Stephen Harper is Killing Canada – the ‘we only serve some Canadians’ edition

It seems like the Harpercons are on fire recently. Hot on the heels of the demise of Motion 312[1] we have Rob Anders infering that all transwomen are pedophiles. Oh and then the lovely gem from our Minister of Non-Public Safety cancelling all the contracts for non-Christian religious personnel in Canada’s prisons. Yup, if you are white, cisgendered, straight and Christian you will love Harper’s Canada.

Even though Harper pledged that he was not interested in re-opening the abortion debate in Canada, we have a second motion concerning abortion in 2012. Now, either Harper has lost control of his caucus or he is giving these motions his blessing. He knew he would never get his majority if he appeared like a whack-job who wanted to role back reproductive rights to the 1960s. Instead I suspect he mollified his Christian socially backward MPs by telling them they would deal with it one he got his majority. He is trying to do through the backdoor what he couldn’t do through the front door. We need to tell him to shut the fucking door – that it is over and decided and we will not stand idly by while he tries to criminalize control over our bodies. We also cannot let the Liberal Party of Canada off the hook either. They allowed a free vote on this issue rather than enforcing party discipline. Newly minted leadership candidate, Justin Trudeau, tweeted how proud he was of his party’s ‘enlightened’ decision. Someone had better school Justin quickly on women’s issues! The NDP are to be commended, even with their large Quebec, some Catholic for sure, they all voted against the motion. Oh, and last time I checked, it is usually female fetuses aborted in favour of sons. I wonder who is really making that decision?

Now on to the clusterfuck that is Rob Anders. In 1990, I sat behind him and one of his minions in Poli Sci 201 at the University of Calgary. They were not big fans of Professor Dickerson. They were rude and obnoxious. Then there was the incident where threats were posted on the door of the GLASS (Gay, Lesbian Association for Staff and Students) office in Mac Hall. So it is not surprising that Mr. Anders still does not understand anything outside of his sphere of straight[2], white privilege. A private member’s bill, Bill C279, which seeks to amend to amend Canada’s Human Rights Act to include gender identity. It would also add gender identity and gender expression as grounds as areas where hate crime charges could be pursued. Anders has now dubbed this the ‘bathroom bill’ and states that giving men (which transwomen are not) access to women’s bathroom facilities puts children in danger. Anders is an expert at pandering to the lowest common denominator. I have news for Mr. Anders: almost all pedophiles are straight men.

Even worse, Anders also accused current NDP leader Thomas Mulcair of hastening Jack Layton’s death. One doesn’t even know where to begin and nor should we. Harper needs to kick this idiot from caucus. He has no business representing any Canadians. Even when the riding Association tried to replace him as their candidate through a nomination vote, the party intervened and Anders was the Conservative candidate. I am beginning to think that he has something on Stephen Harper. At least Olivia Chow, ever the calm, professional, chose to not react. Good for her.

Next up we have Vic Toews who seems to have decided that all inmates in Canadian federal prisons are Christian. Citing the fact that the military uses non-denominational chaplains, he argues if it is good enough for the military then it is good enough for Corrections Canada. A one-size fits all approach to spirituality, and to be sure it is Christian, gave us things like residential schools. We have all seen how devastated our First Nations people are as a result of losing their culture, language and religion. In fact, great strides have been made with First Nations inmates through elders reintroducing these very important cultural touchstones. First Nations are overrepresented in Canadian prisons, however they are not the only other religious groups represented in Canada’s prison population. What are the Jews, Hindus, and Muslims supposed to do for spiritual guidance? And, if there is ever a time someone needs the support of their religion, it is when they are in prison.

In Harper’s Canada, life is good as long as you can check off certain boxes. If you are a person of colour, a woman, gender-variant, non-Christian, gay or lesbian, you are a second-class citizen. You will not be afforded basic human rights and you will be mocked viciously should you dare to stand up and complain. I fear for my Canada under this regime.

Stephen Harper is Killing Canada: Part One


[1] Although it now has a cousin – a motion to criminalize sex-selective abortion.

[2] Presumably although 40-something unmarried…

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Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘Goodbye Clio’ edition

  • Today we said goodbye Clio. I still remember the day she came to us. She was blind, confused, starved and semi-feral. She had been thrown from a car in a bag and a Good Samaritan pick her up and dropped her at the Vancouver Animal Shelter. She came home with Deb as a foster. Being a historian and all, I decided to name her after the Greek muse of history. Deb hated that name, but it suited her. As fosters go, everyone knows how often we fail. After 2 years, Clio was completely bonded to me and was just beginning to explore relationships with other humans. I could not let her go and make her do that all over again. So she stayed with us. Nothing was ever easy for Clio – her legs were malformed[1], as were her teeth. She loved to eat though. She was always persistent in getting what she wanted. I used to call her my little ‘pez dispenser dog’ because she would pop up, I would put food in her mouth and she would go down. Clio was often a target for other dogs because she didn’t move right. We were always making sure that the ‘abusive dogs to her dogs’[2] were separated so that she did not get hurt. Clio did everything on her terms. We have all pretty much been bitten for trying to clean her up – which she hated. This was a dog who despised being groomed. She was difficult to cuddle with because she had a hard time relaxing. Once she did relax, she was the best cuddler ever. Rest easy baby girl. You were loved.
  • So I have had a little more time with Lion and I found some other things I really love! In Lion, you can shut down your Mac with apps and windows open and when it restarts everything is as it was. I have to say one of the things I hated most about my Mac was closing down apps. I often have many open and it would take forever! This feature is great especially when you have to do a software update – you can just let it go and it will be as you had it when it is done updating. This is a sweet, sweet feature. With mission control and an app launcher like Launchbar, I could see at time when the dock could become redundant. It is much quicker to open apps with Launchbar and easier to switch with mission control. Oh and I did have to revert back to the normal scrolling way. While the change makes sense, I have been on computers far too long to make that kind of change.
  • One more thing! Rob Anders[3]! Talk about a loose cannon! Yesterday he gave a speech announcing a new housing project. He went on to say that as he gave the speech he was going to interject his own phrase whenever the bureaucrats wrote something he was not comfortable saying. What he did was give his support to Alberta PC Leadership candidate Ted Morton. It was completely inappropriate for Anders to use his position as MP, while on government business to endorse someone in another race. Having been in parliament as pretty much his only career you would think he would know this bit of information!

 


[1] We fixed one leg but it was extremely painful for her. The other leg was not great but no vet ever recommended fixing it – even when we asked. She was able to weight bare so it was ok.

[2] Mackenzie and then Zoe.

[3] He voted against giving Nelson Mandela honourary Canadian citizenship. Seriously, who does that?

The Conservative Rats are Jumping Ship!!

In light of the probable upcoming federal election, it would appear that the Conservative rats are jumping ship. Unfortunately the ones who are quitting provided most of the depth of experience to Harper’s cabinet. David Emerson, Loyola Hearn and Monte Solberg have announced that they are not running again.

It comes as no surprise to me that David Emerson has decided to quit. After being elected a Liberal in Vancouver-Kingsway and crossing the floor to become a Conservative Cabinet Minister – his chances of re-election were slim and none. He was the target of a very long “de-elect Emerson” campaign that one can still see lawn signs for in the riding. No doubt he would have been dogged by disgruntled constituents whereever he went with no hope of even winning his seat. David Emerson, while unable to listen to his constituents certainly can read the writing on the wall.

Losing three key cabinet ministers does not bode well for the Harpies. It is hard not to speculate as to why. While it is clear why Emerson is not running again, that is not the case with Hearn and Solberg. One has to wonder if the short leash Harper keeps his cabinet ministers on has begun to feel like a stranglehold. No doubt as they head into the election Harper’s minions are going to be everywhere to ensure that everyone stays on message. Unfortunately for Harper, radical right-wingers are notoriously hard to control. Rob Anders is a perfect example of an MP with radical right-wing views who is hard to control. He once called Nelson Mandela a terrorist! He has also had controversy and court challenges to his continued nominations by acclamation.

By pulling the plug on his own minority government Stephen Harper risks losing it all. Some Canadians are going to view him as greedy and arrogant thinking that he can get and deserves a majority government.  Canadians are not generally favourably disposed to avarice and pomposity. We tend to like our politicians humble and simple. Just ask Brian Mulroney…