Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stephen Harper G8 LiesHe asked parliament for 80 million dollars for border security, and spent 50 million on useless infrastructure in Musoka, where a Cabinet minister resides.

Harper knew he would be safe as the report would only come out after the election. He will downplay the issue, but by not leaving a paper trail about the investments, you know Harper is hiding something.

The final report on the G8 legacy infrastructure fund concludes that the government “did not clearly or transparently” identify how the money was going to be spent when it sought parliamentary approval for the funding.

Moreover, the report criticizes the utter lack of documentation to explain how and why 32 infrastructure projects in the Parry Sound-Muskoka region in Ontario were selected to receive the government largesse.

The result was that members of Parliament were kept in the dark about the Harper government’s dispersal of tens of millions of taxpayers’ funds, the audit concluded.

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Conservatives Misled Parliament

G8 Spending  Under Scrutiny

Stephen Harper’s government misled Parliament and skirted spending guidelines as it sprinkled tens of millions of dollars across Muskoka to provide a G8 legacy, an independent probe has concluded.The federal Conservatives passed off the $50 million G8 Legacy fund as part of an $83 million investment to reduce border congestion when they sought Parliament’s approval for funding, a report from the Auditor General of Canada said Thursday.

The result was that members of Parliament were kept in the dark about the Harper government’s dispersal of tens of millions of taxpayers’ funds, the audit concluded.

Brigette DePape staged an unprecedented protest on the floor of the Senate chamber, walking out into the red-carpeted centre aisle carrying a red “Stop Harper” sign that she’d pulled from beneath her skirt as Gov. Gen. David Johnston read the new government’s speech from the throne.

She is calling upon Canadians to act creatively in protesting Harper, like she did with civil disobedience in the Senate chamber. Although this won’t start a revolution, her invitation to join social movements will certainly raise awareness of those movements who oppose Harper’s ideas.

Very smart too, she had a press release emailed while she was still in custody.

DePape, from Manitoba, has been working in the Senate for a year. A statement issued in her name said she opposes the agenda of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, which won a majority mandate on May 2.

This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring she said. Things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighborhoods and workplaces, the statement said.

She went on to give a series of media interviews. She explained she feels the Conservative government’s policies on the environment, social programs and the military are destructive, and that civil disobedience is needed to try and stop them.

DePape grew up in Winnipeg, was a member of a local baton-twirling team until she was 13 and graduated from College Jeanne Sauvé.

She volunteered at the Siloam Mission, raised more than $100,000 for a village in Senegal and was a member of the group Students Without Borders.

In 2007, she won a prestigious Loran scholarship from the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation. The prize includes up to $75,000 over four years and help finding summer internships in public policy.

Last summer, DePape interned at the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, where she penned an essay on the G20 protests in which admitted she was crushed when her father told her protesting was unproductive and ineffective.

“Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures,” Ms. DePape said in an interview. “I think that everywhere is the right place to resist the Harper government.”

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Stop Harper Placard

Page Goes Wild

 

There seems to be confusion over the constitutionality on senate reforms. Stephen Harper originally proposed an 8 year term limit, but that would let any PM have total control over 8 years. Now we hear rumors about a 10 or 12 year limit.

There is controversy over the election of senators and some of them have publicly and privately suggested they’ve changed their minds and no longer support Harper’s plan to establish provincial senate elections. This was denied by Conservative Senator Linda Frum on Wednesday.

People often complain the Senate is illegitimate and not democratic but the Senate wasn’t set up to be elected.

It was set up to be a deliberative body and not an elected body and it’s been that way for 147 years and for the most part, it seems it has worked pretty well.

Harper’s government is expected to re-introduce two bills, one setting out an election process for the provinces to establish Senate elections and another limiting a senator’s term from a possible 45 years to eight, 10 or 12 years.

The Conservatives likely will introduce the bills next month.

Currently, senators are appointed until age 75, but must be at least 30 to sit in the upper chamber.

I mean come on ! The Lower House needs the Senate, or at least some kind of entity to overlook laws to-be-passed. The Senate is like an elite-Agora, but they still added an amendment to fixed election dates listing conditions under which a date could be modified, in order to avoid clashes with religious holidays, municipal elections and referendums. Sounds kinda smart.

Most judges are appointed and nobody says they lack legitimacy, said a Conservative Senator.

“We need to have a good healthy debate on this,” he said.

However, several provinces, including Quebec and Nova Scotia, maintain it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to proceed on its own with any changes to the upper house. They argue that the Senate can only be reformed through a constitutional amendment, approved by at least seven provinces representing 50 per cent of the population.

Quebec is threatening to go to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to block Harper’s proposed reforms. Intergovernmental affairs minister, Pierre Moreau, argued this week that the Senate is part of the bargain struck at Confederation in 1867, designed to give equal representation to the regions as a counterbalance to representation by population in the elected House of Commons.

It seems Senate Reform will be harder to achieve. Maybe we should consider status-quo, with a 50% salary reduction ?

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Should Stephen Harper consult the Supreme Court ?

Quebec threatens court challenge to Senate changes

Harper SenateHarper has constitutional responsibility to fill any vacant seats in the Senate, but his choices are very questionable. The 3 senators are fresh off the campaign trail, where all three were defeated.

Those 3 Conservative candidates LOST in the election so they don’t have seats in the lower house, and Stephen Harper appoints them to the Senate ? Is this democracy, where when you lose to other candidates, you still have more power than them ?

His credibility on Senate reform has sunk rock bottom. He basically made Parliament less representative of the will of the people, and shows us all that he holds our opinions in low regard.

Is this what PM’s do when they win an election, stuff the Senate with their best friends, and forget about the promise for Senate Reform ?

Is this what happens when a Conservative loses an election, you lose but you still get in the Senate ?

It’s hypocritical on Harper’s part and it’s not what Conservative supporters voted for, when they gave Harper his majority.

Harper should reform the Senate or start the process of scrapping it.

Using it as a daycare centre for aging Tories is a disgrace.

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Senate Appointees

Plans For The Senate

 

Harper flies to greecePrime Minister Stephen Harper will travel to Greece on May 28-29. This follows the G8 summit in Dauville, France which occurs May 26th-27th.

Harper will have contacts with state and political leadership in Athens, in the framework of strengthening bilateral relations between Canada and Greece, while he will also be present at a business forum.

Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will meet with Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou to discuss two-way trade and investment, and international economic and security issues.

He will also meet with the business community and visit a number of historic sites.

Will Harper be laughed at for keeping his promise  to live up to his pledge on deficit cutting in order to secure the global economic recovery ? It seems he is the only one accomplishing this.

 

  • Stephen Harper Keeps Jim Flaherty as Finance Minister.
  • Ed Fast, a legislator from British Columbia, Canada’s most western province, was named minister of international trade.
  • Tony Clement to Treasury Board, which is responsible for overseeing spending in the federal bureaucracy.
  • Christian Paradis takes over at Industry, which counts among its responsibilities foreign investment.
  • John Baird is the new foreign affairs minister. Baird replaces Lawrence Cannon, who lost his seat in Parliament in the May 2 election.
  • Peter Van Loan is reprising his old role as leader of the government in the House of Commons, taking over from Baird.
  • Innu leader-turned-MP Peter Penashue is becoming minister of intergovernmental affairs.
  • Peter MacKay stays Minister of National Defence.
  • Dénis Lebel becomes transport minister.
  • Rob Nicholson remains justice minister
  • Vic Toews will remain public safety minister
  • Rona Ambrose stays in charge of the department of public works and government services, as well as status of women.
  • Embattled minister Bev Oda stays at the Canadian International Development Agency.
  • Jim Flaherty will remain finance minister, in keeping with the government’s focus on stability.
  • Jason Kenney will continue to lead citizenship and immigration.
  • James Moore will stay at Canadian heritage.
  • Leona Aglukkaq will remain minister of health.
  • Peter Kent stays minister of environment.
  • Lisa Raitt stays minister of labour.
  • Gerry Ritz remains with the agriculture file.
  • Gail Shea moves to national revenue from fisheries and oceans
  • Keith Ashfield takes over fisheries from his previous role as national revenue minister.
  • Maxime Bernier returns to cabinet as minister of state for small business.

The new cabinet, like the previous one has 10 women, including Senator Marjory LeBreton, who is leader of the government in the Senate.

On side news, Harper appointed 3 defeated candidates to the Senate. I thought he promised he would abolish that thing. Instead he appoints 3 defeated candidates ?

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Defeated Candidates To Senate

Stable Cabinet ?

Stephen Harper Keeps Flaherty as Finance Minister.

Ed Fast, a legislator from British Columbia, Canada’s most western province, was named minister of international trade.

Tony Clement to Treasury Board, which is responsible for overseeing spending in the federal bureaucracy.

Christian Paradis takes over at Industry, which counts among its responsibilities foreign investment.

John Baird is the new foreign affairs minister. Baird replaces Lawrence Cannon, who lost his seat in Parliament in the May 2 election.

Peter Van Loan is reprising his old role as leader of the government in the House of Commons, taking over from Baird.

Innu leader-turned-MP Peter Penashue is becoming minister of intergovernmental affairs.

Peter MacKay stays Minister of National Defence.

Dénis Lebel becomes transport minister.

The revised 2011 budget that the government will present next month will not show a surplus by 2014-15 as promised in black and white in the Conservative campaign platform, even though the government insists it still intends to deliver on the election promise.

Some of the Canadian government’s budget optimism comes from a plan to examine public sector spending and trim away the fat. Flaherty said that the government plans to undertake a “strategic and operating review” that is expected to save $4 billion annually, without any serious cutbacks.

Even if, in the end, they do balance the books a year early, by not adhering to their campaign promise, the Tories are ignoring one of the cardinal rules in politics: do what you say you’ll do.

Earlier Wednesday, Flaherty had told the Council of the Americas in Washington that his budget would be re-introduced in Parliament and that the country’s books could be back in the black within three to four years.

Still, Flaherty said that taxes would not go up this year, despite the aggressive push to eliminate the deficit.

“We have no intention of raising taxes. Our intention is to continue to lower the tax burden on Canadians and stimulate the private sector, which after all, is the engine of the economy”.

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Budget Lie

Promise not kept, but still

More than 150,000 public servants working in Ottawa awoke May 3rd to a new Conservative majority government, and new anxieties about what that will mean for their jobs. The prospect of layoffs in the federal bureaucracy is a hot topic in Ottawa.

As Conservatives prepare to recall Parliament, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is setting the stage for a clampdown on federal government spending under the newly elected government, that would include cutting the public service by 80,000 — or one-third.

The people who suffer in this scenario are those most dependent on government services such as immigrants, the unemployed, pensioners and military veterans.

The Tory budget that was tabled in March called for a review of spending at all government departments and $11 billion in cuts over the next four years. The budget was never passed.

However, now that the Conservatives have a majority government, the Tories have the ability to push that same budget through.

William Robson, president of the think-tank C.D. Howe Institute, says the government could make some progress on the deficit in the short-term if the economic continues to recover. Robson predicted the Conservative’s corporate tax cuts would lead to an expansion of the business sector.

Even before the latest round of corporate tax cuts, Canada’s oil, gas and natural resource exports nearly had doubled in value in recent years, and now more than 25 per cent of Canada’s economy is directly or indirectly tied to the mining and oil and gas industries, even more so in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, where oil and gas account for nearly 40 per cent of provincial GDP.

John Gordon, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, says he’s concerned by the government’s talk to cut down the public sector.

“Stephen Harper has always talked about smaller government,” Mr. Gordon said. “If people leave through attrition, that means less people to do the work. And if there’s less people to do the work, then something has to give.”

So Public Services are going to be cut while private corporations are getting billions of dollars in tax benefits ? This means less government services in our lives and more money for the rich and powerful. Truly not what the average Canadian wants.

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Public Servants Fear Tory Majority

Harper’s Budget Promise To Cut Down Public Service

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tough talk on defending Canada’s Arctic are not substantive, according to US cables leaked Friday.

Harper’s government has routinely touted Canadian sovereignty over the vast, desolate north as a “very high priority” and has publicly called for increased militarization of the Arctic to protect Canada’s disputed claims in the region.

The prime minister himself has announced plans for a sensor net, more navy patrols and airport improvements, and a military training camp in the far north.

The country also has stepped up its military alertness along its northern frontier, according to Defense Minister Peter MacKay, largely in response to Russian “testing” its boundaries with military flights skirting the border, a practice not seen since the Cold War.

However, cables released by website WikiLeaks indicate that US diplomats in Ottawa viewed Harper’s aggressive statements as mere posturing and a partisan strategy to win voter support.

The cable said the Harper government has done little on its Arctic promises but has made domestic political gains regardless.

“Conservatives make concern for ‘The North’ part of their political brand . . . and it works,” says the note, entitled “Canada’s Conservative Government and its Arctic Focus.”

The United States thinks Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tough talk on Canadian Arctic sovereignty is little more than chest-thumping meant to attract votes.

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Harper’s Arctic Pledge

Harper Lied About The Arctic

The crime package is back, combined in a complex, 53-page document containing hundreds of amendments to the Criminal Code that are designed to shift some of the focus from rehabilitation to retribution.

The government will introduce its promised omnibus crime bill, which will require a warehouse cart to move around since it will amalgamate no fewer than 18 separate bills that died on the House order paper with the dissolution of the last Parliament.

The bill which the Harper government is trying to implement is neither novel nor unique. In fact critics of the bill argue that this kind of legislation has been implemented elsewhere and failed.

Bill S-10

With Bill S-10 the Conservatives want to impose a minimum sentence of six months up to two years on certain crimes which currently have no minimum sentence when certain ‘aggravating’ factors apply.

The bill is being met with a lot of opposition, and for good reason. That’s because minimum sentencing bills such as these don’t work or make much sense. They don’t make legal sense because they don’t act as the deterrents that they’re suppose to be, and they don’t make fiscal sense because they end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars with no visible benefit to show for it.

Bill C-51

Bill C-51 – Clause 5  provides that the offences of public incitement of hatred and wilful promotion of hatred may be committed by any means of communication and include making hate material available, by creating a hyperlink that directs web surfers to a website where hate material is posted, for example.”
For simply posting a link to a website that has material someone else deems hateful, you could go to jail for two years and be branded a criminal.

This is another attack on the tax paying middle class, who have to pay for all of this while at the same time losing public services.

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Harper’s Conservative Policies

Bill C-51

Stephen Harper Misled Canadians About G8 Costs

He asked parliament for 80 million dollars for border security, and spent 50 million on useless infrastructure in Musoka, where a…

Stop Harper, Says Brigette DePape In Senate Chamber

Brigette DePape staged an unprecedented protest on the floor of the Senate chamber, walking out into the red-carpeted centre…

Can Stephen Harper Keep His Promise On Senate Reforms ?

There seems to be confusion over the constitutionality on senate reforms. Stephen Harper originally proposed an 8 year term…

Stephen Harper’s Senate Appointees May 2011

Harper has constitutional responsibility to fill any vacant seats in the Senate, but his choices are very questionable. The 3…

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