It has only been three days since the last HARPER WATCH newsletter but already there are 6 entirely new juicy astounding news items. To think that last week after the marathon budget session in the House I thought that things would be relatively calm this week. Not so, the Harper regime is capable of multiple absurdities and transgressions in a single day.
The Governor General’s office is refusing to say who nominated the Conservative Party’s campaign manager for one of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals intended to recognize important contributions to Canada……
Another 10,000 nominees are put forward by partner groups. The list of partners includes organizations that often interact with the government on important policy issues, such as the B’nai Brith Canada, the Canadian Bankers Association and the social conservative advocacy group REAL Women of Canada.
Also among the partners are the Canadian Coalition Against Terror, the Canadian Christian Association and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, an advocacy group with links to the Conservative Party.
In 2009, the Department of National Defence proposed to sole-source the Italian-made C-27J Spartan for fixed-wing search-and-rescue. Industry Canadarejected the proposal because the requirements had been narrowly drawn so as to exclude all but one aircraft from consideration. Several tried and tested Canadian products — new or refurbished Buffalos produced by Viking Air in Victoria and Calgary, and Q-400s produced by Bombardier in Toronto – were ruled out peremptorily.
Newly released documents say Defence Minister Peter MacKay told Israel’s top military commander, Maj.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, during a 2011 visit to the Middle East, that “a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada.”
The only explanation seems to be that when Jason Kenney, the federal immigration minister, hit the button on his personal email account, he accidentally hit “reply all.”
Why else would he declare to the world in an email that he thinks Alberta’s Deputy Premier, Thomas Lukaszuk, is a “complete and utter a–hole”?
” Mr. Kenney repeatedly refused to apologize in the House of Commons on Tuesday, stating that his government had a “strong working relationship” with the Alberta government. ”
Dozens of federal departments are breaking the law by refusing to provide details of the government’s spending cuts to a parliamentary watchdog, a new legal opinion charges.
And now Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page is warning the dispute could wind up in Federal Court unless the Conservatives cough up the information he’s after.
Canada’s budget watchdog is renewing his fight for detailed information about the government’s planned cuts. Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page has sent a legal opinion to the clerk of the Privy Council, the country’s top bureaucrat, explaining why he has the right to demand “information pertaining to the savings measures” planned in each department.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has taken his tough talk about the European economic crisis to the G20 summit in Mexico, but his position earned him some criticism Monday from the head of the European Commission.
Doctors threw on their white coats Monday and rushed to Parliament Hill, which they say is the scene for the start of a national medical emergency: deteriorating refugee health.
Hundreds of medical professionals are protesting government cuts to the interim federal health program, which provides extended health-care benefits to refugees.
If you want to claim your rights these days in Canada, you’d better be prepared to lawyer up. In that regard, no court case is more momentous than the one of the defeated Liberal incumbent in Etobicoke-Centre, where the election result has been declared null and void and is now under appeal.
Last week, the Conservative majority on Parliament’s standing committee on the status of women not only defeated an opposition motion to hear testimony on the sexual harassment of female members of the RCMP — a motion new RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson welcomed — but moved the committee behind closed doors where they voted not to hear further testimony from female members of the force.
(Interesting background information about Elizabeth May who after her determined stand against the “Budget” bill should probably be declared Canada’s most valuable MP.)
At a time when most MPs no longer have to travel 50 yards from Parliament Hill to become “nobodies,” as Pierre Trudeau famously observed, Elizabeth May should be utterly, hopelessly, spectacularly irrelevant.
And yet, look around the House. One of the most prominent and effective MPs occupies seat number 309.
For those who care about Canada’s international reputation and Canada’s ability to influence others in the pursuit of Canada’s self-interest, these are discouraging days.
Everywhere, there is penny-pinching that makes no sense, a hectoring tone not appreciated by others, and a misunderstanding about how international affairs really work. For a government that has proclaimed Canada is “back” on the international stage, what is actually happening would be funny were it not serious.