So, the Harper Government is promising a “consumer friendly” Throne Speech this week. Among the “goodies” being discussed are “a la carte cable” and a “passenger bill of rights”, all as part of a “grow the economy” strategy. More or less, the Conservatives are going to put forward a combination of incentives to stimulate consumer spending. I have no doubt that this is in large part intended as a political “trap” for the NDP and Liberals – put a bunch of things on the table which in principle the opposition parties cannot object to, and attempt to drag the national (Read more…)
I must admit that while I really don’t much like Mike Duffy and the seemingly endless stream of evidence of corruption with him at the root of it is fatiguing to read about all the time, it is still an important issue. I am not going to argue about Senate Reform in this post – I remain unconvinced that the Duffy/Wallin/etc expenses scandal really points to an urgent need to overhaul the Senate – in fact, I am much more of the opinion that framing the expenses scandal in those terms is a red herring intended to distract the public (Read more…)
In just one week Harper re-opens Parliament and we need Karl Nerenberg to be covering the stories. We are still pretty short of our funding goal to send Karl back to Parl — if you can donate a few dollars to the cause please do so today. You ca…
When I think of Canada spying on Brazil the first name that comes to mind is Embraer. The second is Bombardier.
The Canadian aircraft manufacturer and its Brazilian counterpart have been intense rivals for many years. Both are now trying to move up-market into territory normally the preserve of Boeing and Airbus.
If Canada was going to conduct commercial espionage against Brazil, is it conceivable that Embraer would not be a prime target? We may not have long to wait before getting the answer.
Muckraking journalist Glen Greenwald says there is plenty more to come on this Canada-Brazil spy (Read more…)
When I think of Canada spying on Brazil the first name that comes to mind is Embraer. The second is Bombardier.The Canadian aircraft manufacturer and its Brazilian counterpart have been intense rivals for many years. Both are now trying to…
It’s an urgent, trillion-dollar threat that Harper thinks we should throw $50-billion dollars at over ten years. Hint: He should have made a $50-billion down payment on it in his stimulus budget in 2009.Stephen Harper is thinking of fundin…
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Sean Atleo used strong words on Monday morning to describe Canadian policy toward his people.
“It has been paternalist at best and assimilationist at worst,” he said. And he repeated that phrase a few times during a news conference to mark the 250th anniversary of the 1763 Royal Proclamation.
Don’t feel chagrined if you can’t quite remember what they taught you in school about that Royal Proclamation. They probably taught you nothing at all.
Canada’s Harper Government once again revealed the ugly side of its views this past week.
First up, we have the Harper Government axing the pittance that inmates are paid for their labour while in prison.
The government began deducting the money from prisoners’ paycheques as part of a move to recover costs under the federal government’s Deficit Reduction Action Plan. The move was first announced in May 2012 by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Until now, the top pay an inmate could earn was $6.90 a day, but only a small percentage of inmates received that. The average is $3 a day.
This is (Read more…)
Since 2006, Harper has repeatedly “refused” to open the abortion debate in Canada … or at least so he claims.
But then again, there’s the old saw about “actions speak louder than words”. Once again, the Harper Government has taken actions which very clearly articulate where they stand. On Huffington Post, the headline reads “Tories Won’t Fund Overseas Projects Allowing Abortion For War Rape, Child Brides“ International Development Minister Christian Paradis says the government will not fund overseas projects that allow war rape victims and child brides to obtain an abortion.
But Paradis says the government’s policy would (Read more…)
Just when we thought our prime ministerial jackass had given the West Coast his worst, he pulls another trick on us. This time it’s all about giving free licence to poachers besetting our shellfish and fish stocks.Was a time, pre-Harper, when th…
Just when we thought our prime ministerial jackass had given the West Coast his worst, he pulls another trick on us. This time it’s all about giving free licence to poachers besetting our shellfish and fish stocks.
Was a time, pre-Harper, when the Department of Fisheries & Oceans actually attended to things like fisheries and, well, oceans. Not so much any more. It seems Harper didn’t want them saying anything unpleasant about his Northern Gateway fantasy – stuff like bitumen spills and tanker accidents and marine habitat stuff. So, in keeping with his responsibility to Canada, he shut them (Read more…)
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Northern Gateway pipeline to be running by 2018, says Enbridge Project will be approved in 2014 and moving oil by 2018, company says
The Canadian Press Posted: Oct 02, 2013 6:46 AM PT Last Updated: Oct 02, 2013 7:44 AM PT
Fascinating, isn’t it, how these oily creeps assume that they are winning the fight…the fight hasn’t even begun, though Harpo and his puppeteers might argue the opposite..
Here we are, some of us believing that the ‘talks’ are ongoing, that nothing has been truly decided, and here they go spouting their words of smug acceptance, as if the discussion were (Read more…)
Britain, Australia and Canada have been singled out in a Guardian op-ed for “crushing academic integrity on behalf of corporate power.“
Guardian enviro-scribe, George Monbiot, contends that scientists have a duty to democracy to voice their dissent to government policy.
It’s as clear and chilling a statement of intent as you’re likely to read. Scientists should be “the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena”. Vladimir Putin? Kim Jong-un? No, Professor Ian Boyd, chief scientific adviser at the UK’s Department for Environment.
Boyd’s doctrine is a neat distillation of government policy in Britain, Canada and Australia. These governments have suppressed or misrepresented inconvenient findings on climate change, pollution, pesticides, fisheries and wildlife. They have shut down programmes that produce unwelcome findings and sought to muzzle scientists. This is a modern version of Soviet Lysenkoism: crushing academic dissent on behalf of bad science and corporate power.
Writing in an online journal, Boyd argued that if scientists speak freely, they create conflict between themselves and policymakers, leading to a “chronically deep-seated mistrust of scientists that can undermine the delicate foundation upon which science builds relevance”. This, in turn, “could set back the cause of science in government”. So they should avoid “suggesting that policies are either right or wrong”. If they must speak out, they should do so through “embedded advisers (such as myself), and by being the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena”.
Shut up, speak through me, don’t dissent – or your behaviour will ensure that science becomes irrelevant. Note that the conflicts between science and policy are caused by scientists, rather than by politicians ignoring or abusing the evidence. Or by chief scientific advisers.
…Boyd, in his efforts to establish a tinpot dictatorship, has not yet achieved the control enjoyed by his counterparts in Canada. There, scientists with government grants working on any issue that could affect industrial interests – tar sands, climate change, mining, sewage, salmon farms, water trading – are forbidden to speak freely to the public. They are shadowed by government minders and, when they must present their findings, given scripts to memorise and recite. Dozens of turbulent research programmes and institutes have either been cut to the bone or closed altogether.
There are some, supposed progressives, who argue that we should not despise Stephen Harper. Why not? Is it not natural to despise someone who so freely and egregiously tramples on our democracy, who writes such a dismal future for our young people and the generations to follow them?
Canadian veterans’ ombudsman, Guy Parent, says seriously wounded Canadian servicemen are being left to face a life of poverty.
In true Harper fashion, the veterans charter was intended to hand wounded and disabled veterans a cheque and then send them on their way. Here’s your disability, this is what it’s worth, off you go.
It takes a profound ignorance about wounds to come up with Harper’s fantasy.
Wounds can do different things at different times over the lifetimes of the wounded. For example, shrapnel can migrate through the body and it doesn’t do much good along its route either. My Dad went in for what was to be routine gall bladder procedure but then they found that his organs had fused which required them to section his liver which took all day in the O.R. and several times damned near killed him over the following week.
Aging is a process of deterioration. Aging wounds can make the process far worse. Not always but sometimes. Because of that you have to match support to need on an ongoing basis. People can succumb to the effect of wounds decades after the fact.
It’s things like this that reveal the true, cardboard face of Stephen Harper.
$1.3B medical marijuana free market coming to Canada New system will use large indoor marijuana farms certified by RCMP
The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 29, 2013 3:52 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 29, 2013 5:27 PM
Well, Emperor Steve acknowledges that dirty oil isn’t the only ‘natural resource’ his friends can get rich with…and making it still illegal to home-grow your own says it all..it’s about making money, nothing else.. If the person ‘needing’ the pot isn’t wealthy enough to afford these criminal prices (yes, I say criminal, no difference than street rate…) then will they declare it payable under (Read more…)
For the last several years, Native American activists in Canada have been using the language of “decolonize” or “decolonialism” as a part of their rhetoric in advocating for change. I do not believe that this is a particularly useful tactic for a lot of reasons, and one which in the long run will serve to inhibit forward progress in resolving the very valid issues that Canada’s Native Americans want to change. As best as I have been able to make out in researching the subject, it fundamentally asserts that anybody who is not Native American should confront the social privilege (Read more…)
Helena Guergis, Dean Del Mastro. A Tale of Two Tories.
The whole Guergis scandal is a bit fuzzy this far on but, as I recall, she was unceremoniously dumped from the Tory caucus against her will, on the mere suspicion of scandal, and once out was kept out even after it was obvious there was no wrongdoing on her part save for her choice of a spouse. She was exiled, right from the git go and for good.
The only thing surprising about what happened to Dean Del Mastro was how long it took for him to be (Read more…)
Helena Guergis, Dean Del Mastro. A Tale of Two Tories.The whole Guergis scandal is a bit fuzzy this far on but, as I recall, she was unceremoniously dumped from the Tory caucus against her will, on the mere suspicion of scandal, and once out was …
The following opinion column was written John McKay, Liberal member of Parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood: Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems to be having a rough time selling the Keystone XL – which Canada needs in order to get Alberta crude to […]
It comes as no surprise that The Harper Government has spent a great deal of time and energy doing its level best to be as unaccountable as possible to voters. So it comes as little surprise that Suzanne Legault, The Information Commissioner of Canada is less than impressed with the games now being played to suppress public access to information. “I am seeing signs of a system in crisis, where departments are unable to fulfil even their most basic obligations under the act,” Legault told the group.
As an example, she cited a directive in April this year from (Read more…)
With Harper and his band of geniuses running around the UN this, it’s actually been kind of interesting. As I pointed out back in May, Harper’s foreign policy has served primarily to isolate Canada on the world stage, and continue the far-right narrative about the “irrelevance” of the United Nations. Today, in what must be a first in history, Canada refused to sign a UN treaty which the US agreed to sign. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has said there is a potential link between signing on to the treaty and Canada’s now-abolished long gun registry. Baird’s (Read more…)
Keep ‘em coming! When you support putting Karl Nerenberg back on the Parliament beat at rabble.ca you not only get regular insightful articles on the politics of Parliament but you get it done with Karl’s special flair: – “That great tautologist…
OTTAWA – As the Harper government turns its attention to consumer-friendly policies, a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer has priced out how much a fitness tax credit for older adults would cost the federal treasury. The PBO estimates […]
Tim Harper writes that the prime minister and the mayor of Toronto are a political odd couple:
Harper would treat a meeting with a voter in an unscripted moment as a crisis. Ford ditches his aides and wanders into crowds at a Saturday night street festival on the Danforth.
Harper works hard to avoid over exposure. Ford has his own open line show. The prime minister seeks political advantage in a squeaky clean image, proudly denying marijuana use in his younger years while
Ford laughs, and, without missing a beat, agrees he smoked “a lot.’’
What explains this oxymoron? (Read more…)
Over at Huffington Post, someone noticed that the New York Times spent some significant column space raking Harper over the coals for how he has abused Canada’s science community.
I have talked about the consequences of Harper’s micromanaging of science before on this blog (here, here, and here … for a start), however, the NYT column cuts to the chase rather nicely: This is more than an attack on academic freedom. It is an attempt to guarantee public ignorance.
Take close note of that one sentence. It summarizes in a nutshell what Harper is up to. The less (Read more…)
Under the Harper Government, we have been fed enormous amounts of propaganda pablum in the name of “Support the War in Afghanistan Troops”. The “highway of heroes” when our troops were being returned in pine boxes on a weekly basis; goodness knows how many photo-ops of Harper and Mackay on the tarmac in Afghanistan, and Harper wearing partial uniforms at various times.
You would think that the troops are some kind of privileged class under Harper. Not so much, it seems. In fact, if you manage to get yourself injured in the line of duty, the big old roll of (Read more…)
What a great display of striking, positive leadership for the good in the last 24 hours. First, this news of the Obama administration’s announcement today on limiting emissions from new power plants: A year after a plan by President Obama to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants set off angry opposition, the administration will announce on Friday that it is not backing down from a confrontation with the coal industry and will press ahead with enacting the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies.
This is executive action that does not require approval by Congress. (Read more…)
What a great display of striking, positive leadership for the good in the last 24 hours. First, this news of the Obama administration’s announcement today on limiting emissions from new power plants:
A year after a plan by President Obama to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants set off angry opposition, the administration will announce on Friday that it is not backing down from a confrontation with the coal industry and will press ahead with enacting the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies.
This is executive action that does not require approval by Congress. Obama will, however, have to take on the coal industry. Yet somehow, doesn’t that now seem like much less of a task in the wake of Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis? The timing of this announcement seems to be one from a leader feeling emboldened, with that major international event just under his belt. Moving on now to one of the other major challenges the world faces.
And what will be the reaction of PM Harper? He of the letter to Obama asking for joint things to be done emissions-wise. Obama is acting. Unilaterally. What then is Canada prepared to do?
The second instance of leadership very much worth noting, the interview released of Pope Francis speaking on the Catholic church and his view of how the church needs to evolve.
Even if you are not a particularly religious person, this seems to have big implications. The way that this Pope, in such a position of influence and stature, is shifting the church from a close-minded, dogmatic institution to a non-judgmental, loving stance is remarkable. At least, that’s the way it is striking me. I see news of others similarly moved.
And I certainly don’t see how this is good news for those politicians who would seek to use gay issues and reproductive rights as exclusionary and divisive wedge political issues. This is a powerful counter.
And if you only read one thing on yesterday’s Pope news, I recommend this.
… [the IPCC's AR5 report claims:] “In summary, the globally-averaged surface temperatures are well within the uncertainty range of all previous IPCC projections, and generally are in the middle of the scenario ranges.” Later, in Chapter 9, it states with “very high confidence” that models can correctly simulate global surface temperature trends.
… The IPCC must take everybody for fools. Its own graph shows that observed temperatures are not within the uncertainty range of projections; they have fallen below the bottom of the entire span. Nor do models simulate surface warming trends accurately; instead they grossly exaggerate them. (Nor do they match them on regional scales, where the fit is typically no better than random numbers.)
… since we are on the verge of seeing the emergence of data that could rock the foundations of mainstream climatology, this is obviously no time for entering into costly and permanent climate policy commitments based on failed model forecasts. [Someone call Stephen Harper.]
Terence Corcoran: The tide is rising on climate models and policies
OTTAWA — Chief executives of Canada’s largest companies are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to quickly conclude Canada-EU free-trade negotiations that are at a “make-or-break point,” and continue lobbying U.S. President Barack Obama on a Keystone XL pipeline that may […]
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke out against Quebec’s controversial proposed Charter of Values on Monday, saying he doesn’t expect the current proposal to pass the province’s legislature, but said the federal government will “take whatever action is necessary” […]
Harper cabinet readies major B.C. pipelines push B.C. First Nations leaders to meet with key federal officials Sept. 23 in Vancouver By Chris Hall, national affairs editor, CBC News Posted: Sep 12, 2013 6:03 PM PT Last Updated: Sep 13, 2013 7:21 AM PT
We are ready for whatever BS ol’ Emperor Steve and the Klown Circus is ready to throw at us..what an ego! He prorogues for the nth time and then expects to sail into BC and ‘charm’ us into acceptance? That is a pathetic joke, and he will NOT succeed..we are prepared (Read more…)
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OTTAWA — Canadian business leaders and trade observers are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to “fish or cut bait” on the Canada-EU free-trade negotiations, arguing the deal has a shelf life and is becoming more difficult to complete each day […]
Ezra Levant has been doing an excellent job of exposing how radical environmentalist, anti-oil sands, global warming alarmist ”think” tank lobby group, the Pembina Institute, has been receiving support from organizations who ought to know bet…
Harper offers Obama climate plan to win Keystone approval Sources say PM willing to accept emissions reduction targets proposed by the U.S. By Chris Hall, National Editor, CBC News Posted: Sep 6, 2013 2:15 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 6, 2013 10:08 PM ET
First he pontificates (through his rough stuff, Baird, Harper’s own personal beard) about how ‘necessary’ it is to bomb Syria, and now this forelock-tugging re environmental levels being magically changed to favour the US ’vision’…whereas until five minutes ago, climate change was still being questioned by the Cons..then, miracle of miracles, Harper (Read more…)
When the leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies met behind closed doors in St. Petersburg this week, our prime minister had a message for them. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Canadian official told journalists, was going to urge other […]