Saturday, August 23, 2008

Daily Digest August 22, 2008



National co-operation needed on food safety  

We have seen the wind  

Put public safety before ideology

Doctoring medicare

Harper & an election

Power to dissolve

Food safety and risk management


Put a lid on banning bottled water
A lesson in food safety

Election? Are you kidding?

Ailing health system needs fresh diagnosis  

Ground this bad idea  

Meat recall hurts inspection plans  

Mental illness retains a social stigma that must be eliminated  


Lack of troops a 'political failure'

UK Army chief: We cannot beat the Taliban without reinforcements

'Taliban more aggressive, not stronger'

Leave Afghanistan now, Alexandre Trudeau says  

The challenge of winning an irregular war  

Relative, troops in Edmonton struggle with latest soldier deaths in Afghanistan

Canadian Deaths in Afghanistan: The race between firepower and armour

Canada's Arctic sovereignty bid begins in 'busy place'

Canada begins mapping Arctic sea floor  

Russia not the only bad guy in the Georgia skirmish  

A war in two acts – with different plots
Russian, Western telecasts showed totally different versions of the fighting in Georgia

Beyond 'Great Power' politics

Billions of dollars fail to fix medical imaging deficiency

Private care gains support: new CMA boss

Quebec, Ontario culture ministers blast Tory arts cuts

Quebec asked to reconsider safe-injection site

Tory leaves McGuinty in the dust

Expect election unless Dion acts, PMO warns

Harper weighing snap election call

PM Harper mulling possibility of election call after Labour Day

Election call possible after Labour Day, sources say

PM to meet with opposition leaders; may force fall vote

Layton wants Harper to allow Parliament to resume in mid-September

Dion asks Harper to state his views on abortion

Blackburn Clears Decks for Election Call

Flaherty cuts economic forecast

Federal surplus slashed to $1.2B

Ritz praises public servant for outing source of CFIA leak

NS premier "fully bought and paid for," says Brison

Dion pitches Green Shift

Opposition MPs blast Tories over pamphlets

National issues dominate by-election in Guelph

We don't need an election

Conservatives' tough talk on drugs is a cheap political ploy  

Conservatives' Election Law: Stephen Harper needs to fish or stop using folksy 19th-century American idioms

Parties get set for fall election

Campaign notebook: The Green Shift starts here?

Tories preaching to the converted

Was it all a 'pious hope' dream?
Harper chose the fixed date path. And it's a matter of honour that he now follow it

Ottawa to shift arts funds to Olympic programs

Cabinet Urged To Block Porn Channel

Navy's support ship replacement program scuttled
Government says bids significantly higher than money set aside for project; tender call for Coast Guard ships also cancelled

We want choice

Tories stuck on blind ideology could learn from Saskatchewan  

Wall betrays Sask. on equalization  

The Harper government is headed the right way in the battle against drugs  

Preston Manning
Reinventing Canada's political circus

Pre-emptive censorship is offensive to Muslims



The following post was received this afternoon. 

The preface to the prediction of what may be is in process in Halton Riding is public knowledge. 

The role of what is called the "grassroots", the membership, has been significantly reduced from what it was in both of what are termed the "legacy parties". 

Holding nomination meetings it seems can't be done without approval. Candidate's names can be placed in nomination only after approval. There appears to be an if you lose you're ineligible rule. Candidates nominated by the membership can be removed without consultation.

None of these are a legacy from the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to my knowledge that extended from 1968 to December 7, 2003.  Nor are they from the Reform Party where. unless I misread, decision making was to flow upward, not downward
What has occurred makes the scenario said to be underway in Haltion Riding not unimaginable but rather what may well be another instance of  a local riding's affairs being run from above.

Is it so?  While you very well may know from recent experience the degree of probability, I do not.

Though what I do know is that healthy grassroots are vital for both for lawns and political parties to flourish.


Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 16:08:32 -0400
Subject: FYIDo The Tories Have A Death Wish?They are planning to appoint another candidate ­ in Halton this time.
From: Charles Conn <>
To: <>

Do The Tories Have A Death Wish?

They are planning to appoint another candidate ­ in Halton this time.

The federal riding of Halton lies west of Toronto. The city of Milton is in the centre and corners of Oakville and Burlington lie on its southern border. The rest is farm, estate and small village country. It's a natural Tory stronghold and the Tories are doing everything they can to hand it over to the Liberals.

It's Garth Turner's riding. He was a staunch Tory until he offended some sensitive person(s) in the PMO and the Party threw him out. Now he's a staunch Liberal.

It must be quite puzzling for the 'smart guys' in the Tory PMO to see the polls continuing to show them lagging the Liberals in 98-seat southern Ontario. Let me venture an opinion. It's not just the avalanching list of errors of omission and commission made by the Harper-quarterbacked government. It's also the thuggish behaviour of Doug Finley who runs the Party's political operations ­ PoliOps in bureaucratic newspeak. He and his gang of yespersons are alienating riding memberships so much that they will not work for appointed "Stars". And grassroots do feed the lawn!

By his disdainful contempt for the membership in ridings like Toronto Centre, Guelph, Mississauga East-Cooksville, Mississauga South, Halton  and who knows how many others, Finley is virtually guaranteeing the Tories will do even less well in southern Ontario in October 2009 than they did in January 2006. Quebec won't offset and they'll be lucky to maintain a minority government.

The pattern of misbehaviour varies only slightly in detail.

In Toronto Centre, Mark Warner was duly elected as their candidate by the membership. PoliOps threw him out and appointed a non-resident. He lost a by-election. (Hal Jackman was not pleased!)

In Guelph, the membership elected Brent Barr to be their candidate by a substantial majority over Gloria Kovach, a local city councillor. PoliOps threw out Barr and installed Kovach. She will lose in the September by-election.

In Mississauga East-Cooksville, PoliOps installed Melissa Bhagat, a Liberal living in Brampton, as the candidate before the new board, never mind the membership, had a chance to organize a candidate search and fair election. She will lose.

It is likely that so much fuss was raised in The Star, the Mississauga News and bloggers about the underhanded treatment of the membership in Mississauga East-Cooksville that PoliOps had to tell Major Ted Opitz of Etobicoke that they couldn't give him an automatic appointment in Mississauga South after all ­ he'd have to campaign for the candidacy! (Mississauga South's two-time candidate, Phil Green, had been unceremoniously told that he wouldn't be allowed to even contest for the candidacy this time in order to give Opitz an opening.) Mississauga South was finally allowed to hold their candidate election June 10 at which date poor Major Opitz was blown away by a resident, Hugh Arrison. So far, PoliOps has not thrown him out. He might have a chance because the membership will work for a candidate they chose.

Halton has suffered a textbook combination of political Dirty Tricks.

First of all the riding's board has been asking PoliOps for permission to hold a candidate election for nearly two years. Their requests have been denied and, most recently, simply ignored. (One might wonder how an unelected, unaccountable staff can deny the elected, accountable representatives of the membership, but that's Tory democracy nowadays under the new Rules & Regulations drafted by [surprise] PoliOps.)

Halton riding has a consistent and active membership of around 550 and a significant amount of money in the bank. It has always had a healthy riding association ­ active in many community events and experienced at winning elections. There have been at least three very well-qualified members who have announced their intention to seek the candidacy for the same two years. All the requirements for holding a candidate selection process have been in place. It is axiomatic that the longer a candidate has to work the riding the more likely he/she is to have a positive influence on the outcome of an election.

However, PoliOps has decided to appoint Lisa Raitt as the Tory candidate in Halton.

Lisa Raitt at least lives in the riding. She is the CEO of the Toronto Harbour Commission. Formerly, she was chief counsel for the THC and was responsible for extracting the $35M penalty from Toronto City Council for their holdup of the Island Airport. Clearly a "Star" candidate!

While at the THC, Ms. Raitt hired two lobbyists ­ Vic Gupta and Mark Spiro. Vic Gupta is the Principal of Prime Strategies - a PR firm in Toronto. Mark Spiro is a Partner at Goodmans LLP in Toronto and ran the Target Management Group for Doug Finley during the 2005-06 election. He has recently backed off from open contact with Ms. Raitt, but is still a key advisor to Doug Finley.

Investigators might possibly find it useful to also probe Toronto city councillors and mayor Miller about Ms. Raitt's tenure at THC.

Now here's where it gets a little complicated. Early in 2008, both Lisa Raitt and the Halton board were told that Lisa Raitt was going to be the Tory candidate in the next election. Ms. Raitt was introduced to the board as such. Only one board member resigned in protest, the rest prepared to dig in their heels.

It is likely that the fuss raised by the newspapers and blogs about the nefarious treatment of the Mississauga East-Cooksville membership caused PoliOps a little temporary concern (see Mississauga South) and sometime in February/March 2008 they told Lisa Raitt she'd have to campaign for the candidacy (like Major Ted Opitz). She flatly refused. She gave the bogus excuse that her position in a government agency didn't allow her to campaign for a political position. This is not true. More likely she was concerned about the optics among Toronto city councillors and/or she simply didn't want to lower herself, or exert herself, to engage in a contest for a position she had previously been assured was hers and that she still wanted to have.

So PoliOps made a tactical shift. The membership in Halton will not be allowed to choose their own candidate. Whenever the writ is dropped for the next federal election, the cover of the call to arms will be used to sneak in Lisa Raitt as the official Party Representative.

Recently, Ms. Raitt has been showing up at community events and behaving for all the world as though she is in fact the Tory candidate for Halton.

Investigators might find it useful to ask Ms. Raitt whether she is going to compete for the nomination or whether she has already been promised the candidacy.

Talk about abusing the membership! 

The National Council of the Conservative Party is elected to serve and protect the interests of the membership and the Party. Instead, as recent events have demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt, National Councillors have abdicated their positional responsibility and ceded their authority to the bully-tactics of Doug Finley and his gang of fellow hirelings.

National Councillors know full well what's going on. I for one sent complete details of what transpired in Mississauga East-Cooksville to: Don Plett ­ President, Richard Ciano ­ Vice President, Jean LeBlanc ­ Secretary, Lois Brown ­ Ontario Councillor, Kara Johnson ­ Ontario Councillor and Susan McArthur ­ Ontario Councillor. Not one had the courtesy, never mind the integrity, to respond.

Furthermore, they can read the media accounts that relate the destruction being wrought, not just in southern Ontario, but also in Quebec, the Maritimes, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C. just in the last year. And probably three time as much damage is being done in ridings lacking the juice to fight back or get media attention.

National Councillors and the PMO must soon realize that Finley's actions are wrecking the enthusiasm of party members by denying the memberships and boards the fundamental democratic right to choose who will represent them in elections and parliament. If they don't do something about Finley and his gang they will rightly bear the blame for the next reign of Liberal socialism.

In addition to the persons named above, you may wish to contact:

Keith Hesse, long time and still current Halton board member, 905-876-9900 (home), 905-34-5307 (cell). Lisa Raitt told him she won't declare because she's worried about the media and Toronto Council finding out about her responsibility for the Island Airport. (Rumour has it the Tories want to make her Transport Minister to expand Toronto Island Airport so Porter will buy more planes from Bombardier in Montreal!!!}

Tasha Woodcock, Ontario PoliOps, 613-755-2192.
Wally Butts, south central Ontario Region PoliOps, 519-586-3019
Karma MacGregor, GTA Region PoliOps, 416-846-8236.

Guy Giorno and Tony Kenanke in the PMO with Doug Finley.

Charles W. Conn, Mississauga. August 18, 2008.


From: "Rebecca Gingrich" <>

Joe--I believe the fixed election date applies to majority governments

Sadly an election would do nothing for us other than to cost us millions
more taxdollars that could be used for Canadians. No matter who 'wins' the
next one we will still be held hostage by incompetence, irrelevance and

Why would anyone even bother to vote? What a farce our governments have
become. They are only interested in their own well-being. We are headed
into economic meltdown and we are supposed to worry about the viability of
these overpaid jerks? We will be freezing in the dark this winter and are
supposed to care whose leader can con us the most?

As for the GG--who cares if she is in a quandry. Hopefully she is still
buried under a pile of letters from concerned Canadians over her Order of
Canada to Morgentaler! She is a waste of tax dollars too.