March 6, 2011
Do any of the alleged Christians who support the government of Stephen Harper have any trouble with the fact that his government is the most morally corrupt party in Canadian history? Does their fantasy that he will end abortions sometime in the future allow them to rationalize what he does on an almost daily basis that violates what most people accept as Christian values?
(This is a must read article that summarizes the sad state of Canadian democracy. From Harper’s unconditional support of Israel to his attack on civil society and democratic institutions and worse still the seeming inability of the Liberals to understand the real issues, frame the message and get it out to Canadians.)
The issue here is the reversal, by Stephen Harper, of a 60-year consensus shared by all previous governments about the central role of civil society in Canada. Every previous government has funded civil society groups and NGOs even when they espoused policies that contradicted the government’s own. Governments might have done so grudgingly and not as generously as some of us hoped. But it has been one of the quiet glories of Canadian democracy that our governments have often backed groups that criticized them or had competing priorities.
February 14, 2011
While the world is cheering on the Egyptian uprising, Harper is siding with the despotic regime. Even the United States, long a proponent of the dictatorial model for the Arab Middle East, is speaking out for the protesters.
(Harper’s support for Mubarak may be influenced by his Christian evangelical beliefs which put Israel’s interests above all else. Renowned author Marci McDonald’s book, The Armegeddon Factor describes in detail the rise of the Christian right in Canada and its links to the Harper government. QUOTE FROM THIS BOOK: “What drives that growing Christian nationalist movement is its adherents’ conviction that the end times foretold in the book of Revelation are at hand. Braced for an impending apocalypse, they feel impelled to ensure that Canada assumes a unique, scripturally ordained role in the final days before the Second Coming — and little else.)
HARPER’S MILITARIZATION OF CANADA
Canadian military officials have undertaken a comprehensive effort with their Israeli counterparts to “pursue deeper relationships,” to borrow from Israel’s weapons, war training, and counter-insurgency strategies, and to strengthen diplomatic ties, according to documents obtained through access to information (ATI) requests.
November 24, 2010
RIGHT WING MILITARIST STATES NEED A SCAPEGOAT – HARPER HAS TARGETED MUSLIM AND ARAB GROUPS
The Muslim leader whose recent Ottawa speech was cancelled by Defence Minister Peter MacKay spoke at a church Sunday instead, saying it’s better to talk than to avoid it.
Imam Zijad Delic delivered a guest sermon at First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa on Cleary Avenue. But he has also been giving talks at community groups and in libraries since MacKay cancelled his speech in early October.
(I had the privilege of attending this speech. This article summarizes its content quite well. The Imam spoke quietly and dispassionately but addressed a number of the issues that make the current government so un-Canadian and dangerous.)
October 4, 2010
The head of the Canadian Islamic Congress says he’s hurt and insulted that his speech at National Defence Headquarters has been cancelled by Defence Minister Peter MacKay over accusations the congress holds extremist views…… MacKay’s statement, issued late Friday, came after two Christian-based associations began circulating an email that described Delic’s presence at the event as affront to Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and their families.
Vancouverite – Background info on Imam Delic.
Text of speech Imam Delic was going to deliver at DND.
September 13, 2010
Documents reveal federal researchers, whose work is financed by taxpayers, need approval from Ottawa before speaking with media
The Harper government has tightened the muzzle on federal scientists, going so far as to control when and what they can say about floods at the end of the last ice age.
September 5, 2010
Opponents of Prime Minister Harper claim he is an ideologically driven authoritarian, intolerant of opinions contrary to his own and contemptuous of the traditional give-and-take of parliamentary democracy.
Although the jury may still be out on whether such views are well founded, an unexpected new critic of his government has entered the picture: Amnesty International, the world’s leading defender of human rights.
June 22, 2010
Anyone who has worked with Stephen Harper will tell you his top priority is message control. Control the message and you control outcomes…But to control the message, you have to have influence in the media. So how’s this for a coup? Harper now has one of his former directors of communications, Kory Teynecke, as de facto boss of Sun Media coverage. The same Teynecke is also leading the bid from the same organization to create a new conservative television network.
June 19, 2010
Toronto Star – Changing Canada, one backward step at a time
(This is an excellent partial summary of Harper’s misdeeds so far.)
Imagine a country that slyly relaxes environmental regulations even as its neighbour reels from a catastrophic oil leak blamed on slack controls. That country is now this country.
Imagine a country that writes a covert manual on sabotaging Commons committees. That country is now this country.
Imagine a country that twists its foreign policy around the interests of another nation. That country is now this country.
Imagine a country where charities mute constructive criticism of public policy for fear of losing federal funding. That country is now this country.
May 10, 2010
(The Harper Cons would like to criminalize criticism of Israel. I’ve always wondered how long it would take before they decided to criminalize criticism of their government. This is an enlightening article by Jane Taber in the Globe and Mail.)
The CBC-bashing continues unabated as Tory strategists uncover more revelations of so-called Liberal bias at the network.
Mary Pynenberg, the viewer who inspired a recent poll on women in politics, is not only a former Liberal candidate but is also a “radical anti-Stephen Harper group,” according to the latest internal Tory talking points. Oh, and she has donated $14,000 since 2004 to the Liberal Party….
The latest is that Ms. Pynenburg is also the vice-president of the National Women’s Liberal Commission and “a proud member of Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper (CRUSH), a radical anti-Stephen Harper group,” the Tory missive says. [“A radical anti-Stephen Harper group”!! – next thing you know they will be accusing those who oppose them of being terrorists.]
January 26, 2010
One must wonder why the Government of Canada feels the need to by-pass the Canadian electorate and announce changes in its policy relating to Israel/Palestine through Israeli media: these announcements should have been made in Canada because they have a profound impact on Canadian interests and need to be debated in Canada.
January 1, 2010
If there was a gold medal for shafting democracy at the Winter Olympics, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper would win it. Just before the games open in Vancouver, he has halted parliament in its tracks, suspending it for the second time in little more than a year.
Rage and shame are flowing on the internet because there is nowhere else for voters to turn. Even The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national and excessively staid newspaper, had a front-page editorial steaming with reproach. The Globe often leaves me frustrated, but I was moved when I read it and … did what exactly? I took a stand. I joined a Facebook group called Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament , an earnestly pathetic act that may be part of the reason our nation is so lessened on the first day of 2010.
December 21, 2009
The Minister of International Cooperation, Bev Oda, has been telling KAIROS, Parliament and the Canadian people that funding to KAIROS was cut because its work did not fit current Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) priorities of economic growth, food security and children and youth.
On Wednesday, however, a completely different reason was given in a speech by Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration. Addressing the Global Forum to Counter Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, Minister Kenney* described his government’s fights against anti-Semitism and, as an example, said the government had “defunded organizations … like KAIROS for taking a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign” against Israel.
(Kenney was in Jerusalem just last May (see May 25, 2009 below). Seems a bit excessive to me. )
December 19, 2009
Church of Canada and other Canadian churches are demanding Prime Minister Stephen Harper explain why one of his cabinet ministers accused them of being anti-Semitic.
The United, Catholic and Anglican churches are part of KAIROS, an aid group that was shocked to hear Immigration Minister Jason Kenney say its funding was lifted as part of the Conservatives’ effort to cut off anti-Semitic organizations.
December 16, 2009
(A MUST READ ARTICLE on how Stephen Harper is subverting democracy in Canada.)
When you think about it, the way to make governing easy is to dispense as much as is possible with the demands of democracy. The d-word is a drag. It gets in the way of the exercise of power. Ways need be found to circumvent it.
December 12, 2009
Last week, the Harper government vetoed CIDA funding for a fine NGO called KAIROS, Canada’s pre-eminent faith-based human rights organization. Eleven Christian organizations run KAIROS. You would think that the Harper government, whose Christian piety is worn pretty close to their sleeves, would be among KAIROS’s great admirers, doing the Lord’s work by fighting injustice around the world.
November 30, 2009
One of the most recent — but almost totally unreported — developments in Canada is something called the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA). It is not an official parliamentary body but is a multi-party, voluntary association of 13 MPs……
It remains to be seen what the recommendations of the coalition will be, but its conclusions regarding a sweeping redefinition of anti-semitism have already been drawn and incorporated into their inquiry process — mortally damaging its credibility. The likelihood that the Harper government is working in lock-step with the coalition is high and the CPCCA‘s purpose may well be to prepare the ground for criminalizing criticism of Israel.
(If the Harper government criminalizes criticism of Israel government actions the next step is criminalizing criticism of his own government.)
September 30, 2009
The Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pushed a staunchly pro-Israel position since taking office. In the 2006 war between Israel and the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon, Mr. Harper called Israel’s retaliation “measured.” The bombing severely damaged Lebanese infrastructure and killed about a thousand people, many civilians caught in the warzone.
July 6, 2009
York University, still recovering from a bitter 12-week strike, cannot seem to escape political fireworks, even during the summer.
In this latest fracas, the York Federation of Students is accusing two Conservative politicians – federal MP Peter Kent and provincial MPP Peter Shurman – of interfering with York’s turbulent student politics.
Through a Freedom of Information request, the student federation obtained 50 pages of email exchanges in which assistants for the two politicians, who represent student-heavy ridings north of the campus, repeatedly question university executives about the results of a student council vote this spring.
CNW – Information obtained under freedom of Information request by York Federation of Students.
February 5, 2009
The recent bombing of several UN locations in Gaza, notably one UN school sheltering refugees, by Israeli Defense Forces has elicited calls for an international investigation. The Canadian government has placed the blame for the attack on Hamas, and remains silent on Israel’s refusal to allow for an international investigation into the shelling.
(The Support Our Troops Harper government rejects an investigation into the bombing of a UN installation which took the life of a Canadian peacekeeper. Is Canada becoming a theocracy, where support for Israel trumps all other considerations?)