Harper Watch – May 31 to June 7, 2012


LATEST HARPER REGIME ASSAULTS ON DEMOCRACY AND DECENCY IN THE PAST WEEK

Liberals upset with Tories over weekend tactics in disputed riding

The Liberals are expected to complain in the House of Commons Monday that voters in the suburban Toronto riding of Etobicoke Centre received calls accusing Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj of plotting to “overthrow” the vote there, and saying voters will have their votes “taken away” by a court decision.

http://www.canada.com/news/20riding/6723030/story.html

Conservative Government Attempt To Shut Down F-35 Hearings Will Further Add to the Image of “Something To Hide” On the Program

The Conservatives moved a motion during a recent closed-door public accounts committee meeting to end the panel’s inquiry into the auditor’s report on the F-35 procurement process, Postmedia has noted. The government’s manoeuvre, led by Conservative MP Andrew Saxton, comes after about seven hours of hearings and before opposition parties had their chance to grill ministers and Defence Department officials who have criticized Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s findings, the news service reported.

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/05/28/conservative-government-attempt-to-shut-down-f-35-hearings-will-further-add-to-the-image-of-something-to-hide-on-the-program/

Canadians speak out for democracy and the environment

(This is one of a number of articles written by Liberal Environment Critic Kirsty Duncan in recent months.   I wish other Liberals were making as much effort as Ms Duncan to get the Liberal position out.)

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/06/05/kirsty-duncan-canadians-speak-out-for-democracy-and-the-environment/

Voter suppression probe to last until June, elections chief says

He will report, however, before March 2013, with recommendations for legislative changes designed to help Elections Canada regulate live and automated calls during elections.

(March 2013!! How convenient for the fraudulent Harper regime!)

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Voter+suppression+probe+last+until+June+elections+chief+says/6696008/story.html

Would-be immigrants take Ottawa to court over cancelled applications

They’d followed all the steps they were told to take in order to come to Canada, he said, only to be pushed aside.  “The irony of that is this is a government that’s constantly telling us that people shouldn’t jump the queue,” he said.  … The current effort to get rid of the backlog is included in the omnibus budget bill, Bill C-38, which the government is aiming to pass in June.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1179554–would-be-immigrants-take-ottawa-to-court-over-cancelled-applications

COMMENT

Harper government’s dismissal of UN torture report absurd

Officially, Canada decries torture.  To that end, this country signed onto the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 1985, one of the first to do so….So it’s depressing in the extreme to see the current federal government dismiss out of hand the UN’s well-reasoned critique of this country for failing to live up to its commitments.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1206384–walkom-harper-government-s-dismissal-of-un-torture-report-absurd#comments

The abuses pile up: the PM hunkers down

He evidently believes that he can continue to get away with a scornful approach to democratic norms. There is no sense that he will compromise on the omnibus budget bill. His implicit message to opposition lawmakers is clear: ‘Quite frankly, I don’t give a dam.’….  His view , as he has made clear, is that it’s just process and the people don’t really care about process. In that, beginning with the Magna Carta, people fought hundreds of years for due democratic process, you might say some do care.

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/06/07/lawrence-martin-the-abuses-pile-up-the-pm-hunkers-down/

El Stephano, northern bull-fighter

Bill C-38, which makes the War Measures Act look like a piece of legislation declaring a public holiday, demonstrates just how aware this PM is of the total power vested in him. And how oblivious he is to Canada’s institutional integrity. One-third of C-38′s monstrous abuse of process is dedicated to dismantling environmental legislation that was never mentioned in the 2011 Tory masterplan.

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/06/06/michael-harris-el-stephano-northern-bull-fighter/

HOPE AND INSPIRATION

BEST SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS addressing the Harper government’s assault on democracy and our Parliamentary process.

Text of Elizabeth May’s speech in the House arguing a a point of order that C-38 is an “imperfect” bill and should be ruled out of order by the Speaker.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/06/04/point-of-order-2/

Note that this was published in the normally right leaning Maclean’s  Magazine and that Elizabeth May quotes four journalists who have been strong supporters of the Harper.  Hopefully, the times they are a changin as Bob Dylan would have said.

Andrew Coyne wrote in the National Post that C-38 “is not remotely a budget bill, despite its name…,” further noting that while throwing non-budgetary matters into a budget bill is not unknown, in C-38 “the scale and scope are on a level not previously seen, or tolerated….. There is no common thread that runs between them, no overarching principle; they represent not a single act of policy; but a sort of compulsory buffet.” (“Bill C-38 shows us how far Parliament has fallen,” National Post, April 30, 2012)

John Ivison in the National Post, noting that the excuse for the omnibus approach is the “urgency” to move projects to approval, maintained “But it is not so ‘urgent’ that it justifies an end-run around 145 years of Parliamentary  tradition…Someone, somewhere deep within the Prime Minister’s Office took the decision to try to cram as much contentious legislation in one mega-bill in order to minimize the political fall-out. It was a dumb move and it has blown up in their faces… condemned by all but the most blinkered of partisans.” (“Liberty lost in stampede to pass Tories’ omnibus budget bill,” National Post, May 7, 2012).

Terry Glavin wrote, “Bill C-38 is a heck of a thing. It’s an omnibus bill that purports to be a budget bill but isn’t. It’s a statutory juggernaut that introduces, amends or repeals nearly 70 federal laws. It’s been presented to the House of Commons in a manner that may be without close precedent in Canadian Parliamentary history,” (“Something’s fishy with Bill C-38,” Ottawa Citizen, May 7, 2012).

Dan Gardner wrote: “…the government’s mammoth Bill C-38, which is theoretically the budget implementation bill…is in reality a vast number of pieces of legislation that have nothing to do with each other, or the budget. Piling most of the government’s legislative agenda in one bill ensures scrutiny will be kept to a minimum, which is in keeping with the government’s unprecedented use of time allocation and closure to shut down parliamentary debate.” (“Tories governing from the extreme centre,” Ottawa Citizen, June 1, 2012.)

CALGARY CONSERVATIVE MP RESIGNS

Era of the Red Tory is long gone

In his resignation speech, Richardson reminded his Commons colleagues that “we are all Canadians and we all love our country. We would all, I think, do well to remember that and leave the partisan furies at the water’s edge.’’

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1203887–tim-harper-era-of-the-red-tory-is-long-gone?bn=1#article

Oda’s travel expenses cause dissent in Tory caucus

(Dissent in the Conservative party?   First David Wilks, then Lee Richardson now John Williamson)

… Conservative MP John Williamson, is also raising them as a point of  contention within their caucus.   Williamson used to head the Canadian  Taxpayers Federation and was also Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s director  of communications before he stepped down to run for his New Brunswick seat. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/06/01/pol-oda-expenses-friday.html

ANOTHER SCATHING ARTICLE FROM A COLUMNIST WHO WAS A LONG TIME APOLOGIST FOR THE HARPER REGIME

 Coyne: The degradation of Parliament is complete — l’etat, c’est le PMO

Nobody gets killed for his beliefs in our democracy; nobody is jailed or  beaten for speaking his mind. Nevertheless, there are moments when the  curtain is pulled back, and we see the interplay of power and subordination  in its rawest form — the humiliations, the lies, and most humiliating of all  the obligatory lie, the forced confession, in which some poor schmuck is  dragged in front of the cameras and required to state that day is night,  even when, especially when, the whole world knows that day is not night, and knows that he knows day is not night but has been forced to say it anyway  just to rub his nose in it, or rather to rub our noses in it, to assert the  primacy of power, not just over poor schmucks, but over truth itself

http://www.canada.com/news/Coyne+degradation+Parliament+complete+etat/6703969/story.html

 Liberals team up with Green chief in bid to stall Tory budget bill

The Liberals will join forces with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May to introduce amendments that could delay the passage of the Conservative government’s omnibus budget bill and another piece of legislation that would change Canada’s refugee system.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/liberals-team-up-with-green-chief-in-bid-to-stall-tory-budget-bill/article2445286/

ACTION OPPORTUNITIES

LEADNOW.ca organized protests at the Constituency offices of Conservative MPs offices across Canada on June 2nd.   Some were attended by up to 200 people.  The next round of rallies is scheduled for June 13th.  See http://www.leadnow.ca for details.

Casserole Night in Canada – Inspired by the pot clanging student demos in Quebec which are now spreading across Canada.  Next on is Wednesday June 13th.  Check this facebook page for events and departure points in your area.   http://www.facebook.com/events/306990322722976/307503619338313/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

(NOTE: Save this link as it seems to be hard to find.)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/activists-gear-up-for-multi-pronged-protest-against-tory-budget-bill/article2449540/

 

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About TheAlektera

I am a Canadian who, like many is upset at the state of our country under the Harper Regime. I do not wish to see Canada change into Harperland under the Harper Government. This blog will help document the actions of the Harper government which are eroding Canada's democratic process.
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