However, the Globe and Mail reports some more bits with respect to the Chalk River NRU incident:
“The fact is the minister and government have been aware for some time of the long-term financial and managerial challenges that exist at AECL,” Mr. Harper said. “These are very serious problems that have developed over a very long period of time. There are no short-term solutions.”
Hold it, right there. So, not only did AECL fail to implement safety upgrades it agreed to in 2006 (when the Conservatives were already in power), but clearly the ministry was aware of issues with AECL, and took exactly zero steps to intervene? Really? Instead, the Harper government sits on the whole situation and lets it fester. Today, with egg all over their faces, they now turn and try to blame the whole business on the CNSC because it would not (and could not without breaking laws) be a pliant tool of Conservative desires for a politically expedient solution.
From what I'm hearing in there, it sounds to me more like AECL needs a serious amount of house cleaning, not the CNSC. The government itself needs to stand up and take responsibility for its own inaction through 2006-2007 on this matter, as well as it's clear lack of understanding of the relationship between the House of Commons and regulatory agencies of the government.
Harper's "feel good" announcement, along with his continued attacks on the leadership of the CNSC, are attempts to divert public attention from his own ineptitude in handling serious situations when they get into crisis. Even more pathetic is the fact that his own advisors can't be bothered to actually understand the situation either.
(BTW - Albertans could find themselves facing two concurrent elections. If the Harper government falls on its budget, and Stelmach calls an expected March vote, there is an enormous chance that Albertans will find two electoral campaigns running at the same time)