Roundup: Kenney’s populist distortion

Aaron Wherry speaks to one of the organisers of those doctors who interrupt ministerial press conferences on behalf of refugee healthcare. Jason Kenney’s office responds with populist language that distorts the situation and frames it in such a way as to make refugee claimants look like freeloaders (ie – using “gold-plated benefits). That Kenney employs the “safe countries” talking point is actually a false argument because the designation is a political one, and not everyone who lives in a democratic country is “safe,” be it gays and lesbians in Jamaica, or the Roma in Hungary. But Kenney’s language is carefully scripted to stir up populist sentiment and appease an undercurrent of xenophobia in his base, and it should be called out as such.

With by-elections now in the works for both Durham and Calgary Centre, here are a couple of looks at them from Kady O’Malley, who runs down the lengthy list of would-be Conservative candidates in Calgary, along with a few Liberals who have thus-far declared interest, and Colin Horgan, who looks at some of the issues at play, and notes that all may not be lost for the Liberals given provincial results, shifting attitudes and Conservative infighting.

Senator Bert Brown says that if the Senate can’t agree to pass Senate “reform” legislation, then Harper can just get the provinces to agree. You know, like in a constitutional amendment like he should be doing in the first place. Err, except that his “reform” plans are deeply, deeply flawed, there is no actual endgame for what a “reformed” Senate would look like, nor is there any consideration for what the “reforms” would do to Parliament as a whole. And I doubt he’d get enough premiers to sign on without other constitutional concessions. But hey, at least you’re on the right path about the amending formula.

As public service managers grapple with layoff notices, here is a look at how the most recent changes in the rules regarding layoffs is affecting things in this current round, given that there is a generation of managers who’ve never had to deal with layoffs before.

And despite this government’s ongoing promotion of the commemoration of the War of 1812, it seems that Peter MacKay can’t get his history straight, and believes that France was on Canada’s side and not America’s. Oops.