Saturday, March 30, 2013

We Are The 130,744

That's how many souls registered to vote for the new LPoC leader, according to an email today from party president Mike Crawley.  Being under 1/2 the 294,000 number touted several weeks ago, I think this qualifies as disappointing, but I'm too under the weather to bitch about it.  This old post should  serve in that capacity, however.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hudak Tories In Wind Waffle

Lisa Thompson, Tory MPP for Huron-Bruce, introduced the  Ensuring Affordable Energy Act in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.  Its a private member's bill, but everything Thompson has said about it, for example her comments here, suggest that it is now the PCPO's de facto position on the matter.  From the assembly records:

The short title of this bill is the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act, and that’s exactly what this bill will do. This bill states that wind turbines will only be placed in willing host communities and municipalities will be given a full veto. Wind power must be affordable, meaning the cost per kilowatt hour must line up with other sources of generation. The costly Feed-in Tariff, or FIT, program will be eliminated. Municipalities will have the ability to decide whether or not they want to promote wind energy. The Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges moraine will be protected from wind turbines, and municipalities will receive their planning powers for renewable energy back.

What's important to note here is what is NOT in the bill: a moratorium on wind farms  (either permanent, or  until Health Canada reports back on the issue in 2014).  This is a 100 percent climb down from the word Hudak's MPPs were giving out not even three months ago.  Here, for example, is Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton on the topic:

 …we realize that when we make the commitment, we’re not going to build them, if they’re not built. So scrap the 50,000 projects that are in the queue.  We realize that there is going to be a cost, our lawyers have told us that there are opt-out clauses and we sure as hell are going to pay those out because it’s going to be cheaper to pay them out than to honour contracts for 20 years. So we’ve been clear that we will not going ahead with however many projects are left, if we’re fortunate enough to form the next government after the next election. But clearly there will be a cost associated with that, but it will be cheaper to buy them out than to honour them for 20 years.

What's behind the flip-flop?  We can only speculate, of course, but there is the issue of cost.  As noted through the link, unwinding thousands of wind farm contracts would likely cost into the millions.  There is also the fact that the anti-wind forces do not seem to command quite the numbers they used to.  This report, for example, and most reports re the protesters dogging Premier Wynne's tour of rural Ontario, put them at about 80, but its a pretty sad looking 80, and when one of them is wearing a placard that references the Nazi swastika...
...Tim Hudak may be finding them a little easier to ignore than in past.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Little Perspective Please

An interesting thing about The Jewish Tribune's story about the death of Doug Christie, lawyer to Canada's far right, is that it isn't really about the death of Doug Christie.  Rather, it is about the reaction to Doug Christie's death by ex-CJC head Bernie Farber.  Anyone that knows Bernie knows that he likes to play things clean, keep it classy, and so forth, so it isn't surprising, and hardly a big deal, that he would have sent the dying barrister a conciliatory email.   Nevertheless Tribune correspondent Joanne Hill spends  300 or so words trying to make something of the issue, finally tracking down Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, for a negative quote.  Frank thunders stentoriously:

Well, I'm not sure I would be able to point to  redeeming trait in Doug Christie either, though I generally think its best to keep things civil around the time of a man's funeral.  But its worth noting that other commentators, indeed other Jewish commentators, have been far more complimentary towards Mr. Christie than Bernie was.  Ezra Levant, for example.  His whole eulogy can be found here,  but highlights among the flowery BS include Ezra denying, against all the evidence, that Christie was personally anti-Semitic, and calling him "a passionate scholar of history", which is I suppose true at least insofar as Christie passionately believed that Hitler was "demonized" in the wake of that whole WWII thing.  So perhaps Ms. Hill and Mr. Dimant can throw a little outrage in Levant's direction.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sutter Strikes Out

Keeps tongue 'tween teeth re Keystone XL during White House meeting.  President Obama overheard: "We got drones, son.  And Viking Alta. is not so far away."

Farber On Cdn Human Rights

With little fanfare, Canada was scolded earlier this year by both the United Nations and Amnesty International over its human rights record. Yes you read this correctly — Canada.

The two areas that attracted the most attention by the UN/Amnesty International human rights experts were Canada’s record when it came to refugees and, internally, the manner in which we continue to discriminate against our First Nations people.

While politicians mouth the usual platitudes in support of refugees and First Nations their actions demonstrate the platitudes are nothing but a smoke screen.

A nice column to kick off the holiday of Passover.

Ezra Facing 2nd Hate Speech Charge?

Dawg has the details.  But, as to the reason given by the AG's rep for NOT going forward the first time, that he "was afraid Levant would make a big noise about [the charges]", I frankly think not.  That's because, for one thing, Ezra's career is on the line.  Nobody in broadcasting will hire a guy with a hate-speech conviction.  Ezra will grovel  and beg and eat sand if that's what it takes to wriggle out of something like this.   And, for another thing, Ezra's preferred style of noise making--smear everyone left, right, and center--has left him with facing a long series of defamation suits.  I doubt he can afford to slander anyone else.  Especially not more lawyers and a few investigating police officers.  Thirdly, I think those in the press  that were eager enough to rally behind Ezra in his crusade against HRCs will finally abandon him, having had a chance to watch him  perform at The Sun News Network for two years.   While they've complained mightily about the recent SCC ruling against Bill Whatcott, they haven't really gone to the wall for Ezra this time out.  Perhaps they are thinking: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Reading The Tea-Leaves: Obama Signalling Keystone Rejection?

From the National Republican Congressional Committee:

Organizing For Action, the former Obama campaign apparatus made up of many senior officials, blasted the Keystone proposal in a fundraising email.

“In an email to supporters, Organizing for America specifically mentioned Keystone and slamming members of Congress who hope to force construction of the massive pipeline regardless of what the administration says.


President Obama has remained silent while the group that controls his twitter and whose members pay for White House access bashes Keystone.


The President must either condemn their email or admit that he agrees with their anti-energy stance.

This is pretty "inside baseball" stuff, from the GOP itself, so I'm not sure what weight to give it.  One thing I'll  note is that people up here seem to be expecting a decision as early as June.  My friends down in the U.S. are leaning more towards a September/October decision date.  Remember, whatever O's final call, he won't want his enviro friends accusing him of circumventing the process.

Sun Media Still Shrinking

Starting next week, the Portage Daily Graphic will continue to be a daily newspaper at Its print edition, which will come out on Tuesdays, will be named The Graphic, while the Central Plains Herald-Leader will become the Herald-Leader and publish on Thursdays. The editorial staff will continue to work diligently to report the breaking news in Portage la Prairie and the Central Plains and feed it to the website

From daily to weekly.  More press-men out of work, I imagine.  That's the sad part of these stories.  The columnists, the opinionizers...they can go burn.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lighthouses In Peril...Again!

Looks like the feds are moving to get rid of some of Canada's old lighthouses.  Whenever they try that I wheel out this old post, and the lighthouses are safe again for another couple of years.

Friday, March 22, 2013

CNOOC Loses On Tar Sands Investment

HONG KONG - State-owned CNOOC, which made China's biggest-ever overseas energy acquisition last year, said Friday that annual profit fell 9.3 per cent because of higher costs for exploration and for operating in Canada's oil sands.


Foreign operating expenses, in particular, jumped by a quarter because a higher proportion of production came from the Canada's tar sands, where costs to extract oil are significantly higher than conventional crude projects.

Dying News Industry Continues To Die

The Portage Daily Graphic, Portage La Prairie’s local newspaper, was altered from a daily publication to a weekly on Mar. 11. The decision was announced by Sun Media and came after large company cuts in November, 2012 and newspaper staff layoffs around the country.

According to Portage la Prairie Mayor Earl Porter, the paper had been featuring more Winnipeg content than Portage news for the past year. This began to affect local advertisements in the publication.

“I’d rather have a weekly paper that had local content than have a daily paper that had all Winnipeg content in it,” Porter said to the CBC.

This has been a common complaint re the Sun Media Strategy.  Centralize everything to save costs, lose local advertisers and readers who hear enough already about what's going on down the road.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ezra Off Hook For Hate Speech Charge?

Dr Dawg, and Haroon Siddiqui in the piece Dawg references, think that the Ontario Attorney General, John Gerretson, will not file hate speech charges against Ezra Levant for his anti-Roma screed of six months ago.

However, the following except from a missive by Gina Csanyi-Robah of the Toronto Roma Community Centre, re her meeting with police and the AG's people on March 14th, seems to indicate that no final decision has yet been made:
This is dated March 20th, so I would assume it is the latest information available.  Its also easier to read if you click on the image.

Enbridge Leaks

There's holes in its Norman Wells pipeline.  And Kalamazoo clean-up costs are exceeding estimates, so the company is also leaking money.

Sun News Regrets, Part Bazillion

Insiders (the Sun News Network mole) are telling me that the station's legal staff committed mass suicide the other night.  They couldn't hack  the long hours.  And, if you look at the original apology, its sandwiched by an ad touting the Canada Economic Action Plan and an ad for Immigration Canada.  So, mandatory carriage or not, you the taxpayer area already funding this crap.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The New LAC Code, Or: Why Is That Librarian Staring At My Chest?

The new Library and Archives Canada code of behavior

...says morals and ethics are part of a continuum with "self-regulation" at one end and "heterogulation" at the other.

But at Language Log they're not sure "heterogulation" is a word.  Several definitions have been proposed, probably the most interesting being:

..."the act of ogling," so "heterogulation" would mean ogling a member of the opposite sex: "My heterogulation of that babe led to a fight with her boyfriend."

What is the LAC asking their librarians to do, exactly? Does one "self regulate" before or after heterolgulation?

In Which Zach Paiken Makes Some Sense

A little bit.  Obviously calling for Liberals to rally around a leader that hasn't been elected yet is putting cart before horse.  But this paragraph is OK:

Liberals know full well what they believe in. Our party demonstrated a solid record of social progress and fiscal responsibility during its last stint in power, legalizing same-sex marriage and balancing the budget for eight straight years. Our party is also the most principled when it comes to Canada’s existential questions such as national unity. One need not look any further than the “Bloc Orange” phenomenon currently plaguing the NDP to see that this is the case.

Also, the point about having a leader young enough to lead the party through several elections is a good one.  So, maybe 1 1/2 paragraphs in 12 rise above crap.  But I would hesitate to blow the kid off too thoroughly.  He may be PM one day, and he'll need senators.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Germans Think We Are Bad For Their Rep

EXCLUSIVE / Germany’s largest and most prestigious research institute has pulled out of a Canadian government-funded CAN$25 million research project into sustainable solutions to tar sands pollution, citing fears for its environmental reputation.


“As an environmental research centre we have an independent role as an honest broker and doing research in this constellation could have had reputational problems for us, especially after Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol,” he said.  

I, Ezra

You can read the official document here, but The Sun News Network mole has slipped me a copy of Ezra's first draft.  As you can see, it's been changed quite a bit:

Dear viewers,

As you all must know, I'm  pretty much fucked right now.  I've lost one defamation case, the Warman thing is still coming down the pipe, and there's even some Muslim kid who may be into my pockets to the tune of six figures.  Worst of all, dad's threatening to pull my allowance and, unfortunately, free speech don't feed the bulldog.  Or pay the lawyer's bill.

So here I am.  Watch me grovel.  Because I need this job.  Really...need...this...job.  Its a 24 hour bus ride back to Lethbridge, and dad's basement gets pretty cold in Winter.  Beside's, what's back there for me?  One way streets; shitty coffee from Tim's.  Yokels in flannel talking hockey and "How about dat snow, eh?"  Fuck that bullshit.  I shill for the oil patch.  There's no fucking way I intend to hang out in it.

And what would I do with myself anyway?  Start-up another magazine, start Muslim bashing, publish those damn cartoons yet again?  Its old man, its old.  I gotta stop living in 2008. I need a new schtick. 

And anyway, it used to be when you bad-mouthed Allah all that happened was some nerd from the human rights commission sent you a letter.  Now everything's a 319 offence.  319 this; 319 that.   Some big copper shows up at your door waving a copy of the criminal code.  Jail cells are cold, man.  People puke in them.  You can get scabies.  Not that I've seen the inside of one, yet, but I'm starting to dream about them, and if this mea culpa doesn't fly I may wind up living in one, married to the convict with the most cigarettes.

How did this all happen, anyway?  You're riding high!  Dozens of people are watching your show every night!  And then WHAMMO!!!  You say the wrong thing and the police are at your door and the CRTC wants to confiscate your pay-check.  Its like ole Tom getting greased by those Indians.  Now I'm getting Flanaganed by another bunch of damn swarthies.  Maybe these people are smarter than I thought.

So, Roma, I am really, really, really fucking sorry.  Really.  I'm not shitting you because my lawyer advised me.  See this picture?  That's my kid.  They'll be needing braces pretty soon.  Set me free, Roma!  Huh? How about it?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Your Daily Nazi: Ontario Anti-Wind Groups Go There

...with this lovely little advert:

Wayne Brauch traces the pic back to the Smithville Turbines Opposition Party, but it is being shared at the twitter site of Ontario Wind Resistance, the province-wide umbrella group :

...because apparently nothing attracts people to your cause by wheeling out the ole swastika imagery and comparing insert your government here to the Nazis.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Rules Of Engagement

Stephen Woodworth's private member's motion 312 is going nowhere, and its only a motion, not an actual bill, so it means nothing anyway.  Therefore the protest at Waterloo yesterday was just students killing time.  But that said, before the speechys start to howl at the way things turned out, it is worth noting the position of the campus security staff:

Although campus security was present, the pro-life organizers say they failed to take any kind of action to allow Mr. Woodworth to continue his presentation.  When asked to intervene, say the organizers, security said they would not unless the protesters became violent.

Campus security said they “couldn’t do anything because [the protesters] had the right to free speech as much as Mr. Woodworth did,” explained Clarissa Luluquisin, Central Campus Coordinator of the National Campus Life Network, who attended the event.

Luluquisin said Students for Life is an approved club and they had booked the space properly.

“I asked, what if this were a lecture and the students were talking while the professor was teaching? And the officer said, no that’s a different context,” she said.

So there, speechys.

Wind Turbine Syndrome: Its All In Your Head

The findings indicate that negative health information readily available to people living in the vicinity of wind farms has the potential to create symptom expectations, providing a possible pathway for symptoms attributed to operating wind turbines. This may have wide-reaching implications. If symptom expectations are the root cause of symptom reporting, answering calls to increase minimum wind-farm set back distances is likely to do little to assuage health complaints.


But an as yet unpublished study (and therefore not peer-reviewed) just released by Simon Chapman, the Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, suggests only a tiny proportion of people living near turbines do actually complain and, when they do, the complaints coincide with campaigning from anti-wind groups.

Chapman looked at health complaints made by residents living within 5 kilometres of all 49 wind farms operating in Australia between 1993 and 2012. After reviewing media reports, public inquiries and complaints to wind companies themselves, Chapman found evidence of only 120 individuals having actually complained - representing about 1 in 272 people living near wind farms.

But significantly, Chapman found that 81 of those 120 residents were living beside just five wind farms "which have been heavily targeted by anti wind farm groups". What's more, some 82 per cent of all the complaints had occurred since 2009 when Chapman says anti-wind farm groups began to push the health scare as part of their opposition to turbines.

So there you have it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Give You...The Girly Pad

The Eurostar Group has designed a tablet just for women, and it really sucks.

LPoC Registration Cracks 100,000

From an email I received yesterday evening from Matt Certosimo, the National Membership Secretary:
Presumably, the deadline extension will give the party time to contact anyone who is serious about following-up on their original contact, although I expect the final tally will be embarrassingly low.  That said, if Joyce Murray hangs tough for the next couple of weeks this could still be an interesting race.  She can't win, but her message of LPoC/NDP cooperation is resonating in some quarters, and I'd be curious to see if she can move the field, or what is left of it, in her direction a bit.  I sincerely hope the T.O. showcase isn't cancelled.  I was told there would be food.

As for Coyne's column this morning, ignore it.  He's been rehearsing bits of it on twitter since last week; the honest outrage it expresses is all fake.

Doug Christie: Some Last Words

They say you shouldn't speak ill of the dead, and with lawyer to the Canadian far-right Doug Christie having passed a couple of days now, most of the newspaper obituaries have already been written, so maybe these words are no longer worth saying.

But the obits I've read have been pretty mush-mouthed, a few downright fawning.  Most suggest that Christie defended his clients from some higher commitment to freedom of expression, and not because they were ideological fellow travelers.  It might be worth challenging this assumption.

To that end its  worth taking a read of Tom Hawthorn's against-the-grain Doug Christie: The Unauthorized Obituary.  Here is a particularly enlightening excerpt.  It describes the one occasion Hawthorn and Christie met in court:

My time on the stand was a farce. I was ordered to surrender a notebook, which was then entered into evidence. It was placed in a plastic bag like a dagger from a murder scene. At one point, Christie caused a fuss because the stated number of pages on the front of the notebook did not match the number of pages he counted in the notebook. He made allegations of perfidy until a lawyer for the other defendant pointed out the notebook had lines on both sides of the page.

We were nearing the conclusion of my testimony when Christie barked, "Are you a Jew?"

Hawthorn also discusses the several occasions where Christie  used the court system in an attempt to silence those who criticized the various Western separatist groups he founded or otherwise became involved in.  As with many free-speech proponents, Christie's commitment to unfettered expression was absolute right up until the moment it wasn't.

One of these separatist groups, incidentally, was the Western Canada Concept, which wiki describes as:

...a Western Canadian political party founded in 1980 to promote the separation of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and the Yukon and Northwest Territories from Canada in order to create a new nation.

Most of the pieces on Christie's career have said very little about the WCC, so it is worth noting some of its political positions beyond Western Separatism (or at least the positions of its B.C. branch, which Christie led for awhile).  Here's a newspaper ad he ran in the late 1990s:

I'm not sure you would even say that points four and five are in "code"; they are, quite simply, race-baiting. And its worth pointing out that this ad dates to several years before 9/11.  So while the targets change,  the language never seems to.   Here's another passage from the " Western Separatist Papers":
As you can see, according to Christie, history has given Adolf Hitler a bit of a raw deal.

In any case, and in conclusion,  for many years Christie ran his law office out of "Christy Towers" on 810 Courtney Street, Victoria B.C.  It's an odd little building, looking more like a toll-booth than a business.  That's a picture of it below:

And, strangely enough, the building will continue in use after Christie's death.  Apparently, another lawyer works out of it these days, whose practice is quite different from Christie's, and who deserves none of the man's baggage going.

PS. I deleted the original of this by accident while weeding out unfinished drafts.  As you can see its been reconstructed but, unfortunately, the comments are gone for good.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Garneau Out?

If so, where do his people go?  Anywhere but Justin?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Please Let It Not End Like This

12 total votes are cast.  9 are cast by "P.P. Weiner".  Other 5 by "Dr. Funktastic".  And Joe Volpe wins.

LPC Showcase: I'm In

So, anyone who has already attempted to sign up as a blogger for the LPS showcase in T.O. will probably be receiving an email from one Curtis O'Nyon, Liberal Leadership 2013, Event Manager.  He's the guy that gives you a yea or a nay.  I  sent him my main address and a couple of more notable posts, and was swiftly approved.  Now I just have to figure out which jeans/hoody combination would suit the occasion best.

Actual registration seems a pretty simple process.  Approach main registration desk, collect observer pass.


I don't have much to add to this:

Much of the recent commentary on our human rights commissions and tribunals has focused on the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s Whatcott ruling. The case dealt with the so-called “hate speech” section of Saskatchewan’s human rights laws, after a Christian pastor was accused of promoting hate against homosexuals. Some provinces (like Saskatchewan) have such laws, and some (like Manitoba) do not. I am conflicted on whether such laws are desirable, but I do know that we should never throw out the baby with the bathwater. If you don’t want hate-speech clauses in human rights laws, lobby governments to take them out. We do not have to abolish human rights commissions and tribunals in order to do so. We should be working to improve our commissions and tribunals, not eliminate them altogether.

In short, human rights commissions and tribunals are typical administrative law bodies. They are not bogged down by frivolous complaints, and provide useful assistance in mediating disputes and educating the public. While not perfect, they can be made better without starting over from scratch. These institutions play an important and constructive role in Canada today. They should not be abolished.

Doug Christie has passed, incidentally.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Liberals And Followers


NY Times On Keystone XL: Pipelines Are A Hot Potato That Canada Should Handle

From this morning's NY Times:

Supporters of the pipeline have argued that this is oil from a friendly country and that Canada will sell it anyway. We hope Mr. Obama will see the flaw in this argument. Saying no to the pipeline will not stop Canada from developing the tar sands, but it will force the construction of new pipelines through Canada itself. And that will require Canadians to play a larger role in deciding whether a massive expansion of tar sands development is prudent. At the very least, saying no to the Keystone XL will slow down plans to triple tar sands production from just under two million barrels a day now to six million barrels a day by 2030.

Of course with greater responsibility comes a greater risk of screwing up, and I suspect these decisions, if it comes down to Canadians to make them, will test national unity in a way it has not been tested since the early 1990s.

Nevertheless, I can't fault the logic of the piece.

Preston Manning Is Gonna Shit A Phonebook!

An outdated and insulting column from an appointed hack.  The dumbest bit:

Members of various ethnic communities are fed up with platitudes. They are active members of our society at all levels, and they demand no special status – they just want an equal opportunity to contribute to the continued development of their communities. That’s what they should expect and that’s what we should demand of them.

So according to Leo Housakos, immigrants get special status while the rest of us schleps pay the bills.  I`ve heard that line before, and it is exactly the kind of toxic blithering that Preston Manning warned his fellow conservatives against last weekend.  And kudos to him, by the way.  He is telling his own that if they want to get the keys to the nation they have to stop behaving like the intellectual equivalent of drunken frat-boys.  That he`s getting some flack from right-leaning pundits like Chris Selley simply highlights the difference in seriousness of the projects they are engaged in.  Manning wants Conservatives to prove themselves fit to rule; Selley wants to them to remain the clowns of chattering class.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

From The Manning Conference

Kady O'Malley posted this shot from the Manning confab yesterday.  I'm not sure if its supposed to be from a poll of all Canadians of self-declared conservatives.  Either way it shows the Federal and Alberta government's have been doing a terrible job pitching their various pipe-line projects.  No wonder Preston Manning himself is trying to pitch a Green Conservatism.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Randy Hillier On Wind: Hypocritical In How Many Ways?

I count at least two:

KINGSTON - If Amherst Island residents opposed to a planned wind project resort to trying to slow down construction by obstruction, their provincial representative says he will be there to support them.

“(Non-violent) civil disobedience is an acceptable means in the right situations,” said Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington.

“Should those situations arise, absolutely I’ll be there.”

The first is that not three months ago Randy was lambasting the Ontario Liberals for not cracking down on the Idle No More protesters:

McGuinty states"In our democracy, we do not direct the police, that would be inappropriate" Either Dalton does not understand his responsibility or is purposely skirting it. The legislature directs police by passing laws and appointing judges and Police to enforce them. Here's my advice - any protest that unduly interferes with economic activity and harms or injures people or property, is no longer a protest but a criminal activity.

...and of course now here he is, condoning and encouraging what by his own definition amounts to criminal activity.

The second is that Randy is the guy who founded the Ontario Land Owners Associationfor chrissakes, their mission being to ensure that the property rights of Ontario land-owners are respected and protected. This presumably includes the right to host a wind turbine should you so choose.  Because nobody on Amherst Island is being forced to put one of these things on their lawn.  They're getting compensated for it, and I hear quite handsomely too.  But No.  For Randy, apparently, there are landowners and there are landowners.  Use your farm to sell illegal milk, and you're in; use it to generate green energy, and Randy will stand with the mob of NIMBYS that's trying to shut you down.

Friday, March 08, 2013

The Metis Win In Court--May Get Winnipeg!

APTN seems to be the only ones covering this SCC decision, though it sounds pretty significant.  At the very least the MMF (Manitoba Metis Federation) gets costs for 30 years of legal wrangling, and it will most likely trigger land claim negotiations.  There's even an outside chance the MMF is awarded Winnipeg.  Be careful what you wish for, Metis!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Whatcott At It Again

Despite a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling against him, social conservative activist Bill Whatcott took his controversial anti-gay and anti-abortion stand on Wednesday to the University of Regina.

Bill will soon find out that defying the Supreme Court is a bit different from defying the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.  He will also discover, I think, that as his legal troubles increase post SCC-decision they will trigger smaller and smaller amounts of media coverage.

(Although, that said, I'm not sure the SCC decision mentioned his anti-abortion pamphlets.  If he lays-off the gay bashing Bill may be OK.)

Gruending On The Manning Center Confab

Preston Manning and his wife Sandra created the Manning Centre in 2005 to act as a training ground for conservative politicos and a think tank and advocacy arm for conservative causes. Each year Manning holds what he calls a networking conference in Ottawa. Often the guest speakers are those such as Ron Paul, who for the most part have narrowly missed prominence, and others who have now left prominence behind them. A speaker in the latter category this year is former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

A run-down of the speakers, the media presence, and who's connected to who.  For some reason, Tom Flanagan isn't attending this year.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

He Bought The Collective

I have nothing particularly interesting to say about the death of Hugo Chavez.  Sorry.

Kathleen Wynne's Done Good

Full disclosure.  It's A Forum Research poll.  That said, I can't but like the underlying message:

...the Liberals would again win 53 seats in the 107-member house with the Tories taking 36, down from 37 in the most recent election and the NDP with 18, up from 17 in that vote.

One odd (to me) result:

 ...the New Democrats have tapped into one possible election-winning issue: reducing auto insurance premiums by 15 per cent.

Last Friday, Forum polled 1,033 people and found 58 per cent supported Horwath’s plan to trigger a vote if Wynne does not move to cut rates. Less than a third — 33 per cent — disapprove of the NDP threat and 11 per cent didn’t know.
Frankly, the last thing on my mind is auto-insurance rates, and I've always figured I was pretty typical in this regard.  Weirdly enough, the OFL's Sid Ryan seems to have got this one wrong too.  I guess Ms. Horwarth has better populist instincts than either of us. 
Another interesting result from Forum:
Not exactly surprising.  I've heard pro-teacher sentiments from people I'd of thought would be unsympathetic   But it tells you have far we have come from the 1990s when stirring up anti-teacher and more generally anti-union sentiment was a big part of the PCPO's political strategy.  These days Hudak plays the same cards and comes up snake-eyes.

An Historical Turning Point...?

Talked to my dad the other night.  He told me that he could see himself voting for Justin Trudeau.  This from a life-long NDPer, an old coal miner who can still  remember them from their CCF days.

But something about Mulcair seeming doesn't sit right with him.  The guy  seems angry all the time and--I am looking below the surface of old dad's words here--the beard is a bit of a flop.

I should say that my dad, historically speaking, is a leading indicator.  Last time his opinion shifted like this was back when he served in the armed forces.  Shortly thereafter, they ended the Korean War.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Martha Hall Findlay Flip Flops On Northern Gateway

I haven't heard this mentioned in any of the coverage of yesterday's LPoC leadership debate, but on February 26th MHF was for Northern Gateway Pipeline; as of yesterday's debate, she's sudddenly agin it.  That's what you call a policy reversal...a waffle...a dither...a flip flop, even.

Worth noting too that among the contenders only Joyce Murray has come out against Kinder Morgan in addition to the NGP.  Joyce is a B.C. gal, and I'm assuming her opposition is a sign of which way the winds are blowing out on the left coast over that project.

WebCite Having Money Trouble

Many a time you want to record the existence of some web-page, face-book post, or tweet.  But making, saving, and finding screen-caps again can be a pain in the neck.  Luckily, WebCite came along and made archiving on-line materials a simple process.

Now, however, WebCite is having financial difficulties:

WebCite will stop accepting new submissions end of 2013, unless we reach our fundraising goals to modernize and expand this service.

Please support our crowdfunding campaign. If you are interested in keeping this service alive, please give generously - or at least share our campaign on Facebook. Funders supporting us with $250 or more will be acknowledged by name on our redesigned website.

You can donate here.  I'll probably throw them a few bucks over the course of the year.  WC is about as close a thing as you can find on the net to a public service, well deserving of support.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Post Penny Inflation Spike?

Economists say no,  but as I drink my McD's coffee this morning at the community centre, I must say I've been noticing a lot of "rounding up", and not too much in the way of "rounding down".

Innocent No More

Arnell Tailfeathers is the guy who uploaded the footage that blew up Tom Flanagan:

"It wasn't to completely discredit him. I mean when we came into that discussion that evening, we didn't know what to expect," said Arnell Tailfeathers, a freelance videographer.

"We just thought ... if something happens — we better document it."

Yeah, I'm not buying it. Somebody found that old article in the Manitoban where Flanagan talked child pornography.  And someone  made sure a question about that article got asked when Flanagan appeared at the University of Lethbridge. And then Mr. Tailfeathers posted the video, and  seems to have run a twitter spam campaign  the night of Feb. 27th  to insure that it got noticed.  Of course nobody could know that Flanagan would go off like that, but to claim it was all a spontaneous goof...

I'd prefer to think that the folks at Idle No More, with whom Mr. Tailfeathers is associated, are starting to think beyond road blockades and towards a more creative form of resistance.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Globe & Mail To Staff: Our Pay-wall Is Making Us Tons O' Dough

...but can you all take the summer off without pay?

Feds Ask: How Do We Extract Resources From A Melting Arctic?

From MERX, where governments post their RFPs and Qs:

The Department of Transport, Strategic Policy and Innovation Directorate, is responsible for ensuring a safe, efficient and reliable transportation system in Canada's northern regions. The
Directorate is responsible for managing the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative to support research and development activities to design, develop, and implement innovative technologies, tools, and best practices; improve and enhance knowledge and understanding of the impacts of climate change on the northern transportation system; improve the resiliency and adaptability of both existing and future northern transportation infrastructure and operations to climate change; and encourage the development of northern expertise. The Directorate works collaboratively with provincial and territorial governments, academia, and private industry to ensure that limited northern resources are maximized and that the knowledge, best practices and adaptive solutions gained from this initiative benefit Canada's North.

Climate change is occurring throughout the North and it is starting to affect the safety and integrity of northern transportation infrastructure and operations. In particular, climate change is having an impact on roads and airport runways built on permafrost, coastal infrastructure, and the safety of Arctic marine vessels and operations. These impacted transportation infrastructures and operations are often necessary to ensure that quality of life is sustained and that economic development may continue. Building on existing research, the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative will work with field experts to ensure that the safety and integrity of the northern transportation system is maintained.

So, the approach to climate change expressed here is that we should buttress our northern infrastructure so as to squeeze a few more drops out of  the place before everything sinks into the melting permafrost.