Friday, August 03, 2012

Friday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to end your week.

- Tim Harper suggests that the Cons are running out of options to try to push the Gateway pipeline on a thoroughly-opposed public in British Columbia. But in keeping with the Cons' general view of the world as nothing but a public relations problem to be shouted down for financial gain, James Moore and Gwyn Morgan are sure they have the answer: more high-priced spin from Enbridge and other tar-sands operators. And pogge rightly notes that part of the anti-environment strategy figures to include an effort to paint all environmental activism and advocacy as "terrorism".

- Carol Goar comments on the continuing efforts of Canadian doctors to save health care for refugees from the Cons' cuts:
Rashid, a family physician, is one of the founders of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, which has vowed to track and report cases of death or serious harm resulting from Kenney’s $20-million-a-year cutback.

It took effect a month ago. But reports already are coming in: a 7-year-old epileptic boy in Hamilton was hospitalized for a severe seizure because he could not get medicine; a woman who had endured multiple rapes after she was sold into the sex trade couldn’t get an ultrasound for the fetus she was carrying; a Colombian man is desperately fundraising to pay Toronto General Hospital for life-saving abdominal surgery; two refugee claimants in Ottawa — one Peruvian, the other El Salvadoran — have stopped taking their post-traumatic stress medications.

By fall, the doctors hope to have a compendium of cases from across the country. A local delegation of medical workers will show up every time a cabinet minister makes an announcement, the government calls a news conference or Parliament holds public hearings to highlight specific cases. “None of us wants to disrupt meetings, but we really feel we have no choice,” said Tim O’Shea of McMaster University, who works as a medical consultant at the Shelter Health Network in Hamilton.

Since April, the doctors have been asking Kenney for a meeting on this issue. So far he has refused.
- Meanwhile, the Star rightly points out that the Cons' thoroughly-discredited finger-pointing over Attawapiskat did nothing to help the underlying housing crisis.

- Finally, the Star-Phoenix weighs in on the need for some answers about Robocon:
It is rare for Elections Canada officials to speak out about investigations before they are concluded, and the agency receives dozens of complaints after every election. Often it takes years to clear these files.

But the allegations that voters in some ridings received socalled robocalls misdirecting them to wrong voter stations, or calls from people alleging to be from particular parties who acted in an obnoxious or insulting manner in an apparent attempt to discourage their votes, is a little more serious than candidates complaining their signs have been defaced.

If these allegations are true, it strikes to the heart of Canada's electoral system. For a democratic system to function properly the electoral process must be considered trustworthy. And for a democratic government to rule with authority, the public must have confidence it legitimately came to power.

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