Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A New Season Beckons, But Nothing Changes

Many people think of September as the real beginning of the new year: kids go off to school, summer transitions to fall, fall fashions appear in the stores, and new careers are embarked upon. Sadly, our political culture seems resistant to change. True, this year there are municipal elections pending in October in Ontario, but on the federal level, the status quo continues, and the abuses of power persist. In so many ways it is like the peculiar time-loop situation Bill Murray found himself in in Groundhog Day.

Yesterday provided a stark reminder of the ruthless vindictiveness of the Harper regime as Dean Beeby of The Canadian Press reported:

A left-leaning think-tank was targeted by the Canada Revenue Agency for a political-activities audit last fall partly because the research and education material on its website appears to be "biased" and "one-sided."

That partial rationale for launching the controversial audit appears on a newly released document that the think-tank, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, obtained under the Access to Information Act.

Significantly, none of the right-wing 'think-tanks' have been thus targeted:

Among right-leaning or pro-business think-tanks in Canada, two — the C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa — have confirmed to The Canadian Press they are not currently under audit for political activities. Two others — the Fraser Institute in Vancouver and the Montreal Economic Institute — have declined to comment on the matter.

In his inimitable style, Dr. Dawg offers a trenchant commentary on this farce, so I offer no further observations here.

And what better way to start a 'new' year than to be reminded of the ever-present and always intrusive past? Star readers come through once again:

Re: Take the muzzle off government scientists, Opinion Aug. 26

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has something to hide from Canadians if he continues to muzzle scientists. He must be afraid of scientific evidence about carbon emissions, sea ice, and climate change, for it would challenge the conservative “free market” view of Canada’s economy in relationship to oil companies and corporations for whom profit is more important than environmental protection, animal habitat and the truth about Canada’s future.

One need only to look at the effects of the free market philosophy in Asia where cities are clogged by coal-fired air pollution and the populace wears face masks in an attempt to breathe. In the United States many have complained of health problems due to fracking. The purity of water is under threat globally, and the Alberta oil sands uses huge quantities of clean drinking water to create its end product. Recent industrial spills in rivers in B.C. threaten drinking water, fish and other wildlife. Is this the Canada people want?

Canadians citizens have a right to know the scientific truth about our country, before it is further degraded by rampant free market initiatives and the devious subterfuge perpetrated by the Harper Conservatives.

Diane Sullivan, Toronto

While claiming to be the most honest, transparent, accountable government Canada has ever had, the Harper government lies to us and consistently distorts and withholds the truth to which we are entitled.

They’ve gutted the long form census to dispense with the troublesome information it provided, apparently preferring to use Kijiji as an informational source — or better yet spending millions on self-serving polls, which are regularly followed up with millions more spent on self-serving propaganda.

Additional efforts, funds and even government agencies are directed against us with blatant attempts by the government to discredit or silence well-meaning charities, the media, our nation’s courts, aboriginals, environmentalists, scientists and even the Canadian public.

And while all this effort and devotion benefits the Conservative party and its supporters (big business, big oil, big banks), guess who’s paying for it. The “bigs” are the ones getting the tax breaks, not us.

Randy Gostlin, Oshawa


  1. Whoever ousts Harper needs to give priority to rooting out the Stasi within the CRA. Just stopping their activities isn't enough. They've crossed a line in persecuting the left but not the right. They've got to go and they have no one to blame for it but their own spineless selves.

    1. After years of exposure to the disease known as the Harper regime, Mound, doubtless the infection is deep and pervasive. A major 'bloodletting' will surely be needed.

  2. Lorne, the two letters sum up the activities of Harper regime quite well. I hope that opposition will inform the voters as to the activities of king Harper and co.. And I hope voters will remember come 2015 elections. Harper regime must pack up and leave after 2015 elections.

    1. That is my wish, and the wish of countless others, LD, that Harper and his wrecking crew will be gone come the fall of 2015.