Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
"Among the appointees for 18 vacancies are Conservative fundraiser Irving Gerstein, party vice-president Michael MacDonald, CTV broadcaster Mike Duffy, former journalist Pamela Wallin, defeated Conservative MP Fabian Manning, former Olympian Nancy Greene Raine, and former Parti Quebecois politician Michel Rivard."
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"But instead, the Senate said, we'll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension and health care. That's right. After giving BILLIONS to Wall Street hucksters and criminal investment bankers -- billions with no strings attached and, as we have since learned, no oversight whatsoever....." Read the full letter here.....
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That’s our problem.”
Sunday, December 14, 2008
“Most of the points you are making in this proposed viewpoint have been made by other commentators and letter writers since this mess began to unfold. While it’s your style to carefully document dates and times of certain speeches or opinion pieces presented by someone over the years and then to use that person’s latest utterances as a demonstration of their perfidy, it does happen that people change their minds or are, especially in politics, forced to back track on earlier positions simply to survive - to wit, Harper and the Senate appointments.
“While you have every right to comment on contradictory positions taken by public figures, I don’t have the space to devote to this minute examinations and parsing of positions while people deluge us with letters pertaining to the same thing during breaking news events.
“By all means, send in your comments in a 250 word letter and I’ll be happy to consider it. As for the last viewpoint, sorry. It’s a no go.”
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Wal-Mart in Weyburn Certified as UFCW Canada Unionized Store
WEYBURN, SK - December 8, 2008 - A Wal-Mart store in Weyburn, Saskatchewan has been granted union certification by the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) after years of Wal-Mart legal wrangling and delays, including two Wal-Mart applications to the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn the process.
"Justice has finally arrived for these Weyburn workers, in spite of Wal-Mart's endless attempts to thwart the workers from exercising their constitutional right to have a union," says Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW Canada.
"The time has come for Wal-Mart to end the stalling tactics and begin respecting worker rights and Canadian law. They are not above it." Read more here.....
Office of the Prime Minister
Mr Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa K1A 0A2
Nyon, 3 December 2008
On behalf of UNI Global Union I express our dismay that your government has entered a free trade agreement with Colombia.
Colombia is the murder capital of the world for trade unionists. There is no other place in this planet that poses as many threats and dangers to trade unionists. Acts of murder and violence are perpetrated with impunity.
There is an almost total absence of the judicial pursuit of those committing crimes against trade unionists, of the thousands of cases before the authorities decisions have only been made in a handful of cases.
This year UNI lost one of its local bank union leaders Leonidas Rojas who was murdered in his own apartment. THe government investigator initially claimed, as they have so often done, that this was a crime of passion. Yet just days ago a paramilitary group claimed responsibility for his murder. The same group declared that Geneva based ngo's, such as UNI Global Union, that have worked to protect trade unionists in Colombia are now a legitimate military target. Your trade agreement only brings succour to such anti democratic and violent groups.
The Canadian government should have used these trade talks as an opportunity to create leverage to ensure that basic trade union and human rights in Colombia were fully respected and allowed to flourish. That you have chosen not to do so is a blow to Colombian workers and their trade union organisations.
Your government has chosen to sign an agreement when the murder of trade unionists is on the rise. The violation of trade union rights has created a climate of fear that has effectively destroyed collective bargaining in Colombia. This coupled with the absence of a social safety net has left millions of Colombians marooned in poverty. The benefits of trade will only assist the current business elites.
On behalf of our 20 million members in 150 countries I express our outrage that your government has signed an agreement which will do precious little for the Colombian people and perpetuate a culture of brutality and death in the country.
I have the highest regard for Canada and its people, sentiments which I shared with the 2008 Governor Generals Leadership Conference which I addressed in Alberta this June. This future generation of Canadian leaders was shocked to learn of the tragedy that is Colombia today. We regret that your government has pursued a policy which will bring no practical benefit to those in peril or improve the lives of Colombian workers. I appeal to you to reconsider your position and nullify this agreement.
Philip J. Jennings
Monday, December 8, 2008
"The Alberta lawyer who drafted a power-sharing proposal between Stockwell Day, Gilles Duceppe and Joe Clark in 2000 is now suggesting that the Conservatives should defy the Governor-General if she were to ask the Liberal-NDP coalition to form a new government if the Conservative administration falls on January 27." Read more here....
Friday, December 5, 2008
1629: King Charles I in England
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Working with the Bloc wasn’t such a big deal when Stephen Harper did it in 2004
JOURNALIST: So why did you write that letter to the Governor General with Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton saying in the event of a confidence vote situation do not call a snap election - are we to assume that therefore you’re working to form a coalition?
HARPER: There seems to be an attitude in the Liberal government - that they can go in, be deliberately defeated and call an election - that’s not how our constitutional system works. The government has a minority - it has an obligation to demonstrate to Canadians that it can govern. That it can form a majority in the House of Commons. If it can’t form a majority, we look at other options, we don’t just concede to the government’s request to make it dysfunctional. I know for a fact that Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton and the people who work for them want this Parliament to work and I know it is in all of our interests to work. The government has got to face the fact it has a minority, it has to work with other people.
SOURCE: Interview with Stephen Harper, September 2004.
Video - CBC Website
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
What we are witnessing is elected representatives of a combined majority of Canadian citizens assuming control of government from a group of representatives representing a minority of Canadian citizens. 63% = majority, 37% = minority.
But what really floors me is the hatred-filled diatribes coming from the mouths of those who declare themselves to be the rightful and duly elected leaders in this democracy we call Canada. Don't you find it all a bit rich to hear them bemoan and exaggerate the agreement between the "Liberals", the "Socialists", and the "Separtists"? I sure do.
This all from a group who have no problem whatsoever abandoning the sovereignty of our nation through the signing of "so-called" international trade agreements.
How is it that working and cooperating with elected Canadian citizens from Quebec in Canada's Parliament is described as treasonous, yet it's quite all right to sign multi-lateral and bi-lateral trade agreements with countries where the murdering of union leaders is a regular occurrence? Or where human rights abuses, and environmental abuses are simply ignored.
How is it that playing by the rules of our system of representative and responsible government is equated to being an attack on democracy, yet it's quite all right to sign interprovincial and overarching agreements like TILMA and the AIT that include provisions handing corporations the ability to sue duly elected governments for multi-millions of dollars for those governments exercising their responsibility to regulate and legislate in the public interest?
In case you haven't been paying attention - deregulating the global financial industry and handing over control to the corporations is exactly what got the world into the economic mess we find ourselves in right now. Even George W. Bush, the most unpopular President in the history of the United States of America, acknowledges that.
What we're witnessing here is our democratic system working - the way it's worked in this country since confederation. The ones who are screaming the loudest are the priviledged few and the corporate elite who see control slipping away, and they don't like it.
Get ready for the full frontal attack - they own the media, and they own the airwaves - they will spend millions to deny the results of the last election. Because contrary to what they would have you believe - they didn't win, they only got a minority. Hang on, it's going to be a wild ride.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
If you only read one thing about the current situation in Ottawa, read Laxer's piece here.....