Friday, July 13, 2012

Daily Digest July 11-12, 2012 030



Tory MP blasts his own government over Bethune visitor centre
An outspoken Alberta Conservative MP is condemning his own government's decision to spend $2.5 million
on a new visitor centre honouring Canadian doctor and communist supporter Norman Bethune.

Why Canada's 'War on Science' Is of Global Concer

The day the earth moved in Ottawa
Liberals claim middle ground in oilsands controversy

Time to take Mulcair seriously, even if we don't like him
Conrad Black's desperate fight to save his Order of Canada

Canada needs a Prime Ministers Club
Onus is on Ottawa and Enbridge to make the pipeline case

Smart tolls the best solution to our traffic woes
Harper is right about Calgary

Unions, equality and democracy
Harper and the premiers need to talk

It's hard to understand Canadian studies cuts

All Canadians should be able to buy private health insurance
MacKay advised to get a good deal on jets

The irrational hatred of Harper
Senate reform bill still stuck in House, one expert warns once passed its consequences will be unknown

Carleton U concedes problems with $15M donor deal for politics school
The Nanos Number: Is the NDP becoming a national force?

NDP Leader Mulcair says oilsands access should be opened up, but not with new pipeline
NDP's Mulcair sticks to his guns on energy during Stampede visit to oil country

Harper deploys diplomats to counter U.S. climate change campaign
High or low, tax policies about as popular as politicians who write them: poll

Companies caught off guard by decison to cancel military truck deal
#hypocrisy: Clement widely mocked for Twitter communism controversy

Soupcoff: Why Tony Clement's dumb snipe at Stephen Wicary brightened my day
Elections Commissioner won't investigate US political consultant for hitting the 2011 campaign hustings with two Conservative candidates

Ezra Levant And Brian Lilley Of Sun News Target Tony Clement And The Conservatives Over Norman Bethune Centre
Former premier Danny Williams sues Muskrat Falls critics for alleged defamation

Calls for Alberta pipeline safety review grow louder
Supreme Court scraps some copyright fees on downloads

What the Supreme Court will really decide in the Etobicoke Centre case
Elections Canada due for an 'upgrade' running elections; parties could be 'gaming' election system, say political players

Close Iran's Ottawa embassy: Nazanin Afshin-jam
Iranian embassy 'fomenting unrest': Toews

Ottawa takes new interest in the health effects of wind energy
Defence Department keeping tabs on opposition critics

Peter MacKay Coming to a Military Base Near You With "Announceables"
Budget cuts imperil Canada's national parks

Recession, unemployment drive Americans north
Tony Clement joins Ezra Levant in attack on Twitter against former Globe editor for moving to Cuba

PMO backs expensive tribute to Maoist apologist
What's it pay to be Stephen Harper's chef or housekeeper?

CBC loses court battle to photo-journalist over 9/11 documentary
Analysis: Anthem affair prompts Stampede to out-of-date Alberta stereotypes

Global smuggling probe delivers heavy blow to 'snakehead' ring
B.C. Premier puts Enbridge on notice over pipeline safety

Mulcair predicts demise of Northern Gateway pipeline project
Enbridge to apply Michigan leak lessons to Northern Gateway, soon-to-be CEO says

Double-bunking in crowded prison cells is not a problem for Toews
No inmate influx means $1.48B in the bank, Toews says

Magnotta case and online surveillance bill linked in memos
Quebec election timing won't be more auspicious for Liberals

Trailing in polls, Legault expects to win next Quebec election, wants anglo support
Quebec elections: Parties getting ready for social-media election

Public inquiry into mall collapse may be complicated by criminal probe
Hillier splits from property rights group

Movie about Russell Williams set to air on U.S. network July 21
U.S. Olympic uniforms made in China should be burned, critics say

Windsor-Detroit tunnel reopens after bomb threat investigation
Target announces full list of Canadian store openings for 2013

Report by former FBI director finds Penn State concealed child sex abuse
B.C.'s Simon Whitfield named Canada's Olympic flagbearer

Maple bid for TMX clears last regulatory hurdles
105-year-old Toronto woman forced to wait 10 years for long-term care told to wait two more

Syrian diplomat rejects Assad, joins opposition
Palace outrage as Australian magazine publishes intimate photographs of Prince William and Kate's island honeymoon

Newfoundland franchise owner trades in family KFC dynasty for healthier fare
Osama bin Laden's driver released from Guantanamo after serving 10 years for aiding terrorism

Enbridge Execs Got Big Pay Raises After Continent's Costliest Pipeline Spill
Shrink Wrap: Postmedia's 'Get Smaller' Survival Strategy

Frank Ocean's Big, Big Week
Gastown Grand Prix is Back!

BC premier calls Enbridge's US oil pipeline spill disgraceful
TransLink reverses decision to cut TaxiSaver program

NDP will push back against Tory attack ads, says Mulcair
Oil sands debate not 'either-or': Liberal leader Rae

Members of Sliammon First Nation approve treaty by vote of 318-235

_____JULY 11TH
You had it coming, Prime Minister

The NDP attack video on Stephen Harper released yesterday is misleading and mean-spirited. It quotes him out of context. It comes with an ominous voiceover.
It shows the prime minister in an unflattering pose – sweating like a dog.
In other words, it's just the type of ad Stephen Harper has been using against opponents for years – and getting away with.

O'Malley: NDP Ad Watch: Is this the voice of a deputy opposition leader?

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney cries out for thanks
The government is right to pay out severance

Obama, the Pierre Trudeau of America
Physician, restrain thyself

Choices at core of health care dispute
What it really means to be a Tory

Is corruption the cost of saving Afghanistan?
Harper's 'Calgary is No. 1' comment stirs the pot

What's really at stake in the Etobicoke hearing? Trust
Unique glacier research facility in Yukon hit by federal cuts

Feds and Mint spent $56,000 on penny-killing photo op
Federal Crown lawyers reach 15.25 per cent tentative pay deal

Is Canadian sovereignty at risk with cross-border policing?
Feds completely shut down long gun info collection

Canadian Banks Seen Superior by Regulator Surviving Global Shock
'Don't interfere': Ottawa warns Iranian embassy over alleged recruitment of expats in Canada

Canada's best city? Stephen Harper says Calgary
Charest set to pull plug?
Google Translation...

Tories tweak Bethune brand to build bridges with China
Can Valcourt handle three portfolios?

Fantino wasn't on anyone's short list except PM's: aid rep
EI changes to hit new workers in big cities hardest, study says

Oda did, in fact, smoke in her office: Spokesman
Stampede officials scramble to find agreeable version of O Canada

Calgary Stampede apologizes for dropping French in 'O Canada'
Bevilacqua's advice for Opitz: don't wallow and worry and remain focused on the riding as Supreme Court mulls decision

Pull plug on Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline, says NDP's Thomas Mulclair
Development of oilsands 'important': Rae

Turning 88, Eugene Whelan feisty as ever
Government would face major battle on supply management, experts say

Albertans take private health care ban to court
Immigration officer shoots down residency claimant for failing to prove he's gay

Vancouver traffic congestion deemed worst in Canada
Canada's environment minister to crack down on "third world" sewage practices

Wind power foes welcome new federal study on health effects
Poll offers disheartening news for BC premier, Liberals

Enbridge Pipeline Plans Down, But Not Out
Time to Learn to Think


Voting for Peace in the Distant Desert
U.S. Opens Investment in Burmese Oil and Gas, Over Suu Kyi's Advice

  Brazil Launches Campaign to Decriminalise Drug Use
  Report Details Steady Erosion of Iranian Justice System

  Mozambique's "People from Germany" Wait Decades for Salaries
Protests Rising Within China

  Asian Mussel Invasion Largely Ignored by Southern Cone Governments
Iowa Firm Accused of Displacing Tanzanians for Profit

U.N. Showcases South-South Successes
  Scientists Declare State of Emergency for World's Coral Reefs

  Norwegian Study Calls for Research on Natural Causes of Climate Change
The Guinean Women Who Earn a Little Coin From Gardening

OP-ED: World's Ailing Oceans Find a New Dawn at Expo 2012
Amid Stormy Waters, Caribbean Tacks South

Coral Triangle Fights to Save Reefs from Extinction
Europe Dithering on Tobin Tax

South Sudan Celebrates a Troubled First Birthday
South Sudan's Women Await Independence From Poverty

Brazilian Environmental Activists Killed in Shadow of Rio+20
'Reforms' Legacy Rocks Romania Again

Obama's Education Policy
Fruitful pressure

  Power Struggle in Egypt Pins Muslim Brotherhood Against Military
Romney's Education Policy

Is Haiti's Reconstruction Path Paved in Gold?
Does the American Elite Want Real Public Education?

Romney's Exit from Bain: Lying Then or Lying Now?
As 'Statute of Limitations' Approaches, Wall Street Crimes of 2008 Go Unpunished

Are US, France Pressuring Palestinian Authority to Quit Arafat Probe?
Animal Rights Advocates say 'Show Business Is No Business' for Wild Animals

'Dangerous Partnership': The UN's Increasing Use of Mercenary Firms
Wikileaks Scores 'Significant Victory' vs Visa/MasterCard

Nick Turse: America's Shadow Wars in Africa
Robert C. Koehler: War and Climate Change

Seumas Milne: London Olympics is a Corporate, Militarized Lockdown – Why Not a Games for All?
Robin Wells: Mitt Romney's Offer of Government of Billionaires, for Billionaires, by Billionaires

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting: Small Business Baloney: GOP Tax Claims Should Be Factchecked
Amy Goodman: The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain (Folk)

Glenn Greenwald: Excuses for Assassination Secrecy
Alice Bell: Why Canada's 'War on Science' Is of Global Concern

Video... Jeremy Scahill: Obama's Foreign Policy Deception
Center for Economic and Policy Research: OECD Strikes Out in Explanation of the Causes of Inequality

Sierra Club: Polluters Wage Legal Attack on Life-Saving Carbon Pollution Standards
Food & Water Watch: House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill Fails Farmers and Consumers

Russia and Cuba to strengthen ties again after years of break

Related posts:
Gorbachev urges Russia's Putin to quit
Putin nominates Medvedev for PM position
Putin wins Russian presidential vote
Russia to develop defense project in USA's backyard
Eurasian Union: Greater than EU, but not new USSR

Obama, Romney clash over US policy towards Iran-LatAm tie

Related posts:
Obama tells Venezuela to Cut its Ties with Iran and Cuba
Americas summit ends divided over Cuba and Falkland
Venezuela cuts ties with US over Iran
Venezuelan President warns US is plotting to wage war between Koreas
Illegal immigrants highlight Hispanic challenge for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

ACTA was defeated but now comes CETA

Related posts:
ACTA rejected by committee in crucial blow before final EU Parliament vote
ACTA rejected by EU Parliament committees in crucial vote
EU suspends ACTA ratification, refers treaty to court
ACTA is worse than SOPA
Secret ACTA Agreement Leaked!

Obama Raises Historic "Medical" Army As US Elites Warned To "Prepare For Worst"

Related posts: European nationalists reject Acta  Source
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Italian researcher finds two new human faces on Mars

Related posts: Obama Pleads For Russian Help As US Drought Apocalypse Grows Source
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Related posts: Humanity's Greatest Secret: Stairway to the Universe  Source
Related posts: Eurozone crisis to worsen with Greek bailout package  Source
Related posts: China and USA oust Russia from Asia  Source
Related posts: Obama seizes control of all communication systems in America  Source
Related posts: Freezing temperatures kill 16 in Chile this year  Source
Related posts: US Army builds artificial mysterious island in Atlantic Ocean  Source
Related posts: Communists and Migrants in Greece protest against nationalists
Related posts:
Germans outraged at privacy law passed as football kicked off  Source
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>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<

22h58 - 80e marche nocturne · Bruyante malgré le peu de manifestants
        Une quarantaine de personnes ont marché dans une ambiance de fête lors de la 80e manifestation nocturne contre la hausse des droits de scolarité, jeudi soir, à         Montréal. Agence QMI
17h46 - Consommation · Nouveau recours collectif contre Bell
        La Cour d'appel du Québec autorise un recours collectif contre Bell Canada pour une affaire de ralentissement de service internet. Agence QMI
16h49 - Travail · Bell ExpressVu met ses employés en lock-out
        Après plusieurs séances de négociation infructueuses, Bell ExpressVu mettra ses employés en lock-out à compter de samedi. Agence QMI
12h51 - Conflit étudiant · La CLASSE en tournée à travers le Québec
        Si la Coalition large de l'Association pour une solidarité syndicale Étudiante (CLASSE) s'était faite plus discrète ces dernières semaines, elle a bien l'intention de faire un         retour en force en cette période estivale. Agence QMI
12h00 - Tranche la Cour suprême du Canada · Pas de redevances pour écouter des extraits de musique en ligne
        Les internautes n'auront pas à payer de redevances s'ils ont écouté des extraits musicaux avant d'acheter de la musique en ligne. Agence QMI


19h00 - Conflit à la CCQ · Lise Thériault nomme un médiateur
        C'est ce qu'a confirmé le bureau de la ministre, mercredi avant-midi, au même moment où plus de 200 employés en grève de la CCQ manifestaient devant les bureaux        montréalais de Lise Thériault.  Agence QMI
18h41 - Élections · L'été n'est pas propice, selon Marois
        Pauline Marois ne considère pas la période estivale comme un bon moment pour être en campagne électorale. Agence QMI
16h59 - Lutte contre le crime · Ottawa dépensera 1,5 G$ de moins que prévu
        Le ministre de la Sécurité publique, Vic Toews, a annoncé mercredi que le Service correctionnel du Canada a dépensé 1,5 milliard $ de moins que prévu en raison d'une   série de mesures d'austérité.  Agence QMI
15h19 - Politique · L'Ontario abandonne son registre des armes à feu
        Les détaillants d'arme à feu n'auront plus à recueillir certaines informations personnelles sur les acheteurs. Agence QMI
13h13 - Elliot Lake · Aide de 2 millions $ pour la relance économique
        Le gouvernement ontarien débloque 2 millions $ pour favoriser la relance économique dans la municipalité d'Elliot Lake. Agence QMI
11h21 - Politique · MacMillan part sans regrets
        Il prédit que la commission Charbonneau ne révèlera rien de gênant pour les membres du gouvernement libéral. Agence QMI
07h09 - 1er août · Une campagne électorale ?
        Jean Charest voudrait convier les Québécois aux urnes le lendemain de la fête du Travail, soit le 4 septembre. Agence QMI


Do you agree or disagree with the reaction expressed
on a facebook site that drew my attention to what if not
investigated and the practice ended will no doubt grow.

11:36pm Jul 12
AND this is really pissing me off!

Inside Politics

Elections Commissioner won't investigate US political consultant for hitting the 2011 campaign hustings with two Conservative candidates

by Kady O'Malley Posted: July 12, 2012 10:53 AM Last Updated: July 12, 2012 11:31 AM Read 76comments76
So, remember how I was briefly - and not particularly quietly - driven mad earlier this spring while attempting to determine, once and for all, if it was legal for American political tourists -- specifically, staffers with US-based election consulting firms looking to drum up business in Canada -- to hit the election hustings on behalf of Canadian candidates?

For those who missed that journey into labyrinth of election law, you can read all about it here and here, but to make a very long and exquisitely frustrating shaggy dog story short, the eventual answer was that no one, including Elections Canada, seemed to know for sure.

Well, it turns out that an as yet identified someone went a step further, and filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Commissioner of Elections (OCE), in which he or she alleged that Matthew Parker, the CEO of US-based political consulting firm Front Porch Strategies may have violated the existing Canada Elections Act prohibition against "inducement" of voters by "foreigners" during a brief spurt of canvassing -- by phone and door-to-door -- on behalf of Conservative candidates Julian Fantino and Rick Dykstra during the last federal election.
Earlier today, Democracy Watch released the OEC response on behalf of the still anonymous complainant, in which the commissioner concluded that it would not serve the public interest to pursue the matter further.

Unpersuaded, it seems, by the "internet information" provided in support of the claim -- online photos of Parker toiling in a phone bank at Fantino HQ, and a subsequent tweet in which he stated that he was "knocking on doors" with Dykstra in St. Catharine's -- the OCE concluded that the contested activity "was of very limited duration, and suggests that the purpose of the individuals' presence in Canada may have been partly or primarily to promote their business interests."

(Dykstra's 2011 election expense return lists a $947.90 payment to Front Porch for "miscellaneous services." There is no record of any payment to the firm by the Fantino campaign.)

In addition, it notes that "some of the relevant information or persons are not within Canada," which could make it difficult to "successfully investigate and enforce."

Finally - and perhaps most crucially - there is "no basis to believe that any elector was actually induced or affected in their voting behaviour" by the contested activity.

Not surprisingly, Democracy Watch is unimpressed with the decision not to investigate the matter, which it describes as "legally incorrect" and overly narrow in its interpretation of the law, and warns that it "indicates clearly that the Commissioner will likely never prosecute a foreigner for illegal influence of voters in Canadian federal elections."

Then again, as I pointed out in this post on the somewhat murky origins of the provision in question, it remains very much unclear whether Parliament -- or, at least, the parliamentarians who gave the current Act its most recent thorough legislative airing out in 1999 -- ever intended to declare the campaign trail off-limits to foreigners -- and don't even get me started on the seemingly infinite interpretations of the word "inducement," which is not defined in the Act.

In any case, should our current crop of politicians want to tighten the rules to keep out foreign electoral interlopers, it would seem easy enough to amend the law to make it crystal clear what is, and isn't, permitted. Until then, however, one can hardly fault the elections commissioner from declining to wade into the fray.

Here's the full text of the response:

This is in response to your complaint to Elections Canada in which you describe internet information indicating that two individuals associated with a business called Front Porch Strategies engaged in canvassing for one or more candidates in the May, 2011 federal general election.  Your complaint alleges a contravention of section 331 of the Canada Elections Act.
Thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of the Commissioner.
Offences related to influencing electors' voting decisions are difficult to successfully investigate and enforce.  In this case, an additional factor is that some of the relevant information or persons are not within Canada.  These considerations affect the Commissioner's assessment of your information and the public interest in taking enforcement action.

The information described in your complaint, found on internet sites or news stories, indicates that the activity complained of was of very limited duration, and suggests that the purpose of the individuals' presence in Canada may have been partly or primarily to promote their business interests.  No complaint to this office provided a basis to believe that any elector was actually induced or affected in their voting behaviour due to the activity complained of.
It is the Commissioner's view that, taking into account these considerations, it is not in the public interest to pursue this matter.

Note: As submitted to, and released by Democracy Watch, the original complaint refers only to Parker, but throughout its response, the OEC uses the plural. For the record, there were, indeed, two Front Porch staffers on the ground in Canada -- Parker and his partner, P.J Wenzel -- but for reasons known only to the anonymous complainant, only one was named in the initial filing.

Tags: blackberry jungle, elections canada, front porch strategies

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