Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mid-Week Post

There's a unicorn in this for you.

If you take from the government purse, you don't have the luxury to refuse transparency:

The Conservative government’s legislation aimed at increasing financial transparency on First Nation reserves is set to become law on Wednesday after passing the Senate on Tuesday.

Once enacted, the law will require First Nation governments to publicize audited financial statements and the salaries and expenses of their chiefs and councillors. ...

The legislation’s proponents have said its measures will create much-needed financial transparency on First Nation reserves. In January, the Conservatives identified the legislation as a key priority.

But the bill’s opponents called it overreaching and simplistic, and say it adds to an already burdensome reporting process for bands under the Indian Act. They said most bands are already accountable and go above and beyond proposed regulations.

If the bands don’t provide required documents, a member of that First Nation or the minister of aboriginal affairs could go to court to obtain the information. Bands that don’t comply with the new rules could have their federal funding withheld.

The government says reporting burdens won’t increase; the act will publicize information that bands already provide to the ministry of aboriginal affairs.

“This legislation recognizes that First Nation members want no less than other Canadians when it comes to knowing how public funds are spent in their communities,” Valcourt said on Wednesday.

Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which has pushed for the legislation since 2009, said he’s “ecstatic” at its passing.

“The sad reality is many people on reserves can’t find out how much their chiefs and councillors are making,” he told Postmedia News. “That’s something the grassroots have told us loud and clear they want to know.”

He also suggested the law could have immediate effects on some bands whose leaders aren’t forthcoming with financial information.

If you think it's political poison, just say so, you big weasel:

The Conservatives admit they have “rogues” within their party as one MP said his colleagues “must suffer the consequences” for their anti-abortion stance amid the most open show of rebellion under Prime Minister Stephen Harper to date. 

Ontario Tory MP Jay Aspin told reporters on his way to a highly anticipated caucus meeting Wednesday that it is fellow Conservative MP Mark Warawa’s own problem that he thinks he is being muzzled because he wants to speak contrary to party policy. 

“If these rogue members want to do what they want to do, they have to suffer the consequences and that’s all I have to say,” Aspin said.

“[Warawa] is a rogue member for this particular issue.” 

Warawa complained that stifling party discipline is preventing him from representing his Langley, B.C., constituents, and asked Speaker Andrew Scheer to intervene in what he called a breach of his privileges as an MP.

Warawa’s complaint was echoed by another Conservative backbencher, Alberta MP Leon Benoit, and backed by others.

Their concerns revolve around their ability to take part in the 15-minute period each day set aside for members’ statements, known as S.O. 31s.

Warawa said he was on the Conservative roster to make a statement last Thursday but was informed moments before that he’d been struck from the list.

“The reason I was given was that the topic was not approved,” he told the Commons.

Benoit said the same thing has happened to him more than once.

Here is a list of the Tory party's openness in discussing anything abortion-related:

The Bill, C-510, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Coercion), was introduced by Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South). It sought to specify that coercing a woman to have an abortion would be a Criminal Code offense. The bill was defeated in a recorded division on second reading, and that’s the end of that for now.

Tory MP Stephen Woodworth wants Parliament to create a committee of politicians whose task it will be to review a law that stops short of defining unborn children as "human beings."

Minister for Status of Women Rona Ambrose faced a barrage of criticism after she voted in favour of a motion that sought to resurrect the abortion debate in Canada.

Pro-choice groups slammed Ambrose for joining nine other cabinet ministers in voting for Motion 312, a private member’s bill, Wednesday evening. Prime Minister Stephen Harper had announced his intention to vote against the motion, and it was defeated 203 to 91.

A Conservative MP who wants parliamentarians to condemn sex-selection abortions is refusing to back down after his motion was deemed out of order last week by a House of Commons committee.
Apparently, these are unreasonable and untenable positions to even consider, let alone discuss or vote on.

Run-of-the-mill Russian authoritarianism or return to communism?
Twitter has bowed to pressure from Russian President Vladimir Putin to block all content blacklisted by Russia's Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications. 

Putin's government reports that since early March, Twitter has "actively been engaged in cooperation" with Russian authorities. Twitter has already deleted pinpointed accounts and is restricting access on the basis of "five information materials" as determined by Russian authorities.

A statement from the Kremlin praised Twitter's cooperation with the massive censorship policy.
No one expects anything out of Twitter.

I think it's the former. No one in Russia wants Soviet-style communism to return but no one wants to cross Putin, either. Who says the czars or the Politburo were dead?

I guess they are doing it for the children:

Ontario's long-grumbling elementary school teachers' union has finally conceded the last plot of land in an ongoing war over imposed teacher contracts, announcing they would allow teachers to participate in extracurricular activities.

Sam Hammond, the president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), said union members are allowed to return to coaching and tutoring students outside of class hours because negotiations with the provincial government have improved.

Oh, I'm sure she did a lot of thinking about this:

Ashley Judd's flirtation with a Senatorial campaign featured a series of gaffes large and small.

Today the actress pulled the plug on her potential challenge to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell before it officially started.

There must have been interventions abound for this to happen. This woman is a nutcase.

So is the father, so is the son:

Hopper Penn, the 19-year-old son of Oscar winner Sean Penn, attacked a photographer yesterday. The assault brought back memories of his father's famous battles with the paparazzi.
The young Penn upped his daddy's violent outbursts by hurling a homophobic and racial slur against the photographer in question, who is black, according to TMZ.

19-year-old Hopper Penn was following his dad into a medical building when he got into the altercation with an African-American photographer (not TMZ's).
The nuclear exchange was all caught on tape ... Hopper gets up in the photog's face, pushing him, then says, "F*** you ... you're a f***ing f***ot ... shut up you f***ing n***er."

The elder Penn, meanwhile, kept his composure.

There are no unicorns. Not anymore.


Patrick Dennehy said...

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Patrick Dennehy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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