Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RevCan : From Hayek to birdwatchers

The Broadbent Institute released a study yesterday suggesting Canada Con Revenue Agency tax auditors are targeting critics of the Harper government about their allotted 10% political activities while letting right-leaning groups off the hook. How very timely.

David Akin
"The group reviewed tax filings of 10 right-leaning charities, including the Fraser Institute, the Montreal Economic Institute, and Focus on the Family, and found that in each of the past three tax years, none of them declared spending anything on political activity."
Say, what? Focus on the FamilySpankingGaysAbortion Canada has forsworn all political lobbying out of their $9.4M mansion of many rooms in Langley,BC? When did that happen? Must have been some time after FotF CEO Darrel Reid left them to become Steve's director of policy and deputy chief of staff in the PMO from 2007 til 2010, followed up by his two year stint as VP of the Manning Centre. Easy enough to overlook FotF's public support in 2013 for Mark Warawa's abortion reach-around I guess. 

And Charles McVety's Institute for Canadian Values? No political activity there at all last year : 
“We, the undersigned, appeal to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Minister of Justice, Peter MacKay, to create legislation to protect our country’s little boys and girls from the horrors of prostitution.” 
they said in a petition protesting the Supremes having shot down previous anti-prostitution legislation. There was also another petition and presser to protest against Christian schools being forced to have "homosexual clubs" if anti-bullying legislation was passed.

Who else we got in the "No political activities" check box ?

Fraser Institute : Political activities? Ha ha ha ha.

Energy Probe Research Foundation? Hey, that's the tanky run by National Post columnist Lawrence Solomon!  Self-described as “one of Canada's leading environmentalists”, Mr. Solomon wrote a book called "The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud" based on his many denier NaPo articles.
Broadbent Institute quotes EPRF :
“Energy Probe was one of only two ‘pressure’ groups cited by the inaugural edition of The Canadian Encyclopedia for being effective in influencing our country’s policies. …EPRF also influences policy decisions. Our views are heard by provincial and federal legislative committees, environmental assessment boards, and other regulatory agencies when we testify at hearings on a wide variety of pressing issues.”
Macdonald-Laurier Institute : New kids on the block and Hayek devotee Brian Lee Crowley's other venue. Reducing business taxes, reducing government spending, privatizing the healthcare system, and "working toward a common security perimeter with the United States". Jim Flaherty did them a start-up fundraiser in 2010.

Montreal Economic Institute. Teamed up with the Fraser Institute a few years back to co-sponsor "International Leadership by a Canada Strong and Free", written by Mike Harris and Preston Manning :
" no reason to avoid action on our urgent national interest in pursuing a formal structure to manage irreversible economic and security integration with the United States."

As it happens, five of those ten think tanks the Broadbent Institute says the CRA is averting its eyes from - the Fraser Institute, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, the MacDonald Laurier Institute, the Frontier Center for Public Policy, and the Montreal Economic Institute - all receive funding from Peter Munk of Barrick Gold through his Aurea Foundation. The heads of those 5 tanks are all members of the Mont Pelerin Society,  aka Hayek's "dealerships" , or what Donald Gutstein explains as the think tanks that repackage neo-liberal ideas for easy public consumption through a media chain: 
  • Michael Walker, founding Senior Fellow of the Koch-funded Fraser Institute; 
  • Brian Lee Crowley, founding President of Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Managing Director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute;
  • Peter Holle, President of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy;
  • Michel Kelly Gagnon, CEO of the Montreal Economic Institute

Now I know what you're thinking - Jeez, Alison, a grand unified field theory conspiracy of birdwatching and Hayek? Is the Mont Pelerin Society going to become the new Bilderberg boogieman? Birds of a neo-liberal or libertarian feather flock and fund together - so what? 
Well, given that Harper has shuttered research stations, closed science libraries, muzzled scientists and public servants, gutted StatsCan, frozen FOI requests, and sidelined Parliament, his own MPs, and the national press -- given all that, if he is also successful at chilling out any organized charity opposition in the public sphere, then Hayek's so-called "dealerships" will be one step closer to entirely pwning promedia for forming public opinion.

My own theory? Whereas the rw tankies all marked the box "political activities" with "0%", the birdwatchers et al dutifully filled theirs in - making life just that much easier on CRA auditors.

FYI - Here's the CRA's guidelines for what constitutes political activities :
  • i. explicitly communicates a call to political action (that is, encourages the public to contact an elected representative or public official and urges them to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country);
  • ii. explicitly communicates to the public that the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country should be retained (if the retention of the law, policy or decision is being reconsidered by a government), opposed, or changed; or
  • iii. explicitly indicates in its materials (whether internal or external) that the intention of the activity is to incite, or organize to put pressure on, an elected representative or public official to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country.
  • iv. explicitly no bees
Ok, so I made that last one up.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Canada Con Revenue Agency - Birds&Bees vs GunsGunsGuns

The Canada Con Revenue Agency is bothering birdwatchers now. The Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists pictured at left (membership-300, annual revenues-$16,000) got a stern letter from the CRA just after they sent a letter to two federal cabinet ministers complaining about government-approved neonicotinoid insecticides that damage bee colonies.

CBC : "The stern missive says the group must take appropriate action as necessary "including refraining from undertaking any partisan activities," with the ominous warning that "this letter does not preclude any future audits."

The CRA has a special $13.4 million dollar program to audit political activity in charities, which are restricted to using under 10% of their natural resources for political activities and none for partisan activities.


Yesterday Stephen Harper and 100 invited guests attended a Q&A session hosted by another registered conservation charity - the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (membership over 100,000, snazzy website photo above). 
The OFAH, a wonderful group dedicated to the preservation of all things angled and hunted, has boasted Stephen Harper as keynote speaker at their AGMs. Harper was accompanied yesterday by Con MP Robert Sopuck, founder and chair of the Tory Hunting and Angling Caucus. They discussed *conservation*. I'm guessing bees probably didn't come up.

I wonder if the OFAH ever worries about getting any stern letters regarding partisan/political activity from the CRA.

This year the OFAH received in government funding - $360,100 from the DFO, $67,000 from Jason Kenney's Employment and Social Development Canada, and $6,750 from Environment Canada.

Their lobbying activities for the year 2014 include the DFO, Environment Canada, Dept of Justice/Public Safety, and Transport Canada. Issues lobbied about include : 
  • Indian Act - land claims and intervenor status/funding,
  • Criminal Code and Firearms Act - long gun registry, licensing issues, amnesty, amendments to the Firearms Act and Criminal Code
  • UN Firearms Marking regulations, Destruction of registry records 
  • Canada Food Inspection Act - invasive species
According to their own published list, here's the OFAH's political activities from years past regarding guns and lobbying against gun registries : 
  • Radio campaigns in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, and London opposing C-68 (a cost of over $100,000);
  • Full-page ads in MacLean's magazine and other consumer magazines opposing the bill;
  • Over $30,000 worth of advertising in major market newspapers opposing the bill;
  • Ads in the Hill Times (media for MP's, Senators, and senior policy makers);
  • Television features about the dangers and costs of the bill;
  • Produced more postcards than any other group in Canada opposing the bill;
  • Generated thousands of names on petitions opposing the bill to the House of Commons;
  • Were successful in lobbying the Ontario government to legally challenge the bill;
  • Helped fund the Alberta court challenge;
  • Provided legal advice to the Alberta Fish and Game Association for their court case;
  • Lobbied, and continue to lobby, individual MP's and individual Senators;
  • Presentations made to both House of Commons and Senate Justice Committees;
  • Package and presentation made to the Ministry of Health Conference "Violence as a Public Health Issue;"
  • Participated in hundreds of media interviews and news releases fighting the bill;
  • Participated in urban phone-in radio shows to educate the public to the dangers of this legislation;
  • Played a lead role in the National Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Wildlife Federations, which also fought the legislation;
  • Sent C-68 information directly to OFAH members, hunter education instructors, and retailers, to encourage them to fight the bill;
  • Principle participants in several public rallies, including Fed Up I and Fed Up II;
  • Produced and distributed over 200,000 "election" bumper stickers;
  • Produced tens of thousands "election" lawn signs;
  • Encouraged OFAH member clubs and OFAH zones to run all-candidates nights;
  • Produced and distributed various information brochures, such as "Bringing You More Facts About Bill C-68," and "Bill C-68 Canada's New Firearms Act;"
  • Continue to produce and post information on our web site and other media sources, including Angler and Hunter Hotline, Call of the Loon, and Hunter Education News;
  • Communications being sent to the legal counsel for the Justice Department;
  • Currently working on further communications with the Chiefs of Police;
  • Met with the Auditor General prior to the release of her report;
  • Met with the federal Solicitor General and urged him to scrape the registry;
  • Developed a firearms motion against the registry which has been passed by 204 municipalities to date;
  • Worked with Opposition parties to question the government;
  • Filed Freedom of Information requests with the Justice Minister;
  • Met with federal Solicitor General to review reasons for canceling registry;
  • Met with Canadian Police Association seeking their support:
  • Met with Peter MacKay, Deputy Federal Conservative Leader;
  • Met with staff from Paul Martin's office urging them to scrap the registry;
  • Met with Prime Minister for two hours to emphasize need to scrap registry
  • Repeated conversations with police unions across Canada - worked with Calgary Police Association to get motion supporting the scrapping of the registry on the floor of Canadian Professional Police Association national meeting;
  • Arranged for Calgary Police Association, who oppose registry, to meet with federal Minister charged with reviewing the registry;
  • OFAH developed and made available to clubs across Ontario lawn signs and bumper stickers against Bill C-68 for use during 2004 federal election;
  • Press release March 14, 2005 after Mountie's killed in Alberta calling for scrapping of the registry;
  • Filing Requests for Information against federal government, various departments, to determine how much money is being funneled towards anti-gun groups;
  • March 2006, OFAH engages in media campaign blowing the whistle on failures in the firearms registry by demonstrating conclusively that the system can be hacked;
  • In total, OFAH issued 8 press releases on firearms in 2005; 8 in 2006, 5 in 2007 and 1 in 2008;
  • In total, OFAH included 7 articles in Hotline in 2005; 13 in 2006 and 6 in 2007 on firearms;
  • In 2006, the OFAH was appointed to a seat on the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee by federal Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, which they continue to hold.
  • In 2007, the OFAH helped convince the federal government to suspend the hated UN gun marking proposal, resulting in a two year delay in the implementation of the program, with the likelihood that it will be permanently abolished;
  • Fall 2007, OFAH articles and press release in opposition to inspection of older firearms owners in City of Toronto;
  • Through our membership on the CFAC, the OFAH continues to push for a registry of prohibited offenders, instead of a registry of legal firearms owners and is successful in working with other members of the Committee in convincing the government to change the regulations to allow expired POL owners to renew their POLs instead of having to qualify for PALs which many don't want or need (March 2008) - This will benefit over 108,000 firearms owners with expired POLs across the country;
  • March 2008 conference call with CFO and staff over lack of communications with firearms community regarding inspections, ranges, actions of staff, etc. - OFAH gets agreement from CFO for quarterly meetings with OFAH, CSSA and CSAAA, two hosted by CFO, two by OFAH;
  • April 26, 2008 meeting of CFO and representatives from 270 ranges/gun clubs in Barrie - OFAH sending three staff;
  • 2008 - appearance before the City of Toronto Planning Committee on the proposed banning of shooting ranges and clubs from public land;
  • Press releases and campaigns in support of Bills C21 and C24;
  • Press releases and campaigns in support of Bills C301 and S5;
  • Appearance on CTV National in support of bills to scrap long gun registry;
  • Current online national petition with partners and affiliates to scrap the long gun registry;
  • Press release and campaign in support of Bill C-391, newest bill to scrap long gun registry;
  • National online petition in support of Bill C-391 to scrap gun registry;
  • Letters to all police unions in Ontario seeking support for scrapping registry;
  • Three sets of letters to federal MP's urging them to support Bill C-391;
  • Press release against release of firearms information to polling company;
  • Press release against latest Toronto Police Service inspection of legal, law abiding firearms owners;
  • National radio interviews on Corus radio network on both breach of confidentiality by Canadian Firearms Centre and Toronto Police Service inspection of legal, law abiding firearms owners;
  • Prime Minister as keynote speaker at OFAH 81st AGM on scrapping long gun registry;
  • Met with 26 Opposition MP's prior to the vote on Bill C-391, which passed by 164 to 137;
  • Three national panel interviews with CTV, CBC and Goldhawk Live opposite Coalition for Gun Control
  • Part of Prime Minister's Office strategy team on C-391;
  • Appearance before Standing Committee on Public Safety on C-391 anticipated in Spring 2010;
  • Appearance by Candice Hoeppner, M.P., sponsor of Bill C-391 at 82nd OFAH AGM;
  • Canadice Hoeppner and OFAH met with Assembly of First Nations seeking support on bill;
  • Sent letters to all Ontario MP's in March 2010 with 17 page rebuttal to claims made by Coalition for Gun Control;
  • Acting as one of the spokespersons for 27 member group of the Outdoor Network representing 500,000 members across the country;
  • Appearing as a witness at the hearings on Bill C-391, May 2010;
  • Interviews with more than 50 media sources including Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Globe & Mail, National Post;
  • Appeared twice to debate Coalition for Gun Control on CBC National Power & Politics;
  • Appeared twice to debate Coalition for Gun Control on CTV National Powerplay;
  • Appeared on Goldhawk Live to debate Coalition for Gun Control.
  • Appeared on Access Ontario;
  • Appeared on The Agenda on TVO to debate Coalition for Gun Control and Toronto Police Chief;
  • Appeared on Roy Greene show;
  • Appeared on CHCH TV;
  • Appeared on Outdoor Radio Journal;
  • Appeared on CBC Radio Canada;
  • Organized 5 town hall meetings with Candice Hoeppner in northern Ontario ridings;
  • Drafted national online petition presented in Parliament with almost 50,000 signatures;
  • Issued 2011 Federal election questionnaire;
  • 2011 bumper sticker "Scrap the wasteful long gun registry" campaign; and
  • Working with Prime Minister's Office and Public Safety Minister on draft legislation to scrap the long gun registry.
Whew, what a list! Good thing this registered conservation charity never mentioned bees.

But maybe it wasn't just the bees that got the Kitchener-Waterloo birders in trouble.

Last year in October, amid their website news about backyard bird counts and butterfly nature walks and how to build a tiny house from scratch and worries about weakening of the Endangered Species Act, one of them wrote a letter pointing out to the rest of the group that a rupture from the nearby Brantford 38- year-old Enbridge pipeline, newly slated to transport "bitumen" through a "line for which it was not designed", "could result in serious environmental problems".

Well there ya go. They mentioned Enbridge and bitumen. Once.

It's ten years old now but here's a very good article, co-authored by Joyce Arthur, pointing out that the 10% rule for charities is ridiculous given that advocacy for their causes is more effective than just providing services. But as she said way back then : why isn't it evenly applied? Why do gun advocacy charities get a break from Canada Revenue Agency that environmental groups don't? 
“It seems the rules limiting advocacy are more stringently applied to charities who champion environmental protection than to those so-called charities that represent the hunting lobby.”

Thursday, October 16, 2014

E-Day in Canada: When Voter Suppression Comes Calling

Ten minute promotional video on an investigative documentary in production which previews preliminary interviews. from The Script & Film Co. on Vimeo.

Tomorrow, lone RoboCon fall-guy Michael Sona may find out whether he goes to jail for his part in the 6,000 illegal robocalls pretending to come from Elections Canada and wrongly telling voters their polling station had been moved. [Update : Sentencing now to be handed down on Nov. 19]

Yesterday, the Alberta Party candidate in the Calgary-Elbow byelection reported being targeted in a fraudulent robocall campaign that used a fake caller ID purporting to come from the Alberta Party :
“We started getting complaints from people receiving multiple phone calls throughout the day and some suggesting we had called them at 3 a.m. "
Sound familiar? It's not like this is going to get better on its own.

As Mulcair notes in the doc clip above, the Fair Elections Act (sic) is about "the Conservatives trying to put into law some of the cheating they'd been doing before."

Did you watch the clip? Wouldn't you like to hear Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor's reflections since their epic McMaher election fraud investigation?

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Peter Smoczynski : 
Election Day In Canada: When Voter Suppression Comes Calling is an investigative documentary film which examines the sudden rise of voter suppression in Canada since the 2006 Federal Election to the Federal Election of 2011, its aftermath, Elections Canada investigations, court trials, its affect on Canadians and more recently the Fair Elections Act.
He has thousands of hours of footage and is looking for funding to do further research into the communities of highest voter suppression and finish editing it. 
So far his site has only received 1700 Canadian visits and 43 funders but as he says : "if every visitor gave $20, within five days this film is back in production"
His first donation was $5 from a 13 year old girl.

Come on, people - and I'm looking at you, you glittering twitterati and facebookies - spread the word and DONATE whatever you can. Let's get this doc out there to the public well before the shenanigans begin in the 2015 election.

h/t Saskboy

Sunday, October 12, 2014

4am in a bar - the leaders of the *free world*

Steve : Just say "I stand with Saudi Arabia" a bunch of times, wait for the press to repeat it, and there ya go. Canada! Fuck Yeah! Comin' again to save the motherfuckin' day, yeah ...

Barry, Tony, Dave: No. No. No.

Barry : Look, Steve, I know that 'I stand with whoever ' line works for you up there in Canada but picture me going home and saying : "You know that country that 15 out of 19 hijackers came from that bombed the WTO on 9/11 ? Remember them? Well, funny thing - they've gone and got themselves into a bit of a jam by funding ISIS, another made-in-Al Qaeda group, so we're going to help them out here by going back into Iraq again to bomb their batshit out-of-control wahhabi-zombies before they start WWIII." 

Tony : You have to admit it would be pretty fucking awesome to put it out there like that.

Barry : Yeah, hi-larious. No, leave the Saudis out of this.

Dave : What we need is some kind of babies being thrown out of incubators onto the floor thing like we had for Kuwait.

Steve : Do they have to be brown babies again? Couldn't we use something bad happening  to white people this time? Kinda makes it more immediate for folks back home. Also we need reports of ISIS about to attack us at home. 

Barry : No problem - minor logistics. But we're also going to need heroes, people that our voters can really get behind and cheer for. 

Dave : What about hot chicks in camo with guns?

Tony, Steve : WTF? Get outta here.

Dave : No really. There's this battalion of guerrilla Kurd female fighters spanning Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria.  Some of them - very hot. Plus, the peshmerga commander of Kurdish forces in Kobani is a woman.

Barry : ... "The female fighters defying ISIS - mothers, wives, daughters - risking their lives every day to protect their homes and families" ...  Yeah, that could work.

Tony : I've heard of them. Didn't they evacuate thousands of Yazidis under attack from ISIS? - an operation I believe you took credit for, Barry. Fuckin' doomed now though, aren't they, eh? Pinned down defending Kobani for three weeks with their ammo running out and Kerry says meh to those hot peshmerga and PKK chicks. 

Steve : PKK? The Kurdistan Workers Party? Wait, aren't they ... terrorists? Aren't they Marxists?

Barry : Who gives a shit, Steve? It's not like they're going to win - we'll just drop some bombs on some empty buildings out in the desert and everybody goes home happy.

Dave : Speaking of going home ... I've got an early flight out of here in the morning - time to call it a night.

Steve : Already? We should really do this more often, guys. Hey, have any of you ever met a real Bilderburger - you know, one of the guys actually named Bilderburg?

Barry : Say goodnight, Steve.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Why are we in Vietnam Iraq/Syria?

Bloomberg : Syria-to-Ukraine Wars Send U.S. Defense Stocks to Records :

"Led by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the biggest U.S. defense companies are trading at record prices as shareholders reap rewards from escalating military conflicts around the world. 

President Barack Obama approved open-ended airstrikes this month while ruling out ground combat. 
 “To the extent we can shift away from relying on troops and rely more heavily on equipment -- that could present an opportunity.” [enthused a chief investment officer who oversees $66 billion including Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co.] 

Investors see rising sales for makers of missiles, drones and other weapons as the U.S. hits Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq. The U.S. also is the biggest foreign military supplier to Israel, which waged a 50-day offensive against the Hamas Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip.
Lockheed, the world’s biggest defense company, reached an all-time high of $180.74 on Sept. 19, when Northrop, Raytheon Co.and General Dynamics Corp. also set records. That quartet and Chicago-based Boeing accounted for about $105 billion in federal contract orders last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In its first night of airstrikes into Syria, the U.S. dropped about 200 munitions and launched 47 Raytheon-made Tomahawk cruise missiles, according to U.S. Central Command. The military also deployed Boeing’s GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Hellfire missiles from Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, creating an opening for restocking U.S. arsenals."

Meanwhile, stop me if you've also heard this one before ... From the LA Times, yesterday :
"Iraqi news outlets reported Monday that at least 18 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in an airstrike on a town under siege by fighters from the extremist group Islamic State.  Hit’s general hospital received 18 bodies, including three women and eight children, all killed in an airstrike.  
Maj. Curtis J.  Kellogg, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, said there was “no evidence” of civilian casualties in Hit."

And so it goes ...


Friday, October 03, 2014

Harperism : From Harper and Hayek to Koch and Coyne

Neo-liberalism : trickle-down, deregulating, deunionizing, globalizing free market privatization of government.

When Stephen Harper was studying under the "Calgary school" in the 80's, he became so enamored with the neo-liberalism of Austrian philosopher Friedrich von Hayek - guru to Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, the Chicago boys, the IMF, and the WTO - it formed the basis of his 1991 political economics thesis. 

Why, wondered Harper at the time, did the conservative revolution of Thatcher and Reagan bypass Canada and what could be done about it?

Happily, the Mont Pelerin Society - founded by Hayek and Milton Friedman of the Chicago School, and featuring Charles Koch CEO of Koch Industries as a board member - was there to help, founding and funding a plethora of free market think tanks in Canada via the corporate-funded neo-liberal prototype, the Institute of Economic Affairs in London UK. 

The Charles Koch Foundation on their Fraser Institute grant funding page :
"Since its inception twenty-five years ago at a series of conferences hosted by Milton Friedman and Michael Walker [executive director of the Fraser Institute from its inception in 1974], the Economic Freedom of the World Index has been used as a reliable measure of economic freedom in countries around the world."
As Donald Gutstein explains in Harperism: How Stephen Harper and his think tank colleagues have transformed Canada, this transformation was achieved through what Hayek called *professional second-hand dealers* - "newspaper columnists and editorial writers who parrot reports by neoliberal think tanks such as the Fraser Institute, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Montreal Economic Institute, and Atlantic Institute for Market Studies."

As it happens, the heads of all those think tanks he mentions :
  • Michael Walker, founding Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute; 
  • Brian Lee Crowley, founding President of Atlantic Institute for Market Studies [Atlantica!!!], and Managing Director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute;
  • Peter Holle, President of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy;
  • Michel Kelly Gagnon, CEO of the Montreal Economic Institute
are themselves all members of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Funding to link think tanks, politicians, and journalists comes from corporations and U.S. donors, but also Canadian billionaires like Peter Munk of Barrick Gold and his Aurea Foundation.
The Aurea Foundation was founded by Peter Munk, the head of Barrick Gold, and is a major funder of a small but influential network of free-market think tanks in Canada, including: The Fraser Institute, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, the Frontier Center for Public Policy, the Montreal Economic Institute and the MacDonald Laurier Institute.
Gosh, same bunch again.

National Post columnist/CBC political analyst/Manning Centre for Democracy advisor Andrew Coyne is a director at Aurea Foundation, along with former National Post editor Ken Whyte and, up until he became Stephen Harper's chief of staff, Nigel Wright.  

Hayek devotee, former advisor at the federal Department of Finance in 2007-8, and Coyne's friend, Brian Lee Crowley of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute is also particularly ubiquitous in promedia. Crowley has written regular columns for the Ottawa Citizen and G&M (where he spent two years on the editorial board) expounding on subjects dear to Harper : why all of Canada benefits from the tarsands, why we need more foreign investment, the benefits of two-tier healthcare and tankers off the westcoast, and why inequality is no biggie because poverty is a matter of character.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty hosted a private fund-raising dinner for Macdonald-Laurier Institute, advising invited corporate executives that he was giving MLI his personal backing and "I hope you will consider doing the same."

"Gutstein makes the case that neoliberalism is far more sinister than simply having a desire for smaller government. A central tenet of his new book is that Harper is undermining democracy by marshalling the power of government to create and enforce markets where they’ve never existed before.
“He’s gradually moving the country from one that’s based on democracy to one that’s based on the market, which means that the decisions are not made by our duly elected representatives through the laws that they pass and the regulations that they enact,” Gutstein says."
Coyne responded : 

You can buy HarperismHow Stephen Harper and his think tank colleagues have transformed Canada directly from Lorimer Publishing

Book launch with expert panel on issues raised by the book and hosted by the author - Wednesday October 8, 5:30 to 7:30pm at SFU Harbour Centre 

OK, if you must have a sneak peak, here's a few pages on former Liberal leadership hopeful Martha Hall Findlay at the Calgary School of Public Policy advising Harper how he could successfully dump supply management without losing any votes in order to ease Canada's entry into the investor rights deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. 
The "second-hand dealers" went absolutely apeshit for that one.
Edited @ 11:15 for clarity

Monday update : Well this will help to cloister the second hand dealers....

The Tyee : Postmedia could soon own almost every English newspaper in Canada. What could possibly go wrong?

Tyee also has an excerpt from Gutstein's book up today : Meet the people who made possible Stephen Harper's reign.

which in turn leads to this from Andrew Mitrovica :  The Hill media war chorus clears its throat … politely

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