Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Daily Digest February 12-13, 2008



AMHERST DAILY NEWS - Dion unprepared for prime time?

TORONTO STAR - Closing the gap on Afghan role

         Flaherty's tight times

        Time is right for an election

NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW - Posturing in Ottawa for a vote nobody wants

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Compromise is preferred

WINDSOR STAR - Superbug battle
An age-old solution

SUDBURY STAR - Green zealots; Environmentalists refuse to consider moderation as an option


Returning soldier says Afghan mission poorly equipped

Contracts modified sweet of Defense

Canada blew it
Security barriers raised since 9/11 divide Canadians and Americans more than they ward off terrorists

U.S., Canada on collision course in Arctic

U.S. revives cross-border terror talk
Security czar says more than a dozen with terrorism ties have entered U.S. via Canada

Terrorists tried to enter via Canada: U.S.

Time to repair trade relations
A Democrat in Washington could be good for NAFTA

Background of Michael Hart,

Canadians glum about economy

WTO sides with Canada, U.S., EU on auto parts

Where do we show resolve, if not Kandahar?
Canadian blood and treasure earns us the right to help shape better solutions

French decision on Kandahar still weeks away

Training Afghans not without risk: envoy

Afghanistan question more than adding troops

Rushing injustice through the Senate

Smell of pot smoke can no longer spark marijuana search

Liberals bolt on vote

Just a day after Stephen Harper suggested the parties were heading in the "right direction'' for a deal on the Afghan mission, the prime minister was non-committal Wednesday on two of the key conditions the Liberals have laid down for extending the deployment.

Harper and Dion extend olive branch on Afghan mission

PM lauds Dion Afghan plan
Concessions move parties to common ground on extending mission in Afghanistan to 2011

Canada dodges election bullet over Afghan mission

Dion makes right call, still loses
Tories now in talks with Bloc to gain support for budget

Tory, Liberal disagreements persist despite election cooldown

Key election dates

Liberals appear to back away from election precipice

Liberals work to unite over mission

Liberal `compromise' is really a retreat to Harper's position

Gap with PM on Afghan mission: Liberal MP

Rocky Start for Oda's Media Outreach

Help auto sector or pay the price, Hargrove tells Harper

PM's date in a fix

Harper ready to ask GG to pull plug

Committee summons Harper aide

Isotopes supplier contradicts Ottawa

Tories caught in ignoble moment

Gag me with a memo
Free speech is being undermined by 'human rights.' Why is Stephen Harper averting his gaze?

RCMP accused of violating Privacy Act

Ritz fumes after barley talks break down

Tories Hope New Years' Gifts Will Keep on Giving

Senior Mountie slams committee report

Spy watchdog fingers CSIS on torture data

Conservatives promise to cut spending on federal polls and surveys

US seeks satellite access for security
Plans advance; privacy a concern

Security certificate bill clears Senate, but concerns linger

Sierra Club slams Ottawa on Kyoto

True scale of C02 emissions from shipping revealed

David Suzuki deals a devastating blow to his climate-change cause

David Suzuki's hot air

Struggle to balance security, freedom drags on

The Internet and YouTube have changed the face of politics

Families taking turn for worse

Ready to rumble but not to lead

An election on Afghanistan deployment would be folly

Harper cranking up the wedge politics


Canadiens sous surveillance... non nécessaire

Ottawa revoit ses pratiques

Les inquiétudes libérales

Afghanistan: un compromis se dessine à Ottawa

L'opposition impose sa volonté

Harper gagne un vote de confiance

Les libéraux semblent moins pressés de se lancer en élection ce printemps

Des contrats modifiés en douce à la Défense

Supposée entente sur l'Afghanistan: Rodriguez furieux

Un militaire québécois condamne l'équipement des soldats en Afghanistan


Liberals bolt on vote

        Tuesday and Wednesday were taken up by driving to and from the funeral of the last person in my family of my parents generation.  Arriving home this Digest
        was prepared even more hastily than usual.

         Interesting to me is that little attention in the media was given, in so far as I saw, to a vote taken on Tuesday which presumes to have the House of Commons
        dictate the agenda of the Senate and which, if the dictator's will is not followed, will lead to the Governor General being placed in the position of having to
        decide whether or not to issue writs of election.

        The letter to the editor that follows was composed and sent to newspapers prior to the vote through which the Commons issues instructions to the Senate.
        It recites a series of actions that give me cause for concern.

        Should you consider the remarks made ill founded you are, as always, invited to challenge them.


When speaking of the Afghanistan Mission Stephen Harper said: "the mission won't be extended beyond the February 2009 deadline without Parliamentary consensus." What did he mean by consensus? Is it a broad measure of agreement or a simple majority in the House of Commons?.

To be considered local campaign expenses, advertising must focus on the local campaign. Does that mean that money transferred to local from national campaigns and adding a candidates? name as a tag-line to national advertising meets legal requirements? Through this manipulation Conservatives circumvented national spending limits, with a bonus: local campaigns increased their rebates from Elections Canada.

A fixed election date was enacted, except when a government was defeated in the House of Commons on a motion of confidence. At least that was the general perception of the intent of the legislation. Suddenly the government is taking the position that: "There is nothing in the law that takes away the Crown's traditional and usual prerogatives on this matter".
 Harper at one time suggested that the Senate would provide a check on his power. Now he is trying to over-ride that check by using a vote in the House of Commons to try to railroad a complex omnibus crime bill through the Senate. Why is it so important to prevent the Senate from carrying out due diligence? Is it possible that the wording of parts of the bill, such those involved with dangerous offenders and the use of reverse onus, could be open to manipulation?

Harper & Company's record of manipulating the meaning of the law necessitates a sober second look at everything he says and does. Consideration must be given to determining what terms within any Act are open to manipulation.

    Joe Hueglin


    1. Persichilli, Angelo, Harper says he hasn't changed his position on Afghanistan, July 2, 2007, The Hill Times

     2. Mayeda, Andrew, Going to the polls? (pdf) February 12, 2008, The Gazette