Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Daily Digest June 8, 2011


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

PAPERS PAGEs

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OPINION AND INFORMATION
  • Tories quarrel over leader election policy
  • They've won a third consecutive election victory and now control the first Conservative majority in 17 years, but Stephen Harper's Tories have still found something to quarrel about as they gather for a convention in Ottawa Thursday. MORE...
  • Related
  •          O'Malley: CPCWatch: MacKay fires back
  • Peter Van Loan's magical electoral turnabout MORE...
  • Post-election reality sets in.. MORE...
  • The return of the NDP's anti-Israel fringe. MORE...
  • Flaherty's fairy tale budget.. MORE...
  • The Tories' high-tax-and-spending plan.. MORE...
  • Flaherty thought his budget was so good, he delivered it again MORE...
  • The curious contradiction of Harpernomics: MORE...
  • Yet again, the PQ eats its own. MORE...
  • Message in a stop sign
  • MPs' pension plan has paid out $804-million since beginning, says new report
  • Opposition blows gasket as PM jets to Canucks-Bruins game
  • The Commons: Five rounds
  • Online donors' data breached: Conservatives
  • Clement floats user fees in sketch of public-service spending review
  • Conservative MPs meet with shipyard lobbyists, despite government ban
  • Court upholds Wind Mobile's right to exist
  • NDP takes aim at budget cuts
  • G aza flotilla support up to MPs, Layton says
  • Harper's Senate reform undercuts West, Rae charges
  • Conservatism goes 'mainstream' thanks to Harper, study finds
  • Conservatives, bring back the Youth Federation
  • Pauline Marois reaches out to Parti Québécois defectors – except one
  • Soft-pedalling sovereignty, Marois courts her demise
  • Page's protest rings hollow – but there's plenty wrong with Parliament
  • New Speaker sends signal: rude MPs to be silenced
  • Taber: 'No head shots' in Commons: Speaker passes first test of decorum
  • Tories too hung up on Quebec: ex-premier of Newfoundland
  • Two Ontario judges frontrunners for Supreme Court vacancies
  • Clark bids for ship deal
  • Seaspan steps up campaign for part of $35-billion federal contract
  • Interim integrity commissioner's six-month term extended
  • Conservatives dispense with throne speech debate, opposition cries foul
  • DFO plans to eliminate 275 positions ay.
  • Harper pledges to find billions in fat to eliminate deficit faster
  • N.L. rescue centre closure outrageous: MP Harris
  • Thousands of government workers to get the axe?
  • Trio of Conservative elder statesmen wade into convention battle
  • Military, tax policies up for debate at Tory convention





  • Unions set to hold Canadians for ransom in a summer of discontent
  • N.L. hydro guarantee coming soon: Penashue
  • Harper government says no need for top court's advice on Senate reform
  • Senate weighs security overhaul after page's 'Stop Harper' protest
  • Opposition raises concerns as MacKay meets with NATO counterparts on Libya
  • Minister's NDP attack highlights new trade reality
  • 2 NDP MPs support contentious flotilla to Gaza
  • Ottawa pressed to give custom officials the power to seize counterfeit goods
  • Refugee status denied over Jesus answer
  • Mail volumes drop since strikes started, says Canada Post

    >>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<
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    WHICH FIGURES ARE ACCURATE?

    "The ambassador says according to the numbers he has, 87 per cent of Canadians support a more integrated border."



    Is the Ambassador's figure based on just a more open border or a security perimeter as well, I wonder,
    cause they most certainly don't match those in the C.B.C. poll, do they now.

    Will Canada lose too much sovereignty if it creates a coordinated security perimeter with the U.S.?
    Yes 84.24%  (2,373 votes)  No 13.17%  (371 votes)  Not sure 2.59%  (73 votes) Total Votes: 2,817
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2011/05/question-of-the-day-364.html



    US Ambassador calls for better border practices

    660 News - Aaron Burnett -  4 hours ago
    The US ambassador to Canada says there's no reason the 49th parallel can't be more secure as well as more free-flowing for people and trade at the same time.
    US-Canada trade barriers targeted Calgary Herald
    Let customs officials seize counterfeit goods, Ottawa told Globe and Mail
    Vancouver Sun - Calgary Sun - Coquitlam Now - backofthebook.ca
    all 22 news articles »


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    .
    From: Rebecca Gingrich
    _______
    Subject: UN gun control
     
    U.N. Agreement Should Have All Gun Owners Up In Arms
    http://blogs.forbes.com/larrybell/2011/06/07/u-n-agreement-should-have-all-gun-owners-up-in-arms/

    How and why is the UN allowed to have any input on anything in a sovereign nation?  I imagine that we will also be forced to keep our gun registry etc?  The part about home break-ins is very telling--and proves the governments want us disarmed for their own benefit, not ours?
    becky

    _______
    Subject: opionion

    Joe--re: leveling the playing field--is there anything the taxpayer is not responsible for when it comes to the more equal pigs entitlements???  Why should any donation get a tax rebate?  That means that we are funding everything, including their entitlements.  I don't recall anyone funding my search for a job.  I don't recall that I could get funding for asking for a job.  But these more equal pigs make sure they are not responsible for anything.  Why is there any funding for any party?  If they are so inept at handling money why would anyone offer them more?  With all they already skim from our paycheques you would think they could figure out a way to handle an election.  We have to handle anything and everything that is put in our path and they still believe we should fund one red cent for them.  No damn way.

    re: taking the roof off campaign donations--does anyone really believe that corporations etc don't know how to give money to those politicians they have bought and paid for?  'it assumes that politicians are available to the highest bidder'--does anyone believe any differently???  I remember when Dosanhj was Health Minister the pharmaceutical companies gave him the largest political donations--and this was just our of the goodness of their heart??  Let's face it--money is the only god of our politicians and those that own them.  It doesn't matter what ceilings are imposed--we all know that words can be translated to mean what the translator wants them to mean.

    http://thetyee.ca/News/2006/01/12/DonorsRunMedicalFirms/

    re: reform of the Senate is in the eye of the beholder.  Again we see word games--nothing concrete.  The Senate is useless as it is just another arm of the Party in power and 'sober second thought' does not exist any more than it does in Parliament.

    And as we've always said, we're not interested in opening up the Constitution. We strongly believe that Canadians don't want drawn-out constitutional fights." 

    Isn't it odd that they always know what 'Canadians want' so they don't have to bother asking us anything more important than what Harper's cat should be named???  Of course the 'top court' is also appointed so any government will get the answer they want?  

    Word games are being played to remove any small amount of democracy that remains--get used to it--just shut up and pay your taxes.
    becky

    ===================================
    Subject: CBC Question: "What Do We Want From Harper's Majority Government,?
    From: John Anderson

    Hello Joe:

    The CBC posed a question recently: "What do we want from the government, now that Stephen Harper's Conservative Party has attained majority status?"

    This is a very interesting question, because it requires a positive answer.  It is very easy to criticize the government, and most of us are pretty good at finding fault with any politician's actions.  But it is much harder to make positive suggestions.

    At the expense of a very long post, here is my list ...

    1. Conduct in the House of Commons

    I want to see more decorum in the house, more respect for members, and less partisan sniping.  I want to see more recognition of the fact that government is all about difficult choices between competing priorities.

    Harper's government (regime?) needs to recognize that just because previous Liberal governments made different choices doesn't mean that those choices were not made in good faith.

    (Frankly, the last Liberal government was FIVE YEARS AGO; continuing to blame Liberals for everything bad is wearing a little thin.)

    2. Openness With Respect to Policy

    I want to see more openness with respect to policy.  I want Harper's Conservative government to re-establish the old (ancient?) tradition of White Papers outlining the government's proposed policy directions.  These papers would form the basis for genuine policy debates in the House of Commons, something that we have not seen in many years.

    My list of candidate White Papers would start with: Health Care and Health Care Funding, Foreign Policy and Defence Policy, Environmental Policy, Securities Regulation, Foreign Investment, and Aboriginal Affairs.

    3. Separation of the PMO and the PCO

    I want to see the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Privy Council Office (PCO) downsized, and I want to see the re-establishment of a clear distinction between the two.  The creeping politicization of the Public Service must cease -- immediately.

    I want to see decentralization of authority from the PMO/PCO to individual departments.

    Both of these initiatives would be in line with Harper's stated goal to reduce the size of government.

    4. Empowerment of the Public Service

    I want to see more empowerment of the Public Service.  There are extremely competent people in the Public Service; they know the business of government at least as well as any politician.  The politicians must be prepared to engage the Public Service regarding policy directions, and then allow them the freedom to execute the agreed policy.  To put it another way, Harper's cabinet ministers must be willing to step back and MANAGE government.

    5. Canadian Foreign Policy

    I want to see a more independent Canadian Foreign Policy.  Canada has traditionally had an extremely competent and apolitical Foreign Service.  This tradition needs to be re-established and re-invigorated.  Slavish adherence to the policy directions of the U.S. government is not our tradition.  Again, the politicians need to avoid narrow idealism and look at what is truly "best" for Canada and the world.

    6. Defence Policy

    I want to see more openness with respect to Defence Policy and Defence Procurement.  We have seen in the last few years (beginning with Paul Martin's Liberal government and continuing with Stephen Harper's Conservative government) a re-invigoration of Canada's military capability, and recognition of Canada's proud military tradition.  This needs to be sustained, but we need more openness (White Paper?) with respect to what capabilities we will maintain, what missions we anticipate, and what it will cost to do this.

    7. Internal Trade, "One Canada"

    I want to see "One Canada".  The creeping balkanization of Canada must stop.  We have free trade with the United States, and the provinces individually take advantage of this.  But we still have significant barriers to free trade between the provinces.

    8. Environmental Policy; Nuclear Power

    I want to see clarity -- and hopefully progress -- with respect to environmental policy.  We absolutely MUST reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for energy generation.  Renewable sources of energy get great media coverage, but they are not the full solution.

    I would like to see Harper give full government support to Canada's nuclear power industry.  Canada's heavy-water-moderated natural-uranium-fueled CANDU design is a world-beating concept.  But it is not going anywhere without financial support from the government.  (But Canadian industry must step up as well ...)

    And for those who don't like the idea of fission power, then Harper must reestablish Canadian support for international efforts to develop fusion power, support that Paul Martin cut off in 1995 as part of his cost reduction exercise.

    9. Continental Security

    I want to see clarity with respect to Continental Security Policy.  I fully support the idea of reducing barriers to Canada-U.S. trade -- but NOT at the cost of unilateral extra-territorial application of U.S. law.  What we agree to -- in advance: OK.  But too often -- and this is what I think scares a lot of people -- the U.S. unilaterally enacts new rules and regulations, and then slams the trade doors shut when they realize that their new regime is not supported by their agreement with Canada.

    This is my list -- so far.

    Best Regards, John A.

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

    Hi Joe,  Here come some of the first cuts of the Harper government, that will hit the hinterland and coastlines of Canada. In this case the province of NL.
    "
    The federal fisheries department is defending the decision to close the centre.

    "Maritime safety services are a top priority, and must be delivered in the most efficient, cost-effective way. New communications technologies have come on stream. As a result, search and rescue co-ordination services in Quebec and St. John's will be consolidated into existing Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centres," according to an email to CBC News from Frank Stanek, a DFO media relations manager.

    He said the rescue centre's closure is part of $56 million in Department of Fisheries and Oceans cuts to Newfoundland and Labrador, promised in this week's federal budget.

    "By consolidating these services, CCG will continue to provide the same level of bilingual, on-the-ground SAR support in a more efficient way. By refocusing our services and eliminating duplication, we will be able to provide more efficient delivery ­ including in marine search and rescue," wrote Stanek.

    Thank you for voting!
    Unbelievable. Does Dunderdale still support Harper? 39.71%  (276 votes)  
     
    It makes sense. The communications part of search and rescue can be done from Halifax 13.67%  (95 votes)  
     
    I'm afraid we will be getting more of the same, now that the Conservatives have a majority 39.28%  (273 votes)  
     
    I'm undecided. Let's not have a knee-jerk reaction 7.34%  (51 votes)  
       
    Total Votes: 695
    Return To Poll Share This
     

    The centre's role will be moved to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centres in Halifax, and Trenton, Ont. As many as 12 jobs may be lost with the closure."
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2011/06/08/nl-rescue-centre-608.html

    Apparently only 28 % percent of calls, are distress calls. Why?  Coast guard doesn't regard engine trouble, or a boat dead in the water a distress call,  in good weather. However good weather in NL can change within 5 minutes, and without warning as many can testified driving 3.5 hours driving through snow, ice, rain, fog, sun, and everything in between during the 3.5 hours. What is a good day in driving, is driving the 3.5 without meeting two or more of these factors. A rarity in NL, and more so out in the waters of North Atlantic. Now, we have a bunch of yahoos in charge, without the knowledge of the coast guard people who know every nook and cranny of out coast, and hinterland. The 12 who will be let go, are the 12 who know every nook and cranny of the coast line, and not the ones sitting in Halifax. Throw in Weather Canada, who can't seem to get forecasts right, and even sometimes does not come close in NL, the people of NL are left to figure it out by using the old techniques of looking at the sky to look for warnings of bad or good weather.

    What is next for cuts to federal services - stay tuned for the chopping of services based on federal responsibility, and expect the provinces to picked up the tab, without having the authority to do so.

    ===================================
    From: Rebecca Gingrich
    Subject: Bravo to these two MPs


    NDP MPs support contentious flotilla to Gaza
    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2011/06/07/18251331.html
    []

    []
    Freedom flotilla
     
    []  Play video
    []

    OTTAWA – NDP MPs Alex Atamanenko and Alexandre Boulerice are among a group of Canadians who back a humanitarian flotilla to Gaza – an effort Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has called unauthorized and provocative.
    The Canadian Boat to Gaza plans to join other countries as part of a 12-boat flotilla this month to bring aid and challenge Israel to stop its blockade of the destitute Palestinian territory.

    ===================================
    From: "Glenn Harewood"

    Joe:
     
    Re:No need for top court's advice on Senate reform: Tories

     Yes, Let the Harper CONS play with re-interpreting and abusing the BNA Act, and 1982  Constitution.

    A majority of seats in the Commons is being interpreted by the Harper CONS that they have the right to run rough-shot over Parliament.

    Harper thumbed his nose at Parliament for five years, and he will continue to do so now that he has a majority of seats in the Commons. We have seen this already in his cancelling debate on the Throne Speech, and we can expect the further bit-by-bit dismantling of our democratic institutions.

    My understanding of the reason for the Senate is that it was established to be  an independent  body of  "sober-second-thought" in order to prevent the Commons from doing exactly what Harper and his CONS are now about to do-- muzzle the Senate as he has muzzled all his caucus.

    It is my understanding that once appointed to the Senate, a Senator is independent, and cannot be forced to vote according to any party dictates.

    The  notion that because Senators are NOT elected, then the institution is non-democratic is porous. Many of the bodies that perform oversight over "lower" bodies or entities are NOT elected, but appointed.  The most blaring example of such oversight bodies is Supreme Court of  Canada. Critics will say that Justices are chosen by the PM, and are then subjected to interviews by elected  representatives. Therefore the democratic process has been followed. I beg to differ.
     
    If you we -- including  Harper --  want to be truly democratic, let us completely do away with all appointments. Every person, at ALL stages, SHOULD  be subjected to election. For example:  let us have direct general election of Justices by the ordinary voter; let us have general election of the Cabinet, not by the Prime Minister, but by the caucus of the party; let us have election of the Governor-General by the population at large, and not by the Prime Minister; let us have general election of all the heads of departments of the Public service by direct election by their subordinates.  Let us have election of  all boards of directors by the public that they serve.
     
    I could go on ad infinitum, but one sees how ridiculous the argument becomes: that if one is not elected, then the process is not democratic. We have a double standard that demonstrates hypocrisy-- not democracy. The problem is that, once directly elected, then those elected seem to think that they have a divine right to APPOINT whoever they wish. They ignore the hypocrisy when it suites their own purposes. This action in turn negates their claim to democratic election.
     
    Can you imagine what would have happened during the past five years if Harper could have operated without a Senate, or a Governor-General?
    Now that he has a majority of seats -- not a majority of public opinion -- just wait an see what will happen to many of our traditional institutions.
     
    We've come a long way since the 1215 Magna Carta when those people confronted King John in the field at Runnemede. It's up to us if we allow 166 short-sighted  people to destroy, under the aegis of economic and  democratic reform,   the institutions, rights,  and the freedoms which we have acquired over nearly 10 centuries.

    Glenn Harewood



    ===================================
    From: Mahmood Elahi
    To: <dkrayden@policystudies.ca>
    Subject: Politicians should also pay their way

    The Editor
    Ottawa Citizen
     
    Copy to: Mr. David Kraydan, Executive Director, The Canadian Centre for Policy Studies.
     
    Politicians should also pay their own way
     
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that cutting public subsidies for the political parties will save the taxpayers millions of dollars. In that case, cutting public funding for salaries of prime minister, ministers and MPs will save the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Politicians are not career civil servants and their parties can pay their salaries by raising money through private contributions.
     
    Taxpayers pay the elected politicians because they should serve general public interests and not  moneyed special interests. This logic should also apply to public subsidies to the political parties. In the United States, both Republican and Democratic parties are increasingly beholden to moneyed interests who pay for their campaigns and their army of lobbyists ensure that the politicians pay back their largess. The Americanization of Canada seems to be complete as the political parties will be obliged to depend on handouts by the rich and wealthy because only they have the deep pockets to provide funds for political parties.
     
    Why stop there? Let the elected politicians also seek the largess of the rich to pay for their salaries. This way, the taxpayers will save millions of dollars needed to pay for highly paid elected officials and their pensions. Of course, the rich and wealthy will have the right to see the politicians return the favour.  As they say he who pays the piper calls the tune.
     
    MAHMOOD ELAHI

    ===================================
    From: John Halonen

    Sure was interesting to see our Canadian Prime Minister at the Boston Gardens tonight.

    Sorry, but do we not live in Canada.

    Now we know where the allegiance lies.

    John Halonen

    ===================================
    From: Real Gagne

    Joe:

    For the DD.

    As a principle I favour no public subsidy for either parties or individual candidates. That is why I fully support the government's decision to do away with the current system.

    I do wish, though, that it would go further and scrap the refunds on expenses.

    I also would want it to retain the current caps on donations, from both individuals and businesses and unions and any other entity or body.

    I also believe that parties and or candidates should be free to advertise as and when they see fit provided they do so with money donated by supporters.

    Having to raise money through many small donations should encourage that both parties and candidates to take greater account of the wishes of the voter.

    On the other hand, I am in favour of tax credits for individuals who care to donate to the political party of their choice, although I would have to see what kind of suggestion there might be for changing the current system before commenting on it.

    Real

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