(This is a bit long but a worthwhile read. Maher and McGregor have dug up lots of new information on the theft of the 2011 election by the Harper regime.)
Three days before the last federal election, Elections Canada confronted the Conservatives about suspicious calls directing voters to the wrong polling stations but were met with denials of any wrongdoing from the party’s lawyer, internal emails show.
Online complaints posted during the last federal election campaign show that voters were getting incorrect poll-moving calls from the same numbers that sent Elections Canada workers scrambling in the final days before the 2011 election.
Some voters vented their frustration with unsolicited calls from the Conservative Party on websites used to track the source of annoying telemarketing calls.
Elections Canada is undertaking an unprecedented level of public consultation as part of Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand’s efforts to produce a report to Parliament in March on the misuse of communications technology during the 2011 federal election which resulted in the robocalls and voter suppression scandal.
A Federal Court battle over allegations of voter suppression in six federal ridings during the 2011 election is set to begin five days of hearings in early December in Ottawa, with the first skirmish over expert testimony from Ekos pollster Frank Graves….
And—even though the brief from Mr. Shrybman says Elections Canada urged all of the parties during the campaign not to do so—Mr. Langhorne testified that the script for RMG phone bank callers included a sentence stating Elections Canada had changed some voting locations at the last moment. The script, according to the court testimony, instructed the RMG callers to verify with the electors they spoke to that their voting locations were correct.
Here is Anita Hawdur, an Elections Canada officer, in an email a day before the 2011 election, the one in which the Conservatives are accused of attempting to rig the vote by directing voters to the wrong polling stations.
“The polling station numbers given out by the Conservative Party … are all wrong,” she writes to the agency’s lawyer. Later in the day she writes again: “The workers in the returning office think these people are running a scam.” In another, she says that some returning officers are reporting that people making calls falsely identified themselves as being from Elections Canada.
Don’t be fooled. The inocuous language used to describe the avalanche of so-called “trade” agreements raining down on Canada under the Harper government — the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), the Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Canada-China Foreign Investment Agreement, not to mention the plethora of single-country trade deals — aren’t about trade at all.
Their real purpose is to repeal democracy, to elevate investor/corporate rights over the democratic will of the people. Corporations — not governments — become the decision-makers, the de facto rulers.
SUPPRESSING INFORMATION AND FREE SPEECH
When it comes to the practice of freedom of the press, the rules at the Spectator were pretty much like the ones operating at the Selkirk Record. Jim also lost his job. It was not something he wrote that put him out of work. Jim got the axe for printing the wrong kind of letter to the editor, an unpardonable sin for which he refused to apologize: “The Spectator fired me two years ago after I printed a letter critical of Sun Media.
Google’s latest Transparency Report shows that the Canadian government is increasingly requesting that Google remove content from its websites, primarily for reasons of defamation….
In another case, between July and December 2009, Google received a request from a Canadian politician to remove a blog “criticizing his policies.” They did not remove the blog. And more recently, Google received a falsified court order for the removal of defamatory content, citing a case in Moncton, New Brunswick. (The document is so redacted that it is impossible to know who made the request for removal of content.)
It’s a story that is becoming all too familiar. Last week, the CBC reported the Canadian Mennonite, a church-based organization with a monthly magazine of the same name, received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The organization’s charitable status was at risk, said the letter, due to its engagement in “partisan political activities.” The message: Stop the objectionable activity or lose your status.Yet the political criteria of the CRA are applied with remarkable selectivity….
On the federal list of registered charities is the Fraser Institute, a self-described “think-tank” whose mission is to promote free-market economics. It produces a guide called miningfacts.org, which promotes the economic benefits and safety of the mining industry.
A confidential government document obtained by CBC News warns the Harper government has been slow to open new markets in Asia, leaving Canada firmly tied to the troubled U.S. economy for a long time to come.
The document prepared by Foreign Affairs and dated Sept. 6 is a draft of a highly classified new “Canadian foreign policy plan” the Conservative government has been preparing for more than a year…..
Instead, the draft doctrine is mainly about money, recasting Canada’s international role from aiding the world’s needy to reaping its riches. That’s in stark contrast to Harper’s views of China when he first came to office.
“It’s a bit of a David and Goliath story: PBO is all of 15 people soaking wet, and the government is 350,000 and they have departments of justice and [the] attorney general. So we know that because we are smaller, we have to be a bit smarter and a bit more creative. But we think that what is at stake is just way too much not to try,” he said.
ATTACK ON UNIONS, WORKERS AND FIRST NATIONS
The Harper government is planning a sneak attack on unions that could drive down wages for all Canadians and undermine the Canadian middle class — yet the news has gone mostly unreported in mainstream media, with rare exceptions like Global News.
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 and Construction & Specialized Workers Union Local 1611 have filed for the injunction while government investigations into the issue are conducted and want records released for their own investigations. But the federal government and the HD Mining do not want to release the records, involving the use of temporary foreign workers at a mine near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.
Indeed, Atleo accuses Harper of continuing to push legislation and a fragmented agenda he knows First Nations communities will oppose, eroding what little trust existed between natives and the Crown. In his five-page letter to Duncan, Atleo examines each of the issues Ottawa and chiefs had agree to tackle, and describes how bureaucratic inertia and lack of mandate have stymied each conversation.
(Unfortunately the Liberals and Greens will probably split the vote and Crockatt will squeeze through but hopefully the opposition parties will take a lesson from this in time for the 2015 election.)
Crockatt (the Conservative candidate) seems to be running a secret campaign. There is no campaign office, at least not one that is open to the public. There have been several public forums — all packed to the rafters — but she has shown up at only one. Crockatt even refused to appear at a forum on Sunday organized by the mayor’s office. Nenshi himself publicly took her to task for that.
If anyone but a Conservative does grab this seat on Nov. 26 it will be the third clear sign that politics in Alberta are shifting. The election of Nenshi and then Alison Redford and her red Tories being the first two.
The Parliamentary Budget Office released a report Monday looking at the government’s supplementary spending estimates for the fiscal year, but that’s only one part of Kevin Page’s busy day. On Monday afternoon, he also earned himself a Diamond Jubilee medal, which parliamentarians have been handing out since February.