Tag: teachers

The Rise and Fall of Canada’s Fourth Reich Part 2: Canada’s Long National Nightmare…

The Rise and Fall of Canada’s Fourth Reich Part 2: Canada’s Long National Nightmare

Harper Nude by Margaret Sutherland

And so the Election Writ has been dropped…early. In yet another opportunistic and cynical middle finger salute to Canadians, Stephen Harper has called for a longer election campaign designed to further bankrupt the country and put opposition parties in dire financial straits.

Dearies, the Greatest Prime Minister Canada Never Had, former UN Ambassador humanitarian, HIV/AIDS advocate and National Treasure, Stephen Lewis eloquently spoke for us all when he said:

Somewhere in my soul, I cherish the possibility of a return to a vibrant democracy where equality is the watchword, where policy is debated rather than demeaned, where the great issues of the day are given thoughtful consideration, where Canada’s place on the World stage is seen as principled and laudatory, where human rights for all is the emblem of a decent and civilized society…

Harper Ukraine  Harpers In India Harper G7 Remember Me Harper and Pope Cartoon Mike De Adder

Scorched Earth: For the past year or two, Stephen Harper has pretty much prorogued Parliament and spent much of his time abroad, where he receives a far warmer welcome than he does in Canadian communities. Staging cheesy photo-ops in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, India, France, Belgium, Poland and The Vatican was the order of the day

Harper Emperor    Tom Mulcair2  Justin Trudeau  Elizabeth May

Dear Leader has avoided having to answer those pesky questions about a tanking economy, healthcare cuts, and other thorny political issues. He has also been busy evening the score with Old Enemies. In his sociopathic mind ANYONE who is not for him – Is Against Him, and therefore on the Enemies List. This list includes everyone from The Supreme Court of Canada, his political opponents the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair, the Liberal’s Justin Trudeau, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Women, Teachers, Scientists (#MuzzledScience),  Unions and Journaliststo the First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities, Non-Profits and saddest of all…The Canadian People

Harper Hugs Baird  peter-mackay-wears-no-compromise-pro-gun-t-shirt  James Moore

The Night of the Long Knives: In the past 6-8 months, we have seen the defection of Harper’s closest cronies.  Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird screwed up Canadian Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy’s release from an Egyptian prison, mollified Vladmir Putin, and has since gone to work for a rapacious mining company and a former Aussie Prime Minister, attempting to clean up UN agencies…forgive me if I puke here. The ultimate flyweight ex-Defense and current InJustice Minister Peter MacKay, is not running, in order to “spend more time with his family”. Industry Minister James Moore has also chosen “to spend more time” with wife and child after facing a firestorm over his sexting/extramarital affair RideMeWilfredGate.

Christian Paradis  Shelly Glover  Eve Adams and Trudeau

Christian Paradis the International Development Minister decamped, just as the magnitude of Canada’s trade deficits and growing recession became obvious to everyone except the Conservatives. Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Minister Shelly Glover stepped down, just before those horrific propaganda adds about Canada’s Arctic and the tragic Franklin Expedition began jamming the airwaves . Eve Adams defected to the Liberal Party (where, karmically, she lost her nomination!) but methinks she and former Conservative Party apparatchik and pimp Dimitri Soudas, are merely moles. So much for Conservative Family Values and commitment to this country, in its hour of need.

Harper Dropping Writ Toon MacKay  Nunavut Dump  MMIW

The Conservative War Coffers are bulging at the seams with taxpayer monies that they have illegally clawed back from social programs and the sale of stocks and other liquid cash holdings…THAT BELONG TO THE CANADIAN PEOPLE-NOT THE HARPER CONS. Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada are in essence BUYING THE CANADIAN ELECTION on the backs of Canadian families, our children, our Veterans, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (#MMIW), and on and on. (please see Part 1 of The Rise and Fall of Canada’s Fourth Reich)

Canadas Economic Action Plan Penises  Harper Sinking Ship Joe Oliver  Harper Pie For Everyone Toon  David Parkins Harper Vote Buying Scandal UCCB

Sucker-Punching Canadians With Their Own Money: In the weeks preceding the Writ being dropped, Harper and the Conservative Caucus fanned out across the country, in what is without doubt the most cynical, opportunistic orchestrated case of outright vote-buying in the Free World. More than 1 billion dollars in “giveaways” TO taxpayers, with their own money, was distributed  by Cabinet Ministers, with the same callousness of Marie Antoinette’s famed (and disputed) “Let them eat cake”. We all know how well that ended for Ms. Antoinette…but I digress.

Lies Herr Harper Told Me

Hitler and Leni Reifenstahl Harper and Jenni Byrne  Harper and Pierre Poilievre Joe Oliver Mad Hatter

Adolf Hitler worked closely with propaganda filmmaker extraordinaire Leni Riefenstahl. Stephen Harper and Jenni Byrne often make the Josef Goebbels and Third Reich propaganda machine look like pikers…but the premise is always the same. The Bigger the Lie, the easier it is to believe: The viciousness of the never-ending tax-payer funded TV attack ads is breath-taking. Harper propagandist-in-short-pants Pierre Poilievre, gushed that the Universal Childcare Credit Benefit (UCCB) that rolled out on July 30 was “Christmas in July for Canadian families”. Joe Oliver’s April Budget was an out and out LIE…sugar-coated in moonbeams and unicorns. In a floundering economy where the Loonie neared 70 cents to the US Dollar today, it most certainly IS NOT Xmas in July for Canadians.

Leona Aglukkaq Harper Franklin Expedition  Polar Bears Caribou

NO, Herr Harper Handmaiden, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Arctic – its Peoples and wildlife are NOT safe from the ravages of Climate Change, Vladmir Putin or Conservative Party machinations! PM Harper’s new interest in history by creating lushly expensive Franklin Expedition ads (but cutting funding for the CBC whose documentarians could have done a better job) is ironic, given the fact that he is re-writing the history books as the most corrupt, paranoid and dishonest Canadian PM ever.  And YES, the Tar Sands Miracle has totally evaporated…And NO, Mr. Prime Minister, it is NOT Albertans Fault!

Truth and Reconciliation Toon De Adder Murray Sinclair  Valcourt_Mulcair-large-800x450

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission initiative earlier this year, said so much about Stephen Harper on several levels. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt, made me ashamed to be Canadian when he sat through a standing ovation for Supreme Court Justice Murray Sinclair’s moving speech about the importance of All Canadians learning from the National Shame that was the Residential School Scandal, its impact on society, and moving forward in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation.

Harper Ramadan Meal at 24 Sussex  Mother Canada with UCCB Cheque  Veterans Slush Fund

Gone are the days when Pandering was a crime. In fact, Herr Harper and His Henchmen have perfected the art of pandering to EVERY relevant major voting block out there. Why just this year Dearies, he hosted a post-Ramadan feast at Sussex Drive FOR THE FIRST TIME. He offered financial support to a questionable monument on Cape Breton Island. Intended to honour those who served and died overseas. Mother Canada is offensively tasteless, as the Guardian puts it…as the same Stephen Harper continues to disrespect Canadian troops and Veterans by denying them benefits and services, and raiding their funding to “Balance The Budget”. Until he needs a cheesy staged photo-op, that is. This Prime Minister Know No Shame!

Harper Jesus  Harper Big Leader is Watching You  Harper Fear Harper Democracy Toon de Adder

And because there is only ONE person who can save Canadians from ourselves…. Stephen Harper, affectionately christened CPC Jesus by Vancouver Conservative MP Wai Young, has shut down any national or parliamentary debate about National Security, and rammed through Bill C-51. Surprisingly enough, Justin Trudeau supported the Bill. Thomas Mulcair and Elizabeth May did not. Now don’t get  me wrong Dearies, it is not that Canada doesn’t need a National Security Bill. It’s just that this Bill is so draconian in the way it has been deviously written. The implications of far-reaching secret security services stripping the democratic rights of everyday Canadians with NO recourse for citizens, is disturbing in the extreme. To say that Bill C-51 is perverse and an abomination, is an understatement.

Perhaps the greatest part of this Greek Tragedy is, that as much as we Canadians hate Stephen Harper, (and remember, Canadians rarely HATE their elected leaders we – dislike them, disapprove of them, are disappointed in them) Stephen Harper, who will do and say ANYTHING to cling to power…hates us even more.

electionfraud-600

When will Canada’s Long National Nightmare end? October 19 cannot come soon enough… It is your duty as a Canadian to register your displeasure at the ballot box, that last bastion of Canadian Democracy!! Your failure to Vote, essentially means that Fascism wins..

Many Thanks to Kingston Artist Margaret Sutherland, for her brilliant portrait of the Emperor With No Clothes.

I would like to thank the following political cartoonists for their incredible ability to capture the current Canadian political and social climate. In many ways,  cartoonists have become the voice and the conscience of Canadians everywhere…because a picture is indeed worth a thousand words:

  • Michael de Adder
  • Brian Gable
  • Victor Juhasz
  • Graeme MacKay
  • Bruce MacKinnon
  • Theo Moudakis
  • David Parkins
  • Greg Perry

Apologies for any acknowledgment omissions.

The War on Education

Sadly Dearies, there are no winners in The War on Education.

I live in a country and a province that places very little value on Education and Educators. It has not always been thus.

A nation maintains its place in the world, and contributes to its well-being and progress, through educated citizens.

Canadians in general tend to look down their noses at the US. I have never been one of those people.

The fact that the US has a Cabinet Department devoted to Education, speaks volumes. Canada has none. The provinces are left to their own devices…

The US Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan, is as passionate about education as anyone on this planet. He has the greatest respect for students and educators. He once said “When I ask teachers why they teach, they almost always say that it is because they want to make a difference in the lives of children”. He is an advocate for both; he is passionate about his job.

Before becoming secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008. In that time, he won praise for uniting education reformers, teachers, principals and business stakeholders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening more than 100 new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down underperforming schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives.

BC Education Minister Peter Fassbender has a background in broadcasting and PR. He went on to become a career politician. His initial run as a Socred (with apologies to the great Socrates, this defunct party had little to do with philosophical wisdom, and much to do with fiscal and social conservatism) failed. Mr. Fassbender’s passion is clinging to power. He has no experience, and it would seem no interest or understanding of the importance of education, unless it might be to ban a book or two.

Going back to the BC Socred party for a moment… It ruled British Columbia with an iron fist for nearly 30 years. Many see it as a precursor to the Alliance Party of Alberta, which underwent a miraculous transformation to become the Conservative Party of Canada. Forgive me if I am having a “Come to Jesus” moment here, but I sense a miraculous transformation taking place for the BC Liberal Party, under the leadership of Christy Clark. It has truly become the BC Conservative Party, in sheep’s clothing.

Who better then, to trample the teachers, in their unholy insurrection, than Peter Fassbender?

Teachers are talking about class sizes, programs for children with Special Needs, They want guaranteed levels of specialist teachers and extra lesson-planning time, as well as more one-on-one support for students who need extra help. They are asking for a fair wage and modest benefits. How Dare They!

The battle lines have been drawn, and as teachers walk the picket lines, Premier Clark and Mr. Fassbender hold “tough talk” photo ops while failing to understand the most basic elements of the discussion. It is ironic, that while Ms. Clark is busy courting investment from China and India, the immigrants from those very countries are swelling the ranks of students across all educational spectrums, to unprecedented levels in BC schools, while infrastructure and funding levels have failed to keep pace overall.

The cynicism of this government is breathtaking. Look no further than the 2012 TOIFA Awards. This 3 day Indian Film Awards Show cost taxpayers over $13 million (or is it closer to $20million as some have suggested), payable to The Times of India. You have to hand it to TOI, they have a great gig going on, sucking money away from Education and local Arts and Culture organizations, who have had their funding significantly cut back. TOIFA moves on to another city, another country, but not before the Premier and the Party pandered directly to the South Asian vote.

Under the Christy Clark regime, “there are “76,000 students attending British Columbia’s 348 private schools, accounting for about 12 per cent of the province’s total kindergarten to Grade 12 population. That figure has climbed steadily for decades, up from just 4.3 per cent in the late 1970s” says the nation’s Globe and Mail.

The Globe goes on to say that “B.C. has provided partial funding to private schools for nearly 40 years, since Social Credit premier Bill Bennett introduced the practice in 1977. Prior to that, private schools were unregulated and received no grants; today, they receive funding of up to 50 per cent of their local school district’s per-student operating grants.” THIS IS SHAMEFUL.

Rebuilding confidence in the public school system is critical, and this government is undermining it at every turn. We need a passionate advocate such as Arnie Duncan, to support and help innovate a strong and healthy public school system in British Columbia and across the country/

Education Secretary Duncan and President Obama fully understand the importance of education, and the growing challenges faced by all involved…

Premier Clark and Minister Fassbender (and de facto, Prime Minister Stephen Harper) see this as a Holy War, part of the attack on Unions, and those who support them. Education, students, educators and their families are the collateral damage in this campaign.

Jim Iker, President of the BCTF has held the line well, in the face of relentless government pressure. He has represented BC teachers, students and their families, with dignity and quietly firm resolve. As strike coffers run dry, fellow unions stepped in to contribute funds for needy teachers.

It has always been the Wild West out here. Perhaps that explains why the government has chosen to ignore the Rule of Law, as dictated by the courts after binding arbitration the last go round. The government’s failure to honestly sit down and bargain in good faith undermines the public trust and punishes all.

Forgive me Dearies for going back again to Socrates, for I fear that it will take nothing less than an act of Socratic wisdom to resolve this critical issue. Even though an agreement has been reached at this time, the future of education in BC is tenuous at best.

An all or nothing, scorched earth policy does not bode well for BC. Accepting nothing less than the complete defeat and annihilation of Unions is neither pragmatic nor wise. Unions at their best are the checks and balances against tyranny. They are changing with the times-they have had to. Those in power would be wise to follow suit.