“I’m out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur!” -Han Solo, Return of the Jedi, 1983.
It would appear that Joyce Bateman’s head is in the stars (the alternative location of her head, anatomically, would be far less flattering to describe in this post).
In a recent flyer to her constituents, Joyce included this little gem:
The text is a little small, so here it is, verbatim:
“I am very happy to announce a new agreement on the future of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). Our government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
We have been working diligently to secure a third party operator for ELA and this agreement is an important step for the future. This new agreement will ensure that the long-term experiments being undertaken at ELA can continue uninterrupted during the summer. This is in addition to the $35.7 million our government has invested in Lake Winnipeg research.
The IISD is well-suited to operate the ELA with excellent capacity, expertise, and an international reputation, translating into more highly skilled jobs. I will continue to workto ensure a smooth transition of ownership of the facility.
If you have any comments please give me a call at 204-983-1355 or email atJoyce.Bateman@parl.gc.ca.”
Joyce, I’m not even that well connected to this issue, but even I know some clarification is in order to set the record straight.
1. “We have been working diligently to secure a third party operator…” I’m not sure anyone believes that. From what I understand, the full extent of the Government’s “diligent work” was to have some middle manager in DFO hold a meeting with a few University Vice Presidents, all of whom made it pretty clear before hand that this was not something any of them could take on operationally.
2. Joyce implies that the transfer of ELA to IISD will “translate into more highly skilled jobs.”. Joyce was apparently in the remedial math classes at school, as she seems to have forgotten that any highly skilled jobs that IISD might get as a result of taking on ELA will be from the (quite larger) pool of folks that DFO has informed they no longer have government jobs. So, laying a lot of people off and negotiating a transfer of a subset of them to another organization is not job creation, Joyce. It’s still a loss.
If it wasn’t for the hard work of the Coalition to Save ELA, and so many, many people on the ground in academics (and in government), I’m sure Joyce would be happily reporting the closure of ELA to her constituents so that the Government can re-focus their resources to other priorities, like the senate expenses of Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin.
All Joyce and the Harper Government have delivered for ELA was to cut funding to the program, fire 17 public servants who staffed ELA, and loads and loads of BS about how hard they worked to find someone to secure a transfer with (a transfer which was supposed to be done by September… wait, that’s less than a month away…)
Joyce Bateman needs to pull her head out of her… stars.