The prime minister responded to the news by saying the debate had escalated "to the level of the absurd."
What an amazing statement. If the debate has become absurd, the fault clearly lies within Harper's reckless, divisive rhetoric. Does anyone actually believe all parties involved would be considering legal action, if not for the Prime Minister's "calling their bluff" threats earlier this week?
Harper raises the temperature, issues threats and challenges, then has the audacity to comment as though passive observer. I do agree though, it is absurd, and a sad state of affairs, that this debate has deteriorated to the point of legal action. When you issue a challenge of the sort Harper has, then you demand a response from the other side. Such a stark threat leaves little room for interpretation, you frame the argument into a sue me or shut up proposition. Is it any surprise that such a stance results in the challenge being accepted? Is Harper so delusional that he actually thought he was calling a bluff, and these Premiers would merely retreat and project defeat?
A Prime Minister, who possessed a basic understanding of diplomatic nuance would never have found himself in this position. The issue is largely an emotional one, which demands that the federal government move carefully, with sensitivity. What does Harper do? Harper reacts by attempting to bludgeon his "opponents" into submission. Never mind the fact that it's a lose/lose situation, Harper treats the provinces like an enemy, despite the fact the last time I checked we are all Canadians. That posture has no relationship to the role the Prime Minister should play, he sullies the office.
If we have entered the realm of the absurd, the situation is a Harper creation, inspired by his own words and actions.