Monday, December 11, 2006

Daily Digest December 11, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:


HALIFAX HERALD - Iraq report answers little

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Immigrant status is irrelevant in school case

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Big fight on the prairie

NATIONAL POST - Pinochet's mixed legacy

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - RCMP lacking accountability

WINDSOR STAR - The economy: What Ontario lacks  
SUDBURY STAR - Tory government not sincere about women's rights; Cuts to Status of Women s
hows that government ignores abuse

WINNIPEG SUN - 'Safe tattoos' not a prisoner's right

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Ottawa must start letting in more skilled tradespeople


NATO allies need to ‘get real' about Taliban threat, Britain says

Military spending far exceeds civilian aid

Duceppe threatens to topple Harper over Afghanistan

Troops sticking by their buddies
Children killed by NATO and terrorists, says tearful Karzai  

Britain refuses to recognize “war”

Outsourcing the Afghan problem

All along the watch tower
Five years after US coalition forces commenced Operation Enduring Freedom, the steadily rising tide of insurgency in southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan continues to bedevil the beleaguered international stabilization effort.

Pakistan deals 'aiding Taleban'

'Misunderstood' Musharraf

Rendition' of terrorism suspects such as Arar may be legal, Canada says

Dodge must be feeling pain of being ignored

Dodge hints at bank merger support

Ottawa overrules CRTC; to accelerate deregulation of local phone service

Replacement workers bill threat to business

China-made wood products edge out Canadian suppliers

Not all credit cards the same

U.S. struggles to save face as Iraq sinks

Today's young offenders in need of firmer hand

RCMP takes a swipe at injection site

Refugee kids find help adjusting to Canadian life

Sask. government wants feds to stay out of wheat board elec

Pro wheat board group plans support rally

Minister Strahl Looks Forward to Working with New Canadian Wheat ...

Alberta policy kills investment in wind power production

The Harper campaign's beginning to take shape

Afghanistan could be Tory Waterloo

Duceppe threatens to topple Parliament over war

Opposition threatens to topple Harper government over Afghanistan

all 39 news articles »

Push on Tories to r
estore programs

Will Harper and Layton make a green deal?

Ambrose calls for A.G.'s review of climate programs

Dion’s win moves Grits left, but field is crowded

"What You See Is What You Get" -- Stephane Dion

Boosting women a priority for Dion

Dion's Kyoto revival draws skepticism

Federal Liberals broke rules in funding Kanesatake police: audit

Graceless under fire

New Democrats call on Conservatives to stop dismantling wheat ...

How the NDP can help colour Harper green

Fisheries audit probes untendered contracts

Federal red tape ties up largest clean and renewable energy project

Peacekeeping centre ethics questioned

Called to account: In new PS, 'I don't know' doesn't cut

Election proves farmers support wheat board, critics tell Tories

Canadian Wheat Board in the fight of its life

CWB split remains unchanged after vote

Pro-CWB directors elected

Ambrose calls for auditor general's r
eview of all federal climate programs

Day says Arar report wants more controls on RCMP, CSIS

Gov't officials 'stonewalling' Commons Arar committee  

Experts anticipate 'super agency' to review security

The trouble with green
Environmental agendas on a collision course with the economy

Independence 75 years old

Ottawa mulls sea otter hunts

Punting folks at 65 is just wrong

Muzzling free speech

"arial" size="2"> Le Bloc menace de défaire le gouvernement sur la question afghane

Ambrose souhaite une vérification des programmes libéraux sur le climat

Les libéraux et les conservateurs ont laissé tomber Arar, affirme Amnistie

Ottawa veut déréglementer le service de téléphonie locale

Le renvoi de terroristes présumés pourra
it être légal

Dion choisira lui-même certaines candidates

Afghanistan - Les talibans intensifient leurs attaques contre les Canadiens

En bref - Sondage : le PLC de Stéphane Dion conserve toujours son avance

Les policiers de la GRC seront identifiés


Ray Kingma

Subject: The Quebec Nation debate--Daily Digest contribution

It is with surprise that I hear some of the negative reaction to the
Harper government's motion to recognize Quebec as a nation.  But Sir
John A. Macdonald himself, of all people, said exactly that in his
remarks on the Quebec Resolutions in 1865 that paved the way for
Confederation.  His comments were made in the context of describing
how non-federal arrangements would be unworkable for a country as
diverse as the Canada that the Fathers of Confederation were
attempting to put together.  He said:
"The Lower Canadians would not have worked cheerfully under such a
change of system (to a non-federal structure), but would have ceased
to be what they are now--a nationality, with representatives in
Parliament, governed by general principles,and dividing according to
their political opinions--and would have been in great danger of
becoming a faction, forgetful of national obligations..."
Food for thought, indeed.
Ray Kingma
Toronto Center
Mark Garstin

Same Sex Marriage and Incest

It was in a DD from a couple of days ago that Ron Thornton (apologies for not remembering the correct spelling of your name Ron) asked the rhetorical questions about getting married to one’s mother or grandmother.  The point he was making is a bit different one from the one I’m making now (it’s just that Ron got me to thinking).
If it is now legal for homosexual partners to get married then why can I not get married to my sister (this question is rhetorical, I don’t want to get married to my sister, it’s the point I’m trying to make)?  What difference is there between two men or two women getting married and a brother and sister getting married?  You may be quick to point out that a brother and sister having children is dangerous, that it can produce all sorts of genetic disorders in the child, but the fact that same
-sex couples can not have children of their own has been dismissed by the courts as not being a reason to impose a prohibition on same sex marriage.  In fact, this point has been raised on several occasions during debate to advocates of SSM who have dismissed it outright implying that marriage is an institution intended to honour and respect the love between two grown adults, regardless of the sex of the couples involved, not an institution based solely on biological function.
OK, if marriage is not based on biological function (which the courts must also agree upon else they would have not lifted the prohibition on SSM) then why can’t siblings get married?  Well, you may argue, that that is immoral, impure and against the standards of our society.  But wait a minute, homosexuality is considered by many today to be immoral, impure and against the standards of our society.  In fact, just a few decades ago it was an illegal practice.&nb
sp; So, if we are to all alter our way of thinking and accept homosexuality as being normal then what’s holding us back against incest?  One could pose the rhetorical question, which is more immoral, homosexuality or incest?  If homosexuality is no longer to be considered immoral then why is incest still considered to be immoral?  All it would take is a change in the way we think about incest… just like how we have all been told to change our thinking about homosexuality.  What is the difference?
I would suggest that part of the self-centered hypocrisy of SSM is the fact that there are a lot more people engaging in homosexual activities than there are engaging in incestuous activities.  Those greater numbers have formed a more effective (and better financed) advocacy group to be able to push the homosexual agenda on the rest of us than other similar interest groups (like incest, polygamy, bestiality, etc.).  If marriage is to be between two persons as how the Martin government has rewritten it (OK, take bestiality off the table there… OK, polygamy can come off as well since it is more than two persons… but heck, that law is now open to change and modification as Martin has proven so keep those other two relationships in the portfolio) then why is it that incest can not be solemnized in marriage as well?
One can argue that incest opens up fathers marrying their daughters and mothers marrying their sons.  There are laws preventing minors from getting married to people much older than them (well, I think there are laws, please tell me there are).  But what is stopping parents from marrying their children if the children are of the age of majority (I know several married couples where one partner is young enough to be the other one’s child… most of us know of relationships like that)?  All it takes is a change in our attitudes in society.<
If you find that too repugnant to swallow be wary of falling back on the argument of generic abnormalities of children from incestuous relationships because baring children is no longer a factor in determining eligibility of marriage, just that the two ‘people’ involved are in love.
There is a larger point behind all of these rhetorical questions that I’m posing and that is that marriage is ALL ABOUT CHILDREN and not about love between two people.  That is why the institution of marriage was created in the first place, not because of love but to create a nuclear unit within society for the purpose of rearing and raising children (but love between parents helps considerably in the rearing and raising of children… unfortunately, even today throughout the world marriage has little to do with having children).
I have no problem with some form of civil union between two people (whether homosexual or heterosexual) that is intended to recognize and honour their love for each other, where all matters secular (benefits, inheritance, division of assets, etc) are dealt with (which is what Martin should have done on the SSM issue) but having changed the law on marriage Canada has exposed itself to the potential legal enforcement of all sorts of other bizarre relationships all in the cause of ‘rights without responsibility’.
Mark Garstin
Mississauga – Brampton South

Chris Schnurr

"Remember, gay conduct was a criminal offense in this
country until 1971...While Trudeau said the state has
no business in the bedrooms of the nation, some are
surprised to discover that we are now all supposed to
cheer on, support, and promote whatever takes place in
some of those bedrooms."

What Trudeau was speaking about was
that homosexual
sexual activity "gay conduct" is not to be "regulated"
by a government authority - just as heterosexual sex
must not be regulated between consenting adults.

To equate what goes on in the bedroom to state
recognition of matrimony between two persons is a
completely different affair.  The way in which some
people present gay marriage is akin to going to a
heterosexual wedding and immediately thinking about
what they do in the bedroom - is marriage then, a
celebration of sex, or that of love?

The issue before parliament, in my mind, was that of
state sanctioned relationships.  Matrimony by its very
practise is that of a sacrament of the Church -- not
the state.  Marriage at the federal/provincial level
is that of equal recognition under law.  A distinct

And has absolutely nothing to do with what goes on in
the "bedrooms of the nation".

Chris Schnurr

Robert Gauthier

Subject: Fwd: Renewed request for assistance from the MP for Ottawa South

December 11, 2006

Dear Joe -


"Affects the freedoms of every Canadian."
                Dr. Grant Hill, MP Macleod, Alberta.

Robert G. Gauthier/The National Capital News Canada v.
The Hon. Peter Milliken, MP for Kingston and the Islands,
Speaker of the House of Commons.

Dr. Grant Hill, former Canadian Alliance MP for Macleod, Alberta said in 1995 as confirmed in 1999 by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva
that  "The arbitrary exclusion of journalists in Canada by the journalists and their employers in the privately-owned Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery Corporation to access to the media facilities and services provided by the House of Commons affects the freedoms of every Canadian."

Enclosed is the latest of the repeated pleas for compliance by the Speaker of the House of Commons, who controls the press gallery facilities in Parliament, with the ruling (Views) of the UN Human Rights Committee that "the denial of access to the press gallery facilities for not being a member of the privately-owned Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery Corporation is a violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression and to provide a remedy."

Thanks for making your readers aware of this important dispute that is, of course, not being covered in the mainstream media in Canada, for, I would suggest, obvious reasons.

Robert G. Gauthier, Proprieto
The National Capital News Canada, est. 1982
Ottawa, Canada.

December 10, 2006

Mr. David McGuinty, MP Ottawa South,
House of Commons,
Ottawa K1A 0A6


RE: What are the reasons for Canada's continuing refusal to comply with the 1999 ruling (Views) of the UN Human Rights Committee stating that compelling membership in the private corporation, Canadian  Parliamentary Press Gallery Inc., as a pre-condition for access to the       facilities and services provided by the House of Commons for the media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is a violation of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression and to provide a remedy and stop this practice in Canada.

BiLL Brienza
Saint John


I provided my opinion on this issue in a separate email:  I believe the CWB should be allowed to continue operations as it has for decades, however, I also believe individual farmers should not be compelled to sell their crops to the CWB and only the CWB.

BiLL Brienza
Saint John

Subject: Re: CWB election of directors results and background articles.

Dear Joe

Several years ago when I lived in Saskatchewan I had the privilege and the honour of working for Farm Business Consultants.  I was a data collector and I helped prepare farm and ranch income taxes.  During this period of time I heard all the arguments for and against the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).  Both sides were equally passionate about their positions.

What I remember most was one farmer who would only grow crops which were not subject to sale through the Wheat Board.  I knew then ther
e had to be some middle ground.  The CWB is still essential and many farmers need it to be successful.   Others do not; so the only solution I saw was to allow those farmers who do not want to deal with the CWB the freedom to go their own way.

I still think that is the answer.  Compelling farmers to sell through only one agency is not acceptable to those who are doing the farming.

BiLL Brienza
Saint John


Dear Joe

The assumption has always been that eventually the West will win in the struggle against the Taliban and to provide a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan.  Well, suppose the assumption is wrong.  Suppose in the end, we will lose.  Then we need to start to consider using tactics to minimize casualties especially fatalities.  Canada can then return with pride to what it does best: peacekeeping and nation building.

BiLL Brienza
nt John

Norman Greenfield

Subject: RE: CWB election of directors results and background articles.

What I would like to know is why is this new Conservative government so against any organization or institution that is set up to help or protect Canadian interests?
I would say to the farmers if you want out of the CWB fine. You will do so at your own risk, and will not be helped at all by any government handouts if you get into trouble. You will also have to find your own rail cars to ship your grain to port, and if the price of wheat does sink, if it can go any lower, then you will not be able to come back into the CWB.
Farmers are one o
f the most subsidized industries in Canada. If the CWB makes a profit for the government of Canada, that profit I would assume goes to pay for those subsidies.

Caspar Davis

At 02:14 PM 10/12/2006, you wrote:

                 Let's bring together a non-partisan group of the best minds in the country ­ people such as Allan Gotlieb, John Manley and Louise
                 Fréchette ­ to figure out a realistic long-term strategy for our mission in Afghanistan. By virtue of being above polit
ics, this group
                 could consult widely inside and outside the country and create a policy that puts Canada and our troops ahead of a chain of events
                 that led the Americans to their Iraq debacle.

That's a good idea, but I think an even better idea would be a randomly selected group of ordinary Canadians, given access to whatever "experts" they would like to hear from (similar to the BC Assembly on Electoral Reform) but with fewer members - perhaps 12, the size of a trial jury. I believe that ordinary people are better able to exercise common sense wisdom than experts and specialists, who have a tendency to defend long and firmly held
positions, which makes it hard for them to look clearly at the evidence.

Caspar Davis

Rosalie Piccioni

Phyllis Wagg
Intelligence and ability has nothing to do with gender.  An individual should be treated accordingly, not whether male or female.  It's the labelling that is avoided.

Jean  Pycock

Subject: Two articles on David Orchard and Stéphane Dion

I think you'll find these interesting. 

Jean Pycock

The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon), Thursday, December 7, 2006

Orchard's strategic influence by Randy Burton


Canadian Press (The Pembroke Daily Observer), December 2, 2006

Orchard ready to spook Dion’s opponents
Nelson Wyatt

MONTREAL. — He’s the ghost who has haunted political conventions past. Few have seen him but everyone knows he’s here.

And David Orchard, who failed in two runs at the Progressive Conservative leadership but is renowned as an organizational wizard, is hoping his help will be fruitful for Stephane Dion’s run at the Liberal leadership.

The fourth-generation farmer from Borden, Sask, and the Quebec-born former environment minister have teamed up at the leadership convention — a contest everyone agree
s will be decided by who has the best ground game. And there are few who can execute the ground game like Orchard.

Chatting up a delegate after the policy, Orchard seemed more a soft-spoken banker than a blackberry-wielding organizational  colossus.

“I’m working hard to help elect Stephane Dion as the leader,” Orchard said.

Orchard first gained notice as a stinging opponent of free trade. Since then his organizational skills have become legendary.  He’s not resting on his laurels at the Liberal convention and finding him is almost like a political game of Where’s Waldo.

He’s at the convention centre, says one Dion worker. He’s at the hotels. Or maybe down that corridor. Someone sees him coming out of a policy workshop. One worker, when asked where Orchard might be found, furrows his brow.

“He’s pretty fluid,” says the man in the bright yellow sh

Orchard came out of nowhere to place second to Joe Clark in the 1998 Progressive Conservative leadership race. He had the second highest number of delegates  to the 2003 Progressive Conservative  leadership convention.

He ended up giving them to Peter MacKay and regretting it. Orchard didn’t want MacKay to merge the Progressive Conservatives with Stephen Harper’s Canadian Alliance. MacKay ignored their hastily scrawled agreement and did it anyway.

—30 —
Caspar Davis

Subject: Tinker Bell, Pinochet And The Fairy Tale Miracle Of Chile

Have you seen this one?
Tinker Bell, Pinochet And The Fairy Tale Miracle Of Chile
by Greg Palast
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006

Chile’s former military dictator Genera
l Augusto Pinochet died today at the age of 91.

Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, Tinker Bell and General Augusto Pinochet had much in common.

All three performed magical good deeds. In the case of Pinochet, he was universally credited with the Miracle of Chile, the wildly successful experiment in free markets, privatization, de-regulation and union-free economic expansion whose laissez-faire seeds spread from Valparaiso to Virginia.

But Cinderella’s pumpkin did not really turn into a coach. The Miracle of Chile, too, was just another fairy tale. The claim that General Pinochet begat an economic powerhouse was one of those utterances whose truth rested entirely on its repetition.

Chile could boast some economic success. But that was the work of Salvador Allende - who saved his nation, miraculously, a decade after his death.

In 1973, the year General Pinochet brutally seized the government, Chile’s unemploym
ent rate was 4.3%. In 1983, after ten years of free-market modernization, unemployment reached 22%. Real wages declined by 40% under military rule.

In 1970, 20% of Chile’s population lived in poverty. By 1990, the year “President” Pinochet left office, the number of destitute had doubled to 40%. Quite a miracle.

Pinochet did not destroy Chile’s economy all alone. It took nine years of hard work by the most brilliant minds in world academia, a gaggle of Milton Friedman’s trainees, the Chicago Boys. Under the spell of their theories, the General abolished the minimum wage, outlawed trade union bargaining rights, privatized the pension system, abolished all taxes on wealth and on business profits, slashed public employment, privatized 212 state industries and 66 banks and ran a fiscal surplus.

Freed of the dead hand of bureaucracy, taxes and union rules, the country took a giant leap forward … into bankruptcy
and depression. After nine years of economics Chicago style, Chile’s industry keeled over and died. In 1982 and 1983, GDP dropped 19%. The free-market experiment was kaput, the test tubes shattered. Blood and glass littered the laboratory floor. Yet, with remarkable chutzpah, the mad scientists of Chicago declared success. In the US, President Ronald Reagan’s State Department issued a report concluding, “Chile is a casebook study in sound economic management.” Milton Friedman himself coined the phrase, “The Miracle of Chile.” Friedman’s sidekick, economist Art Laffer, preened that Pinochet’s Chile was, “a showcase of what supply-side economics can do.”

It certainly was. More exactly, Chile was a showcase of de-regulation gone berserk.

The Chicago Boys persuaded the junta that removing restrictions on the nation’s banks would free them to attract foreign capital to fund industrial expansio

Pinochet sold off the state banks - at a 40% discount from book value - and they quickly fell into the hands of two conglomerate empires controlled by speculators Javier Vial and Manuel Cruzat. From their captive banks, Vial and Cruzat siphoned cash to buy up manufacturers - then leveraged these assets with loans from foreign investors panting to get their piece of the state giveaways.

The bank’s reserves filled with hollow securities from connected enterprises. Pinochet let the good times roll for the speculators. He was persuaded that Governments should not hinder the logic of the market.

By 1982, the pyramid finance game was up. The Vial and Cruzat “Grupos” defaulted. Industry shut down, private pensions were worthless, the currency swooned. Riots and strikes by a population too hungry and desperate to fear bullets forced Pinochet to reverse course. He booted his beloved Chicago experimentalists. Reluctantly, the Gener
al restored the minimum wage and unions’ collective bargaining rights. Pinochet, who had previously decimated government ranks, authorized a program to create 500,000 jobs. In other words, Chile was pulled from depression by dull old Keynesian remedies, all Franklin Roosevelt, zero Reagan/Thatcher. New Deal tactics rescued Chile from the Panic of 1983, but the nation’s long-term recovery and growth since then is the result of - cover the children’s ears - a large dose of socialism.

To save the nation’s pension system, Pinochet nationalized banks and industry on a scale unimagined by Communist Allende. The General expropriated at will, offering little or no compensation. While most of these businesses were eventually re-privatized, the state retained ownership of one industry: copper.

For nearly a century, copper has meant Chile and Chile copper. University of Montana metals expert Dr. Janet Finn notes, “Its absurd to descri
be a nation as a miracle of free enterprise when the engine of the economy remains in government hands.” Copper has provided 30% to 70% of the nation’s export earnings. This is the hard currency which has built today’s Chile, the proceeds from the mines seized from Anaconda and Kennecott in 1973 - Allende’s posthumous gift to his nation.

Agribusiness is the second locomotive of Chile’s economic growth. This also is a legacy of the Allende years. According to Professor Arturo Vasquez of Georgetown University, Washington DC, Allende’s land reform, the break-up of feudal estates (which Pinochet could not fully reverse), created a new class of productive tiller-owners, along with corporate and cooperative operators, who now bring in a stream of export earnings to rival copper. “In order to have an economic miracle,” says Dr. Vasquez, “maybe you need a socialist government first to commit agrarian reform.”

So there we have it. Keynes and Marx, not Friedman, saved Chile.

But the myth of the free-market Miracle persists because it serves a quasi-religious function. Within the faith of the Reaganauts and Thatcherites, Chile provides the necessary genesis fable, the ersatz Eden from which laissez-faire dogma sprang successful and shining.

In 1998, the international finance Gang of Four - the World Bank, the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Bank for Settlements - offered a $41.5 billion line of credit to Brazil. But before the agencies handed the drowning nation a life preserver, they demanded Brazil commit to swallow the economic medicine that nearly killed Chile. You know the list: fire-sale privatizations, flexible labor markets (i.e. union demolition) and deficit reduction through savage cuts in government services and social security.

In Sao Paulo, the public was assured these cruel measures would ultimatel
y benefit the average Brazilian. What looked like financial colonialism was sold as the cure-all tested in Chile with miraculous results.

But that miracle was in fact a hoax, a fraud, a fairy tale in which everyone did not live happily ever after.

* *****

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Armed Madhouse”. Read his reports at

Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse. (Signed copies available for the holidays at