Harper Watch – April 12 to 16, 2013

Toronto Star (Thomas Walkom) – Former outsourcer describes how job destruction works
(This article has over 3,000 reader recommendations – definitely worth reading)
These are the confessions of an outsourcer. She has spent more than a decade helping some of Canada’s biggest financial institutions shed workers and replace them with low-wage help.

She has made a good living doing this. But she now thinks that contracting out middle-class jobs — the very practice she aided — is short-sighted and morally wrong.


National Post – Chris Selley: Conservative anti-Trudeau attack ad contains a whopper
Instead, the Conservatives’ first attack ad against Trudeau is if anything even more sneering and dismissive than the ones against Dion or Ignatieff. And it contains a truly outrageous twisting of Trudeau’s words, even by the standards of the Tory Black Ops department.  

G&M – Justin Trudeau: Why it’s vital we support the middle class
Some conclude that a struggling middle class is a fact of life to which we should grow accustomed. They reason that it is part of a greater global adjustment, within which we Canadians are bit players, consigned to the receiving end of larger forces beyond our control.

Still others see economic performance, in macro terms like GDP growth, and conclude that there is no problem at all. Well, if you are among those few who have thrived, here is why you should care about the diminished fortunes of the middle class. The past 30 years’ growth has been the product of a broadly supported economic agenda. Governments of all political stripes have been elected and re-elected, here in Canada and abroad, on a similar economic platform: openness to trade, fiscal discipline, tax competitiveness and investment in skills, research and infrastructure.

#inwayoverhishead: Trudeau Supporters Mock Stephen Harper After Attack Ads
Splashy Conservative attack ads meant to discredit rookie Liberal leader Justin Trudeau may have backfired.

The commercials, unleashed just a day after Trudeau won his party’s leadership, call into question the new Grit leader’s experience and judgment, suggesting he’s “in way over his head.”

(This is a run of the mill article but many the reader comments go brutally to the point.)

Harper is inviting comparisons?
Throwing “not ready to lead” invites “unfit to lead”
Throwing “inexperienced drama teacher” invites “failed mail room boy”
Throwing “Quebecers are better” invites “Alberta Firewall”
Throwing “charismatic” invites “repulsive”

After seven years in office, if Harper can’t run ads on his record, than it is time to boot him out.
He is not fit to lead.
This is the only thing the Conservatives know how to do.
Run ads; campaign ads, Canada’s Action Plan ads and attack ads.
Harper and his cronies and his party are not a government, they are a propaganda machine.
I would say the ads will backfire.
It shows that Stephen Harper has nothing to offer Canadians but negativity, bullying, and brutish thuggish behaviour.
If only Stephen Harper would put as much effort into governing and addressing the issues facing Canada and Canadians and attempting to improve the lives of Canadians we would all be better off.

iPolitics (Megan Leslie, NDP MP) -Peter Kent, the Wizard of Dodge
In December 2011, Kent proudly asserted in Question Period, that “our government has a plan, a very good plan, to meet our target of reducing greenhouse gases by 17 per cent from 2005 base levels by 2020.”

So far, provincial action, a recession, and a change in international greenhouse gas accounting rules have been the biggest contributors to the emissions reductions for which the Harper government is claiming credit, which makes it a pretty bizarre “plan”. In fact, the plan — Let’s just let others do the work, hope the economy tanks, and that we’ll get credit for a new loophole — isn’t really a plan at all.


Liberal MP Scott Andrews – Letter to Elections Canada on Peter Penashue
We write to you today with our deep concerns about the integrity of the electoral process in Labrador. As you are aware, the former Member of Parliament Peter Penashue accepted illegal corporate donations, and overspent the maximum expense allowance for the 2011 federal election by thousands of dollars. We understand that this issue is currently under investigation by your office.

Mr. Penashue has now been appointed as the Conservative candidate in an upcoming by-election in Labrador. We are very concerned that Mr. Penashue has been nominated before the Elections Canada investigation is complete.

Canada.com (Maher & McGregor) – Top elections officer has not seen preview of new elections law
The federal government will introduce a comprehensive “election reform act” on Thursday without having shown the legislation to the chief electoral officer.

Last month, as Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand released a report recommending changes to respond to the robocall affair, he said he hadn’t been consulted by anyone in government about a new elections law. On Tuesday, Elections Canada spokesperson Diane Benson said that Mayrand had not been consulted since that time, either.


Canadian Labour Congress says corporations hoarding cash, paying fat compensation to CEOs
The CLC study shows that between 2001 and 2011 the total cash reserves of Canada’s largest non-financial private corporations grew from $187 billion to $575 billion. Between 2010 and 2011, there was an astounding one-year increase of $72 billion. This is a figure equal to more than double the entire $33.4 billion federal deficit for 2010-11.

Yussuff says, “Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney has called these corporate cash reserves dead money and he says that private companies should invest and put it to work. Even federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is frustrated with the situation and has called upon private corporations to invest in Canada.”

Toronto Star – Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Conservative government must fix what it broke
Last year the government announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), indicating that it would fast-track the processing of employer applications for migrant workers and allow employers to pay them up to 15-per-cent less than prevailing wages. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) warned that those changes would make an already flawed program worse. I met with Human Resources Minister Diane Finley shortly after the announcement and provided her with a book of abuses that one of our affiliates had compiled. The CLC urged Finley not to implement the changes and to conduct a thorough review of the program.

B.C. union pensions threaten to move $1 billion of funds from RBC over outsourcing plans
A group of B.C. construction union pension plans said they will move more than $1 billion of investments and funds from RBC Investor Services if parent company Royal Bank of Canada doesn’t abandon plans to outsource some jobs by using temporary foreign workers.

On Thursday the B.C. Insulators Union, acting for seven construction trades and industrial unions, announced they had sent a letter to RBC saying they had instructed the administrator of the pension plans to begin withdrawing their business if the bank doesn’t reverse plans to ship Canadian information technology jobs overseas.


Canadian Olympic Committee settles with photographer bumped for PMO staffer
The Canadian Olympic Committee has paid thousands of dollars to a photographer bumped from the London Olympic team who was replaced by a photographer from the Prime Minister’s Office, Postmedia News has learned.

Chris Roussakis, an Ottawa freelance photographer, received a payment from Canada’s Olympic organization in the fall of 2012 to compensate him for being dropped in favour of Jason Ransom, who attended the 2012 London Summer Olympics in his place.

Toronto Star – Canada’s diverted public service poses a threat to our future
Cappe and Himelfarb each delivered strong but not overtly political speeches. A subtext running through their remarks, however, delivers an undeniably political message. Taken together, their comments suggest that the risks the public service should be grappling with today are not the ones the Harper government is forcing it to address — and that diversion of public servants’ attention affects the vital interests of all Canadians, whatever their political views.

The consequences for Canadians will be tangible: years of public servants’ worrying about the risks of political blow-ups under the Harper government means years not spent figuring out how to keep water and food safe, address poverty, keep cities prosperous and contribute to global security.


Montreal Gazette – Closure of fisheries’ libraries called a ‘disaster’ for science
Seven DFO libraries across Canada are to close by the fall, including two that have been amassing books and technical reports on the aquatic realm for more than a century….

They also noted that one of the libraries being closed opened just last year – a climate-controlled facility at the St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick built at a cost of several million federal tax dollars.

G&M – Ottawa withholding reports on B.C. wild salmon
Key scientific documents needed before the department of Fisheries and Oceans can implement its plan to save British Columbia’s wild salmon have been held up in Ottawa for a year.

The documents, concerning sockeye conservation units on the Fraser River, were withheld from the Cohen Commission even though they were substantially ready for release at the time the federal inquiry was under way.

G&M – Advocates decry Ottawa’s decision to stop funding Health Council of Canada
Mr. Romanow said he is sad but not surprised to learn about the council’s dismantlement, which he labelled a “retrograde” measure. The council is an agent of interprovincial and intergovernmental collaboration and discussion, he said, “and it is absolutely necessary if we are to move forward as a nation with roughly the same kinds of expectations and reformed outcomes of health care that we so desperately needed then and really need now. So that is a really big blow to me.”

Mr. Romanow said the decision speaks to the Harper government’s move away from co-operative federalism to a system in which the role of the federal government is distinct from that of the provinces and territories. But “health care is something that falls squarely within both [levels of government], both through funding and through standards and the like,” he said.

Elizabeth May – Canada Goes Rogue
I am frequently asked how I maintain a positive attitude when confronted by Stephen Harper’s destructive agenda—dismembering our environmental laws and policies. Honestly, I can respond that most days I am encouraged by the ability of one MP to make a difference. That was not the case last week as, sitting late in the House for votes, news came over my Blackberry that the Cabinet had decided to withdraw from the United Nations Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification (UNCCD). It had the effect of a swift kick in the gut. I had to fight back tears for a day or so … just like when I read Bill C-38. I felt devastated.


Canada.com – Parliament losing power to keep tabs on government: Tory MP
A former member of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet has warned that Canadian parliamentary democracy is being jeopardized by the “command and control” system that is removing the right of MPs to speak in the House of Commons.


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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