Showing posts from July, 2015

Harper's anti-terror legislation facing legal challenge in Ontario court

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association(CCLA) and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression(CJFE) are challenging the constitutionality of Bill C-51, the Conservative's new anti-terror legislation in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice. + Add Image The CCLA is the leading group in Canada working for defence of civil liberties and constitutional rights. The CCLA works on law reform, constitutional litigation, and presenting briefs on civil liberty issues before public officials and elected bodies. It receives no government support but is funded by members and the general public. The group has taken on unpopular cases on principle including the defense of the neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel, and Jim Keegstra, the anti-Semite against censorship. CJFE is an NGO supported by Canadian journalists. The purpose of the group is to defend the rights of journalists and promote press freedom around the globe. It also promotes freedom of expression in general for everyone. The Conservative anti-…

NDP and Conservatives virtually tied in projection for most seats in fall election

The probability of the Conservatives under leader Stephen Harper winning the next federal election is 50.4, according to a Globe and Mail model. + Add Image 1 of 2  While the New Democratic Party(NDP) has a small lead over the Conservatives in recent polls, this does not necessarily mean the NDP will take more seats than the Conservatives. For example, almost doubling support in Alberta from the last election may do little to change the huge margins by which many federal Conservatives win in Alberta. The prediction assumes current conditions, past voting behavior and normal campaign changes. The Liberals, who had hoped to do well with their young new leader Justin Trudeau have only a 2.9 per cent chance of winning the most seats. However, the probablity of the NDP and Liberals together winning a majority of seats is 97.2 percent. In any European country this would mean the NDP and Liberals should join in a coalition government especially since both are to left of the Conservatives. Ho…

31,000 barrels of emulsion leak from Nexen pipeline in Alberta

Fort Mcmurray - About five million litres of emulsion, or 31,000 barrels, leaked from a Nexen Energy pipeline, at the company's Long Lake oilsands facility. Emulsion is a mixture of bitumen, water, and sand. The leak is one of the worst in Alberta's history. + Add Image The leak was discovered on Wednesday afternoon. Nexen said that its emergency response plan had been activated with personnel onsite who were able to stabilize the leak. The pipeline is a feeder line that runs from a wellhead to a processing plant. Nexen issued a statement saying:"All necessary steps and precautions have been taken, and Nexen will continue to utilize all its resources to protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, the public and the environment, and to contain and clean up the spill."The company said the spill affected about 16,000 square meters, mostly along the pipeline route. The spill is said to be equivalent to about 31,000 barrels. Peter Murchland, public affairs…

Canada's GDP growth downgraded by International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) now predicts a lower growth rate for Canada in 2015. Last month the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also predicted lower growth rates for Canada this year. + Add Image The IMF now projects the growth in GDP for Canada this year at only 1.5 percent. In April the IMF predicted a growth rate of 2.2 percent. The U.S. rate is now predicted to grow at a 2.5 percent rate but that is also down from 3.1 percent earlier. The EU growth rate is predicted at the same rate as Canada 1.5 percent in spite of problems with Greece. The rate is unchanged from the April prediction. The OECD had predicted a Canadian growth rate of 2.2 percent in March but reduced this to 1.5 percent in June. The decline in oil prices, negative growth in the first quarter, and sluggish pace of new investments all contributed to the reduced growth prediction. Some are predicting that there will be a recession in Canada. While many admit there may be a technica…

Conservatives decide to euthanize HarperPAC shortly after giving birth to it

There are many ways in which political parties and governments can promote their agendas through the media and other activities. PACs or Political Action Committees are a common vehicle for doing this in the US. + Add Image In the US, PAC's are a legally-defined type of organization meant to promote various causes. Often they are simply used to promote large companies such as Pepsi or groups of professionals such as the American Banker's Association. When the organizations have a political link they often use their names to hide this link as in Republican's Mitt Romney's Super PAC Restore Our Future. In Canada, these types of organizations would be called "third parties". Before election campaigns, they and the political parties are able to advertise and spend free of the restrictions on spending that apply during the period of a formal campaign. We are already seeing American style attack ads on our TV screens. HarperPAC was apparently designed to counter uni…