There shouldn’t be any place in Canadian politics for the penny-ante dirty trick pulled by a Conservative operative this month. And it’s disturbing that Jason Kenney, the Minister of Employment and usually one of the party’s more thoughtful leaders, would give this pathetic behaviour a seal of approval. It’s one thing for low-level partisans to indulge in Nixonian chicanery; it’s another thing altogether for a person of Mr. Kenney’s stature to associate with it.

We’re referring to a blown sting operation in Alberta, in which a young Conservative supporter approached a federal Liberal candidate, asked him a loaded question in a supposedly private conversation, secretly recorded the answer and sent it to a certain government-friendly media outlet. There, an on-air personality used the tape in an opinion piece critical of the Liberals. Conservative backbenchers and Mr. Kenney subsequently picked up what was now a media story and turned it into a planted question in Question Period. That old chestnut.

Except the Liberal candidate in question, Marlo Raynolds, says that it’s not his voice in the recording. Another person has come forward and said he was the one talking, leading the media outlet to retract the story. So, did Mr. Kenney and the backbenchers retract their statements in the name of fairness and decency (that old chestnut)?

No. Mr. Kenney ignored a request to correct the record and lit into the Liberals along the lines of the talking point the secret recording had been designed to exploit. A day later, the Conservatives doubled down and said their own analysis of the tape proves that Mr. Raynolds is the man speaking.

Happy Canada Day!

Fun Facts that make Canada awesome:

  • Same-Sex marriage is legalized in the ENTIRE country.
  • Since 1790, the US has had 16 banking crises and Canada has had zero. (Source)
  • Canada ranks 5th on the human freedom index (US is ranked 7th) (Source / PDF)
  • Canada is the 3rd best place to live. (Source)
  • Canada is the 2nd most educated country (Source)
  • Ranked #9 for least corrupt country (tied with Australia) (Source)
  • Canadians get paid maternity leave. (source)
  • Canada got rid of the penny (Source)
  • Rank 18 on Press Freedom Index (US is 46th) (Source)
  • 8th (as of 2013) most peaceful country. (Source)
  • Ranks 7th on the Social Progress Index (2014) (Source) (Source2)
  • Canada’s middle class is now the world’s richest [middle class] (Source)
HERES WHAT WENT DOWN TODAY IN THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENT

Warning: the following may be too badass for you to handle.

Today the Conservatives filed out of the House of Commons in Ottawa early. The NDP followed. Moments later, all the NDP MPs came back into the house and took their seats. They had realized that, with time still on the parliamentary clock and no Conservatives in attendance, they had a very rare majority. In Canada, the conservatives have a majority-controlled house. What followed knocked my socks off. We have a big problem in Canada. Aboriginal women and children have been disappearing for decades from their communities. Sometimes the bodies are found, but often times they’re simply forgotten by everyone but their family and the aboriginal communities. This is a growing problem all across Canada, with the numbers of missing or murdered aboriginal women becoming more and more alarming. The police won’t do anything. The government, despite the pressure that’s been put on them by the NDP, won’t do anything or even talk about the issue. So with a sudden majority in the house and no Conservatives there to mess things up or heckle too loudly for us to be heard, the NDP forced the debate on the Missing or Murdered Aboriginal Women of Canada. It was a stunning moment, made even more so by the fact that the Opposition (NDP) had to literally trick the government to get the issue to the floor. I’m amazed. What a moment. Well done, especially to Mr. Romeo Saganash and Mr. Tom Mulcair. Bravo, New Democrat MPs. Jack would be so proud.

anonymous asked:

Pardon my ignorance, but who is Stephen Harper? What did he do?

He’s the Prime Minister (the equivalent of the President of the USA) of Canada. He’s been in power 8 years now.

He’s one the worst politicians that Canada has ever produced.

He blindly supports everything israel does (which is why he’s been nominated for a noble peace prize by a pro-israel group). He even actively blocked a request to treat Palestinian kids who were injured or dying in Canadian hospitals (the Ontario government and Toronto Hospitals all agreed to help).

He made Canada leave the Kyoto protocol; the only country in the world to do so.

Also under Harper’s control, environmental regulations have been slashed and the entire government’s focus seems to be on promoting the oil sands in Alberta; AKA one of the most energy and water intensive methods of oil extraction plus it is poisoning the environment and water supplies locally.

He doesn’t care about aboriginal rights in this country. He’s declined to do anything concrete about the epidemic of aboriginal women who continue to go missing or murdered in this country.

He is anti-science and muzzles government scientists from talking about their work. Most of this work is environmental in nature or related to climate change. The government has also been radically changing the National Research Council; now it only focuses on profitable science; no longer is basic research considered. Oh yeah and they defunded several world famous environmental research facilities in Canada.

The government is the only one in the entire british commonwealth’s history to be found to be in ‘contempt of parliament’. It has never happened anywhere in any of the former british colonies until Stephen Harper prorogued parliament to save face.

He’s been involved in numerous major scandals; including cheating during elections, allegations of robocalls to mislead voters and paying off canadian senators in a secret cover up.

I can’t even list all the terrible things he’s done, but here is a quick list of just what I could think of off the top of my head.

Here’s some more info on why Stephen Harper is bad news for Canada:

Why Not Harper?

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq tried to force an apology from a Nunavut hamlet over statements made by its deputy mayor who said high grocery prices in the community forces dozens of residents to scavenge the local dump for food.

Sam Tutanuak, deputy mayor of Rankin Inlet, said Aglukkaq’s office called the hamlet’s senior administrative officer Wednesday asking for a letter of apology addressed to the minister and the Conservative party.

“She wanted to talk to the mayor of Rankin in regards to the comments I had made and that the hamlet of Rankin Inlet should write an apology letter to Leona Aglukkaq and the Conservative party that the Nutrition North program is working,” said Tutanuak, in an interview Thursday evening.

Aglukkaq is the MP for Nunavut.

Tutanuak said no apology is forthcoming.

“I am not apologizing,” he said, in an earlier interview with Nation to Nation host Nigel Newlove. “We have elderly people picking up food from the dump to eat. How can I apologize for something like that?’

[…]

On Wednesday, NDP Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair led Question Period on the subject of Nutrition North and referred to the APTN story. He asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper whether he felt “shame” people in the North were getting food at the dump.

Harper sidestepped the question, but Aglukkaq, who sits on the front government bench, began heckling, according to five opposition MPs interviewed by APTN.

All five MPs, three NDP and two Liberals, said Aglukkaq yelled “that’s not true” when Mulcair mentioned the dump.

“The minister clearly said, over and over again, when anyone mentioned the question of people eating out of garbage dumps, that it wasn’t true,” said NDP MP Carol Hughes.

“When our leader (Mulcair) asked about the situation in the far North, Leona was shouting and heckling him,” said NDP MP Charlie Angus. “When the issue came up of people trying to find food at the dump, she said, ‘that’s not true.’”

Liberal MP Judy Sgro said Aglukkaq repeated the words three or four times.

“The minister hollered out ‘that’s not true,’ to the first NDP question, the second NDP question, and the third NDP question,” said Sgro. “She said ‘that’s not true,’ very clearly, those three words.”

Aglukkaq’s spokesperson Ted Laking said Aglukkaq never said those words during Question Period.

“It is false,” said Laking, in an email.

“She denies that she says it, but she said it over and over again,” said Hughes. “She is in denial that it’s happening, but it’s clearly happening and she clearly said it.”

Continue Reading.

Since feminism is so often U.S.-centric I want to sum up some of the points brought up in this documentary since it’s a little too long, boring, repetitive and insubstantial to be worth watching (but if you are interested it’s available on Netflix):

  • the current Conservative government has closed 12 out of 16 Status of Women offices
  • in Canada there has been NO decrease in violence against women for over 15 years (since the 90’s!)
  • the province of New Brunswick is in direct violation of the Canada Health Act which stipulates that all women must have equal right to abortion, it requires 2 referrals from doctors in order for the procedure to be covered by MediCare as well as placing other barriers to abortion
  • there is a complete absence of an early child care system which is devastating financially to many women. (in fact Canada is listed dead last on the list of quality of early child care in the top 25 richest countries) The very unequal live-in caregiver program which fills this void constitutes a criminal exploitation of some of the most vulnerable women in our society such as new immigrants
  • the UN has publicly condemned Canada’s response (or rather lack thereof) to the climbing rates of violence against Aboriginal women

And these were only the issues brought up in one rather poorly-constructed documentary so please never get complacent Canada’s feminism is truly by far an unfinished business.

The unexplained death of a Kamloops First Nation woman has led to another call for a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

I recall that a year ago the UN requested that Canada do a national inquiry into violence against the country’s aboriginal women. Our government decided that a better solution would be to ignore the problem until it goes away.

I would encourage every Canadian to take two minutes to write out a quick email or make a short call to your MP, requesting a national inquiry on violence against aboriginal women.

MP CONTACT INFO 

Please signal boost! 

In Prime Minister Harper’s address to the nation he uses the word terrorist four times. He also expresses how we are no longer safe and that it’s the “hope” of these terror groups to bring savagery to Canada.

Thomas Mulcair’s speech didn’t contain a single use of the word terror. He specifically details that acts of violence like this are executed with the explicit purpose of instilling fear and shattering our way of life and that we instead should come together and not fall victim and being driven to hatred.

I hope that people can see what a crucial difference this is.

Also Trudeau said some stuff but who cares am I right?

I don't care if its an unpopular opinion it needs to be said

I’ve been browsing the ‘ottawa’ and ‘ottawa shooting’ tags to follow this event and I see so many people asking how this could happen to Canada ‘because we’re so peaceful.’

Canada, at least in recent years has not been acting in the role of peacekeeper. We haven’t done much of that since the 1990’s.

We were at war in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.

We sent troops and military ships to Libya in 2011. This included bombing targets.

And most recently we have sent bombers and other ships to attack ISIS forces in Iraq (and possibly Libya).

Our prime minister, Stephen Harper has also been extremely active and vocal in his opposition to Russia in the Ukraine, ISIS, and terrorism abroad.

I am not suggesting that this attack today is by muslim extremists or not (details of the motive and identifies of the shooters is unknown), but we have to face the facts that for most of the past decade Canada has been either actively at war or stoking the fires of military conflicts.

Comment: Make the next election the last unfair election

I have a radical proposal: The allocation of seats in Parliament should reflect the number of votes cast for each party.

Many Canadians assume this is how our system works today. After all, the principle sounds simple, clear and fair. But that’s far from the reality.

We cast our ballots in what is called a winner-take-all voting system. Like the victor in a hand of poker, the candidate with the most votes in each riding walks away with everything, no matter how narrow the margin of victory.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s party won just 39 per cent of the vote in 2011, yet it holds an all-powerful majority in Parliament. By Conservatives’ cold math, the 61 per cent of Canadian voters who chose different parties simply vanish.

There’s an alternative.

Continue Reading.

Note that the cops went from needing to “disarm” the man of a stick with beanbags to shooting him with bullets in the space of a minute. Violence is the cop’s preferred response.

The Vancouver police said the man, identified by the B.C. Coroners Service as 51-year-old Phuong Na Du, or Tony Du, was distraught and waving a two-by-four at the intersection before officers arrived.

KieranFogarty, a witness to the incident, said there were up to eight people waiting with him at a nearby bus stop when Du, carrying the piece of lumber, walked by them and headed to the street corner. […]

A police car pulled up and police started asking the man to come, and to come towards them across the crosswalkand to put down the stick, and right when they say put down the stick they opened fire on him,” Fogarty said. 

"He was halfway through the crosswalk when he finally stopped, the one shot hit him, and he bent down on two knees and they came over and they handcuffed him, and other police cars showed up."

Police said Du had refused to comply with officers’ directions and that bean-bag rounds were first used to attempt to disarm him.

"Eventually the man was shot," Const. Brian Montague said in a statement Saturday night.

Fogarty told CBC News that he estimates the entire interaction took place “within a minute.”

[Ron] Liepert, a former Alberta Energy Minister and Conservative candidate for Calgary Signal Hill in the upcoming 2015 election, delivered a master class in ad hominem reasoning this week for listeners of CBC Radio’s The Current.

Debating the Keystone pipeline with Greenpeace Canada’s Keith Stewart, Liepert repeatedly complained of “extreme environmentalists” with “extreme arguments” waging “extreme environmental attacks on Alberta’s oil industry” for calling for a transition to renewable energy sources.

After labelling critics of unsustainable oil and gas development as “extremists” several times, Anna Maria Tremonti finally interrupted Liepert and asked him point-blank: “Why do you call them ‘extreme environmentalists’?”

The aspiring future member of a Harper government (who recently won a heated nomination battle by defeating MP Rob Anders), explained:

"Because individuals like your guest would like to see fossil fuels eliminated across the world. That is simply not going to happen. You know, he lives in this dream world where somehow airplanes are going to fly with solar power, how transit in his city is going to be powered by renewables from wind. This is just a dream world that these extremists live in and we have to face reality. If you were to shut down the oil and gas industry in Canada today — I don’t have the statistics in front of me — but our unemployment rate would probably be pushing 20% in this country. And we’d be living in a dream world that simply cannot exist."

There’s a bitter irony in oil and gas proponents screaming “face reality!” while disregarding reports of our dying planet 

youtube

This famous moment came up during lunch today at work and I had to share it with everyone. The response, “just watch me” from Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has become lore in Canada but there is more to this particular interview than meets the eye. Notice how Trudeau is not reciting pre-written talking points. He is actually having a conversation with the reporter, and the reporter is actually having a conversation with Trudeau.

The line lasts seconds. But this seven minute exchange between the Prime Minister and a journalist contains the thoughts of the government, the concerns of the citizens and the overall approach of Trudeau himself. It is not a stage for Trudeau to sell a particular angel to Canadians. It is not a gotcha moment for the reporter (although the “just watch me” line did make headlines across the country). It was an exchange. And one that Canadians do not have the benefit of getting from politicians today.

Yes, I think the society must take every means at its disposal to defend itself against the emergence of a parallel power which defies the elected power in this country and I think that goes to any distance. So long as there is a power in here which is challenging the elected representative of the people I think that power must be stopped and I think it’s only, I repeat, weak-kneed bleeding hearts who are afraid to take these measures.

7

Aboriginal women ask Stephen Harper: Am I next?

Am I next?

That’s the question aboriginal women are asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a new online campaign to renew pressure on his government to call a national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women.

Coming on the heels of Harper’s "sociological phenomenon" blunder, the campaign is the brainchild of Holly Jarrett. She’s the cousin of Loretta Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuit student at Saint Mary’s University who was murdered earlier this year. At the time of her death, Saunders was working on her thesis on murdered and missing aboriginal women.

"She had come through a lot of the same kind of struggles that a lot women affected by colonialism and residential school stuff," Jarrett told PressProgress Friday, a day after  launching the Am I Next campaign.

"We wanted to move it forward for her. She was really passionate about telling her story, to stand up and tell the brutal truth," said Jarrett, an Inuit from the Labrador coast who’s now based in Hamilton, Ont.

After organizing one of the largest petitions at change.org calling on the government to launch a public inquiry into hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women, Jarrett decided to launch the Am I Next campaign.

It’s inspired by the Inuktitut word ain, a term of endearment for someone you love in her native language.

Here are some of the faces of the viral campaign:

This is how it began: a handful of people clinging tenuously to things like employment, relationships and housing in order keep watch over two small patches of the mountain. After spending 13 hours locked down to Kinder Morgan’s Westridge terminal with and activists Adam Gold, Mia Nissen, Dan Wallace, and Liam Mongeon, Brzev and a few others began spending night and day at the top of Centennial Way in the park, or down at the clearing where the oil and gas giant cleared the first trees.

They were soon joined by friends from out of town, people who quit their jobs to be there more often, and local mothers dropping by every morning and evening with food and clothes and candles. The bike ride up there is wretched, but the view is breathtaking, and after a summer spent doing ​research​ in blockade camps and resistance communities all over BC with my partner, it seemed only right that we should go, too.

Over the course of the past two months, the camp grew from a pile of tarps in the parking lot into a vibrant community space, complete with covered kitchen, sitting areas, and information boards.

After caretakers kicked surveyors off the mountain and surrounding area several times, Kinder Morgan applied for an injunction on the two main borehole sites, and the courts announced on November 14 that it would grant the injunction effective Monday November 17 at 4 PM.

A mass rally brought hundreds of people to the camp on Monday, but RCMP didn’t move in. The mood was quiet, if a bit tense, as everyone waited to see when they’d decide to enforce the court order. Until Thursday, November 20, when Burnaby RCMP—backed by forces from surrounding communities of Delta and Surrey—stormed in and tore the whole thing down.

Now it’s national news, with the number of arrests topping 70 and rising every day. And while it seems unlikely anyone will be able to stop work long enough to prevent Kinder Morgan from collecting the data it needs to continue with the project, the impact the camp and the subsequent events are having on both public opinion and investor security is undeniable.

After largely ignoring the people who built the camp on the mountain, the ​Globe and Mail​ this week published a flurry of stories about contr​oversy surrounding the project and the billions of dollars in develo​pment money tied up in court thanks mainly to First Nations-led opposition. Talking heads, aware of the province’s strong history of resistance to major development, are conceding that this is big, even for BC. […]

In spite of most of the media coverage focusing on the midd​le-class white ​person angle, some of the most powerful forces behind the blockade have been indigenous women.

When the weather turned cold, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh elder Sut-lut arrived and made a sacred fire—lit with ceremony and kept burning and free of anything but wood until the person who lit it chooses to put it out—and she and her sister Clarissa came almost every day to tend it. Sut-lut said that after hearing about 18-year-old Jakub Markiewicz chaining himself under a Kinder Morgan Jeep on October 29, she was compelled to come up to the mountain and start talking to the caretakers. As grandmother and mother, she said, she feels a special connection to the mountain and to the people defending it. She was on Burnaby Mountain, up the hill from the camp, on May 31, 1997 when she got the news that her only daughter had been murdered. […]

Arrested on Thursday after lying down on the cedar log her younger brother is carving into a totem pole, next to the spot where Kinder Morgan has been drilling 24 hours day, she has returned almost every day to tend the fire, along with indigenous women from these territories and others. They have kept the fire burning through the night, inviting elders and young people to come sit with them. RCMP moved the fire from its original spot inside the camp to an area out of the way of Kinder Morgan’s equipment, but it’s still inside police lines, which means anyone hoping to get near it needs police permission and escort.

As drilling continues round the clock and Kinder Morgan gets closer to finishing this round of work, people continue flood the mountain. A group of women acting in solidarity with the Klabona Keepers, the Tahltan elders fighting an injunction to protect the Sacred Headwaters of northern BC, spoke out yesterday and crossed police lines. A bus full of organizers and activists from Victoria got on the ferry to spend some time on the mountain. Burnaby residents continue to supply food and firewood in spite of the road closure and heavy police presence.

Kinder Morgan will likely finish its drilling and leave with the information it came for, but the caretakers have ensured the company will at least think twice before coming back again.

Friends (Canadian or otherwise)! Please, PLEASE sign this and send it along. It literally takes 30 seconds out of your day.

We, the First Nations of the Yinka Dene Alliance, have acted on our laws to ban Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and similar tar sands projects from our territories, and we are committed to using all lawful means to stop this devastating project from ever being built through our lands and waters. The federal government has approved Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project, attempting to ignore the First Nations that have joined together to create a powerful and unbroken wall of opposition. At this critical time, we are asking you to stand with us to Hold the Wall.