Monday, April 28, 2008

Daily Digest April 28, 2008



Passing up on 'The Boss' bad move
There is a big picture here, and unfortunately P.E.I. isn't in it.

Soldiers at war have rights too

Spending limit has limitations

Priorities are a matter of debate

Harper could lose on ethics

Apply existing laws against bad driving

"Safe drug" program should be renewed

In praise of privacy

Second thoughts from the Senate

A balanced ruling

Safety on the job

Don't just stand there -- panic!

School boards need options

Tribunal ruling raises questions

The enemy within; PC Leader John Tory will have a hard time finding a safe seat

By any other name

Takeover in 2011 by Afghan forces debatable notion

No more poor cousins in West's economic boom

Court snuffs out common sense

The 'New West' comes into its own

When are kids ready to drive?

Getting a grip on NAFTA

When laws are held in contempt, we all suffer

Technology offers food crisis hope

Misplaced health vigilance


Living the dream
We're redefining what it means to be aboriginal

Self-reliance is a gift

Ontario judge to head aboriginal schools commission

Natives paving way for clashes: Caledonia mayor

Replacing Hillier — notable hopefuls and a dark horse

U.S., Cdn emergency responders plan 8-day exercise

Slow Progress, Frustration Mark SPP Summit
Experts say the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership has become its own worst enemy.

Not a moment to waste

Canadian banks 'receptive' to Flaherty proposal on regulation

CAW reaches surprise deal with Ford

A Deficit No Big Threat: Analysts
Policy-makers warned against drastic measures

Credit crunch must be monitored closely, Flaherty says

Rich prosper, society suffers
Up to $500 billion in tax revenue is diverted each year, sapping the ability of governments to act

Canada fares well on competitiveness scale

Scams haul in $450 million

UN leaders to tackle world food crisis

UN officials blame market speculation for food price jump

Doesn't it Take Two to Tango?

Backward no longer
Vietnam's communist party learned quickly that capitalism and free markets were the secret to success

Afghanistan situation 'grim': Rudd
Bloody year expected: Australian special forces in southern Afghanistan (File photo) (Defence Department: Rodney Welch)
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the security situation in Afghanistan is "grim" and Australians need to prepare themselves for more casualties in a "difficult, dangerous and bloody" year ahead.

Brains, not brawn, in Afghanistan

White House: 'Very Concerned' About Attack On Afghan President
AFP (04/28/2008)
Hundreds held after presidential assassination attempt in Afghanistan
Times (04/28/2008)
Bid to Slay Karzai Exposes Security Mess
Inter Press Service (04/28/2008)
'The Taliban Are Celebrating a Symbolic Victory'
Der Spiegel (04/28/2008)
Turkmen, Iranian Presidents Moving Ahead With Rival Pipelines
RFE/RL (04/28/2008)
Brains, not brawn, in Afghanistan
Asia Times (04/28/2008)
Taliban Evolves Into Network Of Groups
RFE/RL (04/28/2008)
Afghanistan's irony
Khaleej Times, Editorial (04/28/2008)
Afghanistan investigates deadly parade attack
AFP (04/28/2008)
No Afghan spring
European Council on Foreign Relations (04/28/2008)
Over half the population at risk of malaria - Health Ministry
IRIN (04/28/2008)
Taliban bitten by a snake in the grass
Asia Times (04/28/2008)
The Tragedy of Afghan Aid
Dissident Voice, CA (04/28/2008)
Taliban ease mobile phone threat for Afghan summer
Reuters (04/28/2008)
Intrepid trio tackle Kabul airport drug smugglers
Sunday Herald, UK (04/28/2008)
Afghan President Says Fight Should Be Taken to Pakistan
VOA (04/28/2008)
Warlords and US 'frightened' Taliban into re-arming in Pakistan, Karzai says
Quqnoos (04/28/2008)
Leave Taliban alone, Afghan president tells West
The Guardian, UK (04/28/2008)
Afghan president safe after fleeing gunfire
The Associated Press (04/28/2008)

Studies shed light on risks of commonly used drugs

Patients endangered in 'secret science' trials: study

Judgment time

No charges against Albertan who killed home invader

Legal battle to protect Vancouver's safe injection site

Immigration and Canadian identity
Tom Kent took your questions

Immigration system needs tune-up, minister says

Teens spark debate about Sikh politics
Some wonder why students wore T-shirts with quote from controversial leader who called for independence

Why you should care about the fate of Canadian TV

Protests dog Alberta PR campaign

Rule changes diminish Legislature

Tory in political wilderness
Pressure mounting on PC leader to send jolt through restless party, says one insider

N.L. looking for federal plan to prevent EU seal products ban

Election fever heats up as MPs return to House all 96 news articles »

It's decision time for Dion
Liberal leader has two weeks to make up his mind whether to send Canadians to the polls this spring

Trust issues could seal election By NIK NANOS

Tories insist old ruling justifies election spending

Some 11 Tory 'in-and-out' MPs received full rebates in last election

Grits accuse Tories of deliberately bringing country near deficit

Tories link large surpluses with higher taxes

Liberals study use of carbon tax to fight emissions

Toews' appointment as TB president stalled labour negotiations by nine months
But Treasury Board says the federal government is 'committed to collective bargaining process.'

'Shelf-life is over' on Tory media strategy, says press gallery's president Brennan

Liberal grassroots energized, but top Grits say no decision on an election, yet
But Grits could have own problems as RCMP sets sights on Liberal Party hierarchy too.

PM should stop being 'control freak'
Campbell urges Harper to trust his team

Quebec just keeps getting better for the Tories
Conservatives have emerged as the real 'block-the-Bloc' party

Looming slump to test Harper's credo
'Stay the course' washes with voters until jobs go, observers say, but it's not clear Dion can capitalize

Gloomy outlook hurting Tories: Poll

Tories to spend $3.25m on anti-drug TV ads

Terror claims trap Canadian in Khartoum

The end of American triumphalism

Canada's water power

The new spy game
Today's intelligence services have a great need for recruitment, and a different challenge in weeding out post-Cold War spies

Policing thought in Ontario

Kim Campbell: Harper 'competent but too controlling'


Le tiers des avions de recherche et de sauvetage de l'armée fonctionne

Les craintes économiques: un problème pour les conservateurs

Entreprises fédérales soumises à la Loi 101: la souveraineté avant la lettre

Des fonctionnaires abusent du cellulaire

Crise alimentaire: le Canada pourrait doubler sa contribution

Les talibans ratent Karzaï

Industrie bancaire
Grand sommet à Toronto

Ghislain Picard et Richard Desjardins à l'ONU pour les droits des autochtones

Une femme d'Ottawa est impliquée dans une affaire de détournement Internet

Le Canada condamne l'attentat de Kaboul


From: "Mel Christian"

Good after noon, Joe
To Stratos ( response 4/26/08 ).
Corporate strategy knows no limits.
Thus genetic modification knows no limits.
Today our society is driven by "greed not need".
Independent analyses has been suppressed.
Peer review has been suppressed.
We all are what we eat, this includes all, from the top of the food chain to the very beginning of all growing forms.
Soooo, stop and do some THINKING.
Do some honest balanced research.
I would love to find out that it is not true that- some animals that feed on GE food fail to developed to normal size.
                                                                        - some animals that feed GE food have GE components transfer into
                                                                                  their  metabolism.                                                                                                                                                         
                                             - that GE foods are modified foods.
These GM facts need in-depth research, without interference.
Also, there is a CBC documented ( taped ) report of a Health Canada meeting that clearly shows Monsanto trying to bribe the results of Health Canada's findings and decision regarding BHG ( bovine growth hormone ).
Mel Christian

From: "Michael Watkins"

On Sat, April 26, 2008 6:21 pm, Joe Hueglin wrote:
> Do you support or oppose subsidies to producers of biofuels?
> Why or why not?


No, because the subsidies serve no useful purpose except to distort a
market, and play a game of tit for tat with the U.S. administration (and
farmers) across the border.

No, because the utility of biofuels ought to be seriously questioned,
particularly in a northern country like Canada. No, because so little has
been invested in R+D to find, if possible, ways of "growing our fuel" that
make sense in a northern country like Canada.

No, because there is too little emphasis on reduction of energy use, too
much emphasis on replacement (of energy type).

Canadians are already the most wasteful lot on the face of the planet,
although we should acknowledge that part of our sorry statistical record
is directly as a result of our being the U.S. number one fuels supplier.

Total Primary Energy Consumption - 2005
                                                             toe /   % of world
                 mtoe                        population     capita   population
World   -        11,556.37       100%     6,477,000,000   1.78    100.00%
ex-OECD 5,505.83        48%      5,308,576,000   1.04    81.96%
OECD    -        6,050.54        52%      1,168,424,000   5.18    18.04%
  EU    -        1,949.26        17%      385,792,000     5.05    5.96%
  G7    -        4,534.67        39%      717,940,000     6.32    11.08%
  US    -        2,514.32        22%      296,410,000     8.48    4.58%
  CAN   -          357.29       3%       32,299,000      11.06   0.50%

mtoe - million tonnes oil equivalent
toe - tonnes oil equivalent
CANada is part of the OECD and G7 country groupings

Just how ineffective are we? One would think that Canada, a modern
economy, is using its energy wisely. Nothing could be further from the

Expressed as a ratio of GDP$ by mtoe, Canada ranks as being merely 1/3
more effective than the developing world, which includes countries like
Bangladesh or Sierra Leone. I call this measure Energy Efficiency (EE):
exOECD EE. Here's how the world ranks:

        energy effectiveness
gdp/mtoe         EE:exOECD EE
World            4,045,130,044.44        1.75
ex-OECD 2,307,142,182.07        1.00
OECD             5,626,651,206.31        2.44
  EU             6,457,069,567.85        2.80
  G7             5,588,988,532.65        2.42
  US             4,930,908,822.72        2.14
  CAN            3,075,582,251.07        1.33

(All figures from the OECD or US DOE EIA)

The EU generates more the *double* the GDP per million tonnes of oil
equivalent than Canada does, while sporting roughly the same GDP output
per capita. While the US generates more GDP output per capita, it does so
at an enormous energy cost.

So NO, I would not support subsidies for farmers so they can "grow" fuel
which is inherently even less efficient so that we, or our large customer
to the south, can be just as ineffIcient in generating GDP dollars as
we/they have ever been.

Lets first start talking about doing more with less. Clearly Canada has a
lot of ground to catch up.

(GWYN MORGAN is in agreement "The smouldering debate over biofuel")

Mon, April 28, 2008
Trust issues could seal election

"The time for accountability has arrived." That's the very first sentence from Stephen Harper in the 2006 federal Conservative election platform.

A combination of events -- the right message (trust us) at the right time (RCMP criminal investigation) resulted in the Harper minority victory. Canadians were mad at the Liberals and were ready for change. Harper and the Conservatives were perceived as not only an alternative choice, but an alternative approach to governing. Polling conducted by Nanos Research for CPAC during the election showed the Harper Tories strong on trust.

In the first year in Tory mandate, Canadians saw Prime Minister Harper roll out the Federal Accountability Act, which, beyond the details, was a symbol of how a Harper government would conduct itself differently.

Fast forward to 2008 and the political "trust" environment is quite different. A government which was in large part elected in reaction to the Liberals and the advertising and sponsorship scandal now faces a series of trust issues to manage, the most recent flare-up being the Conservative election "in and out" scheme that Elections Canada has questioned.

The challenge for the government is the emergence of a narrative that, although it may not be breaking the rules, it is pushing the rules to the limit -- be it having discussions with Chuck Cadman related to his vote in the House of Commons, or how it managed its advertising spending during the 2006 federal election.


The first casualty of this narrative is likely to be the perceptions Canadians have of politicians and politics because it taps into a cynicism that already exists. The refrain "they're all the same" -- quickly comes to mind for many Canadians when they describe those we elect to represent us all.

The second casualty is the major distraction that results in the media and in the House of Commons. In January, Nanos-Sun Media polling showed Canadians were concerned about the strength of the economy in 2008. Although the broad economic indicators remain steady, polling indicates we are in a psychological recession.

As the opposition parties attempt to take political advantage of the Elections Canada investigation, there are some big issues such as the economy, Afghanistan, the environment and healthcare, to name a few, that Canadians are concerned about.

The only potential political beneficiaries of this environment could be the Bloc and the NDP. For BQ leader Gilles Duceppe, the potential erosion of trust for the Conservatives is strategically tailor-made. In one fell swoop he can attack both the Conservatives and the Liberals in Quebec.

The same holds true for NDP leader Jack Layton. On the trust issue, he can attack both the Grits and the Tories and increase his chances of holding onto nervous New Democrats who might consider voting Liberal to block another potential Conservative win. If the 17-year-old Tom Lukiwski anti-gay video is any indicator, Layton has to be careful how he attacks the Conservative government.


The most recent polling conducted throughout the focus on Lukiwski showed some NDP support in Ontario moving to the Grits -- very reminiscent of the 2004 federal election which Harper lost.

To paraphrase the Prime Minister, the time for accountability will come again -- at the next election. Canadians will judge all the leaders and parties -- not just on how they leveraged political advantage but what they have actually accomplished since 2006.