Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lies and broken promises, part IX

In December 2008, in order to turn public opinion against a coalition of NDP and Liberals, Harper is attempting to present such a coalition as illegal, undemocratic, even "unholy," especially if it involves the Bloc in any way.

He presently denies he ever considered forming such a coalition while in opposition.

That is a lie - (article based on an in-depth interview with Harper in 2004)

But the real news is Harper's confirmation that -- while he would not allow other parties to have Ministers in his government -- he was open to working with the other two parties to form an alternative government in a move remarkably close to what he is today calling a "separatist coalition."

Lies and broken promises, the series, part VIII

"I've never seen the leader of a Conservative party, certainly not Bob Stanfield, certainly not Joe Clark, lie — I choose the word deliberately — the way Mr. Harper has," (Ed) Broadbent said (in an interview with CBC).

Mr. Broadbent adds - "They lie. They pay people to destroy things."

- Harper is deliberately trying to deceive Canadians about the facts surrounding a proposed Liberal-NDP coalition.

-Harper is also trying to pit English Canada against Quebecers in his attempt to discredit the proposed coalition by presenting the Bloc as illegal and traitorous.

- Harper lied when he said the three opposition leaders refused to sign their agreement in front of a Canadian flag because Gilles Duceppe, a Quebec sovereigntist, objected. Several flags are clearly seen in photos taken at the signing.

- Harper lied about the details of the proposed coalition, including his charge that the Bloc Québécois is a formal partner and that six Bloc MPs would be offered Senate positions under the coalition government when in fact the Bloc has said it will support the Liberal-NDP coalition for 18 months in the House of Commons, but none of its members will sit in a cabinet led by Stéphane Dion as prime minister and a Liberal as finance minister.

Nor were any senate seats offered.

"I've never seen the leader of a Conservative party, certainly not Bob Stanfield, certainly not Joe Clark, lie — I choose the word deliberately — the way Mr. Harper has," Broadbent said.

"I'm concerned I have a prime minister who lies to the people of Canada and knows it," Broadbent said. "It's one thing to exaggerate. It's another to deliberately tell falsehoods."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Harper lies and broken promises, Part VII

"When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid assent is frankly when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern." - Steve Harper, 2005

December, 2008 -

Steve has lost his moral authority to govern by proroguing Parliament to dodge a non-confidence vote, thus cancelling dissent.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lies and Broken Promises, the series, Part V&VI - widows of veterans

In 2005, before Steve became king and it was important to him that he win the goodwill of the electorate, he wrote a letter to Joyce Carter, widow of a war veteran (emphasis mine throughout):

"A Conservative government would immediately extend the Veterans Independence Program services to the widows of all Second World War and Korean War veterans, regardless of when they passed away or how long they had been receiving the benefit prior to passing away."

After three years of letter writing and waiting, Mrs. Carter did not get any response from the New King and decided to visit him at court. It was not an easy journey for the elderly subject.

Mrs. Carter was afraid of flying and had not been on a plane for six years, yet she went to the airport in Sydney to fly east. Unfortunately, she was fogged in at the airport so another stalled passenger gave her a ride to Halifax.
Stopping at a Tim Hortons on the way, Mrs. Carter fell over a curb and badly bruised her hands, elbows and leg. Finally making it to Ottawa, Mrs. Carter found she was unable to meet the prime minister so she decided to stay one more day.

Well, kings do get busy, and they must give their precious kingly time to, well, people who can forward their ambitions to Emperor, at the very least.

Mrs. Carter didn’t give up, though. After all, the King had made a promise, in writing, to her, and he was going to damn well see her. She discovered that you can still get an audience with an ambitious publicly shaming him before his public.

The next day, despite limping from her injury, she managed to catch Stephen Harper while he was on his way to question period at the House of Commons under the gaze of several television cameras.

Mrs. Carter walked up to the prime minister and said, "Mr. Harper you promised me you'd look after our veteran's widows. Why have you lied?"
Visibly caught off guard, Harper walked off" and sent an aide to organize a meeting later in the day.

In the meeting, the prime minister reportedly apologized to Mrs. Carter and said that the Veterans Independence Program would be extended to all widows of Second World War and Korean veterans in his next budget--expected next spring.

More time has passed, and it seems the king has become no more empathic to his vulnerable subjects.

The 2008 Budget announced...goes part of the way to meet Ms. Carter's demands. The money announced in the budget will not give every surviving spouse of a veteran access to the program. But it will now be available to all of those who are in financial need or who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.

“I can't see why he can't give it to them all,” Ms. Carter said of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “It shouldn't matter really what incomes they were getting. They were promised this and they should be receiving it. I think it's very unfair.”

Joyce Carter, although she is receiving her benefits, being full of the sort of empathy and sense of honour lacking in Steve the Almighty continues to demand the well-fed ruler keep his promise.

Here, in part, is a letter by Ms. Carter published in The Hill Times on Novermber 10, 2008. Just before Rememberance Day.

In February 2006, Mr. Harper was honoured and privileged to serve his country when he became Prime Minister of Canada. So what happened to the promise he made to all veterans’ widows, which he had promised would happen immediately? He did not keep it.

Speaking with the Prime Minister on June 13, 2007, I was told that the VIP would be granted in the next budget.

For two long years, the Conservatives have boasted that the promises they made were kept and that they got the job done. Did the PM keep his promise in the 2008 budget? No, he did not. In the 2008 budget, the VIP was granted to only 30 per cent of the veterans’ widows.

A veteran’s widow is a veteran’s widow. Where are the morals of the Conservative government? To deny the VIP to any one of those widows, let alone 70 per cent of them, is a moral injustice.

Veterans widows can not, and must not be ignored or disregarded by government. On Oct. 14, 2008, the Conservatives were re-elected for a second time. On their return to Parliament, I ask on behalf of all veterans widows “Is the government going to finally right a wrong and keep the promise that was made to us all on June 28, 2005?”

Until the PM’s promise is kept and 100 per cent of the veterans’ widows are granted the VIP, the Conservatives cannot say they have kept their commitments.
And with 70 per cent still waiting, their job is far from finished.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lies and Broken Promises, Part IV - Public Appointments

A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will continue to reform appointments to federal agencies, boards, commissions and Crown corporations.

While the creation of the Commission was authorized by the Federal Accountability Act brought in by the current government, the previous Parliament blocked the appointment of several distinguished Canadians from sitting on the Commission.

It was Steve himself who killed the committee after only one rejection by the Governments Ops committee.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scrapping the idea of a new public appointments commission after opposition MPs rejected his nominee to chair it.

The House of Commons operations committee voted 6-5 to ask Harper to withdraw his appointment of the former energy executive because of controversial remarks Morgan has made over immigrants and multiculturalism.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Harper lies and broken promises - the series, Part III - Fixed election dates

"Fixed election dates prevent governments from calling snap elections for short-term political advantage," Harper said. "They level the playing field for all parties and the rules are clear for everybody." Yet Steve, while not quite breaking his own law, broke the spirit of that law by calling an election for October, 2008, thus avoiding the Obama fever, dodging committees calling him on such things as the Elections Canada investigation into his party, and the Cadman affair. He “call(ed a) snap election() for short-term political advantage” at our expense.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Harper lies and broken promises - the series, Part II

Asked Oct. 7 if he would unequivocally rule out running a deficit during the length of his term if re-elected, he responded “yes, yes,” pointing to the modesty of his party's spending program.

Reality -

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he's confident the federal government will report a modest surplus this fiscal year even though Ottawa posted a $1.7-billion deficit in August.

and coming up -

We’re going to have a deficit next year,” a government official predicted.

Harper lies and broken promises - the series, Part I

In February 2006, Steve bragged about his smaller cabinet, in keeping with his promise to reduce the size of government.

Harper boasted in a news release that his new smaller cabinet is "designed for work, not for show."

"The structure is designed to promote accountable, efficient and effective government -- more focus and purpose; less process and cost."

Steve promises to reduce the size of government yet during at time where Stevo wants to emphasize the need for deep cuts in order to justify cutting what he wanted to cut all along, he increases the size of his cabinet.

Mr. Harper appointed 37 ministers and junior ministers this week, five more than in his previous government.

Well sure, because in hard economic times where Harper has already indicated he won’t be able to follow through on his election promises, we really, really need this guy.

And the cost to Canadians (who need to tighten their belts, of course) -

Salaries alone for the additional ministers will total more than $500,000. In addition, each minister must be supported by a small bureaucracy.

What value for our dollar (as the CONs are fond of saying) will these new posts give us?

By having a corpulent cabinet, Harper increases his government's profile in more places in the country, which of course is helpful politically.

Because there's no price tag too high to be paid by Canadians when it comes to promoting Harper politically.