Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Alberta Diary: With floodwaters rising again, will Sun News Network renew its hysterical ‘gun grab’ attacks on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?

Sun News Network columnist Lorne Gunter is presented an award by National Firearms Association President Sheldon Clare for his commentary on the so-called “High River Gun Grab.” (Grabbed from the NFA’s website.) Below: Floodwaters roar through High River last year. (CBC Photo)

Rain is falling and floodwaters are rising again in Southern Alberta.

A year less a day since catastrophic floods hit the nearby town of High River, population 13,000, local states of emergency were declared yesterday on the Blood Reserve, around the towns of Claresholm and Cardston, and in the areas of the cities of Lethbridge and (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: How Ezra Levant Wrecked The Harper Government’s Energy Strategy

From Bloomberg:

Still, the prime minister was unhappy that depictions of Canada as a “dirty oil” nation were not being adequately confronted by the industry or his ministers. He had become enamored with an argument put forth by conservative commentator Ezra Levant in a book called “Ethical Oil.” It posited that many petro-nations used their oil riches to finance nefarious activities and subjugate their own citizens.[...]Canada, in the view of Levant, stood practically alone as an ethical producer. In a “mandate letter” setting forth his priorities, Harper instructed Oliver, his new Natural Resources Minister, to become (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Wildrose tells Craig Chandler to get lost; Tories might be smart to do the same

Craig B. Chandler in a portrait snatched from his Facebook Page. Below: Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith’s brisk communication to Mr. Chandler.

GRANDE PRAIRIE

If Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party leaders were smart, they’d quickly find a way to send the same message to Craig B. Chandler he just got from Opposition Leader Danielle Smith.

On April 10, Ms. Smith, concerned Mr. Chandler was suggesting he was just the guy to bridge the gap between her Wildrose Party and the foundering Tories, Tweeted to him: “Your views & how you express them are wrong for Wildrose and Alberta. I would never (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The ‘Self Preservation Society’ wants Jim Prentice for ‘The Alberta Job’ – but can he forgo his ambition to be PM?

“The Alberta Job.” Will the original “Self Preservation Society” get to keep the Tory gold? Is Jim Prentice – above, not exactly as illustrated – the man to help them do it? Read on to find out why we’ll probably never find out. Below: The actual Jim Prentice. Below him: Possible, rumoured, putative PC leadership candidate Stephen Mandel.

The question Jim Prentice really needs to ask himself is this: “Do I really want to ride that bus all the way to the bottom of the cliff and be sitting in it when it bursts into flames?”

The (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: What happens now that we know there really is a cancer cluster in Fort Chip? Nothing?

Greenpeace Canada info-graphic showing connections among the far-right Conservative Party of Canada activists behind the so-called Ethical Oil Institute. Below: Dr. James Talbot; Dr. John O’Connor; Ezra Levant.

Alberta’s chief medical officer has now confirmed that statistics released a couple of weeks ago indicate there really is a cancer cluster in Fort Chipewyan, a predominantly native community about 280 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.

Fort Chip, as it is often known, has long been a subject of controversy about the health impacts of bitumen sands development because – possibly coincidentally, and possibly not – it is not far downstream and (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: James Howe Institute Update: Its Ezra All The Way Down

To update this post, here’s Ezra announcing the creation of the James Howe Institute at the Canadian University Press NASH76:

Pretty ambitious sounding, but looks so far its just him an his trusty web-master, Amanda Achtman: @VoloDiscere That would be @AmandaAchtman  who does all of his websites.— Bigcitylib (@Bigcitylib2) March 29, 2014

Although the kind of ambitions Ezra has are not matched by his financial resources, unless some larger entity is kicking in some money.  Worth keeping an eye on.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: A New Fun Project: Who Is The Joseph Howe Institute?

The reason I ask is, they’re holding a Communicating Energy Conference, somewhere in Toronto, the first weekend of June.  The advert is below:

Of Ezra Levant and Marc Morano have shilled for many causes in the past.  They currently shill for Big Oil, denying climate change and the like. Alex Epstein runs the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), which also shills for big oil.  Phelim McAlee made the movie Fracknation. And in the midst of all these climate change deniers sits Janet Annesley, VP Communications for The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

Well, in one sense who they (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Ezra Levant: Three More Defamation Suits

…coming down the pipe.  A couple of lawyers from the Alberta Human Rights Commission, and the press secretary for the Alberta Justice Minister.   Presumably, Ezra will use the this as an opportunity to campaign against the AHRC, and in particular section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act, which is the hate speech clause.  The Alberta government has just reaffirmed its support for section 3, so it will be interesting to see if Ezra’s army of kooks is large enough to sway them in their thinking.  Given that Ezra typically loses these things, it will also be interesting (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Everyone must do their duty for Canada – even Sun News Network ideologues

Admiral Horatio Nelson gives up his life in the service of his country on the deck of HMS Victory on Oct. 21, 1805. Below: Horatio Nelson; his famous signal to his fleet: “England expects that every man will do his duty.” Surely, Canada should expect no less!

NEW YORK

“England expects that every man will do his duty,” Admiral Horatio Nelson signalled from HMS Victory to the brave sailors his fleet as the Battle of Trafalgar, the decisive naval fight of the Napoleonic Wars, commenced.

Sometimes there is a moment in a nation’s history when all good people must (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: PKP to run for PQ: Why PKP, with SNN and CPC PMO spell SOS for Canada, which could be FUBAR

Impressionable English Canadian youngsters tune in to SNN for sinister ideological conditioning by RWN (right-wing nuts) on the staff of the PMO-favoured network. Below: PKP and his now-ex wife (NXW), grabbed from the Internet; SNN broadcaster Ezra Levant.

Oh, H-E-double-hockey-sticks, PKP wants another D-I-V-O-R-C-E!

This time, having just given his common-law wife of a decade the old heave-ho, it’s from us!

And I don’t know about you, but this smells a bit like C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y.

Let me explain…

PKP for those of you who live in the ROC and are therefore wondering WTF is Pierre Karl Péladeau, who until recently (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Pat Buchanan: Civil Rights Laws Have Served Their Purpose

Wow.  I’ve known that Buchanan had long since fallen off the rhetorical cliff of the far right, but today’s column is a real prize winner.

A radical idea: Suppose we repealed the civil rights laws and fired all the bureaucrats enforcing these laws. 

Does anyone think hotels, motels and restaurants across Dixie, from D.C. to Texas, would stop serving black customers? Does anyone think there would again be signs sprouting up reading “whites” and “colored” on drinking foundations and restrooms? 

Does anyone think restrictive covenants against Jews would be rewritten into contracts on houses? Does anything think (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: The Trouble with Ezra Levant…

Mr Ezra Levant

Ezra Levant is a Canadian media personality, an ultra-conservative political activist, author and lawyer who has made a brilliant career out of being half right. In a recent episode of The Source, Mr Levant outlined the flaws in Neil Young’s rationale for the Honour the Treaties Tour.

According to Mr Levant, Neil Young’s biggest mistake was assuming that the Canadian government violated Treaty 8. Mr Levant told the audience that he’d read Treaty 8 and “all you need to know” about Treaty 8 was contained in the following sentence.*

“… the said (Read more…)

Let Freedom Rain II: UPDATED: Ethical Oil calls Neil Young ‘IndianIgnorant’

Ezra and crew created the racist hashtag #IndianIgnorant for Neil Young. Then they deleted it when they realized their own racism. This is what we’re up against. It’s not just Licia Corbella and the Conservative press. It’s assholes like Vivian Krause, who take money from oil companies to do their bidding. It’s Ezra Levant and the rest of the Con media who are colluding to demean Young and Canada’s proud First Nations people.

If you don’t have an argument, attack the messenger(s).

Thanks to @trapdinawrpoolUPDATE: This says it all (bolding mine). Ethical Oil, the pro-industry group named after (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Let Freedom Rain II: UPDATED: Ethical Oil calls Neil Young ‘IndianIgnorant’

Alberta Diary: The ‘Petroleum Party’ in full cry about Neil Young: what are they afraid of? Not what Northwestern Alberta doctors fear

Neil Young: Giving as good as he’s been getting during an all-out attack by the Petroleum Party. Below: Dr. John O’Connor, vilified by the hirelings, toadies and pet legislators of the petroleum industry; Edmonton Journal reporter Sheila Pratt.

Here in Alberta, the Petroleum Party dominates everything – the federal government, the provincial government, the government benches in the Legislature, the opposition benches in the same place, the media and, it turns out, parts of the medical profession as well.

Refusal to bend to the will of this nearly omnipotent and omnipresent industry, with its vast wealth and numberless retainers, hirelings (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: With free expression under assault in Alberta, where’s ‘free speech advocate’ Ezra Levant?

So-called free-speech advocate and celebrity commentator Ezra Levant. Below: Free-speech opponent Alison Redford, Canada’s answer to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, shown below her; that Voltaire guy; nearly forgotten Tory political strategist Stephen Carter.

Where’s Ezra Levant now that we need him?

Mr. Levant, after all, is frequently billed as Canada’s foremost “free speech advocate,” although mostly by himself and his friends in the headline writing department at the National Pest.

Still, establishing his free-speech-defending cred is an effort the celebrity Sun News Network entertainer seems to take seriously, going so far as to have a whiny website called StandWithEzra.ca (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Ron Liepert versus Rob Anders: the next PC-Wildrose proxy war?

TweetWill former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert make the jump into federal politics? With the launch of the TimeToDoBetter.ca website today, rumours began to spread that the former two-term Calgary-West Progressive Conservative MLA turned consultant could challenge ultra-conservative Rob Anders for the Conservative Party nomination in the new Calgary Signal Hill riding. Mr. Liepert’s candidacy […]

Montreal Simon: Ezra Levant and the Shame of the Canadian University Press

The Canadian University Press is the oldest student newswire service in the world, and the oldest national student organization in North America.And when I was a cub reporter at the McGill Daily, I vaguely remember attending one of its conventions and meeting some great young progressives, and having a really good time. At least at their fabulous parties eh?So you can imagine how I felt when I learned that one of the keynote speakers at this upcoming event will be Ezra Levant. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Unspeakable Foulness of Ezra Levant

It's the kind of tragedy than can strike many families, particularly at this time of the year. Politicians from all parties and levels of government are paying tribute to Christopher Peloso, the husband of Ontario's former deputy premier George Smitherman, after Peloso was found dead following a long struggle with depression.A very sad story. But don't expect Con animals like the disgusting Ezra Levant to show any sympathy.Because he's having a field day…Read more »

Alberta Diary: Who gets muzzled next by unconstitutional Redford Government laws? Environmentalists?

Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, in motorcycle sidecar, gives the order to go after a pesky trade unionist’s blog. But look out! Alison Redford’s Alberta Thought Police may already have their eyes on you! Actual Redford cabinet ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Then again, new uniforms for cabinet and caucus may already be on order.

Now that the Redford Government’s unconstitutional attack on free collective bargaining and free speech is in full swing, we have to ask ourselves who’s next?

Environmentalists?

Quite possibly.

I mean, who else would they like to shut up right now as much as they (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ford Nation dumped? Stay tuned for more program changes at Sun News Network

Toronto City Hall. Actual city halls in Canada’s largest city may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Rob Ford, Doug Ford, Kory Teneycke and Ezra Levant.

Does anyone seriously believe Sun News Network cancelled Ford Nation after its inaugural show on Monday because of Rob and Doug Ford’s “relative inexperience with the medium”?

Please!

Lots of people will accept at face value this claim about the loony-right-wing cable channel’s show starring the Ford Brothers, along with the equally fatuous suggestion “the brutal economics of cable TV” played a role. After all, both ideas come from no less an august source (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Repeat after me: Justin Trudeau is making rookie mistakes… have you got that?

Justin Trudeau at left, with some boring white guy in a tie that’s too wide. Don’t ever underrate the power of pixie dust! Below: The same boring guy with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and with well-known cage fighter Patrick Brazeau. Weirdly, everyone in these pictures appears exactly as illustrated!

Repeat after me: Rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes…

Do you think if we say it enough times, it’ll be true?

Plus, don’t forget Ladies’ Night, Red China and marijuana… I mean, like, really, is this a meme yet?

The entire Canadian punditocracy now seems to have jumped on the Justin-Trudeau-is-a-totally-flaky-rookie (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…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: The Things CIJA Must Do

CIJA is the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, an advocacy group for the Canada’s Jewish community.  Arguably, there are things they have to do.  Arguably, they have to go shmoozing at wing-dings  thrown by the current governing party.

Arguably, they do NOT have to swap drinks with the likes of Ezra Levant, whose media career has been a series of brushes with the hate crimes unit, and the CBSC, the CBSC, and the CBSC again, for spreading hate the Roma, Indians, and others too numerous to count.

Show a little class, CIJA.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Ethical Oil’s Troubled Relaunch Runs Afoul Of Fatboy Slim

Slowly, slowly, after many months of inactivity, tar-sands promoting lobbying thingy EthicalOil.org has been trying to reboot. Amanda Achtman has become their media contact, and they’ve attempted a few (guest) posts  on their website.  Furthermore, last month Amanda put together a  ”Social Oil” youtube video, which was announced to some fan-fare.  But then after that one media hit…nothing.  And if you follow the links at EO you see:

Curious, I contacted Amanda to find out what was up.  Turns out EO had originally used this song by Fatboy Slim as soundtrack, and given the video’s controversial nature, (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Stephen Harper to Canada: ‘It’s not my fault! Now shut up and vote for me’

Trying to change the channel: Unfortunately for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the remote seems to have disappeared under a pillow and the movie stuck on the TV screen stars Mike Duffy, shown above moving toward the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary Friday night. Actual Canadian Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Andrew Nikiforuk and David Suzuki.

CALGARY

So it all comes down to this, then? It’s not my fault. Now shut up and vote for me!

What else can we take away from Stephen Harper’s first campaign speech of the 2015 election season, made to the nervously shuffling (Read more…)