Friday, May 23, 2008

Daily Digest May 23, 2008



The asphalt cowboy

Winning isn't all fun and games

Keeping government's feet to the fire
Aging parents of adults with intellectual disabilities need the assurance that their children will get the care they need.

Saving the planet and pocketbook

Bouchard-Taylor report is an excellent blueprint

Bouchard-Taylor report is a mix of apple pie and analysis
Commissioners made recommendations but balked at tackling some tough issues

The 'What Do You Expect' dept.

A woman's place

Organ donation can ensure life for others

What lies behind stock market rise

Common sense prevails

Giving consumers the info they need; Proposed labelling guidelines will state what is, and isn't, a Canadian product

Toronto is all set to open Pandora's Box; Africentric school is doomed to create more problems than it solves

Label truths will help Niagarans shop locally

'Their' Ontario
Where tourism starts and ends

Canada's brand, eh

Country label no assurance of food safety

Food labels may finally make sense

Trade stuck in neutral

Turning our backs on the homeless

Helping kids in care grow up

Welfare outreach making a difference

Campbell's gag law bars public from election debate


City wants Canadian Forces to intervene if native dispute explodes

Day of action serious attempt to convey message

Soldiers with combat experience wanted as counsellors, therapists

Canada's top soldier says Forces in 'war for talent' to boost its ranks

Taliban rocket attack interrupts Canadian entertainment show in Kandahar.

Trollers blast $30-million salmon treaty as 'buyout'
U.S. to pay Canada to reduce catch off B.C. coast; commission defends deal as necessary to save stocks from extinction

U.S. stance on Cuba too extreme for Canada

America wants our water: Kennedy

RFK brings green message to Peterborough

Oil price mocks energy realities

Banking on incompetence and theft

Tremors of change amid aftershocks

Reluctant Canada agrees to 'right to food' resolution
Tells UN it's governments' job, not other nations'

Taliban armed with Iranian weapons: NATO
'Significant quantities' of arms uncovered over past two years

Ottawa ordered to give Khadr interrogation documents all 192 news articles »

'Rent-a-guest' schemes tipped off immigration

Bouchard-Taylor Report went too easy on immigrants

Quebec is ready to go to court to counter the Senate reform

With rigid rules on what is official ID, Bill 42 would strip vote from the poorest

Report's positive message 'a good start'
While document calls for more openness toward minorities, many unsure how recommendations will play out

Report highlights

Turn emptying schools into service hubs: report

Regional strategy should be priority of West's premiers

A new point man for a new message?
The imminent departure of Ian Brodie, chief of staff for Stephen Harper, signals a major retooling of the Prime Minister's Office. His replacement, Guy Giorno, made his reputation delivering the message of Mike Harris's Common Sense Revolution in Ontario. Does the personnel change signal a pre-election plan to grab the agenda and script a stronger daily message for government?

Giorno has the right stuff for Harper
Don't mistake the departure of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's top aide as a changing of the guard, say top Conservatives.
But some question PM's choice of ex-Harris aide

PM determined to stay on track
Tory sources insist no change in direction to follow the departure of Harper's chief of staff,

'Wicked smart' man going to Ottawa

Another Harrisite off to Ottawa

Gatekeeper leaves Tory china shop

Bernier's plane pledge catches Ottawa off guard

Canada's foreign minister belongs at Arctic summit
Diplomacy and international law are not the job of a natural resources minister

Manley says public still in dark on Afghan mission

Layton raises carbon-tax alarm

Dion's big gamble

NAFTA leak report clears PM's chief of staff, blames Foreign Affairs

Time to stand up for what we believe
How can the Canadian government say it wants to ban cluster bombs while it also promotes a provision that would allow it to participate with the U.S. in their use?

Disloyal Grits hurt their own chances, MP warns

Lobbyists look to calendar as new rules come into play
Many bureaucrats will be tempted to resign and return for big bucks

Did court err in young crime ruling?
Most young offenders deserve a second chance, but hardened toughs need jail time

Vancouver's safe injection site contradiction in name and deed
We should focus on the problem as a moral issue

Is it time to squeeze 'big oil'?

Can we now remove the "-gate"?

Protecting the throne

Insiders getting out

Asia: The land of raising sons

How the US dream foundered in Iraq

We the People have a crisis of purpose. Duty. Honor. Country.
A Nation in Crisis

Liberals and Libertarians DEAD Wrong on National Security

America's Greatest Terror Threat – A Threat From Within and Its Easy Solution

The dissolution of the Canadian federation

Prisoners of ambiguity
The government no longer helps all Canadians in trouble abroad


Les avocats de Khadr remportent une manche en Cour suprême du Canada

Québec est prêt à aller en cour pour contrer la réforme du Sénat

Fuite canadienne qui a embarrassé Obama: l'enquête blâme les Affaires étrangères

Stephen Harper prend la route pour vendre son plan vert aux Européens

Il y a difficulté de recruter les soldats d'élite, dit le général Hillier

Les mères adolescentes ne sont pas condamnées à vivre avec un faible revenu

L'Alliance de la fonction publique du Canada est déçue des offres salariales

Guerre en Afghanistan
Ottawa peu loquace sur la mission

Maxime Bernier
Gaffe sur gaffe sur gaffe

Changements climatiques
L'ONU dénonce la tiédeur des pays industrialisés

Communautés autochtones
Point d'ébullition

Juges bilingues
Fronde à Ottawa et à Québec

Stephen Harper
Départ d'un proche conseiller

Harper ira vendre son plan vert aux Européens

Layton condamne la taxe sur le carbone

Afghanistan: les alliés allongeront leur période de commandement

Voir aussi


The dissolution of the Canadian federation
We Are Canada

Thanks for your comments, Ron. Perhaps your wisest words are these:  
"There are some things you wish to accept and some things you don't,    
logic be damned."                                                                               

They came to mind as I read the article Myles Higgins following below.   
Is he being logical or is his prediction more emotion than reason based   

There are those who see dissolution as more than an abstract potentiality
but rather an a real and present danger greater than ever before in history.

 To Higgins "The idea that there will come a time when Canada no longer   
exists as a country may be laughable to some and frightening to others."

What are your reactions to his soothsaying, that is should you have any.



From: Ron Thornton

*Hi Joe:

In regards to Conspiratoria, might I recommend one item as a start and see where it goes. Now, do I really think the events of 9-11 can come home to roost with the US government or its agencies? I sure hope not, as the ramifications would be unthinkable. Then again, name one tower that ever collapsed the way those two did that were not as of a result of a managed demolition. Name just one, anywhere in the world. Please. 

What made the third building, the one not hit, to also collapse? As you can see, even if one is not ready to buy into such conspiracy theories, there is always room for investigation if all the answers do not line up with the questions.

Maybe setting once a week for the "conspiratoria" subject could be set aside, with the responses published a week later, along with the next question.  More often might prove to be too much for some.  To be honest, suggesting 9-11 was in some way orchestrated or allowed by official agencies is like asking if your dad shoot JFK.  While I'm sure my dad couldn't do such a thing, which isn't exactly much of a response, logically I can rule him out as he was at work in a building we could see from our doorstep and was home watching the television with us before supper time.

There are some things you wish to accept and some things you don't, logic be damned.


The dissolution of the Canadian federation
We Are Canada
 By Myles Higgins  Friday, May 23, 2008

As surely as the sun rises and sets, the Canadian federation is slowly devolving into a handful of separate and independent states.

The dissolution of the Canadian federation has been quietly advancing for decades but the timelines have suddenly become more compressed and gaining momentum. Few of us have even noticed.

The idea that there will come a time when Canada no longer exists as a country may be laughable to some and frightening to others. Though many of us may no longer walk this land when it finally happens, the movement from a single National entity into several autonomous countries has already begun.

Quebec has been on the cusp of separation since the 60s. Though public sentiment there has eased on the issue it still exists and requires only some unknown spark to re-ignite and flourish.

Ontario has long bemoaned the unfairness of a federation that has seen its once great manufacturing sector contribute so much and, in the opinion of most Ontarians, receive so little in return. Ask any Ontarian about this country and they will likely tell you, "We ARE Canada".

The vast majority of Canada's population resides within the borders of these two provincial giants. This means the federal government has always been hard pressed to do anything that might upset voters there, even when the best interests of the nation are in jeopardy.

As a result neither the East nor the West has ever been recognized as anything but a handy supplier of raw materials. A group of eight "lesser" provinces orbiting a black hole that swallows up all the oil, timber, fish, wheat, beef, iron, gold, potash and low cost workers the regions have to offer.

With no real voice in Canada's government, the Atlantic premiers have, for several years, held meetings and conferences designed to more closely align their direction. They continue to find ways to strengthen their economic ties, enhance their political clout and streamline their individual expenses, without Ottawa's assistance.

In recent years, the Western provinces have also begun to follow the lead of their Atlantic counterparts by working together to address issues of mutual interest and strengthen their ties to one another.

Now, with manufacturing heavy Central Canada slowly being weakened by an impending recession, Ontario and Quebec, the two most powerful provinces in Canada, have decided the time has come for them to band together for self preservation.

To all appearances, the coalitions formed in the Western Provinces and those on the Atlantic Coast may have been fortuitous, in light of what is to come after this latest move by Ontario and Quebec. A move that could well put the final nail in Canada's coffin.

When Ontario or Quebec sneeze, Ottawa reaches for the tissue box. It's always been that way. Now that both provinces are joining forces the likelihood that any federal government would dare deny them just about anything they want has never been lower.

This can only mean very dark days for the rest of the country.

What Ontario wants Ontario gets.

What Quebec wants Quebec gets.

For years Ontario and Quebec have been enviously eying the oil and energy wealth of other provinces and looking for ways to "access" it.

Now that Canada has shifted to an energy based economy oil and electricity are the new currency of the federation. Oil, electricity and cash are three things many parts of Canada have more of these days. They are also three things Ontario and Quebec desperately want.

Make no mistake, Ontario and Quebec intend to improve their lot and the rest of the country can be damned.

When Ontario and Quebec band together the oil wealth of Eastern and Western Canada will be up for grabs. The electrical energy capacity of places like Newfoundland and Labrador will no longer be safe. And a federation that was extremely dysfunctional, even when Ontario and Quebec acted independently, will begin to spiral into collapse.

Either Alberta or Newfoundland and Labrador will likely be the first to see the full impact of this new reality as more and more of their dreams are crushed to satisfy the yearnings of the two larger provinces. They will also be the first to make a move toward independence.

Then, like a series of dominos, other provinces or regions will follow. An Atlantic State will form, then one or two Western States, Quebec will finally achieve the independence it has so often talked of and, in the end, the people of Ontario will be able to say with all honesty, "We ARE Canada".

It's no longer a matter of "if "Canada will cease to exist as it does today but when. Perhaps within the next 20 years, perhaps the next 30 or 40 but it will happen, as surely as the sun rises and sets.

Myles Higgins is freelance columnist

Location: Portugal Cove - St. Philips, Newfoundland


Previous Columns by Myles Higgins
We Are Canada - May 23, 2008
The Truth is… - May 13, 2008
They're Just Newfies… - May 11, 2008
Equalization Dilemma - An Ontario Solution - May 6, 2008
Ontario's Equalization Non-Disaster - May 3, 2008
History Will Judge… - Apr 29, 2008
The Glass Is Indeed Half Full - Apr 26, 2008
Motives of Animal Rights Groups Exposed by 3 Simple Words - "Ban the Hakapik" - Apr 17, 2008
Justice for All or Only for Some? - Apr 11, 2008
Newfoundland and Labrador Balancing Act - Mar 28, 2008
Atlantic Fishery: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back - Mar 24, 2008
Seals, Kangaroos and Ex-Beatles - The Protest Continues - Mar 13, 2008
Political Bombshell or Bombast? - Mar 10, 2008
Stephen Harper Directly Implicated in Bribery Allegation - Mar 4, 2008
Toursim - Newfoundland and Labrador Does it Right - Feb 22, 2008
The Famous and Infamous of Newfoundland and Labrador - Feb 18, 2008
There are Lies and Then There are Damn Lies - Jan 24, 2008
Newfoundland and Labrador's "ABC" Campaign Back on Track - Jan 17, 2008
Perception is Not Reality in Newfoundland and Labrador - Jan 17, 2008
Billion Dollar Aid Plan or Billion Dollar Election Campaign? - Jan 13, 2008
The Ultimate Political Escape Route - Saving Face - Jan 10, 2008
It's Your Move, Mr. Prime Minister - Jan 8, 2008
Yet Another 2007 Year End Review - Jan 3, 2008
Back Room Politics - A Study in Confusion - Dec 22, 2007
Dean McDonald Left the Wind Farm - Danny, Danny Oh! - Dec 19, 2007
First Minister's Photo-Op In the Offing - Nov 12, 2007
Senate Abolition VS. Senate Reform - Nov 7, 2007
Sizing Up the Federal Scene - Nov 2, 2007
Russian Bombers Challenge Canada's Air Defences - Oct 24, 2007
Vive le Free Trade - Oct 24, 2007
Fledgling Political Party Steps Into Ottawa - NL Dispute - Oct 18, 2007
Newfoundland & Labrador, De-Confederation - Oct 15, 2007
Harper's Big Election Gamble - Oct 14, 2007
Harper Cons N.S. into New Accord Deal - Oct 11, 2007
Tidal Wave Rolls Over Newfoundland and Labrador - Oct 10, 2007
Conservative Smoke and Mirrors - Oct 5, 2007
Defending the Defender - Oct 4, 2007
Forget "Make Work" - Try "Take Work" - Sep 29, 2007