Thursday, May 31, 2012

"You realize this means war?"



Environment Minister Peter Kent’s unsupported accusations of “money laundering” involving foreign and Canadian environmental charities are part of an apparent campaign of the Conservative government to smear and intimidate groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Globe and Mail editorial, May 6, 2012

Why are there three American flags in this picture?



by Kady O'Malley Posted: May 30, 2012 5:37 PM Last Updated: May 31, 2012 12:54 AM
CBC Politics online

The PM makes a rare prime time appearance in the capital as the guest of honour at the inaugural National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Congress.

The conference, which is billed as the first such event to be held in Canada, is being organized by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, a registered charity that issued tax receipts for $2,772,436 in 2010.

Also listed as sponsors of the conference: the Dallas Safari Club, the Montana-based Boone and Crockett Club, the Wild Sheep Foundation of Wyoming and Conservation Force, based out of Louisiana.

Earlier this month, Environment Minister Peter Kent accused Canadian environmental groups of "laundering foreign funds for inappropriate use against Canadian interest." In an interview with CBC's The House, Kent said: "There are allegations -- and we have very strong suspicions -- that some funds have come into the country improperly to obstruct, not to assist, in the environmental assessment process."

Under the same bill that will streamline fisheries regulations, the government is also moving to tighten the rules that govern political activities by charitable organizations. The OFAH has also lobbied the government on a variety of issues, including, most recently, fish habitat regulation, which will also undergo sweeping revision as part of the omnibus budget bill.

Monday, May 28, 2012

David Richards sells out

Afghanistan close to anarchy, warns general

· Nato commmander's views in stark contrast to ministers'
· Forces short of equipment and 'running out of time'

The Guardian,


Corrupt local officials were fuelling the problem and Nato's provincial reconstruction teams in Afghanistan were sending out conflicting signals, Gen Richards told a conference at the Royal United Services Institute in London. "The situation is close to anarchy," he said, referring in particular to what he called "the lack of unity between different agencies".

He described "poorly regulated private security companies" as unethical and "all too ready to discharge firearms". Nato forces in Afghanistan were short of equipment, notably aircraft, but also of medical evacuation systems and life-saving equipment.


Military chief defends edict restricting contact with MPs

Advice restricts members of armed forces from talking to MPs – even informally – without permission of government minister

The Guardian, Monday  May 28, 2012
by Nick Hopkins

In a statement to the Guardian, General Richards added: "It is very important for us to maintain good relationships with MPs and others in society. We do this by holding many engagement opportunities and ensuring that all parties have access to the level of understanding they require. However, as is the case for any disciplined organisation, this requires a coordinated approach with certain rules to guide our conduct and to ensure we remain within established security guidelines.

"The Permanent Under Secretary and I reminded our staff of these rules recently."

The MoD said the DIN "does not seek to constrain a member of the Armed Forces or MOD civilian contacting their constituency MP on a purely personal matter. This means that an individual remains free to raise with their constituency MP matters directly concerning, for example, their personal pay, allowances or accommodation."

What a difference a promotion makes.



"Tories to end public probe into controversial F-35 purchase "

Globe and Mail, Monday May 28, 2012
by Stephen Chase

Brian Gable, Globe and Mail
I can't find the original date but it was recent.

It's so...transparent.

Federal Accountability Act (S.C. 2006, c. 9)

PART 3

OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE OF WRONGDOING

Director of Public Prosecutions Act

Enactment of Act


 The Director of Public Prosecutions Act is enacted as follows:
[See Director of Public Prosecutions Act]





Transitional Provisions


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Consequential Amendments

Access to Information Act


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Canada Elections Act


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Department of Justice Act


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Financial Administration Act


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Privacy Act


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Salaries Act

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Coming into Force

Marginal note:Order in council
  •  Footnote *(1) Sections 3.01 and 3.1 of the Access to Information Act, as enacted by section 142 of this Act, and section 3.01 of the Privacy Act, as enacted by section 182 of this Act, as well as subsection 141(2), sections 143 to 149, 154 and 157 to 160, subsection 163(1), sections 164 to 179, subsection 181(2) and sections 183, 184 and 186 to 193 of this Act and any provisions enacted by those provisions come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.
    • Return to footnote *[Note: Sections 173 to 178 in force February 10, 2007, see SI/2007-17; section 3.01 of the Access to Information Act, as enacted by section 142, section 3.01 of the Privacy Act, as enacted by section 182 and sections 149, 154, 157, 158, 160, 172, 172.1, 179, 184, 186, 187 and 189 in force March 1, 2007, see SI/2007-19; sections 144 to 146, 165 to 171, 183 and 191 to 193 in force April 1, 2007, see SI/2007-20; section 172.01 in force April 1, 2007, see SI/2007-38; section 3.1 of the Access to Information Act, as enacted by section 142, subsection 141(2), sections 143, 147, 148, 159, subsection 163(1), section 164, subsection 181(2) and sections 188 and 190 in force September 1, 2007, see SI/2007-39; remainder of provisions in force on assent December 12, 2006.]
  • Marginal note:Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
    (2) Despite subsection (1), the definition “government institution” in section 3 of the Access to Information Act, as enacted by subsection 141(2) of this Act, and the definition “government institution” in section 3 of the Privacy Act, as enacted by subsection 181(2) of this Act, do not apply in respect of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board unless the lieutenant governor in council of each of at least two thirds of the included provinces, within the meaning of subsection 114(1) of the Canada Pension Plan, having in the aggregate not less than two thirds of the population of all of the included provinces, has signified the consent of that province to the application of those definitions to the Board.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Victory in Afghanistan...


The real victory is getting out.

Like the "peace with honor" in Vietnam, the victory is a public relations scam to cover theignominious defeat of a deluded military policy.

When NATO is out of Afghanistan, there might be a rational foreign policy for Canada in Afghanistan although the whole thing about Afghan "trainers" is still a delusion. Central Asia will have to sort itself out without the help of European crusaders and their colonial descendants, unless conducted with respect from afar.

The sun sets relentlessly on Brussels.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Defence of the American Constitution

News
Decision

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Google Militant

Is this different from the National Security Agency?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pepe Escobar



http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NE12Ak03.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/12/us-bahrain-protests-idUSBRE84B08120120512

"Just as the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty in power in Bahrain is vowing, publicly, to keep arresting, tear-gassing, raiding their homes, confiscating their jobs and forcing pro-democracy protesters to live in non-stop fear, Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa is being hosted in Washington by the Barack Obama administration."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Thus we arrive, by our ancient constitutional methods...

...at practical working arrangements which show that Parliamentary democracy can adapt itself to all situations and can go out in all weathers."

Prime Minister Winston Churchill
British House of Commons
8 September 1942

Totalitarians can get stuffed.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Due Diligence at National Defence








DND makes case for buying F-35s in terse, 160-word letter
by Steven Chase
Globe and Mail, May 04, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Canadian politics lurches into the bizarre

“Media liaison staffers have been sent to an international polar conference in Montreal to shadow Canadian government scientists during interviews, in what critics are calling the latest example of extreme information control by the Harper Conservatives.”
CBC News Posted: Apr 24, 2012 6:39 PM ET

So I’m trying to picture this. I’ve been to scientific meetings myself, and most of the important stuff happens in the bar. “So I want to ask you about the data you showed in Figure [incomprehensible]…” Is there “shadowing” in the bar?? Will the “shadows” buy drinks on expenses? For themselves? For others? Is there note-taking? Are there recording devices?

One is reminded of the Gulag Archipelago

 “The NKVD school dangled before us special rations and double or triple pay. Our feelings could not be put into words - - and even if we had found the words, fear would have prevented our speaking them aloud to one another. It was not our minds that resisted but something inside our breasts. People can shout at you from all sides: "You must!" And your own head can be saying also: "You must!" But inside your breast there is a sense of revulsion, repudiation. I don't want to. It makes me feel sick. Do what you want without me; I want no part of it.” 

Fear makes this whole totalitarian thing go, and it would be appropriate to be afraid of Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, if he weren’t so laughably incompetent. I mean, a police state in Canada? No way. Alberta just rejected the Wildrose Party  (a right wing group that as my mother said, has a pretty name but an extreme agenda), and there you have it: Canada, a hotbed of commons sense, except for its government. There are many examples of the laughability. We have the Minister for Various Things, Bev Oda, who can’t forge a decent document , who decides to change her 5-star London hotels at taxpayer expense, for no more obvious reason than a rock star would trash the bathroom. Maybe she thinks she is a rock star. Whether she thinks or not is an open question. Whether she can pull off a decent forgery is not.

Then we have the whole F-35 disaster, a plane that Canada apparently bought on the phone from some smooth talking guy from Lockheed-Martin who worked for Peter MacKay, the guy who bought the plane. You can’t make this up, it makes the Murdochs look innocent.

Further, we have the whole Security Council Seat campaign humiliation, the Government of Canada apparently being unaware that our foreign policy stock was so low that in the crunch, of the 192 members of the United Nations, Canada has 32 friends, and 10 members who don’t care. The rest voted against us, which is 150. There’s a message in that if you happen to be listening, which we weren’t.

And more: we have the Rights and Democracy fiasco, a government quango that made the mistake of giving money to some Palestinian charity, the board then being refurbished with politically correct carpet baggers who created sufficient havoc that the whole thing was conveniently disbanded. Too bad we couldn’t have done that with the Security Council.

And even more: the Government of Canada has been trying to prevent details of prisoners taken in Afghanistan from reaching the public. It has gone to extreme lengths including dissolving a dubious “panel” it created, dissolving parliament, and trying to muzzle the Canadian Military Police Complaints Commission through obstruction of justice caused by Rob Nicholson, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada, the guy who acquiesced in the Omar Khadr deal  and is now trying to figure out how to keep Omar out of the country, and who pimped for the American government trying to get Abdullah Khadr (Omar's brother) extradited on the basis of no evidence at all.

And of course Jason Kenney the Immigration Minister interfered with the entry into Canada of George Galloway, an admitted British blowhard, on the grounds that he had supported a “terrorist” organization, but who has no difficulty admitting George Bush or Ann Coulter, the former a prima facie war criminal and the latter a bigoted idiot.

And now, with the Northern Gateway pipeline “approval process”  – note the Orwellian “approval”, I thought it was an “application” – suffering undue hardship in the correct due process required under existing legislation, the government proposes to change the rules, to head off “foreign interests” who are determined to thwart the transmission of Alberta super-heavy crude through northern BC and by tanker out through BC waters to the fabulously and incomprehensibly productive Asia, as if the oil companies involved in the Alberta oil/tar sands/bitumen swamp and the Enbridge consortium, who as it happens don’t think they have to reveal their identities but includes the China company Sinopec, weren’t themselves foreign interests.

Keep the faith, people. There is still decency in Canada: Alberta proved it.