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Harper says the CPC loves Canada’s military history. The rest of us apparently don’t.

Steve made mention at his site earlier today about how Harper was talking to his Conservative riding organizers and made the inference that he stood up for Canadians who had “no time to protest or money to hire protesters.” (and then Steve did a beautiful job of listing all the groups who are supposedly deadbeats for protesting, according to Harper’s definition).

What got me was another quote. I don’t consider Harper an idiot for all of the things I find wrong with his political ideology, but I felt this statement was idiotic, regardless of whether it was being said to a bunch of partisan supporters or not:

Harper said the […]

The weekend report, and allergic reactions suck

Well, I’m very glad I decided to go to my grandfather’s 85th birthday party. It turns out it was a surprise one for him, and about 20 or so people from both families showed up to wish him well. Both he and his wife Mary were very touched by the event, and it appears the routine they’ve gotten into at the retirement home has helped both out immensely. It appears the medication they’re both getting on a consistent orderly basis has done a good job in improving their particular heath conditions. Mary is back to her usual feisty self, and my grandfather in particular was in a very jovial mood, […]

Mock outrage.

I said I wasn’t probably posting on here till Sunday unless I saw something that riled me up. Well, something has.

If you were to consider yourself an investigative blogger trying to delve deeper into a story, there are several options you could choose to do right now. You could investigate the Conservative campaign funding issue and see just how many MP’s and candidates were involved in this potentially embarrassing story for the CPC if they’re ruled in the courts to have violated election laws; you could investigate the Surete De Quebec police admitting to have planted agent provocateurs in the protesters at Montebello; you might even take a look […]

Some apprehension

It’ll probably be a quiet weekend here til Sunday (unless I see something that riles me up so much to force me to get online to post about it). I’ll be visiting my folks for the weekend. My grandfather’s 85th birthday is on Friday, and they’re having a big birthday party for him at the retirement home. It’ll be a bittersweet one, as he’s going through the Alzheimers slow decline. I’m a bit apprehensive about it, because his behavioural changes with this disease include not liking large crowds.. and I’m kind of afraid of how he will react with a lot of family members supposedly coming to this.

Also, I’ve not seen him in awhile.. so I am also apprehensive of how he will act and what he will say. I guess we’ll find out.

Try not to destroy the place while I’m away.

Stuff that’s bugging me today.

A couple of things. First, this isn’t a direct quote, but if this is in general what they feel, I”m rather unimpressed:

The darkest fear for Quebec-based Conservatives is that opposition to the conflict could scotch their electoral hopes there. That sensitivity was in evidence this week when Defence Minister Peter MacKay was dispatched to Valcartier to speak to a group of soldiers departing for Afghanistan.

The darkest fear isn’t for the soldier’s lives, it’s how much it’s going to make our voter popularity go down. Nice attitude, if true; it really shows how much the Conservatives “support the troops” more then any other party 🙄

By the way, I […]

Tories in a spat with Elections Canada

Elections Canada and the Conservatives are in a fight over how much money they really spent in the last election campaign:

The Conservative party shuffled more than $1 million in advertising money between itself and Tory candidates in the 2005-06 campaign, boosting candidate expenses and qualifying them for larger Elections Canada rebates for their riding war chests. A Citizen investigation of election financing records shows the Tories would exceed their $18.3-million overall limit on election spending if the advertising expenditures are considered part of the national Conservative campaign — a point the party disputes.

Something interesting to watch as it winds through the legal system. Remember, as the article says […]

A depiction of what child soldiers have to go through: Camp Okutta

A reader of mine sent me this Youtube link showing a video on something called Camp Okutta. He called it bizarre:

It certainly IS bizarre. However, it is depicting what kind of training child soldiers are put through when they are forced into combat duty, and that is even more bizarre, that we as a society and a supposedly “civilized” one tolerate it. How do I know that this video is a depiction of what’s going on? Well, Camp Okutta has a website, and if you click on the “Where is Camp Okutta?” at their main page, it will take you to a link that shows this website is […]

The 360 degree turn Canada’s New’ish Government took on Native rights

A nice op-ed here in the Toronto Star this morning by Carol Goar further shows why I and others are skeptical that new minister Chuck Strahl is going to do anything productive while he’s in control of the Indian Affairs Ministry. The op-ed shows how Canada has for years been defending the concept of aboriginal self-determination at the UN in the quest to declare universal rights for indigenous peoples in a charter, and how that abruptly changed when Harper got elected.

The very points Canada was advocating to be put in this UN Declaration Harper and company now oppose because they claim it’s too vague, and more importantly, because it will go against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As former Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy points out, that’s an argument that doesn’t hold water:

“International human rights declarations have never been legally binding. Moreover, this one has an explicit clause included at Canada’s insistence stating that it must be interpreted in accordance with existing domestic laws.”

Worse, Canada is now apparently trying to lobby other countries – some with rather questionable human rights records according to the op-ed – to join it in insisting the treaty’s main points be changed. The majority of this 360 degree switch has occurred when the “moderate” Jim Prentice was the Minister. He obviously wasn’t as moderate as he appeared to be with regards to this, or else his views were brushed away by Harper. I hardly qualify Strahl as a moderate or a “bridge-builder”, hence my skepticism that anything will change – and that it likely gets worse.

I believe this is just more evidence of the overall pattern of indifference/antagonism that Harper and the Conservatives have towards First Nations peoples in general. Remember that the guy who has been Harper’s chief adviser, Tom Flanagan, has for years opposed Native land claims, and his book First Nations? Second Thoughts dismissed Canada’s Aboriginals as merely “first immigrants” and argued for their assimilation. A list of some of his other rather narrow-minded views on Natives can be found here at the bottom of the article.

Bottom line: while the Conservatives are in power, expect the hostility and antagonism and disregard for Natives to continue. Another good reason for me to vote them out (not that I need many).

Open the SPP process up

Harper and Bush and Calderone can belittle the opponents of the SPP talks all they want, but the easiest way to dispel public suspicion of the motives behind what was described today as a “process that is now routinely pricked by unnecessary secrecy and an unseemly skew to corporate elites” is to open up the process either to admit and allow other groups besides the business and political elite to be involved, or to allow the public to see what is being discussed and allow for a good public debate of the goings-on. As stated in Linda McQuaig’s article, the NAFTA provision that refuses Canada to cut back energy exports […]

Chuck Strahl – Conflict resolution facilitator?

Oh boy, I loved this quote from Chuck Strahl after he spoke to Native groups:

“There was a good exchange of ideas and we’ll be back again soon,” Mr. Strahl said. “Obviously, a good list of questions, but by working together, sitting down together, that’s how you solve them. I was here today to start that and we’ll continue as we go ahead.”

Yea, and that’s EXACTLY the approach you took with the Canadian Wheat Board, right Chuckie? Please.. does he think we all have collective amnesia here? The Native groups certainly don’t:

Mr. Mercredi said he was concerned by Mr. Strahl’s heavy-handed dealings with the Canadian Wheat Board, […]

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