The Conservative attack ad, which sows the seeds of doubt about Justin Trudeau, was
UPDATE: The Globe and Mail's John Doyle weighs in with amusing and pointed commentary on both political ads and the consortium debates.
Israel has expressed its gratitude to Canada for helping to block a major international plan towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons.In language that makes no attempt to conceal Harper's contempt for people's intelligence worldwide, his government stoutly maintained how important an issue disarmament is:
Elsewhere, however, there was widespread international disappointment that Canada and Britain supported the United States in opposing the document at the United Nations review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The document called on the UN to hold a disarmament conference on the Middle East by 2016. Such a conference could have forced Israel to publicly acknowledge that it is a nuclear power, something the Jewish state has never done.
"Prime Minister Harper reaffirmed Canada's commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation, including within the framework of the NPT," the statement said.Huh?
"He also stressed Canada's belief that a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone can only be truly effective if all countries in the Middle East participate freely and constructively in its establishment."
It's disappointing that Canada helped scuttle the four weeks of negotiations that led up to Friday's result, said Beatrice Fihn, spokeswoman for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of 400 non-governmental organizations in 95 countries.The Toronto area is a crucial battleground in the upcoming election, with some ridings having a strong Jewish presence. Expect new polling from the PMO to assess the efficacy of this latest denigration of Canada's reputation.
"Three countries take their cue from a non-state party -- Israel isn't even part of the treaty -- and thereby have this final say," Fihn said.
I’m surprised Stephen Harper isn’t insisting the election debates be hosted by 24 Seven, his self-promoting video-streaming website. His heavy-handed refusal to participate in any debates hosted by a media consortium of CBC, CTV, ICI Radio-Canada and Global reeks of the fear he may not be able to exercise adequate control over the form and, perhaps, the moderator of those debates.
In assessing Harper’s decision, it’s worth recalling the under-reported episode this January when the PMO tried to stipulate that reporters submit their questions before interviews and press conferences. According to veteran reporter Robert Fife, both CTV and CBC unequivocally refused to comply.
Following fast on the heels of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the government backed away from its stipulation — perhaps realizing that it was the wrong time to curtail freedom of the press.
If Harper wants to accept invitations to debate at events hosted by others, that’s up to him — though the decision of who is to moderate and the rules over any such debates should be carefully scrutinized by every single leader before going along with this scheme.
The debates hosted by the consortium Harper rejects out of hand have been free of biased moderating to date. I am unsure the same impartiality will govern in all other venues Harper favours.
Penny Gill, Dundas
In reference to the Stephen Harper Conservatives’ alternate plans on federal election debates, I urge the consortium to hold their debates as they planned and scheduled them and issue formal and public invitations to all the federal political parties. Whether the leaders attend or not is their problem, not the consortiums nor the voters.
An empty space at a federal election debate will give a very telling message on the interest, concerns and respect the absent leaders have for the people (voters) of this country. The control freak Conservatives must be shown that they are no better than anyone and they will be treated as equally as everyone else in the debates.
Canadians are getting very tired of their antics and this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back if they continue on their path of arrogance and false sense of entitlement and superiority. I am of the considered opinion that the majority of voters would agree with and support my suggestion.
Gerald McIvor, Winnipeg
Funny how Harper loves to use the big networks to air his propaganda but fears participating in candidate debates hosted by the same group. This could however be a rare opportunity to salvage what’s left of our nation if Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May were to simply seize the opportunity and agree to participate in debates hosted by the CBC/CTV/Global consortium without Harper.
Each could explain why their party is the best choice to put an end to Harper’s destruction of our nation’s environment, democracy, economy, integrity, honesty and reputation while sparing us from having to listen to all Harper’s spin crap. If he chooses not to play – well so be it.
Randy Gostlin, Oshawa
......CBC, CTV and Global should go ahead with their plans to conduct debates. If Harper chooses not to participate, they should set up an empty chair so voters can see what he thinks of them.
Mr. Harper refuses to meet the press in regular news conferences, unlike most PMs and U.S. presidents. He doesn’t trust the media. If he refuses to debate on the “national” television networks, the feeling of mistrust may become mutual.
Joe Spence, Kanata
The exhibit, which opened in 1999, was modelled after a meeting room in the Labour Temple on James St. in Winnipeg, where union members met to debate, organize and vote in the months leading up to, and during, the massive strike.
“Government is certainly not telling us what to put into the hall. Nor do they know what we are putting into the hall. We are not reporting to them and they are not telling us what to do. There is a very high level of cynicism and paranoia out there,” said David Morrison, the director of research and content for the Canadian History Hall project.Yet one could cogently argue that this decision is part of a much larger pattern, consistent with Mr. Harper's values and method of governance.
"What we are trying to do is avoid becoming a burden on taxpayers for hundreds of millions of dollars if we don't act responsibly now."While the claim is that overall mail volume is down prompted the decision to end home delivery, no public consultations took place, nor were alternative plans, such as alternate day delivery, entertained.
"We don't want to wait until the problem has become so severe that the initiatives we will be forced to take would be even more difficult."
Canada and its spying partners exploited weaknesses in one of the world's most popular mobile browsers and planned to hack into smartphones via links to Google and Samsung app stores, a top secret document obtained by CBC News shows.