CBC not nuanced in its moral equivalence

At issue: CBC.ca has an article that outlines a report from Amnesty International aboutCanada’s changed role as leader on human rights. The headline?

Amnesty slams Canada’s recent rights record

And how does the CBC describe the report?

Canada’s global reputation as a human rights champion has been eroded in recent years, according to a scathing Amnesty International report that doesn’t specifically name Stephen Harper’s Conservatives but raises frequent criticisms of foreign policy under the Tories.

Let’s look at how the CBC has reported other reactions from Amnesty international:

In Mubarek’s Egypt, we see “concern” expressed:

Hafez Abu Seda, president of the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights, said the suspects should be punished for “torture rather than ill treatment, because there is a huge difference.”

Amnesty International expressed concern Monday that witnesses in the trial could be harassed and urged the government to ensure their safety.

And according to the CBC, when else is Amnesty International “scathing” in it’s critique? When Amnesty describes Mexican justice system

Amnesty says it has evidence of Mexicans being tortured into confessing to crimes they didn’t commit. In a scathing assessment of the justice system here, Amnesty claims that those with money get better treatment than those who don’t have any.

When Amnesty describes “war crimes” in the Middle East:

Amnesty International issued a scathing report Thursday accusing Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during a 22-day conflict in the Gaza Strip last December and January.

Stephen Harper’s crime for being “slammed” in a “scathing” report according to the CBC? He defunded Kairos, won’t let Omar Khadr back in Canada, and supports Israel…

Here’s Amnesty’s report on Canada. Would you call it “scathing”? I didn’t read about any torture, domestic military incursion, or human rights abuses by our Canadian government.

Lately, the conversation among a few has been drifting into hyperbole and gross distortions. The last time Michael Ignatieff spoke about “regime change”, he was advocating the invasion of Iraq. Now he suggests we live under a word we’ve come to reserve for the governments of brutal dictators. We see actual human rights abuses in some of the most hopeless parts of the world under the most evil governments. Yet, the moral equivocators of the world speak in nuanced words to please dictators and describe policy discord of a rights organization with Canada’s government in the same tones it reserves (and neglects to use) for the same. Isn’t it about time we got back to our adult conversation?

Bloc Quebecois platform: pro-coalition if minority government formed

According to section 1.4.11 of the Bloc Quebecois platform:

“Dans l’éventualité d’un P arlement sans majorité parlementaire, le Bloc Québécois se réserve la possibilité de soutenir une coalition de partis politiques, et ce, dans la mesure où le respect des valeurs québécoises est garanti.”

“In the event of a Parliament with no majority, the Bloc Québécois reserves the right to support a coalition of political parties, as long as the respect of Quebec values is guaranteed” (p. 39)

Bloc Platform

Coalition agreement with Ignatieff’s signature disappears from Liberal.ca

In the past, whenever I needed to refer to the coalition agreement that members of the Liberal caucus signed, I could just go to Liberal.ca and find it. However, imagine my surprise when I tried to find it as an election looms in which Michael Ignatieff will be dogged daily by a question he seems to be unwilling to answer: that of a coalition with the other two parties if Stephen Harper should again win a plurality of seats in the House of Commons.

Here is a screenshot of http://www.liberal.ca/pdf/docs/081204_petition_Liberal.pdf as it appears today:

Here is a screenshot of http://www.liberal.ca/pdf/docs/081204_petition_Liberal.pdf from a cached version from May 2009:

And if anyone would like to access the document live, here it is:

Federal Budget 2011

I’ll be in the budget lockup for stakeholders in a few minutes. Peter Coleman and I will be going over the budget in detail and will be providing updates concerning our reaction on the budget. I’ll also be providing some colour in between details of the budget. Will news of nods to the NDP satiate Layton and give him reason to vote for the budget? Will details of corporate tax cuts and rosy fiscal projections be washed over by a raft of goodies (spending and credits) in what we may see as a “boutique budget”?

Where will the deficit be? Will we see it go further south than TD Bank’s $39.5B projection?

You can catch all of these updates easily by here by tuning in at 4pm EST.

Hit F5 to refresh this feed. Even faster updates here

Paging Jim Karygiannis…

In mid-January, Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis emailed Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson. His email is here,

Mary Dawson
Ethics Commissioner

Ms. Dawson

This is an email and a formal letter will follow in a few hours. I am watching the attack adds by the conservatives which is on the conservative party website called rising to the challenge.

It can also be seen on you tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6MAIELE3J0&feature=player_embedded

It has the prime minister walking down the corridor and up the stairs to the Prime Minister office in the House of Commons.

I thought that we as parliamentarians could not use the House of Commons as a prop for election and party purposes.

Although we are not in an election period just yet why is the prime minister allowed to do this.

I would ask that you please examine this and get back to me as this matter is one of a serious nature if the prime minister if breaking his own ethics rules.

Best Regards

Hon. Jim Karygiannis P.C., M.P.

The Liberal Party posted an ad today featuring Michael Ignatieff, but if you have an eagle eye, you’ll see that at 2:01 in the video, the opposition lobby of the House of Commons is clearly being used in partisan advertising by the Liberal Party. In fact, some NDP staffers have found themselves in the ad as well.

In the latest Ottawa dialog which Concerns All Canadians™, the use the Parliamentary resources for partisan gain is a favourite topic of the opposition and the media.

Liberals go “very ethnic”

The Liberal Party mocked and expressed fake outrage when a Conservative Party internal document came to light allegedly revealing Conservative ethnic outreach strategy. Liberals pounced upon Conservative language that described outreach to “very ethnic” areas. Of course, Liberals want you to believe that only they are enlightened representatives of Canada and its diverse peoples while Conservatives argue that their party seeks to represent the values of new Canadians.

Representation of ethnic identity vs. representation of values; this is the dichotomy between the Liberals and Conservatives when it comes to reaching out to accessible votes from new Canadians.

Let’s look to Michael Ignatieff’s over-the-top wishy-washy moral superiority reflected in his tweet about revelations that Conservatives are “targeting” new Canadians for constituent outreach,

Jason Kenney sees certain communities as “very ethnic”. Liberals see them as “very Canadian” #cdnpoli #lpc

And now, here’s a Liberal Party media alert describing an event Michael Ignatieff attended yesterday,

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to visit Etobicoke and Markham on Working Families Tour

For a copy of the tour itinerary, please see: http://lpc.ca/wf2media

Event: Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan to meet with Sikh community members. Media availability to follow.

Time: Media availability to follow at 2:00 PM.

Sikh Spiritual Centre
9 Carrier Dr.
Etobicoke, ON

One presumes that Michael Ignatieff’s press release meant to describe his meeting with “very Canadian” community members.

However, we see that Michael Ignatieff too recognizes the value of ethic community outreach despite his previous awkward pronouncement about being of a different mind with respect to voter and constituent contact.

Let’s be clear. There are strategies by both major parties to reach out to new Canadians, however, one difference is evident in each approach. While the Liberals have traditionally considered different ethnic identities as boxes to check, Conservatives are instead speaking to the values of these communities.

That is why the recent slip from multiculturalism (interculturalism?)/youth critic Justin Trudeau is going to be mercilessly pounced upon by Conservatives this week,

The federal Liberal immigration critic agrees that so-called “honour killings” are barbaric, but Justin Trudeau says he doesn’t want the practice described in such a “pejorative” way in Canada’s citizenship guide.

He fears it’s too judgemental.

and the Conservative response late this evening,

If Not ‘Barbaric’, How Would the Ignatieff-Liberals Describe Honour Killings?

We believe that the Ignatieff-Liberals opposition to calling ‘honour killings’ barbaric is unacceptable. If not barbaric, we ask them, what word would they use to describe ‘honour killings’?

Despite reluctance from Trudeau, we make no apologies for letting immigrant women know their rights.

While Liberals twist themselves into pretzels to foolishly subscribe to a bizarre moral and cultural equivalence, Conservatives make themselves clear on their view of Canadian values, indeed values they believe to be in common with new Canadians.