Monday, October 30, 2006

Daily Digest October 30, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:
The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN’S to VICTORIA.

EDITORIALs

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Hold the line on intruding seiners
Souris worked to protect inshore stocks. DFO should respect that.
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=4458&sc=7

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Competition is the real solution to productivity
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=5c04d347-2ecb-4144-adc2-b02d25bee8b5

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Women not meat: men not animals
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=1a24bbd0-4bde-4e44-9dbe-0451d3871e3e

OTTAWA CITIZEN - The jury is in
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=d92eaead-b51a-466f-905d-970740d8eb2d

OTTAWA SUN - A sinister Web
http://www.ottawasun.com/Comment/Editorial/2006/10/29/2174683.html

TORONTO STAR - Galvanize Afghan aid
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1161985810057&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

TORONTO SUN - Who wants another election?
http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2006/10/30/2175222-sun.html

LONDON FREE PRESS - Byelection blarney
http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Opinion/Editorials/2006/10/30/2174760.html

WINDSOR STAR - Minimum wage and the economy
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=c1693886-fefe-485a-a4c1-8d04e9d839cd

WINNIPEG SUN - Do the crime, get the time
http://www.winnipegsun.com/Comment/Editorial/2006/10/30/2174843.html

EDMONTON SUN - Imagine that!
http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/Commentary/2006/10/30/2174697.html


ISSUES

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
Little box tells story of loneliness, despair
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3752300p-4338347c.html

Native occupation beyond police ability to resolve: OPP Commissioner Fantino
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103015A.html

Native treaty worth $76m
Small first nation to receive natural resources, land in Prince George in deal that foreshadows Tsawwassen agreement
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=b1ce3c49-ca8d-4fbf-a135-7db01a76133c


CANADIAN FORCES
Pakistan Army Kills up to 80 at al Qaeda-Linked School
http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-10-30/47577.html

Bajaur: Tribe and Custom Continue to Protect al-Qaeda
http://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2369868


Fighting renewed in Kandahar
Rumours of large-scale Taliban migration have Canadian troops expecting a tough winter
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/world/story.html?id=274896ed-7fa6-4c60-b0df-1d51b8636d22

Latest contingent of soldiers from CFB Valcartier leaves for Afghanistan
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103047A.html

Canada buying gear to equip Afghan police
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061029/afghanpolice_gear_061029/20061029?hub=Canada

A new survey finds a majority of Canadians still support sending troops to Afghanistan, believing they provide "critical assistance" to the local population
http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/TopStories/ContentPosting.aspx?newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20061030%2ftory_reportcard_061030&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V2&showbyline=True

Saving troops from a deadly, invisible enemy
Plastic instruments worn around neck warn of radiation
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162162210086&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

Canada isn't winning hearts and minds
Vancouver researcher in Afghanistan criticizes military mission
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=627b9a11-3b0d-41e2-87ce-492a59a1f866

Why not turn poppy fields into free enterprise?
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/537620.html

Choppers altered for troops
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2006/10/30/2175244-sun.html

Veterans victims of Tory foot-dragging
http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/National/2006/10/30/2174861-sun.html


CANUSA/USACAN
Harper seen as healer of Canada-U.S. tensions
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a4769733-8a56-4258-a949-efc77cf40d54

Ottawa 'satisfied' with U.S. response to Arar case
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061030/arar_mackay_061030/20061030?hub=Canada

Arar apology will wait: MacKay
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/10/30/2175980-cp.html

Legal tab in lumber battle may hit $300M
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162162209920&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
Energy boom to cool: experts
Prices now flattening after wild ride
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=c70d5371-a891-4278-b411-420dde2760a2

Carbon credits help farmers
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/business_agriculture/story.html?id=832369a5-5d24-4e19-887b-79dc411032dd

Axe hangs over forestry
There may be more troubles in store for battered lumber and paper companies, experts say
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=986e3904-3be4-445b-9e70-d73c0b992e08&k=75351

We're too trusting with our cards
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/business_agriculture/story.html?id=0a9095f5-41ff-497b-a5ef-ef884ba57f4f

Reverse mortgages right for some, not for others
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/personal_finance/story.html?id=81a93c96-df3a-4c44-a4e5-c2df523404bf

Part 1: Tax haven for Canadians?
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2006/10/30/2175819.html

Pension at 65 not a sure thing
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1161985810060&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795


FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Canada: Israel’s new friend in North America
Conservative government shows signs of pro-Israeli stances after 12 years of liberal reign. Canadian foreign minister: A threat on Israel means a threat on Canada http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3321392,00.html


JUSTICE SYSTEM
Anti-terrorism and judicial nonsense
An Ontario justice's ruling striking down a key part of the new act will make it easier to prosecute offences
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=20f343be-c835-4da4-bcae-6867519a3b2c

Conditional sentences: bad bill, good politics
http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/weinreb103006.htm


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES
Premier of N.S. creates Minister Responsible for Military Relations portfolio
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103007A.html

Dalton blasts Ottawa Tories
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2006/10/30/2175229-sun.html

Will our next premier lead the health-care revolution?
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=780bc207-987c-422f-b37b-e5e281cc8edd

One-party state
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3752298p-4338336c.html


POLITICS
Prime minister offers to meet with NDP leader to talk climate change
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/061030/national/harper_climate_change

LeBreton says allegations 'patently false' and 'offensive'
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2006/october/30/senate/&c=1

'I represent New Liberalism': Grit candidate Kennedy
Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy says it will take two elections for federal Grits to make big inroads in Quebec again
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2006/october/30/kennedy/&c=1

PM Harper trying to avoid 'dome disease' with media: Conservative
PM Stephen Harper hasn't had a full-fledged press conference in Ottawa since last spring and reporters are baffled by his strategy.
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2006/october/30/press%20gallery/&c=1

MP Kenney: a key, trusted liaison straight to Harper and the PMO
Jason Kenney, 'the fang-bearing Chihuahua that bites back,' is increasingly seen front-and-centre in Question Period, and he's becoming one the PM's most trusted MPs.
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2006/october/30/kenney/&c=1

Senate board ponders probe
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/10/30/2175348-sun.html

Liberal delegates scramble to foot bills
Without campaign funds, many get creative to finance convention trip
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061030.wxdelegates30/BNStory/National/home

The Quebec resolution
MARC GARNEAU co-chair of the Working Group for a Renewed Liberal Vision and ex-president of the Canadian Space Agency
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061030.LETTERS30-4/TPStory/TPComment/Quebec/

And who would Stephen Harper prefer?
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061030.COTHORSELL30/TPStory/TPComment/Politics/

Rivals cool to Quebec 'nation' debate
Camps holding talks in bid 'to find common ground'
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162162210312&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

Dysfunction Junction
http://www.liberal.ca/news_e.aspx?id=12006

Drama dogs MacKay
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/canada_world/story.html?id=d7ebb4b9-8741-494d-8205-0f45dd5843a3

Foreign policy a wash for Tories
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/canada/story.html?id=36062fe7-ab68-4915-b4ba-08b017577ecb

Sometimes, nice guys like Bob finish first
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3752299p-4338311c.html

Speaker closes file on MacKay-Stronach matter
While the 'dog' controversy involving MPs Belinda Stronach and Peter MacKay is regrettable, Speaker Peter Milliken said he now considers the matter closed.
http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/TopStories/ContentPosting.aspx?newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20061030%2fspeaker_dog_061030&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V2&showbyline=True

Layton won't rule out no-confidence vote
http://www.politicswatch.com/layton-oct30-2006.htm

Inside the mind of Stephen Harper
Exclusive book excerpt: How an impatient novice learned to play the game -- and take power
http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/politics/article.jsp?content=20061106_135797_135797

Ambrose criticizes shortcomings of Quebec environmental plan
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103094A.html


POLITICS - US
GOP faces loss of power in U.S. midterms
http://www.politicswatch.com/us-oct30-2006.html

No more phony timetables for Iraq
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1161985810068&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

U.S. over its head one more time
Both Iraq and Vietnam featured some good intentions gone awry
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162162209754&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795


PROGRAMMES
Task force recommends four-stage plan to end wheat board's monopoly
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103073A.html

Federal government wants to go back to basics on Kyoto Protocol
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103069A.html

Flaherty mulling capital gains tax rollover options
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/061030/canada/canada_economy_canada_flaherty_col

Canada begins duty refunds to softwood firms
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/061030/canada/canada_timber_canada_softwood_col

Cash linked to crime, terrorism often handled improperly, audit finds
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103057A.html


PRESSURE POINTS
Address climate change or risk global depression: economist
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2006/10/30/climate-cost.html

Global warming will devastate world economy, says UK gov't
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/britain_global_warming

Politics of fear spreading into Canada
http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/current/n_empty.php?sid=1319993


OPINION AND INFORMATION
Wikipedia Founder: Freedom Wins in the End
Refuses to cooperate with Chinese regime
http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-10-26/47368.html

Ottawa paid $31M for part of Lebanon evacuation: documents
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/10/30/lebanon-evacuation.html

All I can see is her eyes
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Cockburn_Lyn/2006/10/30/2175086.html

N.J. court puts same-sex debate in politicians' laps
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Worthington_Peter/2006/10/30/2175310-sun.html

They're watching you
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Canada/2006/10/30/2175189-sun.html

Secret agencies are accountable
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Canada/2006/10/30/2175190-sun.html

Don't force clergy to marry gays: majority
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=2abac6d0-374f-4209-b603-8cd00f664113

U.S. can't ignore time bomb forever
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=546d5fdd-35f2-47bf-9bbd-9bdaecd37851

Did we really invent peacekeeping?
Canadians have built up a good chunk of our national sense of self based on a mythology that we alone created the modern-day concept of peacekeeping
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=6e564d2a-4536-4734-a98d-8b6809a76f98


INFOS

Affaire Arar Pas d'excuse de Washington
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2006/10/30/003-ara-mackay-Rice.shtml

Afghanistan Départ d'un nouveau contingent
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/regional/modele.asp?page=/regions/Quebec/2006/10/30/004-militaires_depart_afghanistan.shtml

Favoriser l'équilibre travail-famille
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2006/10/30/002-travail-federal.shtml

Pour un New Deal écologique
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Science-Sante/2006/10/30/001-changementsclimatiques.shtml

# Le plan vert de Québec inquiète la ministre Ambrose qui y voit des lacunes
http://mesnouvelles.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/061030/N103093U.html

L'incident est clos
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/2006/10/30/004-milliken-stronach-mackay.shtml

Le passage du Nord-Ouest ouvert dès 2015?
http://www.ledevoir.com/2006/10/30/121637.html

Candidat bloquiste dans Repentigny - Raymond Gravel veut défendre les plus démunis de la société
http://www.ledevoir.com/2006/10/30/121640.html

En bref - Des hélicoptères polyvalents
http://www.ledevoir.com/2006/10/30/121650.html?333

Des compagnies seront poursuivies pour émission de GES
http://www.ledevoir.com/2006/10/30/121643.html?333

Les réformateurs canadiens sont fatigués
http://www.ledevoir.com/2006/10/30/121596.html?333

Les candidats du PLC espèrent désamorcer la question du Québec
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20061030/CPACTUALITES/61030209/1025/FRONTPAGE

# Le Canada demande une révision complète du Protocole de Kyoto
http://mesnouvelles.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/061030/N103089U.html

Quatre éditeurs publient un catalogue commun et déplorent la concentration
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/061030/N103056U.html


Federal Byelection

Walker fires opening broadside at Tory Haskett
http://lfpress.ca/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=160014&x=articles&s=elections

Pearson to carry Liberal banner
http://lfpress.ca/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=160200&x=articles&s=elections


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

"The assault on the history books lay ahead." the last words sentence of a article relating to Stephen Harper.

Today a study was released recommending the elimination of the Canadian Wheat Board as it presently exists.

This action under " the Canadian Wheat Board Act requires a mandate from farmers before the monopoly is removed."
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061030/n103073A.html according to board chairman Ken Ritter.

Speaking for the New Government of Canada "Strahl remained non-committal about a referendum Monday,
saying some changes could be made by cabinet order and wouldn't require farmer approval."

The choices? A decision by those affected, some 85 000 farmers, or by Cabinet decree.

What follows is the opening statement of "The Canadian Wheat Board under attack...Why YOU should care..."
http://www.theholmteam.ca/CWB.html which presents the position of those for the continuance of the Board.

The history of the Wheat Board is at http://www.cwb.ca/en/about/vision_mission/history.jsp . A google link
follows the quote to more information.

My conservatism is that change be undertaken only with clear benefit being the result of doing so and in a
manner involving those to be affected in the decision making process, not being arbitrarily imposed as a ukase.

The Canadian Wheat Board, an institution with a long history, is under assault.

It will be most enlightening to follow the manner in which the attack and defence are conducted.

Joe
_____________
As an Agrologist, I believe this to be an urgent public policy priority for Canada. Wrapping their actions in words like "marketing choice"
and "freedom to choose", the Government of Canada has said it will act in contravention of the Canadian Wheat Board Act to destroy
the single desk selling authority of the Board, transferring $800 million a year from the pockets of Canadian farmers and rural communities
to large transnational grain companies and their shareholders. It is time for Canadians to come together in support of our farmers.
Section 47.1 of the CWB Act says no Minister may amend the Act to change the marketing system for wheat and barley without a producer
plebscite in support of same. Prior to any further consideration of Bill C-300, it's content and implications MUST FIRST BE APPROVED
by a vote of western wheat and barley producers (not acres) and the wording of the question must be fair (determined by farmers, not bureaucrats).
Wendy Holm, P.Ag. http://www.theholmteam.ca/CWB.html
Should you be supportive of Wendy Holm's position she may be contacted at holm@farmertofarmer.ca

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=Canadian+Wheat+Board+Act&btnG=Search&meta=cr%3DcountryCA

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R. Gagne

Joe:

For the Digest.

I note with interest your definition of "political-nation/country" which
I have just gotten around to looking at.

To me, it seems that what you describe as a "political-nation/country"
should be be called a nation-state: a body which has sovereign control
over a defined geographic area and which legitimately can conduct
relations with other nation-states.

I agree with your characterization of the roles and responsibilities of
unitary and federal nation-states.

As to your contention that there is no Alberta Nation or Quebec Nation,
I'm not certain about this. Certainly, I would agree that there is not
now a legitimate Alberta nation-state or Quebec nation-state, nor for
that matter, an Ontario nation-state. But in my view there exists a
Quebec political nation, because of which this country has suffered
periodic bouts of political instability over the last couple of
generations. I don't particularly like this. But its existence and
influence are facts.

If I've understood you correctly, I would assume that you do consider
Quebec as a cultural nation whose existence and influence are evident. I
would agree. But how do you then classify the political expression of
that cultural entity except as a political nation?

Real

===================================
Ron Thornton

*Hi Joe:

John Dowson and Harold Fletcher, in the Oct. 29, 2006 edition of the Daily Digest commented that as Canada recognizes our aboriginal population as our "First Nation", then why not recognize Quebec as a "nation." Personally, as a card carrying Metis, I believe Canada made a mistake in recognizing the First Nations as such. Thus, it would also be a mistake to recognize Quebec or anyone else as a "nation" unless one wishes to celebrate how diverse and divided we are to the point of it all coming apart. If we are not one nation, then we will go the way of Czechoslovakia in time. Also, as John mentioned, Quebec will also lose (or should if they leave) the financial subsidies they currently receive from the rest of the nation (though primarily from Alberta and Ontario) that they can ill afford to go without.

Eugene Parks brought up Peter McKay and "Dog-gate", and I think we can all agree that the Foreign Minister meant to insult Belinda. However, we should recognize that he never used a single objectionable word nor did he say anything sexist. He never used the word "dog", but simply commented that "you already have her" and motioned to her empty chair.
Our fertile minds filled in the rest. Actually, it was amusing put down, at least according to my wife, mother, and mother-in-law. As for being sexist, if one asked Leanne Domi where he dog was, she could also reply "You'll have to ask Belinda, as she has him." As put downs go, this one was universal, not sexist. As for all this somehow demonstrating a lack of respect for women, might I suggest that there are some who appear to demonstrate a lack of respect for married women and their children, with Belinda Stronach being one. As for this insult toward Ms. Stronach somehow being a put down of all women, let me just say that the lumping the women in my life in the same category as Belinda should be cause for an apology from the Liberal caucus to those women.
Should Belinda have been offended? Yup, that was the intent. Should all women be offended? You must be kidding.
Finally, thanks to Andy Rutherford for sending along the piece from Ben Stein. One line in that article has Stein stating "* Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us." *I am not perfect. I can't tell you for sure who God is and what religion or denomination has it "right". I just know that I'm not prepared to lose what I've been blessed with by purposely wandering even further from His path than I normally stumble, no matter what others might think or seem to get away with. How do I know I am blessed? I could have had the life of Conrad Black.

Ron Thornton

===================================
Stephen Thiele

Hi Joe:

The Toronto Party has been gaining some steam.

We are asking leaders of all parties, at levels of government, to change Ontario’s Municipal Elections Act so that it permits parties to naturally form at the civic level. Under the current law, there are barriers in place which would make it difficult for the dwellers in all municipalities to express their views through civic parties. This is contrary to the basic principles of our democratic society.

People should be allowed to freely associate within civic parties so as to express themselves on city issues, just as we are free to associate within political parties at the provincial and federal level and to express ourselves on issues relevant to those levels of government.

In Quebec, formal legislation exists to recognize civic parties throughout the province. In British Columbia, there is a rich history of civic parties who contest elections in cities like Vancouver and Burnaby.

So why in Ontario do we not have the same ability to form civic parties? Surely, we in Ontario are not second-class citizens.

Cheers,

Stephen
Co-founder, The Toronto Party
www.thetorontoparty.com

===================================
From: Michael Watkins
To: letters@theglobeandmail.com, pmartin@globeandmail.com
Cc: mwente@globeandmail.ca

Subject: Wente: We don't amount to a hill of beans

Margaret Wente in Thursday's column (We don't amount to a hill of beans,
October 26) essentially argues that government should not even bother trying
to reduce our country's contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
because its too darn hard, and inconvenient to boot.

Its the difficult issues of national and global importance that we expect our
federal government to make hard choices and show leadership. The world won't
make progress on GHG emissions and climate change without strong leadership
and concrete action having first been shown by a few.

Wente is apparently only keen on Canada, Canadians, and our governments
showing world leadership on global issues when the issue doesn't revolve
around her precious SUV.

"Cars mean freedom, and freedom's worth a lot," Wente not long ago wrote, and
in that same article she claimed to hope for a future in which we aren't
dependent on oil.

How then will this future arrive if not for leadership having been shown?

Canada's track record over the past decade is abysmal, yet the Harper
government, aided and abetted by folks who think like Wente, proposes to
institutionalize past inaction as future policy.

As one of the world's top producers and exporters of petro-energy, and as the
number one supplier to the worlds largest petro-consumer, the United States,
it is our responsibility to be one of those leaders, today, not 10, 20 or 50
years hence.

Michael Watkins

(A card-carrying federal Conservative disappointed with government's, and my
party's, stand and lack of action on climate change.)

===================================
The Hill Times, October 30th, 2006
LETTERS
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2006/october/30/letter3/&c=1

Government downgrades Senate: reader
Recently a media story focused on complaints against the Senate Defence Committee for the expenses they incurred in a trip to the Middle East to investigate systems of port security and to get first-hand knowledge of the mission in Afghanistan. The Senators were refused permission to visit Afghanistan because the situation there was "in flux."

Last weekend the Minister of International Cooperation Josée Verner made a surprise visit to Kandahar and Kabul for what appears to be nothing more than a photo-op to re-announce funding already announced in Canada.

Why were the Senators prevented from visiting Afghanistan while the Minister was allowed in? It would appear the reasons are simple: on the one hand, there is the government's effort to "control the message" while on the other hand it is trying to downgrade the Senate.

Derrall Bellaire
London, Ont.

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STRATOS
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Where have the nationalists gone?
With iconic Canadian companies being sold off willy-nilly, where's the hue and cry over the loss of our sovereignty
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162072211424&call_pageid=970599119419
Yes, well, maybe we're all grown up now and no longer think in terms of "Canadian-company executives are our saviours".

The real problem is that it is illegal for one country to invade another country, says Linda McQuaig
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162034469856&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795
The real problem is that national security isn't perceived as a legal issue.

Iggy risks splitting the party
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Copps_Sheila/2006/10/29/2165078.html
In a manner different from Jean Chretien's and Paul Martin's splitting the party, I presume. Then again, it may be for the best: split Liberals help Tories stay united. A new law of political physics: conservation of unity? When unity drops in one place, it arises in another.

Mind you, in the long run, a feeble opposition leads to complacent governance. Still, I'm willing to endure that for a short while.


Serious issue dogs MPs
Absurdity of ?Doggygate? illustrates why Canadians are losing faith in Parliament
http://www.calgarysun.com/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=160095&x=articles&s=comment
Hear, hear.

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Ron Thornton
"There is no Alberta Nation, Quebec Nation. There is only one country, one political-nation in northern North America, Canada."

To his dismay, John Diefenbaker learned the hard way that "One Canada" doesn't agree with everyone. The Tories from from 58 (?) seats in Quebec in the 1958 election to four the next time. Things may have changed, mind you.

Harold Fletcher
Subject: RE: Nation

Joe,

Re "Nation". No one seems to object to Indians referring to themselves as First Nations. Why all the fuss about Quebec? Don't forget that the Quebec legislature is comprised of Members of the National Assembly (MNA's). The word Nation carries a different meaning in French than it does in English, perhaps that is where the misinterpretation comes in.

I heard Chantal Hebert's speech to the Union of BC Municipalities. she is a newspaper writer living in Quebec and she thinks the whole thing is a tempest in a tea pot. I agree with her.

Re. tempest. I agree. Very sensible woman, Chantal (I met her once - not often that I detect her kind of journalistic integrity right off the bat).


(The First Nations are distinctive cultural groups, cultural nations. Quebec is a land area.)
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Inside the mind of Stephen Harper

Exclusive book excerpt: How an impatient novice learned to play the game -- and take power
http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/politics/article.jsp?content=20061106_135797_135797
PAUL WELLS

Stephen Harper is hard to know. Ever since he became the young policy director of the Reform party after its founding convention in 1987, and especially after he and 51 other Reform candidates won their tickets to Ottawa in the 1993 election, Harper had been like those floaters that appear in your field of vision on a bright sunshiny day. What are those things, anyway? Dust motes? Blood vessels? No way to tell. You never stop seeing them, but every time you try to actually stare at one, it scoots off to the side.

Every reporter on Parliament Hill soon learned to call Harper for intelligent, quotable commentary on any number of topics. The lovingly catalogued failings of Jean Chrétien's Liberal government were a favourite subject, but he was also good on economics, the subject he had studied at the University of Calgary, and on Quebec separatism, the file he had been assigned by Preston Manning, Reform's founding leader.

* * *

Or not. The Conservatives still stood strong in the polls, though still short of the majority Harper coveted. Unemployment was near record lows, the dollar near record highs. Harper had inherited that good news from the Liberals, but he'd take it, thanks very much. Except in Afghanistan, far from the concerns of most Canadians, the country faced no grave crisis. Harper had united two of Canadian conservatism's three sisters and was pursuing the third, the cutie with the French accent, with an ardour and a chance of conquest no one could ever have expected. His opponents were in disarray, their odds of rallying only so-so. He was well positioned, which was good to know, because the way he saw things, the real work had barely begun.

The assault on the history books lay ahead.

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