The prime minister took aim at the head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission — Linda Keen — saying her decision to shut down the reactor could have “needlessly endangered” the Canadian medical system.
Mr. Harper stressed that members of Parliament overturned Ms. Keen's decision in less than 48 hours and he remains “troubled” by Ms. Keen's recent actions.
Obviously, neither Mr. Harper, Mr. Lunn or their respective advisors have taken the time to actually read the CNSC letter of a day or so ago in response to Mr. Lunn's blatant threats.
Perhaps even worse is the fact that neither Mr. Harper or Mr. Lunn seem to understand the arm's length relationship between the Government of Canada's various regulatory or judicial commissions and the House of Commons.
I suspect that Ms. Keen, in her current capacity, has little or no flexibility with respect to the processes by which the CNSC is obliged to operate - bound quite strictly by the acts of parliament that created and guide the CNSC's existence.
This is far from the first time that Harper has played politics with government bureaucrats - there was the whole uproar over veiled voters last September - and again, Mr. Harper was running around threatening to fire people for daring to disagree with him.
This man doesn't get it. He clearly does not understand Canada's governmental structures and the roles of various bodies which exist adjunct to parliament itself. He seems to think that as soon as the laws that bind these commissions are a problem, that the commissions should simply bend to his will - even if it means that they would have to break the very laws that govern them.
To borrow a phrase from criminal law, "Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, Mr. Harper".