Sunday, 28 March 2010

Opposition considering Censure of the Tories

Censure Tories over detainee handling, MPs urged -

Mendes, one of the country’s top constitutional scholars, said
Parliament’s power exceeds that of the various national security laws
that have been used to censor government memos and diplomatic cables
describing who was warned about possible war crimes violations going
back to early 2006, when Canadian soldiers moved to Kandahar province.

That leaves MPs with two paths forward: they can ask the Supreme
Court of Canada to rule on their right to access the information, a
process that could take years; or they can invoke a rarely used power to
censure, expel and even imprison any member of the House of Commons for

I say, throw Harper and his gang of crooks in jail so parliament can get on with its work.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Mike Harris Library? More appropriate to name a rifle range after him.

Is a Mike Harris library a silly idea? -
Looks good on the people who kept voting in this horrible horrible man who destroyed Ontario. But ...

But this "learning" library is going to be in the core of the Nippising University and Canadore College.  It would be a totally inappropriate name, considering the hate Harris had for education while he was premier of Ontario.

Nipissing Students (and Friends) Against the Mike Harris Library - Facebook page
Interview with creator of this page:

A Harris Library would be an insult
"This is a very cynical attempt to whitewash the political record of a
man whose legacy will forever be stained with the blood of one of our
citizens, " said Madahbee. "This would be an insult to the Anishinabek
and all First Peoples in Ontario if Mike Harris’ name is attached to
the library in any way.”

Madahbee was commenting on reports that
Nipissing University in Harris's home town of North Bay was planning to
name a new Learning Library after the former premier, a move linked to
a recent $15-million donation to the Faculty of Education by financier
Seymour Schulich.

“From a First Nation perspective, it would be
more appropriate to name a rifle range after Mike Harris than a
library,” said Madahbee. “His contribution to our collective knowledge
is anything but a positive one."

A step in the right direction for Quebec

Quebec bans niqab from government services -
MONTREAL—Muslim women will need to uncover their faces from now on if
they want to deal with the Quebec government, according to landmark
legislation tabled Wednesday in the province.


That inquiry pointed out one lingering inconsistency in the argument
of those who claim to be defenders of a secular state: the giant
crucifix that still hangs on the wall of the provincial legislature.

Wednesday’s bill was silent on the Bouchard-Taylor commission’s
recommendation that the crucifix also be removed.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Canadian electoral districts now more unequal than ever

Unequal votes threatening Canadian democracy, study finds - The Globe and Mail
According to the study, if Ontario was properly represented in the
House, it would have 117 seats, rather than the current 106. British
Columbia would increase from 36 to 40, while Alberta would have 31
rather than 28.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Tories obstruct truth and justice yet again

Tories muzzling widow of rights agency head, she says -
Federal Conservatives are trying to block a grieving widow's emotional appeal to speak on behalf of her dead husband, the former president of Montreal's embattled Rights and Democracy.

Suzanne Trepanier says she has important details about the workings of the agency – and the tensions she blames in part for Rémy Beauregard's death Jan. 8 from a heart attack.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Harper hiding behind troops

Travers: Harper uses troops as political shield -
Determinedly obtuse reasonably describes his response this week when asked on YouTube why Conservatives routinely hide behind the troops when questioned about abuse.

Harper answered by again using soldiers as a shield. There's no evidence, he said for the umpteenth time, that Canadians did anything wrong.

That's an artful dodge that ducks not one but two of the most salient points. One is that the Red Cross, diplomat Richard Colvin and Afghan human rights watchdogs provided compelling warnings that Canadian prisoners were routinely tortured by Afghans. The other is that international law requires only suspicion, not proof, before a country transferring prisoners must act to protect them from abuse.

Harper's stonewall defence is disingenuous at best, deceptive at worst. It suggests he doesn't know the law or fears the truth.

Equally troubling, the Prime Minister's determination to shift the focus away from himself, ministers and most senior commanders puts at risk the very troops and military institutions that Conservatives accuse political rivals of attacking.

As sure as war is hell, the Afghanistan story will inevitably unfold and the walls will come tumbling down. When they do, Harper, his cabinet and at least one chief of defence staff will have much to explain.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

If the opposition does not force an election, then the will have given up a lot more power

Travers: They used to behead kings for what Harper is doing -
If the opposition parties do not vote to hold Harper in contempt for not releasing the Afghanistan-related documents regarding the torture scandal, then they are basically handing over their power to the prime minister's office and saying that they are answerable to the prime minister and not the other way around (as it is/is supposed to be).

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Why is Toronto not so bicycle friendly yet?

So, this is a cycling city? -
This story doesn't touch on the root of the problem. The root of the problem is the anti-cycling councillors who have been blocking real progress in making Toronto a much more bicycle-friendly city. So, it is not the city's track record or the Mayor's track record that is problematic. It is the voting record of a group of councillors. If I had the links for the stories on their voting records on this issue, I would add them to this post. But such news is not covered much by the MSM - but then they publish a story like this without any background - now, why is that do you suppose?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Harper government covering up the torture of Afghan prisoners because they intended them to be tortured

CBC News - Canada - Canada wanted Afghan prisoners tortured: lawyer
Federal government documents on Afghan detainees suggest that Canadian officials intended some prisoners to be tortured in order to gather intelligence, according to a legal expert.