Sure, most Canadians are appalled at the recent decisions by the Talibangelists on the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), and the loss of rights and freedoms their overturning Roe v. Wade represents to women. But aside from never voting for Conservatives to avoid the same thing happening here, what can Canadians do? After all, it’s an American legal decision and legal problem, not ours. Abortion rights in Canada were unaffected by the decision.*
Well, according to CollingwoodToday, our own councillor, Steve “Mr. Mediocrity” Berman leapt into action last week to announce he plans to present a notion of a motion sometime in the vaguely distant future to express his righteous indignation. He’d get to it sometime soon, we were assured, after asking staff what to say.
…Coun. Steve Berman said he planned to put forward a notice of motion on the issue of Roe vs. Wade being overturned. He is currently working with town staff to draft the wording of a motion which is planned to come before council in the coming weeks.
In the “coming weeks?” Nothing like striking when the iron is stone cold.
I’m sure the motion will carefully express his umbrage without offending his eight fellow Conservatives on council, or his beloved Conservative Great Leader, now keeping the backbenches warm in Queen’s Park.
But, wait a second. What jurisdiction does a municipality have over abortions, laws, healthcare, or women’s rights? Right: none. Yet Berman — whose sole contribution this term has been a Stalinist motion to censor public comments on town social media and documents to ensure everything conforms with the official narrative — wants to “put forward something with teeth,” something he wants to be “actionable and includes zero lip service.”
This is from a council that gives regular “lip service” to First Nations by repeating a platitude at the start of every meeting to make themselves feel like they have empathy with First Nations’ peoples and issues without actually doing anything, even though the municipality has no jurisdiction in these areas, either.
So why should Berman’s motion be any different? Methinks it will be just another self-aggrandizing moment for council, another WTF-were-they-thinking facepalm for council watchers.
Even though the Municipal Act and the other legislation by which Ontario municipalities and councils are governed provide no authority to the town for anything he comes up with to be more than hot air, Berman huffed and puffed enough to get quoted in the local media. Would that he had spent as much time actually reading the legislation that governs his actions, and focused on local issues.
Collingwood deserves better.
* There are more than 80 Conservative MPs, or 69% of their caucus, who would eagerly pass anti-abortion legislation if they formed a government. An attempt to strip women of their rights to reproductive healthcare was made in 1990 under the Conservative PM Brian Mulroney, but the bill died when the Senate was locked in a tie vote. His successor, Stephen Harper, allowed his backbenchers to bring forward private member bills and motions to restrict abortion six times between 2006 and 2014. Conservative leadership candidate and alt-right rage tweeter, Pierre Poilievre, has taken the same stand as Harper: he won’t bring anti-abortion legislation forward himself, but he would let his caucus do it, allowing him to restrict women’s rights while washing his hands of the result.
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Let’s not forget that Berman was one of Saunderson’s gang who bullied a female councillor out of office earlier this year in order to replace her with a personal friend, lobbyist, and campaign donor. And let’s also not forget Berman’s self-aggrandizing refusal to stay at the table to hear Comi’s Women’s Day presentation on Feb. 24, 2020 because it mentioned former Mayor Cooper.
Berman’s abrupt about-face to pretend he cares about women or women’s issues is just political grandstanding. The public won’t forget Berman’s misogynistic behaviour.