Talk:Stephen Harper

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Good article Stephen Harper has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 22, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
October 21, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
October 12, 2009 Good article reassessment Kept
Current status: Good article

Environmental Policy[edit]

The Environmental Policy section previously stated "Since 2006, the Canadian Conservative Party government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has adopted few and gutted many environmental laws and policies dealing with rising greenhouse emissions, pollution problems and climate change". The only source for this statement was from the budget analysis of the Green Party of Canada-- a rival political party, and can therefore not be considered impartial. In order to preserve Wikipedia's Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy, the section had been amended to specify the source of the criticism of the CPC's environmental record. The greenhouse gas emissions levels graphed by Environment Canada during the tenure of the CPC has also been added to provide objective data on the environmental record of the CPC. The term "Conservatives" has been replaced by "the Conservative Party of Canada" to specify that the information is directed towards Canada's federal conservative political party as opposed to conservative Canadians in general. The 'silencing scientists' assertion made by the NY Times requires more substantial sources that specifically detail what legislation has been passed to 'silence scientists'. Moreover, if environmental regulations have been cut by the CPC, provide specific sourced examples. The sources themselves must not simply be editorial articles that also fail to include any specific details. Please post any feedback or concerns to the talk section. Review the guidelines of Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons especially in regards to tone prior to posting.

The 'silencing scientist' section has been removed. This was a criticism made by the NY Times in an editorial article. It mentioned that Mr. Harper has been accused of silencing scientists. However, the NY Times editorial article did not specify who was accusing Prime Minister Harper of silencing scientists, nor did it give any specific examples of any scientists who were allegedly silenced.

The GPC's criticism of Prime Minister Harper's environmental record has been removed. The only source was a dead-link. Criticism made by opposition parties could be considered relevant to the WP article, but only if the criticisms are sourced and specific. Even then, criticisms made by opposition parties might be better suited for the Environmental policy of Canada page.

The National Post article cites the elimination of a seven-member team, saving the government $600,000 per year. Could this specific spending cut have been offset by a spending increase in other areas of Environment Canada? There is no mention of the overall spending towards Environmental Canada from 2006 to present. This section should be replaced by the annual budget change (increase of decrease) of Environment Canada from 2006 to present. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 09:09, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

I reverted a few of your changes because it was your analysis of government numbers (which is WP:OR) and went against the cited source. I did however, add more sources to show the muzzling scientist issue, and I removed the Green Party criticism section, which definitely needed more neutral sourcing if it was to stay. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 05:07, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Why does it say Quebec's cap and trade system has helped to lower emissions? The program only started this year and any emissions data has a two-three year lag? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.171.38.192 (talk) 03:05, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

It's from the source cited: "The report does credit the Harper government’s new regulations (a coordinated Canada-U.S. policy) to reduce emissions from cars and light trucks and its new performance standards for coal-fired generation. But the forecast also builds in provincial measures, such as B.C.’s carbon tax, Quebec’s cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions, and, especially, Ontario’s phase-out of coal-generated electricity. As well, the report notes that energy efficiency has steadily improved since 1990—a key trend in so-called “intensity,” which means any government could look forward to a small annual decline in the amount of emissions for every dollar’s worth of Canadian economic activity." ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 03:33, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

User:Patar knight

While the Lower Churchill Project will not be finished until 2017, this still falls under the scope of the Environmental Policy of the CPC. Hydroelectricity is a cornerstone of the CPC's environmental policy. The federal loan guarantee was a campaign issue during the 2011 general election. When completed, the the Lower Churchill's two installations at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls will have a combined capacity of over 3,074 MW and have the ability to provide 16.7 TWh of electricity per year.[1] This is roughly 50% more than the Hoover Dam, and will be the fourth largest hydroelectricity facility in North America! Its inclusion in the article, like 'Canada's Clean Air and Climate Change Act' is essential.

The silencing scientist accusation, while sourced, does not specify which scientists are allegedly being silenced nor in which way. Until this can be verified by concrete examples, it must be removed. Similarly, the budget cut accusation to Environment Canada does not have any specifics. For example, did the budget increase dramatically, and then dip slightly under the CPC for a net gain? Until solid numbers are put forth, this must be removed.

Federal funds for public transit expansion also falls under the scope of Environmental policy. In September 2013, former finance minister Jim Flaherty announced a federal contribution of $660 million towards the public transit expansion project. [2]

For ease of reading, the Environmental Policy section will be split into two paragraphs: measures which have already taken affect, and those which are either recently established/currently underway/ will be underway in the near future.Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 20:46, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Since neither the subway or the Lower Churchill Project will be done anytime soon, it should not be in this article. In any case, you'll need a better source than the website of the company that's building the project. When you originally added the Lower Churchill Project to the article, it was made to appear as though the project was already lowering emissions when it wasn't even done! [1]. "Canada's Clean Air and Climate Change Act" died in 2007 and hasn't been passed since, even in majority. [2]. Worth mentioning sure, but also worth mentioning that it failed and was never implemented.
If you look at the sources, especially the CBC source [3] or the Maclean's source [4], there are numerous instances and examples of scientists being silenced. What exactly the numbers are doesn't matter in the case of the budget cuts, because their effects are verifiable and are what in the article, which makes no claims about net gains or losses. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 02:30, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

User:Patar knight,

Thank you for pointing out that the Lower Churchill Project and the Scarborough subway extensions have not yet been completed. As you requested, I added another source to the Lower Churchill Project. I hope you would agree that renewable energy and public transit fall within the scope of an Environmental Policy. As you know, all public transit expansions and large scale renewable energy initiatives take years to complete. However the actual date of completion is irrelevant. It is when the government provided funding for the project(s) which is important. More specifically, which budget did the funding come from. Otherwise, you would be giving credit/putting blame on subsequent governments for past governments' spending. I hope you would agree that the environmental policy of a government should be assessed by its budgets as opposed to the budgets of previous administrations.

Thank you for pointing out the that Clean Air Act never became law. However, the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda was implemented. [3] This put strict emission standards on automobiles and light trucks. [4]

I have restored the 'silencing scientist' accusation for now. Although, to be fair, the article would benefit from a response from an environment minister (past or present) towards the accusation. This is why I have included a response by former Environment Minister Peter Kent towards the withdraw from the Kyoto protocol. In order to preserve WP's net neutrality, it would be prudent to avoid portraying this withdrawal as 'good' or 'bad'.

Prior to claiming that the overall (net) Environment Canada budget has been cut, perhaps take a look at the Environment Canada webpage https://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=31D9FF32-1 and compare funding levels over the past 3 budgets.

Lastly, thank you for maintaining civility in our discussions. I appreciate your professionalism and respect. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 07:11, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Digs at the other party? Check. Repeated reference to title? Check. Removal of criticism? Check. Highlighting "announcements"? Check. Looks like the editing I often see on U.S. political articles. --NeilN talk to me 07:32, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

User:NeilN,

Please explain what specific areas of the article you disagree with. Feel free to edit the tone of the article if required. Do not removed sourced content (such as renewable energy, public transit, or government regulations) without first attempting to reach a consensus on the talk page.Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 07:40, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Ontario Teacher BFA BEd, you misunderstand how WP:BRD works. It is up to you to gain consensus for your changes, especially on a Good Article. Material should be left out, until this consensus is achieved. As it stands, I think your changes are wholly unnecessary and have a POVish tinge to them. --NeilN talk to me 07:46, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

User:NeilN, My inclusion of the Lower Churchill project in the article in particular was thanked by User:Ntb613 on (13 Oct 2015). Please explain to me why you feel public transit, renewable energy, and government regulations are unnecessary for an environmental policy section. In terms of tone, I removed the potentially biased tone for the Kyoto Protocol section, and replaced it with more neutral language. Please note, I left the Kyoto Protocol section intact. Had I been seeking a POV, I might have removed this section completely, or added biased language in the opposite direction. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 07:55, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Please see my initial post. Subtle POV editing is still POV editing. --NeilN talk to me 07:57, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Anyone else agree with Ontario Teacher BFA BEd's changes? --NeilN talk to me 22:33, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ "Lower Churchill Project". Nalcor Energy. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Harper pledges federal funding for Toronto’s subway extension". The Globe and Mail. Sep 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Clean Air Regulatory Agenda". Environment Canada.  Unknown parameter |http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang= ignored (help);
  4. ^ "Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations". Environment Canada. 4 April 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 

Hello User:Patar knight,

You have recently removed a sourced section on public transit and renewable energy under speculation that these projects may all be cancelled or that the federal government will withdraw its funding. Please provide sources that state that the York-University-Spadina subway extension, the Scarborough Subway extension, or the Lower Churchill Project will be cancelled.

If, of course, the current federal government withdraws its funding, we could add a sentence stating the project(s) was/were cancelled by a subsequent government. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 04:14, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Hello User talk:Patar knight,
With regards to projects like the Lower Churchill Project and York University-Spadina Subway Extention, the governments that fund these projects when they begin are what is relevant to the article. Who attends a ribbon cutting ceremony years later when they are completed is completely irrelevant. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 18:58, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a newspaper and content on articles should be of encyclopedic value, not about routine funding announcements. It is quite ordinary for the federal government to provide funding for infrastructure projects, and unless the project is something out of the ordinary, including these announcements on the biography page would be giving undue weight to unimportant announcements (see the total lack of similar details on say Tony Abbott or David Cameron for comparison). They are more suited for inclusion on an article about Harper's infrastructure/domestic policies than here. The Lower Churchill Project may qualify given how much of a disaster the project has become, but the TTC subway line seems to be more or less successfully completed. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 06:32, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello Patar knight,
You have stated that you oppose the inclusion of Public Transit Expansion (specifically Toronto's subway expansion) into the Stephen Harper article because you feel A. You believe this is not included on other politician's WP articles, and B. you feel this is a routine funding announcement of no real significance.
A) The Line 3 Scarborough received funding from all three levels of government (Federal, Provincial, and Municipal). Former Mayor Rob Ford and former Premier Dalton McGuinty both have significant sections of their Wikipedia pages about this (and other) Subway Expansion projects.
The York University-Spadina Subway Extention received funding from all three levels of government. Both former Mayor David Miller and former Premier Dalton McGuinty have large portions of their Wikipedia pages describing this TTC expansion.
The Sheppard Subway Line received municipal and provincial funding only. Both former Mayor Mel Lastman and former Premier Bob Rae also have vast sections of their Wikipedia page about this project. As you can see, in all other Canadian cases specifically related to Toronto public transit expansion, all other Canadian politicians who have funded Subway Expansion in Toronto have detailed sections of their WP articles describing these events. Please note, this content is always included on their main WP articles, not hidden in separate articles.
B) You have also stated that it is quite ordinary for the federal government to fund infrastructure projects like Subway Expansion in Toronto. This is not true in Canada! The Sheppard Subway line received no federal funding. It has been several decades since the TTC has received federal funding for Subway Expansion. (with the exception of the aforementioned two projects funded under Harper) Previously, TTC Subway Expansion and Extension has been funded only municipally and provincially. Therefore, the inclusion of this content is not only as noteworthy as on municipal and provincial politician's WP articles, but it is groundbreaking news!
Do you believe we should remove all mention of public transit expansion from all of the other Canadian politician's websites, or should we just leave this content in? Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 19:31, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Comparing the leader of a country to the leader of a city or a province is comparing apples and oranges. Under the division of powers, the provincial (and by extension municipal) governments are primarily responsible for intraprovincial transportation projects and fully responsible for the work on them, so it is natural that projects of this type get mention on the pages of politicians at that level. The federal government only has similar powers in interprovincial or international transportation projects (e.g. seaways, shipping, interprovincial roads and railways), and the usual extent of their contribution to provincial projects is the funding (or lack thereof). The better comparison is if other national leaders have specific infrastructure announcements on their pages, and I've shown that they generally do not (even David Cameron doesn't and the HOC is far directly responsible for all British infrastructure than the Canadian feds).
The federal government routinely spends millions and pledges billions of dollars various infrastructure commitments. Unless the sources available would indicate any lasting encyclopedic significance, they should not be mentioned in the main biographical article, which is supposed to summarize the main aspects of the person in question, though it's difficult to make the transition from pages on recently active leaders like Harper and more stable pages like Chrétien's. The first sentence in the section is sourced to a speech by a Conservative cabinet minister, and the next to a press release, neither of which are independent, reliable sources, and combined with the unbalanced weight given to these announcements, makes the section, like several of your edits to this page, violate WP:NPOV, as NeilN says above. The first sentence that you added is also highly misleading since it claims $5 billion was spent on infrastructure in 2006 alone, when the minister is saying that that amount was spent between 2006 and 2013.---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 15:19, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello Patar knight,
At your request, I have fixed the dates you mentioned and I have added another source.
You have acknowledged that other Canadian municipal and provincial leaders include renewable energy and public transit as part of their environmental policies. You have claimed that other world leaders's Wikipedia pages do not mention renewable energy or public transit as part of their environmental policy. This is false. Barack Obama's WP page includes sections on renewable energy under both the environmental policy and energy policy sections. David Cameron is a bad example as his WP page does not currently have an environmental policy section. If it did, surely renewable energy and public transit would be centre stage.
Regardless, other levels of Canadian government who have contributed funds towards projects like subway extensions in Canada's largest city have them listed on their WP pages. It would be inconsistent to omit one of the levels of government. It would also be irresponsible to suggest that renewable energy and public transit are not part of a government's environmental policy. Please explain why you believe that renewable energy and public transit are not part of a government's environmental policy. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 14:07, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Please do not put words in my mouth. I did not claim that "other world leaders's Wikipedia pages do not mention renewable energy or public transit as part of their environmental policy." What I said was "The better comparison is if other national leaders have specific infrastructure announcements on their pages and I've shown that they generally do not." The relevant sections on Obama's page do not mention specific infrastructure funding announcements, and all the references there are to independent, reliable sources, not transcripts of speeches by Government ministers or statements by government ministries when the politician in question was in power, as in the case here. Obama's article is actually a good case study for why Harper's page shouldn't have these announcements, since despite getting a 305 billion dollar infrastructure package through Congress recently (and other deals before that), not a single funding annoucement is on the main, biographical article. Instead, the main article focuses on issues that are more important both in terms of coverage and long-term significance (e.g. new regulations, the BP oil spill, the acrimonious debate over Keystone, the Obama administration's overall vision for energy). But if you go onto the relevant subpages (Energy policy of the Obama administration and Climate_change_policy_of_the_United_States#Obama_administration, you'll find many cases of specific funding announcements/projects, which is exactly the model I proposed above. The same scenario also more or less applies to David Cameron, where a subpage (Political positions of David Cameron, does have sections on climate change and transportation with information on specific investments there.
Other levels of Canadian government bear more of the cost of intraprovincial infrastructure projects - both in terms of funding and managing the project. I have never argued that renewable energy and public transit are not part of environmental policy, but as I said above, "They are more suited for inclusion on an article about Harper's infrastructure/domestic policies than here." Following the style of the Obama article and its subpages, a short sentence about overall funding infrastructure levels, and maybe a something about a massive investment like Muskrat Falls, with the rest being moved to a domestic/political positions subpage would be more appropriate, per WP:BALASPS. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 21:55, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Veterans[edit]

Under Stephen Harper, the annual budget of Veterans Affairs Canada increased from $2.8 billion in 2005—2006 to $3.64 billion in 2014—2015, while the quantity of veterans served has declined from 219,152 in 2008-2009 to 199,154 in 2015. [1] [2] User:Patar knight you have misrepresented a Globe and Mail article which states "According to the Royal Bank’s inflation calculator, $3.20-billion in 2006 would be worth $3.72-billion in 2015. So, given that this year’s Veterans Affairs budget is $3.55-billion, the increases have not kept pace with inflation". The same article also states "The annual budget of Veterans Affairs Canada increased from $2.85-billion in 2005-06". [3] The article argues that since the initial increase from $2,853.1 (2005-2006) to $3,202.8 (2006-2007), the subsequent increases have been at around inflation. However, since taking office, the CPC has increased the VAC budget in real dollars after all since the inflation calculation in the article was made from the 2007 numbers (after the initial large budget increase under PM Harper) instead of the 2006 (when Mr. Harper took office). Also, for most accurate numbers, please use the primary source (VAC) instead of secondary sources.Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 05:43, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

User:Patar knight,

You have stated "Under Stephen Harper, the annual budget of Veterans Affairs Canada increased from $2.85 billion in 2005—2006 to $3.55 billion in 2014—2015 in absolute terms, but in real terms the department has less funding than before because increases have not kept pace with inflation". [3] However, the source does not say this at all!

The Globe and Mail article states: "The annual budget of Veterans Affairs Canada increased from $2.85-billion in 2005-06, the year before Mr. Harper’s Conservatives were first elected to power, to $3.55-billion in 2015-16... when the Conservatives took office, they followed through with that commitment in their first budget, increasing the money to Veterans Affairs by $349.7-million to $3.20-billion in 2006-07... According to the Royal Bank’s inflation calculator, $3.20-billion in 2006 would be worth $3.72-billion in 2015. So, given that this year’s Veterans Affairs budget is $3.55-billion, the increases have not kept pace with inflation".

You have mistakenly overlooked the initial $349.7-million increase from PM Harper's first year in office! Please review the source prior to editing the article.

I have however, for now. used the Globe and Mail editorial numbers. They are pretty close to the VAC numbers. I will double check other sourced to verify the discrepancy. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 21:38, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

It's not "speculation" or "a view", it's a fact. Every single reliable source I've listed in this section has said that the cuts were for budgetary reasons and on Wikipedia when all the reliable sources say something, we go with what reliable sources say. In any case, budget cuts are not mutually exclusive with the Minister's stance that it was as part of an effort to modernize – sometimes modernization means budget cuts to outdated expenditures – and I've already said that we can include both. The current section is way too long, with most of it better suited for inclusion at Veterans Affairs Canada or Erin O'Toole than here, and has way too many references to government press releases to be seen as neutral. If you had bothered to read the CTV source that is used as the source and which was repeatedly brought up in this section, you would have seen the PSAC's campaign mentioned there, so your need to do some research on this shows that your engagement here with opposing viewpoints is intellectually dishonest. Dramatically increased budget is simply incorrect, as the "dramatic increase" does not account for inflation, as the Globe and Mail source in the article points out, though someone (presumably you?) has removed that bit. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 21:04, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello Patar knight,
You have stated on numerous occasions that it is important to carefully read the sources in full. I wholeheartedly agree. The Globe and Mail source does not say the VAC budget increases were less than inflation!. What the article actually says, is after the monstrously large budget increase during Harper's first year in office (a whooping $349.7-million!!!), subsequent budget increases were slightly lower than inflation. It is only by ignoring the first year's gargantuan increase, that you come to the false conclusion that the VAC budget declined after factoring in inflation. I hope overlooking the first year's colossal increase was an unintentional error on your part, and not an intentional act of dishonesty. Please review this source and comment specifically on the first year's budget increase.
This is why it would be inaccurate to characterize shifting spending from Veterans Affairs Offices to other areas within the VAC (like hiring case managers, adjudicators, disability benefits staff, and open new specialized mental health clinics) as a "budget cut". Context here is key. We can't mention the closures, and frame it as a budget cut, when in reality, the budget increased and spending was shifted elsewhere within the VAC.
Additionally, the subsequent WP article paragraph mentions replacing a pension with a lump sum payment. This is not accurate. CF Veterans have the option to select different methods of compensation, and are not required to only take lump sum payments.

"The Government of Canada has implemented new flexible payment options for disability awards. These options are:

   a lump-sum payment;
   an annual installment over the number of years of a Veteran's choosing; or
   a combination of these two payment options." [4]
When I retired from the Canadian Forces Army Reserves two years ago, I had similar options. I could choose from a "Deferred Annuity, Annual Allowance, or Transfer Value". I chose the "Transfer Value" (lump sum payment) as this meant I did not have to wait until age 50 to receive my pension. I then invested my Transfer Value, and my annual earnings are more today than what I would have received annually, had I waited until age 50 to receive one of my other options. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 13:41, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Veterans Affairs Canada. "Veterans Affairs Canada's (VAC) budget has increased as the number of veterans has declined" (PDF). Veterans Affairs Canada. 
  2. ^ Veterans Affairs Canada. "90% of VAC budget goes to services". Veterans Affairs Canada. 
  3. ^ a b "Ask The Globe: Has Harper really increased spending on veterans?". Globe and Mail. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "New Veterans Charter". Veterans Affairs Canada. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 

Time as MP[edit]

In the news today it was announced that he would be resigning as an MP this summer.

Also, should the dates as MP be corrected, currently shows a gap between the date of the election call and the date of the election. Was he not technically still the MP for the old riding up until election day? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.103.211.131 (talk) 16:27, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Once parliament is dissolved there are no MPs. Dbrodbeck (talk) 17:22, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

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Weasel Words[edit]

Hello Graham11,

You have added many Weasel Words into the article. These include the "Use of the passive voice to avoid specifying an authority (e.g. "it is said")"

Sentences like "The CPC has been accused of...", "Some have alleged...", and "Some suggest..." and completely unacceptable. Who are these 'some'? Accused by whom? Wikipedia's Biographies of Living Persons policy has a section on 'Avoid gossip and feedback loops', that specifically instructs editors to immediately remove this type of contentious material.

Instead of a revert, can you perhaps specifically include (with at least 2 reliable sources) who is making these allegations, and a fair and balances response. Otherwise, leave them out. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 14:07, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Hi Ontario Teacher BFA BEd, I agree with you that the use of weasel words is generally inappropriate; however, rather than attempting to fix that issue directly, you have removed multiple paragraphs of text not all of which is in violation of WP:WEASEL. Additionally, in those same edits, you have introduced euphemisms into the article such as "In an effort to increase efficiency" in place of "In an effort to cut costs". (To make matters worse, one such edit was marked as minor despite clearly not being a minor edit.)
If you wish to replace weasel words with supported attributions, all the power to you. But the existence of weasel words cannot be used as justification to remove appropriately attributed criticism. For example, in this edit, which had as its edit summary "Revert addition of weasel words. See Biography of Living Persons for Wikipedia policy", an entire section was removed (which happened to include, inter alia, statements with very specific attributions) and the aforementioned euphemisms were introduced in an entirely unrelated section of the article.
Therefore, I must revert those edits, but I encourage you to work constructively to replace weasel words with supported attributions. Cheers, Graham (talk) 19:46, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
No. When you introduce an edit that large with so many weasel word issues, it is absolutely appropriate to just blanket revert. You should not expect another editor to fix your mistake. Accordingly, I have again removed the edits. Please re-phrase your edits to alleviate this concern before re-inserting. Resolute 01:20, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello Graham and Reso,
In the Veterans Affairs section, I replaced the Weasel Word "Shut Down" with the more neutral "Closed". This is not a euphemism. I have removed the Weasle Word "cut costs" with the term "modernize", which is the actual wording from both the article and Former Minister of Veterans Affairs Erin O'Toole.
Like Resolute mentioned, the Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons policy is quite clear with regards to Weasel Words. I refer you again to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch, which states "some people say, many scholars state, it is believed/regarded, many are of the opinion, most feel, experts declare, it is often reported, it is widely thought, research has shown, science says, it is often said" are considered Unsupported attributions. If you wish to include this material, YOU must provide at least two scholarly sources and justify who specifically is making these claims. In the mean time, this content will not be included in the article. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 01:56, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Whether we used "closed or "shut down" doesn't really matter; both are neutral and accurate phrasing repeatedly used by the cited reliable source. [5]. The problem with Ontario Teacher's edits is changing "cutting costs" and "jobs were cut" which are both used in the cited source to "increase efficiency" and "positions were phased out" which are euphemisms used neither by the source, nor by any other reliable source to refer to the cuts. [6]. On the next edit, Ontario Teacher added the statement of O'Toole, which is fine, but she also changed the reasoning for the cuts to match the minister's statement by removing any mention of cutting costs. This leaves the sentence framed in the very positive context of "modernization" and in a way that presents the minister's statements as being unequivocally true. [7]
As for weasel words, it's disingenous incorrect to suggest that Graham11 introduced unattributed weasel word filled passages to the article when the environmental bit was introduced in June 2014 by someone else, has always been sourced to the NYT, and at a time when the media relations bit was already present [8]. It's disingenuous to cherry pick Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch, which explicitly says "views which are properly attributed to a reliable source may use similar expressions, if they accurately represent the opinions of the source". It's also disingenuous to demand sources and attribution as if they weren't there. I added two other reliable sources to complement the NYT piece in October of last year [9], and the specific weasel word statements in the media relations section are cited to CTV News and the Toronto Star. The sentence about restricting access to scientists is cited to the New York Times, CBC News, and Maclean's and is an accurate representation of what those reliable sources say.[1][2][3]
If the complaint against inclusion is that specific claims and critics of the restrictions on journalistic access to government scientists/the PM are not explicitly included in the article, it would be trivially to expand it to meet those concerns, given the numerous verifiable cases listed in the sources already here and in other news sources such as Nature [10], The Guardian [11], The National Observer [12], and the BBC [13], among others for the environmental issue alone. It's pretty rich that when NeilN had problems with the neutrality of material added by Ontario Teacher that framed Harper positively and chose to remove it, she lectured others to make "adaptive edits" to deal with their specific concerns with the material [14], yet when she sees material that is critical of Harper and attributed to clearly reliable sources she cannot find a way to use the sources and make adaptive edits to satisfy her concerns over the text and instead just removes it.
This is the latest in a long series of edits by Ontario Teacher to push a pro-Harper POV on this article, best exemplified by this edit from last year [15] in which she claims that a project that has not yet been completed and might not be for quite a while was already contributing to reduced GHG emissions last year. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 08:31, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello Patar knight,
With specific reference to Weasel Words, consider the following,
1. "Some have alleged that the prime minister's office also often informs the media about Harper's trips at such short notice that it's impossible for Ottawa journalists to attend the events".
2. "Some suggest that the Conservatives' then recent electoral success could be credited to their control of the campaign message, a practice that they continued when they became the government"
3. "The CPC has been accused of restricting the ability of government scientists to speak to the public, the media, and even other scientists, leading to criticism that they are trying to limit the debate on environmental issues by "silencing" or "muzzling" scientists."
In none of these sentences are there any specifics given as to whom "some" is, or who specifically is making these accusations. Whether a source is listed after the statement is not the issue. The issue is you can't have an unsupported attribution made by an anonymous authority. There needs to be a specific person or entity who holds this belief. For instance, you could write "Former NDP Finance Critic... says", followed by a quote. Or, "New York Times Columnist... believes...". This is especially true for Biographies of living persons. I encourage you to fix these sentences prior to reintroducing them into the article. If they can't be fixed because the source does not specify who "some" are, this means the source is unusable as it is repeating gossip from other anonymous authorities.
With regards to the VAC section, "Shut Down" has severely negative connotations. "Closed" is neutral. "In an effort to cut costs" also has negative connotations. This can't be presented as true either. We could amend the sentence to neither include the term "modernize" (which is used by the Minister) nor "cut costs" (which is not used by any specific source). This is an acceptable compromise. I will make an adaptive edit to address this. "Phased out" is far more accurate, as "cut" implies that everyone lost their jobs overnight. There is no evidence that the employees were not reassigned to other federal departments (like Service Canada). There is also no evidence that each centre was closed on exactly the same day. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 14:00, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Actually having a source is key in dealing with potential weasel words as it explicitly says "Likewise, views which are properly attributed to a reliable source may use similar expressions, if they accurately represent the opinions of the source." Without sources it would be justified to remove the material since this is a BLP, but in all these cases they were cited to reliable sources, so the only reason they should be removed if the sources cannot be verified and/or they do not support the statement.
  • The source for the first one is behind a paywall and not available on webarchives [16], but the tone of the article as posted here seems to indicate that the subject claim could be covered, and this just-below borderline/borderline reliable source does report it. This is an okay removal and an edit summary or a post on the talk page could have tried and solicited more help on verifying it.
  • The source for the second one is can be found on a webarchive and cleary supports the claim, saying that "The Conservatives' success during the election campaign was premised in large part on steely control of the party message." Since this isn't a controversial claim at all, and this view is widely reported on as fact by other reliable sources (e.g. [17], [18]), "some suggest that" could simply be removed and the sentence updated with newer sources.
  • The claim that the Harper government is accused of muzzling/silencing scientists is accurate as shown in the three sources. All three sources repeatedly use the terms "muzzling" or "silencing" and list many cases of individuals and/or organizations criticising the media restrictions. So the statement isn't a weasel word, but rather an accurate representation of what reliable sources say about the matter.
In any case, the "Media relations and information" section from which the first two examples come from had 11 sentences, so while they were potential weasel words in the text, fixing that did not require removing the other nine sentences. All these examples of potential weasel words could easily be fixed by adaptive editing instead of removal (see WP:PRESERVE); what you're doing is removing negative information about Harper under the guise of an overzealous adherence to avoiding potential weasel words.
Like I said above, "shut down" and "closed" are both accurate, neutral terms, used interchangeably by reliable sources [19], [20], [21], so I have no problem with the use of either word, especially since you are so adamant that the use of one is problematic. Your claim that "cut costs" isn't used by any specific source is false and shows you haven't bothered to look at the sources in question here, since the CTV source cited says "Last year, the government shut eight veterans district offices in an effort to cut costs" and "The cuts, outlined in the 2012 federal budget, will help save the department $34.8 million a year." (cutting expenditures that save money is the definition of cutting costs). Other reliable sources also use either the exact phrasing or synonyms: "The closure of the offices as a cost-saving measure by the Conservatives" [22], "The Conservative government's 2012 budget slated to close nine offices in an effort to cut costs" [23], and "the number of people working at Veterans Affairs shrank...as the government cut spending to balance the federal budget" [24]. My prefered solution would be to simply include both (e.g. "cut costs" in the first sentence, than "modernize" as part of O'Toole's explanation in the next). Regardless, please actually read the sources before commenting on what is or is not in them.
Actually we should avoid using "phased out" because it's a euphemism, which Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch tells us to avoid in favour of neutral and accurate terms like "cut", which is used by all the reliable sources I listed above, whereas "phased out" is barely used. It's also preposterous to argue that "900 jobs were cut from the department since 2009" means that all those jobs were cut on the same day or that all the centres were closed on the same day; that's a bizarre straw man of an argument. Lastly, while it's technically possible that every single cut VA employee was moved to Service Canada (unlikely since modernizing VA and saving jobs would be something to loudly advertise) we don't exclude information on the basis that every other possible alternative has not been thoroughly debunked by reliable sources. If such an extraordinary situation did occur (unlikely) the burden of proof is on you to show that. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 06:32, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello Patar knight,
I have transferred our comments regarding Public Transit to the Environmental Policy section. I feel this would make our discussion more organized. I will respond to your other concerns about Weasel Words in this section afterwards. Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 18:58, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello Patar knight,
We are in agreement that closed is a neutral term. We can't, however, state that the real reason for the closures is strictly budgetary. You believe that stating the Minister's modernization reason as unequivocally true is problematic. It is significantly more problematic to state that the Minister's reasoning is unequivocally false. To write this would be tantamount to calling the Minister a liar! The accusation that the move was strictly to save money is sheer speculation that is currently unattributed to anyone. I have done some research and discovered the Public Service Alliance of Canada union President, Robyn Benson ran an add campaign against the closures. It makes much more sense to attribute this view to a person, rather than an anonymous authority. It is also helpful to provide information on where the VAC's dramatically increased budget was spent instead of these offices.
With regards to the Weasel Word conspiracy theory of muzzling scientists, there must be a specific person or organization who is making this accusation, not another unattributed source. Specifics must also be given as to which scientists were allegedly silenced, and how exactly this was allegedly done. If you would like we could temporarily restore that section, and include the tag [by whom?]. If, after a reasonable amount of time has passed, no one has been able to verify who specifically is making this accusation, and no one has been able to determine what on Earth Harper was supposedly accused of doing (Did he waterboard scientists, or did Environment Canada deny giving someone paid vacation, airfare, and accommodations to attend a conference for a pet project?), than this sentence could be safely removed. Or if, as you say, a source actually lists a specific organization who is making this accusation, we could include the name of that organization (so we don't have yet another unsupported attribution), specifically what the organization has accused the government of doing, and an appropriate response from the government.
The "Media relations and information" content was almost entirely Weasel Words and conjecture. The only portion of it that had any credibility was criticism from the Canadian Association of Journalists along with a response from the Prime Minister's Office in regards to the 2011 Federal Election Campaign. There is also no need for this content to have an entire section on the main article. A more appropriate location would be to list the accusation that Harper took less interviews than his rivals during the 2011 Canadian Federal Election to the appropriate article.
The unattributed accusation, "Some accused him of manipulating the second poll to achieve the result he wanted" also has no credibility. This source (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Harper+initially+supported+long+registry/3519676/story.html) cites an unnamed newspaper story from 15 years prior to when the article was written (now 21 years ago) by an unnamed author who has made this accusation. We need to follow the Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons policy and refrain from gossip that uses weasel words to attribute material to anonymous sources (i.e. Some people suggest). Ontario Teacher BFA BEd (talk) 02:07, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Actually read the sources listed in this section about the restrictions on government scientists, you'll see that the Harper government was accused of "muzzling scientists", so the removed material was an accurate reflection of what reliable sources say. It is a claim backed by the New York Times, Nature, The Guardian, the BBC, plus numerous Canadian sources and is in no way a "conspiracy theory." When other editors disagree with your stance and provide sources to clearly reliable sources to back their position, you should at least read them before proclaiming what is and isn't in them and what available sources say.
The "Media relations and accusation" section had a citation from CTV News [25] and the Toronto Star. Sure the quotes from the CAJ could be cut down some, but Harper's poor relations with the media were the subject of multiple reports from reliable sources throughout his time in office, and was certainly not limited to the 2011 election (e.g. [26], [27], [28], [29]).
BLP is not a provision to remove criticism, especially when it's cited to a reliable source like the Montreal Gazette and in a piece credited to an experienced journalist. If attribution is an issue, just change it to say "According to the Montreal Gazette..." Your should also be careful while removing material, because your edit also removed the sourcing for the previous sentences about Harper breaking ranks with the party to vote for the bill ([30], [31], and Search the WFP title with the date range set to the date in the note and you get one result). ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 21:04, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ "Silencing Scientists". New York Times. September 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ Manasan, Althea (20 May 2015). "FAQ: The issues around muzzling government scientists". CBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Gatehouse, Jonathon (3 May 2013). "When science goes silent". Maclean's. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 

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Semi-protected edit requests March 2017[edit]

Change "Stephen Harper and former CFL player Larry Smith watched a 2012 football game in Montreal." to "Stephen Harper and former CFL player Larry Smith watching a 2012 football game in Montreal." Simple grammar. 69.165.196.103 (talk) 00:37, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

 Done, also “visited” to “visiting” in another caption. Thanks for pointing that out.—Odysseus1479 01:19, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Will keep going here - again what seems like simple wording. Change "Harper at 2015 G-7 summit with [...] in Bavaria, Germany." to "Harper at the 2015 G-7 summit with [...] in Bavaria, Germany." Maybe also check all images captions just to make sure. 69.165.196.103 (talk) 17:43, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Done DRAGON BOOSTER 08:06, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

And a final one. "Stephen Harper gives a victory speech to party faithful in Calgary after his Conservatives won the 2006 federal election." to, respectively "giving", "members", "the". 69.165.196.103 (talk) 11:35, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Done DRAGON BOOSTER 12:34, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

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