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gun registry

Friday miscellany…

Happy Canada Day edition!

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About these “Harper Hates Me” buttons – I’m coming down on this issue on a side that you might not expect…

Public servants who got in trouble for wearing “Stephen Harper Hates Me” buttons to work are fighting back.

Several employees at the Canada Revenue Agency who were told to remove the buttons by their managers have filed grievances through their union to fight the order.

The buttons were made by members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the largest union representing federal public servants, and have been circulating around the country. Some workers wore them at May Day rallies to mark International Workers Day and they were available at PSAC’s national convention in Ottawa at the end of April.

Robert Campbell, president of the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE), which falls under the PSAC umbrella, said some CRA employees pinned the buttons to their jackets and wore them to and from work in the following weeks. They complied when advised to remove them.

Look, folks criticise the government all of the time and I do think that The Robot and his minions don’t particularly “love” the PS. BUT, as long as it is done on your own time and own equipment (at home or over an iPhone, for example), criticism is within the bounds. But government critics who are also in the PS ought to be very careful about the line that is straddled because, like it or not, ultimately, the government is the boss. And one should not criticise them on work time or on work premises. As far as I am concerned, what public servants do outside these parameters is well within their rights, as long as they are not casting aspersions on their own departments.

So no, the employer is within their rights to demand that these buttons not be worn on work premises. Just like they have the right to dictate hours and dress codes.

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Even though I am not a BB user, I do of course feel for the thousands of families who are going to suffer because of the downfall of the once Canadian Golden Boy of the tech world.

RIM plunges
Shares of Research In Motion Ltd. are plunging in pre-market action this morning in the wake of the company’s brutal first-quarter results and the decision to delay its crucial new BlackBerry 10.

RIM stock is down by about 15 per cent in pre-market moves on Nasdaq as the BlackBerry maker’s stunning fall from grace continues amid heated competition from the likes of Apple Inc.’s popular iPhone and devices running Google Inc.’s Android system.

But I gotta wonder if this would have happened hadn’t the previous CEO, Jim Basillie, been more concerned with his companies health than with landing an NHL franchise.

Just sayin’…

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How about that pony-tailed Senator that Justin Trudeau laid a thumping on? Pretty outta control, I’d say!

Brazeau wasn’t just missing from the Senate floor. Between June 2011 and April 2012, he also missed 65 per cent of meetings at the aboriginal peoples committee on which he sits.

He was away for 31 per cent of the meetings of the human rights committee, where he is deputy chair.

The senator, appointed in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, sent an email response to a request for comment.

“The very simple answer to your question with respect to my attendance or lack thereof is for personal matters,” said Brazeau, former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

He did not elaborate, but later posted a message on Twitter directed to the reporter, Jennifer Ditchburn of The Canadian Press: “while u smile Jen, others suffer. Change the D to a B in your last name and we’re even! Don’t mean it but needs saying.”

Like I said to Dean, Dean, The Cheque Cashing Machine – stay classy, big guy!

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Hey! Maybe the Cons can use the old Gun Registry for this… just change a few data fields, et voilà!

A local MP and police in northwest Toronto are calling for a national stolen cellphone registry to stop an epidemic of thefts in their area and across the city.

Mike Sullivan, MP for York South-Weston, says the CRTC must act quickly to create a registry of identification numbers from stolen cellphones and ask providers not to reactivate phones on that list.

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That’s all for now! Have a safe and fun long weekend and try to picture a Canada Day a few years out when we will NOT have Stephen Harper living at 24 Sussex…

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I like my pic more…

And will be happy when this:

looks more like this:

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Importance of the gun registry…

… to victims of gun crimes.

The Cons aren’t going to change their dogmatic minds on this as they pander to rural votes (picture an Alberta rancher out huntin’ coyotes!), but the Registry works – at least to some degree. Knowing if there are arms in a house before knocking on a door is an invaluable piece of intelligence for law enforcement folks. Even if you dispute the effectiveness of preventing gun crimes, you can’t deny that.

The operating costs are not high, and it is praised by the RCMP and the body that represents Canadian Chiefs of Police.

As a rule, I don’t trust cops or their opinions a helluva lot… yeah, yeah, I know that there are exceptions… but this is one area where i think we should take their word for it.

But I’m blowing into the wind here… and I know it.

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Lying to Parliament is OK? To Congress, not so much…

OK. Can someone explain to me why our southern neighbour takes lying to legislative authorities so much more seriously than we do up here in the GW North?

Really. Former pitcher Roger Clemens could be in for some hard jail time if found guilty of lying to Congress about his alleged steroid use. Americans apparently put value on saying things under oath to elected officials.

Not so here in Canada. Here, a Minister of the Crown can go before a Parliamentary Committee, be asked point blank about certain conversations, lie about what transpired, be shown irrefutably to have lied, and suffer not a single consequence for his actions. What gives? Are Parliamentarians granted some kind of immunity while before a Committee that allows them to say whatever they damn well please?

Disgusting.

So mixed martial “arts” are coming to Ontario – thanks to yet another reversal by the McGuinty government. This decision has been framed as a good-for-the-economy type of thing. Mayorlarry is looking forward to it!

What a bunch of b.s.

The Libs in Ontario are doing exactly what the Harperites have done in Ottawa- pander to the lowest common denominator in a pathetic attempt to buy votes.

These spectacles of sub-human testosterone spraying are a single step above Gladiator matches and should be censured everywhere. We don’t need our kids growing up thinking that acting out the fantasies of a Mad Max addict is appropriate behaviour in a civilized society.  I used to respect Dalton (he IS my MPP), but after this, and cowering to the religious right on the sex education changes AND fumbling, then backing off completely the perfectly fine Eco fees… well, the respect is gone. Poof!

Though I still hold a great deal of admiration for his brother David and hope that he one day takes the reins of the Federal Grit stagecoach.

The sacking of a couple of high level officials by the Reformatories shouldn’t surprise anyone.

OK – so the RCMP dude in charge of the Gun Registry wasn’t technically “sacked”, but he did suddenly need to go on language training right before delivering a report that praised rather than buried the value of the Gun Registry… not what the ReformCons want to hear…  whatta joke!

And now the Minister responsible for Veterans Affairs has pissed off a significant core of Con support…

Anyone that has read any of my posts before knows that I’m a major Peacenik, but J P Blackburn has dissed all vets by defending a compensation system that puts dollars and cents ahead of injured soldiers’ long term financial well-being.

While the treatment of Canada’s wounded should be improving with the climbing casualties from the decade-long deployment to Afghanistan, it has actually gotten worse in some respects.

Paul Franklin, who lost both legs in a January 2006 suicide bombing, was actually one of the lucky ones.

Back in Canada, he was offered a choice between the outgoing system for disability payments – $4,000 a month for the remainder of his life – or compensation under the new system, a $250,000 lump sum payment.

“I did the math real quick and $4,000 a month works out to $2 million if I live 40 more years,” he said. “It was a no-brainer.”

Michael Barnewell, 29, injured just 10 months later, never had Franklin’s easy choice.

“With a lump sum payment, the problem is that it’s not enough. You either try to use it now and then it’s gone so you don’t have it for the future, or you try to invest it for the future and what do you do now?” he said. “Under that old system, when you get those payments, you’re just taken care of. It’s just such security. It’s always there. It just comes.’’

But that security has been eroded by tight-fisted officials and a Conservative government that promised to honour the country’s soldiers and veterans but has left them feeling abandoned, Stogran said.

Stogran chose against an outright attack on his elected political masters, but did circulate a 2002 Canadian Alliance political pamphlet in which then-leader Stephen Harper promises to defend Canadian soldiers the way that they have defended the country.

Speaking in Mississauga, the prime minister sidestepped the strident criticism from Storgan in recent days and said the government is open to suggestions that could improve future programs.

But like other federal watchdogs who have either been fired or undermined by the government, the Tories may just bide their time until Stogran’s term expires in November and his pulpit evaporates.

Does this government have no shame? Even a Peacenik like me has heaps more respect for these guys than do the Harperites. There has been some attempt by the right to deflect the blame on to the public service staff and away from the politicians. But let me be clear – bureaucrats take their directions form the government of the day. And especially with the Soviet style of government practiced by the PMO, you can be damned sure that senior bureaucrats MUST do as told… and if they cannot do so, then resign with honour.

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