Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Daily Digest February 4, 2008


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.

EDITORIALs

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Uniquely vulnerable to climate change
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=104988&sc=103

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Et tu, Stephen?
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1035997.html

AMHERST DAILY NEWS - Doing little to clarify the issue
http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=105186&sc=61

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Canadian prison makes sense
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=e0c797a6-4331-4e59-a921-25c04511f76b

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER - Don't treat today's 'aliens' as criminals until proven innocent
http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=886467&auth=Whiteye%2c+Bud

NATIONAL POST - Defenceless against influenza
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=283902

TORONTO SUN - Segregation fighter goes AWOL
http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2008/02/03/4822893.html

NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW - Tories and the Tory dilemma
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=886527&auth=Christina+Blizzard

K-W RECORD - Long-ago war deserves reflection
http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/304411

WINDSOR STAR - PM's message
Cloaked in a centralized fog
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=cb5d08eb-24e2-4efe-bb94-3b2e9a9ea4e6

SUDBURY STAR - Homeland Security needs to loosen up
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=886668

         Dithering hypocrisy; McGuinty's refusal to quash school for blacks contradicts election promise
         http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=886671&auth=Blizzard%2c+Christina

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Doctors and the last say
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/editorial/story/4119507p-4714402c.html

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Segregation won't reduce drop-out rates
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=4c04fa2d-bd4c-456b-8ace-20311b1f77b7

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Help, guide, don't dictate
Afghan situation a complicated one
http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/Editorial/373451.html

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Start your engines
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/article_9678.php

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Ottawa's anti-drug campaign a fix that's long overdue
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=8fbacbba-e18e-4e03-be20-1ec00be50732

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Paying welfare in better ways
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=26d453e9-6fb3-40c4-aee3-9fcbfd7b8a62


ISSUES

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
Native leader urges governments to help First Nations tackle substance abuse
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080204/national/sask_aboriginal_substance_abuse


CANADIAN FORCES
More Choppers Needed: Military Team
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=283899

Harper had best beware The Big Cod in military matters
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1036037.html


CANUSA/USACAN
U.S., Canada seen clinging to softwood deal
http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSN0446417920080204


FOREIGN AFFAIRS
MPs denounce death sentence for Afghan journalist
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/300382

Afghan Extremists Flexing Power
Gov't is 'in their hands,' warns brother of journalist facing execution.
http://thetyee.ca/News/2008/02/04/AfghanExtreme/

Poland's foreign minister pledges air support for Canadian troops in southern Afghani   
http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/operation-enduring-freedom/42748-polands-foreign-minister-pledges-air-support-canadian-troops-southern-afghani.html

Poland joins Canada in push for help in Afghanistan
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080204.wafghan0204/BNStory/National/home

Afghan mission tough PR sell
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/300128

MacKay faces reluctant allies over Afghan mission
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080204/national/afghan_cda_nato

Revealed: British plan to build training camp for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/revealed-british-plan-to-build-training-camp-for-taliban-fighters-in-afghanistan-777671.html


JUSTICE SYSTEM

Gomery prepares to defend conclusions

POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES
Alberta election March 3
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080204.walbertaelection0204/BNStory/National/home


Alberta votes blog

Reporters tell tales from the trail 04/02/08 7:52 PM


Who are the party leaders? Comment

Election called for March 3 04/02/08 6:38 PM Comment


Ridings to watch Comment

Key races in the Alberta election 04/02/08 10:13 PM Comment


Alberta Tories plan to scrap health-care premiums Comment 41

POLITICS
Conservatives, Liberals tied in new poll
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=a873b053-2736-4017-86b4-31e2ef7e3ace&k=17949

Flaherty acknowledges untendered contract broke rules
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080204.wflaherty0204/BNStory/National/home

Dissident Saskatchewan Libs leaning to vote Conservative
http://www.hilltimes.com/html/cover_index.php?display=story&full_path=/2008/february/4/saskatchewan/&c=1

Opposition MPs ´still concerned´ about nuclear safety risks in Upper Ottawa Valley
Natural Resources reports 300 earthquakes in Ottawa-Gatineau since 1980
http://www.hilltimes.com/html/cover_index.php?display=story&full_path=/2008/february/4/legislation/&c=1

Isotope fiasco laid at feet of MDS Nordion
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080204.wtopes0204/BNStory/National/home


Opposition parties see interference in firing of agency official

The public's right to know: Don't let non-answers stand
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080204.COMARTIN04/TPStory/TPComment/Politics/

Critics say Harper creating 'fog over information'
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=283701

How Harper's pettiness blew the Chalk River crisis
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=8d04905d-adeb-4ffc-9c36-d33560720d6e


PROGRAMMES
Prentice backtracks on treaty policy, copyright to be exempted
Foreign Affairs announced a new treaty policy for the House, but the Industry Department´s new copyright bill on the WIPO treaties appears to be exempted. http://www.hilltimes.com/html/cover_index.php?display=story&full_path=/2008/february/4/treaties/&c=1

Tories flip-flop on retraining fund
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080204.wtoriesflip0204/BNStory/National/home

A trying transformation
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=7d6c883a-59c2-4c59-bffc-30b11d3f76ba


PRESSURE POINTS
Rising CO2 levels: A double whammy for the food supply
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=d06935f3-c41d-4ff0-8f3a-c287a8db5367


OPINION AND INFORMATION
Canada whitewashes the death of its own
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=88666

PM Harper often enters Centre Block through a back entrance
http://www.hilltimes.com/html/cover_index.php?display=story&full_path=/2008/february/4/backdoorpm/&c=1

CRTC begins hearings into future of Canadian Television Fund
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/02/04/ctf-hearings-start.html

Canadians ponder place in world
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=d6467c8d-6f5b-4d56-a727-ff8d48b864a9

Politics and permanence
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/viewpoints/story.html?id=c3e17977-1549-4a5e-a297-fbe14f9bd895

Literacy is the key to helping native children realize their full potential
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=5b457d65-6120-4003-89b9-d0305581ff88

The new Mounties? Change finally arrives at RCMP
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1035996.html


INFOS

Une aile canadienne dans une prison de Kaboul?
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080204/CPACTUALITES/80203132/5846/CPACTUALITES

Deux hélicoptères polonais pour aider les Canadiens à Kandahar
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080204/CPACTUALITES/80204118/5846/CPACTUALITES

MacKay doit faire face aux hésitations des alliés en Afghanistan
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080204/N0204105AU.html

Le premier ministre de l'Alberta envoie les électeurs aux urnes le 3 mars
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080204/N0204211AU.html

Harper recule: l'aide au secteur manufacturier ne serait plus liée au budget
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080204/N0204189AU.html

Les emplois des réservistes seront protégés, annoncent les conservateurs
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080204/N0204193AU.html

Afghanistan: Stéphane Dion est tiraillé entre Jack Layton et Stephen Harper
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080204/N0204222AU.html

Octroi de contrats
Les aveux de Flaherty
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/2008/02/04/004-flaherty.shtml

Certificats de sécurité
La loi sera amendée
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2008/02/04/007-certificat-securite-vote-modif.shtml

Les conservateurs et les libéraux à égalité
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080204/CPACTUALITES/802040493/1025/CPACTUALITES


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THE AL & JOE SHOW

        This is being sent to yu with a couple of articles dated February 5th 'cause I started the Digest so late- after midnight. Is that yesterday or to-day?
        
        Why? Because I spent hours and hours piecing togeter a Letter to the Editor of the Globe and Mail.  Without expectation of it being printed, mind.
        
        The Globe was the first paper to publish how an M.P. who spent 40% more than the law allowed, financed the campaign through loans from his      business then had the business un lawfully pay toward his personal expenses was exonerated of willful wrong doing and fined $500.00 on the one  count.   The other count seems to have disappeared - and that was the primary purpose of the LTE.  What happened? Where did it go? Why?
        
        Al wrote an Open Letter to Steven Dion and Pierre Van Loan concerning how Pierre is shafting Ontar-i-ar-io.  May get votes in some parts of
        Canada but none will be garnered in Ontario by Bill C-22.
        
        There will be some who will disagree with both Al's letter and mine, not because we're wrong but because their Party may be harmed.
        
        My opinion? Put pressure on your leader(s) to smarten up, cause both Al & Joe are pointing out weaknesses in what's being done.
        
                  Joe
         _________________________________________________________
To: "Letters Editor_The Globe and Mail" <letters@globeandmail.com>
From: Joe Hueglin <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: What happened to the second charge against Walid Khan?
Cc:


Dear Editor,

" 'Mr. Khan has concluded his matter with Elections Canada. . .' " to the satisfaction of Jay Hill, the Conservatives' whip. There are however matters that have not been forthcoming.

Two charges of illegal action were laid against Mr. Khan: overspending by "40 per cent, or $31,118, in the 2004 election" and "making unauthorized campaign payments".

Offences under Section 497 of the Elections Act can be prosecuted in two ways with differing penalties.  Under Section 497. (1) of the Elections Canada Act it is the commission of the offence that is being punished. Under Section 497. (3) a person is guilty of an offence who "wilfully contravenes" or "knowingly contravenes " the Act.

Khan's was in contravention of "exceeding election expense limit" by 40 percent, both he and his car dealership, Dufferin Mazda, of "paying or incurring electoral campaign expenses" which can only be done by an official agent.

Unknown at present are: were the original charges laid as Section 497. (1) or Section 497. (3) offences; in that the $500.00 fine levied appears to have been related to  the overspending offence only, what happened to the charge against Khan and his dealership of illegal spending?

Frankly it is difficult to accept that Mr. Khan, his Official Agent and Riding President were unknowing of the terms of the Election Act and ignorantly spent an extra $31,000 and change. The judge was generous.  Just how generous can only be determined by information as to what happened to the second charge being made public.

Yours truly,

Joe Hueglin
5838 Mouland Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Tel. 905-356-3901

ANNOTATED COPY

" 'Mr. Khan has concluded his matter with Elections Canada. . .' " (1) to the satisfaction of Jay Hill, the Conservatives' whip. There are however matters that have not been forthcoming.

Two charges of illegal action were laid against Mr. Khan: overspending by "40 per cent, or $31,118, in the 2004 election"(1) and "making unauthorized campaign payments".(1)

Both offenses under Section 497 of the Elections Act can be prosecuted in two ways with differing penalties.  Under Section 497. (1) of the Elections Canada Act it is the commission of the offence that is being punished. Under Section 497. (3) a person is guilty of an offence who "wilfully contravenes" or "knowingly contravenes " the Act. (2)

Khan's was in contravention of "exceeding election expense limit" by 40 percent, both he and his car dealership, Dufferin Mazda of "paying or incurring electoral campaign expenses" which can only be done by an official agent. (2)

Unknown at present are: were the original charges laid as Section 497. (1) or Section 497. (3) offences; in that the $500.00 fine levied appears to have been related to  the overspending offence only, what happened to the charge against Khan and his dealership of illegal spending?

Frankly it is difficult to accept that Mr. Khan, his Official Agent and Riding President were unknowing of the terms of the Election Act and ignorantly spent an extra $31,000 and change. The judge was generous.  Just how generous can only be determined by information as to what happened to the second charge being made public.


Source of quotes (1)

Tories take MP back into fold
Party says Khan's election spending mistakes were unintentional
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080204.wkhan04/BNStory/National/home

Comment:
Not found under Section 497. (1) was what was found under Section 497. (3), (paying candidate's personal expenses); the charge that somehow disappeared.  A charge with double the punishment if found only in (3).

Source of quotes (2)

Canada Elections Act
PART 19
ENFORCEMENT
Peace and Good Order at Elections
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showdoc/cs/E-2.01/bo-ga:l_19-gb:s_480//en#anchorbo-ga:l_19-gb:s_480
____________________________________
Prohibition – expenses more than maximum

443. (1) No candidate, official agent of a candidate or person authorized under paragraph 446(c) to enter into contracts shall incur election expenses in an amount that is more than the election expenses limit calculated under section 440.

___________________________
Offences under Part 18 (Finance)

Strict liability offences ­ summary conviction

497. (1) Every person is guilty of an offence who

(s) being an official agent, a candidate or a person authorized under paragraph 446(c), contravenes subsection 439(2) (incurring more than maximum allowed for notice of nomination meetings) or subsection 443(1) (exceeding election expenses limit) or, being an official agent, candidate, person authorized under paragraph 446(c) or a third party, contravenes subsection 443(2) (colluding to circumvent election expense limit);

Offences requiring intent ­ dual procedure

497.(3) Every person is guilty of an offence who

(n) being a person other than an official agent, contravenes subsection 438(2) or (3) (accepting or issuing receipts for contributions), being a person or entity, other than a candidate, official agent or person authorized under paragraph 446(c), contravenes subsection 438(4) or (5) (paying or incurring electoral campaign expenses) or, being a person other than a candidate or official agent, contravenes subsection 438(6) (paying candidate's personal expenses);

p) being an official agent, a candidate or a person authorized under paragraph 446(c), wilfully contravenes subsection 443(1) (exceeding election expenses limit);

___________
Punishment

Punishment ­ strict liability offences

500. (1) Every person who is guilty of an offence under any of subsections 484(1), 486(1), 489(1), 491(1), 492(1), 495(1), 496(1), 497(1) and 499(1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three months, or to both.


Punishment ­ offences requiring intent (summary conviction)

(2) Every person who is guilty of an offence under any of subsection 485(1), paragraph 487(1)(a), subsections 488(1), 489(2) and 491(2), section 493 and subsection 495(2) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three months, or to both.


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"AMEND C-22" develops 'mo mo'

(For those of you not au fait with 'mo mo' it is shorthand for more momentum, as contrasted with less mo - a common fate!)

This very Sunday afternoon the central committee of the recent NO MMP committee is to have plotted steps for what should happen next.

They plan a public declaration of how they helped the voters of Ontario find a needed voice to defend the merits of the traditional method of elections when the government funded "Citizen's Assembly" was able to produce an elaborate but ultimately unpersuasive brochure hyping MMP.

Second consideration is evolving some form of long term role for the ad hoc group, something I find open to too many variances on the whole subject area.

I recommended to the bipartisan group a third option, that it swing its guns around on the concept of AMENDING Bill C- 22, which Ontario Tories, Grits and Crats are formally opposed to in its present format. AMEND C-22 would draw reasonably on the approaches of NO MMP and with so much provincial level opposition may succeed in persuading Peter Van Loan and the Ontario federal cabinet members that the bill as drafted spells trouble in the next election.

A recent salvo of opposition was a Toronto Star, Jan 25th news report out of Queen's Park , headlined

Bill unfair to Ontario federal leader agrees
ROBERT BENZIE / ROB FERGUSON

Valentine's Day is still three weeks away, but there was a Liberal love-in at Queen's Park yesterday.

Federal Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion met for about an hour with Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty to commiserate over Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's views of Ontario.

"I had a very good meeting with a great man of Confederation," Dion quipped after his courtesy call.

"Not a small man, eh?" replied a reporter, referring to Tory House leader Peter Van Loan calling McGuinty "the small man of Confederation" last November for opposing a Commons seat redistribution bill that shortchanges Ontario.

"Exactly," said Dion. "And I may tell you that it's something that I find unacceptable that the Prime Minister is insulting premiers and mayors and the official Opposition ... ."

While McGuinty did not talk with the media after the meeting, he said earlier he would be urging Dion to support stronger gun legislation that has already passed in the Commons "to make our streets, particularly here in Toronto, safer."

On the contentious issue of new seats in the Commons, the federal Liberal leader said it is unfair to give British Columbia and Alberta more new seats per capita than Ontario to reflect population growth.

Under Bill C-22, B.C. gains seven seats and Alberta five, but Ontario gets only 10 – about half of the 21 it should be entitled to according to rising population numbers.

Under the new formula there is one MP for every 105,000 people in other provinces and one MP for every 115,000 people in Ontario.

"There is something wrong when you need significantly more new voters to have additional seats in Ontario than in Alberta or British Columbia," Dion said, adding the bill should be scrapped.

Dion also.....

Could Peter Van Loan plan to push C-22 through soon?

A well placed source in Ottawa indicate this controversial bill may shortly be pushed into committee and the Commons. I see a real risk of it sliding through before the Ontario public and its slothful - generally - media turn the spotlight on this thinly disguised denial of Ontarians' electoral rights.

So the following letter was emailed to Stephane Dion and Peter Van Loan yesterday. Daily Digest publisher Joe Hueglin addresses it tomorrow and forwards it to his list of hundreds of Ontario newspapers for their attention. It follows.


An open letter to Hon. Stephane Dion, M.P. <DionS@parl.gc.ca>
copied to Hon. Peter Van Loan, M.P. <VanLoan.P@parl.gc.ca>

Forwarded Saturday, February 2, 2008 by email

From Alan Heisey
38 Avoca Avenue, LPH #6
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4T 2B9
Home phone 416 923 5381
e mail <hize@earthlink.net>

Sent from southern address
793 Willow Brook Drive, Unit 104,
Naples, FL  U.S.A. 34108
Phone/fax 941 513 0444.

Mr. Dion, I write to ask you and the Liberal and New Democratic  Members of the  House of Commons to  amend Bill C-22 when it comes  before the House of Commons, rather than voting against it, or for  it, as drafted.

I write as a lifelong Conservative party member and proponent of  electoral equality before the law by meticulous contemporary  attention to the shortcomings on that subject which have intruded  into its observance across Canada and across Ontario.

I contrast what I view as the at-least recent, comparatively  disappointing indifference of your party and its Ontario provincial  counterpart's attention to the seminal questions involved therein; to  the long-evolving moves of the present national Conservative  government to add needed Commons seats for the three under- represented provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario

The most notable recent examples of indifference were the McGuinty  government adding a totally unjustifiable additional seat into the  northern Ontario representation in the provincial legislature,  followed by that government writing out of the terms of reference of  its elaborate public study of "electoral reform" any reference to the 
core question of one person one vote, while invoking elaborate  misdirection to the only-indirectly-related concepts of proportional  representation!

Until the details of bill C-22 were announced I felt that the  Conservative leadership on one person one vote, contrasted with the  distractions set forward by the McGuinty government, were opening up  a gigantic ideological gulf between the two major political parties  of the country, which would redound to the benefit of Conservative 
candidates in the next national election.

Please understand my profound disappointment that the actual bill  C-22, if passed unamended, would quite undercut any Conservative  pretensions regarding one person one vote, the core fundamental of  our political democracy, and short change the voters of Ontario  profoundly, as you have recently pointed out.

To my unsophisticated perspective the justifications set out by Mr.  Van Loan for the admitted Ontario shortfall are so arcane and obscure  as to quite under cut any pretensions of "doing the right thing" on  this issue.

I know that there are many Ontario and national Conservatives who  share my views and we have made common cause to Mr. Van Loan to see  the bill amended appropriately before being brought into the House,  shortly, and then to committee before final votes.

You are reported as favouring the bill being rejected because of its  shortcomings, but surely the answer is not to oppose the bill, but to  correct the only recent, but greatly lamented indifference of the  Conservative government to the representation rights of the people of  Ontario.

This can be so easily done by amending the bill to redress the  planned shortage in members of parliament for Ontario.

Such an opposition amendment would have to be supported by the  Conservative government and the New Democrats and would provide a  brilliant example of the whole institution of parliament doing "the  right thing", when the government of the day, - I hate to write it -  for its quite incomprehensible reasons, cannot find the resolve to do 
it on its own!

i also think that the numerous cultural and regional communities of  Ontario would be quick to recognize such leadership on your own part  and reward you and your colleagues handsomely in the next election.

Cordially,

"hize"

signed

===================================