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The Canadian Progressive: Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments

Harper’s Bill C-51 remains “dangerous and undemocratic” and “deeply unconstitutional” despite the Conservatives’ proposed amendments, says MP Elizabeth May.

The post Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: Some Inspiration From A Clear-Thinking Citizen

That’s what I derive from Donald Crump’s Star letter. It is a shame more of our fellow citizens are not possessed of such critical faculties:

Increasing risk of terror in Canada When a government starts making decisions based primarily on getting re-elected, with little regard for what is best for the country, we should all take notice. In Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s view, the fact that a majority of voters support his “war on terrorism” is reason enough for his government to increase the risk that terror will come to our shores. I think we have learned since 9/11 that (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Attention, Shoppers: Don’t Let The Terrorists Win!

An important message to all Canadians from Stephen Harper:

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Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Manufactured Terror: Bill C51

Stephen Harper wants you to be afraid. VERY afraid. If you’re frightened, you likely won’t question his and his party’s destruction of the country, the decaying economy, job losses, homelessness, the ignored murder of aboriginal women, the muffled and cowed bureaucracy, hobbling the CBC, undermining Canadian science and scientists, and our waning credibility on the […]

The Canadian Progressive: Tens of thousands expected to protest Harper’s Bill C-51 today

As many as 83,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Canada today to protest Bill C-51, Stephen Harper’s proposed “secret police” legislation.

The post Tens of thousands expected to protest Harper’s Bill C-51 today appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, condensing this post on the component parts of the Cons’ terror bill.

For further reading…- Michael Geist writes that C-51 represents the evisceration of privacy in Canada. – Jim Bronskill reports on Amnesty International’s opposition to C-51 as a means of targeting activists. And Alyssa Stryker and Carmen Cheung highlight six elements protesters will want to understand about the bill. – Finally, Craig Forcese and Kent Roach discuss the international implications of C-51, including the express authorization for CSIS to operate outside the law of foreign countries. And Forcese also points out exactly what the term “lawful” (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: How Did We Become a Land of Cowards?

Bill C-51 speaks to the cowardice that has taken hold of Canadian society at the instance of the fear-mongering federal government.  Conservatives and Liberals and, for that matter, a solid majority of the Canadian public support it.

What, some nutjob shoots somebody and so we need to turn the thumbscrews on the already dwindling rights and freedoms of all Canadians?  We’re following in the jackboot steps of the United States.  We’re becoming a land of cowards.

American pundit Ted Rall has a column in The Japan Times that should speak to all of us.

For a country that used to (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Tory Misuse of Holocaust is Offensive

The carefully orchestrated Conservative Campaign of Confusion continued today as the Harper Tories repeatedly exploited and misused one of the world’s most baggage-laden words. The Tory Word of the Day on March 3, 2015 was “HOLOCAUST”. No fewer than two Tory ministers today grievously used this word in an attempt to increase public acceptance of Bill C-51, the “Anti-terrorism Act”, in the face of mounting concerns and disagreement about the spectre of a state-sponsored secret police and creeping violations against Canadians’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Some would say it is necessary to promote fear of one thing in order to combat the fear (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Michal Rozworski reminds us that while a shift toward precarious work may represent an unwanted change from the few decades where labour prospered along with business, it’s all too familiar from a historical perspective: (P)recarity is what it means to have nothing to sell but your labour power, to use Marx’s turn of phrase. Taken in this sense, precarity is wide-spread: today, the bottom 40% of Canadians today own a measly 2% of national wealth and the bottom 60% own just over 10%. The fact of owning relative peanuts gives precarity an (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Zehaf-Bibeau had a point

At the risk of being investigated by the 130 agents RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has working on the Michael Zehaf-Bibeau case, I must say I think the man made a valid point.

After watching his now famous video, or at least the portion big brother has allowed us to see, I cannot dismiss all the would-be jihadist’s rhetoric. His message was, to put it simply, if you kill us, we will kill you.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alan Rusbridger explains the Guardian’s much-appreciated effort to provide both space and analysis of the need to fight climate change. And Naomi Klein makes the case for a Marshall plan-style response to transition the world to a sustainable society, while highlighting the need for a public push to make that happen.

- Meanwhile, Jim Stanford discusses the fallout from the Cons’ single-minded obsession with oil development. And Thomas Walkom calls out their blatant attempt to avoid discusses the economy now that they’ve left it sputtering.

- On that front, Edward Keenan writes that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On dumbed-down messages

Shorter Tom Lukiwski: When it comes to terror laws, we Conservatives have no time for “legal jargon” like rights, life, liberty or justice. In fact, we’d like you to focus solely on one word.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Tavia Grant, Bill Curry and David Kennedy discuss CIBC’s analysis showing that Canadian job quality has falled to its lowest level recorded in the past 25 years: Several reports have concluded that the country’s job market is not as strong as it looks and now a study from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce paints an even worse picture. According to the bank’s analysis, job quality has fallen to its lowest level in more than two decades. A CIBC index that measures 25 years worth of data on part-time versus full-time work, paid versus (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Let’s not sacrifice freedom out of fear

Harper government can’t silence activists by labeling them “extremists”, creating police-state legislation such as Bill C-51, argues renowned scientist David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Let’s not sacrifice freedom out of fear appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”

This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Soul mates and the politics of fear

Fabricating a threat to the nation in order to instill fear in the population may be demagoguery, but it is also a highly effective way for leaders to rally the people behind them. Frightened citizens turn conservative and cling to what they know, i.e. the incumbent government, rather than risk change. Politicians understand this very well and, in dictatorships and democracies alike, have been

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau To Support Harper’ Imminent Iraq War Extension

Liberal leader open to supporting Stephen Harper’s imminent extension of Canada’s combat mission against Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq.

The post Trudeau To Support Harper’ Imminent Iraq War Extension appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Police State Anti-terrorism Bill C-51 “Dangerous”: 100+ Academics

More than 100 academics sign letter telling Canadian MPs that Harper’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-51, would allow CSIS to violate Canadians’ privacy rights.

The post Harper’s Police State Anti-terrorism Bill C-51 “Dangerous”: 100+ Academics appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Parsing Bill C-51— the academics’ letter

The first criticism of Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act 2015, is the fact it is entirely unnecessary. Our criminal law is already capable of dealing with terrorist activities. More to the point, terrorism poses no significant threat to Canadians and therefore no further infringements on Canadians’ civil liberties are warranted.

The facts are clear. In 2014 two Canadians were killed in

Paul S. Graham: Stop Bill C-51 #StopHarper

Introduced into Parliament on Jan. 30, 2015, Bill C-51 is an omnibus bill that will undermine constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of Canadians in the guise of combating terrorism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s bombastic, saber-rattling YouTube video, published 2 days before the bill was tabled, set the tone. Essentially, Canada is under attack and the government will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians.

Critics of C-51 argue that it will criminalize speech, make it easier to arrest people who police think might commit an offence, share citizen’s private information between government departments without oversight, and allow the Canadian (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On proper fixes

Since this headline seems to be getting far more attention than the actual accompanying interview (if mostly from people with a strong vested interest in distorting the NDP’s position), let’s take a moment to discuss what we’d expect a responsible party to do upon taking power – and what we can tell from a party’s actions while in opposition.

The NDP has rightly taken the position that C-51 deserves to be defeated. And it’s thus making a strong push to challenge the bill both in premise and in its details – in stark contrast to the Libs, who have pledged (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

- Al Engler argues that it’s long past time to start raising taxes on the wealthy to make sure that Canada can fund the level of social development we deserve.

- Kevin Drum writes that we shouldn’t be satisfied with a temporary dip in inequality caused by the 2008 recession when longer-term trends suggest matters will get worse. And Lynn Parramore interviews Lance Taylor about the demand-side implications of exacerbated inequality: LP: Thomas Piketty’s work on inequality has generated enormous interest.  How does your analysis of how the rich grow richer differ from (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Danyaal Raza highlights how Canadians can treat an election year as an opportunity to discuss the a focus on social health with candidates and peers alike: Health providers are increasingly recognizing that while a robust health care system is an important part of promoting Canadians’ health, so is the availability of affordable housing, decent work, and a tightly knit social safety net. Upstream-focused clinical interventions, like the income security program available where I practice, are increasingly meeting that need – but no such program works in a vacuum.…Thinking differently requires speaking differently. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Burning question

C-51, the Cons’ terror bill, allows CSIS to covertly intrude on personal freedoms in two obvious ways.

First, it enables CSIS effectively unfettered authority – without a warrant – to engage in any action which is not contrary to the Charter or other Canadian law, and which does not: (a) cause, intentionally or by criminal negligence, death or bodily harm to an individual; (b) wilfully attempt in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice; or (c) violate the sexual integrity of an individual. 

Second, it enables CSIS – with a warrant – to violate (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On motivating factors

Andrew Coyne offers what’s probably the most reasonable argument to treat the negligible threat of terrorism differently from the other risks we so readily accept (and indeed which are regularly exacerbated by deregulation).

But Coyne’s argument falls well short of justifying the response actually on offer from the Cons – and indeed looks questionable on its own merits. (M)otive comes up at many points in the criminal law – if the motive is self-defence, for example. And motive, in the case of terrorism, is inseparable from the act. The terrorist does not seek only to kill for killing’s sake, or (Read more…)