Monday, 25 January 2010

About the Incredible Generosity of Many Canadians

Now for something which totally amazes me. Individual Canadians have donated $68 million dollars to the Haiti relief effort so far, which will be matched dollar for dollar be our federal government for a total of $136 million. To get a sense of what that means - it's as if Americans had donated $1.36 billion - it just blows me away (of course, it's still really just $136 million - much, much more will be needed). The 2 one hour telethons the other night (one English, one French) raised $18 million (also to be matched). That $36 million compares to $57 million that George Clooney's telethon raised (so far), both also amazing sums. Let's hope all that money will be put to good use asap.

Of course, it wouldn't be me if I let the above pass without a negative comment. All that money apparently came from less than a million of us. Where are the others? I've even heard comments about why we are giving to Haiti when there are many poor people right here in this country - as if Canada isn't rich enough to look after both! All it takes is political will (in short supply, it seems). There even seems to be some racism at play - Haitians are black, French-speaking, and mostly Catholic. Need I specify what kind of people these remarks are coming from? It's shameful!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Stephen Harper’s top twenty democratic abuses

Courtesy of

1. Shutting down Parliament – twice – to get out of political hot water and avoid democratic scrutiny.
2. Firing nuclear whistleblower Linda Keen for her warnings about the Chalk River nuclear reactor.
3. Refusing to renew the contract of RCMP Public Complaints Commissioner Paul Kennedy after he was critical of the government.
4. Shutting down the Military Police Complaints Commission before Richard Colvin was set to appear and failing to renew the contract of Commissioner Peter Tinsley.
5. Using a “dirty tricks manual” to grind Parliamentary committee business to a halt.
6. Withholding information from the Elections Commissioner, which necessitated a police raid on Conservative Party Headquarters.
7. Breaking his own fixed election date law to call the 2008 election.
8. Refusing to provide adequate funding and independence to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
9. Refusing to provide unredacted documents concerning the Afghan detainee scandal to Parliament after a motion ordering their disclosure was passed in the House of Commons.
10. Boycotting the Afghanistan committee by refusing to show up.
11. Attacking public servant Richard Colvin for doing his public duty to truthfully respond to questions from Parliament.
12. Breaking election promises to never run a deficit, appoint only elected Senators, to never raise taxes, and to increase the accountability of government.
13. Trying to eliminate political party financing in the 2008 Fall Economic Statement in a bid deprive political opponents of funding.
14. Scrapping the court challenges program that helped underfunded groups fight for constitutional rights.
15. Abandoning their promised Public Appointments Commission after their proposed watchdog, Conservative fundraiser Gwyn Morgan, was rejected.
16. Firing Canadian Wheat Board President Adrian Measner to undermine its independence.
17. Trying to amend Canada’s constitution to put term limits on Senate appointments and redistribute House of Commons seats – without first consulting the provinces.
18. Launching a lawsuit to hush-up the Cadman Affair into bribery allegations.
19. Refusing to disclose the time, date and location of Cabinet meetings.
20. Requiring media to be on a pre-approved list before they can ask the Prime Minister questions at press conferences.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Harper shuffles the Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Here's a thought about Harper's cabinet shuffle:

Oh my gawd! Stockwell Day, the Sarah Palin of Canada, in charge of Treasury Board? We're definitely doomed now!

"Educated" in an American bible college, Stockwell thinks Planet Earth is 6,000 years old (maybe flat too). How can we trust him to deal with anything financial? How much is 2 plus 2, Stockwell? Will he listen to his public servants? Or just take his marching orders from Boss Harper? Anyone want to take a guess?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap

Prorogation tightens gap between Tories, Liberals
CBC News


The lead enjoyed by the Conservatives over the Liberals has dramatically narrowed since Prime Minister Stephen Harper suspended Parliament last month, a new poll suggests.

The Conservatives now lead by a marginal 1.6 percentage points over the Liberals, compared with the 15-point advantage they had in a mid-October survey, according to the EKOS poll released exclusively to CBC News.

Asked which party they would support if an election were held tomorrow, 30.9 per cent of those polled chose the Conservatives, and 29.3 per cent backed the Liberals. The poll found 15.3 per cent of respondents supporting the NDP, 11.9 per cent the Green Party and 10.2 per cent the Bloc Québécois.

Harper prorogued, or suspended, Parliament for two months on Dec. 30. His spokesman said the break would allow the government to consult with the public as it worked on its economic action plan. However, critics saw the move as a plot to gain a majority on Senate committees while perhaps also avoiding criticism over the Afghan detainees affair.

Government moving in wrong direction

The EKOS poll found that almost 64 percent of respondents felt suspending Parliament was "anti-democratic." About 47 per cent told EKOS the government was moving in the wrong direction — a sentiment expressed for the first time since June 2009.

EKOS president Frank Graves said the results show the issue of prorogation isn't as obscure a topic as many people might have thought. "Canadians have noticed, they do care and this is having a very negative impact on Conservative fortunes," Graves said.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 6 to Jan. 12 and involved a random sample of 3,730 Canadians. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Now Tony Clement adds his thoughts to the neo-conservatives' prorogation debacle

Today, 100 academics condemned Harper as being anti-democratic for proroguing parliament. Neo-Conservative MP Tony Clement, echoing his boss' opinion of anyone disagreeing with him, reacted by calling the critics "elitist", the favourite term of right-wing "thinkers" north and south of the border.

If being educated, cultured, being able to read, being able to write coherently, makes a person a member of the "elite" that the neo-Conservatives are always making such a fuss about, then consider me elitist. On the other hand, when two-thirds of Canadians despise Harper and his minions, then we can't really talk about being elitist, just being the majority.

I remember Tony Clement very well from the time I lived in Toronto during Mike Harris' attempt to undermine Ontario's economic and social structure. Clement was a neo-Conservative even then. He used to be the Conservative mouth piece on the local CBC Evening News political panel. He was known as the stupid pretty boy, no brains, just looks - a sort of early Britney Spears type.

Well, Tony, the looks are gone, the brain is still missing. Oh, Canada!

As ye sow, Steve, so shall ye reap:

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Harper Is At It Again

Stephen Harper: "L'état c'est moi! Democracy is a socialist plot!"
Here's a representative sample of the reaction to Harper's current subversion of Parliament:

Saturday, 2 January 2010