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Susan on the Soapbox: CSEC Letter from Wayne Easter Liberal MP

Last week I sent a letter to Justin Trudeau and Liberal MP Wayne Easter expressing support the Liberal bill that would impose parliamentary oversight over CSEC. Here is Mr Easter’s reply. I copied my letter to the Prime Minister, his Defence Minister and my MP, Joan Crockatt. Not a peep from that corner.

Dear Ms. Wright,

Thank you for your letter regarding CSE surveillance activities and your support for my bill. This bill is a decade old and should not have been allowed to languish for so long. Had a parliamentary oversight committee been in place, what (Read more…)

Polygonic: Of babies and bathwater: how Harper might be undermining the monarchy

The Constitution? Unborn Queens? Fascinating stuff (do not insert a “said no one, ever” after that please).

The scene unfolds thusly: Parliament recently approved a gender equity bill as regards which unelected English aristocrat may reign over us (such progressive times in which we live), that met little controversy or opposition – or even much reflection on what an independent country is doing suckling from the symbolic teat of a defunct empire.

The problem, according to a case presented out of Quebec by lawyer André Binette, is that passing a law abolishing primogeniture adds up to a Constitutional amendment, (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: How Brent Rathgeber changed Edmontons political map and why the Tories might like it

TweetEdmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber unleashed a political storm last night when he announced on Twitter that he is leaving the Conservative Party of Canada caucus. Initially citing a “a lack of commitment to transparency and open government,” he expanded his criticisms to the control Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s office exercises over backbench MPs as interfering with [...]

The Canadian Progressive: VICTORY: Canadians Killed Harper’s Internet Surveillance Bill C-30

by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 12, 2013: Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s Internet surveillance Bill C-30 is dead. The demise of the deceptively christened Protecting Children From Internet Predators Act is a victory for the Internet. For Canadian democracy. For Canadians. Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson confirmed it yesterday when he announced that the Conservatives won’t be pursuing the READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Obert Madondo’s Canada crime Bill C-10 hunger strike: Response from the Minister of Justice

On June 6, I ended my 85-day hunger strike against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s New Jim Crow-style crime Bill C-10, the deceptively christened “Safe Streets and Communities Act”. Two of my demands: the immediate repeal the Safe Streets and Communities Act and a national inquiry for the 600+ missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. I conveyed these demands to the Governor READ MORE

Impolitical: Nicholson on a Toews appointment

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson was attending the Canadian Bar Association meeting yesterday in Vancouver and he was asked a hot button question given rumours about Public Safety Minister Vic Toews possibly retiring for a judicial appointment. This Globe headline captures Nicholson’s non-answer: “Politicians should not be ruled out for judicial appointments: Justice Minister.” He answered the question generally, without specific reference to Toews.

I agree that as a general principle politicians should not be ruled out for judicial appointments. See Roy McMurtry in Ontario, for example. You would find very few people who would be critical of McMurtry’s tenure

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Nicholson on a Toews appointment

Politics and its Discontents: Making Politics Out Of Tragedy

The terrible shooting in Toronto that saw two people killed and 24 injured elicited this response from Julian Fantino and Rob Nicholson. I have no words to express my feeling toward this craven exploitation of tragedy:

Joint statement by ministers Julian Fantino and Rob Nicholson:

Our Government was very saddened to hear about this shooting in Toronto last night. We condemn this brazen shooting and extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families. Canadians are concerned about violent crime, that’s why over the past six years our Government has introduced tough-on-crime legislation, like the Safe Streets and

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Making Politics Out Of Tragedy

Politics and its Discontents: Canada Day? Really?

In my non-virtual life, I like to think that I am a reasonably pleasant fellow who enjoys the small pleasures life has to offer, has a decent sense of humour, and can see the good as well as the bad of this world.

I sometimes fear, however, that in my blogging life I am turning into one of those grim, overly earnest and shrill presences for whom the political apocalypse is at hand. I wish I could say that this blog entry was going to be different, but that would be untrue.

The truth is, I find little to celebrate

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Canada Day? Really?

The Equivocator: Vigilantes and Mercenaries: The Harper Government and the Abdication of Responsibility

With the revelation that Minister Peter MacKay failed to ask many of the obvious/necessary questions when working on the F-35 procurement, the subject of basic ministerial/government responsibility has been weighing heavily on my mind as of late.

When I listen to/discuss politics with my friends who are more libertarian-leaning conservatives, they argue that the government should only really be performing two functions: national defense and policing. Recently, the Government of Canada, with Stephen Harper as PM, has abdicated its responsibility on both of these functions.

National Defense:

You probably expect me to go on at length about the F-35 boondoggle

. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: Vigilantes and Mercenaries: The Harper Government and the Abdication of Responsibility

Pample the Moose: Happy Charter Day! And the importance of an "s"

Today’s the 30th anniversary of the formal adoption of the 1982 Constitution Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A lot of ink has been recently devoted to the Harper government’s non-observance of this day. I could add to this, but instead I’d like to draw your attention to the text of the formal statement issued by Heritage Minister James Moore and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson which was originally posted here. I say “originally posted” lest the initial text be changed.

The full statement reads:

Statement by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and

. . . → Read More: Pample the Moose: Happy Charter Day! And the importance of an "s"

Impolitical: 7 Robocon lawsuits filed

The latest from McMaher: The Council of Canadians has launched legal challenges of May federal election results in seven ridings, on behalf of electors living in those ridings. The ridings are: Don Valley East (Lib Ratansi defeated by Con, 890 votes), Winnipeg South Centre (Lib Neville defeated by Con, 722 votes), Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar (Con Block won by 538 votes), Vancouver Island North (Con Duncan won by 1827 votes), Yukon (Lib Bagnell defeated by Con by 132 votes), Nipissing-Timiskaming (Lib Rota defeated by Con by 18 votes), Elmwood-Transcona (Con Toet defeated NDP incumbent Maloway by 300 votes). All won by Conservatives.

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: 7 Robocon lawsuits filed

Cowboys for Social Responsibility: Canada’s government at work

It really says something when even the gun lobby thinks the Justice Minister has said something dangerous.

Victoria Times-Colonist February 8, 2012 As for warning shots, he said they can be dangerous.

“We do not advocate that anybody fire a firearm in any place you don’t know where bullet is going to go,” he said.

Cowboys for Social Responsibility: Making it up as they go

In 2009, the Harper Tories had a clear plan to replace the long gun registry with something that could work: We want to return to the better system of having retailers record their sales of non-restricted weapons instead of having to register them with the long-gun registry. – Guy Lauzon, MP (Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry)We want to return to the better system of having retailers record their

Scott's DiaTribes: You guys have a majority.. why hide behind a Private Members Bill?

That’s my only real question of this particular reversal/manoeuvre on Section 13 regarding hate speech and the Human Rights Tribunal. I’m not at all surprised they’re doing this, even if they didn’t campaign on it, nor am I surprised that they’ve reversed course on supporting it, now that they have a majority. My question is, if you really support this repeal, Minister Nicholson and Prime Minister Harper, why not put your official government stamp on it and make it a government-sponsored Cabinet bill?

You’ve had backbone to go and do that for your killing of the long-gun registry. I don’t

Jane Taber and Candy Hoeppner Are Now Into Fiction: Part 2–Inconsistencies Between Scrapping C-391 And Tough On Crime Agenda

Part 2 doesn’t really have anything to do with Janie Taber’s little apparent attempt at fiction regarding Candy getcherguns Hoeppner’s little ego trip, but it did raise questions in mind like how does stripping away at gun control square with a tough on crime agenda? How does the meme of not wanting to . . . → Read More: Jane Taber and Candy Hoeppner Are Now Into Fiction: Part 2–Inconsistencies Between Scrapping C-391 And Tough On Crime Agenda . . . → Read More: Jane Taber and Candy Hoeppner Are Now Into Fiction: Part 2–Inconsistencies Between Scrapping C-391 And Tough On Crime Agenda

Conservatives to debut ‘Canada: The Police State’ Tuesday

Sigh. Here we go. The new border security deal will soon have US cops cracking Canadian heads. Tuesday, Harper will introduce his totally unnecessary ‘tough on crime’ (or ‘making my friends rich’) bill. Of course, the Cons will message the shit out of … . . . → Read More: Conservatives to debut ‘Canada: The Police State’ Tuesday

Conservative government now monitoring unreported crime

Ministry of Justice officials confirmed Friday that the government has recently started compiling statistics of unreported crimes. A spokesperson for MP Rob Nicholson told reporters “We are carefully tracking crimes that are unreported. Our ears have b… . . . → Read More: Conservative government now monitoring unreported crime

NDP’s Joe Comartin Falling For Typical Harpercon Strawman Politics: Hook, Line and Sinker

And if what Mr. Joe Comartin says about you is true, Mr. Irwin Cotler, you’re really no better. However, Mr. Comartin, did you have to ask him to accelerate it without debate or further examination? Do you really know what you’re doing? Apparently, even with a Harpercon majority, this is one of those . . . → Read More: NDP’s Joe Comartin Falling For Typical Harpercon Strawman Politics: Hook, Line and Sinker . . . → Read More: NDP’s Joe Comartin Falling For Typical Harpercon Strawman Politics: Hook, Line and Sinker

OH Harperland! The Beginnings of The Police State, Where Women Are Second Class Citizens

Yes, that horrid omnibus bill that it is to come out in about a hundre days ; that lawn order ‘n’ morality themed omnibus bill. Now, no one is exactly sure what it may entail except for the fact that it will likely include the scrapping of the gun registry and of course, . . . → Read More: OH Harperland! The Beginnings of The Police State, Where Women Are Second Class Citizens . . . → Read More: OH Harperland! The Beginnings of The Police State, Where Women Are Second Class Citizens

Stephen Harper Introduces an Inconsistency to the Conservative Message

August 3rd, 2010: Despite Stats Can data showing that crime is on the decrease in Canada, Treasury Board President Stockwell Day announces that the Conservative Government of Canada will go ahead with its plan to build new prisons. August 4th, 2010: J… . . . → Read More: Stephen Harper Introduces an Inconsistency to the Conservative Message