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Archive for the ‘Conservatives’ Category

Decline In Women’s Rights? Change A Line In The Anthem

March 3, 2010 D. Collier 3 comments

After a damning report stating that women’s rights in Canada have been in decline since 2004 in February, the Harper government has lain out a response in today’s Throne Speech.

The response being you might ask? Let’s use the Throne Speech’s own words:

Our Government will also ask Parliament to examine the original gender-neutral English wording of the national anthem.

What exactly does that mean? Well, let’s look at the words:

Current Original (1908)
O Canada! O Canada!
Our home and native land! Our home, our native land,
True patriot love in all thy sons command. True patriot love thou dost in us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise, We see thee rising fair, dear land,
The True North strong and free! The True North strong and free;
From far and wide, O Canada, And stand on guard, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee. We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada! O Canada!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

So basically, as far as I can tell, the Harper government is going to ask Parliament to replace the words “True patriot love in all thy sons command” with “True patriot love thou dost in us command.”

From a gender-neutrality point of view, this change is a step forward. But does it do anything substantive to address the wage gap between men and women, or a lack of affordable, accessible, professional child care?

I don’t think so.

Categories: Conservatives, Federal

Johnnies-Come-Lately

December 8, 2009 D. Collier Comments off

There has been some snickering on the blogosphere today in regards to the Liberals calling for pension reform, a month or so after the New Democrats and Conservatives.

But has anybody else noticed that serious discussion of pension reform started in the provinces a year ago as a result of a joint Alberta-British Columbia report that recommended the creation of an Alberta-British Columbia pension system. Or the provinces are to meet in Whitehorse on December 17th to discuss the issue, with the implicit threat that if there is no progress on national pension reform, some provinces will go it alone and create provincial plans.

So really, it looks like the federal parties are not only late to a serious discussion on the issue, but dangerously late.

The By-Election News

November 9, 2009 D. Collier 1 comment

The Conservatives won Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, following the riding’s previous history. More surprising, however, is the Conservative win in Montmagny–L’Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup, formerly a relatively solid Bloc seat. At the very least, this could show that the Conservatives are a factor in rural Quebec.

The New Democrats retained New Westminster—Coquitlam, and got high seconds in Hochelaga and Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley. Of course, if the New Democrats want to gains seats, they are going to have to figure out out to convert these second place finishes to first place victories.

The Liberals had nothing particularly to lose, and certainly didn’t gain.

The Bloc lost Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup. That’s got to be a bit of a concern for them.

Of course, little of this matters in the long run unless confirmed by a general election.

What’s Worse Than A Harper Minority?

October 5, 2009 D. Collier 3 comments

A BC Liberal Majority, according to a fundraising letter from former MP and current MLA Dawn Black:

After almost a decade as a Member of Parliament, I thought I had seen it all.

I thought, “Nothing could be worse for ordinary people than a Harper government.”

Now I sit across the aisle from Harper’s pal, Gordon Campbell.

After just four months as an MLA, I realize that I had seriously underestimated how arrogant and uncaring a government can be.

The polls how the people of B.C. are realizing it too. Today, we have a unique window of opportunity.

I am asking for your help to make sure it doesn’t pass us by…

While I don’t think that the BC New Democrats will be using this line of attack very much due to the separation of provincial and federal politics in BC, I still thought it would be mildly interesting to federal anti-Harper forces on the blogosphere.

Especially since supposedly anti-Harper-in-policy Michael Ignatieff did explicitly endorse the very same BC Liberals during the 2009 BC Election.

Federal Conservative MPs Distance Themselves From HST

August 20, 2009 D. Collier 2 comments

One of the things that the Conservative government has been touting during its reign in Ottawa is improving inter-provincial/federal integration of the Canadian economy by encouraging the “removal of inter-provincial trade barriers“, the creation of a national securities regulator, and the harmonization of sales taxes.

It’s peculiar, then, when Conservatives MPs from both Ontario and BC are trying to distance themselves from the unpopular implementation of a HST.

In Ontario, Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound’s Conservative MP Larry Miller wrote this in an opinion piece in a local newspaper:

“First, I want to make it clear that this was a change initiated by the province of Ontario and was not a decision made by the federal government in any way.”

On the other side of the country, in Cariboo—Prince George, the local newspaper contacted Conservative MP Dick Harris, for comment on the issue:

Bringing a harmonized sales tax to B.C. isn’t the federal Conservatives idea, Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris is emphasizing.

Wait! It gets better. After saying that, Harris pulls out the “blame the old government that isn’t in power anymore” card and claims that the Conservatives are only following the lead of legislation set out by the Chrétien-era Liberals.

Considering how similar that these two MPs responses are in regards to this issue, the question remains: Does the Conservative party have a split in Caucus on this issue, or are the Conservatives reversing course and running away from a position that is now unpopular?