Thursday, September 18, 2014

Harper's War On The CCPA


The Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives is in Mr. Harper's sites. Linda McQuaig writes:

Of course, we’re all familiar now with how Stephen Harper suppresses information that contradicts his agenda: blocking the collection of statistics, muzzling government scientists, auditing charities that critique his policies. And yet, somehow the news that the Harper government is conducting a harassing audit on the CCPA manages to break fresh ground.

This time there’s no recourse to the pretence that the audit was random. A Canada Revenue Agency document, obtained through Access to Information, makes it clear that the organization is being audited because its research and educational materials were considered “biased” and “one-sided.”

Does that mean that the Fraser Institute operates without bias? In fact, Fraser is only one of several right wing think tanks in Canada:

These right-wing policy shops have played a huge role in implanting an ideology that treats the rich as ‘wealth creators’ who must be freed from government regulation — and whose goodwill must be constantly cultivated, lest they be discouraged from investing. This has boiled down to a simple message — government bad, private sector good — that has become the mantra of our times, the guiding force in shaping public policy.

CCPA takes a different point of view -- and a much more vigorous approach to its research:

It would be a stretch for the Fraser Institute, for example, to make a claim of academic rigour. Every year, the institute receives widespread media coverage for its “Tax Freedom Day” — designed to make Canadians feel overburdened by taxes — but the research behind this PR gimmick is shoddy, based on wild exaggerations, flawed math and chicanery, according to an analysis done by tax expert Neil Brooks.

For instance, by failing to factor out inflation and income growth, the Fraser researchers concluded that over the previous four decades taxes on Canadians had risen by a staggering 1,550 per cent … when, in fact, they had risen by about 40 per cent, Brooks showed.

And, so, the Harperites have declared war on the CCPA. Imagine what would happen if voters concluded that their government had lied to them shamelessly and consistently.


Lorne said...

There appears to be no let-up in this war on independent thought, Owen. In this morning's Star is a story about how Ottawa is using its resources to track hundreds of protests and dissenters:

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Lorne. Harper unbound means that paranoia is the order of the day.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

"To figure out who rules, simply identify who you cannot criticize."
Harper is on the road to creating a dictatorship. Part of that pursuit presently is having to show his hand. We are still free and have the resources regardless of his secrecy to see what he's up to.
If he gets 4 more years in 2015 however all democratic doors will be slammed shut and an attempt to completely silence dissenters will be made in whatever strong arm tactics he deems necessary.He is a man who's self-esteem is not equal to him becoming Prime Minister.Thus he is in awe of the power of the position. His pursuit of power and desire to apply that power through various means of control is not a strategy. It is his identity, it is who he is. It is his reason for being and what get's him up in the morning. I think he will do anything to hold onto that power and I mean anything. I will not feel safe until the electorate brings him and his regime to it's knees in 2015. That still remains to be seen.

Owen Gray said...

Your analysis of Harper the man is spot on, Pam. Power is his reason for getting up in the morning. And anyone who threatens that power must be silenced.

That's precisely why he must be defeated in 2015.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

You're right Owen about anyone who threatens Harpers power must be silenced. I wouldn't be surprised if blogs like yours have been monitored by Harpers minions.

Rural said...

Pam is completely correct in that Harper is busy creating a dictatorship but let us not forget that he cannot do so without the support of the Con caucus, and those in it who remain silent as he destroys those who oppose his erosion of our democracy are no less guilty than the dictator himself.

Owen Gray said...

This blog is viewed regularly by several federal ministries, Pam -- as are many others.

Big Brother has been at work from the very beginning.

Owen Gray said...

And that really the point, Rural. Harper relies on his caucus to succeed. If his caucus is voted out of office, Harper will also have to find a new home -- or return to his home in Calgary.