Friday, March 30, 2007

Hitting the Salary Jackpot

From National Newswatch - CTV has a list of the top salaries for Ontario public sector workers.

This one really hurts in light of recent events:

The list grew by more than 6,500 workers, or 24 per cent, from the year prior.

Almost 140 employees at the scandal-plagued Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. were part of the $100,000 club in 2006, including many who made twice that amount, including Jim Warren, Premier Dalton McGuinty's former communications director.

Duncan Brown, who resigned as CEO right before the release of a scathing report from Ontario's ombudsman on lottery fraud practices, earned $364,825.

Ombudsman Andre Marin, meanwhile, received $192,565.

Personally, I think Mr. Marin deserves a bonus for exposing the rot.

* * * *

Sunday Update: Christina Blizzard - Liberal's Week to Forget.

Lorrie Goldstein - Who Pays for Government Debacles?

Floor Crossing for Dummies

This is how to cross the floor and still retain your integrity - Follow the example of Ontario MPP Tim Peterson, on the advice of PC leader John Tory and sit as an Indie first.

From the Sun:

"John Tory convinced me that I should not work in the session against the party that helped me get elected and the party that the people of Mississauga South supported in the last election," he said.

I'm not naming names here, but there are floor-crossers on both sides in the federal political realm who could take lessons from this class act.

* * * *

Update: BC Tory exposes a not-so-classy act.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Does this Duck 'have legs'?

It would appear that I wasn't too far off-base after all with my comparison of the Ontario Lottery scandal to Adscam.

The Globe's Murray Campbell (Ghost of Gomery Helping Caplan Keep His Seat in Cabinet) suggests that Caplan et al have learned lessons from Paul Martin's reaction to the sponsorship scandal, and are now using a 'Don't worry be happy' approach instead of fire and brimstone.

"Let's just say the lessons of Gomery were well noted and often mentioned," said a senior government official.

However, I have a few problems with Mr. Campbell's column. First of all he seems to be indicating that Caplan's staff somehow coached the OLG on how to deal with the unwanted publicity:

When the Public Infrastructure Minister began feeling the heat over apparent misdeeds at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., the advice from his staff to the agency was to fight hard if it thought it had been wronged.

And yet, we hear quite the contrary in this report by Keith Leslie:

The cabinet minister at the centre of Ontario's lottery scandal denied Wednesday that the Liberal government told the provincial agency responsible to launch a public relations offensive to refute reports that retailers were winning too many jackpots.

Interesting. So where did Campbell get his information from?

Leslie also notes that the opposition parties are not giving up:

The opposition parties said the involvement of two high-profile Liberals shows the premier's office was involved in developing the lottery corporation's response plan.

"These two partisan McGuinty operatives are having meetings to try and spin your way out of this scandal, but the premier's very own fingerprints are all over this," Tory said.

"If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it's probably a cover-up."

Campell seems to be of the opinion that the 'Circle the Wagons' approach is working, and that this whole thing will soon be off the public radar:

The opposition says it will keep up its attack, but the reality is that the story needs oxygen to survive. They are hoping for lottery-corporation whistle-blowers to emerge, but that may be a vain hope...

I don't know about that. Something tells me that this could very well be an issue for the opposition and taxpayers to take to the bank.

* * * *

Update: They're starting to jump ship!!!

Dion Doublespeak

Interesting item at the end of this Canada.Com report "Dion sending Liberal MP's on pre-election mission..." (H/T National Newswatch)

“It would be a mistake to give up any province, any region, any riding,” he(Dion) said, noting that a wave of support could cause many ridings that currently seem unwinnable to fall into the Liberal column.

However, asked if that assertion means the Liberals will run a candidate against Green party Leader Elizabeth May, Dion clammed up, saying he had nothing to announce.

Speculation is rife that Dion and May, who intends to run against Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay in Central Nova, are cooking a deal to work together in some ridings, including hers.

“I will not deny what is already in the news ... that there are talks between us,” Dion said.

“When it will happen, if it’s happening, it will be open and transparent.”

Besides the obvious contradiction here, something else bothers me. This whole strategy somewhat undermines the democratic process, doesn't it? If you deliberately run a "weak" Liberal candidate in Central Nova, for example, does that not somehow influence a constituent's ability to make an informed decision and choice?

And, if this is a morally and legally acceptable maneuver, what is stopping the NDP and Conservatives from doing the same thing in a strong leftist riding in hopes of reducing the number of Liberals elected, which would be a win-win for both the Tories and the Dippers?

Just asking.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Holding your nose so you don't smell the stench

Why is Dalton McGuinty ignoring calls for David Caplan's resignation?

As Christina Blizzard points out, the previous Tory government had a few issues arise of an even less serious nature, and the relevant cabinet ministers took a 'time-out', even though they weren't personally implicated in any wrongdoing.

* * * *

Update: Joan Tintor makes a nice catch here - Fiberal Spinners...


Step to the Right
- Lots of links and facts on the OLG Scandal.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ontario Lottery Fraud - McGuinty's Adscam?

Will this be the big wedge issue in the upcoming Ontario election? Kate seems to think it could have some traction.

One thing for sure - The people who were hurt by this are likely some of the more vulnerable in our society, such as seniors and low-income folks.

Are we as taxpayers and voters going to continue to accept this kind of weak excuse from our political leaders that according to them, they didn't know about the wrongdoing and so therefore should be excused? We are seeing this time and time again. The scapegoats get sent packing with huge incentives that make it seem as if they won the lottery!

Colby Cosh notes in his column Scratch and Lose, that:

But when OLG employees raised concerns about suspicions of retailer fraud, CEO Duncan Brown noted in an e-mail that as head of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, "I used to have to issue gaming licences to companies or individuals that I just knew with absolute certainty were dirty. I just couldn't prove it. Sometimes you hold your nose."

I have a question for each taxpayer and lottery player in Ontario - Are you going to hold your nose and vote in more of the same this fall?

* * * *
Update: Step to the Right - OLG Campaign with YOUR Money!

I just came across one of these ads myself. "OLG- Making it even better" (for fraudsters?).

Oh boy. Here's a juicy tidbit. It seems that our friend Warren Kinsella was allegedly one of the spin doctors allegedly involved in the PR repair job after the original Fifth Estate exposé aired back in October.

..."As soon as the 'insider win' scandal was exposed, the (OLG) took action -- but instead of investigating what went wrong ... it reacted like a business facing a public relations nightmare, it hired experts to dispute the CBC's findings, even though as our investigators discovered, it knew full well that Mr. Edmonds was far from alone," Marin said...

Mr. Kinsella was allegedly not available for comment.

The Beginning of the End of the PQ?

Last night's Quebec election results show some interesting shifts in the attitudes of the Quebec population.

1. In spite of an obviously disappointing performance, Jean Charest's Liberals have still managed to cling to power in what has ended up being a minority government.

2. The ADQ's Mario Dumont has clearly inspired a message of family values that is resonating more with voters than the old separation debate. And as Stephen Taylor notes, the results couldn't be better for the ADQ since it will give them an opportunity to learn and mature in opposition. An ADQ goverment at this point may have been too much too soon for their own good (and Quebec's).

3. The PQ is in third place and may very possibly be in danger of becoming irrelevant, which does not bode well for the BQ.

4. The strong federalist support suggests greater potential for seat pick-up by the CPC and to a lesser degree by the LPC.

All in all, the best possible outcome for those who wish Canada to stay intact.

But my loyal reader Gabby mentioned in my nuclear waste post (which I morphed into a politics debate), she is a bit leery about assuming that the the PQ is dead:

The one bright light is that the PQ has lost some support. The ROC should not cry "separatism is dead" though. It is simply undergoing a transformation.

Chantel Hebert suggests that although this likely means the end of Boisclair's leadership, the separatist movement will carry on:

Given a choice between pondering whether that reflects poorly on its core cause of sovereignty or on its leader's skills, the party will almost certainly zero in on the latter. It is ultimately easier for the PQ to keep on replacing its leaders than to give up on its dream of an independent Quebec.

I tend to agree that we should not let allow ourselves to become complacent.

BTW, congrats to ChuckerCanuk for a fascinating and entertaining "Live Blog" event last night! I certainly enjoyed the party.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Now that there is a huge push on to reduce our fossil fuel consumption, one of the highly-touted alternatives is that of increasing nuclear power production.

However, the Toronto Star reports this morning that highly-urbanized areas in Southern Ontario are being considered for long-term disposal.

So we all want to be green, and we still want our precious power, but are we willing to deal with the waste-storage fallout?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Right (or Left) on the money

This op-ed in today's Sun is incredibly insightful - Tories outfoxing Liberals for Mushy Middle Vote.

Not a lot of time for blogging today, but I do hope to come back to it. Please feel free to comment.

BTW, to paraphrase the ever indignant Stephane Dion, I've never seen a leader of the Official Opposition do so much damage to our country in such a short time.

I shudder to think what might happen if he were Prime Minister.

* * * *

Update: Sheila Copps throws in her two-cents worth here - Being a Bully will end up Costing the PM.

The jokes practically write themselves in this piece. Be my guest.

Evening Update: Well, it's been a busy day, so not much blogging - My apologies.

Great post here though. It was actually picked up by National Newswatch - Seconds Thoughts: Gerard Kennedy calls PM a Racist.

And this is HUGE!!! Kerplonka! - Scandal! The internal email you *have* to read... Backroom deals in Victoria!

Monday Update: Ezra Levant - Grits Chew on Nutty Rhetoric.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Obviously, I blew it.

(And if you're reading this today, then you did too!)

Thou Shalt Not Besmirch the Grits...

...anyone one else is fair game.

Today's National Post Editorial (Dear Stephane: Be a Man), highlights Stephane Dion's outraged hysteria over the Prime Minister daring to suggest that "the opposition seems to care more about the rights of Taliban detainees than the safety of our troops in Kandahar".

So Steffi then called Stephane Harper a 'bully'. The Post then goes on to outline other instances when the Liberals did their own 'bullying':

Since last fall, the Liberals have labelled Mr. Harper a Neanderthal over his government's cuts to the Status of Women Canada budget; implied he is racist for axing the $5-billion Kelowna agreement on native funding; claimed he is anti-democratic for "stacking" the committees that advise on judicial nominees; accused him of "undermining our Canadian values system" by eliminating funding to the left-leaning Court Challenges Program; and suggested he was homophobic for reviving the debate on same-sex marriage. They have called him a "control freak," "Bush-lite," "deceitful" and a practitioner of "Republican voodoo economics."

I might add to that that the Prime Minister of Canada has even been called a "Political Whore" by a sitting Liberal MP; albeit not in the House itself. I even asked Garth if he was planning to apologize. His response was:

Of course he (Harper) completely prostituted his Reform principles. That’s fact, not character assassination. He executed himself. — Garth
So, I suppose if the accuser believes the statement to be true, then no apology is required.

And yet, we now have Post columnist Jonathan Kay, the National Post itself, and others being served libel notices over Kay's piece about alleged Liberal backroom deals. Jonathan defended his position in the Post's Full Comment blog back on Feb. 28.

This morning I asked Mr. Kay if he was planning to comment about this latest development, but he replied that he has "been advised not to make any statement". However, he did thank me for my note.

The Big Red Liberal Machine is worried, folks. They are demoralized by their glaring mistake in electing a 'whimp' as a leader and by polls showing rising support for the CPC.

- And just like a cornered animal, the LPC is lashing out in anger and fear.

* * * *
Update: More at Backseat Blogger.
Halls of Macadamia - More CTV Bias (The Liberal MSM is getting a bit freaked out too).

The Stephen Taylor has a great post - The Code of the Centre Block Schoolyard.

And Jack has an awesome rant tonight! - "Wimpy Little Guy, isn't he?".

Friday, March 23, 2007

Things could get ugly

National Newswatch reports that several Liberal MP's including Gerard Kennedy are serving notice of libel against the National Post, Jonathan Kay and "John Doe".

Can a journalist be forced to reveal his source?

* * * *

More at Canadian Blue Lemons.

Jack's Newswatch
- The Handwriting is on the Wall.

And an older link to the Navdeep Bains story, which is all intertwined (TDH).

Also, in the March 26 issue of Western Standard, there is a very interesting article titled "Stephane Dion's Turnaround on Terror", by Kevin Steel. He refers to Jonathan Kay's National Post op-ed "citing unnamed sources who claimed deals that played out at the Liberal convention were cut months in advance, and included support from Sikh, Tamil and Muslim organizations, in exchange for a promise to water down the ATA". The Liberals of course, denied all this.

But this is compelling:

"In a email to the Western Standard, Kay writes that he stands by his unnamed source, who he claims is a person very high up in the Liberal party." (pg.26)

Toronto - Socialist Epicentre of the Universe

First we had the Federal budget which veered decidedly towards centre if not slightly left. Then Greg Sorbara brought down the Ontario 'tax and spend' budget that moved even further left.

Terence Corcoran of the National Post now looks towards the Toronto budget set to be announced on Monday as the 'taxathon' continues. Unfortunately this front page Comment piece is under subscriber lock, but here are a few tidbits:

"... and a rockin' event it (the budget announcement) will be as Mayor David Miller tries to hold himself in check before he hits the dance floor with the new "fiscal tools" he just got from the province. Let's see: New tax on drinking, maybe, or a tax on roads or parking lots...
Three levels of government rolling in cash and not a meaningful tax cut in sight, and not one spending program cut that anybody's announced or noticed...

...The only thing Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara could say about taxes is that there would be no increases. Even that's not quite true.

The budget's call for a $10.25 Ontario minimum wage by 2010 is essentially a plan for a tax increase on low-wage incomes. The new wage will get distributed to people who get the $10.25- an-hour jobs at the expense of people who don't get jobs at $9 an hour. And that will mean more welfare programs.

"...Much is made of a balanced Ontario budget, as if that were an achievement that took effort in the face of rising tax revenue gains of almost 8% per year. The real effort came in finding the spending opportunities tomatch the ballooning revenues...."

So many more pithy comments. You really need to run out & buy a Post this morning.

Meanwhile, the Sun's Sue-Ann Levy tells us that His Blondeness almost threw a temper tantrum when he realized that the provincial government was not going to upload more of his social spending programs. Levy states:

He even had the audacity to imply that this might impact on the 3% tax hike (in other words, increase it) built into the 2007 operating budget. "Our budget next week will be extremely difficult," he said.

...Meanwhile, the mayor arrogantly refuses to put the city's house in order, to contract out services, to look at creative ways of doing business or to rein in his overpriced union pals. Quite the contrary. The Millerites keep spending as if money is pouring from the heavens...

Back on the provincial front, Lorrie Goldstein asks, why should we believe Dalton anyway?

Even the Red Star does not seem totally enthralled with the Ontario budget.

My guess is that if you are a single, middle class or higher Toronto resident with no kids, you are not a happy camper today.

* * * *
Update: More at the Politic - The McGuinty Budget: Almost enough to make John Tory actually look decent...almost! (Boy, there's a rousing endorsement if ever I heard one.)

Saturday Update: Woody - No Soup for you, Big Salad for me.

Sunday Update: Toronto's Pain is 905's Gain - Sun.

And in the category of Damned if you do; damned if you don't, we have this: Burn Out

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ontario Budget Tabled

Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara has delivered the Ontario Liberal pre-election budget.

As the National Post notes, there is no across-the-board tax relief. The various measures for low-income families appear to be designed to lure soft left voters.

Since the Ontario budget seems to be highly dependent on the recently announced Federal budget, I find it extremely ironic that Liberal MP David McGuinty will be voting against the very set of bills that is so crucial to his brother Dalton's political future.

Appreciating Canadian Talent

To my political readers: Please indulge me for a few minutes while I take a brief time-out to flog a terrific Canadian talent, jazz-pop singer Holly Cole.

This Halifax native has just released a new self-titled album which was reviewed today in the Record (Click on 'Arts' and then "Other Releases this Week").

As is the case with most Canadian singers, getting proper recognition is difficult although Holly Cole has had great success in Japan in terms of jazz CD sales and tours. The writer of the Record review laments that her two previous pop albums have been "criminally ignored", and that she is returning to her jazz roots with the latest release.

We have a special place in our hearts for Holly Cole, because several years ago a member of our family was going through a critical medical situation and Holly personally went to great effort to cheer us all up. I don't want to go into details, but let me assure you that Holly is not just a terrific singer, but also a warm human being who has great compassion and concern for others.

Please visit her website and sample the songs available under 'Discography'. If you enjoy her unique musical style, please consider purchasing a CD and telling your friends.

Holly Cole is a Canadian treasure.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Comuzzi Out (Breaking News)

Apparently Stephane Dion has little tolerance for dissension.

Liberal MP Joe Comuzzi
got the boot (H/T to reader Brian in Calgary).

So Garth, what was that about a big tent where discussion and differing opinions are welcome?

Update: I tried asking Garth that question at his blog, but it seems that I have been banned! So much for discussion and free speech. I was responding to this statement:

If you want to be a leader whose orders are followed without question by those who know their place, are able to follow commands effortlessly, don’t talk to the media, can work as a team and never question you in public or cast doubt upon your leadership, get a dog.

I was wanting to ask Garth what Joe Comuzzi might say to that. Well, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and expect that my comment is awaiting his approval. Yes, that must be it.

Update: My comment is finally on Garth's site. (1:49 pm)

So I guess I haven't been banned yet. I'll just have to try a bit harder. Interesting discussion there, but I hate feeding his ego with the traffic.

More at Political Staples. (Good point made here that Joe C. may have been used as an example for what could happen to dissenting Quebec MP's who are afraid to face their constituents if they vote against the goodies for their province. It could be political suicide for them (either way, I guess.)

* * * *

Thursday Update: David Akin relates Joe Comuzzi's press statement on the CTV Politics Blog:

...I love Canada and my region and if doing the right thing has consequences, I must accept them. However I will never, never put my gain in front of representing my constituents...

(The site appears to be down temporarily).

The Master Chess Player

This is a fascinating time to be following Federal politics in Canada.

The most entertaining aspect of all is sitting back and observing Stephen Harper's shrewd machinations bear political fruit. We Tory backseat drivers tend to worry and obsess when we detect what we perceive to be a tactical error in policy or maneuvering, but rest assured that our Fearless Leader has a very far-sighted plan. He is always ten moves ahead of everyone else.

And this budget is no exception.

Chantel Hebert describes the breathtaking ten minutes during the budget announcement that PQ Leader André Boisclair held the fate of this Parliament in his hands. Dion had apparently already decided not to support the budget without even reading it and Jack Layton would only support it if given the political spotlight to rewrite it.

And word was out from the government that the budget would stand as is. No Liberal-NDP shenanigans this time.

So Duceppe called Boisclair to discuss the options which were obviously either to immediately go to the polls or not. Since they felt they couldn't explain the rationale behind voting down all that money to the Quebec electorate, they opted to support the budget. This has its own interesting ramifications because now they have to explain why separatists are propping up a federalist government. They are also forced to admit that federalism can have its rewards.

Brian Laghi of the Globe calls it a game of political chicken. It seems that even though Harper has a minority government, he also has carte blanche until such a time as the opposition parties decide they've had enough.

What will be the tipping point?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Obligatory Budget Post

Yesterday's budget details and the plethora of related reactions reminded me of Aesop's fable about the Man, the Boy and the Donkey - try to please all and you end up pleasing none.

It was a budget meant to appeal to a broad base of Canadians - a little something for everyone - and yet the nitpickers still weren't happy. Jack Layton's stance is that any number of government handouts will never be enough (unless he co-writes the document himself).

Stephane Dion stated, "I've never seen a government ... do so little with so much."

Gilles Duceppe had to check with PQ leader Andre Boisclair before making up his mind. Apparently the response was, 'Take the money and run'.

MSM on the right feel that the CPC is selling out its traditional base, while those on the left parrot Jack by saying that it wasn't enough. Most seem to bemoan the lack of discernible differences and choice between parties these days, as they all become more and more centrist (well maybe not Jack). Many Blogging Tories have reiterated that sentiment.

Since 2/3 of the spending went to resolve the fiscal imbalance, this amount of aggressive spending should hopefully be a 'one off'. And it will be so worth it if McGuinty stops his whining!

On a personal level, I was pleased to see the measures included such as the Disability Savings Plan, designed to aid parents of children with severe disabilities. My cousin Ted Kuntz in BC was interviewed by CTV (video clip available at right side of this link). His adult son suffered brain damage as an infant and now has the mental capacity of a two-year-old. This support is a huge boost on an emotional as well as a financial level to such families.

Politically, it remains to be seen where this is all going. I suspect that PMSH has a trick or two up his sleeve.

And I'll bet he won't be too worried about asking anyone how he should take that donkey to market.

* * * *

Update: Wow! Check out the 'Election Fever Meter' towards the right of the National Newswatch page. It was hovering around 90% or higher the last week or so, and now it's plunged to 18%!!

Reader Florence pointed out this great post at Backseat Blogger - On that hidden agenda thingy.

Sandy - It was a Canadian Budget -- Conservative AND Liberal.

Heard on CTV's Mike Duffy - Lawrence Martin suggests that there may be some dissent in the Liberal caucus about the budget. It seems that some Quebec MP's want to support it.

Dissension in the ranks for sure - Liberal Joe Comuzzi to support budget!

CBC - Dion opposed to budget before reading it: PM

Sunday, March 18, 2007

In the Eye of the Political Storm

Well, it's not everyday that I get an opportunity to be a witness to front page news.

Last night my twenty-something daughter and I joined the massive throng of Conservative supporters in Mississauga to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper rally the troops for a possible election which the opposition could force at any time.

The crowd estimates ranged anywhere from 2000 to 5000 depending on the bias of your media source. (Interesting that CBC seems to have picked the low end there.)

I can assure you that there were so many enthusiastic, sweating bodies packed in that massive hall like sardines, that everyone was peeling off as many clothes as possible to cool down. The Prime Minister was visibly perspiring from the heat. I don't recall ever being in a closed environment with that number of fellow human beings at one time.

But no one complained.

There was an excitement in the air as the evening started with Jim Flaherty and Josée Verner warmed up the audience. The Finance Minister is a tremendous speaker; full of Irish wit and charm. Flaherty has definitely not reached his full political potential yet.

The Prime Minister's speech is well documented on various news sources, but I can tell you that he seemed energized by the boisterous crowd, which was showing approval with cheers and applause, and the banging of thundersticks almost nonstop.

His remarks were targeted at the average Canadian; the hard-working silent majority who "didn't have the time to stage protests or the money to hire lobbyists." (CTV)

There was also a tone of humility:

"We cannot worry about what they say about us around boardroom tables but we must care what they talk about at the kitchen tables.''

In any case, it was a most enjoyable evening. The icing on the cake was the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers; notably Sandy (Crux-of-the-Matter), and the Stephen Taylor! What a great guy! Stephen, if you're reading this, I hope we didn't embarrass you too much. ;)

Our meeting up with Sandy was quite "serendipitous" as she referred to it. Perhaps she will elaborate at some point.

Anyway, Sandy and her husband are warm, friendly people whom my daughter and I were very happy to have met. We ended up sitting together, which was great. In fact, it was due to Sandy's brilliant strategic skills that we were even able to find a seat. She is very clever about dealing with line-ups, and how to get around them. I highly recommend that you ask her for tips if you ever plan to attend an event like this.

After the rally, there was a large reception with various MP's milling about, but my focus at that point was more on grabbing some cheese and cold meat, since we were starving. As my daughter and I settled in against a wall to devour our snacks, I noticed Jim Prentice advancing in our general direction. He stopped to chat to a couple of men beside me. I glanced over and noticed that one of them was Jason Kenney!

Didn't get a chance to talk to them (especially with my mouth full of food), but it was fun to be in the same room watching MP's mill around like common folk - which they are, and which we all are.

* * * *

Who else was there? Sandy and Stephen of course. Also Christian Conservative. Anyone else?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dion Wants to increase your Hydro Bill

John Ivison's column in today's National Post mirrors my thoughts on Stephane Dion's "Green Investment Account" proposal (Dion's naivete on display).

His scheme is intended to make the polluters pay, but guess what? The buck stops at the person staring back at you in the mirror.

The new plan would mean polluting industries could see their top-line expenses grow by $2.5-billion a year if they miss their emission targets.

Canadians who scoff at pleas of poverty from the oil and gas industry may be less smug when they learn the electricity industry is already contemplating passing on the estimated $1-billion in annual extra costs to consumers.

"Sure we would," said Hans Konow, president of the Canadian Electricity Association. "This is added cost that would be passed through."

This will just end up being another behemoth Liberal boondoggle, designed to line the pockets of everyone except you and me. The irony is that it doesn't even necessarily guarantee results in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Jason Kenney calls this plan a 'lemon'.

The Liberal party sure picked one.

* * * *
More at Political Staples - Because there is only one payer.

Friday, March 16, 2007

No more strippers in Dion's platform

Susan Delacourt of the Star explains that while Harper's French is perceived to be better than Dion's English, Stephane is making progress:

Over the past few weeks, Dion has been actively using English more and has already shed some of his difficulties with pronunciation. When talking about his "three-pillar" political platform, for instance, it no longer comes out as "peelers," much to the disappointment of comedians and pundits who had fun with the nickname for strippers.

Dion is spending a lot of time with his English tutor:
"She's helping me to catch the music of the language, where to put the intonation. It's a complete mystery for me," Dion said. "What I understand is that you (English-speakers) have that by instinct more than by rules.

I can only speculate that the Dion household didn't worry too much about ensuring that little Stephane was encouraged to learn and speak English. The mother-tongue and the motherland were likely all that mattered.

However, if he is actually successful in his remedial homework, it may end up being a liability. His fractured English was the only thing preventing me from falling asleep during a speech.

Supremely Archaic

Sometimes you just have to wonder.

Our Supreme Court seems so progressive and forward-thinking in areas of social engineering like same-sex marriage, abortion and swingers' clubs, yet so slow in others.

Gobsmacked by the Star

I'm a little late to the party here, but Sandy has been doing a great job with this story about the McGuinty government's incredible arrogance and abuse of power regarding their efforts to prevent court costs associated with fighting parents of autistic children from becoming public knowledge.

And I may have to change my opinion about the Star after reading this opinion piece and the following statement:

The government's stonewalling is indefensible. Openness should be the rule in the public sector, not the exception. Premier Dalton McGuinty and his ministers have apparently forgotten that government information does not belong to them or their bureaucrats, but to the citizens who vote and pay the bills.

Wow! Dalton, you've got to know you're really out to lunch when even the Star disagrees with you.

* * * *

Meanwhile in Ottawa, brother David is howling about lack of accountability (A.G. Fraser 'Refuses to be Accountable', should explain, Grit MP says).

It seems that in the McGuinty family, accountability only matters in Federal politics.

* * * *

Star Reality Check - Now here is the Star that we all love to hate - Tory Training Camp: No Welcome Mat Here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Inconvenient Backlash Update

Lots of interesting things going on lately.

Licia Corbella has a great column in today's Sun (Debunking Global Warming Myths). She refers to the Great Global Warming Swindle which is a must-see.

The film is best accessed via A Dog Named Kyoto.

Also, fellow BT MolarMauler has given me a link to a debate scheduled for tonight in New York City - 'Global Warming is Not a Crisis' Debate.

Just black out the windows when you check this stuff out. The Kyoto Klimate Kops are watching.

* * * *

Update: Please check out PTBC - Only (not) in Canada, you say?

Saturday Update: Salim Mansur - Climate Under Fire:

Science does not have a Vatican, a clergy and a doctrine to defend. Science is an activity of fallible human beings striving to understand the workings of nature, and one tool in its arsenal is skepticism.

But when science gets co-opted by politics (often corrupt) or religion (wherein faith is primary) then skepticism is placed under a cloud, and inquisition is close at hand.

Violating the Charter vs. Violating Life

Newstalk 570 talkshow host Jeff Allan will be interviewing Lifesite editor John Henry Weston this morning at 10:30. (Oh, yeah, and then Stephane Dion right after... *Yawn*)

Anyway, the subject du jour involves the recent arrest in the "murder of pregnant school teacher Manjit Panghali in B.C. The victim's husband Mukhtiar Panghali as well as his brother Sukhvinder Panghali were both arrested and charged in her death."

Regarding the tragic events, Constable Sharlene Brooks stated:

Mrs. Panghali and her unborn child have had their lives taken prematurely and very tragically. This type of crime defies comprehension and the value of human life.”

Right to Life wants to see laws in place to protect pregnant women who seem especially vulnerable to these types of crimes of passion, by charging the accused with two murders rather than just that of the mother.

Ironically, yesterday would have been Majit Panghali's due date.

A private member's bill was introduced last June to deal with this matter, but it was judged non-votable by the five-member Subcommittee:

The committee members stated that the bill “clearly” violated the Constitution including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

By pretending to safeguard womens' rights, we have actually put them at greater risk.

How do we go about fixing this mess?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What REALLY Happened at MP School?

ChuckerCanuk divulges the real story. Linwood Barclay, eat your heart out.

The Multicultural Face of Canada

Statistics Canada has just released the first wave of results from the 2006 Census - Population and dwelling counts.

A few items of interest:

1.) Total response rate 97%. (Globe)

So, we are either very good little Canadians who do as we are told, or else many of
us actually took that jail threat seriously.

2.) "Canada's population growth between 2001 and 2006 was higher than the previous intercensal period. " "Between 2001 and 2006, Canada's population growth was the highest among the G8 countries." (Statscan)

This is surprising considering our lack of laws concerning abortions. Obviously, our reliance on immigration is crucial and must continue, since we have no stomach to limit abortions in Canada.

Also interesting that the Globe noted that the population is "smaller than predicted", which would suggest that the other G8 nations must be doing really poorly.

3.) "Nearly 90% of Canada's population growth between 2001 and 2006 was concentrated in large metropolitan areas." (StatsCan)

Not surprising at all, but it means that politicians are going to have to increasingly pander to large cities in order to survive. This could possibly mean some kind of fallout for rural areas and farmers. In any case, those islands of red among the great sea of blue are of great importance to PMSH.

4.) Then there is the language issue - 64 of them according to the Census!

For better or for worse, the face of Canada is changing. There is no alternative. I wonder what our country will look like 20 years from now.

* * * *

Update: Mesopotamia West - The Face of Canada.

Kate has a detailed analysis - Stats Canada 2006 Census.

Joel at Proud to be Canadian has a great post - Like I said: 'Canada, Make Babies':

As approximately 18 people in Canada know (and this is by design of liberals and their media), there are no abortion laws in Canada, and women are free to get free taxpayer-paid abortions at any time at all in any pregnancy—(there’s no “you’re too far along” law in Canada—ANY time is a good time for an abortion in Canada), and can and do get an abortion—sometimes several—for any reason or no particular reason at all whatsoever. There’s simply no law. Canada’s liberals designed it and maintain it this way with the able help of their Supreme Court division. Go team.

The whole post is well worth the read.

Thursday Update: Good letters in the National Post re: their March 14 editorial "Start Making Babies":

If the government wants to increase Canadian birth rates instead of relying on immigration to bolster the population, perhaps the Minister of Finance's budget should consider full income spitting for families with babies. Every skilled immigrant taken from a Third World country reduces that country's ability to improve its own living standards. Beggaring your neighbour is a poor substitute for working together to make a better world.

A more truthful headline would have been: Stop aborting babies. We have over 100,000 innocent lives lost to abortion, oops, I mean "choice." Is it any wonder we have a "fertility crisis"?

Friday Update: Sun's Licia Corbella - Baby-Making Needed. Licia explains why immigration alone won't solve our problems. A must-read.

Monday, March 12, 2007

It was a Gas!

So what did you think about the Corner Gas season finale?

I don't want to give anything away here, in case some fans have taped it and not actually seen the show yet.

Please tell me what you thought.

Did you cry when Lacy said goodbye to everyone?

Can Stephen Harper act?

Will SEEmus and Bev ever hear their names pronounced properly again?

It's called "The Weather", Stupid!

I am emerging from my self-imposed 'reading retreat' because I just couldn't let this pass.

Apparently there were rallies in major cities across Canada yesterday, calling for peace in the "War on Terra". (Can you believe it?)

Anyway, the rallies were supposed to be non-partisan, but many politicians seized the opportunity to push for Kyoto compliance (Post - "Tories Knocked at Kyoto Rally"):

Chief organizer Brennan Louw said he intended the event to be non-partisan; however, local federal politicians took the opportunity to court voters and to challenge the record of Prime Minster Stephen Harper.

"I say to Mr. Harper: You have no right to take Canada out of the Kyoto Protocol. That's Canada's signature on that document - that's not you're signature," said NDP Leader Jack Layton. "We must send that message to Stephen Harper."

( . . . )

"The impact of the climate-change crisis on the world is the equivalent of war," Layton said, referencing remarks the UN Secretary General made last week. "And that means that we have to mobilize as a society and work together the way we would if we were involved in a war."

Good grief! Perhaps Jack Layton would like to take his overblown rhetoric to a protest on Mars?

Anyway, the Star tells of this brilliant protester who is firmly convinced of global warming:

The United Nations released a 21-page report last month that said human activity was "very likely" the cause of global warming and Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar.

Bill Terry, 56, said even without those recent events, he wouldn't have to look very far for a reason to come out to the rally.

"You can even feel it today. I mean we're pretty early in March and look how hot it is."

Bill, I believe that is called spring. And never mind that we've just gone through a frigid February, and I still can't see a speck of green outside. I mean, the birds are making nests in the snowbanks, Bill! C'mon.

But what really gripes me here is that the Kyoto Kultists are allowed to point to any weather at all, and call it evidence of man-made climate change, and therefore requiring Kyoto Kompliance.

But just let a Global Warming Denier even try to make a joke about the weather being cold in an effort to refute all this paranoia, and the result is santimonious outrage!

Obviously the 'Culture of Entitlement' is not the exclusive domain of the Liberal Party of Canada.

* * * *
Update: ChuckerCanuk - Stephane Dion: Save Pluto!

The Strong Conservative
- Deny Global warming, Get Death Threats.

A Dog Named Kyoto - The Great Global Warming Swindle.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Do as I say; not as I do

No, I'm not going to slag David Suzuki or Al Gore today. This one is for Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin who as the National Post editorial notes (Don't Speak), seems to have no problem speaking from a political stance but abhors any such influence in the Justice system.

Speaking Thursday to the Empire Club in Toronto, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin bemoaned what she said was the increasing inability of ordinary Canadians to seek justice in the courts, primarily because of the high cost and long waits.

Litigation is, of course, a costly and time-consuming burden. But we doubt that this unfortunate fact has changed much over the years. Taking a case to trial, then all the way through the various layers of appeal, has always been an expensive, drawn-out process -- which is why most litigation tends to end with a negotiated settlement. But even if we accept Judge McLachlin's contention that the situation has deteriorated of late, her remarks -- coming as they do on the heels of the Conservative government cutting two major sources of funding for litigious interest groups -- gives the appearance that the chief justice may be taking a political stance.

The Post is of course referring to Conservatives cuts to the Court Challenges Program and the Status of Women department, both of which serve a largely left-wing agenda. They obviously feel that judges should keep their political opinions to themselves. I agree.

Lawyer Karen Sellick had an interesting opinion piece in the Post on Tuesday (Judicious Compensation). Her contention appears to be that the system is flawed due to a fixed salary system, which removes the incentive to increase productivity .

She is concerned that the current system not only encourages slackers, but also something far worse:

But there's another risk, too. With financial motivation gone, it will be the ideologues among the judiciary who will tend to step forward and seed the law reports with their decisions. They have other motivations besides money -- the ambition to move up the judicial ladder into appellate courts, or the desire to influence the direction of the law in accordance with some ideological agenda.

So it's not just the selection process that tends to politicize the judiciary. The compensation system does it, too.

She goes on to offer a remedy:

There is a solution to this problem. It's to allow opposing litigants to jointly select their judge, with judges being paid according to time worked. Only unbiased judges would get many cases, and we wouldn't need political pre-screening of applicants because judges would be screened daily by those requiring their services.

So unless things change, we will continue to enable a powerful system of slackers who are only encouraged to become productive if they have a political agenda to enforce. This is their motivation; notwithstanding the odd one who may actually possess a modicum of integrity.

Not a pretty picture for the future of Canadian society.

* * * *

With that, I'll sign off for a few days. I have a pile of reading to catch up on.

* * * *

Update: Interesting Counterpoint by David Asper. Thoughts?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Corner Gas Spoiler Alert

I was going to talk about the Liberal mole this morning, but this is much more important:

It seems that Monday's season finale of Corner Gas is going to have more than just Stephen Harper as the drawing card - There will also be a huge plot shocker (which could be a shocker in itself since most people can't detect a plot). Don't read any further if you would prefer to be surprised.

We get a glimpse here from the Sun's Bill Harris, who BTW, is obviously not a big Harper fan.

As for Harper’s performance, heck, he fits right in. After all, part of the shtick on Corner Gas is that it’s a little dry and a little stiff.

Well, whatever. The man is a politician; not an actor (although some would disagree).

Anyway, I've decided not to give away the ending after all. If you really want to know, Harris' column provides some details. More at Stephen Taylor's update.

Should CTV have leaked the ending like this?

Will Brent open another gas station near Little Mosque? Will Jack Bauer try to help out and end up being tortured by hungry prairie dogs?

This is going to be a long summer.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Ontario 'Dream Team'

I was just listening to Elizabeth Witmer on a local news-talk show. Liz is one accomplished and classy lady. She is gracious, but can cut through the BS with razor-sharp clarity.

No offense to John Tory, but I sure do wish Elizabeth was the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. Tory seems like a nice guy, but I just don't see him being able to wrestle the crown from McGuinty. Anyway, as I said in a previous post, it may actually be to the Federal Conservatives' advantage to have the Ontario Liberals working well with the Harper government.

But in my daydream, Elizabeth Witmer would be the leader. Her deputy would be the witty, no nonsense attack-dog Tim Hudak.

I would love to see those two go up against McGuinty and Smitherman.

Suggestion to John Tory: Get Elizabeth and Tim into some of those ads! You're not trying to sell sleep-aids, John.

Political Correctness Gone Mad

According to the UN, Canada's use of the term 'visible minorities' is racist! (Post)

A few excerpts regarding the report by the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

Canada's use of the term "visible minorities" to identify people it considers susceptible to racial discrimination came under fire at the United Nations yesterday --for being racist.

Members of the Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination also questioned other terms used by the federal government, among them "ethnocultural communities."

It adds that Canada should "reflect further on the implications of the use of the term," but offers no suggestions about what words would be acceptable.

So, if a company needs to increase the number of "visible minorities" (please don't tell the UN) in their workforce, how would they do it? It seems that the "White men need not apply" sign is the only route left. The suggestions are non-binding, but it does demonstrate how far left into 'wacko-world' the UN is heading.

Another highlight includes "a call for Canada to provide welfare to illegal immigrants and failed refugee applicants."

On undocumented immigrants and people who have been declined refugee status, the committee says Canada should pass laws ensuring they are "provided with access to social security, health care and education."

Good grief!!!

Regarding Canada's efforts to combat terrorism, it says it is "concerned about the heightened risks of racial profiling," and adds that Canada should amend its Anti-Terrorism Act "to include an explicit anti-discrimination clause.

Well, there's another crusade for Dion.

Could someone please explain to me again why we belong to the UN?

* * * *

Friday Update: Blog Quebecois (Obviously, I'm not the only UN Denier.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Drink deep, or dabble not in the Socialist Spring

In light of the recent news and fallout from RIM's stock option screw-up, I thought the following opinion piece in today's Financial Post might be of interest - "Jim Balsillie's Governance Follies".

The "governance" problems at BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion highlight a profound irony. Co-CEO Jim Balsillie, who took responsibility for the options governance cock-up that will cost the company US$250-million in restated earnings, is the primary private- sector promoter of something called the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)...

...CIGI was set up in 2002, when Paul Martin, whose sharp-elbowed lust for the prime ministership always stood in distinct contrast to his mushy feel-good internationalism, was on his way to Sussex Drive. Mr. Balsillie and his partner, Mike Lazaridis, kicked in $30-million. You, the helpless taxpayer, kicked in another $30-million. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

International governance is a variant of "global governance," whose "shadowy promoter" is Canada's ubiquitous Maurice Strong. Mr. Strong had a profound influence on Mr. Martin's brand of globaloney. Mr. Strong sat on CIGI's international board of governors for a couple of years, but left/ was removed in 2005, the year the Iraqi oil-for-food fiasco, in which Mr. Strong was implicated, hit the fan...

Read the whole thing. It's quite entertaining.

I'll bet Jim Balsillie isn't a big fan of Alexander Pope.

Kooky Suzuki Smack-down

Licia Corbella is quickly becoming one of my favourite columnists. Today she gives it to David Suzuki and his Kyoto Kult followers (Mean and Not So Green).

Apparently Corbella received hundreds of emails from enraged Suzuki fans, when she had the audacity to point out in a previous column that the Canadian High Priest of Environmental Shlock, along with his American counterpart Al Gore, doesn't exactly walk the talk - and when he does talk, the results are often more 'blue' than green.

Corbella goes on to explain how she is green without the vulgarity and hypcrisy. But her explanation will likely fall on deaf lemming-ears.

Because just as in traditional religion, if you're a believer that's all you need - faith. Science and logic are not required.

* * * *

Thursday Update: Suzuki apologist here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Help! The Liberals are winning me over!!!

This may be enough for me to actually consider voting Liberal in the next Ontario election - "Dion Losing Law-and-Order Votes, Leading Liberal Says" (Globe).

Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant:
...Worse, Mr. Bryant states, the Liberals have "very little substance to offer by way of alternative, and certainly nothing new or effective. The typical federal Liberal approach to crime, in a word, is a boomer approach that is stuck in the summer of love."

As a result, Mr. Bryant argues, "Crime is for Liberals what the environment is for Conservatives."

If nothing else, I think Michael Bryant could have a great career as a political columnist if the Attorney-General thing doesn't work out.

Dion's "Next Canadian PM" cross-country audition

The National Post's editorial board obviously believes that Stephane Dion's self-promoting cross-country tour is doomed to failure - "Stephane Dion's Sincerity Shtick":

The senior Liberals planning the trip say they want voters to get to know Mr. Dion one-on-one and in small groups, which is supposedly where Mr. Dion is most persuasive. That's the way he unexpectedly captured the top Liberal job, they explain. It is also the best way to demonstrate his "sincerity," which Liberals say is his greatest political asset.

Stephane Dion may indeed be sincere or "authentic" as my Liberal MP Karen Redman often describes him. He may actually believe that his pie-in-the-sky academic dreams can transform Canada into his vision of Progressive Utopia, and that we intellectually-inferior Canadians will eventually embrace this plan with unqualified support once we finally come to our senses.

But is 'sincerity' the sole qualification necessary for a great leader?

If an international crisis of some kind were suddenly to occur, who would you rather have defending our national interests, making split-second decisions and communicating with world leaders on complex issues that require both diplomacy and tenacity?

I'll take the 'bully' over Flipper anyday, thanks.

* * * *

Update: Is the mole back? Cherniak and Wells have some concerns (H/T Bourque)

And our own ChuckerCanuk is mentioned on Bourque as well tonight! Congrats Chucker!!!

Wednesday Update: Well poor Flipper has one friend, anyway. (Star)

But this Liberal MP is definitely not a Dion fan!

An Inconvenient Study

David Suzuki and his Kyoto Kultists are not going to like this - A new study shows that the recent series of BC storms is actually due to polluted air from Chinese coal plants rather than global warming. It can actually affect weather as far inland as Ontario.

Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips utters this blasphemous statement:

"Every time the weather changes, people are very quick to point to the fact that it must be climate change," he said. "It's easy to go to that (explanation). You can be seduced into going there. And yet we also know that changes in the chemistry of the atmosphere can influence changes in climate."

More bad news for Kooky Suzuki - Polar bear numbers are actually increasing!.

Is it time for a clandestine cull, David?

* * * *

Another Denier here. And related to that, kudos to Lorrie Goldstein for updating his figures on the "More Inconvenient Truths" column. Lorrie is one class act. He is committed to ferreting out the facts and always ready to admit it if he makes a mistake - unlike most politicians.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Air India Families Dealt 'Serious and damaging blow'

Kim Bolan has an exclusive interview with RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass in today's National Post. Bass states that last week's Opposition decision to vote down the extension of the two controversial parts of the Anti-Terrorism Act represented a "serious and damaging blow to the interests of the (Air India) families". Specifically, the RCMP had been preparing for the last three years to use the investigative hearings aspect of the provisions.

Bass said in an exclusive interview that he was disappointed with "the apparent lack of understanding of the importance of this legislation with respect to the Air India Investigation," especially given that investigative hearings were upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.

(. . . )

Bass said the hearings would have allowed those reluctant to come forward the protection they needed to tell the truth about the biggest mass murder in Canadian history.

"The investigative hearing process offered the potential for individuals inclined to cooperate, but afraid of retribution, a vehicle to explain their cooperation within their community, by being able to explain that they had no choice but to testify truthfully," Bass said.

The Liberal party appears to be fairly successful so far in pulling off their little charade of outraged indignation and sanctimonious demands for apologies in order to divert attention.

The big question is - from what?

* * * *

Tuesday Update: Grit MP Marlene Jennings rips into Gary Bass (H/T to National Newswatch).

Greg Weston (RCMP Blame Game) - Perhaps the RCMP has something to hide?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Editorializing the news

Am I just getting paranoid, or is there some blatant bias going on here?

Now please keep in mind that the following article in listed in the Toronto Sun under News; not Comment or opinion: Sikh MP battles 'smear campaign'. Reporter Ajit Jain tells us of the brave face that "the youngest Liberal MP" Navdeep Bains is putting on in spite of Stephen Harper's apparent bullying tactics.

This is the paragraph you need to read very carefully:

We all know how Harper got up in the House of Commons and started reading from a report in the Vancouver Sun that the Liberals were opposed to extending life of two sunset clauses in the Anti-Terrorism Act to protect Darshan Singh Saini, Bains' father-in-law, who reportedly is on the RCMP list of potential witnesses in the ongoing Air India criminal investigation.

Is that really what the article reported? Or did Kim Bolan simply list some facts, and let the reader draw his or her own conclusion?

We don't even know exactly what spin the PM was planning to put on the article anyway, because he was shouted down by an obviously well-orchestrated howling chorus of self-serving, sanctimonious Liberals. However, I don't see Reporter Jain mentioning that little tidbit.

So, if you're outraged about this, please consider voicing your opinion.

Letters to the editor can be sent to:

Monday Update: Rachel Giese's column (Harper's a Bad Boy) is even worse, but at least it's an opinion column. She's obviously anti-Harper and pro-Gore. Hard to take first thing in the morning.

Can you do it?

Can you last 24 hours without using a computer?

Michele Mandel ("A Day without the Net"), has interviewed Montreal computer programmer Denis Bystrov, who along with friend Michael Taylor has issued a world challenge - Can you shut off your computer for 24 hours?. The big day is aptly scheduled for Saturday, March 24.

There are some awesome You Tube videos available on the main site. My fav is "Alternative uses for your laptop". It is a must-see! (And turn up your speakers).

As well as getting a much-needed break from internet addiction, I see a side benefit to this - It is just possible that the energy saved from computers being shut off all over the world may have enough global impact in the reduction of our collective carbon footprint, that we can finally tell David Suzuki and Al Gore to shut the h*ll up!!!