Canada Post always made a profit What Changed?

Canada Post is not on life support, it is being murdered

By Mike Palecek December 17, 2013

Canada Post’s recent announcement that they intend to end door to door delivery has shocked many.  After all, Canada would be the first industrialized country to do so.  Every other G8 country seems to be able to deliver their mail from door to door, but Canada Post has other plans.

The Harper government and their lackeys at Canada Post would have you believe that mail delivery is no longer financially viable.  In fact, the company has only lost money once this century, and that was the year they decided to lock out their workers.

A quick look at the numbers shows that their arguments just don’t add up.

The Canada Post Group made a before tax profit of 127 million dollars in 2012; after 2011’s lock out and after being forced to settle a 200+ million dollar lawsuit they posted a loss of 327 million dollars; in 2010 they made a profit of 443 million dollars; in 2009 the corporation had a net profit of 281 million dollars.

Anyone can see these numbers for themselves in the financial reports on Canada Post’s website.  Year after year, Canada Post makes profit, and yet year after year they cry poor.   For postal workers, this is nothing new; it is the same old song and dance.

Having been challenged on the profitability of the corporation, Canada Post has scrambled to find a new excuse for eliminating door to door delivery.  The new line is that the Canada Post Pension Plan is running a 6.5 billion dollar solvency deficit, forcing them to make these changes.  This argument is patently absurd.

It is true that there is a solvency deficit with the Canada Post Pension Plan, but what does this mean exactly?  It means that if Canada Post were to suddenly disappear, the pension plan would be 6.5 billion dollars short of being able to pay everyone’s pension.

In short, this is only a hypothetical scenario designed to test the stability of the plan.  Other pension plans are not forced to meet this test and many would not pass it.  On a going concern basis, Canada Post’s pension plan has no problem meeting its obligations.

Federal regulations require that Canada Post make special payments over a period of five years in order to eliminate the solvency deficit.  But Canada Post has just been given a four year reprieve from these payments.  This means that this pension deficit will not cost them a dime for at least four years.  Again, their talking points do not hold water.

What’s more, the only reason for this solvency deficit is the federal government’s policy of keeping interest rates low to stimulate the economy.  The Canada Post Pension Plan had no problems before interest rates hit historic lows.  Rates will not stay this low forever and just a two per cent rise in interest rates would solve this problem.  It is likely that the solvency deficit in the pension plan will take care of itself.

Canada Post is creating a crisis to justify its agenda.  They talk of saving money with this plan, but they aren’t being forthcoming with the costs of implementing it.

How much will it cost to purchase, install and maintain community mailboxes for over 5,000,000 addresses?  How about the thousands of new vehicles they will need to purchase, insure and maintain?  Are they going to need a capital injection from the government, or do they plan to borrow more money as they did to finance their two billion dollar failure they call the Modern Post?

Canada Post’s main talking point is that they don’t want to become a burden on tax payers.  Notice that this in itself is an admission that they are presently not a burden on tax payers — quite the opposite!

Canada Post Corporation has actually returned one billion dollars to the federal government over the last decade in the form of dividends and corporate taxes.  But what neither the Conservatives nor the corporation seem to want to admit is that eliminating 8,000 letter carrier jobs will cost the federal government as much as 50 million dollars a year in personal income tax.  That isn’t counting the spinoff effects of good jobs being eliminated in communities across the country.

It is funny that the right wing defends trickle-down economic theories when they are justifying profits, but refuse to apply the same arguments to the economic impact of cuts.

The Conservative government has insisted that the only option for Canada Post is cuts.  They refuse to entertain the idea of expanding services to bring in additional revenue as post offices around the world have done.  This is because of an ideologically entrenched idea that a crown corporation shouldn’t do anything that the private sector is capable of doing.

This nonsense is the reason they refuse to consider postal banking as a viable alternative, despite a recent report from Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives explaining multiple options for how they could do just that.  This is the reason they refuse to sell a broader range of products in their stores, despite having the largest retail network in the country.  The Harper government is more concerned with protecting the profits of private companies than ensuring the viability of the public post office.

Why would Canada Post want to impose such measures on itself if they weren’t absolutely necessary?  It is no secret that Stephen Harper isn’t a big fan of the public sector.  So when he needed a new CEO for this crown corporation, he hired the head of the Canada and Latin America division of Pitney Bowes.

For those who are not familiar with Pitney Bowes, they are the largest private mail supply company in the world.  They are also a company that specializes in picking up the pieces of privatized postal services.  Earlier this year, Pitney Bowes published a study urging the privatization of the United States Postal Service, and have been lobbying heavily to do exactly that.

Now, one of their top bosses is running Canada Post. His predecessor, Moya Greene was also a privatization expert.  She oversaw the privatization of CN Rail before coming to Canada Post, but she moved on to the Royal Mail in the UK before she could finish the job here.  The Royal Mail has just been privatized.

Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra was not hired to fix the post office; he was hired to destroy it.  The simple truth is that the public post office is one of the most valuable assets in the country.  It occupies prime real estate in every city in Canada.  Its retail network is the largest in the country, with over 6,000 locations.  Its distribution network is also the largest in Canada, with thousands of delivery vans and tractor-trailers.

The private sector is salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on this network precisely because of the money they could make with it.  But in order to do this, they first need to slash the service and push it over a financial cliff.  When they finally move to privatize Canada Post, they want to get it cheap. Source

A few Quotes from other stories

By Leslie MacKinnon

Deepak Chopra was answering questions put to him by MPs at a special emergency meeting of the transport committee Wednesday. Parliament has risen so most MPs are back in their ridings for a Christmas break and won’t return until the end of January.

Chopra’s suggestion that seniors would welcome the exercise offered by community mailboxes caused Liberal MP David McGuinty to make a quip about “mail Participaction,” in reference to a past government public fitness campaign.

The committee also heard from witnesses from the postal workers’ union, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Conference Board of Canada, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities,  the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and others.

Chopra said Canadians were widely consulted about changes and if they read newspapers and follow the media they shouldn’t have been taken by surprise when the corporation announced it was raising stamp prices and cancelling door-to-door delivery. Chopra said 46 communities were consulted about losing daily mail service. For entire story go HERE

Seniors or those in wheel chairs really do not want the so called  exercise in the winter months. The cost of broken bones, hips, legs etc. is not a price they want to pay. The statement that going to get their mail made by Chopra is bogus.

Imagine your 70 or 80 year old grandparents going out in the winter months to get their mail. In Canada it is extremely cols and sidewalks are very slippery. All it takes is one fall to leave a senior with a broken hip. That of course will also cost the Health Care system a lot of money as well as being devastating to anyone who fell and was injured. They would be totally house bound or could even die during surgery.

I also never saw anything in the news that there were consultations anywhere.  I read the news every day.

 

A few Canadians are not all that happy with Deepak Chopra

Check link below for some of their comments.

Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra blasted by CBC readers

Canada Post always made a profit What Changed?

The CEO hired by Harper is what changed and it seems Harper wants to destroy it.  For the protection of all Canadians especially those with Disabilities and Seniors I would say all Canadians should make sure Canada Post is never privatized or destroyed by this Government.

Seem Canadians are not being told the truth.

The created the same crisis in the US.

 

Published in: on December 20, 2013 at 4:18 am  Comments Off  
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“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part 4

Title should read “Baird warns not Canada”
Canada warns Palestinians against taking Israel to ICC

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Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
 Mar 6, 2013
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister has announced at pro-Israel lobby’s policy conference that Palestinians would face “consequences” from Ottawa if they use the new UN status to sue Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

John Baird made the remarks in a speech to thousands of lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and members of the US government last Sunday.

“We were very clear from the outset that further actions, like we’ve seen at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), like we’ve seen at the United Nations, particularly at the ICC will be ones which will not go unnoticed and will have certainly consequences in the conduct of our relations with the Palestinian Authority,” Baird said.

Baird’s remarks received a boisterous welcome from the audience, revealing the satisfaction with the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government support of Israel.

Ottawa opposed the Palestinian bid last November to upgrade status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” and has warned the Palestinian Authority against taking legal action against the Tel Aviv regime at the ICC.

In October 2011, Canada also opposed the Palestinian effort to win membership within the UNESCO.

Palestinian officials said they would take legal actions against the Tel Aviv regime at the ICC in order to stop illegal construction of settler units on the occupied Palestinian land.

Baird also criticized the speech made by acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly in November, saying it “concerned many of us.”

“He could have extended an arm, a hand to Israel. He could have extended an olive branch. He could have been generous, and we didn’t see any generosity in his remarks,” Baird said.

Canada, the United States, Israel and six other countries voted against the Palestinian bid, while 138 other assembly members voted in favor of the resolution, approving the upgrade. Source

John Baird’s presence at AIPAC confirms Harper government’s uncritical support of Israel

By John Soos

March 3, 2013

John Baird, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is confirmed to deliver a keynote address at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy meeting taking place March 3 – 5, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

His presence there further cements the Harper government’s uncritical support of Israel in face of its deteriorating record of massive human rights violations in Occupied Palestine. “Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel,” said Mr. Baird in November 2012. His invitation to address AIPAC reflects that this government’s position has not altered in face of Israel’s widening breaches of international and humanitarian law against the people and land of Palestine.

AIPAC, according to its own literature, is America’s leading pro-Israel lobby working to enact public policy that enhances the U.S.-Israel relationship. In fact, AIPAC wields powerful influence over the U.S. political system to ensure that Israel’s illegal, violent and racist human rights violations in Palestine can continue unchecked.

In contravention of international law, segregated, Jewish-only settlements continue to proliferate on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Indigenous Palestinians are being forcibly displaced while their homes, olive groves and access to water are severely restricted. Over 600,000 colonial settlers, under watch of heavily armed Israeli occupation forces, ensure that a policy of illegal land theft and population transfer continues unabated.

Four million Palestinians are now living under an illegal, military occupation. Reported incidents of settler violence against Palestinians are increasing alarmingly — up 149 per cent between 2009 and 2011. Just last month, on February 23, at least 25 Israeli settlers, some armed with machine guns and escorted by Israeli forces, attacked and injured eight Palestinians including three children in Qasra village, south east of Nablus.

The illegal separation wall continues to divide Palestinian communities, cuts Palestinians off from their agrarian land and, by snaking ever deeper into occupied Palestinian territory, annexes additional Palestinian land and grafts it onto a continually expanding Israel.

Peacefully demonstrating against these internationally condemned assaults on human rights and dignity are routinely responded to with tear gas, live fire and incarceration. Samer Issawi is refusing food and dying in an Israeli prison as he protests his illegal incarceration — held without charges and without a trial under so-called “administrative detention.” On February 24, news surfaced that 30 year-old Arafat Jaradat died while under Israeli interrogation. Preliminary reports describe shocking signs of beatings on his chest and shoulders, lacerations on the back, broken ribs and a fractured skull.

Palestinians living in Gaza continue to be traumatized by a punishing land and sea blockade imposed by Israel and as a result of regular violent military incursions involving the air force, navy and ground troops. Since the November 2012 ceasefire in Gaza, Israeli forces have injured 74 Palestinians and killed four Palestinians. There have been no Palestinian violations of the ceasefire.

These colonial atrocities continue in large measure because AIPAC helps ensure that the world community remains impotent whenever it wishes to censure Israel and hold it accountable to its international obligations. The U.S. reflexively vetoes UN Resolutions critical of fundamental Israeli human rights violations in Palestine. Canada is significantly complicit on account of its uncritical support of these policies, which further emboldens Israel’s illegal and aggressive behaviours.

John Baird’s presence at the upcoming AIPAC conference is disturbing in light of comments he recently made about Canada-Israel relations. “Simply put, Israel is worthy of our support because it is a society that shares so many values with Canada — freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.” While these values may be enjoyed by a segment of Israeli society, they are definitely not extended to Palestinians residing in Israel, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

For many Canadians, the Harper government’s unconditional acceptance and encouragement of Israel’s deepening apartheid practices against the people and land of Palestine is morally and legally contemptible.

It is time for Canada to end our shameful complicity in the dispossession, oppression and occupation of the Palestinian people. “Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada,” says John Baird. In that case it is this government’s duty to join the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and the international community in condemning Israel for repeated and flagrant violations of international law. Source

All Canadians should know this too.

The Leader in Israel is really a smuggler of Nuclear parts and a few other assorted things. Do take the time to check out the link below you will be a better person for it.

 What Every American Should Know

Forced Birthcontrol

Anyone who puts another country before their own, is a traitor.

Did You Know?

Blackwater trained Canadian troops without permission

The Harper government has had a standing contract with the company since 2008.

It’s paid millions of dollars going back to 2006 for the specialized training, given to special forces troops and some police officers.

Source

Ex-Harper aide Bruce Carson charged with influence

A former senior adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been charged with one count of influence peddling following an investigation by the RCMP.

Bruce Carson, 66, has a history of fraud convictions and had been facing accusations of influence peddling and illegal lobbying after it was alleged that he told Ottawa-based water purification company H20 Pros that he could use his connections to arrange deals with First Nations communities. Source

RCMP, border agents can use torture-tainted information

The Conservative government has quietly given Canada’s national police force and the federal border agency the authority to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture.

Newly disclosed records show Public Safety Minister Vic Toews issued the directives to the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency shortly after giving similar orders to Canada’s spy service.

Source

The company Harper Likes so much.

Security company formerly known as Blackwater fined $7.5M

The international security contractor formerly known as Blackwater has agreed to pay a $7.5 million US fine to settle federal criminal charges related to arms smuggling and other crimes.

Documents unsealed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in North Carolina said the company, now called Academi LLC, agreed to pay the fine as part of a deferred prosecution agreement to settle 17 violations.

The list of violations includes possessing automatic weapons in the United States without registration, lying to federal firearms regulators about weapons provided to the king of Jordan, passing secret plans for armoured personnel carriers to Sweden and Denmark without U.S. government approval and illegally shipping body armour overseas. Source

Wealthy hiding $21 trillion in tax havens, report says

The report says:

  • UBS, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are the three private banks handling the most assets offshore
  • 92,000 people, or 0.001 per cent of the world’s population, hold $21 trillion in hidden assets Source

Canada-EU drug patent demand in trade talks costs almost $2B

Confidential federal research on free-trade talks with Europe shows that giving the European Union just one part of what it wants on drug patents would cost Canadians up to $2 billion a year.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has always insisted it’s a “myth” that the Canada-EU free trade deal would increase health costs.

Source

Feds reject reforms on parliamentary spending oversight

The Harper government has rejected key reforms demanded by a House of Commons committee to eliminate the arcane rules that prevent MPs from properly scrutinizing billions of dollars in spending each year.

In a June report, the all-party committee complained that outdated rules of Parliament are keeping them in the dark about expenditures — obstructing MPs from fulfilling one of their most basic responsibilities.

Among other recommendations, the non-partisan report called on government to issue the federal budget no later than Feb. 1 each year so that other official spending documents that follow can reflect budget decisions.

Currently, detailed expenditure plans placed before parliamentary committees each spring reflect the previous year’s budget, not the current one, hobbling the ability of MPs to properly assess them.

But Tony Clement, the Treasury Board president, has rejected that recommendation. Source

Fugitive businessman with Tory ties arrested in Toronto

Fugitive Nathan Jacobson, whose ties to the federal Conservatives made him the subject of recent question period queries from opposition benches, was arrested at his home in Toronto Thursday afternoon.

The Winnipeg-born businessman had his bail denied in Toronto court Friday and remains in the Toronto West Detention Centre awaiting another appearance Oct. 31.

U.S. Justice authorities in San Diego had told CBC they were upset that no Canadian law enforcement agencies had responded to their July 30 warrant for his arrest when Jacobson failed to attend court after pleading guilty to money laundering.

With others, Jacobson had set up an online pharmacy known as Affpower, based in Costa Rica, that sold drugs to Americans without prescriptions from 2004 to 2006. The 57-year-old was originally charged with several counts of fraud, money laundering and the distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, but he co-operated with authorities and pleaded guilty in 2008 to laundering $46 million in drug payments

——————

Besides donating more than $10,000 to the Conservative Party in recent years, Jacobson was prominent in his philanthropy within the Jewish community. Source

Baird going to UN to oppose Palestinian statehood bid

Nov 28, 2012

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he’ll travel to New York Thursday and will oppose any “unilateral” move by the Palestinian Authority for statehood at the United Nations.

The UN General Assembly is set to consider the matter Thursday, a year after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas formally asked the UN to consider his application for full membership in the UN. Source

UN Expert Calls for Boycott of International Businesses Profiting from Israeli

A United Nations expert today called for boycotting businesses that were profiting from Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands until they brought their operations in line with international human rights and humanitarian law, as he presented his annual report to the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).

Richard Falk, the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, also encouraged civil society to bolster efforts to hold those businesses accountable through legal and political initiatives at the national and international levels.

Source

Senator Patrick Brazeau to be forced on leave after charges

Harper appointed him to the Senate

Patrick Brazeau is to be put on a leave of absence from the Senate until the assault and sexual assault charges against him have been resolved.

Brazeau was charged Friday morning following his arrest the previous morning in Gatineau, Que., across the river from Ottawa.

He was kicked out of the Conservative caucus shortly after the arrest. He will now sit as an Independent. Source

Canadian federal research deal ‘potentially muzzles’ U.S. scientists

Arctic research agreement contains ‘excessively restrictive’ language

Muenchow posted excerpts from the agreement that stated: “Any technology, data, or other information of any kind related to or arising from the project (collectively “information”) shall be deemed confidential and neither party may release any such Information to others in any way whatsoever without the prior written authorization of the other party.”

He pointed out that it was substantially different from a 2003 Canadian government agreement that said, “Subject to the ‘Access to Information and Privacy Acts’, project data and any other project-related information shall be freely available to all parties to this agreement and may be used, disseminated or published, by any party, and any time.”

“The new draft language is excessively restrictive and potentially projects Canadian government control onto me and those I work for and with,” Muenchow wrote. Source

Ex head of McGill superhospital ‘angered’ by corruption allegations

Suspects and charges they face:

Yanaï Elbaz: Fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud towards the government, breach of trust, participating in secret commissions, laundering proceeds of crime.

Jeremy Morris: Fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud towards the government, laundering proceeds of crime.

Arthur Porter: Fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud towards the government, breach of trust, participating in secret commissions, laundering proceeds of crime.

Pierre Duhaime: Fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, use of forged documents, fraud towards the government, participating in secret commissions, laundering proceeds of crime.

Riadh Ben Aïssa: Fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, use of forged documents, fraud towards the government, participating in secret commissions, laundering proceeds of crime. Source

Porter a federal Tory donor while chair of spy watchdog

Former Harper appointee now wanted on fraud charges by Quebec’s anti-corruption squad (Same as above story)

Arthur Porter was a donor to the federal Conservatives during his time at Canada’s spy watchdog, public records show.

But his contributions appear to have run afoul of guidelines that all members of the Security Intelligence Review Committee must abide by.

Elections Canada records show Porter gave the Tories the maximum donation allowed by law over a period spanning the weeks leading up to his appointment to SIRC through to his rise as chair.

The former head of SIRC now faces allegations of fraud in one of the country’s most expensive infrastructure projects.

The Canadian government is trying to extradite Porter from the Bahamas, where he runs a medical clinic and is apparently cancer-stricken. He has said he is too ill to travel, and he denies the allegations against him. Source

Recent Witch Hunt -Conservatives Create a Crisis where there is none.

Tories set ‘targets,’ not quotas for EI fraud

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley sees ‘performance objectives’

The federal government denies it has given civil servants quotas for catching employment insurance fraud — but now says there are performance objectives in place.

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley had flatly denied previous reports that EI investigators have been given monthly dollar quotas.

However, government documents obtained by Montreal newspaper Le Devoir show civil servants are expected to find $485,000 each in fraudulent claims each year — a total that corresponds to the previously reported $40,000 monthly quota. Source

Federal employees making house calls as part of EI audit

1,200 EI recipients ‘randomly sampled’ from across country for ‘integrity’ program. Source

They also want to crush Seasonal workers. Seasonal workers are a necessity in Canada. Fishing, Construction etc Without them Canada could not function in safety.

Unskilled labour, building anything is extremely dangerous. Homes, Apt Buildings, Bridges etc.

The Harper Government suffers from supreme ignorance.

The cost of the EI scam perpetrated against Canadians by this Government, will cost millions of dollars, create more homeless people, up the poverty levels and save Canadian nothing. The cost will outweigh the savings.

This is just more poor bashing. There is very little EI fraud. Definitely not worth the cost to find.

Would anyone in their right mind spend $100 to get back 50 cents or less? That is what Harper is doing. He is however wasting millions to get back a few thousand.

This type of thing was also implemented in Ontario by Mike Harris against Workmans Compensation.

Turned out there was so little fraud it was humiliating to the Harris Government.  Of all the millions spend only 7 were found and those were so minor they were not worth spending the millions to find them.

Some of Mike Harris’s boys are now in this Federal Government and it shines brightly for all to see.

The same cruel tactics are being implemented.

He left Ontario in great Debt and Harper is doing the same thing to all of Canada.

John Baird being one of those Boys. This one as well as Harper do not work for Canadians, they work for Israel, Big oil, Corporations, Mining companies,  Banks, etc.

They allow imported workers from other countries to steal Canadian jobs.

They are selling off Canadian Resources.

War Veterans are treated poorly being denied benefits.

Canada: Harper Ignores First Nations Chief Theresa Spence on hunger strike

Now for a few more Harper Appointees among others.

Twenty-five senators have either refused to prove to CBC News that they live where they claim to or haven’t responded to questions, as a senate probe into their residency and allowances goes on.

CBC’s James Cudmore asked each one of 104 sitting senators to answer:

  • Where they live.
  • Where they hold a driver’s licence and health card.
  • Where they pay taxes.
  • Where they vote.

As of Tuesday, 5 p.m. ET, 96 senators had responded to the CBC’s queries.

Once contacted, 17 senators simply refused to provide the information requested. Sixteen of those senators were Conservative, and 15 were appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Among those who refused:

  • Conservative Donald Oliver, appointed by then-prime minister Brian Mulroney.
  • Former broadcaster Pamela Wallin.
  • Former broadcaster Mike Duffy.
  • Hockey legend Jacques Demers.
  • Former Quebec Conservative campaign co-chair Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis.
  • Former N.W.T. premier Dennis Patterson.
  • Former New Brunswick Conservative cabinet minister Rose-May Poirier
  • Former Montreal Canadian Alliance and later Action Démocratique du Québec organizer Leo Housakos.

Senators respond

After CBC News published this story, another six senators responded to James Cudmore’s questions.

Senator Leo Housakos says he lives in Quebec and holds a Quebec driver’s licence and health card.

Senator Tobias Enverga says he lives in Ontario and holds an Ontario driver’s licence and health card.

Senator Jacques Demers says he lives in Quebec and holds a Quebec driver’s licence and health card.

Senator Nancy Greene Raine says she lives in British Columbia and holds a B.C. driver’s licence and health card.

Senator Lynn Beyak says she lives in Ontario and holds an Ontario driver’s licence and health card.

Senator David Braley says he lives in Ontario and holds an Ontario driver’s licence and health card.

A further six Conservatives have yet to respond at all. All of those are Harper appointees, including:

  • Larry Smith, the former head of the Canadian Football League, who was twice appointed to the Senate, the second time after he resigned from the Senate to run for the House of Commons and lost.
  • Irving Gerstein, a Conservative party fundraiser.

That means a total of 21 Conservative senators appointed by Stephen Harper have either refused or not furnished the residency data to CBC News. Source

Libya‘s Women Activists Outraged by Court Ruling on Wives:

This ruling on multiple wives has horrified liberals, who fear the clock is being turned back on advances made under former leader Moammar Gadhafi.

http://is.gd/A1uGIV

Israel ‘secretly deports’ 1,000 Sudanese who may face persecution at home:

The UN Refugee agency said it was not informed of the move, and that the deportees were forced to return to Sudan where visiting or living in Israel is a crime.

http://is.gd/DkknyR

Palestinian minors face abuse, threats, ill-treatment in Israeli detention – UN

March 06, 2013

Each year, some 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17 – mainly boys – are arrested, interrogated and detained by Israeli army, police and security agents, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said in the 22-page document released on Wednesday.

The rights organization examined the treatment of children at all stages of the military detention process and found examples of practices it called “cruel and inhuman.”

According to the report, the ill-treatment often begins from the very arrest, when children are woken by heavily-armed soldiers and then forcibly brought to an interrogation center “tied and blindfolded, sleep-deprived and in a state of extreme fear.

Based on interviews with children, UNICEF discovered that many minors get “physically and verbally abused,” have limited access to “water, food, toilet facilities and medical care.” Besides that, while in custody, children have lack of access to members of their families and lawyers. Few of them are informed that they have a right to legal counsel at all.

The most common offense that children are arrested for is throwing stones at Israeli soldiers or Jewish settlers. In the majority of cases, the report pointed out, the principal evidence against the child is the child’s own confession, “extracted under duress.”

Forcing children to confess, some interrogators threat them with physical violence, death, “and sexual assault, against themselves or a family member.”

Few children can resist that kind of pressure and in the end of the interrogation sign documents they are ordered to, even though many do not have a clear idea of their contents. “In most cases the forms are in Hebrew, which the overwhelming majority of Palestinian children do not understand,” UNICEF report noted.

Israel is the only place in the world where automatically, a child when he is under arrest, is put before a military tribunal,” Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNICEF’s regional adviser on child protection, told AFP.

It does exist in other countries (but only) as an exception,” he added. “A child is a civilian.

In response to the report, Israel vowed to study its conclusions and “work to implement them through ongoing cooperation with UNICEF, whose work we value and respect.”

The Foreign Ministry said that Israel had cooperated with the children’s rights organization during its work on the report with the goal “of improving issues related to the subject matter of the report.”

The report was based on over 400 cases documented since 2009, legal documents, statistics from both governmental and non-governmental organizations, and reports by UN bodies and Palestinian NGOs. UNICEF also interviewed Israeli and Palestinian lawyers, Israeli officials and Palestinian children.

The arrests of children that the report refers to occurred, it said, in the area defined under international law as “the occupied Palestinian territory, which includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Source

This is the Report I do believe they are Referring to.

Report By Unicef Feb 2013

Each year approximately 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17, the great majority of them boys, are arrested, interrogated and detained by Israeli army, police and security agents.

In the past 10 years, an estimated 7,000 children have been detained, interrogated, prosecuted and/or imprisoned within the Israeli military justice system – an average of two children each day.

————————————

The Harper Government supports this treatment that harms Children.

How would you feel if it were your Child?

Do You?

This is of no surprise considering the treatment of Ashley Smith for throwing Crab Apples.

Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison

Published in: on March 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm  Comments Off  
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Canada: Harper Ignores First Nations Chief Theresa Spence on hunger strike

Hunger-striking chief calls for action amidst health concerns

Time for Harper to ‘show some leadership and to extend a hand,’ NDP says

Aleksandra Sagan, CBC News

Dec 30, 2012

On First Nations Chief Theresa Spence’s 20th day of her politically motivated hunger strike, Canadians and politicians answered her plea for solidarity for her cause to secure a meeting between First Nations leaders, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the Governor General.

The Attawapiskat chief sent Friday a public plea to make Sunday a day of solidarity, asking Canadians to stage protests across the country and petitioning politicians to meet with her in Ottawa, both at 2 p.m.

A number of politicians are starting to make the trek to Victoria Island, Ottawa, where the chief is residing in a teepee, including a 15-member NDP delegation, spokeswoman Valérie Dufour told CBC News.

Originally, 17 NDP MPs were expected, Cheryl Maloney, who self-identified as a Spence supporter and is the president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, told CBC News. However, two expected MPs experienced weather-related delays.

NDP sends MPs to meet with chief

The group, which will visit the chief at 2 p.m. Sunday, will be led by deputy leader Megan Leslie and Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus.

Chief Spence’s expected visitors:

  • Carolyn Bennett, Liberal MP, Aboriginal Affairs critic.
  • Marc Garneau, Liberal MP.
  • Megan Leslie, NDP MP
  • Charlie Angus, NDP MP.
  • Robert Chisholm, NDP MP.
  • Hoang Mai, NDP MP.
  • Andrew Cash, NDP MP.
  • Dan Harris, NDP MP.
  • Raymond Côté, NDP MP.
  • Ruth Ellen Brosseau, NDP MP.
  • François Lapointe, NDP MP.
  • Craig Scott, NDP MP.
  • Paul Dewar, NDP MP.
  • Hélène Laverdière, NDP MP.
  • Jamie Nicholls, NDP MP.
  • Mathieu Ravignat, NDP MP.
  • Wayne Marston, NDP MP.
  • Denis Blanchette, NDP MP.
  • Carol Hughes, NDP MP.
  • Senator Lillian Dyck, Liberal.
  • Senator Jim Munson, Liberal.
  • Senator, Mac Harb, Liberal

The NDP has been following Spence’s hunger strike very closely, Dufour said. Since the chief started her hunger strike on Dec. 11, she has subsisted on fish broth and tea. Her condition has been worsening, according to a statement released Friday.

“Her condition continues to weaken every hour,” read the statement.

On Dec. 18, party leader Thomas Mulcair wrote a letter to Harper asking him to meet with Spence.”Please act swiftly to avoid a personal tragedy for Chief Spence,” he wrote.

Now, 20 days into Spence’s hunger strike, the NDP is “beginning to be very worried,” said Dufour. “It’s dangerous for her…We’re all a bit afraid because she said she’s even willing to die for it.”

Dufour said Harper should meet with First Nations leaders as soon as possible because it is the only way to settle the matter, adding that Spence isn’t asking for much by requesting a meeting with the prime minister.

“Now it’s time for Stephen Harper to show some leadership and to extend a hand and to meet with the leader,” she said.

Spence supporter Maloney, who forwarded the chief’s latest statement, said she was not authorized to speak about Spence’s condition. She said it is getting harder for the chief to host visitors and conduct interviews. The chief has been resting to prepare for Sunday’s guests, which includes 15 NDP MPs, two Liberal MPs and three Liberal senators.

“[We] haven’t heard anything from any Conservatives at all,” she said.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has offered several times to speak with Spence and form a working group, but she rejected his proposals because she believes he is not the one who should be speaking on a nation-to-nation basis.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, an Inuk who is one of two aboriginal MPs in the Conservative cabinet, urged Spence to stop fasting and accept a meeting with Duncan. “That’s the best way to address her issues,” Aglukkaq said.

Spence chose to continue her fast, hoping to secure a meeting with Harper and the Governor General instead.

Former PM visits Spence

On Saturday afternoon, former prime minister Joe Clark visited Spence, following her open invitation.

In a statement after his meeting, Clark said that “there is a general concern that First Nations–Canada relations are headed in a dangerous direction.”

‘First Nations – Canada relations are headed in a dangerous direction’—Joe Clark, former prime minister

People no longer active in political life may have to help support “the resumption of productive discussions,” he said.

“Chief Spence expressed a humble and achievable vision — one which I believe all Canadians can embrace,” he said, adding honest dialogue and mutual commitment can carry-out her vision.

Idle No More rallies staged across Canada

Meanwhile, Canadians are holding rallies in a show of support for the chief.

At least half a dozen events are planned for Sunday across Canada, said CBC’s Shannon Martin.

The Idle No More movement — which has hosted several demonstrations in past weeks and is loosely tied to Spence’s protest — staged a rally in Toronto, Ont., in response to the chief’s call for action. Participants gathered near the Eaton Centre for a “round dance flash mob,” according to the Toronto chapter’s Twitter account.

In Alberta, about 400 protesters gathered outside Harper’s Calgary office, reported CBC’s Devin Heroux. People performed a round dance, carried signs and played drums as part of an Idle No More flash mob.

Various rallies and demonstrations supporting Spence also took place yesterday in Oklahoma, Washington, Cincinnati, and Regina — where a four-day hunger strike is underway, said Martin. Source

Go to Above Source for Video as well.

Canada | Arrange meeting requested by Chief Spence, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada tells PM December 29, 2012

Idle No More is a movement to assert indigenous sovereignty, and to work towards sustainable, renewable development. The movement began in response to Canadian Bill C-45, the government’s omnibus budget implementation bill, that includes changes to land management on reservations which critics feel would enable Canada to control reserves. Along with other areas limiting the control of First Nations in their own territories. For entire Story go HERE

Idle No More Website

The following editorial was originally featured in the First Nations Strategic Bulletin (FNSB), June-October 2012. You can view/download this latest edition of the FNSB by clicking the following link: FNSB June-October 2012

On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to:

1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada;

2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations.

Termination in this context means the ending of First Nations pre-existing sovereign status through federal coercion of First Nations into Land Claims and Self-Government Final Agreements that convert First Nations into municipalities, their reserves into fee simple lands and extinguishment of their Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

To do this the Harper government announced three new policy measures:

  • A “results based” approach to negotiating Modern Treaties and Self-Government Agreements. This is an assessment process of 93 negotiation tables across Canada to determine who will and who won’t agree to terminate Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights under the terms of Canada’s Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government policies. For those tables who won’t agree, negotiations will end as the federal government withdraws from the table and takes funding with them.
  • First Nation regional and national political organizations will have their core funding cut and capped. For regional First Nation political organizations the core funding will be capped at $500,000 annually. For some regional organizations this will result in a funding cut of $1 million or more annually. This will restrict the ability of Chiefs and Executives of Provincial Territorial  organization’s to organize and/or advocate for First Nations rights and interests.
  • First Nation Band and Tribal Council funding for advisory services will be eliminated over the next two years further crippling the ability of Chiefs and Councils and Tribal Council executives to analyze and assess the impacts of federal and provincial policies and legislation on Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

These three new policy measures are on top of the following unilateral federal legislation the Harper government is imposing over First Nations:

Then there are the Senate Public Bills:

  • Bill S-207: An Act to amend the Interpretation Act (non derogation of aboriginal and treaty rights)
  •  Bill S-212: First Nations Self-Government Recognition Bill

The Harper government’s Bills listed above are designed to undermine the collective rights of First Nations by focusing on individual rights. This is the “modern legislative framework” the Conservatives promised in 2006. The 2006 Conservative Platform promised to:

Replace the Indian Act (and related legislation) with a modern legislative framework which provides for the devolution of full legal and democratic responsibility to aboriginal Canadians for their own affairs within the Constitution, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Of course “modern” in Conservative terms means assimilation of First Nations by termination of their collective rights and off-loading federal responsibilities onto the First Nations themselves and the provinces.

One Bill that hasn’t been introduced into Parliament yet, but is still expected, is the First Nations’ Private Ownership Act (FNPOA). This private property concept for Indian Reserves—which has been peddled by the likes of Tom Flanagan and tax proponent and former Kamloops Chief Manny Jules—is also a core plank of the Harper government’s 2006 electoral platform.

The 2006 Conservative Aboriginal Platform promised that if elected a Harper government would:

Support the development of individual property ownership on reserves, to encourage lending for private housing and businesses.

The long-term goals set out in the Harper government’s policy and legislative initiatives listed above are not new; they are at least as old as the Indian Act and were articulated in the federal 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy, which set out a plan to terminate Indian rights as the time.

Previous Termination Plans: 1969 White Paper & Buffalo Jump of 1980’s

The objectives of the 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy were to:

  • Assimilate First Nations.
  • Remove legislative recognition.
  • Neutralize constitutional status.
  • Impose taxation.
  • Encourage provincial encroachment.
  • Eliminate Reserve lands & extinguish Aboriginal Title.
  • Economically underdevelop communities.
  • Dismantle Treaties.

As First Nations galvanized across Canada to fight the Trudeau Liberal government’s proposed 1969 termination policy the federal government was forced to consider a strategy on how to calm the Indian storm of protest.

In a memo dated April 1, 1970, David Munro, an Assistant Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs on Indian Consultation and Negotiations, advised his political masters Jean Chrétien and Pierre Trudeau, as follows:

. . . in our definition of objectives and goals, not only as they appear in formal documents, but also as stated or even implied in informal memoranda, draft planning papers, or causal conversation. We must stop talking about having the objective or goal of phasing out in five years. . . We can still believe with just as much strength and sincerity that the [White Paper] policies we propose are the right ones. . .

The final [White Paper] proposal, which is for the elimination of special status in legislation, must be relegated far into the future. . . my conclusion is that we need not change the [White Paper] policy content, but we should put varying degrees of emphasis on its several components and we should try to discuss it in terms of its components rather than as a whole. . . we should adopt somewhat different tactics in relation to [the White Paper] policy, but that we should not depart from its essential content. (Emphasis added)

In the early 1970’s, the Trudeau Liberal government did back down publicly on implementing the 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy, but as we can see from Mr. Munro’s advice the federal bureaucracy changed the timeline from five years to a long-term implementation of the 1969 White Paper objectives of assimilation/termination.

In the mid-1980’s the Mulroney Conservative government resurrected the elements of the 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy, through a Cabinet memo.

In 1985, a secret federal Cabinet submission was leaked to the media by a DIAND employee. The Report was nicknamed the “Buffalo Jump of the 1980’s” by another federal official. The nickname referred to the effect of the recommendations in the secret Cabinet document, which if adopted, would lead Status Indians to a cultural death — hence the metaphor.

The Buffalo Jump Report proposed a management approach for First Nations policy and
programs, which had the following intent:

  • Limiting & eventually terminating the federal trust obligations;
  • Reducing federal expenditures for First Nations, under funding programs, and prohibiting deficit financing;
  • Shifting responsibility and costs for First Nations services to provinces and “advanced bands” through co-management, tri-partite, and community self-government agreements;
  • “Downsizing” of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) through a devolution of program administration to “advanced bands” and transfer of programs to other federal departments;
  • Negotiating municipal community self-government agreements with First Nations which would result in the First Nation government giving up their Constitutional status as a sovereign government and becoming a municipality subject to provincial or territorial laws;
  • Extinguishing aboriginal title and rights in exchange for fee simple title under provincial or territorial law while giving the province or territory underlying title to First Nations lands.

The Mulroney government’s “Buffalo Jump” plan was temporarily derailed due the 1990 “Oka Crisis”. Mulroney responded to the “Oka Crisis” with his “Four Pillars” of Native Policy:

  • Accelerating the settlement of land claims;
  • Improving the economic and social conditions on Reserves;
  • Strengthening the relationships between Aboriginal Peoples and governments;
  • Examining the concerns of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples in contemporary Canadian life.

In 1991, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney also announced the establishment of a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which began its work later that year; the establishment of an Indian Claims Commission to review Specific Claims; the establishment of a BC Task Force on Claims, which would form the basis for the BC Treaty Commission Process.

In 1992, Aboriginal organizations and the federal government agreed, as part of the 1992 Charlottetown Accord, on amendments to the Constitution Act, 1982 that would have included recognition of the inherent right of self-government for Aboriginal people. For the first time, Aboriginal organizations had been full participants in the talks; however, the Accord was rejected in a national referendum.

With the failure of Canadian constitutional reform in 1992, for the last twenty years, the federal government—whether Liberal or Conservative—has continued to develop policies and legislation based upon the White Paper/Buffalo Jump objectives and many First Nations have regrettably agreed to compromise their constitutional/international rights by negotiating under Canada’s termination policies.

Canada’s Termination Policies Legitimized by Negotiation Tables

It has been thirty years since Aboriginal and Treaty rights have been “recognized and affirmed” in section 35 of Canada’s constitution. Why hasn’t the constitutional protection for First Nations’ Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights been implemented on the ground?

One answer to this question is, following the failure of the First Ministers’ Conferences on Aboriginal Matters in the 1980’s, many First Nations agreed to compromise their section 35 Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights by entering into or negotiating Modern Treaties and/or Self-government Agreements under Canada’s unilateral negotiation terms.

These Modern Treaties and Self-Government Agreements not only contribute to emptying out section 35 of Canada’s constitution of any significant legal, political or economic meaning. Final settlement agreements are then used as precedents against other First Nations’ who are negotiating.

Moreover, Canada’s Land Claims and Self-Government policies are far below the international standards set out in the Articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Canada publicly endorsed the UNDRIP in November 2010, but obviously Canada’s interpretation of the UNDRIP is different than that of most First Nations, considering their unilateral legislation and policy approach.

Canada’s voted against UNDRIP on Sept. 13, 2007, stating that the UNDRIP was inconsistent with Canada’s domestic policies, especially the Articles dealing with Indigenous Peoples’ Self-Determination, Land Rights and Free, Prior Informed Consent.

Canada’s position on UNDRIP now is that they can interpret it as they please, although the principles in UNDRIP form part of international not domestic law.

The federal strategy is to maintain the Indian Act (with amendments) as the main federal law to control and manage First Nations. The only way out of the Indian Act for First Nations is to negotiate an agreement under Canada’s one-sided Land Claims and/or Self-Government policies. These Land Claims/Self-Government Agreements all require the termination of Indigenous rights for some land, cash and delegated jurisdiction under the existing federal and provincial orders of government.

Canada has deemed that it will not recognize the pre-existing sovereignty of First Nations or allow for a distinct First Nations order of government based upon section 35 of Canada’s constitution.

Through blackmail, bribery or force, Canada is using the poverty of First Nations to obtain concessions from First Nations who want out of the Indian Act by way of Land Claims/Self- Government Agreements. All of these Agreements conform to Canada’s interpretation of section 35 of Canada’s constitution, which is to legally, politically and economically convert First Nations into what are essentially ethnic municipalities.

The first groups in Canada who have agreed to compromise their section 35 Inherent and Aboriginal rights through Modern Treaties have created an organization called the Land Claims Agreement Coalition. The Coalition Members are:

  • Council of Yukon First Nations (representing 9 land claim organizations in the Yukon)
  • Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
  • Gwich’in Tribal Council
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
  • Kwanlin Dun First Nation
  • Maa-nulth First Nations
  • Makivik Corporation
  • Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach
  • Nisga’a Nation
  • Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
  • Nunatsiavut Government
  • Sahtu Secretariat Inc.
  • Tlicho Government
  • Tsawwassen First Nation
  • Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

The Land Claims Agreement Coalition Members came together because the federal government wasn’t properly implementing any of their Modern Treaties. So the Coalition essentially became a lobby group to collectively pressure the federal government to respect their Modern Treaties. According to Members of the Coalition Modern Treaty implementation problems persist today.

The fact that Canada has already broken the Modern Treaties shouldn’t inspire confidence for those First Nations who are already lined up at Canada’s Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government negotiation tables.

According to the federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs there are 93 Modern Treaty and/or Self-Government negotiation tables across Canada [http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1346782327802/1346782485058].

Those First Nations who are negotiating at these 93 tables are being used by the federal government (and the provinces/Territories) to legitimize its Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government policies, which are based upon extinguishment of Aboriginal Title and termination of Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

The First Nations who have been refusing to negotiate and are resisting the federal Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government negotiating policies are routinely ignored by the federal government and kept under control and managed through the Indian Act (with amendments).

Attempts by non-negotiating First Nations to reform the federal Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government policies aren’t taken seriously by the federal government because there are so many First Nations who have already compromised their Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights by agreeing to negotiate under the terms and funding conditions of these Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government policies.

For example, following the 1997 Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw decision, which recognized that Aboriginal Title exists in Canada, the Assembly of First Nations tried to reform the Comprehensive Claims policy to be consistent with the Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw decision.

However, the then Minister of Indian Affairs, Robert Nault on December 22, 2000, wrote a letter addressed to then Chief Arthur Manuel that essentially said why should the federal government change the Comprehensive Claims policy if First Nations are prepared to negotiate under it as it is?

A fair question: why do First Nations remain at negotiation tables that ultimately lead to the termination of their peoples Inherent and Aboriginal rights, especially since it appears that Modern Treaties are routinely broken after they are signed by the federal government?

Many of these negotiations are in British Columbia where despite the past twenty years of negotiations the B.C. Treaty process has produced two small Modern Treaties, Tsawwassan and Maa’Nulth. The Nisga’a Treaty was concluded in 2000, outside of the B.C. Treaty process.

All of these Modern Treaties have resulted in extinguishing Aboriginal Title, converting reserve lands into fee simple, removing tax exemptions, converting bands into municipalities, among other impacts on Inherent and Aboriginal rights.

The Harper Government’s Termination Plan

Aside from the unilateral legislation being imposed, or the funding cuts and caps to First Nation’s and their political organizations, the September 4, 2012, announcement of a “results based” approach to Modern Treaties and Self-Government negotiations amounts to a “take it or leave it” declaration on the part of the Harper government to the negotiating First Nations.

Canada’s Comprehensive Claims Policy requires First Nations to borrow money from the federal government to negotiate their “land claims”. According to the federal government:

To date, the total of outstanding loans to Aboriginal groups from Canada to support their participation in negotiations is $711 million. This represents a significant financial liability for the Aboriginal community. In addition, the government of Canada provides $60 million in grants and contributions to Aboriginal groups every year for negotiations.

It is Canada’s policies that forced First Nations to borrow money to negotiate their “claims”, so the “financial liability” was a policy measure designed by the federal government to pressure First Nations into settling their “claims” faster. As the federal government puts it, the Comprehensive Claims negotiation process has instead “spawned a negotiation industry that has no incentive to reach agreement.”

This accumulated debt of $711 million along with the $60 million annual in grants and contributions have compromised those negotiating First Nations and their leaders to the point that they are unable or unwilling to seriously confront the Harper government’s termination plan.

Over 50% of the Comprehensive Claims are located in B.C. and the First Nations Summit represents the negotiating First Nations in B.C., although some negotiating First Nations have now joined the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), thus blurring the historic distinctions between to two political organizations. The latter organization previously vigorously opposed the B.C. Treaty process, but now the UBCIC remains largely silent about it.

These two main political organizations — the First Nations Summit and the UBCIC — have now joined together into the B.C. First Nations Leadership Council, further blending the rights and interests of their respective member communities together, not taking into account whether they are in or out of the B.C. Treaty process.

This may partially explain why the Chiefs who are not in the B.C. Treaty process also remain largely silent about the Harper government’s “results based’ approach to Modern Treaties and Self-Government negotiations.

First Nations in British Columbia are failing to capitalize on that fact, that since the Delgamuukw Decision, the governments have to list unresolved land claims and litigation as a contingent liability. Such liabilities can affect Canada’s sovereign credit rating and provincial credit ratings. To counter this outstanding liability, Canada points to the British Columbia Treaty Process as the avenue how they are dealing with this liability, pointing to the fact that First Nations are borrowing substantive amounts to negotiate with the governments.

Another recent example of how disconnected B.C. First Nations and their organizations are on international versus domestic policy and law, is the First Nations’ outcry over the recent Canada-China Treaty.

The B.C. Chiefs and their organizations are publicly denouncing the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement as adversely impacting on Aboriginal Title and Rights, yet they say or do nothing about Harper’s accelerated termination plan. It seems the negotiating First Nations are more worried about the Canada-China Treaty blocking a future land claims deal under the B.C. Treaty process.

The Chiefs and their organizations at the B.C. Treaty process negotiation tables have had twenty years to negotiate the “recognition and affirmation” of Aboriginal Title and Rights, but this continues to be impossible under Canada’s policies aiming at the extinguishment of collective rights. As a result only two extinguishment Treaties have resulted from the process. Even Sophie Pierre, Chair of the B.C. Treaty Commission has said “If we can’t do it, it’s about time we faced the obvious – I guess we don’t have it, so shut her down”.

By most accounts the twenty year old B.C. Treaty process has been a failure. It has served the governments’ purpose of countering their contingent liabilities regarding Indigenous land rights. Yet it seems the negotiating First Nations are so compromised by their federal loans and dependent on the negotiations funding stream that they are unable or unwilling to withdraw from the tables en masse and make real on the demand that the Harper government reform its Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government policies to be consistent with the Articles of the UNDRIP.

The same can also be said for the negotiating First Nations in the Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic regions.

The Chiefs who are not in the B.C., Quebec or Atlantic negotiating processes have not responded much, if at all, to Harper’s “results based” approach to Modern Treaties and Self-Government. The non-negotiating Chiefs seem to be more interested in managing programs and services issues than their Aboriginal Title and Rights. As one federal official put it, the Chiefs are involved in the elements of the 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy like economic and social development while ignoring the main White Paper objective—termination of First Nations legal status.

Conclusion

Given their silence over the Harper government’s “results based” “take it or leave it” negotiations approach, it seems many of the negotiating First Nations at the Comprehensive Claims and/or Self-Government tables are still contemplating concluding Agreements under Canada’s termination policies.

This can only lead to further division among First Nations across Canada as more First Nations compromise their constitutional and international rights by consenting to final settlement agreements under the terms and conditions of Canada’s termination policies, while undermining the political positions of the non-negotiating First Nations.

In the meantime, Harper’s government will continue pawning off Indigenous lands and resources in the midst of a financial crisis though free trade and foreign investment protection agreements, which will secure foreign corporate access to lands and resources and undermine Indigenous Rights.

Some First Nation leaders and members have criticised AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo for agreeing to a joint approach with the Harper government, including the Crown-First Nations Gathering (CFNG), but to be fair, the Chiefs across Canada did nothing to pressure Prime Minister Harper going into the CFNG. Instead, many Chiefs used the occasion as a photo op posing with the Prime Minister.

The negotiating First Nations who are in joint processes with Canada seem to be collectively heading to the cliff of the “Buffalo Jump” as they enter termination agreements with Canada emptying out section 35 in the process.

Much of the criticism of AFN National Chief Atleo has come from the Prairie Treaty Chiefs. Interestingly, if one looks at the federal chart of the 93 negotiation tables [http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1346782327802/1346782485058] not too many First Nations from historic Treaty areas are involved in the Self-Government tables, except for the Ontario region where the Union of Ontario Indians and Nisnawbe-Aski Nation are negotiating Self-Government agreements.

As a result of the September 4, 2012 announcements regarding changes to Modern Treaties and Self-Government negotiations, cuts and caps to funding First Nations political organizations and unilateral legislation initiatives, it is obvious that Prime Minister Harper has tricked the AFN National Chief and First Nations by showing that the CFNGoutcomes” were largely meaningless.

One commitment that Prime Minister Harper made at the CFNG—which he will probably keep—Is making a progress report in January 2013. The Prime Minister will probably announce the progress being made with all of the negotiating tables across Canada, along with his legislative initiatives.

It appears First Nations are at the proverbial “end of the trail” as the Chiefs seem to be either co-opted or afraid to challenge the Harper government. Most grassroots peoples aren’t even fully informed about the dangerous situation facing them and their future generations.

The only way to counter the Harper government is to:

  • have all negotiating First Nations suspend their talks; and
  • organize coordinated National Days of Action to register First Nations opposition to the Harper government’s termination plan;
  • Demand Canada suspend all First Nations legislation in Parliament, cease introducing new Bills and
  • Change Canada’s Land Claims and Self-Government Policies to “recognize and affirm” the Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of First Nations, including respect and implementation of the Historic Treaties.

If there is no organized protest and resistance to the Harper government’s termination plan, First Nations should accept their place at the bottom of all social, cultural and economic indicators in Canada, just buy into Harper’s jobs and economic action plan—and be quiet about their rights. Source

From 2011 First Nations people again were ignored until the media got involved.

Canada: Attawapiskat Citizens In Desperate Need of Housing -Some are Living in Tents

Here are a couple of videos on Idle No More

Probably not seen on the News

Seems the Canadian press did not do so well in reporting these protests. There are more then the two below that took place across Canada. Check Youtube for more coverage. Or other world media.

Other wise you may not get all the facts. Even Al Jazeera covered the protests.  Indigenous groups protest across Canada

#idlenomore Winnipeg

Idle no more Saskatoon!

Well at least some are covering the hunger strike. Bless their hearts.

From Common Dreams Story and Videos at below link

Canada’s ‘Idle No More’ Movement Spreads Like Wildfire Chief Theresa Spence on 14th day of hunger strike - Craig Brown, staff writer

Seems stopping a few trains will get a bit of attention. Watch all the videos. You will discover Canada’s water will no longer be protected. All Canadians should be concerned. The bill puts about 99 percent of Canada’s water at risk. Stand behind the Canadian First Nations, they are helping protect Canada’s water, not just their own concerns. Get educated before you condemn them. This is a Canadian thing.

Mean while Harper remains silent. As par usual.

I am guessing Harper missed this report or like Chief Spence, is  just ignored it. Ignoring people will not make it go away.

UN food envoy blasts inequality, poverty in Canada Published on Wednesday May 16, 2012

Harper is ignoring the people he is representing. He is ignoring the fact that poverty is killing people.

One must ask themselves, is Harper is a fit leader for Canada?

Ignoring ones own people is a crime against said people.

So is Harper going to follow Germany’s lead. Throwing the poor out of the country.  Link below. Be sure to check it out.  Canada is following their lead with all the privatization.

I am discussed by all of this. For two so called fist world nations they are both appalling. No excuse for either or.

Seems to me the people of your countries should come first and fore-most.

No real leadership in Germany nor is there any in Canada. Both brag of how wealthy they are and yet both treat their citizens like yesterdays garbage.

Both leaders think they have the right to tell others what to do and yet either or cannot even keep the people of their own countries safe.

As first world countries both are failures.

Both should look into their own back yards and clean up the mess.

Getting old in Germany is now a nightmare.
Germany ‘exporting’ old and sick to foreign care homes

People are not trash to be thrown out.

Harper’s running record is sad to begin with.

Here are just a few things he has done to Canadians. Not all just a few.

The above is just one more in Harper’s Glass manajorie.

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

Time for a new page

Be sure to check Part one and two

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

Documents to be Procured/Search Warrant by Elections Canada as pertaining to Racknine

Harpers hit list

This is not about the Harper  but it is important. It is about a Conservative in Alberta.

Seem a few have gotten paid to do nothing. Seem one does not want to give back the money he didn’t really earn.

Corbella: MLAs paid nearly $1M after 14 minutes of work

By Licia Corbella, Calgary Herald

March 16, 2012

Ray Prins, the chairman of “The Committee-That-Never-Meets,” made it clear during its last meeting 40 months ago that the next meeting “could be 20 years from now.”

In case that wasn’t clear enough or might be interpreted as a turn of phrase, he also said, “there are probably no more meetings scheduled any time soon.”

And yet Prins, who is paid $18,000 a year to chair the standing committee on privileges and elections, standing orders and printing, was quoted in Friday’s Herald saying: “I have done nothing wrong. Why would I give money back?”  For the rest of the story

In Edmonton, Alberta

Woman with dementia, 80, dumped at ER, family claims

Conservative Provincial Government  seems to rate right up there with Harper’s conservatives. Alberta had better keep a close eye on them.

Back to the Robo Calls.

This is from March 16 2010

The call that claimed to come from Elections Canada was sent out to 5,053 recipients in the 519 area code that covers Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Windsor and Sarnia. But it was also received by 35 people in downtown Toronto, 74 in the 905 suburban belt surrounding the GTA, 14 in the 613 area code that includes Kingston and Ottawa, 22 in the 705 code area that includes Barrie, Sudbury and North Bay and one person in Thunder Bay. For the rest of the story

There were also live calls from call centers also made.

Also there were calls made in other provinces other then Ontario

Also there were calls made in other provinces other then Ontario Be sure to watch the video.  There is also a map of locations called.

Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro saying it must be a mistake. Be sure to watch the video.

Robocalls could have been mistakes, Tory MP says

Harper wants to privatize, even more of Canada’s Health Care.

Privatization in Canada’s Health Care System is Killing People

Misconduct charges are expected against 45 Toronto police officers involved in the G20 summit two years ago

Canadian Conservative MP Ted Opitz’s Etobicoke Centre win overturned

I will be adding more as it comes.

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

Recent

This is something Canadians should be aware of as Harper wants to harmonize food, to equal US standards. Which in reality means, lowering Canadians standards.

Food Fraud-Yummy! Ammonia-Treated Pink Slime Now in Most U.S. Ground Beef Updated March 18 2012

3 Cnadians accuse U.S. border guards of ‘molestation’

Outrage grows over ‘Stop Kony’ campaign Updated March 18 2012

Canada and the European Union: Advancing the Transatlantic Agenda

April 1 2010

By Dana Gabriel

Although there is a need for Canada to expand its trade horizons, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated with the European Union (EU) appears to be based on the flawed NAFTA model. Many view it as an opportunity to decrease its trade reliance on the U.S., but it could serve to accelerate the corporate takeover of the country.

The deal would exceed NAFTA in its scope and with the third round of negotiations scheduled for April 19-23 in Ottawa, there are lingering concerns regarding its lack of transparency. A Canada-EU CETA could be used to expand NAFTA, strengthen U.S.-EU economic relations and further advance the transatlantic agenda.

Some believe that the recent Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement is an important step in providing protection for future bilateral trade relations, but in the process it opens up provincial and municipal contracts to foreign corporations.

Maude Barlow and Stuart Trew of the Council of Canadians criticized the Conservative government for giving up too much and receiving too little. In an collaborative article they emphasized that, “The provinces have been loath to sign the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement and did not agree to include subnational procurement in NAFTA because they could lose too much say in how public money is spent without getting any new access to the U.S. market.” They went on to say, “We believe the Buy American controversy provided Harper and the provinces, who are actively engaged in ambitious free-trade talks with Europe, with an opportunity to restructure the Canadian economy to reduce the role of our communities in setting spending priorities.”

As part of the proposed CETA with Canada, one of the EU’s top objectives includes gaining access to procurement and services in areas of health, energy, water, as well as other sectors. The Canada-U.S. Buy American deal is an extension of NAFTA and has set a precedent which could further reinforce EU demands.

In mid-December 2009, Internet law columnist Michael Geist reported that the EU had proposed negotiating an intellectual property chapter which could reshape Canadian copyright law. He stated that, “While the leaked document may only represent the starting European position, there is little doubt there will be enormous pressure on Canadian negotiators to cave on the IP provision in return for ‘gains’ in other areas.” This also ties into Canada’s participation in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations which also include the EU, U.S. and other nations. With respect to the Canada-EU CETA, Geist also acknowledged that, “When combined with ACTA, the two agreements would render Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable as Canada would be required to undertake a significant rewrite of its law. The notion of a ‘made-in-Canada’ approach – already under threat from ACTA – would be lost entirely, replaced by a made-in-Washington-and-Brussels law.” Both the U.S. and the EU have singled out Canada for criticism on intellectual property and are pressing for copyright along with other reforms. Conceding to such demands could severely compromise Canadian interests.

Opposition to the scope and process of Canada-EU trade negotiations is increasing. The talks have been marred by secrecy, with little disclosure on the part of the Canadian government and hardly a mention from the mainstream media. Sighting serious concerns, groups such as the Council of Canadians are calling for full transparency They are also demanding a comprehensive impact assessment, protection for public services and procurement, along with the exclusion of any investment chapter. There are fears that a Canada-EU CETA could include provisions such as NAFTA’s Chapter 11, which gives corporations the power to challenge governmental laws and regulations that restrict their profits. NDP International Trade critic Peter Julian recently berated Canadian negotiators for using the obsolete and harmful NAFTA template. He proclaimed, “We need to push the Canada-EU negotiations towards a much more progressive fair trade model.” Julian admitted, “It is regrettable that it seems to have been pushed aside for a NAFTA-style agreement that would decrease most Canadian incomes, encourage lower standards and lead to the loss of democratic sovereignty.” A Canada-EU CETA would further promote transatlantic ties and could later include the U.S., as well as Mexico.

In 2007, the U.S.-EU reached a deal on a new Transatlantic Economic Partnership in an effort to work towards eliminating trade barriers, increasing investment and streamlining harmonization on regulations. The agreement established the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) as a permanent body. Trade policy analyst, Daniella Markheim compared the TEC to the now defunct Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America. “Both the SPP and the TEC address property rights protection and enforcement, effective inspections and data sharing on food safety, border measures affecting trade, and other economic and security concerns.” She also added, “Both of these are forums that enable the U.S. and its significant trade partners to find new avenues to improve the flow of commerce and promote greater coherence and consistency in trade rules and regulations.” A Canada-EU free trade agreement would deepen transatlantic economic integration and advance plans for a common market in the region.

Negotiations are proceeding quickly which could lead to a Canada-EU CETA being signed by 2011. The deal would be subject to compatibility with the terms of NAFTA and could help revive and expand the trilateral accord. In addition to further liberalizing trade in goods, services, investment and procurement, it could also include a labour mobility provision. Interlocking superstates are the foundation for global governance and much like the formation of the EU, a North American Union is being created incrementally. Take NAFTA, along with the SPP agenda which is still moving forward through other initiatives, combine it with the TEC, as well as a Canada-EU CETA and you have the basis for a Transatlantic Union.

Source

Because of NAFTA hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in Canada.

In the first month alone over 100,000 jobs were lost. They have continued to vanish. It was and still is a crappy agreement. Oh sure there were jobs created ones that payed much less however. The descent jobs vanished and people were driven into poverty. Worker safety declined as well. Workers rights went down as well.  Hiring agency’s moved in. They suck the big one.

Lots of privatization happened, which also drove down wages. Work for welfare happened also driving down wages. Nothing like a good slave working for free. People were abused and still are all the time. Some people really love slaves.  Of course when you have free labor you also loose more jobs to the free slave labor and more people end up in extreme poverty. Many end up up working for welfare and they too become slaves. Good for Canada for being so stupid. Makes for lots of desperate workers however.

Even a lot of farmers went out of business. One should always protect the people that feed you.

Safety standards for products also disappear.

Free Trade agreement are terrible. Your standard of living will get worse and the stuff you buy is more times then not, just  junk.  Quality bottoms out.

The cost of living goes up. Privatization drive the cost of living way up. Heat, hydro, water, food  etc. goes up drastically.  Few profit and more are driven into poverty. This has happened in all countries, that participate in Free Trade. The rich get richer and the poor get very much poorer.

If Harper isn’t doing things to take Canadian jobs away, as Free Trade agreements actually do that, he is attempting to remove Canadians freedom of speech.

Israel: Attempting to take away Canadians Freedom of Speech

Or not being truthful to the Canadian public.

Canada: Heavily edited Afghan documents prove need for inquiry

Or does anyone remember this one

Stephen Harper hid the actual cost of the War

Do Canadians now know the true cost of the War. No of course not.

Because of the war Canadians are now in Debt.  A war based on lies I might add.

Canada is going down hill. Not the wonderful place it once was.

Canada: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy

The Harper government has obstructed the issuance of a visa to Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, resulting in the cancellation of Dr. Barghouti’s upcoming speaking tour in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.  Dr. Barghouti applied for a visa on March 5th, for entry into Canada on March 19th, yet despite the urgency of the issue being brought directly to high-level officials in Foreign Affairs and Citizenship and Immigration, the government delayed the issuance of a visa to the point where Barghouti missed two key flights, resulting in a cancellation of Barghouti’s visit.  In addition to being a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and a former presidential candidate, Dr. Barghouti is a recent Nobel Peace Prize nominee.  In the past, Dr. Barghouti has received a visa to Canada within 24 hours after applying.

Source

This one is beyond appalling
Respect MP George Galloway has been blocked from visiting Canada because of his support for Hamas, the country’s immigration office has said.
Opposition New Democratic Party MP Olivia Chow accused the government of “censorship” for not allowing Mr Galloway to tout his anti-war messages in Canada.

Denying him entry to this country is “an affront to freedom of speech” and shows the Canadian government “is frightened of an open debate on an unpopular war,” she said. Source

George Galloways only crime is he care about the people of Gaza and the fact they are suffering from lack of everything. Food, medical care etc etc etc. That is no reason to ban him from a country any country.

I am guessing this Jewish British MP Sir Gerald would be banned from Canada as well. He wasn’t to pleased with Israel either.

Canada certainly has changed since Harper was elected and not for the better.

Even his party members need permission to talk to the press. How sad, even they do not have freedom of speech.

Proroguing parliament twice in as many years, has not sat well with Canadian either.

Harper is shooting himself in the foot.

He is suppose to respect and work for Canadians, but that  is not what is happening.

Recent

Full Israeli  El Al flight took off on 9/11 from JFK to Tel Aviv

Foreign control of large swathes of the Sinai Peninsula obtained through fraud and Israeli involvement

Mossad using Spanish passport Arrested in Algeria

British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Tony Blair’s attempt to keep his Iraqi Oil Profits a secret

Women in Iraq Miss Saddam

Israel condemned at Arab summit over Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land

Canadians: Tell your MP – End the War In Afghanistan Bring the Troops Home NOW!

Pan-Canadian Call in Day Tell your MP – End the War In Afghanistan Bring the Troops Home NOW!
September 21, 2009

Parliament had started the fall session.. It is likely that the session will break for another election. The peace movement needs to make sure that the war in Afghanistan is an election issue, but to do so we need to send a message to the parties today. Send a note to the PM and your MP and remind them that that a majority of Canadians want to end the war in Afghanistan NOW.

The Conservatives have said that they will not extend the mission after the 2011 end date but NATO and the US have already openly called for Canada to stay. We have an important job in this country to bring our troops home. Canada’s international reputation as a peacekeeper is being used by NATO countries as an argument in favour of sending their own troops to Afghanistan. If Canada extends its commitment to the war, that is a set back for the anti-war movement internationally.

It is unlikely that there will be an extension before a federal election. The Conservatives and Liberals,  both of whom are responsible for the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan do not want to run an election where the war is an issue. But we have to make the war an issue now, during and after the election. To that end the Canadian Peace Alliance, has produced new resources to build that campaign.

Download the NEW fact-sheet, Top Ten Reasons to End the War In Afghanistan
Download the NEW postcard or call or e-mail the CPA office to get a stack of postcards mailed to you.
Download the Petition calling for an end to the war.

We need to send a message to Harper and all Members of Parliament that it is time to end the war now.

E-mail Stephen Harper at:
pm@pm.gc.ca
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900

Call, FAX, E-mail, or send a postcard to your MP. A list of MP’s and their contact info is available on the Parliamentary website.

********************************************

Soldiers and civilians are dieing and injured every day. It is time to make absolutely sure the Canadian troops are brought home.

This war has been going on and on for 8 years.

Each year more troops die. In 2000  it was 12.  In 2009  358.

Each year there were more.  This year isn’t over yet.

Canada has lost 131 to date.  The numbers are growing.

When civilians die their relatives want revenge and many have joined the Taliban. The more civilians that die the more people want revenge for their deaths. Personalty I can not say I blame them. If someone wiped out my entire family or my wife or my children I would be out to kill those who killed them too. Wouldn’t you?

Nato invaded their country. Afghans are defending their country, they have every right to do that. Apparently over 11,000 have died defending their country and they have a few more million that could join the fight.If we keep killing their people they will surely never run out out of people to take up arms against NATO.

It’s time to say no more war.

The US decided to attack Afghanistan long before 9/11, not because of it.  Because they wanted the pipeline.  The US and Pakistan helped put the Taliban into power in the first place, some years back. The CIA created Al Quada. They created the very enemy we are now fighting. How bazaar?

The new Guy is just and Ex Oil company employee who worked for Unicol Oil. One of the companies who was after the Taliban to build a pipeline back in the nineties.  The US picked him not the people of Afghanistan. So we are not their to give Afghans democracy.

Canadians are not being told the Truth.

Harper lied about how much the war was costing.

They have not told us how many have been injured. Why?

The troops have also been exposed to radiation compliment of the Bunker Buster bombs the US dropped, coincidentally the US stopped using them after there was and Earth Quake in Afghanistan. Could a Bunker Buster cause and Earth Quake. Yes it can. One can only guess how much Depleted Uranium has been used.

This war has nothing to do with 9/11. Usama  Bin Ladin has never been connected to it. They were looking for Saudi Arabians not
Afghans.

This war is over Gas and Oil nothing more nothing less. They want control over the entire Middle East. That is the agenda and has been for many years.  Why are troops fighting for the US agenda?

Troops from any country are to defend their own soil and help others in need. Not to destroy a people or a country for their own agenda.

In Iraq over a million people died and 5 million children are now orphans but let Muntazer al-Zaidi tells you why he Threw the Shoe.

So how many Afghans must die before they stop warmongering?

How many more young military men and women must die?

Hell call or write your MP’s and say no more.

E-mail Stephen Harper at:
pm@pm.gc.ca
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900

Call, FAX, E-mail, or send a postcard to your MP. A list of MP’s and their contact info is available on the Parliamentary website.

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

Victims’ families tell their stories following Nato airstrike in Afghanistan

(Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Is Osama bin Laden still alive, Seems the answer is no

Has Usama Bin Ladin been dead for seven years – and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?

Afghanistan’s hidden toll: Injured Troops

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 4:19 am  Comments Off  
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A series of political rallies were held in cities across Canada

Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the Bloc Quebecois supported Liberal-NDP coalition to replace the Conservative minority government, in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the Bloc Quebecois supported Liberal-NDP coalition to replace the Conservative minority government, in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the coalition to replace the Conservative minority government in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the coalition to replace the Conservative minority government in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Nancy Szkurhan, of Kanata, Ont., holds a sign as she takes part in an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick)

Nancy Szkurhan, of Kanata, Ont., holds a sign as she takes part in an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick)

Coalition and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and NDP leader Jack Layton raise their joined hands at a pro-coalition rally in Toronto on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Coalition and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and NDP leader Jack Layton raise their joined hands at a pro-coalition rally in Toronto on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A protester holds up a drawing of Liberal Leader Stephane Dion stylized as Stalin during an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday Dec. 4, 2008. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A protester holds up a drawing of Liberal Leader Stephane Dion stylized as Stalin during an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday Dec. 4, 2008. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

December 6 2008

A series of political rallies were held in cities across Canada on Saturday, some in support and others in protest of the opposition coalition that threatened to topple the Conservative government earlier this week.

In some cases, both pro- and anti-coalition rallies took place in the same city.

In Toronto, Canada’s federal Liberal and NDP leaders addressed several thousand supporters in Toronto on Saturday afternoon.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion told a pro-coalition crowd at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square that Canada urgently needs a plan to help the country’s economy.

“We want to help our country to fight the economic crisis that is coming, and for that we need to pull together,” he said Saturday afternoon.

He also said Prime Minister Stephen Harper had “wasted time on partisan games and locked the doors of Parliament.”

NDP Leader Jack Layton followed Dion and told the crowd that the prime minister had put “a padlock on Parliament Hill” and was “desperately clinging to power.”

“By closing down Parliament, he has silenced your voice,” Layton said. “He has turned his back on the economy and on the people who are being thrown out of work.”

Layton criticized Harper for delivering “an ideological plan” in the government’s fiscal update, when Canadians needed the prime minister to look after their best interests.

About two kilometers north of the pro-coalition rally featuring Layton and Dion, a crowd of more than 500 held an anti-coalition rally at the provincial legislature buildings in Queen’s Park.

In Ottawa, an anti-coalition rally saw an estimated 3,000 people gather on Parliament Hill in the bitter cold, in order to protest the Liberal-NDP coalition that is backed up by the Bloc Quebecois.

CTV’s John Hua said crowd members had told him “the people here are for Stephen Harper, but for the most part they are here for democracy.”

“They have come because they have chosen a government, they have chosen the specific people to lead this country, and that it’s…not up to backroom deals for people to come together and pull that majority away from Stephen Harper,” he told CTV’s Newsnet in a phone interview from Ottawa.

Another rally in Calgary saw about 2,000 people gather in support of the existing Conservative government, and just over 200 people showed up to a similar rally in Halifax.

Another 200 people showed up at anti-coalition rally held in front of the New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton.

In Halifax, protesters held placards urging federal politicians to respect their votes, using slogans like “My Vote Counts,” “No Secret Deals” and “Respect Our Votes” to convey their message.

Conservative MP Gerry Keddy, who was present at the Halifax rally, called on the coalition to give “its head a shake.”

In Montreal, just under 1,000 people showed up to a pro-coalition rally that was organized by three major Quebec unions.

That rally was attended by Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe, as well as NDP and Liberal party representatives.

Duceppe told the crowd that Harper is “trying to make Canada a banana republic” by proroguing Parliament.

Also in Montreal, a crowd of about 30 people held a demonstration outside Dion’s Montreal offices, in support of the Conservative government.

All of the protests began at noon ET on Saturday, including about 20 organized by Canadians for Democracy, which opposes the proposed Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois coalition.

On its website, rallyforcanada.ca, the group accuses the NDP and Liberals of getting into bed with separatists and warns that the threat of a coalition taking power will resume once Parliament returns on Jan. 26.

“Let’s rally to show the proposed coalition that this isn’t a good option,” reads a message on the website.

The Canadian Labour Congress, which supports the coalition, held rallies in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, as well as in Montreal and Sudbury, Ont.

A radio ad that also appears on the CLC’s website encourages supporters to attend Saturday’s rallies by slamming Harper’s inability to work with the opposition parties to devise solutions for a sluggish economy.

“During the election, Stephen Harper told us he would make a minority Parliament work and put our economy first. He has failed.”

The rallies come at the end of a whirlwind week in Ottawa, as the three opposition parties threatened to overthrow Harper’s Conservative minority and take power after a confidence vote that had been scheduled for Monday.

The move was largely a response to last week’s economic update, delivered by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, which withdrew public funding for the federal parties and failed to include details of an economic stimulus package.

Harper responded by asking Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to prorogue Parliament. That gives him until Jan. 26 to prepare a budget that will contain a plan for stimulating the economy. Jean agreed and Harper will now present a budget on Jan. 27.

He has said he would like input from the opposition parties as he prepares his economic plan.

Saturday’s rallies follow a series of pro-coalition protests Thursday, including one on Parliament Hill that drew about 2,000 supporters.

Source

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces that Governor General Michaelle Jean approved his recommendation to prorogue Parliament at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Thursday, Dec. 4 , 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Tom Hanson)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper prepares his speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec.3, 2008. (Tom Hanson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper prepares his speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec.3, 2008. (Tom Hanson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion reads his speech in reaction to the prime minister's televised speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion reads his speech in reaction to the prime minister’s televised speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Harper wrong on democracy claims: experts

December 4 2008

By Jim Brown

OTTAWA — If there’s one point on which Stephen Harper has been adamant, it’s his claim that the opposition politicians trying to strip him of power are undermining democracy.

“The Canadian government has always been chosen by the people,” the prime minister declared in his mid-week televised address to the country.

But now, he told viewers, a coalition of opposition parties is trying to oust him through a backroom deal “without your say, without your consent and without your vote.”

Just how valid is Harper’s claim that changing governments without a new election would be undemocratic?

“It’s politics, it’s pure rhetoric,” said Ned Franks, a retired Queen’s University expert on parliamentary affairs. “Everything that’s been happening is both legal and constitutional.”

Other scholars are virtually unanimous in their agreement. They say Harper’s populist theory of democracy is more suited to a U.S.-style presidential system, in which voters cast ballots directly for a national leader, than it is to Canadian parliamentary democracy.

“He’s appealing to people who learned their civics from American television,” said Henry Jacek, a political scientist at McMaster University.

Harper signed similar document in 2004

In Canada, there’s no national vote for prime minister. People elect MPs in 308 ridings, and a government holds power only as long as it has the support of a majority of those MPs.

“We have a rule that the licence to govern is having the confidence of the House of Commons,” said Peter Russell, a former University of Toronto professor and adviser to past governors general.

“I’m sorry, that’s the rule. If they want to change it to having a public opinion poll, we’d have to reform and rewrite our Constitution.”

Harper himself signed a letter to then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in 2004, claiming the right to form a government if Paul Martin’s minority Liberals could be defeated in a confidence vote in the Commons.

His ostensible partners would have been NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe — now derided by Harper as the “socialist” and the “separatist” in Liberal Leader Stephane Dion’s coalition.

“I was just as much a sovereigntist then as I am now,” Duceppe sniffed Thursday in a reference to Harper’s new-found aversion to any deals with the Bloc.

Such facts are conveniently forgottenby some members of Harper’s cabinet who have been even more vocal than their boss in the current crisis.

Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn has characterized the opposition effort to bring down the Tories as a “coup d’etat.”

Transport Minister John Baird spoke Thursday of the need for the Conservatives to go “over the heads” of both Parliament and Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to take their case straight to the people.

There’s no doubt the central Harper claim — that he can’t legitimately be dumped from office without a new election — is dead wrong, said Jonathan Rose, a Queen’s University political scientist.

But as a communications strategy it has the virtue of being simple, direct and powerful.

“He’s using this bludgeon of an argument (but) most people just see the word democracy and have some intuitive connection to it,” said Rose.

By contrast, the theory and practice of parliamentary confidence and responsible cabinet government take some explaining.

But Harper may have undermined his own effort Thursday with his visit to the Governor General to get permission to shut down Parliament for seven weeks.

It was the only way he could dodge a confidence vote that would have toppled his government next Monday. But it also presented the Liberals, NDP and Bloc with a ready-made response to the prime minister’s claim of democratic superiority.

“You need something visceral and simple,” said Rose. “The opposition metaphor of locking the doors to Parliament does it. I think people understand that.”

Source

Harper ‘lies’ about coalition details

Silence on Canadian coalition crisis in U.S. media What a Shocker, LOL

December 4 2008

by KEITH GOTTSCHALK

I watch a lot of CNN. I watch a lot of MSNBC. I read many news sources online. I have seen nothing in the US media about the attempt by the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc to oust Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a no confidence vote and rule by a coalition of the opposition parties.

I understand that there has been a mention in the Huffington Post and one other progressive site.

Perhaps it’s too much to expect the myopic and self-absorbed US media to pay any attention at all to events in Canada. In reality, I feel strongly that this is extremely short-sighted and journalistically irresponsible.

I have to wonder if such a crises occurred in Mexico, if the coverage in the US press would have been any different. Because of the border and immigration issue, I suspect it would be.

These are possibly cataclysmic political events in one of the leading democracies in the Western world AND the USA’s number one trading partner.

This is serious stuff of which the incoming administration of Barack Obama, who strongly favors continuing cooperation on North American trade, travel and security issues, should, and probably are, keeping an eye on.

But the media? No. And that is a shame. Every day across Canada, Canadians are kept abreast of everything that happens to the neighbor to the south. Americans knowledge of Canada lands up being a punch line for Rick Mercer.

Well, I’m doing my part here on rabble and talking to MY fellow Americans about this issue. Of course, most of the time I get the MEGO (my eyes glaze over) reaction.

I don’t expect much international news from the myopic American media. But for goodness sakes we shouldn’t be ignoring historically significant events in Canada.

And for that, as a former journalist, I feel a sense of shame.

Source

Poor Keith: well you know the American media only airs what is important to the Bush agenda nothing more nothing less. Could be nobody told them about it. Could be they are blind as bats.

Do Canadians want their politics ravaged by the American media anyway.?

They would come up with some interesting scenarios I bet.

My Lord they would have Canadians turned into terrorists in not time flat.

Then they would be bombing the country just for the sake of so called “WE MUST PROTECT OURSELVES” from those evil doers up north.

You know it may be better if Canadians just didn’t bother to mention it at all to the Americans for their safety. They can really take a simple thing and turn it into something outrageous.

Wouldn’t want Canadians to be accused of something horrible.  One thing about the American media is they can take anything simple and make a mountain out of it. Anything for ratings you know. So Keith in the best interest of the Country be thankful they haven’t noticed.

So sorry for your dilemma however. I do whole heartily see what you mean and it is rather odd one might say.  Or is it? Americans are told only what the Government wants them to know.

So I guess my Question would be:  Why don’t they want them to know?

Then again I haven’t noticed it anywhere else in the world either.

Do you think Canadians should mention it to the rest of the world?  Cuz they don’t know.

Amazing that little secret has been so well kept. LOL

Well you know Iceland became a Terrorist Nation because of Gordon Brown and I have to wonder how many in the US knows anything about that one either?

I have it on good authority they probably don’t have a clue.

The Shame of it all. Now that I think of it when Palin was running for office with McCain, she didn’t even know Stephen Harper was the  Prime Minister of Canada. LOL Her next door neighbour and she missed it. How special.

So now someone actually expects their media to notice anything.  Okey dokey.

OK I rest my case.

All I can say is Keith if I trip over a story (on page 22 or 35 whatever the case), in any of their papers I will send you a copy. Then you can Frame it for future references. Or throw darts at it whichever you feel is befitting the story they write. I promise. Honest to goodness I will.

I swear on a stack of bush wackers. Or on a box of Cracker Jacks.

Sometimes being ignored is a good thing.

These are the folks who thought the $2 coin with a poppy on it was dangerous. Go figure that one. Fox news had a great time with that one.

OH that evil coin. Oh that one is so hard to forget. LOL

Harper ‘lies’ about coalition details

Canadian Leaders Fighting tooth and nail

Tories launching public opinion war to prevent coalition takeover

OTTAWA — The Conservative government launched an all-out air and web war Tuesday and may toss in an old-fashioned nationally televised prime ministerial address to save itself.

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, the target of much of the Conservatives’ furious lobbying, cut short a state visit to Europe and will return to Ottawa today to deal with the unprecedented parliamentary meltdown.

Click here for more on the political crisis in Ottawa

She should expect to find outraged Conservatives waiting for her outside the gates of Rideau Hall.

A far more pugnacious Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he will fight a coalition threat to his government by mobilizing public opinion against what his party calls the “imposition of radical new government without the people’s consent.”

A formal Liberal-NDP coalition, led by Stephane Dion and backed by the Bloc Quebecois, says it will defeat Harper’s minority at the earliest opportunity and then ask the Governor General to give it the chance to govern.

The Harper government has appeared to be reeling for days. On Tuesday, the prime minister fought back with a frantic 11th -hour effort to paint the coalition as utterly lacking in democratic legitimacy.

The Tories launched English-language radio ads, staged small rallies around the capital, blitzed radio call-in shows and promoted a massive weekend demonstration called RallyforCanada. An official said Harper may take to the airwaves in a national TV address.

The government also announced, in conjunction with Ontario, a special adviser on the auto crisis and restructuring plans.

The Liberal party says it’s also developing an ad campaign, and the Canadian Labour Congress, which is organizing rallies to support the coalition, says it has radio spots ready to go in Vancouver and Toronto.

There are limited survival options for Harper’s minority. His Conservative government has lost the confidence of the majority of MPs in the House of Commons but has not yet permitted the formal expression of this non-confidence in a parliamentary vote.

What took place Tuesday in the Commons was full-throated battle rhetoric.

“The highest principal of Canadian democracy is that if you want to be prime minister, you get your mandate from the Canadian people — not from Quebec separatists!” Harper thundered across the aisle at Dion.

The Liberal leader responded by quoting the prime minister’s own words from 2005, when Harper as Opposition leader said avoiding confidence votes in the Commons was a “”violation of fundamental constitutional policies and principals in our system.””

“Is he in agreement with himself?” Dion needled.

As strange, unheralded and unwieldy as the proposed Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition may be, constitutional experts are unanimous that its installation as an alternative government is well within the letter of Canada’s parliamentary system.

The combined Commons majority, agreeing that it has lost confidence in the Harper government because of a provocative economic update, has written Jean asking that she install them in power rather than forcing Canada into its second $300-million election in two months.

The current tempest may be unprecedented in Canada’s federal history, but the Governor General appeared to be taking the looming crisis in stride.

“This is part of our democratic system,” Jean told CBC on Tuesday before departing from Prague for Ottawa.

“The role of the Governor General is to make sure that our governance is on the right path. So as soon as I’m back I will fulfil my duties in total, sound judgment.”

The pressure on her slender shoulders is going to be immense.

The Conservatives are counting on public outrage to create dissension and doubts within the fledgling coalition.

They’re also cultivating second thoughts for a Governor General who is plumbing uncharted constitutional depths. Without naming Jean, government officials are adamant that a new election must be called if the Tories fall.

“Our position is very clearly that it’s undemocratic to change the government in this way — in this radical way — without going back to the people,” a Harper spokesman said at a background briefing.

“It’s an affront to democracy. It’s an attack on our democracy.”

In an effort to inflame public sentiment and drive a wedge into the coalition, the Conservatives are also pounding away at the theme of Dion — who earned his political spurs as a defender of national unity — in bed with the separatist Bloc.

Harper invoked the names of Tory and Liberal prime ministers Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau to warn Dion that he was “betraying the best interests and the best traditions of his own party” by making a deal with Duceppe.

And — at least in English — the Conservatives repeatedly stated that the Bloc will have a “veto” over every policy of the new coalition.

In French, however, Public Works Minister Christian Paradis cited a Liberal MP to claim that “the leader of the Bloc has signed a blank cheque and given away his independence.”

During an extraordinary head-to-head exchange later during question period, Dion and Harper debated the Quebec angle at length. Dion, his voice cracking, was sputtering with rage while pointing out the contradictory Conservative messages for French and English Canadian audiences.

“He’s saying that we Liberals are selling Canada to the separatists — and his Quebec MPs are saying that the separatists are solding (selling) their soul to the Liberals! He needs to choose between these two lies.”

The National Citizens Coalition, which Harper used to head, is publicly advocating that Parliament be prorogued — or dissolved — until the end of January. The right-leaning advocacy group is urging citizens to directly lobby the Governor General to that end.

The Conservatives refuse to even utter the word “prorogue.” But they also refuse to rule it out, saying repeatedly that they’ll pursue “every legal means” to avert defeat.

“That’s the million-dollar question,” said one Conservative insider.

Such a tactic would require some pretzel logic from Harper.

As Opposition leader, he argued convincingly in 2005 that the Liberal minority of Paul Martin should be able to earn the confidence of the Commons every day.

Exactly a week before a May 18, 2005, confidence vote, Harper expressed outrage that the Liberals were delaying an expression of Parliament’s will.

“The government has lost the moral authority and the democratic legitimacy to govern,” said Harper. “They cannot carry on. It is time, for God’s sake, to go.”

Source

Well isn’t this a fine mess.

There are two sides to every story.

I remember A Conservative stating he wanting to sell Crown property/assets.

Of course I never did find out what it was they wanted to sell.  So there is one issue that I am still curious about.

Taking away funding to parties when going to election. Well that was just stupid on the part of the Conservatives. That could be a rather large problem. Obviously pissed of a few people.

I am guessing it would mean if you wanted to run as an MP in Canada, one would have to be quite rich.

That of course that would leave a lot of potential candidates in financial crisis and of course unable to run for a position in Government.  Well that is So Not Canadian.

Only having those rich enough to run, is not Canadians cup of tea for sure.

Harper deliberately seems to want to antagonize the opposition.  Why I am not sure.

Maybe he wants to be run out of town.

A Coalition Government may not be a bad idea. I would have to examine all the ups and downs to it first.  In other words I have to think about it for a while.

It is obvious they are co-operating quite nicely with one another. Co-operation is a rather refreshing. I am rather amazed they could all come together on this. Having the Block in there isn’t the end of Canada, not by a long shot. Lets face it none of the other parties would tolerate a vote  to separate Quebec, from the rest of Canada, so that isn’t a problem. So simply through the process of elimination that one is off the table. Next……..

Harper called the election early which was against HIS OWN LAW he and his party created.

So when it comes to having faith in Harper well a few might think about that one for a bit……?  When one breaks a law that makes them a criminal……………… Does it not?

Just throwing some thoughts out there.

Seems to me Harper is doing a few things that are just a bit off. He cannot even be trusted to comply by laws he and his party created.  Just a an observation.

Two other Questions Canadians should be asking.

  1. Why would one deliberately antagonize the opposition?
  2. What Crown assets are the Conservatives planning on selling and to who?

So Harper will not get a pity party from here that is for sure.

$2.3 billion in crown assets for sale. Will Flaherty spend the cash or pay down the debt?
November 27 2008

The Canadian Press is reporting that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty hopes to keep the government out of deficit in part by selling $2.3 billion in crown assets, including real estate, and making $2 billion in cuts by eliminating department waste and reining in perks for ministers and top bureaucrats.

The government is also proposing a temporary removal of the right to strike in the public service, perhaps indicating its intentions to get serious about reducing the size of government, and neutralizing the union opposition in advance.

I’m impressed.

As for the sale of government assets, it’s not entirely clear if the Harper Government intends to add this money directly to general revenue, or if the party will follow the advice of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) and apply these windfall revenues against the national debt, and use the interest savings for tax relief stimulus.

Kevin Gaudet with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation thinks the government should “turn assets into tax relief” by selling crown assets, paying down the debt and applying interest savings toward tax relief, which is exactly what the government’s own “tax back guarantee” policy does.

Source

The above author may be impressed but I am not. This has a chilling memory of  Mike Harris around it. You know the guy who messed up Ontario.

So the rhetoric and mud slinging begins.

But is will be interesting to watch it all to say the least.

ONTARIO IS THE CHILD POVERTY CENTRE OF CANADA

Canadians using food banks at record levels

Canadian Government to Curb Parliamentary Perks

Who Cares about Omar Khadr ?


By Debbie Menon

October 16, 2008

Omar Khadr is probably the greatest shame on Canada, because two governments, the Liberals under Paul Martin and the Conservatives under Harper have both made the overt decision to leave him in prison. The case against him is insane.

He was a child, aged 15. He was in Afghanistan because his parents took him there. His father and mother are militant Muslims. He was in a building that US commandos suddenly attacked. When people in the building shot back, they bombed the building and blew it to bits. Then they approached the building, and a US soldier got killed by a hand grenade thrown from the ruins of the building. When they entered the ruins Omar was still alive, but, others were too. In a revised report, they made him the only one left alive. He has been charged with murder. He was shot at close range by bullets (plural).

The case is insane for several reasons:

1) He is a child soldier, which means he is a victim of war not a war criminal.

2) Evidence was changed to make him the only person by inference who might have thrown a hand grenade.There is no witness that he did.

3) Soldiers killed while attacking a house in a foreign country cannot be victims of murder. They are casualties of war.

4) People in a house being attacked by foreigners are engaged in self-defense.

The US has made a category that a person is not a soldier and is not a civilian: unlawful enemy combatant. So laws of war and POW treatment do not apply and criminal laws also do not apply.

He has been tortured in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo.

There is not much evidence against him and there is lack of jurisdiction in US Law related to “child soldiers”. The only reason he is still in Guantanamo Bay is because the government is afraid they have turned him into a radical. He is young and can be rehabilitated. Everyone, even the Canadian officials who came to console him, have done nothing and he continues to be persecuted.

I received a plea from a woman Zainab Ali asking: “Who cares for this boy?”

http://cageprisoners.com/articles.php?id=25526

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQHFFbD_-Pg

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/khadr/omar-khadr.html

http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/346020

http://www.thestar.com/article/512286

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/11128331/follow_omar_khadr_from_an_al_qaeda_childhood_to_a_gitmo_cell

It is not that no one cares…Zainab cares… I care… Moazzem Begg cares… there are probably others, even his captors, who may care.

The problem is, none of us who care are in any position or hold any power to do anything for him. We are not even voters in America and do not even have the stilled voice of constituency, or a representative to write to, which would be futile anyway.

The editors we know are not going to be interested because this is not the kind of news which sells time and space in their media.

And, no one else is paid to care!

To even publish this kind of stuff more than once will get an editor the name of a “bleeding heart sympathizer with terrorists” and risk loss of readership, which his corporate bosses who need the sales numbers in order to sell space and time would not appreciate!

Yes, if they released him they would either have a new and dedicated enemy warrior on their hands, or a “Poster Boy” to inspire and recruit many more.
It is more than likely that they simply consider that they have a problem, and the longer they have kept him the more difficult it has become to release him. Think of the “Missing in Action POWs” whom John McCain and his Government left behind in Vietnam. The longer they denied their existence, the harder it became to bring them back in from the cold and, eventually, they had to write them off because it would have been too embarrassing to save them. This is what is happening in Gitmo.

The kid has no chance. Unless some Colonel, General, or someone with sufficient authority, if even for a moment, should step in, risk his neck, and sign a paper which gets the boy free long enough for him to make it back home to cover. This is extremely unlikely!

There must be some reason why this lad did not die from his wounds. A shotgun blast to the back with sufficient force to exit the chest is a pretty fatal event. Perhaps the Power which kept him alive this long will reveal

His purpose in time. Yeah, I know that is even more rhetorical crap, but then, that is my stock in trade!

Wars produce even worse things and casualties. He is one of them.

The  current dead, maimed, and homeless count this morning, in Iraq

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,273,378″
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq 4,185
http://icasualties.org/oif/

The War And Occupation Of Iraq Costs
$563,004,340,867

See the cost in your community
http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

1,273,378 Who cares about them? How many American youths have they sent to be killed? 4,180 Who cares about them? It has been 7 years and counting.

Do not expect the Americans to care. Very little, I can assure you!

Prayer may help…I’m not sure.

Source

This young man should be removed from US custody immediately. This should have never happened to him or any other child for that matter.

I am also thinking of the million plus people who are now dead because of the Bush Administration lies and propaganda. I am also thinking of the soldiers who also died because of Bush and his lies.

So why is Bush and his cronies, who manufactured the lies and deceit not being punished for murder, genocide, war crimes, fraud, etc etc etc?  I have to ask?

Harper hasn’t done enough to have this young man removed from US custody.

Canadians have been trying to get his attention. He isn’t listening however. Many have been trying from day one. What Bush Administration is doing to this young man, is illegal.

Stephen Harper lied about Cadman Tape

Cadman bribe tape wasn’t doctored: Expert

A file photo of Independent MP Chuck Cadman. Author Tom Zytaruk asked the prime minister on tape about an alleged attempt by Conservative officials to bribe Cadman.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s own audio expert says a tape providing key evidence about an alleged bribe was not doctored as Harper has claimed.

Ted Colley ,  Canwest News Service

October 10, 2008

SURREY, B.C. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s own audio expert says a tape providing key evidence about an alleged bribe was not doctored as Harper has claimed.

Author Tom Zytaruk asked the prime minister on tape about an alleged attempt by Conservative officials to bribe Independent MP Chuck Cadman.

In 2005, Cadman told his wife, Dona Cadman, that two Conservative representatives had offered him a $1-million life insurance policy in exchange for his vote in a confidence motion aimed at bringing down the Liberal government.

Cadman was terminally ill at the time and died just two months later.

The interview, in which Harper speaks of an offer to Cadman “to replace financial considerations he might lose during an election,” has been cited by Liberals in the House of Commons and on articles posted on the Liberal party website as evidence that Mr. Harper knew of an alleged attempt to bribe Cadman in May 2005, in exchange for his vote in the Commons to topple the Liberal government of the day. Harper, who denies knowing any such thing, is suing the Liberals for $3.5-million.

Two audio experts hired earlier by Harper said the tape appeared to have been doctored.

An Ontario judge ordered another analysis and Harper tapped former FBI agent Bruce Koenig for the job.

Koenig said the portion of the tape dealing with the insurance policy “contains neither physical nor electronic splices, edits or alterations,” according to a report entered in court on Friday.

Last month, Harper was able to persuade the court to put the lawsuit on hold until after the Oct. 14 federal election. Harper also tried to keep Koenig’s report out of the court record until the vote had passed, but the Liberals were able to get it on the record Friday.

Zytaruk, who has steadfastly maintained the tape was never altered, said he’s happy about the timing.

“I’m glad this came out before the election. I was really looking forward to testifying because it’s not pleasant to be accused on a national scale of doing something dishonest, such as doctoring a tape.”

Dona Cadman, the Conservative candidate in Surrey North, could not be reached for comment before press time.

Source

Harper, Bush Share Roots in Controversial Philosophy

Close advisers schooled in ‘the noble lie’ and ‘regime change.’

What do close advisors to Stephen Harper and George W. Bush have in common? They reflect the disturbing teachings of Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish émigré who spawned the neoconservative movement.

Strauss, who died in 1973, believed in the inherent inequality of humanity. Most people, he famously taught, are too stupid to make informed decisions about their political affairs. Elite philosophers must decide on affairs of state for us.

In Washington, Straussians exert powerful influence from within the inner circle of the White House. In Canada, they roost, for now, in the so-called Calgary School, guiding Harper in framing his election strategies. What preoccupies Straussians in both places is the question of “regime change.”

Strauss defined a regime as a set of governing ideas, institutions and traditions. The neoconservatives in the Bush administration, who secretly conspired to make the invasion of Iraq a certainty, had a precise plan for regime change. They weren’t out to merely replace Saddam with an American puppet. They planned to make the system more like the U.S., with an electoral process that can be manipulated by the elites, corporate control over the levers of power and socially conservative values.

Usually regime change is imposed on a country from outside through violent means, such as invasion. On occasion, it occurs within a country through civil war. After the American Civil War, a new regime was imposed on the Deep South by the North, although the old regime was never entirely replaced.

Is regime change possible through the electoral process? It’s happening in the U.S., where the neocons are succeeding in transforming the American state from a liberal democracy into a corporatist, theocratic regime. As Canada readies for a federal election, the question must be asked: Are we next?

The ‘noble lie’

Strauss believed that allowing citizens to govern themselves will lead, inevitably, to terror and tyranny, as the Weimar Republic succumbed to the Nazis in the 1930s. A ruling elite of political philosophers must make those decisions because it is the only group smart enough. It must resort to deception — Strauss’s “noble lie” — to protect citizens from themselves. The elite must hide the truth from the public by writing in code. “Using metaphors and cryptic language,” philosophers communicated one message for the elite, and another message for “the unsophisticated general population,” philosopher Jeet Heer recently wrote in the Globe and Mail. “For Strauss, the art of concealment and secrecy was among the greatest legacies of antiquity.”

The recent outing of star New York Times reporter Judith Miller reveals how today’s neocons use the media to conceal the truth from the public. For Straussians, telling Americans that Saddam didn’t have WMD’s and had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, but that we needed to take him out for geopolitical and ideological reasons you can’t comprehend, was a non-starter. The people wouldn’t get it. Time for a whopper.

Miller was responsible for pushing into the Times the key neocon lie that Saddam was busy stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. This deception helped build support among Americans for the invasion of Iraq. Miller was no independent journalist seeking the truth nor a victim of neocon duplicity, as she claimed. She worked closely with Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who was U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff and responsible for coordinating Iraq intelligence and communication strategy. Libby is a Straussian who studied under Paul Wolfowitz, now head of the World Bank, and before that, deputy secretary of defense, where he led the ‘Invade Iraq” lobby. Wolfowitz studied under Strauss and Allan Bloom, Strauss’s most famous student.

Miller cultivated close links to the neocons in the administration and at the American Enterprise Institute, the leading Washington-based neocon think tank. AEI played the key role outside government in fabricating intelligence to make the case for invading Iraq. Straussian Richard Perle, who chaired the Defence Policy Board Advisory Committee until he was kicked off because of a conflict of interest, is a senior fellow at AEI and coordinated its efforts. Miller co-wrote a book on the Middle East with an AEI scholar. Rather than being a victim of government manipulation, Miller was a conduit between the neocons and the American public. As a result of her reporting, many Americans came to believe that Saddam had the weapons. War and regime change followed.

‘Regime change’ in Canada

As in the U.S., regime change became a Canadian media darling. Before 9-11, the phrase appeared in Canadian newspapers less than ten times a year. It usually referred to changes in leadership of a political party or as part of the phrase “regulatory regime change.” Less than a week after 9-11, the phrase began to be used in its Straussian sense, as if a scenario was being choreographed.

From 19 mentions in Canadian newspapers in 2001, regime change soared to 790 mentions in 2002 and 1334 mentions in 2003. With the Iraq invasion accomplished that year, usage tailed off in 2004 (291 mentions) and in 2005 (208 mentions to November 10).

There’s one big difference between American and Canadian Straussians. The Americans assumed positions of power and influence in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. The Canadians have not had much opportunity to show (or is that hide?) their stuff. That may change with a Harper victory.

Paul Wolfowitz’s teacher, Allan Bloom, and another Straussian, Walter Berns, taught at the University of Toronto during the 1970s. They left their teaching posts at Cornell University because they couldn’t stomach the student radicalism of the ’60s. At Toronto, they influenced an entire generation of political scientists, who fanned out to universities across the country.

Two of their students, Ted Morton and Rainer Knopff, went to the University of Calgary where they specialize in attacking the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They claim the charter is the result of a conspiracy foisted on the Canadian people by “special interests.” These nasty people are feminists, gays and lesbians, the poor, prisoners and refugee-rights groups who are advancing their own interests through the courts at the expense of the general public, these Straussians allege.

The problem with their analysis is that the special interest which makes more use of the courts to advance its interests than all these other groups combined — business — receives not a mention. Deception by omission is a common Straussian technique. The weak are targeted while the real culprits disappear.

Harper’s mentors

Harper studied under the neocons at the University of Calgary and worked with them to craft policies for the fledgling Reform Party in the late 1980s. Together with Preston Manning, they created an oxymoron, a populist party backed by business.

Ted Morton has turned his attention to provincial politics. He’s an elected MLA and a candidate to succeed Premier Ralph Klein. But he did influence the direction of right-wing politics at the federal level as the Canadian Alliance director of research under Stockwell Day.

When Harper threw his hat in the ring for the leadership of the Alliance, Tom Flanagan, the Calgary School’s informal leader, became his closest adviser. Harper and Flanagan, whose scholarship focuses on attacking aboriginal rights, entered a four-year writing partnership and together studied the works of government-hater Friedrich Hayek. Flanagan ran the 2004 Conservative election campaign and is pulling the strings as the country readies for the election.

Political philosopher Shadia Drury is an expert on Strauss, though not a follower. She was a member of Calgary’s political science department for more than two decades, frequently locking horns with her conservative colleagues before leaving in 2003 for the University of Regina.

Strauss recommended harnessing the simplistic platitudes of populism to galvanize mass support for measures that would, in fact, restrict rights. Does the Calgary School resort to such deceitful tactics? Drury believes so. Such thinking represents “a huge contempt for democracy,” she told the Globe and Mail‘s John Ibbotson. The 2004 federal election campaign run by Flanagan was “the greatest stealth campaign we have ever seen,” she said, “run by radical populists hiding behind the cloak of rhetorical moderation.”

Straus and ‘Western alienation’

The Calgary School has successfully hidden its program beneath the complaint of western alienation. “If we’ve done anything, we’ve provided legitimacy for what was the Western view of the country,” Calgary Schooler Barry Cooper told journalist Marci McDonald in her important Walrus article. “We’ve given intelligibility and coherence to a way of looking at it that’s outside the St. Lawrence Valley mentality.” This is sheer Straussian deception. On the surface, it’s easy to understand Cooper’s complaint and the Calgary School’s mission. But the message says something very different to those in the know. For ‘St. Lawrence Valley mentality,’ they read ‘the Ottawa-based modern liberal state,’ with all the negative baggage it carries for Straussians. And for ‘Western view,’ they read ‘the right-wing attack on democracy.’ We’ve provided legitimacy for the radical-right attack on the Canadian democratic state, Cooper is really saying.

A network is already in place to assist Harper in foisting his radical agenda on the Canadian people.

In 2003, he delivered an important address to a group called Civitas. This secretive organization, which has no web site and leaves little paper or electronic trail, is a network of Canadian neoconservative and libertarian academics, politicians, journalists and think tank propagandists.

Harper’s adviser Tom Flanagan is an active member. Conservative MP Jason Kenney is a member, as are Brian Lee Crowley, head of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Michel Kelly-Gagnon of the Montreal Economic Institute, the second and third most important right-wing think tanks after the Fraser Institute.

Civitas is top-heavy with journalists to promote the cause. Lorne Gunter of the National Post is president. Members include Janet Jackson (Calgary Sun) and Danielle Smith (Calgary Herald). Journalists Colby Cosh, William Watson and Andrew Coyne (all National Post) have made presentations to Civitas.

The Globe and Mail‘s Marcus Gee is not mentioned in relation to Civitas but might as well be a member, if his recent column titled “George Bush is not a liar,” is any evidence. In it, Gee repeats the lies the Bush neocons are furiously disseminating to persuade the people that Bush is not a liar.

Neo-con to Theo-con

The speech Harper gave to Civitas was the source of the charge made by the Liberals during the 2004 election — sure to be revived in the next election — that Harper has a scary, secret agenda. Harper urged a return to social conservatism and social values, to change gears from neocon to theocon, in The Report‘s Ted Byfield’s apt but worrisome phrase, echoing visions of a future not unlike that painted in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian work, A Handmaid’s Tale.

The state should take a more activist role in policing social norms and values, Harper told the assembled conservatives. To achieve this goal, social and economic conservatives must reunite as they have in the U.S., where evangelical Christians and business rule in an unholy alliance. Red Tories must be jettisoned from the party, he said, and alliances forged with ethnic and immigrant communities who currently vote Liberal but espouse traditional family values. This was the successful strategy counselled by the neocons under Ronald Reagan to pull conservative Democrats into the Republican tent.

Movement towards the goal must be “incremental,” he said, so the public won’t be spooked.

Regime change, one step at a time.

Donald Gutstein, a senior lecturer in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University,

Source

The we have this:

US War Resister faces deportation from Canada

Canada hit hard by war on Taleban

We won’t win Afghan war, admits UK commander

And This

Omar Khadr:

He was 15 years old at the time and has now spent more than a quarter of his life in prison. Khadr has been in U.S. custody since 2002, when he was captured in Afghanistan and charged with murdering an American soldier during a firefight.

Stephen Harper, George Bush’s Fart Catcher

Well put I must say.

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