Updates from February, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:11 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Everyone has their own idea how to reform or break up the AMT or redistribute transit roles among agencies and levels of government.

     
  • Kate 19:08 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Rosemont rents went up by 25% over 2005-2010 at a time when Régie guidelines would’ve allowed for a 4.6% increase.

     
    • Alison Cummins 07:18 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Not quite. From examples in the article, the increase seems more along the lines of 8%.

      The 25% figure seems to apply only to the 728 rent increases that renters were worried enough about to contact Le Comité logement de la Petite-Patrie.

      Even there, it’s an overestimate. They added up the increases they saw for individual renters each year to come up with an estimate for the borough, but that’s not justified by their sampling system.

      You’ve been happily renting away, paying an annual $5 increase or sometimes none at all for the past ten years. Your nice landlord sells in 2005 and I, your evil landlord, buy the building and promptly serve you with a rent increase of $100. You go to the comité for help and you become one of their 2005 statistics: rent increase of 25%. You didn’t complain in 2004; in 2005 you successfully contested the rent increase and paid only an 8% increase; and while your rent went up a little more than the recommended rate in 2006-10, an average of 4% per year, you’ve decided to live with it.

      In 2006 I buy your neighbour’s place. Same story. She goes to the Comité, who duly note a rent increase of 25% for 2006.

      In 2007 I buy your ex’s place, and you are happy thinking that we deserve one another. Same story. The comité now has a 25% data point for 2007.

      When the comité adds up their individual data points, they determine that rents have increased by a whopping 75% increase in just three years! Except that nobody in this case actually paid a 75% increase. Three different people were served with 25% increases and they all successfully contested. Over the course of those three years, the greatest total increase was 17%. Still a lot, but not nearly 75%.

      Even if I assume that nobody successfully contested, we’re still talking only a 35% increase over those three years.

      If I really wanted to make a point, I’d go back and include the seven previous years you’d been paying a 1.5% increase.

      Anyway. People throwing nonsense figures together to tell a story. I hate that: it discredits a perfectly good story about housing stock, changing neighborhoods and people with nowhere to go.

      If you (the comité) don’t think the truth is compelling enough, you would know. I’ll ignore you.

      So just bring out the unembellished figures why don’t you, and explain why they matter and who’s affected. Use your expertise to develop our understanding.

      [end vent]

    • Martin 09:00 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Hi Alison, your worries are legitimate, but these figures are also legitimate. They are confirmed by similar figures in neighbourhoods that are experiencing heavy gentrification, in Montreal, or any other place in the world. Take for instance statistics published by the census tracts, or by the SMHC, and you will see over a 10 year span average increases around 3-4% per year in Montreal. Now that is an average for the island; it thus makes sense that in a sector under heavy speculation, such as La Petite Patrie, the increases are more important. Disclosure: I work for the comité logement that produced these stats. Thanks to Kate for bringing up this article.

    • Robert J 09:06 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      The thing about apartments is that its often preferable to make a compromise and stay on good terms with your landlord than to go to the Régie. Even if you win your case, the landlord will probably try and make life miserable for you in other ways. Plus, do you really want to rent from someone who you have a conflict with?

      If the landlord doesn’t take care of the building, whether or not he decides to increase the rent, your quality of life is going to go steadily down year by year. So rather than creating a conflict, you’re often best to try to get the guy as a reference and just move out (most landlords will do this, but none will if you start a legal battle).

      This is also in the interest of renters to some degree. You want a picky landlord who won’t rent to just anyone, because you want to live in a building that has more permanent residents (=more stability, better repairs, better relationship with the landlord). Slumlords make money by maintaining a high turnover in what would otherwise be low profit-margin properties, renting indiscriminately to a dodgy clientèle they can easily fraud and evict.

    • Jack 09:18 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Hi I couldn’t link to who produced those stats.Thanks Alison you did a tremendous job deconstructing what are simply anomalies. Martin thanks for admitting who you work for, I will look at your statistical construct the same way I look at any organization that has a vested interest in what they produce, like the Fraser Institute, A.E.I,etc. etc. Martin one question I have who pays the rent and salaries for the comitee des logements on the island?

    • Martin 10:14 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Hi Jack, these stats are not simple anomalies. The kind of anomalies that Alison worries about are theoretical and her worries are thus legitimate in a theoretical sense. But in practice, rents are raising faster than inflation, from whichever way you look at it. I know where you come from and I know you worry about landlords making a profit, but making a profit is no reason for impoverishing others. And I also know it is possible to meet both desires: making a reasonable profit and not impoverishing tenants. But the fact is that tenants are being unjustly squeezed in the last 10 years, a fact that is confirmed by many independent studies and by most if not all governmental agencies working on the matter. And please, don’t throw mud in the water by asking rhetorical questions about our salaries and rents. The Comité logements are highly respected by community organizations in Montreal and Quebec, you won’t find anything of interest here. Our vested interests, as you want to call our social commitments, is defending the poor and poorests. If you really want to know, most of the money comes from groups like Centraide and a smaller part from governmental programmes.

    • Alison Cummins 11:09 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Martin,

      Thanks for replying.

      I’m not saying your cause is not worthy or that there isn’t a problem or that rents are not increasing faster than inflation.

      The reason the bad math annoys me is that *I want you to look good.*

      The way your math is presented in the Journal makes you look bad, as though somebody thought that good intentions justifed blowing smoke, or possibly that you have someone with no training in statistics reporting your statistics. Both of those conclusions are credibility-killers. The way the article suggests the information was collected does not enable you to present it the way you did. If you don’t have the data to support a blanket statement about rents (which you don’t appear to) then don’t act like you do. If you do have it, present it clearly. Tell the story that is supported by the data, don’t twist the data to tell a story you think is more dramatic-sounding.

      Disclosure: I genuinely am an evil landlord in La Petite Patrie. I need to raise rents to cover my costs. I raised them aggressively for the first five years, but then a tenant moved out so we were able to renovate that apartment and rent it out for more than double the previous rent. This means we don’t have to raise rents on the others the same way any more. Ideally one other tenant would move out and we could have two high-rent tenants subsidizing two low-rent tenants, which feels like a good compromise to me. One of our tenants is a retiree and I want to be able to provide a home for her for as long as she needs it, which I can’t do if I have to raise her rent faster than her pension income increases. Still, that means two fewer low-rent apartments available in the neighbourhood and a change in the character of the neighbourhood.

    • Jack 12:44 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Thanks Martin,
      I am an evil landlord too and I think what irks is living in a place like Villeray, near the Market and having long term tenants ( who are super nice people!). Who you refer to as being ” unjustly squeezed” , they have seen their rents explode at less than the rate of inflation and in no correlation to exploding municipal.school and insurance costs.The idea that I make a substantial “profit” being a resident landlord is a joke. I respect your work and agree that the least amongst us should be protected and have a voice. sometimes that voice is a two income couple( Quebec Civil Service) paying $ 13 a day for their housing.

    • Martin 13:52 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Alison, the journalist made an error in reporting the stats. In fact, it was 728 increases only for the year 2010, a similar number than previous years. The sampling cases are thus 5 times higher than the one suggested by the article. Another thing is that these stats are important to state since they are local, and supplement other stats that are publicly available for everyone. I wouldn’t say therefore that it is bad math. It’s a good portrait of a bigger picture.

      And to both Alison and Jack: I never said you are evil. I have no idea where you got that in my reply, as well as in the article itself, which pointed at a bigger structural problem, in part because rental housing stock is in diminution – the journal in which the article was printed had 3 articles on housing in Rosemont Petite Patrie – and in part because of gentrification – a problem that both your replies never addressed. Sure, there exists owners who behave correctly. Nobody said there wasn’t any.

    • Alison Cummins 18:55 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Martin,

      No, you didn’t say I was evil! The “evil landlord” is a conventional figure in english, and I often call myself that because I understand that this is my position in relation to my tenants, even though I would like to think of myself as a nice person and even though I care about where and how “my” tenants live.

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound defensive. As long as everyone else was offering full disclosure, I wanted to disclose honestly as well: I am a landlord, which like it or not can put me in conflict with the interests of my tenants. (Thus, I am the “evil landlord.”) As you say, sometimes the problems are structural and I am simply the available target for bitter complaints about things I can’t do anything about. (Yep, the “evil landlord” is me.)

      I agree that the rate of rent increase is a problem, and while you didn’t say so, I am part of the problem. When I sit in a McDonald’s with an old guy who lived all his life in La Petite Patrie but has had to move into a highrise in St-Michel where he’s afraid of the gangs, I think of my shiny renovated apartment that I rented out to two shiny childless young people from the suburbs for twice the rent that he used to pay to live in the same neighbourhood.

      The math is still bad. It’s not primarily a question of sample size, it’s the sampling method where your sample consists entirely of people who are sufficiently worried about their rent increases to contact you. My “theoretical worry” above is based on this criticism.

      According to the article: «les hausses enregistrées dans Rosemont par le comité logement sont de 3,8 % en 2011, 4 % en 2010 et de 9,8 % en 2009.» That is, people are reporting being worried about smaller rent increases today than they were three years ago. I see no reason to doubt this data, and can think of several possible explanations:

      1) Maybe rent increases are smaller now than they were two years ago. Maybe landlords have less money to do renovations, so can’t justify increases; maybe there are fewer new owners desperately trying to recover costs; maybe people are poorer and landlords don’t even try to increase rents the way they did just two years ago. Maybe tenants aren’t moving as much, creating less opportunity for large rent increases.

      2) Maybe rent increases are smaller now than they were two years ago, but only as an artifact. Maybe the nicer, larger apartments have been converted into condos and have dropped out of your rental unit statistics. Maybe your data this year just reflect the people staying in small apartments, not moving into somewhere aspirational.

      3) Maybe the average rent increase this year is the same as it was two years ago (or even larger), but two years ago only people with big increases went to you. Maybe people are so strapped for cash that even the smallest rent increase is a problem. This year everyone’s going to you no matter what the increase was because every penny counts.

      4) Maybe the average rent increase this year is the same as it was two years ago (or even larger) and people are no richer or poorer than they were two years ago, but maybe you’ve been able to promote your services more actively. You have a new, easy-to use website and more people have web access than they did two years ago. So whereas two years ago you only saw very distressed people who sought you out, this year you are seeing people who are less distressed but think there’s no harm in contesting.

      5) Maybe the average rent increase this year is larger than it was two years ago, because yuppies are moving in from the Plateau. They’re used to paying huge rents so their landlords take advantage and jack the rents up as much as they dare. The yuppies don’t contest, they’re just happy because they are still paying less than they used to. The people contesting are the ordinary working-class folk in small apartments with small rent increases.

      Because there are so many different ways to explain the variation in rent increase that people have been going to you with, it’s not possible to simply add up the average increases that people report to you in each year and say that overall, rents have increased 17.6% (which is also wrong, by the way: it should be 18.5% because you don’t use straight addition for percentages) in three years.

      I’m not denying that rents have increased. I’m just saying that the data you collected in the way you did can tell an interesting story, but it can’t tell the story that the article says it does. For that story you need data collected in a different way.

      For instance, your data show that the average rent increase your clientele complained about in 2011 was 3.8%. This compares with the 5.5% average increase estimated by the SCHL for RPP.

      That sounds to me like a terrible story about an expanding gap between rich and poor. If you let the SCHL estimate the averages, you can tell a more complex story by comparing your data thoughtfully. So do that.

      Simply adding your percentages up on a calculator is bad math.

    • Martin 22:37 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      Thanks for your long reply Alison and I would only add two small things. I myself have been from the start quite reluctant about using these numbers the way they were reported, for the reasons you stated, but they really tell the right story and in the end, the reporter wanted that story. I will however keep in mind your arguments for better research, as it’s in the end what I strongly believe in.

  • Kate 18:50 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Two valuable old tchotchkes were nicked from the Museum of Fine Arts last fall. La Presse has images of both items and video of the person thought to be the thief. A reward is offered.

     
  • Kate 14:50 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The dismantling of the Shell refinery in the east end began in January and is continuing. So pretty at night, yet so stinky, it had been operating in that location since 1933.

     
    • Robert J 18:11 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I hope they’ll be able to clean up the site and eventually build housing or something. Its pretty dirty though…

    • Kate 18:13 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I expect the site will be used for big storage tanks like you see all along Sherbrooke out there. It’s not a very attractive part of town to live in, although iirc Montréal-Est has a population around 3000.

    • Robert J 18:18 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Yeah, its a weird trade-off. Some people are willing to live next to that stuff to pay super-low property-taxes. Montréal-Est is kind of an anomaly as far as the enclaves go. A few years back they tried to offer a free downtown bus shuttle to all their residents and the STM shot it down (kind of too bad for people who voted against merger and have a fairly pro-active municipal government).

      In the long-run, you’d hope that there wouldn’t be that kind of polluting industry on the island, but on the other hand it does make a city authentic to have so real industry and for the time being it has to be somewhere.

    • Kate 19:06 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Should’ve looked it up: at the 2006 census, 3,822 people lived in Montréal-Est.

      I remember that thing about the shuttle. I can see the point of not having a patchwork of third-worldy bus shuttles on the island, but on the other hand I bet it was pretty damn handy if you lived out there.

  • Kate 14:46 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The occupation of a McGill administrative building ended Sunday with a new official protocol about demonstrations on campus. But student dissent is in the air, with many university students preparing strikes and demonstrations over the next few weeks.

    Later note: A first wave of a general student strike marched from UQÀM to McGill Tuesday afternoon, and further demos are to be expected.

     
  • Kate 13:29 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Spacing looks at the perennial issue of the CP tracks between Petite-Patrie and Mile End and resident desire (if not demand) for better legal crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. Good comments too.

     
  • Kate 13:25 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Montréalités urbaines has a video on 150 years of the history of public transit which I somehow missed seeing before.

     
  • Kate 10:29 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has a small dossier today on potential candidates for the 2013 municipal election. Will Gérald Tremblay run for a fourth term in 2013? Several people have said a firm no to the possibility of running, while a few others are flirting with the idea. There’s even the way-out-there possibility of someone getting elected to the mayoralty on their own merits without a party, which is perfectly legal, but virtually impossible.

    I think I could get behind Denis Coderre as mayor, even if it means he might be too busy to keep up his Twitter play-by-plays of Canadiens games.

     
    • PierreB 11:20 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Franchement, je ne comprends pas l’intérêt portée à la candidature de Denis Coderre. Les élections sont l’an prochain et je n’ai aucune information concernant ses opinions sur les enjeux et les défis montréalais. Mais à quoi bon pourrait ressembler la mairie sous son règne ? Il devrait prendre position rapidement et dévoiler ses idées sans quoi il passera pour un opportuniste.

    • ant6n 12:05 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Besides some ‘anger issues’, what’s wrong with Bergeron?

    • Kate 13:37 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I like Bergeron and Projet but I’m not confident that enough people are ever going to support his views on the car’s place in the city to make him mayor.

      I do agree we don’t know enough about Coderre’s views on Montreal’s issues. I think my tendency to approve of him is based on 2 things: he’s a seasoned politician and a fairly tough guy, and this city needs someone like that to stand up to the Quebec government – and he seems to have a certain joie de vivre.

    • qatzelok 13:40 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      @ Kate “I’m not confident that enough people are ever going to support his”
      So you want to vote for a winner, and not the candidate who reflects your own points of view?

    • Kate 13:49 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      You make a good point. Do you choose the candidate who truly represents your views, or do you back the candidate whose history and views you can mostly stomach but who looks more likely to win? I don’t think you can generalize on this – you won’t know till we know more particulars, and November 2013 is a long way off yet.

      Anyway, I did say “could” – Coderre isn’t even running yet. Let’s just say the idea of him running for mayor tends to please me, which god knows Michael Fortier – another potential candidate mentioned in the same article – does not.

    • Robert J 14:01 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I don’t think that Projet can get votes outside of the densely populately central arrondissements (Plateau, Rosemont, Sud-Ouest, maybe Lasalle or Lachine). I might vote for a strong Projet candidate for borough mayor or councilor, but probably not for mayor as it stands.Their whole way of operating so far is based on the decentralized borough system, and I think they do it well, but I’d like to see a slightly less decentralized city, and they haven’t said much on that front (they are supposed to come up with a more thorough platform for next election so we’ll see– maybe they’ve yet to impress me).

      As it stands, language issues still define city politics. Many people in Park-Ex, St-Michel, St-Léonard, or more anglo boroughs vote for Union Montreal because they think of it as a party that defends minorities. People from Hochelaga or Pointe-aux-Trembles vote for Vision because they see it as a party of francophones. Neither group openly campaigns with those labels but both carry those associations.

      Getting rid of the party system would probably lessen the linguistic divisions in the political scene, as mayors would have to run on their personalities and the strength of their platform rather than the party image (which is more easily associated with specific demographics). This is what Georges Bossé would like do, but then again, he was involved in lobbying for developers in Griffintown, is like 68, and has a history with the mergers that can only create more division (I would hate to see him and Harel face off over that stale issue).

      Coderre seems like a strong leader and is a young candidate with fresh ideas, but we’ll have to see how the party structure holds up for the next election (what party would he lead?). Vision may not be around for the next round because of its debt, and Union’s getting kind of old… if Bergeron wants to appear more viable as a candidate he should be the first to present his platform.

    • ant6n 14:16 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      “I don’t think that Projet can get votes outside of the densely populately central arrondissements (Plateau, Rosemont, Sud-Ouest, maybe Lasalle or Lachine).”

      They also have decent chances in CDN/NDG, Hochelaga/Maisonneuve, Villeray/St Michel/Parc Ex, and Ahuntsic-Cartierville (where they actually got a mayor in 2009).

      That’s like 2/3 of Montreal by population.

    • Robert J 15:05 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Like I said, I’d love to see them prove me wrong.

    • David Tighe 16:00 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I think the last thing we need is another ex-politician for mayor. They may posture in public but in private they cut their own deals. Rather we need somebody who knows what a decent city should be like and has the integrity to fight for it.

    • Kate 17:47 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      That’s kind of a contradiction, though. You can’t get to be mayor of a large city without politicking – engaging in a certain amount of quid-pro-quo, at least. Now and then something like the NDP’s orange wave sweeps a few complete newbies into office, but if any of those MPs survives to run in another election, they will have grown some calluses and learned some unwritten rules and – well, turned themselves into politicians, to put it simply.

      To get an apex role like mayor of Montreal unfortunately you need to have a big war chest and a lot of support among influential people. In short, you need to be a politician.

    • Robert J 18:13 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      What is promising about Coderre is that he has political experience but no direct ties to past conflicts in the municipal arena (mergers, real estate deals, etc.)… at least not that I know of. He’s also fairly young.

  • Kate 10:06 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Just have to give kudos to Steve Faguy for his blog’s fifth birthday. He’s done well from specializing in media topics over the last couple of years.

     
  • Kate 09:59 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Transport minister Pierre Moreau says the AMT must change radically or die as he launches a new “mobility” idea.

     
    • Steve Quilliam 10:14 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Please let it die and divide it’s ressources amongst the STM, the ministère des transports and the cities. Hopefully it can also save some money for an eventual tax cut !!! Yeah right !

    • Bert 11:45 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      While the AMT might be mis-managed or might be mis-managing things, splitting it up will just break things in to little cliques and go downhill from there. Mayor Tremblay will want to implement tolls on the train bridges and people will need their own transponders.

      The idea of a single managing body is ideal. The execution by this body leaves to be desired.

    • ant6n 12:11 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Large transport associations work well in Germany, some of them are huge. They are mostly concerned with an integrated ticketing system and revenue sharing across all the transit agencies; do some planning and other than that basically contract out the actual transit to the transit agencies and/or operators.

      Maybe the AMT should concentrate on integrated ticketing, revenue sharing, and planning, and put the commuter rail in another subdivision. Maybe then we’d have less agency turf issues as well.

    • Robert J 13:18 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I think the most important division to make is between the AMT and the STM. Montreal, Laval, and Longueuil’s bus and metro service should be handled by the STM. The AMT should handle the CITs, regional links and commuter trains. The province should in control of the AMT’s area of expertise (interregional transit) while the cities (Montreal, Laval, and Longeuil- these 3 cities have big enough transit commissions to be more independant from the province) should have more direct control over the STM. City transit and rural transit should stay separate, but people should be able to use the same tickets to get to the suburbs.

    • qatzelok 13:42 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      In a corrupt political environment such as ours, the AMT would be crucified in order to facilitate corruption. I don’t know why so many people are buying into the commercial media story.

    • Kate 13:55 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I don’t know if other places are like this. Living here we have to cope with (and pay for) Quebec duplicating federal services on top of Canadians generally having to live with the provinces sparring for powers with the feds. Then we have a province that chronically exercises its will at the expense of its biggest city. Then there’s the arrondissement system that’s been broken from the beginning, and then there’s having different transit agencies that seemingly can’t reconcile over delivering what should be seamless services to the public.

      How much human effort is wasted, how much tax money goes up in smoke, over these things?

    • qatzelok 21:53 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      I agree with you, Kate, that the duplication of services is probably a bad thing. But I t hink it ought to be Canada that gets “put down.” What is Canada’s function exactly, other than enabling American wars, signing free trade deals with human rights abusing nations, and ensuring that oil companies do as they please with Mother Nature?

  • Kate 09:08 on 2012/02/14 Permalink | Reply  

    These are the depths to which our political discourse has sunk: defenders of online privacy are aligning themselves with child pornographers, according to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Commentary from a Globe & Mail editorialist. Michael Geist on smearing privacy advocates. Petition.

     
    • Ian 09:13 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      What, opponents to Con legislation accused of being weak on crime? Unpossible! I’m surprised Toews forgot to accuse online privacy advocates of being pro-terrorism, too.

    • James 10:47 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I’m not sure I will feel comfortable commenting on anything political if this goes through. Not that that’s a big loss for you all but I did enjoy reading many of your comments on this blog and I wonder if you all would feel the same. I’m not trying to be alarmist but I feel like the amount of money it takes to make a database of everyone’s stance on hot political issues, where if we are against the government’s current stance we are considered pro-child pornography or pro-terrorism, I don’t think it’s a good idea to post about it. I know that horror stories where people have had problems based on what they said at borders are rare but who knows what the future holds. And not to mention, these databases don’t necessarily expire as far as I know, so I could be a geriatric and have my words used against me. OK [/paranoia]

    • James 10:49 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Er in my paranoid rant I kind of became unable to make sentences that make sense, what I meant to say is that it’s so cheap to collect data on people that I don’t doubt they can make a decent database on a person easily.

    • walkerp 10:52 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      What about all those records from the long bill registry that the Harper government is so desperate to destroy to protect Canadians’ privacy? What if there are some child pornographers who own rifles?

    • Kate 10:52 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Yes, it has occurred to me that if things get perceptibly worse in Canada, merely keeping this blog will have me marked down as an enemy of the regime. But you know what? Putting our heads down and not speaking up is not going to help.

    • Charles 12:15 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      I found it eerie that since Harper has been in government, he has followed every decision that George W Bush has made (cutting funding to foreign clinics that provide information on abortion, one sided and unconditional support for Israel, heavy reliance on oil production, etc), uses the same tactics and arguments (sometimes word for word), etc. Is there a neo-con, born again christian politics manual out there that he’s following?

    • James 12:36 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      this is one manual that was (apparently) influential in the USA:
      http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/FreeCongressEssay.html

      or skip to the highlights: http://www.theocracywatch.org/yurica_weyrich_manual.htm

    • Anto 13:03 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Well I usually hate this kind of sentence, but here goes: If you censor yourself for fear of later consequences, then Harper has truly won.

    • mdblog 13:16 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      Harper is an evangelical Christian so it’s fitting that his policies have been in line with GWB.

    • qatzelok 13:45 on 2012/02/14 Permalink

      @ Charles “he has followed every decision that George W Bush has made”
      The reason Harper “decides” the same things as W is because they’re both just avatars for the same group of private interests. That’s what 30% of Canadians voted for: a happy face mask on top of corporate fascism.

    • Tux 09:23 on 2012/02/15 Permalink

      They’ve got printable post cards to protest this over at http://sendvictoewsavalentine.ca/ – postage is free! It’s an easy way to protest that I think will speak much louder to the grey-haired technophobes in Ottawa than any online petition.

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