Just for fun, I plugged "Harper Dismisses Criticism" (no quotations) into the old google machine. I got 1,960,000 results. That seems like a lot.
Update - Sorry...this is late, but it's my new favourite story of the week. Stephen Harper requested 14 tickets for the Jets home opener. They gave him 2.
I feel like any law is going to have weird, unintended consequences, no matter how noble it's intentions. So, I'm not a fan of latching on to the obscure losers in the Copyright sweepstakes. But...still...any law that gives blind people the shaft is probably not a great one.
Are there any consequences for this government? Was it Patton Oswald who said of George Bush "I'd be happy if he accepted the blame for a chewing gum wrapper on the White House lawn at this point."? Anyhow, Bob Dechert appears to walk away unscathed from his extra-marital dalliance with a foreign "journalist".
Stephen Harper annonces the demise of the per vote subsidy. Ya...this is sure to cut back on the number of elections. We'll see if they turn off the per-person limit as well. Let's crunch some numbers...this is a bit of a wanky analysis, but we'll use their research. From last year:
Conservatives - 17.4 Million Earned - 27.9 Million Subsidy - 45.3 Million Total
Liberals - 7 Million Earned - 14.3 Million Subsidy - 21.3 Million Total
NDP - 4.4 Million Earned - 9.5 Million Subsidy - 13.9 Million Total
If you look at the totals, Cons/Libs is about 2.12:1. Cons/NDP is 3.25/1. If you look at only the earned amount, Cons/Libs is about 2.48/1 and Cons/NDP is 3.95/1. So, the Conservatives have increased their advantage, but it's perhaps not as extreme as some may think. As well, the Conservatives had the most to gain with their increased vote numbers, and then probably the NDP. Either way, the Liberals were going to take a funding hit. It's actually probably not super bad news for them, as their competition is no longer getting a much larger cheque than they would have (their 14.3 Million subsidy would have been chopped while the Cons and NDP went up). Unfortunately, I don't expect them to stop there. After all, what's more democratic than letting anybody or any entity contribute as much money as they'd like?
I don't know what to think of this next one. A private member's bill suggests that unions should be subject to financial disclosure laws. Nobody seems to have a direct idea as to why this is bad, but it merely suggests the possibility of something bad that could potentially happen. So I'm going to give him a pass on this one.
Why don't we hear more about the Elections Canada case against the Conservatives? This less-than-mainstream publication points out that the trial is most likely to be delayed again.
The parties actually teamed up to make some headway on something! The Liberals suggested a national suicide prevention strategy and the Conservatives agreed.
Remember the 50-million-dollar Muskoka slush fund? Well, turns out Tony Clement was, for some reason, using his personal e-mail account to converse with the Mayor of Huntsville on exactly how he should be spending the money. We only know this because somebody was able to track down the messages through the Mayor's e-mails. And the Auditor General agrees that things don't really add up here.
Apparently the crazy new flag law wouldn't apply within Parliament Hill Offices. As there's a law that supercedes that law that prevents flags from flying within the offices. So, basically, the Parliamentary Precinct Standards would break the new flag though. This is an outrage! Why are the Parliamentary Precinct Standards so anti-Canadian?
Some crazy idiots want to know the details of the new Canada/US North American Security agreement. Ya...like it matters what the US plans on doing on Canadian soil to increas their security. Terrorism! Illegal immigrants! Isn't that enough information? Now, what exactly is "perimeter security"? I don't think they're talking about all of the people that sneak through the arctic. They're probably not too concerned about boats flooding the various coastlines. So I think they're probably talking about massive airport crackdowns. And the "carrot" is that cross-boarder traffic and waits will be reduced? Ya. Probably. And it's only a billion dollars. Peanuts, really.
Maybe Stephen Harper is on to something with his War of 1812 education project? It still seems a bit off to me, somehow. But Canadians knowing a bit more about their history isn't really a bad thing. I just don't really trust his reasons for doing this.
The Government expands its unwillingness to negotiate on RCMP deals out to Newfoundland and PEI. I don't think that expanding the number of Provinces pissed off about a situation is a great bargaining tactic.
Bonus culture hits the public sector. Tony Clement offers up fat bonuses (well...promises not to take away fat bonuses) to public service heads that help him make his cuts. In similar budget cutting news, the government is expecting $200 in savings for every $1 spent on consultants. Which nails it for me that these guys don't know what they're doing. Have you ever worked with consultants? I have no question that they'll come up with $200 in expected savings. Unfortunately I expect that $200 will turn into a cup of coffee and a donut once reality hits.
Stephen Harper continues his rhetoric against the evelist of evils...The Canadian Wheat Board. Indeed, the train "barreling down a prairie track" is going to stop for no-one, so you're better to "get on it than lie on the tracks." Wait...is this about wheat or about trains?
Finally, this outlines some of the money spent in the last year to influence American decision makers on the Keystone pipeline. This Government doesn't mind spending money or helping people out. It just needs to be about oil.