Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Daily Digest July 4, 2012 030



Del Mastro lashes out against Elections Canada and the media over expense allegations
Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro lashed out at Elections Canada on Wednesday, accusing the agency
of leaking to the media and saying its handling of an investigation into his 2008 election campaign finances is "very unfair."
Serial public purse abuser quits
Oda quits; good optics for Tories

Bev Oda goes away quietly, true to form in Harper's Ottawa
Lavish expenses obscure Bev Oda's success as a minister

Bev Oda leaves a mixed legacy
Oda departure overdue, creates opportunity in Durham Riding

Bev Oda's departure: an overdue nod to accountability
No science, no evidence, no truth, no democracy

Canada should embrace Mexico's new leader now
Privacy worth fighting for

Global warming caused the heat wave that's burning cities and destroying perfectly good hair
Solomonic judgment on U.S. health care

Tories raised nearly $23 million in campaign funds last year: Elections Canada
Parties lose $1.86 million in pert-vote allowance as subsidy dropped 25 per cent

Critics question Fantino's promotion after troubled fighter-jet procurement
Harper's office says no cabinet shuffle this summer

Bev Oda had to go to maintain internal discipline of Tory caucus
O'Malley: Elizabeth May offers barbed 'defence' of Oda

Insider prompting led Oda to step down ahead of cabinet shuffle: source
Ibbitson: New cabinet faces alone won't repair damage Oda did to Tory brand

Scramble begins in Durham riding to replace Bev Oda - Liberals talking candidates...
Prison guards' use of force rises with overcrowding

Federal watchdog finds more cooked contracts at agency that teaches ethics
US Vets to Work ... On Canada's Pipeline

Strip clubs, adult services barred from using temporary foreign workers
Elizabeth May offers barbed 'defence' of Oda

Insider prompting led Oda to step down ahead of cabinet shuffle: source
Ibbitson: New cabinet faces alone won't repair damage Oda did to Tory brand

Scramble begins in Durham riding to replace Bev Oda - Liberals talking candidates...
Peter MacKay's future lies at heart of shuffle talk

Time to shuffle the deck, but Harper's short on aces
New military helicopters may not be ready for 5 years

Tories to hit Sikorsky for delay
The Sea King saga qualifies as Canada's greatest comedy

Canadians feel Harper working hard to improve Canada-U.S. relations: poll
Famed 'Aislin' says editorial cartoons won't die

Persona (non) grata? 'Expelled' Russian returned
Defence gets more time for disclosure in Canadian navy officer spy case

Department of National Defence outspends rest of government on hockey pucks, wrist bands
HMCS Regina sails from B.C. to Gulf as tensions with Iran escalate

Canada redesigned: U.S. public radio program rebrands the Great White North
Court rejects indebted Liberal leadership candidates' pleas for extension

Surging Tories escape omnibus backlash as poll shows NDP support is stalling
Polls show Canada actually more progressive after six years of Tory rule

Kenney 'clarifies' wording on refugee health cuts; opponents claim partial victory
Sarkozy holes up in Canadian cottage country as l'affaire Bettencourt rages

Consumers won't face copyright levy on memory cards
White supremacist can seek help online in attempt to prove racist claims: court

Quebec unveils central website for data
Competition Bureau won't challenge TMX-Maple deal

RIM Cutting Carrier Fee Shows 'Spiral' Concern
Ten questions for RIM CEO Thorsten Heins

CERN scientists say discovery could be the Higgs boson 'God particle'
Canadian facing jail for 'breathtaking' theft of U.S. historical artifacts

The bathing beauties of the 1920s who REALLY knew how to enjoy a day by the sea
Politicians warned against hiking taxes on jobs

Significant Growth Drives Ensight Canada Expansion
More »Paris mayor doesn't take sides after meeting with protesting Quebec students

One gaffe too many: prime minister's patience peters out for Oda's opulent tastes
More Pacific Rim trade talks under way in San Diego: Canada not yet at table

Canada's single-payer health plan turns 50
5 of Canada's biggest military deals

Defence Department axes signing bonuses
Tory minister targets NDP spoof site

Ontario PCs unfazed by labour
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow anyone?

Feds to tackle prescription drug abuse on reserves
MP pension hoard hits $1 billion

Pick a fight, win a war
Kenney rejects refugee health care concerns from provinces, doctors

Three Canadians earn award for working against Canada: Ethical Oil

The Interactive BC Carbon Map

BC Carbon Map: Sources, Sinks and Unknowns
Losing Taxi Savers Program Will 'Clip Wings', Say Users

VIDEO: Vancouver's Food Cart Scene
Metro Vancouver mayors vent infrastructure pain at regional roundtable

UNBC support workers in favour of strike
Slight reversal in federal refugee health cuts 'too little too late,' say doctors

Fraser River salmon shortage representative of West Coast trend: report
Enbridge faces $3.7 million in fines for 2010 Kalamazoo spill

Art Against Enbridge and Caravan Against Pipelines
Violence is Our Condition: Tactics without Diversions


'Syrians must be vigilant against plots'
Italy set to introduce more spending cuts

3 feared dead in RAF crash off Scotland
UK; 73 graduates vie for each vacancy

Entwistle to replace Thompson at BBC
Children face horrific sex crimes in UK

Poor students to become poorer in UK
Iran urges P5+1 seriousness on talks

Militants vow to attack NATO trucks
Iranian short to compete in Croatia

Libya pushes for ex-spy chief extradition
'Afghans reject US-led occupation'

Syrian forces clear Douma of rebels
'Iran to continue supporting Syria'

Canada displays 'Shahnameh' artworks
'Certain progress achieved in N-talks'

Sudan sign deals with foreign oil firms
"Latin American Spring" Kicking Off in Paraguay ~ by Adrian Salbuchi

4th of July 2012 ~ Death of USA Constitution ~ Paul Craig Roberts
Leader of Turkish Labour Party: Government of Justice and Development Party Responsible for Killing Hundreds of Syrians

SYRIA: Imperial Arrogance Spells Fatal Over-reach for the US and Western Allies ~ by Finian Cunningham
On Hindunazism ~ Bill the Butcher

Pro-Israel Saban Center Proposes New Framework for Persian Gulf Security
West seeks to distort Geneva accord on Syria: Russia

Donald Rumsfeld Returns to Georgia ~ Rick Rozoff & Stop NATO Updates
President al-Assad to Cumhuriyet Newspaper: Base of Syrian-Turkish Relations is the Relation between the two Peoples
Manufacturing Consent Today: Humanitarian Imperialism written by The Real News

'Israelis have a legal right to settle all Judea and Samaria'
Hamas Welcomes Probe Into Arafat's Death

Arafat's Death: More Than Just A Medical Affair – OpEd
Subway Bombing Drill Unannounced to Commanding Officers and First Responders

Terrorists Attacks, Mass Murder and Aliens: Plans of the Global Elite for the 2012 Olympic Games
Mystery Disease Kills 60 Cambodian Children

UC Berkley to Get $200,000 Armored Personel Carrier
U.S. Researchers Create 30 Genetically Modified Human Babies

TSA PreCheck Allows Fliers to Speed Through Airport Security with Little Hassle
The Effect of a Low Yield Nuke on a Steel Structure

Research Team Hacks Surveillance Drone With Less than $1,000 in Equipment
Police search Nicolas Sarkozy's home and office

Fox's Starnes Equates Obama Immigration Statement To "Declaring Martial Law"
Read More »
Halting Syrian Chaos

READ MORE Patriotism July 4, 2012
READ MORE A Court of, by and for the 1%

READ MORE Climate Change: 'This Is Just the Beginning'
READ MORE The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Global Corporate Coup D'Etat

READ MORE More GOP Slashes to Women's Services
READ MORE Student Loan Debt Suicides

READ MORE Arafat's Death: More Than Just A Medical Affair – OpEd.
READ MORE The Longest War: Overcoming Lies And Indifference – OpEd

READ MORE A Post 'Arab Spring' Palestine – OpEd
READ MORE Straight Talking: The Syrian Cauldron – OpEd

READ MORE Eco-Pirate Watson Fights For Animals Rights On High Seas And In Court-Rooms – OpEd
READ MORE Fracking In Ireland And Being Dependent On Halliburton's Mud – OpEd

READ MORE Iran Viewpoint: Saudi Arabia's Role In Supporting West's Oil Sanctions Policy Against Iran – OpEd
READ MORE The Ramallah Fiasco Should Never Happen Again – OpEd

READ MORE Spy Vs Spy: The Anti-Climax – OpEd
READ MORE Ralph Nader: Walmart Support A Minimum Wage Raise

« Older Entries
USA to arrest world's largest sailing ship because of Jewish books
Related posts: French police raid home of former president Nicolas Sarkozy
Related posts: Britain's Atlantis found at bottom of North Sea
Related posts: Mexico declares emergency over new bird flu outbreak
Related posts: Kim Jong Un begins to westernize North Korea
Related posts: Eurozone unemployment rate at record high in May
Related posts: New telescope to guard Earth from killer asteroids
Related posts:
The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism - Yearly Evaluation: 2011
>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<

20h40 - Forum mondial de la langue française · Des dizaines de visas refusés
        Le Canada a refusé d'octroyer des dizaines de visas, principalement à de jeunes chercheurs africains. AFP
20h21 - Cours de natation obligatoire · Courchesne va de l'avant
        L'idée d'implanter un cours de natation obligatoire à l'école primaire a rapidement fait son chemin dans la tête de la ministre de      l'Éducation. Agence 
18h35 - Élections générales · Le PLQ accélère la machine
        Alors que les rumeurs d'élections générales persistent depuis déjà plusieurs semaines, TVA Nouvelles a appris que le Parti libéral du   Québec (PLQ) accélère la machine dans le but de convoquer les Québécois aux urnes aussi tôt que septembre.  Agence QMI
18h02 - Coopération internationale · Julian Fantino remplacera Bev Oda
        Julian Fantino sera le nouveau ministre de la Coopération internationale, afin de remplacer Bev Oda qui a annoncé mardi sa démission    dès le 31 juillet. Agence QMI
17h29 - Intimidation en milieu scolaire · Une nouvelle chaire est inaugurée à l'Université Laval
        Elle sera dotée d'un budget de 1 million $ réparti sur cinq ans.  Agence QMI
(15h45) Duchesne, Charest, l'intégrité... »
(16h30) États-Unis: bonne fête ma tante ! »
(10h20) Cours de natation obligatoire en troisième année du primaire ? NON ! »
(09h30) Paye ou marche. P.-S. On garde ton change »
(09h45) Jean Charest consulte Machiavel, une fiction électorale »
(09h30) La CAQ? Et pourquoi pas? (partie 1) »


The state of U.S.-Canada relations: the experts weigh-in

Who can argue with the experts? Everything's fine and dandy, peachy keen, no real probs - just a few irritations.

Y'all agree . . . or are there things happening, directions being taken that make you feel uneasy.



From: Rene Moreau

God and Grass

Kind of funny regardless of your religion God and Grass
Thought you gardeners would enjoy this conversation between God and St. Francis. It is hilarious because it is so true.

Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets,
milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

Yes, Sir.

These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As  soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have  them hauled away.

No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

And where do they get this mulch?

They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

'Dumb and Dumber', Lord. It's a story about....

Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

From: "S Booiman"
Subject: French

July 3, 2012
Listening to Sun News AT 1 PM Vancouver time, was very surprised to hear
about a meeting of several French speaking countries going on in Montreal,
where you are present, they talk about how they can  protect the French
language in an English speaking world. Am sure you will have told that in
Canada the English speaking tax-payer does provide the funds and that our
1082 Trudeau/Chrétien/Oulette Constitution dictates the presence of
bilingualism, meaning French and English at any cost, so why do they worry?
Montreal is the right place for YOU to be to support and buy votes from
people that always want more.
Suan.H. Booiman

From: "Tom Brewer"

It is troubling see a young girl just shy of her 17th birthday dies of a drug overdose in Edmonton. What is more troubling society's apparent careless attitude to do more to stop this problem. My good friends daughter was afflicted with a similar problem! Her boy-friend just a piece of flesh who, in my opinion fed her drugs. Thankfully she overcame the problem! Amazing how dumping the boyfriend helped end the problem. In the midst of her problem, her dad took time off his job and was, in my opinion, treated disrespectfully for trying to protect his child! In my opinion it was like... "So-what....."  A terrible attitude on behalf of the employer!
Society has to do more to help our children! We must do more to stop the use of drugs especially the pedalling of drugs to kids. Kids are a precious resource and to have to deal with scum individuals is horrific!

Bev Oda steps down! Hey a great gift for her would be a juicer. In my opinion her acts showed a complete disregard to every taxpayer in Canada! To do what she did demeaning to say the least to taxpayers.
Harper should have yanked her chain... However and in my opinion he failed to do his job! Simply amazes me where he can fire a member and have her banned because of rumours yet looks the other way when this member does as she wants.
Two faced status in my mind!

Subject: The Latest from Impolitical
From: Impolitical <>

Let's play 3: Oda retires

Posted: 03 Jul 2012 12:41 PM PDT
A little bit of by-election mania in our near future...




Do I hear Peterborough, anyone? Maybe four in our future.

Or Provencher? Go for 5?

From: Robert Ede
Subject: Letter to Ed -- Re:Jaffee: is Real Democracy found 66.7% (vs 50%+1)
To: barbara yaffe <>,

Ms Yaffe, Editors
Thank you for Old-style political parties stand in the way of real democracy and the ideas in Mr Vaughan Lyon's book "
Power Shift, From Party Elites to Informed Citizens".
I excerpted from your column:
At present, governing parties, to preserve their competitive advantage over their opposition, keep a machiavellian hold on information.

They muzzle a bureaucracy that, in the public interest, should be free to blow the whistle and provide data to the tax-payers who pay the freight.

The problem with Lyon's proposal is, it's so untested. 

The unspoken aspect is two-fold a) whether ordinary family/business folks have the vested-self-interest and/or willingness and/or backgrounding to actively and dynamicly participate in such a community-of-communities council rather than just delegate the duty/responsibility to a 'true' representative? and b) are such "true representatives" available through at-large elections (or by some other means)?
I suggest that competing, local (and/or national), private, voluntary associations created with the mission to put forward like-minded candidates in elections can never be done away with - we are free to associate with others in any legal way we want.
I suggest the problem Mr Lyons and many other Canadians are attempting to address is the "party disciple" whipped-voting, trained-seal, 50ft-nobody, type of MP/MPP/MLA/MNA who represents the 'party in the riding' rather than representing the 'riding in the Assembly/House/Legislature'.
To me the only way to achieve the objective (with a minimum of dislocation to all involved) is to abandon the 50%+1 voting threshold in the Assembly/House/Legislature, in favour of 2/3rds or 3/4ths.
I imagine it will be rare that one party obtains that high a member-count, thus forcing all issues to command the support of most of the assembled members rather than just the view of a 50%+1 Cabinet-of-the-Day party.
By thus undermining the slam-dunk success of a whipped-vote, individual MP/MPP/MLA/MNA's will ALL be lobbied/cajoled/included on most every issue/bill/resolution and perhaps the more sure-minded ones will step out from behind the skirts of the central advertising campaign at the next election, OR perhaps sure-minded independent candidates will be encouraged to challenge the (wholly unsatisfactory) status quo in a few ridings here and there.
Human nature is the problem - a political party is kinda-like a union, there's safety (and might) in numbers.
If your cannot fool all of the people, all of the time and after fooling a lot of the people for a long time ...... and if they find out ... you'll not have much more time at the head of the parade... no matter how good you are at fooling them.
There is no shame in turning back, when you discover you're on the wrong path - Rce 2006
 Robert Ede,    
The Majority of Canadians P.A.C.

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: Conservative details devilish

From: Gord Elliott
Subject: FW: Invitation - Conservative Stampede BBQ - Sunday, July 8

Hi Gord,

Could you please send the attached invitation to your Calgary Conservative contacts? It's an invitation to a Free Stampede BBQ hosted by Devinder and Diane this coming Sunday, July 8 between 11am and 2pm at Cardel Place (East Parking Lot). Approximately 25 MPs/Caucus Members have already confirmed. Thanks Gord

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: old style political parties stand in way of democracies  DD

Is anyone surprised???  Political Parties means no democracy--government of an for the Party at the head of the trough.  Harper isn't the only one denying us democracy.  It has been going on for decades.  He just doesn't try to hide it like the others did.  Many Canadians don't even pay attention any more.  We know that whatever a politician does or says will have a very detrimental impact on Canadians.  Sadly we try to work around them rather than stop them in their tracks.  Accountability for their actions is what we need--but in our 'democracy' we have no way of holding them accountable.  We have to wake up and say no more.  We saw from the G20 that they are afraid of us--lets build on that to stop them before our country is totally gone.  Don't play the stupid voting game.  Yes--go out to vote but don't mark any of their names(a big X through the ballot works).  I know elections are rigged but if we don't stop them nothing will.  Knowledge is power.

Subject: governments making sure the pharmaceutical companies survive--but not the babies?
Mother Who Questions Vaccine at Hospital Has Newborn Taken Away
Subject: and we can trust CFIA to look after us???
Meat glue: An ingredient to fear or cheer?
Subject: [On-Guard] Is there a "worldwide conspiracy" in the financial system? By Stephen J, Gray
Subject: Some Outrageous Facts about Inequality

Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community  
Do you want to share the news with a friend? Click here to tell them about Common Dreams.

News & Views | 07.02.12
Paul Buchheit: Some Outrageous Facts about Inequality

From: Henry Atkinson
Subject: Fwd: RCMP ATI RESPONSE: Authorizations to Carry Restricted Weapons

RCMP ATI RESPONSE: Authorizations to Carry Restricted Weapons - File
A-2012-00796, June 4, 2012 s.pdf

Authorization to Carry - Guidelines on Use of Force and Firearm Proficiency ines%20on%20use%20of%20force%20and%20firearm%20proficiency.pdf

Use of Force Model for Armoured Car Guards

Authorizations to Carry National Statistics %20Statistics.pdf


Special thanks to NFA President Sheldon Clare for posting this Access to
Information Act response on the NFA website for the benefit of all
law-abiding firearms owners in Canada.
To view other responses to Access to Information Requests see FIREARMS FACTS
on the NFA Website:

From: The Natroses

Good questions Ron - "  I wonder what real solutions does she call for to reverse the trend or how might we adapt? Those in positions of power and influence have always conducted their business to get their own way, leaving the rest with a pat on the head and a rub on the belly to make us think we really matter. The truth is, we don't. We never have, for if they did our Senate would not have been set up as a counterbalance to the rabble elected to the House by the mindless common people. So, how do we successfully combat what has always been...other than to become one of the rich and influential ourselves? "

For starters is to seriously question the political and economic powers' words, using the brains that God has given us. The media has become  a major problem, where they are no longer are reporting the news, nor asking the questions that they should be asking. It doesn't matter what news station one flip on, or what newspaper - it is virtually a carbon copy of each other, repeating the same news, using different words, but no new information. Below is one such example, and it really bothers me to a great degree that A) the media actually does think we are too stupid to understand  or B) the media reporters do not have the knowledge to asked questions or C) the Harper (Grinch)Ville does in fact control the media or D) a combination of A and B. I do hope C is not a reality, but nothing would surprise considering what the media did not asked.

In the National Post - "  Human Resources and Skills Development paid Ipsos Reid $96,000 to conduct focus groups in six cities across the country about "Issues Relating to an Aging Population." Canadians over 40 were divided into two sections: low/middle household incomes and high household incomes. The research took place in Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, London, Ontario, Calgary and Selkirk, Manitoba."

Further down in the NP article - "The documents, however, show the government had been planning the changes long before that. The qualitative research, commissioned in November, 2011, and carried out in December, 2011, was designed to explore the age at which people expect to retire, general expectations of government assistance, how much they expected to rely on OAS and whether they were preparing for retirement in other ways. It also questioned participants about their willingness to work past 65.
According to the report, nearly all participants were of the view that, barring illness or injury, today's 65-year-old is healthier and more active that those of previous generations.

When asked to discuss possible solutions to the demographic dilemma, the report says some participants suggested raising the age of eligibility — gradually, over."

Ipsos Reid - a well known survey and opinion firm.

But who did the dirty work or the leg work to collect the willing participants of the focus groups. No doubt, the focus groups should have been the focus by the news media, because it leads only to the only conclusion that domestic federal policy is being decided on survey and opinion polls. Dangerous, especially when the focus groups participants are from high density urban areas, sitting in pricey real estate, more than likely already paid for, and having a non-physical job. Try being a miner or a oil drill worker until the age of 67. Or a crew member on a fishing vessel owned by one of the big fish processors, where there is no private pension to speak of, or the guys over at the Kruger paper mill in Corner Brook, NL looking forward to a 25 percent cut of their pensions to save their jobs.  I have a lot more questions, on the methodology, but even more for the firm that did the leg work.

In February of this year, in the Globe and Mail -"Polling and focus-group testing for the Privy Council Office point to an overriding concern about aging, and about whether the federal government's policies were sufficient.

"Across the country participants touched on a series of concerns that revolve around the aging of Canada's population, and the government's ability to address the challenges associated with this reality," says the report by Walker Consulting Group, based on public-opinion research conducted last August.

In open-ended questions, many respondents told the pollsters the government needed to pay special attention to pension sustainability and the ability of future generations to support growing numbers of retirees."

Well, well where are the reporters asking the in depth questions especially in today's National Post?

Background knowledge - "By contrast, a study based upon a  qualitative process of inquiry has the goal of understanding a social or human problem from multiple perspectives.  Qualitative research is conducted in a natural setting and involves a process of building a complex and holistic picture of the phenomenon of interest."

Wonderful, the participants of Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, London, Ontario, Calgary and Selkirk, Manitoba can be thanked to condemning a percentage (at least 30 percent of the working population) to await another two years to collect CP, and that is if the workers can hold onto their jobs. How many are forced into retirement in the late 50s? Don't know, but my Dad was in the early 1980s, and the company found their reason in diabetes.  In England, how many police officers, firefighters will be walking the beat and fighting fires at the age of 67? Or a 67 year old teacher teaching grade 1?  How many miners or crew on a fishing boat can last until their 67? 

Back to the first polling research company, in February it was noted the Walker Consulting Group.

Who is the Walker Consulting Group?  Real tough to find info on these guys. Down to two, and it was only two in the first place and both American companies. Imagine, the Privy Office paying American firms to conduct what I would call sensitive polling and footwork to form the focus groups. Would the American government contact a Canadian company to do survey work for them? No way, but the Harper (Grinch) Ville gang sees no problem of having non-Canadians conducting public opinion research on Canadians.

Walker Consulting Group -

Found no evidence, that they conduct work in public opinion surveys, but has an office located in Alberta.

The other one - is probably the one -  simply called Walker

"Walker, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a global resource for measuring and managing stakeholder relationships, including customers, employees, and other influentials affecting business success. Founded in 1939, Walker has over 60 years of research experience and serves a client list which includes many noted Fortune 500 and Blue Chip industry leaders. Our product and service lines help companies better understand Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, Customer Disloyalty, Employee Commitment and Loyalty, Corporate Image and Reputation, and Business Ethics. Walker has a wholly-owned facility in Canada, as well as an international network of more than 20 partners to serve companies in more than 75 countries around the world."

Tried to locate Canadian address, but to no avail. No doubt the address is probably the address of the Privy Office. Certainly not in any search engines that I employ. I would have better luck finding the addresses of the employees' work, that work at the Privy Office.

What is more interesting is a government web page - listing the

"Firms on Standing Offer
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWSGC) awarded Standing Offers for the provision of public opinion research (POR) for the period of April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2012 with a possibility of three extension periods of one year each.

These companies will be eligible to be awarded contracts to provide public opinion research projects that are estimated to cost up to $200,000 (including GST/HST)."

Under -

Series A - Qualitative
General Stream (Other target populations, including the general population; not including any of the specific population streams)

One will find Walker Consulting Group

And under -

Series B - Quantitative
General Stream (Other target populations, including the general population; not including any of the specific population streams)

And under -

Aboriginal Stream (First Nations, Inuit, Métis)
Standing Offer Number: EP363-090027
And under -
Series C - Qualitative/Quantitative
General Stream (Other target populations, including the general population; not including any of the specific population streams)

In February the Impolitical - "Very interesting to see the results of Privy Council focus groups and polls being made available now to create such headlines. Harper is clearly back and on the job. Trying to fill the void of rationalization for OAS changes after the PBO and others have questioned the government's plans. "

So are the American firms the hire guns to make the survey opinion research matching the Harper (Grinch) Ville visions and values that very much now appears to be in the polar hinterland and in direct opposition of Canadians? I would say so.

More work done by Walker -

CRA Annual Corporate Survey 2011

"The poll, conducted by Walker Consulting Group, represented an even distribution of demographic age categories of adults across the country. It is considered to be accurate within 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Read more:

Another article from iPolitics : In February  of 2012 - "The government received the report just before Christmas.
A month later, Harper used his podium at an exclusive economics gathering in Davos to announce that he, too, was concerned about taxpayers' ability to finance retirement benefits in the coming decades — and he was preparing to make major changes.

Now, cabinet ministers have indicated that next month's budget will make clear how the government plans to handle rising costs in the Old Age Security system...................... The consultants polled more than 2,000 randomly selected participants on what they thought were the most pressing issues for the federal government to deal with. They also asked how participants felt about the state of the economy, crime, Canadian history and Arctic sovereignty.
The researchers then followed up with 12 focus groups spread across the country. Half were high-income participants, and the other half grouped low income and middle income.

The report prepared for PCO — the bureaucratic arm of the prime minister's office — does not break down results by demographic or quantify the responses.

It concludes the Canadian public is concerned about the fragility of the global economy, but relatively confident that Canada would remain stable, especially in the medium- and long-term.

The report says respondents were generally supportive of the government's deficit-reduction efforts, but were somewhat skeptical of the government's time frame. They were also adamant that deficit reduction should not be at the cost of funding for health care.

They showed little appetite for more tax cuts. And when asked about the government's crime agenda, some cities were far more enthusiastic than others. Saskatoon and Montreal wanted to see a get-tough approach to deal with their rising concerns about criminal activity, while North Vancouver, Toronto and Kitchener were far more lukewarm.

But the preoccupations with aging and health rose to the surface with no prompting from the researchers, the report shows.

Indeed, Harper's musings about OAS have prompted an emotional reaction — as well as a serious policy debate — across the country."

All over the place when it comes to media reporting, and it is left up to the independent blogs to actually report. So indeed it took two research firms - an American one to do the dirty work, and a Canadian one to gift wrapped the report with a bow, to make the OAS changes go down better. Logically it is back in the news, because I suspect the Harper (Grinch) Ville gang is  being harassed by the older  set of people born on and after 1958, without a job or soon to be telling them how difficult it is to find a job at the 50 something age.

"Agism is the last bastion of prejudice in the North American workforce."

Lots on it on the government sites, but crouch in terms how to overcome it. Might work for the business executive, but difficult for the mill worker, or the lumber jack.

Once upon a time, the federal government could be trusted to craft Canadian policies that would work for all Canadians. Not anymore, when it is obvious federal and provincial policies are being crafted to suit political ideology and dogma and not the best interests of its citizens.

The latest provincial example is BC and yes you guess it the Enbridge Pipeline -

Premier Clark Gave Away BC's Seat at the Table for Enbridge Review

Ron is correct, time to talk about reversing the trends of policy direction that does not bode well for the average Canadian. Time to put our collective knowledge into the hard work, of stopping this train wreck, because I have a funny feeling between the corporations and all 4 political parties, none of them have the best interests of Canadians at their heart.

In closing, from the Globe and Mail - a satire piece that is refreshing and puts a light on the racist attitudes held by others towards groups of people.

"Since then, much has been said and written about that apology: Did it go far enough? Too little too late? What's next? That is something I am afraid only educated, wealthy white men in positions of power can decide.
However, some in the native community feel that perhaps we are being a little lax in not issuing an apology of our own.

We are not without some culpability. In the centuries that have passed since that fateful day of contact, we ourselves have been negligent and irresponsible in not acknowledging our liability in many regretful incidents and events in the past.

So in the spirit of cooperation, I would like to offer up these apologies to the people of Canada on behalf of the NAFNIP (native/aboriginal/first nations/indigenous people):

We hereby apologize for being so inconsiderate as to occupy land that, one day, your people would want. Even though we did not have a postal system or an Internet, this was an inexcusable oversight. We hope you are enjoying it.

We apologize for having so many politically correct and incorrect names for you to call us – everything from native to aboriginal to first nations to wagon burner to status-card number 48759375876-1."

Other groups of people could tendered their apologies as well - The Atlantic provinces for existing, even though Ontario would not be Ontario, if it was not for the massive immigration of Atlantic Canadians moving to Ontario after 1867. Newfoundlanders for being just Newfoundlanders.  The French for having a culture and a language that includes really good and tasty food. Ontario becoming the manufacturing mecca of Canada, if only due to geography and Ottawa policies of the last 70 years. Manitoba, for having Louis Riel, the first defender of Metis rights to stand up to Ottawa. Saskatchewan for being blessed with fertilizer  and Alberta holding the trump cards in oil. Lastly, British Columbia for Victoria the last hold out of a proper English Tea done in royal fashion.

" White people, here's your one-time Canada Day special: Native people apologize back!"

Canada was built by the ordinary citizens including the Native people. Without the Native people, many of the first settlers in Canada would not have survived the harsh winters of the  1600s and 1700s. The native people should be honourd, especially when so many of Canadians 10 generation or higher, share DNA with the Native people.  Tell that to the Harper (Grinch) Ville gang, they rolled their eyes up to where the whites of their eyes show, because they think Canada really began in 1867 and thanks largely to a bunch of white politicians of Protestant and Catholic faiths. The politicians should be apologizing for their unjust and unfair policies that divides people, and more so for policy changes based on focus groups of a small sample size, that does not represent the populations across Canada. Below are the reasons why the Harper government uses methodologies on Public Opinion Research. One can only wonder why this was the reason for downsizing Canada Stats. Who needs Canada Stats, when public opinion research can take its place.

And I bet the Harper (Grinch) Ville gang have never cross Canada by a car, stopped at the side of the road for a rest or experience the vistas and scenic landscapes that Canada has to offer. Or even understand the song - 8:30 Newfoundland. Another Canadian classic