Harper Watch – June 21 to 25, 2012


9 stunning new pieces of Harper absurdities in less than a week plus 3 excellent commentary articles.

COMMENTARY

ipolitics (Lawrence Martin) Lessons of Watergate: why our media should heed them

Another problem is intimidation. It’s risky for journalists to be aggressive. I found that out when I got bounced from a job for my pursuit of the Chretien Liberals on abuse of power. Journalists need access to the Prime Minister’s Office and they realize that if they are seen as too negative, they will be cut off.

The government controls the purse strings of the CBC. Can we really expect the network’s talking heads to do interviews featuring sustained hard questioning on abuse of power with the PM or leading figures of government? In fact, given the constraints, some CBCers like Evan Solomon do exemplary work.

Ipolitics (Errol Mendes) Are we heading towards a one man government, with no checks and balances?

The list of allegations of assault on Canadian parliamentary democracy by the Harper government is a long one. They include the two prorogations, the lack of information on the cost of the omnibus crime bill, the hiding of $10 billion of the full costs of the F-35 fighter jets and the inclusion of some 70 odd pieces of legislation under the omnibus budget bill without the benefit of full democratic exposure. And now we have a new one, this time being alleged not by the opposition parties, but by an independent officer of Parliament.

Ottawa Citizen (Dan Gardner) Power makes politicians stupid

(From the Ottawa Citizen a former right-wing Canwest paper.   What a refreshing change!)

Consider C-38. At more than 400 pages, the omnibus budget bill makes major changes to scores of existing laws, and is, as one would expect, spectacularly complicated. And because it’s legislation, even a single comma badly placed can have terrible consequences….let’s not get sidetracked into whether C-38 is wise or not. That’s not the issue here. The government thinks it’s all good stuff, so, for the sake of argument, let’s assume it is.

But is it perfect? Is every sentence pristine? Is every clause exquisite? Is every comma exactly where it should be?  It would seem so.  Because the government quashed every single amendment proposed by the opposition.

NEWS

MUST MUST READ  **Canada.com – Harper gallery leaves MPs speechless **

Ms. May and Ms. O’Malley were surprised and a bit speechless when they saw the exhibit recently as guest Commons Speakers during a youth Parliament.  “When you walk in the door, all you see are pictures of Stephen Harper,” said Ms. May.  “I’d say between every window, in every available space of the wall, at eye level, every available space has a photo of Stephen Harper.”

G&M – With NDP riding high, Tories at last hit Mulcair with attack ads        (The use of the term “at last” in the headline is interesting to say the least considering we are three years away from an election.   Perhaps it just shows how low expectations have sunk in regards to the Harper Regime – as if we should have been expecting attack ads sooner. )

The Conservatives have launched a fresh series of Internet ads in which they denounce the environmental policies of Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair and his New Democrats as being “risky” and “dangerous.”

Harper government targeted artist for her green conscience, internal documents reveal

In an interview with Tonda MacCharles of The Toronto Star, Antonovic said that her contacts in the Canadian Embassy in Croatia quoted a senior official saying things like: “Who was the idiot who approved an art show by that woman, Franke James?” and “Don’t you know this lady speaks against the Canadian government?”… The paper trail confirmed Nektarina’s claim of ‘bullying’ from the Canadian government to prevent James’ tour from going forward.

CBC – Canada languishes in world rankings for government openness

As the 30th anniversary of the federal Access to Information Act approaches, Canada finds itself tied for 51st in the world on a list of freedom-of-information rankings, languishing behind Angola, Colombia and Niger.

Toronto Star – At Rio 20, Canada furiously backpedals on environment

Twenty years ago, newspapers were filled with stories about an event called the Earth Summit….. Canada — and individual Canadians such as summit organizer Maurice Strong — played a key role in an exercise that captured the world’s imagination.

Canada’s role this time was to act as a spoiler and saboteur. According to the Reuters news agency, Canadian and Venezuelan negotiators combined in an unholy alliance to squash any attempt to limit government subsidies to fossil fuel producers such as oil companies.

Ottawa Citizen – Ex-justice department bureaucrat named federal elections commissioner as major investigations continue

With the complex and politically-charged robocalls investigation still under way, Commissioner of Canada Elections William Corbett has retired and been replaced a former justice department bureaucrat.

Since last year’s election, Corbett has been overseeing the probe of fraudulent pre-recorded calls and misleading live calls reported by voters in 200 ridings across the country. It is believed to be the largest investigation the commissioner’s office has ever conducted.

The Province – Del Mastro campaign workers knew about Elections Canada probe: court documents

Newly filed court documents cast doubt on Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro’s repeated assertion that he was not aware he is being investigated by Elections Canada.

An affidavit filed by Elections Canada investigator Thomas Ritchie says he was told in December that Del Mastro had promised a Conservative volunteer in Peterborough, Ont., the MP would personally “handle the matter.”

Comox Valley News – Aboriginal non-profits lose key funding source

The day before National Aboriginal Day, Aboriginal non-profit agencies across BC have been left reeling by the unexpected news of a $3 million funding freeze to a long-standing and highly successful youth services program called Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth.

Until now, the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) program has been a $22 million, Canada-wide initiative that supports off-reserve Aboriginal youth aged 10-24 years to enhance their economic, social, cultural and personal prospects.

The Federal Government tells us they have to cut this funding because it doesn t promote job creation, says an outraged Paul Lacerte, Executive

Director of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and yet that is exactly what CCAY does.

Ottawa Citizen – Call my lawyer, not me,’ MacKay tells military inquiry head

Defence Minister Peter MacKay has told the chairman of a federal inquiry probing the suicide of Afghan war veteran Stuart Langridge not to contact him directly again.  The defence minister was under fire in the House of Commons last week for refusing to waive his solicitor-client confidentiality and release military police papers.

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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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