Toronto Star – Panda-monium or public relations?
The above links to the Toronto Star Letters to the Editor page. The media seemed quite comfortable providing extensive coverage of Stephen Harper’s trip to Toronto to welcome the Panda’s while ignoring the costs and the multitude of real issues surrounding this PR exercise. Kudos to the Toronto Star for publishing over a dozen letters from readers who offer a far more in-depth perspective than any journalist I’ve seen on Harper’s latest exercise in media manipulation.
ELECTION FRAUD UPDATE
CBC – Penalties needed in wake of robocalls, Elections Canada says
Tough penalties for elections-official impersonators, beefier investigative powers and more voter privacy were among the ideas floated Wednesday in a long-awaited Elections Canada report in the wake of the robocalls affair. The report urges the government to create a new Elections Act offence that includes hefty fines of up to $250,000 and five years in jail for anyone caught pretending to represent Elections Canada.
ENVIRONMENT – ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE! BUT THEN WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE HARPER GOVERNMENT
Toronto Star – Canada pulls out of UN convention to fight droughts
The Conservative government is pulling out of a United Nations convention that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere, which would make Canada the only country in the world outside the agreement…. Government documents show Canada provided a $283,000 grant to support the convention from 2010 to 2012.
Canada.com – Peter Kent orders doomed advisory panel to turn over website files
Environment Minister Peter Kent has ordered a government advisory panel on sustainable economy issues to stop posting messages on its website and turn over its online files to his department.
The order puts a stop to efforts by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, which is shutting down as its government funding ends, to transfer its website to a think-tank based at the University of Ottawa. The think-tank, Sustainable Prosperity, had offered to keep the government-funded research accessible to the public.
Toronto Star – Rob Oliphant takes on ‘King Multiculturalism’
Conservative Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney walked into The Korea Times office in January and admonished the publisher for being Liberal-friendly.
It suddenly made sense to Lawrence Kim why his staff at the daily newspaper was not given the chance to go with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to South Korea late last year while reporters from Korean weekly newspapers on the west coast got to go.
(No science, no evidence, no dialogue, no consultation and NO BUDGET PLAN)
iPolitics – Jim Flaherty’s wishful thinking budget
This budget, like most of the budgets since 2006, is remarkable for its lack of vision and boldness. There is no narrative that sets out the longer-run economic and social challenges, and there is no discussion of how these challenges are interrelated. …
However, whether they actually meet that commitment won’t be known until the fall of 2016, when the Public Accounts for 2015-16 are tabled in Parliament, long after the election. Canadians should not be fooled by unfounded claims about deficit elimination….
The real issue that wasn’t addressed in the budget is the absence of any economic engine to spur a recovery in growth in 2014 and beyond. The household sector is deep in debt, housing construction has stalled, companies lack confidence and are not investing, the federal and provincial governments are in serious restraint mode and the export sector is weak and deteriorating. Minister Flaherty should have delivered a budget that recognized these economic realities and introduced measures that would have helped strengthen a weakening economy. The federal government has the fiscal capacity to do this without jeopardizing its long-run fiscal sustainability.
REBELLION IN THE CON RANKS? TWO INTERESTING ARTICLES BY RIGHT LEANING JOURNALISTS
NP (John Ivison) – Tory backbench rebellion not bravehearts and broadswords yet, but the blood is rising
Could Mr. Harper have played this one differently by adopting the motion and simply condemning sex-selective abortion as a practice that most Canadians abhor, while making clear he did not intend to legislate? Probably not. The nuance would likely have been lost amid the shrill voices from critics like Niki Ashton, the NDP’s women’s issues critic, who routinely accuses the Conservatives of having a hidden agenda on abortion. But the Prime Minister has now pursued a course that could prove even more disastrous for the governing party.
NP (Andrew Coyne) – Backbench revolt isn’t pro-life vs. pro-choice, it’s for the freedom of all MPs
This is not about abortion, in other words. It is not even about the right to discuss abortion, though it is absurd and insulting that members of Parliament should be forbidden from debating the issue, if they so wish. Neither is it about divisions within the Conservative party, nor the leadership of Stephen Harper. This is about the rights and responsibilities of MPs of all parties, and whether they have any role but to say and do exactly what their leaders tell them to.