24 min

Look over there – a shiny bank tax!

In a synchronized global rollout, five cabinet ministers came out to denounce the big, scary “global bank tax” idea that’s been floated around by the Western world. From Mumbai, Shanghai, Washington DC and Ottawa, these five ministers delivered the same message – most of it verbatim – that Harper gave at his little G20 youth delegates’ sideshow on Monday.

Paul Martin, however, calls this whole “global bank tax” a distraction – not just by the Harper government, but by other governments as well – but he especially calls the Harper government out for expending their political capital in protesting it, even though it’s unlikely to end up becoming a reality. Mind you, the Conservatives are using it as a shiny distraction – but one away from that pesky question of including access to safe abortion in the maternal and child health goals they’re advancing. It’s very much “Look – evil tax! Must kill with fire!” rather than “Um, I don’t want to answer those questions, because they make our political base uncomfortable.” Let’s just hope that the media – and the opposition parties – don’t fall for that trap.

It looks like Harper’s psychic stylist is no longer on the public payroll but is simply being funded by the party, like she should have been all along. Funny though, that Mr Tim Horton’s Hockey Dad Prime Minister is the only leader in Canadian history to need his own personal stylist to make him presentable for the public.

The Liberals seem to be waking up to the true costs of the Conservative “tough on crime” agenda and are making noises that they might actually start opposing some of these measures. Which would be great, but let’s see if it actually happens, or if the fear of being labelled “soft on crime” doesn’t make them back down once again.

The Liberals are also calling out Josée Verner for her hypocritical position that Canadian women should be allowed access to a safe abortion after they’ve been raped, but apparently women in the developing world shouldn’t be. As well they should.

And finally, I found some video of Scott Brison’s speech at the Halifax rally for International Day Against Homophobia (and thanks to Hugo Dann for telling me about it).

PS – this weekend, the Museum of Nature re-opens in Ottawa after six years of renovations. The museum housed the House of Commons during the years after the original Centre Block was lost to fire in 1916 and was where Prime Minister Robert Borden extended the vote to women in 1918. There are pictures of some of the renovations here.
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