Saturday, September 30, 2006

Waterloo Region ER Crisis Continues

It's days like this that I'm really glad I have a blog. It affords me an avenue to vent, and that's what I'm doing today, so be forewarned.

This story is big enough to be picked up by the Star (Kitchener Hospital to Close ER Sunday over MD Shortage.) However it is also a warning to other smaller Ontario communities. - Our health care system is in crisis (as if you didn't know). What makes this situation even worse in Waterloo Region is that Oktoberfest will soon be starting, which brings in a huge crush of tourists and their related emergency needs at the local hospitals. Add to that the fact that there are many people here without family physicians so that they rely on walk-in clinics (which usually only operate during business hours) and ER's for their regular health care.

The Globe is also carrying a related story on the various problems contributing to the crisis that is not just an issue in Waterloo Region (Doctors pay issue haunts McGuinty). Inadequate pay is one grievance, but also there are the problems of general doctor shortages, working conditions and the 'top-up' practices of larger hospitals that make competition difficult in smaller communities.

It is the lead story in the Record of course. I could provide a number of links, but for some reason, they seem to give me grief, so I'll just select a few quotes here and there.

First of all we have the typical finger pointing going on in an attempt to pass the buck:

Conservative party leader John Tory was shocked by the news of the closure at Grand River.

"This is the most staggering thing that I've heard happening in the province of Ontario since I've been in politics."

He attacked Smitherman for focusing more on party politics and not enough on finding a solution to the emergency room crisis.

"We got a lot of partisan bluster from Mr. Smitherman and really no taking on board of what is clearly now a terribly serious problem that is going to potentially put in jeopardy someone's health," Tory said...

"It's time Mr. Smitherman spent less time trying to deflect attention off on to somebody else, or off on to past history, and more time trying to deal with a crisis that exists this weekend in your community," Tory said.

The Health Minister for his part was blaming the past Conservative government:

Health Minister George Smitherman, however, laid the blame on Witmer, and her days as Conservative health minister.

"Elizabeth Witmer,'' Smitherman said, "is the living legacy of threats to patient safety. And it's about time she stepped up to the plate and took one ounce of responsibility for the fact that between 1995 and 2000, she sat on her hands while her community was struggling, even then. I'm struggling to make up for lost time.''

The Conservatives should have been dealing with the physician shortage back then, he suggested, because it takes several years to train a doctor.

Conservative Health critic Elizabeth Witmer is concerned about the safety implications for area residents:

Witmer said she's worried about confusion arising over where to seek services.

"My primary concern is the fact that this could put patient safety and lives at risk," said Witmer, Conservative health critic and MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo.

Witmer noted Waterloo Region residents, through donations and a regional tax levy provided millions of dollars to upgrade the region's hospitals including Grand River's emergency department.

She said the goal was to ensure the region's growing population would get its fair share of health care services.

"We no longer have our fair share."

More to follow.

From my previous post I see that Ontario isn't the only one experiencing health care problems. Where is the money going? This is a provincial jurisdiction, but it seems to be a national issue. Please weigh in with your own experiences wherever you live.

* * * *

IMPORTANT UPDATE: 570 News reports this morning that the ER will remain open now, due to the sudden intervention of George Smitherman.

My question is, why did it have to come to this to get action from McGuinty and company? One thing is clear; whether it's the natives wanting a land claim settled in Caledonia or doctors needing help in emergency rooms, you have to take drastic action to get this government's attention - or a little political blackmail.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Our great public health care system

Just heard on Newstalk 570 that Grand River Hospital in Kitchener will be closing its emergency department this weekend for good. More to follow.

Thanks Dalton McGuinty! You've got money for everything but health care!

Update: 570's on-line report available now. Is this a sign of things to come across Ontario?

Siscoe reminds us all of McGuinty's inspiring words, as we search for a hospital with an emergency department that is open: Hang in there!

Rachel's take on the Federal diet

Rachel Marsden's commentaries are usually a bit too caustic even for me - which is quite remarkable when you think about it! Today however, she nails it.

Waste Not, Want Not (Toronto Sun) is an excellent critique of the latest Conservative belt-tightening measures that have the opposition parties screaming with fury and indignation.

I don't want to spoil it for you, but here are a few of my favs:

Liberal leader Bill Graham said the belt-tightening was vindictive and "mean spirited." Right, about as mean-spirited as telling a kid to take his head out from under the Slurpee tap at the 7-Eleven

* Stephen Harper has saved us $47 million per year simply by shrinking the size of his cabinet compared to Paul Martin's. That was a lot of wasted money just to make Liberal MPs feel important. Then again, when your party's sleaze factor is off the charts, as it was during AdScam, maybe it helps to have the word "Honourable" in front of as many names as possible.

* Harper shaved $5 million from the Status of Women budget. Our military budget already has this covered. Canadian soldiers who are killing the misogynist Taliban in Afghanistan have done more to improve the status of women than any interest group. Too bad the NDP won't support their mission.

* $5.6 million was saved by axing the Court Challenges Program. This funding enabled special interest groups to challenge laws made by parliamentarians democratically elected by the rest of us. There's a name for this: Tyranny.

Well, go read it for yourself.

And Happy Friday! Please remember to wear red.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mini McDithers and Caledonia

Just finished listening to Neil Desai, Provincial Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and John Tory, leader of the Ontario Conservative party on Newstalk 570's Jeff Allan Show.

Please note that I may not have quotes exactly word for word, but the context is accurate. (Also having trouble with some links.)

Jeff’s question du jour was “What's your reaction to millions of taxpayers dollars being wasted on Caledonia?”

O.K. Admittedly that’s a loaded question. However, here are a few of the more memorable moments.

Neil Desai referred to Dalton McGuinty as "Mr. Dithers Jr." with regards to the standoff with no end in sight.

Jeff remarked that the money spent so far on Caledonia would go a long way towards resolving the emergency room crises in Waterloo Region.

Neil was upset about Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsey's statement that Caledonia is "going to cost what it is going to cost" - in other words, carte blanche.

I'm wondering why we can't have that same attitude with health care?

Neil also talked about how we are only making natives more dependent with all this spending both at the provincial and federal levels - that basic issues are not getting resolved.

Next John Tory was up to bat.

Jeff asked John if there shouldn't be some kind of "end date" to this dispute as in forced arbitration.

Mr. Tory replied that to have this go on indefinitely is disrespectful to taxpayers and to the rule of law. He said he is sympathetic to the land claim, but wonders why Mr. McGuinty doesn't take the stand that there will be no further negotiations until the land is vacated and then placed in trust until the dispute is settled.

He said there is no indication at this point that anyone is asking the natives to leave. Furthermore, the Province (read taxpayers) is paying the hydro.

He thought it was interesting that McGuinty had remarked earlier that an occupation into the winter would be unacceptable, but nothing seems to be happening to prevent it.

Tory said a leader can't "just sit back and hope for the best".

As Jeff touched briefly on the health care crisis in Waterloo Region, and the fact that McGuinty seems resigned to the private solution at Cambridge General, in spite of campaigning to strengthen public health care. (Try this link at the Record for background).

John Tory said that McGuinty is a man who will "say just about anything to win an election", and that he thinks people are starting to pay less attention to his promises. Tory thought the Premier should spent less time in political actions and more time trying to find real solutions; otherwise why are you running for the job?

Tory said the notion that you can just sit back and not make a decision in order to keep everyone happy is just plain irresponsible.


However, some people in Ontario do feel that we should just shut up and pay our taxes.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm mad as h**l, and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!

Update: More at Dust My Broom (Investing other people's money in "solutions").
John Tory asks for rally to be cancelled.

Tuesday Update: Rally moves to fairgrounds.

We Want Iggy!

Daimnation just posted We Want Bob! in reference to the article in today's Star, Memo shows Tories fear Ignatieff most.

Maybe we need to change our tactics here though. Let the Grits think we're more worried about Bob Rae, so they steer clear of Iggy.

I don't think we have anything to be concerned about though. Considering that Iggy seems to be the only one with a centrist viewpoint, the radical left-wingers will ensure he is left in the dust - which will be good for the CPC.

Not so good for Canada.

UPDATE: Rae thinks it's a ruse!!! (Star)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

McGuinty is Proud

Mcguinty is proud of the way his government is handling Caledonia.

Although John Tory is talking about a figure of $55 million, that's no big deal to this government.

“It’s going to cost what it’s going to cost,” Ramsay said. `When you’re confronted with a situation, it’s the government’s responsibility to deal with it.”

Put up and shut up, taxpayers of Ontario.

* * * *

Meanwhile, while McNero fiddles, emergency departments in Waterloo Region are facing crises of epic proportions:
- Doctors threaten to cut back hours
- Private solution offered
- Cambridge Memorial in crisis

But hey, the man is proud!

More from the Globe: Judge Marshall get blasted.
Caledonia's lawyer supports him. Well, no surprise there.

Update: Listen to John Tory on the Jeff Allan Show tomorrow morning at 10!

Moral Relativism meets Catholicism

Far from keeping church and state separated, three NDP M.P.'s are using their pulpits in Ottawa to interpret their own version of the Bible, and use it to justify their support for same-sex marriage.

Apparently MP Joe Comartin has been given divine inspiration on the issue:

Joe Comartin concurred saying his decision was based on “the very underpinnings of Christian tradition. “You ask yourself that age-old question, what would Christ do?” he told Maclean’s. “What my faith taught me was his Christ’s love for humanity was an absolute fundamental, in many respects overriding all other considerations.

Wow. So who needs Pope Benedict?

Oh, yeah. And on the subject of protected rights...

And if we do incorporate “speciesism” into the curriculum, will Stephen Harper have to attend every major fall fair and ploughing match in Canada?

I mean, let's face it. He clearly favours cats.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Do we still have Freedom of Speech?

Are we all equal under the rule of law? Caledonia Wake-Up Call doesn't think so.

A March for Freedom has been planned for Oct. 15, but it seems that the OPP is trying to obtain an injunction to prevent the public gathering. (Click on "OPP Enforce Two-Tier Injunctions" near the top of the page.)

It would seem that only special interest groups are allowed to have rallies, parades, occupations and demonstrations. I'm all for equal rights, but doesn't equal mean "everyone"? What do you think, Belinda?

Is this the Ontario you want?

* * * *

Update: David Ramsey says "...his department is not seeking an injunction to halt an Oct. 15 rally on the disputed land, although aboriginals have asked the province to stop the rally for fear it will lead to violence."

Now why would a peaceful rally lead to violence?

And who is telling the truth? Or is this just a sneaky way to get around the possibility that it is actually the OPP who is seeking the injunction? Stay tuned.

See also Officially Screwed - March for Freedom in Caledonia.

UPDATE: Scathing editorial in the Toronto Sun over McGuinty's naming ex-addict Health Minister George Smitherman as new deputy premier!!!

At least we still appear to have Freedom of the Press.

-but not Freedom of holding up a sign.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hedy Out

Just heard on 570 news that Hedy Fry just dropped out of the Liberal Leadership race. Haven't seen anything on the net about this yet.

As disappointed as I am, she did finally make a wise decision (unlike some others.)

Update: Here's a link.

Why am I not surprised that she is backing Bob Rae?

More MSM starting to pick this up.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Six Nations and the Grand River

Today the Record has a front page story about the Six Nations and their claim to the Grand River in Southern Ontario.

This is an exceptionally well-researched piece complete with diagrams. The subtle nuance between the elected council and the Confederacy council is explained. It certainly helped me put things into perspective.

There are a lot of highway improvements hung up over talks with the Six Nations, since some proposals involve crossing the Grand River, so the natives must be consulted. Meanwhile, Waterloo Region's traffic is grinding to a halt in many areas.

One of the major problems appears to be the confusion about who officially represents the Six Nations now; especially in light of the Caledonia occupation/reclamation.

Anyway, it is worth the read for anyone following the situation at Douglas Creed Estates.

* * * *

Update: It seems that natives are allowed to hold protests and occupations, but if ordinary citizens plan to hold a rally, they are wachos! (H/T Dust My Broom) Nice. That's what Dolton's friend David Peterson thinks about some of the people who will coincidentally also be voting in the next provincial election.

Well, if those folks vote Liberal, I guess they truly will be wachos!!!

Further Updates: I love this native! H/T to Angry and others.
Steve Janke also discusses the Six Nations Leadership confusion.

For anyone who gets the National Post, please check out the two page spread in Saturday's front section - Cold War in Caledonia:

Maria Rauscher, a 61-year-old German immigrant lives with her husband on the Sixth Line.

The road has been deemed an official no-go zone for Ontario Provincial Police.

Six Nations officers are supposed to patrol it, but Mrs. Rauscher, her husband and others on the road say that in reality the Sixth Line is a legal "no-man's land" where law-breaking is rampant and property values have plunged.

"I can't live like this anymore," said Mrs. Rausche, wiping at her eyes and trembling with anger. "If something flares up again we're right in the middle. It's a time bomb."

Mrs. Rauscher and her husband, Dieter, 65, say their quarrel is not with the natives, but the government. They have lived in harmony with the nearby reserve for 27 years.

A return to that harmony seems unlikely, considering the complexity of the land claim.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Dash of Real Life (with a grain of P.C. Politics)

I was going to direct this post solely at the ladies in my readership audience, but then thought better of it.

We now live in a tolerant Canada where exclusion of any kind warrants being labelled a bigot (unless you're funded by Status of Women). Therefore anyone can read or comment on this item, but it is especially dedicated to a fellow Blogger's wife, who I have been told reads my blog but isn't too much into politics. So Madame, this one's for you. :)

Today is officially the first day of autumn, and for me that means the DREADED PURSE CHANGEOVER DAY!!!! Any woman/man who has a white purse in her/his possession knows what that means. For some inexplicable reason, you can't wear white past the summer. To me this is colour discrimination. People wear black in the summer.

It is acceptable to wear white shirts all year long, but definitely no white purses or pants in the winter! Maybe because you could get lost in the snow? Perhaps it's a safety thing.

Anyway, I digress. So this year the task is especially painful, because I found a particularly lovely white bag this summer. It's beside me right now. The shape is rather rectangular; almost the size of a tissue box but a bit longer. It has cute little pockets at both ends so you can stick your cell phone in either one and still have it accessible no matter which shoulder the bag is resting on. Genius!

And it is so soft! My hands caress it everytime I reach in for my wallet. I don't know what kind of material it is, but I am going to miss this purse. The strap is perfect - wide enough that it doesn't cut into my shoulder, and just the right length so I can tuck it safely under my arm when shopping and not worry about those nasty handbag abductors.

And it is roomy - just about anything you could imagine will fit in there and yet it still looks small! It is every woman's (or man's) dream bag!!!

The winter purse that will now be receiving the burgeoning contents is black (of course), rigid, space-challenged and just plain boring.

I obviously would like to find another purse just like my summer one but in black. No such luck so far. Maybe I could paint the white one? Or use black fabric tape? Black dye?

Nah, probably not. The whole allure of the white one was probably tied up with my summer memories, so it would never be the same.

So as I slowly and sadly stuff my black behemoth with all the feminine/masculine necessities, I say goodbye not only to my white bag, but also to an awesome summer of swimming, gardening, golfing, boating, fishing and languid strolls along the beach.

Au revoir little white bag - Til we meet again next summer.

Dalton Receives 'Personality of the Year' Award

Two words - Gag me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Toronto's Toilet

The more I think about it the angrier I get - David Miller's incredible sense of entitlement to think that he could just shove a secret deal through to get rid of his own problem. He has literally dumped it on Southwestern Ontario, and we are livid!

Did he think the London-St. Thomas area would just meekly accept this decision and all the Toronto table scraps that go with it?

The lack of empathy and goodwill is chilling. Any other sludge or vermin you want to send our way, Mayor Miller?

I feel sorry for our neighbours to the west who appear to have no recourse. Those along the 401 corridor will also have to continue to tolerate the garbage convoys that are presently going to Michigan, which is closing its door to the trash in a few years.

We here in Southern Ontario can't vote Miller out, but we can do the next best thing - We can vote with our wallets and boycott Toronto.

We can also vote out Miller's best friend - "Conservative MPP Tim Hudak said Toronto Mayor David Miller clearly has more influence with Premier Dalton McGuinty than his own London-area MPPs." - Toronto Sun.

More Links:

- Miller's Deal is Garbage: Toronto Sun editorial
- "Masters of our Own Destiny" - (Sounds like a Seinfeld episode)
- (Area) Politicians not happy - CTV
- A few interesting comments in today's Letters in the Sun.

I think this has potential to become a wedge issue in the next provincial election; not to mention the upcoming municipal one. It's certainly dividing the Liberal Cabinet:

"I think it is important for municipalities to have a management plan for their waste and Mayor (David) Miller has taken that step," (Environment Minister Laurel) Broten said.

Some of her cabinet colleagues don't see things quite that way.

"Every municipality needs to deal with garbage, in the long-term, in its own backyard. That's diversion, new technologies or (building) your own landfill," said Chris Bentley, minister of training, colleges and universities, and MPP for London-West.

The whole thing may become a stinking mess for McGuinty.

Well on the plus side for him, our attention has been diverted from Caledonia for the moment.

* * * *

Hey, I have the solution! McGuinty can buy up all those houses in Caledonia where the residents are fed up and wanting to leave but can't because of plummeting real estate values. Dalton can solve both problems by giving the homeowners a fair price for their homes, and then bulldozing them all to make room for a dump, and then gift it to Toronto.

Miller will save money from decreased trucking costs, and everyone will be happy. Anyone care to hire me as a consultant?

Update: More from another BT, Joseph Lavoie.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blog Power?

According to the Star, it appears that some feminist organizations have their pantyhose in a knot with fears of being cut off from the public trough.

Some sources are blaming "Conservative Activists". Now what could they possibly be referring to?

Trash Talk

As if residents along Highway 401 in Southern Ontario needed any more reasons to loathe Toronto (the self-proclaimed Centre of the Universe), big bully Mayor David Miller just served up another one - he is planning to dump on St. Thomas-London.

Lots of reaction in the London Free Press:

Politicians in London were quick to condemn the deal and the secrecy surrounding it.

"The right thing to do would have been to call us and not let us find out through media reports," Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best said.

And from a local MPP:

Khalil Ramal, Liberal, London-Fanshawe: "I'm going to use whatever capacity I have as an elected official to block this. I don't want London -- which is well-known in Ontario and Canada as a health-care provider, as an education provider -- to be known also as a garbage dump site. I believe it's about time that the city of Toronto should look at dumping their garbage in Toronto. London is not a dump site for anyone."

However, David Miller wanted to reassure his smaller neighbours, even though the whole deal was reached in secrecy:

Miller tried to reassure neighbours of the city's new landfill site that they have nothing to fear.

"I want to assure the people of St. Thomas and London and local native bands that the city of Toronto as owner of Green Lane Landfill will be a good neighbour and will follow in the traditions of community building that have been held by that landfill for many years and working with the community and the neighbours," he said.

Now there's a solution, Mayor DeCicco-Best! Just encourage the local natives to stage a Caledonia-style occupation on the dump site to prevent Toronto access!! You can be sure that Dalton McGuinty won't intervene.

If the Pope only knew about this!

According to a recent Lifesite article, the School Sisters of Notre Dame of Ontario and The Toronto District Catholic School Board are among the supporters of St. Stephen’s Community House in Toronto, which produced the "Little Black Book" being considered for use in Manitoba high schools.

(Oh well, I guess if Bill Clinton can speak at the Catholic Family Counselling Centre, what's the difference?)

This book has been labelled a "how-to" manual for lesbians according to various sources. The offensive material is apparently no longer available online, so we will have to take their word for it.

I have touched on this subject before, but I am just wondering what parents of young girls are thinking about this; especially those in Manitoba.

I guess in an all-inclusive Canada, we should not just be teaching where babies come from, right? What about the how-to's of swinging? Should that be on the agenda too? After all, it is legal.

Group Sex 101. Anyone want to sign up?

* * * *

UPDATE: More at Dust My Broom and Proud to Be Canadian.
Also check out Family Matters.

Bishop Fred Henry
speaks out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Has Bob Rae had his day?

Interesting discussion going on at Red Tory's.

The topic is Bob Rae's remarks at the Liberal Leadership debate, and the question has come up regarding how Bob Rae might fare in Ontario if he were elected leader. There is a fair amount of speculation, but not a lot of answers. If you need a refresher on his Ontario legacy, it is available at Wikipedia, under the section titled 'Premier'.

I was hoping that this blog might provide some insight. I am asking Liberal voters in Ontario to let me know if having Bob Rae as leader would be a positive development, or would it be something that would dredge up enough bad memories to send them running in another political direction?

Conservatives are free to speculate, but I am looking for Liberals here.

This is just for fun.

In reality though, I would love to see him win.

* * * *

Speaking of Bob Rae, this is interesting... (H/T to BBS)
More on Bob at Angry.

Another great discussion at Zac's with the first comment directly answering my question!

Bob under fire.

Turning the Other Cheek

Since I am rather fond of the location of my head at the present time, which is to say firmly attached to the rest of my body, I am going to refrain from pontificating excessively on the present Papal fiasco. Rather, I will just serve up a few items for your thoughtful perusal.

First of all, we have Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah's Toronto Star editorial, Outrage and Understanding. They suggest that the 'greater jihad' would be to turn the other cheek - a sentiment with which I totally agree. (It almost sounds like something Jesus would have said.)

Now I could take something out of context here and take issue with the fact that they quoted a philosophy lecturer at Wadham College as saying that "... it's born-again Christians who have been at the forefront of support for the invasion of Iraq, the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel, and the whole `reorganization' of the Middle East — a catastrophe in which many thousands of Muslims have lost their lives."

But I won't. I shall turn the other cheek.

We also have two totally opposite points of view presented in today's Record. The first is an opinion piece by journalist Gwynne Dyer, "The Pope and Islam - Comments reflect papal intolerance."

I found this bit quite interesting:

Benedict needs a few lessons in manners, but the real reason for the uproar is that so many Muslims feel under attack by the West. Two Muslim countries have been invaded by the United States and its allies since 9/11, and another, Lebanon, has been bombed by Israel with full support from the United States and Britain.

At least 20 times as many Muslims have died in these brutal wars as the number of Americans who died in the 9/11 attacks, and almost none of them had anything to do with that terrorist atrocity.

Dyer has got to be one of Jack Layton's favourite columnists.

On the other hand, we have James A. Diamond suggesting that we consider the Pope's speech in its entirety - "Benedict's Message was one of Hope and Reason".

If we allow intimidation and threats of violence to determine the outcome of debates rather than cogency and reason then we have surrendered the core values of our liberal democracy.

As I see it, one of the problems with the Muslim faith is the blur between religion and politics. I really don't see a separation. I know the Pope has been accused of poking his nose in our affairs too, but I haven't seen him threaten to blow up Parliament yet. So we are free to ignore him if we wish, with little fear for our safety and democracy.

Although many Muslim clerics are asking that protests be peaceful, according to CTV Iraqi extremists are saying, "We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose the 'jizya' tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (being killed by) the sword."

One of my blog readers asked a short time ago who was in charge in the Muslim-Islam world, the way the Pope is regarding Roman Catholicism. I said I have no idea. Does anyone?

Technical note: Having some issues with links here.

For the Dyer and Diamond op-eds, just go to the Record, click on Opinions, and then Insight, while I try to figure this out. Thanks!

Lots of links at Lifesite. Full text of the Pope's speech and lots of other info here.

More from Jonathan Kay at the National Post (Why we're losing). H/T to Gay and Right.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bit of an Over-Reaction?

Let me get this straight.

Pope Benedict quotes some text from a Byzantine emperor about historical Muslim teachings and the relation to violence. Some in the Muslim world react with anger and violence.

A notorious Muslim extremist in London obviously feels that an apology isn't good enough and that the Pope should be executed.

In Somalia, a nun is shot execution-style in the back. She forgives her killers on her death bed.

Strong Conservative
quotes Fox News as saying that, "the killing came just hours after a Somali cleric condemned the pope's speech."

So the nun can forgive her killers, but the Pope's words are unforgivable and worthy of execution?

I think the only thing the Pope is guilty of is bad communication skills.

* * * *

UPDATE: Great editorial at Spero News: Muslim reaction proves Pope's point.
Mixed reaction here.
On the other hand, Muslims vow to 'conquer Rome'.

Charest Caves In

Interesting little tidbit from Lifesite: "Quebec Refuses Appeal on Massive Abortion Payout".

The province of Quebec has announced that it will not appeal a court order to repay Cdn $13 million in costs to nearly 45,000 women who had to pay for their own abortions.

I'm somewhat surprised that this item hasn't had more press, considering the inherent implications of ever-increasing financial strain on our health care system. Something will have to give here - either increased taxes or the delisting of more 'non-essential' services such as eye exams, which we have experienced here in Ontario. I wonder what George Smitherman has to say about this?

The Globe reported the following back at the time of the original ruling in August (you may need to go through Google's backdoor to access the article):

Bruce Johnston, one of the lawyers involved in the class-action lawsuit, said the ruling may have a spillover effect on other services offered in private clinics.

“If you are to offer an insured service, it has to be offered for free,” Mr. Johnston said.

“If there are other medical acts which are a necessary component of an insured medical service, then they also have to be offered for free.”

The abortion association's France Desilets was delighted with the judgment.

“This is a great day for all women in Quebec and a great day for all women in Canada as well because there are other provinces that have the same problem,” Ms. Desilets said.

It would seem then, that if public health care can't provide abortion on demand, then it must be available at private clinics and then the total cost reimbursed to the woman.

Aside from the moral issue here, is everyone comfortable with this notion of abortions on demand anywhere, anytime and the taxpayer footing the complete bill for each and every one?

No accountability. Statistics are very difficult to come by here. If anyone has any, I would be very grateful for the information.

* * * *

Meanwhile, an Ontario woman is fighting to get her cancer treatment covered. Gee, I wonder why there isn't any money left for her?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another Taboo Subject

No it's not abortion; nor is it same-sex marriage. The topic du jour is capitalism.

Kate has already alluded to this discussion with her post, "A Comment about our Advertisers". She has advertisers who work directly with her rather than using blog-ads. This way the page loads faster and she has more control over ad content.

I tried blog-ads for a while, but took them off for that very reason. I didn't particularly want my site being used to direct readers to a link where you could watch Godzilla fart!

Paypal is another option.

Some people just use blogs as a method to vent, influence opinion or escape boredom. However, others are looking to make some cash.

I'm just interested in hearing from anyone who has opinions and/or suggestions in this regard. Thanks in advance for your input!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gay Curriculum Battle Heats up in U.S.

Looks like a cyber-fight is going on regarding Christian opposition to the "the Bias Free Curriculum Act" in California. Parents of children in public schools in B.C. may want to take note.

World Net Daily has exposed a particularly virulent piece of hate-speech by Pennyslvania State professor Mel Seesholtz:

"...Everyday the leaders of the Christian Right further expose themselves for what they are: fanatics who advocate discrimination and use hate cloaked in religion to advance themselves and their political power..."

Josef Farah of WND says:

Here's how he [Seesholtz] concludes his rather lengthy indictment of what he characterizes as "the Christian Right":

"A very wise woman recently asked me, 'Who will rid us of the evil lunatics?'"

His answer: "We will. We must. Public education and a civil civilized society depend upon it."

It's an interesting read on both sites. I can't help wondering how the B.C. situation will finally play out.

A Real Wake-Up Call

As we all struggle to comprehend yesterday's horrible events at Dawson College, I can't help reflecting on how fragile life is, and that we should never take it for granted.

When you get that next flat tire, or are stuck in a traffic jam, or your computer dies, try to remember what is important in life. Hug your kids each morning before sending them off to school. You might not get another opportunity.

Great editorial in today's Toronto Sun. Let's reflect and pray. Lots of time for the blame game later.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

George's Cathartic Day - With Great Updates!

I sure hope Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman feels better after discharging all that hot air yesterday. It probably didn't do the environment much good though.

Let's see now. First he took a swipe at the incoming CMA president-elect, Dr. Brian Day, who won't even be taking over until August 2007. Dr. Day's sin apparently, is that he the co-founder and owner of the private Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver. (Source: Record, National Post).

Then I guess he had the audacity to allow himself to be elected President of the Canadian Medical Association! So George was blustering about that, and all the predicable innuendos about the implied threat to Canada's sacred medicare system. The Globe reports:

Dr. Day, an orthopedic surgeon, is an outspoken advocate of expanding the role of private for-profit clinics in Canada to cure the system's perceived ills, particularly surgical waiting times.

However the Post notes,

Dr. Colin McMillan, the CMA's current president, dismissed the Minister's remarks as "rhetorical and partisan" and suggested Mr. Smitherman should be "working with doctors for the benefit of patients" instead of trying to paint physicians as a threat to the health care system.

Smitherman also castigated Federal Health Minister Tony Clement, the federal Conservative government, and the provinces of B.C., Quebec and Alberta as being part of this conspiracy to undermine the public health system.

The Post article goes on:

"Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer accused Mr. Smitherman of being hypocritical, noting the Liberals cancelled public health insurance coverage for most eye examinations so that Ontarians must now pay for the examinations themselves.

"He's testing out some themes for the 2007 election campaign to see what's going to have resonance with the media, with the public," she said.

"You're either 'wid us' or 'agin us", George has warned us all.

Put me on the "agin" side, please; at least regarding the next election.

* * * *

Update: Background on Cambie - H/T to Daristotle. Always grateful for readers' tips!

Oh, and I wish I had thought of this title - Furious George and the Mindless Election Rhetoric. Good stuff, Mike! Way to expose Ontario's monkey business; and all the way from Nova Scotia!

OHC agrees with Smitherman, BUT...

Wednesday Update: Please read this editorial in the National Post! It appears to be accessible without a subscription.

It is bad enough that Mr. Smitherman refuses to adopt a more open-minded approach toward private care, which would reduce wait times by alleviating the burden on the public system while compelling it to provide Ontarians with better service. It is even worse that he is willing to alienate doctors in search of a few extra votes.

So, now the Ontario Health Minister has been 'outed' from coast to coast in a national newspaper. Get ready for another tantrum.

Update: These guys must be really worried about the by-election! Check this out! And this!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Only in Ontario you say?

Dalton McGuinty and Co. are very big on banning pitbulls and smoking (but not cigarettes) .

But when it comes to home identity theft, the rap on the knuckles is going to cost a whole $50,000 now max (up from a fine of only $1000!).

The Toronto Sun's Linda Leatherdale (Too Little; Too Late) is calling for much tougher measures, such as minimum jail sentences.

Many Ontario residents will be shocked to learn how easy it has been up until now for their homes to be stolen by means of fraudulent Powers of Attorney and various other methods of identity theft. Linda however, seems to be suggesting that McGuinty has wimped out yet again. I would tend to agree.

* * * *

UPDATE: The folly of trusting the 'Nanny State': Read it and weep. (Tuesday Star) - "Property Fraud Reforms only Tinkering: Victims".

Is there anyone in Ontario who honestly still thinks that this government is doing a good job? I would love to hear from you! Please educate me. Thanks.

United We Stand

Today, a lot will be said in MSM, and in blogs and other forums as we all stop to remember the terrible events of five years ago today.

As I reflect on my own memories, I recall emotions of shock, horror, disbelief and anger such as I have never experienced before.

I still remember that feeling of nausea in the pit of my stomach as I stayed glued to the television all day long - watching those planes crash into the twin towers over and over again. It was like some sick version of 'Ground Hog Day'.

I can't help wondering if today is a cause for celebration for terrorists worldwide, or if perhaps they fear a renewal of resolve as free nations everywhere set their sights on the enemies of democracy. With all my heart I pray that it is the latter.

Jack Layton, how are you feeling today? Your real thoughts, Jack. Not your talking points.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What is a Catholic?

Well, nobody seems to be touching this subject with a ten-foot pole, so I guess I'll dive in; fool that I am.

Oh wait. No, I'm wrong. Somebody else did go after this one; and in as predictable a fashion as I would have expected.

Any Catholic who attended church in Canada this morning will likely have heard some version of Pope Benedict's harsh criticism of "the exclusion of God from the public sphere" in Canadian society. From Lifesite:

He acknowledged the "false dichotomies" such as 'tolerance' giving way to homosexual 'marriage' and 'freedom of choice' to abortion, "within the Christian community itself." It is "particularly damaging," he added, "when Christian civic leaders sacrifice the unity of faith and sanction the disintegration of reason and the principles of natural ethics, by yielding to ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls."

That is an interesting point. To what degree should Christian, and especially Roman Catholic political leaders, be influenced by their religious values? Lifesite notes that "until the current Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, all Canadian Prime Ministers since Trudeau in the 1960s have been Catholic except for the very brief reign of two months by the Conservative Kim Campbell government."

Moira McQueen, Professor of Theology at the University of Toronto, says in a Globe report:

"Any Catholic politician who was moving along the lines of same-sex marriage and totally ignoring what Pope Benedict was saying, isn't really following their conscience from a Catholic perspective."

James Loney and his partner Dan Hunt consider themselves to be Catholics. (Source: Record - Sept. 9)

But Loney and Hunt say they remain Catholics partly because they find beauty in the traditions of their church.

They attend a monthly healing mass to support people affected by HIV and AIDS, but they haven't found a parish where they feel spiritually nourished.

Hunt said he loves the church's social teaching to help the poor. He also said the church's teaching on the supremacy of following one's conscience enables them to remain Catholic while contradicting church teaching.

(I'm not sure if the Pope sees it that way, but whatever.)

Locally, some Catholics are upset about Bill Clinton coming to speak at the Catholic Counselling Centre, because of the obvious dichotomy of viewpoints between those of the former American President, and those of the Church.

So, what makes a Catholic "Catholic"? Is it a birthright? Is it a convenient label when asked what your faith is? Is it a beautiful ceremony? Is it a comfortable pew?

Or is it some kind of worldview; some set of precepts which helps guide the individual through the path of life? What do you think?

* * * *

Update: Seems that Suzanne was not pleased with this 'scolding'. Interesting comments follow.

She links to an earlier Lifesite entry that says Dalton McGuinty is a Catholic too! What is it with politicians and Catholicism?

The Ontario Bishops think McGuinty's o.k. apparently, because he "included a provision protecting religious objectors to same-sex “marriage” from prosecution. All other Ontario citizens are not protected by the legislation." So, the Bishops supported it because the clergy were protected. (From Feb. 23/05)

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! Please read Phantom Observer's The Liberal Faith Report. H/T to Suzanne.
I had no idea the Grits were so pious.

More at Blogging Tories forum. Anyone can join in. Even the Pope.
Sames-sex marriage topic.
Abortion topic.

Message from Bishop Fred Henry.
Man forced to marry goat. Funny, but still...

Friday, September 08, 2006

CCP may be Challenged

The Court Challenges Program is under the microscope.

Canada.Com says, "The program has been the target of harsh criticism from social conservatives and critics of so-called judicial activism, who assert the initiative is a slush-fund for left-leaning groups to circumvent the will of elected legislators by challenging them in court."

The Trudeau-era program, was once axed by Mulroney but revived by the Liberals in 1993.
Today it is only under review; not actually on the chopping block.

Lifesite also has some background.

Lorne Gunter has a terrific editorial in today's National Post (Kill the Court Challenges Program); but again only available to subscribers. (Really, you need to buy the Post!).

"...Most Canadians have probably never heard of the CCP. And it's budget is only a little under $3-million a year. Yet no other federal program or law has done more damage to Canadian democracy. No other has so fundamentally altered Canadian society without recourse to Parliament..."

"...After 1993, when the Liberals returned to power, special interests were put in charge, and their funding decisions made secret.

Not only did left-leaning interest groups want to keep CCP cash flowing into their legal departments, they understood that if they controlled the CCP granting process, they could keep groups opposed to their viewpoints from receiving equal funding, thereby giving their own causes an unfair advantage in court..."

"...Over time, the CCP and its fundees have become a very cozy, close-knit little clan. The program almost never funds cases brought by individuals, only those supported by powerful rights-seeking lobbies, and almost always the same dozen or so lobbies...."

"...The CCP was even the principal funder in 1992's Schacter case, in which CCP-paid intervenors convinced Supreme Court judges to grant themselves "reading in" powers to create new rights in Canadian law where none were approved by Parliament or the legislatures..."

Needless to say, Mr. Gunter thinks it's time to bid the old CCP adieu.

Me too.

* * * *

Update: H/T to Jeff at Where'd that bug go? for providing more info from Real Women. Of course, Jeff has a slightly different take on the situation.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Should parents have equal rights? - (With updates)

Some parents in B.C. are quite angry because it appears that the B.C. government has accorded gay rights activists Peter and Murray Corren more access and input into the school curriculum than parents.

A 15,000 name petition is now calling on the B.C. government to give parents the same level of input as the Correns who reached an input agreement with the government this past April, after dropping their human rights complaint.

Parents' ability to remove their children from the classes may be restricted. (Lifesite)

Canadian Catholic News says:

The agreement clarifies the government's present Alternative Delivery Policy, which allows parents to remove their children from content that conflicts with their beliefs and values in three specified courses: Health and Career K-7, Career 8-9, and Planning 10.

This opting-out provision has never applied to other courses. The agreement now explicitly states opting out doesn't apply to other courses, which in future may have new same-sex material added to them.

My question here is not whether gay curriculum should be taught in the schools, but rather should parents have as much influence as special interest groups in the process? That is all they are asking for.

Lots of links:
- Richmond Review
- Abbotsford News
- Vancouver Sun
- Lifesite

UPDATE: More controversy in Manitoba. Did you know that only 10% of the population is actually heterosexual? I sure didn't. Good thing kids will be learning that there, as well as some useful tips for lesbian sex.

H/T to Counter-Coulter for the following link with a great summary at the end:
Gay guarantee for provincial curriculum

It seems that some people can never be happy though -

The harshest criticism of the contract came from Xtra West, a gay and lesbian newspaper in Vancouver that accused the Correns of settling too soon for too little. "I want the government to liberally sprinkle queer content throughout all the course material where we are now conspicuously absent," Robin Perelle said in an editorial.

Update: Some parents may be scheduling medical and dental appointments at strategic times.

Link to the actual petition (pdf)
Link to Canadian Alliance for Social Justice and Family Values Association.

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! Is this next? From the U.K. - "Abortion Lessons for Children Should be Mandatory..."!

Wednesday Update
: From "Activists and Educators" - National Post Editorial

"...the Minister of Education has no right to give privileged access to the school curriculum -- especially on a matter as sensitive as homosexuality -- to activists of any sort. The public schools are to serve the public good, not to advance particular agendas...."

"...It is possible to support public policies congruent with the push for gay rights while still acknowledging the reality that this is a far from settled issue in Canada. In the meantime, the public schools must recognize that they have no mandate to offend against the moral sensibilities and religious faith of many of their students and their parents...."

Thursday Update: More from Proud to be Canadian.

Harper Pushing Senate Reform

Legislation is coming in the fall to create a process to elect members of the Senate for fixed terms.
- Full report at the Star website.

"Liberal senators are leery of the term-limit bill."

Gee, I wonder why?

More from the PMO.

Update: Interesting take on the situation by BT Braaten.

Get Ready for the Spin Cycle

This just in - The Bloc will support the softwood lumber deal, which means that the government won't fall on this issue.

Great. That means that the Grits and Dippers can start rehearsing their sanctamonious, self-righteous rhetoric for Question Period now.

Spare me.

570 is always on top of things. Just while writing this they reported that Tony Blair has announced that he will step down within one year. More at CTV.

Wacky Warren

Warren Kinsella has a column in today's National Post titled "Lessons from the Election that Was". Unfortunately it is hidden behind the subscribers' firewall, but I'm sure he will have it available on his site at some point.

The article is actually a discussion about an upcoming book, "The Canadian Election of 2006", and the contribution made by Carleton journalism professors Christopher Waddell and Christopher Dornan in the chapter titled "The Media and the Campaign".

Kinsella opens his piece by stating that after every election, the losers complain about the way they were treated by MSM. "It is as inevitable as sunset."

He goes on to give examples, such as the fact that the Liberals didn't like the way CTV covered the income-trust investigation, and that the NDP boycotted an editorial board meeting because of the way the Globe covered a particular poll.

Now this is the part that bothers me, and I am only quoting this one small excerpt because I've heard that Mr. Kinsella is protective when it comes to copyright infringement:

And the Conservatives? Learning from errors past, the Tories didn't bash the CBC directly -- but they certainly didn't prevent the well-organized "Blogging Tories" network from doing so, either.

So, he is blaming the Blogging Tories for bashing the CBC, and that somehow the CPC is responsible for that? Last time I heard, Freedom of Speech was still in the Charter.

Also, BT has no formal affiliation with the CPC. They do not receive any
money from them and they're not part of the organization. (I have that on good authority).

I agree that partisan blogs have to be mindful of what they write because it may cast a negative shadow on the very party that they are trying to support, but the party itself can in no way be held responsible for what is on the blogs. It is simply the passionate outpouring of a number of people who happen to support a particular party, but may have huge differences in opinion on policy. It is very different from what comes out of, for example, a particular riding association's draft policy proposal, which represents the thoughts of actual party members.

That is my opinion. Yours may be different. That's why we have blogs and discussions. And BTW, the CBC deserved it!

Update: More from Political Staples - "Well-organized?"

Somehow Greg has a link to the whole article. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

NDP Backs Down on 'Terrorist' Reference

Sounds like the heat was getting a bit much in the NDP kitchen.

The National Post has just put out a report that, "A group of NDP members has withdrawn controversial wording from an antiwar resolution that warned Canadian troops in Afghanistan risk “acting like terrorists.”

The wording caught the attention of some Conservative blogs, landed on the front page of the National Post newspaper, and provided welcome fodder for right-wing radio hosts.

However, the Post notes, "The main part of the resolution stands, including a line that suggests “foreign troops engaging in combat will make peace more difficult to achieve.”

Yes, I suppose everyone could just withdraw their troops, go home and wait for the inevitable world domination by the terrorists. If nobody complained, I'm sure it could be done peacefully.

H/T to Proud to Be Canadian - Note: Just Canada's Right Wing was Outraged.

Update: Lots of interesting reaction in today's Sun to various NDP gaffes.

Gary Doyle just made an interesting comment on Newstalk 570 - If these were the most reasonable resolutions the NDP could come up with, just what were the more radical, rejected ones? Mmmm.... Let's check out those trash cans!

Stephen Strikes Again!

Today's National Post has picked up on Stephen Taylor's awesome exposé of the NDP draft policies.

The NDP draft policy resolutions appeared briefly on the party Web site last week before being taken down. However, Conservative blogger Stephen Taylor obtained a copy and posted them on his Web site yesterday.

Well actually, he's done several postings, but that isn't the point. I love it when MSM picks up on blogging coups such as this one.

The front-page article (Troops Acting 'Like Terrorists?') is well worth the read.

Canada's troops in Afghanistan have been "acting like terrorists, destroying communities, killing and maiming innocent people", according to a resolution that will be voted on by New Democrats at the party's convention in Quebec City this weekend.

I can't imagine how the parents of those brave men and women would feel reading that statement.

Lorrie Goldstein also has an excellent editorial in today's Toronto Sun (Guess What, War is Hell).

He asks Jack Layton the following question regarding his desire to pull our troops out of Afghanistan and 'negotiate' with the Taliban:

Uh, negotiate what with the Taliban, Jack? The separation of mosque and state? Women's and children's rights? Union contracts with mandatory bathroom breaks for suicide bombers? C'mon!

Obviously, Jack is trying to score political points at the expense of our troops. In the Post article, Darrell Bricker of pollster Ipsos Reid is quoted as saying:

"If this issue drives the next vote, Layton could pull enough anti-war votes from the Liberals to help elect Tories," he said. He said the Liberals are in a difficult position on Afghanistan because they launched the mission, and at least two of the leadership candidates -- Michael Ignatieff and Scott Brison -- are in favour of its extension to 2009."

Politics or integrity? What a conundrum for the Grits.

* * * *

Looks like I'm not the only Blogging Tory who is outraged by some of these NDP draft policy resolutions:

Canadian Troops Accused of Terrorism - DMB
Bloggers in the News - Rootleweb
NDP Resolution calls Canadian Troops 'Terrorists' - Doing it Wrong
Support Our Terrorists! - UT
We All Believe in What We Are Doing Here - Doing It Wrong

Monday, September 04, 2006

Time to Support S.O.C. - With Update

The recent and very successful blogburst calling for the elimination of Status of Women (SOW or SWC - depending which side of the fence you're on), has produced a torrent of controversy in its wake.

Several issues are involved. First of all, is the concept of women still needing protection from men a valid one? I suppose in some areas that is true. Some women continue to be poor, uneducated, abused, experience inequality in the workplace, have problems finding affordable daycare, and/or require government assistance in general.

However, should this continue to be done under the purview of Status of Women? Is it not accomplished already under other goverment agencies at various levels?

And many women actually feel quite resentful that this notion of women as the poor, oppressed minority is still being perpetuated.

Kate says "Being testosterone-challenged is not a disability."

Kathy Shaidle say "We need Status of Women Canada like a fish needs a bicycle".

Secondly, many women resent the fact that SOW-SWC advocates only from the feminist POV.

Straight from the *ahem* horse's mouth, we have this definition of their mandate:

Status of Women Canada (SWC) is the federal government agency which promotes gender equality, and the full participation of women in the economic, social, cultural and political life of the country. SWC focuses its work in three areas: improving women's economic autonomy and well-being, eliminating systemic violence against women and children, and advancing women's human rights.

O.K. This mandate should speak for all women, but it doesn't. The concerns of Moms who wish to child-care their own kids, like Sara, are not addressed. And what about stay-at-home Dads? Do they have an advocate?

(BTW, congrats to Sara on her debut guest spot at The Turner Report! Totally awesome!!!)

The concerns of women and men who would like to see limits on abortion are not only ignored, but vehemently challenged. Also, there is no government advocate for the rights of unborn females (and males).

In the area of same-sex 'equality', groups like Egale are double-dipping (source: Real Women):

...Another example is the homosexual lobby group, Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE), which receives funding from both the Status of Women and the Court Challenges Program...

How about some funding for those marriage commissioners and all others opposed to same-sex marriage, who are hauled up in front of a Human Right's tribunal because they refused to perform some kind of act or service due to religious objections or matters of conscience?

Personally, I think we have to start taking a long, hard look at the whole aspect of funding special interest groups. Can we really afford it in this day and age? Look at what the Vancouver Sun had to say about the precarious state of the North American economy - "Faltering U.S. economy could easily drag Canadians down too":

...While Canada's economy is not as dependent on consumer spending as is the U.S. economy, exports account for 45 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, with 86.9 per cent of those exports going to the U.S. If Americans buy less lumber, oil, natural gas, beef, wheat, pulp, paper, metals, minerals and cars, Canadians will share the pain.

The writing is on the wall and governments of all stripes should be preparing for slower growth. That means putting the fiscal house in order, curbing spending and leaving more money in taxpayers' pockets. High taxes and high interest rates exacerbate a recession, so the federal government must keep a lid on both.

All governments will have to prioritize program spending, hold public service salary increases to no more than the rate of inflation and forgo the frivolous demands of special interest groups....

Therefore, I am suggesting that we scrap all special interests groups and downsize to one central advocacy umbrella: SOC - Status of Canadians.

I've even got the slogan: Time to put a sock in it, eh?

* * * *

Update: Sara has sent me an interesting link from wa-a-a-a-a-y back in the CBC archives.

The Royal Commission on the Status of Women, called by Prime Minister Pearson in February 1967, held the notion of equal opportunity as its precept. Chaired by journalist Florence Bird, the panel was criticized both for exceeding traditional boundaries and also for hedging on the conservative. But the great undercurrent born of the Bird Commission was a renunciation against inequality.

In my dictionary, equality refers to being "of the same quality, value, status... another". I wonder which version Status of Women is using now?

Friday, September 01, 2006

As the Great Canadian Social Experiment Evolves...

Ontario children may end up being allowed to have more than two legal parents.
(H/T Lifesite.)

Isn't it going to get a bit crowded on 'Meet the Teacher Night'?

* * * *

Doggerel Party has also picked up on this.

My Beef is "Where's the Chicken?" (With update)

I was originally just going to reference this column by the Sun's Christina Blizzard (Caledonia Mess Goes On) as an update to a previous post, but it deserves the limelight.

Among the noteworthy comments, she makes this point:

A recent Court of Appeal ruling acknowledged that they were in contempt of an earlier ruling telling them to leave the property, but cautioned that public safety would be threatened if the order was enforced. "The unchallenged evidence before us is that a court order that makes the current limited occupation of Douglas Creek Estates a contempt of court will only escalate tensions in the community, put public safety at increased risk and adversely affect the land-claim negotiations," the ruling said.

Oh, good. Now we have the courts sanctioning the takeover because we're too chicken to enforce the law. Apparently, if you cover your face with a bandanna and generally act menacing, you can get anything you want in this province.

I might add that there is somewhat of a safety risk involved when you have children going to a school where the adjacent property is off-limits to police and fire officials.

Many of the protesters I have spoken to do not recognize the authority of the laws, bylaws and regulations of this country. So will these homes meet the standards other developers must meet? Not likely. All it will take is for someone to build a fire for warmth, it'll get out of hand -- and you'll have a tragedy. Mark my words.

Almost prophetic considering the recent events!

But this is the best part. (Stop reading right here and go directly to the column, if you don't want to spoil the punch line):

Look, no one wants any violence. But McGuinty's handlers are trying to paint him as "Mr. Ontario" and "Mr. Personality." Sometimes, though, the way you judge a person's character is by how they stand up to bullies. On Caledonia, we're talking McChicken.

As a follow-up, a reader sent in a letter asking McChicken the following question ("No Leadership in Caledonia"):

What will you do now that the natives plan on staying on this government owned land? Oh, I know! Sit on your butt some more. Justice Marshall was right all along. His advice was to remove the natives first, then negotiate. Do you see the difference here? Right now, the natives tell you to jump, and you ask "how high?"

Answer: With any luck, right out of the ballpark.

UPDATE: Some Caledonia residents want McChicken to buy them out too! (With figures about the chicken feed he's already tossed around).

And from Wake-Up Call: Gwen Boniface - Ontario's Newest Millionaire.

"...Gwen reduced this force to a bunch of tree hugging, baby kissing, politically correct cowards that have absolutely no backing of our employer or the gov't..."

To catch what's going on in local radio, check out Jeff Allen's rant (August 31st).

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