Harper Watch December 4 to December 8, 2012


URGENT – Council of Canadians needs to raise $300,000 for the Robofraud court case. PLEASE DONATE!

CAN WE DEFINITELY CONSIDER CANADIAN DEMOCRACY DEAD? SEVEN ARTICLES ON THE BEATING THAT DEMOCRACY IS TAKING UNDER THE HARPER REGIME

ipolitics (Frances Russell) – How Harper exploits Canadians’ ignorance of parliamentary democracy
Canada has the most dysfunctional and undemocratic parliament in the British Commonwealth. Canadians have been reduced to electoral democracy, not parliamentary democracy…..

Thomas said the government is determined to dominate the agenda, to engage in news management and to prevent unforeseen events from arising through Parliament. “It’s more systematic and across the board. They don’t see Parliament as a useful part of the governing process. They see it as a nuisance.”

Elizabeth May – The most damaging things happening to Canada are the things you cannot see
Other things that make me think the government is not functioning as it should come from many conversations I have had with Ministers in Cabinet. Without betraying personal conversations, it has been clear to me over and over again, that they do not know what is going on in their departments.

Macleans (Aaron Wherry) – Why bother with a House of Commons?
So Peter van Loan asked Speaker of the House Scheer to allow a test vote wherein the Conservatives vote down all of May’s amendments in one go. Think about this for a second. van Loan’s logic implies,

1) The government is blindly, dogmatically opposed to any change being proposed by an independent MP.
2) A government shouldn’t have to actually demonstrate this knee-jerk opposition through voting down everything May proposes. Instead they should just have to do it once.
3) The substance of the amendments is of zero importance. Even if all 80 amendments span totally different subjects and sections of legislation, they should all be grouped together as one *because of who proposed them.*

CBC – Conservative bid to call Trudeau, McGuinty to committee on hold — for now.
A Conservative-backed campaign to haul Liberal leadership contender Justin Trudeau and now former natural resources critic David McGuinty before the natural resources committee to explain their headline-making comments on Albertan politicians has foundered, at least for the moment, in the face of of a one-man filibuster by Liberal MP John McKay.

G&M (Gerald Caplan) – In Canadian politics, bullying is the new way to govern
The Conservative technique for smearing their opponents is simply a form of political bullying. And it’s been enormously successful. They’ve made chopped liver of Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff and have begun their assault on Thomas Mulcair. As columnist Lawrence Martin reminds us, the PM “is still running a campaign of lies” against Mr. Mulcair on the carbon-tax issue, and Martin confidently predicts that “Harper’s attacks on [Justin] Trudeau will be vicious.”

CONS BRING PHYSICAL BULLYING TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
CBC – Tempers flare in Commons over omnibus budget bill
(It is absolutely stunning that the media has not made more of this physical manifestation of Conservative bullying.)
Tempers flared Wednesday over the government’s mammoth omnibus budget bill, as Conservative and NDP MPs exchanged angry words and aggressive gestures in the middle aisle of the House of Commons…..House of Commons cameras reveal what looks like a heated exchange between Government House leader Peter Van Loan and Cullen. No sound can be heard, but Van Loan can be seen crossing the floor to remonstrate with Cullen. Van Loan can be seen kneeling down, shaking his finger at Cullen.

ELECTION FRAUD
Hill Times – Fraudulent phone call complaints allowed in Federal Court case to overturn six election results
The Federal Court has allowed last-minute evidence containing complaints of fraudulent telephone calls in 56 electoral districts during the 2011 general election to be filed as possible evidence in a bid by voters in six ridings to have those results overturned.

The evidence, consisting of sworn court affidavits from two Elections Canada investigators who probed the complaints that surfaced following a nationwide controversy over alleged voter-suppression tactics last February, will be filed in Federal Court on Friday, Dec. 7, under an order issued Thursday by a case management judge.

NO SCIENCE, NO EVIDENCE, NO CONSULTATION
Canada.com – Top federal bureaucrats stayed mum during discussion about silencing of scientists
Canada’s federal scientists used to be encouraged to openly discuss their work with both the media and public. That changed under the Harper government, which the newly released documents indicate controls access to scientists and pre-approves their responses. They show Kent’s office prevented one scientist from speaking to the reporters about a study on the unprecedented Arctic ozone hole in 2011. Other federal scientists have been prevented from talking about prehistoric floods and salmon diseases.

THEY PROMISED ACCOUNTABILITY AND GAVE US THE $45 BILLION F-35 DEBACLE
Elizabeth May – F-35 Jets: Auditor General found no-one acting responsible
Under Liberal Prime Ministers Chretien and Martin, Canada put up initial funds to participate–first $10 million in 1997, then a further $150 million in 2001. The 2012 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada finds no fault with the process and accountability of decision-making up to this time….

What the Auditor General (AG) did recount was such a trail of violations in the fundamentals of normal procurement process that even seasoned Ottawa-watchers are stunned. The decisions were generally taken in reverse order. First came the decision, followed by inventing criteria to justify the decisions, and then, lastly the rationale. Not one, but two, departments were found to have failed in the exercise of basic due diligence.

National Post (Andrew Coyne) F-35s debacle a broad failure of democratic accountability
It is difficult to imagine how a worse mess could have been made of the F-35 procurement, but I’m willing to bet this government will try. When I say mess, I don’t mean to suggest charming ineptitude, but culpable incompetence, mixed with deliberate misrepresentation. What started with a catastrophic failure of oversight, progressed through many months of dishonesty, secrecy, and stonewalling, culminating in what can only be called electoral fraud — followed by still more dishonesty about everything that had gone before.

OPEN (AND TRANSPARENT) HARPER STYLE…CONT’D

Calgary Herald – Public Works refuses to release winning shipbuilding bids to Parliamentary Budget Officer
The federal government has refused to give Parliament’s budgetary watchdog copies of the bids that ultimately won shipyards in Halifax and Vancouver nearly $33 billion worth of work under the government’s national shipbuilding strategy .

THE HARPER GOVERNMENT – A DISGRACE ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE
CBC – Canada votes against UN call to open Israel nuclear facilities
Canada was one of only six nations in the UN General Assembly to vote against a resolution Monday that called on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and that backed a recently cancelled conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East.

All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn’t take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on non-proliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend.

Toronto Star (Tim Harper) Stephen Harper’s lightning quick foreign policy overhaul
Canada essentially stands alone in the world today, silently nodding or mouthing platitudes while Israel forges ahead with the construction of 3,000 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as punishment for the Palestinian victory. The Conservative government has taken Canada so far from its foreign policy roots and exposed this country as such a high-profile outlier, it defies explanation.

SUPPORTING OUR VETS – NOT!
Guelph Mercury – Legion goes to bat over rejected claims to bury poor and homeless veterans
The Royal Canadian Legion, once counted on by the government to be the voice of reason among veterans groups, is striking a more defiant tone and demanding federal officials address the issue of burial expenses for poor and homeless ex-soldiers.

ENVIRONMENTAL IRRESPONSIBILITY AT HOME AND ABROAD
ipolitics (Liberal Environment Critic Kirsty Duncan) – Peter Kent, shredding Canada’s reputation in Doha
Environment Minister Peter Kent arrived in Doha for the United Nations  climate change talks with his work cut out for him. He is facing a growing  chorus of opposition not only from critics at home but from abroad as well.
Chief among the international community’s concerns is Canada’s flip-flop on Kyoto. Last year, Kent attended the climate change talks only to come home and announce Canada would be pulling out of Kyoto. This decision was greeted with dismay around the world.

Canada.com – After federal changes to waterways rules, 89 per cent of protected lakes lap on Conservative shores
The vast majority of lakes that retain federal protection under the government’s proposed changes to waterway rules lap up against ridings held by Conservative MPs. While revisions to the Navigable Waters Protection Act has stripped federal oversight from thousands of Canadian waterways, 89 per cent of the lakes that will still be designated as protected are in Tory territory, a Citizen analysis shows.

YET ANOTHER COURT CASE
RCMP files, records of missing children, graves may never surface if Ottawa wins battle with TRC
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is taking Ottawa to court over its refusal to hand over millions of records related to the 150 year existence of Indian residential schools. The court fight has been described as a battle for control over the history of residential schools.

The TRC alleges in court documents that the Harper government is refusing to release documents and files written following the closure of a residential school, even though some of these schools opened and closed on an ongoing basis and sometimes shut down and reopened in the same building.

THE LEFT MUST STOP SHOOTING ITSELF IN THE FOOT

(Tasha Kheiriddin is not someone I agree with very often, and mistrust of the Conservative in regards to the abortion issue is certainly understandable, but the pro-choice progressives really discredit themselves when they oppose bills like this one. Sex-selective abortion is not a matter of the woman’s choice, in fact it is often the very opposite; women are forced to abort because the child is the wrong sex. These knee jerk reactions are the kind of thing that turn people who are not informed on the broader issues away from progressive parties.)

ipolitics – Abortion, women’s rights and the hypocrisy of ‘progressives’
Sex-selective abortion has skewed gender ratios across the globe, notably in India (112 boys to every 100 girls), and China (121 boys to every 100 girls). The result is not only discrimination in the womb, but social problems for those who survive: bride-napping, forced prostitution and an increase in crime. And as immigrants from cultures which practice sex-selective abortion move to Canada, they are bringing the problem here. The situation has prompted Conservative MP Mark Warwara to bring forward Bill M-408, which would have the House of Commons condemn the practice of sex-selective abortion.

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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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