Democracy Under Fire: Lessons not learned.

With the Harper regime having been turfed from power at least in part for their blatant misuse of public advertising dollars for partisan purposes and for their secrecy and failure to disclose anything that could be considered negative towards their rule, and with the senate expense scandal still ongoing, I wonder if ANY of our ...

Democracy Under Fire: Lessons not learned.

With the Harper regime having been turfed from power at least in part for their blatant misuse of public advertising dollars for partisan purposes and for their secrecy and failure to disclose anything that could be considered negative towards their rule, and with the senate expense scandal still ongoing, I wonder if ANY of our ...

Democracy Under Fire: Goodby Harper, Hello Canada

I am going to be taking a short break from my weekly blogging over the holidays but before I do I wanted to write a little of my personal thoughts as to what I hope the new year will bring. I will admit to being very optimistic, perhaps too much so, for a return to ...

Democracy Under Fire: Goodby Harper, Hello Canada

I am going to be taking a short break from my weekly blogging over the holidays but before I do I wanted to write a little of my personal thoughts as to what I hope the new year will bring. I will admit to being very optimistic, perhaps too much so, for a return to ...

Democracy Under Fire: Promises – Openness, Transparency and Service.

Continuing our review of the Liberal Partys promises we turn to:= Openness and Transparency. Amending the Access to Information Act so that all government data and information is made open by default in machine-readable, digital formats. Accelerating and expanding open data initiatives and continually look for additional opportunities to do so. Creating a central, no-fee ...

Democracy Under Fire: Promises – Openness, Transparency and Service.

Continuing our review of the Liberal Partys promises we turn to:= Openness and Transparency. Amending the Access to Information Act so that all government data and information is made open by default in machine-readable, digital formats. Accelerating and expanding open data initiatives and continually look for additional opportunities to do so. Creating a central, no-fee ...

Democracy Under Fire: A cabinet that looks like Canada, why …. “Because its 2015”

Given the large number of Liberal MPs elected that was one of the easier promises to keep but never the less a damn fine start. Now comes the more difficult stuff so let briefly review the platform promises in regard to our democratic institutions and how “Fair and Open” this government intends to be. We ...

Democracy Under Fire: Do Not Be Muzzled.

Do not be muzzled Oct 19th, get out and have your say on who you wish to represent you in parliament, bearing in mind that many of the promises are just that and may either be a long time coming or reduced or eliminated once in power. Particularly should the winning party get a majority! ...

Democracy Under Fire: The Silence is Becoming Deafening.

A few weeks ago I reported that my local Conservative MP “will be declining to participate in any all-candidates meeting that follows the traditional format, one he says simply does not work. He says he would prefer a format where each candidate is given a few minutes for opening statements and then they go to ...

Democracy Under Fire: Harper History, Part 7 – Suppressed Information – Advertising Overload

In reviewing the events for this period I was struck by how important is is to look back at the undemocratic and secretive actions of the Harper regime, even I, who has written frequently and consistently on this subject had forgotten so many of the things done to diminish our governance. This just 2 or ...

Democracy Under Fire: Harper History, Part 6B – Budget Reintroduced – More Secrecy

May 2011 – summer 2012 The first few months of the Harper majority made it clear that the long forgotten “open and accountable” promise given when first coming to power is exactly the opposite of the regimes actual intentions. There are repeated attempts to put even the most innocuous committee deliberations behind closed doors, inaccurate ...

Democracy Under Fire: Voices for Democracy

Voices-Voix is a non-partisan coalition of Canadians and Canadian organizationscommitted to defending our collective and individual rights to dissent, advocacy and democratic space. They have documented attacks against organizations, individuals and institutions that have raised their voices, to show the pattern of government silencing those who exercise their right to dissent. They have a membership of over 200 ...

Democracy Under Fire: Harper History, Part 5B – G20, Census Axed, Contempt.

June 2010 – Mar 2011 In this the second half of part 5 of the ongoing Harper History series intended to remind our citizens exactly how little respect the Harper Regime has for our Democracy we touch upon the G20 fiasco, the killing of the census and the inability of the PBO to get information ...

Democracy Under Fire: “Strong, Proud, Free”

The above is apparently the ‘branding’ that the Conservatives are now going to be inundating us with for the foreseeable future, it remains to be seen if we finally see the end of the “Economic Action Plan” Ads that have plagued us for years in attempting to persuade us that they actually had one. We ...

Democracy Under Fire: 2015 Budget Prorogued.

We all know that when backed into a corner Harper will do almost anything to avoid any negative information about his regime from emerging from his$65 million plus a year PMO spin machine and that this is particularly true of bad economic news. We know in the past he prorogued parliament in order to avoid ...

Democracy Under Fire: Electioneering on our Dime?

We all know that we are inundated with TV advertisements promoting the Harper “government” in thev egis of telling citizens about their “plan” or some other “program” non of which actualy tell the watcher anything that will help them actually access said programs. Does anyone actually go to that web page they promote? We now ...

Democracy Under Fire: A Stark Contrast.

I dont often comment upon the daily actions of politicians on this blog preferring to look at the broader picture of how their actions affect out democracy but one recent report realy got my attention in its stark contrast between a potential leader and the current one. The way in which our ‘leaders’ interact with ...

Democracy Under Fire: Casualty of War?

This week has seen a multitude of individuals expressing concern that the Harper Regime will use the so called “terrorist attack” upon parliament to further increase the ability of the RCMP and CSIS to investigate Canadian citizens whilst reducing the already minimal oversight over their activities. There is little doubt that any country must protect ...

Democracy Under Fire: Cabinet hides even more secrets.

A stealthy Treasury Board directive in the summer of 2013 required bureaucrats to ask departmental lawyers to decide what constitutes a secret, a decision that used to be made by the Privy Council Office, which oversees cabinet matters resulting in many more documents being exempted from Freedom of Information requests. There is a growing list ...

Democracy Under Fire: Rock Snot a State Secret?

Back in May of this year a reporter from The Canadian Press made a request to speak to Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientist Max Bothwell the recognized expert on Rock Snot (a single-celled algae that attaches to rocks on river bottoms) what followed can only be called bizarre. It most certainly shows exactly how far ...

Democracy Under Fire: Successful Coverup, Fall Guy Convicted

The Conservative party has consistently said it ran a clean and ethical campaign and had nothing to do with what happened in Guelph and has also said that they ‘fully cooperated ‘ with the investigation by Elections Canada. This being the case then how is it that only one person was charged, and now convicted, ...

Democracy Under Fire: Garbage in, Garbage out?

Having publicly available information on the well-being of our local communities and national numbers on employment, business viability, population etc etc is essential not only to keep the government ‘honest’ but to make local and governmental decisions affecting these things. At first glance then it would seem that the ongoing project to make such government ...

Democracy Under Fire: Ignorance is Bliss?

Its old news that the Harper Regime eliminated the long form Census thus also eliminating reliable information on the economic and social status of various areas and communities across the country. Nor should it be news that like many other departments (with the notable exception of the PMO) their budget has beencut. Statscan’s budget has ...

Democracy Under Fire: The Fair Elections Act

The Conservative government will introduce changes to the Elections Act this week that caucus members expect to restructure the office in charge of investigating violations. “It’s the Fair Elections Act,” Poilievre said.Given the Conservatives penchant for naming bills in an Orwellian fashion we had best keep an eye on this one. I suspect it will ...

Democracy Under Fire: Silence of the Labs

Silence of the Labs is the title given to the Fifth Estate presentation coming up on CBC this Friday which anyone concerned with the future of Canadian scientific research, indeed the very future of Canada, should make a point of watching. Whilst I do not know what their investigative reporting will reveal their brief description ...