The Middle East: The Liberals’ plan strives for more

A national economy underpinned by the extraction and export of Alberta’s oilsands.

A Canadian mission, the nexus of which, six CF-18 fighter jets, contributes two percent of all sorties, to the global fight against the Islamic State.

The former disintegrating steadily, and piercing every region across Canada, as the price of oil plumbs depths not seen in a generation or two.

The latter, the public flagpole upon which many fly their security blanket.

As if something as complex as a national economy or response to a group of barbaric thugs intent on recreating a caliphate in a region of mistrusting and murdering factions, can be whittled down to one variable.

One narrow element that will act as a sole pillar on which governments define, plan, and act, as Stephen Harper’s government did, from 2006-2015.

Continue reading The Middle East: The Liberals’ plan strives for more

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Harper’s Leadership: Not so secure, not so pragmatic, not so proven

Stephen Harper.

The strategic, pragmatic, secure, proven leader.

Adjectives, repeated by journalists, conservative politicians and supporters during his nine-year tenure as Canada’s prime minister.

Adjectives, some of which, aptly describe his Machiavellian gamesmanship in the art and science of politics.

Adjectives and a positioning, in contrast to his administration and its implications for Canada.

Risk

Economy

From the time he prorogued Parliament, Act I, Stephen Harper pursued a high risk, low reward economic plan, focused on one industry.

One industry in need of a low-cost transportation method to move landlocked oilsands bitumen to refineries in the United States and markets overseas.

Calling himself a friend to this one industry, Harper proceeded to expunge environmental and waterways regulations and standards. In cahoots with Canada’s security agencies, the federal government spied on any parties objecting to oilsands expansion, and obstructed any and all attempts at legitimate carbon pricing.

He also used hundreds of millions of public dollars to advertise the virtues of Alberta’s oilsands in North America and Europe. Under cover. At least until recently.

Continue reading Harper’s Leadership: Not so secure, not so pragmatic, not so proven

Dismantling Democracy, Harper-Style

Democracy is at a premium in Canada, today.

Not dead, but in grave condition.

While many pages have been written on the Harper Conservatives’ subversive means of undermining Canadians’ rights, privacies, freedom of speech and dissent, few have documented their totality over the nine-year reign.

Until today. Voices-Voix, a non-partisan collective of Canadians and more than 200 Canadian organizations concerned with the decline of democracy in Canada, catalogued 102 cases where the Harper Government attempted to silence dissenters or advocates, free speech, equality and transparency during their nine-year reign.

Their comprehensive report is a worthwhile read for any individuals wishing to be more informed of the dismantling of Canadian democracy. From silencing voices of marginalized communities and public servants, to limiting the compiling and dissemination of knowledge, Voices-Voix thoroughly itemizes and expands on how the Conservatives used domestic and foreign policy, and Canadian security forces to remove obstacles perceived to be inconsistent with their partisan governance.

Interestingly enough, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada, chose this day to release their 32 point plan on how they would return democracy to Canada.

From committing to open and transparent government, to the restoration of evidence-based policy-making, banning partisan government advertising, a real independence for government watchdogs and Parliamentary Budget Officer, and open and fair elections, The Liberals Real Change Plan attempts to reverse many of Voice-Voix’s findings.

Curious timing or logical strategic plan for an opposition party four months before the Canadian election?

Conservative Senator Floats Blueprint for Eliminating the CBC

“Wouldn’t you agree that the most important thing is the ability of Canadians, who provide a billion dollars a year to the CBC, to access information and stories about themselves? Whether it’s Quebec, Atlantic Canada, the West or the North, they’re interested in knowing more about their own country and in learning about their history, and to talk about their future and to understand each other. That’s the primary reason for the CBC, I think.

“Isn’t there another way you could deliver the same thing and maybe even better, which is that instead of providing the billion dollars to the CBC, you provide it to content providers, producers who make the stories, and then you mandate that private networks through content regulations or what have you carry those stories, so you wouldn’t then need a CBC?”

Senator Stephen Greene