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Canadian cellphone carriers dont exactly get my sympathy.

In brief, I don’t know whether allowing Globalive into Canada to offer cellphone service is the right move or not, but when the big cellphone companies engage in stunts like this with their customers, and engaging in what I call “fine-print” tactics, they aren’t winning themselves any fans or generating any sympathy to their cause or about their so-called plight.

Colvin returns fire.

Diplomat and intelligence officer Richard Colvin sent forth his detailed counter-rebuttal to the government’s talking points and friendly witnesses that tried to discredit his testimony to the House of Commons Afghanistan Committee. There is some devastating stuff here, that counters point by point the list of points the government and their friendly General witnesses tried to use against his testimony – here are a couple of the 16 counterpoints Colvin uses:

2. . ‘As soon as we were informed, we fixed the problems.’

From Colvin’s rebuttal:

All this information ‐‐ internal reporting from Canadian officials in the field, reports from the US and UN, plus face‐to‐face interventions with policy‐makers […]

If precedent is any indicator on parliamentary privilege, the Cons will lose in court.

… if it even gets that far (more below):

Some good investigation work by the CBC here on similar cases to the one we now potentially face, with the government refusing to hand over the Afghan documents to the Parliamentary Committee on Afghanistan as ordered in a vote by the will of Parliament and Parliamentary supremacy. If these cases serve as precedent, then the Conservative government may have a losing case on its hands:

Canada’s top court has looked at the question of parliamentary privilege in two recent-ish cases. The first is from the early 1990s and it involves the CBC. In this case, the Nova Scotia legislature refused to […]

The Conservatives pull out their old playbook.

It appears they’ve decided rather then prorogue, they’re just going to follow one of the tactics that their infamous “Parliamentary playbook” from a couple of years ago suggested they do on disrupting committees potentially unfriendly to the government’s cause – and that is the Conservative MP’s have boycotted the Afghanistan committee, thus preventing it from having a minimum quorum of MP’s and being able to operate.

The opposition MP’s are actually doing pretty well in holding an “informal” meeting, as you can see from Kady’s liveblogging, but we see another example of the government’s attempts to stonewall any more testimony or information being brought to light over this affair […]

Sheer amount of government bills not passed may dissuade Harper from proroguing.

So says David Akin at his Twitter page:

Will @pmharper prorogue? Possible but unlikely #CPC sources say. One reason: Since Jan 26, 70 govt bills introduced; just 30 have passed.

Keep an eye for more details on this new angle of the possible prorogue story at his Twitter page, at David’s blog, or at Canwest.

(As an aside, it must also be evident to Harper and his strategists that the optics of his willingness to throw away/let die 40 government bills so he can shut down an Afghanistan Committee investigating what was going on over detainees/prevent a Speaker’s Warrant from being issued would not be good. It would increase even […]

The truth will keep dripping out..

…even if Harper does prorogue. Someone is making sure of that by giving the Globe & Mail’s Paul Koring more unredacted documents of Richard Colvin that he sent to Ottawa -this time about how even Canada’s allies in Afghanistan were extremely critical of our secrecy and handling of Afghan detainees:

Canada was faulted by military allies in Afghanistan over the secretive manner with which it handled detainees in the early months of its Kandahar mission, The Globe and Mail has learned. Reports from the Canadian embassy in Kabul in September of 2006 reveal there was unease within the military alliance about how Canada was handling suspects it rounded up and […]

Another December, another Harper prorogue?

There is strong speculation that the Conservative government will do a repeat performance of last December and “prorogue” Parliament in the next couple of days – that is, ask the Governor-General to shut down Parliament – so he can shut down the chances of being served with a Speaker’s Warrant to produce the unredacted documents on Afghan detainees, and prevent the Afghanistan House of Commons Committee calling any more witnesses until after the Olympics:

Rumours swirling around Ottawa suggest the Conservative government is thinking of shutting down Parliament until after the Olympics, killing some of its own bills but also ending the discussion of Afghan detainees that is nibbling away […]

And here's a possible indication why the Conservatives want the detainee story to go away...

..and why I mentioned in the prior blogpost of mine that the pressure needs to be kept on them on the Afghan detainees story. The first poll taken after the Afghan detainee flap and the revelations by Colvin and then the sudden reversal by General Natynczyk that yes, there was evidence that Afghan detainees had been tortured shows public opinion starting to turn against the Cons:

Conservative Lead Narrows as Liberals Bounce Back

The governing Conservative Party is still leading in Canada, but the Liberal Party has gained support, according to the Canadian Political Pulse, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion in partnership with the Toronto Star…Across the country, 36 […]

Keeping the pressure on the Afghan detainees story

Just a thought on the Conservative government strategy to try and use the Christmas House of Commons break to make the Afghan detainees story “go away”:

There’s no doubt that with the House not sitting and Question Period not available for 7 weeks for the government to be grilled on this issue, it may be harder to keep the pressure on this government to reveal what it is hiding in the redacted documents and what it knew about what was going on with Afghan detainee transfers and whether it knew they were being tortured, and refused to listen to the soldiers reports coming from Afghanistan, or its diplomats such as […]

A good story that coincides with the upcoming Christmas season

Nice to see that sometimes, good people stay good people when they win lots of money:

It was a massive lottery jackpot, called the biggest single-family win in Canadian history. And now, on the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, about 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, signs are starting to emerge of the generosity of the couple who last month won $50 million…The Fontaines are slowly making changes in Sagkeeng, doling out money they won in the Western Canada Lottery Corp. jackpot with the measured caution of longtime philanthropists… On a recent day, a handful of men are clearing and burning brush on the side of Sagkeeng’s winding road. It’s tough […]

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