Friday, May 02, 2008

Daily Digest May 2, 2008



Economics 101

Addressing those mid-month fuel price hikes
What did the Liberals mean when they promised to end mid-month fuel price corrections?

Dalton, hold the cat food

Tax grab sets arbitrary line

Dion is too timid about a carbon tax

The ultimate mystery meat

Community standards

The benefits of early learning

Keep patients the focus in midwife debate

Message control is PM's obsession

Public inquiry mania

Why Ontario may join `have-nots'

The fight against censorship

Taxes have middle class by the throat

'Diversity data' worth risks

New projects offer hope for tourism industry

Time for PM to smile; He's had his way on a lot of matters;; now Harper has to give back

Making a scene

Ontario's woes need to be seen in right context

Women shortchanged in the workplace
Progress has stalled on bringing women's pay up to the same level as men -- and traditional male career preserves remain intact.

Dead ducks dent Alberta reputation

Let's celebrate new heart institute

Chopper deal: beam us up

Aid quantity and quality

Continuing decline in real earnings a shadow on our economic growth

Federal stand on Insite one of duplicity and intransigence

Tell busybodies just to butt out


Fabled regiment could suffer mortal blow
"The support given to the Canadian army by providing soldiers for overseas postings over the last several years, while applauded then, now earns criticism because of the reduced numbers in the regiment. [This] in turn, is partially caused by the Camerons' success in providing those volunteers. It sounds to us like they are being punished for doing their job well,"

How $1 billion timber deal affected consumers

$1 billion timber slush fund or fair trade deal?
Lawsuit, U.S. senators want details on Bush administration deal

U.S. slump starting to take toll in Canada

New driver's licences to become a passport alternative

StatsCan sets off its own class war
Statistics Canada is ignoring the good news in yesterday's report on Canadians' earnings

The double-income trap

They're sick 'n' tired - and working
Study says employers must step up to address mental health issues
It's a gusher!

Killing Niagara fruit business
The last cannery east of the Rockies is closing -- and fruit belt farmers are out of luck

Taliban claim victory from a defeat

Bomb destroys oil tanker Sudhir Ahmad Afridi

Ottawa wants terrorism suspect taken off watch list
But U.S. and France still accuse Canadian of ties to al-Qaeda

Strahl does damage control at UN

B.C. doctors should be treating all patients in an even-handed way

Take return-to-work offer or forfeit severance pay, Supreme Court rules

Tories say watchdogs free to talk
Government officials scramble to counter concerns over communications strategy proposal

Grits vow to amend bill denying film tax credits

Will vote on Bill C-10 lead to an election?

Scientists accuse Tories of 'despicable' interference
Ideological opposition to a Vancouver safe-injection site caused muzzling and misrepresentation of findings, researchers say

Liberals want probe into Flaherty's private-school tax breaks

Executives head for the exits

Afghan ban on soap operas recalls bad old Taliban days

Identity politics dominate modern age

David Olive on the census: A country divided

Sorry, but the Canadian dream is under siege

A fight the Conservatives cannot win

Waiting for Churchill

Modelling the modern general
The new chief of defence staff won't be another Rick Hillier - nor should he try to be

Gas-pump populism

All too quiet on the Afghan front

Oilsands spin risky strategy

Act together to rid community of gang menace

Time to connect social objectives to public policy

Plastic bottles are the least of our worries


On implore Ottawa de signer la Déclaration sur les peuples autochtones

Ottawa réclame le retrait d'un suspect d'une liste noire de l'ONU

Des uniformes Made in China pour les athlètes canadiens

Perche tendue aux talibans
Les soldats canadiens tentent une approche plus souple à Kandahar

Une stratégie coupable

Bachand aide Montréal international et invite le fédéral à faire de même

Une partie du matériel saisi par Elections Canada ne leur revient pas, dit le PC


Day of Mourning 2008 Speech
                                            Erik, our son, is an electrician by trade and as well a certified secondary school teacher
                                            teacher.  His present position is with the Joint Apprenticeship Council of Toronto sharing
                                            responsibility for training electrical apprentices. He sent me an e-mail today, part of which
                                            I pass on to you.
                                            Safety procedures is an important element of the knowledge that is taught to electricians.
                                            Not all who practice this trade take the courses, not all follow procedures - and sometimes
                                            they and all too often others who later run into their improper work, pay with their lives.
                                            Any idea of how many Canadians have lost their lives in one accident or another in a year?
                                            Quite frankly I did not, until I read the Day of Mourning 2008 Speech that follows. Think
                                            of the hue and cry raised had these been casualties in war compared with what little there
                                            is said or done about these losses.


From: Ron Thornton

*Hi Joe:

Exactly, what does one have to be to be considered on the "religious left"?  If you got religion, seem to follow the tenants of your faith, does that automatically cause you to be on the right and, if on the right, the right of what? Phyllis Wagg mentioned that the exhibit "Darwin, the Evolution Revolution" failed to attract any corporate sponsors as they considered it "too hot to handle", yet the United Church (are they on the religious left?) is sponsoring the exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. Personally, I have nothing against the theme of the exhibit and I think Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code) is one of the best writers anywhere, yet I think morals, ethics, and character are somewhat lacking in today's world. Does that make me someone on the religious right, the left, parked somewhere in the middle, or just someone with decent observational skills?

*Ron Thornton

From: "Claudia Hudson" <>
To: "Joe Hueglin" <>
Subject:  Does the Canadian government give a damn?

Brenda Martin no longer suffers in that dreadful Mexican jail. She is now in the spiffy new Grand Valley Womans' jail near Kitchener.

 After much squealing and squawking she was finally able to get our politicians to do their usual soft shoe accompanied by some loud jiggery pokery grandstanding with some MPs  not even standing. She arrived on my Canadian soil which she has ignored for many years, by challenger jet. I saw the touchdown on TV. I did not see her fall to her knees and kiss the ground which luckily for her has been kept somewhat intact by me the taxpayer after all the years of her being absent.and not giving a tinkers damn about how I as a Canadian might be doing.

I really cannot afford a challenger jet. I would have thought that a regular flight for a non violent, unwell prisoner with zero escape risk would have been more in keeping with my pocket book

It is interesting to note that the Ottawa folks are not consistent. There was no challenger jet for William Sampson, biochemist with dual Canadian/British citizenship-  not even a leaky boat! They sent only Liberal Don Boudria to visit William in his Saudi jail. Boudria even lacked the courage to insist that the conversation be private without the torturers present

 William was left for well over 2 years in unthinkable conditions there. For help, he had his father, effort by the British government and his natural obstinacy to show them what he was made of—example; refusing to bathe or dress . With no thanks to Canada, he was not beheaded, lives in England now with chronic problems from the torture.

If the Brenda Martin saga teaches anything, it is : do not go to Mexico the country with which we are to be harmonized, equalized etc by the North American Union according to the same Ottawa folks mentioned above

I would not be surprised to learn that Brenda will receive buckets of bucks for her movie story .Dare I hope she will give something to my Canada or will it end up off shore the way she ended up off shore? Might she at least pay me back for that ride in the challenger jet?

From: "John Duddy"

Have a look!
Both Republicans and Democrats are joining in the call for a new investigation.
Where is the Canadian investigation into the murder of 24 Canadians?
Subject: Truth Jihad News: Chomsky to Converse with Truth Jihadi!

Hello again!

Too much news this week to summarize...scroll down to the No Lies Headlines transcripts to get it from Rocinante's mouth. (The horse, not the car.)

Expect an official announcement of my candidacy for Congress next week. It will be a campaign unlike any other. For one thing, I solemnly promise never to blow-dry what's left of my hair. For another, my campaign will continue the all-out no-holds-barred truth jihad. As my campaign slogan puts it, "truth in politics - what a concept!"

Upcoming radio guests include uber-pilot and former CIA operative John Lear today; visionary science author Dorion Sagan tomorrow; leading progressive rabbi Michael Lerner this Monday; and after that, such great guests as Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth founder Richard Gage, JFK researcher E. Martin Schotz (he inspired Jim Douglass), Native American 9/11 truth activist Splitting the Sky, and two of our leading scholarly critics of empire, William Blum and Noam Chomsky. Yes, you heard that right - Noam Chomsky, heretofore no great friend of 9/11 truth, has agreed to join me for an interview to be broadcast in June!  Stay tuned to for details.

Thanks for your ongoing efforts in support of truth and justice.

Kevin Barrett
Please note my new email address:
Complete radio schedule (next week's schedule should be up this weekend):

Latest 9/11 truth news:
Barrett's Blog:
News Headline Show: No Lies News! This is radio news with an attitude! Catch it before the FCC hears it and sends me to Guantanamo. Sample show: Below are transcripts from this week.

Erik Hueglin
Joint Apprenticeship Council

Day of Mourning 2008 Speech
Ken Georgetti
April 28, 2008

Good morning, Sisters and Brothers.

On behalf of my fellow Officers and the more than 3.2 million Canadian workers whose unions come together through the Canadian Labour Congress, I bring you greetings on this very special occasion.

And I want to say to you all – thank you for taking the time to come here today. Thank you for taking the time to remember the friends and the colleagues whose lives were forever changed or whose lives came to an end on... that day they went to work.

Thank you for coming here to show your support and your solidarity with those who have lost friends and family.

Canada, believe it or not, is one of the most dangerous places in the world to work. Since the start of this century, more than 7,500 men and women were killed because they went to work and never came home again. That's nearly 1,000 people every year. With a five-day workweek, that three, sometimes four people die every day because of something that happened at work.

Whether that something was an injury, an attack, a poisoning or a disease caused by a lack of protection from workplace pollutants – the result is the same.

I say that Canada is one of the most dangerous places in the world to work because Canada is one of the few countries where the number of workplace deaths has been allowed to grow.

Nearly a quarter of a century ago, when we marked the very first Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job, we mourned fewer workers than we do today.

Ten years ago, we mourned the loss of just over 800 workers.

Five years ago, we mourned for 928.

In 2006, we lost 976 Sisters and Brothers to workplace tragedy. Already we are hearing reports that the numbers grew even higher last year with Alberta – the country's job engine – reporting a 24% jump in workplace deaths over a single year.

And what was the reaction from the Alberta government? Not a hint of shock. No resolve to prevent more deaths from happening this year. Just some cold-blooded spin doctoring about how these statistics were consistent with those from previous years.

Can you believe it!  Why is Canada a country where it is acceptable for more workers to die on the job or because of their work every year?

Canada – the country that in 1984 marked the first Day of Mourning, which is now observed around the world. Ceremonies like the one we are at today are taking place on every continent and in dozens of countries where the goal is to reduce the rate of workplace death and injury.

What are we doing wrong in Canada, Brothers and Sisters? What must be done to finally point these statistics in the other direction?

Well, I have a list of things we can do right now to prevent more injuries and more deaths from happening this year. It's a very short list.

Number One:


Canada has some of the best health and safety laws in the world. We know this because it was unions who fought for those laws to get passed. The problem is, governments have cut back on the resources we need to ensure our workplaces are safe and to ensure our employers are not breaking the law.

Today, we spend too much time figuring out "what happened" and fixing things after it's already too late.

Number Two:

Provide more workplace training and worker education!

Both governments and employers can do so much more to ensure that the people who work for them know the safest way to their jobs and how to protect themselves from workplace hazards. Having a union with a health and safety committee makes a big difference. Having the boss and the government on your side would make an even bigger difference.

When it comes to reducing the risk of injury and death by preventing the increased use of untrained and inexperienced workers, there are two more things governments can do right now.

Number Three:

Make it illegal to use replacement workers during lock-outs and strikes.

Nobody likes a scab. But the truth is that replacement workers are often plopped into workplaces and put into jobs with little or no training. Ending this abusive practice on the part of employers would prevent people from putting their health and safety at risk because they need a fast pay cheque.

Number Four:

Stop the reckless growth of foreign temporary workers as a source of cheap labour for greedy employers.

Brothers and Sisters, this is a recipe for disaster. All of the ingredients are there. Thousands of new workers. Many of them desperate to come and desperate to stay. Shipped into unfamiliar workplaces. Then poorly monitored because different levels of government can't figure out who is responsible for their health and safety.
Despite the confusion. Despite the reports of abuse, and violence and exploitation, our government has chosen to accelerate this program.

Yes, these workers are getting injured. Yes, these workers are getting killed on the job. Oil patch workers have died in Alberta. Farm workers have died in British Columbia.

But these deaths don't count among the official statistics. No, they don't count at all, because they are not covered by provincial worker compensation laws. Nobody, it seems, is responsible for protecting these workers from harm.

Once again, as our government marches forward, Canada marches backwards.

Brothers and Sisters. We have good laws. We need them to be enforced instead of ignored. That's the key to lowering the number of workplace deaths and injuries in Canada.

We also need governments with the will to do this. Governments formed by the people, we, the working people of this country, elect. Governments held accountable by legislatures filled with people we know are truly on our side.

Thank you for coming here today. And thank you for inviting me to be a part of your Day of Mourning ceremonies this year.

I truly hope that the next time I come to remember those we've lost and fight for those who go back to work today and tomorrow... I truly hope to be able to say that we have fewer, not more Canadians to mourn.

Thank you.  

2005-2008 © Canadian Labour Congress