Posts Tagged ‘Conservatives’

Judge Blocks British MP’s Request To Enter Canada And Speak In Toronto

It’s official. British MP George Galloway’s request for an injunction to enter Canada has been denied. A Federal Court judge has ruled against his motion. Galloway was to speak tonight at Metropolitan United Church. The Toronto stop was to be the first of a four-city speaking tour GEORGE GALLOWAY: RESISTING WAR FROM GAZA TO KANDAHAR. The organizers of the Toronto stop, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, have said that their event would continue regardless of the judge’s decision.

Galloway is no stranger to controversy. His response to the U.S. Senate regarding false allegations that he took bribes from Saddam Hussein was memorable. He has long taken criticism for his anti war stance and support for some pro-Palestinian causes. This support for some Palestinian groups has some people labeling him as a “terrorist supporter”. The Federal government stance, and latest justice decision seems heavy handed. Some have argued other “war criminals” (George W. Bush?) have been allowed into the country to speak. A view equally exaggerated, perhaps, but no doubt a strange precedent has been set with Galloway.

A Privilege Earned

Let the madness stop. The “privilege to govern must be earned, not taken”. No truer words can be said. The Conservatives are in damage control mode and have sent out an appeal for donations today. This after leaking a “secret deal” between the NDP and the Bloc.

After stopping to listen to the “Conservatives eavesdropping” clips of Jack Layton at an NDP caucus meeting, (Clip 1, Clip 2, Clip 3) I expect delusional paranoia must be taking hold. The scare must be on after Jim Flaherty’s update and the resulting tide of opposition called. From the selected clips, in my opinion, Jack Layton appears to be briefing members on what has transpired to date with respect to coalition negotiations and what it would mean for the NDP going forward. I’m hopeful Mr. Layton will clarify his position and the context of comments made. Talk of any opposition party stealing the house so close to an election are far fetched. If that were the case it would have happened sooner, perhaps right after the election votes were tallied. All parties have been in consultations regarding the economy and have had face to face meetings with the PM since the election. When none of the oppositions recommendations were headed it’s not surprising see the actions of the opposition. Even less surprising is that the NDP may pursue criminal charges with respect to how these audio clips were acquired and distributed. Think of what consequences would be if someone leaked a private corporation’s conference call to the press.

Are memories that short? Harper, as leader of the Opposition, held lengthy discussions with Layton and Duceppe aimed at ousting Paul Martin’s Liberal government in the fall of 2004. The context of any meetings that may or may not have happened between any parties (other than the Conservatives) looks like less of a conspiracy or “backroom scheme” and more like a way of forming consensus in an ineffective parliament. Ignorance and inaction by key Conservatives on the economy were the tipping point to advance these meetings.

To run away from your own battle cries of “confidence motions” and tactics is puzzling. To pout, delay and filibuster is not what Canadians need right now. The crisis is here, ACT!!! The privilege to govern must be earned not taken, for granted.

The Sky Is Falling… What’s Happened To Canadian Markets?

Damn! The TSX has been hard hit with the news that financial giant Lehman Brothers was becoming one the biggest bankruptcy stories in American history. Financial markets around the world are reeling with the news and some are calling the current situation the worst they have ever seen. Hard to believe that the TSX index has sunk into the 12,000 range after hitting highs around 15,000 in June. A 20% drop! OUCH!!!

With BCE, the world’s largest leverage buyout, a fading memory I shudder to think of what the index will do or look like under the Conservative plan to allow for more takeovers. This policy plan was shaped by findings made by a government appointed Competition Policy Review Panel.

The government appointed Lynton “Red” Wilson chair of the Competition Policy Review Panel and made the call for more foreign investment. Among the recommendations forwarded by Mr. Wilson, once a CEO of BCE, move the Industry Canada threshold from to investigate foreign investment from $295 Million to $1 Billion! The industries they would like to dissolve? Telecommunications, Airlines and Uranium mining. Hmmm! Considering Canada is one of the world’s largest sources and exporters of Uranium and Telecoms can basically print money in the age of the iPhone this hardly seems prudent. The airline industry has enough problems without further takeover talk. As a leader in at least one of these industries how does selling them off benefit Canadians or Canadian Markets?

The Conservatives, under massive public pressure, blocked the selling off of MDA but under the new proposed rules how many companies would disappear without the so-called watchdog looking? Remember that the MDA deal was the first ever blocked! Not calling for extreme protectionism here but the current trend in selling Canadian assets off doesn’t invoke scenes of sovereignty on the TSX, Alberta or the Arctic. Considering it’s been said that between 70 to 90% of mergers/takeovers fail it would be interesting to see whose lobbying dollars have been spent to push the sale of these industries. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the TSX and what kind of government enters the fold after the upcoming election.

Tory Rant

It’s amazing what getting creamed in an election and having an entire riding pissed at you for your high-handed ways will do to a party’s attitude to the big city.

“”Dalton McGuinty likes to blame others for his problems,” Flaherty told a somewhat bewildered business audience expecting a preview of the federal budget.” (Toronto Star, 10-03-08)

The former finance minister for Ontario under the Mike Harris Tories, the same party that never got rid of the province’s deficit, I might add, Jim Flaherty attacks the Premier, the man who beat his provincial party in the polls — do I detect a hint of sour grapes? — for financial incompetence. It’s rather strange that Prime Minister Stephen Harper let him speak as it was, but to let him go on and on about the business taxes in Ontario — which would not have to be so high if the other nine provinces, three territories, and Ottawa didn’t keep sucking the Ontario tax teat dry — and how it’s all the Liberals fault Ontario is tanking, never mind that Flaherty participated in the cancelling of the infrastructure and city-building projects when the Harris Tories came into power, is just unprecedented. After all, the PM is known for putting duct tape on the mouths of all federal Tories two years ago when they came into power.
So obviously Harper agrees with him.

Then suddenly we had the odd spectacle of Flaherty enthusiastically giving Toronto — that evil city, the blight of Canada — over $300 million for, gasp, transit! Yes, they’d promised some money over a year ago. But after all the belly aching about Toronto, and now Ontario, one hardly expected them to be serious and for Flaherty to be in the photo op. And to announce that the money is going towards hybrid buses is even more surprising. They really have been converted on the road to a hotter Damascus.

But have they?

I doubt it. Flaherty said a couple of days ago on television that the federal Conservatives needed to build in the 416. Whoa! I thought the Harper Tories figured they could win a majority sans Toronto. Isn’t that why they’ve watched as our city has sunk more and more into the mire of poverty? Isn’t that why they’ve blamed us and our politicians for our woes and troubles? Isn’t that why they haven’t followed the lead of their US mentors by funding transit and rebuilding infrastructure and giving us back some of the billions in taxes they suck out of us?

Apparently, that by-election they put off and put off and angered one riding by getting rid of the Tory candidate who’d been campaigning like a dog for months and then lengthened before finally getting it done, taught them a few things. They need cities. They need Toronto. And now they’re sucking up to us and kissing our asses. Former Conservative PM Brian Mulroney won several seats in Toronto. Some of elected became important members of his cabinet. That’s how he kept his political lock on the country. Whether the rest of the country likes it or not, Ontario is the engine of Canada — as Harper belatedly acknowledged yesterday on television, standing in front of kids’ drawings — and Toronto is the engine of Ontario. We are the biggest city in the country, we are its financial centre, we are the city the world knows best, and we support the country with billions of our bucks. We go down, you go down. I don’t believe that Harper and Flaherty get that yet. I believe that all this sudden new conciliatory attitude to my city, my province, is all to get votes in the election they’re trying to get going if only the Liberals would vote against them in one of those upteen bogus confidence motions they keep throwing out. Once they have their majority, they’ll ignore us again and go back to creating greater division between us and the rest of Canada. The best thing for Toronto is to keep them on a tight leash. Minority governments all the way because the Liberals ignore us too, just not in such a mean fashion.

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