Stephen Harper's government withholds...

Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry

There are 28 comments on the Canada.com story from May 23, 2013, titled Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry. In it, Canada.com reports that:

The Harper government is declining to explain how and where it is spending millions of taxpayer dollars on advertising to promote oil, gas and pipeline companies as well as other Canadian natural resources.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Canada.com.

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LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#1 May 23, 2013
Nobody in Canada is surprised at any of Harper's misdirection of public fund, or back room dealing.

I regularly get 'political polling' paid for by the public to check out his popularity, etc. Political polling should be paid for by the political party. I have quit participating since I feel it may be used to get a list of opponents to target.

Same thing with endless propaganda for his economic policies. I have yet to see any REAL effect of his 'Economic Action Plan' which extolled the money he spend somewhere, long after it was spent. Nobody knows where the government is spending money these days.

Currently he is under fire for illegal payments and a back room deal to 'whitewash' one of his Senate candidates who was caught scamming the public. He wants to eliminate the Senate so he has packed it with cronies and anyone that gives him good press. The resulting decrease in Senate effectiveness and honesty just plays into his 'abolish the senate' agenda. Why have a senate that might block a bill he wants?

He is noted to have rigid control over even rebellious elements of his party (who back down quickly) yet he is trying to sell the idea that he 'didn't know' about the secret deal. Like H*LL.
QUITTNER

Markham, Canada

#2 May 23, 2013
5:07 pm, Thursday, May 23, 2013:
RE: Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry
1) What do you need those details for?
2) Lots of information is available about political polling
3) The Economic Action Plan will work over several years. The results are not yet available.
4) Any senator is free to accept a loan from a friend. And even someone working in the PMO is entitled to lend his own money to a friend.
5) Tradition requires the governor general to appoint as senator anyone the current Prime Minister wants. But he doesn't have to. Blame the GG for wrong senator appointments.
6) Prime ministers are not usually informed about who is getting a loan from which friend.
SpaceBlues

United States

#3 May 23, 2013
Sounds like a revolution is brewing!
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#4 May 23, 2013
SpaceBlues wrote:
Sounds like a revolution is brewing!
In Canada? You must be joking. Everyone is just waiting for the next election. Until then. there is no effective 'opposition' to his slim 'majority', which is another sign of his distaste for Democracy and accountability. A Democracy has to have respect for the opposition as an offset to 'first past the post' one sidedness. Along with an effective Senate to add 'flywheel' inertia. He promised us a Canada we wouldn't recognize, and he is delivering it, one dirty trick at a time.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#5 May 23, 2013
QUITTNER wrote:
5:07 pm, Thursday, May 23, 2013:
RE: Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry
1) What do you need those details for?
Unlike the US, the PM is the leader of the elected majority party but NOT an independent executive branch. The MP's are supposed to have the power, but for that there must be accountability to parliament.

http://tinyurl.com/cznctq7
QUITTNER wrote:
5:07 pm, Thursday, May 23, 2013:
2) Lots of information is available about political polling
Political polling to support the current government is NOT one of the mandated actions of Parliament. Nor did they vote funds to issue what is essentially 'party propaganda'. It is a crime here.
QUITTNER wrote:
5:07 pm, Thursday, May 23, 2013:
3) The Economic Action Plan will work over several years. The results are not yet available.
The money was spent years ago, yet they continue to run the ads at significant expense to the taxpayer. It is a criminal waste, NOT informing the public or even the Legislature which is STILL in the dark on what the money was spent on. And as I mentioned, I have seen no projects FROM this 'stimulus' so I suspect it went to 'special interests' like banks and oil companies. But the issue is not just the illegal propaganda spending but the total lack of ANY accountability.
QUITTNER wrote:
5:07 pm, Thursday, May 23, 2013:
4) Any senator is free to accept a loan from a friend. And even someone working in the PMO is entitled to lend his own money to a friend.
1: He was not a friend. In fact, he hardly knew Mr. Duffy even as a Senator.

2: He is NOT free to accept secret cash. All such 'gifts' have to be declared to the ethics commission to prevent just such payments for 'whitewash' of the Senate Report. Both the secret deal (undeclared) and the implicit bribery are illegal, immoral and disgusting.

3: The whitewash of the Senate report itself is clear evidence of wrongdoing.

4: The PMO's office cannot distance itself from the deal, especially as it involved the PMO's legal counsel. And the deal could NOT have been set up without Harpers approval, even if they eventually chose 'deniability'. He's waffled several times on if he knew and how much he knew. But he runs the country as a total dictatorship and NOBODY, even fellow conservatives believe that he could be in the dark about the operation of his own office.
QUITTNER wrote:
5:07 pm, Thursday, May 23, 2013:
5) Tradition requires the governor general to appoint as senator anyone the current Prime Minister wants. But he doesn't have to. Blame the GG for wrong senator appointments.
As you say, the GG has no choice but to approve the senate appointments of the PM. So the responsibility for packing the Senate with losers, hangers on, bagmen, sycophants and 'favorable press' commentators instead of seasoned politicians and statesmen is DIRECTLY the action of the PM to discredit the Senate. He may have gotten more than he intended.
QUITTNER wrote:
5:07 pm, Thursday, May 23, 2013:
6) Prime ministers are not usually informed about who is getting a loan from which friend.
It was the action of the Chief of Staff of the PMO's office, in collusion with at least the PMO's chief attorney. There is no getting around the fact that no matter who supplies the money, it is the action of the PMO's office. It is a principle of politics that you cannot separate out 'personal' actions from those of your office, which is why politicians must arrange 'arms length' control over their own finances when appointed to office.

You really are clueless about Canadian politics (and possibly politics in general) or maybe just ethics.
QUITTNER

Markham, Canada

#6 May 26, 2013
5:52 am, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
RE: Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry
1) LessHypeMoreFact: The MPs have the power to disagree with a "Confidence" matter; then by tradition the PM with his government reigns and the Governor General takes over.
2) Political polling is done by the parties and the media, not by any of the 3 parts of Parliament.
3) As far as I know, accountability to the House of Commons was not a matter of confidence that MPs voted on.
4) Anyone who lends anyone that amount of money is a friend. However if it is kept secret then it may automatically imply that it probably was not proper, even perhaps illegal. Just because that friend worked in the PMO does not prove that the PM had any knowledge of the matter.
5) As I remember reading, it did happen that the GG at that time did NOT do what the PM wanted, but that produced some constitutional problems, even troubles. The PM is free to nominate anyone to be appointed as Senator.
6) If it was/is a personal loan, then the PMO was not involved. If a lawyer was consulted an approved before the loan was made, then the lawyer made a wrong decision. Even lawyers are entitled to make mistakes some of the time.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#7 May 26, 2013
QUITTNER wrote:
5:52 am, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
RE: Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry
1) LessHypeMoreFact: The MPs have the power to disagree with a "Confidence" matter; then by tradition the PM with his government reigns and the Governor General takes over.
Irrelevant. The AG can declare an election if the government is unable to continue but as long as Harper can keep his dictotorship going, the party discipline along with his majority of seats means that he cannot lose a confidence motion. But this is how he is BYPASSING democracy, not the intended way it works.
QUITTNER wrote:
5:52 am, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
2) Political polling is done by the parties and the media, not by any of the 3 parts of Parliament.
Yes. Legally. However I have received many calls from polling operations that are being run FOR THE GOVERNMENT on policies and political views. Harper does not seem to know where PARTY money and PUBLIC money differ.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#8 May 26, 2013
PARTY money and PUBLIC money differ.
QUITTNER wrote:
5:52 am, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
3) As far as I know, accountability to the House of Commons was not a matter of confidence that MPs voted on.
You seem to know very little. You should read the reference I gave to the operation of Westminster parliaments. Confidence motions can bring down a government, but the PM is only the head of the party, he is not an independent body, and the house is charged with all rule making. It is his BYPASSING of the house by using his majority and omnibus bills to disable the opposition to his changes that show his contempt for Democratic function. And key to this is his dominance of his own party which has to 'rubber stamp' everything or find themselves out of the ruling elite. The key to this is the change to have the party leader approve of all candidate, and this is being challenged today. It gives Harper too big a club to hold over his own party membership.
tinyurl.com/cb6qage
QUITTNER wrote:
5:52 am, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
4) Anyone who lends anyone that amount of money is a friend. However if it is kept secret then it may automatically imply that it probably was not proper, even perhaps illegal. Just because that friend worked in the PMO does not prove that the PM had any knowledge of the matter.
/QUOTE]
There is no evidence that it was a loan (at least they cannot produce a contract. And if every 'gift' of money is from friends, I assume that you accept that bank and even loans sharks are you 'friends'. How stupid are you??
And 'back room deals' involving tens of thousands by a PUBLIC OFFICIAL are illegal whether they hide it or not.
True. The PM has 'deniability' but then if he denies knowing about such a major matter, it brings up his incompetency doesn't it. Either way, he cannot absolve himself of RESPONSIBILITY for the PMO's office. And that the INTENT and METHOD of the 'gift' was obviously in return for 'toning down' the audit shows an 'exchange of value'. i.e. Here is $90k to pay off your debt, now can we white wash your crime so that Harper doesn't have to look like he stuffed the Senate with losers and criminals? The optics are just too glaring.
[QUOTE who="QUITTNER"]5:52 am, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
5) As I remember reading, it did happen that the GG at that time did NOT do what the PM wanted, but that produced some constitutional problems, even troubles. The PM is free to nominate anyone to be appointed as Senator.
ONLY in extreme cases can the GG not do as he is asked. That doesn't apply here so it is just more of your smoke.
And yes, he can nominate the local dish washer, but I am pointing out that stuffing the Senate with incompetents, hangers on, syncophants, etc is NOT in the public interest. He is BETRAYING the country.
QUITTNER wrote:
5:52 am, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
6) If it was/is a personal loan, then the PMO was not involved. If a lawyer was consulted an approved before the loan was made, then the lawyer made a wrong decision. Even lawyers are entitled to make mistakes some of the time.
The actions of public officials CANNOT be separated from their positions in our government. YOU are totally incompetent on the issue of ethics and Canadian government. I assume you are just working here or are you a recent immigrant?
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#9 May 26, 2013
I see fundamental problems that cannot be fixed by another election alone. "The status quo is the only solution that cannot be vetoed."
QUITTNER

Markham, Canada

#10 May 26, 2013
7:38 pm, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
RE: Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry
..... LessHypeMoreFact, I'm glad you have been digging into the democracy's practical Canadian practices, but that's the way it is. It's up to the voters not to elect a majority government in Canada with its nearly-dictatorial practices.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#11 May 26, 2013
QUITTNER wrote:
7:38 pm, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
It's up to the voters not to elect a majority government in Canada with its nearly-dictatorial practices.
It was never a problem before since the party leaders understood the need to both work with the opposition and maintain their party by persuasion and leadership. The problem has been Stephen Harper and the attitudes (heavily influenced by the US) in Albertan politics.

Along with some changes he has made to party discipline, the obscene use of omnibus bills to prevent opposition debate and the end of public funding based on votes thus leading to funding based on the wealth of your core group. i.e in his case the corporations and 'old money'.
QUITTNER

Markham, Canada

#12 May 26, 2013
8:28 pm, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
RE: Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry
..... Any PM is entirely free to do anything as long as it is legal. Those who don't like the laws as written should try to have them changed during the next minority governments.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#13 May 26, 2013
QUITTNER wrote:
8:28 pm, Sunday, May 26, 2013:
RE: Stephen Harper's government withholds details of $16-million PR campaign for oil industry
..... Any PM is entirely free to do anything as long as it is legal. Those who don't like the laws as written should try to have them changed during the next minority governments.
Ok. Mr. Hitler. It worked for you..

But some of us expect a government that is honest, open and accountable, as well as serving the public instead of itself. Being a dictator 'technically' inside the law isn't any better than being a dictatorship outside the law. There is more to civilization and government than legalizing wrongdoing.

Since: Mar 13

Location hidden

#14 May 27, 2013
Ooooooo! He played the all powerful "Hitler" card.

How do I make a "bored" smily face?
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#15 May 27, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
Ooooooo! He played the all powerful "Hitler" card.
How do I make a "bored" smily face?
I was just pointing out that everything Hitler did was 'legal' in that he passed a law allowing himself to do it first. It was a fairly strong rebuttal to Quittners nonsense about Stephen Harper being 'within the law'.

Now go fly a kite..

Since: Mar 13

Location hidden

#16 May 27, 2013
Hmm, maybe you don't understand that saying that IS playing the "Hitler Card". Suggests that you have run out of cogent arguments and are looking for a game closer. It is actually a very WEAK play.

Re: kite" that is what I am doing. Guess you didn't understand that either.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#17 May 27, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
Hmm, maybe you don't understand that saying that IS playing the "Hitler Card".
No. It is using an example from history that most people understand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law
"Godwin's law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one's opponent) with Nazis often referred to as "playing the Hitler card".

The fact that I used Hitler is totally secondary to the POINT of the reference which is material and relevant.

Since: Mar 13

Location hidden

#18 May 27, 2013
Nope. You used an example that people would recognize that is loaded with ulterior connotations. It was playing the Hitler card, pure and simple.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#19 May 28, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
Nope. You used an example that people would recognize that is loaded with ulterior connotations. It was playing the Hitler card, pure and simple.
The relevance is clearly stated. In response to the claim that everything that Stephen Harper is doing is 'legal', I pointed out that everything Hitler did was 'legal'. The relevance is clear.

YOU are just trolling. I'm not biting.

Since: Mar 13

Location hidden

#20 May 28, 2013
Yup, you pointed out that fact to damn him by association. HC.

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