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Rampant Errors In Last Election: Report

Rampant Errors In Last Election: Report | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - The integrity of Canada's electoral process is at "serious risk" due to rampant procedural errors made by polling officials, a report commissioned by Elections Canada says.The report blames overly complex rules and poorly trained polling...
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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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Chris Alexander Just Got His A** Kicked By Rosemary Barton

Chris Alexander Just Got His A** Kicked By Rosemary Barton | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
An exchange between Rosemary Barton and Chris Alexander escalated quickly Wednesday, after the Conservative candidate tried to slip a lie past the Power & Politics host.

The discussion focused on the ongoing conflict in Syria and whether or not Canada will step up its involvement in the crisis after “horrific” photos of a drowned migrant boy were published by media earlier in the day.
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The Economist Declares Southern Ontario ‘The New Rust Belt'

The Economist Declares Southern Ontario ‘The New Rust Belt' | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The Economist magazine has published an article on the “puzzling weakness” of Canadian manufacturing, noting the sector’s years-long slide, which the magazine says has turned southern Ontario, Canada's manufacturing heartland, into a “new rust belt.”

Observers had been expecting Canadian manufacturing to put in a strong performance this year, thanks to a steeply lower loonie that makes exports more competitive.

But so far, the rebound hasn’t happened. Output in Canadian manufacturing was 2.3 per cent lower this May than it was a year earlier, the latest month for which data is available, and job growth has been at half the pace of the broader economy, after years of declining job numbers.
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Alaskan Tourism Operators at Mercy of Canadian Mining Regulations

Alaskan Tourism Operators at Mercy of Canadian Mining Regulations | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Smooth lumps of translucent blue ice float alongside rock-encrusted icebergs that have broken from Shakes Glacier before drifting into the Stikine River.

There is little trace of the heavy hand of human disturbance as tourists on the jet boat scramble on to a small scrub island and gaze at the expanse of ice, snowy peaks and dark cliffs sweeping down to the wild Stikine, the fastest free-flowing river in the U.S.

“You don’t have to go far to find a place where no human has set foot on it before,” said James Leslie, who has been navigating the river since he was nine years old and drives the jet boat for his family’s company.

“It would be a shame if anything happened to it.”

Leslie grew up in the nearby community of Wrangell and, like many in the area, uses the river for fishing, access to moose hunting, work and recreation.

The “anything” that Leslie fears is a spill or accident at nearby mines on the Canadian side of the border.
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PMO feared 'embarrassing' Senate scandal would harm Tory brand

PMO feared 'embarrassing' Senate scandal would harm Tory brand | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Ex-PMO official testifies that stories around Duffy expense scandal were 'highly negative,' which led to plans to persuade Mike Duffy to reimburse his controversial claims
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Duffy trial sheds light on PMO's power over parliamentarians

Duffy trial sheds light on PMO's power over parliamentarians | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — Upon quitting the Conservative caucus in the spring of 2013, Alberta MP Brent Rathgeber declared he no longer wanted to be treated like a "trained seal," parroting media talking points written for him by the Prime Minister's Office.

Two years later, the trial of his former caucus colleague Mike Duffy is shedding light on the inner workings of the powerful office that was the source of Rathgeber's main grievances.

The long arm of the PMO was even apparent Tuesday at the Ottawa courthouse, where the current director of issues management and campaign staffer Nick Koolsbergen watched from a courtroom overflow room as his predecessor Chris Woodcock testified.

The court has heard over the past two weeks from former key figures inside Stephen Harper's office, those unelected "masters" that Rathgeber said he didn't want to take orders from any longer.

Their testimony and emails entered into evidence show how senators were instructed on how to write their committee reports, how parliamentarians were advised on how to avoid or speak to the media, how Duffy — a former journalist — was given media lines and suggested scripts.

Even Harper's former lawyer inside the PMO was assigned to help negotiate what Duffy would say.

"I have added a number of changes, including a sentence that they might gag on, but which satisfies what the PM has asked for," Woodcock wrote to colleagues, after reporting he rewrote a Senate committee report.
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Fracking Confirmed As Trigger For B.C. Earthquake

Fracking Confirmed As Trigger For B.C. Earthquake | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
VANCOUVER — A natural gas operation that halted work after a 4.6-magnitude earthquake in northeastern B.C. last week has been linked to the largest earthquake in the province that's been attributed to fracking.

Progress Energy, which is owned by Malaysia's Petronas, paused its operations after the quake on Aug. 17 that occurred 114 kilometres from Fort St. John.

The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission says hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — by the same company triggered a 4.4-magnitude earthquake that was felt in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson in August 2014.

A report by the commission says fracking has caused nearly 200 seismic events in the Montney Trend, which stretches from the B.C.-Alberta boundary near Dawson Creek to the B.C. Rocky Mountain foothills.
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Justin Trudeau's fight for the top

Justin Trudeau's fight for the top | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Looking directly into the camera, Trudeau delivered to Canadians, not a technocratic platform, but an impassioned speech about what really counts when it comes to leadership. “What I learned from my father is that, to lead this country, you need to love this country, love it more than you crave power.It needs to run through your veins. You need to feel it in your bones. Mr. Harper and I part ways on many issues. But our differences go deeper than policy. Mr. Harper is dead wrong about one thing. He wants you to believe that better just isn’t possible. Well, I think that’s wrong.”

The speech was a solid right-hook (if not a knock-out) to Harper’s politics of division and his autocratic approach to governing, and it may have marked a turning point for Trudeau.
An "amazingly good" politician
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8 Things We Learned Monday At The Duffy Trial

8 Things We Learned Monday At The Duffy Trial | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, was in the witness box for the fourth day Monday. Under intense cross-examination from Mike Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, Wright revealed several interesting and significant details.

Duffy, the former broadcaster and Conservative senator from Prince Edward Island, has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges, including multiple counts of fraud and breach of trust, and one count of bribery. Most of the charges are related to claims for secondary housing expenses related to his home in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata. But some of the charges relate to travel and contracts that are unrelated to Wright’s testimony.

Here are eight things we learned on Monday:
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Under fire over Duffy, Harper clings to Conservative campaign message

Under fire over Duffy, Harper clings to Conservative campaign message | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — Questioned relentlessly at every campaign stop about the fallout from the Mike Duffy trial, Stephen Harper is refusing to be knocked off his double-barreled core campaign message: economy and security.

The Conservative leader is stressing the latter at a stop in Fredericton, N.B., where he is promising to add 6,000 people to bolster the reserve ranks of the Canadian Forces reserves.

Harper says the measure will cost $163 million over three years and $63.4 million going forward once the overall target of 30,000 personnel is reached.

His main opponents, meanwhile, want heads to roll over the Duffy affair. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wants staffers in the Prime Minister's Office fired; NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says it's Harper who should be turfed.

But the prime minister says the two people to blame are Duffy and Nigel Wright, Harper's former chief of staff, the star witness at Duffy's trial and the man who personally paid the embattled senator's questioned expenses.

Harper — ignoring evidence that indicates a number of PMO staffers were aware of the arrangement — says Duffy and Wright were the two principal players and are the ones being held accountable.
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malek's comment, August 17, 7:01 PM
Corruption is a necessary evil, read'm & weep http://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2014/11/24/is-corporate-corruption-a-necessary-evil/
pdeppisch's comment, August 17, 7:21 PM
Yup - lie in the fast lane - cheating and corruption gave those that did an evolutionary advantage. It is part of the human genome. :)
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Your lie-detector guide to the latest PMO spin

Your lie-detector guide to the latest PMO spin | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Previous story

If lying were an Olympic sport, Canada's PMO would be the Jamaican bobsled team. They’re really bad, but it's great TV.

The PMO's culture of casual lying made possible by tightly controlled media access is withering under the relentless onslaught of Donald Bayne's cross-examination. As a former criminal prosecutor who watched the last three days of Nigel Wright's testimony at the Duffy trial in person, I find hard to envision a way out now for the government. Nigel Wright's best moments in the witness stand are far behind him, and by my estimation he's not even half-way through.
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Feds Delaying Gun-Marking Rules Intended To Help Police

Feds Delaying Gun-Marking Rules Intended To Help Police | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying implementation of regulations intended to help police trace crime guns — the seventh time it has put off the measures.

Just days before the federal election call, the government quietly published a notice deferring the firearm marking regulations until June 1, 2017.

The measures would require specific, identifiable markings be stamped on firearms. They had been slated to take effect Dec. 1 of this year.
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Duffy Trial Focuses On Harper's Current Chief Of Staff, Ray Novak

Duffy Trial Focuses On Harper's Current Chief Of Staff, Ray Novak | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
CP

OTTAWA — Ray Novak, Stephen Harper's current chief of staff and a key member of the Conservative campaign team, has been dragged into Mike Duffy's criminal trial.

Nigel Wright, the prime minister's former right-hand man, is back for a second day of cross-examination by Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne.

Novak replaced Wright as chief of staff after it became public that Wright had given Duffy $90,000 of his own money to pay back disallowed housing and travel expenses.

As he walked to the courthouse, Wright was under siege from reporters wanting to know if Novak was aware of the $90,000 payment, but he did not respond.
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Harper's rosy financial outlook ignores facts

Harper's rosy financial outlook ignores facts | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
For years, Prime Minister Harper has taken pains to show that he calls the political shots. Remember in late 2010 when he decided to rename the Government of Canada as the "Harper Government" in official communications?

Since achieving a majority government in 2011, Harper has become notorious for exercising rigid control over what every government employee and elected official says, insisting at times on identical pronouncements from the entire bloc of MPs.

At the same time, information about government dealings that might be compromising is more and more difficult to access, thanks to a sharp drop in note-taking at high-level consultations.

The result has been public skepticism about claims made by the Harper government, most recently the insistence from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that Harper knew nothing about the Mike Duffy payout from Nigel Wright.
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It's Official: Canada In Recession

It's Official: Canada In Recession | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
It's official: Canada fell into recession in the first half of the year.

Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that Canadian GDP fell 0.5 per cent at an annualized rate in the second quarter of the year, following a 0.8 per cent decline in the first quarter. Two consecutive quarters of contraction are generally seen as the technical definition of a recession.

But StatsCan's numbers also showed a surprisingly large bounce-back in GDP in June, up 0.5 per cent on the month, suggesting the country entered the third quarter of 2015 on a stronger economic footing.
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Harper Is 'The King Of Deficits': Martin

Harper Is 'The King Of Deficits': Martin | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
MONTREAL — Paul Martin returned to the Liberal campaign trail Friday to lend credibility to Justin Trudeau's economic team in Quebec, but for a few moments, people could be forgiven for wondering who was running for prime minister.

The contrast between the seasoned campaigner and the young, telegenic leader was never more apparent than at an event in Martin's old Montreal riding, now renamed LaSalle-Emard-Verdun.

The former prime minister and finance minister, lionized by Liberals for taming the federal deficit in the 1990s, almost overshadowed Trudeau as he delivered a passionate, articulate denunciation of the Conservative fiscal record.
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Sun Media reporter unloads on Tories

Sun Media reporter unloads on Tories | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Sun Media Parliamentary Bureau Chief David Akin says Stephen Harper’s Conservative government cheats its way to power year after year.

Akin posted a diatribe about the Harper government’s record of cheating on a thread on his Facebook page. The post went viral.
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An election about hair, swearing and dragon slaying - BBC News

An election about hair, swearing and dragon slaying - BBC News | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
But the #hairgate scandal that unravelled at the weekend in fact centres around a famous novelist, the Canadian prime minister and his well-groomed Liberal opponent.

It's one of several episodes in an eventful election campaign - with voting still two months away.
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Stephen Harper protecting the environment? (And my mother was a sumo wrestler…)

Stephen Harper protecting the environment? (And my mother was a sumo wrestler…) | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
He just can’t stop.

Stephen Harper has been stalking around Vancouver Island playing his carefully prepared political role.

In Campbell River last Friday, he spun his latest tall tale.

Voice measured and expression grave, Stephen Harper announced that he was going to spend $15 million to improve wild salmon habitat.

Stephen Harper helping wild salmon.

Harper helping wild Stephen salmon.

Salmon Harper helping Stephen wild.

Wild salmon Harper helping Stephen.

Sigh….it’s simply impossible to put those five words in the same sentence and make sense, no matter what order they’re in.

Stephen Harper’s record on protecting environmental values is rather like Attila the Hun’s history of winning over enemies with great cooking and polite banter.

Never happened.

The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper simply does not do things like protect nature.

And when you think about it, why should this son of a career accountant at Imperial Oil act otherwise? He’s an urban boy, who buys his food in supermarkets, thinks “organic” means covered with dirt, sees the human economy in a tiny sacrosanct bubble, and absolutely loathes having better-informed and quick-minded Green Party leader Elizabeth May tell him how colossally wrong he is about everything ecological – such as the hard and fundamental reality that the “economy” and the “environment” are utterly interdependent.

No politician in modern Canadian history has been more deliberately destructive of environmental laws, institutions and policies, more indifferent to habitat protection, or more inclined to place financial profit ahead of natural values than Stephen Harper.
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Veterans scarred by war share snapshots of life under Harper

Veterans scarred by war share snapshots of life under Harper | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
When asked what she would say to the current prime minister about her concerns, Clarke-Tizzard produced the following blunt statement:

“Stephen Harper, you breached the sacred trust between the government and the military. You showed a disdain for our veterans. That is unacceptable and can’t be tolerated. It’s time for a change. It’s time for someone who respects and cares for our military personnel and veterans.”
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Former PMO Lawyer Contradicts Harper On Duffy Scandal

Former PMO Lawyer Contradicts Harper On Duffy Scandal | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
CP

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper's top aide and election director Ray Novak boomeranged back into the centre of the Mike Duffy coverup scandal, as the testimony of a former PMO lawyer directly contradicted the Conservative election campaign.

For the past several days, Harper and his team have rejected evidence that suggested current chief of staff Novak was privy to his predecessor Nigel Wright's secret repayment of Sen. Duffy's contested expenses in 2013.
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Corporations owe Alberta $1.1B in unpaid taxes

Corporations owe Alberta $1.1B in unpaid taxes | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
One of only two provinces that do not contract with Canada Revenue Agency to collect corporate taxes, Alberta spent $34 million last year to collect $5.6 billion in corporate taxes.

While running its own administration meant Alberta got to keep about $230 million in interest and penalties it collected last year, it also means the province has to assume the risk if taxes assessed go unpaid and ultimately have to be written off.

Via Jody MacPherson, Jocelyn Stoller
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Jody MacPherson's curator insight, July 17, 1:09 AM

"One of only two provinces that do not contract with Canada Revenue Agency to collect corporate taxes, Alberta spent $34 million last year to collect $5.6 billion in corporate taxes.

While running its own administration meant Alberta got to keep about $230 million in interest and penalties it collected last year, it also means the province has to assume the risk if taxes assessed go unpaid and ultimately have to be written off."

 

 

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In Stephen Harper's dystopian Canada, Big Brother is the PM

In Stephen Harper's dystopian Canada, Big Brother is the PM | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Stephen Harper might not have studied the society in George Orwell’s classic, 1984. He prefers to read just about politics – or hockey – we're told.

So it may simply be a coincidence that since the Conservatives won their majority, Harper has been acting a lot like Big Brother.

Titles like “The Fair Elections Act” and the “Jobs, Growth and Long Term Prosperity Act” reek of “newspeak”, the manufactured language in Orwell’s dark and pessimistic novel.

Orwell laid out a dystopian world of endless and invasive propaganda, and rigid control of all personal behaviours by a central government which distracts its citizens from their dreary lives of subjugation with fabricated news of conflicts with two other far-away world powers.

Stephen Harper is relentlessly – he likes to say "incrementally" – trying to move Canadian society towards a pattern of 1984-like dreariness, in which nation states are reported to be in constant far-away conflict with one another, and the actions of ordinary citizens at home are shaped by a central authority, which strictly regulates the flow of information – who gets to learn about what.
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Why is Joe Oliver seeking economic advice from a scandal-plagued corporate honcho?

Why is Joe Oliver seeking economic advice from a scandal-plagued corporate honcho? | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
s Canada’s finance minister, Joe Oliver, seeking economic advice from a scandal-plagued corporate honcho?

Oliver, who is also MP for the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, can’t be a happy man these days: Canada has slipped into recession again, blowing a hole in his hopes of balancing the government’s budget for the first time since 2007.

But Oliver’s mishandling of the economy might not be a surprise given the quality of the some of the people he relies on for advice – such as Rebecca MacDonald, founder and executive chair of Just Energy Group Inc., a $3.9-billion Toronto-based energy marketing company. Oliver appointed MacDonald to his Economic Advisory Council last summer.

MacDonald was in the news last month after Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. made her the head of its corporate governance committee. MacDonald has been on CP Rail’s board for the past three years.

Yet MacDonald is also a highly controversial figure within the business world, overseeing a company that is regularly pilloried for its unethical behaviour. “I am baffled by both the Oliver appointment and the (CP Rail) governance position,” says Dr. Al Rosen, one of Canada’s leading forensic accountants who’s investigated Just Energy and MacDonald.

In fact, charges of consumer fraud, unscrupulous sales tactics, multi-million dollar fines, and allegations of fabricating credentials have plagued both MacDonald and Just Energy for years. This past winter, for example, Massachusetts forced a (US) $4-million settlement out of the company over its sales methods, specifically over making false representations to customer. “We allege this… supplier engaged in widespread and misleading conduct that lured consumers into costly contracts in the form of high electricity rates and termination fees,” said the state’s attorney general, Martha Coakley, when the settlement was announced.
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May: For Veterans, 'We Need To Do More Than Wrap Ourselves In The Flag'

May: For Veterans, 'We Need To Do More Than Wrap Ourselves In The Flag' | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
NANAIMO, B.C. — The federal Green party is calling for a better deal for injured veterans and RCMP officers.

Green Leader Elizabeth May wants increased funding for former soldiers in need and the reopening of recently closed Veterans Affairs offices.

May is pressing for an end to lump-sum — as opposed to ongoing — payments for injured veterans.

She also advocates funding to ensure any veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who wants a service dog will have access to one.

The party says service dogs reduce PTSD in a majority of cases, comparing favourably to pharmaceutical approaches.

The Greens say they will be a strong partner in pushing for the changes in what many expect will be a minority Parliament after the Oct. 19 election.

"Our veterans, our military — people who put their lives on the line — deserve our support," May told a news conference. "And we need to do more than wrap ourselves in the flag."
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Harper's Wright hand flops in court

Harper's Wright hand flops in court | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Donald Bayne, lawyer for disgraced Senator Mike Duffy, wasted no time with the prosecution’s star witness, Nigel Wright, on Thursday.

Eschewing the rote introductory pleasantries lawyers use to anesthetize witnesses, Bayne commenced his surgical cross-examination with dispatch and a hacksaw. Within minutes Wright's calm self-assurance gave way to an expression of consternation. With few moments of light-hearted relief, his furrowed brow remained fixedly in place for the rest of the day.

It was remarkable to see how quickly and effectively Bayne got under Wright’s skin.

Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff now has one objective: survive.
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