Friday, May 22, 2009

Daily Digest May 22, 2009



Exception or rule?

Cabinet ministers and their offices View comments10
Minister Bertram may feel her office renovations are justified, but she shouldn't be surprised if taxpayers don't agree.

 Parties separate over power

Teen curfew more trouble than it's worth

The artful dodger
Mulroney seems determined to conceal the trail of money from Karlheinz Schreiber

Time to get serious

Tolerating bad behaviour

Bailing at the ballot box

Innuendo out of bounds

Those convicted of crimes against kids get off light

Tories and human rights

Carbon tax beats cap-and-trade for curbing emissions

Mulroney's legal fees

Investigation is no monopoly

Iran throws farther

On from Guantanamo

Reforming Ontario's human rights system

Life in Ottawa: Lights are on, nobody's home

A reputation left in tatters

 Hamilton can lead in new economy -- if we prepare

Pakistan holds key to success in Afghanistan

A child's killing, our deepest fear

Anguish, hatred aside, let justice take course

Justice system: Feds should keep hands off fingerprinting

Pleas should not be bargains

Jobs remain the best insurance against unemployment

From pathos to bathos

'Daggers' from cyber creeps

U.S. locked in debate about its past

Action plan for medical isotopes needed

Classics better than sex-ed for critical thinking

Return to crisis mode

Refusal to intercede wise

Ottawa chips in cash for hard-hit northern forestry towns

Ottawa must make plans for a new nuclear reactor

Canada increasingly alone on native rights


First Nations want governments to act on jury's call for equal police funding

Al-Qaeda keeps its eyes on Afghanistan

The pressure of an expanding war

Concerns mount over US Predator killings

Obama's military conundrum

Swat offensive stalls as Taliban strike outside the war zone

Afghan and US forces battle Taliban in northern Helmand stronghold

Read more: "The Long War Journal" -

'Assessment Of Corruption In Afghanistan'

HMCS Winnipeg helps thwart 2 pirate attacks

Alberta stops selling, starts defending

Alberta shifts from selling oil to defending oil

Place a call to Mexico City

CAW, GM reach deal to cut costs

Be ready with more stimulus if needed, IMF tells Canada

Why Aung San Suu Kyi won long ago

OPP photos tie Crowns to D'Angelo victory bash

Time to end interprovincial barriers

Quebecers want newcomers to assimilate: poll

Quebec group calls for religious wear ban

N.S. Tories would make parents pay for kids' crimes

Lowering EI qualifications an 'absurdity,' Harper says
all 95 news articles » Langue : Français

Tories revert to old habits in Quebec

A stupid guest list

Taxpayers fork out billions for GM pension aid

(M slated for bankruptcy)

Rights museum seeks stories from public

Ottawa turns to Australia, South Africa for isotopes

Chalk River reactor faces long shutdown

Youth charged in bomb plot released

Mulroney can do no wrong

The monsters in our midst
What Tori's case has revealed is there is no safe place for children in this province

No natural justice
Those convicted of crimes against kids often get off too easily

Tories fear new Grit boss

Playing the politics of fear

Nothing but pricey voyeurism

On the path to an AIDS vaccine

Hallway culture clash
In a Toronto apartment building, a feud has broken out over a neighbourly 'hello.' What hath multiculturalism wrought?

The Mulroney Theory of Taxation

Maxime Bernier braves the blogosphere

A formula that will fail to add up to a Conservative majority

Has Brian stopped talking yet?

The right to question (The author was refused admission to Canada)
When I speak on Monday at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, I'll focus on the unique characteristics of education in a democracy, an enterprise that rests on the twin pillars of enlightenment...

No silver bullet
When a child goes missing, it's natural to want to sound the alarm, but Amber Alerts very rarely save lives and are best used sparingly

General Motors du Canada et les TCA en arrivent à une entente

Un adolescent accusé de terrorisme condamné à deux ans et demi de prison

Le National Post est en Cour suprême sur la protection des sources

Une Philippine retire sa lettre d'appui à la députée libérale Ruby Dhalla


Charge contre Harper

Yesterday a statement and a "défi", a challenge, appeared in this portion of the Digest.

The statement:
"My charge against the present Prime Minister is that he is the most decentralizing leader of any conservative party in the histtory of this country.  He views the provinces as 'autonomous'."

The défi:
"Are there among his supporters those who can explain this belief of his in practical terms?"

Real was the only person responding in any manner:

From: Real Gagne 


I'm not at all certain what Harper means by 'centralizing' any more than I know what you mean by 'decentralizing,' except perhaps that you don't agree with him, which I was aware of already. I also seem to remember something about PC Joe Clark's 'community of communities' view of the manner in which the country should be governed, but that may have had to do with something else. It was, after all, a long time ago.

My take on all this is that the federal government, of whatever political stripe, should adhere to the Constitution, which spells out quite clearly the roles and responsibilities of each order of government in this country, something the federal government, under both Liberal and Progressive Conservative administrations, have flaunted since the Second World War, and in which respect Harper appears to me to be no different than any of his predecessors since that time.

Until that happens, the country is bound to suffer.


This was the reply sent to him:
. . thanks.

May respond.


The question facing us is, as Real states, the balance of decision making powers between Canada as a country, a nation among nations, and its  various parts.

As noted yesterday Stephen Harper once again this week promises provincial autonomy to those attending a fund raiding dinner in Montreal.

As Real wrote I "do not aree with him". The reasons why are in general terms presented in the following Press Release which raises the same critical point, the necessity that "Harper clarify precisely the meaning of the "autonomy" he is once again promising to the Québécois."

It may be no one receiving the Digest has a handle on what he means.

It may be that no one cares one way or the other.

En toute cas, this matter of consequence to our country's future has been brought forward.

Harper's meaning of "autonomy" must be clarified.

For Immediate Release May 22, 2009.

Newmarket,  Ontario
   - Whether or not Michael Ignatieff is the most centralizing Liberal leader ever is a matter of debate.

That Stephen Harper is the most decentralizing leader of any party having "conservative" in its name is not.

As far back as fifteen years ago on May 24, 1994, speaking to a meeting of the National Citizens Coalition Harper said: "Whether Canada ends up with one national government, or two governments or 10 governments, the Canadian people will require less government no matter what the constitutional status or arrangements of any future country may be."

On Oct. 15, 1995, Reform party leader Preston Manning and his then unity critic Stephen Harper presented Reform's "New Confederation" proposal, a package of 20 measures to modernize and decentralize Canada.

"We propose measures which will assert the autonomy of all provinces and the power of the people well into the future," Harper said.

Each of the 20 changes could be accomplished without comprehensive federal-provincial negotiations of the sort that led to the failed Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. All required was a federal government willing to act.

In 2001, Harper proposed "a firewall around Alberta."

In October 2004, Harper made his "Belgian waffle" speech in Quebec City, suggesting that Canada should become a North American version of Belgium, which has autonomous regions. He was sympathetic to this "national autonomy" concept because "Québécois never wanted to be an overwhelmed province in a centralized Canada." Subsequent to Harper's speech, the Belgians had an election that left them so divided they were unable to form a government for more than eight months.

As keynote speaker at the Conservative policy convention in Montreal in March 2005, Harper said: "I also know very well the pride and solidarity of Quebecers. I know they will never let the autonomy and the dignity of Quebec be undermined. But they also want to be partners in the future of Canada. And they will be – once again – with the new Conservative Party of Canada."

Harper made that comment after referring to the Bloc eight times. Each time he set out what the Bloc had proposed for a sovereign Quebec but had not achieved.

"The policy of the Bloc is the strategy of the empty chair," Harper stressed. Then he delivered the punch line: "We, the Conservatives, are the only real vehicle of change here in Quebec and throughout Canada. The Bloc will never make a single positive change. In Quebec, as everywhere in Canada, the only vehicle of change is the Conservative Party of Canada."

With little mainstream news comment, Harper – the day after his keynote speech – slipped a new section into the Conservative policy paper passed in Montreal. It is a shocker! For the first time in Canadian history, a national political party embraced a provincial rights agenda. The section – Part D – binds the party "to ensure that the use of the federal spending power in provincial jurisdictions is limited, authorizes the provinces to use the opting out formula with full compensation if they want to opt out of a new or modified federal program, in areas of shared or exclusive jurisdiction. Consider reforming Canadian federalism, taking into account: (a) the need to consolidate Quebec's position within the Canadian federation; (b) the need to alleviate the alienation felt by the citizens of the West."

In his closing speech at the convention on March 19, Harper said: "I would like to say to Quebecers, our party is going to respect the autonomy of their government, the pride they have in their society and also their needs within Canada, our huge country. The Bloc Québécois for 15 years have not done everything that Quebecers deserve. And I think now Quebecers can express their solidarity within the Conservative Party of Canada."

Harper's hopes of the majority government needed to fulfill his 1995 "New Confederation" proposals have been unrealized in the past three elections. Knowing the next will be his last election as his party's leader should he not obtain his coveted majority, this past week he began unabashedly reaching out to the "Quebec nation" by promising autonomy.

Unfortunately, focused on the testimony of Brian Mulroney, Ruby Dhalla's difficulties and the latest attack ads, no demands have been made that Harper clarify precisely the meaning of the "autonomy" he is once again promising to the Québécois.

- 30 -


From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: Bill C-360, An Act to amend the Canada Health Act (Autism Spectrum Disorder)


Friday, April 3, 2009

Canada Health Act

Mr. Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury, NDP)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-360, An Act to amend the Canada Health Act (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the seconder of this bill, the hon. member for Nickel Belt.

I am pleased today to introduce this private member's bill, an act to amend the Canada Health Act, and to look at how we can include autism spectrum disorder in it.

Yesterday was World Autism Awareness Day. I still wear my awareness pin proudly. We as parliamentarians need to work together to provide individuals with ASD and their families with the right supports. IBI training is a step in the right direction, but we need a national strategy.

I look forward to the day when all parties can stand together and show our support for individuals and families dealing with autism.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)


The purpose of this enactment is to ensure that the cost of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) for autistic persons is covered by the health care insurance plan of every province.

BILL C-360

An Act to amend the Canada Health Act
(Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada,enacts as follows:

1. Section 2 of the Canada Health Act is renumbered as subsection 2(1) and is amended by adding the following:

(2) For the purposes of this Act, services that are medically necessary or required under this Act include Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) for persons suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder.

From: The Natroses

To Brian Marlett;
Regarding your letter to the editor, called 'Children Need True Leaders'; I understand where you are coming from. But if Canada amended the health act, and in turn the provinces are required to budget for funding of autism, it will not solved problems in the long run. I am a parent who has a child with a learning disability, and over the years I have discovered its the bean counters at the various government levels, have turned children into what I would call 'norms'. If a child does not meet the norm, and needs more than a physical fix (surgery), the costs relating to education, therapy, and so forth are downloaded unto the parents.  I am referring to any special needs child.

Special needs children, cost more in health, education compared to the average child. At the present time, what is needed is an attitude adjustment on how government bureaucrats, officials see and treat children in all of society.

Children are often only given the optics for opportunity, but rarely are they given the proper help for their needs. Why? Children who require more help, are often seen as not having enough merit to spend the time and money for small improvements. The money and time is best spent on children that will have major improvements.

This is why, I believe that all parents who have special needs children and all associations who work with special needs children - to unite under one umbrella. This would create a powerful lobby group, where energies can be redirected and focused on the real problem - the needs of special needs children are not being met in any shape or form in any province.

On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 5:24 AM, The Natroses wrote:

Hi Joe,  On the speech that Harper gave in Montreal, it is priceless. Harper is either the most decentralizing PM or the most centralizing PM, and THAT depends on what the subject, topic or area it is in. Quebec being its own nation is in name only.  If it was a nation within a nation, it would have a lot more freedom to do what they want with their resources, its language, and so forth without being restricted and bounded by agreements made with the Canadian government. If Quebec was its own nation, Quebec would have a seat at the cabinet table. The French people are not going to forget his moves towards youth being treated as adults under the court system, nor the cuts to cultural and art, nor ignoring the forestry industry, nor his latest  move of refusing to reform the IE system.

From: "Grenville Rogers"
To: "Irving R GERSTEIN" <>

Mr. Irving R. Gerstein, CFO  
CPC Fundraiser 
Dear Mr Gerstein   -  
Mr. Gerstein, I am very concerned about the future of my country, and the direction in which our current Prime Minister is forcing us to go.
In good conscience, I cannot, and therefore will not longer support a party or government that does not act in the best interests of Canada and Canadians, a government which supports terrorism, as does the CPC under its present leader.  The party and its leader practice deceit and hypocrisy, and act in secrecy. I am convinced that not one single Canadian really trusts this leader or government, or Mr. Ignatieff or Mr. Layton. Integrity, at every level, is conspicuous by its complete and utter absence.
Mr. Harper has proven to be a dictator, not a leader of a democracy, which Canada pretends to be. Canada was, at one time in the distant past, close to being a democracy.  Canada has never been a democracy.
Canada is defintely not the "Free and Democratic" country that our erstwhile leader(s) trumpet it to be. We certainly do not have "Freedom of Expression for all" and we are demonstrably not democratic. Canadians live under the most powerful dictatorship in the world. Canada's PM Harper has placed Canada in the deadly vortex of the doomed "USS Titanic". He will not be a captain that goes down with his ship.
Mr. Harper is the most dangerous PM that Canada has ever had. Deceitfully following in the footsteps of his predecessors as regards the NAU (North American Union). He professes to be an economist, yet has no idea of, let alone intention of using the Bank of Canada to finance true infrastructure, and the maintenance of existing true infrastructure.
He, all by his dictatorial self, commits billions of the taxpayers' hard-earned dollars to mlitary equipment and foreign policy misadventures. But he never tells Canadians where that money comes from. He is mortgaging our great-grandchildren's lives. He could and should, but will not use the BOC (Bank of Canada) for true infrastructure  projects that benefit Canada and Canadians.
Please convey these concerns and the warnings implicit in them, to PM Harper. Thank you.
Grenville Rogers

From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

An interesting Cheney vs Obama article from The Economist.
This brings up some really pertinent things concenring (harumph) 'enhanced interrogation techniques', among other things. For example, I'd never read or heard that waterboarding had (supposedly) been used only three times at Guantanamo (whicg makes one wonder how often it was used elsewhere) and that it was done with the acquiescence of the lawyers representing the folks being interrogated.
Guantanamo - Seeking closure

 The oil price
Bust and boom
The price of oil has leapt to nearly $62 a barrel. Another spike may be on the way


Y'all have a laugh for a change ... hahahaha

Subject: The ten worst car commercials ever ...

From: Ron Thornton

*Hey, Joe:

Did you hear? According to the Calgary Sun commentary in the May 21st Digest, the World's Been Fooled, this whole global warming thing is a scam, a mountain of make believe, and scheme for some to get rich or reach for some level of relevance they don't deserve. Okay, I'm not really surprised. Just the other day I was wondering how those with their fingers dancing in the till measure how much CO2 any nation spills into the atmosphere. Is it done by national boundaries, by geographic size, by population, by an actual location (Toronto vs Aklavik). By what method is it measured, using what scale, what data? It is interesting how folks buy into such garbage without taking a moment to consider if any of it makes sense, and who might be behind it, and why.

For an supposedly educated lot, we sure accept a lot without asking too many questions.

Ron Thornton


. . . you and I are "deniers" about man-made global warming.

Climate-change from Mother Nature is something always
with us however. And her moods change not infrequently.



                          Italian Tomato Garden:

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey .  He wanted to plant his 
annual  tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the 
ground was hard.

His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The 
old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to 
plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be 
digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles 
would be over..  I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, 
like in the old days.
Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Pop,
Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived 
and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They 
apologized to the old man and left.

That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop,
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do 
under the circumstances.

Love you,

Courtesy Henry Atkinson