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General

daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Dear Rob Anders, Take a Hint and Take a Hike.

Posted September 22, 2014 by daveberta

TweetMany Canadians hoped to have bid a final farewell to offensive conservative Member of Parliament Rob Anders when he lost the Conservative Party nomination in Calgary-Signal Hill to Ron Liepert earlier this year. But perhaps it was wishful thinking to believe a stunning rebuke in the area of the city he represented for 17 years was enough to end […]

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Education

Susan on the Soapbox: Jim Prentice’s First Week in Office–Straight out of the Corporate Playbook

Posted September 21, 2014 by susanonthesoapbox

“As of this moment, Alberta is under new management.” — Jim Prentice, 16th Premier of Alberta*

Transition. There’s nothing more unsettling; no, strike that, nerve-wracking, for an organization than a change-out of senior leadership, particularly when the old leader is universally regarded as an abject failure (will I be condemned by association?) and the new leader is hailed as the messiah (am I within his orbit of influence?).

Mr Prentice

Mr Prentice knows that the burden of a successful transition, in this case from the tired old PC party to the shiny new PC (Read more…)

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Capitalism

Vancouver’s little “People’s March” against climate change

Posted September 21, 2014 by JR

Purely by accident (I swear) I saw the noisy, Big Green sponsored mob go by on W Georgia St.  Appropriately, it began at the CBC building.

The turnout was small.

Veronica Alice (pictured) expressed an opinion to the Vancouver Sun:
“It’s the system that got us in the mess,” said Alice. “It’s the system that needs to change. …”

A sentiment straight out of the “Occupy” protest.  Mess? What mess?  These highly privileged ingrates protest the system that brought them (and billions more around the world) whatever wealth, freedom and and life expectancy they enjoy.  It is the best it has been in the history of mankind, and getting better.  They should be celebrating that system, not protesting it and advocating its demise.  If these foolish dupes and useful idiots have their way, their (and our) children’s futures will be very, very bleak indeed.

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General

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: No Data Are Better Than Bad Data

Posted September 21, 2014 by Ian Chadwick

The full name of an article I read today is, “The Fallacy of Online Surveys: No Data Are Better Than Bad Data.” It’s from 2010 and very good. You can find it on the Responsive Management website. It makes some key points about the invalidity of online surveys: For a study to be unbiased, every member […]

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Activism

The Canadian Progressive: Climate Criminals: Harper Misses Canadian People’s Climate March Caravan

Posted September 21, 2014 by Obert Madondo

By skipping the UN Climate Summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is solidifying his place among the ranks of global climate criminals.

The post Climate Criminals: Harper Misses Canadian People’s Climate March Caravan appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

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Activism

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Posted September 21, 2014 by Greg Fingas

This and that to end your weekend.

- Paul Krugman notes that a concerted effort to combat climate change could be as beneficial economically as it is important for the future of our planet: Where is the new optimism about climate change and growth coming from? It has long been clear that a well-thought-out strategy of emissions control, in particular one that puts a price on carbon via either an emissions tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, would cost much less than the usual suspects want you to think. But the economics of climate protection look even better now than they (Read more…)

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General

Abortion: Not merely private and personal

Posted September 21, 2014 by Andrea Mrozek

This article is not about abortion. It’s about India, and why her booms have been busts. But this part interests: The dystopic details don’t end there. The use of new technology to abort fetuses selectively has led to a rapidly declining female-to-male birth ratio, with a nationwide average of 914 girls per 1,000 boys in […]

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Canadian Politics

wmtc: will canada become a country continually at war? or, stephen harper gets his wish in iraq

Posted September 21, 2014 by laura k

I had been living in Canada but a few short months when Stephen Harper, as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, formed his first minority government. At the time, this blog hosted an active and lively ongoing discussion about Canadian culture and politics, and my personal acculturation. I did not like Harper or his Conservatives, but I balked at what I saw as hyperbole from certain progressive people: Harper will turn Canada into the United States. I felt the two countries were different enough to make that particular magic trick impossible.

Now, almost ten years later, at least a (Read more…)

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Abortion

Take Action for Reproductive Justice in the Maritimes & Across Canada

Posted September 20, 2014 by Anonymous

In April, when New Brunswick’s Morgentaler Clinic announced it would be forced to close, the barriers to accessing abortion in the Maritimes came to national attention. Now, with the New Brunswick election on September 23 and the federal election coming in 2015, reproductive justice activists across Canada are hoping to keep the momentum going for […]

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General

Is this pro-choice? Really?

Posted September 19, 2014 by Andrea Mrozek

Seriously, I’m asking. I am certainly pro-life. I acknowledge that, and I see things through that lense, that worldview. But can anyone, pro-choice or pro-life watch this girl recite her poem and not feel a sinking sense of pain? That is what I felt. She spent way too much time describing how she would have […]

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General

Speak now, or forever suffer FIPA

Posted September 19, 2014 by Erich Jacoby-Hawkins
If you want to hide a story from the public, release it late on a Friday afternoon, with no fanfare.

This past Friday, the government quietly announced they had ratified the FIPA trade pact with China. Negotiated secretly and signed by Prime Minister Harper in Vladivostok, Russia, 2 years ago, ratification had been delayed under protest from many sectors about its flaws.

Franke James‘ nightmare is now our reality
And what flaws they are! Essentially, this treaty allows Chinese companies, including state-owned enterprises, to sue Canada for any new law or regulation they feel threatens their profits. So laws to protect our environment, health, resources, jobs, culture, or values are now subject to Chinese approval! But in keeping with the secrecy under which this accord was negotiated and signed, those lawsuits will be secret until an award is issued by the unelected tribunal; if a settlement is reached, it might never be made public at all, even if it involves paying huge sums of our tax money to Chinese companies!
And unlike NAFTA, which has similar (although much weaker) investor-state provisions but can be cancelled with only six months’ notice, this trade deal locks us in for at least 31 years. Yes, that means the next 7 governments, regardless of who we elect, are bound by it.

At least we had a good debate on this first, right? Wrong. There were no public hearings or consultations, no vote in Parliament, and only a single hour of discussion in committee. If, as proponents argue, this deal is such an amazing advance for Canadian interests, why were all of us supposed beneficiaries kept in the dark? Government should be eager to trumpet good new trade initiatives.

Outstanding court challenges should have prevented ratification, especially a rather solid one from the tiny Hupacasath First Nation. Caring greatly about our future, they have been on the forefront, trying to protect all of our constitutional rights. They know what it’s like to have your rights stolen away, and this deal will overrule not only indigenous rights but also those of our provinces, municipalities, and federal government. And even though their ruling has yet to be reviewed, the Harper government has gone ahead and ratified, also apparently not caring that this pact probably violates the Canadian constitution.

Who benefits? The main winners look to be huge Chinese enterprises, including state-owned ones, looking to buy up more of our resources and expand tar sands extraction, for example. This deal seems like nothing more than a sacrifice of most of our values for the sake of some big investment money to dig up more dirty bitumen to ship to China, at the cost of our air, water, and forests.

Can we stop being locked into this horrible deal? We’re told we live in a democracy, so let’s try. Greens, NDP, and to an extent Liberal MPs have gone on the record against this, even some Conservative supporters and Cabinet members have expressed reservations, so we’re not starting from square one. Sign this or similar petitions hosted by other groups. Write letters to the editor to show your outrage. Contact your MP and demand your concerns be raised in the House. Make your voice heard, or for the next 31 years hold your peace!

Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner as “China deal all but hidden from  public
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
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General

Feminism: Bewitched by Abortion

Posted September 19, 2014 by Faye Sonier

Just came across this quote while doing some research. Thoughts? When arguing for their own equality, feminists condemn the unethical use of power by which men have usurped the rights of women. The price of men’s privilege, they conclude, has been paid by women, and the price is too high. Feminists believe that rights must […]

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General

Deciding what a woman does with her body, long gone?

Posted September 19, 2014 by Andrea Mrozek

…But deciding what a woman must think–now that is totally kosher. Really ridiculous for Justin Trudeau to tweet this, that the days “when old men get to decide what a woman does with her body are long gone.” Apparently the days of dictating thought are here to stay? I hope people realize what is happening […]

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Feminism

Star Trek’s Official Facebook Page Needs to Tackle Sexist, Racist and Homophobic Comments

Posted September 18, 2014 by Anonymous

I grew up watching and loving Star Trek, and just over a year ago I started a side blog called Trekkie Feminist. It wasn’t long after that my attention was drawn to a post filled with some pretty grossly sexist replies on the official Star Trek Facebook page, which is run by StarTrek.com, under CBS. Since then I’ve […]

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General

The 2014 Summertime “Ottawa Spends” Winners

Posted September 18, 2014 by David Akin

From a tuna sport fishing derby to golf tournaments to brain research, Conservative MPs rang up a whopping $1.4 billion bill handing out cheques on the summertime spending circuit. The annual summer spending spree began on June 21 when the House of Commons shut down for the summer recess and it ends Monday when the […]

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General

On Scottish independence

Posted September 18, 2014 by MGK

A few people over the past few weeks have asked me what I think about the Scottish independence vote and honestly, I think it’s a little facile for me to even have an opinion. I mean: I’m not Scottish. I’m not even Scottish by descent. I have basically no stake in this whatsoever, and it […]

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General

The Boy in the Moon

Posted September 17, 2014 by Andrea Mrozek

Ian Brown is the author of The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Journey to Understand his Extraordinary Son. It’s going to be put on as theatre, and that’s a play I’d like to see. Ian Brown in this interview expressly says what so many of us feel about people with illness or disability of […]

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Canadian Politics

Andrew Coyne: Just because McGuinty hasn’t broken laws by lobbying does not make it right in any way

Posted September 17, 2014 by Andrew Coyne

The premise — after 11 months he might be improperly exploiting his connections, but after 12 months everyone would have forgotten who he was — is absurd

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General

The pro-choice position comes to its logical conclusion?

Posted September 17, 2014 by Faye Sonier

From Trevin Wax over at The Gospel Coalition: Are abortion rights supporters fully embracing an absolutist agenda, one that legitimizes and praises a woman’s choice to abort, no matter the circumstances? It sure seems that way. In the past few years, activists have moved away from Bill Clinton’s philosophy that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Or that abortion […]

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General

How to Use Science Against Stephen Harper

Posted September 17, 2014 by Simon

Well now that I know that Stephen Harper is planning to stay on and lead his Cons into the next election.

Unless the Duffy trial starts sooner than he is hoping.

And now that I know that despite what he said about Michael Ignatieff…

He’s not here for us either, and the next election will be all about HIM.
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CBC

An unprecedented disaster of an interview for the Liberal leading in New Brunswick

Posted September 17, 2014 by David Akin

With just five full days of campaigning to go until New Brunswickers vote on Monday, Liberal Leader Brian Gallant will be struggling to recover from the worst media interview a politician ever gave in mid-campaign since Stéphane Dion got confused in the 2008 federal election. But while Gallant’s mix-up, like Dion’s, involved a re-do, Gallant […]

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General

Why Stephen Harper is Terrified of Mike Duffy

Posted September 16, 2014 by Simon

It’s taken a long time, but Mike Duffy’s trial process has finally begun, and you can be sure that Stephen Harper must  be absolutely terrified.

Especially after Duffy’s lawyer said Harper could be called to testify. 

Suspended senator Mike Duffy’s lawyer will not rule out calling Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a witness, as his client’s fraud case goes to trial.

After petitioning the court Tuesday morning to set the earliest possible trial date for his client, Donald Bayne said the defence is “considering any potential witness. It’s too early to rule anything out.” 

And Ol’ Duff is doing what he can to try to make sure the trial could have a BIG impact on the next election.
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General

“Justin Trudeau is stripping me of democracy”

Posted September 16, 2014 by Faye Sonier

A few thoughts from Mike Schouten from We Need a Law: Gallant’s position seems largely influenced by federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. For months now Trudeau has been talking nonsense about the legal status of abortion in Canada. He is either ignorant of the jurisprudence or is intentionally misrepresenting what the law says. Even as […]

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General

Let’s make increasing abortion access an election issue…

Posted September 16, 2014 by Faye Sonier

…but we don’t want to see it for the violence that it is. Because that is going too far. New Brunswick Liberal leader Brian Gallant says the graphic postcards distributed by Campaign Life Coalition Youth and the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform go too far: “There’s no doubt that during a campaign you’ll have many […]

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Project1
Allan's Perspective

Is Scotland crazy if they separate….., Aye!

Posted September 16, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

With the vote for Scottish independence less than 48 hours away, the similarities with the Quebec referendums in 1980 and 1995 is striking. First of all, the separatists are appealing to emotions, rather than good ol’ common sense, and they are also trying to rig the election by throwing in all sorts of stuff that […]

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General

The beauty of dads

Posted September 16, 2014 by Andrea Mrozek

Recently, Huffington Post had a great little picture montage honouring fathers. Number 19 is the best one to me but they are all good. Juxtapose with this story about a father whose girlfriend aborted their baby. He describes how he felt during the process. Sad. Wounds do heal over time – even deep ones – […]

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General

Stephen Harper and the Start of the Next Election Campaign

Posted September 16, 2014 by Simon

Well there he was yesterday, kicking off the new session of Parliament, not in the House of Commons, but at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

Strutting across a stage in front of a giant Canadian flag, and the Con seals in his caucus. 

Looking like a used car salesman, or an American televangelist.

Promising tax cuts for the faithful at an election-style rally. 
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Canadian Politics

Andrew Coyne: Justin Trudeau’s great run put to the test as focus turns to policy

Posted September 15, 2014 by Andrew Coyne

The Liberal leader’s ambiguous message has carried him, and his party, this far. But the other parties are already trying to turn it against him

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General

Stephen Harper’s Insane and Treasonous FIPA Deal

Posted September 15, 2014 by Simon

I’ve already written what I think about Stephen Harper’s sellout trade deal with China.

I’ve called it the worst deal this country has ever signed. An act of treachery if ever there was one.

But even that isn’t enough. For what can you say about a document that even the conservative columnist Diane Francis has called the worse deal since the one Neville Chamberlain made with Hitler. 
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Federal Politics

This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Who’s Harper working for?

Posted September 15, 2014 by Laila

Is the China-Canada investment agreement a sell-out for Canada? When an agreement is conducted with so much secrecy and lack of consultation with Canadians that Rick Mercer dedicates an entire rant to the subject, you know something is up. Two … Continue reading

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General

Indiana Harper and the Doomed Return To Parliament

Posted September 15, 2014 by Simon

Twas the night before Parliament, and at 24 Sussex Drive not a creature or a mouse rat was stirring.

Except in the dark basement where Stephen Harper was planning his triumphal  return, after his golden photo-op summer.

And no doubt rehearsing his new role as Indiana Harper or Great Explorer Leader. The man, who in his mind at least, led the successful search for the Franklin expedition.

As I’m sure you remember…

But sadly for him I fear his flight voyage of fancy will be short-lived. 
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General

The Harper Regime and the Buying of the Next Election

Posted September 14, 2014 by Simon

We know how many millions the Cons have spent on their ghastly porky propaganda designed to brainwash into believing that Stephen Harper is a great leader.

And that they are a great government instead of the worst one in Canadian history.

We know how much of our money Harper has spent pursuing the ethnic vote, in Ukraine, Israel, and soon China.

Even if that means selling this country down the river.

But when you see how much money they spent trying to buy votes on this summer’s BBQ circuit it’s absolutely shocking. 
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General

Stephen Harper and the Great Chinese Betrayal

Posted September 13, 2014 by Simon

He waited until late Friday afternoon to announce that the Cons had ratified their controversial trade deal with China. 

Hoping that most people wouldn’t notice. 

Ottawa confirms it has ratified a foreign investment treaty with China, more than two years after the controversial agreement was signed, as CBC News first reported Friday. The controversial Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) will come into force on Oct. 1, said International Trade Minister Ed Fast in a news release Friday afternoon.

He couldn’t even wait to see if the courts would rule it unconstitutional.

And with good reason. For it is one of the greatest sellouts this country has ever seen.
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General

Stephen Harper: The Political Predator and the E.I. Scam

Posted September 13, 2014 by Simon

It was the PMO’s Picture of the Week. Stephen Harper receiving a report on the situation in Ukraine from the brutish former Premier of Ontario Mike Harris.

In his never-ending pursuit of the ethnic vote.

Even though, sadly for him, the only ones who covered the event were his PMO flunkies.

Because even the dullards in the MSM could guess what was in that report…

But then Harper is desperate, and as The Economist reminds us, he is a political predator.
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General

Stephen Harper and the Return of Parliament

Posted September 12, 2014 by Simon

After a long summer break Parliament returns on Monday, and all the political parties are revving up their engines. 

A splashy, campaign-style launch for the government’s fall agenda, a surprise tax cut for small business owners, a brand new NDP battle cry and a prime-time speech from Justin Trudeau: welcome to the 2015 election season. 

With Parliament poised to resume on Monday, all three main political parties are clearly revving their political engines on the road to the next vote, currently scheduled to take place some 12 months from now.


For it will mark the official beginning of the next election campaign and Stephen Harper couldn’t make that clearer by turning the occasion into a party.
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Capitalism

Scottish Independence: The Empire Strikes Back

Posted September 12, 2014 by Simon

With one week to go in the Scottish referendum the YES side’s surge to independence appears to have been at least temporarily halted, with a new poll suggesting the NO side is leading again. 

The YouGov survey for The Times and Sun newspapers put supporters of the union on 52 per cent, narrowly ahead of supporters of independence on 48 per cent, excluding those who said they did not know how they would vote.

But with 97% of those eligible registered to vote, either side could still win.

And the good news for the YES side is that most of it’s support is still intact even after being battered by an all-out assault worthy of Darth Vader himself…
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General

Rob Ford and the Mike Tyson Fiasco

Posted September 10, 2014 by Simon

I suppose by now I shouldn’t be surprised by anything Rob Ford says or does. 

Because that ghastly Con has been crawling through a sewer from the moment he came to office.

And the very sight of him offends me, as it should all decent people.

But I still thought that getting an endorsement from Mike Tyson was another low moment. 
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Canadian Politics

Andrew Coyne: Canada’s economy alone not enough to win Stephen Harper the 2015 election

Posted September 10, 2014 by Andrew Coyne

The question is not ‘are we better off?’ but ‘what’s Harper got to do with it?’. Or rather, ‘how much does any prime minister have to do with it?’

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General

Stephen Harper and the Ghost of Captain Franklin

Posted September 10, 2014 by Simon

It was just two weeks ago that Stephen Harper was talking about the search for the lost Franklin expedition.

And how he couldn’t wait to find, in his macabre words, “the skeleton of Franklin slumped over the helm.”

And today he did. 

Or a least a team of researchers did find one of the ships. 
Read more »

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General

What Excuse Will Stephen Harper Use to Trigger An Early Election?

Posted September 9, 2014 by Simon

He is not supposed to call an election until October 19, 2015 according to his own fixed-date election law.

But everybody knows that Stephen Harper won’t hesitate to hold one if and when it suits him.

The question is what excuse will he use to trigger an election?

And could it be a clash with the federal public service unions? 
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