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Stephen Harper government shuts down parody websites criticizing environmental policies

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Climate policy remains deplorable

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PHOTO: Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The government of Canada has used strong-arm tactics to shut down two parody websites criticizing Canada’s poor environmental policy, taking down 4500 other websites in the process.

The two websites, “enviro-canada.ca” and “ec-gc.ca”, are “directly connected to a hoax which misleads people into believing that the Government of Canada will take certain actions in relation to environmental matters,” wrote Mike Landreville from Environment Canada in an email to the German Internet Service Provider (ISP) Serverloft.  “We trust you appreciate the importance of avoiding confusion among the public concerning Canadian governmental affairs and that you will assist us in preventing this hoax from spreading further.”

In a remarkable overstepping of bounds, Landreville also asked the ISP to “make every effort to prevent any further attempts concerning other environment-related domains (enviro, ec-gc, etc.) originating from your servers.”

In response to Environment Canada’s request, Serverloft immediately turned off a whole block of IP addresses, knocking out more than 4500 websites that had nothing to do with the parody sites or the activists who created them. Serverloft was shown no warrant, and never called the web hosting company about the shutdown.

“We are sorry to see that the Canadian government will not ‘take certain actions’ that could help stave off catastrophic climate change,” said Mike Bonanno of The Yes Men, one of the groups that performed the “sophisticated hoax” two weeks ago that involved the fake sites. “And we are also sorry to see that they don’t care so much for free speech.”

“Surely the Canadian government has better things to do than shut down thousands of websites, beg the US for photo opps, and berate NGOs for things they haven’t done,” said Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men. “They could instead figure out reasonable ways of responding to their growing legion of critics.”

The websites that Canada shut down were part of an elaborate “identity correction” carried out by anonymous Canadian activists, the Climate Debt Agents of Action Aid, and The Yes Men. They used press releases and fake websites to announce that Canada would adopt science-based emission targets – reducing emissions by 40% over 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050 – and would pay the countries most impacted by climate change a proportional amount of the $600 billion total recommended by the United Nations to mitigate and adapt to climate change. They even used a replica of the UN conference center podium to show “Uganda” reacting with glee to the plan, before seeing their “tragic hopes” dashed.

Canada had prepared for just such an eventuality by creating a so-called “Climate Change War Room,” a special office tasked with delivering rapid-response messaging to any negative media coverage around Canada’s role at the Copenhagen climate change negotiations. Despite these efforts, last week’s flurry of parody announcements, which the prime minister’s office called a “childish prank,” received enormous media attention across Canada and caused at least two embarrassing media moments for Canadian high officials.

Canada has been heavily criticized for its increasingly deplorable climate policy, and this year in Copenhagen was awarded the “Colossal Fossil” prize for worst behaviour in the COP-15 negotiations. The group giving the award, the Climate Action Network, is a global coalition of more than 500 organizations working on climate change.

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Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 29, 2009 at 8:07 am

More NAU-related High Treason in Ottawa: Civil Assistance Plan

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by David Stein

  U.S. soldiers
   

The Civil Assistance Plan (CAP) is another example of the subversion of the national independence, and participatory democracy in Canada, to U.S. military expansionist objectives.

“U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

Canwest News Service elaborates:

“Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal. Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.”

Russian Colonel Gen Vladimir Bulgakov, Commander of Russia’s Far East Military District, points out that it is ‘no wonder’ that neither the U.S. or Canadian War Leaders want the masses of their citizens to know about these ‘unprecedented’ events as ‘soldiers by their inherent training are for use in war, not peace’.

CAP actually creates an incentive for U.S. to use the pretext of an “emergency” to fulfill longstanding U.S. military objectives of Manifest Destiny against Canada, that had precipitated the War of 1812. CAP is a clear violation of Canada’s independence, and the constitutional responsibility of government in Canada to obtain the endorsement of the people, in the pursuit of such international agreements.

CAP is a further step of the U.S. military establishing full control of the Canadian Armed Forces. CAP also further locks the Canadian Armed Forces to be used to carry out military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world, against the democratic will of the Canadian people, in relation to “USNORTHCOM“ (U.S. Northern Command). CAP represents just another way in which the “War against Freedom and Democracy” under the U.S. Bush administration is being used to consolidate a neo-fascistic globalist control.

The so-called “War on Terrorism” is clearly a fight for the spread of neo-fascism under greed driven corporate and military cliques, and not about the defence and advancement of fundamental principles of democracy. [Make Member Pledge and help support our not-for-profit media organization] LINK

Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 28, 2009 at 9:06 am

Reflections on why Canadians are not as organized as Americans against North American Union

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by Peter Tremblay

  NAU
   

Many Americans who have organized against Security and Prosperity Partnership North American Union agenda (SPP-NAU) are probably wondering why they have not been finding a lot of organized opposition in Canada.

Many Americans who are passionate about defending their country’s independence may interpret that as an indication that those Canadians north of the border mostly support the SPP-NAU. Many Americans might also be wondering as a result of not been able to find a variety of corresponding anti-NAU organizations in Canada that they can network with whether Canadians have less national pride that Americans.

Indeed, if there were such a network of corresponding grassroots organizations, both Americans and Canadians grassroots organizations could network as cross-boundary allies, to preserve respectfully, both their great countries.

Undoubtedly, there are probably many American anti-NAU activists who have done many ‘Google’ searches for Canadian organizations, and probably found the Canadian Action Party (CAP) and Vive le Canada to be among the few anti-NAU organizations in Canada. We won’t bother refer to the Council of Canadians so-called anti-NAU position, which appears to be as politically hypocritical as that of Jack Layton, the leader of the Canada’s NDP (New Democratic Party). Meanwhile, if you check out the NDP’s website, you will find out that they have a token statement against the SPP, while confederates like the NDP Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba, support the SPP’s so-called NAFTA Superhighway.

American anti-NAU activists need to appreciate much more about Canadian culture, in order to appreciate the why there is not a well organized network of ant-NAU organizations. The reason for this difference has critically to do to with the difference in attitudes the Americans have had to government relative to Canadians.

Americans have developed an attitude from the Revolutionary foundations of its culture, that is inherently suspicious of government in general, and politicians specifically. So, when an American hears about some plot that is being executed by political conspirators in government, it is relatively easier for Americans to readily accept that such communicated information tells of the possible that may well be probable.

As a result, many more American do not need to hear a conspiracy officially legitimated by CNN or the New York Times to believe it.

Out of their political instincts, Americans are also used to fending for themselves, and are used to spontaneously spreading massive petitions by large grassroots organizations who seek to always keep a check on government and politicians that they don’t trust.

Rest assured that if “rumours” are officially confirmed in “official elite” sources, Canadians would be far more fired up against the NAU, than Americans. Canadians have a high sense of latent nationalism. However, completely the opposite of Americans, Canadians view government as only sometimes acting irresponsibly. As a result, they instinctively trust in government and their political leadership, no matter who they are. This is because Canada was not founded from a Revolution like the United States. Canada was created through a compact of elites who had pledged to defend Canada from assimilation into the United States. This passionate pro-Canadian/nationalist inspired attitude had continued until the retirement of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Today, when a typical Canadian hears about the NAU, they scoff at the idea as then unthinkable. Then their next response is likely to be something like, “Then why have I hot heard about in on CBC Radio, or from a Member of Parliament, a political opposition leader, and why have I not read about it in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail or Le Devoir? Canadians have not adjusted to the fact that the elites who pledged to defend Canada, have been replaced by a bunch of corporate crypto-right wing traitors.

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The NAU agents in Canada are aware of the amount of trust that Canadians have in receiving their information from government, and in being also guided by “official sources”, and have exploited that trust. The apparent traitors which include the leaders of so-called progressive groups, from the NDP and labour unions, know, that Canadians will only be guided by what they say, like shepherds to sheep.

If the leader of the NDP, a labour union, or of a newspaper like the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail published what American anti-NAU organizations already know about the NAU, rest assured, Canadians would be instantaneously demonstrating against the NAU. The current Stephen Harper government would then likely have to resign in weeks. Americans, all the way in Miami, Florida, would be able to hear the outrage. However, the leader the NDP, labour unions, and other similar organizations, have been apparently been bought out by Big Business interests.

Americans, who seek to save their country from the NAU will vitally need to obtain the cross-boundary support from Canadians. Grassroots anti-NAU American organizations seeking vitally needed Canadian allies would need to be able to penetrate a wall of silence, that a new generation of mis-information dispensing and information hiding traitorous elites have tried to use. A new generation of traitorous elites who also support the North American Free Trade (NAFTA), have sought to exploit the faith that Canadians have entrusted in government. If grassroots ant-NAU organizations can help break a wall of silence only, American anti-NAU organizations can expect to find very strong allies indeed, in Canada.

The Coalition Against the North American Union made a first step when they had travelled to Ottawa, Canada, to present a very detailed Press Conference late August 2007, in response the SPP-NAU Summit that was held in Montebello, Quebec. Pro SPP-NAU interests in the U.S. have sought to travel to Canada, in order to gain support among Canadian elites. How will American anti-NAU grassroots organizers respond to its critical need for Canadian allies in order to mutually defend two great nations?

Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 28, 2009 at 8:57 am

SPP-NAU agenda: High Treason on Parliament Hill

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Don’t let the Harper government and elite friends, make us surrender the affirmation of our national identity, as Canadians

Edited by Peter Tremblay

  Canadian Flag
 
 

The objective of the Stephen Harper minority government, is to continue to the “salami slicing” tactics started by Brian Mulroney, to of a public policy agenda, that will result in the step-by-step break down of our national soul as Canadians. The elite friends of the Harper government include apparent collaborators, like Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, and  Gilles Duceppe in other parts of the Political Establishment, and corporate elites who together, support Mr Harper’s pursuit of the North American Union (NAU) agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

The genesis of Canada as an identifiable place, was in the 1530’s. Canada as a nation, would be further inspired by aboriginal peoples and settler immigrant groups who came together as ‘Canadiens’ along the St. Lawrence River.

Subsequent immigration from loyalists fleeing the American Revolution would support the genesis of a Canadian nationhood in the late eighteenth century, that sought to embrace a national ideal of “Peace, Order and Good Government”, that distinguished ourselves from the culture of violence in the United States. A culture of violence associated with the American constitutional “right to bear arms”, remains a prominent part of the American cultural milieu.

In contrast, Canadians also sought to develop an alternative national community in which Peace, Order and Good Government manifested in the creation of a mutualistic socially progressive society.

Canadians, sought the wisdom of government intervention in redressing conditions of economic disparity in our cities through innovative social policy, and also sought to create a universal public healthcare system, that would reflect the expression of a higher communitarian civic consciousness.

As a society which sought to spread corresponding messages of peace throughout the world, Canadians also sought peacekeeping responsibilities over militarism. Canadians sought to affirm greater independence from the United Kingdom, and then the United States, in a matter which would allow us as a nation to make a vital independent contribution in a community of independent and free nations.

The Harper government and friends through its NAU, SPP agenda, seek to deny us our very national self-determination. The Harper government, has in fact been pursuing an active U.S. assimilation agenda, through the NAU and SPP agenda that will totally destroy our national institutions, like the Canadian Wheat Board, and absorption into a American Big Business-friendly “cultural template”.

The result will be that the “errors” of American society that have led to the destruction of America’s cities, and to a general predatory “survival of the fittest society” will be imported into Canada. Indeed, homelessness and other worsening social despair in Canada, is the result of the dismantling of innovative Canadian social policy, which once included rent control and other programs.

The Harper government also seeks to use the pretext of a jingoistic “War of Terrorism”… [CONTINUED.. see comment below]

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Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 28, 2009 at 8:53 am

North American Union agenda shows Canada’s Parliament rife of traitors

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Edited by Peter Tremblay

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Stephen Harper (left), Michael Ignatieff (right).

Neither Canada’s elected Members of Parliament nor unelected Senators who are mandated to specifically protect Canada’s Parliamentary traditions, have sought to speak out against the continued efforts by an elite clique to assimilate Canada into a “New American Union”. It is apparent that Canada’s Parliament is comprised of traitors, without any integrity, commitment to upholding their Parliamentary Oaths as loyal representatives of the diverse people of Canada. or substantive love for Canada. Apparently gone are the days of passionate champions of Canada like Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Tommy Douglas and Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Deep integration between Canada and the United States is not a theory or a fear – it is a reality. For several years now, government task forces and working groups have been quietly harmonizing Canada-U.S. programs and procedures, without any input from the Canadian public.

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The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), agreed to by the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico in 2005, is moving Canada quickly toward a continental resource pact, a North American security perimeter, and harmonized military and security policies. Working groups composed of bureaucrats and corporate leaders are quietly putting this “partnership” into action, and to date only industry “stakeholders” have been consulted. SPP is designed to create the… [CONTINUED.. see comment below]

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U.S. solidier chooses Canada over fighting in Iraq War

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by Rodney Watson

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I am from Kansas City, Kansas, and I joined the U.S. Army for financial reasons in 2004 after my steady job of seven years ended.

I enlisted for a three-year contract with the intention of being a cook and not in a combat role. I wanted to support the troops in some way without being involved in any combat operations.

A recruiter promised that I could do this.

In 2005 I was deployed to Iraq just north of Mosul where I was told that my duties as a cook would be to supervise and ensure that the local nationals in the dining facility were preparing meals according to military standards.

But instead of supervising in the dining facility, I was performing vehicle searches for explosives, contraband and weapons. I also operated a mobile X-ray machine that scanned vehicles and civilians for any possible explosives that could enter the base.

I had to keep the peace within an area that held 100 to 200 Iraqi civilian men who would be waiting for security clearances, and shoot warning shots at Iraqi children who were trying to set up mortars to fire at the base.

In Iraq I witnessed racism and physical abuse from soldiers toward the civilians.

On one occasion a soldier was beating an Iraqi civilian, called him a “sand nigger,” threw his Qur’an on the ground and spat on it. The civilian man was unarmed and was just looking for work on our base. He posed no type of threat and was beaten because soldiers brought their personal racist hatred to Iraq.

This was not what I had signed up for.

After all the wrongs I witnessed in Iraq, I decided that once my one-year tour of duty was over I would never again be part of this unnecessary war.

When I returned home, my unit was informed that we would be redeployed within four months. This would put me beyond the term I signed up for. I was going to be stop-lossed and forced to serve past my contract.

While on two-week leave I made my decision to come to Canada and not return to my base at Fort Hood, Texas.

I have been here in Vancouver since early 2007. I have been self-sufficient. I have fathered a beautiful son whose mother is Canadian. I plan to marry her and to provide our son with a loving and caring family unit.

I have made many friends and I have built a peaceful life here.

My son and my wife-to-be are my heart and soul and it would be a great tragedy for my family and for me personally if I were deported and torn away from them.

I think being punished as a prisoner of conscience for doing what I felt morally obligated to do is a great injustice.

This Christmas I hope and pray that people will open their hearts and minds to give peace and love a chance.

I appeal to the Canadian government to honour your country’s great traditions of being a place of refuge from militarism and a place that respects human rights by supporting my decision, and the decisions taken by my fellow resisters to refuse any further participation in this unjust war.

I ask that you urge your government to respect the will of the majority of Canadians by acting on the direction it has been given twice by Parliament to immediately stop deporting Iraq War resisters like me and to let us become permanent residents here.

My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones in this unnecessary war.

About the writer:

Rodney Watson is an Iraq War veteran who was ordered deported by the Harper government this fall. On Sept. 18 he took refuge in Vancouver’s First United Church. Dec. 27 will be his 100th day in sanctuary. Watson’s request to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds remains outstanding.

 
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Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 27, 2009 at 9:03 am

Toronto Star commentator suggests Prime Minister Harper acts like an elected dictator

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by Haroon Siddiqui

Stephen Harper

PHOTO: Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

When Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean Chrétien were in power, conservative commentators used to complain that both tended to be dictatorial, courtesy of our parliamentary system that made the prime minister too powerful, more so in some respects than the president of the United States.

Where are those pundits when we really need them? Stephen Harper is centralizing power in the PMO on an unprecedented scale; defying Parliament (by refusing to comply with a Commons vote demanding the files on Afghan prisoner abuse); derailing public inquiries (by a parliamentary committee and the Military Police Complaints Commission); muzzling/firing civil servants; demonizing critics; and dragging the military into the line of partisan political fire.

“When you add up all that this government has done, it’s truly scary,” says Gar Pardy, former head of the foreign ministry’s consular services. He’s the one who organized the petition that defended diplomat Richard Colvin from Tory mudslinging, and which has been signed by 133 retired ambassadors.

The extent of Harper’s misuse of power becomes clearer when you realize that the Conservatives are replicating some of the worst practices of the Republicans under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney:

Consolidating executive power; eviscerating the legislative branch; operating under extreme secrecy (by keeping an iron grip on information, through endless court challenges and censoring/redacting documents); riding the coattails of the military and questioning the patriotism of political opponents; and forcing out public servants who refused to fall in line.

Count the heads that have rolled in Ottawa:

Peter Tinsley, chair of the military police commission, who initiated the Afghan prison abuse probe – refused a second term.

Paul Kennedy, chair of the Complaints Commission for the RCMP, who criticized the use of Tasers – refused a second term.

Linda Keen, nuclear watchdog, who insisted on safety at Chalk River – fired.

Kevin Page, parliamentary budget watchdog, who rattled the Tories with several revelations – rendered ineffective with a cut of $1 million from his $2.8 million budget.

Marc Mayrand, chief electoral officer, who probed Tory election spending – publicly attacked.

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who dared criticize both the U.S. and Israel – refused support for a second term and publicly rebuked.

Jean-Guy Fleury, chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, who opposed the Tory politicization of appointments to the tribunal – frustrated into quitting.

Similarly, groups that won’t toe the Tory line are being penalized.

The Canadian Arab Federation lost funding after its chair attacked Ottawa’s pro-Israeli policies. Now the same fate has befallen KAIROS, a Christian aid group, for “taking a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign” against Israel, boasts Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the designated Tory bulldog in charge of attacking real or perceived enemies.

Ottawa is rife with rumour of another scandal in the making: Harper asking Governor General Michaëlle Jean to prorogue Parliament, yet again, this time during the Winter Olympics (ending Feb. 28) and perhaps also the Paralympics (ending March 21).

She should flat-out refuse and not repeat her mistake from a year ago, when she got rolled by him. At that fateful meeting, she should not have let Kevin Lynch, clerk of the Privy Council, into the room. Get-togethers between the governor general and the prime minister are privileged.

She also should not have shuttled between Harper and a team of constitutional advisers she had assembled. Instead, she should have taken his request under advisement and sent him off, and summoned Stéphane Dion and perhaps also Jack Layton to brief her on their coalition agreement.

That way, she would’ve had more choices:

Advise the Prime Minister to seek a vote of confidence. Or, if he felt he didn’t have it, to ask if someone else on his front benches might. Failing both, turn to the opposition to demonstrate that they could muster the confidence of the House, as claimed.

Jean failed in her duties by deciding the fate of the government behind closed doors, rather than in an open democratic process by the elected representatives of the people.

A governor general is not obliged to take the prime minister’s advice, only that which she deems appropriate to our parliamentary system. What Jean saw as appropriate last year wasn’t. Each passing day proves it.

Haroon Siddiqui writes Thursdays and Sundays. hsiddiqui@thestar.ca

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Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 27, 2009 at 8:44 am