A list of Harper government cuts/actions.

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Yiwah
A list of Harper government cuts/actions.

The latest Harper government slashing of the mandatory census and the associated outcry that has raised is certainly present in our minds right now...but given a few more months and some other action, will it fade?

I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of the cuts and attacks the Harper government has led against various groups.  Taken one by one, these cuts and attacks are awful, but are not easily located in a pattern.

I'll start off with one:

 

COURT CHALLENGES PROGRAM

In 2006, Harper [url=http://www.petitiononline.com/fr33d0ms/petition.html]cut funding[/url] to the court challenges program.  This program gave various groups and individuals the financial ability to challenge federal legislation, including cases related to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It provided a sort of direct action 'check' to the exercise of federal legislative power.  The Court Challenge program was being used fairly successfully to challenge laws that discriminated against homosexuals, and women in particular.  [url=http://www.egale.ca/]Egale[/url] and [url=http://www.leaf.ca/]LEAF[/url] were two groups that routinely accessed the program to challenge discriminatory legislation.

In 2008, the program was 'reinstated'. Except now it is the [url=http://www.slapupsidethehead.com/tag/court-challenges-program/]Program to Support Linguistic Rights[/url].  As in, it can no longer be used to support [url=http://www.xtra.ca/public/viewstory.aspx?AFF_TYPE=1&STORY_ID=5069&PUB_TE... the rights[/url] guaranteed in the Charter...only linguistic rights.

Since the people accessing the Court Challenges Program had to be members of a disadvantaged class who were personally impacted by the legislation in question, the cutting of funding has directly reduced the political power of those who are already marginalised in our society.

 

 

 

Please, add to the list!

Issues Pages: 
Yiwah

Here's a [url=http://thereginamom.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/what-harpers-done-to-canadi... resource[/url]...a piece apparently written for Rabble previously.  Where I can, I'm going to expand a little on the programs she lists.  But since there are so many things to list, I'm going to break it up a bit.

 

ATTACKS ON WOMEN GROUPS

 

Status of Women in Canada

From above link: “Administrative savings” = $5 million cut (40% of budget), job layoffs, offices closed, organizations unfunded, their offices also closed. The Harper government also axed the National Child Care Program [url=http://rabble.ca/columnists/2010/02/harper-runs-roughshod-over-womens-ri... Liberals had spent years negotiating with the provinces[/url].  The Status of Women Independent Research Fund was axed as well.

Those organisations [url=http://www.thestar.com/living/article/548710]include[/url] the closing of 12 out of 16 [url=http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/index-eng.html]Status of Women Canada[/url] offices , and funding cuts to the National Association of Women and the Law ([url=http://www.nawl.ca/]NAWL[/url]). Then in 2009, the [url=http://www.nawl.ca/en/newlibrarypage/presentations-to-government/429-naw... Sector Equitable Compensation Ac[/url]t was passed, which has been widely criticised as actually reintroducing pay inequity into legal practice.

 

 

This year alone, the [url=http://www.liberal.ca/newsroom/news-release/harper-punishes-womens-group... groups[/url] had their funding completely cut:

- [url=http://www.matchinternational.org/]Match International[/url]

This group has worked with CIDA for over 30 years, working on 'MATCHing' the resources of women in Canada with the needs and resources of women in the South.

"Kim Bulger, executive director of Match International, is quoted in the media today saying the cuts to her organization and others are part of a pattern of “ideologically driven” punishment against feminist groups – particularly those that support funding for abortion as part of the maternal health initiative. (Canadian Press, May 4, 2010)"

- Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women ([url=http://www.criaw-icref.ca/]CRIAW[/url])

- Conseil d'intervention for l'acces des femmes au travail ([url=http://www.femmesautravail.qc.ca/ciaft.php]CIAFT[/url])

- [url=http://www.equite-equity.com/home.cfm]New Brunswick Pay Equity Coalition[/url]

- [url=http://www.reseautablesfemmes.qc.ca/]Reseau des Tables regionales de groupes de femmes du Quebec[/url]

- Alberta Network of Immigrant Women ([url=http://www.aniw.org/]ANIW[/url])

- Centre de documentation sur l'education des adultes el la condition feminine ([url=http://www.cdeacf.ca/]CDEACF[/url])

- Association feminine d'education et d'action sociale ([url=http://www.afeas.qc.ca/]AFEAS[/url])

- Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses ([url=http://www.oaith.ca/]OAITH[/url])

- [url=http://www.womanspace.ca/Welcome.html]Womenspace Resource Centre[/url] (Lethbridge, AB)

- Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation ([url=http://www.equalityrights.org/cera/]CERA[/url])

- Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP in Nova Scotia, website currently down)

 

 

 

Stockholm

Of course the Court Challenges program was previously cut off when Mulroney was PM - yet these "red Tory apologists" still keep about how nice and moderate and decent Mulroney was compared to the "alien plant" that is Harper. Frankly, I see no difference between them.

Of course if anyone wanted to make list of all the groups who lost funding during the Chretien/Martin years - the list would be so long that you would run of of banwidth before it could be posted anywhere.

Yiwah

Stockholm wrote:

Of course the Court Challenges program was previously cut off when Mulroney was PM - yet these "red Tory apologists" still keep about how nice and moderate and decent Mulroney was compared to the "alien plant" that is Harper. Frankly, I see no difference between them.

Of course if anyone wanted to make list of all the groups who lost funding during the Chretien/Martin years - the list would be so long that you would run of of banwidth before it could be posted anywhere.

The Court Challenges program It began in 1978, but only provided assistance to minority language cases (French or English only).  Mulroney [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_Challenges_Program_of_Canada]expanded... it to include the equality section (15) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  He withdrew funding in 1992...Chretien reinstated in in 1994.  That means it was out of commission for two years.  It has now been out of commission for 4 years under Harper, and since it now ONLY deals with minority language issues again, it is unlikely it will ever be FULLY reinstated under Harper.  That isn't to say Mulroney wouldn't have continued to keep the program buried had he stayed in office...but it in no way dimishes what Harper has done to it.

As for talking about funding cuts during the Chretien/Martin years, perhaps you should start a thread on that so we can actually analyse which programs were cut?  You can see a distinct pattern in Harper cuts...for example his cuts to women's groups, just to start off with.  What patterns are there in the Chretien/Martin cuts?

 

 

Stockholm

"What patterns are there in the Chretien/Martin cuts?"

let's see, where to begin: environmental groups, arts groups, the unemployed, all social housing programs GONE, foreign aid funding - cut to ribbons the Law Reform Commission GONE. it has also been well documented that long before the latest census brouhaha - Statscan had already been forced to get rid of half the  studies it used to do because the Liberals gutted their funding so heavily...and that doesn't even count all the cuts in transfers to the provinces that led to draconians cuts to health care and social assistance etc....

Yiwah

 

Aboriginal Programs

Of course, it all started with the Harper government's failure to honour the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelowna_Accord]Kelowna Accord[/url] which would have set aside $5 billion for funding of Aboriginal  health, education, housing, and social services, undoing the work of decades.  Of the initial [url=http://dawn.thot.net/cuts.html]$1[/url] billion in cuts in 2006, Aboriginal programs bore 7% of those cuts.

 

"[url=http://thereginamom.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/what-harpers-done-to-canadi... and Northern Affairs Canada[/url] “operational efficiencies” = $3.5 million million cut.

“Unused funding” (re: Nunavut) = $50 million not re-allocated or otherwise made available

Elimination of funding for First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Strategy = $10.8 million cut"

The [url=http://media.knet.ca/node/3389]First Nations Technical Institute[/url] had its funding cut in half in  2008.

 

In addition, in [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/03/05/sk-aboriginal-healing-fo... of this year it was announced that funding would be cut to the:

Aboriginal Healing Program

This [url=http://www.ahf.ca/]program[/url] began in 1998 to create programs to help Residential School survivors to deal with their painful experiences, which have been the cause of intergenerational trauma.

 

"No colonialism in Canada"

One of my favourite incidents was Harper's [url=http://www.straight.com/article-261089/shawn-atleo-criticizes-stephen-ha... of colonialism[/url] in 2009:

“We also have no history of colonialism,” the Conservative prime minister said. “So we have all of the things that many people admire about the great powers but none of the things that threaten or bother them.”

 

Yiwah

Stockholm wrote:

"What patterns are there in the Chretien/Martin cuts?"

let's see, where to begin: environmental groups, arts groups, the unemployed, all social housing programs GONE, foreign aid funding - cut to ribbons the Law Reform Commission GONE. it has also been well documented that long before the latest census brouhaha - Statscan had already been forced to get rid of half the  studies it used to do because the Liberals gutted their funding so heavily...and that doesn't even count all the cuts in transfers to the provinces that led to draconians cuts to health care and social assistance etc....

 

It would be very helpful if you could provide sources as well.  Although none of this detracts from the current policies being discussed...unless you think that somehow, in discussing them gives former governments a 'pass'? 

 

It does not.

Stockholm

As much as i hate virtually everything Harper stands for - I remain convinced that if he had a little "L" in front of his name instead of a little "C" - most of the "chattering classes" in the Liberal media (i.e. the Globe and mail, the CVBC etc...) would turn a blind eye to most of what he was doing.

Yiwah

Stockholm wrote:

As much as i hate virtually everything Harper stands for - I remain convinced that if he had a little "L" in front of his name instead of a little "C" - most of the "chattering classes" in the Liberal media (i.e. the Globe and mail, the CVBC etc...) would turn a blind eye to most of what he was doing.

I'm not particularly interested in what the mainstream media would or would not do...if I were relying on them, I wouldn't have felt like there was a need to compile a list like this in the first place.

George Victor

You can add the cutting of the Energuide for Houses program by which homes were evaluated for their energy efficiency.  Funding for new evaluatiions has ended, and the program that does followup to houses being upgraded will end next March.  It will mean the loss of all the trained energuide evaluators who constitute the product of years of skill training and research going back to the early 90s.   This northern country, facing the need to sharply reduce production of greenhouse gases, will be left vulnerable to the real estate and construction industries assessment of the houses they live in. But that is central to the privatization of everything... and consuming more Alberta-produced energy has to be good.  :)

Debater

Yiwah wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Of course the Court Challenges program was previously cut off when Mulroney was PM - yet these "red Tory apologists" still keep about how nice and moderate and decent Mulroney was compared to the "alien plant" that is Harper. Frankly, I see no difference between them.

Of course if anyone wanted to make list of all the groups who lost funding during the Chretien/Martin years - the list would be so long that you would run of of banwidth before it could be posted anywhere.

The Court Challenges program It began in 1978, but only provided assistance to minority language cases (French or English only).  Mulroney [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_Challenges_Program_of_Canada]expanded... it to include the equality section (15) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  He withdrew funding in 1992...Chretien reinstated in in 1994.  That means it was out of commission for two years.  It has now been out of commission for 4 years under Harper, and since it now ONLY deals with minority language issues again, it is unlikely it will ever be FULLY reinstated under Harper.  That isn't to say Mulroney wouldn't have continued to keep the program buried had he stayed in office...but it in no way dimishes what Harper has done to it.

The Liberals have said they will re-instate the Court Challenges Program if they are returned to power.  Some of the damage done by Harper can be reversed.

Life, the unive...

You mean some of the damage done because of Liberal inaction and support of the Conservative agenda can be undone don't you?  Anyone who thinks the Liberals are not complicit in EVERYTHING that Harper has done has not really been paying much attention.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Silencing Dissent: The Conservative Record

intro:
 
Over the past five years, exercise of the fundamental freedom of speech in Canada has been curbed and discouraged by a federal government increasingly intolerant of even the mildest criticism or dissent. Particularly affected have been organizations dependent on government funding which advocate for human rights and women's equality. Their voices have been stifled, some completely silenced, by cuts to their budgets. Also financially throttled have been individuals and groups that speak out for reproductive rights, humanitarian immigration policies, and for changes in Canada's foreign policy in the Middle East.

The Harper government's now lengthy record of silencing - or attempting to silence - its critics also includes the removal of heads of government agencies, commissions, and tribunals who insist on making independent decisions. Academics who have spoken against government actions or policies have also been targeted.
 
This blatant suppression of basic human rights by a government constitutionally responsible for guaranteeing their expression is unprecedented in Canada's history.

 

List of organizations which have been cancelled or defunded, and individuals who have been silenced or removed from their posts

(2006-2011)

 

  1. ORGANIZATIONS

Seventy-nine community organizations, agencies, NGOs, research bodies and programs which have been cancelled, or whose funding has been cut or dramatically decreased:

  • Aboriginal Healing Foundation
  • Action travail des femmes
  • Afghan Association of Ontario, Canada Toronto
  • Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
  • Alternatives (Quebec)
  • Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale (AFEAS)
  • Bloor Information and Life Skills Centre
  • Brampton Neighbourhood Services (Ontario)
  • Canadian Arab Federation
  • Canadian Child Care Federation
  • Canadian Council for International Co-operation
  • Canadian Council on Learning
  • Canadian Council on Social Development
  • Canadian Heritage Centre for Research and Information on Canada
  • Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Canadian International Development Agency, Office of Democratic Governance
  • Canadian Labour Business Centre
  • Canada Policy Research Networks
  • Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
  • Canada School of Public Service
  • Canadian Teachers' Federation International program
  • Canadian Volunteerism Initiative
  • Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition feminine
  • Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
  • Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (Toronto)
  • Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
  • Childcare Resource and Research Unit, SpeciaLink
  • Climate Action Network
  • Community Access Program
  • Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)
  • Conseil d'intervention pour l'accès des femmes au travail  (CIAFT)
  • Court Challenges Program (except language rights cases and legacy cases)
  • Court Commission of Canada
  • Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
  • Democracy Council
  • Department of Foreign Affairs, Democracy Unit
  • Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto
  • Eritrean Canadian Community Centre of Metropolitan Toronto
  • Ethiopian Association in the Greater Toronto Area and Surrounding Regions
  • Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia
  • First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
  • First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program
  • Forum of Federations
  • Global Environmental Monitoring System
  • HRD Adult Learning and Literacy programs
  • HRD Youth Employment Programs
  • Hamilton's Settlement and Integration Services Organization  (Ontario)
  • Immigrant settlement programs
  • Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services (Peel)
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation
  • KAIROS
  • Law Commission of Canada
  • Mada Al-Carmel Arab Centre
  • Marie Stopes International, a maternal health agency
  • MATCH International
  • National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
  • Native Women's Association of Canada
  • New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
  • Northwood Neighbourhood Services (Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
  • Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
  • Ontario Association of Transitional Housing (OAITH)
  • Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
  • Ottawa Chinese Community Services Centre
  • Pride Toronto
  • Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
  • Riverdale Women's Centre in Toronto
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee
  • Sierra Club of BC
  • Sisters in Spirit
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • South Asian Women's Centre
  • Statistics Canada long-form census
  • Status of Women
  • Tropicana Community Services
  • Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
  • Women's Innovative Justice Initiative - Nova Scotia
  • Women's Legal Action and Education Fund
  • Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program
  • York South-Weston Community Services Centre Toronto

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

bump: needs to be updated!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The question now becomes: if the NDP becomes government, will they reverse the cuts?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

It's time to expect more from our government

 

excerpt:

 

"No opposition party has so far said that they are committed to reversing all the reactionary and destructive actions of this government. Yet this is what we should be demanding of them." ..

Fidel

Canada Revenue Agency to bear brunt of latest public service job cut

Quote:
OTTAWA - The fourth wave of affected notices being issued Wednesday to thousands of public servants across Canada will hit the tax agency hard along with science and habitat management programs in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says one large union.

Gary Corbett, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), said he expects more than 1,000 notices will be delivered to his members in a dozen or more departments across the country.

With this wave of notices, more than 4,400 of his union's membership have received notices that their jobs are disappearing or been put on alert that their jobs would be affected by the $5.2-billion annual spending cuts down the road.

The giant Public Service Alliance of Canada, the largest of the unions, is also braced for "thousands of notices" to be sent to their members.

Fascists first order of business always: Attack labour unions.

Ippurigakko

add Food Mail program cuts? i know its change to Nutrtion North Program...

 

and more cuts like NAHO etc.

 

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674nahos_inuit_tuttarvin...

NDPP

Boom Boom wrote:

The question now becomes: if the NDP becomes government, will they reverse the cuts?

NDPP

I hope all the true-believers are keeping track so that they can monitor this critical question of ndp restitution.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

God help us all if the Conservatives hang on to their majority in 2015. Frown

Ippurigakko

Nunavut won't vote Leona (Conservative) in 2015, i knew she lose her seats cause nunavut very angry with her on high cost of food and NNC. She avoids protest in Nunavut couple days ago.  And I know all Canadian would complain complain complain about majority and tory supporter would change their mind to vote NDP next elections and they want canadian stop complaints. just like 1993 thinking about it.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Well, despite all the shitty things Harper has done since first being PM - why is he still virtually tied for first place with the NDP?

Fidel

Ippurigakko wrote:

Nunavut won't vote Leona (Conservative) in 2015, i knew she lose her seats cause nunavut very angry with her on high cost of food and NNC. She avoids protest in Nunavut couple days ago.  And I know all Canadian would complain complain complain about majority and tory supporter would change their mind to vote NDP next elections and they want canadian stop complaints. just like 1993 thinking about it.

 

We hope Nunavut doesn't vote Leona. Food is serious business in the north, and the Tories just don't care about cost of living. It's sad.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Fidel

Boom Boom wrote:

Harper hurts science - again

How many independent information bearers does this government have to cut down before even the Harper Moonies start worrying about the Gulag? What does it tell you about someone when they're always telling other people to keep their mouths shut or else? Isn't that what Edward G. Robinson does in gangster movies?

And harper promised transparency and accountability in Ottawa. He's a terrible liar.

Same with RevCanada. He's laying off tax auditors investigating tax cheats.

It's clear that Harper's job is to destroy government and pave the way for unfettered greed and corruption. It's what neoliberals refer to as progress. As head CEO of Canada it is Harper's job to run the peoples corporation into the ground and pawn it all off to rich friends of the party. Fascists first order of business is to destroy labour unions and privatize the economy.  

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Excellent post, Fidel. Cool

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ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Given the Harper regime's predilictions for reaching for their guns when they hear the word "research" (or "culture" for that matter) , it should come as no surprise that the National Aboriginal Health Organization closed its doors yesterday.

NAHO wrote:
The National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) will close on June 29, 2012. All materials and resources were last updated at this time. Its web site will remain available until December 22, 2017. NAHO's YouTube and SlideShare accounts will also remain available.

The National Aboriginal Health Organization "has conducted over $60 million worth of research on the health of Aboriginal peoples in Canada over its 12-year existence."

If you don't give a shit about FN peoples and are keen to snuff out their rights and culture, then what's the use of collecting data regarding their health? Wannabe Reichsleiter Tom Flanagan must be pleased about this cut in particular.

contrarianna
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC did a long segment yesterday or the day before on cuts to aboriginal women's services - in connection with the allegations against the RCMP in northern B.C. Did anyone catch the names of these organizations - not already listed above - and could you post them here? Thanks.

 

jerrym

 

Scientists Silenced in Canada

 

Harper is out to stamp out any dangerous radicals/rebels in the civil service. Today's target - librarians, who everyone knows are the avant-garde of extremist, fanatic revolutionaries, especially when they enter the classroom to corrupt innocent, impressionable, young minds. 

"Federal librarians and archivists who set foot in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time are engaging in “high risk” activities, according to the new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada. Given the dangers, the code says the department’s staff must clear such “personal” activities with their managers in advance to ensure there are no conflicts or “other risks to LAC.”

The code, which stresses federal employees’ “duty of loyalty” to the “duly elected government,” also spells out how offenders can be reported.

“It includes both a muzzle and a snitch line,” says James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents more than 68,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and academics across the country. He and others say the code is evidence the Harper government is silencing and undermining its professional staff. ...

“Could someone from the LAC be on the editorial board of a journal that contains an article critical of LAC?” MacDonald asks. “The code appears to now rule out such activities, unless they are sanctioned by managers at the LAC.”

Given the wording of the code, she says it appears the government no longer trusts its professional staff. “It’s really tragic,” she says.

The code — “Library and Archives Canada’s Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics” — came into effect in January, says Richard Provencher, LAC’s senior communications adviser.

He says the code was written by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in response to the April 2012 Values and Ethics Code for the public sector, which called for federal departments to establish their own codes of conduct.

Provencher said by email that information sessions for employees are being held to ensure the new code “is known and understood by all.”

“LAC has invited all of its employees to provide feedback and suggestions during the ongoing information sessions,” Provencher said. The feedback will “ inform any future iterations of our code,” he said. The 23-page document is to be followed by everyone at LAC from full-time staff to students, volunteers and contractors. It spells out values, potential conflicts of interest and expected behaviours, both on the job and off. ...

It points to the dangers of social media. ”For example, in a blog with access limited to certain friends, personal opinions about a new departmental or Government of Canada program intended to be expressed to a limited audience can, through no fault of the public servant, become public and the author identified.”

“The public servant could be subject to disciplinary measures, as the simple act of limiting access to the blog does not negate a public servant’s duty of loyalty to the elected government,” says the code. “Only authorized spokespersons can issue statements or make comments about LAC’s position on a given subject.”

One of the most contentious sections of the code deals with “teaching, speaking at conferences, and other personal engagements.”

“On occasion, LAC employees may be asked by third parties to  teach or to speak at or be a guest at conferences as a personal activity or part-time employment,” it says. “Such activities have been identified as high risk to LAC and to the employee with regard to conflict of interest, conflict of duties and duty of loyalty.” ...

“This is a cultural icon we are talking about,” says Samek, who expects the code to have a “demoralizing, self-censuring” effect on the LAC staff. ...

'My perception of Library and Archives Canada is that it’s an institution in great trouble generally,' says Smart. 'It is making decisions and changing policies that are making both its employees and its clientele upset.' "

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Canada+federal+librarians+fear+being+mu...

 

jerrym

Scientists Silenced in Canada

When it comes to science, especially when it concerns climate change and fossil fuels, Harper is now not only trying to muzzle Canadian scientists but American ones as well. 

During the International Polar Year conference, which Canada hosted in April 2012 in Montreal to discuss the dramatic changes to the Arctic's biodiversity, the rate of ice melt and energy dynamics, "Harper's ruling Conservatives prevented Canadian scientists from speaking to the press.

In February 2012, one of the world's leading scientific journals, Nature, accused Canada of muzzling its scientists. Environment Canada scientist Dr. David Tarasick, involved in a study which discovered the largest recorded ozone hole above the Arctic, was forbidden last fall by Environment Canada for several weeks from speaking to the media about the study or his part in it."

http://www.thegreenmarketoracle.com/2012/05/canadas-ruling-conservatives...

 

In 2013, Harper has tried "to silence American researchers as well. In February, Postmedia News reported that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans demanded that scientists on a joint Canada-U.S. Arctic research project sign a sweeping confidentiality agreement.

One American oceanographer researching climate change project said the Canadian federal government is limiting his academic freedom.

According to a 28-page report from Democracy Watch and the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre access to scientific information is now controlled by the government’s media relations offices. Media relations now decide who researchers are allowed to talk to, and they routinely deny interviews. When they are permitted to speak they are given scripts containing ‘approved lines.’

The report reviewed repeated examples of government censorship across multiple government departments including Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, Natural Resources Canada, the National Research Council, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and National Defense.

In one case the government did not want  researchers to disclose their finding that BC salmon stocks are in decline, in another the government did not want scientists to present their evidence for Arctic ozone loss Federal scientist David Tarasick recently claimed he was prevented from talking about a large ozone hole above the Arctic.

Veteran science journalist Margaret Munro told a group gathered at the American Association for the Advancement of Science that this kind of control from the federal government is just the way things are done now. ...

At least one environmental law group describes this as a serious threat to Canada’s democracy and a breach of the federal Access to Information Act. ...

The Harper government has gutted environmental research and is now denying citizens the right to hear directly from the remaining federal scientists. This is not just about ignoring the facts to grow the nation’s economy, nor can this be limited to the abuse of Canada’s democracy, this is about obfuscation that denies future generations the right to a healthy environment."

http://www.greenconduct.com/news/2013/03/11/canadas-ruling-conservative-...

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks for the updates - this is a thread I check often.

jerrym

Kevin Page's term as Parliamentary Budget Officer is about to end on March 25th. He will be sorely missed because he has walked his talk unlike so many others. His following comments on CTV's Question Period reflect how the Cons silencing of the public sector employees, cutbacks, attacks on anyone who questions them, and other actions have greatly damaged our public service and public servants:

"For me, one of the reasons why it's the best time to be a public servant is because in my 30-plus years I've never seen weaker public sector leadership."

"There is so much fear in this town. It's... I've never seen this much fear before."

"I would say our institutions of accountability are completely under attack. Under attack like I've never seen before."

"We are tearing down parliament right now. That's my personal opinion. That's why you stand up. This is the time to be a public servant. It's a time to build, guess what? This is your opportunity. This is your time to build."

 

http://www.theloop.ca/news/ctvnews/article/-/a/2140550/Kevin-Page-nearly...

 

Page knew that he was ending his 27-year public service career when he took the job of Parliamentary Budget Officer on the first day he took office as Canada's first budget watchdog

"He believed that if he was going to establish an effective, independent Parliamentary Budget Office, it would mean becoming a prickly and persistent thorn in the side of Stephen Harper's freshly elected government. There would be no welcome mat for him in the public service once his five-year term ends in March. ...

Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch says it is critical that the next PBO not be a "lapdog" of the government, a fear that is also shared by Gregory Thomas, the federal director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation."

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/21/kevin-page_n_2521946.html

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

jerrym wrote:

 a fear that is also shared by Gregory Thomas, the federal director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation."

 

Minuscule Canadian Taxpayers Federation in running for 'Turfy Award'

mark_alfred

Any thoughts on what's up with Flaherty requesting ManuLife to not cut their mortgage rates?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quote:

"It's banana republic behaviour… Since when do you use political weight to push back on financial institutions responding to a market parameter that's totally legal?" NDP leader Tom Mulcair told reporters outside the House of Commons on Tuesday.

"There's a huge problem here …This idea that you use the office of a minister to dictate, outside of law, outside of regulations ,is absolutely unacceptable in a free and democratic society," he said.

That is pretty much what I thought when I first heard the story. The MSM jackals would be trying to rip apart any left wing government that tried a stunt like that.

MegB

Today is Federal Budget Day. As Tommy has sarcastically put it, "there's bound to be something good in it for us."

Slumberjack

Fuck em in advance then.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Maxime Bernier was made out to be some kind of hero yesterday for being a Con MP standing up to Flaherty on this business of calling up a bank and telling them not to lower their rates.

Bernier is a dangerous guy - charismatic (to some) and a prominent (and very extreme)  Libertarian. He has a few Con followers who apparently just adore the guy.

He also has a firm grip on his riding according to the P&P panel last night.

jerrym

Scientists Silenced in Canada

Even the Cons realize that they are going to get heavy criticism for their further cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as it attempts to eliminate any evidence concerning damage to our fishstocks, tanker spills, and global warming. 

http://www.canada.com/news/Tory+urged+fish+positive+feedback+despite+fre...

jerrym

The Cons have proposed the establishment of an Aboriginal workfare program in which access to funding depends on the recipients of Income Assistance entering training programs. 

"It drew immediate and sharp criticism from Opposition members who said Prime Minister Stephen Harper is imposing unrealistic arrangements on First Nations without any discussion.

"At a time when First Nations are holding out a hand for reconciliation, he's giving them the back of his hand," said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

"It's insulting, it's paternalistic and they're the only ones who are getting this kind of proposal." ...

The money earmarked in Flaherty's budget is divided in two.

The First Nations job fund will get $109 million to provide personalized job training for welfare recipients. Benefits cheques will be dependent on participation in the program. ...

That amount is only a sliver of what many reserves need to live a decent life, said NDP Critic for Human Resources and Skills Development Jean Crowder.

http://www.canada.com/news/Tory+urged+fish+positive+feedback+despite+fre...

jerrym

In one of his last reports, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page provided an “expenditure analysis of criminal justice in Canada.”

The report states that the total cost of criminal justice is $20 billion, which is roughly the same as cost of defence. It goes on to say that "per capita spending on criminal justice — including federal and provincial jails, court costs and policing — has climbed 23 per cent over the past decade even as Canada’s crime rate fell 23 per cent."

This is occurring at the same time that conservatives, libertarians and liberals in the US are all questioning the enormous expenditure that is now found throughout the US prison system. When Texas conservatives, who runt the state that executes more prisoners than any other, say their policy of long-term prison sentences for non-violent crime was wrong because the costs of prisons are bankrupting many states, and when Rand Paul co-sponsors a bill to reduce prison sentences, you know that the American 'tough on crime' experiment has been a disaster.

Yet Justice Minister Rob Nicholson today on Question Period that the Cons are going to continue and expanding their prison growth agenda. As on climate change, aboriginal, and many other issues, once again the Cons ignore all evidence as they pursue their ideology. 

http://www2.macleans.ca/tag/kevin-page/

sherpa-finn

The CIDA thread has looked at the issues around the merger of CIDA with Foreign Affairs. Just to keep the 'cuts' information all in one thread, I have copied here some of the "highlights" from the budget analysis related to Canada's aid budget. (Source: CCIC)

- Canada’s aid relative to its Gross National Income (GNI) will tumble nine points between 2010 and 2015, from 0.34% to 0.25%, assuming no supplementary estimates and GNI growth remains consistent with current levels. ... This drop in ODA is set to put Canada among the lowest ODA performers (although it may also be that other donors will cut their budgets by 2015/16). The Dutch and Spanish governments also recently made historic cuts to their aid budgets.

 - Relative to FY2010/11 ($3.58 billion), for which we have the most accurate statistical information, we can say that the cut to CIDA’s own ODA disbursements in the coming year will be about 4.3% and overall by 8.9% between 2010/11 and 2014/15.

- CIDA has confirmed it has completely cut geographic funding to eight countries (Cambodia, China, Malawi, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and reduce program funding to five countries of focus (CoF) (Bolivia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Pakistan and Tanzania) by $69 mn but not until 2014-15.

http://ccic.ca/_files/en/what_we_do/2012_08_CCIC_Initial_Analysis_Budget_2012.pdf

mark_alfred

More mysterious actions from the Conservatives.  They've raised tariffs on goods from Asian countries.  Very weird for a government that seems to preach free market capitalism.

jerrym

The largest tax increase in the budget, bringing in $500 million annually, is on business - small business. You knew it wouldn't be on corporations for whom (that's the right pronoun as the Cons consider them people) the Cons having been lowing corporate tax rates for years. Unlike many small business owners think the Cons are no friends of small business.

"The key phrase is "non-eligible dividends" - the dividends small-business owners pay themselves. The tax system credits dividend recipients for the tax already paid on that income by the corporation, with a view to ensuring they pay the same rate of tax as they do on other sources of income. But the system credits small-business owners, who pay a lower tax rate than the general corporate rate, for more tax than they actually pay. Closing that discrepancy is big news: at roughly $500-million annually, the biggest single revenue measure in the budget."

http://www.vancouversun.com/nitty+gritty+government+speak/8142695/story....

jerrym

The budget also reveals that the Cons are planning to reduce total employee compensation in the civil service by changing the 'labour relations regime', reducing pensions, disability leave. and sick leave. 

"The government will "examine overall employee compensation and pensioner benefits and will propose changes to the labour relations regime." It will also examine "its human resource management practices ... including disability and sick-leave management, with a view to ensuring that public servants receive appropriate services that support a timely return to work." Translation: stingier pensions and fewer sick days."

http://www.vancouversun.com/nitty+gritty+government+speak/8142695/story....

jerrym

The Cons are closing the Experimental Lakes Area program today.

"Mark Calzavara set up camp with a number of other protesters next to Lake 468 at the ELA in Northern Ontario. The Harper government has said the world-renowned water research facility will close on Sunday, Mach 31st.

"Right now, the ELA belongs to the people of Canada," Calzavara said in a press release. "The science is done in the public interest and the data is public. We're here representing all the people who have spoken out about the potential closure of the ELA and we are not giving up."

The facility provides research critical to the protection of fresh water for the global scientific community. Many believe the feds are intent on closing it because its research challenges tar sands expansion and harmful corporate environmental practices.

A poll commissioned by the Council of Canadians found that 60% of Conservative voters didn't want the facility to close."

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2013/03/30/experimental-lakes-area-advocate-c...

Great idea. If there is no scientific evidence of climate change and freshwater pollution, they can't possibly be happening. Problem solved.

jerrym

Scientists Silenced in Canada

Power and Politics today had a discussion of the Con government muzzling of its scientists, as a result of the Information Commissioner, Suzanne Legault, announcing today that she will be investigating seven departments over the Cons muzzling of scientists. The discussion also included the criticism by Nature, "One of the world's leading scientific journals, that the Harper government is limiting its scientists from speaking publicly about their research. ... It (Nature) notes that Canada and the United States have undergone role reversals in the past six years. It says the U.S. has adopted more open practices since the end of George W. Bush's presidency, while Canada has gone in the opposite direction." (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/03/02/nature-science-canada...)

Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart noted that the Cons cut scientific spending 6% last year and more cuts are coming this year. In addition, government scientists who want to publish their results must get approval to do so and scientists are required to go through the media relations department before speaking in public about scientific issues. 

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