Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: A Dangerous Change In Law

In his latest abuse of the legislative processes, Harper has slide a particularly slimy bit into the 2015 budget implementation bill:  

The Harper government moved to retroactively rewrite Canada’s access to information law in order to prevent possible criminal charges against the RCMP, The Canadian Press has learned. 

An unheralded change buried in last week’s 167-page omnibus budget bill exempted all records from the defunct long-gun registry, and also any “request, complaint, investigation, application, judicial review, appeal or other proceeding under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act,” related to those old records. 

The (Read more…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: A Baffling Attack

I regret to inform you that the multiple, loud bangs you heard were heads exploding. Desperately searching for something to criticize about the Liberals’ recently announced “Plan for Fairness for the Middle Class,” the Conservative are now claiming that, in their costing of the plan, the Liberals failed to take into account the tax revenue … Continue Reading

Alberta Politics: Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave

PHOTOS: The Alberta Legislature Building as it transitions to Orange from Blue. Whatever will the lobbyists do? Below: NDP-connected federal lobbyist Robin Sears and Conservative-associated Alberta lobbyist Hal Danchilla. WANTED: Someone – anyone! – willing to work for major national lobbying firm in Alberta. New Democratic Party connections essential! Orange party card as asset. Back […]

The post Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Repeated Lies are Still Lies

How do you make people believe blatant lies? It seems that, in the estimation of the Conservative Party of Canada, the answer to that question is you repeat them incessantly. After Justin Trudeau announced the Liberal Party of Canada’s “Plan for Fairness for the Middle Class,” the Conservatives—in particular, but not exclusively, Pierre Poilievre, Minister … Continue Reading

Politics and its Discontents: The Latest In Fashion

I dunno, there is just something about this shirt…. Recommend this Post

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Oliver’s Gaffe

I read on Twitter that some pundits and journalists are saying that we should ignore or, if not ignore, then now let go of Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s “gaffe” about the gaping tax hole that doubling the TFSA limit will create for future governments being something for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s granddaughter to take care … Continue Reading

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Balanced. Unless.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivered a balanced budget. (Technically, not balanced, but rather, in fact, in a small surplus.) That much is not in dispute because a budget is what it’s author says it is. Whether the government’s books will indeed be balanced after they are closed at the end of the fiscal year is … Continue Reading

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…)