Monday, May 28, 2007

 

Corporate North American Union



Connie Fogel: Leader of the Canadian Action Party on the Corporate North American Union.

911 conspiracy
Road to Tyranny

Corporate Colonialism
NAFTA
TILMA

Dollar on Par-AMER-O (EURO)

Military Union, Norad, NATO

Project North America; New World Order

MouseLand

Deep Integration
Vive Le Canada Deep Integration

Dehumanization

Hat Tip: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2259381366&topic=2369

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

 

Fighting Newfoundland Labradorians:Raising the PWG

CUDO's to these young people for their effort and standing where once they stood!



I've just discovered FACEBOOK and am totally impressed with it's networking capabilities.

Here are just a few groups in which people can truely be called fighting N"ians and not Freightened NL'ians.

Newfoundland and Labrador Defense League

Let's Make Newfoundland Facebook's Most Populated Group

UNITED WE STAND FOR NEWFOUNDLAND

You Know You're From Newfoundland When

The Great Facebook Race - Newfoundland

Harper Betrayed Newfoundland

Friends of The Republic of Newfoundland Labrador

BRING NEWFOUNDLANDERS BACK TO THE ROCK!

I support a Bloc Newfoundland Party

Newfoundland Liberation Army

Free Newfoundland!

Free Newfoundland -- Make Newfoundland its own Country!!

The Republic of Newfoundland

People who are from and/or born on the Rock-Newfoundland!

Republic Of Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador First Party
While the NLfirst party isn't a separatist party per say. They don't rule out the option if when elected they can't work within the systemically flawed canadian colonialist political system for the benefit of NLfirst.

Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

 

Trust and Confidence petition

Mr Steve Saunders has taken it upon himself to start and collect signatures on a petition to be presented in the House of Commons to have Mr Harper to keep his promise to the people of Newfoundland Labrador with respect to removing 100% 0f Non-Renewable resource revenues from being clawed back through the equalization formula against health and social transfers.

A promise he made on 6 six different occasions in two separate elections in writing to the premiers of NL and Sask.

We the undersigned residents of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador would like to draw attention of the House of Commons that during the last federal election the current Prime minister promised to exclude Non- Renewable Resources from the Equalization formula. To date this has not been done therefore we the petitioners call upon the House of Commons to restore the Trust and Confidence of Newfoundland and Labrador by removing Non-Renewable resources from the equalization Formula.


http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/trustandconfidence/

Mr Steve Saunder can be contacted at steve@soldfast.ca or by phone at 709-687-6400 if you feel passionately about your home province and it's remaining a part of canada, because if Steve breaks this promise we will have no other choice but to leave and go it alone IMHO because otherwise we will be forever subservient to ON/QU and now Alberta which got to where it is today because Non-Renewables weren't clawed back when Equalization was incepted. Marc Lalond said no other province would ever be allowed to do what Alberta did and become a have province hence the claw back clause which was added to the equalization formula.

The petitions are available at all of the town offices throughout NL be sure to stop by and sign. They need to be signed and collected for presentation in the HOC by June 5.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

 

Photos prove damage caused by trawlers; Globe and Mail Article



Vessels turn firm sea bottoms into ooze, destroying habitats


The image, sent to him by Kyle Van Houtan, an environmental scientist at Duke University in North Carolina, was a picture of a Chinese trawler fleet at work in the ocean off the mouth of the Yangtze River.

Behind the trawlers were what Mr. Pauly has named “mud trails” – great plumes of sediment churned up as the weighted nets plowed along the ocean floor.
This satellite photo shows mud trails made by shrimp trawlers as they churn along in the ocean off the mouth of the Yangtze River.

This satellite photo shows mud trails made by shrimp trawlers as they churn along in the ocean off the mouth of the Yangtze River.

“Divers have filmed this mud before,” said Mr. Pauly, who in 1998 wrote a seminal research paper that coined the term “fishing down the food web” to describe how commercial fishing is depleting the world's oceans.

“What was not known before was that you could see these mud trails from space. I was flabbergasted by it.”
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The first of the pictures was to appear today in the science journal Nature.

Article is available by subscription only. SnapshotGhosts of destruction
60% of the worlds bottom dragging takes place on the 40% of the Grand Banks which lies outside the arbitrary 200 mile limit of the Newfoundland and Labrador Grand Banks.

Read the entire article here.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070510.wbctrawler10/BNStory/Science/

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Congrats Sergeant Perry Elias Collins (Gambo Native) CHIMO

Stroy from http://www.offdarock.com/
Please Read right to the end or visit OffdaRock for more pictures.

Gambo native receives award from the Chief of the Defense Staff
Sergeant Perry Elias Collins (Gambo Native) Task Force Kabul, Afghanistan is commended by the Chief of the Defense Staff of the Canadian Forces. (Chief Hillier) Special Congratulations from his parents Elias and Ethel Collins, Gambo and his friends and Family.



The Accomendation Reads as follows:



The Chief of the Defense Staff of the Canadian Forces

Commends

Sergeant P.E. Collins
Task Force Kabul, Afghanistan


Sergeant Collins is commended for his outstanding performance and professional actions when he responded to an attack on a Canadian Embassy vehicle on 28 March 2005, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Upon hearing a report that a Canadian vehicle had been hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), Sergeant Collins' team made their way to the scene. Despite the dangers of a growing crowd around the stricken vehicle, and the risk that a second IED could be present at the scene, he acted courageously and professionally, forming part of a small cordon in order to establish security for the injured passengers and to assist in securing the scene. Sergeant Collins' actions were crucial in the conduct of the successful extraction of Canadian personnel and property after the attack.


OffDaRock.com would also like to congratulate Sergeant Perry Collins for his brave actions.

Some More Pictures of Sergeant Collins receiving his award from Chief Hillier.


Young Newfie Construction Worker

A young Newfoundland family moved into a house next door to a vacant lot.

One day a construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot. The young family's 6 year old daughter naturally took an interest in the activity going on next door and started talking with the workers.

She hung around and eventually the construction crew, gems in the rough, all of them more or less adopted her as a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week they even presented her with a pay envelope containing a dollar.

The little girl took it home to her mother who said all the appropriate words of admiration and suggested that they take the dollar pay she had received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

When they got to the bank the teller was equally impressed with the story and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age.

The little girl proudly replied, "I've been working with a construction crew building a house."

"My goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week too?"

"I will if those useless bastards at the lumber yard ever bring us the friggin' drywall," replied the little girl.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

 

Tough Month for the Conservatives by Rob Edger

Seems like everything is going wrong for the Tories right now. The only good news for them is that with everyone focused on their mishandling of the Afghan detainee issue and their nose-diving polling numbers, their other missteps have been somewhat overshadowed.

As a public service, and with no malice intended, I have compiled a short list of some of the other things going wrong for the Tories right now:


http://robedger.blogspot.com/2007/05/tough-month.html

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Modern day hero

"Your source objects strongly to the secrecy of the Harper government, its continuous PR campaign and the abandonment of international standards for GHG (greenhouse gas) reductions, and feels that the need for public information and scrutiny outweighs the importance of due process."

It is nice to know that chivalry is still alive and well even if not in the Conservative govt.

This person did what S/He did not for personal gain or self interest but for the good of all mankind. Where as Harper and his Ilk are doing what they are doing for their own personal gain under the guise of the people of Alberta to the detriment of the planet.

Don't get me wrong I don't want to see the Alberta tar sands boom go bust but my god people there has got to be a better way of extracting oil from the tar sands than burning clean natural gas to boil tar and water to get oil and gas. Christ I think I would even be in favor of controlled nuclear explosions to liquify the oil from the tar sands as compared to what they are doing now. It is just so archaic and assinine that it boggles the mind that it is allowed to continue and even expand.

http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/National/2007/05/10/4167883-sun.html

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

 

Can Elizabeth May Win Central Nova?

Pretty good break down of what might happen with Elizabeth may in the Central Nova riding next federal election. He focus's more on the funds spent versus votes received corrolation.

Excerpt;
Even with the Liberals not running a candidate in Central Nova, there are many who question whether Green Party leader Elizabeth May can defeat Conservative incumbent Peter MacKay. People typically look at previous results and see the Greens so far back that they discount the possibility that May could actually win. People would be wise to re-think that position. I, for one, think it’s certainly possible for the Greens to win.

Why? First, MacKay performed surprisingly poorly in 2006, winning by only 3,273 votes over NDP candidate Alexis MacDonald in a riding that should be a Conservative lock. Put another way, 60% of Central Novans voted for someone other than Peter MacKay.

Read full piece here and over 100 comments to date.
http://democraticspace.com/blog/2007/04/can-elizabeth-may-win-central-nova/

Remember living on the east coast of this continent means whatever goes up west of us IE Ontario Alberta comes down in the east due to the prevailing winds and the water shed run off. We might not have smog but we do have fall out.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

 

BC call in show discusses UFO sighting


http://www.coasttocoastam.com/gen/page2022.html?theme=light

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canada complicit in war crimes by out sourcing torture to Afghanistan



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQWMOY9_xjQ



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jdR8lCTDa8



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ctc8eoDVHRY

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David Suzuki shanghai's John Baird



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRMxA20UT60

Suzuki Harpocrites plan not good enough.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZna1qzqZyg

Al Gore the former President of the United States of America hopefull describes the Conservative plan as a fraud.
Harper the used car salesman has a good buy for those uninformed on this and many many other issues affecting canada and the world our home.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq15eeo91cA

ABC; Anyone But Conservative!

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

 

Don Newman Talks ABC politics; Anyone But Concervative

Don Newman and the political panel of pundits talk about the effect Harper's Broken promise is having with NL, NS, and SK voters.

It would seem the pundits think the message is getting out that Harper can't be trusted and that he broke a writen promise that he made to three different premiers on six different occassions in two different elections.

They play the clip from the Toronto Economic Club where Premier Williams says vote ABC Anyone But Concervative.

It is towards the very end if you don't want to watch all of the other issues.

http://www.cbc.ca/clips/rm-newsworld/politics/politics_fri.ram

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Averill Baker: Enslavement

Cross-Examination

Enslavement


Averill Baker
The Beacon

Fishery Products International is selling its assets in this province – its assets include quotas of fish around Newfoundland and Labrador given each year by Ottawa.

Corporations from Norway, Iceland, Europe and Asia every year barter quotas of fish not yet caught in the waters around our province using quotas allocated by NAFO.

This is the shocking truth about Ottawa’s management of our fish in our ocean on our continental shelf around our province.

Under Ottawa’s management, the only people in the world who have no claim to the fish around our province are ordinary Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are not allowed to catch a fish to eat or don’t have the money to invest in the stock market.

But, as far as FPI is concerned, FPI has no business owning quotas of fish anyway. It’s just poor business practice. They trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FPL and every time a potential investor reads their annual report, they shudder when they see quotas listed as an asset.

Every year, by law, FPI has to explain they receive quotas at the pleasure of the minister of fisheries and oceans and those quotas can change or be cancelled and adversely impact FPI’s economic position. What investor wants to be at the mercy of the minister of fisheries and oceans?

FPI quotas are also at the mercy of the provincial government. I recall in law school studying the Fishery Products International Limited Act, which came about from a corporate amalgamation on or about 1985. I recall reading in the act that FPI quotas were specifically spelled out as something that could not be traded or sold without the approval of the lieutenant-governor in council — the provincial Cabinet.

The shocking truth is each year the federal minister of fisheries and oceans decides if Canadian quotas of our fish will be given to corporations who trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Ottawa is under no legal obligation to award these quotas each year.



But, these quotas awarded by the minister of fisheries and Oceans are only a part of the total fish quotas given each year around our coast. If that sounds confusing, read on.

You see, Canada is only one of 17 fishing nations who share quotas for shrimp, cod, turbot, and other fish right up to the high-water mark around our coast.

That is the most outrageous of the shocking truths about our province — no other people on the planet Earth are treated so unfairly as to be forbidden by their own government to catch a fish while foreigners have that privilege.

This province is the only place on Earth that has foreign fishing nations deciding our fishing quotas inside 200 miles (322 kilometres), and, what is even more embarrassing, right up to the high water mark.

We accept it as a way of life living in Canada — it’s just the way things are and there is nothing we can do about it.

It’s like being in prison when you know you are innocent. The system has failed you and there is nothing you can do about it.


Scientists from 17 foreign nations determine the quotas for eight of the major fish stocks right up to our high-water mark — our main fish species like cod, turbot, shrimp and all flat fish. And it’s been that way for years.

Ottawa then determines who can catch the fish in the quota allocated to Canada by the 17 foreign nations and their scientific council of fish biologists. It’s Ottawa’s way of managing our fish for the benefit of the people of the world. Their most recent trading action is to relax the labelling and shipping regulations for unprocessed Canadian caught fish to be shipped to China for processing.

We are the only people in the world under this type of legal subjugation — enslavement if you will.

In the coming months, FPI assets in this province will be sold, and under the act, the provincial cabinet will have to approve each new owner of each asset, including who gets the quotas that are given each new year at the discretion of the federal minister.

And each Newfoundlander and Labradorian — who, according to the export statistics, each contributes three times more to the Canadian economy than any other people in any other province in Canada — will be enslaved by continued foreign and corporate ownership and control of the very fish that swim around our coast.

http://www.ganderbeacon.ca/index.cfm?iid=2207&sid=17757

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Mushroom report released

Good potential for commercial farm

MANDY RYAN
The Gulf News

The potential for a viable commercial mushroom farm in the Codroy Valley is high and the financial impact of such an initiative would be positive for the province.

That’s according to Harry Coates, chairman of the Codroy Valley Development Corporation, which commissioned the Mushroom Cultivation in Newfoundland and Labrador feasibility study.

A meeting was held in the Codroy Valley last week, at which 23 people attended, to release the findings of the study.

From the feedback the association received Mr. Coates said the meeting attendees were impressed with the study’s findings with several people indicating an interest in investing in a mushroom farm.

Growing mushrooms is as much of an art as a science, said Mr. Coates and he believes things would start sooner and work better if a knowledgeable, major partner were involved, along with some Newfoundlanders to take on equity positions.

The cost of setting up a farm is projected at just over $2 million. But, Mr. Coates said the more money that is available through equity investment, the faster the farm can be profitable.

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When your alone you ride with Harper/Hitler


H/T: http://giantpoliticalmouse.blogspot.com/

I wish I had the software to edit this photo especially with the recent developments of the Green Party's Elizabeth May likening Harpers current stance on Climate change to Neville Chamberlains capitulation to Hitler.

If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it and this time we are the enemy!

Next federal election vote; ABC, Anybody But Conservative!

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Interesting take on how Non-Renewables shouldn't be included in the equalization formula

The second option is to see natural resource revenue as a special form of provincial asset that should be excluded from a province's baseline fiscal capacity. The idea here is, since most natural resource revenue comes from non-renewable sources and, in turn, is a temporary source of provincial income, it should be used for special purposes like a savings fund or economic diversification. According to this camp, no natural resource revenue should be included in the equalization formula.

This argument holds the most water when provincial natural resource revenue is actually used for special purposes such as debt reduction or a savings fund rather than thrown into the same kitty as other provincial revenue.

The third approach splits the difference and argues that natural resource revenue is at once the same as other sources of revenue, and yet different from them.

This school of thought recognizes that provinces with access to natural resource revenue tend to treat it just like income tax and sales tax revenue. However, it also recognizes that there is something special about revenue derived from non-renewable resources.

Non-renewable resources are not an ordinary source of provincial income, but an asset that belongs to current and future residents. To the degree that provinces treat their non-renewable resource revenue as a financial asset rather than as more cash for current programs (e.g., by saving resource revenue in an inflation-proofed fund and only spending the earnings), it should be exempted from the province's general fiscal capacity. One option here is for the equalization formula to exempt whatever portion of natural resource revenue that is diverted into a provincial savings fund (or debt reduction).

All three options have merit, but the third approach is perhaps the most true to reality. Provinces generally do not treat their natural resource income as a special form of revenue and this should be reflected in the equalization formula.

Nonetheless, these revenues are special and the equalization formula should not penalize provinces who treat them as such.


And nowhere in there does he say a Colonialist CAP should be imposed.

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He who has no word has no foundation: By Bill Westcott

He who has no word has no foundation

Bill Westcott
The Compass

There is an old Chinese proverb that says: "He who has no word has no foundation."

That could easily describe Stephen Harper, our current Conservative prime minister, the undercover REFORM socialist in Ottawa.


Very nicely done article that utilizes coloquialism and analogies to get the point across. Although it is Danny praising piece on this issue it should be and IMHO there should be no dissention inour ranks. All agendas, personal gain, Self serving interests, Partisanship should be put aside and stand together for our children because that is in esssence what this fight is for our children and our childrens children.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

 

O'Connor is finished; Conservatives will find a tactful way to remove defence minister

I haven't really been following the Afghanistan debacle but here is a very good piece on the whole thing.

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Fiscal imbalance to be tackled with infrastucture funding now

Now the Fiscal imbalance is going to be tackled with infrastructure funding to the West, central and the Maritimes.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070504/gateway_investment_070504/20070504?hub=Politics
Feds gives BC $16.5M in case of flooding
Harper's Big spendathon
Atlantic Gateway
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070410.BCROADS10/TPStory/National
To date, Canada's New Government has devoted $33 billion to infrastructure spending, a historic investment in Canadian infrastructure.


OK so where is NL's
Loan Guarantee for the Lower Churchill which is essentially a co signer?
National power corridor with money for an infeed?
Money for the completion of the TLH up to National Highway Standards?
A fixed link?
5 Wing Goose Bay?
Water and Sewer for Normans Bay?
Instrumentation IFR for Nain's airport?
Include the Provincial ferries as a part of the NHS?
Lower Marine Atlantic ferry rates to comparible highway travel costs?
An operational manned military base in NL?
Allow for military members to claim the Marine Atlantic for their one trip home a year with their LTA?
Federal presence?
South Shore Highway?
Marine Link to Eastern Seaboard?
Comparible airport landing fees?
Payment In Lieu of Taxes PILT for the 1500+ military planes that land at Gander International Airport annually for free?
Information gateway?
Recognise the Labrador Metis as a aboriginal community?
Employment on par with the national standard?

Unfinished

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Equalization not so equal for Have Not provinces

The Premier has called them out and now they are responding.

Conservative MP Andrew Scheer reacting to comments made by Lorne Calvert this week surrounding the issue of equalization. Calvert has accused the 12 Conservative MPs of doing nothing about the Federal Government's broken promise. The province had been pushing for the full exclusion of non - renewable resource revenues from the equalization formula--instead there is a cap on the amount of money Saskatchewan is entitled to. Andrew Scheer says the premier is way off base, and that there is no deal that would please him. Scheer also says equalization is for have not provinces, so why should a province like Saskatchewan with a greater fiscal capacity, get special treatment. Scheer adds if Saskatchewan ever becomes a have - not province again, then the cap is removed.



http://www.newstalk980.com/index.php

So why is it the provinces like NL, NS who are Have Not provinces now have to accept the CAP and be thankfull according to the drivel coming out of Ottawa, the Biased so called Notional MSM and the uninformed elitists who live in Ontario with their heads in the Federal pork barrel?

In another back pages story from the Notional Post.
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=bb510ca9-6890-41d4-8e94-a2bf7bc56b76&k=15498&p=1

It looks like the old Federal style of divide and concur are in full swing. I just heard a news clip from a Sask radio station by Andrew Scheer that Sask has been given twice as much in recent months from the feds for infrastructure Per capita funding and what not. It would seem NS is being offered the same deal take the short term money and run.

I took some of these quotes out of context because as usual the National editors have to throw in their NL hating slant.
All signs point to a new -- and expensive -- side deal in the works. Mr. Flaherty hinted as much before he left Halifax.
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The fear seems to be that too much talk could upset negotiations with the government of

Nova Scotia over a new sweetheart deal the province is being offered to ensure Premier Rodney MacDonald does not join Mr. Williams in campaigning against Stephen Harper during the next election.
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The East Coast political establishment believes the formula has been amended to the disadvantage of its provinces. It has a point. The offshore accords have caveats that say any enriched equalization deal is open to the Atlantic provinces and should not include a cap on fiscal capacity.
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any sweetener offered to Nova Scotia will not be offered to Newfoundland.
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Mr. Manning, Mr. Doyle and Loyola Hearn, the Fisheries Minister, will likely suffer the electoral backlash -- in fact the latter two have already said they will retire at the next election.
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It might have appeared that Mr. Flaherty was taking the hard line during a news conference at Halifax Airport, where he was firm in his assertion that Nova Scotia cannot keep its offshore wealth and the new equalization formula. But sources in Nova Scotia believe Ottawa will commit to a financial package for such other government priorities as the Atlantic Gateway project that will connect ports of entry in the region to the hinterland. Mr. Flaherty signalled as much when he said he and Mr. MacIsaac had also talked about "infrastructure issues ... gateway issues that are important in Atlantic Canada."

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Joe (Who) Clarke Said this about Stephen (Steve) Harper

This is but a small part of a wonderfull Piece by http://plawiuk.blogspot.com/2007/03/red-tories-are-progressives.html
One of many good entries. Well worth the time to visit and read up on some very pointed and enlightening excerpts on what it actually means to be a Progressive Conservative vs a Alliance Concervative.

Harper government comes under fire from former PM Joe Clark
“The Harper government has embraced a pre-Nixonian policy towards China, deliberately distancing Canada from the emerging mega-power, thereby limiting our ability to affect China’s performance on human rights or on other issues,” Clark said.

“With the Harper government, there is a new, more deliberate insularity [in foreign policy] with the singular exception of our military engagement in Afghanistan,” Clark said. “I believe that Mr Harper and his colleagues are moving deliberately away from central elements of the foreign policy that has been a key strength for Canada under both Progressive Conservative and Liberal administrations.

“Mr Harper’s party, [formerly] known as the Reform Party, began self-consciously as a protest movement and it has no inherited tradition in international affairs … moreover, their method is wedge politics, so there is scant domestic experience with brokering and embracing contesting points of view,” Clark added. “These significant departures from Canada’s traditional foreign policy should not be considered as rookie mistakes, but as deliberate policy.”

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Friday, May 04, 2007

 

Stephen Harper Promises To Privatize Canadian Healthcare

Stephen Harper Promises To Privatize Canadian Healthcare:
May 17th 2005.

Despite widespread defence of the Canadian Healthcare System and past polling that makes it clear that the vast majority of Canadians prefer to have their healthcare paid for by the government, Stephen Harper made a bold promise on May 8th, 2005: He promised that if he was elected Prime Minister of Canada, one of the first things on his agenda would be to privatize the Canadian Healthcare System.

http://www.lilith-ezine.com/articles/harperpromises_to_privatizehealthcare.html


"What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care]."
- Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.
"It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."
- Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997.

"We also support the exploration of alternative ways to deliver health care. Moving toward alternatives, including those provided by the private sector, is a natural development of our health care system."
- Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, October 2002.
http://michelleoliel.blogspot.com/2007/04/harper-to-privatize-healthcare.html

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Premier Danny Williams speech at the Toronto Economic Council

http://www.cbc.ca/clips/rm-audio/nl-williams-ftr-20070503.rm

Related story with link from CBC "Defeating Harper easy as ABC, Williams tells Toronto audience"
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2007/05/03/williams-harper.html

Full text can be read here.
http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/speeches/2007/premiermay3.htm

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

 

Stephen (Steve) Harper you don't know



H/T: http://www.rantandroar.ca/

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Stephen(Steve) Harpers National Citizens' Coalition loves you - ha! ha! ha!

The National Citizens' Coalition loves you - ha! ha! ha!

35 years of fighting for fat cats while posing as ordinary citizens
Toronto - It would be hard to find a more mis-named organization than the National Citizens' Coalition.

The NCC was founded 35 years ago by an insurance millionaire named Colin M. Brown in London, Ontario.
Official NCC corporate symbo: bulldog

Brown liked to jet off with rich pals to the Masters golf tournament in Georgia, where blacks were barred until recent years, and women are still banned as members.

One of the fires that burned in Brown's well-fed belly when he launched the NCC was his hatred of public health care.

The motto he chose for the NCC was, "More freedom through less government." It meant more freedom for the rich, not the poor, of course.

The symbol Brown chose for the NCC was the bulldog. It was meant to convey tenacity but works better at symbolizing the NCC's elitism, and real interest, which is to keep the masses at bay and protect the interests of the wealthy.

Brown and the NCC were also thin-skinned, quick to turn their lawyers on those who dared to question or criticize the organization - another habit that makes the bulldog image unintentionally appropriate.

Back to the future

All this was many moons and much chest-thumping ago. Colin Brown died in 1987.

But not much has changed. The chairman is now Colin T. Brown. You guessed it - son of the late, great founder of this outfit that has masqueraded for so long as a defender of the people - and still reaps fawning attention from mainstream media.

In all that time the NCC (which has poured millions of dollars into billboard campaigns, national newspaper ads and Supreme Court cases on behalf of the elites) has never allowed any outsider, not once, to look at the names of the "citizens" who actually make up its membership lists - or to view its list of donors.

Nor, if you go to its web site, can you find a list of current officers and board members. All for good reason, of course.

Despite a dusting of right-wing cranks who no doubt do send in annual membership fees, the NCC is financed largely by corporate bigwigs, and the corporate puppets who run it have little use for the masses.

Like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders

The only ordinary citizens the NCC cares about are the chickens dumb enough to vote for Colonel Sanders - and thus lend it a thin veil of legitimacy. In a free society there are always a few - akin to the hapless talk-show guests who submit to the tender mercies of Jerry Springer.

The quickest way to see what the NCC really stands for is to read the list of people, over the years, who have been awarded the esteemed Colin M. Brown Freedom Medal.

Later this month, the NCC will proudly bestow its medal on Stephen Harper, who served as NCC chairman before becoming leader this year of the Canadian Alliance. That's all you really need to know about either the NCC or the Alliance. They are peas in a pod.

In fact, some of the original founders of the Reform Party, which preceded the Alliance, were NCC diehards in the 1980s, concentrated mainly in Alberta.

Citizens dinner special: $250

The medal presentation this year will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Nov. 21. Citizens are allegedly welcome. Immigrants, single mothers, welfare recipients, street people, etc. are free to line up for tickets at NCC offices in downtown Toronto or Calgary. The price: $250 a plate (tux not included). Bring the kids too, if you like.

For the record, here are some of the other great 'citizens' the NCC has honoured over the years: Conrad Black, Peter Worthington, Ted Byfield, David Somerville, Mike Harris (yes, him), Ralph Klein, John Crosbie, Thomas Bata, Michael Walker and Diane Francis.

A finer club of fat cats would be hard to assemble. National Post columnist Diane Francis (gentle soul that she is) is listed as a recipient not once, but twice, in the NCC's current press release −so great, apparently, has been her service to ordinary Canadians.

Meanwhile, Black, that beloved man of the masses, is no longer even a citizen. He abandoned Canada in a huff for England and now sits in the British House of Lords, cheek by jowl with folk more attuned to his greatness - such as renowned commoner Margaret Thatcher.

Straight Goods

Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, recently wrote an article about the NCC for Straight Goods. Here is an excerpt which offers a quick overview.
Straight Goods 27 May 2002:

The NCC was born out of opposition to national public health insurance should be cause for serious concern. Health care is the number one issue for Canadians. The future of Medicare and public, equally accessible health services are being decided today. And there’s Harper, leading the Opposition to whatever solution is proposed by a government that has already demonstrated its unwavering faith in the corporate agenda...

Despite it’s name and the rhetoric it employs, the NCC is a very private organization. It claims to be funded through 'the voluntary support of 40,000 Canadians', but the real money and power sits with an advisory council drawn from this country’s corporate elite. Chairs and members of this council have come from the Bank of Montreal, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Power Corporation, Canadian Pacific, Brascan, Goodyear, major insurance companies, advertising agencies, and other corporations. It is this blue ribbon panel that provides the connections to raise the funds that support the NCC’s activities.

In bed with Mulroney

The NCC has led campaigns, in the name of freedom, against limits on third-party advertising during election campaigns. This from the same group of corporations that spent an estimated $19-million (more than all political parties combined were legally allowed to spend) during the 1988 federal election in support of the free trade deal advocated by Mulroney’s Conservatives and the free trade agenda that has since killed the Autopact and has farmers and workers in the forestry sector on the ropes today.

They have backed campaigns by big grain companies to kill the Canadian Wheat Board and trumpeted their opposition to having to do business in French in the province of Quebec. They have attacked labour with union-busting campaigns and calls to muzzle the democratically elected representatives of working people with claims they have a 'radical political agenda'.

The next time you see an NCC billboard or National Post ad bawling about some 'populist' cause that sounds good, take a second look. It won't have much to do with ordinary people. You can count on that.

(NUPGE Nation Union of Public and General Empolyees: 8 November 2002)
http://www.nupge.ca/news_2004/n08no02a.htm
 

60 Reasons to dump Harper

60 Reasons to dump Harper
HARPER WATCH COUNTDOWN / Queers and allies should be very worried

Marcus McCann / Xtra.ca / Monday, April 30, 2007

SHHH. Soccer moms are softening on Harper. That doesn't mean he's not making SoCon ideological moves. He's just doing it quietly. (Illustration by John Crossen, photo by Jake Wright)
Why were we so afraid of a Harper government? Legislation dictated by religious ideology? War on the homos? Slashes to social programming? A US-style prison system?

Just 15 months into his mandate, and in a delicate minority Parliament, he's doing all those things — and more. Harper and his cabinet have been slowly — quietly — changing the way Canada is run. But many changes don't get headlines, because they don't require legislation to pass through Parliament. That's because government policies can be changed directly from the Prime Minister's Office — and policies affect the kind of Canada we live in much more than legislation does. That Canadians haven't noticed — or else are willfully blind — proves it really has been a con job.

Starting on April fool's day (not an accident) and for the next two months, xtra.ca brings you a countdown of 60 of the ways Harper is reshaping Canada in his own image.


#31: CONSERVATIVE FREE MARKET OVER CONSERVATION, SAYS A BATTERED BAIRD


Tackling how this country produces and uses energy would be too expensive, environment minister John Baird told the country, so we're going to focus on dishwashers. David Suzuki calls it "disappointing" but others used less restraint.

The whole world seems to be on the same page about global warming for the first time, except for a handful of politicians — including the increasingly embarrassing John Baird. Look, it's bad enough that he was on hand to defend cutting the court challenges program at the Tory press conference last fall (more on that later).

When Baird was given the environment portfolio, the media picked up on Baird's reputation as a party yes-man, capable of defending even Harper's sleaziest political moves.


THE LIST SO FAR


#60: PARTISANS CLOG JUDICIAL SCREENING COMMITTEES


Conservatives made headlines in February 2007 for controversial appointments to the board that recommends new judges. Over half the appointees surveyed had obvious Conservative connections. They included twice-defeated Conservative candidate Mark Bettens, a firefighter with one year of school at Cape Breton University and no discernible expertise in law. It also included Prime Minister Stephen Harper's best friend, John Weissenberger, who later resigned from the committee to take a job on Parliament Hill. The other half? Many of them have argued that the courts are "too activist."

Considering that most gay rights were earned in the courts rather than in the House Of Commons, Canada's queer community has cause for concern. If this were Harper's only act of political interference, it alone could help re-shape this country over time. But as you will see from future installments on this list, Harper's increasing stranglehold on the judiciary — which comes directly from the Prime Minister's Office with or without a majority — may prove his lasting legacy.


#59: VIC TOEWS SNAGS JUSTICE PORTFOLIO


Prisoners' right to vote, gays' right to marry, women's right to choose: the former Manitoba justice minister has spoken out against them all. That made Toews a bad choice for Harper's first federal cabinet if he wanted to appear more moderate than Liberals has painted him as. But Toews was a good choice for cabinet if he wanted to thank his social conservative voters for handing him the PMO — which is exactly what happened on Feb 6, 2006.

Ironically, Harper's association with SoCons like Toews has both brought him to power and handicapped his chances of winning a majority. Judge a person by the company they keep — and Harper's company includes the like of Vic Toews.


#58: ANTIGAY LAWYER PROMOTED TO COURT OF APPEAL

On Sep 20, the Prime Minister appointed David Brown to the Ontario Superior Court in the Toronto area. Brown represented antigay and antiabortion views in a handful of court cases and wrote legal documents on the "sanctity of life." Freedom of choice groups were understandably miffed.

Just because the next Supreme Court judge isn't set to retire until 2013, doesn't mean that Harper can't wreak havoc on the provincial appeal courts. Enough appointments like Brown and Canada's equality battles could indeed be in jeopardy.


#57 CAN I GET ONE THAT SAYS 'IDEOLOGUE' ON MY BACK?

Stockwell Day says it's ridiculous to provide a tattoo parlour in a prison. Why would good, hard-working taxpayers spend their money on "I heart mom" tats for crooks? Day was commenting on the decision not to renew a one-year six-prison pilot program that cost $600,000 to run for the year ending Sep 30, 2006. Not on my watch, he said.

If you've ever been inked yourself, you know about the sterilization checklist a tattoo artists goes through before they stick you. In prison, no tattoo program, no sterilization. The result is new infections of HIV and Hepatitis C in prison — a place where years of neglect has led to staggering infection rates.

The costs of preventing new HIV and Hep C infections otherwise caused by homemade tattoo equipment in prison is a pittance next to the cost of treating either — $20-25,000 a year. But then, it's not about the money, is it?


#56 HILL JOB FOR FOCUS ON THE FAMILY PREZ

It lasted less than a year, but Darrel Reid's appointment sent shivers up the spines of even moderate Conservatives. He was the head of Focus On The Family Canada from 1998 to 2004, an ideologically anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-abortion group with connections to the leaders of the US Christian right. He became then-environment minister Rona Ambrose's chief of staff in September 2006.

Focus On The Family Canada is headquartered in Langley, BC and founded in 1983. It is affiliated with the leading US evangelical Christian group, Focus On The Family headed by James Dobson. Though the Canadian organization has traditionally enjoyed little influence outside of rural enclaves and evangelical churches, the US parent is seen as a major influence on the Republican Party and politics generally. Reid was gone by late January, meaning he lasted four months or less.

Oh, religion. As you will see from this countdown, religious zealots have had Harper's ear since he started in politics. Facing facts, religious communities have had a hand in voting for him and paying for his campaigns: should we be surprised that he's beholden to them?


#55 HARPER TEARS UP KELOWNA ACCORD

Twice, actually.

The 2006 budget first. Three months after Stephen Harper won his minority victory in January of 2006, Mike Harris-era MPP cum finance minister Jim Flaherty unveiled his budget. It was largely perceived as a stay-the-course budget, garnished with 25 narrow tax breaks. Spending was mostly intact, but there was an $800 million hole where phase one of the $5.1 billion Kelowna Accord was supposed to be. The agreement represented the largest payout to the First Nations in Canada's history. About half that amount was allocated instead and Flaherty called it a "down payment."

Tensions — already brewing — erupt in Caledonia, a small town in southern Ontario. Residents, shocked at the anger and violence of the First Nations protesters, can't wrap their minds around why. The town's residents gear up for a fight; several counter-protests draw hundreds of residents within a hare's breath of rioting.

A year later, Caledonia is still unresolved. A private member's bill calling on the government to honour Kelowna — introduced by the man who inked Kelowna, former prime minister Paul Martin — passed Mar 21 with the support of the Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP. But private member's bills cannot allocate money in the budget, so the bill has no teeth. Indian affairs minister Jim Prentice says no, so that makes twice.


#54 CONS SHUT OUT BLACK AND BLUE


Montreal's Black and Blue Festival used to receive federal dollars as part of its regional economic development program. The weeklong event attracts 10,000 participants and generates millions of dollars in spinoff revenues. Tourism puts more money in the federal purse than the municipal one, hence the regional development spinoff.

But the organization, which was awarded over $47,000 last year for the amount of business it generates, was not told the cash was cut until a week before the event. The event went on full steam ahead just the same, with highlights including the jock ball and leather ball.

The reason for the federal change of heart? It's not a family festival — a logic which can be used to shut out almost any gay event in the country, however family friendly it actually is.



#53 GAY MARRIAGE DEFEAT WAS TO BE FOLLOWED BY RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION BILL


It was at the height of the rhetoric surrounding Harper's failed attempt to re-open same-sex marriage in the fall of 2006. We knew it would fail. They knew it would fail. But what bone we they going to throw the SoCons after failing to repeal our right to our corner of the marital bed? (More on gay marriage later).

An Oct 4 leak suggested that the Conservatives planned four-part legislation aiming to protect religious groups and believers from prosecution for human rights violations against gay men and lesbians. The Globe reported Harper is planning laws that would: allow businesses to refuse services to gay and lesbian organizations; allow churches to refuse to rent halls for gay and lesbian weddings; allow justices of the peace to refuse to marry same sex couples; and protect people who speak out against gays and lesbians.

Harper hit the rough, denying a Defence Of Religion Act was in the works, but according to an Apr 2 story, the Globe And Mail now has proof that it was in the works and that former justice minister Vic Toews was personally involved with its planning.


To those who say the Conservatives aren't utterly beholden to Christian lobbyists, we say the proof is in the pudding.


#52 HARPER IS NO GOOD IF YOU LIKE MUSEUMS


Or any kind of culture really, unless the military counts.

First we heard, the Museum Assistance Program was canned. The $4.5 million program was small potatoes — and recently replaced with a $5 million 2-year program to hire summer students, which the Canadian Museums Association calls an initiative "stemming more from electoral preoccupations than from an analysis of the museums' priority needs."

Then we noticed that the Portrait Gallery of Canada had been left out of future federal budgets entirely. Mothballing the portrait museum may be a bad idea, but cutting the already meager federal assistance to museums nationwide is worse for those that don't live in Canada's Capital Region.

Now the program that helps museums put their pieces on tour is closing its doors. The program — good for anyone who thinks museum's acquisitions are too centralized in Ontario — will shut down in less than a year.

Heritage minister Bev Oda has reneged on her commitment to a comprehensive national strategy for preserving Canada's museums, a plan she supported as heritage critic. Why? Is Harper waiting for a majority so he can axe federal contributions entirely?



#51 WHY DO YOU WANT TO GET HITCHED? FEAR.


When the Cons were polling behind the Liberals — despite the sponsorship scandal — we were cool as cucumbers. That was December 2005. Then it began to look like a Conservative government in the first days of 06.

And in the final days, pundits were predicting a Conservative majority government.

Gays got scared. Harper had promised to try to repeal gay marriage. Hence, the gay Harper-shotgun wedding was born, making the weekend of Jan 20, 2006 one of the busiest weekends for gay nuptials since the practice was legalized.

Around the xtra.ca offices, we're not big fans of marriage to begin with, so that Harper actually encouraged some of us to tie the knot doesn't sit well with us.

And of course, Harper's very real ability to give the gay community a collective ulcer is one more reason he gets a failing grade.


#50 HARPER HAS NEVER ATTENDED A PRIDE PARADE


Dear Mr Harper,

Do you feel saddled with an unwarranted reputation? Do you feel misrepresented by folks like us who consider you to be a Neanderthal SoCon ideologue? Would you like some advice — free! — on what you can do to change your image?

Hey, here's a crazy idea: how about you march in a Pride parade? It could really help you in the polls.

Case in point: the June 2004 election could have been a cakewalk for the Cons. Crippled by the release of the Gomery report, the Liberal image was utterly tattered. But you guys couldn't shake your Sister Mary Margaret image of prudery. When you skip out on the rainbow festivities, you're sending a message that goes well beyond the outskirts of the village, a message that speaks to all people who want a tolerant, progressive head of state.

Toronto? June 24? See you there?

Sincerely,
Xtra.ca


#49 SO MUCH FOR EXTRA ACCOUNTABILITY, MR HARPER


The Conservatives' much vaunted plan to open government operations to greater scrutiny has strings attached.

Public government reports and polls now take six months to be released, according to an Aug 1, 2006 Conservative policy change. That compares to a three-month delay under the Liberals, meaning Canadians have to wait twice as long for the reports they paid for.

It's especially underhanded to double the delay during a precarious minority Parliament. Polling information is time-sensitive for political parties gearing up for an election and reports that show how the government is doing could be instrumental in the timing of a federal election.


#48 STOCKWELL DAY PUTS PARDONS UNDER REVIEW


When someone says "sexual offences", people get their backs up. But consider the police's reputation over the last 30 years. They love to charge gay couples and hook-ups with committing 'indecent acts' — especially for encounters that are casual, involve more than two people or are in semi-private or public places. Consider the hundreds of bathhouse patrons who have been charged as found-ins of a bawdy house.

Public safety minister Stockwell Day announced in February that he is reviewing a process that allows people who have been convicted of a crime to clean up their criminal record. It's a relatively straightforward application to strike some convictions from appearing on police checks, which are often used for employment or travel purposes. Day says he especially wants to target "sexual offences".

For gay men, a group that has faced systemic harassment by the police, this represents a major setback — so get your pardons soon, boys.


#47 HARPER PAYS LIP TO ENVIRONMENT


A $2000 tax break for those who buy fuel-efficient cars may sound like a good idea: after all, David Suzuki says that the biggest personal environmental decision someone makes is about transportation. There's no doubt that hybrids are a more environmentally-sound choice than simple gasoline models. But should we be driving at all?

There's no incentive in Harper's budget to take public transportation, bike or live close to your work. For Canada's queer community, highly urbanized as it is, the plan may actually discourage downtown living, allowing suburbs to mushroom while downtown cores rot. Given that Harper is continuing the 15-year tradition of starving Canada's metropolises, how are hybrids any help?


#46 MESSAGE TO WIFEY: STAY AT HOME


At least two recent announcements by the Harper government are designed to keep women at home. The first was the 2007 budget, which disproportionately rewards married couples where one partner earns most or all of the income. These breaks shift the trade-off for women who are already at home in the direction of staying there — and even rewards partners who work part time for quitting to stay at home.

The second is the $1200 child care benefit for children under six. While doing virtually nothing for those moms who work — where can you find child care for $25 a week? — the plan was a hit with those already staying at home with their kids. When it one nearly universal approval from ultra-con so-called family values leaders last fall, one had to wonder what they were actually applauding: tax breaks or social engineering?


#45 CBC KAPUT AFTER HARPER MAJORITY

Canadians have been given all the warning signs that the CBC is on the chopping block if Harper gets a majority. In May 2004, he raised doubts about the future of those parts of the CBC where there is a commercial alternative ñ in particular, its English TV arm and CBC Radio Two. His comments have been echoed by his caucus, including cabinet minister Tony Clement, who questioned the necessity of the CBC during the party leadership convention.

Given the Conservatives' aversion to regulation and the ongoing CRTC drama, a Conservative majority could spell not just the end of the CBC, but the gradual shriveling of the Canadian cultural production industry, putting hundreds of art fags out of work.


#44 MANDATORY SENTENCING CATCHES ANAL SEX LAW


A bill that purportedly cracks down on criminals who get off too lightly could land those convicted of having underage anal sex in jail.

The bill, introduced in May 2006 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, would keep judges from issuing conditional sentences for nearly 100 offences, including manslaughter and sexual assault with a weapon.

It also catches mail theft, cattle theft and section 159 of the criminal code — the prohibition of anal sex under the age of 18 or in groups of more than two people. Although the law has been struck down in five provincial jurisdictions, Canadians are still being prosecuted under section 159, usually in connection with other charges.

Conditional sentences keep those who are not a threat to their community from entering the harsh prison system. Harper's bill catches all crimes that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years or more, including the anal sex law. Way to go, Harper.


#43 HARPER RAILS AGAINST JUDGES WHO STRIKE ANTI-GAY LAWS


During the 2006 election, where Stephen Harper eked out his minority, the Conservatives rarely went off script. Why? Because when they do, they put their foot in their mouth. Harper, known for his extreme care for "messaging".

January 18, 2006 was of the few times he went off-message when he derided "activist" judges to reporters on the campaign trail. Later, he was hammered by journalists and he half-retracted his comments. "Some are, some aren't," he said at the time.

Canada's gays and lesbians have relied on the courts to strike down anti-gay laws because Parliament has been not just slow to move but deliberately inert. Now in Conservative hands, an inert Parliament is the best we can hope for. We need brave judges more than ever.


#42: $22 BILLION, UNSPENT, USED TO PAY DOWN DEBT


We're one of the only countries in the world doing it. By any traditional economic measure, when an economy like Canada's stops adding to its debt, the debt shrinks. The debt-to-GDP ratio shrinks. The comparative debt load shrinks (compared to other nations, or compared to other industrialized nations). Economists have traditionally held that balancing the federal books is the best way to handle the debt.

Still, after a billion dollars in ideological cuts last fall and handouts to stay-at-home moms this spring, Stephen Harper has decided in February that the best use for $9.2-billion of federally-collected taxes is to sink them into the debt.

That's less than six months after earmarking another $13.2 billion for debt reduction in 2006.

That's at a time when over 90 per cent of Canadians think we should be doing more for our poor. That's when cities, squeezed by years of federal and provincial off-loading, are scraping the bottom of the barrel to pay for basic services. Taxing Canadians and putting the money into debt reduction is silly — this is a two-strikes-you're-out game.


# 41 NORTH AMERICAN UNION PLANNED. BUT QUIETLY


Dozens of regulations are being quietly altered to help integrate Canada with our neighbors to the south. The problem is, almost no one knows about it and no one has been consulted.

Up for grabs is the Canadian energy grid, Canadian drug laws and federal food regulations. At a 2006 meeting in Banff, public safety minister Stockwell Day and defence minister Gordon O'Connor met with the military, political and business elite to discuss how to open the Canada-US and US-Mexico borders.

Notes obtained through US freedom of information laws outlines participants' fears that further integration, similar to that of the European Union, would not be well received by the citizens. Their solution? Integration by stealth, with the harmonization of food, drug, transportation and energy regulations — which do not require parliamentary approval — as the first steps.

Who says that Harper is hamstrung by his minority government?


#40 MPS GROOMED FOR HOLY WORK IN SECULAR HELL


Picture a Miss Manners school for so cons, run by everyone's favourite Reformer, Preston Manning. In Feb 2006, a few weeks after Stephen Harper plucked up enough seats to form a minority government, newly elected MPs and their aids gathered at an Ottawa Holiday Inn for a lesson in "diplomacy".

Don't abandon your beliefs but you must appear non-threatening, Manning told the recruits. It's a message the Conservatives have taken to heart. You can let God direct the public agenda, he advocated, but don't appear that God is directing your political work.

The theme of the workshop was "a sheep among wolves", but the xtra.ca staff is sure it's the other way around. Apparently, Manning went off his notes and stumbled into some claptrap about how us gays choose our lifestyle after a bad hetero relationship sours us. That's bad - but his gaffe highlights the message he was trying to send the newly faithful: keep your mouth shut and just do it.


#39 TRANSPARENCY TALK IS JUST TALK


Prime Minister Stephen Harper's latest controversy is not over policy, but over make-up. That's because Harper and his aides are refusing to say who foots the bill for his personal stylist, CBC make-up vet Michelle Muntean.

In the grander scheme, it hardly matters if the taxpayers are paying for Muntean's services. An argument could be made that, as embarrassing as it is, Harper represents the public face of the nation to foreign leaders and the press.

So why won't they say whose name is on the top of Muntean's cheques? It's part of the classic Harper double standard. He wanted access to all the details of Liberal spending when he was in opposition, but he's been one of the most tight-lipped prime ministers in recent memory. If there's nothing to hide, don't be so mum, Harper.


#38 TORIES CONTEMPLATED ROYAL COMMISSION TO RE-EVALUATE MARRIAGE


It's easy to imagine a scenario where a Royal Commission On Marriage And The Family returns a welcome report: suggesting that governments should get out of the outdated, sexist, religiously-rooted marriage biz, for instance. Leave it to churches to decide who to marry. (Maybe it would even end the tax incentives for getting hitched or reproducing, although we doubt it).

But that's not what was being suggested in the fall of 2006, after the Conservatives had (predictably) lost their bid to reopen the same-sex marriage debates. Religious leaders like Dave Quist (Focus On The Family Canada) and Joseph Ben-Ami (Institute For Canadian Values) called for the commission. Both groups have claimed that gay parents are hazardous to children.

Putting us in the position of defending our parenting skills against junk science is not currently on the horizon. But given that Harper owes Ben-Ami and Quist for selling his other policies (the shoddy day-care plan, raising the age of consent, cutting up Status Of Women Canada — more on that later), we're reluctant to rule it out.


#37 HOMOPHOBIC SLURS UNBECOMING OF PRIME MINISTER


It's so grade four. Calling a classmate gay (or using a more colourful version thereof) is something we thought we left behind in the school yard. Certainly, if Stephen Harper were to stoop to that, he would be called a bad role model.

Alas, a cryptic comment to then interim Liberal leader Bill Graham has gone unrebuked. After coming back from the Asia summit last year, Harper was teased by Graham for having his photo taken in a silk Veitnamese robe. Harper responded that in contrast to Graham, he wears silk on the outside.

Not a big deal. But if he's making gay jokes in the House Of Commons, what is he saying behind closed doors? Shame.


#36: GAY LAWYER SHAFTED BY HARPER HIMSELF IN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


It was a nailbiter, with the tiebreaking vote coming down to Stephen Harper himself.

When it came to pick a president for the new Conservative Party in May 2005, two candidates emerged, each garnering wide support within the party. One was gay Montreal lawyer with Progressive Conservative credentials; the other a Canadian Alliance vet, unilingual plumber Don Plett.

The party's 18-member national council returned 9-9 secret ballot result May 21, which meant that party leader Stephen Harper had to break the tie. He picked the plumber, reminding the whole country once again that the bogey man in Harper's past — his history of picking ideologues over moderation — is a spectre he's chosen to reinforce over and over again.


#35: HILL JOB FOR FOCUS ON THE FAMILY PREZ: REDUX


Reason #56 bemoaned Darrel Reid's appointment to Rona Ambrose's office. He only lasted four months, we reminded you. But what's much scarier is Reid's promotion: he's now in the PMO acting as the prime minister's deputy director of policy and research.

Reid headed up Focus On The Family Canada from 1998 to 2004, an ideologically anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-abortion group with connections to the leaders of the US Christian right. Though the Canadian organization has traditionally enjoyed little influence outside of rural enclaves and evangelical churches, the US parent is seen as a major influence on the Republican Party and politics generally. Reid was gone by late January, meaning he lasted four months or less.

The prime minister of this country has the former leader of a reactionary religious group as his deputy director of policy and research. That's right. It's time to move to Norway.


#34: STOCKWELL DAY PONDERS HIRING MERCENARIES FOR AFGHANISTAN


We used to be so smug. That smugness just got a little harder to justify, thanks to controversial Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day's recent musings on hiring a rent-an-army. The US has spent the last ten years privatizing its military operations. Scrutiny has become particularly intense since the start of the Iraq war in 2003 and the American system has been roundly criticized for its high cost, poor conditions and the companies' lack of accountability to the public and its employees.

Now, Canada is considering the same with Day repeating the same derelect reasons as his American buddies. "To get the best system delivery at the best price, there's a possibility for the private sector there."


#33: WE HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN HARPER'S POLITICAL GAMES ON GAY MARRIAGE BILL


It was an extraordinary circumstance when then-PM Paul Martin agreed to extend the spring 2005 session of Parliament to legalize gay marriage. Martin, no hero of the gay community, promised to pass the Civil Marriages Act before the house rose for the summer, but Stephen Harper had different ideas.

He was publicly rebuked for his ultimatum — he called on Martin to drop the marriage bill or face stalling on a budget allocation bill, which would have caused an indefinite filibustering stalemate.

The bill did get passed in an extended session, making Harper's temper tantrums and failed attempts at bullying all the more childish, petty and homophobic.


#32: ATTACK DOG GETS $52M LEG UP


Billing himself as a victim's rights advocate, Steve Sullivan has made a career out of fear-mongering, lobbying governments to adopt a throw-away-the-key approach to handling people who commit crimes. Recently, he spoke to the parliamentary committee considering the age of consent as a vocal proponent of hiking it. Naturally, he and the Conservatives have a lot in common.

The Conservatives created a new job for him in March: the Canadian victims of crime ombudsman. The job comes with a $52 million budget over four years. The Bloc and NDP have raised concerns with him because he's a unilingual Anglophone, but we think they're missing the real dangers of giving the conservative lobbyist and talking head a big promotion.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

 

Will the Real Stephen Harper please stand up?

Emphasis added.
Will the Real Stephen Harper please stand up?

A citizen's guide comparing election campaign promises to deeply held beliefs

January 10, 2006
by Murray Dobbin

The biggest spectacle of the election has been the apparent transformation of Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader, and long time right-wing ideologue, into a born-again liberal. It's almost unbelievable.

Actually it is unbelievable. At the beginning of this election, Canadians worried about Harper's "hidden agenda". But after he said openly that a Conservative government would table a bill revoking gay marriage, for some reason, people seemed to think that all his agendas were on the table. Harper's more recent promises have gone largely unscrutinized.

It's time for a reality check. Canadian pundits often say that the Liberal party campaigns from the left and governs from the right. How can the Conservatives campaign from the left without anybody recognizing the pattern?

It's time for a reality check.

Let's compare Stephen Harper's recent promises with the record of what he has been saying for the last twenty years. As you may remember, Harper left the Reform party in a snit in 1997, when it became clear that Preston Manning intended to remain Leader for the foreseeable future. When someone asked how he felt about stepping down as MP in order to become Vice-President (and eventually President 1998-2001) of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC), Harper replied: "Frankly, I'm looking forward to being in a position where I can speak much more independently than I'm able as a Member of Parliament."


Read the entire article here. Well worth the time to look back at what he espoused then and what he is double speaking now. Lots of good quotes and references in there also.
http://www.canadians.org/wordwarriors/2006/jan-10.html

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Rich Provinces get richer while the poor provinces get poorer with Per-capita funding

It is nice to finally see some numbers on the per capita funding something that I've suspected for some time now would negatively impact the smaller less populous provinces.

Like the Capitalist Party of canada's CPC, GST reduction the new Per Capita funding scheme for Health and Social transfers under the D-Equalization formula of our federal taxes will benefit the rich and punish the poor only instead of the individual this time it is the provinces.

If you really think about it this is in line with the American way of thinking to do away with social equity but in fact it is even worse than the American system in that canada doesn't have in any way shape or form, equal representation for the provinces in this federation. Not in the Senate not in the Supreme Kangaroo Court of canada, nowhere in this phony federation is there any equality amongst the provinces and terrritories.

What really irritates me with this Per capita funding is the fact that the very report from which this was drawn the O brien Report refused to include collecting funding on a per capita resource like User fees but they turn around and dole out the federally collected funds on a per capita basis? If you want to pay out federal funds on a per capita basis shouldn't the same funds be collected on a per capita basis? Otherwise it is just another form of colonialism to take from the poor to give to the rich not unlike what was done with the GST cut.

transfer payments are calculated are benefiting larger provinces.

She says the equal per capita funding means Nova Scotia is only getting a 0.4 per cent cash increase in payments for education and other social programs in 2007-08, while Ontario is receiving 17.3 per cent more and Alberta is getting an extra 56 per cent.


http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Atlantic/070502/t050208A.html

Just a few of the links I have on D-Equalization the federally imposed provincial welfare wall.

http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2005/fin/1027n09.htm
http://www.fin.gc.ca/FEDPROV/eqpe.html
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/story.html?id=5cde1de1-5aa3-4dbb-9a7e-fa90a79114c9&k=57417
http://www.eqtff-pfft.ca/english/index.asp
http://www.aims.ca/equalization.asp?typeID=1&id=140
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060629.QUEBEC29/TPStory/National
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060628.FISCAL28/TPStory/National
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/local/story.html?id=6d388e56-5607-4f03-84ab-f5c2f4476fce
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/story.html?id=b9bbad77-df2d-41a6-96bc-dd4059754ebd
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=7fba78b6-7c41-4499-bb53-2b926485e24e&k=93763
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/viewpoints/story.html?id=1428d80b-a039-44f2-84ba-e9707d17f224
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Jackson_Paul/2006/07/04/1666777.html
http://colourpixie.blogspot.com/2006/02/equality-churchill-falls.html
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060723.wpremiers0723/BNStory/Front/home
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/2006/07/23/1699092.html
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=67d3c8d3-9178-4760-be7c-37bc3f28802c&k=91790
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Alberta/2006/07/24/1700377.html
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=c03ab258-2c55-4a34-8b89-79257596da9f&k=65931
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2006/07/31/williams-ottawa.html
http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/higgins060906.htm
http://freenewfoundlandlabrador.blogspot.com/2006/09/equalization-payments-or-exertion-of.html
http://www.eqtff-pfft.ca/english/index.asp
http://colourpixie.blogspot.com/2006/02/equality-churchill-falls.html
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/12/18/2859464-cp.html
http://www.amazon.com/Trouble-Diversity-Learned-Identity-Inequality/dp/080507841X
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2007/01/23/williams-calvert.html
http://www.cwf.ca/abcalcwf/doc.nsf/(Publications)/42CAA95DA53926278725727F00582814/$file/Equalization_and_the_Fiscal_Imbalance.pdf
http://freenewfoundlandlabrador.blogspot.com/2007/03/harpers-divide-and-conquer-strategy-on.html
http://www.arts.mun.ca/arts
http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2007/fin/0413n04.htm
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=94d4e340-8d93-41fe-ae5d-3f85915a7cdb
http://www.news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=292969
http://www.gauntlet.ca/2007/03/equalization-again.html
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/third_page/story.html?id=da6ae3d9-2434-401e-89a6-a48d04b01a24
http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/mar07/courchene.pdf
http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Atlantic/070502/t050208A.html
http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1091/38243?PHPSESSID=f4260667e2f6ac0bc3753f924afa5502
http://www.conservative.ca/media/20060113-FiscalPlan.pdf
http://www.bloc-harper.com/blocharper/docs/FiscalTalks.pdf
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060626.FISCAL26/TPStory/National
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060625/fiscal_imbalance_060625/20060625?hub=Canada
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1150927811496&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=6b509227-c8dd-48d0-9350-31bef4a54233&k=49169
http://www.umanitoba.ca/manitoban/2006-2007/0719/107.Canadian.Fiscal.Imbalance.php
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=883b47e1-03ba-4a03-ba5d-bfa86df1903b&k=89577
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060723/williams_imbalance_060723/20060724?hub=Politics
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060719/ont_nb_060719?s_name=&no_ads=
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=db29f3e2-b905-41b9-8a87-0d44550366bd&k=89164&p=2
http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2005/fin/1103n06.htm
http://www.councilofthefederation.ca/pdfs/Report_Fiscalim_Mar3106.pdf
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/columnists/story.html?id=24451099-bb6a-4030-87e5-938bb5073bdd&p=2
http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/desai092706.htm
http://www.fin.gc.ca/budget06/fp/fpc7e.htm
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070114/pq_bq_070114/20070114?hub=Politics
http://www.cwf.ca/abcalcwf/doc.nsf/(Publications)/42CAA95DA53926278725727F00582814/$file/Equalization_and_the_Fiscal_Imbalance.pdf
http://www.gov.nl.ca/atlanticaccord/
http://www.gov.nl.ca/atlanticaccord/agreement.htm

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

 

Newfoundland Labrador Parks Launch New Reservation System


http://www.nlcamping.ca/

New online web site and reservation system for Newfoundland Labrador parks launched today.

This is a sweet site with maps, park layout, reservations etc.

Great job for all those who had anything to do with this wonderful site.

The online reservation system will be available at the following camping parks beginning:
# May 1 Notre Dame, Blow Me Down, Frenchman’s Cove and Pinware River
# May 3 Barachois Pond, La Manche, Lockston Path,
# J.T. Cheeseman and Sir Richard Squires Memorial
# May 5 Butter Pot, Dildo Run, Pistolet Bay and Sandbanks

Toll Free: 1-877-214-CAMP (2267) 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily
Web site: www.NLCamping.ca 24 hours a day

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