Thursday, July 05, 2012

Daily Digest July 5, 2012 030


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

OPINION AND INFORMATION
_____CANADA

Warning to Liberals: Beware delusional no-hope leadership candidates
Deborah Coyne's entire life in politics is limited to running once ­ and losing badly ­
for the Liberals in the 2006 federal election in Toronto-Danforth riding against NDP leader Jack Layton
and to a short-lived bid in 2008 for the Liberal nomination in another Toronto riding.
MORE...

Elections Canada following proper procedure in asking to speak to Del Mastro under legal caution
Despite Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro's claim that Elections Canada won't meet to discuss allegations about his 2008 election finances,
investigators are following procedure by insisting on interviewing him only under a legal "caution."
MORE...


Quebec separation scenario isn't just unlikely, it's impossible
Bev Oda had to go to maintain internal discipline of Tory caucus

Taxpayer respect was out of Oda
Not just yet, Justin

Trudeau just might have a future
Has Obama's decision on Keystone pipeline poisoned Canada-U.S. relations?

What Canada needs: creation of prosperity, a legacy for the future
Corporations behave badly – and we pay

Roots of gang crime: Absentee black fathers ensure future generations of gang bangers
Why Peter MacKay seemingly flies above the flak

Stephen Harper's cabinet freeze not set in stone
Stephen Harper says no cabinet shuffle, prorogation until mid-term

Flanagan credits central management of voter and donor ID for party's continued fundraising success
Civil servants share $6B 'severance' without losing jobs

Harper's disdain for new blood after unsteady year baffling
Oda charged taxpayers $16,000 for car rentals since 2007: invoices

Time to flip - The voters may be starting to tire of the prime minister's bullying
Elections Canada mulling Grit debts

Harper, Redford plan to meet over Stampede week
How the Fantino-Valcourt 'shufflette' played on Twitter

Happy to see Oda go? Really, you shouldn't be
Julian Fantino: An Ego Too Big for the Job

U.S.-Canada relationship 'has never been stronger,' says American ambassador
Dutch plans to buy F-35 fighter jets in doubt

PQ Leader Marois announces ex-journalist will run for party in next election
Canada offers failed refugee claimants $2,000 to go home

Can the PM fire anyone? How much hubris is in that tank?
Minimalist shuffle shows Harper has his team in place

Advice for Fantino on his new beat: keep it simple
Critics question Fantino's promotion after troubled fighter-jet procurement

Harper's office says no cabinet shuffle this summer
Why the NDP needs to get less radical

Del Mastro lashes out against Elections Canada and the media over expense allegations
NRC staff enraged by gift cards

Former Harper adviser finds troubling loophole in Ottawa lobbyist registry
Officer's racy photos spark inquiry

Medical marijuana growers uninspected by Health Canada
'We were kind of the last man standing'; outgoing National Round Table on the Environment and Economy president defends its track record
as closure approaches


Politician who pleaded guilty in Nova Scotia spending scandal to be sentenced
Yaffe among Diamond Jubilee medal winners

'Trojan' software extorts money with fake legal threat
Health Canada signs off on new drug to fight C. difficile

Health Canada mum on future availability of in-home oral HIV test
Calgary Stampede: A defiant last stand of the politically incorrect

First NATO truck crosses into Afghanistan after 7-month closure ends
Man pleads guilty to making threats during phone call to House of Commons

B.C. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon flatly rejects boosting wage offer
Nova Scotia parlour ordered to pay nearly $9,000 for tattoo typo

Storm chasers flock to Saskatchewan as severe weather increases
Canadians want more smoochies: Survey

O Canada hat gaffe
Enbridge executive's company awarded first crime Bill C-10 $38.5-million prison project
http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2012/07/05/enbridge-executives-company-awarded-first-bill-c-10-38-5-million-prison-project/#more-3515

Robo-Gate: Harper Conservatives stole the 2011 election from the NDP
On Independence Day, Canadians Denounce Harper | CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD

In Quebec City, A Protester Confronts Stephen Harper | CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD |
Will a Gondola Lift Squamish Up?

The Interactive BC Carbon Map: Lessons Learned
VIDEO: Police Remove Yes Men from TPP Reception for Staging Fake Award

NPA's Anton pens love letter to the oil sands


What Republican Texas Said About Harper's Crime Bill C-10



Harper's Crime Bill C-10: Breaking Down The Cost

_____FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Profile of Institutionalized Racism
Spurious Terrorism Indictments

Big Win for Predatory Healthcare Giants
Heated Anti-Assad Rhetoric

War of Words Over Turkish Aircraft Incident
Spurious Terrorism Indictments

Netanyahu to Obama regarding November's election
Death of a Proud, Self-Avowed Terrorist

Warning Against 'Preventive' Attack on Iran
What's Still Wrong With Political Assassination

France introduces breathalyser law
Iran shrugs off latest EU oil embargo

Hong Kong leader sworn in as protests swell
TPP: A Trade Deal from Hell

Cambodian Mystery Illness 100% Lethal
Deadline for Peace: July 6th to Register Feedback on BC Hydro's Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRP)

Falling Stars: American Autumn - An Occudocu
Gunning for Canada's Supply Management: False Facts and Other Misinterpretations

Missive for Haiti: Reaching Americans on the 4th of July
The Universe in a Grain of Sand: Finding the God Particle

Blue on Blue: "Fragging" Comes Back in Afghanistan
Kudoa Parasite Found in Stores: Getting More than Salmon with Farmed Fish

Bundling Aboriginals, Bungling on Whales: IWC 2012 Day Two
Police Power in Mexico: Ottawa's role in the permanent war against the people of Mexico

Killing Western Welfare: Social Reversal in the Service of Capital
Health and Environment Fracked in Pennsylvania

Oh Say Can You Sea? IWC Day Three
BC Tories Really Doing the Right Thing

All Options Remain on America's Table - Even the Failing Ones
The Shocktroop Doctrine: Drug War Capitalism Finds its Feet

Keystone XL Inching Along
March4Justice Issues A Call 4 Action

TPP Eats Media Freedom: Criminalizing Your Keystrokes1
Now is the time to send a message that we will not let lobbyists criminalize our day-to-day use of the Internet through expensive fines.

At this crucial moment, tell your elected leaders that you stand for free expression online, and you will demand that they do as well.
Read more... Add new comment

Northern routes out of Afghanistan
On way to military base realignment savings, plenty of overspending

Oil Industry Veteran Says Iran Can Avoid Sanctions By Selling Through Brokers

Japan Halts Iran Oil Imports

Hormuz Strait: War Of Nerves – OpEd
Read more  CERN Says New Particle Is Probably Higgs Boson

Read more  Woman May Join Top Party Leadership in China
Read more  Top Barclays Executives Step Down

Read more  Abducted Chinese Activist Gets International Support
Read more  Affordable Health Care Moves to the Next Phase

Read more  Global Internet Freedom Declaration Aims for Open Internet .
Read more  Journalists and Residents Censored During Hu Jintao's Hong Kong Visit

Read more  On the Party's Anniversary, Chinese Protest Party Rule
READ MORE Citizens to Monsanto: 'Get out of Hawaii'

Read the Article ALEC Accused of Violating Its Tax-Exempt Status; Will the IRS Take Action?
Read the Article Occupying Chicago Workers' Fight to Start Cooperative Continues

Read the Article Over 750,000 Pennsylvanians Could Be Disenfranchised by Voter ID Law
Read the Article The Elephant in the Room: The Police and the Occupy Movement

Read the Article Thumbing Their Noses at Us: Election-Based Nonprofits Flouting Their Charters
Read the Article Economics for the 99%

Read the Article and Watch the Video Woody Guthrie at 100: Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg, Will Kaufman Honor the "Dust Bowl Troubadour"
Read the Article Fossil Fuel Industry Uses Other ALECs in Plan to Save Itself

Read the Article The Military Solution: The Lessons Washington Can't Draw From the Failure of the Military Option
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript : Mexico Is Headed for a Recount in Its Presidential Election, and More

Click here for more Truthout articles
Read the BuzzFlash Commentary
Don't Laugh: There Are a Few, Little Ledges of Common Ground With the Right Wing and Gun Zealots

Read the Article at Rolling StoneMatt Taibbi | Why Is Nobody Freaking Out About the LIBOR Banking Scandal?
Read the Article at The New York TimesRomney Reverses Himself, Says Health Care Mandate Is a Tax (but Not in Massachusetts)

Read the Article at BuzzFlashThe Fire This Time: Small-Government Extremism Reaps the Whirlwind in Colorado
Read the Article at The Atlantic Hopeful Jobs Data Shows Growth After Spring Slump

Read the Article at The Huffington PostRobert Diamond, Disgraced Barclays Banker, Pulls Out of Romney Fundraiser
Read the Article at BuzzFlashA Brief History Lesson on the High Court and "Playing Politics"

Read the Article at ThinkProgress House Republicans Reject Food Stamp Compromise in Favor of Reform They Admit Is "Out of Date"
READ MORE Hormuz Strait: War Of Nerves – OpEd

READ MORE Andy Griffith And The Fourth Amendment, RIP – OpEd
READ MORE Ralph Nader: Jolting The Democratic Party From Its Stupor – OpEd
READ MORE Holding Attorneys General In Contempt – OpEd

READ MORE Criminal Bankers Are Not Above The Law – OpEd
READ MORE How Not To Get Big Pharma To Change Its Ways – OpEd

READ MORE Arafat's Death By Polonium, More On Israeli Pinkwashing – OpEd
READ MORE Join IDF's Virtual Hasbara Army – OpEd

READ MORE Palestinians, Beware False Friends – OpEd
« Older Entries

Straight Talking: The Syrian Cauldron http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31766.htm
The Obama formula for America's next decade of global war http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31767.htm

The Oil Sanctions Against Iran http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31760.htm
Netanyahu Worked Inside Nuclear Smuggling Ring http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31763.htm

Did the Mossad Murder Arafat? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31762.htm
WikiLeaks Releasing Millions of Documents Linked to Syria Regime http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31761.htm

Evidence of a US Judicial Vendetta Against WikiLeaks Activists Mounts http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31758.htm
Welcome to 'Democraship' http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31764.htm

The Western Welfare State Its Rise and Demise and the Soviet Bloc http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31765.htm
Only The Poor Will Die In War? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31759.htm

61 "insurgents" killed within 24 hours in Afghanistan: http://is.gd/kAYRNr
NATO Occupation Force Soldier Killed In Afghanistan: http://is.gd/uW4bZB

Afghan soldier opens fire on US troops: http://is.gd/sQF7uK
U.S. Troops Become American Citizens ... In Kandahar: http://is.gd/TlQGed

Nato supply trucks cross Pakistan border after row: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18719737
Lethal weapons won't be allowed to be transported through Nato supplies: FO: http://is.gd/ZH14xF

11 killed in new attacks in Iraq: http://is.gd/Y0ckOd
Car bomb kills three in Iraqi town: - http://is.gd/DnYLBu

Fact or fiction? Facing diplomatic isolation, Syria's Assad says he's willing to step aside: - http://is.gd/exW1M5
Russia says hosting Assad in exile 'joke'; http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/05/224662.html

Turkey supports terrorists killing Syrians: President Assad: http://is.gd/q4T3BZ
Russian source: Assad has "10% to survive": http://is.gd/G3YccG

Russia monitoring situation in Syria to assist compatriots: http://rt.com/politics/russia-syria-uprising-arab-spring-411/
Russia says no talks with US about Assad exile: http://is.gd/2pt8Cs

China says will not attend 'Friends of Syria' meeting in Paris: http://is.gd/596sf0
Bodies of Turkish Pilots of Downed Plane Found: http ://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20120704/174402239.html

Yemen air raid kills 3 militants; police chief escapes assassination bid: ttp://is.gd/AlCiA7
Israeli military chief: Iran won't build a nuclear bomb: http://is.gd/VAdSMh

We'll put your boats to the bottom of the Gulf, America warns Tehran: http://is.gd/eHkayJ
Iran to use mines, missiles to shut Hormuz: . http://is.gd/ivRCKp

Iran missiles can hit all US bases in region: Cmdr.: http://is.gd/IWxgvU
NATO warships move into Mediterranean Sea: Report: http://is.gd/z2ScaP

Benjamin Netanyahu involved in smuggling nuclear triggers: Report: http://is.gd/his1xh
Palestinian Authority agrees to exhume Arafat's body over new poison claims: http://is.gd/hLIkIN

Libyan armed militias 'have stranglehold on country': http://is.gd/yU5xaJ
San Diego man stranded in Bahrain after being told name appears on no-fly list: ttp://is.gd/Zdx2eA

Japan says Fukushima disaster was 'man-made': http://is.gd/Qdh5El
Election recount begins at more than half of Mexico polls: http://is.gd/Fc8AlL

Mexico's president-elect shrugs off claims of vast vote-buying, coercion in election: http://is.gd/mljgOG
UK MPs question former Barclays executive: http://is.gd/DMbCak

>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<< []
JEUDI 5 JUILLET 2012
[]

14h33 - Conflit étudiant · La CLASSE recherche des témoins de la répression policière
        Les citoyens qui auraient fait l'objet d'intimidation ou de brutalité policière dans
        le cadre du conflit étudiant qui perdure depuis février sont invités à livrer leur
        témoignage à la CLASSE. Agence QMI


Des signes de ralentissement à Toronto et Vancouver
         Des règles confuses effraient les investisseurs chinois
La Chine va accaparer la croissance mondiale de l'électricité verte
         Signes encourageants pour l'emploi aux États-Unis
La croissance de l'emploi va continuer en 2012
         La Chine baisse ses taux pour soutenir la croissance
Cinq raisons d'être optimistes aujourd'hui
         Les États-Unis vont saisir l'OMC sur la taxation chinoise des automobiles
La Banque d'Angleterre injecte 50 milliards de livres dans l'économie
         CAE remporte des contrats d'une valeur de plus de 50 millions

BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

From: "Jim Calvert"

Good evening Joe:
I was just skimming the DD and specifically the natroses post.

I read
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?

First of all, Police officers, firefighters, and teachers do not work until age 65 now. None of these people has to rely on CP or OAS for a living because they have pension plans that are designed to get them out before they become old enough that their age becomes a threat to doing their job. There are probably Fisherman off Newfoundland who would laugh at you if you told them they should have retired at 67.

Second, It is my understanding that the government is changing the age of qualification for Old Age Security (OAS) not Canada Pension.

I know several retired teachers, police officers, and firefighters. None of them will ever get to keep any of their OAS as their incomes are too high and it is clawed back.

Let's not let facts get in the way of a good rant.

Note: One of the problems with education in Ontario is the double dipping of retired teachers. A teacher reaches their 80 factor or whatever it is now, retires, and is back in the school a week later collecting a paycheque for supply teaching as well as their pension.

Meanwhile, we have thousands of young energetic enthusiastic teachers with current training (more every year) that are working as waiters and taxi drivers. While our kids are being taught by tired seniors that cost twice as much money and stopped upgrading their training a long time ago. Just there to collect the money.

Before everyone starts yelling, I know what I am talking about. Between my wife and myself, I can name 9 retired teachers in our family. I can also name probably a dozen young people with a university degree and a certificate from teachers college that cannot even get themselves on the supply list in Muskoka.

Jim Calvert
Parry Sound Muskoka

===================================
From: "Rory J. Koopmans" <roryj_koopmans@hotmail.com>
Subject: dean del bitchstro

Joe:
 
So Bev Oda is leaving & actually did not break any laws, none. She was an A1 incompetent "retard" that's granted. She couldn't run a junior high girls track team let alone a cabinet position, I also grant you that, but she broke no laws. Yet we have Dean Del Mastro, Steve Harper's Parliamentary Secretary, openly breaking Elections Canada laws in 2008 for sure, & in 2011 possibly as well. Dean gets to stay, how is that fair?
 
Vic Toews broke election laws in both Manitoba & federally. This has been admitted by Mr. Toews openly as an "oversight" & yet he is Justice Minister. Toews should be resigning.
 
I like Brent Rathgeber's idea that the limo drivers for the cabinet ministers use their limos to go pick up their $16.00 a glass orange juice. In this way, they will not be sitting around idly with empty cars. They can use their passenger space to pick up the orange juice in crates, bring it to the Hill, & then after offloading them, drive their respective Ministerial bosses around!

===================================
From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Russia and China not to be trusted.

DD
My youngest son, who is 50 years of age, holds a responsible job (What jobs are not responsible when you show up every working day to go to work), anyway he said ,Dad I havent the time to look after our RRSP`s, his, his wifes and their spousal,(Please ,dont get up in would you look after them. I look after them on the Scotia Bank Casino, "Scotia I Trade", on the stock market.
Lived through the crash of 08. Lost about 45% overnight when the Mafia crashed the market. In 2009, made all the loss back plus a little. Why be in the stock market? ? what do our chartered banks pay in interest on our money in a savings account?
Anyone like myself who has ,being Canadian, trusting the system, have most of my income coming from a pension, that I paid into, with Canadian National Railways for 35 years. They invest pensioners money in,what, the Casino markets run by the banking Mafia. So far, I have no complaint against The CN Pension Plan. Americans, living in the most honest, straight country in the world, " If you like eating Bull Crap, you will believe that. " Just for the hell of it, just take a peek over the south border.Our best friends in the whole world,,,,,,other than Israel ,according to Mr. Harper.
Now, why the subject ," Russia and China not to be trusted? " Well, because having taken over managing my kids money, I watch all news, all, news, national and Business News Networks. Bloomberg on the air 24-7 . BNN Canadian Business News Network. , CTV, CBC (Unrecognizable) anymore. Watch it, understand what is being fed to us, sadly too many of us eat it as truth serum.
What we will come to believe, if our guard is down, is that all the bad people, terrorists and crooks are from other countries, most probably Russia or China. Have a good day and a nice Western Style lunch, caution, hold your nose unless you enjoy the smell of unadultrated BS. I was raised to believe that we are the sane, honest ones????I have learned that we have no l.egitimate claim on that.
Ray Strachan

===================================
From: Robert Ede
Subject: re Civil Service & 'Work'
To: Marlene Harding <>

Civil Service & 'Work'
(rough draft of letter to editor)
My goodness what a good idea!! GovGen Salary to be taxed (but...)
I suggest that all public servants (beyond the lowest-level clerks) be reclasssified as "Public Service Professional -Personal Service Corporations".
Let them received the dollar value of all their pay, perqs, deferred pensions, sick days, super-statutory days off, vacations etc
--WITHOUT deductions for Income TAX,
- PLUS let them charge the "public" HST as any service provider (and enjoy the joy of claiming of input credits etc)
- also allow them a performance "bonus" (say 8-13% of any savings to their dept's budget that they can prove )
and let's watch and see if "productivity" would improve.
It is human nature to "work" on things that provide the highest, direct rewards -- let's use that human fact in dealing w humans who work for US.
rce
Your "Realty Whisperer"
Robert Ede,
The Majority of Canadians P.A.C.

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." -Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860)

On Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM, Marlene Harding <> wrote:

My worries are:
--Civil Service is far to large and do not know the meaning of the word "work"
Seniors who have contributed to this country and are being overlooked
Health Care

--TAX, TAX, TAX why not simplify the system and become more responsible for the $$s spent instead of living like "fat cats" at the expense of the tax payer.

_______
Subject: ?Been Watching LIBOR, Barclays fiasco? -- read pages 15-21 (then the first part)

This Martin Armstrong guy is VERRRRY good.
If you like this one - free subscription avail on his site
NB
start with pg 15-21
http://armstrongeconomics.com/693-2/2012-2/banking-manipulations-a-systemic-problem/

===================================
From: John Duddy
Subject: Fwd: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre

This is rare.

I have acknowledgement that the PM got my link to Dr. Paul Craig Robert's article.

Now I need an MP to follow up and ask the PM for his response.

JD

On 2012-07-05, at 9:00 AM, Prime Minister/Premier Ministre wrote:

> Dear Mr. Duddy:
>
> Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister Harper appreciates being informed of the views of Canadians.
>
> You may be assured that your comments have been carefully considered.
>
> For more information on the Government's initiatives, you may wish to visit the Prime Minister's Web site, at www.pm.gc.ca.
>
> Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.
>
> M.F. Bustos
> Manager/Gestionnaire
> Executive Correspondence Services
> for the Prime Minister's Office
> Services de la correspondance
> de la haute direction
> pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre


Subject: Can Americans Escape the Deception? Paul Craig Roberts Wednesday, July 4, 2012 | 911Blogger.com

Dear Prime Minister.

Hear is another fine article by President Reagan's economist.

http://www.911blogger.com/news/2012-07-04/can-americans-escape-deception-paul-craig-roberts-wednesday-july-4-2012

Over the past few years I have sent you several articles by Dr. Roberts.

I see no evidence that you are reading them. Please ask your senior staff to research the link and adjust your policy to protect Canada.

Happy Calgary Stampede!!

Thanks. John Duddy.

===================================
From: Lorraine McLennan
Subject: FW: Something To Consider

lorraine

It is just slightly different in Canada but close to our neighbours.... Our Deputies, MPs
& Senators to my knowledge receive the best compensation for the time served...
I challenge you to read this and NOT have the will to pass it on.

No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. or Canadian Military
for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay on retirement. While
Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men
and women, and receive full-pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.


If each person who receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days,
most people in The United States of America and Canada will have the message.
This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make
no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to
the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to
the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the
United States .."
The same should be passed in Canada .
You are one of my 20+. I passed it on, will you?
"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice," and these brave soldiers have given you that right!!
Absolutely!

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: why not orange juice and a doughnut???

NRC staff enraged by gift cards
Final-day treats 'kick in the teeth' for laid-off workers
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/lo cal/nrc-staff-enraged-by-gift-cards-161407515.html

OTTAWA -- Have a doughnut on your way out the door. That is the message several dozen employees of the National Research Council took away June 29 as the president of the agency issued gift cards for a coffee and a doughnut to all employees, including 65 who are being laid off this month.
"Thank you for the contribution you have made in helping NRC successfully work through our massive transformation," read the letter from NRC president John McDougall. "To celebrate our success in gaining government support, here is a token of appreciation: have a coffee and a doughnut on me."
A $3 gift card to Tim Hortons accompanied each letter to more than 4,000 NRC employees. It cost taxpayers more than $12,000.
Some of the employees being laid off received the gift card on their last day of work. Most others had their last day July 2.
"Talk about a kick in the teeth," said one NRC employee, who asked not to be identified. The employee, who is not losing their job, said the emotion in the NRC offices as the letters were received ranged from fury to tears.
"It was awful."
A total of 65 NRC employees are being laid off this month, 47 of them in Winnipeg. Most of the Winnipeg workers losing their jobs are scientists who worked on the NRC's magnetic resonance imaging research.
Charles Drouin, chief media relations officer for the NRC, said the letters and gift cards were a way to say thank you to employees for their work during a difficult year at the agency. He said not all employees were scheduled to leave on June 29.
"It just coincided. We wanted to try and include everyone. The president thought the note would be a good way to thank our employees."
He added not all employees reacted badly to the gift. The president received one official complaint, said Drouin.
For more than a year, the NRC has been changing the research it does to accommodate a federal government request to focus mostly on commercially viable research. The recent budget specifically plans to refocus the NRC toward "research that helps Canadian businesses develop innovative products and services."
That change includes getting rid of the MRI research at Winnipeg's Institute for Biodiagnostics and selling the NRC's two downtown Winnipeg office buildings.
Research at the NRC's Institute for Biodiagnostics was commercially beneficial, particularly for IMRIS Inc., a company that earned $52 million last year selling surgical-theatre MRI devices that were developed through NRC research.
The employee said the vice-president of the NRC said the MRI research was being canned because "there is no Canadian MRI industry."
Most companies that sell MRIs are major multinationals such as Siemens, Phillips and GE Healthcare.
"Our goal henceforth is to support industry," said the employee. "This government does not believe the government should be in the business of science."
The employee said there are a lot of employees twiddling their thumbs because the research they had been working on is no longer a priority and the agency has not figured out what it wants them to do.
Drouin said the NRC is "trying to transform itself to become one of the world's leading research and technology organizations."
He noted the recent federal budget added $110 million to the NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program.
mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

==================================
From: "Robert G. Gauthier/The National Capital News Canada" <robertggauthier@aol.com>
Subject: "Serial public purse abuser quits," by David Akin, The Ottawa Sun, July 4, 2012.

Hello, Joe,
From: Robert G. Sheehan-Gauthier, Ottawa.
July 5, 2012

Re: "Serial public purse abuser quits," by David Akin, The Ottawa Sun, July 4, 2012.

LACK OF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING ON PARLIAMENT HILL
The resignation of Minister Bev Oda draws attention to the serious lack
of investigative, transparent and balanced reporting by the mainstream
media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
  "The kicker:" Sun Parliamentary reporter David Akin reports, "She
billed the taxpayer for a $16 glass of orange juice delivered to her
room,"
$10 MILLION GOVERNMENT LEGAL COSTS TO FIGHT JOURNALIST AT UN
   Here's another kicker for readers of The Daily Digest from St.John's to Victoria:
  For 13 years, and still continuing since 1999, Canada has been in
violation of Article 19 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights. The UN Human Rights Committee then headed by the
former president of Ireland, Mrs Mary Robinson, ruled that Canada is in
violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression, the right
to seek, receive and impart information.
  This dispute with a Canadian journalist who continues to arbitrarily
be excluded from the parliamentary press gallery without cause by the
clique of journalists and their employers who control access to these
public services and facilities has cost the taxpayers an estimated $10
million. Text of the UN ruling against Canada is available at
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/65d8b4f465596f1b80256782004b16f8 .
RATIFIED TREATY COMMITMENTS NOT BINDING OF CANADA
  Minister of Heritage, Bev Oda wrote in her letter March 29, 2007:
"The Government of Canada takes its international human rights
obligations seriously. While the obligations contained in the Covenant
are binding, the views of the United Nations Human Rights Committee are
not."
MEDIA VULTURES HONE IN
  Meanwhile, the mainstream media ignores this very costly and
significant issue in a democratic country, while The Ottawa Sun's
parliamentary press gallery reporter David Akin and the other press
gallery reporters are more interested in a $16 glass of orange juice.
   This surely confirms a serious lack of quality Canadian
investigative journalism...and is a shameful example of the vultures
attacking an injured and vulnerable victim.
CONTEMPT FOR RULE OF LAW BY CANADA
  Of more important concern is when will the Parliament of Canada
comply with the 1999 ruling against Canada to cease the illegal
infringement of freedom of expression in Ottawa by the exclusive,
arbitrary and unsupervised control by a clique of journalists and their
employers over the substantial facilities and services over the
taxpayer-funded Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery be stopped?
  Never mind the $16 glass of orange juice; this clique of journalists
and their employers continues to arbitrarily deny access to numerous
deserving journalists to the substantial, publicly-funded, competitive
and political privileges provided for the media by the House of Commons.
MEDIA DO NOT INVESTIGATE THEIR OWN
  Unlike Bev Oda and ORNGE and abuses and cover-ups in other
industries, the mainstream media obviously avoid investigating their
own.
  In 1999, former president of Ireland, Mrs Mary Robinson, UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, declared before the UN Annual General
Assembly in New York that Canada is in violation of the Fundamental
Right of Freedom of Expression, Article 19, placing Canada right up
there with North Korea, China and the other countries that violate the
fundamental rights of their citizens.
CANADA A RELIABLE PARTICIPANT IN UN - MINISTER JOHN BAIRD.
   For 13 years, and continuing, Canada has yet to comply with the UN
Human Rights Committee's 1999 Views to correct the violation. Recently,
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. John Baird's office
issued a statement alleging, "Canada has been and will continue to be a
reliable and responsible participant in UN initiatives around the
world." The statement also said the UN is in "slow decline" and Canada
will voice its concerns. "The greatest enemies of the United Nations
are those who quietly undermine its principles and, even worse, by
those who sit idly, watching its slow decline." It can be added, and by
those that are in contempt of the UN Human Rights Tribunal, in this
instance, the Parliament of Canada:

Robert G. Sheehan-Gauthier,
71035-174 Bank Street
Ottawa K2P 2L9

613-276-8788

===================================
From: The Natroses


" Bev Oda's fatal flaw was that she brought accountability and transparency to Canada's aid agency yet she didn't let those qualities govern her own behaviour." http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/07/03/john-ivison-bev-odas-downfall-rooted-in-the-kind-of-entitlement-she-was-trying-to-get-rid-of/Â

Poor Bev Oda being dumped on by her own people. They should clean up on their own doorsteps, before flinging arrows and stones at others exposing their faults at the taxpayer's expense.

The Green leader, May puts it stupendously - " I can't and won't explain or defend the $16 orange juice or the limo, but why people focus on that and not the fact that every single day Stephen Harper moves within Ottawa with a motorcade of two black sedans (front and rear) with three smoky-glassed, bullet proof SUVs in between – FIVE vehicles – is beyond me. The reality of our outrage levels are such that $16 orange juice grabs headlines and $20 million a year on the PM's personal security (more than double previous PMs) rolls right by without notice. It's the way people freak out over a few pennies increase on a litre of gasoline, but, without a whimper, purchase completely unnecessary bottled water at a higher price per litre than gas. It's just one of those human nature things that defy rational explanation. " http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2012-07-04/bev-oda-deserves-defenceÂ

Really, it takes 5 vehicles to move Harper? Who does he think he is, and leads me to asked all kinds of questions about his personal diet preferences. Does he bring his own bottled water on trips outside of the United States, especially in places like Afghanistan instead of drinking the local water, questionable in the many toxins and minerals due to mining and oil activities, other industrial industry activities, and left over toxins from the weapons and arms used to start wars.

What one never hears, is the high cost of foods at the hotels in the news. State secret? One never knows, but the $16.00 dollars paid out for orange juice is at the normal end in Europe, especially in the high rent district of hotels. Media, never does report on food menus and the costs at hotels, but ordinary people often chat about the high costs in the travel forums on the web. Good places to go to, to become aware of the costs that awaits you after purchasing the deeply discounted airline ticket.

" Charley found the prices the prices in Montreux quite shocking. Here's a bit from one of his early e-mails:
quote:
Everything here is hugely expensive. I don't understand how the Swiss can afford to live here. Just a few examples ( I have roughly converted chf prices to dollars) - your Kitchen Aid mixer here is $1100 vs $259 at home, a Big Mac meal is $14, and a cheap looking pair of men's walking shorts is $89 Vs. $9.99 at Sam's, and my transportation each day is $7.15 vs. 2 euros in Aix. But the beauty of the place is stunning so I can see how they try to put up with these prices.

Our family concluded that Switzerland was just too expensive and we probably won't go back for a while. There are too many other places in Europe (and the world) that interest us." http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/821606885/m/347007845001Â

No wonder MacDonalds is making a killing outside of North America. This brings me to wondering about the grocery bill at 24 Sussex Drive. If it takes 5 vehicles to drive the PM around, what is the average grocery bill in the PM's home? No doubt, all organic, especially organic milk, eggs and cheese. Or I dearly love to know the average grocery bill, and what Harper's kids eat as regular fare. No doubt, they would not be eating a whole lot of processed foods especially the kind that has been processed in China, nor the expensive canned fruit processed somewhere in the Asia countries and definitely not the tapped water.

Perhaps the explanation of Oda, the finger can be pointed at the PM and his actions and behaviours. Or as the Green leader has pointed out - " We now have a case of fraud. It is part of a pattern of abuse of the essence of Canadian democracy and our foundational principles of "peace, order and good government." The victims of this fraud are not just in Canada. They are the people in developing world whose projects were not supported. In a larger sense, we are all victims of this fraud. Will it be like so many other abuses of power, of contempt for Canada's historical record in the world of peace-keeping and development assistance, that are just swept under the rug? Or will this be a moment of "kairos" that allows Canadians to wake up to the crisis and seize the opportunity to fully explore this act of fraud and forgery."

How accountable is it when signing bonuses are no more - "
Defence Department axes signing bonuses
Recruitment bonus for doctors was $225,000 http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/07/03/ns-dnd-signing-bonuses.html

Meanwhile, the PM and the cabinet freely uses transportation, including the armed forces - paying out huge bonuses to their underlings for the many cuts and elimination of government services. Oda, did an admirable job in cutting and following the orders of the PM - "Aid was concentrated in fewer countries – 48 in 2010, down from 100 in 2007 – a reform the Liberals had tried but failed to implement. Funding was cut from those NGOs that were funded annually simply because they were funded annually. And a new culture was introduced that focused on results, rather than inputs or process." http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/07/03/john-ivison-bev-odas-downfall-rooted-in-the-kind-of-entitlement-she-was-trying-to-get-rid-of/

Key word - results - and it means to focus on the outputs, without emphasis on the inputs and the type of inputs are used. Translation - the reason why Fantino is replacing Oda, to put the screws to the inputs that tells the stories of the people that have been negatively impacted by war, mining and oil activity, the destruction of the local environments, no access to clean water and not having the means and access to sustain themselves.

On the CIDA site - "As part of its Aid Effectiveness Agenda, the Government of Canada announced in 2009 that it will be focusing 80 percent of bilateral resources in 20 countries of focus. These 20 countries were chosen based on their real needs, their capacity to benefit from aid, and their alignment with Canadian foreign policy priorities. The goal is to make Canada's international assistance more focused, more effective and more accountable."
http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/ACDI-CIDA.nsf/eng/NIC-5482847-GN3

Where ever the mining and oil companies are in the world, water and food sustainability are at high risk of being destroyed. Below, just one web site - listing news media articles on water and food, throughout the world. http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/tag/water-shortage/

Plus the governments who work hand in hand with the mining and oil companies to ensure ongoing operations, the corporations profit lines and to be the message boys - relaying messages of propaganda to smooth the worried brows of the average citizens.

For example: "On Tuesday, Sudan signed agreements with companies from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France-Belgium and Nigeria for oil exploration and production." http://presstv.com/detail/2012/07/04/249335/sudan-sign-deals-with-foreign-oil-firms/

"Sudan lost billions of dollars of its oil revenues after South Sudan declared independence last July."

Peel back the message - the above is propaganda to masked the real problems of: water and the ability to grow food plus access to food. Made worse by the pollution problems of mines and oil industries. "The number of people seeking refuge in the new state of South Sudan is increasing. Conflict between the Sudanese state and rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army, alongside an intensifying food crisis is causing many to flee."
http://www.careinternational.org.uk/news-and-press/latest-news-features/2080-south-sudan-number-of-people-in-need-of-assistance-is-rising

Water facts -Â http://www.dropinthebucket.org/water-facts/

Pick any of the 20 countries that the CIDA is focusing on - Doesn't matter which one - the messages of the government will have us believe that it is the terrorists, the political leaders, religion groups, and others including the many NGOs like the Drop in the Bucket that are the causing all the strife and civil unrest in countries. What the Harper government and like other Western democracies don't want, is to inform their citizens on the relevant information that lies behind the conflicts.

"Â Hell on earth: The 10 most polluted places on the planet" Â http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/hell-on-earth-the-10-most-polluted-places-on-the-planet-402350.html

"SUKINDA, INDIA
Affected people: 2,600,000
Pollutants: Hexavalent chromium and other metalsÂ
Source: Chromite mines and processing

Home to 97 per cent of India's chromite deposits, Sukinda's mines spew out millions of tons of waste rock into the rivers that residents drink from. A quarter of nearby residents have pollution-related illnesses."

Well, well - Chromite - isn't that the same mineral in Ontario called the "Big Daddy" deposit, known as the Ring of Fire? I believe it is - "But the Ring of Fire stands apart from other resource mega-developments around the world in one important respect. Rather than oil, gold or iron ore, its main attraction is a relatively minor ore - chromite - which is refined into ferrochrome to make stainless steel.

The region contains North America's only known large-scale chromite deposit. If Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources Inc develops the Black Thor project, it will likely revolutionize the stainless steel industry on the continent, which now relies on imports from South Africa and Kazakhstan. It would make Canada the world's fourth-largest chromite producer."

Read more:Â http://www.vancouversun.com/challenge+developing+Ontario+Ring+Fire+mines/6678377/story.html#ixzz1zkNHytU5

What is not being mentioned in the news media, the governments and the mining companies are environmental dangers and health dangers of mining and processing chromite. Why that would get in the way of prosperity and jobs, and governments can't have that, nor the mining companies who profit by it.

"Hexavalent chromium laden hazardous wastes that has been found at the 23 sites in Delhi is matter of huge concern. Hexavalent chromium is used for the production of stainless steel, textile dyes, wood preservation, leather tanning, and as anti-corrosion and conversion coatings as well as a variety of niche uses.

Hexavalent chromium is recognized as a human carcinogen through inhalation. Workers in many different occupations are exposed to hexavalent chromium. Problematic exposure is known to occur among workers who handle chromate-containing products as well as those who arc weld stainless steel. Within the European Union, the use of hexavalent chromium in electronic equipment is largely prohibited by the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive."

"Hexavalent chromium was found in drinking water in the Southern California town of Hinkley drew popular attention by the involvement of Erin Brockovich. The 0.58 ppm in the groundwater in Hinkley exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.10 ppm currently set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. A similar case occurred in 2007 in Asopos River, near Oinofyta, Greece and Brockovich was again involved."
http://toxicswatch.blogspot.ca/2010/04/hexavalent-chromium-laden-hazardous.html

"The metal form (chromium as it exists in this product) is of low toxicity. The hexavalent form is toxic. Adverse effects of the hexavalent form on the skin may include ulcerations, dermatitis, and allergic skin reactions.

Inhalation of hexavalent chromium compounds can result in ulceration and perforation of the mucous membranes of the nasal septum, irritation of the pharynx and larynx, asthmatic bronchitis, bronchospasms and Respiratory symptoms may include coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, and nasal itch."

If the project goes ahead, the lawyers will make a ton of money like this firm -Â http://www.articlesbase.com/law-articles/chromium-6-causes-serious-damage-4062771.html

The United States Armed Forces are in a fix as well - "It looks like the U.S. Military is not only fighting 2 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it's also fighting a war against hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium VI)." http://www.hexavalentchromium.com/a-problem-in-the-u-s-military/

In Ontario - "The Chiefs of all nine Ojibway and Cree communities of the Matawa First Nations pulled their support for development in the Ring of Fire located in the James Bay lowlands after the government ignored their calls for a Joint Review Panel environmental assessment (EA) for the Cliffs Chromite Project. Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources plans to have its proposed Black Thor chromite mine in production by 2015. It would be the first mine in the Ring of Fire, a swathe of resource-rich land in northern Ontario that has industrialists slavering and First Nations wary." And at the end of the article - "If their lobbying fails in Ottawa, the chiefs say they will be forced to resort to alternative measures.
"We want development, but we also want to make sure that our lands, waters, wildlife and our way of life are not destroyed in the process,â\\\\\\\\' said Chief Roger Wesley of Constance Lake First Nation." http://nativestrength.com/tag/mining/

On the Native Strength site - there is other articles of great interest, confirming why the natives of the North and South America do not get a fair shake from the big corporations and the governments.

Chromite Production by Country (Metric tons, gross weight) and other minerals http://www.indexmundi.com/minerals/?product=chromite&graph=production

Back to the glass of orange juice costing $16.00, why indeed not looked into the composition of the orange juice and find out if it is composed of the same stuff found in the grocery stores at various prices starting from $2.99 and up, depending on what country. Why is it, a can of pop in Europe costs $4.00? Or even the typical box of corn flakes, and to which is getting very pricey in the grocery stores, let alone on hotel menus. One ought to check out the price of oatmeal on the hotel menus, and especially the stuff that is called steel oatmeal. The kind that I remember eating when I was young, and took 20 minutes to cook on the stove. Speaking about oatmeal, one needs milk and this article of many, coming in on an angle but appears to speak for the consumers.

"We have grown used to a politics in which no one ever says or does any-thing the least bit risky, and no one ever tells the truth unless by accident. Our politics has become, quite literally, a fantasy world - and nowhere more so than with regard to sup-ply management. The unwillingness until now of anyone, literally anyone, to speak out against such a clearly indefensible policy speaks of a deeply entrenched culture of falseness and opportunism.

While far from the most pressing issue before the nation, the divide between experts and evidence, on the one hand, and the political class, on the other, gives it unusual symbolic weight. Indeed, it can serve as a kind of litmus test, a benchmark of political seriousness. If you cannot bring your-self to say it is wrong to make poor families pay three times the market price of milk to prop up a handful of wealthy farmers, you are not in the business of serious politics."

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/Leadership+smells+sweet+barnyard+protectionism/6830458/story.html#ixzz1zkbQq9wk
Sure valid points, but always omits one of the nastier negative impact of globalization and free trade - it has not led to lower prices and better quality foods and consumer goods, but what the market is willing to bear and at what quality levels.

In a letter to the editor that follows up the above news article: "Canadians should be eating Canadian food.

Why?

First: security of supply. No nation ought to be dependent on any other for the necessities of life.

Second: food safety. Columnist Andrew Coyne may be happy at the prospect of contaminated milk or infected chicken from offshore flooding our grocery stores, but I am not.

Third: cost. Only Americans pay less for food than Canadians, and U.S. agriculture is the mostly heavily subsidized and "supported" agribusiness in the world.

There is no free market in the U.S. agrisystem. Large corporations like Monsanto continue to destroy American farmers and farmland, an unstoppable juggernaut, as they plan to take control of the whole world's food.

Fourth: the effect of agri-cor-poratism on the peoples and land of the developing world. Look to India for what hap-pens to tenant farmers when the landlord decides he wants to monocrop in order to compete on the world market.

I've earned my living as a farmer for 46 years.

I am not in any supply management system, but many of my neighbours are. These people work hard. They pay their taxes. They employ many people They are conserving green space.

We need to support them, not abandon them."

Read more:Â http://www.vancouversun.com/health/pros+cons+selling+food+supply/6874943/story.html#ixzz1zkdEYgca

Seriously, it is time to exposed the hypocrisy and the hidden agendas that work against the best interests, health and welfare of the citizens, at all levels of governments. Lets have transparency where it counts - Stop buying Chinese garlic and demand Canadian garlic. Safer bet for one's health, compared to Chinese garlic that hails from polluted soils laced with toxins.

"Potential food safety hazards in China stem from many sources. High crop yields and animal output from intensively cultivated land are achieved by
widespread use of chemicals and veterinary drugs, some of which leave toxic residues on food. Banned toxic agricultural chemicals are still available
through underground vendors. Even where they are not used, chemicals may still be present in the soil from use in past years or may drift when sprayed
on adjacent fïelds. Many of China's farms and food processors are situated in heavily industrialized regions where water, air, and soil are contaminated by industrial effluents and vehicle exhaust. Hong Kong researchers found heightened levels of lead and cadmium in tests of crop soils from the Pearl River Delta region of southern China (Wong et al.). Contamination from human and animal waste also contributes to poor water quality, partly because most rural areas lack sewage systems. It is common practice to let livestock and poultry roam freely in fields and to spread livestock and poultry waste on fields or use it as feed." http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/156008/eib52_1_.pdfÂ

More on the actual processing but China is not isolated. The Western countries are just as bad, and are very good in the elimination of the small farms, as well as other policies preventing the small farmers from selling direct to the consumers without going through the supply management chain. One ought to see the price of new potatoes in Newfoundland, hailing from Ontario. Last time, which was about November of last year, I paid $6.99 for a 5 pound bag, and boy it was good. Two days later all gone, and back to the potatoes of iffy Canadian origins and quality.

Oda's fatal flaw may indeed be our's  fatal flaw, for not looking beyond our noses, at the big picture - the forest  - instead of the singular issues of the individual trees, that divides and conquers people on the basis of the best interests of the governments, big business and the lowest common denominator of price and quality.

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Subject: The Latest from Impolitical
From: Impolitical <impolitic@rogers.com>
[]

Higgs boson and #cdnpoli

Posted: 04 Jul 2012 06:29 PM PDT
A reminder from Ted Hsu, Liberal MP and physics Ph.D., on the occasion of the Higgs boson scientific news, of the importance of research funding for such endeavours: "Decades of research pays off big with Higgs boson discovery."
While research into high energy physics certainly does not come cheaply, and we don't always know immediately what practical uses the results of that research will have, understanding the universe we live in is an important activity that has never failed to give us tools by which we might move humanity forward and improve the lives of billions.
Canada has a tremendous history of contributing to basic research that has revolutionized the world. The most famous example is perhaps the discovery of insulin by Dr. Frederick Banting and his research assistant Charles Best working at the University of Toronto.
Sadly under Stephen Harper the Government of Canada is steadily walking away from funding basic research. For instance, the National Research Council has been ordered to turn away from early stage research and focus instead on direct commercial applications.
Granting councils like the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) have increasingly lost funding for basic research. Since 2006 funding for Discovery grants has fallen from $420 million to $360 million.

I'm sure that today we will all see and read many stories about the years of effort it has taken to find the Higgs boson. As we reflect on the significance of this accomplishment, I hope we take a moment to consider the thousands of basic research groups across this country. It is the curiosity and dedication of these researchers, along with funding to test their ideas, and heeding their expert advice and warnings that will help us build a healthier, more prosperous civilization for everyone.

That is a good message on this day of discovery but also a good encapsulation of a central difference between the priorities of conservatives and those of us who disagree. Basic support for such science is part of our infrastructure, like the roads and hospitals we build. Private industry ultimately benefits from the fruits of that research, it's not just about funding the end product commercial applications.

( h/t)
[]  

Video: Del Mastro on his 2008 election spending allegations

Posted: 04 Jul 2012 02:23 PM PDT
Worth a look. Del Mastro, you see, is at a very important government announcement with mucho Economic Action Plan signage and someone dares to ask him a question about the significant allegations that are in the news about financial contributions to his 2008 campaign.

Del Mastro is a public figure, after all, and he should be prepared to answer questions beyond the narrow scope of his prepared photo-op event. Doesn't go with the happy to answer all questions, I look forward to cooperating with Elections Canada, you know, the whole positive, high road thing that one might - quaintly - expect from the Prime Minister's Parliamentary Secretary.

Instead, he bristles at the unfairness, takes a shot at reporters and Elections Canada. " So when my name is thrown around in the media, especially with allegations that have no process, you have to understand this is a very unfair thing."

So are wee to understand that maybe Del Mastro might be regretting some of his more inflammatory rhetoric about others then? Just to take one example there. And might we see a change in that?
[]  

That curious backtrack on refugee health cuts

Posted: 04 Jul 2012 04:30 AM PDT
Jason Kenney offered up some tremendous spin on his controversial refugee health care cuts that came into force on Saturday yet were the subject of a last minute government change at the end of last week: "Refugee health cuts 'clarified,' not reversed, Kenney says." Read the report for his version of how the government intended, all along, to keep health benefit access for some refugees despite the fact that the government communications on the new policy did not in any way manifest that intention.

Canadian Press, however, has tracked the last minute cabinet amendment the government made at the end of last week, just two days before the global cuts to refugee health care were to come into force: "Conservatives forced to quickly amend refugee health cuts."
The Conservatives were forced to amend their policy on cutting off benefits for refugee claimants just forty-eight hours before it came into effect.
A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Tuesday the end of extended health benefits for refugee claimants was never meant to apply to government-assisted refugees.
But with a June 30 deadline looming on the proposed changes, the department realized that's exactly how the new rules would apply and officials were forrced to get cabinet approval for an amendment.
The approval came through only at the last minute: the order-in-council making the change was signed on June 28 and published Tuesday.

Kenney says tomahto, reporting says tomayto. Take your pick.

At the end of the day, despite the change that the Harper cabinet scrambled to make, to allow health benefits for government-assisted refugees, there remain many who will still not be eligible for health care: "Despite this reversal, many other refugees will still be denied access to basic health services," a press release issued Tuesday said. "The government's concession for government-assisted refugees is too little and too late. Many other refugees will suffer because of the cuts that are still in place."

The climb down or "clarification" by the government, whatever it was, and I'd bet on the former, is a good sign that they are succumbing to pressure. This remains an issue to watch.
[]  

Tone at the top

Posted: 04 Jul 2012 03:09 AM PDT
The Globe editorializes on Bev Oda's resignation: "Bev Oda's departure: an overdue nod to accountability."
The departure of Bev Oda from the federal cabinet should have happened months ago. Nevertheless, her resignation - effective July 31, apparently prompted by the knowledge or belief that she would be shuffled out later this summer - is a much-needed signal that Prime Miniter [sic] Stephen Harper holds his ministers accountable.

Yes, it's a heck of an accountable operation he's running.

There are no consequences for Christian Paradis, repeat ethics offender. Harper said in March, after the Ethics Commissioner dinged Paradis again, that the punishment is simply for Paradis to learn from his conduct. Right then. Paradis is rumoured to be up for Minister of Environment, see today's Buzzetti column. That should be interesting, selling the environmental policies of this government in Quebec. Maybe he might get some just desserts that way, come to think of it.

There have been no consequences for Tony Clement of G8 spending fiasco fame.

There have been no consequences for Peter MacKay of helicopter ride fame, who has bungled the F-35 file by letting it be represented publicly, during a federal election, that the cost of the jets was $10 billion less than he knew. A massive breach in accountability, documented by the Auditor General, for which Harper offers nothing to the Canadian people in acknowledgement.

Following on that point, Mr. Harper himself doesn't exactly set a convincing ethical tone at the top either. Doesn't really talk to the major Canadian media, a key mechanism through which accountability is made possible in our political system. Presenting himself publicly to answer questions on major files is not something he really does. He provides no real answers in the House of Commons. He institutes a policy whereby the Government of Canada is to be referenced as the Harper Government, indulging in a rebranding that serves a partisan interest. Parliamentary committees increasingly move to in camera sessions. Omnibus bills that can't practically be examined are how legislation is being done.

Harper is not walking the walk on accountability. His ministers get the message through all of this. They take their cues from their leader and they look around at their fellow ministers' behaviour as well.

There was an interesting column recently, " When Good People Behave Badly," on an ethics phenomenon that could be at work here:
It's an interesting question, how observing the questionable behavior of others affects our own actions.

...
It turns out that a key determinant on this question is who is the unethical role model? Francesca Gino, now at Harvard, and colleagues investigated this by having students complete a task on which they could cheat in order to earn more money. Upon seeing cheating from another student from their own school -- wearing university paraphernalia -- students became more likely to cheat themselves. It would seem that seeing someone you affiliate with engage in unethical behavior can make you view cheating as less problematic.

Maybe the more you see it, the more you get inured to it. And who is doing it makes a difference. Possibly explains such lenient editorials too.

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