Saturday, January 06, 2007

Daily Digest January 6, 2007

Joe Hueglin wrote:

Long libations on tap as workers savour Canada's gold medal win in world juniors


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Year of the campaign

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - PM gives his nod to the environment
PM is looking to Baird to convey the word that environment is a priority

HALIFAX HERALD - One more time

OTTAWA SUN - Our boys do us proud

FINANCIAL POST - Let's get health care off the critical list
We need to spend smarter to maintain an essential public service

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Will Baird be a green saviour?

K-W RECORD - Our boys of winter win

WINDSOR STAR - Nuke bid: Power to the taxpayers

SUDBURY STAR - Junior success was no accident

CALGARY HERALD - Burned out and packing up
Doctor's letter highlights Fort McMurray health-care woes

CALGARY HERALD - Doing the right thing

CALGARY SUN - Principled defection

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - The strange game of politics
Shuffles and defections just a sign of things to come

EDMONTON JOURNAL - How green does ethanol make Ottawa?

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Harper's new Grit

EDMONTON SUN - Smoked out

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - ‘Honest Ed’ should have nothing to hide

Prince George Citizen - Rona’s choice: Don't cry for Rona Ambrose.

THE CANADIAN - Replace 'GDP': Toward a new Political Economy of Social Justice and Environmental Protection


Soldier hurt by roadside bomb

Afghanistan 'sliding into chaos'
Analyst says NATO mission doomed
Taliban walk right in, sit right down ...

Strange code of ethics
Elaborate sense of honour has kept Pushtun tribes almost unconquerable in Pakistan, Afghanistan

Abuse of process
Like the case of Maher Arar, Gavin Tollman's extradition ordeal offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the relationship between Canadian and U.S. authorities

Canadian entrepreneurs lack skills, not confidence

Canadian cattle sector says U.S. trade move could mean $450-million boost

CTV News: David Akin on the apparent slowdown 1:02

Canada, U.S. jobs tally shocks economists

The 'virtual' MP
Thanks to a historic election in Rome, a Toronto doctor represents more than 400,000 Italians in North and Central America

Three ideas for fixing the world

Saddam Hussein’s execution lets Masterminds of Crimes against Humanity go free

Obesity Drugs Need Longer-Term Safety Data, Researchers Say

Tragedy like this far too common

Miniseries Explores Asian Organized Crime

Mounties put out the ‘help wanted' sign

Fragile Tory minority upset after Fage quits

Another case of whiplash for Tories

Pressure rising in Ontario's nuclear-reactor debate

Ordinary citizens weigh vote reform

Ordinary people and a radical idea

Power to the people: Some of the 103 Ontarians who will help decide our electoral future

Public hearings on electoral reform

Why did Khan switch?

Defecting MP Khan has already lived several lives

On Wajid Khan and the Blogging Tories

Khan may help Tories woo ethnic voters

Party standings

Turncoat MP gives NDP influence

New environment minister Baird promises action


Dion aims to clear air - Leader's focus on environment, Grits' image

Liberal leader wants Arctic presence beefed up

Ex-Grit feeling true blue

Dion eyes Afghanistan pullback

Harper takes fresh aim at ethnic voters

How do the new Tory players picture themselves?

Mr. Flaherty, about that single-sourcing principle . . .

Harper is drifting a bit off base
New priorities, cabinet moves indicate PM is conceding he has to reach out beyond core support to stay in power

Harper neutralizes Toews

Baird's rail ruling was political, documents show
Decision to pull back funding made despite Treasury Board, Finance support for project

We'll see if Baird is truly Mr. Incredible

Child fitness tax credit in effect for parents

WEB EXTRA: Big voter response to Wheat Board referendum

Strahl attacks Canadian Wheat Board
Farmers losing grain sale options

Trouble down on the farm
If the Conservative government feels so strongly about the merits of free markets, why should dairy, poultry and egg producers be exempt?

The high cost of 'Anti-scab' Laws

Tougher greenhouse gas limits hit polluters, Prentice says

Globalization in retreat

How Canada became a conservative nation.

U.S. deserves respect

Privacy law must have teeth

Why Cabinets get shuffled Warren Kinsella, National Post

Bush did the impossible: He rehabilitated Saddam

The greening of the oil sands

A sea change is about to hit the workplace. Are you ready?

Hindus take holy dip in frigid Ganges River
70 million pilgrims expected at religious festival

Canada must not compromise on our values

Environment: a resolution for the hottest year ever

Exopolitics and Global Warming: A Cosmic Connection


Un soldat du 22e Régiment est blessé aux jambes après l'explosion d'une bombe

Une défection libérale aux Communes donne la balance du pouvoir au NPD

Les éleveurs de boeuf canadiens se réjouissent de l'ouverture américaine

Le Parti Vert invite les médias à un "pique nique en janvier"

Stéphane Dion veut réorganiser la mission canadienne

Les riches au banc des accusés


How green does ethanol make Ottawa?

The problem is that when all of the input costs are factored in -- the cost of growing the grain, fertilizing it, harvesting and transporting it -- the amount of greenhouse gases used to create conventional ethanol are only marginally less than what would be saved over burning pure gasoline. Cellulosic ethanol, on the other hand, can be anywhere from 65 to almost 100-per-cent pure, in terms of the fossil fuels needed to produce it.


There are signs in this week's cabinet shuffle that Harper, ever the strategist, has conceded that it's not. He won the election with 36.3 of the popular vote and ended the year with a little less than that in the public opinion polls. The latest Star-La Presse poll, carried out in December by EKOS Research, showed the Conservatives with 33.5 per cent support, compared to 40 per cent for the Liberals. As EKOS noted, the Tories "have been forced back into their traditional core constituency."

That means, in other words, that playing to the base worked, maybe too well. Conservatives were happy, others, not so much.

And that takes us to this dawn of 2007, and Harper's brand-new cabinet and list of priorities. It's not totally clear yet, but the reaching out that Harper talked about yesterday may be less a description of his approach to date and more of a New Year's resolution.

Harper, reading from a teleprompter in front of his residence at 24 Sussex on Thursday, said he was focused on governing "a country that works for all of us" – presumably meaning more than just the people who voted Conservative in the last election. Will it work? His hopes for staying in power depend on it.

Editor’s note: Holm, a popular monthly opinion columnist for the Western Producer, was dismissed following her participation in the July 27 pro-Wheat-Board farmer rally in Saskatoon. Holm was there at her own expense as a concerned agrologist. She attended the minister’s 6 PM media conference as a freelance columnist for the Western Producer, and asked if he was prepared to move without a grower plebiscite.

The column she wrote and filed concerning the events of July 27 never appeared in the Producer. It was printed in Common Ground magazine September 2006. Ironically, her February 9 Western Producer column Dual Desk Is Code for Disaster won her a 2006 national journalism award from the Canadian Farm Writers and Broadcasters in September. (text of article) .

It is important to note that the (1) Western Producer> is wholly owned by Glacier Ventures, a VSE company initially formed to export bottled water. (2) Glacier Ventures>> now owns the bulk of Western Canada’s farm and community newspapers. (3) Agricore United’s CEO>>> sits on the Glacier board. Agricore United stands to profit greatly from the demise of the Canadian Wheat Board. (4) Archer Daniels Midland>>>> is Agricore United’s major shareholder.


Subject: Sudbury CPC Association Website
The address is:

Hi Joe,
Please note Sudbury's CPC website is now up and running.
The address is:
There are numerous links of interest to Conservatives.
There is also an invitation to email you to receive the Daily Digest.
Thank you for the great work that you do.
Louis Delongchamp
Sudbury Conservative Electoral District Association

Rosalie Piccioni

Subject: Re: Daily Digest January 5, 2007

> Rosie

Yes.  He is trying to send you a message: buy a more fuel efficient car.

Mark Hendriks
Thanks, Mark.  It's about time someone moved the focus of blame from the (present) government - and laid it on people with the exhaust system (particularly 2 (or 3 or 4 ....)-car families.
.....The Liberals recent selection of leader is the best thing that ever happened to Harper and hope for the future seems dimmer and dimmer each day.  I can barely get through the first few headlines before turfing the paper these days.
Nola (Crewe)
Cheer up, Nola.  The best thing that's happened to Canada is Harper. Things are looking up.  Did you read the news before his election? Now, that's what I call depressing!
Shalom to you,

Phyllis Hubeli
South Surrey, White Rock, Cloverdale

Subject: Response to Rubie Britton - Below 30 - DD of Jan. 4/07

Hi Joe,
Rubie's finding out that Stephen Harper attended the annual Bilderburg conference is not really the dark and sinister episode she seems to feel it is.
Harper was not reprogrammed at this meeting to "Dismantle Canada", nor has he, Bush and Fox signed a secret agreement in which he deliberately plans to "give our country of Canada away."  It was merely a trade agreement Bush, Harper and Fox signed, nothing more, nothing less and certainly nothing sinister, nor was there any "hidden agenda" as Joe has previously stated.  That nonsense is all left-wing propaganda and we should be politically
intelligent enough not to give it credence by disseminating it any further.
It is the habit of the Society to invite every new leader of a country, as well as established leaders from around the world and those they feel are up and coming politicians as well as prominent, well-established politicians to meet and join in the Society's discussion of world politics and how the lid can be kept from being blown off for another year.  Prominent scientists, business leaders, even journalists, etc. are invited, if it is deemed their thoughts will be relevant to the topics to be discussed at the conference.
Joe Clark and Preston Manning have also been invited to attend a Bilderburg conference in the past.  You can check out the invitation lists for past years on the Bilderburg Society web site.  I have not heard anything about Joe since his defeat, he could have become a lobbyist in Ottawa for all I know, but Manning, from the press he is getting, is becoming 'respected'.  You never know, do you?
Phyllis Hubeli
South Surrey, White Rock, Cloverdale

Richard Neumann

Subject: Dion's New Marshall Plan

Perhaps someone ought to point out to Mr. Dion, Mr. Orchard, and Mr. Orchard's principal and dogged defender in the DD, namely Jacob Rempel, that The Marshall Plan was created in 1947, well after the guns fell silent in Western Europe.
It is misleading to Canadians to suggest that a new Marshall Plan can be implemented in that region of the Afghanistan where the majority of Canadian troops are now operating.  The Marshall Plan required stability for implementation.  It also had pre-conditions attached to it with respect the establishment of democratic institutions and values.  It is true that a more organized and determined rebuilding effort containing elements common to the Marshall Plan is needed in Afghanistan if the state is to survive beyond the presence of foreign troops.  It is equally true that the economic and social development envisioned cannot be implemented to any significant degree in the south until a minimum level of security has been achieved. 
If Dion were to be truthful to Canadians, he would admit that any increase in reconstruction will necessarily have to occur predominently in the north, and will not directly affect the safety or security of Canadian forces, the casualties they are likely to incur, or the timetable for eventual stability to be achieved in the south.  What in fact he is proposing is an increase in Canadian aid and involvement in that region of Afghanistan already the responsibility of other NATO allies.  Given the current division of responsibilities in Afghanistan, greater effort to gain increased European involvement in the military effort in the south would be more helpful than increasing Canadian involvement in regions controlled by those same allies. 
Richard Neumann

Grenville Rogers

Subject: Link re Israel/US war on Iran

Don't Let Them Trick Us Into Another War
"Lacking direct evidence, Bush administration officials argue that Iran's nuclear program must be a cover for bomb-making. Vice President Cheney recently said, "They're already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. Nobody can figure why they need nuclear as well to generate energy."

Phyllis Wagg

Subject: The New Capitalism

The New Capitalism and its Impact on Canadian Politics in the 21st Century
Is it possible for political democracy to exist within a capitalist society?
In a purely capitalist system the role of government is to protect and facilitate the power and accumulation of private capital.  The belief is that those who control capital are the “cream” of society and as such are entitled to rule society through their economic power.  A minimal government is needed because the role of government is primarily coercive in protecting the private property of the capitalist from the masses of society.  How the government is selected is irrelevant.
In a socialist system the role of government is to own and control all capital and to direct all aspects of social life.  How the government is selected is also irrelevant.
In a mixed society most capital is privately owned but its power is limited by democratic government.  Government must be elected through a process of free elections.  In general we live under a mixed economic system which is predominantly capitalist but government intervenes to ensure that social peace is achieved by mitigating the excesses of a rigidly elitist capitalist system.
Conservative society accepted a class system in which the aristocratic classes held most of the wealth but that wealth brought with it obligations to the rest of society.  Unfortunately, many in that class refused to exercise their obligations which had force in custom not in law.  This resulted in social unrest.
A liberal was an individual who believed in the capitalist ideal.  Liberals sought to change the system by removing hereditary rights and creating a system of “free” markets to replace the old class system.  In theory, everyone would have the opportunity to increase their wealth through the marketplace.  The system would be so ideal that the “cream would rise to the top” ensuring progress and there would be no need for the elite to engage in traditional social obligations because the system would provide adequately for all.
Gradually the conservative and liberal elites merged.  It did not take long for liberals to find that the reality was something different from the theory.  The system did not provide for all and social unrest increased as the powerful economic elite enforced its will on a majority that was unable to enjoy adequate food, lodging, or safe working conditions. 
Both liberals and conservatives realized that as they accumulated more and more, while the needs of society increased unrest, government would have to intervene or risk violent revolution.  At this point our current system of public social began to evolve.
Today the focus is on a return to the classical liberal ideology with a modern twist.  Traditional liberalism was supposed to replace the need for “hard” power with the power of the marketplace.  Today the pacifism of traditional liberal philosophy has been replaced with the idea that “hard” or military force should be employed to expand the power of capital on a global basis.
In Canada today the main supporters of the capitalist system is the new Conservatives who seek to conserve traditional economic liberal values while removing the social policies designed to soften the inequality of economic elitism.  Along with new Conservatives is a strong group of neo-liberals who seek the return of private power except now on a global, rather than a national, basis and are just as committed to the use of hard power to achieve that objective. 
While there were always capitalist idealists in both Canadian Liberal and Conservative Parties today the Conservative Party is totally dominated by liberal economic ideology while the Liberal Party has a strong faction that supports the same philosophy. 
For the point of view of those who believe in elitism over democracy Wajid Kahn’s movement from the Liberal Party to the Conservative Party was not a difficult.  He was ideologically a strong economic liberal with a belief in the new militaristic capitalism.  In our Parliamentary system, it was evident that Khan could not have remained within the Liberal Party and at the same time give his loyalty to the Conservative Prime Minister as his advisor.
Nonetheless, every time something like this happens I become even more depressed.  Every time an M.P. crosses the floor (notice that it is almost always to the party in power) the M.P. thumbs his or her nose at our electoral system.  Is there any way that voters can get respect in this country or do we deserve respect?  We often re-elect those who deceive us.     

Mark Hendriks


> "The sun moves climate change"

Does the sun affect climate?  Yes.  Does this disprove CO2 as a greenhouse gas?  Not by itself.
The effect that makes CO2 a greenhouse gas can be tested, demonstrated, and measured in a laboratory.  This Wikipedia article has an explanation:

>Taken together with what's apparently happening on Mars where > there are no humans "The Changing South Polar Cap of Mars: 1999-2005"
> > ought natural forces be included in considerations of factors causing > climate change?

The polar ice caps on Mars, like the polar ice caps here on Earth, shrink and grow with the seasons (keeping in mind that the Martian year is a little more than twice as long as the Earth year.)

On Earth, however, it has been shown conclusively that in recent years, growth has not kept up with shrinkage - resulting in an overall loss, even after considering seasonal changes.  This has not been the case on Mars.

And in response to John Feldsted:
> Canada accounts for 2.23% of world-wide carbon emissions; 2.8% of carbon emissions by the top twenty world emitters. The top five  ...snip...
>... twenty. Anyone who dreams that full Kyoto compliance by Canada will significantly affect global warming is dreaming.  

I take it that you also refuse to vote, then?

Like voting, it's a matter of doing our part.

Even the big emitters won't solve the problem alone, nor are they likely to be willing if we do not do our part.

> The scare tactics employed by some environmentalists and politicians are a disservice to our society.

And what of the scare tactics by the deniers?  The case against taking action is almost entirely based on scare tactics.

>  We need a careful, measured approach to the global warming issue.

Yes, like the plan advocated by the Suzuki Foundation.  By driving innovation and promoting the purchase of new technology, the plan proposed by the Suzuki Foundation would have an overall net benefit on the economy.

Yet, in the National Post, we continually hear the claim that "Suzukiism" (as Terence Corcoran calls it,) constitutes a "war on prosperity."

And the deniers have the gall to claim that it's the environmentalists who are resorting to scare tactics.

Mark Hendriks

John Feldsted

Subject: Dion crafting strategy for Afghanistan

Understand that I am a bit touchy on this topic but I never, ever want to see the Canadian military under command of the United Nations again. The United Nations has never operated a successful peacekeeping mission in its entire history and has badly botched some attempts.

Canadian forces peacekeeping successes have all been under NATO command. It is bad enough that NATO is showing signs of breaking up as European members are failing to meet their commitments to peer member nations. This is a very bad time to be considering widening our overseas commitments; most allied nations are doing the opposite.

NATO has no interest in the Darfur, Somalia or in several other international ‘hot spots’. The UN botched its Somalia operations and has fiddled aimlessly for years on Darfur. The UN bailed out of Iraq and was caught red-handed supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Dion needs to be publicly spanked with facts that refute his wanting to play in far off ‘hot spots’ without the resources or support to be ensure we are effective. The Anglosphere (Australia, Canada, the UK and US) is increasingly isolated and we need to take great care in what we commit to and who we have chosen as allies when the shooting starts.

John Feldsted

Phyllis Wagg

The issue of Wajid Khan’s crossing the floor to the Conservatives raises even more questions than I at first considered.  According to Tony Clement, Khan supported his bid for the Ontario PC leadership in 2002 (Allan Woods, “Wavering Liberal joins PM,” Toronto Star, 06/01/2007) .

This suggests that there may have been some rather questionable political manipulation going on in this riding to get a Conservative elected as a Liberal in a constituency where someone running as a Conservative might have had little chance.  Supporters of the Reform and Canadian Alliance  Parties had publicly encouraged supporters to take out dual memberships in the PC Party to take control of riding associations before the merger.  Could they have done the same thing in Liberal ridings?
 A long-time friend of Khan’s Khalid Sagheer, who just happens to be president of Khan’s Liberal riding association, said that he and most colleagues support Khan’s move as an opportunity to better serve “his country.”  No one seems to have questioned him as to “what country” he meant.  Could it have been Pakistan since he holds dual citizenship?  Since Khan has become an advisor on Middle East issues he has been secretly promoting certain interests with the government. 
The way both parties and MPs see their roles are becoming far more questionable than ever over the past few months.
David Emerson quite clearly saw his role as serving the interests of his company over the interests of his constituency.  He was parachuted into a safe Liberal riding where he was elected on a Liberal platform but since he saw that the interests of his company could be best served by crossing the floor when the Conservatives came to power he did just that.  He now intends to retire from politics, knowing he is no longer an acceptable representative, but only after having achieved his objective as the representative of special interests.
Michel Fortier, Marjorie LeBreton, and Stephen Harper see no need for cabinet ministers to be elected by democratic means.  The commitment to an elected Senate comes across as mere hypocrisy given the “actions” of the individuals involved.
The expulsion of Garth Turner from the Conservative Party, a back bench MP, for promoting issues on which he campaigned also illustrates disdain for democracy.  The fact that all caucus members must be puppets of the leader promotes autocracy not democracy.  It appears that Turner was booted from  caucus, not because he leaked what was being debated, but because he leaked the lack of caucus debate.
Scott Brison and Belinda Stronach both were representatives of corporate Canada and both revealed their opportunism by crossing the floor for short term increased power.  In these two cases their constituents supported them with increased majorities because they were able to convince voters that they had acted on “principle.”  It is interesting to note that those who crossed the floor without being granted increased power usually failed to get the nomination or were defeated in the next election. 
Party machines seem willing to use any means to manipulate the electoral process and the two parties that have governed Canada its creation have shown their disdain for the intent of our electoral system over and over and over again and we do nothing about it.  When will we wake up and start paying attention to what is happening?
As the electorate has become more and more irrelevant within the electoral process the last remnants of our liberal democracy, designed to prevent the power of the economic elite from destroying our lives, are disappearing and we are allowing it to happen.

Robert Ede

Subject: climate chg

" The Great Peace of the Canadian Confederation"
11) The Four 'Silos' of Climate Change
The Environment is not ONE thing or issue, it is everything - where else can you live, work, breathe ... be?

Consider the Earth as a human body - while functioning as a physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social entity, it produces solid, liquid and gaseous by-products. Some are truly waste and poisonous, some re-cycle-able, some are naturally useful to other beings and some others make that body an uncomfortable presence for others nearby.

To consider Climate Change as a political issue or develop policy to create/recover the best possible environment for Canada, I believe the topic of "Climate Change" must be divided into 4 separate "silos" of information and then an overarching policy devised.

Silo 'A' - Pollution - noxious waste, creation of which to be minimized; waste disposal to be lasting & comprehensive

Silo 'B' - Greenhouse Effect - The currently accepted theory of accumulated earth-generated gases creating a heat-trapping 'roof' in the atmosphere. The trapped heat is interfering with the natural heat dissipation cycle of the earth affecting the temperature, weather and climate.

Silo 'C' - The Kyoto Protocol - An international treaty of co-operation to lessen the creation of greenhouse gases and to create a system of emission-credit trading enabling over-producers to buy credits from under-producers. It is NOT about pollution.
Some of the world's most developed nations have not signed, some of the world's greatest greenhouse-gas (and pollution) producing countries are exempted from signing and all of the countries not deemed "developed" are not included in the agreement.
It is a "good start" in establishing international co-operation and in establishing trans-world, multi-national responsibility for creating a cleaner environment.

Silo 'D' - Global Warming - A currently observed condition of higher temperature readings in the oceans, at many points on land and at the Poles than when temperature records began (and much farther back using sophisticated ice, soil & tree coring technologies). Not always mentioned is the fact that many places on land are much differently used and more densely populated than when the base temperatures were taken.

Currently a great number of respected scientists and scholars assert that the rise in temperatures is due to the Greenhouse Effect. They recommend that the nations of the world move as quickly as possible to reduce/eliminate the creation of human-made greenhouse gases and therefore support the Kyoto Protocol since that is its stated objective.

Another smaller number of scientists assert that the primary cause of the temperature increase is the sun and very few have offered solutions to counter-act or modify the operation of 'old Sol'.

"Global Dimming" is another phenomenon that some scientists have noted. This dimming (the diminution of the penetration of the sun's rays and heating power) is created by accumulation of dust, dirt, chemicals etc (pollution) in the atmosphere.

It seems the pollution is lessening the warming effect of the sun. Our efforts to reduce pollution will reverse this dimming and allow more heat to penetrate to earth. ….. it's quite a conundrum.

Unfortunately, having some of the heavy-generators of greenhouse gases buy credits from un-developed countries (while the credit-buying countries continue to operate as before AND while many important greenhouse gas-producing nations are exempt or are not participating) isn't really doing much of anything - particularly if the 'Sun' theory is verified.

The inter-related and conflicting aspects of these "4 Silos" demonstrates the difficulty in formulating a national policy (with negative repercussions to some regions) and illustrates the near-impossibility of creating a world-wide agreement, with inherently greater resistances - hence the reason for even the harshest opponent of Kyoto to acknowledge it as a 'good start' towards co-operation and to congratulate its organizers on a momentous achievement of co-ordination.