Friday, August 30, 2013 

Here's How The Corrupt Harper Administration Operates - Defeated Tory Candidate (who cheated on election spending) Gets Senate Appointment!!!

Never doubt how rotten to the core our Federal Conservative government actually is:

"Federal New Democratic Party leader Tom Mulcair ripped into Prime Minister Stephen Harper Thursday for appointing a defeated Conservative candidate to the Senate. Yonah Martin, who lost in the riding of New Westminster-Coquitlam, was given a $132,300 Senate patronage post by Harper.

In addition, Martin's campaign in 2008 failed to comply with the Elections Act by spending $93,778.33, which is more than the legal limit of $85,621.43.

Mulcair, speaking in Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, said Harper has now made 59 appointments to the senate - a figure that he said breaks former prime minister Brian Mulroney's patronage record. "Here you've got a real lulu," he said. "Yonah Martin didn't just get beaten. It has been proved that she cheated in trying to win. The figures show that she overspent the legal limit.

"Stephen Harper is so proud of her for breaking the rules for a democratic election after losing, he names her to a sinecure in the Senate where she's going to draw millions of dollars in salary from taxpayers who are already hardpressed. That's the deep cynicism of Stephen Harper." Mulcair is in B.C. for a series of events to focus attention on Harper's record on the senate, which has been rocked by scandals involving Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb. Since July, he's travelled 40,000 km across the country in the NDP's "roll up the red carpet" campaign to abolish the Senate. According to figures from the NDP, the Senate will cost taxpayers $92.5 million this year. The average senator worked only 71 days last year, the NDP said.

An NDP federal government would abolish the unelected chamber all together, Mulcair said. "We have had the same principled position for 50 years," he said on a covered stage in the park during a latesummer downpour."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 

Stephen Harper's Nasty Little Senate Scandal About To Fall In On His Head ....

Stephen Harper's lone gunman theory defence wobbles: Tim Harper

OTTAWA—In his bid to survive the Nigel Wright-Mike Duffy affair, Stephen Harper has clung assiduously to the lone gunman theory.Harper has repeated that mantra time and again — his former chief of staff cut a $90,000 cheque to the disgraced former Conservative senator on his own, without the prime minister’s knowledge.

The best way to destabilize the Harper argument is to involve as many others players as possible, making it appear to be a conspiracy in the Prime Minister’s Office and beyond, making it increasingly impossible for Canadians to believe this elaborate operation could have unfolded without Harper knowing what was happening in his own office.

It helps, as well, if some of those involved could be considered especially close to the prime minister, so that they might be known generically as “Harper loyalists.’’We also know that Duffy has previously promised that more details in this affair would become public. He has offered a sardonic nod to reporters to “stay tuned,’’ because only the former broadcaster and former Conservative senator knew where the bodies were buried.

We may have arrived at this point.

Those close to this sordid tale believe the man from P.E.I., who has complained long and loud about being hung out to dry by the prime minister, is embarking on his scorched earth policy and will take down as many with him as he can.As reported by the CTV’s indefatigable Robert Fife, Wright used two key Conservative senators in his campaign to get a reluctant Duffy to accept the cheque to pay back money he had inappropriately claimed.

David Tkachuk, the Saskatchewan senator who until recently headed the Senate’s internal economy committee, told Duffy, according to the CTV report, the Senate committee would go easy on him if he accepted the Wright offer. If he balked, CTV reported, Tkachuk told him he would lose his Senate seat.

That is the same Tkachuk whom Pamela Wallin, another former Conservative senator living under an expense cloud, accused of counselling her to go back and “restrict” information on her calendar of events when she was being audited.

The other senator implicated in the CTV report is Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, a Harper confidante and former director of strategic communications to the prime minister.The emails cited by CTV also brought former Harper communications director Angelo Persichilli into the mix.This was all met with a torrent of denials and qualifications Tuesday, but the Harper narrative has been destabilized.

We already knew an RCMP affidavit says Wright recalled telling three other senior members of Harper’s office about the payment.
The Star

Monday, August 26, 2013 

Saskatchewan's Deadly Highway 39 Needs Brad Wall's Attention NOW!

"Of the 61 total fatal collisions in the last 25 years, 34 were head-on crashes."
Regina Leader-Post

Anyone who has driven across Saskatchewan's portion of the Trans-Canada Highway, knows that it's pretty flat and open out here.

Just south of Regina, Highway #39 (and merging #6) contains one of the most open highway stretches anywhere in Canada. It is a single lane section and it is extremely dangerous. The statistics prove this beyond any doubt.

In winter, the wind polishes the surface to something resembling glass. In summer, strong prairie winds put increased force on vehicles and a drivers ability to hold a vehicle in the correct driving lane. God help you if the road is wet and the wind is blowing!

Saskatchewan's Department of Highways recently made a completely idiotic statement when questioned about the possibility of twinning this dangerous section of highway. The Department's curt reply was that their research 'does not show that there is sufficient 'traffic' on this stretch' to justify twinning!

What they dodge around is the fact  that the volume of traffic on this highway of death is not the issue! The danger is that this highway is so completely open to the elements - wind and ice - that it is perilous to those who use it..

In a province that touts its prosperity and affluence, Premier Brad Wall has a responsibility to try an wring a little bit more out of the huge resource companies who pay minimum royalties to the province on the vast wealth that they rake in from Saskatchewan's natural resources.

There is no reason for this carnage to continue. Fix it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013 

Putting Lipstick On A Pig ... (or) ... How To Make Stephen Harper Look Like A Warm Caring Kinda Guy

I, for one, am not buying the spin that Postmedia's Michael Den Tandt is trying to pass - that Stephen Harper is actually a kind, warm loving guy .. even though he does things that hurt working and low income Canadians (like restricting access to EI - cutting back pensions and pension eligibilty for wage earners - and handing out hundreds of billions of tax dollars in corporate welfare payments to his pals)!

"OTTAWA — Stephen Harper, it will sadden some to learn, is not an ogre or a troll. Nor are the members of his staff orcs, goblins, hobgoblins or cave wights out of Tolkien. They are all, shockingly, human beings."

-Stephen Harper And The Conservatives GAVE THE BANKS $114 Billion Of Your Tax Dollars During The Recession ....  

-Harper says Billions in corporate tax cuts intended to 'brand Canada' as business friendly!!

Friday, August 23, 2013 

Stephen Harper's Micromanaged Unwillingness To Answer Media Questions Now Having International Implications ....

Progressive Bloggers

News Bureaus and media organizations pay a huge sum to have reporters accompany the Prime Minister of Canada on junkets and official visits. Imagine paying the fee, attending every event day after day and NOT being able to ask even 1 question of Stephen Harper - virtually nothing to file back home from the trip - Mr. Li Xue Jiang deserves an apology from the PMO.

A Chinese reporter was hauled away by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s RCMP security detail Friday after he grabbed a microphone and tried to ask Harper a question during a news conference at a mine in northern Quebec.

The reporter had just been involved in a brief physical altercation with Harper’s press secretary, Julie Vaux, as he waited in line to ask his question.

Li Xue Jiang, Canadian bureau chief for the Chinese People's Daily, is one of 10 reporters travelling with Harper on his tour of the North this week.

The tussle came on the last stop of a six-day trip that featured some frayed nerves and sharp words between reporters and members of the Prime Minister’s Office, but was generally seen as relatively smooth considering its length and the rough nature of the travel.

Video of Friday’s incident shows Li brushing Vaux's hand away, and then later shoving her.[...]
"She asked me to give up this question to your Canadian journalist," Li said later, adding he told Vaux it was his last chance on the trip to ask a question.

"I didn't agree to give up. So I am in the line, and ready to ask a question and she grabbed me several times, so that's why I pushed her," Li said.

Following the CBC's question, Lecce called another reporter to the mic. At that point, Li tried to grab the microphone from the technician, "to ask a question," he said.

Three RCMP officers were nearby and grabbed him.
-The Star has more ...
-CTV has more ....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 

Our Corrupt, Power Hungry Prime Minister Will NOT Answer Questions .....

"Stephen Harper, for the fourth time, has prorogued the Parliament of Canada, depriving elected officials of their ability to do what they were put there to do, which is to ask questions of the Canadian government," Mulcair told reporters in Montreal Tuesday.
"Mr. Harper is afraid to answer the questions that we have for him."
'Prorogation shows Harper afraid of questions.'- says Mulcair 

"WHITEHORSE—It was a bizarre spectacle. One of many when it comes to questioning the prime minister.
A PMO adviser told reporters Monday in advance that Stephen Harper would not provide answers in both official languages, as he has for the past seven years (and he’s uncannily good at repeating the exact same message in both official languages).
It’s a standard request. It means reporters for French- and English-language outlets don’t have to repeat questions and each get replies. And it allows more subjects to be covered since the PM limits the number of questions he’ll take and almost always refuses to answer follow-ups.
Now, the prime minister would only reply in the language in which a question is asked. Stephen Harper makes questions more difficult in both languages

Monday, August 19, 2013 

Stephen Harper's Economic Policies Are DANGEROUS For The Nation!


If you listen to Stephen Harper, only he can be trusted with the Canadian economy. Nothing could be further from the truth .....

"What I am telling you is that with the NDP and Liberals, what you see is what you get; dangerous ideas and vacuous thinking that would reverse all of the progress we have made."
Stephen Harper
August 18, 2013

Would he please explain why he has run up the largest deficit in Canadian history AND why he used $114 Billion tax dollars to bail out Canada's huge Chartered Banks????

-Stephen Harper is ALL ABOUT corporate welfare!

Saturday, August 17, 2013 

Our Corrupt Conservative Gov't Is In Breach Of Canadian Code of Advertising Standards For Promoting A Program That Doesn't Exist

Progressive Bloggers

What a corrupt and morally bankrupt Federal Conservative government we Canadians are saddled with at the moment. You would think that there might be at least a few ethical individuals in the Conservative Party of Canada with the guts and decency to speak up about what their disgraceful Leader is doing!

"OTTAWA — A federal government television commercial touting a not yet existent Canada Job Grant was misleading and a breach of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, Canada’s advertising watchdog has ruled.

In a letter to James Gilbert, assistant deputy human resources minister, Advertising Standards Canada said it received more than 20 consumer complaints alleging the ad was “misleading.”
After reviewing the complaints, the council concluded the ad, which aired in May at prime time during the NHL playoffs and likely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, indeed “omitted relevant information” contrary to the code.

But since the government withdrew the ad before the council hearing and promised it wouldn’t air in its “current form in the future,” the council said it would not identify the government in its next online “Ad Complaints Report.” The self-regulating body’s only remedy is to ask that an ad be changed or removed.

“The general impression conveyed by this commercial to council was that implementing this program was imminent; that the program would be in place immediately upon obtaining approval from only one level of government, the federal parliament. However, the program, which involves matching grants from employers and provinces/territories, requires prior agreement with, and buy-in from, those partners,” says the letter obtained by Postmedia News.

Friday, August 16, 2013 

The Canadian Senate - OPEN THE BOOKS ... AND JAIL THE CROOKS!!

Progressive Bloggers

Canada's Conservative and Liberal parties have used and abused the Canadian Senate for their own partisan and personal reasons for decades. The New Democratic Party of Canada has long advocated for dissolution of this unelected, undemocratic, untouchable disgrace of an institution. We've always been right about this! Abolish the damn thing!

And at the same time, perhaps show the nation what Canada's old line Liberal's and Conservative's have been up to!

"The Senate's internal economy committee has accepted a plan by the federal auditor general to review all senators' expenses, including travel and office expenses, CBC News has learned.Sources have told CBC News that senators will be required to co-operate.

Auditor General Michael Ferguson was first called to meet with the Senate's committee on internal economy in June, in the wake of the committee's reports on independent audits of expense claims by senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Mac Harb.That committee issued a report on an audit of Senator Pamela Wallin's travel expenses this week."

"Meanwhile, it emerged Thursday that three former Conservative senators at the heart of the current spending scandal were given clear directions from their leader in the upper chamber that they could bill for certain partisan — that is, political — travel when they first arrived in the Senate.

The boot camp briefing was offered to the group of 18 senators appointed in late 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a group that included senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau. Each is now under the spotlight for their spending claims — Duffy and Brazeau for housing expenses, and Wallin for travel — with auditors delivering withering reports."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 

Sorry, it’s not a ‘law of capitalism’ that you pay your employees as little as possible ... IT'S A CHOICE!

By Henry Blodget,
Financial Post

"One of the big reasons the U.S. economy is so lousy is the American companies are hoarding cash and 'maximizing profits' instead of investing in their people and future projects.
This behavior is contributing to record income inequality in the country and starving the primary engine of U.S. economic growth–the vast American middle class–of purchasing power. (See charts below).
If average Americans don’t get paid living wages, they can’t spend much money buying products and services. And when average Americans can’t buy products and services, the companies that sell products and services to average Americans can’t grow. So the profit obsession of America’s big companies is, ironically, hurting their ability to accelerate revenue growth.
One obvious solution to this problem is to encourage companies to pay their people more — to share more of the vast wealth that they create with the people who create it.
The companies have record profit margins, so they can certainly afford to do this.
But, unfortunately, over the past three decades, what began as a healthy and necessary effort to make our companies more efficient after the malaise of the 1970s has evolved into a warped consensus that the only value that companies should create is financial value (cash) and that the only thing managers and owners should ever worry about it making more of it.
This view is an insult to anyone who has ever dreamed of having a job that is about more than money. And it is a short-sighted and destructive view of an economic system that sustains not just this country but most countries in the world: Free-market capitalism.
This view has become deeply entrenched, though.
These days, if you suggest that great companies should serve several constituencies (customers, employees, and shareholders) and that American companies should share more of their wealth with the people of generate it (employees), you get called a “socialist.” You get called a “liberal.” You get told that you “don’t understand economics.” You get accused of promoting “wealth confiscation.” You get told that, in America, people get paid exactly what they deserve to get paid: Anyone who wants to get paid more should go out and “start their own company” or “demand a raise” or “get a better job.”
In other words, you get told that anyone who suggests that great companies should share the value they create with all three constituencies instead of just lining the pockets of shareholders is an idiot.
After all, these folks say, one law of capitalism is that employers pay their employees as little as possible. Employees are just “costs.” You should try to minimize those “costs” whenever and wherever you can.
This view, unfortunately, is not just selfish and demeaning. It’s also economically stupid. Those “costs” you are minimizing (employees) are also current and prospective customers for your company and other companies. And the less money they have, the fewer products and services they are going to buy.
Obviously, the folks who own and run America’s big corporations want to do as well as they can for themselves. But the key point is this:
It is not a law that they pay their employees as little as possible.
It is a choice.
It is a choice made by senior managers and owners who want to keep the highest possible percentage of a company’s wealth for themselves.
... more ....

Friday, August 09, 2013 

Maybe It's Time For Mike Duffy And Pamela Wallin To Throw Stephen Harper 'Under The Bus' And Come Clean On This Whole Sorry Affair!

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 cavalier eye to residency requirements for Duffy and Wallin. 

Harper most likely instructed his PMO staff to 'make this all happen'. In order to try and maintain the optics of residency in their respective 'home' provinces, both Senators started to declare, in writing, that their principle residences were 'back home' in PEI and Saskatchewan.

Here is where it all went wrong. It is also the reason that Nigel Wright went through his $90,000 cheque contortions to try and help Duffy when the bottom started to fall out of the whole charade.

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, I predict, it will also be his undoing.

Thursday, August 08, 2013 

GREAT NEWS!! - CRTC Rules AGAINST SunNewsNetwork Mandatory Inclusion In Basic Cable Packages

Sanity has prevailed at the Canadian Radio & Television Commission. They have ruled that Sun News Network does not require inclusion in basic cable packages. Anyone wishing to be inundated with SunNewsNetwork's extremist Right Wing program content can still subscribe to it as a paid specialty channel.

CRTC Ruling

As Canadians watched the funeral for Leader of the Official Opposition, Jack Layton, here is what was appearing on SunNewsNetwork.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 

'Unfettered Free Market' Capitalists UPSET When Price Fixing Cartels Face Some Actual 'Competition'

The phoniest people who walk planet Earth are the so-called 'unfettered free market' capitalists who repeat ad nauseum that they embrace competition in the world of business. HUMBUG! 

I'm not even going to touch on the price fixing / gouging that takes place amongst Canada's gasoline retailers or Telecom industry. No, I want to use the global Potash industry as a prime example of how huge cartels inflate and keep prices artificially high but then whine like little babies when some actual competition lowers the inflated price of their commodity:

"... when Uralkali suddenly pulled out of Belarusian Potash Co. (BPC), the bottom fell out of the largest potash cartel in world, with 43 per cent of the world's supply of the key fertilizer ingredient (along with nitrogen and phosphate). Or at least BPC was the largest potash cartel in the world until last Tuesday. Now it's Canpotex, the offshore marketing agency owned by PotashCorp, Mosaic and Agrium, which has about one third of the world market. Normally, you would think it would be good news to go from being the world's second-largest cartel to the largest cartel, er ... offshore marketing agency. Unfortunately, cartels (sorry, marketing agencies), like chains, are only as strong as their weakest link.

In this case, BPC is losing its biggest producer in Uralkali, which has about 13 per cent of world production. That makes Uralkali slightly larger than PotashCorp, which has about 12 per cent.
With Uralkali threatening to undercut BPC and Canpotex by $100 US per ton in the Chinese market (which accounts for more than 20 per cent of world demand for potash), potash prices could plunge below $300 US per ton. That would carve a huge chunk - about 25 per cent - out of the revenues of potash producers, like PotashCorp, and leave a big dent in the provincial treasury, which relies on potash for about five per cent of its revenues.

This fiscal year, potash is forecast to generate about $520 million in royalty revenues for the province. A $50-a-ton reduction would chop those revenues by $130 million; a $100-a-ton reduction, double that.

So if Uralkali makes good on its threat to sell potash to China at $300 US a ton or less, the impact on the provincial government could be more than a quarter of a billion dollars a year. That would punch a big hole in the budget about the size of the Ministry of Economy's spending for the year.
And it doesn't end there. Potash is a big driver of the Saskatchewan economy. RBC says a double-digit decline in potash production could reduce the province's economic growth by one per cent, with another half a percentage point taken off for stalled construction projects (like Mosaic's $2 billion expansions at Belle Plaine and Colonsay).

The net result would be a 1.5 per cent reduction in GDP, which is forecast to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2013. In other words, this one move by a Russian potash company could cut our economic growth in half this year. That's the short-term impact. The long-term impact could be much worse. Some commentators have suggested, it's the end of the potash world as we know it. 

If prices remain at or below $300 US for an extended period, projects like BHP Billiton's $15-billion, eight million- tonne-per year project at Jansen Lake could be dead in the water. And what would happen to Canpotex? What about expansion projects at Mosaic, Potash-Corp and Agrium? Whither greenfield projects, like K+S's Legacy mine, Western Potash's Milestone project and Vale's Kronau project?
Bruce Johnson, Business Editor, Regina Leader-Post

Monday, August 05, 2013 

Vets outraged as federal lawyers argue Ottawa has no social obligation to soldiers ...

Progressive Bloggers  

"Think back to every time you heard a Conservative backbench MP beat the drum, wrap themselves in the flag and denounce the opposition as traitors for not "supporting the troops" when they were being sent to Kandahar."
Charlie Angus
New Democrat Member of Parliament 

"At least one veterans group promises to campaign against the Harper Conservatives because of a stand taken by federal lawyers, who argue the country holds no extraordinary social obligation to ex-soldiers. The lawyers, fighting a class-action lawsuit in British Columbia, asked a judge to dismiss the court action filed by injured Afghan veterans, saying Ottawa owes them nothing more than what they have already received under its controversial New Veterans Charter.

The stand drew an incendiary reaction from veterans advocates, who warned they are losing patience with the Harper government, which has made supporting the troops one of its political battle cries
Mike Blais, president of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, told a Parliament Hill news conference that since the First World War, the federal government has recognized it has a “sacred obligation” to veterans — and that notion was abandoned with the adoption of the veterans charter by the Conservatives."
The Globe & Mail

Thursday, August 01, 2013 

Kingston Penitentiary no longer housing prisoners in 60 days - Paul Bernardo Needs To Move!

After 18 years in an isolated cell like this in the Kingston Penitentiary, Paul Bernardo is requesting a change to a Medium Security facility.

KINGSTON  - Schoolgirl killer Paul Bernardo feels he has suffered enough in maximum security and has applied to be transferred to the medium-security comforts of condo-style prison housing.
It’s not a slam dunk but, much to the disgust of the father of the slain Kristen French, the 48-year-old has still asked to be granted just that.

With Kingston Penitentiary no longer housing prisoners in 60 days, its most notorious inmate is trying to have his security status lowered to avoid being shipped out to Quebec, sources say.
They say because he doesn’t want to end up at a prison like the super maximum-security pen in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines near Montreal, the notorious killer and Scarborough rapist, who is serving a life sentence and has been slapped with a dangerous offender designation, has applied to be moved from the Kingston Pen this summer to new special housing at the medium-security Bath Institution just 20 minutes away.

“Whether he gets his request or not is not yet known,” said a corrections source. “But he has applied and he is entitled to apply.”
Ottawas Sun

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