October 27, 2015
Tim Parker (Oct. 13) continues on about “scientists,” people hired by the federal government to do research, and whose political activism has been dampened.
He asks the Conservative candidate, “Why is this deliberate muzzling of scientists in the best interest of Canada?” Our representative in Ottawa has already responded to him, “I reject the premise that our government is muzzling scientists.”
Parker talks about “shutting down science,” as if to put restraints on the political activism of some is to eliminate all science. To restrain activism is not to restrain science, if there ever was any.
He smears Harper’s Conservatives with “...had anyone told me that a Canadian government would purposefully shut down science ...,” yah, there is no science left! In reality, priorities change from time to time and choices are made by our leaders on what to spend our money on, what to research.
“Some scientists have been required to change their results because the results are politically inconvenient,” Parker claims. Probably their “results” were very “politically correct,” i.e. liberal garbage. “Others” are (were) complaining about “they can’t voice an opinion even when they are willing to identify it as their own opinion”; for how many was it an auxiliary aim if not their major concern to “get Harper out!”?
Supposedly 15,000 federal scientists were surveyed; he says they were “invited to participate” (in an online survey yet!). So perhaps a hundred or two actually did participate? And “90 per cent of scientists” said this or said that. Wow!
Can faux science be more obvious than that? “Here is what they found,” he says, speaking like a lot of science, speaking as though true facts were being presented.
Note that the “findings” were about feelings: “90 per cent...don’t feel they can speak freely to the media,” “37 per cent report...” (we should believe their self-interested “report”?) Did even one object to being questioned about their feelings, did even one suggest scientists should be about objectivity, not subjective opinion?
By the way, why should we pay big salaries to 15,000 to fantasize about, to make models about things like “climate change”? They didn’t save the cod fishery, so what good are they? A thousand or two would probably be plenty.
October 27, 2015
It is “interesting” to see the “blue-wave” blanketing Alberta...to see how entrenched Alberta is in its “Conservatism,” and see the evidence of Albertans’ blind support of the Federal Conservative status quo.
It was, however, distressing to see how Albertans defaced numerous NDP (Ms. Swampy) election signs in the Heisler-Forestburg area, the incumbent Conservative candidate’s place of residence. These actions reflect poorly, and perhaps unjustly, on Battle River-Crowfoot residents.
What do these defaced signs say about Battle River-Crowfoot’s respect for diversity? And the right to express democratic change during an election?
What does that vandalism say about respect for property and the democratic process?
Is this vandalism an adult version of the Daysland Grads’ defacing of the Wild Rose Candidate’s signs during the provincial election (on Highway #13 at the entrance to Daysland)? That vandalism was just brushed-off as being a “typical teen-age grad thing,” instead of requiring the culprits to make restitution by doing community clean-up, to teach them responsibility for their actions and respect for the democratic process.
How do we explain the sign-defacement during the federal election campaign? And how do we improve respect for diversity?
How do we build a “better” Alberta?
October 27, 2015
To add to von Tettenborn’s (Oct. 20) list, here are several more things MP Sorenson said during the Augustana forum, that also need to be refuted/corrected.
1. Youth employment “increased” under Harper. Correction: youth employment was negative, down 1.1 per cent from PM Martin’s era (Stanford and Brennan; 2015).
2. Our universities are at the top globally. He lauded them as “innovative.” Correction: Reuters Top 100 World’s Most Innovative Universities lists only U. of T (#38) and U. BC (#67) in Canada. U. of Alberta ranked #96 in the QS University (Top 100) World Rankings. We are not “at the top”!
3. Praised Prime Minister Harper’s strong “leadership.” Correction: When comparing Canada’s nine Prime Ministers (1946-2014) using 16 criteria (Stats Canada data; Stanford and Brennan 2015) Harper ranked “worst” of the nine. Harper ranked last (or tied for last) in seven categories. In six more categories Harper ranked (or tied for) second last. This data contradicts Sorenson’s claims of Harper’s “leadership” skills.
4. PM Harper has a strong “economic record.” Correction: As Minister of State Finance, Sorenson should be aware that Harper, within two years, turned a surplus of $13.8 billion into a $5.8 billion deficit, and gave Canadians at least seven consecutive deficit budgets (Clark and DeVries; April 2015). Under Harper, real GDP growth fell 1.3 per cent; GDP per capita fell 1.5 per cent; exports fell 2.7 per cent; average growth in personal income fell 2.1 per cent. Stanford and Brennan’s (July 2015) list is extensive. Additionally the CIBC “Job Quality Index” indicates the quality of jobs deteriorated 2.5 per cent. “Invest in Canada” (2014; Fig 4-10) shows Agriculture as “NA,” thereby indicating agriculture’s lack of importance in Harper’s Canada.
Sorenson was very fortunate the moderator chose not to read questions that might embarrass Sorenson, such as the one regarding the demise of the Canadian Wheat Board, dismantled under Harper’s watch. Sorenson was also lucky to avoid having to justify Harper’s “Old Stock Canadians” comment, explain the Senate and robo call scandals, defend the despicable Omnibus Bill, Bills C-23, C-24 and C-51. All in all (aside from some booing) Mr. Sorenson’s Conservative audience let him off pretty easy.
Harper’s biographer, Ibbitson, says Harper “does not like to take directions,” and that he thought he at last had “a job where no one could tell him what to do.” The majority of Canadians, however, thought otherwise, and clearly told Harper he can no longer be Prime Minister. One can only assume the 81 per cent voting for Sorenson are content with Harper’s poor fiscal record. Why are Albertans okay with Harper’s refusal to hold an enquiry into the murdered and missing Indigenous women? And his pitting “Old Stock Canadians” against more recent immigrants (despite the fact that we’re all “immigrants,” except perhaps the aboriginals)? His disregard for Syrian refugees? Why did Albertans condone Harper’s secrecy surrounding the signing of the TPP, which will cost taxpayers multi-billions in “protection” money to farmers, seafood and auto industries, while adding a mere three per cent increase to Canada’s already existing NAFTA agreements (and CETA, if/when CETA is ratified)? NAFTA already costs Canadians millions in ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement Clauses), which allow foreign investors to sue Canada if they feel their expected future profits threatened.
Despite the long list that supports the logic of removing Harper, Albertans supported him...and we are left with the consequences of that Alberta blue wave.
T. W. Leithead,