Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Daily Digest April 21, 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 -
No defence
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=244052&sc=80

CORNER BROOK WESTERN STAR -
Campers are up in arms
http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=243847&sc=30

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN -
Technology in health care saves money
Pooling provincial resources by using TeleRadiology best way for government to keep Islanders healthy at lower costs
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=244124&sc=103

CAPE BRETON POST -
Ignatieff utters the t-word
http://www.capebretonpost.com/index.cfm?sid=243895&sc=151

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD -
A tale of two lotteries
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1117720.html

Have-not handouts for Ontario show federalism works
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1117703.html

It's like having a butcher open a vegan conference
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1117744.html

AMHERST DAILY NEWS -
Call out for tougher regulations
http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=244145&sc=61

SAINT JOHN TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL -
Subsidizing U.S. success
http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/641773

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
Court ruling ignored the higher public good
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/Court+ruling+ignored+higher+public+good/1516847/story.html

UN rights conference an absurd failure
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/rights+conference+absurd+failure/1516846/story.html

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER -
Cops can now 'take all your stuff'
http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1532032

TORONTO STAR -
Listeriosis outbreak: looking for answers
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/621502

 Corporate elite settles an old score
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/621506

Frayed safety net for unemployed
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/621507

Nuclear safety: Who decides?
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/621505

GLOBE & MAIL -
The danger of stifling scandal
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090420.wePolygone21/BNStory/specialComment/home

Mixed PR is best\
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090420.weSTV21/BNStory/specialComment/home

Destined to degenerate
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090420.weDurban21/BNStory/specialComment/home

NATIONAL POST -
Canada's savings shell game
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=1516584


HAMILTON SPECTATOR -
Food safety is not optional 
http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/551886

 Dreaming of justice, dealing with reality 
http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/551897

ST. CATHARINES STANDARD -
 Don't use the Bible to justify cruelty
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1532655

NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW -
Industry survives, pensions don't
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1532237

K-W RECORD -
A welcome new era of reconciliation
http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/523808

 Parliamentary democracy is slipping away from us in Canada
http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/523866

WINDSOR STAR -
Patients' rights the cornerstone of health care
http://www.windsorstar.com/opinion/op-ed/Patients+rights+cornerstone+health+care/1517129/story.html

SUDBURY STAR -
How can Clement help the mining industry?
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1532678

THUNDER BAY CHRONICLE JOURNAL -
Does forestry have a future?
http://www.chroniclejournal.com/stories.php?id=180528

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS -
Americas Summit surprises
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/editorial---americas-summit-surprises-43329357.html

Mideast season begins in Washington
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/mideast-season--begins-in-washington-43329337.html

Now is the time to talk about transplants
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/now-is-the-time-to-talk-about-transplants-43329242.html

Fletcher should move past bygone political era
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/fletcher-should-move-past-bygone-political-era-43329507.html

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX -
UN hurts cause by letting racists take over event
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/opinion/hurts+cause+letting+racists+take+over+event/1517493/story.html

CALGARY HERALD -
Marry in haste, repent at leisure
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=b3cf747f-e284-4d5b-978f-4ca991dccc8b

Obama must not forget Cuba still needs fixing
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=3f51b859-34da-47b2-86ba-877ccbda0486

EDMONTON JOURNAL -
Pirates fearless without yardarm
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/editorials/Pirates+fearless+without+yardarm/1517826/story.html

LETHBRIDGE HERALD -
Our spirited sense of denial
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/content/view/50813/56/

RED DEER ADVOCATE -
Stelmach just like Getty
http://www.albertalocalnews.com/reddeeradvocate/opinion/Stelmach_just_like_Getty_43339442.html

Province must fund sex-change operations http://www.albertalocalnews.com/reddeeradvocate/opinion/Province_must_fund_sex-change_operations_43339172.html

Piecemeal construction projects cost taxpayers too much money
http://www.albertalocalnews.com/reddeeradvocate/opinion/Piecemeal_construction_projects_cost_taxpayers_too_much_money_43339132.html

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN -
Pass the gravy and the trans fat
http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/20090419187330/opinion/editorials/pass-the-gravy-and-the-trans-fat.html

VANCOUVER SUN -
An interest rate cut is not the only way to fight the recession
http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=dad9b515-e19f-47d2-b6f3-14a172c3e711

Taiwan a victim of Canada's cosying up to China for reasons of trade
http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=4475d503-3d10-44ee-9886-37381b0cde2a

Changing environmental tide demands B.C. place a lobbyist in Washington
http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=49e6451a-d5b3-4df6-a099-d2e8a848e18b

VANCOUVER PROVINCE -
Photos alone no reason to quit
http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/editorials/Photos+alone+reason+quit/1517395/story.html

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST -
B.C. Rail attack too little, too late for NDP
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=13bebbb1-dc0a-47cf-9076-60eb5541c1b1

HAARETZ-
http://www.haaretz.com/


ISSUES

AF-PAK PROBLEM -
ANALYSIS: Reflections on Swat 'peace'
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\04\22\story_22-4-2009_pg3_2

CANUSA/USACAN -
Canada, U. S. prepare for changeover
Military brass meet to plot future moves in Afghanistan
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516575

HARPER DELIGHTED OBAMA WON'T REOPEN NAFTA
http://www.canada.com/Harper+delighted+Obama+reopen+NAFTA/1519463/story.html

Canada chides U.S. for remarks on 9/11 plotters
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090421/canada/politics_us_usa_canada_border

The Napolitano train wreck
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/04/21/chris-selley-meet-the-new-homeland-security-boss.aspx

Napolitano makes Bush administration look well informed
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/04/21/don-martin-napolitano-s-makes-bush-administration-look-well-informed.aspx

The wacky world of Janet Napolitano
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=1436109

When President and PM are on the same page
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090420.wcospector21/BNStory/specialComment/home


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS -
Surprised by depth of slump, central bank pegs rate at 0.25%
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090421.wbankofcanada0421/BNStory/Business/home Pressure builds for Nortel break-up
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fe4ecb50-29f1-11de-9d01-00144feabdc0,dwp_uuid=b491af84-d311-11db-829f-000b5df10621.html

FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
Russia vows to cancel NATO meeting
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516533

Military gives Tamil rebels 24 hours to surrender
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516518

Obama unleashes storm by remaining open to torture probe
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090421.wobama0421/BNStory/International/home


HEALTH CARE RELATED -
Alberta researchers' 'smart' underwear will prevent pressure ulcers caused by immobility
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516577


JUSTICE SYSTEM -
William J. S. Elliott: In defence of the RCMP
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516640

Car-theft bill targets organized crime
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/622184

Tories mull changes to sex offender registry
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090421/national/sex_offender_registry

Cops can now 'take all your stuff'
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/mindelle_jacobs/2009/04/21/9185191-sun.html


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
Campbell lauds border security, trade with U. S.
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1518255

Albertans need a climate-change reality check
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090420.wcosimp21/BNStory/specialComment/home

Kinsella threatens NDP with lawsuit over BC Rail allegations
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/bcvotes2009/story/2009/04/21/bc-kineslla-lawsuit-ndp-allegations.html

STV hasn't worked all that well elsewhere
http://www.canada.com/hasn+worked+that+well+elsewhere/1519889/story.html


FEDERAL POLITICS -
Liberals,Tories battle over economy, taxes
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090420/battle_lines_090420/20090420?hub=QPeriod

No vote scheduled on Tory bill to kill gun registry
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/621526

Harper says will adjust stimulus plan if need be
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090421/canada/canada_us_economy_harper

Probe creates rift within Canadian party
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6f0fe37e-2dc1-11de-9eba-00144feabdc0,dwp_uuid=b491af84-d311-11db-829f-000b5df10621.html

Harper poised to crack whip in Mulroney spat
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090421.wPOLtories0421/BNStory/politics/home?cid=al_gam_mostview

And here come the Tories' fear tactics Party declares open season on Liberal leader
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516568

Conservatives defend economic plan in face of gloomy forecast
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/04/21/tories-economic-pleac-871.html

Conservatives slow to react to job-loss 'tsunami,' Ignatieff says
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Business/Conservatives+slow+react+loss+tsunami+Ignatieff+says/1516898/story.html

 

PROGRAMMES -
Tories retender controversial home-relocation contract
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/todays-paper/Tories+retender+controversial+home+relocation+contract/1516887/story.html

Auto dealers urge Ottawa to fix 'broken' financing system
http://www.financialpost.com/news-sectors/story.html?id=1514985

Eco-groups challenge waived assessments
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516563

'All-in' airfare advertising rules stall before takeoff
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1274534

McCain takes aim at listeria oversight
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090420.wfood0420/BNStory/National/home

More federal assistance for seniors: Senate report
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090421/national/aging_report

Environment commissioner laments lack of federal water strategy
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090421/national/water_woes


PRESSURE POINTS -
Canada's greenhouse emissions soaring again: UN report
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Business/Canada+greenhouse+emissions+soaring+again+report/1516915/story.html


OPINION AND INFORMATION -
The Zionists' Secret Weapon? Bickering
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516585

The farce of Durban II
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516586

A true patriot of megaprojects
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516587

It's a recession, not a depression
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1516588


INFOS -
La frontière de nouveau au centre d'une querelle diplomatique
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/national/200904/21/01-848905-la-frontiere-de-nouveau-au-centre-dune-querelle-diplomatique.php

Les conservateurs veulent sévir contre le vol de voitures
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200904/21/01-848811-les-conservateurs-veulent-sevir-contre-le-vol-de-voitures.php

Registre des armes à feu: le Bloc veut la fin de l'amnistie
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200904/21/01-848803-registre-des-armes-a-feu-le-bloc-veut-la-fin-de-lamnistie.php

Paradis compte rétablir la paix au PCC
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200904/20/01-848573-paradis-compte-retablir-la-paix-au-pcc.php

Ottawa s'attaque aux vols de voitures
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2009/04/21/001-vols_nicholson.shtml

L'homme aux 120 enfants - Choc dans le milieu de la procréation assistée
http://www.ledevoir.com/2009/04/21/246744.html

Ottawa doit faire plus pour aider les Canadiens âgés, indique un rapport
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090421/N0421184AU.html

Les partis restent sur leur position au sujet du registre des armes à feu
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090421/N0421168AU.html

Efficacité du profilage dans le contexte de la sécurité nationale
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090421/N0421180AU.html

La criminalité était en baisse au pays avant même l'arrivée des conservateurs
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090421/N042174AU.html

La Banque du Canada réduit son taux directeur; la récession sera pire que prévu
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090421/N0421100AU.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)

Restricting Our Freedoms

The following you may recall appeared in the Daily Digest April 13, 2009 under the heading La Teoria Conspiratoria.

It is proposed a Ministry be given power to:

a. search private property without a warrant;

b. seize private property without Court supervision;

c. destroy private property without Court supervision;

d. take control of businesses without Court supervision;

e. in some circumstances to keep seized private property without a Court order;

As in all things you must judge whether on balance you support Bill C-6 the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act as a necessary means to deal with the recall of consumer products as stated by the Minister of Health in the accomanying article: Conservatives to propose tougher product recall laws: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1491807, or concerns raised about it.

The balance will be provided by a separate post through which it is my hope you will visit sites that argue the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, as proposed, has relationships in the powers it bestows on the Minister and her inspectors powers over those affected y the Bill that have aspects of both these articles which appeared in the media to-day.

         Joe
Parliamentary democracy is slipping away from us in Canada
http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/523866

Cops can now 'take all your stuff'
"In other words, if the police want your car, house, money or any other assets, they can get away with it without even arresting you as long as they convince a judge something doesn't smell right. No conviction necessary."

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From: "McCoy, Elaine"
Subject: NWPA - Senate Hearings
To: joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca

Hello,

I have received many emails from Canadians asking when the Senate Energy Environment and Natural Resources Committee will begin hearings on the Navigable Waters Protection Act. 

I am happy to inform you that the first of the hearings  will begin Thursday April 23rd at 8:00am,  and continue with intensive study through to June.  Information on the hearings, such as witnesses and times can be found here; to keep up to date on the  committees progress, be sure to watch the webcast of the proceedings.

If you have not already done so, you can email the committee clerk (Lynn Gordon eenr-eern@sen.parl.gc.ca) with your perspective on this issue, or your request to appear as a witness before the committee.

Sincere Regards,

Senator Elaine McCoy, QC
Alberta Senator

===================================
From: "Andrew Rutherford"
Subject: Fw: C.D. Howe Institute says Bank of Canada should create money

What do you think of this?

A strong majority" of the Monetary Policy Council "favoured purchases of Government of Canada securities ……….. rather than purchases of private securities".  While their goal is more cash for financial institutions, the same procedure can be used to provide cash for our three levels of government to invest in public services such as housing, infrastructure, education, research, the CBC, health care, recreation facilities etc.  Investments of this nature provide big dividends, some of the biggest coming from education and research.  Among others who support government investment in public works to get out of the recession is David Dodge (former Governor of the Bank of Canada).

With unemployment climbing by the tens of thousands in a month, much more needs to be done than is.  Some will balk at the thought of taking on more debt, not fully understanding that investments in public service using interest free money pay off in future dividends.  Others balk at it because of an ideological commitment to smaller government and privately run services.  Public financing of public works not only would make it possible to do what needs to be done, it would also lower taxes and, more importantly, reduce the influence of lenders on government!  The legislation for using the Bank to finance government debt exists in the Bank of Canada Act.

Now that the C.D. Howe Institute supports use of the Bank of Canada to buy government securities, maybe the CCPA (Canadian Council on Public Policy) will say more about it.  They used to include a statement on it every year along with their "alternative budget", but have said very little in this regard for the past several years.  The Council of Canadians adopted a resolution on this at their 1994 annual meeting, but never acted on it. Likewise the NDP adopted a resolution on it at their leadership convention in 1995, then promptly ignored it.  Maybe it, too, will talk about it.  Maybe even the Liberals and Conservatives will support the idea.  And maybe the CLC (Canadian Labour Congress) will talk about it at the rallies they are organizing all across the country in their "campaign for change".

=====
It has my support - most of Canada's debt is compouned compound interest.
===================================
From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Fwd: Fw: ILSILENZIOA (Taps

Andre Rieu - Il Silenzio (Maastricht 2008) DIGITAL TV

===================================
From: Larry Kazdan
To: news@hilltimes.com
Subject: Letter to Editor re:  Does anyone know where Jack's been? Angelo Persichilli, April 20th

Re:  Does anyone know where Jack's been? Angelo Persichilli, April 20th
http://www.hilltimes.com/html/cover_index.php?display=story&full_path=/2009/april/20/backrooms/&c=1
Jack Layton and his party have been fighting for better Unemployment Insurance benefits at a time of high job loss, opposing the clawback on Veterans' Pensions, calling for limits on credit card interest rates, and voting against the weakening of pay equity provisions.  In short, Layton and the NDP have been doing their job as loyal opposition.  When Ignatieff co-operates with the Harper government to enact Conservative policies, it's an act of statesmanship, but when Layton wanted to co-operate with Duceppe and Dion to bring about more progressive policies, that was mere "desperation" and "ambition".  If Jack can't win, it's because of the spin.
Larry Kazdan,
Vancouver, B.C.

===================================
From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: Complex ballot 
http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=1511773

===================================
From: "Jacob Rempel" <yasch@telus.net>
Subject: The impending death of car and tar sands companies is a gift, not a peril


G20 leaders utterly fail to think globally

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

Hi Joe,  
Thanks Stratos for Manifesto for a Competitive Social Democracy. Too much to read at this moment, but I can certainly relate to it. Social programs like IE, health and education are often designed to  limit access, by creating inequities through the rules, goals of the agency or board. With IE, creating rules whereby only a certain percentage will received IE benefits. With education, by applying the one-fits-all approaches to cut costs by writing off a certain percentage of children who exhibit learning struggles, based on costs only. In health, where access to basic health services are limited in the sense if a patient qualifies and within the guidelines of the edicts of the health organization.
The last time Canada came close to this kind of thinking is when Pearson, Trudeau were in power and Davis as the premier in Ontario, back in the 60s and 70s. Where ideology thoughts and policy making was done on the basis of equal access for all, and not as it is today.

===================================
From: HS Sims
Subject:Stimulus Payment Info.

Hi Joe,

Quantitative Easing!

Hank

Subject: Stimulus Payment Info.

"This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up. 

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the Canadian economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China .
If you spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs.
If you purchase a computer it will go to India .
If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico , Honduras , and
Guatemala (unless you buy organic).
If you buy a car it will go to Japan .
If you purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan .

And none of it will help the Canadian economy.

We need to keep that money here in Canada .
You can keep the money in Canada by spending it at yard sales, going to a hockey game, or spend it on prostitutes, domestic beer and wine or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in Canada.

=====
Hank--this is absolutely dead on.  But I imagine that the government will take the money under the guise of giving a smidgen back to the taxpayer, and then decide that we are not capable of spending our own money so they will keep it.  Don't forget the governmental 'thinking'--we would only spend the money on beer and popcorn!!!  I doubt if they will make the distinction between domestic and imported beer or popcorn.

I don't blame the countries mentioned in this article.  It is the businesses that we are supposed to be bailing out that have sent our jobs there in the first place.

becky

===================================
From: John Boncore <splitting_the_sky@yahoo.com>
Subject: Fw: Clinton, Bush to appear jointly in Toronto next month

Clinton, Bush to appear jointly in Toronto next month
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/clinton-bush-to-appear-jointly-in-toronto-next-month_100182437.html#comment-35540

John Splitting the Sky Boncore Says:
===================================
From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: the traveling salesman

April 22, 2009
 
The Rt.Hon.Stephen Harper CPC MP,
Prime Minister of Canada,
 
Dear Mr.Harper,
 
While you are following Obamah touring the world, shaking hands,
maybe it is time to put some thoughts on Canada and show our
neighbour that we are more than a post to lean on and deny our
historical rights. You could have some one suggest that a bureaucrat,
by accident, lean on the buttons that provide oil, natural gas and
electricity to the USA, taking a week to find the problem, blaming
the border closure as one difficulty. It does not take a war to win
the battle, these days "buttons" have enormous power.
 
Yours truly,
 
Suan H.Booiman
White Rock BC
Canada

===================================
Subject: petro-sunscam
From: Rene Moreau

To Joe;
From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

Globe and Mail newspaper
Front St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
fax # 416-585-5085

Dear Editor;
re; the 'partnership' of Petro-Canada and Suncor

  At what point, in reading Canadian media are we Canadians supposed o say, 'well, it's a lie, but it's some-one else's problem,'or, I
really SHOULD be minding my own business and let the  'merger' happen.

  When Suncor Energy, of Philadelphia and Denver, Colorado wanted to " launch a  $19.2 billion take-over bid for Petro-Canada", (This was taken from an article in the Report on Business, Globe Investor, page B6, April 13, called 'Home sweet home, by Steve Ladurantaye http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/story/GAM.20090413.RCONTEST13ART1820/GIStory/ ), we Canadians should just shut up, right, and let them call it a merger, instead ?

   Then, when Suncor's web-site, of 25/03/09 ,  says, and I quote, "Sunoco in Canada is separated and unrelated to Sunoco in the United States", or, same web-site, "Suncor Energy and Petro-Canada join forces to create the premier Canadian Energy company", we're supposed to believe right?

   Then, today, in the Globe and Mail, an article called Advising Suncor takeover 'a bit like being a spy'. (B8, Bar talk, April 13,
2009) It is a great read, but it makes one think we have more than our share of gullible lawyers. Probably had to be really careful since there would be too many people that know a foreign, American company when they see one, in Calgary, at least!

  Then, as if this wasn't enough, a trial balloon was sent up for public viewing, by David Ebner, of Vancouver,  again Globe and Mail,
called, If Suncor sells foreign assets, will Canada buy?

 In this one, April 8th, page B6, Suncor is already planning to sell off Petro-Canada's foreign stakes, even before the merger is done.

One wonders if playing with fabricated nationalities is the new 'astute' (shrewd and crafty) business practice.

  Pray tell, is it time for Canadians  to wake up yet?

  By the way, the management at Suncor energy, John Rogers, in particular, keeps insisting there is no money, or connection, to
Suncor in the States, in the Canadian entity. I have a friend who worked in the oil business and cannot see how they can expect to succeed in saying there is no connection since there is.

                                       Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

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Subject: If cash is "King" then, what about now?
From: Robert Ede

Dear DD Joe,

If cash is considered "king" in a high-interest, market environment, how is "cash" characterized now?

I met a married professional couple (mid-30's) at a friend's soiree and we talked about residential real estate, because they wish to buy a home. They sold their B.C. home in 2007, moved to a small city just outside Toronto and have been renting since then, while holding their 'down payment' of over $500,000 in cash. They want to move to Toronto, buy in Toronto and start a family here in the next few years.

We had a conversation about their particular financial "problem" - parting with the security of the "nest egg"- and a recollection of the concepts discussed follows.

a) How can the "best time to buy" be decided?

b) What is the price of doing nothing?

c) What market conditions will prevail in 2 years hence? Why?

d) What market conditions will prevail in 5 yrs from now? Why?

e) Are market behaviours and conditions in the stock market the same as behaviours/conditions in residential real estate? Can we predict/learn about realty cycles from the stock market?

In reverse order,

e) Market behaviours. Yes, both markets are affected by consumer confidence, interest rates and supply&demand.

In addition, the stock market is influenced by the actions of the market's participants and the self-interest of its intermediaries. This "influence of intermediaries" also appeared in the GTA resale realty market this century with the widely-adopted "List Low- Sell High" Listing Broker strategy that purposely-underpriced a subject property (by 5-15%) and delayed acceptance of bids until a fixed, future date when multiple, condition-free offers were 'entertained' (ironically, an application of the butt-covering methodology of the bureaucrats at the Ontario Public Guardian & Trustee).

Compared to stocks, residential real estate is conducted at a much slower pace –there are far fewer 'trades', each trade is an independent entity and as a result, market changes and trends take a week or a month to become apparent and reported vs. the 60 second analysis of everything that does happens and the 6 month anticipation of everything that might happen in the stock & bond world.

Plus, people/ families/ lives are LIVED in residential real estate, the decision to sell a home is balanced by practical, "human being" reasons to stay put. As a by-product of the "inertia factor", home prices are considered "sticky"- in adverse times, few homeowner/occupiers will "sell at a loss" unless compelled (or motivated by a greater "buying opportunity").

Real Estate is similar because it IS a market, but is different because of its shelter (vs. commodity) component – everyone must LIVE somewhere and few people disrupt their home-lives without very good reason. The only thing real estate can learn from stock trading is "what the smart money is doing" and then decide whether to follow or be purposely contrarian.

d) 5yrs … too hard to say with any assurance of accuracy. Could you (or anyone) have imagined April 2009 in April 2004 (5 years ago)?
Oh, maybe the most "monetarily astute" of us would have had a strong inkling in April 2007 (2 years back), but likely, very few of them would have bet their whole portfolio (and household) on that inkling …. even though it would have been the wise and correct thing to do (20-20 proven again).

Nevertheless, irrespective of the accuracy of any one person's 5-year prediction, we all must have an opinion of the best-possible, worst-possible and most-probable, near-future outcomes in order to set our course between then and now.

c) Two years from now we'll be experiencing the reaction to /repercussion from the actions taken in 2008's Fiscal/Financial/Monetary "Emergency Rooms" around the world to 'fight the recession', 'keep liquidity in the system' and 'save' the banks/companies deemed too big/valuable to be allowed to fail.

My opinion is that:

1) "prices" for tangible items (e.g. real estate in Toronto) and imported items (gasoline, cauliflower/grapes/bananas) will be higher in 2 years. Real estate will be up due to low interest rates encouraging demand from first-time buyers and secure-job, owner-occupiers. Imported articles will be up due to the currency devaluation occurring through "quantitative (quantity or amount) easing" of the money supply and the flight to the so-far maintained, reserve-currency status of the $US. In addition, Canada's classification as an oil-producing currency has now come back to bite us (remember $1.09US in 2006);

2) interest rates will be higher in 2 years, because they cannot go much lower. Rates will trend higher as inflation re-establishes itself;

3) as time goes by, experts and regular folks will be more concerned about inflation than with the risk of deflation. Check it yourself - in 2007 were cars, butter, cauliflower, grapes, gas at the pump, stock indices, average house prices, etc. higher or lower? With all this upheaval going on, is that what you'd expect? Continue monitoring these items (or your own list);

4) the only way governments will be able to generate the higher dollar sums in taxes necessary to pay off their bail-out/ stimulus/ deficit-financing borrowings is by allowing wage-price inflation to devalue the currency (remember the 1970's?)

Note on #1) Average realty prices in Toronto did fade from 2nd quarter 2008 peak because the top end of the market - $900K & up in (416), $600K & up in (905) - stopped almost dead in 4th quarter 2008.
By April 2009, prices at the bottom end (under $350K) had almost fully recovered and multiple offers (but not over the listing price) were evident, but not commonplace. Unfortunately the arithmetic of "average prices" masks the subtler shadings.


b) Doing Nothing. The Price/Cost of doing or not doing is measured as a "compared to what" and in hindsight. Case in point, earning 1-3% for the last 2 yrs as my new friends have done is MUCH better than the 10-50% loss that others have experienced in the last year.

"Opportunity cost" is a phrase we use to quantify what "cash" might have done elsewhere and thereby to give a benchmark annual value to the equity portion of a real property investment for comparison purposes with other types of investments.

My new friends have enjoyed the security of knowing they possessed 100% of the proceeds of their earlier good decisions and now must find an asset (or class of investment) that gives them the same feeling of security, at no worse an annual return that "prime plus 1%", less inflation, less taxation.

This returns me to their original objective – buying a personal residence – which in addition to tax-free appreciation, provides shelter in the style and community of their choice.

a) The best time to buy. The new friends that started me writing this note (and all owner-occupying buyers) are only looking for ONE property – so general market conditions really don't matter.

It's a matter of THEM deciding THEY want to buy, determining WHERE THEY want to buy and then looking at possibilities until THEIR needs are financially and emotionally satisfied in just one property.

The "Principle of 5's". What activities in their/your life occur 5 times a week, 5 times a month, and 5 times a year? The 5/week activities will most greatly influence their/your locational selections and then once they/you have isolated a few super-suitable neighbourhoods (AAA), they/you will develop a list of a A's and AA's, that will also be considered at lower price points.

The best time therefore, is when they/you find the house that meets their/your budget objectives, their/your needs list, some/most of their/your wants list PLUS possesses the ability to excite them/you emotionally when they/you consider the possibility of owning it – the best time to buy is when you've found exactly what you are looking for.

I mean, if you LIKE the place, nay, if you LOVE the place (and I'm assuming that neither this professional couple, nor you, would be buying next to the airport or a highway or sewage treatment plant) what does it matter if it's temporarily worth 2-5% less?

Particularly, what does it matter if you put 33% (or more) down and are financing the balance with a 5 year mortgage at 3.75%.

And, even more particularly, since the "irrationally exuberant froth" has evaporated from the price expectations of sellers of trade-up and executive homes and most owners in these property classes are open to honest bargaining on price, there is very little chance of "paying too much or losing money".

Further, if the above ideas on inflation materialize, we'll soon be looking back on today as an opportunity to "buy on the dips".

NB. Beware of the catchy sayings of insiders & traders … and never "average down" except with mortgage rates.

--
Posted By Robert Ede to Walk a Kb or two in my Mocassins


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