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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
“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.
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…)
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…)
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.
. . . → Read More: THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway Pipeline: First Nations “Disgusted” With Harper’s Approval [VIDEO]
“We are prepared to go to unprecedented lengths to conserve and protect our territories and waters from heavy oil” – First Nations Leadership Council
by: First Nations Leadership Council | Press Release | June 17, 2014
Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – On December 19, 2013 the Joint Review Process released its report on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project which included 209 recommended requirements for approval of the project. Today, the federal cabinet announced that it would approve the project. The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), which is composed of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and Union of (Read more…)
by: by: MICHAEL GEIST | June 17, 2014
Having had the benefit of a few days to consider the implications of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Spencer, the Senate last night proceeded to ignore the court and pass Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act, unchanged. The bill extends the ability to disclose subscriber information without a warrant from law enforcement to any private sector organizations by including a provision that allows organizations to disclose personal information without consent (and without a court order) to any organization that is investigating a contractual breach or possible violation of any (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo | June 9, 2014
A new report released Monday is urging the Harper Government to shelve its plans to purchase F-35 fighter jets to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet.
The report, entitled “One Dead Pilot: Single-Engine F-35s a Bad Choice,” was released by the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
The report was written by University of British Columbia political science professor Michael Byers, who recently won the $50,000 Donner Prize for his book International Law and the Arctic.
Reuters recently reported that the Conservatives would soon be purchasing 65 F-35 fighters.
The biggest pieces of Bill C-36 are well described elsewhere in the media, and there isn’t any real surprise to it. The Harper Government has more or less just resurrected the old environment.
As with all such things the devil is in the details. The odd little lines where the government changes clauses about without really talking about it.
For example, consider the following from the First Reading text: 3. Subsection 7(4.1) of the Act is amended by replacing the reference to “212(4)” with a reference to “286.1(2)”.
So, referring to the criminal code, Subsection 7(4. (Read more…)
When the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s prostitution laws last year, it did so on the basis that the existing laws placed sex workers in unreasonably dangerous situations.
Quite appropriately, the Supreme Court gave the government a year to table new legislation. Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay tabled the government’s response in the House of Commons.
The bill would create new offences for:
— The purchase of sexual services and communicating in any place for that purpose.
— Receiving a financial or material benefit from the prostitution of others, including through businesses that sell (Read more…)
Stephen Harper has been in power for the high side of a decade. That’s a long time.
Most Prime Ministers by this point in their careers have figured out that the foreign affairs portfolio is a tricky one. When you are a smallish nation like Canada, you get much better results by influencing rather than playing the puffed up pugilist.
Harper hasn’t figured this out. Does he really think that Putin notices his pronouncements in the wake of sanctions? Is he really daft enough to believe that his military posturing is going to convince Putin to back out of Crimea?
It’s not like it comes as a big surprise that the Harper Government is nasty. But the extent of their vileness continues expand.
First, the Harper Government seems to have decided to shut down basic literacy programs across Canada. The claims of the Harperites on this matter are the usual “we don’t believe these programs are useful in their current form”. Basic literacy is always useful, unless you’re a Conservative and you like the idea of having an underclass of people who aren’t in a position to think about what’s happening to them because they’re struggling just to get by (Read more…)
I have long been suspicious of health insurance plans of any sort. Even short term health insurance for travel seems to be written in such a way that it is weighted quite firmly in favour of the insurer than the insured.
Recently, three cases in Canada came to light that underscore the point. “They hold all the cards in their hand. It’s a poker game, and I don’t think we are the winners,” said Jean Tetiuk, of Toronto, whose $12,000 claim was rejected by CIBC.
In each case, the medical emergencies abroad had nothing to do with any pre-existing conditions they (Read more…)
So, Harper wants to connect the CRA with the RCMP. Chantal Bernier, Canada’s interim privacy commissioner, says she is concerned by the government’s proposal to allow Canada Revenue Agency officials to voluntarily hand over taxpayer information to police if they have reason to believe such information is evidence of a crime.
In her testimony before the House finance committee on Wednesday, Bernier urged the committee to properly demonstrate that information sharing between auditors and law enforcement is needed.
“That is exceptional and therefore should be buttressed by an empirical demonstration of necessity,” she said.
The proposal, which (Read more…)
Whatever it says on the menu, fast food restaurant owners, other employers of temporary foreign workers and their pals in the Harper Government are serving baloney. Below: Dominique M. Gross of Simon Fraser University; Charles Decatur “C.D.” Howe.
Advocates of the Harper Government’s so-called Temporary Foreign Workers Program are using an occasionally legitimate need to justify making a completely illegitimate policy the “new normal” for employment in Canada.
That is to say, from time to time there are short-term regional labour shortages in Canada, as there are occasionally foreign experts in specialized trades and professions ranging from (Read more…)
The consequences of the Harper Government’s widening of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program over the last several years keeps going from bad to worse. At first it was employers choosing to hire TFWs over Canadians. Then we started finding out that not only were the companies forcing them to living in company-owned apartments and deducting the rent off the payroll, but we also started hearing of cases where the TFWs themselves were being charged significant sums of money to get here.
Today, we have allegations of a company in BC abusing the program and all but engaging in extortion and (Read more…)
The Harper Cons have announced they are naming the new Finance Canada building after the worst finance minister in Canadian (and Ontario) history, “Deficit Jim” Flaherty. To reflect Flaherty’s disastrous political record and mean-spirited personality, it will:
Be small and useless Go billions of dollars over budget and have a huge mortgage Be funded by money embezzled from veterans’ services, Employment Insurance, healthcare, scientific research, job training programs, environmental conservation, etc. Be built by underpaid temporary foreign workers instead of Canadians Be constructed and operated under unsafe conditions Have a false front Feature a gazebo, a fake lake and (Read more…)
Chinese workers building Canadian railways – another sordid story of “temporary foreign workers.” Below: B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark rose in that province’s Legislative Building in Victoria yesterday and apologized for a stream of racist laws and policies that began to be introduced almost a century and a half ago to control and exploit Chinese immigration.
“While the governments which passed these laws and polices acted in a manner that was lawful at the time, today this racist discrimination is seen by British Columbians – represented (Read more…)
How bizarre is this? According to a CBC news story, the Privy Council Office took two years to respond to a CBC Access to Information request asking for “documents pertaining to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s official visit to Ottawa on Sept. 22, 2011.” When the response finally arrived, it included 50 heavily redacted pages. The … Continue Reading