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.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I sat down this evening with my wife to watch "Amazing Grace", a film about the abolition of the slave trade in Britian in the late 1700's. It only took about 15 minutes to get my thoughts turning.

The main character spoke of why he got into politics in Britian, and reminded me of why I got into it.

I got into it because I felt that I could make a difference... that I could assist, somehow, in doing something, anything, to improve the fortunes of my fellow citizens of this great nation.

That hasn't changed. Despite all the hoopla and garbage that's been thrown my way over these last couple of years, and the turmoil of the last few weeks, that hasn't changed. Though I have thought more than once about just walking away from it all, I don't think I can do that.

Lots more thinking to do... and I know I have to learn to pick my battles. But there's more to do, and it's time to get down to the business of doing it.

Hostage taking at Hillary Clinton office in NH

From the "WHAT THE ...?!?!?" files... some wacko has taken hostages at a New Hampshire campaign office for Hillary Clinton, and strapped a bomb to himself.

I mean, buddy, there are plenty of us who don't like her, but this is no way to express your feelings!

I really hope this guy gives himself up pronto, and that everyone makes it out of this okay.

UPDATE: The hostages have been released, according to CNN... more to follow


Laptops and Vista II

Just got the new laptops we ordered, and I was all excited for about two minutes... because we were then told that the Recovery CD's, which will allow us to revert back to Windows XP Professional are on backorder for another week.

On backorder? You're kidding me... now I wonder why that is...


Gary Clement sums it up again

Not much commentary you can add to this, except to say that Mr. Clement has once again seen through the political charade that's posing for honest committee work...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Schreiber to stay... for now

Schreiber wins this round... he has been granted an indefinate stay of extradition. However, the Government has attempted to do so in such a way as to ensure that they can still wisk him away once his testimony has been given at any inquiry.

Of course, that's the number one issue at hand here... the 45 day expiry on the Nov. 15 ruling upholding his extradition order. Because you know, with the high priced lawyers he has, he's going to try and use that for yet another avenue of appeal. Once Dec. 30 passes, he's going to file yet another motion, one asking that the extradition order be quashed due to the fact that it has expired... regardless of the Government's actions to attempt to preserve it. No wonder Nicholson said he couldn't intervene... he was waiting for the Justice Department to guarentee that we could still throw the bum out after hearing his testimony at next years inquiry.

There one more important question to ask... is there any sort of "statute of limitations" on the charges Schreiber is facing in Germany? Is he just using us to "run out the clock" on charges he's facing over there?
Gov't delays extradition indefinitely
Jack Aubry and Juliet O'Neill, CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2007

OTTAWA -- On the eve of Karlheinz Schreiber's scheduled appearance before the House of Commons ethics committee, the Department of Justice granted the German-Canadian businessman an indefinite delay in his extradition to Germany, originally scheduled for Saturday.

In a letter to Robert Walsh, the Commons law clerk, a senior justice official wrote Wednesday that the attorney general of Canada will consent to Schreiber's application for a stay of his extradition order to give him time to appeal his case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Until late Wednesday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson appeared to be resisting opposition calls to intervene in Schreiber's extradition process.

Donald Rennie, the assistant deputy attorney general, wrote that the government is concerned that Schreiber's extradition order will lapse on Dec. 30, once a 45-day deadline expires on a Nov. 15 Ontario Court of Appeal decision that upheld his deportation order. However, by intervening now, the government can preserve the extradition order for future action.

Meanwhile, another senior justice official wrote to Ed Greenspan, one of Schreiber's lawyers, asking him to expedite the appeal to the top court of the country by submitting the necessary paperwork by Dec. 10.

"On behalf of the attorney general of Canada, I am prepared to consent on strict terms to a judicial stay of the surrender order pending the outcome of your application for leave pursuant to 65.1 of the Supreme Court Act," wrote Nancy Dennison, senior counsel in the Justice Department.

Despite the reprieve, Schreiber is expected to ask for an adjournment today when he appears before a Commons committee to discuss his dealings with former prime minister Brian Mulroney. Alexander Sennecke, another Schreiber lawyer, said his client will likely ask for more time to properly prepare for the committee since he will have been in Ottawa less than 24 hours before his appearance.

"He might inform the parliamentary committee, you know: 'I would have preferred to have a few moments to gather my wind before I embark on open-field questions,"' said Sennecke.

The committee has already indicated that it wants Schreiber to appear next week anyway, giving him the weekend to review his papers and prepare for detailed questions, Sennecke said. He added that Schreiber does not fear contempt charges that could result from refusing to testify fully today since he is already in jail.

"He's probably looking forward to the opportunity to bring out the information that he definitely wants to bring out. But it will be in an orderly course and not in a free-for-all," Sennecke added.

© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2007


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Angry White Men" on Kyoto

Finally, someone in the MSM is talking some sence regarding Kyoto...
"All the parties in the House except the Conservatives hold fast to the Kyoto targets of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels by the 2008-2012 target period, even though these binding targets are clearly unattainable. It's an inconvenient truth that Canada on the Liberal watch from 1993-2006 saw its emissions rise to 127 per cent of 1990 levels, a 33-per-cent miss. This period includes Dion's 18 months as environment minister from July 2004 to February 2006.

It's also a fact the United States, with 25 per cent of the world's emissions, refused to ratify Kyoto, and that its record is only half as bad as Canada's. And that China and India, with another 25 per cent of global emissions, while signatories to Kyoto, have no obligations in the relevant period. So, three countries with half the world's emissions aren't at the table, putting the burden entirely on countries like Canada, which can't meet their targets anyway.

Sounds like a great deal. Who agreed to it? Jean Chrétien, buying himself a Kyoto legacy when his government had no plan, and bureaucrats had to make one up as they went along. It is one the great public-policy failures of the last decade.

Harper's position is "No more Kyoto Kool Aid." He's not drinking it, and more to the point, he's not selling it. While Harper once said the science of climate change was inconclusive, leading to Dion's charge he was a climate-change denier (as in Holocaust denier, get it?), he now acknowledges it is the most urgent global issue of our time.

Harper has been selling another package, first to the G8, then to the Asia Pacific summit, and last weekend to the Commonwealth conference. His targets are a 20-per-cent reduction below current levels by 2020, and at least 50 per cent by 2050. Oh, and no binding targets on some without binding targets on all.

What he proposes to do about it isn't bad, it's just not Kyoto"
h/t to Joanne

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But will they pay his legal bills?

Word from the Toronto Star that ousted candidate Mark Warner may run under the Liberal banner in the next Federal election.

I say go for it! Why? Because in the Nomination forms signed by Mr. Warner, there's a nice little clause that says something to the effect of;

"I agree not to run as an independant, or for another political party, or to support anyone running for another party, in the next Federal election"

So the question is, do the Liberal really want to take this guy on, with all the potential associated legal costs? ;-)


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Scissors beats Paper, every time

While we're on the topic of British Prime Ministers and the Nazis, a buddy of mine just moments ago sent me this pic...

In this round of "Rock, Paper, Scissors", we have a winner...


Was May sincere when she said "Sorry"?

My sincere thanks to "me dere robert", who posted a link in the comments of my original post on Ms. May's repeat insult to the Jewish community. His comment (which I think was intended to try and make me look foolish, though I can't be certain of that) has totally backfired and has brought to light something that adds more fuel to this little fire.

The link provided was to a Maclean's article, talking about how many MP's seem to like invoking Chamberlain's memory in their rhetoric. However, buried in the article was this little gem:

"With party leaders of all stripes calling on May to retract her statement that the abandonment of Kyoto targets is "a grievance worse than Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazis," the Green leader relented somewhat on Wednesday and offered a tepid apology."

In that "tepid apology", Ms. May had this to say, “I deeply regret that the inflamed rhetoric around this issue has caused pain or offence.”

When you appologize for something, I think it's a general understanding that you're saying you'll try to avoid doing it again... right? Well, if that's true, it would seem that she didn't really mean a word of that appology, since she so willingly re-ignited the flames of this offence.

Robert, thanks again for posting that Maclean's article.

I'll repeat the question from earlier today... will Mr. Dion distance himself from these offensive comments by Ms. May?

And while we're at it, let's go for broke and re-ask this question, for the sixth or seventh time... Mr. Dion, did you or did you not have anything to do with Ms. Kovach's ouster from the FCM?

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Stick it to 'em Dosanjh!

For once, I agree wholeheartedly with Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh... "Stop pandering to radicals in our midst".

I say we make room in our recently reintroduced Crime Bills for it... it's time to put an end to terror on Canadian soil.
Stop pandering to radicals in our midst
Ujjal Dosanjh, National Post
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When the Indian military confronted Sikh militants at the Golden Temple in the Indian city of Amritsar in June, 1984, the resulting violence gave rise to a reign of terror for the Indo-Canadian community, including Sikhs.

The events sparked a reaction from some Sikhs in Canada that included hatred, violence, threats and hit lists. This included attempts to silence broadcasters, journalists, activists and anyone else who spoke out against violence. One journalist who broadcast the speech of the president of India on his television program was assaulted. A single mother who owned a radio station was told that if she did not stop broadcasting moderate views, her nine-year-old son would not see his 10th birthday.

Those who spoke out did so in part because of a fear that if we did nothing at the time, we would be suffocated --both literally and figuratively. But the price was high. My family lived in an atmosphere of fear for many years. Anonymous people and groups said they would kill my children, my wife, myself. They threatened to firebomb my home in the middle of the night. And for a period of years, my wife and I slept on a mattress on the first floor of our home in case a bomb (or bullets) came in through the windows.

The threats were real, because people had been assaulted. I was among them. On an evening in February, 1985, upon leaving my law office, I was attacked by an assailant wielding an iron bar.

There was a legitimate concern about the potential for serious and larger-scale violence. I wrote to the then-prime minister expressing my concerns, but never received a response.

Yet despite all the warnings, activists such as myself could not have imagined the scale of the Air India tragedy. We can never lose sight of its enormity. It has been said before that Air India Flight 182 was Canada's 9/11. But at the time, there was little understanding that it was truly a Canadian tragedy. For it to take over 20 years for a commission of inquiry to be established shows that the lack of understanding prevailed for some time.

There seemed to be a blind spot within Canadian institutions -- particularly government and law enforcement -- toward what was occurring in the Sikh community during the mid-1980s. There was a feeling that those who could help the community didn't have the knowledge or experience to deal with these issues. The perception was that they didn't care. We felt we were left to fend for ourselves.

The Air India bombing and the issues it raises are not, sadly, simply a throwback to the mid-1980s.

Activists and journalists who cover these issues continue to receive threats. As recently as this past summer, I was the recipient of new threats. No one has ever been prosecuted.

My experience with terrorism and its proponents has led me to believe there are certain steps that should be taken to combat this threat.

The provisions in the Criminal Code should be reviewed and amended, if need be, to ensure that encouraging others to commit violence is made a criminal offence. For example, I received a threat last July on Facebook to the effect of: "I hope someone beats the living [expletive] out of you just like they did before when ur ass was crying in the hospital." I am advised that as far as current law is concerned, such wording is considered an expression of "opinion" and so is not prosecutable.

Ujjal Dosanjh is the Member of Parliament for Vancouver South.
Just one after thought for you Mr. Dosanjh... you might want to speak to your fellow MP's who think it's okay to march with Hezbollah or support the Tigers. It might add more weight to your very accurate arguments.

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Seat redistribution, Babylon 5 style

A thought on the issue of adding more seats to the House of Commons, from the writers of the sci-fi series "Babylon 5". I didn't get to watch the series too much, but one episode I did see has a principle that could be applied here.

Delin, who at this point in the series had become the defacto leader of the Mimbari, is in the chambers of "The Grey Council"... the official ruling body of the Mimbari. This 1000 year old council, following the tradition of it's founding, was made up of nine members, plus a leader who acted much like the Speaker. These nine "seats" were distributed amongst the three classes of Mimbari, to ensure that all voices had equality... three for the Warrior caste, three for the Religous caste, and three for the Worker caste.

Somewhere along the line in their long and proud history, the Mimbari became divided along two lines... the Warrior and the Religious caste. They fought back and forth throughout the years in the Grey council, while the Worker caste slowly became powerless, and was only able to provide a swing vote from time to time... they were unable to have their issues heard, or set the direction for the Republic, because they were considered only a minor player in the politics of the realm.

Enter Delin. I forget the storyline on how they ended up at the Grey Council at the end of the episode, but I'll never forget the scene. In the darkened room, she made a fundamental change to their 1000 year old system, and altered the balance of power. Having done away with the old Grey Council, she reformed the ruling body... of the nine spots on the Council, she granted two to the Warrior caste, two to the Religious caste, and five to the Worker caste. In an effort to restore balance, the two previously dominant castes would now have to make their case for all decisions, and convince the now dominant player that their position was in the best interest of all the people, rather than simply dictating their terms to the Workers.

Could this situation apply to us here in Canada? For decades now, many people have said that everyone west of the Ontario/Manitoba border has felt politically and economically isolated, with the results of the election basically known before the results from the West are even counted. The only way their voices could be heard is by sending a few MP's to Ottawa who were on the Government side of the House, and hope that your MP was the token one or two who got tapped for a Cabinet post.

Now, enter the modern era... Calgary and Vancouver are quickly becoming equal players in many sectors as Toronto and Montreal... especially economically. Due to a wide variety of factors, the prominance of Toronto and Montreal is waneing on the international stage, and the growing voices of the West want to be heard. They don't want to tag along anymore when it comes to decisions that are made in Ottawa, they want to be genuinely heard, and want to have a greater say in the affairs affecting our great Nation.

In order to do this, in order to restore some balance in our Confederation, I don't think it's unreasonable to give a little more weight to the voices of the West... remembering that BC is known as "The Left Coast" for a reason. It's about giving voice to a region of the country that has been without an effective voice for a very long time now. And as an Ontario resident who could benefit from a fully equal redistribution of seats (mine might get split, which, based on how the poll numbers in the City, may result in one Liberal AND one Conservative MP being regularly sent to Ottawa), I'd be willing to give up that right if it provides for a greater balance of voices in the Confederation.

But let's face it... if Ontario were to get the full number of seats that it should get via a purely "rep by pop" model, the ongoing problem of the West's "democratic deficit" will only continue. That's why I agree that we need some sort of "rep by region" equality as well as "rep by pop". We have an opportunity here to foster greater inclusion, but some people in Ontario only want to ensure that their voices are the only ones heard... and that's NOT democracy, that's a dictatorship.

Don't forget, having more seats in Calgary and Edmonton greatly increases the likelyhood of sending some Liberal MP's from Alberta too... I think Liberals in Alberta would agree that's a good thing, and I agree... this is about ensuring that all Canadians are heard equally according to region, not about silencing voices.

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"It's the economy, stupid"

A well titled post from "Trusty Tory", reminding every sensible person who will listen (die-hard Kyoto fanatics need not apply) that an attempt to implement Kyoto in accordance with the original timelines will ONLY serve scuttle our economy... and put tens of thousands of Canadians out of work. (are you listening Buzz?)

I'm not saying we shouldn't be reducing our emissions... but let's do so in a reasonable timeframe folks!

Mr. Baird said it well... “If you believe the science, we can’t do it alone in Canada. We need all the big economies, all the big emitters, all the big polluters — China, industry, the United States — all on board. We don’t want to see companies shut down operations in Canada because of our tough regulations and move to China where there’s no requirements.

Killing our economy by reducing our 0.2% share of global emissions doesn't make much sense when the big boys like China are only increasing their output. Buzz & Co. keep saying we need to stem the flow of jobs to places like China... Kyoto is a sure-fire way to INCREASE the flow, not stem it.

Besides... with the growing number of coal-fired plants that are coming online every month in China, any reductions we make are immediately increased ten-fold by China.

To be clear, I'm NOT saying we shouldn't bother... as a Christian who answers to the Most Holy and Almighty God who created this world, I firmly believe we need to be careful stewards of this planet we've been given. Therefore, we need to be reducing ALL FORMS of pollution, and start making the moves to better sources of energy. And the technological improvements are starting to be realized... my friend and his dad own an alternative energy company, and newer things are coming online all the time which make alternative sources a reasonable option. However, the best way to decrease our carbon output is still reduction of energy use, and all of us still have a long way to go on that front.

And there's still the problem of emissions trading schemes... on-paper reductions of emissions are not reductions in emissions folks. It's just an excuse for a new "green economy", that does nothing but exchange "green" between various parties, while making millions for a new breed of capitalist... the eco-credit trader. (think of your typical high-powered, high-priced stock broker, but trading only paper-based "carbon reductions"... I'm surprised the left hasn't clued into this one yet...)

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Will Dion sever ties with May?

Lizzy May has done it again... she's said that Kyoto is a greater moral obligation than lives of the six million Jews slaughtered by the Nazis.

Were those the words she used? Nope. Was that the logical conclusion of what she said? Yup. Read for yourself...
"George Monbiot said that the triumvirate of Harper and Bush and Howard blocking action on climate represented a moral failure more culpable than that of Neville Chamberlain. I was variously skewered and attacked last spring for mentioning how Canada’s international reputation had suffered, citing George Monibiot’s statement to make the point.. (No need to revisit the various ways that quoting George Monbiot was viewed as some sort of political equivalent of a kamikaze mission.)

I repeat those words now, not because I thirst for abuse, but because in the light of day, following Canada’s actions in Uganda, they seem an understatement."
Wow... so, let's put it all together and get this straight....

First of all, she repeats her agreement with the statement that because we can't keep our Kyoto commitments (thanks largely to the Liberal Party, for the record), Mr. Harper is guilty of "a moral failure worse" than that of Neville Chamberlain's actions, which culminated in the death of over six million Jews.

Secondly, she says that even that accusation "is an understatement." An understatement? So, let's get this straight... the lives of six million Jews is peanuts compared to what Mr. Harper has done. Did I get that right Ms. May?

Thirdly, Mr. Dion himself said seven months ago, when Ms. May first made this outlandish statement, that he was "uncomfortable" with it, and that it should be withdrawn. His exact quote was, "Climate change is worrisome enough and we don't need to go over the top." Now, rather than withdrawing the statement, she's repeating it. Has Mr. Dion's comfort level with the statement changed?

So, based on what Mr. Dion said seven months ago, and considering Ms. May's apparent disregard for his opinions, there's a whole new question that's arisen... will Mr. Dion distance himself from her comments by severing the ties he has made between himself and the outlandish positions of Ms. May's Green Party?

I'm sure the CJC would like to know the answer to that question.

h/t to Sisco and Janke.

UPDATE: My sincere thanks to "me dere robert", who posted a link in the comments, which totally backfired and has brought to light something that adds more fuel to this little fire. The link provided was to a Maclean's article, talking about how many MP's like to invoke Chamberlain's memory in their rhetoric. However, buried in the article was this little gem:

"With party leaders of all stripes calling on May to retract her statement that the abandonment of Kyoto targets is "a grievance worse than Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazis," the Green leader relented somewhat on Wednesday and offered a tepid apology."

In that "tepid appology", Ms. May had this to say, “I deeply regret that the inflamed rhetoric around this issue has caused pain or offence.”

Well, it looks like she clearly didn't mean a word of it, since she so willingly re-inflamed this "offence".

So, thanks again to "me dere robert" for posting that Maclean's article!

I'll repeat the question... will Mr. Dion distance himself from these offensive comments by Ms. May?

And while we're at it, let's go for broke and re-ask this question, for the sixth or seventh time... Mr. Dion, did you or did you not have anything to do with Ms. Kovach's ouster from the FCM?

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Monday, November 26, 2007

My two cents on Schreiber

I say we boot him, while we still can.

Get assurances from the German government that he will be allowed to return under a time-limited visa to testify, and then send him packing. Call his bluff... he's just playing this as long as he can in order to run out the clock on his extradition papers... and the Liberals seem all to be eager to play ball.

To those who will say I'm just doing this to cover for Mulroney... if he's guilty, book him, just like anyone else. I don't support the government trying to protect anyone, Tory, Liberal, Purple People Eater Party... the law is the law, and should be enforced equally. Hey, while we're on that topic, I know of this wanted German/Canadian arms-dealer/businessman we should be dealing with...

But we can't allow this wanted criminal and master manipulator Schriber to hold our government hostage any longer.


CBC: Ignoring 9/11 once again

Even on 9/11 itself, I was disgusted with CBC's coverage of the events of the day... now, in their radio newscast tonight, they've once again downplayed the catostrophic events of that dark day in order to spin their story their way.

They were talking about the Annapolis Conference that's getting underway, the first full-blow Mid East peace talks in many years. During the report, the CBC went through a list of events that have transpired over the last seven years that have made the prospect of talks difficult.

Here's their list... they mentioned the Second Intifada, the Hamas electoral victory last year, Palisinian infighing and the split of the Palistinian Authority, the Hezbollah/Israel conflict, a few other events I can't remember, and then, of course, the war in Iraq.

Not a singe solitary word about one of the most important events that has been a major driver of events in the Middle East in recent years... the barbaric act of hijacking four commercial airplanes, filled with innocent people, and then flying them into buildings in the middle of major urban centres.

And people wonder why I dislike the CBC so much... Content from Biased Canadians.

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John Godfrey's taking off too

This just in... a surprise announcement from Don Valley West Liberal MP John Godfrey, who has announced that he will resign from the House of Commons on July 1, 2008, if a Federal Election has not been called by then.

Folks, we're up to 18 Liberal MP's who aren't running again... that's closing in on 20% of their current caucus.

Though I must admit, I do admire them for putting on such a brave face...

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Quote from Garth

This is Canada, where freedom trumps fear. - Garth

Try telling that to your Party's fear-mongering spinmisters, Mr. Turner.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Interesting how they spin this poll

CanWest Global released the results of an Ipsos Reid poll with the following headline... "Liberals narrowing gap with Tories: poll". But taking a look at the analysis in the article, one very interesting point comes to light. They say the Tories are "down three percentage points, to 39%".

Excuse me? DOWN to 39%? If losing three points brings them DOWN to 39%, that means that two weeks ago when the last poll was done, they were UP at forty-two freaking percent... do you recall seeing the news headlines saying that the Tories were in solid MAJORITY TERRITORY?

Neither do I... interesting, that.

Also, this so-called "Liberals narrowing the gap", consisted of them going up one measly percentage point... UP to 29%, back to where they've been barely treading with their heads above water for some eight months now.

CanWest also reported that there is growing opposition to our Crime bills. Hey, with numbers like we've seen above, even if we're down three points, I'd be just fine going to the hustings with those numbers... since you know Dion's going to start tanking as soon as any election begins.

Other reports say that the Libs are looking to bring the House down in Feburary, before the next budget... I hope Mr. Flaherty burns some of the midnight oil, and gets the next budget out ahead of schedule. It would be easy to spin it that we're doing so early in order to help with the much needed infrastructure and assistance to the manufacturing sector we've all been hearing about lately.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dion-Kovach FCM Ouster: Cover Up?

Now that's interesting... the link to the main article reporting the allegation that Mr. Dion had something to do with Ms. Kovach's ouster from the FCM has suddenly gone dead... after having checked the link myself this week.

When the press release was issued last week by the FCM, I crossed my T's and dotted my I's before posting anything on this major story... I provided all the links to the relevant news articles over the last eight months, including this key one, from the Guelph Tribune... which has suddenly vanished. Of course, being in the IT sector, I understand that these sorts of things do happen occasionally... but the timing is most unusual, don't you think? The FCM gives the press release, I post my views on it and list all the relevant links, and then suddenly the main link that reports the allegations of Dion's involvement goes dead within a week... what gives?

Of course, there's the good old Google archive. A copy of the article has now also been dutifully archived on my computer... just in case.

Why did this story suddenly vanish, after having been there just last week? Why all of a sudden, after this FCM story has just been given new life? The timing is just too coincidental for me. Like I've said before, this release from the FCM exonorating Ms. Kovach has raised more questions than it's answered.

In other news related to this story (which lead to my discovery that the Guelph Tribune article had vanished), the City of Guelph issued their own statement regarding the cryptic FCM statement from last week. In it, the City states that "Mayor Karen Farbridge is pleased that FCM has provided this closure on the matter."

Far from it... this issue is far from being closed. The City's statement blatantly reminds us that there's a big huge gaping hole in this whole thing that's still unresolved... "In March 2007, the Board of Directors replaced [Ms. Kovach] with Winnipeg Councillor Gord Steeves without stating a reason."

The FCM has never once stated the reason... but when she got tossed, Ms. Kovach did, in the now missing article... "FCM staff told her that Dion had contacted FCM and the Big City Mayors Caucus "to say he would not deal with FCM with me as president"."

That's one heck of an accusation... one that has never been addressed. Now, Ms. Kovach is under a confidentiality agreement, so she can't talk about it anymore. But I've still never heard an answer to this very important question. Now, with the FCM openly going at the Harper government over infrastructure funding, it reopens this question, and raises an even bigger one... did Dion demand the removal of Ms. Kovach because he was afraid the FCM wouldn't do his bidding in attacking the government? Was he concerned that the FCM may take a more consilliatory tone with the government because of Ms. Kovach's Conservative connections?

Was it perhaps because Mr. Dion wanted people with established Liberal connections running the FCM, as Mr. Steeves and Mr. Vrbanovic had?

Like I've been saying all along, something stinks here. Therefore, since no one else is asking, I'll ask again... and maybe this time, someone will start asking the unanswered questions... Mr. Dion, did you or your staff have anything to do with Ms. Kovach's removal from the FCM?

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Dinner with Ralph Klein - Jan 25, 2008

This just in... I bet that's gonna be a blast! I'm planning to be there, already booked!

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Federal Liberals: "Over the Hill"?

Craig Offman has some well articulated thoughts in today's National Post on the current state of the Federal Liberals... and says they need a complete overhaul and rebirth, much like the transition that's been going on in the provinces for the last few years.

Funny, I could have sworn one of the old guard Liberals saying the same thing way back in January of 2006, that it was time for the Liberals to take a timeout behind the woodshed, and seek honest and genuine renewal... advice that was largely ignored. Now who was that again?

Offman makes some pretty accurate observations here...
"The political events over the past two weeks offer a cautionary tale about career politicians stuck in a time warp. While a generational change is underway in several provinces, producing premiers in their thirties and early forties, Ottawa continues to pursue old arguments reaching back through several governments. Liberal benches in particular are littered with veteran soldiers intent on fighting the last war, complete with RCMP investigators, ethics committees and allusions to cover-ups and Watergate.

Political scientists -- and even some insiders -- suggest the Liberals are at the same crossroads the Progressive Conservatives arrived at almost 15 years ago when prime minister Brian Mulroney left office: They need a major overhaul, and it may take years to do it."

Another article in the Post also speaks volumes of the struggles still going on within the Party, also in regards to the Schriber affair... "Liberals divided on Mulroney inquiry: Chretien, Dion, Rae all have different opinions".

Of course, I'm not eager for them to begin this renewal process... the longer they wait, the more time we have to correct the problems they left languishing for over a decade. We've made lots of progress, and Canadians are starting to see that clearly, now that the lies of the Liberals are losing their resonance.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Minister Baird vs. Critic McGuinty

Point, Baird. Okay, this is funny... "Why can't I go on that nice trip with you?"

(okay, have at it... but please try to keep the nasty comments to a minimum...)

h/t to Officially Screwed

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Khan in trouble for overspending?

UPDATE II: CTV is reporting that no actual charges have been laid as of this moment. While these matters are being dealt with, Mr. Khan has chosen to step aside and withdraw from the Conservative caucus. Good move, and I respect him for doing so promptly. [END UPDATE]

This one's rather interesting, in that it's embarrasing to both the Tories and the Liberals... the Tories, because he's currently a Tory MP, and the Liberals, because he allegedly committed the offences while he was a Liberal.

As all individuals, he's entitled to due process, and we'll see how this plays out... if he's guilty, then he has to face the music, like everyone else. But as the Globe & Mail is careful to stress, "None of the allegations have been proven in court."

Well, he seems like a nice guy to me...

Of course, I could tell everyone to give him a break, and make some crack about his being a recovering addict and all... I mean, the guy's only been clean for the last eleven months... give him time to make a full recovery. ;-)

UPDATE: Props to Wajid... he has withdrawn from the Conservative caucus, I'm assuming until the charges are dealt with. Kudos to him for that. Quick, immediate, and no bluster or evasion.

Thanks Wajid, and here's hoping all this gets cleared up quickly.

UPDATE II: CTV is reporting that no actual charges have been laid as of this moment. While these matters are being dealt with, Mr. Khan has chosen to step aside and withdraw from the Conservative caucus. Good move, and I respect him for doing so promptly.

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Vista SUCKS - Redux

Okay... before, I was just slightly annoyed. Now I'm REALLY annoyed... ironically, just a couple of days after I posted my glowing review of some of Microsoft's other products.

We just went to order five laptops, as a part of our regular refresh cycle. We use Toshibas in our organization, because they're a rock solid product... we've only ever had one that had a problem, and they seem to be the best units out there. Today, we got the bad news... the current model is only available with Windows Vista.

Fat chance of that... I've already gone to, and priced out the replacement unit... with Windows XP Professional.

Microsoft, if they want to stem the bleeding, better act fast. For years, I've been pro-Microsoft, because their products, even with their bugs, tend to work well. Windows XP SP2 is rock solid, I've crashed it less than dozen times over the last four years... between all seven of the machines I regularly use.

BUT... I'm not moving to Vista, it's as simple as that. It sucks... sucks RAM, that is. You can't use the OS on anything less than 1GB of RAM, and even then, it's a dog. Windows XP? Runs great on as little as 192MB, with a 450Mhz PIII CPU.

And when I finally can't get XP anymore? I'll finally make the move to Linux. I've actually started playing with one of them recently, NimbleX... runs right off a 200MB CD, with full access to any HDD's or USB drives connected to the system. It's a nifty little OS.

So, to make a long story short, here's a word of advice to Toshiba... follow Dell's lead, stick it to Microsoft, and get us an XP option... or we're taking our business elsewhere.

UPDATE: Just got word back from our local vendor of a little trick that some vendors are employing to get around this problem... the "Recovery CD" that comes with the laptops will reinstall the laptop with Windows XP Pro.

A whole lot more pain than is necessary. However, it means that we'll still stick with Toshibas, FOR NOW. (maybe I should also look at that one I was going to get from Future Shop, and see if that's possible there too...)

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Chantal Herbert: "Dion a drag"

I wasn't going to bother posting on this, but I just could not get over the opening line...

"Twelve months after Stéphane Dion's Liberal leadership victory, bewilderment about the result has turned into widespread consternation. In one year, the rookie Liberal leader has gone from prime minister in waiting to opposition leader in hiding."

UPDATE: Another good one liner...

"At this point, the Liberal party is in worse pre-election shape than at any time in its recent history; hence the decision to play dead in the Commons this fall rather than trigger a potentially suicidal campaign."

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"Hidden Agenda" - Turning the Tables

I've always hated the false "Hidden Agenda" scare-mongering tactic used for years by the Liberals... so I have to admit that it made me smile to see the CPC turning the tables on the Liberals, accusing them of having a "Hidden Agenda" to further soften our new Crime legislation...

Liberal hidden agenda on Crime
November 23, 2007

One of Stéphane Dion’s lieutenants has let it slip that the Liberals have secret plans to soften Canada’s crime laws.

Speaking to the House Legislative Committee on Bill C-2 this week, Liberal MP Larry Bagnell hinted that the Dion Liberals secretly want to roll back several of the Bill’s key protections, even as they currently let these same protections become law.

“I was ever to form a government I would be agreeing basically with what my colleagues said and want to get Supreme Court references to certain things, or make amendments to the bill to take out the things that don't make any sense.” Bagnell told the Committee.

Larry Bagnell should be clear with Canadians. Just what parts of the Tackling Violent Crime Act does he want to amend? What new protections is he prepared to strip away?

The tough new penalties for offenders who commit crimes with a gun?

Protecting our children from sexual exploitation by raising the age of consent?

Cracking down on those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

Tougher sentences for Canada’s most dangerous, repeat offenders?

Stéphane Dion should also be clear on his own priorities: Does he share his colleague’s hidden agenda?

If not, he should denounce Larry Bagnell’s hints and publicly declare his support for the Prime Minister’s Crime Bill.

If he does share Larry Bagnell’s beliefs, he should be prepared to vote against the Bill in the Legislature and spell out to Canadians what protections he wants to weaken.

A real leader stands, votes, and clearly speaks out on the issues they believe in. Prime Minister Harper will always be a clear and accountable champion for protecting law-abiding citizens from crime. Stéphane Dion must stop hiding his own beliefs and be prepared to be held accountable for them.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mike Clemons for Toronto-Centre?

Just some wild speculation, but I'm not the first to suggest that he might consider a political run... what if he's been approached by the Toronto-Centre CPC Nomination Committee to at least think about it?

Perhaps it's time for a a "Draft Pinball" group on Facebook?

CBC: Clemons to step down after Grey Cup: report


The "Mommy Tell" Overture

Here's all the things our mothers said to us on a daily basis while we were growing up... condenced into two minutes and fifty five seconds. Set to music, the William Tell Overture. (I call it the "Mommy Tell" Overture)


"And now it's time for... The Front Page"

I got an e-mail today advising me to take a look at the Guelph Mercury... and low and behold, the Dion-Kovach FCM scandal is on the front page. Don't let the headline mislead you... it says "Conference costly for city", but 2/3 of the text and the by-line say so much more... "The city spent $19,000 to send seven city councillors and four staff members to a municipal conference earlier this year, in part as a search for answers to why Councillor Gloria Kovach had been deposed"

(NOTE: If someone is able to get a screen cap of the print version, I'd be greatful)

This story is not going away... if anything, it's just gaining steam. According to my sources (which aren't nearly as extensive as I'd like them to be), the Guelph Mercury still has not received any reply from Mr. Dion's office... either that, or they're not telling.

If anyone is able to dig anything more on this, have at it... this needs to be further investigated. The Liberal Party of Canada cannot be allowed to exert such undue influence over non-partisan organization, and cannot be allowed to have a defacto veto power over the appointments of Conservative leaning individuals.

The all pervailing power of the Liberal Party of Canada must be broken... and this is the issue over which we can establish a beachhead.

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Near riot over FCM ouster?

The more that comes out on Ms. Kovach's removal, the more questions are raised...

The Guelph Mercury is doing a great job at exposing the truth about what went on with the FCM's ouster of their President, Gloria Kovach. They're bringing to light things that until now have been unknown... or ignored.

Did you know her ouster caused a bit of a commotion at the FCM's conference in Calgary back in June? Neither did I... because no one at the FCM has been talking about it. Take a look at some of what the Mercury has dug up... it's as if the FCM was trying to erase any record of Ms. Kovach's tenure from their history.
The dismissal occurred after an unsuccessful bid for the federal Conservative nomination in Guelph. The federation hasn't publicly stated why she was deposed. She held the position from December 2005, making her one of the longest serving presidents.

"I was certainly interested in getting some answers. The circumstances around the removal of Gloria from the FCM presidency were very opaque," [Guelph Councillor Maggie] Laidlaw said.

But at the conference, there was little evidence that Kovach had ever held the position at all. Her name was absent from the conference literature and omitted at the women's caucus, Laidlaw said.

"It was like she'd been erased from the history of the FCM," she said.

The federation declined to give Kovach the position of past president, which normally goes to president at the conclusion of a term. Instead, the federation elections committee recommended Kitchener councillor Berry Vrbanovic for the replacement position of vice-president at large.

On the same day as the board elections, councillors Laidlaw and Beard handed out flyers at the conference that questioned the circumstances around Kovach's removal.

[Guelph Councillor] Piper, who was also in attendance, said that led to a raucous with some of the 2,000 members stomping their feet and demanding answers.

"It was almost a riot situation once the president (and chair Gord Steeves) started to be asked pointed questions," she said. "The more he tried to evade the questions, the louder the room got."

Federation CEO Brock Carleton said he was in and out of the main assembly room during the events.

"I'm not going to comment on the stuff that went on in that room. There was a chair (of the federation board) and there was a vote," he said.

Kovach received a nomination from the floor to run against Vrbanovic for the vice-president at large position, reputably from a federation member from the East Coast. Piper and Laidlaw said Kovach wasn't nominated by any Guelph member.

"It was more to address the delegates," Kovach said, adding she wasn't focused on winning. "I reviewed what I'd done in 16 months as president. . . . I just thanked people."

Kovach was defeated in an undisclosed ballot vote to Vrbanovic, who previously chaired the Ontario caucus from December 2006.

"The fact is there was an election and I was duly nominated and elected by the members from across the country. Democracy unfolded," Vrbanovic said. [...]

Last week, the federation issued a press release that said the board reached its decision to depose of Kovach for reasons unrelated to her conduct or performance.

A confidentiality agreement was signed relating to the circumstances surrounding the dismissal.

When she was deposed in March, Kovach speculated it was politically motivated because of her connection to the federal Conservative party.
A couple of items of interest that need to be brough to attention...

Why did they choose to remove a Conservative to give the Presidency to a Liberal?

Why did the FCM refuse to grant the position of "Past President" to Ms. Kovach, then create a new position, Vice-President at Large, and then grant that to another known Liberal, Barry Vrbanovic? (he ran for the McGuinty Liberals in 1999, and lost)

How about this quote? ""I was certainly interested in getting some answers. The circumstances around the removal of Gloria from the FCM presidency were very opaque," [Guelph Councillor Maggie] Laidlaw said." Why was the FCM being so evasive with their answers?

The media never reported about this "near riot", where the membership were demanding answers, while Liberal FCM President Gord Steeves tried desperately to evade the questions. Why didn't they? What were they trying to hide? Who were they trying to protect?

I have one theory on that... do know who else was at the FCM conference in Calgary?

Yep, you probably guessed it... The Hounorable Stephane Dion, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. And from reports that I've heard, the FCM people were taking every effort to ensure that Mr. Dion and Ms. Kovach never crossed paths... now why is that, I wonder?
From Mr. Dion's speech...

"It’s great to be back in Calgary – the Liberal heartland of Canada...[HA!!! That's a laugh!!! Liberal heartland!?!?!] Calgary: the second most beautiful city in Canada!

And it’s great to be here with members of my caucus: MP Don Bell and Senators Art Eggleton, Jim Munson and Marilyn Trenholme Counsell.

It was in Calgary that I first spoke to the FCM in 1996. Your president at the time, Bryon Wilfert, today is my colleague, the Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill. [yes, Mr. Dion, we all know of Byron Wilfert's story... similar to Ms. Kovach's, in he ran in an election for your Party while still the President of the FCM... interesting enough though, he didn't get ousted for it...]

Bryon gave me, on your behalf, my knapsack. A knapsack that I always kept with me – all those years when I fought for a united Canada, and then when I fought for a greener Canada. And it is with me today as I fight for a Liberal government for Canada."
In the interest of full disclosure, I must point out that Mr. Harper was there briefly as well, on the Friday... but, as reported by the Globe & Mail, "Mr. Dion got a noticeably warmer reception from delegates than Prime Minister Harper, who addressed the conference Friday, despite Calgary being Harper's hometown." Now I wonder why that is...

Could it be, perhaps, one of the main points I've been stressing all along with this fiasco? That in the opinion of the FCM, Liberal = GOOD, Conservative = BAD.

This quote at the end of the Mercury article, based on an accusation that has been repeatedly made but never dealt with, I think says a lot... "When she was deposed in March, Kovach speculated it was politically motivated because of her connection to the federal Conservative party." According to the article, she can't talk about it anymore because of a confidentiallity agreement... but that agreement doesn't cover the other player in this scandal...

So, on that note, I ask the question again... Mr. Dion, what did you and/or your staff have to do with Ms. Kovach's ouster?

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Microsoft IS Cool

WARNING: Pure techie post following... trust me, if you're a non-techie, this will be VERY boring...

A lot of people like to slag Microsoft... but after doing a test run of our disater recovery plan today, a solution built on Microsoft products, I'm a solid fan of Billy Gates and Crew!

First, we implemented Microsoft's Data Protection Manager in the spring when we brought our new servers and new 2003 R2 domain online. I set it up to replicate our file server, financial software databases, and a few other mission critical apps. (we run a web-based clinical application, and outsourced POP3 e-mail, so I didn't have to worry about them)

Then, over the last few months, I've been playing with Microsoft's Virtual PC, another very cool app. At first, I just had a couple VPC's for testing and such, and not much else. Then I decided to try something...

I built a new Virtual PC running Server 2003 R2, and then promoted it to become the third Domain Controller in my domain. It synced up with my other two, and was running, happy as a clam, on my desktop via VPC. Then, the experiment...

I took two freshly imaged desktops, a spare 3Com switch, and set them up in an empty office... completely disconnected from our network. On one PC, just a straight XP image... on the second, the XP image, plus VPC 2007. I had the virtual server files on a USB hard drive on which I also had my archived DPM replicas from our DPM server. I launched the VPC Domain Controller, restored user files from the DPM replica, and mounted them on a shared directory on the VPC... turning the VPC domain controller into a file server. I installed the DCHP service on the VPC DC, and then fired up the desktop. I picked a random user, reset their password on my VPC DC, changed the Active Directory pointer of their home directory to the new location I'd restored the data to, and the logged in as the random user.

Presto... was able to log in, and the user's home directory was sitting right where it should be. Next up for testing will be a restore of the shared folders, and a network printer for good measure.

Basically, with today's "proof of concept", it shows that we can take a single USB based hard drive (with security, of course) and conduct a restoration of our organization's data infrastrcuture... anytime, anywhere, and on any hardware.

Now how cool is that? Like I said, right now, I'm lovin the Microsoft products.


Dion's Office on FCM Ouster: "No Comment"

Actually, they haven't said that... they've just simply chosen not to respond.

The Guelph Mercury has attempted to contact Mr. Dion's office for their comment on the FCM ouster, to no avail. As of the end of business yesterday, Dion's office had not responded to their request for comment: "So far, no word back from Team Stephane Dion or his comment-offering minions."

The editors of the Guelph Mercury then end their blog post with this little comment: "I'll have more on it soon. So will the dead-tree version of the Mercury."

If I were part of "Team Dion", I'd be getting a comment prepped pretty soon, because this story isn't just going to go away.

I'll ask the question again... Mr. Dion, did you or anyone from your staff have anything to do with Ms. Kovach's ouster?

For people just tuning into this story...
Main backgrounder post
First media report
Further blog accusations

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New PC vs. Mac Ads

Wow... just saw a devastating new PC vs. Mac commercial on TV... check out the one called "Podium" on the Apple website. It's talking about how many new Vista users are so upset with Vista, that they're "downgrading" back to Windows XP.

Now, for the record, I'm a PC fan... I personally think it's a more robust and flexible platform. BUT, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to fess up... I DIDN'T buy a great new laptop that was on sale at Future Shop a few weeks ago because it was only available with Vista.

Bottom line, and I hope the folks at Microsoft are listening... I'M NOT GOING TO BUY VISTA FOR AS LONG AS I CAN POSSIBLY AVOID IT. It's a horrible OS, and it's likely the biggest mistake that Microsoft has ever made. Windows XP was by far their best desktop OS ever, and then they went ahead and replaced it with the bloatware they tried to pass off as the "latest and greatest OS". Bad move, and I think it's going to hurt them in the long run... big time. Because Vista is so bad, people buying computers are seriously looking at Macs, or free operating systems like Linux... I'm getting loads of questions all the time, questions I wasn't getting before Vista was released.

Are you on of the many who want a new laptop or PC without Vista? Check out Dell's "Vostro" line... they're still available with XP! (Dell had to bring an XP option back pronto after an outcry from business buyers...)

The Apple website has loads more online, take a peek here. The one called "PR Lady" has a pretty funny line at the end.

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Warren Jeffs - Locked Up

Polygamist FLDS "prophet" Warren Jeffs has been sentenced to 5 years to life on his conviction of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year old girl.

Amen to that.


Oops... Dion to appologize to Harper?

Oh my... in today's Question Period, Mr. Dion implied that Mr. Harper out and out lied about something. After Question Period, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan rose on a Point of Order, and said... (paraphrase, still waiting for Hansard)

"Mr. Speaker, as recently as a few days ago, you reminded this House about their use of unParliamentary language. Today during Question Period, the Leader of the Opposition made such a reference to the Prime Minister, implying that he had lied to this House. I ask that you request that the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, in the tradition of this House, to withdraw his unParliamentary remarks."

As Mr. Dion was no longer in the House, Liberal MP Ralph Goodale tried to step up and cover for Mr. Dion... to no avail, and to much heckling in the House.

Speaker Peter Miliken responded to Mr. Van Loan and Mr. Goodale by stating that he himself had had reservations about Mr. Dion's comment, but noted that the word "Liar" was not used... as the word "Liar" has been ruled many times to be unParliamentarian. The Speaker then said that he will review the comments himself, and that the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Dion, may wish to withdraw the remarks himself. Then he added, "...and if he chooses not to, he may be hearing from me."

Oops... with this brewing scandal with the FCM, today has not been a good day overall for Mr. Dion.

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More FCM-Dion Allegations

More fuel has been added to the fire by another anonymous poster on the Guelph Mercury Editor's blog...

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I have no knowledge as to who the anonymous poster is... just in case anyone was wondering)
"Phil - here are a few more points, and some speculation as grist for the mill.

- The ouster was performed in a closed teleconference by the executive in March. No minutes have ever been provided, which calls into question the legality of the whole affair

- You might want to speak with another Guelph concillor who sits on the FCM board. Did she participate in the process? Did she speak up for her colleague? Or, as a liberal, did she toe the party line?

- Regina Mayor Fiaco requested Kovach not attend a breakfast meeting of the big city mayors (of which she is a part as president) and Mr. Dion as he and FCM staff had received emails from Dion's office upset that the President was Conservative and saying he would not attend if Kovach was there. I would imagine that those emails still exist....

- The knapsack that Dion is seen with all the time is an FCM embroidered knapsack. Paul Martin had no problem working with Kovach, but then but he didn't carry the knapsack.

What I don't know is if it all came from Dion or were there Guelph Liberals involved? All of Guelph has done well by Kovach and her local and national leadership, so just imagine what she could do if she were sent to Ottawa. Of course, as a Conservative, that would be bad news for the Liberals in Guelph.

Posted by: Good Hunting | November 20, 2007 at 11:53 AM"
The two highlighted points, in my mind, are the most important ones that need to be investigated.

1) I'm looking into the membership of the FCM, and will post the name of the other Guelph councilor once I figure out who it is... I'm considering contacting her for a statement - UPDATE: The councillor is Lise Burcher, City of Guelph Councillor for Ward 5. I don't know whether or not she was involved in the teleconference that resulted in Ms. Kovach's removal, however, a quick e-mail (or a few dozen) should help clear things up... you can find her e-mail address listed here.

2) "FCM staff had received emails from Dion's office upset that the President was Conservative and saying he would not attend if Kovach was there. I would imagine that those emails still exist" If there is any truth to this statement, that's HUGE... e-mails have a tendency to stick around for quite a while, and have a nasty habit of getting forwarded and/or released to the public.

For the record, I am not in possession of any such e-mails, nor have I seen them... but if they do indeed exist, it would make for an interesting day in the OLO.

If any business supply stores in Ottawa get any calls for shredder rentals, please, LET ME KNOW.

UPDATE: For people looking for the background on this issue, see my posting on the media coverage from earlier today, or the main background post on the topic from yesterday.

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Media starting to pick up on FCM issue

The editors of the Guelph Mercury agree... something is fishy about the ouster of the FCM's former President Gloria Kovach... they say so in their editorial today.
Group's ouster of Kovach still murky

A cryptic news release last week from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities related to Guelph councillor Gloria Kovach's ouster as president and national board chair last March has apparently satisfied the councillor, but it's too vague and leaves too many unanswered questions to satisfy us.

The release never answers the central question: Why was Kovach let go? [...]

The lack of transparency is arguably of greater significance in the Kovach case because a lobby group like the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, as we said here in March, is a less effective lobby group if it's tainted by scandal or potential scandal.

Was Kovach kicked out of her position as federation president -- just two months before the end of her term, by the way -- because of her political affiliation, or were there other reasons?
Indeed... were there "other reasons"? What do you have to say about this Mr. Dion? Are the rumors true? Did you, or did you not, exert undue influence over this supposedly "non-partisan" group? Was it because she outed herself as a Conservative?

Mr. Dion, one of your own sitting MP's was in the exact same boat back in 1997... and there didn't seem to be any problem with his running for office while sitting as the President of the FCM. So why was there an issue with Ms. Kovach doing the same thing? (maybe newly minted LPC(O) Central Region President
Jason Cherniak can shed some light on this, being Mr. Wilfert's riding association president and all...)

Was it, perhaps, because Mr. Dion was not comfortable working with a known Conservative as the FCM President?

Again, the FCM Press Release from last week rasies more questions than it answers.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Dion and the FCM ouster

Weird thing going on, Blogging Tories isn't displaying my post on the alleged links between Dion and the ouster of former FCM President, Gloria Kovach.

Here's the link to today's post.

I've been covering this story for some time now, and with the FCM putting out a cryptic press release last week, this issue has been brought to the forefront again. Did Mr. Dion have anything to do with it? According to Ms. Kovach in the beginning, that's what she had been told by FCM staffers.

For anyone looking for more info, here's the previous stories posted on this topic:

March 27, 2007 - Original post reporting on Kovach ouster from the FCM

March 30, 2007 - Initial rumors of involvement from Mr. Dion

April 5, 2007 - Discussion on Liberal hypocrisy regarding the FCM and past Presidents running for office

Nov. 16, 2007 - initial report on FCM press release

Today, Nov. 19, 2007 - A review and summary of all the rumors and evidence

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Did Dion order FCM ouster?

The Guelph Mercury's editors are now asking the question... "Why did the FCM drop Kovach?" Good question... time to start digging.

This is the third or fourth time I've heard this allegation... did Mr. Dion have something to do with Ms. Kovach's removal from the FCM?

The problem with anonymous comments is just that... they're anonymous, and you can't trace the source, or ask questions of the source. However, the good thing about anonymous comments is that they can sometimes point you in the right direction as to who to ask questions of, and what questions to ask.

An anonymous poster on the Guelph Mercury blog made this statement regarding Gloria Kovach's removal from the Presidency of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities...
"The good thing about these blogs is that the truth can come out, even if there are legal agreements in place that block the truth. The trouble is, that you can't tell if it's for real if someone (as I am) signs anonymously. All that I can hope to do is to point you in the right direction and let you newspaper folks get the facts for yourselves.

As someone on the inside of the FCM, I can spell it out for you.

Kovach was dumped because she sought the Conservative nomination in Guelph. At first she was asked to take a leave of absence during the nomination period (which she agreed to), but then, after direct pressure was applied by the leader of the Liberal party, she was forced out.

She initiated a legal action to clear her name, and this announcement is the culmination of that action. Because the FCM cannot be seen as being partisan, they needed to ensure Kovach's silence as a condition of the deal. Hence, the confidentiality agreement.

I hope this helps

Posted by: Good Hunting | November 18, 2007 at 10:00 AM"
This allegation was originally made by Ms. Kovach herself back in the spring, but no one has looked into it in any depth. Problem is, with an confidentiality agreement now in place between her and the FCM, she can't talk about it anymore. However, the question has never been answered, so I'll ask it again... as intoned by the initial allegation in the spring, and repeated now by this anonymous person who claims to be inside the FCM, did Mr. Dion have anything to do with Ms. Kovach's removal?

The media release from the FCM is fairly cryptic, but this part raises many questions, and leaves the door wide open for this theory... "The Board reached this decision for reasons totally unrelated to either Gloria Kovach’s conduct or performance as President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities or as Chair of its National Board of Directors. The Federation acknowledges that Gloria Kovach carried out her duties in a responsible manner consistent with her commitment to municipal government."

Read that again... "The Board reached this decision for reasons totally unrelated to either Gloria Kovach’s conduct or performance". So, let me get this straight... there was nothing in her conduct or performance that led to her removal. Did I get that right? Problem is, some people have said that she was removed because she sought the Conservative nomination in Guelph. Folks, read the press release again... it clearly states that her removal had nothing to do with her conduct. Translation, she wasn't removed because of anything she did. Therefore, this ambiguous press release leaves us with one very big and real possibility... was she removed because someone else, perhaps even Mr. Dion, requested that she be removed?

There are several versions of the rumour that are swirling around... that Mr. Dion himself said something to the FCM, or that he made his wishes known and his staff relayed the message, or that word slowly filtered down through various channels that Dion was displeased with Ms. Kovach, and that the FCM moved quickly to appease him. In each of these versions though, all fingers point back directly at Mr. Dion as the instigator of the removal.

If Mr. Dion did request her removal, then that's political interference in what is supposed to be a non-partisan body. If true, the fact that the FCM "jumped" when Dion gave the word brings their organization into ill repute... it means that the FCM is operating under the direct control of the Liberal Party of Canada. As such, they cannot be trusted to honestly speak for Canadian cities in a non-partisan fashion.

Folks, this is a major issue... can we trust the various "non-partisan" organizations that claim to serve us, or are they nothing more than political pawns of the Liberal Party of Canada? The question of whether Dion gave them FCM their marching orders is a serious one, one that needs to be further probed. Don't let this issue die, start asking questions. If Mr. Dion had nothing to do with it, then let the FCM come out and acknowledge as much... on the record. If he did make his wishes known, and the FCM blindly obeyed, then the current Board of the FCM must be held accountable... and in my opinion, removed, to ensure that their reputation of non-partisanship is maintained.

Until this allegation is acknowledged and sufficiently dealt with, a cloud will remain over the FCM and their current dealings with the government... the the important issues relating to our cities risk going unheard. I call on everyone, right and left, to start asking questions. This one goes beyond party lines, and by working together, we can ensure that the facts come out, and the air is cleared once and for all.

UPDATE: I guess that shows that the blogosphere can accomplish something... the Guelph Mercury has posted a new entry on their blog, indicating that they're trying to follow-up on this lead. (in reality, there's nothing new here folks, everything has been out in the public record for some time now...) They're indicating that some bloggers are suggesting a National inquiry over it... I think that's a little overboard. Since nothing illegal has occured, I think the press can handle it.

Oh, and did I mention that some of the oher members of the MSM seem to be poking around?

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Friday, November 16, 2007

My cats in the morning

Posted today on the Blogging Tories forum by "Winston 2004"... watching this clip feels like someone's been spying on my house... (make sure you watch to the end... I'm sure all cats, deep down, really feel this way...)

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Another photo for the collection

Almost forgot to post this... was prepping my hard drive for an upgrade, and came across this pic I got back in September... 100 points to whoever knows who this is... (HINT: look at the tags for this post)
Didn't get a chance to see Jack when he came by recently, but I'll try again sometime.

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Is it really about the children?

All these demands from the left about "Childcare"... do they really care about the kids?

This press release from CUPE today reminded me, once again, of what I think this is really about... it's not about providing childcare, it's about unionized government jobs.

They've been saying all along that we need more childcare spaces. Now, a private multinational company has shown interest in the childcare industry in Canada... and the left is demanding that the Government step in and stop them.

They do make some arguments that they're just trying to ensure that the for-profit companies don't come in, take over, and then jack up the rates... but I don't buy it, personally. I think this press release has just done more to confirm my earlier suspicions more than anything else.


FCM Statement on Ouster of President

Well, this might make things interesting. (also posted on the paper's blog here)

The Federation of Canadian Municipalties has released a statement regarding the sudden firing in March of their President, Gloria Kovach... and it has to be one of the weirdest things I've ever seen. It basicly says her removal had nothing to do with her or her performance. Huh?

When Ms. Kovach was removed from the Presidency of the FCM, it was suggested that there was something fishy about her ouster... even suggesting that there may have been political interference that lead to her removal.

Could this be a "sanitized" admission to that fact?

Ottawa, November 12, 2007 - In March of 2007, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ National Board of Directors appointed Winnipeg Councillor Gord Steeves as Acting President, replacing Councillor Gloria Kovach of Guelph, Ontario. The Board reached this decision for reasons totally unrelated to either Gloria Kovach’s conduct or performance as President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities or as Chair of its National Board of Directors. The Federation acknowledges that Gloria Kovach carried out her duties in a responsible manner consistent with her commitment to municipal government.

Councillor Gloria Kovach became President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in the month of December, 2005, and was then acclaimed as President at the Federation’s 69th Annual Conference.

She began her term with a call to all federal party leaders to support a long term commitment and plan to erase Canada’s municipal infrastructure deficit. For the next sixteen months, Councillor Kovach served as Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ chief spokesperson, meeting news media, federal and provincial ministers and attending dozens of events, both in Canada and around the world as the organization’s chief representative.

Councillor Kovach served on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Board for some 12 years. Her keen interest in international development was reflected in her work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ International Centre for Municipal Development. She spent time in Jinja, Uganda, working on a program to encourage community development. She also developed an exchange program between Guelph and cities in the Czech Republic and has worked on an international program in El Salvador.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities wishes to thank Councillor Kovach for her leadership during the 16 months she served as FCM President and Chair of the National Board of Directors.
The Editors on the Guelph Mercury blog give the impression that they're curious as to what went on here... "Now this, out of the blue, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, has released an enigmatic statement on why Kovach was dumped as its president in March. In short it says, she was replaced after she did a brilliant job from her first days in the post. No, um, reason for the sacking was offered. What to make of this."

Here's the big question... as was suggested to Ms. Kovach by FCM staff from the get-go, did Mr. Dion have anything to do with this? Is this press release an admission by the FCM that they aren't really the non-partisan group they claim to be?

Small Dead Animals had a brief blerb on this back in March, and I posted a few thoughts on it too, but the story never had any traction.

Today, it might have just grown some legs, got up, and walked all over the OLO...

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

The things you learn... the hard way

Well, it went from a quiet week, to a rather noisy weekend... I suppose that happens when one puts their foot in their mouth.

It's been interesting seeing my name up in lights over on the Liblogs... for all the wrong reasons. Twenty-four hours later, I can say I totally understand why some of them were peeved... boy, I guess I really didn't think that one through. But, I'm just as prone to make a mistake as anyone... the right thing to do in such a situation is to take time to consider what exactly went wrong, and how to learn and grow from it. So, here goes...

I'll start off by saying my biggest mistake was the subject matter... if this had been any other topic other than the death penalty, it likely would have flown under the radar. As my long time readers (I hope) may understand, I'm a fairly lighthearted guy... my faith allows me to keep things in perspective, and the little things in life don't bother me as much in my day. (Just so there's no mistake in understanding, the big things in life do bother me... for example, I was doing some reading last night on the continuing existence of racism in our culture... and shaking my head in disbelief. I truly don't understand how anyone can devalue another person based on the tone of their skin, or the accent of their mother tongue... it boggles my mind) But I see how the fact that the topic at hand held the life of another man in the balance, it made my remarks look to be in complete poor taste. That was problem number one.

Second of all, there was the aspect of the online poll. Right off the bat I'll say that I have little or no faith in online polls or petitions, for the exact reason I myself put on display yesterday... the results are only reflective of who knew of the polls existence, and in cases such as yesterday, who motivated enough of their forces out to vote for their point of view. Anyway, when it comes to blogging, online polls and other things of a political nature, I tend to have a more fun-loving attitude... sometimes, it's all just a big game. Unfortunately, I took that same attitude in this instance, when again, a man's life is ultimately in the balance. Poor taste indeed.

If it helps anyone understand, though it may not reflect well on me personally, I was not even considering this man in all of my thinking last night... this, in my mind, was simply another online poll that asked a question regarding the competence of our Government... a Government who I view as indeed being competent. As such, I only wanted to alert like minded individuals to show their support on the poll.

As for voting from three PC's, again, I was viewing it more as a game than anything else... I did not think it through to it's logical conclusion in this subject matter.

As for this particular matter, I do indeed support our Government's position at present... but upon reflection, I most certainly would not do so in such a flippant and dismissive manner. Subjects of great importance as this one deserve a mature and reasoned response... a response which I did not provide last night.

In that regard, I apologize to my readers for that.

To repeat what I said yesterday, I again apologize to anyone that was offended by my flippant post last night. It was not a Biblical or Christ-like response to such an issue. This was a matter that dealt with several important issues, and instead of a well thought out response, I offered up a childish barb.

Now, on to a thought out reply to the subject at hand.

For the record, I do agree with our Government's position on this matter, not to seek clemency for this man in Montana. Regardless of his citizenship, this is a matter of justice, albeit in a foreign nation.

As for people asking if the Lord Jesus Christ would condone this man's death, I think He would... the Lord Jesus always affirmed to the people that they ought to submit to those who are in authority over them, so long as those authorities do not require a man to reject God or His laws.

Some may point to the example of Christ's forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery in John 8, as to Christ rejecting capital punishment. I disagree with that view for several reasons. The first point in this regard is in the text itself... John 8:6 tells us that the religious leaders posing the question, were "testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him." So one must realize that His response was designed more to deal with the religious leaders, and not this woman's act. The second point to consider in this is a question I've heard several times... "Where was the man?" It takes two to commit adultery, and both were to be condemned to death for it. The Lord's response in seeking clemency for this woman could His response to the injustice the religious leaders were displaying, as they had apparently released the man they had caught in the act, while bringing the woman to the Lord in an effort to entrap Him. Thirdly, His response was to them as individuals, and not to them as the societal leaders they were... who had the legitimate God-given authority to put this woman to death for her crime. It is of note that the Lord did not condemn them for seeking to enforce God's laws, but rather responded to them in their efforts to entrap Him. The Lord never told them "Putting her to death is wrong", but instead He turned the tables on them by reminding them of their own sin, of which we are all guilty. This is not in and of itself a condemnation of capital punishment.

Finally, though somewhat of a rabbit trail, though connected with the issue of capital punishment, we have in Luke 23:40-43. There, we have the witness of one of the other men condemned to death alongside the Lord Jesus, who said to the third man on death row, "Do you not even fear God, seeing that you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." To this, the Lord replied, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise." Though not the words of Christ Himself, I think there is much insight that we can gain from this passage. Christ nowhere condemns the practice of putting criminals to death... in fact, He even went so far as to take upon Himself our own death penalty for sinning against God. He never indicated that the sentence was unjust, even though He personally did not deserve it... but He went through with it all the same, because, in His opinion, you were worth it.

Anyway, there's a lot to chew on here... hopefully, I've given ideas and issues to chew on, and not more opportunity for people to chew on me. ;-)

Comments are open again, for now. Please feel free to contribute, but if you just want to rant or reply in anger, I'll just remove the comment. I'm welcoming of other views and opinions, and am always open to learn, as I hope I've proved by this post.

Who knows... maybe your well thought out and polite two cents will be just what I need to make change for a dollar... or $1.06US...

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Poll on Global National

UPDATE III: It's a real shame when you have to repeatedly tell people the same thing more than once... Though I already appologized for the post, recognizing that due to the subject matter, it was perhaps in poor taste, people keep on wanting to beat a dead horse. Folks, read the whole thing, including the updates, and then relax. Comments will remain closed because people, instead of being interested in honest discussion, just want to vent and attack... sorry, I'm just not into that. When I screw up, I'll take my lumps and correct the error, but I won't put up with people attacking The Faith just because I'm a fellow flawed human being. (end of update)

A poll has just gone up over at Global National, asking, "Do you agree with the Conservative Government's new hands-off policy on death-row prisoners?"

Presently, 79% are in favour. Remember... vote early, and vote often! I've got three machines fired up here at home!

Wow... actually, word must be out already... I'm watching the poll, and refreshing the page... and watching the "In favour" numbers increase by about 0.2% every time I hit refresh. Actually, I refreshed it one time, and it went down by 0.03%... then the next time, back up another 0.2%. Must have been one "Not in favour" voter...

UPDATE: Seems I've rubbed some people the wrong way with this post... allow me to clarify.

I wasn't seeking to make a statement for or against the death penalty... though I do generally support it, under severe restrictions. What I was seeking to do was show support for our Government's decision NOT to intervene in the current situation. What I don't want is for Canadians to get the impression that they can break laws in other nations, and expect our Government to come to their aid when they have been justly tried, convicted, and sentenced, with all due process having been considered.

The current case in the US, as far as I'm aware, is an open and shut one. I don't believe that we should intervene just because he's a Canadian. If, however, there was any doubt about what occured, then I'd certainly support our intervention.

As for voting multiple times, that was just me joking around. I don't put any faith in online polls personally... please don't take things too seriously. For example, I like signing petitions under the name "Potted Plant", in reference to the suggestion of unusual votes in the Quebec PQ leadership race that Bosclair won the other year.

Granted, upon reflection, due to the subject matter at hand, I recognize that this post was perhaps in poor taste. To those who took offence, I appologize.

UPDATE II: It's a shame, I've never had to close my comments before... discussion is welcome folks, hate is not. Though I only got two really nasty ones, but thanks to them, I'm closing the comments until I think people are ready to behave again.


Dion ready to pull the trigger?

I dunno about you, but things like this make it look like they're prepping to finally pull the trigger.

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Well, that was fun

It was a wild rollercoaster of a week... and as a result, blogging has been light. Hope to get back to things in the near future.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Okay, the bubble's gotta burst sometime... we hit $1.09US in after-hours trading.

I was saying a couple days ago that I thought it would hit $1.10US by then end of the year... at this rate, it's gonna hit that mark by the end of the week!

And for the record, before people make the kind of comments they made last time I talked about the high dollar, I DO recognize the complications that a high dollar creates... but it also has the potential to create opportunites, such as in my sector.

(But, maybe could the dollar stay high untill I'm done my Christmas shopping, eh?)


Peter Van Loan... Barney Rubble?

Who knows where it came from, but the folks at CTV are reporting that people are referring to the CPC's House Leader, Peter Van Loan (known on the Hill as "PVL"), as a "dark-haired version" of Barney Rubble.

Who am I to argue...

The song "Barney Rubble (is my double)" was originally written and performed by none other than Warren Kinsella, and his Calgary punk band "The Hot Nasties"... somewhat fitting, don't you think? (the version of the song used was performed by "The Evaporators", their version can be also found on YouTube)

UPDATE: Warren replied with one word... "Brilliant" (so there!)

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