Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Bloc MP Supports ADQ style "Autonomy"?

Well, according to the Montreal Gazette, Bloc MP Christiane Gagnon was the one who commissioned the report in question.

My thoughts? I'd start thinking about courting a floor crosser... if I was in charge.

h/t to Splatto

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Climate Change... on MARS?

What's that you say? There has been a 0.5C increase in the temperature of Mars since the 1970's? Funny, we've had a 0.6C increase over the same period! Weird... now hang on, could they, I don't know, perhaps be related somehow? Well, maybe they could... but since there's no evidence of little green men putting out more than their fair share of CO2, what could the common factor be?

Well, of course, one thing we do have in common is that pesky little celestial body known as "Sol", that has been on a farily active cycle over the last few decades. And since we're closer to it than Mars is, one would expect that it hasn't recieved as much of that extra solar output as we have... thus we're up by 0.6C, and it's only up by 0.5C overall.

Interesting. But of couse, I'm no scientist.

h/t to The Politic

pssst... don't let the eco-facists know... by the way, I think that's a great new nickname for them George.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

"Mes amis... join with us"

That's the jist of the PM's appeal to soft Quebec nationalists last night.

He appealed to all Quebecois to consider voting Conservative in the next election, reminding them that despite all their years in Ottawa, the Bloc has delivered nothing for the people of that province... and never will.

He also encouraged the people of Quebec to "Never turn back to the Liberals. Never."
"My friends, the Liberals say they will reverse our tax cuts, take away the family allowance, vote against benefits for seniors, cancel the softwood lumber agreement, tear up the military contracts, and all the benefits for industries in the regions, and restore the fiscal imbalance.

For that reason, we should never turn back to the Liberals. Never."
Read all about it.

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Nailing many birds with one article

Just finished giving my sermon today (a survey of Ephesians 2, if you're interested) so I can get back to keeping up to date and blogging. (took a couple days away from blogging to finish it up)

So I finally got around to reading Saturday's paper, and was glad I did. George Jonas had a great article/rant in the National Post, taking on a whole range of issues that I have problems with... Kyoto (and the "Eco-fascists", as he puts it), the Gun Registry, Communism, and the recent crackdown on freedoms in by the Islamic regieme in Iran. (ie - stopping women in the street who don't have their headscarves on correctly)

Basic summary... with SWAT teams needlessly swooping in and cracking down on law abiding citizens who own guns, what's the Nanny State going to do to people if and when the Kyoto zealots get their way?
First, they came for the guns?
George Jonas - National Post
Saturday, April 28, 2007

Human beings live in worlds of their own making. This is true of individuals as well as nations -- even entire periods. I suppose a person couldn't help being born in the Dark Ages, but it was still people who created the Dark Ages and people who ended them. They weren't cosmic events.

If we recreate the Dark Ages in the 21st century, it will be our own doing, too. Nobody is making us. None of our Evil Empires came from outer space. The red cancer of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism may have gone into remission, but the malignancy of tyranny comes in many colours. From the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, it came in Fascist black and Nazi brown. If it were to flare up again in green--Islamist green, environmental green, it doesn't matter --it would still be as homemade as apple pie.

What triggered this tirade? The news, needless to say. Almost any item makes one wonder about the sanity of the world, especially on or near the front page. Glancing at a photograph from Tehran. Reading a speech by Tory Environment Minister John Baird. Receiving an e-mail about a police raid in Alberta. My job is to comment on the news, but how can one comment on a nation -- in this case, Iran -- choosing to live in a society where women, dressed like witches from an amateur production of Lady Macbeth, accost and berate other woman in the street for not being dressed like a witch from an amateur production of Lady Macbeth -- and they do it in 2007, in a country developing nuclear technology! It's nonsensical, unredeemed total stupidity -- in short, n.u.t.s.

But for nuts we don't need to go all the way to Iran. The Green Gestapo of the environment seems ready to launch nuts right here at home. Eco-fascists share the self-righteous arrogance of Islamo-fascists, safety-Nazis and other control freaks. They're like the multicultural censors excising "Merry Christmas!" or the feminist ones neutering the word "fisherman" and substituting "fisher" as the mot juste. They're the anti-gun crusaders obliging us to register Grandpa's squirrel-plonker; they're the Victorian don't-step-on-the-grass crowd; they're our version of the Persian dress police. They're prepared to enforce a government- regulated climate in Canada, indoors and outdoors, literally and figuratively, itching to counter global warming with an economic ice age.

What will it be like? Dark and grim. Hot showers on alternate days. Cars carrying fewer than three passengers impounded. Failure to use the politically correct amount of toilet paper bringing down the full wrath of the eco-fascist state. And harbouring an unlicensed light bulb in the home, well -- that would invite consequences similar to those described in an e-mail I received this week:

"Last Monday, April 16th, 4 a.m., near the hamlet of Craigmyle, Alberta, just southwest of Hanna, John Rew, age 50, was awakened to the sound of a SWAT smoke grenade smashing through his bedroom window," wrote my correspondent. "He was thrown face down on the floor and handcuffed instantly afterward, as a second smoke grenade exploded through his TV stand in the living room, burning a hole in the floor.

"The Drumheller RCMP, Calgary SWAT, and Red Deer SWAT had come for all his firearms, in particular his registered prohibited and restricted firearms, all legally registered to him.

"Although their search warrant did not include any residences, Rew agreed to lead them across the farmyard to his 80-year-old mother's house. Her basement contains Rew's storage facility. His mother, Betty, allowed them entry and was detained for her co-operative efforts. The masked, body-armoured, assault rifle equipped [police] got what they came for. Rew was hauled away, still in handcuffs. His alleged crime: allowing his F.A.C/P.A.L [gun permits] to expire. 2:30 that afternoon he was released, promising to appear in Drumhelller court 10 am May 25th 2007.

"The authorities shut down Rew's oilfield business for the day, turning his 20 employees away at the gate. His sister was not allowed entry to tend to their 80-year-old mother who had been devastated by the events of that morning. Ironically, the next day, April 17, our government announced an extension of the long gun registry amnesty for another year."

Note to readers: I haven't edited the e-mail forwarded to me, other than to correct typos and remove some judgmental words. Preliminary research indicates that Mr. Rew, who owns and operates an oil patch located on his farm, is an ordinary gun collector who -- at worst -- may not have complied with some paperwork. Did the gun police behave as thuggishly as it appears in the e-mail? I don't know.

Note to police chiefs: Whenever it's necessary to conduct a dawn raid, invite a member of the press to come along. An independent journalist embedded with your team will make it harder for anyone to level false accusations against your officers.

Note to the Prime Minister: If we let governments continue on their regulatory binges, SWAT teams will be hurtling through our windows to confiscate our prohibited light bulbs and unregistered rolls of toilet paper. A state that doesn't stop at Mr. Rew's door will stop at nothing.

© National Post 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

McGuinty to Critics: "Flick Off"

Premier Dalton McGuinty hit back today at critics of the new "Flick Off" campaign, telling them, in effect, to "Flick Off" themselves. He said that people should be more offended by the effects of climate change, instead of their campaign slogan.

That was a Kinsella advised response, no doubt about it... I just finished his chapter entitled "Stand by Your Ad... or, if you're going to do the time, you may as well commit the crime"... classic Kinsella.

Not a bad response, to be honest. I don't like the ads myself (don't act so surprised) but I can see why they might think it would be effective. Warren likely reminded them of the lessons learned, the hard way, by former Prime Minister Kim Campbell... once the ad is out there, stand by it. Otherwise, you look even worse.

I still think the Opposition should try and make it stick. Many have said it's just promoting the senseless vulgarity flooding our airwaves, and if it's opposed right, it will hurt the Liberals at the polls.

Keep on hitting... it's not been a good week for the Ontario Liberals. Don't let them forget it.

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Will the Opposition Follow Through?

The Star's Chantal Hébert says it well today... the Opposition has been talking tough on the Environment file; question is, will they follow through by forcing an unwanted election?

Mr. Harper may have sucessfully painted the Opposition parties into a corner... by their own doing, no less. They have been talking tough on the Environment, demanding action. The Conservative government has now brought forward a plan, one that the Opposition says in unpalatable. Problem is, their only way of stopping it is by bringing down the House themselves through a Motion of Confidence. Chantal says,
"The question as of now is what, if anything, the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois are willing to do about it."
Mr. Harper has said all along that he didn't want an election. Now, with the Liberals backing down in the Senate over changes to the fixed election date bill, it may be game, set, match for the Opposition... how badly do they want to stop the government's plans to deal with Climate Change? Do they really want to go to the polls over Kyoto?

A couple more key quotes from the article:
"If Stéphane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe feel that the failure to move more decisively on climate change is grievous, if they are convinced that Harper is wrong when he argues that he cannot do more without doing irreparable harm to the economy, then they are free to move a non-confidence motion in the government at the first opportunity.

That places Dion in front of the starkest choice of his short tenure. The Liberal leader has staked his leadership on his environment credentials. But polls consistently show that his party would face long odds in an election this spring.

For its part, the NDP can no longer delude itself that it is engaged in a collaborative effort that gives it a chance to act as the environmental conscience of the government.

Yesterday, the Conservatives put more nails in the coffin of their Clean Air Act. It has clearly become redundant to their plans. The time spent at Layton's initiative fleshing out the act in committee has turned out to be a make-work project designed to tide the government over while it came up with a strategy to reduce its electoral exposure on climate change.

As for Duceppe, election fatigue in Quebec may mean that he is under no great pressure to seek a federal election but there is no way that his party could live down propping up the Conservatives on the climate change issue.

For months, the opposition has collectively wrapped itself in the various folds of the Kyoto protocol. Now the time has come to see whether the emperor had any clothes.
Like I said... could it be Game, Set, Match?

h/t to "Chucker Canuck"

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Afghan Detainees Fiasco not our fault?

The headline of this CTV article seems to imply otherwise, ("Tories accused of incompetence in detainee dust-up") but the last couple of paragraphs seem to help clear things up... it appears that communications breakdowns and "over-the-top" reports between the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and other agencies within Afghanistan may have been the direct cause of the conflicting information provided by the Conservative government over the last few days.

How on earth can you be expected to give a straight answer when the people giving you the information can't even give you a straight answer? The Liberals were going off of one set of reports, the Tories from another, both with various elements of truth to them... but the Liberal sourced documents are now in question, as they seem to have been derived more from a communications breakdown within Afghanistan than anything else.

From CTV:
There have been reports this week that the commission has been denied total access to detainees -- a claim that it clarified recently, saying the reports were excessive.

The assistant investigator with the human rights commission, Reza Jan Ibrahimi, 25, said they are not allowed to meet with prisoners while they are in the custody of intelligence officers. However, they have met detainees after they were moved to the regular prison system.

A spokesperson from the AIHRC, who spoke to CTV News on condition of anonymity, agreed unrestricted access to Afghan detainees is now available.

"We couldn't go there but now our people can go anywhere they want, NDS, jail and other offices," said the commissioner.

The group also claims it has been denied access to detainees held by the feared NDS -- Afghanistan's intelligence police. They have been accused of beating, choking, starving, freezing and whipping suspected Taliban insurgents.

Officials inside NDS now say corrections officers and RCMP in Afghanistan will have access to NDS and other prisons as well. NDS authorities say the lack of access to prisoners was a communications breakdown rather than a deliberate attempt at concealing instances of abuse.

"That technical problem has been solved in a few days so there is no problem," one NDS official told CTV News.
Like I said last night... people need to cut Mr. O'Conner some slack. (but of course, the Liberals won't...)

UPDATE: Mike Duffy raised a couple good points with Mr. Ignatieff today. It seems that Taliban fighters are advised on how to lie about being abused if and when they are captured. Mike also raised the point I raised yesterday, that the Geneva Conventions apply to uniformed and/or recognized soldiers. I don't know what you think, but I don't think the Afghan government recognizes them as legitimate Afghan soldiers.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

What? McGuinty Cover-Up you say?

Mr. Dalton McGuinty, why won't your Party let the Ontario Auditor General look into $20 million worth of grants that were handed out to various multicultural organizations, when several of those organizations are run by well connected Ontario Liberal Party members?
TORONTO — The Liberals have used their majority to stop the auditor general from investigating how grants were doled out by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and are instead asking the beneficiaries to account for their spending.
Warren, (who's one of my most recently added friends in Facebook, by the way...) what's that you're always saying? Right... "It's never the break-in, it's always the cover up". I'm thinking they didn't take your advice, right?

Me-thinks Warren is going to have a busy weekend.

(and yes Warren, I'm still a big fan... when's the book launch again?)

h/t to Siscoe

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Liberal Hypocrisy at its Worst

Alberta Ardvark has pointed out yet another example of Liberal hypocrisy... remember "the good old days" back in 2002, when the Liberals were running the show, and PM JC refused to even acknowledge that there were Canadian soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan?

Now, they're calling us on the carpet for handing over Afghan prisoners to the Afghan authorities... prisoners to whom the Geneva Convention does not apply. (they are not uniformed soldiers of any nation under any declaration of war) The irony of this whole issue? They're being handed over in accordance with the prisoner transfer agreement established during the tenure of the previous Liberal government. Yes, some reports of questionable practices have come up... so the Government has an obligation to investigate. There are still many details that need to be cleared up, but once things are clear, action should indeed be taken. But seeing the Liberals and other Opposition parties harping on The Honourable Mr. O'Conner is just sad.

Poor old Gordon. I'll admit, he's gone and stuck his foot in his mouth this week about the non-agreed to agreement to monitor prisoners. Looks like he jumped the gun a bit, and got some as-yet-to-be-determined details wrong... details, which by the way, are still in the works. But hardly the kind of thing that he should be forced to resign over. He's got one tough job, and can't seem to get a break.

During the CPC Training back in March, when he came up to the microphone to speak, the audience stopped him before he could open his mouth... by giving him a standing ovation for all the hard and thankless work he's done since taking office. He more than deserved it. (and he responded, after almost two minutes of sustained applause, "My mother put you up to that, didn't she." LOL) He has done more to rebuild this nation's military than any other Defence Minister for the last 15 or so years. It was indeed a "Decade of Darkness"... brought on by the Liberal Party of Canada's utter lack of understanding of the role of the Canadian military, and by its total lack of respect for the men and women who serve in uniform. That's why the men and women in Canada's military by and large support our Party, if any... because we're the only one who's shown them any kind of respect for generations.

They're greatful for what we've done for them... just as we are greatful for what they have done, and are willing to do, for each and every one of us.

Mr. O'Conner, while admittedly not the best performer in the House of Commons, or even on the media front, is just not a politician... he is a man of action. He took over a department that was in tatters, and has begun the task of rebuilding a proud Canadian institution... the Canadian Armed Forces. Some, even here amongst the Blogging Tories, are saying it's time for him to go. I disagree. He's made some real progress on a huge number of issues and files... and though admittedly he's made a couple of minor blunders on the Afghan detainees file, I hardly think it's something he should be tossed out in the cold for.

If it's a problem, give that portion of his file to Peter MacKay in Foreign Affairs, or to his Parliamentary Secretary... and let him keep doing the rest of his job that he has been doing so well.

I'll put it to you this way... I trust a blundering Mr. O'Conner running the Defence Department way more than I trust his predecessors.

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New Kyoto Plan a Disaster?

I don't normally like bashing the CPC, but when it comes to supporting Kyoto, I have no problem bashing away.

Though I don't like parts of this article, I think this opening paragraph says things well...
"After last week producing a sound and lucid report on how Canada's Kyoto carbon emission targets were unworkable and economically dangerous, the Conservatives yesterday set course for even greater lunacy than Kyoto, led by John Baird, the Environment Minister. In a speech that even Sheila Copps in full discombobulated flight could not have delivered, Sheila Baird invented, distorted, misrepresented and fabricated his way to a potential regulatory nightmare."
Let's not try twisting in the wind to win the votes of Kyoto proponents... cause that ain't going to happen, no matter how hard we try. Let's try, instead, to show Canada that we're the only ones they can trust on the now co-dependant files of the Environment and the Economy.

I really think we had a winning message last week... "Kyoto, as is, will cost Canada too much... let's work towards the goals of Kyoto, but in a rational, reasoned, and manageable manner." Let's stick to it.

Let's even start talking to Buzz Hardgrove... see if we can find some common ground. Let's prove to all Canadians what we already know is true... only WE, the CPC, is the Party of Canada's working class.

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"Liberals Caught Red-Handed"

Posted on the American Thinker Blog... they've posted the article from the Western Standard about the Liberal theft of Conservative Party documents.

I love the last line they posted... "Whatever private details were contained in those human resources files were read by voyeuristic Liberal "researchers" looking for dirt. That's not called being Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. That's called being a Peeping Tom."
"It's less serious than Watergate in that the Liberal party did not actively break and enter into their opponents' locked offices. Instead, when the Liberals swapped offices with the Conservatives after losing the election last year, Liberal staff took 30 boxes of files the Conservatives had packed for Parliament's movers. It's still theft, but it wasn't particularly premeditated.

In other ways, though, it's more serious than Watergate. To this day, the Liberal party has no compunction about what it did. Liberal operatives brag about how they spent a year going through the documents-including 174 personnel files of Conservative staff. The Liberals held a press conference to describe their "research" and made a video of the whole affair, brazenly posted to the official Liberal website. The video highlights various confidential personnel files, revealing the names of some of the staff who had their most private matters inspected for political grist. Perhaps a secretary was having problems at work because she was going through a divorce; perhaps a clerk asked for help in dealing with a substance abuse problem. Whatever private details were contained in those human resources files were read by voyeuristic Liberal "researchers" looking for dirt. That's not called being Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. That's called being a Peeping Tom."
Of course, Mr. Holland would just prefer that they shut up about the whole thing...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mr. McGuinty, we have some questions

Sure, it's expected that as a member of the Government, you're going to advocate for funding for causes you support... that's a no-brainer. But when too many mutual connections and links start appearing between the players involved, specifically those granting and those receiving the money, you do have to start asking questions... it would be irresponsible not to.
"We now have what appears to be three examples of this at work in Ontario. In March the Bengali Cultural Society, located in Toronto's Crescent Town, was handed a cheque for $250,000 from the Ontario government to help with settlement services for Bengali immigrants.

Coincidentally, the federal Liberal MP for the area, Maria Minna, was invited to attend the glad-handing, cheque presentation -- the NDP's MPP for the riding was strangely left off the invite list.

Turns out the Bangladeshi community in Toronto isn't that familiar with the Bengali Cultural Society, but the Liberals are. The Society's director is a card-carrying Grit and a member of the group also happens to be the VP of Minna's Liberal riding association."
Can't make any allegations at this point, but it does look a little questionable.

I'm sure that Mr. McGuinty is hoping that this cultural group has some good records and justification for how the $250,000 grant was spent... because this is just the sort of thing that makes a politician look really bad.


The New Liberal Sponsorship Scandal

Mr. Dion wants to consider sponsoring Taliban prisoners... "We may bring them in Canada".

Stephane Dion wants to sponsor terrorists. In our cities. We are not making this up.

Then again... maybe it's not a good idea. Wow... flip flopping on his own idea that quickly. Amm, and this guy wants to run the country?

Can we trust anything he says, if he's so prone to changing his stand on the fly? How about, "Kyoto won't cost us much"? Or, "We will make changes to the income trust plan"?

"His name is Flipper, Flipper, king of the Grits..."

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Liberal Document Scandal: A New Watergate?

The Western Standard has a good article of what they're calling the Liberals's "Watergate" scandal... the theft of Conservative Party documents that we've all heard about.

Could charges be pending? According to a lawyer quoted in the article, holding on to the documents does translate to theft... a Criminal Code offence. Mr. Holland is now disavowing any knowledge of the documents prior to March 22, when he was handed a copy of the Hart files. Wow... by covering his own butt, he may have just incriminated the Office of the Leader of the Opposition... that's Mr. Dion's office.

However, in his "explaination" to the House of Commons, he dug their hole even deeper... on April 17, he said, "all remaining documents have been returned to the sergeantat- arms on April 10. Second, I can also confirm that these documents were returned and that they were not copied or tampered with in any way." Yet he had said himself earlier (looking for the quote) that he had only been given a copy of the Hart file... so, were any of the files copied, or weren't they? Did he, in his explaination, lie to the House of Commons?

Like Warren always says... "It's never the break-in, it's always the cover up."

h/t to Janke.

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My research posted on Liblogs

How cool is that? Most of my thoughts and findings from the other week have been reposted to the Liblogs... BY CERBERUS NO LESS!!!

Isn't that kinda ironic... a Liberal blogger, referring to a Conservative blogger, regarding a question on the Constitution of the Liberal Party of Canada!

Regardless, thanks for the hat tip Cerberus.

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Yeltsin Dead

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin has died at age 76. Reported by CTV.

Friday, April 20, 2007

"Stop Trading with China"

An extreme response to be sure, but it's not an option that should be excluded out of hand. It's an option being advocated by Lib and Prog. blogger Robert Pavlacic, in response to China's imprisonment of a Canadian citizen.

I likely differ from many of my capitalist Blogging Tory collegues, but I'm actually in favour of re-examining our trade dealings with China... not just for this most recent reason, however. We're losing thousands of jobs, getting tons of cheap throwaway goods filling our landfills, (though the quality has been getting better over the years) and they're getting way more out of our trade dealings than we are. Perhaps some new firewalls may be in order.

I commented on his blog that another option would be to withdraw our athletes from the 2008 Olympic Games in Bejing. (it wouldn't be without precident) Sucks for our athletes, but it would send a message... especially if we did it now, while there is still plenty of time to solve this before the Games.

Good thoughts from Fuddle-Duddle

Yes, I know, you can't believe I just said that... but before you judge, read what he has to say. I'm not posting this because he's critizing a Liberal MP... I'm posting it because I agree with the overall sentiments... we need to be in Afghanistan for the PEOPLE of Afghanistan... this is not about us.

"What exactly have we as Canadians brought to the Afghan people? As far as I can see it is instability,"

"Under the previous U.S. backed Taliban there may have been oppression, but there was not fear for people's lives every single day because of suicide bombers."

This is disgusting.

Who could possibly say that Afghans, especially Afghan women, were better off under the Taliban?

Is this some crazy Dipper? or a Radical activist?

No...It is Liberal MP Colleen Beaumier.

The party that stands up for women says ending the Taliban wasn’t worth it.

Executing women for going out in public. That is WAY better than instability...

In 1997, the Taliban dragged women into their houses by their hair, forced them into house arrest, stopped educating them, and 10 years later, instead of being proud to have helped end this horror, we have an MP saying we should have never intervened.

Mrs. Beaumier needs to be seriously reprimanded.

What the F@#$ is happening to the Liberal Party?

I have my own reservations about the Liberal Afghan position, but if we want to maintain any shred of our credibility in terms of foreign policy, we cannot stand by and listen to our own MPs say that we should not defend the rights and values we preach in our own country.


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Has Buzz seen the light?

Well, Buzz Hardgrove is still critizing Mr. Harper's budget for the rebates on fuel efficent cars, which just happens to mean predominantly imported cars. (sorry Buzz, they're just more fuel efficient than any of your guys products) But at the same time, he's come out making a statement that it only going to help us in the CPC out when an election finally rolls around. He's got a great article in today's Financial Post... "Kyoto impossible" - by Buzz Hardgrove.

I like his closing paragraph... "If the political parties are genuinely concerned with climate change, they should quit playing politics and work together to ensure that proper strategies and incentives are in place that will boost our economy and at the same time protect our manufacturing jobs. The future for young Canadians could flourish with a sustainable environment, a robust economy and a thriving manufacturing sector. A balanced approach is needed." I couldn't agree with you more Buzz.
Kyoto impossible
I reject the position we must all drive smaller vehicles

Buzz Hargrove
Financial Post
Friday, April 20, 2007

As the president of the Canadian Auto Workers Union, I often find myself taking controversial positions, usually with a strong opinion on one side of the debate. But on the issue of the environment I find myself actually taking a position in the middle. I'm not used to that.

On the one hand, I have no time for those who deny the science of climate change and who steadfastly resist reductions in greenhouse gases or try to hide them with intensity targets. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that Stephen Harper and his Tory colleagues were climate-change deniers.

But I also oppose those who insist that a full-steam-ahead, immediate, damn-the-consequences approach is the only answer. Instead I find myself in agreement with those environmentalists who propose the twin goals of improving the environment as well as strengthening our economy.

The CAW continues to support the objectives of the Kyoto protocol and the principle of international obligations. While it is impossible to achieve Kyoto targets in the time frames spelled out in Kyoto, Canada needs to work vigorously towards them and be part of a broader community of nations in our efforts to halt and reverse the degradation of our environment. All of which means we need clear targets, achievable timelines, the commitment and the resources to turn these goals into a workable plan.

I'm in a similar position when it comes to cars and the environment. I reject the proposition that reducing our environmental footprint means we must drive small vehicles or get rid of cars altogether. I think that Canadians are eminently practical - the top three selling vehicles in the country are a subcompact, a minivan and a pickup truck. These vehicles speak to the demands of life in Canada. Whether driving a pickup truck or a subcompact, consumers need to know that their choice of vehicles is meeting targets for fuel efficiency improvements.

It doesn't make any sense that the federal government, in its recent budget, would announce higher incentives for imported 4-cylinder vehicles than for leading-edge, Canadian built products. For the Conservative government to introduce an incentive program that rewards imports while punishing Canadian producers with higher taxes on Canadians products is unconscionable. The government's incentive program will encourage consumers to buy imports from Asia at the expense of our manufacturers and Canadian jobs.

I am overwhelmingly concerned about the manufacturing job crisis in Canada. This country has lost more than 250,000 manufacturing jobs in less than five years. It is a huge mistake to accelerate the problem through government policies.

The CAW understands the necessity of maintaining a clean environment as one of the most important legacies we can leave future generations. Since the formation of our union in 1985, our constitution has mandated all CAW local unions to have active environment committees.

Over the last few years the CAW has taken an active role in schools and communities throughout Canada, spending over $3-million educating students on the importance of a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Centred around Earth Day, each year CAW volunteers reach out to Canadian schools to educate youth on environmental
issues. In 2006 alone, the CAW brought this message to over 82,000 students.

Our union has already adopted a green car strategy and later adopted an Extended Producer Responsibility policy that would ensure all manufacturers must dismantle older vehicles and recycle the materials.

Our union recognizes that any solution will lead to some of our members losing their jobs. What Canada needs is a just transition period that recognizes this. We need government programs to support workers who lose their jobs and a serious retraining commitment that will allow industry to make responsible adjustments to ensure workers and their families don't pay the price of cleaning up the environment.

Clearly, reducing greenhouse gases means reducing the amount of fossil fuel we consume. In addition to greater fuel efficiency and new technologies, we need a transportation strategy that will increase the use of renewable fuels and reduce the use of vehicles overall. This requires investments in clean and alternative fuels, mass transit, rail, as well as efforts to reduce gridlock.

The CAW supports mandatory fuel efficiency standards in the vehicle industry and believes that setting a clear target across all classes of vehicles, phased in by 2014, is achievable. These targets need to be constructed in a manner that drives improvements while at the same time strengthening, rather than undermining, Canada's auto industry. There are real challenges to meeting those twin goals, but we can achieve both.

In addition, we need programs that support innovations in developing lighter materials, alternative fuels, green engine technologies, and fuel-efficient components. The federal government should introduce a Green Vehicle Transition (GVT) fee on each manufacturer that sells into our market, based on each company's total Canadian sales. Companies would earn back the fees through Canadian investments in 'green' technologies and green production.

We need to look for opportunities to boost our economy and at the same time protect the environment.

A Ford engine plant in Windsor is closing-- why wouldn't government and industry join together to develop a new facility that produces a 'green engine' to replace those jobs? Through projects like these we can make our nation a leader in automotive and other green technologies. We need to find ways to protect the environment through ecologically-sound technology that create jobs.

The federal government has already recognized that incentives are needed to encourage homeowners to retrofit their homes. Similarly, we need real incentives to get older vehicles off the road. There are over 1? million vehicles that are over 20 years old on Canada's streets and highways. Getting them off our roads will do more to solve GHG problems than any other proposal.

If the political parties are genuinely concerned with climate change, they should quit playing politics and work together to ensure that proper strategies and incentives are in place that will boost our economy and at the same time protect our manufacturing jobs. The future for young Canadians could flourish with a sustainable environment, a robust economy and a thriving manufacturing sector. A balanced approach is needed. - Buzz Hargrove is president of the Canadian Auto Workers.

© National Post 2007
h/t to Dr. Roy

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Friday Roundup


Humm... no takers on my thoughts regarding Kyoto yesterday. I pointed out that if we spend money to buy emission credits, or invest in projects in other countries, the credits we obtain only last for one year... after which, we're still over our emissions, and have nothing to show for the billions spent on purchasing the credits. Interestingly, no Kyoto proponents said a word. (I guess that's what happens when you bring up an issue not covered in the talking points...)

My favorite Liberal Warren said that Mr. Baird talking about Kyoto was "leading with his chin"... however, it seems everyone is talking about what he had to say. I think Warren refers to that at "Earned Media".

Dion and the Liberals
A good look at Dion's leadership thus far in the Sudbury Star.
The enemy within; Dion should be targeting Harper; instead he's in the wilderness

Dion began with the wind at his back. He had a trump card. In this year of wacky weather, here was an earnest newcomer girding for battle to save the planet. Meanwhile, the coldly aloof Tory prime minister flailed about with transparently cynical measures to offset his record as a known climate-change skeptic.

With a script like that, how could the Liberals miss?

And yet they have. Somehow Dion has blown whatever goodwill he accrued by winning the leadership. At the same time, Harper has deftly - almost surgically - repositioned his party as the champion of the hard-working, lower middle class.


Mr. Harper won't treat the Liberal motion as a confidence item. However...

Senate Reform

...this may become a confidence issue, if the Liberals keep holding up our Senate reforms.
Tories issue veiled threat over Senate reform
Updated Fri. Apr. 20 2007 8:11 AM ET
Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- The government's House leader is warning opposition parties that the Conservatives won't tolerate indefinite obstruction of their Senate reform agenda, reviving the spectre of a possible snap election.

With debate set to start Friday on a bill establishing a process for electing senators, Peter Van Loan wouldn't say whether the Tories are prepared to make Senate reform a confidence matter, over which their minority government could be toppled.

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NDP finds a loophole

Everyone was wondering what the NDP was going to say about the Liberal's Afghanistan motion, to pull the troops out by 2009. Some have said this could be an item of confidence, though the Government says it isn't.

Well, Jack Layton's NDP have come up with a very nice little loophole... "This motion leaves our troops in Afganistan until 2009... since we want the Government to bring them home now, we cannot support this motion."

Nice little out there guys! I guess they wanted to a way out, just in case this does become an item of confidence...

During the debate, Mr. Harper had a great line though... "We did not hear a lot about this in the last few months because Canadian troops had not suffered casualties. We see some unfortunate casualties and they are back to attacking the mission. The leader of the Opposition likes to talk about what is unfair. That is unfair to the men and women in uniform." ZING!

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Well look who's back... it's Shawn Brant!

Once again, Shawn Brant is causing trouble. He's once again lead the charge, and has once agian shut down the main rail link between Toronto and Ottawa/Montreal.

Men like him cannot be permitted to continue disrupting our transportation system.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stern: Canada's Kyoto Cost - $20,000,000,000

That's TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS, according to the favorite of Kyoto proponents, Sir Nicholas Stern, of the much touted Stern Report. (Did I mention that's the LOW BALL ESTIMATE?)

From the Toronto Star:
[NDP MP] Paul Dewar quoted Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, whose study in October estimated it would take two per cent of gross domestic product in advanced countries to reduce emissions to an acceptable level. Dewar said he believes Canadians would accept such a cost.
According to the CIA World Factbook, our GDP is just over one trillion dollars... so two percent of that would be 20 billion dollars... minimum.

And just where, exactly, are we supposed to come up with at least TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS over the next four years to keep our 2012 Kyoto commitments?

Here's a major problem that no one seems to be considering... implementing most of the steps required to "stick to the timelines" will throw tens of thousands of people out of work, and will grind the economy to a halt. Most Kyoto proponents state that costs of programs to meet our commitments will be spread over several years, between now and 2012. Well, once our economy has ground to a halt, where on earth will the Government get the necessary revenues to implement the needed programs in the subsequent years? Since fewer people will be working, and more compaines will be taking advantage of tax credits for making reductions, our taxation base will run dry REALLY quickly... unless massive tax increases are made.

Am I missing something here? In order to have the "Green Economy" revenues Mr. Dion is talking about, a massive expendeture of capital will be required up front... and any such expendeture will kill us economically. There is simply no way around the numbers, unless you start talking of running massive deficits. Is that the direction you're planning to take us Mr. Dion?

Some will say that these numbers that Mr. Baird are presenting are off, since they assume a 25% limit to Canada's use of emission credits. To those who say that, I ask, are you actually in favour of spending our hard earned tax dollars overseas so that we can buy the right to keep on spewing out more emissions than we should?

That actually touches on the other MAJOR problem with buying credits that I've heard NO ONE talk about so far... when you buy credits, they cover your excess emissions FOR ONE YEAR. What do you do the following year? Suppose we buy $10 billion in credits the first year, either in straight credits or by investing in projects in other countries... WHAT DO WE HAVE TO SHOW FOR IT THE FOLLOWING YEAR? We're still spewing out tonnes of emissions, well over our targets, and spent billions of dollars helping other contries... with little or no reductions here!

Instead, we could spend all of our money here at home and actually reduce our overall emissions. Investing here at home is the only option that makes any sense for Canada... why can't Kyoto proponents see that? As I've said all along, if we're going to do this, let's do it right and actually REDUCE our emission here at home. Any other solution is absolute foolishness.

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More Anti-Israel Liberals

Once again, the Liberal Party members in Alberta help re-enforce the notion that the Liberal Party of Canada has taken a new anti-Israel stance... meet Farhan Chak, the new Liberal candidate in Edmonton-Mills Wood-Beaumont. And I quote...
The butcher of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, the notorious Ariel Sharon, has been elected Israel's Prime Minister and has shamelessly withdrawn all pledges grudgingly granted. The Palestinians have been reduced to slaves, thrown into squalor in a land they once inhabited. To add insult to injury, the Israeli government insists on 'showing restraint' by murdering children, raping women, and torturing an entire populace labeling this all as Palestinian 'collective suicide.'
Scary thing is, he's in Edmonton... the one place in Alberta that the Liberals actually have a remote chance of winning.

Let's just hope that Mr. Dion, should he win, doesn't stick him in somewhere like Foriegn Affairs... or National Defence... or Citizenship and Immigration... or International Cooperation... or make him a Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity... or... or... or...

Let's just keep it simple... let's just beat the guy at the ballot box.

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The Economist: "A winter of Liberal discontent"

This is the same magazine who gave to us the "Mr. Dithers" moniker. Enjoy.
A winter of Liberal discontent
Apr 19th 2007 | OTTAWA
From The Economist print edition

The Liberals' new leader fails to boost the party's flagging fortunes

WHEN Stéphane Dion won the leadership of Canada's Liberals last December, the party faithful knew he had his faults: a poor command of English, a reputation for being inflexible and no real appetite for the cut and thrust of political battle. But with the opinion polls at that time showing the party within striking distance of Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government, Liberals were confident that even an imperfect leader could topple the Tories and restore them to their rightful place in charge of Canada, which they had run for more than a dozen years until 2006.

Almost five months after choosing their new leader, that confidence has evaporated, and many Liberals are questioning whether they picked the right man. The expected boost in voter support has not come about. Indeed, the most recent poll shows that 42% of voters deem Mr Harper the best national leader and a mere 17% back Mr Dion. The Liberals' only consolation is that the Conservatives' comfortable lead is not yet big enough to assure them a parliamentary majority in the event of a new election. But that is thin comfort. The unhappiness inside Liberal ranks burst into the open last weekend when a former prime-ministerial spokesman, Ray Heard, told the Toronto Star, Canada's bestselling newspaper, that he supported a move to dump Mr Dion “before it's too late”.

That outburst was triggered by a peculiar deal Mr Dion made with Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party. He promised not to run a Liberal candidate against her in the Nova Scotia constituency where she would otherwise stand only an outside chance of winning the Greens their first seat. In return, Ms May promised not to run a Green candidate against the Liberal leader in his safe Montreal constituency. Mr Dion, a former environment minister, portrayed the deal as a non-partisan gesture designed to give the increasingly popular green agenda more prominence. But, as bewildered Liberals pointed out, their own party gained nothing, and Mr Dion had made it look as though only a fringe party was entitled to care about the environment. The deal was all the stranger given Mr Dion's own reputation as an ardent green, albeit in a party that did little for the environment during almost 13 years in power.

A few days earlier, the Liberals had lost one of their most glamorous politicians. Belinda Stronach, whose wealth, looks and romances made her the closest thing the party had to a celebrity, declared that she was leaving politics to return to Magna International, a car-parts company controlled by her father. Though derided by many as an opportunist—she left the Conservatives two years ago after unsuccessfully contesting the party leadership—Ms Stronach attracted attention, money and votes to a party in need of all three.

The Liberals' malaise seems to go deeper than one miscalculation by Mr Dion over green politics and the loss of a high-profile MP. A further 14 of the 103 Liberals who won parliamentary seats in the January 2006 federal election have likewise decided not to stand again. This comes on top of three defections: two to the Conservatives and a third who has chosen to sit as an independent. A changing of the guard is no bad thing in a political party, but when quite so many of its MPs decide to abandon national politics it suggests they do not expect imminent re-election and a job in government.

It is too early to write Mr Dion off. Jean Chrétien went through a similar rough patch when he became Liberal leader in 1990, but went on to win three successive general elections, starting with the slaughter of 1993 in which the Conservatives were scythed down to two seats. Mr Dion could still turn opinion by exploiting a reputation for integrity and intelligence. This, however, will take time that he may not have. Mr Harper is eager to convert his minority government into a majority. If his poll numbers edge higher, it will not be long before he calls a new election—whether the Liberals are ready or not.

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"Bill C-288 will wreak our economy"

Hey, it's not us saying it... that's what Don Drummond thinks.

And just who is Don Drummond? He's currently the chief economist of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. Before that? Well, he was an Associtate Deputy Minister to Paul Martin during the 1990's, and had a total of 23 years experience in the Department of Finance... so one would think he knows what he's talking about when it comes to the Canadian economy, no?

Just to further re-enforce his creds... "It will be difficult for the Liberals to attack Mr. Drummond, a senior Canadian economist whom political parties, including Mr. Dion's, have consulted over the years. He wasn't paid for this latest opinion, which the Tories solicited from him."

So, naturally, we're letting the Canadian public know that it's not just us in the CPC that thinks that implememnting Bill C-288 will kill us economically. (FYI, Bill C-288 is the Liberals attempt to force the Government to implement Kyoto immediately, instead of a more reasonable timeframe)

Warren (who's book I just started re-reading this week) thinks that Baird is making a mistake by touting this, saying that it's "leading with your chin", so to speak. Basically, since the Kyoto file is one that Dion is stronger on, why are we playing to his strengths?

I agree, it's a risky move, but I look at it this way... show an opening, lead your opponent, and once he commits, take away the opening and hit him with a knockout blow.

When we hit the campaign trail, we're going to be able to finally show the Canadian people some real numbers... numbers that prove that keeping the original Kyoto timelines, as mandated by the Liberal Bill C-288, will directly result in job losses in the tens of thousands. From CTV...
Baird says Kyoto would lead to economic collapse
Updated Thu. Apr. 19 2007 12:21 PM ET News Staff

Environment Minister John Baird has painted a grim picture of economic mayhem if Canada were to comply with the Kyoto Protocol.

During a news conference after he appeared before the Senate environmental committee, Baird said the government would instead bring forward a reasonable plan that won't destroy the economy.

"Rather than go to reckless extremes just to make up for lost time, we want a more realistic plan, which we will introduce soon," Baird said.

During his presentation to the committee, he said that meeting the Kyoto carbon emissions targets would "manufacture a recession" for Canada.

He said the government needs to strike a balance between acting boldly on behalf of the environment, and protecting the economy "so Canadians can keep their jobs and build a promising future," Baird said in French.

The Senate committee is considering a bill put forward by Liberal MP Pablo Rodriquez that would force the government to comply with the Kyoto targets.

Baird told the committee that analysis from economists shows implementing the Kyoto Protocol would mean the following:

Gasoline will cost more than $1.60 a litre over the 2008-to-2012 period

275,000 Canadians working today will lose their jobs by 2009

Job loss will cause unemployment rates to rise 25 per cent by 2009

The decline of economic activity in the range of $51 billion

"Please, however, don't take my criticism of Bill C-288 as a condemnation of Kyoto. Our government remains committed to the principles and objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol," Baird said.

"We accept our international obligations and will make our best effort."
With the Liberals seeking to push a timeline that will toss tens of thousands out of work, even Buzz Hardgrove's CAW union is going to have to grudgingly be endorsing us... which translates into tens of thousands of votes in the 905, 519, and other auto-sector heavy areas where we're looking to pick up seats.

We'll be turning the Liberal, the Green, and even the NDP's percieved strenghts into huge liabilities... and we'll take the related votes right to the ballot box, thank you very much. And when they say "That's not true", we'll turn around and say to them, "Alright then, show us your plan that proves otherwise". If they couldn't come up with one in 13 years, there's no way they're going to be able to put together a credible plan in the space of a 5 week election campaign.

Go ahead, bring up Kyoto... when presented with the real facts, Canadians will reject the misinformation being fed to them.

(just as an aside, I mentioned that I started re-reading Warren's book this week, basically in prep for the coming election... funny little bit of irony, but when I finished for the night and went to bookmark my page, I grabbed the first thing I could find... and it just happened to be Stephen Taylor's business card! LOL!)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Jesus Tomb backers recant

Remember the recent brew-ha-ha regarding the "discovery" of Christ's final tomb?

"Jesus tomb film scholars backtrack

Several prominent scholars who were interviewed in a bitterly contested documentary that suggests that Jesus and his family members were buried in a nondescript ancient Jerusalem burial cave have now revised their conclusions, including the statistician who claimed that the odds were 600:1 in favor of the tomb being the family burial cave of Jesus of Nazareth, a new study on the fallout from the popular documentary shows."

"If Christ is not raised, your faith is in vain" - The Apostle Paul

h/t to Dr. Roy


Janke uncovers Liberal scandal in Central Nova?

Yikes... when Gerard Kennedy was collecting money from Liberal members in Central Nova on March 22 (at a $100 a ticket meeting, no less), did he know that Mr. Dion was about to deny them the opportunity to vote Liberal in the next election?

If so, that's one of the biggest "bait-and-switch" schemes I've ever seen.

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Liberals set stage for election

This just in... the Liberals have put forward a motion requiring that Canadian troops MUST withdraw from Afghanistan by February 2009. The motion will be debated tomorrow and voted on next Tuesday.

To be honest, if the House was going to fall sooner rather than later, the Liberals have picked a good issue (for them) to go down on.

I think we'll be able to counter it fairly effectively though... indicating that we plan to withdraw by that date, but in the interests of protecting the people of Afghanistan from tyrany and oppression from religious fanatics, we will leave the door open to remain longer. (I'd like to watch the left try and fight on that ground)

We'll see how it plays out.

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Canada's Second Elected Senator

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced in the House of Commons today that Bert Brown will become Canada's second ever elected Senator. Mr. Brown was selected to be a "Senator-in-waiting" in Alberta's third Senate election in 2004.

Did you know we had an elected Senator once before? In 1989, Stan Waters won an Alberta election for a Senate seat, who was then appointed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney the following year.

No word on whether or not he's agreed to a term limit... I would assume that one would not be applied to him unless the Senate passes Mr. Harper's legislation calling for term limits.

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Oops... Liberal EDA President Arrested for Fraud

The President of the Niagara Falls Federal Liberal Riding Association, James Curran, has been arrested on fraud charges, according to CTV.

Sadly, this will result in the cancellation of their nomination meeting scheduled for tonight... since he was a candidate to stand in the next Federal election.

Humm... Liberals being accused of fraud, right before a possible election call... not cool, if you're a Liberal.

Thanks to BigCityLib for letting us know. (who, ironically enough, was the same guy who seemed to enjoy reminding us of this former CPC candidate just the other day... hey BCL, hopefully James Curran will put us over the top in the next vote!)

UPDATE: Weird... it seems that Mr. Curran had a blog, at least until last week... his last posting. I say had a blog, because for some strange reason, it's vanished... but thanks to the good old Google cache, it lives!

UPDATE II: The official new-media wing of the Liberal Party of Canada has responded to the allegations. (by the way Jason... I completely agree that he should be considered "innocent until proven guilty". However, members of your Party don't seem to believe in that same principle when it comes to our candidates or MP's... so turnabout is fair-play)

UPDATE III: James' blog is back... but all the previous posts are gone. Also, James commented here on my post, and made me realize that perhaps this post did come across as "relishing" in his situation. Far from it. If you read the comments, I made that clear, and I sent him a copy of my reply directly. The point of my post was the irony of the situation, NOT a rejoicing in his situation. Thanks for allowing me to clear that up James.

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NDP: "Keep May out of Debates"

Good old Liberal mouthpiece Jason Cherniak thinks that the NDP is being dumb for saying that Elizabeth May shouldn't be allowed to join the Leaders debates. I disagree, more so now than ever before.

I think it's quite simple Jason... why should the Liberal Party of Canada be allowed to have TWO representitves at the Leaders Debate? That's the point that these NDPer's are pointing out, and I think it's going to work quite well...

"I don't think we need her in the debate," said Charlie Angus, the [NDP] party's MP for Timmins-James Bay. "Dion is obviously her leader. I don't think there really is a place for Elizabeth May. She's not giving us a clear enough alternative."

Mr. Angus was joined in his criticism by former [NDP] party leader Alexa McDonough.

"It's pretty hard to distinguish now between the Grits and the Greens," Ms. McDonough said. "So I guess she can have her leader, Stéphane Dion, speak for her in the debates. It seems an odd way to shrink down her party stature, but that's what she's done."

Without the Dion/May deal, the Greens had a real shot at being allowed to join the Leaders Debates... no one could have really raised a solid argument against it. Now, there is a real and legitimate reason to keep her out... she's now a semi-official Liberal mouthpiece. Why on earth would any other party want her to be permitted?

I agree with the Dippers... I think she shot herself, and the members of her Party, in the foot on this one.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Top Green Advisor Resigns over Dion/May Deal

It's not just Liberals questioning their Leader over the backroom deal in Nova Scotia... looks like some high level Greens are none to pleased either.

Green Party strategist Dan Baril has said he's finished with the Party, as a direct result of the May/Dion deal.
"I strongly advised against doing Central Nova and against doing what happened on Friday," Baril told the Star shortly after submitting his resignation.

Critics said the agreement is a cynical backroom deal worked up by two party leaders who once promised to bring more transparency to federal politics.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper mocked the deal in the Commons as the "new red-green show," a reference to the popular television program. (and people say Mr. Harper has no sense of humour...)

"Everything they're hearing (from political opponents) are things I advised them they were going to be facing after this and that it was going to hurt them, and so therefore don't do it or do it differently," Baril said.
And if that wasn't enough, there's more trouble brewing in the hen house... as indicated by Green blogger Kevin Colton's comments... and his blog is hosted on the Green Party's own website.

I'm betting that this deal is going to disillusion more Green voters back to the NDP than anything else... the exact opposite of the NDP squeeze play that May and Dion were hoping for.

h/t to Splatto

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More NS Liberals Angry at Dion/May Deal

From The Halifax Daily News...
You don't advance democracy by limiting voters' choices
The Daily News

Stephane Dion is so concerned about global warming and the future of our planet that he doesn’t want you to vote Liberal — at least, not if you live in New Glasgow, or Antigonish, or Sheet Harbour, or any of the hundred other communities that make up the Central Nova riding.

Depending on who you talk to, Dion’s decision not to run a candidate in Central Nova in order to bolster Green party Leader Elizabeth May’s chances against Peter MacKay is either inspired, infuriating or insane. Maybe it’s all three.

Put Bill Gillis firmly in the infuriated camp. Gillis was the Liberal MLA for Antigonish from 1970 to 1998. Now, he’s got no choice he’s happy with for the next federal election.

“It hurts,” he said yesterday.

“You’re essentially disenfranchised. I guess you’ve got three basic choices: you can vote for one of the other candidates who are on the ballot, you can spoil your ballot, or you can stay home. None of them are particularly palatable for people who believe in the Liberal party, have worked for it and have served it.”

Gillis said he can’t fathom what Dion sees as the political upside to not fielding a candidate.

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Pssst... Hey Liz, did you know this?

What? Humm? Did you say that Mr. Dion might not have been the Kyoto champion that he claims to be?
"Stéphane Dion was the minister of intergovernmental affairs and the whole issue [of Kyoto] was creating horrible consternation among the provinces," she [Former Environment Minister Christine Stewart] recalled. "Frankly, the environment wasn't an intergovernmental topic that our government wanted to expend their opportunity on. They had to worry more about getting a health agreement with the provinces or financial issues and we couldn't get [the provinces] angry and all upset about the environment.

"That was [Mr. Dion's] role. 'Let's let this one lay low.' It was never said in so many words. I think what I am saying is he wasn't against [Kyoto], but he was not a champion. But then he wasn't unique. If you can find a champion [in that Liberal cabinet], let me know," she said.

Ms. Stewart was environment minister from 1997 to 1999 and has kept a low profile since retiring from public life before the 2000 election.
h/t to Brandon Langhjelm

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Leaked Tory Climate Plan

CTV says they have obtained a copy of a secret Conservative climate plan, which is presently being studied and may form the basis of any new plans moving forward.

While I'm glad to see progress, this statement concerns me greatly... "It would allow companies to purchase carbon credits under the Kyoto protocol's clean development mechanism, which is intended to encourage investment in poor countries."

While I'm all for assisting the third world in economic development, I despise the idea that we may actually allow the purchasing of foreign emission credits in this manner. It means that Canadian companies will be sending investment dollars offshore, instead of reinvesting in new technologies, thus creating and keeping Canadian jobs here at home. (not to mention the lost tax revenues of any new technologies)

If this component does become part of any new plan, I will protest it... as I've said before, it is a hill I'm prepared to die on. It is bad policy, plain and simple. It is one of the parts of the Kyoto Protocol that I am most opposed to.

And since I know that I get visits from the folks at Environment Canada... I sure hope you guys are listening.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Dion/May deal was another flip flop

Once again, it appears that Mr. Dion's word isn't necesarily something you can bank on... this statement was made just two weeks before the May/Dion deal...
"It would be a mistake to give up any province, any region, any riding,' he said, noting that a wave of support could cause many ridings that currently seem unwinnable to fall into the Liberal column.

Dion insisted the full platform will be ready whenever Harper engineers the defeat of his minority government. He said the party will have full slate of candidates in all 308 ridings and that a third of them will be women, as he's promised.
"Oops... did I say that? What I meant was..."

Nice try Mr. Dion. Wow, what a difference two weeks makes...

(and as for those who will comment that Mr. Harper's word can't be trusted because of the Income Trust decision, at least it took him 10 months to come to that change of heart... not a mere 10 days)

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Public Works I.T. Contract Dispute

Don Powell, President of Ottawa based TPG Technology is accusing Mr. Fortier of rigging a $400 million IT contract to Montreal's CGI Group... that's serious stuff if anything is proven.

But based on what I know of the guy, I'm guessing this is just a protest at having lost the contract. TPG says that Mr. Fortier has a connection to CGI Group, so naturally, they want an investigation. I actually agree with them, but I don't think anything is going to turn up. Here's what they've found...

"Mr. Fortier was an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston from 1999 to 2004, during which time he headed the firm's Montreal office.

In March 2004, Credit Suisse was one of the underwriters for a share offering by CGI that raised more than $330 million, and Mr. Fortier was listed in regulatory filings as the primary contact for Credit Suisse.

Investment banks typically underwrite share offerings and other corporate-finance transactions in exchange for fees."

Amm, yea... CGI is a massive IT firm, and Michael Fortier was a major investment banker in Montreal at the time... so seeing his name tied in as a contact for a $330 million share offering is not a huge surprise.

Still, to rule out this complaint, it should be looked into. I just get the impression that they won't turn up anything. But if they do, it should be dealt with, naturally. But if we're going to look into this, I think we should make sure that we're looking into all aspects of this issue...

Just so we're clear on Mr. Powell's motivations here... the outraged President of TPG is Don Powell, right? Or is it "Mr. Donald R. Powell"? This Public Works document seems to indicate that they are one and the same person. Therefore, perhaps it's important to point out that he contributed $1,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada in 2005?
Donald R. Powell - Liberal Party of Canada / Annual / 2005 - Sep. 13, 2005 - Individuals - $1,000.00
City: Ottawa
Province: ON
Postal code: K1Y xxx
Now hang on one more second... now how did Mr. Powell get access to the House of Commons for his little press conference? "Where: Charles Lynch Press Conference Room, 130F - Centre Block, House of Commons" Since when can an average member of the public, a consultant bidding for a contract, gain access to the House of Commons for a press conference?

Me-thinks he called in a favour or two... this is starting to look more and more like another Liberal connected attempt at a smear job... in my opinion.


Dion/May endosement a violation of Liberal Constitution

Figured this one was too good to wait, so I'm passing on my lunchbreak today... some people have suggested that Mr. Dion may be breaking sections of the Liberal Party of Canada's own Constitution by endorsing Ms. May, and not running a candidate in Central Nova.

According to my reading, there may be something to this accusation. I can find at least three sections of the Liberal Constitution where the "rights" (there's that favorite little Liberal buzzword) of Liberal Party members in Central Nova have been violated by Mr. Dion's actions... and these guys say they're the sole trustworth defender of Canadian rights?

(CLARIFICATION: Figured I should make sure I'm not misunderstood here... I am NOT saying that Mr. Dion has violated the Liberal Constitution, but that his actions are violating the Liberal Constitutional RIGHTS of members in Central Nova... they are two very different things)

Chapter 3 – Electoral District Associations
12 Purposes, constitutions and certification of EDAs

(1) Each Electoral District Association (EDA) is responsible to pursue actively the following purposes and activities:

(a) to participate in public affairs by endorsing the person
who is the candidate of the Party for election to the House of
Commons for its electoral district
, by ensuring that the
association has an effective election readiness organization
and plan and by implementing that plan;

Excuse me for jumping in here... but doesn't that mean that the Liberal EDA members in Central Nova are expected to actively endorse the person who is the candidate of the Party? Since when is Elizabeth May a member of the Liberal Party of Canada? Their Constitution restricts members of other federal parties from joining... therefore, according to their Constitution, Ms. May CANNOT be endorsed by the members in Central Nova EDA in the manner that Mr. Dion has done.

Chapter 3 – Electoral District Associations
13 Rights and responsibilities of an Electoral District Association

(3) Each EDA must hold delegate selection meetings and selection meetings as required by this Constitution.

Oops... looks like the Liberal Members in the Central Nova EDA are being told by their leader, Stephane Dion, to violate their own Party Constituion by not holding a Candidate Selection Meeting... is he allowed to do that?

Chapter 15 – Candidate selection meetings
58 Purpose
Each EDA must hold a candidate selection meeting to select a candidate of the Party for election to the House of Commons at the time specified by, and in accordance with, the rules made by the National Election Readiness Committee under Section 60.

Oops again... looks like they're going to have to violate at least two sections of the Constitution. Again, is Mr. Dion allowed to tell them to violate their own Constitution?

Chapter 15 – Candidate selection meetings
59 Right to attend and vote
Every member of the Party has the right to attend a candidate selection meeting of their EDA and has the right to vote at that meeting if that member:
(a) is present at the meeting;
(b) has been a member of the Party for the period established
by the National Election Readiness Committee;
(c) has not voted at another candidate selection meeting
held for the same election (except when the results of a
candidate selection meeting are declared invalid).

Yep... the Liberal Party of Canada's Constitution says that the members in Central Nova have the RIGHT, as granted them by the Constitution of the Liberal Party of Canada, to attend AND VOTE at the meeting where their LIBERAL Party candidate will be selected... therefore, Mr. Dion's actions with Ms. May are a clear violation of the rights of all Liberal members in Central Nova.

Their own party Constitutional rights have been violated... and these guys say they are the sole defenders of the Canadian Charter of Rights? THEY BREAKING THEIR OWN CONSTITUTION HERE... how are we supposed to trust them to defend our national Constitution?

"Party of the Charter"(TM)? RIIIIGHT... and they pull this one right in the middle of the Charter's 25th birthday, no less.

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"Dion inspires others to acts of boneheadedness"

LOL! The following is from today's Toronto Star...
Dion inspires others to acts of boneheadedness
Apr 16, 2007 02:30 AM
Linwood Barclay

While originally viewed as the most boneheaded, breathtakingly dopey and mind-numbingly idiotic political stunt of the last half-century, Stéphane Dion's decision not to run a Liberal candidate in a Nova Scotia riding so as to give the leader of the Green Party a better chance is now being hailed as inspirational by business and industry leaders.

Some of the things that have happened in the last few days, all of which can be traced back to Dion's actions, are nothing short of astonishing.

But first, the background.

The Liberal leader cut a deal with Elizabeth May. He won't run anyone in Conservative incumbent Peter MacKay's riding of Central Nova, thereby, the theory goes, giving the environmentalist a better shot at toppling the foreign affairs minister.

In return, the Green party won't run a candidate in Dion's riding. Is there a union in the country that does not want Dion's insights when negotiating its next contract?

(Another part of the arrangement, not widely reported, involves May swapping her 1976 Pinto for Dion's new Toyota Prius. Although the Pinto is not fitted with modern emissions controls, it is not expected to pollute, given that it has no engine.)

Dion's selfless act is credited with the following developments:

- Discount retailer Costco has decided to close its operation in Ontario, so as to let Hank's Dry Goods of Omemee crush the province's Wal-Marts.

"Hank runs a decent, solid operation," said a Costco spokesperson, "and we think he can give Wal-Mart a run for their money, just as soon as he broadens his product line to include things other than turpentine and horseshoe nails. He won't be open Tuesday, however, because he's getting fitted for new dentures."

- Toyota is pulling out of the province of Manitoba to give Kia a chance at toppling Honda.

"The Kia cars are just so cute and adorable," said a Toyota official, "and sometimes you just want to pick them up and hug them and squeeze them all over. But instead of doing that, we thought we'd remove ourselves from the market. We were going to do it for Yugo, too, but we understand they aren't making cars any more."

- Global TV says it is going to block out its own programming in several markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax, to give CPAC, the parliamentary channel, the nudge it needs to topple CTV.

"The way we figure it," said a Global official, "when it's Tuesday evening at 8, and there's nothing to watch on Global, our regular viewers will want to check out what's happening in our nation's capital, which means CTV's presentation at that time of American Idol is toast. Goodbye Sanjaya, hello standing committee on transport, infrastructure and communities."

- Tim Hortons, conceding that it has a respectable share of the double-double market, is closing its outlets in Mississauga to allow Biff's Catering Wagon ("Where the Elite Meet to Eat") to put a dent in Starbucks' business. Instead of hitting just construction sites all day, Biff plans to do slow trolls through such places as Port Credit, drawing customers out of trendy coffee shops. He's also pledging to fix the hinges on the truck's "awning" so there are no more unfortunate broken-neck mishaps.

- Finally, the National Post is pulling its freebie copies out of car repair shops so that Muffler Monthly can stick it to the Post's arch enemy, the Globe and Mail.

Said a Post source, "We share a common philosophy with Muffler Monthly – we both believe in spewing daily, but responsibly – but feel our dominance in the market, or waiting room, if you will, may have overshadowed them. So this is Muffler Monthly's chance to take the piss out of the Globe."

So, Stéphane, take a bow. Your actions have inspired others in ways you could not have imagined.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Funny... the "Little Guy" agrees with me

Well... it's nice to know that I'm amongst company that virtually no one will disagree with...
In an interview approaching the 25th anniversary of the Charter, Chretien said he was taken aback by a series of judicial rulings in 2003 -- his last full year as Liberal prime minister -- that put a stamp of legal approval on gay and lesbian weddings.

"I was caught by surprise. At the time I was 69 years old, you know, and this way of living was not very (much) a part of my culture.''

Chretien said it wasn't that he didn't think gay and lesbian relationships didn't deserve some kind of official recognition -- the cultural shock for him was that the courts rejected the idea of creating a separate category, commonly known as civil unions, for same-sex couples.

"Nobody objected basically to having a contract between the partners, there was no problem with that. It was when they used the word marriage, that got (to) rubbing people on the wrong side, including me... The courts said you have to call it marriage."
Humm... The Right Honourable Jean Chretien and I, he being one of the very guys who helped bring the Charter into being, agree that civil unions was the way we should have gone in regards to SSM.

Any Liberals who care to disagree with your hero, "The Little Guy"?

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Dumped Green to May: "Get used to scandal"

Kevin Potvin has tossed a parting shot across Elizabeth May's (and therefore Stephane Dion's) bow today, according to CTV:
He [dumped Green candidate Kevin Potvin] added Sunday that if the Greens think getting rid of a candidate will squelch a controversy, then they don't know what national politics is like.

"I think the Ottawa headquarters of the Green party misplayed this whole issue and they're not ready for prime-time national politics," he said.

The Potvin imbroglio was the Green party's second brush with controversy on the same day.

Also on Friday, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion announced he would not run a candidate in May's Nova Scotia riding, saying that having a Green member in the Commons was critical for the environment.

In return, May agreed to not run a candidate in Dion's Montreal-area riding.

The deal fomented grumbling in Liberal ranks and prompted NDP Leader Jack Layton to complain that voters in May's riding -- now held by Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay -- were being denied a full choice of candidates.

Potvin said the unflattering attention he has received likely made the Liberals nervous. He cited a editorial in the National Post as an example.

"(The editorial) worried the Stephane Dion people enough to the point where they were able to say to Elizabeth May, 'Look we took our guy out of a riding for you, you take your guy out of a riding for us,'" he said.
Even though this guy is nuts, he does have a point here... someone should remind Mr. Dion that when you hop into bed with another party, you get to lug all their baggage too. Of course, you would think that the Liberals, of all people, should know that all to well... since they're the ones who like to try and shove the old "Reform Conservative Alliance" label in our faces all the time.

Me thinks that this one's not going to fit to well into that little backpack...

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CTV Poll: Dion May deal not popular

CTV has asked the question, "What do you think about Stephane Dion and Elizabeth May working together to unseat Peter MacKay?" It doesn't look like the backroom deal is going over too well in the general populace.

Though we in the BT may like to try to work online polls in our favour, I haven't seen anyone commenting on this poll as of yet. Besides, we could really only ever skew it by a few hundred... maybe. But 5000? I don't think so.

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The Earnscliffe Affair

Janke has a great post regarding the recently launched investigation regarding the former Liberal government's polling practices.

Steve's post mainly covers Warren's testimony of the Earnscliffe polling affair, which originated in the Department of Finance in the early to mid-90's... under Mr. Paul Martin's watch. I'd say Steve covers it in a nutshell... except it's way too long to be considered a single nutshell. It is, however, likely the best summary of the Earnscliffe affiar that you'll see anywhere... so far. (let's just wait until the investigation really gets underway)

The kicker statement?
Warren Kinsella: "In conclusion, I will only say that it is well known that I am not enthusiastic about Mr. Martin or the people around him. However, I state on the record and under oath that I did not participate in the investigations of Earnscliffe and Finance because I disapproved of Mr. Martin and his people; in fact, I came to disapprove of Mr. Martin and his people because of what I learned in those investigations."

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Anger over Income Trusts

Things got a little heated at a Town Hall meeting in Jason Kenney's Calgary riding last night, with a dozen or so angry CPC members venting about the issue. One guy I heard on CBC made the statement, "How can I vote for them anymore? They owe me $100,000."

Honestly, I've only heard a couple people vent about this. In all, I think this might cost us a couple dozen votes in most ridings... not really enough to hurt us, except in places like Tony "28 votes" Clement's riding.

Not that I fault anyone who's angry about it, since some people did lose some serious coin over it. But I still support the reasoning behind the decision, since Telus and BCE jumped on the IT bandwagon.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Liberals Angry at May-Dion Deal

There's a pretty good rule of thumb when it comes to certian news stories... when the Toronto Star prints something negative about the Liberal Party of Canada, there is absolutely no room for doubt that the story is true!

They're known around here as "The Red Star", after all.

When there are Liberals saying things like this, you know there are problems in the Liberal HQ...
"Cuzner said the party now risks losing some of the 10,000 people who voted Liberal in Central Nova in the last election, and possibly some party loyalists who are essential to running election campaigns.

A Liberal strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there is widespread anger at the deal in caucus, which Liberals feel could be used against them in a federal election. The strategist said the decision was another strike against Dion, whose leadership has come into question in recent months.

"The only reason this was not the final straw is because of the threat of an election," the strategist said.

Ray Heard, former communications director to Liberal prime minister John Turner, was one of the few to publicly express his anger with Dion, saying he would support party members who believe Dion should be forced out.

The deal with May "denigrates the tradition that the Liberals are a national party," he said in an email to the Toronto Star.

"Both (Liberal MPs) Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae are eminently qualified to succeed him before the next election and I cannot fault their supporters for plotting to dump him before it's too late."

- - - - - -

Central Nova Liberal riding president Allan Armsworthy said he would give no advice to party loyalists who will find themselves without signs to post or doors to knock on when the next federal election rolls around. It will be up to each person to decide what they want to do and who they want to support.

"Some will probably be working for the Green Party as you'll probably see some former Conservatives and some former NDP working," he said."
As I already pointed out today, there's some discussion amongst Libloggers about all this, and it's not all supportive of the move. There's actually some really good thoughts over at Fuddle Duddle that you might want to check out, about the 10,000 some odd Liberal supporters who have now been orphaned in Central Nova, and the larger implications across the nation for Liberal supporters.

It's going to be an interesting week... especially if the writ gets dropped, as some people think it will. Of course, I'm still out on this one... but if it happens, I'm ready to go.

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Global Warming: The Pervasive Theology

Just clued into something... my wife and I are watching "The Lakehouse" tonight, and what do they talk about? Global Warming. They just threw it into some random conversation, nothing to do with anything else in the movie, just some random piece of conversation.

But then I clued in... some other movie I was watching recently, they did the same thing there... threw in some random conversation somewhere in the movie about Global Warming. Again, it had nothing to do with anything else in the movie whatsoever, but was just a part of some random conversation... right, I think it was "Stranger Than Fiction", but don't quote me on that.

Are the leftist folks in Hollywood trying to indoctrinate the masses? You be the judge... but I think they are. Let me know if any of you see or have seen the same thing in any other recent flicks.


Local Racist Moron

Some idiot who lives around here thought he was being clever when he made what was percieved to be a racial slur towards a good friend of mine the other day. She has, shall we say, a slightly darker complexion than I do, so it's often assumed by many people that she's from somewhere in the Middle-East. In reality, she's half Mennonite, and half Latin American, but she does indeed look Middle-Eastern... which is hilarious, because she gets hit on by older Indian and Pakistani men all the time.

As this guy was walking out of the place where she works, he passes her and quietly says, "Thank you, come again", in a stereotypical Simpsons' Pakistani shopkeeper style. Which took her completely by surprise, so much so that she just stood there with her mouth open for a minute, in total disbelief of what she had just heard. (I'm of course assuming that it was an attempt at a racial slur, as there is some tension locally with some "whites" not liking how the "ethnics" are moving out here from the GTA)

So, if it was indeed a racist remark, then in the process of uttering his oh so clever little slur, he made himself not only look like a scum sucking bigoted racist, but an idiotic bigoted scum sucking racist... because moron, 1) not everyone with darker skin that you is from the Middle-East, and 2) in all likelihood, her Mennonite ancestors where here long before your European ancestors were.

So, if any of you know of any bigoted younger men in South Western Ontario, give 'em what for on my friend's any my behalf... and tell them to go and get on a boat and go back to where their ancestors came from, because we don't want them here in Canada.

(and I say all these things being a first generation immigrant myself)

NOTE: To head off any commenters who think that my comments here are "un-Christian", I would like to ask you, do you defend his actions? Christ called evildoers out on the carpet when He saw them, and this is no different. If this guy is a racist, then such deeds need to be called out and corrected... there is no place for racism in our society. Of course, forgiveness is available to the racist in question, but he has to repent in order to receive it.

UPDATE: After reading this post, the subject of the "perceived" slur asked that a couple of details be clairified, and asked that it be emphasized that she's not 100% sure it was intended to be a slur, but certainly seemed that way. So the post has been updated from the original to reflect that.


A very cool couple of days

Perhaps you don't care, but some of you may have noticed that I've been away from the keyboard for a couple of days. My wife just had LASIK yesterday... and she takes precidence over blogging. She went from having to squint to clearly see my face from two feet away, to being able to identify a blue Dodge Neon at almost two hundred yards!!!

Also have been having some car trouble, had trouble starting in the rain... so based on some research and talking to a couple repair shops, I went ahead and replaced my ignition coil myself. Not bad for a computer techie/non-handyman type, eh?

Anyway, on to the more important events of the last couple of days...

Dion and May? Interesting development. Not sure that it will work to unseat MacKay... it may even help secure his seat, as there seems to be a quiet swell of discontented Liberals, including Bryan Leblanc, former communications guy for Shelia Copps. There was also a fair bit of annoyance shown on the Liblogs about the move. It may work in the long term to squeeze the NDP on a national level, as pointed out by Andrew Coyne in today's Post.

It also may backfire on Dion, however, now that people will be paying more attention to some of the nutbars that are associated with the Green Party.

What's the official Party reaction on Kevin Potvin? Well, supreme leader of the Liberal-Green Alliance Party, Mr. Stephane Dion? We're waiting...

(for the record, deputy Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May, has responded)

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