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Is the Conservative robocall narrative starting to crumble?

Is the Conservative robocall narrative starting to crumble? | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Here is Anita Hawdur, an Elections Canada officer, in an email a day before the 2011 election, the one in which the Conservatives are accused of attempting to rig the vote by directing voters to the wrong polling stations.
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Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament
What Canadians think about the 41st (Non Westminster)Parliament
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The power of one

The power of one | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA -- There are 308 members of Parliament. In the House of Commons, Elizabeth May occupies seat ... - FYI - Winnipeg Free Press.
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Cuthand: Valcourt using statistics as diversionary tactic

Cuthand: Valcourt using statistics as diversionary tactic | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Aboriginal Minister Bernard Valcourt has a terrible relationship with his client group.

He continues to appear as an angry politician who resents his job, and it is revealed in his disrespect and confrontational attitude when dealing with First Nations leaders. His reaction to calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women has been negative and bellicose.

When some Alberta chiefs questioned Valcourt about missing and murdered aboriginal women, the minister was defensive and made the accusation that 70 per cent of aboriginal women were killed by an aboriginal person. He referenced the RCMP but stated that this information had not been made public, so the chiefs were caught flat-footed.

The RCMP had said it hesitated to make the information public because of its preference for "bias-free policing." The national police service also based its conclusions on information obtained from about 300 law enforcement agencies and couldn't confirm the accuracy of each report.
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Watch Out, Oilsands: U.S. Set To Become Energy Exporter

Watch Out, Oilsands: U.S. Set To Become Energy Exporter | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON - The United States is approaching a historic economic tipping point: in about a decade, the country will cease to be a net importer of energy, a government forecaster predicted Tuesday.

Sometime around 2028, the U.S. will become a net energy exporter for the first time since the late 1950s, according to the annual long-term forecast released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

It said lower consumption, more efficient vehicles, increased domestic production of oil and natural gas and new alternative sources are making the U.S. more energy self-reliant than it's been in decades.
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Duffy's Trial Could Run Into 2016

Duffy's Trial Could Run Into 2016 | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - The prime minister's former chief of staff Nigel Wright once referred to the Mike Duffy affair as "Chinese water torture." It appears the drip, drip, drip of information at Duffy's trial will spill over its scheduled end date.

That could mean many things — including days in court this summer, in the orbit of the election campaign in the fall, or even an extension of the case into 2016.

The longer the trial goes, the better the chance that the details of the Auditor General's forensic audit of all senators, due in June, could be referenced in court.
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Canadian Manufacturing Sees 4th Drop In 5 Months

Canadian Manufacturing Sees 4th Drop In 5 Months | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 1.7 per cent to $50.0 billion in February due to a drop in motor vehicle sales and reduced production of aerospace products and parts.

The federal agency says it is the fourth decrease in five months.

It adds manufacturing sales are down 6.8 per cent since their most recent high of $53.7 billion in July 2014.
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"Pollution cannot be free anymore": businesses and unions discuss carbon tax in Quebec

"Pollution cannot be free anymore": businesses and unions discuss carbon tax in Quebec | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Karel Mayrand, David Suzuki Foundation's Quebec regional director, urged Quebec businesses to support the idea of a carbon tax at a roundtable on Monday. 

The call for action coincided with Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne's announcement of a cap-and-trade system that would discourage carbon emissions in the province, following Quebec’s cap-and-trade deal with California.

Following the Act on Climate march in Quebec city this weekend, union organizers, environmentalists and entrepreneurs discussed ways they can come together to create a cleaner economy in the province.

The Canadian Roundtable on the Green Economy was organized by the Switch alliance, a coalition of environmental groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation, environmental non-profit Equiterre and private businesses such as Quebec gas distributor Gaz Métro. 
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NDP Want Tories To Pay Back $2.6M From Salaries For 7 Years Of Deficits

NDP Want Tories To Pay Back $2.6M From Salaries For 7 Years Of Deficits | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — The NDP wants Conservative cabinet ministers to dig deep into their own pockets and put their money where their mouth is.

Last week, Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced that after running deficits for seven of the last nine years, the Conservatives would introduce balanced-budget legislation — a promise first made in a 2013 throne speech.

Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, Oliver said new legislation would allow for deficits only in response to a recession or to extraordinary circumstances, such as a war or natural disaster with a cost exceeding $3 billion. If a finance minister posted a deficit outside those conditions, Oliver said, legislation would force every cabinet minister and deputy minister to take a five per cent pay cut.
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Tom Mulcair's 'Dutch disease' diagnosis was poor politics, but sound economics

Tom Mulcair's 'Dutch disease' diagnosis was poor politics, but sound economics | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it

"Manufacturing keeps shrinking

Manufacturing has shrunk over the same time period by more than a quarter.

Last fall, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said parts of the sector have lost 75 per cent of their output since 2000.

He pointed out this is more than just cancelling the third shift at a plant — that kind of decline represents factory closures and companies restructuring to slim down."

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Clark gov't under fire for “illegal” grizzly hunt in Tsilhqot’in

Clark gov't under fire for “illegal” grizzly hunt in Tsilhqot’in | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The Clark government is under fire following remarks from Tsilhqot’in leaders in B.C.’s interior last week that the grizzly hunt licences issued by the province for their neck of the woods are “illegal.”

“This is Question Period material,” reacted B.C. NDP MLA Scott Fraser, the Aboriginal Relations critic on Friday.

The Official Opposition also responded to a slew of internal B.C. government memos obtained via the Vancouver Observer that show, among many revelations, a senior wildlife official warning against the hunt in the backcountry of one of the most legally trailblazing tribes in Canada.
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Why A Balanced Budget Law Could Mean More Debt For Consumers

Why A Balanced Budget Law Could Mean More Debt For Consumers | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The Conservatives’ proposal to mandate balanced books “during normal economic times” for future governments could paint the economy into a corner, potentially allowing the government to reduce its debt at the price of encouraging consumers to increase theirs.

On the eve of plans to announce the first balanced budget in eight years — and after much finagling to make it so — Finance Minister Joe Oliver confirmed last week that the government will bring in balanced budget legislation.

In doing so, the government made good on a 2013 throne speech pledge to invoke legislation requiring “balanced budgets during normal economic times, and concrete timelines for returning to balance in the event of an economic crisis.”
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Mike Duffy, Stephen Harper and the politics of panic

Mike Duffy, Stephen Harper and the politics of panic | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
As we watch Mike Duffy’s trial unfold, one question keeps nagging: Why were the most senior officials in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office and the Conservative party so determined to shut him up and make the question of his expenses go away?
Ever since news broke that the PM’s chief of staff Nigel Wright wrote a $90,000 personal cheque to Mr. Duffy to cover disputed expenses, it’s been the big unanswered question — why a government with a habit of steamrolling its critics suddenly panicked over a senator’s spending habits.
Mr. Duffy’s trial may offer an answer. So far, it’s been telling us a lot more about the Harper government’s unique approach to the concept of legitimacy — and legality.
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As a Retired Public Servant, I'm Speaking Out About Government Cutbacks

As a Retired Public Servant, I'm Speaking Out About Government Cutbacks | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
A government with a hate-on for its workers doesn't just go after those still employed; it also revels in undermining the security of its former workers: us retirees.This year has seen the implementation of an additional $500 payment for my healthcar...
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B.C. Mayors Declare 'Non-Confidence' in NEB, Call on Feds to Halt Review of Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline

B.C. Mayors Declare 'Non-Confidence' in NEB, Call on Feds to Halt Review of Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The mayors of Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, City of North Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish and Bowen Island have declared their “non-confidence” in the National Energy Board’s (NEB) review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and are calling on the federal government to put the current process on hold until a full public hearing process is re-instated.

“It has become apparent that the NEB process does not constitute a ‘public hearing’ and is completely inadequate to assess the health and safety risks of a proposed pipeline through major metropolitan areas, and the potential risks of shipping bitumen oil to Burnaby and through Burrard Inlet, the Salish Sea, and along the coastline of British Columbia,” the mayors write in their declaration.
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Canada Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue Climb: Report

Canada Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue Climb: Report | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - The latest emissions inventory from Environment Canada shows the country's overall greenhouse gas output climbed 1.5 per cent between 2012 and 2013, continuing a slow, but steady, upward trend since the global recession of 2009.

The report, prepared by Environment Canada and submitted annually to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, shows 726 megatonnes of emissions in 2013, still three per cent below Canada's output in 2005.

However, under the international Copenhagen Accord signed in 2009, Canada committed to reduce its emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020 — and the trend is now firmly heading the wrong way.
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Poilievre Mocked After Tweet Gets It So Very Wrong

Poilievre Mocked After Tweet Gets It So Very Wrong | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
A cabinet minister's tweet about "hundreds of millions" of Canadian families has sparked both mockery and calls for the speedy return of the long-form census.

Though Employment and Social Development Minister Pierre Poilievre (or a staffer) removed the tweet shortly after it was posted Thursday, at least some of Canada's 35 million people screengrabbed the gaffe.
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Canadian Wheat Board Privatized With Sale To U.S., Saudi Companies

Canadian Wheat Board Privatized With Sale To U.S., Saudi Companies | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The company that was once Canada's monopoly wheat marketing board has been sold off to a joint venture controlled by U.S. and Saudi companies.

G3 Global Grain Group, as the wheat board's new owner is known, is owned by food company Bunge Canada, a subsidiary of New York-based Bunge Ltd., and SALIC Canada, a subsidiary of Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co.
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China's Disastrous Pollution Problem Is a Lesson for Canada

China's Disastrous Pollution Problem Is a Lesson for Canada | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Beijing's 21 million residents live in a toxic fog of particulate matter, ozone, sulphur dioxide, mercury, cadmium, lead and other contaminants, mainly caused by factories and coal burning. Schools and workplaces regularly shut down when pollution exceeds hazardous levels. People have exchanged paper and cotton masks for more elaborate, filtered respirators. Cancer has become the leading cause of death in the city and throughout the country.
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Canada's economy needs more diversification. Here's why.

Canada's economy needs more diversification. Here's why. | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
"We've been riding the roller coaster while the economy on the whole has not been performing well," said Seth Klein, British Columbia director of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, in response to a CNN Money report that the Canadian economy is a "disaster" due to low oil prices.

The report said low oil prices caused Canada's GDP to fall "off a cliff" in January, and "Canada's economy could be shrinking by 1 per cent on an annualized basis." 

The U.S. news broadcaster story said high prices on the oil market were an aberration that fueled rapid growth in Canada's energy sector while propping up the GDP to unrealistic levels, until market correction brought the prices crashing down.

But Klein said the reality is more complicated than that. 
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When Harper Met Castro, Canadian Media Weren't Invited

When Harper Met Castro, Canadian Media Weren't Invited | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
At first glance, it doesn't seem that earth-shaking: A poorly framed shot of two men in suits sitting before a staged backdrop, grinning somewhat awkwardly.

But the photo of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas over the weekend was nonetheless historic.

And not easy to come by.
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Why Stephen Harper should be in court — under oath

Why Stephen Harper should be in court — under oath | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The prime minister of Canada likes to hold everyone to account but himself. It’s a dictator thing.
Stephen Harper says he won’t be called to testify at Senator Mike Duffy’s criminal trial. Usually lawyers get to decide that, not prospective witnesses. Still, he’s probably right.
Harper also says the reason he won’t be called is that he doesn’t know anything about the alleged criminal matters now before the court. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The prime minister effectively created and then destroyed Duffy as a politician. He appointed him to the Senate, then ran him out of the Red Chamber on a rail — but not before turning him into a human cash register for the party, as a cursory glance through Duffy’s personal diaries will confirm.
Forget for a moment the question of Duffy’s ‘primary residence'; his real home was an Airbus in the days when his fame still opened all the right doors in Harperland, and he could drop into 24 Sussex for pizza with Laureen and Ezra Levant.
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We Have A Date For When We Can Expect Canada's Auto Industry To Die

We Have A Date For When We Can Expect Canada's Auto Industry To Die | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Many observers have been predicting the slow demise of Canada's auto industry, but The Economist magazine has put a more-or-less specific date on it: Somewhere between 2030 and 2040.

In an article published late last week, it quotes prominent Canadian analyst Dennis Desrosiers as saying that, thanks to almost nonexistent investment in new facilities, Canada will continue to lose its auto manufacturing base until “somewhere between 2030 and 2040 we’ll be Australia.”

Australia, another resource-heavy economy like Canada’s that has seen a strong currency in recent years, will see what remains of its auto industry disappear between 2016 and 2018. The country’s last three manufacturers — Ford Australia, GM-owned Holden and truck maker Iveco — are all planning to shut down operations.
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Tories Prod Provinces After Missing UN Deadline

Tories Prod Provinces After Missing UN Deadline | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - Having missed a March 31 deadline to submit greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets to the United Nations, the Harper government is prodding the provinces to come up with better numbers.

But at least one province is accusing Ottawa of taking credit for climate change initiatives launched by other levels of government.

In letters sent to her provincial and territorial counterparts on Friday, and released publicly on Sunday, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq urged the provinces to send more information to bolster reduction targets that Ottawa has so far only estimated based on 2014 information.
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How to fix broken native treaty negotiations

How to fix broken native treaty negotiations | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Canadian policy-makers are at last openly facing up to the fact that many aboriginal treaty negotiations are in danger of going on ad infinitum, with no results.

There are grounds to infer, in some instances, that one or both sides are not negotiating in good faith, without genuinely exploring the possible give-and-takes.

In 2013, the Conservative government asked Douglas Eyford, a Vancouver lawyer, to consider how to accommodate native interests for the Northern Gateway pipeline project. His report was probably more favourable to natives than the Conservatives had hoped. Nevertheless, the government asked him to write another report, on a bigger topic – Canada’s endlessly protracted negotiations toward new native treaties. Most of these files concern British Columbia.

As it happens, Mr. Eyford submitted his report just a few days after B.C. Premier Christy Clark suddenly announced that she was not appointing any new treaty commissioner, saying the whole process is too badly broken.

Mr. Eyford expressed himself more diplomatically, but said essentially the same thing. Out of 75 treaty “tables,” only seven (four in B.C.) are approaching a final stage. At the current pace, treaty-making could easily continue until the end of the 21st century.
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Duffy diaries indicate Senator coordinated efforts with Krause and Levant to attack charities

Duffy diaries indicate Senator coordinated efforts with Krause and Levant to attack charities | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
She had tears in her eyes as she told the Senate National Finance Committee she had sold her house to fund her research on environmental charities. 

On June 8, 2012, writer and researcher Vivian Krause alleged a conspiracy between American financial interests and Canadian environmental groups. She said the collusion was meant to ensure Canadian energy resources would remain destined for American markets rather than exported to meet the growing demand in China.
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Why It's Really Stephen Harper On Trial, Not Mike Duffy

Why It's Really Stephen Harper On Trial, Not Mike Duffy | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
It was supposed to be a commemorative photograph for a highly valued senator from a grateful prime minister. It seems to fit the bill: Mike Duffy and Stephen Harper are there on stage, Canadian flags behind them, and a lovely silver cursive inscription reads:

"To Duff, A great journalist and a great Senator. Thanks for being one of my best, hardest-working appointments ever! Stephen Harper"

But the photograph -- blown up to a 14-by-20-inch poster size by Duffy's defence team -- isn't really about Duffy. Much like the senator's trial, this is about the other man in the picture. The man standing in the centre of the photograph. The one in focus. The one with a smile on his lips and perfectly coiffed hair. Harper.
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Fed's oil spill response blasted by B.C. premier, Vancouver mayor

Fed's oil spill response blasted by B.C. premier, Vancouver mayor | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it

"B.C. Premier Christy Clark has blasted the federal government response to Wednesday's oil spill in Vancouver's English Bay, saying it may be time to hand over responsibility to the province.

Speaking from her office in Vancouver, Clark said the six-hour delay in placing booms around the leaking tanker and the 12-hour delay notifying the city "showed a shortage of good judgment and nimbleness."

Clark said it she felt it may be time to hand over the Canadian Coast Guard's responsibility for oil-spill cleanups to the provincial government. 


Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, centre, looks out at the waters of English Bay before addressing the media on Friday morning.

"Somebody needs to do a better job of protecting the coast, and the coast guard has not done it," said Clark. 

Both the federal and provincial efforts were also criticized earlier Friday by Vancouver"

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