Thursday, February 01, 2007

Daily Digest February 1, 2007

Joe Hueglin wrote:


ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - MHAs paid under the table

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - A suitable penalty for the minister print this article
The point must be made that conflict of interest legislation is to be taken seriously

HALIFAX NEWS - Racial landmines need defusing

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Let the pork industry fix its own mess

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Agency isn't doing its job

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Commissioner's job is redundant

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Bordering on failure

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Audit, don't advocate

OTTAWA SUN - Unfair to immigrants

TORONTO STAR - Environmental audits

NATIONAL POST - No phone zone

NATIONAL POST - Separatism isn't dead

TORONTO SUN - Stephen, just tell the truth

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Court TV needs utmost caution

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Harper's Al Gore impersonation
U.S. writer says Canada's politicians are blowing hot air on environment

K-W RECORD - Answers needed on Gelinas dismissal

WINDSOR STAR - Immigrants: Employ their resources

WINNIPEG SUN - Mr. Harper, just tell the truth

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Swing axe slowly on income-splitting

EDMONTON SUN - Beating up banks

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Taxes should be simpler, not more complex

Prince George Citizen - Tories going on offense during Super Bowl

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - It's time to end this colossal waste of human potential


Tories plan expanded military presence in major cities

Gov't inks $3.4B deal to buy Boeing jets : CTV

Manitoba reservists will get to reserve their jobs

Navy man sinks plan for ships

`Accelerate' aid, Afghan envoy says
A year after world pledged $10.5 billion, Canada sees progress and dangers ahead

The talibans furbish their weapons

American aerospace conference bars Canadians, engineer says
Told clearance not up to standards. Veteran consultant has presented papers at meeting for the past three years

McGuinty, 3 other premiers to press U.S. on passport law

The 10-year world boom

Tight barley market may boost beer prices

Government releases Island land from forest regulations
Western Forest Products agrees not to export logs for 3 years

B.C. frees up huge tract of land for debt-ridden forest company
Environment groups accuse province of bailing out Western Forest Products

Canada fails to measure up
Provinces and Ottawa have not provided data essential to knowing whether care is getting better, safer and more timely

MRI clinic's offer to lawyers
scan now, pay later: Complainants in injury lawsuits wouldn't be billed until case is settled

It's time to end the limit on patients
A diminishing number of doctors trying to handle an increasing patient load should not be penalized for working hard

Trade deal by B.C., Alberta may grow
Border will fall

Good news from Quebec

Rift grows between PM and mandarins

$30M seals NDP, Tories pact

Dion pushes Kyoto agenda

Simple remedy in Gélinas case

Fraser defends firing
Says environment watchdog overstepped authority

Harper ministers an idle lot

Grits put immigrants in poorhouse, minister says

Harper puts green machine in motion

Baird sent to Paris for climate change conference

Duplicitous or duped?
Dion champions what would be an economic disaster

Don't trust Flaherty's claims

Kingsley says sudden resignation not political

Flaherty is determined to keep his promise broken

Changes in income trust rules should have come sooner, Dodge says

MP pushes local case on aerospace
Casey corners PM, minister on Atlantic interest in Boeing work

Green Party chief turns heat up on government

Limbaugh loves Harper's Kyoto letter

Harper: Kyoto critic or "climate change denier"

No green in Baird's blue Tory householder that lists 'Getting Things Done'

Joe Clark: Harper too obliging with the United States

Fight against gases for purpose of greenhouse - Baird opens the door with a financing of the Québécois plan

Lawyer says federal Conservatives broke many rules to acclaim Calgary MP

Agriculture's Strahl delays barley plebiscite to simplify eligibility process

Day's office backs fed court decision to deport KGB man

Volte-face of Ottawa in prospect

Future of Television Fund will be subject of parliamentary hearings

Panel: Global warming 'very likely' caused by humans

Ask the right questions

A cork on climate change
Carbon taxes could stem the flow of dangerous emissions

Don't blame me for all the heat

Innovation fund would generate big cash

The world needs Canada
Europe has proven that Kyoto commitments can be met at a reasonable cost, but it can't fight climate change alone

Climate study - can it save us?
Report one of most edited

Legislation can go too far

Green commish knew her turf

Rich payout makes no sense

Electoral extortion: We're all Montrealers now --people willing to extort money out of Ottawa in exchange for our votes

The lessons learned will be Maher Arar's legacy

What our paycheques are telling us

Change citizenship law to stop the shameful abuse of proud Canadians

Hysteria over minorities claims a town
Herouxville's fear of strangers all the weirder because none live there

Religious beliefs can't be used to deny same-sex marriage: government lawyer


Charest aura des entretiens avec Chirac et Sarkozy

Joe Clark: Harper trop complaisant avec les États-Unis

Le régime des fiducies était inapproprié pour les entreprises, selon Dodge

Dion présente une motion pressant le gouvernement de respecter Kyoto

Le PLC n'a pas l'intention de faire tomber le gouvernement sur l'Afghanistan

Les talibans fourbissent leurs armes

Congédiement de la commissaire à l'environnement - Sheila Fraser laisse planer le mystère

Harper dit croire aux changements climatiques

Lutte contre les gaz à effet de serre - Baird ouvre la porte à un financement du plan québécois

Volte-face d'Ottawa en perspective

Let's make helmets mandatory for everyone



        ALL IS CONFUSION is what the German heading translates to.  I'd thought to write something about climate change, then about the latest in the CWB
        and then while going through the French language papers translated the article about the Prime Minister of the nation of Quebec being invited to Paris
        ( It hasn't been mentioned in the English language press at time of writing).

        In that I can't comment on them all - and there's confusion in my mind as to which ought to take precedence so - NO COMMENT .


(1) Ask the right questions

(2) Agriculture's Strahl delays barley plebiscite to simplify eligibility process

(3) Charest will have discussions with Chirac and Sarkozy

Michel Dolbec
Canadian press

Come to attend an international conference on the environment, the Prime Minister Jean Charest will have talks Friday morning with president Chirac and one of the two principal candidates to the presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr. Charest arrived to Paris Thursday to take share, with the invitation of Jacques Chirac, the “conference of Paris for a world ecological governorship”.

One week after the visit of Andre Boisclair, Mr. Charest will thus post himself in the Elysium at the sides of the Head of the State, that the leader pequist did not meet. A little earlier, it will have had the breakfast, with the seat of the ministry for the Interior, a few tens of meters of the presidential palate, with a possible successor of Mr. Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy. Two former Prime Ministers and friends of Quebec, Alain Juppe and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, will join them.


Rosalie Piccioni

Joe,    I like this article - VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Racial paranoia the worst way to cope with ethnic diversity

    After making an attempt at learning Chinese (Mandarin), I have found that a door has opened, hitherto kind of closed.  If Chinese is hard to learn, so is English, I replied to one Chinese woman.  I've learned that when we make an attempt to learn theirs, other ethnic groups (at least, the Chinese in this instance) make a relaxed and greater effort not only to learn our language but also develop a desire to learn our social ways.  And we can't learn something of their language without learning their social ways also.
    In reply to   Barry Blackman, CD
                       Tumbler Ridge, BC
                        Peace Region 
Re:  CALGARY HERALD - Stay out of church's beliefs;
    I detect some pathos in what Mr. Blackman says.  There's a book that I am about to read titled "Healing Spiritual Abuse" by Ken Blue.  There is abuse in every area of life;  the effects are the same on the person.  I'm sorry Mr. Blackman feels the way he does, but I respect his opinion. 
    I still maintain, however,  that no one has the right to deny a child of a Christian background the right to that life.  As outlined in the article referred to, the parent(s) has/have the first say.
    Although I didn't write "religious principles of all religions are the primary basis of ethical behaviour,"  I am in agreement.

Peggy Merritt Scar. SW

Hi Joe: The people complaining about the Conservative ads could not
have watched the media coverage of the Liberal leadership convention
where Mr Dion sported green scarves and bragged about his
environmental record. I waited in vain to hear any pundit challenge
his claim. The only way the Conservative can set the record straight
is to let the voting public hear some home truths about the liberal
record.  The Liberals are still the arrogant,status quo party who
can't understand why they are not the governing party in Canada. 
Peggy Merritt Scar. SW

Rob Shanahan

Subject: Joe, WE should ponder this!

Now, who Minds Cheque-cutting Canadian Pipers?

We law-fearing Pipers have paid not once, not twice, but….

Taxpayers picked up the DEAR tune for Mr. Arar.   However, even before our (?) RCMP's current, scandalous debacle, we paid through our held (!) noses for their public duty. ...

     ...For every RCMP paperclip, weapon and widget.  ...For every officer's serge outfit.  We sacrifice arm and leg for all our RCMP's whopping, high-powered, high-tech neat fleet of all-terrain vehicles.  Yassir, we bend over backwards for our Forces!  So what honor does our RCMP return us face-pied Pipers? 

    When taxpayers' special, premium-staked, sponsored RCMP cowboys chose to trot off half cock-eyed, OUR servants knowingly, with unconscionable (!) malice aforethought, betrayed us Masters.  --Their salary-bankrollers.  Lo, after our RCMP's Arar shakedown on our wallets, when do we, their guinea pig Pipers, claim our criminals' justice? ...Who reimburses Canadians? …Redeems us our $12-million ransom -- RCMP's mulct -- as befits our rogues' horrific contempt? 

    RCMP PRISON! …Wise guys, just who takes the FALL?  What fugitive outlaws will serve h-a-r-d (!), real l-o-n-g (!) bar time?  What once went great guns for Canada's wild goose heads, now flies for their penalty.  Let’s salvage SOME shred of dignity. --Confiscate, appropriate all assets.  Dishonorably discharge this criminal ring-cell.  Level felony counts for cruel breach of taxpayers', their Pipers’ trust. 

    G.I. (Wya) Bush-league Harper: Redress Canada’s awfully turdy, unfinished business, won’t ya?

Robert Shanahan
Hamilton, On

Hi, Joe.
For an explanation of what my being "His Satanic Majesty", read my second-to-last comment below.
Espee, Satanic Prince
Tories miffed at Dion joke about Prime Minister Harper being overweight

Easy enough to handle. Make a crack about Mr. Dion being a lightweight and SEE shut up.
Ads show Tories fear Dion

Hhhhmmmm .. and lack of take-charge behaviour would mean that they'd be neglecting him .. What to do, what to think? Seems to me that the idea is to "manage" Mr. Dion by making it difficult for him to establish his image as he pleases. Sort of like holding his head under water ...
Bad news for the Bloc
Polls show the Liberals and Conservatives are gaining in Quebec at the expense of the

Ce n'est pas trop tot / It's about time!
Just how viable is nuclear power really?

Nuclear power plants have the disadvantage of  needing enormous investment up front, but they have the advantage of being very inexpensive to run once set up. In an environment where "base" power generation is needed (that is, where a given plant would be called to run at close to maximum power all the time (except when it would be down for maintenance), nuclear power is economically attractive. In cases where its "peaking" power's needed (that is, power that can be ramped up and down to follow rising and falling demand during the day), nuclea power is a no-no. Gas turbines (for example) are appropriate for peaking power since they can be turned on and off quickly and they can be ramped up and down easily (injecting more or less gas makes them generate more or less power). Gas turbines are the opposite of nuclear plants: they're cheap to build but expensive to operate (because of gas prices), so that they're economically viable even if they're turned off most of a given day.
On the fuel-supply side, some have been making a fuss about the long-term viability of nuclear power by asking about what happens when uranium supplies run out. There are two answers to this: uranium supplies aren't about to run out anytime soon; and elements other than uranium could fuel nuclear plants. In the latter case, thorium, a relative of uranium, could be used. It's nuclear properties differ from those of uranium so uranium reactors couldn't be used to "burn" thorium. But even though research would be needed to design thorium-based reactors, those reactors may someday become a reality. Plus, there's an important factor that makes thorium potentially attractive as a nuclear fuel: it's usually found mixed with uranium, generally in a three-to-one ratio ... so mining uranium amounts to mining three times as much thorium by weight.
That being said, nuclear plants have a problem compared to combustion-based or hydro plants. No insurer will ever want to underwrite potential liabilities (e.g. $$$ compensation for leaks, accidents, etc.) so governments take on the burden by taking upon itself payment of compensation, cleanup charges, etc., should anything go wroong. The counterpart to this is tight regulation aimed at ensuring that risks are pushed down as close as conceivable to zero. But risk abatement comes at a price, which is sometimes so steep that said risk just has to be accepted: for example, Atomic Energy Canada's customers for the Wolsong reactors in Korea at first insisted on there being a tornado-warning system that would alert operators of an approaching tornado. However, the price for the 50 sensing stations would have been exorbitant so the system was eventually shelved. And even THEN things that no one ever thought of could go wrong ... for example, an old design of AECL's CANDU reactor (located I don't know where) has a built-in flaw that hadn't been thought of at first. Every reactor has a main control room and an off-site auxiliary one. If the main one is knocked out for whatever reason, the operators can move to the auxiliary one and run the plant remotely. The catch is that in one of the old designs, there's this big steam pipe just outside the main control room ... if the pipe were to burst while the plant would be running, the area outside the control room would be impassible and the operators would be trapped in the room. Ooooops ... they thought of that only after one or more plants had been built. Solution: keep an eye on that pipe, and do so frequently. And change the design for future plants. And hope that nothing ever happens despite all those measures.

Stratos did not agree that  "The chief shame is that attack ads, whatever the political source and target, tend to lower public regard for all politicians. "
writing "
Let the truth peal from every steeple ..."

Frances Russell's column to-day begins with these sentences :

        'WE'LL spend as much as it takes to drive our message home," Calgary Conservative MP Jason Kenney told reporters at the launch of his party's   attack ads on Liberal Leader Stphane Dion's environmental record.

For ads like these, timing, dosing, and context are everything. The timing's good: this is coming out far enough ahead of an election for people to retain the desired impression (that is, that even Liberals think Mr. Dion is a dweeb) without remembering how that impression was reinforced or first arose. So don't expect these ads to be on for very much longer. As for dosing, since the idea is to inspire a feeling of vague unease as opposed to strong revulsion (which could redound against the Tories themselves), I'd expect that these ads will be played at a low-key frequency and for a relatively short period (which may already have elapsed). As for context: showing Liberal "luminaries" slagging their actual Leader, and presenting that in an in-context, unvarnished manner, is dead on.
All that to say that if they're not overdone, the ads are effective and appropriate. Choosing the right timing, dosing, and context turns what could have been crass into something less offensive (I'll stop short of saying more appealing). Compare the tone and content of the ads with the Liberals' "they'll send in the Army, destroy your public health system, never set up a nationwide system for medical drug coverage (remember that from 1997?), sell you out to Americans, etc.". There's nothing wrong with well-wrought negative ads presented at a proper time and in a proper way. But overdoing them is indeed shameful.
As for Mr. Kenney: I usually write off this kind of bombast as being ... uh, bombast. Everyone's got his personal style.

The image   


John Halonen

I am including your well informed view in an upcoming column

It has one major flaw however, and that is within your last statement.
With all the time and effort going into this worthy project, it's unbelievable that someone hasn't figured out the importance of hiring a PR agency and scheduling some media briefings to inform the public and combat the conspiracy theorists.
Also, there is an inherent right that  all Canadian citizens  be allowed to voice their opinions, not just 10 prominent business leaders from each country. 
John Halonen
401 Wentworth St. W., Unit 54
Oshawa, Ontario
Agreed. One of the primary roles for a political group is to identify issues, frame the public debate, and resolve problems that arise from the issue. Mind you, resolving problems often involves letting people blow off steam and then leaving well-enough alone. But undertaking major initiatives without justifying them and seeking the necessary political support leads to nothing but trouble. And that's true no matter HOW worthy the cause.
Of course, conspiracy theorists (in the negative connotative sense) remain conspiracy theorists. But their existence is sometimes a symptom of important issues not being discussed. On the other hand, those who believe that an alien lab in Nevada is breeding an army of Elvis clones really ARE dingbats. Heaven grant us the wisdom to discern ...

Subject: Re: Daily Digest January 29, 2007
   Canada has publicly and proudly diminished its national sovereignty as a founding member of the United Nations, NATO and Kyoto Protocol.
Whatever the merits of a given case, I'm always amazed that the "We shouldn't ever decide anything because doing so would affect future decisions" argument keeps popping up. "Diminish(ed) our national sovereignty", indeed ... now some things can't be decided (sovereignly!) because they'd have an effect on future (sovereign) decisions? Ahem ...

Caspar Davis/Roger buxton

Subject: TILMA the not-so-thin end of the US wedge

Here's a practical example of the bad effects of conspiracy theorizing. Two years ago, I founded my company ... which is named SPP Consultants. I'm the "SP" (Stratos Psarianos) and I'm sure that if I am to have a public profile, someone somewhere will be wondering whether I'm not in league with crypto-continentalist sellout-devils. For all I know, some theorists would wonder whether or not "SP" really means "Satanic Prince" or something like that. On the positive side, if all publicity is good publicity ... mo' money for me?!?
Don Keir
Hi Joe:
But now if you really insist that everything is what it appears to be, then do I have a deal for you. Now I have the inside track on a large resort property on the south shore of James Bay. It?s a steal at $150.000. Unfortunately the owner is very eccentric, and will only allow me to show it at high noon on a sunny day during the last week of July, at high tide. Whadya say huh ?

Yow, global warming's really changing things, ain't it! I guess that now-dried-up Florida swampland doesn't have the attraction any more.