Thursday, November 30, 2006
Now, suppose there's a government, and currently that government regulates that product - it could be the product is illegal or heavily regulated. They contend that the product causes harm when used.
The farmer argues that the product is safe for general consumption. The population who obtains the product also argue that it is safe for general consumption. This population can cite studies and reports showing the product is safe.
The government argues the product is not safe for general consumption. The population who do not use the product also argue that it is not safe for general consumption. This population can cite studies and reports showing the product is not safe.
Who is right?
Does it depend on the product? Does it depend on who you trust more?
Does it more or less depend upon which "population" you are a member of?
Is it possible, to support the heavy regulation of one product and not another?
Tags: canada, politics, regulation
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Perhaps we can draw them a map of the Québécois Territory.
That's after we figure how to explain it to people and politicians in this country.
Tags: canada, politics, quebec
Toronto Star, Tories challenge Chong's account:
Caucus colleagues say they didn't see it coming. But more important, Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't see it coming.Plus, the arguments criticizing Michael Chong have already started, if I read this post from Liam correctly:
Chong, in their view, betrayed the Prime Minister by not clearly flagging his intent to resign, and by misrepresenting how Harper dealt with the former minister, whose responsibilities included the unity file.
Michael Chong, obviously having not really listened to or learned anything from many (or any) of his more experienced provincial counterparts or federal cabinet colleagues, decided to bull on with his own rather simplistic view of Canada as a single unitary nation. To be fair, he did the right thing by resigning from cabinet. I'm sure he'll still be an acceptable and effective MP for his riding. He was never a very effective Intergovernmental affairs minister.How long before Michael Chong is declared persona non grata?
Pick your date.
Tags: canada, conservative party, michael chong, politics
Also, while you're at it, tell these politicians that the motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada, is just a motion and does not mean anything.
There is no confusion. None. Zero. So, there is no need to keep talking about it.
As Lawrence Cannon very clearly put it, "It's an inclusive definition that takes in all of the Québécois who live in the Québécois territory."
Feel better? I know I do.
Tags: canada, politics, quebec
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
How long do you think it will be, before the Conservative Party
The Mike Chong is sent to the Independent side pool in now open.
I put forward January 18th as the date Doug F figures out a way to turf Mike.
Welcome to our side Mike!
Tags: canada, conservative party, michael chong, politics
The problem in my mind is, motions are worse than legislation. Why? Legislation can be repealed with the next election. There isn't a government alive that's going to repeal "the will of this House".
At any rate, the motion passed 266-16. Here are the MPs that voted against the motion, courtesy of Views from the Left:
Good for Michael Chong, for resigning his position as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
I'm not the only one to think it bizarre that an intergovernmental affairs minister was not consulted about a motion involving intergovernmental affairs.
I would have liked it better had Mr. Chong broken ranks and voted against the motion. So much for those free votes the Conservative Party promised.
Chong, who was responsible for federal-provincial relations, was left out of the loop when Harper was deciding on the wording of the motion. Instead, the prime minister consulted with former intergovernmental affairs minister Stéphan Dion.
Tags: canada, politics, quebec
Monday, November 27, 2006
[W]hatever the precise technicalities of the wording, the idea that will enter the political bloodstream is that "Quebec" has been so recognized.My argument that I could support the Québécois motion got wrapped up in that very question of semantics, and less of what the "semantics" actually signifies.
I'm convinced I was wrong, and this motion must be defeated. Let the Bloc pass these types of divisive motions, and be soundly defeated.
Updated: I'm surrounded by smart people. Go read Wayne's take at Progressive Bloggers.
Last week the government of Stephen Harper introduced a motion in the House of Commons which will declare the Quebecois a nation within Canada. Since then, this action has been embraced by Quebec separatists, including Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe.Tags: canada, garth turner, politics, quebec
Debate on this motion is expected to be cut off Monday night, followed by a vote in the Commons. No public consultations are planned, no committee meetings are to be held and no chance for comments from the public to be tabled.
Independent MP Garth Turner disagrees with the process and is asking all Canadians interested in having their voice heard to vote in an online poll prior to the decision in Parliament. “This has the potential to alter our country in unknown ways,” Turner says, “and I see no reason why we are rushing to get this vote done in just a few days. Canadians did not ask for it, and need time to understand the implications. After all, if the Quebec separatists are so much in favour, this raises serious questions about what’s best for national unity.”
For what’s believed to be the first time, a sitting MP in the House of Commons is using online polling to gauge the mood of Canadians. Turner’s poll comes in addition to his own consultations with voters in his riding of Halton, where he held a Town Hall meeting Thursday night, at which constituents voted overwhelmingly against acceptance of the “Quebecois nation” motion.
People voting online are allowed just one ballot, with subsequent attempts to vote not being recorded. Preliminary voting results are scheduled to be released Sunday evening, November 26, with further results released Monday afternoon and prior to the Commons vote that evening.
“This could be a pivotal moment in national history, and I fear this move is being supported by the major parties for purely political self-interest,” Turner says. “So I encourage all Canadians to be heard in the scant few hours which remain before this vote is forced. I will ensure every MP is made aware of the results.”
To vote, proceed to www.garth.ca.
For more information:
Esther Shaye (905) 699-1902 or (905) 693-0166
Garth Turner (613) 222-1838 or (613) 996-7046
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Although the media focus has been on the Liberal leadership, polling shows that there are clearly some bigger issues with the Liberal ‘brand’. The fact that one of every three Canadians, unprompted, used words like ‘corrupt’ and ‘scandal’ to describe the Liberals shows that the Liberal image has not recovered from the sponsorship scandal. The Liberals have a steep mountain to climb to get over this challenge. Although the Liberals will have a new leader, a key question Canadians will likely ask is – how will this new leader be a break with the past?SES - Nik on the Numbers : What Canadians like and dislike about the Liberal Party of Canada
Nik also mentions the fact that the Conservative Party is in a statistical tie with the Liberal Party, which indeed is interesting.
Superfast Update: Wait. One third "used words like ‘corrupt’ and ‘scandal’ to describe the Liberals"? 33%?
How many people support the Conservatives? 34% [PDF]?
Tags: canada, liberal party, politics
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Here is the text of the motion entered into the House of Commons by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Here is the text of the Bloc Québécois motion, from the same source.
"THAT THIS HOUSE RECOGNIZE THAT THE QUÉBÉCOIS FORM A NATION WITHIN A UNITED CANADA."
Here is the text of the Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec) motion:
That this House recognize that Quebeckers form a nation.
A few questions that I had - probably permutations of the same question...
Be it resolved that the Liberal Party of Canada recognizes the Quebec nation within Canada.
- Is the Québécois nation the same as the Quebec nation?
- Can I be from Quebec and not be Québécois?
- Can I be Québécois and not from Quebec?
- Is the Quebec nation different than the Quebec province?
Off the cuff, I think I'm more comfortable recognizing the nation of Québécois, than I am in recognizing the nation of Quebec - especially within the context of a "united Canada".
What do you think? Semantics? A specific choice of wording?
Updated: A BCer in Toronto adds another permutation.
Now, originally I had read the BQ’s motion translated into English as Quebecers, rather than Quebecois. That makes the difference between the BQ motion and Harper’s motion appear bigger, and the Harper motion more attractive. At this point, I’m tempted to go with Harper’s motion, as it brings it clearly from the political sense to the sociological sense.Indeed. Again, Quebecker definitely means "from Quebec" in my mind, while Québécois talks more to the history and culture of French Canadians.
Or, does it just make the semantics muddier?
Tags: canada, politics, quebec
The Ontario government was accused of bringing down the "guillotine" yesterday on its controversial overhaul of the province's Human Rights Commission.Who would have thought that the term "sharp reversal" would be used to describe Ontario Liberal Party policy?
The opposition said a time-allocation motion introduced by the government this week was a blatant attempt to cut off debate and ram through the proposed changes. The motion, which passed in the legislature last night, will see debate wrap up next Wednesday and the bill tabled for third reading the following day.
The motion amounts to a sharp reversal by the government. Only last week, Attorney-General Michael Bryant said in the legislature that he looked forward to the debate lasting "however long it takes."
What's even funnier? There was a public notice for public consultations in the same issue of the Globe & Mail on page A6. I found the text on the web:
The Standing Committee on Justice Policy will meet to consider Bill 107, An Act to amend the Human Rights Code.Tags: canada, human rights, liberal party, ontario, politics
The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Toronto commencing on Wednesday, November 15, 2006.
The Committee intends to hold additional public hearings in the winter on dates and in locations to be determined.
Interested people who wish to be considered to make an oral presentation on Bill 107 must contact the Committee Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2006.
There are fourteen recommendations put forward by the party on this issue, which are summarized at the Ontario PC Party website.
The 14 recommendations focus on three broad categories: speeding up the process, helping newcomers once they have arrived and integrating them into our workforce. Some of these recommendations include:
- Building a really useful, cutting edge web portal that provides accurate credentialing information and opportunities for potential immigrants before they move to Canada. The same portal could and should deliver courses to help people Canadianize their credentials.
- Expand the Ontario Student Assistance Program to make loans available for new Canadians bridging or upgrading their training.
- Provide more supports for ESL training – to lower the language barriers that stand in the way of so many new Canadians’ success.
- Use the platform of TVO to provide effective general language, training and integration information to help new immigrants to adjust to Canada. Training materials produced by TVO would be available on-line to people waiting to come to Canada.
- Leverage on our existing system of colleges and universities and support them in providing training opportunities overseas.
- Expand bridging, mentoring and work experience programs for new Canadians by including more small and medium sized businesses. These programs must be attractive, accessible and affordable for smaller enterprises.
Once again, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario puts together a well thought out policy, after consultations with groups affected.canada, immigration, john tory, politics, progressive conservative party
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
They want me to be rich.
I want me to be rich.
From the Toronto Sun, Mercer factor.
The skinny dipping stunt may have given [Liberal leadership candidate Bob] Rae the kind of bounce Bill Clinton got from his 1991 sax stunt on Arsenio Hall. "It was certainly a moment," said Mercer.For those that missed it.
Let's have a look at the old polling factories [Angus Reid, Rae Would Get More Liberal Votes in Canada]:
Former Ontario premier Bob Rae is the most popular contender in the race for the leadership of Canada’s Liberal party, according to a poll by Decima Research released by the Canadian Press. 37 per cent of respondents say they are more likely to support the Liberals if Rae, who governed the country’s most populous province as a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP), is their leader.Of course, this poll was released in November.
What was the poll saying before his appearance - say, from a poll released September 25 [Angus Reid, Ignatieff Leads Liberal Hopefuls in Canada]:
Academic Michael Ignatieff is regarded as the best prospective leader for the opposition Liberal party in Canada, according to a poll by The Strategic Counsel released by CTV and the Globe and Mail. 35 per cent of respondents think Ignatieff would be a good or very good choice.I wonder what the polls would say if Ignatieff went and jumped in a lake.
Former Ontario premier Bob Rae—who governed Canada’s most populous province as a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP)—is second with 33 per cent, followed by former social development minister Ken Dryden with 30 per cent, former environment minister Stéphane Dion and former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy with 24 per cent each, and former public works and government services minister Scott Brison with 21 per cent.
Tags: bob rae, canada, liberal party, michael ignatieff, politics
Safe injection sites are working [CBC News, Vancouver's safe injection site successful: study]:
Crime and safety was the number one issue for voters in an exclusive CTV News poll, and police statistics show the overall crime rate is down significantly.
The 2006 violent crime stats are as follows:
- Homicides are down 13.4 per cent;
- Gun-related killings are down 46.7 per cent; and
- The number of shootings is down 18.7 per cent.
The number of gay marriages in Canada is rising, and yet not a single smiting or pillar of salt to be found [Globe & Mail, Same-sex marriages are on the rise, study says]:
Vancouver's safe injection site is slowing down the spread of HIV and helping drug users quit their habits, a new study finds — but an expert suggested that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government won't want to hear those results.
The study, which will appear Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, says the three-year-old Supervised Injection Site in the Downtown Eastside has been a great success.
Wedding bells are ringing for a growing number of same-sex couples across Canada, according to data compiled by Canadians for Equal Marriage, an organization that backs the country's current marriage law.What else could possibly go wrong with this country?
The data, to be released this morning, shows that more than 2,300 same-sex couples obtained marriage licences over a five-month period beginning in June -- nearly a quarter of the national total for the entire previous three years.
We might find out that pragmatism might actually work at times?
Tags: canada, politics
Monday, November 20, 2006
Torontoist : Etiquette Citations We'd Like To See
Sharing public spaces with millions of other people takes work. Most of the time, it's no biggie for the seasoned city resident, but every now and then a serious etiquette violation can upset the balance.
Continue reading to see how Torontoist imagines these tickets would look like. We've also linked to PDF versions of them to download in case our readers actually want to drop a hint to someone on their own.
Torontoist cites offenses for uses on the TTC, the Entertainment District, and in the city in general.
I have some food court etiquette offenses that warrant a card.
Complaining about the quality of food court food during peak hours.
First off, the majority of food court food stinks so complaining is redundant.
Secondly, I'm usually in something of a hurry when I'm in line for Combo #32, and I don't want you to complain that the wasabi for your food court sushi lacks that certain je ne sais quoi.
Thirdly, if the food provider does entertain your complaint, do not storm off in the middle of them trying to resolve it. They're usually handling me next and I don't want your helping of Vengeance SpitTM.
Loitering in the food court.
If you are seated at a table, then you must be eating. If you are not eating, you are not seated at the table.
The logic works both ways.
Extra loitering in the food court.
Two people do not need a table for 4. A "coat" and a "briefcase" do not constitute two extra people.
Condiments not easily accessible adding to turmoil.
Providers should not provide condiments in bottles, jars, or in containers requiring manual dexterity unless you provide a separate and distinct counter for the application of condiments. Everything should be in little packets, or should be available in little packets from the provider next door for easy pilfering.
Providers must at least try to make edible food.
I know, I'm not allowed to complain about the quality, but don't assume we're stupid. I know my herbs, and human hair does not taste the same as lemongrass.
and this ...
A convoluted legal spat over the Conservative party's acclamation of Calgary MP Rob Anders will continue after Alberta's Court of Appeal ordered a new judicial review application into the matter.
and this have in common?
These letters reveal how machine politics work. Those who have decreed I cannot run as a Conservative are unelected and have imposed their will upon an MP who was selected by the people.
If you said that it's proof that the Conservative Party doesn't work right when selecting candidates, you get half marks because that it isn't the whole answer. If you said the problem is selecting candidates in a non-democratic fashion, that's not it either.
I also believe it is a testament to the Conservative Party that they can attract a candidate of Ms Haskett’s stature.
My Goodness they had to look all the way to Washington D.C. to find her.
Indeed, the problem with the political party system is not when the party selects the candidates in a non-democratic method - be it through nomination protection in Calgary West, caucus eviction in Halton, or candidate parachuting in London-North Centre - the problem is when the individual party members accept the practice as good or as justified. It's not just the Conservative Party either that does this. I'll let you figure out the others.
These parties that do this, should eliminate the electoral district association, or fundamentally change their role. Right now, there is a mistaken perception that the local EDA have a choice in candidate selection. They do not, but the parties pretend they do.
It should be noted when you join a political party and run for the EDA that:
- Candidates are chosen by the central party headquarters.
- If in the event that a candidate cannot be selected by central party headquarters, the EDA may solicit requests from the membership and go through an election process. Regardless of that election outcome, the central party headquarters has the right to revoke that candidate's selection at any time, including caucus eviction after a successful election.
Again, the problem isn't the party politics - it's the people who support it. Instead of fighting it, leave and find something better. These parties will get the hint, eventually.
Tags: canada, politics
Friday, November 17, 2006
Voting closes November 21, and you may vote once per day.
Voting closes November 21, and you may vote once per day.
So, get out there, and vote for this blog or other blogs.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
At any rate, I'm going to point you over to Garth's blog where he has announced that he will be holding a media conference.
Tuesday, November 14Read the comments to that post to see the speculation about what the conference might be about. Should be interesting.
2 pm ET
National Press Building
OttawaFor more information: Esther Shaye (905) 693-0166, (905) 699-1902.
Tags: canada, garth turner, politics
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Tags: canada, remembrance day, veterans
Friday, November 10, 2006
From the LA Times:
Jack Palance, the leather-faced, gravelly-voiced actor who earned Academy Award nominations for "Sudden Fear" and "Shane," and who finally captured the Oscar almost 40 years later as the crusty trail boss in the 1991 comedy western "City Slickers," has died. He was 87.I remember being first introduced to Jack Palance when he hosted the old Ripley's Believe It or Not TV show back in the 80's. His cameo in Batman as Boss Carl Grissom was memorable and nobody can forget Curly from City Slickers.
Palance, who had been in failing health with a number of maladies, died today of natural causes in Montecito at the home of his daughter Holly, family members said.
He was one of the best-loved bad guys in motion picture and television history -- the murderous husband in "Sudden Fear" (1952), the creepy gunslinger in "Shane" (1953) and the cantankerous cattle driver Curly in "City Slickers" -- and kept acting well into his 80s.
Jack Palance will be missed.
Tags: jack palance, movies, obituary
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Well, actually, nobody has, but if you knew why I don't jaywalk, you probably would email me to ask me why I don't jaywalk.
Yes, that was a lame opening.
Anyway, I went for a walk yesterday during lunch over in the Entertainment District and noticed that there were a lot of people jaywalking. Traffic downtown was surprising light, and so there were a lot of intersections with red lights on for no reason, I guess. People would charge out and cross without a care. Me, being the non-jaywalker, would just stand on the corner feeling all alone.
My problem isn't with the actual act of jaywalking as I have jaywalked and continue to do so. My problem is with the "when" the act occurs.
I'm usually only in an opportunity to jaywalk when I'm downtown.
I'm usually only downtown when I'm working.
Therefore, if I jaywalk, I increase the likelihood of me being bug splatter on the windshield of a minivan during a work day.
And, I have an irrational fear of dying while working or while at work (which explains my previous exclamations about preppy junior accountants trying to run me over. See? It's a pattern). The thought of my last few moments on earth consumed with setting up a meeting or checking my voice mail makes me nauseous. The worst thought I could have as my last would be, "Did I forget to issue a status report?"
So, the last thing I'm going to do while working, is jaywalk.
Tags: insanity, jaywalking
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
In short, the income trust loophole needed to be closed. Eric Reguly, in the Globe & Mail, describes it thusly.
It was only a matter of time before a government (any government) would have shut them down. If you had income trusts as the cornerstone of your investment portfolio, you were an accident waiting to happen. It's unfortunate too - they were attractive - high regular dividend payments at a preferred tax rate made them far more attractive than GICs and bonds, and certainly more so than regular equities.
Tax balance -- the relative proportion paid by corporations and individuals -- was already in trouble in Canada. The rising trust market threatened to kill it. The impression given by corporations, with their lobbyists and PR men and speechwriters, is they pay the lion's share of the taxes in this country, and that the tax burden is making them uncompetitive in the global market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that corporations paid the equivalent of 60 per cent of all individual taxes collected in the early 1960s, according to national accounts. Since then, the figure has dropped to about 30 per cent. In other words, the relative tax burden on the individual has doubled, while on corporations it has been halved.
The trust market could theoretically shift the corporate tax burden to zero. In time, the individual, like Sisyphus, would have to push the tax stone up the hill all by himself. Fair and balanced? Forget it.
So, the Conservative government was right to shut them down.
At the same time, the Conservative Party promised [PDF] not to shut them down.
What the Conservative government has effectively done is attacked retirement savings (and savings in general) and did nothing to preserve income trusts. What's worse politically, is they have validated the Liberal "attack" on them.
Stop the Liberal attack on retirement savings and preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them.
Garth Turner had a better solution to handling the income trust closure:
Which leads me to my final comment.
I think the minister of finance could have declared a moratorium on new conversions, struck a blue ribbon panel to study the industry and eased in regs over the past few months making it crystal what direction the feds were going in. That would have allowed for a more orderly, less panicked correction, and kept from scaring the crap out of a few million seniors. It would have been a kinder blow. But if you’re a prime minister planning an election in a few months, and want nasty things done now so people will forget about them, well, you pick another route.
I think everyone concedes that the federal government had to close down income trusts as a non-taxable entity. I'm just surprised it happened now and in this manner. This is usually one of those "got to do" policies that a government does in the first year of a majority mandate so that people forget it by the time you go to the polls again. We may be headed back early next year and I think this is going to be fresh on everyone's mind.
What's unfortunate too is, lost in this income trust outrage, is the positive announcement about income splitting for seniors.
Tags: canada, conservative party, income trusts, jim flaherty, politics, seniors
Ah well, with cleaner air we can eat more birds, like crow.
An international group of ecologists and economists warned yesterday that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates, based on a four-year study of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses.
[H/T, My Blahg]
Tags: canada, environment, world