Thursday, March 12, 2009

Daily Digest March 12, 2009


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.
ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

EDITORIAL PAGEs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM -
Dollars and sense
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sc=80

CORNER BROOK WESTERN STAR -
Look at the long view
http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=230936&sc=30

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD -
NATO MANOEUVRES: What's end game?
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1110897.html

INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN: Prudent priming
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1110918.html


MONTREAL GAZETTE -
Canada needs laws to protect private pensions
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/op-ed/Canada+needs+laws+protect+private+pensions/1379693/story.html

OTTAWA CITIZEN -
NATO's identity crisis
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/NATO+identity+crisis/1379803/story.html

KINGSTON WHIG STANDARD-
Canada must act to stem 'brain drain'
http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1474201

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER -
'Stand down, soldier. Your job is done. You can go home'
http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1473965

TORONTO STAR -
Research funds need second look
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/600649

Unwarranted terror law
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/600648

GLOBE & MAIL -
Time to keep pace with ObamaComment7
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090311.wescience12/BNStory/specialComment/home

Beyond exporting
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090311.weEDC12/BNStory/specialComment/home

HAMILTON SPECTATOR -
Tony, take a happy pill 
http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/528683

ST. CATHARINES STANDARD -
Bungling AECL could land on feet
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1474821

NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW -
Ford's buyer incentive plan might get the engines running
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1474291

K-W RECORD -
Harper offers only wishful thinking  
http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/501917

WINDSOR STAR -
Auto talks: The stakes for Chrysler
http://www.windsorstar.com/opinion/editorials/Auto+talks/1380337/story.html

SUDBURY STAR -
Judges can get buy on $258,000 a year for now
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1474854

THUNDER BAY CHRONICLE JOURNAL -
German cars, Ontario cars
http://www.chroniclejournal.com/stories.php?id=170798

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS -
Researchers are right
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-researchers-are-right-41138982.html

A role for reserves
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-a-role-for-reserves-41139022.html

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX -
Bipartisanship a pipe dream across Canada
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/opinion/Bipartisanship+pipe+dream+across+Canada/1380022/story.html

CALGARY SUN -
A question of dollars and sense
http://calsun.canoe.ca/Comment/POV/2009/03/12/8719476-sun.html

EDMONTON JOURNAL -
Updating Ottawa
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/editorials/Updating+Ottawa/1380730/story.html

VANCOUVER PROVINCE -
We go green when the green is good
http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/editorials/green+when+green+good/1379945/story.html


ISSUES

AF-PAK PROBLEM -
US missile strike in Kurram agency levels Taliban training camp
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/03/us_missile_strike_in.php

'Time Out' for Special Ops Teams in Afghanistan
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/03/civilian-casual.html

Creating Effective Afghan Security Forces
http://www.afghanconflictmonitor.org/2009/03/creating-effective-afghan-security-forces.html


CANADIAN FORCES -
We need people - Senator Colin Kenny
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1379484


CANUSA/USACAN -
Anti-war lawyers want to bar Bush from Canada
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Anti+lawyers+want+Bush+from+Canada/1379603/story.html


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS -
Half million Canadians to lose jobs this year, TD Bank says
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5i7MUsCCT8EheISpmEzEeN3dgkI5A

China's trade surplus shrinks as exports plunge
http://business.theage.com.au/business/world-business/chinas-trade-surplus-shrinks-as-exports-plunge-20090311-8uwt.html

Bailout rides on rocky road
MPs have never been through anything like this

Auto sector in 'existential crisis,' Clement says
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090312/clement_chrysler_090312/20090312?hub=Canada

CAW defiant in face of Chrysler's demands
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090312/clement_chrysler_090312/20090312?hub=Canada


FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
Obama and US commander discuss military intervention in Mexico
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/mar2009/mexi-m10.shtml

Canada reaches out to Russia on arctic
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1379405


JUSTICE SYSTEM -
An awful message
Punks out there can rejoice
http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/columnists/tom_brodbeck/2009/03/12/8717461-sun.html


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
Ontario filling holes dug by PM's government
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090312.CAMPBELL12/TPStory/National/columnists

Van Loan mulling Ontario PC leadership bid: sources
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090312.wtory12/BNStory/politics/home

McGuinty faces fight over sales tax shakeup   
http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/600884


FEDERAL POLITICS -
Liberals agree to pass budget bill today
all 205 news articles »
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090312/national/fedbudget_liberals

Tories slam Senate delay on stimulus bill
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090312.wsenatebudget0312/BNStory/politics/home

PM upbeat despite grim report    
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/600865

If Ignatieff's smart, he'll stop the election talk
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090311.wcomartin12/BNStory/specialComment/home

Tories push positive message despite grim IMF forecast
http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090311.wimf0211/GSStory/GlobeSportsOther/home

Speaker orders MPs to curb personal attacks
Tory members' disparaging comments about Ignatieff in Commons are precursor to negative ads, strategist believes
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090312.wignatieff12/BNStory/politics/home

Conservative's attack on Harper most unfair
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/2009/03/12/8716656-sun.html

Harper, Iggy two peas in a pod
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/lorrie_goldstein/2009/03/12/8716671-sun.html

Canada's Opposition Leader Changing Story on Separatists, Prime Minister's Office Says
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/13562/

Protecting MPs from riding challenges a dopey idea
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/03/11/kelly-mcparland-tory-mps-lick-their-lips-at-liberal-job-for-life-plan.aspx

Capital Read
Ottawa Politics and News from the Hill
http://blog.macleans.ca/category/blog-central/canada-blog/capital-read/

 Political Controversy and the Unwary Canadian
A $3 billion political fisticuff that nobody wins
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/13568/

Article from Le Devoir
Ottawa - Former Conservative donor Gwyn Morgan, in which Prime Minister Stephen Harper had tried unsuccessfully to offer a post paid during the last federal election campaign to $ 20 000 to the National Citizens Coalition. This body, the former home base of Mr. Harper has used the money to buy ads attacking the then-Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.  http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ledevoir.com%2F2009%2F03%2F12%2F238741.html&sl=fr&tl=en&history_state0 =


PROGRAMMES -
Tories are killing PM's great idea - parliamentary budget officer.
http://www.thestar.com/Canada/Columnist/article/600866

Budget watchdog pleads for help
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090312.wPOLbudget0312/BNStory/politics/home

EDC releases internal documents to Probe International under Access to Information, but reveals little
http://www.probeinternational.org/index.php?q=chilean-patagonia/news-and-opinion/edc-releases-internal-documents-under-access-information-reveals -

Swamped EI asks retirees to help with claims crisis
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090312.wcoping12/BNStory/National/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20090312.wcoping12

Nuke French kiss
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Columnists/Weston_Greg/2009/03/12/8719751-sun.html


OPINION AND INFORMATION -
Internet ad tracking system will put a 'spy camera' in the homes of millions, warns founder of the web
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1161215/Internet-ad-tracking-spy-camera-homes-millions-warns-founder-web.html?ITO=1490

Terrorist watch list hits 1 million
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-03-10-watchlist_N.htm

Taliban set to burn the Reichstag? 
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KC13Df01.html

One law for all
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1379415

We all deserve a bailout, some more than others
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090311.wcowent12/BNStory/specialComment/home

Who's gonna buy this car?
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090311.wcoauto12/BNStory/specialComment/home

PM resists as world changes 
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/600725

 How to be a role model for the world 
http://www.thestar.com/Worldwide/article/600724

Tories urged to seize high ground on social policy
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/03/11/john-ivison-tories-urged-to-seize-the-high-ground-on-social-policy.aspx

Power shifting west
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Clancy_Roy/2009/03/12/8719546-sun.php

Sweetness and light, not doom and gloom
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=102849e5-999e-409e-89d6-e89826175278


INFOS -
Un conservateur a versé 20 000 $ pour s'attaquer à Stéphane Dion
http://www.ledevoir.com/2009/03/12/238741.html

Les avocats spéciaux seront dans le secret
http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/ottawa/2009/03/11/007-harkat-suite_n.shtml

10 ans et demi pour Khawaja
http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/ottawa/2009/03/12/002-Khawaja-sentence_n.shtml

Le budget fédéral pourrait être adopté dès aujourd'hui
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200903/12/01-835911-le-budget-federal-pourrait-etre-adopte-des-aujourdhui.php

Des conservateurs rappelés à l'ordre pour avoir insulté le Bloc
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200903/12/01-835853-des-conservateurs-rappeles-a-lordre-pour-avoir-insulte-le-bloc.php

A Ottawa, les partis s'accusent mutuellement sur le terrain de l'économie
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090311/N0311200AU.html

L'économie canadienne se porte plus mal qu'on le pense, affirme Kevin Page
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090311/N0311116AU.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

Some days you lose - the Senators, however, have been politically penny wise and pound foolish

Senator Joe Day, the Liberal chair of the finance committee reviewing the bill, was critical of its wide nature, noting last week that "we are dealing with today has 528 pages, 471 sections divided into 15 parts, and impacts and amends 42 different statutes. Honourable senators, that is what we are being asked to deal with expeditiously and with a minimum of scrutiny."

He said "the practice of including other, non-budgetary items exploits the good faith of parliamentarians" and "undermines the capacity of Parliament ­ both chambers, not only the Senate ­ to hold the government to account."

He added "it prevents committees from evaluating legislation properly and it precludes public participation in the committee process."

By late today, it appears he was singing a different song, after Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said he wanted the bill passed because failing to do so would impact unemployment insurance eligibility during a recession.

Posted: March 12, 2009, 5:28 PM
  http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/legalpost/archive/2009/03/12/competition-and-investment-canada-act-amendments-are-coming-soon.aspx

«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»

Subject: Re: Encouraging the Senate to play its Constitutional role.
From: The Natroses

Wow Joe, Quite the eye opener. Let's hope the senate can eliminate these parts of the budget. I cannot believe the Liberals allow it to happen. Let them pass, such as the changes made to student loans. I bet the insurance companies and bank are anticipating a new revenue source, direct from the students who apply for loans. Monthly insurance rates to protect the loans, will be higher than what you or I would ever pay. Students in the eyes of an insurance adjuster, are higher risk than anybody over the age of 30. Under the waters act, I was surprised to see it spell out on the bridges of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Parts of the seaway has been taken over by the big shipping companies, if this is allow - we either be paying to cross the Welland Canal, or city/town councils paying a hefty dollar amount to keep the bridges open, to allow traffic to cross. This means in places like the Niagara Peninsula, property taxes will go up to cover the costs. I can easily see either the federal or private concerns doing this as a way to increase revenue, and download the costs onto the citizens. The bit of airlines is scary . I don't even want to think too hard on this one. It is just too scary.
The non-budget items will have a great impact on Canadians.  An average Canadian, will have reduced income taxes at the front door, but will have increase expenses at the back door. The federal government will get their money one way or the other. If the new regulations become a reality, in two years or so - this country will be own by big business facilitated by the federal government and the average Canadian would be an after-thought when they decide to loosen up the thumb nails of the average working person.
I believe Harper is anticipating anything and everything that may happen in the next 5 years due to the economic meltdown. If he gets his way, it would not matter how many people lose their homes, no matter how many people are out of work, no matter how much real estate prices drop and would not matter how many businesses go out of business. The government would be safe, still collecting revenue plus new revenue sources.
Williams is right, that this budget will do more harm to all of Canada and its provinces and territories.
The only conclusion that I have come to on the Liberals, is that they want this to happen.  Why did they allow this budget to pass? It is the only thing that makes sense, that Iggy is on board and believes in the non-budget items. Let's hope the Senate get their way on this one. Hopefully with a few more conservative senators on board - the push will be a powerful one. 

===================================
From: Larry Kazdan
To: news@hilltimes.com
Subject: Letter to Editor re:  Tories want to fast-track $3-billion in economic downturn, Libs call it 'phony', Bea Vongdouangchanh, March 9

Re:  Tories want to fast-track $3-billion in economic downturn, Libs call it 'phony', Bea Vongdouangchanh, March 9 
                  
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/cover_index.php?display=story&full_path=/2009/march/9/economic_downturn/&c=1

Stephen Harper brings new meaning to the term "parliamentary oversight".   First his government spends money.  Then Parliament can see a report -  when it's all over.  The Conservatives seem to be more comfortable when they can get Parliament to overlook their actions, rather than to oversee them.
<![end if]-->

Larry Kazdan,
Vancouver, B.C.

===================================
From: John Duddy

Yes, Canada needs to arrest George W. Bush or reject his entry to Canada.

Calgarians are worried about gangs in our streets.  In Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver residents wring their hands.

We complain about Asians and immigrants breaking Canadian law and making our streets unsafe.

We demand the Prime Minister get tougher on crime.

We demand punishment for drug dealers.

We want those "creeps and bums" thrown behind bars.

Some call for a return of the death penalty.  (Not me).

And now a distinguished group of Calgarians has invited this war criminal, torturer to come here on a fund raiser.

Shame.  Respect the law.

The poppy crops in Afghanistan have been revitalized by this criminal and his warmonger administration.  Result:-more drugs in North America.

Over a hundred Canadian soldiers and a diplomat have been killed as a result of this man's phony "War on Terror".

British estimates of over a million Iraqis have died due to his war.  See Lancet, PNAC and The New Pearl Harbor.

We do not know how many Afghans have been killed.  Is anyone interested?

No point fixing the environment or fighting poverty while this known criminal wrecked havoc using depleted uranium in the Middle East.

Over four thousand Americans killed, many thousands disabled in wars based on lies.  See WMD and Downing Street Dossier.

We want respect for law in Canada; we must reject this leader whose gang ignored existing treaties and the Geneva Convention; we must ask the International Criminal Court to arrest this monster.

Speak up Canadians, fight gangs, starting with the most destructive gang known to man, the Bush Gang.  Failure to do so will result in more
financial devastation and the loss of freedom as governments cover up the crimes of the Bush years.

_______________________________________
Bar or Charge & Arrest Bush on March 17th!
MR.  BUSH "YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!"

Former US President and known War Criminal will be speaking in Calgary, AB on March 17th, sponsored by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and the law firm of Bennett Jones, whose clients include Terasen Gas, Petro Canada and Husky Oil.

Why? Because our federal government and ALL of the opposition parties refuse to adhere to Canadian and International Law, and to bar Bush or to arrest, charge and prosecute him, while media fails to inform Canadians about this issue.

We think it is despicable and aids and abets this war criminal. What do you think? And what can you do about it?  

 Operation Vigilant Citizen

This pertains to the announced visit of former U.S. President George W. Bush to Calgary, Alberta Canada on March 17th, 2009, and outlines our allegations and a program of civil citizen action to pressure Canadian governments (municipal, provincial and federal, and their agents) to act according to the rule of domestic and international law, to have George W. Bush barred from entering Canada, or to arrest and prosecute him.

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject:  DD

Joe--next it will be "why bother having elections--the people have spoken"!  Does this mean that all the CPC MPs have already been whipped into obedience so we don't want any other candidates, because then we have to whip them too?  What if they are not as compliant as the current mouthpieces???  Can't have that happening, can we?  We have seen what happened to Bill Casey when he spoke for his constituents rather than the Party.  Is this to become the norm? 
We in Reform worked for Recall--now we see this being proposed.  Democracy--you gotta love it.
becky

=====
Norms and values change
===================================
From: John Kruithof
Subject: Wistful Recollection of Values Past

Joe,

In the DD of March 9, Ron Thornton¢s wistful recollection of times when values stood for something struck a responsive chord with me.  I saw a change happening in my previous place of employment, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

Staff at Canadian diplomatic missions abroad is composed of two main elements:  Canada-based staff (CBS) and locally-engaged staff (LES).  Canada-based staff, as the term implies, covers full-time Departmental employees with Canadian citizenship, hired in Canada, who then rotate, on a career basis, between Ottawa headquarters and missions.  Locally-engaged staff (LES), mostly nationals of the country where missions are located, is recruited by Canadian embassies on the authority of headquarters.  The LES positions are fixed to that mission: non-rotational.

Prior to the 1990s, DFAIT was quite specific in what it was looking for in LES: unique linguistic, cultural and local talent not available, or not readily available, from Canada.  By choice, in staffing its missions, DFAIT accorded Canadians (CBS) priority, with unique requirements met by LES.  That time period marks DFAIT at its best: highly motivated, proud Canadians serving their country, ably assisted by LES proudly employing their unique talents.

From the 1990s onwards, this successful marriage of CBS and LES was marred by the introduction of a mercenary element: money.  No longer were the unique talents of LES the main requisite for being employed by DFAIT, but whether it was cheaper.  DFAIT, a Canadian employer, began ditching Canadian jobs in order to avail itself to cheaper, foreign labour.  Positions for which qualified Canadian were available were made LES.  DFAIT turned a deaf ear to appeals that Canadians be employed instead.  A once-proud Canadian institution turned multinational.  No wonder DFAIT lost its allure.

John Kruithof
Ottawa South

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: Harper's speech

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/
Warren Buffett says stocks are the best investment, even as the economy has fallen off a cliff. In the process, he manages to boost the stock of his banks, US Bancorp and Wells Fargo, by some 15%. That should be a good payday for the stumbling oracle. It won't be for all the millions of investors who listen to his advice. Why anyone would listen to a man who's lost countless billions over the past year, it's beyond me. How do people think you get to be the world's richest man to begin with? Benevolence?

Today Mr. Harper mentioned Warren Buffet in a joke in his 'don't worry, be happy speech' today.  And the stock market goes up.  Does anyone know who Buffet is?  The same happy investor who lost millions and got millions from the US taxpayer and encourages people to invest their money in his companies.

http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/canadian-government-to-buy-40-billion-in-insured-mortgages-52293.aspx--and yet Harper stated no Canadian banks have been any money by government!
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/03/10/harper-speech.html

What would be buying up bank mortgages be called?
becky

===================================
Subject: BELOW 30
Brad Thomson
 
Joe,
 
I just watched online two consecutive news items from the local Ottawa CTV station.
 
The first was about the owner of the Ottawa Senators asking the tax payers to throw about 50 million dollars into a soccer stadium. He gave a presentation to Ottawa city council.
 
The second told us that we are in a serious, deep recession which may become a terrible full blown recession.
 
What the hell is going on?
 
You talk about tightening your belts!
 
Finally, if Peter MacKay can take over NATO, don't tell me Arnie can't take over the world.
 
Brad Thomson
Gatineau

===================================
From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Re World Trade Center

DD  I dont think you should give this person anonymity Joe or am I missing
something?

I dont know who it was that challenged my article in regards to the Implosion
of the Twin Towers.    All I know is ,whoever it was, has not looked into any
of it, with any depth of thought, any knowledge of comments by first
responders .Just using good ole ideology. By the fact that certain events that
were supposed to happen in New York on Sept 11th, were put off "because of the
kowledge" that "Something Big was going to happen " etc etc etc, look into it
for the sake of honesty.    NO,   much easier to blame it on "The Mortal
Enemy".Oh yes that gives us license to fight the fantom war on terror.   And
of course that is why our world is on the way down "No truth must survive".   
When there is a war required,just blow up something and blame somebody else.
simple.   There is Money in war and Oil .     Of course We, The Western
World     are always the Good Guys ,no matter how many people we have to kill
to prove it.

Ray Strachan

====
SRATOS
===================================
Subject: Message from your friend

This email was sent to you by your friend

The National for Mar 11, 2009
Welcome to The National, the flagship nightly newscast of CBC News, hosted by Peter Mansbridge.

Hi Joe Hueglin,
Your friend thought you might be interested in this video.
Joe, It starts at 5:25 and the piece on Martin is at 7:30 where it speaks about Martins actions garnering international praise.

===================================
From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

As always, thanks for the Digest. One thing I've been wondering about lately, with these corporations blackmailing, er, asking for handouts to ward off closing their plants, is just how much are these companies worth? From what I understand, they keep on asking for more than what the firm is worth in federal aid. Why don't we just buy the damn things, send their executives packing, and operate it as a public works project? By the way, I would do a serious number on the sweetheart benefits which, up to now, GM employees don't pay a dime for in contributions. No wonder these clowns are going broke. Meanwhile, Chrysler is now looking for $2-billion or they are threatening to toss 9000 Canadian folks out of work.

Joe, I know you are real tight with Mr. Harper, so might you pass on to him the suggestion that, if he insists on tossing cash at these idiots, could he at least buy the damn outfits and see who really wants to keep working?

Ron Thornton

===================================
From: The Natroses

Hi Joe, 

Regarding the speech: Biggest worry is what is not being said or very little information getting out to the people.
1. Retraining: Have heard very little, but I suspect it will mainly concentrate on specific industries, where unemployment is high such as one-industry towns. I doubt all the money will be spent, since Harper has managed to arranged cost-sharing between the provinces and the feds, for retraining programs. Plus any retraining is targeted at people who are receiving unemployment cheques, and anyone else is excluded.
2. Equitable distribution of funds, with 1/3 funding by provinces. Yes as far as I know. Or this is happening here in NL at the present time. Smaller projects in more rural areas, many of them do not qualify, even when the NL province has reduced the municipality's share down to 10 % of whatever is total funding. Again, the factor of the provinces plays a key here. I suspect, most of the funding will be directed at the urban areas of Canada because they can afford it.
3. Equalization, yes it has been affected. With the changes made a couple of years ago - this will affect all provinces. It is the new formula, that will play havoc in provinces that are doing a little better than other provinces.
4. I think Harper is dreaming in technic-colour when it comes to a quick recovery, and a returned to balanced budgets. Than again, he may know something that the rest of do not know. What I am really worry about, is where the stimulus money will be spent, leaving many rural parts to ride out this economic mess without help.
5. As for the 5th question - " What mention is made in the speech justifying the changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, Investment Canada Act, Competition Act, Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act, Canada Student Financial Assistance Act included in Bill C-10? "  None - unless "red tape" is code word for the changes made to the above acts. I still believe the changes that have been made here, is a major key as part of the recovery and at the same time to carry out the hidden agenda of Harper Reform/Conservatives.

=====
Not overly much left of either of the Legacy Parties values.
===================================
From: Peggy Merritt

Hi Joe:  How does Canada deal with this huge problem?  Struggling with unions that don't want to give up anything significant... public service unions and politicians at the municipal level who vote themselves a raise. Industries that are vital to Ontario  laying off workers because our main customer isn't buying today. Infra structure seems to be the answer but the effort to make this a cost sharing proposition is frustrated by the lack of funds at the Provincial and (Toronto) Municipal levels. As my late husband used to say " NO TWO ECONOMISTS AGREE ON ANYTHING"   I say I'd rather see Stephen Harper at the helm than any Liberal on the scene at the moment. I love reading about Paul Martin with his sanctimonious 50 billion dollar fund to Aboriginals when the guy hasn't paid any Canadian taxes for his lucrative off-shore shipping business, maybe Revenue Canada should be  investigating him! Many of your questions are valid but these are very difficult times for the whole world.  There is a balancing act going on with (media unchallenged) partisanship in the H.of C. from Liberal  and NDP critics who  don't have any solutions either Our finance minister is working around the clock and has done a fabulous job so far. I say give these guys a chance they are carrying a heavy load and their is no magic crystal ball around to forecast the future.  Thanks Joe   Peggy

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: MPs for life???

Tory MPs lick their lips at Liberal job-for-life plan
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/03/11/kelly-mcparland-tory-mps-lick-their-lips-at-liberal-job-for-life-plan.aspx

Am listening to Peter Goldring on Rutherford.  What a mealy-mouthed spinner--this would be good for the country--and it is all the Liberals fault because they are sabre rattling and the Liberals do this so there would be an unfair advantage for the Liberals?  The justification for it is that they have a minority government but there is no plan to change this plan if they get a majority!  How disgusting.  And those that run against a sitting MP may not be doing it for the best reason!!!  Nothing about closing out the membership and not being democratic--that doesn't concern them at all.  It is only what is good for the Party???

Welcome to the dictatorship of Canada, no matter which Party gets 'elected'!
becky

===================================
From: Ron Thornton
Subject: MP's for Life...Is Canada becoming a banana republic?

Hi Joe:

I know it has been eons since I last wrote to you (it seems like hours), but one news item piqued my interest. It surrounds the notion that a sitting MP should not be challenged for re-nomination, in effect giving any stiff lucky enough to get elected once that they get to keep their position until hell freezes over or they are defeated. Here in Alberta, I'm rather partial to Conservatives and it seems I'm not alone in that. However, a stiff is a stiff, and I should have the opportunity to replace a dud democratically.

In the last election, a sitting MP was expecting a challenge from a former candidate. As the challenger had already demonstrated that he could mobilize a large ethnic constituency to back him, he had a real chance upsetting the apple cart, so they parachuted him into a neighbouring constituency and manipulated the process so he was successful against the local contenders. An independent ran against him in the general election and came dangerously close of messing up the well laid plans of the powers that be outside the riding.

This little story highlights two problems with the current system. One obviously is the influence and manipulation of the party machine in thwarting the democratic process on the local scene. The other is how the selection process itself is nothing more than a fund raising drive to sell memberships and to get those "temporary" party members out to cast a ballot (usually blindly) in favor of the candidate of choice. Unfortunately, more and more we discover that the determining factor has nothing to do with the quality, vision, and views of the candidate, but only that the candidate (like yourself and Fred Flintstone) happens to also be a member of the Water Buffalos and shares something of a common background. This is repugnant on so many levels. Sadly, as far as I know, every damned party is guilty of this, which goes a long way in explaining why fewer folks get involved in the political game at any stage, including even the casting of a ballot.

In short, the second problem is the one that needs to be addressed in order to solve the first. We do not allow people to land on our shores to immediately be handed citizenship upon arrival, and there is a reason for that.  First, an immigrant needs time to contribute to their new home, to demonstrate a commitment to their new nation that supersedes whatever past loyalty they may have had for their native country, and to become a true member of the society of that new home. The same should hold true for those who join a political party. These instant and temporary members make a mockery of the process and undermine it. If a sitting MP is to be challenged, the process must be such that it takes more than a snake in the grass with a few dollars to spend and some bleating sheep to spend it on to win the day. To be democratic all you need to do is ensure that access is open to all, but in the end you need real members with real commitment making real decisions based on real issues to make it work. Hell, that is how elections themselves should be contested, but that is another issue.

Locking sitting MP's into jobs for life (as long as they continue to win re-election) does nothing to address the problem, but in fact simply exacerbates it. I mean, if you are already up to your neck in excrement, it is always more positive to try to raise up rather than to duck down further in the mire.

This is where I bow and leave the stage. Thanks, Joe.

Ron Thornton

===================================
Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)
 
To all that it may concern;
To: "Hugh MacKinnon" <mackinnon@bennettjones.com>,
         "Globeandmail" <letters@globeandmail.com>,
         "Jacquie McNish" <jmcnish@globeandmail.com>,
         "competition bureau" <compbureau@cb-bc.gc.ca>,
        "Law Society of Upper Canada" <comail@lsuc.on.ca>

Dear editor;

re; Sheridan Scott talks competition on Bay St. Globe and Mail, March 11, 2006, by Jacqui McNish.
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090310.wlawmain0310/BNStory/robLawPage/

   I believe there was a time when such a thing as  a federal  commissioner being able to be snapped up by corporate entities in an effort to get around government rules and regulation was  a no-no.

   Instead, now it has become business as usual.

   I know that Bennett-Jones LLP is a lawyers firm,  but things have changed from the old days. Lawyers can now  incorporate, or become corporations.

   As we watch the corporations get stronger and stronger, with fewer and fewer rules and regulations and fewer taxes, through the efforts of their think tanks and lobbyists,  and their ability to infiltrate  their own people in to the governments, all levels, to push for their own goals.

   In the book, 'Ecnomics and the Public Purpose' by John Kenneth Galbraith, around 1972, he said that the corporations, by their nature,  will do all in their power to eliminate or lessen the effects of anything that gets in the way of their 'bottom line'.

   We have watched for the last few years as this has proved itself true, over and over/

   For instance, if those lawyers that can make some serious money  in the merger business, want to know how the federal government copes with the overly greedy financial corporate  types, hey, just hire the commissioner!  Who do we have in  this current government, that would say 'nay'?

   This corporate influence has become so strong that, it seems, the  provincial  Ontario government is  allowing the incorporation of the Minister of the Environment, with all the conflict of interest involved when an entity that  is supposed to work for the people starts to work for the interests of the 'bottom line' and corporate interests! Already the corporate terms are finding their way into government usage.

   Whatever happened to the common sense of rules and regulation of such entities?  
 
                                                    Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

===================================
From: "Jacob Rempel"
Subject:   LAW LETTER TO RCMP. 


LAWY E R S AGAINST THE WAR
Canada 1 877 662 7344
law@portal .ca www. l awy e r sa g a ins t thewa r .o rg
1
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Officer in charge, RCMP War Crimes Section
110 Place d'Orléans, Room 2200
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0R2
VIA FACSIMILE: (613) 590-2130
Attention Officer in Charge of RCMP War Crimes Section;

George W. Bush is reported to be planning to visit Calgary Alberta on or before March 17, 2009 as a
guest of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

We are writing to report that:
 George W. Bush, former President of the United States and Commander is Chief of the Armed
Forces, is inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), section
35(1)(a) because of overwhelming evidence that he has 'committed, outside Canada, torture and other
offences referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act
(CAHWC); and,

 the George W. Bush Administration has engaged in "systematic or gross human rights violations, or a
war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the CAHWC.
We request that the RCMP War Crimes Section immediately take the following steps:

 begin an investigation of George W. Bush for aiding, abetting and counseling torture between
November 13, 2001 and November 2008 at Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, Abu Ghraib prison in
Iraq, Bagram prison in Afghanistan and other places; and,

 advise the Prime Minister, Attorney General of Canada and Ministers of Immigration and Public
Safety that the George W. Bush administration is a " government that has engaged in torture and
other war crimes and crimes against humanity and therefore G.W. Bush, as former President, is also
inadmissible under section 35(1)(b) of the IRPA.

Overwhelming evidence of these allegations against both G.W. Bush and the Bush Administration is
widely available. These allegations have triggered Canada's duty to act to use all legal means to ensure
the appropriate investigations, remedies and responses. Canada's international legal duties specifically
prohibit treating these acts as legal, as ignoring the IRPA and allowing Bush into Canada would do.
Under sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, "crimes against humanity"
include murder, enforced disappearance, deportation, imprisonment, torture and imprisonment or other
severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, committed
against any civilian population or any identifiable group. War crimes include willful killing, torture and
inhuman treatment, unlawful confinement and willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected
person of fair trial rights.

If there are reasonable grounds to believe a person has been complicit in any of these crimes, entry to
Canada must be denied. Reasonable grounds, according to the Supreme Court of Canada are "something
more than suspicion but less than…proof on the balance of probabilities."

Many have concluded that the available evidence establishes conclusively that Bush and the Bush
Administration committed torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity and that Canada and
other states now have a duty to condemn, investigate, prosecute and punish those crimes.

LAWY E R S AGA IN S T THE WA R
Canada 1 877 662 7344
law@portal .ca www. l awy e r sa g a ins t thewa r .o rg

2
U.N. General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, on March 4, 2009 concluded,
"The [Bush Administration] aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan and their occupations
constitute atrocities that must be condemned and repudiated by all who believe in the rule of law in
international relations,"

U. N. Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin, in February 2009 concluded,
"…the United States has created a comprehensive system of extraordinary renditions, prolonged and
secret detention, and practices that violate the prohibition against torture and other forms of illtreatment….
States must not aid or assist in the commission of acts of torture, or recognize such

practices as lawful, …Under international human rights law, States are under a positive obligation to
conduct independent investigations into alleged violations of the right to life, freedom from torture or
other inhuman treatment, enforced disappearances or arbitrary detention, to bring to justice those
responsible for such acts, and to provide reparations where they have participated in such
violations."1 (underlining added)

The RCMP has a duty to investigate and prevent such crimes at common law2 and also under the War
Crimes Program. This program, as you know, was established specifically to meet the challenge of
investigating crimes committed outside Canadian territory. The mandate of the War Crimes Program to,
"…ensure that the Government of Canada has properly addressed all allegations of war crimes…" is
achieved by, "…the RCMP, with the support of DOJ [Department of Justice], investigating allegations
involving reprehensible acts that could lead to a possible criminal prosecution."3

Lawyers Against the War is ready, on request, to provide references to evidence of torture. We are
confident that other organizations such as the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights,
National Lawyers Guild, American Civil Liberties Association and the Center for Constitutional Rights
would also be ready to assist by providing references to evidence.

We request a reply before March 17, 2009

Respectfully,
Gail Davidson, Lawyers Against the War
Copied to: Prime Minster Stephen Harper; Attorney General Rob Nicholson; Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public
Safety; Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration; Lawrence Cannon
Minister of Foreign Affairs; Jack Layton-Leader of NDP; Joe Comartin, NDP Justice Critic; Paul Dewar, NDP
Foreign Affairs Critic; NDP Don Davies, Critic on Immigration; Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff; Bob Rae, Liberal
Foreign Affairs Critic; Dominic Leblanc, Liberal Justic Critic; Maurizio Bevilacqua, Liberal Immigration Critic;
Leader of the Bloc Quebecois Gilles Duceppe; Real Menard, BQ Justice critic; Serge Menard, BQ Public Security
critic; Thierry St-Cyr, Bloc Immigration critic ; Paul Crete, Bloc Foreign Affairs critic.

1 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms
while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, A/HRC/10/3,4 February 2009.

2 RCMP Act, R.S. 1985, c. R-10, s. 18 and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations, 1988, SOR/88-361, s. 17.
See also "[common law] recognizes the existence of a broad conventional or customary duty in the established
constabulary as an arm of the State to protect the life, limb and property of the subject." Shacht v. R. [1973] 1 O.R.
221 at pp. 231-32.

3 Overview of Operations, mandates and Structure, Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program:
http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/wc/oms-ams.html
===================================