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Blast Furnace Canada Blog: With the new Québec government, the provinces should push back

Monday’s landslide win by Phillipe Couillard and his Québec Liberal Party is a great sign that the idea of sovereignty may have been set aside for a long time. But I think it should lead to something more. It should lead to the federation our Founders wanted but has often wavered from this principle, especially under Stephen Harper.

At the outset, I have to say that with the win, the new

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: RIP Spousal privilege

One of the oldest principles in law is the spousal privilege. Considered even more sacred than the privilege between a lawyer and client, physician and patient, or cleric and penitent, it has at its core one basic principle: Unless there was abuse involved or a couple conspired together, any communications between spouses is privileged unless the “witness spouse” (i.e. that whom is not accused)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: What in the world is Eve Adams?

When I was a kid, I was known for throwing hissy fits on just about anything that didn’t go my way. Now a lot of us adults probably were like that in our younger days, too, but we smartened up. In that vein, though, I have to wonder if Eve Adams was like that as a child, because lately she’s been at the edge of losing it – and her party’s respect too.

Adams started out as a bright light in an

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Another rebuke against PMS

0 and 4 so far for Stephen Harper.

First, he lost the InSite decision, which now allows safe injection sites.

Then he lost the prostitution decision, which all but legalizes the sex trade.

Yesterday, he lost a decision which in effect restores accelerated parole for those who have served just 1/6 of their prison sentence.

Today, he got a really big slap in the face, when the Supreme Court of

The Canadian Progressive: Ukraine Crisis: The Harper Conservatives Are NOT Canada

by: Obert Madondo

Last week’s “Canadian delegation” to Ukraine wasn’t a Canadian delegation. It was an all-Conservative outfit. The opposition was completely shut out.

The shut out reminds me of how Third World tyrants do politics. How they exploit global crises to score cheap domestic political points. The shut out makes a mockery of our multi-party liberal democracy. And the idea of by-partisanship that comes with it.

But shut-out is mostly part of the Conservatives’ campaign to retain power in 2015. It’s part of the effort to woo the ethnic vote, something the Conservatives would have to do on a (Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Doing right by sex trade workers

Due to multiple technical issues I haven’t been able until now to comment on the Supreme Court’s decision in Attorney General of Canada v. Bedford on December 20th but all I can say is it was absolutely the right decision. What surprised me was that it lined up 9-0, I was expecting 5-4. Given that five of the justices were appointed by PMS and one by Mulroney, one might expect conservative

The Canadian Progressive: New Conservative Ad Reveals Stephen Harper’s Fear of Justin Trudeau [VIDEO]

The possibility of “waking up in 2015 to Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister” of Canada unnerves Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

The post New Conservative Ad Reveals Stephen Harper’s Fear of Justin Trudeau [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: "I’ve got more than enough to eat at home," Ford says

You couldn’t get the best scriptwriters in Hollywood or Broadway to come up with this line. Rob Ford, responding this morning to numerous allegations that he hired a call girl to visit his office in Toronto (among other allegations of downing mickeys in one shot and DUI), said they were untrue. But then Ford went after one of his former assistants who talked to the police, a woman who claims

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Take a time out already, Rob!

So Rob Ford has actually admitted it. He’s bought illegal drugs during the last two years. Notwithstanding that concession, 30 of 44 councillors on Toronto City Council voted to ask him to take a leave of absence. Naturally, Ford refused. He also said he still has a “coat hanger” in the closet. I’ve heard of double entendres but not that one. (Any guesses what he means? Because unless

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: As always, it’s the coverup (if that’s what it is)

At this point, I really don’t give a damn if Toronto Mayor Rob Ford did drugs. If he did it certainly hasn’t impaired his performance as a politician. What I do care about are the following:

Ford obviously has major issues. Be they mental or substance, or both, he needs to deal with them before someone really gets hurt. His city has an excellent benefits package that includes

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: See, we told you so (Senate reform edition) — and what I’d like to see

Finally someone has told the Prime Minister he can stuff it on his brand of changes to the Senate of Canada. It comes courtesy of the Québec Court of Appeal which has unanimously ruled Bill C-7, if passed, would be unconstitutional and therefore a form of “dead letter clause”.

(The official ruling, in English is here — courtesy The Montréal Gazette)

Stephen Harper has been so determined to “

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Senate or Star Chamber?

Barring a last minute change of minds, it looks like Senators Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin will be effectively impeached from the Senate.

I think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. I will recognize that I have written all three have a lot to answer for.

But I also believe in the principle of presumed innocent until proven guilty. Something that Stephen Harper, the

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Where’s the draft text?

Today, Harper and EU President Jose Manuel Barroso initialled a trade and labour agreement between Canada and the world’s most powerful trading bloc. Like I said in my last post, I think open trade with the EU will be overall good for Canada.

But don’t you find it odd that there isn’t even a draft text available for public consumption? The final agreement may be two years off, but wouldn’t it

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Harper picks CETA over H of C

I couldn’t believe it when I heard it on the radio this morning. On the first day of the debate regarding the Reply to the Speech from the Throne, Stephen Harper doesn’t face off against Tom Mulcair — by tradition it’s the Opposition Leader that starts the debate. Nope. Harper hightails it to Brussels to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union.

Sure

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Here he comes, the PM in the big white sportscar …

The second session of Canada’s 41st Parliament opens today. And early word about the Speech from the Throne is that PMS (Prime Minister Steve) will make a move towards consumer rights.

Funny.

He was against pick-and-pay cable and satellite, before he was for it.

He was for long term cell phone contracts before he was against it.

He was against cell phone company mergers — now in the next

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: My thoughts on "death with dignity"

The recent passing of Dr. Donald Low, who guided Toronto through the SARS crisis in 2003, unexpectedly sparked a revival of the difficult issue of assisted suicide when his widow, CBC alumna and medical expert Maureen Taylor, released Low’s final home video where he asked Canadians to consider what it would be like to live in his body — rapidly degenerating — for twenty-four hours.

At the

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Why I’ll be voting in Ontario on the minimum age

Currently, the minimum wage in Ontario is $10.25 per hour. Presuming a 40 hour week, no sick days and two weeks vacation, that works out to about $20,500 per year. Not a bad piece of change; but with the lowest marginal income tax rate of 20% and payroll taxes of 7%, that leaves $14965, well below the “low income cutoff” — a bastardized way of saying poverty line. And don’t forget, a

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: My take on Line 9

Over the last year, there has been a huge amount of debate over Enbridge wanting to reverse the flow of oil in a major pipeline — “Line 9″ — from east to west, to west to east. The claim has been made that an already fractured pipeline could become even more of a threat when raw tar sands oil makes it way from Alberta through our our neck of the woods. Indeed a lot of the protests have

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: What? Wireless companies can’t take the heat?

Over the last few weeks, the three big players in Canada’s wireless business — Bell, Telus and Rogers — have been running two separate but related series of ads which are related to the almost certain reality that America’s largest phone, cell and IPTV company, Verizon, will made bids to buy out two of the smaller and financially troubled carriers, Mobilicity and Wind Canada. They never

The Canadian Progressive: Enbridge to delay required pipeline safety fix for three more years

Enbridge “will delay required crude oil pipeline safety fix for three more years”, according to a document received by the Council of Canadians via an access to information request.

The post Enbridge to delay required pipeline safety fix for three more years appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Gawker donates Rob Ford “Crackstarter” money to 4 Canadian non-profits

New York-based news and gossip website Gawker has announced that the money raised on Indiegogo to buy Toronto Mayor Rod Ford’s alleged crack cocaine video will now be donated to four Toronto-area non-profits.

The post Gawker donates Rob Ford “Crackstarter” money to 4 Canadian non-profits appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Hungry Aboriginal kids used in nutritional experiments: AFN reacts

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) says the revelation that Canadian officials used malnourished Aboriginal populations in nutritional experiments has “sent a shockwave through First Nations in Canada and should be no less shocking to all Canadians and beyond.”

The post Hungry Aboriginal kids used in nutritional experiments: AFN reacts appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: In Canada, hungry aboriginal kids, adults used as nutritional experiment subjects

In Canada, hungry aboriginal kids and adults were used as unwitting subjects of nutritional experiments by Canadian government bureaucrats during and after World War II, The Canadian Press reported Tuesday.

The post In Canada, hungry aboriginal kids, adults used as nutritional experiment subjects appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Former Liberal Leader Bob Rae Joins Fair Vote Canada’s Advisory Board

by: Obert Madondo | Twitter: @Obiemad:

Bob Rae. (Photo: Fair Vote Canada)

Former Liberal leader Bob Rae has joined the National Advisory Board of Fair Vote Canada, a grassroots multi-partisan citizens’ campaign for voting system reform in Canada.

Rae joins a cast of distinguished Canadians and progressives already serving on the board, including David Suzuki, Mel Hurtig, Maude Barlow, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, Hugh Segal, Rafe Mair and Ed Broadbent.

This release from Fair Vote Canada:

Fair Vote Canada is pleased to announce the addition of former Liberal Leader Bob Rae, PC, OC, OOnt, QC, MP, to its National Advisory Board.

“Canadians need to (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Former Liberal Leader Bob Rae Joins Fair Vote Canada’s Advisory Board

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Guest post: The Reserve Paradox (Part II)

[Guest post continued ...]

Aboriginal people in Canada today suffer from much higher rates of poverty, illness, dysfunction and incarceration than non-Native Canadians. Many non-Native Canadians believe that this is due to the Indian Act and the reserve system which set Aboriginals apart from other Canadians. When these non-Natives see protest movements like the Idle No More movement and