Harper’s doctrinaire conservatism forces Stats Canada head to quit

Statisticians, politicians, statisticians and community leaders say dropping long form census will distort Statistics for Canada

Prime Minister Harper, dismantling Canadian government one step at a time

The debate over the long form census is heating up in Canada. Yesterday the head of Statistics Canada threw oil on the fire by resigning.

“I want to take this opportunity to comment on a technical statistical issue which has become the subject of media discussion. This relates to the question of whether a voluntary survey can become a substitute for a mandatory census,” Munir Sheikh, the head of Statistics Canada, said in a release. “It cannot,” he said. “Under the circumstances, I have tendered my resignation to the prime minister.” CBC

Sheikh is not the first person to question the validity of dropping a mandatory census and allowing people to voluntarily fill out the detailed census form. Since Sheikh was appointed by Prime Minister Harper, he cannot be accused of Liberal or NDP political bias. He is simply putting his job on the line over the Harper government’s dismantling of Statistics Canada because it’s the wrong thing to do.

No one can accuse Prime Minister Harper of being anything by small government conservative. His stated goal is to dismantle big government in Canada. Statistics Canada and it’s reliable measurement of who we are, where we live and how well Canada is performing is a dose of reality Harper can’t stand.   Continue reading Harper’s doctrinaire conservatism forces Stats Canada head to quit

Great Bubble Battle safe for Toronto at Queen and Spadina

Bubblebattle participants judged not likely to require baton over the head by Toronto Police Chief (Miles Storey/Torontoist)

Participants in Newmindspace’s annual Dr. Seuss–inspired Bubble Battle didn’t fear Darth Vader led Storm Troopers on Saturday

Safe activity in the G20 War Zone. Please don’t Tweet this story to the Prime Minister lest he budget $1 billion to stop next year’s party

Torontoist – “After Toronto’s torrid weekend at the hands of the G20, Newmindspace’s annual Dr. Seuss–inspired Bubble Battle stepped up to sooth nerves with a gentler kind of combat this past Saturday.”

“This year’s venue was the erstwhile official G20 protest zone in the northern end of Queen’s Park, right in the shadow of the war memorial of Toronto’s own 48th Highlanders.”

Background music was supplied by Pride‘s nearby but well-fenced-in Dyke Day event.

Canadian Musicians Speak Out on G20 Protests in Toronto

Police action was on front doorsteps of Toronto’s arts scene

Feist marched in G20 on Saturday (image: Allthegigs)

Spinner – Parts of downtown Toronto’s vibrant music scene became a violent battle zone last weekend as the G20 Summit was held. In the wake of a small group of so-called anarchists attacking store windows and burning abandoned cop cars, heavily armoured riot police shot tear gas, rubber bullets, physically attacked peaceful protesters and used other forms of psychological warfare. Over 1,000 people were arrested and detained, media included, many just for showing up to exercise their rights as citizens.

Much of the action took place just steps from the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, Steve’s Music Store, and MuchMusic’s Queen Street TV studio. Yonge-Dundas Square, where Iggy Pop and the Stooges performed for NXNE less than a week before, also fell victim to destruction and violence. Present among the peaceful protesters — some in body, others in spirit — were a handful of Canadian musicians.

Julie Penner, a gifted violinist who has played with Canadian bands like Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think, Lowest of the Low and the FemBots, marched on Saturday during the peaceful protest alongside Feist and Penner’s boyfriend Jason Tait, drummer for the Weakerthans.    Continue reading Canadian Musicians Speak Out on G20 Protests in Toronto

Economist Predicts G20 Austerity will deepen third depression

Plan to cut deficits in half in three years means austerity or higher taxes which will drive the economy into a depression

Irish housing project abandoned when real estate market colllapsed image: Eoin O'Conaill for the International Herald Tribune.

The ink is barely dry on the last minute agreement of President Obama to reduce the US deficit by $750 billion dollars in three years. Driven by the desperation of the European Union and Canada’s posturing on fiscal restraint, Obama is already backtracking on the promise with good reason.

The US is still in a depression from the bank collapse of 2008 and things are only marginally better. Unemployment is a historic highs. Housing sales tanked after the Federal grants ended. Other than high-profile iPhones and gadgets, consumption of consumer goods is not improving.

The New York Times is carrying an op-ed piece by economist Paul Krugman who believes we are already slipping into a “third depression.”

Continue reading Economist Predicts G20 Austerity will deepen third depression

Harper reacts with police violence to public protest

They old can’t kill the young forever, Tienanmen Square

(Last 31 seconds of police charge on Queen St. at Spadina)

It is a shame on Canada that Prime Minister Harper doesn’t want to hear the voices of Canadians. Neither did the Communist leadership in China at Tienanmen Square.

Harper reacted to the G20 protests the same way the Chinese government did with military might. Harper got ready with in $1 billion in police buildup.

The police attacked the crowd on Queen Street West near Spadina. Up until then people had been walking and protesting, carrying their signs. Those would be Charter Rights in Canada.

After singing O’Canada, a few people sat in the middle of the street and the police charged the crowd. (8:30 in the video) Then the violence began. Don’t take our word for it. The video is crystal clear (after the story break)

Continue reading Harper reacts with police violence to public protest

G20 Sunday Toronto as a police state

At Queen and Spadina, police detain a man who'd yelled something at them as they'd gone by on bikes. (Michael Chrisman/Torontoist)

Torontoist coverage of Sunday with random arrests of non-violent protesters and bystanders

“Sunday—a day that started very quietly and that was mostly peaceful, but one that won’t soon be forgotten for what happened in the evening and night at Queen and Spadina—is collected here, with updates in reverse-chronological order.” Up to 600 people were arrested in Toronto on Sunday during a day of peaceful protests. See G20 Timeline: Sunday Torontoist

G20 Photo coverage Saturday

Free Tibet - one of the dozens of protest groups (Nancy Paiva/Torontoist)

The G20 street events overshadowed world leaders secret meetings – here is photo and video coverage by Torontoist

For more pics and commentary on Saturday, click The Torontoist G20 Timeline. For videos and commentary see G20 Live: Saturday

Toronto Police in Full Riot Gear Beat Peaceful G20 Protesters

Police precipitated Saturday violence by charging protesters on Queen at Spadina

From Slate – Protests at the G20 in Toronto turned ugly on Saturday, with demonstrators setting fire to cars, smashing windows and shutting down the subway system in the city’s financial district. Dozens of arrests after the incident brought the total number for the summit into the hundreds, but the demonstrations were largely peaceful.

“Police were steadily pushing onlookers and protesters away … chanting ‘move’ and rhythmically hitting their batons on their shields. Progress was gradual, and there was no violence,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “Some protesters chanted in the streets while a young woman with a megaphone stood by the police line urging bystanders not to be violent.”
Continue reading Toronto Police in Full Riot Gear Beat Peaceful G20 Protesters

Violence in Toronto predictable resulted from police buildup

If you spend $1 billion to line the streets of Toronto with people who look like Darth Vadar’s storm troopers you are going to get reaction.

Toronto police line blocking protests on Queen image: CBC

The violence and property damage in Toronto is lamentable but predictable.  Use of military power to limit public protest always results in violence, in Beijing, Tehran and Toronto.

In Beijing of course Canada denounces it as communist suppression of free speech and lack of democracy. The Iranian government is oppressive when it shoots at people protesting the election. In Canada somehow the government finds the use of police violence as appropriate when people want to end poverty or discrimination.

The same conference was held in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with only $18 million in security costs and minor violence. “In Pittsburgh during the G20 meeting late in September 2009, about $50,000 in damage was caused by a minority of protesters.” CTV That wasn’t ten years ago, it was ten months ago.   Continue reading Violence in Toronto predictable resulted from police buildup

$ 1 billion price tag for G20 security

Are they kidding in one of the safest cities in the world?

London G20 2009 security cost $30 million why is Canada spending $1 billion

The Harper government’s $1 billion estimate for the G20 Summit has to be a joke. They can’t be serious. That is the most ridiculous waste of taxpayer’s money in recent memory.

Fresh on the heels of his $47 billion Stimulus Boondoggle, our big spending Prime Minister is out to break the bank on security. The G20 summit is mostly about politicians doing photo ops and lots of media coverage of the street protests.

At the $1 billion price tag, protesters are getting the best free advertising in history.

In comparison, the Brits only spent $30 million last year to put on the same show in a city known for terrorist bombings. The US only spent $18 million in Pittsburgh which has a murder rate 2.8 times higher than Toronto. Can we just hire them to do this job?

Continue reading $ 1 billion price tag for G20 security