Friday, August 20, 2010

Harper's Hit List is Much Longer Than the Media Suggests

I must admit that when I first opened this article and saw Jane Taber's name on the top of a piece criticizing the Harper government, I had a bit of a dizzy spell.

Jane Taber and critical of the Harper government are two things that never go together. I'm sure even seeing her name on top of this had her on the phone with the Big H and Double G assuring them that she was still lead singer in their Hallelujah chorus.

I don't know what her penance will be but expect Janie to be walking behind the men, holding up their celestial robes for awhile.

However, Janie didn't write the article, so we can rest assured that the sky has not fallen. It was written by Jill Mahoney, and is by no means complete.

Mahoney mentions:

Marty Cheliak: The RCMP Chief Superintendent who was head of the Canadian Firearms Program, because he is a strong proponent of the long-gun registry.

Pat Stogran: Because he supports veterans and is exposing the Harper government's mistreatment of these men and women in uniform.

Munir Sheikh: StatsCan chief who revealed that Tony Clement lied about his endorsement re: the census. Thud. (Don't worry about that thud. It was just little Janie. She passed out when I said that Tony Clement had lied. Expect an in depth article by Taber on Clement and his taste in glasses.)

Peter Tinsley: For investigating the alleged torture of detainees in Afghanistan

Linda Keen: The former head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for refusing to reopen the nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ont. until safety upgrades were made.

Mahoney also mentions Helena Guergis, but that girl should never have been given a cabinet position in the first place. Leave her with the manual How to Dress Yourself in the Morning. It'll keep her busy for years. ("Is this the left sock, or the right sock?" )

These are some of the people the article missed:

Louis Ranger: Was pushed out of the job and told, “We don’t want your advice” regarding the spending projects [infrastructure]. Indeed, the woman who is the ADM in charge of the file has been specifically told by the Minster’s [John Baird] office, “We don’t want your advice; we want you to do as you’re told.”) Ranger said of Baird:
As a long time bureaucrat, I am used to dealing with politicians who revel in self-interest. Baird however, is the nastiest, most partisan creature to have ever run a large department. What is best for Canada isn’t even remotely of interest to him - what is best for his party and his own political ambitions drives his agenda entirely.
Kevin Lynch: For locking horns with lobbyist and Harper chief of staff Guy Giorno.
Mr. Lynch has fallen foul of the toxic partisanship emanating from the Prime Minister’s Office that inflicts damage on everyone with whom it comes into contact ... the ground has shifted from under the big-brained economist, who is said to have a particularly difficult relationship with Mr. Giorno.
Dan Veniez: For wanting to save taxpayers millions of dollars by ensuring that multi-national corporations would pay appropriate prices for use of Ridley terminals, by removing them from the public sector. But Rob Merrifield and Jay Hill stepped in:
Veniez's sin is that he and his board did exactly what the then-minister of transport, Lawrence Cannon, asked them to when he gave them the reins of the Crown's faltering coal terminal. They turned it around. They put the $250-million chronic money-loser on a solid business footing for the first time since it was built in the 1980s ...Merrifield, who, like Hill, represents a coal-mining region, has met several times with lobbyists from the big coal companies, and it has been obvious for months that an orchestrated assault on Veniez and his board has been underway.
Kevin Page: Not fired but had his budget slashed because he reported the truth about government spending and rewrote their fairy tales.

Stinging from Page's report last October that put an $18 billion price tag on the Afghanistan war, among other embarrassing revelations, the government slashed his budget for this fiscal year from $2.8 million to $1.8 million. "Our budget is cut and I am in an almost impossible situation. ... I cannot carry out my mandate," Page said, adding that while funding is crucial, transparency is equally important.

Richard Colvin: Attacked on every front by the Reformers for telling the truth about the abuse of Afghan Detainees.
The Canadian government's attack on the credibility of a man whom several colleagues described as a consummate professional, and ministerial suggestions he is spouting Taliban "lies" about the treatment of detainees, have shocked those who worked alongside Colvin in Afghanistan.
Luc Pomerleau: Who blew the whistle on the fact that the government was now going to allow meat packers to do their own inspections. He tried to warn the public that this could result in deaths. It did. 20 to be exact. And he was fired for his efforts.
"Confidential documents insecurely posted on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's computer network laid out sensitive plans to turn over food inspections and labelling to industry and also led to the firing of the scientist who stumbled upon them." The confidential papers "appear to involve a re-organizing of food inspection that will shift more of the onus for food safety to the suppliers that manufacture and distribute food and other products.
Jeff Monaghan: The temp at Environment Canada who first revealed that John Baird was abandoning Kyoto. According to Greg Weston:
In the latest chapter of Stevie in Wonderland, the Conservative promise of open and accountable government is fulfilled by RCMP goons slapping handcuffs on a young federal temp and hauling him off in front of his co-workers, all over a leaked piece of Tory propaganda.

If nothing else, the incident befitting any friendly police state should certainly help Stephen Harper convince voters that the Conservatives have no hidden agenda... But an RCMP raid, handcuffs, and the threat of prison time are, as Monghan said, "without precedent in their disproportionality; they are vengeful; and they are an extension of a government-wide communications strategy pinned on secrecy, intimidation and centralization."
Mark Tushingham: Had his book launch for a sci-fi Hotter Than Hell cancelled by Rona Ambrose because there was an element of truth to it. Heaven forbid a civil servant should try to tell the truth.
Tushingham was just about to give a presentation on the science behind his novel Hotter Than Hell at the National Press Club. Released last November with little fanfare, it's about the Earth becoming so hot from climate change that America and Canada are at war over water. "I was entering the elevator 15 minutes before the event when I got a call on my cellphone," says Tushingham's publisher, Elizabeth Margaris at DreamCatcher Publishing. "[Tushingham] said, 'I've got bad news. I can't go.' He was told [by the Environment Minister's office] not to appear." While Tushingham himself was not available for comment, Margaris told Hour, "This is just outrageous. Mark can't talk but I can. They can't fire me. They can't gag me."
I'm sure there are a great deal more, and had Mahoney done her homework, she might have had a real story, that speaks of a government that does not allow dissent of any kind. And this is very alarming, especially when we add those in the private sector, who have been attacked and ruined by this government. Another growing list.

"May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." Dwight D. Eisenhower