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Robo-con thoughts.

That’s what we’re naming this alleged electoral fraud scheme – at least on Twitter, apparently. My thoughts on this are as follows:

– Is Harper or high ranking members of the PMO involved? I don’t know, but the fact this is the party who has done never-before seen attack-ads in between elections, smearing opposition leaders, not to mention admitted robo-calls to Irwin Cotler’s riding, plus a plea bargain with the in-and-out issue, doesnt exactly give them a lot of credibility when they deny stuff. The Elections Canada and RCMP investigations will have to bear that out.

– Those aforementioned tactics would also be certain to make some of his more […]

Bill C-30, Section 34: Where are all the Conservative libertarians on this?

Scary stuff found in Section 34 of Bill C-30, courtesy of Terry Milewski of CBC:

Section 33 tells us that, ‘The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons as inspectors for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act.’..Section 34 spells out the sweeping powers of these “inspectors.” And, if they sound Orwellian, welcome to the world of Section 34.

The inspectors may “enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies.”

And, […]

When you’ve lost the National Post..

Actually, it’s not quite the National Post, despite some saying that. It’s actually one of their op-eds calling for the resignation. Still, I think that’s the first call I’ve seen for it, and the major surprise is it didn’t come first from the Star or even one of their writers:

As the government prepares to rethink its approach to cybercrime, Canadians have lost faith in the ability of Minister Toews to oversee that task. Prime Minister Stephen Harper should ask Mr. Toews to resign from his cabinet post immediately…it is clear that Mr. Toews is not suited to the job of steering such a contentious bill through even a majority […]

A timely new story on police and internet

For Vic Toews or the Conservative government and the furore they’ve caused with Bill C-30, the “internet snooping” bill, as I prefer to call it, not the “lawful access” bill, or the law to get child pornographers off the internet bill, or whatever ridiculous name Vic Toews tries to come up with, this story isn’t exactly good timing for them:

Fourteen Vancouver police officers and one civilian staff member have been reprimanded for circulating pornography on work computers, the force announced on Thursday morning. The department says members circulated dozens of videos and images ranging from swimsuit models to pornography, but did not include any illegal images or child […]

Stop Online Spying

Nothing more by me needs to be said:

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Lots of odds and ends to talk about this morning

There are several stories that caught my eye over the weekend. Here are some of them:

It appears the Mennonites are the latest group in Canada to get on the wrong side of the Conservative government:

The Mennonite Central Committee Canada reports on its website that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has turned down MCC’s proposal of $2.9 million for each of the next three years to provide food, water and income generation assistance for people in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Haiti, Bolivia, Mozambique and Ethiopia. MCC is a long-time partner of CIDA’s in overseas development projects. The organization is highly respected and is scrupulously non-partisan in its approach to […]

Contradiction? What contradiction?

Prime Minister Harper in China on the tarsands:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper blasted “foreign money and influence” behind critics of Canada’s oil sands even as he welcomed Chinese investment in Canada’s energy sector…At the same time, he made clear he does not equate Chinese foreign investment in oil sands development with the unwanted “foreign money” behind environmental groups, and that he sees no irony in the contradiction.

He isn’t even trying anymore to hide what seems to many to be obvious hypocrisy on this position – and this article isn’t even mentioning other multinational or US based oil companies that spend millions promoting the tarsands to Canadians as being the […]

Olive: Time to play hardball with Caterpillar (but you can bet the Conservatives won’t)

Here is a very hard-line piece from David Olive today in the Star about what the Canadian government should do about Caterpillar – a tone I’m not used to seeing Olive, the Star’s business columnist, come out and write in his pieces, so he’s obviously ticked off:

We could nationalize EMD, for which there is abundant precedent across the continent. America’s third-largest bank, biggest insurer and dominant home-mortgage guarantors are now wards of the state. Short of nationalization, Ottawa could impose prohibitive tariffs on all Cat products. That might eventually bring Athabasca tarsands production, heavily reliant on Caterpillar equipment, to a halt. Which would be a useful topic of discussion […]

Public backlash forces Harper to back down a bit on OAS cuts

Conservative MP’s are often described as parrots for doing nothing but repeating scripted phrases over and over again in defense of their government, or being not the brightest bunch in the world. However, they are smart enough to recognize when the voters get mad, and concerned enough about their own electoral well-being to bring it up to Harper:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s musings about possible changes to Old Age Security have resulted in a public backlash — and complaints from his own MPs. Conservative MPs have been overwhelmed with emails and phone calls from constituents who have been concerned about their retirement pensions since Harper mused on the need to […]

Tony Clement is your champion of open government, Conservatives?

I had to laugh when I read this:

..Clement will be hosting a conference in Ottawa next week on open government. “As a minister, Clement has pushed forward with initiatives to enable Canada’s public servants to use social media in the workplace and a broader initiative to introduce open government principles to the Government of Canada,” says promotional material for the event at the National Arts Centre.

This coming from the guy who just refused this:

The New Democrats are calling on Treasury Board President Tony Clement to bring the same sunlight to salaries in the Prime Minister’s Office as the government shone on the highly-paid staff at the Canadian […]

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