A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa is Canadian & Harper is an idiot?

We know that our Government scientists and bureaucrats are not able to make any public statements without being 'approved' by the Harper regimes spin machine in the PMO so we will probably never know if the study and collection of data for the Arctic claim was indeed complete two years ago or the victim of another of Harper’s antiscience cuts. What we do know is that he said two years ago that the data collection was complete and that just a few days before the ensuing submission was due to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf Harper suddenly said the submission was incomplete because it 'did not include the north pole'. No doubt the scientists will be told that their data had best show that Canada has a claim to the pole no matter what the science shows or else! In responding to a question in the House Harpers spokesclown Calandra said “All of a sudden the Liberals are suggesting that Santa Claus is no longer Canadian and that they would abandon the North Pole and abandon Santa Claus. On this side of the House, we are going to stand up not only for my daughters, but for your family as well, Mr. Speaker, and for all those young Canadians, in the spirit of Christmas, who are waiting for Santa Claus to come and visit.”

Seriously, perhaps we should send a scientist to the pole on the 25th to confirm that Santa lives there and ask for his drivers licence to confirm he is Canadian?

All Harpers sudden desire to make Santa's home Canadian seems to have accomplished is to piss off our neighbours to the NW, you know the ones that actually have ships capable of patrolling this area.

“Russia is currently building the world's biggest nuclear icebreaker, which will add to the fleet of five it already has. The country has 10 naval ports in the Arctic, able to service its fleet of nuclear submarines, and has begun restoring Arctic airfields........
The Canadian military, by contrast, has conceded that its recent purchase of snowmobiles for the troops will be the last for nearly a decade. A long-promised winter warfare centre in Nunavut finally opened this past summer, six years after Prime Minister Stephen promised it. The command post in Resolute Bay can handle up to 100 soldiers at a time training for cold-weather operations.
But a deep-water port at Nanisivik, Nunavut, remains under the control of the federal fisheries department, despite long-standing promises of a navel refuelling station. Promised Arctic patrol ships are still in the design stage, and construction of an icebreaker has been put off until at least 2020.”

Meanwhile back in the real world of scientific research and documentation we learn that since 2012 the government has closed or consolidated more than a dozen federal libraries at Parks Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Foreign Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration and Canadian Heritage. The latest of these is the Eric Marshall Aquatic Research Library at the University of Manitoba where we are told that whilst some documents are being transferred to a Federal Library on Vancouver Island “thousands of valuable books and scientific documents, some dating back to the 19th century, being sent to the dumpster over the past week” Green Party Fisheries Critic Janice Harvey tells us “This is the latest in the methodical destruction of fisheries and marine ecosystem intellectual resources,The same thing happened last year at the St. Andrews Biological Station, the oldest federal research facility in Canada.” In addition to a state-of-the-art library facility with thousands of scientific documents, the St. Andrews Biological Station lost its ecotoxicology unit, whose scientists were at the forefront of research into the ecosystem effects of toxic chemicals used in the farmed salmon industry.

It seems that gagging our scientists and destroying scientific records is only part of the control that the Harper Regiem wants to exert upon those working for us within government, it has just been revealed that there is a directive from the PMO to effectively gag all parliamentary staff including those in your local MP's office. As a condition of employment they will now be required to sign a non disclosure document that restricts “sharing any information about the inner workings of the parliamentary precinct or disclosing any information about their employer which is politically sensitive". The employee must however “disclose all outside work, including volunteer gigs.” The mere action of unofficially providing a copy of this directive to the press would be grounds for dismissal under the new rules.
The waiver is said to be a lifetime ban on disclosing information even if no longer employed in such position, whilst there is an expectation of non disclosure and digression of information gained during such employment it would seem that this latest directive is directly aimed at hiding wrongdoings by MP's and Senators and senior staff in the PMO and elsewhere. It would seem to restrict employees from even testifying before committees or the courts without loosing their jobs, kind of convenient given the current situation in both houses and the investigation into what Harper knew about what and when.

Cant have the facts coming out now can we!

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