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Montreal Simon: How Stephen Harper Screwed the NDP AND Himself

He likes to think of himself as a Great Warrior Leader. And the greatest political genius this country has ever known.And of course his faithful fanatics in the PMO groom him like a queen bee, and feed his delusions.But these days I wouldn't be surprised if they are all sitting there in shock, watching Stephen Harper weeping like a baby, or biting the carpet in his closet.After finally realizing he has made a horrible, possibly fatal, and definitely elementary mistake.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Outrageous Boondoggle Tour of the North

We knew it was just another extravagant photo-op, a chance for Stephen Harper to pose as a Great Strong Leader and a Great Explorer.The man who found the remains of the Franklin expedition, and told Putin to take a hike…

We knew he made an absolute fool of himself.We knew he managed to spend a week in the Arctic without ever mentioning the words climate change…

Which takes a certain skill. The kind they teach you in prison.But holy moly poley bear, who knew it was so EXPENSIVE !!!! Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Dennis Raphael and Toba Bryant write about the devastating health effects of income inequality in Canada: Imagine the response, from industry, government and the public, if a plane was crashing every day. If there were something that killed as many people in a day as this kind of disaster, you’d expect it to provoke a similarly concentrated response.

A recent report by Statistics Canada highlights a preventable cause of premature death that is having exactly that kind of impact. This study demonstrates that income inequality is associated with the premature death of 40,000 (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: When the Harper Cons Don’t Listen to Canada’s Doctors

In the aftermath of the SARS crisis of 2003, the government created the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the position of Chief Public Health Officer to strengthen this country's medical defences.After they were shown to be almost catastrophically inadequate.But now Stephen Harper and his Cons are slashing the Public Health Agency's budget, and neutering the country's top doctor.And to make matters even worse, they're not even listening to them. They're all but burying their reports.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great War on the Internet

He rules by fear. He tries to muzzle his opponents. He is terrorizing the civil service, and politicizing the police.So when the Privacy Commissioner warns that Stephen Harper is trying to control the only thing he can't control, the internet. Canadians should be alarmed.Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- George Monbiot comments on the far more important values we’re endangering in the name of constant financial and material growth: To try to stabilise this system, governments behave like soldiers billeted in an ancient manor, burning the furniture, the paintings and the stairs to keep themselves warm for a night. They are breaking up the postwar settlement, our public health services and social safety nets, above all the living world, to produce ephemeral spurts of growth. Magnificent habitats, the benign and fragile climate in which we have prospered, species that have lived (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Michael Sona, Stephen Harper, and the Robocall Conspiracy

It was an attempt to steal an election, and today one of Stephen Harper's Cons was sent to jail for that crime against democracy. Former Conservative staffer Michael Sona has been sentenced to nine months in jail plus a year on probation for trying to keep some voters in Guelph, Ont., from casting ballots in the 2011 federal election.But it wasn't much of a sentence, and the burning question remains: What about the others?

For there were others, and it was a conspiracy.Read more »

reeves report: NDP to refuse support for Rouge National Urban Park bill

Everyone wants the 10,500 acres in the Rouge Valley to be made into a national urban park, yet few but the Harper Tories think their plan for the green space is the best path forward.

Rouge Park at Sunrise. (Flickr Photo Courtesy of Snuffy.)

ON A MEDIA TOUR this week of the proposed park on Toronto’s eastern boundary, federal NDP environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax) told reporters she will advise her caucus to oppose government Bill C-40 despite the personal difficulty she feels in opposing the park.

“I’m in a parallel universe where I get applause for voting against (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Why The Harper Cons Must Pull These Porky Ads

As you know, I had a little fun yesterday with this latest Porky Action Plan ad, produced and directed by the Con Ministry of Propaganda and Disinformation.Because it's so misleading, so obviously partisan, such a blatant attempt to brainwash Canadians with their own money.I simply can't help myself…

For how else are you supposed to react to such totalitarian propaganda? Except laugh in the faces of those who made it.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the By-election Message Progressives Cannot Ignore

You'd think Stephen Harper would have been cheered by his two by-election victories in Ontario and Alberta.But he wasn't. In the Commons yesterday he was tense and irritable.And with good reason. For when you examine the results closely you can see that hidden in them are the seeds of his own destruction.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Will Stephen Harper Really Take a Walk in the Snow?

When I first heard the rumours that Stephen Harper was about to go for a walk in the snow. Or whatever. And announce that he planned to step down in the New Year, I must admit I was stunned. It just didn't seem to make sense.His fear campaign is boosting his polls, the unemployment rate is down, he's planning to spend billions of dollars bribing voters.He's just launched this new Porky Action Plan campaign…

Aimed at brainwashing Canadians with OUR money.And of course, he was the abominable star of the recent G20 summit…

So why would he (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Will Stephen Harper Really Take a Walk in the Snow?

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Richard Wike notes that inequality is properly being recognized as a higher priority around the globe. But Steven Rattner observes that recognition of the issue isn’t doing anything to resolve it, as income and wealth concentration are only getting worse. And Linda McQuaig discusses the need for far more political attention to the gap in Canada: Apart from the obvious issue of fairness, this diversion of money to the top raises other issues that should be central to meaningful public debate.

For instance, there is growing evidence that a high level of inequality (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Day Thousands Took to the Streets to Defend the CBC

It was a stirring sight. And for the beleaguered CBC it couldn't have come at a better time, or be more welcome.Thousands of people marching in streets of Montreal and other places, to demand that the Harper regime stop killing the corporation.CBC/Radio-Canada supporters gathered in Montreal, Matane, Sept-Îles, Quebec City, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Rimouski, Gaspé and Moncton in New Brunswick to protest against deep cuts and job losses at the Crown corporation. And all I can say is it's about time.Read more »

Montreal Simon: The G20 Summit and the Day of Reckoning

It's hard to believe that it's been more than four years since the G20 Summit in Toronto, and my neighbourhood became a police state.A dark sinister place where more than a thousand people were arrested, and caged like animals.

For no good reason.And yes, the wheels of justice grind slowly.Read more »

Alberta Diary: Maybe fake soldier didn’t understand only Tory politicians and TV stars are allowed to play military dressup in Canada

Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans were outraged when this man allegedly passed himself off as a Forces member at the scene of a flood in Calgary, Alberta. As you can see, he seemed to have a couple of civilians fooled. However, his weird haircut gave him away to keen observers familiar with military regulations. Below: Other Canadians not entitled to wear Canadian Forces uniforms dressed in military drag. (All photos dragged from the Internet.)

Didn’t the unfortunate Franck Gervais understand you have to be an elected Conservative politician or a TV star before you’re allowed to dress up (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Joe Oliver’s Dangerously Reckless Budget Scam

Well as you know, I wasn't exactly impressed by Joe Oliver's totally political fiscal update, and by the way he is recklessly blowing the surplus.To try to buy votes and leave no money in the cupboard, so the opposition can't make their own spending promises.While also leaving no money for a rainy day should the economy take a dive, and oil prices keep tanking.So I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who thinks that Ol' Joe, and his equally incompetent master Stephen Harper, could be leading us to DISASTER.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Vladimir Putin, and the Great G20 Showdown

OMG. I see Stephen Harper has stolen the spotlight at the G20 summit, by going dictator to dictator, with Vladimir Putin.Stephen Harper told Russian President Vladimir Putin flatly that he needs "to get out of Ukraine," when the two met at a Group of 20 summit of major economies in Brisbane.Or mano a mano.The Russian Leader stuck out his hand. Mr. Harper accepted the gesture but said to the Russian Leader: "I guess I'll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you, you need to get out of Ukraine."‎In a (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Politics of Fear

As I've mentioned several times recently, I've never seen this country so paranoid and so fearful.So that even a small marine police exercise in the bay the other day, had some people wondering whether the terrorists were coming.The ones Stephen Harper would have us believe would behead us in our bedrooms.Which helps explain why I've never seen him look so happy, and yet so deranged…

To see the Fear Factor glowing red, even on Parliament Hill.Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Couldn’t Hide Any Longer

He has always been a strange bird.

When it comes to the Great War on Terror, or any war from 1812 onwards, he's a raging chicken hawk.

He can't get enough of it, or squawk loud enough

But when it comes to the Great War on Climate Change, he has always been a clucking chicken…

But at least now Stephen Harper can't hide any longer.Read more »

In This Corner: Dear New Zealand: A few thoughts on your future flag flap.

Dear New Zealand:

G’day, mates!

Oh, wait. That’s an Australian thing, isn’t it? I’ll bet you found that just a little insulting. So, as we say in Canada, sorry. What do you say down there? The Internet tells me that the Maori have three different ways of saying hello depending on how many people you are addressing — kia ora, tena koe, tena korua, and tena koutou — but that seems awfully complicated. So let’s just use the universal greeting, of ‘hey’.

Let’s get down to the subject of this letter. Our prime minister Stephen Harper has been visiting your (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Joe Oliver and the Incredible Shrinking Surplus

It was hard to imagine a scarier sight, than old Joe Oliver delivering his fiscal update to an audience of Bay Street business types the other day.And announcing that Canadians should support the Cons, because he's blown the surplus trying to buy votes.So they can't trust the opposition to run or ruin the economy!!!Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Great Failed War on Marijuana

As you know, Stephen Harper has made The Great War on Marijuana one of his main weapons in the Great War on Justin Trudeau.So he could accuse him of being a dangerous junkie who would make the drug more accessible to kids…

But when that attack ad didn't work, he decided to use our tax dollars to produce an anti-marijuana ad.And get the country's doctors to endorse it…

But the doctors refused to play his game.

Because they they could see right through it, like so many other Canadians.Read more »

Alberta Diary: Why libraries – and library users – need their librarians and other library workers to be union members

Maureen O’Reilly, president of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union, speaking in Toronto last weekend. Below: Renowned author Margaret Atwood on an Alberta union picket line, circa 2000, Doug Ford and his Brother Rob.

Doug Ford? Doug Ford? Who is Doug Ford again?

I think he’s Rob Ford’s brother?

OK. Who is Rob Ford?

Didn’t I say back in the summer of 2011 that Margaret Atwood – and, by contrast, we all know who Ms. Atwood is – was the best thing that ever happened to Doug Ford?

Mr. Ford, in case you’ve forgotten already, was the former Toronto (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Benito Leader

There is an old internet adage called Godwin's Law, that dictates that among other things, one can't call Stephen Harper and his Cons Nazis.And I don't, because it also wouldn't be decent. It would diminish the deaths and the suffering of Hitler's many victims. And of course, because it's not strictly accurate eh?You really can't compare our bumbling Con fascists to those genocidal Nazi maniacs.But Harper is a maniac, and he is killing our country. So I'm really glad to see that at least it's now OK to compare him to Benito Mussolini. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Road to an Early Election

I didn't watch the ceremony at the National War Memorial, but I see that Stephen Harper made it back from China just in time to take the starring role.So he could take advantage of this country's massive emotional upheaval.Pose as a Great Strong Leader keeping us safe in a time of war, Canada's Churchill or our Big Daddy.While extracting every drop of political advantage out of the situation.And with his every action, as Duncan Cameron points out, dishonouring the very meaning of Remembrance Day. Read more »