Canadian actor Eric Peterson (Corner Gas) offended by Heritage Minister’s insensitivity (VIDEO)
CTV – Sen. Pamela Wallin could be paying back taxpayers an additional $20,000 for improperly claimed travel expenses
(Wallin made a million in fees and stock option in the last 3 years on top of her Senate salary and she feels she needs to cheat on her travel expenses. Outrageous? Yes, but you almost have to pity someone who is so souless.)
The Saskatchewan senator has already repaid $38,000 in travel expenses she claimed over the last 19 months, as CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported in May. Just last month alone, the embattled senator reimbursed taxpayers almost $8,000 for a personal trip that she had improperly billed the Senate…..
Wallin has earned at least $1 million in fees and stock options from corporate boards since her appointment to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2009. That’s in addition to her annual Senate salary of $135,000.
Toronto Star – MP Brent Rathgeber quits Tory caucus
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has suffered another blow as a Tory MP quit the Conservative caucus Wednesday night, decrying the Conservatives’ lack of progress on open government.
“My decision to resign from the Caucus is because of the Government’s lack of commitment to transparency and open government,” he announced on Twitter.
G&M – Tories have lost their way, MP writes after quitting Conservative caucus
It was, he says, “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” But for Alberta MP Brent Rathgeber, the unrest dates back before a committee meeting this week. In a blog entry published Thursday morning, Mr. Rathgeber further details his decision to suddenly leave the Conservative caucus the night before. He supports the Prime Minister, but sees his party as one that has lost its way.
MORE ELECTION FRAUD
Canada.com – Elections Canada asks that two Tory MPs be suspended from House of Commons
Two Conservative MPs are in legal limbo after Elections Canada sent letters to the Speaker of the House of Commons asking they be suspended for failure to file campaign documents from the 2011 election.
“Those letters advised the Speaker that an elected candidate shall not continue to sit or vote as members of the House of Commons pending the filing of complete and accurate returns,” said Elections Canada spokesman John Enright on Tuesday.
CBC (Kady O’Malley) – Liberal, NDP MPs refuse to vote on Bezan bill
(Great to see the opposition parties working together and taking a stand.)
Not only did New Democrat and Liberal MPs pointedly abstain from voting on Bezan’s bill, but Liberal MP Scott Andrews rose on a point of privilege to protest the decision by the Speaker to unilaterally decide to wait for the court ruling before bringing the matter to the House.
He also called on Scheer to table all correspondence on the issue,which would presumably include the following letters, including the initial notice of failure to report, and the subsequent response — and counter-response — from lawyer Arthur Hamilton and Elections Canada:
The Hill Times – Tory MPs slam Federal Court’s findings of fraud, ‘concerted campaign’ to suppress voters in last election
In an interview with The Hill Times, Conservative MP Joyce Bateman, who was elected in Winnipeg South Centre for the first time in 2011 by a 696-vote margin, focused on the fact that Justice Mosley found “no wrongdoing” on the Conservative Party’s part.
When asked what she thought of the fact that Justice Mosley found fraud occurred and read the applicable sentence in the ruling, Ms. Bateman said, “it’s one sentence in 100 pages.”
GREAT OPINION PIECES
National Post (Andrew Coyne) – Rathgeber returns politics to normal, where conscience does not submit to power
(MUST READ – Conservative corporate media shill Andrew Coyne has another attack of truth telling.)
Then the social conservative movement outside Parliament began signalling it had had enough. This week the Canadian Taxpayers Federation added its voice to the din, with a harsh critique of the government’s fiscal and economic policies.
And how did the government respond? Did it learn from its mistake? Yes, indeed — and repeated it almost exactly. Rathgeber’s private member’s bill, requiring disclosure of senior bureaucrats’ salaries and opening the CBC’s books to public scrutiny, was eviscerated — a gross offence against a traditional prerogative of MPs, and done with the PM’s signature flourish of contempt. But plainly this was only the last in a long train of abuses.
iPolitics (Michael Harris) – Harper needs a better brand of B.S.
Like high-functioning psychopaths, the Tory pols keep trying versions of a given story until it has the desired result. In themselves, the words they use are meaningless. It all comes down to producing the desired effect. Let’s go through some of the classics from the Harper BS manual….
The prime minister, who spoke to Duffy about his expense problems in February, never knew a thing about how the problem was resolved until mid-May — and only then from his trusted confederates in the media. Stories like that got Pete Rose and Lance Armstrong into the Hall of Shame.
Toronto Star (Susan Delacourt) – Where is Conservative outrage over ‘robocalls’ scandal?
In a recent court ruling, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley said systemic efforts were made to suppress the vote across Canada in the 2011 campaign and that the unknown perpetrator used the Conservatives’ database, the Constituent Information Management System (CIMS), to pull it off.
The judge also said that Conservatives were not all that helpful during the trial, playing it as “trench warfare” instead of a legal proceeding.
If that had been my database (or yours, I suspect), my reaction would be similar to the one I experienced after hearing of the fake Facebook account: surprise, dismay, anger and then swift efforts to get the fraudster(s) shut down.
Edmonton Sun (Warren Kinsella) – Wright was protecting Harper, not Duffy
Why would the prime minister’s chief of staff — the most powerful unelected person in Canada — put his reputation at risk for a lowly senator, one who was already distrusted and disliked by the Prime Minister’s Office?
None of it makes any sense. None of it adds up. And that’s particularly so when you look at the background of players in the controversy, which has left Stephen Harper’s Conservative regime battered and reeling. I’m familiar with both Duffy and Wright. Trust me when I say there could not be two people in Ottawa more unalike.
MISCELLANEOUS OBSCENE AND ABSURD DEEDS
HuffPost – Shawn Atleo: First Nations Unrest This Summer Depends On Stephen Harper
Atleo says talks between senior government officials and First Nations from some parts of the country over how to fully implement historic treaty rights seem to be inching ahead. Atleo and many First Nations leaders argue that full recognition of the treaties will lead to improvements in conditions across the board — in education, housing, and the sharing of the bounty from Canada’s natural resources.
But at the same time, the federal government continues to fight First Nations in court over child welfare funding, continues to impose legislation without consulting those it will affect, and resists widespread calls for a national inquiry into hundreds of missing or murdered aboriginal women, the national chief added.
Action Canada Press Release – Canada blocking efforts at the UN to address sexual violence against women
Ottawa/Geneva – June 7 2013 – Governments and civil society are calling into question the leadership of the Canadian government on the theme of Violence Against Women at the 23rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC).
Rabble.ca – The Harper government’s detainee torture scandal will soon resurface
Following last June’s UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) report, the Harper government immediately showed open contempt by publicly criticizing the widely esteemed committee in the international media for pointing out Canada’s deficiencies.
And it has since ignored the committee’s recommendations, which would bring Canada into compliance with international law, by once again having an official policy in Afghanistan of transferring detainees to the United States — a nation known to torture.
CTV News – Military police investigated how CTV obtained info after report on Natynczyk
Military police were used to investigate how CTV News obtained information Gen. Walt Natynczyk’s use of government VIP aircraft for trips to fundraising dinners, sporting events, and a Caribbean island, according to a report….
But one week after the report aired, the military’s second-in-command, Vice Admiral Bruce Donaldson, called in the military police to investigate whether the information had been leaked to CTV.