History has lessons, are you learning them?
I had no interest in history, politics or law for decades. The slave-training-educational-system had done…
For a free and democratic nation known world wide for gentle, mild manner peace keeping people, things aren’t looking so good.
Canada Part of the War Machine – article
A government found guilty of contempt of parliament and other serious breaches of ethics and laws gets re-elected!
Is it more a flaw in the electoral system/process, “the lesser of two evils” syndrome which admits both choices are evil, or are the people that far out to lunch?
The Government of Canada wants to be called the “Harper Government” (do you remember a few years ago (2006) when a civil servant was fired because he refused to refer the the government as “Canada’s New Government“? Well Harper is at it again, only now it’s personal.
Apparently, the Harper Government is the new unofficial official name that everyone is expected to refer to the Government of Canada as…cool huh?
Like “the Donald” apparently Harper likes his name on the corporation he’s running, because it ain’t a country anymore, it’s a corporation in the process of being dismantles and sold off.
“Bureaucrats ‘obligated’ to use Harper Government in place of Government of Canada” the canadian press article May 30, 2011
OTTAWA – One of the ironies of the election that finally delivered Stephen Harper’s Conservatives a majority government on May 2 is that it appears to have vanquished the “Harper Government.”
The controversial term has almost disappeared from official Government of Canada news releases after suddenly blanketing departmental communications in the months leading up to the fall of the Conservative minority March 25.
Now, internal government documents obtained by The Canadian Press show that civil servants were being ordered by minister’s offices to use the term, and that they were “obligated to do so if asked.”
“Just curious when we changed from Government of Canada to Harper Government? Is this a new direction?” a regional communications director in Fisheries and Oceans asked her director general in an email on Feb. 16.
“I’ve been asked by several folks internally and now am getting calls (from) Comms colleagues in other federal departments. …”
The inquiry came more than two weeks before The Canadian Press publicly exposed the new nomenclature.
Her superior, Susan Garner-Barklay, director general of communications for DFO, responded: “Long story. Will fill you in over the phone,” before adding, “This is not a change in practice.”
Subsequent handwritten notes, unattributed and undated, state that “Sue has had discussions with PCO,” the Privy Council Office that serves the prime minister.
“We will use phrase when asked to by MO (minister’s office) — discussed at higher levels in DFO — obligated to do so if asked,” says the handwritten note.
Literally hundreds of usages of the term Harper Government in place of Government of Canada cropped up on departmental communications starting late last year.
Top former government officials and researchers in public administration called it an unprecedented, partisan abuse when the story went public.
But the Prime Minister’s Office and the PCO maintained that “no directive” went out to civil servants ordering the use of the term and, besides, there was nothing wrong with it anyway.
Dimitri Soudas, Harper’s chief spokesman, called it a “longstanding practice” and angrily denounced the story by The Canadian Press as the stuff of “black helicopters and conspiracy theories.”
The sudden explosion of the “Harper Government” handle in the late fall of last year was never explained, nor has the PMO given a reason why it has all but vanished since the election.
“Harper government is a commonly used term across departments and government,” PMO spokeswoman Sara McIntyre said in an email when asked about the shifting nomenclature.
“It is also frequently used by journalists and the public. There has been no PMO directive on its usage.”
But civil servants certainly noticed the sea change.
As far back as last August, an editor at Foreign Affairs was noting an approved press release had been altered by the office of then-trade minister Peter Van Loan to replace Government of Canada with “Harper Government.”
“This is a major shift in usage,” the editor wrote his superior.
“Using it in unattributed text (where the department itself is ‘speaking’) is significantly different from using it in a quote, and the department might be seen as partisan.”
The response from his superior, copied to several others, was: “I share your concern.”
Last Oct. 26, the acting director of the Federal Identity Program also sought advice on the use of the term.
Remi Tremblay emailed his superior at Treasury Board after Industry Canada received a protest letter from a blanked-out individual who demanded corrections as soon as possible.
“It is inappropriate and outrageous to publicize any federal government initiative or announcement, funded by Canadian tax revenue, as an initiative from a particular political party or party leader,” said the letter.
The letter, whoever wrote it, was handled like a hot potato by Industry Canada and Treasury Board, with a string of emails on how to respond.
Tremblay noted the usage “may be perceived as partisan by some” but that Harper was “indeed the prime minister of the Government of Canada. So that leaves us in a grey zone between two different facts.”
The response from Philip Hurcomb, Treasury Board’s assistant secretary of “strategic communications and ministerial affairs,” was to inform the letter writer that “the policy is silent on issues such as using the prime minister’s name as a descriptor for the government.”
It was an oblique response that remained remarkably consistent.
On March 7, 2011, following yet another internal government letter of concern about the “Harper Government” terminology, Susan Gardner-Barclay at Fisheries and Oceans passed along the following written response for the complainant:
“The Privy Council Office and the Secretary of the Treasury Board, who has responsibility for the Government of Canada Communications Policy, have provided direction to departments on this issue,” says the response.
“They have indicated that the Government has the latitude to decide how it wishes to refer to itself in communications, and while the use of the official signature and symbol of the government must be consistent with Communications Policy, nothing in the Policy prohibits the use of the term ‘Harper Government.'”
So the mystery remains.
The Conservative government “has the latitude to decide how it wishes to refer to itself,” but no one will acknowledge providing such direction.
Use of the “Harper Government” ballooned exponentially last November and continued until the Conservative minority fell on March 25.
Since the May 2 election, a search turns up fewer than five distinct uses of “Harper Government” in departmental communications.
— With files from Dean Beeby
We are in business. And business is good…for arms sales.
Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives reports that “The HArper Government” is doing brisk business with dictatorsips and anti-democratic regimes by selling them the tools to kill their own people more efficiently.
And they seem to be preparing at homeif the Toronto G20 is any example of physical and rights abuse by police and government collusion.
If you pay people enough money they’ll do anything, and some will even enjoy it! The G20 policing bill was astronomical and here’s only part of the reason.
The Canadian Press – May 30, 2011
“Police officers from forces outside the Greater Toronto Area brought in to work at last summer’s G8 and G20 summits made millions of dollars through lucrative contracts paying them overtime and vacation rates, according to newly released RCMP documents.
CBC/Radio-Canada has obtained copies of RCMP contracts totalling $7 million for the hiring of 657 officers from 17 different local forces from coast to coast. The invoices detail how over the course of a week or two in June 2010, more than half of all the work performed by those officers was paid for at premium rates of 1½ or two times an officer’s usual wages.
One of the most costly examples involves Montreal’s police force, which submitted an invoice to the RCMP for 278 officers paid at “double time” for all the work they performed around the Toronto and Huntsville summit sites between June 19 and June 29, at a total cost of $3,342,578.
The officers were technically on vacation and so charged the premium rates, according to Mélanie Lajoie, a spokeswoman for Montreal’s police force.
The RCMP insists it had no choice but to hire additional officers who were on vacation or time off from their local force for the G8/G20, and to pay them at premium rates according to each force’s respective collective agreements.
“Before they offer anybody up to us to help us out, they have to consider what their obligations are to their community where they operate out of before they can even acknowledge our request,” RCMP spokesman Insp. Marc Richer told CBC News, explaining why the Mounties’ contracts appear so lucrative.
North Bay city police sent eight officers who were paid overtime rates for roughly three-quarters of all their hours, netting each officer an average of $5,742.70 for eight days of work.
The RCMP flew in 16 officers from the Vancouver Police Department for one week, paying them a total of $117,736 — $85,504 of which was overtime — and paying each officer an average $7,358.52 for the week — not including benefits, meals and travel expenses.
John Sewell, a former Toronto mayor and author who has long campaigned for police accountability, said the spending was “irresponsible in the extreme.”
“It’s absolutely ludicrous that you would ever employ anybody on the basis that two-thirds of their work is going to be overtime, and only one third is going to be regular hours,” Sewell told CBC News.
“This is not the way anybody should be spending public money, and I think that the officers in charge of this have an awful lot to explain.”
However, many of the senior RCMP officers in charge of procurement and contracts at the time of the G8/G20 are no longer in those roles and the force delegated requests for comment on Friday to the force’s spokesman, Richer.
“We are always mindful, of course, that there are costs to this,” Richer told CBC News. “We try to mitigate it as best we can. But again, we had some fairly significant challenges in building the security apparatus.”
The RCMP contract and invoice documents were obtained under federal access-to-information legislation and reveal only a small portion of the summit’s overall $650 million security pricetag. The documents do not detail the contract or pay details for the bulk of the 20,000 police and military personel — most of whom were working directly for Toronto and Peel Region’s forces and theOntario Provincial Police.
“What’s amazing about this … it’s all in writing,” said Sewell.
Other examples of RCMP contract spending detailed in the documents include:”
And finally, the intelligence” organizations at the behest of the parties in power spy on citizens and have for a long time, all under the ridiculous guise of “they might be a threat”, which translates to “they may expose the lies and criminal activities of the people in power”.
Tommy Douglas had a file and this article labels him a “socialist icon”. Kind of funny since Canada is now a socialist state.
Dozens of pages disappear from intelligence file on Tommy Douglas
The Canadian Press – May 30, 2011
“OTTAWA – Dozens of pages from a decades-old intelligence file on socialist icon Tommy Douglas have mysteriously disappeared.
The disappearance came to light during a lengthy court battle over the federal government’s refusal to fully disclose the RCMP dossier on the former Saskatchewan premier and one-time federal NDP leader.
Library and Archives Canada, which currently holds the 1,142-page dossier, initially released just over 450 heavily censored pages in response to a request by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
But the government partially lifted the shroud of secrecy a week before a court hearing into the matter began in February, releasing almost 400 additional pages under a new, more relaxed policy governing the release of historically significant documents.
It was only then, with fuller access to the file, that Paul Champ, lawyer for The Canadian Press, realized about four dozen pages were missing.
What disappoints him is that no one at the archives nor in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service — which had supposedly thoroughly reviewed and vetted the original documents — appears to have noticed.
“It’s just disappointing that at the end it seems like this important file was not reviewed with the thoroughness we would expect,” he said in an interview.
“It does seem like no one really seemed to care that pages were missing.”
After Champ notified Federal Court, Judge Simon Noel ordered the government to look for the lost pages. The search didn’t turn up any of the missing pages identified by Champ but it found seven other additional pages of material in the original Douglas file, which somehow hadn’t made it into the digitally scanned copy used in responding to the access request.
In a written submission to the court earlier this month, the government insisted “there is no evidence of a lack of good faith” in its handling of the Douglas dossier.
“The respondent has been candid, direct and forthcoming with the court when dealing with discrepancies in the records.”
The government said the missing pages identified by Champ were not in the original file transferred to Library and Archives in 2000 from CSIS, which had taken over the dossier from the now-defunct RCMP security service in 1984.
The archives “does not take steps to confirm the completeness of the records received from a government institution” and CSIS did not retain a copy.
The government assured the court “no actions were taken” to remove pages before responding to the access request. And it concluded there is no remedy “because the pages can not be found in the existing file.”
Champ said he finds it surprising that Library and Archives would take such a lackadaisical approach to historical documents.
“They do have some kind of legal duty as the primary institution responsible for our cultural heritage to ensure that historically important files are maintained and are kept intact and are preserved,” he said.
“They’re responsible for protecting Canada’s documentary heritage and their handling of this file makes me question whether they’re discharging all of their responsibilities in that regard.”
There is at least one arm of government that is not treating the Douglas files cavalierly: the Prime Minister’s Office.
Documents released under a separate access-to-information request show that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office has been kept informed about the progress of the court case.
A February “memorandum for the prime minister” detailed the new policy regarding release of historically significant intelligence records and advised that the release of additional material from the Douglas dossier “is going to attract media attention as these documents will disclose, for the first time, some of Mr. Douglas’s private communications with other parliamentarians.”
From Champ’s perspective, however, the additional material released in February simply raised questions as to why the government had refused to disclose it in the first place. Among other things, the new information suggested the RCMP treated black U.S. army deserters differently than white deserters, picking them up and escorting them back across the border.
“Was this embarrassing revelation one of the reasons why CSIS wanted the memo withheld?”
The material released to date shows that the RCMP Security Service shadowed Douglas for more than three decades, attending his speeches, analysing his writings and eavesdropping on private conversations. His links to the peace movement and Communist party members were of particular interest.
The government maintains full disclosure of the Douglas file would jeopardize the country’s ability to detect, prevent or suppress “subversive or hostile activities” and could give away secrets of the spy trade.
Jim Bronskill, a reporter for The Canadian Press, launched a court challenge in 2009 after the federal information commissioner agreed with the government that most of the dossier should be kept under wraps.”
Many people are quoted to have said, “the biggest threat to freedom is government”. What do you think?