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Maple-Flavoured Politics: Super-Secret Slogan

An Access to Information request filed by Canadian Press was recently refused. That request asked to see the rationale behind the advertising slogan, “Strong. Proud. Free.” that the Government of Canada (long since rebranded by the Conservatives as the Harper Government™) is now using at considerable expense was refused. Why was the Access to Information … Continue Reading

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Steering for a Rocky Reef

During the 2011 election, the Conservatives took to incessantly telling us that their’s was the steady hand on the tiller that we should trust to steer us through the stormy economic waters that were lapping at our shores. Considering recent economic data, one has to wonder if that steady hand is instead steering us toward … Continue Reading

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Canada’s Phantom Menaces

There are enough real threats in this world that there is no need to fabricate new ones. But that hasn’t stopped Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence, from doing so. According to Kenney’s office, and backed up by Kenney himself, Russian fighter jets buzzed the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton at low altitude in the Black … Continue Reading

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Our Addition-Challenged Government

As I write this, we are just a little more than three weeks away from the Canadian government’s fiscal 2014/15 year-end. Yet, we still don’t know how much the government spent on advertising and what advertising it spend it on in fiscal 2013/14. What’s more, according to a story in the Globe and Mail, the … Continue Reading

Politics and its Discontents: The Salamander Has Some Questions

The Salamander has been doing a lot of thinking, and has some questions. Read his post, and feel free to weigh in:

.. the other day, I was thinking about ‘the Base’ ..that unusual group of committed voters for Stephen Harper..plus truly fervent media.. Lilley, Levant et alwondering what caused their odd shrill partisan malady

And I was also thing about the Harper apparatus – Party & Governmentand the retinue of PMO, lawyers, RoboCall vendors, pollsters etc etcand beyond belief wealthy corporate partners & think tanksyou know, the folks that truly benefit from their complicity

And (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: And Speaking Of Profound Stupidity

…not to mention rabid partisanship, watch another Harper MP disgrace herself:

I wonder how well any of this sits with Cheryl Gallant’s riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke. Don’t those constituents, like the ones living in James Lunney’s riding, deserve better? Recommend this Post

The Canadian Progressive: Harper government plans to criminalize Canadian Pacific Railway workers’ strike

The Harper government plans to introduce back-to-work legislation Monday afternoon to force 3,300 Canadian Pacific Railway workers to return to work.

The post Harper government plans to criminalize Canadian Pacific Railway workers’ strike appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: Maybe There Is Some Reason To Hope

H/t Gus Andrikopoulos Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: John Baird to Resign?

If true, this is quite unexpected. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Have Your Say

I see that the Globe and Mail is conducting an online poll, the full results of which will be published February 7, as we approach the ninth anniversary of Harperland. While it asks several questions, its theme is this: How do you feel about the Canada Stephen Harper has shaped?

Those wishing to express their views can do so by clicking here. Recommend this Post

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…

“Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.” – Edmund Burke Promises vs. ‘political speeches:’ Tories’ honesty questioned on support for injured veterans, Matthew Coutts, Yahoo News, Dec. 3, 2014

…A group of veterans known as the Equitas Society have launched a class-action lawsuit suggesting that the benefits paid out under the New Veterans Charter is inadequate, and does not live up to promises the government had previously made…

…the government had unsuccessfully tried to have the B.C. Supreme Court reject the lawsuit and is now (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: So, Just Who Is The Terrorist Here?

In 2014 in Canada, we have had several incidents involving people attacking various institutions and symbols of government. Consider the following list: January:  “GG”  Plans an attack on a Veteran’s Affairs office in Calgary June:  Justin Bourque shoots 3 RCMP Officers in New Brunswick October:  Martin Rouleau hits and kills a member of the Canadian Armed Forces October:  Zehaf-Bebeau shoots an unarmed military guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa The two in October has been deemed “terrorist actions”, the first two have never been called that. Who Gun Explosives Target GG Yes Yes Veteran’s Affairs (Read more…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Splitting Headache

Are you a member of a family that has one or more children under 18 and two parents, only one of whom is working? Is that one working parent in the top income tax bracket? Woohoo! The government has a great deal for you! In what the Conservatives are calling a “family tax cut,” the … Continue Reading

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: ISIS, IS or ISIL … Whatever It’s Called This Week

It comes as no surprise that Harper is in a great hurry to commit Canada to a shooting war in Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria.

Make no mistake, “military advisors” is a euphemism.  Harper is committing troops to a shooting war that frankly we have no business involving ourselves in.

I remember saying back in 2002 that invading Afghanistan or Iraq was a fatal mistake.  It was a mistake on two basic levels.

First, direct military intervention in the Middle East has never been an effective strategy.  While military intervention has made Israel happy, and has no doubt done wonders for lining the pockets (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Voice From The Past

The always mellifluous Brian Mulroney offers some less than sweet-sounding words for the Harper government. As reported in The Globe and Mail, in an interview with Don Martin on CTV’s Power Play, the former prime minister is quite critical of aspects of of the current, and warns that the electoral appetite for change is real and needs to be respected.

About Harper’s very public and disgraceful dispute with Canada’s Chief Justice, he says:

“You don’t get into a slagging contest with the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, even if you thought that he or (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Confusing Freedom With Imposition

Canada’s “Association For Reformed Political Action” came to my attention this past week.  Just from the name, you can tell that this is one of the groups that is seeking to turn Canada into a theocracy much like the far right is currently doing in the United States.

I decided to spend a little time sniffing through their website, and found a fair bit of interest.

First is an explicit and clear sense of just how deeply these groups are connected with the Harper Government. … a speech to the ARPA groups from cabinet minister Jason Kenney

Do you (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: You could drive one of those tar sands heavy haulers through the gaping holes in the latest Fraser Institute ‘study’ of Alberta’s finances

A worker in Fort McMurray prepares to drive this truck through the holes in the Fraser Institute’s “report,” which claims Alberta’s finances are in worse shape than those of places like Texas, North Dakota and Louisiana. Below: The Norwegian oil port of Stavanger, which, according to the Fraser Institute, doesn’t exist!

Alberta should adopt a sales tax, according to the latest press release from the Fraser Institute.

But don’t worry, the latest piece of far-right puffery from the market-fundamentalist “think tank” – which prefers to refer to this bumpf as a “study” or a “report” – only advocates a consumption (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Canada’s anti-union lobby is at the heart of the deceptive campaign for more Temporary Foreign Workers – why’s that, d’ya think?

Canadians need not apply? Actual Canadian store displays may not appear exactly as illustrated. But the intent of the AstroTurf TFW lobby is to bust unions and weaken the bargaining power of Canadian workers. Below: Employment Minister and former Canadian Taxpayers Federation operative Jason Kenney; former Canadian Federation of Independent Business president and current “Working Canadians” spokesperson Catherine Swift; and CTF board member and Canadian Labour Watch Association President John Mortimer.

Judging from what they read and hear in the news, Canadians can be forgiven for concluding a large number of organizations representing a broad range of opinions are lobbying (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Harper Tries To Foment A Crisis

Harper has taken a surprising number of losing cases to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Most, if not all, were obviously places where the government’s position is one that is in direct contradiction with the Constitution of Canada.  Even a relative neophyte in Constitutional law in Canada can spot that, whether it is Harper’s desire to “reform” the Senate or the government’s daft position on prostitution.  

Now we have the CPC caucus starting to trot out the “undemocratic” talking points. Dan Albas, the MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, says that while he respects the courts he also believes an increasing number (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Reference Cases Are Not The Problem

Over at iPolitics, James Matkin and Clive Cocking are busy moaning about how the Supreme Court “kills innovative legislation” in the form of “reference cases”.

The basic thesis of their argument is that we need to take away from the Supreme Court of Canada the ability to hear “reference cases”.  A reference case is fundamentally a hypothetical case – a “what if we wrote legislation like this” test.  For most Canadians, the most recent “Reference Case” was Harper’s “Senate Reform” gambit, which got smacked around for violating various aspects of the division of powers in the Constitution.

Matkin and Cocking (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: CTF bullying and misinformation: just what’s ‘wacky’ about rape prevention research?

Canadian Taxpayers Association Federal Director Gregory Thomas dressed up as a professor, with a man dressed as a pig, at a CTF news conference trashing government support for academic research. A cameraman can be seen at left obligingly filming. Below: Dr. Melanie Beres, unfairly ridiculed by the CTF for her 2006 thesis; Mr. Thomas when he’s dressed as a grownup.

According to the comedians at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a $17,500 grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to a promising young Alberta-trained sociologist whose research looks for ways to improve rape-prevention education is a waste (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The boss has gone crazy! He’s giving away new uniforms! And at only $4.5 million, they’re practically free!

Canadian soldiers will once again be clad in uniforms like these. If that doesn’t scare the hell out of Vladimir Putin, the guy’s got ice in his veins! Below: A typical naval officer in his cool new brass loops, armed with a naval thingy; what he’d be wearing if he were an officer in the Wavy Navy instead of the regular force; Paul Hellyer, who is worried about inter-galactic warfare and doesn’t care if you know it; and Sir Arthur Currie of the Gay Gordons, his gorgets clearly visible.

After checking the date to make sure it wasn’t still (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Three reasons why Ottawa’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program ‘reforms’ likely mean little

There’s always been a worldwide pool of skilled and unskilled employees like these fellows for jobs in North America – immigration. Below: Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

Canadians are within their rights to be highly skeptical of the long list of changes to the Harper Government’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program announced yesterday by Employment Minister Jason Kenney.

Indeed, we would be nuts to be anything but skeptical about this effort by the government to “change the channel” on what really is a national scandal.

First, there has simply never been any reason for a temporary worker (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway Pipeline: First Nations “Disgusted” With Harper’s Approval [VIDEO]

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Enbridge’s vice president lies about winning over local First Nations [VIDEO] First Nations vow to fight Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project Elizabeth May Questions Harper on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline [VIDEO] Enbridge Inc Rebuked: “This is not an Enbridge animation” (VIDEO) Five strategies to stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline

The post Northern Gateway Pipeline: First Nations “Disgusted” With Harper’s Approval [VIDEO] appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

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