Tag Archives: Stephen Harper

Canada to Replicate American F-35 Boondoggle?

What is the name of those new jets the Harper Conservatives are purchasing? Are they the same as the F-35s as described in the following article?

The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next — by their count the fifth — generation of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It’s no secret, however, that the program — the most expensive in American history — is a calamity.

To read the rest of this very interesting article, visit the Foreign Policy.

Will PM Harper Force BC to Repay the HST $1.9 Billion

We are pleased to post the following letter that was submitted by one of our loyal followers, Bryan Llewellyn. As always, you are welcome to submit letters and we will publish the ones we see fit to post. And, we do not necessarily agree with each letter that is submitted or posted. For what it is worth…

Now the imposition of the HST has been rejected by the people of BC, many of its supporters and supporters of the provincial Liberal government are blaming the voters who rejected this tax, saying they are responsible for BC being required to repay $1.9 billion which the federal government paid as an inducement to impose the tax. In additon, they claim, the same voters are responsible for another $1.1 billion shortfall in provincial revenue which will either a) cause a huge budget deficit, or b) require “belt tightening” to reduce the cost of social programs, or c) both.

Really, this is self serving fear mongering. Lets take the $1.9 billion. This was paid by the federal government as an inducement to introduce the HST. Why would the federal government want to do that? Quite obviously, it was because they could increase tax revenues by more than that amount. What would be the point otherwise? My question, then, is how much more money has the federal government taken from BC as a consequence of the introduction of the HST? How much will it be by the date targeted for its removal? Is it more than $1.9 billion? I bet it is.

Here’s the thing, though. We are being told that the federal government will want the money back because the province cancelled the HST, and we have no choice but to return it. If the HST is cancelled, then surely the federal government has no right to keep the increased tax revenue from its introduction, do they? If we must pay back the $1.9 billion, then surely they must pay us back the increased taxes they raised from the cancelled tax, must they not? Perhaps the proponents of the HST are expecting the people of BC to continue paying taxes which the federal government now has no right to collect, since the agreement has been overruled by the people and cancelled. Otherwise, we will be in a position where the federal government is both keeping the returned inducement and keeping the revenue from a now, unauthorised tax. It should be one or the other, surely?

Let’s take the $1.1 billion “shortfall” in revenue. This does not come into effect until after the HST stops being collected. Until then, a year and a half in the future, the HST will contine to generate an excess of revenue. That revenue can be used to pay this $1.1 billion shortfall, if there really is such as shortfall. Even if it is the case, we are being assured that we will return to the old system. That old system did not include the tax breaks given to corporations and businesses, so that portion of the HST revenue stream should now go to provincial revenues, being augmented with a return to taxation levels from those businesses that existed before the HST was imposed. I presume that when Premier Clarke proudly proclaims a return to the old system that it will be a complete return, and that she will not engage in any jiggery pokery to give exemptions to her Liberal Party supporters among the business community.

Even if I am wrong and the money has to be returned, and there is a shortfall in revenue, I take exception to the statement made by HST proponents that the people of BC are to blame for that fiasco. The people are not to blame. Gordon Campbell, Kevin Falcon, the Liberal Party caucus and Premier Clarke are to blame. This situation arose as a consequence of those people treating the voters with gross contempt, believing they could do anything they wanted and the sheep would bleat, then go lie down and shut up. Well, the sheep turned out to be wolves.

Those Liberal leaders who made this agreement must take responsibility for the consequences of their contemptuous and contemptible action. When the $1.9 billion was first offered, can’t you just see them drooling over it as a way out of their financial mismanagement of this province. In addition, Premier Clarke tried her best to keep the HST instead of bowing to the will of the voters, as she should have, and she is responsible for authorising and condoning the distorted funding which was used in an attempt to sway voters.

The provincial Liberal Party has a well established penchant for deflecting blame for its incompetence onto other people and other groups, particularly the NDP, but in this case responsibility falls squarely on their heads. These billions of dollars, basically thrown in the sewer for partisan policy reasons are a stain on the Liberal Party. When coupled with other fiascoes, such as BC Rail, overpriced run of river electricity projects, gas guzzling foreign ferries which lay idle, overpriced outsourcing of services and so on, the Liberal Party may well be responsible for wasting more of this province’s money than any other government in our history. It should also be noted that they have done this while racking up the two largest deficits in the province’s history and, reading between the lines, may be on their way to a third.

 

Conservative Transport Minister Denis Lebel Linked to BQ

Remember that saying about people who live in glass houses and not throwing stones? Perhaps the Stephen Harper Cons should pay a little more attention to it.

Also, remember who started the Bloc Quebecois? Why yes, it was a member of the Brian Mulroney Cons, none other than Lucien Bouchard.

Look at who else has links to the BQ.

Majority of Canadians Oppose Corporate Tax Cuts

The Voice on CBC Radio this morning commented on a recent poll that found that a significant majority of Canadians oppose corporate tax cuts and the Harper government’s planned purchase of F-35 fighter jets.

The Voice added that the same majority of people neglected to vote in the recent federal election. The recent election that saw a Stephen Harper majority government elected. Sigh.

Stephen Harper to be Lifted up with The Rapture?

PM Stephen Harper

PM Stephen Harper

Imagine just how pissed off Stephen Harper will be if this Rapture thingy does take place tomorrow and he is lifted up along with all the other good old fashioned Christians, less than one month after he got the majority government he has been craving for so long.

I wonder if the Jack Layton New Democrats would then be able to go to the Governor-General and ask to form government?

Rafe Mair on Strategic Voting to Defeat the Conservatives

Rafe Mair on how to vote;

Just a short note to tell readers why I haven’t said who I will vote for. To some this is part of my obligation as a commentator on political matters.

I don’t take the position that it’s nobody’s business but my own, though it is that. My reason has been stated but let me do so again.

For me the essential issue for British Columbia is the joint issues of the environment, public power and our wild salmon.

This is not to say that health, education, unemployment and other social questions aren’t important for they are. What is also true is that these are always issues, every political party has it\s own version of the issues and how to solve them – and they never get solved but return every election.

The issues I refer to are critical for all British Columbians and will not last for another 3-5 years because it will be too late.

We stand to lose our sacred salmon, the soul of our province because of deliberate acts, politically directed of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. For example. the Federal Fisheries minister goes to all major fish farm conferences pleading with them for more fish farms in BC!

Every private power project ruins, permanently, one more river with our power going out of province.

Every private power project is one more nail in BC Hydro”s coffin.

The federal government plays a role in this destruction and in my riding, Tory MP John Weston not only supports private energy projects has obtained federal funding, our tax dollars, to help Plutonic Power (General Electric in drag) desecrate our environment to make power for out of province customers, not for British Columbians..

Elections should not be just about political parties or whether  one likes a certain candidate over another – it’s about, and often mainly about stopping bad and in this case evil policy. We’re sure as hell not going to do that by voting Tory.

My vote goes to the candidate with the best chance of defeating the Conservatives. No more complicated than that and I urge others to do the same.

 

 

Making the Case for Strategic Voting

Now I understand that this post will generate a flurry of emails to me, although people are highly unlikely to comment directly on the post, even though they can do so WITHOUT having to leave even a real or fake email address, but here it goes anyway, VOTE STRATEGICALLY.

Why vote strategically? Because if you do not vote strategically you are acting like Stephen Harper and his Cons; you are being an ideologue. And that is the worst thing about Stephen Harper and his Conservative government; they are ideologically driven.

The fact is that in many ridings across Canada and particularly in BC, there are enough progressive voters in most ridings to defeat the Stephen Harper Conservative candidates. Yes, your vote could help defeat a Stephen Harper government.

Let’s look at an example; in Vancouver Centre Hedy Fry is the Liberal incumbent. The most serious challenge she is facing is from the Stephen Harper Conservative candidate, Jennifer Clarke. And yes, I have prepared myself for the onslaught of angry emails from Adrienne Carr and Karen Shillington. The fact is that neither of them stand a chance of winning that riding. Even with the orange crush of support that Jack Layton has brought forward in Canada, Shillington is not going to win that riding. Adrienne Carr? Keep the dream alive.

So if you are a progressive voter in Vancouver Centre what to do? Vote for Hedy Fry. Hold your nose if you have to but vote for the candidate most likely to put the stop order on Stephen Harper.

Another riding; New West-Coquitlam-Port Moody. Fin Donnelly is the NDP incumbent. He is best positioned to win this riding. However, once again, his greatest threat is from the Stephen Harper Conservative, Diana Dilworth. So if you are a Liberal voter who lives in this riding, vote for Fin Donnelly.

Strategic voting is the only way to ensure that a progressive government is elected on May 2nd. Hold your nose if you must, but in this election we all must vote with our heads, not just our hearts. To learn more about where strategic voting will work best visit Avaaz.org.

Liberal Platform Silent on the HST Payment Clawback

The Ignatieff Liberals are finally releasing a BC platform, a platform that has more than a few similarities to the Jack Layton New Democrats’ platform with one very significant difference; the Liberal platform is silent on the issue of whether the Liberals would or would not claw back the $1.6 billion payment Harper’s Cons made to the Campbell government when they forced the HST on the people of BC.

“The Liberal silence on such a key issue demonstrates just how out of touch they are with British Columbians,” said New Democrat deputy leader Libby Davies.

“At least Harper is being honest about his position. The Conservatives like the HST, they want it in place, and they will punish BC to the tune of $1.6 billion if British Columbians reject the HST in the June referendum.

“The Liberal MPs from BC first said they opposed the HST, then they voted for it in Parliament, and now they’re trying to duck the subject altogether.”

Davies said British Columbians deserve a clear answer from the Ignatieff Liberals about their plans for the $1.6 billion in federal transfer payments Harper used as an incentive for BC to install the HST.

“The Liberal and Conservative MPs from BC really let British Columbians down when they voted to impose the HST, and that’s another reason why British Columbians are voting for Jack Layton and the New Democrats to defeat Conservatives and make life more affordable.”

 

 

 

Ignatieff Supports the HST in BC

Ignatieff and My Baby Girl

Ignatieff and My Baby Girl

This past summer I asked Michael Ignatieff how he felt about the HST in British Columbia. He answered in no uncertain terms that he is in favour of the HST.

Ignatieff added that the way the HST was implemented was a case study on how-not-to implement a new tax, however, he does support the HST for BC. Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals voted in favour of Stephen Harper and Gordon Campbell’s HST. When Gordon Campbell’s support tanked over the HST, he turned to the airwaves for a half-hour TV special. British Columbians didn’t buy it.

Both the Ignatieff Liberals and Harper Conservatives broke the trust of British Columbians by imposing the HST, and both are stumbling over it in this campaign. Jack Layton and the NDP are the only party who have publicly stated their

 

Jason Kenney on Family Reunification

Ujjal Dosanjh

Ujjal Dosanjh

Despite all the rhetoric on family class immigration coming from the Conservative party during this campaign, comments by Jason Kenney in a teleconference call held earlier this year with the multicultural media reveal a very different reality.

During that teleconference Jason Kenney said those choosing to come to Canada are faced with an either/or proposition – you can either come to Canada and become citizens or stay where you are with your parents and grandparents.

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau said that Minister Kenney is abdicating any responsibility for addressing the unconscionable wait times, the backlog of cases and most importantly, the simple requests from ordinary Canadians for accountability and action.

“He says they can hope, at some point in the future, that parents will be able to immigrate, and faint hope is all that is on offer from Harper’s government.”

Trudeau and his Liberal colleagues were responding to the release of the transcript of a teleconference call from February 18th where the Citizenship and Immigration Minister, in an attempt to provide “clarification on some the recent news on immigration policy,” attempted to address the question of family reunification. The numbers of parents and grandparents welcomed to Canada over the last five years shows a steady decline while the Conservatives have been in government.

“What this document reveals is the Minister’s callous disregard for the years of frustration and disappointment that typifies so many of my constituents’ experience with Citizenship and Immigration,” said Liberal MP for Vancouver South Ujjal Dosanjh.

“These are Canadians who work hard, who play by the rules, who personify the new Canadians who will help define our country’s long term economic success. When our Citizenship and Immigration Minister openly dismisses the frustration they have endured for years by the pat response that they made their choice to come to this country, and that they can always go home if they want to see their parents, he reveals a startling ignorance of the importance of family reunification in attracting the brightest and best from around the world.”