Harper Watch – April 22 to 27, 2013


Pierre Poilievre: “The root cause of terrorism is terrorists.”
Stephen Harper: “Now is not the time to commit sociology”. (Don’t ask me what that means.)

Ottawa Citizen (Glen McGregor)  – Feds commit sociology to learn why terrorists act
This is awkward. By now, we’re all familiar with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s condemnation of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s remarks about seeking the root causes of terrorism.

When Paul Wells of Maclean’s noted last week that the federal government is paying $10 million over five years to fund exactly that kind of research, the Conservative spin on Trudeau’s remarks evolved to focus on their timing, coming as they did in the hours after the Boston Marathon terror attacks. That is, it wasn’t the right time to talk about causes.


CBC News – Top U.S. climate expert calls Conservatives ‘Neanderthal’
Former NASA scientist James Hansen fires back at Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver

The former NASA scientist criticized by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver earlier this week for his views on the Keystone XL pipeline is responding by calling the Conservatives a desperate and “Neanderthal” government.

“The current government is a Neanderthal government on this issue, but Canada can actually be a leader,” he said. Hansen mentioned British Columbia’s carbon tax as a positive step. “I have hopes that Canada will actually be a good example for the United States but the present government is certainly not.”

“They’re in the hip pocket of the fossil fuel industry, as you can see, but that doesn’t mean that the Canadian people are,” said Hansen.

National Post – Tories prepare mass-mail attack ads as Trudeau takes to halls of Degrassi High
(Check out the reader comments in this right-wing paper. Harper is going down!)
Documents obtained by the Liberal Party show the Tories are planning to send thousands of taxpayer-funded mail-outs to households across the country reiterating their message that Trudeau is “in over his head.”

The mail-outs, called 10-per-centers, are usually supposed to be used by MPs to update their constituents on what is happening in the House of Commons. According to the documents, the anti-Trudeau flyers will be mailed out June 1.

G&M – How faith built a fragile trust between police, Muslim community
(Looks like some people in the RCMP agree with Justin Trudeau that the best way to fight is through inclusion.)
A stronger working relationship between the RCMP and Canada’s Muslim community is said to have sparked the investigation that led to arrests in the alleged Via Rail bomb plot. The tips came to Canadian authorities only after they spent years working to rebuild shattered trust….. “If we don’t reach out to our communities, terrorists will,” reads one warning.

Ottawa Citizen – Teachers ‘insulted’ by Harper Tories for Trudeau attack ads that ‘target’ their profession
Conservative Party advertisements that denigrate Justin Trudeau’s past employment as a teacher are an unwarranted attack on the profession and akin to the kind of bullying schools are trying to control, says a national teachers’ organization….

The Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators is also irked by the Trudeau ads, says the feminine style and imagery used is meant to reinforce a stereotype about the sexual orientation of drama educators.

“There are fewer male teachers and there is always that stereotype of the gay male drama teacher,” said president Brooke Charlebois.


ipolitics (Michael Harris) -We have a new anti-terror bill. Anyone else terrified?
Perhaps that’s why the Canadian Bar Association is against Bill S-7. The CBA makes the point that the legislation does not give investigators new tools, but merely duplicates, with a few new wrinkles, laws that already exist. So why would any society based on the rule of law want to bring in legislation that doesn’t prevent terrorist acts and doesn’t make people safer?

That question becomes all the more pressing when you consider that S-7 will authorize the arrest, detention and forced testimony of people who have not been charged with any offence, and who don’t know the evidence against them. In fact, S-7 could be used against a citizen who is not even suspected of a crime, but simply suspected of knowing other people who might be cooking up a plot.


CBC – Senior Mounties told not to meet MPs without prior approval
Internal emails obtained by CBC News show that RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has ordered all senior Mounties to get clearance from his office before committing to any meetings with MPs or senators.

Specifically, they are to notify a liaison office that co-ordinates RCMP strategy with the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.) In an email dated March 22 from Paulson to more than 50 chief superintendents, assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners, the commissioner said that meetings or lunches with parliamentarians “can have unintended and/or negative consequences for the organization and the government. Therefore, should you or your staff receive such requests, I am directing that you advise my office and the chief strategic policy and planning officer.”

CBC News – Spy watchdog shouldn’t work for Manning Centre, NDP says
Non-partisan federal appointment conflicts with role as director for conservative think tank

Chuck Strahl, the former Conservative cabinet minister who now chairs the Security Intelligence Review Committee, should not also be serving as a director for Calgary’s Manning Centre, the NDP says.

Alberta NDP MP Linda Duncan rose during Friday’s question period in the House of Commons to ask whether the Harper government was investigating after Strahl spoke out in defence of the work of the centre earlier this week.

Calgary developers have donated to the Manning Centre “to support their pro-development candidates,” Duncan told the Commons, describing Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi as having “blown the whistle” on the true intent of the donations. Strahl’s defence of the centre’s activities was inappropriate because in his oversight role chairing the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), he’s banned from political activity, she suggested.


Vancouver Observer – Parliament rejects NDP motion to stop FIPA
The Canadian House of Commons voted 170-88 Monday against an NDP motion to stop the Canada-China FIPA.  The motion was tabled by Vancouver-Kingsway MP Don Davies, and asked the government not to ratify FIPA, a treaty that was signed last fall between Canada and China.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May described tonight’s result as “the worst of all possible worlds.” She is concerned that Harper could now justify ratifying the agreement by saying “there’s been a debate in the House, and there’s been a vote.”

The NDP are still hopeful that a drastically modified Canada-China FIPA could benefit Canadians, but the Greens oppose such agreements on principle. May defended this position by pointing to a recent case where Ecuador was asked to pay Occidental Petroleum $1.8 billion, after both parties accused each other of breaching their contract.

“We should be fighting tooth and nail against this whole class of treaty,” said May.

Liberal.ca – Liberals Condemn NDP Refusal to Conduct Cross-Country Hearings on the Canada-China FIPA
“Today, the Liberal Party of Canada presented a motion in the House of Commons calling for the International Trade committee to conduct public hearings across Canada prior to the ratification of the Canada-China FIPA to ensure that the agreement is in the best interests of all Canadians. The Conservatives have long opposed these hearings and today they were joined by the NDP. The Conservatives and the NDP are silencing Canadians and fueling the misinformation and fear-mongering surrounding the agreement.


G&M – Carney warns against ‘overreliance’ on foreign workers for low-paying jobs
Recently released data show the program is now heavily used across all sectors of the economy, including by fast-food restaurant owners who say they can’t find enough Canadians to fill vacant positions.

But Mr. Carney countered that the answer to low-skilled labour shortages is to offer better pay for workers.

“One doesn’t want an overreliance on temporary foreign workers for lower-skilled jobs,” he said. “It is important over a reasonable time period to ensure that the market adjusts, and then there will be productivity and other adjustments that ensure that Canadians are paid more and that we are a more productive economy as a whole.”

Ottawa Citizen – Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan ordered to return danger pay
Canadian soldiers in northern Afghanistan are being forced to return danger pay they had previously been awarded, the Citizen has learned. The troops, training the Afghan military in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, are required to pay back the government between $900 and $1,600 each, depending on the individual’s pay.

Ralph Goodale (Liberal MP) – The battle to save Canada’s tree farm
One of Stephen Harper’s taxpayer-funded government TV ads brags about federal tree planting. What an insult to the former PFRA employees who have served with excellence at the Government of Canada tree farm at Indian Head and who are now receiving notices that they’ve just been fired!


CBC (Kady O’Malley) – Acting budget watchdog keeps Kevin Page’s fight alive
Somewhere, former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page is almost certainly smiling. Yesterday’s federal court ruling confirmed the former PBO’s contention that the court does indeed have jurisdiction over disputes involving his office. In response to the ruling, his temporary replacement, Parliamentary Librarian Sonia L’Heureux, will take Page’s seemingly perennial battle for full, unfettered access to the financial data he consistently maintained was essential to do the job to the next logical step.


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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