Stephen Harper

Fri, 2008-09-05 08:15Richard Littlemore
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Guest Commentary: Is Stephen Harper an Economic Conservative?

This commentary was originally submitted in response to an earlier post about the Canadian government of Stephen Harper subsidizing the U.S. car behemoths Ford and General Motors. Given that Canadians seem to be on the bring of an election, I thought it was worth calling attention to the issue. Thanks to “Buddy.”

… As I constantly awake to politics, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the so-called Conservative Party of Canada is not really all that conservative – at least not economically conservative. While they might or might not be social conservatives, they really are not living by the dogma of small, non-intervening, free-market loving government.

Wed, 2008-09-03 07:17Richard Littlemore
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"Green" funding for Ford: Why Government Shouldn't Pick Winners

The Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is reported to be on the verge of giving $200 million from a “green initiatives fund” to Ford and General Motors - to help those failing companies continue to build really big (and increasingly unpopular) cars and trucks.

Ford, which lost $8.7 billion in the second-quarter of this year as its truck-dominated fleet crashed into oily reality, is advertising its latest Ontario production facility as “green” because it features a “more fuel-efficient V8 engine.” And Stephen Harper, in a pre-election vote-buying frenzy, is using taxpayers money to prop up this stupidity.

Mon, 2008-07-28 16:19Richard Littlemore
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Who Killed the Electric Car - Again?

The Canadian government has killed a B.C. electric auto company, forcing the owner to shut down and sell his technology and tools to a company in Pakistan.

Canadian and American administrations have said, repeatedly, that they cannot “afford” to take action against climate change because it would damage our (oil-dependent) economy. But, as this action shows, the Harper administration in Ottawa is not really interested in protecting the “economy.” Rather, it is supporting - actually legislating - our continued dependence on the government's oil-industry supporters, and standing in the way of any opportunity to lead the world in electric vehicle innovation.

Thu, 2008-07-10 06:41Richard Littlemore
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Bush, Putin, Harper Bring G8 to a Standstill

The countries most determined to do nothing about climate change brought the G8 process to an effective standstill in Japan this week - and somehow convinced mainstream media to celebrate the day.

In Canada, the two “national” newspapers posted laudatory headlines, with the Globe and Mail congratulating the government with “Harper Welcomes Bush Back into the Fold,” and the National Post announcing, “G8 Takes Next Step on Climate Change.”

Closer reading shows that the “next step” constitutes setting a 2050 greenhouse-gas-reduction target with no agreed start date and no demand for any signatory to take immediate action. No wonder the United States and Russia were happy to get back “on board.” They get to smile for the international cameras without actually lifting a finger at home.
Fri, 2008-07-04 13:46Kevin Grandia
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Climate Spin for Canada's Conservative Government

Yesterday the World Wildlife Fund and German insurance giant Allianz SE, ranked Canada the second to last in the G8 group of nations for its lack of effort to curb greenhouse gases emissions. Today the Canadian government is defending itself. In reaction to the WWF report, Gerry Keller, a spokesperson for the Minister of the Environment stated that:

The WWF said Canada's greenhouse gas emissions trends are going up and that emissions have increased. Yet for the last two years on record, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions have in fact gone down.” [my emphasis]

That would be very reassuring news, but unfortunately Mr. Keller's comment is little more than an attempt to shift the conversation away from the long-term projections that show Canada's greenhouse gas emissions to continue to rise in the years ahead.
Fri, 2008-07-04 12:45Emily Murgatroyd
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Canada's Prime Minister Now Blames George Bush for Climate Inaction

Of all the people to jump on the Blame-Bush-Bandwagon, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now claiming that,

… global efforts to fight climate change are likely to go more smoothly once U.S. President George W. Bush leaves office early next year.”

Yes, this is the same Prime Minister whose government was viewed as one of the lone instigators (along with the United States) of climate inaction at the last major round of international talks on climate change in Bali, Indonesia.

Mon, 2008-06-09 21:08Emily Murgatroyd
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Canada Passes Major Climate Bill - Government Ignores It

You know how Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but lost the election?

Well, in a way, that's kind of what happened in Canada recently.

Last week, a Bill called The Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-377) received a majority vote in the House of Commons and if enacted would be the toughest climate legislation passed by any national government in the world.
Thu, 2008-05-08 15:17Jim Hoggan
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Biofuel and Blather: Apologists Try to Pin Ill-advised Farm Subsidy on Al Gore

Corporate apologists, politicians (and their media stooges) are twisting the language and misrepresenting the truth in an effort to deflect responsibility for a global food crisis that is being exacerbated by biofuel farm subsidies.

The issue dusted up last week when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the European Union Commissioner for Agriculture Marian Fischer Boel blamed the global food shortage on people in India and China who are shifting their diet toward meat and away from vegetables.

Mon, 2008-02-25 09:24Richard Littlemore
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Smart Science Policy Not in Canada's "Nature"

The prestigious science journal Nature condemns the Canadian government in an editorial in its latest edition. The article posts the sorry record of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has resisted or ignored good scientific advice and has committed Canada to a fossil-fuel economy at a potentially disastrous time.

Nature is not a partisan magazine; it's a journal dedicated to science - committed to objectivity and evidence as a matter of course. Yet the editors felt moved to say this: “The present government might be dissolved after a vote of confidence next month, which could in itself lead to a change for the better.”

Thu, 2008-01-31 21:36Kevin Grandia
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Harper Government Muzzling Environment Canada Scientists

A Canwest New Service story just hit the wire reporting that all Environment Canada scientists now must refer all media queries to Ottawa where communications officers will help them respond with “approved lines.”

According to documents obtained by Canwest, this new policy is in place to “ensure there are no “surprises” for Environment Minister John Baird and senior management when they open the newspaper or turn on the television.”

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