Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear Mr. Harper

I am sharing my letter to the Prime Minister of Canada with you. Please feel free to copy it, use it, share it, whatever you like with it. I sent this to Mr. Harper, his entire cabinet, the leaders of the opposition, their deputies, and the media. Unfortunately, it is already out of date, because of the conservative scandal du jour.
Dear Mr. Harper:
I am writing to you to request that when you speak in the house and to the public, that you no longer use the phrase ‘what the Canadian people want’ or any variation thereof. I can attest to the fact that you do not speak for me, nor for any member of my household, and therefore, you are not speaking with knowledge of what ‘the Canadian people want’. What THIS Canadian wants is for you to explain to me where the transparency and accountability lies in the following issues:
Archives ‘cleansing’ – The Harper government is working through the Canadian Archives, destroying things that don’t quite agree with their position, effectively politically rewriting our history.
-          Consultation Fees -- $2.4Billion was spent on unspecified, undefined, unaccounted for ‘consultation’.
-          Lost money -- $3.1Billion was ‘lost’ dollars designated for National Security.
-          Illegal contributions – this time from those receiving patronage appointments (ie IE directors) who are legally forbidden from making political contributions, but who made $37,000 of them anyway.
-          Duffy Affair – Senator Duffy charged excessively on his expense accounts, was found to be dishonest in his claims yet he faced no consequence. The repayment does not negate the offence.
-          Nigel Wright payment – where did the $90,000 come from, who ordered it, who knew about it, why was it allowed, why was a senate report doctored to hide the fact that Duffy had been fraudulently charging taxpayers and why has no one been fired over this situation? (Not some $30,000 a year PMO worker; someone with authority and substance)
-          Legal counsel for Nigel Wright – who drew up any documents used with regard to the loan/gift/payment to Michael Duffy, and was any PMO counsel resource used for this purpose.
-          CBC Control – The Harper government announced that they will be taking over the appointing of staff to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, effectively taking control over the news and the way it is presented to the public, providing them with more political spin at public expense.
-          Temporary Foreign Workers Scandal with Royal Bank and other large corporations for the importing of foreign workers to replace Canadian workers with Canadian government oversight approval.
-          Bail-In Provision snuck through to allow government access to personal savings accounts to settle government debts (2013)
-          Long Gun Registry – stopped then reinstated (April 2013) with increased registration fees for restricted weapons and the yearly renewing of license for long guns
-          Robocalls (2012) – issuing fake, misleading calls to actively interfere with voting public
-          Canada Action Plan ad campaign Part 1 -- $26M taxpayer dollars over 3 months for programs already ended in order to promote conservative party interests.
-          Canada Action Plan ad campaign Part 2 – while unemployment, particularly student unemployment, rises steadily, Harper continues his Canada Action Plan ads at high-cost events, for no purpose other than pre-campaigning.
-          ETS Scandal – An IT contract was unfairly awarded to CGI, a known association of Michael Fortier, the then PWGSC Minister in a clear conflict of interest. No fairness monitor was appointed to oversee the process, reported scores by evaluators did not coincide with what they had issued, the evaluation team was advised to destroy all records relating to the evaluation, the government refused to debrief companies that had lost the award, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled against the government, and the government’s response was angry denial and to appoint a new federal crown prosecutor (a former Conservative candidate) to charge the unsuccessful companies involved in the bid process with big-rigging – a charge still unproven but the case continues four years after the fact.
-          CFIA (2012) – food inspection services cut, listeriosis outbreak, Minister Gerry Ritz’s tasteless jokes about deaths from outbreak.
-          Prorogation – Part 1 (to avoid Contempt of Parliament fallout)
-          Prorogation – Part 2 (to avoid NDP/Liberal coalition government)
-          Shoe Store Project (2007) – plans for a $2M government controlled media center, run by the PMO to replace the National Press Gallery, run by the national press.
-          Julie Couillard Scandal (2007) – Maxime Bernier leaves sensitive NATO documents at ex-girlfriend’s house, a woman with known ties to the Hells Angels
-          In and Out (2007) – Circumnavigation of election finance rules in 2006 election. $230,000 in fines issued for violating spending laws
-          Plagiarizing – Part 1 (2007) you plagiarized Australia’s John Howard’s speech about Iraq
-          Plagiarizing – Part 2 (2008) from Ontario Mike Harris’ speech
-          Repatriation scandal – issued orders that military personnel killed in combat would not receive repatriation attention or coverage and no flags would be at half-mast
-          Scrums – all media scrums in Parliament were forbidden. Press statements would be issued when the government feels they are necessary, effectively stifling the press.
-          Chuck Cadman scandal – offered a bribe for the vote in parliament, then lied under oath about it and the tape evidence of the bribe
-          Senior Federal Scientists Gagged – they are not allowed to speak to media without government permission... still in effect
-          Long-form Census stopped, cutting access to valuable statistics
-          Unfair labor conditions for government workers -- Suspended Federal civil servants’ right to strike
-          Abuse of RCMP during election -- Limiting access of press to PM during election by misusing RCMP to restrict access at private events
-          Omnibus bill to pass non-financial bills with budget, making it impossible to reject pieces of the overall bill, thereby circumventing parliamentary process in the passing on individual bills. (Ironically something Stephen Harper as leader of the opposition was adamantly opposed to as being undemocratic)
-          Afghan Detainees Scandal
-          Military planes scandal -- Withheld financial information from parliament and parliamentary committees about costs of military planes
-          Improper procedure for fighter plane procurement -- Neglected the bid process in awarding of a contract on fighter plane procurement.
-          Whistleblower scandal – Christiane Ouimet, integrity commissioner, turned down investigations into 227 whistleblower allegations. She was quietly dismissed with a $500,000 exit payment and gag order.
-          Rebranding Canadian Government as Harper Government on communications documents
-          Interference in the 2008 US Presidential election
-          $54,000 taxpayer money spent on 2-day oil lobby retreat in UK (2011)
-          Withdrawal from Kyoto
-          G8/G20 Fake Lake Scandals
-          Interfering with collective bargaining -- Ordering striking unions back to work: Canada Post, Air Canada,
-          Breaking your own new set election date law
-          Over 1700 patronage appointments
-          Pulling Canada out of UN anti-drought initiative
-          Contempt of Parliament – refused to turn over documents on Afghan detainee affair and later refused to submit to a parliamentary request regarding costing of his programs
-          Issuing a 200-page handbook to committee heads advising them on how to disrupt their committees.
-          Reneging on promise to allow parliamentary committees to select their own chairs.
-          Dictating an order that staffers to cabinet ministers do not have to testify before committees
-          Ordering all government communications to be vetted by his office or the Privy Council Office
-          Putting Conservative party logos on stimulus funding cheques that were paid out of the public purse.
-          Had party affiliates write on-line posts, using false names, to attack journalists.
-          In Charlottetown in 2007, he had the police remove reporters from a hotel lobby where a party caucus meeting was being held
-          Attempted to tar the reputation of diplomat Richard Colvin for contradicting their position on the afghan detainees situation.
-          Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor mislead the House regarding the afghan detainees situation, had to apologize and later resigned
-          Terminated Peter Tinsley, the Military Police Complaints Commissioner, when he started to investigate the afghan detainee situation.
-          Mudslinging -- Before his leadership, personal attack ads were used, relatively sparingly, only during election season instead of every day regardless of election cycle.
-          Fossil of the Day awards (x3) were awards to John Baird, as minister of the environment, at the UN Cancun climate conference (Dec 2010) awarded by more than 400 leading organizations, to the countries that do the most to disrupt or undermine UN climate talks, citing that Baird and the Canadian government were ‘working against progressive legislation to address climate change” by “cancelling support for clean energy and for failing to have any plan to meet its very weak target for reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
-          Bev Oda – misleading Parliament, mishandled CIDA requests for KAIROS group, overspending (has paid back $4,025.26 to taxpayers)
-          Maxime Bernier – 2 ethics investigations for conflict of interest
-          Peter Penashue – election overspending, ineligible donations
-          John Duncan – improperly lobbied a tax judge
-          Bruce Carson – violating lobbying regulations/influence peddling
-          Dimitri Soudas – Communications Director for PM questioned over kickback scandal involving Montreal Port Authority
-          Jim Flaherty – Finance Minister improperly interfered with CRTC regarding the issuing of a broadcast licence
-          Dean Del Mastro – Elections Canada investigation of overspending, etc.
-          Arthur Porter – Harper appointee as Canada spy agency watchdog wanted for $1.3B fraud
-          Lisa Raitt – left sensitive documents in public AND made the‘cancer is sexy’ comment
-          Jason Kenney – used MP stationery for party fundraising
-          Rahim Jaffer and Helene Guergis – aids writing letters to papers pretending to be citizens, influence peddling (him), letting her husband use her office, mortgage transgressions, and the Charlottetown Airport meltdown
-          Peter MacKay – using military transportation for personal use
-          Vic Towes – abusive language and ‘you’re either with us or against us with child pornography’ statement
-          Sebastien Togneri, Agop Evereklian, Giulio Maturi, Dale Saip and Kasra Nejatian all involved in ethics transgressions
-          Rona Ambrose – told a parliamentary committee that Canada had paid its debt under the Kyoto Protocol but it was later pointed out that it was still unpaid. She refused to add spotted owls, of which there were only 17, needed no special protection. As Minister responsible for the Status of Women, voted for a motion to revisit the Canadian Criminal Code regarding abortion.
-          John Baird – Used his cabinet post to interfere with the 2006 Ottawa city mayoral election and the light rail transit system in that city.
-          Tony Clement -- $50M originally intended for the G8 meeting and border issues was used instead in his riding, with no supporting paperwork
-          Mike Duffy – improperly collecting housing allowances
-          Patrick Brazeau – improperly collecting housing allowances and facing assault and sexual assault charges
-          Pamela Wallin – travel and other expenses being audited for irregularities
-          58 senate appointments, 100% from the conservative party despite election promises of not appointing any senators or other patronage appointments.
-          In a variety of punitive ways, Harper moved against NGOs, independent agencies, watchdog groups, and tribunals who showed signs of differing with his intent. In some cases he fired their directors or stacked their boards with partisans. In others, he sued them or cut their funding. The targets of such tactics included the Rights and Democracy group, Elections Canada, Veterans’ Ombudsman Pat Stogran, Budget Officer Kevin Page and many more. His party’s smear tactics included labelling the Liberal party anti-Israel, calling Dalton McGuinty the small man of Confederation, trying to link Liberal MP Navdeep Bains to terrorism, and calling for reprisals against academics such as the University Ottawa’s Michael Behiels for questioning their policies.
-          Two months after the federal election, Stephen Harper privately met with Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe and New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton in a Montreal hotel. On September 9, 2004, the three signed a letter addressed to then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, stating, “We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.” – you can never raise the issue of coalitions again with derision. You used that ticket yourself, so any mention of it is entirely disingenuous.
-          "When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern." -- Stephen Harper. You, Sir, need to apply this to your own leadership.
-          “We don't think as a party that patronage has any place in the Parliament of Canada." Stephen Harper, Calgary Herald, March 22, 1995  -- see the above noted 1700+ patronage appointments you have made.
-          "We don't support any Senate appointments." Stephen Harper, Winnipeg Free Press, January 29, 1996  -- Singing a different song now, Mr. Prime Minister?
-          "Stephen Harper will cease patronage appointments to the Senate. Only candidates elected by the people will be named to the Upper House." Stephen Harper Leadership Website, January 15, 2004 – patently a lie told in order to win votes.
-          "… the Upper House remains a dumping ground for the favoured cronies of the Prime Minister." Stephen Harper Leadership Website, January 15, 2004 – You wrote the book on this one, sir.
-          "I don't plan to appoint senators; that's not my intention." Stephen Harper, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, January 14, 2006 -- I won’t flog this dead horse any longer.
-          I, too, am one of these angry westerners ... We may love Canada but Canada does not love us ... Let's make (Alberta) strong enough that the rest of the country is afraid to threaten us.” Report Newsmagazine, December 2000. – you do love this east vs west scenario. It’s growing tired. The only discourse between east and west is the one you are creating in your spin room.
-          “You've got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society.” Report Newsmagazine, January 2001 – this explains a lot.
-          “Let's face it, the average backbench MP is little more than a bench warmer for his/her political party.” Letter to The National Post, February 1998. – just the way you like it, Sir? It seems you still want your backbenchers to only follow the party line and who cares what their constituents might want or need.
-          Then… there was this:  The time for accountability has arrived. Canadians will soon be able to finally hold the Liberals accountable. After 12 years in power, the Liberals must be held accountable for the stolen money; accountable for the broken trust, and accountable for all that they failed to accomplish because of this government’s total preoccupation with scandal and damage control.
For those Canadians seeking accountability the question is clear: which party can deliver the change of government that’s needed to ensure political accountability in Ottawa?
We need a change of government to replace old style politics with a new vision. We need to replace a culture of entitlement and corruption with a culture of accountability. We need to replace benefits for a privileged few with government for all.
Everyday Canadians – the hardworking people who pay their taxes and play by the rules – want and deserve a new government that will put the people’s interest ahead of self-interest. And this election provides them with a chance to tell Liberal Ottawa that they’ve had enough; that they’re tired of being forgotten; that it’s finally their turn.
It’s time for a new government that will get things done – for all of us. Our priorities are clear. We will clean up government, cut the GST, offer parents help with child care, cut patient wait times for medical procedures, and crack down on crime.
Our plan will help individuals, families, seniors, and small business. A new Conservative government will strengthen national unity and advance our interests on the world stage.
This platform presents a clear choice for Canadians. A clear choice between old and new; entitlement and accountability; benefits for a few and leadership for all. Only one party can deliver the change of government that’s needed to bring political accountability to Ottawa.
Join me and stand up for Canada.
Stephen Harper, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (election 2006) The sad irony is that THIS Stephen Harper had it right. I wonder what happened to him. The Stephen Harper we have now is EVERYTHING this one campaigned against.
These scandals, situations and questions have gone completely unaccounted for by this government. In fact, other than for an almost non-existent percentage, no one has been fired, reprimanded, replaced or investigated criminally. The only action taken to account for these situations is to obfuscate the truth by cutting off access of media and police -- a truly fascist and arguably treasonous move. Sadly, I have debated this letter for some time, out of fear for my family and myself, because it seems to be a pattern for this government to steamroll over problems and issues rather than to acknowledge them. I realize that I am throwing myself under the steamroller. What a sad sad commentary about what this country, the envy of every other country in the world because of its moral and ethical values, has become.
Mr. Harper, in light of your complete and total lack of transparency and accountability, indeed you absolute disdain for those two qualities that you clearly, repeatedly campaigned on, I had no choice but to write to you. The only purpose you have is your own megalomaniacal lust of power and authority at ANY cost. There is no transparency and there is no regard or respect for the laws of our Parliament or of our country when applied to you and your government. Based on the fact that your party did participate in election fraud, and did obstruct investigation into said election fraud, along with the rest of this very long list (and whatever else will be coming out today and in the days to come of your questionable, at best, practices) I would respectfully request that you attend the Governor General’s residence either to ask for this illegitimate government to be dissolved, or to file your resignation as Prime Minister of Canada... or both.

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