Saturday, November 24, 2007

Daily Digest November 24, 2007



CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Regional co-operation the way to go print this article
East Coast provinces aren't about to get serious about political union, but that's no reason they can't co-operate

CAPE BRETON POST - Wind-water plan clears first hurdle


OTTAWA CITIZEN - Winners take all

         Natural recovery

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER - Our political masters fiddle as infrastructure deficit rages

TORONTO STAR - Excessive costs cheapen justice

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Patient records a serious issue

SUDBURY STAR - Democracy faces tests; Russia and South Africa try to deal with peaceful transitions

TRANS fats are the latest evil poster

CALGARY HERALD - Revisionist history in name of political correctness

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Cashing out the critics

EDMONTON SUN - Get wise to identity theft

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - 'Going for gold' has a whole new meaning


VANCOUVER SUN - Cash for Olympians sends the wrong message about what's important in sports

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Fixed sentences don't work

        Keep land claims out of the courts
        Negotiated settlements save the lost time, money and hope of prolonged legal fights


Coming out from the shadow of the Indian Act

Tax rich less to keep them in Canada, Flaherty proposes

Domestic taxes, global implications

Canada gets its way: Commonwealth climate deal drops binding targets

Questions about AIDS that no one asks

RCMP revised taser policy to allow multiple jolts

Tories making death-penalty policy 'on the fly,' Liberals charge

Opposition moves to delete dangerous offender clause in crime bill

The economic rumble on the Prairies

National Energy Program not possible anymore
Complete adoption of Alberta's Our Fair Share proposals wouldn't come close to causing as much damage to oil industry

Save, don't sulk, defiant Flaherty tells cities
Finance Minister urges 'grumpy' mayors to spend less after facing sharp criticism for his reluctance to boost infrastructure funding

                         L'affaire Schreiber
                  all 149 news articles »

Schreiber's in a rather tight spot, but the hallway's pretty

Schreiber `happy' to talk with MPs

Mulroney's rich prospects

Schreiber seeks visit to Ottawa home to hunt for papers before testifyingComment

A special prosecutor should decide on Mulroney probe

Losing friends fast
Mulroney used to count Quebecers among his most loyal supporters. No longer

All countries must agree to GHG cuts: Harper

Don't blame chemicals for this nonexistent epidemic

Crime crusade 'ineffective'
Report raps U.S. model mirrored by Canadian bill

Over Parliament hill?
The federal Liberals may need a rebirth of the kind sweeping the provinces

Dissing of Bernier now seems entirely justified

The 12 months of Harper

Liberals get Ontario club to beat Harper with


Le Canada gagne la bataille du climat

Wajid Khan devant la justice

Affaire Mulroney - Bluff autour de Schreiber

Changements climatiques: Harper risque de perdre un alliƩ

Climat: le Commonwealth s'entend sur un accord non contraignant



Stephen Joseph Harper Africanus

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: Ron Thornton's rant.


The subject of democratic reform is complex and requires a subtle understanding quite beyond me, I suppose, but it also requires something more than what is available to those claiming to be informed by populist sentiment. At best, populism leads to a naivete seeking to be democratic, as the Honourable Hugh Segal is demonstrating with the very best of intentions; at worst, it leads to the demagoguery that history now shows is all that Preston Manning and his policy lieutenant, now prime minister, Stephen Harper, had to offer. Canadians who once believed naively in the Reform Party which became the Canadian Alliance and now calls itself the Conservative Party mislead us.

As I have said before concerning Canada's Senate, the architects of Confederation had it right and Mr. Harper and his party have it wrong.
The Canadian federal principle provides an equitable balance of space and population, providing Senate representation by region instead of by province, chosen consciously in light of the failed experience in the United States of which the Fathers of Confederation were fully aware and indeed could not have failed to be aware insofar as the states rights model and use of the upper chamber in the US to represent state interest was responsible for the Civil War raging even as the met in Charlottetown and Quebec City in 1864.

Canada's Senate works extremely well in its role as a revising chamber, that is of sober second thought, and is aided by its appointed status in avoiding the natural tendency of advocacy in the interest of each province against every other and against the federal government itself, which would be all the more destructive if election were tossed into the mix. The Senate, freed from partisan provincial and party partisanship, is able to provide a means of accountability where a party in power or prime minister assumes a wilful role which challenges democracy (Harper seems hell-bent on becoming the first prime minister to called to account.)

It is worth noting that the Australian Senate is described on its own website as second only in power to the US Senate because of its elected status. Imagine the threat to national unity that would be posed if the likes of Ted Morton, Link Byfield,, Preston Manning or Jacques Parizeau and Lucien Bouchard were elected members of an upper chamber accountable to their provinces and charged with a duty to defend their province against the national interest, as is the implicit role of an elected Senate as Firewall Harper and his party have always insisted.

Election equally by state works in the United States and in Australia - for the moment - only because it is understood that in state/federal relations, decision lies ultimately with the federal government. In fact, while history imposes this view on Americans, Australians acknowledge this explicitly, observing that where a conflict exists between federal and state laws in areas of state jurisdiction,
federal law shall prevail (See para. 3 Federalism and the Constitution).  This is not the role contemplated by the anti-Confederation followers of Preston Manning and Stephen Harper.

As to the old saw about a Triple-E Senate, the Charlottetown Accord was a referendum on that proposal in the minds of many Canadians and for perhaps almost as many, Triple-E was the explicit reason they voted to defeat the Charlottetown Accord in the 1992 referendum.  It is not 140 years since Canadians have been consulted on this central constitutional question, as the Harper government has suggested, but only 15 years. The old Reformers don't like the result because they don't like democracy. Time to put the Reform Party to bed.  Giving "Steve the Heave" when he returns, disgraced, from the Commonwealth Conference is a good start.

Brian Marlatt

South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale

From: Michael Watkins
Subject: Re: Daily Digest November 23, 2007

Michael Watkins, Vancouver-Kingsway

Re Ron Thorton, on McGuinty - why the surprise, he's a premier
fighting for his own province's self-interest. That BC and Alberta
have been under-represented means little to him. In part that's why
the senate ought to exist; if indeed it lived up to one of its
intended purposes - to look at Canada's issues with a balanced
perspective rather than from strictly regional viewpoints - perhaps
senators could recommend what McGuinty and Harper are too narrow
minded or afraid to broach. Kudos however on Mr. Thorton's math and
for presenting the obvious alternative, taking away seats from some
provinces. Of course no politician will go there...

** On the death penalty and Canada's about face **

Lets drop the hyperbole regarding the convict; all that is being
asked is that this convicted murderer not be executed.

Canada's old policy was consistent with our domestic legal statutes
and the population's moral compass. The new Harper policy isn't one
Harper campaigned upon nor will he even give a straight answer when
asked about capital punishment. The issue certainly isn't one voters
were asked to consider. This about face is just one more example of
the Harper hidden-agenda which he claims doesn't exist, but which
has and will continue to surface the longer he's in power.

Canada has intervened as such in these cases for many years,
correctly so, in order to remain consistent with our own laws. In
matters of foreign policy consistency is something to strive for, as
the alternative means a country's word and policy mean nothing.

Sentencing in this country is bound by law and the application of
justice under that law by the courts.

Since when did sentencing become the province of politicians? That's
effectively what Harper's u-turn means.

It is correct to condemn this foreign policy shift.

If we don't return to our previous course on this matter, we've no
business to criticize China or Sudan or Afghanistan or Haiti or
Singapore, let alone the United States, or any countries that employ
the death penalty consistent with their own laws.

If Canada "is back" on the world stage, we ought to have something
worth defending to talk about, and the leader of the country better
be using the same moral compass as the population. Its clear that
Harper's needle points south, not north.

** Radical religious group gets CPC "CIMS" Data **

On the "EP Centre": Like Anne Dickinson I too was receiving their
mails, until I challenged them. The "EP" centre used email addresses
for my wife and I which, by habit, were set up specifically to track
who uses them and in this case were only ever used for the purposes
of the new Conservative Party of Canada; the "EP" Centre did *not*
get our email data from the Progressive Conservative Party of

Apparently the CPC's CIMS application, or some of its users, is not
very secure or trustworthy. Someone or some persons have provided
confidential records of the CPC to a rather radical religious group.

Since few people have access to the entire CIMS data, if the party
were actually interested in discovering who might have been behind
this breach of privacy, it could. Don't hold your breath.

From: "Robert Ede"
To: nationalpost <>
Subject: more seats in House - s.52 & agglomerations
Cc: Stephen Harper" <>

Dear Ed,
As a large-city, based Canadian I wish the BNA/Constitution Act was based on "rep by pop". Unfortunately the philosophy and mechanics behind our "rep by Provinces" system will never permit it.
52. The Number of Members of the House of Commons may be from Time to Time increased by the Parliament of Canada, provided the proportionate Representation of the Provinces prescribed by this Act is not thereby disturbed.

The only solution is to reconsider what 'a province' should be.
Shall we have a governance (and representation) system built upon the 20th&21st century's agglomeration model or the 18th-19th century concept of many small towns servicing the adjacent rural population?

Robert Ede
Thornhill ON