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A Different Point of View....: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Former Conservative Prime Minister  Stephen Harper apparently isn’t satisfied with having destroyed a lot of wonderful and important things in Canada. Now he has signed on with Dentons, the world’s largest elite law firm, to spread his dark viewpoints around the globe.

Dentons proudly announced Monday that Harper – who does not have a legal degree – and his new consulting company will work from its Calgary office.

For Harper, the appointment is his reward from the corporate set for many years of stalwart service. He will now be able to stuff his pockets with greenbacks and 76-cent Canadian dollars.

The recently resigned Calgary MP will no doubt stick a Canadian flag on his suitcase as he peddles his anti-social ideology. Hopefully, this will be Harper’s final insult to our national pride.

Dentons is like an octopus. It has more than 7,200 lawyers in over 50 countries, and seems to be constantly expanding.

In easily translatable jargon, Dentons  said Harper has teamed up with the firm to provide clients with “advice on market access, managing global geopolitical and economic risk, and maximize value in global markets” – i.e. postulating himself based on the credibility he gained during none years as PM.

The Donald Trump of the legal set

“Dentons is the Donald Trump of the legal vertical,” writes legal expert and columnist Mark A. Cohen. “The firm is brash, bigger-than-life, and something entirely different. It receives a disproportionate amount of press because it is always doing something that drops jaws.”

The firm surprised the legal/business world by forming a partnership with a huge Chinese firm closely tied to the Communist Party. They employ more than 6,000 lawyers that are working on hundreds of projects, both inside the country and internationally.

Dentons isn’t fussy about which companies it represents in litigation. It works for Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, Citigroup, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Barclay’s Bank, Wells Fargo, and others.

It’s no surprise that Harper will pick up fat pay cheques from Dentons. The firm likes buying former politicians.  Former Liberal PM Jean Chretien and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer are also on the Dentons payroll, as is former Harper Cabinet Minister James Moore. Last year, Dentons snapped up controversial former U.S. politicians Newt Gingrich.

Harper’s cold personality could damage his one-on-one work for Dentons. The former PM  once famously said: “I can’t even get my friends to like me.”

Outrageous move by Harper

It is outrageous that a former Prime Minister is able to join a massive, influential international corporation such as Dentons when his seat in Parliament has barely cooled.

Dentons is deeply involved in all kinds of wheeling and dealing at the highest levels around the world. Part of its success is based on collecting inside information on corporations and governments.
There are few legal constraints for Harper in his new job. Canada’s Lobbying Act  prevents Harper from being directly involved in lobbying the Canadian government for five years.

In addition, the Conflict of Interest Act says that “no former public office holder shall give advice to his or her client, business associate or employer using information that was obtained in his or her capacity as a public office holder and is not available to the public.”

Having been Prime Minister for more than nine years, Harper is aware of what is supposed to be confidential information concerning corporations in Canada and what are supposed to be secret arrangements among foreign governments.

Harper will claim he will not reveal privileged information, but there is no way of knowing whether he will break his word. Just imagine – if he was hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and seeking approval for some energy-related project – would he not be tempted to spill the beans about what he knows about the fossil fuel industry worldwide?

Former PM a valuable asset

Harper will be a medium-sized fish at Dentons, but he can help the firm in countries where he has good relations with government leaders, and on some issues.

Given Harper’s record of spending little money on fighting climate change, he could work with government clients on how to avoid spending millions on carbon reductions and he probably could help corporate clients avoid carbon penalties.

Instead of marketing his skills through Dentons, it would have been more appropriate for Harper to get involved in academia. He would have been welcomed at the University of Calgary, where a group of professors and some students established the influential right-wing “Calgary school.

And Harper doesn’t need the money. Currently 57, he is receiving $127,000 in annual pension payments. When he turns 60, the amount will increase to $134,000 per year. The Canadian Tax Federation says that Harper’s MP pension pay would add up to roughly $5.5 million up to age 90 (factoring in for inflationary increases to the payments).

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. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

ILLUSTRATIONS: Alberta’s terrifying Temple of Tax, found on the media midway. So scary it even frightens billionaires away. Really! Below: Dr. Samuel Johnson, noted wit, N. Murray Edwards, oil sands billionaire (CBC photo), and Mr. James Boswell, bio… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

A. Picazo: Legitimizing Pseudoscience: What’s The Harm?

This column ran in The National Post on March 24, 2016. After weeks of trying “natural” extracts and homemade remedies like smoothies cut with ginger root and horseradish to cure a suspected case of meningitis, 19-month-old Ezekiel Stephan’s … . . . → Read More: A. Picazo: Legitimizing Pseudoscience: What’s The Harm?

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Who will stand up for Alberta’s persecuted billionaire community?

A billionaire is moving away from Calgary and we should all be worried, the newspapers tell us. Postmedia newspapers reported recently that nameless sources are saying oil billionaire and Calgary Flames co-owner Murray Edwards is “switching hi… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Who will stand up for Alberta’s persecuted billionaire community?

Bill Longstaff: Another record temperature … but look on the bright side

Here in Calgary we have been enjoying weather that, for the season, can only be described as balmy. Like last year, February has been more spring than winter. One of the reasons, of course, is our warming planet. The figures are in for January and t… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Another record temperature … but look on the bright side

Politics and its Discontents: "It Is Good To Help Everyone In Need"

So says a Calgary homeless person in answer to those expressing outrage over the assistance being given to the Syrian refugees.Looks like the extreme right-wing will have to find another target for its hateful abuse.Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: "It Is Good To Help Everyone In Need"

Alberta Politics: Whatever happens next, Justin Trudeau has brought the Liberals back from the brink

PHOTOS: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau addresses his supporters in Edmonton this morning. Below: Mr. Trudeau’s supporters line up in the pale morning light to get into his rally; Mr. Trudeau greets supporters as he bounded to the stage. Charisma matters. I don’t know if Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will win the federal election tomorrow or not, . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Whatever happens next, Justin Trudeau has brought the Liberals back from the brink

Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Calgary Conferation,Calgary Skyview,Calgary Centre

This election has a few more surprises than most, and the fracturing of the Conservatives’ fortress in Calgary might be one of them.

A news story from the CBC reports that three Calgary ridings are surprisingly competitive: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview.

This is also the interpretation of Eric Grenier . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Update, Oct. 17.   A new poll in Calgary Centre has the Liberals and Conservatives neck-and-neck.  Strategic voters could make the difference.

Strategic voting in Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre
Calgary Conferation,
Calgary Skyview,
Calgary Centre

This election has a few more surprises than most, and the fracturing of the Conservatives’ fortress in Calgary might be one of them.

news story from the CBC reports that three Calgary ridings are surprisingly competitive: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview.

This is also the interpretation of Eric Grenier over at threehundredeight.com.  His current projections for the Calgary ridings paint three ridings red: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview

Strategic voting in Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre
Calgary projections from threehundredeight.com

The striking thing is not merely that Grenier’s a projecting these three seat for the Liberals.  It is also seeing weakness in other ridings such as Signal Hill and Forest Lawn.

For Calgary voters who want to vote strategically to defeat Harper, however, the message is clear.  Vote Liberal.

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Bruce Carson’s Bigger Scandal

When Harper appointed Carson as a top adviser, the fraud used his position to undermine research into climate change.

About the only part not worth reading is the line saying “There is no easy way to cut emissions and grow the economy”, and now you’ve read it, and can recognize that tired line as . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Bruce Carson’s Bigger Scandal

Bill Longstaff: Why this Dipper is voting Liberal in Calgary Centre

Liberals have been screwing Calgary for a long time. When one hears this, one’s thoughts immediately turn to Trudeau senior and his National Energy Program. But it started long before that. Back in the beginning in fact. When Alberta became a province in 1905, Frank Oliver, Edmonton newspaper publisher and Liberal MP, persuaded Prime Minister . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Why this Dipper is voting Liberal in Calgary Centre

Bill Longstaff: Calgary’s CTrain—embracing green

Fortunately, while our federal government remains a persistent laggard on global warming, the provinces and cities are stepping up. Calgary is no exception. In 2012, the city committed to meeting all its electrical needs from renewable sources. One result was the construction of two wind farms totaling 144 megawatts.

The city relies on a variety . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Calgary’s CTrain—embracing green

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Three for the road

Cootie Catcher, written and performed by Lucas Brooks, focuses on Brooks’ close encounters of the transmissible kind. Using a cootie catcher, better known to some as a fortune teller, Brooks regales the audience with tales of all the times he thought he had been exposed to one STD or another, while simultaneously exploring his sexual . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Three for the road

A. Picazo: Rebel Without A Spine

Facts often prove a nuisance to those with an agenda to push or a narrative to sell. Just as those who peddle snake-oil rely on manufactured illness to hawk miracle cures, those who ply their trade in fear rely on ignorance to further an ideology. I’ve long used social media as a means to combat . . . → Read More: A. Picazo: Rebel Without A Spine

Bill Longstaff: The TRC report and the Langevin Bridge—what’s in a name?

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report has issued a damning condemnation of the Indian residential schools, referring to their history as “cultural genocide.” Reverberations are being felt across the country, including here in Calgary. For example, a question has risen about the Langevin Bridge and Langevin School, and whether or not they should be renamed.

. . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The TRC report and the Langevin Bridge—what’s in a name?

Alberta Diary: Never mind the Mudville Nine: Nothing has changed, nothing ever will, that is all!

“Your health. Our promise.” It’s March 1, 2013, and then-premier Alison Redford announces plans to build a new cancer treatment facility in Calgary to replace the grubby and overcrowded Tom Baker Cancer Centre. (Photo grabbed from Metro Newspapers.) But that was then. This is now. Below: Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel; the Tom . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Never mind the Mudville Nine: Nothing has changed, nothing ever will, that is all!

Too Much Geography: An Open Letter to Premier Jim Prentice on Gay-Straight Alliances

Dear Premier Prentice;

I graduated from high school in Alberta ten years ago, and I am gay. I like to think there are more interesting things about me, but these are the relevant points right now. At my school, there was no such thing as a gay-straight alliance, but you might know that already – . . . → Read More: Too Much Geography: An Open Letter to Premier Jim Prentice on Gay-Straight Alliances

Accidental Deliberations: Deep thought

In general, we should be appalled by the idea of letting catastrophic climate change run amok and force people to abandon their homes and communities.

But for a few self-selected people, it’s tough not to see some poetic justice in the possibility.

Bill Longstaff: Naheed Nenshi—world’s best mayor?

Recently, Canada suffered through the pain and embarrassment of having the world’s worst mayor. Is it possible we can now rise above the humiliation with the world’s best mayor?

Calgary’s mayor Naheed Nenshi has made the short list for the 2014 World Mayor Prize, awarded every two years to a mayor “who has made . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Naheed Nenshi—world’s best mayor?

Things Are Good: Using Turntablism to Address Climate Change

Climate change id the biggest issue facing humanity today and it’s no surprise to see artists express this through art. In Calgary this month there’s an exhibit by John Folsom which was inspired through a walk in the rocky mountains looking at sound and climate change. The way he does this is through a . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Using Turntablism to Address Climate Change

Bill Longstaff: Calgary inches closer to a charter

In 1867, Canada’s founding fathers created two levels of constitutional government—provincial and federal. The municipal level didn’t make the cut. This was excusable at the time. Over 80 per cent of Canadians lived on farms and in villages, so local government seemed rather unimportant in the grand scheme of things and was left to the . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Calgary inches closer to a charter

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta NDP should embrace an Urban Agenda

TweetToday is the deadline to enter the Alberta New Democratic Party leadership race. With 3 candidates having already entered the race, Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen, Edmonton-Strathcona MLA Rachel Notley and labour activist Rod Loyola, the Alberta NDP are having their first contested leadership race since 1996. Advice I would offer to the next leader of . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Alberta NDP should embrace an Urban Agenda

A. Picazo: A Circus On The Levant

“Being a Jew isn’t like being Black or being gay or being a woman, or even Israeli where many Jews come from. Being a Jew is a choice, like being a Blood or Crip. Jews are the medieval prototype of the Occupy Wall Street movement; a shiftless group of hobo’s that doesn’t believe in property . . . → Read More: A. Picazo: A Circus On The Levant

Dead Wild Roses: News Flash For the Calgary Doctor: Medicine is Evidence Based. (!)

What the hell is this? Am I living in the US or something?

This story broke on on CBC radio June 27th, and listening to what happened I filled this news tid-bit safely under the “smart people doing stupid things” category. The tale of this doctor’s mixed up medical ethos stuck in my . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: News Flash For the Calgary Doctor: Medicine is Evidence Based. (!)

Dead Wild Roses: News Flash For the Calgary Doctor: Medicine is Evidence Based. (!)

What the hell is this? Am I living in the US or something?

This story broke on on CBC radio June 27th, and listening to what happened I filled this news tid-bit safely under the “smart people doing stupid things” category. The tale of this doctor’s mixed up medical ethos stuck in my . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: News Flash For the Calgary Doctor: Medicine is Evidence Based. (!)