Politics and its Discontents

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Reflections, Observations, and Analyses Pertaining to the Canadian Political Scene
Updated: 45 min 47 sec ago

Some Comeuppance For The Minister of Democratic 'Reform'

5 hours 45 min ago
The minister responsible for the Unfair Elections Act, Pierre Poilievre, has finally gotten a taste of his own medicine. In the following you will hear a telemarketer calling on behalf of his campaign being answered by 'Lenny,' a software program that manages to tie her up for about 11 minutes.
Lenny, in essence, picks up calls and answers them with pre-recorded audio clips from a doddering Australian man, sometimes keeping telemarketers on the phone for over 20 minutes.
The clips include non-sequiturs, complaints that he can’t hear the caller, and extended reflections about one of his daughter’s academic achievements. At one point he even chases away ducks.You don't have to listen to the entire clip to make your day. Enjoy:

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On Mad King Stephen's Monomania

11 hours 14 min ago

This is not the post I was planning for today, but these letters about Stephen Harper's economic ineptitude seemed too good not to share:
Re: Another Orange Wave for Alberta? Aug. 20

Of course, the prospect of an Orange Wave in Alberta is tantalizing to many and I applaud Tim Harper’s article. However when he quotes Brent Rathgeber as saying that falling oil prices are not Stephen Harper’s fault, it would have been just as astute to point out that perhaps our PM can’t be blamed for the fall of oil prices but he certainly can and should be blamed for doing what no “investor” or “economic planner” worth his salt would or should do, which is to put all his eggs in one basket.

A prime minister with a sound economic plan that looked to a solid future would have long ago diversified Canada’s strengths by encouraging, supporting and subsidizing (much the way the oil patch has been subsidized over the years) our manufacturing sector, which took such a tremendous hit when our loonie became a high petrodollar and has yet to recover.

How does Harper have the gall to ask about anyone’s “economic action plan” when even the most cursory glance at our present near-recession predicament would make it abundantly clear that he, himself, didn’t have one that worked worth a bean.

J. Bartram-Thomas, Richmond Hill

It is factually based and verified that this government has exacerbated, greatly, the economic situation Canada finds itself in, world-wide or not. From its “all our eggs in one basket” reliance on commodities, to massive cutbacks to social programs, science, and R&D, to surplus elimination/deficit creation by handing out tax breaks for the rich and companies that hold but don’t spend cash, and so on and so on, this government has empirically proven itself to be both myopic and inept at handling our asset base. Any of the opposition parties would have done a better job at preparing us for the worst.

If one was on that unfortunate plane a few months back, as a supposedly skilled pilot was directly aiming at the side of a mountain, would one turn to one’s seat companion and declare that this is no time to change our aviation “expert”?

David Klarer, OakvilleRecommend this Post

In Which The Globe And Mail Continues To Service Its Ideological Master

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 07:34

Were it possible for a corporate entity to be appointed to the Senate, I am sure that The Globe and Mail would now be making its presence felt in the Red Chamber. Ever-constant friend to Stephen Harper, the paper with its cadre of ideological sycophants, John Ibbitson consistently leading that particular pack, it has proven itself time and again as the Tory newspaper of record.

The paper's latest genuflection at the altar of Harper came on Monday in an article written by Konrad Yakabuski entitled Harper hysteria a sign of closed liberal minds. In it, said scribe suggests that we all calm down and see the Harper record in the kind of light that only a true believer could entertain:
Just what it is about the Conservative Leader that sends reasonable people into such fits of hysteria is best examined by historians, or better yet, psychiatrists. But it surely can’t be evidence, for Mr. Harper’s political style is not particularly novel, nor have his reforms been that transformational.Two words in that paragraph are ample indication of the blinders Yakabuski donned for the premise of this piece: style and reforms. More about that in a moment.

Incredibly, he asserts that Harper largely
governs from the centre, upholding the long Canadian tradition of middle-of-the-road pragmatism.I guess in order to try to reassure readers that his is not a satirical piece, Yakabuski admits his lord has perhaps made a mistake or two along the way but really, twas nothing:
Yes, the Conservatives have made some questionable policy choices in the name of stroking their base. Killing the long-form census was one. The form had been a long-standing bugaboo among conservatives who felt the state has no business knowing the granular details of their lives. Its demise has inconvenienced some researchers, but it has hardly led to a “subtle darkening of Canadian life.”But what of all the criticism directed at Harper? Tut, tut. Nothing to see here. Move along:
...because elites in the media and academe have deemed Conservative supporters a less evolved species than the progressive subclass to which they themselves belong, they are beside themselves at the loss of their own influence.And about the prime minister's obsessive micromanaging?
Autocratic, Stephen Harper? Well, yes, like just about every other successful prime minister from John A. Macdonald to Mackenzie King to Jean Chrétien. The centralization of decision making in the Prime Minister’s Office is a phenomenon much bigger than Mr. Harper and it would take wholesale parliamentary, if not constitutional, reform to reverse the trend.The Duffy scandal, according to Mr. Yakabuski's bible, is much ado about nothing:
The questions raised at Senator Mike Duffy’s fraud trial about the conduct of Mr. Harper’s closest staff in the PMO, and the Conservative Leader himself, are not flattering. But in the annals of Canadian political scandals – a fairly tame volume to begin with – this is a footnote.Getting back to his qualifiers of style and reforms, informed readers, of which there appear to be growing numbers, will be aware that much of what Harper has done has nothing to do with legislation. Rogue appointments to the National Energy Board, the muzzling of scientists, the egregious contempt for Parliamentary traditions are just three from a long list of abuses that have been well-chronicled and documented over the years and need no repetition here.

They are all part of the public record.

The Harper base may exult in propaganda organs like the Globe and Mail. All those who embrace critical thinking should be duly insulted.

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More Canaries

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 07:04
My guess is only the willfully ignorant, the profoundly stupid, and the ideologically blind do not realize the environmental peril we are experiencing, one primarily but not exclusively driven by climate change. Monster storms, massive wildfires and record droughts are just three of the more obvious symptoms of a critically ill planet. But it is not hard, if we look just a little beyond melodramatic headlines and visuals, to see that the problem is leaving no ecosystem unscathed. The world's oceans are one such ecosystem, as rising temperatures are wreaking largely unseen havoc.

The latest evidence of earth's fever is the deaths of 30 whales in the Gulf of Alaska:
Since May 2015, 14 fin whales, 11 humpback whales, one gray whale and four unidentified specimens have been found dead along shorelines in the Gulf of Alaska, nearly half of them in the Kodiak Archipelago. Other dead whales have been reported off the coast of British Columbia, including four humpbacks and one sperm whale.Labelling it an “unusual mortality event,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the deaths are three times the average for the region, and the fact that little or no trauma has thus far been found on the whales has led to speculation that they are the victims of rising ocean temperatures and a very toxic and extensive consequent aglgal blooms:
Over the past two years, a large mass of warm water that climatologists have dubbed “the blob” has persisted in the north Pacific, and El Niño 2015 is pushing more warm water into the region.

The unusually warm and calm seas are believed to be behind a series of toxin-producing algae blooms – record-breaking in size and duration – stretching from southern California to the Aleutian Islands. Clams sampled near the town of Sand Point, Alaska were found to have toxin levels more than 80 times what the FDA says is safe for human consumption, said Bruce Wright, a scientist who studies toxic algal blooms for the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands Association. The levels were ten times anything Wright had previously recorded.All of this suggests we are bearing witness to yet another canary in the coalmine, one of many that all of our major political leaders and a majority of the population will almost certainly continue to ignore.

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This And That

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 06:39
The start of a new week inspires me to look back on the one past; thanks to an array of editorial cartoonists, it was a week not kind to our outgoing (one hopes) prime minister:

Government for all Canadians, not just the wealthy, offers this intriguing clip from the past. Keep your eyes on the late Jim Flaherty:

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Watch Jim Flaherty's reaction when Steve tells the House of Commons that Nigel Wright didn't tell Ray Novak about the Duffy bribe.

Posted by Government for all Canadians, not just the wealthy on Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lest Angry White Guy be forgotten, The Star's Heather Mallick offers her views in today's edition:
#AngryCon, identified by the Star as “Earl Cowan,” was filmed in a tan suit, white shirt and, on a hot day, undershirt. His hair a limp version of Harper’s, he accessorized with a calculator watch and a Doug Ford for Mayor button, but no wedding ring. If there’s any man who needs a wife, it’s Earl. He has no one to say, “Earl that’s nuts,” which is one reason he watched himself shout in a high-pitched voice that the reporters were “lying pieces of s—t” and then accused them, a propos of nothing, of cheating on their taxes.And a Star letter-writer has this suggestion on how to deal with the unstable volatile Cowan:
The now known profanities shouter, Earl Cowan, should immediately be investigated by the Canada Revenue Agency because he, in all probability, must have been cheating on his income tax returns. He thinks it’s okay to do that — everybody does that, and Duffy has done nothing wrong.

Satendra Ganjoo, TorontoRecommend this Post

Now This Is Getting Ridiculous

Sun, 08/23/2015 - 13:35

Apparently, Stephen Harper feels that Canadians are real whores for tax cuts:
Stephen Harper is kicking off a quiet day on the federal election campaign trial by promising tax relief for service club members.

Harper says members of organizations such the Kiwanis, Lions and Royal Canadian Legion can claim a tax break for their membership fees if the Conservatives are re-elected.
I'm sure that will make the disaffected vets much, much happier.

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Angry For Good Reason

Sun, 08/23/2015 - 06:38
Every evening at 6:30, I try to take about 10 minutes to watch NBC Nightly News, the object of my interest not American politics but the apocalyptic imagery of the West Coast wildfires. Every night seems to bring reports of new conflagrations and tragedy, and every night my anger grows, not just for the loss of valuable forests and the consequent release of all of their stored carbon, not just for the loss of hundreds of homes that have often been in families for generations, and not just for the loss of the lives of the brave people putting themselves on the front-lines in often futile attempts to contain these raging conflagrations.

No, my greatest anger is reserved for two groups, one of them being the politicians and their well-heeled enablers who facilitate either outright climate-change denial or, even more insidiously, now acknowledge it but doubt that it is caused by human activity. Hence, no need to change our reliance on fossil fuels or anything else about our earth-altering habits - it's out of our hands, goes the messaging.

The second target for my deep anger is the rest of us. Sure, as a society we may express concern, but as soon as measures are proposed that would constitute concrete action against ever-rising temperatures, outrage ensues. Consider the glee with which Conservative MP Michelle Rempel pounced on Linda McQuaig's recent assertion that much of the tarsands oil may have to be left in the ground if we are to keep the rise in global temperatures under two degrees Celsius. Rempel's Dark Lord and Master, Stephen Harper, quickly joined in the pile-on, saying such a statement shows that the NDP will “wreck our economy” and should never come to power.

But why do you think such their triumphalism is so nakedly and unapologetically on offer? It's because they know that whatever veneer of noble intent and purpose we have can be easily pierced by raising the spectre of job loss, tax increases, and disruption of our profligate lifestyles, this, of course, despite the fact that those consequences, and much worse, are coming our way as runaway climate change takes hold.

That is also why people like Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau limit their references to climate change to platitudinous generalities.

Said Mr. Mulcair recently:
At a time when world leaders are negotiating new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Mr. Mulcair said he wants to represent Canada in December when decisions are made in Paris.

“Nothing would make me more proud than to be there in December, as Prime Minister of Canada, to participate in the conference on climate change, to declare loud and clear that Canada will work with the world and not against the planet,” he said.Note the similar stance taken by Trudeau:
He would take the premiers with him to the Paris climate-change summit in December. By April 2016, he would hold a first minister’s conference to forge a consensus on emissions-reduction targets. He would commit “targeted federal funding” to help provinces reduce their emissions.Their timidity, of course, is predicated on the same boldness that galvanizes the Harperites: the knowledge that people are all for addressing climate change, as long as it doesn't impinge upon their lifestyle choices and economic statuses.

In the days of widespread church attendance, Sundays were devoted to uplifting messages, and in that regard my post falls far short. However, I will end on a positive note. One of the few things that keeps me from complete despair is the knowledge that there are those among us who are willing to put everything at risk, even their very lives, in service of their fellow humans. The above-mentioned firefighters are sterling proof of that. Now, if only the rest of us could awaken that noble potential ....

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Go On, Make Her Day

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 06:01
You'll understand the relevance of my post's title when you get to the end of the following video, about the efforts of 81-year-old Doreen Routley, a former steadfast Conservative, to convince people not to vote for Stephen Harper in October. I shudder to ponder what expletives Angry White Guy would hurl at her.

And as a supplement, you may wish to check out some Star readers' reactions to the revelations emerging from the Mike Duffy trial, a few of which I reproduce below:
To help Canadians suspend disbelief and to enter his imaginary world, the next three Senate appointments by the Prime Minister will be: the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and the Boogey Man. Together, they will enhance our benefits and scare those who threaten us.
Chuck Simmons, Pickering

We’ve seen this movie before. A network of senior political operatives scrambles to cover up an unravelling embarrassment in order to insulate their boss whose abuse of power created the problem in the first place.

After Watergate was exposed, Richard Nixon won the largest majority in U.S. history. It was only later that the wheels came off.

We can only hope it doesn’t take as long for us to be rid of our tyrant and his gang of democracy suppressors.

Dermot P. Nolan, Hamilton

The Duffy trial can aptly be renamed “Wruffygate” due to its profound effect on the federal election campaign. The mounting email evidence and testimony leaves us with two clear conclusions.

Either Stephen Harper knew all along about Wright’s activities. Occam’s razor favours this explanation. Almost nothing happens in the Party of One without Harper’s knowledge.
Or his many underlings were too afraid of their dictatorial leader to tell him what Nigel Wright was doing to extricate Mike Duffy from his dilemma. We have seen this before when Saddam’s underlings were too afraid of him to relate how few weapons he actually had. The resulting electronic chatter fooled U.S. intelligence into thinking he had “weapons of mass destruction.”

Either way, the scandal has derailed Harper’s branding. During the Macleans debate, he simply stuck to his party line, largely ignoring the criticisms of the progressive party leaders. Now he has to answer persistent questions about the Duffy trial evidence. Canadian voters are getting a true picture of the inner workings of the ruling Conservatives.

Donald A. Fraser, WaterlooRecommend this Post

Your Morning Smile

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 06:03

Pinocchio, Snow White and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day.
As they walk, they came across a sign:
"Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world."
"I am entering," said Snow White.
After half an hour she comes out and they ask her,
"Well, how did you do?"
" First Place ," said Snow White.
They continue walking and they see a sign:
"Contest for the strongest man in the world."
"I'm entering," says Superman.
After half an hour he returns and they ask him,
"How did you make out?"
" First Place ," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"
They continue walking when they see a sign:
"Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?"
Pinocchio says "this is mine."
Half an hour later, he returns with tears in his eyes.
"What happened?" they asked.
"Who the hell is STEPHEN HARPER?" asked Pinocchio.Recommend this Post

Sympathy For The Devil?

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:33

With tongue firmly ensconced in his cheek, Andrew Coyne writes that we are being too hard on Stephen Harper, a prime minister who has been cruelly betrayed by all those in whom he placed an absolute trust:
You will be familiar with the picture we have created of him: suspicious, paranoid, controlling, a leader who trusts no one, leaves nothing to others, insists on taking a hand in even the smallest matter. Well, you’d be suspicious, paranoid and controlling, too, if everyone around you was lying to you all the time.
Such deception would be enough to break the spirit of even the strongest person:
Consider what we have learned about the Duffy affair. More to the point, consider what he has learned. Wholly without his knowledge, several of his closest advisers, including his chief of staff, his principal secretary, and his legal counsel, together with his Senate house leader, the chairman of the Conservative party fundraising arm and the party lawyer, conspired over a period of several months to pay Duffy for his improperly claimed living expenses, then to pretend to the public that he had repaid them out of his own pocket, then to attempt to block, shut down, or rewrite a confidential audit, then finally to rewrite a Senate committee report so as to absolve Duffy of any fault.To have the foundations of his world so shaken must have exacted an enourmous toll on Mr. Harper:
Imagine the sense of betrayal he must have felt — the vertigo, the nausea — as it slowly dawned on him that everything he had been led to believe about the whole affair was a lie: that in fact, everyone knew. Everyone, that is, but him. Imagine the humiliation, to have been played for a patsy in this way — him, Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada — and what is more, for the whole world to know it. He is a proud man, but not immune to feelings of self-doubt. Would anyone respect him now? Could he carry on as leader, if he were not master even of his own office?And yet, while others might have lashed out in fury at the byzantine machinations of subordinates, the true character of the prime minister became apparent as he chose the road less travelled:
And yet, this good man, deceived, humiliated, betrayed on all sides, found it in his heart to forgive them. You or I, had we found ourselves in the same position, might have taken the most foul sort of revenge: fired the lot, paraded them in front of the media, forced them to answer for what they had done. But that is not, we can see now, Harper’s way: this supposedly ruthless autocrat, this cold, vindictive brute of caricature, responded to this monumental breach of trust with comprehensive mercy. No one was fired, though some were allowed to leave. Some are even travelling with him on his campaign. He was even going to forgive Wright, and would have, had it tested better."These are the times that try men's souls," wrote Thomas Paine. Out of this current political crisis confronting the prime minister, all Canadians have been presented the opportunity to see the stuff that Stephen Harper's soul is really made of.Recommend this Post

A Blast From The Past

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 05:50
Many thanks to John B who, in response to my previous post, wrote the following and provided this video and this link. I daresay you will enjoy this eerily prophetic blast from the past, as the 'over served' and pompous Mike Duffy attempts a stout defense of his Senate expenditures less that one year into his illustrious post-television career.

I realize that the Beaverton piece is fictional, but let's not forget that Duffy was appointed to the Senate in late 2008 just after the election and possibly as a direct reward for his role in Harper's project to destroy Stéphane Dion.

It would also be informative to our current perspective to keep in mind that the infamous CBC interview during which Peter Stoffer attempted to draw attention to the expense claim abuses that Duffy had committed to support his "expanded role in the party, an exercise that, taking a page from the Jason Kenney manual for publicly-funded CRAP Party ethnopandering, the Scotch-soaked Senator dared to describe as an "outreach", took place in November of 2009, at least three years prior to the "revelations" that have led to the tap-dancing we are now observing.

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Now Trending

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 09:53

Following yesterday's sterling advertisement for the Harper base, the satirical publication The Beaverton decided to have some fun:
TORONTO - During a campaign stop reporters asking questions about the Duffy scandal were cursed at by a Harper supporter, before he was removed and offered a seat in the Senate.

“I spoke to my current Chief of Staff, Ray Novak, about making this problem go away,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, when asked later about the Senate appointment. Harper further elaborated, “Considering after the 2011 election I appointed Mike Duffy to the Senate in exchange for him doing ‘work’ in the press, this just kind of made sense.”

Harper then clarified that he had no knowledge of any conversations with Novak, and “rejected the premise” that he had said the opposite mere minutes previous.

The latest Senator from Etobicoke has refused to offer any identification outside of the prominent “Doug Ford Mayor” campaign button on his jacket. Following his nomination to the senate, he is expected to chair a committee on how “the media are all lying pieces of shit”.

At a later campaign stop, Conservative spokesperson Kory Teneycke apologized to journalists for the outburst, adding “If you think that guy was bad, you should see the supporters that we screen out.”
It would seem prudent for all future innocent bystanders at Harper rallies to wear protective apparel to guard againt the spewing of infected saliva.

As well, perhaps angry white guy can put an end to this abuse by the Senate, as reported by Buzzfeed.
In a March 2013 memo to Stephen Harper, his chief of staff Nigel Wright and other senior staffers raged that Conservative Senators were too independent and had recommended policies that were not pre-approved by the Prime Minister’s Office.Imagine, the bought-and-paid-for Red Chamber Conservatives thinking they could act independently! A sobering second thought indeed.
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More Fun With 'Deceivin' Stephen'

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 06:26

H/t Theo Moudakis

And this from Star letter-writers:
Re: Duffy scandal dogs Harper, Aug. 17


There are many types, just as there are many kinds of lies – white, boastful, malicious, and the Big Lie. This last kind can perhaps be used successfully only by one class of liar – the Big Man or CEO type.

The method is familiar, probably taught at MBA schools. Appear calm and subdued. Begin by saying “Look,” or “Let’s be clear,” or “I’ve said this before.” Slump your shoulders as a visible sigh of exasperation. Use a somewhat rote, very slightly sing-song style of delivery, like one who is patiently taking up valuable time to re-explain something that the listener, disappointingly, lacked the perception to grasp the first time.

Then unleash the Big Lie. The black economy is actually white. Saving the climate is good, but taking any suggested step to that end is bad. Canadians are in imminent danger of terrorism, and bombing Syria will prevent lone-wolf attacks here.

Past tanker, railway and pipeline disasters have taught us so much that future incidents are impossible. Breaches of election spending rules and Parliamentary conduct are normal, nothing new, conform to past practice, nothing to see here, folks. The Senate scandal was rare, contained, and completely divorced from the practices of the party and PMO. If one didn’t use certain quoted exact words, therefore nothing of the kind was said.

The punctiliously polite Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May seem to think that on the debating podium they are still hamstrung by the Parliamentary rule against flagging an untruth. Well, Stephen Harper himself has killed the current Parliament, so those rules don’t apply, and good heavens, surely somebody has to bell the cat.

If they absolutely can’t bring themselves to use the word, how about witty references to lengthening noses, or: “Mr. Moderator, do we need to call 911? There seems to be a smouldering odour in here of pants on fire.”

Or how about simply looking at the camera and asking Canadians directly: “On the economy, who are you going to believe – this guy or your own eyes?”

J.A. McFarlane, Toronto

For years we’ve known that Lyin’ Brian Mulroney earned his sobriquet; now we know that Deceivin’ Stephen Harper has earned his monicker, too.

Bernie Smith, Parksville, B.C.

If Nigel Wright believed that his $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy was a good deed, then why would he not have told the Prime Minister? Is there anyone in Canada who still believes that he didn’t?

Paul Axelrod, TorontoRecommend this Post

A Member Of The Raid Harper Base Foams At The Mouth

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 11:31
The following occurred this morning, at a Harper rally in Etobicoke:

You can read about it here.

A persistent Terry Milewski was met by the same crowd lustily urging that the government "shut down the CBC."

Two more reasons not to live in one of Toronto's suburbs.Recommend this Post

The Company You Keep

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 08:34

You remember, I'm sure, what your mother taught you: you are judged by the company you keep. By that standard, almost all of the MPs who form the Harper regime are to be condemned, willing, as they apparently are, to trade any vestige or semblance of integrity and self-respect for the chance of obtaining power. The seal that barks the loudest often gets the biggest fish.

Looking decidedly well-fed on piscine fare these days is Finance Minister Joe Oliver who, despite some very obvious shortcomings, appears quite content to be the good soldier carrying out Dear Leader's commands. Yet a closer look reveals that Stephen Harper has some serious competition in the unsavoury associates category. That's because of Oliver's close association with
Rebecca MacDonald, founder and executive chair of Just Energy Group Inc., a $3.9-billion Toronto-based energy marketing company. Oliver appointed MacDonald to his Economic Advisory Council last summer.MacDonald was in the news last month after Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. made her the head of its corporate governance committee. MacDonald has been on CP Rail’s board for the past three years.

Bruce Livesey writes that MacDonald, who enjoys a high social profile, has a rather low ethical threshold. You may have encountered some of her employees at your door, trying to sell you an energy contract. If your 'Spider sense' started to tingle, your instincts were correct, since
charges of consumer fraud, unscrupulous sales tactics, multi-million dollar fines, and allegations of fabricating credentials have plagued both MacDonald and Just Energy for years. This past winter, for example, Massachusetts forced a (US) $4-million settlement out of the company over its sales methods, specifically over making false representations to customer. “We allege this… supplier engaged in widespread and misleading conduct that lured consumers into costly contracts in the form of high electricity rates and termination fees,” said the state’s attorney general, Martha Coakley, when the settlement was announced.Just Energy also owes $105-million to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) – a loan it received three years ago after Bay Street refused to finance the company in a public share offering.Says forensic accountant Dr. Al Rosen, who has investigated both MacDonald and her company, “How they could possibly have loaned them five cents is beyond me”.

Part of the answer may lie in the fact that she has friends in high places, including Oliver, John Baird, Major General Lewis MacKenzie, former Senator Hugh Segal and former Ontario chief justice Roy McMurtry.

An investigation by The National Observer reveals that her life seems to be filled with a series of fabrications, ranging from the lie that her father was the minister of energy in Yugoslavia under Tito, that she became a doctor at the age of 22, and that she is a trained concert pianist. And these were just the lies she told her first husband.
Telling fibs about your credentials is not a minor issue if you’re running a publicly-traded company, says Joe Groia, one of Canada’s top security lawyers. “If you have a director or an officer of a public company who’s falsified her credentials or if she’s telling stories about her background in order to give herself credibility in the marketplace and those stories are not true, that’s a very serious issue… So regulators take it very seriously… because directors have a huge amount of responsibility.”
From suits involving consumer fraud to employing people whose companies were fronts for the Russian mafia to juggling its books, MacDonald's Just Energy, for anyone interested in corporate morality and ethical practices, is a toxic product, a matter apparently of no concern to Joe Oliver or CP Rail:
Oliver spokesperson Nicholas Bergamini responded by saying: “Our government consults widely with leading business and economic innovators – to hear ideas to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.”

And CP Rail spokesperson Marty Cej says that MacDonald has the “full confidence of the board” and that her posting to the head of its governance committee was an “unanimous” decision. When pressed if they conducted any due diligence on her background, Cej repeated the same statement.Perhaps the final word should be accorded to the forensic accountant, Al Rosen, who issues this warning to consumers about the company:
“It's something that you should run far and fast away from.”It is the same advice I would give to voters about a government that endorses such ethically-challenged companies and practices.
Recommend this Post

Apocalypse Now, And The Shape Of Things To Come

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 06:15
I decided to take a break from the political landscape today to look at our physical one. Regrettably, although the title of this post comes from two films, what is depicted here is all too real. I'll let the disturbing imagery speak for itself.

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Another Reason To Vote

Sun, 08/16/2015 - 14:37
If you know any young people looking for a reason to vote, please pass this on to them:

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National Pipeline Approval Board

Posted by Robin Chat on Saturday, August 15, 2015Recommend this Post

Fun With Stephen

Sun, 08/16/2015 - 06:46

As a Facebook wag described the above, Harper's caucus room post-election.

I have always respected Smokey's advice. At this critical juncture, Canadians would be foolish to ignore him.Recommend this Post

The Evolving Harper 'Narrative' On The Duffy Scandal

Sat, 08/15/2015 - 11:29
Of course, I am using the word narrative quite euphemistically here.

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