Xtra
2 min

The roaring silence called ‘progress’

It looks like the Commonwealth Heads of
Government meeting has been something of a disaster, with the human rights
components being rejected by several of the players, as was any declaration on
the rights of gays and lesbians in the form of decriminalizing homosexuality.
Add to that a list of coincidental happenings, such as the Qantas airline strike, which have made this particular meeting a giant headache for all involved. And yet,
Harper says there was “progress” – because he has to say that, lest his
“leadership” look ineffectual.

Harper is also backing away from some of
the claims of the safety of the training mission in Afghanistan after one of
our soldiers was killed during a suicide bomb attack on a convoy. Harper reiterates that any work in Afghanistan carries “significant risk,” but our
military trainers are “relatively safe” because they mostly stay in fortified
bases in the Kabul area. That said, it is also argued that this is not actually
a combat death but one that can be blamed on a terror attack – not that it
makes much of a difference to the family, or critics of the mission.

Kady O’Malley muses about the return of the
bill to limit loans to leadership campaigns and what it will mean for the
current NDP leadership (and if the New Democrats have perhaps changed their minds given
the bill was meant as part of the ongoing campaign by both the Conservatives
and NDP to screw over the Liberals).

Robert Chisholm is now the eighth person in
the NDP leadership race, despite his relative lack of French. Their front bench
of critics is now getting alarmingly thin as well.

It has been revealed that CSIS tried to warn the government about the very types of hacker attacks the Finance and
Treasury Board were subjected to last year – two months before the attacks
happened. Meanwhile, because all of the IT systems of each department aren’t
integrated, the hacking attacks were isolated to those two departments. If this
had happened under a Shared Services Canada system of integrated IT systems,
could one imagine how far this might have spread? And we still agree it’s a
good thing that we go ahead with this scheme? Just saying.

And Susan Delacourt looks at the independence movement in Scotland and its connections to Quebec separatists
here in Canada.

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