Roundup: Fined for telecomm violations

The CRTC has fined the Liberal riding association in Guelph for an improper robo-call during the last election, and Frank Valeriote, the MP, accepted the finding. Now, just to remind you – this was about a violation of the Telecommunications Act with an unidentified robo-call warning that the Conservative candidate might be pro-life. It was not a violation of the Elections Act. It has nothing to do with misleading voter to wrong polling stations, or anything like that. No matter how many equivalencies the Conservative partisans try to this to the other Guelph robo-calls and the mysterious “Pierre Poutine,” they would all be wrong.

Helena Guergis’ lawsuit against Stephen Harper and company has been tossed out – as well it should be. The Judge correctly asserted that the matter of her being in cabinet are a Crown Prerogative – because it is. And Crown Prerogatives are generally non-justiciable for a reason. Otherwise, people start doing silly things, like taking to the courts when they lose at politics, just like they start writing to the GG or the Queen. Oh, wait – they already do! But yeah, it’s not the court’s jurisdiction. If you have a problem with the way a government exercises its prerogative, then you vote them out in the next election. If people had a modicum of civic literacy, this kind of thing might be avoided. Guergis says she’s stating law school next week – hopefully she’ll learn this lesson, as well as what “frivolous lawsuit” means. She also says she wants to appeal, but good luck with that.

Read into this what you will – this year’s Arctic military exercises targeted “eco-tourists” involved in human smuggling. Meanwhile, there is an added political connection to the renewed search for the ship of the Franklin expedition in that the government hopes that it can use those ships to help bolster sovereignty claims, even though some experts say those claims would tenuous at best. Harper also says that he’s going to keep going with military spending on the Arctic, despite the cost overruns.

Vic Toews is complaining that police have too much paperwork to do, and says that when he was a prosecutor back in 1976, disclosure was just a “half sheet of facts.” It’s too bad that modern investigative techniques require more evidence and that police are being forced to be more accountable for their actions, apparently. Heck, why not just eliminate the paperwork and let the police “work over” a suspect in the interrogation room too? Toews also sent out a memo to the RCMP and CBSA that says that just like CSIS, they too can use information that might be tainted by torture if they think it’s necessary. Because that’s been demonstrated to provide useful information…

The Walrus takes a look at the Harper government’s “once a criminal, always a criminal” approach to crime, with the increasing focus on mandatory minimum sentences and making pardons much harder to obtain.

And some big companies are hitting back at Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney’s comments about the “dead money” that corporations are hoarding.