Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Daily Digest October 23, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Keeping you in the dark

CAPE BRETON POST - Dion's career is on the line

AMHERST DAILY NEWS - Tories need time to think it over

TRURO DAILY NEWS - A case of from first to worst

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Straight from the spleen

        Smoke ban a stretch

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Opening a northern door

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER - Freer movement of labour deserves a closer inspection

        Savvy not what comes to mind when you think of Dion

TORONTO STAR - Charities require tighter oversight

NATIONAL POST - Harper-phobia gone wild 

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Great kids are out there

K-W RECORD - The new world of e-medicine

WINDSOR STAR - School days
Health goes with education

SUDBURY STAR - For Harper, crime is a political tool

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Wait for efficiency

CALGARY HERALD - Fraser's follies

CALGARY SUN - Property tax alone won't cut it

Remember, it is our small businesses that drive the economy

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Duelling military numbers

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Calls to focus foreign aid continue to echo

VANCOUVER SUN -  Conservation and innovation could drive the new green economy

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Island native pact a genuine success 


Another day, another battle in Afghanistan

Explosion damages Canadian demining vehicle in Afghanistan, driver OK

The story that 'needed to be written'

Canada undecided on Afghanistan past 2009 as NATO allies make up their minds

Arctic surveillance a major challenge for military
Climate change opens North up to rest of world, presents need for protection

Flaherty should tackle his own price gougers

China heralds new era of princelings
Youth Faction; Xi said to be a pampered son, Li has a radical past

Dr. Day's Diagnosis
The president of the Canadian Medical Association explains how to fix our health care system

Is deviance treatable?

Bowl of high-fibre cereal a day helps keep heart failure at bay 

Higher education holds off Alzheimer's 

Judge rejects law-firm bid to throw out PC case

Harper protected by privilege, court rules

Veterans win court battle in Agent Orange fight with federal government

Youth crime law cuts down on custody time for offenders

Officer protests adjudicator

Snobelen says PC boss needs vote to reaffirm his leadership and clear air before next election

Tax cuts meant to provoke Liberals

Four Tories sign up for committee
Powerless board in Casey's riding to be replaced

Casey controversy shows Harper as 'megalomaniac'

Harper right not to take Casey back

An Alternative to Independent Status for Bill Casey

Dion dekes political showbiz, scores at last

Day defends amendments to security certificates

As Goes Quebec, so Goes Canada
Conservatism in Canada depends upon the changing politics in Quebec.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ODY2ZDMxYWQ5YzBlNDA1YWI3ZTNmZmE1MmE0Y2FlYjg =

PM a patient fellow

Tories propose `advocates' hear secret evidence against suspects and also bait a trap for Liberals

On crime issue, facts don't matter

PMO sets rhetorical sights on North Star's guiding light
Strategists told to repeat celestial reference

Layton says Liberal weakness gives Harper majority

Canada chided for revoking citizenships

Where do you stand on crime, Stephane Dion?
Hon. Rob Nicholson, National Post

Religion without faith


Atlantica's Gateway: Have we learned our lessons?

Off the reservation
The reserve system is Canada's worst moral failing. Let's do the right thing and get rid of it
In an ongoing series, National Post writers are being asked a simple question: If you had the power to change a single thing about Canada, what would it be? In today's instalment, Jonathan Kay proposes a radical reform to our native policy. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=08ef1454-987a-423a-b6b7-102e6a2c37ee

Don't believe the poverty hype 

When truth offends honour

The rich are getting richer, but then so are the poor
Resentment and envy, not compassion, fuel most anti-poverty campaigns

Listen, while there's time

We can make kids healthy and fit by giving them proper work to do


Loi antiterroriste
Ottawa revient à la charge

Certificats de sécurité: effort minimal

Flaherty invite les détaillants à réduire leurs prix à l'approche des Fêtes

Libéraux et néo-démocrates dénoncent le projet de loi péquiste sur l'identité

Jack Layton accuse Stéphane Dion de faire cadeau d'une majorité à Harper

Le Bloc exige des excuses de la ministre Verner qui réplique par une attaque

Arctique: protéger la souveraineté passe par l'environnement et la croissance

Le SCRS avait aussi à l'oeil les fédéralistes radicaux

Le CCR s'oppose au projet de loi sur les certificats de sécurité

Une explosion endommage un véhicule antimines canadien

PLC: Fergus remplace Carroll


        The Digest seldom deals with American events except as they affect Canada.  Mary-Sue has posted an article recounting how some Americans are reacting
        to alterations in their way of life.
        Two Bills are bringing brought forward.  The first is the terrorist bill.  I do not know whether it has been designated as a confidence vote or not. The one on
        crime is an omnibus bill.  It has been declared a vote of confidence, which I understand to mean accept all of it as written or an election.

        Editorials to-day expressed the views I presently hold. They are posted to you for discussion


        Move the bar once, and maybe you'll find very, very good reasons for lowering it again and again and again.

        Here's the thing. There are very good reasons why we allow anyone accused of a crime access to the full evidence in the charges against them.

        It's a funny little concept known as justice. http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=73727&sc=80
        The most serious and contentious part of the bill would automatically impose a dangerous offender designation on someone convicted of three     violent or sexual crimes, unless they can convince a judge they don't deserve the designation. That serious label means the offender would be   sentenced to an indefinite-to-life sentence, then permanent monitoring if parole is ever granted. This is a sea change from current law, which
        says the onus for seeking such a designation falls on prosecutors.

        Any reverse onus situation in law is delicate, and at risk of becoming a slippery slope. In this case, it makes sense. It is a reasonable compromise
        of individual rights for the sake of collective, societal rights.

        We don't endorse this lightly. But given the nature of modern crime, and the challenges of police and the courts in protecting the public from
        really dangerous offenders, this is a justifiable response.

        However, given the seriousness of this step, we hope the government sees the wisdom of an NDP proposal to pass the rest of the omnibus and hold         back the dangerous offender section so it gets the debate, study and scrutiny such a significant change deserves. http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/269311


From: Jacob Rempel

Subject: Fw: NAFTA Report Card Year 15 Public Lecture - Oct. 24

Forwarding a post from Elaine Hughes...
"Please share with friends in Ottawa
 area who may be able to attend.

"NAFTA and Afta NAFTA"
Backgrounder for a talk as follows:

ACT 6 - NAFTA Report Card Year 15
Presenter - Dr. Janet M. Eaton
Topic: It is year 15 for the NAFTA-
North American Free Trade Agreement.
Where are we headed? Whom is it helping?
What has NAFTA done for our jobs, environment, our future?
Come and explore and discuss.

Place: Hintonburg Community Centre, Wellington Room,
Ground Floor 1064 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Canada

Lecture discussion: Wednesday,
October 24, 2007 -  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

More info at: http://ato.smartcapital.ca/actcity
Email: actcityottawa@gmail.com

From: Ron Thornton

*Hi Joe:

I see the Ottawa Citizen is claiming we are 6th amongst NATO nations in military spending.  I guess that means we must have finally jumped ahead of Spain, who five years ago were the 6th biggest spender..just ahead of...Canada!  While our $7.4 billion budget at the time (according to Wikipedia sources) had us ahead of the Netherlands (6.6) and Turkey (5.8), who now spend $10 and $15 billion respectively, we were still behind Spain's 8.4.  Today, the Spanish spend $15-billion.

Others who led us, who still lead us, include Italy (from 19.4 to 32), Germany (24.9 to 52), the British (38.4 to 68), and the Americans (489.2 billion dollars to 553).  Today, Canada apparently spends between $16 and $18-billion today to move up one position.  I admit we grossly outspend such military giants as the Vatican, but we still trail such non-NATO nations as China (45), Russia (32), Saudi Arabia (31), South Korea (26), India (21) and..get this...Australia ($18-billion...12th highest among the world's nations.

So, the story is correct, but it would seem our spending increase is in line with other nations...nations that actually had a working military in 2002, unlike our own at the time.


From: Cal Mack

Subject: Re: Daily Digest October 22, 2007
To: joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca

I haven't felt I should respond of late but my blood is back to the boil.  To suggest that if you having nothing to hide you have no reason to want to protect your rights is to forget history.  Remember every Aboriginal treaty ever signed, Hitler and the Jews, McCarthy and every American with a conscience, Trudeau and any Canadian he wanted, and now George Bush has suspended habeas corpus for his "enemies" and it's easy to understand that "secured sources" is an oxymoron. 
All My best Cal

From: "John Halonen" .

In regard to the following comment:
  "Mine is that Harper strikes me as a modern enough man to realize he must conform to what is broadly palatable to Canadian sensibility, or be turfed out politically"

Not quite sure that I wish to give Harper the opportunity to wait until he is turfed out politically.
His past record and even his present actions leave much to be desired on a Canadian front. Four or Five years is a long time to wait when things are going down the drain. We can learn or should learn from history.   Just think of what is happening south of the 49.  It does not take that much time before it is to late.  There are many there that wish they had made different choices, but now must live with their past vote.
John Halonen

From: Ernest Raymond
Subject: Question - Pragmatic Shift or Manipulative Tactics

Hi Joe,

With all due respect, and to be fair Joe, I'd like to rephrase the question you asked of the all DD readers (to use more neutral language) in order to encourage as many voices to write in and join this conversation.
Question - Do Prime Minister Harper's centrist moderations represent:
1. a permanent and pragmatic shift of his core values, as John Kruithof blieves, OR
2. the well used, and continually practiced technique of 'Manipulated Consent' pointed out by Ron Thornton in the Oct. 21 DD?

My answer - Stephen Harper's centrist shift is a TACTIC used to manipulate the public into giving him consent to run the country as he sees fit without consultation, just like he did and is doing with the Conservative Party of Canada, and just like he did with the Conservative Alliance Party of Canada before that.
As indicated in the Speech from the Throne, Stephen Harper's Canada is a family where the head of the family (federal government) provides absolutely NO input or guidance with respect to the children's (provinces) affairs.
In Stephen Harper's Canada the head of the family ONLY ensures that there is enough money coming into the household to provide security for the family (Canada), and that each INDIVIDUAL child is given support in the form of a steady stream of cash to pursue each and every INDIVIDUAL want need and desire that s/he identifies for itself.
In Stephen Harper's Canada there are NO family meetings where the children and the head of the family share stories and discuss family priorities in order to get all points of view on the table for the purpose of forming family rules that foster an environment where siblings look out for one another and that, at the very least, attempt to ensure a cohesive family unit.
Stephen Harper's concept of the Canadian Family can only be described as that of the 'modern family' that has it's parent, or parents if the family is lucky, too busy working to pay the bills to feed every desire of the children who are left on a daily basis with no moral guidance and no sense of family whatsoever.
Stephen Harper's Canada is not MY Canada.
And I strongly believe that it is not anywhere near Ron Thornton's Canada, he's just tired of all of the family squabbles that provide the RICHNESS, HERITAGE and COHESIVENESS to the Canadian family.
Let's face it, nobody enjoys family squabbles.
But that's no reason to hand over the reigns of power to a New head of the family who is on the precipice of implementing a 'Modern' Canadian Family Directon that will DEVOLVE the Canadian Family into a bunch of self-serving, inward-looking, only-the-strong-will-survive group of INDIVIDUALS who are a family in name only.
Is that really the Canada that you want Ron Thornton and others?
Please advise.

From: "Alan Dayes"

Congratulations to Bill Casey and his riding association supporters in Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley. These are the type of people that are "real" Conservatives, Progressive Conservatives. The Progressive Canadian Party will do very well in these situations as more of them are going to surface. It was only a matter of time until the current neo-Conservatives were going to blow up from intolerance. I suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg. Long live the Progressive Canadian Party.
Alan Dayes,
Nipissing/Timiskaming Riding, Ontario.

From: Zeb Landon

Subject: Harper committee-control manual (2007)

Wanted: Harper committee-control manual (2007)

Dear Joe,

We should always try to self-improve.

I confess in this neck of the backwoods I have not yet seen the so-called "Harper committee-control manual", either in our modest town library, or for sale.

I'd really appreciate if you could put me in touch with the actual edition (2007).  Some may desire it for their Xmas gift list, or maybe, at 200 pages, to impress folks with a coffee table edition. But I just want to learn.  Can anyone tell me if it's all it's cracked up to be?

(As per Lawrence Martin today.)

Imperious control? Earlier this year, columnist Don Martin discovered the existence of a 200-page Harper committee-control manual. The secret document instructed the PM's committee chairs on how to select party-friendly witnesses, how to set in motion debate-obstructing tactics and, if necessary, storm out of meetings to shut down the proceedings. Tory whip Jay Hill was quoted as admonishing committee chairmen "who prefer to lead through consensus."

From: "Claudia Hudson" <hudcom@sympatico.ca>
To: "Joe Hueglin" <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: SPP and Referendum

Hi Joe,
I received this copy of Eleanor White's letter to her MP. The Council of Canadians has put forward the idea of a parliamentary vote regarding the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Eleanor has given me permission to forward this to you for the DD.

>> Eleanor White
>> 430 Cumberland Ave. #312
>> Hamilton    ON     L8M 3M9

>> David Christopherson, MP October 23, 2007
>> House of Commons
>> Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
>> Telephone: (613) 995-1757
>> Fax: (613) 992-8356
>> Mr. Christopherson -
>> Thanks to the North American Union/SPP conference at
>> Montebello, Quebec this past summer, Canadians are finally
>> becoming aware that big business and the Canadian government
>> are working hand in hand to gradually erase Canada as a
>> sovereign nation, effectively merging Canada, the U.S., and
>> Mexico.
>> The "working groups" are still conducting secret activity, and
>> I'm not hearing anything about open debate of their
>> "recommendations" in Parliament.
>> Recently, there have been calls for a Parliamentary vote on
>> continued participation in the SPP:
>> http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2007/12/c3357.h tml
>> Put the SPP to a vote, say prominent Canadians
>> OTTAWA, Oct. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Maude Barlow, David Suzuki, Ken
>> Georgetti, Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh are sending Prime
>> Minister Stephen Harper a letter today demanding that his
>> upcoming Throne Speech include a commitment to submit the
>> controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership of North
>> America (SPP) to a vote in the next parliamentary session.
>> They are calling on Stephen Harper to make good on his earlier
>> promise "to submit significant international treaties for votes
>> in Parliament" by bringing forward the SPP for parliamentary
>> debate and a vote in the House of Commons.
>> Sir, I urge you to OPPOSE a Parliamentary vote on ANY official
>> adoption of ANY phase of this incremental plan that effectively
>> does away with ANY portion of Canadian sovereignty.  Any
>> portion, including these:
>> * Any erosion of Canada's ability to make laws and regulations
>> which put the welfare of Canadians ahead of the welfare of
>> citizens of any other nation,
>> * Any move to force Canadian wages down by importation of those
>> willing to work for lower wages and to increase immigration,
>> * Any move to "harmonize" regulations covering the sale of
>>  natural health supplements with nations which have forced such
>>  supplements into the prescription drug system (known as "Codex
>>  Alimentarius)
>> Instead of a Parliamentary vote, ANY proposed act which erodes
>> Canadian sovereignty should be submitted to the people by
>> REFERENDUM.  And plenty of time must be allowed for the people
>> of Canada to assimilate the pros and cons of such proposed act.
>> This referendum must be carried out by hand-marked ballots, and
>> hand-counted in publicly accessible locations.
>> And again I ask, please put information relating to the
>> progress of the North American Union/SPP activities into your
>> constituency newsletters.  I note that you have a page dealing
>> with "jobs", and I suggest that nothing in current political
>> activity has greater impact on jobs than the North American
>> Union/SPP!
>> Sincerely,
>> /s/ Eleanor White

From: Mary-Sue Haliburton

Subject: "American Tears" (waking up in a political nightmare)

RE: < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/american-tears_b_68141.html >

This article by Naomi Wolf (text below) reports that many patriotic Americans including decorated war veterans are being put on a "watch list" -- i.e. considered dangerous to the state -- if they protest the torture of detainees or other abuses of power. Worse, their families are put on this list too. 

In the wake of our national-security law being declared unconstitutional, do you think that the Conservative modifications to some of its provisions (e.g. detention under "security certificates") go far enough to our country back from the brink of this kind of rule by violence?

Mary-Sue Haliburton

From the Huffington Post:
American Tears
Posted October 11, 2007 | 06:47 PM (EST)

Read More: blackwater, Blackwater Iraq, bush administration, Bush administration torture, closed society, James Comey, Naomi Wolf, torture, Breaking Politics News

I wish people would stop breaking into tears when they talk to me these days.

I am traveling across the country at the moment -- Colorado to California -- speaking to groups of Americans from all walks of life about the assault on liberty and the 10 steps now underway in America to a violently closed society.

The good news is that Americans are already awake: I thought there would be resistance to or disbelief at this message of gathering darkness -- but I am finding crowds of people who don't need me to tell them to worry; they are already scared, already alert to the danger and entirely prepared to hear what the big picture might look like. To my great relief, Americans are smart and brave and they are unflinching in their readiness to hear the worst and take action. And they love their country.

But I can't stand the stories I am hearing. I can't stand to open my email these days. And wherever I go, it seems, at least once a day, someone very strong starts to cry while they are speaking.

In Boulder, two days ago, a rosy-cheeked thirtysomething mother of two small children, in soft yoga velours, started to tear up when she said to me: "I want to take action but I am so scared. I look at my kids and I am scared. How do you deal with fear? Is it safer for them if I act or stay quiet? I don't want to get on a list." In D.C., before that, a beefy, handsome civil servant, a government department head -- probably a Republican -- confides in a lowered voice that he is scared to sign the new ID requirement for all government employees, that exposes all his most personal information to the State -- but he is scared not to sign it: "If I don't, I lose my job, my house. It's like the German National ID card," he said quietly. This morning in Denver I talked for almost an hour to a brave, much-decorated high-level military man who is not only on the watch list for his criticism of the administration -- his family is now on the list. His elderly mother is on the list. His teenage son is on the list. He has flown many dangerous combat missions over the course of his military career, but his voice cracks when he talks about the possibility that he is exposing his children to harassment.

Jim Spencer, a former columnist for the Denver Post who has been critical of the Bush administration, told me today that I could use his name: he is on the watch list. An attorney contacts me to say that she told her colleagues at the Justice Department not to torture a detainee; she says she then faced a criminal investigation, a professional referral, saw her emails deleted -- and now she is on the watch list. I was told last night that a leader of Code Pink, the anti-war women's action group, was refused entry to Canada. I hear from a tech guy who works for the airlines -- again, probably a Republican -- that once you are on the list you never get off. Someone else says that his friend opened his luggage to find a letter from the TSA saying that they did not appreciate his reading material. Before I go into the security lines, I find myself editing my possessions. In New York's LaGuardia, I reluctantly found myself putting a hardcover copy of Tara McKelvey's excellent Monstering, an expose of CIA interrogation practices, in a garbage can before I get in the security line; it is based on classified information. This morning at my hotel, before going to the sirport, I threw away a very nice black T-shirt that said "We Will Not be Silenced" -- with an Arabic translation -- that someone had given me, along with a copy of poems written by detainees at Guantanamo.

In my America we are not scared to get in line at the airport. In my America, we will not be silenced.

More times than I can count, courageous and confident men who are telling me about speaking up, but who are risking what they see as the possible loss of job, home or the ability to pay for grown kids' schooling, start to choke up. Yesterday a woman in one gathering started to cry simply while talking about the degradation of her beloved country.

And always the questions: what do we do?

It is clear from this inundation of personal stories of abuse and retribution against ordinary Americans that a network of criminal behavior and intention is catching up more and more mainstream citizens in its grasp. It is clear that this is not democracy as usual -- or even the corruption of democracy as usual. It is clear that we will need more drastic action than emails to Congress.

The people I am hearing from are conservatives and independents as well as progressives. The cardinal rule of a closing or closed society is that your alignment with the regime offers no protection; in a true police state no one is safe.

I read the news in a state of something like walking shock: seven soldiers wrote op-eds critical of the war -- in The New York Times; three are dead, one shot in the head. A female soldier who was about to become a whistleblower, possibly about abuses involving taxpayers' money: shot in the head. Pat Tillman, who was contemplating coming forward in a critique of the war: shot in the head. Donald Vance, a contractor himself, who blew the whistle on irregularities involving arms sales in Iraq -- taken hostage FROM the U.S. Embassy BY U.S. soldiers and kept without recourse to a lawyer in a U.S. held-prison, abused and terrified for weeks -- and scared to talk once he got home. Another whistleblower in Iraq, as reported in Vanity Fair: held in a trailer all night by armed contractors before being ejected from the country.

Last week contractors, immune from the rule of law, butchered 17 Iraqi civilians in cold blood. Congress mildly objected -- and contractors today butcher two more innocent civilian Iraqi ladies -- in cold blood.

It is clear yet that violent retribution, torture or maybe worse, seems to go right up this chain of command? Is it clear yet that these people are capable of anything? Is it obvious yet that criminals are at the helm of the nation and need to be not only ousted but held accountable for their crimes?

Is it treason yet?

This is an open invitation to honorable patriots on the Right and in the center to join this movement to restore the rule of law and confront this horror: this is not conservatism, it is a series of crimes against the nation and against the very essence of America.
Join us, we need you.

This movement must transcend partisan lines. The power of individual conscience is profound when people start to wake up.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey said No: he told colleague that they would be ashamed when the world learned about the Administration's warrantless wiretapping. A judge today ruled that the U.S. can't just ship prisoners out of Guantanamo to be tortured at will -- she said No. The Center for Constitutional Rights is about to file a civil lawsuit -- against Blackwater: they are saying No.

In Germany, according to historian Richard Evans, in 1931-1932, if enough Germans of conscience had begun to say No -- history would have had an entirely diferent outcome.

If we go any further down this road the tears will be those of conservatives as well as progressives. They will be American tears.

The time for weeping has to stop; the time for confronting must begin.