Canada and its politics
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Canada and its politics
What Canadians think about politics and their (Non Westminster) Parliament
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How Stephen Harper Used God and Neoliberalism to Construct the Radical Environmentalist Frame

How Stephen Harper Used God and Neoliberalism to Construct the Radical Environmentalist Frame | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Stephen Harper’s efforts to frame environmentalists as radicals who deserve to be investigated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service took three years to come to fruition.

It’s often claimed that Harper’s vendetta against environmental groups springs from his unconditional support for the oil industry. While that is more or less evident, it’s also necessary to consider the dominant influences — from his evangelical Christianity and his neoliberal ideology — on his tactics.

It was in early January 2012 that the Harper government first attacked opponents of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver released an open letter accusing “radical” environmentalists and “jet-setting celebrities” of blocking efforts to open access to Asian markets for Canadian oil.

“These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda,” Oliver, a former investment banker who raised money for oil companies, wrote. “They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects.”
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Veterans Affairs officials blamed Fantino for making 'bad press' worse

Veterans Affairs officials blamed Fantino for making 'bad press' worse | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Veterans Affairs Canada officials felt former minister Julian Fantino’s public relations’ disasters had “intensified” what was already a glut of “bad press” that had “taken its toll” on the department’s reputation, internal documents show.

The documents are part of a secret briefing binder delivered to current Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole upon his appointment to replace Fantino in January. They highlight the degree to which officials believe bad publicity, exacerbated by Fantino’s tenure, is to blame for many of the department’s problems.
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Tories Unmoved By New Calls For Public Inquiry

Tories Unmoved By New Calls For Public Inquiry | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Federal Conservatives have suggested they will reject calls from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for both a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and Canada's implementation of a landmark United Nations document on First Nations' rights.

On Tuesday, the TRC released a long-awaited report on the shameful legacy of the residential school system. The push for a national inquiry and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People were both included among 94 wide-ranging recommendations.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has previously ruled out taking both actions and, in question period, hinted its position was unlikely to change.
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The secret deal that undercut MacKay, and the old Tories

The secret deal that undercut MacKay, and the old Tories | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
In all the critiques of Peter MacKay’s career, what is missing is the most consequential decision the Nova Scotian ever made. It is the one he may regret the most – an ill-fated, horribly handled, backroom deal that seared his credibility, served the old Tory party its final death warrant, and helped secure Stephen Harper’s future.

On May 31, 2003, Mr. MacKay won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. It was done with a vow not to merge with the Canadian Alliance party. And he had every intention of leading the PCs into the next election, then expected within a year’s time.

At the time of the leadership convention, his Tories led Mr. Harper’s Alliance party in opinion polls. The Alliance had just thrown all its resources into an important Ontario by-election in Perth-Middlesex, and been trounced by the PCs.

Mr. MacKay looked happily on that result. He was young, popular, attractive. His victory at the convention was expected, as was momentum for his party. The idea that within just a few months’ time he would go back on his word and merge the party into a new one, then stay on the sidelines for its leadership race, was far-fetched in the extreme.
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pdeppisch's comment, June 2, 2015 1:00 PM
And in case Harper resigns or gets defeated - which I don't see happening since Trudeau is flubbing it and not sure Canada will vote NDP but Alberta did - so then he can run for leader of the Conservatives and re-brand / re-name. Cheers.
malek's comment, June 2, 2015 1:14 PM
and Halifax shipyard (aka, Irving) got a $25B contract from Ottawa
pdeppisch's comment, June 2, 2015 2:37 PM
They learned well from Chretien! :)
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Commission to chart map of rocky road to reconciliation

Commission to chart map of rocky road to reconciliation | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Murray Sinclair, the chair of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who will make public on Tuesday a summary into what occurred behind the schools’ walls, says there was never any hope of achieving reconciliation within the five-year lifetime of his commission. But he will make recommendations, he says, about what the government and aboriginal people need to do to move in that direction.
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Judge Allows Key Senate Report Into Evidence

Judge Allows Key Senate Report Into Evidence | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - The judge presiding over the trial of Sen. Mike Duffy has allowed a key Senate committee report to be entered into evidence.

Justice Charles Vaillancourt had been considering whether a 2010 report of the internal economy committee should be regarded as factual when hearing the arguments of the case.

The report was based heavily on three audits of the Senate's administrative practices, undertaken by the firm Ernst and Young.
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Canada's Economy 'In A Tailspin'

Canada's Economy 'In A Tailspin' | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Statistics Canada confirmed Friday what many economists had been saying: That Canada's economy shrank in the first quarter of 2015, under pressure from low oil prices.

The economy was contracting at an annual rate of 0.6 per cent in the first three months of 2015, StatsCan said. It's the first time Canada's GDP numbers have been negative for an entire quarter since 2011.

The mining, quarrying, oil and gas sector declined 2.6 per cent in March, the fifth consecutive month the sector has declined.
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Tories Scramble After Joe Oliver's Call For Looser Labour Laws At G7

Tories Scramble After Joe Oliver's Call For Looser Labour Laws At G7 | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Finance Minister Joe Oliver said Wednesday he believes relaxing labour laws to make it easier to lay off workers would help spur economic growth.

The Conservatives insist he wasn’t talking about Canada. But party officials gave conflicting statements Thursday as to which country he actually was speaking about.

At a G7 meeting of finance ministers in Dresden, Germany, Oliver voiced his support for loosening labour laws, but acknowledged “that's what gets people demonstrating in the streets," according to a report by Reuters.
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Harper's attack on scientists

Harper's attack on scientists | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the Harper government's muzzling of scientists is both an assault on democracy and on the pursuit of pure knowledge.
It's behaviour typical of a government so desperate to control the message it threatened to fire a marine biologist who did an interview on sharks without first getting the required political approval.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Rio Tinto Alcan Externalizing Air Pollution onto Kitimat Households, Says Expert Witness

Rio Tinto Alcan Externalizing Air Pollution onto Kitimat Households, Says Expert Witness | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Increased sulphur dioxide (SO2) pollution from the expanded Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) aluminum smelter in Kitimat, B.C. will result in increased health costs for local households, an expert witness told an Environmental Appeals Board panel in Victoria, Monday.

Dr. Brian Scarfe, an economist and cost-benefit analyst from the University of Victoria, testified before the tribunal that the externalized health costs placed on residents living near the Kitimat smelter will outstrip the cost of introducing scrubbers — which remove SO2 pollution from effluent — to the RTA plant.

In 2013 the B.C. government approved RTA’s permit to increase production of the smelter. The ‘modernization’ project will limit the release of other aluminum-associated emissions including greenhouse gases, but will result in a 56 per cent increase of sulphur dioxide being pumped into the airshed.

B.C. ruled RTA was not required to install scrubbers to prevent the SO2 increase from 27 to 42 tonnes per day.
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An unambitious emissions target we won’t even hit

An unambitious emissions target we won’t even hit | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
In Stephen Harper’s government, the Prime Minister makes almost all the important announcements, the ones the Conservatives want the electorate to remember.

There are a few exceptions to this practice, as when the Finance Minister delivers the budget and speaks about it thereafter. Generally speaking, however, the more important the file, the greater the likelihood that the Prime Minister will do the talking.

Which explains why poor Leona Aglukkaq, the Environment Minister, got to announce on Friday the damp squib of the government’s greenhouse-gas targets for the December international meeting on climate change in Paris.

Being the Environment Minister in the Harper government is political purgatory. The environment generally, and greenhouse-gas emissions reduction in particular, are far, far down the list of priorities, and the ministers have tended to therefore be of marginal importance in the government.
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Senate Invokes Immunity Against Duffy Request

Senate Invokes Immunity Against Duffy Request | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - The Senate is using the closed-door hearings involving a disgraced former Liberal senator as a precedent for keeping internal audit information out of the Mike Duffy trial.

Then-senator Raymond Lavigne was convicted in 2011 of fraud and breach of trust for using Senate funds for work on his property and for travel by staff members.

In 2006, a special Senate committee reviewed his expenses in private and decided to refer the matter to the RCMP. Lavigne and his lawyers participated in the hearings.
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Taxpayer group urges Tories to stop pumping public money into partisan ads

Taxpayer group urges Tories to stop pumping public money into partisan ads | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
A government waste-watching group once headed by Defence Minister Jason Kenney is calling out the federal government for using taxpayer money to pay for partisan ads.

Veterans Affairs ads that cost $4.3M fell flat with viewers: report
Ottawa adds another $11 million to ad budget as year-end nears
Ottawa's ads called a pre-election campaign funded by taxpayers
In a release issued Wednesday, Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Aaron Wudrick points to several recent ad campaigns that have been in heavy rotation, including the anti-pot messaging launched last year and commercials touting new tax cuts.

"These ads are all paid for with your tax dollars," he notes.

And while he acknowledges that, in some cases, such campaigns serve a "legitimate purpose" by providing the public with important information about available programs and services, that wasn't the case with the $2.5 million spent on ads for the Canada Job Grant — a program that, Wudrick points out in his release, "didn't even exist at the time."

"The reality is that for an incumbent government, the temptation to torque ads for partisan gain will always be great," Wudrick said.
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malek's comment, May 16, 2015 12:36 PM
Deny Harper "Child Fitness Credit"???!!!
pdeppisch's comment, May 17, 2015 10:43 PM
Get rid of him! End of discussion!
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OECD paints grim picture for global growth, cuts Canadian forecast

OECD paints grim picture for global growth, cuts Canadian forecast | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Sluggish capital investment, feeble productivity gains, high unemployment, fiscal uncertainties and reluctant consumers are combining to dampen global growth, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says in a downbeat assessment of the world economy. The U.S. economy and other key players such as China have put up some weak numbers so far this year and show few signs of a strong rebound.
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Odds Of A Kid Dying In Residential School About Same As Soldier In WW2

Odds Of A Kid Dying In Residential School About Same As Soldier In WW2 | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Canada's Indian residential schools issues its summary report this morning, and TRC chair Justice Murray Sinclair has hinted the report will cite a form of genocide to describe what happened to the 150,000 or so aboriginal children and their families while the schools operated.

In media interviews, Sinclair has also revealed that the TRC has documented the deaths of over 6,000 students while in residential schools, adding that there are probably more.

That would put the odds of dying in Canadian residential schools over the years they operated at about the same as for those serving in Canada's armed forces during the Second World War.
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There Is No Recession. I Will Not Talk About A Recession.

There Is No Recession. I Will Not Talk About A Recession. | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver says he won't discuss the prospect of a recession because he fully expects the economy to rebound after it shrank in the first three months of the year.

Oliver's testimony at a Senate committee today comes less than week after data showed the economy contracted by 0.6 per cent at an annualized rate in the first quarter.

He says he's expecting the economy to bounce back in the second quarter as the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund and private-sector economists have all projected.
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Tsleil-Waututh First Nation rejects Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion

Tsleil-Waututh First Nation rejects Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
In an old legend from the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, a two-headed serpent brings hunger and disease to the Burrard Inlet, killing off the salmon. In order to survive, the people had to confront the serpent and slay it.

“We’re now facing another long dragon that needs to be slain,” Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative member Rueben George told a crowd of 100 gathered at Whey-ah-Wichen Park in North Vancouver on Tuesday.

“That’s the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”
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Bill C-51 A 'Fascist' Piece Of Legislation: Constitutional Lawyer

Bill C-51 A 'Fascist' Piece Of Legislation: Constitutional Lawyer | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The constitutional lawyer who torpedoed Stephen Harper's pick for the Supreme Court says he will contest the government's anti-terror legislation in court, if it passes.

Rocco Galati, who successfully challenged Harper's choice of Justice Marc Nadon for the top bench last year, spoke out against Bill C-51 — the Anti-Terrorism Act — at a rally in Toronto on Saturday.

His speech contained some incendiary allusions to Nazi Germany and an accusation that the federal government has tapped his phone since 1999.
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Residential schools findings point to 'cultural genocide,' commission chair says

Residential schools findings point to 'cultural genocide,' commission chair says | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while in the residential school system, says Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Sinclair, who has been tasked with studying the legacy of the residential schools, says that the figure is just an estimate and is likely much higher. Residential schools were established in the 19th century and the last ones closed in 1996.
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Fort McKay: The Canadian town that sold itself to tar sands

Fort McKay: The Canadian town that sold itself to tar sands | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The tiny Alberta town is one of the world’s single biggest source sites of carbon pollution. The community grew rich on oil, and was wrecked by oil. So local, Cece Fitzpatrick, decided to run for chief, promising to stand up to the industry which came there 50 years ago
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Feds admit more needs to be done to help domestic violence victims; Tories vote down national plan

Feds admit more needs to be done to help domestic violence victims; Tories vote down national plan | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it

"OTTAWA – Heath Canada admits it needs to do more to help women and children who have been abused, including better training for doctors and “improved evidence” on what works to prevent domestic violence, newly released documents show.

Despite the admission, the Conservatives voted against NDP MP Niki Ashton’s motion Wednesday night to create a coordinated national action plan to address violence against women, a problem that costs Canadian society more than $7 billion a year.

All but one Conservative, Yukon MP Ryan Leef, opposed the plan. The NDP and Liberals voted for the motion, but it was still defeated."

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17 Ways the Government Is Helping Kill Wild Salmon

17 Ways the Government Is Helping Kill Wild Salmon | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
In British Columbia, salmon are sacred. For centuries, they have nourished First Nations and settlers alike, and continue to sustain virtually all of the wildlife we cherish in B.C.: orcas, eagles, bears, seals and sea lions, wolves and even our forests. Wild salmon make life possible on the West Coast. So why are our federal and provincial governments trying to kill them? I do not speak of simple neglect. I mean actively working towards the destruction of wild salmon.
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First Nations Chief Fears Site C Will Increase Mercury Poisoning of Fish

First Nations Chief Fears Site C Will Increase Mercury Poisoning of Fish | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
West Moberly First Nation Chief Roland Willson said the day his nine-year-old son caught a nine pound fish, a dolly varden, in the Williston reservoir should have been a proud moment.

“He caught it in the reservoir but because of what I know about the mercury we couldn’t eat it,” Willson said. “He had snagged it so bad we had to take it home and it ended up going in the garbage.”

The Williston reservoir, resulting from the creation of the W.A.C Bennett dam, is known for containing high levels of mercury, a common feature of large man-made reservoirs containing high levels of organic material. In 2000 the B.C. government issued a fish consumption advisory for the reservoir.

Although that day of fishing on the reservoir was seven years ago Willson has a new reason to fear those high levels of mercury: the recent approval of the Site C dam.

Willson said he’s concerned the Site C dam will result in similarly-contaminated reservoir water.

“Site C is proposed for the same river,” Willson said. “There’s no reason to think this problem is not going to transfer.”
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Senate audit cost $21M, another 10 senators will be referred to RCMP: sources

Senate audit cost $21M, another 10 senators will be referred to RCMP: sources | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
A sweeping Auditor General’s audit of the Senate has cost taxpayers $21 million, and uncovered troubling expense claims from 10 more sitting and former senators, CTV News has learned.
The 10 senators filed questionable expenses amounting to more than $100,000, sources told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.
Just as the questionable spending of Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb were sent to the RCMP, sources say the latest cases will be, too.
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Federal scientists push for protection from political interference

Federal scientists push for protection from political interference | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Public-service unions are asking the federal government for the first time to enshrine scientific integrity language into their collective agreements.

The language is intended to ensure that researchers employed by the government can speak openly about their work, publish results without fear of censorship and collaborate with peers.

With contract negotiations set to resume this week, there will also be a series of demonstrations for the Ottawa area on Tuesday to focus attention on the issue.

If successful, the effort could mark a precedent-setting turn in what the government’s critics portray as a struggle between intellectual independence and political prerogative.

“Our science members said to us: What’s more important than anything else is our ability to do our jobs as professionals,” said Peter Bleyer, an adviser with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, whose membership includes some 15,000 scientists and engineers.
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