Seriously, what is going on in this country??? I was even more overwhelmed than usual today by all the bad news about the direction our government is taking us in. Man are they busy, busy, busy giving us a ton of reasons to be terrified for our future. Below is a buffet of Harper’s home-cooked catastrophes. Try not to get too depressed or angry. Personally, I’m both.
Feds Eliminate the National Centre for First Nations Governance
The NCFNG offers innovative nation rebuilding services and has engaged over 300 First Nations across Canada in its short six year time frame. It provides First Nations leaders and administrators with hands-on tools for fully engaging their citizens and taking responsibility for their future, developing their own self-determining governance that moves them beyond the confines of the Indian Act to make real and lasting change for themselves. Now why would we want that?
celebrates shrugs at the 30th anniversary of Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Harper deemed the Charter an “interesting and important step”. Yeah, I guess. It only resulted in the limiting of police powers, protection of women’s reproductive rights, recognizing the LGBT community and strengthening Aboriginal rights (and we’ve already covered how he couldn’t care less about that). Embarrassing and disrespectful.
Ottawa ‘streamlines’ eco-reviews to aid growth; critics call it sop to Big Oil
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Enbridge, Ethical Oil and other financially vested stakeholders agree with the government that “streamlining the review process… will attract significant investment dollars and give every region of our country a tremendous economic boost.” Apparently the rest of us are expected to applaud fast-tracking’s perpetual damage to Aboriginal livelihoods and the environment (which belongs to all of us, Alberta and BC!). Meanwhile, the Ottawa Citizen published an opinion piece quoting Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver as having previously stated that “environmental and other radical groups… [want to] stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth”. Interestingly, the author takes issue with the fact that the government is using “language that makes it look as if the government has a secret anti-environment agenda even if it doesn’t”. That’s because IT DOES.
Suzuki quit foundation over fed ‘bullying’
David Suzuki, one of Canada’s greatest scientific visionaries and environmental stewards, is stepping down from the board of the David Suzuki Foundation because the organization is taking heat for his ‘political’ stance. He explains that he is “keenly aware that some governments, industries and special interest groups are working hard to silence us. They use threats to the Foundation’s charitable status in attempts to mute its powerful voice on issues that matter deeply to you and many other Canadians”. Of course, the Toronto Sun and National Post jumped all over this. Well, I’m gonna go a step further than Suzuki and ask by what logic the Canada Revenue Agency claims that “it is a charitable purpose for an organization to teach the religious tenets, doctrines, practices, or culture associated with a specific faith or religion”. How is that not a political issue?
Tories criticized for vastly divergent reactions to Canadians on death row
In tandem with Amnesty International, the government is pressing Iran to drop the death sentence of Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, an Iranian-born Canadian citizen accused of espionage. What’s raising eyebrows is how shockingly weak Canada’s support of another condemned Canadian, Montana death-row inmate Ronald Smith, has been in contrast. Any excuse to make Iran look bad, right Harper?