Thursday, January 25, 2007

Daily Digest January 25, 2007

Joe Hueglin wrote:


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Another missed opportunity

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Appropriate treatment for addicted youth print this article
Government may need a more persuasive case before changing its plans

HALIFAX HERALD - Looking out for No. 1: THE OPTICS stink.

TORONTO STAR - Canada must seek Mideast balance

NATIONAL POST - Another disgrace to the Kennedy name

NATIONAL POST - Stephen Harper's first year

NATIONAL POST - Vive la Normandie libre!

TORONTO SUN - Paying to go green

LONDON FREE PRESS - Extra cash must bring results

WINDSOR STAR - Clean coal: McGuinty and Dion

SUDBURY STAR - Challenge views on climate change =

WINNIPEG SUN - Tories retrofit home-reno program

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Minister wrong to shackle MPs on Afghan trip

REGINA LEADER-POST - Tories must share surplus

CALGARY HERALD - Ottawa right to stand up to U.S. on Arar

CALGARY SUN - Transparency needed

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Tax credit for rec fees good
Proactive approach fits

EDMONTON SUN -  Home cents

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Day’s strong stand on Arar a welcome sight

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - The drug plan double standard
Politicians, public sector get access to drugs denied to those depending on Pharmacare


Governor General says Canada has a developing world in its 'own backyard’

MPs venture outside the wire in Afghanistan

Commons defence committee wraps Afghan trip with call for more diplomacy

MacKay to push for control of Afghan-Pakistan border at NATO meeting

Welcome to Pretendahar
It's not Kabul, but the 'suicide bombers' of this local training centre seem terrifyingly real

Just when can we trust U.S.?

Arar rift with U.S. grows

Airport scanners to read irises of U.S.-bound frequent flyers

Keeping U.S. currency accounts in perspective

Canada joins nations pledging billions for strife-torn Lebanon

British MP puts Ottawa on climate hot seat
Blair's envoy urges Canada to help craft post-Kyoto plan in time for G8 meeting

The satellite killer
China's military buildup keeps defence planners busy

CMA advises funding change

Like it or not, here come the private clinics

Manitoba shutters hundreds of drug, prostitution houses

PM hints at keeping promise
But equalization deal won't be known until feds bring down budget

B.C. unveils surprising $885-million health-care injection

I'se the b'ye that builds the oilsands
Eastern premiers hope they can share in boom while keeping their people at home

Election about nothing is a bonus for Harper

Environment tops public agenda, new poll finds

Arar to receive multimillion-dollar settlement: CTV


Senior deputy minister resigns
Peter Harder had been three-time contender for Privy Council clerk

Tories seek ways to crack 416 fortress

PM seeks retraction from CBC

NDP targets bank charges

Ambrose set for a supportive role
Key issue provinces' demands for bigger piece of the pie

Duceppe wants different focus for Canada's Afghanistan mission

Dion's dry humour, from-the-heart style, impress Western Liberals

Tory committee head should quit over 'racist' e-mail: Liberals

Fisheries ambassador posting sparks accusations of political patronage

Dion says Vancouver's drug injection site works

Finance minister touts Triple-E priorities

How long before 'New Government' gets old?
Tories hang on to fresh label

Liberals confounded by 'one-candle' Harper
Bizarre set-up for an election nobody wants

Arabs, Muslims to mobilize against Tories

As Europe's Muslim veil controversy erupted, Solberg was told Canada lacked policy

'Mind-boggling' citizenship law in need of overhaul, MPs say

Environment, Afghan war to lead Tories' caucus agenda

Make me an offer on fiscal imbalance, Duceppe tells Harper

Fortier defends role in battle with Boeing

Dion backtracks on return of party exile

Tories want Liberals to explain their record on trusts

Tories lead 'green rush' to B.C.

Probe Afghan role, Dion urges

Some hits and misses from Harper's first year

Former Newfoundland minister named ambassador for fisheries conservation

Canadians need clear answers on nuclear power

Why the climate war will finally be waged

Canada can end poverty with proven four-step plan: welfare council

Big Brother likes lists

Time for legal brothels

Pharmacare peters out

Readers turn green

World ignores the elephant in the room at its own risk


# Des politiciens pressent les conservateurs de privilégier la diplomatie

# Les libéraux exigent la démission d'un membre du Parti conservateur

# Frais au guichet: Jack Layton estime que les banques arnaquent leurs clients

# Le gouvernement canadien débloque 20 millions $ de plus pour le Liban

Energie, économie et environnement occuperont l'esprit de Flaherty

Le Canada a un monde en développement dans "sa propre cour", selon Jean

Mettre fin à la pauvreté est possible, selon le Conseil du bien-être social

Accès aux médicaments: Clement suit de près une législation américaine

Bev Oda s'en mêle


Will the barley plebiscite on the Canadian Wheat Board be democratic? Still to be determined.
        Were you aware there's going to be a non-binding plebiscite on the Canadian Wheat Board continuing to be the "single desk" agent for barley
        sold for human consumption?  Rather than clear cut YES or NO options a third one will be on the ballot.
        Minister of Agriculture Strahl in his Press Release stated his government is offering to
        Western barley farmers "choice on how they market their grain while preserving a strong, viable, yet voluntary Wheat Board"* as the third
        What's makes this statement questionable is research which concludes : "This paper explores the potential impacts from the Government of        Canada's proposal to remove the single-desk selling powers of the CWB. The main conclusion is that it will be very difficult, if not impossible,
        for the CWB to survive as an organization."
        This question arises then, has the Minister research to bring forward as a counterweight or is he saying "Trust me".
        Google Alerts are great things. One never knows one might come in.  To-day this information arrived:"Mb farmer will make case for Ottawa
        in CWB vote."
        Intrigued, calls were made to Media Relations Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario and its Manitoba Regional Contact and the
        Press Secretary Minister Strahl's Office.  As well Rolf Penner, the name of the "Mb farmer" was googled.
        No contacts from the first two.  The Press Secretary left a message saying he knew nothing it was in the hands of KPMG (the international
        accounting firm chosen to run the plebiscite).  The Ministry website
        when checked showed no Press Releases or Media Notices on the subject.  When 'phoned the radio station newsroom confirmed that there
        had been an interview with Mr. Penner and the information was accurate - he was appointed to write a brochure.
        Mr. Penner is Agriculture Policy Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy . An interview of his
        on Aquavision TV, text, audio is
        most enlightening. Should his views expressed, in that he was selected as spokesman, be viewed as that of the Minister, Chuck Strahl
        may be regret his choice of spokesman.
        There will be a brochure stating the views of the Minister, though they are unsupported by research, will be presented.  Will there, however,
        be included in the ballot being sent to barley farmers the views of those supporting the continuance of the Board as it stands?
         Determining whether this would be so was the reason for calling Minister Strahl's office.  At this point no answer is available
        If only the one view is presented by any measurement of which I am aware there is no way the plebiscite can be considered democratic
        Only time will tell.

Real Gagne


For the Digest.

In the January 23rd edition of the Digest Phyllis Wagg raised a number of important points.  She notes with concern what she implies is a well-disguised plan to integrate the economies of Canada, Mexico, and the United States for the benefit of multinational corporations through the establishment of international trade agreements such as NAFTA.  She also makes the point that both left and right wing ideologies are essentially anti-democratic and must be resisted.

I wholeheartedly agree that these are serious matters deserving reasoned and open debate and I applaud her for bringing these issues forward in such an articulate manner.  That being said, I have a few quibbles and a serious reservation with her position.

My first and least important quibble has to do with her treatment of the notion of ideology.  In many respects, her argument (if I've understood it correctly) that democracy becomes the loser when ideologies are in the ascendant is essentially the same as that made by Professor Benjamin Barber of Rutgers University in his _Jihad vs. McWorld_ in 1995.  As I see it, both Phyllis and Barber are probably correct in their assessments.  Still, one wonders why Phyllis, who singles out both Conservatives and Liberals as examples of right and left wing ideologies, neglects to mention the NDP as an integral element of the political menagerie in this country.

My second quibble, is that in opposing the economic integration of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Phyllis ignores both the establishment and expansion of the European Union.  Is this because she disapproves of the first and supports the second.  If so, it would be helpful if the reasons were available.  If she simply disapproves of the integration of the economies of sovereign states in principle, why is the existence of the European Union ignored.  It might have been used as an example of what not to do and why.

My third quibble is that use of the term "integrate" is not defined. 
This is a word that can be interpreted in a whole host of ways, some of which I could personally support and others that I cannot.  Personally, I need that definition before coming to a reasonable conclusion.

I turn now to my reservation.  In reading her thesis, I am drawn to the conclusion that Canadians must put their faith in the virtue and goodwill of governments, since we certainly cannot count on the intentions of the multinationals.  Without qualification, this is premise I cannot accept.  For me, the state is not a benign institution to be blindly trusted.  Like any other human institution, it is peopled with individuals with the same kinds of personal ambitions, weaknesses, unscrupulousness, and as open to corruption as the denizens of the multinationals.  Politicians always take into account an electoral calculus in determining public policy and the legions of bureaucrats who advise and support them have their own ambitions.  The interests of both politicians and bureaucrats are therefore not necessarily identical with what is normally referred to as the "public good."  And God knows that the twentieth century has provided enough evidence as to what happens when the state becomes too powerful, with Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung being three of the most egregious examples.  My question for Phyllis, therefore, is:  "Who will protect us from the state?"

In my view, society always needs a counterpoise to the state if tyranny is not to result.  Multinationals, with their considerable resources and vast reach, can be a part of that counterpoise.  So, by the way, can an alert and vigilant citizenry.  Which is why I applaud Phyllis for raising the issue.



From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

re; Toronto Star, page A1, Jan. 22, 2007
   To quote from the article;

In an interview after his speech, Mr. O'Connor said the word retribution doesn't necessarily mean punishment.

"What it means is, if our country is attacked, we are not going to stand blandly by and not do anything about it," he said.

    When Gordon Oconnor uses the words OUR  country, is he speaking as an American citizen with dual citizenship? Since our country, Canada , your's and mine, was  not attacked obviously,  how does he explain his use of the word our? If many of our  people get killed in  England, or Darfur,  for instance, does that mean they have attacked Canada?   I called his office, no answer yet, but they say  they don't believe he has dual. How then do we explain that word being used?

    If many others called his office, they might have to actually come up with a statement as to why he said it.

       Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

P.S. I used the # 1866-599-4999 at the Library of Parliamentary and they connected me to Gordon O'Connor's office. You can too, as can anyone else, as long as your request is for connection to the Hill.

alan heisey <>

Subject: Re: Daily Digest January 24, 2007

j, as a pleasant relief from your n.a. fixation - or rather that of your small cadre of reliable respondents, of which i choose to be on the fringes of the fringe, feel free to report any or all chunks of my last earthiness! cz from naples

(May do, time allowing)
Jacob Rempel

To the Editor, and to Canadian Partisans:

Reference: Phyllis Wagg's essay about the NAU project

Phyllis Wagg is correct. The movers and shakers are not looking to create a legislated entity to include the territories of Canada and Mexico into the nation called the USA. No, they just want harmonize all regulations in those areas demanded by the corporate leadership, including military organization and diplomatic support needed to advance the interests of the international corporate resource exploitation enterprises, euphemistically referred to as US national interests. The consequence is an integrated economy, monetary system, media, and consumer culture, with tri-country agreements so tight that Canada loses self-determination in all important areas of policy necessary to build a society of social justice at peace with all nations of the world and in harmony with Mother Earth.


P.S.  There are probably still some American dreamers for a full continent United States of America,
        but pragmatic politicians would not dare to give Canadians and Mexicans a voting franchise.
       They might one day try for a Puerto Rico status for Canada.

Might you be able to post this on Daily Digest for benefit of BC Lower Mainland residents on your DD list?

LaVonne Khayyat

 The Terrorists Aren't Who You Think They Are.......

A History of Government Sponsored Terrorism

If You Care About Your Future

Michael Meacher, former British MP
Ray McGovern, former Presidential Adviser & retired CIA analyst
David Shayler, former MI5 agent
Cindy Sheehan, Anti-war activist

Followed by
*Guest Speaker, Connie Fogal, Lawyer, Constitutional Activist
"The threat of the North American Union"
Sunday, February 4th 11:30 am & 2:15 pm

Pacific Cinematheque
1131 Howe st. Vancouver

Free DVD Compilation
#2 On Related Issues
With Entrance

Bev Jaremko

I enjoyed the Alzheimer's test and failed it, but at least felt normal doing so.

But I would like to as a school teacher raise a concern about the next item which was that people read 'whole' words and don't attend to spelling
That is very true for literate adults.
It is NOT true for children and especially not true for children who are just l earning to read. They do attend to detail and it is vital to their understanding of how to read.

The problem with guessing at 'whole' words is that it became a teaching fad some years ago with disastrous results.  Little kids were actually taught to guess at words by looking at pictures accompanying the text, by asking friends, and by looking vaguely at the shape of the 'entire' word.

Little kids are very clever and for quite a while they can guess pictures and recall text by memorizing and give the illusion they are reading.
It is only when they hit about grade3 when there are just too many words that their system breaks down and it is our fault for teaching them wrong, not theirs. It is at the root of why kids in upper elementary may read 'testing' as 'teasing' or 'science' as 'sauce'. They are not looking at the word, but guessing.

The better way to teach kids is to explain to them the sound of each letter, and to explain its shape, one letter at a time when they are very small. Then show them little words with those letters and bigger and bigger ones, all very logically. Only after all that do you introduce them to silent letters and blended letters and the oddities of English. Guessing is a tool for when phonics does not work but we do need kids to learn phonics first

Then yes they as adults can have fun realizing how far they have come and how fast they can scan text. But they had  to learn it first the logical way

Bev Jaremko

The phonics is "right on".

50 years ago I was teaching 1-2-3 in a two room school
and had the consonant blends on the wall.

We had dictionaries and I'd say "ook" now see how many
words there are that have this ending.  And they did with


Ian Berg

We read a lot on DD about the threat to Canada posed by the Bush Administration (2001-2009), global industry, and climate change.  However, the gravest threat to Canada is right now in the opposition benches of the Quebec National Assembly.  The Parti Quebecois has already held two referenda asking Canada's largest province if it should become sovereign.  The second one was lost by pro-sovereigntist side by just a fraction of the vote.  The PQ's current leader promises to hold a third one if he is premier and an election in the province is likely this year.  The federal Conservative government has already recognized Quebec is a nation, albeit within a united Canada, with support from the federal Liberal and NDP parties. If Quebec can be a nation within Canada, why not outside Canada too? 
Ian Berg
Calgary, AB

Suan H.Booiman

Subject: 34 questions

Asking the 34 questions is the result that a large amount of residents are
not the Canadian among Canadians, Ottawa has no clue who and where
the so-called Canadians are because of a failing bureaucracy, the
little empires. We have become a country with no principles thanks to
Trudeau, no commitments, no obligations, do whatever you think is right.

Stratos Psarianos

Subject: Stick it to the Commies, Steve-O

From The Economist magazine:
The European Union, in bilateral talks with China, said it would continue its arms embargo, imposed after the Tiananmen Square killings of 1989, until China ratified a UN convention on human rights, freed those jailed in connection with Tiananmen Square and ended the "re-education through labour" system of imprisonment without trial.

Looks like Mr. Harper's not alone after all. Sure, the federal Liberals like to POSE as Canada's Friends to Humanity but when intere$t$ come into play, Friendship be damned and show us the money (or other favours, like support at the UN). Another reason to be proud of being a Conservative ... we respect business, and it respects us to the point of swallowing bitter medicine when we tell it to (income trusts!). Plus, tyrants and corruptocrats know patently well which is the stand-up, look-'em-in-the-eye party in Canada and which one is the cast-their-eyes-on-the-path-of-least-resistance, belly-crawling one.

Wah-boo-hoo-hoo-the-Chine$e-Communi$t$-don't-like-us journalists, take note! And if you STILL seek to console the federal Liberal Party, look for it in some brothel or other ...

NOTE 1: If anyone hasn't guessed yet, I HATE what the Liberal Party stands for. If it ever manages to clean itself up and become more ethical in its dealings, I'll respect it, but until then I'll indulge in strong emotion.

NOTE 2: As a token of my aversion for hating all opposition, I hate neither the Bloc nor the NDP. I do despise them for being wastes of time, though. Still, one can hope that the NDP will one day pull itself up and become a serious party. The same applies for the Greens. As for the Bloc ... time-wasting is their very essence.

NOTE 3: If someone ever accuses you of getting all personal in your opinions of different political parties, tell them that quite to the contrary you're quite detached. The trick is to hate in an unfocused way, with perhaps some emphasis on certain things (Liberal Cabinets and apparatchiks, for example). This would be like liking Americans but hating their government, which we hear so often these days.

NOTE 4 (and no more): And to think that we're such NICE people in real life. Scratch the surface and ...

Stratos ("Establish central authority but mind how you treat your people") Psarianos

Montreal, QC


Hi, Joe. See below. Is it just me or does anyone else pine for the simpler days of yore?

Gas Station To Offer 'Terror-Free' Oil
> February Grand Opening Planned
> POSTED: 3:29 pm EST January 22, 2007
> UPDATED: 7:08 pm EST January 22, 2007
> OMAHA, Neb. -- Area drivers will soon be able to fill up with gasoline made from "terror-free oil."
> KETV in Omaha reports that a gas station is about to open near 129th and Q streets named Terror Free Oil, and the idea is to offer consumers petroleum products from countries that do not sponsor terror.
> The gas station is associated with the Terror-Free Oil Initiative. The group's objective is to encourage Americans to buy gasoline that originated from countries that do not export or finance terrorism. A representative said that Omaha's will be the first of several terror-free oil gas stations to open across the country.
> "The terror-free oil initiative is dedicated to encouraging Americans to buy gasoline that originated from countries that do not export or finance terrorism," according to the group's Web site. <>
> Chris Decker, professor of economics with the University of Nebraska-Omaha, said the idea may make for good marketing.
> "From a business perspective, it's kind of a neat way to differentiate yourself from the competition. To me, that sounds an awful lot like what we in environmental economics refer to as eco-labeling. Like, when you purchase a can of tuna with a symbol that there was no harm to dolphins to catch the tuna," Decker said.
> Will drivers make a special trip? Mary Ann Buscher said the station got her attention, with its bright red, white and blue advertising, but she isn't sure when or if she'll stop there.
> "I wouldn't go out of my way to go there, probably. No, I wouldn't," she said.
> The grand opening is Feb. 12.

George Weiss 

Hi, Jim Calvert

Thanks for the update on the Athabaska glacier, that was. Sad isn't it.

George Weiss

Glen Turner

Subject: Hilary in 2008....

This is hilarious!!!


Anyone who counts all 6 "F's" on the first go is a genius.

Why, thanks!
I got it this time (I've seen something similar before, which I flopped) because I'm not quite awake yet this morning. Evidence of some scientist's theory which I read once: a big part of oversights at any given time arises from different parts of the brain interfering with each other. So, with half a brain asleep, the other half gets to do a proper job for once. Hahahahahaha ...

More Brain Stuff . . From Cambridge University.

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

This is fascinating ... I've seen this on the DD before but it never ceases to amaze me. People around STILL don't believe me when I tell them ....
Robert Ede

Subject: if you cannot say anything nice

 The newbie, Ref/All?Con cabinet-government has proven itself to be just as good as the Liberals at:
1) fooling some of the people all of the time
2) fooling none of the people some of the time
3) usurping the Governor General's Executive powers
4) running to the head of the currently-trendy parade, at election time
5) BEING, just like the Liberal Party
EXCEPT it's done all this in MINORITY
what'll they be like with 50%+1

(What'll or what'd ?)
Makes you wonder, eh? Just as I thought ... Conservatives really ARE more skillful than Liberals.

Rosalie Piccioni

I signed the petition and also sent an e-mail to the Honourable David Emerson informing him that even as a Conservative I had done so.  My reasoning for saying anything is that I am a proud Canadian and that as long as we involve ourselves in an agreement, Canada is bound.  In other words, we will have given up our right to make any future decision affecting our own country.
Well, no. We're bound to follow the rules (unless we can get other parties to exempt us from them a la softwood lumber accord) until we bail out of the agreement. Refusing to hold up our end of an agreement amounts to our canceling that agreement. The consequences are that our counterparts then become free to do whatever they want in terms of what had been agreed to. For example, in the case of NAFTA, if Canada were to pull out, the US would be free to set anti-Canadian tariffs as it sees fit.
Were any country to believe that signing a given agreement would bind it forever and irrevocably, it would never sign that agreement willingly and legitimately.
    There was just that thought, which was enough to make me do something as an individual.  To-day, I heard a commentary being given on CBC TV News.  In summary what they brought to the audience was a bright picture of how the borders in Europe are becoming freer to cross, while ours are becoming more complex.  I thought, "Yes, the countries involved belong to the EU with the euro money simplifying any such exchange.  All we have to do is add to the hold that the NAFTA already has on Canada."  What a sales pitch to attract attention with a vote for signing (anything and everything)!! To Canadians such an NAU Agreement, as being planned, might be "comforting": i.e. something can be done about making border-crossings safer and, soon, easier for us to make exchanges.  And, I might add, of course that would probably mean a common dollar -  something like an "ameri-dollar" for instance.
Yes, no, and not quite. The borders INSIDE the European Union are getting easier to cross. But crossing INTO the EU from outside is just as complicated as before. Right now, Europe is a confederation of independent states with a "parliament", etc., that can't really do anything on its own (or, more precisely, without the acquiescence of its member countries). Think of this being similar to an extremely-decentralized version of Canada or as Switzerland writ large. In the Canada case, Canadians would be free to move unhindered between provinces but getting in and out of Canada would be regulated by the federal government (with European "federal" instituitions doing the same thing in the EU). So, the analogy doesn't hold: the EU is actually catching up with Canada's established practice, with EU countries becoming like Canadian provinces when it comes to crossing borders.
As for the euro ... only 13 (or something like that) of the now-27 countries us it as domestic currency. And there's increasing grumbling within some users (including large ones like France) about it being unsuited to their particular situation. For example, the French grumble that the base interest rate set by the European Bank is too high, which makes borrowing to expensive for France, which thus slows down its economy. In the past, other countries have complained the rates were too low in that they encouraged excessive borrowing, which would lead to inflation. Right now, in France, I'd say that there's a growing (but not necessarily politically overwhelming) nostalgia for the old franc.
Compare this to what we're living through in Canada: the Bank of Canada has to strike a good balance between inflationary pressure in Alberta and slow growth in other places. To prevent Alberta's economy from overheating (that is, from having internal demand outrun supply capacity), the Bank of Canada has to raise interest rates high enough to discover borrowing and (over)investing / (over)consuming in Alberta. But high rates make it more difficult for investors to borrow money to invest in other, economically-slower parts of Canada. Hence the dilemma: higher rates for Alberta and lower rates for (say) Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. This is what the Bank of Europe is having to deal with. Add into that largely-independent member states, and imagine the grumbling.
Mind you, there ARE ways to palliate and possibly get around all this. The easiest way through (ta-daaaah) trade. Alberta, in its wisdom (<-- no irony!), has set up an agency of some sort to get access to Canadian manpower wherever it may be located in Canada. The idea os to make it easier for Canadian companies to make customer contacts, to manufacture/supply stuff from wherever they're located, and then shipping it to Alberta. No need to move people (and build houses and infrastructure for them): Alberta would just need to move the fruit of their work. Very smart of the AB government: manage rapid growth and keep a lid on excesses by spreading out the growth across Canada. To anyone living outside AB: think twice before saying that AB is only about me, me, me. (And I'm a Quebecer saying this!).
As for the NAU: assuming that we define as de facto creating one country from many ... that's not about to happen anytime soon. I can't speak for what will happen over the next million years, but this NAU thing, if it ever comes about, is something that future generations will have to take care of in their own time.