Sunday, January 14, 2007

Daily Digest January 14, 2007

Joe Hueglin wrote:


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Mourning the death of a river

HALIFAX HERALD - Learn from SARS fiasco

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Why did oil companies start collecting so soon?

TORONTO SUN - Dissecting the new Canada

LONDON FREE PRESS - Dissecting Canada's mosaic

WINNIPEG SUN - Corporate welfare in the billions

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - The seven sins of health care
We have only ourselves to blame for rising stresses in the health-care system


B.C. bands get down to business
FIRST NATIONS: Some chiefs reject 'dependency mindset'

NATO’s Afghan Struggle: Build, and Fight Taliban

Pakistani prime minister denies his country a safe haven for al-Qaida

High-tech tools snag cross-border smugglers

Disney helps Canadians with passport problems

Canada, U.S. weigh costs of Great Lakes cleanup

Bush's fourth war against the Muslims

Drug lords prey on trucking industry
REPORT SOLICITATIONS: Hotline allows insiders to anonymously tip off border cops

Smugglers get sneaky

Refugee claimant allegedly bilks friends for millions

Make changes now to protect us from a pandemic

Taylor tees off on Tories

Ordinary voters, extraordinary task
These Ontarians -- one from each of the province's 103 ridings -- are part of an experiment in democracy that could change the way we vote. To the horror of some in the political elite, they are getting a big say in reforming an electoral system that has not changed much since the 18th century, when the average Ontario voter was a white Protestant farmer

Liberal leader's approach towards Alberta akin to 'slash-and-burn'

Tories go ethnic

Memo to Dion: Go West, young man!

Bloc, Parti Quebecois talk joint federal, provincial election strategy

Tougher animal-cruelty law urged

Rogue fed worker never charged

Could you be on a no-fly list?

No-fly list puts rights at risk: critics

WE should be clear about one thing.
Ending the monopoly powers of the Canadian Wheat Board as the Conservative government plans to do (for barley and possibly for wheat), will represent a final, definitive act under international law.

Dubious hiring strategy leaves Industry Canada with bloated payroll: audit

Political agendas, massive misinformation fuelling climate debate

Fingerprints, eye scans to speed border crossings

Reality abandoned in fervour to apologize

Almost half of Canadians polled admit to at least being slightly racist

The problem with promoting Afghan democracy

Chinese TV in Canada opens door to propaganda


La machine électorale du Bloc est prête à appuyer le Parti québécois

Les élections générales québécoises auraient lieu avant celles du fédéral

Le NPD veut faire une percée au Québec

Nominations partisanes: les conservateurs critiqués


         Fingerprints, eye scans to speed border crossings
        Published: Sunday, January 14, 2007
-- No-fly lists aren't the only way authorities in Canada and the United States are trying to deal with the threat of aviation terrorism.
        Another strategy is the joint Canadian-U.S. NEXUS traveller program, which allows low-risk travellers to cross the border more easily -- if they
        submit  to a background check and provide fingerprints and other personal data.
         A question to you:
         Since September 12, 2001 what concrete verified actions have been taken by terrorists in North America validating
        the actions of our governments running around like a gaggle of Goosey Loosey's keeping their citizens in a constant state of agitation,
        altering their ways of life, increasing their own discretionary powers?
        This question has been raised several times otherwise than on the Digest with no information to this point being forthcoming.


Rubie Britton

Subject: $100.00

"Have you heard this? It's cute.

As ever,
A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly and prayed for weeks, but nothing happened.
Then he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100.00.
When The postal authorities received the letter to God, they decided to send it to the Prime Minister.
The P.M. was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5.00 bill.
The Prime Minister thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.
The little boy was delighted with the $5.00 bill and sat down to write a thank-you note to God, which read:
Dear God: Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason
you sent it through Ottawa and those jackasses deducted $95.00 in taxes.
Stewart Sinclair

Subject: Re: F.Y.I.: Alternate realities of Afghanistan

Hi Joe,

Maybe you should have a look at this article.

One is sure in this situation is that Canadian soldiers will go on getting killed and maimed to no real purpose as long as the US is in charge of what they do and of that war generally.  A nasty under tow to US foreign policy is the influence on it of the richest lobbies in Washington.  One of them is Big Pharma.  It's in their (short term) interests to keep the Afghan poppy crop off the legal market so that it doesn't under cut their patented pain killers (Darvon, Percosets, etc.).  That requires that Afghanistan be kept in chaos.  That also is the objective of the Pakistan Military and ISI (one of the US' longest standing allies) by the way.  If Afghanistan is consolidated as a functional western state some of the Pashtun dominated Pakistani frontier will disappear into Afghanistan.

Anyway you look at it, unless NATO takes control completely and commits to a new Marchall Plan for Afghanistan it's a losing proposition.

All the best,


Saving Afghanistan
Barnett R. Rubin < >
From /Foreign Affairs/, January/February 2007 <>

Summary:  With the Taliban resurgent, reconstruction faltering, and opium poppy cultivation at an all-time high, Afghanistan is at risk of collapsing into chaos. If Washington wants to save the international effort there, it must increase its commitment to the area and rethink its strategy -- especially its approach to Pakistan, which continues to give sanctuary to insurgents on its tribal frontier.

 /Barnett R. Rubin is Director of Studies and a Senior Fellow at New York University's Center on International Cooperation and the author of The Fragmentation of Afghanistan. He served as an adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General at the UN Talks on Afghanistan in Bonn in 2001.

John Feldsted

Subject: Politics, thank God, is not devoid of humour.

Politics, thank God, is not devoid of humour.
In the 12 Jan issue of the Globe and Mail they published an interview with Jean Lapierre (the former Liberal Transport Minister who has announced his return to the media next month – he is apparently done with party politics). He was asked who the Liberals would run to replace him and he said that the ideal candidate would be loyal to Mr. Dion and have a clean slate. He further stated that: “He (Dion) has to get people who have nothing to do with the sponsorship scandal and all that. He has to allow the party to re-establish its virginity.”
Re-establish virginity? Indeed!
Helping Canadians to reduce emissions has a price. How many dollars? Who pays? What is the expected result? When will we see numbers that measure costs against effects?

What are the costs of implementing each target, who will pay and what is the flow through to tax payers and consumers? We pay for every government intervention in our economy. Will we pay for ‘incentives’ to reduce emissions and then pay again for results through higher prices for what we buy? When do we see the results? If results are not measurable within twelve months, why is immediate action necessary?

Emission reduction targets have a price. How much will it cost Canadian industry and transportation to comply and what will be the effect on industry output (consumer prices) and competitiveness? ‘Industrial polluters’ are also ‘employers’. What effects will these ‘reduction targets’ have on industry operating costs and how will it affect their competitiveness? What will the cost be in terms of plant closures, lost jobs and reduced investments? We need to know before arbitrary targets are made into law.

So far environmentalists avoid talking about costs. Predicting the end of the world is not an excuse for spending us into poverty.

 John Feldsted


Subject: To the Editor:  The North American Union
Taken from

The North American Union

John Baird is Canada's new Minister of the Environment. He has been selected for that portfolio because, as all journalists and most politicians will concede, he has great powers of articulation combined with a voluminous delivery.

Prime Minister Harper apparently expects that those talents will create among Canadian voters, the perception that our federal government has made a 180-degree turn with how it will deal with global warming.

This, the Harper minority hopes, will result in a Conservative majority. They then can get on with impending plans for a North American Union. [NAU]
        .        .        .
Robert Gauthier

Subject: Fwd: Request for assistance to enforce UNHRC Views against Canada Art 19

January 14, 2007

Hello, Joe,

This is the 25th year since I launched The National Capital News Canada (NCNC) following the closing of The Ottawa Journal after its run of over a hundred years and which closing left the capital of Canada to be served by only one English daily.

The launch of NCNC led to the discovery the the substantial publicly funded facilities and staff provided by the House of Commons for the media via the parliamentary press gallery were arbitrarily controlled by a clique of journalists who, without supervision or accountability, determined which persons would be "granted" access these important, if not essential, resources in reporting on the activities of the Government and Parliament of Canada.

Without cause, since 1982, the NCNC, among others, has been excluded and denied equal access as is enjoyed by other media.

I am determined to break up this clique of mainstream journalists and their employers who undermine our democracy in interfering with the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression defined as the Right to seek, receive and impart information without interference.

Enclosed is the current effort to engage the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Millilken, to comply with the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee to stop the practice of compelling membership in a private organization as a condition to enjoy fundamental rights guaranteed in our law.

Kind Regards, and your work is most important.

Robert G. Gauthier, Proprietor/Publisher
The National Capital News Canada, est 1982
181 Bank St.,
Ottawa Ontario K2P 2L9

January 10, 2007

Mr. Aidan White, General Secretary
International Federation of Journalists

Dear Mr. White:

RE: Non-compliance by Canada with 1999 UN Human Rights Committee Views finding violation by Canada of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the fundamental right of Freedom of Expression in the matter of The National Capital News Canada being denied access to the press gallery facilities and services provided by the Canadian House of Commons for the media.

Attachment: United Nations Human Rights Committee Views 1999

I am the proprietor of The National Capital News Canada, a newspaper in Canada which I launched in 1982.

Since then, our journalists, including myself, have been denied equal access to the publicly funded Canadian parliamentary press gallery facilities and services provided by the House of Commons for the media, without cause.

For instance, during one of numerous meetings with the Executive of the privately owned Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery Corporation, Mr. Don Newman, a journalist with the State-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), President of the CPPG at the time, advised me, "Not only are you not going to be granted permanent accreditation, your temporary pass is being revoked."
I challenge the authority of a journalist employed by the State-owned CBC to determine which journalists may be granted access to the publicly funded facilities and services provided by the House of Commons for the media in Canada.

In 1990 Proceedings against the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery Inc., the Hon. Mr. Justice James Chadwick of the Ontario Provincial Court ruled that the CPPG does not control access to the precincts of Parliament and my Action seeking damages of 6 million dollars was dismissed because I was suing the wrong Party.

Following this decision, I wrote to the United Nations Human Rights Committee asking if they could help. They advised to try to resolve the dispute domestically and failing a solution to return to the UN HRC.

This led to my Proceedings in the Ontario Court against the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. John A. Fraser, which Action was dismissed on the grounds that the Courts do not have jurisdiction over Parliament.

Unsuccessful in resolving this difficulty in Canada, in 1993 I submitted a Communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committee pursuant to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular, Article 19, which guarantees the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression.

The Admissibility requirements having been met and having heard submissions from Canada and mine, the UN Human Rights Committee determined in its Views published in 1999 that Canada is in violation of Article 19 and advised Canada to provide a remedy:

"The denial of access to the press facilities of Parliament for not being a member of the Canadian Press Gallery Association constitutes therefore a violation of article 19 (2) of the Covenant. States parties have undertaken to ensure that any person whose rights are violated shall have an effective remedy."

The complete 1999 UN HRC Views are attached.

This is now 8 years since this decision and Canada continues to ignore the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee and continues to deny my access to these essential press resources for journalists with The National Capital News Canada.

I realize that the difficulties for journalists in many other countries are incredibly dangerous, but will it be necessary for physical violence against journalists in Canada to occur before Canadian Government Officials realize that the provisions of the International Treaties and Covenants are there to prevent such consequences?

I share with you the enclosed e-mail from Mr. James Walugembe of Uganda, Ugandan newspaper editor and Member of the Board of Directors of WAN, the World Association of Newspapers:

"Dear Robert,

"I am concerned with your fate and feel sorry for this act. Whereas we strive to have a free press world over it's unfortunately that a democratic nation in its adulthood can do such a thing. I pray that you don't be tempted to give up your struggle for a free press, but continue and one time the trueth will bear fruits.

"In Solidarity

"James Walugembe,
President -Uganda Newspaper Editors and Proprietors Association (UNEPA) Board Member -WAN (World Association of Newspapers)"

A Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice Canada, Ms Elisabeth Eid, with the approbation of the Parliamentary Legal Counsel at the House of Commons, Mr. Robert Walsh, among many other Government lawyers, has advised the Speaker of the House of Commons, that "decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee are not binding on Canada, because they cannot be enforced."

What is also peculiar is that the High Commissioner for Human Rights who currently administers the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a Canadian, The Hon. Madame Justice Louise Arbour, former Justice in the Supreme Court of Canada, while Canada is in violation of Article 19 of this internationally recognized Covenant.

Without equal access to these essential competitive resources, The National Capital News Canada has been forced to suspend publication pending the implementation of the Views of the UN Human Rights Committee for Canada to provide access to the House of Commons press gallery facilities and services without the condition of membership in the private corporation, Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery Inc.

Mr. White, would you let me know if there is any way your organization may be able to encourage the Government of Canada to comply with the UN Human Rights Committee Views without further delay?

Your help to restore the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression which was revoked in Canada without cause and without due process since 1982 will remedy the injustice and allow our journalists equal and full access to these essential and substantial publicly funded media resources which will allow me to resume the publication of my newspapers.

I should point out that the arbitrary exclusion of journalists by the privately owned association of journalists and their employers was not limited to myself. This practice over the last 40 years or more has been tolerated without supervision by the House of Commons and hundreds of qualified journalists have been denied their fundamental right to seek, receive and impart information about the Government/Parliament of Canada without recourse or appeal.

Unlike myself, for their own reasons, they chose not to fight this violation of their fundamental right to freedom of expression, the right to seek, receive and impart information without restrictions and limitations. 

Currently, although Canada has instituted an Appeal Procedure following the 1999 UN Human Rights Committee Views, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Milliken, continues to deny my access to this Appeal Procedure.

Speaker Milliken advised me that he "has closed his file."

In my opinion, it is not his file to close and I obviously have not closed my file.

Nor will I accept his arbitrary disregard for the Rule of Law, domestically nor internationally.

If we cannot have Freedom of Expression in a country as favoured as Canada, there is little hope for others less fortunate.

No reasons have been provided by Speaker Milliken for the non-compliance by Canada with the UN Views to provide a remedy and his invoking the nebulous yet powerful principle of parliamentary privilege precludes and intimidates Canadian Parliamentarians who fear or will not risk a confrontation with the Speaker on this questionable if not alleged illegal misuse by the Speaker of the House of Commons of this dubious pretext for failure by Canada to comply with the UN Human Rights Committee Views.

Your assistance is requested to achieve fair, equal and full access for The National Capital News Canada to the facilities and services provided by the Canadian House of Commons for the media without the requirement of membership in a private organization as a condition to enjoy the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression in Canada..

The many requests to the three Speakers of the House of Commons in Canada, who oversee and fund the facilities and staff provided by the House of Commons for the media, the Hons. John A. Fraser, Gilbert Parent and currently, Peter Milliken, to correct this alleged violation of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression, have been and still continue to be denied.

Thank you for your consideration,

Robert G. Gauthier, Proprietor/Publisher,
The National Capital News Canada,
Le journal de la capitale canadienne,
181 Bank St., rpo 71035,
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2L9