Friday, February 27, 2009

Daily Digest February 27, 2009



Consumers rap excess wrapping

Playing politics with aboriginal schools?

Patients pay when there's a surgical slowdown

A sensible approach to foreign aid
A great and dangerous injustice in Pakistan

Justice is coming
Collective punishment
Don't lose the chance for change

Face-to-face messages are crucial

Not very stimulating

Does anyone in Afghanistan care about our soldiers?

Get stimulus cash in play

Don't skip Africa in our foreign aid

Rethink energy audits

Carbon capture no silver bullet for tar sands

Crisis holds hope for health care

Get used to hearing about the jobless

The first degree is oversold

Tough on crime (in theory)

It's called scalping

 All Olympic wines should be VQA wines

High speed: Moving the project forward

A cause for their time

Chiefs should butt out of social agencies

Anti-Israel protests show ignorance

Knife ban won't cut crime

Planning for less would be alberta's advantage

What are we fighting for? The right stuff

Speaking out against poverty
How would you like to be living on 52 per cent less income than you received in 1986?

Update deficit: first squall of storm

Courts will never convince society to embrace political correctness

Evergreen Line illustrates both value and pitfalls of stimulus spending

Danger in a pill bottle

Going after gangs

No time to expand Taser use

Detox unit fine, but not for street addicts

Gang laws good politics, ineffective policy


Chief of his own Alberta oil patch

Protests over Afghan 'mosque raid'

Secret talks with Taliban under way

Afghan War Should Last Until 2025: Ex-Commander

Amnesty urges prosecution of troops for Afghan abuses

Canadian military screens Afghan soldiers receiving donated rifles: officers

U.S. says Canada the top source for ecstasy

Don't sweat border review, says U.S., despite incendiary military report

CBC considers more U.S. TV programs

EI waits reaching 'crisis,' federal workers say
Wait times for the processing of Employment Insurance claims are already at the crisis point, says the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and are only expected to get worse.

Current account balance hits deficit for first time in nine years

Investors win say on top bank pay

Canada issues Mexican travel warning

Is Mexico disintegrating?

Harper concerned by "aggressive" Russia
Russia hits back at Canada about bomber flights

Throwing the book misses the target

Ontario gang fighters

Drop the political pacifier
Garry Breitkreuz, National Post  Published: Friday, February 27, 2009

We're still friends, Saskatchewan Premier says of Ottawa

Canadians do not want new election: Harper

Flaherty pushes special $3B fund to stimulate economy

The media and the message

Supporting oilsands a national unity issue: Ignatieff

Feds wait for stadium request

Elizabeth May denies dropping off radar since election


Conservatives get tough on drug offences

Tories re-table bill to reform serious drug crime penalties

Looming cuts would shake CBC to its core

Watchdog blasts Tories for secrecy obsession

Enhanced measures focus on early detection of Listeria

Harper announces $62M for Saskatchewan highway twinning

Canada shuns aid to media, warns on bank stakes

Small businesses squeezed out of federal deals: association

Coming soon: Biometric visitor's visa

There's still gold in them thar Golden Horseshoe hills

What about accountability?
The financial geniuses responsible for this mess should suffer with the rest of us

Tick, tick, tick goes the debt
National debt clock makes a reappearance in Vancouver, with each tick representing $1,068.62 more in the red

Marrying social and fiscal conservatism
Our Tories should look to England for an example of a strong, workable social justice message

Inside the echo chamber

L'économie est en déroute, affirme Flaherty

Trafic de drogue: les Conservateurs veulent des peines plus sévères

Trois milliards pour relancer l'économie

Propos sur Wajsman: Paradis n'a pas de regrets

Accès à l'information: le système est en crise, estime le commissaire

Le ministre Nicholson veut sévir

Un autre coup dur pour le Canada

Afghanistan: Une facture de 11,3 G$, selon Ottawa

Ottawa mise sur les sanctions

Le Canada se défend d'avoir fourni malencontreusement des armes aux talibans

Le gouvernement alerte les Canadiens sur la violence au Mexique

Ottawa affiche un excédent budgétaire de 241 millions $ pour le mois de décembre

Accès à l'information: trop d'organismes trop lents, selon le commissaire

Des politiciens canadiens craignent le spectre du protectionnisme américain

Les mesures de détection de la bactérie Listeria seront élargies

Le Parti vert est là pour rester selon la chef Elizabeth May


house of credit cards Pt.2
Low wages, weak unions and consumer culture led to an economy built on a house of credit cards view


Tax Alert
The Canada Revenue Agency warns Canadians of mail scam

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning taxpayers to beware of a recent scam where some Canadians are receiving a letter fraudulently identified as coming from the CRA and asking for personal information. The letter is not from the CRA. A PDF version of the letter is available on the CRA Web site at

The letter claims that there is "insufficient information" for the individual's tax return and that in order to receive any "claims," they will have to update their records. The letter attaches a form specifically requesting the individual's personal information in writing, via fax or email, including information on bank accounts and passports. This letter is not from the CRA and Canadians should not provide their personal information to the sender.

All taxpayers should be vigilant when divulging any confidential information to third parties. The CRA has well established practices to protect the confidentiality of taxpayers' information.

The CRA has notified the proper law enforcement authorities of this scam.

For information about this and other similar scams, or to report deceptive telemarketing activity, visit, send an email to, or call 1-888-495-8501.

From: Ray Strachan
Subject: The Gods are on our side,Both of Them


I was so relieved when I watched the 6pm news out here in Alberta. I had no
idea how close we came to ,(all of us in Canada) to being compelled against
our free will to have a crash course in RUSSIAN.   If we wouldnt have had
those F-18s and Steve and Pete, I ask you where would we be?  I have a stupid
neighbor who says it was a diversion speech to get our minds off the economy ?
Jeese, and I have to live next door to this jerk. Anyway my Grandchildren are
safe tonight, thanks to Steve and Pete, we can all sleep soundly,  knowing
that we are fully protected. So lets all back them, by showing our collective
defiance , look towards Russia, shake our fists, and yell ("BRING IT ON")    
They learned that from geo w .

Ray Strachan

From: Caspar Davis
Subject: [NS2/CNS2] **UBS bank tax cheating in both Canada and the   United States

Thanks to Mel Hurtig. Emphasis added by me:

Have any of you been following the details of the UBS bank tax cheating in both Canada and the United States? I hope so.

Many of you will know that I have been researching and writing about tax fraud, tax havens and transfer pricing for many years. Note, please, the chapters on personal income tax and corporate income tax in my last book _The Truth About Canada.

Now we learn that the giant Swiss bank UBS has agreed to pay the United States $780 million in fines for a secret tax evasion scheme that mirrors a similar campaign that the bank operates in Canada. Wealthy Canadian and American bank clients are encourage to hide their fortunes from tax collectors.
Several years ago I estimated that this type of tax fraud costs at least
$15 billion a year. And, of course it's YOU that has to make up the lost tax revenue.

I now realize that the $15 billion estimate was far too low. In the U.S. court documents indicate 17,000 Americans were cheating on their taxes via UBS. Bear in mind this is only one Swiss Bank operation. The same bank operates a "Canada Desk" and regularly sends their agents to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to help arrange tax fraud in Canada. Billions of dollars every year are involved.

While officials from the Canada Revenue Agency refuse to comment, in the United States the names of UBS clients will be made available and the bank faces even larger fines in the future.

Now, hear this. Michael Wilson, Canada's Ambassador to the United States and Brian Mulroney's former Minister of Finance, has worked for UBS, and has turned down "repeated" requests for interviews on this subject because "it wouldn't be appropriate for him to comment." Meanwhile, a UBS banker has been arrested in the U.S. and will be sentenced this spring.

Only Greg McArthur of the _Globe_ has raised the subject of Mr.
Wilson, while the rest of Canada's media has ignored it. And why the _Globe_ hasn't come out with a strong editorial about all of this is quite beyond me. And where are our members in the House of Commons????
Why aren't they going after Revenue Minister Blackburn???

More to come. Keep all of this in mind when you go to pay your income tax in April.

Mel Hurtig

Subject: Animation - The Crisis of Credit
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Animation - The Crisis of Credit
Must-see stuff ...
From:    Raymond Denson
Subject: 9/11 once more.

On February 24th an alliance of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, researchers, and other medical professionals, announced the formation of Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth and the launching of a petition which calls for a new investigation into the events of 9/11. The group's website is at                       Raymond Denson

From: Tom Brewer
Subject: My letter

Why are our famed Mounties on the firing line? It seems we have entered the days of "shoot-first" ask questions later the Amerikan way of doing things! In many instances the shooting is of Mounties but the worst instance the death of an individual who wondered the Vancouver airport.

The individual was upset as I'm sure you would be. In a country not able to speak English or French. Imagine having four or five officers approach you… I'm sure you would be a little upset. Imagine not being able to speak and then be struck with the infamous Taser.

The "brass" in my opinion need to explain officers handling of the matter. It is not enough to suggest they feared for their well being. The airport authority too owes an explanation along with bureaucrats from Border Protection and Immigration Canada.

We did not welcome this visitor to Canada with open arms in fact we sent him home in a body bag. "I'm sorry…", does not cut the buck here in my opinion.

Look at the two men now serving time for manslaughter the result of four Mounties deaths. In my opinion the RCMP created a diversion to stem bad press the result of the failure of "brass" Mounties to do their job in my opinion.

The failure of the Mounties to know the killer was a problem boggles my mind. This individual was a known problem to area residents… in fact according to a documentary this individual stalked a member's son! Like DUH… it seems that nothing was on file… whose problem is that?

It would seem all of us are part of this problem too. We are suppose to advise the Mounties of anything that raises a concern yet it seems we are left to suffer retribution should we err. What happened requires in my opinion an in depth study why four Mounties lost their lives!

Mounties came out of the woodwork when they effected the arrest of the men initially charged with murder because they were accessories. Where were the Mounties when the bailiffs arrived at the killers farm? When was a warrant issued to search and seize? Did a lookee-see prompt the search warrant?

The blame has been laid at the hands of two young men. In my opinion what the RCMP did or did not do triggered this man's mind to seek revenge. The Mounties should have known they had a loose cannon on deck and taken more action to ensure protection of the officers left at the "killers" farm and area residents.

Ultimately the brass in my opinion should be taken to task for what took place… not the two men now serving time for manslaughter. The RCMP rest on their fame given the "killer" can't confirm what the two young men stated.
Fair? Not in my mind

From:Charles Tupper
Subject: Shrivelled Liberty ::: Read the comments

Britain, bastion of freedom, has become a database depot,opinion,land-of-the-cctv-camera-home-of-the-identity-database

The fightback against the surveillance state begins at a conference this weekend Lawyers, judges, politicians, human rights activists, musicians and the Countryside Alliance are gathering in the name of freedom

Subject: Fiscal Monitor Confederal Gov't to Dec 31/08
From: Robert Ede

Fiscal Monitor
Highlights of financial results for December 2008

Table 6
Under Liabilities Section
Total Interest-bearing debt up $77,691 Billion since Mar31/08  - and that's long before all the Jan Budget expenses
?Good Thing? they boosted up the "value" of Loans, investments and Advances under Financial Assets so that the NET Debt didn't change too much
PS if this is the "National Balance Sheet"  and non-financial assets only total $58.9Billion .... where DO THEY record the value of the Crown's assets, land etc??

Robert Ede,
commentary -

From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject:  DD

Joe--Brad Thomson has hit the nail on the head. Without consumers there is
no need for the product. The bailout tells us more about our government
than it does about the car companies. It shows that they think the taxpayer
is a never-ending source of money for governments to steal. They have
relieved us of our hard earned money for so long that they believe it is an
endless font for filling their trough.
Our economy is built on waste. We are so used to buying on credit instead
of conserving. Our goods are built so that it is cheaper to buy new than
repair an item. But now the horrible truth is becoming too obvious. We
cannot afford to buy new and we cannot afford to fix the old. It is the
consumer who is caught between a rock and a hard place.
Much as I believe that this current depression is engineered, we will pay
the heavy price for our over-consumption. Our healthcare is already
rationed. Our food products are controlled by corporations like Monsanto,
with the blessing of our government(read about Percy Schmeiser) in the US
municipal water systems are being sold to private corporations, our media is
controlled by one group, and nowwe are expected to bail out companies who
have proven they are incapable of running a profitable business.
As for giving the taxpayer back some of their money to buy a car!!! That
would be the final kick in the gut for taxpayers. It is not bad enough that
we have to pay for the CBC, that would mean that our government has total
control of our life. Would that a government would just leave the money in
our pockets to do with as we see fit. We must know the history of
transportation. Our governments bought up mass transit (read Jane Jacobs)
and closed them so people would have to buy cars. Will they do the same
thing again?
The only thing we can be assured of is that if our governments are involved
it is social engineering and will fail abysmally. And we will get to pay
billions with no positive outcome.

From: "Cal MacKinnon"
Subject: On your hands too Mrs. Davidson

When I asked you about this issue you told me "education wasn't a priority" but making sure your image is safe is a priority that is politics and you should be ashamed.  What happened to the Pat Davidson I used to believe was a women of honour?
Tories wanted PR help on native schools: documents
Tue Feb 24, 7:13 PM
By Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Internal documents suggest the Harper government downplayed health risks and wanted pricey PR advice after halting plans for new schools on native reserves.

The papers obtained by the New Democrats discuss hiring public relations giant Hill and Knowlton to help the government finesse what one official described as a tough subject to shine.

From: Rubie Britton
Subject: A Good Point

THIS GUY MAKES A GOOD POINT This was written by a construction worker in Fort MacMurray- he sure makes a lot of sense.
I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to earn that pay cheque, I work on a rig site for a Fort Mac construction project. I am required to pass a random urine test, with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare cheque because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand that I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do on the other hand have a problem with helping someone sit on their ass drinking beer and smoking dope. Could you imagine how much money the provinces would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance cheque? Please pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you will pass it along though, because something has to change in this country, and soon!!!