Back in June Canadians were more likely to say they would judge the Prime Minister based on his economic stewardship rather than his handling of the Senate expense controversy. Four months later, Canadian opinion has flipped. Fifty one per cent of Canadians said the Senate expense controversy was more important than his record in promoting an environment for job creation.
A fair compromise concerning pay for suspended senators and other politicians would be to establish a rule that if a politician is found guilty of the alleged violation, they would be required to return any pay received after the allegation was first made.
For a party that once appeared expansive and confident, the Conservatives now appear divided, shrinking and defensive. Even delegates arriving in Calgary are puzzled why media has been given such limited access to the convention. One quipped, "It's because of the Senate stuff going on."
I do not know Nigel Wright, the former chief of staff in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). I do know, that prior to his appointment to the PMO, as a managing director of the Onex Corporation, he was very well-respected on Bay Street as a very intelligent and successful deal-maker and investor.
The Tories have money on their side, and lots of it. They are a powerhouse when it comes to grassroots fundraising, outperforming both the NDP and Liberals by far. In 2012 alone, when one would expect fundraising dollars to be on the low side, the Tories raked in $17.3 million from 87,306 contributors.
With the Senate scandal continuing unabated, there is tremendous wear and tear on everyone involved. These scandals tend to take over your entire day, you become buried in the muck, either throwing it or slipping deeper into it. A political crisis of this magnitude wears staff down and it always impacts on the man at the top. It is time for the Prime Minister to pause and reflect.
The majority of hardworking Canadians don't give to two figs about the personal trials and tribulations of three Senate politicos pigging out at the public trough. Most Canadians, earn nowhere near the annual $130,000 salary of the senators. We should strongly urge Prime Minister Harper to slash each senator's annual salary to $65,000. To avoid any funny business, no senator will be entitled to any additional living, travel or personal expense benefits. In addition, no senator will be entitled to the benefits of any two tier gold-plated health care coverage. Each senator will have the benefit of the same health care coverage as average Canadians.
I'm no John Ivison, Christie Blatchford, Chantal Hebert, Ezra Levant, Christopher Hume, Andrew Coyne or Margaret Wente. Heck, you could find bloggers...
While much of the media and many in the opposition like to say that women's rights have faltered under Harper, the Thompson Reuters Foundation actually ranked Canada the best G20 country for women last year on account of its "strong policies against violence and exploitation combined with good access to education and healthcare."
No one escapes the blame on this one. Conservatives can't even agree if suspending the three senators without due process is the correct way to go. We have Conservative senators and Conservative MPs speaking out against the pending motions -- something that is generally unheard of in this tightly controlled government.
Cross border organizing is becoming a bigger part of tar sands campaigns for native and non-native people alike. Mariner culture dictates that if there's is a distress call anyone in the vicinity has a responsibility to act. That is the spirit of shared responsibility and stewardship that is behind our TarSandsSOS.org site. ForestEthics, with offices in Bellingham and San Francisco, partnered with Vancouver-based ForestEthics Advocacy to create it. The site is home to a unique tar sands oil tanker tracking system, which displays those tanker's locations in real time. The site also generates real time tweets when tankers carrying tar sands enter sensitive habitats on the West Coast, like whale habitat in Washington State's San Juan Islands.
Everyone knows the Conservative government is an unabashed supporter of corporations and foreign investors. They have slashed environmental oversight; attacked labour unions; opened the telecommunications sector up to majority foreign ownership; tripled the financial threshold point where the government must do a "net benefit" test of a foreign corporate takeover. Clearly, big business has gotten almost everything it has wanted from Harper's Conservatives. What should we learn from the fact that it still pushes for more? Perhaps a simple truth about capitalism: There is never enough profit.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is right that legalizing, and then regulating, marijuana is the right thing to do. It will save money and it will help keep weed away from kids. Prohibition isn't working to keep kids safe from today's supercharged weed. Legalization and regulation will.
The Sri Lanka case shows that the declared safety of a foreign country depends on Canadian politics instead of evidence like returned Sri Lankans experiencing torture and possibly worse. Politicians are not an authority on persecution. When they act like one, friends are called safe. Then domestic demands shift and suddenly they balk, tugging along lives with whims.
While these politicians are hiding behind a procedural loophole, arguing over certain senators' use of taxpayer funds to cover their living expenses, ordinary Canadians (some of which are unable to make mortgage payments on their ONLY homes) are stuck with the bill either way and are actually financing this ongoing soap-opera. So, here's an idea, and something fed-up mothers have told fighting siblings plenty of times: take it outside!
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government would support the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) -- with conditions. The province should be compensated by the federal government, said the Premier, for an expected nine-figure increase in drug costs, as well as the effect of subsidized European cheese imports on local dairy farmers and possible hardship at Ontario wineries. Think about that for a second. The feds will hand money over to Ontario, who will in turn hand much of it over to pharmaceutical giants.