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Friday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 06:25
Assorted content to end your week.

- The BBC reports that even UK business groups are acknowledging that excessive executive pay is leading to public concern and distrust in the state of the economy. And Alex Hern notes that Steve Wozniak for one isn't shy to point out the need for Apple and other corporations to pay their fair share in taxes.

- Meanwhile, David Morley rightly argues that it's long past time for Canada to better take care of its own children:
(T)he truth is too many of our children are unhappy and unhealthy. They don’t have a fair shot in life.

In fact, we have one of the highest proportions of children who report very low life satisfaction. That’s because nearly one quarter of Canadian children report having poor health symptoms on a daily basis. The same amount of older youth have diagnosable mental health problems. Levels of obesity have not changed. Child poverty remains high. Most areas that were assessed showed little or no improvement over the last decade.
Disadvantages start early in life – and they tend to accumulate. By investing more, and earlier on, to make sure children get a good start in life, we’ll be ensuring they finish childhood ready to make a strong entrance into adulthood. We’ll be equipping them with the confidence and skills they need to become happy and productive members of their communities. We’ll reduce the need to respond to the negative consequences of an unequal society. And, we’ll have more resources to spend on positive development opportunities for all. - Jorge Barrera reminds us of the history of abuse, neglect and cover-ups which led to the suicide crisis at Attawapiskat (and elsewhere). And Sean Fine and Gloria Galloway report that one of the Libs' first actions upon taking power was to let the Catholic Church out of its obligations to fund healing programs which had been part of a residential school settlement. 

- Andrew Coyne highlights how Justin Trudeau's supposedly fresh government is aging in a hurry, while Neil MacDonald is already tired of the chasm between the Libs' promises and their choices. And Jonathan Manthorpe examines how blatantly the Libs are distorting reality in order to excuse arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

- Finally, Monia Mazigh points out that the Libs have also continued the Cons' appalling double standard in treating privacy only as an excuse to avoid releasing information which would generally help individuals whose rights are being abused.

He Stands Naked

Northern Reflections - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 05:38

Mr. Justice Charles Vaillancourt understood how Stephen Harper's PMO worked. And he didn't mince words:

“Damage control at its finest,” administered with “ruthless efficiency,” he called it. “The political, covert, relentless unfolding of events is mindboggling and shocking. The precision and planning of the exercise would make any military commander proud.”
They ran up quite a score -- 0 to 32. No runs, no hits, and one error after another. But, in pronouncing judgement on Harper's PMO, Vaillancourt was also passing judgement on Stephen Harper. Michael Harris writes:

Up until yesterday, Stephen Harper and PMO had escaped scot-free from Duffygate — though their role in the affair was obvious, disgraceful, and (with the exception of the 2015 election results) completely unpunished. Consider the actions of the former PM.

Donald Trump might have called Harper ‘Lyin’ Steve’ for the multiple versions of the facts he gave about Duffygate — none of them true. The former PM insisted that the whole affair had unfolded between Wright and Duffy. In fact, more than a dozen people in his office worked on the file, pressuring Duffy to do the deal or risk losing his Senate seat.

Harper’s PMO staff also sought and obtained changes to Senate reports and breached the confidentiality of an independent audit commissioned by the Senate.

Harper claimed Wright resigned. Then he said he was fired.

Stephen Harper denied knowing about the details of Wright’s scheme to repay Duffy’s housing expenses — as incredible a statement as any Canadian politician has ever uttered.

Harper's prime directive has always been to get even. That's what the Duffy trial was all about. Mr. Justice Vaillancourt understood that. And Stephen Harper, like the emperor in the fable, stands naked before Canadians.


39% is not a majority: fair voting now

we move to canada - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 04:00
Will you sign a declaration to make Canada more democratic?

Declaration of Voters' Rights

And some myth-busting about proportional representation:

A ranked ballot is not a voting system.

How will anything get done?

Is proportional representation constitutional?

Read and share!

The Late Remorse of the Con Barbarian Kellie Leitch

Montreal Simon - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 01:23

I'll never forget this picture of Kellie Leitch taken during the last election, shortly after she launched her Barbaric Cultural Practices campaign.

And about the time she realized what a monstrous thing she had done. And what a terrible mistake she had made by selling her soul to Stephen Harper.

And now that she's running for the Con leadership, she wants us all to know that she's really really sorry.
Read more »

Dear Dawg...

Dawg's Blawg - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 18:37
Our dear friend needs your prayers, your good wishes, or whatever else you can send his way.... Balbulican

The Duffy Verdict: The Judge Slams Stephen Harper's PMO

Montreal Simon - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 16:31

Well today was going to be the day Stephen Harper finally emerged from the closet where he has been hiding. The day the Duffy trial finally ended.

But sadly for Great Feathered Leader it seems he's going to have to stay there a while lot longer. Or move to Paraguay.

Because while the trial judge acquitted Ol' Duff of all charges, he blasted the Harper PMO.
Read more »

Stephen Harper - Just Another Tory Dirtbag

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 14:26

Duffy's clean. Which means somebody has to be dirty. Somebody orchestrated this political show trial. Somebody decided to go for a full-bore prosecution with no fewer than 31-charges. Somebody has been lying ever since the day that Duffy's unfortunately email was leaked to CTV.

There's no plausible denial left for Stephen Harper. Not this time. Not after Duffy was acquitted of all 31-charges. Not after what Justice Vaillancourt had to say about this "mind-boggling and shocking" scheme. The judge didn't just pronounce Duffy "not guilty," he found him not remotely blameworthy. Duffy wasn't acquitted, he was exonerated. There's a legal dynamic at play in that.

Nigel Wright is no longer everybody's Boy Scout. No, now he's another Tory Dirtbag. Ray Novak? Ditto. The Senate Tory leadership who participated in this scheme, including LeBreton, Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen? Oh yeah, them too. Arthur Hamilton? Probably. About the only one of the principals who comes out unscathed is Ben Perrin, the whistleblower. Whether he acted out of principle or merely saw the writing on the wall we may never know. Perhaps it doesn't much matter.

What a fitting way for Stephen Harper to leave federal politics - in utter disgrace.

Duffy Walks, Harper Convicted

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 14:01

For Prince Edward Island senator, Mike Duffy, it was a 31-0 shutout. For Stephen Harper, it's a legacy of disgrace.

Mr. Justice Vaillancourt acquitted Duffy of all 31 charges. He found Duffy to be "a piece on a chessboard" of a scheme orchestrated by a prime minister's office he condemned as "mind-boggling and shocking."

It should be a matter of days before the announcement of the retirement of RCMP Commish Bob Paulson. He was at the helm when the "immaculate bribery" charge was orchestrated.

The next question is how does Duffy recoup the roughly half-million in legal fees this trial has cost him? There are a lot of Tory senators and other party officials who are probably searching for transcripts of what unfortunate remarks they might have made back when they were in thrall to Harper. Not all of their comments were defamatory but a good many were and they were dripping with malice.

Will his fellow senators be collegial when the Cavendish Cottager arrives to reclaim his seat in the upper house? Are we about to see the Tory ranks in the Senate hastily thinned out?

UPDATE -  31 acquittals, straight across the board. The most impressive aspect to that is the rarity of it. Who gets charged with 31-crimes and gets found "not guilty"? But this judge, Vaillancourt, went further than that. Time and again he found nothing wrong in Duffy's conduct. That's not an acquittal. It's exoneration.

This raises the question that won't go away. When there was no blameworthy conduct, nothing approaching criminal conduct, in so many of these charges, whose idea was it to lay the charges? Why did the Crown even proceed? Who was pushing this all along? Yeah, you're right.

What now? There's a dandy tort anchored in the ancient Common Law, the tort of "malicious prosecution." A 31 to zero acquittal outcome certainly establishes a prima facie case of malicious prosecution. Not even one conviction? None?

And who will be the defendants? Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright, Ray Novak, LeBreton, Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen, Hamilton? Probably.  Ooh, we might finally get to see Stephen Harper being cross-examined under oath.

Sweet dreams.

Is Christy Clark Selling Out British Columbia?

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 08:52

We thought the Northern Gateway pipeline initiative was dead. We thought that northern British Columbia was safe. Maybe not.

Has Christy Clark cut a quid pro quo deal with Alberta that would see the Northern Gateway pipeline brought back to life? A report in the National Observer claims that the BC and Alberta governments are in negotiations that would see Northern Gateway cleared for operation in exchange for which the Tar Sands would buy hydro-electricity from Christy's Folly, the Site C dam.

DDD - Duffy's Date with Destiny, But Who's That Sitting Beside Him in the Prisoner's Dock?

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 08:43

Mike Duffy isn't the only Conservative on trial today. With him in the prisoner's dock are Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright and the cast and crew of Harper's PMO.

From the conflicting evidence given during the six-week trial, it was obvious that somebody was telling the truth and somebody, or a lot of somebodies, were, shall we say, less than truthful.  We've already got a hint how that's likely to play out. That came when the presiding judge, Justice Charles Vaillancourt, found the Cavendish Cottager to have been an "overall credible witness."

The judge also pointed out that on a number of charges the Crown chose not to lead evidence or even cross-examine Duffy which means that, left uncontradicted, Duffy's account stands.

What I'm waiting for is the point at which Justice Vaillancourt gets to the hand grenade in the story - Benjamin Perrin, former counsel to the Harper PMO and Harper's personal lawyer. Among other things, Perrin testified that it was clear what Nigel Wright's "good to go" email meant - that Stephen Harper had approved Wright's 90K payment to Duffy. With that bit of evidence, Perrin not only contradicted Nigel Wright but also the evidence of Harper's sockpuppet/valet, Ray Novak.

You may recall that, during the election campaign, Perrin made it known just what he thought of Stephen Harper when he issued a blunt statement that the prime minister and "lost the moral authority to govern."

It's Perrin's evidence that defines this entire prosecution, not only as a run of the mill criminal case, but as a political persecution aimed at transforming Duffy into Harper's sacrificial goat.

Duffy may still be convicted for funneling Senate monies to his disabled pal. That might explain why judge Vaillancourt described him as an overall credible witness.

Thursday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 08:01
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Owen Jones argues that public policy and social activism are needed to rein in the excesses of a corporate class which sees it as its job to extract every possible dollar from the society around it:
A financial elite plunged the country into calamity and effectively got away with it unscathed, while workers suffered the longest period of reduced pay since the Victorian era. Meanwhile public services, social security and secure jobs were slashed. It has become increasingly clear – as the Panama Papers underscored – that a significant chunk of our economic elite simply do not like paying tax in this country.

The problem is that this injustice is met with resignation, rather than anger. While rage at the smaller misdemeanours of the poor – such as benefit fraud – seems easy to stir, destructive behaviour on this far greater scale is discussed like the weather. The rich pay themselves ludicrous sums of money, major corporations avoid tax, sometimes it rains. It’s this resignation – stemming from a lack of faith in any viable alternative – that feeds the triumphalism of the powerful, enabling them to engage in behaviour that is ultimately destructive to the health of their beloved capitalism itself.
The High Pay Centre is right to argue for workers’ representation on remuneration boards. Stronger trade unions would also mean countervailing pressure against the concentration of wealth and power in such few hands. And protests by the likes of UK Uncut highlight the injustice of tax avoidance. All this could be helpful.

But the problem with executives such as Bob Dudley isn’t just them – it’s also us. For until we shake off this weary resignation, the well–heeled will continue to enjoy their decadent party – in the knowledge that we’re the ones paying for it.- But of course, the Libs are headed in the direction of further privileging the corporate sector. On that front, Steven Chase reports on their refusal to allow any Parliamentary study of arms exports, while Peter Mazereeuw notes their demurral on any discussion of accountability for exploitative mining operators. 

- PressProgress highlights the fact that the underpayment of women is a matter of systemic discrimination, not personal choice. And Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood examines how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will entrench a corporate right to low-wage labour at the expense of workers throughout the Pacific region.

- Which should be a problem for all concerned, as Duff McCutcheon argues that a living wage can be just as beneficial for the employer who provides it as for the employees who earn it.

- Finally, Susan Peters discusses how poverty and other social determinants of health are finding their way into patients' medical evaluations.

New column day

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 07:47
Here, on how political fund-raising scandals in Ontario and British Columbia only highlight the complete lack of rules governing donations in Saskatchewan.

For further reading...
- SCOTUS' Citizens United decision is here (PDF). And Michael Hiltzik discussed its effect after the fact, while Charles Wohlforth offered a personal view on how fund-raising affects political decision-making.
- Martin Regg Cohn broke the news about Ontario's fund-raising quotas for cabinet ministers here. And Adrian Morrow followed up by exposing both a fund-raiser closely tied to the Hydro One privatization's beneficiaries, and the connection between corporate subsidies and donations.
- Meanwhile, Gary Mason reported on Christy Clark's five-figure access fees. And the CP reported on the dividing line between the B.C. Libs who want to keep the status quo as long as they can, and the NDP which is pushing for limits.
- The Globe and Mail's series on money and politics featured a column on Saskatchewan's particularly outdated rules governing political donations. And Tammy Robert has been reviewing the current state of donations in Saskatchewan.
- Finally, the CP surveys fund-raising rules across Canada. And Duff Conacher points out that any province looking to remove big-money donations from its political system will find a prime example in Quebec.

Obama: On Bended Knee To The Saudis

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 07:12
I'll defer to others much better versed than I am in the vagaries of international politics to offer a more informed analysis, but the recent deference of the U.S. toward Saudi Arabia warrants a closer look. Despite, or perhaps because of, an unfortunate recent characterization by Barack Obama of the repressive Middle East kingdom as free riders eager to drag others into the region's sectarian conflicts, he has made a 'mea culpa trip there to soothe over tensions.

But why the apparent deference? The obvious answer involves the Saudis' massive oil deposits as well as their strategic location, but another issue has arisen in which the American president is acting as a hindrance to those 9/11 survivors who want to sue Saudi Arabia:

As you can see, a real fear is the Saudis' threat to liquidate $750 billion in American holdings. That fear has likely prompted this deferential visit by an American president. Better, it seems, to deny your citizens justice than to face an economic upheaval.

The argument that Obama gives for trying to impede the bipartisan bill that would allow citizens to sue the Saudi Arabian government seems weak to me. He claims it could open the floodgates to other countries suing the U.S., but as far as I know, there is nothing to prevent such action now. The following report probably offers the most realistic assessment of the sorry situation:

The Saudis have consistently received special and deferential treatment from the U.S. Some will recall that shortly after 9/11, when all air traffic in the U.S. was grounded, a group of Saudis, including relatives of bin Laden, was whisked back to their kingdom. And as indicated in the above video, now it is trying to keep classified 28 pages of a congressional report into the attack.

Vox says this:
In 2002, shortly after a Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks concluded its report, the Bush administration ordered that the inquiry permanently seal a 28-page section that investigated possible Saudi government links to the attack. It has remained sealed ever since.

Some members of Congress who have read the report, but are barred from revealing its contents, describe it as potentially damning. An unnamed member of Congress told the New Yorker, "The real question is whether it was sanctioned at the royal-family level or beneath that, and whether these leads were followed through."

"The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier," former Sen. Bob Graham, who is leading the charge to release the document, said in February.It is an unwarranted protection of Saudi interests that must end, according to Andrew C. McCarthy, who, as described in a Wikipedia entry, led
the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks.[4] He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He resigned from the Justice Department in 2003.Says McCarthy,
it is long, long past time — for the United States government to come clean with the American people, and with the families of Americans slaughtered on 9/11 by 19 jihadists, 15 of them Saudis. The government must disclose the 28 pages of the 2002 congressional report on the 9/11 attacks that it has shamefully withheld from the public for 14 years. Those pages outline Saudi complicity in the jihad.

It is nothing short of disgraceful that the Bush and Obama administrations, relying on the president’s constitutional authority over foreign intelligence and the conduct of foreign affairs, have concealed these materials.
Injustice frequently prevails in our fractured world. Despite all of the public clamour, I somehow doubt anything will soon change for those victims of terrorism currently seeking redress.
Recommend this Post

New Pipelines Don't Make Sense

Northern Reflections - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 04:53

 "Tidewater." For the oil industry, that's Nirvana. Get Canadian oil to tidewater, the barons say, and our economic future will be rosy. But that argument no longer holds water -- or oil. Eugene Kung writes:

A number of years ago this argument may have been true, especially when you ignore the economic, environmental and social costs not captured by market prices (which economists call "externalities").

But we live in a different world today. Oil prices have plummeted and are forecasted to stay low for some time. The U.S. is now a major producer of oil that is cheaper than that from the oil sands, and it recently lifted its 40-year ban on exporting oil. In addition, solar and wind power are now "crushing" fossil fuels, with investment nearly double that of oil and coal combined in 2015. And finally, the world came together in Paris and agreed to aim to hold global temperature increase to 1.5 C, which necessarily requires a decarbonization of the global economy.

All of these factors mean that the economic case for getting oil to tidewater by pipeline in Canada has evaporated.
Even some of the oil barons are beginning to sing a different tune:

Last month, a brief from Oil Change International debunked the economic myth of tidewater access and concluded that producers of Canadian oil are already getting the best possible price through existing pipelines to the U.S., which access the largest heavy oil market in the world.

The brief discusses why Western Canadian Select (WCS) -- the key Canadian benchmark for heavy oil -- trades at a discount to other benchmarks such as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the primary benchmark for U.S. Gulf Coast and Midwest oil. The two key factors are quality and geography: WCS trades for less than WTI because it is lower quality crude that is more expensive to refine, and it must travel longer distances to refineries.
Economics has caught up with the oil sands. And Alberta is in for a rough ride. But the sooner everyone gets used to the idea that there will be no new pipelines, we can move forward.


The Con Propaganda Machine's Latest Assault on Justin Trudeau

Montreal Simon - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 01:44

It seems a long time ago since the days when the Cons were bombarding us with their foul attack ads.

Attacking Justin Trudeau over and over again, with ads that always ended by claiming that he's "just not ready."

Until the day he proved he was indeed ready, and crushed them beyond recognition.

But their ghastly propaganda machine survived the onslaught, and is still grinding out the same old garbage.
Read more »

The Liberals and the Legalization of Marijuana

Montreal Simon - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 20:02

Wednesday was National Weed Day or 4/20 day, when all over Canada and the world people gather to celebrate cannabis culture and smoke up.

So one has to commend the Liberal government for the timing of this announcement. 

Federal legislation to legalize marijuana will be ready in a year, Canada's health minister told the UN at a special session of the General Assembly in New York today.

"We will introduce legislation in spring 2017 that ensures we keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals," Jane Philpott said in her prepared speech to delegates. 

Even though the timing for legalization does seem to me to be a little on the slow side.
Read more »

Who's Singing Ukraine's Praises Now?

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 18:58

The easy answer is - nobody. Everybody in the West was solidly pro-Ukraine during the Euromaidan revolution that swept from power the country's elected, corrupt and pro-Moscow president Yanukovych. We were all chanting "Ukraine forever" as the country descended into civil war. We talked about war when Putin boldly annexed the Crimea territory.  Shifty Steve even gave Putin a face-to-face "Get out of Crimea" smackdown in Australia.

That was then, this is now. We were reluctant to acknowledge what Ukraine's critics were telling us but now we sheepishly accept that the post-revolution Ukraine government is hopelessly corrupt and in the iron grip of oligarchs with shady credentials. The hope for democracy in Ukraine is on the ropes, perhaps about to go down for the count.

In February, leading reformers in the economic ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office resigned in frustration, accusing officials tied to President Poroshenko of blocking their efforts to rid Ukraine of the scourge of corruption. Although Poroshenko finally sacked his widely hated prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, this was primarily thanks to growing pressure from Western officials. Even still, Shokin managed to do plenty of damage on his way out the door, firing his only remaining reformist deputy and forbidding prosecutors from referring cases to new anti-corruption institutions.
What’s more, Ukraine’s old guard — left over from before the Euromaidan revolution swept away President Yanukovych in 2014 — appears increasingly willing to subvert the country’s democratic development to silence critics. Using a much-criticized law enacted in February, President Poroshenko’s own party expelled two critical lawmakers from the parliament. The cabinet of ministers banned civil servants from criticizing the country’s leaders. Perhaps worst of all (and despite Shokin’s departure), the prosecutor’s office took a page from the Kremlin’s playbook when it used trumped-up charges of misappropriating American aid money to raid the offices of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, Ukraine’s leading non-governmental anti-corruption group.
On February 10, [IMF chief, Christine] Lagarde warned that Ukraine could lose aid if it didn’t take stronger steps to fight graft — but on the next day, she backtracked after what she termed a “constructive” conversation with Poroshenko. Biden also told Poroshenko to speed up reforms, but guaranteed another $335 million in aid during the same meeting. These kinds of mixed messages simply won’t cut it anymore. Western donors have already spent tens of billions of dollars propping up Ukraine. It’s time to use that leverage to force Kiev’s recalcitrant officials to implement the anti-corruption reforms its own citizens are demanding.

One of their top demands is fixing Ukraine’s horrifically corrupt judicial system. Only five percent of Ukraine’s citizens trust their judges — and no wonder, since so many take bribes. The Interior Minister even argued that the entire court system be shut down for three months while a new one is built from scratch. While this isn’t realistic, RPR has laid out an agenda for judicial reform that involves restructuring the courts and establishing new procedures for selecting judges and evaluating their performance. The RPR also proposesan agenda to reform the country’s prosecution service. The implementation of these or similar reforms must be an absolute condition for any further financial assistance for Kiev.

What to do? There's some suggestion that the U.S. should go back to its time-honoured approach and start meddling in Ukraine's domestic affairs again, this time by pouring money into the opposition. Sort of like the same thing they did when they intervened to topple Yanukovych. Maybe it'll be third time lucky.
I'll bet old Vlad Putin is getting a chuckle out of this.

Neoliberalism - Time to Cut Deep and See What's Really Inside

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 15:03
I've been caught up in a lot of musings lately about neoliberalism and the vice-like grip it has taken on Canada and other Western democracies. From everything I've read, learned and experienced, I think it is a grave threat to liberal democracy, Canadian society and the future of our children and grandchildren.

How do we deal with this neoliberal web? How are we going to come to grips with what it was intended to be, back when it was sold to us, and what it has instead become? How are we to understand the workings of what's falsely labeled "free market capitalism" and how much of our national sovereignty has been surrendered in our names under a succession of free trade agreements, each seemingly worse than the last?

I've got an idea, one from the now distant past. Why not convene a Royal Commission of Inquiry. It's a wonderful resource that Canada has been employing since 1868. It's a rich history of inquiries into such things as the railways; labour and capital; the transportation of goods through Canadian ports; the penal system; regulating the banking industry; industrial relations; radio broadcasting; revision of the criminal code; health services; taxation; the status of women; media concentration and newspapers; reproductive technologies and aboriginal rights and more.

Why not a top to bottom exploration of neoliberalism, what it has done for and what it has done to Canada and what it holds for our future? There are a lot of interests that would not welcome that sort of scrutiny and exposure, perhaps our own government among them.

Many of us don't recognize it but neoliberalism is a huge and pervasive part of our lives and it is shaping Canada into something we may not like and might come to regret - if only too late.

Yes, let's demand from this government a Commission of Enquiry into neoliberalism in Canada. The sooner, the better.

Update: if you're not up to speed on neoliberalism, you could do worse than to read this piece by The Guardian's George Monbiot.

MOAR Silent No More

Dammit Janet - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 13:06
Found on the Saskatchewan Pro Life website (bold mine):

Canada Silent No More needs Testimonies.

URGENT: We are collecting testimony declarations from women who have been hurt or damaged physically, emotionally or who got breast cancer, cervical damage, had a subsequent pre-term birth, infertility, suffered depression, turned to alcohol and drugs, had suicidal thoughts or attempts etc? We want to hear from you. We are looking for brave and courageous women to testify to the Supreme Court of Canada on how legal abortion has hurt them. You are not alone. If you know any former abortion patients, please have them message me, k. Also we need pro life groups to distribute our declaration forms...the US has over 5,000, we would like to get at least 500. We have over 100 declarations so far. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!! God bless you!Plus a link to Denise Mountenay's Facebook page, where she says she is the "Founder/President" of Canada Silent No More.

And a link to a pdf form to fill out. The form is titled "Testimony Declaration" and stipulates that it is to be filled out by women who have had an abortion.

(Click to embiggen)

It asks for age, dates(s) and location(s) of abortion(s), whether the testifier (is that a word?) was adequately informed of the risks of abortion, whether she was coerced into it/them.

Then there's this: "Were you ever informed of any link between abortion and Breast Cancer (BC)?" (yes, capitalized) with yes/no boxes to tick.

Follow-up question: "Have you had Breast Cancer, or any lumps or cysts removed, or cervical cancer since your abortion(s)?" Yes/no boxes, with request to give details.

Then three more questions on Physical Complications (yes, capitalized again), "depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, etc." Some space to give details.

Signature/date lines, some boxes to tick about whether the person is willing to let her name be used etc., then an identification section asking for full name, email and mailing address, phone number.

If this were a poll, which it is in a way, it would be called a "push poll."

I don't think I need to remind DJ! readers that THERE IS NO LINK BETWEEN ABORTION AND BREAST CANCER.

But I had never seen abortion connected with cervical cancer before and googling "abortion cervical cancer" returns only fetus freak sites.

Further inspection of the Canada Silent No More site reveals a "testimonies" section, which is three pages of snippets of stories with links to their continuation, oddly, all posted on January 26, 2016.

There is no mention anywhere on the site that I could find of the Supreme Court of Canada and I feel pretty confident in saying that if there were an abortion case coming up before the SCC, I'd know about it.

So WTF is this about? Who is Denise Mountebank, er, Mountenay, and why is she collecting this information? Why is she leading people to believe they will have a chance to "testify" about their abortions to the Supreme Court?

And while we're asking questions: What *is* Canada Silent No More?

There already is a Silent No More organization with a Canadian chapter. Angelina Steenstra is National Coordinator for Canada.

On the Canadian page, there's this repressive little note at the end:
Canada Silent No More is a separate organization and is not affiliated with Silent No More Awareness Campaign Canada.
Oooh, dissent in FetusFreakLand?

After all, there is room for just so many *inspirational* "I had an abortion boohooooo" speakers in the market.

Will both organizations make an appearance at the upcoming Futility Fest on the Hill? Will unpleasantness ensue?

Angelina: I'm Silent No More!

Denise: No! I'm Silent No More!

Angelina: I'm More Silenter No More than you are!

Denise: I'm the Most Silent No More!




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