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The Canadian Progressive: Fair Elections Act could sink Stephen Harper and Conservatives in 2015

by: Obert Madondo | April 12, 2014

This week Canada’s two main opposition parties declared war on the Conservatives’ Orwellian Fair Elections Act. One that could bring down Harper during the 2015 federal election.

While falling short of declaring the Fair Elections Act an election issue for 2015, both the Official Opposition and third-placed Liberals are vowing to stand up for our right to vote.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says the focus of next election will be the ‘Fair Elections Act’. He wants Bill C-23 overhauled.

“We’re going to do everything we can to stop this thing,” Mulcair told delegates in (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

“Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

That’s the altogether revealing comment that might have slipped past you in a Hill Times article last month which showed that a 2008 Elections Canada ad which was seemingly critical of industry — and which Conservatives had pointed to as evidence that Elections Canada needed to be stripped of the ability to encourage people to vote — never actually aired in the first place.

“The ad—a 25-second video that contrasts urban pollution and emissions (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

“Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

That’s the altogether revealing comment that might have slipped past you in a Hill Times article last month which showed that a 2008 Elections Canada ad which was seemingly critical of industry — and which Conservatives had pointed to as evidence that Elections Canada needed to be stripped of the ability to encourage people to vote — never actually aired in the first place.

“The ad—a 25-second video that contrasts urban pollution and emissions (Read more…)

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: It Is Time To Risk Democracy

Kevin Logan-Cowichan Conversations Contributor

“Politics is the pursuit of power; a politician who says he won’t consider seizing it in the circumstances available is either lying (to you or himself) or derelict of duty.”

The reality of the vote split that Harper’s Minority supported Majority relies on is the only thing these so-called leaders are not discussing. It’s all spin and petty partisan politics. The piece below goes so far to say “It’s not even on the radar.”

By only focusing on potentially establishing a coalition after the next election they are giving the Conservatives a (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Orwellian “Fair Elections” Act Violates Canadian Constitution

by: Obert Madondo

Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Photo by Remy Steinegger

The Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-23, the so-called “Fair Elections” Act, violates Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It’s clear the Conservatives are preparing to steal the 2015 federal election. Bill C-23 is part of their ongoing war on the politically-marginalized. It unequivocally proposes to disenfranchise non-Conservative voters and marginalized groups.

The Charter’s Section 3 clearly states that “Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of the members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Conservatives not bothered by Third World-style child poverty in Canada

Federal minister James Moore shows that the Harper Conservatives aren’t at all bothered by the fact that 1 in 7 children live in poverty in Canada today.

The post Harper Conservatives not bothered by Third World-style child poverty in Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Public sector unions legally challenge Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-4

Federal public sector unions are joining forces to legally challenge the Harper Conservatives’ latest assault on Canadian workers’ rights through Bill C-4.

The post Public sector unions legally challenge Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-4 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Under Canadian terrorism laws, Mandela would be considered a terrorist

by: Obert Madondo Its ironic, isn’t it? Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, four provincial premiers, three former prime minister, two former governors general, MPs, a senator, and the head of the Assembly of First Nations, are in South Africa to convey of our collective last respects to the late Nelson Mandela, who… Read More

The post Under Canadian terrorism laws, Mandela would be considered a terrorist appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Diary: Hoist with their own petard, Harper Tories face veterans’ Remembrance Day protest

A typical Canadian Remembrance Day ceremony: the scene in St. Albert one year ago today. Below: B.C. Conservative MP Mark Strahl, on-air Conservative partisan Don Cherry, and NDP Veterans’ Affairs Critic Peter Stoffer.

No Canadian government in living memory, and probably no Canadian government in history, has worked as hard as the Harper Conservatives to politicize the military, Canadians’ perceptions of the armed services and the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers and sailors.

So it must seem ironic to many Canadians that some armed forces veterans across Canada are planning this morning to turn their backs when local (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: The un-Canadian Harper Conservatives recently announced they are…

The un-Canadian Harper Conservatives recently announced they are giving away $1.5 million of our tax dollars to fund a politically motivated monument with the misleading name Memorial to Victims of Communism—Canada, a Land of Refuge.

It’s not “victims of Stalinism”, “victims of totalitarianism”, “victims of dictatorships”, “victims of the Soviet Union” or something along those lines – it’s victims of communism, an economic system, a political philosophy. This monument is not really about freedom or justice; it is a tribute to capitalism and right-wing ideologies. The pet project is spearheaded by a shadowy fringe group called Tribute to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Porn opt-ins, soft censorship and buttbuttinating personal responsibility

On Monday, British Prime Minster David Cameron announced that internet service providers in the U.K. would be required to filter out online porn as part of several new rules to come into effect by the end of the year. Adults will still have the ability to opt in to view porn, but filtering will be the ”unavoidable choice” default that ISPs will need to provide. The same day, Twitter announced that it would be implementing a tagging system to fight porn, apparently at the British government’s urging.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), Tom Copeland, revealed (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Conservatives failing BC’s First Nations children: PBO report

Reported by: Obert Madondo | Twitter: @Obiemad:

First Nations demand a better deal from the Canadian Government during a massive December 2012 protest on Parliament Hill. (Photo: Obert Madondo)

A report released by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) on Thursday says the Harper Conservatives are failing BC’s First Nation children and on-reserve schools.

The report, titled First Nations School Infrastructure Funding Requirements: British Columbia, shows that the schools are severely underfunded. And, they’re much older than B.C. public schools.

“Baseline federal funding for First Nations school infrastructure in British Columbia is $26 million. The PBO estimates that sustaining (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Harper Conservatives failing BC’s First Nations children: PBO report

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Conservatives’ refugee health care cuts remain a concern: Ontario doctors

By: Ontario Medical Association | Press Release:

TORONTO, June 17, 2013 – One year after the implementation of a series of changes to federal coverage of refugee health care, Ontario’s doctors are seeing a negative impact on the delivery of care.

Under the new Interim Federal Health Program rules, the federal government no longer covers health care for certain refugee categories, even in circumstances when the patient is in urgent need of care. It also transfers the burden of paying for this care to the province, specifically through hospital services, because patients will not be turned away. If a patient (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Pro-business Harper Conservatives coddling tax havens, tax cheats

By: Obert Madondo Twitter: @Obiemad

An Alberta businessman is included in a massive online database of secret tax-haven names released to the public on Friday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. David Ghermezian, the president of the West Edmonton Mall, is linked to a British Virgin Islands-registered company called Regal Mega Malls Development Corp, the CBC News reports.

Ghermezian’s inclusion on this list got me thinking about the pro-business Harper Conservatives and their undisguised determination to coddle tax havens and tax cheats.

The database, first leaked by the CBC and ICIJ in April, indicates that at least 130,000 people globally are (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: International report condemns Harper government’s attacks on workers, trade unions

By: Obert Madondo Twitter: @Obiemad

A new report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) condemns the Harper Conservatives for repeated violations of union and worker rights.

The annual report, titled Countries at Risk: 2013 Report on Violations of Trade Union Rights, was released in Geneva earlier this week. It suggests that labour conditions have deteriorated under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

Most importantly, the reports spotlights the Conservatives’s dictatorship-style repressive responses to legitimate labour actions, including back-to-work legislation.

Related: Canada’s Laws Fuel Migrant Worker Exploitation: Report

Here’s the report’s take on Canada:

Interference by public authorities in migrant workers’ (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: International report condemns Harper government’s attacks on workers, trade unions

The Canadian Progressive: Ads on CBC Radio a serious blow to public broadcasting in Canada

By: Friends of Canadian Broadcasting | Press Release:

TORONTO, May 28, 2013 – CBC’s new licences, announced this morning by Canada’s broadcast regulator, are the culmination of years of neglect by successive governments and the product of the Harper Conservatives’ hostility toward public broadcasting in Canada.

The CRTC renewed the licences for all of the CBC’s broadcast services, giving the green light for a three-year period to the CBC’s request to introduce ads on Radio Two and its French language counterpart Espace Musique. Should the CBC wish to extend radio advertising beyond three years, it would have to seek (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Conservatives Nuked More Than 15,000 Public Service Jobs in 2012

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: A report tabled in the House of Commons last Friday reveals that the Harper Conservatives nuked more than 15,000 public service jobs last year, 8,000 of them fulltime positions. Strangely, the cuts seem to be waging a war against Canadian women and the future. 7,000 of the gutted positions benefited [...]

The post Harper Conservatives Nuked More Than 15,000 Public Service Jobs in 2012 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Conservatives attack Trudeau on his first day as Liberal leader (VIDEO)

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Harper Conservatives attack Justin Trudeau on his first day as Liberal leader. They want us to believe he isn’t cut out to be prime minister. To be all indignant about his famous name. And then they want us to get really mad about that inconsequential thing he [...]

The post Harper Conservatives attack Trudeau on his first day as Liberal leader (VIDEO) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: NDP MP Pat Martin calls Conservatives “dirty, rotten bastards”

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: New Democrat Pat Martin once called the Conservatives “rat faced whores“. In later 2011, he dropped a raw f-word-laden bomb on Twitter after the Harper government voted to nuked the debate on a budget-related bill. Now the Winnipeg Centre NDP MP is calling the Harper Conservatives “dirty, rotten bastards”. Martin accuses [...]

The post NDP MP Pat Martin calls Conservatives “dirty, rotten bastards” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Harper’s Theological Crossroads.

Right from when it was first proposed during the May 2011 federal election, the Office of Religious Freedom (ORF?) was met with the accusation that it was an attempt to pander to its base, concerns that it would overstep the boundary of what Canada should be doing in foreign nations, and skepticism that it could be instituted in any kind of way that would be fair and balanced for all religions. As it turns out, it’s becoming not very popular among Evangelicals, either.

One of the clearest examples of late is RoadKill Radio’s interview with Jim Hnatiuk,

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Harper’s Theological Crossroads.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canadian Evangelical audio program comes out in favour of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sort of.

Well, perhaps it isn’t a coming out per-se, since it’s questionable as to whether they were ever “in.” But RoadKill Radio commentators Kari Simpson and Ron Gray have more or less made their position known on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill during an interview with Christian Heritage Party leader Jim Hnatiuk, who tacitly agreed. The interview highlighted the growing antipathy among Canadian Evangelicals toward Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Office of Religious Freedom, which will be a topic for another post. But here’s what they said (starts at 4:54 in the video):

SIMPSON: The Minister responsible for this Office

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Canadian Evangelical audio program comes out in favour of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sort of.

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279 Passes Third Reading (Hansard)

C-279 passed Third Reading, on a vote of 149 – 137. Aaron Wherry gives the early breakdown:

“Randall Garrison’s bill was supported by the New Democrats, the majority of Liberals (Judy Sgro and John McKay abstained), the Bloc Quebecois, Bruce Hyer, Elizabeth May and, by my unofficial count, 17 Conservative MPs: Erin O’Toole, Bernard Trottier, Terrence Young, David Wilks, Laurie Hawn, Michael Chong, Chris Alexander, Shelly Glover, Kellie Leitch, Cathy McLeod, Deepak Obhrai, Gerald Keddy, Jim Flaherty, John Baird, James Moore, Lisa Raitt and John Duncan.”

Before the Third Reading vote, there were three votes on clusters

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279 Passes Third Reading (Hansard)

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279: To amend or not to amend?

… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we still don’t know what Bill C-279 is going to be when it’s voted on at Third Reading.

The bill, which proposes to add trans people to human rights legislation, had an hour of debate at report stage. Randall Garrison requested that amendments be added to the bill, and the Speaker decided that they should be debated and voted on by the House, prior to Third Reading. This was the first hour of that, with a second to follow. Consequently, we still didn’t get any yes / no answer on whether those changes would be

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279: To amend or not to amend?

LeDaro: Now What (and Especially WHO) Will Vic Toews Watch?

With all the bad news coming out of Canadian politics – dysfunctional Parliament, an arrogant, indifferent, and hard-rightwing prime minister – great to have some good news. The people spoke out, and won. On internet surveillance, Toews brought forward draconian, Big Brother style proposals with Bill C-30. Now Conservatives have backed off this after HUGE public backlash. The CONS tried Bush style “you’re either wish us or against us” scare tactics. People didn’t buy it and pushed back.

A very real victory against a draconian proposal by Harper CONS, a real victory by and for the Canadian people.

You can