Monday, March 31, 2008

How can you tell when Dalton McGuinty is lying?

Answer - When his lips are moving.

(H/T to a caller on the Jeff Allan show.)

Have we reached the "Brenda Martin" saturation point?

The strategy of Brenda Martin and her supporters (including MSM and the LPC) has been to fire humiliating and scornful salvos at the Canadian Government, and hope that somehow this will expedite Martin's release from Mexican prison.

Leaving the rationale of the plan aside, one has to wonder if it's actually working. This CTV report states that while 'hundreds' of supporters were expected, only four dozen actually showed up.

Some of those 'four dozen' were undoubtedly Liberal MPs seeking to take advantage of the situation. Liberal Paul Macklin obviously feels that size doesn't matter:

"I've been on Parliament Hill for many years as an MP and I will say today was the most emotional day I've ever spent on the Hill," Macklin, a former Liberal MP for the riding of Northumberland-Quinte West in Ontario, told Newsnet.
"To hear (Martin) thank everyone across this country was just amazing for all of us."
Well, I'm sure it was moving for family and friends - and for opposition MPs hoping to exploit it as a wedge issue.

However, one organizer justified the weak turnout with this statement: "The problem with rallies like this sometimes is that the people interested are not living in the city where the rally takes place."

Uh-huh. Going by that logic, then the only rallies that attract large support on the Hill are those that appeal to the local folks?

National Post reader Roy Weston
may have nailed it although he didn't specifically mention Brenda Martin's name:

...It's incumbent upon travellers, not the government, to know what their rights are when they travel to another country. If they don't like their chances, should they be arrested, then they shouldn't go abroad. Canadian representatives can't just wave a magic wand and free people from jail, and all the teary-eyed blubbering by those who have been arrested is not going to change that...

Wake up people! The Nanny State ends at our borders.

* * * *

Update: In case you missed it, CTV's Question Period covered the story yesterday, and ran a few audio clips from a telephone interview with Brenda Martin:

"...I've turned down visits because they wanted to see me, but they have not been nice to me...
"...I have been angry? Yes, I've been angry..."

* * * *

Tuesday Update: Jailed Canadian to get hearing - Post.

Also, I've updated all related labels so that you can follow the whole chronology of the Brenda Martin saga by clicking on the label "Brenda Martin" (below)

Wednesday Update
: Mexican president could free Martin - Edmonton Journal.

Thursday Update: Canadians should yell about Brenda - Ottawa Citizen.
(Love to hear your thoughts on this one!)

Amherst Daily - Focus on Martin may aid case: MP. Uh-huh.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

But where do the jobs come from?

Angelo Persichilli's column in today's Sun is a must-read - Ontario must create jobs to prosper.

Great to have a job-training program, but at some point you need to have places for those people to work. So if we spend a pile of money re-educating the work force only to have them leave the province for greener pastures, what have we accomplished?

And how can Dalton's pet projects in health care and education be sustained with a dwindling tax base?

And how can a burgeoning public sector be sustained? John Tory noted recently in the Post:

...Mr. McGuinty boasts that he has created new jobs in Ontario, but he fails to mention that almost half of the new jobs created are public sector jobs, paid for by taxpayers' dollars. Ontario is the only province in Canada where over the past five years the growth of public sector jobs has exceeded the growth of private sector jobs. Mr. McGuinty wrongly believes this is sustainable. It's not. We need private sector jobs to pay for those in the public sector...

In spite of what we think of Mr. Tory, his message rings true. If we continue on this path we will end up being the 'caboose' instead of the economic engine of Canada.

Jim Flaherty was right that the conditions need to be made favourable for investment to be attractive in Ontario. At the moment, they're anything but.

Persichilli says we have to start immediately to create the jobs that the skilled labour is being groomed for. He wonders why we are selling our raw resources to other countries to be manufactured, and then shipping the products back to be bought by Canadians?

Of course, nobody is addressing the real issue - that we have priced our labour right out of the market.

Unless we're willing to accept lower wages and abandon the union mentality, we will never be competitive.

And then the other provinces with natural resources will become the economic engines of the country - until everything has been depleted.

* * * *

Monday Update
: Method in minister's madness by Nik Nanos.

'Raising awareness' with ad hominems

Sounds like Lorrie Goldstein gets more than his fair share of ranting emails from the Kyoto crowd.

In today's column (Let's clear the air here), Goldstein lays out his stance on global warming and climate change, which I find to be moderate, non-partisan and entirely reasonable:

For more than a year now, having done a fair bit of research about the issue on my own, I've been writing critically about global warming. During that time, I have stated the following:

That I accept the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the Earth is warming unnaturally and that it is "very likely" human activity is the cause.

That, regardless of global warming, it's important to conserve energy and to burn fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) as cleanly and efficiently as possible, not just for environmental reasons, but for geo-political ones. The less we have to rely on Mideast oil, the greater our security will be.

I've said Canada, as a resource-rich country, should be a leader in the responsible use of fossil fuels and government subsidies to the oil industry -- unnecessary when oil costs more than $100 a barrel -- should be re-invested into Canadian research and development of new sources of renewable energy and clean technologies.
I've said if Canada imposes a carbon tax, presuming a majority of Canadians favour this, it must be done in concert with the U.S. and our other major trading partners, so as not to damage our economy.
I've argued it must be truly revenue neutral, providing already overtaxed Canadians with realistic ways of moving toward a carbon economy...

Then he goes on to explain why he doesn't support the Kyoto protocol which, as he agrees with Harper, really is a 'socialist, money-sucking scheme'. Worse, it is not realistically designed to lower man-made GHG emissions due to the exclusion of certain countries such as China and India, and the fact that the U.S. has not ratified the treaty "dating back to the Bill Clinton/Al Gore administration".

...Climate hysterics, led by environmental radicals and opportunistic politicians, who screech that every time there's an extreme, or even unusual weather event it's "proof" of man-made global warming, don't know what they're talking about. They constantly confuse "weather" and "climate."

They don't understand the difference between man-made global warming and the Earth's natural greenhouse effect, which keeps us all from freezing...

...Kyoto isn't an environmental plan. It's a plan to transfer wealth from the First World to the Third and damage the American economy in particular...

As if we need that right now! As we can already see, a worsening U.S. economic situation can seriously impact our economy - especially in Ontario.

Please read the whole article. It's a no-nonsense approach to a very highly-charged, political argument. Yet the emails still pour in calling him names for this moderate stance.

Maybe that's because when they've run out of facts, then name-calling is the only thing left to fall back on.

Or is it?

They could always try locking him up.

* * * *

Update: Great somewhat-related post here at Mesopotamia West - How to Appeal to Liberals.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Attacking the messenger

Via a reader - British police support worker Philip Balmforth has been removed from his duties, and faces a disciplinary meeting for talking to the press about Asian girls in the school system who go missing and often end up in forced marriages - Policeman who exposed forced marriages faces sack for 'shaming' his city.

So the 'honour' and image of the city is more important than trying to lessen the incidence of abduction and rape? And if we don't hear about it, then it doesn't happen?

Meanwhile we get a lesson here in how our poor Western morals make us 'hypocrites' for suggesting that forced marriages with children are anything but noble.

Canada should take note.

Another treehugging plan gone horribly wrong

'Earth Hour' may have some unintended repercussions. (Cool pics though at this Star slideshow.)

Matthew at The Politic has found a Globe article humorously listing 60 things to do during Earth Hour. Numbers 24 to 26 may very well end up being played out all across the world:

24. Don't forget fitness. Practise naked yoga.

25. Conserve water. Share a bath.

26. Or go to bed early. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.

So nine months from now, won't there be a sharp global increase in the birth rate of earth-fouling, carbon-emitting, meat-eating human nuisances?

* * * *

Update: I just came across the Snopes report on safety concerns regarding CFLs. It's definitely worth a read. You may want to bookmark it in case you ever break one. No you don't have to call in a Hazmat team, but there are some precautions to take.

There have been many reports of explosions, of flashing and noises at the end of the bulb's life, and of fixtures being burned. They can also be affected by humidity. Of course there are concerns about mercury.

But apparently you needn't worry, as long as you check the packaging.

Why do I still not feel reassured?

* * * *
Sunday Update: Stephen Taylor has an excellent post up showing how various buildings in Ottawa 'observed' Earth Hour. Well worth the visit!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Squandering the gift of democracy

I rarely agree with Jack Layton but he's right on the money about the Liberals not doing their job in Parliament.

Steve Janke points out how in some parts of the world, it is very dangerous to oppose the government. However, here in Canada, there is no fear of loss of life - Indeed, the Official Opposition is paid to oppose.

Yet they cower and hide when it comes time to vote.

* * * *
Saturday Update- Liberals to assess best odds, Dion says (Globe):

"It's rare that the population wants an election, but we can feel it when the fruit is ripe. And at that time - it's not up to me to tell you when; it's part of the strategy that we keep close to our chest - there will be an election."
(This from the leader with 'no instinct'.)

L. Ian MacDonald calls this a non-denial denial by Iggy (Gazette) when asked about the quote in La Presse where he supposedly said that "Stéphane Dion doesn't have the stature of a leader":
"I have worked tirelessly for our party and our leader and will continue to work with our strong Liberal team to ensure we win the next election," he declared. "No one has the right to call my loyalty into question."

Back in Ron Zeigler's time in the Nixon White House, this was known as a non-denial denial. Iggy didn't deny the quote, and La Presse pointedly stood by the story.

Also, yesterday there was a good article in the Ottawa Citizen - Finding out how your MP voted can be an exercise in futility.

Here's another injustice for Dan McTeague to champion - The HRC

Liberal MP Dan McTeague does seem to like being in the limelight, and some of his causes are worthwhile.

However, yesterday he stated that "Foreign Affairs violated Brenda Martin's privacy rights by allegedly leaking a department report" according to Canadian Press.

Well, as my insightful reader Gabby pointed out in comments, this is all a bit rich:

So now Ms. Martin's privacy rights have been violated?
Who splashed her story all over the MSM - press, TV, radio?
Who made sure her name was on practically every news report?
And which parties continuosly accuse the government of secrecy, lack of transparency, and unwillingness to release documents under the freedom of information requests?
So now that the government releases information, it's a violation of Ms. Martin's privacy?
A little consistency would be welcome.

Oh! the hypocrisy!

So, if you're concerned about privacy rights being violated, Mr. McTeague, how about shining a light on this abuse as reported in Jonathan Kay's excellent Post editorial this morning - A disaster for Canada's Human Rights Commission:

Privacy is another concept that the HRC seems to find confusing. The most scandalous disclosure to emerge on Tuesday involved the manner by which investigators logged on to Lemire's Web site.

In what appears to be a ham-fisted attempt to avoid revealing the commission's IP address, they tapped into the unsecured wi-firouter of a 26-year-old Ottawa woman who lived near the commission's 344 Slater St. headquarters. At Tuesday's hearing, a Bell Canada employee read out the woman's name, address and phone number to shocked audience members. A National Post reporter contacted the woman and found that she'd never heard of Lemire, Steacy, or his investigations. Unless she is secretly working undercover for Steacy, it appears that the commission cynically invaded the privacy of an innocent citizen in order to pursue an obscure Web-trawling vendetta; and then caused her name to be read out to the Canadian public, thereby identifying her as an unwitting conduit to neo-Nazi Web sites. One likes to imagine that the privacy commissioner will be having a chat with Dean et al. in coming days.

This is absolutely horrifying. Just think about it. The HRC is trolling and baiting using an innocent citizen's IP address, and then her name gets dragged into this abysmal, taxpayer-funded sinkhole of a Kangaroo Court!

To be fair to Dan McTeague, he has already come out in support of fellow Liberal MP Dr. Keith Martin's private member's bill M - 446. (Note how he says there is a "reversal of the presumption of innocence" in the clip. How ironic considering the Martin case where we talk about Mexico's horrible justice system!!)

I think we need Dan McTeague's help in getting this issue front and centre in the media.

Every citizen in Canada should be warned about how Free Speech is not given 'any value' by HRC's Dean Steacy.

Because when you think about it, aren't even Canadians like Brenda Martin more threatened by lack of free speech than anything else?

* * * *

Update: The Belleville Intelligencer is obviously not so intelligent.

Martin rally still on this weekend. How about a rally against the HRC, folks? Or are you not concerned about your right to free speech and being able to hold rallies?

CTV Update: Brenda Martin says 'leaked' report violates privacy.

Ottawa Citizen: Don't throw stones at Mexico by Gar Purdy.

Uncommon Truths - Brenda Martin: Ms. Damned if you do...

Puerto Vallarta Scene Forum - with postings by Deb Tieleman.

CTV W5 (background)

Privacy czar looking into ‘leaked' report on jailed Canadian
- Globe.

Liberals blast Bernier over leak - Charles Rusnell.

Privacy czar will probe Brenda Martin report leak - CTV.

'Dozens' of people at rally - Globe

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bill Casey, won't you please stay home? (With Update)

Well, in any case you may want to reconsider your trip after reading this.

- On the other hand, I don't blame you for wanting to get a little sun.

(Update - A reader informs me the meeting will be in Ottawa. Well, that should help reduce his carbon footprint.)

* * * *
Big Update: Liberal MP calls for probe into 'leaked' report on jailed Canadian. That would be this.

McTeague calls it a 'privacy' issue. The real problem likely is that he doesn't think references to beauty pageants, fries and soda are going to win her much sympathy.

So who's being conned now?

Akin to CanWest

Update: Confirmation received from the Star. (o.k. - Not the best source but it will have to do.)

Funny the difference a few days can make.

* * * *

Mmm... I'm trying to imagine David Akin as a Global National reporter.

But as a National Post correspondent? I'm afraid that CTV environment may have contaminated him.

Well, we'll see.

* * * *
Update: Warren K. chimes in here.

Analyzing the 'attack dog' tactics

I think Wilson's nailed it in Comments at Return of the Trust Tory:

...But it is fun to watch McGuinty racked over the hot coals.
If Dalton (and Kinsella) had his eye on replacing Dion, the CPC are getting their punches in early.
Double delicious is that McGuinty is trying to spend his way out of hard times, just like Bob Rae did. and the comparison is made at every opportunity the CPC gets (or creates).

And judging from the reaction at the blog of the Kicking-Ass Master himself, it's having the desired effect.

As always, looking way ahead at the big picture...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When is CP going to correct the bribe story?

On Monday the Canadian Press released a story stating that Alyn Waage said that Brenda Martin advised him by letter of a demand by Mexican officials for $500,000 to be able to get out of prison.

Funny thing is, it's not true according to Brenda Martin herself who supposedly told Charles Rusnell, who then mentioned it on Tuesday's Charles Adler show.

You can hear it yourself by checking out CJOB's audio vault, and selecting Tuesday, March 25 at around the 1:40 p.m. mark. (H/T Orville who's been right on top of this story, and Peter 12 in comments at DMB)

Rusnell clearly says on the tape that Brenda told him that she has never been asked directly to pay a bribe... That it doesn't work that way anyhow - it's all done through a law firm.

So there may be a nuance of truth somewhere along the line, but the con man's version of the story is shaky at best. So where's the update, CP?

Meanwhile, a couple of MP's are still perplexed by the $500,000 bribe allegation.

Why is it so hard to get the facts, and why weren't Waage's allegations verified before the story was released?

If I wanted fiction, I'd have bought a novel.

* * * *
Thursday Update: H/T to reader Lee for this one - Officials kept contact with imprisoned Canadian.

Boycott Earth Hour

Update: Do not miss the Season finale RMR - (Season 5; episode 19; second clip) - Light Zapper!!!

* * * *

I'm supporting Diogenes Borealis in his Earth Hour boycott. This is just more trumped-up feel-good green nonsense.

Peter Foster calls it Earth Hour's soft fascism:

...Earth Hour was in fact pioneered last year in Sydney by WWF Australia, advised by advertising giant Leo Burnet. Leo Burnet's chairman, Nigel Marsh, demonstrated his skill both in semantic perversion and moral obfuscation when he declared: "I'm an optimist about climate change. The human race eventually abolished slavery and gave women the vote. We eventually work it out."

Get the implication? "Deny" the dubious science or dangerous politics of anthropogenic climate change and you're the kind of person who would support slavery and keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen!

On the other hand, Lorrie Goldstein suggests that perhaps the topic of climate change is no longer so relevant, since the Ontario budget barely addressed the supposedly catastrophic problem:

...Finally, and most tellingly, the media didn't ask one question of Duncan, Conservative Leader John Tory or NDP Leader Howard Hampton in three separate news conferences, about Premier Dalton McGuinty's plans to fight climate change -- not even as we all merrily prepare for "Earth Hour" this Saturday.

And all this astounding lack of interest about global warming -- according to Al Gore the greatest threat humanity has ever faced -- in the province which, next to Alberta, is Canada's biggest greenhouse gas emitter! Shameful!

Of course, what it all demonstrates better than any opinion poll could is how much of the ongoing hysteria about global warming only survives in the rarefied atmosphere of constantly re-enforced political and media propaganda...


So pardon me if I opt out of this propaganda stunt.

I'll have every light bulb in the house turned on - and they'll all be incandescent.

* * * *
Thursday Update: Oh good grief! Look what's on the front page of today's Record. What a thing to wake up to!! (On the plus side, I did finally send in my cancellation notice.)

Looks like Lorrie Goldstein is going to have a busy Earth Hour - Minutes count when saving earth:


8:00 p.m. -- Turn off lights before leaving house -- naked -- mindful of George Monbiot's warning in Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning, that the campaign against global warming is a campaign in favour of austerity. In this light, I have decided to give up clothes, the manufacture of which is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

8:01 p.m. -- Hug tree.

8:02 p.m. -- Lecture next-door neighbour about his stupid idea of holding community barbecue to celebrate Earth Hour, noting burning charcoal, propane and natural gas to heat barbecues emits GHG. Angrily ask neighbour why he is cooking chicken and hamburger, given that meat production is a major source of GHG. Demand neighbour serve chicken and hamburger to guests raw, noting food poisoning is a small price to pay for preventing cataclysmic climate change and making the world safe for Al Gore...

Please read the whole thing. It is hilarious!!!

Updating the Brenda Martin spin-cycle

There is just no end to the complexities of the Brenda Martin story, and half the problem is trying to sort out the fact from the fiction.

Last night on CTV's The National they played up some breaking news about having gained access to some kind of bank records showing Brenda Martin's 'investment' and a sum of nearly that amount refunded back to her afterwards by Alyn Waage.

I have to ask myself, so what?

Waage has allegedly declared that Brenda wouldn't be released until a bribe was paid, but Orville at Dust My Broom has confirmation that Brenda denies this.

Charles Rusnell reports that Martin supporters say that Mexico could simply expel Martin, but the CTV story said no - that the Mexican authorities say it's too late for that.

So where does the truth lie?

Claire Hoy probably has the best take on this to date:
...But there comes a point - at least for me - where the constant carping and the serial whining about your plight changes from legitimate concerns to an annoying sense of absolute entitlement.

Let's look at the reality here. The main reason her case has dragged on for two years is because she has complicated it, turning it into a constitutional matter before the Mexican courts. That takes time there just as it would here.

And while there is much screaming in Ottawa - where the Liberals, wouldn't you know, are trying to blame the government for Martin's plight - the fact is that a two-year wait for a trial is not unusual in Canada, either. Indeed, two years is considered rather swift in legal circles, particularly when it involves serious and/or complicated matters.

Yet we as Canadians, or at least many of us - along with most of the media - have recently adopted the position that if a Canadian is in jail outside the country there's automatically an injustice being done - to the Canadian.

Meanwhile, MP Rick Norlock gives us his side of the story, saying that it may be a matter of only weeks rather than months before this is resolved. So progress is being made - just not fast enough for Brenda or the opposition parties.

I sincerely hope that once Brenda Martin is back on Canadian soil that she shows some kind of gratitude for the efforts being made on her behalf.

And I look forward to hearing the true story someday.

Stephane Dion is NOT a wimp!

Via Dr. Roy we learn that there are more men disenchanted with Stephane Dion, than there are women who supposedly can't warm up to Harper.

...Conservatives correctly complain the oft-documented aversion of women voters to their leader is actually less pronounced than male discomfort with Mr. Dion, a trend increasingly evident in Ipsos Reid polling numbers shared with senior public servants last week.

Ipsos-Reid president Darrell Bricker notes that the traditional softness of male support for the Liberals has drooped to an alarmingly flaccid state since Mr. Dion became party leader 16 months ago.

The Harper Conservative male-voter lead over the Dion Liberals is now at an almost insurmountable 14 points -- 41% versus 27% for the Liberals...

So, in the interest of trying to protect the CPC's best weapon, here is my suggestion to the Liberal party - Try a T-shirt.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to call in to talk radio

CP's Alexander Panetta reports that some folks seem a bit incensed by the CPC's offer to coach talk-show callers with party talking points in an effort to counter some of the generally pro-Liberal MSM. Apparently CFRA's Mark Sutcliffe isn't impressed, although he doesn't think they get a 'ton' of callers using the crib sheets.

Actually I had no idea such a service was available, and therefore felt compelled to check it out myself. You go to the main party site, and then click on login to My Campaign, which takes you here.

Then you click on Call Talk Radio, input your postal code and topic you wish to discuss, and Poof! You're taken to a page showing all the talk shows in your immediate area, complete with times and tips on how to call in. The 'talking points' are merely lists of information to highlight Conservative accomplishments and failings of the other parties.

All in all, a fairly innovative and interactive program. It could even be useful to Conservative bloggers.

However, as the site suggests, you need to be prepared to ad-lib it with the show's host if he or she interrupts with some questions. As such, I doubt Joe Blow off the street would be inclined to get much use out of it. I always think it's better to talk from the heart on talk shows.

Liberal party spokesman Daniel Lauzon seems quite outraged:

“This undermines our democracy,” said Liberal party spokesman Daniel Lauzon.

“It's not up for someone in Ottawa to tell someone in Blind River what they should think. . . All we tell our supporters is, 'Speak your mind. Get out there and talk.'

“Never do we dictate messaging.”

My gosh, you'd think Stephen Harper himself arm wrestles every Conservative supporter to the ground and forces a recitation of the party line at gun-point.

More likely Mr. Lauzon is just expressing a sour grapes regret that they didn't think of it first.

* * * *
Update: One of my readers reminded me about that little CBC-gate incident:
Compare it to CBC employees 'telling' MP's what to ask in the HoC:
Which method is more subtle and manipulative? How powerful is a caller to a radio show?
Does it threaten the democratic process in the HoC?

Not to mention that in that case it was the Liberals needing to be fed questions, which doesn't speak well for their integrity, judgment and imagination.

- Especially when the CBC doesn't even know that Bill Casey is an Independent until a reader tells them.


* * * *
Wednesday Update: Victor Wong says this is old news. Someone should tell Alex Panetta.

Thursday Update: The Chronicle Herald obviously hasn't read Victor's post.

Caledonia citizens get back at Bryant

For anyone following the Caledonia debacle, this post by Jonathan Kay is excellent. It has links to several recent events including Michael Bryant's pathetic use of YouTube as a PR forum for communicating with residents.

Well the townsfolk have returned the favour. Videos can be found here. (The Spectator suggests trying here).

Psst, Rick Mercer... I see skit potential here!

Good on the National Post for continuing to be one of the few MSM voices supporting the citizens of Caledonia and the theory of a non-discriminatory police and justice system - even if it doesn't exist in Ontario at the present time.

La révolte silencieuse against the emperor with "no instinct"

For Canadian political junkies, these are interesting times.

The Globe's Daniel Leblanc gives us a peek into the inner turmoil of the Liberal party's Quebec ranks, and it ain't a pretty picture (Dion facing revolt in Quebec ranks).

We first heard of this discord several weeks ago when Joël-Denis Bellavance alluded to a révolte silencieuse on Mike Duffy Live. Both Bellevance and Jean LaPierre had heard rumours that Bob Rae had control of the Quebec wing and was wanting to wait until the March 17th by-elections had passed and Rae had time in front of the cameras in Parliament before forcing an election.

However, the Silent Revolt is getting louder - LeBlanc suggests even more serious in-fighting and lack of faith in Stéphane Dion. Lisa Frulla in particular is surprisingly candid with her remarks:

“He has no instinct,” former Liberal minister and political commentator Liza Frulla said in an interview.

“At a certain point, people feel it if there is something wrong, even if they don't know exactly what it is. But he, poor Stéphane, doesn't feel it.”

She also has strong words for Dion's Quebec lieutenant:

Ms. Frulla also said publicly what many Liberals are saying privately about Mr. Dion's lieutenant in Quebec, Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette.

“She is abrasive and she is narcissistic,” Ms. Frulla said.

The former minister of Canadian Heritage argued that Ms. Hervieux-Payette is failing to connect with grassroots organizers.

The more people know her, the more they run away. She has met a number of riding association presidents, and these people … are leaving,” Ms. Frulla said.

(I sure can agree with her on that one. I can barely stand to watch the woman on MDL.)

In any case, it would appear that Quebec cannot be counted on for Liberal support at this moment in time, which may push the likelihood of an election off until the fall or later - especially after the dismal performance of the LPC in two of the four recent by-elections.

If that happens, it will be hard to imagine Bob Rae ranting about the government on one hand, but then actually joining the Party of Hand Warmers on the other, as the LPC continues to run away from votes in the Commons. Will Bob Rae declare mutiny?

Which leads me to the slugfest between Jim Flaherty and Dalton McGuinty. Why would Flaherty continually poke McGuinty in the eye regarding tax policy and its alleged affect on the economy?

The answer may lie in John Ivison's observations in today's Post:

...But Mr. Flaherty's unprecedented interference in Ontario's budgetary process was not designed to persuade his Ontario counterpart, Dwight Duncan, to shred the already printed budget and present a cobbled-together alternative more to his liking.

It was designed to send the message that, even though many Ontarians often think of the federal Conservatives as villains, they are really the "goodies" -- the guardians of fiscal probity. By contrast, Liberals, both federal and provincial, are spendthrifts who will lead us all into a new era of deficits, unemployment, homelessness and rickets...

So all this may well be a carefully honed-plan to set up the CPC as looking like the party to rely on in times of economic difficulties which would, if it all goes according to Hoyle, allow a rich harvest of discontented Ontario voters assuming a worsening of the economic downturn - especially if provinces that follow Flaherty's advice end up faring better than Ontario.

And with the Quebec wing in tatters and Ontario voters looking for responsible, effective fiscal policy, the scene becomes fertile for either an election with positive results for the Conservatives, or else the Liberals continue to enable the present government to enjoy a tacit majority.

Your move, mon petit empereur.

* * * *
Update: Via Jack's Newswatch - This is an absolute must read by Luc Schulz: Ontario's Economy Run by Monkeys.

Another interesting theory here: Ottawa Citizen - Bash Ontario, Win Voters Elsewhere.

CTV - Dion urges restive Quebec wing to pull itself together.

Also worth reading - Fuschi's Canadian Forum - The great (taxcuts vs. bribes) debate.

Terence Corcoran - In Ontario, it's spend and be damned.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What is 'gender'?

The story of the so-called man who is pregnant got me to thinking...

What is the point of gender anyway? The "man" identifies as male because his breasts have been removed? A lot of woman have that done involuntarily and that doesn't make them male. He also was taking male hormones, but 'chose' to retain his female reproductive parts. Why?

Margaret Somerville states:
"Where I would do a reversal on this is to say, 'You've artificially made yourself a man. You're not a man, you're a woman and you're having a baby and you're actually having your own baby. Just because you put on a clown suit, doesn't mean that you don't still exist underneath."

To take a little poetic licence with a well known phrase, it's like putting a jock-strap on a sow.

Obviously the 'man' is still going to have female chromosomes.

Which leads me to the question, why bother with gender at all? Why have it on drivers' licenses and other legal documents? If we can decide on a whim that we'll a particular gender, then what's the point?

And perhaps for "women" who are still oppressed in various parts of the world, that could very well be the best outcome possible.

The 'Save Brenda / Slam the Feds'-fest continues

According to CP, Brenda Martin is outraged that Conservative MP Helena Guergis 'partied' while Ms. Martin was "languishing" in her Mexican prison cell.

Jason Kenney is quoted in the Chronicle Herald report with a possible explanation:

Martin's criminal case was put on hold for two months until a Mexican judge ruled on a constitutional challenge raised by her lawyer.

Conservative MP Jason Kenney last week told The Canadian Press that Guergis couldn't do much until the judge ruled on the court challenge.

``It was really a bit of a moot question at that point,'' Kenney said.

Well, I'm no legal expert, so it's hard for me to make a judgment on the situation. A bit of moral support couldn't have hurt though.

In any case Jason Kenney's recent visit has apparently escaped the minds of the Brenda supporters who have set up a website dedicated to her release. - Former PM Paul Martin is the only politician mentioned on the front page as having visited her:

...Recently, Brenda has been on suicide watch, having been removed from the general prison population several times now. There has been extensive national media coverage on Brenda, who has been emotionally supported by her childhood friend Debra Tieleman. The Government of Canada has failed to act in intervening in this case, despite pleas from citizens around Canada, opposition MPs, Brenda’s mother and Brenda herself. Recently, Brenda was visited by former Prime Minister Paul Martin in prison to offer support.

Brenda feels that if she is not helped now, with the support of the Canadian Government, she feels she will perish in prison...

However, Brenda Martin herself now seems to be fearing a backlash from the Boycott Mexico bandwagon which some over-zealous MP's had considered mounting.

Just a small suggestion here, but my feeling is that Brenda Martin would garner a lot more support if she and her cheerleaders attempted to tone down the partisan attacks just a tad. By trying to shame the government, they've actually ended up alienating a large segment of Canadian sympathy.

Let's hear the facts. Let's try to stay focussed and rational.

But partisan sniping is going to come back to bite the opposition, and perhaps even Brenda Martin herself.

* * * *
Update: Mexican officials asked for $500K to free Brenda Martin, says her former boss - 570 News:

...Alyn Waage, who is in a U.S. prison over an Internet scam, says Martin told him of the demand in a letter.

He says it's unlikely Mexican authorities will release Martin from the Puente Grande women's prison near Guadalajara until he pays up...

Arthur Weinreb - Calls to boycott Mexico - a couple of years too late.

Calgary Herald - Martin snared in bribe-stained justice system: Waage.

It just gets more and more convoluted.

The Politic - Brenda Martin and Canadians detained abroad.

Tuesday Update
: National Post - Mexico holding Martin over bribe: con man.

But Orville isn't buying it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

I was looking for something 'Easter-ish" to post today, and got sidetracked by all the woes of the world. However, I'll put all that aside for tomorrow and focus on the word "Hope", which is what Easter is to me.

Ian Hunter has written a beautiful piece about the essential differences between this realm and the next in Saturday's National Post.

He also mentions Pope Benedict who has courageously baptized a well known Muslim this Easter. Steve Janke has the story here.

Hunter's article contains one of my favourite quotes from scripture:

The essence of Christian hope was best summed up in a few words when Jesus said: "In this world, you will have tribulation. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."

Be strong. Be brave. Have hope. Don't give up.

Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

One more reason to stop public funding for CBC

This is pretty poor:

A Nova Scotia MP said he may urge Canadians to avoid travelling to Mexico if a jailed Canadian woman, Brenda Martin, is not set free soon.

Bill Casey, the Conservative Party MP for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley made the remarks in a letter sent to Mexico's ambassador to Canada...

Good grief! What is this? Amateur hour?

* * * *
Update: CBC caught the error! I wonder which member of the brain trust at the Mothercorps figured that one out? Ah, it came from comments. Ha!

* * * *
This is priceless! Via Liberal Arts and Minds who links to this Chronicle Herald article... Comment by 'Family Doc':

The best way to ensure Canadians stay out of Mexico is to remove all Immodium stocked on pharmacy shelves here. I am sure the medical community would lend its support.


* * * *

Sunday Updat
e: Greg Weston has really jumped the shark here - Prisoner hopes to see enlightenment of Day. "As Brenda Martin reaches for what may be her only lifeline out of Mexican hell, she can only pray for the amazing grace of Stockwell Day."

Oh pull-eeze!!! Is that an Easter reference, Greggy? What a load of simpering saccharin.

Next it will be, Save Saint Brenda from the "foreign hellhole"!

Just how gullible does he think we are?

Living with the consquences of the Nanny State

Thanks again to SDA for the link today. Tony's comment regarding this article seems to have piqued her interest as it did mine. Is "Sandy Smith" an alias for Brenda Martin? There certainly appears to be no end to the intrigue.

The Record surprised me today with a fairly level-headed editorial on the controversy - Harsh realities for jailed woman:

...Nonetheless, there appears to be little more the Canadian government can do. There have been more than 100 contacts between federal government representatives and either Martin or Mexican officials. Canadian officials at the highest levels -- including Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, and possibly even Harper himself, have spoken to their counterparts about her case, urging fair and swift treatment. Other Canadians, including former prime minister Paul Martin, and several MPs, have visited her and telephoned. There is no doubt that Mexican officials, from President Felipe Calderon on down, are intensely aware of her case
But as Harper himself points out, Mexico is a sovereign country, and this case is one for the courts, which must be free of political intervention. There would be an uproar, and swift resignations, were Harper, or any other politician, to step in if they disagreed with a judge's rulings here.
We must remember, too, that unfortunately Martin's case is hardly unique. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, about 1,750 Canadians are today imprisoned in other countries and the Canadian government has the same responsibility to them that it has to Martin. The bulk of these prisoners are in the U.S., but others are in jails in countries as diverse as China, Australia, Thailand and Peru, mostly on drug, immigration or fraud charges.
Many doubtless are guilty as charged. Others have been dealt with in ways many Canadians will consider harsh. For example, Kitchener mother Loan Ngoc Bui is serving 40 years for drug trafficking after a police officer in Illinois stopped her car and found 3,710 ecstasy pills hidden in it. Her boyfriend, who was driving, says Bui knew nothing of the drugs.

But Americans take a different view of drugs than we do in Canada, and as a result, Bui is serving out a sentence harsher than a Canadian court would dole out even for a convicted murderer.

The federal government has lived up to its obligations to Martin, who has had the benefit of dozens of high-level interventions, something most Canadians imprisoned abroad never see. Ottawa must continue be vigilant, and ensure her case is dealt with swiftly and fairly, but beyond that, Martin's fate lies in the hands of a Mexican judge.

(Just when I was determined to cancel my subscription... Oh well.)

After reading that editorial, a couple of thoughts came to mind. First of all, as the Record noted, the Mexican government would probably like nothing better than to have Brenda Martin ejected from Mexico forthwith. By now her notorious case is undoubtedly an embarrassment and a drag to their tourist industry. So how will putting pressure on either the Canadian or Mexican government change anything people????

As Harper was quoted by the Record, "Mexico is a sovereign country, and this case is one for the courts, which must be free of political intervention."

O.K. I know that the Mexican legal system is reported to be corrupt, and there is a presumption of guilt until innocence is proven, but it is still a sovereign country. Brenda Martin left Canada and went there of her own volition to work. And yes, she has been in prison already for two years awaiting charges (which have now been laid) and trial, which has its own quaint little idiosyncrasies in the Mexican system. And yes, she has been imprisoned with already-convicted women.

However according to many sources, she has received special treatment in this high-profile case - certainly much better than many other Canadians in the same plight.

Which brings me to point number two. Isn't it interesting that anyone committing a crime seems to want to either return to Canada or stay in Canada when it comes time to pay the piper? I'm thinking about Schreiber, several Canadian pedophiles, and countless others who know that Canada is an easy mark when it comes to serving sentences and the comfort of that environment. And the Lefties were in shock that our Charter Rights didn't extend to Afghan detainees!

Could it be that our Canadian system is so lax to the point of creating a mentality of rights-entitlement that has undercut the fundamental need to be held accountable for our actions?

Just go where you want, do what you want and Canada will bail you out afterwards if you embarrass the government enough.

There must be a middle ground somewhere.

* * * *

Friday, March 21, 2008

Martin herself may be to blame

Since this is Good Friday (thank you Dr. Roy), I don't want to focus too much on political issues today but a few things need to be said.

On a personal note, thank you SDA for helping me shatter my previous one-day hit record of about 1600 with an impressive 2 K+. As a blogger, it's fun to keep track of such things.

Secondly, my assessment of yesterday's events both here and at SDA has led me to the conclusion that Brenda Martin is the author of her own misfortune. Her accomplices and enablers include the gleeful LPC, sanctimonious MSM, and Martin's scornful family and friends that have been so vocal, ungrateful and vicious as to actually alienate not only Canadian supporters such as myself, but also the Mexican government which now seems to be indignantly digging in its heels over the political interference of its own legal jurisdiction.

Yesterday, the Mexican Embassy issued the following statement (Globe):

"Brenda Kim Martin is detained, pursuant to the order of the competent Mexican Federal court," the release said, adding that she has been seen by doctors and Canadian diplomats in the two years she has been held. It said Ms. Martin's decisions to change lawyers and launch constitutional challenges have "significantly contributed to the delay in her trial." The statement concluded that, should Ms. Martin be convicted, treaties could allow her to serve her sentence in a Canadian prison...

Christina Spencer notes that the continued antagonistic effort of the media and Mrs. Martin's supporters could have negative consequences:

...But often, the louder the diplomacy, the harder it is to find a happy ending. Too much public pressure on another government can backfire, drawing out a crisis for years, seasoned diplomats warn. "The Mexicans are probably saying 'bugger you' -- it's gotten to the point now where it's having a negative effect on the people involved," says Gar Pardy, former director general of the consular affairs bureau at the department of foreign affairs. The principle is simple: Governments don't like to be embarrassed by other governments who criticize them. "They're less willing to move the paper than otherwise would be the case."

Spencer goes on to list several incidents in the past where aggressive Canadian political intervention has gone badly.

She finishes up with this:
...When a Canadian is arrested abroad -- and in early 2008 there were 21 Canadians in jail in Mexico -- diplomats try to work quietly and informally to win their release or improve conditions. The Canadian government, for instance, says there have been about 100 consular contacts with Brenda Martin since her arrest.
Of course, that quiet action hasn't won her freedom. But "the Mexicans have responded to her personal care in terms of the concerns that have been expressed about her mental health. In terms of some of the cases you deal with, to have that level of attention and care is very rare," Pardy says.

So the Mexican justice system is doing the best it can under the circumstances. And guess what? Martin may actually be guilty. That hasn't been determined yet. At the very least, there is more to this story than meets the eye.

We need to ensure that emotional performances don't overshadow the need for reason and due process.

If the determination of guilt or innocence hinged only on an Oscar-winning show of tears and venom, Brenda Martin would be a free woman today.

* * * *

Update: I came across this article in the Post, and it should be noted that Brenda's friend, Debra Tieleman has actually shown a modicum of gratitude and civility:

...But Debra Tieleman, a childhood friend of Ms. Martin's who has led the public campaign to free her, said Mr. Kenney seems to be the first Conservative who is truly committed to getting Ms. Martin out of prison as quickly as possible.

Good for her.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Second thoughts about the Brenda Martin case

Afternoon Update: Brenda Martin is now calling Tory MPs Jason Kenney and Rick Norlock's visit nothing more than a "dog-and-pony show."

Unbelievable!!! I guess being a politician means that you have to bite your tongue on occasion. Mine would be been severed by now.

Late afternoon update: Dion Slams Harper for inaction on Brenda Martin. Oh pull-eeze!

* * * *
Original post:

Last week I was one of the many people feeling outraged about the situation Brenda Martin finds herself in, and I was even asking if we should boycott Mexico. Now I'm starting to rethink that stance.

First of all, as many of my readers had pointed out, choosing to live in Mexico is different from going there for a one week all-inclusive.

Someone who works in 'legal realm' made this very pithy comment at the end of that post:
...I'm struggling in this case with supporting her outside of that, because it's not so cut and dried, and it brings up deeper issues for me with what I think are MORE important concerns regarding Mexico and problems that ACTUAL, "living here" Canadian citizens have had to contend with. And they WERE innocent, without any doubt - I don't believe that all of a sudden HER situation, her threats of suicide if the country doesn't step in, are deserving of Canadian interference, any quicker, or before these decent people receive assistance...

One of your bloggers said "Bottom line, when you travel to another country you have to be prepared to deal with their system, their way. Accept it or stay home" - Another said, "when you live or visit in a foreign country you fall under their laws and justice system. The same as foreign nations fall under ours"
Well, she chose to go there. To LIVE there. To me, in chosing what she did, she also chose their government, their laws and their way of life...Like it or not, that also includes their justice system!


Furthermore, this seems to have been played up lately by the media, opposition, and even by Ms. Martin and her supporters as an opportunity for some Harper-bashing.

Nothing is good enough for Brenda Martin (Martin must stand trial):

...During the meeting at the Guadalajara women's prison, Martin said, Kenney also told her that if she is returned to Canada, she will have to serve at least half her sentence in a Canadian prison.
"I told him . . . I am not going back to Canada to go to prison," Martin said...

...Martin said Kenney and the Canadian government have been ineffectual...

In fact, the Post quotes her as saying, "I think they have done nothing, basically..."

Clearly she is working towards shaming the Canadian Government into action, but my impression is that they are doing everything they can, short of abducting her from prison.

If it were me in that situation, I think I'd be trying to go along with the plan, and cling onto that hope of at least getting out of Mexico no matter what the consequences in Canada. I also think that for someone that 'weak' and 'suicidal', she seems to have great presence of mind in her ability to condemn her own country's government.

Sorry if I seem heartless and have offended anyone here, but that's how I'm feeling about it. The Canadian government needs to be doing everything it can, but in the end Brenda Martin chose to live and work in Mexico, and she must have known full well of the primitive and slow-moving legal system there.

It is neither possible nor realistic to expect the Canadian Government to guarantee our Charter Rights in other countries.

* * * *

: Welcome Jack's Newswatch readers! - (Daily Blogger)

Welcome also to SDA readers! My hits are suddenly going into the stratosphere!!!

I think I may have just found a new favourite blog via one of Kate's readers. Sheila had this very interesting comment at SDA (2:57 p.m.):

I live near Ms. Martin's hometown of Trenton, and we get regular coverage of this in the press.

My thoughts are always, what in the world did she expect going to live in Mexico? I feel sorry for her, but she lost jobs because she drank too much. She left her family. She surrounded herself with unsavory characters. And then she blames everybody else when her life goes horribly wrong...

It's called consequences, folks.


Dalton stole my tag line - Ontario, it's ours to recover... by Dalton McGuinty.

Except that he messed up the last bit - 'from Flaherty' should read 'from McGuinty'.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I am Woman - I like Harper

Remember a while back when we Conservative ladies were sitting around complaining about how MSM is trying to tell us that women don't like Harper?

Well, one of my readers contacted a friend who makes T-shirts and she has come up with this method to counteract the propaganda. She also has one available in light blue with dark blue lettering.

Anyone interested in ordering one can contact Shirley at

Tough Love

After watching the dynamic between Jim Flaherty and Dalton McGuinty these days, I'm torn between assessing it as a parent-child relationship and at other times I wonder if Jim Flaherty feels he needs to take over the role of the Ontario opposition parties, which occasionally need a little instruction on how to critique Liberal policy.

McGuinty's effectively boxed himself in a financial corner and can't afford to cut taxes, so he goes crying to the feds.

Now that Dalton's whiny 'Gimmee Ottawa' attitude threatens to affect the rest of Canada, I think that the Premiers in other provinces should be backing Flaherty in driving home the message that Dalton needs to be accountable for his actions. The Big Federal Liberal Nanny State is not in power at the moment, but Dalton just doesn't seem to get it.

He's still acting like a spoiled little child trying to defy his parents, and expecting a bail-out at the end.

By contrast, the Federal Conservative approach is to allow the provinces the freedom to make their beds, but they have to lie in them afterwards - even if they wet them. (I could throw in a Smitherman- diaper reference here, but I won't.)

So Daddy Flaherty is now trying to guide little Dalton and Dwight on how to make the best of the mess they find themselves in now. Raising their allowances won't teach them a thing about responsibility and the consequences of pandering to special interest groups and other bullies that steal their lunch money.

And if Ontario voters finally wake up one day, perhaps we can even take some responsibility ourselves, and get rid of a provincial government still caught up in the whining-entitlement era.

Until that day, we may as well get used to Rick Mercer's chant, "Ontario is the last place where, we don't check the rear view, no one there!"

* * * *

: Great little gem from comments in the previous post:

aek said...

From Joanne's CTV link, it looks like the feds, meaning all Canadian taxpayers, have already kicked in $26 million on top of Ontario's $50 million.

Do we have a new federal "equalization for incompetence" program?

Wed Mar 19, 03:31:00 PM EDT


On a more sombre note - Economic growth seen at only 1.1% this year: TD.

B.C. will weather economic downturn - Vancouver Sun.

Thursday Update: Lorrie Goldstein - Don't look, bring money.

Ottawa Citizen - 'Don't panic' over economy, McGuinty says. (With TD references to 'ugly duckling' Ontartio and Quebec.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dalton to the ROC - Chip in for Caledonia!

Are you guys outside of Ontario alright with Dalton McGuinty clamoring for more money to offset the $50 million tab for Caledonia (which is actually closer to $54 million)?

Remember now, he bought the land. The Province of Ontario now owns it. Negotiations continue even though the land is occupied.

Bear in mind too, that the Feds already gave Dalton $26 million of your hard-earned tax dollars last year to help offset Caledonia costs, and this problem has no end in sight.

Michael Bryant calls it "...the cost of keeping the peace".

Do you agree to foot this bill, ROC?

* * * *

- Message from a reader in comments:

Dalton, from Alberta...get stuffed! Your inaction and inability to bring this issue to resolution is your problem, do not depend on Canadian taxpayers to bail out the incompetence of you and your government.
* * * *

Wednesday Update: More bad news for my reader from Alberta by the Sun's Christina Blizzard - Another slap for Ontario:

...Meanwhile, remember how Ontarians used to joke that if you wanted to see this province's tax dollars at work, you had to go to Newfoundland? Guess now, Albertans will have to come to T.O. to see how we're spending their transfer largesse.

Howdy, y'all.

If Dalton really does have federal leadership aspirations, and ends up being Prime Minister one day, I wonder who he'll blame for his incompetence? And where will the money come from to throw at the unions and other highly influential special interest groups?

A good leader knows when to say NO!!!

And read this one. You won't believe it. Six Nations' $1 Billion based on 'legal rules' (Spectator):
Six Nations says it has used Canadian legal principles the corporate world would employ to come up with the $1 billion it claims it's owed for the flooding of land it once controlled in Dunnville in 1829.

Calculations are "based upon Canadian legal principles and are fair and reasonable," said lawyer Aaron Detlor, an adviser to Six Nations negotiators in talks with Ottawa and Queen's Park.

"If you were Coca-Cola, this is what they would do. If you were Wal-Mart, this is what you would do..."

Also see Halls of Macadamia - Like Federal, like Provincial.

Rick Mercer's slamfest

Everyone gets it this week at The Mercer Report - Harper, Dion, Flaherty... even Justice Gomery. (ouch!)

Clips are already up on the website. Of special interest is Rick's Rant: Ezra Levant and Freedom of Speech. Check it out.

Is this a good idea?

Via National Newswatch - Canada to recognize Kosovo independence: report.

There certainly is a mixed reaction in the comments section of the CTV website!

* * * *

Liberals denied sweep - Pity

As Molarmauler stated yesterday, winning all four by-elections would have likely spurred an election, since Her Majesty's Loyal Party of Abstainers might have finally amassed enough intestinal fortitude to vote for their own non-confidence motion.

Unfortunately now as the Globe suggests, "...the loss in Saskatchewan may have tempered any Liberal desire to take down the Conservative minority in the very near future..."

On the other hand, I can't imagine Bob Rae sitting on his hands very long. On the other other hand, as Stephen Taylor points out in this excellent analysis, it may well be in the best interests of all the current leaders to allow this government survive a while longer:

...Luckily for Harper and Layton, Dion's strategy is also to survive and the only way this can happen is for the government to survive. Liberals will be chomping a the bit in order to "get back to power as soon as possible" and most realize that this is impossible under Dion and much easier when they hold a leadership race and select a more capable leader...

So it may all boil down to the internal power struggle between all the Alpha males on the Liberal Dream Team as each one gauges his own best chances for leadership coup based on election strategies.

My money's on Bob Rae.

* * * *
Update - Pithy analysis from Molarmauler in comments:

The only way Harper will get an election before 2009 will be if they initiate an 'Adopt-A-Liberal' program... sort of a voting-buddy system.
He can assign a Con to each Lib and match abstention for abstention. If a Lib leaves the House on a vote, his Con buddy follows him out waving a chicken feather and clucking.

Force them to vote.

Hey, if SDA can do it...

* * * *
Bob Rae talked about a 'progressive coalition' on Canada A.M. this morning:

"...I think we need to build a progressive coalition of people in the country who believe in dealing with climate change, who believe that the search for jobs and justice need to go together, and who want Canada to have a stronger voice in the world," he said.

"We certainly pulled that coalition together in Toronto-Centre."

Update from National Post editorial board on election results here:

...The correct short summary of Monday night’s results is that the party may have gone three-for-four, but the leader batted .000.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Just like his big screen look-alike, Dalton McGuinty seems to have a complex relationship with his mother. He seems to value her opinion and yet ignores it at the same time.

The Legislature is opening this afternoon with the Lord's Prayer, but Dalton is still considering an alternative - in spite of Mother's displeasure:

...The legislature will begin this afternoon with Speaker Steve Peters reading the Lord's Prayer, but McGuinty has proposed a committee look at whether or not that is still appropriate in multicultural Ontario.

The premier admitted his mother "gave him hell'' for proposing the change...

That little personal admission reminded me of the FLICK-OFF campaign, when he was amazed that the sensibilities of so many Ontarians were offended, stating that it was something he might have expected his mother to complain about it...

Interesting dynamic there. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at a family dinner.

At the very least, I detect some latent hostility regarding Mommy Dearest.

* * * *
Tuesday Update:

What Would Mother Do about this? - These deals treat taxpayers poorly (Record):

...Taxpayers throughout Waterloo Region who are now paying police or firefighters such lavish bonuses have a right to feel frustrated and powerless. Such settlements are, in the private sector, virtually unheard of. In the private sector, bonuses are often based on performance. In the case of such public sector jobs, the bonuses are automatic. They are not so much an incentive to do well as to stay put. Nor is there evidence that, without these bonuses, the region's police and firefighters would leave for greener pastures. And what next? How long until ambulance workers get these bonuses?

Clearly, the spread of retention bonuses is soaking up millions of precious tax dollars across the province that could go to other priorities such as health care, improving universities or providing more public transit. And just as clearly, it will take intervention by the Ontario government to set things right. There should, without question, be tighter guidelines directing an arbitrator's decision so that bonuses of such sheer magnitude are forbidden. But don't hold your breath. The firefighters pay dues to a powerful union. They actively campaigned to re-elect Dalton McGuinty last fall. It will likely take a recession before McGuinty or anyone else acts...
Now I understand why all the unions were supporting Dalton during the election!