Friday, January 19, 2007

Daily Digest January 19, 2007

Joe Hueglin wrote:


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Fodder for the feds?

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Permanently reducing our spud count print this article
Cutting acreage has improved incomes, so why not make acreage reduction permanent?

HALIFAX NEWS - Fiscal imbalance? Tell us about it

HALIFAX HERALD - A united front

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Mario Dumont deserves no one's support

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Military manoeuvres

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Streetwise justice

OTTAWA SUN - Bust crack pipe plan

NATIONAL POST - Income-trust inanity

NATIONAL POST - The retirement gap

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Regaining stature

K-W RECORD - Military budget is a priority

WINDSOR STAR - Citizenship
Caught in an unfair dilemma

CALGARY HERALD - Baird fuels oilsands anxiety
Tories need to assure industry there won't be new tax surprises

It’s always something else along the 49th, eh?

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Rona's replacement no Alberta expert

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Account closures bad business

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - User fees hurt health care

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Time for a debate on nuclear power


Afghan mission will continue until progress secure - defence minister

Reservist quits job after leave denied by boss

Canada to beef up military punch in Afghanistan, but no more infantry: general

General joins war on drugs
Canada's Fraser suggests farm subsidies could loosen poppy's grip on Afghanistan

Defence comes up with $5 million to fund fisheries patrol and navy programs

Gates may push to send more troops to Afghanistan

U.S. senator blasts Gonzales about Arar, demands answers next week

Derek Burney on our 'crutch of convenience'

Oilsands target a long-term goal
5 million barrels a day projected. Report raises spectre Canada being pressured to dramatically increase production

Gypsy refugees accused in liquor store robberies

Is Stephen Harper learning to blink?
More and more, the federal Conservatives are flinching in the face of public reaction

Steelworkers call for emergency meeting with BC premier to stop sawmill closure

Possible lower transfers for Atlantic provinces alarms N.S., N.L.

Public input on nuclear power first: minister

Alberta Tory denounces ex-contenders' agendas

The politics of equalization

Pressure to force election starts to abate

Tories say climate change is real

Nothing illegal in Khan loaning himself campaign money, Elections Canada says

McGuinty, Goodale take key roles in Liberal shadow cabinet

Dion says Harper must release MP's report on Middle East

Let Green leader into televised debates, Dion says

MacKay dismisses equalization rumours

N.B. MPs leading Liberal charge into key session of Parliament

New Liberal leader stresses party unity and co-operation as he introduces his shadow cabinet

Goodale clout might be waning

Tory green blitz fails to convince

PM preparing to send Khan on second trip to Mideast
Recommendations from MP's first visit likely to become policy, official says

PM warned against largesse for Quebec

Don't know, wasn't there, Dion says

MPS to 'work as equals': Former rivals, supporters all make Dion's list

Goodale remains a player

Going toe to toe
Beyond his self-assurance, however -- a quality his rivals will dismiss as typical Liberal arrogance -- Dion has another asset that Harper lacks

Proposed Clean Air Act all huff and puff - Layton

Is Stephen Harper learning to blink?
More and more, the federal Conservatives are flinching in the face of public reaction

Harper promised compensation 'in error,' minister says

PM continues green push with alternative energy funding announcement in B.C.

Among border guards, plenty of would-be gun trainers

Public service to check for hiring bias against minorities

GST workers receive lay-off notices

Corporate welfare alive and well

Quebec quarrel delays military aircraft delivery
Boeing pressed to spend in province

Park gets $2M

CSIS investigating letter threatening FLQ attacks on part of Montreal

Landmark UN study backs climate theory

Has climate stalled flu pandemic?
With many parts of the world experiencing warmer than usual weather, migratory patterns have been widely disrupted – but that's the only good news

Storm erupts in U.S. Senate over Arar
'We knew if he went to Syria, he would be tortured'

The limits of predictability

Cutting through the climate jargon

January 19, 2006
at 10pm ET
on CBC Newsworld

There’s nothing new about anti-Americanism

Laws not meant to be bent: Poll

The politics of energy

Hero of the seas

Children's words may hold key to Canada's fight against racism


Terrorism - Grown From American Seeds?

The hypocrisy of American neocons

The betrayal of America's border guards


Le NPD dénonce un échappatoire dans la loi électorale canadienne

Washington pourrait divulguer sous peu plus d'informations sur Maher Arar

Afghanistan: le Canada n'enverrait pas d'autres troupes prochainement

Dion comptera sur ses partisans et rivaux dans son cabinet fantôme

Harper annonce un plan vert de 1,5 milliard $

Dion n'est pas pressé de se retrouver en élections

Pétrole: Harper et Dion disent n'avoir jamais entendu parler du plan américain

Déséquilibre fiscal: Ottawa honorera son engagement, dit Bernier

Les conservateurs plafonnent

La fracture sociale s'élargit

Revirement d'Ottawa

Du plomb dans les ailes

L'aide financière revient


        These were posted early on.  I must of had a reason but am having a "seniors moment" as I write.

        Maybe you can figure out why.

        If you do, tell me?



"The scientific evidence is real and it's conclusive," said Mr. Baird, who attended the Stanley Park announcement. "It's time for the world and, more importantly, it's time for Canada to take real action."

Minister Baird, you have an opportunity to bring science, common sense and definitive action to an issue Canadians care a great deal about. Don't buy into extremist agendas; keep your feet on the ground here. And by the way --hold on to your boots, the weather has a habit of changing in this country.


Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

Just a few quick comments stemming from the Jan. 16 Daily Digest. 

First, the headline about racism in Quebec.  To be honest, everyone has a bias, especially when it comes to things they feel are completely foreign to them.  Does that equate to racism?  No.  That is when you dislike a person because of the colour of their skin, not their conduct.  However, we may not be ready to embrace some aspects of another's culture, their conduct, regardless as to their appearance. 
The racism card is so overplayed, and usually where it does not even apply.  People are biased.  Whether they are justified in that bias, whatever it might be, is what we debate.  At least, it is something we should debate, but most don't seem to have the ability to do so.

I read the headline that hope is fading among Afghans.  I read of a bombing at a Baghdad university.  I see those who wish to send these nations back to the stone age or at least back to some kind of depostic rule with their bombs and attacks.  That leaves me to ask, where are the Iraqi and Afghan freedom fighters?  Why don't we hear about those who will do what it takes to bring liberty, if it is even desired, to their own lands?  Did you hear about the freedom fighter who blew up the Al-Quaida loving warlord and 50 of his minions?  Me neither.  I wonder why?

I hear that the environment is the biggest issue out there.  Not according to anyone I personally know, but that is what I hear.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating allowing the belching into the atmosphere of tons of toxic gases.  I mean, that is one reason I am against the Kyoto Accord.  How can buying credits from toxic belching nations like Russia, India, China, and Indonesia in order to allow industrialized nations the opportunity to continue belching toxic gases have anything to do with saving the planet?  It sounds more like a way to distribute wealth and nothing about the environment.  I am sure we are adversely affecting the environment somehow, but I am suspect as to how much and in what fashion.  For example, the fact that glaciers have been melting uninterrupted for 300 years or more is not exactly evidence of anything other than nature continuing to do its thing.  Fewer glaciers would mean drier rivers, so it is not that I'm not concerned. 
It is just that I don't have much faith anyone having much of a clue as to what is going on nor what to do about it.
There are some things I detest that I have come to learn to enjoy.  Take telemarketers, for example.  I can't stand them.  I detest anyone who is in love with the contents of my wallet, but who could not care less about the guy carrying it.  When a telemarketer calls me, my phone mysteriously goes dead within 5 seconds.  I don't have to come up with an excuse, I don't have to formulate a reply.  The problem just goes away. I am pretty confident that the trip or award I just "won" does not come with no strings attached, so my phone dies.  A political party called me recently, called me by my first name (Ron is my middle name) no doubt seeking my financial support.  Again, my phone went dead, as it has done when representatives of some of the most respected charities in the land give me a ring.  I give to charity.  I never give over the phone.  I mean, the damn thing keeps going dead on me.  I wonder why?  I only know I feel rather good when it does.  It is a mystery.

I saw Lloyd Robertson telling us how the nation finally has got a taste of winter.  Funny, my nation, or at least the part I inhabit, got that taste a week earlier.  I wonder if in Washington, DC they only talk about the "nation" suffering only when the storm or flock of bird-dropping seagulls or whatever unpleasantness appears in the mid Atlantic region of the USA, or if their nation is truly from sea to shining sea.  Our nation appears to begin and end somewhere in the vicinity of Greater least according to CTV.   Something happens out here, it affects Westerners.  If it happens in Ontario, it affects Canadians.  Maybe Lloyd is trying to tell me something.

Thanks for the inspiration, Joe.

Zeb Landon

Subject: Michael Schmidt impasse: raw milk users picked on in Ontario

Dear Friends,

Would you have any ideas how to help out raw milk dairy farmer Michael Schmidt who is under attack by the regulators?  He is a good man I have known since about 1992. 

During the last fifteen years, Michael Schmidt has helped many a person who seriously valued health and rebelled against wasting the rich enzymes that are destroyed in pasteurization process.  Those seeking him out for his raw milk product saw a ray of hope for health maintenance or recovery that would otherwise be quite unavailable to them.  Whether for families raising healthy children or for older persons who found their health aided by his product, Michael was there for them.

In Canada, millions of us eat Canadian beef that cannot be exported because it might come from our cattle who were fed animal slaughterhouse waste; however, Ontarian consumers are not allowed to choose to consume raw milk for their health needs, --because that apparently undermines the control by a milk market monopoly.  Raw milk producers are bullied, while it's okay for the government to play Russian roulette with the risk of mad cow disease affecting millions of Canadians.

Few issues are more fundamental than the right to choose what we eat or drink.

I'll be sending him a donation and be there with Michael and those with him in spirit.


Robert Ede

Subject: on polling, public opinion surveys and 'a balanced sample'

on polling, best explanation I've ever heard,
From Yes Prime Minister TV show
[Sir Humphrey demonstrates how public surveys can reach opposite conclusions]
(... ed. that is, how public surveys are designed to evince the intended responses)

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?
Bernard Woolley : Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there is lack of discipline and vigorous training in our Comprehensive Schools?
Bernard Woolley: Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think young people welcome some structure and leadership in their lives?
Bernard Woolley: Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do they respond to a challenge?
Bernard Woolley : Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Might you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?
Bernard Woolley : Er, I might be.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes or no?
Bernard Woolley: Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Of course, after all you've said you can't say no to that. On the other hand, the surveys can reach opposite conclusions.

[survey two]
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?
Bernard Woolley: Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Are you unhappy about the growth of armaments?
Bernard Woolley : Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there's a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?
Bernard Woolley: Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think it's wrong to force people to take arms against their will?
Bernard Woolley: Yes.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Would you oppose the reintroduction of conscription?
Bernard Woolley : Yes.
[does a double-take]
Sir Humphrey Appleby: There you are, Bernard. The perfectly balanced sample.

Editorial 2 - Polling is conducted by governments to determine if they have as yet successfully convinced the taxpaying-subjects to agree to the gov't's pre-determined plan.

Jacob Rempel

To: "Editor DAILY DIGEST" <>
Subject: My Reply to Becky in the DAILY DIGEST

Becky wrote about my posting on the North American Union (NAU) agenda.

She writes:
"Joe--an interesting note from J Rempel.  I have a different take
on the Global Warming fiasco.  Don't forget Martin signed the first
draft of the NAU and I have no doubt that Harper will continue."

My reply:
Actually, Becky, Brian Mulroney signed the first draft, called
the Free Trade Agreement, and the second draft, NAFTA.
Chretien concurred.  Martin signed more agreements and
Harper concurred. So here we are. Frustrating, isn't it ?
But the NAU is not yet in place, and the process
can still be reversed.  I think you and I  will be on
the same side in our efforts to reverse the tide !!!
...Jacob Rempel
Becky continues :
"BUT--Global Warming is the red herring to keep our minds
off the NAU discussions.The US is head and shoulders
above us in discussing the NAU--they are not bogged
down with the stupid GW 'debate'.

My reply:
Becky, please do
research GW more
thoroughly, or else you'll stand all alone.

About deep integration (NAU), Serious USA discussions
of this issue is new and very mis-informed. US critics like
Debra Niwa and others think the US would lose sovereignty
to Canada, Mexico and ultimately to the United Nations  !!!
On the contrary, Canada and Mexico and the United Nations are
all losing their independence to the USA regime and to the USA
multinational corporations supported by their Washington cohorts.
The Reagan/Bush/Bush regimes are on the verge of achieving the
"manifest destiny" that American expansionists have dreamed
of since the beginnings of the United States of America.
You and I and the rest of us need to work together
to bring Canada's self-determination back into the
Canadian House of Commons. Vive le Canada !
...Jacob Rempel

Ian Berg

I enjoyed the hyperbolic replies about climate change to my letter. But the influence of Big Oil seems to have waned judging by the results of the 2006 USA midterm elections. I am sure Michael Hendriks has a ready explanation for why the Democrats surged ahead.  As for Stephen Berg's reply, it was a fine work of "guilt by association" involving Frederick Seitz, loyybyist for RJ Reynolds but it's just as likely that "weird weather" is evidence of scientifically documented natural phenomenon like volcanic eruptions, sunspots, and El Nino.  Let's not forget that in 1975 some scientists were warning about global cooling and just this week California's orange crop has been devasted by freezing temperatures.
Ian Berg
Calgary, AB

John Halonen


It is not just the Canadian news media that continues to avoid discussing with the public.

To view this article, please visit:
AIM Report: U.S. Borders: Going-Going-Gone! -

Don Keir

Hi Joe:
This in reply to John Halonen. I agree particularly with the tone of your letter.

All of our so-called "representatives", past and present, seem to be eagerly participating in this phoney sell-out of Canadian resources.This whole deal has been promoted by the powerful multinationals in North America through the Trilateral Commission, and the Council of Foreign Relations in the US as well as the Canadian Council of CEOs in Canada in order to increase their profits and share prices. They are completely unconcerned about the effect on the citizens of North America. The "representatives" that we have elected (in all three countries) have apparently been duped into believing that what is good for "big business" is also good for the ordinary citizens. But nothing could be farther from the truth.  No-one needs me to tell them who will be making the decisions as soon as this North American Union is complete.
Don Keir

Caspar Davis

Subject: Rex on George

Hi Joe,

I have sent this message to the National:

Dear National,

I was astonished to hear Rex Murphy say that George Bush had a better record on Kyoto than the Liberals. The Chretien government certainly did a lousy job with respect to Kyoto (and a good many other issues) but at least they did something. Perhaps the most significant thing was Stephane Dion's staunch support of the Agreement in the world community.

It may be true that the US has done better than Canada at limiting CO2 emissions, but if so it has done so despite Mr. Bush, not because of him. Many states and cities and even a few corporations have taken somewhat effective action, but the White House ahs opposed them every step of the way - see for instance

To say that Bush done well on climate change is like saying Hitler did well at protecting the Jews during the holocaust because a lot of individuals and groups throughout Europe (and even a few German officers) saved a number of Jews from the gas chambers.

Caspar Davis
Victoria, BC


A Green New Deal

Thanks to Bruce Elkin:

January 19, 2007 Op-Ed Columnist
A Warning From the Garden
< >
[This is a pay site, so I didn't look at the article there - CD]

Well, so much for our daffodils! They all bloomed in our front yard last week. They now form a nice bright yellow cluster at the bottom of our driveway. Temperatures of 65 degrees in Washington in January will do that. Frankly, daffodils in January do brighten up the lawn. Maybe next year we’ll try for roses in February.

Don’t know about you, but when I see things in nature that I’ve never seen in my life, like daffodils blooming in January, it starts to feel creepy, like a “Twilight Zone” segment. I half expect to wake one day and find Rod Serling mowing my lawn ­ in shorts.

Why not? Last December was the fourth warmest on record, and 2006 was the hottest year in America since 1895. It was declared the hottest in Britain since 1659.

Even the White House seems to have noticed. Al Hubbard, the president’s economic adviser, says Mr. Bush will soon unveil an energy independence strategy that will produce “headlines above the fold that will knock your socks off.” Since everything the president has done on energy up to now has left my socks firmly in place, I will be eager to hear what Mr. Bush says.

Neither the White House nor the Democratic Party seems to grasp that the public and business community are miles ahead of them on this energy/environment issue. The presidential candidate who finally figures that out, though ­ and comes up with a compelling energy/environment agenda ­ is going to have a real leg up in 2008.

What would be compelling? I used to think it would be a “Manhattan Project” on energy. I don’t any longer. I’ve learned that there is no magic bullet for reducing our dependence on oil and emissions of greenhouse gases ­ and politicians who call for one are usually just trying to avoid asking for sacrifice today.

The right rallying call is for a “Green New Deal.” The New Deal was not built on a magic bullet, but on a broad range of programs and industrial projects to revitalize America. Ditto for an energy New Deal. If we are to turn the tide on climate change and end our oil addiction, we need more of everything: solar, wind, hydro, ethanol, biodiesel, clean coal and nuclear power ­ and conservation.

It takes a Green New Deal because to nurture all of these technologies to a point that they really scale would be a huge industrial project. If you have put a windmill in your yard or some solar panels on your roof, bless your heart. But we will only green the world when we change the very nature of the electricity grid ­ moving it away from dirty coal or oil to clean coal and renewables. And that is a huge industrial project ­ much bigger than anyone has told you. Finally, like the New Deal, if we undertake the green version, it has the potential to create a whole new clean power industry to spur our economy into the 21st century.

To spark a Green New Deal today requires getting two things right: government regulations and prices. Look at California. By setting steadily higher standards for the energy efficiency of buildings and appliances ­ and creating incentives for utilities to work with consumers to use less power ­ California has held its per-capita electricity use constant for 30 years, while the rest of the nation has seen per- capita electricity use increase by nearly 50 percent, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That has saved California from building 24 giant power plants.

Had Ronald Reagan not rolled back the higher fuel efficiency standards imposed on Detroit, we might need no Middle East oil today. High standards force innovation, and innovation leads to conservation at scale.

But prices also matter. I don’t care whether it is a federal gasoline tax, carbon tax, B.T.U. tax or cap-and-trade system, power utilities, factories and car owners have to be required to pay the real and full cost to society of the carbon they put into the atmosphere. And higher costs for fossil fuels make more costly clean alternatives more competitive.

“The regulated utilities are the most important consumers from the perspective of long-term investment, and if they are not required to value carbon reduction then they will under-invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Peter Darbee, chairman of Pacific Gas and Electric, said to me.

This isn’t rocket science. Government standards matter. They drive innovation and efficiency. And prices matter. They drive more and cleaner energy choices. So when the president unveils his energy proposals, if they don’t call for higher efficiency standards and higher prices for fossil fuels ­ take your socks off yourself. It’s going to get hot around here.