CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT OF STEPHEN HARPER

Below are some of the examples of Harper’s Conservative government’s immoral activities. No previous government has shown such lack of responsibility, lack of accountability and financial mismanagement as Harper’s Conservative Government from 2006 to 2015.  

Senate appointments:

Harper appointed many Conservative loyalists to senate, several of them were suspended from the Senate for allegations of financial misuse. It was revealed that his own chief of staff was involved in some of these issues. One of his Conservative senator quit the Conservative caucus after allegations of a sexual relationship with a teenager.

Maxime Bernier Resignation

A conservative MP was forced to resign as foreign affairs minister after he had left important NATO documents at his girl friend’s house.

Veterans Affairs

Instead of supporting our veterans, conservatives have repeatedly upset veterans, with ill and injured soldiers feeling short-changed, and angry over the closing of multiple regional veterans’ affairs offices. As a protest, veterans held a rally in Ottawa on June 4, 2014.

Shutting down investigation of Afghan detainee’s torture

Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin in a parliamentary committee appearance in 2009 said that Afghan detainees taken captive by Canadian soldiers were being tortured and abused. Conservatives refused to release documents on this issue and prorogued Parliament in December 2009, shutting down the parliamentary committee that was investigating these allegations.

Accusations about Supreme court’s Chief Justice

Harper accused Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of inappropriate conduct when in 2014 his appointment of Marc Nadon to the top bench was rejected because of not meeting the eligibility requirements.

Misuse of G8 funding

In the G8 meeting of 2010 in Canada, a senior cabinet minister Tony Clement personally directed huge amount of money out of a $50 million “legacy” fund to his Muskoka riding and for a gazebo without any bureaucratic oversight or paper trails. Clement, the same minister with this record was later promoted to president of the Treasury Board, to oversee government spending.

Contempt of Parliament

Harper’s government was involved in contempt of Parliament on two separate instances in 2011. The international aid minister lied about defunding of charitable organization KAIROS, and cabinet’s refusal to reveal the costs of corporate tax cuts, criminal justice measures, and the F-35 fighter jet program. For refusing to disclose information on the costing of these programs to Parliament, which Parliament was entitled to receive, the Harper government became the first in Canadian history to be involved in contempt of Parliament.

First Prorogation of Parliament to avoid fall of government

In 2008 Harper’s minority government was about to be defeated by a coalition of Liberals and NDP with the support of Bloc Québécois when Harper got parliament dissolved to save his government.

Defence minister using rescue helicopter

Harper’s defence minister was caught using a rescue helicopter in 2010 to pick him up from a private fishing lodge on the Gander River in Newfoundland at an estimated cost of $16,000 to taxpayers.

Refusal to Share Budget Information against Court Order

In spite of the court orders, the Harper government avoided sharing the impacts of cuts with Canada’s independent budget watchdog against the Parliament’s right to control the public purse.

Conservative Cabinet Staffers given immunity from Testimony

Government of Harper Conservatives absolved political staffers from having to testify before parliamentary committees.

Falsifying Reports and Documents

Many documents including CIDA document on Kairos; the Senate Committee Report on the Duffy affair; a report by former auditor general on financial management were deliberately altered.

Industry Minister Lied, Blamed Statistics Canada for Killing Long Form Census

Harper cabinet Industry Minister Tony Clement claimed that StatsCan backed the idea of killing the long form census which was not true.

Conservative MP Admitted of lying to Parliament

When opposition members asserted that Harper government could rig election rules in its favour, a Conservative MP was caught lying in the parliament that he had witnessed voter’s fraud. Later he admitted falsifying in the House of Commons.

Conservative House Leader made Mockery of Question Period

Parliamentary secretary to Harper was criticized for absurd answers in the question period abusing the democratic process, for which he made an apology.

Conservatives Engage in Abuse of Process with Omnibus Bills

As a clear abuse of democratic process, Harper Conservatives forced multiple controversial legislations through Parliament via omnibus bills. Due to overwhelming number of the omnibus bills, former auditor general commented that parliament had almost become unable to do the job that Canadians expected of it.

Conservatives deliberately disrupted Committee System

Conservatives used many ways for barring witnesses, time limitations, and prepared a handbook informing committee chairpersons how to obstruct the proceedings.

Conservative MPs Protest Muzzling

In 2014 some of the Conservative MPs started to protest for being censored at question period by the Prime Minister’s Office. Former Conservative MP Rathgeber turned independent and wrote a book, Irresponsible Government, highlighting the anti-democratic practices of Harper Conservative Government.

Conservative Bill Rewrites History to Protect RCMP from Potential Criminal Charges

Harper’s government retroactively made an old bill come into effect before it was passed by Parliament to protect the RCMP from the potential criminal charges.

Harper Minister used Public Funds for advertising

According to the media reports Harper’s Minister for Democratic Reforms used a team of public servants for overtime work on a Sunday to film him with taxpayer’s money.

Conservatives Crony corruption

A corrupt convicted conservative crony was made key advisor in the PMO. He was lobbied for money for an eco-think tank and left to run the same think tank, converting it to an oil industry booster with a $15-million grant from the Harper government.

Blocking the access to Information System

Former Information Commissioner reported that many new obstacles were placed by the Harper Conservatives to stop access of information, an abuse of power.

The Silencing of the Public Service

The PMO took many steps to reduce the policy contribution role of the public service and bureaucracy. Their communications were scrutinized by the politicians. The Privy Council office also became increasingly politicized.

Loyalty Oaths forced on Public Servants

Some public servants were imposed with oaths of allegiance and faced restrictions on freedom of speech.

Harper Government Sued by Justice Department Whistleblower

Many bills proposed by the Harper government were halted by the courts since they aimed at making political scoring rather than lasting policy. Finally, a senior justice department lawyer sued the government for breaking the law by inadequately evaluating whether proposed bills violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This resulted in his immediate suspension.

Harper Government Blocked Accreditation for Opposition MPs

PMO blocked opposition members from being accredited for international environment conferences and from visiting military bases which was height of hyper-partisanship.

Using public servants falsely posing as new citizens

The neutral public servants were made to be stooges, falsely pretending as new citizens in a staged Citizenship Renewal public relations exercise by the department of Immigration Canada.

Clampdown on Freedom of Speech of Diplomatic Corps

All Canadian diplomats were instructed to have their correspondence reviewed and approved from Conservative political centre and the country’s ambassadors were hardly heard. Commenting on this a former UN ambassador said our political culture under the Conservatives descended into “a nadir of indignity.”

Aquatic Science Libraries closed

The Harper government decided to downsize and close federal libraries to limit the environmental information without preserving vital work.

Mistreatment and Abuse of Immigrants

Harper government made changes to the Canadian immigration and refugee system which were criticized by UN Human Rights Committee. Their report indicated how thousands of migrants were detained indefinitely without due process, and without any mental health support.

Interfering in work of Independent Agencies

Harper conservative’s government was Interfering in the work of independent agencies like National Energy Board and CRTC, which affected their autonomy. Parliamentary Budget Office was also targeted.

Borrowing of Billions without Parliament’s Permission

The federal borrowing without parliamentary oversight in non-budgetary spending grew in size significantly.

Controversial appointments of Watchdogs

The former Integrity Commissioner’s office reviewed more than 200 whistleblowing cases, but no meaningful disciplinary action followed on them. The former Integrity Commissioner was found to intimidate their employees, took punitive actions against them and was paid more than half a million to leave the office.

Covering up Video Leak Putting Troops at Risk

On an Iraq visit, the PMO tried to cover up the leak of a promo video, which constituted a security breach.

Using ‘Harper Government’ than Government of Canada -Labelling Deception

Instead of Government of Canada, the public servants were advised to use Harper Government.

Placing party Logos on Government of Canada Cheques

Public spending announcements which are government activities were branded with partisan identity.

Partisan Political Advertising with taxpayer’s money

Conservatives used taxpayer’s money for partisan political advertising which cost the public treasury millions of dollars, and some of the ads were targeting Justin Trudeau.

Infrastructure Funding grants to Conservative ridings

Harper Conservatives arranged for no less than 80 percent of infrastructure funding projects going to Conservative ridings.

Cancelling Public Appointments Commission

Harper abandoned Public Appointments Commission and used the patronage appointments system. In June 2015, before his last election, he made 98 patronage appointments including National Capital Commission.

Undermining Statistics Canada, Killing Data

The Harper government scrapped data from the long form census, leading to resignation of the Statistics Canada chief in protest.

Muzzling of scientific Community

The leading scientists were under scrutiny by the Harper government to the point that they held “Death of Evidence” rally on Parliament Hill on July 10, 2012 for being denied freedom of speech.

Controlling and limiting Media Access

Harper Conservatives did their best to put assert tight controls on journalists. At the Conservatives’ 2013 Calgary convention, many reporters were being harassed. A journalist in his book Killing The Messenger, outlined many examples of new limits placed on the freedom of speech by Harper’s Conservative government.

Journalist penalized on asking Questions

A journalist covering Harper speech about oil to a business audience tried to ask an important question about charges on a conservative MP, PMO office penalized him by not allowing to cover Harper’s trip to Malaysia. Only after lot of calling out, he was permitted to do so.

Harper Minister gives the biggest punch to CBC

After the 2011 federal election, the Heritage Minister had promised to continue supporting CBC as state media. However, in 2012 Harper Conservative government gave the biggest government cut to CBC since the mid-1990s, much deeper in proportion than other federal program against the public feeling.

Suppression of Research Reports

Harper Conservatives government not only muzzled scientists but censored the related research and scientific studies. For example, in the gun registration debate, documents such as a Firearms Report were withheld from the public.

Intimidating political opponents

To intimidate the political opponents, the federal minister of public safety openly announced that anyone who opposed federal plans to make electronic surveillance of Canadians easier for authorities will be considered siding with child pornographers.

Disrespect for Fallen Soldiers

Harper’s Conservative government barred media from covering the fallen soldiers’ caskets returning from Afghanistan and refused to lower the flag.  This disrespect caused lot of anger in family members of the fallen soldiers.

Blanket Surveillance of protestors

Harper’s Conservatives government approved monitoring of protesters and demonstrations by state authorities. The Government Operations Centre started requesting federal departments information about protesters, which was considered a breach of Canadians’ Charter of Rights.

Many organizations were dismantled

Many groups and organizations were dismantled, church groups were de-budgeted for alleged political leanings and eventually disbanded. One of the examples was a Nuclear Safety Commission head for her alleged liberal ties in distant past.

Spying on Aboriginal Critic

Aboriginal child welfare advocate was not only spied on by the Harper’s conservative government, but also was stopped from attending a meeting with other First Nations leaders at the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. She was awarded by Canadian Human Rights Tribunal $20,000 for this mistreatment.

Revenue Canada chasing only selected charitable organizations

Many charities some of which included environmental, human rights and free speech charitable organizations were selectively chased by Revenue Canada, which some critics considered politically motivated.

Conservatives using tactics forcing Anti-Union Bill

In an attack on labor force in Canada, Conservative senators overruled the Senate procedures to support a bill pushed by Harper’s conservative government which was considered by many critics as unconstitutional for its privacy invading measures forced onto labor unions.

Personal attacks on Liberal MP hinting ties to Terrorism

On Liberal Party’s opposition of 2007 Conservative plan to extend anti-terror legislation, Harper tried to suggest that Liberals wanted to protect their MP Navdeep Bain’s father-in-law who was in a recent news story claimed to be on the list of witnesses sought by the RCMP for its Air India investigation. There was no proof, hence Liberals asked Harper to apologize.

Smearing of Veterans’ Advocates

Medical files of a strong advocate for veterans’ rights were leaked in a case which was considered alarming by the privacy commissioner. The Veterans Affairs Canada ombudsman was penalized on criticizing the government on this issue.

Conservatives secret operations against political opponents

Harper Conservatives secretly recorded their political opponents to entrap them and one such example was of an operation against Liberal Candidate Marlo Raynold in Alberta which was believed to be supported by one of Harper’s minister.

Conservative’s Robocalls Scam

Conservatives ran a widespread robocall scam in which a Conservative operative was given a jail time for his role. Another case was brought on by the Council of Canadians, the ruling said the robocalls operation was more widespread, than just the Guelph riding.

Harper’s Ex-Parliamentary Secretary Jailed for Breaking Election Law

One of Harper’s favourite parliamentary secretary, which he used to use for attacking the political opponents, was convicted and given jail sentence for his election overspending violations.

Dirty Campaigns against MPs

Harper Conservative’s ran misinformation campaign in the riding of the highly respected MPs, and even the conservative house speaker gave this ruling.

Conservatives Barred Crosbie’s democratic right

Harper Conservatives barred Ches Crosbie, son of former Tory cabinet minister John Crosbie, from running for the party in Newfoundland which was considered against the democratic rights.

Election spending violation leading to Resignation of Cabinet Member

Harper Conservative Minister Penashue, was compelled to step down over election spending violations.

Conservatives Attempt Election Campaign Frame-up

In 2011 election campaign, a senior Harper strategist falsely made up a story in Sun Media that Michael Ignatieff was an Iraq war planner. Although it was reported that in 2003 while he was leader of Canadian Alliance, Harper had published a letter in The Wall Street Journal trying to get Canada into Iraq war and slammed PM Jean Chretien for refusing to do so.

Harper’s Office used interns to interrupt Justin Trudeau’s speech

PMO office sent junior staffers in the guise of normal citizens to interrupt with speech of Justin Trudeau.

Citizens kicked out from Harper Rallies

Conservative Party operatives tugged out some Canadians from a Harper rally in the 2011 campaign because they their marginal ties to other parties, which they were forced to apologize. They favored allowing only fully vetted Harper supporters by invite only, to attend the PM’s campaign.

Forcing event participants to sign Gag Order

In addition to fully vetting the participants of their campaign events, Harper’s campaign organisers were forcing people to sign an agreement not to transmit any description of the event or any images from it which they stopped only after media made issue with them.

Conservatives disregard of their own new election law

In 2008, Harper conservatives disregarded and violated their own new law of stipulating elections every four years.

Guilty over In and Out Affair of 2006

The Conservative Party pled guilty to some Elections Act charges of exceeding spending limits in the 2006 election campaign, the investigation of which cost taxpayers over $2 million.

Conservative Bill trying to take away powers from Elections Canada

The Fair Elections Act was made by conservatives for Canadians to make it more difficult to vote with more ID requirements which was withdrawn after nationwide protest against their anti-democratic move.

Conservative Minister Smearing CEO of Elections Canada

Harper Minister Pierre Poilievre blamed the CEO of the Elections Canada to be a power monger.

Rewriting Copyright laws to get material for Attack Ads

Harper Conservatives wanted to rewrite copyright law to have political parties use the media content for free in their ads.  Thus, their views could be used in political attack ads.

Conservatives Use Terrorists’ Propaganda in Attack Ad

Harper’s party created a political ad incorporating music and horrifying images of doomed captives pulled straight from the Islamic State’s own promotional video to target political opponents especially Justin Trudeau, whose views on the risks and rewards of bombing ISIS differed from Harper’s.

Highest use of Personal Attack Ads

Harper conservatives became the first party which were routinely using the personal attacks ads outside an election campaign. They used statements intentionally taken out of context. This practice was highest than any other government in the past.

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