On the eve of another Canadian federal election, WIKILEAKS (the famed whistle-blowing website) has released 1,800 cables relating to Canada with a promise of 1,000s more soon to follow.
So what do these cables reveal if anything?
The most prevalent information to be gleamed from these cables is something that most Canadians already knew: that Stephen Harper really, really liked former US president George W. Bush and tried his best to implement as many US Republican corporate values/policies into as many Canadian laws as he could (another reason why a minority government is not always a bad thing) but in reality, the cables show that the US State Dept. really wasn’t all that impressed with Mr. Harper…
Here are some early headlines based on these 1,800 cables relating to Canada:
- US embassy questions legitimacy of Harper budget!
“The Canadian government’s plan to eliminate the nation’s budget deficit and return to pre-recession growth rates by 2015 without cutting spending or raising taxes is leaving some economists scratching their heads. Ottawa observers suggest that the optimistic forecast is an attempt by the Harper government to bolster support for its economic recovery plan in anticipation of a possible autumn election…” » read full cable
- Harper promised Bush to introduce US style copyright law!
“US remains frustrated by the Government of Canada’s continuing failure to introduce – let alone pass – major copyright reform legislation that would, inter alia, implement and ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties. Several recent factors compound this frustration, including the fact that: — the Prime Minister told the President last August that Canada would pass copyright legislation”
- US, Harper government on how to spin “Oil Sands”
“Both industry and the Government of Canada are clearly concerned about the mixed message the oil sands send and difficult headlines Indeed Goldwyn happened to arrive on the heels of a well-publicized shut down of Shell’s Albian Sands mine by Greenpeace activists. NRCan and CAPP are both spending considerable time ruminating over the best approach to advocate on behalf of the oil sands.”
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears determined to sit tight, especially given a noticeable lack of public interest in the issue. The more the opposition demands MacKay’s resignation, the more likely PM Harper will keep MacKay in place. The government’s public support remains steady, and still significantly higher than the Official Opposition Liberal Party. However, with three separate investigations into the detainee issue now ongoing, or pending, the government necessarily remains in damage-control mode, and will continue to be dogged by the controversy into 2010…”
- US concerned over Harper’s failure to resolve Aboriginal land claims
“Slow progress on self-government and land claims pose ongoing human rights challenges. As long as Canada lacks a clear legal definition of aboriginal titles and rights, effective mechanisms to resolve First Nations grievances in a timely manner will remain elusive…”
Conservatives Unofficial Policy: Don’t Trust Anybody Under 30!
“The Conservatives were also narrowly split on whether to create a youth wing along the lines of the former Progressive Conservative Youth, or the current Young Liberals of Canada. The confused process called for delegates to vote for one of three options, and the status quo (i.e. no youth wing) was selected…”
“The new balance of power allows the Prime Minister to put a Conservative stamp on the institution now, while also ensuring a strong Conservative influence for years to come.”
- US Ambassador says Harper a hypocrite on crime
“Although PM Harper continues to criticize sentencing provisions in Canada that permit terrorists and criminals, including at least one convicted “Toronto 18″ terrorist, to obtain enhanced sentencing credit for time served in pre-trial custody, Parliament actually passed a government bill to end in-custody credit in October 2009. The government, for its own as-yet-undisclosed reasons, will not enact it until February”
- Harper advisor calls for the Assassination of Assange (video)
- US on Harper Senate Stacking:
“Prime Minister Harper named 18 new Senators on December 22, the largest one-time appointment of senators in Canadian history. The appointments are a major about-face for the Prime Minister and the Conservatives, who had long pledged to transform the Senate into an elected body instead of appointing new members as vacancies occurred. The holiday season will ensure that the unexpected move receives only modest public attention (or criticism), but the timing reinforces perceptions that the Prime Minister fears that the present parliament may not last long.”
and this odd diplomatic cable that shows the US interest in a fringe UFO cult that operates in Quebec:
- US embassay worried about Quebec UFO cult:
“THE FOLLOWING IS SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE MONTREAL-BASED RAELIAN GROUP, WHOSE MEMBER DR. BRIGITTE BOISSELIER ANNOUNCED AT A DECEMBER 27 PRESS CONFERENCE IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA THE BIRTH OF THE FIRST CLONED HUMAN BEING, A 7 POUND BABY GIRL NICKNAMED EVE. AND ITS TWO MAIN FIGURES LEADER CLAUDE VORILHON, BETTER KNOWN AS RAEL, AND DR. BOISSELIER. ONE LIKELY RESULT OF THE BOISSELIER ANNOUNCEMENT IS THAT CANADA’S PENDING LEGISLATION TO BAN HUMAN CLONING COULD CONTAIN STRICTER RESTRICTIONS.”
I’ll try to update this post as often as I can as more Canadian leaks are revealed… stay tuned!