Harper Watch – October 13 to 21, 2012


ACTION OPPORTUNITIES

Democracy Watch – Join Rick Mercer’s call to stop election fraud robocalls

LEAD NOWTELL HARPER CANADA IS NOT FOR SALES

A VICTORY AGAINST MORE MEDIA CONCENTRATION

Toronto Star – Bell’s Astral bid blocked by CRTC

In a toughly worded decision Thursday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said that Bell failed to make the case that its $3.4 billion takeover would bring benefits to television and radio audiences.

(Note: Arrogant Bell is not accepting the decision.  They have appealed to the Minister to intervene so that they can appeal!  To his credit, the Minister in charge says the government will not intervene.   This government must make a good decision 1 time out of a hundred or so.)

HOPE

Ipolitics – Harper’s seals won’t bark forever

But the distance that has opened up between Harper and Kenney on China, where they once marched lock-step against Jean Chretien’s detente with Beijing, can’t be papered over. Into that gaping abyss, a whole party could disappear. As the Conservatives used to remind everyone, China is run by Communists, it spies on everyone, it wantonly purloins other people’s intellectual property, and oh yes, it executed 10,000 of its own people.

OPINION

Toronto Star (Thomas Walkom) –  B.C.’s low-wage migrant coal mining jobs send us back to the future

Early on in the 20th century, the silver and gold mines of Northern Ontario imported thousands of foreign workers. The mine owners said they were filling a labour shortage. But their real reason was to keep wages down.

Canada.com (Ethan Cox) – Who needs democracy?

(Interesting that Canada.com (National Post online) which was once regarded as very rightwing  would publish an article that first appeared on the leftie Rabble.ca)

Ottawa, Chairman Harper is taking a sledge hammer to what was already our feeble excuse for democracy. With the ‘son of omnibus’ he has displayed a disregard for democracy so severe the CBC’s At Issue panel, no bastion of liberalism, unanimously condemned it as an “affront to democracy.”

VIEW the stunning CBC At Issue Panel referred to in the article above.

Toronto Star – Stephen Harper government builds stone wall around information

(Important article that explains the never seen before difficulties reporters have getting information from the Harper government.  Interestingly, in the printed version of the Toronto Star the title of this article was “Orwell on the Rideau”)

Indeed, some alarming aspects of George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” as described in his classic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, are the all-too-real truth for Canadian journalists whose role it is to hold the Stephen Harper government to account.

A NEW CASE OF BREACH OF ELECTION FINANCING

MPs condemn Tory minister Penashue’s campaign spending

New records obtained by CBC News are raising more questions about the election spending of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue.

Documents in Penashue’s Elections Canada file show he and his campaign spent $24,711 in flights during the 2011 election campaign, but an airline in his Labrador riding wrote off most of that amount under an agreement that appears to have been made months after the election was over.

(This is in addition to the financing irregularities in Dean Del Mastro’s and former OPP Chief Julian Fantino’s campaigns.)

FREE TRADE – CNOOC NEXEN DEAL

Canada.com – National security ‘very important’ in relationship with china: Harper

(Thank you, thank you Dear Leader for finally taking a minute to give us some idea that you are putting some thought into this matter.)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national-security angle to Canada’s relationship with China is something his government takes very seriously.  The remarks Friday came amid renewed concerns about Chinese espionage and also as Harper faces a major decision on an oil-industry takeover by a state-owned Chinese company.

Vancouver Observer – Canada-China FIPPA agreement unconstitutional, treaty law expert says

The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA), Canada’s biggest foreign trade treaty since NAFTA, will come into effect at the end of October and bind both the federal and provincial governments of Canada to its clauses for the next 31 years until 2043. International investment law expert and Canadian citizen Gus Van Harten says provinces have a strong case for challenging the treaty on constitutional grounds.

XL FOODS

Inspections at E. coli-affected plant grind to a halt with layoffs

(It looks to me like XL is trying to tell CFIA to go home and mind their own business and the Harper government is simply washing its hands of it.  I guess the only recourse for consumers once the plant re-opens is to ensure that the store where they buy their meat does not buy from XL.  Rumour has it that some have already cancelled their contracts with XL.)

Federal inspectors and the meat processing company at the centre of an E. coli outbreak have come to an impasse, and the Official Opposition says the agriculture minister should be taking action to break it.

Edmonton Journal – Beef recall likely ‘death knell’ for revenue-starved XL Foods

(Fascinating article about how unfettered capitalism drives itself into the ground.   The Nilsson brothers paid $145 million for XL three years ago and are selling it for $100 million.  They destroyed the brand by their greed and arrogance. I understand that grocery chains spurred on by consumer concerns about the source of their beef, were cancelling contracts.)

Just three years ago, Brian and Lee Nilsson paid $145 million US to buy the Brooks packing facility, an adjacent feedlot and related fertilizer operations that made Edmonton-based XL Foods Inc. Canada’s largest domestically owned meat processor.

OMNI BUDGET

Canada.com – Harper won’t honour stance on jumbo omnibus bills, says opposition

Opposition MPs are calling Prime Minister Stephen Harper a hypocrite and urging him to follow his own advice on curtailing the use of omnibus bills to pass controversial government legislation.

As the Conservative government prepares to table its second sweeping budget implementation bill, MPs debated a Liberal party motion Tuesday that called for a House of Commons committee to examine what “reasonable limits” should be placed on omnibus legislation and for the committee to report back by December.

Opposition members of Parliament noted that Harper, when he was a backbench Reform Party MP in 1994, argued in the Commons against governments using omnibus bills to pass important legislation.

(Although the above motion did not get very much media coverage due to the resignation of Bob Rae, perhaps it had somewhat of an impact in bringing about the surprise decision to separate the MP’s pension issue from the Omni Budget bill.)

Ipolitics – MP pensions removed from budget bill, sent to Senate

The government has agreed to separate out part of its new fall budget implementation bill, setting apart the section that deals with MP pensions and passing it as a standalone bill immediately.

ACCOUNTABILITY

CBC – Feds reject reforms on parliamentary spending oversight

The Harper government has rejected key reforms demanded by a House of Commons committee to eliminate the arcane rules that prevent MPs from properly scrutinizing billions of dollars in spending each year.

In a June report, the all-party committee complained that outdated rules of Parliament are keeping them in the dark about expenditures — obstructing MPs from fulfilling one of their most basic responsibilities.

REWRITING HISTORY

G&M – Museum of Civilization to get new focus

The Harper government is set to rebrand and refocus the country’s biggest museum into a monument to the history of Canada in the lead-up to celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

(I wonder if there will be an entire  gallery dedicated to pictures of Stephen Harper.  See Harper gallery leaves MPs speechless)

MISCELLANEOUS

Vancouver Sun – Stephen Harper’s Tories downplay climate knowledge of new Environment Canada boss

Federal Conservatives are downplaying concerns over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s newly-selected boss for Environment Canada and the bureaucrat’s knowledge about global warming.

The department’s new deputy minister, Bob Hamilton, ran into trouble last Monday at a parliamentary committee when he was asked to explain what causes climate change.

“Wow. Umm. They didn’t tell me I’d have to answer questions like that when I took this job. I think that it’s – I don’t know the total answer to that –,” said Hamilton, before Conservative MPs interrupted to prevent him from continuing.

Gun Control.ca – Canada eliminates firearms marking regulations, further violating UN agreements

The Canadian government has announced that it will drop the firearms marking requirements necessary as part of the UN Firearms Protocol Canada has signed. The announcement comes just as meetings to discuss the Convention of which the Protocol is part are set to begin.

CBC – Immigration minister to give criteria for denying entry to Canada

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he’ll soon give Parliament more information about a proposed power for the minister to deny people from entering Canada even if they don’t have a serious criminal record.

The power, known as negative discretion, would allow the immigration minister to deny entry to Canada for a non-citizen who may promote hatred or violence. The minister can currently deny entry to a foreign national based on criminality or national security reasons.

CBC – Whistleblower forced investigation of TransCanada pipeline

In an exclusive television interview with CBC News, Evan Vokes said he raised concerns about the competency of some pipeline inspectors and the company’s lack of compliance with welding regulations set by the National Energy Board (NEB), the federal energy industry regulator.

 

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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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