Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daily Digest May 16, 2012 030


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


OPINION AND INFORMATION

_____CANADA

Streamlining the dragonfly
         With Baird, you know where he's coming from
EI isn't entitlement insurance
         Charities silenced by the taxman
Canada to NATO: Smarten up
         Play's the thing to catch conscience of Parliament.
Stephen Harper eliminates the 'radical centre' of environment debate
         How we stopped talking about climate change
Climate change policy should aim to manage risk
         The Rule of Law is not negotiable
The omnibus budget bill has too much baggage
         An  elected Senate would ruin B.C.
Selling part of Hydro One, OPG can slow rise in electricity prices
         Congress without compromise serves no one
Eurozone crisis signals a repeat of the 1930s
         Environment panel never pushed carbon tax, president says
Facts belie Toews's insistence his e-snooping bill will proceed
         Internet surveillance bill not dead, Toews says
9 facts about Pierre Poutine and the robocalls case
         Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition At Ottawa Museum Has Age Limit Raised After Minister Raises Concerns
Sex show that was fine in Regina, Montreal proves too racy for Ottawa
         Harper cabinet about-face: health minister meeting with UN hunger envoy
United Nations food envoy blasts inequality, poverty in Canada
         UN food envoy decries 'shocking' conditions in Canada
Tories back Ontario MP's bid to prevent bulk water exports
         Police chief to hold officers accountable for G20 conduct
G20 report blasts police for excessive force, civil rights violations
         Chinese firm's Canadian contracts raise security fears
Federal scientists are allowed to speak to journalists who make "reasonable" requests, says Peter Kent
         Moore's criteria for appointments 'unprecedented' and 'disturbing'
NDP federal caucus to visit St. John's
         The NDP shouldn't get hasty in assuming it can defeat Harper
Forget the polls - the tanking global economy is the Tories' hole card
         Late-night showdown in the House pits Peter Kent vs. opposition MPs
Stephen Harper retreats from John Baird's criticism of federal research group
         Ghiz says no plans for federal leadership bid
N.S., PEI premiers voice anxiety over EI reform
         EI rules need 'teeth' to get people to work, Finley says
Feds backing away from Flaherty's 'no bad job' EI comment
         Is Canada grappling with Dutch Disease?
'Roadkill' not on the menu, Ottawa insists as it proposes changes to federal meat rules
         'Baby steps' to US agents on Canadian soil: RCMP
Military's structural overhaul seen as long overdue
         UFO Flying Over Shearwater? No It's A Cyclone Helicopter
Canada cutting Afghan presence by more than 100 soldiers
         Defence Department has 'gone rogue', opposition claims, as auditor blasts critics
Veterans board trips abroad grounded
         Henry Kissinger gets pat-down en route to Toronto
Privacy, quality of StatsCan information could be compromised: report
         More provinces join McGuinty's clampdown on doctors fees
Some refugees may have to pay for childbirth
         A sneak preview of federal mask ban, coming to a city near you: Montreal's plan
If Iceland adopts the loonie, Greenland could soon follow: economist
         Hot enough for you? Canadians brace for heat, wind and drought
Woman dies after long ORNGE ambulance delay, family says
         Majority of Ontarians favour gay-straight alliances and oppose Catholic school funding, poll finds
Can Jean Charest survive the student strike?
         Quebec gets ready to play hardball with student protesters
B.C. civil servants authorize strike to back up wage demands
         Calgary bawdy house owner's fate rests on Ont. ruling
The Big Download Whacks Cities
         North Island College Cutting Down on Face Time
Should We Subsidize Work?
         The Future of Education Is Here...
VIDEO: Freelance Survival: Perfect Your Pitch
         After criticism, Slutwalk Vancouver opts to talk, not walk
Reporters will remain free to report on animal disease outbreaks: minister
         Commissioner wrong that ferry secrecy is a step backward, says minister
Ottawa offers help to suicide-pained Vancouver Island First Nation
         Tories admit to closing enviro research group because they disliked results

_____FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Rally in Chicago ahead of NATO summit

German sues CIA for abduction, torture

2 Iran engineers abducted in Syria freed

Fear-stricken Greeks drain banks

'UN must take action on Bahrain'

'West, KSA plan for Bahrain dangerous'

'No boost for Obama from gay stance'

'Iran Navy constantly in Intl. waters'

Senior Israeli intel officers resign

Afghan oil extraction to begin in 5 months

Unemployment hits 16-year high in UK

'Islamic parties to win presidential race'

Islam And The Non-Existent War With The West

SURFACE FORCES : Brazil The Missile Master

ISRAEL: Fanatics All Around

MURPHY'S LAW: What New Technologies Will Change Naval Warfare in the 21st Century

BALKANS: Turks Increase Support For Syrian Rebels

AIR TRANSPORTATION: C-130s Lead The Attack

AIR WEAPONS: Mini-Missiles For Mini-UAVs

INFORMATION WARFARE: Get Google and Frack Facebook

MORALE: Israel And The Conscription Crises

MURPHY'S LAW: What New Technologies Changed Naval Warfare in the 20th Century

WEAPONS: The Precision Revolution

LOGISTICS: Taming Turbine Appetites

KURDISH WAR: You Go First

INFORMATION WARFARE: Please Stop

U.S. Organizing Syrian Rebels; Syrian Rebels Get Influx of Arms with Gulf Neighbors' Money, U.S. Coordination
Syrian rebels have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31337.htm

Multi-lateral War Crimes Are Still War Crimes, No Matter Who Commits Them US and its European allies have re-purposed NATO to dominate the globe. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31342.htm

Veterans For Peace Calls for an End to NATO NATO provides the United States with a pretense of global coalition and legality. Approximately half the world's military spending is U.S., adding other NATO nations the total to three-quarters. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31347.htm

US Resource War Against China Further U.S. Militarization of The African Continent Public opinion in the United States is now being mobilized in favor of a greater military presence in Africa. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31343.htm

Creating Killers and Dyers Stop military recruiters and you stop the wars. The US Empire spends a billion dollars a year on military recruiting advertising and they do it because it works. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31346.htm

Obama's New Free Speech Threat An Executive order seeks to punish U.S. citizens even for "indirectly" obstructing dictatorial rule in Yemen.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31338.htm

In Yemen, Eating is a Luxury Millions Struggle to Afford About 55 percent of Yemenis live below the poverty line on less than $2 dollars a day. Ten million are "food insecure," and five million of them are "severely food insecure." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31339.htm

Farewell Israel? Video Is the American-Jewish romance with Israel coming to an end? - Cross Talk with Norman Finkelstein, Daniel Pollak and Mouin Rabbani . http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31340.htm

Chávez's Economics Lesson for Europe Hugo Chávez's rejection of the neoliberal policies dragging Europe down sets a hopeful example to Greece and beyond. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31344.htm

Ireland's Referendum- an Opportunity for Change If voters agree to sign this treaty for fiscal discipline, the country will be forced to implement even stricter austerity measures on its already beleaguered citizens. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31348.htm

Accidentally Released - and Incredibly Embarrassing Documents Show How Goldman et al Engaged in 'Naked Short Selling' It doesn't happen often, but sometimes God smiles on us. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31345.htm

Wells Fargo Has Blood on Its Hands: Desperate Man Commits Suicide After Shocking Foreclosure Mistreatment  This is the story of what happens when an average couple is up against a giant, wealthy, powerful bank. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31341.htm

13 "Al-Qaida Militants", 4 Soldiers Killed In South Yemen: Intensive fighting occurred between government forces and al-Qaida militants Wednesday morning in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, leaving at least four soldiers and 13 terrorists dead. http://bit.ly/KaPH24

7 Iraqi army soldiers killed in suicide bombing: A suicide car bomber struck an Iraqi army base in western Mosul on Tuesday, killing seven Iraqi soldiers and wounding 20 people, an official said. http://bit.ly/KyFsaG

Trial of Iraqi Vice President Hashemi opens in his absence: The trial of Iraq's fugitive vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, opened in his absence on Tuesday and a lawmaker whose relatives were allegedly killed by "death squads" under his orders screamed abuse across the courtroom http://bit.ly/JjY1uU

Report: Syria rebels get better weapons as US quietly boosts support: Syrian rebels are getting more and better weapons in an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated partly by the United States, the Washington Post reported late on Tuesday.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31337.htm

Army deploys in north Lebanon after deadly clash: Lebanese soldiers backed by armored vehicles deployed Tuesday in the northern coastal city of Tripoli to restore order after three days of clashes between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen that claimed the lives of three and wounded scores more. http://bit.ly/Ml8FI5

Libyan and two Tunisians confess to infiltrating into Syria with al-Qaeda; Syria state-run TV (Syria TV) on Tuesday published footage of three terrorists, one Libyan and two Tunisians, who confess to infiltrating into Syria to carry out terrorist attacks in coordination with al-Qaeda.
http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=120559

Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution Fighters Arrive in Syria: At least five Tunisians have been killed this month in the revolution - the Syrian revolution, that is. A sixth may also be dead. http://bit.ly/JHyMGD

Several killed in Libya desert town clash: At least seven people were killed in clashes between armed nomads and residents of a Libyan town on the border with Algeria on Wednesday, officials said, underlining the insecurity that still plagues the country one month before elections.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/several-killed-in-libya-desert-town-clash

Concern grows over jihadist numbers in eastern Libya: Hundreds of Islamist militants are in and around the town, and there are camps where weapons and physical training are provided to militants. He said one official had described the area as "a disaster zone." http://bit.ly/JHA181

Bombed Libyan Village Where NATO's "Collateral Damage" Has A Name And A Face: NATO says it was a "legitimate" target. Villagers tell a very different story, of innocent victims, and pain made worse by NATO's refusal to admit its tragic error. http://bit.ly/J7U4ig

Collateral damage: Victims of NATO's war: Can NATO be sued and held accountable for killing civilians as most recently seen in Libya and Afghanistan? http://aje.me/J8Vbyk

EU carries out attack on Somalia: Maritime aircraft and attack helicopters took part in the attacks early in the morning on the mainland, a spokesman said. No casualties were reported in the raid, which occurred along Somalia's central coastline in the region of Galmudug. http://bit.ly/KmIKuY

US stokes war flames before nuclear talks; The US House of Representatives approved a resolution on Tuesday that undermines diplomatic efforts to resolve Iran's nuclear stand-off with the West peacefully. http://bit.ly/IZmqYi

RAND Corporation warns against striking Iran: One of the most influential and respected U.S. think tanks advising the Pentagon, has published a comprehensive report in the Rand Review warning against striking Iran. http://bit.ly/JjtmxO

Bolton: 'Israel should have struck' Iran several years ago: Former United Nations' American ambassador John Bolton continued his campaign to have the country of Iran bombed Tuesday evening, feeling that Israel should have accomplished the task several years ago. http://bit.ly/Jjy6n7

Pakistan sells out: Pakistan seeks $1M per day to supply Afghan war The cost of the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan is about to rise by $365 million annually under an agreement that would reopen a key NATO supply route through Pakistan that has been closed for nearly six months. http://bit.ly/Kvu0g7

US administration threatens to veto bill placing conditions on Pakistan aid: Opposing many provisions of a key defence bill, including conditions imposed on US aid to Pakistan, the Obama administration has threatened to veto it if it impedes the ability of the government to execute the new American defence strategy. http://bit.ly/Jvkw6n

Palestinians mark Nakba with protests: A source at Ramallah's government hospital said that 17 people had been injured by rubber bullets, 15 at Beitunia and another two at Qalandia. http://aje.me/JPSRv4

Hamas condemns PA cabinet reshuffle: The reshuffled Palestinian Authority government will be sworn in Wednesday at 6 p.m. officials said, in a move that Hamas condemned and labeled illegitimate. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=486465

Egypt: U.S. Image Still Negative: Poll: America's image remains overwhelmingly negative - only 19% offer a favorable opinion of the U.S. Egyptian opinions about President Obama have grown steadily more negative over the course of his presidency. http://bit.ly/JZXyj2

Islamists & Necrophilia: How Western Media Fell For Bogus Islam-Bashing Tale: The making of a hoax: how a story about a law allowing Egyptian men to have sex with their dead wives went from rumor to front page of the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post and Al-Arabiya   http://bit.ly/JdEfpa

House panel wants $5.3B more for weapons: A powerful House defense spending panel has recommended adding more than $5.3 billion to the Pentagon's procurement accounts in 2013 to buy more aircraft, ships, vehicles and weapons, according to a report. http://bit.ly/Jl2a67

FACT CHECK: Romney oversimplifies debt 'inferno': A look at some of Romney's assertions and how they compare with the facts:
http://yhoo.it/Lc4kHI

Two killed as Colombia blast targets former minister: Video - President says two dead and several others, including ex-interior minister Fernando Londono, injured in explosion. http://aje.me/LOfxLb

Yankee, come here: Mexicans want US to clean up War on Drugs mess: More than half of Mexican voters want America take a bigger role in fighting against Mexican drug cartels, a pre-election poll shows. They want the US to take more responsibility for the violence, which they partially blame on the northern neighbor. http://rt.com/news/mexico-cartels-us-troops-390/

Nearly $2M in Guns, Combat Gear Sold to Gangs: A wide-reaching investigation by military and civilian authorities has uncovered a criminal conspiracy within the Armed Forces to steal and sell nearly $2 million in guns and combat gear to gangs in the U.S. and foreign countries including China, military officials have confirmed. http://mnstr.me/L6j6cI

Welcome to 1984: US has 55 daily encounters with "suspected terrorists": The figure - which equals more than 20,000 contacts per year - underscores the growing sweep of the watchlists, which have expanded significantly since a failed Christmas Day 2009 bombing attempt of a U.S. airliner. But officials note that very few of those daily contacts lead to arrests. http://reut.rs/Jg7KsR

FBI Crackdown on Anti-War Groups Targets Chicano, Brown Beret Activist Carlos Montes: A longtime leader in the Chicano, immigrant rights, and antiwar movements, Montes' arrest in a May 2011 raid followed similar FBI raids on activists in Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois targeting fellow members of a political group called the Anti-War Committee. http://bit.ly/JqPWca

China Real Estate Unravels: Foreign investors are pulling back from China's property sector. Foreign funding for property development was down -91.4% in March and -80.8% in April, compared to the same months last year. http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2012/05/china-real-estate-unravels/

Greek President Told Banks Anxious as Deposits Pulled: Central bank head George Provopoulos told Papoulias that Greeks have withdrawn as much as 700 million euros ($891 million) and the situation could worsen, according to the transcript of the president's meeting with party leaders on May 14 that was published yesterday. http://bloom.bg/JRByJX

Moody's to downgrade 21 Spanish banks: Moody's is set to 'significantly' downgrade 21 Spanish banks within a week, following a cut of credit ratings on Italian banks, the Spanish economic daily Expansion said on Wednesday. http://bit.ly/KxbGmP

South Korea, Japan ask EU to extend oil insurance on imports of Iranian oil Source
Related posts: New US public Lamp Posts can Hear, See and give Orders Source
Related posts: Viruses used to generate electricity Source
Related posts: Japan to restart two nuclear reactors Source
Related posts: The Netherlands becomes first in Europe to pass net neutrality law Source
Related posts:
>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<< []
MERCREDI 16 MAI 2012
[]

19h58 - Manifestation · Les étudiants se dénudent à nouveau
         Des centaines d'étudiants dévêtus ont marché dans les rues de Montréal, mercredi soir.  Agence QMI
19h28 - Trop d'affamés au Canada · Des ministres conservateurs ridiculisent l'ONU
         Les reproches du rapporteur spécial des Nations unies à l'égard du Canada où trop de gens ne mangent pas à leur faim ont été accueillis comme   une douche froide par le gouvernement de Stephen Harper. Agence QMI
19h00 - Conflit étudiant · Québec opterait pour une loi spéciale
        Le gouvernement opterait pour une loi spéciale pour encadrer le retour en classe des étudiants en boycottage. Agence QMI
18h49 - Fonds d'investissement · Des terres agricoles pour profiter des garanties du gouvernement
         Des fonds d'investissement achètent des terres agricoles pour profiter de leur rendement ainsi que des généreuses garanties du gouvernement,    une situation que déplore le Parti québécois. Agence QMI
16h22 - À l'UQAM · Les cours de droit suspendus jusqu'à vendredi
        La direction de l'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) a décidé mercredi d'annuler les cours de droit jusqu'à vendredi inclusivement à la suite       de la manifestation étudiante qui s'est déplacée jusqu'à l'intérieur du pavillon Judith-Jasmin. Agence QMI
15h24 - Loi 33 sur le placement syndical · Une requête en nullité constitutionnelle déposée
        Le Conseil provincial du Québec des métiers de la construction (International) s'adresse au tribunal afin d'annuler la loi 33 qui modifie la loi sur le         placement syndical. Agence QMI
15h09 - Conflit étudiant · Québec a en main une contre-proposition
        La FECQ et la FEUQ ont fait une proposition au gouvernement, qui s'inspire de l'entente de principe conclue après le marathon de négociations de        la semaine dernière.  Agence QMI
14h29 - À Jean Charest · «Arrêtez de jouer aux gros bras», dit Pauline Marois
         Pauline Marois a lancé mercredi matin un appel pressant au premier ministre Jean Charest de ne pas opter pour la ligne dure dans le conflit     étudiant. Agence QMI
13h33 - Métro · Les passagers voyageront en Azur
        Le public a fait son choix, c'est le nom Azur qui désignera les nouvelles voitures de métro, a précisé la STM. Agence QMI
13h19 - G20 · Les policiers ont violé les droits des citoyens
         Les policiers ont bafoué ces droits « lorsqu'ils ont interpellé et fouillé des gens de manière arbitraire et sans justification légale ». Agence QMI
13h01 - Conflit étudiant · La ministre Ménard préoccupée de l'impact sur le tourisme
        La ministre du Tourisme, Nicole Ménard, s'inquiète du possible impact négatif des manifestations étudiantes sur la prochaine saison touristique à       Montréal.  Agence QMI
09h13 - Métro de Montréal · Encore des interruptions
        Un objet sur la voie percuté par un train a provoqué la fermeture d'une partie de la ligne orange et une panne a eu lieu sur la ligne bleue. Agence I
05h52 - Loi 33 · Placement syndical: la bataille portée devant les tribunaux
        La centrale prétend que la loi «porte gravement atteinte aux droits des travailleurs par des entraves substantielles à leur liberté     d'association». Agence QMI
02h06 - Hydro-Québec · 90 000$ de surtemps
         Plusieurs employés ont touché le pactole en doublant leur salaire et même plus. JDM
01h58 - Saint-Mathieu · Des travaux à refaire
        Un viaduc flambant neuf de 5 millions de $ pourrait être démoli et reconstruit. JDM
01h51 - Grève étudiante · Cri du coeur déchirant
        La directrice du collège Lionel-Groulx exhorte le gouvernement à agir et vite. JDM
01h41 - Cégep Lionel-Groulx · Des professeurs s'en mêlent
         Les enseignants qui se sont interposé pourraient faire l'objet de mesures disciplinaires selon un avocat spécialisé en droit du travail. JDM
01h08 - Grève étudiante · Vingt manifs de suite!
         Les protestations nocturnes perdent des marcheurs mais persistent. JDM 

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)

From: "Paul Downie"
Subject: Duel at Blood Creek
http://vimeo.com/13121783

Worth a visit.
Both in itself and what it's a part of.

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.
From: "rory j. koopmans"
Subject: Executive Dissertations: The Ox-Bow Incident
http://rjkoopmans.blogspot.ca/2012/05/ox-bow-incident.html

===================================
Subject: The Latest from Impolitical
[]

Juxtapose

Posted: 15 May 2012 03:59 AM PDT
This is a refreshing political tone:
In a dignified ceremony in a red and gold hall in the Élysée Palace, François Hollande, 57, was invested Tuesday morning as president of France, the first Socialist to hold the office since François Mitterrand left office in 1995.
"We are a single France, undivided," Mr. Hollande said after his investiture, promising a presidency of "dignity, simplicity and soberness." He vowed that "the state will be impartial because it belongs to all of its citizens" and insisted that a united France could meet its difficult social and economic challenges, but warned that the country "cannot have sacrifices on one side and privilege on the other."
He said he wanted "to open a new path for Europe," based on economic growth as well as fiscal discipline.

Video of Hollande's speech is worth a look too. Speaks throughout about justice, the planet rates a mention (environment) and there is that commitment about the impartiality of the state.

Meanwhile, just to point to yesterday's goings on in Conservative Canada, we must endure the ongoing uber-partisanship of the Harper government ministers such as Baird and his cartoonish silliness about a carbon tax. And we must endure an arrogant Finance Minister who has little time for details apparently. Might be $10 billion in cuts from OAS, might be $12 billion. He hears different things. Maybe they'll get around to clearing that up at some point, if we're important enough to them.

Quite a contrast.

===================================
From: Larry Kazdan
To: "ProvLetters (VAN_Exchange)" <provletters@theprovince.com>
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Residents try to block meters, Kent Spencer,The Province May 15, 2012

Re: Residents try to block meters, Kent Spencer, The Province May 15, 2012
http://www.theprovince.com/health/Residents+block+meters/6622436/story.html

Prior to 2010, any BC Hydro project greater than $50 million required regulatory review by the BC Utilities Commission. This gave citizens and any other stakeholders an opportunity to question the claimed benefits, and it was up to BC Hydro to demonstrate that their project was in the best interest of the ratepayer. But in 2010, the BC Government passed the Clean Energy Act, which exempted the Smart Meter Program from the regulatory review process and denied the public their chance to scrutinize this initiative. Is it surprising so many lack trust in the safety and necessity of these wireless meters?
_______
To: letters@nationalpost.com
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Hypocritical UN council sends env
oy on Kafka-esque Canadian visit, John Ivison, May 16, 2012

Re: Hypocritical UN council sends envoy on Kafka-esque Canadian visit, John Ivison, May 16, 2012
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/05/16/john-ivison-hypocritical-un-council-sends-envoy-on-kafka-esque-canadian-visit/

Ours is a rich country. If there are seniors, aboriginals and children experiencing hunger in Canada, the governors of our great country, along with respectable commentators like John Ivison, have the answer: Let them eat cake.
_______
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Thomas Mulcair disease: Canada's would-be PM slips on the oilsands, Lorrie Goldstein, May 16, 2012

Re: Thomas Mulcair disease: Canada's would-be PM slips on the oilsands, Lorrie Goldstein, May 16, 2012
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/16/thomas-mulcair-disease-canadas-would-be-pm-slips-on-the-oilsands

Lorrie Goldstein thinks a prime minister should have a big vision of Canada, and agrees with Thomas Mulcair that we should refine more oil here. Perhaps Mr. Goldstein might recommend that the government stop ignoring climate change, stop denigrating environmental groups, stop trying to ram through pipelines and instead develop an industrial and energy policy that benefits Canadians across the country.


===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
_______
Subject:  Black is white, up is down???
Diane Finley E-I comments appear to contradict those of Finance Minister
http://cd989.com/2012/05/diane-finley-e-i-comments-appear-to-contradict-those-of-finance-minister/
___)____
Subject: I am appalled with our Finance Minister! DD

Joe--the kids graduating from College/University will mostly have exorbitant student loans to pay back and they are not supposed to use their education to do that? Sorry Flaherty, picking apples does not make enough money to pay back the loans. So maybe this is a move to eradicate student loans also so that the young people will only be fruit pickers and join the military, then we can bring in 'educated' immigrants to fill the jobs(I don't know where all those jobs are that Flaherty talks about--most unemployed people I know can't find any jobs).
As for Flaherty and the CPC 'caring' about us--the sad truth is that all Parties serve their masters and those masters are not the people in our 'democracy'.
Becky
_______
Subject: Bill C 30 not dead--just changing country of origin???

But Canadians without jobs will have their EI denied if they don't relocate to find jobs?  I wonder if we will be allowed to relocate to China?   Of course Harper wants to have China in charge of electronics used in Canada.  They are the experts at monitoring everything on line, phones, internet etc, so Bil C30 isn't dead it is just being rerouted???
Becky

Chinese firm's Canadian contracts raise security fears
Barred by the U.S. and Australia, tech giant Huawei makes inroads in Canada
By Greg Weston, CBC News
Posted: May 15, 2012 9:04 PM ET
Last Updated: May 15, 2012 11:58 PM ET
Read 483 comments483
...
Despite all the warnings, the federal and Ontario governments have rolled out the red carpet to Huawei, officially praising the Chinese company's partnerships in Canadian telecom projects with Telus, Bell, SaskTel and WIND Mobile.
During a recent visit to China, for instance, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was "honoured" to have witnessed the signing of large contracts for Huawei to provide Telus and Bell with the latest LTE high-speed wireless networks across Canada....
"China is a totalitarian government, and Huawei operates at the sufferance of the government, and those relationships are there. Even if Huawei management wished them away, they would still be there."...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/05/15/pol-weston-huawei-china-telecom-security-canada.html

===================================
From: Steve Campbell

Note: From a correspondent.  I am in full agreement. - sc

    Two cents worth.    The executive branch cannot enter into a treaty with another sovereign state without the consent of the Senate.   Even if the Senate were to provide its approval with a 2/3 vote, the treaty is invalid on its face since it violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.   In other words you cannot amend or rewrite the Constitution, by abrogating provisions of the Constitution through the use of the Treaty power. 
     Does the rule of law matter to the current regime?  Of course not, which is why "they" will go ahead with this agreement.  And all Federal Officers who obey orders to confiscate the personal firearms of U.S. Citizens will be acting without legal authority.     
 
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 1:41 PM
Subject: This Passes, There Will Be A Civil War
U.S. reverses stance on treaty to regulate arms trade.
 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.
 
The decision, announced in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, overturns the position of former President George W. Bush's administration, which had opposed such a treaty on the grounds that national controls were better.
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE59E0Q920091015

===================================
From: Robert Ede
Subject: Senate, Senators & the forgotten "Essence" of the Upper House
To: sunletters@vancouversun.com

Dear Editors re:


May 15/2012 Giving the Senate a democratic sheen serves no purpose

Please read the Constitution/ BNA on Senate's purpose, regional composition and Member qualifications

The west has 1/4 of the Senators as does each of the other Divisions/Regions Ontario, Quebec & the Maritimes+Newfoundland-Labrador.

What maybe folks miss is that Senators (as no other office in Canada) must meet a property-ownership (free and clear above debt) PLUS a net-worth qualification and maintain that "wealth" to remain members (s.23 & s.31) - unfortunately that Dollar amount ($4,000) has never been adjusted for inflation and that is how the Upper House got filled with party hacks.

No amount of fiddling with the selection process for Senators will make ANY difference until the intended "representatives of the propertied class" essence of the Senate is restored ... the Lower House doesn't want this restored, because the Senate's power would come at the Common's expense (there is only SO MUCH power ... it's a matter of how it's spread around)

Some Quotes re: the Upper House of "not" Commoners

G.E. Cartier -"to protect the regional interests and also a power of resistance to oppose the democratic element"
Sir James Lougheed - a "bulwark against the clamour and caprice of the mob"
Cicero (carved in oak frieze of Senate Speaker's chambers) - "It is the duty of the nobles to oppose the fickleness of the multitude"

Robert Ede,
Spokeman
The Majority of Canadians P.A.C

===================================
From: "Stephanie McDowall"
Subject: Erik Andersen: NERC and IPPs - a must-read

RAFE HERE

Please read this most revealing blog, by our economist, Erik Andersen, on how BC Hydro is being bankrupted while your rates and taxes are picking up the slack – which means that your rates and taxes are going into the pockets of foreign corporations.

And PLEASE PASS THIS ON – YOU WON'T BE SEEING THIS IN THE FRASER INSTITUTE (OOPS) I MEAN THE VANCOUVER SUN

Obscure US Corporation May Be Behind BC Hydro's Exaggerated Power Demand, Ruinous IPP Contracts - by Erik Andersen

What has been taking place is the rearrangement of control of bulk electricity production in North America by a private US entity. NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) has the power to enforce its will on producers and looks to have the legal authority to by-pass local utility commissions. It is this development that might be the key to the understanding of why BC Hydro has indulged in its aggressive contracting with Independent Power Producers in BC when domestic demand increases are non-existant.

Read story:
http://thecanadian.org/item/1487-nerc-reliability-bc-hydro-private-power-run-of-river-ipp-erik-andersen

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: Altruism--DD

"Our political and economic systems of today, are operating under the 'moral code of altrusim'
To which, our news headlines speak volumes on, asking Canadian citizens to sacrifice ourselves at the altars of the political and economic powers, and accept the chains willingly and eagerly without complaint."

Joe--this statement in the post by the Natroses says it all. Sadly it applies to most people in Canada. I guess it is easier to follow than to think for one's self?

Becky

===================================
From: Beverley Smith
The Tory budget megabill May 2012 and some effects on caregivers

By Beverley Smith
Women's and children's rights activist
521-18 A ST NW Calgary T2N2H3
bevgsmith@alumni.ucalgary.ca
_______________________________________________________________

As a school teacher I am very aware of how to write test questions fairly and, yes, unfairly. We are not to for instance have right minus wrong for True-False because really though that discourages guessing, it stops being about each question and about the game.
When we make multiple choice questions, it is not fair is 3 of the 4 answers are nearly correct and one is dead wrong.

When we write math tests, it is fairest if the student gets part-marks for the method so that if they flubbed the last step, they still get something. And a guiding principle for me is that if you require a student to get all 10 answers right or they get zero out of ten, that is just plain unfair. I like a point per answer.

The referendum about Quebec separation was unfair testing years ago, when it asked voters to endorse all items or none, without letting us differentiate each item at a time. The elected senate idea for instance was not the same popularity level as other items on the ballot but it was all or nothing. The new omnibus bill risks the same problem. There are so many items that if you love many but disagree strongly with one, what are you to do? It is an efficient way for government to get quick assent maybe but not a fair way to get actual feedback per item. The public does not have time for 200 votes but dividing the bill up into smaller ones to vote on separately would be fair.
_____________

That being said, let's look at the document to see if there are items there to strongly agree or disagree with, from the point of view of caregiving.

Let me just give a bit of feedback in general about the bill:

1. If I was facing a revenue of 255 billion with expenses of 276 billion I would feel a little queasy too. Most of us who run household budgets like to operate at least in the black. But the idea of just getting there, to no longer have deficits and to get the debt down, is not a universally good dream either. It sounds good, vital even, but governments are not like households. Let me look at why not:

-even households tolerate debt. That is how people buy their homes. It is good planning to borrow against a wise investment. I have no problem with government also having some debt. It means we have a future and are optimistic about it and girding up for it.

-a nation is not like a household. It is an even better investment. The house gets old, the land does not. The purchasers of the house will die, but citizenry of a nation will go on forever. The assets of a household are material goods, furniture, the building. The assets of a nation are broader - resources that can be developed, commodities like clean water and forests and minerals and oil and gas that can generate income. The assets of a house are not really self-perpetuating. A farm produces crops each year but the nation does that a thousand fold more. The nation will never run out of its key resources. The supply of minerals is huge. The beauty of the land for tourism is unchanging.

The purchasers of a house age, became unable to earn, and die. The people of a nation however are an endless wheel of new fresh labor, each generation.

It may be risky to have a household loan but most people risk it. It is much less risky for a nation to have a loan for the millions who carry this debt are part of a self-perpetuating ability to pay it.

I admit we must not get mired in debt. We can't let our economy sink like that of Greece or Spain but then the reasons for their problems are unique. A key feature seems to even be not having taxpayers pay tax that is owed. It may be that even their system works well if it is actually tried.

2. A key feature of any budget is the flow of money and sadly that means that this budget, like any federal budget of late, only counts some aspects of life. By not counting others, it however creates the impression the others don't matter and that is a real mistake. If you poll people on what does matter to them, money is not the top of most lists. People, family, relationships, love, happiness are on the top. So a federal budget by definition so far at least, wears blinders. The UN in 1997 held a meeting at Beijing to look at what budgets tend to ignore. They do not count in the GDP, many roles that actually anchor citizens, especially care roles. These usually are women's roles, which is not coincidence since it has historically been men who set up the economics tally.

When care of others is not counted, the math gets skewed. If early societies noticed men hunt and gather while women tend the hearth, there was a mutual dependence, an interdependence even. Today's budgets however tilt dangerously to only counting the hunter-gatherer roles. If we only value adults outside the home, in any role but caregiving, who will do the caregiving? If we don't count it, we then give the impression it does not matter and if we force those would do those roles away from them to be 'working' and contributing to the economy, we actually hobble the nation for it loses its caregivers.

That is what is gradually happening. We are seeing declines ni

birth- for people can't take time from earning

marriage- for people can't afford to set up homes till they pay off huge student debt

care of the sick at home- since no one is there to give this care, we are overloading hospitals

care of seniors at home- since no one is there to tend them as they age, we are seeing overloading of nursing homes


The idea that we can monetize and professionalize the care sector and consider it work has been tried. We have created

A child care industry- where parents pay strangers to tend the children

A senior care industry- where advisors and caregivers are paid to tend nonrelatives

A handicapped care industry- where caregivers are paid to tend the frail

However because we have specifically excluded family members from the above care roles with funding, we have still tilted the balance. We have still created an economy that does not value the care role for family members and that nudges if not pushes all adults out of the home. Some will be caregivers, for pay, but not for their own family.

What we then risk losing is the 'caring' part of a caring nation, where love is not entered into the equation for how you life. And what we risk losing then is democratic choice since those who need care and those who would like to give it are not allowed to be with each other if blood-relations. A budget that does not value care roles at home hobbles democracy and choice.

3. So we when we look at this budget, we see that there is a heroic effort to cut spending just to balance the books, and there is a heroic effort to streamline, to reduce waste and to reduce administration. But those are still on the one side of the ledger. They are only about the paid economy. We see no attention still to the unpaid economy- it is already unfunded and funding earners less will certainly not help it.

We see efforts to increase revenue. That is also heroic if you want simply to balance the books. But a person might wonder if the sources of revenue that are best are being adequately tapped/ The agenda of valuing and even enticing industry is clear. For some reaons corpoate tax is only 1.8% of the GDP but personal income tax is 7.1% of the GDP.
It is as if we think we have to treat businesses with kid gloves but why? Are they going to go elsewhere? That is our fear but really, would they? W'e've got what they need. We have the oil, the, the gas, the wheatfields, the power sources. We have the technology to get products to them and we are reliable. It is not much of a statement of faith in our country that we take the chance of selling what we have cheaply.

Why not tax corporations more and individuals less? I'm just saying. The current formula plays favorites as it's as if the parent always love business best. Unfair favoritism.

4. The predisposition of those who framed this budget is clear though in little ways.

"The economy is the government's top priority"

That quote is apparently the politically correct thing to say but why?

If my parent told me that in our house money is the top priority I'd think he

Was a pretty poor parent. I just returned from the funeral of a 91

Year old man who had 2 children 6 grandchildren and 20 great-

Grandchildren. His legacy is love. Tribute after tribute was voiced

About this man's dedication to family, how he'd go anywhere and

Do anything to help you run errands, babysit kids, shingle the roof,

Repair the combine. Was he all about money? Not at all.

And I don't want my country to be all about money either.

The Atlantic Institute is looking at other factors than money

In an economy. Many economists nowadays are enlarging their view and so should the federal government. It's good to put in place

An economic framework where people can afford to live,

But the emphasis should be on enabling them to have this full life

Not on how much they earn or pay in tax.

"The government of Canada recognizes that arts and culture is an important generator of jobs and growth"

Again this quote ends with the mantra that apparently is also now required

That any good thing has to create jobs. It's all about the money.

The other part, that it's all about growth, is the expected icing on the cake, that

We have to somehow always go onward and upward, forever earning

More and more, living in bigger and bigger houses. It is an odd goal for

It is naïve. There is no such thing as perpetual growth except for cancers.

It has to end some time. It is a bubble that bursts. It is much more realistic

To aim at enough jobs for those who want them. It is much wiser to aim

At the 'good enough' budget that gives people time to have a life not just

A career.

It is particularly ironic to express for the arts, a goal of jobs. Is that the

Purpose of a musical piece at a funeral/ Is that the purpose of a painting

By a small child that captures perspective or emotional beautifully? Is

The goal of a great dance presentatiojn, or the joy of song, to create jobs?

Surely not. Surely the arts is by definition that other side of life, the

Fullness and quality of life side, the one not about money.

For years now those of us who argue for care roles have tried to understand

How to frame the argument so those who only tally money might listen.

One strategy has been to argue, and it can be done, that it saves money for

Government to value care roles. If we have kids raised by those who love them,

Seniors in care of someone who understands them, if the handicapped are

Able to be mobile and in their own homes not in instiitutions, then we have

Greater happiness, which means less costly medical care, less stress and

Depression, less workplace absenteeism for those who earn.

You can actually argue the case that women at home tending children rather

Than being lazy and useless as some economists seem to think are actually

Huge contributors to the economy by their unpaid medical care work.

They save hospitals money. They save costs in the criminal justice system

And in the social work budget when those they care for don't need

Costly interventions or incarceration. You can argue that the

Household with a lower earning spouse actually pays more tax

Than the one with tow high paid earning spouses because of

The marriage penalty and our lack of income splitting in the tax system.

You can make the case that the state can't afford universal daycare for

Every child so it is cheaper, as Norway and Sweden have found, to also fund

Parents at home.

You can even make the case that if you have a birth bonus, and universal mat

Benefits and income splitting, all of which cost money to the state, the result

Would be more births, so more taxpayers, a larger labor force in perpetuity,

And a more stable tax base and more viable health care plan.

I don't mind making those cases but somehow catering to the bottom -line

Argument as the only message misses something. Yes we can prove that

Valuing caregivers is good for a budget. But we should also value caregivers

Just because it's good for people.
______________________________________________________________

What this budget is spending on

-there is a lot to help people' 'work' i.e. earn. This tilted balance

is consistent with the case made above, that to value paid work

also devalues and may hobble unpaid work. It may be the government

kicking itself in the foot unless it also values the care roles.

$25 million for youth employment strategy

$5 million to improve labor market opportunity for disabled

$28 million to help 'working' people to make some EI claims

$138 million to align EI benefits across the country\

1.4 million wage earner protection program

There are a lot of administrative spending commitments that risk not

Helping people so much as creating a middle level job for someone.

$25.6 million to 'strengthen' food safety systems

There are a lot of programs of intervention that do not directly fund people

but fund advisors to people. Worst case scenario that is like

giving someone who is starving a brochure about the importance

of food. It is vital that money reaches those in need and that we

don't condescend to assume they are not intelligent and would

misuse money so we only give them advice.

Eg. $11.9 million to shelter services and violence prevention

On reserves

Eg. 3.1 million for child advocacy centre for victims of crime

$5 million for support of victims of missing and murdered and abused women

(the problem is who does the money go to? Obviously not to the

missing- Is this again for administration?)

$14 million for Federal Victims of Crime Strategy (again, is this for

the victims of admin?)

$100 million for mental health programs for aboriginals

(it is a very thorny issue but one might wonder if it is not wiser

to help natives find their niche, fund their business not just

address how they have trouble coping with our society)

$3 million this year and $6 million nest to 'review' the disability RRSP program

Some programs actually absolve government of social responsibility and give taxpayer

money instead to a private sector caregiver industry. This may seem fiscally wise but

it does risk putting vital programs into hands of those with a profit motive or high admin costs.

Eg. $5 million to fund organizations that privatize services eg. New Horizons

For Seniors

There are some administrative moves that look good, in terms of streamlining

-exempt pharmacists from GST on some services, ideally so they

don't have to pass those costs along

-let more nurses order medical devices

` -monitor charities so they are not mainly political vehicles

(however there is a $5 milli budget to just monitor them and

that seems high)

-have a single email system for the public service - Shared Service Canada

Some moves do seem to address the finances of those who need care

-allow more medical devices to qualify for medical expense credit

Some moves do seem to address the finances of those who provide care

-student loan forgiveness for some rural doctors and nurses

Some moves may, by a stretch, seem to be about enhancing caregiving and

Connection to others

Eg. $75 million for broadbend access rurally

Some moves penalize those who need care

--raising the age limit to qualify for OAS and GIS

this hurts the most vulnerable, the elderly

-deferring the OAS as if that was fiscally wise for the public

in fact this asks seniors to bet they will live while the

government plays the role of banking on them not living

it has a cruelty to it.

-end the youth program Katimavik

-end the assisted human reproduction program

-decreasing the EI benefit 11.6% sounds fiscally wise if one

assumes those on EI are lazy and freeloaders who really could be

earning but in fact most are not. To cut their benefits hurts the most

vulnerable and they are not well enough organized or informed to

mount an objection. The bias our society has towards paid work

involves an enduring contempt for those who are without paid work

and a rally of the unemployed for more benefits would not get public

approval. And yet it should because many unemployed either

cannot earn because they are physically unable or they are already

working. That is the insight most economic plans and this budget

ignore- many who are not paid are doing work for free, often caregiving.

The enduring stereotype we have that a single mother on welfare is

lazy and not working is a vestige of the cruellest we have to dish out

to women - assuming that taking care of their kids has no value.

It is our one least link to patriarchy saying this woman, unlinked to

a male earner, is flawed. We have to move past that stereotype and

recogniize that any mother, married or not, is doing vital work to raise

a child and if anything needs help not condemnation and not urgnig

her away from her child. Cutting EI benefits to urge the caregivers

to 'get a job' and 'work' is very blind to work already being done.

Some moves seem to harm those who have paid work, depriving them of income and therefore decreasing their ability to pay tax, increasing their risk of needing social support. The Federal government is the largest employer in Canada yet it is not leading by example in ensuring, in tough times, that those who have paid jobs can still have them. Contrary to Roosevelt's policy of job creation in down times, this budget actually seems aimed at reducing jobs. Its budget plan is to cut 12,000 government positions in 3 years. Heads are rolling in Ottawa. That is demoralizing and harmful. That is problem one. The second one though is that it is cutting in areas of high vulnerability kind of like taking from those least likely to be able to object. It is often the vulnerable that take the hit

eg. Cut $26 million to aboriginal affairs

cut $179 million to public safety

cut $10 to agriculture

Though we do hear of generous pensions for civil servants and government rightly is clamping down on that, and requiring workers to contribute more to their own pension plans, and requiring them to retire not at 60 but at 65, there is an inconsistency.It is cutting entirely many staff, not just tightening their belt. That borders on cruelty.
I am not a big advocate for a huge civil service but I do think people need to have stable jobs and eat.

Some moves look like cost savers and yet will spiral into raising the cost of living

Eg. Removing the penny from circulation - instead of making it

More cheaply, we are creating prices that will all go up
____________________________________

This budget though could be looked at in the grand scheme as only one way to prioritize. Other ways could be envisaged and may be wiser.

1. It taxes corporations too little and individuals too much

-how about reversing that?

We read that government is very anxious to not raise taxes. It may fear this would lose it much popularity. But it could for sure rearrange taxes. How is it that despite not raising taxes and despite taking some low income earners off the tax roll entirely, it still forecasts personal tax revenue will be up 6.5% in 2011-2012? It seems to me that the little guy, the ordinary taxpayer, is being dinged and it is time we made the rich pay more and the big corporations pay most.

2. It gives 25% of the federal budget to transfer payments.

Yet that may not be enough given that the biggest and

Growing costs of governments are in the provinces.

Social assistance, social services, education, health care are all huge costs that the framers of the BNA Act did not assume would be as big as they now are. How about

Giving the people more money back for those programs and having less funding of a few federal programs?

We see that the provinces will get 28.6 billion for health and 11.9 billion for social transfer.These numbers sound huge but there is a game afoot, the numbers game. When you report a total, undifferentiated, and not per person, it looks generous. When you report a benefit as the budget often does, but count it as a total over 2, 3 or 5 years, the benefit sounds impressive. But actually worked out per person per day the amounts are paltry. And we need to hear those numbers reported that way.

As a teacher I am appalled at how poorly the schools are funded. They are poor cousins to the hospitals and the hospitals are themselves crying for more money. So that puts us in the schools way down the ladder. Why? It is if you trace the line, not the fault of the school board which itself got little to work with, not the fault of the individual school that itself got little to work with, not the fault of the department of education though we do rattle their cages to give us a bigger share of what they have. But the real fault is that none of them was given enough to work with. The transfer from the federal government was not enough. This amount is couched in the little games of big totals over several years but in fact, what is left for the schools is very small. It is too small. And the solution is to get a bigger transfer.

3. Helping kids more

If we assume that federal funds are needed least by healthy adults who are earning money and most by those who are unable to earn, then it is logical to be recognizing seniors. We can expect that the pension budget is quite large. But it is also logical that money spent on children would be large since they also are citizens, need to eat and be housed and clothed and they also are unable to earn. There are about 34,799,000 people in Canada and about 5.6 million of those are children or one-sixth. So one sixth of the budget spent on people would logically go to children. Yet it does not.

We see that benefits for the elderly are 40.4 billion. Benefits for children are 13.2 billion.

Why so small?

We have created an economy that treats children in a medieval way, as if they are property or chattels of a parent, so government expects that the parent will somehow find the money for the child without much help. And we treat children as if they are in some ways mistakes, as if to have a baby is at least in some cases a failure, be in a failure of birth control or a financial planning failure. So we not only don't fund it well but we also have a contempt for women in poverty or young women who have babies. This contempt further reduces the likelihood we will help them financially. We also treat children as hobbies, as if they are an indulgence parents whimsically amuse themselves with, like a yacht and as if it is a privilege only for the rich to 'be home' with the child. That attitude also reduces the likelihood we will consider child-bearing or child-rearing of real value to the economy, though it surely is.

But we could change that attitude. We could recognize that children are the secret to viability of the economy. Churchill said the wisest thing any nation could do was to put milk into babies but we have forgotten that. In fact Canada in the last decade has stood out internationally for the way it nearly ignores costs of child-rearing and how it funds only the hiring of strangers to provide care. Its maternity benefits program is widely praised internationally because it extends to nearly one full year, but its restrictions on who can get these benefits clearly indicate that the criterion is not having had a baby but on whether and how much you earned last year. This reverse criterion is bad enough since it values unpaid work only based on paid work, but it is also a reverse in that the higher your need, the less you get from government. Those who earned the most last year get the most financial help which is counter -intuitive to need but very consistent with the message that what really matters still, even for having babies, is not having babies.

We could change that.

4. rethinking EI - the EI program is kind of a 'just in case 'plan for those who get laid off and through no fault of their own suddenly don't have income. That's a noble idea. But it uses the criterion of 'work' that ignores many care roles. It was fair to rename the program 'employment' insurance not 'unemployment insurance' as was done years ago, because we removed stigma and corrected a misleading label. It was not a help to be unemployed after all.

But we are still not accurate in how we define 'work' and 'employment'. A mother in labor is not in the 'labor force' which is ironic and a person who creates a child is not deemed productive. We have to look again at whether it is appropriate to even fund care roles through a mechanism that only values paid work, as EI does.

It would be better to leave EI for the paid work sector and bernefits from not being in it suddenly. But we need a whole new program for the care roles. The maternity and parental and palliative care benefits we now give under EI should be administered in another way. They should not be linked to paid work at all A benefit for care roles should be based on the care role - who needs it, when it is done and by whom and for how long- not on how much you earned last year.

If we set up a maternity benefit based on the presence of a newborn needing care we'd eliminate a lot of unfairness and inequality among new mothers, birth or adoptive, employer or employee, paid last year or not.

If we set up parental benefits based on the existence of a child who needs care, we'd eliminate the huge administrative cost and unfairness of looking at paid work hours of a parent last year and if dad or mom qualifies and for how long. We'd eliminate the odd assumption that a mom's earnings can qualify a dad but that a dad's earnings can't qualify a mother. A more universal plan would be cheaper

If we set up a caregiver fund based not on paid work but on the need of care of the sick, handicapped, and dying, we'd eliminate a lot of red tape. The choice of who provides the care and where would be left to parents, where it should be. We'd eliminate the horrendous requirement that a child actually be expected to die soon in order to get benefits.

The EI program has historically been people's way of hedging their bets against unemployment but since most people don't' end up using it on any given year, the fund got huge. The surplus, put into general revenues was not fairly reassigned for it is money the people deserve. In a way it is like life where we don't want to die but keep betting we will and the company makes huge amounts of money because we don't for a long time.. I am concerned when I see EI benefits paid out pegged at 18.7 billion and premiums paid in at 20.1 billion. Surely the Ei program is not appropriate at least for caregiving for we want to discourage unemployment but we actually should encourage caregivnig..They are not the same level of 'unforeseen tragedy".

5. rethinking childcare

Right now we seem to think child care is not what the name implies logically, 'care of a child' but the more restricted version of care of a child by a non family member in a government regulated location. By funding only that smaller sector we ignore and therefore ensure risk of poverty of all those outside it. Even though research and polls show real preference in many cases for family-based care as an option and even though some locations of residence, some job shifts and some medical conditions preclude us of the government regulated care style, we have still biased the funding to only those who are the 'favored few'. This has created not just administrative headaches to see who qualifies for funds but more seriously hardship and a violation of the basic principle of equal benefit. Creating two tiers of kids will only perpetuate child poverty and sure enough we are seeing child poverty continue. It would not if money flowed with the child.

If we set up a fund for all children universally so money flowed with the child, we'd eliminate a lot of the red tape about what the care location and style is, the blood relation of the caregiver to the child, the income level of the parent and other factors that deprive us of equal benefit under the law. What we need is a funding formula that includes

- a universal birth benefit as in many nations - see below

-universal maternity benefit

-universal parental benefit

-universal funding per child that flows with the child to age 18- or longer

`if in post secondary -see examples below

In this way we'd eliminate the huge bill of a daycare space for the favored few at $10,000 per child per year and replace it with a universal benefit for every child, that costs less

By a family allowance or tax credit per child we'd eliminate the conditional and administrative headache of current deductions for CCED and for sports or arts programs, all of which currently perpetuate bias towards receipted nonparentsal carer.

6. rethinking how we tax individuals

It sounds noble to have a policy of 'every man for himself' but many people do not actually budget that way. Most people who live as a household share income. To tax them as if they do not is not logical. Recognizing that income has to spread over others is fair. Recognizing that having children reduces ability to pay tax is fair.

Income splitting was recommended in 1960 by a royal commission and it is already ni place for seniors' pensions and for parents of handicapped children. Why are they so special? It would be fair for all households. Why not let all households declare that they share income if they do? This different way of assessing tax may not change tax revenue to government too much (many people do live alone) but it would certainly be fairer. It would eliminate the single-income tax penalty that can be over 45% higher tax on some families. It would eliminate the illogic of assuming that a single person and a parent with four kids have the same costs. It would eliminate the inherent gender bias of the failure to income split that assumes that a man is the earner and all others are the dependants. Income splitting bumps all adults up to sharers, co-dependants, interdependent, and ensures lower earners, often women, are not therefore treated as lower class.
______________________________________________________________________

Conclusion:

The omnibus bill has some good elements and some problematic ones. It is not remotely fair to pass it as one huge package. As a teacher I try hard to notice individual needs. As a parent I don't treat my kids one size fits all. It is all about fine-tuning to be ethical and fair. When we write our laws it is amazing to even consider that we'd have a system where we endorse suddenly hundreds of ideas, take it or leave it, all or nothing. There is no need to be in such a hurry or so primitive. We are educated people and can handle the fine tuning. Let us.

Appendis

Here is what some nations are doing for children and the care role. Many have provided financial benefits urged partly by the feeling kids matter and will be tomorrow's adults but also lately motivated by the desire to ensure someone has kids, to reverse the birth dearth.
__________________________________________________

Appendix- a 2009 look at what other nations do for family allowance

-Austria- family allowance to all children up to age 18, and to those up to 21 who are seeking paid work. The amount starts at 105 euros per month per child and goes up as the child gets older, being 152 euros per month at age 18. There is no means test

Azerbaijan- family allowance universal, no means test, in amount of payments of 50 euros

Belgium- universal to age 18, up to age 25 for children taking professional studies. Amounts start at 81 euros and go up to 151 for second child and 225 for third child. There is a supplement in addition for children in single parent families. There is also a birth grant of 1107 euros for first child and 833 euros for other children

Bosnia, Herzegovina - means tested, to age 15-19, but universal for handicapped children. There is also a birth grant up to 50% of preceding year salary

Bulgaria - means tested to age 20 years, with lump monetary assistance on childbirth

Croatia - universal and not based on employment status and goes to whoever the court says is caregiver. Basic rate is from 27 - 41 euros depending on household income. There are higher payments to children with unknown parents. There is also a birth grant of 318 euros per child, universal regardless of household income

Cyprus- universal benefit to age 18 years or to age 23 if in college or 25 if in the military. There is a supplementary benefit for the poor. Basic benfit is 391 euros for one childn, up to 783 per child for a family with 3 children and 1292 per child for a family with four children or more. There is also a maternity grant of 446 euros, universal. This country also has a marriage grant of 607 euros per couple. Child poverty in
Cyprus is very low

Czech Republic -universal means-tested child benefit extends to age 15 years but up to 26 years if child is in college or vocational training. Amount goes from 30 euros for those under age 6 to 28 euros for those aged 15-26.. There is also a birth grant to the mother, to the father if the mother dies or to the person who provides permanent care of the child under age 1 year.

-Denmark- universal benefit to age 17 years. Benefit of $155 per month for yong child goes down to 110 euros per month for older children. Additional benefits go to lone parents. There is also a birth grant of 244 euros per child and a supplement for multiple births till the children are age 7.

Estonia- universal means tested benefit to age 16 and to age 19 if in school. The amount goes up for larger families, going from 9 euros per month for one to 19 euros per child per month if more than one. There is a payment of 169 euros per month more for families with 7 children or more. There is also a childbirth allowance of 320 euros. Studies found that child allowances were effective in reducing child poverty.
Finland- universal, to age 17 years and amount if 100 euros per month for first child going up to 161 per month for 4th child and 182 per month for 5th or later child. Tghere are supplements for single parents. There is also a birth grant accessible to birth or adoptive mothers.

France- universal benefit, not means tested, and given to families with 2 or children, and to age 20 years. Amounts increase as child gets older. Amounts start at 120 euros per child to 585 euros per child in family of 5 children and the supplements of 34 euros from age 11 and 60 more euros per month from age 16years. There is a birth or adoption grant fixed at 855 euros.

Germany- universal child benefit not means tested, to age 18 years or to 21 years if in college or seeknig jobs. Amount increases for number of children from 164 euros per child for one to 195 euros per child for fourth and subsequent. There is a supplement for parents who are at home or of personal low income.

Greece-- not means tested but given only to children of people in paid labor force. It goes to age 18 years or if in college age 22 years. The benefit of 8 euros goes up to 67euros for 4th child. There is also a birth grant of 881 euros for employees giving birth.

Hungary - universal child benefit not means tested, and to age 18years or to age 23 years if in school. Amount of 63 euros per child is increaed if the chid is handicapped. Amount also increases for lager families and for single parent families There is a birth grant of 22% of the minimum old age pension - about 278 euros.

Iceland - universal benefit for children to age 17 years but tied to parental income. Amount is increased as child ages and for larger families or single parent families

Ireland- universal not means tested- to cild aged 16 years or to age 19 if in school or disabled. The amount of 166 euros per month goes up for bigger families to 203 euros per child per month. There is a birth grant of 635 euros for multiple births.

Italy- a means tested benefit only for children of parents in paid employment> The benefit goes to children to age 18 years and is given only to lower and middle income households.

Latvia- universal and not means tested. The benefit goes to children to age 15 years or to age 20 years if in school. The amount nicreases for larger families - 11. euros for first child per month, but 20 euros per child for 4th ore more children. There is also a childbirth allowance of 421 euros. There is an even larger birth grant if this is a 2nd or 3rd or later child.

Lithuania - universal, not means tested, given to age 18 years.Lithuania has been increasing the cope of the benefit in recent years. The amount goes from 28 euros for young children to 15 euros per month is increased for larger families and can extend to age 24 years if the child is in school. There is an additional benefit to children who have no parents available and are in legal guardianship. There is a maternity benefit, a birth benefit and an adoption benefit.

Luxembourg-- universal benefit, not means teste4d, going to age 18 years but age 27 years if the child is seriously ill or in college. The amount goes up for larger families from 185 euros for one child to 802 euros for 3 . As children get older they get a larger benefit. There is also a birth grant of 1740 euros, given in 3 instalments.

Malta - benefit is adjusted for household income and is only given to Malta nationals. The amount of the benefit increases for larger families and goes to age 16 years but age 21 years if a student. Maximum amount of benefit goes from 87 euros per child for one child to 218 euros per child for larger families. There is no birth grant but there is a marriage grant of 227 euros.

Monaco-the benefit of 126 euros for infants goes up to 266 euros for those over aged 10 years. Benefits are restricted to having one parent in paid employment. There is a pregnancy grant.

Montenegro-The benefit goes to children age 15 years, but 18 years if in school. The amount if 18 euros per month per child with increases for those with disabilities. There is a newborn allowance, akin to a birth grant, of 100 euros

Netherlands- the benefit is universal and not means tested. It goes to age 17 years and the amount increases with age from 193 euros for the young to 276 euros for those aged 12- 17 years. The amount also increases for larger families. The amount doubles if the child is a 16-17 year old student or aged 16-17 and not living at home.

Norway- the benefit is universal, nto means tested and goes to age 18 years. The amount is 118 euros per child with a supplement for those living in the north. Thre is a maternity or adoption grant of 4092 euros per child,. Single parent families get larger subsidies

Poland- the benefit is universal and not means tested. It goes till the child is 18 years old and the amount goes up as the child ages, from 13 euros for the yong to 18 eyros till age 18 years or 24 if in school. There is a birth grant of 261 euros per child with more for the poor.

Portugal- the benefit is means tested and goes to age 16 years, or 24 if in school or disabled. The amount goes down as the child ages. There is a supplement for large families Amounts of benefit are large only till the child is age one year

Romania- universal benefits are given and are not means tested. They go to children up to age 18 years and there is a birth grant of 59 euros per month. There is also a 200 euro wedding grant per spouse.

Russian Federation- there is a means-tested benefit till the child is aged 16 years, or 18 if in school. There is a birth grant of 234 euros with supplements for larger families

The amounts of benefit are small

Slovakia- universal benefit is not means-tested and is 16 euros per child. There is a birth grant of 4560 euros with supplements for multiple births

Slovenia - there is a universl means- tested benefit to age 18 years or 26 years if in school or infirm. The amoutn varies with household income goes from 90 euros for the poor to 18 euros for the wealthy. The amount increase for larger families. Thre is a birth grant of 259 euros.

Spain- a universal benefit is means-tested and given to children up to 18 years, longer if the child is disabled. The amount decreases as the child gets older and is from 500 euros per year till age 3, then 291 euros per year to age 18. There is a birth grant of 2500 euros with supplements for single parents or large families.

Sweden - the universal benefit is not means-tested. It is given to age 16 years and increases for larger families. There is also an allowance to students in college for 10 months each year.

Switzerland- the benefit is for those in certain occupations only, especially agriculture and that benefit is not means tested. It extends to age 16 years or up to 25 years if a student.. Some cantons but not all provide a birth grant.

Turkey - the benefit is means tested and only goes to children of married civil servants. There is a flat rate birth grant to civil servant mothers also but paid to the father if both parents are civil servants. There is also a wedding grant

Ukraine - the child allowance to age 3 years is not means tested but from ages 3-18 years is means tested. The amount is 17 euros per month for the young and there is a birth grant that is larger for larger families.

United Kingdom - the universal benefit is not means-tested. It is 18 euros per week for the oldest child and 12 euros per week for each other child. It goes to age 16 years or age 20 if in school. There is a maternity grant for the poor.
www.coe.int/familypolicy/database

Respectfully submitted

Beverley Smith

Former president Kids First Parent Assoc of Canada
Member Fund the Child Coalition
Recipient Queen's Golden Jubilee medal for community activism

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