Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Daily Digest November 1, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:

Montreal supermarket kicks out veteran selling poppies, Legion says

Army kicks treads in used tank market
Military considers surplus Leopard 2s to beef up firepower

Defence Department nixes proposal to buy tanks from Germany and Switzerland

Combat engineers exposed to Gulf War contaminants: ombudsman

Duty to our troops

Lest we forget

Attitude disappoints

Kandahar Timmies to cost taxpayers $4M in first year: Report

Defending our right to disagree

Army reportedly shopping for surplus tanks

Watchdog fears for troops

Taking freedom to the streets

Canada succeeding in Afgahanistan
NATO general: Extremists targetedCanadian forces, who reacted 'magnificently'

Canada hands over south Afghan command

PM defends income trust flip flop

Tories targeting trusts

Opposition launches attacks in income-trust policy as markets plummet

Conservatives break election promise, introducing tax on income trusts

Government acted with 'integrity' on trust issue: PM

Markets expected to fall significantly

Income trust market updates

BCE to review trust conversions: CEO ... Shares tumble on announcement

Income trust investors suffer massive losses

Income trust investors shouldn't sell in panic and compound losses: experts

Conservatives went to man in black and great lengths for income-trust secret

Feds fear tax burden shift, plan new rules to close loophole

Battle for 'Net neutrality' arrives in Canada and could forever alter Internet

Microcredit reaches 113 million; new goals set before Halifax conference

Canadian health care costs about $3,000 per person

Politicians told stop 'acting like children' and end occupation in Caledonia, Ont.

Making a federal case

Harper weighs revisions to bill
Meets with Layton;
NDP wants 'thorough and complete' rewrite

Clean Air Act going before Commons committee

Opposition parties vow to gut Clean Air Act

Environmentalists apprehensive about NDP-Conservative deal on clean air

Environmentalists threaten to launch legal challenge

Toews is bang on

An imitation of justice

CSIS chief offers no apology for agency's handling of Arar

Walkom column: CSIS not blameless
O'Connor inquiry pointed out role

Fed aid 'slow as molasses'

Parents, siblings pose as couples to get around Canada's immigration rules, lawyers say

Tories boost immigration
Move just tactic to build support, critics charge

800,000 caught in immigrant backlog
Minister promises to slash red tape
Amnesty for illegal workers ruled out

Question of respect

Species support gets failing grade ... Funding for conservation to be halved

Farmers determine board future

The Iggy and the damage done

Liberal front-runners urged to head off Quebec battle
Trailing candidates seek compromise amid fears of a 'Liberal Party donnybrook'

Liberals engaged in damaging debate over Quebec

What Quebec can learn from Scotland

Polls indicate Canadian PM’s star is waning alongside U.S. Republicans

U.S.officials praise plans to conclude wheat board monopoly

Fired member no longer opposed single desk
Keith, who was formerly one of five government-appointed directors on the CWB board, expressed his views in a letter to the federal agriculture minister shortly before he was terminated by a decision of the Conservative cabinet. His current three-year term had been set to run until the end of 2007.

Free the grain
The Canadian Wheat Board is anti-consumer, anti-competitive, anti-poor and deserves to be dismantled

Wheat Board debate getting weirder

U.S. reasserts its position on Northwest Passage

Who will profit from Arctic resources?

Four priorities in our warming world

Measuring wait times
Reliable, accessible information is needed so Canadians can better understand the issues and where the problems lie

Arabs debate merits of veil
Egyptians dividedwhether veil a signof modesty or extremism

Vital Dubai work ignored in 'junket' smear

Ontario unfair to PS retirees
Baird: Proposed change to drug benefit plan creates 'second-class senior citizens'


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Procrastinating nation

HALIFAX NEWS - Legislation to breach tobacco power walls

MONTREAL GAZETTE - A ringing call to action on global warming

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Politics and national pride

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Scientists, not bureaucrats

WINDSOR STAR - Ontario taxes: McGuinty gets 'grumpy'

CALGARY HERALD - Putting a price on global warming
British study adds missing dimension to climate debate

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - A new way of doing business
Income trust tack hits the skids

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Sweating over details

La région de Kandahar est plus sûre, soutiennent les leaders de l'OTAN

Le PLC fustige le PCC sur les fiducies; le Bloc et le NPD approuvent

Ottawa taxe les fiducies de revenu

Harper cède devant la menace de Layton

Qualité de l'air: l'opposition promet de remodeler le projet de loi
La Bourse plonge

Nouvelles allégations envers Zaccardelli

Expansion du microcrédit dans le monde


Sticking to promises through stacking the deck

Activity relating to the Canadian Wheat Board is still my top focus (income trusts are concerns of investors of
which I am not one).

Appoint a commission of "Get rid of it" supporters, forbid the CWB leadership from arguing its virtues, terminate
a Board member supporting it a year early - and earn the praise of Americans!

Sticking by promises and principles is primary The means are incidental.



Phyllis Wagg

In my opinion the termination of income trusts was something the government had to do. Maybe this is the first reality check for this government on the nature of corporate power and economic fundamentalism. Corporations moving to the income trust model were not looking at the viability of the business but at tax avoidance. The most extreme economic fundamentalists believe that corporations should pay no tax. That means they believe that ordinary taxpayers should subsidize corporate profit by paying for all those things that government provides corporations.

Since constant economic growth is a central objective of economic fundamentalism, the transformation of a corporation to an income trust undermines the ability of that corporation to grow and maintain its infrastructure. Already some companies have been forced to use their assets to cover the payouts to their investors. This meant that the capital rather than the profit was being used to meet their obligations. With the two largest communications companies moving to this model we could eventually suffer a major breakdown in our communications networks apart from the tax implications.

There are many Canadians who have seen their net worth decline, especially those who invested in stock that was over-valued because of the income trust fad. It is unfortunate that governments allowed this issue to progress to the point it did.

Norman Dundas

Hi Joe;

Some comments on the Harper Conservative proposal to impose a withholding tax on income trust distributions.

1. Excluding distributions to deferred income plans (estimated to be about 39%-40%) most retail investors
who invest in income trusts are taxed at higher marginal rates than corporations. So where is the lost revenue?

2. The proposal to increase the age exemption for seniors will not benefit most seniors whose age exemption
is already being clawed back.

3. The ability for seniors to split income is of no advantage to a single senior (there are a lot of widows and widowers
and singles). Why should they be penalized? Maybe they should only be taxed on a portion of their income (80%, 70%, 60%, etc).

We do not yet know what the government proposes for a withholding rate nor do we know how it may be shared with the provinces. It seems to me that the provinces still lose. i.e. an Alberta corporation with the majority of its operations in Alberta pays most of its corporate provincial tax to Alberta. If it converts to an income trust and most of its unit holders reside outside Alberta, the personal income tax revenue will go to the province of residence of the unit holder.

The provinces still lose and the feds gain a tax grab.

Just my preliminary analysis of a hastily and badly designed tax policy.


Stephen Berg

Hello from Winnipeg. I am writing to ask Canadians to do everything you can to save the Canadian Wheat Board from its summary execution at the hands of the Conservative Party, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and MPs Chuck Strahl and David Anderson.

My grandfather, William Sloane of Clearwater (and later Pilot Mound), Manitoba, was a steadfast supporter of the Board from when he began farming in the 1930s until his death this past year at nearly 95 years old. Aside from his children and grandchildren, the Board was his pride and joy, a model of farmers working together to reach a common goal of providing a living for them and their families. He was very active in the Board's activities, attending meetings and conferences, voting for the Board's executive and directors, and providing moral support for those on the Board.

If he were alive today, he would be horrified by the proposed dismantling of the Wheat Board at the hands of the Conservatives. He would be writing letters and making phone calls to his wit's end in attempting to save the Board.

Since he is sadly no longer with us, I felt a sense of responsibility, both to him and his ideals, as well as to the legacy he would have liked to leave behind to new farmers, to write this letter urging non-partisan Canadians and those supporting the Liberals, the Bloc Québécois, and the NDP to ask these Parties which together form a majority in the House of Commons to save the Canadian Wheat Board from destruction.

If this means bringing down the governing Conservatives and forcing an election, then so be it. These three parties have more than enough ammunition to reduce the Conservatives to opposition status once again, with their neglect of the Kyoto Protocol and the urgent matter of climate change, their lack of accountability when it comes to the Public Works Minister not being an MP but hiding in the Senate, and (despite my support of the mission) the lack of explanation of our role in reconstructing Afghanistan prior to the vote on extending our stay in that country until 2008 or 2009.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Stephen Berg

François Dion

Hello Joe,

I would like to wish the best to the Progressive Party of Canada (Progressive Canadian) candidate, Steve Hunter in London North Centre By-election.

Je souhaites la meilleure des chances a Steve Hunter, candidat du Parti Progressiste du Canada (Parti progressiste-canadien) dans London Nord Centre.


Rene Moreau

Subject: Re: Daily Digest October 31, 2006

To Joe
From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

Regarding the post
I find Stratos statement here ironic. by Phyllis Wagg about corporate domination attempts.

One is reminded of a tale about how to catch a tiger without any struggle.

'Coat the net with molasses before catching the tiger. When he ends up in the sticky net he will spend so much time trying to clean himself that he'll be no trouble for you.'

Keep a whole population so busy making a living and entertaining themselves and it would appear you can have your way with them as long as you can convince them that the prophets and doomsayers and leftist fringe don't know what their talking about.

Just as an example, say someone is really good at detecting the ploys of corporate entities to privatize the different aspects of the power industry, finding out what they do and how they do it. For instance, how the Ontario Power Authority was put in place, after telling people they are a government body, by corporate entities to advise the government to get the taxpayers to pay for the 20 to 40 billion dollars needed to upgrade and add to the nuclear power supply, and then they will lobby for privatization of the power system, which means turning all that we the taxpayers, paid for, to foreign,corporate control and profit making, since NAFTA says 'thou shalt NOT discriminate against foreign, American corporations' just as we are realizing the need for a LEASH on corporations! They then will call for 'Smart Regulation' which, in reality, means 'No Regulation!

For instance, if you are a corporate entity that wants to remove resistance to corporate wishes, you get someone with some credibility to go to the Ontario Electricity Coalition, OEC, one of the few groups fighting the corporate attempts at control of power production, and tell them something like, this source is not to be believed, ignore him. '

Better yet, read 'When Corporations Rule the World, by David Korten. It's a business book, not science fiction!

By the way, Joe, in the article , 'where have all the nationalists gone?' by David Olive, you will note that he quotes people from the pro-corporate side, like Jerry Schartz, Peter Munk, and Wendy Dobson, formerly of the C. D Howe Instute, thereby losing credibility with real nationalists.

Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

J. Edgar Robertson

And You Had a BAD Day?
A little guy is sitting at the bar just staring at his
drink for half an hour when this big trouble-making
truck driver steps next to him, grabs his drink and
gulps it down in one swig.
The poor little guy starts crying.
"Come on man, I was just giving you a hard time," says
the truck driver. "I'll buy you another drink.
I just can't stand to see a man crying."
"This is the worst day of my life," says the little
guy between sobs. "I can't do anything right. I
overslept and was late to an important meeting, so my boss fired
me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my
car was stolen and I have no insurance. I grabbed a
cab home but, after the cab left, I discovered my
wallet was still in the cab. At home I found my wife
in bed with the gardener. So I came to this bar
trying to work up the courage to put an end to my life."
"And then you show up and drink the damn poison."

Canada in violating international law on climate issue, critics allege
From the article: "Under the Kyoto Protocol, countries that fail to meet their targets are required to make up the amount of the shortfall plus a 30 per cent additional amount in the next compliance period."

Riiiight ... and the Kyoto police will come here, batons waving, if we don't comply. Seriously, initiatives like the Kyoto Accord draw their strength from good will and inter-governmental cajoling, not from legal threats. If the latter DO come to be used, things like abrogation of the Accord are almost always used as pretexts for a "righteously indignant" government doing something that it wanted to do anyway (e.g. raise tariff barriers).

Ruff going for MacKay
Oh, for Heaven's sake, move on.

Quebec ties Liberals in knots
Or more precisely, Liberals tie themselves up in knots over Quebec. Amazing, how much influence we Quebecers have. And to think that all we really want is a little love. (<== Well, self-love, anyway).

Conservatives pick friends for judge jobs
"We're doing it to bring balance to the federal judiciary" (i.e. to catch up on the Liberal stacking of the Bench).

Conservative ideology dressed in rhetoric of fiscal responsibility
Or alternatively, fiscal responsibility IS Conservative ideology. Unfortunately, this sometimes means the political development ... oops, I mean economic development programs get axed.

'Islamo-fascism' is Islamo-bull ...
The term "Islamo-fascism" used by President George W Bush and other Iraq warriors is sheer nonsense and demagoguery. Historical fascism is a merger of state and corporate power in time of crisis that has nothing to do with Muslim life today, although the germs of it can be seen in the US. -
And so it is, which is another example of the Bush administration's lack of realistic vision. That being said, the point isn't the dictionary definition of fascism: it's the mixing of religion / cultural identity with political violence.

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

Yes, well, maybe we're all grown up now and no longer think in terms of "Canadian-company executives are our saviours".
I find Stratos statement here ironic.

Yow, well argued. And at length, too. I'll answer this tomorrow. And to think that I thought that I was being sarcastic, not ironic ...