Cronyism Scandal Rocks Vancouver

The biggest single issue that got the Conservatives elected back in 2006 was the Sponsorship Scandal. Riding the wave of accountability and promises of a Federal Accountability Act, Stephen Harper became the first non-Liberal Prime Minister of Canada in the 21st Century.

While the Conservatives managed to enact most of its accountability act, there has been one glaring omission. They have failed to institute a Public Appointments Commission. The purpose of such a commission was to provide a screening mechanism whereby unsuitable candidates would not be able to be appointed to various public positions.  This would include appointments such as judges, parole boards, and law enforcement positions. 1500 appointments have made since Harper was elected in 2006. These were all appointments made “the old way.”

The importance of this is that minority governments, such as the current federal government in Canada, can’t pass all of their legislation. How can they get around this? By appointing people into positions according to their ideology. A prime example of this is how the refugee board has to deal with discrimination. By appointing the “right” ideological people to the refugee board, the Conservatives are able to further their own agenda without passing any specific legislation. This is where things get interesting in Vancouver. I’ve recently been made aware of a suspicious appointment of a tribunal judge to the refugee board. I can’t name any names, but I can tell you that it’s Barry Dhillon. Sources close to me have revealed their doubts about Barry being chosen. As one person said, “he takes too many coffee breaks.” Another insider told me that, “Barry listens to CBC radio all day, and you’d think that would be an indication of a more centralist/left leaning political view. In fact, what Barry has been doing is winning shwag from various talk shows as a covert and insidious way of trying to bankrupt the CBC.”

While no one is saying that Stephen Harper or Barry Dhillon have done anything illegal (yet), there is little doubt that these two are in cahoots. Next week I plan to interview Mr. Dhillon at his parents’ home (he still lives with his parents) to get his supposed “side” of the story.

All joking aside, congrats to B-dawg for his promotion (I assume it’s a promotion)!

Another Successful Rick Mercer Photo Challenge

Another one of my photos made it into Rick Mercer’s Photo Challenge, #22/25

Harper Doth Teach

Cutbacks to Scientific Research

Here is an article in the Globe And Mail that expands upon the post below this one. CAUT, a lobby group for university teachers and researchers, had a meeting with the Minister Of Science And Technology. CAUT was concerned that the government was cutting research funding in Canada, instead choosing to spend university funding on building and construction. It shouldn’t surprise us that the Conservatives are doing this, after all Harper did get rid of the National Science Advisor.

Ghost Jedis Are Tougher Than Sith

Barack and Stephen were recently spotted while they were busy fixing some galactic territorial disputes. But can they solve the Global Economic Slowdown?

Stephen Harper Meets Barack Obama

Stephen Harper Meets Barack Obama

stimulus idea

I can’t say that I’m big fan of the Keynesian “let’s spend our way out of this recession.” stimulus ideas. That’s partly due to my feeling that some people spending some money isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference. The bigger issue is likely the fact that I know almost nothing about economics. Maybe that’s not really a hindrance to the understanding the issue though because I also think there are a lot of economists that don’t understand economics. I guess there is a reason why economics is an arts degree and not a science degree (that isn’t a slight against the arts).

If we’re going to spend a ton of money though, I like what Jim Stanford, Economist for Canadian Autoworkers, had to say. Rather than spend willy-nilly on every little thing possible, which is what the Harper government has proposed, how about Stanford’s idea? He said the following on CBC’s The National.

Let’s have a massive public investment program. I say $20b a year over 5 years. On the environment, clean energy, green cars, insulate buildings, the whole bit. And you’ll get something that you need, to improve the environment, and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Harper’s plan in comparison is more of a “throw money at everything and hope something happens.” And Harper is supposed to be an economist and pretty smart to boot. My guess is that his economic plan is much more about politics than economics. A give everybody some money and they’ll all vote for you kind of thing.

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