For God’s sake, find a new hobby horse

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson. Self Reliance, 1841.

Canada is a nation peopled by an entirely paranoid and gullible species of conspiracy theorist.  What other reason (aside from the existence of an actual conspiracy) could cause otherwise sane citizens to believe, rehash and print this sort of nonsense for close to twenty years:

OTTAWA–Canada is in secret talks with the United States that could lead to the bulk export of water south of the border, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion charges.

“The pressure coming from our American friends to remove Canadian water to help their problems with the shortage of fresh water is very strong,” Dion told a news conference yesterday.

“There is a strong lobby for that. We should be strong to resist that.”

Dion rejected the denials of senior government officials and insisted yesterday that he has inside knowledge that “negotiations” are underway.

— Bruce Campion-Smith & Susan Delacourt, “Secret talks underway, Dion claims“. Toronto Star, August 18th, 2007.

Yes folks, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is now giving official credence to the bed-wetting, world-ending nightmares of Maude Barlow and certain scare-mongering state propaganda organs.

In these fevered minds, of course the Americans and Mexicans want to steal our fresh water!  Water is the source of all life, Mandrake.  Seven-tenths of this earth’s surface is water.  Why, seventy percent of you is water!  And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids.  Are you beginning to understand?  Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol?

Never mind that the Hon. John Baird, Minister of the Environment, specifically refuted the bulk water export bugaboo the last time they dragged the ghost out of the closet and rattled the rusty chains.

Never mind that a previous government had also taken steps to rule out the bulk export of Canadian fresh water.

Never mind that every Dominion Government since 1987 has stated that NAFTA (and its predecessor, FTA) does not apply to water in its natural state—in lakes, rivers, ice sheets, etc—because the water has not at that point “entered into commerce and become a good” for purposes of our multilateral trade treaties.

How frickin’ hard is that to figure out?  This no-bulk-sale policy is bipartisan, having survived several changes in government with no apparent moderation.

Monsieur Dion, if you have concrete proof that the Government of Canada is actually going to permit trafficking in bulk water, contrary to its stated policy, then it behooves you to present that proof to the people of Canada.  If you have no such proof, then you are deliberately spreading misinformation and undermining the public’s faith in civil governance for no reason beyond mere partisanship.  And you’re a fool for doing so.

Put up or shut up.

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