Harper Watch – August 2013


Huff Post (Athia Raj) – Peter MacKay Misleading Canadians By Saying Trudeau Broke Law, Professor Says
A law professor has accused Justice Minister Peter MacKay of misleading the public by saying Justin Trudeau broke the law by smoking pot.

While it is illegal to grow, traffic or possess marijuana, smoking weed is not a criminal offence.

University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran has written to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society asking that they investigate MacKay, a former provincial Crown prosecutor and, as the current Attorney General of Canada, the person charged with enforcing the rules of the land, for unprofessional conduct as a lawyer.


iPolitics (Michael Harris) MacKay’s credibility gap: pot, meet kettle
I began to suspect that Peter MacKay was not Reach for the Top material in 2011.  That’s when he told former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that California and British Columbia “shared” a border. He apparently forgot that Oregon and Washington stand between beautiful BC and the Golden State.

That impression deepened last July when MacKay used Bastille Day to tell guests gathered at the French Embassy in Ottawa that during the War of 1812, “had the French not been there fighting side by side, we might be standing here next to each other in a new light.”


(RCMP finally traces Pierre Poutine to Conservative campaign office in Guelph! And that is only part of it –  court imposes publications ban on the details!)

CBC –  ‘Pierre Poutine’ robocalls plot detailed in new documents
The new information strengthens the links between an automated phone calls account that ordered the misleading robocalls and an IP address belonging to the Conservative campaign in Guelph.

The documents, including a 42-page affidavit signed by Elections Canada investigator Al Mathews, resolve a small mystery about why a seemingly unconnected IP address was used to order up the automated robocalls: the internet provider gave the wrong information to Mathews.

iPolitics –  Why are Canadian taxpayers subsidizing Verizon?
(Surprise. Good article by Gregory Thomas, the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.)
…Prime Minister Harper isn’t going to be handing a cheque for a cool billion to the CEO of Verizon on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange. He’s simply going to stage an auction for wireless spectrum in January — an auction in which Rogers, Telus and Bell are not allowed to bid.

Analysts expect Verizon to pay roughly $1 billion less than it would need to pay if it were bidding against the Big Three.

Toronto Star – Is Canada’s great skill shortage a mirage?
Does the skill shortage that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declared an urgent national priority actually exist?

Don Drummond, one of the smartest economists in the country, is dubious. He hasn’t found a shred of credible evidence that Canada has a serious mismatch between skills and jobs. In fact, most economic indicators point in the opposite direction.

Winnipeg Sun – We pay thousands for Jim Flaherty’s elite gabfest
(Criticism of the regime in Sun paper -some good reader comments too.)
As he’s done every year since becoming finance minister in 2006, Jim Flaherty this week gathered together some Bay Street heavy hitters, oil and mining company executives ….

What do all of the above have in common? They are all registered lobbyists and registered to lobby the department of finance!

And yet someone somewhere in the Harper government thought it would be as well idea to let four registered lobbyists of the finance department get two days of private off-the-record can’t-tell-you-what-we-talked-about time with the country’s finance minister while the one journalist allowed into the event — a government employee no less — agrees to attend on condition she can’t report on what they all said, and all this on the taxpayer dime?

National Post – Canadian navy paid foreign firm $1M for sub technology, but now they can’t find the company
A European company that was paid $1 million to provide equipment for the Canadian navy’s submarines has taken the money and run.

The Department of National Defence has been trying since 2009 to get the equipment it paid for from Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies GmbH, a German firm….

DND officials could not answer whether the department had properly checked out the credentials of Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies before awarding it the contract.

Global News – Harper government pulls ad about jobs program that doesn’t exist yet
(LOL, love this.  Harper government ads violate advertising standards.  Only in Harperland.)
The move to drop the ad about the Canada Job Grant came as the national advertising regulator was investigating 20 consumer complaints alleging it was misleading.

Advertising Standards Canada, a non-profit advertising self-regulatory body, found the government’s ad left out relevant information, contrary to a section of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards that deals with accuracy and clarity.

Hill Times – Sen. Wallin’s ‘other’ trips dropped 55 per cent after audit started last December
Senator Pamela Wallin’s travel expenses for airline trips to destinations other than her home province of Saskatchewan began plunging after a powerful Senate management committee ordered an internal audit into residency claims and related travel expenses of all Senators last December, the latest Senate expense reports show.

Hill Times – Porter says it would’ve paid Sen. Wallin’s expenses as a board member doing company business
(Is it possible that Porter Airlines is NOT saying that Wallin claimed her expenses from them and the Senate as well?)
A Toronto-based airline on whose board Senator Pamela Wallin served while claiming more than $1,500 in Senate travel expenses for attending at least two events related to her role as a director of the company says the firm includes reimbursement for company-related travel as part of its remuneration for directors.

Hill Times – Records show evidence of double billing as Senate, University of Guelph reimburse Sen. Wallin for travel expenses she claimed to speak at 2010 convocation
Senator Pamela Wallin billed the Senate for $2,042 in travel expenses for return airline flights from Ottawa to Toronto for which she also billed and was reimbursed $1,480 in travel expenses from the University of Guelph after attending a 2010 convocation ceremony as the university’s chancellor, records from the university and an independent forensic examination of her Senate expenses show.

Huff Post – Cold Lake Bitumen Leak: Groups Demand Probe Into Oilsands Steam Extraction Amid CNRL Leak
More than 20 groups are calling for a public inquiry into the safety of oilsands extraction techniques that use steam. The organizations made their demand to the Alberta Energy Regulator on Tuesday as bitumen continues to ooze out of the ground at a project owned by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ).

National Post – Ken Dryden will not raise money to pay back loan for 2006 Liberal leadership race, lawyer says
(MUST READ ARTICLE:  The Harper Cons will be pointing to this as a Liberal breach of Elections Canada regulations at every opportunity so get the facts.)
Siegel said Dryden ran into trouble because the legislation governing campaign contributions changed in the middle of the leadership campaign. When Dryden entered the race, his contributors could give him up to $5,400, but government legislation changed that amount to $1,100.

Toronto Star – A battle between Conservatives and diplomats is costing this country
The association maintains it would take a mere $4.2 million over the life of a three-year contract to bridge the wage gap, but the impasse has already cost the country, according to some estimates, $280 million in lost tourism revenue.

The largest visa-issuing offices are now shut and a significant portion of the $8-billion that foreign students bring to this country will be lost.

Global News – Parliamentary watchdog officials say they’ll pay for info themselves
(WHEN will the legal apparatus work in this country do something about the treasonous CONS? )
Officials at Parliament’s budget watchdog office say they are using their own money to file access to information requests in order to reduce government interference.

Employees at the parliamentary budget office prepared 35 money orders Tuesday, following seven requests already sent out almost two weeks ago.

G&M – Eli Lilly fights Canada’s move to strip drug patent
U.S. drug giant Eli Lilly & Co. is launching a challenge under the North American free trade agreement, demanding $100-million in compensation for Canadian court decisions that stripped the company of its patent for a drug used to treat attention-deficit disorder.

Eli Lilly claims the decisions striking its 1996 patent for the drug Strattera – decisions that sided with Canadian generic drug company Apotex Inc. –violate Canada’s obligations under NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and other international treaties.


iPolitics (Don Lenihan) – Marketing and the dumbing-down of politics
…. Canada’s election turnout has slumped to 60 per cent from a high of 79 per cent in the early 1960s.   When we ask people why they don’t vote, they tend to say the same things: My vote doesn’t really matter …

The typical response is to try to convince these cynics that their vote really does matter. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the cynics have a point……The more politics replaces debate with marketing, the less reason there is for people to take politics seriously. They start disengaging.

iPolitics (Michael Harris) -Time to pack it in, Steve
This Halloween Eve, when all good Tory goblins gather in Calgary, Stephen Harper has 10 reasons to do everyone a favour and resign. For starters, he owes it to his party. Former Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber had it right. The Conservatives under Harper are no longer Conservatives — not fiscally, not socially, not politically. They are a lost tribe following a cult figure.

iPolitics (Tasha Kheiridden) The scandal will stick — the explanation wont
And while details of all that tedious paperwork won’t be made public until Tuesday, Wallin and her staff apparently found time to retroactively alter it. Wallin told the media changes were made to her agenda simply to remove private business or irrelevant information — that’s hard to swallow. If Deloitte had the original diary, the info was already available to them. Why should she then edit it to remove “private” information?

National Post (John Ivison) – Stephen Harper will be called as a witness if
Mike Duffy expenses allegations reach court: sources
If the RCMP investigation into Mike Duffy over alleged breach of trust reaches court, the senator’s lawyers will call Stephen Harper as a witness and grill the Prime Minister under oath, sources said.

Mr. Duffy’s lawyers have barred him from speaking to the press but he has told friends that he feels he has been thrown under the bus and that the Conservative PR machine is out to destroy him.


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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One Response to Harper Watch – August 2013

  1. Munroe Scott says:

    What a list of Conservative transgressions! I swear the Harper secret is to disregard everything — ethics, morality, law — so frequently that no average citizen can keep up or remember. But Harper Watch is keeping the record.

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