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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Can 10,000 Delegates Possibly Be Wrong?

In "The Winds of Crisis" [Nat'l Post, Nov. 29, FP Comment, p64 ($), h/t to Jack], Terence Corcoran writes about the meeting taking place in Montreal about global warming:

On the rock-solid assumption that 10,000 people from 180 countries cannot possibly reach a rational conclusion on any subject, it follows that the climate meeting launched yesterday in Montreal is destined to do something irrational. The only question is: How much crazier can global climate policy get?

The last major United Nations climate control operation was the Kyoto Protocol, a carbon emissions plan so far off road that most nations, including host Canada, have been forced to ignore it as unworkable and unattainable.

Execution of Kyoto would plunge the world into an energy crisis of massive growth-killing power. Kyoto expires in 2012. If they couldn’t generate a global energy crisis with Kyoto, they intend to try again with new, tougher targets for a post-Kyoto era.

Collective delusion knows no bounds. No politician could sell carbon-reduction plans at home without getting laughed out of office. That’s why we have Montreal, where the absurdity can be glossed over by having 10,000 people — politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs, industry types — locked up for two weeks and forced to produce a declaration to end the world economy as we know it. If everybody’s doing it, then it must be OK.

I have a friend who has written some items about global warming that have won world acclaim. He is equally skeptical, saying,

A few years back ... , my coauthor and I discussed that fact that Canada would not remotely have the capability of achieving the Kyoto targets. We debated whether the Liberals would be able to ratify it assuming the truth would eventually haunt them politically. I was of the view that they would ratify, then not live up to their commitment and just say they did, while paying no political price. I did not have any insight except shameful cynicism to go on.

They did ratify, they committed to reduce CO2 production rates to 1990 rates but rates are now 24% *larger * instead of declining. This phenomenon seems to be widespread among those countries who signed Kyoto. (Ironically, the US has been vilified for not signing onto Kyoto but has only a 16% rate increase in the same period.)

Now signing onto Kyoto will be put forward in the election as a great achievement for the Liberals. So I suppose I was right, not that it does me or anyone any good.

Also, according to my forecast about "coincidences" Nature's most recent issue just happens to have a study claiming that global warming is already responsible for 150000 deaths... Nature is becoming like the National Enquirer. They really cannot help themselves.

Posted by EclectEcon on November 30, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Carnival Of The Liberated

A sampling from bloggers in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Posted by Kate McMillan on November 30, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

So good it just has to be fattening

Oh dear, Jason Kenney — look what you did:

MP Jason Kenney held a news conference in which he complained — incorrectly — that Martin speechwriter Scott Feschuk had insulted ethnic minorities. Feschuk had written a humorous note on the Liberal party website referring to "socially awkward Omni subscribers."

Kenney thought Feschuk was talking about viewers of Omni TV, a multicultural channel based in Toronto. In fact, he was actually referring to now-defunct Omni magazine, a science and technology publication long cherished by nerds.

Feschuk quotes Kenney as follows:

(Feschuk) said that Omni subscribers were socially awkward people who believe in UFOs. Scott's a funny guy, and I'm sure he'll say it was just a joke, but I think it's a joke in bad humour. What's he saying? That people from ethnic minorities who are the television viewers of Omni are paranoid, are abnormal, are ungrounded in reality? What's he saying?... I think he has to explain himself, and so does the prime minister.

(What, no call for Paul Martin's resignation? I suppose it would be a bit moot these days.) You know that feeling you get when you see someone who's just a little, you know, much, inadvertently bringing himself down a few pegs? That's the feeling I got reading about Kenney's little episode there. Nothing against the guy personally, but election grandstanding is always tiresome, and it's always fun to see the grandstanders get a metaphorical pie in the face. I suggest enjoying this moment of levity while it lasts.

(And hey, what's with all the negativity about Feschuk's campaign blog anyway? Partisan harrumphing is one thing, but some people seem to find it somehow… inappropriate. I don't see how, and I think it's pretty funny to boot.)

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Posted by Chris Selley on November 30, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Excerpt: Al Rosen

Further to my post yesterday, here is a portion of a conversation I had an hour ago with Al Rosen, forensic auditor. In it, he stresses why there should be an investigation into trading on income trusts just prior to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's announcement last Wednesday. This is the election issue for some:

Al Rosen: Somebody can look at this data and you could be on a securities commission and just say 'ho-hum it's just another day.' Or you can look at it and say, 'hey, just a minute, there's something happening here.' And so my general thrust has been, this cries out for an investigation, especially when we're are going to have an election and all that type of thing. Here I am looking at it and saying; what does my gut tell me? versus, what can I prove in court? Well, I can't prove anything in court right now because I don't know who the actual buyers were behind the brokerage trades. When you look at it, different stocks seem to have different brokers doing the trading in them. So when you add it all up, I don't think there is any reason why you can't have an investigation on this because it is so crucial after we've had the Adscam stuff and there's an election coming. And the emails that I'm getting in from people are saying, 'Look, before I vote I would like to know.'

People want to know, especially on the voting basis. And if there is nothing there, then great, there's nothing there. But if there is something there, then where did it occur? Did it occur through the advisory group that was consulted? There is the typical advice that somebody on the advisory group would leak something somewhere else? Or was it one of the government people or one of the politicians? Like, where is it? I just didn't see it as a story that had a clear ending, so when the media started to phone me about it, I said what I said.

Kevin Steel: And you are standing by it?

AR: There’s nothing so far that contradicts it. What's come out at this point is the usual, ‘Well, some people were just good, some people are talented.’ ‘That happens around any announcement.’ Those are pretty tired excuses. They may turn out to be okay. But at this point I think the weight is crying for an investigation...

...It's the principle of, are the markets safe or not? So, if this is just one where people were caught off base, surely it is happening all over the place. Either we have respectably trading markets or we don't.

UPDATE 2:08 pm PST: Just caught this on nealnews: CTV: RCMP reviewing complaint on income trusts

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 30, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Stop the shredders

Claudia Rosett in WSJ OpinionJournal explains why "The U.N. must not be allowed to destroy the Volcker investigation's archives"

As it happens, Rep. Henry Hyde, who has led the main investigation into Oil for Food in the House, introduced a bill on Nov. 17 urging that the U.S. withhold $100 million from its U.N. dues for each of the next four fiscal years, or until the secretary of state certifies to Congress that the Volcker investigation's archives have been transferred, intact and uncensored by the U.N., "to an entity other than the [Volcker] Committee or the United Nations"--and made available for public inspection, at the very least by law-enforcement authorities.

If $100 million a year seems a punitive sum, it pales next to the billions in suspect money that Mr. Volcker left out of the grand totals in his final report.

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 30, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Keeping her options open?

Over on my homepage, MustControlFistOfDeath gives us a link over to Belinda's website. Click it.

Posted by RightGirl on November 30, 2005 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Good morning. Do you love Canada?

Look at the front pages. Thank you, Norman Spector. The visuals make it very plain. What's the common theme? Harper Harper Harper, same sex same sex blah tee blah blah. Lorrie Goldstein in the Toronto Sun: Media's hidden agenda. Doesn't look too bloody hidden. Goldstein:

Now, I would have thought the more interesting questions were (a) why was Harper even asked a "when are you going to stop beating your wife" question like "do you love the country?" and (b) why didn't the media ask Martin about Gomery, since it was obvious why he wouldn't raise it.

We have massive corruption in the Liberal party, proven criminality, bigger than anything that happened in the Mulroney years. We have a prime minister, a man of wealth and privilige, who represents the very worst of Canada, an oligarchy with little concern for the  well-being of ordinary Canadians primarily focused on manipulating the laws to their own financial advantage. What do we get from our mainstream media on the very first day of the campaign? Just stupid stuff--stuff they are making up--about how Stephen Harper made a gaffe by simply stating his party's policy. It's pathetic, this make-believe. Well, we're now in the hermetically sealed time bubble of an election campaign and whatever happened before doesn't exist. Let's not ask Paul Martin any tough questions. And even within that bubble we have the Prime Minister lying directly to reporters about how the Ignatieff nomination was an open process, which is directly refuted by the people in the Liberal riding association. Is this lie considered a gaffe? Apparently not. We have allegations from a reputable forensic auditor of insider trading probably originating out of the Department of Finance, undermining both investor confidence and the credibility of the bureaucracy responsible for handling the country's money.

Do you love Canada? I would answer like Harper, say something like, well you know it could be a good place, but... and I would add, but right now it's a joke.

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 30, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (44) | TrackBack

A message from the Rt. Hon. Paul "I Love Canada and You Don't" Martin

LiberalLogo

Friends, Associates of Earnscliffe and Countrymen,

The beginning of this great election campaign, which was the result of the three opposition parties not adhering to our natural governing position, has seen tremendous opportunities for this great nation to grow and prosper. Just yesterday, for example, we've shown that I love my country while Count Stephen the Impaler, who wipes his behind with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, clearly does not.

However, there is a concern that concerns me, giving me great consternation, that being the appointment of the great Michael Ignatieff -- debonaire intellectual, wine connoisseur, lover of all living things, most especially Ukrainians -- as candidate for the Liberal Party in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore ...

(Continue reading "A Message" at BumfOnline)

Posted by Rob Huck on November 30, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What a bunch of phonies

Harper states what has been the party policy for quite a while, and they chime in hysterically almost in perfect unison, that he is RE-OPENING the debate. Canadian mainstream media, a bunch of phonies.

Globe and Mail; Tories reopen same-sex marriage debate

CBC: Harper reopens same-sex marriage debate

CTV: Harper would allow free vote on gay marriage

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 29, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (51) | TrackBack

Another brick in the wall?

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has ruled against the Knights of Columbus and in favour of a lesbian couple that was denied the use of a Knights hall for a wedding reception. See Canadian Press's story here and the actual ruling here. The CP story says the Knights could have refused to host the reception, based on the organization's religious beliefs, but that the Knights apparently erred in carrying out their refusal in a way that caused undue hardship.

I've not yet had time to read the ruling completely, but I have noted that it states, at its conclusion, that the Tribunal finds the Knights guilty of discrimination --  and not of causing the lesbians hardship -- under section 8 of of the BC Human Rights Code, and, further, that the Tribunal orders the Knights to refrain from committing the same or similar contravention again.

This appears to mean the Tribunal has ordered the Knights to stop discriminating against homosexuals; it does not appear to say that the Knights can discriminate, as long as they ensure such discrimination causes no undue hardship. Perhaps those of you out there, with some extra time, can go through the ruling more thoroughly in an attempt to get to the bottom of this.

By the way, Section 8 of the Code holds that a person must not, without bona fide and reasonable justification, deny to a person or class of persons, the use of a facility that is customarily available to the public...on the grounds of that customer's sexual orientation.   

Later addition: Apparently my confusion about the actual impact/meaning of the ruling is shared. As noted in this CBC story, both the lawyer for the Knights and the lawyer for the lesbians are trying to figure out what the Tribunal means. I suppose the Knights can take some measure of satisfaction in knowing that the lesbians' lawyer, barbara findlay, is not pleased that the ruling apparently says it is OK to discriminate on the basis of deeply held religious beliefs.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on November 29, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

A matter of trust

Trust2_01_1 Good post over at Conservative Life on the income trust scandal developing "Post details: Did John McCallum's friends make millions on the backs of seniors?" complete with a chart showing the spike in trading the day before Goodale's announcement. Here Goodale replies.

h/t Blogging Tories

Added: Okay Canadian bloggers, here's your chance. We have a public statement by Goodale in the Post article:

When pressed about the increased trading volumes on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Goodale reminded reporters he had hinted on Tuesday of last week about the possibility of issuing a ruling in an attempt to bring "certainty" to the markets in the face of an election.

"I served broad public notice in a forum for all of the public to hear and listen to that an early announcement was indeed a possibility," he said.

Can anybody find any evidence that Goodale's hint was "broad" and "in a forum for all of the public to hear and listen" or is he lying? Don't exclude exonerating evidence. I'm looking. Ready set debunk.

051129postgraph Addition: This is the Post's graph that went with their editorial. Those are my arrows. Ignore that big spike in the graph. That's what happened on Thursday morning after Goodale's announcement on Wednesday after markets closed. The two red arrows indicate the period the Post speaks of, from Tuesday to Wednesday. The big black arrow is roughly where forensic auditor Al Rosen told the CBC he suspects the insider trading went on, from 2 pm to 4 pm. Did I say suspects? The quote is, "Clearly, there was a leak between 2 and 4 [p.m. EST]," he told CBC News.

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 29, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Voter turnout brrrr

Go_vote Like everyone, I’m worried that a cold winter election will severely lower voter turnout. So I’m not waiting for Elections Canada to start a campaign urging people to get out and cast their ballots; I’m starting my own. Here's a button for anyone who wants it. Sure, it's negative, but it's non-partisan negative. Anger is an energy, as John Lyndon sang. Just link where you want.

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 29, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Prime Minister Harper

A new Ipsos Reid poll, taken immediately after the fall of the Librano government yesterday, puts the Conservatives in a dead heat with the Liberals, each with 31% of the decided vote. Given the Tories' more-concentrated vote (in Ontario, the Prairies and B.C.), this surely means Stephen Harper's team is starting the campaign as the frontrunner to form the next government. Full Ipsos release here.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on November 29, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Canadian Hostages In Iraq Identified

An exclusive by blogger Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report;

A hostage video has been released of the four Western peace activists taken hostage in Iraq. The Jawa Report has obtained a copy of the video. Images from the video and links to video posted below. The video shows American Thomas Fox of Clear Brook Virginia, Canadian Harmeet Singh Sooden, who resides in Auckland, New Zealand, British citizen Norman Kember, and some one who appears to identify himself as James Loni (last name unclear) of Canada.

Previously only Norman Kember had been identified. The Christian Peacemaker Teams organization has confirmed to The Jawa Report in the e-mail that the four hostages were working for that group.

The copy of the video I have makes no ransom demands, although a voice can be heard directing the hostages in the background.


He also has a transcript of the video, and photos.

(CTV report.)


Posted by Kate McMillan on November 29, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Anonymous Blogging At CTV?

CTV has launched an "election blog" with such distinguished authors as "CTV news editor" .

Get with the program, people - you represent a national media corporation. Sign your posts.

(Flashback - an unsigned email from a "CTV news producer".)

Posted by Kate McMillan on November 29, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

"Advance polls" the reason for a 56-day Writ period?

That's what Trent Stanley says, here, in his comment on my post and, here, on his blog.  That an Elections Canada official told him that the reason for January 23rd is that if it were earlier, the advance polls would fall on one or both the Christmas/New Year holiday weekends.

Not so, according to subsection 171(2) of the Canada Elections Act. Advance polling days must fall on "the 10th, 9th and 7th days, respectively, before polling day."  Ergo, if e-day were January 16th, the advance polling days would be January 6th, 7th, and 9th, all of which may be suitable days to be in Florida, but none of which is on a holiday weekend . . . unless, of course, you're counting the Orthodox Christian calendar.  But, then, as I mentioned Joan Tintor pointed out, here, that didn't stop the Liberals' dropping the Writ on Orthodox Easter in 1997.  And, in which case, the advance polls, therefore, fall on the New Year's weekend of the Julian calendar used by Orthodox Christians. If it were truly the case that e-day was delayed because of advance polls and holiday weekends, then e-day should have been January 30th. Or February 7th.  Or, oops, not the 14th . . .

"Memo to Conservative activists":  Don't fall for the Liberal talking points, whether they're coming out of Paul Martin's mouth or someone else's mouth.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on November 29, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Gatekeepers of the image

I read with interest "The image can be everything" by Siri Agrell in the National Post. The problem is, it's all a crock. From the article:

Mr. Nesbitt-Larkin believes the current PM has the advantage when it comes to photographs. As the most seasoned politician, he seems the most at ease in posing with children, flipping pancakes and striking the pose as a relaxed candidate.

This is simply not true, as everyone who has seen in the last few days a tired and cantankerous Martin caught by photogs in unguarded moments can attest. And anyone who has had access to the Canadian Press photo archive knows it, too. The CP photogs are some of the best in Canada, and they regularly shoot pics of the leaders in all kinds of situations and with a myriad of expressions.  They don't just catch them in the photo-ops after they've yelled, say cheese! When I was art director of the now-defunct Report Newsmagazine, I was constantly surprised at the number of funny and nasty photos of Jean Chrétien in that CP archive, and I wondered why no one chose to publish them. We of course would, being cantankerous right-whingers keeping ourselves amused. I recall choosing pics of Chrétien--one with his arm out, hand straight, looking for all the world like a Nazi salute (nearly fell off my chair laughing when I saw it) or clenching his fists like a maniac (put that one on the cover)--and people would write in, complimenting or accusing us of photoshopping the image. Not true I would protest in vain. Sure, we did some photoshop--I recall one great job, a cover image by my then-colleague Dave Stevens where he seamlessly mooshed the faces of Stockwell Day and Joe Clark together (boy we caught hell from the readers on that one). But most of the time, it was just a matter of picking photos straight out of the CP archive.

That picture of Stanfield fumbling the football mentioned at the end of Agrell's story? That was run over and over again. Recall the pictures of Chretien falling on his face playing basketball? No? Recall the picture of Duceppe in the hairnet? Yep.

It might be stating the obvious, but it's not a matter of who does a better photo-op during a campaign. It's who chooses the picture, and who decides to run it on the front page.

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 29, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Never send to know for whom the bell tolls...

It tolls for thee...

Now the question is; Who's it gonna be?

Layton_2

'Stachioed Socialist...

**********

Martin_1

Dithers and the Cabal of Crooks...

*** OR ***

Harper_1

"Scary" Stephen

It's up to you, Canada.  You can tell the Liberals that you've had it up to your nickers with getting fleeced and lied to.  Or you can tell them that your expectations are so low, that anything they do is ok, as long as they protect you from that crazy neo-con.  Frankly, I gave up playground idiocy, after grade 2.  Since then, I have made an effort to educate myself, and make informed choices, based on static principles that hold public office holders to high standards.  You may not like Stephen Harper...you may even find him "scary" *snort*...but one thing's for sure -- He doesn't have a proven track record of  #1) raping the public purse, #2) either lying to you about it, or having no idea that it was going on, and #3) telling you at the same time, that he's doing it for your own good.

Besides...aren't you getting just a little bit tired of having your nose wiped by some Liberal bureaucrat who's getting over-paid, with your hard-earned money, to do it?  It's time to make a choice for the direction you want this country to take...and for the love of all that is holy -- don't let fear and apathy grip you -- take responsibility for the course of your nation, and your life.  Or one day, risk the true horror of not being given a choice.  Don't let others speak for you.  Speak up, for yourself.  And no matter who you side with...

Vote.  It's not a right.  It's a responsibility.

North American Patriot

Posted by Wonder Woman on November 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (34) | TrackBack

A 56-day election

E-day is January 23, 2006.  That means, counting today, that Canadians are entering a 56-day election.  The Canada Elections Act  (section 57) requires a minimum 36-day election (Writ period), with no maximum.  The Prime Minister could have asked the G-G to set e-day on January 9th or January 16th.  January 16th might have been a reasonable option given the likelihood of a Christmas "timeout" from, say, December 23rd through January 2nd.  That woud have been 49 days.  Even January 9th would have made it a 42-day Writ period.  But, 56 days?!

Outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin spent the first portion of his speech blaming the Opposition for triggering "an election over the holidays."  Joan Tintor blogged about Mr. Martin's playing "the religion card" on this awhile ago, here, pointing out that religious holidays didn't prevent the Liberals' asking the G-G to drop the Writ on Orthodox Easter in 1997.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on November 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Martin, Chrétien, Gagliano, lalalalala

Give the Bloc Québecois some credit. I can't see the other parties bettering their catchy campaign theme song. It's clever. It's fun. And that little baby looks like he's having a blast.

(HT: Pro Libertate Veritateque)

ADAM DAIFALLAH

Posted by Adam Daifallah on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Hold nose; mark X

I'd like Stephen Harper to be our next Prime Minister, given (and I cannot stress this proviso enough) the realistic choices, all two of them, currently on offer, but the Conservative candidate in my riding has no chance. And that's not pessimism — it's fact. The Liberal incumbent, Sarmite Bulte, stands a reasonable chance of losing, but if she does lose it's definitely going to be to the NDP candidate. A Conservative vote in Parkdale—High Park is pretty much wasted, as far as I can see, since it squanders a real opportunity to influence the balance of power in the House of Commons.

At first blush it seems like people in my situation should vote NDP, in that fewer seats for the Liberals is a good thing for the Conservatives (to say nothing of the fact that I'd rather support just about anyone, and most anything, than Paul Martin). On the other hand, a seat that switches from Liberal to NDP could end up a wash if Paul Martin and Jack Layton end up swinging some kind of coalition. But if that's the case then it won't much matter who I voted for, right?

Wikipedia's extensive entry about tactical voting quotes Labour MP Anne Begg as follows:

Tactical voting is fine in theory and as an intellectual discussion in the drawing room or living rooms around the country, but when you actually get to polling day and you have to vote against your principles, then it is much harder to do.

I'm willing to entertain arguments that tactical voting is just voodoo, but not along those lines — the only way I could vote my conscience on January 23rd would be to set my ballot on fire. If anyone wants to talk me down from Jack Layton's ledge, I'm all ears.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Posted by Chris Selley on November 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack

Picking sides

Okay, the Tories already have a public endorsement . . . from an American,  D.J McGuire in Washington. Won't that go down like gangbusters in Toronto. (Did you catch Paul Martin giving his speech to his caucus following his defeat in the Commons? He attacked the "Neoconservatives, the NDP and the Bloc." LOL!) Ah well. China Support Network and the China e-Lobby are supporting the Conservatives. In an earlier post today, I mentioned some China watchers in the U.S. Well, D.J. is one of them. I should call him a "Canada watcher" as well because he knows an awful lot about Canadian politics and I hate it when he calls me up and starts telling me stuff I don't know about my own country. Just kidding, D.J. (if you are reading this). From his post:

Canada may not be aware of it yet, but it is now involved in the most important election campaign since its founding...

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

How much will this election cost?

Best questions:

1.  How much has Paul Martin's government cost us?

Answer:  $24,488,825,212.00, according to my friend and head of Taxpayers John Williamson, here.

2.  How much would it cost us to keep the Paul Martin government in power?

You answer.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

And So It Begins

We are in full-swing election campaign mode, heading right into Christmas. That can be a bitter - but necessary - pill to swallow for some, but when washed down with some Christmas goodies, it doesn't feel so bad!

Please join Jurij Klufas, the Conservative Party of Canada candidate of record for the Parkdale High Park riding, for a pre-Christmas wine & cheese fundraiser.

Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 7pm at Swansea Beer & Wine Making, 22 Ripley Avenue, Toronto M6S 3N9. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at the door. Wine and beer to be provided by Swansea Wine making, and cheese by the Cheese Boutique. We hope to see you there!

Posted by RightGirl on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Paul Martin's campaign of fear

All but a very few lines of the Liberal leader's campaign launch speech was about either Stephen Harper or the Bloc.

Nothing positive.  Nothing to offer.

All about fear, going after the Liberal base in Atlantic Canada, anglo- and allo-phone Montreal, and the GTA.

Mr. Martin's message to his base? 

"Be afraid.  Be very afraid."

If I were Mr. Martin, I'd be scared, too.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on November 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (27) | TrackBack

Government falls

The Liberal government has fallen, and now the fun begins.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Liberals picketing Libranos

There went the perogy vote;

Liberal Party brass are under fire from rank-and-file Grits and Ukrainian-Canadians, who accuse them of rigging the nomination process to crown a preferred star candidate in a west Toronto riding.

Outraged Liberals protested outside the Toronto party headquarters yesterday over a "flawed" process in the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding.

They claim the party is plotting to sideline local candidates to "parachute" in Michael Ignatieff, a high-profile Harvard academic and writer.

But the raging controversy doesn't end there. Members of the riding's sizable Ukrainian-Canadian community are also outraged that Ignatieff, who they label a "virulent Ukrainophobe," is even in the running.


Heh.

Check out the comments to this Ignatieff response in the Globe.

Posted by Kate McMillan on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Alberta's Adscam?

Alberta has a scandal of its own these days -- not involving advertising contracts, but something actually more important: the Alberta Securities Commission. As our latest cover story by Andrea Mrozek reports, there is a two-tiered regulatory regime -- one for friends of the governing PC party, another for everybody else; and then there is the weird sexual culture of the office, replete with an anatomically correct blow-up doll on display.

Dozens of ASC staff have quit or been fired, and they're on their third chairman in just a few months -- and now he's been fined for securities irregularities. And then there's the new director of enforcement, caught trading shares in a company under investigation. The clean-up crew needs cleaning up, itself.

If the Alberta Liberal opposition wasn't so feckless -- or so ideologically marginal -- they might actually be getting some traction on this story.

Here's my Sun column on the subject, including a note about pressure that was brought to bear on the Western Standard when it became known we were writing about the subject.

Albertans complain the Ottawa Liberals have grown arrogant over the course of 12 years and four elections, and that arrogance expresses itself in an entitlement culture -- like David Dingwall's righteous insistence that his expense account was legitimate, or Paul Martin's attempt to brazen out the Gomery Commission's findings.

Well, Alberta's Progressive Conservative government has been in power for 34 years. And the entitlemania that comes with it is the story of the ASC.

Posted by Ezra Levant on November 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

"You undermine our laws and our people"

You should be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that yet another level of government is being accused of criminal activity, this time in the form of neglect to enforce the law on Indian reserves. The Poundmaker Working Group, an association of ostracized Poundmaker Cree Nation residents, have sent a strongly-worded letter to the Hon. Frank Quennell, QC, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for the Saskatchewan government and Assistant Commissioner Darrell McFadyen Commanding Officer Saskatchewan Division of the RCMP, with regards to "white-collar" criminal activities being practised on the Poundmaker reserve and beyond:

For many of our youth, the example set by allegedly offending persons in positions of authority is the poorest of role models. These youth observe the alleged criminal behaviours and emulate them. To be powerful and thus comfortable, they learn, is to control and divert the money. To this they aspire, knowing that no one will stop them. Quite the contrary, they come to see this as acceptable behaviour. This is not our way.

You fail in your protectorate duties on behalf of the Crown pursuant to the Treaties between the Indigenous Nations and Her Majesty.

In facilitating and encouraging the alleged behaviours by failing to protect, Her Majesty's breach of treaty, you undermine our laws and our people. The effects, as you are beginning to understand, are not isolated on reserve but spill over into neighbouring communities, seriously taxing resources and affecting everyone's quality of life.


Special thanks to Dust My Broom for posting this letter in its entirety.

Posted by Rob Huck on November 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hed's up

Heds_up Call me an ol' softy, but I actually feel kinda sorry for Hedy Fry in this picture.

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

"Pardon our French"

We’ll start a thread here about Ric Dolphin’s column “Pardon our French” posted on our site this morning (as we did on Friday with the Report on Bilingualism).

Posted by westernstandard on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Let me tell you 'bout...

Nice round-up of the Canadian political landscape for Americans by David Gratzer in NRO: The “Choo Choo Man” Party On the Outs

"The Liberals’ woes, however, run deeper than this scandal and Martin’s handling of it. For years, Canadians have had an unwritten compact with the party: We’d pay high taxes and keep reelecting them and, in exchange, the Liberals would run the country competently. Obviously, the scandal has tarnished their image as astute managers. But even before, the deal was falling apart. With taxes rising steadily over the past decade, after-tax income has essentially stagnated. Yet Canada’s welfare state is rotten to the core."

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Paul McCartney vs. China

Paul McCartney has announced that he will never perform in China, for political reasons.

"This is barbaric. Horrific. It's like something out of the dark ages. And they seem to get a kick out of it. They're just sick, sick people.

"I wouldn't even dream of going over there to play, in the same way that I wouldn't go to a country that supported apartheid.

"This is just disgusting. It's just against every rule of humanity. I couldn't go there. If they want to consider themselves a civilised nation they're going to have to stop this."

Oh -- you thought McCartney cared about their treatment of people? Try again.

Posted by Ezra Levant on November 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Covering the bases

Power Corp Proxy Michael Ignatieff is off to a rocky start as the National Post reports: Ignatieff 'coronation' protested in riding. Recall Adam Daifallah's June 29 post on this site. I noted in comments that Ignatieff is an old friend of the Rae family, having gone to university with Bob Rae and even organized pro-China seminars with him in the 1960s. Bob Rae is the brother of John Rae, who sits on Power Corp's board of directors. (In testimony at the Gomery Commission, you will recall Benoit Corbeil testified that when the Liberal Party in Quebec was in dire financial straits, he would call up John Rae at Power Corp and get a quick loan guarantee.)

btw check out the bottom paragraph of this story in Saturday's Globe and Mail:.

Meanwhile, a long-time friend of Mr. Ignatieff, former NDP Ontario premier Bob Rae, announced he would not run. The initial plan was to have Mr. Rae run in Oshawa, Ont.

On Saturday, it was noted on this site by Paul Tuns that Conservative Peter MacKay was seen with Sophie Desmarais, daughter of Power Corp head Paul Desmarais. I wouldn't be too hard on Peter. In my view, this is just Power Corp trying to cover all the bases, as they did with Mulroney whose association with Paul Desmarais dated back to the early 1970s. These guys are Canada's kingmakers, having put Pierre Trudeau in office. No doubt MacKay is going to get a lot of "What are you doing with those Luddites, you're so much better and smarter than they are, and pretty good looking to boot. You should be leader..." etc.

Power Corp probably convinced Ignatieff to run with the with that hoary old Plato saying that Pierre Trudeau would often repeat ""One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Always good to appeal to the ego.

Addendum: It has been put to me by China watchers in the United States that one of the reasons Power Corp may dread a Harper victory is because of the potential he might appoint Conservative foreign affairs critic Stockwell Day as foreign affairs minister. They tell me that though Day may get ridiculed in this country, apparently the opinion of him in the Chinese dissident community abroad is very high because of his concern for human rights in Communist China. Power Corp has of course spent years kissing Communist Chinese butt and was rewarded for this by being allowed to purchase a substantial interest in CITIC. See "Puppets of Beijing

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Boooooo!

Shotgun readers may be pleased to know that the loudest boos that I heard at the Grey Cup game today occured when Paul Martin came out to perform the ceremonial coin toss at the start of the game. The jeers and boos at his expense were really loud and quite noticeable inside B.C. Place Stadium, and that may not have come across on television.

Posted by Rick Hiebert on November 27, 2005 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

XM Radio's CanCon offering

A first look at some of XM Radio's new Canadian channels which officially launch Nov 29th.

Posted by CharLeBois on November 27, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Isn't he adorable?

boldtNov272005

Posted by Rob Huck on November 27, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The new Conservative plan to get elected

Have a high profile caucus member get into bed with the Desmarais family. Peter MacKay is reportedly dating Sophie Desmarais, a daughter of politician collector Paul Desmarais Sr. The last three elected prime ministers all had connections to Desmarais.

(HT: Gods of the Copybook Headings)

Posted by Paul Tuns on November 26, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Adscam was organized and criminal

Here are all three of Stephen Harper's now-famous references, from Thursday's Hansard, to the Liberals and organized crime:

1. "The testimony before the commission began to confirm a sponsorship program that was a front for massive kickbacks involving organized crime, used by the Liberal Party to fill its own election coffers."

2. "A party, and I think this is important to repeat when we are talking about the Clarity Act and the rule of law, that has been named in a judicial inquiry, a royal commission, has been found guilty of breaking every conceivable law in the province of Quebec with the help of organized crime cannot lecture the separatists or anyone else about respecting the rule of law."

3. "I have said to people in my own party and to others that if I belonged to an organization and led an organization that was found to have been involved in a massive corruption ring using organized crime to defraud taxpayers, I cannot understand why anyone found in that position would want to be associated with that organization."

The Liberals are in a fury over all this, of course, but Harper's use of the phrase is actually quite cagey. Remember, Gomery has shown that Liberals conducted an organized criminal enterprise to enrich their party. Hence, by definition, they used, employed, or involved themselves in "organized crime." Organized crime doesn't always have to involve the Mafia or the Triads, you know; it can involve anyone acting in an organized, illegal manner.

Of course, Harper's repeated use of the "organized crime" label is bound to conjure up images of the Mafia et al, and, as such, it may be seen as a low blow. Moreover, of the three cited occurrences, the second is really stretching things, especially that part about the Liberals having been found guilty of breaking every conceivable law. Was he referring to murder? Rape, perhaps? Or maybe incest, piracy or treason? I doubt Harper would have dared to suggest such a thing without the protection of privilege he enjoys in the Commons.

Clearly, Harper was being deliberately provocative in an attempt to define the campaign as being about Liberal wrongdoing. His instinct on this is good, as is his decision to fire a preemptive strike in what we know, given the Liberal record in the last two campaigns, will be a negative campaign. It will be interesting to watch how much mud Harper will sling over the next month and a half. But my bet is that it's not going to be half as much as the Liberals.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on November 26, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (31) | TrackBack

Too, ahem, "high profile."

Here's a worrying sign that the Tories are heading into this campaign as clueless and gaffe-prone as ever: They nearly signed up Rachel Marsden as a candidate. And not in some remote riding in Nunavat, where there's a chance that some Canadians, fluent only in Inuktitut,  haven't yet learned of her criminal convictions, psychotic stalking episodes and false rape accusations. She was asked to run in Toronto Danforth, where the leader of the NDP, Jack Layton, will be squaring off against constitutional expert Deborah Coyne for the Liberals. A high profile race like that calls for a high-profile candidate. But, it would seem, Marsden was just a titch too high-profile for the unsuspecting riding association, after they realized what kind of a human minefield they were dealing with. From today's Post:

Political commentator Rachel Marsden was asked to run as a Conservative against NDP leader Jack Layton, but the party backed off yesterday after word leaked out.
Georganne Burke, a regional organizer for the Tories, approached Ms. Marsden after a former candidate in the last election suggested she would be a good fit.
"I am wondering if you might consider becoming a candidate in Toronto Danforth for us," Ms. Burke wrote. "Can we have a conversation about it? It would be a fun, high profile campaign, with Jack Layton and Deborah Coyne as your opponents."
But Ms. Burke's position quickly changed after she consulted Conservative advisors and was contacted by the National Post. Ms. Marsden is "too high-profile" for the race, she said.
"We're looking for someone who will help carry the torch, help to build the organization and not detract from that by being too high profile.
"

Up until last year, I lived in Toronto Danforth for some time, and I was probably one of the 10 non-socialists that did. It's full of CBC journalists, public school teachers, gay and lesbian couples and immigrants who came over 30 years ago but still think they owe Trudeau a favour for it. The Tories wouldn't stand a chance in that riding if Shania Twain was their candidate. But sticking a loose cannon who revels in making obnoxious comments about gays and Muslims, smack dab in the backyard of the Toronto media would not only earn the Conservatives no points in that riding, but would almost certainly ruin their campaign nationally. They dodged this bullet. But this is exactly the sort of clumsy behaviour that could see the Tories snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by Kevin Libin on November 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

CBC election bias

CBC describes what it calls a "promising" poll.

You wouldn't believe what result they find "promising".

Posted by Stephen Taylor on November 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Coren gets the hook

Michael Coren, no stranger to Western Standard readers, has resigned from Toronto's CFRB 1010 rather than be fired for politically incorrect comments about fat, err obese, people, LifeSitenews reports.

General Manager Pat Holiday expressed concern about Coren's choice of targets. Coren: "picked on a group of people" (fat people) and "said things you just don't say on the radio," LifeSite quotes Holiday as saying.

LifeSite sees this as another attempt to push social conservative commentators to the margins, citing another politically incorrect WS columnist, David Warren, who called similar voices 'dissident journalists' and lamented the state of conservative commentary outside of Alberta. It isn't just socially conservative voices that get steamrolled in Canada. Indeed, the most famous case is the loss of CHOI-FM's licence due to (really) politically incorrect comments by shock-jock Jeff Fillion during his hugely popular morning show. We covered this story here, interviewed Fillion (you can listen to the recorded conversation here in WAV format), and Pierre Lemieux ripped into the idea of censoring for "Canadian values' " sake here.

What don't you say on the radio? Ever since the CHOI-FM decision, quite a lot. When the Supreme Court sided with the CRTC in yanking their licence, radio programmers' ears must have perked up.  The Radio Regulations of 1986 get a broad reading. Those regulations include this gem: "a licensee shall not broadcast... any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability." Since eating a mountain of pork and hohos for breakfast is now considered a 'disability,' you can't fault Holiday for worrying about the sensitivity squad coming down hard on CFRB. In Canada's radio universe, after all, you either say nice things, or you say nothing at all.

LifeSite suggests we send polite notes of concern to Holiday at his email address: holiday@cfrb.com. WS supporters probably should send a note or two, keeping in mind that Coren says he would love to be back at CFRB, and messages should be geared to helping his plight.

Coren, as an aside, debated Karen Selick on the issue of censoring radio here. Take a look, it's germane.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on November 26, 2005 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Friday, November 25, 2005

A huge conflict of interest

Greg Staples noted what should be a huge conflict of interest that few people seem to be talking about, namely the fact that Charles Bird, described in Jane Taber's front-page column in the Globe and Mail yesterday as  "a lobbyist for Bell Globemedia," is serving as the Ontario campaign chairman for the federal Liberals. How does someone who lobbies the government get to run the campaign of the party in power? That's Mr. Bird's first conflict.

I also find it curious that the Globe and Mail ran the story about the Liberals getting ready to go negative in the soon-to-be-called election campaign and quoting Bird as a source. Bell Globemedia, of course, owns the Globe and Mail. Greg asks a number of questions including, "how can a campaign chairman for a party be allowed to work for the largest media conglomerate in Canada?" and how can Canadians "expect disinterested coverage from the Globe and Mail and CTV when one of their own employees is responsible for getting the Liberals re-elected in Ontario?" Especially when he's the main source for the Globe's front-page stories.

This story -- a story which results in two conflicts-of-interest for Charles Bird -- should be getting larger play. And the Conservatives should be raising this issue.

Posted by Paul Tuns on November 25, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Canada (not) to the rescue

Buried deep within this Edmonton Sun story about independent MP David Kilgour saying he will vote to bring down the government on the non-confidence motion next week is this:

"Last spring, Kilgour exploited his key position as an independent MP in a minority Parliament to pressure Martin into sending a military mission to the Sudanese region of Darfur.

Kilgour told media this month that, out of 100 Canadian advisers promised, only three have been sent to Darfur."

So, to be clear, Canada's response to genocide in Sudan was to send three people from the military. Three.

Posted by Paul Tuns on November 25, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

The Abotech Affair: The story goes into print

Julie Murray of the West Quebec Post has been in regular contact with this blogger over the last week, preparing a story on David Smith and the Abotech affair.

In deference to the people at the Post and their desire not to be scooped, I've kept quiet until today, when the weekly was published and hit the stands.

The questions for David Smith, Liberal MP for Pontiac, are now in print. And not just in print, but in a local paper. The West Quebec Post, with a circulation of about 5000, distributes in David Smith's riding. Don't forget also that Pontiac is just across the river from Ottawa.

So go read the article, and consider what impact it might be having on voters in Pontiac. It'll also be interesting to see if the story gets picked up by another paper, what with an election call days away driving interest. I am personally gratified that Julie Murray was able to independently verify many of the facts I had uncovered, and that I am credited (see the end of the article) for my work on this. She has added much more material as well, with quotes from her interview with David Smith being especially interesting. Thanks also to editor Fred Ryan. I hope wading through my amateurish attempts at journalism wasn't too much of a burden.

[Expanded post at Angry in the Great White North]

Posted by Steve Janke on November 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Edmonton Sun Poll

I guess Edmonton Sun readers didn't get PM PM's message that they were not supposed to want an election. I hope this, and a recent poll that shows a majority of Canadians are ready for a change, bodes well for Harper and company.

Here is the poll as of 3.45 pm, MST.

There's going to be a holiday season election campaign. Are you:
Eager to vote 68%
Planning to avoid the polls 12%
Only planning to hit the egg nog hard 20%
 
Total Votes for this Question: 622

Posted by Bob Wood on November 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Review: "Rescuing Canada's Right"

Here, for my review of Tasha and Adam's new book.  "A good time was had by all" at the launch, last night, in Toronto.  Former Premier Mike Harris was in fine form and, as already widely reported, Lord Black's entrance created something of a sensation.  Mr. Harris made a point of making very complimentary remarks about Conservative Leader of the Opposition Stephen Harper and predicted great things in the upcoming federal election.

Both Tasha and Adam prefaced their remarks crediting their immigrant parents -- both in Tasha's case and his father in Adam's -- for instilling in them "conservative values."  But I thought one line Tasha said worthy of particular note (Sorry, Adam!).  She prefaced it by remarking that her dad arrived in Canada literally with two dollars in his pocket, and worked three jobs to support his family so Mrs. Kheiriddin could stay home when Tasha was a child.  Her mother later earned a university degree.  As Tasha described it:

"This is a Canadian story.  This is a conservative story."

Buy it . . . the book . . . and the sentiment.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on November 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Watching the river flow

Heartening news coming off the wires. AP: China Media Raises Questions About Spill.

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 25, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

You don't say

Posted the second part of the Western Standard's Report on Bilingualism on the main page today. Here is Part I.

Posted by westernstandard on November 25, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (35) | TrackBack

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Grand Unifying Conspiracy Theory

This entry, Completing the French Connection (The reasoning behind the forged Niger Documents) by paperjam on Free Republic is very well-written. The upshot of this theory is that the Niger docs were intended to be used by the French to discredit Yank intelligence, dissuade the US from going into Iraq and end the UN sanctions. Ultimately, the goal was to supplant the US dollar with the Euro as the currency for the oil market.

I’m not entirely convinced, but as I say, it is nicely written and clearly explained.

h/t BM

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 24, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack