Friday, February 12, 2010

This Is Canada?

The Conservatives are literally trampling over many of the democratic and free society tenets that define Canada. It's astounding, the way this government operates, wherein you can posit the term totalitarianism and actually cobble together a credible argument. Systematic efforts to suppress any counter opinions, or malign anyone who dares challenge their singular perspective. This is Canada?:
Canadian aid groups told to keep quiet on policy issues

Aid groups say the federal government is casting a chill over advocacy work that takes positions on policy or political issues – and one claims a senior Conservative aide warned them against such activities.

An official with a mainstream non-governmental aid group said that Keith Fountain, policy director for International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, gave a verbal warning that the organization's policy positions were under scrutiny: “Be careful about your advocacy.”

The official did not want to be identified out of concern that it might jeopardize funding for the group's aid projects from the Canadian International Development Agency, or CIDA.

That's a concern voiced by some other NGO leaders, who said they have received hints the government dislikes their policy advocacy or criticisms of the government policies, but did not want to be identified.

I'm not sure what's worse, that the Conservatives actively threaten and "chill", or that the practice has now become commonplace. Independent thought that deviates from the preferred ideology is suppressed, you see the pattern weaving through so many different files and issues, it is truly alarming. Ignoring the will of the courts, declawing independent oversight, using monetary levers to garner compliance, impugning the integrity of any official or private citizen that challenges any government assumption:
Last week at a conference in Florida, TD Bank CEO Ed Clark said Prime Minister Stephen Harper isn't listening to the overwhelming view of Canadian CEOs that tax increases are the best way to reduce a record deficit.

He told the conference that almost every person at a recent meeting of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives said “raise my taxes” to erase it.

The Conservatives then fired off an internal e-mail titled “Millionaire Ignatieff Economic Czar Calls for Higher Taxes.”

It suggested that because Mr. Clark was among senior economic thinkers who met with Mr. Ignatieff last May, the Opposition Leader must secretly share the banker's view.

“We can be pretty sure that in the coming months he will use the statements from his well-heeled economic advisers to justify his plans for massive new tax hikes on working- and middle-class Canadians,” stated the e-mail, adding that Mr. Clark earned $11-million in 2009. “He can afford higher taxes. Can you?”

“ I was shocked to read that Prime Minister Harper has again attacked a private citizen for expressing views on public policy that are perceived to be at odds with his government's agenda. ”
— Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader

A prestigious banker offers an informed opinion, and the response of the government is to label him a Liberal stooge, and further extrapolate that viewpoint into an attack on a political opponent. Just WTF is going on in this country, that this behavior is standard practice? For those paying attention, this is completely akin to the worst tactics of the American neocons.

It is really reprehensible that the Conservatives operate with a Stalinesque flair, using fear and intimidation to stifle fair debate. The Conservatives act like an ideological CULT that sees the rest of the world as enemies that must be destroyed or muted. It is actually scary, and I truly don't think that I'm guilty of hyperbole in conveying a grave concern.

We need to TURF these THUGS at the earliest possible date.


Gene Rayburn said...

Cue Tomm to come in and start reading from the Conbot talking points in 3...2...1...

Tomm said...


You said:

"...A prestigious banker offers an informed opinion, and the response of the government is to label him a Liberal stooge,..."

Thi is the same guy that was in the middle of crafting the NEP. This is the same bank that authored the Suzuki Report last year. This is the same bank that allows Don Drummond to routinely advocate against Tory fiscal policy and in support of Liberal fiscal policy. This is the same bank that has the most prominent Canadian Liberal as a Board member.

So please cut the faux outrage at the political advocacy from a "non-partisan" Canadian bank.

Tomm said...


This post is written only to incite. How could I not comment?

Steve V said...

Good call Gene :)

That's PATHETIC Tomm.

Jerry Prager said...

There's always this old chestnut of RB Bennett's to put Mr. Harper's trajectory into perspective "Agitators and agitation will be ground into the dust with an iron heel of ruthlessness." Back to the good old days of real Conservative tough guys: the Canada we won't recognize after Mr. Harper is done with us.

Tomm said...


The other aspect of your post that must be challenged is your assertion that the Tories are warning groups to cut political advocacy or lose funding support.

Of course they are.

I am old enough to have seen how CIDA and international development operate in general. It has been all political, all the time. Under the Liberal's it was the same thing only through a different lens.

People only complain when it is their ox being gored.

With respect to the Middle East, our national policy has changed. We now see Israel as our ally and Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist front organizations. What planet are you living on that would make support of the political or policy positions of either of these groups palatable to Canada?

You are living in a Canada under a previous government that was looking to be all things to all people. This government has decided that just isn't possible, or right.

If you intend to argue this point, it is from here that you should start.

Steve V said...


Gene Rayburn said...

"I am old enough to have seen how CIDA and international development operate in general. "

Please Tomm, you're old enough to have known Wilfred Laurier personally.

Gene Rayburn said...

"You are living in a Canada under a previous government that was looking to be all things to all people. This government has decided that just isn't possible, or right. "

Bullshit. We're living under a government that see fit to be detrimental to people with different opinions for them.

The one party state might be fine in Alberta but its a pretty pathetic way to run Canada.

JimmE said...

Tomm, as always is 100% correct. We now live in a country that has changed; dramatically. A country where political discourse has been reduced to what in the olden days was called propaganda. A nation that a few years ago was seen by the UN & OECD (both Liberal front organizations) as the best nation on planet earth. Once admired & envied by most is now is admonished by of all people Hugo Chavez. Yes, it is a new day in Canada.

Steve V said...


My apologies, but that might have crossed a line that others could use :)

Omar said...

LizT -- While this article may not answer the question you posed, it may perhaps provide you with an insight into what many (me included) feel is a very serious matter.

Greg said...

Conbot talking point of the day. The CEO of the TD bank must be a Liberal, his bank has Toronto in its name.

Greg said...

We now see Israel as our ally

Tomm, I hope you are not suggesting that the Liberals saw Israel as an enemy? I would challenge your assertion that your party sees Israel as a friend. Your party sees the Likud vision of Israel as its friend -- a proposition quite different from the one you are putting forward.

Tof KW said...

Question for Tomm:

Which Prime Minister's government put Hamas and Hezbollah on our national terrorist list?

Hint - it wasn't Harper.

You want to continue with the 'Liberal Party is antisemitic' talking points, (and pretty much confirm Steve's overall point here) or are you going to think with your own brain on this?

BTW - structural deficits are a bigger and more serious killer of jobs and economic health than higher taxes. Or were you asleep during this class of Fiscal Conservatism 101? Either that or you're denying we have a structural deficit (ie. proven failure Jim Flaherty).

Steve V said...

On a related note, Libby Davies asks for an apology from PMO:

Fat chance :)

ij said...

I hope all of you who do remember a different way of governing are now making some emergency plans as to how to adjust to and if possible survive a stalinist police state, which may go on for as long as half a century or more, once entrenched - unless there is some last minute banding together to fight these goons and win. I personally do not see much determination and resolve in this regard and am making my own emergency plans which, yes, include leaving the country. Am I alone?

Ti-Guy said...

I'm staying and fighting. Wouldn't think of passing up the opportunity of kicking right wing arse, especially since they present such large targets.

Steve V said...

You don't want to miss the next Conservative leadership race.

rockfish said...

Tomm refuses to see that possibly opinions that diverge from the stalinesque marching orders of Harper may just be personal informed opinions, things that were once valued as part of our diversity.
Now that Tomm and his ilk are supporting mindthink, can they point me to the direction of the so-called leader? Why paint any and all different view and opinion as being 'liberal' or otherwise; why not consider it and just say it doesn't meet our conclusions?
Shame, but unfortunately as we've read time and time again from the CON echo chamber, shame no longer exists.

ottlib said...

"We need to TURF these THUGS at the earliest possible date."

I cannot agree more but my only problem is they need to be soundly beaten not just defeated.

If the Liberals just wind up with another minority government the Conservatives will learn nothing from their defeat and remain the same dickheads they are now but with a different leader.

What we need is to see the Conservatives being trounced like the Republican Party was trounced last year. That will cause the Conservative Party to fracture and maybe then the more lunatic elements will be pushed to the fringes of Canadian politics where they belong.

Steve V said...


It will be years before the Libs can even dream about a majority. A healthy minority is best case scenario, the math just isn't there.

Tomm said...


How much to I get for building traffic?

I love the "conbot" comments. I'm not a member of the CPC, I don't read the boggingtories sites and I actually like Michael Ignatieff, and think he is the best of the Liberal lot. It is nice to know that the partisan sunglasses on some of your readers are so opaque that they can't see anything but what they expect to see.

Steve V said...

What do you expect, when you defend this type of behavior?