PM Harper cannot keep his story straight, and with his office knee-deep in the Senate scandal, his backbenchers are still doing as they are told. Loyal to the end or just too trained to speak up?
Paul Martin had the balls to call on Gomery even though he and the Liberal Party knew full-well that it would cost them the election, yet PM Harper resists attempts to come clean. The Conservative Party ran on a platform of accountability – so where is it? Now is the time!
The Conservative Party are having their convention this week – will Harper survive the week after facing the plebs?
With each passing day I find myself asking the question – what has happened to Canada during these Conservative years. It’s been said that Tory times are tough times, but considering what we have in power now, I’d gladly take the real Tories like Joe Clark, David Orchard and yes, even Brian Mulroney. While I couldn’t and wouldn’t always agree with them, at least you knew where they stood and for all their blunders, at least they left some meaningful legacies behind. The ‘Tories’ of today on the other hand, seem to have delved into a bizarre world where up is down and wrong is right. And as for legacies, I struggle to find one meaningful thing that a majority of Canadians could agree upon by this government.
For over the past few years Canada is now a place where:
We have replaced experimental lakes with fake lakes.
Gazebos equal security.
Transparency and openness have transformed into appointed officials taking the government to court to see requested documents.
Government information ads have turned to non-stop propaganda – paid by the taxpayers of the nation.
Increased duties mean tax cuts.
Questioning the government means you are a radical or a supporter of pedophiles.
Omnibus budget bills of 20 pages are a problem but ones 20 times larger are not.
A per-vote subsidy is a bad thing, but 28 illegal campaign contributions is just an oversight.
A single junior staffer can run a country-wide electoral fraud campaign.
Scientists are to be seen but never heard.
Smaller government means a historically large PMO.
Fiscal responsibility means $16 glasses of orange juice and massive deficits and debt.
The root cause of terrorism is terrorists.
Robocalls are just a way of helping Canadians to the polls.
Attack ads and character assassination are go-to campaign materials.
Blue-washing government website portals is streamlining.
Supporting the troops means denying and delaying benefits.
Fishing and lobster feasts equal search and rescue training.
A medical isotope shortage is sexy.
Set election dates are not really set.
Senate reform includes appointing party faithful.
And on and on.
And before anyone claims I am only hard on the Conservatives – I’ve been writing on politics for over a decade now and I was as hard or harder on the Liberal Party under Chretien and Martin. The Liberals were not always open and transparent and at times seemed intent on selling Canada to the lowest bidder via trade deals not in our favour, but they knew how to run an economy and govern for the majority most of the time. That cannot be said now. This current government really could care less about the majority or how they always say one thing than do another. They refuse above all else to ever admit to being wrong.
Sorry to say, but a party born out of deceit stays in deceit. Stay strong Canada, the light at the end of tunnel is approaching. And if the Greens, NDP and Liberals find a way to work together come election time, that light will be a glaring spotlight of change.
Contributed to the Federal Politics Journal by Roy Whyte.
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This year at the annual 420 event in Vancouver where everything marijuana is celebrated and observed including the political scene around its use – it took on special meaning. With as many as 10,000 locals taking part in the event and thousands more looking on or passing by the very busy location at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the political message for this event was rather clear even if the air was not. At this alternative political event enemy number one was the Stephen Harper lead Conservative Party. With the Conservatives making strong overtones towards taking a harsher stance on marijuana use, those in support of marijuana came out and made their voices heard.
There were representatives that were spotted by the FPJ staff from the NDP and Green Party. There may have been others but we didn’t come across them. We expected to find the Marijuana Party but try as we might, we couldn’t locate them and nobody we asked could remember seeing or hearing from them. Which isn’t wholly surprising considering the amount of consumption going on. The Green Party Youth were handing out leaflets explaining the Green Party position on marijuana as found in their party platform.
There were other groups like those behind WhyProhibition.ca also using the event for spreading a political message. The leaflet they were handing out read in part – “You wouldn’t let your grandparents choose who you date – then why let them choose your government.” With the crowd most made up of under 30’s, this type of message was the norm for the day.
Jodie Emery made a speech to the crowd between live bands to talk a little about her husband Mark who is currently serving time in a US prison for selling seeds to American citizens and to rally the crowd towards voting based on the issue of the day – marijuana. Across Canada there will be political rallies held at all types of events but none quite like this one. You can view her speech below:
This just in, Sheila Fraser’s confidential report which was originally to be tabled in Parliament on April 5 but wasn’t because of the defeat of the government has been seen by The Canadian Press and it alleges illegal wrongdoing. The draft report claims that in a January 13 draft of the chapter on the G8 legacy infrastructure fund that the Harper government allegedly misinformed Parliament in order that they win approval for a $50-million G8 fund which was misspent in a Conservative riding.
The G8 meetings have brought the Conservatives much grief since the meetings took place from the huge bill to the trampling of civil rights of Canadian citizens, but now this news that Industry Minister Tony Clement along with the mayor of Huntsville, and the general manager of Deerhurst Resort chose 32 projects that received federal funding in Clement’s riding with no regard to the rules or actual need could come back to sink their election hopes. The spending guidelines were even set by the Harper government. As well, Deerhurst Resort was quickly put up for sale after the meetings by the owners Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC, and MassMutual Financial Group. Question remains – how much did they receive and was it truly necessary – especially in light that it was immediately put up for sale.
The Conservatives have tried hard to market themselves as the clean party, the party of transparency, high legal standards and the party of law and order during their time in government. It’s hard to keep up that marketing campaign when your being targeted repeatedly by the opposition for being anything but.
The main issue is that the legacy fund breaks the Appropriations Act which clearly states all funding is only to be allocated based on the exact items which were presented in the estimates. In November 2009 the Conservative government tabled a supplementary spending estimate of $83 million for a ‘Border Infrastructure Fund’. Where the problem starts is that the Conservative government never stated that $50 million was to be diverted to a G8 legacy fund. The report also notes that Tony Clement was announcing spending before his government even laid down the ground rules for funding. And some of the spending was on things not even used like $26 million spent to create a Huntsville G8 Centre – they rented other facilities instead.
Some of the questionable projects highlighted in the draft report include:
$100k on a gazebo over a hour away.
$1.1 million for sidewalks and trees over 100km away.
$745k for improvements to towns some 70km away.
$274k for public toilet facilities located 20km from the summit meetings.
The timing is also horrible for the Conservatives because it comes just hours before the national leader’s debates. It will be interesting to see if the opposition parties try to use this information.
Sheila Fraser is not commenting on the contents of her report during the election which is too bad. Canadians need to know what is in that report now before the election – not after the fact.