Thursday, November 30, 2006

Daily Digest November 30, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:


HALIFAX HERALD - In search of renewal

MONTREAL GAZETTE - More words than help from NATO

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Canada can't fight alone  

NATIONAL POST - Another black eye for the RCMP

TORONTO SUN -  NATO can't cut and run

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - [] Will NATO share combat load?

K-W RECORD - Share the danger in Afghanistan

SUDBURY STAR - Grit grist; Conservatives have feasted on Liberals' absence from policy debate

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Even Canada’s enforcers don’t follow rules

VANCOUVER SUN - Victoria has to come clean on what's allowed under private health care  


Natives stir 'nation' debate


PM gets little help at NATO

Tax cuts can stoke business R&D spending  

More gas-tax follies  


Health fund touted by CMA
The Canada Health Act's sixth principle  

Alberta backbencher and leadership contender Ted Morton full of paradoxes

Steady Eddie Stelmach is quietly in the hunt for Alberta's Tory leadership

Provincial Tory leadership hopeful Ted Morton comes to the debate armed with ancient grievances ... and not much else

Harper migraine in making

Hold ’em or fold ’em

Strahl gives wheat board president two weeks' notice, offers no explanation

After 100 hours of study, Senate votes to send Bill C-2 back again

Ministers should tell PMO to 'get lost' on staff: PC Sen. Murray
PMO interference with ministerial staff detrimental to Parliamentary democracy

Old-style leadership race lives on; Liberals reject one-member, one-vote

Liberal leadership hopefuls meeting behind closed doors as vote approaches

Liberal leadership poll finds Rae leads Ignatieff in perceived electability

Voting strategy the big buzz at Liberal convention

Volpe's velcro grip on his delegates moves him from the spurned to spotlight

Young Liberals ask leadership hopefuls about war on Afghanistan

Organizational sorcerer Orchard ready to spook Dion's opponents

Martin breaks silence on Tories

> Buzz about the second ballot

> Liberal leadership bash in Montreal kicks off with machinations and hoopla

> Liberal leadership rivals preach unity, attack PM as convention ...

> Divisions behind us, Martin says

> Campaign everywhere, Dean urges Liberals as convention opens

> Dean offers first-hand advice to Liberals

> Learn a lesson from U.S. Democrats, Dean advises Liberals

> Liberal convention starts with political intrigue

> The rank and file's unrest worries Liberals

> Liberals focusing on battle for third

> A peek at the candidates' strategies

> Sizing up the second choices

> Painful to behold

> Liberals need a litter box

> Calendar of events

> Same-sex law to be reviewed

> Get set for a new gay marriage spat

> News agency gets heavily censored version of PM’s briefing book

[] Rae alone is ready for prime time

Pulling back the red curtain

Separated by our semantic differences

Canada may pay a price for "nation" resolution

MP Chong deserves accolades  

Southwestern Ontario is a nation, too

Confused about nationhood? Consider these equations

Motion commune adoptée à Québec

Intrigues au Palais des congrès

Les négociations entre candidats à la direction du PLC sont bien engagées

Ignatieff veut voir les jeunes exporter les valeurs canadiennes dans le monde

Le PLC refuse de passer au mode un membre-un vote à l'élection du chef

Les libéraux fédéraux sont déconnectés du Québec, croit le ministre Fortier

  Bob Rae déplore le manque de français au congrès du Parti libéral

Le Québec, une nation dans un Canada uni - Le PLQ, le PQ et l'ADQ négocient une autre motion

Défense et bilinguisme



                 The federal government has threatened to fire the president of the Canadian Wheat Board for not toeing the Conservative line
                 on ending the board's monopoly.


The Hill Times, November 27th, 2006

Whose interests is the New Conservative Government serving?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not giving foreign policy professional focus. He gave a green light to civilian bombings in Lebanon and has lost public trust in the war in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister and his Cabinet have been skipping international events like AIDS and environmental conferences and creating an international incident at the Francophone Summit that he did attend.

We also know the environment isn't taken seriously as the conservatives are attempting to defer emissions targets to 2050.

Notably, some in "Canada's New Government" give non-tendered contracts to associates, use government aircraft for personal trips, and are under investigation for violations of election laws. Prime Minister Harper broke a written income trust promise that cost participating Canadians $36-billion. In many ways, the new government is as old as any we have ever seen.

Nevertheless, Harper's Conservatives are making one clear political move. The Prime Minister indicated he is talking to the provinces about setting formal limits on Ottawa's powers. Mr. Harper wants to provincialize the country. And, Mr. Harper has integrated U.S.-Canadian foreign policy (sometimes word-for-word). We now know, the Prime Minister's full agenda is to both Balkanize and Americanize Canada's pieces.

The Prime Minister's intentions are clear; so we now know whose interests he is serving–even though it's a betrayal of the interests he is sworn to protect.

Eugene Parks
Victoria, B.C.

Suan H.Booiman

Does it really matter if we express an option, no one gives a d...... Quebec is no more a Nation
than my neighbour is St Nicolaas. All we do is being corrupted by democratically elected
politicians and it does not matter what colour they represent. I have not been ask now nor
at Meech but a C'town and said NO did any one care in Ottawa, nooooo............
and it will not change till the blackmail is over or the country has fallen apart in the
effort to buy votes in Quebec. No one is a Quebecois, they are all, 98 % of split marriages
including Trudeau, Charest and many more that say they are French, my foot they are like
Métis but don't want to hear about it, included the imported from Haiti or Africa.
The AG should investigate who used the 772 billion to enforce bilingualism, am sure many
Liberals did benefit some way. My hope is as a British Columbian of Ted Morton in Alberta,
but that will likely also wash out with bribes from corrupt Ottawa.
Am I bitter, you better believe it, would not vote for a Conservative ever again after some
45 years. Who not sure maybe the Green or the Communists, than I know for sure to be
taken to the cleaners. My MP is a sheep and blah blah others words because he has none,
but than he is a lawyer that helps his personal progress. Can you imagine three B.C.
Liberals voted against the Nation motion, they bought their way to re-election, while
a large amount of B.C.Tories will be send fishing, as they should.

Mark Hendriks


Do people really believe that subtle word play will somehow defeat
Quebec separatism?

Do Quebecers (Quebecois?) really believe that Stephen Harper, who
opposed official bilingualism as a Reform member, has now become a
friend of francophonie?

Does anyone else see the significance of the fact that one of Stephen
Harper's most consistent views, right from his earliest days in
politics, is the one area where he does agree with the Quebec
separatists: the devolution of powers to the provinces.

Does anyone else smell a rat?

Mark Hendriks

Ronald D. Grantham

Deat Joe:

How very much I enjoy and appreciate receiving your e-mails.  Thank you.

I have some views on our Prime Minister's move to declare "Quebecois a Nation in a United Canada".

I congratulate our Prime Minister and applaud what he has done to correct a problem which has plagued
Canada for many generations.

Jacques Cartier and Samuel Champlain from France established the first colonization of
North America when they colonized what is now Quebec in the year 1617.  We recognize
even today that the first farmer in what is now Canada, Louis Hebert, arrived in the year 1617.

In 1759, British General Wolfe defeated New France when he surprised the French army
by scaling the cliffs on the north shore of the St Lawrance River to the Plains of Abraham
where he soundly defeated the French army commanded by General Montcalm, which expected
to receive an attack from the north.

When Wolfe's troops were returned to Britain there were insuficiently equipped english-
speaking persons in Quebec to govern so Britain was required to appoint a government
composed of the French.

In 1965, French Canadians made up four-fifth of Quebec's population, mostly descendents
of the few thousand settlers who came during the 1600's to New France, as the French called
their colony.  English-speaking  people did not settle  in the Quebec region until after the
Revolutionary War in the late 1700's, when groups of United Empire Loyalists came from
what is now the United States.

Do we remember that most of the early colonization of Canada was done by the French?
Do we remember  La Verendrye who explored what is now Canada, having French
settlers established in small farming communities from the years 1685 to 1749?  Or
Champlain, who founded the first settlement on behalf of France in 1608? Or that the
first symphony orchestra in Canada was put together in 1902 by French Canadians?    
Or that a French Canadian, Calixa Lavallee, composed our national anthem, "O Canada"?

Remember the Coureurs de Bois we learned about in school fort-five years ago?  But is not
mentioned today?

My references make it quite clear that our present Province of Quebec is worthy of being
called a "Nation Within A United Canada", as, of course, we have recognized our Indian
Canadians as a nation for many, many years.

My dictionary is a "Random House College Dictionary" revised to 1979,
with previous editions revised in 1973, 1972, 1969, and 1968.

The definitions given for the word "nation" are:

      1.  A body of people, associated with a particular territory, that it is sufficiently conscious of its unity to
We are part of a great  country.  I am proud to be a Canadian.  I wish we knew a little more of the truth about each

Once again, our Prime Minister is to be commended and congratulated in receiving almost
unanimous support from all Parties in the House of Commons for his motion.

Ron Grantham, now residing in Edmonton, Alberta.

Norman Greenfield

Here is my two cents worth on this, 'nation,' thing.
The motion presented and passed by the House last week was the purest example of what Joe Clark once called hot button politics. It is visionless, it is pandering to either a pure political need for an empty gesture that one thinks others care about, or the lowest common denominator. Instead a good leader strives to raise the level of debate and policy making to the highest possible level, out of respect of the people that put them in level.
It goes the furthest to prove why over 50% of the voters in Canada really don't care about politics and do not vote.
Why vote?
I had the pleasure of working on Elizabeth May's campaign in London Ontario this past weekend. The issue of the, 'Nation,' question did not come up at all. Either on the doorsteps, or in the campaign office where the vast majority of the people were young, vibrant, inteligent, and with many from McGill. They were there to work on a campaign for an MP who would represent a new kind of politics.
May almost did it. She beat the Tory and NDP candidate, and narrowly lost to the Liberal winner.
Now, the next election will be lowered to debating the meaning of the word, 'nation.'
The next election, will be for another minority government, as will the next ten to twenty years of governments.
This motion has done nothing else but to drive a wedge into a country in a thousand different cracks.
Thank you

Norman Greenfield

Michael Watkins

Re: Nation

It'll come as no surprise that I am dismayed that Harper has joined Ignatieff
on the slippery slope of appeasing Quebec sovereigntists, and for what? No
high principle has been espoused, no wrong righted; its a debate rashly
started and abruptly concluded all in a quest for votes and power.

The former wants to use majority power to further subdivide the country,
while the latter merely wants to taste power for the first time, and what
he'll do with it we can't even guess at this point.

Neither deserve it.

Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

I opposed both Meech Lake and Charlottetown.  Such initiatives influenced my decision to eventually join Reform.  As I've stated before, any relationship that dwells upon its differences shall eventually hearken the demise of that relationship.  Be it national or simply within your own family, it is what we have in common, our mutual bonds, that unite us.  If one member of that family insists on being treated as special or different from the rest, then the rest must agree with that or else the family will come apart.  If you can find instances where this has not been the case in history, please let me know...and let me know how it all turned out.

Is Quebec a nation, but any measurement?  No.  It was never a nation. 
It was a colony of France, with a population of 70,000, when it became a colony of the United Kingdom.  In 1774, it has a population of 100,000, the same as Prince Edward Island is today.  Is PEI a nation? However, maybe Quebec can become a nation, but does it have to ability to survive as such, when Newfoundland, to name one example, could not as a dominion?  Has Quebec become an adult, ready to strike out on its own, or is it just a rebellious teenager who wants to be independent, as long as someone else provides the roof over their head, the bed they sleep in, and the meals they eat? 

While we are on the subject, was there ever a First Nation?  No, though there are parts and pieces that may have some claim to something some might regard as such, but not as a whole.  Iroquois, Huron, Cree, Blackfoot, among others, but never united.
Is Alberta a nation?  No, though it has some of the resources to become one if it had the will.  Its major difference has been illustrated by Alberta's provincial politics.  Since 1936, Alberta has elected conservative governments...35 consecutive years of Social Credit, followed by 35 consecutive years of Progressive Conservatives. Some think Albertans just think differently than the rest of the country. 
Does that make it a nation?  No, just different, but a difference that might, in time, force the issue with the rest of Canada.  Same might be said about Quebec.

We celebrate our diversity.  We celebrate our multi-culturalism.  We celebrate the very reasons that will cause this nation's eventual destruction.
I don't think we will be the envy of the world when that happens.

Ron Thornton

Brad Thomson
    I find it sad that the media, and Canadians generally, do not seem overly concerned with Stephen Harper's recent conduct. Not long ago Michael Ignatieff put forth the vague notion of Quebec as a nation. It was a bold play destined to very much define the Liberal leadership race. Then, curiously, Harper forcefully enters the discussion. We must wonder about his timing.
    It is difficult to believe that Harper had his motion in mind before Ignatieff suggested it. And even if he did, an honourable and decent man would have shelved it, having been beaten to the punch. Clearly, Harper has chosen to meddle in the Liberal leadership contest. But at what cost?
    The motion itself is ambiguous. There is no real point in debating what it means. What is crucial is how Duceppe and the separatists will use it when the time of the next referendum comes.
    Many, if not most of the so-called experts have stated that we can expect another federal election sooner rather than later. This I very much doubt. Duceppe will keep Harper in power until after the next, and very probably last, sovereignty vote in Quebec. Harper stated some time ago that he does not care how many Canada's there are. I am sure, therefore, that he will not be concerned about being the Prime Minister who lost the country.
    In fact, I would not be surprised if this was his goal.
Brad Thomson

Garry Holland

Hi Joe;
This material is thorough as well as decently balanced.
I happen to subscribe to a view which holds that nothing much, verily, was said by our PM. The tactic was, however, good in terms of an overarching strategy.
The observations, below, that the PM's statement would probably realign the several combatants are, I suspect, the most cogent. Such activities will probably bring a measured joy to those who have practised consideration and moderation.
As nationally important as this issue indeed is, your diligence in providing a forum is equally essential. My personal thanks to you.

G.R. Holland,  Director,
R.E.D.A.  Saanich - Gulf Islands
Conservative Party of Canada

. . . and my thanks to you for your kind words and tangible support.

John Dowson

Joe Quebecois is a "Nation" I keep hearing from the media and people in the Conservative party "It doesn't mean anything, the sky didn't fall and the sun still shines" My answer is it doesn't;t mean anything then why do it?
My Canada no longer includes Quebec. I'm sick and tired of their constant whining, complain, and act like a spoiled child. I say let the go.. I'll be the first one to open the door. I was on assignment in Montreal when Quebec had the first referendum I wore a "YES" button then and I still wear it .... Go and good riddance, but remember when they go just like a civil code marriage, you go with what you came with, no northern territory, just the farm lots along the St. Lawrence. John Dowson


Ottawa, Charest at odds on meaning of 'Qu b cois'
Told ya so ....
Harper Tories woefully fuzzy on Quebec
So? This isn't a problem to be resolved concretely right now. Some things are best left unresolved in the immediate ...

Tories challenge Chong's account
Should have let Harper know he planned to quit over Quebec motion, insiders say
If, in his mind, Mr. Chong can't be solidarious with the Cabinet, resigning is the right thing to do. As for the timing, resigning before the motion gets introduced would be wrong (it could be withdrawn or modified before introduction) and later would make Mr. Chong look like a ditherer (or worse, someone whom the PM doesn't inform of these things ahead of time). Mr. Chong did the right thing if he can't support the motion.

Protect pensions: Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's economic update introduces an intolerable co-mingling of pension funds with debt measures  
They are protected, or at least as much as they can be. Since the pension scheme isn't fully-funded (that is, all the money needed to ensure all future payments), "protection" amounts to the government's guarantee that it'll pay them out. Thus, the extra money needed to ensure all payments is effectively "debt" (to pensioners) that will eventually have to be paid out.

Allies edge closer on sharing load
Darn straight. No more German weenies hanging around in the quiet areas of Afghanistan (note: weenies - wieners - sausages from Wien (Vienna) - Germanic sausages; pretty torturous for a pun but hey, a guy's got to make the effort; hahahaha).

U.S. Democrat Dean lobs barbs at Republicans, Tories to open Liberal convention
More, more. PLEASE tie the Liberals to American politics. Should be fun when the Democrats start making protectionist noises. Plus, it would only be just: the Liberals have been making astink about Mr. Harper and Mr. Bush being buddies ... but when precisely have the Tories publicly embraced the US Republicans like the Liebrals are doing the US Democrats? Liberals really DO have no shame. No sense for the ridiculous either.

Green party confidence grows
Hhhmmm. Interesting. By-elections are usually meaningless but this one has some significance. Thej Greens came in a very respectable second place, even defeating the Tories, in London Centre. As far as I'm concerned, if they can give other parties a run for their money (especiaaly the sanctimonious, paleolithic NDP), I'm all for it. Doesn't mean I'm not a Tory, though.
Perfect economic storm sunk Rae ship of state  
That, plus stupid policies promised in their 1990 electoral platform, some of which they had the wisdom to dump once they were in power (remember public car insurance). Also, exorbitant increases in welfare payments, to the point where over 10% of Ontarians (ALL Ontarians, not the work force) were getting $$$. Welfare payments were 30% over the national average, for Heaven's sake.

A class act:Bob Rae has all the right parts to lead Canada
Really? He's got enough gall and spleen?

That motion, which recognized the "Qu b cois" as a nation, was passed with a heavy majority in the Commons. Since then, however, politicians of all stripes have been weighing in on what they think it means.
Mr. Harper's senior Quebec minister, Lawrence Cannon, said Monday the nation is not all Quebeckers, and suggested it includes only francophones. On the other hand, the government's Senate leader, Marjory LeBreton, said "nation" does include all Quebeckers.
For Heaven's sake, Mr. Harper has firmly kept his Party in hand (a good thing in a PM) but it's time to tune the pipes to the same note. If MPs and Senators don't know what the motion means then it's time to set things straight in Caucus. Otherwise, if the purpose IS to sow confusion, steady as she goes. (Mind you, it's better to have a coherent CPC and let others make all the noise). By the way, have you noticed that the NDP is hasn't been heard of on this matter?

In Quebec City, however, Mr. Charest said no one should have any doubt about who is in the Qu b cois nation. "Let's not stumble over what it means when we talk about the Quebec nation. We are talking about every citizen regardless of their origins. We are also talking about the First Nations as well as the Inuit," he said in Quebec's National Assembly.

All very nice but the Quebecois nation, in most Quebecers' minds, does NOT include Inuit et al. And saying that they are doesn't make it so.

Québécois nation
Motion common adopted to Quebec

The Quebec National Assembly adopted Thursday a common motion to recognize motion on the adopted Québécois nation Monday by the House of Commons.

An agreement to this end had finally intervened Wednesday evening between the liberal Party, the Québécois Party and the democratic Action of Quebec, after two days of surging debates.

The Prime Minister Jean Charest and the chief pequist André Boisclair have both required to specify, once again, the range and the direction of the motion of Ottawa, greeted today by that adopted in Quebec.

For Jean Charest, his merit comes from what it recognizes that the Québécois are and were always a nation and testifies to the federalism of opening practised by the Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
André Boisclair

But for Andre Boisclair, it does nothing but underline the need for the Québécois for assuming fully, on the political level, their statute of nation. “What we seek is a fully responsible nation, and for this reason we continue to believe in the sovereignty of Quebec”, affirmed the leader souverainist.

Adopted motion stipulates:

# that the French National Assembly takes note owing to the fact that the House of Commons ratified last on November 27, by a strong majority and with the support of the chiefs of all the political formations represented at the Parliament, the motion presented by the Prime Minister of Canada being read as follows “That this Room recognizes that the Québécois and Québécois form a nation within plain Canada”;

# that the French National Assembly recognizes the positive character of the motion adopted by the House of Commons and that it proclaims that this one does not decrease of anything the inalienable rights, constitutional capacities and privileges of the French National Assembly and the Québécois nation.

The first paragraph shows the wording of federal motion. In the formulated proposals Tuesday and Wednesday, the Québécois Party wanted to gum the reference to plain Canada. The second paragraph shows however elements recommended by the pequists. The government and the opposition pequist were thus intended after to have carried out each one of the concessions.

Jean Charest had recourse to remarks of the former Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to try to render comprehensible the importance of the recognition by the House of Commons of the existence of a Québécois nation. Sir John A. Macdonald, while speaking about the Québécois, would have said into 1856 which if one treats them like a nation and not like a faction, they will behave like free people. The Prime Minister for Quebec also addressed himself in English to the remainder of Canada to put forward this point of view.

The debate on the adoption of a motion by the Québécois deputies has monopolized the attention for two days in Quebec. The pequists and the liberals were not able to get along on this subject.