Sign Democracy Watch Petition to Federal and Provincial political parties to pass a law to stop election fraud robocalls.
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.
Avaaz – TPP: the corporate death star. Click here to stop it.
A House of Commons committee warned this week that unless the government starts planning now for 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday party will be a pretty lousy affair. It thinks this would be a shame.
Except what’s to celebrate? Or what will be left to celebrate by the time this desiccated husk of a former nation makes it to 2017?
Allan Gregg, the veteran pollster and commentator, caused a bit of a stir recently when, in a speech at Carleton University, he accused the Harper government of making an Orwellian assault on democracy and reason.
No sooner had that speech been delivered than the Conservatives, as if bent on buttressing the thesis, entered into all kinds of hyperbole and doublespeak in accusing the New Democrats of wanting a country-destroying carbon tax. The party favours a cap-and-trade system that the Conservatives previously endorsed; it’s not a direct carbon tax, although costs from it would be passed on to the consumer – as they can be from regulatory measures favoured by the Conservatives.
At a ceremony in New York today the Appeal of Conscience Foundation will present Stephen Harper with its World Statesman of the Year award. Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger will deliver the prize.
THE HARPER ENTOURAGE
(Not too many people believe what politicians say: the company they keep is probably a more accurate reflection of their true character and beliefs).
Whatever the relationship between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Nathan Jacobson, the high-flying Canadian businessman now a fugitive from U.S. justice, one thing is certain: they certainly didn’t just run into each other at a “community event” as the PMO claims.
Jacobson had an intimate relationship with several senior Harper cabinet ministers, paid off a CSIS agent while doing business in Russia, and apparently finessed a secret settlement out of the Canadian government under the Liberal administration of Jean Chretien even though the government denied ruining Jacobson’s business interests abroad…..
For a prime minister who has lived through the murky departure of Arthur Porter, his handpicked chair of the Security and Intelligence Review Committee, and who also hired convicted felon Bruce Carson as a senior policy analyst and troubleshooter, it is a momentous question.
The Conservative government pulled two of its own witnesses from an immigration committee at the eleventh-hour Wednesday, calling material on the group’s website disgusting and un-Canadian…. Sections of the site include one on so-called “Chinafication” and “Arabization,” and a video interview with Canadian white supremacist Paul Fromm and others from a conference of the “racialist” group American Renaissance.
HARPER SNUBS UN
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in New York today to accept a private award for global statesmanship, but he won’t be using the occasion to address the nearby United Nations general assembly.
Whether you applaud or decry Harper’s decision to spurn the UN, international watchers agree on one point: His silence speaks volumes.
Canada’s windows on the world are gradually being closed. This is happening quietly and with little notice or debate — but with an obvious sense of ideology. Having lived and worked outside of Canada for four of the past five years — in the Middle East and Washington — I could see it in the radical restructuring of Canada’s historic relations with various parts of the world, such as Latin America, the Arab world, China, East Asia and Africa. From the outside, these changes made little sense.
Environment Canada has offered concrete examples to help its minister make “useful” public comments about the reality of global warming in the country.
The department gave Peter Kent the advice in a 33-page slide show presentation that highlights facts and impacts, linked to warming temperatures, that range from billions of dollars in costs to Canadian taxpayers to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.
(This is an excellent explanation of Cap and Trade vs Carbon Tax vs Regulation. The Harper government is now advocating regulation.)
Analysis done by American officials has shown that a cap-and-trade system in the United States reduced the cost of reducing emissions by about 50 per cent, compared to a traditional regulatory approach, says University of Ottawa professor Stewart Elgie, chair of the Sustainable Prosperity think tank.
But sector-by-sector regulations require heavy-handed government control and lead to uncertainty and unpredictable politicking, businesses frequently complain.
The Conservative government is poised to adopt a sweeping new investment treaty between Canada and China without a single Parliamentary vote or debate.
The text of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was released for the first time this week and members of Parliament are just starting to work their way through the legal document.
These constraints may help to explain why Harper is so enthusiastic about the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
CETA, if Harper can persuade the provinces to accede to its provisions, does what Harper can’t do by himself. Like other trade agreements this one systematically weakens the democratic decision-making authority of all levels of government. As such, it is Harper’s Trojan horse: in the guise of expanding “trade” with the EU, he makes progress in his goal of emasculating democratic governance.
PUBLIC SERVANTS SPEAK OUT
“It used to be that my predecessors would be asked to attend international conferences in other jurisdictions to basically explain the great system that we had in Canada and, you know, what people should be doing in their own development of their own access regimes,” she told the conference.
“Since I have been commissioner, when I am invited, I am invited to tell people what not to do.”
Budget watchdog Kevin Page may take the Harper government to court now that federal officials have turned down Page’s latest request for more information on how spending cuts will impact Canadians.
Canadians are being deliberately kept in the dark about how billions of dollars in the Harper government’s spending cuts may reduce the services and programs they count on from Ottawa, says the federal spending watchdog.
Despite the government’s refusal to provide full details, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page continues to fight government secrecy in an effort to inform MPs and the public how the austerity measures in the 2012 budget will affect everything from food inspections to border security to airline safety.
Conservative MPs are putting an end to a Commons committee inquiry into Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s scathing report released in April on the government’s controversial plan to spend $25-billion on 65 F-35 stealth fighter jets.
The inquiry was to come to a halt in a closed-door meeting of the Commons Public Accounts Committee on Thursday, after the NDP gave up a one-MP filibuster it had mounted for several weeks in May and June when the government first served notice that the sessions would end after only eight hours of hearings and a handful of government-approved witnesses.
RESISTANCE TO THE REGIME IN THE THEATRE
It makes you proud of Canadian theatre.
That’s what you’ll feel when seeing Michael Healey’s Proud, which opened at the Berkeley St. Theatre on Saturday night…. Tarragon’s artistic director, Richard Rose, rejected this play earlier this year for fear that it libeled Harper.
GROWING PUBLIC RESISTANCE MOVEMENT
The face of the Quebec student protests, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, has embarked on a Canada-wide tour to inspire Canadians to fight against austerity measures as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The tour is also sponsored by Rabble.ca and Leadnow.ca, which bills itself on its website as an organization that seeks “to help Canadians take action together for the fair, responsible and democratic Canada that we believe in.”
FIGHTING BENEFITS FOR VULNERABLE CANADIANS
The Harper government spent $750,462 in legal fees fighting veterans over the clawback of military pensions, documents tabled in Parliament show. The response was tabled in Parliament last week, but Justice Minister Rob Nicholson refused to release an itemized count, invoking solicitor-client privilege.
THE COST OF BUDGET CUTS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has banned imports of beef from the XL Foods in Alberta after E. coli was found in shipments from the plant. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirms American inspectors have intercepted a number of shipments of contaminated ground beef since the beginning of the month.
The executive, council and membership of The Bibliographical Society of Canada are gravely concerned that recent and planned cuts to public services, collections management, and staffing at Library and Archives Canada will leave this federal agency in a position where it can no longer meet its legislated obligations to Canadians. For this reason, we strongly recommend that, as an elected member of the Parliament of Canada, you ensure that the cuts proposed – or already initiated – do not transgress Parliament’s obligations under the Library and Archives Canada Act.