Roundup: Happy Birthday, Charter!

As it is now the 30th anniversary of the patriation of the Constitution, and the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we can expect some words of congratulations from the Prime Minister, right? Well, no. You see, Harper has decided that the Charter is too linked to the “divisive” issue of patriation, and how Quebec didn’t sign onto the Constitution, so he’s going to keep quiet. Which is pretty interesting, considering that he’s just feeding into the myth that Quebec didn’t support patriation (much like the so-called “Night of the Long Knives” myth, perpetuated by separatists). So not only does he appear to be spiting the Charter out of partisan considerations, terrible Liberal document that it is – despite it being more of a libertarian document than anything else – but he feels needs to feed the separatist rhetoric. (Paul Wells shares his views here). Not that either Jean Chrétien or Thomas Mulcair go blameless here either, if you cast your eyes back ten years ago and what both said back then.

Still on the Charter front, from Britain’s National Archives comes a tale from the cabinet minutes of Thatcher’s government, who were considering rejecting the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as part of the constitutional patriation process. Closer to home, former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour looks at the impact of the Charter 30 years later.

On the Robocon file, it seems that Elections Canada’s investigation into the Guelph robo-calls has taken them to Conservative Party headquarters, and they’re looking into missing log-in information on the CIMS database, considering that the contact list provided by RackNine matches the CIMS list entirely. Meanwhile, NDP MP Pat Martin has apologised for unfairly maligning the calling firm RackNine over the whole Robocon affair – the second apology he’s had to make in the course of this issue (the previous one being to campaign research). And yes, it was almost certainly to avoid a lawsuit, though it’s not clear that this was enough to ward it off. This is why I keep questioning the wisdom of the NDP putting Martin out in front every time a story like this happens – yes, they know he’ll light his hair on fire in outrage, and he’s even aware that it’s why people come to him for quotes, and he says something outrageous, and the party gets press, but it almost always ends up badly. You’d think that the NDP would learn eventually, but I guess not.

Here’s an excellent breakdown – complete with coloured charts – about the “differences in accounting” when it comes to the cost of those F-35s. Meanwhile, here is a look at the mess that is the procurement process for the Cyclone helicopters, which should serve as a cautionary tale for what could very easily go wrong (and already appears to be going wrong) with the F-35s.

The government is axing a prison rehabilitation programme designed to help lifers who get parole, and has been able to claim success. But since their plan seems to be throwing more people in prison for longer with fewer programmes available to help them rehabilitate, axing this kind of programme makes perfect sense in their twisted logic.

And Bob Rae’s resolve not to run for the permanent leadership of the Liberal Party seems to be slipping, if this timeline of quotes is any indication.