Liberal Party Petition – It’s time for a Royal Commission on election fraud. Sign petition.
CANADA CHINA FIPPA
The first thing you need to know about the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, which has been called Canada’s most important treaty since the North American Free Trade Agreement, is that the treaty wasn’t concluded with the legitimate government of China, because there is no such thing. It is nonetheless quite right to call the deal a “protection agreement.” That’s because the Chinese Communist Party has mutated into a classic protection racket that brutalizes and corrupts everything it touches.
(This is an important article. Note the publication and the author – hardly left wing socialists.)
Ottawa capitulated to China on everything. The deal, using a hockey metaphor, allows only a select few to play on Team Canada on a small patch of ice in China and to be fouled, without remedies or referees. By contrast, Team China can play anywhere on Canadian ice, can appeal referee calls it dislikes and negotiate compensation for damages while in the penalty box behind closed doors.
If a column in The Globe and Mail today is anything to go by, the federal government has some serious foresight problems. According to Ottawa bureau chief John Ibbitson, a senior official in the government blames all the fuss over state-owned enterprises on the fact that before 2008, Ottawa didn’t think they’d be much of a thing.
(They probably would not have such “serious foresight problems” if they ever listened to anyone rather than basing everything they do on ideology.)
HARPER – NOT SO GOOD ON THE ECONOMY
….Canada no longer is an economic standout among its peers. The International Monetary Fund identifies 35 countries as “advanced economies,” ranging from Australia to the United States. According to the IMF, Canada’s gross domestic product will expand by a little less than 2 per cent in 2013. That bests only European economies coping with the recession in the euro zone.
Federal government departments and agencies spent a record half billion dollars on legal services last year, an increase of more than $138 million in the past three years alone, according to government spending records.
Total spending — not including legal services provided by a department or agency’s own lawyers — hit $500.8 million in 2011-12, according to the 2012 Public Accounts. That’s 6.8 per cent more than the previous year and 38 per cent higher than in 2008-09.
(What can you expect with the Harper know-it- all government that has to defend itself against charges of election fraud and makes decision based on ideology rather than science, evidence and consultation with stakeholders. That’s bound to end up in bad legislation that will land them in court. It’s probably just beginning since we haven’t yet seen the impact of the Omnibudget and all the court challenges that will bring about. Omnibudget, 400 pages and not one opposition amendment accepted, not even a coma.)
SUPPRESSING DISSENT, AVOIDING ACCOUNTABILITY
Jill Winzoski is a name you probably don’t know. Time you met her; she is a canary in the mine of Canadian journalism. Up until October 19, Jill was a reporter with the Selkirk Record in rural Manitoba. Now she is unemployed. No one ever tells you why these days. There is that sudden pain between the shoulder blades, and off your horse you go. But Jill knows how she lost her job. It was politics, in the person of her local MP, the Conservative member for Selkirk Interlake, James Bezan.
(This article about the intimidation of journalists by the Harper regime has reached a phenomenal 3600 Facebook Likes and over 1000 Tweets in just 3 days. There is a follow-up article here.)
Now awaiting Senate approval, the bill – which would also make it a crime to incite a riot while wearing a disguise – is an understandable reaction to the frustration of seeing masked criminals looting stores and destroying cars during the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver, or to watching pseudo-anarchists in black balaclavas systematically smash the windows of banks and coffee shops during the G20 riots in Toronto. But as a response to our outrage, it is problematic. By targeting a small group of troublemakers – whose problems go far beyond wearing masks – Bill C-309 unfairly paints a much larger group with the same brush and creates the potential for abuse.
‘They’re writing him out of the report,’ The Hill Times was told, but Conservative MP Andrew Saxton, who sits on the committee, says he can’t comment on what happens at in camera meetings.
Seven months after the Conservative government promised its $5.2 billion in budget savings would come mostly from “back-office” trimming, a new report from the parliamentary budget officer says 85 per cent of the planned expenditure cuts are actually from direct program spending.
In an affidavit sworn Aug. 8, 2012, Andrew Langhorne, the company’s chief operating officer, provided a script used by its callers that asked voters to confirm they knew where to vote on election day and said, “Elections Canada has changed some voting locations at the last moment.”
But only one of the ridings actually had changes to its polling stations, says a lawyer representing the voters who mounted the challenge. “Further, the [Conservative Party of Canada] directed RMG to raise the question of polling locations even though Elections Canada had specifically asked political parties to refrain from contacting electors to advise of such changes,” Steven Shrybman wrote in the factum presented to the court.
A former Conservative party staffer once named publicly in the robocalls scandal in Guelph, Ont., says the “entire, massive scheme” was much more co-ordinated than could have been done by a 22-year-old without data access.
The federal intergovernmental affairs minister sits in the front row of the government’s benches in the Commons, not far from the Speaker. And that’s what the Conservatives’ Peter Penashue does. He sits, even as questions mount about overspending in his 2011 election campaign.
(And there is Fantino, Del Mastro and the In and Out scandal which was a cool million in election overspending.)
As someone who was on the front line, Thiele gave a grim prognosis of what the Supreme Court’s decision means for future legal fights over election results.
“I think Jean-Pierre Kingsley said in the next contested election somebody is going to hire a private investigator and that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” said Thiele, referring to the former chief of Elections Canada. “And I’m not sure that’s good for democracy, but that’s what’s going to happen.”
The Prince Edward-Hastings Federal Liberal Association is denouncing the failure of appropriate government departments to properly investigate the apparent interception and diversion of mail sent to and from the Peter Tinsley Campaign during the 2011 federal election.