Harper Watch, July 19 to July 31, 2014


Feature Letter:

West Coast Native News – Six Hundred Reasons why Harper is a scumbag

(…and counting)

There are THOUSANDS of serious and corrupt issues which Harper and the Conservatives should be held accountable for, and, based on that message you conveyed to Canadians, you are typical of Canada’s Main Stream Media falling asleep at the switch. The following are six hundred of thousands of reasons your pages should constantly be screaming blue murder about Canada’s destruction by Harper and EVERY Conservative MP, (all voting as a unified caucus).

The Globe and Mail – The Conservatives are a ‘cruel and unusual’ government
If a policy is cruel and unusual, if it outrages our standards of decency, what do we make of those promoting it? It’s not as if the policy to deny health care is unique in the annals of Harperland. On the contrary, just in the past weeks at least two other government positions seem to reflect some pretty unusual cruelty and indecency: one related to Omar Khadr, the other to prostitution. But nor is the refugee health care issue yet over.

rabble.ca – The Canada Revenue Agency becomes an arm of the PMO
The Canada Revenue Agency is currently auditing several Canadian charities, sniffing around for suspect “political activity.” The list of targets reads like a Who’s Who of Canadian charitable institutions: Amnesty International Canada is included, and so is Kairos, stupidly denounced as “anti-Semitic” a few years back by the egregiously dishonest Minister Jason Kenney; the David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, Equiterre, Environmental Defence, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, PEN Canada, Canada Without Poverty, even the United Church of Canada.
It appears, and by no coincidence, that the Knights of Columbus and the Fraser Institute, both of which wade frequently into politics, have been spared a visit from the Grand Inquisitor.

Ottawa Citizen – Andrew Cohen: Canada’s absolutist foreign policy
Oh, to be Canada in the world today, the country that is right about everything.
If one were looking for a word to describe our foreign policy this anxious summer, it would be absolutist. Our view of the world is black and white, right and wrong. It suggests extra-sensory powers of perception.
It is not new to call Canada a moral superpower. The well-worn term has been around for decades, a byword for a self-righteousness that inclines us to lecture and declaim.
This is now the fashion among the Conservatives. It is megaphone diplomacy – utterly confident and remarkably free of tentativeness.

ipolitics – Linda McQuaig: Why is Harper punishing charities while letting tax cheats off the hook?
This beefing-up of tax audits of charities is particularly striking when compared to Harper’s laid-back approach to auditing the real bad guys: corporations and citizens using offshore tax havens to cheat the government out of billions of dollars in revenue.
Indeed, the allocation of an extra $13 million to carry out audits of charities has taken place even as the government slashes the overall Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) budget by $250 million over three years and lays off hundreds of auditors.

Huffington Post – Murtaza Haider: When Harper Killed the Census He Robbed Canadians
An ad in the Globe and Mail reveals the extent of harm the Harper Conservatives have inflicted on Statistics Canada. Because of poor quality, Statistics Canada is not releasing data at finer spatial scales because the Harper Conservatives killed the mandatory long-form Census and replaced it with a voluntary survey of dubious quality. The Conservatives’ attack on the Census not only cost Canadians their most valuable source of information, it also led to the departure of Canada’s leading civil servant, Dr. Munir Sheikh, who in July 2010 resigned his position as Canada’s chief statistician to protect the integrity of the institution he led.

The Star – PEN audit will come back to haunt Tories
Because PEN is a writers’ organization, I’d say it’s appropriate to describe its current plight as profoundly Kafka-esque. Institutionally, PEN has an encyclopedic knowledge of the overt and subtle techniques that totalitarian governments deploy to harass critics and cut off their oxygen supply. And it’s not always about throwing writers and journalists in jail. There are myriad other ways to achieve similar ends, and PEN Canada (along with other groups) was absolutely correct in identifying the government’s campaign against Canada’s scientists and environmental advocacy groups as salient examples.
Now, in a richly ironic twist, PEN must add its experiences with “advocacy chill” to this long, shameful list, and do so at the moment when the Harper regime is noisily, and hypocritically, decrying human rights abuses by Russia.


rabble.ca – ‘The Right to Protect’ and the loss of Parliament’s moral compass
People who claim, as Netanyahu and Baird do, that Israel’s blockade and the present bombing campaign are only because of Gaza’s Hamas government should read Drinking the Sea at Gaza by Amira Hass, an Israeli journalist who lived and worked in Gaza for several years. Published in 1996, it documents the Israeli-imposed violence, wanton destruction of property, bureaucratic restrictions on business, curtailed freedom of the press, arrests, interrogation and imprisonment that Gazans faced a decade before Hamas came to power.
The attack on Gaza cannot be justified in the name of security; it makes Israel less secure by sowing seeds of hopelessness, hatred and the desire for revenge in the hearts of many who have had friends or family members brutally killed or wounded. It will make Hamas stronger not weaker. What then lies behind the attack?


Huffington Post – Harper’s Spat With Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin Was Wrong: Legal Group
(Harper apologize? LOL) 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s public criticism of Canada’s top justice impugned her integrity and was tantamount to undue interference with the independence of the courts, according to an international group of eminent judges and lawyers.
As a result, the International Commission of Jurists says Harper should withdraw his remarks and he and Justice Minister Peter MacKay should apologize to Beverley McLachlin, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Hill Times – Bill C-36 ‘absolute gold’ for Tory Party base, says pollster Lyle
Valerie Scott, one of the plaintiffs named in last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision in Bedford v. Attorney General of Canada and legal coordinator for Sex Professionals of Canada, says that many sex workers feel “burned” by the fact that some of their clientele are affiliated with the Conservative Party and support Bill C-36, which passed the House committee stage last week.
“If I were to tell you about every MP, MPP, and city councillor that I either know or know of who is a client of sex workers, it would really shake things up a bit, and I’m not the only one,” Ms. Scott told The Hill Times in a phone interview. “We don’t see anything wrong with people seeing sex workers because that’s what we do, but given the hypocrisy of the Conservative Party pushing through legislation that will cause us catastrophic harm, some sex workers are saying, ‘Gee, maybe they need a taste of their own medicine.’”

Huffington Post – Harper Government Policies Don’t Match Canadians’ Priorities, Public Opinion Research Finds
Public-opinion research for the federal Finance Department suggests key government policies are out of step with Canadians’ priorities, including the Northern Gateway project.
Members of focus groups consulted prior to the February budget had “little enthusiasm” for the proposed bitumen pipeline to the British Columbia coast — even those who said they support the controversial project.
And among the 12 groups consulted — from Coquitlam, B.C., to Bridgewater, N.S. — the economy itself was not a top-of-mind concern.
Rather, the groups spontaneously raised education, health care, pensions and veterans as their key issues.


Huffington Post – Mike Duffy May Be Harper’s Top Political Opponent Heading Into 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a new political opponent to contend with heading into the 2015 election, one that has the potential to inflict more significant damage than Tom Mulcair or Justin Trudeau.
Former Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy will have his day in court on 31 charges ranging from bribery to breach of trust in relation to a host of alleged misuses of public funds.
The legal machinations could very well unfold in the run-up to the federal election scheduled for the fall of next year, keeping the details alive in the headlines.

The Economist – The Duffy disaster
SENATOR Mike Duffy has been living in a political twilight zone ever since questions were raised about his housing and travel expenses. First he was railroaded out of the Conservative party’s caucus; late last year he was suspended from the Senate altogether. One way or another, a denouement is now approaching. On July 17th the national police force charged Mr Duffy with 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.
That threatens more embarrassment to the ruling Conservatives. Stephen Harper, the prime minister, came to power in 2006 promising to deliver clean and transparent government—in contrast to the defeated Liberals, who had been tainted by an advertising-spending scandal. It was he who handpicked the veteran television journalist for a Senate seat in 2009. Mr Duffy is one of three former Conservatives suspended from the Senate over expense claims. (A Liberal senator whose spending was questioned repaid the amount and resigned.)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he doesn’t have useful information for suspended senator Mike Duffy’s trial
Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not intend to testify in the trial of suspended senator Mike Duffy because he doesn’t have any useful information to offer, his office said Tuesday.
RCMP laid 31 criminal charges against Duffy last week related to his disputed expenses, and experts say it’s likely that Harper could be called to testify in relation to the bribery charges Duffy faces, although he could invoke parliamentary privilege to avoid the witness box.
On Tuesday his director of communications, Jason MacDonald, said in an email that Harper doesn’t have helpful information.


The Star – Conservative government censored memo on environmental group
“It used to be that the government saw information from non-governmental organizations as valuable,” said Josh Brandon, who volunteers as chairman of the network.
“That’s not happening anymore. I don’t know where they’re getting their policy expertise. But it often feels that decisions are made from a political perspective without consulting science.”

Vancouver Observer – CRA smacks PEN Canada with audit in latest of Harper government’s attack on charities
“Now’s the time to support PEN Canada, faced with a punishing audit by the Harper Conservatives,” renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood tweeted today. “Why does the freedom of expression threaten them?”
PEN Canada, a small charity which represents 1,000 writers and supporters including Atwood and Nobel Prize-winning writer Alice Munro, is the latest charity to audited by Canada Revenue Agency for taking part in ‘political activities’. The small charity — which only had one to two full-time staff in recent years — has criticized the Harper government in the past, particularly around the government’s muzzling of scientists.

Huffington Post – Canada Revenue Agency: ‘Preventing Poverty’ Not Allowed As Goal For Charity
The Canada Revenue Agency has told a well-known charity that it can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world, it can only alleviate poverty — because preventing poverty might benefit people who are not already poor.
The bizarre bureaucratic brawl over a mission statement is yet more evidence of deteriorating relations between the Harper government and some parts of Canada’s charitable sector.

CTV News – Charities may be asked for donor lists under minister’s CRA proposal
Canadian charities would have to turn over lists of their donors’ identities to the Canada Revenue Agency under a proposal being floated by the Conservative government.
The move is touted as a way to prevent tax-receipt fraud, but some charities are wary of the administrative burden — and the potential close surveillance of groups that criticize government policies.

Winnipeg Free Press – Glover staffers remove ugly details from Wikipedia
Staff of Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover anonymously edited her Wikipedia page to remove controversial details about her run-ins with Elections Canada.
The information disappeared last week and involved a 2013 request by Elections Canada that the Saint Boniface Conservative MP be suspended because she filed inaccurate campaign spending reports. The missing sentences were quickly restored by Wikipedia editors.


Maclean’s – Internal report questions Canada’s bilateral missions to Ukraine 
A new internal government report has once again raised questions about the Harper government’s penchant for sending large teams of Canadian election monitors to Ukraine. The March report, prepared by an outside consultant for the Foreign Affairs Department, is the latest in a series of internal government assessments that raise red flags about the missions. The reports began in 2004 under the Liberals and have been repeatedly embraced by the Conservatives, most recently in May. Ottawa sent about 350 people to monitor the May 25 presidential ballot in Ukraine in a Canadian-led bilateral mission. Approximately 150 went as part of a separate multinational effort led by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is seen as the most credible international body for conducting such missions. The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the independent audit of Canada’s Election Observation Missions program, known as EOM, which notes that the multilateral OSCE missions are widely viewed as a much better idea than the Canadian bilateral ones.



CBC News – Canada drops out of top 10 most developed countries list
Canada has slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation’s human development index — a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade.
The 2013 report, which reviews a country’s performance in health, education and income, places Canada in 11th place versus 10th last year.
A closer look at the trends shows Canada actually did better than last year, but other countries such as Japan and Australia improved at a greater rate.
When the numbers are adjusted for gender inequality, Canada slumps to 18th place. The United States fares even worse — sinking from third to 42nd place.
“I think it’s really sad to see that we’ve dropped so far under the Conservatives,” said deputy NDP leader Megan Leslie.

The Globe and Mail – Ukraine has not received Canadian aid promised months ago, ambassador says
Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada says financial aid Ottawa pledged four months ago has not yet materialized and a request for non-lethal equipment has gone unanswered.
Canada announced a $200-million-plus financial package for Ukraine in mid-March and that same month Kiev asked Ottawa and other NATO allies for supplies to bolster its fight against pro-Russian separatists . It wants equipment such as body armour, communication technology and medical supplies.



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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4 Responses to Harper Watch, July 19 to July 31, 2014

  1. Bart Manierka says:

    Despite finding it extremely sad and difficult to read these endless articles on the current state of our corrupt, misguided, devious, vindictive, ill informed, mean spirited, illegitimate, ugly, self serving, greedy, lying, war mongering, spiteful, negligent, disgusting federal government, I deeply appreciate the effort it takes to continually reproduce this information. Brian Mulroney was a great leader compared to this guy, and of course I despised Mulroney. What a shame for Canada to have Stephen Harper running our show. The man is pathetic.

    Thanks for maintaining this blog.

  2. cheena1 says:

    Hi again Bart! Just read (again) your comments and enjoyed them so much I’ve decided i have to copy them! LOL Hope you don’t mind, and i will for sure give you credit for the short rant. It does describe this illegal govt to a t. 😉

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