuilding for now.

"Deep down, Stephen Harper surely has a soft heart. Nothing seems to stir the Prime Minister's protective instincts quite like a faded industrial beauty.

Shipbuilding is the latest to feel the gentle, generous touch the auto sector first experienced last spring. Over the next 30 years, the few remaining marine yards will be cutting up $40 billion in public cash – if they can get their acts and contracts together.

It's a heartening, wave-the-flag story. Distressed and in decline for decades, the industry now has a chance to escape the boom-and-bust cycle driven by a glacial defence procurement process prone to political reversals.

But wait, as they say in those breathless TV ads, there's more. By ordering right now, the federal government may someday get ships badly needed today. Better yet, with another election looming Conservatives will be seen stimulating sensitive political regions from the Maritimes through Quebec and Ontario to British Columbia.

Of course, there's tiny print the ruling party hopes no one will read. What's most transparent about the proposed new bidding process, the one discussed behind closed doors here this week, is that it's open to skulduggery. Linked to that is the worry huge premiums will come attached to the made-in-Canada label."

Very interesting. Of course one would think that a supposed credible journalist might delve into what the other parties positions are on the subject, and also look back on the history of the industry. Let's start with the history. Under the Chretien/Martin years, the Canadian shipbuilding industry was decimated. Travers might have noted that the Liberal government of the time actually paid taxpayer dollars to close the plants and put workers on the EI line:

"In the summer the Irving family announced it was closing its Saint John shipyard. The company is trying to decertify unions representing workers at the facility and is planning a new use for the facility.

At a recent Ottawa press conference NDP leader Jack Layton urged the Chretien government to reveal details of a $55 million secret deal with the Irving company to shut down the yard. Layton expressed outrage that the Irving family had contributed $100,000 to Liberal leadership frontrunner Paul Martin's leadership campaign. Layton urged Martin to make a much better effort to help workers, if he wants to be prime minister"

So paying a billionaire conglomerate taxpayer funds to CLOSE plants isn't worth mentioning, eh Mr. Travers? Now let's look at the current position of the parties. All of the opposition parties, the Libs, NDP, and Bloc are pushing for federal funds for shipbuilding contracts and jobs. Again Travers saw this information as unneeded in his piece:

" The federal Liberals have joined the call for a national shipbuilding strategy to ensure the future of the industry.

Marc Garneau, the party’s industry critic, said too many large shipbuilding contracts promised by Ottawa have stalled.

"Shipbuilders are fed up with not being listened to by the Conservatives and we are concerned that this strategically important industry is under threat," Mr. Garneau said in a news release."

Then there is this press release from the Liberal MP from Dartmouth-Cole Harbor just a month ago:

"DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA – The Government of Canada must work with shipbuilders to develop the national shipbuilding strategy needed to secure the future of the industry in Canada, Liberal Industry Critic Marc Garneau said today.

“Too many of Canada’s large shipbuilding contracts are stalled in the water,” said Mr. Garneau. “Shipbuilders are fed up with not being listened to by the Conservatives – and we’re concerned that this strategically important industry is under threat.”

“Despite announcing new ship purchases to great fanfare, these projects have suffered setback after setback due to the Conservative government’s failure to consult the industry.”

Mr. Garneau was joined by Liberal MPs Scott Brison, Geoff Regan, Mike Savage and Judy Foote in a meeting with labour and management representatives of the Canadian shipbuilding industry today in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia as part of an ongoing dialogue to inform the shipbuilding policies of a future Liberal government."

NDP leader has taken the shipbuilding spending a step further, demanding the government invoke rules to protect Canadian shipbuilders that would most likely result in WTO disputes. Gilles Duceppe has also been vocal about getting federal funds to aid the industry in Quebec, including opening shuttered facilities that used to employ thousands.

But scouring Travers column, there is nary a peep or mention of any party other than the PM, aside from one passing remark about the Liberals and the Chalk Lake reactors. And Travers also infers that shipbuilding would be money wasted. Perhaps all those Toronto Star readers in the Atlantic provinces might want to let Travers know that they are hard-working, deserve help from all levels of government to resurrect a once great Canadian industry


cantuc said...

Is CSL still building and repairing its ships in China ?

johndoe124 said...

Travers is the "Susan Riley" of the Toronto Star. Nothing but drive-by smears and unsupported innuendo. It amazes me that he actually gets paid for such imbecilic, juvenile pap.

wilson said...

''Under the Chretien/Martin years, the Canadian shipbuilding industry was decimated.''

as was the military...

PMSH is nation building.
Iffy is a decade too late.

Anonymous said...

We need artic worthy icebreakers ,coast guard units and at least two military naval flotilla of anywhere from 6 to 9 ships,one for each coast.These ships need good anti-aircraft and anti-missile capability.AND for crying out loud get a decent helicopter fleet for search and rescue.Modern warships and submarines not leaky second hand crap.


gimbol said...

James Travers is not a journalist, he's an editorial writer, a task wherein one edits (spins) a story to get a (partisan talking) point across.
In this case as Jimmy is in the employ of a diatribe not known for publishing positive story's about tory's, he is forced by personal economics to write what the TORSTAR (extreme leftwing)editorial board approves of.

Anonymous said...

Every time we "click" on to James
Travers, it gives the liberal writer some credibility, regardless of what we say after we agree to read his articles. Don't even let on you see his name - he is not worth reading unless you are a red liberal.... He is, and his articles will always reflect that... Don't give him the opportunity to know we even care what he writes, the more that reads his articles, the more pluses he receives. He may give a nice title - but it will always favour his liberal party. Let's get rid of him and if no reads what he writes, we might just do that.......

Anonymous said...

Travers is the Liberal Party's best strategist. He feels the party needs a boost he criticizes Iggy once and awhile. However, every column is a lopsided critic of the PM and government policies. He talks about the control the PMO exerts but he forgets to remind people of Martin's rallying cry against Chretien "who do you know in the PMO". The fact is this has been a problem for a long time. Harper is not going to unilaterally disarm and is going to use the tools that he has at his disposal in what he considers the best interest of the country.

jad said...

Good piece, Paul. I think one of the main differences between journalists and bloggers (at least the good ones)is that although most blogposts are written from a certain perspective, bloggers seem to feel rightly it is necessary to provide some support for their opinions. Journalists, with a few notable exceptions such as David Akin, apparently think they can say whatever they want, with no back-up details, and people will swallow it whole.

Unfortunately for the media, people are reading much better-researched, more informed opinions on blogs, and will simply not accept the kind of boilerplate that Travers, Riley, Maher, etc churn out.

I thought it was interesting on Joanne's blog yesterday that she commented that Steve Maher had read and commented on something she wrote about him. So obviously some of the media are aware of the competition. It would be good if this led them them to improve their work, but so far, I don't see much sign. And as long as papers like the Star continue to allow people like Travers to crank out the same-old, same-old, there won't be much change. I do wonder though if the editors at the Star ever read the comments on Travers' pieces, as they are almost uniformly dismissive of his abilities. Maybe it's time for some new blood, eh ?

Anonymous said...

Gotta wonder about Travers . . . maybe three years of Liberals out of power has so depressed him he has taken to the bottle.

maryT said...

Can anyone make sense out of what Travers wrote today. The headline and the story don't make any sense. You have to go to the end to see any mention of what is in the title. I think he has lost what little ability he had.
Or maybe an editor filled in the story. Can't trust anything one reads.