The Harper Government Must Be Right On Track #cdnpoli

This morning, I dealt with indignant HarperCons on Twitter, while they didn’t take my advice about the validity of claims by a certain tweeter not shy of bending the truth a lot to fluff his dear leader.

Sorry for what you’re about to see, because if you drill down a little more into these timelines, you won’t get those minutes back in your life.
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Harper’s “Public Event” “photo opportunity” (Cameras and photographers only) #cdnpoli

Where is this event you ask?

Lac-Mégantic, Québec

PM Harper photo op Lac-Megantic
3:15 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity.

Why is Harper there?

Close-up aerial view of site after explosion

You could say that Harper’s PMO has all the tact of a runaway train.


Hat tip to Daniel J.

Making Casserole Music in Regina

Snowy Bear at Casserole Regina Casserole Regina
-Outlaw Snowy Bear and Jamie
It was a nice warm evening, and I got together with about 80 other of Regina’s finest people to make our voices (and our pots and pans) heard on 13th Ave. What started as a student protest in Quebec, has grown into a national protest against a draconian Charest government who has outlawed Constitutional Rights and Freedoms. Even if you don’t agree with the student’s demand for maintaining low tuition, you have to agree that laws that limit public gathering are no where near Canadian or acceptable in a free society. I hope many more than only 80 people attend the next in Regina, and the Charest government backs down, because Canadian citizens must not.

Casserole Regina
-Larry, and Marc in the background

Casserole Regina

Casserole Regina

Casserole Regina
-Walking down 13th Avenue

Music is in the ear of the pot-holder.

==

In sidewalk gossip, I heard that Connaught School has crumbling bricks, so the 100 year old building would cost $23M to fix, and a few million less to tear down and build something less historic and with a shorter planned life. Humans really went awry with some of our building techniques over the last 60 years or so, even putting asbestos into drinking water pipes that may fail at any time in many Regina neighbourhoods. A longer term vision is required than treating every building project as an emergency, and treating everything from the 1900s as passe or unfit for the future.

Who Defends Us?

Who defends the rights and freedoms of Canadians?

  • A) soldiers
  • B) police
  • C) citizens
  • D) lawyers
  • E) press
  • F) politicians

If you came to your own conclusion, and answered “G) All of the above”, then you understand a functioning democracy.

Daniel explains:

The government is clearly aware that this “law [78]” would not withstand a millisecond of Charter scrutiny. It actually expires in July 2013, well before challenges could actually wind their way through the Courts. The intention is thus clearly just to bring down the hammer on this particular movement by using methods that the government knows to be contrary to basic liberal-democratic rule-of-law principles.

Whether or not you disagree with the tuition debate, if you support a free and democratic Canada you have to appreciate what hundreds of thousands of Quebeckers are doing out in the streets for our rights. When part of the system oversteps its bounds, it’s up to the other parts to put it back into line. The citizen peaceful protesters are serving that role now, while the politicians, and police get out of control. If all goes well, the politicians will back down from their illegal law, and lawyers will step in. If things go the wrong way, we’ll be hearing from the soldiers.

Scratch that earlier estimate. 400K.
#mai22
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The Clowns in Quebec are Crying

When masks are illegal, Clowns and mascots are banned from large gatherings in public. Yay?
Actually, the clowns are in public office. First they make it so police can claim a group that is assembled peacefully is illegal (which is a clear violation of Charter rights). Now Loi 78 and the City of Montreal is going after mask wearers at public gatherings celebrating political events. Au revoir, Bonhomme! I always knew he was a shifty character out to cause mischief.

Will ballgames where a couple fans out of tens of thousands throw something at authorities, be declared illegal assemblies? The other night a fan threw something at an ump. Was tear gas fired back, and the SkyDome crowd told to disperse by police? Yes, that’s an extreme comparison, but you should ask yourself why sports fans have more civil rights than people walking on the street for a better education system.

You Scratch My Back

There’s an interesting glimpse into how the Conservatives get around that pesky no-corporate donations rule. While it could be a co-incidence that people swept up in an investigation into crooked building shenanigans in Quebec just happen to be large Conservative Party donors, the cynic in me wonders why someone would pick $666.66 as a donation value too. There are legitimate reasons I’m sure. Maybe they just happened to have $2000 to donate to their favourite causes, and divided it equally to give to their favourite three (before being charged with criminal activity).

A special Quebec task force has been investigating the role of engineering-consulting firms in wider scandals over collusion, kickbacks, Mafia ties, illegal political financing and money-laundering that have raged at the provincial and local level.

Little has been written about the industry’s ties to federal politics.

An analysis by The Canadian Press of federal data indicates that donations from certain firms, now under scrutiny, helped transform one Tory association in a no-hope Montreal riding into an improbable financial juggernaut in early 2009.

In Laurier-Sainte-Marie, a left-leaning fortress home to some of the most progressive politics in the country, the Tory riding association pulled in $288,823.37 in donations that year — despite the party placing fifth there in the previous election, behind the Green party.

Read it on Global News: Global BC | Companies involved in Quebec construction scandals have deep federal ties

As Dan Gardner said, “But, But… Adscam!”

Impolitical has a few more thoughts on the subject of Conservative ah, ahem, fundraising.

Bye Bye Bixi

What a disgrace. Quebec has ordered Bixi to sell off its British bike share spinoff because Montreal didn’t have the authority to send money to a business that created a product and service that is marketable outside of Canada! How strange, and counterproductive. If Bixi had failed, everything would have been fine, according to the Auditor General?

UPDATE: Chris in the comments provides a bit of an update.

Quebec to Florida – Cloning Fun

Is the American government admitting that it’s easier to dupe Floridians into religious scams than it is to snag Quebecois?

¶2. THE RAELIAN MOVEMENT WAS FOUNDED BY FRENCHMAN CLAUDE VORILHON, A FORMER SPORTS JOURNALIST, FAILED SINGER, RADIO COMMENTATOR AND AVID STOCK CAR RACER. VORILHON CLAIMS TO HAVE BEEN CONCEIVED ON DECEMBER 25, 1945, BY A FRENCH MOTHER AND AN ALIEN FATHER. SPECIALISTS SAY HE WAS BORN IN VICHY, FRANCE IN 1946. VORILHON WHO USES THE NAME RAEL (GOD’S LIGHT) (PRONOUNCED RA-EL IN FRENCH (RHYMES WITH KAL-EL AND JOR-EL)) SAYS HE CREATED THE MOVEMENT AFTER ALIENS VISITED HIM IN CENTRAL FRANCE IN 1973. AT THAT TIME, LITTLE GREEN ALIENS (APPROXIMATELY 4 FT TALL) TOLD HIM –IN FLUENT FRENCH- – EARTHLINGS HAD BEEN CREATED IN A LABORATORY 25,000 YEARS AGO. SINCE THESE ALIENS WHICH HE CALLS THE ELOHIM (THE HEBREW WORD FOR GOD) ARE 25,000 YEARS AHEAD OF US, RAEL SAYS CLONING IS VERY SIMPLE TASK FOR THEM.

¶3. ALTHOUGH THE SECT IS BASED IN MONTREAL–AND NOT SWITZERLAND AS THE BRITISH TABLOID PRESS HAS REPORTED –RAEL MOVED HIS PERSONAL HEADQUARTERS TO FLORIDA IN THE EARLY NINETIES. WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCED RAEL WAS MOVING TO FLORIDA, RADIO COMMENTATORS JOKED HE WAS SIMPLY IMITATING QUEBEC SNOWBIRDS OR THAT HE WANTED TO GET CLOSER TO NASCAR CIRCUITS. HOWEVER, SOME SAW U.S. EXPANSION AS A LOGICAL BUSINESS MOVE. ON THE ONE HAND, SINCE THE 1960S, QUEBEC HAS PROVEN TO BE TOUGH RECRUITING GROUNDS FOR ALL RELIGIOUS GROUPS, MAINSTREAM OR OTHERWISE. ON THE OTHER, THE U.S. OFFERS MUCH BIGGER POOLS OF MONEY AND TARGET AUDIENCES FOR RAELIAN COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES. BECAUSE THE GROUP IS RECOGNIZED AS AN ATHEIST RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION BY THE QUEBEC GOVERNMENT IT ENJOYS THE SAME FISCAL ADVANTAGES AS OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPS.
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Media All Worked Up Over Resume: Issues Backburnered

The media just can’t stop itself from publishing the dirt they see all over an NDP MP in Quebec who happens to be an attractive, young, single mother and barkeeper before she was cast onto the national stage due to a pre-booked Vegas vacation and then the Orange Crush election event. If the media is onto a scandal, what does it prove except what every cynical Canadian already suspects: that their MPs are liars and worse than liars? In other words, it costs nobody anything if this is true, except the reputation of a young MP.

To those concerned about one NDP MP being caught with either a mistake or a lie on her (auto)biography CV, please read this: A likely 25-42% of government applicants will lie on their resume, meaning of 308 MPs, one is an unlikely number (seventy seven, is more plausible). Who else will be caught? Who cares? It’s a drop in the unethical ocean of parliament!

How Not to Lie on Your Resume: Don’t write one, and especially don’t let a political staffer write your bio for you.

I’m much more interested in how the media has such very poor perspective, because that’s a really hot story that won’t make it to print. It’s obscene to put more energy into burying a backbench MP who has never even voted on a bill, while the newspapers and TV reporters, and radio talking heads let important issues like Contempt leave the front burner. Do we have an accurate price estimate for the ENGINELESS F-35 jets that the US government is balking over buying due to obscene cost overruns? No, and we won’t get one either because our government was just re-elected after contemptuously violating the rules of Parliament in hiding the true costs from us and journalists alike. Well, I guess following the money doesn’t sell newspapers or ad space, so who gives a fig, right? It’s only tax dollars going to weapons companies.

ADDED: Macleans wonders what is worse: Placeholder MPs, or Placeholder candidates?