Saturday, April 02, 2011

Daily Digest April 2, 2011


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

_________________________________
A day late in requesting financial support.
From: Lorimer
Subject: Moving towards gold
To: Joe Hueglin <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>

Joe
Well done!
Your DD piece contributors are doing a marvelous job.
As a check-out tabloid, the DD is closing in quite quickly.
If one had to pay for this diatribe, the DD would be history.

Lorimer


There are costs involved aside from time in producing the Digest.  Custom has been to request assistance on April Fools Day. When finishing earlier to-day,Saturday, April 02, 2011 00:47 AM,
 there was no time or mental energy left to compose something of this nature, so this is a day late. I'm almost always running late, and thanking those who have provided assistance previously is too often put off and put off and then becomes too too late, for which my apology.

Frankly, the meaning of "As a check-out tabloid, the DD is closing in quite quickly." to some degree escapes me.

Have no concern.for, while it may be so that " If one had to pay for this diatribe, the DD would be history". , the Digest will continue as is, as long as I am able.

"DD piece contributors are doing a marvelous job". ? Like beauty, appreciation for freely expressed views are in the eye of beholders. For me some outdo many columnists.

So, should you value receiving the Digest please consider sending a cheque to

Joe Hueglin
5838 Mouland Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario
L2G 5N7

(Not being a "techie" this archaic
method is all I know that works)

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

PAPERS PAGEs
Ignatieff accepts Rick Mercer debate offer

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has accepted an offer from comedian Rick Mercer to take part in a one-on-one debate with Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.
"Ok i'll produce a Iggy Harper debate. 50 grand to a charity of their choice. I'll find a broadcaster or 4." MORE...

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - CORNER BROOK WESTERN STAR - CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - CAPE BRETON POST - HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - AMHERST DAILY NEWS - SAINT JOHN TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL - MONTREAL GAZETTE - OTTAWA CITIZEN - TORONTO STAR - GLOBE & MAIL - NATIONAL POST -

SUNS - HAMILTON SPECTATOR - ST. CATHARINES STANDARD - NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW - K-W RECORD - WINDSOR STAR - SUDBURY STAR - WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - REGINA LEADER-POST - CALGARY HERALD - EDMONTON JOURNAL - GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE -  LETHBRIDGE HERALD - RED DEER ADVOCATE - VANCOUVER SUN -
OPINION AND INFORMATION

This campaign could lead to a cliff-hanger
Hebert: A week spent outside the bubble of the leaders' tours reveals an electorate more engaged than is normally the case this early in the campaign. Canada may be on to a referendum-style election for the first time since the 1988 free-trade debate. MORE...
>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<

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)30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

From: "Richard & Alley Neumann"

Joe:
 
Week One is now over, and it's time to review where we are.  So far, no need to amend my prognostications from last week, as I've been far closer to the mark than most of the mainstream media.  I knew I should've been a pundit.
 
So, after the first week we are pretty much right where we started, with the Conservative lead having tightened very slightly, but almost entirely due to NDP support slipping to the Liberals.  Whereas I had indicated an anticipated narrowing of the lead to between 6-8pts in the first two weeks largely through a dip in NDP support, it looks like it will be closer to 8-10pts.  So far, the electorate has not tuned into this election, and that usually favors the government.  Even the Liberal upsurge attributed to NDP leakage seems to have waned, and they are again polling below the 30% mark.
 
Week one was dominated by the coalition issue.  Although it has already begun to shift to other matters, coalition was hugely successful in one important way, it took the debate entirely off the contempt issue and the reason the Libs and NDP gave for having the election in the first place.  Several other issues have come up since, but none involve the original contempt motion and the Liberal inability to keep that alive for even 24hrs has to be viewed as the most signifcant development in the opening week of the campaign. 
 
The debate issue is the latest national issue getting some air time, but the media is again missing the point.  Harper's team wanted to find a way to keep Elizabeth May out of the debate, and they did so by changing the issue people were talking about, making the debate issue one of Harper/Ignatieff vice whether or not May should participate.  The team knows that May performs well in debates and would only serve as another voice attacking Harper, pretty much making it certain he was on the defensive for the entire debate.  Her absence should give him a bit more wiggle room.  Further, by just raising the prospect of an Ignatieff v. Harper only debate, they managed to alienate Jack Layton, and you could see in Nanos overnight tracking that this had a very temporary but significant effect of moving NDP support to the Liberals.  This was a brilliant move, in that it forces Jack to start attacking Ignatieff and protecting his NDP base.  It moots some of the rhetoric coming Harper's way and will serve the additional purpose of denting early Liberal momentum as his effort is likely to have at least some success.  The effect should be that the Liberal early gain of approx 3% on average in most polls will switch back to the NDP in week two, leaving the Liberals again well below 30%.
 
If, after week two, the Liberals continue to poll at that level, and the Conservative retain a solid lead at around 10%, the media will begin to speak in terms of Conservative majority vice any possibility of the Liberals ever forming government by any means other than coalition.  This plays into the Conservative campaign perfectly, as the idea of a Conservative majority is not nearly as toxic as it used to be. 
 
Stepping away from the national numbers, a closer look at the important battleground regions serves to illustrate what is going on here.  If there is any consistency in all of the polls, it is that the Conservatives are holding or building on a significant lead in Ontario and BC.  Further, the ABC movement in Newfoundland is history and a strong slate of local candidates including two former provinicial PC ministers and a senator means gains out east that will counteract losses in Quebec.  Look at it this way.  The Conservatives stand to gain 2-3 seats in Newfoundland, supported by the Lower Churchill decision.  That decision, getting so much negative press in Quebec, serves to illustrate that Harper will not pander to the Bloc or to Quebec, and that stands to gain him ground in Atlantic Canada and in BC.  The Conservatives may lose 2-3 Quebec MPs, but they stand to gain 6 in Atlantic Canada and potentially 2-3 more in BC just by sticking it to the Bloc.  Although to a degree this is a high stakes strategy of sacrificing Quebec support for gains elsewhere, as I've stated previously it stands every chance of success because it plays directly into the coalition narrative and will eventually serve to highlight Ignatieff's dumb decision to extend arena funding to Quebec (wait for it during the debates).  Gains on both coasts will insulate the Conservatives from a fickle Ontario electorate that can't be counted upon on right now (the strong Conservative support is really very, very soft). 
 
Where are we now?  Well, the Liberals have already announced most of their big spending initiatives, and have certainly spent the Corporate tax benefit a couple of times over.  They don't have much else to announce that won't eat directly into their "sound fiscal management" mantra.  Indeed, having failed to move the polls significantly despite the early big announcements, they may be forced to dig up a few more which will only serve to dent their credibility further on the economic front, which remains the undercurrent issue of this election.  They should have never forced an election when so far back out of the starting blocks, because as soon as the debate shifts to Conservative majority versus minority they will have solidified themselves as losers, put the focus back on coalition, and made any further spending promises superfluous.
 
In reading the Daily Digest Below 30, one thing comes to mind.  It is that many left-leaning Canadians too often reinforce their own ideas by focussing on information sources that correspond to their views.  As such, they lose touch with what the general population is thinking.  This effect seems to be amplified by an over-reliance on the social media and a thousand left-leaning blogsters who report regularly on Tory scandal and conspiracy theories.  But the average Canadian isn't on the internet nightly searching out these blogs, they are living their lives not oblivious to politics but not surrounded by it either.  In the end, it comes down to whether or not they are feeling secure with the existing government, and so far there has been no compelling argument made for change.  
 
Much can and will happen in the next four weeks.  But as it stands now, the elusive Conservative majority is not only a possiblity, it is in my books a probability provided they don't make a major mistake.  The polls have been relatively stagnant, and as stated previously, I believe that if the numbers fall in the right places a majority is within reach even at well under 40% nationally.  If they do get and hold 40%, which is possible, even my own Conservative seat projection may prove under the mark and 360 plus could happen. 
 
On final thought.  We have spoken almost entirely about an election that is now the Conservatives to lose.  We assume that their campaign will hold existing ground, without much more to gain.  But there remains another possibility, and that is that the Conservatives actually build upon the support they currently have and benefit from an energized base that smells majority and come out to vote in larger numbers than a deflated opposition.  If this possibility should become a reality, we might see a 2% shift on election night solely due to the ability of the Conservatives to get out their base vote.  If hovering in the low 40's going in, we could be about to witness a significant and perhaps permanent change on the left.  In other words, the Liberals could be further reduced in seats, perhaps even below 25% popular vote, and a seat count closer to 50 than 80.  That would certainly bring about a new Liberal leadership race with Bob Rae (completely disappeared from this campaign for good reason - he believe this is about to come true) as the frontrunner, and a great deal of discussion about uniting the left.  Layton would be gone as well (and will be regardless of outcome), so an unwanted and unnecessary election in the minds of many Canadians may turn out to be the most significant result since 1993.
 
All for now...
 
Richard Neumann

===================================
From: Joerge Dyrkton
Subject: "How the worst gets on top" - Harper on Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom"

Hello, Joe;

Some of your readers might be interested in following quotations of economist F.A. Hayek (1899-1992), whose famous book The Road to Serfdom (1944) Harper undoubtedly read. While Hayek is both anti-Fascist and anti-Communist, Harper turns his own reading of Hayek around (into a kind of reverse "how to" manual) in support of his very own brand of authoritarianism.

Here's the link: http://joergedyrkton.blogspot.com

All the best.
Yours
Joerge Dyrkton, D.Phil.

===================================
From: <xs16@>
Subject: RE: A BELOW (30) SPECIAL

Joe;
Just came upon this interesting item and it reflects some of the discussions earlier Friday.
 
Viewpoint: Japan plant - who is in charge?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12933010
 
"Tepco does not have a good record of managing nuclear accidents."
 
I am following events on Japan through BBC and Australian web sources. I hope our Political Leaders are keeping an interest in these events as they will be important in May after the election.

===================================
From: "Glenn Harewood"
Joe:
RE:  Murray's comments on my comment on "Coalition."
He proves my point about Conservatives being the ONLY coalition there is.
The public DOES HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THAT THERE IS NO COALITION AT PRESENT.
ALL THE OPPOSITION PARTIES HAVE CLEARLY SAID SO. THE ONLY PERSON/PARTY
who is lying, and now being disingenuous about a Coalition is/are the desperate,
fear-mongering  Harper Conservatives.
Glenn Harewood
==========================
From: J Murray
Subject: Re: A BELOW (30) SPECIAL
Joe:

Harewood is being very misleading and disingenuous: yes the conservatives
are a 'coalition' of previously separate parties. But they have come
together to run as ONE party ... and everyone knows it , they have been
totally honest, open and up-front about it. They had a public process and
vote to unite. They are running as a united party. Nothing was hidden; the
unification of the parties had extensive media coverage.

===================================
Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: Autistic Canadians deserve better

Autistic Canadians deserve better
BY JIM MUNSON, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN APRIL 2, 2011
  http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/Autistic+Canadians+deserve+better/4545744/story.html

===================================
From: Bob DeWolfe
Subject: Politicos : Harper Wins the Coalition Battle

Bob DeWolfe has sent you a link to a blog:

Blog: Politicos
Post: Harper Wins the Coalition Battle
Link: http://politicos-rkd.blogspot.com/2011/04/harper-wins-coalition-battle.html

===================================
Subject: Spoiled ballot
From: Gary Scherbain <wahsa@escape.ca>

Joe

A few months ago, I made the comment we needed another option on the
ballot‹an ³Abstention² or ³Abstain² to reflect the quandary many of us face
when going to the polling station on election day.
It is impossible for me as a long-time metaphysical and political
conservative to support any of the parties running in the 2011 campaign.
The thought of spoiling my ballot has always be contrary to a fundamental
belief in the responsibilities of citizens.
But as the first week of the current campaign unfolds and given the events
in Ottawa leading up to the calling of the election, I have come to the
conclusion there is no other choice for me but to spoil my ballot.

Gary Scherbain

===================================
From: "Peter Robertson"

Joe,
                On March 25th, 2011, my niece, who was 19 years of age, died from complications arising from treatment for leukaemia.  Her mother emigrated to Canada from Lebanon about 30 years ago, and has a sister still living in Beirut.  The funeral was held on April 1, 2011, a week after this unfortunate and tragic death.
 
                When the aunt in Beirut applied for a visa to come to Canada to attend the funeral, the embassy requested a letter from the treating physician and a copy of the death certificate.  These were forwarded by fax and email within 24 hours.  Notwithstanding that, the embassy denied the aunt a visa, even though she has visited Canada before, has always returned to Lebanon, and in fact is a highly successful business person over there.  The denial apparently originated in Canada from this benighted bunch of fools that like to call themselves the Conservative government.
 
                The funeral went ahead; there were over 200 people present, and the fact of the visa denial was told to the assembled crowd, most of whom were ethnic voters from a variety of communities.
 
                I am outraged by the insensitivity of this government and its minions, and intend to make it my business to circulate this story to every ethnic and cultural organization in Canada that I can possibly find, with a warning: vote Tory and you can expect much more of the same.  I hope that it has some effect upon the outcome of this vote.
 
Peter A. Robertson.

===================================
From: Larry Kazdan
To: callet@calgarysun.com
Subject: Letter to Editor re:  Jack Layton gets dirty, March 31

Re:  Jack Layton gets dirty, March 31
http://www.calgarysun.com/comment/editorial/2011/04/01/17833336.html

Your editorial in defense of fossil fuels fails to tackle the key issue raised by Jack Layton:  Why at a time of government deficits and rising oil prices should large and profitable energy companies continue to receive subsidies courtesy of the taxpayer?  And this, of course, is on top of corporate tax cuts.

===================================
From: Sandra Finley <sabest1@sasktel.net>
Subject: Fully a third of our tax dollars went for nothing more than interest on debt.  Stephen Harper has taken us right back there again.http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=2054

It  took three short years for Stephen Harper to add back all the debt, after we spent years paying it down.
- - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
I don't get it John.   I remember the years that Canadians spent digging ourselves out of Government debt.  Fully a third  and more of our tax dollars were for nothing more than paying interest on debt.   Just think of how much money that was, the tax dollars collected from the whole nation, take a third and hand it to the banks.  I pay taxes to contribute to public programmes, not so the wealthy have access to a cash cow.

Preston Manning blew the whistle:  he took on Government debt on a single-issue basis.   Thank goodness.  It's hard to believe we've forgotten so quickly.  We need a whistle-blower again.

Somehow the Conservatives manage to pass off the idea that they've managed the economy well.  That's what I don't get.  Harper has taken us to an ALL-TIME high debt and here you have this woman blessing him!   He's been prime minister for only 5 years; the spending has been reckless, with no regard for ability to pay.

THE FACTS ON GOVERNMENT DEBT IN CANADA UNDER THE CONSERVATIVES:

http://www.debtclock.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=45&Itemid=42  

After 11 straight years of federal government surpluses and debt reduction, 2008-09 saw the Canadian government return to spending more than it earns - deficit financing.  In 2011 the government will have added back to the debt in just three years, more than the $105 billion it paid off during years of surpluses. Deficits are projected through the year 2014-15.

Deficit spending of the past led to a trillion dollars in interest payments since 1961. This won't help our economy or the families that have to pay for it.

In 1990, 38 cents out of every dollar sent to Ottawa was used to pay the annual interest on our federal debt.  Today, that is down to 14 cents.  Why would we want to go back?

===================================
From: Rene Moreau

To Joe
April 2nd, 2011

From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)
re; Mary Sue Haliburton's peice on the G-20
   In the way of repeating myself, If you want government to appear in
a bad light, make government look stupid, inefficient, un-just,
corrupt and worthless, the so-called leaders  must make sure that
government is all of those things, so that they can say, when they
stage a coup d'etat, or an attack and replacement of government,  by
corporate-type entities,  ' WE CAN  DO A BETTER JOB'.
    No mention of course, will be made that they can run the human
race, making seriously big money by commodifying food, fuel, etc.
through insider trading, among 'partners' , Then education,
health-care, become too expensive for the poor masses and the 61/2
billion people on earth get 'reduced'!
   Neat eh? No wonder some-one from Gold-man-Sachs, I believe, said,
"We're doing God's work."
   Perhaps some-one has the name and actual quote?
   The obvious examples of undermining of government have been in the
media for a while now, in the U.K, U.S. and Canada, with no mention of
a substitute for government, except from business, once in a while.
Now, along comes a statement attributed to the late Jim Travers, who
can't defend himself, saying ' War is too important to be left to
generals, just as democracy is too important to be left to
politicians' or words to that effect. It would be wise to find out if
he actually said that, without naming a suitable alternative, short of
corporate rule. (check David Korten's book, 'When Corporations Rule
the World'
   And the alternative is?
   Us, we the people?  Co-ops instead of corporations,  and again, a
Magna Carta ll, so that no entities get that strong again!

  Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
_______
Subject: Canadian officials ' secretive' on North  American perimeter security agreement...
 Unifying the once sovereign nations of North America under treaty law continues  to move forward by stealth....

Canadian officials 'secretive' on North American perimeter security agreement
http://www.prisonplanet.com/canadian-officials-%E2%80%98secretive%E2%80%99-on-north-american-perimeter-security-agreement.html _______
Subject: Our government says we are safe so we are safe?  They have never lied to us before LOL!!!

 
Canadian health agencies have no immediate plans to measure the amount of radiation in milk following Japan's nuclear crisis despite the demands of B.C. dairy farmers who want officials to follow the U.S. and test dairy products.
"There will be no testing of milk," Alice Danjou, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said Friday.
The news came as a disappointment to Robin Smith, executive director of the BC Milk Producers Association, which earlier this week called on the agency to test the milk in an effort to prove to the public the levels are low enough to consume.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Canadian+inspection+agency+refuses+test+milk+radiation/4548777/story.html

_______
Subject:  was this jsut an April Fools joke?  Today they have changed their minds???

Canada tightens controls on Japanese food, animal feed
http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCATRE73033C20110401
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canada has tightened its controls on Japanese imports to include all food and animal feed products from areas affected by Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said as of Friday that it requires documentation proving the safety of food and feed products before it will allow them into Canada.
The federal agency has also begun testing radiation levels of Japanese products, it said.

_______
Subject: The videos are at the bottom of the first article
 
Are U.S. government microwave mind-control tests causing TV presenters' brains to melt down?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1372538/Are-government-microwave-mind-control-tests-causing-TV-presenters-brains-melt-down.html#ixzz1INmIyltG
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1372538/Are-government-microwave-mind-control-tests-causing-TV-presenters-brains-melt-down.html#ixzz1IPdhr1Jv

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

Joe, Another novel ploy being used by the Conservatives, is sending off form letters from the ministries to people who have signed on-line petitions for such things as excessive rates for the Internet.

"Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding usage-based billing (UBB)
for Internet services.  It is essential that I hear the views of Canadians
on the issues that matter.  Prime Minister Harper and I have been clear
that we cannot support imposing a UBB business model on wholesale Internet
service providers.

Our government recognizes that the Internet and digital technologies are
an increasingly important part of everyday life­including driving
innovation, commerce and social interaction. As the government develops
Canada's first comprehensive Digital Economy Strategy, we need to look
carefully at how issues like UBB affect the big picture.  We will be
guided by our long-standing policies of encouraging competition and
investment, increasing consumer choice, minimizing regulation and allowing
market forces to prevail.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has
chosen to examine these concerns that the government shares with a large
number of Canadians.  Details of the CRTC consultation are available at
www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2011/r110208.htm.   ...............................................
It ends this way, "When the CRTC reaches a final decision following its consultations, the
government will carefully assess the CRTC position to ensure that it is in
line with the best interests of Canadian consumers and encourages
competition among internet service providers.  I will be recommending that
any decision counter to these foundational principles be reversed.
You can find the latest news on the government's Digital Economy Strategy
and related issues at www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ic1.nsf/eng/h_00008.html.
Once again, thank you for writing.  I trust that this information is
helpful."
 
Checking out the last link, one has to look for the information going through a mountain of information to determine what exactly are the goals of the ministry regarding internet rates and other digital formats.  Best interests?  Perhaps. Clear communication? No way!
 
"Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is hoping to woo the votes of middle-class families with a new tax cut that he admits is years away, perhaps even another election, from becoming reality.

And he dangled the prospect of across-the-board tax cuts that will benefit "virtually all Canadians."

Harper came to the backyard of a tidy home in Victoria suburbs Monday morning to unveil his "family tax cut."

The move will allow families with children under 18 to share up to $50,000 of household income. It is expected to benefit up to 1.8 million families, saving them on average $1,300 a year."

There has to a real devil in the details, since as reported by the Financial Post, " In 2009, Canadians filed nearly 24.5 million personal tax returns. Of those, 8.3 million of them were non-taxable the majority of which are likely being filed by Canadians to ensure their ongoing eligibility for certain benefits and credits."  http://www.financialpost.com/personal-finance/taxes/much+Canadians+make/4497362/story.html
Only 1.8 million families, out of 24.5 personal tax returns based on 2009 stats?  As Iggy indicated, " Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff scoffed at Harper's tax announcement. "It's like, if you come up to a family and you say, 'I've got good news. First, I'm going to cut taxes for the biggest and most profitable corporations in the country. And then maybe in five years, if you take a ticket and you're patient and you vote for us a couple of times, come back in five years and we'll do something really great for you'," Ignatieff said.

"It's just not credible," he told reporters in Toronto."

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/962798--harper-s-promised-tax-cut-for-families-could-be-years-away

I would agree, it is not credible based on the numbers. It sounds to me, that it is a plan for the well-off families making well above the $100,000 income level. "What about Canada's highest income earners? 880,000 Canadians reported income in the range of $100,000 to $150,000, 333,000 reported incomes between $150,000 and $250,000 and a mere 174,000 of tax return filing Canadians or 0.7% had income over $250,000."  From the Financial Post link, the total is 1.3 million personal tax returns, above the $100,000 plus,  So who will be the lucky 1.8 million families?  Not the average family!

===================================