While millions of Canadians are barely making ends meet, the Harper government – which preaches restraint – is actually spending millions of dollars more on the PMO’s office.
The annual cost of the PMO had ballooned to nearly $10 million -- a jump of 30 per cent over the past two years.
In the House of Commons on Friday, opposition parties blasted Harper for using a lot of the increased spending to build his communications staff so that the government could spread political… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 30, 2010 at 5:01pm —
The big victory of clumsy Conservative Rob Ford as mayor of Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has all politicians at the senior levels of government wondering what it portends for them.
Toronto Sun’s Christina Blizzard warns all incumbents – and that would include the Ottawa Harperites -- that they are dealing with a rather unfocused public discontent.
Toronto’s Rob Ford is a Conservative, but that wasn’t what got him elected. People voted for him because he isn’t the same-old,… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 29, 2010 at 3:41pm —
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff will have to be considerably more consistent and courageous if he hopes to replace Stephen Harper in the Prime Minister’s office, says Don Martin of the National Post.
In today’s column Martin points out that all parties work hard to shape their message, and Harper is not the only control freak on Parliament Hill. Martin highlights the squelching of Ruby Dhalla (health benefits for new immigrant seniors after three years in Canada), John McKay… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 28, 2010 at 4:53pm —
The Conservatives kept nice, clean books when spending a big chunk of the federal government’s $47-billion stimulus money, says Auditor General Sheila Fraser.
Well, that’s very nice, comments National Post blogger Tasha Kheiriddin, but, Where’s the beef?"The real question is what bang Canadians actually got for their stimulus bucks
,” she writes. … Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 27, 2010 at 7:44pm —
Prime Minister Stephen Harper may just be our closest student of Mark Twain. He uses the Tom Sawyer method to get a fence painted.
Harper and his Finance Minister Jim Flaherty were resolutely opposed to large budget deficits – until the opposition demanded the largest budget deficit in Canadian history. The Conservative minority government complied in spades.
There are more flips to come. Harper has been resolutely opposed to the repatriation of Omar Khadr – yet now it appears… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 26, 2010 at 4:30pm —
Stephen Harper expressed great concern recently when he told that Veterans Affairs officials had violated the rights of a disgruntled, retired member of the military by circulating his personal medical records to hundreds of employees.
But documents obtained through an FoI request proves that the Prime Minister’s Office was told four years ago about the ethical violations. Moreover, nothing was done by the PMO to attempt to correct the situation.
Retired Capt. Sean Bruyea,… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 24, 2010 at 4:11pm —
A test of the current popularity of Canada’s federal parties will likely occur in a few weeks as Stephen Harper is expected to call by-elections in four ridings.
The four by-elections are likely to be held on December 13 – no doubt an ominous date for one or two of the four main parties.
“These showdowns could be mini-referendums on the parties and their leaders,” writes National Post columnist Don Martin.… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 23, 2010 at 11:53am —
The government’s grip on 13 seats in Parliament is being threatened by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s inclination to allow an Australian takeover of the Potash Company of Saskatchewan. Let's start with two reports from the Globe and Mail.
Potash politics put Tories in tight spot…
Added by Catch 22 on October 22, 2010 at 5:00pm —
The Harper government’s inept handling of the military landing rights issue in the United Arab Emirates is turning into a serious and costly affair.
The UAE’s refusal to allow Canada to continue to operate its so-called secret Afghanistan launch pad near Dubai will cost Harper's minority government tens-of-millions of dollars to replicate elsewhere.
Canada was thrown out of the UAE when the Conservatives denied a request by UAE airlines for additional commercial flight landing… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 20, 2010 at 12:39pm —
Anticipating the next election, Don Martin of the National Post says the Harperites will have serious trouble persuading Canadians they are the most prudent economic managers – now that the Ignatieff Liberals are marketing themselves as the true fiscal tightwads.
Conservatives have a reason to be rattled… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 19, 2010 at 2:37pm —
If you thought the $1.3 billion summit bill might be a bit on the high side for the 4-day extravaganza, you'll be happy to learn that it was actually a bargain, according to G8/G20 security chief Ward Elcock. It was really "four summits", not two. We're lucky that the bill didn't come in at $2 billion or more. Government officials defend summit spending… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 19, 2010 at 1:55pm —
Op-ed - by John Deverell*
As Chantal Hebert points out so very clearly in today’s Toronto Star, the moment of democratic choice for Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada finally has come.
It’s precipitated in the Ontario federal riding of Vaughan where ubercop Julian Fantino has volunteered to carry the Harper Conservative banner in an upcoming by-election.… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 18, 2010 at 11:00am —
There’s more potential trouble for the Conservative government concerning the renovations under way on Parliament Hill.
The RCMP has already been looking into a big contract to renovate the West Bloc, but now a company doing masonry work has walked off the job. Among other things, the company claims it is being squeezed out of the job in favour of another firm.
The company has asked the RCMP to investigate.
The question on everyone’s mind is, Will this reach up into… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 17, 2010 at 1:29pm —
Today is Blog Action Day
. It's sponsored by Change.org. The Catch 22 campaign is proud to participate in this important awareness raising campaign. What's Blog Action Day, you might be thinking to yourself?
Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 15, 2010 at 11:30am —
Stephen Harper’s government is proving to be so incompetent in handling important international affairs that it could take Canada several years to win back respect on the world stage.
A short history of Harper’s bull-headed handling of global affairs is documented by columnist Thomas Walkom in The Toronto Star
. In an effort to win a seat on the UN Security Council, Harper’s so-called “new morality” approach to foreign affairs was rejected by the… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 14, 2010 at 10:00am —
An activist group Ceasefire (www.ceasefire.ca
) which concentrates on Canadian foreign policy issues received a ton of responses to the failure at the UN. Some of the postings include a call for change of government. All the comments I saw were negative. I see potential recruits for Catch 22. I posted a comment of my own promoting Catch 22 (and also Fair Vote Canada of which I am also a member.
Added by Bob Morgan on October 13, 2010 at 11:25pm —
It's said that "what goes around, comes around". While PM Stephen Harper and his Conservative gang are used to getting their way at home through bullying, threats, negative attacks and divisive tactics, that approach didn't go over too well with the United Arab Emirates who have evicted Canada from a military base there. The UAE may have also contributed to Canada's humiliating defeat at the UN yesterday.
The so-called fiscal cons have not only spent tens of millions of our taxpayer… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 13, 2010 at 11:08am —
Yesterday, former OPP and Toronto police chief Julian Fantino announced his intention to run for the federal seat vacated by 22=year veteran Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua who is running to be Vaughan's next mayor. From the sounds of it, Conservatives in Vaughan won't be getting much of a say in their candidate as anyone else is likely to face the wrath of not only "The Chief" but also that of the PM and Senator Doug Finley
. Conservative Party… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 13, 2010 at 10:30am —
The Harper government has once again humiliated the people of Canada on the international stage – and this time it’s a whopper!
The countries of the United Nations embarrassed the Conservatives by overwhelmingly voting for little Portugal over the Conservative Party pretending to represent Canadians, for a seat on the prestigious Security Council.
The Harper government’s poor performance in international affairs finally caught up with them. Earlier there was Harper’s refusal… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 12, 2010 at 2:30pm —
The Harper Cons can’t seem to get it right. They’re running into more and more trouble all the time.
From their outrageous handling of the census form, to gun registry problems, to their misuse of medical records, to interfering with Access to Information requests.
Some pundits believe that Harper purposely screwed up some of these issues to firm up his right-wing support in the country, but we’re sure he won’t like a new probe that could really blow up in his… Continue
Added by Catch 22 on October 9, 2010 at 12:00pm —