Thursday, October 04, 2007

Daily Digest October 4, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Signs of voter apathy

HALIFAX NEWS - Feds not hot on pot View comments4

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Tainted blood: No closure for victims

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Grumblers are undermining Dion

        A silver lining to climate change?

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Don't introduce the scarlet 'J'

OTTAWA SUN - Harper tempts fate

TORONTO STAR - Canada's Afghan idea

        Solid Liberal plan to combat poverty

NATIONAL POST - Quebec meltdown

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Russia flexes its muscles

LONDON FREE PRESS - Hampton's telling the truth

K-W RECORD - Liberals remain voters' best option

WINDSOR STAR - Tax load: Time to stop the gouging

SUDBURY STAR - John Tory just has to have faith

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Ukraine's promise

WINNIPEG SUN - Harper tempts fate

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Dion's tenure as Grit leader appears short

REGINA LEADER-POST - Return of the rigs

CALGARY HERALD - The gift that opens doors

CALGARY SUN - Harper tempts fate

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Canadians lost in the shuffle?
Politicians spending too much time politicking

EDMONTON SUN - Harper tempts fate

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - Welcome to the jungle

VANCOUVER SUN - Despite the naysayers, most Canadians realize free trade is good for us

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Still much to learn about pollutants and deadly disease


Wounded soldiers to be given opportunity to stay in uniform: defence sources

Carrying on Kandahar mission a "moral responsibility" for Canada: Harper

Harper says Afghan mission could stay longer

NATO fostering 'false hope' in war

Taliban 'surprised' by latest offensive: Canadian Forces
'We tightened the circle and they had to fight'

Taliban poised for a big push

U.S. peace activists test Canadian border restrictions

Delayed at border, like an auto part
Industry minister gets first-hand look at backup

Retailers take it on the chin when the dollar rises so quickly

Infected chickens destroyed

Burma's resources mean West will be resourceful in dealing with junta
India cuts to the chase with Myanmar

Calvert takes equalization fight with Ottawa to court

Saskatchewan plans legal showdown over equalization; PM dismisses as election ploy

Murder renews debate on life of fetus

PM wants mandatory sentences for 'serious' drug crimes

GOOGLE  all 69 news articles »



GOOGLE - all 182 news articles »

PCs step up attacks against Premier Dalton McGuinty

Grits made 'godawful mess' of referendum: Hampton

Tory keeping up the pressure on leadership issue
Recent Incidents Cited; McGuinty accused of avoiding real people with 'brush-off ' style

First-past-the-post ain't broke
Where is the 'frustration' that Ontario voters are supposed to harbour?

Tory ignored the warnings

Climate dominoes tumble slowly

Protecting our vital public space

Tory forgot the formula for inaction

Tory goes on attack for final week
McGuinty's health tax 'evil,' Conservative leader says

Why MMP shifts power from people to parties

MMP serves democracy

Harper insists on government's right to govern

Dion faces revolt in Quebec:'It's not working'

Harper: It's up to opposition to trigger election

Liberals aim to avoid taking Harper's bait for early election

Harper defies opposition to pass his priorities or take him to the polls

Harper warns opposition over support for throne speech

Harper puts it all on the line

Back Throne Speech or force vote, Harper says

Dion left with two bad options
Harper can't lose by goading opposition

Harper warns opposition
Attempts to obstruct Conservatives' agenda after throne speech could trigger election

Harper eyeing further tax cuts

Trap set for Liberals

Firing of Bernier's key aide after accident stirs criticism
Woman lost her job days after being hurt in car

Harper's election ultimatum

Growing crisis forces Dion to cancel trip

PM's aides under fire for partisan 'cheap shot'
NDP member says PMO 'crossed line'

Stéphane's makeover

Harper upbeat but election success uncertain

Liberal mud-wrestling looks like coup attempt
The Carroll affair shows Ignatieff people no longer want to wait until after the next election to take over

Experts say Harper threat to opposition has precedence in Canadian history

Minister too slow to spend
PM sets up group to advise on best bang for buck

Canada calls lack of security clause "oversight"

Tories' war on drugs termed U.S.-style
Opposition rejects approach as out of step, ideological

Scientists 'stunned' by Arctic ice behaviour

Tories weather Kyoto with 'realistic' plan

Harper's Forty Per Cent Wager

Maybe PM had a better offer

Harper ends joust with journalists for first visit to press theatre as PM

PM's rare visit to press gallery

We can't just blame China

World cannot ignore horror in Myanmar

Pollsters neglected a few vital questions
'So, what are you going to do about oil and gas royalties?' is on everyone's mind

Forced labour
Canada flouts the UN Declaration on Human Rights and its own Charter in compelling workers to belong to unions


Ottawa annonce son programme de lutte contre la drogue

Les libéraux hésitent toujours sur la marche à suivre face au gouvernement

Harper ne veut pas d'élections cet automne

Dion annule un voyage dans l'Arctique afin de remanier son caucus

Harper pousse l'opposition au pied du mur

Heritage Oil au coeur d'une controverse

Ottawa débloque 60 millions


Will Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who can't actually call an election, tempt one with a throne speech Oct. 16?

Will he place something within it so incendiary the opposition parties are obliged to take the bait and force a vote, thereby engineering his own government's fall?


Does it make sense to have an election? Absolutely not. There will be no winner," said Nanos


In a rare move yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper strolled across Wellington St. from Parliament Hill to take a seat in the media dunk tank of the National Press Theatre in Ottawa. "I have no particular announcement," he told reporters, smiling resolutely as he placed himself at the mercy of the media gallery. Harper went on to dispel rumours of the possible replacement of Chief of Defense Staff Rick Hillier. He also openly admitted that he may have erred in using the term "consensus of Parliament" with regards to the necessary conditions for an extension of Canada's involvement in the war in Afghanistan. Clarifying, the prime minister said that he seeks only  "enough opposition support" to pass future goals for the mission. Andrew Coyne, appearing at a mini At Issue panel with the National, called attention to Harper's language, remarking that the PM came off as "reasonable, realistic, responsible." And in that sensible, almost fatherly tone, Harper delivered the Big Seven's quote of the day: "Fish or cut bait." The metaphorical challenge was posed as an ultimatum to the opposition to either support his government's upcoming Speech from the Throne or trigger a fall election. Interpreted variously by the Big Seven today, one thing is clear: them's fightin' words.

Because recent polls have shown the Conservatives to be in a dead heat with the Liberals, the Big Seven speculate as to the source of Harper's confidence. The Citizen calls Harper a "bulwark of stability" in comparison to Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, whose recent media appearances have been focused on fending off doubts about his leadership and party infighting. The National recalls an article by Tom Flanagan of the Globe (subs only), who in August wrote, "By using confidence measures more aggressively, the Conservatives can benefit politically. If the opposition parties retreat, the government gets its legislation. If the opposition unites on a matter of confidence, the Conservatives get an election for which they are the best prepared." Indeed, the Star suggests that Harper's revitalized gambit aims to put the onus back on his opponents by declaring even relatively routine legislation as matters of confidence, the defeat of which could force an election. "We have tried to listen, and tried to adapt our program, where it's realistic to do so, and where it's responsible to do so, to address the demands of the opposition," Harper said.  "We must be able to govern."


From: "Keith Coghlan"

HI Joe:

             In Response to Richard lawton:

              The 3% of the vote for a party to have MPP's in the Parliament is based on the vote from the second ballot which would just show the parties. Its is these votes from all across the province that would be totally up to reach the support level for each party.

SO yes it is possible to vote for a local riding candidate and then vote for a different party on the second ballot. Now I would assume that the individual voter would have some reason for doing so.

Perhaps they are do not like the local party candidate but want to support their party.

I would also comment that this 3% level of the vote is the province is not a minor issue.

In presentations I have attained by Elections Ontario they are saying there is around 8.4 Million Ontarians that could vote in this election. Now we all know that not everyone votes in any election so if we had 70% turnout that would be 5.8 million votes. That would require that any party that had members in the provincial parliament would have to receive 174,000 votes across the province.

I really dont know of any group that could organize and run candidates from scratch and get that many votes in just one election.
I think Joe would agree that creating a Party is not the that easy.

I dont know about your second question but I would assume if a party was not running local candidates it would have to have some way of getting its message out to voters to get them to vote on the second ballot for that party. Any party doing that would of course not be running to form a government since it was already giving away the 90 local seats.
But in politics anything is possible and I would expect that someone could give it a try, I would think it would be even harder to achieve the 3% provincial level of support without a local campaign in each riding.

Hope that my help a bit. I know the whole issue has not been handled to well. But I think thats more because the government is not really interested in change and its just a very expensive way to tick off one promise that McGuinty can say he did keep.In fact I expect that if the government had been a little less involved we would have seen a much clearer question and options presented.

Also in fact I asked at one public meeting where I live who decided on the double 60% requirement and was told it was the government. That fact alone was a good reason for me to vote for the change. DOes anyone out there know of one political leader, candidate or party that has every received 60% of the votes cast in a election.

Think hard because I dont know when the next time for change will be available for us. I will be 50 in December and its the first time I have voted in a provincial referendum. If history repeats itself it will most likely be the last time.

Keith Coghlan
Belleville Ontario

From: Claudia Hudson"

Subject: is this poison happening in Canada?

From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: Goldy Hyder

In response to your question:

         Would someone please explain the nature
of the "strong federalist option" that Goldy sees
as one of the "real vote-movers"?
Goldy may be or has been a voice for western Canadian within the company
he worked for, his political comment is the power of Ontario and Quebec
within this divided country, causing the real vote mover as the other votes
have no meaning, as we always see the elation decided before the WEST
votes. May corruption continue.

From: alan heisey <>

joe, seeing this as always sensible comment from robert ede led me to look up my pdf of the national constitution of the cpc. i intended copying the section on votes required but found that i needed a password to even copy the bloody thing! i summarize it as requiring majority votes overall of the delegates plus majority votes in each of a majority of the provinces, i'd call that a double majority and an incredible obstruction to evolving and modifying a party constitution!

however, i heard john robarts tell a small dinner meeting one night about

MORT MAIN!!!! this is the dead hand of the past determining what the present can do.

our parties are all full of well intentioned idiots who are certain that they know best, not just for now, but for the future which is why they like constitutions which require 2/3rds votes to make any change.

i was in a meeting of the don valley west tories once some years ago and saw a motion to amend the constitution in some particular  get only 64% of the hall and thus fail.

this is why i admire english common law and the simple majority of 50%  + 1, to push things along AND ENCOURAGE CHANGE AND INNOVation. (caps irregular, pay no attention to them!)

the idiot requirement on the referendum comes out of the fevered brain of some klutz who wanted to give it a very tough time. it would be fair to ask if the CITIZEN'S ASSEMBLY EVER TOOK A VOTE SUGGESTING THAT CONSTITUTENCIES HAD TO APPROVE THE CHANGE TO MMP BY 60%, I'LL WAGER NOT.

THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANY SUCH vote on their central recommendation! the brainwashed assemblypersons, elected by pure chance, ho ho,  of our population voted 92%  to weaken our crude fptp system so they would get encouraging nods from their independent coaches!

as i wrote in the last earthworm: (I have always felt that all votes of political asemblies should be settled at 50% +1, (a great tradition from the English Common Law) but most of my fellow Canadians have bought into the American and French traditions of larger majorities on constitutional questions, particularly.)

From: Mary-Sue Haliburton

PROLOGUE; A question asked and answered.

. . . wonder if propylene on an okay or not pkay list somewhere in Canada?


Hint: it's used to KILL bacteria; i.e. it's a poison. I wouldn't care if it was "approved" or not. Health Canada approves all kinds of stuff based on industrial needs and not on whether it's either safe or beneficial for human or animal health.

Here's the definition from
"Propylene oxide is a highly toxic flammable chemical compound. It was once used as a racing fuel, but that usage is now prohibited under the US NHRA rules for safety reasons. It is also used in thermobaric weapons. It is an epoxide ."

Nasty stuff. And I don't want to have any gratuitous traces of it on foods -- especially when we've had a safe supply of almonds for years without any need for this! I'm suspicious of any additive with the "propyl" prefix in it. Since finding out what it actually was, I have not used isoproply alcohol either. Here's the definition of that:

"Isopropyl alcohol vapor is heavier than air and is highly flammable with a very wide combustible range. It should be kept away from heat and open flame. When mixed with air or other oxidizers it can explode through deflagration . [2]

"Isopropyl alcohol is oxidized by the liver into acetone . Symptoms of isopropyl alcohol poisoning include flushing , headache , dizziness , CNS depression, nausea , vomiting , anesthesia , and coma . Use in well-ventilated areas and use protective gloves while using. Poisoning can occur from ingestion, inhalation, or absorption.

"Long term application to the skin can cause
defatting ."
Given the instructions to use protective gloves while handling it, it's truly astonishing that drugstores are allowed to sell this stuff as something to apply to the skin!

You are free to draw your own conclusions... but mine is that we should not consume this propylene oxide any more than we should be rubbing isopropyl alcohol on our skin -- which will result in some absorption of it.

Subject: Fwd: raw almonds to be fumigated with carcinogen

I don't know about you, but I definitely won't want to in eat almonds laced with propylene oxide! However, this is what's coming and as yet we don't even know whether they will be labelled as having this chemical used to treat them. Unless there's enough of a public objection to make the regulators think twice, we'll have no choice.

So why fumigants and heat treatments suddenly needed? There haven't been hordes of people dropping like flies from eating raw almonds. Or that was the case for as long as the growers were taking care not to contaminate them. But this could change. The USDA --

United States Department of Agriculture - Home
Enhancing the quality of life for the American people by supporting production of agriculture.

-- is bringing in a new rule designed to increase the profit margin for big-scale producers by allowing unsanitary but cheaper handling methods. But no problem about the contamination. This chemical will be used to kill bacteria -- and residues remain on the foods.

This further undermines the definition of "organic" never mind "raw" if heat processing is allowed too. As long as the big companies make profits, it seems not to matter whether their methods get rid of a healthy food as well squeezing out independent growers -- who have supplied the same foods with higher sanitation standards and no need for chemicals.

Whatever is passed in the U.S. often ends up becoming Canadian rules as well. As far as I know almonds are not grown in Canada, making us dependent on foreign producers and therefore subject to whatever rules they implement. 

It's my strong feeling that it's far better to require good sanitation before and during harvesting in order to protect the quality of the foods we eat, than to apply chemicals on the foods in this way. If you agree, I hope you'll let the regulatory officials in question know of your objection.

I hope that you who are candidates to run for public office will examine this question as part of the broader issue of sustainable agriculture and food quality, and consider what agricultural policies are best for the health of our citizens. 

Mary-Sue H.

Begin forwarded message:



We are joining with the Cornucopia Institute to send out this Action Alert on almonds. Time is tight and we are asking you to become an aggressive activist on behalf of protecting our food supply.
The USDA is now implementing a rule that will require all RAW domestic almonds to be "pasteurized," using either a toxic and carcinogenic fumigant (propylene oxide) or a steam-heating process, to eliminate possible bacterial contamination.  This is an effort to make nut production "safe" for industrial-scale farms with literally thousands of acres of production.

We are now headed down the slippery slope-if agribusiness players have their way, almost all fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables will be treated with chemicals, heated or irradiated.  We need to draw a line in the sand here and now!

Please go to

where you will find a proxy letter.   In past campaigns, hand delivering proxies directly to the USDA Secretary in Washington has been highly effective. (Please note, this letter is meant to be a fund-raising effort on behalf of Cornucopia, although, of course, you are welcome to donate in addition to signing the proxy letter.)

Please print out the letter, fill it in and mail it the Cornucopia Institute.  They will then hand deliver the letters in Washington. The address is

Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126
Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827

Also, please help us organize this campaign and generate more support for suspending the rule by sending out this letter to your own email lists.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact the Cornucopia Institute at or (608) 625-2042.
Sincerely yours,
Will Fantle, Co-Director, The Cornucopia Institute
Sally Fallon, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation

Our postal address is
PMB #106-380
4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States