Monday, November 12, 2007

Daily Digest November 12, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Cheers: to Commons sense.

CAPE BRETON POST - Senate reform lacking ideas

HALIFAX NEWS - Recycling money


AMHERST DAILY NEWS - Crime too heinous to understand

MONTREAL GAZETTE - CBC was quick to pull the trigger

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Slash federal taxes

        Canada is party central

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER - The toxic mix of religion, education and politics

NATIONAL POST - Honesty on the left

         Mapping the final frontier

TORONTO SUN - Government malpractice to blame

WINDSOR STAR - As the bills mount

SUDBURY STAR - A bucket full of holes; Liberals have underestimated the problems with Ontario's health system

CALGARY HERALD - Lame duck Bush looks for legacy
U.S. president latest to focus on Middle East peace as last act

Doctor shortage in Canada is out of control

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Rehabilitation is our best hope for teen

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - This is why it pays to be skeptical about studies


Docket Afghanistan-Cyprus, calling for the mandatory mental health +

Military shrinking instead of growing
Recruiting Slowed

Allies are doing their part — just not in the spotlight

US seeks concrete reform steps from Afghan leader Karzai

Canadians missing out on partnership benefits

Pakistan faces suspension threat
Commonwealth foreign ministers give Pakistan 10 days to lift its emergency rule or face suspension.

New studies confirm cancer is alcohol's deadly hangover
5 facts about the kidneys 
Diet can be key to workout success 
Overweight people should exercise with care 
Dieting hardest for emotional eaters 
Video games bad for kids' sleep - study 
Medicinal honey clears infections, reduces swelling and scarring

Secret evidence allowed in deportation cases
Special section of Immigration Act permits closed-door hearings from which suspects and defence counsel are barred

Vancouver prostitutes lobby Ottawa to permit co-op brothels

Sovereignists confront their 'annus horribilis'

Time for Tories to admit immigration failure

Conservatives want next ballot question to be: who makes best Prime Minister?

Harper's popularity soars

A vulnerable 'master strategist'
Stephen Harper is in danger of becoming 'too clever by half'

Tories settle one lawsuit but could face others from former candidates

Harper's setting Liberals up for a fall
PM is backing referendum bill knowing the Liberal senators will kill it

Federal audit probes political neutrality of public service
97 former ministerial aides, now bureaucrats, considered 'highest risk'

Lobbyist quits for job with Tories

Liberals, experts slam idea to hold referendum to abolish Senate

Conservatives 'will do well to hold' their Atlantic seats in next election, say experts

                                   L'affaire Schreiber

Skip review and go directly to a public inquiry, Mulroney says

Mulroney friends fall silent

Mulroney's do-not-call list

Mila Mulroney offered support to Mrs. Schreiber

'There is a cover-up somewhere'

Harper had to back Mulroney or back down
Decision opens the door for the Conservatives' version of the Gomery inquiry. But where will the political backbiting end?

Dion accuses PM of stalling
Questions why Harper did not act more quickly on allegations of financial deals involving Mulroney

If Stephane Dion is Howard Baker, who gets to be Alexander Butterfield?

Out-of-court settlement paid to Mulroney should be reviewed, Dion says

NDP backs call for inquiry into Mulroney-Schreiber allegations

he Mulroney story is about Harper

A vicious circle

Federal Liberals vow to keep up pressure on Schreiber case

The Harper-Mulroney-Schreiber saga: Now we have a loose cannon on board!

all 204 news articles »

Tax cuts won't buy a cup of coffee

Company once slammed for gun registry errors to help take over student loans

We stand on guard PC
Political correctness runs amok over the Lord Durham story

Bowing to Beijing

Signs of humiliation

Irwin Cotler . This man should not die
The government has betrayed tradition and law in turning its back on a Canadian citizen on death row

Make it easy to be green

Barrage of facts, but no analysis

Our best and brightest: Finding Canada's future leaders

For yourself and your kids: Slow down, unplug and play
We should work harder to carve out free time. The lives of harried hockey-etc. moms seem hectic and joyless. It's as though we can't trust our kids to be idle

All that neat stuff we enjoy today? Thank capitalism and a relatively open market

Black segregation seems to be politically correct

What is it about the Image of Jesus that threatens today's authorities?


Les doutes d'Amnistie

Schreiber-Mulroney: des fonctionnaires n'ont pas jugé la lettre importante

Les conservateurs ont réglé une poursuite intentée par un ex-candidat

Une majorité de répondants s'opposent aux conservateurs sur la clémence

L'opposition accuse Harper d'attentisme

Le PLC perd des membres

Sécurité au Parlement du Canada: la police collabore

Dossier Afghanistan - Chypre, escale obligatoire pour la santé mentale

Membres: retour à la case départ au PLC



        With so many exaggerations, distortions and outright lies being spread by people who place a priceless value on self-preservation, the truth may be     impossible to find.

        At the end of the day, SPP is about improving trade, growing the Canadian economy, and creating employment opportunities. What is there to fear?

        What we need is funding that's announced once, then delivered - and agreements that are honoured rather than spun.

        While Canada has rushed from flavour-of-the-month conflicts over the past decade, many of our NATO allies have been left manning the less       newsworthy but still simmering hot spots.

        If the two former candidates do file suit, it would mark another legal chapter for Conservative party lawyers who have seldom lacked for work
        in the last two years.


The Hill Times, November 12th, 2007
Senate does important work, says Progressive Canadian Party

Canada's Senate is best the way it is. Suggesting it lacks legitimacy because it is unelected is to submit to Hugh Segal's way of thinking. What is being described as a lack of democratic legitimacy is in fact a virtue which allows the Senate to do important work.

The Senate is a revising Chamber, not an adversarial House of the provinces or a second chamber of partisan party politics that it would be if Senators were elected.

Theoretically, the Senate's power and privilege equal the Commons, but because they are appointed Senators they are reluctant to exercise them fully except where the nation's interests and democracy might be imperiled by a ruthless government or a willful Prime Minister.

The proper role of the Senate is as a check on the excesses of partisanship in the elected Commons, especially as manifested in the excessive powers of the Prime Minister. The Canadian Constitution refers to this duty to revise as "Sober Second Thought."

Suggesting, further, that British Columbia and the West are under-represented is to submit to another old error, an error shamefully exploited by Preston Manning and Stephen Harper in their Reform Party days. Canada's four Senate divisions are represented equally by 24 Senators regardless of population; in fact, the four Western provinces together have a significantly smaller total population than Ontario and a slightly larger population than Quebec. References to Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada notwithstanding, it is Albertan and B.C. jealousy of Central Canada which drives western calls for Senate Reform: it is instructive that suggestions that B.C. is under-represented never point out that Manitoba and Saskatchewan are equally represented in the western division despite having populations the size of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Giving B.C. more seats would have the same inequitable effect as taking seats away from the smaller Western and Atlantic provinces.

Senate appointments were intended by the Fathers of Confederation to provide regional representation to balance representation by population in the Commons and to specifically protect us against the threat to national unity posed by democratically illegitimate accountability to the provinces, as would be the case with provincial Senate elections and redistribution of seats to the provinces according to population instead of by region. Ironically, these are the very conditions existing in pre-Confederation Canada that our present Senate arrangements, enshrined in Canada's Constitution, were designed to remedy.

Prime Minister Harper's lack of commitment to Canada's Constitution, Parliamentary democracy and Canadian federalism will surprise no one who knows his history, but I am surprised that Sen. Segal is willing to ride this old Reform Party hobby horse as a token Tory. For, ironically, it violates core, philosophically conservative principles intended to provide a support of national unity and a check on the excesses of partisan elected politicians in the Commons, meaning particularly in the 21st century the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Brian Marlatt White Rock, B.C.

(The letter-writer is a founding member of the Progressive Canadian Party.)

From: Michael Watkins
Subject: Re: Daily Digest November 10, 2007
Rosie said:

> Mr. Watkins' remarks indicate recognition of Mr. Harper's wisdom
> in thinking before speaking, and on the other hand being willing to
> accept that there may be others with wisdom which he can adopt.

I said nor implied no such thing. I come to bury Harper, not praise

Harper, I wrote, appears to have chosen his elusive words in what
may yet prove to have been an attempt to avoid disclosing the
full truth of his interactions with Brian Mulroney.

Unless proven otherwise, this observer will assume that Harper in
fact has discussed the Schreiber-Mulroney affair with Mulroney. To
what end or purpose, who can tell, but this entire saga is one
unanswered question after another and its long past time that all
the questions were put and responded to.

While most questions are Mulroney's to answer, one question for
Harper at least must be asked: why did Harper not act on Schreiber's
allegations when he first became aware of them seven months ago?

One week ago Harper declared there would be no re-opening of the
Mulroney-Schreiber affair and bullied off the Liberals from
agitating for further review. At that time Harper was *already* in
possession of the allegations made by Schreiber.

Harper did a turnabout on the issue on Friday not because of *new*
allegations but because information - which he had been in the
possession of for seven months already - became public.

In that context, Harper's elusive words used Friday continue
a pattern of evasion and rightly should draw further attention to
the current prime minister's role in this affair.

From: Phyllis Wagg

Subject: RE: Daily Digest November 10, 2007
There are two issues that came up in the Daily Digest on which I would like to provide my two cents.
Dr. James Carson seems to have suggested that we should not concern themselves with the internal workings of opposing political parties.  Political parties are private clubs formed to control government.  They can and do work against any kind of internal democracy.  If democracy is part of our values as Canadians, then the level of democracy within political parties affects the way we are all governed whether we are party supporters or not.  If the secret internal workings of a party are designed to create an autocracy then it is the business of every Canadian.  For Progressive Canadians it is precisely the internal issues within the new Conservative Party that has ensured the need for our existence.
On the Harper/Mulroney/Schreiber issue Harper has made it clear that his relationship with Brian Mulroney was close and that Mulroney was instrumental in brokering the merger between the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives.  Harper saw his relationship with Mulroney as a major plus in convincing former PCs to accept not just the merger but his leadership.  In order to cement the merger as much as possible he drew around him many of the former Mulroney loyalists and Mulroney became an advisor.
To the question posed by John Kruithof, Ottawa South:  "Does Harper's act of investigating Mulroney signify an attempt at arriving at historical truths, or is it a not so subtle reminder that the bygone era of Progressive Conservatives had its flaws too?"  I would say that Harper had no other choice but to take some action even if only to gain some time to consider the options.
His government stands to be tainted by the issue and the fact that Schreiber sent to his office last spring brings to the table the potential that there were attempts at cover up.  There appears to be on going major efforts by both his staff and the bureaucracy to protect the Prime Minister (or the office of the Prime Minister).  These attempts are now in the open and it will be extremely difficult to contain the potential damage.  My understanding is that Harper is calling in an outside advisor to advise him on the best means to deal with the issue.  At this stage it is difficult to see how he could maintain control over the situation and maintain any creditability.   
Phyllis Wagg
From: "Rene & Tish Moreau"

Subject: energy and the scamming there-in

The following link is really worth reading!
FYI, to all;
This could be of great interest to Albertans and Canadians, since it is an example of the methods used by the neighbours' corporations to bleed Canada dry.
    Supposedly, Stelmach was to be the champion of raising royalty rates to foreign American corporations.
    He has lately reversed his opinion. Could this be because Canadians are picking up  on the possibility that he's workjing with  the oil companies to take the pressure off to raise the rates by doing the minium required to flim flam the public.
    We know from past experience that 5th column or planting moles into our government to further their own goals has become standard procedure, corporately. (e.g. Monsanto and the 'terminator seed' scam)
    Isn't it time to check this out when Alberta Energy Minister , Mel Knight, says this is a non-issue , and Albertans should be looking forward,  and not back.or words to that effect
    Isn't it time to shut the barn door, before, we're bled dry? Checking the past history of Energy Ministers and Stelmach would definitely be a start. Like, did they work for American Oil before?
            Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)
Energy royalty ruckus continues in Alberta
From: "Don Keir"
Subject: Remembrance Day

Hi Joe:
I'm with Becky Gingrich. I too was there, Wouldn't it be nice if we were to get smart enough to send the people who start the wars to get their heads blown off.
Don Keir

From: Scout Finch

Hi Joe,
Congratulations on your new granddaughter!
Have you read the new article?
The Committee has members from 6 provinces now and just went international with members now from England.
Also did you know Schreiber was living in Alberta and has close ties to Alberta Conservatives that connect him to probably are way ahead of me but I just thought I'd ask.
Take care,

From: "Erik Hueglin"

Subject: FW: "Celibacy"

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed
by circumstances.
While attending a Marriage Encounter Weekend, Walter
and his wife Ann, listened to the instructor declare,
"It is essential that husbands and wives know the
things that are important to each other.
He addressed the men, "Can you name and describe
your wife's favorite flower?"
Walter leaned over, touched Ann's arm gently and
whispered, "Robin Hood-All-Purpose, isn't it?"
And thus began Walter's life of celibacy.

(Aase's preference? Freesia )
From: "J.D. HAWKINS"

Subject: Excerpts of interest from *Hize-O-Gram #28 "earthworm" 07 11 11

you deserve at least a few Brownie points
so does Heisey;and so does Valcour who sparked this discussion!!!!

From: Ron Thornton

Subject: Re: Excerpts of interest from *Hize-O-Gram #28 "earthworm" 07 11 11

Hi Joe:

Once again you can be blamed for sparking some comment from these quarters. First, regarding your view that the Conservative Party does not represent the party of Macdonald, where centralized power was the thing. Actually, I have come to prefer a less intrusive national presence in areas of provincial jurisdiction, as it would seem the "national" view often differs with our "provincial" outlook. As the national governments have shown an inability to not interfere, and as that interference is often not appreciated, I think it best the separation in jurisdictional powers be respected instead of circumvented.

As for as party bosses dictating whom a candidate at the local level can or can not be, you and I are singing from the same song sheet. It comes down to the role expected from that person, to be the representative of the voters in the riding, or just a party hack delegate serving the party in a legislature or parliament. I have long believed that if the local membership chooses to selected a David Duke type, they should be allowed to. It is an expression of democracy, even if the party leadership feels it should disavow the views expressed by that candidate or the electors in any riding, yet respecting their right to be different. All politics is local, I've heard it said, but if all we are seeking are those who will parrot everything and anything dictated to them by the party, then they are not of much value to the people who elect them.

Even if some unsavory individual seeks the nomination, there should be more transparent procedures in place that outlines the expectations placed on such a person, and at what point and certain conditions they might they risk losing the support of said party. Instead, we have folks stripped of a nomination for no stated reason for privacy reasons, which is usually just a method of keeping the foiled candidate in the dark while keeping the decision makers under cover. This was not uncommon in the old Reform Party, an organization that advocated institutional reform while at the same time ignoring its own undemocratic shortfalls.

Finally, if any egg heads are still reading these comments, the representation formula within any political entity should be based on actual membership, not the population at large in any jurisdiction. If this were not the case, then Alberta should expect to be represented by no less than 10% of the delegates at the next Bloc Quebecois function, rather than the present none. In fact, I believe that a person should not expect to be a full member of any party until at least three months after being accepted as an associate member, having to demonstrate at least that minimal level of commitment. We don't hand out citizenships to people the moment they arrive on our shores for that very reason.

Thanks, Joe.


From: Ian Thomson

Subject: Fw: Fw: British Newspaper Salutes Canada

 A British newspaper salutes Canada.  This is a good read.  It is funny
 how it took someone in Britain to put it into words.

Please pass this on to any friends or relatives who served in the
Canadian Forces or anyone who is proud to be Canadian; it is a wonderful
tribute to those who choose to serve their country and the world in the
quiet Canadian way.

Sunday Telegraph Article: Salute to a Brave and Modest Nation -
        Kevin Myers, The Sunday Telegraph LONDON -

 Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan , probably
 almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian
 troops are deployed in the region.  And as always Canada will bury its
 dead, just as the rest of the world, as always will forget its
 sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.

 It seems that Canada 's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid
 both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis
 is over, to be well and truly ignored.

 Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall,
 waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance.  A fire breaks out,
 she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers
 serious injuries.  But when the hall is repaired and the dancing
 resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once
 helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet

 That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent
 with the United States , and for being a selfless friend of Britain in
 two global conflicts.  For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in
 two different directions:  it seemed to be a part of the old world, yet
 had an address in the new one, and that divided identity ensured that it
 never fully got the gratitude it deserved. Yet its purely voluntary
 contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps the
 greatest of any democracy.

 Almost 10% of Canada 's entire population of seven million people served
 in the armed forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died.
 The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops,
 perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle.

 Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, it's
 unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular Memory as
 somehow or other the work of the "British."

 The Second World War provided a re-run.  The Canadian navy began the war
 with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the
 Atlantic against U-boat attack.  More than 120 Canadian warships
 participated in the Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian
 soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.  Canada finished the war with the
 third-largest navy and the fourth-largest air force in the world.

 The world thanked Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had
 the previous time.  Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged
 in film only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a
 campaign in which the United States had clearly not participated - a
 touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned,
 as it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.

 So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood
 keep their nationality - unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary
 Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William
 Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter
 and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and
 Christopher Plummer, British.

 It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be
 Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian
 as a moose, or Celine Dion....

 Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements
 of it's sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely
 unaware of them.  The Canadians proudly say of themselves - and are
 unheard by anyone else - that 1% of the world's population has provided
 10% of the world's peacekeeping forces.  Canadian soldiers in the past
 half century have been the greatest peacekeepers on Earth - in 39
 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UN peacekeeping duties, from
 Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

 Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular on-Canadian
 imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia , in which out-of-control
 paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment was then
 disbanded in disgrace - a uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for
 which, naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless
friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan?  Rather
like Cyrano de Bergerac , Canada repeatedly does honourable things for
honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remains
something of a figure of fun.

It is the Canadian way, for which Canadians should be proud, yet such
honour comes at a high cost.  This past year more grieving Canadian
families knew that cost all too tragically well.