Thursday, 30 June 2011

Conservatives give away Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd and pay the new owners $60 million

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. sold to SNC-Lavalin Group for $15 million - Winnipeg Free Press
Yesterday, the federal government sold crown corporation, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., to the Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group. The price tag was $15 million. But, the government also agreed to pay them $75 million for the development of AECL's enhanced CANDU 6 reactors.

Canada retains the rights to royalties on future sales which could reach about $285 million over 15 years (but if these are calculations from the Conservatives, considering their history with math, it is probably much less than this).

About 800 jobs will be cut from the research division.

This sale may leave current projects in New Brunswick and Ontario high and dry, without the promised federal funding.

Does this seem like a good deal for Canadians? I think not. As one commenter said: "Another corporate deal for Conservative friends."

The Conservatives are Looters In Suits - robbing Canadians and giving the money and resources to their wealthy friends.

Nothing here for most Canadians - move along.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Sun News reporter's conduct results in thousands of complaints

Complaints over Sun News interview overwhelm watchdog - The Globe and Mail
No surprise here.

Excerpt from article:

Viewers have sent in more than 4,350 complaints since the interview aired on the Sun News program Canada Live on June 1. The CBSC receives on average 2,000 complaints in total in any given year.

Erickson challenged Ms. Gillis to explain why artists like her deserve
public funding. The host shouted over many of her answers, and later
criticized Ms. Gillis for commenting in a different interview that
society has become less compassionate.

“I personally take
exception, and I know some of my colleagues do as well, to your
assertion that we are lacking in compassion when we have lost more than
150 soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, who have put their lives on
the line,” Ms. Erickson told her. “Which is frankly, quite a serious
business, okay, compared with people who are dancing on a stage. I just
don’t get where you get off suggesting that we are lacking in

The council has a code of ethics governing Canadian
broadcasters, which includes a clause requiring “full, fair and proper
presentation of news, opinion, comment and editorial.” That clause is
likely to be at issue in this process, said Ron Cohen, the CBSC’s
national chair.

Facebook page: How to help stop Sun News TV hate propaganda

CUPW will challenge the back-to-work legislation

Canada Post union to challenge back-to-work legislation in court -
As I was pointing out, the legislation is illegal, and the union is going to challenge it in court.
Now the decision will depend on if Harper has stacked the Supreme Court with enough of his judges already or not.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Stockwell Day sets up a firm to help lobbyists, gets the okay, and denies this is what he is doing

Ethics commission OKs Stockwell Day to start government consulting firm
Stockwell Day has set up Stockwell Day Connex, a company that will help looters in suits to lobby the government of looters in suits - all the while, denying that is what he is doing, and somehow he as got the okay to do this from the Ethics Commissioner.

Read the link.

And, the Ethics Commissioner is not commenting.
This really stinks. I hope there is a meaningful investigation.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Rob Ford: blundering on, tearing down Toronto bit by bit while his fans cheer him on.

Hume: Under Ford, city’s reputation for tolerance is strained -
While Ford’s hordes cheer him on in the most unseemly manner, cutting
off their collective nose to spite their collective face, they have
little to offer aside from insults and jeers. Not believing themselves a
part of Toronto, they are content to watch as it is dismantled by the

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Rob Ford - Ignorant, mean, or both?

Free nurses? No thanks, says Mayor Rob Ford -
Well, from our knowledge of Ford so far, we know that he is both mean and ignorant.
This time, he is turning down the offer from the province, of 2 free nurses who would work with new immigrants on disease prevention and would work with the poor to promote health services.

Excerpts from news story:

Mayor Rob Ford has rejected the province’s offer to hire two public
health nurses for Toronto at no cost to the city, drawing rebukes from
both the provincial health minister and a loyal council ally.

Ford’s Monday decision
marked the second time he has opposed a provincial health initiative
that would not have required any city funding. In February, he was the
lone dissenter in a 44-1 vote to accept provincial money for an effort
to encourage residents to be screened for HIV and syphilis.


A majority of the hand-picked committee voted with him. But in a rare
display of executive disharmony, budget committee chair Mike Del
Grande, public works chair Denzil Minnan-Wong, planning chair Peter
Milczyn, and and parks and environment chair Norm Kelly opposed.

Said Minnan-Wong on Tuesday: “The province is paying for two nurses
full-time. Why would you say no to additional public health nurses to
help out? Why would you say no?”

Speaking to reporters after the vote, Ford said he was concerned the
city would eventually have to pay. “Who is going to be on the hook for
it once the provincial funding goes? We are,” he said. “We have enough
people in public health right now.”

Filion called Ford’s fear “nonsense.” The nurses would simply cease their work if the provincial funding ever expired, he said.

“It’s a bizarre situation, it’s completely unprecedented, and I can
only assume it’s based on one of two things: complete ignorance of the
facts of the situation, or a deliberate case of using ideology to
trample on the most vulnerable in society,” Filion said.

The nurses can still be hired if a majority of council votes to
overturn the decision. Two thirds of council must first agree to take up
the issue.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Conservative back to work legislastion breaks the law and could result in lasting consequences

To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth: On back to work legislation. Whoa, deja vu.
It's worth noting that even lawyers aren't evading it as much as they used to. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada, in the BC Health Services
case, overturned much prior labour law in favour of reading a right to
collective bargaining into the Charter right to freedom of association.
(As yet, no right to strike. Baby steps.) This implies that, if
governments intervene in labour disputes, that intervention must not
"substantially interfere" in the ability to collectively bargain over
workplace issues.

I should also point out that back to work
legislation is hardly a panacea. In most labour disputes, a back to work
law is passed as a "cooling-off" period -- both sides having gotten a
little entrenched, the government sends everyone back to business as
usual for a time, and then allows them to resume bargaining. The reason
for doing this is that a back to work bill which remands everything to
binding arbitration doesn't settle the underlying conflict between
employer and union. It just boils up again as soon as the collective
agreement expires.
[The Conservative back to work legislation regarding the postal strike:]
The part that surprised me, though, is Section 15:
15. The new collective agreement is deemed to provide for the following increases to salaries:
(a) effective February 1, 2011, salaries in effect as of January 31, 2011 are increased by 1.75%;
(b) effective February 1, 2012, salaries in effect as of January 31, 2012 are increased by 1.5%;
(c) effective February 1, 2013, salaries in effect as of January 31, 2013 are increased by 2%; and
(d) effective February 1, 2014, salaries in effect as of January 31, 2014 are increased by 2%.
the government is gambling that CUPW won't take them to court -- or,
possibly, gambling that they can stack the court in time and well enough
to reverse or limit Health Services -- or they have really
shitty lawyers drafting their bills. (Or, I suppose, they didn't bother
to check the constitutionality of this. Harper's arrogant enough; I
would have thought the Ministry of Labour had some competent bureaucrats
vetting these things, though.) As far as I can tell, this
amount to "substantial interference" in the collective bargaining
process. A key issue in workplace bargaining is wages. The government's
bill not only legislates wages, but does so at levels that are well
either the union's last offer or Canada Post's. Section 13
(3) seems to eliminate even the arbitrator's power to change the
salaries. Once this bill becomes law, then no one, save the Supreme
Court, could change that contract term.

The only possible
justification I can see the government offering here is a section 1
justification under the Charter -- that the infringement of the right to
bargain collectively is a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be
demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. But this takes
us back to the liberty arguments, and the aspects of international law
which are universally in favour of a right to collectively bargain, to
unionize, and to strike.

If CUPW chooses to fight this
legislation in court, the government could be on its way to an
long-lasting and colossal error that will have significant impact on
labour relations in this country.
Health Services was decided
because the Gordon Campbell government in BC massively overreached -- it
launched an all-out war on labour in the province (a general strike was
being discussed as a possibility at one point), went too far, and got
the Supreme Court to limit the power of governments to intervene in
labour disputes. Harper may be the next right-winger to go too far, and
force the Court to limit the power of governments even further.

Harper's plans for the Senate will create a showdown against the provinces.

Senate showdown looms -
On one side, there will be the Conservative government. On the other side will be the opposition parties (or, at least the NDP) and the provinces - many of which would like to abolish the Senate altogether (as the NDP would like to do).

Ontario is poised to join Quebec in a constitutional showdown with
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his plans for Senate reform.

Quebec has already served notice
that it is preparing to challenge Harper’s go-it-alone approach to
changing the Senate — arguing that he can’t change a basic institution
of Parliament without the support of the provinces.


Such a battle would pit Harper’s majority government against Canada’s
two largest provinces and threaten to open up the kind of
constitutional quagmire that swallowed up the last Conservative majority
government in Canada in the 1980s and early 1990s.

It also could be a sign of a new frontier opening up in opposition to Harper’s Conservatives.

Harper’s main headaches were caused
by his federal political rivals when he had minority control in Ottawa
from 2006 to the recent election. But with a majority in Parliament,
easily able to pass his legislation, Harper may be forced to look
increasingly to the provinces for potential obstacles to his plans.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, a
former Ontario premier, agrees that Harper is out on a constitutional
limb in trying to change the Senate without provincial consent.

“Look, the Senate is a child of the
Constitution of Canada. It doesn’t belong to Stephen Harper,” Rae said.
“It’s all nonsensical. The Senate, if there’s going to be reform, it has
to start with the provinces and the federal government sitting down and
trying to get to an answer. And that’s the beginning and the end of

Constitutional expert Ned Franks also calls the new legislation “dead in the water.”

“That one is sure to get shot down by
the Supreme Court because that’s a substantial reform and that can’t be
done without the consent of the provinces,” Franks told the
Star’s Richard J. Brennan this week.

Ontario is now officially in favour
of abolishing the Senate — a position also championed by the NDP
opposition in Parliament, as well as several provinces such as Manitoba
and Nova Scotia.

“If the government is going to insist
on reforming the Senate, we think it should be abolished,” Smith said,
echoing Premier Dalton McGuinty’s recent declarations on that same


NDP leader Jack Layton said Tuesday that the proposed reforms just
reinforce his party’s view that the Senate should be abolished. Just
before the last election, the NDP introduced a bill to hold a nationwide
referendum on scrapping the Senate.

“They are going to create a monster
here, because you will have at the end of the day … an elected body that
may or may not be elected, that the Prime Minister may or may not
accept the recommendations that come out of an election,” Layton said.
“It’s going to be one ugly scene and throughout that generation, we will
spend $100 million a year feeding this beast which will by and large
stand in the way of democracy in this country … It’s a disaster for
Canadian democracy, all wrapped up in the guise of Senate reform.”

New Davenport NDP MP Andrew Cash fighting for justice for Toronto business owners affected by the G20

Ottawa agrees to review G20 claims from Toronto business owners -

NDP MP Andrew Cash (Davenport) accused the government of trying to
bury businesses in paperwork hoping they will “just quietly go away.”

“Toronto businesses inside and around the G20 zone suffered millions
in damages and they are not going away,” Cash said during Question
Period. “It has now been a year without compensation and these folks are
still suffering.”

Baird responded that Cash had “raised a legitimate concern about the adequacy of the funding and are the rules too strict.”

“I am certainly prepared to review that,” he said.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Harper wants 100% control of the media, not just 90%

LAWRENCE MARTIN: Shades of Nixon: The PM’s media suspicions | iPolitics
Harper is aiming to wage a war against the so-called Liberal media - the media of which 90% supported the Conservatives in the recent election. Harper wants control of that last 10%. Read the article.


Here’s a prime minister coming off a triumphant election, one in
which he received editorial endorsement from 90 per cent of the
country’s newspapers. He has the country’s major media chains in his
corner. For an official opposition, he has a party, the New Democrats,
with barely a single major media backer in the land.

Yet one of
Stephen Harper’s first post-election moves is to mount a vituperative
campaign against journalists. His party president, John Walsh, sends out
a letter soliciting funds to fight what he calls the hailstorm of
negative attacks from the media elite. Stockwell Day joins the fray with
broadsides at the Conservative convention. Senate leader Marjory
LeBreton climbs aboard with fourth estate denunciations.

Does this
have the look of something straight out of Nixonland. We recall Spiro
Agnew, Tricky Dick’s Vice President, and his attacks on the “nattering
nabobs of negativism.” Whether he went so far as to try and publicly
bankroll an attack fund, I’m not sure.


The Conservatives’ post-election media strategy is a continuance of
the Harper campaign to limit access to real information. It piggybacks
on the vetting system Harper brought to Ottawa, the roadblocks put up in
front of the Access to Information process, the limits on questions at
press conferences and the like. It’s part of the wider strategy to make
all the Ottawa power blocks — Parliament, the civil service, agencies,
watchdog groups and his own party — more and more subservient.

though the media here is predominantly conservative, even though the
preponderance has been augmented with the arrival of Sun TV, it still
isn’t enough. The PM wants to go further. He wants the fourth estate,
like much of the rest of the nation’s capital, down on bended knee.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Toronto G20: One thug down, many to go.

Toronto police officer charged in G20 assault -
Many more officers guilty of assault causing bodily harm will remain at large and uncharged due to a system that fails ordinary citizens when trusted police officers break the law.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Con Reasoning: We're corrupt, so we'll put the most corrupt in charge of the money

Fraud-charged Senator leads Tory fundraising review
Irving Gerstein, Harper-appointed Senator, Conservative Fund Board Chair, who, along with 3 other Conservative officials, was charged in the In and Out affair (election fraud from the previous election), is now in charge of reviewing the party campaign fundraising strategy.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Ontario NDP would cap gas prices

New Democrats will stop price gouging at the pump: Horwath « Ontario NDP
An NDP government in Ontario would set weekly price caps on the cost of gasoline.

Five provinces and many U.S. states have some sort of price cap on gasoline. The benefits have resulted in reduced price volatility, competition and efficiency, and eliminated opportunistic price gouging.

Ontario NDP would role back tax cuts for corporations

New Democrats will scrap McGuinty’s corporate tax rate giveaway: Horwath « Ontario NDP
It's been proven time and again that giving tax cuts to corporations doesn't create jobs for Canadians and doesn't boost the economy. Corporate tax cuts only boost the profit for the corporations.
And, the corporate business parties of the Conservatives and Liberals are all in favour of continuing to give our money to corporations.

So, the Ontario NDP plan to roll back these tax cuts and use the money for Ontario instead of corporate pockets is a very good thing and just makes sense.

Looters in Suits (The Harper Conservative government) outed - again. G8 Spending.

Ministers didn't follow policies for G8 spending: AG - Politics - CBC News
The report shows that the Conservatives spent money in their ridings ignoring their own guidelines and transparency, and without reason, basically looting from government funds to buy votes in their ridings.

See also:
Toronto Star: Conservatives misled Parliament over G8 costs: Auditor General

Brigette DePape speaks out

Why I did it: Senate page explains her throne speech protest -
Brigette DePape

I am moved by the excitement and energy with which people

from all walks of life across this country greeted my action in the

One person alone cannot accomplish much, but they must at least do

what they can. So I held out my “Stop Harper” sign during the throne
speech because I felt I had a responsibility to use my position to
oppose a government whose values go against the majority of Canadians.

The thousands of positive comments shared online, the printing of
“Stop Harper” buttons and stickers and lawn signs, and the many calls
for further action convinced me that this is not merely a country of
people dissatisfied with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s vision for

It is a country of people burning with desire for change.

If I was able to do what I did, I know that there are thousands of others capable of equal, or far more courageous, acts.

I think those who reacted with excitement realize that politics
should not be left to the politicians, and that democracy is not just
about marking a ballot every few years. It is about ensuring, with daily
engagement and resistance, that the vision we have for our society is
reflected in the decision-making of our government.

Our views are not represented by our political system. How else could
we have a government that 60 per cent of the people voted against? A
broken system is what has left us with a Conservative government ready
to spend billions on fighter jets we don’t need, to pollute the
environment we want protected, to degrade a health-care system we want
improved, and to cut social programs and public sector jobs we value. As
a page, I witnessed one irresponsible bill after another pass through
the Senate, and wanted to scream “Stop.”

Such a system leads us to feel isolated, powerless and hopeless —
thousands of Canadians made that clear in their responses to my action.
We need a reminder that there are alternatives. We need a reminder that
we have both the capacity to create change, and an obligation to. If my
action has been that reminder, it was a success.

Media and politicians have argued that I tarnished the throne speech,
a solemn Canadian tradition. I now believe more in another tradition —
the tradition of ordinary people in this country fighting to create a
more just and sustainable world, using peaceful direct action and civil

On occasion, that tradition has found an inspiring home within
Parliament: In 1970, for instance, a group of young women chained
themselves to the parliamentary gallery seats to protest the Canadian
law that criminalized abortion. Their action won national attention, and
helped propel a movement that eventually achieved abortion’s

Was such an action “appropriate”? Not in the conventional sense. But
those women were driven by insights known to every social movement in
history: that the ending of injustices or the winning of human rights
are never gifts from rulers or from parliaments, but the fruit of
struggle and of people power in the streets.

Actions like these provide the answer to the Harper government. When
Harper tries to push through policies and legislation that hurt our
communities and country, we all need to find our inner activist, and
flow into the streets. And what is a stop sign after all, but a nod to
the symbol of the street where a people amassed can put the brakes on
the Harper government?

I’ve been inspired by Canadians taking action, and inspired too by my
peers rising up in North Africa and the Middle East. I am honoured to
have since received a message
from young activists there, saying that we need not just an Arab spring
but a “world spring,” using people power to combat whatever ills exists
in each country.

I have been inspired most of all by Asmaa Mahfouz, the 26-year-old woman who issued a video
calling for Egyptians to join her in Tahrir Square. People did, and
they together made the Egyptian revolution. Her words will always stay
with me: “As long as you say there is no hope, then there will be no
hope, but if you go and take a stand, then there will be hope.”

Brigette DePape is a recent graduate of the
University of Ottawa. She has started a fund to support peaceful direct
action and civil disobedience against the Harper agenda:

Let Freedom Rain delves into the corporate media's misunderstanding of DePape's protest.
Jarvis doesn't get it. What needs to be done in this country is to
destroy Canada's conservative journalism. The overwhelming
misinformation and prejudice of our journalists' overreaching embrace of
conservative values and money is what is rotting away in Canada's
psyche. We are tired of a news monopoly owned by the Conservative party.

Brigette DePape broke through that monopoly and made its beneficiaries,
like Jarvis, squirm in their privileged seats. While DePape thrives in
blogs, news stories and on T-Shirts, Jarvis collects cheques for doing
virtually nothing but represent the Globe's beloved Conservative party.

Canada Post cuts home deliver to 3 days a week.

Canada Post cuts home delivery to 3 days a week -
I swear that I only get delivery 3 days a week now and in the past few months.
Long before this strike, there have been days when the building has got no mail delivery.
So, for me, this official plan to temporarily cut deliver to 3 days a week will probably not change anything.
I wonder what our mail-person is doing on the days he/she is supposed to be delivering our mail. Maybe if Canada Post cut this person's pay by 40% (for 40% less work being done), then he/she would wake up.

Now, back to the story at hand.
There has been a drop of about 50% in the use of Canada Post to send things. So, they had to reduce the delivery service or lose even more money.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Brigette DePape: Silently speaking truth to power

Brigette DePape: Silently speaking truth to power |

Brigette was fortunate to have found herself in an unusual position -
privileged yet powerless. On the one hand, she was honoured to have
been selected as a Senate page, a position difficult to attain and one
coveted by students dreaming of political careers. But for someone with
Brigette's integrity and passion for justice, the excitement of being a
page soon wore thin. At some point she realized that it presented a
creative way for her to turn a completely powerless position into an
opportunity to express her political views with the hope of raising
awareness and mobilizing toward change.

In an age when newspapers have the power to influence voters by
endorsing politicians who put business interests before public interest;
in a society where a political party is given a majority government in
spite of demonstrating its disregard and disrespect for the
parliamentary process; and in a society where the acquisition of a
hockey team gets more media attention in one day than many issues of
significant public relevance get in a decade, Brigette selflessly and
brilliantly played the card that she had available to her, in spite of
the unknown consequences to her as an individual.

In this single act of peaceful defiance, Brigette has become a symbol
of hope for many who are concerned with the direction the Harper
government may try to take us in. She has sent a signal to her
generation, and to all of us, that we have an important role to play in
changing that course. And she has re-energized the progressive but often
cynical members of her parents' generation to continue to press for
change. Brigette stepped up when we needed a shot of hope and optimism.

Even Ford's budget chief says Rob's math is hurting Toronto

Don’t kill land transfer tax, budget chair advises -
Isn't it curious? All those people bad-mouthing David Miller and his governance of Toronto. Yet, Miller managed the finances well and ended up with a surplus.
Now, those who bath-mouthed Miller have their stooge Rob Ford in office. And Rob has totally screwed up the city finances. First he cuts large revenues for the city, and now he is facing a large deficit of his own doing. Do we hear them bad-mouthing Ford. No. Hypocrites. I'd love to say you get what you deserve, but I, and other reasonable-minded people live in Toronto too. Maybe now some of Ford's fawning drooling lackies on council will begin to realize that voting for everything the mayor tells them to vote for might not be such a good idea.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Ford and his lackies are stifling the city

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things - Torontoist

Rob Ford and many on city council do not yet seem to have a grasp on
this concept of the living city. It was Ford, after all, who proposed during his mayoral campaign
that we discourage immigration of new people into Toronto until we
figured out how to deal with the population we have. Despite what Mayor
Ford may believe, however, we cannot just hit the pause button while we
figure things out. Any attempt at planning or governing a city through
the pause button is like building a box around a growing plant: the
plant will still grow, but it will become distorted—and eventually it
will burst through, whether you want it to or not.

In cancelling, modifying, or delaying projects—some already funded
and ready to go—Ford has begun to pick at this city, pulling the ends of
what he deems to be small, useless threads. The thing about the city,
though, is that what may seem like small, expendable threads turn out to
be woven and connected to so many other things, that when you tug on
them hard enough something you didn’t expect begins to unravel too.

The greatest mistake of this administration, and the one that will
leave the most lasting legacy of harm, is the simplistic view of the
city as something to be managed and not something to be built, or fed,
or nurtured. The view that aspirational projects are elitist and thus
not worthy of consideration. The view that public spaces suck money and
offer nothing back. The view that if we just squeeze our public services
tight enough a few pennies will pop out.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Senate protester DePape offered job by Michael Moore

Doc maker Michael Moore backs rogue page over stunt -
"For a young person to do that and to do it peacefully, and quietly
and with grace, I thought it was a very powerful moment,” Moore told The
Canadian Press on Sunday from New York.

“Every now and then there is an
iconic moment where an individual takes action, and it inspires others
to think about, you know, what else would we be doing.”

“It's nice to have the support of people who think critically,” DePape said by phone on Sunday.

Moore said a functioning democracy should “encourage you to be disrespectful, to question what is going on.”

“I think that Canada and Canadians
probably need to put aside the full respect thing and bring out their
inner hockey stick and get to work on preventing their government from
turning into a version of ours,” he said.

DePape said she has no regrets about
the incident and remains convinced the best way to stop the Harper
government is through acts of civil disobedience.

“I really think it's only through
inappropriate action that you can challenge the status quo and have real
change,” she said, adding that she's been overwhelmed by positive
feedback from Canadians.

“It's been really inspiring.”

More than a dozen Facebook pages in
support of DePape have already popped up, with names such as “Canadian
hero” and a “True Canadian Patriot.”

“You are such an encouragement for
this old WWII veteran and I so admire your courage and commitment to
this just cause for which you stand so bravely,” said a comment
attributed to Bruce Jones that was posted on one Facebook page.

A “Stop Harper” protest inspired by DePape has already been planned for Ottawa on June 10.

From Moore's web site:

Best Contempt of Parliament Ever!
Speaker of Canadian Senate holds DePape in "Contempt of Parliament" – the same thing Stephen Harper's government was charged with for lying to and concealing information from parliament.

Brigette Marcelle - Stop Harper Facebook page.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Why Do The Poor Continue To Defend Tax Breaks for the Rich?

Why do the Poor Continue to Defend tax Breaks for the Rich
Great post by Cory McCray. This applies to Canadians too.

Sometimes I just don’t understand why there is always a financially
struggling college kid, a low wage worker, or a middle class citizen
that feel as though they have to go out of their way to defend tax
breaks for the rich. At least once a month I find one person that wants
to argue against their own interest and it continues to baffle me.

Their argument is always that government can’t tax or has to cut
taxes for large corporations or millionaires so that they can invest in
the economy and create jobs. My first question for them is “Have you ever heard of General Electric?”
Here is a corporation that paid zero dollars ($0.00) in corporate
taxes, and received a tax benefit of 3.2 billion dollars. In addition,
they are still shipping American jobs overseas. General Electric has
over 300 tax lawyers that help them evade paying taxes and find every
corporate loophole known to man. They do not need another lobbyist that
is paycheck “free”. The people that need to be heard or need lobbyist
are the middleclass
that had to almost give up their right arm for a tax break, the federal
workers who are receiving a two year freeze in pay, and the state
workers that have been taking furlough days for the last four years.
Those are the people that need to be represented and have their voices

Read the top link for the full story.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Brigette DePape reminds us of our duty

Some people are upset with the protest in the Senate by Senate page Brigette DePape.
The issue is not when and where and how she protested (in the Senate in the middle of the Throne Speech). The issue is that the Canada that we value and have worked hard to put together and improve is at stake. The electoral system has failed us. 40% of those who voted, a minority, voted for the Conservatives. And, of all the eligible voters, this only represents 24%. With support of only 24% of Canadian voters, we now have a Conservative majority
government that is hell-bent on dismantling our country. Make no mistake - their clear goal is nothing but to loot our country and dismantle all that we value and have worked for.

This calls for drastic measures by the Canadian public to bring more attention to what is at stake, and to put pressure on the Conservative government to not follow through with their plan of destruction, but to properly govern and represent the majority in their policies and actions.

Brigette reminded us today of our duty.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Update: - Behind DePape's protest, a question: "What will change things, then?"

A Senate page is fired for saying what most Canadians are saying

Senate page fired for anti-Harper protest - Politics - CBC News
A page stands in the middle of the floor of the Senate as Governor General David Johnston delivers the speech from the throne in the Senate chamber on Parliament Hill on Friday.
Brigette DePape, a Senate page,  stood on the Senate floor during the Governor General's reading of the speech from the throne holding a Stop Harper sign. She was nearing the end of her term as a page. She was removed and fired.

From Brigette's news release:
"Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation,"
DePape said in the release. "We have to stop him from wasting billions
on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting
social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country
know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy
environment for future generations."

"This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring, a flowering of
popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things
lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act
together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces."

Hear hear!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Ford wastes city money painting over art the city had paid for

Artist says city erased mural it paid him to paint -
Methinks Ford wanted to paint over the art that was commissioned by an old political foe - Adam Giambrone.

Rob Ford's Gravy Train amount: $2,000 (plus the cost to paint over the commissioned art).