Friday, May 31, 2013 

Saskatchewan Party Government Looks To Expanding Private - 'For Profit' - Health Care Model

Progressive Bloggers

"If I have ten tax dollars to spend on health care .. I want to spend that ten dollars providing 'health care'  to citizens ... not $9 for services and $1 for someones profit margin."
Roy Romanow - 1995

Canadian Health Commissioner
Former Premier of Saskatchewan

Unfortunately, those on the hard Right see health care services in Canada as a commodity. They ideologically believe that Canada should have either all or most medical services provided as a 'fee for service' payable by the individual health 'consumer'.  That's the model that they have had in the USA and which left 40,000,000 Americans without basic health insurance.  (Oh, and  just for the record, the single greatest cause of personal bankruptcy in the US is inability to pay medical bills).

In Canada, primary hospitalization and health care has had a public element that ensures accessibility for all Canadiains ... not just ones who have lots of capital resources and can afford to pay.

But now we find that Saskatchewan's Right Wing Premier Wall is trying to pull a fast one and explore ways to infuse much, much more private - for profit - corporate elements into health care in Saskatchewan.

Health care memo raises privatization questions
According to an internal health care memo, more than a dozen core health care departments will undergo a “business case development.” With the Sask. Party’s privatization of health care laundry services earlier this week, the NDP wants to know how much of health care the Sask. Party could privatize.

“The people of Saskatchewan deserve to know how far the Sask. Party might push privatization in health care,” said John Nilson, NDP health critic. “A privatized system risks putting profits ahead of patients.”

The memo, sent jointly from the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and Shared Services Saskatchewan (3sHealth), describes a three-year plan “for business case development, which will create the forum to bring people together to identify opportunities and develop the strategy to achieve them.” The memo notes that 3sHealth will use private consultants to help develop the business cases.

The NDP said it is time for the Sask. Party to publicly draw a line in the sand, telling people what it would consider privatizing and how much health care in Saskatchewan might change.

The health care departments listed in the memo include:

  • Laboratory services
  • Medical imaging services
  • Information technology / information services
  • Supply chain services
  • Environmental services
  • Transcription services
  • Capital project management services
  • Enterprise risk management
  • Pharmacy services
  • Facility services
  • Internal audit services
  • Food services
  • Business intelligence services
Sask New Democratic Caucus

Thursday, May 30, 2013 

Email Shows Duffy Sought 'Perks' When Appointed To The Senate In Order To Fundraise For The Conservatives - He Suggested 'Minister Without Portfolio' To Get Car & Staff!

Progressive Bloggers

There are good reasons why I frequently use a pic of large 'hogs at the trough' when I post stories about the Canadian Senate ... (just sayin').

"Six months after he was appointed to the Senate, Mike Duffy was in consultations with Conservatives about an expanded role in the party and expectations of increased compensation, including his own suggestion he be named a minister without portfolio to get a car and staff, according to an email exchange obtained by CBC News.

The email, with the subject line "Duff" and dated July 2009, appears to be sent from Duffy's private email account to an unidentified Conservative Party insider.

In a reply, the party insider advises Duffy to keep any expenses for additional staff or resources with the party, and out of his office budget, "or it will hurt you down the road." The email asks for advice about how Duffy should be compensated for what the email calls "my expanded role in the party." In the message, Duffy says he'll be speaking with Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein at a Senate golf banquet, but seems to indicate he'd already spoken with Gerstein.

The email goes on, "I suggested they make me a min without portfolio, so I get a staff, car and more resources to deal with the pr fallout etc. he laughed and said he didn't think THAT was within the realm of the Cons fund."  Conservative Fund Canada is the party's war chest, funded by supporters' donations, and is chaired by Gerstein. Gerstein, a former president of Peoples Jewellers and chair of the Senate banking committee, was appointed to the Senate on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the same time as Duffy, in January 2009.

So, continues the email, "What do I demand?" Then, in a bracketed sentence, he seems to answer his own question: "(That the Cons fund hire my private company, and I use the cash to hire additional staff to assist with these gigs?)"

Finally, the email asks whether he should have a separate meeting with "Marjory," in apparent reference to the government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton. He adds, "Should I request a one on one with Stephen? To what end?" He signs off, "Mike, at home."
 --CBC News--


Privatization Of Saskatchewan Hospital Laundry Services Will Force Hundreds Of Employees Out Of Work

Progressive Bloggers

The Saskatchewan Party lost the 2003 provincial election when their leader, Elwin Hermanson said to a reporter, "why wouldn't we look at selling crown corporations?

That one sentence resonated negatively with voters and ensured the defeat of the surging Saskatchewan Party. The New Democrats earned a fourth term in power.

Shortly thereafter, the Sask Party ditched Elwin and elected a charismatic, young MLA  named Brad Wall to lead them.  Wall had previously served as a ministerial aide during Conservative Premier Grant Devine's failed administration.

New leader, Wall, was smart enough to understand that his party's belief in privatization was simply not going to fly in a province that understood the importance of public enterprise for the overall good of taxpayers. 

Under Wall's direction, the Saskatchewan Party immediately and firmly disavowed ANY crown liquidation and denied their privatization agenda. After 16 years of New Democratic rule, the Sask Party finally won an electoral mandate in 2007.

Wall's biggest challenge as Premier centers around trying to control and contain a rabid faction of his Party that lives and breaths hard right wing 'Reform Party' ideology. To appease this Right wing faction, Wall has been challenged to find ways to limit public ownership and services in the province.

In spite of earlier denials, privatization is happening in Saskatchewan, albeit incrementally. 

For example, over 300 employees around the province will be losing their jobs due to Brad Wall's centralization AND privatization of all hospital laundry services.  
-SEIU: Private Laundry is No Solution for Health Care

-Regina Leader-Post: Provincial laundry service to be built, owned and operated by third-party 

-GlobalPost: Saskatchewan privatizes hospital linen service; union says 300 to lose jobs

Saskboy has a great post on this story as well ...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 

"An obsessively partisan Stephen Harper slips into his Richard Nixon mode": Thomas Walkom

Those who did not live during the era of failed American President Richard Nixon, may not be aware of the similarities between him and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Star's Thomas Walkom finds some disturbing parallels ...

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s affinity for political hardball is well-known.

Politics is a tough profession and Harper, like many successful practitioners of the art, has few qualms about getting down and dirty.

But increasingly, there is an outrageous element to Conservative partisanship — a craziness that borders on pathology. - Think Richard Nixon."
The Star

 Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 

PM Stephen Harper May Have Met His Waterloo In Question Period .....

(Please forgive and endure the brief commercial prior to QP ...)

Watch Harper's body language and especially watch Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's reaction to the grilling of the Prime Minister in Question Period today. 

CBC -Harper Faces Sharp Questions Over Duffy-Wright / Senate Scandal 

 Progressive Bloggers


Justin Trudeau Steps Into A Pile Of Stinky 'Senate' Crap ......

Progressive Bloggers

"We have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta and British Columbia. It's to our advantage. To want to abolish it is demagoguery ... We'll have to improve it."
Justin Trudeau, Leader
Liberal Party of Canada 

As more and more Canadians come around to the position of Canada's New Democrats on the unelected Senate ... guess what Justin Trudeau decides to spring on his party faithful?
The political columnist with the Regina Leader-Post is bang on with today's offering:

Trudeau lets PM off Senate hook
"It must be reassuring to federal Conservatives besieged by the Senate scandal to know that there is a federal politician in this country more tone-deaf than Prime Minister Stephen Harper.In fact, the godsend for the Conservatives right now might very well be Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
Just as Harper's buffoonish handling of the Senate scandal had his Conservatives slipping behind the Liberals - at least, according to increasingly untrustworthy polling - along comes Trudeau with an incredibly stupid remark bound to offend anyone outside Quebec.

Monday, May 27, 2013 

PM Stephen Harper's Hand Picked Former Head Of The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) Arrested For Fraud & Gov't Fraud

Progressive Bloggers

Issues management for the Harper Conservatives just keeps moving from 'bad' to 'worse':

"Arthur Porter, the well-connected oncologist and hospital administer whom Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed three years ago to oversee Canada’s spy agency, was arrested with his wife in Panama on charges of fraud against the Quebec government.
The charges relate to his alleged role in the handling of a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital construction and maintenance contract, awarded to troubled engineering giant SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. in 2010.
The head of Quebec’s anti-corruption task force made the announcement Monday evening. Robert Lafreniere said the arrest in Panama was done with assistance from the RCMP and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
Dr. Porter and his wife, Pamela Porter, are in police custody and are to be extradited to Canada."
National Post


Arthur Porter, a man accused of being at the heart of a scandal involving the $1.3 billion McGill University Health Centre mega-hospital project in Montreal, has been arrested in Panama.
Porter is facing multiple charges including fraud, conspiracy to commit government fraud, abuse of trust, secret commissions and laundering the proceeds of a crime.
His wife, Pamela, was also arrested. She is facing charges for laundering the proceeds of a crime and for conspiracy.
Porter resigned as CEO of the MUHC in late 2011 amid allegations of mismanaging billion-dollar budgets and a $22.5-million fraud against the hospital that happened on his watch.
He left the MUHC less than a month after he resigned as chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), which monitors the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), after his ties to a controversial lobbyist became public.
The radiation oncologist had been treating himself for terminal lung cancer in Nassau, Bahamas 
CBC News Online


Oh Boo Hoo! ... 'Conservative Caucus Horrifically Depressed " - Hill Times

Progressive Bloggers  

 I had a good belly laugh at the headline on today's Hill Times article: 

"PM’s Conservative caucus ‘horrifically depressed’ about Senate expenses scandal, brand takes big hit, say Tories"
 "The majority-governing Conservative caucus is “horrifically depressed” and “disappointed” that three of their Senators appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper are embroiled in an explosive housing and travel expense scandal that is putting a major blow to their brand and party, say Conservatives and political insiders. 

“Caucus is horrifically depressed. They are more depressed than angry,” said one Conservative insider, who did not want to be identified. “It’s hurting the government, it’s a distraction. It’s hurting the Conservative brand and the party more than the government because it’s a fundamental to who we are as Conservatives. It’s a blow to the brand because we actually care. We came to Ottawa to fix this.”
The Hill Times

I do hope that the federal Tory Caucus IS depressed .... now they get an idea of what the vast majority of Canadians have been feeling about them!

Saturday, May 25, 2013 

Saskatchewan Premier Wall No Longer Believes Senate Can Be Reformed

On this site, I give credit where credit is due.

"I think it is time to abolish the Senate. I think it is reflective of what Canadians are saying," "I don't think reform is possible. I think abolition is also difficult, but it is ... more doable than reform. I guess we all had hoped in Western Canada that it might be reformed — that would be the first preference. I just don't think it can be."
Brad Wall
Premier of Saskatchewan

-Saskatchewan premier Wall no longer believes Senate can be reformed 

-Sask Premier Brad Wall ahead of PM on abolishing Senate

 Progressive Bloggers

Friday, May 24, 2013 

If the Conservatives hoped that the Senate Scandal would distract voters from the missing $3.1 Billion tax dollar Scandal - IT WORKED!!

Progressive Bloggers  

“That, in light of $3.1 billion of missing funds outlined in Chapter Eight of the 2013 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada, an order of the House do issue for the following documents from 2001 to the present, allowing for redaction based on national security: (a) all Public Security and Anti-Terrorism annual reports submitted to the Treasury Board Secretariat; (b) all Treasury Board submissions made as part of the Initiative; (c) all departmental evaluations of the Initiative; (d) the Treasury Board corporate database established to monitor funding; that these records be provided to the House in both official languages by June 17, 2013; that the Speaker make arrangements for these records to be made available online; and that the Auditor General be given all necessary resources to perform an in-depth forensic audit until the missing $3.1 billion is found and accounted for.”
Federal NDP Caucus Parliamentary Motion

Thursday, May 23, 2013 

So Called 'Booming' Saskatchewan (the home of publicly funded health care) FAILS In Health Care Performance

(Click on image to enlarge ... )

Saskatchewan is the home of publicly funded healthcare in Canada. Unfortunately, under the stewardship of Premier Brad Wall and his right leaning Saskatchewan Party administration, public health care performance has fallen to an embarrassing #FAIL.

"When it comes to maintaining a healthy province, Saskatchewan gets a poor grade.
A new report by the Conference Board of Canada examines more than 90 factors, giving Saskatchewan a “D” grade for overall health-care performance.
“We know that there’s great patient-centred care being delivered (in Saskatchewan),” said Tyler McMurchy, spokesman for the provincial Ministry of Health. “We know that there’s room for improvement in any health-care system, including ours.”
Metro News

-Saskatchewan's New Democrats ...  

Progressive Bloggers


Saskatchewan Senator David Tkachuk Has Long History With Corrupt Conservative Governments ...

Progressive Bloggers

In the dying days of the corrupt Conservative administration of Brian Mulroney, David Tkachuk was named as a senator from the province of Saskatchewan. A patronage reward to the undemocratic, unelected Senate was thanks for the many years he served as Principle Secretary to Saskatchewan's Conservative Premier Grant Devine. 

For those who need a reminder, Grant Devine oversaw one of the most corrupt governments in Canadian history. Grant Devine was premier of Saskatchewan for two terms, holding power from 1982- 1991:

"Saskatchewan Tories in Fraud Scandal
In what is easily the biggest political scandal in Saskatchewan's history, no fewer than 12 members of Devine's government - which was swept out of office in 1991 after nine years in power - have been charged in relation to a scheme that defrauded taxpayers of more than $837,000."

While David Tkachuk was never charged for any involvement in the crimes of the Devine administration, it seems that old Conservative habits are hard to change.

Fast forward to 2013 where we find the good Senator involved in a whitewash of the official audit of Senator Mike Duffy's expenses. Yes ... old habits do die hard for old, corrupt Conservatives.

-CTV News ...  
"The order to sanitize an audit of Sen. Mike Duffy’s expenses came from two key Conservatives on the Senate’s internal economy committee: chair David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen, CTV News has learned."

-CBC has more ...
"Letters between Senator Mike Duffy and Senator David Tkachuk, head of the committee looking into his expenses, reveal that Duffy was at times an active participant in the investigation that the committee conducted on him. " has more ... 
"Tkachuk, chairman of the Senate’s internal economy committee, told Postmedia News Harper’s office got in touch with him asking about the audit process — and wondering when the final report from auditors would be made public.“This was a political problem that was becoming worse because it was spinning out of control,” Tkachuk said from his home in Saskatchewan where he is recovering from surgery."

-Even more from CBC ... 
"Key paragraphs removed from report tabled in Senate by Conservative Senators Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen"


"Tkachuk, Devine said, seemed to take everything in stride.  “He does what he’s asked to do,” Devine said. “You could count on him. He wasn’t the kind of guy who would look for excuses.”
Feb - 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 

-- The Harpranos --

(Canada's newest mob show is dominating the entertainment ratings)

(Click on images above to enlarge ...)

No one is producing better graphic representations of the Harper/Conservative/Senate Scandal than Simon from the Montreal Simon blogsite. Kudos sir!!

Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 

--Harper Completely Sidesteps PMO / Senate Scandal - Today marks the beginning of the end of his government ...

(The Harpranos)

Stephen Harper's speech to his Caucus isn't going to work out very well for the Conservatives in the long run.

Here's how the emergency Conservative Caucus meeting went this morning:

1) Harper invited the Parliamentary Press Gallery into the Caucus room for the first part of the meeting.  

2) He started the meeting by making a statement. He didn't let Caucus members have a chance to do or say anything on the issue in front of the press.

3) He had his stern face on and lectured the Caucus, threatening anyone who falsely files expense claims from here on.

4) The Caucus applauded ..

5) The Press were not allowed to ask any questions and then left the meeting.

6) Basically the emergency Conservative Caucus meeting was over. Control of the Caucus by the PMO remains resolute and firm.

7) There was no press scrum with Harper after the Caucus meeting.

8) Harper will leave shortly for his trip to Peru.

... all hell breaks loose in social media and perhaps even the MSM!  :)

(graphic reproduced with kind permission of Montreal Simon ....)

Monday, May 20, 2013 

'One Thing Leads To Another' - How Stephen Harper Single Handedly Created The Current Senate Scandal ..

Progressive Bloggers

When Stephen Harper decided to add Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy to Canada's unelected, undemocratic Senate, he started in motion a series of events that has ultimately become an ugly, nasty political scandal.

For starters, neither Duffy nor Wallin qualified for senate appointment as representatives of their respective native provinces.

While Ms. Wallin is originally from Saskatchewan, she has lived away for most of her adult life and Saskatchewan was no longer her principle residence.
Saskatchewan's right leaning corporate MSM came running to Harper's defence and tried to murky the waters about Wallin's residency requirement.

Same with Mr. Duffy. While originally from Prince Edward Island, he has for decades made Ontario the site of his actual 'principle residence'.

In his haste to add these two high powered, Conservative fundraisers to the 'Upper House', Stephen Harper and the Senate turned a blind eye to the residency requirements for Duffy and Wallin. In fact, to try and maintain the optics of residency in their respective provinces, both Senators started to declare, in writing, that their residences were 'back home' in both PEI and Saskatchewan.

Here is where it all went wrong.

In order to be appointed to the Senate, ‘principle residence' reality had to be fabricated in order for Harper's appointments to be acknowledged under existing Senate rules. False expense claims were the only way to maintain the charade ...

Stephen Harper wanted both Duffy and Wallin in the Senate so that these well-known Canadians could crisscross  the nation and rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for Conservative Party coffers.

Harper created this mess. It is his doing ... and hopefully, it will also be his undoing.


-Buckdog 2008: Academic Says Pamela Wallin Does NOT Meet Residency Requirements - Should NOT Be Appointed Senator 'From Saskatchewan'!

Sunday, May 19, 2013 

Stephen Harper Is Far Too Sleazy, Corrupt And Dishonest To Be Straight With Canadians About The Senate Scandal ....

Progressive Bloggers

-Stephen Harper is never going to be honest with Canadians about the sleaze that is oozing out of his political administration.

-There isn't even any point in the RCMP investigating the Senate scandal because the leadership of the RCMP is in Harper's hip pocket and will whitewash whatever the Conservatives have done.

-If Stephen Harper prorogues Canada's Parliament this week then things will get very, very serious in the nation.

-Democracy, as we know it in Canada, is not going to survive Stephen Harper's stranglehold on power without some serious damage.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 

During the 2011 Federal Election Senator Wallin Defended Her Conservative Party Campaign Fundraising Activities. Here's What She Said ...

Progressive Bloggers

The following email was sent by Senator Pam Wallin to Postmedia News on April 15, 2011:

I am in Saskatchewan supporting our MP’s who are seeking re-election. The NDP opposes the existence of the Senate so any comments or criticism they might have must be looked at in that light. They would not likely support or agree with  anything we do as they deny our constitutional role as an integral party of our parliamentary system. 

Pure Conservative snark. When questioned (gently) by the MSM, she used the usual Conservative tactic and attacked the NDP - even while she stood there with her hand in the cookie jar.  Nice.

Saskatchewan's mostly Right leaning MSM, simply love her. As an example, the political columnist for the Regina Leader-Post jumped to her defense in this priceless article:

"Pamela Wallin drinks Vico and wears a Green 'Rider bunny hug. She knows the menu for a fall supper is jelly salad, cabbage rolls, perogies and that "dainties" refer to the dessert - not underwear."
Murray Mandryk
'Senate Is The Problem - Not Wallin' - Regina Leader-Post, Feb. 16, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013 

Senate's Internal Economy Board Removed Damning Findings From Sen. Duffy’s Audit Report Before It Was Tabled In The Senate

The Conservative Senate Crisis continues unabated ....

"The Senate’s internal economy committee sanitized the original audit of Sen. Mike Duffy’s expenses to remove damning findings, documents obtained by CTV News show.

A confidential report obtained by CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife shows the original version of Duffy’s audit found that the senator broke the Senate’s “very clear” and “unambiguous” residency rules."
CTV News


'DuffyGate' now expands to include political interference in SunNewsNetwork application to CRTC .....

Progressive Bloggers

"You know people at the CRTC, This is an important decision on Sun Media. They (CRTC) have to play with the team and support Sun Media’s request.”

.Sen. Mike Duffy attempted to influence the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s upcoming decision involving the right-leaning Sun News Network, a source has told CTV News.

A well-placed source told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that Duffy approached a Conservative insider with connections to the CRTC three weeks ago to discuss Sun Media, which is asking the federal regulator to grant its news channel “mandatory carriage,” or guaranteed placement on basic cable and satellite packages.
The move would boost Sun News Network’s profile and revenues.

CTV News

Thursday, May 16, 2013 

"Follow the Piggy - He Might Lead You to Sussex Drive" - Guest Blog Post by The Mound of Sound

Buckdog Politics is going to share a great post with you today. (When the time comes for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards .. I'm voting for this one!)

So, let's run this scenario, Mound's favourite passtime.   How might the timeline of Mike Duffy's expense woes play out now that we know a few more details. It begins (for our purposes) when senator Mike Duffy has a brown hemorrhage on realizing there is going to be a forensic audit of his expenses triggered by questions about the legitimacy of his housing allowance claims.  That sends him into a panic trying to get PEI to get him a health care card via Fed Ex Overnight, yada, yada, yada.  That doesn't work.

Duffy comes clean with the PMO (if they don't already know) that it's more than just the housing allowance.   There's also the expenses for a Florida vacation he had reimbursed out of the public purse.   But wait, there's more.   All that tireless work he did attending Conservative fundraisers and supporting Tory candidates on the campaign trail - yep, them too.

So, Mike Duffy, Stephen Harper's most productive little piggy, bares his soul... to Harper's Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright.   And this is where a small problem might just turn into a huge problem for those at the very top.
At this point, I want to tell you a fairy tale.  Chief of Staff Wright, on learning that Duffy has repeatedly raided the collection plate, absolutely does not go to the guy he works for and says, "Boss, we've got a huge problem here.  Duffy's been milking the public purse.   The auditors are hot on his heels."

But Nigel Wright doesn't do that although Wright would almost certainly have to do that so Steve could decide whether to hand Duffy a Tory blue pink slip.  No, not at all.   Wright, instead, makes sure Steve has no say in the matter and simply hands Duffy a cheque, drawn on his very own account, and a bag of magical dust to make it all go away.   And then Wright, knowing that the auditors are going to have plenty of questions about all of these "misunderstandings" orders Duffy to remain silent.   And Wright does this entirely of his own initiative without Harper knowing anything, nothing at all about any of it.

And they all lived happily ever after - not.   Because this isn't a fairy tale.   What it actually is isn't exactly clear but it is coming to look a lot like Harper's right hand man knew Duffy had misappropriated public money (call that what you will) and then conspired with Duffy to conceal it from the auditors and who knows who else might look into it, maybe the police?
At this point we get into books that deal with questions of "over five thousand dollars" or "under five thousand dollars."

Hmm, I wonder how many Blackberrys have ended up at the bottom of the Rideau river over this?  Just a silly thought.

And it all might have worked out just fine - if Duffy didn't spill all the details to his close buddies in Ottawa (a small phonebook's worth), one or more of whom sent Duffy's e-mails to CTV.
Which brings us to the real question:  was there a conspiracy to conceal evidence of a possible crime and was the PMO a party to it?  How could Nigel Wright have done something as high-risk as this without informing his boss?   Wright would have had to make tough calls that can only be made by a prime minister including whether Duffy should stay or had to go.   The details may have been Wright's work but it's almost inconceivable that he did it without the directing hand of the Boss, the biggest control freak in the realm.

So many questions, so few answers.   Maybe if we wait long enough Mike Duffy will spill the rest of this story but if I was him I'd stay a safe distance from the cliffs above the Rideau for a while.
The Disaffected Lib

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 

Yo! ... The Duffer ....

Progressive Bloggers

After reading the following article ..  much of what's happening with Senator Duffy suddenly became very clear. 
1) Some of the 'Senate business' expense claims filed by Mr. Duffy may well have been for travel to and from Conservative Party fundraising events around the country. (We don't know and can't find out because Senator Duffy will not co-operate with the auditors .. saying that he has repaid the $90 grand  ... 'so get off my back' .... ).
2) Duffy is not prepared to be hung out to dry or left 'out of pocket' by the Harper cabal. After all, he left his former employment to raise funds for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Enjoy this great article!

The old adage in politics is follow the money.
In early June, 2009, it was Duffy — employing his unmistakable public profile and professional speaking skills — who hosted a $100,000-plus, campaign-style town hall for Harper in Cambridge, Ont., where the prime minister touted the benefits of his new "economic action plan."
That same month, local news reports began chronicling Conservative party fundraisers at which Duffy was the star attraction.
"I'm still learning about those secret handshakes and the wink-wink, nudge-nudge," the new senator quipped to the Peterborough Examiner on June 19 before a party event that attracted about 140 people at $100 a pop — a $14,000 evening.
By September of his first year in the upper chamber, "Old Duff" was sending out personalized video messages from the Conservative party in which he called the recipient by their first name and invited them to fill in a survey. An interactive, online application allowed people to provide their names so Duffy could appear to hail them, as well: "Hey Susan, it's the Old Duff here."
In small-town Canada, the 30-year veteran of CBC and CTV was treated as a star.
"Who would have thought the 'Duffinator' and host of 'Mike Duffy Live!' would ever be in Langley," the local B.C. riding association president gushed in one party release. "This is the can't-miss political event in Langley this year."
Duffy's public profile does more than raise money for the party. It also attracts fawning local press.
A visit to Lacombe, Alta., for a fundraising dinner with the Wetaskiwin Conservative Association spawned both an advance story in the Lacombe Globe and coverage that quoted Duffy's speech at length.
"Someone said to me how screwed up the Liberals are and they're so screwed up they're stabbing each other in the front," Duffy was quoted by the newspaper telling the partisan crowd.
It's a scenario that has played out over and over across Canada, from Kelowna, B.C., to Charlottetown, P.E.I.
"Guest speaker Mike Duffy had the crowd in stitches as he reminisced of experiences from his CBC days and present day politics," said the Aurora Snap after the senator's November 2009 fundraiser with Conservative MP Lois Brown.
Then-Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff "is doing the work of three people — Larry, Curly and Moe," Duffy was quoted telling a party fundraiser in Wendover, Ont., that The Review website said was attended by more than 20 mayors and councillors from the region.
"Senator Duffy does stand-up job," said the headline in the Simcoe Reformer over a story about an April 2012 Conservative party fundraiser in Delhi, Ont.
-Senate appointment set Duffy loose as high-profile Conservative fundraiser: Winnipeg Free Press

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 

Sometimes I hate being correct all the time ..... (postscript on the B.C. Provincial Election result)

 (Flashback to April 25th and my tongue in cheek jab at 'positive campaigners' in my party):

Political Fights - Marquis Of Queensbury Rules VS A Kick In The Nuts ........ 

 Progressive Bloggers


It's Time For Change In BC ....

-B.C. New Democrats

-Your B.C. New Democratic Candidates

Progressive Bloggers

Monday, May 13, 2013 

Globe & Mail Gives A 'Right Wing' Endorsement To BC Liberals With Error Filled Editorial ...

Progressive Bloggers

The following article was published on The Tyee on May 13, 2013 and is well worth reading:

The Globe and Mail published an editorial on Friday evening endorsing Christy Clark and the BC Liberals to form the next government for British Columbia. Adrian Dix and his New Democrats were deemed by the Globe too "risky." The editorial cited among key reasons Dix's opposition to the TransMountain pipeline and the fact that while he presents himself as moderate, he is running with "left wingers" who would "wield influence."

One might assume that at Canada's self-styled national newspaper of record the act of advising British Columbians on who they should choose to elect to run their province would be considered a weighty and important task. The Globe has excellent reporters in British Columbia ready and available to offer their insights and fact check the resulting editorial... one might think. Instead, the Globe's editorial writer(s) couldn't properly spell the name of one of the NDP politicians they declared too "left-wing" and therefore risky. It's George Heyman, not, as the editorial had it, George Hayman. 

Even more startling, the editorial embraces the TransMountain pipeline even as it gets wrong what stuff that pipeline now carries, describing it as a "gas pipeline that runs from Alberta and ends in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby" that is proposed to begin carrying oil. Certainly the Globe's reporting team based in Vancouver knows the existing TransMountain pipeline already carries oil.

Which raises the question: Who wrote the Globe editorial, how was it fact checked if at all, and who gave it final approval?

The Tyee sent such questions to Globe editor in chief John Stackhouse and Globe public editor Sylvia Stead on Sunday at 4:36 Pacific Time, two days after the editorial had been published, its errors still in place. Stead responded, saying, "As you know editorials are unsigned. I have been alerted to two errors which are being corrected." (Hours later, the fixes hadn't been made.)

The Tyee sent back an email saying: "Unsigned, yes, but someone has to write 'em. And there must be some process for coming to such an important decision. Is John Stackhouse involved in framing and writing them? Do you draw from reporters or editors on the ground here in BC when you write your editorials pertaining to key BC issues? Do you fact check your editorials with people in BC who are covering the issues?

"Or would it be fair to say that this editorial was written and okayed in the Toronto offices without checking the final copy with anyone in BC offices?"

Stead said she couldn't respond until this morning, when she sent an email noting that Stackhouse had interviewed both Dix and Clark on editorial board visits to B.C. and been part of a group process arriving at the decision about who to endorse. However, "Newspapers including The Globe do not say who the writer was because the editorials are the voice of the newspaper." And, "The editorial was edited in Toronto and B.C."

Stead did not address how, in this particular case, or in general, the voice of the newspaper submits itself to fact checking, and by whom. The same editorial was published about the time the Globe's editors likely had received the latest Angus Reid poll their own newspaper commissioned. It showed the New Democrats widening their lead by two points, placing them ahead on Friday by nine points. It doesn't take a political scientist to conclude that's a relatively large margin signalling a favourable trend for the New Democrats. Yet the editorial gives the opposite impression, saying "the latest polls show a tight race between the right-of-centre Liberals and left-leaning New Democrats, and for good reason..."

Such highly torqued spin and mistaken facts in the Globe editorial will do little to change the views of any British Columbians who resent that so much of the province's major media is owned and run outside the province. The online version of the editorial drew hundreds of posted comments. Many noted how similar was the language used by the editorial writers and the BC Liberal campaign's own talking points. A scroll through the first 150 failed to reveal a single comment in support of the editorial.

As of 10:15 a.m. Pacific time this morning, the Globe editorial had corrected in its editorial the spelling of George Heyman's name. But it still incorrectly had the TransMountain pipeline transporting gas.

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 

Sask Premier Brad Wall Hypes Job Creation Of '16,700 New Jobs' In Last Year - Reality Is That 65% Were Temporary Foreign Workers ...

The Hype .......

The Reality .......

"Saskatchewan may be creating thousands of new jobs, but most are held by migrant workers according to a recent study by the Canadian Labour Congress. Between 2008 and 2011, 65 per cent of "net new jobs created" were held by temporary foreign workers, the CLC said Friday, citing data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada.

CLC president Ken Georgetti said he wants those workers "placed in the permanent immigration stream, not exploited in temporary migration schemes." A spokesperson for Industry Canada, however, disputes the CLC's numbers, citing a recent statement from Statistics Canada that says temporary foreign workers cannot accurately be traced by the Labour Force Survey.

The effect of temporary foreign workers on employment estimates is "negligible," said Statistics Canada.
Saskatchewan continues to enjoy one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. Last month, four per cent of people in the province were unemployed. Nationally, April's unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent.
"We want to keep this momentum going," said Kent Smith-Windsor, the executive director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce in a news release today.

The Chamber said businesses in Saskatoon created 700 new jobs in April. It did not specify what types of jobs those were."
-CBC Saskatchewan

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