Harper Watch – October 8 to 12, 2012


ACTION OPPORTUNITIES

Green Party – Stop the Sellout to China – *Background – *Letter/Petition/Donate

Liberal Leadership – You can have a direct say in who will be the next Liberal leader.  This privilege used to be reserved for people who were elected to be delegates at the Leadership Convention and came with a high price tag.   Now you can have your say by becoming a member for a minimum contribution of $10.

MONTY PYTHON AWARD (Not sure whether to laugh or cry.)

Canada.com – Border agency hiring ‘mall cops’ to guard high-risk prisoners

The firm awarded the CBSA contract to guard White is called Corporate Shield Risk Management, and is run by a 33-year-old dog trainer named Christopher Bax. Bax founded the company a year and a half ago, but was once branded — or as he says, “classified” — as an alleged fraudster by the Brockville Police Service, which he says he is now suing.

OPINION

Toronto Star (John Honderich) – Why Northern Gateway shouldn’t go near Great Bear Rainforest

Sometimes in life you have to witness a place firsthand to really get it. See it. Experience it. Sense it.

I had watched a video of the channels and byways in western British Columbia that supertankers will ply if the controversial Northern Gateway Pipeline is approved. But I decided I wanted to see them up close, then form my own opinion.

Toronto Star (Editorial)  – Canada-China investment deal allows for confidential lawsuits against Canada

The Harper government is very keen on Chinese investment. On this there is little doubt, now that the Canada-China investment deal has been released. The deal will tie the hands of Canadian governments, especially in the resource sector, once Chinese firms buy Canadian assets. It allows Chinese companies to sue Canada outside of Canadian courts. Remarkably, the lawsuits can proceed behind closed doors. This shift to secrecy reverses a long-standing policy of the Canadian government.

ipolitics (Michael Harris) – The Borys Factor

And yet, this is something of an institutional emergency for Canada, so the argument that the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly and exceedingly fine is not totally persuasive when it comes to accounting for the delay in getting an SCC decision. Even though his victory has been declared null and void, Ted Opitz continues to act as if he is the duly elected MP for Etobicoke-Centre, giving speeches, larding out goodies in the riding with cabinet luminaries like Jim Flaherty at his side, and voting in the House of Commons even though he may actually have lost the election.

Ipolitics (Steve Sullivan) – Is the Harper government really the champion of crime victims? 

(This article is by former Victims Ombudsman Steve Sullivan, appointed by Harper and then fired because he was not in agreement with Dear Leader.  Contains lots of important information to counter the myth that the Liberals were soft on crime.)

Look through the press releases on the Public Safety website and it won’t be long before you find some reference to crime victims and how the Harper government is on their side. Whether it was Bill C-10, the huge omnibus crime bill that only mentioned victims a handful of times or announcements about building new prison cells or not building new prisons, it’s clear that the Harper government wants us to believe they are the only government that has done anything for victims.

RELATED: UN slams Canada’s ‘excessively punitive’ justice plan, accuses authorities of widespread discrimination

G&M (John Ibbitson) – Resources: The flashpoint of 2015’s election

The federal election of 1988 was so important that both sides agreed the very future of the country was at stake. The federal election of 2015 could be of similar nature.   Then, the issue was trade. This time it could be resources.

(This article is conservative spin.  Readers aren’t buying it.  Click on “Comments” and sort by Highest Score to see that readers understand what the real issues will be in the 2015 election.)

Toronto Star (Tim Harper) – Government’s reaction to tainted beef scandal the real crime

So when the NDP leader rose last week to call for the resignation of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, it was something worth listening to, because Mulcair has been consistent on two matters — the principle of ministerial responsibility — and his aversion to that reflexive opposition call for resignations.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK TO PROMOTE THE HARPER GOVERNMENT

Huff Post – Tories Underestimate Advertising Costs By 37 Per Cent

The Harper government is being transparent with its advertising expenses because cabinet approvals of advertising budgets are posted quarterly, a spokesman for federal Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said Thursday.

But an examination of the Conservative government’s first five years in office shows it overshot those cabinet-approved ad budgets by $128 million — more than 37 per cent.

(But Harper promises $20 million over 3 years for famine in Senegal.  But it doesn’t really matter anyway since it would not be the first funding announcement that never came through.)

CBC – Conservatives commit $16M to ‘action plan’ ads while cutting programs

The Conservative government has approved tens of millions of dollars in “economic action plan” ads this year even as it cites fiscal restraint to cut programs such as scientific research and environmental monitoring.

While Finance officials are refusing to disclose the budget for the current blitz, contracts listed on the department’s website suggest the saturation ad campaign is costing taxpayers $14 million.

CUTBACKS TO THE MOST VULNERABLE/COURT CASES

CBC – Veterans Affairs ends clawback of benefits for 2,500 families

Veterans Affairs is ending clawbacks for two more types of income support benefits, in the wake of last spring’s federal court decision that said the federal government shouldn’t be deducting from veterans’ long-term disability benefits when they also receive a disability pension…..

A group of veterans won a class action lawsuit in Federal Court last May, arguing that it was unfair to reduce long-term disability benefits by the amount of the monthly Veterans Affairs disability pension.

Also, reported last weekThe Tyee – Ottawa spends $3 million to battle First Nations child welfare case

XL MISMANAGEMENT AND SECRECY

CBC – XL Foods union calls for inquiry as E. coli cases hit 12

The union representing workers at XL Foods Inc. is calling for a public inquiry into the massive beef recall at the company’s meat-packing plant in Brooks, Alta. Doug O’Halloran, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, said the federal government is to blame for cutting back on much needed funding.

FREE TRADE  – STEPHEN HARPER – HE’S NOT HERE FOR YOU, HE’S HERE FOR FOREIGN CORPORATIONS 

ipolitics – Asian investors happy with budget bill changes, says Oliver

(Oliver is proud to report that foreign investors are pleased.  He doesn’t seem to care what Canadians think.)

Foreign investors in Asia are pleased with the Harper government’s recent regulatory reforms for industrial projects, said Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver in a teleconference from Mumbai Thursday.

The controversial omnibus budget bill passed this spring included the deregulation of much of Ottawa’s oversight in resource projects, including fewer protections for fish habitat, in an effort to end regulatory duplication with provinces and improve timelines for things like environmental assessments.

CBC – Canada ‘at risk’ from Chinese firm, U.S. warns

The head of the powerful U.S. Intelligence Committee is urging Canadian companies not to do business with the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei as a matter of national security.

In a scathing report released Monday in Washington, the congressional committee branded Huawei a threat to U.S. national security, and urged American telecommunications companies using the Chinese firm to “find other vendors.”

The Tyee – Chairman Harper and the Chinese Sell-Out

By Nov. 1 three of China’s national oil companies will have more power to shape Canada’s energy markets as well as challenge the politics of this country than Canadians themselves. And you can thank Prime Minister Stephen Harper for this economic treason.

Ottawa Citizen – Public service unions worry whether they can survive government campaigns

Pierre Poilievre describes it as a fight to give workers free choice. Canada’s unions see it as nothing less than a declaration of war and a battle for their political rights — and their survival.

It’s a move that would upset more than 60 years of labour law and practices in Canada. And there’s little doubt it would seriously weaken unions as a voice for employees in the workplace and as political opponents to government.

RELATED – Ipolitics – C-377 another Conservative attempt to disarm political opponents

OTHER

G&M – Environment minister knew about shutdown of NWT water monitoring stations

Documents show Prime Minister Stephen Harper sharply rebuked Environment Canada bureaucrats last year for overstepping their authority, but internal documents suggest they were just doing their jobs.

National Post – UN slams Canada’s ‘excessively punitive’ justice plan, accuses authorities of widespread discrimination

The federal government’s tough-on-crime agenda is “excessively punitive” for youth and is a step backwards for Canada’s child rights record, says a United Nations group.

In particular, the committee says Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act complied with international standards until changes were introduced earlier this year.

The Harper government’s Bill C-10 — an omnibus crime bill that includes stiffer penalties for youth and makes it easier to try them as adults — no longer conforms to the child rights convention or other international standards. Bill C-10 “is excessively punitive for children and not sufficiently restorative in nature,” the committee wrote in a report published over the weekend.

ipolitics – A missed opportunity to protect Canada’s water sovereignty

Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound M.P. Larry Miller’s Bill C-383 is a timid response to four years of Liberal pressure on the Conservative government to show robust federal leadership on pre-empting bulk water exports. It is primarily face-saving legislation meant to inoculate the government against charges that it is not protecting Canada’s water.

ipolitics –  Canada’s tax evaders get easy treatment compared to those in Australia, Europe

An explanation for this lack of diligence may be found in an October 2010 report by the Agency’s Corporate Audit and Evaluation Branch that reveals CRA officials avoid pursuing serious cases of tax evasion, because of limited resources or other workload pressures.

If this is the case, and it is a matter of resources, why has the Minister of National Revenue, Gail Shea, not asked for the money to rectify the situation?

 

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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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