Thursday, February 21, 2008

Daily Digest February 21, 2008



HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Friends, yes, recognize, no

AMHERST DAILY NEWS - NATO'S Balkan war not what it was supposed to be

MONTREAL GAZETTE - So, Dr. Couillard, if not this, then what?

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Torture-tainted evidence

         Resuscitating an ailing system

TORONTO STAR - Say no to user fees

        B.C. takes lead on climate file

         Flaherty says Ontario failing to adapt

         Pakistan's fresh start

TORONTO SUN - Tories should endorse John Tory

K-W RECORD - Queue-jumpers aren't appreciated


SUDBURY STAR - ore people literally dressing to kill

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Taliban tyranny

        This 'plum' sours

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - B.C.'s Campbell shows leadership with carbon tax

REGINA LEADER-POST - Pumping taxes
Editorial: British Columbia's carbon tax might be the start of a hot
environmental trend, but it would likely receive a cool reception in this province.

CALGARY HERALD - Getting it together on carbon

EDMONTON JOURNAL - B.C.'s carbon tax: sound and fury signifying very little

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - A little dissent goes a long way

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - Green budget finally comes to fruition

VANCOUVER SUN - B.C. Liberals finesse the politics of climate change, but now have to tackle the economics


Still no answers on bombing of UN post

Ottawa seeking helicopters, drones to extend Afghan mission

Can't train Afghan army without combat, says incoming Canadian commander

U.S., Canada should jointly manage Arctic waters, says high-profile group

It's America first

Tories willing to send man to possible execution in U.S.

Trade negotiators start to make Doha round trade-offs

VIDEO: Wheat shortage sends bread, pasta prices soaring

To rescue the Afghan mission, honesty is the best policy

Economy a key to Afghan peace

Afghans losing trust in regime
War-weary populace blaming their rulers

Taliban's bomb expertise grows as regard for civilians cast aside
The Associated Press (02/21/2008)

In the line of fire
The Guardian (02/21/2008)

NATO winning battles, losing Afghanistan
Asia Times (02/21/2008)

Governor criticises Britain
BBC (02/20/2008)

Serb rioters broke into the U.S. embassy in Belgrade and set fire to an office today, and police clashed with protesters outside other embassy buildings after a large demonstration against Kosovo's declaration of independence. (Feb. 21)

Recognizing Kosovo could backfire for Ottawa, expert says

Canada should recognize new country of Kosovo

The West's Balkan mistake
Support for Kosovan secession wrongs Serbia

Bush Adminstration Unites with Al Qaeda in Kosovo

Castonguay's prescription
Support for user fees and privatization will resonate beyond Quebec's borders

Quebec report threatens to unravel health act

Quebec escapes health sanctions
Ottawa fails to exact penalties for queue-jumping, extra billing and ignoring requests for information

Medicare program fails to measure up to European model

Leaders face off tonight

Provinces free to tackle climate, Ottawa says

Carbon tax heat from B.C. to blow Alberta's way

McGuinty's clash with Flaherty turns nasty

Says Ottawa won't bail out troubled economy

Bickering could backfire on Flaherty

Straight into the shredder
Rarely has a government report been rejected so quickly as Castonguay's

Conservatives claim that a new bill will give provinces an equal say in Parliament,
while Ontario politicians retort that it actually deprives their constituents of just that right.

Conservatives take 12-point lead in new poll

Tories flirt with majority: poll

Election a Tory-Liberal dogfight, poll suggests

Tories to offer Liberals an Afghan compromise

Dion attacks PM's foreign policy
Harper's actions risk Canada's reputation for multilateralism, Liberal leader warns

NDP attacks Tory tax cuts and Liberal leadership

Tories broke promise: Police

AECL executive's resignation draws Lunn back into fray
Minister takes more heat after key figure in isotope controversy announces move

Patrone's main requisite is his Tory ties, critics say

Falling flat on foreign affairs

Harper unveils new Afghan mission motion all 114 news articles »








Shakeup at CBC Aims to integrate TV, web & radio

Spending spree continues as feds sign deal with Ont. for $1.2B for training

The tar sands

B.C. launches CO2 planning nightmare

Worst polluters still get breaks

Global Warming? New Data Shows Ice Is Back

Green taxes put us in the red

Provinces free to tackle climate, Ottawa says
In wake of British Columbia's carbon tax, federal government drops
its opposition to regional regulation of greenhouse gas emissions

The truth about carbon offsets

Lost in transition
Reaction to a no-holds-barred look at how the mental health system is failing Vancouver's mentally ill and draining police resources has given Fiona Wilson-Bates hope.

Seeking our place in the world

One nation, one system


Harper réécrit sa motion sur l'Afghanistan

Mulcair défie Dion de voter contre le budget

Afghanistan: Manley nie être candidat

Sondage: aucun parti n'a intérêt à précipiter des élections

Deux dirigeants militaires canadiens s'expriment sur la mission de combat

L'ambassadeur serbe estime que le Kosovo crée un dangereux précédent

Le Canada et les USA devraient gérer conjointement les eaux de l'Arctique

Baird s'oppose à la taxe sur les émissions carboniques de la C.-B.

Le prix de l'essence pourrait influencer les élections fédérales

Ottawa et Queen's Park se crêpent le chignon

ONE DOWN . . .  
        Reckon as how there'll be no want of confidence vote on the Afghanistan Mission now.  It's settled out until the end of 2011 now, I think.
        At the other end of the continuum from sweetness and light between S and S is the Donnybrook between Flaherty & McGinty. Which reminds
        me of some rhyme I think I heard one time: "Two little Irishmen diggin' in a ditch, one called the other a . . . . ." (Oops, almost )



From: "Rubie"
Subject:Open Letter To George W. Bush


Rubie wanted to share this article with you:

From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: immigrants

Did highlight an important step.
Immigrants to Britain may face period of probation
Government tries to ease fears of newcomers swamping services

Thursday, February 21, 2008

LONDON -- Aspiring British citizens will be put on probation for at least one year to show they can speak English, pay taxes, abide by the law and have integrated into local life, the government proposed on Wednesday.

The move is the latest to try to control immigration and ease public fears that schools, hospitals and transport networks are being swamped by foreign nationals, especially since European Union enlargement.

The proposals also seek to encourage migrants to integrate locally, rather than living in segregated areas and speaking their own languages -- a trend that can lead to intolerance.

"For newcomers to Britain, the prized asset of citizenship must be earned," Prime Minister Gordon Brown said
. "We must ensure that British citizenship is a set of obligations as well as a guarantee of rights."

Migrants, particularly those with elderly relatives and children, will also face higher application fees to help Britain adapt its infrastructure to cope with rising immigration.

Countries in the European Economic Area, a set of 30 states most of whom are EU members, will be exempt from the plans.

Britain will still honour its commitment to provide a haven for refugees, ministers said.

As in Europe and America, immigration is a major election issue in Britain and Brown must strike the right balance between encouraging economic migration and community cohesion.

Germany, France, Spain and Italy have or are introducing steps to better foster the integration of foreign nationals.

Under the proposals -- many of which are still under consultation and must be approved by parliament -- highly skilled or skilled workers will face a one-year probation period after completing a five-year temporary resident period.

Migrants will only have access to full benefits such as housing and child support once they have passed probation.

Britain will also review EU migrants' access to benefits.

Aspiring citizens will face stricter English-language tests and those applying for a visa through marriage must demonstrate English-language skills, under the proposals.

For those who cannot show they have integrated into their community, through voluntary work or fund-raising for example, the probation period to acquire citizenship will be three years.

Those who do not pass the tests will be asked to leave the country, the government said.

The opposition Conservative Party labelled the plans a "gimmick" and called for a numerical cap on immigration, a move the government opposes. Migrant support groups challenged the plan to defer access to full benefits for at least one year.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008

From: Mary-Sue Haliburton
Subject: Afghan policy based on Douglas Bland's theories?

Thanks to Randall McGunigal for his examination of Harper's policy:

<<As Frances Russell pointed out in her recent column, these ideas were borrowed from Ronald Reagan and the people around him, who drove up the national debt
of the US astronomically  by massive, ongoing tax cuts and untold billions in military spending. Sound familiar?

It was made clear that the real goal of this approach was to be able to argue to the American people that the US was "living beyond its means" and that programs had to
be cut. The deficit was a tactic. After inheriting a balanced budget from Bill Clinton (you know, that  "tax and spend liberal"), George Bush has resumed the
pattern, running up trillions in debt using the same formula, throwing in a questionable war to boot. >>

Beside Reagan and Bush, there's another source of "inspiration" for these economic and military policies, and another link promoting their entry across the
border and getting entrenched here. Academics in Canada are alleging that this country was "a mistake" from its beginning. Their proposal is that we should
let it die completely, or just become an American protectorate.

Canada as another Puerto Rico, I suppose.

Case in point: Douglas Bland. You can look him up on the faculty of Queen's University, and also see his views in this pdf:

About a year ago I happened to see a speech by him to the Conference of Defence Associations Institute broadcast on CPAC (I didn't see the beginning so I
don't know when this speech was actually delivered).

In the speech Prof. Bland said "the people" (does he mean Canadians, or the hired pundits of rightwing publications?) are drifting away from the idea of Canada and that the country as such is "not worth defending".

He made it a joke to say that the source of insecurity was once the US, but since the US is now the source of security we don't need Canada and its "fading social
contract". The people are best served by being a US protectorate, he opines. Only individual selves are important so we can scrap the idea of a nation. So much
for our tradition of balancing individual and collective rights -- but then Bland is thinking as an American and doesn't care about any Canadian traditions. 

In the speech (shades of Jacques Parizeau) he went on to blame immigrants at some length for just about everything. He speaks of "Lebanonization" of Canada and
that the national interest has little "relevance" (to the US) -- at which white men in the audience were applauding. To top it off he adds that because he's an academic he doesn't have to give answers to all the problems only analyse them.

One younger person (if I recall rightly there were a few students present mostly standing at the periphery, some apparently from minority groups) in the audience
challenged his anti-immigrant stance, pointing out involvment of minority groups in the military's reserves. Bland said something dismissive about there not being
a policy for diversity (which I didn't understand and therefore my notes from that part are sketchy and unclear) -- a point that seemed contradictory to his
other ramblings.

Another tag line I jotted down was "preserving Canada is not a great assumption on which to build public policy". This is similar to the anti-Canadian rantings of Michael
Hart, another anti-Canadian rightwing theorist (who was involved with making the deeply-flawed NAFTA what it is) who has the ear of decision-makers.

Bland scorned Chretien for not being US lapdog, and then laughed at Dion for being a French poodle. And so on. He concluded by telling the audience (presumably consisting mostly of decision-makers of the military) to dump Europe, dump peacekeeping. His chief message was that Canada is not worth preserving and therefore not worth defending. The only national interest Bland says we should defend with our money and the lives of our troops is that of the US.

And that is a central aspect of the Afghanistan campaign. When I hear Canadians talking about how our military is over there to defend Canadian values, I cringe. What Canadian values? If both our politicians and our military's leaders believe that Canada is not worth defending (as either a concept or as a country), then by definition our troops must be there to defend American interests. That would be the Unocal pipeline; conveniently Bin Laden served as a handy excuse for stirring people up emotionally. There just might not have been the same groundswell of patriotism on behalf of an American oil company shutting out a couple of international competitors, and no legal grounds for doing that. So, our troops are there as much to defend Unocal's economic interest as for any idea of "liberating"Afghans from the Taliban.

Thanks Joe for circulating the statement by the PC leader Sinclair Stevens exposing that Manley report as self-serving. I was suspicious at the choice of Manley as chair of that committee because of his previous involvement. It's not hard to see how the conclusion he presented was foregone.

<<Kandahar Province at the present is largely in the hands of the Taliban. The Canadian government has yet to inform the Canadian ?

public why major countries such as Germany and France have not seen fit to join us in that Province.

Indeed. Why have they held back? Would those reasons be ones that real Canadian values might support?

Mary-Sue Haliburton
Ottawa West - Nepean