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Monday, March 31, 2008

What if the Tories were tied with the Grits in PEI?

That scenario is - I think - the closest Canadian equivalent to what we're seeing down here in New Jersey (which last went Republican the same year the the Liberals lost the Island - 1988).

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 31, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

A Letter To The World

Crown prince Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah, has recently published an open letter on his own website and in the Washington Post newspaper, addressing the people of the world and asking for assistance with the removal of the Mullahs from Iran and establishing a free democratic society:

You can read the whole letter here. It does make me hopeful and makes me think about the day that Iran is freed and civilized. An Iran that is the friend of the West and is a force of stability and peace in the middle-east.

Posted by Winston on March 31, 2008 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mrs. Grundy strikes again

"Bar managers and store owners face large-scale compensation claims if their customers ogle their barmaids, waitresses or check-out staff. New sex discrimination laws also mean that landlords who allow loud sexist jokes or banter among drinkers could be taken before a tribunal. The regulations say that bosses are responsible for protecting their staff from sexual harassment by customers - and that those who fail to do so can face unlimited compensation claims.They mean that a pub landlord could be sued if a bar worker complains about being called 'love', or over customers telling each other off-colour jokes. Restaurant managers or hoteliers risk action if staff object to backchat from diners or guests asking for a date."
Wecome to the Fair New World. My only question is: Is the trend to sanitize speech in private businesses (where nobody is compelled to work or to frequent) more or less disturbing than what's going on at Canada's human rights commissions?

.

Posted by Grant Brown on March 31, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Now it's only 'many' scientists

I detect at least one admirable note of prudence in this Canadian Press story about the start today of "complex" new talks to produce a Kyoto II agreement. Specifically, this line: "Many scientists and the United Nations agree that the world needs to stabilize emissions of greenhouse gases in the next 10-15 years and slash them by 50 per cent by 2050 to prevent rising temperatures from triggering devastating changes in the environment." Note, the story does not say most scientists, or a scientific consensus, but simply "many" -- a number which could mean a minority, of course.

However, the story goes in the other direction with this one-sided declaration: "News of accelerating effects of global warming, such as the recent collapse of a massive chunk of Antarctic ice and worsening cyclones and flooding, has put even more pressure on the UN talks to provide decisive action." Omitted, of course, is any recognition of the deccerlation of global warming, as manifested in this winter's (and spring's!) unusually cold weather.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 31, 2008 in Science | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

WS Radio: Global Warming audio & today's show

UPDATE: Dr. Brad Rodu, professor of oncology at the University of Louisville, will be our interview subject today. Dr. Rodu is very controversial for suggesting that smokeless tobacco--like Swedish Snus--is 98 per cent safer than smoking cigarettes. Because of this, Dr. Rodu recommends that smokers switch to smokeless, that government health authorities switch from their current policies of tobacco elimination to harm reduction, and has angered the anti-tobacco community in the process.

Warren Kinsella is sick, and has lost his voice. We'll be rescheduling our interview with Warren, but the show must go on. On today's program, we'll be discussing jury nullification, the difference between "the ethics of conviction" and the "ethics of responsibility," and recent news items of interest. Of course, we'll go ahead and mock Earth Hour mercilessly. As always, Gerry Nicholls will join us to talk about Canada in the second hour of the program.

You can listen live from 4 to 6 p.m. Eastern Time by clicking here (QuickTime). An indirect link is here. To participate in the show, you can call in at 888-7-WBGUFM (free from anywhere, including Calgary), or email us at politicalanimals-at-wbgufm-dot-com.

In the meantime, here is the full show with last week's guests Roy Spencer, Todd Albert, and our regular Canadian commentator, Gerry Nicholls. Things got a little heated in the studio with Roy and Todd debating the merits of global warming, and what a reasonable public policy for climate change might look like. All this, just in time for Earth Hour.

Take a listen (if the little widget doesn't work for you, here is the direct link):

Check below the fold to see the live webcam of our show.

Posted by westernstandard on March 31, 2008 in WS Radio | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Lemieux: Why defend free speech?

In his latest column for the Western Standard and Liberty in Canada, Pierre Lemieux offers his defense of freedom of speech and expression.

Pierre argues that freedom of speech needs to be permitted even for "despicable opinions" (like those of the neo-Nazis) because this freedom is the best way to discover the truth, to share these discoveries with others, to advance scientifically and economically, to temper the powerful, and because censorship requires political power and we have no reason to expect the politically powerful to be more enlightened than the rest of us.

An excerpt:

"That these laws were often used against alleged neo-Nazis does not matter, for free speech must be defended up to, and including, the expression of despicable opinions. Lately, as was to be expected, the "human rights" commissions (there are provincial ones, too) have been going after other targets.

"Talking about Nazis, it is worth noting that the real ones were also great fans of speech bans. Section 23 of the 1920 program of the National Socialist German Workers Party called for a "legal fight against conscious
political lies."... A Nazi government decree of March 21, 1933, aimed to punish "[a]nybody who intentionally creates or publishes a false or seriously misleading piece of information that could gravely undermine the... Reich." Statists have a way to be similar across time and place." Read More...

Posted by westernstandard on March 31, 2008 in Western Standard | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Workers' Paradise

If you ever wonder how a Marxist/Socialist workers' paradise could look like then you gotta either take a look at Cuba or in this case North Korea. North Korea and Cuba are the "Workers' Paradises" where people are kept poor, basic freedoms are absent and the masses are ruled by an iron fist and live in a strict police state.

Read about it here

Posted by Winston on March 31, 2008 in International Affairs, Travel | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Freedom of expression on campus

Calgary has been the epicentre of bold, in-your-face pro-life activism ever since Stephanie Gray of Chilliwack, B.C., moved there a few years ago. The head of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, Gray is the driving force behind the controversial Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) that regularly springs up (and causes controversy) at Canadian universities. And she was also behind the launching last year in Calgary of a truck, bedecked with GAP-type graphic images.

I write the above to explain and give some background to what is shaping up to be a showdown today between the University of Calgary and the university's student pro-life group, Campus Pro-Life. CPL says it will defy a university edict today and will set up a GAP display. There's going to be some fireworks here, for sure.

Here's the full press release from Campus Pro-Life:

MARCH 31, 2008: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STUDENTS DEFY UNIVERSITY CENSORSHIP

AND PLEAD FOR PEACEFUL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

CALGARY, AB, March 31, 2008The University of Calgary has threatened to censor one of its own student groups, Campus Pro-Life (CPL), from publicly displaying the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), an educational exhibit that graphically compares abortion to the Holocaust. CPL members are going to defy the university today and tomorrow as they ignore the new restrictions being placed on their group, and march onto campus to erect the signs.which is what the university has done," explained Wilson. He added, "The U of C administration could take a lesson from Russian university officials who didn’t attempt to suppress GAP on their campuses last fall." Footage of these Russian GAP displays can be viewedhttp://www.abortionno.org/World/russia.html

In a letter to Campus Pro-Life, which was copied to university’s vice-president of external affairs, Roman Cooney, the university’s legal counsel Charlene Anderson wrote, "We have received numerous complaints in the past about the graphic and often disturbing nature of the Genocide Awareness Program’s [sic] signs and placards… we require that the display of all GAP signs and photographs face inward…"

The university has not responded to CPL’s query as to whether other groups have ever been subjected to this form of censorship.

Since 2006, GAP has been displayed at the U of C peacefully with its signs facing outwards on four occasions. However, at the most recent GAP display in October 2007, some individuals attempted to physically block the GAP display and impede dialogue between CPL members and their fellow students.

In correspondence with CPL, the university has thus far condoned this practice of physical intervention to prevent dialogue. The university has thus far refused CPL’s request that opposing groups each be given their own space, in order to prevent the physical intimidation by pro-choice protestors which took place five months ago.

"The university is giving in to mob rule," stated CPL treasurer Leah Hallman. "Rather than hiding unpopular views, the university should facilitate the expression of all viewpoints and create a safe environment for dialogue," continued Hallman.

CPL president Matthew Wilson asked, "If a Muslim club were to set up a controversial exhibit on campus and a Christian club objected, would the university require the Muslim club to turn its display inward?"

Censorship is not foreign to the U of C. In March 2005, because of university restrictions, CPL displayed GAP off-campus. After a student violently attacked three GAP signs, generating a slew of negative media coverage for the university, CPL retained legal assistance and the U of C eventually changed its position and acknowledged the students’ rights to conduct the display. In March 2006, the university erected signs around GAP that read, "The exhibit is protected under the relevant sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms related to Freedom of Expression."

Since then, however, pro-choice protests have grown.

"If so-called pro-choice students don’t like what we have to say, they should be allotted space to express their views, not assisted in their attempts to block ours

here:

This act of censorship at the U of C is the latest in a string of incidents at universities across the country. In February, the student union at York University in Toronto banned an abortion debate. At the University of Toronto, the administration requires pro-life students to configure their GAP signs in a horseshoe-shape, with the opening facing inward. And at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Lakehead University in Ontario, and Capilano College and UBC-Okanagan in British Columbia, pro-life students have been denied club status.

Exhibit Details: *Monday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 1: U of C campus, between Science A & Science B, near MacEwan Hall Student Centre, 9:00am-2:30pm.

For further information: Matthew Wilson: 403-619-8449 (c) or Leah Hallman:

403-808-3412 (c)

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Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 31, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Tibetans "refuse to be cowed"

Just as the Communists were trying to show foreign diplomats that Lhasa was a-OK; Tibetans dare to speak their minds again.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 31, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Good riddance

It appears that Vancouverites will soon see the last of perhaps the ugliest and most offensive piece of public art ever foisted on the city, a malacious eyesore called "Device to Root Out Evil." Here's the latest news on this glorified piece of junk.

450pxdevice_to_root_out_evil1_4 I objected to the piece on these grounds:

1. It was clearly a work of propaganda, meant to push a political point of view and, as such, had little artistic merit.

2. It offended my Christian beliefs (notice how the implied cross atop the steeple is buried).

3. It blocked views.

4. I found it uncomfortably disorienting.

I'll be glad to see it go.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 30, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack

The audacity of hype

I'm certainly not out to displace Adam Yoshida as the biggest Obama basher on The Shotgun, but I'm certainly no fan of the man, as I make clear in my latest Face to Face column in the Tri-City News. Here's an sampling:

"A prime reason for [his popularity] seems to be his facility with language — both his soaring rhetoric and the hopeful message it contains. But in the speeches I’ve heard, Obama constructs nothing more than an empty palace of pap, replete with pat phrases and verbal pablum. He talks of hope, but doesn’t spell out what he’s hoping for. He promises change, but doesn’t specify what such change would bring...

"Obama’s campaign slogan is 'Change we can believe in.' On the evidence, I’d say a more accurate one would be: 'Hype we cannot trust.' ”

My debating partner, Mary Woo Sims, would--as expected--be very happy to have the "bi-racial" (her expression) candidate as president. One final point: While I disagree with much that Sims says, I'm pleasantly surprised that she believes the U.S. is "the world's only legitimate super power." Funny, I would have guessed she would have thought the U.S.'s power to be illegitimate.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 30, 2008 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Are you listening, Stephen Harper?

And speaking of the UN (see below), on March 28 the UN's Human Rights Council extended for three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. See this UN report for more details.

What a noble idea. What a fine sentiment. And, so, wouldn't it be wonderful if Stephen Harper's Conservative government actually did something to promote and protect freedom of opinion and expression in this country by eliminating the censorious Section 13 from the Canadian Human Rights Act, a section about which much has been written on this and other blogs in the past week. See Ezra Levant's  recent postings and Lorne Gunter's recent column for more on this.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 30, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Is the UN Secretary-General Canadian?

Nope. But he sure sounds like Warren Kinsella in this official United Nations press release condemning  "in the strongest terms, the airing of Geert Wilders’ offensively anti-Islamic film." According to Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon,  "There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence.  The right of free expression is not at stake here...Freedom must  always be accompanied by social responsibility."

It's the same old story:  a) freedom of speech is great; b) but you must use it responsibly, which apparently means in a way that won't offend other people; c) oops, I'm sorry: apparently, it's okay to use it in a way that offends some people, just not those prone to react violently once they've been offended.

I'm kind of tired of freedom being held hostage by the violent impulses of fanatics living in faraway places. But I'm also tired of cowards like Ban ki-Moon. The people at LiveLeak.com, the website that once hosted Wilders' film, are more honorable than the Secretary-General of the UN. At least they waited for the threats to come in before caving in (and they were certainly within their rights to do so.)

It's absolutely disgusting. The Secretary-General is just as afraid, but uses the rhetoric of "social responsibility" to condemn those unwilling to be silenced by threats of violent Islamic backlash.

H/T: Little Green Footballs

Posted by Terrence Watson on March 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Barack Hussein Obama is a Sissy

I'm surprised that the Times let this get out.

Mr. Obama, it turns out, was a weak centrist. His balls rolled down the center of the lane, but much too slowly to knock over more than a half dozen or so pins.

No wonder he is beloved by so many women, especially those of the Millennial Generation - I can't think of a better way to define a Girlie Man than this.

UPDATE: Here's some video of the event.

Just look at how the man moves when he bowls.  Let's just say that he seems rather limp wristed, and then leave it at that.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 30, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

It's all Over, Save the Execution

Damn, I wish that we'd gone for an election this Spring.  The latest poll has the Liberals in a distant third in Quebec.

I think that an election versus Dion would be a guarenteed majority.  Now, though, I don't think that there's any way that we get to have one, unless we engineer an election right now. 

In Quebec City, the Liberals are in fourth place - behind the NDP.  At this point, all that's left for Dion to do is to pace around his cell and wait for the executioner to show up.

So, who's the next Leader of the Liberal Party?  Will they go with one of the also-rans from last time?  Or is it time for the second coming of the anti-Christ in the form of Justin Trudeau?

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 30, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Political Movie on the CBC

Tonight CBC is showing part one of "The Trojan Horse", the sequel to Paul Gross' 2004 mini-series "H2O."

The first movie ended with the plot by the Prime Minister to enrich Canada by selling water to the United States collapsing, with Canada falling into civil disorder and resultantly being occupied by the United States.  This second movie deals with the aftermath of Canada voting to join the United States, with Gross' character running for President with the covert backing of several European governments.

Yes, I know that Gross is a leftist.  But, I have to admit, I do like the guy a bit.  "Slings & Arrows" is probably among my five favourite television shows of all time (The Simpsons, Newsradio, Star Trek, Babylon 5...  Hmmm...  Maybe top ten).

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 30, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Your Sunday distraction

While everyone was busy commemorating the stupidity and evil of Communism by turning out their lights for an hour so that they know what people like Andrea Mrozek and myself (I was born in Communist Poland) had to live through, I was busy looking for videos that celebrate our technological advancement, scientific knowledge, and general awesomeness. Here's something I found that's worth watching:

(Wait... that whole "turn out the lights" thing wasn't about Communism? What a shame...)

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on March 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Infiltration

After the Jihadists, proud parading naked monsters, Commies and anti-war morons, here comes the Chi-Coms protest in Toronto opposing the Tibet independence and freedom...

Posted by Winston on March 29, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Earth Hour: My Response

Gerry stole a little bit of my thunder with this post but, since the pictures were taken, I'm going with it anyways.

I object to this "Earth Hour" nonsense.  I believe it to be fundamentally wrong-headed to begin with, arising from a belief that humanity and human ingenuity is a cause of problems rather than the solution to them, but I particularly object to the coercive and bullying sort of fashion in which the media has covered this event.  The obvious implication, of course, in all of this is that if you don't fall in - if you don't accept the socialistic view that we ought to reduce our standard of living rather than improving it through technology (though, I should note, I don't expect that any of the rich backers of this sort of stuff will be reducing their own standard of living anytime soon).

Thus, my response to Earth hour is as follows.  When I finish this post, I am going to get into my car and drive first to Bellingham, WA, then to Lynnwood, WA, then possibly to Seattle.  Before I leave, I am going to turn on every single light in my apartment (most of which, by the way) are incandescent 100w bulbs.  I am also going to leave my television on (though with the volume muted, in a concession to my neighbours) and I am going to leave all three of my computers running, specifically encoding video files.

Yeah, it'll cost me a few bucks.  But, frankly, just for the pure joy of going against the grain - and of doing it while it's still legal - I'm going to do it.

Also, while I'm in Washington, I'm going to purchase expensive clothes, doubtlessly produced by Asian child labourers.  Needless to say, I feel good right now.

Pictures after the break.













Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 29, 2008 in Science | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

My house will be lit up bright

Koreareu121006_228x295_3 As this recent satellite image proves, every hour is "Earth Hour" in North Korea.

Anyway, I plan to have every incandescent light bulb in my house lit tonight, so that when aliens peer down on the planet tonight between 8 and 9 PM, they will know at least one human didn't succumb to group think.

Posted by Gerry Nicholls on March 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Friday, March 28, 2008

McCain's First General Election Ad

This is very good stuff. One of the many things that McCain has going for him is that whoever's cutting his ads has a light, subtle, and slightly sublime touch.

Though, best of all, the ad demonstrates that the McCain campaign is prepared to launch a devastating flank assault on Obama. Notice the way that they contrast McCain's experience, courage, and patriotism with Obama's seeming lack of the same. Without even mentioning anyone else's name, I should add.

It's perfect. This is where the McCain campaign needs to be. Strong on the issues - in particular making the case on the economy - but focusing on McCain's very strong personal appeal and heroic image.

Others, including yours truly, will be more than prepared to take the low road with regard to Obama.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 28, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Liveleak pulls Fitna

From LiveLeak:

"Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high."

For now, the english version of the film can still be watched on Google Video. Or here, courtesy of Brussels Journal, where it is more likely to remain available:

Posted by Kalim Kassam on March 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (33) | TrackBack

Political Animals on at a special time

Hello, all:

Western Standard Radio's Political Animals is on at a special time tonight: 10-12 pm.

You can listen live here.

Call in at 1-888-7-WBGUFM to chat. Tonight, we plan to discuss abortion and Ron Paul.

Best,

Political Animals

Posted by westernstandard on March 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Business getting costly in the West

The international tax and auditing firm KPMG has released its 2008 Competitive Alternatives report which compares business costs in 136 cities in 10 countries. Mexico was included for the first time this year and took the top spot from Australia for cost effectiveness since the last report in 2006, while Canada remained in second. However, whereas in 2006 it was 5.5% cheaper to do business in Canada than the US, this time around that advantage has decreased to 0.6%. "With the Canadian dollar at par, Canada is challenged to maintain the competitive edge it once held," said Mark MacDonald, Global Director, Competitive Alternatives, KPMG. "Canada has to present a clear value proposition to businesses in other areas. One example of this is the federal government's recent cuts to corporate income tax rates, which are among the lowest for a wide range of operations among countries surveyed."

For businesses operating in Canada, the other big change was the rising business costs in BC and Alberta due largely to the continued western economic boom. In 2006 the most costly Canadian cities surveyed were Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa; for 2008 Vancouver held on to the bottom position, but Calgary and Chilliwack, BC moved into the next two spots with Toronto following in fourth.

"What stands out in the 2008 survey is how strong Canada ranks globally in terms of the non-cost factors that were considered," said Glenn Mair, MMK Consulting, one of the study authors. Canada had top scores for business-friendly environmental regulation, educational outcomes, and housing affordability and ranked second for environmental performance, total employment levels, least trade restrictiveness, and energy self-sufficiency.

You can access more analysis and download the full report at www.competitivealternatives.com. For a summary of the cost-competitiveness rankings for the 10 countries included and between 17 Canadian cities, look below the fold.

Cost-Competitiveness: 2008 and 2006 Rankings by Country

COUNTRY                   RANK       2008         2006      Change in
                                 COST INDEX   COST INDEX   Cost Index
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mexico                      1        79.5
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Canada                      2        99.4         94.5        -4.9
----------------------------------------------------------------------
United States               3       100.0        100.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Australia                   4       100.2         92.3        -7.9
----------------------------------------------------------------------
France                      5       103.6         95.6        -8.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------
United Kingdom              6       107.1         98.1        -9.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Netherlands                 7       107.3         95.7       -11.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Italy                       8       107.9         97.8       -10.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan                       9       114.3        106.9        -7.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Germany                    10       116.8        107.4        -9.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Business costs are expressed as an index, with the United States being
assigned the baseline index of 100.0
Source: KPMG's 2008 Competitive Alternatives Study

Comparison of Cost Indices Among Major Canadian Cities

CITY                             COST INDEX   COST INDEX   COST INDEX
                                    2008         2006       CHANGE
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Sherbrooke, QC                       92.8         90.1        +2.7
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Moncton, NB                          94.9         91.1        +3.8
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Fredericton, NB                      95.3         91.5        +3.8
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Charlottetown, PEI                   95.8         91.7        +4.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Quebec City, QC                      96.3         92.6        +3.7
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Halifax, NS                          96.6         92.2        +4.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Saskatoon, SK                        96.7         92.8        +3.9
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Winnipeg, MB                         97.7         94.1        +3.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Waterloo Region, ON                  98.2         94.3        +3.9
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Montreal, QC                         98.5         94.3        +4.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------
St. John's, NL                       99.5         94.3        +5.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Edmonton, AB                         99.9         93.3        +6.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ottawa, ON                           99.9         95.1        +4.8
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Toronto, ON                         101.5         96.5        +5.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chilliwack, BC                      101.6         94.0        +7.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Calgary, AB                         102.0         94.7        +7.3
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Vancouver, BC                       104.2         96.9        +7.3
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Business costs are expressed as an index, with the United States being
assigned the baseline index of 100.0
Source: KPMG's 2008 Competitive Alternatives Study

Posted by Kalim Kassam on March 28, 2008 in Trade | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Will you celebrate the darkness?

In her post on “Earth Hour,” Western Standard blogger Andrea Mrozek warned readers that an hour of darkness will soon sweep the land as eco-minded Canadians participate in an international lights out event to raise awareness of global warming.

That hour is near.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May announced today that she will join in this event. Along with other Canadians, she will turn off her lights tomorrow night (Saturday, March 29, 2008) between 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM in a symbolic effort to combat climate change.

"I urge Canadians everywhere to spend an hour in quiet darkness on Saturday night," she said today. "Turn off your lights, unplug your appliances and you will be sending a clear message to Ottawa.

"As our country goes dark from coast to coast to coast, perhaps the minority Conservative government will finally see the light and stop obstructing real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," May continued.

In response to this coming promise of darkness, Western Standard reader Richard Guenther sent this submission about Earth Hour:

Earth Hour

Not long ago Prime Minister Harper was in Estevan, Saskatchewan touring the Boundary Dam Power Plant. This is the facility that will be the recipient of Federal funding to refurbish a 100 MW unit to sequester carbon dioxide. The cost of doing this will be 1.4 billion dollars. The finished unit will be reduced in useable output to 60 MW. Presumably the other 40 MW will be used to extract the carbon dioxide.

This raises some troubling questions. We still need all 100 MW, not just the 60 MW that will be left. If this formula holds in the construction of new power plants and all the information I have says it will, this means for every 100 units of electricity we need in the future, we will need to build 166 units of production. This means an increase of capital costs of 66%. It will also mean that our fuel consumption (and by extrapolation, our operating and maintenance costs) will increase by 66% too.

These huge increases in electricity costs will have a very negative impact on our standard of living. These elevated costs will mean less wealth for your retirement, your healthcare, your children’s education, your vacation. It means you will have to drive a smaller, less safe car in the future or no car at all. It means less research for newer and better drugs in the future. It will reduce the ability of those at the bottom end of our society to afford even the basics. Less money will be available for charitable organizations including environmental causes. Less money will be available for highways. Less money for airports. Even less for big screen TVs.

At the same time the environmentalists want us to shut off our lights for one hour tomorrow night (March 29th) to demonstrate our dedication to saving the planet. All to placate the fears of people who have nightmares over cow flatulence and hot air. Remember, CO2 is not much more than plant food.

I think their idea of shutting off the lights is very indicative of their thinking. This irrational thinking with its huge costs will put us into a dark age, both literally and figuratively. 

I refuse to be a part of it. Rather than subscribing to the “we must all live in caves” theory, I prefer to celebrate our modernity. I want to live in the 21st century, not the 9th. So tomorrow night at 8pm I will turn on all my lights, computers and TVs to show my solidarity with the future of mankind, not to the prophets of doom and naysayers amongst us.

-30-

Thanks for that, Richard.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Toronto City Councillor charged with domestic assault

Those who expressed skepticism in earlier discussions about my empirical findings of police bias in cases of domestic assault (or IPV) should pay attention to the case of Toronto City Councillor Rob Ford, reported today on the front page of the National Post, as it develops.

On Tuesday night, Mr. Ford called 911 for help because of his wife's "irrational, out-of-control behaviour." The police responded, and recommended that he leave the home with the couple's 3-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son. Bias watch #1: If the genders were reversed, the children would have remained in the home with the mother, and the father would have been asked to leave -- or more likely, charged and detained in a holding cell until his bail hearing. Alternatively, the police would have escorted her and the children to a women's shelter. Bias watch #2: Men and their children have no place to go when driven from their home by an "irrational, out-of-control" wife.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Ford returned to the home to get some clothes for the children (note "bias watch #1" for why this subsequent contact should have been rendered unnecessary).  His wife called the police, and he was arrested, handcuffed, and charged with assault. Bias watch #3: Details are sketchy at this point, but it appears to be another one of those he-said, she-said cases. Why was only he charged, instead of either both parties, or neither party?

In an unusual move, the CAS recommended that Mr. Ford be given temporary custody of the children. (Unusual, because of the bias against fathers prevalent within the CAS.) Bias watch #4: Since the CAS would never recommend custody to a father credibly accused of IPV, in preference to a sane, innocent mother, it is reasonable to infer that even the CAS does not believe that Mr. Ford was the aggressor. Yet the police felt bound to arrest and charge him, anyway. Mr. Ford appears to be the victim of false allegations, vigorously and foolishly pursued by the police acting with ideological blinders.

That's just my theory of the case at this time, based on sketchy facts and years of familiarity with these types of cases. I'd be very surprised if new evidence surfaces that would demonstrate Mr. Ford's culpability in a real, unilateral assault; but of course there are exceptions to ever generalization.  In any event, this is not an isolated incident; it happens every day in Canada -- almost always to ordinary men whose victimization goes unnoticed and unreported in the media.

Posted by Grant Brown on March 28, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack

"Tibetan rioter" was actually a Communist policeman

A witness tells her story to Tibet's government in exile.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 28, 2008 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How Long Does Dion Have Left?

I'm pretty sure that we've reached the endgame for M. Dion now. When the leader's deputy is leaking against him and the leader is practically begging for people on his home turf to stop undermining him, the game is about over.

Frankly, the fact is that Dion has no chance in a General Election. He'd start out behind and then he'd fall further and further back. He's going to lose in Quebec and he can't really communicate in the other official language, so that'd be the end of that. The Tories could run attack ads consisting entirely of his horribly mangled English.

There's one major obstacle in the way - Dion's leadership debts. He still owes hundreds of thousands of dollars and, if he's turfed from the leadership, he'll have no way to pay them. Indeed, if Dion can't retain the leadership, there's a pretty good chance that he'd end up personally broke.

I said, two years ago when this race began, that the Liberals would pick Dion because he was the only Francophone in the race and the only plausible candidate who didn't offend a large part of the Liberal base. The problem is that the idea of Dion has proven to be much better than the reality. I can't recall as inept a leader of one of the major parties.

So, here's what to watch for.

First - watch for Dion to get a truly golden parachute. It's the only way to make this happen. The Liberal's don't have the money - and aren't going to be able to raise it - to pay off Dion's debts. So they're going to have to turn to some of their friends in the private sector for help here.

Second, despite his credible performance as deputy leader, I wouldn't count on Ignatieff to just jump into place. The Liberals believe that they have a chance now - certainly they must given that the odds now are that the next election won't be until the fixed date in late 2009.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 28, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Al and Mike Show w/Ezra Levant

If you didn't catch the show live, you can now listen to it here!

"We talk about the Human Rights cases, what happened in Ottawa on Tuesday in Ottawa with the Warman v. Lemire case. There is even a quick-hit about general Ottawa politics at the end."

Posted by Mike Brock on March 27, 2008 in WS Radio | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fitna the Movie

Posted by Grant Brown on March 27, 2008 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Barack Obama, tax-hiking cipher

America has one of the highest capital-gains tax rates in the world (of not the highest), but Barack Obama thinks it's too low.

The Audacity of Hype could do us all in.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 27, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Where Did Ron Paul’s Money Go?

If I was a Ron Paul donor, I’d be feeling pretty ripped off these days.  Plenty of guys (and they were mostly guys) were wandering around forums bragging about how they were scrimping and saving in order to ship money off to help fund the “Revolution.”  While, as I’ve said before, I despise Paul and most of what he stands for, one can’t help but feel a degree of admiration for such ardent enthusiasm.  Of course, when you scrimp and save to win, it’s empowering.  When you do it to lose every single primary and caucus that you compete in, it’s got to be disheartening.

Some of the people who donated to the Paul campaign are surely wondering what happened to all of that money.  Frankly, I’ve been wondering the same thing - $30 Million is a lot of money to blow through without visible effect.  Sure, Mitt Romney blew through far more than that – but I saw plenty of evidence of where that money went.  I don’t recall a single flashy ad campaign from Paul – certainly none that could have cost even a fraction of that amount.

After a discussion on this the other night, I decided to go and do some digging in Ron Paul’s finance reports.  I didn’t expect to find anything too shocking.  I figured that, well, the same thing probably happened to Paul as happened to Howard Dean in 2004 – he wasn’t prepared to run a national campaign and, when he did, expenses spiralled out of control, with plenty of unscrupulous consultants cashing in at the expense of a candidate in way over his head and, beyond that, with plenty of money being wasted on essentially improvising a Presidential campaign.

Certainly, there appears to be some of that.  A lot of Ron Paul’s advertising dollars went to what seem to be second-tier companies with shoddy websites (something I’ve learned, over the years, is the be suspicious of any company which claims to be a modern firm but which has a website which appears to be at least ten years old).

For example, one wonders what exactly Paul’s donors got for the $120,000 paid to MPrinting Graphics, a firm controlled by Paul’s Congressional campaign manager which doesn’t even appear to have a website, for television advertising production in the week after Super Tuesday.  I’m not suggesting that anything illegal or immoral occurred here, of course.  One just wonders what ads those paid for and what experience that firm had in the field.

Indeed, paying $162,051 in the space of six days to a business controlled by your Congressional campaign manager in the week after Super Tuesday creates, at the very least, an appearance of impropriety.  Especially when one recalls that, between Super Tuesday and the March Texas Primary, there was speculation that Paul was in trouble in his home district.

Nothing illegal about hiring your friends, of course, but one has to wonder how the people who donated money that they needed themselves to Ron Paul because they believed so strongly in the cause feel about their money being spent in such a fashion. 

Even more interesting is the $994,339 that the Paul campaign spent – roughly 3.5% of all the money that the Paul campaign spent – at a firm known as “Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc.” based in Alexandria, Virginia.  The firm has no website.  It appears to have no phone number.  I can find no description of what it does.  The address provided by the campaign – and in what records of the company I could find – it for what appears to be a private home.

A Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc. was registered in Virginia on July 17th of last year.  According to Virginia records, the firm’s registered agent is one “Chris Cupit.”  I have no idea if this is the same Chris Cupit who was tied to the 2002 New Hampshire phone jamming scandal – and who was seemingly connected with the Constitution Party's 2004 candidate - but it seems possible.

The money is generically listed as being for “telecommunications” with no further elaboration.  The other large expenses made under this heading appear to have been for robo-calling.  Though, in the other examples I examined, the companies all had the basics of business – you know, things like offices, phone numbers, web sites, and so forth.

So, what was that $1 Million for?  I don’t know.  I couldn’t call up Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc. to ask what they do, since they don’t have an office, a web site, an e-mail address, or a phone number. 

Now, let’s be very clear – I’m no t suggesting, hinting, or even implying that Ron Paul ran off with the money or that he blew it as a patron of the Emperor’s Club VIP or whatever else.  I’m quite convinced that’s not the case.  What I’m suggesting is, from a libertarian viewpoint, probably worse: I’m suggesting that he squandered it.

Caveat emptor, as the Romans used to say. 

Paul’s personal history – marketing ghost-written ultra-right newsletters whose contents he disavowed as soon as they became inconvenient – ought to have been taken as a sign by his supporters.  First, that he’s not a man above attempting to enrich himself through populist opportunism.  Second, that someone whose entire life up until this point was strictly small-time might not be up to the challenge of effectively managing tens of millions of dollars.

Where did the money go?  It evaporated.  Some of it went to his friends.  The rest of it – most of it probably – went to smooth-talking consultants who bamboozled him as effectively as Lyle Lanley did when he sold the people of Springfield a used Monorail.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 27, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (107) | TrackBack

And the winner is...

Which province boasted the strongest growth in population during the last three months of 2007? According to a Statistics Canada report made public today the province is -- wait for it -- none other than the formerly shrinking basketcase of Saskatchewan.

"Its population has been in constant growth since April 2006, when it hit a 25-year low of 986,900," StatsCan notes in addition to confirming that the number of Saskabushers is now well in excess of one million.

What a final quarter year it was for the province: First, it finally dumped its NDP government. Then its beloved Roughriders won the Grey Cup. And then it topped the country in population growth.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 27, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Communist Chinese Ambassador runs smack into Godwin's Law

Reductio ad Hitlerum in action

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 27, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hate-Fest at Toronto's York university

You can check it out here to see how Canadian campuses are poisoned and infiltrated by figures who represent HAMAS and stone throwing terrorists of Gaza...

Posted by Winston on March 27, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

WS Radio: New Al & Mike Show Premiere (Guest: Ezra Levant)

Time: 8:00PM Eastern / 5:00PM Pacific

Tonight the Al & Mike Show re-premieres, adding a new podcast to the lineup here at WS Radio.

Tonight's guest is Ezra Levant, former publisher of the Western Standard. We'll be discussing what happened on Tuesday at the Human Rights Commission in Ottawa, among other things.

You can listen live tonight on ustream here. Our call screener will not be available tonight, but we'll be monitoring the chat room at ustream.

We hope you join us.

Posted by Mike Brock on March 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Alabama Prosecuting Pregnant Drug Users

I have a feeling libertarians and conservatives will sharply disagree over this case, but I could be wrong.

Via the New York Times:

ANDALUSIA, Ala. — A day after she gave birth in 2006, Tiffany Hitson, 20, sat on her front porch crying, barefoot and handcuffed. A police officer hovered in the distance.

Ms. Hitson’s newborn daughter had traces of cocaine and marijuana in its system, and the young woman, baby-faced herself, had fallen afoul of a tough new state law intended to protect children from drugs, and a local prosecutor bent on pursuing it.

...

There has not been a murder here in over three years, the prosecutor said. But a year ago a newborn died at the local hospital, and the mother had traces of methamphetamines in her system. Doctors told the police that the infant’s premature birth could be attributed to maternal drug use, and she was charged with “chemical endangerment of child,” which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

“In my jurisdiction, a baby being born dead because of drug abuse is a huge deal,” Mr. Gambril [the prosecutor] said.

Mr. Gambril makes little distinction between fetus and child. He said his duty was to protect both — though the Alabama law he uses makes no reference to unborn children, and was primarily intended to protect youngsters from exposure to methamphetamine laboratories.

“When drugs are introduced in the womb, the child-to-be is endangered,” Mr. Gambril said. “It is what I call a continuing crime.” He added that the purpose of the statute was to guarantee that the child has “a safe environment, a drug-free environment.”

“No one is to say whether that environment is inside or outside the womb,” he said, and no judge or other authority in Alabama has so far disagreed.

In my experience, pro-choice libertarians claim fetuses have no rights; or that, if they do have rights, the rights of the mother have moral priority. If this is true, I can't exactly see how a brain damaged child of a drug addicted mother could claim the mother violated its rights -- since the child had no rights when the destructive behavior of the mother occurred.

Moreover, I don't see how anyone could say the rights of the future person the fetus would have become have been violated, should the fetus be born dead because of its mother's drug use; at least, I don't see how someone could make this argument without admitting that abortion violates the future person's rights just as certainly.

(Some may recall that Derek Parfit explored a similar, though not identical, moral quandary.)

Check here for (mostly) non-libertarian objections to the prosecution of drug-abusing pregnant women in Alabama from the "National Advocates for Pregnant Women."  In my opinion, these objections are simply lame, and include the claim that pregnant drug addicts deserve compassion and not punishment because it's so hard to break the addiction. No, I'm not kidding.

UPDATE:  This link looks great -- a collection of court cases about "reproductive rights" in Canada. The cases are more interesting (in a horrible way) than the typical ones philosophers generate in their imaginations. For example, in R. v. Drummond [1996], a woman was charged with attempted murder after shooting her fetus in the head. The charge was dismissed because, the court found, fetuses don't qualify as persons under the criminal code.

Here is a better list of relevant Canadian cases.

Posted by Terrence Watson on March 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (68) | TrackBack

Al-Jazeera's new Canadian star

Our very own Kathy Shaidle has a terrific piece about the former CBC anchor Avi Lewis who is now working for the infamous Jihadists' TV station.

Read the whole article here

Posted by Winston on March 26, 2008 in Media | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

None Dare Call it Treason

The sad part is that today's news that a 2002 trip to Baghdad by three Democratic Congressman was paid for by Saddam Hussein is hardly a surprise to anyone with more than a third of a brain.  There's a reason why I casually - but justifiably - refer to the Democrat Party as "the party of treason."

After all, seriously, how long has it been since the left was on our side in a major international conflict?  They're not on our side in the present war.  They weren't during the Gulf War.  They certainly weren't during the later half of the Cold War.

The moderate left was onside for the World Wars and the first half of the Cold War - until they bailed and/or were annexed by the far-left.  But the far left, well, I think you'd have to go back to the Second World War to find a time when they didn't take the side of our enemies during a dispute.  And that, I submit to you, is directly correlated to the fact that we were allied with the USSR during that conflict.

I'm not suggesting, even that these Democratic Congressmen were actually knowingly in the pay of Saddam Hussein.  He was a practical man.  Why would he have paid them for what they were clearly willing to give away for free?  The left, for reasons which can only be described as psychologically demented, has been whoring itself out to anyone who wants to weaken, kill, or destroy us for as long as anyone reading this has been alive.

These three were, like most Democrats, against America by default.  I believe them when they say that they didn't think much at all about where the money was coming from.  After all - the shadowy agent of Saddam they were dealing with was on the same side as them.  One doesn't ask too many questions of friends.  In any case, I'm sure the left will claim that there's nothing to see here.  It's certainly not something to get worked up about, like oil companies paying for research into oil!

The same, of course, applies to this country as well.  The late, great James Jesus Angleton thought that Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau were Soviet agents.  Well, I don't know if that's true - but I do know that they couldn't have done much more damage if they were.  They destroyed our culture.  They gutted our military.  They shackled our economy.  Whatever else they were, they were wreckers.

One wonders if we - or the Americans - will ever awake to the dangers of the enemy within.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on March 26, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Cross-border concerns

And speaking of cross-border trade issues (see my posting on "water," below), my debating partner, Mary Woo Sims, and I tackle the Security and Prosperity Partnership initiative in our latest Face to Face columns in the Tri-City News.

The issue might be on the back burner now, but there's a big SPP meeting coming up next month in New Orleans, and I suspect the usual collection of anti-free-traders, anarchists and ultra-nationalists will make enough noise there to put it back on the front pages.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 26, 2008 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Left over water

The federal NDP said a few days ago that "access to clean water is not a privilege but a human right for all Canadians." But, if it's a human right for Canadians, and if the NDP believes that human rights transcend borders (and I'm pretty sure the party does, indeed, believe this), then shouldn't the party also believe that access to clean water is a human right for all citizens of the world? But if this is the case, then why does the NDP continue to so vociferously oppose the export of Canada's water resources?

I'd say the left is mightily confused on the water issue. On one hand, they talk about the brotherhood of man and universal human rights, but on the other they're nationalist and protectionist.

Latest head-scratcher comes from Maude Barlow, ultra-left chair of the Council of Canadians, who has just criticized the Harper government for opposing a UN motion that would have declared that access to clean water is a basic human right. And, yes, this is the same Maude Barlow who goes ballistic whenever there's talk of exporting water to the U.S.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 26, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

More "feminist" judges; less justice

LSUC bencher Carole Curtis gets judicial appointment

Posted: January 18, 2008, 5:32 PM by Jim Middlemiss

The Ontario government has appointed four new judges to the Ontario Court of Justice, including noted family lawyer and Bencher Carole Curtis.

That brings the total number of judges appointed by the McGuinty government to 73.

Attorney General Chris Bentley made the announcement today and praised the diversity of the incoming judges in a statement....

______________________

Here's some background about Carole Curtis, from a complaint to the Law Society about her in 1993:

The Solicitor has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Toronto which she obtained in 1973 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1978. She has carried on her own practice since 1979, and has practised family law exclusively since 1983. She described her practice as a "grass roots family law practice", as a "feminist practice", and as one which was "very committed to clients generally, and even more so to Legal Aid clients". A very substantial portion of her clients are women, and a substantial portion of her clients are retained by her on Legal Aid certificates. She has had much experience in custody cases generally, and cases involving sexual abuse in particular. Both areas of law she described as "specialties".

______________________

They say that "Justice must not only be done; it must be seen to be done." Evidently, nobody told Dalton McGuinty about this. If you were a father appearing before Judge Curtis on a Family matter, how confident would you be that you would get a fair hearing?

Posted by Grant Brown on March 26, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (69) | TrackBack

Saskatchewan's race for rare earth metals

China China is unlikely to welcome a made-in-Canada solution to its monopoly on rare earth metals. This is the conclusion of writer Cyril Doll in his Western Standard exclusive on rare earth metals exploration in Saskatchewan by Great Western Minerals Group (GWMG).

Here’s an excerpt:

Much like its western neighbour, Saskatchewan's boom is resource-driven, thanks to myriad oil and gas deposits, lying beneath the province's relatively flat surface. But unlike Alberta, Saskatchewan holds one-third of the world's uranium and a quarter of its potash deposits, and, thanks to recent discoveries by GWMG, also has the potential to break into a resource sector now monopolized by the Chinese--rare earth metals.

Rare earth metals are a type of mineral with properties conducive to applications in high-tech electronics--from IPods to missile guidance systems to hybrid cars. The Chinese supply 130,000 tonnes or 97 per cent of the world's demand, 77 per cent from a single mine in the Bautou region--and the Communists estimate demand will increase to 600,000 tonnes by 2010.

Read "Rare Earth in Saskatchewan" here.

If you want to learn more about rare earth metals, GWMG’s chairman Gary Billingsley will be in Calgary on March 27, 2008 to meet with investors. Seating for this private presentation is very limited and investors wishing to attend must contact Ron Malashewski at (306) 659 4516, or by email at [email protected].

Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Well, it's a start

Poland's Prime Minister will boycott the Olympics opening ceremony - and Nic Sarkozy may follow suit.

Now, if we can just convince the free world to stay away entirely . . .

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 26, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Liberty's partisans are busy on both sides of the border

Statue_of_liberty1 America’s Libertarian Party is showing off its newest member today. Former Alaska senator and 2008 long-shot Democratic presidential candidate, Mike Gravel, has joined the Libertarian Party.

In a press release, Gravel said:

"I'm joining the Libertarian Party because it is a party that combines a commitment to freedom and peace that can't be found in the two major parties that control the government and politics of America."

Libertarians in Canada are encouraged by this news south of the border and expect their party to begin to attract high-profile supporters as they head into their May convention in Edmonton. Convention organizer Mike Sturko, a neo-conservative turned libertarian, believes the party’s commitment to freedom will draw supporters from all the mainstream parties. Sturko also announced that Officer of the Order of Canada, Jan Narveson, will be speaking at the convention on the threat of global warming politics to freedom. More speakers will be announced shortly, according to Sturko.

The convention will also include a leadership contest resulting from the resignation of Jean-Serge Brisson. Brisson is perhaps best known to Canadians for openly refusing to collect Ontario’s provincial sales tax at his independent radiator shop. He was also sentenced to 105 days in prison for what started out as a simple seat belt fine which he publicly protested.

With Brisson stepping aside, the challenge for the party is to find a leader who can capture the imagination of voters who support both economic and personal freedom.

“I think most Canadians could be described as moderate libertarians. They believe that free markets can create prosperity and peaceful economic cooperation among nations – and they also think the government should stay out of their private affairs,” said party supporter Dennis Young. Young is a veteran of the Bosnian conflict and works as a legal agent in Calgary.

The party’s convention will be held on May 17th-18th.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

For some lefties, the worst four letter word starts with "J"

General Tony McPeak, current foreign policy adviser to the Audacity of Hype, had some things to say about the Middle East, particularly why so many Administrations have been unable to end Israeli-Arab hostilities:

The interviewer asked McPeak: "So where's the problem? State? White House?"

McPeak replied: "New York City. Miami. We have a large vote -- vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it."

Not good; not good at all.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 26, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack

Lemieux: Verboten for an opressed minority

Bruce Montague has been sentenced to 18 months in jail, the forfeiture of his firearms, one-year probation, and a lifetime firearms prohibition; his wife Donna has received six months probation. Their terrible crime? They didn’t rob a local convenience store or wound a bystander in a careless crossbow practice session, they weren’t found with a stolen shotgun or assault the judge with nasty soubriquets. They did, however, have some unlicensed firearms and some others which just weren’t permitted in Canada. In this edition of his weekly column "Verboten for an opressed minority," Pierre Lemieux reflects on the sentences handed down to the couple by a Kenora, Ontario judge yesterday. He says that Canadian gun owners are an ignored and aggrieved minority who don’t have the political clout to change the laws under which they live through the traditional avenues of our majoritarian democracy. If there is a higher law than mere government legislation, after a certain line is crossed isn’t peaceful civil disobedience justified?

An excerpt:

“The issue of civil disobedience was central to the case. A high point of the sentencing hearing came when Ed Hudson, the leader of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Association (soon to be rechristened "Canadian Unlicenced Firearm Owners Association,") unexpectedly stood up in the courtroom, asking if he could make a statement. The self-righteous Crown prosecutor objected, but to no avail.

Dr. Hudson said he wished to take responsibility for Bruce Montague’s actions, and presented a short plea for civil disobedience and for the accused. The judge replied that Mr. Montague had been "seduced by precepts which are American," that we live under a regime of "peace, order and good government," and that the law should always be obeyed as long as the political system is accessible — even though he admitted that the new gun controls are "convoluted and dangerous for honest citizens."”
Read more…

Posted by westernstandard on March 26, 2008 in Western Standard | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Is there anything new in the New West?

MEDIA RELEASE: Canada West Foundation

March 26, 2008

Report forecasts significant demographic transformation and immigration growth instrumental for western Canada

REGINA, March 26 /Troy Media Corporation/ -- Major demographic and economic trends are changing the face of western Canada, says a newly released benchmark study by the Canada West Foundation.

Since its last edition of State of the West five years ago, Canada West Foundation says there have been considerable changes in western Canada, demographically and economically.  Several of the trends discussed in the previous edition have continued, while other significant new trends have emerged. 

Key findings include:

• Communities across western Canada are in the midst of a profound demographic transformation as their populations continue to grow older.  The proportion of the western population under the age of 15 has dropped steadily, from roughly 30% in 1971 to less than 20% in 2007, while the proportion over the age of 65 has increased.  The number of seniors in the West will more than double by 2031.
• The West’s share of total immigrants to Canada has increased in recent years and is virtually the same as the region’s share of the national population (30%).  Immigration will be instrumental for population growth in the West as the natural rate of population increase (births minus deaths) declines.
• Interprovincial migration has been a source of population growth for western Canada as a whole.  From 1972 and 2007, the region attracted 629,000 more people than it lost, while the rest of Canada combined suffered a net loss. 
• Almost 60% of all Aboriginal peoples in Canada live in the West, roughly twice the West’s share of Canada’s population.  The Aboriginal population is younger and has grown faster than the non-Aboriginal population.  In 2006, 32% of Aboriginal peoples were under age 15, compared to 17% of the non-Aboriginal population.  Western Canada’s Aboriginal population grew 16% between 2001 and 2006, almost three times faster than the non-Aboriginal population.
• Large urban areas dominate the populations of the western provinces.  Approximately two-thirds of the population lives in the region’s nine largest urban areas.  Urban areas have been responsible for the overwhelming majority of population growth in the West.
• In terms of overall performance, economic strength within Canada has shifted westward, with the West leading the nation in economic growth in recent years.  The unemployment rate is significantly lower in the West than elsewhere in Canada.  From 1990 to 2007, total employment increased 39.9% in the West compared to 24.4% in the rest of Canada.
• Although there is diversity in terms of the West’s industrial structure, and over 80% of job gains have been in service industries, the West remains a resource-based economy.  The region’s exports are dominated by raw and semi-processed natural resource products.
• The US, by a large margin, is the most important market for western Canada’s exports.  While countries such as China and India have become much bigger players on the world economic stage, the proportion of western Canada’s exports destined for the US increased between 1992 and 2006.

-30-

So, Westerners are getting older, more ethnically diverse, more urban and richer -- and we still rely on the US economy as a market for our exports.

Is there anything new and interesting here I'm missing?

Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Censure the censors

Human rights commissions are being used to silence Canadians. Can anything be done to stop them? This is the question Kevin Steel asks in his Western Standard exclusive, “Censure the censors.”

Steel looks at human rights complaints levelled against groups like Free Dominion and individuals like former pastor Stephen Boissoin. He also reveals the dangerous views of Canadian Human Rights Commission investigator Dean Steacy who said: "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value."

Steacy was present today at the final day of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's hearing against Marc Lemire, who is charged with violating the Human Rights Act's because of comments posted on his FreedomSite – anonymous comments not made by him, to be clear.

In a report by Joseph Brean of the National Post, Steacy revealed that:

“Investigators at the Canadian Human Rights Commission share control of an online identity called Jadewarr, which they have used to anonymously monitor and contribute to controversial far-right and white supremacist Web sites...”

“Legally, the admission by CHRC investigator Dean Steacy, and the subsequent cross-examination by Mr. Lemire's lawyers, was the most significant part of the day, in that it bolstered Mr. Lemire's case that he should not be held accountable for what others post on his site, especially if those others are government employees.”

So back to Kevin Steel’s question: Can anything be done to stop Canada’s out-of-control human rights commissions? The answer may be found in the disgusting tactics used by commission bureaucrats. It can’t be long before Canadians realize that the cost of ridding society of offensive speech may be justice itself.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The first call for an ARM freeze has come

Senator Clinton comes forth to save mortgage firms and dealers from lower interest rates.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 25, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack