9.03.2015

A list of the Harper Government's Assaults on the Good, Peaceful and Fairminded People of Canada


Of course no list of the Harper government's assaults on Canada's society can be considered complete because there's just so many of them. When i started this process some months ago i soon realized this. i'm going to start with the worst of the worst from my perspective.

Back in 2012, the Harper government launched an unprecedented assault on Canada’s environmental laws when it introduced Bill C-38, an omnibus bill that put a halt to automatic environmental assessments of projects under the federal government’s purview. All told, the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act were either repealed or simply gutted, while the NEB was neutered. The Harper government made a wholesale effort to not only destroy protection but then to destroy data and destroy knowledge when eviscerating of the Navigable Waters Act, attempting to close the Experimental Lakes Area, and dumping books from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Library. All of this, including the auditing of environmental and civil society groups, was done to allow the fossil fuel industry, Harper's #1 benefactor, to build pipelines without having to endure the inconvience of people and laws that oppose such destruction of our common environment.

This past year Harper passed Bill C-51, the government’s anti-terrorism legislation - popularly known as the secret Police Act -which  criminalizes free speech and allows government agencies to widely share personal information without any regard to privacy, while giving CSIS, RCMP and CSEC freer range to spy on whomever they choose. Consequently, spying on environmental and aboriginal activists, especially those opposed to pipelines or who participate in National Energy Board (NEB) hearings.

Harper is the only Canadian prime minister to be found in contempt of Parliament, which occurred in 2011 after his government refused to release costs on certain programs to opposition MPs. On the childcare front, Harper scrapped plans for a national daycare program that Paul Martin had promised and now is passing out cheques to all parents, including the rich, to buy votes.

Starting in 2010, Harper tabled a bill with 883 pages that included changes to Canada Post and environmental assessments. Since then, Harper has passed 10 more omnibus bills to circumvent debate in parliament, often making sweeping changes to laws and regulations.

Haper's attempt at vote suppression - the Fair Elections Act. Last year the Harper government overhauled Canada’s election laws to deal with electoral fraud. But its critics soon labeled it the “Unfair Elections Act” because it weakened the power of Elections Canada, effectively muzzling the chief electoral officer from communicating with the public and MPs about investigations, and cut off the agency’s investigations arm, it changed the ID requirements for voting making it far more difficult for students, FNs and the homeless [all Harper opponnts] to vote.

Harper's gagging scientists from speaking freely about their research. Numerous scientists have been prevented from speaking to the media, especially those researching the environment. Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe — which produce an annual report card on climate change performance — put Canada 58th out of 61 countries in regards to its efforts to combat global warming, above only Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Australia.

Taxpayer-funded political ads. This spring, Finance Canada is planning to spend $13.5-million on ads to boast about the government’s budget. The Toronto Star estimates that $500-million has been spent by the Harper government since 2009 promoting its programs – $75-million in 2014 alone.

It's a long list:

Harper’s former Parliamentary Secretary, Dean Del Mastro, found guilty of election fraud;

Government found guilty of election fraud 5 times in 8 years;

Spent $7 million in partisan anti-drug ads in just 3 months

Has spent $700,000 fighting Canada’s veterans in court

Spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars developing partisan legislation that stood no chance of withstanding a Constitutional challenge……and when all were overturned by the Supreme Court, began undermining the credibility of the Court, and its Chief Justice;

Deception around Nigel Wright repaying the $90,000 Conservative Senator Mike Duffy defrauded from taxpayers, closing off investigation and refusing to give details….with RCMP finding all trails lead back to Stephen Harper’s office;

undemocratic ‘Fair Elections Act’ removing ability of Elections Canada to do its job;

Auditor General reported $3.1 billion in anti- terror funding missing; using taxpayer dollars to fund partisan personal attack ads;

Spent $750 million taxpayer dollars in partisan advertising;

found guilty on three separate occasions of election fraud and campaign financing violations;

Allowed XL Foods meat processing plant to continue to process and distribute tainted meat for 3 weeks after U.S. stopped importing for the same reason;

Over spent those cabinet-approved ad budgets by $128-million — more than 37 per cent…..all the while cutting funding to important government programs;

Shut down Committee investigating F-35 purchase scandal;

Conservative campaign staff proven to be behind Guelph Robocalls;

Lied to Parliament and the Canadian public about the true cost of the F-35's,

Auditor General proves fraud and incompetence in Government's F-35 purchase,

Increased the size of the federal public service by 32,000 employees, increased government spending by 30% to a record $276 billion,

largest deficit in Canadian history,

Industry Minister Christian Paradis stays in Cabinet after being found in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act;

First Government in Canadian History to be found in Contempt of Parliament,

Took $38.2 billion Liberal Surplus, and ran it into 53 Billion Dollar Deficit,

screwed up G8 and G20 Meetings,

Veterans Affairs Minister Fantino criticized for spending $4 million on advertising programs for veterans rather than investing the money in services;

$1.3 billion in unspent funding for Veterans returned to Treasury to help balance budget after Veterans Services cutbacks;

ignored recommendations contained in 2012 Auditor General’s Report regarding security deficiencies at the Parliament Buildings…….contributing to the killing of a soldier there on October 22, 2014;

reduced funding for Canada’s military to an all-time low of 1.4% of GDP;

Despite the Conservative government’s frequent warnings about lingering terrorist threats, it quietly abolished a federal panel of national security advisers;

Lost Canada’s seat on the Security Council;

Turned down $300 million offer to sell the Canadian Wheat Board’s assets to Canadian farmers, so he could give them to American businessmen for FREE;

The annual cost of paying Conservative political staffers working in a network of satellite minister’s offices ballooned by 70 per cent (from $1.6 million to $2.7 million) during the same years the government was eliminating some departments and programs, and ordering others to tighten their belts;

ratified a controversial 31 year treaty that will allow China to sue Canada in secret tribunals for Canadian laws that interfere with Chinese investments;

muzzled outgoing leader of Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), Lt.-Gen. Stu Beare …. preventing him from talking to journalists about the challenges that CJOC and Canada face during this period of global tumult;

another of Stephen Harper’s key pieces of legislation was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, when his section limiting pre-trial sentencing credit was overturned;

imposition of new federal grain and transportation rules, that because of lack of coordination, transparency, accountability, and infrastructure……caused global clients to walk away and buy elsewhere……at a cost of $5 billion to Canadian farmers;

poor monitoring of safety and environmental controls by Department of Transport, detailed in damning Transportation Safety Board report as a contributing factor in the Lac-M├ęgantic train derailment that killed 47 people;

A report by Canada’s veterans watchdog says nearly half of the country’s most severely disabled ex-soldiers are not receiving a government allowance intended to compensate them for their physical and mental wounds; instructed civil servants to begin deleting ‘sensitive’ emails; Under proposed changes to prescribed annuity taxation, Canadian poor seniors will pay a lot more taxes; according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation……

Stephen Harper employs 3,325 spin doctors, at a cost of $263 million…..almost equal to the cost of operating the House of Commons;

sent out email to Public Servants asking them to promote Conservative tax proposal on Twitter;

Harper government paid $35 million to quietly settle lawsuit regarding contract dispute where Conservatives rigged the bidding process;

Paul Calandra's dishonest and embarrassing performance answering questions in the HoC;

Using taxpayer funded ten-percenters and constituency mailers, and House of Commons free mailing privileges to send out attack literature;

wants to change copyright law to allow for privately owned news copy to be used free of charge in attack ads……but has done nothing to protect film & music copyright owners receive proper payment;

using the Canada Revenue Agency as an arm of PMO to target groups and agencies deemed ‘unfriendly’ to the Harper government;

scrapped 3,000 environmental reviews on pipelines and other projects;

Canada ranked worst of G7 nations in fighting bribery & corruption, by Transparency International, the watchdog agency that monitors global corruption;

Canada slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation’s human development index — a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade (rating a country’s performance in health, education and income);

cancelled the Health Council of Canada and the 10-year health Provincial accord that led to its creation;

consistently used Omnibus bills to hide and pass controversial legislation that it did not want to debate separately;

government employment policies stimulate creation of part-time jobs at the expense of full-time positions;

Canada performance ranked as 58th out 61 industrialized countries by international climate organization;

Held back $7 billion in approved spending to finance tax cuts……depriving some departments of required operating funds;

Listeria Outbreak;

Transparency Lies,

Accountability Lies,

Afghanistan Secrecy;

CRTC Meddling,

Rona Ambrose lies & ineptness;

Anti-Intellectualism;

Fake election phone calls in 34 ridings,

Fake Citizenship ceremonies,

Tony Clement's $50 million Gazebo fund,

Misleading Parliament on what the Gazebo Fund was supposed to be used for,

In And Out election violations,

Income Trusts lies,

Security Leaks,

Cadman Affair;

fired Nuclear Watchdog Linda Keane for doing her job,

fired head of Military Police Inquiry for doing his job,

fired Veteran's Ombudsman for doing his job,

had Firearm Long Gun Mountie removed for doing his job,

eviscerated Long Form Census to keep facts from the public,

trashed Diplomat Richard Colvin for doing his job;

Dishonestly used image of Canadarm with photoshopped Canada logo on government websites;

Canada Was The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document;

Ignored UN Environmental Commission report on urgent need to get greenhouse gasses under control;

Conservative Parliamentary Assistant Alexandra Constantinidis caught twice, trying record Liberal candidate’s private conversation;

Spent $15.4 million on a records archival system it never used (2014 Auditor General’s Report);


Certainly there's many more in our past but no more after October 19th - Heave Steve Day.