PM Harper. Photo: Remy Steinegger
From the day it emerged that Stephen Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright cut a $90,000 personal cheque to cover Sen. Mike Duffy’s fraudulent Senate expense claims, the Conservatives tried desperately to kill the scandal. On Thursday, they tossed Duffy overboard, and on Friday, Sen. Pamela Wallin. Also on Friday, the PMO vowed that Wright wasn’t going anywhere. He’d the PM’s confidence, we were told.
“The prime minister had full confidence in Mr. Wright and Mr. Wright is staying on,” said Andrew MacDougall, Harper’s director of communications.
But the scandal is just too hot to suppress. Wright, a wealth former Bay Street financier, jumped ship Sunday morning.
By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 18, 2013:
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
In, 2004, Stephen Harper described Canada’s Senate as a “dumping ground for the favoured cronies of the Prime Minister.” He also said: “I will not name appointed people to the Senate. Anyone who sits in the Parliament of Canada must be elected by the people they represent.” Today, none of the 105 individuals who sit in the Red Chamber are elected. And, instead of reforming the Senate, Harper has stacked it with failed candidates, praise-singers, party funders and other loyalists. Toronto Star columnist Bob Hepburn believes has a one-sentence dream that can trigger the beginning of the end of Canada’s scandal-ridden “useless, expensive, undemocratic appendage of government”.
by Obert Madondo | Huffington Post Blog
“I’m willing to die for my people because the pain is too much and it’s time for the government to realize what (it’s) doing to us.”
Chief Theresa Spence (Centre) on Parliament Hill
The chief of the northern Ontario First Nation reserve of Attawapiskat uttered the haunting statement as she announced her hunger strike in Ottawa on Monday. Theresa Spence is demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a representative of the Queen to discuss treaty agreements between Canada and First Nations.
We should all be ashamed that these words were uttered in Canada, and that a First Nation leader has put her life on the line to be heard. A hunger strike is a weapon of last resort for the oppressed. A hunger strike in Canada is a sign of imperfect democracy. It betrays an invisible police-state lite.
I met Chief Spence briefly on Parliament Hill on Tuesday morning as she started her peaceful protest. It was a somber moment. At the beginning of June, I ended a 85-day hunger strike against the omnibus crime Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act. I’d demanded the immediate repeal of the draconian bill, and the institution of a national and fully-funded inquiry into the case of the 600-plus missing or murdered aboriginal women and girls.