"We’re now in the home stretch of Canada’s federal election campaign — at seventy-eight days, the longest in modern Canadian history and the most important since 1988, when free trade with the United States was the defining issue. For the first time in Canadian history, it is a close three-way race between the ruling Conservatives, the centrist Liberals, and the social-democratic New Democratic Party (NDP)." [more inside]
After the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canadian prostitution laws (previously), the Conservative Party has introduced new measures that would legalize the sale of sex, but that also criminalize the purchase of sex or soliciting in public, print or online. [more inside]
Who's influencing reproductive policy in Canada? Unfortunately, the difference between the religious right in Canada and our neighbours to the south is not so much doctrinal as it is window dressing. The Tea Party’s "late term abortion" red herring with its attendant gruesome imagery very much parallels the "gender-selection" trope of the Conservative base in Canada. It’s a matter of media and public relations, knowing your audience and playing to its sympathies.
Years of labour peace between the government of Ontario and teachers came to an end this year. Like their colleagues in British Columbia, Ontario teachers and support staff are complaining of unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional legislation -- the Putting Students First Act, 2012 -- that gives the Education Minister, Laura Broten, unchallenged power to ban strikes, job actions, set compensation and benefits, and to take over local school boards who are non-compliant. Ontario school boards are unanimously opposed to the Act, which reduces their power, and so are teachers and support staff, who feel the government is manufacturing a crisis. Most see this as a cynical ploy to capture public support for two by-elections this week that could nudge the Liberal government into majority status. ETFO and OSSTF, two of the teacher unions involved, have repeatedly pointed out that "the school year is not in jeopardy", that they had already accepted a wage freeze, and that local bargaining is proceeding well. As legislation looms aheads, teachers, support staff, and labour activists are wondering: is this the end of collective bargaining for the public sector? [more inside]
"The wide-ranging Forum Poll for the National Post sought the opinions of a sample of Canadians of voting age... The voting intentions, if actual ballots, would translate into a minority government for the NDP." The Canadian public is on a distinct tilt to the left, says a new national public opinion poll. Criticism of the Conservatives' spring budget, Bill C-38, continues: it is "anti-labour" (repeals The Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act; reforms Employment Insurance) and "guts the Fisheries Act"; a website protest against the bill is planned for June 4. [more inside]
Canada is planning to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty. CBC, BBC, AFP. The Herald Sun claims that this is to allow shale sands oil extraction.
With the Ontario provincial election campaign still extremely close (warning: PDF link) in its last days, the Conservative party sends out a gay-baiting and trans-baiting direct-mail ad. [more inside]
Shit Harper Did Does exactly what it says on the can. Example: "Canadian PM Stephen Harper weakened regulations so that more pesticide residue could be left on your fruits and vegetables." "Harper decorated the government lobby in parliament with photos of just himself, instead of the traditional portraits of former Prime Ministers." And much more.
Scientists working for the Canadian government aren't allowed to talk to journalists without permission from Ottawa. And the restriction isn't limited politically sensitive topics like climate change and the Alberta oil sands -- the co-author of a recent Nature article about flooding at the end of the last ice age was told to "wait for clearance from the minister's office" before talking to reporters about his work. The policy has only been in effect at Natural Resources in Canada since March, but Environment Canada has had the same rules since 2008. (Previously.)
Canada's Tourism Minister, Diane Ablonczy, was stripped of responsibility for a Marquee Tourism Events Program budget of $100 million, after she gave $397,500 to Toronto's Pride Week festival, which attracts a million tourists to Toronto every June. The story was broken by backbench Conservative MP Brad Trost in the blog LifeSiteNews.com, who stated that most of the Conservative cauacus was shocked at the award, and that Ms. Ablonczy was stripped of the budget as punishment. Pride Toronto's response. The Tories run damage control.
Anti-Conservative site Vote For Environment, has had over a million hits in just 12 days. Previously.
Culture en péril - In these Canadian election times and in response to the recent Culture cuts from Conservatives - three of the best Quebec talents in music, theater and humor join forces and hit back hard (lol) with a highly satirical imagining of the replacement program (captioned).
Newfoundland's Progressive Conservative Premier registered his Anything But Conservative campaign today with Elections Canada. The same agency also deemed that the online vote swap on Facebook is in fact legal. They're hiring.
PM Stephen Harper’s Canada Day greeting Harper adopts a hawkish, true-blue Tory tone for this year's Canada Day greeting, with an uncharacteristic (for a Canadian) shout-out to God: From championships in hockey to humanitarian and military leadership roles in Afghanistan and Haiti, we can say again this year, Canada is a citizen of the world and we make our contribution a positive one. And why shouldn`t we? From the natural wealth of the land that God created, to the talents, energy and imagination of people drawn from all the nations of the earth, we are a country that has been truly blessed.
Are Canadians changing parliament? It seems that the minority government Conservative Party has introduced legislation to set fixed four year election dates, the third week in October. Some people seem to think it can work, and others don't. Evidently I fit into a minority position as I can't see the benefit of having a year long election runnup.
Harper wins Tory minority government. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will become Canada's next prime minister, as Canadians have elected a Tory minority government and ended a 12-year reign of Liberal rule.
An election will soon be taking place in Canada and the party led by Stephen Harper may form a minority government. Might as well know what these Conservatives stand for.