Thursday, October 26, 2006

Daily Digest October 26, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Purse strings in a death grip
It’s a wonderful thing that our New Government™ is so keen to protect us from the dangers of overspending on such childish fripperies as literacy, equal rights efforts for women, museums, and computer access to rural areas.

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Promoting wellness has a price
If the province wants to boast of a breast-screening program, it has to adequately fund it.

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Whole anti-terror act needs to be revisited

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Use e-voting only once it's secure

MONTREAL GAZETTE - If Zaccardelli doesn't quit, fire him

OTTAWA CITIZEN - A rational tax system

OTTAWA SUN - We can't go it alone

NATIONAL POST - Do the crime - do the time

TORONTO SUN - Two words for MPs: Grow up!


K-W RECORD - An improper sentence

WINDSOR STAR - Save havens: A troubling precedent

CALGARY HERALD - Motive is key in terror law

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Campaign gets down ‘n’ dirty
Despite attempts to keep even keel, contest digresses

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Is it right to seize cars of alleged johns?

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Putting a price tag on our water would have huge implications
Water exempted from NAFTA rules as long as it is in its natural state

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - What to do without oil?

VANCOUVER SUN - Byelections show it's bare-knuckled politics as usual in Ottawa

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Opposition puts up major roadblock to key criminal reforms

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Criminals are taking the bait
Police program catches people in the act -- but there are ways to reduce temptation

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Canal is still an essential link


First Nations summit opens with a bang

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor stands in the House of Commons during question period on Parliament Hill. (CP / Fred Chartrand)
Military drops fitness test for aspiring soldiers

Military recruits may be forced to fight
Needs in Afghanistan spark tougher rules

Afghan setback;jsessionid=12LQWFMG1VHB1QFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/opinion/2006/10/27/dl2702.xml

'Civilians killed' in Nato raids
Scores of civilians have been killed during Nato operations against Taleban fighters in southern Afghanistan, local officials and civilians say.

Afghan army too threadbare to fight Taliban

Red flags flying over Afghanistan
Conflicting reports suggest successful mission not certain

We owe it to Afghanistan

Canadians fear U.S. investment

Cdn ambassador to U.S. concerned new travel ID will be rushed ahead

Wilkins to Canada: don't blow U.S. election ad out of proportion

Alberta facing menace of mountain pine beetle

A grim outlook for wood sector: forecast
Low prices, weak demand to affect profits for next four years, conference board says

Harper, Calderon talk co-operation while Bush authorizes Mexican border fence

Heed warning signs of Alzheimer's

Harper government warned not to ignore Kyoto accord commitments to Quebec

Case made for CWB future

Quebec eyes federal cash to cut waits for surgery

Opportunity knocked, but the Tories didn't answer
Oil companies geared to send business south

Sask. urges vote for farmers

Move to two-tier system seen in rate of joint replacements

McGuinty blames Harper for Ont. downturn

Quebec coalition wants Ottawa to 'revive' Kyoto

Eldest Trudeau son, former Ontario premier dip toes in Quebec nation debate

Harper's Senate reform plan clears first hurdle in upper house

Liberals offer olive branch on Tory crime bills

Rae defends economic track record

MacKay urged to quit

Grits swear affidavit saying minister slagged Stronach

Harper strikes back

Tory failures may spell election
If anything, Tory crime bill did not go far enough. A20

Legislation accountability act likely to die, mp says

Harper says Liberals ‘half tough on crime'

Grits, Tories battle over legislative foot-dragging

Quebec group warns PM on Kyoto funds

Resolution on Quebec sparks fears

MacKay still in doghouse
Speaker to re-examine slur allegation
Debate now turns to other alleged lying

Party renewal is slow as Liberals aim low

Foleygate could be Republicans’ Waterloo

Harper ignoring my report: Gomery
Says the Tories' accountability act misses the mark
But PM responds by blaming Liberal senators' tactics

Panel recommends government make 'sweat' a key factor in child fitness credit

Nomination hearings here to stay, judge says
Latest addition to Supreme Court says grilling by MPs helps demystify judiciary

Intelligence watchdog raps CSIS over policy on human rights abuses

Arar panel not amused

What, exactly, do we mean by 'nation'? Stephane Dion, National Post

Don't give more power to cities

Taking at face value ... Surely a Canadian `us' that is not tribal and bathed in the urge to hunker down in the presence of diversity is spacious enough to include the richly textured presence of other ways of being Canadian, like wearing a veil,

Use of torture is a necessary evil

This Crop Revolution May Succeed Where GM Failed


# Québec et Ottawa débloquent des fonds pour des projets autochtones

# Les problèmes sociaux des autochtones sont mis de l'avant au Forum

# Harper et Calderon parlent de coopération; Bush barricade la frontière

# Ottawa aidera l'Ontario à respecter Kyoto, mais pas les autres provinces

# Des civils tués dans le sud de l'Afghanistan, selon les autorités locales

# Les forces de l'OTAN doivent rester en Afghanistan au moins dix ans, selon le chef de l'armée américaine sur place

Québec prend la tête d'une coalition "non partisane" en faveur de Kyoto

Federal Byelection

Byelections notable for who won't run

May wants to colour London riding green

Grits still seek candidate ... Meanwhile, Tory Dianne Haskett 'signs' on in London North Centre.


Rosalie Piccioni

Dear Joe, Re: Mr. Watkin's rebuttal

He is entitled to his opinion, as are those who want a change for their lives.


Rosalie Piccioni

It is true that the "white man" came and took the freedom the people had across a God-given land. Canada is a land "blessed" with all the natural resources necessary for abundance - enough for everyone. To continue allowing the original inhabitants of the land to feel that they have a right to all of it - and at the same time making them feel that they belong on reserves - I believe, is doing them a great injustice. The world has become too small for that; they too are part of the big world.

Just a few notes about why "living on a reserve" being "advantageous" makes it hard to live elsewhere.

1. From what I understand, Natives (<== I presume that the 'N' should be capitalized, like it is for Canadians; else, they'd be natives in the generic sense) have a hard time starting a business in the normal manner because contracts that they sign can't be enforced against them. <== Or so I understand - I may be wrong, so anybody who knows better should feel free to correct me.

Because of contracts being unenforceable (like those signed by minors), banks and such won't grant credit to Natives because the latter would then be free to renege on their side of a contract (e.g. having to respect the terms and conditions of payment, collateral, etc.). Whether a Native could keep the money that would be granted to him I don't know - but either way, financial institutions, credit agencies, credit card administrators, etc. won't lend him any money.

Mind you, this doesn't mean that there are no government credit/lending agencies that deal with Natives. I can't say that I know anything about this, though.

2. In some reserves, the sky's the limit when it comes to handing out goodies to the Natives who live there. I met a fellow who worked at a pulp mill in Northern Ontario who told me that he'd started out as a boilerhouse operator on a reserve up there somewhere (Moosonee, I believe, or somewhere near Timmins). Each resident, on demand, could a motor vehicle of his choice, with 4x4s being a favourite. When a vehicle broke down for whatever reason (e.g. rough-riding on roadless terrain, breaking a motor belt, maybe even running out of gas in the middle of nowhere), he could just order a new one. Needless to say, the privilege was (ahem) used so many almost-working vehicles could be found all over the place.

Things may have changed since the fellow I met worked up there (now that I think of it, it almost certainly WAS Moosonee) but you get an idea of how things were up there.

3. The usual tax privileges are another thing that encourage a Native to stay on reserves if he's allowed to.

All that to say that appreciable disincentives exist when it comes to leaving a reserve.


An interesting note on what kind of world Natives lived in when the white man arrived. Basically, their technology was at a level that existed in Stone Age Eurasia. I think that the level would be comparable to middle or late Stone Age times (that is, Mesolithic and Neolithic Ages, respectively).

How so? Basically, it's based on the definition itself of Stone Age - Natives had no metal tools of any sort. Some had gold and silver ornaments (in Middle and South America) but smelting and metal-working were unknown. (Ever notice that Native weapons in the movies consist of bows (wood, plant fibre or animal gut), arrows (wood, stone heads), spears/harpoons (wood, stone heads, bone), etc.? No metal is ever seen. Also, there were no roads, the wheel hadn't been invented (except possibly in a few isolated cases, such as potter's wheels). Also, natives got around by foot or by canoe ... they had no riding animals since there were no horses in the Americas until the Europeans re-introduced them (there had been horses in the Americas waaaaaay back when but they'd all died out).

Can you imagine what it must have been like for Natives to encounter pre-industrial Europeans, and vice versa, just as Europe was taking off as THE techno-military centre of the world? Both parties must have been shocked upon meeting the other, given the millenia of technological advances that separated one from the other. Not to mention the social differences, too - modern states were being consolidated in Europe whereas Native life was based on hunting-gathering and nomadic lifestyles. One can imagine what 17th-century Natives meeting 21st-century Europeans would be like - the latter would be the equivalent of super-high-technology Martians landing on Earth.

Stephane Dion, National Post
Published: Thursday, October 26, 2006

Before entering politics, more than 10 years ago, I maintained that we Quebecers could be described as forming a nation, in the civic and sociological sense of the term. Last Saturday, however, I voted against the resolution put forward by the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada calling for the party to undertake the necessary steps toward a formal recognition of Quebec as a nation.

Before we ask other Canadians to support such a formal recognition (in the constitution, no doubt) we should first of all determine what we expect from such a recognition. Hiding behind the apparent consensus in Quebec on this question are at least three disagreements.

- First question: Are Quebecers the only nation to be recognized within Canada, or will we accept that other groups, heartened by our example, be given the same recognition? Will the pressure exercised by an undetermined number of groups in Canada, including groups in Quebec, to be recognized as nations lead us to conclude that our own national recognition has been trivialized or diluted?

- Second question: Is this recognition necessary or is it merely desirable? Those who say it is necessary must follow their reasoning to its conclusion: If we Quebecers do not obtain this recognition then we must leave Canada. Indeed, one cannot live without something that is necessary.

Those who say that, on the contrary, this recognition would only be a good thing to obtain should not place it at the heart of the Canadian unity debate. You do not break up a country on account of something that is good but not necessary.

- Third question: Do we want this recognition to be purely symbolic or do we want it to lead to concrete consequences on, say, the division of powers or the allocation of public funds? And how does this approach square with the previous question? It is contradictory to affirm that the recognition of Quebec as a nation is necessary but purely symbolic. But that is the untenable position Michael Ignatieff has decided to advocate. Gilles Duceppe, the Bloc Quebecois leader, and Claude Morin, the former PQ minister, have already responded that if the recognition of Quebec as a nation in Canada is important then it must bring about "something" beyond symbolism.

We've seen this movie three times already. First it was the debate on the constitutional recognition of Quebec as a "distinct society" contained in the Meech and Charlottetown accords. Then came the Calgary Declaration, a 1997 episode which few people remember. The premiers of the other provinces tried to define, for us Quebecers, the type of recognition we wanted. They had their legislatures adopt a declaration that recognized "the unique character of Quebec society." When the declaration landed in Quebec, the province's political class rejected it, stating that this recognition "had no teeth."

So, here is my position: I am proud to belong to the Quebec nation within Canada. The constitutional recognition of such a fact, although desirable, is not necessary because nothing prevents us Quebecers from participating and succeeding in this great endeavour that is Canada, a country we have contributed so much to building.

Nothing can justify our renouncing our Canadian identity. Such a rupture would be a tragedy, for ourselves, our children and future generations. We should not be encouraged to make such a mistake on the basis of a recognition that is desirable but not necessary. That is my position and I am more than willing to debate it because I do not underestimate the importance of symbols and recognition. But I do not believe that we should ask other Canadians for such a recognition until we have clarified what we are hoping to obtain from it.

Although it is an important one, I do not believe this debate is the most important thing we can do to improve Quebec and Canada as a whole. For me, the main priority by far is to ensure Canada is part of the solution, not the problem, to the crucial challenge of the 21st century: how to reconcile humanity with the ecological limits of the planet. That is the vision and the plan of action I am proposing to Canadians in order to combine the three pillars of our success: economic prosperity, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Quebecers have better things to do than to see this movie for a fourth time. We should mobilize ourselves to make our country a pathfinder in the 21st century. Let's contribute all our talents, energies and our own culture, as we have always done in the past, when we have had to respond with other Canadians to great challenges.

- Stephane Dion is MP for Saint-Laurent-Cartierville and candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.