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The Disaffected Lib: Even Conrad Black Can’t Stomach Bill C-51

He knows a thing or two about law enforcement, the judicial process and essential liberties.  All that has Conrad Black incensed at Bill C-51 which he sees as a threat to the freedom of the Canadian people.  He doesn’t like the place into which he believes Stephen Harper plans to lead the country.

As presented, Bill C-51 makes a Swiss cheese out of due process, and the three national political parties have approached the problem from distinctly different angles. The government have swaddled themselves in Stephen Harper’s default-toga of protecting the public, aspersing civil liberties concerns, and uttering tired pieties (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Postmedia-Quebecor deal: Welcome to newspaper hell, where the lowest common denominator will prevail

An unreconstituted Toronto Sun front page. Newspaper hell? Turns out it’s not quite as bad as we imagined it would be, except for the few unfortunates who still work in what’s left of the industry. Below: Tom Kent, who headed the 1981 Royal Commission on Newspapers, which was ignored when it was written and is still ignored.

If you want proof the Canadian newspaper business is on its last legs, look no further than yesterday’s announcement Postmedia Network Canada Corp. is about to take over Quebecor Media Inc.’s 175 English-language newspapers and a few other assets, including the five (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Andrew Jackson takes a look at some dire predictions about the continued spread of inequality, and notes that we need to act now in order to reverse the trend. And UN Special Rapporteur Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona discusses how more progressive tax policies – including a focus on maximizing revenue – are needed to support both greater equality and the effective exercise of human rights: States must realize the full potential of tax collection as a tool to generate revenue for the fulfilment of human rights obligations and to redress discrimination and inequality. Human (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Brian Gallant has a thin resume? Stephen Harper hasn’t held a real job since he quit the mailroom in ’79 or whenever!

New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: Cranky old National Post opinion thingy Kelly McParland, age undetermined; Justin Trudeau, 42, getting off an airplane with some old guy, 62; Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, 59.

As the present now will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ …

— Bob Dylan (age 73)

If anyone has the right to be bitter about bright young Liberal leaders with good looks, great hair and supposedly thin resumes like those of New Brunswick (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Whatever the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’ is, it’s certainly not a ‘tax watchdog’ – let’s stop calling it one!

“Canadian Taxpayers Federation” Alberta Communications Director Derek Fildebrandt dressed up for a typical CTF stunt, which the media falls for every time. Below: Mr. Fildebrandt back in the days he was part of the Reagan-Goldwater Society at Carleton University; CTF board members Karen Selick, Adam Daifallah and John Mortimer. (Thumbnail photos grabbed from CTF’s website.)

While the Canadian Taxpayers Federation claims to be a “tax watchdog” that opposes waste and advocates transparency in government, evidence suggests its principal purposes are to provide partisan support for the Harper Government, fulfill the corporate agenda and undermine the rights of working people.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Future bleak for Brent Rathgeber’s CBC disclosure bill; perhaps less so for Rex Murphy’s commentaries

Your blogger with CBC commentator Rex Murphy, quite possibly on his way to a speaking engagement with the oil industry. Below: the same blogger with Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, who has a date with history next week; the controversial Press Progress Rex Murphy info-graphic.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

MP Brent Rathgeber’s private member’s bill, the CBC and Public Service Disclosure and Transparency Act, is scheduled to be back before the denizens of the House of Commons on Wednesday night.

Bill C-461 has no chance of passing in the form the Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament desires for (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit!

Sorry Conrad. Try as you might, even you can’t alter reality. Recommend this Post

Northern Reflections: No Tragic Hero

On Friday night, Conrad Black was stripped of his membership in the Order of Canada. Tim Harper writes:

Black is now one of only six Order of Canada recipients stripped of the honour and forced to return the insignia. And what a photo op that would be when he hands it over. He joins a pack of fraudsters, a Métis leader who let loose with a string of anti-Semitic invective, and a one-legged kid who ran across the country, only to be convicted later of fraud, assault and drunk driving.

Black fought to keep the honour, at the same (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Final Humiliation of Conrad Black

I was short, it was brutal, and it was long overdue. Former media baron and convicted fraudster Conrad Black has been stripped of the Order of Canada by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.Black, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will also be removed from the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. The Governor General’s office said in a release that both decisions were effective immediately.But Conrad Black has finally hit rock bottom. Read more »

LeDaro: Conrad Black lost bragging rights for Order of Canada

Conrad Black stripped of Order of Canada.

“On Friday, Governor General David Johnston announced the termination of the former media mogul’s appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada effective immediately.

The motion was recommended by an 11-member Advisory Council following Black’s 2007 convictions in the U.S. for fraud and obstruction of justice.” The Huffington Post.

Alberta Diary: Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson’s compensation: glaring omission in Alberta Sunshine List coverage explained

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne with Janet Davidson shortly after he announced her appointment as Deputy Minister in September 2013. Below: Service Alberta Deputy Minister Jay Ramotar; Lord Black of Crossharbour in his role as honourary lieutenant colonel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards.

And the top paid Alberta civil servant is … not even on the media’s Top Ten List from the government’s so-called Sunshine List of 2013 civil service salaries!

Just for the record, Alberta’s top paid civil servant is Janet Davidson, deputy minister of health and an Officer of the Order of Canada, with a spectacular annual (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ted Cruz: For God (& country’s) sake, talk to Conrad Black before you shred your Canadian passport!

Canada or USA? USA or Canada? Texas Senator Ted Cruz, visible between the signs, ponders what he should do. Actual Tea Party favourites may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Cruz waves bye-bye to his fellow Canadians … maybe; Lord Black of Crossharbour.

It’s said here that Calgary native Ted Cruise needs to make an appointment to have a serious chat with Conrad Black before he makes any rash and irrevocable decisions to run his Canadian passport through the shredder.

Mr. Cruz is now the junior Senator from Texas and a favourite of the Tea Party, a group that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Bill Tieleman tears into James Moore for his callous disregard for child hunger, while PressProgress reminds us that plenty of the Cons’ policy choices reflect Moore’s complete lack of concern for his neighbours’ children. And Polly Toynbee looks in detail at the UK Cons’ attempts to turn support for needy children into a perceived political weakness rather than a matter of basic empathy and compassion: The dirty war has begun; the early signs are that this will be the most poisonous, socially damaging election campaign for many a long year. Corrosive malice (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Lion In Winter

Like a bloated, aging and wounded lion who realizes his hold over his pride is at an end, Conrad Black is lashing out. Still licking his wounds from lacerations received at the hands of the CBC’s Carol Off, Black used his column in Saturday’s National Post (which as a rule I do not read, but more about that later) both to justify his journalistic ineptitude and to strike back at his growing list of adversaries who include Star editor Michael Cooke, Star columnist Rosie DiManno, The Star itself, and well, just about anyone else who finds fault with him.

(Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Lesson In Humility For The Good Lord?

While I readily admit to not having wasted my time watching Conrad Black’s interview with Toronto’s pretend-mayor, I did take special delight in the dressing-down he received at the hands of As It Happens’ Carol Off, as noted yesterday. One hopes that he learned something about real journalism from the encounter.

Today, two Star letter-writers offer their comments on the actual interview. Short version: they were not impressed. And given the fact that Star reporter Daniel Dale has decided to sue Vision TV, Zoomer Media, and Rob Ford, perhaps Moses Znaimer will have reason to reconsider his decision to employ (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Rob Ford: The Day the Bully Met his Match

Hallelujah !!! We have our David Daniel. Somebody has finally stood up to the ghastly Con Goliath Rob Ford. Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale has served Mayor Rob Ford with a libel notice over comments the mayor made during a televised interview earlier this week. Mr. Dale published a statement on the Star’s website Thursday saying he served the notice against both the mayor and Vision TV – which aired the broadcast – as the first step of a defamation lawsuit.He’s asking the mayor to retract the “false insinuation that I am a pedophile,” his statement read.And now the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Good Lord Gets His Comeuppance

Those who, over the years, have grown weary of the pretentious blather of Conrad Black, the lord and baron much put upon by the requirement that he be subject to the same laws that bind mere mortals, may take some delight in the lesson in real journalism given him by As It Happens’ Carol Off.

The former Lord Tubby, much slimmed down following his six-and-a-half years as a guest of the U.S, justice system (prison, I guess, imposes all kinds of disciplines including, one assumes, those of a dietary nature) received his rebukes as Off took him to (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Shed a tear for Rob Ford … or risk making a ‘red meat conservative’ blubber

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone – as long as the person getting stoned is a conservative. Below: a typical strained pea conservative blubbers, although not in this case about the cruel treatment meted out to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford by liberal bullies and the media. Interestingly, this tear was shed back in 2011. Below that: Spiro T. Agnew. Where’s a conservative with a way with words now that we could actually use one?

What’s the No. 1 characteristic of “conservative” Canadian politicians and their supporters at this late date in the eras of Toronto Mayor (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Coming soon, perhaps, a legitimate reason for Canadians to thank Conrad Black!

Linda McQuaig addresses the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees annual convention in 2008. (AUPE photo taken by Daryl Dyck.) Below: Conrad Black in the uniform of the Governor General’s Foot Guard, and not, as you may have thought, that of a security guard.

It occurs to me that we Canadians may soon actually have something for which we can be grateful to Conrad Black!

I know that for most readers of this blog this will come as an astonishing thought. Indeed, it would be fair to describe this as a unique development in the long and rocky relationship between (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Adieu to Mark Lisac, hello to Ric Dolphin – not exactly the same kettle of fish!

The estimable Mark Lisac, at left, interviews Ted Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had, back in 2011. Below: Insight Into Government Publisher Ric Dolphin, photo grabbed from his Twitter account.

Mark Lisac’s Insight Into Government newsletter was always worth reading.

This retro-style, subscription-only publication – which was emphatically not available online – was nevertheless distinguished by its author’s elegant prose and its ability to live up to its name as an insightful source of commentary on Alberta’s politics. As befits quality material, subscriptions to IIG were not inexpensive.

Because he was consistently fair to the people he wrote about, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Some Very Good News About Linda McQuaig

Opening my Toronto Star this morning, I was delighted to learn that journalist and author Linda McQuaig, who has figured fairly prominently in many of my blog posts, will be seeking the NDP nomination in Toronto Centre, Bob Rae’s former riding. A perpetual thorn in the side of unfettered capitalism, McQuaig has a fierce intelligence and the kind of critical-thinking skills an informed society needs.

An author of countless books and columns, the fact that her words matter is perhaps most acutely attested to by the fact that Lord Black of Crossharbour (aka Con(rad) Black), a man (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Cashing in on Disaster Tourism: Rob Ford’s a boon to bloggers, if no one else

Your blogger drops pearls of political wisdom on the Toronto City Hall media. Below: Same fellow, outside the office of Mayor Rob Ford. Below that: Conservative Calgary talk radio host Dave Rutherford, said to be musing about running against Naheed Nenshi for mayor of Calgary.


If you ask me, it’s a sign of just how badly things have slipped for Rob Ford, not to mention the sorry state of journalism in this country, that an unscheduled lunch hour visit by a couple of Alberta bloggers to the Toronto mayor’s office yesterday almost caused a media stampede.

Now, let me (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Conrad Black and Danielle Smith

Conrad Black, the Canadian media mogul and convicted felon* was in Calgary last week to have a “conversation” with the Calgary business elite (and me) over lunch at the Calgary Petroleum Club.

The big question is why does Baron Black of Crossharbour—oh let’s just call him Conrad—continue to draw sell-out crowds. By the end of lunch and the exchange between Conrad and Ms Danielle Smith, the leader of the Opposition, I had my answer.

Before we go there, let’s set the stage. The Petroleum Club dining room is, as you would imagine, an upscale venue. Tables filled (Read more…)

LeDaro: Conrad Black has a talk show

What a farce?

I am in favour of rehabilitating felons but this felon is an exception. He needs no rehabilitation. Especially he must not spread his shenanigans to rest of the world via TV.

Read the story here.

Politics and its Discontents: Which Black Do You Prefer?

If you are Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the choice is clear. Recommend this Post