Saturday, January 13, 2007

Daily Digest January 13, 2007

Joe Hueglin wrote:


HALIFAX HERALD - Trudeau fiefdom?

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Rupert diversion is most sustainable option

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Dictators hate conservation
Dressing climate change is important for many reasons, but one that doesn't get sufficient public discussion is the strategic or security dimension.

TORONTO STAR - Tackling poverty benefits all society

NATIONAL POST - First guns, now kegs

TORONTO SUN - Waiting for a guarantee

LONDON FREE PRESS - Corporate welfare report rankles

WINDSOR STAR - The roadway: Driven to distraction

CALGARY HERALD - Oilsands need nuclear option

CALGARY SUN - Election reform due

CALGARY HERALD - Dion's lean on green details

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Giving a brave face to a ‘victimless’ crime

VANCOUVER SUN - The revolution continues apace as Apple launches the iPhone


Smoking dispute burns aboriginals

NATO soldier killed in western Afghanistan, first NATO death of 2007

Support for Afghan mission increases
58% of Canadians in favour of effort: poll

Taleban in Pakistan commend dead
More than 170 Taleban fighters from Pakistan's South Waziristan district have been killed in Afghanistan since 2005, BBC News has learned.

Nato accused over Afghan deaths
At least 13 civilians were killed in a Nato air strike on Taleban militants on Thursday in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, police said.

Taliban vs British Army vs Whitehall;jsessionid=CJZ0KINJTIWXZQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/14/wafg14.xml

U.S. retracts spy coins claim

Bush sticks to his guns

Why is Washington 'surging' in Iraq?

Why Bush's war plan can work
The key to achieving a unified, self-governing Iraq is providing security for the Iraqi people.

Immigration officers regularly pay for bus tickets after drop-off

As votes near, Charest and Harper camps get cozy

Jack's dilemma

Pulling no punches, jolly green Dion comes to Liberal-hating Alberta to let Big Oil know even Harper is listening to Grits' environmental plan

Make-it-or-break-it Baird
New Environment Minister could hold key to Tories' hopes

Tories criticized for host of patronage appointments
So much for their vow to clean up government, opponents say

Policy wonks key players in Liberal leader's office

Putting middle-class values to work
With the kind of power unknown to most in the federal cabinet, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is free to push the pro-family, right-wing agenda he pursued in his years at Queen's Park,

Dion showing signs he's got human touch
Admits when he doesn't have answer, displays self-deprecating humour

Party can't renege on compensation deal made when nominee agreed to step aside to make way for someone else, judge rules

Case suggests problems in the way Public Works catches employee fraud

Minister Strahl Hears Stakeholders Vision for the Future of Agriculture in Canada

Ballots heading to farmers
Agriculture minister not bound by results of plebiscite on barley

Dion scorns growing nuclear power buzz
Liberal leader fears effect on environment

Dion says he will name his shadow cabinet within days

Closer to the Apocalypse
Doomsday Clock to move forward

Climate changing

Winds of political change sweeping in environmentalism
Climate of voter opinion shifting dramatically

Kill a cow or a pig for planet Earth

Whither the floor-crosser

Hajj celebrates the diversity of our common humanity
Pilgrims return home enriched by the experience

Nova Scotians have had their say on national map

Total world domination starts here, doesn't it?;jsessionid=CJZ0KINJTIWXZQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/14/nmasons14.xml


Québec a besoin des 328 M $ du fédéral pour rencontrer ses objectifs de Kyoto

# Les élections générales québécoises auraient lieu avant celles du fédéral

# Un fonctionnaire fédéral a pu abuser du système sans être inquiété

Le chef libéral de passage

Nominations partisanes: les conservateurs critiqués



        No comment otherwise than my observations that through the internet I'm able to draw upon opinion and information  in articles written by
        non-North Americans.

        Canada's Foreign Minister visited Afghanistan and Pakistan this past week.  There was coverage in our press. There are alternate views to his
        that Canadians were presented with.

        You will be receiving a post "
Subject: F.Y.I.: Alternate realities of Afghanistan" that presents quite differing views should you choose to take the time
        to read the enclosed links.



Raymond Denson.

I have asked Mr. Martin Levin if he has any objection to my giving some publicity to correspondence with him and he has not replied. Therefore I believe that my action in sending you the following is completely ethical.

Kindest regards,        

A Press in Chains

I have had some e-mail correspondence with Martin Levin, editor of the "Books" section of the Globe and Mail, which may be of some interest to your readers. I began by asking him two questions: (1) Why does he not publish any reviews of important works on 9/11 by such authors as Nafeez Ahmed, Jim Marrs, Michel Chossudovsky, Webster Griffin Tarpley, Barry Zwicker, and David Ray Griffin? (2) Has his corporate employer imposed censorship? That the subject is controversial cannot justify the omissions; a recent issue of "Books" included a review of "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.
I received a courteous and friendly reply from Mr. Levin, in which he expressed his disbelief in the "truth movement", but failed to answer either of my questions. Further e-mails from me, requesting clarification, have not elicited any additional response.
I think that we are entitled to deduce certain conclusions from this correspondence. The first is that Mr. Levin is unable to provide an acceptable explanation for the total exclusion of 9/11 literature from the Globe and Mail reviews.The second is that, since he did not take the opportunity to vigorously negate corporate censorship, we may be sure that it exists.
The old idea of a free press was that the political opinions of the owner were limited to editorials and in the rest of the paper journalists sought to present an objective picture of local, national and international affairs. This idyllic situation no longer exists. Major newspapers and news agencies are owned by vast conglomerates which attempt
 to keep the unsuspecting population in a state of ignorance by intentional omissions. Can this be allowed to continue in any country which aspires to become genuinely democratic?
Raymond Denson.

Ian Berg

Can we blame the deadly cold snap and blizzards in BC and the Prairies on global warming?
Ian Berg
Calgary, AB

Garry Holland

Subject: Lunn's offers of help

Hi Grandpa;
When Lunn visited Stanley Park, with Baird, he was correct in offering assistance.

Stanley Park is federal property on 99 year lease to The City of Vancouver; in point
of coincidence that lease is up for it's first renewal within the next 24 months.
Best wishes to the diaper / feeding brigade

Jacob Rempel
THE REPUBLIC of E ast V ancouver
Current Issue • January 4 to January 18, 2007  •  No 154

Canada stuck in Afghanistan  
We’re either guilty of abandonment or of war crimes,
and still no better future for the war-torn nation 
by Michael Nenonen
Subject: Blood And Oil :To the victors, the oil?
By The Independent  
Blood And Oil:How the West will profit
from Iraq's most precious commodity.

Two interesting interviews on Democracy Now radio.

1.) An interview by Amy Goodman with Salim Lone, former spokesman for the UN mission in Iraq and a columnist for the Daily Nation in Kenya. He has been closely monitoring the story. He joins us on the line from Nairobi.  Salim Lone discusses targeted assassination in Somalia by the U.S.,  its strategic significance, and  other regional situations.
2.) As well, Amy Goodman interviews an American investigator who finds that the Gates Foundations invests billions in companies in Africa who do much damage to the environment and health among the very people that the Gates Foundation is helping with other billions.
Click on
and click on PLAY.   Total time about one hour.

New strategy
President Bush is pinning his hopes on a new "Battle for Baghdad"

Mmmm .. risky and peril-fraught. Plus, in my mind (for what it's worth), not likely to work ...
So far, the UIS has come in and:
1. knocked over the Baath-Saddamite anthill;
2. disbanded the Iraqi Army, the institution that had all the guns, many of which have found their way into violent hands;
3. same as 2 for large parts of Iraq's police forces, knocking out the local law-enforcement and security forces;
4. tossed out all civil servants Baath Party members, knocking out the civil-service and administration part of government;
5. backed and funded outsiders who hadn't been in Iraq for decades as potential presidents, etc.; and that despite the fact that the REAL opposition to Saddam was tribal-, community-, religious-based (e.g. the Shiite resistance in southern Iraq);
6. set up a US-style presidential system, with decentralized power and checks-and-balances.
Makes for one dreary mess. Knock out the high politicians to disrupt national and provincial governance. Disband the Army so that trained soldiers hit the streets in one big wave, many with guns in hand, when there's no work to be found. Do the same for the police. Wipe out civil authority and service delivery by tossing out the Baathists in the civil administration, no matter how half-hearted they were as Baathists.Back outsiders who aren't familiar with what had been going on at street level (and now no one knows what's going on). Set up a divided, internally-antagonistic government PRECISELY when unity and co-ordination are most needed (modernizing countries modernize themselves first by centralizing authority so as to undermine and see off sources of traditional authority (clerics, chiefs, whatever), build up government power and pervasiveness, then decentralize for efficiency once established).
Solution to the above: send in more soldiers, blow up the bad guys in Baghdad, then withdraw at an auspicious time. How this is intended to be effective is unclear. (Or,as I like to say, is to be achieved in a vague and unspecified manner). Good luck, Mr. Bush. You'll need it.
Two things always annoy me when it comes to the American way of doing things:
a. They never co-ordinate military and diplomacy. To them, diplomacy is something that's looked into once the military have finished their job, NOT something that gets done while the military is preparing and at work. This means that the Americans just about never match diplomatic objectives with military ones and vice versa. They never seem to ask themselves "Look, what are we out to accomplish after our enemy's been knocked out? How should we knock him out, what are we after, what are our criteria for success, should we even knock him out in the first place or would neutralizing him do?". They're incompetents who NEVER learn. And that's based on their way o doing things at home.
b. Their solution to (re)building a government is always based on a federal, presidential system. They never seem to learn that that's PRECISELY the wrong thing to do in a developing (modernizing) country. The idea is to establish central authority, expand political power (as opposed to letting chaos rule), establish government on a strong base, and THEN decentralize and distribute power. Going straight for a finished system without developing its base is worse than a waste of time ...

Von Clausewitz had thoughts on the relationships you mention between military and diplomatic
From: alan heisey <>
Subject: Re: Daily Digest January 12, 2007
To: Joe Hueglin <>

j, i cannot tell a lie: i read your site daily not to marvel at the wide range of your intellectual curiosity but to see what you have to say about the federal and provincial tory parties and others and so am curious to know if i have lost my way since my rants do not seem to be penetrating the way they at one time did. i am in t.o. for the boat show which drags me off for every day between here and the 21st. i repaste last edition so you get a second chance to see the great stuff you have not been republishing recently.  cz

(Contact Hize at <>should you wish to receive his bi-weekly self described rants)
Publisher comments
Lots for M.P. Kahn to help out on
Local provincials healthier?
Can a local board change its laws?  
Tri-Spa policy slips! 
Adams exploits Grit hearings
To win 14 of 23+3 city seats (cont.)
Condo outreach opportunities       

To be removed from this list

Publisher comments

Lots for M.P. Kahn to help out on

This welcome to our first M.P. from the 416 and inner 905 rings is complicated by the fact that the publisher has not got the spelling of his distinctive first name clear in my head! In spite of that I dare to point out that the presence of an accomplished M.P. right next door to the city’s challenging, present 23 ridings is sure to help in many ways.
Coincident with this news, note that M.P. Peter Van Loan, our long-time Toronto party foot soldier, then president, is now government house leader. Between these two and nearby finance minister Jim Flaherty, we in the “hard core 23” can respectfully request an elected human face of the party on more numerous, smaller, party and public occasions.
I invite the new M.P., now part of the continuing GTA parliamentary caucus to take a look at the organizer and citizen levels of the party hereabouts and consider improvements.
First of all be aware that no way will the national party recognize the uniqueness of the “23” (IT’S A CITY, STUPID) by having one professional organizer serve all of the 23 as if they were, uh, a city!
While I am one who expects no national election for a couple of years, it is appropriate that the leader, caucus and party be increasingly more ready for one when it happens. Key element in the “23” will be the apointment of a city of Toronto campaign chairman who knows our town and people and can give a local, citizen’s face to the government party which right now has no local city-wide, citizen leaders. I am specifically suggesting that however the GTA area campaign team is constructed it would be huge if one person of standing could head up the city’s considerable needs.
Of course, as soon as nominations flow, we will have lots of would-be local spokespersons. I hope there will not be a panic to get nominations done hereabouts, with the uncertainties as to when the actual election will take place.
To clarify what I mean by a lack of defined local citizen leaders recognize that our national council has four members elected at large from across the province. In a messy early situation one of them sent a solid letter to a Toronto paper, but responibilities for the city’s is diffuse.
Hppily, there are now, once again, five M.P.s serving from the 905 areas of the Greater Toronto Area, but one of them should be more prominent than has been on the city’s need for substantial political support.
All who care about the GTA party should recognize that this past month slid by without a repeat of the annual December Brunch which the former regional-then-presidents’-council convened for more than 20 years except when an election interfered, as in the previous year. There used to be hundreds of Tories and bigshots show up from across the region, but it is well recognized that the national party now, and also in Joe Clark’s time, did not at all like the existence of unconstituted regional councils and apparently the official party is planning an official event before too long to replace the labour of love of its amateurs over a lot of years. It must be clear that I think the GTA presidents (and other activists) shot themselves in the foot when they allowed their own organization to disappear beneath the waves!
Local provincials healthier?
Your correspondent is a “newboy” in his present electoral district of St. Paul’s after living for 23 years in the adjacent riding of Trinity-Spadina. I found a high degree of cooperation between the feds and the provies in my former riding and take some satisfaction that I was asked to serve as policy chair for this past year in Tri-Spa provincially. (I have recently phoned  president Arnold Kwok and volunteered to serve for another year unless he has someone else who should have a shot at it.)
Now that I am also on the board of the St. Paul’s feds I have been communicating with the president of their provincial counterpart and plain told him that I would be honoured to be on the provincial board. The provincial p-c organization has an excellent, comprehensive web site:
which is a confidence-builder that the association knows what it is about. It actually names 27 directors and eight officers, and now needs to publish a very detailed report on the item below.
I am particularly impressed that these two nearby provincial groups have organized important public events quite recently to enhance their standing with their communities. Both president Kwok and his events convenor sent me prideful reports about their “Whiskey night” do and I was most impressed that it had 50 participants! (The reports got misfiled in my aggressive world travelling, or should have been published herein.)
I was away for the December event by St. Paul’s featuring Senator Hugh Segal, but publish here a letter from president Sean Martin reporting the event.
“As promised, here is an update on the Hugh Segal event:
On December 11, 2006 Senator Hugh Segal was the featured guest at the latest installment of St.Paul's PCA Fundraising Dinner at Senior's Steakhouse.  The Senator spoke to a full (and well fed house) with demand for tickets well exceeding the capacity of 40.  The topic of discussion was "what happened to the urban conservative vote and how do conservatives get it back."  Mr. Segal was in fine form and spoke of the need to reach out to all communities within our urban centres and that the hard work of our riding associations does pay dividends.  He talk was motivating and entertaining as he had shared some great stories of politics in mid-town Toronto, including his days working with Larry Grossman (Segal was introduced by Jaimie Grossman). Overall, a very successful event. Sean Martin”
(If the good senator would forward the text of his remarks I would be happy to publish them verbatim!)
I admit to being a restless member of the present St. Paul’s federal board and remind Tories across the area that the annual meetings of their associations are great oportunities to freshen boards that need freshening. After all, with the corporate structure much loved of our Reform parent, the president of any federal association is elected by no more than 30 directors in total, meaning there should be more contests thant there are for more board and executive committee positions.

Can a local board change its laws?

The short answer is: “possibly”.  The 45 edas in the GTA need to find out more about how this can best be done in practical terms. As a constitutional buff I have read over several times the very constructive report forwarded to all constituencies in October of last year, with an introduction by Dr. John Weissenberger, Secretary, National Council of the Conservative Party of Canada.
I have felt right along that the committee which reviewed possible changes to eda constitutions should have emailed around a lot of the contributions which they received from interested ridings so that the constructive flavour of the process might be better appreciated.
I for one chafe at the enthusiasm with which all our governors will set out detailed instructions for us to live by, if we only let them. What chafes particularly in the context of the modern city dweller’s mobility, is the arbitrariness of the general rule that all but 10% of the eda directors must live within the boundaries of the one in which they serve. Some limit makes sense, but with the frequency of boundary changes, and home addresses, this ruling plain restricts the service of some good people.
How to change it? Apparently all proposed changes to must be forwarded to the national office for preview and approval.
I would like to see a flurry of minor amendments to constitutions on this practical matter sent forward for review. And I would hope that the same John W. might be more forthcoming in how the Ottawa overview takes place.
I am also troubled by the strictness of the definition of officers which each eda must elect, particularly that there cannot be more than three directors appointed as officers of the executive committee, and that the other executive positions are rigidly delineated. I urge all caring association boards to get onto this subject, quite regardless of head office saying that we are not supposed to do that right now. My reaction is that consitutional  evaluations should be much more of a continuing subject when it matters to a local board, though there might be periods within the year when Ottawa would give rulings.
A new party perhaps has to start with narrow delineations, but “loosen up” is my advice which I illustrate with a telling example right here.

Tri-Spa policy slips!

I have been nervous since I saw the note from Tri-Spa’s federal policy chair that little progress had been made since the halcyon days of the original riding policy conference before the Montreal meeting. The idea that on short notice a group of city ridings should hold a joint policy review in response to the request from the national policy committee smelled like too little too late.
Before the Montreal meeting Tri-spa’s then policy chair David Black motivated some 30 residents to give up a full Saturday to a wide-ranging review of possible policy planks for our new party. The comparable afternoon event this past month involved some six policy buffs from Tri-Spa and four from an eda out in Scarborough! St. Paul’s, and presumably many other edas, proceded on their own, but who is entitled to know?
Please recall that the instructions from that Montreal meeting to set up national policy and constitution committees generated peculiar responses. The Canada of today was viewed as provinces and territories, a la constitution, and so each province was asked to elect two policy and two constitution delegates.
I remind those interested that just before the P-C party disappeared 19 constituencies in the GTA sent representatives to an informal city-centred policy meeting. That group, I was reliably advised, was seen as containing too many “loose cannons”, and caused to disappear, also, below the waves.
The national policy committee needs to break Ontario into geographic regions, (for the nervous nells, no mention of cities is essential, however desirable) and set about a continuing approach to citizen participation in policy consideration like the masterpiece which brought 4,000 delegates to Montreal.
It may well be that GTA presidents want no regional structure which can possibly interfere between them and the national party. But there are, I submit, a lot of policy people who can see some loosely-linked policy process doing possibly better as part of the non-election aspects of the party.

Adams exploits Grit hearings

This Saturday’s Star published several articles about the provincial Liberal government’s Citizens assembly consultation meetings. I was pleasantly surprised that an enquiry last week by myself to appear this coming week got accepted - but then realized that it would  mean mucking up the urgent trip south on which I am presently engaged. John Adams, our party’s most outspoken defender of one person one vote issues, has undertaken to fill in and for that I am hugely indebted.
A recent conversation with Arnold Kwok helped me understand how newsworthy is our locals’ support of 5% variances between electoral district populations. This came out of the provincial Tri-Spa policy meet last summer and was given federal party standing by being endorsed at their December St. Paul’s meeting. It will be interesting to see how these citizen forums, created with great fanfare by local Libs, borrowing from B.C., are played by the media. I thought the Star was essentially unenthusiastic.

To win 14 of 23+3 city seats (cont.)
This subject fascinates me because it gets so little attention, though the provincial party schedules a meeting soon on strengthening constitutency associations. A specific proposal I discussed with John Adams recently seems to have no standing in the national party: I don’t think anyone should stand for membership of an eda board who is not prepared to accept some continuing outreach responsibilities in one’s own neighbourhood - or in another neighbourhood.
This means in practice that you should be prepared to deliver to a couple of hundred front doors, a couple of times a year, a piece of information about your association’s activities. Furthermore, you should be identified as the neighbourhood representative on that piece of literature so that some continuity between 30 specific neighbourhoods and your association grows. How women board members identify themselves in such pieces is beyond my knowledge, but there has to be some appropriate and tasteful and private way! Would welcome comments thereon, and also on what else we have to do to win a majority of city seats, time after time!!

Condo outreach opportunities
I’m all a-twitter because the notice I posted in early November on my condo notice board generated a personal reponse! On the elevator! The gent in question and I are having a coffee as soon as I get over the upcoming Toronto Boat Show madness - I invite you to come and see me at my booth there until Sunday, January 21st.
The question in my mind is how does an unrepentant activist like myself make nice with a stranger mildly interested in the party?
My own aspiration, which I tested regularly with 150 other Canadians on my recent Indian Ocean cruise, is to promote membership as important in strengthening our parliamentary institutions, never mind who heads up which party currently. On the ship I had several great chats with longtime Tories who had let their memberships lapse and had two Mississauga types assure me they would renew their cards.
But at 38 Avoca, should we form a cell? How would the party cope if a local association, full of apartment dwellers, actually formed turkey whist and euchre groups in assorted condos? Wait and see!
Sean Martin also likes the idea of the apartment notice, but surely the same member should represent both the national and provincial parties.

To be removed from this mailing list:

You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking "Reply" and writing "unsubscribe" on the subject line of this note.
Next issue probably from Naples, Fl.