Friday, July 31, 2009 

Why You Shouldn't Drive Through A Safari Park With Rooftop Luggage




"Let's face it, nobody wants to see a baboon running up a tree with their underwear."
Skynews.com

Thursday, July 30, 2009 

Chalk River Reactor Leaks Radioactive Water For Months

The lack of public outrage over the leak of radioactive water in Ontario baffles me. Are you people all comatose ... or are you just too bloody stupid to comprehend the consequences of radioactive water in your lives?

"OTTAWA — Radioactive water has stopped leaking from the nuclear reactor at Chalk River, ending two months of low-level radiation seeping into the Upper Ottawa Valley atmosphere.

Workers with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. recently completed draining the reactor's 65,000-litre vessel and are now preparing to dispatch a remote-controlled ultra-sonic probe deep into the disabled machine to inspect the site of a leak of tritium-laced heavy water that began May 14.
"
Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 

How Many More Ponzi Schemes Are Out There? It's Time For Legislators To Clamp Down!

The biggest flaw in the free-enterprise system still contines to be .... Caveat Emptor
(Definition:
Tacit warning to the buyers that the sellers are not bound to volunteer negative information about the items they are selling. It is assumed that (unless the seller gives express warranty) the buyer takes all risk of any loss due to defects in the goods or property being bought. Latin for, let the buyer beware).

This is the principle that allows cigarette companies to continue to kill millions of people. This is the principle that allowed Bernie Madoff and Earl Jones to steal the hard earned life savings of 94 year old widows.

Let's face it, the only difference between Madoff/Jones and those other Ponzi schemers who continue to operate is that THEY WERE CAUGHT!

At some point, legislators and parliamentarians better wake up and ensure that they people who elected them, are protected from the criminals who hide behind 'Caveat Emptor'.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 

What's That Smell Coming From Toronto???


It's over!


Cartoon by kind permission of
Graeme MacKay
at mackaycartoons.net

 

Assembly Of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo Shows Keen Political Skill By Making Saskatchewan His First Visit



With only a 58% mandate in what normally requires 60% of the vote, newly elected AFN Grand Chief, Shawn Atleo, has demonstrated keen political skill by making the home territory of his main competitor the scene of his first official visit. Atleo attended the Pow Wow at Saskatchewan's Carry the Kettle First Nation last weekend.

Atleo is a member of the Ahousaht Nation in British Columbia and has a Masters Degree in Education. In the photo above, he is pictured in a cedar hat and cape which is traditionally worn by his people in the Pacific Northwest rain forest.

CBC News

Monday, July 27, 2009 

Unfettered Free Market Slime Ball Arrested In Montreal


Progressive Bloggers

"Quebec provincial police have arrested Earl Jones, the Canadian financial adviser wanted by authorities for allegedly swindling clients out of as much as $50 million, at his lawyer's office in downtown Montreal. Jones, 67, was reportedly silent as detectives led him out of an office tower to an unmarked police car, which drove off just after 1 p.m. on Monday."
CTV News

Jones will appear in court in Montreal on Tuesday.

Ahh .. the glories of the unfettered free market!

 

The über-secretive Conservative party training conference in downtown Ottawa

"At the über-secretive Conservative party training conference in downtown Ottawa"
Stephen Taylor Tweet
July 27, 2009

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper's (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) minority governing Conservatives will hold a training conference for the 143 MPs, the 165 candidates in unheld ridings, and campaign managers in Ottawa this week.While the Ontario wing of the federal Liberal Party of Canada ordered all riding associations last week to complete nominations by the end of August.

The Conservatives will hold their two-day training conference at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Ottawa on the Kent Street on Monday and Tuesday, followed by their annual two-day summer caucus retreat on Parliament Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday to plot Parliamentary strategy for the fall session in which an election could be triggered."

Hill Times

Saturday, July 25, 2009 

Once Again, Peter Worthington Appears To Be Putting His Name To Propaganda From Harper's PMO

Right wing columnist, Peter Worthington, never misses an opportunity to carry Stephen Harper's message to the world. In an attempt to counter this ....

"A report from the security intelligence review committee (SIRC), released Wednesday in Ottawa, said documents also show Khadr's U.S. captors threatened him with rape, kept him alone and would not let him sleep. Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers questioned Khadr at Guantanamo Bay in 2003 and shared the results of their interrogations with the Americans."
CBC

.... Worthing writes and publishes this .....

"Let his lawyers plead his case, and after that see about him coming back to Canada. As long as he is treated humanely, what happens to Khadr is America’s business, not Canada’s. He made his choice, and we should accept that."
Ottawa Sun

No whore like an old whore.

Friday, July 24, 2009 

Police Forces Need To Accept Recommendations From Taser Inquiry

When Canadian police forces adopted the Taser, they certainly did not anticipate the high number of deaths that this modern tool would cause. Taser Inc. certainly did an effective 'sales' job in flogging their product, strongly denying that any ill effect could ever result from use of the Taser.

Robert Dziekanski's death at the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, witnessed by millions, changed all of that.

Police forces everywhere better pay attention to the recommendations brought forward by The Braidwood inquiry. Tasers can and do kill people. That was never the intention.

Ottawa Citizen online

Thursday, July 23, 2009 

Healthcare as a Human Right - Not a Commodity to be Purchased. Many Humans have this Right. They just aren't Americans.

"Another name for "what's called a single-payer system" would be: healthcare as a human right, not a commodity to be purchased. Many humans have this right. They just aren't Americans. Obama's mention of single-payer, in passing, as something that would be better than anything else, but something that mysteriously lies out of reach, is typical of the very few mentions of single-payer healthcare in the U.S. corporate media."
The Censored Health-Care Option
By David Swanson
July 23, 2009
Consortium News

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 

Immigration Minister's Interference Inappropriate



'Political Interference Crippling Refugee Board' - Former Chair
Jason Kenney's comments are bringing personal harm to refugee claimants and may have overstepped the legal line between politics and independent refugee decisions, say several immigration experts.

"Jason Kenney has compromised his position as immigration minister by repeatedly slamming the validity of various refugee claims and blatantly undermining the independence of Canada's refugee tribunal, legal and immigration experts, including former IRB chairman Peter Showler, are charging.

Over the past several months, Mr. Kenney has publicly declared asylum claims by U.S. war deserters to be "bogus," accused would-be Mexican refugees of systematically abusing the system, and questioned the legitimacy of refugee claims by Roma from the Czech Republic."

Embassymag.ca


Cartoon by kind permission of
Graeme MacKay
at mackaycartoons.net

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 

NASA Image Shows Jupiter Struck By Large Object


PASADENA, California — A large comet or asteroid has slammed into Jupiter, creating an impact site the size of Earth, pictures by an Australian amateur astronomer show.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed the discovery using its large infrared telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, said computer programer Anthony Wesley, 44, who discovered the impact zone while stargazing at home.

News of Wesley's find on a backyard 14.5-inch reflecting telescope has stunned the astronomy world, with scientists saying the impact will last only days more.

BBC News

Monday, July 20, 2009 

Corporate Theft In Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, pulling a 'Bernie Madoff' or an 'Earl Jones' against working people brings nothing but a yawn from our provincial government. Ripping off young workers? ... no big deal ....

How Poverino's walked away without paying 137 young people owed wages
"More than 135 workers mostly students and other young people are still waiting for their wages 21/2 years after Poverino's Pasta Grill closed its doors in Regina. Some are owed thousands of dollars for the work they did when the restaurant was in business prior to 2007.

Meanwhile, the director of the now-defunct numbered company that owned the place is living and working in Calgary. His $62,000 debt to the former staff remains unpaid. The company's shareholders are also off the hook.

That's fundamentally unfair, says Saskatchewan Federation of Labour president Larry Hubich. "What we are witnessing in Saskatchewan is government-sanctioned corporate theft," he wrote in his blog on the SFL website. "When is somebody in the government going to do something about it?"


Lori Coolican

Sunday, July 19, 2009 

Home Made Air Conditioning For Your Car



This pic is priceless. The man who owns this old car wanted air conditioning installed. The auto repair shop told him that it would cost about $1400 to install an air-conditioning unit. The car owner decided to do it himself and mounted an apartment air conditioner into the vehicle and a generator to run it.

 

Family Wedding Weekend


I have been at a family wedding in Winnipeg this weekend .... having a great time! It was a wonderful Irish/Polish wedding. Regular political hackery/blogging will resume tomorrow!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009 

Why Is A Saskatchewan Conservative MP Sending Mailouts To People In Newfoundland?

The Yorkton-Melville federal riding is in Saskatchewan. Their Conservative Member of Parliament, Garry Breitkreuz, is sending taxpayer funded material to residents of St. John's Newfoundland. Folks in St. John's are wondering ... 'wassup with that'?

CBC

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 

Green Party Of Alberta Deregistered by Elections Alberta



Apparently, too much infighting and dispute has seen the Alberta Green Party go under, at least for now.

As a social democrat, I'd like to see more social democracy in Green platforms and less fighting with the New Democrats. However, there are far too many right wing thinkers who have attached themselves to the Greens and I don't feel comfortable with that. Example: In the last Ontario provincial election, tons of disgruntled Conservatives parked their votes with the Ontario Green Party because they felt comfortable with that choice. That kind of political cohabitation makes me very nervous. I am far more comfortable with the social democratic Green parties that exist in Europe.

Another example; Green Leader, Elizabeth May's work as a lawyer advising Mulroney's Environment Minister, Tom McMillan, makes me nervous, except for the fact that she resigned in 1988 after the Conservatives approval of the Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan without any environmental assessments. To date, Canada's Greens leave many social democrats very confused about who they are as a result of their mixed up support demographics and history.

Anyway, down goes the Alberta Greens!

ffwdweekly.com

 

Stephen Harper Diminishes Canada On The International Stage

It is becoming evidently clear that Canadians need to ditch Stephen Harper as the representative of our great nation at the international level. He is an embarrassment now and it is only getting worse.

"Canwest News reporter David Akin said that when he follows the prime minister to such summits, the Canadian leader is so poorly known that photographers are constantly asking who Mr. Harper is.

Mr. Akin recalled that at the prime minister's first G8 Summit in St. Petersburg in 2006, Mr. Harper avoided the press for three entire days, even as every other G8 leader loudly trumpeted their messages to the international press gathered on site.

"He was so uncomfortable he was invisible, he physically looked smaller in that '06 summit...he seemed really out of his element," Mr. Akin said. "When you're travelling with him, there's never enough information about his activities, about who he's speaking to. The read-outs that we get from the PMO communications when he meets with other leaders are frustratingly bland and vague."

Journalist and author Andrew Cohen suggests Mr. Harper's performance and press coverage from the G8 may reflect Canada's diminished role in the world. Mr. Cohen questions what international issue Mr. Harper has associated himself and Canada with, and said it is not clear what it is that Canada is contributing.

"What struck me about this is that he was relentlessly and unnecessarily partisan," Mr. Cohen said. "And you wonder why he did it; it doesn't help him internationally and it doesn't help him at home...so why did he do it? Maybe because he just can't help himself."

Embassy Mag.ca

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 

To Harper - They Are ALL 'Bad Czechs'

"European Union diplomats and officials have signalled that Canadians could face visa restrictions from member countries, if Ottawa does not lift newly announced visa requirements for Czech nationals. EU spokesperson Michele Cercone said the European Commission "regrets" Ottawa's decision and would be speaking with Canadian officials in short order, though no immediate action was planned."
CTV News

"Canada's decision to impose visa requirements on Mexican and Czech citizens as a way of curbing dubious refugee claimants was roundly criticized Monday by their governments and business and civil rights groups as unnecessary, shameful and an unwelcome irritant. [...] The Czech government made the strongest objections, calling the Canadian government's action one-sided and inadequate as well as “unfriendly in the context of long-term good relations between…two democratic countries.” On Tuesday, it said it will recall its ambassador from Canada and impose visa requirements on Canadian diplomats and Canadians visiting the Czech Republic on business."
The Globe & Mail

Monday, July 13, 2009 

Ahh ... The Glories Of The 'Unfettered' Free Market!!

It is hard to imagine that right wing conservative types actually want to DECREASE the amount of scrutiny and accountability that currently exists in Canada's financial industry. Anyone who says that the industry is 'fettered' by too much regulation and government interference, needs a swift kick in the ass!

But how do Canada's right wing thinkers react to this story? .... They fault the victims!

"Quebec's securities regulator has ordered the assets of a small Montreal investment firm frozen after several investors came forward complaining they had stopped receiving payments and the owner of the firm could not be reached.

In a press release, the L'Autorité des marchés financiers says it has ordered a stop "to all activity, direct or indirect" of the Earl Jones Corporation in order to probe its assets.

A message left on the answering machine of the longtime investment adviser based out of the Montreal suburb of Pointe Claire earlier today suggests investors might not see their money again.

"If you are calling regarding your account with us, we are not in the position to remit your funds," a male voice on the recording says.

"In the meantime, phone calls and mail will not be answered."

Earl Jones has managed assets and estates for more than 20 years."

CBC News

Friday, July 10, 2009 

Premier Brad Wall Prepared To Lose Hundreds Of Millions Just To Open The Door To Nuclear Reactor In Saskatchewan

“What we found is that if you look at a business case, the revenue you generate just from isotopes alone, you could maybe justify about a third of the cost of a reactor.
Richard Florizone
-Chair of the Uranium Development Partnership
-Co-chair of the Research Reactor Working Group responding to the economic feasibility of an isotope reactor, July 9, 2009


Saskatchewan's right wing Premier is a strong advocate for the construction of a nuclear power reactor in the province. He is so intent on building a reactor that he has stepped forward with a proposal to construct a reactor that will 'only' be used for medical isotopes. Nothing was mentioned of this project in either the province's Budget, Speech from the Throne or legislative debate. Unfortunately for Wall, there is no sound business case for such a project and Saskatchewan taxpayers would be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.

At the same time, Saskatchewan's reactor critics are openly stating that the Saskatchewan Party Government proposal for an isotope generating reactor is merely a political Trojan Horse, attempting to initiate reactor construction in the province.

Wall is not making a convincing argument to the people of his province, at least in terms of the costs of his proposed reactor project.

-Saskatchewan to make federal bid for isotope facility, Premier confirms

-Nuclear critics suspect hidden agenda in Sask. medical isotope plan

-Details Lacking in Isotope Reactor Plans - Official Opposition

Thursday, July 09, 2009 

Afgans Amend Offensive Rape Law - Instead of being able to rape a wife who does not provide sex, you can now only starve her!

"An Afghan law which legalised rape has been sent back to parliament with a clause letting husbands starve their wives if they refuse to have sex. [...] The amendments were passed to the cabinet this week and signed by Mr Karzai on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said last night."
The Independent

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 

Don't Blame Michael Jackson For All Of The Endless Media Hype And Sensationalism - Blame The Hyper Competitive MSM!

The mains stream media - newspapers, television and radio, once again went completely over the top with their coverage of the death of Michael Jackson. You will be hard pressed, even amongst Jackson fans, to find anyone who thinks that there was not enough coverage.

Think back to September 11th, 2001. For weeks after the events of that day, all of the big North American TV networks, NBC - CBS - FOX - CNN - MSNBC - CTV - CBC - lost their minds and saturated us day and night with their single topic programing.

We saw the same when Britain's Princess Diana died. Days of torturous, unabated media frenzy.

Now the most recent episode of media compulsive disorder has centered around the death of a popular singer/dancer. Unfortunately, many people who became sick of the whole MSM obsession, turned their frustration and anger against the guy who died. Not too bright if you ask me.

The wall to wall coverage that we have witnessed over the last two weeks is a symptom of the extremely competitive and highly dysfunctional free enterprise market that exists in media. CNN wants you to watch them. NBC is desperate for you to turn to their broadcasts. FOX wants you to watch their programing. On and on it goes.

Sweeps and viewer surveys dictate the rates and sales rationale for the networks to attract advertisers. They need you to watch their product. Desperately.

The fact that viewers do not turn this mindless MSM jabber off is because so many people are addicted to the medium and television sets are turned on most of the day in many homes.

It is just a matter of time before the next story comes along and starts another MSM feeding frenzy. I wonder what it will be? Regardless, it WILL happen and whatever it is, we will be lambasted once again for endless days by the MSM - all of whom are in competition with each other for your eyes and ears so that they can sell advertising to their sponsors.

If you don't like the hyperactive and insane coverage that we just witnessed on the Jackson death, blame yourself for not turning your television off.

Adweek H/T to Neal R!

Progressive Bloggers
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Tuesday, July 07, 2009 

Buckdog Interview With Dwain Lingenfelter - New Leader Of The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party


Progressive Bloggers

The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party elected Dwain Lingenfelter as its Leader on June 6, 2009 in convention at Regina.

Thank you Mr. Lingenfelter for accepting my request for an interview.
Q. To begin with, during the leadership campaign you stated that you were anxious to implement a process of policy renewal for the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party. Now that you have taken the position of Leader, what can we expect to see upcoming in this regard?


The Saskatchewan NDP is often at its best when we are in opposition. It was while we were in opposition between the time of Premiers’ Lloyd and Blakeney that we came up with the New Deal for People. And I remember well when Roy Romanow implemented a province-wide policy renewal process in the years leading up to the 1991 Provincial Election.

Now is our chance to “dream no little dreams”. We need a systematic and complete review of all of our party policy in preparation for the next election. This was actually the first promise that I made in the leadership campaign. I firmly believe that a social democratic movement is strongest when it has an active, engaged membership, which is listening constantly to the issues and concerns that matter most to people in their communities, and then acting on that information to help form positive solutions to relevant policy challenges.

I have called on the provincial executive of the party to help me with the details of this plan to launch a comprehensive policy renewal process beginning in the Fall of 2009. I am committed to ensuring that this process is public, transparent and accountable. Too often in recent elections, election platforms were the work of select committees of the party, meeting in private, involving too few party members and too few voters in the process. In the 21st century, with new tools and technologies that allow for rapid and interactive discussion, we can and must do better.


The provincial executive of the party will be working on this project over the next few months and will be releasing the details of this plan in the fall. Of particular note to bloggers such as yourself, this process must use some of those new tools and technologies that I mentioned earlier, and I pledge to keep you informed of developments on that front as they occur.

Let me give you some examples. Now these are merely suggestions that I am making to the provincial executive, so I am not promising that all of these suggestions will be incorporated, but they will serve to give you an idea of what we are discussing and what options we are examining.

First of all there needs to be an academic component to any policy review that we undertake. This is not to say that the discussion begins or ends with academics, but that they can help provide us with some of modern developments in certain policy fields as experts in those fields, and help provide us with valuable resources for further study.

Any academic conference in our political party must be balanced out with the wisdom of the general membership and the general public. Imagine an academic conference that was broadcast over the Internet, where anyone could follow the discussion and participate in simultaneous online chat or discussion. This might be a way to engage the academic community and the general membership in a discussion about policy.

Or, take a look at what Barak Obama did successfully after he was elected, during the transition period in the United States. One of his initiatives was the “Citzen’s briefing Book” which was tremendously successful project that enabled everyday Americans to share their expertise and insight with President Obama.

Imagine a “policy round table” where any member of the party or the general public could submit a policy idea or proposal, any member of the party or the public could comment on each others proposals and people could cast their “votes” to indicate which topics were of the most value to them. This could result in a wide range of policy ideas and discussions that would involve any number of people from around the province, of varying levels of expertise.

In any case, no matter what the details, clearly there needs to be an online component to the policy review process. Even very basic features such as using Facebook to notify people of the policy discussions and inviting them to make online submissions, releasing up-to-date information on the webpage and ensuring that the final product is in a “web-friendly” format need to be incorporated from the very beginning of the discussion, and they will be.

We also don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. This is one of the reasons these types of discussions with bloggers and other online citizens is so crucial to the ultimate success of our party, if you or your readers have suggestions – please do not hesitate to let us know about them. We hope that these types of online interviews are merely the fist step in an ongoing dialogue.


Q. I am a member of the large baby boom generation and there is no doubt that this age demographic is going to continue to be felt in our society for sometime yet. At the same time, I am anxious to see younger individuals have opportunities to become more active in both our party and as Members of our provincial Legislative Caucus. What will you do to ensure that our Party becomes relevant to the whole range of ‘generational’ concerns that many younger supporters have?

From the beginning, I have worked closely with the youth of our party. I’ve listened, and learned from a whole new generation of activists. I’ve talked about the need for our candidate team to better reflect the diversity of the Saskatchewan population by involving more women, more First Nations and Métis people, more visible minorities, more trade unionists and more farmers.

Also, I would be lying if I said I was not impressed by the enthusiasm, energy and new ideas that the young members of the party brought, not just to my leadership campaign, but all of the leadership campaigns. There was a dynamic in all camps of this leadership race to truly engage and involve younger and newer members of the party. When I looked around at the leadership convention hall, there were more young people there then has been seen in our party for quite some time. We need to build on that engagement and that excitement.

There are two parts to any plan to engage and excite people. One is to have a message that interests them, the second is to get that message to them. As I have already discussed in my first answer, we need to ensure that there is a message and a vision that people can relate to – and this includes younger people. There must be substantial input in our policy development process from those individuals to ensure that their concerns are reflected in the final product.

Once that policy exists, we need to communicate it to people. With younger people in particular, this means embracing new technology. Be it Facebook and twitter which all the leadership campaigns used, websites or bloggers, increasingly, more and more people are getting their news from purely electronic sources. While not ignoring the traditional forms of communication, we need to embrace and adapt to these new forms of communication as well.

I hope that these types of interviews, with bloggers like you, will begin a dialogue with people who are connected to this new technology and new method of communication. I am genuinely interested in what you have to say on this topic! I look forward to reading a post in the future from you about how you think we can better communicate in the online world.

As to your second point, about getting young people involved in our party and in our legislature, I could not agree more. First of all, I have encouraged both the younger candidates for Leader, Yens and Ryan, to run for seats and get elected to our legislature. We need them on our team, in the House, helping take the fight to Brad Wall and the Sask Party.

The first step towards getting more young people involved in the legislature (as will all target demographics) is getting them involved in the party. My team had many people in their 20s and early 30s involved in every aspect. My co-chair was a young woman in her thirties, all of my policy statements were worked on by people in their late twenties and early thirties, and I have encouraged many of those people, and others, to get involved in elected positions inside the party as a first step to getting elected in the legislature. I am very happy with the diversity of people, particularly young people, that I see getting involved at the constituency level. This is a trend that needs to be nourished and encouraged.

Again, we look to the online world for help here. It is no secret that today’s young people are more familiar with the new technology and the new ways of doing things. We will be looking to young people to play key roles in this space moving forward, and hopefully teaching us old dogs a few new tricks along the way!


Q. Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party seem to have already decided that they want a nuclear power reactor to be constructed in this province even though they said nothing on the topic during the last election campaign. As you know, they are being widely criticized for the rapid process of public consultation that they have adopted. What are your thoughts on the whole area of nuclear power generation in Saskatchewan?

First of all, I would encourage people not to make the same fundamental mistake that Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party have made. It is foolish to think that you can examine the nuclear power issue in isolation. Where is the comprehensive, even-handed, public review of all the energy options available to our province? The energy options we choose for the next twenty years will impact everything from our provincial finances, to our economic growth; from peoples’ health, to our quality of life. These decisions cannot be made without full, public input and understanding.

Let me also say this, and I cannot emphasize this enough, we need a renewed commitment to energy conservation and a mix of both renewable and conventional energy sources to meet our energy needs in the immediate future. We in our party know that the best source of new energy is conservation, and this needs to be one of the cornerstones of any energy plan moving forward.

On the topic of a nuclear reactor, I do not support the construction of a nuclear reactor to generate power within Saskatchewan’s borders unless a public, transparent study has been conducted by a blue ribbon panel of independent experts, showing the people of Saskatchewan that such a project could be sustainable, from both the financial and environmental perspective. This is in line with our party policy, confirmed at our most recent convention, and will no doubt be part of our policy review moving forward.

The Wall government has refused to let the people of Saskatchewan help plan their own energy future. It has stumbled and bumbled into a flawed process that clearly favours a single new energy source, provided by a single, private sector player, while freezing out the people of Saskatchewan.
Much of the Wall government’s information about the nuclear power option has been based on a feasibility study commissioned by the very company that proposes to build the nuclear power plant. As I have said, this is a little like commissioning General Motors to ask if you really need to buy a new car.

The Wall government’s special committee reviewing the nuclear option, the $3 Million Uranium Development Partnership, has conducted its work behind closed doors, is dominated by nuclear proponents and has a limited mandate by the government’s own admission to “make recommendations on Saskatchewan-based value-added opportunities in the uranium industry”. Again, I ask, where is the comprehensive, even-handed, public review of all the energy options available to the people of Saskatchewan?
And as you pointed out in one of your recent posts, Wall is already trying to build a nuclear research reactor that could produce medical isotopes with no consultations, no legislative authority, and with his own Uranium Development Partnership report telling him that this is not feasible. Clearly this is an issue of ideology with the Sask Party and they just cannot be trusted on this file.


Q. Brad Wall has had a fairly cozy relationship with the Harper Conservative Government. In fact, Premier Wall dropped any further action against the federal government with regard to the equalization issue. What is your position on the whole matter of equalization, and can you comment on the Saskatchewan Party government's record on this file?

The equalization file is a crystal clear example of why Saskatchewan people need a Government that will stand up for their interests. Brad Wall has demonstrated that when it comes to an issue as important as $800 million a year that is being stripped from our province that he would rather stand with Stephen Harper and watch the money go to Ottawa than stand with the people of Saskatchewan.

In March, 2005, when Brad Wall was leader of the Opposition Saskatchewan Party and Paul Martin was the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Wall said in the legislative assembly "I think all sides in this legislature can agree on at least one thing today. The federal equalization formula does not treat Saskatchewan fairly."

As a matter of fact, Mr. Wall and the Saskatchewan Party felt so strongly about the issue that they released a 10 point plan to deal with the matter, which included the concept of launching a Constitutional challenge if negotiations with the federal government weren't successful.

But when governments changed, Brad Wall’s position changed with them.

In 2007, after repeated attempts to negotiate a better deal with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the NDP government launched a Contstitutional challenge. A challenge based on two important principles - equitable treatment with other provinces and provincial ownership of non-renewable natural resources. At the time, Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party supported the idea in principle.

Shortly after the Saskatchewan Party formed government, Mr. Wall acknowledged that Stephen Harper had personally requested that the province drop the Constitutional challenge. In July 2008, the Saskatchewan Party did just that. However, Mr. Wall also noted that he had no intention of releasing the legal opinion surrounding the challenge because it might have to be dusted off for use against some future federal government.

It is clear that Mr. Wall feels this is about politics. The NDP has always known it is about fairness. The constitutional challenge has merit and both levels of government know it, that is why Mr. Harper had to lean on his buddy Brad Wall to drop the lawsuit.

Should the NDP win the next election, I commit to re-launching the lawsuit against the Federal government and I commit to getting a fair equalization deal to help the people of Saskatchewan build a better future right here.


Q. In roughly two years time, Saskatchewan citizens will be voting in a provincial election. As you see it, how would you rate the performance of the Saskatchewan Party government halfway through their mandate?

Well first of all, let me say this. No government, certainly in this province and I doubt in any province in Canada, has ever been handed the reins of power with the province in such good shape. Under the NDP, there was unprecedented economic development, people were moving to the province in record numbers, the books had been balanced for many years and money was just starting to be put in place to deal with social and environmental issues (such as the senior’s drug plan and the $300 million commitment for climate change).

Was our government perfect? Of course not. We made our fair share of mistakes. But no reasonable person could conclude that we left this province worse off then when we took over in the early nineties.

So, yes, Brad Wall’s government has been able to make a number of popular decisions since taking office. But the true test of a government is not how you manage the good times, but how you manage the bad times. And the world is now facing some very tough times indeed.

Sure the Sask Party government has spent a lot of taxpayer’s dollars trying to be popular. But what have we got to show for it? The boom certainly has not benefited all people equally. What about the person earning minimum wage (the Sask Party has been “studying” that for two years but won’t raise the wage)? What about the working families that are struggling under high utility rates and massive rent and housing increases? How would they grade the Wall government? What about working men and women in our province that are seeing their rights stripped away by the Sask Party’s agenda in their ongoing war on labour? How would they grade this government?

And what is the government’s response to all of those people? Nothing.

Worse than nothing, Brad Wall and the Sask Party are simply arrogant in the way they ignore the less fortunate in our society. Arrogance and secrecy are the way this government does business.

When it comes to privatizing our crown corporations by the back door, when it comes to consultations on the nuclear file, when it comes to labour legislation that affects thousands of working people in the province, when it comes to signed agreements with others provinces that take away the rights of municipal governments, when it comes to simple things, like publishing the names of businesses who have been convicted of occupational health and safety violations, when it comes to telling the people of Saskatchewan how much they are going to have to pay in the future to heat their homes and turn on the lights, what answers can you get from this government?

None.

Or worse yet, when you do get an answer, it just shows that they don’t actually care about the people of the province that are left out by the boom.

Let me give you an example, just a few days ago, Statistics Canada released numbers showing that Employment Insurance (EI) recipients in Saskatchewan has increased by over 80 percent from April of last year. An 80% increase in EI. That concerns me, and it should concern you. But it doesn’t concern the Sask Party. The Minister responsible for the file said that it was expected and that there was no cause for alarm. How will those people, the 80% increase, how will those new recipients of EI grade this government?

The only way they will give them an 'A' is if it stands for arrogance.


Mr. Lingenfelter, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Monday, July 06, 2009 

Canadian Radio And Television Commission Decides To Leave Internet Alone ... for now

I suppose that Canadian political bloggers of all partisan stripes should be somewhat pleased that the CRTC has decided to leave the internet alone .. at least for now.

"Federal broadcast officials will continue to leave the Internet unregulated, ruling yesterday to keep it outside the gamut of rules Ottawa applies to conventional media--for now.

Following months of deliberation, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said it would not impose the same regulation it applies to television and radio, such as the amount of domestic content that must be aired, on broadcasters online or Internet service providers.

"While broadcasting in new media is growing in importance, we do not believe that regulatory intervention is necessary at this time," said Konrad von Finckenstein, the CRTC's chairman.

"Internet and mobile services are acting in a complementary fashion to the traditional broadcasting system. Any intervention on our part would only get in the way of innovation. [...]

"The CRTC understands the Internet's power and ability to change our lives because it's not regulated and because its not taxed."

The ruling strikes down the threat of a potential tax on ISPs that would have subsidized the production of Canadian content.

Still, the CRTC left the window open on future regulation, while calling on the Federal Court of Appeal to clarify the status of service providers under the Broadcasting Act."

Calgary Herald

Saturday, July 04, 2009 

Happy Fourth Of July!



One third of the traffic I get to my site comes from the USA. To my American readers as well as my friends and family who live south of the 49th parallel, Happy 4th of July!

 

New Gen New Democrats Ready To Challenge Conservative MP's In Saskatchewan

One of the interesting features of the recent Sask. New Democratic leadership campaign was the noticeable upsurge of young persons who actively participated in the campaign. The candidacy of Yens Pedersen and Ryan Meili attracted a large number of young New Democrats to their camps, and it can also be pointed out that the Lingenfelter campaign garnered a lot of youth as well.

The bottom line is that Saskatchewan's New Democratic Party is alive and well and the brain trust of the ruling Saskatchewan Party ignore it at their peril.

However, we are much more likely to have a Federal election held before the next provincial vote, which isn't slated until the fall of 2011.

Harper's Conservative operatives believe that they already have most of Saskatchewan's Federal ridings in the bag for the next campaign. Not so fast! An ongoing investigation by the RCMP into the illegal use of Canadian Wheat Board voters lists by some sitting Saskatchewan Conservative Members of Parliament is still underway here. The results of that investigation may tar the Tories with some very bad publicity just as voters go to the polls.

Be prepared to see some very high caliber, dedicated New Democrats go after the Conservatives in the next federal campaign. Regina lawyer, Noah Evanchuk is rumoured to be throwing his hat in the ring for the New Democrats in Palliser and you can expect a few other dedicated candidates to make life difficult for Conservatives like Andrew Sheer, Tom Lukiwski and others.

Stay tuned!

-Accidental Deliberations
-The Louis Riel Trail

Friday, July 03, 2009 

Palin Quits As Alaska Governor

"Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has anounced she will resign as governor of Alaska on 26 July and not run for re-election.

Mrs Palin's term of office was due to end in 2010.

There has been speculation that Mrs Palin, who is very popular with the Republican Party base, might make a bid for the White House in 2012.

Her resignation means Alaska's Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell will take over as state governor."

BBC World


"Palin disclosed the surprise news Friday afternoon from her home in Wasilla with her husband, Todd, and Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, who the governor said would take over the state on Saturday, July 25th.

With the decision, Palin liberates herself from the political constraints that come with running for president while still in elected office.

Leaving office at the end of the month, the former vice presidential hopeful will be able to travel the country more freely without facing the sort of repeated ethics inquiries she’s been fending off since returning to Alaska earlier this year.

In making her announcement, Palin spoke directly to those inquiries, saying she wouldn’t stand by as taxpayer money was spent to investigate her.

Speaking outside of her home with Lake Lucille in the background, Palin derided the “superficial political bloodsport” that has been aimed at her since rocketing into fame last summer.

And, in remarks that appeared to be off the cuff, Palin also recalled her days as a high school basketball point guard, arguing that she was advancing her state by stepping down.

“I know when it’s time to pass the ball for victory,” Palin said.

Politico

Thursday, July 02, 2009 

Exclusive Video Footage Of Michael Jackson Rehearsing - Less Than 48 Hours Before His Death!



Michael Jackson looks perfectly healthy in this rehearsal video taken on Tuesday evening, June 23rd. He was dead one and a half days later on the afternoon of June 25th.


Video footage courtesy CNN....

 

World Wildlife Fund Says Canada Is Eighth Of Eight - Worst Record In The G8


"The World Wildlife Fund gives Canada a failing grade on its climate change practices, ranking the country behind all other major industrialized nations, including the U.S.

Canada finished in eighth place among the G8 nations -- its worst finish since the WWF first began releasing the annual report card three years ago. The report finds that Canada is one of the few G8 countries whose emissions are still rising -- largely due to expanding activity in Alberta's tar sands.

And Canada's per-capita emissions are among the worst in the G8, along with sixth-place finisher Russia. Even the United States is now ahead of Canada in terms of its efforts to combat climate change, says Gerald Butts, president and CEO of WWF Canada."

CTV News

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 

Happy Canada Day!



I love being a Canadian! It's a great country ... flaws and all!



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