On December 7, Conservative Senator Hugh Segal addressed Unifor's Ontario Regional Council. He began: "My Canada is the kind of country where trade unions and free collective bargaining makes our economy stronger and Canada a better place. It is as important a part of a strong and growing economy as capital investment, reasonable profits, and fair wages. And without collective bargaining there is never any guarantee on fair wages. And without fair wages we are not building a society of which we can be proud, and we can transfer to our kids and grandchildren knowing we have transferred them something that reflects our values as Canadians.
With all the reporting on the Senate scandal you might think there's not much more to be discovered. But reading the actual documents the RCMP turned up in its Mike Duffy investigation is definitely worth the effort. The documents pull back the curtain on Harperland, a landscape so profoundly unethical Harper's staff does not hesitate even for a second in plotting to interfere with a supposedly independent official Senate audit. You have to ask yourself that if this is how Harper's inner circle behaved on the Duffy file, what kinds of things do they get up to when they are strategizing against Harper's enemies.
It's strategy re-think time in Ottawa. With Parliament headed towards its Christmas recess, leaders will be doing their assessment of what is working, what needs to be changed, and what lies ahead.
The Conservative strategy is not going to change. Say the Canadian economy is strong, ignore evidence to the contrary, and fight off questions about other issues such as the Prime Minister's responsibility in a criminal matter being investigated by the RCMP, involving his former chief-of-staff paying off a Senator.
New Democrats have been attacking the credibility of the Prime Minister, using his conflicting statements to the House of Commons about the payment by the PMO of $90,000 to Senator Duffy, to show Stephen Harper's disdain for Parliament, and the truth.
On Friday, November 1, immediately following Harper's address to the Conservative Convention, the Pros & Cons teach-in took place. rabble.ca was glad to host the livestream of the event. Watch the rebroadcast of the livestream to hear from a range of provincial and national speakers about a different vision from the one being shared at this week-end's Conservative convention: one that focuses on progressive policies for people and the planet.
Right wing politicians in Ontario are championing "right to work" rules, measures designed to weaken unions in the name of prosperity. Similar laws have lowered wages in the United States and the middle class is shrinking. Is there a lesson here for Canada? Veteran journalist Bill Gillespie travels to the USA to discover the impact of "right to work" laws on working people.