Harper Watch November 29 to December 3, 2012


Canada.com (Maher & McGregor) – New court documents show cross-country complaints about election calls

Newly released court documents show that Elections Canada has obtained phone records from across the country as it probes misleading election calls that investigators believe were “wilful conduct” aimed at keeping voters from casting their ballots.

Elections Canada released the documents to lawyers in a Federal Court case on Wednesday, as soon as the information requested had been returned to investigators from phone service providers Shaw and Videotron.   (Also see Council of Canadians Press Release)

Huff Post – Campaign Research, Tory Pollster, Censured For Misleading Phone Calls

A Conservative pollster has been censured by the market research industry’s watchdog for conducting a misinformation campaign against Liberal MP Irwin Cotler…..

Cotler finally got some satisfaction Wednesday from the long-awaited ruling. “Here we have an independent panel finding that they violated public confidence, their own code of conduct and professional responsibility,” he said.

He noted, however, that he has never received an apology from the Conservative party “for the kind of permanent, false and misleading campaign they’ve been running in my riding for two and a half years.”



G&M – Canadians quickly losing faith in democracy, survey suggests

(Although faith in democracy is down 20% since the ascent of Harper to the throne, it is stunning to discover that 55% of Canadians are still satisfied with democracy in Canada.)

Canadians’ satisfaction with democracy has dipped to a new low, research suggests, with many people pegging the problem on weak performance by their federal MPs.

About 55 per cent of Canadians say they are satisfied with democracy in the country, according to a new research paper by Samara, a not-for-profit organization aimed at improving political participation. That’s down 20 points from 2004, when similar research suggested about 75 per cent of Canadians were satisfied with their democracy.


Hill Times – Tories to haul Trudeau before House Natural Resources Committee to explain his Alberta statements, opposition parties call it a ‘witch-hunt’

Conservative MPs have pushed through an unprecedented motion at the Commons Natural Resource committee calling Liberal leadership front-runner Justin Trudeau for a grilling over political comments he made two years ago alleging a negative Alberta influence over federal, social, and democratic policies through Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government.


(This article is an excellent analysis of the Palestinian UN Bid and why Canada’s vote is counterproductive and so wrong for everyone.)

Toronto Star (Haroon Siddiqui) – Stephen Harper is not doing Israel any favours

If the UN decision to recognize Palestine was as meaningless as it’s made out to be, why did its opponents fight so ferociously against it?

Of course, the vote was significant. Its critics knew that as well — hence the panic, before and after it.  The vote was overwhelming, more than two-thirds in favour — 138 for, 9 against and 41 abstentions. Much to Canada’s shame, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was among the loudest pipsqueak noises against the tide of history.

Huffington Post – Romeo Dallaire Slams Harper’s Foreign Policy

Canada’s Senate is supposed to be a house of “sober second thought,” but as far as Liberal senator, retired general and widely -decorated war hero Roméo Dallaire is concerned, when it comes to foreign policy Prime Minister Stephen Harper isn’t giving either part of Parliament a second thought at all.


Canadian – Food Safety Agency Should Protect Public, Not Cover up Virus for Salmon Farming Industry

The federal agency embroiled in the recent XL Meats tainted beef scandal is at it again – this time leading efforts to cover up a potentially catastrophic farmed salmon flu-like viral outbreak on BC’s coast. Charged with ensuring your food is safe to eat, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) increasingly appears to be acting as a political arm of the Harper  Government and an inept custodian of Canadian trade which will do our export business far more harm than good in the long run.


G&M (Gerry Caplan) – Tory defeat of generic-drug bill is immoral

The Canadian government had the opportunity this week to help hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of AIDS sufferers in poor countries and deliberately chose not to do so. What should we think about such a decision?

When are citizens allowed to ask the unthinkable: If a government knowingly allows hundreds of thousands of people to die unnecessarily, what is its responsibility? How much less culpable is indirect guilt, or guilt by omission, than direct guilt or guilt by commission?…

Can this really be the end of this story? Do the Africans who will die unnecessarily in these years – and there will be huge numbers – merely get forgotten? Too bad, so sad? Another day at the office?…

What plausibly accounts for the government’s decision? Bill C-398 seemed like a win-win for all. It was a surefire way to save countless lives at no cost to ourselves. It had strong support from Canadians in every walk of life. Instead of being bystanders to needless death and suffering, Canadians could have been part of the solution. It was a perfect fit with the government’s vaunted maternal health initiative. Canadian generic manufacturers would do well by doing good. In more hard-bitten terms, Big Pharma, a major influence on Conservative decisions, seemed to be on board, while international legal experts found the bill consistent with Canada’s treaty obligations.

Senator Mike Duffy claims living allowances despite being Ottawa resident since the 1970s

Conservative Senator Mike Duffy has claimed more than $33,000 in living allowances intended to defray senators’ costs of maintaining a second home in the National Capital Region, even though he is a long-time Ottawa resident….

Since September 2010, Duffy has charged the Senate $33,413 for living expenses in the National Capital Region, although he and his wife bought their current home in Kanata — now their secondary residence — five years before his Senate appointment.


Canada.com – Researchers denounce ‘deep’ federal cuts to First Nations communities

More than 100 academics have sent the Harper government’s aboriginal affairs minister a scathing letter denouncing “deep” cuts to programs they believe would have a staggering effect on living conditions, including access to clean drinking water, in First Nations communities.

“We are writing to express our dismay over unprecedentedly deep funding cuts for Canada’s aboriginal representative organizations,” said the researchers in the letter, obtained by Postmedia News. “As researchers, we work with these organizations and others in research partnerships to tackle some of the most pressing issues Canada faces.”


Huff Post – Bill C-10 Hit With Legal Challenges By Quebec Bar Association

The Quebec Bar Association has launched a legal challenge against parts of the federal Conservatives’ law-and-order agenda. In a case that could ultimately find itself before the Supreme Court, the association has filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court seeking to strike down sections of Bill C-10.

ipolitics – Truth commission taking feds to court over residential schools files

Years of mounting frustration over access to government records has prompted the commission of inquiry into Canada’s residential school system to turn to the courts for help, The Canadian Press has learned. In court filings, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission accuses Ottawa of stymying requests for documents the inquiry says are vital to its core mandate: “delivery on truth, reconciliation and ultimately healing.”


Human rights museum staff leave amid interference allegations

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg has not yet opened, but there has already been an exodus of employees, amid allegations of indecision and political interference on the part of management and the board of trustees, CBC News has learned.


Toronto Star (Thomas Walkom) – Bill C-377 and the right’s stealth attack on union funding

The Conservative government’s latest salvo against labour unions is disguised as a plea for openness. In reality, it is something quite different. The real target of Conservative MP Russ Hiebert’s private member’s bill is union financing.

To be precise, the target is the automatic check-off — also known as the Rand formula. Mandated by law in six provinces (including Ontario), it requires all employees in a bargaining unit that has democratically chosen a union to pay union dues.



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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