TURNING CANADA INTO A WARRIOR NATION
(This article is worth reading for its shallow twisted logic. Harper supporting historians Bercuson and Granatstein attempt to justify a more militaristic war-like Canada in the future because they claim we were a warrior nation in the past. Why should our past dictate our future?)
That Canada was a warrior nation I take as a given. The nation’s 20th-century record speaks for itself, as do the military efforts in Afghanistan and Libya in the first years of this century. This is Canadian history, and the authors may not like this, but they simply must accept it – and by and large they do.
(Note: Over 4000 reader comments were posted to this article in less than 24hours. It is of course impossible to read them all but sort them any way you want and 3 main themes emerge; this is a rerun of the propaganda that was used to build support to attack Iraq, the Harper government is overly supportive of Israel and Canadians (as well as Israeli and American military experts) do not want to get involved in a M-E war that could turn into WWIII.)
Five Canadian diplomats slipped out of Tehran at 5 a.m. on Friday, shuttering the embassy in a sudden, unilateral move to cut off all direct diplomatic ties with Iran….The hot rhetoric about Iran’s nuclear program raises the possibility of an Israeli strike in the near future, one source said, leading to real concerns that diplomats from Canada, a vocal supporter of Israel, could face reprisals. There was no suggestion Ottawa received warning of an attack, but the sources indicated the government wanted Canadian diplomats out before any strike.
Although his swearing-in at Rideau Hall must have happened in the dead of night, Canada appears to have a new foreign minister. His name is Benjamin Netanyahu. His day job may be prime minister of Israel, but Canada’s abrupt actions against Iran seem to confirm that the Harper government’s outsourcing of Canada’s Middle East policy to Jerusalem is now complete. There is little else to conclude from Canada’s unwise decision to move unilaterally on Iran at this moment.
SILENCING DISSENT/MANUFACTURING “FACTS” TO SUIT IDEOLOGY
Something fishy is going on over at Environment Canada, where a recent report on greenhouse-gas emissions is uncharacteristically flawed – in favour of the Harper government’s position.
This is a government that defunded Rights & Democracy, KAIROS, the Canadian Council on International Cooperation (CCIC), the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Development and Peace, the Canadian Council on Social Development, and other agencies that had the courage to espouse positions contrary to those of the Conservative Party of Canada.
The federal government is cutting millions in funding to First Nations groups across the province in what one professor called part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ongoing campaign to silence potential critics. “This is nothing new for them,” said University of Saskatchewan political studies professor Charles Smith.
(The author of this article, was appointed Victims Rights Ombudsman by the Harper government and then fired because his views were not in line with the regime’s.)
The Tories have no plan beyond the marketing strategy of their get tough on crime slogans, which have worked for them (not so much for the rest of us).
Very little of the changes they have made have been based on any evidence and, in fact, Rob Nicholson’s mantra is that they don’t govern by statistics.
Fed up with the lack of transparency, Canada’s budget watchdog says he will publish his own analysis of the impact of government cutbacks on programs and the bureaucracy.
Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page says he will release quarterly reports starting later this month on the effects of $37-billion in cutbacks announced in the past three budgets.
It remains unclear why the plane was ordered out of the sky as the pilot and the RCMP offered conflicting stories. Ciambella says he repeatedly checked with air traffic control to ensure that he was outside Ottawa’s restricted zones, and that at no time was he told that he had penetrated the restricted area above Parliament Hill.
(Flying a plane with a banner saying “Harper Hates You” over Gatineau on the eve of a provincial election where the Partie Quebecois is a close contender is not the most brilliant idea that the Public Service Alliance of Canada ever had and this could well be a simple case of overzealousness on the part of the RCMP. Still considering the Harper record on dissent, one has to wonder.)
DISSENT CONTINUES TO GROW
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson dodged a call Monday from the Canadian Bar Association demanding a review of federal legal-aid funding to ensure money for defence is keeping up with the pace of federal justice reforms.
Members of the association’s national council maintain federal tough-on-crime legislation will mean more trials and more jail time for more accused in an already strained justice system. The council passed a resolution over the weekend urging Ottawa for the review.
The Harper government has hired the accounting firm KPMG to crunch the numbers on the F-35 stealth fighter program. It will cost taxpayers $643,535 to conduct the independent assessment, which was ordered in the wake of a scathing auditor general’s report that accused both National Defence and Public Works of hiding the true cost of the project.
(In Harpeland if the federal bureaucracy is not saying what you want them to say, set up your own parallel bureaucracy. Guess who’s paying for this.)
LIES AND BROKEN PROMISES
Saskatchewan’s First Nations schools have received none of the $275 million pledged this spring by the federal government, a situation that has angered parents, teachers and school officials.
(Note: This funding is critical. Schools on reserves are funded by the federal government not the provinces. During the Attawapiskat housing crisis last winter, Harper told the House of Commons that the reserve had received $90 million over five years from the federal government, implying that if housing on the reserve was inadequate it must be due to mismanagement by the Band Council. He was either grossly misinformed or lying to the House. The $90 million included funding for schools, health care and other services which are not funded by the provinces.)
As the Parks Canada staff cuts hit, officials in the mountain parks are moving ahead with plans to privatize the operation of three of its most iconic attractions: the hot pools in Banff, Jasper and Radium, B.C.
Officials with the federal agency say they’ll start accepting private sector proposals in late September or early October to take over the operation of the Canadian Rockies Hot Springs.
(In other words, give contracts to your private sector buddies. They will pay themselves a good salary by turning good paying union jobs into minimum wage jobs. The savings to the taxpayer will probably be minimal but the loss of good jobs will likely have a huge economic impact on communities.)