Tuesday, September 01, 2015

It's official!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Time for you to eff off Harperman!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Are Judges playing too fast and loose with publication bans?

Good Day Readers:

The other day a bail hearing was held for accused Winnipeg letter bomber Guido Amsel. Provincial Court Judge Heather R. Pullan imposed a publication ban on the proceedings although neither the Winnipeg Sun nor The Canadian Press accounts offered any explanation as to why? The hearing is scheduled to resume September 2. CyberSmokeBlog was unable to attend.

So the question remains who requested the publication ban and why? Judges have a public duty to explain their decision(s) in such situations.

The second issue that irks CSB is why the images of Justices and Judges are not routinely embedded on the websites of Provincial and Federal Court sites? All you can do is try Google Images and hope you can find them. You have less than a 50% chance of being successful. So why all the secrecy? Are they camera shy or perhaps hiding out in the Witness Protection Program?

Taxpayers afford these people their handsome salaries and benefits packages that don't quit yet more often than not are unable to view the images of those who stand in judgement of them. Will they next begin appearing in court wearing hoodies?
Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Heather R. Pullan?

Clare L. Pieuk
Letter-bomb suspect stays locked up for now

Judge delays decision after day long hearing

Dean Pritchard
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Letter bomb suspect Guido Amsel is seeking bail. (Winnipeg Police Service handout)

A bail hearing for accused bomber Guido Amsel will resume Sept. 2.

Judge Heather Pullan heard a full day’s worth of submissions Thursday before adjourning the hearing shortly after 5 p.m.

Details of the hearing cannot be disclosed under terms of a publication ban. The Crown is opposing Amsel’s release.

Amsel, 49, is accused of sending letter bombs to the workplaces of his ex-wife, her lawyer, and his lawyer. One detonated in the law offices of Petersen King, seriously injuring Maria Mitousis, who represented Amsel’s ex-wife in multiple court cases.

Amsel arrived in court in a blue suit jacket and a loose red tie, which defence lawyer Martin Glazer quickly adjusted.

“I’ve said all along the Crown has no case,” Glazer said outside court.

Amsel is “anxious to get home and be with his children,” Glazer said. “This is all a nightmare for him, a man with no record who maintains his innocence. It’s a travesty of justice to keep someone like that in jail.”

The courtroom was crowded with several supporters, including Amsel’s current wife, who wept and was comforted by others in the front row as Amsel was brought into the courtroom. She shook her head periodically as the details of the case were discussed.

Amsel is facing more than a dozen criminal charges in the July 3 explosion, including three counts of attempted murder.

Mitousis underwent 12 hours of surgery for injuries to her upper body and thighs. She is no longer in hospital but faces a long recovery. She has said she plans to return to work.

With files from the Canadian Press


Twitter: @deanatwpgsun

That WTF look!

Canada's gestapo agency!

Order your Canada Revenue Gestapo Agency pencil sharpener today in time to file your 2015 tax return. Only $9.95 plus tax (does not include pencils)

Good Day Readers:

If there's one federal government agency you don't want to .... with its the Canada Revenue Agency. Their search and seizure powers are unprecedented.

Supreme Court of British Columbia Justice Mary A. Humphries

On July 30, 2014 Justice Humphries made two extraordinary rulings:

(1) The CRA owed Mr. Leroux a duty of care to deal with him in a non-negligent manner

(2) The CRA breached this duty of care by doling out huge monetary penalties to Irwin Leroux for errors in reporting his income he did not actually make

Most extraordinary of all for reason(s) known only to her she didn't whack the Canada Revenue Agency for damages on Mr. Leroux's behalf ! That's good judgeship? Don't think so. Thank goodness the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has balls.

Clare L. Pieuk

This is a message brought to you by our friends at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation:

Dear Clare,

Should the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have to treat taxpayers fairly?

Of course they should… but they often don’t. However, thanks to a BC Supreme Court decision, they have no choice.

In a landmark and precedent-setting decision, a judge ruled that the CRA owes taxpayers a “duty of care.” In plain English it means that if the CRA abuses taxpayers, it can be held liable for damages.

Remarkably, the CRA is going back to court to appeal this decision. Will you join us in stopping them?

But first some background: Nineteen years ago the CRA audited Irvin Leroux’s RV park near Valemount, BC. They decided he owed $600,000 in unpaid taxes. He appealed, but in the meantime the CRA bankrupted him. Liens placed by the CRA on his property forced Irvin to sell the business he built from scratch for pennies on the dollar.

Yet, in 2001 Irvin won his appeal. He did not owe the taxman a penny. But his business was gone and Irvin was broke. So, he sued the CRA for compensation. Unbelievably, the judge ruled against Irvin, leaving him broke. But the judge admonished the CRA for how they bankrupted him and, for the first time, ruled that the CRA owed taxpayers a “duty of care.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation never gets involved in individual tax cases, but the “duty of care” ruling is so significant to all Canadians, we have stepped up to the plate because this matters for all Canadians.

We’ve got Irvin two of the best tax lawyers in Western Canada to fight the CRA in court. But they don’t come cheap. Legal bills are already costing us tens of thousands of dollars. But this case is too important to lose.

Can you chip in a few bucks to cover Irvin's legal defence of “duty of care”? You can make your donation through our secure website at https://www.taxpayer.com/donate/donate-campaign?tpCampaignId=79

You can watch a video about Irvin’s initial case here.

You can read a letter from Irvin here.

Thanks for all that you do,

Scott, Shannon, Troy and the entire CTF team

P.S. You never know when you might be audited and face the same nightmare Irvin Leroux did. If you can’t make a donation today, please consider signing our “I Stand With Irv” petition here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Two control freak loonies!

Good Day Readers:

Two loonies don't make a right. Both Stephen Harper and Patrick Brazeau are control freaks in the case of the latter as evidenced by his not yet completed trial on charges of assault and sexual assault of a woman.

Control freak Harper would have you believe he's the best candidate to lead and manage the country even though by his own admission he didn't know what has happening under his nose in the PMO a la the Duffy piggery and cover up until well after the fact. To accept his explanation you'd have to be deaf, blind, dumb and stupid with half a brain plus think there's a tooth fairy.

Who better to speak on the subject of control freaks than Mr. Brazeau?

Clare L. Pieuk
By Patrick Brazeau
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Stick to the lines, repeat the message, don’t expose any weaknesses with the hope of believing that anything Canadians don’t know won’t hurt them. That’s been Harper’s strategy in the first three weeks of this election campaign. As suggested by many people thus far, either the Prime Minister knew about the Wright payment or he was lied to by his entourage.

On August 20, 2015, when asked if he still had the confidence of Ray Novak, he responded, “…there is one person on trial here. It is Mr. Duffy because Mr. Duffy took taxpayers money that I believed right from the onset he should not be taking, and I told him so.” He later states, “and in this case I have held the two people accountable who are responsible: Mr. Duffy, who did not repay his expenses, and Mr. Wright, who allowed him not to repay his expenses.” Wait a second, is it Stephen Harper who investigated and laid charges? I have one piece of advice for the Prime Minister: let a judge decide if any person(s) are responsible or accountable. Canadians are tired of a Prime Minister acting like a judge, jury and executioner. Harper’s record with the Supreme Court speaks for itself. Stay out of the judiciary.

I don’t have a personal agenda here, as I have enough personal issues to deal with but I feel it necessary to share some views on the Stephen Harper I know. Now I know the vast majority of Canadians have very little sympathy for the Senate and perhaps rightfully so, but I’m hopeful and I trust Canadians have strong views on principles of natural justice, the presumption of innocence and democracy – three concepts Harper ignores.

Section 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees every Canadian citizen the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal. Fact is, Harper has done the contrary. With his public comments, he wants Canadians to believe we are guilty until proven innocent because he has decided as such. I suspect this is the reason he denied Senators Duffy, Harb, Wallin and myself an independent and impartial process to plead our cases in the Senate in 2013. It’s no great secret that Harper despises the Senate yet uses it for his own political gain. When he throws mud at the Senate, he knows many Canadians will sympathize with him because we’re all a bunch of “crooks” right? I ask you to keep an open mind and let us have our day in a real court of law – not Harper’s court of law. After all, has the Prime Minister been honest? Has the PMO? Has the RCMP been just in their investigation or is this all political?

The principle of natural justice, in its simplest form, can be summarized as fair play, ensuring that people have a right to be heard, decisions made being free of bias and based on evidence. Yes, actions were taken and decisions were made by the Harper Conservatives but did they take into account the principles of natural justice? With all the information and testimony coming out of the Duffy trial thus far and the alleged number of people involved in the Prime Ministers Office and other Conservative Senators in the “Senate scandal,” do you believe decisions were made free of bias and purely on evidence? I will let you decide but in my case, the answer is no.

Harper’s democracy is simple: it’s his way or the highway. As former Senator Segal once said, “Some folks think the best way to deal with these problems is to throw everybody under the bus…well guess what you’re going to run out of buses and you’re going to run out of people.” Ain’t that the truth! I don’t know this to be fact but I’m starting to think Harper must have been a young kid who was made fun of at school and to him, image was and is everything. Who knows, he may have been bullied for the way he looked, dressed or for what he said. If that’s the case, it surely explains how vengeful this man is. Think of people such as Bill Casey, Helena Guergis, Bev Oda, and Nigel Wright. Senators Duffy, Wallin, myself and perhaps others to come. Think of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverly McLachlin. Think of unions, First Nations people, and interest groups. Think of those that we don’t know about. Don’t forget our Veterans. Are all these people wrong and only Harper is right, honest and accountable? Think of the 40+ Conservative MPs who are not seeking re-election under Harper. Think of high profile Cabinet Ministers such as John Baird, Peter MacKay, James Moore and Christian Paradis. They may all have great reasons for not running under the Harper banner but I suspect it is much more than that.


It’s Time for a National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

If Harper was serious about Senate reform, we would have new laws in place today

One thing is certain; from what I know, Harper is a control freak. When I was in caucus, very few challenged him. Those who did were shut down, those who had differing opinions were silenced. One can assume this is not inherent to the Conservative party but it is ironic many MP’s are not seeking re-election under Harper. Let me just say that many of those were often not in agreement with Harper. Is it possible Harper promised between 2011-2015 that he would not be running again but decided otherwise? Did Harper’s command and control approach disengage some of his troops? Did PMO’s control and hand in every single decision, caucus, House committees, Senate committee’s piss off some people? I would lean on the yes side.

In fact, I most likely pissed off the Prime Minister long before my personal struggles began. I stood up to Harper in the fall of 2012 and shamed him in front of caucus for not having an Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. In that same time period, I was successful in having the Senate committee on human rights study the rights of off-reserve Aboriginal people for the first time in Canadian history. The PMO, the office of the Aboriginal Affairs Minister and some of my own colleagues were against this study and gave me a hard time. Why were they against this project? It would have meant claiming jurisdiction of the federal government towards off-reserve Aboriginal people…meaning money and lots of it to correct the wrongs of the past. Once I got kicked out of caucus on February 7, 2013, Marjory Lebreton pulled the study out of the Senate. I was gone, out of their way. That’s how they operate.

When you contradict, shame or make the PM look bad regardless of its significance, watch out because some of his soldiers are coming after you. Is that “PROVEN LEADERSHIP?” No, its “PROVEN DICTATORSHIP” and it scares me and it should scare you. I’m afraid of what Harper and his entourage will do to achieve their ends because I have lived it and they have done everything imaginable to ensure I lose my job even though I have been honest, open and accountable. For heaven’s sake, I haven’t had a fair trial yet. Luckily, that day will come for me. Unfortunately, that day will come for the Harper Conservatives.

I’m not surprised none of Harper’s former soldiers have come out yet and corroborated just how heavy-handed the Prime Minister can be although I bet many would like to. I don’t blame them because if they did, they would likely be sitting beside me with others who were once loyal to Stephen Harper and that came with a great personal and professional cost. Harper got me into trouble in early 2009 following a meeting I had with him on December 16, 2008 and I took the bullets for him. No more.

My parents, like many others taught me when you lie, you eventually end up getting caught. Even though you try to hide it, get friends to tell your version of events and/or hope the lie goes away. Then you round up those friends and supporters with the narrative that everyone else is the problem and everyone is out to get us. That’s what Harper is doing and he’s hoping his base will believe him. Well I for one don’t buy it. There are many great Conservative candidates running in this election and Canadians will have a choice to make come October 19th but my choice is made: I was once a loyal soldier to the Prime Minister and as a former Conservative caucus member, Stephen Harper has got to go for the good of the Conservative party. His time is up and the CPC needs to find a replacement yesterday. I believe Harper’s love for power and control is dangerous and he has ruined the lives of people who were close and loyal to him. I cannot imagine what he does to his enemies.

Many Canadians have made up their minds as to whether Harper knew about the Wright-Duffy payment. Who knows, he may have ordered it, he may just knew about it or perhaps he was totally in the dark. Knowing how he operated, I have trouble believing it was the latter. But unlike Stephen Harper, I will not pronounce my personal views on the matter because I am not a judge, jury or executioner. Harper owes it to all Canadians to come clean and tell the truth. He only has to follow his own words. Let’s get Harper on a witness stand under oath. If not, let’s just get him out of office on October 19th!

Follow Patrick Brazeau on twitter: @senatorbrazeau

Are you a veteran? Does Stephen Harper have a job for you!

Conservatives seeking veterans who would praise Harper in ads

Party worker asks to be connected with ex-solders who are willing to appear on camera and say Tory leader "is the best choice for Canada."
By Murray Brewster/The Canadian Press
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Conservative leader Stephen Harper makes a campaign stop in Montreal on Tuesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

An email being circulated among former Canadian soldiers suggests federal Conservatives are looking for a few happy, satisfied veterans to appear in television ads backing Stephen Harper, The Canadian Press has learned.
The email appears to have been written by Kris Sims, who is on leave from her role as Director of Communications for Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole in order to work for the party during the campaign.
In it, she asks to be connected with ex-soldiers who are willing to appear on camera and prepared “to say in their own words why (Stephen) Harper is the best choice for Canada, based on their military experience and the threats we face in the world.”
The email, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press, goes on to say it is intended to counter Public Service Alliance of Canada ads that “say the NDP and Liberals are the best for Canadian Armed Forces Veterans.”
Conservative party officials were asked about the email and shown its contents. Spokesman Stephen Lecce would say only the party doesn’t comment on “campaign strategy.”
It’s another sign of how much heat the governing Conservatives are feeling over the treatment of ex-soldiers. Prior to calling the October 19 election, the Harper government embarked on a series of reforms to benefits and services for not only those who served, but their families.
Earlier this summer, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) launched an ad campaign entitled Vote to Stop the Cuts, but the President of the wing representing veterans employees denied they were trying to drum up support for opposition parties.
“Our campaign was not really designed to ask anyone to vote for any particular party,” said Carl Gannon. “It was designed to provide facts on what the staffing, budget cuts and office closures have done to (Veterans Affairs Canada) and it’s ability to provide services that veterans relied upon.”
Some disgruntled veterans are running an Anyone But Conservative campaign, but Gannon says it has nothing to do with the union.
“We felt we needed to fight the rhetoric being promulgated by the Conservative Party of Canada as we felt it was dangerous and didn’t even remotely reflect the actualities that vets were living,” said Gannon.
The appeal for happy volunteers comes just days after the Liberals unveiled a $300-million-per-year plan aimed at addressing all of the long-standing grievances of veterans over pensions and support.
It’s clear, however, that both Conservatives and the Liberals are furiously courting the vocal constituency, whose default vote would have been for Harper in bygone days.
Some of the government’s most strident critics were briefed on the Liberal plan at least a week before it was unveiled and were present in Belleville, Ontario, when it was unveiled.
They also got a peek at specific policy details not made public, either by Justin Trudeau — or on the party’s website. Debriefs of those conversations are circulating online in the advocate community and Liberal officials, speaking on background, say they are an accurate representation of the talks that were held.
On the issue of returning the wounded to a system of life-time pensions, advocates were told the disparity between the compensation peacekeepers received and the lesser awards given to Afghan combat veterans will be eliminated. The change will be “fully retroactive” to 2006 when the Conservative government enacted the new system.
Mike Blais, President of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, wrote in a Facebook post that another sore point related to the clawback of insurance payments under Veterans Affairs will be rectified.
The Harper government chose to stop defending itself in a class-action lawsuit by soldiers as it related to the disability awards system at National Defence. The payments of injured soldiers were treated as income and clawed back, but the Federal Court found that to be discriminatory.
Soldiers who’d lost income under the Defence Department plan were compensated going back to 1976 in a $887 million settlement, but under the Veterans Affairs system the redress only went back to 2012. Blais says the Liberals are promising to take that back to 2006, when benefits were overhauled.
It is not clear how much that would cost, but sources within the Veterans Affairs Department say it could be an expensive proposition that sets a precedent and many implications for other programs, such as the decades-old war veterans allowance.

So you're better off under a Harper government ..... eh?

Average Canadian family spending more on taxes than basic necessities, Fraser Institute says

Victor Ferreira
Thursday, August 27, 2015
A Canadian family earning $79,010 in 2014 would have spent 42.1 per cent of income on tax bills compared to 21 per cent of income on shelter, 11 per cent on food, and 5 per cent on clothing. (Darren Calabresse/National Post)

TORONTO — The average Canadian family continues to spend more on taxes than they do on food, shelter and clothing combined, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual study of taxation in Canada.

The think-tank’s Canadian Consumer Tax Index study released Thursday says a Canadian family earning $79,010 in 2014 would have spent 42.1 per cent of income on tax bills compared to 21 per cent of income on shelter, 11 per cent on food, and five per cent on clothing.

Although the 2014 numbers can still change as more data becomes available, the percentage of income used to pay taxes has continuously risen since 2008 when 40.9 per cent of income was spent.

Charles Lammam, co-author of the study, said the consistent tax increases mean Canadians continue to have less money to use in other avenues.

“As the tax bill grows, there is less money available for families to spend on things they want to spend on, to save for retirement or their kids education, or even to pay down their household debt,” Lammam said.

A key aspect of the Fraser Institute study is the comparison of current taxes to those in 1961. The study shows average families in 1961 earned an average of $5,000 and paid taxes worth $1,675. The average family’s tax bill rose by 1,886 per cent in that time, while food prices rose by 561 per cent and clothing by 819 per cent. The cost of shelter was the basic necessity that came closest to matching the increase seen in taxes, having risen by 1,366 per cent. Average annual income also increased at a slower rate than taxes, rising by 1,480 per cent.


‘It’s not free’: Canadian health care insurance almost doubles in cost during last decade as average family pays $12K

Tom Kott: Kill the tax credit, reduce taxes

Tax Freedom Day comes a day later this year as Canadians’ tax burden rises

The Fraser Institute determined taxes rose 149.2 per cent after inflation in that time period, as average families in 1961 would have only paid $13,353 in present day dollars.

The comparison marks a significant shift in how family income was divided, the study shows, as the average family only used 33.5 per cent of income on taxes and was able to spend 56.5 per cent of it on the basic necessities. Ten per cent was devoted to other spending.

Lammam said it’s important for Canadians to know the 2014 tax rate would be even higher — 44.2 per cent — when government overspending in 2014 is taken into consideration.

“They were spending more than the total revenue brought in and the difference has been borrowed. Essentially this difference between taxes and spending is a deferred tax.”

Even without considering the upcoming federal election, Lammam said Canadians should use the information to determine whether they’re getting value for the amount being paid.

“Independent of what’s happening politically, I think it’s important for Canadians to be armed with the information that we provided. Armed with that knowledge, Canadian families can then decipher whether they’re getting good, great, or not so great value for what they’re paying.”

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Trading one piece of .... for another piece of ....!

Rob Wells has left a new comment on your post "Hey, you forgot the horse he rode into town on!":

The ticket is for allegedly "performing or engaging in any stunt or activity that is likely to distract, startle or interfere with users of the highway under section 115 of the the Highway Safety Act. This is a totally bogus allegation because the matter of car signs has been researched by former Edmonton Police lawyer Kim Armstrong who is now the Deputy Attorney General of Alberta, and Deputy Minister of Justice. The RCMP officer was just using this section to bully and intimidate me into removing my sign. I refused and he issued the ticket, so he'll have to fight me in court. My sign is protected under the freedom of expression of the Charter of Rights. When people are afraid to express themselves freely, we have a police state. 

Dear Mr. Wells:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeBlog.

Sounds like you've done your homework and have a very strong case.

If Earl "The Pearl" Cowan is to be believed all Harper dissenters are pieces of .... who should vote for another piece of .... !

Please keep CSB's readers apprised of your court challenge.

Best of luck,
Clare L. Pieuk

Earl Cowan: "Why you lying pieces of .... vote for another lying piece of ....!"

Conservative heckler identified

A hashtag labelling Conservative #AngryCon appeared online, a supporter for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper ripped into reporters after asking questions about the Mike Duffy trial.

Ben Spurr Staff Reporter
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

During a campaign stop in Etobicoke on Tuesday, a supporter for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper ripped into reporters after asking questions about the Mike Duffy trial.

A man who shouted profanities at reporters outside a campaign event for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper on Tuesday has refused to come forward to identify himself, but that hasn’t stopped users of social media from having some fun at his expense.

Jokes about the snowy-haired Conservative supporter who called journalists “lying pieces of s---!” started popping up online hours after footage of the encounter in the riding of Etobicoke-Centre was broadcast. A hashtag labelling him #AngryCon soon appeared, as did fake campaign posters urging people to “Vote for Harper You Lying Pieces of S---.”

When reporters asked for his name on Tuesday, the man told them to “go stuff” themselves. But six sources who spoke to the Star recognized him as Earl Cowan. Reached by phone, a man who said he was Cowan neither confirmed nor denied that he was the person who shouted at the journalists. “Why would I confirm anything?” he asked, over the course of an eight-minute interview. “I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”

Cowan said he wouldn’t make a statement unless the Star agreed to publish it “in its entirety” and without comment. The Star did not agree to those terms.

In a second interview that lasted almost 12 minutes, a reporter asked Cowan if he would like to set the record straight. “I have no record to set straight,” he said. “Whatever you’re talking about has nothing to do with me.”

“If I wrote anything for the Star,” he added, “the issue would be: is or is not the Toronto media a piece of s---. Excuse me, a lying piece of s---. I’m forgetting my own lines here . . . That’s the issue. That’s the only issue.”
Several sources identified a Conservative supporter who berated journalists Tuesday at a campaign function as Earl Cowan. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

With files from David Rider and David Bateman.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

God and Stephen Harper made me do it!

Up next .....

Hey, you forgot the horse he rode into town on!

'F_ ck Harper' sign leads to $543 fine for Edmonton man

Michelle Butterfield
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
An Alberta man has been slapped with a $543 fine after placing a bold political message targetting Tory Leader Stephen Harper in the back window of his car.

Rob Wells placed a hot pink sign reading "F*CK HARPER" in his hatchback recently, and was pulled over by RCMP Sunday, while driving near the city of Leduc.

Wells said he refused the officer's request to remove the sign.

"When I refused to let him trample on my Charter rights, he gave me a ticket," Wells wrote in a Facebook post. "I'll be pleading NOT GUILTY and raising a Charter right defense. I'll also be filing a complaint against the officer for political harassment."

Wells claims he vetted the sign with lawyers, who told him displaying the message is not illegal.
“I put a lot of thought in before I put a sign like that on my car," Wells told CTV News, adding that he has driven to British Columbia and back with the sign in place.

“Harper supporters are very offensive to me, so being offensive is not illegal in this country."

Wells, who lives in Edmonton, said he plans to fight the ticket, which was issued for distraction. It's the same charge used against a man who screamed vulgarities at a CBC Calgary reporter in May, reports VICE Canada.