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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Canadians get ripped off at the pumps

Canadians get ripped off at the pumps | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The Harper government seems worried voters might figure it out. When the election was called, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) stopped producing the Fuel Focus Report—its bi-weekly window on economic drivers influencing gasoline prices “intended to provide Canadians with regular information on the various aspects of the gasoline market in Canada.”

Obvious price gouging began to emerge in early March. The price of crude fell, but prices at the pump increased. Before Fuel Focus Report data was suspended in July, it showed Canadian refining and marketing margins hitting an all time high of 38.6 cents a litre (see figure 3 in this report).
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malek's comment, September 22, 2015 12:57 PM
I love price gouging and deficit.. I'll vote?
pdeppisch's comment, September 22, 2015 3:42 PM
Only if you live in Canada - Donald Sutherland is not allowed. :)
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U.S. Fed Cites Canadian Recession As Reason For Holding Rates

U.S. Fed Cites Canadian Recession As Reason For Holding Rates | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its prime lending rate unchanged at its meeting Thursday, extending a nearly seven-year-long streak of near-zero interest rates at least until its October meeting, and more likely until December.

At a press conference following the announcement, Fed chair Janet Yellen listed off a number of reasons why the U.S.’s central bank thinks the economy is still too weak for an interest rate liftoff. And among those reasons was Canada’s economic slowdown.

Asked by a Fox Business reporter if it was the economic slowdown in China that had the Fed looking warily at the global economy, Yellen said yes — but not only China.
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pdeppisch's comment, September 21, 2015 6:30 PM
I don't understand why they did not rise rates. I think the market prefers, at this stage, higher rates. It would mean back to normal. It has been 7 years now!
malek's comment, September 22, 2015 12:54 PM
The H Effect, H for Harper!!
pdeppisch's comment, September 22, 2015 3:43 PM
LOL - H for Harper Hell?
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B.C. Handed Out Scientifically Flawed Fracking Water Licence to Nexen: Appeals Board

B.C. Handed Out Scientifically Flawed Fracking Water Licence to Nexen: Appeals Board | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The B.C. Environmental Appeal Board has ruled the province failed to properly consult the Fort Nelson First Nations and employ adequate scientific modelling when it approved a long-term water withdrawal licence for Nexen Inc., a company with fracked gas operations in the Horn River Basin.

The board ordered the cancellation of the water licence, effectively immediately. The permit granted Nexen permission to withdraw up to 2.5 million cubic metres of water annually from North Tsea Lake, located within traditional Fort Nelson First Nation territory, until 2017.

The First Nation considers the ruling a significant victory over both Nexen and the B.C. government.

“Granting this licence was a major mistake by the province,” Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Liz Logan said, adding “our members have always used the Tsea Lake area in our territory to hunt, trap, and live on the land.”

Logan said Nexen withdrew water from Tsea Lake at ecologically damaging times.
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Harper hires infamous Aussie spin doctor

Harper hires infamous Aussie spin doctor | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Reeling from recent scandals and sinking in the polls for Harper's response to Syria's refugee crisis, the Conservatives have recruited help from Australian strategist Lynton Crosby, who has been described as "the Australian Karl Rove."

Crosby helped UK Prime Minister David Cameron pull off a stunning win for the Conservatives earlier this year. While earning the nickname "Wizard of Oz" for his effectiveness, shepherding former Australian Prime Minister John Howard to four consecutive wins, his team has been accused of using dirty tricks to win in the past. Crosby's business partner, Mark Textor, was successfully sued by Labour candidate Sue Robinson for damages after his suggestions that she supported abortion at nine months in 1995. Crosby was once accused of urging London mayor Boris Johnson not to court support from "[expletive] Muslims" while working on his campaign.

Crosby Textor has been linked to petroleum and fracking interests, though his representatives deny this claim.
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Is this man the worst MP (and minister) in Canada?

Is this man the worst MP (and minister) in Canada? | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
This month, two Conservative candidates, Jerry Bance and Tim Dutaud, were dismissed for inappropriate past behavior— Bance for peeing in the mug of a client of his repair business, and Dutaud for prank calls involving fake orgasms and imitating a mentally handicapped person. Since records of both candidates' actions were online before the election was called, many have questioned how the Conservative Party vets its people.

MP Julian Fantino, the Associate Minister for National Defence, has so far escaped the same kind of exposure and resulting condemnation. But that may be about to change.
The "worst choice" for the Conservatives
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The Promise Harper Hoped You'd Forget

The Promise Harper Hoped You'd Forget | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
CP

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s one admittedly broken promise from the last election campaign has been cast aside, and the Tories hope you’ll forget it.

In 2011, Harper pledged to introduce an adult fitness tax credit, worth up to $75, as soon as the budget was balanced. (The non-refundable tax credit would have been worth 15 per cent of up to $500 in the cost of a gym membership or participation in a sports activity).

When Harper posted a surplus budget this spring, however, the adult fitness tax credit was missing. On the campaign trail, he called it his one broken promise of 107 made.
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Chris Alexander Just Got His A** Kicked By Rosemary Barton

Chris Alexander Just Got His A** Kicked By Rosemary Barton | Canada and its politics | 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' | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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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Water Source for Alberta Tar Sands Drilling Could Run Dry

Water Source for Alberta Tar Sands Drilling Could Run Dry | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The source of water used for drilling in the Alberta tar sands could dry up in the coming decades, according to new research released Monday. The questionable future of the Athabasca River threatens the longevity of fossil fuel extraction in the world's third-largest crude oil reserve.
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Native tribe fights to save Boreal forest in Quebec

Native tribe fights to save Boreal forest in Quebec | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
Waswanipi (Canada) (AFP) - Mandy Gull holds back tears as she steps off the helicopter in northern Quebec. "I've never seen anything so sad," says the young woman whose aboriginal tribe is seeing its ancestral lands eroded by logging.

"If my grandfather knew," says the deputy leader of the Cree tribe, one of 11 indigenous ethnic groups present in Quebec.

The flyover of the Boreal forest, pockmarked by clear-cuts, both saddens her and toughens her resolve to end deforestation in the region.

"We don't own this land... as Cree, we know that we're stewards of the land, (and) we're here to protect the land," she said.

Gull's tribal village of Waswanipi, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of Montreal, has been fighting for years to preserve some 13,000 square kilometers (5,000 square miles) of pristine forests in the Broadback river valley. Loggers have already cut swathes through 90 percent of adjacent lands.
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Why was Bruce Carson able to lobby for oil and gas right under the PMO's nose?

Why was Bruce Carson able to lobby for oil and gas right under the PMO's nose? | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
The only time I met Bruce Carson — who was once an acting chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) — he asked me to take down a blog I had written.

The 2011 post focused on how Carson had shifted from handling the energy file in the PMO to acting as the political quarterback for a joint government-oil industry push to get pipelines built.

I replied that he should interpret the attention as a compliment for his political skills.

Those political skills have landed him in court next week, where he faces multiple charges for influence-peddling and prohibited lobbying, using his government connections for personal gain with.

Though this has yet to be proven in court, the RCMP has assembled some compelling evidence suggesting that Carson's lobbying on behalf of the Canada School for Energy and the Environment (CSEE) and the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) broke the rules forbidding high-ranking government officials from lobbying the federal government for five years after they leave.
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Four reasons why Stephen Harper won't debate Elizabeth May

Four reasons why Stephen Harper won't debate Elizabeth May | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
No, he’s not afraid that she’ll leave her podium and come over and whack him.

Harper's afraid – he knows – that if he were to engage in a fair debate against Green Party leader Elizabeth May, in public with millions of Canadians watching, he’d lose.

Here’s why.
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Refugee health-care flyers draw fire to Conservatives

Refugee health-care flyers draw fire to Conservatives | Canada and its politics | Scoop.it
As election campaigns shift toward addressing the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, people have been tweeting Conservative Party mailouts that are said to have "loaded" language against refugees.

Several of these surveys, which ask about health-care cuts to refugees, were supposedly mailed to various ridings held by Conservative MPs over the past few years.

The ones that have been posted online include questions like, "Should refugees get gold-plated dental, vision and drug benefits" and "What level of health-care benefits do you believe the government should provide to failed and fraudulent refugee claimants?"
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Harper's rosy financial outlook ignores facts

Harper's rosy financial outlook ignores facts | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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…) | Canada and its politics | 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 | Canada and its politics | 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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