Harper Watch – September 22 to 30, 2012


ACTION OPPORTUNITIES

Sign Democracy Watch Petition to Federal and Provincial political parties to pass a law to stop election fraud robocalls.

SAY NO TO BELLSIGN 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.

COMMENT

Ottawa Citizen (Janice Kennedy) – A proud nation no longer

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?

G&M (Lawrence Martin) – Our new normal: the mockery of democracy

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.

ipolitics (Yves Engler) – Harper a deserving winner of the first-ever Richard Nixon Prize

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).

ipolitics – Who’s the man between the prime ministers?

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.

Vancouver Sun – Conservatives pull witnesses from committee following accusations of intolerance

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

Huffington Post – Stephen Harper United Nations Snub: PM Ignores UN Again

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.

Toronto Star – Burman: Canada’s windows on the world are quietly closing

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.com – Environment Canada offers Peter Kent tips to describe impact of climate change

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.

Yahoo News – Reality check: All carbon policies carry a price, despite Harper-Mulcair hot air

(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.

FREE TRADE

G&M – Tories quietly table Canada-China investment treaty

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.

Murray Dobbin – CETA: Can Harper’s Trojan horse be stopped?

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

Canada.com – Information commissioner reveals details on review of Access to Information Act

“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.”

Toronto Star – Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page may take government to court

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.

Toronto Star – Budget watchdog Kevin Page says Tories kept Canadians in dark on program cuts

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.

Hill Times – Conservative MPs put end to Commons committee inquiry into AG’s report on F-35s

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

Toronto Star – Proud review: Michael Healey play skewers Harper on satirical spit with dazzling wit

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

Toronto Sun – Quebec student leaders want to spark national anti-Harper 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

Canada.com – Feds spent over $750,000 in five-year court battle against vets’ pension claim

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

CBC – U.S. officials halt ground beef exports from Alberta plant

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.

Bibliographical Society of Canada – Letter to Members of Parliament regarding cuts to Library and Archives Canada

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.

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Harper Watch Newsletter. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s