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The Census Returns!

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Naavdeep Bains Jean Yves DuclosHere’s what I wrote about the Census back in 2010:

The debate focuses on the long form. Those trying to axe the Census argue these questions are an invasion of privacy. “Why the hell should the government know what time I leave to go to work?” they shout angrily on their twitter accounts and in Toronto Sun editorials.

“Well,” the other side argues “so that cities can build roads and public transit to help you get to work on time. Duh.”

The reality is we live in an information age, and long form Census data is a valuable source of information. Governments use it to help plan communities and programs. Hospitals need it to provide the right kind of services and fight pandemics. Researches use it to track demographic trends over time. Masters students, like Stephen Harper, use it to write thesis papers. Think tanks, like the Fraser Institute, use it to prove their kooky right wing theories. And businesses use it all the time – just think of restaurants and grocery stores that sell ethnic foods or cater to specific client demographics.



Here’s what I wrote about it a year and a half ago:

I’ve never been of the opinion that Stephen Harper is a monster who has destroyed Canada beyond recognition. Even on issues where we disagree – the gun registry, climate change, Quebec as a nation – I understand where he’s coming from. However, of everything Harper has done, his decision to scrap the long form census remains the thing that boils my blood. Here was the party who sends Happy Hanukkah cards to swing voters calling the census too “intrusive”. It wasn’t an assault on the welfare state or big government, it was an assault on reason. It showed that Harper offered nothing more than government by truthiness.

And that, is why I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next bit to help defeat him.



So it kind of goes without saying that I am elated by today’s announcement that the mandatory long-form census is coming back.


Real Change

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Advance polls are open. Be sure to get out and vote.

Lawrence Toet – Great MP, or the Greatest MP?

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toet-terrorist-mailout

Communications

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Here’s a fun exercise for aspiring communications directors out there. Complete the following sentence, in a way that isn’t offesnive: “I’m going to put this in terms of colours but it’s not meant to be about race…”.

Now try that, using the words “whities” and “brown people”.

Rob Anders courts the truck vote

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Oh Rob Anders, don’t you ever change:

“It’s a place with more trucks, and it certainly wouldn’t have elected someone like [Calgary mayor] Naheed Nenshi, or other liberals pretending to be Conservatives these days. I feel a real connection.”
-Rob Anders, on his decision to seek the Conservative nomination in Bow River

Vote Out Anders

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Federal Politics, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
It was Ron Liepert by a nose for the Calgary Signal Hill Conservative nomination.

It was Ron Liepert by a nose for the Calgary Signal Hill Conservative nomination.

“Secret Liberal” Ron Liepert has done what a mayor, cabinet minister, and premier failed to do – defeated Rob Anders. And, boy, do typing those words ever feel good.

First elected in 1997, Rob Anders gained notoriety in 2001, voting against honourary citizenship for Nelson Mandela and calling him a “terrorist” – a sentiment Anders doubled down on earlier this year after Mandela’s death. In between, he has been a punching bag for progressives, and pretty much everyone who follows politics (except for former Calgary Sun columnist Paul Jackson, who developed a serious man-crush on Anders, calling him “too precious to lose”).

While Paul Jackson will be sad to see the demise of his precious, it’s hard for political bloggers to not feel a little sad about all the content we’re losing. What made Anders a reliable source of fodder was how…original, his controversies were. Any politician can gaffe, get caught in a lie, or espouse a position the mainstream finds repugnant. We see that all the time. What made Anders special (precious even) was that he would say things so out of left field, they barely made sense. Like the time he suggested Tom Mulcair was responsible for killing Jack Layton. Or lamented that bilingualism was destroying Canada, much the same way the decay of Latin led to the fall of Rome. Back in 2005, he sent pamphlets about chrystal meth to a BC riding that included a “tough on crime” survey asking people if they supported “homosexual sex marriage”.

Then there were the days when Anders was asleep on the job – literally. First, in the House of Commons, then at a Veterans Affairs committee hearing. True to form, Anders accused the veterans who made their claim of being “NDP hacks”…only to find out later they were card carrying Tories. This was a common line of defence for Anders, who saw vast left wing conspiracies every time someone tried to defeat him (or messed up his dry cleaning order).

So while Anders’ defeat is a relief for the voters of Signal Hill (and Canada), it is a sad day for those of us who have taken great joy in ridiculing the man over the years. Yes, there’s still Rob Ford, but come October, he might also find himself out of work. What then?

On the other hand, Rob Anders is still an MP, and assuming he doesn’t run elsewhere, now finds himself unshackled from worries of re-election or having his nomination papers signed. The man still has a podium (and a Twitter account) for another 18 months, and nothing to lose. I highly doubt Rob Anders is just going to nap through his final term as an MP. We most certainly haven’t heard the last of this politician we all love to hate.

A resounding “Non” to Pauline Marois

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Marois’ gambit for a majority ending in a blaze of spectacular failure.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving party.

peladeau fist

A brief history of Stephen Harper supporting our troops (updated)

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Harper troops

“In 2006, after the Liberal ‘decade of darkness,’ we took action to rebuild Canada’s Armed Forces.”
Stephen Harper


October 2010: “Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is scrambling to contain an ever-widening scandal in which officials deliberately tried to ruin the reputation of outspoken military veterans

October 2011: Veterans Ombudsman Questions Harper Government Cuts To Veterans Affairs

November 2011: Veterans across Canada protest against planned budget cuts and benefits

March 2012: Veterans consider suing MP accused of dozing off

April 2012: Veterans concerned over cuts to case workers

September 2012: Feds spent over $750,000 in five-year court battle against vets’ pension claim

February 2013: Reserve budgets slashed by almost 25 per cent despite Harper’s order to avoid front-line reductions

April 9, 2013: Danger pay reduced for Canadian troops in Afghanistan

April 21, 2013: Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan ordered to return danger pay

February 11, 2014: The Defence Department was effectively stripped today of more than $3 billion it had planned to spend on major new military purchases in the near future, in what amounts to the second major setback it’s faced in as many weeks.”

February 16, 2014: Former general Andrew Leslie accuses Tories of smear over moving expenses


What’s a 9-letter word for obsessive preoccupation with one’s self?

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Behold, the taxpayer-funded, Brian Jean crossword puzzle!

Brian-Jean-MP-Crossword-Puzzle

Joe Who?

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"I don't know, just use a name that nobody has ever heard of"

“I don’t know, just use a name that nobody has ever heard of”

Spotted by alert reader RC in a Boston Staples.

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