No Dogs or Anglophones



Election Recap....The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly.

I cannot help but wonder if anything could have gone much worse for Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois, looking for a majority government with the fail-safe backup plan that if they didn't get that majority, they'd be no worse off than before the election, perhaps buying another year or two of minority rule.

But as the old  saying goes,  'Mann tracht und Gott lacht' (It rhymes in Yiddish) or in plain English;
 Man plans and God laughs.....

The campaign was perhaps the most bizarre I can remember, where absolutely nothing went according to plan, and where not one of the so-called pundits came anywhere close to getting the final results right.

Now everything looked bright for the PQ at the onset of the campaign, you couldn't really fault them for triggering an election with a couple of points lead in the polls over the Liberals and the CAQ lagging badly, its best showing in months. If those poll numbers held, it would mean a PQ majority government.
 
But the wheels fell of the PQ campaign bus soon after Pierre-Karl Péladeau entered the fray, swearing his separatist fervour and telling voters that he'd work to make Quebec independent, something nobody could have predicted would backfire so badly.

Perhaps it would be an interesting exercise for me to engage in a little self-important hubris and not so humbly present to you what I'll call the Editor's Golden  Rules of Campaigning, rules that may seem cynical and perhaps, even counter-intuitive.
Nonetheless, I stand by them and so let's put them to the test;
  1. It isn't what you don't say that gets you in trouble, it's what you do say...so say as little as possible.
     
  2. Negative is positive..... Find your opponent's weak spot and hammer away, but do it politely.
     
  3. Don't promise voters anything, they won't believe your lame promises anyways. That is  UNLESS it is a new hockey arena or cement plant for their town. Local issues trump everything, so by all means, promise voters cement plants and hockey arenas, if you can deliver.  
     
  4. Dress impeccably, always wear a suit and tie (or women's equivalent.) Remember that being overdressed is expected of leaders. Don't don construction helmets or hairnets, lab coats or any other such nonsense during factory visits. (Ask Gilles Duceppe about this rule....)
     
  5. Never let them see you sweat, never answer a tough question, never ad lib or improvise and never deviate from talking points, no matter how hard it is to do. Don't think too much, just follow the plan.
     
  6. Don't defend the indefensible. Never compound an error. Admit a mistake and move on.
     
  7. Don't be wrong on the facts and try not to look foolish. Reporters will destroy you for your mistakes. This is perhaps the hardest rule to follow 
Let's apply these rules to the campaign.

The Fist Pump Fiasco 
Pierre-Karl Péladeau's entry into the fray was supposed to be a big boost for the PQ, everyone assumed that he would have a huge impact on the race and he certainly did, but not in the expected way.




This turning point in the campaign wasn't actually a PQ mistake, it didn't violate any of the above rules because it was supposed to be a key plank in the election, one that was supposed to be a positive momentum shifter in favour of the PQ.
It didn't work out, PKPs awkward fist pump and solemn pledge to work towards sovereignty went over like a lead balloon, but stunned PQ handlers were bowled over by the negative reaction and were clearly unable and unprepared to react.

And then Pauline made the worst mistake of the campaign;
“We could wish to have a seat at the Bank of Canada but we accept the fact it is the bank’s monetary policy that would apply,” 
We’ll still be able to go see the Rockies out West and go to Prince Edward Island and they’ll be able to come here. There won’t be any borders or tolls.”
Do you think that policy was crafted by PQ organizers before the campaign? I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the exact opposite is true and the policy was to steer clear of such a debate.
So in one fell swoop, Pauline violated four of the above rules and violated them so badly, she and the PQ never recovered;

Rule One 
Why bring to the debate the issue of sovereignty and referendums when the whole campaign was supposed to be based on good government and perhaps the Charter of Values? It was an amateur mistake of saying too much, way too much.
Rule Three
She made unrealistic promises about an independent Quebec that had her looking quite the buffoon.
Rule Five
She went off message, improvised and ad-libbed, made up policy on the fly and completely ignored the polished script prepared for her by organizers. She took and answered questions that she should have deflected and looked ill-at ease in doing so.
There are four constraints in Rule Five, she violated them all.
Rule Six
She compounded PKP's inadvertent error over sovereignty in defending what had become an indefensible position... the possibility of a referendum. Trying to appease everyone by promising a referendum only if Quebecers wanted one, satisfied no one and actually alienated everyone.
Instead of immediately making the decision to forcefully eliminate a referendum possibility, Pauline soldiered on down the path of destruction

Now errors occur in every campaign, they are inevitable. Candidates are bound to make mistakes and say the wrong things at a certain point. Imagine this type of error as standing on the middle rung of a very shaky ladder, you can choose to keep climbing up or choose to stand down.
Only the smartest and most disciplined make the right decision to come down off the ladder, Pauline kept climbing to the top and and like Humpty-Dumpty, had a great fall.


The Anglo Student Fiasco 
The student fiasco occurred when an amateur and desperate campaign tried to seize on facts that were not facts, a clear violation of Rule Number Seven.... Don't be wrong on the facts.

The three Musketeers, including the Justice Minister  all get it embarrassingly wrong over 'dastardly' Ontario students

Holding a news conference to alert voters to an imaginary invasion of hordes of evil anglo students, intent on stealing an election would be a brilliant campaign strategy if it were true, but a disaster if it wasn't true.

It wasn't true.....

And so the Justice Minister Bernard St. Arnaud, who should have known better then to open his mouth without a clear understanding of the facts, demonstrated his rank amateurism and clear desperation.
When the facts surfaced that in fact there was no such invasion, the PQ looked utterly foolish, something that contributed more than one might think, to the public perception that the PQ were not ready for prime time.

The Janette Fiasco
Janette Bertrand was supposed to be an asset who would inspire Quebecers of a certain age and temperament to rush over to the PQ in support of the Charter of Values. Capturing the older conservative demographic was key, because of its propensity of voting Liberal.
The strategy worked well before the campaign actually started, with a seeming groundswell of support for the old-time and popular TV personality speaking for the Charter of Values, inspiring a small movement of activists.



But at a PQ campaign event  featuring a defence of the Charter of ValuesJanette Bertrand made a speech in which she accused rich Muslim McGill students of attempting to take over, a speech which had Liberal opponants howling in laughter and PQ supporters grimacing in pain.
"Imagine, she said, two men come to a swimming pool in a Montreal apartment, and the sight of women in the water upsets them.
“Well, suppose they leave, and go see the owner,” said Bertrand, an 89-year-old former actress and journalist, emphasizing that the owner would be happy to have such “rich” McGill University students in the building.
“Then they ask, ‘Well, can we have a day,’ and they will pay… And then in a few months, it’s them who have all the pool time.”
“That’s what will happen if there is no charter.” Link
As I said before, there's always going to be these 'gaffes' in any campaign but it was the reaction to Bertrand's fantasy story that was telling.

There was Bernard Drainville, standing stoically behind Madame Bertrand during her speech, nodding his head in support, instead of doing the perspicacious thing and grabbing the microphone away or failing that, slink out from the frame, thus perhaps disassociating himself from the fiasco and perhaps saving his own skin. But the stink rolled over him royally and he cemented the public's perception of him as an unrepentant ideologue.

But it was Pauline's impassioned defence of Bertrand's Muslims-in-the-pool missive, that clearly violated Rule Six, which reminds politicians not to defend the indefensible nor compound an error.

[Bertrand] spoke from her heart,” the Premier said. “She spoke of her commitment to a cause that has been close to her heart for 70 years, the equality of men and women.”  -Pauline.

None of the opposition leaders were willing to attack a dotty old lady, but it was that defence of Bertrand that gave opposition parties the ammunition to dump all over Marois and dump they did.

Now consider Jean-François Lisée's reaction, a textbook lesson in how to diffuse a bad situation.
He smiled broadly and told reporters that perhaps Bertrand had 'senior moment' one that we should all perhaps forgive.
My reaction was that this was not the best quote of the campaign, this was not the best argument for the charter.
But the woman is 89, so I’m going to cut her some slack.” 
Brilliant... Who's going to argue with that. Case closed!

Fire the Doctors Fiasco
There's nothing stupider than a throwaway candidate mucking up the works by making some inopportune statements that snowballs right into a fiasco of major proportions.
"Evelyne Abitbol shocked the crowd of scholars at Vanier College’s Charter debate by blurting out that doctors who would not comply in the given time to the Charter’s regulation could get fired – except those that work at the Jewish hospital. Link
The PQ candidate made two grievous mistakes, the first showing up to a debate in an English cegep, an act as stupid as gun control advocate speaking at a NRA convention, especially considering that she hardly spoke English.

But no where in the PQ policy handbook is there a hypothetical provision for firing doctors or nurses who refuse to remove religious headwear, so thank you Ms. Abitbol for wading into shark-infested waters.
Once again Pauline violates Rule Six by defending the indefensible and confounding the error.  In a radio interview over the subject, Marois jumped right into the quicksand, offering this nonsense.
In the laws and regulations that we propose, it is possible to find alternate pathways. And at the end  (transition years), it is possible we can admit or accept that there will be an extension.....We do not foresee and we do not want layoffs, she added. “We believe it is possible to find pathways to steer these people to other jobs that match their skills, because (the charter) does not touch the private sector,” Marois told Montreal radio station 98.5 FM. Link
Really... can that be helpful?

New Tax Breaks
People ask why I was so sure that the Liberals would win a majority government and I tell them it was Pauline's late promise of tax breaks, a move that even the most politically uninformed recognized as a desperate attempt to buy some love.

In fact the move was so nakedly desperate it could only have been precipitated by panic in the PQ ranks, where either internal polling indicated the coming meltdown or where candidates and organizers in the field were putting pressure up above in the face of voter abandonment.

Whatever the case, promising tax breaks is a clear violation of Rule Number Three. Voters aren't cynical, they just don't believe or care about these pie-in-the-sky promises.
Who of you out there believes that even one voter was swayed to change their vote over to the PQ over this lame-ass and patently ridiculous promise?

It's a sad litany of failure that should be compared to the Liberals error-free campaign.
I can hardly think of one Liberal gaffe, because Philippe Couillard kept his mouth shut on the issues and his head down over accusations of past corruption.
His one declaration, a not-so-veiled threat to Marois that if she flung dirt at him over corruption, he'd do the same over Pauline's hubby's alleged corrupt conduct, a threat she apparently took seriously.

Couillard promised almost nothing, but looked confident and handsome doing it. He avoided PQ attacks by doing a wildly successful version of political  rope-a-dope.

And so, Pauline and the PQ delivered an abject lesson in how to lose an election. She isn't alone, both the Alberta and British Columbia elections unfolded exactly the same way, with both the highly-favoured Wildrose party losing in Alberta and the NDP in British Columbia, both running similarly deficient campaigns.

Let's review Couillard's and the Liberal party performance in relation to the above-mentioned rules.

Rule One- Keep you mouth shut..............., CHECK!
Rule Two- Go negative.............................. CHECK! (referendums and sovereignty)
Rule Three- Make no promises.................. CHECK!
Rule Four- Look Handsome...................... CHECK!
Rule Five- Keep to the plan........................CHECK!
Rule Six- Don't defend the indefensible.... CHECK!  (there were no gaffes to defend....amazing!
Rule Seven- Be right on the facts.............. CHECK!  (when you say nothing, it's hard to be wrong!)

Woody Allen once said that 80% of success is just showing up and that's exactly what the Liberals and Couillard did, they just showed up, smiled and did nothing more.
The political lesson to be had....Look smart and  keep your head down and your mouth shut and then hope that the other guys do the opposite.

It happens more often than not..




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Posted on 22 April 2014 | 1:09 pm

Elizabeth May



Passenger rail in Canada is in crisis

There has been a lot of attention of late to what moves on Canada’s rails. Train derailments, disasters such as Lac-Mégantic and near-disasters, such as the railcars loaded with toxic diluents that were suspended on a crumbling bridge over the Bow River during the June Calgary floods, have focused on the threat of unsafe rail […]

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Posted on 7 April 2014 | 8:22 pm

Justin Trudeau



Liberals Ask Auditor General to Investigate Temporary Foreign Worker Program

OTTAWA – Liberal Critic for Citizenship & Immigration, Multiculturalism, and Seniors, John McCallum, sent the following letter to the Auditor General of Canada. In it, he […]

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 5:51 pm

Ezra Levant



The decline of free speech

University of Regina students’ reaction to peaceful anti-gay protesters getting arrested shows the sad state of free speech.

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 10:14 am

Scott's DiaTribes



Liberal Nominee: Joseph Angolano in Scarborough North

This is another in a series of blogposts I’ve done for folks I know that are running to be the Liberal candidate in certain ridings*, be they for federal or provincial. This time, I’m highlighting Joseph Angolano, who is running to be the Liberal nominee in the new riding of Scarborough North.

Joseph is a tad different from the other candidates I’m highlighting; he was not/is not a Liberal blogger, as some of my other folks I’ve highlighted here, but was/is friends with a lot of them, and he did get involved in a couple of political chat sites I was on. I’ve had some interesting and sometimes admittedly heated [...]


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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 10:16 pm

Dawg's Blog



Canada's political police?

Bob Paulson, the Commissioner of the RCMP, disgraces himself in a letter to the Ottawa Citizen today, going after journalist Stephen Maher for his very mild comments on the RCMP’s decision not to proceed with charges against Nigel Wright. Besides...

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 12:55 pm

Barbara Kay



Barbara Kay: Study paints a portrait of Canada as a nation of child abusers

According to the “Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect”, about a third of Canadians are abusers or abused and likely disordered mentally.

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 3:28 pm

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff



PMO: RCMP is Deeply Offended You’re Not Buying Their Crap

“Come on!” – RCMP The Canadian people know when they’re being fed smoke and mirrors, and things taste very smoky and shiny right now. @PierAsselin It almost seems like he just doesn't like the questions being raised.— Stephen Maher (@stphnmaher) April 23, 2014 +1 RT @mdemeny: So the letter refuting the RCMP as an agent […]

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 9:15 pm

Erich the Green



When feeding wildlife is fowl

Did someone mention sauce?
What’s the difference between feeding a chipmunk and feeding a goose? In Barrie, one is illegal, the other is not.
Last year the City passed a bylaw wisely banning the feeding of wildlife, with the notable exception of well-maintained backyard bird feeders, because wildlife feeding causes many problems. It attracts animals that become habituated to humans, and can then be more aggressive. Their feces on our lawns and beaches can be a health risk. And the foods people commonly throw to them –bread, crackers, popcorn – is “junk food” not suited to their nutritional needs.
But in their wisdom, Council restricted the bylaw to mammals; feeding ducks and geese is still permitted, although discouraged in parks. Yet this is one of the more problematic feeding issues. It is one thing to attract squirrels or raccoons to your backyard – you (and your immediate neighbours) will suffer the direct consequences. But feeding waterfowl at Barrie’s waterfront ends up despoiling the area for all of us who share this wonderful natural feature.
As other cities like Mississauga and Oakville have shown, you can include waterfowl among animals prohibited to feed. Doing so is probably easier to enforce, too, because squirrel-feeding usually happens at home while duck-feeding is usually done in public parks and waterways. And even if the by-law isn’t aggressively enforced, visible signage can help reduce the harms.
And the harms will become more apparent. Canada goose populations are at an all-time peak, and continue to rise. These geese thrive under human development, which actually provides more convenient spaces for them to live & eat than nature does. Their increase is most noticeable at the waterfront upon which rest so many of Barrie’s hopes for economic growth and amenity improvement. Do we want to attract more geese, and their poop, to the same place we are drawing people? Will aggressive geese and ducks make visiting the waterfront more fun?
There are even some who feel it’s such a problem that the City should start aggressively reducing the goose population. In more rural areas, hunting them is permitted but I don’t think we want guns around our lakeshore. You can also destroy eggs or nests, or try to scare geese away periodically (usually with guns or aircraft – again, not great for our waterfront), or even have the birds relocated. But none of that works in the long term if we keep attracting them by feeding them junk food.
There may be options for bird relocation the City would not have to pay for, which would be a good way to get a handle on the problem, but when it comes to dealing with nature, prevention beats a cure. We should learn to watch wildlife behaving naturally, which for geese means eating plants and seeds, not running after us to eat a scattering of human food. It’s not like there will be a sudden shortage of these common birds; they are very capable of feeding themselves and don’t need our help.
So what do you think? Should Barrie expand its bylaw to disallow feeding geese and ducks? Should we look into ways to reduce excess birds, by increasing suitable natural spaces away from the parklands maintained for human use, and trying not to attract them to the places we use? Should we be more aggressive in removing geese to other locations? As spring finally lets us return to enjoying a cherished green lakeshore whose amenity value grows with our own population, this is a conversation worth having.

An accidentally-truncated version of this was published in the Barrie Examiner as "Should we keep feeding ducks and geese at the waterfront?"
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation

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Posted on 11 April 2014 | 2:55 pm

Five Feet of Fury



Hey, who’s up for a two and a half hour conversation about both ‘Bad Lieutenant’ movies?

The Projection Booth has you covered in their new podcast. These guys are always fun.  

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 11:07 am

A Blog By James Curran



Zach Paikin. HERO.

You know what Zach? Good for you buddy.

Well done.

Maybe, finally, once and for all the LEADER of this party will get the message. This is not supposed to be business as usual with his leadership. It's supposed to be about open transparency. Perhaps the leader forgets his speech at the leadership convention.

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Posted on 17 March 2014 | 9:16 pm

Buckdog



The Foul Odour Of Corruption That Comes From The Office Of The Prime Minister Of Canada ..


The Canadian Progressive hits the nail on the head with this article.....

New documents released by the RCMP suggest that the Senate expenses scandal is closing in on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. For Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, the documents show that Harper, who came to office in 2006 promising to clean up Ottawa, is "guilty of corruption“.

The documents, filed in court on Wednesday, allege that Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, violated the Criminal Code when he cut a $90,172 cheque to cover up Sen. Mike Duffy’s fraudulent Senate expense claims. The documents allege that Wright committed several offences relating to fraud, bribery, and breach of trust.

Most importantly, the RCMP documents suggest that Harper and a whole busload of senior Conservatives knew a lot more than the PM has publicly admitted. CTV news reports that “PMO staff worked with Duffy to make his politically inconvenient expense problems go away.”

In essence, when Harper said he knew nothing of the deal, he lied to Canadians. There was a high-profile cover-up and he was aware of it.
As Postmedia News reports:
And while Wright is quoted in the RCMP documents saying that the prime minister was not aware of his plan to cut a $90,000 cheque from his personal funds to assist Duffy – a point on which Harper is also adamant – other parts of the RCMP records suggest Harper had more knowledge of Duffy’s woes and the widening scandal than the prime minister has publicly spoken about. The documents also suggest Harper may have known at a key point in the affair that the party was willing to pick up the tab for Duffy’s housing expenses.
One email, which is part of the RCMP documents, suggests that Wright’s decision to cut the cheque wasn’t his alone. That he either consulted with or sought Harper’s signature before he acted.
“We are good to go from the PM,” Wright says in the email, dated February 22, 2012.
In another email, Wright seems to suggest that the Conservatives in the Senate weren’t doing enough to contain the scandal as efficiently as the PM expected.
“We cannot rely on the Senate leadership,” he writes in the February 15 email. “We have to do this in a way that does not lead to the Chinese water torture of new facts in the public domain that the PM does not want.”
The RCMP documents also speak of an “agreement” around the dirty deal.
“That agreement, to give and accept money in exchange for something to be done or omitted to be done, constitutes the bribery offence,” the documents say. “They used their offices for a dishonest purpose, other than the public good.”
The documents also reveal that the following senior Conservatives knew about the deal:
Sen. Marjory LeBreton, Government Leader in the Senate
Sen. David Tkachuk, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee
Sen. Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Member of the Senate Standing Committee
Andrew MacDougall, Director of Communications, Prime Minister’s Office
Benjamin Perrin, Legal Counsel to the Prime Minister
Ray Novak, Harper’s Deputy Chief of Staff
Carl Vallee, Press Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office
Arthur Hamilton, Legal Counsel, Conservative Party of Canada
Chris Woodcock, Director of Issues Management, Prime Minister’s Office
I’d no idea. That’s because the Conservatives didn’t wan’t us to know.
But most insulting is this: before the newest revelations, Harper’s official response has read like a page from a dictator’s operational manual. Denial. Finger-pointing. Smearing. Character assassination. The works.
Soon after the scandal broke out, the PM expressed confidence in Wright.  In May, Harper told us Wright had acted “in the public interest” when he cut the Duffy cheque. He even "fought to keep Nigel Wright".
“The prime minister had full confidence in Mr. Wright and Mr. Wright is staying on,” said Andrew McDougall , Harper’s director of communications then.

Then the scandal refused to go away, threatened to engulf the Conservatives, and the smear campaign began. Harper made both Wright and Duffy the fall guys. He blamed them. Then he publicly trashed them.
In the House of Commons in October, Harper depicted him as a crooked political operator who actively engaged in a deception that duped his boss along with all Canadians. 
 
Harper recently also painted Sen. Duffy as "a duplicitious crook". That’s soon after Duffy told us “the prime minister wasn’t interested in explanations or the truth.”
In a speech delivered to the Senate in October, Duffy alleged Harper told him to repay the fraudulently claimed expenses. He claimed that he met Harper and Wright.

This is how the Toronto Star’s Tim Harper characterizes the stubborn scandal and its inevitable impact on Harper:
It is an indictment of his leadership and an indelible stain on his office, its bully-boy tactics and its apparent view that it can bulldoze through any problem with a wink, a payoff and a carefully rehearsed narrative.
Canadians deserve the truth. Now!
Obert Madondo  is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive.
 Canadian Progressive

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Posted on 15 April 2014 | 2:34 pm

Mark Steyn



A Deviant from State Ideology

I've been out and about on TV and radio these last few days. Herewith, a few highlights: ~I started this morning with Bruce & Dan on 89 WLS in Chicago. When I was living in the Windy City covering the trial of my old boss Conrad Black, I got used to waking up with WLS and the late Don Wade. I miss Don and certainly neither Bruce nor Dan is as lovely as Roma, but their show is always fun to do. We talked about affirmative action, the paramilitarized bureaucracy, and, for some reason, Peter Pan. You can hear the interview here. ~Last night, I was on Fox News talking climate alarmism with Sean Hannity. You can see the video here. One of the points I raised with Sean is: Where has the warming gone? If you're entering college this fall, there's been no warming your entire life, so, after years of deniers pointing out this awkward fact, the settled-science crowd have belatedly tried to explain the 17-year "pause". Their preferred answer is that the 21st century warming is hiding somewhere - most likely in the depths of the Pacific, next to that Malaysian plane. This may buy the climate mullahs a little time, but not much...

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 2:00 pm

Huffington Post



Don't Blame Seniors For Canada's Rising Health Care Costs

The tsunami metaphor is more and more often used in commentaries about the effect of aging on health care spending in Canada. It musters up images of devastation and irresistible strength submersing any levees the system might try to mount to oppose it. It is a powerful but misleading metaphor.

There is a worrying rise in health care spending in Canada, but it doesn't have much to do with population aging. To stay with the oceanographic metaphor, aging might be, at most, a modest tidal wave. The real tsunami of health spending is the result of changes in the way all patients are treated in the system, resulting from both price inflation (drugs and doctors cost more than ever) and technical progress (new diagnostic tests, surgeries and drugs).

The yearly increases in total health care spending in Canada -- approximately 10 billion dollars per year nowadays -- does not result from aging per se, but the costs of treatment, including diagnostic tests, drugs and doctors, for all patients, young and old. It's not that we have too many seniors that will break the bank, but how those seniors, and others, are treated in the health system that affects the bottom line.

Put another way, aging on its own adds around two billion dollars to the annual health care bill while changes in the cost of treatment per average patient adds eight billion dollars.

How is it possible? To answer, let's take a closer look at the age profile of health care spending: if age is on the horizontal axis and average spending per individual of a given age on the vertical axis, the profile resembles a valley. In other words, it costs a lot to be born, because it happens most often in a hospital; then, each year of age between one and 50 does not cost the health system much on average (the profile is flat and low) -- but costs start picking up again at age 50 and the slope becomes steeper with age until plateauing around 80.

Contemplating such an age profile (drawn to illustrate a single year, say 2013), one might conclude that aging will increase spending dramatically. However, looking at two such annual profiles (one for 1993 and one for 2013), it is easy to see that the really striking change has been at the ground level: we spend much more today on anyone at any age than 20 years ago, and this is what really drives our health care costs.

This increase in costs for patient care has not been sudden, but has taken place over several decades and will likely continue apace. Costs have been driven by current investments in research and development (in industry and academia alike), insurance coverage for expensive, cutting edge treatments -- whether truly beneficial or not -- and our demand for longer and better quality lives.

We can't really do anything about costs resulting from our aging population, but we can make choices about what services we provide patients of all ages. These choices might mean rationing care (and, as a result, longevity and quality of life) but also, and preferably, making sure all patients receive essential care, but not unnecessary care. The latter is about reducing "waste" in our health system, interventions that have not been proven to enhance length or quality of life.

So, how do we distinguish necessary from unnecessary care?

We need to build our health system on evidence. We need to know how many years of life and how much quality of life we buy through the increased volume of services and the flow of new technologies in the health care system. We also need to pay for services and innovation on the basis of what they add to quality and quantity of life (outcome-based payments). Instead we continue paying for technology on the basis of how much it costs to develop, not how much it delivers.

It's time we stop throwing ever more money after the latest and greatest technologies in health services without knowing if we are getting a return on our investment. Our health care system suffers in the process.

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 9:20 pm

Fight the Power



The System





Two senior Taliban leaders arrested in Baghlan province

by Ahmadshah Ghanizada

KHAAMA PRESS
April 22, 2014


Two prominent Taliban leaders were arrested during a special military operation in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Interior ministry following a statement said the special military operation was conducted by Afghan national police forces in Dahan-e-Ghori district on Tuesday morning.

The statement further added that the detained Taliban leaders were recognized as Mullah Ghayoor and Mullah Janan who were involved in major terrorist attacks in this province.

Interior ministry also added that four militants were killed and six others were detained during the operation which is still conducted in Dahan-e-Ghori district.

Afghan security forces also confiscated six AK-47 rifles, two rocket launcheres and one PK machine gun during the operation, interior ministry said, adding that Afghan security forces have not suffered any casualties.

The statement by interior ministry also added that the elimination of the terrorist group will have a positive impact on security situation of northern Baghlan province.

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 1:18 pm

Andrew Coyne



Andrew Coyne: It might not actually be the richest middle-class on the planet, but Canada certainly isn’t struggling

This isn’t just a story of American decline, in other words. It is a story of Canadian success

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 11:53 pm

Blazing Cat Fur



Mali fighters say they have killed French hostage

A French foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday night that Gilberto Rodrigues Leal was feared dead after the claim from al Qaeda-linked fighters in Mali.

The MUJAO, a French acryonym which in English means “Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa,” group told the French AFP news agency earlier on Tuesday that "he is dead, because France is our enemy."

Gilberto Rodrigues Leal was kidnapped in November 2012 while travelling in Mali and Mauritania. The MUJAO spokesman, Yoro Abdoul Salam, spoke to AFP by phone. When asked for more information like a time or place of death, or evidence such as a photo, AFP reported that Salam said “in the name of Allah, he is dead,” before hanging up.

The government in Paris responded cautiously, but admitted to fearing the worst...

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 9:00 pm

Driving The Porcelain Bus



No One To Blame For Rob Ford But The Media And Ignorance

This article in the Toronto Star points to the voters as those solely to blame for Rob Ford being elected.

I disagree. The voters are partially to blame, but there were other major factors.


1) The Media
The Media is very much to blame for the election of Rob Ford. During the election campaign they, pretty much as a whole, focused much more on the celebrity of Rob Ford than on the policies of the candidates. This influenced the many voters who are more easily swayed by name recognition and celebrity than policies.

Also, the Media is largely to blame for discouraging people from voting, by convincing many that it is pointless to vote as it will change nothing. Remember, the vast majority of media is or is owned by large corporations. So, it is in their best interests for the most part to support Conservative ideology. It is known that the most avid voters are conservative supporters. So, by convincing those who disagree with and are disappointed by government policies and trends that it is a waste of time to vote, they are removing votes against the parties/people that support the conservative/corporate agenda/ideologies.


2) Ignorance
A large part of Conservative ideology is the celebration of ignorance over knowledge and reason. Just look at the popularity of the Tea Party in the USA, especially a couple of years ago, during the time of the last Toronto municipal election. Those people in Toronto who embraced this celebration of ignorance over knowledge and reason at the time of the election were/are at the core of Ford Nation. The popularity and sensationalizing of this ideology convinced many more to jump on the bandwagon of celebrating ignorance.

And now, with all that, there is the issue of trying to reason with those who have chosen to abandon reason.

It is easier to fool someone that to convince them that they have been fooled.

We have our work cut out for us. And it is made especially hard for individuals to fight against the Media for the attention of people, especially for those people who currently won't be reasoned with.

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Posted on 24 November 2013 | 7:58 pm

BigCityLib Strikes Back



Oil By Rail Just Got More Expensive

An account of the feds new rail safety improvements can be found here.  From it:

The federal government wants a three-year phase-out or retrofit of older tank cars that are used to transport crude oil by rail, but will not implement a key TSB recommendation that rail companies conduct route planning when transporting dangerous goods.

As well, certain tankers that Raitt said have "no continuous reinforcement of their bottom shells" will be removed within 30 days, by ministerial order. There are 5,000 of these cars in North America, she said, but could not give a figure of how many are used in Canada.

Raitt was speaking at a press conference in Ottawa Wednesday to announce the changes.

There are 65,000 of the more robust Dot-111 cars in North America that must be phased out or retrofitted within three years if used in Canada, Raitt said, adding, "Officials have advised us three years is doable."  She said she couldn't calculate the cost of the retrofits, but told reporters, "industry will be footing the bill."

Some rough cost estimates:

Retrofitting older cars can cost more than $70,000 each, while new tank cars cost well over $100,000.

If industry is indeed footing the bill, and if we assume about 1/10th of the total number of cars are operating in Canada, then we're talking billions in expenses over the next couple of years.  Which is to say that a standard argument for Keystone XL (and other pipelines)--block them and the product will just get to its destination by other means--is not necessarily true. Drive up the cost of hauling Alberta bitumen by rail, and you can probably drive down the total amount that gets out of the tar sands by that route. It becomes less economical, that is,  to get oil to market on trains if you're not allowed to immolate small towns along the route.


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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 6:21 pm

Just Right



Another slow news day - so let's stoke the climate scare

Vancouver Sun, front page, above the fold:
VANCOUVER — British Columbia Environment Ministry staff have warned their minister that the province’s dreamed-of liquefied natural gas industry poses some big challenges with greenhouse gas emissions.
... Internal briefing notes prepared for Environment Minister Mary Polak ... single out methane emissions for concern.
... emissions remain a hurdle for the provinces, which has legislated targets for reductions. Legislation dictates that emissions are to be reduced by at least a third below 2007 levels by 2020. ...
 
 
 
 Okay, I know that politics demands that Ms Polak at least nod in the direction of the climate hysterics, but it's long past time to be realistic.

Even IF there's a chance that "warming" is a problem, and it's a mighty big IF, nothing that BC (or Canada) does to limit GHGs (even limiting them to absolute zero) will have any measurable effect on global climate.  The mere increase in China's annual emissions is enough to swamp Canada's (and 10 times BC's) entire annual output.  Then there's India.  Then there's the rest of the developing world.  Then ...

Polak's (or her eco-bureaucrats') apparent concerns are a drop in Canada's bucket and the world's ocean of emissions.   It is not worth the sacrifice of one BC job to pursue what are at best symbolic gestures towards avoiding that big, remote IF.


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Posted on 21 April 2014 | 6:52 pm

Peace, order and good government, eh?



Saturday night blues blogging

This is Otis Rush performing at Montreux in 1986 with Gambler's Blues....

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Posted on 20 April 2014 | 1:23 am

Green Party of Canada



Earth Day 2014: Climate crisis requires leadership

OTTAWA – Today marks the 44th anniversary of the planet's first Earth Day - April 22, 1970.  Today, the Green Party of Canada celebrates the accomplishments of Canada's environmental movement over the past four decades and looks ahead to a vibrant green future.   

In 1970, by remarkable coincidence, both Green MPs, Elizabeth May and Bruce Hyer, were organizers in the first ever Earth Day, with Hyer working as an Earth Day coordinator for the State of Connecticut, and May leading an Earth Day event with students at her high school. 

Today, the Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, is in Sidney, BC for "Earth Day for an Oil-Free Coast." May will join acclaimed Canadian artist Robert Bateman, Chief Vern Jacks of the Tseycum First Nation, and members of the Sierra Club-BC and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation at a public event to raise awareness of the risks of  oil tanker traffic on the BC coast. 

"We solved most of the environmental challenges of the 1970s and we can do the same with 21st century problems. The solutions are nearly infinite.  All that stands in our way is a Cro Magnon-like commitment to the status quo," said the Green Leader. "Our problem is that not all the fossils are in the fuels. We urgently need courageous and enlightened leadership."

"In the early 1970s, we succeeded in banning DDT and other toxic pesticides, even though everyone told us it couldn't be done," said Bruce Hyer, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North and the Green Deputy Leader. "The climate crisis is a very different challenge, but I am so inspired to see Canadians from coast to coast to coast getting together and putting pressure on our government to take action."

-30-

Contact:

Nicholas Gall
Communications Officer
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
nicholas.gall@greenparty.ca

#EarthDay2014: Climate crisis requires leadership

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Posted on 22 April 2014 | 5:20 pm

eaves.ca



Canada’s Opaque Transparency – An Open Data Failure

Yesterday, at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Canada Minister of Natural Resource, Joe Oliver, announced with great fanfare a new initiative to compel mining companies to disclose payments of over $100,000′s to foreign and domestic governments. On the surface this looks like a win for transparency, particularly for a sector that is of […]

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Posted on 4 March 2014 | 1:22 pm

Bold Colours



Ann Coulter Back Any Candidate You Want as Long as It's One of These Three Katie Pavlich Mention of Mass Stabbing Curiously Missing From Obama's Pennsylvania Speech
James Taranto An Obama nominee warned about politicizing the census.

As did half of us.

Washington Examiner Poll: Most Americans believe Obama lies on important issues
Washington Examiner Things you just can't make up: Far-left, "pro-union," anti-conservative...

Media Matters for America is resisting SEIU's effort to unionize its staff

CNBC.com Yet another one?

Major Democratic donor indicted over campaign contributions

Mark Steyn

The slow death of free speech

How the Left, here and abroad, is trying to shut down debate — from Islam and Israel to global warming and gay marriage

Margaret Wente “Righteous moral certainty and demands for censorship used to be vices of the right. Now they are most often vices of the left.” Intolerance is now a vice of the left
    Guy Benson Wendy Davis Getting Crushed in Texas
Thomas Sowell "War on women"™ bullcrappery: Statistical Frauds New York Times Failure leads to this in Obama's America. Sebelius Said to Weigh Run for Kansas Senate Seat
Detroit Free Press Obama said al Qaeda was dead, and Detroit was alive (1). DC in talks to bail out bankrupt Detroit CNN Obama said al Qaeda was dead, and Detroit was alive (2).

Unsettling video shows large resurgent al Qaeda meeting in Yemen

Human Events IRS documents show Lois Lerner wanted to sic the Justice Department on targeted conservative groups Breitbart .com GEORGE WILL: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S CONSTANT CLAIMS OF RACISM ARE BECOMING A JOKE
 

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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 5:40 pm

Let Freedom Rain



New York Times tars and feathers Harper and the Conservatives

Canada's reputation under Harper is like Mad magazine; you can no longer take us seriously. The Conservatives are hilarious for their lack of self-awareness. The New York Times nails it.



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Posted on 1 April 2014 | 4:58 pm

Accidental Deliberations



Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Michael Harris writes that the Cons' primary purpose while in power has been to hand further power and wealth to those who already have more than they know what to do with:
These corporations and their political mouthpiece, the Republican Party, are Stephen Harper’s heroes. He has spent his entire political career marching Canada down the same corporate road that leads to oligarchy. He is less the prime minister of a country, than a super-salesman of corporate interests. That’s why his policies often look so wacky but aren’t. They do exactly what they are intended to do.
They are not designed for the country’s benefit, but for corporate interests. That’s what Nexen and Northern Gateway are about. That’s what Harper’s revenue-losing corporate tax cuts are all about. The [corporations] get break after break, and the public loses its mail service, veterans lose their service centres, and public servants get their pink slips.
...
We haven’t got far to go [to become an oligarchy]; 86 families in this country, representing .002 percent of the population, have accumulated more wealth than the poorest 11.4 million Canadians.

If it can be said that Stephen Harper has a vision at all, it is to keep it that way.
- Paul Krugman responds to the observation that the U.S.' political class mostly addresses the preferences of the wealthy by pointing out that there's a meaningful difference between the major political parties in their respective handling of equality issues. But I'd go a step further and question whether the current influence of the wealthy means electoral politics are "irrelevant" or insufficiently relevant - and that if the answer is the latter, then there's all the more reason to pursue change through the political system.

- Meanwhile, Les Whittington reports that grassroots action is having a real effect on the Cons' attempts to place the oil industry ahead of all other interests. But Dean Beeby notes that the Cons' reaction has been to stop gathering the evidence which shows that the public has no interest in their spin - this time by refusing to test public reaction to publicly-funded political advertising (even as they continue to pour tens of millions of dollars into the ads themselves).

- Matthew Yglesias makes the case for taxes on extreme incomes for the purpose of addressing inequality - and notes that there's reason to pursue that end even if the result isn't an increase in revenue:
(T)he tax code structures even the "pre tax" incomes of very high earning people. Very high taxation of inheritances would mean fewer big inheritances, not more tax revenue. Very high taxation of labor income would mean fewer huge compensation packages, not more revenue. Precisely as Laffer pointed out decades ago, imposing a 90 percent tax rate on something is not really a way to tax it at all — it's a way to make sure it doesn't happen.

If you believe systematically lower CEO compensation packages would mean a mass withdrawal of talent from the business world and a collapse of American industry, then those smaller pay packages could be an economic disaster. But the more plausible theory is that systematically lower CEO compensation packages would mean systematically higher compensation spending elsewhere in the corporate structure. Either more frontline workers or better-paid ones. The new tax code would redistribute value inside the corporate structure without anyone actually paying the new sky-high taxes.
- Finally, Ian Welsh suggests that we may need some significant regulation of online rent-seekers in order to ensure that the ability to exchange information in an instant actually leads to real opportunities for content creators.

[Update: added link.]

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 3:37 pm

What Do I Know Grit



Zach Paikin. HERO.

You know what Zach? Good for you buddy.

Well done.

Maybe, finally, once and for all the LEADER of this party will get the message. This is not supposed to be business as usual with his leadership. It's supposed to be about open transparency. Perhaps the leader forgets his speech at the leadership convention.

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Posted on 17 March 2014 | 9:16 pm

Small Dead Animals



The Decline And Fall Of The American Empire

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose! Guardian, April 15th - Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a tense phone call that Moscow would face further costs for its actions in Ukraine and should...

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 7:19 pm

Le blog politique de Claude Dupras



Un « nerd » pour la réforme électorale canadienne

Il a 34 ans. Il est né en Alberta de parents français. Il a étudié les relations internationales à l’Université de Calgary. Puis, il devint sondeur, consultant politique, assistant de leaders politiques et, en 2004, candidat dans le comté Nepean-Carleton d’Ontario, où, à l’âge de 25 ans il est élu député canadien du Parti Conservateur (PC) en délogeant un ministre libéral de son siège par 4000 voix. Depuis, il a été réélu en 2006, 2008 et 2011 avec des majorités de plus en plus importantes frisant les 19,000 voix de majorité. Le sondage politique annuel du journal The Hill times l’a reconnu un des députés les plus travaillants dans sa circonscription. La politique est sa vie.

Son nom est Pierre Poilievre. Parfaitement bilingue, il est devenu, le 15 juillet 2013, ministre d’état à la Réforme Démocratique du gouvernement Harper. Il est de droite et a des allures d’une personne solitaire, passionnée et obnubilée par une approche politique et intellectuelle genre parti-républicain-américain. En somme, il a des airs de « nerd ». Je ne le connais pas et je n’émets que mon impression après l’avoir écouté et vu débattre à la Chambre des Communes, lu le Hansard, durant les dernières années. Depuis sa venue au parlement, Skippy, comme le surnomme ses collègues, agit en partisan aveugle. Il bondit, attaque et ridiculise les adversaires sur tout et rien. Comme ministre, il se montre petit, mesquin et se fout des questions de l’opposition avec des réponses hors-sujet et trop souvent absurdes. Sûr de lui-même, il est peu porté à écouter les opinions des autres. Malgré tout, on a l’impression qu’un jour il ira loin, peut-être même jusqu’à la tête de son parti et premier ministre du Canada. Mais pour se faire, il devra agir plus démocratiquement, arrondir les coins et comprendre que la politique est l’art du compromis.

Il y a deux mois, Poilievre proposa une réforme importante, le feuilleton C-23 sur l’intégrité électorale. Le projet de loi a été durement contesté depuis et le ministre a systématiquement refusé toute critique et toute modification à son texte.

L’opposition n’est pas venue seulement des partis politiques d’opposition que le ministre a cherché à ridiculiser, mais aussi de mandarins du gouvernement, tels Marc Mayrand, directeur général des élections du Canada et de Sheila Fraser, ex-vérificatrice générale du gouvernement canadien.

Mayrand, nommé par les conservateurs, a critiqué le projet de loi en exprimant ses nombreuses préoccupations dont, entre autres, les restrictions proposées pour l’identification des électeurs par un répondant. Il estime que 120 000 électeurs actifs ne pourront voter à la prochaine élection si la mesure est votée. Il regrette que ni lui et ni le commissaire aux élections Yves Côté n’aient été consultés pour la préparation du projet de loi et souligne qu’au Royaume-Uni, en Australie, en Inde et aux USA une telle preuve de résidence n’est pas exigée.

En réponse, Poilievre rejette du revers de la main l’argumentation réfléchie de Mayrand et l’attaque personnellement en prétextant qu’elle est « pleine d’allégations et ahurissante ». Il ajoute « qu’en réalité Mayrand ne cherche qu’à accroître son pouvoir de haut-fonctionnaire, d’augmenter ses budgets et de rendre moins de comptes au Parlement ». Accusations totalement gratuites et injustes.

Fraser a qualifié le C-23 d’ « une attaque contre notre démocratie » et s’il n’est pas amendé, elle craint que la prochaine élection soit en péril. Elle explique que « notre système est basé sur la justice et l’équité et chaque canadien doit pouvoir voter. Au lieu de faciliter cette approche, le feuilleton c-23 rend cette acte plus difficile ». Elle affirme connaître l’intégrité et l’impartialité de Mayrand et déplore l’attaque contre cet officier du parlement car elle craint que de tels gestes créent l’impression dans le public que les sept hauts-fonctionnaires indépendants du Gouvernement sont biaisés. « Ce qui est loin d’être le cas », assure-t-elle.

Le comité sénatorial à majorité conservateurs s’est penché sur la question et vient unanimement de rendre son premier rapport. Il est très critique et contient des recommandations précises, telles, ne pas empêcher le directeur général des élections de parler aux électeurs, l’obligation de fournir des attestations de noms et d’adresses aux personnes qui le demandent, de ne pas permettre aux partis politiques de dépenser sans limites pour solliciter des fonds d’anciens donateurs (cela favoriserait le PC)... Cependant, il ne s’est pas prononcé sur la question la plus disputée qu’est celle de l’identification d’un électeur par un répondant.

Les conservateurs font tout pour changer la normalité. Ils s’en prennent aux bases même du système tel que défini comme immuable dans le passé, telles, la précision du recensement, l’obligation du gouvernement de répondre au parlement et, aujourd’hui, les élections justes, le droit et le devoir de chaque canadien de voter, l’encouragement aux électeurs à voter, la confiance dans l’intégrité de ceux qui dirigent les élections… Dans le passé, Élections Canada a fait des campagnes de stimulations dans les milieux où le niveau de votation était bas, par exemple, chez les étudiants. Les conservateurs s’y opposent car ils savent que la majorité des étudiants ne sont pas conservateurs. Ils accusent donc Élections Canada de faire de la politique et d’être en « conflits d’intérêts » parce que cet organisme gère les élections et stimule les électeurs à voter puisque c’est son mandat.

Depuis qu’ils sont au pouvoir, les Conservateurs sont comme les républicains américains qui, dans les quartiers noirs et hispaniques, normalement favorables aux démocrates, font tout pour réduire appréciablement le nombre d’électeurs, via le recensement, la diminution du nombre de bureaux de votation... Nous avons été témoins à la dernière élection présidentielle américaine des longues et interminables filées d’électeurs qui attendaient des heures pour voter. Ils étaient blancs, noirs, hispaniques et tous pauvres. Au Canada, nous ne faisons pas cela. Ce n’est pas normal. Tout le monde doit voter et aucune embûche ne doit motiver un électeur à ne pas voter. Les conservateurs, au contraire, par le Bill C-23 cherchent à restreindre le vote étudiant, celui des autochtones et celui de ceux qui doivent utiliser un répondant pour se faire identifier comme électeur, etc. C’est inacceptable.

Le leader de l’opposition Thomas Mulcair, heureux du rapport sénatorial, a décidé de talonné Poilievre et le suit pas à pas au parlement. Ses questions sont pertinentes et, peu à peu, les Canadiens comprennent mieux l’importance de ce débat. La crédibilité du gouvernement est miné jour après jour. Quant au chef libéral, Justin Trudeau, il promet d’annuler le projet de loi s’il est adopté, dès sa prise du pouvoir.

Face à la pression négative montante venant de divers milieux, depuis deux mois, Harper a réagi et a demandé à son ministre de se dire prêt à discuter de changements. C’est un début mais la bataille est loin d’être gagnée même si l’intraitable Poilievre annonce que dorénavant « il a l’esprit ouvert ». Peut-on y croire ? Je ne crois pas, car un tel dossier est complexe, sensible, important et apolitique. Il requiert de l’expérience, de la rigueur et une capacité d’écoute pour être mené à bonne fin. Ce que ce ministre n’a pas démontré avoir à ce jour.

Nous, Canadiens, devons rester sur nos gardes, car la stratégie conservatrice est de faire adopter la loi C-23 le plus vite possible. Des changements de cette importance prennent normalement beaucoup de temps, d’analyses et d’évaluations par tous ceux qui sont engagés et touchés par une telle législation. Ils ne peuvent être brusqués car la démocratie fonctionne bien s’il y a consultation, respect des différentes opinions et consensus. C’est la responsabilité de notre gouvernement fédéral d’agir ainsi.

Claude Dupras

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Posted on 19 April 2014 | 11:28 pm

Mind of Dan



Dancing Booby

At Seymour Norte island in the Galapagos Islands


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Posted on 10 February 2014 | 9:09 pm

Warren Kinsella



Da Brudders: 38 years ago today

Bjorn reminded me Da Brudders first LP – my fave ever, still – came out 38 years ago today. Here they are in Arturo Vega’s loft in 1975, around the time that a teenage misfit in Calgary was starting to hear about them. God-like geniuses. Can’t believe it’s been almost 40 frigging years. .

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Posted on 23 April 2014 | 12:56 pm

Parti Vert Du Canada



Earth Day 2014: Climate crisis requires leadership

OTTAWA – Today marks the 44th anniversary of the planet's first Earth Day - April 22, 1970.  Today, the Green Party of Canada celebrates the accomplishments of Canada's environmental movement over the past four decades and looks ahead to a vibrant green future.   

In 1970, by remarkable coincidence, both Green MPs, Elizabeth May and Bruce Hyer, were organizers in the first ever Earth Day, with Hyer working as an Earth Day coordinator for the State of Connecticut, and May leading an Earth Day event with students at her high school. 

Today, the Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, is in Sidney, BC for "Earth Day for an Oil-Free Coast." May will join acclaimed Canadian artist Robert Bateman, Chief Vern Jacks of the Tseycum First Nation, and members of the Sierra Club-BC and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation at a public event to raise awareness of the risks of  oil tanker traffic on the BC coast. 

"We solved most of the environmental challenges of the 1970s and we can do the same with 21st century problems. The solutions are nearly infinite.  All that stands in our way is a Cro Magnon-like commitment to the status quo," said the Green Leader. "Our problem is that not all the fossils are in the fuels. We urgently need courageous and enlightened leadership."

"In the early 1970s, we succeeded in banning DDT and other toxic pesticides, even though everyone told us it couldn't be done," said Bruce Hyer, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North and the Green Deputy Leader. "The climate crisis is a very different challenge, but I am so inspired to see Canadians from coast to coast to coast getting together and putting pressure on our government to take action."

-30-

Contact:

Nicholas Gall
Communications Officer
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
nicholas.gall@greenparty.ca

#EarthDay2014: Climate crisis requires leadership

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Posted on 22 April 2014 | 5:20 pm