Harper Watch – January 29 to February 4, 2013


OUR BELEAGERED PBO

Rick Mercer Praises Kevin Page For Standing Up To The Tories (VIDEO)
“He did his job … Which is important because if history has taught us anything it’s that governments, all governments, they tend to, what’s the word I’m looking for here? They lie about this stuff,” Mercer said. “On Old Age Security, on deficit projections, on spending cuts, he’s always done his job. And he’s been called every name in the book. Often by people who have never even read one.”

“Nobody wants the job. Why? Look at the job description — serve your country, tell the truth, get attacked by the government for doing so.”

Global News – Canadians left wanting by budget officer: Flaherty
(Yes Kevin Page has left us wanting more – of him!)
“Mr. Page and I have had our differences. We’ve met,” Flaherty said. “We’ve talked about the differences, and he’s offered different opinions at different times on the same subjects, which I find difficult to accept.”

These differences, whether stemming from Canada’s fiscal outlook, the cost of implementing the Conservative’s law-and-order agenda or the price tag on the F-35 fighter jets, have even, on occasion, prompted Flaherty to describe Page as unreliable and unbelievable.

The clash came to a head late last year when Page took the Harper government to court after it refused to turn over information pertaining to spending and personnel cuts announced in Budget 2012.

The government listed several reasons for holding on to the information, including its continued belief that Page was overstepping his mandate – a position opposition parties and Page dismiss as foolish.

HEALT H ANMD THE ENVIRONMENT AT RISK

Toronto Star – Infected salmon declared fit for human consumption by Canadian Food Inspection Agency
(Surf and Turf Harper Style: virus infested salmon and e-coli tainted beef. Yum)
For the first time, Canada’s food safety regulator is allowing Nova Scotia salmon infected with a flu-like virus to be processed for supermarkets and restaurants.

Last week the Canadian Food Inspection Agency declared fit for human consumption 240,000 Atlantic salmon with infectious salmon anemia — a disease it says poses no risk to human health. The ruling is the first time the CFIA has opted not to destroy fish carrying the virus since it started regulating the fish farming industry in 2005.

Vancouver Sun – Feds walk away from environmental assessments on almost 500 projects in B.C.
Under the new legislation, BC Hydro also no longer requires a federal assessment for replacement of its John Hart Generating Station near Campbell River on Vancouver Island because the project won’t increase the generating capacity by more than 50 per cent or 200 megawatts. No provincial assessment applies, either.

Citizen Action Monitor – Woman Nobel Peace Prize winner tells Harper to “Listen up” — Keep dirty oil out of New England
We will be united in telling leaders of both nations to stop the madness. Listen up Prime Minister Harper: Canada’s National Energy Board must hear the will of the people and deny approval of this pipeline plan. And our message to President Obama, as he starts his second term, is clear: Become a climate leader. Keep tar sands out of New England by refusing to issue this pipeline a new presidential permit.

MUCH OVERDUE:  TWO COLUMNISTS WITH THE GUTS TO TELL IT LIKE IT IS.   HOW THE MEDIA LETS ITSELF BE MANIPULATED AND FAILS TO INFORM
(Then they wonder why people aren’t buying subscriptions.)

ipolitics (Lawrence Martin) – Mulcair and the media’s horserace fixation
Instead of examining the issues on their merits, we excessively fixate on political motivation and impact. Having been in the business a long time, it seems to me to be an accelerating trend. We’ve gone horserace-crazy and it’s having a corrosive effect on the public debate.

ipolitics (Michael Harris) – Harper tweets, the press corps purrs
Perhaps the prime minister’s temerity in tweeting his own image is based on the replica news model he has managed to foist on broad swaths of the news profession. Replica news is what the government wants to see reproduced. Journalism, as Orwell famously remarked, is printing what someone doesn’t want you to print.

THE GAMES THE GOVERNMENT PLAYS – AT OUR EXPENSE

HILL TIMES – PCO says use of its letterhead touting feds’ more tough-on-crime bills in works an error by news wire service, now corrected
The Privy Council Office says a mistake by the news wire service it uses to disseminate government news releases led to the distribution of a politically-themed news release on Monday from Government House Leader Peter Van Loan under the letterhead of the Privy Council Office, a branch intended to serve Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Cabinet in a non-partisan way.

ABORIGINAL RIGHTS

OTTAWA CITIZEN – Legislation must not erode aboriginal rights
For the first time, a new law would include an active “derogation”  provision; that is, the proposed law explicitly states that aboriginal and  treaty rights deemed to be in conflict with the law’s stated objective will  not be respected. And for the first time, a new law would contradict  promises made to aboriginal peoples in treaties as to the interpretive primacy of those treaties.

Many aboriginal peoples are desperate for improved water supply after decades of federal underfunding. In a cruel feature of the new law, eligibility for future federal funding support for improved water services would be tied to willingness to live under the new derogation regime created by the proposed law.

CBC – Ottawa ordered to provide all residential schools documents
Truth and Reconciliation Commission took federal government to court over denial of millions of documents

The federal government is obliged to turn over its archival records on Indian residential schools to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an Ontario court decided Thursday.

The decision comes in an increasingly acrimonious dispute between Ottawa and the commission over millions of government documents the commission says it needs to fulfil its core mandate.

Canada.com – We’re not so different
Where did all the hatred suddenly come from?

Over the past weeks, the comments sections of media articles have seen increasingly virulent rants against the aboriginals who are asking for a new deal with the federal government. A few of these commentaries are by outright racists, others by writers who are merely repeating and embellishing the talking-points of the current government. But most seem to be taking the simplest route to explain a situation that is far too complex for easy understanding.

In a recent interview with the CBC, ex-prime minister Paul Martin noted that misconceptions and hostile reactions to the Idle No More movement are aggravated by the fact that “Canadians don’t know and have never been taught aboriginal history adequately.”

CHINADA RISING….?

3 Conservative MPs raised concerns about CNOOC-Nexen deal
(Postscript: Medicine Hat MP Lavar Payne has reneged on his position – must have gotten a good spanking from the PMO)
Documents obtained by CBC News Network’s Power & Politics through Access to Information reveal strong opposition to the $15.1 billion deal from key industry people and the Conservative backbenches.

On Aug. 13, 2012, Kitchener, Ont., MP Harold Albrecht wrote to Industry Minister Christian Paradis to register “philosophical and practical opposition” to the takeover by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

Chinese miners sent home in B.C. workers dispute
HD Mining says it has also delayed plans to bring more miners from China

The company that brought miners from China to work on a B.C. coal project says it is sending some of the workers back home and is not bringing any more to Canada for the time being due to court delays.

Two unions are challenging the government’s decision to allow HD Mining to bring about 200 Chinese miners to work in northern B.C., rather than hire Canadians.

LET’S NOT MAKE A DEAL

Elizabeth MayMP.ca – Submission: Environmental Assessment of Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
Green Party – The following comments are submitted as part of the Environmental Assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations that Canada has officially joined and which Ministers Moore and Fast announced on October 9th, 2012.

While the secrecy surrounding these ongoing negotiations renders it difficult to know precisely what the full extent of the environmental impacts could be, given the demonstrable negative environmental effects that similar kinds of agreements have had and continue to have in Canada and internationally, there are a number of things we can conclude.

MORE ON TPP

ElizabethMayMP.ca – Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
Green Party – As the Green parliamentary political parties of three nations whose governments are currently in the process of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), we are issuing this joint statement to express our serious concern at the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of this agreement. Following the leaking of the draft investment chapter of the TPPA the Greens are extremely concerned that the agreement has the potential to undermine the ability of our governments to perform effectively. More than just another trade agreement, the TPPA provisions could hinder access to safe, affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and even restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.

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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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