Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daily Digest June 9-10, 2012 030


Canada's massive shipbuilding plan headed for stormy seas
.....Yet while the Harper government has held up the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS),
as the $35-billion plan is dubbed, as a success in the making, significant problems threaten to run it aground.


Bob Rae deserves a chance to run for leadership of Liberal Party of Canada
Disarming the CHRC: Canadians owe Conservative MP debt of gratitude

Haters will love changes to human rights act
Ottawa needs to spell out priorities for Canada's shrinking military

Toronto the Stupid: City's new plastic bag bylaw a classic, back-of-a-cocktail napkin kind of thing
Aboriginal representation at the Supreme Court

If you fly to a trouble spot in the world, it's your responsibility Mulcair's oilsands position 'hypocritical'

Mulcair: NDP to target youth

Rookie MP moonlights as pediatric surgeon to maintain medical credentials
Federal changes convert St. John's into outpost

Pat Mahoney, Calgary's last Liberal MP, dies at 83
The state of Canadian politics, according to Goodale

Liberal leadership race kicks off in July

Ranchers fed up after Alta. oil spill

Redford calls Alberta oil spill an 'exception' as cleanup continues

Duceppe More Thin-Skinned Than Harper? Not Amused by Zoofest Comedy

Elizabeth May at centre of fight against Conserative omnibus budget bill
Canada condemns Syrian massacres – again

Move to former Nortel site to save $50M a year, DND says
When war comes home

Cabinet shuffle expected to put new face on Stephen Harper government
Christy: Here's your to-do list

Parents of Liam Reid, boy going blind, question fairness of system
Edmonton gay community pleased by Redford's attendance

Controversial Muslim preacher to speak in Calgary

Haters will love changes to human rights act
How to make politics smart again

Jury is still out on Thomas Mulcair's makeover of the NDP
Omnibus budget bill is an affront to Parliament and the public.

Baby, there's no hidden agenda
Canada's arrival challenges go beyond airport rents

Good riddance to part of a bad law
Harper shouldn't dismiss outright IMF's appeal for help for Europe

Not sorry enough: Cops' apology to humiliated dad falls short
Plastic bags, the new Puritan cause

Liberal leadership race kicks off in July
Cabinet shuffle expected to put new face on Stephen Harper government

Elizabeth May at centre of fight against Conserative omnibus budget bill
Redford calls Alberta oil spill an 'exception' as cleanup continues

Leadership questions leave us in a Rae daze
Rae can run, but can he win?

Justin Trudeau most popular choice for Liberal leadership: Poll
More DFO cuts could be on the way, minister says

Quebecers may view veterans, military past differently
Euro fears haunt global economy

Public servants wear grey squares to show solidarity with laid-off workers
G20 contributions to euro zone becomes a Canadian political issue

Senate reform would be boon for East, say MP and taxpayers' group
Redford confident Alberta can handle pipeline breaks

Cleanup of latest Alberta oil spill could take all summer
Alberta residents angry after oil spills into nearby lake

HMCS Charlottetown stays busy on Red Sea
MPs facing hundreds of amendments to budget bill

Can Internet snooping protect us, or do criminals just get used to it?
Quebec mulls buying Leclerc Institution from feds

Senator probes declining drug trials in Canada
Simplified border-crossing policy clarified to exclude child-porn offenders

Nunavut rallies against extreme food prices
Inuit protest food prices that leave some hungry

New Inuit leader seeks to guard development of resources
Elusive snakehead fish finally caught after Burnaby Central Park lagoon partially drained

Bailout for Spain's troubled banks could top $100B
Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for 91st birthday

Taliban 'kill four French troops'
Bid to hide bloodbath changes game in Syria



CONSTRAINTS exist for most of us, this past week mine has been not being at home but with grandchildren and Janet and Chris were in Italy and Spain at a meeting held by the company by which he is employed.

Bill C-38 the Omnibus Budget Bill (OBB) has a common thread through much of its alterations in our way of governance.  It is simply this: decision making is best done by the Executive Branch without let or stay.  Let in the sense of directions being questioned, weaknesses considered and then decisions being made.  Stay in that decisions made by the Executive held up from being implemented.

The O.B.B. is 450 pages in length touching on and making alterations on scores of aspects of governance included in the Bill with the expectation few of which would be questioned before being made law.

To this point they have not been - time allocation has moved acceptance forward rapidly.

Upcoming are actions that will place constraints and that may publicize the alterations being made and their nature if proceeded with.

Actions that will slow passage for an estimated 30-60 hours of debate.

As yet undetermined is whether there is an action play, a ploy, a gambit in the offing to derail the slow down plans  - or whether they will go forward.

Following are some of the OBB actions being questioned;

What is important to know about Budget 2012?

Bill C-38, the government's Budget Implementation Act, proposes fundamental legislative changes to the federal regulatory system and allows for expedited big resource projects.

People are concerned about the bill's impacts on the environment, jobs, and health care and the effects it will have on our natural resources management and on our fisheries. Here are a few of the many changes proposed in Bill C-38 that will affect our lives:

·         Repeals and replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), the central piece of federal environmental legislation
·         Responsibility for the environmental assessments for most projects becomes the responsibility of provinces and the Federal Government   would limit its reviews to discrete areas of federal jurisdiction
·         Gives Cabinet ultimate decision-making for major projects, not regulatory bodies
·         Repeal of the Kyoto Implementation Act no more domestic or international accountability measures on climate change
·         Allows the government to eliminate the National Round Table on the Environment

·         Elimination of fish habitat protection in Fisheries Act
·         Protection is limited to commercial, recreational, or Aboriginal fisheries and their habitat, as opposed to all fish and all fish habitat in Canada
·         Temporary alteration or destruction of fish habitat is not prohibited unless it can be shown to have resulted in the death of useful fish

Natural Resources
·         Exclusion of concerned groups and citizens from the environmental review process for pipelines and possibly other projects
·         Cabinet granted authority to override a "no" decision of the National Energy Board (NEB) politics will predominate over independent     expertise.
·         Allows the board to exempt pipelines from the requirements of the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
·         Allows the NEB to issue permits for development even when the project could affect species listed under the Species At Risk Act
On top of environmental deregulation, the omnibus contains sweeping changes to many other ways the federal government provides services to Canadians. Many amendments have no link to the purpose of the bill: to set out the way the government will spend money for the year.

·         No comprehensive plan to create jobs at a time when unemployment, particularly among youth, is high and wages are not keeping up with the cost of       living
·         Forces Canadians to work two years longer, to age 67, to qualify for Old Age Security
·         Cuts workers' access to Employment Insurance benefits if they don't take any job the Minister of Human Resources deems "suitable"
·         Repeals The Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, which sets minimum standards for hours and wages of construction workers working on federal     projects
·         Removes federal contractors from the protection of The Employment Equity Act.

Health Care
·         Shortchanges cash-strapped provinces of expected health transfers by $31 billion
·         Weakens food and drug regulations to allow the Minister of Health to exempt products from regulatory oversight at her discretion
·         Ends vital Auditor General oversight of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
·         Paves the way for private contractors to perform food safety inspections

Government Ethics and Oversight
·         Removes the Auditor General's powers to hold government accountable through independent oversight over 12 key government agencies including the         Northern Pipeline Agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canada Revenue Agency
·         Eliminates CSIS's Inspector General, who provides oversight on the intelligence agency's activities and who recently released a report critical of CSIS          activities
·         Eliminates organizations that produce independent policy research including Rights & Democracy, the National Council of Welfare, and the First Nations  Statistical Institute
·         Dissolves the Public Appointments Commission designed to ensure key positions are assigned based on merit instead of insider connections

Arts and Culture
·         $115 million (10%) cut to the CBC budget, meaning less Canadian programming, more ads on the radio, less support for arts and culture and 650 jobs      lost
·         Loss of access to our historic and artistic heritage through cuts to Library and Archives
·         A $10.6 million cut to Telefilm Canada, and a $6.7 million cut to the National Film Board, and the elimination of the Canada Music Fund's Creator       Assistance Program