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Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished (iv)

Four professors involved in researching income inequality in Canada took a close look at the National Household Survey and what it appeared to tell us, and then put it into context.

According to the NHS, many of the census tracts where low-income people live have seen their average incomes rise, while the highest-income census tracts . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished (iv)

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished (iii): Collateral damage

I’m prepared to believe that when Tony Clement eliminated the manadatory long census form prior to the 2011 census, he didn’t actually intend to make rural communities in the western provinces disappear. After all, rural communities in the west would be a big part of the CPC’s base of support. But when you implement a . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished (iii): Collateral damage

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished (ii)

Hamilton neighbourhoods vanishing from new ‘census’

The death of the long-form census has left Hamilton full of “black holes” of neighbourhood data, leaving out many of its poorest areas.

According to a new report from the Social Planning and Research Council, that could lead to bad policy choices and inappropriate spending that won’t help . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished (ii)

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished

Toby Sanger has a post up at The Progressive Economics Forum discussing the effects of changes the Harper government made to the census. Specifically, the Conservatives eliminated the mandatory census long form and substituted a voluntary National Household Survey despite the warnings of, well, pretty much everyone who knows anything about statistics that the change . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mission accomplished

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Way past normal

Back in February, the Globe and Mail reported on a memo from the Treasury Board to “all federal departments and agencies” instructing them to omit details of spending cuts from reports that were to be published in May.

“Please note that departments and agencies are not to report the results of the strategic operating review . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Way past normal

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Transparency ‘R’nt Us

Here’s a pair of media reports about the federal government that suggest an ongoing problem is about to get even worse.

Yesterday the Ottawa Citizen reported on comments from John McCallum, the Liberal finance critic, who drew attention to the lack of details the Conservatives have provided on previous “strategic reviews”, which is the euphemism . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Transparency ‘R’nt Us

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Wanker of the day

Lorne Gunter, whose National Post column on the census is thoroughly dissected at Calgary Grit.

Incidentally, should Tony Clement pop up to claim vindication since Statistics Canada has released the first set of results from the recent census today, feel free to remind him that the population data we’re getting right now is based on . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Wanker of the day

Peace, order and good government, eh?: There seems to be a difference of opinion here

This is Tony Clement, after citing some numbers plucked out of context:

So clearly [Old Age Security] is unsustainable…

One wonders where Clement gets his information. It’s certainly not from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

The oncoming demographic time bomb of baby boomers retiring won’t cause a fiscal crisis Canada’s budget watchdog said Wednesday, despite the . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: There seems to be a difference of opinion here

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Yesterday in Gutter Politics

As reported here at the CBC, a veteran public servant has tendered his resignation in protest. Michel Dorais, a member of the audit committee that oversees the Office of the Auditor General, has resigned his position because of the government’s appointment of a unilingual AG in contradiction of the government’s own published job requirements. "the impact is that the language of work [at the auditor general’s office] will over time change substantially" if the person in the top leadership role can only function in English. Dorais questioned to what extent Ferguson could be said to understand the entire country well if he didn’t have a network in both linguistic communities. … The auditor general is an important symbol and "also a very important person to give advice to the Parliament of Canada. If that person does not know what is going on, I think we have a major hole here and I think Parliamentarians will suffer from that kind of limited scope that is brought to the table," Dorais said. When the matter was raised in Question Period in the House of Commons, government members spent a fair amount of time dealing with anything but the issues that Dorais raises… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Yesterday in Gutter Politics

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

You may remember — and if you don’t, this article will remind you — that not too long ago Tony Clement and Rona Ambrose stood on a stage together and announced with great fanfare the formation of Shared Services Canada. This new agency was to drive a complete reorganization of the federal government’s information technology which was to result in greater efficiency and serious savings and would help balance the budget by 2014. Or maybe not. An ambitious project to centralize the federal government’s far-flung data centres will take at least a decade, and require up to $278 million in new spending, an internal report concludes. … … the internal report, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, suggests any projected savings are long-term, with consolidation complete only in about 2024. "Data centre transition of service delivery and transformation of the environment is not a low risk undertaking," warns the document, dated April 25, and stamped "protected, private and confidential." Dated April 25. So Clement and Ambrose had this report in hand and knew its contents when they did their dog and pony show and assured us that we’d see savings from this in three years… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Why not just have the Americans write our legislation for us?

Michael Geist in today’s Toronto Star: Secret U.S. government cables show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands for a U.S.-style copyright law here. The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament. The cables, from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, even have a policy director for then industry minister Tony Clement suggesting it might help U.S. demands for a tough copyright law if Canada were placed among the worst offenders on an international piracy watch list. Days later, the U.S. placed Canada alongside China and Russia on the list. Did Maxime Bernier not see a problem with allowing a foreign government to see and approve legislation before the people he’s elected to represent get to see it? Did Tony Clement and his policy director care whether there was any objective reason to have Canada placed on that "offenders" list? Did they not see a problem with encouraging a foreign government to condemn their own citizens to serve someone else’s agenda? Those are rhetorical questions, in case that’s not obvious. It’s becoming clearer… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Why not just have the Americans write our legislation for us?

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Has anyone spoken to John Baird lately?

In the immediate aftermath of the Auditor General’s report on G8 spending, we were assured that while the attention to administrative detail was lacking, there was certainly no intention to mislead parliament. We were also assured that while Tony Clement was heavily involved in considering all the projects in his riding, it was John Baird who made the final decisions. The auditor general’s other major concern is that there is no paper trail to show how or why the 32 projects were chosen out of 242 that were proposed by the municipalities. Wiersema said they were selected by the infrastructure minister at the time, Baird, based on the advice of Clement, who was then industry minister and is now president of the Treasury Board. No public servants were involved in the decision-making process, the audit found. Of course we’ve since learned that public servants were involved — the documents obtained and released by the NDP make it clear that bureaucrats from Industry Canada, Infrastructure Canada and DFAIT were all involved at one point or another. What’s now unclear is just how much John Baird was actually involved, despite the fact that Clement himself assured us his colleague made the final… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Has anyone spoken to John Baird lately?

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Government cost-cutting agency has no business plan OTTAWA — The Conservative government has no business plan for its newest agency despite promising it will save taxpayers between $100 million and $200 million annually through streamlining the federal information technology strategy. And as of Monday, Public Works, which assumed responsibility for the new agency, couldn’t explain how those savings were calculated. That’s because there were no calculations involved. Somebody pulled some numbers out of the air, somebody else said "Sure, that sounds good" and then they went on to the next item on the agenda. There is no plan. They have no idea what they’re doing. Recall the census long form debacle — Clement had no idea what he was talking about and no clue as to the ramifications of the decision when he first made the announcement that the mandatory census long form was being eliminated. He continued to play it by ear long after it became obvious that he was lying through his teeth and making things up. Same deal here…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

It’s been almost exactly a year since then Industry Minister Tony Clement announced that the census long form would no longer be mandatory. Among the lies he told us at the time was that the government would work hard to ensure that the new, voluntary household survey would be a suitable replacement. So how’s that working out? Census workers are settling for incomplete long questionnaires in the final push of the summer collection period, raising concerns the data will be even more compromised than originally feared. … Former Industry Minister Tony Clement urged Canadians to fill out the forms anyway, but the government is doing less to ensure they are returned and fully filled out. As you review the recent press releases masquerading as journalism that report on how Clement intends to pursue his new mission to balance the government’s books, you might want to bear in mind that our new Treasury Board president’s credibility has been hopelessly compromised. Just because newspaper editors across the nation may have forgotten that doesn’t mean that you should…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Conservatives to Ignore the Canadian Copyright Consultation in Favour of DMCA?

The Conservatives still appear to be steering Canada toward a DMCA-like future: one that enslaves our culture to a few controlling (mostly foreign) companies, stifles science and freedom of expression, and anchors Canada’s economy to the digital dark age rather than propelling it toward what could be an incredibly innovative and lucrative future on the . . . → Read More: Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Conservatives to Ignore the Canadian Copyright Consultation in Favour of DMCA?