Harper Watch – October 22 to 31, 2012


REPORT IMPACT OF BUDGET CUTS TO OPPOSITION MPs.  If you have experienced difficulties and delays in obtaining Federal government services, e.g., EI benefits, Passport etc. please let a Liberal, NDP or Green MP in your area know about your experience.   I’m told that personal stories are very useful to the opposition parties.

SUPREME COURT DECISION ON ETOBICOKE CENTRE

Toronto Star Editorial – Election rules needed to ensure confidence in free and fair elections

When Canadians cast a ballot, they must be confident that rules and voting procedures are in place to ensure a free and fair election. Unfortunately, nearly a year and half after the May 2011 federal election and with a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Thursday, concerns remain that some voters may have been disenfranchised.

Ipolitics (Michael Harris) – Supreme Court decision ensures litigious future for Canada’s elections

It is not often that the Chief Justice finds herself writing the dissenting reasons in a Supreme Court decision, especially under McLachlin, where unanimous rulings have outnumbered split decisions. And almost never is that dissent expressed with such withering disdain as it was last week. Justice McLachlin frankly didn’t like anything about the “after-the-fact information” brought forward by Elections Canada to argue that the results of the election in Etobicoke Centre should stand and Ted Opitz should continue to be the MP.

MANY DAMNING OPINION PIECES THIS WEEK

G&M (John Ibbitson) – Michael Ignatieff’s timely warning on the politics of fascism

(This is a stunning headline and article from a columnist that most people think is on the PMO payroll.  Could he be one of many who has finally seen the light.)

A wise voice is warning that fascism lies at the bottom of the English-speaking world’s dangerous political decline. That voice belongs to Michael Ignatieff.

Mr. Ignatieff is a rarity: a public intellectual who once held the title of Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

National Post (John Ivison) – The government seems to want to keep MPs, even its own members, in the dark on the budget

(John Ivison is another right winger who seems to have had enough of the Harper modus operandi.)

The budget, when it arrived, offered few clues to suggest that was the case, but the supplementary estimates released in fall 2011 revealed that $135-million of the $222-million cut in the Main Estimates had indeed been reinstated.

Confused? Not half as much as the average member of parliament, whose most important job is make sure taxpayers are getting value for their money.

Watching a parliamentary committee scrutinize the Estimates reminded me of watching Charles the Gorilla paint at Toronto Zoo — you got the sense that he vaguely knew what he was doing, but only vaguely.

ipolitics (Frances Russell) – Stephen Harper and the triumph of the corporation state

Stephen Harper has moved beyond being the prime minister of Canada. He’s its CEO, making Canada the first democracy to tacitly embrace global corporate governance.

Canada finds itself presiding over the birth of a new Dark Age. The Age of Democracy is over. The Age of Corporate Rule is upon us.

G&M – Tories defeat last minute push for hearings on Canada-China investment treaty

Conservative MPs defeated a last minute push for Parliamentary hearings on a Canada-China investment treaty, which cabinet will be able to enact into law within days.

NDP MP Don Davies asked the House of Commons industry committee to hear expert witnesses on the Canada China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, but the committee handled the request behind closed doors.

Toronto Star (Tim Harper) – Kevin Page’s battle with Conservatives is fundamental to Parliament

The government rationale in stonewalling Page has been a shifting one. He was originally accused of overstepping his mandate — a deliberate misreading of a mandate “to provide independent analysis (to MPs) about the state of the nation’s finances.’’

Then Clement and Flaherty took to parsing it this way: Page was responsible for studying the money the government spent, not the money it hasn’t spent.

Canada.com (Editorial) – Let Kevin Page do his job

Most departments have not complied. Some haven’t even bothered to answer. Now, Page is going to have to go to court to get the information. If the Conservative government were truly the government of accountability and transparency, heads would roll. Deputy ministers would be marched down to Kevin Page’s office right now, documents in hand.

ipolitics (NDP MP Megan Leslie) – Conservatives using dirty tricks to gut environmental laws – again

The Conservatives are at it again, using dirty tricks to gut environmental laws in their second monstrous omnibus budget bill. In spite of public outrage, they haven’t learned anything. In this latest attack on the environmental, the government has decided to finish off the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

ipolitics (Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan) Democracy and the environment overthrown again

The government has repeatedly abused Parliament by ramming through massive omnibus bills and turning the legislative process into a farce.

Two years ago the government introduced an 880-page omnibus bill – representing half the entire workload of Parliament from the previous year.

Liberal.ca (Bob Rae) – Letter to the Commissioner of Canada Elections on Peter Penashue

I am writing in regards to a number of serious allegations which have come to light in regards to the campaign of Mr. Peter Penashue, the Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the riding of Labrador during the 41st general election. If these allegations which were identified in recent media reports are proven to be true, they constitute serious infringements of the Canada Elections Act and may even bring into question the validity of the election result itself in a very close race.

G&M – Ottawa’s long-term debt plans shelved

The Conservative government no longer has targets for erasing Canada’s federal debt, which grew by $125-billion since the recession.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed Wednesday that the recession has derailed Ottawa’s long-term debt plans and new targets won’t be set until the government starts posting yearly surpluses again – which is not forecast to happen for three more years.

THE HARPER GOVERNMENT – TOUGH ON CRIME EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR BUDDIES

National Post – Toronto Police Fugitive Squad nabs businessman with ties to Jason Kenney, John Baird

Businessman Nathan Jacobson has gone from hobnobbing with the most powerful politicians in Canada to a jail cell.

The fugitive, who is facing a sentence in an American prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering, is in Toronto’s Metro West Detention Centre, an official there said Friday.

Canada.com – Crown agrees to bail for businessman with Conservative ties

A lawyer for the federal justice department agreed to let fugitive businessman Nathan Jacobson out on bail on Wednesday in spite of a warning from a confidential informant that earlier led police to arrest him.

Jacobson, who was close to federal cabinet ministers, was arrested by Toronto police last Thursday for extradition to the United States after he failed to show up for sentencing this summer for a 2008 money laundering conviction.

He was in jail from Thursday until Wednesday, when a lawyer representing the federal Justice Department appeared in Ontario Superior Court to announce he had reached an agreement with Jacobson’s lawyer. Jacobson paid $600,000 in bail and his lawyer handed over his Israeli and his Canadian passports.

CBC – 5 loose ends from past federal elections

The Supreme Court on Thursday tied up one loose end from the last federal election in a decision that maintained the result in Etobicoke Centre….

But Etobicoke Centre wasn’t the only loose end remaining from May 2, 2011. Here are four lingering questions about the last federal election, plus one from the 2008 election.

(This article does not mention the breaches of Elections Canada financing rules  in Former Police Chief Julian Fantino’s riding.)

MISCELLANEOUS

UN Palestinian rights envoy unapologetic in face of Canadian calls for his resignation

(Note, the UN rapporteur supports a boycott of Israeli settlement products not of Israel.)

A diplomatic spat has broken out between the Conservative government and a controversial UN special rapporteur after the latter endorsed a boycott of companies that are profiting from Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.

In strongly worded comments, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney this week accused rapporteur Richard Falk of bias and alleged he is undermining efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.

Falk has dismissed the government’s “irrational” response as little more than an effort to attack the messenger rather than dealing with what he says are Israel’s efforts to take land that rightfully belongs to the Palestinians.

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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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