Category Archives: police

In Quebec, I’d Be A Riot This Weekend

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We’re having 3 families over for a BBQ this weekend.  There will be about 15 people in total in attendance.

As Jean Charest might call it, an ‘assembly greater than 10 people’.

If I were in Quebec, would I have to apply for permission prior to having my friends over?  What would my options be now that it’s the weekend?  Should I call the whole thing off and hide in my basement?

Really, the insanity of Charest’s new draconian and authoritarian law designed to crack down on students is irresponsible and ridiculous.

ALL Canadians should be insulted.

STUDENTS:  Wake up.  Do something different.  Change the rules of the game by playing a different game.

Freedom For Byron Sonne

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I scanned the headlines of Progressive Bloggers this morning and failed to notice this very exciting news:  Byron Sonne is now a free man and has been cleared of ALL charges.

Of course, ‘freedom’ is relative.  My ill-informed opinion is that he’ll continue to be hounded by overzealous and dense members of the Canadian press.  His wife Kristin has left him.  He’ll most likely face a perpetual uphill battle with respect to employment or earning a decent living.

Hopefully, Byron will make something of this experience.  I don’t know how, but I know this:  he’s already had nearly two years in jail to think about this and I know he’ll take the high road.

Of course, I still think he should sue our government for what they’ve done to his life.

Canada: Wake Up to Rampant Conservative Election Fraud

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Canadians:  please take a moment to read this objective post by Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada.

In this piece, she elaborates and calls to question the numerous accounts of Conservative-driven electoral fraud and corruption.

We must put an end to this as quickly as possible.

Pretending it’ll all work out in the end is just stupid.

Stephen Harper, Fascist?

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Canadian Dimensions has an excellent review of the classic 14 traits of a fascist and the winner seems to be Stephen Harper.

While Nick Fillmore, the author of the article, is much more kind to Canada’s current Prime Minister, the comments seem to indicate that many of the categories under question crystallize the point of view that Stephen Harper’s idea of Canada just doesn’t match what the rest of us think it should be.

Do you own survey and post your own scale.  Let me know how it turns out.

Here’s mine:

  1. Nationalism: (Excited Delirium: 8).  During the elections and other events, Stephen Harper has put everything and anything he could into Canada winning and winning again.  His constant leveraging of the military and defense spending increases all point to fervent nationalism.
  2. Human Rights: (Excited Delirium: 6).  The G8/G20 fiasco was just a start. Watch what happens under Steve’s watch when the crime bill starts putting Canadians in jail by the thousands.  The main reason this isn’t higher is that Stephen Harper actually did initiate the Truth and Reconciliation process Canada’s First Nations People.
  3. Enemies as scapegoats: (Excited Delirium: 10).  As he climbed the ladder, it was on the backs of Liberals, Socialists and everyone else that he could turn into a scapegoat.  Harper is an expert at blaming others while failing to take accountability for anything except his own aggrandizement.  Look at the low-level hack with the robo-call scandal as a perfect example of failure to take responsibility.
  4. Supremacy of the Military: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Canada is becoming a ‘one-trick’ pony, with defense spending going through the roof.
  5. Rampant Sexism: (Excited Delirium: 7).  While he’s not overt about sexist views, the policies of the Conservatives reflect a ‘women should be in the kitchen’ attitude. Read the fine print on a lot of their platform.  You’ll be surprised.
  6. Controlled Mass Media: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Harper has the mainstream media locked under his thumb, through the combination of subsidies, advertising close personal connections.  Even the CBC has become a wash-out under his leadership.
  7. Obsession with National Security: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Four words:  Vic Toews Surveillance State.
  8. Religion and Ruling Elite tied together: (Excited Delirium: 10).  It’s been common knowledge that Harper and his crew get considerable backing from the religious right not only in Canada, but from the US as well.  I’m surprised that Fillmore suggests there isn’t a connection.  I suggest you read Armageddon Factor to kick-start your research.
  9. Power of Corporations protected: (Excited Delirium: 10).  The power of corporations in Canada is now an absolute.  Harper would sooner have our parents eating Alpo than retire in dignity while corporate tax cuts continue.
  10. Power of Labour supressed/eliminated: (Excited Delirium: 10).  The death of labour in Canada is a done deal.
  11. Disdain/suppression of Intellectuals: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Two words:  Stockwell Day.
  12. Obsession with crime/punishment: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Three words:  Omnibus Crime Bill.  We are either with them or we are pedophiles (or environmental ‘terrorists’).
  13. Rampant cronyism/corruption: (Excited Delirium: 8).   Eight words:  Tony Clement’s Gazebo and the Economic Action Plan.
  14. Fraudulent Elections: (Excited Delirium: 10).  While Canadian elections have not been fraudulent per se, Harper’s cynicism towards democracy is more than abundant when we look at the leveraging of vote-splitting, pocket-book politics and other schemes to shift the attention of voters from the real issues.  I originally had this as an 8, but along came the robo-call scandal to remind us that there should be no confidence in this government because they stole the election.

Total score:  129 out of 140.

May 2011 Federal Election Cheaters? I Want A Re-Call.

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This is BIG. This is possibly the biggest case of corruption and political scandal that Canada will ever see and yet I heard nothing of it on the news this morning.

What gives?

The CBC outlines the 12 ridings that benefited from the robo calls that went out during the May 2011 Federal election in Canada.

I have copied the results of a preliminary investigation by Elections Canada from the CBC web site, just in case they happen to got washed out during the upcoming (and necessary) controversy surrounding this issue.

The numbers amount to a minimum 14 ridings where voters were called, told to go to incorrect locations, or where they received conflicting information about the election and issues.  My suspicion is that the company mentioned in the CBC article is not the only company that was recruited for these kind of tactics.

The company involved – Rack Nine – has denied any knowledge of what had happened, opening up the requirement for a full Elections Canada and RCMP investigation.

Also, the evidence of US involvement with the campaign, particularly with the use of an American robo-call company called Tele-Town, based in Arlington, Virginia should also come into this investigation.  Why were they calling Canadians?  What information do they have on Canadian households?  What information did Canadians share with an American firm?  How much extra money was spent on these calling services?  What ridings did they call and how often?  What information did they disseminate to Canadian voters that may have altered election results, particularly in swing ridings.

This much is clear:  Canadians need to wake up that a new reality of politics and media manipulation is upon us and yet the Liberals, NDPers and Green Party are pretending it’s not happening.  Canadians, too, need to be better informed about what’s being taken from them by these crooks.

Here are the CBC details:

From candidate electoral reports available through the Elections Canada website:
(Note: The second line refers to the expense category under which the amount was listed.  Also, I’ve indicated the number of votes difference between the candidate listed and the candidate that came in second.)

Rona Ambrose (Edmonton Spruce Grove)
Miscellaneous expenses
Apr. 11, 2011    Racknine Inc    1,175.43
May 9, 2011    Racknine Inc    367.54
May 1, 2011    Racknine Inc    5,575.36

Ryan Hastman (Edmonton Strathcona)
Advertising – other
Apr. 27, 2011    RackNine Inc.    4,252.50
May 6, 2011    RackNine Inc.    1,683.16
Surveys – other research
May 5, 2011    RackNine Inc.    816.19

Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre)
Advertising – other
May 9, 2011    RACKNINE INC    1,550.43

Cathy McLeod (Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo)
Advertising – radio/TV
May 24, 2011    RackNine Inc.     328.52

Lee Richardson (Calgary Centre)
Election surveys – other research
May 9, 2011    Racknine Inc.    501.87

Devinder Shory (Caglary Northeast)
Office expenses – other
May 13, 2011    RACK NINE INC    580.30

Tim Uppal (Edmonton – Sherwood Park)
Office expenses – other
May 3, 2011    Rack Nine Inc.    1,199.45

According to invoices submitted to Elections Canada posted by the NDP research office,  there were also several payments to RackNine that do not show up in the list of direct campaign expenses:

Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest)
May 4, 2011 – $117.75 (GOTV campaign)

Lavar Payne (Medicine Hat)
May 4, 2011 – $26.01 .

According to the correspondence that the Harper campaign included with this invoice, this was related to a final GOTV phone blitz in “swing” ridings  the weekend before the election. It appears that RackNine initially billed the full cost, which remains unknown, to the Conservative Party of Canada, which passed the cost onto participating campaigns — including, in this case, that of the party leader.

It’s worth noting that, in the attached emails, the Harper team member charged with handling the invoice initially seems unsure why the campaign is being asked to pay for the calls. Eventually, he decides to pay it, as they were apparently planning to charge the national campaign for a portion of “phone bank” costs, and didn’t want to get into a “dispute” over $118.

Meanwhile, Payne, whose agent filed the same invoice in support of its expense claim, albeit with a different amount listed at the bottom, apparently paid just $26.01 for a personalized phone blast in his riding of Medicine Hat, which, as with Harper’s claim, was charged to his campaign on behalf of the Conservative Fund.

Leon Benoit (Vegreville-Wainwright)
Apr. 31, 2011 –  $4,830.00 (teletown hall)
Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
April 19, 2011 – $4,231.50 (teletown hall)

RackNine billed both the Benoit and Kenney campaigns in US funds, and according to the credit card records included with the Kenney filing, the money was actually paid to Tele-Town Hall LLC 2022378051 DC, an Arlington, VA-based firm that specializes in tele-town halls, which suggests that RackNine may have been simply asking as a middleman or reseller.

Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre)
Apr. 23, 2011 – 165.13 (advance poll message)

This is actually one of two RackNine-related expenses listed in the Hawn’s filing — the other appeared as a direct payment in the expense report, as noted above. This smaller amount was actually paid by a Hawn staffer, Peter Watson, who subsequently invoiced the campaign as part of a separate expense claim.

Michelle Rempel (Calgary Centre – North)
March 16/29, 2011(?) – $2,500 (unknown)

According to the invoice, the money was paid — in two installments, a $500 retainer before the writs dropped, and the remaining amount after the campaign had begun — by a “Jason Rempel”, who was the recipient of multiple unrelated payments throughout the election.

Lee Richardson (Calgary Centre)
April 25, 2011 – $5,735.00 (teletown hall)

This invoice — which is over and above the amounts listed earlier — was paid to RackNine “c/o Glenn Solomon”, with an entry for the same amount appearing under Solomon’s name for “elections and other surveys”. It is unclear what relationship, if any, Solomon, a longtime local Tory supporter, had/has with either the Richardson campaign or RackNine.