Showing posts with label cons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cons. Show all posts

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The last time someone as paranoid and vindictive as Stephen Harper was thwarted...

The one entity, one independent power that has stymied Stephen Harper again and again, contradicted his agenda, limited his options and overturned his decisions MULTIPLE TIMES in just the last few months has been the Supreme Court of Canada.

Does Stephen Harper strike anyone as someone who responds well to independent oversight or any restrictions on the exercise of his power?  Can we really count on Harper placidly accepting such an infuriating limitation on his exercise of power - clearly his number one constant priority?

There is a precedent, for a similar powerful, suspicious, paranoid and dictatorial leader being challenged by the judicial branch and lashing out violently in defiance of constitutional norms.  Should Canadians be watchful for our own high court equivalent of the Saturday Night Massacre?

Tuesday, May 06, 2014


Piece by piece Allison Redford's agenda of betrayal of the public service workers and progressive Albertans who elected her is rolled back, invalidated by the courts, abandoned and repudiated by the government. A premier who assumed all we Albertans were just inconveniently mouthy bit part players in her heroic story returns to the legislature to watch another major plank of her government shrivel and die.

Schadenfreude is the only appropriate response.

Former Alberta premier Alison Redford’s ill-conceived anti-union project is in shambles tonight, with an agreement to send two bills attacking public sector pensions to a legislative committee where they can die with dignity. 
With the car in the ditch, wheels spinning and headlights pointed skyward, the Progressive Conservative government of Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock agreed this afternoon to send the two controversial pension bills to the committee, which is supposed to report back in the fall. 
If sanity prevails within the PC caucus and the party remains mired at current levels of unpopularity, it seems likely this will lead to the eventual demise of both Bill 9, the Public Sector Pension Plans Amendment Act, 2014, and Bill 10, the Employment Pension (Private Sector) Plans Amendment Act, 2014. 
The agreement by Mr.Hancock’s PC government and all three Opposition parties also suggests the repudiation by Mr. Hancock personally of the radical program attacking public service unions and employees that emerged unexpectedly in the second year of the leadership of fired premier Redford, who finally reappeared in the Legislature today.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Yes, they are disenfranchised. Some of them don’t work for us anymore. But in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter." - McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts

Betts spends much of the conference call railing against the CBC's coverage of the controversy — but admits there is truth to the stories.
"Here’s the kicker. The kicker is there’s an element of truth in each of these stories," Betts said.

"What we’ve got to do is fix what we have in the restaurants concerning the temporary foreign workers.
"But what we’ve also learned is that we have other opportunities in the people area that we also need to take care of. Violations of labour law. And those are the kind of things that suddenly become compounded because we have another issue over here, that’s very emotional in Canada."
With regard to the company's decision to halt its Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Betts told concerned franchisees that, "In dealing with the government, the smartest move was to pre-empt their move in terms of suspending us."
"I think the relationship we build with the minister here is a politically astute one to be taking. Because they're feeling the heat big time before this story broke and now it's bigger and bigger," he went on.
"They need to see us as partners in this as a brand that can help them make some progress on this and at the same time give us an opportunity to clean ourselves up."
At no point during the recording does the CEO mention hiring Canadians instead of temporary foreign workers or go over the rules of the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The plan is to wait till the heat dies down and get right back to business as usual. If the TFW doesn't get a stake in the heart from the Canadian public here and now it will come roaring back to life as soon as the public isn't looking. And suspending it just for the food sector doesn't help miners, IT staff, oil riggers. 

This government is Corporate Canada's eager servant and they are committed to wage suppression as an over-riding ideology before any other priority.

Friday, April 11, 2014

They are incapable of Governing

At what point does the fact that the Conservative government is just not competent enough at the process of government to produce laws that don't violate our guaranteed Charter rights and are therefore stuck down by the courts constitute political malpractice?

Are they just deliberately batting foul balls to have something to shout about judicial activism to their mouth breathing base over?

The Conservative government’s tough-on-crime agenda has suffered another major blow at the Supreme Court of Canada. The court blocked the government’s attempt to stop judges from routinely giving extra credit to offenders for time served in jail before sentencing.
The 7-0 ruling continues the losing streak of the Harper government in major cases at the Supreme Court over the past month.
The unanimous ruling is even written by one of Harper's own appointees! They were repeatedly warned this would happen and deliberately pissed away MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to pass a law that anyone with even a child's understanding of the charter and existing sentencing law could and did tell them would be overturned by the courts. This is incompetence and wastefulness on a truly breathtaking scale.

Frankly it disqualifies them for governance.

Friday, January 31, 2014

If somebody who fought his way across Europe in 1944 wants to poke his finger into your chest you stand there and you take it

TORONTO - Turns out the public rage directed toward Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino was paid for by the union whose jobs are being cut.
The veterans' rage toward Fantino was put on display for the whole country to see. What wasn't told was their trip to Ottawa was paid for by the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
The whole show was orchestrated.
"The veterans were used by the union," Fantino said Thursday in his first interview since Tuesday's incident. "They were duped.
How condescending and disrespectful can you get? Its not his fault he was a rude self important pig, its the unions fault for 'duping' the apparently child-like and naive veterans. 

 Of course the Sun rushes to support even this feeble infantalizing claim like the loyal Tory PR firm that they are but check out the comments; its a bridge too far even for Sun readers and the scorn is withering.

Steyn by name, Stain by Nature

One of Canada's biggest blowhard exports south of the border may have plunged a stake into the heart of one of their premier right wing media operations.
The National Review magazine, longstanding house news organ of the establishment right, is facing a lawsuit that could shutter the publication permanently. According to The Week, a suit by a climate scientist threatens to bankrupt the already financially shaky publication and its website, the National Review Online (NRO). 
Scientist Michael Mann is suing the Review over statements made by Canadian right-wing polemicist and occasional radio stand-in for Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn. Steyn was writing on the topic of climate change when he accused Mann of falsifying data and perpetuating intellectual fraud through his research. 
Steyn went on to quote paid anti-climate science operative Rand Simberg — an employee of the right-wing think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute — who compared Mann to Penn State’s convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.
Though the National Review likes to style itself as the genteel intellectual voice of American conservatism they are in fact a hard right operation that supported segregation, Apartheid South Africa and some of the most retrograde and reactionary ideas in American politics.  More recently on the website side of their operation they suggested that President Obama's mother must have been a communist because only a communist white woman could have married a black man.

They've been losing money for years and far from depending on the all knowing unseen hand of the marketplace of ideas have depended on subsidization by various sources - they probably can't survive either losing the suit or having to settle it.  Funny how calling someone a cheat and a fraud and comparing them to a child molester might have consequences isn't it?

Sitting back and enjoying the show.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Nice Day for it

When Conservatives get in trouble due to their scummy worst instincts, whether it be covering up the deaths of scores of foster children in Alberta or being caught being pigs in the trough in the Senate they look for an enemy to burn at the stake or hang from the tallest tree to distract their nutter base.

The Auto-da-fé target du jour both provincially and federally is working Canadians who commit the horrific sin of banding together to defend and promote their interests, those evil thugs who believe employers owe their employees the opportunity to have a decent middle class lifestyle. The barking mad Conservative base is never happier than when someone half-baked libertarianism and sheer seething hatred for anyone who thinks differently than they do is getting it in the neck and the politician's corporate honchos are happy with the ongoing plan to turn Canada into a low wage economy in a mad race to the bottom with the slave labour economies of the developing world.

Middle Class Canadians watch their middle class lifestyles recede in the rear view mirror but maybe enough will say 'fuck you Jack, at least I've got MINE' to give the Conservatives another one of those razor thin margins of 30% or 35% of the population they laughingly refer to as a mandate.

"Oh well its a nice day for it, bring the kiddies - Oooh look at his feet kick!"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Don't insult us

The most rigid control freak running the most hierarchical top down PMO, controlling the most micro-managed government in Canadian history and we're supposed to believe Harper's chief of staff short-circuited Puffy's embarrassing audit with a thick wad of cash WITHOUT Harper's knowledge? Pull the other one.

Monday, April 08, 2013


Margaret Thatcher, dead at 87.

For those about to whine about respect for the dead, showing respect for this monster would constitute disrespect for her victims.

She was a vicious autocratic demagogue who figured out how to scrape up a working majority of barely 30% of the population while viciously abusing the rest - sound familiar at all?  She engaged in active class warfare massively redistributing wealth upwards while slashing away at the social safety net at the same time and demonizing the poor.

She attempted to outlaw the very concept of homosexuality.  She engaged in a shameless military adventure to hold onto power before an election she was about to lose, instituted a poll tax to suppress the vote of those who opposed her, supported fascist dictatorships like that of Chile's Augusto Pinochet as if keeping autocrats holding power through torture and death squads in charge was a holy mission and supported the racist regime of Apartheid South Africa - and for those about to argue that was just Cold War anti-Communism her own values can be inferred by the fact her son was later convicted for plotting a Rhodesia style white military coup against an African government.

Good riddance, the world would have been better off without her.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Green Party is a Con-job

In Europe the various national Green Party's are real and valid progressive alternatives with a history of positive contribution to promoting progressive values and ideals.

In Canada the Green Party is a false flag operation.  A deliberate right wing stalking horse designed and promoted with the explicit goal of splintering the progressive vote.

When David Suzuki, quite reasonably, refused to appear at a venue with a Sun News 'reporter' in attendance after the contemptible attacks they regularly make upon him, Elizabeth May sided with Fox News North and gave their attending propagandist a big friendly hug.  The Sun News quisling then gushed about how much she 'respects' May.

So think about that.  Doctor Suzuki doesn't want to pander to a propaganda operation by treating them as if they were really journalists that is deliberately and repeatedly attacking him in the crudest and most contemptible terms precisely because he is such a credible opponent to the Conservative Party's slash and burn approach to the environment .  Elizabeth May gives Fox News North a big hug and the Sun News pod person takes pains to say how much she 'respects' her.

At this point anyone still supporting the Canadian Green Party is either a dupe or in on the con.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Not just Un-Canadian. Inhumanly vicious and depraved

The pathologically sadistic and demented Harper government has now gone so far they managed to shock the conscience of Saskatchwan's right wing Premier Brad Wall.  Or maybe he just realized it would appall his constituents.
Premier Wall called Ottawa’s decision to deny chemotherapy to a refugee in Saskatoon "un-Canadian.” Now, the Province of Saskatchewan is stepping up to the plate.
The province will pick up the tab for chemotherapy for a man seeking asylum in Saskatoon. The man says he fled Pakistan when he was persecuted for his Christian faith.
Shortly after arriving however, he was diagnosed with cancer, and the federal government refused to pay for treatment.
Ottawa quietly introduced changes in the spring to the Federal Health Program, which cut drug, dental and vision care for refugee claimants.  These cuts were highlighted in a recent mail out by Saskatoon area MP Kelly Block. The mail outs triggered protests, saying the language was inappropriate and offensive.
The  display of small minded, xenophobic demagoguery by MP Kelly referred to was this:
Block lets her constituents know that she is working hard for them and "ending unfair benefits for refugee claimants." The mail-out goes on to say, "new arrivals to Canada have received dental and vision care paid for by your tax dollars. Not anymore."
The pamphlet then asks constituents to answer a questionnaire that provides two options. A respondent can agree either with the statement, "I agree with Kelly Block. Newcomers don't deserve more benefits than Canadians," or, "I disagree. Refugee claimants should get dental, vision and phar-macare even if I don't."
To say that the MP's mail-out to constituents is misleading is an understatement.
Actually, if you are a government-sponsored refugee, health benefits such as vision and dental care continue. But if you are a refugee sponsored by a church group, those benefits ended as of June 1. We now have two different classes of refugees in Canada as a result of the federal government's rule changes.
Block's reference to "newcomers" leaves the impression she is talking about all immigrants. For the record, most immigrants who land in Canada - particularly if they come under the immigrant nominee program - never have had dental, vision care or pharma-care benefits. In the past, all refugees did.
Unseating Stephen Harper and his merry band of repugnant toadies is now a moral necessity in order to save the soul of this country.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jesus was pretty clear about conservatives...

“‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

Sunday, July 01, 2012

I Love Canada

The Canada Stephen Harper has openly revelled in his hatred for and unambiguously promised to destroy.   #DenounceHarper

Sourced from Unseat Harper

"You have to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society."
Report Magazine, 2001

"Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society. It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff."
Interview with Terry O’Neill of BC Report newsmagazine, 1999

"[Y]our country [the USA], and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world."
Speech to a Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, June 1997

"Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it"
Speech to a Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, June 1997

"In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance."
Speech to a Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, June 1997

"Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status ..."
Op-ed article in the National Post, December 12, 2000

"Now 'pay equity' has everything to do with pay and nothing to do with equity. It’s based on the vague notion of 'equal pay for work of equal value,' which is not the same as equal pay for the same job."
National Citizens Coalition Overview, Fall 1998

"For taxpayers, however, it’s [pay equity] a rip-off. And it has nothing to do with gender. Both men and women taxpayers will pay additional money to both men and women in the civil service. That’s why the federal government should scrap its ridiculous pay equity law."
National Citizens Coalition Overview, Fall 1998

There's no hidden agenda, he's been quite open about it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tory Government: Screw the disabled!

The opposition tried to bring forward amendments to the bill but the government rejected them. Even an amendment that would have allowed those with perceptual disabilities, such as deaf or blind Canadians, to break digital locks in order to transfer the content to Braille or to add subtitles for closed captioning was defeated.
NDP MP Charlie Angus was livid Friday over the government's refusal to make a minor tweeks to the legislation.
"My daughter went through school deaf and to get copyright material she had to actually break the lock rhythm which is used to access material," Angus told Industry Minister Christian Paradis.
"Why would the Conservatives not work with us on a clear amendment that would ensure that students with perceptual disabilities are not treated as criminals for accessing material in an educational format so they can succeed?"

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

"Are you now, or have you ever been, an Environmentalist?"

In yet another display of contempt for democracy, the environment and the Canadian people the Harper government has rejected calls from the Opposition to break up the budget bill into separate bills so that the unprecedented erosion of environmental protections and vindictive witch-hunting of environmentalists enshrined in it can receive the scrutiny and debate they deserve. 

The Stephen Harper 'Enemies List' is about to become the law of the land.
I've started to have a repetitive nightmare.

The light in the hearing room is bright, hot and pointed right at me. The heat is suffocating, and I am visibly sweaty, the senator leans over, taps his microphone and begins to read questions from a typed sheet.

"Mr. Fenton, Have you ever donated to or been a member of the Sierra Club of Canada?"

"Do you own a book or books written by Dr. David Suzuki?"

"Did you or did you not write blog posts that were critical of the oilsands?"
That's usually about the time I wake up, but instead of relief that my nightmare is over, I make the mistake of turning on the radio or picking up the paper to find my speculative fiction becoming more and more real.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Do you get it now?

The Conservative House Leader says plainly and unequivocally that Woodworth's bill was intended to lead to changes in Canada's abortion laws.  Can those naive twits who fell for his denials and suggested there was a good faith discussion to be had about what stage in a pregnancy a woman loses her human rights admit they got suckered yet?

The Progressive Blogosphere suffered a major schism over a SoCon trolling exercise.  How would this have played out if Harper hadn't just watched the Wild Rose Party get annihilated?  We just had a demonstration that even in the most conservative province in Canada social conservatism is electoral poison and suddenly an incremental attack on women's rights becomes a platform for Harper's government to demonstrate his independence from the social conservative right. 

But if Mondays result had been different so would this debate.  Woodworth and the SoCons just got thrown under the bus but Harper would have embraced them if he thought he could get away with it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dance with the ones that brung you Allison

The PC party of Alberta has a proud history of being progressive and conservative and as we go forward from this place tonight we will honour both of those traditions.- Premiere Redford's Victory speech Monday night. 

Translation: "Thanks for bringing me to the dance after those other guys dumped me, would it be OK if I still flirted with them now that we're here?"

In a word, No.

Alberta's progressives saved Premier Redford's bacon and that of her party on Monday. Here's what that support will cost, please note, this is not a wish list. This is a price tag.

  • Labour - Alberta has the highest worker fatality rate in Canada. It also has the single most anti-worker labour laws in the country, a prevalent attitude of contempt for labour and the most chummy pro-management policies of any province in Canada. It's not a coincidence, there is a direct correlation between these things. If Redford wants to keep the progressive support that saved her from the unemployment line, the current state of affairs is not going to fly anymore. She needs to bring farm workers under Occupational Health and Safety rules and remove the second class citizen status that forbids them from even tyring to form a union. An exception originally justified for small family farms has resulted in ruthless, often deadly exploitation by huge corporate Agribusiness giants. A human rights lawyer who countenances such a thing is, to put it mildly a despicable hypocrite. Among many other concerns for Labour like a blatantly in the management tank provincial Labour Board is the Temporary Foreign Workers program, which is under federal jurisdiction, but its in Alberta that it has achieved its full flowering of racism, abuse and exploitation. All of this needs to change if Redford's vaunted 'Progressiveness' is to be anything but tattered fig leaf. 

  •   Health Care - Redford has many soothing words on this file promising major new investment and labour peace. We will be watching to see if this government continues its sub rosa campaign of underfunding and mismanagement that for years has been a clearly intentional effort to manufacture consent for privatization. The government has zero good will and trust from the Alberta public on this file and would be advised to remember that. 

  • The Environment - Sure, unlike Danielle Smith Redford concedes the existence of global warming caused by man. Good for her. But acknowledging the problem while resolutely doing nothing about it is less than meaningless. And no, carbon capture, an expensive useless pr boondoggle with numbers that will never add up does not count.
These are the top of the list on the bill - I'm sure others can think of more examples. It's due now, when can we expect payment?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ignoring the Charter

Conservatives hate the idea of rights they can't just arbitrarily legislate away if they offend the reactionary bigots, you know, their base.

So blah blah blah divided history - that's an easy excuse, not a reason.  The real reason Harper and the Conservatives are so shamefully ignoring the Charter's anniversary is that they really do think the government belongs in the nation's bedrooms, and doctor's examining rooms and in our bodies and they really do think politicians should have the final say on human rights.

 And they hate that the Charter doesn't let them.

Meanwhile the Canadian Constitution and Charter have become the standard the rest of the world looks to instead of the centuries old US Constitution - and even an American Supreme Court Judge recommends the Canadian over the American Constitution.  This while the yokels in charge try to pretend the whole aniversary isn't even happening.

Petty schmucks.

Like Digger Wasps

I was born in Alberta and I've lived most of my life here but I did spend a decade on the lower mainland in BC.

In BC the two main political groupings are the people, as represented by the NDP and what I'll call the Chamber of Commerce Tendency as represented by... well thats the thing.  It tends to burrow inside existing parties, hollow them out from the inside and ride them until their exclusive and enthusiastic servicing of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else taints it beyond reclamation and then it is abandoned to wither and die as the Tendency moves on to its next host.. 

When I lived there it was animating the husk of the BC Social Credit Party - most of the kookiness of Social Credit had been shed in favour of cold blooded service of capital but  their last Premier Bill Vanderzalm mixed a sleazy televangelist grinning wing-nut vibe with an approach to ethics and finances that also brought televangelists to mind. After years of less flamboyant but still sleazy simmering scandals under Vanderzalm's predecessor Bill Bennett, Vanderzalm's toothy religiosity and nickle and dime sleaziness in his personal dealings with shadowy Hong Kong land developers sunk the Social Credit label completely. As the NDP took over the Chamber of Commerce Tendency  withdrew to lick its wounds.

And to slowly, over years inhabit the BC Liberal Party, hollow it out and animate it like a grotesque jerking corpse puppet.

Now that the zombie stink has gotten too much for the BC voter and the Liberals look like they are shambling to a political grave the 'Tendency' turns cold eyes to its next husk, the BC Progressive Conservatives.
 The B.C. Conservatives took 2.1 per cent of the vote in the 2009 election. But under the leadership of John Cummins, the party is tied in recent polls with Premier Christy Clark's B.C. Liberals in second place at 23 per cent.

Marshall said there are striking similarities between B.C.'s Clark and Alberta's Redford: Women in their mid-40s who returned to elected office after successful careers outside politics and became leaders of par-ties whose previous male leader had become too unpopular.

Both enjoyed brief bursts of popularity, added Marshall, followed by a decline in the polls as small-conservative voters shifted to an insurgent party from the political right.

Similarly, Redford was a red Tory - "certainly not the blue-est of candidates for the Alberta PC leadership" - while Clark was a federal Liberal, said Marshall.

Simon Fraser University political scientist Royce Koop agreed that Wildrose and the B.C. Conservatives share a common tack. "They are both consistently and openly principled conservative parties."
"There doesn't seem to be any attempt or desire to moderate that. When you are coming in from the right, as the Reform Party did on the federal scene, you sort of behave in a principled right-wing manner."
One difference, added Koop, is that Wildrose is poised to take power. Given the NDP's current strength in B.C., the most the B.C. Conservatives can hope for in next year's election is to replace the B.C. Liberals as the main party for B.C.'s anti-NDP forces.

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