Friday, December 14, 2007

Daily Digest December 14, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Baird drops ball at Bali

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - A reflection on Pearson's legacy print this article
Amid the criticism of present-day politicians, the accomplishments of Lester B. Pearson stand out.

HALIFAX NEWS - Proof of smoking law will be in enforcement View comments4

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Put hold on Taser use

MONTREAL GAZETTE - MPs didn't shake Mulroney's version

        With respect: They are Quebec

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Our shared responsibility

        'Usage creep'

        Sir Galahad, indeed

TORONTO STAR - Mulroney's reply raises new issues

         Priorities for tough times

NATIONAL POST - A Malignant Vestige Of 'Tradition'

        Where is the contrition?

TORONTO SUN - Inquiry still needed in Mulroney case

WINDSOR STAR - Open meetings
The Ombudsman's case

SUDBURY STAR - Political fission over isotopes

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Mulroney: Man in full

        A defeated Taliban

Former PM didn't break law but judgement lacking

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - A generous report card

VANCOUVER SUN - Barring surprises, it's time to close the book on Mulroney and Schreiber

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - The case for free crack pipes


U.S. will tone down appeals for more NATO help in Afghanistan: Pentagon chief

CIDA talks up Afghan progress; dismisses dire predictions and warnings.

Soldiers 'hail success of talks with the Taliban'

Troops can't withdraw from Afghanistan in near future: NATO chief

British 'success' under siege in Afghanistan
Taliban regroup after losing city

Trade with China soars to $42.1 billion in 2006

Ottawa making $2B a year in GST on new homes, construction group says

Using business for social activism

Who benefits from the merger of the stock exchanges?

It's time to fix prisons

RCMP 'changes' to Taser policy represents little change at all: watchdog

Task force calls for sweeping change to RCMP structure, management

Report calls for RCMP to split from federal government
Force still would be accountable to Public Safety Ministry

Overhaul RCMP, task force says

Former RCMP commissioner slammed for 'lack of leadership' in pension flap

Teen's slaying sparks 'honour killing' debate (VIDEO)

Nova Scotia Bans Smoking In Car With Children

Canada drifted closer to Bush administration in 2007: Green Party

Lunn knew of reactor problems
Minister accused of withholding news for two days before colleagues found out

CBC reporter fed questions to Liberal MP: Tories

                        L'affaire Schreiber

Error of his ways

Former PM admits 'mistake in judgment,' maintains no political wrong-doing

Mulroney admits taking Schreiber cash, denies kickbacks

Mulroney's six-year tax gap

Most questions left unanswered
The former prime minister danced and weaved and bobbed about in his four hours before the ethics committee

Great theatre, but the show ain't over yet

Schreiber disputes Mulroney's testimony


Mulroney stowed cash first, paid tax later

Questions that remain

Does Mulroney take us for fools?

He needed to do this years ago

Mulroney's six-year tax gap
In a four-hour session before MPs, the former prime minister acknowledges receiving cash from Schreiber, explains the delay in reporting it, attacks the deal-maker's credibility and changes his tune on a public inquiry

Mulroney admits 'biggest mistake' TWO VIDEOS)

That $225,000 was the most expensive money Mulroney ever made

Mulroney had more to lose than Schreiber and he did

The truth is still at large

Former PM leaves questions unanswered
Who in Canada benefitted from the awarding of Airbus contract?

Vintage Mulroney

Harper not involved: Mulroney

Neither Mulroney nor accuser credible
Schreiber is hardly reliable, but ex-PM can't explain those piles of cash

RADARSAT-2 , successfully launched

Federal government announces more aid for livestock industry

AECL head resigns amid medical isotope controversy


The days of Linda Keen of the presidency of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission are counted?

Dispute blights climate summit

CNN: Bali climate change talks

Baird defends Canada's stand in Bali

Canadians obstructing climate agreement, sources charge

Climate talks in Bali focus on rich-poor divide

Bali roadmap
It would be suicidal for the international community not to agree on the Bali prescription, especially on the ground of contributions from the rich.

Bali summit teeters on the brink :Kazakhstan News.Net

EU-U.S. climate deadlock easing in Bali
The United States, the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases and the only developed nation outside the 37-country Kyoto, has repeatedly said that setting a 2020 goal would prejudge the outcome of coming negotiations.

Europeans Raise Ante at Bali Climate Talks
U.S. Stance on Emissions Targets Prompts Threat to Boycott Bush Forum

Iceberg, right ahead! Wait, no...

Agreement in sight in Bali

Don't fight, adapt
We should give up futile attempts to combat climate change

Signatories of an open letter on the UN climate-conference

Canada foolhardy to dither on climate change

Stéphane Dion's Bali Blog

Bird Flu Resurfaces: Deaths Reported in Indonesia, China,2933,316898,00.html#

Problematic in pink
The Liberals' new 'Pink Book' would encourage more bias against men.

We honour Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Why not Jesus?

It's easy to fall to the street, and so hard to climb back up

Fixing 'ethics deficit' in politics vital
Preston Manning, The StarPhoenix

Tough on prostitution
Sex trade workers need not be doomed to live in fear of violence or death -- but societal attitudes, police practices and the law must change

Self-censorship? Me? Absolutely!

Smoke, but no fire; Politicians not serious about battle against cigarettes

Reconciling Fascism with Reality


Le Canada s'est rapproché de l'administration Bush en 2007, dit le Parti vert

Bali: Stéphane Dion est triste de voir ainsi le Canada critiqué

Un groupe de travail recommande des changements à la structure de la GRC

La GRC restreint l'usage des pistolets à impulsion électrique

Un ancien conseiller de Harper et Day travaille pour Taser International

Changements climatiques: Le Canada a affaibli les cibles, selon le NPD

Mulroney admet avoir fait une erreur et veut tourner la page

Mulroney : des questions fournies par un reporter

Le patron d'Énergie atomique du Canada démissionne

Les jours de Linda Keen à la présidence de la Commission canadienne de sûreté nucléaire sont-ils comptés?

Le chef de l'OTAN frustré par le manque de soldats en Afghanistan

À qui profite la fusion des Bourses?

L'Europe plie l'échine



AECL head resigns amid medical isotope controversy


        To-day A.E.C.L. had a leadership change. Michael C. Burns as Chair of the Board resigned.  Isn't it fortunate that when the Prime Minister
        'phoned Ms. Glenna Carr and Mr. Hugh MacDiarmid were prepared to immediately fill the void that had been created by the resignation.
        That is the way it happened, isn't it?

From:         PMO <pm@PM.GC.CA>
Subject: News Release

From the Prime Minister's Web Site ( )


December 14, 2007
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he has accepted the resignation of Michael C. Burns as Chair of the Board of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), effective 31 December 2007. He also announced the appointment of Ms. Glenna Carr as the new Chair as well as Mr. Hugh MacDiarmid as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

"Ms. Carr brings extensive experience in strategic corporate management and regulatory issues to this position," said the Prime Minister. "Her proven leadership in the private and public sectors is a definite asset for the pursuit and the achievement of AECL's objectives."

Ms. Carr graduated from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She is certified by the Institute of Corporate Directors, chaired the Board of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operators and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, and was President of the Canadian Council for Public–Private Partnerships.

Ms. Carr served as the Deputy Minister of three Government of Ontario Ministries. While serving as Deputy Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Ms. Carr led the overhaul of 40 laws and regulations as well as agency reviews to modernize business statutes and consumer protection for regulated industrial sectors, including oil and gas.

"Mr. MacDiarmid is an operational executive who brings regulatory experience to this position," said the Prime Minister. "I'm confident that his knowledge and experience will ensure strong leadership for AECL."

Mr. MacDiarmid is currently the Managing Director of Holden America LLC.

Mr. MacDiarmid graduated with a Master's degree in Business Administration from Stanford University. He previously served as President and CEO of Laidlaw Transit, where he implemented a successful redesign. In 2001, he served as the Chairman of the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation. The committee assessed the existing framework for regulation in Canada and made recommendations to the Cabinet on its effectiveness. He also served as Executive Vice-President at Canadian Pacific Railway from 1995 to 2001.

"I would like to express my appreciation to the former Chair of the Board, Michael C. Burns for his service to AECL," added the Prime Minister.

AECL is a full-service nuclear-technology company that provides services to nuclear utilities around the world. Established in 1952, AECL is the designer and builder of CANDU technology.

AECL specializes in a range of advanced nuclear-energy products and services that are an important component of clean-air energy programs on four continents. AECL's employees provide research and development, support, design and engineering, construction management, specialized technology, refurbishment, waste management and decommissioning in support of CANDU reactor products. More information on AECL and CANDU technology can be found at


From: alan heisey <>

07 12 14 to joe, here is the letter in yesterday's globe you asked me to transcribe:

Letter, Thursday, December 13 in Globe
A lesson for Ontario?
"Jeffrey Simpson evokes an interesting comparison of Ontario to Quebec - and their very different relationships alongside our federal government. (In wooing Quebec, PM Rolls The Dice - Dec. 12). Ontario, which supports the country and nourishes its Constitution, is repaid by Ottawa with meanness and contempt. Quebec, which rejects the Constitution and ransoms Confederation, is rewarded with bounty and devotion. If there is a political lesson here, it can only be that we in Ontario are too bone stupid to learn it. Scott Gardiner, Toronto"

From: Ron Thornton
Subject: Re: Daily Digest December 13, 2007

*Hi Joe:

Just a few passing Stratos type comments as I do a drive-by commentary of the Dec. 13 Digest.  One headline states the Pickton verdict was short of satisfying.  Other than an execution of the guilty party by woodchipper and the resurrection of the souls taken, I'm afraid it was going to fall short no matter what the final conclusion.

Another says the murder of a Muslim girl by her father does not reflect Muslim values.  I would like to agree, but we've read too many stories where women are put to death by their loved ones for a variety of reasons, but essentially they boil down to them not staying in line. 
Folks literally do the damnedest things in the name of religion and culture, and that is not restricted to Muslims.  However, when the problem does not seem to be restricted to some wacked out cult perversion of one's faith in some isolated corner of the world, but more wide spread, then it does make one wonder about the values held by some.

It is so nice to see more and more seeing Kyoto and its adherents for what they are.  Many scientists are defying their cash cows and coming forth, with even the Pope cautioning against these folks who seem more interested in trying to save a planet that does not need saving at the expense of humankind.  I'm not interested in spending a dime to buy fictitious carbon credits from Russia or China.  I'm not interested in resurrecting Al Gore's pathetic career over what amounts to a pure nonsense.  I am interested in real pollution, not water vapor, that may actually be poisoning our air, like what we might actually find here, or in Russia or in China.  Ice melting?  Yes, the more it melts the faster it melts, as it no doubt did before when exiting an Ice we are.  If nothing else, it helps explain why a bunch of folks cut off their nads, put on new sneakers, and sent their souls packing to some space craft following a comet.  Some folks are leaders.  Some, maybe most, are mindless followers.  You really should know who and what you are following.

Another headline calls for the abolition of mandatory early release of convicts.  It is about time!  If you are sentenced to 20 years, you serve 20 years unless you earn a shot at parole.  If you don't, you sit.  When I send my child to his room for an hour, he might earn a chance to get out early, but I sure in hell don't have to let him leave it in 20 minutes.
Personally, I think we should turn our prisons over to the military and let them run them as they do their own.  The next headline stated how prisoners are more violent than in the past.  If those in charge don't know what to do about it, I do.

In regards to tasers, I see nothing wrong with their use if they are in the hands of trustworthy officers.  Those at the Vancouver airport were not.  Rather than offer the poor guy a cigarette to calm his nerves, they lit him up, then lied about the events that led up to it.  It comes down to a matter of competence and trust, and those officers demonstrated they had neither.  If they are still employed by the RCMP, then I'm afraid neither does the institution they serve.

We read that Quebec is ready to step in if the feds dump the gun registry.  Good.  Maybe they can do it better, in a fashion that might actually prove effective, something the Liberal federal registry does not and never will.  Maybe Quebec is better at building such a program than they are in building bridges and stadiums.  Maybe not.

Joe, I noticed an additional swarm of items on global warming and climate change, including Al Gore standing up in Bali and saying how he is the good American, and George W. is a bad one, and that Stephen Harper is a Bush stooge.  Interesting.  Rather than comment further on the issue here, let me just say that what we are witnessing is the world's greatest hoax.  Most will realize it in time, hopefully before soaring costs contribute to you losing your job, freezing in the dark, going hungry, seeing a reduction in your health care and other government services, even if we pay "protection money" in the form of our tax dollars for carbon credits to some nation that really could not care less if we slip to third-world conditions ourselves.  As for the planet, it all will make no measurable difference.  To you, it will make all the difference in the world, and you won't like it.

On that cheery note, have a nice day.


From: "Mahmood Elahi"
To: "Letters to the Editor" <>.
Subject: Female abuse by some Muslim men in the name of religion calls for preventive measures

The Editor
The Toronto Star
Female abuse by some Muslim male in the name of religion calls for preventive measures
Re : "Slain teenager's father and brother charged," (Dec. 12).
The alleged murder of Aqsa by her father over her not wearing hijab is the latest example of how some Muslim men are brutalizing women in the name of religion. To prevent such brutality,  father and brothers (dominant males in the family)  of a minor girl wearing hijab should be required to present a letter to school authorities saying that no direct or indirect pressure has been applied to force her to wear hijab. Such a letter could have  prevented the alleged murder of Aqsa by her father, as the girl would have definitely alerted the school authorities of the pressure applied on her by her father and brothers to wear hijab against her will and the school authorities could have taken preventive measures by finding a foster home for the unfortunate girl.
2240 Iris Street, Ottawa.

From: "Brad Thomson"

Subject: BELOW 30, Liberty City Seven

Brad Thomson


With respect to the Liberty City Seven, my suspicion is that the initial plan WAS to enduce these indivduals TO blow up the building. Something went wrong, so the real criminals went with their second best option, their plan B. Remember, 911 was an inside job. They did it to themselves so as to have a pretext. The truth, in the end, will come out. And Uncle Sam ain't gonna' like it much when he tastes his mom's rotten apple pie. God bless America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Merry Christmas to everyone! (No, NOT season's greetings- it IS Christmas. I respect your right to your religion, DO NOT disrespect mine.)

Brad Thomson

From: "Efstratios Psarianos"
Subject: More from the ECP Centre

Hey heeeeey ... Here I was, slipping into end-of-year lethargy and along comes my latest missive from the ECP Centre. Interestingly enough, I actually agree with the Centre's spokesman's observations being correct (about Christianity proliferating in the Third World). As concern his conclusions that it will lead to a re-Christianizing of the Western World ... well, we'll have to wait and see.
(Fun fact: Christianity has actually been a pretty competitive religion overseas. Case in point: South Korea. Before the Korean War in the early 50s, there were very few people living there who were Christian. Once US soldiers had stationed themselves there, evangelists went out to Christianize the South Koreans. The result: 30% of South Koreans are Christian as of now, with most of them being Protestants of some sort.)
'Post-Christian era'? Don't tell Third World
Exclusive: Tristan Emmanuel sees East
in role of re-discipling Western secularists

Thursday, December 13, 2007

There is a general belief today that we are living in a post-Christian era.

The theory is that because Christianity is in decline in the West, it is also losing its power to influence culture and shape the course of human history. This theory is often summarized in the refrain, "As the West goes, so goes Christianity." There is no doubt secularism has virtually depleted the West of a Christian consciousness. It's as though the final great apostasy prophesied in the book of Revelation is unfolding before our very eyes.

Dutifully we remind ourselves that it is "a post-Christian era" which in turn has had the effect of institutionalizing apathy among many Christians, who have hunkered down in their little ghetto-communes awaiting Christ's imminent return instead of obediently working to re-disciple the West and its culture. Whatever we make of the decline in the West, I think the paradigm "As the West goes, so goes Christianity" is wrong. It is wrong because it simply doesn't make sense on a global scale. When I look at the world, I don't see a bleak future for Christianity. And I certainly don't see evidence of a post-Christian era outside of "the West."


From: Matthew Wensley

Subject: Is China flexing its muscles?


From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject: Super bug brought home from Afghanistan

We never learn. The 1918 flu killed more than those killed in the war.

From: "Robert Ede
Subject: a good one from Link Byfield

On 12/11/07, Citizens Centre <> wrote:
Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy
A weekly commentary by Link Byfield
December 10, 2007
The prosecution of Maclean's magazine shows how feeble is our right of free
By Link Byfield

It had to happen eventually. A national publisher is now being prosecuted
for political insensitivity. It marks the latest and most serious
escalation of the long, slow war of Canadian governments against free
Last year (Oct. 23, 06) Maclean's printed a lengthy article entitled "The
Future Belongs to Islam." It was in fact a chapter from the book "America
Alone" by Maclean's columnist Mark Steyn.
The complaint was brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), after
being initiated last spring by Muslim law students at York University.

CIC legal counsel Faisal Joseph, a former prosecutor, explained, "When you
read that article, it sounds to some people {like} there's an attack from
the 'Muslim' world against the 'non-Muslim' world. We take real issue with
that type of characterization and the implications of it."
It's undeniable that Steyn's chapter – and his whole book – describe such
an attack. He sees the western world as being intimidated and
demographically overwhelmed by an Islamic culture hostile to western
This opinion, the CIC's Joseph alleges, subjects Canadian Muslims to
discrimination, hatred and contempt.

Maclean's editor Ken Whyte met with the offended Osgoode students last
spring, and offered to publish a longish letter from them, even though he
had run 27 letters on the subject already, and the story was now five
months old. But the students demanded five unedited pages in his magazine,
plus an unedited cover picture.

Whyte refused, saying he would sooner see the magazine go bankrupt than
surrender responsibility for its content. The CIC has translated this to
him saying he'd prefer bankruptcy to journalistic balance.
Human rights law began forty years ago, inflicting itself on defenseless
employers and landlords, but has gradually been taking on ever more
powerful antagonists. Maclean's is the most potent yet.
What most people still fail to understand, unfortunately, is that human
rights law has nothing to do with civil rights. The traditional freedoms –
our centuries-old civil rights – are to own property, assemble peacefully,
speak your mind, worship God openly, and associate with people you choose.
Human rights law is quite different. It says that you have a right not to
feel excluded or demeaned for who you are, and if you do the state will
prosecute the offender and extract compensation. This requires
government-appointed commissions to decide which social and racial groups
they will protect and which ones they won't, and where the line lies
between free speech and "responsible" free speech as they choose, according
to some moving political basis, to define it.
A wise law professor once explained the distinction between the two kinds
of law thus: traditional freedoms require governments to leave citizens
alone. The new anti-discrimination laws require governments to become ever
more intrusive and restrictive.

Or as another wise professor once expressed it, "Freedom of speech is not
the right to tell someone good morning. It's the legal right to tell them
to _____ off."
We may not like talk like that, or opinions like Mark Steyn's. But just
because they offend us does not mean governments in a free society should
stop them. Governments can no more control public opinion than King Canute
could hold back the tide.
Let's hope now that Maclean's is being hounded, Canadian media will at long
last take seriously the threat human rights commissions pose to their own
freedom and everyone else's.
   - Link Byfield

Link Byfield is an Alberta senator-elect and chairman of the Citizens
Centre. The Centre promotes the principles of personal freedom and
responsible government.