Harper Watch – June 17 to 23, 2013

Montreal Gazette – Canadians jump on Trudeau bandwagon, poll shows
According to a new Léger Marketing poll, 27 per cent of Canadians now think Trudeau would be a better prime minister than Harper, who has a score of 23 per cent.

New Democratic Party Leader Thomas Mulcair is seen as the best prime minister by 14 per cent.

NOTE:  Justin Trudeau did not charge the charity. Trudeau was registered with Speakers Bureau or some such org. The charity decided they wanted him and accepted to pay him $20,000. The contract was drawn up by the Speaker’s Bureau. The REAL issues here are:

1) Why are charities and school boards willing to pay such outrageous fees and take risks with the money of their donors and taxpayers. They are the ones who should be held accountable.

2) The issue of whether politicians should do these speaking engagements is another one. If it is not done at a time when the House is sitting and they should be in the House, I have no problem with it.

3) Should PMO staff, paid by the taxpayer be spending their time digging up and/or fabricating dirt against their political opponents? NO. If they want to play dirty politics it should be done from Conservative Party Headquarters and paid for by their contributors.

The Tyee – How Harper’s Office Is Playing News Editor
Kudos to the weekly Barrie Advance for exposing the way some journalists are taking their marching orders from Erica Meekes, a flack in the Prime Minister’s Office.

These edicts from Meekes instructing reporters to attack Harper’s political opponents have been the subject of much chatter amongst the hacks in my small circle since they began arriving in the email box of a pal in May.

iPolitics – The unraveling: The Trudeau charity cases and the PMO
Earlier Monday, details about the Grace Foundation – the first charity to grab national attention with its request for a refund from Trudeau – also came into clearer focus. As reported here, one of the Foundation’s board members, Judith Baxter, was reappointed by the Conservative government to sit on the board of trustees for the Canadian Museum of Civilization. At the CBC, Kady O’Malley uncovered even more connections between Baxter and the local New Brunswick MP who first called this entire thing to attention, Rob Moore.

G&M – Charity distressed by flap over request for refund of Trudeau speaking fee
The New Brunswick charity that sparked a firestorm over Justin Trudeau’s public speaking fees says it’s “deeply distressed” that its attempt to get its money back has been turned into a political football.

“There was never any intention for this matter to become a political topic of discussion on the floor of the House of Commons,” says Ian Webster, chair of the foundation’s board.


VIDEO Justin Trudeau speaks to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, June 2, 2013


iPolitics (Michael Harris) – Michael Sona in exile
According to Michael Sona, the only person so far charged in the Robocalls Affair, the Crown has decided to proceed against him by indictment rather than summary conviction…..What happened to Sona, including the bizarre gloating of Conservative Party headquarters when he was charged, has also upset local Tories in Guelph. Both the candidate in 2011, Marty Burke, and his wife have resigned from the Conservative riding association. They, and a number of volunteers who have also quit, think Sona got a raw deal and that the truth will come out in court.

G&M – A Harper turnaround: ‘Why’ is easier than ‘how’
(This article is one of those frustrating attempts at “balanced journalism”.  Although it is critical of Harper it repeats all the self serving lies of Conservative supporters.   What is really interesting is the reader comments – they’re not buying a single word of it.)
But there is another side. Mr. Harper is also, in the words of former chief aide Tom Flanagan, perceived as “secretive, suspicious, vindictive and ruthless. OK. He is. Everybody knows that.” (It is not clear whether Mr. Flanagan was confirming the reality or the perception, but even the latter matters.) Others have used words like “petty,” “mean-spirited,” and the infamous “hidden agenda,” which is supposedly gradually moving Canada to the right. The recent leaked video that featured Mr. Harper hamming it up on election night, 2011, was funny but unlikely to change these views.

In places, Mr. Harper has provided bad government. The Neanderthal policies of his war on drugs, the escalating incarceration rates and grossly partisan appointments have not gone unnoticed.

National Post (Michael De Sousa)  – Federal government planned ‘strong’ PR campaign to promote oil industry
(Michael De Sousa of the National Post consistently does a great job of watching the Harper government’s environmental record. A pleasant surprise from the right wing media.)
Days before announcing Canada would withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the federal government drafted plans for a “strong and coordinated” public relations campaign and major regulatory reforms to promote oil and pipeline industry expansion, say personal notes drafted by the top bureaucrat at Natural Resources Canada.

iPolitics – Mr. Flaherty’s blank cheque
Most people probably believe that the government has to get the approval of Parliament to borrow money. This was true up until 2007 when, in that year’s budget, the government eliminated the requirement through its first budget omnibus bill. The success of this omnibus bill in reducing Parliament’s authority no doubt contributed the government’s proclivity to use ever-expanding omnibus bills in future budgets.

Globe and Mail – Baird backs down from previous dismissal of Iranian election results, offers congratulations
Canada’s foreign affairs minister is backing down from his dismissal of last week’s Iranian election as “meaningless” after a flood of complaints from Iranians and ex-patriots in living abroad.

John Baird made the comments last weekend, at the same time as officials in the United States and Europe were issuing words of cautious praise for the vote that gave centrist candidate Hassan Rowhani the presidency. The outcome was viewed as an important step forward for reformers in Iran, who hope Mr. Rowhani will open up dialogue with other global leaders and help ease tensions over the country’s nuclear program.


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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