Monday, July 29, 2013 

Right Wing 'News/Talk' Radio In Major Decline - Large US Radio Distributor Drops Rush Limbaugh And Others ....

Progressive Bloggers

Toxic, aggressive Right Wing radio talk show formats appear to be on the decline in both the US and Canada ... good news for the vast majority of us. 

"In what might be the biggest blow to Rush Limbaugh’s career as a radio personality as of yet, the second largest radio distributor in the country, Cumulus Media, is set to drop Limbaugh’s show from its airways at the end of the year.
But not just Limbaugh’s show—Cumulus Media will drop Sean Hannity’s show as well.
Politico is reporting that Cumulus Media has decided not to renew the contracts of either host, effectively removing both media personalities from 40 stations in major markets. [...]

The problem is, when you have a toxic host such as Rush Limbaugh, asking “top dollar” it's a little absurd.  Advertisers have been abandoning his show in droves for a while now, and while his name still gets headlines—his antics have actually been blamed for a decrease in revenue."

Sunday, July 28, 2013 

A Parents Worst Nightmare: 6 Young Teens Die In Saskatchewan Car Crash

Who amongst us did not cram a whole bunch of our friends into a car when we were teenagers ... just having fun ... laughing and going for a drive? Sometimes the absolute worst happens .. 

"The names of the six teens who died in a crash with a semi-tanker at a rural Saskatchewan intersection early Saturday morning have now been released by RCMP.

Three males and three females died following a crash about six kilometres southeast of Lloydminster, a city on the Saskatchewan/Alberta border.
Police have identified the victims as:
  • Aimie Hurley, 14, from Lloydminster
  • Mackenzie Moen, 14, from Lloydminster
  • Naomi Salas-Schafer, 13, from Lloydminster
  • Kristopher Tavener, 17, from Marshall, Sask.
  • Tarren Attfield, 15, from Lashburn, Sask.
  • Jayden Boettcher, 16, from Marshall, Sask.
Five of the teens died at the scene. A sixth died later in hospital.
The driver of the tanker truck sustained undetermined injuries and is listed in stable condition.
CBC Saskatchewan

-Six Saskatchewan teens dead in submerged car following collision with tractor trailer

Thursday, July 25, 2013 

"The tide against the Conservatives will continue, because Harper isn't going to change a thing." Op Ed

Progressive Bloggers

A great article by former Saskatchewan MLA & Cabinet Minister Pat Atkinson ....

Harper 'change' cabinet retains mean face

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to hit the reset button with his cabinet shuffle, but he'll have to do better.As Harper was busy answering reporters' questions about his "change" cabinet, the one question that seemed to get him stuck was what he was going to do to change. He ducked the question.

The cabinet makeover was supposed to be a channel changer, but I'm not sure that it will stop Harper's political slide. While there are some new faces around his cabinet table, he still has significant challenges to overcome if the Conservatives are to get a fourth term and keep him in the prime minister's chair.

Let's face it. Harper doesn't exactly resonate all that well with women and young people, who appear to be more comfortable with the NDP and the Liberal party. Women and the new generation usually have a pretty good nose when it comes to those who feel the need to be in control and have a bit of a mean streak.

Harper's behaviour suggests he has both qualities. By increasing the number of women in cabinet and including some younger MPs, the prime minister is hoping to freshen his government's image, touting a message of gender equality and generational change along with a steady hand being provided by veteran ministers.

Yet what sticks out in his attempt at putting more women in cabinet is that the male guard remains responsible for Canada's fiscal and economic policies. It is the same old, same old, with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Treasury Board Chair Tony Clement, International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver staying put. But one thing is for sure: You can get into Harper's cabinet if you have a nasty streak and stick to the PMO's endless talking points.

Several young backbench MPs who appeared regularly in the media to defend the government with their unpleasant barbs got promoted in the shuffle.

While two of these talking heads - Ontario MPs Kellie Leitch and Chris Alexander - became full-fledged ministers, the most effective among this group, the able and gifted Calgary MP Michelle Rempel, now in her early 30s, is a junior Minister of State for Western Diversification. That's too bad. If Harper really were interested in putting a new face on his government he would have placed Rempel, who has the temerity to think on her own occasionally and communicate effectively, in a full cabinet position.

Watching the ministers swear their oath of office to freely express their opinions reminded me that it's their job to speak truth to power. And here's where having women in key cabinet positions and on influential cabinet committees could have made a difference if Harper really is prepared to let them speak and listen to what they have to say.

One of the things that struck me when I sat at the cabinet table in both the Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert governments was that the women, of whom there were good numbers, always expressed their views, even when "the boss" didn't want to hear it.

There were occasions when the premier needed to be reminded that he had put a woman in a cabinet position for a reason and he needed to pay attention. Fellow cabinet ministers such as Louise Simard, Carol Teichrob, Carol Carson, Joanne Crofford and Judy Junor had no difficulty advocating for policy changes they believed in.
All of these women were given assignments that meant something, and because of the breadth of their experience were listened to, whether the person hearing it liked it or not. Having more women occupy cabinet seats could mean something if these ministers are given some substantive goals. We'll have to wait to see if the next throne speech lays out a different agenda for any of the federal portfolios occupied by women. So, what does this cabinet shuffle mean in terms of improving the Conservatives' chances come the 2015 federal election? Very little, actually.
Harper remains the face of cabinet, and it is the face of the underlying negative social policies and attitudes, and the remoteness and meanness of the government - all of which are turning off a majority of Canadians.

Leaders of governments like to think that a shuffle "puts a new face" on their administration. It doesn't, because the same old key face remains. The tide against the Conservatives will continue, because Harper isn't going to change a thing.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 

Over 200 Groups And Organizations Formally Ask Harper's PMO To Release Their 'Enemies' List ...

Progressive Bloggers

OTTAWA—More than 200 public-interest and aid organizations are formally asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to reveal who’s on the “enemy” lists given to new ministers in this month’s cabinet shuffle.

But it doesn’t appear that Harper’s PMO will be producing the lists anytime soon — if ever.

A letter from Voices-Voix, a coalition of well-known groups such as Amnesty International and Oxfam, was sent on Wednesday to the PMO, in the wake of a leaked PMO email directing staffers to include lists of “friend and enemy stakeholders” in ministerial briefing books before the July 15 shuffle."
The Star


Former Sask Premier Roy Romanow Says Health-care Reform Will Go Further With Federal Support - Urges PM Harper To Meet With Premiers

Progressive Bloggers  

Stephen Harper continues to avoid meeting with Canada's Premiers as they struggle to deal with a variety of issues that face each province and the nation as a whole.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper has to meet with Canada's premiers to make the most out of provincial and territorial efforts to stretch health-care spending, former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow says. Romanow told CBC News that the premiers are doing what they can, but they need the support of the federal government to cut costs and improve service.

Responsibility for health care is shared between the two levels of government, he said. The premiers are trying to talk to Harper, but he won't meet with them, Romanow said. A meaningful dialogue is more important than increasing the current funding, he added. Romanow, who also led a royal commission on the future of health care, spoke to CBC on Tuesday ahead of the premiers' annual meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont."
CBC News

Lobbyists pressure premiers to ‘stand up’ to the federal government’s stance on medicare
Medicare lobbyists will rally in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., on Wednesday, calling on the provinces to “stand up” to the federal government in a renewed attempt to renegotiate Canada’s health accord that governed health transfer payments to the provinces.

Put in place in 2004, the accord is set to expire in 2014 and be replaced by a per-capita funding system that lobbyists say will create inequalities in health care across the provinces and territories. Adrienne Silnicki, the health-care campaigner for the Council of Canadians, said she is concerned that the federal government is reducing its share of health-care costs that will force provinces to increase taxes or make cuts to their health-care services.

“We are seeing more and more of a patchwork system happening instead of this idea that Canadians have where they can go from one province to another and expect the same services within a similar amount of time that are covered by their provincial health plan.”

Premiers forge ahead on health care; empty federal seat limits options   
Canada’s premiers will examine new ways to forge ahead on health care initiatives when they meet in Niagara-on-the-Lake this week; but the federal government’s empty seat is limiting their options. The Council of the Federation meeting, which begins Wednesday, comes on the heels of their health care working group’s first major victory. As of April 1, provinces and territories are paying less for six widely used generic drugs thanks to a bulk purchasing agreement they negotiated.

Typo corrected 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 

Did Stephen Harper Tell Premier Brad Wall To Tone Down Any Talk About Abolishing The Senate?

Progressive Bloggers  

We have a bit of a political mystery in Saskatchewan today. 

Recently, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall stated very clearly that he had changed his mind on the Canadian Senate. Rather than trying to 'fix' the unelected, undemocratic institution, Wall said that he now favoured abolition. In fact, Wall quickly arranged for a referendum of members of his Saskatchewan Party to reverse their existing policy on Senate reform.

What was interesting during Wall's 'abolition' pronouncements, was the fact that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had no comment. 

But suddenly, Premier Wall seems to have slightly reversed his previous bravado on Senate abolition. What gives?

It is well known in Saskatchewan political circles, that when Stephen Harper tells Brad Wall to 'jump' ... the only question is 'how high'?

REGINAProvincial Opposition Leader Cam Broten says Premier Brad Wall needs to clarify his government’s position on introducing legislation in support of abolishing Canada’s Senate.

“Last week, we saw some waffling and some backpedalling by the premier about how strong of a stand they are going to take in terms of showing leadership here from a provincial perspective,” Broten, leader of the province’s NDP Opposition, said Monday about the Sask. Party government.

“We need to see a walk that matches the talk and the waffling and the backtracking that the premier did last week causes me to worry that for actually having a clear concrete plan to move this forward, the resolve isn’t as strong as it needs to be,” Broten added. [...]

Broten says the government’s messages have been confusing and called on the premier to take a stronger stance.

“It’s not enough simply to have the words, but there needs to be some action here. That would be a clear and concrete plan that would show leadership and show the other provinces that Saskatchewan means business. We need to see a walk that matches the talk,” Broten said.
Broten says that if the government doesn’t act, the NDP will bring forward a motion in the fall “clearly stating Saskatchewan’s position and giving that option to the Sask. Party MLAs to vote on.”
Regina Leader-Post
- MURRAY MANDRYK: Wall of silence on Senate won't do

Monday, July 22, 2013 

After Confusing Mixed Messages From Premier Wall, Sask NDP Want Him To Bring 'Abolish Senate' Action To Premiers Meeting

Progressive Bloggers  

"NDP Leader Cam Broten is calling on the premier to commit to a provincial resolution to abolish the Senate and urge the other provinces to do the same while meeting with Canada’s premiers this week.

"The NDP has long wanted to abolish the Senate and roll up the red carpet. I am pleased that the premier has come to our position on this, but the Opposition is concerned that his walk doesn't appear to match his talk,” said Broten. “We want him to go to the first ministers' meeting and show that Saskatchewan means business, rather than waffling on this issue. Saskatchewan can and should be a leader in working to abolish the unelected, unaccountable and expensive Senate.”

Broten said that the NDP is prepared to lead, and will introduce a Senate abolition resolution in Saskatchewan if the premier fails to during the fall session of the legislature. Broten has already committed to introduce a bill to repeal the premier's pro-Senate act in the fall.

Broten said he welcomes a cooperative approach with the government in order to pass a resolution for a constitutional amendment.

“I will work with government when what it’s doing makes sense,” said Broten. “What I’m hearing from families is that they want this government to take action now to stop the $100 million-a-year waste of their money.”

Saskatchewan New Democratic Caucus 

-'Brad Wall takes a step back from bold leadership position on Senate abolition' - John Ivison

-"Opposition NDP urges Saskatchewan Party to introduce Senate abolition resolution" - MetroNews 

Saturday, July 20, 2013 

Bell of Batoche Returns To Batoche, Saskatchewan 128 Years After It Was Looted As War Booty

(Church at Batoche where Battle was fought ..)

Progressive Bloggers  

128 years ago, the bell that rang in the Roman Catholic Church in Batoche, North West Territories (Saskatchewan) was stolen as a trophy of war by Canadian troops from Ontario. Today, the Bell was returned to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Cast in solid silver and standing about 30 centimetres tall, the bell is an important cultural relic of Canada's Metis.
The bell was seized from Batoche's church as a trophy of war by federal troops who put down the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, crushing the dream of Metis leader Louis Riel to build an independent Metis state. It was brought east and eventually ended up in a Royal Canadian Legion hall in Millbrook, Ont.
In 1991, it was stolen from the Legion by unknown conspirators and wasn't seen publicly until this weekend.
CBC Saskatchewan

-The 1885 Provisional Government of Saskatchewan

-Battle Of Batoche 1885

-Fixing A War Crime From 1885 - The Bell Of Batoche Coming Back To Saskatchewan

Friday, July 19, 2013 

Soon The Only Person Left In The PMO Will Be The Guy Who SHOULD Have Resigned In The First Place.

Progressive Bloggers

-Senior staffer who allegedly knew of Duffy payment leaves PMO (Chris Woodcock)  

-Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, resigns  

-Benjamin Perrin: ‘I was not consulted on, and did not participate in, Nigel Wright’s decision’

Thursday, July 18, 2013 

Canada's Print Media Editorial Boards Will Soon Have To Recognize The Need For Stephen Harper To Step Down

- National Post: Andrew Coyne "You will be shocked to see who is on Stephen Harper's Enemy List

-CTV News: PMO withholding email about Wright/Duffy deal from RCMP: sources

 -The Windsor Star: Richard Nixon, Watergate cited as anger erupts over Stephen Harper government's 'enemy' list

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 

Stephen Harper's PMO withholding email about Wright-Duffy deal from RCMP - Some would call it 'Obstruction of Justice' ...

Progressive Bloggers


"The Prime Minister’s Office has been withholding from the RCMP an email about the $90,000 cheque Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff wrote to Sen. Mike Duffy, CTV News has learned.

RCMP investigators have been trying to obtain the email ever since CTV News first revealed its existence two months ago.

The prime minister’s communications director, Andrew MacDougall, confirmed that the email exists.

 “My understanding is it is a paraphrase of conversations that happened,” he told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife. “I’ve had them described to me from someone who is no longer here.” The Feb. 20 email describes a secret deal to have Harper’s then-chief of staff Nigel Wright personally bail out Duffy, a Conservative senator who improperly claimed $90,172 in living expenses and faced the public release of an audit of his spending. 

In the email, Duffy tells his lawyer that Wright worked out a “scenario” where all of his invalid expenses would be covered, including “cash for the repayment.” Under the arrangement, Duffy would claim that he personally repaid his debt to taxpayers and the government would use its influence to blunt the outcome of the external audit.

A Conservative-dominated Senate committee subsequently whitewashed a damning audit report on Duffy’s expenses, which highlighted problems with his residency claims and per diems collected when he wasn’t in Ottawa on Senate business. 

After CTV News broke the story, Wright resigned and Duffy left the Conservative caucus to sit as an Independent.

CTV News

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 

By Appointing Pierre Poilievre To 'Democratic Reform' Portfolio, Stephen Harper Is Preparing To Do Battle With Elections Canada And The Press

Progressive Bloggers  

The nasty little piece of work known as Pierre Poilievre has three big 'issues' on the list with his newly assigned 'Democratic Reform' responsibilities:
-Corruption in the Senate and the public demand for reform/abolition
-The looming RoboCalls Trial of Michael Sona
-Demands for legislative changes to The Elections Act by the Chief Electoral Officer.

-Mr. Harper has no intention of making any changes to the Election Act. The Conservative Party is anxious to leave everything as is so that they can once again push all regulated limits to the extreme in the next federal campaign. Pierre Poilievre will stonewall and attack the Chief Electoral Officer at every turn.

-Michael Sona's trial is going to be closely watched by pundits and the public alike. Harper needs one voice to speak for the Conservatives ... and Pierre's ability to stick to the party line without any wavering is a big part of why he is now in Cabinet.

-Reform of the Senate is not going to happen under the Conservatives in any way, shape or form prior to the next election. If anything, Pierre is again going to aggressively repeat all the talking points for the next year and a half.

Monday, July 15, 2013 

PMO Asks Ministerial Staff To Prepare Briefing Binders For New Ministers With 'Blacklist' Of Problem Civil Servants And 'Enemy Reporters' ...

Progressive Bloggers

OTTAWA – In the lead-up to Monday’s cabinet shuffle, ministerial staffers were asked to develop lists of troublesome bureaucrats and “enemy” stakeholders, Global News has learned.

The information was to be included in a transition binder traditionally prepared for incoming ministers. Global News has obtained a July 4 email written by Erica Furtado, an executive assistant with issues management in the Prime Minister’s Office, with the subject line “Transition Binder Check List”. In the e-mail, Furtado lists 10 items that need to be addressed in the transition binders. See a scan of the actual email below.

A source provided the internal email to Global News, saying Furtado sent it following a meeting of the issues management team in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Essentially, ministerial staff was asked to develop a “blacklist” of public servants and stakeholders, the source said.

When the source and some others in their office protested putting such lists together, the group was labelled “political unreliable” and cut off from further communications on the matter, the source said.

Later on July 4, Furtado sent a follow-up email noting that item six on the checklist – fingering troublesome bureaucrats – was “no longer required.”

Examples for the stakeholder “enemies” included environmental groups, non-profits, and civic and industry associations with views that don’t run parallel to the Conservative agenda, the source explained. The source said the  PMO also  made a verbal request that ministerial staff  come up with a list of “enemy reporters,” but the request was subsequently withdrawn.

A spokesman from the prime minister’s office denied they ever requested a list of enemy reporters, but said the rest of the checklist is normal procedure for staff to assist in the transition of a new minister.
© Shaw Media, 2013
Global News

-‘Enemies’ lists show Tories’ combative stance with public service groups, union leader says: Globe & Mail


Yeah right .... we really 'trust' Pierre Poilievre to reform Canada's democracy .....

Progressive Bloggers

"The root cause of terrorism is terrorists." 
The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, MP
(Minister Responsible for Democratic Reform)

"The root cause of stupidity is being stupid."  
Buckdog Politics
(Political nerd, too much time on my hands)

-Hey Conservatives .... where's our missing $3.1 Billion tax dollars??

Friday, July 12, 2013 

UPDATED: Harper Administration Failed To Act On Auditor General's 2011 Rail Safety Recommendations - HofC Transport Committee Refuses To Convene ....

Progressive Bloggers

Many Canadian progressives are very aware of how deeply the Harper government is controlled by Big Oil. In light of the tragic events in Lac-Megantic, serious questions need to be directed to PM Harper.  The main questions is this ...  why has the Conservative administration been 'foot dragging' on a series of rail safety recommendations made by the Auditor General in a 2011 report. 

"OTTAWA – The Auditor General’s Office is refuting a claim that it “granted” Transport Canada extensions on fulfilling commitments to address weaknesses in its oversight of the transportation of dangerous goods.
“We aren’t, as auditors, the ones who grant extensions,” spokeswoman Celine Bissonnette wrote in an email. “That is Transport Canada’s own decision, for which they alone are accountable.”
The deadlines in question were set in response to a damning audit from the federal environment commissioner, who worked in the Auditor General’s Office, published in December 2011.
 Global News

"OTTAWA — It’s not urgent to review a critical audit exposing weaknesses in Transport Canada’s oversight of the transportation of dangerous goods because there’s no proof the report is relevant (???) in the wake of the Lac-Megantic train disaster, the Conservative chairman of the House of Commons transport committee said on Friday. Larry Miller, an Ontario MP, made the comments in response to an informal request from NDP transport critic Olivia Chow to hold emergency hearings on rail safety in light of the tragedy that has claimed dozens of lives after a runaway train carrying oil derailed, crashed and exploded in a small Quebec town last Saturday.  
The Gazette

"OTTAWA – The Conservative chair of the House of Commons transport committee says it’s too soon for MPs to reconvene to discuss rail safety, as suggested by the NDP in light of the fatal train crash in Lac-Megantic, Que.
Global News

Thursday, July 11, 2013 

Toronto Stock Exchange Surges At Prospect Of Continued Tax Payer Funded 'Corporate Welfare' In The USA

Progressive Bloggers  

Those Masters of the 'unfettered' Free Market system were jubilant on Bay St. in Toronto today. News came that the US Federal Reserve will continue to infuse tax dollars into the bank accounts of Corporate America! Yeah for the Rich! Yeah for Corporate Welfare!!!

Toronto stocks surge on Fed relief

The Toronto stock market and the Canadian dollar were sharply higher Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke offered reassurances that stimulus measures aren't going away any time soon.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index soared 186.33 points, or 1.5%, to close at 12,493.26, pushing the TSX back into positive territory for the year.The Canadian dollar climbed 0.7 cents to 96.26 cents U.S. 

Gold prices have enjoyed a sharp increase in recent years as a result of quantitative easing by the Fed and other central banks worldwide because QE involves printing more money to finance bond purchases. 

But prices have fallen sharply in the weeks since Bernanke initially indicated that the Fed could move towards tapering those purchases.


'Through the looking glass' .... Liberal Senator Pana Merchant elected to sit on financial transparency board

Progressive Bloggers  

OTTAWA — A Liberal senator whose name has been attached to an offshore tax haven has been elected to sit on an international board that advocates for greater transparency among the world’s financial institutions.

Ethics filings for Sen. Pana Merchant show she was elected to the board of directors of the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in late May.
According to the group’s website, the organization gives politicians from more than 140 countries a platform to “advocate for increased accountability and transparency in international financial institutions and multilateral development financing.” Much of the group’s work, according to its website, focuses on oversight of foreign aid in developing countries.
The group held its annual meeting in Azerbaijan May 23-24. Merchant’s filing to the ethics officer is dated May 28.

Merchant did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday. The Liberal senator from Saskatchewan has kept a low-profile after her name appeared in a news report about offshore tax havens.

A report in April by the CBC said it had documents suggesting Pana Merchant was a beneficiary of a $1.7 million offshore trust set up by her husband, Tony Merchant, a noted lawyer. The CBC obtained the records, which Postmedia News has not seen, through an international consortium of investigative journalists.
Regina Leader-Post

**Through the looking glass**

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 

In Aftermath of Quebec Rail Disaster, Saskatchewan Government Must Review And Ensure Community Safety

Progressive Bloggers

A number of Saskatchewan mayors have recently expressed concern over the safety of their communities in view of the Lac-Mégantic disaster and the many rail lines that run through populated areas in this province. 

Saskatchewan has thousands of kilometers of rail line which crisscross the province. Most of these fall under Federal jurisdiction but more than 2,000 km of rail are under provincial jurisdiction. Provincial responsibility includes smaller shortline railways which move grain, oil and wood products. These shortline rail operations are an important link between remote delivery points in rural areas to the big mainline rail operators like CN and Canadian Pacific who can then move products to port.

In view of the disaster that has recently happened in Quebec,  the Government of Saskatchewan has an immediate responsibility to assess and review the risks and threat to its citizens from potential rail disasters in this province.

This review must include rail lines under both provincial and federal jurisdiction. 

-Regina Leader-Post Editorial: Rail relocation an unlikely outcome

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 

Rough and rude treatment of travellers by Canada Border Services Agency officers merely reflects the Authoritarian nature of the Harper administration ...


Progressive Bloggers


Complaints pile up over airport border guards

Reports show pattern of rude, disrespectful treatment of travellers by CBSA agents

"Dozens of travellers arriving home at Ottawa International Airport have filed complaints about rude treatment and harassment by Canada Border Services Agency officers, including one who allegedly asked a young woman if she was menstruating.

Many of the complaints share a consistent theme: the aggressive tone of border officers who greet them when they return home. "I have travelled the world and I never had a more unwelcoming, intimidating and nasty experience," wrote one complainant of his arrival in Ottawa.

Another complained that business colleagues arriving in Ottawa were "shocked and appalled at the rude and eventually hostile reception from Canada Border Services agents." Others reported feeling "intimidated and harassed," "demeaned" or being treated in a "highly rude and disrespectful manner."

Monday, July 08, 2013 

What do you call the resignation of Conservative Cabinet Minister Vic Toews? ......

A damn good beginning!

Progressive Bloggers  

This overly authoritarian Conservative thug came within a hairs breath of putting every Canadian who uses a computer under police surveillance. His resignation is welcome and is the beginning of the end for Stephen Harper's corrupt administration!

The Star


Sunday, July 07, 2013 


Progressive Bloggers


Stephen Harper left Parliament, public in dark on Senate scandal: Editorial

RCMP investigation has shed light on aspects of the Senate expenses scandal that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wasn’t keen to share with Parliament and the public.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper left Canadians in the dark when he was grilled in Parliament about the festering Senate expense scandal before the Commons rose for the summer. He could have told us more, much more, but he didn’t. And what he did tell us turns out to be dubious, at best. 

Now Harper is planning a cabinet shuffle that he hopes will restore some lustre to his discredited government.

But the truth will out. As the Star’s Joanna Smith reports from Ottawa, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police criminal investigation has shed light on matters that Harper wasn’t keen to share with Parliament and the public. Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair’s New Democrats are saying that Harper has “wilfully misled Canadians” in this affair, and it’s easy to see why.

Harper told Parliament that both he and his staff in the Prime Minister’s Office were out of the loop when former chief of staff Nigel Wright decided to quietly cut Sen. Mike Duffy a cheque for $90,172 to pay back improperly claimed expenses. The decision was “not communicated to me or to members of my office,” Harper said. Certainly, it would have been easy enough to find out who in the PMO may have known, just by asking. 

The RCMP reports that Wright recalls telling three people in the PMO: David van Hemmen, Wright’s executive assistant; Chris Woodcock, director of issues management; and Benjamin Perrin, a former PMO lawyer. He also told Sen. Irving Gerstein, who chairs the Conservative Fund Canada, the party’s fundraising arm. 

In Parliament Harper also shrugged off demands that he produce the cheque and related documents. Thanks to the RCMP we know that Wright sent money to Duffy’s lawyer via a CIBC bank draft for $90,172.24 on March 25, on condition that Duffy immediately pay back what he owed and stop talking to the media about it. 

Finally, Harper told Parliament that Wright offered the money to spare the taxpayers. Wright “wanted to see the taxpayers recompensed for expenses that we all believed were inappropriate,” Harper told the Commons on May 29. Earlier, his communications director Andrew MacDougall said “the government believes that taxpayers should not be on the hook for improper expense claims made by senators.” Repeatedly, Canadians were told that no government or Conservative party funds went to Duffy.

But thanks to the RCMP we now know that the Conservative Fund Canada was prepared to repay what Duffy owed when they thought it was $32,000, but $90,000 was deemed too much to ask the fund to cover. That appears to shatter two fictions: that Wright’s offer was a spontaneous act of personal generosity, and that it was all about making sure taxpayers weren’t on the hook.

The Star

Saturday, July 06, 2013 

The Villain ALWAYS Wore A Black Hat In The Old Vintage Western Movies .....

Progressive Bloggers

Ladies and gentlemen .... I rest my case!!!!

-Harper's version of events contradicted in court documents on Duffy scandal

Friday, July 05, 2013 

BARF ALERT!!! Conservatives billing themselves as ‘Canada’s founding party’ ...

Progressive Bloggers  

When your name is tarnished by a series of scandals and the public starts viewing you as a bunch of entitled ne’er–do–wells, there’s only one thing left to do: rebrand yourself!

That’s what the Conservative Party of Canada is apparently trying to do with its new slogan describing Stephen Harper and his merry gang of pranksters as “Canada’s founding party.”

A new page on the official Conservative website describes the current Conservative Party as part of “the national political movement that has been building a stronger, safer, and better Canada for over 145 years,” claiming credit for such things as the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, women’s suffrage and even Confederation itself.
One would be tempted to think the Conservatives are going back to their roots, looking through the history books for inspiration. Looking to giants from the past like Macdonald, Diefenbaker, Mulroney. But one would be wrong.

The majority of the page is devoted to glorifying Stephen Harper and vilifying his political rivals — so, pretty much business as usual for the Tories. The biggest howler of all is when the party claims: “Since taking office, the Harper Conservative Government has replaced the old Liberal culture of entitlement with a new culture of achievement.”

That would be the same Conservative government whose senators have been mired in a months-long scandal about improper housing and travel allowances, and whose ministers are famous for $16 glasses of orange juice and limousine rides.

Nope. No culture of entitlement here.

If the emphasis on “Canada’s founding party” were sincere, an actual return to principles, it wouldn’t be so galling. When the line is trotted out along with the same talking points we’ve all heard ad nauseum for the last seven years, it falls flat.

Thursday, July 04, 2013 

Scurvy returns among UK children with diets'worse than in the war’ ...

With the advent of junk food as well as highly processed microwave food, the corporate world is slowing enticing huge numbers of people into highly dangerous eating / diet practices. 

 Wartime diseases are returning to Britain because some children are living on junk food diets that are worse for them than rationing was 70 years ago, officials have claimed. 

Cases of scurvy and rickets have been on the rise in parts of the UK where some parents rely on takeaways and microwave meals to feed the family, health staff warned. 
Dietitians in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, said they were seeing an increase in both diseases, which were thought to have been consigned to history. 
A new report seen by The Daily Telegraph suggests that since the start of the credit crisis, consumption of fruit and vegetables has fallen in the UK at a faster rate than in western Europe as a whole, eastern Europe and the US. 
On average, each person in Britain is eating 8lb 13oz (4kg) less fruit and vegetables a year than in 2007, a drop of 3 per cent. 
Dr Mark Temple, of the British Medical Association’s public health committee, said: “Food standards in the UK are worse now than they were during the rationing of the (Second Word) War.”
Daily Telegraph

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  • Things I Read

    • -Canadian Political Viewpoints-
    • -ZAG-
    • -Next Year Country-
    • -Huffington Post: Canada-
    • -Let Freedom Rain-
    • -Informed On Information-
    • -Wellington Post-NDP-
    • -Trapped In A Whirlpool-
    • -Larry Hubich's Blog-
    • -ROGERISM-
    • -Leftdog's Daily KOS Blog Page-
    • -Dipper Chick
    • -Ideagist -
    • -Al Barger's MORETHINGS.COM-
    • -Canadian Cynic-
    • Saskatchewan Progressive Bloggers
    • My Zimbio
      Top Stories
    • Blogarama - The Blog Directory
    • Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites
      View blog authority
    • Display Pagerank
    • Canada's NDP
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