Tyee staff and contributors have compiled a list of 70 government assaults on democracy and the law. As a list of 70 is pretty difficult for anyone to verify all at once we have been posting a few at a time. To read the entire list at once go to this link.
Lapdogs Appointed as Watchdogs
The most controversial was the case of former Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet. Her office reviewed more than 200 whistleblowing cases. Disciplinary action followed on none of them. Ouimet's own angry staffers blew the whistle on their boss. The auditor general found Ouimet intimidated her employees, took "retaliatory action" against them and may have breached their privacy, all part of the Harper appointee's "gross mismanagement." Ouimet was paid more than $500,000 to leave her post.
SECTION II: 'HARPER BRAND' ABUSES: LIES, SPIES, AND THIS PORK SMELLS REALLY BAD
This election began the minute the last one ended. Since his first day as PM, Stephen Harper has reinforced his party's 'brand' by rewarding cronies, slapping the Conservative logo on government cheques, perfecting the no questions photo-op, instructing bureaucrats to start calling Canada's government "the Harper Government." The flip side has been relentless monitoring, muzzling and attacks on anyone who might tarnish the image. Here are 22 instances of power abused to build the Harper brand.
PMO Attempts to Cover up Video Leak Putting Troops at Risk
On an Iraq visit, the PMO was caught lying to try and cover up the leak of a promo video, which constituted a security breach. The PMO, noted a National Post editorial, "stumbled from blunder to evasion and falsehood in the service of shamelessly manipulative partisanship, especially in using our troops as PR props."
The 'Harper Government' Labelling Deception
Public servants were told to use "Harper Government" instead of "Government of Canada" in publicity releases. The Conservatives denied it was happening -- until internal memos revealed by the Canadian Press revealed the denial to be without basis.
Conservatives Place Party Logos on Government of Canada Cheques
Once "caught red-handed," they backed off. The federal ethics commissioner, adopting the exasperated tone of an adult lecturing a child, noted: "Public spending announcements are government activities, not partisan political activities, and it is not appropriate to brand them with partisan or personal identifiers."
Record Amounts of Partisan Political Advertising, on the Public Purse
Several media reports told how the Conservatives used taxpayer money for partisan political advertising in record quantity, costing the public treasury $750 million since Harper became PM. In one instance, the Tories spent lavishly on ads for the promotion of a jobs grant program that had yet to be made public or presented to parliament or the provinces. Even more nakedly partisan, a mailed blast, charged to the taxpayers, targeting Justin Trudeau.
Conservatives Stack Their Own Ridings with Infrastructure Funds
In a display of brazen pork barreling, the Conservatives arranged for no less than 83 percent of infrastructure fund projects go to Conservative ridings.
$50 Million Spending Deception as Documented by the Auditor General
The auditor general ruled Conservatives diverted $50-million from spending slated for border infrastructure to political spending on projects in Tony Clement's riding at the time of the G-8 summit. Parliament was willfully misled.
Patronage Run Amok
After promising a new way, the prime minister dismantled his newly created Public Appointments Commission and reverted to old-styled patronage by the barrel. In June 2015, the PM made 98 patronage appointments. That included stocking the National Capital Commission with loyalists in advance of decisions on the controversial monument to the victims of communism.
Undermining Statistics Canada, Killing Data
Against pleas from everyone who needs and uses data from the long form census, the Harper government scrapped it, prompting the Statistics Canada chief to resign in protest.
Government Muzzles Science Community