Harper Watch – April 1 to 7, 2013


Harper Watch Out!   View Justin Trudeau’s Speech at the Liberal Showcase in Toronto, April 6, 2013
Find speeches from other candidates here.

NP (Matt Gurney) – Memo to the Tories: Stop being jerks before it’s too late
(Note to author: Not a chance this is going to happen. They can’t stop being jerks because they are too dumb to realize that is what they are.)

A rather interesting poll shows that the federal Liberals have pulled ahead of the federal Conservatives. Hypothetical matchups between potential Liberal leaders and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have previously shown that a Liberal party led by Justin Trudeau could potentially defeat the Tories in 2015. But that’s not with this poll is showing. The Liberals’ margin of support increases with Justin Trudeau slotted in as leader, but they’re winning even without him.


Toronto Star (Bob Hepburn) – Conservative attacks on Justin Trudeau reach new level of hypocrisy
Earlier Tory smear campaigns worked well against former Liberal leaders Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, both of whom failed to take them seriously until the damage to their image was done. But branding Trudeau as too inexperienced ranks near the top of Conservative hypocrisy.

Indeed, Conservatives should first look hard at their own leadership history, both federally and provincially, before they go after Trudeau. That’s because Stephen Harper and other Conservative leaders had shockingly less experience and far fewer policies when they entered politics and became party leader than Trudeau.

CBC – Power and Politics (MUST WATCH VIDEO)
On the April 3rd, 2013 Power and Politics, Michelle Rempel threatens Paul Dewar with a libel suit for expressing the opinion that election fraud went beyond the riding of Guelph. She has this “I am all powerful and we will sue you for libel” look of arrogance on her face.

Quite an astounding spectacle and an attack on all Canadians who hold the entirely plausible belief that robofraud went beyond Guelph. And of course she had to repeat the lie that the Liberals were the only party who had been convicted of a breach of Elections Canada Act.   (Fast forward to 7 mins in.)

G&M (Editorial) – Information commissioner right to investigate ‘muzzling’ of scientists
It’s good news that the federal Office of the Information Commissioner is launching an investigation into the alleged muzzling of Canadian scientists by officials in their departments. The clamour over the issue has only been getting louder, and continued inaction could have damaged Canada’s reputation in scientific circles.


CBC – RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers
Dozens of employees at Canada’s largest bank are losing their jobs to temporary foreign workers, who are in Canada to take over the work of their department.

“They are being brought in from India, and I am wondering how they got work visas,” said Dave Moreau, one of the employees affected by the move. “The new people are in our offices and we are training them to do our jobs. That adds insult to injury.”


W5 – Tax me if you can (Includes Video links to the program)
(This is sickening but really worth watching. Kudos to Liberal Senator Percy Downe for demanding answers on why the Harper government is not going after rich tax cheats.)
….But 106 other Canadians, much richer and with more resources, took a  different approach to their tax obligations. They put their money, a total  of more than $100 million, into 47 accounts in the tiny tax haven  principality of Liechtenstein.

W5 asked the CRA about the 106 Canadians. The CRA says all were audited and 25 were reassessed. After those audits were completed, the back taxes, interest and penalties totaled $22 million but so far only $8 million has been collected.

The CRA says its investigation is complete and no tax evasion charges will be laid.


G&M – Distrust of Harper government grows over First Nations funding rules
First Nations are pushing back at the Harper government over strings they say have been unfairly attached to their federal funding.

Chiefs contend Ottawa crafted the 2013-2014 funding agreement without consultation and that a specific clause forces them to abide by existing and future legislation – without the right, they say, to mount legal challenges.

The document, which is about 50 pages long and lays out funding conditions such as reporting and transparency requirements, includes changes to on-reserve income assistance and specifies that relevant future legislation prevails over existing terms.

Tyee – Harper Gov’t Changes to NEB Make First Nations’ Concerns’Irrelevant’: Lawyer
An NEB memorandum sent out in July 2012 described the changes in detail. “Public hearings, with respect to gas export and import licenses,” it read, “are no longer mandatory.” As a result, fossil fuel companies wouldn’t have to provide any information about “the potential environmental effects” of their export project, nor “any social effects that would be directly related.”

The National Energy Board Act changes were implemented in Bill C-38, which had been approved by the House of Commons one month earlier. That bill also cancelled nearly 3,000 environmental reviews — nearly 700 of them related to fossil fuel projects.


Montreal Gazette – Global climate efforts threaten oilsands growth, memo told Natural Resources
The economic benefits to Canada from oilsands industrial expansion may be “considerably less” than what the Canadian government and industry representatives predict, if the planet collectively takes action to slash the heat-trapping greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was told in an internal memo obtained by Postmedia News.

Winnipeg Free Press – Ottawa reconsiders toxic site priorities after Giant cleanup costs balloon
(Private companies make a bundle by mining our natural resources and leave the mess for taxpayers to clean up. Something the Liberals should have dealt with when they were in power but is anyone confident that this will be dealt with expeditiously by the Harper government or that they will pass legislation or collect development fees to ensure future environmental waste is cleaned up?)

Cleanup costs at a single northern mine next to Great Slave Lake are ballooning so high they are forcing Ottawa to rethink plans for thousands of contaminated sites across the country.

Documents obtained by northern environmentalists show the government expects the cost of cleaning up the Giant Mine just outside Yellowknife to be nearly a billion dollars — perhaps the largest single environmental cleanup in Canada and paid for entirely by taxpayers.

Canada.com – Bad branding: Federal panel’s demise adds to image of clandestine governance

The following opinion column was written by David McLaughlin, former president and CEO of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy:

The teapot tempest surrounding the demise last week of my former organization, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, and public access to its body of work, will soon pass. The more durable legacy might be in the light it casts on the motives and machinations of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

The environmental community cites the round table’s closure as evidence of a manifest indifference to climate change. More simply, and sharply, it may be seen as evidence of a manifest indifference to good governance.


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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