No Dogs or Anglophones



Thanks for the Memories....

For over four years I've written this blog in an effort to fulfill an inner desire to share some of my thoughts and experiences with you.

From a tiny following, the blog has blossomed, giving a small voice to a not so insignificant segment of Quebec Anglo society that the mainstream media doesn't seem to address. It has been, to say the least, entirely rewarding and I've kept going far beyond where I first thought I'd go solely because of the readership.

But all things come to an end.

With the election of the Liberals and the prospect of the PQ dim for the short and immediate term, there is less of an impetus for me to continue.

Can we as Anglos and Ethnics claim victory over sovereigntist forces?

Perhaps yes, but the real problem was never sovereignty, but rather the treatment of Anglos and Ethnics by all  Quebec governments.
It is sad to see that we continue to be viewed as interlopers, a people to be controlled not appreciated, an alien nation within the legitimate body politic of French Quebec.

Too harsh?
Nope, I don't think so. I continue to believe that if Quebec chooses to remain in Canada, it is simply an economic decision, the alternative of an independent and truly French Quebec a dream too costly and unrealistic for a generation whose real values include Facebook and Nintendo.

I remain convinced that if Quebec had the wealth of Alberta's oil sands, this province would have overwhelmingly voted for independence years ago.
It's really just about the money and when Quebecers finally realized how much money Canada lavishes upon them, the independence movement withered.

Such is the reality of our Quebec society, locked into a loveless marriage of convenience, forever unhappy and unfulfilled but financially comfortable, a difficult trade off to make.

As for myself, I look forward to the summer, sipping margaritas by the backyard pool, leaving the bitching and moaning to others, God knows, I've done my share.

To those who have been faithful readers and contributors I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest, friendship and lively conversation.

I would never have come this far without you.

and so I fade to black....

I'll leave the comments section open for a while and the blog itself open for research purposes.

Thank you all once again.....
PHILIP BERLACH

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Posted on 1 July 2014 | 5:23 am

Elizabeth May



May 2014 Newsletter

May 2013 Newsletter Celebrate Elizabeth’s Birthday! Our Elizabeth has a big birthday June 9th 2014. She is turning a vibrant and intellectually brilliant 60 years young! Thousands of us want to tell her how much she means to us, how effectively she expresses our values and aspirations in Ottawa and how much we appreciate her […]

The post May 2014 Newsletter appeared first on Green Party - Saanich-Gulf Islands.


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Posted on 13 June 2014 | 2:03 pm

Justin Trudeau



Statement by Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau on the situation in Iraq

WINNIPEG – The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, made the following statement today on the persecution of Iraq’s minority groups: “Earlier this […]

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Posted on 15 August 2014 | 12:13 pm

Ezra Levant



Trudeau courts the West

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau eyes the West, but does anyone buy that he actually has Alberta’s best interests at heart?

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 10:53 pm

Scott's DiaTribes



Interview with Karen McCrimmon, LPC nomination contestant Kanata-Carleton

Following up on yesterday’s interview with David Graham, today we have an interview conducted with Karen McCrimmon, Liberal Party nomination hopeful in the riding of Kanata-Carleton. My thanks to Karen for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me. ———– 1. What made you decide you wanted to run to be the official candidate for the Liberals in your riding of Kanata-Carleton?

I first ran for the Liberals in the 2011 Federal election in the riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills. I had been very disheartened with the direction that Canada was taking under the Harper government. I soon realized that the best way that I [...]


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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 10:34 am

Dawg's Blog



Fearguson, USA

“[A] space of exception….Whoever entered [it] moved in a zone of indistinction between outside and inside, exception and rule, licit and illicit, in which the very concepts of subjective right and juridical protection no longer made sense.” ~Giorgio Agamben Captain...

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Posted on 18 August 2014 | 3:22 pm

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff



Police Violence Rages in Ferguson, MO

The out-of-control police response to protests against the killing of Michael Brown in a St. Louis, MO suburb, continues. Our reporter @rdevro was shot with rubber bullets/beanbags by police last night, spent night in jail. Is due to be released w/o charge soon.— The Intercept (@the_intercept) August 19, 2014 Yesterday more journalists were arrested without […]

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 2:53 pm

Erich the Green



Share the land, keep the fruits of labour


We all depend on this earth for our basic needs: food, water, and a place to live, work, and play. Luckily, our world has locations and resources enough to provide for all, if we share well and conserve rather than waste. But what is the fairest way to share?
I’ve been reading the new Mason Gaffney Reader: Essays on Solving the “Unsolvable”. This economics professor’s work comes highly recommended by intellects such as former World Bank Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, and shows how land tax reform is the key to addressing unemployment and poverty and revitalizing our cities and economy. But how?
Imagine you’re in a shipwreck, you find a piece of wreckage and float, adrift, for weeks on end. Finally, almost dead from sunburn, starvation and thirst, you wash up near a tropical island. A person pulls you in and nurses you back to health, and you learn she survived the same shipwreck, but landed on the island right away, learning to live (and live well) off nature.
Back on your feet, your rescuer asks only that you help rebuild the roof she neglected while caring for you, replace the paddle she lost rescuing you, and gather some extra food to make up for what you ate. It takes a few weeks to manage all that, but it’s only fair, and from then on, you often exchange products of each other’s labour. You share evenly the bounty of the island, which is more than enough for both, but pay each other for anything you make using your own skills or efforts. While she fishes, you gather roots, and exchange some of your bounty for some of hers; you trade beams you craft from fallen trees for roofing she weaves from leaves so you can each have shelter from the sun, rain and wind.
The RENT is TOO DAMN HIGH, Wilson!
But what if the first castaway had told you she had claimed the island, and you would have to pay to live there? She demanded tribute when you gathered roots or coconuts, or to made a boat from fallen wood and vines so you could fish. And if you didn’t pay, she’d drive you off the island with the wild dog she’d found and trained. So while you toiled to gather enough food to feed yourself and pay her rent, she could relax and live off your hard work.
That hardly seems fair, yet it’s our economic system now. There are more people involved, a wider variety of lands and resources, but the principle remains that some demand a price for monopolizing things they don’t create, the products of nature or community, which others must pay out of their own labours.
But we can do better. In his book Progress and Poverty, Henry George described how we could fairly share the rent of land, keeping the products of our own labour, and advance together as we are rewarded for our work, not penalized in a cycle of landless poverty. These concepts are similar to many indigenous ideas about property, but can also be adapted to complex, money-based economies like ours. We just must realize that we deserve to keep our earned income, while unearned income must be equitably shared. Separated by 135 years but joined by common values, George’s and Gaffney’s books point the way.

Publishes as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner.
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation

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Posted on 15 August 2014 | 2:58 pm

Five Feet of Fury



Here Comes the Mob (Again): My NEW Taki’s column

Comments get JOOOOOOO!-y surprisingly fast this week… “Offensive” isn’t the word that springs to mind when glancing at Thought Catalog’s constantly updating front page on any given day. Typical fare includes “17 Ways to Tell You’ve Gone and Grown Up” and “5 Reasons I’m Jealous of Pregnant Women”: gluten-free fare by kids for whom “nostalgia” […]

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 7:15 am

A Blog By James Curran



Happy Birthday Madiba

Nelson, the world needs more of you. We miss you kind sir. Happy Birthday!


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Posted on 18 July 2014 | 12:29 am

Buckdog



World War One ... historical stupidity that seemed like a good idea at the time



I see that the Canadians are being brainwashed into thinking that World War One was a great and glorious moment in Canadian history. You are being told that Canadian soldiers died for Canada's 'freedom' during the First World War ... to 'protect and preserve our nation'. Nonsense!!!

Any one with even a fleeting knowledge of history will struggle with this interpretation of the pointless, meaningless conflict known as 'the First World War'.

Stop any citizen on the street and ask them what the reason for the First World War was ... and see if they know. Essentially, three Royal 'cousins' ... England's King George V - Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II - Russia's Czar Nicholas II (all three were grandsons of Queen Victoria) ... had a royal 'family feud'.

Here is what triggered World War One:
-In June, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by a Serb.
-The Austria-Hungarian Empire retaliated against the Kingdom of Serbia.
-The Russian Empire told Austria-Hungary to keep hands off Serbia.
-Austrian-Hungarian Empire said 'screw you' ... declared war on Russia.
-The German Empire joined with Austia-Hungary.
-England joined with Russia and France... Canada was automatically at war because Britain was in a state of war.
-All hell breaks loose ... 20 million people DIE.


In all of this, I am not sure how Canada was threatened as a nation. I am not sure why 67,000 Canadians died (4000 from Saskatchewan) in mud filled trenches in Europe. It seemed like a good idea at the time. In reality, it was an idiotic bloodbath.

Canada's victory in taking Vimy Ridge from the Germans was a moment of great pride for a young nation that found itself at war automatically because of it's almost colonial ties to Britain. Thirty-six hundred Canadians died at Vimy Ridge and almost 10,000 were wounded. Courage? Absolutely! Worth the sacrifice? In a conflict involving European royal families, corporate interests and imperial spoils ... I'd say no. Again, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

A century later, our government has been struggling to bring meaning and reason to the death of Canadian soldiers in the pointless war in Afghanistan. Our Conservative government  has a record of praising our troops while they are in uniform but promptly ditching responsibility for them when they arrive back in Canada as 'veterans'.

I do NOT doubt the courage of Canada's armed forces. I doubt only those who continue to propagandize the 'need' for armed conflict and the death of young men and women who get caught up in feelings of patriotism.

War is primitive. It is neanderthal. Shame on those, in the modern era, who jump to war as a first option, without any attempts at alternate resolution.


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Posted on 4 August 2014 | 7:27 pm

Mark Steyn



The Punitive Bureaucracy's Day Off

I wrote two weeks ago about two New Hampshire teenagers having their bagpipes seized at the northern border by US Customs & Border Protection. This would be the same "border" "protection" agency that has turned the southern border into an express welfare

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 10:00 am

Huffington Post



Why Supporting Students With Special Needs Benefits Us All

Did you know that the B.C. government now considers learning supports for students with special needs in public education a "wage benefit" for teachers that is "too expensive" for taxpayers to afford?

Better read that again, I know it's a bit of a mind twist. It would make sense though if you remember that this is the same group of people who have redefined what "essential" means -- but I digress.

Back to benefits. Now you and I may expect employee wage benefits to be about medical coverage or a dental plan or a car or travel expenses. We'd be wrong, according to Premier Christy Clark.

Benefits now include having other workers around you to do the work that must be done. By this definition, a nurse is a wage benefit to a doctor; a secretary is a wage benefit to an executive, and a dental assistant is a wage benefit to a dentist.

The B.C. teachers' union has proposed a wage increase to offset the blow our salaries have taken over the past eight years due to the hike in the cost of living. But according to the framing above, if an education assistant helps a student in our classrooms, or if our school has learning specialist teachers, their work in the school is costed as a benefit to our salaries.

I wonder if the premier counts the cost of her assistants in the same way, or are they just considered the perks of the job like dining out and iTunes purchases?

But what if we looked at the whole concept of benefits in a different way. Who actually benefits when we support students whose brains work differently?

We all do.

In fact, people who "think differently" have completely changed the world in the past and present. If we give the students in our classrooms the support they need now, they will change the world of the future.

Take Michael Faraday, for example. As a child he stuttered and struggled in school at a time when the very concept of support for students with special needs was unheard of.

Luckily for us, his mother took him out of school and provided what she could in spite of their poverty. When he grew up, even with an incomplete formal education, he discovered electromagnetism.

Now I'm not a scientist, but this much I know (thanks to the TV series "Cosmos) -- that without Faraday's discovery the very act of reading this blog post via the Internet would not be possible.

Imagine what more Faraday might have given us if he had had support at school?

Here's another example: I'd never heard of Dean Kamen, the inventor of the iBot wheelchair and the Segway, before I watched an interview. In it, he explained how he struggled in school, because as soon as the teacher opened her mouth he felt like a fire hose was coming at him.

His mind would be still processing the first thing the teacher said while she kept moving on, and he felt flooded with information. I imagine that this is how the mind of an incredible inventor works -- taking a tiny bit of information and seeing infinite possibilities.

Thomas Edison's inventions provide another example of how much we have gained from creative thinkers. The way Edison learned in school was so different to what other students did that his teacher said his mind was "addled." Despite only three months of formal schooling, he gave us the light bulb, the phonograph and the moving picture camera.

We're very lucky when people who think differently have mentors or people who support them. How much poorer in ideas would our world have been without the mind of Helen Keller, who although deaf and blind, contributed so much through her writing and talks. Her success due in no small way to the support she received from her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

Temple Grandin is another example of someone who has contributed much to the world after having lots of support as a child for her autism and speech difficulties. What she's done is so amazing that Hollywood made a movie of her life.

In fact Hollywood seems to have more interest than politicians do in special thinkers, given movies such as "Radio", "A Beautiful Mind," "Little Man Tate," Rain Man"....

In this century, we are going to need out-of-the-box kinds of thinking that students with special needs do naturally, all the time. We are going to need special solutions to the special challenges we all face. Students with special needs may grow up to be the very people who will help us solve our most intractable problems.

So I guess in some sense, the B.C. government is right when they say that support for students with special needs is a benefit.

The part they got wrong however is that it's a benefit for us all, not just to teachers. Supporting students with special needs will benefit humankind in ways we can't even imagine yet.

Since 2002, the number of learning specialists in B.C. schools has been cut by 20 per cent and the cuts will increase again in 2014/15, a direct result of chronic underfunding. I'm not sure how much our premier believes she is saving and for what purpose when she continues to cut approximately $250 million per year from the education budget.

A valid question may be to ask where that money went, where is it now being spent?

Supporting all our students in all ways possible in public schools should not be considered a wasteful cost. Providing support for students with special needs is an investment in benefits that we will all share.

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 6:24 pm

Fight the Power



"The Fascist Banker Class"


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Posted on 20 August 2014 | 1:16 am

Andrew Coyne



Andrew Coyne: We can’t realistically reform or abolish the Senate, but we can defang it

It should be possible to enact one very specific reform: removing its power to defeat, obstruct or amend bills over the objections of the House of Commons

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Posted on 18 July 2014 | 9:06 pm

Blazing Cat Fur



York Student President Endorses FBI Most Wanted Terrorist

August 19, 2014, TORONTO — B’nai Brith Canada calls on Jewish students at York University to be on alert this coming school year, as the incoming President of the York Federation of Students (YFS), the York University student government body, has uploaded material promoting a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorist.

Faouzi Mohamad Ayoub was reportedly killed in May while fighting against the Free Syrian Army. He is wanted by the FBI for attempting to use a false passport to conduct terrorist activity with the Lebanese Terrorist organization Hezbollah. Posting his image alongside quotations of Faouzi Ayoub, being described as a “martyr”, is a clear endorsement of a terrorist.

B’nai Brith Canada notified Commissioner Bob Paulson of the RCMP, and are calling for an investigation regarding these recently exposed issues before school opens for the coming year. Minister of Justice and Attorney General, The Honourable Peter MacKay has also been notified by B’nai Brith Canada about these issues.

“To endorse a known and wanted terrorist is a cause of fear and concern,“ said Frank Dimant, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada. “This sort of idealizing of terrorists by student leaders should be of great concern to the York University administration, as it creates a toxic environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus.

“The Honourable Mr. MacKay and Commissioner Paulson have been notified of this problem, and we hope to see immediate investigation. It is integral for the safety and security of Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus that endorsement of terrorists does not cause an environment of fear, G-d forbid resulting in any sort of violence or harassment.

"The B'nai Brith Canada anti-hate hotline is available to pro-Israel Jewish and Christian students, where they can report any incidents of antisemitic activity. In addition to this resource, B'nai Brith Canada will be exploring legal actions in order to ensure safety of these students on campus."

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 5:04 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 | 2:58 pm

BigCityLib Strikes Back



Gruending On The CRA Audits

From his latest:

The government, however, has sent unmistakable signals that it wants a crackdown. Recent federal budgets have provided the CRA with an additional $13 million in special funding to undertake such audits at a time when the government was slashing the CRA’s budget by $250 million over three years, forcing the layoff of hundreds of auditors. Jim Flaherty, the former finance minister, issued a warning to charities in 2013. “If I were an environmental charity using federal money, tax-receipted money for political purposes, I would be cautious.” Others went considerably farther in their criticism and warnings. Joe Oliver, the natural resources minister, warned about the “radical agenda” of environmental groups, and former minister Peter Kent said the groups were “laundering” offshore funds to promote foreign interests.

As a side-note, a number folks including me got on Matt Guerney of The National Post for an error in one of his recent columns.  Matt claimed that several environmental groups had already been found guilty of abusing their charitable status but, if you note the last line, he was later driven to admit that this is not the case.  Of course, even when shown that he make a bugger-up on the facts, Matt's opinion of the issue (which might best be summarized as: Go CRA!  Kick them hippies!) remained unchanged.  As I noted below:


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Posted on 16 August 2014 | 12:36 pm

Just Right



Albertans dying by the hundred from coal-fired power plant emissions!

So say a couple of scare-mongering Alberta doctors:
... two different modelling techniques (one from the Canadian Medical Association, and one from Environment Canada) showed dramatic health effects: 4,800 asthma days (missed work or school due to asthma), 700 hospital visits, 80 admissions, and approximately 100 deaths annually associated with coal-fired power emissions.
Not so fast, says Michelle Sterling (see also the Calgary Herald comment thread).  One of many flaws and oversights in papers cited by the doctors immediately casts serious doubt on their argument:
... [There was no mention of] the greatest factor in air quality in Alberta.  Wildfires. In 2011, wildfires dumped 1.9 million tonnes of toxic and carcinogenic human health problems on Albertans; coal-fired plants emitted just 1,800 tonnes of PM 2.5 (particulate matter) while powering warm homes and health solutions in clinics and hospitals across the province.

...  [it is] implausible that Pembina’s math would end up attributing half the deaths of Albertans to fine particulate matter – or coal-fired power.
There's much more in Michelle's debating points, but that is a biggie.



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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 10:08 pm

Green Party of Canada



Elizabeth May reacts to Transport Canada's final report on Lac-Megantic

"I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them…” Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.

(OTTAWA) - Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada issued the following statement regarding the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada release of its final report on the devastating train derailment in Lac-Megantic in 2013.  The tragic events lead to the loss of 47 lives and destroyed a significant portion of the downtown.  Over six million litres of crude oil were discharged into the area.

“I want to first begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to those who lost their loved ones to this terrible and senseless tragedy,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “My heart goes out to you as you look for a way to cope with this terrible loss.  While nothing can bring them back, I hope we can learn from this to ensure that it never happens again.”

Since 2011, the Green Party has called for a Royal Commission into Railway Safety. 

“With the release of the TSB final report, action must be immediately taken to minimize the risk posed to Canadians as transportation by rail of dangerous goods through our cities and towns continues to grow rapidly,” added Deputy Green party Leader Bruce Hyer.  “The fact that very little has been done to improve rail safety following this tragedy, speaks to this Conservative Government’s belief that government should not play a significant role in safety - if it affects the bottom line of private sector companies.” 

“I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. “The recommendations brought forward today by the TSB are a first step. However, despite improvements brought in by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in removing some of the DOT 111 rail cars, much more needs to be done.  We need to bring in a system that can stop or slow a train before certain accidents occur, such as positive train control technology, which is currently being implemented in the U.S.  

“A full public inquiry is needed to demonstrate the weak safety culture that exists in Canada today at the expense of Canadians.”  

(See attached backgrounder on findings from the Report)

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

*****************************************

BACKGROUNDER:
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:

MMA-002 was parked unattended on the main line, on a descending grade, with the securement of the train reliant on a locomotive that was not in proper operating condition.

· The 7 hand brakes that were applied to secure the train were insufficient to hold the train without the additional braking force provided by the locomotive’s independent brakes.

· No proper hand brake effectiveness test was conducted to confirm that there was sufficient retarding force to prevent movement, and no additional physical safety defences were in place to prevent the uncontrolled movement of the train.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway did not provide effective training or oversight to ensure that crews understood and complied with rules governing train securement.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s weak safety culture contributed to the continuation of unsafe conditions and unsafe practices, and compromised Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s ability to effectively manage safety.

· Despite being aware of significant operational changes at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Transport Canada did not provide adequate regulatory oversight to ensure the associated risks were addressed.

· Transport Canada Quebec Region did not follow up to ensure that recurring safety deficiencies at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway were effectively analyzed and corrected, and consequently, unsafe practices persisted.

· The limited number and scope of safety management system audits that were conducted by Transport Canada Quebec Region, and the absence of a follow-up procedure to ensure Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s corrective action plans had been implemented, contributed to the systemic weaknesses in Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s safety management system remaining unaddressed.

Findings as to Risk:
· If there are no rules and regulations for single-person train operations, nor a requirement for Transport Canada to approve and monitor railways’ plans, then single-person trains may operate without all of the necessary defences in place.

· If systematic testing is not conducted on representative samples of petroleum crude oil at an appropriate frequency, there is an increased risk that these dangerous goods will be improperly classified.

· If not properly classified and documented, dangerous goods may be moved and handled incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury to people, and of damage to property and the environment.

· Without monitoring and effective enforcement of compliance with applicable classification provisions of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, there is a risk that improperly classified dangerous goods will enter the transportation system.

· If Class 111 tank cars that do not meet enhanced protection standards transport flammable liquids, there is an ongoing risk of product loss and significant damage to persons, property, and the environment when these cars are involved in accidents.

Other Findings:
· It could not be concluded whether single-person train operations contributed to the incorrect securement of the train or to the decision to leave the locomotive running at Nantes, Quebec, despite its abnormal condition.

· The petroleum crude oil being transported by the train was improperly classified; it was assigned packing group III (lowest hazard), despite meeting the criteria for packing group II.

ELIZABETH MAY REACTS TO TRANSPORT CANADA’S FINAL REPORT ON LAC-MEGANTIC

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 3:43 pm

eaves.ca



Government Procurement Failure: BC Ministry of Education Case Study

Apologies for the lack of posts. I’ve been in business mode – both helping a number of organizations I’m proud of and working on my own business. For those interested in a frightening tale of inept procurement, poor judgement and downright dirty tactics when it comes to software procurement and government, there is a wonderfully […]

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Posted on 6 June 2014 | 1:46 am

Bold Colours



Put Up Or Shut Up.

Today in scientific proof that even the alarmists don’t believe in their own “man-made global warming” and specifically its disastrously rising sea level theories, a headline in the Washington Post: This new mapping technology will show whether global warming could drown your town “Drown your town!” Wow! Sadly for the global warming alarmists and professional freak-out artists, this […]

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Posted on 27 June 2014 | 11:28 am

Accidental Deliberations



Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats in motion.




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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 10:10 pm

What Do I Know Grit



Happy Birthday Madiba

Nelson, the world needs more of you. We miss you kind sir. Happy Birthday!


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Posted on 18 July 2014 | 12:29 am

Small Dead Animals



They're Here To Teach Us

Artists Katy Albert and Sophia Hamilton, aka Mothergirl, tell us that their work "exhibits a strategically refracted or misrepresented view of current political and philosophical discourse, creating a space where viewers are challenged to think critically about their own relationships...

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Posted on 20 August 2014 | 6:04 am

Le blog politique de Claude Dupras



Les entreprises sont les nouveaux conscrits de la guerre politique


Depuis la fondation de Québec, il y eut plusieurs guerres pour lesquelles les gouvernements ont appelé les jeunes à joindre l’armée de façon volontaire et lorsqu’ils croyaient que cela ne suffisait pas, ils imposaient la conscription pour le service militaire obligatoire. Après la conquête de la colonie française, plusieurs hommes politiques francophones s’opposèrent à ces mesures en associant impérialisme et conscription dans leurs discours pour dénoncer le fait que le Canada soit entraîné dans ces conflits à cause de ses relations avec le régime britannique.
La conscription fut appliquée particulièrement sévèrement pendant la guerre des Boers et la première guerre mondiale en 1917. Lors de la deuxième guerre mondiale, le gouvernement de Mackenzie King et ses ministres québécois hésitèrent à voter la conscription et ce n’est que dans les derniers moments de la guerre que 2 500 individus furent conscrits et peu de ceux-là moururent sur les champs de bataille.
À chaque guerre, les jeunes joignaient volontairement les rangs pour des raisons personnelles qui les motivaient à le faire. Peu, parmi eux, voulaient sauver la France ou l’Angleterre, mais ils étaient surtout motivés par la possibilité d’échapper au chômage, de quitter leur coin de terre reculé et leur quotidien morose pour aller à l’aventure et « voir du pays ». D’autres y allaient par conviction croyant la guerre juste et choisissaient l’action en vue de former leur destin et de renaître de la guerre. Ou, encore, ils provenaient de familles militaires et y voyaient une façon de montrer leur loyauté à leurs proches en accomplissant ce qu’ils jugeaient être leur devoir.
Lors des conscriptions, plusieurs jeunes résistèrent à l’obligation militaire et ne voulurent pas s’enrôler. Ils n’étaient pas fascistes. Ils choisissaient de devenir des « hors-la-loi ». Ils se cachaient dans les forêts ou les régions lointaines pour vivre une vie de misère et de survie. Ils étaient qualifiés de « déserteurs ». Étaient-il des insoumis, des lâches, des peureux, des « perdants » comme plusieurs disaient à ce moment-là, ou étaient-ils des objecteurs de conscience ? Ils devinrent des coureurs des bois et durent survivre aux hivers difficiles et à la chasse aux déserteurs organisée par le gouvernement. Ils n’eurent pas la vie facile, surtout lors de la première guerre mondiale.
Il en fut de même aux USA, particulièrement pendant la guerre du Vietnam alors que les « draft-dodgers » se sauvèrent de leur pays pour aller dans un autre comme le Canada. Plus de 75 000 jeunes américains ne voulant pas aller au front pour des raisons de conscience, disaient-ils, se réfugièrent chez nous. Après la guerre, le gouvernement américain vota deux amnisties, en 1974 et 1977, et une grande majorité des réfractaires retournèrent aux USA, où plusieurs furent mal accueillis par leurs compatriotes.
Il faut reconnaître que l’enrôlement obligatoire pose aujourd’hui des problèmes d’éthique. Le Canada et les USA reconnaissent maintenant qu’il ne respecte pas les droits des individus. Il est aussi une violation de la famille. Du point de vue moral, plusieurs prêtres affirment que la conscription est condamnable, anti-démocratique et va à l’encontre de la charité chrétienne.
Aujourd’hui, notre gouvernement canadien n’est pas en guerre mais il aime se mêler des affaires des autres pays lorsque les politiques appliquées dans ces pays ne respectent pas, selon lui ou pour une raison partisane, les principes et les directives des Nations Unies. Ce faisant, il vient d’inventer une nouvelle catégorie de conscrits.
La population ukrainienne au Canada est fort importante et électoralement stratégique. Le gouvernement Harper le sait et agit en conséquence. Pour s’assurer de son support, il s’oppose fermement à la Russie dans ses démêlés avec les séparatistes de l’Ukraine surtout depuis l’annexion de la Crimée. Pour faire pression sur le gouvernement Poutine, il ne ménage ni ses mots durs ni ses actions dommageables. Il en met trop. Beaucoup trop. Mais qu’importe, cela satisfait les Ukrainiens canadiens et c’est ce qui compte pour lui.
Ainsi, en représailles aux sanctions d’Harper sur les voyages et autres restrictions envers les oligarques russes, et celles d’autres chefs politiques occidentaux, le gouvernement russe a banni, pour un an, les importations vers la Russie de viandes, de poissons, de fruits, de légumes, de lait, de produits laitiers… Cette décision fait financièrement mal aux cultivateurs, fermiers, pêcheurs et producteurs canadiens. Notre gouvernement n’avait pas prévu cette riposte car il avait estimé que Poutine n’adopterait jamais une telle mesure draconienne sachant qu’elle générerait un effet négatif majeur sur l’économie russe puisque la rareté de ces produits créerait une augmentation des coûts qui affecterait les budgets des familles et se reflèterait sur l’économie déjà souffrante. Harper s’est trompé car les producteurs russes qui peinaient à concurrencer les produits importés verront leur part du marché augmenter (ils sont encouragés à le faire) et les importations de l’Amérique latine croîtront appréciablement.  
En plus, cette surproduction canadienne retombant sur notre marché occidental, créera une baisse des prix et par conséquent une diminution des profits des producteurs.
Le Financial Post de cette semaine met en garde le Canada sur le développement des sanctions de toutes sortes contre un autre pays, particulièrement un pays majeur comme la Russie. Il rappelle qu’aujourd’hui l’économie mondiale est intégrée et le blocage d’activités économiques peut créer des risques d’affaires importants et affecter négativement l’économie, deux aspects devenus imprédictibles par rapport au passé.
La loi permet au Canada d’« utiliser les échanges commerciaux et les investissements comme armes de dissuasion s’il y un danger pouvant affecter la paix internationale et la sécurité, pouvant résulter dans une crise internationale ».
Comme l’écrit l’éditeur du journal, Terence Corcoran, « le problème est l’effet sur les entreprises affectées par les sanctions économiques et qui voient leurs affaires diminuées. Pourquoi doivent-elles absorber ces pertes générées par une décision du Canada d’imposer des sanctions économiques envers un autre pays ? ». (traduction CD)
Ces entreprises sont en fait, les nouveaux conscrits. En effet, elles ont été induites à participer à une guerre politique de leur pays sans le vouloir. Pourquoi un individu, un commerce ou une entreprise canadienne devraient-ils ou elle subir des contrecoups d’une guerre politique entre Harper et la Russie ? Et si ses attaques continuent, toujours pour assurer le vote ukrainien à son parti, quel autre flanc de notre commerce canadien sera affecté? Qui doit rembourser les pertes des entreprises touchées ? Nous tous ?   

Claude Dupras  

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Posted on 18 August 2014 | 12:23 pm

Mind of Dan



Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change


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Posted on 4 May 2014 | 8:18 pm

Warren Kinsella



This morning’s paper

Makes my point better than my column did.

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 7:35 am

Parti Vert Du Canada



Elizabeth May reacts to Transport Canada's final report on Lac-Megantic

"I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them…” Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.

(OTTAWA) - Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada issued the following statement regarding the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada release of its final report on the devastating train derailment in Lac-Megantic in 2013.  The tragic events lead to the loss of 47 lives and destroyed a significant portion of the downtown.  Over six million litres of crude oil were discharged into the area.

“I want to first begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to those who lost their loved ones to this terrible and senseless tragedy,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “My heart goes out to you as you look for a way to cope with this terrible loss.  While nothing can bring them back, I hope we can learn from this to ensure that it never happens again.”

Since 2011, the Green Party has called for a Royal Commission into Railway Safety. 

“With the release of the TSB final report, action must be immediately taken to minimize the risk posed to Canadians as transportation by rail of dangerous goods through our cities and towns continues to grow rapidly,” added Deputy Green party Leader Bruce Hyer.  “The fact that very little has been done to improve rail safety following this tragedy, speaks to this Conservative Government’s belief that government should not play a significant role in safety - if it affects the bottom line of private sector companies.” 

“I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. “The recommendations brought forward today by the TSB are a first step. However, despite improvements brought in by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in removing some of the DOT 111 rail cars, much more needs to be done.  We need to bring in a system that can stop or slow a train before certain accidents occur, such as positive train control technology, which is currently being implemented in the U.S.  

“A full public inquiry is needed to demonstrate the weak safety culture that exists in Canada today at the expense of Canadians.”  

(See attached backgrounder on findings from the Report)

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

*****************************************

BACKGROUNDER:
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:

MMA-002 was parked unattended on the main line, on a descending grade, with the securement of the train reliant on a locomotive that was not in proper operating condition.

· The 7 hand brakes that were applied to secure the train were insufficient to hold the train without the additional braking force provided by the locomotive’s independent brakes.

· No proper hand brake effectiveness test was conducted to confirm that there was sufficient retarding force to prevent movement, and no additional physical safety defences were in place to prevent the uncontrolled movement of the train.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway did not provide effective training or oversight to ensure that crews understood and complied with rules governing train securement.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s weak safety culture contributed to the continuation of unsafe conditions and unsafe practices, and compromised Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s ability to effectively manage safety.

· Despite being aware of significant operational changes at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Transport Canada did not provide adequate regulatory oversight to ensure the associated risks were addressed.

· Transport Canada Quebec Region did not follow up to ensure that recurring safety deficiencies at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway were effectively analyzed and corrected, and consequently, unsafe practices persisted.

· The limited number and scope of safety management system audits that were conducted by Transport Canada Quebec Region, and the absence of a follow-up procedure to ensure Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s corrective action plans had been implemented, contributed to the systemic weaknesses in Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s safety management system remaining unaddressed.

Findings as to Risk:
· If there are no rules and regulations for single-person train operations, nor a requirement for Transport Canada to approve and monitor railways’ plans, then single-person trains may operate without all of the necessary defences in place.

· If systematic testing is not conducted on representative samples of petroleum crude oil at an appropriate frequency, there is an increased risk that these dangerous goods will be improperly classified.

· If not properly classified and documented, dangerous goods may be moved and handled incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury to people, and of damage to property and the environment.

· Without monitoring and effective enforcement of compliance with applicable classification provisions of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, there is a risk that improperly classified dangerous goods will enter the transportation system.

· If Class 111 tank cars that do not meet enhanced protection standards transport flammable liquids, there is an ongoing risk of product loss and significant damage to persons, property, and the environment when these cars are involved in accidents.

Other Findings:
· It could not be concluded whether single-person train operations contributed to the incorrect securement of the train or to the decision to leave the locomotive running at Nantes, Quebec, despite its abnormal condition.

· The petroleum crude oil being transported by the train was improperly classified; it was assigned packing group III (lowest hazard), despite meeting the criteria for packing group II.

ELIZABETH MAY REACTS TO TRANSPORT CANADA’S FINAL REPORT ON LAC-MEGANTIC

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Posted on 19 August 2014 | 3:43 pm