Monday, September 24, 2007

Daily Digest September 24, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Jeers: to turgid logic.

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Greenspammed by snail-a-gram

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Action must follow study on seniors

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Canadian brain power

        It's realism, not bravado

TORONTO STAR - Dion sets stage for vital debate

         Rewriting adoption law

NATIONAL POST - Duceppe's bluff

        A victory for privacy rights

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Dollar's power has a dark side

K-W RECORD - John Tory's dangerous idea

WINDSOR STAR - Refugee question elicits big response

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - The new old Dion

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Baird must be clear

        Left's disunity leaves Harper in catbird seat

CALGARY HERALD - A bitter pill to swallow
U.S. re-importing drugs pose valid concerns in Canada

CALGARY SUN - NATO has feet of clay


LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Alternative to cronyism

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - The business of war

VANCOUVER SUN - Politicians can no longer dodge private health insurance

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - B.C. judges should put more emphasis on victims' rights

        Canada must try to stay a neighbourly society

MACLEANS - Equality in education: funding faith-based schools
Choice is good, and more choice is better
all 47 news articles »


First Nation 'digs in heels' at blockade over cottage subdivision

MacKay sets deadline for mission extension

Canada signs on to fight poppy trade

Prez thinks terrorists in 'minority'

Canada should back Afghan president's Taliban peace bid: think tank

Foreign Troops Tougher Enemy
Local Afghans not as fierce as 'hard core' Chechens

The base that Bush built

New income-splitting rules warrant review of financial plan

Rich Canadians get richer; the rest stay where they are, study finds

Belgium: The end is not nigh

This Cold War lives up to its name

Harper wrong to roll out carpet for Dalai Lama
Prime Minister's official welcome of the Tibetan leader would damage our trade and relations with China

Myanmar officials threaten clerics

The importance of informed choices

Toronto bomb plot case to go directly to trial

We need to rethink jail time for young criminals
Our first priority should be protecting society

Block Child Pornography

Asylum seekers rush the border

Ottawa tries to stem tide of illegal migrants
'Nobody Automatically' In; Immigration officials go to Florida to send the message

Refugee claims disputed
Mexican consul says his nation is democratic and safe but asylum-seekers disagree

Oilpatch plans offensive against Alberta royalty report

Let's start figuring on our fair share

Supporting 'Our Fair Share:' Stelmach's opportunity to think like an owner

Ontario should end funding for religious schools, civil liberties group says

McGuinty dismisses PC plan to sell beer at corner stores

Ontario NDP says next government must play ball

School plan cops flak from Tory ranks

Tough ads would help Liberals

Tory is fast on his feet, but he has to dance around school issue
PC leader shone during TV debate but funding of education is the wild card

Why McGuinty is soft on crime

Environment trumps health care, Afghanistan as key issue: poll

Poll: Harper on wrong side in climate-change debate

Why we're in Afghanistan
Maxime Bernier, National Post

Tories say Harper's 'flexible federalism' working in Quebec

Election tempts federal Conservatives

Fall election buzz heats up following Quebec byelections
Conservatives got more votes than they expected, and can now recruit 'star' candidates

Dion fears result of bid to limit federal powers
Ottawa's ability to act on environment would be hurt, Liberal says

Liberal brand in trouble in Quebec, says Dion strategist

Harper stays out of the way
With little to gain, much to lose, PM keeps low profile

Threat of the week

Canada's crisis in Access to Information

Union concerned about number of border guards flunking firearms course

Greek leader threatens electoral backlash over Balkan name change

N.L. premier vows to pressure Harper to reinstate Court Challenges Program

Feds slammed over student tax-credit finding

Scouring countryside for carbon credits

Harper looks for less rigid climate change deal

PM calls for balanced approach to climate change

Harper seeks balanced approach to climate change at UN; critics want more

Climate-change 'restructuring' is global: survey

'Journalism is under siege across Canada,' journalists tell CRTC
CAJ and Canadian Media Guild say part of the reason for the decline in quality news comes from 'repurposed' content

Lower taxes = higher revenues

When politics and religion mix

His own worst enemy
Brian Mulroney has become a tragic figure.

No quick fixes to inner city problems

Water crisis being ignored
Federal action needed while there is still time

How Iraq won its 'freedom'


Le Canada s'aligne sur l'APEC

Le Canada devrait soutenir le président afghan, selon un groupe de réflexion

Williams veut que Harper restaure le programme

Pas de décision avant avril 2008

Ottawa annonce la mise en accusation directe de 14 présumés terroristes

Le Canada a jusqu'en avril pour dire s'il prolongera la mission

Les Canadiens ne croient pas au virage vert d'Ottawa

Dion attend de connaître le discours du Trône

Limitation du pouvoir de dépenser: le pari risqué de Harper

Élections: Dion maintient le suspense

Le Bloc a-t-il encore une raison d'être?

Afghanistan - La livraison des hélicoptères Chinook retardée ?


                                   A "must read"
Welcome to the mushy middle, Mr. Harper


From: Merle A. Jacobs.
To: Joe Hueglin <>
Subject: Thanks for your help.

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today
issued the following statement on the continuing protests in Burma :
"This past week, thousands of protesters took to the streets across Burma to protest against the Burmese regime. These protests continue to grow in strength. Canada notes the actions of these peaceful protesters and calls upon the Burmese regime to engage in a genuine dialogue with members of the democratic opposition. We also call upon the Burmese authorities to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the protestors and the people of Burma .
"Many of the pro-democracy activists arrested following anti-government protests in August remain detained. Canada condemns the arrests and continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of those activists. We further call upon the Government of Burma to release all other political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
"Canada will continue to stand up for human rights and take principled positions on important issues to ensure that freedom, democracy and the rule of law-values that define our country-are respected around the world."

(Will continue to follow developments)
Claudia Hudson

Subject: why population dumbed down
Richard Syrett, night time radio host of CFRB am in Toronto was a guest today on the Alex Jones Show
If my memory is any good I think Richard is from Brantford. Anyway, he is known to talk about things that are different. He really has a handle on NAU/SPP and New World Order---he mentioned fluoride in water used for many decades has made general population dozy and unconcerned re happenings around them---Soviets and Germans used it in prison camps to stop inmates/prisoners from trying to think for themselves and try to escape, cause disruptions etc Richard related what has happened re education and what has been done to students ---see first link re Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt---whistleblower and former Senior Policy adviser --US Dept. of Education
He said that we should make it known to our MPs that we know what they are up to--that is the sell out of Canada for the new World Order However, he did not volunteer to cross the country with this message--
The above might answer the question--why are the people not responding to the warnings and information?
Are all the MPs sellouts or dumbed down?--a little of each?--whatever the answer --they are dangerous to us and to our nation state because they are not doing what is in our best interests, only in their best interests

Robert Ede

Subject: Reform 1995 Brochure - a closer look - "Dormant Powers"
I'm doubly glad you included that 1995 Reform Constitutional Package in the DD yesterday
On the throne this am, I noticed their inclusion of a cleverly nuanced reference to the Disallowance & Reservation Powers of the Lt Governors, Governor General and Queen (and I suppose, as a sop to Quebec's unrelenting autonomists, the Dominion's Declaratory power)

"October 14, 1995
Reform presents New Confederation proposals
Disallowance, Reserve and Declaratory Powers
Remain dormant under a Reform government."
What Harper & Manning were then-saying is that a Reform gov't would not authorize the use (by the Lt Governors that they'd appoint as s.13 controllers of the Governor-in-Council) of the perfectly-legal, totally-available, constitutionally-entrenched Executive Powers of Disallowance (absolute Executive Veto of Prov. Legislation with no appeal), Reservation (put on hold pending study by constitutional higher-ups - no appeal) and would not use as government, the Declaratory Power (s 92 .10 c "Public Works or Undertakings ...although wholly situate within the Province ... declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general Advantage of Canada or for the Advantage of Two or more of the Provinces" )
NB the Governor General's use of the Reservation Power is higher in the power hierarchy & therefore beyond the control of the Legislative Power and as well the Monarch cannot be forced to NOT use Her Disallowance power by the leaders of the Canadian Commons
Their bullet-point makes no mention the the Lt Gov & GovGen's powers to 'just say NO' to any bill presented to them (withhold Assent - also a decision beyond appeal)
The sly wording is the use of 'dormant.' But their use of the word is perfect in reflecting the constitutional reality and in furnishing an analogy - the dormant grass of summer lawns.
Just like your lawn in August -it's till alive, it's just not active at the moment. But can & will spring back to life when the conditions are right.  (eg the 'dormant' s.26 was used by Myron Baloney to get extra Senators appointed to 'solve' the deadlock over the GST)
If you don't believe me .... look it up

Robert Ede

(Go on with you!  The Government  Canada was given the power of purloining something from  one of our autonomous Province? This just can't be!)
Jacob Rempel

       < >
Dear Editor,

After declaring your own opposition to the Manning/Harper agenda of devolving responsibilities to the provinces, you ask for an answer to a
question to whosoever will answer: 
"What precisely are to be recognized as sole jurisdictions of the provinces? "
I say very few matters should ever be declared off  limits to federal involvement if we are to have peace, order, and good government in Canada.
It bothers me a lot that no one in all these discussions actually quotes Section 36 of the constitution, which very clearly makes it a joint responsibility and obligation to provide a wide range of public services, and includes provision for federal spending power to ensure that services will be maintained by joint programs, some provided by provinces, some by the feds and some jointly.

Check it out.
I remember how Diefenbaker, Emmett Hall, Tommy Douglas and Lester Pearson brought in Medicare as a national program although health was a provincial jurisdictional responsibility according to the 1867 BNA constitution.
We now have a federal Health Department, Canada Health Act, Human Resources Department, Health and Social Services Transfers program, the older Rowell Sirois Equalization formula, and of course Section 36 of the Constitution Act 1982, which constitutionalizes federal spending powers and the joint federal and provincial obligation and responsibility for comparable public services for all Canadians in all jurisdictions.
Section 36 puts the lie to the Harper neocon mantra about returning to the 1867 division of powers and responsiblities, and to BQ cries about intrusions into provincial jurisdiction with federal spending, and against federal conditions on provincial use of transfer funds.
No constitutional change is necessary, and transfer of taxing powers by sneaky administrative changes is fatal to federal leadership for unity, peace, order, and good government.
                                                              CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982
                                                               Commitment to promote equal  opportunities
                                                               Section 36.
                                                               (1)Without altering the legislative authority
                                                           of Parliament or the provincial legislatures,
                                                           or the exercise rights of any of them with
                                                           respect to of their legislative authority,
                                                               Parliament and the legislatures, together
                                                           with the government of Canada and the
                                                           provincial governments are committed to
                                                                         (a) promoting equal opportunities
                                                                             for the well-being of Canadians;
                                                                         (b) furthering economic development
                                                                              to reduce disparity in opportunities; and
                                                                         (c) providing essential public services
                                                                              of reasonable quality to all Canadians.
Commitment  respecting
public services
                                                               (2) Parliament and the government of Canada
                                                                   are committed to the principle of making
                                                                   equalization payments to ensure that provincial
                                                                   governments have sufficient revenues to provide
                                                                   reasonably comparable levels of public services at
                                                                   reasonably comparable levels of taxation.
The correct application of Section 36 of the Constitution Act of 1982 is the correct and legal reply to the claim of fiscal deficit by any province, whether Quebec, Ontario, Alberta or Prince Edward Island, or in any
Territory or First Nation.
Fair equalizaton plus appropriately calculated transfers as a constitutionally mandated obligation can adjust every fiscal imbalance in every jurisdiction.
All parties in parliament and the provinces (except separatists) supported the 1982 constitution, including Section 36, which was negotiated and constitutonalized to commit and obligate the federal government to cover each province's "fiscal deficit" annually, adjusting the equalization formula and transfer payments as to account for the annual regional diversity in economic activity and government revenue.
Section 36 was then seen and it still remains as the right way to ensure fiscal security in every jurisdiction in Canada. There is no fiscal deficit in any province, territory or First Nation when these equalizers are properly calculated and administered annually.
One may ask for a legal constitutional interpretation of Section 36, since it has never been tested in court. But we can read a history of the long Sec 36 negotiations, how long and how many parties and provinces and civil society groups had detailed input into Section 36. It was not the product of one prime minister's personal ideas.
Importantly, a careful analysis of its implications shows Section 36 to be a constitutional barrier to Preston Manning and Stephen Harper's plans to decentralize Canada's federation. Every retreat from that constitutional obligation is in fact a breach of the constitution.
I commend to your serious attention such an analysis in the DALHOUSIE LAW JOURNAL, Vol.19, No.2, Fall 1996, in the article "Providing Essential Services: Canada's Constitutional Commitment Under Section 36," authored by Aymen Nader and vetted before publication by senior constitutional lawyers Leon Trakman and Vincent Calderhead.
After reading that 66 page analysis, I became confident that provinces could successfully sue the federal government for breach of constitutional commitment and obligation to help them maintain reasonable levels and quality of public services when they cut transfer payments in years 1983 to 2005.
As well, social assistance recipients in a class action could successfully sue both levels of government for damages as a result of not receiving a reasonable level and quality of services.
Federal failure to perform constitutional obligations would not protect provincial governments either from liability for their failure to perform. Each level of government breached their constitutional obligations whenever necessary public services were reduced and inadequately delivered. The repeated plaint of "no money" has never been honest whether spoken by provincial or by federal leaders of any party to justify cuts in service.
The phrase "(c) providing essential public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians" sets a standard for obligatory public services. They were to be of "reasonable quality",  which in 1982 meant the level and quality the feds and provinces were at that time providing. Any quality reduction of service would be a breach of constitutional commitment and obligation.
I see Section 36 as a great opportunity to restore federal legitimacy, political authority and good government to enrich and strengthen national unity and national commercial and cultural life. Clear and transparent equally shared responsibility for the well-being of all Canadians in all provinces, all territories and all First Nations can restore respect and appreciation for the Government of Canada and of course the governments of provinces and First Nations. 
The equalization formula and various transfer payments for medicare, education and research, culture support should be calculated annually so as to make the federal government provide a 50% share of all such programs in every jurisdiction, provincial, First Nations, and the Territories, transparently monitored to ensure accountability and reasonably equal high standards of such public services.
In fact from the fifties, all governments to the seventies often used 50/50 cost share as a principle for shared programs, and it can be argued that such a practice was envisaged when negotiations were concluded for the wording of Section 36.  I think Diefenbaker started that 50/50 cost share practice, but both parties have backed away from that rule.
Section 36 provides constitutional authority for national programs of public services administered provincially, jointly, or federally using constitutionally mandated federal spending power.
Check it out in Section 36 and in the article "Providing Essential Services: Canada's Constitutional Commitment Under Section 36" in the DALHOUSIE LAW JOURNAL, Vol.19, No.2, Fall 1996
Jacob Rempel, Vancouver