Thursday, May 17, 2012

Daily Digest May 17, 2012 030



Hard times for the Artful Dodger
         Thomas Mulcair disease: Canada's would-be PM slips on the oilsands
Mulcair takes page out of 1980s' Grits playbook
         Politicians pull country apart
NDP making inroads among traditional Conservative demographics
         Thrill is gone in Canadian marriage
EI urgently needs reform ­ but is reform what we're going to get?
         Jim Flaherty calls a family meeting
Bad Liberal habits amplified by Tories
         New Tory laws set for collision course with the courts
Quebec's streets not unique in staging discontent
         The politics of generating power ­ and winning it
Redford fumbles the oil sands file
         Harper gov't refuses to release secret report on pensions
Conservative MP calls for law to protect unborn from bullying
         Thomas Mulcair refuses to back down on 'divisive' West-East argument
Tories shut down 'groundbreaking' freshwater research station
         Old Age Security affordable without changes, watchdog says
Canada pledges draft oil and gas regulations by 2013
         Robocalls scandal raises concerns about privacy issues: Report
Tory ministers crash budget hearing, leaving little time for questions
         Cross-border shopping a $20B economic drain
Affected notices go out to more than 1,000 workers at Fisheries and Oceans.
         Feds half-empty buildings cost $11.5M
Mulcair's oil-sands musing risks halting NDP momentum
         The Mulcair doctrine on high profits and artificial dollars
Federal study suggests relocating EI recipients
         Ottawa urged to come clean as 'mass hysteria' mounts over EI reform
Help wanted: Ottawa withholding EI reform details
         29,600 PS jobs to be cut by 2015: economist
Infighting plagues military watchdog
         awyers challenge Ottawa's move to erase immigration backlog
B.C. NDP banks on Brian to put them over the Topp
         CRC conducted five-month national security probe into leaked F-35 story
Tories should look at alternatives to F-35s after U.S. subcommittee recommends cutting $528-million from its own purchase, say MPs
         Tories seek to have robocalls challenge thrown out of court
Western premiers call out Thomas Mulcair for 'divisive' comments on oil sands
         Oilsands profits inflated, Mulcair charges
Western premiers fume as Mulcair sticks to 'Dutch disease' guns
         Heritage minister blasts Science and Tech museum sexhibit
Opposition wants answers on Chinese firm's telecom deals
         Budget cuts losing Canada friends and allies around the world: academics
Hypocritical UN council sends envoy on Kafka-esque Canadian visit
         5 Wing promises off the radar, MacKay response confirms
Environment panel never pushed carbon tax, president says
         Retailers brace for more cross-border shopping pain
Soft drink industry fights back
         Ottawa to auction exploration rights in massive area in the North
Ornge key legal adviser introduced Mazza to McGuinty
         Ontario electronics recycler chose price over performance, critics say
Emergency Quebec student law suspends semester
         Conservative Senator tries to get sons'school to open in Quebec
COPE calls for MLA meeting on adult education
         Canada should drop 'self-righteous' attitude over food: UN Rapporteur
EI reform will drive down wages for everyone: CLC chief Georgetti
         Direct subsidies for political parties shrink 
Budget 2012: environmental laws run over by an omnibus Page 3
         Supertankers could take over Vancouver Harbour Page 1 


NATO's Inward Outlook: Global Burden Shifting"

Read On

         "Focused Engagement: NATO's Political Ambitions in a Changing Strategic Context"

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"Challenges for the Security Sector in Afghanistan: How to Save Reform?"

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        "NATO and Crisis Management Operations: A Canadian Perspective"

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"Smart Defense"

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        "NATO-Russia Relations: Toward a "Strategic Partnership?"

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"NATO, Russia, and the Vision of a Euro-Atlantic Security Community"

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        "NATO and the Middle East: A Positive Agenda for Change"

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"Turkey's NATO Agenda: What Role in the Middle East?"

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        "The Transatlantic Bargain After Gates"

Read On
US plan to attack Iran 'ready' » Read more
        Iran warns to sue Google over PG » Read more
Spain's Queen cancels UK trip over row » Read more
        Russia warns West against 'hasty wars'» Read more
Israel wants Assad downfall: Army gen.» Read more
        US senate to mull new sanctions on Iran» Read more
'UK govt. fails to stimulate economy' » Read more
[]         'Iran not to budge from nuclear rights'» Read more
[] 'US continues to enforce slave-era laws'» Read more
[]         'Sharia is main source of Egypt's law'» Read more
[] 'Sharia only source of new constitution'» Read more
[]         'EU loans undermine Greek sovereignty'» Read more
»See more articles 'US hijacking protest movement in Syria' » Read more
         'West behaving irrationally over Iran' Read more
'US commits crimes under NATO flag' » Read more
         'Suffering by-product of US corporatism' Read more
Israeli Police Target Activists as Social Protests Restart

US Military Option for Iran is 'Ready,' : American Ambassador
The United States has completed its planning for a military strike on Iran, the US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said in remarks at a closed conference in Tel Aviv.

'U.S. Congressmen Live in Fear of Pro-Israeli Intimidation' Many American senators and congressmen "keep quiet" and refrain from criticizing Israeli policies because they "live in fear" and are "intimidated" by pro-Israeli groups such as the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), according to J Street founder and President Jeremy Ben-Ami.

Never Forget That Bradley Manning, Not Gay Marriage, Is The Issue The truth is that what matters to those who aspire to control our lives is not skin pigment or gender, or whether or not we are gay, but the class we serve.

US DEA Kills Innocent Civilians in Honduras -- US Media Silent Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), dressed in military uniforms, killed at least four and possibly six civilians in a raid which took place on Friday, May 11. The victims included two pregnant women and two children.

Judge Rules Indefinite Detention Provisions Likely Violate the 1st and 5th Amendments This afternoon's ruling came as part of a lawsuit brought by seven dissident plaintiffs - including Chris Hedges, Dan Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Birgitta Jonsdottir - alleging that the NDAA violates "both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Shoot Down a Drone, Become an American Hero Video "The same Congress that let the president bomb Libya is going to let his Air Force spy in our backyards and like potted plants, they'll look the other way." Judge Napolitano said this week.

Left to Fend for Itself The Plan to Kick Greece Out of the Eurozone This is what's in store for Greece, banishment; because it refused to cut payrolls and - didn't dismantle social security fast enough or crush its unions with sufficient gusto or auction off its national treasures to foreign capital according to plan.

Greek Euro Exit: "Army On Streets & Border Shutdown" Video European politicians failed to see that the single currency's existence is in peril, trying to blame the system's failures on individual countries.

Is JPMorgan's Loss a Canary in a Coal Mine? The sleek, silver-haired, too-smart-for-his-own-good CEO of America's largest bank has been turning every television show within reach into a confessional booth.

How Government and Corporations Use the Poor as Piggy Banks The trick is to rob them in ways that are systematic, impersonal, and almost impossible to trace to individual perpetrators.

11 killed in deadly Taliban attack on Afghan governor office: Eleven people, including four Taliban fighters, were killed and more than a dozen others were injured when militants attacked a provincial governor's compound in western Afghanistan on Thursday, May 17 international media reported, quoting Afghan officials, according to RIA Novosti.

Afghan Massacre : Survivors Recall Horror Of Attack By U.S. Army Sgt. : The survivors' accounts lend an urgency to the official version of events, and they convey the brutality and the seeming randomness of what took place in those early-morning hours.

U.S. Requests Help To Pay For Afghan Army: Obama is unlikely to say so, but outside estimates of the U.S. share of the bill for Afghan defense after 2014 range from a quarter to well more than half the total bill. The U.S. will also be on the hook for other support to Afghanistan, but the amount is unclear.

Afghanistan to pump oil for the first time: Afghanistan will start pumping oil for the first time within five months, an official said yesterday, as part of the nation's efforts to tap underground treasures estimated to be worth billions.

Cut off every cent of aid to Pakistan: US lawmakers: Prominent American lawmakers have asked the Obama administration to cut off every cent of its aid to Pakistan terming the country a "black hole" where the US has already "sunk" a whopping USD 24 billion since 2004.

7 killed in Libyan border town: At least seven people have been killed in clashes between armed men and residents of a Libyan town on the border with Algeria, officials said, underlining the insecurity that still plagues the country one month before elections.

US shadow war in Horn of Africa revealed by blogger: Cenciotti has described in unprecedented detail the powerful aerial force helping wage Washington's hush-hush campaign of air strikes, naval bombardments and commando raids along the western edge of the Indian Ocean http ://

Growing the Empire: US to Assign Army Brigade to Africa for Training: Army leaders say a combat brigade will be assigned to the Pentagon's Africa Command next year in a pilot program that will send small teams of soldiers to countries around the continent to do training and participate in military exercises.

Three Turkish soldiers killed in PKK clash: Three Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels near the Syrian border in southern Turkey on Thursday, the provincial governor's office said.

U.S. kills three "militants" in Yemen: official: A suspected U.S. drone attacked a convoy of Islamist militants in eastern Yemen overnight, killing three people, a local security official said on Thursday, as Washington intensifies its aerial campaign against fighters linked to al Qaeda.

U.S. escalates clandestine war in Yemen: -- In an escalation of America's clandestine war in Yemen, a small contingent of U.S. troops is providing targeting data for Yemeni airstrikes as government forces battle to dislodge Al Qaeda militants and other insurgents in the country's restive south, U.S. and Yemeni officials said.

Syria's UN ambassador says two Britons killed in Idlib: Two Britons have been killed while "engaged in terrorist armed operations" in Syria, the country's ambassador to the United Nations has said.

Syria to show captured mercenaries: SYRIA'S President Bashar al-Assad has promised to display captured foreign ''mercenaries'' who have been fighting his regime and denounced Western governments for failing to protest at the violence being perpetrated by his enemies.

U.S. Helps Syrian Rebels: The Syrian rebels have become better armed in the past few weeks, apparently receiving weapons that have been paid for by its Gulf neighbors and coordinated in part by the U.S., say opposition activists as well as U.S. and foreign officials.

Army: Top Al-Qaeda chief in country left for Syrian: The Lebanese Army and Palestinian forces have information that Al-Qaeda's No. 1 operative in the country and four other members in Fatah al-Islam left the refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh for Syria in the last two days, sources told The Daily Star.

Syria: Church under attack as Christians leave Homs: The city of Homs, the third largest in Syria, has now seen almost its entire Christian population of 50,000 to 60,000 flee for safety as fighting continues in the stricken country,

Opposition Syrian National Council head Burhan Ghalioun 'to resign': Burhan Ghalioun, who was re-elected as SNC leader on Tuesday, said he would step down once a replacement is found. The move comes as a key activist group said it may leave the SNC over what it called errors and a lack of consensus.

Clashes kill 1, injure 7 in Lebanon: Fresh sectarian clashes erupted between pro- and anti-Syrian districts in the north Lebanon port city of Tripoli on Thursday, leaving one person dead and seven wounded, a security official said.

IDF soldiers open fire near Gaza border, 8 wounded: Israeli forces opened fire near the Karni border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported on Thursday, adding that eight civilians were wounded, two of them seriously.

BBC Poll: Israel's global image plummets: Israel ranks among states perceived to have most negative influence on world, according to BBC poll; only Iran, Pakistan do worse, Israel's image hits nadir in Europe

Israeli intelligence head 'visited US for Iran talks': Israeli military intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi made a "secret visit" to Washington earlier this month to discuss the upcoming talks between world powers and Iran, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Engineering Consent For An Attack On Iran :  Former Spain PM: Russia believes Israel will prevent Iran nuclear weapon: Jose Maria Aznar says Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told him in 2000 that Israel must be wiped from the map.

Mitt Romney expected to visit Israel: Rumors are rife in Washington that Republican candidate for the US presidency Romney plans to upstage President Obama in Israel.

Mladic trial suspended 'indefinitely': Presiding judge adjourns trial of Bosnian Serb military leader on second day, on grounds that prosecutors made "errors".

Veterans Say No to NATO: While the president and the Pentagon are handing out posthumous medals, a number of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan will be marching, in military formation, to McCormick Place in Chicago to hand their service medals back

Hondurans demand DEA leave after killing: People in Honduras' predominantly Indian Mosquito coast region burned down government offices and demanded that U.S. drug agents leave the area, reacting angrily to an anti-drug operation in which they say police gunfire killed four innocent people, including two pregnant women.

Mexican generals detained 'for gang links': Mexico's former deputy defense minister and a top army general are being questioned for suspected links to organized crime.

US Military Manipulates the Social Media: The US military is developing software that will allow it to secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

ECB Stops Loans to Some Greek Banks:  The move comes after Draghi acknowledged for the first time that Greece could leave the monetary union.

Grexit could have Lehman effect - experts: Greece's departure from the eurozone could create a domino effect for debt-choked Portugal, Spain and Italy, similar to that caused by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, experts say.

Bankia shares plunge again as it denies withdrawal rush:  Shares in Spanish bank Bankia have again closed down sharply after concerns intensified about the struggling group's finances.

Spain and Ireland Did Not Overspend and Overborrow: As President Reagan used to say, "there you go again." Yes, the Washington Post is once again telling its readers that the problem in Europe is profligate spending by the crisis countries. The fact that this is not true apparently does not concern the paper.

France will not ratify current EU fiscal pact: New finance minister Pierre Moscovici says eurozone pact must be renegotiated to promote growth rather than austerity.

California, the ninth largest economy in the world, resorts to austerity: California, America's 'golden state', is slashing spending to avoid a Greek-style default

>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<

JEUDI 17 MAI 2012

18h30 - Assurance-emploi · Processus d'appel «encombrant et coûteux»
        La restructuration des tribunaux d'appels sera «moins encombrante et moins chère». Agence QMI
17h32 - École · Contrer l'homophobie
        Le premier colloque Homophobie : s'outiller pour effacer l'intimidation s'est tenu dans la métropole, jeudi. Agence QMI
17h09 - Édifices à moitié vide · Coût: 11,5 millions $
        Des immeubles fédéraux à moitié vides coûtent 11,5 millions $ par année aux contribuables. Agence QMI
17h02 - Loi spéciale · Dénoncée par les professeurs et les syndicats
        Des professeurs d'universités dénoncent avec vigueur le recours à une loi spéciale pour mettre fin à la crise étudiante, qui représente         selon eux un grave recul dans l'histoire du Québec. Agence QMI
16h42 - Conflit étudiant · Un ultime appel au dialogue
        Un front commun a lancé un ultime appel au dialogue au gouvernement Charest, au lendemain de l'annonce par Québec de    l'imposition d'une loi spéciale. Agence QMI
15h39 - Québec · Interdiction de porter des masques : volte-face du maire Labeaume
        Comme à Montréal, la Ville de Québec a songé à modifier sa règlementation afin d'interdire aux manifestants de se couvrir le visage     avec un foulard, une cagoule ou un masque, mais le maire Labeaume a demandé le retrait de cette directive. Agence QMI
15h22 - Ottawa · Les subventions directes aux partis politiques en baisse
        Les partis politiques fédéraux recevront près de 8 millions $ de moins cette année des contribuables, en raison de l'élimination        graduelle des subventions directes aux partis politiques. Agence QMI
15h19 - Mine de diamants · Québec a son gemmologue officiel
        Le ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) aura son gemmologue spécialiste de l'évaluation des diamants, en   prévision de l'ouverture prévue de la mine de Stornoway Diamond Corporation en 2016. Agence QMI
14h46 - Conflit étudiant · Québec déposera sa loi spéciale à 20 h
        Les députés de l'Assemblée nationale passeront une nuit blanche pour débattre du projet de loi spéciale du gouvernement Charest         visant à sauvegarder les sessions et assurer l'accès aux cégeps et universités.  Agence QMI
13h58 - Intimidation envers les journalistes · La ministre Saint-Pierre outrée
         L'ex-journaliste dénonce vigoureusement les agressions dont ont été victimes plusieurs représentants des médias dans les derniers       jours à Montréal. Agence QMI
13h53 - Été 2012 · L'essence devrait demeurer au même prix
        Selon l'Office national de l'énergie (ONE), le coût du litre d'essence régulière devrait être dans une fourchette de 1,20 $ à 1,35 $ le         litre. Agence QMI
13h33 - Québec · Des intervenantes des CPE syndiquées à la CSQ manifestent
        Le rassemblement éclair, d'une quinzaine de minutes, se tenait tout près des bureaux de la ministre de la Famille, Yolande      James. Agence QMI
13h29 - NPD · Mulcair et les provinces de l'Ouest à couteaux tirés
        À ne pas inviter à la même réception: Thomas Mulcair et les premiers ministres provinciaux de l'Ouest du Canada. Agence QMI
12h53 - Québec · Loi spéciale: Le ton monte au Salon bleu
        La tension a monté d'un cran, jeudi matin, sur le parquet du salon bleu de l'Assemblée nationale, au lendemain de l'annonce par le      premier ministre Jean Charest du dépôt d'un projet de loi spéciale visant à mettre fin au conflit étudiant. Agence QMI
04h07 - Homophobie · Soutien dès le secondaire
        La polyvalente Le Carrefour en Outaouais a mis en place un comité LGBT. JDM
03h14 - Contre la loi spéciale · Une manifestation mouvementée afin de dénoncer la loi spéciale
        La manifestation a été déclarée illégale par la police peu avant minuit et demi. Agence QMI



PM to attend G-8 and NATO Summits & G20 abuse charges coming against

A rhetorical question in that it would not be raised was there not in my viewpoint a similarity between actions being taken against citizens who were in no way shape or form a threat and the use of  the Forces of the Department of National Defence in wars against countries and peoples that posed no threats to Canada.

Few will disagree that the Prime Minister at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20 and 21, 2012.  ought not to be pressured from the current position that Canada will be out of Afghanistan by 2014.

There are and will be differences of opinion on Canadian Forces being supportive of actions against Syria or Iran at the present time - and who knows which other countries that some come to view as " global security challenges"

The view presented here is there is not now any overt threat to our country and that engaging in attacking states that do not threaten Canada serves no positive purpose for us as a people. Rather our most positive role can and ought to be both being and being seen as world leader in rapid and effective disaster response.


"History has taught us that we are at our best when we take a fully integrated whole-of-government approach to disaster response, drawing on a wide range of tools and assets. To that end, we have a number of tested standard operating procedures that clearly outline roles and responsibilities of government actors in the minutes, hours, and days that follow a catastrophic event. While the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's (DFAIT) Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force leads in co-ordinating the overall response, many departments and agencies play an essential role in this effort."

Related articles:
Towards a Grand Strategy for Canada
Towards A Grand Strategy for Canada, Part 2
Rahul Singh imagines a leaner, less combat-oriented Canadian Forces.
The Canadian military is just one piece of the disaster-relief puzzle.

From the Prime Minister's Web Site ( )

PM to attend G-8 and NATO Summits

May 17, 2012
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will travel to the United States to participate in the G-8 Leaders' Summit at Camp David, Maryland, on May 18 and 19, 2012. He will then participate in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20 and 21, 2012.

At the G-8 Summit, Prime Minister Harper will reinforce Canada's commitment to working with international partners to bring forward concrete solutions to the world's most pressing economic, political, social and security challenges.

"The state of the world economy is a key priority for Canada, whose economic growth over the recession and recovery period has stood out strong among G-8 countries. I look forward to working with my counterparts to create the conditions for future prosperity and job creation in a global environment of fiscal restraint," said Prime Minister Harper. "I also look forward to discussing critical political and security issues as we continue to promote freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."

The G-8 Summit brings together the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union also participates and is represented by the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. The leaders of Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania have also been invited to participate in a discussion about food security on the continent.

At the NATO summit, Prime Minister Harper will reinforce Canada's commitment to helping advance ongoing issues that are central to the success of the Alliance. The Prime Minister will be joined by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Minister of National Defence, Peter Mackay.

"Canada is a key player in NATO, providing active contributions in Afghanistan and recently in Libya. The Alliance is a cornerstone of Canadian security and defence policy and a major contributor to international peace and security," said Prime Minister Harper. "We share our Allies' determination to face common challenges and threats together and look forward to working within a strengthened Alliance that is more modern, flexible, agile and ready to face 21st century security challenges."

NATO was created by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington on April 4, 1949, to promote the stability of the North Atlantic area and to safeguard the freedom of its people, based on the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The Alliance has now evolved into one of the most important international organizations dealing with global security challenges. Canada views the Alliance as the primary forum for security consultation and cooperation between Europe and North America.