Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Won't Harper Take a Hard Line On CP Rail?

The Harper Conservatives have cozied up to a lot of large corporations over the years, but perhaps the most detrimental to Western Canadians has been the relationship with CP Rail. Ralph Goodale expands on this question in today's Goodale Weekly Report.

What perhaps needs to be said, is that one simply has to look at the location of the CP Rail head office (Calgary), and the makeup of it's senior executive and board to realize in which political party's pockets their interests lie - or vice versa...

Here is Ralph's report...


Farmers and other shippers of bulk commodities have complained for years that they get seriously sub-standard levels of service from the railways, while paying always higher freight rates.

Four years ago, the possibility that the shippers might be right was acknowledged by the federal government. They launched a formal review of rail freight services.

A detailed report was completed last October, published in January and belatedly accepted by the Harper government in March, after their procrastination started to become a political issue on the eve of the federal election.

The Rail Service Report concluded that freight services provided to farmers, the forest industry and shippers of chemicals, minerals, fertilizers and other products were woefully inadequate. Farmers, for example, were getting the cars they ordered only 50% of the time.

The problem, said the report, was a market-power “imbalance” highly favouring the railways. In other words, the railways could provide crummy service and the shippers were stuck with it, because there was no effective competition.

The Canada Transportation Act (CTA) needs to be amended to: (a) guarantee shippers the legal right to an enforceable “Service Level Agreement”, and (b) spell out the core elements that such agreements must cover – like:

· access to rail capacity,

· reasonable performance levels,

· notification requirements,

· performance measurement and reporting,

· penalties for non-performance, and

· dispute resolution procedures.

As you might expect, the railways have been lobbying furiously against this idea. And accordingly, rail service legislation seems to have dropped off the government’s agenda.

In response to two specific questions which I asked in the House of Commons in June, Conservative Ministers mumbled incoherently, as if they’d never heard of any Rail Service Review.

Shippers need to demand meaningful legislation before the end of this calendar year. There is no excuse for this government caving-in to the railways!post signatureVICTORY FUND

Monday, August 08, 2011

PM Deals With Marxists; Dipper Leader Separatist; Liberals Still Evil??? Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Harper.

Official Opposition Leader a closet separatist? Remember Harper fear-mongering about "socialists and separatists"? Now he's off meeting and forging formal ties and trade deals with a former Marxist guerilla...

Seems there is a real double standard here... If you're Liberal you aren't even allowed to make LEGAL Parliamentary deals - in the true spirit of Parliamentary procedure - with legitimate opposition parties, BUT if you're a Conservative PM you can make deals with Marxists?

Here's Ralph Goodale's take on the NDP Leadership crisis, and lack of Official Opposition:


In traditional Parliamentary language, the second-largest political Party in the House of Commons forms “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”.

Their duty, on behalf of all Canadians, is to hold the government to account. They must be tough on the issues, but never with any hint of disloyalty to the country.

The federal NDP were entrusted with that responsibility after Canada’s May 2nd election, but now, they’re engulfed in turmoil.

Some of their difficulty is the understandable result of Jack Layton’s tragic illness, and Canadians have rightly cut the NDP some slack for that reason. However, other issues have emerged more recently for which there is little public tolerance.

The person selected as Interim NDP Leader – Nycole Turmel (one of their first-time Quebec MP’s) – turns out to be a recent member of not one, but two, political organizations that advocate separatism.

When this information came to light, not through voluntary disclosure, but from an investigative reporter, Ms. Turmel claimed it was all a misunderstanding.

But why was she not transparent from the outset? Why did she fail to tell voters that for four years she had been a full-fledged member, supporter and financial contributor in two separatist organizations?

That’s not some “misunderstanding”. It’s fundamentally wrong. Either you believe in a united Canada, or you don’t.

Ms. Turmel says she was so attracted to the social policies and to the friends she found in these separatist organizations, she simply overlooked their primary objective of destroying the country. Really?

The damage is done. In Parliament, Stephen Harper will dismiss the NDP Leader as a closet separatist with no judgment or credibility.

And “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” will be hamstrung – just when the world is confronting a dangerous debt crisis, and Parliament needs to be focused relentlessly on sound economics, productivity and competitiveness, job-creating small businesses and better family incomes.

post signatureVICTORY FUND