Monday, January 14, 2008

Daily Digest January 14, 2008



OTTAWA CITIZEN - Going nuclear

         Playing games at the Olympics

        Keep federal jobs in capital


TORONTO STAR - Culture of silence imperils schools

NATIONAL POST - Alberta's gauntlet of bias

WINDSOR STAR - Lobby rules

SUDBURY STAR - Tories weren't done in by a single issue

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Preening premiers

         Two-for-one ruling

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Courts shouldn't be part of this blame game

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - Carbon tax is not the solution


Sask's top court orders new trial for one-time aboriginal leader David Ahenakew

Six Nations boosting demands in land claim dispute along Grand River

B.C. keeps native education on national agenda

Afghans taking on more of a combat role: NATO

Defence Department moves headquarters

Faced with a shortage of parts for its aging fleet of six Buffalo aircraft, the Air Force of Canada
must cannibalize three of its aircraft to fly the other three. The propellers, in particular, are out of stock.

Nation owes it to troops to ensure mission justifiable

U.S. lumber industry group takes issue with Canadian community aid fund

US trade group balks at Canada's lumber subsidies

Canada as car builder losing lustre
Cost 'Gap' Widens

Economy strong, but firms wary

U.S. option to bomb Iran still on the table

India's new claim to fame

Canada's stance on Israeli settlements still unclear

Curing Canada's doctor shortage

HPV link to single sex partner
U.S. study highlights the risks posed by limited sexual activity

Plan targets serious drug offenders; Rob Nicholson,

Canada needs common greenhouse gas regulations, not patchwork, Flaherty says

Williams says Harper told him N.L. support not needed to win election

NDP says Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall left Ottawa empty-handed

Payback time for McGuinty

Charest is no longer on the PM's 'A' list

Crown share payments issue being tackled by special panel print this article

Saskatchewan Liberals angry at appointment of candidate by Dion

Angry Sask. Liberals to fight for runoff
A Liberal Party nomination dispute in Saskatchewan enmeshed in politics, race and gender has become more complicated - and confrontational.

Goodale Bears Brunt Of Disgruntled Liberals In Nomination Flap

Liberals still keen on ending Afghan combat mission despite positive visit

Canada must shift focus in Afghanistan, Dion says
'The military forces of Canada have a role to play after February, 2009,' Liberal Leader insists while on whirlwind tour with Ignatieff

Liberal Top Guns In Afghan Summit
Fact-Finding; 'We're here to see what needs to be done:' Ignatieff

Liberals can't abstain from House votes anymore, too politically risky

Tory MP put lives at risk, Liberals charge

Liberals seek answers for isotope crisis
Opposition demands that Natural Resources Minister explain why government didn't intervene sooner

NDP camp divided on toppling government

NDP says it could vote against budget despite aid package

Layton Says Harper Hurting Middle Class

Tories bungling economy, NDP leader charges

Harper assistance stance is blackmail: Layton

Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry limited

It's time for the ethics committee to get serious
A report calling for a limited inquiry is better than nothing; in the meantime, MPs can still get more answers

Government met stiff resistance to lobbying regs from all sides

New federal lobbying regulations are a 'major victory' for lobbying community, says leading lobbying expert Guy Giorno

Conservatives' open sparring with Keen could damage party's standing with female voters, says Nanos

House Ethics Committee to grill Doucet, MacKay, Pelossi, Rock and more

Tax cuts could lead to a deficit in 2008: report

Airport security a 'con game'

Europe's environment chief has admitted that the EU did not foresee the problems raised by its policy to get 10% of Europe's road fuels from plants.

Media ignoring findings of qualified scientists

Canada Inuit rap U.S. greens for polar bear campaign

Our front-line fight
Being in harm's way causes high casualty rate in Afghanistan

Be compassionate

Ottawa must act on cancer-causing pollutants

When independence is too risky
It's hard to recognize when aging relatives are no longer capable of living on their own

Politics ruled by white men

Monetary Reform of the Bank of Canada would solve student debt crisis and redress other issu

Institution driven by Liberal, Socialist and Anti-American ideology
Time to Clean-up Canada's Partisan Public Service

A chance for nuclear industry to clean up its act


Ottawa serait trop optimiste

Tournée afghane : Dion et Ignatieff restent sur leurs positions

Maxime Bernier à Ramallah - Ottawa promet 300 millions de dollars d'aide conditionnelle aux Palestiniens

Document du Centre canadien des politiques alternatives - Les baisses d'impôt pourraient créer un déficit au fédéral

Bois d'oeuvre - Un groupe américain critique le fonds Harper

En bref - Layton accuse Harper de chantage

Affaire Ahenakew: une Cour d'appel maintient un jugement de cassation

Les petites provinces devraient craindre Harper, dit Danny Williams

Les libéraux souhaitent la fin de la mission en Afghanistan en 2009

Aux prises avec un manque de pièces pour sa flotte vieillissante de six aéronefs Buffalo,
 la Force aérienne du Canada doit cannibaliser trois de ses appareils pour faire voler les trois autres.
Les hélices, plus particulièrement, sont en rupture de stock.

Les taxes sur le carbone doivent être harmonisées, dit Flaherty



"The irony of Dion and Ignatieff being in a war zone and being protected by the same troops who protect Afghan women and children is palpable," she said. "I think he should apologize to our troops while he is touring the PRT in safety."

or is the aim to rile them so the force an election?

The Hill Times, January 14th, 2008

Party leaders turn backs on democracy

Power first came into the hands of party leaders when their signatures became necessary before a nominated candidate's name could be placed on the ballot as standing for the party. "Parachute candidates," individuals from outside the constituency being nominated in "safe ridings" have a long history. They were not imposed, however, but nominated with the consent of local members.

Those seeking a nomination today as a Conservative Party candidate, first of all, must have their qualifications vetted by the central party. They may be informed from above that their names cannot be placed before their party's constituency nomination convention. Nominated candidates when campaigning may be informed they have been removed as candidates without the agreement of local members. In both cases, decisions handed down are final.

During the first week of 2008, candidates were appointed by both the Liberal and Conservative parties without local nominations being held. Don Meredith was named the Conservative candidate to replace Mark Warner, the former nominated candidate in Toronto Centre, Ont., who was removed in November. Joan Beatty, was named the Liberal candidate in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Sask., despite David Orchard being urged to seek the nomination and as a result spending weeks campaigning in the riding.

Local members' choices were overridden in the cases of the removal of Mark Warner in Toronto Centre and Brent Barr of Guelph, Ont. In the appointments of Meredith and Beatty, decisions were made without reference to the local membership. Decisions were made in all cases with the expectation that "obedience to superiors" would prevail.

Precedents are being set. Accepted once, such actions will in all probability, become more and more common. Will they in time, become the norm? The trend line is here. The time to oppose it is now.

Joe Hueglin

Niagara Falls, Ont.

(The letter-writer is a former Progressive Conservative MP and now a founding member of the Progressive Canadian Party.)

© 2007 Hill Times Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republica

Nova Scotia perspective: St. John's Newspaper improperly labels alternative political choices as fringe

by Phyllis Wagg
        The Telegram

An editorial in the St. John's Telegram knowingly or unknowingly played to those at the top of the established political parties who are increasingly concentrating decision making power in their hands. LINK

Advising Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans, and by extension all Canadians, to regard everyone outside the three established parties as "fringe" elements cements the control of special interests over the political system. If you join one of the federal establishment parties you may get to vote for a leader but even that choice is strictly limited by the requirements imposed by the centre. If you are lucky you may even get the chance to vote in a nomination meeting if the center is unable to decide who would make the best candidate to represent their interests. Otherwise, the stringent vetting process determines your choice.

As with the case in some Conservative ridings, even the pre-nomination vetting process does not ensure the selected candidate will continue to have the support of the leader as Mark Warner and others have found out in Ontario. The Liberal leader can simply by-pass the nomination process and appoint his own candidate, as he has done in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, in the process over-looking two Liberal Party members and selecting an NDP member of the Saskatchewan legislature. Of seven by-elections since becoming leader, Dion has selected at least four of the candidates.

I accept that those of us in the Progressive Canadian Party are on the "fringe" as the editorial states, but I would like to point out that our objective is to create a political party that will represent Canadian voters who are on the "fringe" as well.

From: "Rene  Moreau"
To: "Joe Hueglin" <>
Cc: "John Godfrey" <>,
        "Gary Lunn, M.P." <>,
         "Connie Fogal" <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 18:37:06 -0500

To Joe; ( and FYI to all others)

From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)
re; U.S Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports troubled. Jan. 12, 2008

    Funny, ain't it, when the Americans companies are troubled about the working of our rather stupid and infiltrated  government moves and decisions?

     80% of the lumber companies in B.C. and Ontario are American owned, but our media have been told to shut up on the issue, and to never print letters to the editor on this.  The end result of course, is that our people and government don't know they're getting screwed.

    Even when David Emmerson, the minister for International Trade appointed by 'Harper the unknowing', despite  his being in complete and total conflict of interest having been the  C.E.O. for Canfor Lumber  which brought in an American C.E.O. to run Canfor. Add to this that  his office at International Trade says he does not have to reveal if he holds dual Canadian-American citizenship, while in office, to citizens of Canada.

    Is this what they mean when they talk about rape with consent? Or does infiltration cause  brain death?

    It would seem it takes the Americans to tell us things are getting so out of hand that we are infiltrated to the point that our, Canadian lumber prices are way lower  than they need be and our government are so  conned  they would give $1 billion  dollars to these FOREIGN, AMERICAN COMPANIES  TO HELP THEM SURVIVE, AND WE  THE CANADIAN TAXPAYER, FOOT THE BILL! 

        The ploy is called Milking the Cash Cow, with us, the taxpayer, being the Cow!

    If that isn't an infiltrated  government, what is ?

       Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)


As I've Matured...



Canadians need leaders who understand politicians aren't in power to use this country's bounty for their own purposes by creating billion-dollar blackmail funds. They have been elected to do what's best for the country.

Just who is being "blackmailed?
Stupiiiiiid, what's being said in the article above. The ones being greenmailed are the Opposition parties. They want to bring down the present government, over its next budget, for spurious reasons? That's for them to decide. But the price of doing so has just been raised ... they'll have to 'splain why their reasons for voting down the budget make it worth to jeopardize the billion-dollar program.
The point is that the one-billion program is significant ... but isn't so big as to be a make-or-break issue. If a given Opposition party has to back down, it shows how strong/legitimate that party's reasons for voting down the budget really were. Plus, it creates incentives for the Bloc and the NDP to play pin the blame on the Liberal jackass. The Bloc's and the NDP's threatening to vote down the budget forces the Liberals to either put up (and bring down the government at a time inconvenient for the Liberals) or shut up (which would show that Liberals are either too weak to risk an election or too weak-kneed to risk it). Brinkmanship ... I LOVE it!
Then again, "Captain Salty" Stephie could threaten to risk it all, making for a lot of seasick sailors below deck on HMCS Liberal. Then either the Bloc and the NDP would have to decide if they want to being down the government along with the Liberals. The likely result: some sort of accomodation whereby not all of the Opposition MPs vote against the budget. But then they'll all appear as weakling-weenies whose confidence in themselves can be swept aside by a single, billion-dollar aid program. Bye-bye Afghanistan policy, ciao-ciao whatever else they choose to stand for.

In the meantime, provinces are creating their own climate change strategies independent of the feds.

Open Federalism in practice, Isn't it?
Yup. Pretty similar to what's happening in the US right now ... the States are setting targets, programs, etc. and creating alliances. Some of them are actually doing pretty well, too!
Until the US federal government decides to set an overarching framework for the US, Canada's federal govenment can't do anything. And as long as the the situation exists, individual and groups of States and provinces will be where the action is.
"This is a demonstration that the SLA is working and delivering tangible benefits," said Minister for International Trade David Emerson. "The agreement ended the costly cycle of litigation.

Right on Dave! And the U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports agess with you 100%! Right?

U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Troubled by Latest Canadian Government Subsidy Plan =

The US' CFLL = stinky sh*t of a lobby group which, given the nature of the US political system, has strong (and harmful to US and Canadian) influence on US legislators. The CFLL is an industrial equivalent of the National Rifle Association and (can you believe it) it's membership is secret ... there's no telling WHICH firms are seeking to profit from its harassing Canada.
Mind you, some US firms aren't all that pleased with the CFLL ... several mills up here in Canada are directly owned by US-based companies. Thus, the CFLL's harassing imports of Canadian wood are also harming companies such as Weyerhaeuser, etc.
But also notice how the CFLL-induced damage is concentrated in Canada. About 80% of the borders collected by the federal government and returned to the provinces goes to BC, whose forestry industry most feels the sting of this vile lobby's malice.
US bad faith, in this case. No ifs, no ands, no buts ....

From: "Peggy Merritt"
Subject: Re: Daily Digest January 11, 2008
Hi Joe: boy more slathing by journalists who live to blame the
Tories for everything that goes wrong. If Ms. Keen had been an
employee of a private company she would have been fired years ago!
The condition of things at Chalk River have been bad for years and
the head of the commission should have been getting things looked
after years ago.  Where were the Liberals when things needed fixing?
All this moaning and groaning about who did what and how it was done
has covered up the fact that a highly paid employee wasn't doing her
job properly!  Peggy Merritt
Not all of the whys and wherefors of this thing are clean-cut, but the federal government's actions have been the proper ones. Some reasons:
1. Seeking to double-bullet-proof AECL's isotope-generating NRU reactor against a VERY VERY UNLIKELY EVENT, and doing so in the face of the major, OBVIOUS CONSEQUENCE of DISRUPTING WORLDWIDE SUPPLY of MEDICAL SUBSTANCES (radioactive isotopes) USED TO TREAT A WIDESPREAD, DEADLY DISEASE, is a wrong decision, period, end of sentence.
That a public servant maintains that keeping the reactor shut down, despite the fact that strong protective measures have already been built into the overall reactor-system's design (adding earthquake-secure, backup power supplies to the cooling pumps would be an addition to reactor-security means and devices that are already there) and despite the fact that the earthquake against which the pump systems would be further protected is VERY VERY UNLIKELY, is one thing. That she maintains this, when the obvious consequence will be the unavailability worldwide of life-saving substances for which there are no substitutes, is a GROSS BREACH OF PUBLIC ETHIC.
To illustrate: imagine that the source of more than half the medecine worldwide used to treat (say) AIDS is shut down for a prolonged period, that worldwide supplies of that medecine run out, and that thousands die as a direct result. Now imagine that that's caused by a government agency that's found a human hair in one bottle of medecine. Would ANYONE believe that the government agency was justified in shutting down production? And would ANYONE believe the agency's head when she insists that it had made the right decision?
2. Gross breach of public ethic apart, there's another reason for excising this so-called "public servant". The very fact that she insists that the agency she heads was right in doing what it did show her to be obviously unfit to get involved in another issue: the future of Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) and the Canadian nuclear-reactor industry's possible extinction. (<-- This is something that's building up right now, with possibly big-time consequences. And it's an issue that hasn't made it to the papers yet. Here goes ...)
In the past, the reactors designed and built by AECL have been of a unique type. These CANDU reactors were designed in a say that set them apart from those of all other designer-builders, in that the nuclear-power-generation process that they used was different from that of any other. This had some advantages: in the long run, CANDU reactors could be run for longer periods than other reactors could (ie, CANDUs would typically be running near 90% of the time, whereas others could do so at closer to 80-85%.) The disadvantages: CANDUs were more costly up-front.
However, CANDU reactors to date have had one undesirable characteristic: what's called a positive reactivity coefficient. In other words, the nuclear reaction in a given CANDU's core increases as temperature increases within that core. This means that as the reactor heats up, the nuclear reaction would increase, which would further heat the reactor, which would further increase the reaction, and so on. This is kept in check by slowing down the reaction by other means, specifically by adjusting the insertion-length of neutron-absorbing "control rods" inside the core. The greater the length of rod stuck into the core, the more the nuclear reaction gets slowed. In case of emergency, the control rods are dropped full-length into the core (they're inserted from above it, vertically), which stops the reaction.
So, the reality: no matter how well controlled and bullet-proofed a nuclear reaction process is, it's still inherently safer to use one where the nuclear reaction slows down as temperature increases (ie, that has a negative reactivity coefficient) rather than one that speeds up. To be clear: the CANDU design, with its positive coefficient,  isn't inherently unsafe; but it would safer if that coefficient were negative.
And hence the issue: at present, the agency that regulates nuclear safety in Canada (surpriiiise! guess who?) has let it be known that it would no longer grant operating (and, de facto, construction) licenses for new CANDU reactors in Canada. At present, AECL's come up with a new reactor design, which it calls the ACR-1000. This design uses a combination of processes used by other designer-builders, along some twists of its own, and which has a negative reactivity coefficient.
All fine and dandy, except that the ACR-1000 will be submitted for review by the federal regulation agency, after which (assuming that the design gets approved) AECL will apply (in 2010) for permission to have the ACR-1000s used in Canada. The catch: Ontario Power Generation and one or two utilities in Alberta have to decide NOW what technology to use for nuclear plants that they want to build. I don't know whether or not OPG has made a decision yet (so probably not), but two applications for ACR-1000 licenses have been submitted in Alberta. From what I recall, the decision to grant or not these two licenses will be made in 2010.
Right now, OPG's entire fleet of nuclear reactors is made up of CANDUs. If the federal regulation agency policy to no longer grant any new CANDU licenses, and given that OPG needs to decide very soon which technology to use, OPG's choosing to go with non-CANDU is getting more likely. And going with a non-AECL design (such as a General Electric PWR "Pressurized-Water-Reactor") would mean that AECL will be finished as an engineering design-building company (with attendant loss of all of its scientific and technical knowledge) and that it would wither away to become a service company whose aim would be to maintain aging CANDU plants. After all, who would believe in a company that doesn't even have the backing of customers and regulators on its home turf?
So, basically, the fate of Canada's nuclear industry to a large degree depends on the good will of Canada's nuclear regulation agency. And the head of that agency has shown herself to be willing to jeopardize lives as a consequence of shutting down AECL's medical-isotope reactor to enhance that reactor's already-strong security  against a very very unlikely event. To put it mildly, AECL has reason to worry.
And this is the situation that the federal government finds itself in: either supporting its regulator and damn the consequences, or call out the regulator for its GROSS BREACH OF PUBLIC ETHIC (<-- can I emphasize this enough?). Not dooming AECL to death would be reason enough to strong-arm the regulator until the federal government decides what to do with it. But that's not the kind of thing that's easily explained through the media. But guarding the public interest IS possible to explain, so the federal government has decided to run with that.
Moral of the story: politicians get it right more often than one may think, no matter WHAT anyone says. As someone (Churchill?) once said, the job of the politician is to inform the government (that is, the civil service) of what the people will no longer tolerate. Let's keep that in mind when politicians face down civil servants.
(Nuclear power-generation processes, only on the DD! Hope this has been interesting to y'all.)
(And consider: how likely is it that Liberals, Bloc(k)ers, and NDPers get this kind of informed debate, eh? Welcome to the movement, one and all.)
(In the next issue: The Sun's going to blow up and Earth will fry, so nothing really matters anyway.)
From: "Rory J. Koopmans"
Subject: FW: Theorem Query

Wildrose Alliance Socred Party of Alberta.

Pssstttt .. Call it the Wild Party and go for the youth vote.
Subject: Workers Comp for Crack Career
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Just thought of something. If it's work, then he can get his benefits back by crack-frying his brain.
In homes all across America, citizens contemplate career choices.
Workers' Comp for Crack Career
Last month, Ohio's Supreme Court determined that selling crack cocaine is a job.
Therefore, according to the high court's mid-December ruling that upheld a March 1998 decision, continually selling crack cocaine is "sufficient cause to terminate permanent total disability compensation," reports.
Thus, a former-industrial-worker-turned-crack-dealer's permanent total disability Workers' Compensation benefits have been cut.