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Archive for December, 2013

Interesting Stories In Canadian Politics # 3


Story #1: Headline in the Yahoo News/Canada Politics, posted by Andy Radia on, November 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM  reads, Harper government tracks ‘missing’ $3.1 billion” and goes on to say, “Conservative MPs finally has a good news story to take home to their constituencies this weekend.  You’ll recall, in May, the Tory brand took a hit when the Auditor General slammed the government for losing track of $3.1 billion earmarked for national security. The media and the opposition parties somehow turned ‘losing track of $3.1 billion”, into ‘losing $3.1 billion.’ Nevertheless, that money has now been tracked.  According to the National Post, the problem was due to mis-categorizations between departments.

Well there you have it Canadians have nothing to worry about now (smile) according to the press; our government did not steal the money they are just incapable of keeping track of it and since they eventually found it, no real harm done. The story does not stop there though it goes on to imply that there is a vast difference between the Harper Government standing up in the house of commons and saying that we somehow lost track of the money and the opposition parties saying that they lost the Harper government lost the money.  In other words this government did not bother to do the paper work which caused them to look like they could not find$3.1 billion dollars.  The story fascinates me, because it seems to be saying that we as Canadians should be happy and see it as good news that we have a government that has been proven to not be a crooked in this instance, but has rather been proven to just be careless and incompetent when it dealing with large sums of money and doing the appropriate paper work when transferring large sums of money from one department to another.  This story also makes the claim that this government should somehow feel good about telling its supporters that they are incompetent, sloppy, careless, but they are not crooks.

Story #2: Headline in CBC News, posted by Blair Rhodes on Nov 07, 2013 at 7:50 AM, reads “Condom piercer’s sex crime appeal goes to Supreme Court” with the slightly less bold sub title reading, “Craig Jaret Hutchinson convicted in December 2011 and sentenced to 18 months in prison”  I guess I found the whole debate fascinating, because of the implications of the defense of this guys decision and what the impact the final outcome will have on a woman’s ability to rely on an agreement between herself and her mate to only engage in safe sex. How will this impact the ability of a woman to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies to poke holes in a condom and what happens to the unborn child of this deception?

The other thing that fascinates me is the assertion by the defense that this guy did nothing illegal and although what he did could be considered reprehensible that it was no way assault, because he had permission for the act. We are to ignore that he only had permission to engage in sex with her providing it was safe sex, (with a condom on). No condom equals, no permission; no permission means to engage is sexual assault.  You engage in sexual assault you will be punished.  We are being asked to forget that because this guy poked holes in the condom and impregnated hos girlfriend who said she did not wish to be pregnant that he caused the death of an unborn child. We are being asked by the defense that because of his actions the young woman was put through stress, hardship, physical and mental anguish.  What if he had a sexual transmittable disease that he was not aware of and because of his action he gave it to her?  Should she have had to carry the baby and  given it to the guy? I find it incredible that this idiot did not just do his time and be glad he was not charged with the murder of that unborn child.

Story #2: Headline in Canada.com, published  by Jordon Press on December 6, 2013, 4:26 pm reads: “Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais accused of unleashing ‘personal attack’ on NDP MP Charmaine Borg”  What I found so interesting in this story is the reasoning of Conservative Senator Jean Guy Dagenais in writing this letter to NDP MP Charmaine Borg. Everyone in Canada, and around the world knows that this Senate is embroiled in scandal when it comes to the misuse of travel expenses and household allowance expenses.  The fact that the Conservatives have a majority in the Senate and that they also seem to be in the majority of the scandals in both chambers and even in the PMO’s office does nothing to improve how Canadians feel about this non elected body of government.  This government is an embarrassment to Canadians and the flyer was an attempt to rid Canadians of an ineffective, embarrassing body of the government that has gotten worse since Steven Harper added his patronage appointments to the senate,   so again I ask why the personal attack on NDP MNA Charmaine Borg for stating the obvious.

Story #3: Headline in CBC.ca, reads: Jason Kenney‘s Rob Ford comment sparked profane rebuke from Jim Flaherty.  That they argued is one thing, but to do it right out there on the floor of the house of Commons is not what the conservative government of Canada and Steven Harper  need at this point in time.  That it is happening because of Rob Ford I find amazing. that 2 senior members of the conservative party of Canada and high-ranking cabinet ministers would use profanity and almost come to blows I find almost Liberal and anything but conservative.  It appears that the prime minister is losing control his party as continuous scandals and inner conflict seem to be tearing his party apart from within. The Conservative Party of Canada is going to great lengths to paint the Liberal Party of Canada as protecting the conservative  senators who have broken the law and at the same time  their finance minister almost gets in a fist fight with Jason Kenney over Jason Kenney calling for Rob Fords to step down; talk about contradictions. I am guessing that Jim Flaherty wants Rob Ford covered under the same, “It wasn’t me ” Tori operating procedure as the prime minister and the rest of the prominent Tories are. At best they looked like a bunch of children and their use of profane language showed a complete lack of respect for where they were (the House of Commons) and their colleagues, of whom a large number were women.  This party can ill afford this type of public display especially over a self-confessed liar and crack smoker.  What were they thinking?

Interesting Stories In Canadian Politics #2


Conservative Senator declares war on Capital Hill

Conservative Senator declares war on Capital Hill

Headline in Canada.com, published  by Jordon Press on December 6, 2013, 4:26 pm reads: “Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais accused of unleashing ‘personal attack’ on NDP MP Charmaine Borg”  What I found so interesting in this story is the reasoning of Conservative Senator Jean Guy Dagenais in writing this letter to NDP MP Charmaine Borg. Everyone in Canada, and around the world knows that this Senate is embroiled in scandal when it comes to the misuse of travel expenses and household allowance expenses.  The fact that the Conservatives have a majority in the Senate and that they also seem to be in the majority of the scandals in both chambers and even in the PMO‘s office does nothing to improve how Canadians feel about this non elected body of government.  This government is an embarrassment to Canadians and the flyer was an attempt to rid Canadians of an ineffective, embarrassing body of the government that has gotten worse since Steven Harper added his patronage appointments to the senate,   so again I ask why the personal attack on NDP MP Charmaine Borg for stating the obvious.  Let’s compare the two individuals by the facts as they are only with no hypothetical analysis.

  • NDP MP Charmaine Borg ran in a federal election and won it and earned the right to represent the citizens her riding.  Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais ran in a federal election and lost, but thanks to a patronage appointment by Steven Harper gets to sit in the senate and without the consent of the people represent them.
  • NDP MP Charmaine Borg spoke out about the corruption in the senate and voiced her opinion that the senate as a political entity was useless and that certain documented crooks were giving the senate a bad name. In a politically motivated flyer which she had mailed to everyone in her riding she suggested to the people who elected her to represent them in such matters that she thought that the senate should be abolished.  Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais on the other hand has taken to defending the very same senate that he campaigned to rid Canada of when he ran in a federal election as a Harper, Conservative MP and lost.  At that time he was agreeing with his party and it would seem NDP MP Charmaine Borg that there was no place in Canadian politics for a corrupt, useless and non elected senate.
  • NDP MP Charmaine Borg spoke of ridding the people of Canada of a corrupt unelected body of politicians that are totally controlled by the PMO, by virtue of  the fact that they are chosen for their jobs by the Prime Minister of the day.  Charmaine Borg also knows enough about how the senate operates to know that whatever equalizing force the senate was intended to be, has been corrupted. The senate  (the place of sober 2nd thought) is no longer a senate where people of  all political stripes with allegiances to no political party, come together in a non-partisan undertaking and ensure that the people of Canada were best being served by the politicians they entrusted to represent their needs. (The sole purpose of senators never having to be worried about being fired was to ensure that they could look upon proposed legislation in non partisan way),   Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais spoke of  the senate of years gone by, the need for NDP Charmaine Borg to go to the library and understand what the senate purpose is and its intended purpose was.  Conservative Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais decided that the best way to protect his now beloved senate was to mount a personal attack, instead of speaking to the senates good work for example and what purpose  the senate has in Canadian politics today in reality and not in terms of the ideology of past politicians, before the corruption hit.
  • NDP MP Charmaine Borg offered her opinion to her constituents and the people of Canada concerning the Canadian Senate as an elected MP which is her right as is every Canadian, politician or not.  NDP MP Charmaine Borg dared to say that she feels that the senate needs to be abolished and replaced with an elected senate, so they to can be held accountable by the citizens of Canada for their actions on election day, even though her political party desire is to reform the senate rather than abolish it.    Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais offered his opinion to her in a personal letter suggesting that she is too young to understand the value to Canadians in such patronage appointments, that she is a whiny female and that she did not deserve to be elected disregarding the fact that when they both ran, he lost and she won / she is an elected official and he is not.
  • NDP MP Charmaine Borg has declared war on a corrupt senate that has lost its significance and is no longer doing the job it was intended to do in the non-partisan manner it was intended to utilise, making it just an unelected advantage to the party governing at any given time.  She states correctly, if the senate is to be an arm of the government of the day then it should be elected.  Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais  has declared war on everyone and anyone who dares to speak ill of the senate, or call for its end, especially politicians not in his conservative party.  This senator insists that there is no corruption and that attacks or mention of the obvious fundamental flaws, or the never-ending scandals plaguing todays senate is declaring war personally against him and will be met with hostility and swift action of the sort he displayed against NDP MP Charmaine Borg.

Until his letter I as a citizen of Canada thought that there was an outside chance that the senate could just be reformed and I have written so, but back then I thought the senate got it, knew they were acting wrongly and needed to change their ways and would support changes that got them back on the course where they are representing Canadians the way it was intended when the idea of a Canadian senate was conceived and return to a chamber of sober 2nd thought. Instead of apologies for their wrong doing we get attacks and threats of war being declared against officials we have elected to represent us, who would dare to speak out and call for the corruption to end.  It would appear that all the senators of which there are only Liberals and Conservatives think that they are being unfairly criticised and persecuted in and out of the House of Commons, or at least their leaders in the Senate do and if you think that you are innocent then you think that you have no need to change what you are doing.  Since I read the letter and the comments that followed out of the senate I say, “Scrap it and start over”.

What Happens When Telling The Truth Is No Longer Considered An Option For The Prime Minister Of Canada?


 

What happens when telling the truth is no longer considered an option for you, or the political party you lead.
What happens when telling the truth is no longer considered an option for you, or the political party you lead.

What happens when telling the truth is no longer considered an  option for the leader of a political party and the political party they lead, (Steven Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada) is unfortunately what we see happening in Canada today.   It has become increasingly difficult for me the average Canadian to tell when this Prime Minister and this government are telling the truth about anything.  Perhaps all politicians and all Canadians need to remember what Sir Walter Scott wrote about telling lies, when he wrote, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”

When telling the truth will expose all of the lies and deceit that the leader of a political party and his party have been covering up with other lies the inevitable resulting problem for both is a credibility issue, at the very least. I believe that  Prime Minister Harper, has a serious problem when it comes to how Canadians perceive  his credibility when he answers their questions; his integrity when he asks Canadians for their trust and understanding and his ability to lead his party and to govern this nation.  I could pick at any government file and find confusion, but let’s stick to Canada’s economy and this government’s economic plan, because  this government’s economic plan, is supposed to be their crown jewel, their top priority, the thing that makes all of the suffering that Canadians have  been forced to endure at  this government’s  insistence all worth while, but if you are like me, you have to be wondering, “What is up Canada?”

For instance, I am confused, I can admit it, I have no idea what shape we as Canadians are in when it comes to our economy according to what the Conservative Party of Canada is saying from one press conference to the next.  I know that they keep saying that we are  much better off than any of the other G8 countries in one press conference and then they say that they must:

  • Cut spending on all social services and make it tougher to get Welfare and Unemployment Insurance .
  • Deny workers the right to strike in the public sector where the government is essentially the employer, claiming that every strike weakens the economy, because we as a country cannot afford to pay for the benefits and non salary demands of the striking public sector.
  • Add 3 years onto the time that a person is eligible to retire and receive the pension that they have paid into, because we as a country cannot afford to sustain the Canada pension.
  • Sell the dirty oil from our  Tar Sands if we are to survive economically, because there is no other way to sustain our economy and keep all of the things that we enjoy now, because we just do not have the money to sustain our standard of living without doing so.

Now it is hard to ignore the fact that Canada had run 11 straight surpluses before entering into deficit in 2008/09, brought on by  Steven Harper’s  putting too much money into high-tech defense systems and not enough into social programs, education and environmentally friendly programs.  I believe that the truth of our economic situation is as follows:

  • We are really number one of an economically failing class of nations, who choose to spend  more money on being able to sustain war and winning them, because their hopes to improve their respective economies rests for the most part in the profits generated by war.  Look how this government boasts of how the buying of  F-35 fighter Jets will help to grow our economy with the jobs being generated as a result of maintaining the F-35 Fighter Jet; this folks is practicing what is known as enriching one’s economy with the  profits realized from being a warrior nation.
  • This government has decided also to build and sustain our economy with   the monies generated from warrior nation style international foreign aid programs like Oil For Food and medicine and economic diplomacy. Why else would Foreign Minister John Baird say that we will only help nations with aide who have something to give Canada in return as far as trading or some other benefit is concerned.
  • We have joined a group of nations that have regressed to a time when it was acceptable for nations to conquer other nations and force them through military might to adopt their way of thinking and enrich their failing economies.   Why else would we make statements like our embassies and diplomats need to consider the acquiring of trade deals their top priority?
  • This government  has even gone as far as to change our immigration and refugee laws, making it acceptable to refuse, or accept people wishing to come to Canada based solely on what they have to offer in terms of enriching our economy.  In other words if you are poor, or poorly educated, no need to apply.

The real question for me is and where all of this gets confusing for me is that I thought that we were being told what great shape we were in economically since this government came to power? If this is so then what pray tell is the real justification for the spending of more money on weapons of mass destruction with no mention of  a need to sharpen the budgetary pencil, than we do on the creation of a sustainable economy  based in the ways of peace, generosity and compassion, that will create a better life for all people within our country and all countries around the world?

Another thing that puzzles me, is why in a time when this government has forced wage freezes and reduced the benefits to its employees did they give themselves a raise in salary and traveling expenses ending their 3 year wage freeze, while insisting that it is necessary to continue the over  10 year wage freeze for its employees in the public sector?  On one hand our economy is not strong enough to support or sustain the financial implications of collective bargaining, but on the other hand it is strong enough to support and sustain the giving of every federal politician whether elected or not a pay raise and expense account boost, because those politicians feel that they are due it.

The not so funny truth is that while we as Canadians were being asked to understand that if we are to keep the economic growth and prosperity that we have been able to achieve after the world economic crisis of late that it is imperative that we tighten our belts even further and while we dutifully tightened those already tightened belts a little tighter, our government along with every MP on the hill accepted a vote that quietly gave each and every one of them a 1.6% pay increase and in doing so they automatically gave the senators a 2.3% pay increase.  It would seem that not only can’t this government decide if we are in an economic crisis or an economic boom, it seems incapable of determining what to do to make things better for any Canadians in either case scenario, but itself.  It is this type of contradiction that confuses me and I would guess other Canadians.

The problem with Steven Harper is that he has created a political monster, a black cloud that is sitting over his head and is overshadowing everything that he does and that monkey on his back, is his inability to be transparent, or take ownership of the problems unfolding in the senate and in the PMO everyday now.  This inability has led to his being thought of as a liar at the worst, or incompetent and not in control of the government at best; causing him and his government to lose the people’s confidence and their ability to trust him and them. The economy and what we as Canadians are being asked to do to sustain it and improve upon it is just one area where this government has left Canadians like myself wondering what the heck is going on and where it is in fact do we really stand.

The Senate scandal, The RCMP laying charges and implicating high-ranking officials in the PMO itself and the resigning of MP and Parliamentary Secretary Dean Del Mastro make it impossible for this Prime minister to get out of the very hot frying pan.  To continue to say I did not anything, makes Steven Harper look like he is an incompetent, bumbling fool, who has lost the respect of those working for him and makes Canadians like me wonder and ask the question just who is in charge of the Conservative government of Canada right now?

 I will in closing reiterate, “This government’s economic plan, is supposed to be their crown jewel, their top priority, the thing that makes all of the suffering that we have been forced to endure at this government’s insistence all worth while”, but if you are like me you have to be wondering, “What is up Canada?”