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Harper Dodging Investigation with Election Call?

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Harper Dodging Investigation with Election Call?
by C. L. Cook
After the 2006 Canadian election, the head of the emerging minority government, prime minister Stephen Harper did something unprecedented. Bucking the tradition begun in England's parliamentary democracy and adopted at Canada's confederation in 1867, Harper changed the way elections are called, dictating Canada would now move to a system of fixed election dates similar to that used in the republic of the United States of America.
 
Until then, calling an election was at the discretion of the prime minister, within a maximum five year term. That is, the election call is the PM's prerogative in the case of a majority government, wherein the ruling party has a clear majority of seats and votes in the House of Commons, something Harper has yet to experience; or, in the case of Harper's minority Conservatives a vote of no, or non-confidence can force an election should the House reject the government's continuance.

Stephen Harper tried mightily in 2008 to force just such a vote; tabling legislation that clearly went against the policy grain of the official opposition Liberals. Harper even took to the airwaves, taunting Liberal leader, Stephane Dion and daring him to bring down the government. Dion refused to take the bait.
 
Why Harper would want to bring down his own government, if he really did want it, is an open question.
 
 
Update: A forensic audio expert reports  the tapes corroborating the late MP Chuck Cadman's contention Stephen Harper's Conservatives made an improper overture to the independent for his vote in a non-confidence vote against the then governing Liberal party undoctored.
 
 
 
Most pundits speculate, Harper read the polls and thought his was the strongest hand at the current political table in Canada, and the promise of the so far elusive majority was too rich a prize to resist. Others have a more sinister explanation, suggesting Harper was privy to the economic meltdown the world is currently facing and hoped to get to the poll before the international banking system hit the fan. Either way, Harper scotched his own widely ballyhooed reconfiguration of Canada's political system, and called an election ahead of the fixed date he unilaterally declared and signed into law.

Harper is fortunate in the manner George W. Bush has been in the U.S.; the media sees the Conservatives as the "new natural ruling party of Canada," and as such has had little to say about the election call flip flop. This is remarkable in that, in recent years, one of the recurring "issues" in the federal elections has been whether an election is necessary. This will be Canada's fourth election in less than eight years and voter hostility to yet another poll is believed to be an ancillary reason Harper wished Dion and the Liberals bring down his government and save him the trouble.
 
Even more remarkable has been the steadfast media adherence to the risible claims made by Conservative-friendly polling outfits that Harper is headed for a loping win.
 
With just a week left in the campaign, Harper has lost ground steadily, and this without the press emphasizing his and his party's close philosophical and logistical connection to the hated Bush apparatus in the south and the financial apocalypse their ideas have enabled.
 
As it stands today, Harper will be lucky to squeak out of October's election with another minority, something he seemed to tacitly acknowledge when commenting to news reporters another minority would be a strengthening of his party's mandate to govern.
 
But there is another theory concerning Stephen Harper's sudden Damascene-like elections call conversion. Dr. Joan Russow, former leader of the Green Party of Canada and founder of the Global Compliance Research Project wonders if the quick pick for the polls has more to do with ongoing parliamentary investigations into fraudulent practices allegedly committed by the same Conservatives during the 2006 election.
 
Russow points to the investigation of the Parliamentary Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, and another at Elections Canada that, with the dissolution of parliament were abandoned. Russow asks:

  • "If it can be shown that the Conservatives became [the] government through fraud, what would be the Constitutional implications? Presumably those responsible for initiating and promulgating the scheme should be criminally charged for fraud [see source references to the Criminal Code]; but could the Conservative candidates absolve themselves by claiming innocence of the law [usually not deemed to be a legitimate excuse]? Should the Conservatives simply have to pay a fine, and be deemed to be above the criminal law related to imprisonment for fraud?"

Excellent questions, but not apparently on the media radar this time around. Russow also reminds Canada's Governor General of her duties to the people of Canada in the event of government officials deemed illegitimate, citing the Queen's Letter of Patent, to wit:
 
 
  • "Under the Letters Patent constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada (1947), the following power is given to the Governor General of Canada to suspend upon sufficient cause persons from exercising office within Canada:
  • "And we do further authorize and empower our Governor General, so far as we lawfully may, upon sufficient cause to him appearing, to remove from his office, or to suspend from the exercise of the same any person exercising any office within Canada, under or by virtue of any Commission or Warrant granted, or which may be granted," (V Letters Patent constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada)."
 
 
Joan Russow's letter to the GG's office is reproduced in full below. But, hers is not the only issue of concern.

During the 2006 election, in an unprecedented manoeuver emblematic perhaps of our times, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) inserted themselves into the campaign by making public an investigation they were conducting into a prominent Liberal cabinet minister regarding leaked details of a finance ministry decision on the so-called "income-trusts."
 
The charges proved later to be baseless and the investigation terminated, but the damage had been done, and many believe the "scandal" lost the election for the Liberals.
 
Today, David Orchard, the Liberal candidate for Saskatchewan's Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding reports the RCMP again taking an active hand in the election.

Orchard's campaign says an "outraged" constituent called his campaign office to relate seeing a uniformed Mountie using his official marked police vehicle to deliver and set up campaign signs for the former RCMP Sergeant in Charge of the Spiritwood detachment, Rob Clarke. Clarke is the incumbent Conservative MP.
 
Saskatoon's Star-Phoenix newspaper picked up the story and according to their reporter, the RCMP is investigating the breach of policy.
 
Adding credibility to the charge is the fact it was levied by an avowed Clarke supporter. Bill Layman, a mining contractor, says he confronted the officer and was treated in an "off-hand" matter. According to Layman, who was on his way to an advanced poll when he spotted the transgression:
  • "This just really bothers me. This is about perception. It doesn't matter that he was off-duty. It's that he was doing it."

Layman said he left the scene, and duly voted for Clarke.

RCMP involvement in the campaign has also been questioned regarding Conservative directives to them to keep reporters away from Dona Cadman, widow of former firebrand Conservative MP Chuck Cadman, who charged in a book written about events surrounding the last election he was offered life insurance for a crucial vote in the House.
 
The Liberals also charge, a Tory press secretary to the prime minister was witnessed instructing an RCMP security detail to remove a reporter from a election event, and quoted as saying:

  • "I want that camera out of here."

Approaching the end of a period of unrivaled corruption in high office, made so painfully evident in the recent flurry of disastrous headlines, the appearance of past impropriety rearing again its ugly head in this election could well sink not only Stephen Harper's hopes for a majority in parliament, but grant the same for his Liberal opponents.   
 




Canadian Election: Perhaps the most absurd in Canadian History
Joan Russow (PhD) Global Compliance Research Project.

 
There should never have been an election in Canada. The Governor General should have refused to accept the Right Honourable Steven Harper's request for an election when there was an outstanding investigation into the fraudulent practices of the Conservative Party during the 2006 election. The investigation was underway by the Parliamentary Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. With the calling of the election, the Committee was disbanded. In addition, there was a similar investigation by Elections Canada.
 
Currently I am in Europe, and I have had a difficult time describing the absurdity of the Canadian Election: A system where a political party with less than 50% support, opposed by all officially elected political parties, can govern and can enter into binding international agreements which over the past two years have demonstrated disregard for human rights, peace and the environment.
 
Enclosed is an appeal, to refuse to accept the dissolution of Parliament, sent on September 1, 2008 to the Governor General of Canada.  And the RESPONSE.
 
Her Excellency
    the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
    Governor General of Canada
 
Monday , September 1, 2008
 
Your Excellecy:
 
I am writing to you because I believe that no election can take place until the accusations of fraudulent funding schemes, by the Conservative government in the 2006 election, have been fully addressed.  It is quite possible that Steven Harper is rushing an election to prevent further deliberations of the Parliamentary Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.
 
The Canadian Parliament can Function if the Power is Tranferred to the Opposition Parties
 
 
 The reason Parliament cannot function is that the three opposition parties comprising 66% of the members of Parliament and thus representing 66% of the voters generally oppose the "Conservative Agenda". Parliament can function but not the Conservative government. Given that members of the Conservative Party is under investigation for Election spending fraud, the Conservative members under investigation should step down while the investigation is occurring; this would mean that the Conservatives would lose at least 67 members and thus the government power will be passed on to the Opposition parties, and all motions obtaining majority vote in Parliament would pass and be binding, and executed.
 
 
During the week of August 11-14, the media reported on the investigation, by the Parliamentary Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, into the Conservative financial schemes of the 2006 election. The media reported on the scheme of transferring expenses to the local riding, in violation of the Elections Act, and on the failure of most of the Conservative candidates, who were subpoenaed, to appear before the Committee. The media, a week later, however, reported that Harper believes that Parliament is dysfunctional, and that Harper is prepared to call an election. The media, however is not making a connection between the serious violation of the Elections Act by the Conservatives in the last election, and whether an election should even be possible when there are allegations of violations of the Elections Act, and also whether the Conservative Party, if found guilty of fraud, should even be permitted to function as the government of Canada. Or has Canada arrived at an untenable position that leaders, executives and candidates of political parties have immunity to fraud?
 
THE CONSERVATIVE EXECUTIVE AND MPS MUST NOT BE ABOVE RECEIVING PUNISHMENT UNDER THE CRIMINAL CODE
 
If it can be shown that the Conservatives became government through fraud, what would be the Constitutional implications? Presumably those responsible for initiating and promulgating the scheme should be criminally charged for fraud [see below references in the Criminal Code]; but could the Conservative candidates absolve themselves by claiming innocence of the law [usually not deemed to be a legitimate excuse]. Should the Conservatives simply have to pay a fine, and be deemed to be above the criminal law related to imprisonment for fraud?
 
Should the Governor General exercise her powers under her Letters Patent?
 
Under the Letters Patent constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada (1947), the following power is given to the Governor General of Canada to suspend upon sufficient cause persons from exercising office within Canada:
 
"And we do further authorize and empower our Governor General, so far as we lawfully may, upon sufficient cause to him appearing, to remove from his office, or to suspend from the exercise of the same any person exercising any office within Canada, under or by virtue of any Commission or Warrant granted, or which may be granted," (V Letters Patent constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada).
 
The fraudulent access to power surely would be a sufficient cause for the exercising of this power and to call upon the opposition parties to form, in some way, a government.
 
DIRECTIONS FOR THE RCMP FOR DETERMINING FRAUD UNDER THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODE
 
http://www.rcmp-learning.org/iim/ecdi1018.htm#summary
 
MEDIA FAILS TO LINK INVESTIGATION INTO CONSERVATIVE FUNDING SCHEMES WITH HARPER'S DISTRACTION OF THE ELECTION
 
[For comment on the Committee deliberations see Russow, PEJ.org "Conservatives Ignore Subpoenas to appear before Parliamentary Ethics committee ]
 
MEDIA FAILS TO LINK INVESTIGATION INTO CONSERVATIVE FUNDING SCHEMES WITH HARPER'S DISTRACTION OF THE ELECTION
 
On August 20, Adrian Humphreys in Hamilton and Juliet O'Neill in Ottawa, National Post quoted Harper as saying "I will take the next few weeks to do a thorough evaluation of the situation and ensure that one way or another we can have a productive Parliament in the future," he said.
 
There was no mention that Harper must take into consideration the fact that the Conservative Party during the last election may have obtained power through fraud, and that the Conservative Party has not cooperated fully with the Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics; the Conservative executive has even advised former Conservative candidates to ignore subpoenas to appear before the Parliamentary Committee.
 
There was also no mention that one of the reasons that Parliament is dysfunctional is that most of the policies and motions that have been advanced by the Conservative government have been opposed by two-thirds of the members of Parliament, representing two-thirds of the voters of Canada.
 
Today on CBC news, it is reported that Harper has declared that "partisan politics are complicating his agenda. CBC does not comment on the fact that perhaps it is not Parliament that is at fault but his "agenda".
 
Randall Palmer, from Reuters, reported that "Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would decide in coming weeks whether an election is needed this year to give a new mandate to a Parliament that he has increasingly described as "dysfunctional." Randall Palmer then goes on, without comment, to quote Harper:
 
"What I will have to decide over the next few weeks is whether or not we can have a productive fall session of Parliament, or whether in fact the government -- a government -- needs a new mandate," Harper told reporters.
 
There was no mention of the implications that Harper has been completely dismissive of the charges against the Conservative Party.
 
The question arises, if Harper had obtained power through fraudulent means, should he, his executive, and many of his elected and non-elected 2006 candidates not be tried for fraud, precluded from governing and definitely not be given a "new mandate"?
 
The mainstream media is not linking the clear possibility that Harper attained power through fraud and that Harper is attempting to distract the public by threatening to call an election. There cannot be an election untit there has been a resolution to investigation by Elections Canada and the Parliamentary Committee.
Obviously Harper wants to go to the public before the opening in Parliament when there will be substantial opposition criticism about the potential fraudulent schemes. It is equally obvious that the current deliberations of the Parliamentary Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics are having an impact on the Conservative Party. By calling a quick election before the court case involving Elections Canada is completed, and before the full list of witnesses subpoenaed by the Parliamentary Committee have been compelled to appear and reveal further the unethical electoral practices during the 2006 election, the Conservatives will be in contempt of Parliament, Elections Canada and the Parliamentary Committee Process.. If the Conservatives are found guilty of election fraud, there will be serious repercussions which will impact on the future election, including on criminal charges and steep fines.
 
The Conservatives are functioning in an ethical void; even when it was brought to their attention that their actions had been in violation of the Elections Act, one Conservative witness declared their fund-raising practices to be creative financing. Also, on August 12, Tim Naumetz, from the Globe and Mail, reported that a Tory MP had said he was told he could ignore ethics.
 
What is being revealed during the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Access to Information Privacy and Ethics, is that during the 2006 election the Conservatives, in at least 67 ridings, with their "in-and-out" financial scheme, quite possibly by spending beyond the spending limits, became the government of Canada. They have no right to govern, and those involved in the scheme have no right to run for Parliament again if there is an election.
 
Fraud is a serious offence which involves criminal charges and imprisonment as well as stiff fines. Surely Canadians will not tolerate the Conservative Party.
 
THE CONSERVATIVE EXECUTIVE AND MPS MUST NOT BE ABOVE RECEIVING PUNISHMENT UNDER THE CRIMINAL CODE
 
If it can be shown that the Conservatives became government through fraud, what would be the Constitutional implications? Presumably those responsible for initiating and promulgating the scheme should be criminally charged for fraud [see below references in the Criminal Code]; but could the Conservative candidates absolve themselves by claiming innocence of the law [usually not deemed to be a legitimate excuse]. Should the Conservatives simply have to pay a fine, and be deemed to be above the criminal law related to imprisonment for fraud?
 
Should the Governor General exercise her powers under her Letters Patent?
 
Under the Letters Patent constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada (1947), the following power is given to the Governor General of Canada to suspend upon sufficient cause persons from exercising office within Canada:
 
"And we do further authorize and empower our Governor General, so far as we lawfully may, upon sufficient cause to him appearing, to remove from his office, or to suspend from the exercise of the same any person exercising any office within Canada, under or by virtue of any Commission or Warrant granted, or which may be granted," (V Letters Patent constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada).
 
The fraudulent access to power surely would be a sufficient cause for the exercising of this power and to call upon the opposition parties to form, in some way, a government.
 
DIRECTIONS FOR THE RCMP FOR DETERMINING FRAUD UNDER THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODE
 
http://www.rcmp-learning.org/iim/ecdi1018.htm#summary
 
A SUMMARY.
 
INTRODUCTION
 
Fraud and related crimes, frequently called white collar crimes, are one of the fastest growing areas of crime in Canada. It represents an economic loss to the Canadian public of millions of dollars.
 
There are over fifty fraud or fraudulent type offences in the Criminal Code, covering a very wide range of activities. By far the most common of these is fraud involving cheques, credit cards and other money making schemes. No doubt as our population continues to age, these crimes will flourish, if not increase, because experience shows that the elderly are prime targets.
 
All of these offences have their roots in some type of deceit or false pretence, through which people are deprived of money, goods or property.
 
SECTIONS IN THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODE
SUMMARY - FRAUD & FALSE PRETENCE
 
False pretence - definition
· Sub-section 361(1):
o misrepresentation of fact
o past or present
o by word or otherwise
o known to be false
o with fraudulent intent
o to induce someone to act.
· Paragraph 362(1)(a) - elements
o by false pretence
o obtains anything for which a theft may be committed
o or causes to be delivered to another person
· Sub-section 362(2)- punishments
o over $5000.00 - indictable - maximum ten years.
o under $5000.00 - dual procedure. Indictable - maximum two years.
o summary conviction - general penalty.
· Paragraph 362(1)(b) - obtain credit by fraud or false pretence.
· Paragraph 362(1)(c) - making false statement in writing.
· Paragraph 362(1)(d) - knowing a false statement in writing was made.
· Sub-section 362(3) - punishments
o indictable - maximum ten years.
· Sub-section 362(4) - nsf cheques/reverse onus
· Sub-section 380(1) - fraud
o by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means,
o whether or not a false pretence,
o defrauds the public or any person
o of property, money or valuable securities.
· Paragraph 380(1)(a) - over $5000.00
o indictable - maximum ten years
· Paragraph 380(1)(b) - under $5000.00
o dual procedure - indictable - maximum two years.
o summary conviction - general penalty Section 787 C.C.
· Sub-section 364(1)
o fraudulently obtaining food and lodging.
o summary conviction - general penalty
· Sub-section 366(1) forgery
· Sub-section 366(2) making false document
· Sub-section 367(1) - punishment
o indictable - maximum 14 years
· Sub-section 368 uttering a forged document.
o dual procedure offence - maximum 10 years.
 
With Respect
 
Joan Russow (PhD)
Global Compliance Research Project
 
RESPONSE RECEIVED OCTOBER 7, 2008
 
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
On behalf of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, I am responding to your e-mail below.
 
The Governor General appreciates your sharing your concerns and your views with her on this important matter. Should you have specific questions on Canada's  electoral system, please contact the Privy Council Office, which is the office best suited to address your inquiries. The Council may be reached directly at the following address:
 
Privy Council Office
General Enquiries
Room 1000
85 Sparks Street
Ottawa ON  K1A 0A3
 
Tel: 613-957-5153
Fax: 613-957-5043
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site: www.pco-bcp.gc.ca

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[From Orchard's Campaign]


Dear Friends,

THIS we don't need!  Because of an eyewitness in La Ronge being outraged enough to call our campaign office, we now know what the RCMP is up to in the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding where David Orchard could have a real chance of winning. This is involvement by the state police in the citizens' electoral activities, reminding us of how the RCMP acted in the 2006 election, announcing loudly that Hon. Ralph Goodale was "being investigated" for a leak in the finance deparment — an action that many believe lost the Liberal party the election (yet turned out to be baseless, as Ralph Goodale had no role whatsoever in the income-trust leak that had occured.) Please read and pass on this article from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and the accompanying press release from the Liberal party, describing other ways in which the Conservative government has employed the RCMP during this election campaign to keep reporters away from its events and candidates.  This is truly a sorry and scary state of affairs.

Your letters to the editor on this issue can have a real impact, so do not hesitate to write to the Star-Phoenix (at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or any other paper for that matter, local or national, as this story has been appearing here, there and everywhere, and needs to be exposed further.

With best wishes to all — and a hope that we will all pull together to make sure that David gets elected on October 14th!

Marjaleena Repo
Co-manager, David Orchard Campaign
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River
Meadow Lake office
306-234-2220

www.davidorchard.net

------------

Liberal Party

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2008

RCMP investigating the Conservatives for abusing police resources during the campaign 

OTTAWA - With the RCMP now investigating why an off-duty officer used a police vehicle to transport campaign signs for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River Conservative Candidate Rob Clarke, Conservatives must immediately stop the outrageous and unacceptable practice of using RCMP resources for their own political ends, said Liberal Candidate David Orchard. 

"Our tax dollars are used to purchase RCMP vehicles so they can be used to protect our communities, not transport Conservative lawn signs," said Mr. Orchard. "The Conservatives have been caught politicizing the RCMP throughout this campaign. This is entirely unacceptable in a democracy and this abuse must end immediately."

Media reports confirm that that an off-duty, but uniformed RCMP officer used an RCMP vehicle to deliver campaign signs to the Conservative campaign office of Mr. Clarke. The fact that Mr. Clarke is a former RCMP officer makes the optics involving this incident even worse.

Throughout this campaign Conservative staffers have been trying to use the RCMP to do their political bidding. 

At a recent campaign event in Surrey, British Columbia, Prime Minister Harper's staff demanded the RCMP block journalists from speaking with Dona Cadman about the financial offer she says her husband told her the Conservatives made to get him to join their party on the eve of a crucial confidence vote.
 
Again, on September 11, 2008, Mr. Harper's press secretary was caught on tape directing the RCMP to block reporters from questioning the Prime Minister saying, "I want that camera out of here."

The RCMP were also reportedly involved in assisting Conservative staffers in physically subduing a Conservative supporter at a rally who had made the apparent  "error" of making a comment during the Prime Minister's speech.

"The job of the RCMP is not to campaign for the Conservatives or protect the party from media scrutiny. It should never be used as a political tool or resource by anyone during an election campaign," said Mr. Orchard.

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Contact:

Liberal Party of Canada Press Office
613-783-8888

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