Thursday, November 08, 2007

Daily Digest November 8, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Death by numbers

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Managing the hazard of potato wart 
In 2007, potato wart is seen as a navigable hazard rather than as the disaster of seven years ago.

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Exploring a rich seam

         Greenery is just scenery

         Farcical reform

AMHERST DAILY NEWS - Referendum abolishing Senate not happening anytime soon

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Riding the Tigers

OTTAWA SUN - A role model for all new RCMP recruits

TORONTO STAR - Cities must press funding demands

        Bank's job to cool overheated dollar

         Watching U.S. for cues

NATIONAL POST - The future of Canada's Senate

TORONTO SUN - Here's why black schools are failing

K-W RECORD - Keep talking, general

SUDBURY STAR - Pros and cons of nuke deal; If India doesn't ratify agreement with U.S., China won't be displeased

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Breaking the logjam

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Effecting change formidable task confronting Wall

REGINA LEADER-POST - Voters overcome fear -- Sask. Party wins big

CALGARY HERALD - Mounties live with daily risk

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Flood of contradictions

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Reigniting the Senate debate

         Mulroney Qs need As


        Border gaze

VANCOUVER SUN - Your personal information has been stolen: Do you have the right to be notified?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Young Mounties on remote assignment merit better support

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Status quo won't halt gang killings

        Don't send novice Mounties out alone


Remember Passchendaele
Vimy had the high-profile anniversary celebration, but this year saw another 90th anniversary that should be just as important to Canadians

Pakistan instability could endanger Canada's troops

US-Canada War Looms Over Energy, Water

Canada wants to tie economic knot with U.S., cut political one

Government seeks WTO panel on U.S. farm subsidies

Canadian on trial at Guantanamo

Khadr's lawyers say U.S. government hid evidence that could help him

Loonie's rise signals end of American era

Quebec wants top-level meeting on Canadian dollar

Globalization makes national currencies obsolete

The last currency crisis

Harper anxious about loonie's 'rapid' surge

Soaring dollar a threat to Toronto economy- officials

Pakistan and democracy

Harper `very troubled' by crisis

Time to act on Pakistan

Formation of Soviet Russia 90 years ago changed course of history
Appalling savagery of Bolsheviks should not be forgotten

Scientists sequence dandruff genes

Spend on intervention now, save on prisons later

Becoming the hunted

Recent violence sparks Harper's call for action on tougher laws

New policy on murderers a killer

Refugee backlog continues to swell as Tories slow to appoint new adjudicators

Wall in a walk

Saskatchewan Party puts end to NDP dynasty

Stelmach didn't secure oilsands future
Preston Manning, Special to The StarPhoenix

Quebec warns Harper about Senate plans

Accommodating in Quebec

There's little politicians can do about coastal forest industry

McGuinty gets no commitments after meeting with PM

Harper says public does not want election

Poll suggests Canadians like Tory mini-budget =

Tory icon irked by content control of private bills
'Private member's bill is sacrosanct,' Pat Carney says

Membership to remain a secret

Offshore royalty meeting postponed

National Conservative Boss Stands by Barr's Heave-Ho

Local executive left in dark about Barr

Tories employ rumpled Barney Rubble to parry opposition barbs

PM needs all the Maritime friends he can get

Harper hurt by faith-based schools issue

 Harper blurs Canada's global image

Liberals in need of a hero

Harper and Dion glad to have a week out of spotlight
Abstaining Grits get break from tax-cutting Tories

Tory moves could lift NDP
Party stands to make gains after Conservative candidates removed

Tories won't take questions about what they know about Mulroney and Airbus

Harper's threats won't quell pointed questions

Harper criticized for meddling in ridings

Emerson won't switch ridings

Tories broke own promises — watchdog
Suspending Casey's riding association over nomination unfair, group says

We can fund an election, Liberals say

PM open to referendum,

Referendum on Senate abolition would be bad for country- Dion

Bloc Quebecois advocates common currency with U.S.

Dion to unveil plan for dramatically reducing poverty in Canada

French cadets ill-treated: military ombudsman

Tax burden to increase despite cuts
Economic Report; Reductions were 'smaller than they should have been'

PM promises most competitive taxes on 'planet'

Disabled veterans' lawyers to appeal pension suit to Supreme Court of Canada

Greenhouse gas emissions down in Canada

Rich pay less percentage in taxes than poor, report finds

Ethics committee could look at Mulroney payment

Former PM urges tax incentives to spur investment when bottom line is community's good

Time Harper stood up for Canadian values,

Cable companies poised to unplug small channels

Outsourcing policy

Words are so much more than what they mean

Inconvenient truths under assault

Let's celebrate the things that work

'Bull' and 'cow' in academia
The former displays an attempt at analytical thinking; the latter is merely regurgitation by risk-averse students

Conservatives stand to benefit from outbreak of gang mayhem

Megapundit: November 8
Tory troubles

Tax cut madness

China rumbles, CBC quakes, doc done in

Senate referendum should offer three choices

Confederation at heart of Senate debate
Without body 'there would not have been a Canada,' N.S. senator says

Right to die

Is poverty on the agenda, or isn't it?

 Mulroney affair begs attention

Good diagnosis, poor prescription

Book delves into heart of mission

Pull out troops, politician urges
Canada is supporting a corrupt administration, says suspended parliamentarian Malalai Joya

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper demonstrates continued ultra right wing affiliations by blocking pro social justice Toronto candidate


Un ouvrage est lancé pour renouveler l'argumentaire en faveur du fédéralisme

Le Parti de la Saskatchewan détrône le Nouveau Parti démocratique

L'ombudsman de l'armée s'inquiète du sort des francophones à la base de Borden

Québec répète son opposition farouche à des changements unilatéraux au Sénat

Selon Harper, le Sénat est condamné à disparaître s'il résiste à la réforme

Entre l'enthousiasme et la résignation

L'idée d'un référendum fait du chemin

Nouvel ouvrage pour renouveler l'argumentaire en faveur du fédéralisme

Controverse autour de Lord Durham: des anglophones en furie

Le sondage montre que les dossiers se règlent, dit Fortier

Un hôpital psychiatrique sans psychiatre

Sondage Léger Marketing-Le Devoir - Les conservateurs prennent six points aux bloquistes

Réformer ou abolir?


Great minds think alike - and fools seldom differ

        I came across this to-day in which the Borg were used as an analogy.  Yesterday a good part of the morning was spent in developing a post to send out to
        c.500 radio and TV stations and columnists across Canada.
        As I stated yesterday the control exercised from the PMO is not in the PCPC legacy as I have known it since 1965 when I was fighting Lester Pearson in
        Blind River.  It is the antithesis of Reform as I understood it, not power exercised downward but rather the will of constituents being of consequence.
        At the end of the post as with all I send out of this nature there is a sentence.  You may take up the offer made (none of those receiving the post yesterday did).
        I hope you won't. Rather than going away mad, if that's your reaction, please point out where you disagree.
        That is what the Digest offers at its best, the opportunity for free exchange of views.

Comparing the relationship between the Tory caucus and the Prime Minister's Office to the Borg—"125 MP drones connected to a prime ministerial core"—violates Megapundit's ironclad rule against referencing Star Trek in serious discussion. But the Calgary Herald's Don Martin evidently feels the comparison apt, now that a "special review committee" has apparently been struck to vet private member's bills before they find their way to Parliament. Peter Van Loan pooh-poohs such concerns, as is his wont, but "if a party that fought for more free votes and enhanced MP representation is limiting the right of its elected members to introduce legislation," Martin concludes, "Conservative control freakiness has reached a new and scary level." Tory troubles

Subject: (CIMS), Unimatrix One of the Conservative Party of Canada?

Garth Turner, P.C., M.P.  provides information on the functioning of the Conservative Party's Constituent Information Management System in "Nowhere to hide"

Mark Travers of Toronto Centre Riding and Brent Barr of Gueph erred in not accepting hive mind demands.

Brent Barr ". . . admitted that he may have made a mistake by not fully reporting all of his many campaign activities to party officials, thereby giving the impression that he was not doing enough." and ". . . said he may have erred in not reporting to the party all the door knocking he has been doing."

Mark Warner ". . .said references to his attendance at an international AIDS conference in Toronto in 2006 were removed from his bio when he sent it to Ottawa for approval."

No reason has been presented for Barr being removed from candidacy other than that he did not conform to the demand of feeding information into (CMIS). Nor for Warner otherwise than he was removed for seeking to focus on issues that deviated from the uniform cross country pattern to which all candidates are to subscribe.

These two broke from the Collective consciousness, in that they did not accept Conformity (psychology)  or Groupthink . Judged to be potential problems into the future they were consequently removed from their positions as candidates.

In Borg terms they were unsuited to being drones.

What is undetermined in this hypothesis is whether other candidates are feeding information into (CMIS) and having their bios and assumedly other products similarly vetted.  It would be interesting to know, n'est ce pas?

Joe Hueglin

Please inform me by writing REMOVE in the "Subject:" line of a return post should you choose not to receive posts of this nature in the future.


From: "Rose Dyson" <>
Subject: Notice re: New Book and Invitation

Hi Joe

I thought I'd send you the info on a new book I have a chapter in. The Book is entitled Sustaining Life On Earth: Environmental and Human Health Through Global Governance. My particular chapter is entitled:The Culture Environment: Implications for Human Health, Human Rights and Ecological Sustainability.

As you know, I have been focused on media issues for many years. Attached also, is an invitation that might interest some of your members.


Rose Anne Dyson Ed.D.
Consultant in Media Education
Chair: Science for Peace (Media Working Group), University of Toronto
President: Canadians Concerned about Violence in Entertainment

November 21, Wednesday, 6:00 p.m.
120/130 Carlton St. Toronto, Ontario
(Jarvis on the Park)
Main Floor
Introductory Remarks and Update on C-CAVE activities
Canadians Concerned About Violence In Entertainment
Chair: Media Working Group
Science for Peace, University of Toronto
Professor: Arts and Media
Rutgers University, New Jersey
(violence as entertainment, sexual exploitation, selling of junk food -its endless)
Wine and Cheese
$20 (Students, Low Income )
Includes membership for one year
(Cheques or cash only)
Payment & reservations may be sent to:
Sylvia Cauley
Ste. 2001-200 Balliol Avenue, Toronto, ON   M4S 1C8
Donations Gratefully Accepted
For more information Call 416-961-0853, log onto

From: "Brian Clark"

Subject: Re: Legacies?

Hi Joe, congratulations for Abigail's arrival.
Here's my take on this.
In my active participation in politics, I learned to my dismay that politics are governed by power and money, not logic and common sense. Power and money dictate that mp's vote for their own government's budget. Period. There is no place for a logical, common sense argument to support Casey, because logic and common sense take a back seat to power and money every time in politics.

From: "R. Gagne"
Subject: Legacies?


In my view, the legacies involved in the instances you mentioned have little to do with the practices of either the former Progressive Conservative or Reform parties, although there are indeed examples of leadership interference in the affairs of constituency associations by both these parties.

Rather, the examples you cite are the inevitable legacy of the misguided attempt to create a political entity with long-term prospects out of two such disparate constituents.

This pig may well fly in the short term but it's longevity is anything but certain and we can be sure that other bruising internecine conflicts are in the offing, to the benefit of nobody but the socialist forces in this country.  Sad.


From: "Glenn Harewood"

Sure. I saw this high handedness coming years ago. I recall very vividly how, as the last President of  the PCPC in my riding, I received an e-mail from Ottawa in January 2004, just after the stealthy take-over of the PCPC by the Harper Reformists. The gist of the e-mail was: " your PCPC riding has been taken over. Go hold a meeting  with the President of the Reform party in your riding. He is de facto President of the riding.

I, still believing that my PCPC executive could influence the direction in which the "new" entity might go, arranged a meeting. The Reform group, comprising a set of  dogmatic, hardline, grey-haired-thinking men,
literally forced their way of doing things upon the few from my executive who showed up for the meeting in a Denny's restaurant. The even rejected my offer of a free venue for holding a general meeting, insisting that the meeting be held at a very expensive convention centre.

To date, I have never signed away the rights to the funds left in my riding's bank account. I refused to sign when I was reminded by some riding constituents that the money in the bank account was donated by them to the PCPC riding, and they did not want it to go to any other party. Moreover, a major portion of the funds  in the account was an amount which was  been donated to the last PCPC candidate-of-record  (the candidate of record just happened to be me) campaign, and which Elections Canada had refunded to the riding.  As President, I had written a letter to the interim HQ people in Ottawa, clearly stating that I would NOT sign away the money until I had adequate proof  as to what financial account the money would go.

I continued to receive statements from the local bank for some months (about 6 months) regarding the balance in the account. Then, suddenly, the bank account was cleaned out and closed without my signature, and without any notice to me.

From the beginning of the "2003 December, Sunday-morning-merger," one could clearly see that the Neo-Con" party had  completely  "conned" and crippled the grassroots-ridings. These grassrooters were so eager for the "Neo-con-Conservatives" to win an election, that they have been willing to sacrifice their freedom to think, as well as everything else. There is NO democratic, but only autocratic running of the local ridings by the Central Council. The  people in the ridings are mere eunuchs who have been completely castrated by  autocratic and benevolent dictatorship rule of Harper and those of his inner circle.

Look out for it to get worse sooner than later. God help us if the Neo-cons were to ever get a majority.

Glenn Harewood

From: alan heisey <>
Subject: Re: Daily Digest November 1, 2007

j, tell zeb and your readers that i continue to have a modest policy role in my former residence provincial riding of tri-spa where i am chairman of the policy committee on the executive. we have had an annual "policy lite" go round in each of the past two years, more dedicated to some light conversation and dessert and coffee than major issue development. i continue to feel that the federal party is basically terrified of informal policy chats within and without riding associations which is really too bad since a whole lot of incipient policy wonks are turned on by fighting for their particular take on any number of issues. all those kinds of early stage exchanges not to be confused with challenging the main song sheet although some of that will happen, be sure.

hq in ottawa announced in september, late, i would say, only to presidents, i gather, that their national constitution committee would entertain proposals for changes in the party's core document. i, of course, see this as a golden opportunity to let all know how the party functions and how it might be improved, but the secretiveness of my own federal riding of st. paul's on this issue is incredible! not being currently a member of their board i have to rely on email communications from the exec and there has been nuthin', NUTHIN', on this very positive development emailed to the general membership by the board of directors.

with a supposed six weeks plus left to file recommendations for constitution changes i see my home town tory activists as asleep at the switch. happily i have a standing proposal dating back 18 months to change the four ontario directors elected at-large (and you know how ontarions do not like at-large representation from the mmp referendum) so i have detailed a proposal based on 6 for ontario, a better reflection of our population, each to be elected by delegates from one of six regions of the province.

the special fun i had working out equal populations, very nearly, for all six proposed districts was to avoid naming any one of them after any town or city in those districts. you will be interested that the districts are proposed to be called:
northern ontario
eastern ontario
central lake ontario
mid lake ontario
western lake ontario
southwestern ontario

since the only way i have heard details of the whole process is from a leak from another riding i have no idea whether i am to submit directly to ottawa, my inclination, or sends it to my e.d.a. president, or what. frankly, this casualness, between a soundly conceived initiative at h.q and the sloth out here in the boonies, is to cry! in the faith! cz
will forward a copy of the map and population breakouts of the six ontario regions shortly as i send it to the national constitution committee in ottawa. be advised that the idea for this restructuring came from peter tudisco , cambridge and north dumfries 1st v.p., who found that being from out of toronto was a disadvantage under the present at-large election rules.z

Subject: Canada's economic strategy is failling

Dear Editor.

Canada's capacity to be a value-added manufacturing country is being disassembled.

Monday October 22, 2007 UAW local 222 circulated a green letter informing their members of another round of significant and permanent layoffs. Twenty-five years ago Oshawa was home to the  largest single car plant in the world.  Dimensionally speaking, Oshawa's GM plant is still the largest under-one-roof autoplex in the world. Nevertheless, today it is close to sitting idle. By the end of next year only about 5,000 employees will remain of the 10,000 from a year ago, and down from 20,000 of just a couple of decades ago.

Oshawa's manufacturing force is down 50% over two years and 80% over twenty-five years.

Paralleling Oshawa's story, Canada's manufacturing sector  eliminated 400,000 jobs over the last three years. The cause of  the manufacturing collapse is not our workers, nor the want of  resources or capital, nor the ability to find customers (see note below).

National economic strategy is the cause of the collapse.
The Canadian dollar has risen nearly 80% in about six  years.  In the last three years the dollar has risen sharply, increasing more than 20% in the last year alone.   Consequently, the Canadian cost of production - relative to U.S. customers - has inflated nearly 80% in just six years.

Management of the relative value of the Canadian dollar has  demonstratively failed. Whether you are a radical socialist who believes in complete central management of the dollar or an absolute laissez-faire capitalist, the loss of quality manufacturing tells you economic planning in Canada is seriously  flawed.

U.S. customers can no longer afford Canadian manufactured products.
After the  9/11 tragedy, the Bank of Canada (BoC)  kept  its interest rate more than 100% higher than the U.S.; today Canadian interest rates remain high in comparison to  the American rate. Our money supply has likewise remained relatively restricted. The raw value of a Canadian central bank bond versus a U.S. central bank bond was kept high by the Bank  of Canada.

The Bank of Canada is significantly contributing to the demand  for the Canadian dollar and its rise against the U.S. dollar. 

Hindsight's lesson of our near collapse in Canadian  manufacturing from the rise of the dollar tells us that the Central Bank's policy is a mistake.  The question going  forward is how to set interest rates appropriately so as to reflect the true value of the Canadian dollar.

The Canadian dollar should be a reflection of the internal value of the Canadian economy (fair traded value), the value of externally traded goods (free trade value), and the future value of economic activity (interest value).

The calculation of the value at which to set the Canadian dollar is not necessarily as nebulous as it sounds and neither does it have to be so radically in error as in Canada for the last six  years. For example, we can look at the calculated value the European Union or the United States places its dollar. Canadian interest rates can be set within the average of those major economies.

Canadian Central Bank Rate = (US Interest Rate + EU Interest  Rate)/2  +/- 1%

Flexibility needs to exist to account for year-by-year variation and changes in economic value (which affects future  value).  Naturally, all central banks adjust the face value of its currency by changing interest rates and the amount of currency in circulation. There is a good faith goal to reflect value as demonstrated by the economy. However, given the gross error of the BoC over the last 3 years, the BoC should no longer be allowed unlimited latitude to set interest rates. 

More than a 1% variance should be justified to the Minister of Finance and require written temporary permission.

The working class of Canada, particularly the manufacturing sector, is paying dearly for ivory tower mistakes at the BoC. The mistakes are needless as we can find sound company in the  world's two largest currencies. We can chart our own course with some latitude (+/- 1%) but must remain grounded in economic realities as demonstrated by our own economy, the U.S. economy,  and the European Union. Canadians deserve a stable economic playing field.

This is the first of three articles on the strategic failure of economic strategy in Canada.

Eugene Parks
Victoria BC

Footnote: The cause of the manufacturing collapse is not our workers, not the want of resources and capital, nor an inability to find customers. As recently as three years ago, Oshawa's plant was the world's most profitable autoplex with the highest quality and customer satisfaction ratings. Oshawa's truck plant won Best in Class. The car plant won the Harbour and JD Powers awards. The Buick Allure built in Oshawa tied the Lexes for top quality. Accordingly, billions of dollars have regularly gone into upgrading the complex. Surrounding the plant are world class suppliers like Magna Corp,  Lear Siegler, Lasco steel (now in foreign hands), and hyrdo-power as cheap and reliable as is humanly feasible. Our manufacturers are not the cause of their own demise. Of course, employment remains statistically strong as quality manufacturing jobs are being rapidly replaced by lower paying service industry work or the selling raw resources to the US. Notably, the demand for oil is temporarily offsetting the loss of manufacturing jobs.  Regardless, the loss of over 15,000 GM jobs in Oshawa directly translates to over 150,000 manufacturing jobs in Ontario.  We are giving up manufacturing capacity in favour of selling raw resources.