SAY NO TO BELL – SIGN THE PETITION – This campaign is organized by Cogeco and Eastlink – both Bell competitors but they definitely have a point. We don’t need more media concentration in Canada.
Elections Canada has reported that it is investigating complaints of fraudulent and deceptive calls across Canada, but court documents made public Monday show that investigators have not sought phone or Internet records for any calls beyond Guelph, Ont., raising a question about how vigorously the agency is looking into reports from voters.
William Corbett, the former commissioner of Elections Canada who retired on June 21 in the midst of the high-profile and politically-charged investigation of fraudulent pre-recorded calls and misleading live calls reported by voters in 200 ridings across the country in the last election, should publicly explain why he left the post for the integrity of the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, says an opposition MP, but others say changing the head of the organization midstream is not problematic.
A suspicious number of federal contracts for goods and services appear rigged to favour one bidder, suggests a new survey.
The report, from the contracting watchdog at Public Works, provides further evidence of problems with the Harper government’s efforts to clean up procurement practices.
The ethics controversy swirling around Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff deepened Wednesday with news that Nigel Wright was lobbied on three separate occasions by a company with which he had deep personal connections.
The belated disclosure by Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) that it lobbied Wright a third time in May undermines the Harper government’s official defence of the prime minister’s right-hand man.
(Baird said Wright had done nothing wrong: “He merely listened to Barrick’s concerns, said nothing, turned the matter over to others responsible for the file and was not involved in any decision relating to Barrick.” This from the guy who intervened to get “his” rabbi $1 million for a social hall project that did not meet the criteria for a federal program aimed at making facilities wheelchair accessible.)
The Public Works Department secretariat now in charge of the F-35 stealth fighter jet procurement is contracting a private sector firm to review “all of the steps taken to date” in the controversial project to determine whether federal laws and procurement rules were followed prior to the Conservative government’s 2010 decision to acquire 65 of the stealth attack planes, the department says.
But the NDP opposition and a former government procurement chief who is calling for a competition to replace Canada’s aging fleet of jet fighters say the terms of the review are a slap in the face for Auditor General Michael Ferguson, whose office has already reviewed the same procurement actions and who last April issued a highly critical report to Parliament on the F-35 acquisition, including an allegation that National Defence withheld $10-billion in operating costs from the public
(Haper regime: If the federal bureaucracy is not saying what you want them to say, set up your own parallel bureaucracy.)
Chuck Strahl, the newly minted chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) — the review agency over Canada’s spy service CSIS — appeared on CBC television earlier this week doing a barely plausible impersonation of someone who knows what he is talking about.
POLICY MAKING BASED ON IDEOLOGY NOT LOGIC
A $1.3-million reduction in federal research funds will jeopardize $81 million worth of investments in eight facilities that have trained or employed nearly 2,000 scientists, technicians and researchers, but are now at risk of shutting down, says a new report to be released on Tuesday by the federal New Democrats.
Ontario’s Environment Minister Jim Bradley was not available for an interview, but said in an emailed statement to the Star that the province was not consulted when the changes were made, and has written to the federal Conservatives to protest.
The federal government is fighting back against its critics. Environment Minister Peter Kent released a written statement Tuesday disputing suggestions that Canada’s environmental protection regime “is now somehow weakened.”
LABOUR AND THE MIDDLE CLASS
Another grim Labour Day. The unions are under attack. The middle class is under attack. This is no coincidence. Unions are solidly middle-class institutions. True, their rhetoric may be radical. Labour militants still favour rousing songs from the 1930s, such as “Which Side Are You On.” But in reality, unions are fundamentally conservative. Most today are not trying to break new ground. Instead, they are attempting to hold on — often desperately — to what they have.
(Whether unions bring as much benefit in the future as they have in the past will depend on their ability to tailor their message to appeal to a broader range of people and mobilize not just their members but all Canadians concerned about wages, labour practices, democracy and social issues into taking action against the Harper regime.)
JUST PLAIN WEIRD
Prime Minister Stephen Harper won’t make time in his schedule to meet collectively with all of Canada’s premiers, but he seems to have all the time in the world for Toronto mayor Rob Ford. On Monday, a little more than a month after the two met for a one-on-one summit about gun violence in Toronto, Harper and Ford went on a nine-hour fishing trip at the Prime Minister’s cottage at Quebec’s Harrington Lake.
Harper, science, accountability, environment, Rob Ford, election fraud