Articles Tagged ‘Stephen Harper’

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Mark Bourrie’s Kill the Messengers “one of the most damning books ever written about a sitting prime minister”


It’s all about “the base,” that 30 per cent or so of voters who are on the right-leaning flank of the electorate, the people who can be counted on to support Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, as long as the prime minister continues to give them what they want. With that 30 per cent locked up, Harper only has to woo another 10 per cent of voters. In our multi-party, first-past-the-post system, winning 40 per cent of the vote at election time can be enough to form a majority.

The Mike Duffy Senate scandal was supposedly all about “the base,” according to the man at the centre of the expense controversy. Duffy told the Senate that he had a meeting with Harper and his then-chief of staff, Nigel Wright, soon after news reports surfaced alleging the senator had fudged his expense accounts.

“I said that despite the smear in the papers I had not broken the rules,” Duffy claims he told Harper and Wright. “But the prime minister wasn’t interested in explanations or the truth. It’s not about what you did. It’s the perception of what you did that has been created by the media. The rules are inexplicable to our base.”

Kill the Messengers hits bookstores Jan. 27

Kill the Messengers hits bookstores Jan. 27

In other words, the Conservative “base” would disapprove of Duffy living high on the hog at taxpayers’ expense, even if the senator had broken no rules. The verdict: Duffy had to go.

Now Duffy is hardly an unbiased person in this story. But his version of events plays into widespread attitudes about Stephen Harper — namely that, right or wrong, his main concern is to nurture that 30 per cent of the electorate.

Such sentiments are at the heart of Mark Bourrie’s tough, new book, Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know. The book paints Harper as ruthlessly attacking and even silencing journalists, scientists, judges, environmentalists, and intellectuals in a drive to remake Canada, rewrite our history, and keep the Conservatives in power. It is one of the most damning books ever written about a sitting prime minister.

Read the rest of this entry »

THE JESTER: Beware! The year is 2017 … Partisan ghost stories for politicians of every stripe

This article was originally published in the October 2014 print edition of Ottawa Magazine.


Justin Trudeau . Illustration by Alan King

Justin Trudeau . Illustration by Alan King

24 Sussex Drive, Halloween Night, 2014 — The Conservative cabinet gathers for its annual Halloween sleepover. Prime Minister Harper, sporting his standard grey “bedtime suit,” launches into a partisan ghost story:

“Beware! The year is 2017, and the ‘Trucair’ Liberal-NDP coalition government has destroyed the Canada we know and love.

“Prime Minister Trudeau has legalized marijuana, renovated the Peace Tower to look like a giant bong, and appointed Vancouver actor Seth Rogen as Governor General. Every Speech from the Throne now consists of a glassy-eyed, smirking Rogen eating Doritos and chuckling for 40 minutes straight. Oh, and our new national anthem is Neil Young’s ‘Roll Another Number (for the Road).’

“But things are even worse away from the Hill. The National War Memorial has been replaced with a statue depicting Trudeau’s knockout punch of Patrick Brazeau. Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Mulcair has passed a law requiring all men, women — and children — to have either a beard or a moustache and has replaced the caribou on the quarter with a unicorn. The Ministry of Finance has been rechristened the Ministry of Imagination. The ever-rising tax rate has closed the doors of just about any business that isn’t a marijuana shop or taco stand. Productivity is at an all-time low! Our perpetually stoned bureaucrats stay focused only on days where they’re promised a free pizza lunch. And on the international front, we stood powerless to prevent Trudeau from pirouetting behind the newly crowned King Charles and then opting to play his head like a bongo drum.

“Trudeau has also taken his control-freak antics to a whole new level by banning any future Liberal candidate who doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose whether to swoon or squeal whenever he enters the room.

“And that’s why Canadians need our treats, not Liberal and NDP tricks … .”

Meanwhile, at the Diefen-bunker The Liberals gather for a top-secret candle-lit meeting. Justin Trudeau makes a scary flashlight face before launching into a partisan ghost story:

Read the rest of this entry »

MONEY: Who Makes What?


Originally published in the October 2014 print edition of Ottawa Magazine as part of our Money Talks feature.

The pressure on professional athletes to perform is routinely dissected by deliverable. What if desk jockeys were paid this way? Ottawa Magazine pokes fun at our fascination with six-figure incomes by crunching the salaries — and output — of the city’s top earners.


ARTFUL BLOGGER:  New Elgin Street gallery will put a smile on Stephen Harper’s face

ARTFUL BLOGGER: A temporary portrait gallery fit for Emperor Stephen Harper

POLITICS CHATTER: Blaming the G-8 for the Prime Minister’s delusions of grandeur

THE ARTFUL BLOGGER: New book shines spotlight on a racist former governor general — and on the current prime minister

POLITICS CHATTER: Taking bets on Stephen Harper’s “Margaret Thatcher moment”

POLITICS CHATTER: When you’re short of enemies, there’s always the press to kick around

POLITICS CHATTER: History suggests that predictions of the Liberals’ demise may be a tad premature