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Do you consider folks of a different political ideology your ‘enemy’?

I ask that because apparently John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Minister, does.

Mr Baird has been rightly praised for condemning Russia’s anti-gay laws and for taking on the social conservative REAL Women group for their condemnation of him doing so. His one day of praise, at least with me, is over for this quote he did today when asked to comment on whether his friend Tim Hudak of the Ontario PC party should have a leadership review or not:

Former MPP John Baird, now federal foreign affairs minister, said Klees and Hillier “should be focusing on the real enemy” instead of joining forces with “nervous nellies.”

Enemies? People of different […]


I guess the ‘almighty dollar’ spoke

Apparently, a majority government has changed the Conservative’s attitudes towards China:

Canada’s relationship with China will be the “centrepiece” of its Asian diplomatic ties, said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird on Wednesday… Pushed on whether the growing trade relationship with the economic juggernaut is coming at the cost of Canadian values such as human rights, Baird said Canada could have the best of both worlds. “Canadian interests and Canadian values – we’re not going to make a choice between one or the other,” Baird said. “Neither one is more important than the other.”

It’s a different stance than Prime Minister Stephen Harper took in 2006, following an apparent snub when […]


Classless Conservatives

A young teenage boy just died of H1N1 in Toronto, and here we have Conservative MP’s (and apparently cabinet ministers – led apparently and not surprisingly by the classless John Baird) laughing and heckling Dr. Carloyn Bennett as she tried to ask a question about H1N1 and the vaccine as it related to pregnant women.

Bennett is right – there isnt anything funny about this – but if you listen to the hecklers, you’d think it was a laugh a minute. I’m sure the parents of Evan Frustaglio find this behaviour disgraceful.


So much for that prediction

Stockwell Day issued a “don’t worry, be happy” newsletter to his constituents the past week, declaring the recession to be over.

So much for that prediction, and now you know why other government cabinet ministers distanced themselves from that declaration:

The gross domestic product fell 0.5 per cent in May, a faster rate of decline than in the previous three months..The output of the energy sector dropped a further 2.3 per cent in May as oil-and-gas extraction as well as associated support activities posted significant declines…The manufacturing sector continued to fall in May, down 1.6 per cent, with about half the decrease due to a 21 per cent drop in […]


Contradictions on the economy

Some of you may have received another one of those Conservative Party fliers in your mailbox today, highlighting the fact that the International Monetary Fund praised Canada for its economic stimulus package, which therefore, according to the propaganda spin in the flier, means that the Conservative government is on the right track with its plan of fighting the global economic crisis.

In this flier however, there is a complete lack of any specifics of where all this stimulus money has been spent or is being spent, and how much of it has even been allocated. The only thing the government wants to highlight in its ad is it’s “cutting taxes”; […]

Share lays the smackdown on John Baird’s campaign

This is an amusing story and typical of how John Baird operates (like a clown). officially launched their campaign today taking on the Harper government’s inactivity on climate change. Avaaz falls under third-party status during an Canadian election whereby a third party is allowed to spend a maximum of 150 grand on a national scale during the election period.

The news conference itself was rather ho-hum according to Kady O’Malley, at least until one of John Baird’s staffers – the Environment Minister and one of the Conservative MP’s that Avaaz is going to be targeting in their ad campaign – showed up with some literature:

…a stack of freshly printed press releases bearing the fabulously evocative headline: SHADOWY FOREIGN ORGANIZATION ATTEMPTING TO INFLUENCE CANADIAN ELECTION – which would be awesome enough all on its own, but the subhead made it even better: Apparently – their words, not mine – a Wall Street Billionaire is bankrolling [the] campaign. What Wall Street Billionaire might that be? Oh, my ears and whiskers, youll never guess the man whose very existence can spark six American C/conservative conspiracy theories before breakfast: George Soros.

Baird’s campaign charged that Avaaz was a “foreign organization” and filed an official complaint with Elections Canada trying to bar them from launching their ad campaign. Problem for them was, as Kady O’Malley explains in a later update – the Avaaz folks already had their i’s dotted and their t’s crossed, and Elections Canada didn’t think they were shadowy OR foreign and perfectly legal within Canadian election laws:

In fact, the Avaaz campaign is exclusively run and funded by Canadians, and has been fully reviewed and registered as a legitimate third party by Elections Canada and is listed on its website. Avaaz pro actively initiated full consultations with Elections Canada lawyers, who approved the application. Our campaign is of, by, and for Canadians, and strictly Canadian money is being used, thats verified by an auditor registered with Elections Canada, said Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel. We have been very careful about this, to even go beyond normal procedure to discuss our campaign with Elections Canada lawyers, and we are 100% in compliance with Canadian law.

Furthermore, they talked to Baird’s staff about their complaints and encouraged them to ask Elections Canada, but they didn’t bother, and decide to distribute their press releases anyhow.

Cue the Conservative outrage and whining again about how Elections Canada is “biased” against the Conservatives, or how they’re now involved in a conspiracy with a bunch of shadowy foreigners from Avaaz (who happen to have, by the way, an office in Ottawa). You can see this coming a mile away, can’t you?


John Baird has priorities..

… and one of them certainly isn’t the Environment. Perhaps he or the PMO figured out his credibility is shot on that file. He’s a rather curious choice though to be the Cabinet Minister in charge of announcing that we’re going to be looking for a couple of lost ships, I suppose since Parks Canada is undertaking the search, it would technically fall under his mandate, and I suppose it’s better then having to listen to his usual blowhard self attacking the Green Shift.

H/T to Life In Moderation on the boat search story.


This is how bad the Conservatives environmental plan is..

Another organization criticized it. Yes, yes, nothing new – the conservative right-wing will say the environmentalists are always taking us to task. Except this time, the body criticizing the government’s plans was none other then Environment Canada itself:

Stephen Harper’s climate-change plan was shredded by his own government’s environment watchdog just as the prime minister prepared to trumpet it at a United Nations conference next week…The report comes at a less-than-ideal moment for the prime minister, who heads to New York on Monday to deliver a speech before 80 world leaders about his approach to climate change.

Ha, ha. That must burn Steve between the ears. How dare someone inconveniently […]

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