In central Canada, noteably Ontario, the spectre of a government focused on sectors of the economy that are riding high, while virtually ignoring those that desperately need attention, is a political winner for the opposition. The simple facts demonstrate quite clearly where the government's priorities lie, Ontario's concerns largely an afterthought, Harper showing his western bias. The government can argue it is doing many things to help Ontario's struggling economy, but the facts suggest a casual attitude, more important to make sure Shell and Suncor are happy, that demonstrate any urgency with regards to manufacturing.
The NDP's Pat Martin makes the point:
Despite the limited amount of information available in the lobbying files, NDP MP Pat Martin says the new reporting law is worthwhile because it reveals the extent of contacts between the oil industry and government on an issue that will likely be central in the next election.
“That's not lobbying, that's a blitzkrieg,” Mr. Martin said. “It's easy to see who's got the ear of this government.”
Many Canadians already hold the view that the Harper government is too close to big oil. Canadians also have little sympathy for companies that now regularly report profits that rival the GDP of many nations. Harper in bed with big oil, indifferent to the manufacturing sector, is an issue that can be exploited. The argument now finds empirical evidence to show the warped sense of priorities. Let's hope this new lobbysist disclosure is used to hammer the Conservatives, I suspect voters won't approve.