Last week, Tony Turner -- who wrote the protest song Harperman -- was suspended from his job. Turner is a federalist scientist, whose job is to track migratory bird species. He knows what's been happening at Environment Canada. Michael Harris writes:
I have it on good authority that Turner, an expert in the highly controversial field of bird migrations, was also recently caught smiling at his desk. There are even nasty rumours circulating that he laughed at the Great Navigator during a clandestine lunch with other seditious critics of the government.
And they call this a breach of the code of values and ethics for a civil servant. Say what? How about Harper’s inner circle and members of his PMO senior staff? In Harperland, criticism set to music is worse than lying, cheating, bribery, breach of trust and peaking into other people’s forensic briefs?
Never mind that the Supreme Court has found that civil servants are within their rights to express opinions during an election campaign. Mr. Harper has no use for a court which consistently finds his legislation unconstitutional.
But perhaps it goes deeper than that. Mr. Harper is known for attempting reedy-voiced covers of old Beatles tunes. Turner is obviously a better musician -- and, I daresay, scientist -- than Mr. Harper. Perhaps it's a case of professional envy. And Mr. Turner writes his own material.
As the Duffy trial has made clear, everybody in the Harper government has to read the lines the PMO has written for them. Everybody sings from the same songbook -- except Mr. Turner.