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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Harper’

Harper Ends Party Subsidies

20/05/2011 Leave a comment

Ottawa to cancel party subsidies with next budget – Need to know – Macleans.ca.

This means the Liberals are finished for sure. The entire left is being defunded – this has been Harper’s plan for years. Implications of this move include:

  • additional barriers to entry for new political parties (e.g., the Green Party)
  • a weaker left
  • large donations will have more impact (which go mostly to the Conservatives). In other words, money’s voice will get only louder.

Not good for Canada.

LOL,

Tim

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Conservative Senators Kill Climate Change Bill

17/11/2010 Leave a comment

Not too surprising, really, considering that the federal Conservatives are bed-buddies with climate change skeptics.

What I’m really surprised by is the fact that it was the absence of 15 Liberal Senators that allowed this. Mr. Ignatieff, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? What could possibly have been going through your head? That was a moronic move of epic proportions.

Conservative senators kills climate change bill – Need to know – Macleans.ca.

LOL,

Tim

“The Lie Sack”

26/09/2010 Leave a comment

YouTube – RMR: The Lie Sack.

tee hee….I love Rick Mercer!

LOL,
Tim

Summary: “Big Oil’s Relentless Lobby” – The Montréal Gazette, 4 Dec. 2009

23/06/2010 Leave a comment

Here is the first of what may, depending on response, become a MUAG usual – article summaries. Basically, I’ll take articles from what I judge to be reputable sources that I think have important bearing on issues. This has two purposes: first, it will help “get the word out”, and second, I will be helping myself organize my ideas. As this is a summary, expect it to be a little disjointed – these are expansions on point-form notes, after all.

So with that out of the way, the inaugural issue of MUAG Summaries: “Big Oil’s Relentless Lobby”, from the Montréal Gazette, 4 December 2009. The topic today is, as you may have guessed, climate change.

Big Oil’s Relentless Lobby

Since 1996, there have been 1570 climate change lobbyists in Ottawa. Over the  years, their client list has grown from just 13 to 109 organizations, companies, industry associations, and other groups.

34 of these are fossil fuel producers and these 34 organizations have employed approximately one-third of all climate change lobbyists. The other employers of climate change lobbyists include manufacturers, power utilities, agriculture, transportation, environmental groups, and health groups.

According to Stéphane Dion, the environmental minister for the previous Liberal government from 2004 to 2006, the pressure to weaken climate change legislation is “almost daily”. We have yet to take any measurable action to curb GHG emissions – in 2007, Canada’s GHG emissions were 32% above Kyoto targets.

Most of our emissions problems are centred in Alberta. It contains 10% of Canada’s population, 70% of Canada’s oil production, and produces approximately 33% of our GHG emissions.

Says a 20-year veteran lobbyist employed by Suncor and Shell Canada: “lobbying the province of Alberta is virtually unnecessary since the government is entirely on the industry’s side.” This means that the most powerful climate change lobby in Ottawa is Alberta. In addition, big oil executives have access to highest government officials, while environmental groups are often dismissed out of hand as being “leftists”.

Four of Suncors’ six registered consulting lobbyists are former senior policy advisors to the government. Furthermore, an anonymous senior government official says there is an “unspoken link [between big oil and government]”: “the oil executive can call (the Prime Minister) and say, ‘You don’t do this or else you will suffer. We’ll beat you in your riding’ type of thing.”

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has “enjoyed access to the highest officials”, the record shows. Of the total 51 active lobbyists registered by CAPP, 17 previously worked for the government – one of whom was a senior aide to Harper when he was leader of the opposition. CAPP members Suncor and Shell Canada, despite CAPP’s climate-change-denialist position, are seen as being “more progressive” than other oil companies due to their acceptance of climate change science.

The lobby to secure financing of big oil’s carbon capture project (as a means to reduce emissions), the Integrated CO2 Network (ICO2N), is made up of six lobbyists, three of whom were senior policy advisors to Harper. Carbon capture could reduce canada’s emissions by 2.6 per cent, says ICO2N’s website. The expected cost of the national push required for such a reduction: about $16 billion.

And there ends the summary… This is really an important article – the role of lobbyists in both Canada and the US is little understood, despite lobbyists having a big hand in shaping political goings-on.

The article is a Gazette collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and part of their project: The Global Climate Change Lobby. The entire series is located here.

LOL,

Tim

Canadian Copyright Reform

15/05/2010 1 comment

Make sure the government listens to Canadians about copyright legislation! This will affect all of us if the government gets their way. http://www.ccer.ca/send-a-letter-to-ottawa-to-stop-the-canadian-dmca/

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Don’t Allow Your Voice To Be Silenced In The Copyright Debate

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In the summer of 2009 the Government of Canada held public consultations on copyright and Canadians engaged in these consultations at unprecedented levels demanding a balance between consumer rights and creator rights. According to Michael Geist, recent developments indicate that these extensive consultations were “little more than theatre”. A very disheartening development indeed.

Indications are that the PMO has had to step in and make a decision on the direction of copyright reform in Canada because the Minister of Canadian Heritage, James Moore and the Minister of Industry, Tony Clement could not come to a consensus. A consensus should have been an achievable outcome given the input gathered during the consultation process. It is further reported that the PMO has instead given the green light on moving forward with anti-consumer copyright legislation within the next 5 weeks, a Canadian DMCA.

Your MP needs to know where you stand on the issue regardless of your views and even if you have already told them before. A physical letter or email message to your MP, the Prime Minister, James Moore, Tony Clement and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is what is needed right now. Also remember to join the Facebook group and the Facebook page and be sure to ask others do the same.

The Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights has updated its online letter writing wizard in light of recent developments in the Canadian copyright reform front. This update is intended to address the Government’s seeming willingness to ignore the voices of thousands of Canadians and proceed with the introduction of anti-consumer copyright reform legislation. Legislation that goes in a polar opposite direction of what Canadians demanded during the consultation process.

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Um, Excuse Me?

19/04/2010 Leave a comment

I was relaxing in the sun by my bed in rez, reading Rick Mercer’s The Paperback Book (which is pissing funny, by the way), when I read this:

Basically, every member of Parliament in this country wants to go [to Afghanistan]. This is retail politics 101. You get off the plane, … you get your picture taken …, you come home, you get a bump in the polls.

It’s also why Stéphane Dion has been asking to go for a very long time. And this past week, the Tories finally said yes. So off Dion went. And boy did he make a balls of it.

The Tories, of course, loved [it], but while Dion might have put his foot in mouth, what the Tories did was far worse. When politicians visit Afghanistan, it’s always a secret. Those are the rules, written by the military. The military are very, very, touchy about this. they don’t want the Taliban to know when politicians are visiting because then they become a target. And shag the politicians; remember it’s the soldiers who are guarding the politicians you have to worry about.

So Dion, true to his word, never told a soul he was going. His staff didn’t even know he was going. [my emphasis] But the Tories, they said, “The hell with the military,” and they had a cabinet minister, Helena Guergis, release details of the visit. Sure, Canadian military lives were put at risk, but I guess that’s the price you have to pay when you’re facing re-election in Simcoe-Gray (Rick Mercer, The Paperback Book, 258-9).

(The rant is from 2005, in case you’re confused by the name “Dion”) I was really, really offended. The Conservatives took the low road here. They toyed with peoples’ lives for a stupid little political game. Not only that, they also sent a message that they’re completely fine with an opposition MP dieing because of them.

I’m sure even the Republicans wouldn’t pull a stunt like that. Not cool, Harper. Not cool at all.

LOL,

Tim

Senate Reform

14/03/2010 2 comments

Of all the “reform” topics in politics, Senate reform seems to get the most attention. Some people call it elitist and want an elected Senate, serving set terms. Some people like it just the way it is. Some people want it abolished completely. Most Canadians, displaying our stereotypical amount of political involvement, are ambivalent.

One of the reasons I think it gets so much coverage is the fact that Read more…