Da Legal Stuff...

All commentaries published on Web Talk are the opinions of the contributor(s) only and do not necessarily represent the position of any other individuals, groups or organizations.

Now, with that out of the way...Let's Web Talk.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Harper Government Reaches All Time Canadian Low

Let’s just say it. The Harper government, in this writer’s opinion, is the most underhanded, legally deviant, ethically underdeveloped and morally bankrupt in Canadian history.

If you think that statement is over the top, read on, the facts speak for themselves.

Most Canadians in the course of the daily lives may have heard of some of the odd “happenings” here and there over the past few years such as a Minister stepping out of line or a Bill causing some controversy. That’s all well and good but each of those incidents taken on their own don’t add up to much. It isn’t until you view the broad spectrum of distasteful activity undertaken by the Harper government that a patter of lies, deceit and corruption truly begins to emerge, a smoking gun if you like.

Chose the adjective you prefer but I believe my opinion of this government is nothing more than appropriate. What else could you call a political party – and reigning government – that:

Is willing to break election laws by using money laundering as a means of winning an election (In and Out - 2006 election);

Is under investigation for allegedly misleading opposition supporters by claiming to represent Elections Canada and sending them to non-existent polling stations in an effort to prevent them from casting their ballot; and for placing calls to voters during the last election claiming to represent the opposing parties, calls that were intentionally rude and specifically timed to alienate voters;

Posted monitoring staff at polling stations during the last that were described as “aggressive” and who challenged the right of individuals to vote if they appeared to be of a certain ethnic or social background more likely to support another party.

So, what would you call them, and those are just the illegal and immoral election techniques the public is learning about. What else has been done that we may never know?

The immoral and unethical sludge that courses through the veins of Mr. Harper’s band of thieves & despots doesn’t stop there.

A quick review of just a few highlights from their time in power serves to drive home the realization that this party will stop at nothing to meet their objectives, regardless of the consequences or the legality. It also shows how widespread the immorality extends among the ranks of the Conservative government.

Bill C-30, introduced by Public Safety Minster Vic Toews:

The public recently forced the Harper government to rethink the content of Bill C-30 but there’s no guarantee it will improve much after a review by a Conservative controlled committee.

The Bill would give government the ability to spy on ordinary Canadians, without a warrant, even if those individuals were never involved in a crime or even suspected of one.

Having the RCMP or CSIS spy on Canadians without a warrant as part of a police investigation is bad enough but C-30 hands that ability to the Minister in charge or to “anyone” he appoints under circumstances of his choosing.

Based on the tactics already connected to the Conservatives during the election process one has to wonder who might be given the authority to investigate private online activities and just how much of the information gathered would be used for criminal investigations versus the amount used by the Conservative’s in targeting voters in an effort to win future elections.

As spying on law abiding Canadians isn’t bad enough, C-30 also denies Canadians the right to ever know if they’ve been spied upon and forces them to pay for that spying (with their tax dollars) while also shouldering the cost to service providers through increased internet and telephone rates.

The Omnibus Crime Bill (several Ministers had a hand in this one) purports to be “Tough on Crime”. That statement makes a great bumper sticker and it might be an example of sharp political grandstanding that appeals to Conservative supporters but what does the Bill actually mean for Canadians?

First of all it will mean automatic multi-year sentences for someone growing a few pot plants in their home. Sure it’s illegal, but is it reasonable for someone in possession of 6 pot plants to automatically be sentenced to several years in prison under the pretext that they’re somehow connected to organized crime.

On a personal level most conservative minded people may not care one whit what happens to a small time pot grower but they may want to consider the impact to their wallets. Most provincial courts and prison facilities are already at their limit and police are not called the “thin” blue line for nothing.

The courts are blocked and the cells are overcrowded. Does automatically handing a small time pot grower a multi-year sentence (in some cases longer than a person convicted of interfering with a child) actually make sense?

The Harper government is well aware of the implications of their crime bill. The workload for police will grow, Courts will be clogged, prisons will overflow and Provincial budgets will be stretched to the breaking point when they are forced to shoulder massive increases in costs they can’t afford to cover. To pay the additional cost most Province’s will have to either borrow money, sending them into deficit, or increase taxes.

By the way, in case you’re not paying attention, the taxpayers who pay federal taxes, which Mr. Harper and the Conservative Party so proudly say they are against increasing, are the same ones who pay the Provincial taxes that will have to be increased.

On the subject of the Conservative government championing lower taxes, who do you think will pay for Mr. Harper’s unilateral decision to limit federal health care spending at a time when an aging population is putting more and more strain on the system? The Province’s of course (deficit or higher taxes, aren’t those really the only options presented by Finance Minster Jim Flaherty?).

Speaking of the elderly, since gaining power the Harper government has changed the method of payment for the Canada Pension Plan, meaning less income for those who collect at age 60 rather than 65, than ever before. Never mind that the CPP is 100% paid for by employees and employers rather than the government or that the plan is fully funded and sound, the changes were quietly made anyway.

When it comes to aging Canadians there’s no limit to the Harper government’s scorn, any more than there is to their immoral acts during an election.

In recent weeks Prime Minister Harper himself has indicated that he plans to cut the cost of Old Age Security and, as a result, the cost of the Guaranteed Income Supplement which goes only to the poorest Canadians. Their most likely approach, based on the government’s refusal to deny it, is to increase the age of eligibility from 65 to 67 even though financial analysis shows that such a change isn’t necessary to sustain the program during a temporary bump in cost and that the move will result in more seniors slipping into poverty.

Not only would increasing the age of eligibility make it harder, if not impossible, for poorer workers in Canada to retire at 65 (the change will have little or no impact on the most wealthy) but once again the provinces will have to pick up additional expenses in order to fill the gap during those 2 years for anyone living on social assistance or who is unable to physically continue to work after 65.

Once again the Conservative “low tax” mantra is little more than another underhanded attempt to secure votes from uninformed Canadians while shifting the financial burden to the Provincial tax level. An approach that ultimately means more costs will fall back on the shoulders of tax payers..

With this Government we are seeing a widespread intensity of deceit, deception deviance never before witnessed in Canada.

The misdirection of “border security funding” to a Minister’s riding for his pet projects; (Minister Tony Clement, later placed in charge of federal purse strings as head of the Treasury Board)

A Minister of Defence who uses military aircraft as a personal taxi and tasks military personnel and resources to dig up dirt on opposition members; (Minister Peter MacKay)

A Prime Minister who claims it is standard practice for one of his Ministers to alter the intent of official documents after they’re signed by officials; (Minister Bev Oda)

Standing by a Minister who made jokes and laughed with cohorts about who might die during a nation wide outbreak of food poisoning that killed many innocent victims (Minister Gerry Ritz);

Using information gained by accessing a veteran’s personal medical files as a tool to discredit that veteran and his attempt to shed light on the inadequacies of a government agency (Minister Greg Thompson);

Party wide verbal assaults on any government official, or member of the public, who disagrees with the Harper agenda including the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Chief Nuclear Regulator, Food Safety Inspectors and anyone disagreeing with Bill C-30 (“…standing with Child Molesters” – Minister Vic Toews);

Stacking the Senate (which the party claims to want to reform) with Conservative operators, some of which are believed to have been directly involved in the election activities of the party (PM Harper) - not the least of which individuals involved in the In and Out scam and Mike Duffy, who, after CTV agreed not to air specific footage, did so anyway to belittle Liberal Leader Stephan Dion and who provided supposedly impartial media commentary on the election immediately prior to his Senate appointment;

Or how about the Conservatives setting up an unelected Conservative “Member’s” office in a riding held by an MP from another party all in an effort to undermine that MP and usurp his position with constituents.

No doubt this last action is a sneak preview of the activities that will take place during the next election campaign as it serves to help the Conservatives steal the riding the next time around. After all, if a voter in the riding has a problem with a government program who are they most likely to seek help from, their duly elected representative in opposition or someone planted there who they are led to believe has the ear of the ruling party and perhaps Mr. Harper himself?

The preceding is just a short, off the top of the head list of the reasons for my profound belief that we have now entered a new low in Canadian politics thanks to the Harper brand of Conservatism. There are many other examples, enough to fill volumes and all of it leaves little doubt that future political observers will look back on Stephen Harper in the same way Americans now view George W. Bush, as the most despised leader in his Nation’s history.

Richard Nixon’s Watergate was a single illegal act and as sleazy as it was it pales in comparison to what’s happening every day in Canada.

If all of this isn’t enough to convince the 39% of Canadians who voted Conservative in the last election that the Harper government is indeed the most short-sighted, underhanded, legally deviant and morally bankrupt government in Canadian history, then all I can say is:

Either you’re with me on this or you’re with the Child Molesters (sorry, my mistake) with the Harper government.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fight cuts to Search and Rescue / Support Burton Winters

The following post was originally published on Sue Kelland Dyer's blog.  Sue and I don't always agree on the political situation in Newfoundland and Labrador, or in Canada for that matter, but this is a case where we definately see eye to eye and I hope Web Talk readers can as well.  Please visit the facebook site: Support for Burton Winters and show your support for Burton and the people of NL who depend on Search and Rescue for their lives. 

Let Newfoundlanders and Labradorians (and all Canadians) Worldwide Unite for Burton

There is a movement in Newfoundland and Labrador and it involves the loss of a young man's life from Makkovik.

It is the belief of our people that this young man did not have to die on the ice - trying to get home.

On Facebook there is a Group called "The Burton Winters' Rescue Center IN Labrador".

Our people are uniting and we need the voice of EVERY Newfoundlander and Labradorian as well as support from people in all Northern and Maritime jurisdictions.

Please remember Burton as the young man who walked 19 km's on the ice - bravely to try and find his way home. Please remember Burton by joining this group and its call for action.

Sue's original Post available at: http://nlpost.blogspot.com/2012/02/let-newfoundlanders-and-labradorians.html