Wednesday, February 29, 2012 

Twitter Sells Multi-billion Tweet Archive - No Regard For Users Privacy!

Anything you have ever tweeted on Twitter has now been sold ... your words lives forever in the hands of the corporate world ....
"Twitter has sold billions of archived tweets believed to have vanished forever. A privacy row has erupted as hundreds of companies queue up to purchase users’ personal information from the new database."


Are The Conservatives Being Devious or Incompetent With Their OAS Cost Overestimations?

"OTTAWA — As debate over the sustainability of the country's Old Age Security system continues, new figures show the Conservative government has overestimated the cost of the system by hundreds of millions of dollars in three of the past four years.

While the government says the differences are to be expected and remain well within normal ranges, the opposition is arguing they raise further questions about the government's long-term projections about the OAS system's unsustainability."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 

The Conservative Party Of Canada Requests Everyone's Cognitive Dissonance

"Mr. Del Mastro stood and begged for everyone’s cognitive dissonance",
Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada does not place intentionally misleading calls to voters. We simply do not.”
Dean Del Mastro MP
Parliamentary Secretary
To The Prime Minister


FLASHBACK One Year Ago - Four Senior Conservatives Charged Wtih Election Fraud - Feb, 2011

Guess what we were talking about exactly one year ago .....

The Globe & Mail - Feb 25, 2011

Monday, February 27, 2012 

Conservative Peter Mckay Says Robo Calls Were Isolated - Call Centre Workers In Thunder Bay Come Forward With Evidence That Calls Were Wide Spread!

-Conservative scripts misdirected voters in 2011 election say call centre staff

-Deputy Conservative Leader, Peter McKay caught trying to minimize illegal Robo call scandal

Friday, February 24, 2012 

Conseratives Fire Jr. Staffer As Scapegoat For Robo Calls Into At Least 18 Federal Ridings

This is not at all unexpected. The Conservatives have fired a junior staffer as being responsible for the Robo-call fiasco. Problem is the kid worked in just one of the 18 Federal Ridings that received the fraudulent robo-calls.

Was this staffer sitting in a Guelph area Riding directing the robo-call action into at least 17 other ridings around Canada? It makes no sense considering the scope of the fraud.

We need to see the Racknine invoices for these robo-calls (the amounts should be substantial considering how widespread these calls were). Simple logic is that someone ordered the work and someone would have had to pay for the work. Did the functionary Conservative 'kid' in Guelph authorize, direct and pay for robo-calls into 18 Ridings?


-Huffington Post

.... oh, and by the way ... here's a pic of the guy who got fired with Ezra Levant and Ann Coulter ...


You Conservatives Better Listen Up ... The CDN Public Is NOT Going To Swallow Your Internet Surveillance Bill

(Click on graphic to enlarge ....)

PARLIAMENT HILL—"The government’s controversial Bill C-30, which would give police and security agents new surveillance powers over the internet and compel web service providers to assist them, could also lead to a “massive internet sweep” on thousands of political and social activists, warns a leading human rights lawyer.

The scenario is likely if the proposed Bill C-30, which the government has emphasized as legislation to protect children from internet predators, passes through Parliament and its new powers are used in conjunction with a new government counter-terrorism strategy released less than a week before Public Safety Minister Vic Toews (Provencher, Man.) introduced the internet surveillance bill in the Commons, Ottawa lawyer Paul Champ, a director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Union, told The Hill Times on Wednesday.

The impact Bill C-30, which has so far received first reading the Commons, could have on internet users as well as their internet service providers took backstage last week in a furor Mr. Toews sparked when he challenged Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac Saint Louis, Que.) to “either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”

At the time, in the Monday, Feb. 13 Commons Question Period the day before Mr. Toews tabled the legislation, Mr. Scarpaleggia was questioning whether the government could be trusted not to use the provisions of the bill to spy on Canadians protesting oil pipelines or other issues, following Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s (Eglinton-Lawrence, Ont.) claim that foreign-financed radicals were behind opposition to the massive Northern Gateway oil pipeline in B.C.

Although the government gave Bill C-30 the short title of Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, the legislation covers investigations into suspected organized crime activity, terrorism and other Criminal Code offences.

In a lengthy interview with The Hill Times about the implications of Bill C-30, along with the government’s new counter-terrorism strategy and definitions of terrorist activity in the Criminal Code, Mr. Champ expressed the same reservations that prompted Mr. Toews to suggest Mr. Scarpaleggia was siding with child predators.

The concern centres on a provision in Bill C-30 that reduces the threshold of an existing Criminal Code provision allowing police to intercept private communications without a judge’s warrant “in exceptional circumstances,” along with the power Mr. Toews and successive federal Public Safety ministers will have to force cooperation from internet service providers, including fines up to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 to service providers who refuse to set up the surveillance and interception equipment the bill requires to hand over intercepted communications to the RCMP, provincial and city police forces, or the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency.

Furthermore, the RCMP and the head of CSIS will have the power to designate agents with the authority to collect, without a judicial warrant, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any internet service provider’s subscribers, along with their internet protocol addresses, the key to tracking down and hacking computers over the internet.

Also at the centre of Mr. Champ’s concerns—as well as those expressed at the outset of the controversy by opposition MPs and civil liberties advocates—is the counter-terrorism strategy Mr. Toews unveiled only five days before he tabled the internet surveillance bill.

In the middle of its treatment of terrorism and related threats, the strategy includes a section on “Domestic Issue-based Extremism,” and says “low-level violence by domestic issued-based groups remains a reality in Canada. Such extremism tends to be based on grievances—real or perceived—revolving around the promotion of various causes such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism.”

“Although very small in number, some groups in Canada have moved beyond lawful protest to encourage, threaten and support acts of violence,” the strategy statement says.

Existing Criminal Code definitions of terrorist activity include acts that are committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause” with the intention of intimidating the public’s sense of security, and which intentionally cause death or substantial damage to public or private property.

Mr. Champ said he recalled the massive government security build-up for the summit of G20 government leaders in Toronto in 2010, which ended with the detention of more than 1,100 protesters. There were widely-published images of pockets of hooded or masked “Black Bloc” demonstrators smashing store windows and torching police cars, but most of the protesters who were detained were later released without being charged.

Mr. Champ said Bill C-30 would give sweeping new powers to police and security agencies to monitor legitimate protesters prior to similar events in the future. Environmental activists protesting pipelines or other projects, including the Northern Gateway pipeline and another proposed oil sands pipeline extension into the U.S., could also be subject to broad surveillance."

Hill Times

Image appeared in Toronto Star = Feb. 23 by Theo Moudakis

Thursday, February 23, 2012 

Fraudulent Election Calls Traced To Edmonton Company Connected To Conservative Party

(Click on graphic to enlarge ....)

"Conservative values are Canadian values."
Stephen Harper

"Elections Canada has traced fraudulent phone calls made during the federal election to an Edmonton voice-broadcast company that worked for the Conservative Party across the country.

While the agency investigates, aided by the RCMP, the Conservatives are conducting an internal probe. A party lawyer is interviewing campaign workers to find who was behind the deceptive “robocalls.”

Elections Canada launched its investigation after it was inundated with complaints about election day calls in Guelph, Ont., one of 18 ridings across the country where voters were targeted by harassing or deceptive phone messages in an apparent effort to discourage Liberal supporters from voting.

In Guelph, a riding the Conservatives hoped to take from the Liberals, voters received recorded calls pretending to be from Elections Canada, telling them their polling stations had been moved. The calls led to a chaotic scene at one polling station, and likely led some voters to give up on voting."

National Post

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 

Sarah Palin Defends Rick Santorum's 'Satan' Insanity

"Satan is targeting the United States. Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition. This is a spiritual war, and the father of lies has his sights on what you would think the father of lies, Satan, would have his sights on? A good, decent, powerful, influential country. The United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? There is no one else to go after other than the United States."
Rick Santorum
Candidate for Republican Presidential Nomination
(From a speech made during an August 2008 visit to a Ave Maria College in Florida)


WELCOME To Stephen Harper's neo-Canada!

Canada under Conservatives not what it used to be
by Joan Baxter
"It is interesting that Laurent Le Pierrès seems to believe Canada hasn’t fundamentally changed, and he can still look his "country in the mirror" ("Justin jumps in where angels fear to tread," Feb. 17 column). I was also happy to read that he thinks our nation has survived worse crises than a Conservative majority. I’m just not sure he’s right.

First, we’ve never had a Conservative majority in Canada before; we’ve had Progressive Conservative ones. And we certainly have never had a neo-conservative majority that espouses neo-liberal unfettered capitalism that enriches only, well, the already rich. We do now. The Harper government comprises hardline ideologues slinging insults and slogans from an outdated and discredited handbook used by George W. Bush in the U.S. for eight long, war-filled years, which have left our southern neighbour in a politically and economically polarized shambles.

Now, the government is intent on imposing the same failed Republican ideologies on Canada. It was bad enough even before Stephen Harper had a majority. Twice he prorogued Parliament, showing his contempt for democratic process and coalitions, which, ironically, he tried to orchestrate himself when he was in opposition. He managed to transform Canada from a highly respected beacon of democracy and peace on the world stage into an aggressive pariah that has made many people around the world ask, "What has happened to Canada?"

With his unquestioning support of the Israeli government, and his preference for a photo-op at Tim Hortons over addressing the global community at the United Nations General Assembly, he succeeded in losing Canada’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. He embraced militarism and a new pugnacious foreign policy, disparaging dialogue and diplomacy, all the while claiming he was standing up for "Canadian values."

Remember this is the man who would have had Canada join the deadly U.S.-led debacle in Iraq. He favoured deregulation of the banking and financial sectors, and then, when deregulation elsewhere caused a global meltdown, he boasted about the solid and regulated Canadian banking system that he had previously criticized. The list of his assaults on democracy and decency is far too long to document here, but a fine summary of them was put together by the group "Catch 22" in its "100-plus reasons to stop Harper Conservatives." And that was before he got his majority.

Now that he has, Mr. Harper has ratcheted up his attacks on the values that make for a civilized and healthy nation. He is waging war on truth, statistics, science, access to information, tolerance, sharing, equality, enlightenment, the arts, social justice, the environment, gun safety, labour, civil rights, openness and transparency, and any kind of welfare (except that which he grants as tax breaks to his petro-friends and corporate buddies). He has no qualms about smearing, demonizing, muzzling or firing anyone who stands up for these values.

The Harper government has cut or refused funding to aid groups that work with the world’s most vulnerable people. But it has found millions of precious Canadian tax dollars to whitewash the harmful operations of giant Canadian mining companies in Africa and Latin America. As many Canadians have noticed recently when they travel internationally, the Maple Leaf brand has lost its lustre. Merely admitting you’re Canadian in some places can prompt angry outbursts about Canadian mining companies, the tarsands and our country’s shameful inaction on climate change.

The multi-million-dollar spin machine in the Prime Minister’s Office churns out divisive and hyperbolic sound bites intended to foster resentment and stifle informed debate. By attaching words such as "bogus" to refugees, "dubious" to migrants, "radical extremists" to responsible Canadian citizens who care about climate change, clean air and water, the Harper government whips up fear, anger and hatred that have no place in this country. Billions are available for stealth fighter jets and unneeded prisons, but we’re told programs protecting human health and welfare are not "sustainable." With their attacks on Old Age Security and health care, the Harper Conservatives are pitting young against old, rich against poor, Canadian against Canadian.

Mr. Harper once said we wouldn’t recognize the country when he was through with it. This is only the first year of his majority, and already many of us cannot recognize this mean-spirited, jingoistic and belligerent face of Canada. As for me, I can’t look at the neo-Canada that this Conservative majority is creating without grieving for my country.

Joan Baxter is a Nova Scotian journalist, development researcher and writer, and award-winning author."
Halifax Herald

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 

"The Government Has NO Business In The Hard Drives Of The Nation" - Rick Mercer



"the Conservatives are trying to turn Toews into a victim" - Joe Comartin

“Obviously, the Conservatives are trying to turn Toews into a victim, they’re trying to portray it that way as a smokescreen around the legislation, how offensive it is to the liberties in this country.”
Joe Comartin MP

Hill Times

Monday, February 20, 2012 

Vic Toews MUST Resign From Cabinet - BILL C30 MUST Be Pulled From The Order Paper

The majority of Canadians did not vote Conservative in the last election. Mr. Harper, you may have a 'majority' government under the British Parliamentary system. However, sir, you do not have the moral authority to walk over the rights of Canadians. You do not have the right to run roughshod over the traditional function of Canada's Parliament. The parliamentary Opposition has a clearly defined role in government and you are in flagrant disregard of this tradition.

Get your act together!

Saturday, February 18, 2012 

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews Now Says That He Is 'Surprised By Content' Of His Own Bill

Huh?! In a complete reversal, the Conservative Cabinet Minister who introduced 'police state' style legislation now says he is surprised by the content of his own Bill.

"Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he is surprised to learn that a section of the government's online surveillance bill provides for "exceptional circumstances" under which "any police officer" can request customer information from a telecommunications service provider.

In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House, Toews said his understanding of the bill is that police can only request information from the ISPs where they are conducting "a specific criminal investigation."

But Section 17 of the 'Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act' outlines "exceptional circumstances" under which "any police officer" can ask an ISP to turn over personal client information.

"I'd certainly like to see an explanation of that," Toews told host Evan Solomon after a week of public backlash against Bill C-30, which would require internet service providers to turn over client information without a warrant."

-CBC News

"Mr. Speaker, all I am asking the member to do is actually read the bill and then be honest with Canadians. That is something he is actually incapable of doing. He is either incapable of reading or incapable of being honest."
Minister Vic Toews
House of Commons - Ottawa
Feb 14, 2012


Jedras Scores A 'Bullseye' With His Analysis Of The MSM In The Vic Toews Fiasco

I have banged heads with fellow blogger, Jeff Jedras a number of times in some old fashioned NDP VS Libs battles. HOWEVER, he is 'dead on' with his observations concerning how the MSM is handling the current Vic Toews fiasco:

Friday, February 17, 2012
Vikileaks and the death of the journalist as news gatekeeper
I was in Las Vegas for a work trip and tuned-out of all news from back in Canada, so it was only Friday that I returned and caught myself up on the “Vikileaks” drama, and it was fascinating to read some of the commentary and follow the tweets on the topic, particularly those from hill journalists and political sorts.

I won’t pass judgment on whether or not the information about Vic Toews should have been published or not, except to say it’s not how I would chose to do politics. Which I guess is passing judgment, so there you go. This sort of thing is par the course in modern politics though, and for the Conservatives, who have taken it to new levels, to now wring their hands is silly. And, for the record, it is only an ethical question, and we are talking about publicly available information and documents.

What really interests me though is the reaction of the proverbial “main-stream media” to the Vikileaks story, with an Ottawa Citizen piece attempting to trace the IP address of the “@Vikileaks30 leaker” spurring endless speculation and demands to identify the person or persons responsible. It should be noted that had @Vikileaks30 given their documents to a journalist who chose to publish a story based on them, then the media would be reminding us how important it is to protect the confidentiality of their sources. Even competing outlets wouldn’t try to unmask another journalist’s confidential source. That’s just not cricket, old boy.

What the media reaction to @Vikileaks30 really shows though is how angry, and perhaps frightened, they are about losing their traditional role as the gatekeepers of news, the people that get to decide what we, the unwashed masses, need to know and what we don’t need to know. Journalists are used to being in the know, to having the inside details, the scoop. It helps make up for the low pay, long hours and heavy drinking.

Journalists made judgment calls every day on what is news and what isn’t, what people have a right to know, and what isn’t relevant. It's part of the job in one sense; there's always more news than column inches or air time. And they see it as a public service. But no one elected them as the arbiters of good taste. They’re accountable to no one but their publisher and the shareholders. It’s a lot of trust, and a lot of responsibility.

The internet, blogging and social media are changing all that however. Now you no longer need a printing press or a television or radio station to publish information to the masses. Anyone with an Internet connection can publish anything they want, and potentially find an audience. And the market will, in a way, make its own judgment on its news worthiness. If people find it relevant, they’ll share or re-tweet it and the news finds a wider audience; if they deem it inappropriate it will wither and fade away, perhaps after first being soundly condemned.

What it means, though, is that the role of the traditional media as gatekeeper is drying, if it’s not already dead. With their breadth of reach and size of audience, the regular media is still the fastest way for news to be disseminated to the wider public. But thanks to social media, even if the press deems something “un-newsworthy,” if it gets enough traction online they eventually have no choice but to cover it anyway.

(The full article can be found at A BC'er In Toronto

Friday, February 17, 2012 

Hey John Baird ... PROBE What?

John Baird and the Ottawa Citizen seem to want a 'probe' to determine the source of @Vikileaks30. Probe what? ... the republishing of documents from the public record??
-Ottawa Citizen seems to be a bit of a player in this Conservative 'outrage'.

-Gutter politics you say? CREEKSIDE


Conservative's Internet Surveillance Bill 'Orwellian' In Its Scope

Had public outrage not raised the red flag on Vic Toew's internet security Bill, Canadian freedom, as we understand it, would have taken a serious body blow. The Conservatives tried to sneak this intrusive, overbearing legislation into Canadian's lives without even blinking an eye. Stay vigilant as long as they are in power!

"Essentially, it says that government agents may enter an ISP (internet service providers) when they wish, without a warrant, and demand to see absolutely everything — including all data anywhere on the network — and to copy it all. If that seems hard to believe, let's walk through it.

First, Section 33 tells us that, "The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons as inspectors for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act." So we're not talking about police officers necessarily. We're talking about anyone the minister chooses — or any class of persons. (Musicians? Left-handed hockey players? Members of the Conservative Party? Sure, that's absurd — but the bill allows it...)

Next, Section 34 spells out the sweeping powers of these "inspectors." And, if they sound Orwellian, welcome to the world of Section 34.

The inspectors may "enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies."

And, once he or she is in, anything goes.

The inspector, says the bill, may "examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing." He or she may also "use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system."

You read that right. The inspector gets to see "any" information that's in or "available to the system." Yours, mine, and everyone else's emails, phone calls, web surfing, shopping, you name it. But, if that sounds breath-taking enough, don't quit now because the section is still not done.

The inspector — remember, this is anyone the minister chooses — is also empowered to copy anything that strikes his or her fancy. The inspector may "reproduce, or cause to be reproduced, any information in the form of a printout, or other intelligible output, and remove the printout, or other output, for examination or copying."

Oh, and he can even use the ISP's own computers and connections to copy it or to email it to himself. He can "use, or cause to be used, any copying equipment or means of telecommunication at the place."

In short, there's nothing the inspector cannot see or copy. "Any" information is up for grabs. And you thought the new airport body scanners were intrusive?

Finally, note that such all-encompassing searches require no warrant, and don't even have to be in the context of a criminal investigation. Ostensibly, the purpose is to ensure that the ISP is complying with the requirements of the act — but nothing in the section restricts the inspector to examining or seizing only information bearing upon that issue. It's still "any" information whatsoever."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 

How The Conservative Party Fought The Canadian Red Maple Leaf Flag - Feb. 15, 1964

"From the Tory benches the prime minister (Pearson) was greeted by jeers and hoots and shouts of derision. 'Vote with pride', "All right," exclaimed Mr. Pearson, "they have turned it down with jeers and insults, but we will vote with pride."

Shouts, screams, desk-banging - even obscene gestures - marked the final phase of the Conservative fight against the red Maple Leaf Flag.

Introduced in senate today, and even with the last vote they declared that they would not quit and that the fight would go on in the senate, where a similar flag resolution was being introduced today.

The early-morning victory for the new flag had been heralded much earlier Monday when the government had won a vote on its closure motion to limit debate. The count was 152 to 85.

At midnight Monday the result was plain to see when the last Conservative amendment calling for substitution of the Red Ensign for the Maple Leaf flag, was defeated by 162 to 80."

Ottawa Citizen
December 15, 1964

The Conservative Party of Canada has a long history of reactionary, illogical behaviour. The Flag Debate was a classic example. If it had been left up to Conservatives, our beloved Red Maple Leaf would NEVER have been made our national flag!

To this day, Conservatives continue to try and turn this nation into a right wing bastion of political nastiness and reaction.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 

As Canadians Lose Control Of The Internet To The Harper Conservatives .....

Available without a warrant

Under the new bill, the six identifiers of telecommunications subscribers that police, intelligence and Competition Bureau officials can obtain without a warrant from their telecommunications service provider are:

Telephone number.
Email address.
Internet protocol (IP) address.
Local service provider identifier.

-Harper Bill Intended To Fight 'Child Porn' further implements 'police state' powers ...


Canadian Asbestos Execs (and maybe a few Conservative Cabinet Ministers) Should Be Nervous After Italian Convictions

"The asbestos industry should be served notice that we are coming for them and it would do my heart good to see somebody led away in handcuffs for all the misery that they've caused over the years."
Pat Martin MP
Official Opposition
(former Asbestos miner)

Winnipeg Free Press

Mr. Speaker, the best science money can buy has been used to justify and defend exporting a made-in-Canada asbestos epidemic throughout the developing world, but the Conservatives and their Asbestos Institute can no longer hide behind the phoney research they bought and paid for.

I rise today to condemn the Conservatives for their boosterism and cheerleading of the asbestos cartel and the human misery it causes. I condemn the scientists and researchers who compromise their professional integrity and the reputation of our great university.

Dante should have reserved a special level of hell for the charlatans and the fraudsters of the government-sponsored Asbestos Institute who knowingly and willingly conspired to hide the effects of asbestos exposure from the world.

I denounce them in the strongest possible terms. I pray that some day their treachery and deceit leads to criminal charges of corporate manslaughter so that they may face justice in this world as well.

Pat Martin MP
Official Opposition
CBC News

Friday, February 10, 2012 

Russian Ambassador To Canada Says Harper Government Will Be 'Very Red-Faced" When Details Of Spy Case Are Revealed!

"I have a deal with your people to keep quiet. But after this seal of silence is lifted, I will tell you and you will be very red-faced."
Georgiy Mamedov
Russian Ambassador to Canada

Well ... as a Canadian citizen and taxpayer, I demand to know details of this.

-CTV News

-The Globe & Mail

Thursday, February 09, 2012 

Seniors Occupy Conservative MP Offices To Protest Changes To OAS Eligibilty

"Scores of labour activists and seniors started occupying the offices of Conservative MPs in Ontario Thursday afternoon to protest possible changes in the retirement income system.

Supporters of a so-called “Blue-Grey” Alliance entered and stayed in the constituency offices of 20 MPs in the province including the one for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Spokesmen for the group said they did not know how long the occupations would continue beyond Thursday.

“Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper will soon know he will have the biggest fight of his life on his hands if he tries to go forward with any of this,” said Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan, who joined a sit-in at Flaherty’s office in Whitby, east of Toronto.

The Old Age Security (OAS) program became a hot issue last month when Harper suggested in a speech at an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland that Canada is considering changes.

Harper did not refer to OAS but there is some speculation that the government would look at raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67 to control rising program costs.

Orville Thacker, president of the Ontario Federation of Union Retirees, said in a statement that they are “fed up” with the Harper government undermining the rights of women, workers and now vulnerable seniors.

“He’s about to learn the same lesson that seniors taught two Prime Ministers before him: if you touch seniors’ rights, you do so at your own peril,” he said.

Thacker added the majority of seniors are living on $25,000 a year or less after paying a lifetime of taxes.

“OAS pensions are what pays for food and rent for seniors living on fixed incomes and it helps others get by with a little bit of dignity,” he said.

In addition to the occupations in Ontario, activists and retirees plan to hold sit-ins at three MP offices in New Brunswick. Support groups also held a noon hour rally in St.John’s Newfoundland."

The Star

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 

In 2004 Conservatives Accused Paul Martin Of Plans To Raise OAS Eligibility To 67

(Click on image to enlarge ....)

Kady O'Malley: Garry Breitkreuz and the ghost of old age security debates past!


There Was A Time When The Harper Conservatives Were Outraged At ANY Suggestion Of Raising OAS Eligibility Age To 67! UPDATED

I expect this page to disappear fairly soon .... Garry

I was right. The Conservative Party of Canada has taken the post down from Breitkreuz's website ... BUT ... Here it is from Google Cache


Labour Ruling A Blow To Premier Brad Wall's image

REGINA -- Critical in the subtle battle for the hearts and minds of those in the so-called "new Saskatchewan" has been the portrayal of the self-entitled left of the "old Saskatchewan".

Or at least, that's what the soundtrack of Premier Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government has been since its 2007 election win: that the real hardworking taxpayers of the province shall no longer be bullied by left-wing elitists who abused the unearned and elevated status they received during years of NDP government.

Admittedly, it hasn't always been Wall's government itself directly delivering that message. In fairness to Wall, bullying people in that way has never been a characteristic associated with this pleasant and jovial family-oriented man. But that hasn't stopped others in the new media, the old media and the business community from sometimes doing exactly that in their eagerness to convince us that the bane of Saskatchewan's existence has been the self-interested left.

The Sask. Party government says we can never look at changing potash royalties? Of course we can't, says the ever-present hallelujah chorus in this province. Regardless of how profitable the potash companies are, mere examination of a more equitable royalty structure benefitting Saskatchewan taxpayers would discourage mine expansion. And as we also all know, those who want mine expansion stopped are the unions (which would actually benefit from more good-paying jobs). As with most rhetoric, this, too, has become illogically silly.

Nor has the Wall government propaganda machine been shy about less-directly implying the same thing - especially on the labour front. The government's labour fight has always been with labour's leaders - not the rank-and-file workers, who are always somehow duped into voting for strikes by leaders working against the new Saskatchewan's interests. Such is the stranglehold of this mighty union leadership that the Sask. Party government must free the rank-and-file from the shackles of leaders eager to waste precious union dues on election ads critical of the government.

Of course, provincial labour leaders have sometimes acted in a way that's underpinned the "new Saskatchewan" narrative. Hiking dues to pay for anti-government ads just before an election or threatening to pull out essential snowplow operators before the biggest blizzard in a century would be prime examples.

But if one is still under the misguided impression that union leaders alone have been guilty of such bullying, one should read Court of Queen's Bench Justice Dennis Ball's ruling, which found the Sask. Party government's essential services law to be unconstitutional.

Admittedly, it wasn't a complete victory for the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), which had launched a challenge of the constitutionality of both the Essential Services and Trade Union Amendment acts. Ball - the chair of the Grant Devine government's Labour Relations Board long before being called to the bench - upheld the Trade Union Act Amendments and supported the government's right to impose an essential services law.

But in the way the essential services law has been written in Saskatchewan, the government has infringed on the right to strike or even bargain collectively, as protected under Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ball wrote in his decision, released Monday afternoon. "The Public Service Essential Services Act infringes on those rights by empowering all public sector employers to make non-reviewable decisions that effectively preclude the capacity of their employees to engage in meaningful strike action."

Ball chastised the "serious flaws" in an act that doesn't have an adequate dispute-resolution process and hammered the Sask. Party - which said, weeks before its 2007 election win, that an essential services law wasn't even needed - for proceeding with the act before consulting. "No other essential services legislation in Canada comes close to prohibiting the right to strike as broadly, and as significantly, as the PSES Act," Ball added.

So after years of being told the only issue here was squawking union leaders too used to getting their own way, we have been told by a learned court justice that Saskatchewan workers, essentially, have been bullied by the government's bill.

It's a ruling that's a blow to the Wall government ... and its entire narrative.

Murray Mandryk

(Political columnist for the Leader-Post)
Regina Leader-Post

Monday, February 06, 2012 

Saskatchewan Court Strikes Down Brad Wall's 'Essential Services' Law - Right Wing Union Busting Takes A Punch In The Jaw

"A Saskatchewan law limiting the ability of public sector workers to go on strike has been ruled unconstitutional by a Queen's Bench judge.

In a 132-page decision released Monday, Regina Justice Dennis Ball said the Public Service Essential Services Act, also known as Bill 5, infringes on workers' rights and is of "no force or effect."

However, a "declaration of invalidity" will be suspended for a year, Ball said.

The law, bitterly opposed by labour groups, was passed by the Saskatchewan Party government in 2008.

It sets out a process where some workers — such as nurses and snowplow drivers — can be declared essential and banned from going on strike.

The problem with Saskatchewan's law, Ball ruled, is that it doesn't give employees an adequate dispute resolution process where they can challenge which employees are designated as essential.

"Although the benefits that accrue from the statutory limitations on the rights to bargain collectively and to strike are significant, they are clearly outweighed by their deleterious effects on the employees affected," Ball said in the decision."

CBC Saskatchewan


Not My Queen!

We continue to live in a make believe country. Somehow or the other, archaic processes remain which technically links the Dominion of Canada to the monarch of a foreign nation.

England's 'Elizabeth' may be your Queen ... she is not mine. I have no king or queen in my Canada.

This ludicrous, ridiculous affront to logic still continues. Enough already!

-Canada's Future Should NOT Include A 'King Charles'!

-Canada's Future Should NOT Include A 'King William' Or Harry!

Sunday, February 05, 2012 

No One Will Ever Write An Opera About 'Harper In China' .....

... but then again, tricky dicky Richard Nixon got one!

Act 1 Scene 1 - Nixon In China

Saturday, February 04, 2012 

There Was No 'Sober Second Thought' In Senator's Call To Give Rope To Prisoners

As a New Democrat I advocate for the abolishment of the Canadian Senate. It is an archaic, highly expensive, undemocratic retirement home for Conservative and Liberal hacks, flacks and other riff raff. The best argument made by those who defend the Senate, is that the Chamber acts as a House of 'sober second thought', where measured and mature reflection is conducted on matters before Canada's Parliament.

I am not sure what sober second thought went into Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu's recent call to give pieces of rope to Canadian prisoners so that they can hang themselves in their jail cells.

A number of editors and columnists are calling for some 'tolerance' of the Senator's plight. His daughter was raped and murdered and it is said that his ludicrous call should be understood in context of his grief and anger.

You have to ask yourself why, exactly, it is that Stephen Harper appointed him to the Seante? Obviously a man so afflicted with grief, anger and despair over his loss would soundly endorse the Conservatives Omnibus Crime Bill. But where oh where is the element of 'sober second thought' present in this unfortunate situation?

Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu's only qualification for Senate appointment is that he lost a daughter to a murderer and therefore can be expected to solidly support Harper's crime fighting agenda. The fault here goes to Stephen Harper for his typical abuse of senate appointments to satisfy his own political needs.

Sober second thought? Not in this case.

Friday, February 03, 2012 

"Caterpillar took the (Harper) tax cut, locked out its London workers, then shut the plant altogether to export their jobs"

Caterpillar’s decision to close its plant in London, Ontario, throwing over 400 workers out of work is a powerful indictment of the Harper government’s economic agenda. A hugely profitable company, Caterpillar benefited from millions of dollars in Harper government tax giveaways. But instead of investing in its Canadian operations, Caterpillar chose to provoke a conflict with its Canadian workforce demanding outrageous salary cuts that it knew would be rejected. In the end, Caterpillar took the tax breaks and then shipped out the jobs, all with the able assistance of the Harper Tories.
Brian Topp

"Caterpillar took the tax cut, locked out its London workers, then shut the plant altogether to export their jobs to the US. Shame. To London's Caterpillar workers: I visited you in January with my solidarity and you still have it today. Don't give up the fight!"
Thomas Mulcair

"Eight days ago, Caterpillar reported record annual profit of $4.9-billion (U.S.), an 83-per-cent increase from $2.7-billion in 2010. That came from record sales of $60.1-billion for one of the signature companies of Corporate America.

Those kinds of increases had not been seen since the post-Second World War boom days of Harry Truman’s presidency from 1945 to 1952, Caterpillar’s investor relations director Mike DeWalt told investors on a conference call last week."

-Globe & Mail

MUNCIE, Ind.—"Bulldozing its way through a high-profile dispute over wages, Caterpillar Inc. said Friday it will close a 62-year-old plant in London, Ontario, that makes railroad locomotives, eliminating about 450 manufacturing jobs that mostly paid twice the rate of a U.S. counterpart.

Caterpillar's decision, ending a standoff with locked-out workers huddled around barrels of burning scrap wood outside the London factory gates, may benefit another downtrodden manufacturing city: Muncie, Ind., where Caterpillar last year opened a locomotive plant and where it is trying to fill jobs at about half the pay workers in Ontario received."

-Wall Street

Thursday, February 02, 2012 

Will the Conservatives raise OAS eligibility to 67 years, YES or NO? - Answer the Damn Question!

-Three quarters of Canadians oppose increasing Old Age Security eligibility to 67


Know what the most painful part of becoming a Member of the Conservative Party of Canada is? .....

.... the part where they have to remove half your fucking brain!!


PMO Wants Apology From New Democrats For Criticism Of Senator Who Suggested Prisoners Hang Themselves

Two words to the Prime Minister's Office. Piss Off!!

"Pat Martin wants to correct his breech of parliamentary protocol: “I should have called him an Honourable Asshole,” the NDP MP says now. [...] And now he’s in hot water with the Harper PMO, who issued a memo Thursday – under the headline “Don’t tweet this, Pat” – calling on him and his entire caucus to “apologize for this shameful personal attack aimed at Senator Boisvenu.”

The controversy began Wednesday after the Senator said murderers should be given the “right to a rope in his cell to make a decision about his or her life.”

A spokesman on law and order for the Harper government, the Senator was speaking in defence of the Conservative’s omnibus crime bill. He is a victims rights advocate. In 2002, his daughter was abducted, raped and killed by a repeat offender.

Senator Boisvenu did dial back his remarks and was defended vigorously in the House Wednesday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who appointed him to the Senate in 2009.

But the reaction from the opposition was swift and harsh; it seems Mr. Martin’s remark was the most egregious."

Globe & Mail

Wednesday, February 01, 2012 

Conservative Senator Wants To Encourage Suicide As Part Of Canada's Justice System - UPDATED

"A tough-on-crime Conservative senator who said murderers should be provided with the tools to kill themselves in jail sparked a furor during Question Period on Wednesday.

“Each assassin should have the right to a rope in his cell to make a decision about his or her life,” senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu told reporters ahead of a meeting of the Conservative caucus on Wednesday.

The NDP raised the furor during Question Period, pointing out that encouraging suicide is an illegal act in Canada.

“The death penalty debate in Canada has been closed for decades. Why are the Conservatives reopening the old debate?” Interim NDP Leader Nycole Turmel said."

Globe & Mail

'... oops .. sorry.' says Conservative Senator - (after quick, sharp ass-kick from the PMO)..


"You stuff the Senate full of hacks and flaks and Tory idiots and you're going to get some stupid comments. Whoever put him there should apologize on his behalf if he's too stupid to apologize himself."
Pat Martin

Opposition MP

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