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Susan on the Soapbox: Another Fine Mess: Thanks Stevie

It turns out the famous Laurel and Hardy phrase “here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into” is a misquote.  What Oliver Hardy really said to the hapless Stan Laurel was “here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into”. At … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Another Fine Mess: Thanks Stevie

Montreal Simon: Con Millionaire: The Selling of Stephen Harper

As you may have heard, Stephen Harper is finally gainfully employed again, after getting paid to do nothing for so long.

And although he hasn’t yet asked Big Oil for a job, he’s clearly got plans to become a very rich man.

For not only does he have his own consulting business, he has joined Dentons the world’s largest law firm. 

Which as you can see has made him very, very, happy.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Con Millionaire: The Selling of Stephen Harper

A Different Point of View....: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Former Conservative Prime Minister  Stephen Harper apparently isn’t satisfied with having destroyed a lot of wonderful and important things in Canada. Now he has signed on with Dentons, the world’s largest elite law firm, to spread his dark viewpoints around the globe.

Dentons proudly announced Monday that Harper – who does not have a legal degree – and his new consulting company will work from its Calgary office.

For Harper, the appointment is his reward from the corporate set for many years of stalwart service. He will now be able to stuff his pockets with greenbacks and 76-cent Canadian dollars.

The recently resigned Calgary MP will no doubt stick a Canadian flag on his suitcase as he peddles his anti-social ideology. Hopefully, this will be Harper’s final insult to our national pride.

Dentons is like an octopus. It has more than 7,200 lawyers in over 50 countries, and seems to be constantly expanding.

In easily translatable jargon, Dentons  said Harper has teamed up with the firm to provide clients with “advice on market access, managing global geopolitical and economic risk, and maximize value in global markets” – i.e. postulating himself based on the credibility he gained during none years as PM.

The Donald Trump of the legal set

“Dentons is the Donald Trump of the legal vertical,” writes legal expert and columnist Mark A. Cohen. “The firm is brash, bigger-than-life, and something entirely different. It receives a disproportionate amount of press because it is always doing something that drops jaws.”

The firm surprised the legal/business world by forming a partnership with a huge Chinese firm closely tied to the Communist Party. They employ more than 6,000 lawyers that are working on hundreds of projects, both inside the country and internationally.

Dentons isn’t fussy about which companies it represents in litigation. It works for Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, Citigroup, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Barclay’s Bank, Wells Fargo, and others.

It’s no surprise that Harper will pick up fat pay cheques from Dentons. The firm likes buying former politicians.  Former Liberal PM Jean Chretien and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer are also on the Dentons payroll, as is former Harper Cabinet Minister James Moore. Last year, Dentons snapped up controversial former U.S. politicians Newt Gingrich.

Harper’s cold personality could damage his one-on-one work for Dentons. The former PM  once famously said: “I can’t even get my friends to like me.”

Outrageous move by Harper

It is outrageous that a former Prime Minister is able to join a massive, influential international corporation such as Dentons when his seat in Parliament has barely cooled.

Dentons is deeply involved in all kinds of wheeling and dealing at the highest levels around the world. Part of its success is based on collecting inside information on corporations and governments.
There are few legal constraints for Harper in his new job. Canada’s Lobbying Act  prevents Harper from being directly involved in lobbying the Canadian government for five years.

In addition, the Conflict of Interest Act says that “no former public office holder shall give advice to his or her client, business associate or employer using information that was obtained in his or her capacity as a public office holder and is not available to the public.”

Having been Prime Minister for more than nine years, Harper is aware of what is supposed to be confidential information concerning corporations in Canada and what are supposed to be secret arrangements among foreign governments.

Harper will claim he will not reveal privileged information, but there is no way of knowing whether he will break his word. Just imagine – if he was hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and seeking approval for some energy-related project – would he not be tempted to spill the beans about what he knows about the fossil fuel industry worldwide?

Former PM a valuable asset

Harper will be a medium-sized fish at Dentons, but he can help the firm in countries where he has good relations with government leaders, and on some issues.

Given Harper’s record of spending little money on fighting climate change, he could work with government clients on how to avoid spending millions on carbon reductions and he probably could help corporate clients avoid carbon penalties.

Instead of marketing his skills through Dentons, it would have been more appropriate for Harper to get involved in academia. He would have been welcomed at the University of Calgary, where a group of professors and some students established the influential right-wing “Calgary school.

And Harper doesn’t need the money. Currently 57, he is receiving $127,000 in annual pension payments. When he turns 60, the amount will increase to $134,000 per year. The Canadian Tax Federation says that Harper’s MP pension pay would add up to roughly $5.5 million up to age 90 (factoring in for inflationary increases to the payments).

-30-
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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Alberta Politics: Friday, Sept. 23, will be Resignation Day for Jason Kenney, PC leadership candidate tells St. Albert campaign stop

PHOTO: Alberta Progressive Conservative Party leadership candidate Jason Kenney shares a laugh with a supporter last night. Below: He brings his message to the party rank and file in St. Albert. Friday, Sept. 23, will be Resignation Day for Jason Kenney, the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate told a crowd of about 50, most of […]

The post Friday, Sept. 23, will be Resignation Day for Jason Kenney, PC leadership candidate tells St. Albert campaign stop appeared first on Alberta Politics.

. . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Friday, Sept. 23, will be Resignation Day for Jason Kenney, PC leadership candidate tells St. Albert campaign stop

Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

PHOTOS: A field of canola at its most colourful, photographed in early August near Morinville, Alberta. Below: Farmer Ken Larsen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Harper-era agriculture minister Gerry Ritz. According to the Globe and Mail, or at least one of the five apparently like-minded individuals interviewed recently by the […]

The post China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later appeared first on Alberta Politics.

. . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

Montreal Simon: How Canadians Voted Twice To Defeat Stephen Harper

As Canadians debate Stephen Harper's legacy, and the Cons and the Con media try to whitewash it beyond recognition.It's important to remember one of Harper's worst, and definitely most insane decisions.His decision to kill the long-form cen… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: How Canadians Voted Twice To Defeat Stephen Harper

Montreal Simon: How Canadians Voted Twice To Defeat Stephen Harper

As Canadians debate Stephen Harper’s legacy, and the Cons and the Con media try to whitewash it beyond recognition.

It’s important to remember one of Harper’s worst, and definitely most insane decisions.

His decision to kill the long-form census.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: How Canadians Voted Twice To Defeat Stephen Harper

Montreal Simon: How the Canada Revenue Agency Went After An Anti-Harper Group

During the dark days of Stephen Harper's monstrous rule, the activist group Shit Harper Did (SHD) was one of the liveliest members of The Great Canadian Resistance.It mocked Harper, it produced all kinds of videos, some funny some serious. And it j… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: How the Canada Revenue Agency Went After An Anti-Harper Group

Montreal Simon: How the Canada Revenue Agency Went After An Anti-Harper Group

During the dark days of Stephen Harper’s monstrous rule, the activist group Shit Harper Did (SHD) was one of the liveliest members of The Great Canadian Resistance.

It mocked Harper, it produced all kinds of videos, some funny some serious. And it joined with others in the successful campaign to get more young Canadians to vote. 

So what happened to it not long before the last election couldn’t be more disturbing.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: How the Canada Revenue Agency Went After An Anti-Harper Group

Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Fatal Legacy of Stephen Harper

Yesterday I warned that the Cons, with the help of the Con media, were trying to whitewash Stephen Harper's monstrous legacy.As Michelle Rempel has been trying to do…Against all odds.And sure enough here comes another Con fluffer…Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Fatal Legacy of Stephen Harper

Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Fatal Legacy of Stephen Harper

Yesterday I warned that the Cons, with the help of the Con media, were trying to whitewash Stephen Harper’s monstrous legacy.

As Michelle Rempel has been trying to do…

Against all odds.

And sure enough here comes another Con fluffer…
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Fatal Legacy of Stephen Harper

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Chris Hamby starts off what looks to be a must-read investigation on the effect of ISDS rules by discussing how they’re used to prevent governments from punishing corporate wrongdoing:(A)n 18-month BuzzFeed News … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Chris Hamby starts off what looks to be a must-read investigation on the effect of ISDS rules by discussing how they’re used to prevent governments from punishing corporate wrongdoing:

(A)n 18-month BuzzFeed News investigation, spanning three continents and involving more than 200 interviews and tens of thousands of documents, many of them previously confidential, has exposed an obscure but immensely consequential feature of these trade treaties, the secret operations of these tribunals, and the ways that business has co-opted them to bring sovereign nations to heel.

Reviewing publicly available information for about 300 claims filed during the past five years, BuzzFeed News found more than 35 cases in which the company or executive seeking protection in ISDS was accused of criminal activity, including money laundering, embezzlement, stock manipulation, bribery, war profiteering, and fraud.

Among them: a bank in Cyprus that the US government accused of financing terrorism and organized crime, an oil company executive accused of embezzling millions from the impoverished African nation of Burundi, and the Russian oligarch known as “the Kremlin’s banker.”

Some are at the center of notorious scandals, from the billionaire accused of orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme in Mauritius to multiple telecommunications tycoons charged in the ever-widening “2G scam” in India, which made it into Time magazine’s top 10 abuses of power, alongside Watergate. The companies or executives involved in these cases either denied wrongdoing or did not respond to requests for comment.

Most of the 35-plus cases are still ongoing. But in at least eight of the cases, bringing an ISDS claim got results for the accused wrongdoers, including a multimillion-dollar award, a dropped criminal investigation, and dropped criminal charges. In another, the tribunal has directed the government to halt a criminal case while the arbitration is pending.

– And Dharna Noor interviews James Henry about the need for international cooperation – at both the government and public level – to crack down on tax evasion.

– Tyler Hamilton discusses the health effects of climate change. And Joseph Erbentraut examines how a changing climate is affecting both the quantity and quality of the water we depend on. 

– Kev responds to the spread of #goodriddanceharper by pointing out that as satisfying as it was to turf the Cons from office, we’re still facing most of the same anti-social policies with a more media-savvy face. And Doug Nesbitt reminds us that the Trudeau Libs are no friends of labour – with Canada Post’s appalling attacks on vulnerable workers serving as just the latest example.

– Finally, the Canadian Press reports on a much-needed push for resources to address mental health in Canada. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Cult of Political Violence

The other day I wrote about how the threat of political violence was growing in Canada, and about all the death threats aimed at Justin Trudeau.

I wondered why the Ambrose Cons weren’t doing anything to rein in their violent supporters.  

And I also wondered why the MSM had ignored this story for so long, even though it’s so obvious, so disturbing, and so dangerous.

So I’m glad to see that Chantal Hébert has noticed a foul stench in the air.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Cult of Political Violence

Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Cult of Political Violence

The other day I wrote about how the threat of political violence was growing in Canada, and about all the death threats aimed at Justin Trudeau.I wondered why the Ambrose Cons weren't doing anything to rein in their violent supporters. And I als… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Cult of Political Violence

Alberta Politics: Stephen Harper quits his day job, sets up ‘international’ consultancy – brace for trouble!

PHOTOS: Former PM Stephen Harper, finally sailing into the sunset? Don’t count on it. (Photo grabbed from the Harper PMO’s now-defunct website. I believe this is the best photo ever taken of Mr. Harper, peering, as it does, right into his soul.) Be… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Stephen Harper quits his day job, sets up ‘international’ consultancy – brace for trouble!

Montreal Simon: Michael Harris On The Shabby Legacy of Stephen Harper

Yesterday I wrote a short post about Stephen Harper’s legacy. 

It had to be short because there wasn’t much legacy to write about.

Only the lingering stench of a nightmare that had to be lived to be believed.

And after spending every single day for almost ten years writing about Harper and his filthy un-Canadian regime I’m just about out of words.

So I thought I’d let Michael Harris, who fought the tyrant so well, render the final verdict.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Michael Harris On The Shabby Legacy of Stephen Harper

Montreal Simon: Michael Harris On The Shabby Legacy of Stephen Harper

Yesterday I wrote a short post about Stephen Harper's legacy. It had to be short because there wasn't much legacy to write about.Only the lingering stench of a nightmare that had to be lived to be believed.And after spending every single day … . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Michael Harris On The Shabby Legacy of Stephen Harper

Northern Reflections: Not With A Bang

When he was defeated by his arch nemeses — the Liberals — and by the young upstart he claimed simply “wasn’t ready,” Stephen Harper went dark. Michael Harris writes:He gave not a single interview after getting waxed in the 2015 election by Justin Tr… . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: Not With A Bang

Northern Reflections: Not With A Bang

When he was defeated by his arch nemeses — the Liberals — and by the young upstart he claimed simply “wasn’t ready,” Stephen Harper went dark. Michael Harris writes:

He gave not a single interview after getting waxed in the 2015 election by Justin Trudeau. Las Vegas proved more attractive to the MP from Calgary Heritage than the House of Commons, where, post-defeat, he lurked rather than sat. And while he was doing little for his constituents other than cashing his paycheck, he did find time to set up his political consulting company in Calgary after a few visits to U.S. casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is the man who has promised, but not yet delivered, $100 million to support Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

Even Harper’s resignation was an in-house Harper job, controlling — and distorting — the message until the very end. Steve writing his own report card, as he did while in office. (Did Ray Novak shoot that cheesy video?)

Perhaps he thought that, after a good night’s sleep, it would all go away. But it won’t. His record will remain:

Here’s the real story. This ersatz economist delivered seven consecutive fiscal deficits and ran through the $13.8 billion surplus handed to him by the outgoing Liberal government of Paul Martin in a single year. The country’s economy grew at a snail’s pace, wages stagnated — and then the Great Navigator denied that the Great Recession of 2008 was happening during the federal election of the same year.

Throughout most of that time — while he was smothering critics, stifling information flow, practising vigilante justice on people like Mike Duffy and Helena Guergis without facts, attacking the Supreme Court, promoting unconstitutional legislation and surrounding himself with people even Trump might not feel comfortable with — nobody called him out for what he was. They were too afraid, because this guy took down numbers.

Neo-liberalism predated Harper’s rise. And it lives on after it. But yesterday Stephen Harper’s political career ended — not with a bang but a whimper.

. . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: Not With A Bang

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Finally Resigned

Yes, it's true. After living high off the hog for about ten months after he was defeated and humiliated, the mad emperor has finally left the building.Stephen Harper has finally resigned.Stephen Harper is stepping down from Parliament and going in… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Finally Resigned

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Finally Resigned

Yes, it’s true. After living high off the hog for about ten months after he was defeated and humiliated, the mad emperor has finally left the building.

Stephen Harper has finally resigned.

Stephen Harper is stepping down from Parliament and going into business, hoping that his credentials as a former G7 leader will lead to a successful consulting career on the international stage.

Now please stand by for a message from Great Fallen Leader.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Finally Resigned

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, and the Pension Pigs

As we know Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney have been in the same leaky boat, or the same sweaty closet, from the day the Con regime was crushed and humiliated.Still collecting their big fat MP pay cheques, while doing nothing to deserve them.With Harp… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, and the Pension Pigs

Montreal Simon: The Con Media Finally Goes After Jason Kenney

For more than two weeks Jason Kenney has been rolling around Alberta in his foreign made pick up truck.Raising money for his campaign to unite the right, while collecting a big juicy pay cheque from his other job in Ottawa.As our useless Con media look… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Con Media Finally Goes After Jason Kenney

Northern Reflections: It’s Hard To Say Goodbye

Stephen Harper has disappeared. Rumour had it that he was going to resign his seat in the House. Jason Fekete writes:He has registered his own company with two longtime aides and has all but left politics, but questions persist about exactly when Step… . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: It’s Hard To Say Goodbye