The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL: black_rod_usher@yahoo.com

Monday, March 04, 2013

NDP plans to hit resource companies with a "sharing tax"


Last week was Freedom To Read Week in Canada, and we were, you guessed it, reading---the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Just for a break, someone decided to clear the email. What he discovered was more shocking than Anastasia Steele in bondage and begging for it 'rough'.

It was a government press release on a ban to peat mining in provincial parks. Hardly heart-pounding stuff, you say. The last time we even thought of peat moss was when we bought a Venus Fly Trap for the office.

Ever since the last provincial election, government news releases have read more like NDP promotional material than neutral information on government business. We've taken note of this politicization of the public service and for that reason we pay close attention to these releases, even one on peat moss.

We not only read it, we read it to the very bottom, where we found this paragraph:

"Because our peatlands are a carbon sink, they provide significant climate-change benefits to Manitoba and the rest of the planet," said Mackintosh. "Our peatlands stewardship legislation will set out longer-term policies for the peat industry including a carbon offset and mitigation program as well as no-go zones for peat developments and greater opportunities for Aboriginal benefit sharing."

Alarm bells went off. Opportunities for Aboriginal benefit sharing? This is the government that's spend tens of thousands of dollars telling us "we're all treaty people", which, to their regret, led us to read the treaties of which we're part.

Those treaties clearly state that "aboriginals" have no special rights to "benefit sharing."

Aboriginal benefit sharing is the twenty-first century phrase for welfare.

Here is the government foreshadowing a vital change in the way it treats resource development companies in Manitoba. The NDP plans to extort money from those companies under the guise of "aboriginal benefit sharing". No payoffs to Indian reserves, no sign off by the government on resource projects. It's nothing less than a secret tax.

We remember another phrase from an earlier century---follow the money. The NDP intends to funnel money to a special group. Make no mistake. This is taking money that could be going to the greater good of Manitobans and channeling it to a group which the government wants to benefit at the expense of everyone else.

Because that money will go directly to the group, there will be no record of how its spent. Because it won't be government money, there will be no accountability.

Resource companies will be told to pay the "sharing tax" directly to the Indian bands in a pretense that it is voluntary and not forced by government.

But, of course, any special group that gets special treatment from the NDP owes the NDP a favour, right?
Given that the millions that will be extorted from resource companies will go outside of any government tracking, will some of it be kicked back to the NDP for, ahem, services rendered?

We've already seen the NDP subvert Elections Manitoba with a kickback scheme once
that we know of http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2009/06/ndps-election-fraud-coverup-is.html.

With an emasculated Opposition and news media, what's to stop them from subverting democracy again? 
 
While the political elite wag their tongues about democracy in Libya and Syria, the undermining of democracy at home right under their noses goes unchallenged.

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