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Monday, January 02, 2006

Steel rides with the... Grits

Doesn't have the same ring to it as "Terry rides with the Tories." This morning at 7 AM I board a plane for Winnipeg where I'll rendevous with the Paul Martin campaign some time this evening. Yes, I am being torn away from all that is near and dear to me--my easy chair, my fireplace, my coffee pot, my Nero Wolfe audio books performed by Michael Pritchard--to travel with the politicos just as the election starts to heat up. I'll be with them for about four days, blogging and writing an article about the experience. Maybe by the time I'm finished I'll be over this cold that has been dogging me since Christmas. Eventually, I'll wind up... actually, I don't know where I'm going to end up. Consequently I haven't booked a flight home yet.

If anyone has any questions they would like to put to the Liberals (that won't get me kicked off the bus) maybe plunk them in Comments. No promise I'll get you an answer. I'll prime the pump by asking a question, not directed at the PM but more generally addressed to the world. Why me?

Posted by Kevin Steel on January 2, 2006 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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I would love you to ask the Liberals why Paul Martin's doctor in Quebec should be allowed to run a private clinic, but it's Alberta that get fined. More specifically, please ask him about the Chaoulli ruling.

Unfortunately, I can already hear his answer: "um, well, let's be clear about this. When I met with the premiers, we agreed on benchmarks to reduce wait times, because that's what Canadians want and that's the promise I made to them. I will defend the public system"

Posted by: Angela | 2006-01-02 6:16:30 AM

What does the Liberal leadership see as the future role of Paul Steckley (Huron-Perth, and long-time Liberal back-bencher opposed to gun control and same-sex marriages) in the party? How many of them will have to be defeated before he gets a portfolio?

Posted by: EclectEcon | 2006-01-02 7:24:42 AM

Hammer him on Canada Steamships moving off shore. All his standing up for Canada and paying your fair share rhetoric is completely shot down on this one single issue. It's in defendable. He did that, him alone, long before the "blind" trust.

Posted by: Western Canadian | 2006-01-02 8:17:49 AM

Why has Paul Martin changed his mind from a few years ago when at that time he said he would use the NW clause to protect the definition of marriage?? I believe he said a year ago that he would use it to protect religious organizations from SC rulings. Why was it ok then and not ok now??

Posted by: MikeP | 2006-01-02 8:27:32 AM

Ask himn were all the money pledged for Tsunami relief went they're still waiting for it over there.

Posted by: Fred | 2006-01-02 8:31:55 AM

I have one he might just be foolish enough to answer.

Why are you (Martin) and your aides willing to beat up Alberta on nearly every issue, yet nothing is said when the province actually does something dangerous - namely allow Communist China to make large investments in oil extraction?

Posted by: D.J. McGuire | 2006-01-02 8:39:06 AM

Kevin please ask him a question he has been dodging....who got the money in the brown envelopes? Did his riding get one? Our stolen tax dollars were in those envelopes and we have a right to know! Why has the MSM given him a pass on this important issue?

Posted by: AlW | 2006-01-02 8:47:00 AM

Why after 30 years have they not admitted the failure of the official bilingualism policy that only benefits a small minority of people in Canada and actually discriminates against a lot of civil servants ?

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-02 8:52:23 AM

Mr. Martin, you have chosen to ignore Gilles Duceppe when he has repeatedly asked you to provide him with the names of your Quebec candidates who received tainted monies under the Sponsorchip Program. Will you release those names before the vote on 23 January, and if not, why not?

Posted by: MGK | 2006-01-02 9:28:32 AM

Ditto on Fred 8:31 re: Tsunami relief. We got a nice photo-op of PM on the beach, but what % of the $ have the folks there seen?

Posted by: JM | 2006-01-02 9:33:46 AM

How about asking him when the stolen Adscam dollars will be repaid? A friend of mine wants to know.

Posted by: rosemarie59 | 2006-01-02 9:44:52 AM

Mister Martin, you were opposed to the GST when it was being implemented. Now you say that cutting the GST is actually regressive and you oppose it. Can you explain this?

Mister Martin, is Michael Ignatieff your hand-picked successor? Ignatieff supports the use of torture and was in favour of the war against Iraq. Do you have a hidden agenda in parachuting him in as a Liberal candidate?

Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2006-01-02 9:50:51 AM

I would like this question asked of Paul Martin:

"If you claim to love Canada so, why does your company, Canadian Steamship Lines, fly a foreign flag on some of its vessels?"

Posted by: Tim | 2006-01-02 10:11:33 AM

In light of Mr. Ignatieff's support for the Iraq war and use of aggressive interrogation techniques, do you feel he is qualified to serve as secretary of state or justice minister?

Posted by: Joan Tintor | 2006-01-02 10:33:50 AM

I had a chuckle on the post from Angela about Paul Martin's ficticious response to the question about private clinics. That was so Paul Martin and his standard tired old rhetoric. He either opens up with, " Let me be clear about this" or the other one he drags out are, "The facts are". I guess when you have nothing really to say you trot out the same old tired lines. It is actually quite funny that his cronies haven't helped him out with his speaking.

Posted by: Brian | 2006-01-02 10:58:09 AM

Mr Martin
Please name 3 or 4 pieces of meaningful legislation that your gov`t has successfully brought into existence [ other than legalizing gay marriage , as demanded by %2 of %2 of the population ] . What exactly have you done ?

Posted by: Fidel K | 2006-01-02 10:58:57 AM

Kevin, ask Martin if Maurice Strong is currently a Privy Council Member and if he ( Strong) is under UN investigation for Oil-for-Food scandal in the UN?

Posted by: Joseph molnar | 2006-01-02 11:22:43 AM

My question: "Who is paying for the Liberal campaign?"

The Liberals have stated they intend to make up for their dramatic drop in donations due to Gomery and negate the advantage of the vaunted Conservative war chest by borrowing from the banks to spend the maximum amount allowed by Elections Canada.

No problem; political parties need to borrow money sometimes too, except Sheila Copps tells us:

"According to Elections Canada, in their last annual filing, the Liberal Party of Canada was $34,818,257.32 in debt, by way of 13 bank loans."

Which banks? Assuming the Liberals are going further in the red to cover for sagging individual contributions, exactly what are the Liberal putting up for collateral and how do they intend to ever (honestly) pay this money back?

And it begs the question whether the Liberals should be able to campaign on largely borrowed money in the first place. It creates the possibility of the Liberal Party of Canada being beholden to a few wealthy bankers to whom they may owe favour or two, like, say, a well-timed leak of sensitive financial information.

Finally, Paul Martin was in charge of the banks for 9 years as Finance Minister and the links between the Martin circle of advisors, the Dept. of Finance, and Bay Street are well documented. Canadian banks have enjoyed record smashing profits this year and indeed over the Liberal reign, all while banks close branches, increase service fees, and are chastised by the CFIB for business practices which kill economic growth in Canada. One possible explanation why that is:

Bankers pay for Liberal soiree Caucus retreat event
Andrew McIntosh
National Post Tuesday, August 26, 2003

OTTAWA - Members of the Liberal government attending their annual summer caucus retreat last week were treated to an open bar and platters of food during a private party paid for by the Canadian Bankers Association.
Howard Wilson, the Ethics Counsellor, declined to comment on whether it was appropriate for the Liberal caucus as a whole to accept a party from a banking industry group. "My orbit extends to ministers and public office holders. The rules do not prohibit them as individuals from accepting this kind of hospitality," he said.

Asked about the ethics of a governing party accepting a private party from bankers, Mr. Wilson laughed and said: "I really don't have a comment on it."

One is left with the impression that there is an unhealthy relationship between the Liberals and the banks; I for one would like to hear a Liberal explain exactly who is paying for their campaign and the circumstances under which they've managed to accumulate over $34,000,000 in debt thus far with no reasonable prospects to be able to pay that money back under current and proposed election finance regulations.

Posted by: Anonalogue | 2006-01-02 11:36:40 AM

Will your government ever decriminalize cannabis as you have repeatedly said you support?

Posted by: Chazz | 2006-01-02 11:53:07 AM

ask for a pardon. yer not coming back.

god save your soul from the pit you willingly go to for us sane canucks. guard your immense cahonas when you sleep.

Posted by: Ottawa Core | 2006-01-02 12:06:17 PM

I really would like you to ask him a question that would pierce his Liberal soul and make him acknlowledge that they are a nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. The funny thing is I read all the postings ahead of mine and I am overwhelmed. Where to begin? I haven't a clue, good luck.
I hate to admit it but it makes me giggle to realise these people still have a chance to be re-elected. It all depends on the gullibility of Canadian voters, we are so screwed.

Posted by: Paul Hansen | 2006-01-02 12:30:59 PM

Ask Martin when he will "libel chill" this blogger: shut this blogger off, mute Leo, silence Leo? ??????

Interesting campaign tactic by the Prime Minister, "Vote for me, I haven't been interrogated yet." - Leo


Posted by: maz2 | 2006-01-02 12:43:42 PM

Tell Martin that when its time for me to pay my income tax instead of addressing it to The Receiver General I am going to address it to the Liberal Party of Canada thereby bypassing all the government paperwork.

Posted by: Brian Fairey | 2006-01-02 1:05:12 PM

"Alberta's seperatist parties have experienced explosive growth during your time as Prime Minister, fetching 9% of the last provincial vote and 20%+ of current polls. If you win this election, Alberta may separate on your watch. Does the federal government have a plan for this possibility, and if so what is it?"

Posted by: Tozetre | 2006-01-02 1:22:18 PM

Here's one. It's long but I think it might be worth it:

"Mr. Martin, you never hesitated to condemn intolerant remarks coming from the caucuses of Messrs. Manning, Day and Harper. Good for you. Why, then, did you make Andrew Telegdi the chairman of a citizenship committee - and a privy councilor - when you knew (a) he had called opponents "niggers" and (b) he had attacked Jews who objected to his support of a member of a Nazi death squad who lied to get into Canada?"

Posted by: Warren K | 2006-01-02 1:39:03 PM

Ask of him "Where is da monies?"

Posted by: Fat Tony | 2006-01-02 3:09:07 PM

Okay. Thanks for all the questions. Obviously, you people want me to be dumped in a snowdrift and watching the back of the bus make for the horizon.

Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2006-01-02 3:14:55 PM

Ask Paul if he knows Sam Tipping Point.>>>

Canada Research Chair in Internet & E-commerce Law, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law,

I am a law professor at the University of Ottawa where I hold the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. I publish a wide range of articles, newsletters, and reports and I am involved in a several interesting Internet policy projects. My weekly column on law and technology appears in several media outlets including the Toronto Star , Ottawa Citizen , and Canada.com . This site features materials and links to the courses I teach, to my projects, publications, media appearances and other activities.

Tipping Point
If the amount of blog discussion and private email that I am receiving is any indication, the story about the Sarmite Bulte fundraiser hosted by the leaders of CRIA et al is at a tipping point with the potential to crack into the mainstream political press. There is coverage today from Jack Kapica at the Globeandmail.com, Pierre Bourque has placed the story on his front page, and I reference it again in my Toronto Star column. I suspect the catalyst was a boingboing posting over the weekend that has generated blog comments here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Kapica emphasizes the U.S. focus of the hosts of the event and the absence of many from the Canadian cultural community. While I think that point is a good one, I think it misses the larger issue. The problem with the fundraiser is not that the President of CRIA is a host and that his partner is providing the entertainment. The problem is that the Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage, the former chair of the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee, the chair of the Ontario Liberal caucus, and the key player in the Bulte Report should not be having any fundraisers with any copyright stakeholders four days before a national election. The perception is that this is pure influence peddling, a perspective that is only fuelled by Bulte's appearance at the head table at CRIA's National Press Club event in the fall, of Bulte and Graham Henderson together in Washington, DC in September, etc.

As one private emailer noted, if the CEO's of the major banks held a fundraiser for Finance Minister Ralph Goodale days before the election it would be a national scandal. So too if the CEO's of the major telecommunications companies held a fundraiser for Industry Minister David Emerson or the CEO's of the oil companies held one for Environment Minister Stephane Dion. Quite simply, no elected government official should be seen to be favouring one group of stakeholders by accepting large campaign contributions or hosted fundraisers. Copyright is a critical issue to millions of Canadians and the Bulte fundraiser sends an awful message about how the government views the concerns of those people. The Conservatives have made accountability their number one issue and it seems to me that the Bulte fundraiser plays right into their hands.>>>

Posted by: maz2 | 2006-01-02 3:34:34 PM

Have they proof the $1.14 Million the Libs Stole been paid back? If not where the hell is the money Gomrey said they stole?
Ask jim any question and all you will get is a Martinized answer, the PM thinks he can steralize any misdeed his Govt. has done.

Posted by: capt_bob | 2006-01-02 5:11:00 PM

KS: Better in a snowdrift than seen as a MSM type, don't you think ?

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-02 5:53:50 PM

Here's the headline from the Liberal website:Liberal Economic Record Builds New Opportunities for Canadians.

What it should read:
Liberal Economic Record Builds New Opportunities for Canadians on the backs of over taxed Canadians, EI surplus, cutbacks to health care and Liberal scandals.

Amazingly Paul Martin can brag about his record and still maintain something of a straight face. I thought travelling medicine shows went out in the 1800's.

Posted by: Brian | 2006-01-02 6:07:30 PM

I doubt very much that you will have the opportunity to ask Martin any of these questions but Iwould dearly like to ask this one:

Why does not the Auditor General have a mandate to audit the cost of bilingualism?

What is the Liberal Party doing in the Health Care Category about the thousands of Canadians who die from hospital infections annually, at last count 8,000. And in regards to the Liberals' many achievements why have hospital infections increased TEN Fold on their watch? Is there a connection to bilingualism?

Posted by: Scribe | 2006-01-02 7:22:09 PM

Here's an issue that shows the true character and stupidity of Paul Martin.
Ask him why he was prepared to send 150 Canadian soldiers on an ill-concieved, spur of the moment plan to help in Darfour when he thought it would gain him enough votes to win the non-confidence motion and also ask him why he abandoned that plan and the people of Darfour the second it would no longer result in any political gain for him.
Ask him why he was willing to risk Canadian's lives to protect his own worthless political hide.
Also ask him why the people of Darfour are just more pawns in his political games.

Posted by: Stan | 2006-01-02 9:19:29 PM

"Okay. Thanks for all the questions. Obviously, you people want me to be dumped in a snowdrift and watching the back of the bus make for the horizon."

So, from this comment it appears as if you have no intention of asking any "difficult" questions.

Perhaps you could remind us all again just why it is you are going on this tour.

Horny Toad

Posted by: Horny Toad | 2006-01-02 10:33:29 PM

Dude, Toad, he was kidding. He was just commenting on the number of pointed questions, which if I might point out are due to Martin's actions. I don't think he was trying to chide us.

Posted by: Tozetre | 2006-01-02 11:43:38 PM

How will he retain his position as leader if he delivers a smaller minority government?

Posted by: pete e | 2006-01-03 12:59:34 AM

Ask him how appointing Liberal cronies ahead of elected senators helped with western alienation and the "democratic deficit". You could also ask him if he will finally admit to being a failure when western alienation inevitably turns into western separation.

Posted by: C Foss | 2006-01-03 4:22:51 PM

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