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Uncomfortable thought (or 2) on Harper’s stand-offish attitude to Truth and Reconciliation Report

Some of you may have read this at Rabble the other day, about a theory Karl Nerenberg has as to why Harper seems to not support the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s findings or its recommendations:

The reason Harper and his government have adopted this grin-and-bear-it attitude toward the TRC is that they hear other voices than those that have flooded the media this week. The Conservative leader is acutely aware that many of his party’s “base” have views quite at variance with the “politically correct” consensus…the fact that there is so much openly anti-First Nations blather out there, shielded by the cloak of Internet anonymity, suggests that […]


The Niqab Hijab etc.. real issue.

By now, you know that a Federal Court has ruled against the Government of Canada that wanted veils/face coverings removed for the “ceremonial” part of the citizenship ceremony to become a Canadian citizen. (more specifically, niqabs, and apparently hijabs). You also know that Prime Minister Harper has decided to go on a rant about that, calling it against Canadian values, etc.. and the Conservative Party is fundraising on the issue.

I can go on about how this is attempting to appeal to the base fears and prejudices of Canadian society, and how they’re trying to cynically use this issue to help win the upcoming election, but I’m looking at […]


Harper / PMO: “The Inuit knew about the Franklin ships? Who knew?”

APTN demonstrates how low a priority First Nations relations are with the Harper government at the moment:

The Franklin expedition ship found by researchers on the Arctic seabed has a detailed and colourful history within Inuit oral tradition, yet the Inuit garnered only one 17-word sentence among the press releases and backgrounders released by the Prime Minister’s Office at the time after Tuesday’s announced discovery…the general public wouldn’t know about the key role Inuit oral history played in the selection of the search area by reading the information posted on the PMO’s website. There, the role of the Inuit in the Franklin saga is mentioned only in passing….The PMO did […]


Robo-con thoughts.

That’s what we’re naming this alleged electoral fraud scheme – at least on Twitter, apparently. My thoughts on this are as follows:

– Is Harper or high ranking members of the PMO involved? I don’t know, but the fact this is the party who has done never-before seen attack-ads in between elections, smearing opposition leaders, not to mention admitted robo-calls to Irwin Cotler’s riding, plus a plea bargain with the in-and-out issue, doesnt exactly give them a lot of credibility when they deny stuff. The Elections Canada and RCMP investigations will have to bear that out.

– Those aforementioned tactics would also be certain to make some of his more […]


Contradiction? What contradiction?

Prime Minister Harper in China on the tarsands:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper blasted “foreign money and influence” behind critics of Canada’s oil sands even as he welcomed Chinese investment in Canada’s energy sector…At the same time, he made clear he does not equate Chinese foreign investment in oil sands development with the unwanted “foreign money” behind environmental groups, and that he sees no irony in the contradiction.

He isn’t even trying anymore to hide what seems to many to be obvious hypocrisy on this position – and this article isn’t even mentioning other multinational or US based oil companies that spend millions promoting the tarsands to Canadians as being the […]


Olive: Time to play hardball with Caterpillar (but you can bet the Conservatives won’t)

Here is a very hard-line piece from David Olive today in the Star about what the Canadian government should do about Caterpillar – a tone I’m not used to seeing Olive, the Star’s business columnist, come out and write in his pieces, so he’s obviously ticked off:

We could nationalize EMD, for which there is abundant precedent across the continent. America’s third-largest bank, biggest insurer and dominant home-mortgage guarantors are now wards of the state. Short of nationalization, Ottawa could impose prohibitive tariffs on all Cat products. That might eventually bring Athabasca tarsands production, heavily reliant on Caterpillar equipment, to a halt. Which would be a useful topic of discussion […]


Public backlash forces Harper to back down a bit on OAS cuts

Conservative MP’s are often described as parrots for doing nothing but repeating scripted phrases over and over again in defense of their government, or being not the brightest bunch in the world. However, they are smart enough to recognize when the voters get mad, and concerned enough about their own electoral well-being to bring it up to Harper:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s musings about possible changes to Old Age Security have resulted in a public backlash — and complaints from his own MPs. Conservative MPs have been overwhelmed with emails and phone calls from constituents who have been concerned about their retirement pensions since Harper mused on the need to […]


Harper needs to come clean on his Old Age Security ‘reforms’

Parliament resumes very shortly as of this writing. It is to be hoped that Stephen Harper will deem Parliament important enough to reveal the details on his very public musings in Davos Switzerland last week about Old Age Security needing to be “reformed” – an announcement that couldn’t wait for Parliament to re-open this week, apparently.

It should be hoped that Harper’s “plan” consists a bit more then this:



Harper to First Nations: Bother my MP’s, not me, with your issues.

I’ve not seen another article come out yet on the meeting that Harper had with the First Nation’s Chiefs other then this one, but from the First Nations perspective, their concerns appear to have been taken rather lightly by the PM, to say the least:

First Nations leaders will be listening closely to the words Prime Minister Stephen Harper chooses in his speech at the Crown-First Nations gathering Tuesday after he left chiefs feeling underwhelmed by his response to their presentations during a special, two-and-a-half hour meeting with a delegation Monday. Harper told chiefs that they should consider contacting their MPs and that he can’t just focus on Aboriginal issues […]


‘Canada is becoming a jingoistic petro-state’

Who made that declaration a couple of days ago in the US? The Nation? Daily Kos? Some other left-wing publication?

Nope. Slate did – and Slate isn’t exactly known for its left-wing tendencies. A rather unflattering portrait of it’s northern neighbour:

It’s well known that America’s dependence on foreign oil forces us to partner with some pretty unsavory regimes. Take, for instance, the country that provides by far the largest share of our petroleum imports. Its regime, in thrall to big oil interests, has grown increasingly bellicose, labeling environmental activists “radicals” and “terrorists” and is considering a crackdown on nonprofits that oppose its policies. It blames political dissent on the […]

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