Canadian Social Research Links

The Harper Government™ Record
- Lest We Forget -

Buh-Bye, Steve...

Final Update --- March 27, 2016

[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]

The Harper Record 2008 - 2015 (PDF - 2.2 MB, 432 pages)
Editors: Teresa Healy, Stuart Trew
October 5, 2015

This book [ ], which builds on the 2008 collection The Harper Record, continues a 25-year tradition at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives of periodically examining the records of Canadian federal governments during their tenure. As with earlier CCPA reports on the activities of the Mulroney, Chrétien and Martin governments while in office, this book gives a detailed account of the laws, policies, regulations, and initiatives of the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper while in minority (from 2008 to 2011) and majority (from 2011 to 2015).

Download individual chapters of the book

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Special shout-out to Teresa Healy, who was with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) some years ago when I lamented in my newsletter that Rogers (my Internet service provider) had imposed some severe restrictions regarding the distribution of newsletters as a defensive measure to guard itself and its clients against malware, viruses and other nasties that you can catch online. Well, quicker than you can say "Harper-the- fascist-is-gone-now-and-he-can't-hurt-us-anymore, Teresa fired off an email to me with the name and email coordinates of their tech guy, who taught me quickly how to use the mailing list and the newsletter distribution procedure. I've been on their system since then (5-6 years or so), and all's well with the world.

MERCI, Teresa and CUPE for allowing me to piggyback on your system!
In solidarity,


Harper Chips


Harper Watch


Harper Government™
Twitter account


Is that YOU, Ole Duff?

(The patented Conservative Party "Duff Sucks Up" name generator)

The Man Behind the Desk (video, 60 seconds)


Harper Watch : Compiling the Harper Government's Assault on Democracy



Harper's Gut
Tracking the Ever-Increasing Presence of Stephen Harper's Most Trusted Advisor


Team Harper™ : Who They Are


Canadian Women's Favourite Pick-up Line
(video, duration 1:09)


The Real Conservative Party Policy Regarding Women's Equality

Steve's day was about to get worse...

The two links in this yellow box will take you further down on the page you're now reading.

OMG - Stephen Harper is a Fascist???

Or is he a sociopath???


The Harper Government™ Alphabet of Shame


Matt Wuerker, editorial cartoonist at


I'll be six feet under when I get OAS
(video, duration 2:19)
Don't mess with our Old Age Security!
Sung to the tune of "Sixteen Tons".
Starts like this:
Well, I woke up this morning, not feelin' too fine
I picked up my walker and walked to the mine
My limbs are aching and my back's on fire
But I got no pension so I can't retire...


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We've got the Stephen Harper Hates Us Blues (each video lasts under four minutes)


Click anywhere in the above screen to see the video. If that doesn't work for you, try this YouTube video link:

Click anywhere in the above screen to see the video. If that doesn't work for you, try this YouTube video link:

The links below are in reverse chronological order.

Aislin looks back at Stephen Harper
Three months after Stephen Harper was ousted from power, Montreal Gazette cartoonist Aislin looks back on the cartoons that he drew about the former PM.
--- 30+ cartoons back to 2003

Gilles' favourite:
January 23, 2016

The Harper Record 2008-2015: Book Launch and Cinq à Sept
(OTTAWA) Come share a drink, some nibbles, and hear from editors Teresa Healy and Stuart Trew, and Executive Director Bruce Campbell, about the CCPA’s latest publication on the federal government’s policy record in the 40th and 41st Parliaments.

The Harper Record 2008-2015 picks up where The Harper Record left off in 2008, and continues a 25-year tradition at the CCPA of assessing the sitting government’s economic, environmental, social, foreign policy and democratic records

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Vanishing Canada: Why we’re all losers in Ottawa’s war on data
Records deleted, burned, tossed in Dumpsters. A Maclean’s investigation on the crisis in government data
By Anne Kingston
September 18, 2015
Statistics Canada no longer provides a clear snapshot of the country, says John Stapleton, a Toronto-based social policy consultant. “Our survey data pixelates—it’s a big blur. And the small data, we don’t know if it’s right.” How many Canadians live in poverty now, compared to 2011? We don’t know; changes in income-data collection has made it impossible to track. Austerity measures, ironically, have resulted in an inability to keep track of the changes: StatsCan used to provide detailed, comprehensive data on salaries and employment at all levels of government; now we can’t tell where, or how deep, the cuts have been.

10 Reasons to Vote for Anyone but Harper
August 24, 2015
[Click the link above for more info on each reason listed below.]
1. Bill C51.
2. The economy and job growth.
3. Veteran affairs.
4. Income splitting and Universal Child Care Benefit.
5. Seven consecutive deficits.
6. Muzzling of government scientists.

7. Charity attacks.
8. First Nations.
9. Stripping of federal protection of our lakes and rivers.
10. Above the law.

Huffington Post Canada

Prime Minister Harper just back from a campaign visit with First Nations!

I know YOU are, but what am I?

Senator Irving Gerstein, chair of Conservative Fund Canada, told 3,000 delegates at the 2013 Conservative conference in Calgary that he had refused to defray disgraced Senator Mike Duffy’s “disputed” bills — a notion that is at odds with a claim in RCMP documents that the party was prepared to pay up to $32,000, but balked when informed the amount had reached $90,000.

This situation reminds me of the conversation overheard on an Ottawa street between a lonely gent seeking some paid female company (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and a lady of the night.

Asked the gent: "Would you consider coming back to my place for the evening if I paid you a thousand dollars?
"Hmmm", she replied, with a coy smile, "that sounds like it might be fun!"
"So", he continued, "would you consider coming back to my place for $20?"

"Hey", the woman shot back, "what kind of person do you think I am anyway?"
"Well", he answered, "I figure we've already determined the answer to that question .
Now we're just haggling about the price..."

24 Things We Learned From Nigel Wright's Emails In The Mike Duffy Trial
August 13, 2015
Gilles' favourite "things":
#11 : Duffy’s lawyer, Janice Payne, makes $475 an hour.
#16. Wright didn’t want to put anything in writing
[notably the fact that Janice Paine was making $475/hr].

#24. Wright was correct about things ending badly.
Huffington Post Canada

Duffy on Trial
Read and watch more on one of the most anticipated trials in recent Canadian political history.


Mike Duffy trial, Day 37

CBC News

Here's what to expect when the Duffy trial resumes Wednesday.
By Kady O`Malley
August 11, 2015
Ottawa Citizen

Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence Compiled
The Tyee's full, updated list of 70 Harper government assaults on democracy and the law.
August 10, 2015
Last week, The Tyee published 59 examples in two parts, and asked its readers to suggest any they may have missed. Among the many suggestions they received, 11 more were found to meet the criteria for "abuses of power." Today, The Tyee compiles all 70 items into one omnibus of abuse by the Stephen Harper government.

The Tyee (Vancouver media)
The Tyee strives to be a widely read and respected independent online magazine that publishes news, reviews and commentary not typically covered by B.C. and Canada's mainstream media

Is that really YOU, Ole Duff?

Conservative Party "Duff Sucks Up" name/video generator.

Click the link above to hear Mike Duffy introduce himself in a three-second "Intro" video to "Stephen". On the same page, you can access a list of 750+ other individual "personalized" videos in the same vein as the one above, also by Mike Duffy.

The message is short --- "Hi [enter name], this is Mike Duffy (or The Ole Duff)!!" --- and it was presumably created as a means of connecting on a more personal level with potential Conservative supporters.

There's even a personalized "Howdy" for the Canadian Social Research Links Guy: !!

Disclaimer : Despite The Ole Duff's perfect pronunciation of my name in "my" video and the distinct impression left by that video that Ole Duff was pleasantly surprised to see me, as if running into an old buddy, I swear I do not know the man. I've got to hand it to him, though : he deserves a MEDAL (from The Harper Government™) for repeating the short phrase 750+ times, sounding just as spontaneous, sincere and avuncular in each and every video.
Yeah, that's the ticket --- give him a medal...
...THEN throw him under the Big Blue Bus.

Good to know Canadians were getting a decent return on investment from Senator Duffy --- he was making $132,300 a year as a Senator and Harper Government™shill and bagman when he was charged with fraud and other offenses.

Seven Reasons Why the Conservatives are More Disappointing than the Toronto Maple Leafs
April 15, 2015
Is it time to axe the coach?
Team Canada isn't winning like it used to. On every stat across the board, Canada is down -- the Bank of Canada just pegged economic growth at zero per cent and said the labour market hasn't improved in three years, full-time jobs are disappearing fast and the quality of the jobs that remain are at a 25-year record low.
The Maple Leafs just cleaned house, so is the same solution needed in the House of Commons? It's looking like Team Canada needs to cut its losses and start planning for a rebuild.

Here are seven more hockey analogies summing up the Conservatives' blooper-filled season:
[Click the link above to access more info on each of the seven reasons below]

1. Deking out Canadians on the economy with $7.5 million in taxpayer-funded ads
2. Joe Oliver's spin-o-rama on the economy
3. Trading in General Motors stocks for a couple of pylons and a bag of pucks
4. Peter MacKay can't shoot a law out of a paper bag
5. The Conservatives are boxing in health care with a neutral zone trap
6. Wealthy Canadians keep scoring on taxes
7. The oil and gas regulation toe drag



- Go to the Harper Government™ Record Links page:

The Harper Government™ Alphabet of Shame
By Gilles: This list is my modest contribution to the Heave Steve campaign.
Please feel free to email me [ ] with additions if you notice that I forgot something important...

* Aboriginal Peoples / First Nations
--- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada (Govt. report) :
--- Harper shows lack of respect :

* Abortion laws
How the abortion debate has reared its head in Parliament :

* Accountability Act (federal)
--- Federal Accountability Act Introduced (April 11, 2006) :
--- Federal Accountability Act - Wikipedia :
--- Canadian Bar Association critique :

* Adams, Eve
--- Liberals’ Eve Adams play a defensive move in attack-ad war :

* Agenda, Harper
--- The Harper agenda prevails, whether he wins or loses :

* Anders, Rob
--- Ten Reasons why Rob Anders is Canada's worst M.P. :

* Attack Ads
--- Justin Trudeau Attack Ads :

* Attawapiskat
--- All About Attawapiskat :
--- Ottawa demanding that Attawapiskat repay $1.8M in housing money :


For the complete list from A to Z, , go to

What the Conservatives don't want you to know about their "tough-on-crime" agenda
February 4, 2015
The Conservatives say they're tough on crime, but they seem to be soft on facts.
Costly, controversial and occasionally unconstitutional – experts say the Harper government's "tough-on-crime agenda" doesn't deserve credit for Canada's falling crime rate.

PressProgress advances progressive solutions and challenges conservative ideas with hard-hitting news and analysis.
PressProgress is a project of the Broadbent Institute [ ].

Eight charts that make you wonder if Conservatives understand how modern families work
January 27, 2015

Conservatives sure like to talk about how they 'get' families. But do they? And do Stephen Harper's family-friendly policies actually make a meaningful impact in the lives of most Canadian families?

"Family life isn't the same today as it was 30 years ago," says a new study [ ] from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ ] that looks at the rise of women in the workforce -- and concludes the federal Conservatives' family tax cuts are probably more helpful to Canadian families circa 1955 than they are to Canadian families in 2015. Instead, what modern families need are "childcare, parental leave, and economic policies that level the playing field."

Click the link above to access charts that lay out why:

1. The number of working women and mothers has nearly doubled in the last 30 years
2. ...And despite so many working mothers, there is a shortalerge of child care spaces in Canada
3. OK, so what does Stephen Harper's brilliant solution look like?
4. But who benefits? [Spoiler : It's m
ostly wealthy families.]
5. And Will that cover most families' child care costs?
6 - 7 - 8 : Missing in action
(By Gilles : The page title of this piece clearly says EIGHT charts but the numbered list contains only five charts.
The "eight" must refer to charts that appear as text links. I dunno...)

The NDP and Liberals must come together to prevent the unthinkable
Gerald Caplan
January 30, 2015
both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau have explicitly repudiated the idea of working together, and were I in their shoes right now I’d do the same. Both need to insist that it alone can defeat the Harperites and that all anti-Conservatives must unite behind one party. If this strategic voting strategy works (most likely for the Liberals), future co-operation is off the table. But if it doesn’t, members of both Opposition parties will have no ethical or political choice but to seek some form of collaboration. The alternative – leaving the country by default to the Conservative Party – is simply unthinkable.

193 comments about this article:

Globe and Mail

Six deceptive stories Stephen Harper will tell you during the 2015 election
January 27, 2015
(...) We offer a fact check of the campaign cards Harper -- and his government -- are likely to repeatedly play in the months ahead:
1. Stephen Harper is creating "full-time, high-paying" jobs
2. Stephen Harper is investing "big time" in infrastructure
3. Stephen Harper has a child care plan
--- [Excerpt : The expanded Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) of $160/month is still a drop in the bucket of what most parents pay in child care costs. With median child care costs in Toronto are $15,888 per year, the UCCB still leaves parents paying $13,968
4. Stephen Harper has a tax cut for families – just probably not your family...
5. Stephen Harper's tough-on-crime policy spree
6. Stephen Harper's leadership


Conservatives dismantling social programs built over generations
By Les Whittington
December 9, 2013
Social programs long valued by Canadians are in the Conservatives’ crosshairs. Federal health-care spending is to be reined in. Canadians in future will have to work two years longer before receiving old age security — a measure Harper said was meant to address Canadians’ disproportionate focus on “our services and entitlements.” And at a time when 1.3 million are without jobs, the federal government has toughened the criteria that employment insurance recipients must meet to hang on to their benefits. In all, only 37 per cent of jobless Canadians are eligible for EI benefits.
- includes a detailed account and an interactive graphic illustrating the range of the cuts to groups and programs under Stephen Harper’s government.

Rick Mercer Repudiates Economic Action Plan Ads (YouTube video, duration 1:38)
Dishonest and manipulative, such taxpayer-funded government propaganda deservedly earns the scorn of Rick Mercer

November 6, 2014
The Definitive Ranking of Ridiculous and Misleading Conservative Names for Bills

Ever notice how the Harper Conservatives like to give their bills absurd names?
And those names often have little relevance to the bill's content or give the impression that the legislation will do the exact opposite of what it will actually do?

Read the ridiculous and misleading Conservative names for bills below, then click the link above to see how each one of the bills is a cruel Orwellian joke.

1. "Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act"
2. "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act"
3. "Fair Elections Act"
4. "Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act" (Seriously? Seriously).
5. "Ending House Arrest for Property and Other Serious Crimes by Serious and Violent Offenders Act"
5.5 The Ministry of Truth Act
6. "The Unborn Victims of Crime Act" (more like a Creeping Attempt to Criminalize Abortion Bill)
7. "Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act"
8. "Safeguarding Canadians' Personal Information Act"
9. "An Act Creating One of the World's Largest National Park Reserves"
10. "The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act"
11. "Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act"

[True Confession : #5.5 above is from George Orwell's 1984]


Stephen Lewis roars once more in takedown of Stephen Harper government:
Canada and its politics, the former Ontario NDP leader says, are in free fall.
By Tim Harper
November 23, 2014
At the age of 77, Stephen Lewis describes himself as being “happily in his dotage,” a man free to bare his soul and dispense with diplomatic niceties.
He did just that in Charlottetown last Friday. The one-time lion of the left unleashed a withering roar over eight years of Stephen Harper government that deserves to be moved from the relatively tiny confines of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and into a larger forum.

Lewis focused on five fronts of perhaps irreversible decline in this country, five only, because time did not allow him to get into all the factors that “scar my soul.”
The former Ontario NDP leader, United Nations ambassador and lifelong human rights advocate took aim at the “pre-paleolithic Neanderthals” in office and their role in the decline of Parliament, the suppression of dissent, the plight of First Nations, their blinkered climate-change policy and our plummeting world status.
“Somewhere in my soul,” Lewis says, “I cherish the possibility of a return to a vibrant democracy, where equality is the watchword, where people of different ideological conviction have respect for each other, where policy is debated rather than demeaned, where the great issues of the day are given thoughtful consideration, where Canada’s place on the world stage is seen as principled and laudatory, where human rights for all is the emblem of a decent civilized society.”

Toronto Star

R.I.P. Canadian Women's Health Network / Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes
November 21, 2014
The Board of Directors of the Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN) has decided to suspend the activities of the CWHN. This decision, effective Nov. 14, 2014, was not taken lightly. Despite efforts made by the CWHN, the support of partners and donors, and some notable successes along the way, the CWHN has not been able to secure sustainable funds to replace the federal funding that was withdrawn in 2013. The CWHN office is closed and the remaining staff members are being laid off.
The CWHN was not alone in losing its funding: the end of Health Canada's Women's Health Contribution Program (WHCP) meant that all Centres of Excellence for Women's Health and other partner organizations lost their funding in 2013. Some of these centres have already made the difficult decision to close their doors.


Version française:
Le Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes annonce la suspension de ses activités en raison d'un manque de fonds

(Cliquez le lien ci-dessus --- la version française suit l'anglais.)
Le 21 novembre 2014
Le conseil d'administration du Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes (RCSF) a décidé de suspendre les activités du RCSF. Cette décision, qui a pris effet le 14 novembre dernier, n'a pas été prise à la légère. Malgré tous les efforts du RCSF, quelques réussites notables et le soutien indéfectible de ses donateurs et partenaires, le Réseau n'a pas réussi à remplacer le financement fédéral retiré en 2013. Le bureau du RCSF est fermé et les derniers membres du personnel ont été mis à pied.

Canadian Women's Health Network /
Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes

Federal cuts force child-care, welfare groups to crowdfund
Childcare unit latest federally cut group to crowdfund
By Amber Hildebrandt
September 15, 2014
How many infant day-care spaces exist in Canada? How much do the country’s poorest receive in welfare income? Are freshwater fish harmed by cleaning products? For decades, the federal government paid to answer these questions. Now, non-profit groups are asking the public for donations in a desperate bid to save the data from extinction.
Toronto-based Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) — is in the final week of its months-long campaign to raise $25,000 to publish its biennial report on childcare and has reached half of its goal. (...) CRRU Executive Director Martha Friendly remains optimistic, but stresses that the non-profit shouldn’t be in the position of fundraising in the first place. (...) The head of the Canadian Child Care Federation, who uses CRRU’s biennial report, calls the data “absolutely vital.”
For nearly 20 years, the federal government funded the unit, paying for it to nationally house research on childcare and also publish a report detailing how the provinces and territories, responsible for early childhood education but partially funded by Ottawa, were performing. In 2007, the Conservative government shut off the tap.

- Scroll down to the bottom of the text.

CBC News


- Go to the Non-Governmental Early Learning and Child Care Links page:

This Harper fellow is quite something, eh?
Oh, the things Stephen Harper’s powerful backroom masters make him say
Scott Feschuk
July 25, 2014
Voters of Canada, I ask you: Who among us has not grown weary of our notoriously weak-willed PM being manipulated by his backroom masters into saying mean things about his rivals? If only Harper had the gumption to exert some control over his government! Alas, the poor man is but a puppet of the 37 different communications directors he’s summarily fired. (...) sum up the world according to Stephen Harper: former federal governments here at home? Hopeless. All other governments on the planet? Inferior. Every other advanced economy? Feeble. Then again, maybe that’s just what the PM’s “people” are forcing him to say.

Macleans Magazine

Source : Raeside Cartoons

Twenty-Five Random Reasons why Harper is a scumbag:

– Team Harper’s Racism
– Harper’s Disdain for Vets, Natives, Murdered Women, Unemployed and the Elderly
– Harper’s Enemy List
– Harper’s Senate Scandal
– Harper’s Destruction of Canadian Jobs
– Harper’s Control of His Caucus
– Harper’s Control of the CBC
– Harper’s Hate for Science
– Harper is a Fascist
– Harper Gutting Canada’s Safety Laws & Regulations
– Harper Government’s Zero Respect for Missing & Murdered Native Women
– Harper Government’s Apology to First Nations Insincere
– Harper Gave Us Duffy - Brazeau - Wallin
– Harper Ignores Starving Canadian Children
– Harper Deregulates Canada’s Water Safety
– Harper’s Economic Disaster Plan
– Harper Lied About Gun Registry Cost
– Harper’s MP John Baird Not Received Well at United Nations
– Harper’s Repeated Proroguing of Parliament
– Harper’s Disastrous Riot Results at Toronto’s G20 Conference
– Harper Giving Billions of Canadian Taxpayers’ Money to Big Oil, Including Billionaire Koch Brothers
– Harper Creates Worst Deficit in Canadian History
– Harper Attack Ads
– Harper Continually Refuses to Meet Press to Answer Tough Questions
– Harper’s Fantino Drove Vets to Tears

Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble.


National Public Service Week
June 15 - 21, 2014
Theme: Proudly Serving Canadians
Federal public servants deliver a wide range of programs and services that support the work of the Government and the needs of Canadians in their day-to-day lives. The Government of Canada would not function without the commitment of the individuals that make up the Public Service.

Click the link above for:
* Message from the Prime Minister on National Public Service Week
* Message from the Clerk to all Public Servants

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat


Five signs your Prime Minister doesn't like public servants
June 16, 2014
Stephen Harper wants public servants to know he cares.
That's the point of this week's National Public Service Week to celebrate those "Proudly Serving Canadians."
But public servants aren't buying it. In fact, they're boycotting the whole thing.

Here are five things that put the boycott in context.

1. Job cuts = cuts to services
2. Muzzling government scientists
3. Gutting collective bargaining rights
4. Ideology-based policy making
5. Scapegoating public servants for their own screw ups

Press Progress
Press Progress is a project of
the Broadbent Institute

Stephen Harper’s evidence: Top 10 quotes from federal scientists in Canada
June 1, 2014
In May of 2014, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a strong case for parents to accept scientific evidence about the effectiveness of vaccines.

“We do have scientists and medical professionals who do great work and verify this and I just think its a tragedy when people start to go off on their own theories and not listen to the scientific evidence,” he told the CBC in an exclusive interview:
[ ].

“Don’t indulge your theories," he said." Think of your children and listen to the experts.”

NOTE : Click the link above to read the complete post.
The quotes below are excerpts from the blog post.

The Ten Quotes:

Quote 10: The “Banana Republic”
We are becoming a ‘Banana Republic’ when it comes to environmental legislation and regulations.

Quote 9: “Systematic dismantling”
In my 31 years with the federal public service, I’ve never seen such a systematic dismantling of science capacity.

Quote 8: “Set aside and ignored”
Science disciplines aimed at environmental and human protection have been set aside and ignored, without taking the real risks into consideration.

Quote 7: Using funds to equip companies
I have witnessed a strong research branch (...) getting dismantled under the guise of ‘transferring’ this activity to the private sector. The new research activities are narrow and serve short-term profit objectives. Funds are used to equip and run individual companies.

Quote 6: “Political interference”
Government interference is pervasive in our work, sometimes subtly (communications approval process, muzzling of the public, transparency towards the public) and sometimes very explicitly (changes to laws and regulations).

Quote 5: “Orwellian”
I am outraged by the Orwellian restriction of information under the current government. I am sure that I did not sign a confidentiality agreement designed to protect elected officials from minor embarrassment or surprise.

Quote 4: “Hate every day of my job”
I am over worked, disrespected, undervalued, and I hate every day of my job where I used to love coming to work.

Quote 3: “Minders”
Now managers decide if whoever gets the call is the appropriate contact for the specific topic; the process of waiting for approval is slow (days), and onerous (lots of email, phone calls) and involves minders

Quote 2:

Quote 1:
I’m probably quitting. Harper wins.

Mike De Souza
Investigative reporter focusing on energy and environment

New Finance Minister supports tax loophole that 86% of families won't benefit from
March 20, 2014
Joe Oliver has never really been the type to paddle against the current. So it's not super surprising that Stephen Harper's new Finance Minister has come out in favour of family income splitting, even though the $3 billion Mad Men Giveaway has been criticized by think tanks across the ideological spectrum. For all the knocks against Oliver's predecessor Jim Flaherty, who resigned from cabinet on Tuesday, at least he wasn't afraid to rock the boat when he thought Harper was dead wrong.


Op-Ed: Harper’s economic index: an 8-year report card
BY Alex Roberts
January 22, 2014
Eight years after the January, 2006 election that brought the Conservatives to power under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Alex Roberts looks at the state of the Canadian economy.
* Estimated amount spent on taxpayer-funded advertisements since 2009 touting the “Economic Action Plan” and the government’s economic record : $113,000,000
* National unemployment rate in January, 2006: 6.6
* National unemployment rate in December, 2013: 7.2
* Number of consecutive annual federal budget deficits under the Harper Conservatives: 6
* Number of consecutive annual federal budget surpluses under the previous Liberal (Chrétien/Martin) governments: 9
* more...

Ottawa Citizen

From the
CBC's Fifth Estate:

Federal programs and research facilities that have been shut down or had their funding reduced

January 10, 2014
Hundreds of federal programs and world renowned research facilities have been shut down or had their funding reduced by the federal government. This list was compiled by the Canadian Association of University Teachers [ ] and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada [ ].

The Fifth Estate


Stephen Harper's 13 Fails of 2013:
From hide-and-seek omni-bills to abandoning veterans, a very unlucky 13 for Canada.
By Sarah Schmidt
January 4, 2014
Here is PressProgress's countdown of 13 Harper fails of 2013.
(Click the link above for more detail on each of the following Harper Fails.)

13. Global leadership flop
12. Rebranding Canada
11. Cutting off debate
10. Creating low-wage jobs
9. Reopening the abortion debate
8. Two omnibus budget bills
7. Failing First Nations
. Attacking collective bargaining rights
5. Abandoning veterans
4. Not taking safety seriously
3. Do-nothing on climate change
2. Deepening democratic deficit
1. PMO cover-up

The Tyee

Federal minister says child poverty not Ottawa’s problem:
James Moore says child poverty falls under provincial jurisdiction
BC again the worst in Canada for child poverty rates
By Sara Norman
December 15, 2013
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It appears the federal government won’t be helping BC get out of the top spot when it comes to child poverty. “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.” That from Federal Minister of Industry James Moore, who ... says it’s the responsibility of the provinces to deal with child poverty, and Ottawa has no plans to step in.

So what *is* the role of the federal government in poverty reduction?

Mister Moore, Sir, may I please have more?
[Answer : " I don’t think so."]

The Toronto Star:

Conservatives dismantling social programs built over generations
December 9, 2013
A Toronto Star analysis has for the first time pulled together a detailed account of the range of recent cuts seen under Stephen Harper’s government.
From the unemployed to low-income families and poor seniors, more people than ever are struggling with grim choices as they try to cope in the leaner, meaner Canada presided over by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (...) Social programs long valued by Canadians are in the Conservatives’ crosshairs.
The government does not provide a comprehensive list showing all the federal programs that have been cut or eliminated, or naming the non-government groups that have seen part or all of their funding axed by Ottawa. A Star analysis has for the first time pulled together a detailed account of the full range of recent cuts.

Toronto Star

1. This detailed directory lists over 100 Harper Government™ cuts since 2006 to a wide range of programs, services and non-government agencies. Click the link above and then (on the next page that opens) scroll down to the graphic and click "VIEW MAP". The graphic is interactive --- if you click one of the 15 target groups (women, seniors, Aboriginals, the unemployed, etc.), a list of recent and planned cuts appears in the centre of the pie graphic, some including links to earlier related articles in the Toronto Star.
2. The graphic doesn't work (for me) in Google Chrome (v.25), but is fine in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Removal of Ordering and Application Services
from the Publications Canada Website
October 10, 2013
Starting April 1, 2014, Publishing and Depository Services (PDS) will be providing access to electronic publications only. We will no longer be selling or distributing print or other hard–copy publications. We will no longer be responsible for managing Crown Copyright and Licensing for the Government of Canada.
The last day for ordering hard–copy publications will be March 7, 2014.

Publications Canada
The federal government's Depository Services Program (DSP) and Publications websites have been integrated into a single searchable, browseable database of federal government publications. The website of the Depository Services Program was officially decommissioned on December 8, 2011.


Related link:

Op-Ed: Farewell to Depository Services, a building block of democracy
By Amy Kaufman and Jeff Moon
November 4, 2013
A robust democracy needs informed and active citizens. But how do we achieve this? One answer is, in many small ways. One of those unheralded building blocks of democracy will disappear at the end of this year. You may not have even heard of it: the Depository Services Program. But chances are if you’ve ever tried to find federal government information, it has helped you. Started in 1927, the Depository Services Program, or DSP, has made sure federal government documents are available to the people of Canada. Not just available, but accessible to everyone: from the student learning about government, to the professor researching policy, to the person needing to find out how a law has changed so he can defend himself in court.
For some time, government documents have been available in both print and online. But as of 2014, most federal publications will only be available online from a government website. This leaves people behind: in the 2010 Canadian Internet Use Survey, 21 per cent of households didn’t have Internet access at home. In a recent OECD study, 15 per cent of Canadians were at or below the lowest level of competency in using digital technology to solve problems.
When the DSP ceases to exist in 2014, let’s hope its vital functions will carry on as the government looks to new ways to provide public access to government documents. The ability of citizens to locate and access the written record of government over the long term is not a trivial issue; it is the lifeblood of our democracy.

[Amy Kaufman is head of the William R. Lederman Law Library at Queen’s University, and Jeff Moon is Data & Government Information Librarian and Academic Director, Queen’s Research Data Centre.]

Ottawa Citizen

Fourteen Components of Fascism : Hello, Stephen Harper?

By Gilles:
In his Canadian Dimension [ ] article (the first link below), author Nick Fillmore presents a condensed version of the 14 components of fascism, followed by quotes from Canadian journalists and links to other sources concerning Harper’s actions and beliefs with respect to each of the 14 points.
The second ( link below offers a more detailed version of each of the 14 components of fascism (but no Harper/Canada references).
The scary/creepy part of all this is that this list was created a full two years before Harper came to power, and yet it reads like a Stephen Harper Performance Review since he's been at the helm of the Ship of State.


Is Stephen Harper displaying fascist-like tendencies?
February 8, 2012
By Nick Fillmore
(...) In 2004, a former U.S. business executive, Laurence W. Britt, came up with a 14-point description of fascism.
[ : Click this link for a more detailed version of each of the 14 components of fascism]

Britt’s 14 components of fascism:

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
5. Rampant sexism.
6. A controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
9. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.

Top 10 howlers in Stephen Harper’s convention keynote
November 2, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered some head-scratchers in his speech to the party faithful on Friday night at the Conservative Party convention.

1. "In this party, we say what we will do, and then we do what we said."
Is it unfair to go all the way back to March 2004, when Harper said, "I will not name appointed people to the Senate"? For more recent history, how about not uttering a word about cutting public pensions during the 2011 election, then doing just that in the 2012 federal budget?

2. "Cutting the GST from 7, to 6, to 5%!"
For a person who likes to tout his economic credentials, surely Harper's read what key experts have had to say about this policy. A reduction in the GST is "among the worst possible tax cuts to boost productivity…. Worse still, even a one percentage point reduction in the GST, at a fiscal cost of a whopping $5.2 billion per year, gives up a lot of government revenue.''

3. "We took money out of the hands of the lobbyists, academics and bureaucrats, and we gave it to the real child-care experts. Their names are Mom and Dad."
Harper is talking about the government’s $100 monthly payment to parents for each child under the age of six. If you know anything about the cost of child care (...) you know $100 only pays for a few days of care every month, if you can find a spot. Mom and Dad also know the difference between a baby bonus cheque and a child-care program.

4. "Let’s never forget, that only this party takes to heart the debt owed to our brave men and women in uniform."
Tell that to the wounded Canadian soldiers who claim they’re being discharged from the military before they’re eligible to collect a pension. Or, better yet, read the latest report of Canada’s veterans ombudsman. It says the New Veterans Charter has “urgent shortcomings” that must be fixed.

Click the link above to read the other six whoppers in Stephen Harper’s convention keynote address.


PressProgress is a project of the
Broadbent Institute

Maldives slams Baird's remarks
'Inappropriate and derogatory'
By Steve Rennie
October 8, 2013
OTTAWA -- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is in hot water with the Maldives.
Maldives President Mohamed Waheed wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to complain about Baird's conduct during recent Commonwealth meetings in New York. In a statement posted on the Maldives president's website, Waheed alleges Baird made "inappropriate and derogatory remarks" and "posed several harshly worded questions" to the acting Maldives foreign minister. The remarks pertained to "domestic politics in the Maldives," according to the statement, but Baird's exact words remain unclear.

Winnipeg Free Press

COMMENT (by Gilles):
Deux temps, deux mesures*
(*Loose translation : Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.)

After reading the above excerpt from the Winnipeg Free Press article, I couldn't help but see the double standard that is a cornerstone of the Harper Government™ approach to international relations. In the past few years, United Nations spokespersons have taken Canada to task for its less-than stellar record on children's rights, housing, food security and First Nations living conditions. Rather than heed the sound advice of the impartial representatives of the U.N., Harperites have attacked the messengers, scoffing at the fact that people from countries with corrupt governments would actually have the GALL to tell *us* how to formulate our domestic policy.

Of course, that's how one would expect a government bordering on fascism to behave.
See (especially component #2 : "Disdain for the importance of human rights")

Silencing [Canadian] Scientists
September 21, 2013
By Verlyn Klinkenborg
Over the last few years, the government of Canada — led by Stephen Harper — has made it harder and harder for publicly financed scientists to communicate with the public and with other scientists.
Science is the gathering of hypotheses and the endless testing of them. It involves checking and double-checking, self-criticism and a willingness to overturn even fundamental assumptions if they prove to be wrong. But none of this can happen without open communication among scientists. This is more than an attack on academic freedom. It is an attempt to guarantee public ignorance.

New York Times

[ ]

June 8, 2013
By Gilles:

My two cents' worth regarding the $90K cheque from the
Prime Minister's Chief of Staff to shamed Senator Duffy

If I hear another Harperite use the old "He (CoS)-did-the-honourable-thing-so-that-the-taxpayers-of-Canada-wouldn't-be-on-the-hook-for-that-$90K" BS line, I think my ears will start to bleed. For the first time since that story broke, I finally heard one of the guests (an Opposition MP) on the CBC News Channel's Power and Politics say something that I've thought all along : the taxpayers would NOT be on the hook, because Duffy was bound by law to repay the $90K to the government.


I Stand Alone : Why I resigned from the Conservative caucus
By Brent Rathgeber
June 6, 2013
Late last night I notified the Board of Directors of the Edmonton-St. Albert Conservative Association of my difficult decision that I was resigning from the Conservative Caucus to sit as an Independent in the House of Commons. Clearly, the Government’s decision not to support my Private Member’s Bill on CBC and Public Sector disclosure and transparency in Committee was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back...
(...) Recent allegations concerning expense scandals and the Government’s response has been extremely troubling. I joined the Reform/conservative movements because I thought we were somehow different, a band of Ottawa outsiders riding into town to clean the place up, promoting open government and accountability. I barely recognize ourselves, and worse I fear that we have morphed into what we once mocked.
(...) I have reluctantly come to the inescapable conclusion that the Government’s lack of support for my transparency bill is tantamount to a lack of support for transparency and open government generally. The government chose to gut my transparency bill despite not a single witness testifying at the Access Committee in support of either eviscerating amendment. The Committee hearings (as all are) were a charade. The decisions on amendments were made by unelected staffers weeks before the Committee hearings even commenced.
(...) I can only compromise so much before I begin to not recognize myself. I no longer recognize much of the party that I joined and whose principles (at least on paper), I still believe in. Accordingly, since I can no longer stand with them, I must now stand alone.

157 comments about this posting:

Brent Rathgeber's Blog

Brent Rathgeber's website:

Hats off to Brent Rathgeber, a parliamentarian of great personal integrity who truly deserves the title Honourable.

Conservatives’ reputation as the ‘Nasty Party’ is well-deserved
By Andrew Coyne, Postmedia News
May 10, 2013
If today both Harper and the party he leads are actively disliked by more than seven voters in 10, it may be because they have gone out of their way to alienate them in every conceivable way — not by their policies, or even their record, but simply by their style of governing, as over-bearing as it is under-handed, and that on a good day.

When they are not refusing to disclose what they are doing, they are giving out false information; when they allow dissenting opinions to be voiced, they smear them as unpatriotic or worse; when they open their own mouths to speak, it is to read the same moronic talking points over and over, however these may conflict with the facts, common courtesy, or their own most solemn promises.
Secretive, controlling, manipulative, crude, autocratic, vicious, unprincipled, untrustworthy, paranoid … Even by the standards of Canadian politics, it’s quite the performance.
Perhaps, in their self-delusion, the Tories imagine this is all the fault of the Ottawa media, or the unavoidable cost of governing as Conservatives in a Liberal country. I can assure them it is not. The odium in which they are now held is well-earned, and entirely self-inflicted.


Parliament losing power to keep tabs on government: Tory MP
By Mark Kennedy
April 15, 2013
OTTAWA — A former member of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet has warned that Canadian parliamentary democracy is being jeopardized by the “command and control” system that is removing the right of MPs to speak in the House of Commons. The warning came Monday from Conservative MP Michael Chong, who was Harper’s intergovernmental affairs minister in 2006.


Comment by Gilles:

Ah, yes.
I can see the federal news release now:

Harper Government™ Appoints M.P. Michael Chong as Special Ambassador to Timbuktu.
April 16, 2013
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced the appointment of M.P. Michael Chong as Canada’s Special Ambassador to Timbuktu.
(or Monrovia, or Mars...)

Sound familiar?

Back in 2011, when the Harper Government™ finally decided that it had a bellyful of Conservative* Senator Hugh Segal's incessant natterings about inequality in Canada and all that guaranteed annual income (GAI) nonsense [ ], they decided to shift the focus of the Senator's attention and energy to something else less embarrassing for the Harper Government™ --- preferably something that would keep the good Senator on the road for much of the time.
* Hugh Segal is more Red Tory than Harper-style Conservative.
He is a former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney who was appointed to the Senate by Liberal PM Paul Martin.

So what did the Harper Government™ do about Senator Segal?

Baird Appoints Senator Segal as Special Envoy for Commonwealth Renewal
News Release
December 21, 2011
Foreign Affairs and International Trade

NOTE : To his great credit, the indefatigable Senator Segal has continued to champion the cause of guaranteed income in Canada since his appointment as special envoy. For a large collection of writings and speeches by Hugh Segal on the subject of GAI, go to the Guaranteed Annual Income Links page of this site:


P.S. Best wishes in your Timbuktu posting, Mr, Chong.

An Oldie Mouldie from the Georgia Straight:
Stephen Harper and The Fraser
July 6, 2006

By Donald Gutstein
July 6, 2006
Stephen Harper was a 15-year-old student in Etobicoke's Richview Collegiate just west of Toronto when MacMillan Bloedel chairman Jack Clyne and other corporate leaders chipped in a total of $75,000 to start the Fraser Institute in 1974.
Three decades later, in October 2004, the Fraser Institute held its 30th-anniversary gala celebration --- 30 years during which business and conservative foundations pumped more than $100 million into Fraser activities; 30 years during which Stephen Harper rose from high school to University of Calgary student to Reform party policy chief to head of the National Citizens Coalition and to leader of the official Opposition.
Credit the Fraser Institute? Harper probably thinks so. (...) Like the Fraser, he is dedicated to the ideas of Friedrich Hayek, leader of the Austrian School of economics. Margaret Thatcher was an outspoken Hayek devotee. Hayek urged reducing government intervention in people's social and economic lives to a bare minimum. No social programs, no environmental or consumer regulation. In Hayek's world, government officials do not serve the public. Instead, they are self-serving empire builders. As Ronald Reagan said, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” 

Georgia Straight

Say goodbye to effective Parliamentary Budget Office, feds about to destroy it, says outgoing PBO Page
March 11, 2013
Feds name Parliamentary Librarian Sonia L’Heureux as interim PBO, and Kevin Page says the PBO will soon be an institution of the past.
PBO Kevin Page says Canadians, Parliamentarians and the media should stand up for an independent PBO if they want a true legislative budget office.

The Hill Times

Chris Hedges: Harper is “venal”, U.S. politics is “totally rigged”
By Adrian Mack
July 14, 2012
Chris Hedges, co-author of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt [ ] was in New York when the Georgia Straight reached him to discuss the book, Occupy, his career, Stephen Harper, and more...
"[Prime Minister] Harper is sort of a poster child for corporate malfeasance and corporate power, just sort of dismantling everything that’s good about Canada, including walking out on Kyoto and this egregious assault on civil liberties, which, of course, is very far advanced in the United States. So he’s the kind of species that rises to political power and is utterly subservient to corporate interests at the expense of the citizenry. Yeah, he’s a pretty venal figure."
ve·nal : /'venl/
Showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery: "venal politicians".
- corrupt - corruptible - bribable - mercenary

The Straight (Vancouver)


Related link:

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt
- more info and ordering details:
By Chris Hedges (Author) and Joe Sacco Chris Hedges (author) and Joe Sacco (illustrator)

Stephen Harper’s war on transparency: The Conservative government
seems to think that stonewalling, foot-dragging and contempt of Parliament pay.
March 11, 2013
Kevin Page's job as parliamentary budget officer ends in March 2013. Evidently, the Conservatives are tired of fighting with him. The job description for the next PBO asks for a candidate who is "tactful and discreet" and capable of "achieving consensus."

Toronto Star

Harper Government Centralizing, Slashing Federal Web Info
By Vincent Gogolek
March 10, 2013
Authorized by the prime minister himself, the federal government's Web Renewal Action Plan (see the links below) clearly outlines the government's intention to drastically cut the number of government websites available to Canadians. Initially, the page count will be slashed to six, with the ultimate goal of consolidating all online Government of Canada information into one big website.

[ Vincent Gogolek is the Executive Director of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. ]

Huffington Post Canada

Related links:

Web Renewal Action Plan - Part 1 (PDF - 2MB, 9 pages)

Web Renewal Action Plan - Part 2 (PDF - 1.9MB, 7 pages)

BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

Harper Watch : Compiling the Harper Government's Assault on Democracy
We’ve all grown up with a certain perspective about Canada, what it means to be Canadian, how we wish to be perceived as Canadians. Our Canada has always been a country where looking after each other was more important than getting ahead, making more money and acquiring more stuff. (...) Since 2006, slowly, and sometimes not so subtly, we’ve seen our Canada change and become tarnished. We’ve seen long-cherished values, and hard-won rights and achievements be unceremoniously swept away and buried, covered up under blatant lies. We’ve seen our country’s global reputation reduced from being admired and respected and even loved, to being the subject of anger, ridicule and yes, even loathing.
Those who have a long history of voting Conservative, please understand: the Harper Conservatives are not the PC’s of the past, they are the Reform Party, based on neo-conservative, Evangelical Christian values – think radical, right-wing religious. Is that our Canada?
Worried that important issues might be lost and forgotten in the deluge of disasters emanating from Parliament Hill, we created this blog as a partial record of the Harper government’s crimes against Canada and the world. We hope that you use it and share it so that we never forget what the Harper government has done to our country.

The Republic of Harper
By Duncan Cameron
January 29, 2013
Members of Parliament arriving after the holiday recess were greeted Monday by hundreds of Idle No More demonstrators rallying on Parliament Hill. The Canada-wide protests give encouragement to the numerous adversaries of the Harper government, which studiously ignores opposition to its agenda. At the halfway point in its majority mandate, the Harper government treats the House of Commons with disdain, refusing to answer opposition questions, undermining committee work, and using members' statements to lie about its opponents.


C-377: Conservative MPs show their anti-union bias in voting for flawed bill
December 13, 2012

The adoption of Bill C-377 by the House of Commons on December 12 shows how far the Harper government is willing to go to silence dissent and opposition, no matter what are the consequences for Canadians.

“In their eagerness to try to limit the capacity of the labour movement to conduct political action on behalf of Canadian workers, the Conservatives took advantage of their majority in the House to fast-track the approval of a useless and fundamentally flawed bill,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

Ignoring the fact that unions are already accountable to their members and blinded by their desire to attack the unions, the Conservatives knowingly passed a bill that has many dangerous side effects.

Canadian Union of Public Employees*
With 618,000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.


Related link from
the Canadian Bar Association (CBA):

CBA urges Parliament not to pass Bill C-377
October 25, 2012
OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has serious reservations about Bill C-377, Income Tax Act amendments (requirements for labour organizations) and is urging Parliament not to pass the legislation.
“The Bill contains a significant number of privacy concerns and lacks the appropriate balance between legitimate public goals and respect for privacy interests protected by law,” says the CBA in its letter to the Commons Standing Committee on Finance.
The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members

* COMMENT (by Gilles):

A big THANK YOU to the nice folks at CUPE from the Canadian Social Research Links Guy!!
In the Fall of 2003, the number of subscribers to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter passed 1,000 and my Internet Service Provider (Rogers) informed me that I could no longer disseminate the newsletter via my Rogers email account, all because of their aggressive anti-spam policy.
[In a nutshell, Rogers' bulk email policy was "max. 150 recipients in a list, max. 1,000 emails per day, and NO, we don't care that your newsletter is a useful tool for Those Who Must Save The World. Buzzoff."]

That's when I received an invitation from newsletter subscriber Theresa Healy of CUPE (who has since moved over to the Canadian Labour Congress) to administer my mailing list and distribute my newsletter via CUPE'S LISTSERV (group email software). I immediately switched to the CUPE mailing system, and my blood pressure soon came back to normal. Thanks, CUPE, for allowing me to piggyback my newsletter on your LISTSERV for all these years, and special thanks to Theresa for making that all possible!

Disclaimer: Despite this sweet buddy-buddy thing with CUPE, I remain solely responsible and accountable for the choice of links presented in my site and newsletter, how I present those links to the reader, and for the occasional editorial comment - it's my time, my home computer, my experience, my biases, my Rogers Internet account and my web hosting service.


- Go to the Union Links page:

New from
Democracy Watch:

Federal Conservatives’ accountability and democratic reform
record gets an F for breaking many promises and practising politics as usual
Six years after Federal Accountability Act became law, dishonesty, conflicts of interest, excessive secrecy, unlimited donations and patronage all still legal.
Another, stronger Accountability Act needed to close 100 remaining loopholes and flaws
December 12, 2012
OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch marked the sixth anniversary of the passage of the federal Conservatives’ so-called “Federal Accountability Act” (FAA), and the recent annual International Anti-Corruption Day, by issuing its Sixth Good Government Report Card on the FAA and the Conservatives’ overall accountability and democratic reform record.

Democracy Watch
Democracy Watch and its Government Ethics Coalition, Money in Politics Coalition and Open Government Coalition, which involve more than 50 citizen groups from across Canada with a total membership of 3.5 million Canadians, will continue pushing for these key, democratizing changes.

How do you replace social policy? With ‘decision-based evidence making’
By John Stapleton
December 2012
Social policy, at its simplest and most active, is the articulation of ideas to effect positive change for people based on strong principles and the best available evidence. Social policy is a good thing and is historically a strong suit of governments.

Therefore, it is extremely interesting that Canada now has a federal government that appears to wish to get out of social policy. They are achieving this end in five ways:

* Through staff cuts and attrition in the government departments like Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) that do social policy;
* By declaring that large aspects of social policy like poverty reduction are the responsibility of someone else ( i.e. provinces)
* By making sure that charities do not conduct social policy that could be construed to have political ends
* By cutting or eliminating the funding of public and private agencies that engage in social policy; and
* Eliminating staff, cutting the surveys, and curtailing the census information that provide Canadians the evidence to conduct good social policy.

It is almost impossible to understand why any government would abandon social policy. Some have guessed that social policy is inconvenient to agenda-driven politics (i.e. don’t confuse me with the facts)...

Open Policy
- John Stapleton's website

Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies
(Unofficial sub-title : Conservative Party of Canada Policy Manual)
A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning.
Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they're often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people. Don't be fooled! This website has been designed to help you identify and call out dodgy logic wherever it may raise its ugly, incoherent head.
Roll over the icons on the home page and click for definitions and examples.

the Globe and Mail :

New language data may be skewed as a result of shift to voluntary census survey
By Joe Friesen
October 26, 2012
When Statistics Canada languages expert Jean-Pierre Corbeil sat down to look over the new language data from the 2011 census, he did a double take. The numbers did not make sense. This is bizarre, he thought. Patterns of linguistic change established over decades appeared to have suddenly shifted. What he was seeing is the first knock-on effect of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to replace the mandatory long-form census with a voluntary survey. The impact is still hard to judge, but what’s clear is that the new numbers are less reliable as a barometer of change.
The unusual results may stem from the controversial killing of the long-form census, which traditionally contained the language questions.
(...) the method of gathering the new data makes it difficult to assess where Canada is going in comparison to where it has been. Experts say these questions will only grow more complicated as results from the voluntary survey start to roll in next year.

Globe and Mail


Here's another perspective
from the CBC on the same issue:

Long-form census cancellation taking toll on StatsCan data
Questions raised over how data can be used reliably
October 27, 2012
Statistics Canada states bluntly in a box included in its census material : "Data users are advised to exercise caution when evaluating trends related to mother tongue and home language that compare 2011 census data to those of previous censuses." Those are strong words for a statistical agency, since they raise profound questions about how the data can be used reliably to come to conclusions about language trends.
CBC News


So the long form Census questionnaire chickens have come home to roost.
IMHO, Stephen Harper's radical makeover of Canada in his eyes borders on fascism, and it even includes rewriting Canadian history to sweep some of Canada's less-than-stellar moments under the carpet, as in the article immediately below.
Triumphalism indeed.

New e-passport’s historic scenes a study in ‘triumphalism’, historians say
By Tom Spears
October 26, 2012
Officially, it was just a press conference to show off Canada’s new passports, with historical images. But Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also shed light on the government’s view of history, choosing the newly-renamed Canadian Museum of History as the venue for his announcement.
What you won’t see [in those images] is discontent or problems. None of the soldiers are wounded. There are no native reserves or internment camps. There are no scenes from the Winnipeg General Strike, the Depression, or students marching with red squares on their shirts. Baird told reporters the scenes are meant to be inspirational. He called them “images that are uniquely Canadian, images that illustrate iconic moments in our proud history and showcase our beautiful country.
At Queen’s University, historian Ian McKay warned against the “dangerous” portrayal of history. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating proud moments if one also recognizes the problems that went with them, he said. “This seems to be more a hymn of praise to the country that drowns out any dissenting voices. I find the militarism troubling,” especially with no peacekeepers shown. (...) “I find the politicization of Canadian history very troubling.” (...) Historian Matthew Hayday at the University of Guelph warned against “triumphalism” — a patriotic view of history as the triumphant building of a nation.

Ottawa Citizen

Related link:

Design of the new Canadian Passport
(from Passport Canada)

Harper’s Attack on Democracy, Itemized by Lawrence Martin
April 27, 2011
By Armine Yalnizyan
The case for painting Harper as an anti-democrat stems from dozens of actions, catalogued below. They can be roughly divided into three categories: Treatment of the parliamentary process; degree of information control; intimidation of opponents.

* Prorogations of Parliament
* Contempt of Parliament
* Scorn for parliamentary committees
* Challenging constitutional precepts
* Lapdogs as watchdogs
* The Patronage Machine
* Abuse of Process

The government communications vetting system
Public service brought to heel
Access to information
Document tampering
Media curbs

Afghan detainees
My way or the highway
Personal attack ads
A democratic party?

Behind the Numbers
A blog of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Harper Named 2012 World Statesman By U.S. Foundation
September 11, 2012
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will receive the 2012 World Statesman Award at the Appeal of Conscience Foundation annual awards dinner on September 27 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The Appeal of Conscience Foundation [ ] describes itself as an interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders, founded in 1965 by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, that promotes peace, tolerance and ethnic conflict resolution. Its board includes former U.S. president Bill Clinton and former U.S. secretaries of state Madeleine Albright, James Baker, retired general Colin Powell and George Schultz. Harper's office says the prime minister is being recognized as "a champion of democracy, freedom, and human rights." Other past winners include former prime minister Jean Chretien, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and former British prime minister Gordon Brown.
While Harper may be popular with this particular U.S. foundation, it seems many Canadians don't agree. In a totally unscientific survey of the best Canadian prime ministers [ ] conducted in May, readers voted Harper dead last, behind Kim Campbell and Brian Mulroney. In June, readers of Calgary's Fast Forward Weekly voted Harper best local villain and most embarrassing citizen [ ]. The PM was named worst dressed male MP, MP with the worst sense of humour, biggest Scrooge to work for and biggest self-promoter in this year's Politically Savvy survey from The Hill Times [ ].

Huffington Post Canada

Related link:

From the Toronto Star:

Stephen Harper’s democracy award a sad joke on Canadians
September 12, 2012
By Bob Hepburn
With great fanfare, an international organization has announced it is honouring Stephen Harper as its World Statesman of the Year for his work as a “champion of democracy, freedom and human rights.” Harper will accept the award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, which was created by a New York rabbi in 1965, at a reception on Sept. 27 in New York City. Harper won the award largely because of his support for Israel and his criticism of Iran. Clearly, though, the foundation either blatantly ignored or didn’t know that Harper is arguably the worst prime minister in history when it comes to defending democracy and human rights in Canada.

Harper’s record of abuse and assault on democracy and rights in Canada is long and well documented.
[By Gilles] --- Examples cited include:
* Demise of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy)
* Deep funding cut for the Canadian Human Rights Commission
* Cutting funds to Kairos, an organization of church groups that advocated for human rights
* Severe funding cuts to Status of Women Canada
* Demise of the Court Challenges Program
* Two controversial prorogations of Parliament in less than a year
* First prime minister ever to be found guilty of contempt of Parliament
* Approved the distribution of a handbook on how Tories can disrupt committee hearings
* Flagrant attacks on freedom of speech and information tenets (e.g., muzzling senior bureaucrats, withholding and even altering documents, launching personal attacks on whistleblowers and lying to voters.
* The robocall affair

This is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a good starting point for officials at the Appeal for Conscience Foundation if they want a more complete picture of their 2012 award winner.

Toronto Star

1984 in 2012 – The Assault on Reason
September 5, 2012
[ Notes from Allan Gregg's speech to Carleton University's School of Public Policy and Administration ]
By Allan R. Gregg
In his novel 1984, George Orwell paints a portrait of a nightmarish future where rights that we now take for granted – the freedom of assembly, speech and to trial – have all been suspended. Acceptance of this totalitarian state is justified by the interests of stability and order, and by the needs a perpetual war. But what makes 1984 endure where other dystopian novels have been forgotten is that Orwell removed one more right that is even more unimaginable in a modern context – the right to think.
I have spent my entire professional life as a researcher, dedicated to understanding the relationship between cause and effect. And I have to tell you, I’ve begun to see some troubling trends. It seems as though our government’s use of evidence and facts as the bases of policy is declining, and in their place, dogma, whim and political expediency are on the rise. And even more troubling …. Canadians seem to be buying it.
[According to the Harper Government™]... [P]olicy should be based on conviction and not bloodless statistics. Governments should be guided by what is morally right and not by reason and rational compromise. From this view, science, statistics, reason and rational compromise are not tools of enlightened public policy, but barriers to the pursuit of swing that pendulum back.
While the circumstance in Canada 2012 is obviously nowhere near as dystopian as what Orwell depicts in 1984, I really do think that there are some unsettling parallels going on here that we ignore at our peril. I also think it’s time to gather the facts….and fight back.

Allan Gregg : Another View (personal blog)

[ Allan Gregg is one of Canada’s most recognized and respected senior research professionals and social commentators.
More : ]


Allan Gregg’s assault on federal politics
By Don Lenihan
September 11, 2012
In a speech at Carleton University last week, Allan Gregg accused the federal government of launching an Orwellian assault on our democracy. The speech is provocative, but it is also lofty, complex and well worth reading, whatever your political persuasion. Unfortunately, it is also flawed.
[By Gilles : Lenihan makes three points in his rebuttal to Gregg's remarks]:
1. The fact that a policy is based on ideological conviction does not mean it is opposed to reason.
2. Even if Gregg is right that the Conservatives are preoccupied with secrecy, control and messaging, this does not mean they are doing it to hide their “real convictions."
3. Many of the criticisms that Gregg levels at Conservatives are part of a larger, world-wide government trend.

[ Don Lenihan is Vice President, Engagement at the Public Policy Forum in Ottawa. ]


Ten things Stephen Harper hopes you forget by 2015
By Michael Harris
June 13, 2012
Tyranny, the arbitrary exercise of power by a government, usually pads up behind you in stockinged feet. It has to. In a democracy, stealth is the only way it can succeed. But in Canada these days, it pokes you in the chest with an index finger while shoving you backwards with the other hand. As it turns out, Blaise Pascal might have been right: mankind can get used to anything, including the breathless loss of democratic freedoms when the usurping party masquerades as strong, competent government. Six years in to Harper rule, blue eyes and mascara apparently have everyone taking a few steps backwards.

The ten things:

1. Bill C-38 (The Harper Omnibus Bill)
2. G-8 and G-10 meetings in 2010
3. The F-35 fiasco
4. Failed fiscal conservatism
5. Old Age Security cuts
6. The Accountability Act
7. Federal/provincial relations
8. Regulating the Internet
9. Tony Clement's Gazebo
10. Stephen Harper Himself
--- a niche prime minister who has consistently served the wealthy and the corporate while “managing” the great unwashed as the problem children of society.

iPolitics is independent, non-partisan and committed to providing timely, relevant, insightful content to those whose professional or personal interests require that they stay on top of political developments in Ottawa and the provinces.

Here's a short list of about 50 more things Prime Minister Harper would like you to forget:
(You'll find more info on most of these things further down on the page you're now reading)

* Women’s Health Contribution Program terminated
* Status of Women gutted
*Universal Daycare scrapped
* Court Challenges Program Cancelled
* Women’s Right to Pay Equity Trashed
* Abortion left out of Canada’s G8 Maternal Health funding
* Fewer Women appointed to Cabinet than Previous Governments
* Slow demise of Aboriginal civil society by government design
* CBC : The Slow Erosion of Our Last Cross-Country Connection
* The inverse logic of the Crime Bill
* Demise of the National Council of Welfare
* Minister of Deportation Jason Kenney
* Community Access Program closures
* Bev Oda and the $16 orange juice
* Peter McKay's excellent helicopter ride : not.
* Creating enemies of the state
* Dictate not negotiate
* Opposition to Medicare
* The dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board
* Shaming Canada on the international stage
* Prorogation and other parliamentary parlor tricks
* Pushing out opposing voices from within
* Maintaining Secrecy - What whistleblowers? Whose access to information?
* Shutting down the public
* Silencing parliamentary watchdogs and science
* Squeezing Non-Governmental Organizations
* Cooking the Books (exceeding spending limits in the 2006 campaign that brought the Conservatives to power.)
* The Hidden Slush Fund - $40+million slated for border-infrastructure improvements instead went into enhancement projects in Tony Clement’s riding.
* Falsifying Documents - the document-altering scam involving Bev Oda’s office and the aid group Kairos.
* Shutting Down Detainees’ Probes - use of a number of authoritarian tactics to avoid culpability on the Afghan detainees’ file
* The Cotler Misinformation Campaign - Conservatives systematically spread rumours in Irwin Cotler’s Montreal riding that he was stepping down.
* Dirty Work on Dion - personal attack ads in the 2008 campaign (remember the bird pooping on Stephane Dion’s head?)
* Tory Logos on Taxpayer Cheques - PC party logo on economic recovery program cheques
* The Rob Anders Nomination Crackdown - PC goons thwart a legitimate challenge to Harper loyalist Rob Anders for the nomination in his Calgary riding
* The Rights and Democracy Takeover - the Harper Government™ has removed or suspended board members and stacked the board with pro-Israeli hardliners.
* Vote Suppression Tactics - robocalls...
* Communications Lockdown - Hit Squad On Journalists
* Intimidation and Bullying of Adversaries
* Disrupting Committee Business
* From the Feminist Media Collective:
* Found to be in contempt of Canadian parliament in March 2011
* Citizen Empowerment / General Government Accountability loopholes
* Honesty in Politics loopholes
* Cabinet appointments and hiring loopholes
* Government Ethics loopholes
* Lobbying Regulation loopholes
* Open Government loopholes
* Whistleblower Protection loopholes
* Elections Law loopholes
* Money in Politics loopholes
* Government Spending loopholes
* Senate Accountability loophole
* Federal Conservatives' Accountability and Democratic Reform Record Gets An "F"
* Four Years After Federal Accountability Act Became Law, Dishonesty, Conflicts of Interest, Excessive Secrecy, Unlimited Donations and Patronage All Still Legal.
* Another, Stronger Accountability Act Needed To Close 100 Remaining Loopholes and Flaws
* 25 reasons Stephen Harper is bad for Canada [ ]
* More reasons to Stop Harper [ ]
* A list of 87 organizations and people attacked in five years [ ]
* Federal Government Cuts to Women's Programs since 2006 [ ]
* The Creepy Factor --- Fourteen components of fascism:
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
5. Rampant sexism.
6. A controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
9. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.

Harper’s Methodical Campaign to Silence Democracy:
The plan is revealed in a book by the PM’s former top strategist Tom Flanagan.
By Keith Reynolds
18 August 2012
Since taking power federally in 2006, the Conservative government has undertaken a continuous attack on civil society organizations. One of the government's first actions was to cut support for women's organizations that lobbied or did research on the status of women. Environmental organizations have been accused of acting in the interest of foreign powers. Revenue Canada was given extra money to investigate them.
How did we come to the point where organizations advocating equality and changes to public policy appear to be seen by the government as the enemy of Canadians?

The Tyee

Omnibus bill exposes ‘pragmatic’ Stephen Harper as a radical : Prime Minister Stephen Harper conveys the impression that too many Canadian workers are slackers and need some kind of “tough love,” says former NDP leader Ed Broadbent.
June 12, 2012
By Ed Broadbent
Stephen Harper is often portrayed by his supporters as a pragmatist, a man who simply wants to do what works. But the evidence suggests that the “major transformation” he promised at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January is aimed in a more radical direction.
Instead of measures aimed at producing more above-the-poverty-line jobs for the unemployed and directly attacking stagnant wages for middle class Canadians, the massive omnibus bill before Parliament has a more narrowly conservative intent. Instead of providing hope, its measures will dampen our expectations and deepen inequality.
Most unemployed workers will now be forced to accept work that pays up to 30 per cent less than their previous jobs after only a few weeks of job search. Contractors will no longer be required to ensure employment equity for women and racial minorities. And employers will be permitted to pay temporary foreign workers up to 15 per cent less than the standard regional wage for that job — thus exploiting them and putting downward pressure on the wages of Canadian workers. Is this the Canada we want?
This federal budget should provoke a public debate about the kind of Canada we want.

[Ed Broadbent is a former national NDP leader and founder and chair of the Broadbent Institute.]

Toronto Star

A policy plan to hide poverty, inequality:
Ottawa is shutting down public debate on issues it doesn’t care about
April 26, 2012
By Stephanie Baker Collins
While the public bemoans raucous question periods in Parliament and hyperpartisan debate, a federal government plan for much more lasting damage to public debate is unfolding in Canada. This plan is silencing the voices of those who speak against poverty, inequality and human rights violations and eliminating the information they use. It is steadily eroding our ability to even see these problems by eliminating the data sources that enable us to understand ourselves as a society.
* The first piece of this plan is to abolish information that might inform the debate and document poverty and inequality.
* The second piece of the federal government plan is to cut funding to groups who might speak out and use such data to illuminate poverty and inequality among us or to speak to the human rights implications of government legislation.
The third part of the plan is the cultivation of a political climate that is disdainful of public debate and of those who seek to stimulate it.

[Stephanie Baker Collins is an associate professor at McMaster University School of Social Work and a member of McMaster Community Poverty Initiative]

The Hamilton Spectator

Team Harper™ : Who They Are

Federal budget 2012: Details show how Canadian PM Stephen Harper changing government

24 Apr 2012 | Canada
- includes a list of cuts to date in the 2012-2013 federal budget

Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)

Death by a Thousand Cuts:
On the slow demise of Aboriginal civil society by government design
April 25, 2012
By Martin Papillon and Michael Orsini
[Associate Professors, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa.]
Hardly a week passes without the news of yet another Aboriginal organization losing its federal funding, and being forced to shut down as a result.
The hit list thus far includes the First Nations Statistical Institute, the National Aboriginal Health Organization and the National Centre for First Nations Governance. The health promotion programming and research capacity of some key organizations, such as the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Native Women’s Association of Canada, have also been scaled back following federal cuts, the exact details of which have not been made public.
Which group might be next is anyone’s guess.

Related link from the CBC,
notably from the January 2012 First Nations Summit in Ottawa:

First Nations get broad promises on Indian Act, development
Government commits to eliminate barriers to self-government
January 24, 2012
TIP: In the centre column of the page whose link appears above, you'll find links to 15 more articles and videos about the Crown-First Nations gathering, a.k.a. Stephen Harper's First Nations Photo-Op.

The Mark

Latest cuts: Another federal ministry announces program closure
- the end of the Women’s Health Contribution Program

April 23, 2012
Press release
One more women’s program falls victim to federal government budget cuts; 16-year program provided essential evidence and information on women’s health; group argues for need to consider how women are harmed by cuts to programs and services.

Six federally funded organizations devoted to research and communication in women’s health learned this week that their funding will end March 31, 2013.

The Women’s Health Contribution Program is critical to funding innovative social policy research, building community partnerships and providing important mentorship opportunities for students in women’s health. Within a year, the affected organizations will be forced to either close their doors permanently or attempt to find funding elsewhere.

The Women’s Health Contribution Program (WHCP) supports:
- Le Réseau québécois d’action pour la santé des femmes
- the Canadian Women’s Health Network
- the Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health
- the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health
- the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence
- the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health, located across the country from Vancouver to Halifax.

Canadian Women's Health Network
The Canadian Women’s Health Network (CWHN) was created in 1993 as a voluntary national organization to improve the health and lives of girls and women in Canada and the world by collecting, producing, distributing and sharing knowledge, ideas, education, information, resources, strategies and inspirations.
[ About CWHN : ]


Health Canada:

Women’s Health Contribution Program
The Women's Health Contribution Program supports community-academic partnerships in the development and dissemination of policy research and information for women's health. The Program is managed by Health Canada's Bureau of Women's Health and Gender Analysis.
The Program contributes approximately $2.95 million annually to eligible recipients.
Health Canada

[CBC] The Slow Erosion of Our Last Cross-Country Connection
April 19, 2012
By Andy Barrie (former host of Metro Morning)
(...) looking at eighteen OECD countries’ government spending on public broadcasting, we see, as expected, the U.S. at the very bottom, spending a miserable four bucks per capita (all figures 2009). Next to them, Canada’s $34 per capita seems absolutely munificent (and that’s before the latest round of cuts) – until you compare it to some of our other OECD partners.
Compare Canada’s spending to Japan’s $62 per capita; France’s $78, Finland’s $107, Denmark’s $136; all the way up to the Norwegians, at $164 per capita.

27 comments about this article:

The Network
"The CBC & Public Broadcasting : A National Conversation"

Convened by the Toronto Star:


Related link:

Reimagine CBC

Summary of the Omnibus Crime Bill
Revised February 17, 2012

Legislative Summary of Bill C-10: An Act to enact the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other Acts.

Parliamentary Information and Research Service of the Library of Parliament:

Ending the National Council of Welfare:

Unplugging the Community Access Program:

The demonization of dissent: Canadian style:

Alex Himelfarb on how the progressive Canadian state is being dismantled:

Thanks for the above media links to:

Jennefer Laidley
Policy & Research Analyst
Income Security Advocacy Centre

Conservatives using No One Is Illegal to distract from anti-immigrant record
Joint release from No One Is Illegal - Halifax, Montreal,
London, Toronto and Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.
March 27, 2012
Canada, Turtle Island - Immigrant and refugee rights groups from Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver were brought up in Parliament yesterday and targetted in a press release by Minister of Deportation Jason Kenney. The Tories have charged that No One Is Illegal is "not simply another noisy activist group but hard-line anti-Canadian extremists".
TIP: Scroll to the bottom of the article for links to seven related links.

[ ]

Related links:

No One Is Illegal
No One Is Illegal is a migrant justice movement rooted in anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, climate justice, Indigenous self determination, anti-occupation & anti-oppressive community.We strive and struggle for the right to remain, the freedom to move, and the right to return.

No One Is Illegal - MONTRÉAL

No One Is Illegal - OTTAWA

No One Is Illegal - TORONTO

No One Is Illegal - VANCOUVER

Harper's Creepy Crime Bill Street Quiz
[ ]
[or click anywhere in the video box to the right of this text.]

Operation Maple
Canadians are proud people, proud of our cities, farmland and forests, proud of our healthcare and our education system, and proud of our rights and of our social assistance safety net. These are the very reasons why we slap Canadian flags on our travel bags and answer without hesitation “I’m from Canada”. The reality is that these “things” that we are so proud of as Canadians, these “things” that we speak so highly of, are being sold off, taken away, and trampled on. Stephen Harper and his government have successfully dismantled the Canada that our ancestors fought for. He has sent our jobs overseas, privatized our healthcare system, and has allowed a corporate take over of our nation. Operation Maple is a project with the mission to “Take Back Canada” and we are doing it with and for Canadian’s coast to coast.
[ About Operation Maple ]

[ includes links to : Word on the Street - Funny Politicians - Big Business - Music Videos - Propaganda - FYI - Fighting Back


Communities across Canada fight against Community Access Program closures
April 11, 2012
The Nova Scotia CAP Association has launched a website[ ] to save the Community Access Program (CAP) that ensures all Canadians have equal access to the Internet and technology and have the skills to use it to better their lives and their communities.
CAP sites were told by Industry Canada last Thursday, that the federal government will not renew funding to CAP programs across Canada. The funding cut is retroactive to March 31.

Save CAP is asking you to contact your local Member of Parliament and say why you value Community Internet Access and training.
You can also follow the Save CAP on Twitter with the hashtag, #savecap

More Information:
[Click the PovNet link above to access the links for the items below.]

* CAP fights funding cut to N.S. sites | Herald News
* Cuts to CAP put burden on municipalities | The Minden Times
* Plug pulled on public Internet access program | Ottawa Citizen
* Funding uncertain for CAP sites | The Guardian
* Library budgets altered to keep users logged on | Victoria Times Colonist
* Feds cut library web access funding | The Windsor Star

Related PovNet story:

Community Access Program funding to stop


Save CAP:


Courtesy of
The Bonehead Government™

April 6, 2012
Ottawa cuts Community Access Program (CAP) public web access funding
Program offers internet access at libraries, community centres

The federal government is cutting funding as of next April [SEE THE CORRECTION BELOW] for a public internet access program, CBC News has learned. The Community Access Program (CAP) operates out of libraries and community centres across Canada to provide free or low-cost internet access to the public. There are thousands of CAP sites across the country.

Lisa Setlakwe, a director general with Industry Canada [Dept. responsible forthe CAP], says the program was launched in 1995 to "provide Canadians with access to the internet and its economic benefits.""CAP has contributed to bringing computer and internet technologies to Canadians across the country and has successfully achieved its objectives," Setlakwe says.

CBC News


CORRECTION : April 9, 2012

Despite the above statement in the April 6 CBC News item about the federal government "cutting funding as of next April" (i.e., 2013), the official letter of termination from Director General Setlakwe [ ] dated April 5, 2012, announces very clearly that "CAP was scheduled to end March 31, 2012, and will not be renewed."
The CBC article was incorrect.


What a difference five years
and a majority government make:

June 6, 2007
Canada's New Government Ensures Support for the Community Access Program
Back in 2006, when it was re-branded "Canada's New Government" (2006), the Conservative Party of Canada expressed support for the CAP and extended the initiative, citing a number of noble objectives for the program. This June 2007 link is for those who wish to compare what Canada's New (minority) Government said five years ago about the CAP and the April 6 (2012) news from The Harper (majority) Government™ about the demise of federal funding for CAP at the end of March 2013.

When the Director General of CAP says that the program has contributed to bringing computer and internet technologies to Canadians across the country and "has successfully achieved its objectives", I hear the BS Bell ringing double-time. In the June 2007 backgrounder, the reader learns that the first two objectives are the following:
"- promoting public awareness of the benefits and opportunities of using information technology and services;
- supporting online delivery of government programs and services;...

So if CAP has "successfully achieved its objectives", then one must presume that every John and Jane Doe out there is aware of the benefits and opportunities of using information technology and services, and that online delivery of government programs and services is supported.
And that's a big fat NO on both counts.

Commentary on The Harper Government™
by Frances Russell (Winnipeg Free Press) and Paul Wells (


From the
Winnipeg Free Press:

Harper undoing Canada
April 4, 2012
By Frances Russell
Stephen Harper's Conservatives dislike Canada. They reject much of what the rest of the world values and praises about us -- our respect for cultural, linguistic and racial diversity; our sense of social responsibility towards one another; our support for collective as well as individual rights; our history of common institutions and programs specifically designed to buffer citizens, regions and provinces from the vagaries of uncontrolled market forces; our honoured international role as a moderate middle power and the originator of international peacekeeping. (...)
Winnipeg Free Press

Earlier columns by France Russell:
Recommended reading!

Selected recent columns
by France Russell about
The Harper Government™ :

* Perils of Senate reform (March 28)

* NDP turns page on turning other cheek (March 26)

* Polarization, pessimism on the rise (March 21)

* Harper wages 'wars' (March 16)

* Harper driven by libertarian ideology, not reality (February 8)

* Fired environmentalist sees conspiracy (February 1)

* Harper creating 13 kinds of citizens (January 19)

* Harper's latest lunge at domination (January 4)

* Rule by law, or is it rule of law? (December 14, 2011)

* Moral compass spins like chopper (December 7, 2011)

* Ideology just ain't what it used to be (November 30, 2011)

* Whither the public good? (November 23, 2011)

Rights and Democracy: Qui veut noyer son chien*
By Paul Wells
April 3, 2012
There’s no reason to believe three years’ worth of relentless negative coverage led to the Harper government’s decision, announced today, to shut down Rights and Democracy. No negative coverage preceded the government’s decision, announced last Thursday, to shut down the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy; Katimavik; the National Council on Welfare; and the First Nations Statistics Institute. It’s reasonable to suspect that if nobody at the PMO had taken an interest in Rights and Democracy in 2008, it would have run much as before — that is, as a beacon of hope for oppressed millions around the world — until it would have been dumped last week for the crime of having been created while Joe Clark was a minister of the Crown.
"Qui veut noyer son chien l'accuse de rage."
[Literal translation : He who wants to drown his dog accuses it of having rabies.]

Inkless Wells : Paul Wells' Blog
- includes more columns by Paul Wells on The Harper Government™.

Interview : Paul Wells on his book, The Harper Debate
[ Order The Harper Debate (PDF, $4.99) : ]


Related links:

John Baird announces plans to close Rights and Democracy group
April 3, 2012
Montreal NDP MP Hélène Laverdière said it was well known the Conservatives didn’t like Rights and Democracy but “we didn’t think they would go to that extent. First they poisoned the institution then they killed it”, even though she says it did good work around the world and gained international respect.
Toronto Star

Rights and Democracy
(International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development)
Hmmm. The only accessible content on the site is the following:
"Today, Rights & Democracy issued the following statement : We are aware of the intention to bring forward legislation repealing Rights & Democracy's statute and we will act accordingly. We will not comment on the decision. We will respect it. If so directed by the Board, we will proceed with a timely and organized wind down of our operations. Our staff will be treated fairly and respectfully."

surveillance cartoon
From the
National Union of Public and General Employees:

Harper's Democratic Deficit
March 2012
Stephen Harper tightly controls the voices in his government and tries to extend that control to as many civil society groups as possible. He's made it clear that he's prepared to do whatever it takes to avoid public scrutiny and silence dissenting voices. This behaviour diminishes our democracy. Since Harper became prime minister in 2006, there has been a consistent pattern of anti-democratic behaviour. Below are broad categories that show just how serious, ongoing and widespread this behaviour has been. Each item contains links to important stories that make the argument for that category.
* Creating enemies of the state
* Dictate not negotiate
* The dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board
* Shaming Canada on the international stage
* Prorogation and other parliamentary parlor tricks
* Pushing out opposing voices from within
* Maintaining Secrecy - What whistleblowers? Whose access to information?
* Shutting down the public
* Silencing parliamentary watchdogs and science
* Squeezing Non-Governmental Organizations

National Union of Public and General Employees

Stephen Harper and Women - YouTube video
What does he have against women??

Related link:

Tories accused of culture of intimidation
May 4, 2010
OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been accused of systematically undermining women in this country by stripping their advocacy groups of tens of millions of dollars and targeting those critical of his government’s anti-abortion stance on the world stage.
Toronto Star

About those corporate tax cuts, Mister Harper...

100 things not to do if you hate taxes
or, why saying taxes are not worth what we get for them is just plain stupid
(PDF - 348K, 7 pages)
March 2012
The so-called free market can’t and won’t take care of everything; the public sector can and must play a constructive and compassionate role in our society and economy. We’re going to keep working hard to make that truth as obvious to all Canadians as the sun rising in the east. We won’t stop until we win the battle of ideas and values when it comes to taxes. In the meantime, we offer this handy list of 100 things not to do for all those people who hate paying taxes and the public sector.
1. Do not visit your doctor’s office or local hospital.
2. Do not send your kids to public schools.
3. Do not support the Canadian Forces.
4. Do not expect the Canadian Coast Guard to save you from an emergency at sea.
5. Do not expect the government to intervene and boost the economy during a recession.
After reading this list, we hope people have a better appreciation that there is a very real connection between their taxes and the services and programs they use.

Please click the source link below and join the campaign.
There are many ways you can get involved, so join the conversation and help set the record straight.

All Together Now!
A national campaign
For Public Services and Tax Fairness

National Union of Public and General Employees

Is Stephen Harper displaying fascist-like tendencies?
February 8, 2012
By Nick Fillmore
(...) A few years ago, a former U.S. business executive, Laurence W. Britt, came up with a 14-point description of fascism.
[ ]
In view of Harper's behaviour of late, I think it’s time to look at Britt’s document again.
By Gilles:
In his article (top link above), author Nick Fillmore presents a condensed version of Britt's 14 points (listed below FYI), followed by quotes from Canadian journalists and other sources concerning Harper’s actions and beliefs with respect to each point.
Click the first link above to the Fillmore article for a point-by-point comparison with Harper's actions and beliefs.
Click the second link above to the Britt article for his 14-point description of fascism.
Britt's article was written in 2004, two years before Harper came to power, and yet his list reads like a Stephen Harper Performance Review since he's been at the helm of the Ship of State.

Britt’s 14 components of fascism:

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
5. Rampant sexism.
6. A controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
9. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.


Canadian Dimension

How to spot a sociopath:
Ten red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job
June 8, 2012
by Mike Adams
[ By Gilles : I've listed the ten flags below, and you can click the link above to read more about each flag.
I've added commentary, some of it my own , in italics.]

#1) Sociopaths are charming.

Think kittens, pandas and Beatles tunes.

#2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people.


His Grade Eight report card probably read something like: "Stephen will not let anything come between him and his dreams, and he doesn't mind some collateral damage..."

#3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse.

"There’s no shame in politics, and that’s the problem"

#4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences.

Senategate : The most controlling, micromanaging Prime Minister in Canadian history wasn't told by anyone in his immediate entourage about Nigel Wright cutting a cheque to cover Mike Duffy's bill?

#5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and "win" at all costs.

#6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them.

#7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving.
But what about the kittens and the pandas?

#8) Sociopaths speak poetically.

"I get by with a little help from my friends,
Gonna try with a little help from my friends..."

#9) Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize.

#10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it.

Natural News

Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue
February 27, 2012
By Lawrence Martin
The Conservatives have been caught up in many shady activities since coming to power. The revelation that they may have been behind a robocall operation to suppress voting for opposition parties would rank, if proven, among the more serious offences. (...) To the misfortune of Team Harper, its record on duplicitous activities is hardly one to inspire confidence that its hand are clean. There follows a list – is Harperland becoming Nixonland? — of dirty tricks, black ops and hardball tactics from the Conservatives’ years in power.
[Click the link above to see all 22 tactics in more detail.]

1. Cooking the Books - the Tories exceeded spending limits in the 2006 campaign that brought the Conservatives to power.
2. The Hidden Slush Fund - $40+million slated for border-infrastructure improvements instead went into enhancement projects in Tony Clement’s riding.
3. Falsifying Documents - the document-altering scam involving Bev Oda’s office and the aid group Kairos.
4. Shutting Down Detainees’ Probes - use of a number of authoritarian tactics to avoid culpability on the Afghan detainees’ file
5. The Cotler Misinformation Campaign - Conservatives systematically spread rumours in Irwin Cotler’s Montreal riding that he was stepping down.
18. Dirty Work on Dion - personal attack ads in the 2008 campaign (remember the bird pooping on Stephane Dion’s head?)
19. Tory Logos on Taxpayer Cheques - PC party logo on economic recovery program cheques
20. The Rob Anders Nomination Crackdown - PC goons thwart a legitimate challenge to Harper loyalist Rob Anders for the nomination in his Calgary riding
21. The Rights and Democracy Takeover - the Harper Government™ has removed or suspended board members and stacked the board with pro-Israeli hardliners.
22. Vote Suppression Tactics - pre-recorded robocalls sending non-PC supporters voters astray in last election.

The list does not include such controversies as the Cadman affair in which the Conservatives allegedly tried to bribe independent MP Chuck Cadman for his vote; the whitewashing by Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet of 227 whistleblower complaints against the government; the allegation by eyewitness Elizabeth May that Harper cheated in the 2008 election’s televised debates by bringing in notes; and many others.


By the same author:

Harperland : The Politics of Control
By Lawrence Martin
October 2010
In his bestselling book Harperland [,,9780143178811,00.html ], Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin puts Stephen Harper’s potent governance under the microscope. Focusing on the growth of executive power under Harper’s Conservative government and drawing on interviews with key insiders, Martin portrays a leader firmly in control of his political agenda–and a man who goes to extraordinary lengths to see it implemented.

NOTE : On the web page, you'll find links to over 50 review quotes and articles about the book in the media Just click the "Read more" link at the bottom of each item. On the same page, you'll find ordering information for the book, whether you wish a hardcover ($35), paperback ($22) or e-Book ($16.99) version.

Chipping Away at Gender Equality: Harper’s 5-year Round Up
January 19, 2011
1) Scrap Universal Day-Care
2) Drastically Cut Status of Women Canada
3) Cancel the Court Challenges Program
4) Axe Women’s Right to Pay Equity
5) Leave Abortion out of Canada’s G8 Maternal Health funding
6) Appoint Fewer Women to Cabinet than Previous Governments
The F Word - Feminist Media Collective

Ten reasons to oppose Bill C-10
November 14, 2011
By Trinda L. Ernst
Bill C-10 is titled The Safe Streets and Communities Act — an ironic name, considering that Canada already has some of the safest streets and communities in the world and a declining crime rate.(...) Bill C-10 will require new prisons; mandate incarceration for minor, non-violent offences; justify poor treatment of inmates and make their reintegration into society more difficult.(...) The Canadian Bar Association, representing over 37,000 lawyers across the country, has identified 10 reasons why the passage of Bill C-10 will be a mistake and a setback for Canada:
[Click the above link to read the detail behind every one of the 10 reasons.]
1. Ignoring reality.
2. Rush job.
3. Spin triumphs over substance.
4. No proper inspection.
5. Wasted youth.
6. Punishments eclipse the crime.
7. Training predators.
8. Justice system overload.
9. Victimizing the most vulnerable.
10. How much money?
Canadians deserve accurate information about Bill C-10, its costs and its effects. This bill will change our country’s entire approach to crime at every stage of the justice system. It represents a huge step backwards; rather than prioritizing public safety, it emphasizes retribution above all else. It’s an approach that will make us less safe, less secure, and ultimately, less Canadian.

[ The author of this article, Trinda L. Ernst, is president of the Canadian Bar Association.]

Toronto Star

Harper dossier:
Quotes compiled by Conservative Party

April 25, 2011

- the above link is to an article about a 500-page dossier of potentially damaging remarks by Stephen Harper that came to light during the 2011 federal election campaign. The dossier was prepared by the Conservatives. "The fact that the Tories felt compelled to research their own leader suggests they believed Harper's past penchant for blunt, uncompromising talk could pose a problem on the campaign trail."

CBC News

Stephen Harper’s hit list
By Dennis Gruending
March 29, 2011
... an unofficial list of government and non-profit organizations whose funding the Conservative government has cut or ended, including government agencies that supported civil society groups.
It also includes those twelve individuals the government has fired, forced out, publicly maligned – or resigned in protest – being high-profile critics in vital public interest positions.

From Framed in Canada
(Trish Hennessy's blog):
This four-part series of blogs chronicles Trish's efforts to make sense of the May 2 results.
She also offers considerations for progressives to get us through to the next federal election.

1,617 Days: Naming The Politics Of Fear
May 16, 2011
By Trish Hennessy
The Harper government won its coveted majority. How did this happen? What does it mean for Canada? And what should progressives do before the next federal election?

1,616 Days: Dividing Canadians
May 17, 2011
By Trish Hennessy
Stephen Harper played the fear card and won, while the NDP made history by becoming the official opposition.

1615 Days: Championing Progressive Values
May 18, 2011
By Trish Hennessy
(...) Stephen Harper may have won the election, but a strong NDP opposition raises the possibility that a broader audience of Canadians will be exposed to truly progressive ideas for the first time in a generation. That, in itself, holds change-making potential.

Democracy is a wheel: let me roll it to you
May 18, 2011
By Trish Hennessy
The politics of fear helped define the 2011 federal election. For all of its darkness, fear also drove a lot of voters to consider new possibilities, to make new choices, including jumping on the orange wave. The challenge for progressives wanting to ensure Canada maintains the promise of social justice that we briefly coalesced around post-war is to begin work immediately on a reframe: Our challenge is to change the conversation, rather than get trapped in the conversation that has been set for us (economy in peril).

[ Trish Hennessy is a former journalist
working with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. ]

Framed in Canada

The descent of democracy:
A country under one man’s thumb
By Lawrence Martin
April 27, 2011
Can we still call this a parliamentary democracy? Or is it something more akin to a democracy of one? More and more, Stephen Harper’s critics are asking the question. There is a widespread view among political scientists and constitutional scholars that the prime minister, with his l’etat c’est moi methods, has brought Canadian democracy to new lows. Canadians themselves may be starting to feel that way. Pollster Angus Reid found this week that 62 per cent of Canadians surveyed described our democracy as being in a state of crisis. For the first time in many elections, democracy is a foremost issue. (...) The state of democracy now [under Stephen Harper] is such that the civil service is subjugated, the committee system weakened, watchdogs anemic, independent agencies intimidated, information less available, the prime minister’s own party in servitude, political parties soon — if Harper gets his way — to be stripped of public funding.
Source: - informative, insightful, influential
NOTE: includes a damning list of examples of Stephen Harper's autocratic style in many areas along with his scornful disdain for the Canadian parliamentary traditions

Video: Margaret Atwood on the 'Dictato-meter'
April 21, 2011
Margaret Atwood visits The Globe and Mail's Editorial Board and explains her idea for a 'Dictato-meter'.
Globe and Mail

COMMENT : Kudos to Margaret Atwood for reminding us that this election isn't about the economy or stability or bickering in the House of Commons --- it's about the party in power being found in contempt of Parliament and the Prime Minister being unacceptably less than open with and accountable to the Canadian public.
[ Gilles ]

From the
Toronto Star:

[ Both articles below include links to a half-dozen related articles. ]

Tories under attack over bombshell G8 spending report
April 11, 2011
Tonda MacCharles and Joanna Smith
OTTAWA—An explosive report suggesting the Conservative government misinformed Parliament about wasteful G8 summit spending has put leader Stephen Harper on the defensive as he heads into crucial election debates.
Just as the mid-campaign revelation of an RCMP investigation into leaks of income trust tax changes derailed the Liberals in 2006, the story has the potential to destabilize the Harper campaign.
[ Comments (581) ]


Fraser says Tories misused old quote to justify G8/G20 spending
April 11, 2011
By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Auditor General Sheila Fraser is rebuking the Conservatives for using an old quote of hers praising the Liberals as proof she approved of last year’s G8/G20 spending by the Tories. In another twist in the summit spending uproar, Fraser is demanding that the quote cited by the Tories be removed from a recent report by a Commons committee that studied how the Harper government spent $1.2 billion on the Muskoka and Toronto summits.

[ Comments (31) ]

Mulroney shows his unease with Harper's Tories
April 10, 2011
Mulroney advice to Harper:
“There are big ideas out there. Popularity is meaningless unless you use it to do big and good things for your country and for the people of Canada.
Toronto Star

Are we going to reward contempt of Parliament?
By Dan Gardner
April 6, 2011
Yet another Harper minority?
"The status quo is just not tenable, for anybody," says Peter Russell, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and one of the country's most respected political scientists. But a Conservative majority would be worse. "It would send a bad message about Parliamentary democracy if a government brought down for contempt, very serious contempt, on the finding of a Speaker, is rewarded with a majority. I think it would encourage Mr. Harper and maybe those after him to be contemptuous of Parliament. And then I think we're in real trouble."
Ah, yes. The small matter of contempt.
it seems most of the public either does not know or does not care that Canada's head of government has repeatedly lied about Canada's Constitution. Nor are they concerned that the government has shown so little respect for the constitutional order that Parliament was forced to find it in contempt. In the week following Parliament's historic condemnation of the Harper government, polls showed support for the Conservatives either stayed flat in the high 30s or rose into the low 40s. If that's how Canadians vote on May 2, we'll get a Conservative majority. Contempt for Parliament will be rewarded. And then, as Peter Russell suggests, we'll be in real trouble.
Ottawa Citizen

Silencing Dissent: The Conservative Record
by Maria Gergin
April 6, 2011
The Harper Government's transgressions and shortcomings, organized by area:
Human Rights Advocacy Organizations - International Development - Women’s Rights Advocacy -Immigrant Organizations - Internal Individual Dissent - Administrative Tribunals - Academic Freedom
- includes a list of 79 organizations which have been cancelled or defunded, and 14 civil servants, scientists, and organizations/watchdogs whose staff have been fired, publicly silenced, or who have resigned in protest since 2006.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Summary of the 100 Undemocratic and
Accountability Loopholes in Canada's Federal Government

- includes links to source material and
related resources, organized under the following themes:
* Citizen Empowerment / General Government Accountability loopholes
* Honesty in Politics loopholes
* Cabinet appointments and hiring loopholes
* Government Ethics loopholes
* Lobbying Regulation loopholes
* Open Government loopholes
* Whistleblower Protection loopholes
* Elections Law loopholes
* Money in Politics loopholes
* Government Spending loopholes
* Senate Accountability loopholes

Democracy Watch
Democracy Watch is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization, and Canada's leading citizen group advocating democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility.

Also from Democracy Watch:

The Harper Conservatives are >NOT< committed to open, honest, ethical government
News Release
December 17, 2010
* Federal Conservatives' Accountability and Democratic Reform Record Gets An "F" For Breaking Many Promises and Practising Politics As Usual.
* Four Years After Federal Accountability Act Became Law, Dishonesty, Conflicts of Interest, Excessive Secrecy, Unlimited Donations and Patronage All Still Legal.
* Another, Stronger Accountability Act Needed To Close 100 Remaining Loopholes and Flaws

Twenty-Five reasons Stephen Harper is bad for Canada
1. Found to be in contempt of Canadian parliament in March 2011
2. Cheated in the 2006 Election
3. Turned Canada's Surplus into Debt
4. Wants US-style bank deregulation
5. Opposes Medicare
6. Harper shut down Parliament. Twice.
7. Wants to replace the stable CPP with the untested PRPP.
8. Shut down Women's and Minority advocacy groups
9. The Economic Action plan has been to the benefit of the super rich
10. Fraud (Bruce Carson)
Click the link above to see all 25 reasons Harper is bad for Canada
+ links to sources (mostly media) for each of the 25 reasons.

NOTE: I found the above list on the Why Not Harper website [ ] , which was launched before the 2011 federal election. The site is based on the information collected by

Project Democracy
Canadians don’t have an electoral system that directly reflects the ballot box. With our 'first-past-the-post' electoral system, vote splitting means Canadians end up with a majority Harper Government with as little as 35 percent of the popular vote. This is not the outcome most Canadians want, and avoiding it requires voter knowledge and cooperation.

Why Stop Harper! - Blog
This website will focus on the more than 100 reasons that Canadian voters should not support Stephen Harper's Conservative Party in the next election.
The government drastically cut funding for Status of Women Canada and even took the word “equality” out of its mandate. He has eroded pay equity, calling it “a rip off.” In spite of the fact that the House of Commons has been calling for a comprehensive national strategy to combat violence against women since 2008, the government has failed to act.

Ten reasons to oppose the Harper candidate in your riding
By Kathleen O'Hara
The following is designed not to insult or ridicule the Harper Conservatives -- it is to show accurately and honestly why the Tories shouldn't run or represent Canada. Stephen Harper promised to "change the face of Canada" so drastically we wouldn't recognize it. He has succeeded and Canadians must decide if that is really what they want.
January 5, 2011

Also from

Stephen Harper's firing range:
A list of 87 organizations and people attacked in five years

By Dennis Gruending
April 1, 2011
The Conservative government, or the Harper government as it insists upon being called, has either fallen or engineered its own defeat and the election is upon us. This is perhaps a good time to take stock of who the Harperites have spent their time attacking in the past several years. They have also lavished favour on their own, appointing them to be judges, to the Immigration Review Board, the CRTC or other federal agencies. The list of organizations that have been shut down and cut back, and the individuals bullied, is a long one and we can expect it to grow if, as seems likely, Harper is reelected.

April 2010

Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy
Murray Dobbin details the harm Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doing to the political and social fabric of Canada in a new, hard-hitting essay commissioned by the Council of Canadians titled Harper’s Hitlist: Power, Process and the Assault on Democracy.
- includes links to individual files for each of the 10 parts of the report.

Stephen Harper’s Hitlist:
Power, Process and the Assault on Democracy
(PDF - 683K, 36 pages)
April 2010
Table of contents:
Part 1 - Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy
Part 2 - Two Prorogations in Less Than a Year
Part 3 - Thwarting Democracy
Part 4 - Controlling Critics
Part 5 - Manipulating and Muzzling the Media
Part 6 - A Personal Agenda
Part 7 - Failing to Protect Canadian Citizens
Part 8 - Harper Attacks Rights
Part 9 - Political Advocacy Under Fire
Part 10 - Conclusion

Council of Canadians
Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. We work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.

[ Author Murray Dobbin has been a freelance journalist, broadcaster and author for thirty-five years. He is also a leading activist and analyst in the movement against corporate globalization. He has written extensively on various trade agreements and their impact on democracy and on neo-liberalism’s attack on social programs. He is a past executive board member of the Council of Canadians. ]

Federal Government Cuts to Women's Programs (since September 2006):
- links to analysis and critiques of the first round of Harper Government cuts to women's programs



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