Showing posts with label Harper coverups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harper coverups. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NCC is a SuperPAC

Negative ads by National Citizen's Coalition and a US SuperPAC are drawing comparisons triggered by an article in The Globe and Mail. We all know how much Harper has abused the control of free speech from environmentalists, scientists, reporters and questioners in the HOC.   Here is a very cogent argument put forward by Diane Marie in response to the article which states that third party ads must be considered free speech, else we have none.  

diane marie

12:01 PM on January 25, 2012

First of all, there are laws pertaining to election advertising at the federal level, and other laws (or maybe none) at the provincial and municipal level. Being that I don't live in Ontario, I really don't care about relevant Ontario provincial laws. I do know that here in Alberta, the Conservatives were incensed when unions took to the airwaves during the last provincial election. Fair is not fair, apparently.

There is a difference when groups such as the NCC engage in public advocacy and when they act as a Super-PAC. The NCC ads were not about public policy, they were personal attacks. Groups such as NCC are limited as to how much they can spend to intrude into an election. In parallel with the Conservatives, they've decided that we must have a perpetual campaign, so they're doing some of the Conservatives' dirty work for them.

Americans are inundated with "free speech" such that no one really knows who's behind the billions being spent to sway their opinion, and their politicians are so busy trying to stay in the money game that they don't have the time or the inclination to actually govern, a process that involves consensus-building and cooperation.

Until the Reformers arrived in town, we've enjoyed a comparatively sane amount of "free speech", but now the election-spending limits are irrelevant when the dropping of the writ is a mere formality. We're in perpetual campaign mode now and I heartily object to it for the simple reason that the aim of the "free speech" crowd is not to inform voters but to overwhelm them with paid opinion .
 A negative ad attacking Bob Rae appeared on Youtube when Canada is not in election time.  It's time to curb what are clearly unfair attack ads that unnecessarily interrupt the process of good government.  Don't we have enough partisanship and ill will already?  Ought we not to concentrate on real co-operation?  Looks like this government is offering up a toxic environment amidst the secrecy, dirty tricks, labeling with stereotypes, bad mouthing in the press that are hallmarks of bully tactics. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Harper Threatens Forest Ethics, Employee Fired

"PMO branded environmental group an ‘enemy’ of Canada, affidavit says."  I'd call it a threat from head office which ends up losing the whistle blower's job. 

Here's the government's statement to reporters. 

“The government of Canada has used the language of anti-terrorism, language that is violent and above the law, to describe legitimate critics of unsustainable resource development,” he said in an affidavit released to reporters Tuesday.

Andrew Frank, a 30-year-old instructor in the environmental protection program at Vancouver’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University, also claims the Prime Minister’s Office wanted McMillan to revoke funding to the organization.

When Frank made the threat public, he was fired by Forest Ethics.

Full letter is on scribd here.  What will happen now is frightening to think.  Especially if people walk away from the obvious crossed line. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Environment Canada Doesn't Report on Environment Since 2007

Harper body language when abroad
I've been looking for up to date statistics from Statistics Canada and can't get anything recent.  Here's why Canada Cuts Environment Spending

spending more than 60 billion dollars on new military jets and warships
slashing more than 200 million dollars in funding for research and monitoring of the environment.
crippled is Canada's internationally renowned ozone monitoring network, which was instrumental in the discovery of the first-ever ozone hole over Canada last spring.

Canada was the pioneer in ozone monitoring, developing the first accurate ozone measuring tool that led to the discovery that the world's ozone layer was dangerously thinning in the 1970s, which in turn led to the successful Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.
Canada has about one-third of the ozone monitoring stations in the Arctic region. It also hosts the world archive of ozone data, which is heavily relied on by scientists around the world.
"There's only one guy running the entire archive, and he's received a lay-off notice letter," Duck told IPS.
 Environment Canada, charged with protecting the environment, conservation and providing weather and meteorological information.

A similar gutting of science and research is underway at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the department responsible for protecting and managing Canada's ocean and inland waterways including the Great Lakes.
In addition, the main source of public funding for environmental science for Canadian universities has run out of money, and is expected to close early next year. Not surprisingly, scientists are leaving Canada in droves.
Government scientists are under a "gag order" to not to speak to media under any circumstances without permission from Prime Minister Harper's office. 
Non-government scientists working at universities declined to be interviewed, fearing loss of funding or other forms of reprisal."There will be fallout for anyone talking to you," Duck told IPS. "My prospects for doing any work for Environment Canada are now zero."
Canadian civil society organisations know all about the Harper government's reprisals. Many that once received funding but questioned government policy have lost their funding.
For 34 years, the non-partisan Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) successfully walked the line between the needs of government and the needs of its more than 650 civil society members. But on Oct. 13, after waiting more than six months for its expected 536,000 dollars in annual funding, the group was informed by letter it would not be coming. Ever.
The network had been Canada's best two-way communication channel between the public and the federal government on all matters environmental. Now the government says this can be done more cost- effectively online.
Just six days after the pressing need to save 536,000 dollars, the Harper government awarded contracts totaling 32 billion dollars to build ships for the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard. It has also committed to spending another 29 billion dollars for 65 fighter jets.
"Among the first acts of the Harper government was to cut our funding to zero," said Hannah McKinnon of the Climate Action Network Canada (CAN Canada), an environmental NGO that used to get some government funding prior to the 2006 election.
CAN Canada has obtained some funding from its more than 80 member civil society organisations. It acts as the coordinator on climate issues, and once worked with government to improve programmes and policies for the benefit of all Canadians. Now has become the de facto watchdog on government promises and actions to tackle climate change.

"If there is a need to reduce the federal budget deficit, why is Canada continuing to give the oil and gas industry 1.4 billion dollars (1.3 billion U.S.) in subsidies every year?" she asked.
Harper promised to end these government subsidies in 2009. The International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations and many others have called for an end to such subsidies to the world's most profitable industry.
"Canada can't afford to pay scientists but we can line the pockets of big oil? That is totally backwards," McKinnon said.
Blogs are being blocked in Canada
 It's getting tougher to get real news on the environment from the internet because of censorship like the above.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scandals and Coverups in Harper Government
source:  Dennis Gruending
Don't be fooled by Harper's religious cloak which he displayed prominently to sell Christmas to Canadians.  There are no ethics behind his false exterior but human rights violations galore.  Here's an excerpt from the above writer for context on the Beth Oda affair, the coverup and the significance of what was felt to be not worthy of conservative strategic importance - namely outing of criticism of tar sands by religious groups.

KAIROS is an inter-church coalition that has been around for a long time. It is well respected and does good work internationally, particularly on social justice and human rights issues. KAIROS also has a habit of speaking its mind on public issues. It has offered criticisms of Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. KAIROS has also raised questions about the rapid development of the tar sands in Alberta and of certain environmental and human rights practices of Canadian mining companies working in developing countries.

A similar unethical deal with Honduras, murder capital of the world, shows the extent to which Canadian mining interests have no boundaries for their investments.  Free trade is an oxymoron.  There is no free trade.  It comes with a proviso.  Free trade - our way - or no trade.


Neighbor to the United States, Canada often escapes critical attention to its unjust global economic and political ventures.  However, Canada is making its complicit involvement in post-coup Honduras increasingly obvious through Canada's sweatshop, mining and tourist interests in the country.