Sunday, December 17, 2006

Daily Digest December 17, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Not all lives are valued equally

HALIFAX HERALD - Help for the disabled

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Bernier gets it right on local-phone rates

LONDON FREE PRESS - Canadians must have say

WINNIPEG SUN - Duceppe's rank opportunism

CALGARY SUN - Let’s home in on crisis

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Stubborn to the End, U.S. Still Stuck on Arar

EDMONTON SUN - Cutting cabinet

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Quotas for female candidates may be a backward step

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Getting the boot can be a challenge
For years, employees needed more protection -- but has the pendulum swung too far?



Turning up the heat
Canadians preparing for 'major role'

Mutual admiration
Canucks and Afghans learn from each other

Forging Canadian soldiers

France to withdraw special forces from Afghanistan

Canada Defends Afghan Development Work


Culture trumps cash in worker retention

Cubans deserve better

Bush has excuse to move on

U.S. troops should leave country, but how will America then keep control of oil fields, asks Linda McQuaig

Why should Bush listen to someone who balked at chance of ousting Saddam in '91, says Rondi Adamson

Ex-soldiers break `silence' on Israeli excesses

Will Putin be the next victim?


Parole leash to tighten?


Lopsided cabinet

Opposition beware: PM on to something

State of union chat needed

Top Grit's war chest worries local MP

Just vote for me ... please ... But what's this about sober?

MP's tax info leaked online
Fed workers give Dryden details

Can Dion bond with voters on environment?


Another Arrow?

Time for talking is over

'Women's issues' just a smoke screen

We support wheat board and freedom

New CWB programs encourage value-added prairie inititatives


Dishonouring our vets
WWII bomber crews deserve historical accuracy

Ads go straight to the power source: kids

Those darned Christians
From the way they're treated, you'd think they were a threat to the nation

The unasked questions
Often it's hard to distinguish the media from the lobbyists

Where do you come from?
DNA: City firm can track your ancestry back 150,000 years

Safe-injection sites a proven success
Addicts deserve our help. They should not be forced to die in alleys


Déséquilibre: le Québec et l'Ontario font front commun face à Ottawa

Un soldat de Valcartier blessé sérieusement

La popularité grandissante du PLC s'amenuise


Mahmood Elahi
To: <>
Subject: Respect for law is key to integration

The Editor
The Ottawa Citizen
Respect for law is key to integration
Re "The duty to integrate," by Leonard Stern (Dec. 16).
Leonard Stern has touched the heart of the issues vis a vis multiculturalism and integration when he quotes British Prime Minister Tony Blair saying: "The 7/7 bombers were integrated at one level in terms of lifestyle and work ... but this  in truth is not what I mean when I talk of integration. Integration, in this context, is not about culture or lifestyle. It is about values. It is about integrating at the point of shared, common unifying Britrish values."
The 7/7 bombers were outwardly integrated and at the same time they harboured hatred and animosity against the society they have chosen to live. Without the respect for core values, one remains a threat even if one takes up the lifestyle of the host country. And the most important core value in any Western democracy is the respect for law and tolerance for others. Multiculturalism must not be allowed to defy the law of the land and incite violence.
In a democracy, you use the ballot and not the bullet to express your disapproval of the government. Integration may not mean assimilation, but it does mean acceptance of the core values of the society which are rule of law and tolerance of all views as long as they don't incite hatred and violence. To integrate, one must conform to the fundamental values of a democratic society. 

Stratos Psarianos
Montreal, QC

Reading the tea leaves: two reasons for optimism in the upcoming election.
1. The Stephane Dion party is already over here in Quebec. (Well, strictly speaking, it never happened ...). Pretty much all of QC's major Liberal organizers were working for other candidates, which led to their being shocked that SD won the leadership. So now that he was leader, SD decided that he'd make a gesture to show that bygones are bygones: he named QC MP Pablo Rodriguez, who organized for another candidate, as lead QC organizer. The hiccup: the other organizers were in a huff. This led SD to delegate QC electoral organization to a committee made up of the various major organizers ...
Fun and games: SD can't even assert his authority inside his Party, at least not in QC. And to think that the previous week, QC's major papers were sayong that he was benefitting from his political honeymoon here. My, but they do set fast here ...
2. A small sign that makes me proud to be a Tory. Starting next year, Canada's postal rates will rise from 51 cents to 52 cents for simple letter-mail. But the beautiful thing is that the stamps themselves won't be denominated as 52-cent ones ... they'll be "permanent" stamps that entitle the holder to mail a simple letter anytime in the future. No more one-cent stamps when prices go up!
So, what's the big deal? Well, basically it means that when one purchases a stamp, one buys a "right to mail", not a "spending equivalent". Those who buy stamps are already pre-paying Canada Post when they buy stamps, which enables Canada Post to benefit from the pre-payment (sort of like putting money in CP's bank account and letting CP collect the interest). But even beyond that, the pre-payments depreciate in value over time ... a pre-paid "right to mail" drops in value every time postal rates rise (a "right to mail" becomes a partial one which must be supplemented by extra stamps), which further benefits CP.
Now, the Tories, by implementing a "permanent stamp" system, have eliminated this second source of "revenue" to CP, to the benefit of mailers across Canada. I'd been annoyed with this for a long while now and it brings me great satisfaction to see that the Tory broom is sweeping even in the furthest, most cobwebbed corner of federal institutions. This issue's getting resolved in favour of mailers (as opposed to government coffers) is small potatoes economy-wise ... but symbolically, it strongly reveals both Tory intentions AND Tory resolve. And it's a small sign of what we can hope to see get discussed in the upcoming election. Oooooohhh, I can hardly wait ...
Stratos Psarianos
Montreal, QC

Norman Greenfield
Subject: Religion is entrenched in the state

Tom Brodbeck is right.
There is no separation of church and state in Canada. It's a myth.
There is no separation of church and state in reality in the USA either. It's a myth.
When religious groups taking sides by campaigning, organizing and demanding that a government pass a law that codifies something of or in their dogma, or doctrine, they have opened the door to allowing the church into the government and the government into the church.
Currently we have tax collectors in certain jurisdictions collecting school taxes to be turned over to the school boards responsible for Catholic school boards. That is the state doing the bidding of the church, or actually to be truthful, something the church cannot do itself.
We have the Catholic school system enshrined in our constitutions for some provinces.
We have the government paying the damages for sexual and physical abuse inflicted in the residential school system on our Native's.
We have the religious leaders of our churches issuing marriage licenses, which is a government task.
Churches do not pay property taxes, their ministers, priests and such get a special tax break, and the buildings they work in can offer sanctuary to people who may be persecuted by the government through its police forces.
So when a level judge or bureaucrat decides that we can not have a Christmas tree, a menorah or the lights of Diwali in the lobby of any government building or courthouse, I just wonder if maybe their workload is a little too light.
Frankly I think in today's Canada, having a Christmas tree, a menorah or the lights of Diwali in the lobby of any government building or courthouse, shows we have matured as a country and realize Canada is not some monolithic Catholic or Christian country.
We were founded by the Natives, and populated by immigrants from all over the world, with all sorts of religions and beliefs, and should not be afraid to celebrate one or all of them, anyway those people want or need to, in a public or private place.
This is Canada.
Thank you
Norm Greenfield

Grenville Rogers

Subject: US Funds Israeli wars

Hello Joe
Israel and the US seem bent on total destruction of all things Muslim, no matter what the cost, in money or in lives. "They will reap a whirlwind."  
United States used a little known provision in their security agreements with Israel to fully pay for the war, and as we can read as reported by Israel's Ynet News Service in their article titled "US to double emergency equipment stored in Israel", and which says
Grenville Rogers

 alan heisey

j, from faraway in the india ocean i received today a report from john adams on the discussions of the st. paul's policy meet on sunday and the fate of four paragraphs i submitted. would like very much for you to publish john's advice which  will show the way the st. paul's committee thinking went. i think you should encourage other conservative edas to forward to you the conclusions of their policy exercises as indications of considered grassroots sentiment on assorted issues cz

my para one made the case for plain endorsement of first past the post and para three proposed the david simpson amendment which would make votes in the house all based on the population levels of the individual members. i am, of course, delighted that rep by pop in paras two and four was approved. cz

Begin forwarded message:
Subject: St. Paul's Conservative EDA policy session of members

Progress to report.

Working within the stipulations of the central process, each riding is to submit their policy thoughts based on any number of proposed deletions of entire clauses, only two major changes/additions and only two minor/editorial changes.

St. Paul’s will submit deletion of the entire section on Electoral Reform (to prompt debate over ‘equal’ Senate, dropping reference to consider proportional rep, etc.), delete the entire section saying marriage is the exclusive union of a man and a woman, and as one of the two major changes addressing systemic discrimination against urban and suburban voters in the Commons and the call for no changes in Senate until Commons better reflects rep by pop. We managed to combine those two ideas you submitted (paragraphs 2 and 4 of yours) into one point. Your paras 1 and 3 did not fly.

 Regards. JA

 John Adams

Bev Smith

Subject: could you spread the word for this conference and about our petition ?

PRESS RELEASE  Dec 12 2006


West Block, Parliament Hill
Tuesday Jan 30 2007  10AM – 2PM

Canada taxes people based on individual earnings. Fourteen other nations, including the US, do it differently- permitting a lower tax rate when income has to spread over more than one earner. The household based tax option was recommended in the 1960s in Canada by the Carter Commission

As more women move into paid labor and the caregiver roles at home still have to be done by someone, we have reached a crisis point. What does Ottawa actually think of those care roles? Are they to be discouraged in the home and funded only if done by third parties or are they to be valued, if done by a paid worker or by a parent?

The crisis has been augmented by the growing number of seniors who require care.
 How do we treat those caregivers who earn only part-time or go without income for a time? Is tax penalty a fair way to value caregivers?

Finance Minister James Flaherty says he will permit seniors to be taxed at a reduced rate based on pension-splitting. He has also said he will consider household-based tax, or income splitting for the general population.

Our conference will discuss the merits of such a tax shift. We will have eminent speakers addressing the financial, legal, feminist, and caregiving arguments that support income splitting. The conference is open to the public and we are inviting all MPs, senators, key civil servants and the press.

An online petition is already gathering public support:

The website of the conference is ;


Bloc in no hurry for no-confidence, MP says

Already backing down from your storm-the-barricades rhetoric, Mr. Duceppe? What not getting any respect for that back home? Aaaaaaawwwww ... Bodes well for the CPC in QC ...
Dion set to reward former leadership rivals

Good for him ... let bygones be bygones. But the ghosts of his dead leadership rivals still linger. Just recently, Mssrs Dion and Kennedy (Mr. Dion's ace-in-the-hole supporter) had organized a fundraiser to fund their campaign debts ... and the other candidates crashed the party by demanding that proceeds go to fund theirs too. Mr. Dion acceded to their demands and proceeds will be shared among all candidates in some fashion.
A bad sign for a leader ... not being able to keep other out from one's source of funding shows lack of grasp within one's Party. And it foreshadows a loooong upcoming campaign, partly steered by back-seat drivers. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy ... I can hardly wait.
E-mail slip offers inside view of caucus politics

When even the Senators' knives are out, watch out Mr. Dion!
Ave, Caesar. Morituri te salutant. ("Hail, Caesar. We who will die salute you." Gladiator salute to the Emperor when the Games are about to begin).
Hepatitis C victims' $1-billion deal completed

Which is very good news indeed. Back in '99, I ran across a lady who'd contracted Hep-C. Her prognosis ... she's gradually weaken and die early. Period. That's what Hep-C does.
As if this weren't shocking enough, she went on to say that she would get no compensation because of a disgusting bit of governmental evil (strong word, but I feel it justified). The federal government had set up some mechanism for people who'd contracted Hep-C (or at least some of them, maybe only those who'd gotten it before tests were available to detect contaminated blood before transfusion). The hiccup: the feds wanted proof of when the Hep-C had been contracted ... ad QC's provincial Ministry of Health had destroyed all transfusion records for the period concerned, which was obviously not standard procedure. Thus. the lady whom I'd met wasn't to get any compensation, for lack of proof.
As I've said: capital-d Disgusting! I hope that this $1-billion deal brings help to the poor people who've had to face this.
Ontario Court of Justice Marion Cohen did our society as a whole a favour through enabling leaders in all faiths to disavow her action of ordering a Christmas tree removed .

Indeed. Despite my being religiously oblivious (I'm an agnostic at heart), I can't help but be angered at this kind of stupidity. Conscious, active suppression of religious symbols and practices, as a general rule (<== which doesn't cover obnoxious exceptions!), amounts to "anti-religion", which is itself an ethical (and thus a religious-like) creed in itself. I mean what's next ... no more Chinese New Year's celebrations because festivities are noisy?