A couple weeks ago I wrote about the opportunity for Stephen Harper to take up Dalton McGuinty's fiscal transfers complaint. It seemed like a good way for the Conservatives to get some momentum in the province they need to win. Today's Globe and Mail tells us that Stephen Harper put in a phone call to Dalton McGuinty to discuss it.
If there was such a thing as publicly-traded shares in the Windsor bar industry, now would be a good time to sell short. How many 19- and 20-year-olds coming over from Detroit to take advantage of our legal drinking age will want to sign up for a passport, now that the Americans will require it?
Casino Windsor and the associated provincial revenues will likely take a big hit, too, as most of the clientele are American day-trippers.
In announcing the new passport plans, much of the rationale was connected to 9/11. Of course, despite widespread speculation, none of the hijackers entered from Canada, just like nobody snuck through in 2002 to "blow up New York", as Hillary Clinton accused.
The article I've linked to above is by Naomi Klien in 2003, and her suggestion is that all this talk of increased border security is really just part of a push for harmonized border control and immigration systems.
Mike Brock is exactly right that Martin's Kyoto backdown suggests this minority government is on the ropes. They don't want an election just at the moment. However, this doesn't mean Stephen Harper would be able to get whatever he wants passed. Before Harper's demands become a threat for the government, they first have to win some support from the BQ or NDP. Otherwise, he doesn't have enough votes.
Furthermore, if there is an election coming soon, I'm not sure how wise it is for Harper to push some "real hard-ass crap", even though I can see why a Conservative Party supporter would hope for that. The harder-assed Stephen Harper gets, the harder it is going to be for him to get his ass in the Prime Minister's Office later this year.