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.....

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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

Opinion editorial on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

If Canada is prepared to welcome these individuals as temporary foreign workers, they deserve a fair and reasonable opportunity to become citizens.

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Posted on 29 July 2014 | 4:26 am

Ezra Levant

Private plane for a princess?

Former Alberta Premier Alison Redford is denying that documents were altered so she could fly alone on a plane.

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Posted on 30 July 2014 | 11:02 pm

Scott's DiaTribes

Upcoming interviews/campaign news from #LPCO, #Brant, etc

Yes, the blog has turned into a bit of an interview/campaign theme in the last bit, but that’s what happens when Parliament and the Ontario Legislature aren’t in session, and because I don’t wish to touch the Middle East Gaza morass with a 40 foot pole.

So, a couple of things in to mention:

- I will be having interviews upcoming with Kanata-Carleton Liberal nomination candidate Karen McCrimmon, as well as Brandon Sage, who is running to be the LPCO VP of Organization (upcoming meaning as soon as they get their replies to me).

- Staying on the LPCO front, I understand Jeff Jedras is again the lone person [...]

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Posted on 29 July 2014 | 3:33 pm

Dawg's Blog

He has returned! He has returned!

I would just briefly like to point out, as I did once in comments already I think, that the great and glorious MaxSpeak (Max Sawicky) has returned to bloggery after a VERY long hiatus caused by subjugating himself to...

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Posted on 30 July 2014 | 7:26 pm

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

Queen City Ex 2014

Buffalo Days is on in Regina, and I went on the opening day in large part because Lonestar was the headline band in the evening. The iFlip acrobats at #QCX2014… You should check them out, there are very cool tricks. #Humanjuggling— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) July 31, 2014 Lonestar last night in #YQR… as […]

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Posted on 31 July 2014 | 11:52 am

Erich the Green

Overcoming the free rider problem

The green arrows represent the circulation of money.
Recently, a columnist syndicated in this paper wrote a polemic against Ontario’s rebate for purchasing an electric car. She cites a friend whose new $140,000 Telsa garnered almost $10,000 in taxpayer-funded rebates intended to encourage the purchase of electric cars, but claims he would have bought that car anyway. Based on this, she complains the subsidy should only apply to lower-priced (non-luxury) vehicles, and that we are being unfair to less-affluent people (among whom she includes herself, despite being a syndicated national columnist) who buy a fuel-efficient gasoline car or ride transit.
While I object to several of her lines of reasoning, not least her attempt to pit rich against poor (and class herself with the poor) to attack a program that, in practise, mostly applies to more modestly-priced cars purchased by the middle class (this rebate was the deciding factor in my own recent purchase of an electric vehicle), she is getting close to describing a real problem in our governments’ approaches to addressing climate change.
Her appeal to nationalism – Teslas are made in California, while some economy cars are manufactured in Ontario (albeit by foreign parent companies) – is another red herring. The support of the right-wing for increased free-trade deals that outlaw buy-local programs is consistent, and the purpose of a new-technology purchase rebate isn’t to reward domestic manufacturers, but to create a new market that might attract that manufacture.
Nevertheless, what she is getting at, without naming it, is the “free rider” problem of energy efficiency subsidies, which has been studied by economists. Basically, assuming we want society to adopt cleaner or more efficient technologies that are stalled by the high cost for early adopters (a chicken-and-egg problem), then it makes sense to have some kind of financial incentive to encourage people. But since energy efficiency saves money in the long run, some people will be doing it already, yet they will also apply for the incentives. Any who would have done the green thing anyway, without needing a government hand-out, are the so-called “free riders”. If there are, for example, 3 free riders for each person whose decision was affected by the incentive, then you are spending $4 of subsidy for $1 of effective change. And I agree, that is not efficient use of taxpayer money.
So what to do instead? If pundits like this columnist would actually consult with economists, they would learn that the most effective approach is a carrot-and-stick, starting with the stick. The “stick” is a higher price on energy, particularly fossil energy, which increases the savings incentive to those who upgrade or conserve. You can then use that revenue to help fund alternatives, such as transit, or you can refund it to everyone equally, to help them all pay for improvements themselves. Either way, you achieve energy savings much more effectively for the dollars raised and spent, a more fiscally responsible course.
Another approach is to offer government loan guarantees allowing people to switch to new or more efficient energy without an up-front cost, by recovering the loan out of the monthly energy savings, something government can do at a very low cost.
However, since this same columnist seems to be very much against things like using new revenue to fund better transit (despite using transit users as her proxy suffering taxpayer) or using government debt to fund anything, then I doubt she will be interested in this non-partisan economic advice. Too bad, because it is a strong solution to the problem she has identified.

An edited version of this was published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner as "No more free rides for energy efficiency program"
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 3:56 pm

Five Feet of Fury

‘[I]f you live in Canada, don’t argue on Twitter…’

 …or you might find yourself in court looking at 10 years for criminal harassment. (…) The issue, she stated repeatedly at trial, is the number of Tweets she received. Ms. Guthrie can’t pin down any time when she specifically felt threatened. “That’s not how feelings work,” she fem-splained from the stand, further clarifying that feeling […]

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 6:59 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


How Stephen Harper AND The Conservative Party LIE To You Every Day And The MSM Backs Up Their Bullshit ....

REGINA — So much of what many Canadians consider conventional wisdom is what Henry Ford used to call 'history': mostly bunk.

I’m talking about statements like the Harper Conservatives are the best party to manage the economy, or that internal trade barriers are costing the Canadian economy $50 billion a year, or that carbon taxes are killers of investment, economic activity and jobs.

Each of these statements has been widely circulated in the media recently, so much so that they appear to be self-evident truths. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s look at the first proposition: That the Harper Conservatives are the best party to manage the economy. This assertion is based on the assumption that Canada is doing well, economically speaking, and that the Conservatives deserve much of the credit for that.

The Harper government has repeatedly boasted that Canada has the best job creation record in G7. Recently in Calgary, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated: “Since the recession, the Canadian economy has created almost 1.1 million net new jobs, … overwhelmingly full-time, high-paying, private-sector jobs …”
Unfortunately, recent job numbers cast doubt on that assertion. Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reported the economy actually lost 9,400 jobs in June and the unemployment rate increased to 7.1 per cent. But let’s look at the bigger picture.

In the past year, Canada’s economy added just 72,000 net new jobs — most of that in Alberta. That compares to the average level of job creation of 214,000 per 12-month period dating back to 1977. In other words, Canada is creating jobs at one-third the average rate of the last four decades.
What kind of jobs? Looking at January’s job numbers, of the 99,000 jobs created in 2013, 95 per cent were part-time jobs. Hardly the “full-time, high-paying jobs’’ of Harper’s description.

What about the statement that internal trade barriers cost the Canadian economy $50 billion a year? Industry Canada recently used the figure in a press release. Premier Brad Wall gave lip service to the number in a recent story in the Globe & Mail. But where does the number come from?

Well, Canadian Press reporter Julian Beltrame recently tracked down the source of the $50 billion figure to some off-the-wall comments in 2006 by former Conservative senator David Angus. “It may be $50 billion,’’ Angus told a senate committee, but later admitted he was “taking high numbers out of the air” to make a point. In other words, it’s pure, 100 per cent baloney, according to Canadian Press’s Baloney Meter.

Likewise, comments last month by Harper and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott about “job-killing carbon taxes’’ are also based on purest thin air. Last month, Harper praised Abbott for promising to cut Australia’s carbon tax, which was brought in 2012, but met with widespread consumer resistance because of disinformation campaigns by industry, public misconceptions about the cost of the tax (they thought it was twice as costly as it was) and steep increases in electricity bills by utilities investing in infrastructure.

But closer to home, B.C. has had a carbon tax since 2008, which has successfully lowered fuel use by 16 per cent, while actually lowering B.C. taxpayers’ income tax bill by $760 million a year, thanks to personal and corporate income tax cuts to offset the carbon tax revenue.

In fact, the revenue-neutral carbon tax has done exactly what economists predicted it would: reduced the burning of fossil fuels and shifted economic activity away from carbon consumption and production. Since 2008, B.C.’s economy has slightly outperformed the rest of Canada. “The idea that a carbon tax hurts the economy is a myth,’’ said Stewart Elgie, a University of Ottawa law and economics professor and chair of Sustainable Prosperity.

Yet whenever anybody, like Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, talks about the need for carbon pricing, the Harper government comes down on them like a tonne of GHG emissions. Recently, Finance Minister Joe Oliver called Trudeau’s call for carbon pricing a “multi-billion tax on everything’’ that will undermine Canada’s competitiveness.

This is an exact echo of Harper’s demonization of former Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s carbon tax as a “tax on everything.’’

But just because somebody repeats something doesn’t make it right.
Bruce Johnstone
Business Editor
Regina Leader Post

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Posted on 19 July 2014 | 2:38 pm

Mark Steyn

Taking Sides in a New Middle East

For my weekly date with The Hugh Hewitt Show, Ed Morrissey was guest-hosting for Hugh and opened with breaking news of a 72-hour "humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza. I see Hamas has already broken it with a suicide bomber killing Israeli soldiers, and some

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 10:00 am

Huffington Post

Don't Select Charities To Audit Based On Their Political Leanings

It was "always a bit tricky", Cathy Hawara told the Globe and Mail, when Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) "gave consideration to, you know, what you might call political leanings, to make sure that we weren't only focusing on one side of the political spectrum."

Ms. Hawara's acknowledgement that her group gives consideration to an organization's place on the political spectrum is important because she is the Director-General of CRA's Charity Directorate which is conducting all the audits of charities allegedly engaged in "political activities".

This admission that consideration of political leanings formed part of the basis for audit selection came only months after the same Director General spoke to Canada's charity lawyers at the Canadian Bar Association's 2014 Charity Law Symposium about how important it was that the regulator of charities located in a line department of the Government of Canada operate independently from government. She clearly stated: "As I have made clear in the past, the process for identifying which charities will be audited (for any reason) is handled by the Directorate itself and is not subject to political direction".

Absent that claim, it would be easy to assume that the aggressive charity audit program being undertaken by Charities Directorate, which did not begin with but was given impetus by the special additional funding provided by the 2012 federal budget, is intended to focus on those charities whose advocacy creates discomfort or embarrassment to the Prime Minister's political agenda.

Concern about political direction stems in part from the fact that from 2007 through 2009 Ms. Hawara served as the Director of Appointments with the Senior Personnel Secretariat at the Privy Council Office. Consequently, prior to becoming Director General, her job was to provide advice to the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Prime Minister and his Office.

One of Canada's charity lawyers who is most often quoted in the press, Mark Blumberg, welcomed Ms. Hawara's appointment as Director General of the Charities Directorate with the "good news" that she provides "a much needed vigorous crackdown on a few bad apples who are involved with abusive charity gifting tax shelters and receipting fraud." Today she is carrying on a vigorous crackdown on a few bad apples who are allegedly involved in "political activities". Whether this crackdown is "much needed" is a question best left to others.

My concern is that it is meaningless to claim that the audit selection process is not subject to political direction if consideration of political leanings is an integral part of the audit selection process. How can Canada claim to have a truly independent regulator when the Director General has admitted to the national press that the Directorate is concerned with the particular political leaning of charities, rather than with whether their activities are political at all?

Selecting a charity for audit on the basis of its political leanings undermines the independence of the charitable sector. It also undermines the integrity of the audits themselves; because it is possible that a court might overturn a resultant decision by the Minister of National Revenue to revoke that charity's registration on the basis that it was based on improper considerations. The particular direction of a charity's alleged political leanings is generally irrelevant to answering the question whether a charity is or is not carrying on "political activities".

The reason that the federal government is frustrating Freedom of Information Requests filed by audited charities is that will highlight these improper considerations if the matter goes before the courts. CRA's refusal to reveal how the Charities Directorate conducts its audits increases the effectiveness of the "advocacy chill". More importantly, it hopes to conceal the extent to which this audit program has given "consideration to, you know, what you might call political leanings".


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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 5:22 pm

Fight the Power

"Companies who Support Climate Change & Support the Marxist Obama" and "Companies I Don't Use"

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 9:50 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

Why is the JDL is getting so much attention?

This is a scorcher.

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 9:55 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

Just Right

Climate hysterics provoke laughter from Australian scientists

Andrew Bolt quizzes a panel of Australian scientists on the validity of climate change statements made by then Aussie PM Julia Gillard and Canuk climate crackpot David Suzuki:

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Posted on 20 July 2014 | 3:29 pm

Green Party of Canada

Excerpt on Israel-Gaza conflict from Elizabeth May's 2014 Convention Keynote Address

"I want to at least touch on what’s happening right now in Israel and Gaza, and the Palestinian people and the Israeli people and say, from the bottom of my heart, that Israeli children and Palestinian children have an equal right to be free of bombardment."

"And I condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization for sending missiles into Israel, but the Israeli retaliation and the invasion of Gaza violates international law and humanitarian norms, and any Prime Minister of Canada worth his or her salt would say that as a friend and ally of Israel, “you’ve gone too far - you must move to peace talks.”

- Elizabeth May, July 19, 2014


The following motion was passed by the Green Party membership at the 2014 Convention on July 20, 2014 and forms official Green Party Policy on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

G14-P58 Israel – Gaza Conflict
Be it resolved that the GPC urges the immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Palestine. The GPC will adopt a posture of engaged neutrality, opening all available diplomatic avenues in both Palestine and Israel to press for a peaceful resolution to the conflict consistent with the GPC’s commitment to justice and custom of speaking truth to power.



Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916

Excerpt on Israel-Gaza conflict from Elizabeth May's 2014 Convention Keynote Address

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Posted on 30 July 2014 | 9:18 am

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.

oday 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

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Colleen Flood writes that our health care system is more similar to the U.S.' than we'd like to admit - and that many of the most glaring inefficiencies within it are already the result of services funded through private insurance rather than our universal public system:
The latest Commonwealth Study ranked Canada's health care system a dismal second to last in a list of eleven major industrialized countries. We had the dubious distinction of beating out only the Americans. This latest poor result is already being used by those bent on further privatizing health care. They argue -- as they always do -- that if only Canada allowed more private finance, wait times would melt, emergency rooms would unclog and doctors, nurses, patients and the public would all be, if not quite utopia, then at least better off than now.
(W)hat most commentators weighing in on the health debate don't understand is that we already have a mix of public and private care. What distinguishes Canada's health system from others is not how little private finance we have but how much private finance we already endure. Canadians have their health needs covered by the public system only 70 per cent of the time, much less than the UK (84 per cent) or Norway (85 per cent) or even France (77 per cent).

Indeed, Canadians actually hold more private health insurance than Americans do. How is this possible?

Our health system fails to offer universal (public) coverage for prescription drugs, unlike the coverage provided in nearly every other developed country in the world. Canada also has inadequate coverage for home care and long term care, which are more comprehensively covered in many other health systems, such as Japan, Germany, Belgium and Sweden.

Unfortunately, our health system is more like the U.S. system than most of us know. Just like the U.S., our approach to prescription drugs, home and long-term care is to have some people covered through private health insurance via their employer. Some people covered by governments because they are on welfare or elderly, and a big chunk of the population going without.
The jewel of Canada's health care system is the commitment to restrict private finance for medically necessary hospital and physician care. We don't let our doctors double dip, and we keep essential health services available to all, regardless of means. Yet it is this commitment that is being threatened with the legal challenge in B.C., and blamed for the problems that have beset Canada's health system -- with some pretty clear vested interests ready to profit from the outcome.

Instead of having Canada's health system compete with the United States for last place, we need to start addressing the real issues that plague our system. We could start by looking at the expansive policies of European systems that perform better than our own, starting with a universal health system that includes drug coverage, home care and long-term care.
- And Carol Goar notes that the Ontario Libs' spin about a progressive budget is being proven false - promised benefit increases for recipients of social assistance are being clawed back immediately.

- Karen Kleiss reports that a Alberta's public-sector pay freeze for senior officials was summarily scrapped as soon as it had served its purpose of offering an excuse to attack other workers' wages. Vaugh Palmer notes that the B.C. Libs can apparently find plenty of money to bribe parents even as they refuse to invest in the province's education system. And David Cay Johnston discusses Chris Christie's belief that public servants shouldn't expect their employers to be honest about what pension benefits will be available for them. 

- Meanwhile, Claire Cain Miller makes the seemingly obvious point that improved paid leave can encourage parents to stay in the workforce. And David Cain suggests that we look at different models for our work week rather than one which seems designed to maximize consumption and minimize meaningful activity outside of work.

- Finally, Paul Krugman explains why we should be careful which "experts" we trust to inform us in shaping public policy:
One of the best insults I’ve ever read came from Ezra Klein, who now is editor in chief of In 2007, he described Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, as “a stupid person’s idea of what a thoughtful person sounds like.”

It’s a funny line, which applies to quite a few public figures. Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is a prime current example. But maybe the joke’s on us. After all, such people often dominate policy discourse. And what policy makers don’t know, or worse, what they think they know that isn’t so, can definitely hurt you.
Am I saying that the professional consensus is always right? No. But when politicians pick and choose which experts — or, in many cases, “experts” — to believe, the odds are that they will choose badly. Moreover, experience shows that there is no accountability in such matters. Bear in mind that the American right is still taking its economic advice mainly from people who have spent many years wrongly predicting runaway inflation and a collapsing dollar.

All of which raises a troubling question: Are we as societies even capable of taking good policy advice?

Economists used to assert confidently that nothing like the Great Depression could happen again. After all, we know far more than our great-grandfathers did about the causes of and cures for slumps, so how could we fail to do better? When crises struck, however, much of what we’ve learned over the past 80 years was simply tossed aside.
(M)acroeconomics, of course, isn’t the only challenge we face. In fact, it should be easy compared with many other issues that need to be addressed with specialized knowledge, above all climate change. So you really have to wonder whether and how we’ll avoid disaster. 

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 11:11 am

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

Vietnamese Woman Ditched Canadian "Husband" After Getting Visa

A Vietnamese bride left her husband, Kamloops lawyer Rod McLeod, 7 days after arriving in Canada. Assuming he wasn't mistreating her, should she be immediately kicked out of the country for fraud?...

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 12:30 pm

Le blog politique de Claude Dupras

L'omniprésent Jean Jaurès

En tant que Canadien qui aime la France, je suis toujours surpris de la ferveur exprimée par la classe politique française envers Jean Jaurès. Lors de la dernière campagne électorale présidentielle, je me rappelle d’avoir entendu Nicolas Sarkozy accuser François Hollande, Lionel Jospin et Ségolène Royal d’avoir renier Jaurès. Il se disait plus près de lui qu’eux. Pourtant, il est de la droite et les trois occupent ou ont occupé des postes politiques importants dans des gouvernements socialistes. De même, aujourd’hui, plusieurs leaders de gauche se déclarent plus près des idées de Jaurès que leurs collègues, pour requinquer leur image.

Il y a partout dans les villes françaises, des parcs, des rues, des bâtiments, des garages souterrains, comme à Avignon,… portant le nom de Jean Jaurès. Il est donc un personnage important du passé qui a marqué l’imaginaire politique des Français et qui continue à le faire si j’en juge par tout ce qui se raconte actuellement en France à l’occasion du centenaire de son assassinat. Mais qui est-il ?

Fils de petits paysans du Tarn, Jaurès est professeur de philosophie et de psychologie lorsqu’à vingt-cinq ans, il est élu député à Toulouse en 1885. Il est ni socialiste ni marxiste mais du côté des républicains. Quatre ans plus tard, il perd son siège et revient à ses amours d’enseignant, tout en étudiant pour obtenir un doctorat en Lettres.
La vie politique l’intéresse de plus en plus, il y participe et écrit ses pensées dans un quotidien de Toulouse de tendance radicale. Hanté par elle, il devient conseiller municipal et maire-adjoint de la ville de Toulouse. A ce moment-là, les ouvriers ont beaucoup de difficultés et Jaurès est marqué par leur solidarité. Puis, une grève de mineurs deviendra un point tournant où il confirmera ses convictions.  
Cette grève est déclenchée suite au licenciement d’un ouvrier et leader socialiste, devenu maire de Carmaux. Ce sont les absences de l’ouvrier–maire, nécessaires pour remplir ses obligations politiques, qui sont le prétexte de son congédiement. Les mineurs y voient un refus des droits de la classe ouvrière à être actif en politique. 1 500 soldats sont envoyés par le président de la république pour maintenir l’ordre, indiquant ainsi qu’il prend parti pour le patronat. Jaurès soutient la grève et accuse les capitalistes de ne pas respecter les mineurs. C’est l’occasion pour lui de définir ce qu’est la lutte des classes et le socialisme. Finalement, l’ouvrier-maire gagne sa demande et obtient un congé illimité pour servir ses concitoyens.
En 1893, un siège de la Chambre est libéré par un député démissionnaire et Jaurès est élu comme socialiste indépendant grâce au vote ouvrier et malgré une massive opposition de la classe rurale. Il s'affirme comme un tribun remarquable. Il accompagne les luttes sociales très dures face à un patronat brutal.
Durant cinq ans, il devient le grand défenseur des mineurs, des ouvriers et des paysans en général, qui sont en lutte contre leurs patrons. Homme de terrain, il va sur place se rendre compte des situations qui affectent les travailleurs. Il s’attaque aux anarchistes, à la brutalité des patrons, à la répression du gouvernement, à la censure des journaux et des députés socialistes, à la police qu’il traite d’agent provocateur… Il défend la paix. Il est courageux.
Puis vient l’affaire Alfred Dreyfus. Ce capitaine de l’armée française, juif, est condamné en 1894 au bagne à perpétuité pour avoir livré aux Allemands des documents secrets.  Au début, Jaurès le croit coupable mais en août 1898, il devient son défenseur passionné suite à une nouvelle révélation qui démontre qu’un autre commandant est le vrai traître. Alors que le socialiste et marxiste Jules Guesde juge que le prolétariat n'a pas à défendre un bourgeois, Jean Jaurès s'engage en sa faveur, écrivant : « Nous ne sommes pas tenus, pour rester dans le socialisme, de nous enfermer hors de l'humanité ». L’innocence de Dreyfus sera finalement reconnue et il sera libéré pour servir encore dans l’armée. Suite à ses discours, son action et son succès, l’influence politique de Jaurès devient nationale. Malgré tout, les patrons réussissent à le faire battre aux élections de 1898.
Intellectuel, il écrit de nombreux ouvrages politiques et historiques, dont « les preuves de l’affaire Dreyfus » et dirige une équipe pour la rédaction de « l’Histoire socialiste de la France contemporaine », incluant la partie qu’il rédige lui-même sur la révolution française. Il soutient le gouvernement républicain qui a nommé un socialiste au commerce et à l’industrie. En 1902, il est un de ceux qui fondent le « Parti socialiste français » et il reconquiert son siège de député et le gardera pour les trois prochains mandats jusqu’à sa mort.
Orateur hors pair, il devient le porte-parole du petit groupe de députés socialistes à l’Assemblée nationale. Il regroupe tous les partis de gauche dont les marxistes, appuie le gouvernement qui est de droite, mais le critique pour son incapacité à appliquer rapidement des réformes sociales. Il défend la liberté de conscience et propose la séparation des Églises et de l’État.
Il crée un journal, l’Humanité, auquel participent ses alliés de toujours et des écrivains comme Anatole France et Jules Renard. Son but est l’unité socialiste. Il l’atteint en 1905 grâce à son acceptation d’une direction bicéphale du mouvement (lui et un leader marxiste) et de l’abandon de son appui au gouvernement. Il dialogue avec succès avec les syndicats révolutionnaires qui lui deviennent sympathiques. A l’élection de 1914, son groupe socialiste obtient 17% des voix et 101 députés. Une belle victoire relative.
Depuis 10 ans, il discourt contre la venue d’une guerre. Inquiet, il constate la montée du nationalisme dans les pays voisins et les rivalités entre les grandes puissances. Il préconise d’organiser la défense nationale en préparant militairement l’ensemble des Français. Pacifiste, il voit dans une nation armée le moyen d’obtenir la paix. Il s’oppose au service militaire obligatoire dont la loi sera finalement votée, malgré lui. En 1914, il estime que les possibilités de guerre se sont amenuisées puisque celle des Balkans est terminée. Mais ce n’était pas compter sur l’attentat de Sarajevo qui deviendra l’étincelle du déclenchement de la première guerre mondiale à cause de l’accroissement des tensions qu’il crées entre les grandes puissances.
Il devient l’ennemi des « nationalistes » qui veulent leur revanche contre l’Allemagne et qui sont favorables à la guerre. Jaurès, pour sa part, veut absolument la paix et se rallie à l’idée d’une grève générale si une guerre est déclenchée. Il organise des manifestations et réclame de l’Internationale socialiste qu’elle intervienne. « Il n'y a plus qu'une chance pour le maintien de la paix et le salut de la civilisation, c'est que le prolétariat rassemble toutes ses forces (pour écarter) l'horrible cauchemar».
Le 31 juillet 1914, il se lève à la Chambre des députés, puis au ministère des Affaires étrangères pour faire arrêter le début des hostilités. Il se rend à son journal et rédige un article allant dans le même sens. Puis, il s’en va dîner avec ses collaborateurs au « Café du Croissant », rue Montmartre. Il est assis près d’une fenêtre lorsqu’un étudiant nationaliste approche, le voit et tire deux coups de feu de la rue. Il est abattu à bout portant. Une émotion considérable s’empare des Français. Ils ne l’oublieront jamais.
Le lendemain, l'Allemagne déclare la guerre à la Russie alors que la France décrète la mobilisation générale. Puis, le 3 août, la France et l'Allemagne sont en guerre, et les socialistes, n’ayant pas le choix, se rallient au gouvernement d'union nationale pour combattre l’ennemi, respectant ainsi ce que Jean Jaurès avait dit : « Il n'y a aucune contradiction à faire l'effort maximum pour assurer la paix, et si cette guerre éclate malgré nous, à faire l'effort maximum pour assurer l'indépendance et l'intégrité de la nation».
En 1924, Jean Jaurès entre au Panthéon.
En terminant, cette courte biographie de Jean Jaurès, voici quelques-unes de ses paroles : « Et vous vous étonnez de la véhémence de nos paroles, de la force de nos accusations ! Mais songez donc que nous parlons au nom d’un siècle de silence ! Songez donc qu’il y a cent ans il y avait dans ces ateliers et dans ces mines des hommes qui souffraient, qui mouraient sans avoir le droit d’ouvrir la bouche et de laisser passer, en guise de protestation, même leur souffle de misère : ils se taisaient. Puis un commencement de liberté républicaine est venu. Alors nous parlons pour eux, et tous leurs gémissements étouffés, et toutes les révoltes muettes qui ont crié tout bas dans leur poitrine comprimée vibrent en nous, et éclatent par nous en un cri de colère qui a trop attendu et que vous ne comprimerez pas toujours. »
L'historien Michel Winock rappelle : « Ce qui est remarquable, c'est qu'il rend hommage à tous les camps. Ce n'est pas un sectaire. Par exemple, à propos des droits de l’homme et du citoyen, les marxistes disent que ce sont des droits formels, un masque qui rejette dans l'ombre les vraies motivations, c'est-à-dire la défense des intérêts de la bourgeoisie. Ce n'est pas du tout l'avis de Jaurès ».
Voilà pourquoi, après cent ans, on parle encore abondamment de cet homme politique remarquable qui a marqué la France.
Claude Dupras

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Posted on 1 August 2014 | 12:06 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

In Friday’s Sun: a thousand points of light. Stay the course. Persian Gulf.

Capricious, unstructured and even dangerous: That’s what American political thinker Walter Lippmann once wrote about the public’s views on foreign policy. “The unhappy truth,” he wrote in 1955, “is that the prevailing public opinion has been destructively wrong at critical junctures. [The people] have compelled governments to be too late with too little, too long [...]

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Posted on 31 July 2014 | 8:56 pm

Parti Vert Du Canada

Excerpt on Israel-Gaza conflict from Elizabeth May's 2014 Convention Keynote Address

"I want to at least touch on what’s happening right now in Israel and Gaza, and the Palestinian people and the Israeli people and say, from the bottom of my heart, that Israeli children and Palestinian children have an equal right to be free of bombardment."

"And I condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization for sending missiles into Israel, but the Israeli retaliation and the invasion of Gaza violates international law and humanitarian norms, and any Prime Minister of Canada worth his or her salt would say that as a friend and ally of Israel, “you’ve gone too far - you must move to peace talks.”

- Elizabeth May, July 19, 2014


The following motion was passed by the Green Party membership at the 2014 Convention on July 20, 2014 and forms official Green Party Policy on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

G14-P58 Israel – Gaza Conflict
Be it resolved that the GPC urges the immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Palestine. The GPC will adopt a posture of engaged neutrality, opening all available diplomatic avenues in both Palestine and Israel to press for a peaceful resolution to the conflict consistent with the GPC’s commitment to justice and custom of speaking truth to power.



Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916

Excerpt on Israel-Gaza conflict from Elizabeth May's 2014 Convention Keynote Address

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Posted on 30 July 2014 | 9:18 am