Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Daily Digest February 6, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Whining and dining
MHAs: think your spending was justified? Show us your receipts

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Harvesting the opinions of our farmers print this article
With their dwindling numbers, farmers have to work harder to make their voices heard.

HALIFAX HERALD - Damage control

MONTREAL GAZETTE - There should be no rush to fixed-date elections

OTTAWA SUN - Bilingual bureaucracy

TORONTO STAR - Strong cities drive national economy

NATIONAL POST - In praise of user fees

NATIONAL POST - Looking back at a year in power

FINANCIAL POST - Inside the science

K-W RECORD - Stop fighting, start acting

WINDSOR STAR - Border travel: Finally, some common sense

WINDSOR STAR - The slippery slope

SUDBURY STAR - Iran's nuclear ambitions; French president speaks the truth - and is forced to retract his comments      
http://www.thesudburystar.com/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=391904&catname=Editorial&classif =

WINNIPEG SUN - A matter of trust

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Remember quiet heroes

CALGARY HERALD - Resource control a non-starter
Dion must assure Alberta MPs ideas aren't part of Grit plan

One year in, what has been accomplished?

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Accountability questions

VANCOUVER SUN - We cannot afford to be complacent about earthquakes 


Cash not solution to natives' plight: Prentice

Military probes abuse allegations in Afghanistan
Gen. Rick Hillier says all prisoners handled humanely

O'Connor dismisses parallels between Afghan abuse claims and Somalia scandal

Government ‘will not interfere' in Afghan investigation

Without big planes, Canada at mercy of Russians: minister

Afghan legislators cry foul over law that may excuse past war criminals 

Cod struggling off Newfoundland's south coast: report

PM irked as diplomats miss activist's hearing
Government says Canadian diplomats in Beijing and consular officials in Ottawa fumbled the ball

Minister stands firm on move to give police a say in naming judges 

Working out immigration

Charest hoping Ottawa will boost campaign


Garthy Turner Tuesday 5:00 pm ET - SPECIAL WEBCAST

* 315 reader comments | Join the conversation

'Lifelong' Tory, self-described 'pain', Garth Turner jumps to Liberals




Liberals eye federal election campaign after budget, readying the troops: Kennedy

Disastrous prospect
The nation will spin into chaos if Dion becomes PM

Grits stalling Senate reform:

PM stymies ethics bill
'Starting to stink,' Opposition says

Mystery deepens over Khan's Middle East report

Harper must beware garbage in, garbage out

Liberals a little late to Kyoto party

Harper paints his opponents as fairweather friends of Israel

Harper promises tax cuts, greenhouse gas rules

Harper Says Balancing Environment, Jobs `Fundamental' (Update2)
Bloomberg - 3 hours ago
By Theophilos Argitis. Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, trailing in opinion polls ahead of a possible election, ...

Canada's next budget to legislate debt paydown
Reuters Canada, Canada - 4 hours ago
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's next budget will include legislation that will force future governments to pay down a minimum of federal debt and use the ...

Flaherty comfortable with economy, budget
Reuters Canada, Canada - 6 hours ago
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's economy and federal budget are unfolding according to expectations, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Tuesday. ...

Harper promises elected Senate, tax-cut guarantees in major speech
Canada.com, Canada - 7 hours ago
OTTAWA (CP) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has delivered a kind of mini-speech from the throne, boasting about his government's accomplishments over its ...

Harper offers sneak peek of budget, pre-election platform in major ...
CJOB, Canada - 45 minutes ago
OTTAWA (CP) - Financial breaks on fuel-efficient cars and cuts to personal taxes were two goodies Prime Minister Stephen Harper outlined in a major policy ...

Tax cuts, Senate reform among PM's priorities
CBC - The Hour, Canada - 2 hours ago
In what was billed as a mini-speech from the throne, Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled his key priorities Tuesday, promising tax cuts, a remedy to the ...

Harper promises elected Senate, tax cuts
Winnipeg Free Press, Canada - 3 hours ago
OTTAWA (CP) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered a sneak peek both at his government's budget and its next campaign platform, promising a range of ...

Harper promises tax-cut guarantee
Montreal Gazette, Canada - 4 hours ago
OTTAWA ­ Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday his government will introduce a law that guarantees any interest savings from paying down the debt will ...

Prime Minister Harper outlines agenda for a stronger, safer ...
Conservative Party of Canada (press release), Canada - 6 hours ago
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has outlined the government’s agenda for the coming year and pledged to continue to build a stronger, safer, ...

PM promotes 'tax back
Toronto Star, Canada - 6 hours ago
OTTAWA - The federal government intends to legislate what it is calling a "tax back" guarantee that would provide tax breaks based on interest savings from ...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to ignore a motion adopted ...
National Post, Canada - 13 hours ago
As the first anniversary of his government approached, Prime Minister Stephen Harper sat down in his Centre Block office for a conversation with Policy ...

Harper Expresses Support for Israel
580 CFRA Radio, Canada - 22 minutes ago
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he will stand by Israel even if it costs him politically. Harper made the comments in a speech to the Canadian Council ...

Flaherty hears their pleas
InvestmentNews, NY - Feb 5, 2007
By David Clarke. OTTAWA ­ A long-standing plea from Canadian financial firms was heard by Jim Flaherty, the federal minister of finance, as he unveiled ...

Harper, Layton set to collide
Ottawa Citizen (subscription), Canada - Feb 5, 2007
An irresistible force (NDP leader Jack Layton) is about to collide with an immovable object (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) and the result could be an early ...

Leader says he will attempt to evade snap federal election
Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC - Feb 4, 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his Conservative government will do its best to avoid plunging the country into a snap federal election. ...

Opposition passes pro-Kyoto motion

Government documents suggest Tories not nervous about ISPs interfering with Net

Tory accountability law can't solve all problems, says ethics chief

Ottawa commits $270 million over five years to Marine Atlantic

Plans to try repeat young offenders as adults on backburner

CRTC must conform or quit, says vice-chair
Telecoms: However . . .: Tory intervention is without precedent, french adds

Auditor general gets tough on leaks
Bureaucrats to see reports early only with secrecy vow

Kyoto penalizes those trying to do good

So much for media reports of our 'mild' winter being a sign of global warming

Green regime stuck in the Trudeau years 

Inside the science

The data's limits

Let's get real on climate

Canada's forecast Warm, dry and chaotic
Some regions may benefit, but the real effect of climate change will be global instability. Canada, with mild weather and plentiful water, could be a target

Climate change : Where to begin?

Quebec makes a call, and we pick up tab

Why Stephane Dion is unfit to govern

Proposed Criminal Code reforms 'regressive,' speaker says

Welcome to the age of the amateur
With experience a downgraded commodity, poor leadership too often the result


# Harper présente ses rivaux comme des amis d'Israël lors des bons jours

# Le ministre O'Connor refuse de faire un lien avec les événements de Somalie

# Harper annonce ses priorités et jette les bases d'un éventuel programme

Le député Garth Turner passe des rangs conservateurs à ceux des libéraux

Les dépenses des conservateurs sont critiquées à la Chambre des communes

Charest devra se passer de l’appui de Dion

L'armée enquête sur de présumés cas de sévices en Afghanistan

O'Connor promet la transparence

Achat de C-17: il fallait faire vite, dit O'Connor

Garth Turner se joint aux libéraux


Real  Gagne

Subject: Your Proposal


This is in response to your call for comment regarding the climate change debate now raging in this country.  Sorry for being a day late in replying but I did want to at least read the material you posted before commenting.  And sorry for the length: edit as you see fit.

First, I want to deal with the issue of global warming itself.  I can attest right off the bat that I do indeed believe that the climate may well be warming.  This old earth has witnessed any number of vast climate change over the many eons of its existence and it would be passing strange if this were not happening at the moment.  Indeed, the current warming may be no more than the natural end of the mini ice age which began around 1500 AD and reached its zenith some three hundred years later.  In that case, the climate warming we are witnessing may be the manifestation of totally natural cycle which would occur even were there no humans around to sully the atmosphere.

Has this natural phenomenon been exacerbated, in part at least, by human action.  I am prepared to acknowledge that this may well be the case.

On the other hand, I am not convinced that the material prepared by UN bureaucrats that you posted is entirely objective science.  I recall that some time ago one of the scientific authors of the previous UN climate report (issued in 2000, I believe) complained publicly that the caveats the scientific community had included in their own reports were removed or watered down by those same UN bureaucrats, resulting in an apocalyptic tone to the formal report never intended by the scientists who created the knowledge in the first place.  Have these same bureaucrats pulled the same stunt in the case of the report you posted? 

I don't know for certain, but I'm not about to accept their interpretation with some credible corroborating evidence.

This brings me to Kyoto.  As I understand it, that agreement calls for certain reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from nations in the developed world but leaves huge polluters like China, India, and Russia off scot-free.  Moreover, Kyoto also provides that firms in the developed world can by so-called pollution credits from the Chinese, the Indians, the Russians, and others not in the developed world which in effect allows them to continue polluting our atmosphere.  How this is supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is beyond rational calculation and it never cease to amaze me to see that otherwise intelligent appearing people promote this kind of incoherent policy direction.  In my view the current hysteria over the environment in this country is not about sound science but is rather ideologically driven, with a large dollop of help from a media with apparently nothing better to do.

On the other hand, some of the postings on todays Digest suggest that there are indeed sensible, cost effective, practical things that we can all do to decrease our dependence on the fossil fuels which generate a portion of the greenhouse gases found in the atmosphere.  In my view, concentrating our efforts on this kind of approach would do a great deal more to counter global warming (for the sake of argument here, I am assuming here that human activity is indeed the primary culprit in this instance) than all of the current ideologically driven cant and vituperative finger pointing will ever accomplish.

I am extremely skeptical about the viability of the proposals by Kyoto supporters that moving to implement the agreement's targets would not only not cost Canadian anything but would rather create all sorts of other opportunities.  I cannot, for instance, see how meeting these targets would not involve not only shutting down the oil industry in this country but also demand that a good part of the manufacturing industry in Ontario be closed down, as well as requiring taking most of the cars in the country off the roads.  That is simply not going to happen.  And should the Canadian government move to shut down the Alberta oil sands projects, as the Liberal environment critic suggested in a radio interview in Winnipeg in pursuit of the Kyoto holy grail, I can guarantee that this would have unpredictable repercussions for this country.

So, to answer what seems to me to be implicit in your call for responses, namely, to quote Vladimir Lenin, "What is to be done?"

My suggestion is that everyone involved take a deep breath, count to ten, and tone down the vituperative rhetoric and give the true scientists and engineers the time to develop the technologies that will enable humanity to deal with what may well be a significant climate change during the next century or two.  Sadly, given that Dion and the Liberals, as well as the NDP. the BLOC, and the media have made this a political issue, the vitriolic rhetoric that we have witnessed over the past month will only very likely intensify.  Consequently, I worry for my country.


Richard Neumann

Subject: Environment Catch Up

Exciting news regarding Aase.  I'm certain that a short progress report would be appreciated by your readers, including the "silent watchers" of which, I regret to say, I've found myself identifying with of late.
On the topic at hand, I find all of the discourse enlightening and extremely useful as I continue to formulate my own opinions on the matter.  At present, I do not count myself as a "denier", but rather a cautious skeptic.  I believe that there now exists sufficient evidence to state that the relative risk of not responding to the probable human component of climate change is too high, regardless of whether or not science reaches a more substantive consensus in the near term.  The scientific work in understanding more about our environment must continue as a priority, but while we learn more we should be taking action as well, particularly in those ways that enhance, rather than detract from our long-term economic competitiveness and productivity.  Having said this, the way to meet targets is not through economic contraction, and recession.  Any plan that does not include increases in overall energy consumption and a growing economy is absolutely doomed from the start. 
Keep the information coming.  Send the same email out three or four times if you will.  For those of us who are politically active, this discourse will come in very handy in the near term.
Richard Neumann
Thunder Bay

John Feldsted


Hello Joe:
I think that you are embarked on a useful exercise; we need to examine realistic proposals for dealing with our environment and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are only part of the problems we face. Certainly global warming and climate change are worthy of consideration and action, but we find ourselves dealing with information that is 1) managed; 2) insufficient; and 3) used primarily to support a conclusion or position already taken.
I found the article following by Dow Jones expresses the situation we face succinctly:
Climate of Opinion
The latest U.N. report shows the "warming" debate is far from settled.

Monday, February 5, 2007 12:01 a.m.

Last week's headlines about the United Nations' latest report on global warming were typically breathless, predicting doom and human damnation like the most fervent religious evangelical. Yet the real news in the fourth assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may be how far it is back pedaling on some key issues. Beware claims that the science of global warming is settled.    
.                .                 .
While everyone concedes that the Earth is about a degree Celsius warmer than it was a century ago, the debate continues over the cause and consequences. We don't deny that carbon emissions may play a role, but we don't believe that the case is sufficiently proven to justify a revolution in global energy use. The economic dislocations of such an abrupt policy change could be far more severe than warming itself, especially if it reduces the growth and innovation that would help the world cope with, say, rising sea levels. There are also other problems--AIDS, malaria and clean drinking water, for example--whose claims on scarce resources are at least as urgent as climate change.

The IPCC report should be understood as one more contribution to the warming debate, not some definitive last word that justifies radical policy change. It can be hard to keep one's head when everyone else is predicting the Apocalypse, but that's all the more reason to keep cool and focus on the actual science.
Copyright © 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
John Feldsted
Winnipeg, MB

Ian Berg

Subject: Re: Daily Digest February 5, 2007

I watched PBS's report on the Lehrer news program about Zbigniew
Brzezinski's presentation on Feb 1.  They played a clip that was a
couple of minutes long.  Indeed he suggested that a future terror
attack might be blamed by the USA on Iran as a pretext for war, but I
don't recall him hinting that the USA government would stage it.  It's
not fair to say the entire American and Canadian press ignored this
story when PBS covered it.

Ian Berg

John Halonen

Subject: "Integration negotiations require public scrutiny" by B Jaffe of  the Vancouver Sun

North American Union / North American Integration / SPP

Recently Barbara Jaffe of the Vancouver Sun published a column   "Conspiracy theorists given a free run at continental pact"  that had some negative comments on the efforts of Conspiracy theorists in regards to lack of Government exposure on recent integration efforts with the US.   http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/columnists/story.html?id=2663b9fb-35e8-444f-bf28-102ec7805284
Many Canadians asked for clarification and recommended that review of the Canadian Governments web-site was proof that the topic has been avoided by Federal Political parties and the Press itself.

Barabara Jaffe indicated that she would respond with an updated article
" I am including your well informed view in an upcoming column".

True to her word a further column was published by herself in the Vancouver Sun
       "Integration negotiations require public scrutiny"  

However access is not readily available for most Canadians as indicated by the this response 

You'd have to pay for our infoline service. Their e-mail is infoline@png.canwest.com 

Something to be very aware of: " The Vancouver Sun"

           does not belong to the "SUN" media chain in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto & Ottawa who
              have not covered this story.

John Halonen

Brian D. Marlatt

Subject: globeandmail.com: Speak up, Mr. Harper - Guantanamo is a disgrace

Speak up, Mr. Harper ­ Guantanamo is a disgrace

Special to Globe and Mail Update

Jacob Rempel

Subject: Alex Jones' latest documentary film: Terror Storm.

Alex Jones' latest documentary film: Terror Storm.
You can view it on the web at no charge here
or you can buy a copy of it here: http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/june2006/230606terrorstorm.htm  
Actually, I have a CD copy of the film.
What I think matters not at all, but like
thousands of others, I have seen TV moving
images of the events on 9/11.
I remember my own reaction, my astonishment
at seeing the third skyscraper(Building 7) collapse
like I have seen a number of demolitions on TV.
I have to doubt the official report, which avoids
all the citical evidence.
What most offends me most is that Canada's
government accepts the Bush regime's report,
accepts their explanation for aggression against
 nations ostensibly as a response to 9/11; and their
subsequent wholesale murder of millions of
innocent soldiers and civilians, and the
destruction of civil infrastructure which
sustains survivors of that aggressions.
I'll lend my CD copy of "Terror Storm"
to you if the link doesn't work for you.

Caspar Davis

Subject: Banff Secret Meetings

For your information

This seems to be the "smoking gun" on the full economic and energy integration of the US, Canada, and Mexico, including infrastructure and transportation.

These people are not a few nuts meeting in the closet; they are some of the most powerful people in North America. Some of the things they say seem to me to make sense, while I find others pretty offensive, but whether or not they make sense, matters of this importance should not be implemented in secret. They should be fully discussed and considered by all three societies.

The US, with its manufacturing base all but gone (except for the massive armaments industry), staggering debt and equally staggering balance of payments deficit, desperately needs the resources of its North American partners. It is less obvious what we have to gain from the declining superpower, which is engaged in a paranoid war with much of the rest of the world, costing it both its long-cherished principles (like habeas corpus and other human rights) and its good will in the rest of the world.

Emphasis added.

Thanks to Mel Hurtig:
For Immediate Release
Jan 29, 2007
Contact: Press Office 202-646-5188

Judicial Watch Releases Pentagon Records from
“North American Forum” Meetings

Defense Secretary, Senior Military and Staff Met with Mexican & Canadian Officials over “Continental Prosperity in the New Security Environment”

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released documents obtained November 2006 under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). The documents concern the participation of NORTHCOM Commander, Admiral Timothy Keating, NORTHCOM Political Advisor Deborah Bolton, and Plans, Policy & Strategy Director Major General Mark Volcheff in a meeting of the “North American Forum” at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada on September 12-14, 2006. A similar request for records concerning forum participation by then-Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his entourage is still pending with the Pentagon.

The records include: 1) Proposed comments for Admiral Keating’s speech to the North American Forum; 2) Presentation outlines with handwritten marginal notes and comments from Ms. Bolton; 3) Policy papers; 4) Biographic sketches of participants; and, 5) Notes from Major General Volcheff.

The North American Forum presentations discussed immigration and border enforcement; full economic and energy integration including infrastructure and transportation; a North American investment fund; and common customs and duties. The idea of a carbon tax was raised as a means to combat so-called global warming. References to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) occur throughout the documents.

The notes for the presentations document the need to overcome popular opposition to North American integration: “To what degree does a concept of North America help/hinder solving problems between the three countries?… While a vision is appealing working on the infrastructure might yield more benefit and bring more people on board (‘evolution by stealth’).”

“It is not encouraging to see the phrase ‘evolution by stealth’ in reference to important policy debates such as North American integration and cooperation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents provide more information to Americans concerned about the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The more transparency, the better.”

to read NORTHCOM Cover Letter http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2007/NORTHCOMCoverLtr.pdf

to read Forum Opening Remarks http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2007/ADMKeatingDocsBanff.pdf

to read Bolton Agenda and Notes http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2007/POLADBoltonNotesBanff.pdf

to read Volcheff Agenda and Notes http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2007/MGVolcheffNotesBanff.pdf

to read more about the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) http://www.judicialwatch.org/SPP.shtml

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