Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hallowe'en in Quebec

Just some of the decorations to be found in and around Quebec City during the month of October.
The front grounds of Quebec City Hall

Front grounds of Quebec City Hall

Place Royale

Martello Tower decoration

Mattress spring and pumpkins decoration,  Baie St Paul

Ghosts of historical characters on the Plains of Abraham

Blast from the Past - '60's Hallowe'en

Oct 30 1968, Cranbrook Currier

 Oct 26, 1966 Cranbrook Currier

 Oct 26 1966 Cranbrook Currier
 Oct. 27 1965, Cranbrook Currier

Friday, October 30, 2015

As the larches fade

What's Happening.....

Friday October 30th
Fort Steele Hallowe'en Spooktacular
4:00pm - 9:00pm
PRICES:       Advance Tickets: $15 each.  Member price:  $10 each
                      At the door:  $17 each. ($15 for members).
                      Children 2 & under are freeFor more information, please call us at 250-417-6000.

Saturday October 31st
Bison Brothers
Hallowe'en Howl
Key City Theatre, Lobby Lounge

November 3rd to 27th
Cranbrook and District Arts Council presents
'HeartFelt' A Fibre Arts Exhibit
with the work of Mary Chilton, Brecca Musso and Rebecca Vaughan
from November 3rd to 27th
1013 Baker St, Cranbrook
Tuesday to Friday, 11:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am - to 2:00pm

Saturday Ocober 31st
Bison Brothers
Hallowe'en Howl
Key City Theatre, Lobby Lounge

Fall Tea and Bake sale
1:00pm -3:00pm
Seniors Hall
125, 17th Ave S

Thursday November 5th
Rotary Film Series

Saturday November 7th
Key City Theatre

Christmas Bazaar season starts with the Jaffray Christmas in the Country, University Women's Bazaar and the Cranbrook Golf Club and the Anglican Christmas bazaar

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cranbrook loses an outstanding citizen

Peter Davidson, front row, far right, after helping Communities in Bloom plant part of the Tamarack Boulevard.
This week Cranbrook lost an outstanding citizen who involved himself and contributed to all things good in a community. Peter Davidson was a retired wildlife biologist who continued to contribute to his community in many ways.  Whether singing in a choir, taking care of noxious weeds, helping with an election, planting for beautification, writing an article for different organisations, serving as a member of a society executive, helping at his church or taking part in the bird count it seemed as though Peter was always there.  Peter's love and knowledge of the outdoors was invaluable to many and endeared him to all those who knew him.

Peter died suddenly while out hiking and bird watching, of a heart attack.  Condolences go out to Peter's family.  He will be deeply missed.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Idlewild Fishing Docks Closed

Cranbrook, BC (October 26, 2015) -- Unstable railings on the two piers at Idlewild Park are the reason behind Public Works closing access to ensure public safety.

Public Works staff closed both accesses with plywood gates and installed warning signs late last week.

Plans are in place to completely replace both piers with steel structures, but that project will remain on hold until the dam work at Idlewild Lake is completed.

Kootenays from above - both East and West

Blue Lake for Fall Fun

Saturday, October 24, 2015

There is a reason Harper did what he did

There’s a reason Harper did what he did
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Now that the election tumult has faded, the signs gathered up and the pundits like yours truly punted, it’s time for some sober reflection on this week’s most incredible election.
Surely few can deny that it wasn’t so much the Conservative government that was deep-sixed as it was Stephen Harper.
In fact, if it wasn’t for Harper’s hostile and authoritarian personality, the Conservatives may have eked out another slim victory and former MP David Wilks may have remained the Kootenay-Columbia MP instead of MP-elect Wayne Stetski. But Stetski was smart enough to run harder against arper Harper than he did against Wilks leaving control-freak leader, which Wilks with the onerous task of defending the undefendable. Stetski also benefited from the boundary changes to the constituency and a lot of strategic votes that may have instead gone to the highly respected Green candidate, Bill Green.
But let’s get back to the unlamented Harper.
In an ironic and almost surrealistic way, I actually feel sympathy for the former PM because I think he was one of the rarest of human beings – a political idiot savant.
Now before you march me off to the nearest funny farm, let me explain. Harper was actually an incredibly smart politician and a strong leader with a laser-like ability to engage in  politics strategically to his benefit and the destruction of his opponents. Not long after the disastrous 1993 election when the once-mighty Progressive Conservatives were reduced to two seats, Harper began his strategic campaign to “Unite the Right” and melded the feuding factions of the Canadian right into a powerful movement that took the word “progressive” out of the Progressive Conservative Party and replaced it with a hard-nosed Conservative Party that took no prisoners and embraced so-called “conservative values” such as limited government, individual responsibility, law and order, gun-friendly, pro-military, pro-business (the bigger, the better) unabashed patriotism and hostility towards climate change science or any science for that matter.
It was a volatile mixture, but it worked very well in the West, especially Alberta. It also worked well in rural Canada and eventually caught on in suburban Ontario and the suburban belts around most major Canadian cities. In the election of 2011, it gave Harper a majority, but a majority that proved to be his undoing. Why? Because that’s when Canadians began to realize Harper’s idiot savant nature.
Yes, he was a skilled politician, a genius of a politician, but what was he as a human being? Remember early on the famous picture of him stiff-armed as he shook the hand of his young son as he dropped him off for school. Not a hug, not a smile. Only a hand shake for his boy to remember in class all day. I personally witnessed this when Harper visited Cranbrook and again stood stiffly for at least a half-an-hour as several school classes and local citizens were marched into his presence and he deigned to allow them to have their picture taken beside him. But not a word; not a greeting. Only a frozen smile and not a hair out of place.
Was he shy? There was certainly nothing shy about the way he eviscerated his political opponents like Stephan Dion and Michael Ignatieff, who he reduced to personal caricatures in two previous elections and the way he tried to make a “boy” out of 43-year-old Trudeau by implying he “wasn’t ready” for the job. What about Nigel Wright, his closest political aide and confident? Depending on who you believe, Harper either callously threw him under the bus to protect himself or has been lying through his teeth through the entire Duffy affair.
Then there was Omar Khadr, a child soldier all of 15-years-old when his Al Qaeda
father dragged him off to war in Afghanistan and he allegedly killed an American soldier who was trying to kill him. Harper did everything is his power to keep the Muslim teenager locked up in the Guantanamo gulag forever until the judicial system rightfully freed him and brought him back to Canada.
Harper ran the Conservative Party like President Putin runs Russia and shamelessly
used racially-tinged, wedge politics to inflame Canadians against Muslim new citizens wanting to wear the niqab in a country whose Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of religion.
But now he’s gone and Canada is free to again be one of the most tolerant, generous and peace-loving countries in the world and a country with a heart as wide as a prairie sky.
That’s what we lost under Stephen Harper. Thank God, we’ve got it back.

      arper Hrper

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Election Reflection

Nail biting excitement over an election is unusual for most people but a 74% turn out certainly demonstrates a revitalized motivation and involvement. It was a wonderful evening for many but disappointing for some of course. Many congratulations to Wayne Stetski, our new MP elect and all the candidates for putting your names forward for a public office that can be gruelling. The local forums showed all candidates to be worthy of public office but it was policy that won. It might be comforting to some, to realize that Mr Stetski had been approached by both Liberals and NDP to run for this election.
Congratulations to all the support workers, voters and those who kept a polite, factual and intelligent dialogue about the real issues.
Watching from Quebec City and hearing Peter Mansbridge call the election before the BC polls had closed was an insulting interlude in the roller coaster evening for those from BC. As of the early hours of the morning, CBC Canada Votes had not updated the Columbia Kootenay riding's numbers and the riding was never listed as one to watch, yet it proved to be one of the closest races in the country.  This wake up event will surely provide the momentum to bring some polite progressive politics to the region and what could be better than that.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dedicated to Kenneth Mclennan, Elizabeth Lake

A beautiful new bench has been installed at Elizabeth Lake, giving the park a total of three inviting, wooden resting spots.  This bench was donated by Ducks Unlimited to honour long serving  Conservation Officer, Kenneth McLennan

Friday, October 16, 2015

Harper's Abuses of Power continued, 61-70

On August 11th we published the first part of this article from the Tyee.  

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.

Harper's Office Deploys Interns for Dirty Tricks
In one instance that brought on allegations of Nixonian tactics, junior PMO staffers in the guise of normal citizens were sent out to disrupt a Justin Trudeau speech.

Citizens Ejected from Conservative Rallies
Tory operatives hauled out citizens from a Harper rally in the 2011 campaign because they had marginal ties to other parties. A spokesperson for the PM was compelled to apologize. Problem fixed this time around: Only fully vetted Harper supporters will be allowed, by invite only, to attend the PM's campaign stops. If they have a ticket.

Conservatives Make Campaign Event Attendees Sign Gag Order
Not only have Harper's campaign handlers made his campaign events by invite only, they were forcing anyone let in to sign an agreement not to transmit any description of the event or any images from it -- but dropped the gag orders after news stories made them an issue.

Conservatives Unfix Their Own Fixed Date Election Law
In 2008, Harper pulled the plug on his own government, violating his own new law, which stipulated elections every four years.

Guilty Plea on In and Out Affair
The Conservative Party and its fundraising arm pled guilty to some Elections Act charges stemming from their exceeding spending limits in the 2006 campaign. The investigation cost taxpayers over $2 million.

Cons' Elections Bill Strips Power from Elections Canada
The Fair Elections Act also makes it harder for Canadians to vote as more ID is required. Nationwide protests in which more than 400 academics took part forced Pierre Poilievre to withdraw some measures in the bill because of their alleged anti-democratic bent.

Harper Minister Smears Head of Elections Canada
In a bid to impugn his integrity, Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre accused the Elections Canada CEO Marc Mayrand of being a power monger and wearing a team jersey.

Copyright Grab for Attack Ads
CTV News found out Conservatives aimed to rewrite copyright law to let political parties grab any media content and use it for free in their ads. The impact, warned CTV's Don Martin, "will be to cast a chill on every broadcast appearance" by MPs, commentators and reporters, who "must now be aware their views could end up featured in a political attack ad." By asserting "unlimited access to the airwaves for propaganda purposes," Martin said, the Harper government "could be seen as flirting with fascism."

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. The target: Justin Trudeau, whose views on the risks and rewards of bombing ISIS differ from Harper's.

Record Use of Personal Attack Ads
Under Harper's leadership, Conservatives became the first to routinely use personal attacks ads outside an election writ period. Their ads often used quotes deliberately taken out of context. Incidence of attack ads by Harper Conservatives was heavier than by any other government.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Harper's Abuses of Power continued, 51 -60

On August 11th we published the first part of this article from the Tyee.  

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.

Conservatives Use Unheard of Tactic to Force through Anti-Union Bill
Conservative senators went to the unprecedented extent of overruling their own Speaker. What could be so important to break Senate rules? A bill pushed by Harper that is almost certainly unconstitutional for its privacy invading measures forced onto unions, unlike other groups. Latest in a steady stream of Conservative attacks on organized labour in Canada.

Harper Smears Liberal Sikh MP, Insinuating Tie to Terrorism
When Liberals opposed a 2007 Conservative plan to extend anti-terror legislation, Stephen Harper singled out Grit MP Navdeep Bains, seeming to suggest that Bains' party was motivated by a desire to protect Bains' father-in-law, Darshan Singh Saini. A recent news story had claimed Singh Saini was on a list of witnesses sought by the RCMP for its Air India investigation, but provided no proof he was involved. In the House, Liberals erupted with outrage and Bains asked, in vain, that Harper apologize.

Veterans' Advocates Smeared
Medical files of Sean Bruyea, a strong advocate for veterans' rights, were leaked in a case that privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart described as "alarming." Veterans Affairs Canada ombudsman Pat Stogran was dumped after criticizing the government.

Stephen Harper's Conservatives have made federal elections a gladiators' arena where anything goes -- unless and until you are caught, that is. Here are 17 times his team violated election laws or ethics.

Conservatives Run Undercover Sting Operations
Conservatives secretly recorded political opponents and also used agent provocateur techniques to try and entrap them. A sting operation against Marlo Raynolds, a Liberal candidate in Alberta, was backed by then employment minister Jason Kenney.

Conservative Convicted on Robocalls Scam
Tory operative Michael Sona was given jail time for his role in the robocalls scam. The judge indicated more than one person was likely involved. In another court judgment in a case brought by the Council of Canadians, the ruling said the robocalls operation was widespread, not just limited to the Guelph riding. Donald Segretti who did dirty tricks for the Nixon White House told a Canadian reporter his skullduggery didn't go so low as to run schemes sending voters to the wrong polling stations
Harper's Ex-Parliamentary Secretary Jailed for Breaking Election Law
Dean Del Maestro was one of Harper's favourites. As his parliamentary secretary, the PM frequently used him as an attack dog to allege misdeeds by opposition members. Del Maestro was given a jail sentence in June for his own election spending violations.
Dean Del Mastro received a jail sentence for election overspending.

'Reprehensible' Dirty Tricks Campaign against Irwin Cotler
Conservative Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer ruled his party's own tactics in running a surreptitious misinformation campaign in the riding of the highly respected MP were "reprehensible."

Conservatives Bar Crosbie Candidacy
In a clear-cut case of the party hierarchy's undercutting of democratic rights, Ches Crosbie, son of former Tory cabinet minister John Crosbie, was barred from running for the party in Newfoundland.

Election Violations Prompt Resignation of Cabinet Member
Peter Penashue, another Harper Conservative was compelled to step down over election spending violations.

Conservatives Attempt Election Campaign Frame-up
In an attempted smear in the last week of the 2011 election campaign, a senior Harper strategist planted a false story in Sun Media that Michael Ignatieff was an Iraq war planner. (Neither Conservative operatives nor Sun Media opted to make hay with the true story that Stephen Harper had, while leader of the Canadian Alliance in 2003, published a letter in The Wall Street Journal itching to get Canada into that disastrous war and slamming then PM Jean Chretien for saying no.) 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cultural War Must End

For those who do not leave the boundaries of this valley very often, it might possibly be more difficult to relate to this topic.  Despite the varied heritage that has come to this part of the world over the last one hundred years, little Cranbrook remains pretty much isolated from the more visible mosaics in larger centres and many parts of the globe.  If it is to progress, there must be change.

Harry Smith: Harper's Cultural War on Muslim Women Must End

Excerpts from...
Our history proves why racial and religious division is dangerous.
By Harry Leslie Smith, 10 Oct 2015,
It was autumn like today when I first saw Canada's coastline from the deck of the Empress of Australia in November 1953. I was a new immigrant who had come to this land from England with my wife to put down roots in a country that promised both economic opportunity and fair play.
Moreover, because so many Canadians of my generation had come from nations fraught with religious and ethnic tension, we tried to create a more tolerant society that crossed political beliefs. Inclusion and acceptance became a watchword that no political party could own because every Canadian shared the concept that human rights were universal. That's why even in the 1980s it was Brian Mulroney, a staunch conservative prime minister, who showed the world Canada's moral courage when we fought against the advice of our allies for sanctions against the racist, cruel and evil South African apartheid regime and also demanded with inviolable determination that Nelson Mandela be set free from his imprisonment on Robben Island.
Not since the since the early 20th century has a prime minister demeaned himself, his party and his humanity by employing racial and religious fear to castigate a specific group of Canadians as the enemy within to win an election. It is not only shameful, it's dangerous. Yet Stephen Harper persists like a modern-day Joseph McCarthy in creating a sweltering climate of fear against Canadian Muslims by employing dog whistle politics that equates an honourable religion with terrorism and radicalism.
In this election we must remember Canada's ugly and racist history that waged cultural genocide against First Nations and enslaved early Asian, Indian, Muslim and Caribbean immigrants to a lifetime of servitude. We must understand that the politics of fear and politics of greed are viruses that destroy society if left unchecked.
Voters must be mindful Canada could be transformed from a tolerant, forward-thinking nation to a regressive country -- where bigotry darkens the landscape like an uncontrollable forest fire. All it takes is an electorate that embraces, from either indifference or fear, the politics of racial and religious division. 

Go to the link above to read the entire article.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Hello Canada," by Gerry Warner

A little ditty with apologies to George Orwell
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
“Hello, hello. Is anyone there? This is an emergency! Have I got the RCMP Barbaric Cultural Practices tip line? I do! Oh, thank God. I thought I’d never make it through.”
“Yes, I’d like to report someone engaging in an un--Canadian, barbaric, cultural practices and doing it everywhere across the country. It’s so brazen and unbelievable it could damage Canada’s reputation around the world. It goes against all our Canadian values. We’d never be able to hold our heads up proudly again. I, I, I’d be afraid to leave the house  . . . even to go to Tim Hortons. Or a hockey game. How un-Canadian is that?”
“Now slow down sir. Relax. Get a grip on yourself. Surely you’re making a great mistake here. How can anything as diabolical as you’re talking about be occurring anywhere, little alone across the country? This is Canada you’re talking about. Peace, order and good government.”
“No, no. I swear I’m telling the truth. Don’t you remember last June. I think it was June 18 when our illustrious Senate gave Royal Assent to the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. So it must be true. No one in the Senate would tell a lie.”
“Well, I guess you’ve got a point there sir. Have you got any more information about this heinous Act?”
“Sure. You bet. Google it for yourself and you’ll see all the un-Canadian things it lists. It’s horrific!”
“Now come, come, sir. It can’t be as bad as all that. Aren’t we talking about the Canadian Senate, the sober chamber of second thought. Mike Duffy is a senator. Surely it can do no wrong.” 
“Sheesh! Don’t you know Mike Duffy is on trial now for bribery, fraud and breach of trust? Where have you been the last six months? Under a rock?”
“Now, now, sir. There’s no reason to get personal. I’m only doing my job. And what’s this babble about barbaric cultural practices anyway?”
“It’s right in the Act. I’ll  read it to you. “We will not accept the practice of cultural traditions that deprive individuals of their human rights.”
“Well, that sounds pretty good to me Sir. Who said That? It must be one of our most skilled politicians.”
“You’re darn right. It was Chris Alexander, our Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. He’s one of our most loyal Canadians. And you know what else he said in a letter to his constituents. ”
“No, but I bet it was patriotic.”
“You’re darn tooting. It’s called Protecting Canadians and here’s what it says:
“Becoming a Canadian means having all the rights and privileges that Canadians enjoy . . . violent cultural practices found elsewhere in the world will not be tolerated in Canada.”
“That sounds wonderful, sir, but who is it you wish to report for committing a barbarous cultural practice?”
“That’s easy. It’s someone who comes from ‘old stock’ immigrant ancestors, but he’s trying to destroy our country by poisoning democracy, taking away our civil liberties, undermining our scientists, destroying our reputation as peace keepers, denying climate change and feeding prejudice against environmentalists, First Nations, gays, immigrants, refugees and anyone  he thinks is ‘different’ from him and doesn’t think Don Cherry is the finest Canadian in the land.”
“No, Sir, you surely can’t mean HIM?” He loves us and knows what’s best for us like a Big Brother. I’ll have to arrest you for engaging in a violent and barbaric cultural practice.”
“And what is that, I dare ask.”
“Telling the truth about Stephen Harper!”

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Giving Thanks

The cyclical rituals of annual celebrations keep us grounded and bring into focus all that is good.  Thanksgiving crafts, the camaraderie and community of the Farmer's Market, the peace and beauty of our beautiful valley are but a few of those many things to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, October 9, 2015

Taking Sides as an Elected Official

Mayors and Councillors are entitled, of course, to their personal political opinions but as an elected official of a community and supposedly representing the community as a whole, many would consider it inappropriate, distasteful and insulting to have an elected official use that position to endorse one political party, for as such they speak for their whole community. Mayors and their Councils must work with their Provincial and Federal representatives, from any party for the betterment of their communities and it might be considered very unwise to blatantly take sides.

Unfortunately Cranbrook’s Mayor Pratt chose to do just that by endorsing one political party in a paid political advertisement in the Thursday, October 8th edition of the Townsman.

“By taking a position you’re basically taking a position on behalf of the entire municipality,” said Welland Mayor Frank Campion. “I think it would be wrong and probably insulting to take a position on a particular party.”
Campion said that he recognizes it’s no secret he ran for the Conservatives in the last provincial election, and that people know where he’s coming from, but as mayor he won’t throw support behind any particular party or candidate.
He said his personal politics are cross-party, saying he agrees with certain aspects of each party’s platform.

“But otherwise I will stay uninvolved in the campaign because I think I’m the mayor of all the people — I’m the mayor of Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, Greens, Rhinoceros Party, Marijuana Party people,” he said. “I’m the mayor of all the people and it is my job to get the best deal for Toronto and not to get involved in the campaign.” Toronto Mayor Tory

Thursday, October 8, 2015

What's Happening.....

Tuesday Oct 6 to October 30th

Cranbrook and District Arts Council
presents their first exhibit in the new location
Member's Fall Autumn Inspired Exhibit
1013, Baker St.
next to Sakura
(the old Hobby Shop)

Saturday October 10th

Cranbrook Thanksgiving Farmer's Market
Final Fall market
10:00am - 1:00pm
Tenth Avenue S.

East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Hike to Kootenay River
Michel, 250-581-0660

Sunday October 11th

'Chasing Fall Colours' Hike

Key City Theatre Gallery

now 'til October 17th
The iconic photography of
Ethan Russell
Rolling Stones, the Who, the Beatles
and more

October 9th, 10th, 14,15,16,17,21,22,23,24
Cranbrook Community Theatre presents
'Making God Laugh'
Studio Stage Door
Tickets at Lotus Books and at the Door

How to pack the house....

The Key City Theatre was packed on Wednesday October 7th for Cranbrook's premier viewing of the 'Jumbo' movie/documentary.  There were no empty seats and the majority of attendees were young adults. On the other hand, there was a sprinkling of people, (maybe one hundred and fifty) at the All Candidates Forum the night before and the majority of attendees were more senior in years. Jumbo, the movie is receiving rave reviews and we were privileged to be able to watch this stunning production before it embarks on a world tour.

These numbers might illustrate many things but one is surely, what many young adults really care about.  Let's hope they also care enough to vote and make the changes they wish to see happen.


Jumbo, the movie

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Active Promotion of Ignorance

This article was published in the New York Times during August.

The Closing of the Candian Mind

Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education.

But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.

His relationship to the press is one of outright hostility. At his notoriously brief news conferences, his handlers vet every journalist, picking and choosing who can ask questions. In the usual give-and-take between press and politicians, the hurly-burly of any healthy democracy, he has simply removed the give.

Mr. Harper’s war against science has been even more damaging to the capacity of Canadians to know what their government is doing. The prime minister’s base of support is Alberta, a western province financially dependent on the oil industry, and he has been dedicated to protecting petrochemical companies from having their feelings hurt by any inconvenient research.

In 2012, he tried to defund government research centers in the High Arctic, and placed Canadian environmental scientists under gag orders. That year, National Research Council members were barred from discussing their work on snowfall with the media. Scientists for the governmental agency Environment Canada, under threat of losing their jobs, have been banned from discussing their research without political approval. Mentions of federal climate change research in the Canadian press have dropped 80 percent. The union that represents federal scientists and other professionals has, for the first time in its history, abandoned neutrality to campaign against Mr. Harper.

His active promotion of ignorance extends into the functions of government itself. Most shockingly, he ended the mandatory long-form census, a decision protested by nearly 500 organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Catholic Council of Bishops. In the age of information, he has stripped Canada of its capacity to gather information about itself. The Harper years have seen a subtle darkening of Canadian life.