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Speak out against Harper’s budget. Canada Budget Cuts: Conservative MPs Coping With Budget Cuts Upon Return From Summer Stints In Ridings. OTTAWA - The Conservative caucus meets for the first time Monday since Parliament packed up for the summer, but the catching-up chatter won't all be about cottages and barbecues. Many MPs have had to cope all season with the fallout from last spring's budget cuts, some of which hit local services in areas such as train travel, the coast guard and interior waterways. The lobbying has been going on hard in some cases to try and mitigate the impact of the decisions on constituents. Barry Devolin and several of his Ontario colleagues have been dealing with the announced cuts to the operating season for the Trent-Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal. The MPs managed to persuade Environment Minister Peter Kent to hold off on cutting short the season this year and start a consultation on how best to deal with the budget limitations on the waterways.

They delivered a proposal in late August. "Very often the conversation would turn to: if we're going to fix this, why don't we really fix it? Budget 2012 cuts hit hard. 24 Hours Ottawa e-edition. Ottawa to slash environment review role - Politics. The federal government is reducing the number of departments and agencies that can do environmental reviews from 40 to just three to speed up approvals for projects that will bolster Canada's economy, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said today.

Expanding on plans announced in the March 29 budget, Oliver on Tuesday laid out the specifics of the Conservative government's major overhaul of environmental assessments, aimed at speeding up what the minister labelled a "duplicative, cumbersome and uncertain" process. The moves are sure to please companies that have long complained of a lengthy, costly review process, citing previous major projects that have taken almost a decade to gain approval. But the measures were immediately condemned by opposition MPs and environmental groups, which said the Harper government's push for "streamlining" was merely code for gutting Canada's environmental assessment process.

Do you agree with Ottawa's overhaul of the environmental review process? Third Choice < Campaigns | PSAC. Giant squirrel wreaks mild Canadian-style havoc. Posted by Claire | 30-04-2012 18:46 | Category: Government The latest video in the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s (PSAC) online campaign against cutbacks to the public sector features a giant squirrel gently trashing a science lab. When I first saw these videos I thought the squirrel was representing disease spread by squirrels throughout the Canadian wilderness due to reckless cutbacks to programs … Great, deadly squirrel disease, one more thing to worry about!

As you watch carefully, it becomes clear the squirrel represents the federal government’s threatened cuts to public services. Is the squirrel supposed to be Prime Minister Harper himself or just his malevolent paladin? Click “read more” for more furry critter action … PSAC is one of Canada’s largest unions, representing more than 172,000 employees in Canada. The Third Choice campaign began in December, with new bilingual videos continually released on YouTube. Giant Squirrel wrecks office Giant Squirrel + Ground Beef = Sick. Not Our Budget. Zach Paikin: If Harper Isn't Reducing Debt, What Is He Doing? I've got a bit of a theory. Bear with me here. Certain political commentators in Canada have put forward the proposition that the Harper government has at times resorted to unethical practices because the ends justify the means. The Tories supposedly believe that the ends justify the means because -- according to them -- the media, bureaucracy and judiciary are all stacked against them and hence they have to take "short cuts" in order to achieve their fundamental goals.

Question, however: What are these ends? Are they policy-related? My sense is that they once were. In order to win power, Harper had to compromise on some of his major principles. Compromising meant not only attempts to weed out the radical fringe -- a fringe whose outspokenness cost Harper the 2004 election -- but also moving away from fiscal conservatism. Harper has been constantly at pains to prove to Canadians that he isn't the right-wing radical that that the Liberals had said he was in the 1990s and early 2000s. Solidarity Against Austerity. Marches, rallies mark May Day across Canada | CTV Ottawa. May Day marches merged with protests against major financial institutions in cities across North America Tuesday, marking the most significant protest action in many areas since the Occupy movement cooled last fall. In Seattle, demonstrations turned violent when a group of about 50 black-clad protesters broke away from the main May Day group, and began vandalizing property in the city core.

Employing Black Bloc tactics, police said the group then shed their black clothing and melted back into the main group as officers attempted to coral them after the 30-minute burst of violence. The vandalism prompted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to make a special declaration that allowed officers to confiscate items that could be used as weapons. In Oakland, California, police used tear gas to disperse crowds that blocked intersections in the city core in a bid to create a general strike.

A total of 19,200 positions are being cut as the government tries save $5.2 billion. With files from The Canadian Press.