Harper Conservatives accused of intimidating University Professors

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Harper Conservatives accused of intimidating University Professors

Tories accused of digging up dirt on ‘Liberal’ profs

Quote:
Two University of Ottawa professors, vocal critics of the federal Conservative government, say they have become targets of a new political intimidation tactic, aimed at using their private, personal information against them.

Professors Errol Mendes and Amir Attaran, frequently castigated as Liberal sympathizers by the Conservatives, were notified in recent weeks of two unusually massive freedom-of-information requests at the University of Ottawa, demanding details of the professors’ employment, expenses and teaching records.

The person (or persons) behind the requests remains anonymous under Ontario law, but Mendes and Attaran are convinced that it’s part of an academic witch hunt by the governing party — part of a wider campaign to silence university voices that may be critical of the Conservatives. This hyperpartisan chill descended on the federal bureaucracy years ago — now the concern is that it’s stretching into academia as well.

“I was stunned,” said Mendes, who said the University of Ottawa does not intend to release much of the information requested, since most of it is personal and private and therefore exempt from the disclosure requirements in the legislation.

Todrick of Chat...

I am a bit of conspiracy theorist.

I honestly believe that these two professors or supporters of the professors are staging this request for information in order to make Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada look dreadful and dishonest.

This is likely a Liberal Party of Canada plot to discredit the Conservatives before the coming spring/summer election.

mybabble

Not surprised since Harper having a majority is a very scary thought indeed.

mybabble

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

I am a bit of conspiracy theorist.

I honestly believe that these two professors or supporters of the professors are staging this request for information in order to make Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada look dreadful and dishonest.

This is likely a Liberal Party of Canada plot to discredit the Conservatives before the coming spring/summer election.

Come now Harper and his Conservatives are doing a pretty good job of  discrediting themselves.  It would be foolish of the Conservatives to think any different. 

Todrick of Chat...

It is interesting that neither Susan Delacourt , Bruce Campion-Smith, Errol Mendes or Amir Attaran could provided any evidence that Stephen Harper or the Conservative Party of Canada were behind the request of information.

Yet without any evidence those people mention above, they have used the words "Conservative" nine times; "Mr. Harper" appears twice, along with phrases "McCarthy-like," and "the Prime Minister's Office."  in the article.

It is well know fact that those mentioned above and The Toronto Star are Liberal Party of Canada supporters and that they are always trying to discredit the Conservative Party of Canada.

This smells like a Liberal Party of Canada and Liberal Media disinformation campaign ahead of the upcoming election.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

You're amazingly devoted to that little CONspiracy theory, aren't you?

...leaves me wondering whether you're attacking Liberals or defending Harper.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Nice try running interference for the Harpocons, Todrick! (And you can tell Kory I said that).

The circumstantial evidence of Conservative dirty tricks is right there in the article:

Quote:
Heather MacIvor, a professor at the University of Windsor and a longtime researcher and commentator on the Conservative party, said she believes that there is a concerted effort to put a "chill" on academic critics of the Harper government, especially from the hard-right partisans who appear to see campuses as hotbeds of left-wing dissent.

"This government has a hostility toward people who think for a living or people who write for a living," MacIvor said, noting that Ignatieff's academic past has made him an object of Conservative ridicule, too.

Last year, at a conference of the Manning Institute, founded by the leader of the old Reform Party, Harper's former communications director, Kory Teneycke, told a student: "If you have a teacher or examples of teachers who are trying to jam lefty philosophy down your throat, please send me an email. . . I'd love to make them famous."

MacIvor was recently quoted in the Star, talking about the backlash she felt for criticizing the government, and since then she's heard from several other professors who have been experiencing the same thing. MacIvor said she's been told that Conservative operatives refer to her as "Liberal hack" - her detractors appear to have drawn that conclusion because of a brief stint of employment as a researcher with the Liberal caucus back in the 1980s, when she was fresh out of university.

"Here's the thing. I don't make that public. I don't talk about the fact that I worked for the Liberals," MacIvor said. "I can tell you that my employment record for Parliament Hill is (only) in the National Archives. It takes a lot of work to find it. Somebody found it."

It was only in the past five years that universities became subject to Ontario's freedom-of-information laws and since 2007, the University of Ottawa has consistently experienced an unusually high number of demands - last year more than double the number of requests received by the much larger University of Toronto.

Todrick of Chat...

I just find this "article" very interesting in the lack of details and the lack of professional journalism occurring at the Toronto Star.

I am surprised it is even consider news at this point.  It would be interesting news if the Conservative Party of Canada was behind this request of information.

Maybe you are a Liberal, is that why you responded the way you did?

Or are you a power hungry Conservative defending Harper?

Frmrsldr

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

It is interesting that neither Susan Delacourt , Bruce Campion-Smith, Errol Mendes or Amir Attaran could provided any evidence that Stephen Harper or the Conservative Party of Canada were behind the request of information.

Yet without any evidence those people mention above, they have used the words "Conservative" nine times; "Mr. Harper" appears twice, along with phrases "McCarthy-like," and "the Prime Minister's Office."  in the article.

 

You don't think Harper, the Conservative government and their supports are going to hand you incontrovertable evidence on a silver platter, do you?

Although they are not that smart, they are not that stupid either.

Todrick of Chat...

Sorry M. Spector, when I read this article earlier today, it was not as complete as what it is now.

The article has obvious received some serious updating during the day.

I stand corrected.