Harper Watch, August 21 to August 31, 2014


HARPER NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE???!!!

Vancouver Observer – Harper’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination slammed as ‘outrageous’
Strong reaction to a national Jewish organization’s nomination of Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a Nobel Peace Prize continues to mount.
The news was more than a representative of the Canada Palestine Association could bear.
“With nominating him, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” said Hanna Kawas, Vancouver chairperson of the organization, on Sunday.
“It’s outrageous.”

Huffington Post – Stephen Harper’s Nobel Prize Nomination Sparks Outrage
With such a long list of competitors, the odds are against Harper receiving the prize. But that hasn’t stopped more than 10,000 people from signing an online petition to ensure it doesn’t happen.
The Change.org petition says it would be a “disgrace and insult to your prestigious award” to give Harper the prize. As of Tuesday morning, the drive had received roughly 12,000 signatures.

COMMENTARY

Grenfell Sun – Ralph Goodale: A hard look at Mr. Harper’s Economic Record
When the next federal election rolls around, likely next spring, Stephen Harper says he wants to campaign on his economic record.  Well bring it on.
That record is highlighted by some spectacular failures

Toronto Star – Carol Goar: Tony Clement hatches open government plan
Now — from the minister who saved the government $15 billion without telling Parliament what he cut; the policy-maker who eliminated Canada’s information-laden census and chopped Statistics Canada’s budget by $30 million; the MP who siphoned $50 million out of a border security fund to build to band shells and gazebos in his riding — comes Tony Clement’s latest initiative: a “ new action plan on open government .”
The Treasury Board president proudly announced this week he has prepared a draft policy “to increase openness and transparency in government.” He is inviting the public to comment
It will come as a surprise to most Canadians that a government known for its secrecy and obfuscation is “committed to fostering the principles of open government.”

Michael Spratt – Fact vs. Fiction: Rona Ambrose’s laughable claims about Conservative ‘evidence based policy’
The fact that Ambrose felt the need to assert publicly that her government drafts policy based on facts — not on hunches, hearsay or blind ideology — highlights the Harper government’s essential problem when it comes to getting Canadians to sign on to its program: It does not believe in fact-based policy and seldom feels the need to behave as if it does.

Globe and Mail – Konrad Yakabuski  : From sugar to drugs, Harper has turned everything partisan
Warning young people about the dangers of smoking pot should be about as controversial as telling them to brush their teeth. The same goes for recommending that adults consume no more sugar than they can bench-press. Health officials are right to point out the pitfalls of both.
This is Canada, in 2014, however, where the Harper government’s insistence on putting its political stamp on policies that were previously left to independent agencies or experts in the bureaucracy means that even its public service announcements (PSAs) are suspect. Where an anti-pot ad aimed at teens seems partisan and nutritional guidelines seem to go light on the sugar lobby.

On the lighter side: Stephen Lautens’ #MacKayTees

ENVIRONMENT

Globe and Mail – The PM can’t see the climate for the slush
Nowhere in Canada is the impact of climate change more increasingly evident than the North. And yet, the words “climate change” are never heard from Mr. Harper in the North, as if the idea they connote are so distasteful that he cannot bring himself to utter them.
Every summer, surrounded by the evidence of Northern climate change – melting ice, widening sea lanes, disruption of traditional hunting patterns, shifting tundra, increased sun reflection, changing weather patterns – the Prime Minister spends a week in the region without ever drawing attention to the impact and challenges of climate change.

SAFETY

Press Progress – It’s not clear any Conservatives actually read damning Lac-Mégantic report
Just tell people you haven’t gotten around to reading the report yet. Because if you haven’t read it, it hasn’t happened yet.
That appears to be the Conservatives’ bright idea on how to defend themselves against Tuesday’s damning Transporation Safety Board report that concluded Transport Canada’s weak oversight was a cause and contributing factor in last year’s Lac-Mégantic train derailment that killed 47 people.

FIRST NATIONS

Global – Wynne blasts Harper’s ‘outrageous’ comments on murdered aboriginal women
TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is wrong in saying that police investigations, not a national inquiry, are the best way to deal with crimes involving missing and murdered aboriginal women, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Friday.
“For Stephen Harper to say that there’s not a systemic aspect to this, I think is just – I think it’s outrageous quite frankly,” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
All the provinces and territories endorsed calls for a public inquiry when they gathered last year in Ontario for the annual Council of the Federation premiers’ conference. They’ll meet up again next week in Charlottetown, P.E.I., where they’ll talk with aboriginal leaders.

Yukon News – Stupidity outbreak mars Harper’s visit
What a relief. Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Whitehorse yesterday and shared with the territory a fresh insight: the plight of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada is not, in fact, a “sociological phenomenon.” Rather, the root of the problem is that we simply haven’t locked enough people away in prison.
“We should view it as crime,” Harper said. “It is crime against innocent people, and it needs to be addressed as such.”
Well, that makes things much tidier, doesn’t it?

ATPN News – Harper and his fly thru corporate visit to Iqaluit
Great video of Harper not answering questions and Laureen evading the point.

VETERANS

Global News – Half of Canada’s severely wounded soldiers not getting disability cheque
OTTAWA – A new report by Canada’s veterans watchdog says nearly half of the country’s most severely disabled ex-soldiers are not receiving a government allowance intended to compensate them for their physical and mental wounds.
Veterans ombudsman Guy Parent also says those who are receiving the permanent impairment allowance, along with a recently introduced supplement, are only awarded the lowest grade of the benefit.
Parent says the criteria used by federal bureaucrats to evaluate disability do not match the intent of the allowance, and that the guidelines are too restrictive.

PROVINCIAL RELATIONS

The Star – Wynne blames Harper for blocking constructive relations between Ottawa, provinces
Premier Kathleen Wynne says it’s difficult to get things accomplished nationally when Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands in the way of constructive relations between the provinces and Ottawa.
As the premiers head to P.E.I. next week for their annual gathering to discuss matters of common concern, the federal government, and in particular Harper, are expected to loom large on the agenda.
“Stephen Harper has chosen to deal with the . . . provinces one at a time as opposed to dealing with us in any kind of collective way,” Wynne, outgoing chair of the Council of the Federation, told the Star Friday.

JUSTICE NOT SERVED IN HARPERLAND

Globe and Mail – Staffing cuts strain Justice Department
The Conservative government has been sharply reducing the expertise on hand in the Justice Department, even as its tough-on-crime agenda continues to be a major priority, with dozens of laws being debated and changed at the same time.
In a year when several key criminal laws were struck down by the Supreme Court, or given an interpretation that dramatically softened their impact, the Justice Department has been flying by the seat of its pants after sharp cuts to the number of researchers and lawyers and frequent demands for the speedy drafting of new laws, according to interviews with former senior bureaucrats and the release of an internal report.

Straight.com – Stephen Harper’s tough-on-crime agenda linked to increasingly dangerous prisons
In federal prisons across Canada, inmates are at a greater risk of violence than they were 10 years ago.
As the Straight reported in July, statistics obtained through a freedom of information request show numbers are up for assault, sexual assault, and attempted suicide. The use of solitary confinement has also increased.
According Gord Robertson, Pacific regional president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, it’s a combination of factors that’s causing prisons to become increasingly dangerous places.

MORE FISHY BUSINESS – OR STUPID, OR VINDICTIVE

The Star – Harper government asks public servants to delete emails
“Given the current government’s track record, a red flag has to go up anytime our members are instructed to delete information,” said Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.
“Gathering, maintaining, and assessing evidence has become increasingly difficult under this government and its fondness for secrecy, which has led to muzzling of government scientists.”

rushprnews- Harper’s government targeting poor seniors on guaranteed income
Halifax, NS (RPRN) 08/27/14 — Under proposed changes to prescribed annuity taxation, Canadian poor seniors will pay a lot more taxes. These changes are hidden in the proposal for changes in the exemption test of life policies modifying Subsection 300(2) of the Income Tax Regulations.

The Star – Ontario says ‘No’ to removing citizenship by birth on soil
The Ontario government says it will not support Ottawa’s proposal to remove citizenship rights to children born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents.
“In our view, there is not enough evidence to justify the effort and expense required for such a system-wide program change. Citizenship and immigration Canada has not quantified the extent of fraud resulting from ‘birth tourism,’’ said Ontario Deputy Immigration Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe.
“At this time, there is insufficient data to demonstrate the demand placed on Ontario’s economy or public services from ‘birth tourists,’” he wrote in a letter to Ottawa, dated September 6, 2012, after a technical briefing on the plan. A copy of the province’s response was obtained by the Star this week.

 

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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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