Monday, November 30, 2009 

Saskatchewan Progressive Bloggers

Those who are interested in all things 'saskatchewanaise' without right wing reaction and agenda, might consider bookmarking Saskatchewan Progressive Bloggers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009 

Watermelon Shortage in Calgary Averted

A Safeway store near McMahon Stadium received a special shipment of watermelons Friday morning in anticipation of Saskatchewan fans who want to wear hollowed-out melons on their heads. Some stores in Calgary sold out of watermelons this week, so the grocery store chain had to place a special order, said Safeway spokeswoman Betty Kellsey. It's very unusual to have the giant watermelons in stock at this time of year, she added.
Dozens of Grey Cup events are scheduled leading up to Sunday's game at 4:30 p.m. MT.

CBC News

Friday, November 27, 2009 

Fight 'Privilege' Every Chance You Get!!


Monte Solberg Adds Further Proof That The Conservatives HATE Atlantic Canada

The Alberta Reform crew that dominate and run the Conservative Party of Canada simply do not understand Atlantic Canada. Their Right Wing ideology, instead, has inspired an outright 'hatred' for the Region:

"Nova Scotia MP Gerald Keddy has already been tried, convicted, publicly flailed and Tasered for his "no-good bastards" remarks, but I believe Gerald Keddy has been treated unfairly. [...]

It never occurred to this otherwise excellent reporter that in talking about people who sit around on the streets of Halifax, Keddy may have been talking about the perfectly healthy people who turn down work at places like his Christmas tree farm so they can milk employment insurance like a cow and, ahem, sit around."

Monte Solberg
Calgary Sun

-Buckdog" Why do Conservatives HATE Atlantic Canada?


We Don't Need The Queen To Visit Us On Canada Day - Stay Home Please!

Canadians paid $2.57 Million for the visit by Prince Charles and his wife last month. (We got real value for that investment, didn't we?).

On the heels of that bad bit of news, we now find out that his royal Mother, the Queen is going to come here for her visit around Canada Day, 2010 and that trip will cost Canadians $3.6 Million.

Elizabeth Windsor .... Please stay in England! Enough is enough! This relationship lacks any attachment to reality. Please!

-Stephen Harper DOES NOT speak for me nor millions of other Canadians!

Thursday, November 26, 2009 

Happy Thanksgiving Day To My American Friends And Family!

Have a great day and a great weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 

Maybe The Conservatives Can Blame Maxime Bernier For 'Torturegate'

Dear Prime Minister Harper;

Perhaps we can lay the blame for our inaction on Colvin's torture emails on Maxime Bernier. Let's say that he left them at Julie Couillard's place with that other national security material and that we never saw them?

It might work!

Tory Inc.


Why Do Conservatives Hate Atlantic Canada - And Why Would Anyone In Atlantic Canada Vote Conservative?

"Nova Scotians won’t do it — all those no-good bastards sitting on the sidewalk in Halifax that can’t get work."
-Gerald Keddy, Conservatve MP from Nova Scotia
Monday, November 23, 2009

"A culture of defeat..."
—Stephen Harper, describing the Atlantic Provinces,
May 2001

"There is a dependence in the region that breeds a culture of defeatism,"
—Stephen Harper
(CBC News, May 30, 2002)

"I think in Atlantic Canada, because of what happened in the decades following Confederation, there is a culture of defeat that we have to overcome... Atlantic Canada's culture of defeat will be hard to overcome as long as Atlantic Canada is actually physically trailing the rest of the country."
—Stephen Harper
(New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, May 29, 2002)

"There's unfortunately a view of too many people in Atlantic Canada that it's only through government favours that there's going to be economic progress, or that's what you look to... That kind of can't-do attitude is a problem in this country but it's obviously more serious in regions that have had have-not status for a long time."
—Stephen Harper,(Toronto Sun, May 31, 2002)

"I've taken my position, and frankly it's the same position that I took all through the [Alliance] leadership race. I delivered [speeches] everywhere I went, including in the Maritime provinces on several occasions, about the spirit of defeatism in the country and what drives it and how we have to address it."
—Stephen Harper,(National Post, May 31, 2002)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 

Roman Catholic Bishop Denies Communion To Rep. Patrick Kennedy

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island is denying the sacrament of communion to US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy because of his pro-choice stance on abortion.

Is this the same Roman Catholic Church that has been rocked by the exposure of priests sexually abusing altar boys? Is this the same Roman Catholic Church which has a pope who was a member of the Hitler Youth and was assigned to a German Military anti-aircraft unit during World War II that fired on Allied planes?

You have to ask yourself, if this same Bishop denies communion to Catholic Republican politicians who vote against health care for children and who supported President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney as they authorized torture as a weapon of war?


New York Times

.... Politics Plus has more .....

Monday, November 23, 2009 

How Did The Brad Wall Government Blow The Boom And The Surplus In Just Two Years?

Just two short years ago, the Right wing Saskatchewan Party government inherited a booming economy and more than $2.3 Billion dollars in the bank from the former administration.

Last week, Premier Wall headed out of town and left his hapless Finance Minister to tell Saskatchewan taxpayers that the provincial government has managed to bring in a $1.05 Billion dollar operating deficit and has nearly blown the entire surplus.

By tabling last week’s Mid-Year Financial Report, the Saskatchewan Party revealed that the budget they brought down last March no longer exists and an entirely new budget is now being implemented half way through the fiscal year. Finance Minister Gantefore also tabled a set of Supplementary Estimates which clearly constitute a whole new set of budget estimates and priorities.

In other words, Brad Wall's crew have thrown out their failed spring provincial budget and have implemented a completely new one.

Since the fall session of the Saskatchewan Legislature is scheduled to end in two weeks time, the Official Opposition is asking that the session be extended for at least two weeks in order that the Legislature may give proper scrutiny to this new budget.

The province is dealing with an entirely new set of spending figures and priorities. The Legislature should be extended so that the public can see exactly what the Saskatchewan Party is doing with our money.

It would be to the Saskatchewan Party's advantage to ensure that the public is comfortable with what they are doing with the budget. If they decide to operate behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny, then they may find their days in power will be short lived. Ghosts of Grant Devine are starting to sneak back into the halls of the Saskatchewan Legislature again.

-New Democratic Opposition News Release
-Regina Leader-Post

Sunday, November 22, 2009 

'Harper Knew About Torture In Afghanistan' - NATO Official

Progressive Bloggers

"Harper's office in Ottawa "scripted and fed" the precise wording NATO officials in Kabul used to repudiate allegations of abuse "at a time when it was privately and generally acknowledged in our office that the chances of good treatment at the hands of Afghan security forces were almost zero."

"It was highly unusual. I was told this was the titanic issue for Prime Minister Harper and that every single statement that went out needed to be cleared by him personally," said the former official, who is not Canadian.

"The lines were, 'We have no evidence' of coercive treatment being used against detainees handed over to the Afghans. There were very clear instructions for a blanket denial. The pressure to hold to that line was channelled via Canadian military and diplomatic personnel in Kabul. But it was made clear to us that this was coming from the Prime Minister's Office, which was running the public affairs aspect of Canadian engagement in Afghanistan with a 6,000-mile screwdriver."

The official described the tensions over the fate of detainees as "uniquely Canadian" – despite the fact that doubts over the treatment of Afghan detainees were ubiquitous among all NATO partners with military footprints in Afghanistan."

The Star


FLASHBACK - March 2008
'It's not our job to show jails are free of torture' - Ottawa argued in Federal Court!

Related stories ....

-'Grave Allegations' - Ottawa Citizen

-'Time For Truth About Torture' -

-'Don't Waterboard The Messenger' - National Post Editorial Board

Saturday, November 21, 2009 

Countering Saskatchewan Party 'Spin' On Huge Budget Deficit With Some Reality

The minute after Rod Gantefore told Saskatchewan that his provincial budget was over $1 Billion in deficit, Sask Party spin doctors started twirling and whirling their carefully crafted cover line.

"No one could have possibly projected the decline in revenue that is causing the deficit."

The spinners called into every open line talk show that they could - spinning and spinning. Even talk show hosts on certain Right leaning programs were repeating the Saskatchewan Party mantra ... 'no one could have projected this fall in revenue ...' blah blah blah!

Oh Really! Here is what the Financial Editor of the Regina Leader-Post has to say about the Sask Party 'line'!

"At the time, then-NDP finance critic Harry Van Mulligen warned production cuts announced by potash companies could easily derail the budget's revenue and economic projections.

"Bottom line,'' Van Mulligen said, "shaky economic and revenue assumptions, plus runaway spending, equals a potential fiscal trainwreck.'' As it turns out, Van Mulligen was remarkably prescient, unlike his counterpart in the government benches.

While Gantefoer can be excused for not forecasting the unprecedented cutbacks in potash production, he stands guilty as charged for failing to moderate his overly optimistic budget projections, despite the mounting evidence to the contrary.

Bruce Johnstone
Business Editor
Regina Leader-Post

Brad Wall's functionaries have a long history of trying to manipulate the public on key messaging.

Progressive Bloggers

Friday, November 20, 2009 

Brad Wall's Deficit Could Have Built Three Domed Stadiums In Saskatchewan

There are three topics that Saskatchewan people like to talk about:
-the weather
-the Roughriders

-Saskatchewan has been breaking temperature records this week
-the Roughriders are hosting the CFL Western Final this weekend (and)
-Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government just brought down the second worst deficit in the province's history!

Up until yesterday, the hottest political topic was whether or not the provincial government should proceed with a plan to build a domed stadium in Regina - a new home for our beloved Roughriders to play.

Well guess what ... the size of Brad Wall's current deficit is big enough to have built THREE domed stadiums! One for Regina, one for Saskatoon and one for perhaps Moose Jaw or Prince Albert!

But don't just take my word on it ......

"What was truly most disturbing was the complete and total lack of humility we saw from this Saskatchewan Party government, which should damn well be embarrassed by its own incompetence right now, rather than celebrating. Yes, celebrating.

We just witnessed Thursday a Saskatchewan finance minister present a mid-year budget update revealing that a surplus he forecast last March was now an overall $1.05-billion deficit. It's the biggest deficit since 1991-92 ($1.3 billion), when the provincial government was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and the second-biggest deficit ever.

And Gantefoer gets two standing ovations from his caucus colleagues in Thursday's question period? Are you kidding us? What is it about running government that you don't understand?"

Murray Mandryk
Regina Leader-Post

"Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer clearly was uncomfortable when he stood in the legislature Thursday to defend his government's mid-year fiscal numbers. His discomfort was deserved. [...] Taxpayers deserve to have the government budget honestly."
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Progressive Bloggers

Thursday, November 19, 2009 

FOX News Caught Again - Broadcasting Wrong Tape Of Crowds For Palin Book Launch

"FOX has done it again, and this time, once again, FOX says its misplay of the wrong crowd video was another regrettable mistake. Today, FOX News host Gregg Jarrett was talking about Republican Sarah Palin's book tour and the crowd she is drawing at the start of it. [...]

But it turns out that Happening Now had pulled some video of something that happened last year: Displaying video today from Palin's campaign for the vice presidency, on the ticket with the GOP's Sen. John McCain - which also drew considerable crowds, as shown today in video of a smiling Palin before an adoring campaign crowd.

"This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn't alert the control room to update the video,'' Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news at FOX, sad this evening. "There will be an on-air explanation during Happening Now on Thursday."

Swamp Politics


Saskatchewan Party Government Registers Whopping Huge $1 Billion Deficit!

Want further proof that Right Wing 'fiscal conservatism' is a myth? Look no further than Saskatchewan's Mid-Term Financial Update tabled by the Brad Wall government this morning. Rather than a modest surplus, grossly inaccurate estimates of revenue means that Saskatchewan will experience a $1.05 Billion deficit for 2009/10.

"The release of the government’s mid-year financial report Thursday shows it now projecting it will take in only $109 million from potash royalties and taxes – $1.8 billion below what it forecast in its spring budget.

The government is now spending more than it is taking in, even with higher-than-expected oil royalties, tax revenues and federal transfers.

That has required a drawdown from the reserve Growth and Financial Security Fund of $564.3 million and a special dividend from Crown Investments Corp. of $460 million from the sale of the government’s share of SaskFerco.

However on a summary basis – which includes all of the operations of government including the Crowns – a deficit projected at $25 million at budget is now pegged at $1.05 billion."

The Star Phoenix

The Brad Wall government was warned in the spring that their revenue projections were grossly out of touch with economic reality. They did not listen and now the people of Saskatchewan will pick up the tab for Brad Wall's fiscal buffoonery.

In March, during this year's Budget Debate, NDP Finance Critic, Harry Van Mulligen said in the Legislature ...
"Mr. Speaker, in this budget there‟s another set of economic
assumptions that need to be questioned. Here I speak of
revenues from potash in Saskatchewan. Twenty per cent — 1 in
$5 of all of the revenues in this budget — come from potash
royalties and related surcharges. That‟s a huge number. And
when so many eggs are placed in one basket, Mr. Speaker, we
need to be careful.

That kind of increase in spending, Mr. Speaker, is not

Mr. Speaker, wild revenue assumptions, out-of-control
spending, and a mounting debt problem, this budget is all about
short-term gain for long-term pain.

I worry, Mr. Speaker. I worry that this government can‟t help
themselves when it comes to spending money. I worry that the
private sector forecasters are right and that the Saskatchewan
Party is wrong. I worry that they have gambled on potash and
will come up short.
I worry that they are not helping the most
vulnerable in our province. I worry that spending initiatives
today will not be affordable tomorrow. And I worry that the
government is just not up to the job.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the government would have you
believe that this budget is strong and steady. We think this
budget is wrong already.

Premier Brad Wall was not available to speak to the media on his government's irresponsible budgeting. Wall had conveniently scheduled a trip out of the county in order to duck the political fallout from his government's Mid-Term budget update.

-Official Opposition Website has more details ....


Canada Would Not Take Calls From International Red Cross Warning That Detainees We Gave To Afghan Authorities Were Being Tortured

"According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured," said Colvin, the former political director of the provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar city. "For interrogators in Kandahar, it was standard operating procedure."

He also said that when the Red Cross wanted to look into the treatment of detainees turned over by the Canadian troops, the Canadian Forces wouldn't take their calls. [...]

Colvin named those who were warned about the prisoner treatment and did not act, including now retired chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier; David Mulroney, former deputy minister of the Afghanistan Task Force in the Privy Council Office; and Margaret Bloodworth, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's national security adviser."

The Star

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 

Will The New Liberal Admin Finally Go After Harper's Policies And Practices Or Will They Go Back To Attacking The New Democrats?

The strategy that the Liberals were using this past fall was at best, idiotic - at worst, suicidal. In the midst of tumbling poll numbers, Iggy's former Liberal brain trust decided that they would force an election on Canadians and enticed their blogging hordes to try and savage the New Democratic Party. That worked really well for them, didn't it?

So, back to the drawing board - fire all the staff - start from scratch with Chretien's old crew.

The big question that political observers are waiting to gauge is what will the new Liberal message be?

Will they FINALLY start going after the policies and practices of Stephen Harper's Conservatives, or will they return, again, to daily ridiculous attacks on the New Democrats.

Time will tell ....

Globe & Mail

Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 

Record High Temps and Nice Weather Kept Me From Blogging Today

It went up to a record 17 degrees here today .. so many of us spent the day outside enjoying our mid-November weather!

Monday, November 16, 2009 

Execution Of Louis Riel In Regina - 124 Years Ago Today

124 years ago today, in Regina, Louis Riel, the leader of the Metis was executed by the Government of Canada.

Riel is widely considered by many to be a father of Confederation because his vision and fight for the rights of First Nations people led to the entrance of both Manitoba and Saskatchewan into Confederation.

Louis David Riel was elected three times to the House of Commons of Canada, on October 13, 1873, January 13, 1874, and September 3, 1874, but as a result of political pressure and racism was never allowed to take his seat. A great wrong was done to the people of Manitoba and Saskatchewan who elected Louis Riel as their Member of Parliament.

An observance of the life of Louis Riel will occur today in Regina.

"The vigil will take place at 5 p.m. in front of the RCMP Depot on Dewdney Avenue, where participants will meet for a moment of silent reflection."
Regina Leader-Post

An observance of the life of Louis Riel will also occur today in Winnipeg, where he is buried.

-Winnipeg Free Press

Sunday, November 15, 2009 

Layton's Plan For Pension Reform Is Catching On With The Public

Many Canadians are starting to sit up and listen to what the New Democrats are saying about pension reform in this country.

"... Layton is hoping to muster wide support for the proposal, which includes a $700 million injection into the Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement system to help the country's poorest seniors. [...] The NDP also wants a doubling of the maximum payout from the Canada Pension Plan to $1,800 a month, with Layton saying CPP hasn't kept up with the costs people face.

"That would require people to contribute a bit more throughout their working life. But it would become their savings program that they can have confidence in at the end of the day when they retire, that they're not going to have to live in destitution or poverty...they may have additional pension beyond that but at least that public pension will be solid," Layton contended.

Layton is calling as well for a national program of pension insurance, to protect people enrolled in company pension plans.

"Even if the company got into difficulty there would be an insurance program to guarantee a certain minimum monthly payment from your pension plan, your company pension plan. We're suggesting $2,500."

Layton, who was joined at the event by New Democratic Palliser federal candidate Noah Evanchuk, also highlighted legislation proposed by the NDP to protect pensions by giving them priority status amongst other creditors when companies fold."

Regina Leader-Post

Saturday, November 14, 2009 

Saskatchewan's Finance Minister 'Talking Nonsense!'

Saskatchewan's right wing provincial government is about to provide details on a massive operating deficit for this fiscal year. As a result of grossly overestimated revenues, excessive spending and rapid depletion of the surplus they inherited from the previous government, Saskatchewan's old Progressive Conservative masters (they call themselves the 'Saskatchewan Party' now), are back to their old tricks.

Even small 'c' conservative business columnists are chastising the Brad Wall government for their fiscal game playing:

"If you believe Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer, Saskatchewan just had the fastest recession in history.

Asked by Saskatoon StarPhoenix legislative reporter James Wood earlier this week whether Saskatchewan was in a recession, Gantefoer responded: "No. Well, the country's in a recession, North America is probably in a recession ... While our positive growth is pretty minuscule, it's still positive. So technically we're not."

By Tuesday, Gantefoer was in full retreat: "By the end of the year, we will be in a recession," he told reporters.

By Thursday, Gantefoer had done a complete about-face and was back on the offensive. "Saskatchewan is not going into a recession, we're coming out of one," Gantefoer said in question period.

Let me get this straight.

In the space of a week, Saskatchewan went from being technically not in a recession, to being in a recession by year-end, to coming out of a recession. [...]

For Gantefoer to claim that Saskatchewan was "technically not in recession'' as late as this week is disingenuous, at best, and misleading, at worst.

Bruce Johnstone
Regina Leader-Post

Photo by Don Healy - courtesy Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Friday, November 13, 2009 

SPLASH - NASA Moon Strike Test Finds Lots Of Water

LOS ANGELES — It turns out there's lots of water on the moon — at least near the lunar south pole. The discovery announced Friday comes from an analysis of data from a spacecraft NASA intentionally crashed into the moon last month. "Indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn't find just a little bit, we found a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, the mission's principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center.
Associated Press

-NASA photo

Thursday, November 12, 2009 

FLASHBACK: March 21, 1983 - President Ronald Reagan Proclaims 'Afghanistan Day' - Praises The Taliban

Progressive Bloggers

Proclamation 5034—Afghanistan Day, 1983
By the President of the United States of America, 21 March 1983

"The tragedy of Afghanistan continues as the valiant and courageous Afghan freedom fighters [The Taliban] persevere in standing up against the brutal power of the Soviet invasion and occupation."
President Ronald Reagan simply loved the Taliban in 1983!

He loved them so much that the USA flooded them with as many weapons and ammunition as they could handle ... (hoping they'd shoot them at the Soviet Union). However, things didn't quite work out the way the Republican government wanted them to!

It is entirely possible that Canadian soldiers have been killed by weapons that were given to the Taliban by the US Republican government of Ronald Reagan!


FOX News Goon Sean Hannity Apologizes To Jon Stewart For Using False Film Footage

Progressive Bloggers

Yeah right ... FOX News does this kind of crap all the time!


Someone Remind Prince Charles That It Is Time For Him To Go Home ....

"After 10 days of travelling across nine time zones in four provinces, 12 cities, finally to Ottawa, Prince Charles says it was "enough to make me lose my marbles."

"I have to say that I do rather look to my wife for some reassurance that this is indeed Ottawa and today is indeed Thursday -- or is it Wednesday?" It was in fact Wednesday evening at a state dinner at Rideau Hall, hosted by Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean, and attended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen."

Ottawa Citizen

Prince Charles has been here for 10 days trying to get Canadians to warm up to him and the idea the he will one day be called our 'king'. All in all, I would say that his goal has been somewhat of a disaster and it is time for this painful 'royal visit' to end.

Don't hurry back ..... we don't need a future king.

In fact, the simplest way out of this embarrassing Royal quagmire is fairly straight forward. When the current Queen Elizabeth goes on to the great hereafter, the 'Crown' that is referred to in the Canadian Constitution and our legal system should remain VACANT. The Crown will still 'exist' in the terminology of this nation but no 'person' shall take the roll. The Crown will be vacant but represented by our Governor General.

To hell with monarchy ... it is time for this nation to grow up! I mean, really, do you want that mug on all of our money???

CBC has a special on tonight ... After Elizabeth II - The Monarchy In Trouble ... here's the trailer ....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 

- There Will Be Peace -

There will be peace:

when attitudes change;
when self-interest is seen as part of common interest;
when old wrongs, old scores, old mistakes
are deleted from the account;
when the aim becomes co-operation and mutual benefit
rather than revenge or seizing maximum personal or group gain;
when justice and equality before the law
become the basis of government;
when basic freedoms exist;
when leaders - political, religious, educational - and the police and media
wholeheartedly embrace the concepts of justice, equality, freedom, tolerance, and reconciliation as a basis for renewal;
when parents teach their children new ways to think about people.

There will be peace:
when enemies become fellow human beings.

David Roberts


Tuesday, November 10, 2009 

By-Election Results - The Way People Voted

One of my readers emailed me with an interesting series of observations on last nights by-election results from across the country. By-elections were held in one Maritime riding, two Quebec ridings, and one west coast riding.

A quick look at Monday's federal by-election results shows the following:
Total votes cast nationwide, by party:

CPC: 33856 (36%)
NDP: 23180 (25%)
BQ: 19709 (21%)
LPC: 13985 (15%)
GPC: 2896 (3%)

1. nearly 10,000 more people (i.e. 9195) voted NDP than voted Liberal
2. the Bloc Quebecois received more votes in two ridings than Liberals did in all four
3. 64% of voters rejected the Harper Conservatives

Monday, November 09, 2009 

.... and the WALL came tumbling down .....

November 9, 1989


Any Liberal Strategy To 'Poach' New Democratic Support Will Spell Disaster For Iggy

Progressive Bloggers

If Nik Nanos is to be believed, the Liberal Party of Canada should find ways to try and poach support from the New Democratic Party.

Liberal Party fortunes have not gone well lately and everyone seems to understand why - except for Liberals themselves. But before I elaborate on that, I need to caution Libs on the potential disaster that awaits them should they think that the New Democratic Party will be easy pickings.

First and foremost is your leader. Anyone who thinks that Ignatieff is in touch with political reality merely needs to remember his plan a few weeks ago to topple the Conservatives and thrust the nation into an unwanted election. To say that Iggy got 'bit in the ass' by that one would be an understatement. He WAS savaged! Morale in Liberal ranks plunged and has barely recovered.

For weeks, Liberal bloggers attacked and bad mouthed the New Democratic Party as part of a misguided communications strategy from someone in Liberal Inc.'s central office. New Democratic bloggers had no choice but to retaliate and for a couple of weeks, the blog aggregator, 'Progressive Bloggers' was a very volatile and acrimonious place where both Liberal and New Democratic bloggers normally mingle and congregate.

Most Liberals that I know have nothing but contempt for organized labour. One of the main differences between Libs and Dippers is their vision for how unions and organized labour fit into the Canadian economy and society. The New Democratic Party has a close relationship with the Canadian Labour Congress and other than shenanigans from the likes of Buzz Hargrove, the relationship is strong.

By and large, Liberal party members (as is demonstrated by their blogging corps) display open contempt for organized Labour. Who in their right mind thinks that the right leaning Mr. Ignatieff is going to have or hold any sway with the needs and aspirations of organized labour.

New Democrats are well aware of the Liberal historical formula for winning elections: 'Campaign like New Democrats and govern like Conservatives.' Liberal Party policy on marijuana law reform is a classic example of the two faced approach they use for difficult issues. During election campaigns, they promise that they will reform the law to those who want reform, yet in power, they delay and avoid actual reform to appease those who oppose reform.

Canada grew tired of the Liberals. The scandal ridden Adscam fiasco has not been forgotten by Canadians and the Liberal Party has been relegated to continue standing in the corner for awhile yet.

I will finish by telling you why Liberal Party fortunes have not gone well (and what everyone seems to understand except for Liberals themselves) ... Liberals have a misguided sense of entitlement. In the core of their political being they believe that they deserve to be the government. It is arrogance. Canadians don't like it. Liberals haven't figured that out yet.

Go after soft right wing vote, Liberals. Ideologically and philosophically, you are more closely related to soft Tory vote.

Coming after New Democrats will be disastrous for you. If you don't believe me ... just wait and you will see!

Have a nice day!

Sunday, November 08, 2009 

Harper's New Speechwriter Is A Strong Social Conservative And Gay Rights Opponent

The following article was written by Jenn Ruddy, a Saskatchewan writer/journalist. Her articles appear in The Sasquatch, Briarpatch, Prairie Dog and Planet S:

Progressive Bloggers

It probably won’t come as much of a shock that the Prime Minister’s Office has hired a gay rights opponent to write speeches for Stephen Harper.

Former Calgary Herald columnist Nigel Hannaford is the latest — but certainly not the first, and probably not the last — social conservative to join the upper echelons of Harper’s government.

Hannaford, who was a member of the Calgary Herald’s editorial board until recently, has argued against gay rights in his column Slings & Arrows and scoffed at the legitimacy of human rights commissions. He once referred to human rights tribunals as “communist show trials, not courts” and implied that human rights advocates are “whiners.”

If you think that’s bad, here’s what he had to say about gay rights:

Referring to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 decision to decriminalize homosexuality, Hannaford wrote in 2005, “Fine, said lots of people. Leave gays alone? Fair enough. But, let ’em be Boy Scout leaders? Have each other’s benefits? Adopt kids? Marry each other? Ridiculous. Anybody seeking political office who suggested it would have been laughed off the hustings. Yet, the Liberals are ready to legalize gay marriage. How did we get to this point?”

Of the 1998 Delwin Vriend Supreme Court ruling, which required that Alberta add sexual orientation to its human rights legislation, Hannaford wrote in 2003, “So much for democracy.”

And when Elsie Wayne, former deputy leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, was excoriated for saying in 2003 that gays should “shut up” about marriage and that Canadians shouldn’t have to “tolerate” gay pride parades, Hannaford wrote in her defence: “Wayne gets my vote. ... Canadian society has been turned upside down in the past 35 years and things regarded as sin in 1965 have special status in 2003.”

As recently, as his May 8, 2009 column, Harper’s new speechwriter lamented that Section 3 of Alberta’s Human Rights Act makes it difficult to prevent Albertans from bringing the same kind of “creepy curriculum” to the province that B.C. has allowed, “in which gay advocates design class material promoting their persuasion right down to kindergarten.”

Hannaford’s appointment troubles longtime gay activist and former Edmonton city councillor Michael Phair.

“Much of what Mr. Hannaford writes and has indicated in his work as a journalist, I suspect, reflects Prime Minister Harper’s and his party’s position on what they would like for Canadian society to be, and I think it harks back to a 1950s approach,” says Phair.

He worries that the Harper government will continue to look for back-door ways to reduce equality for the queer and other marginalized communities, as well as women.

Hannaford’s hiring is the latest in a string of appointments that place social conservatives in high-ranking positions of the Harper government. In July 2008, one of Canada’s most prominent Christian conservatives, Darrel Reid, was appointed director of policy for the Prime Minister’s Office and later moved to one of the top political posts in the country when he was promoted to deputy chief of staff in February.

Another Christian evangelical, Paul Wilson, replaced Reid as director of policy.

NDP critic for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual and Transgender Issues Bill Siksay says he’s not surprised to learn of Hannaford’s appointment.

“We know that there’s still — within the Conservative Party and within the Conservative caucus — lots of folks who don’t support the full human rights of gay and lesbian Canadians, who are not friends of the queer community, and so in a sense it’s not surprising,” says Siksay.

Some of those folks Siksay refers to within the Conservative caucus can be found right here in Saskatchewan.

In July, Saskatoon-Humboldt Conservative MP Brad Trost was critical of his government’s decision to fund Toronto’s gay pride week and pandered to anti-gay sentiment. Speaking to the right-wing website, Trost reassured the pro-life community, “The tourism funding money that went to the gay pride parade in Toronto was not government policy, was not supported by — I think it’s safe to say by a large majority — of the MPs.”

Shortly thereafter, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott wrote a letter to his constituents supporting Trost’s comments and reassured them that their tax dollars would be used for more “suitable purposes.”

In 2003, the then MP for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre Larry Spencer was suspended from the Canadian Alliance caucus for saying that homosexuality is a conspiracy theory to seduce and recruit young boys. Spencer said he would support any initiative to criminalize homosexuality.

And who could forget the media scandal last year in which Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski was caught on videotape saying in 1991: “There’s A’s and there’s B’s. The A’s are guys like me, the B’s are homosexual faggots with dirt under their fingernails that transmit diseases.”

“There is a very one-sided message coming from the Conservative Party,” says Nathan Seckinger, executive director of the GBLUR Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity in Regina. “What we hear are a lot of anti-queer statements being made by individual politicians under a conservative banner. What we don’t hear are any pro-queer statements.”

Still, while Seckinger says Hannaford’s appointment is “more of the same,” he cautions against playing partisan politics.

When it comes to queer policy issues, he says, none of the political parties is adequately addressing the severity of homophobia and transphobia in Canada or Saskatchewan.

Just how severe is it? Statistics Canada revealed in 2004 that gays and lesbians are nearly twice as likely to be the victim of a violent crime, including sexual assault, robbery and physical assault, and bisexuals are four-and-a-half times as likely, compared to heterosexuals.

In 2007, 10 per cent of police-reported hate crimes in Canada were motivated by sexual orientation.

“What we’re really talking about is a sin of omission,” says Seckinger. “The concern for me isn’t so much the fact that Conservatives are shooting their mouths off about having anti-queer positions, because politicians say dumb things once in a while. My concern is more that they say them frequently and that they don’t have anybody saying anything else [about queer issues], and that’s what tells me that there’s a problem.”

When the Lukiwski scandal broke out last year, GBLUR, under the leadership of Seckinger, took the high road: it accepted Lukiwski’s apology and called for co-operation across political divides. GBLUR’s goal was to shift the debate toward the health and safety crisis facing queer people in Canada and away from the media’s sensationalized coverage of the scandal.

“The reality of it is that Mr. Lukiwski had been campaigning against same-sex marriage for years and nobody gave a damn,” says Seckinger. “The reason everybody got angry about that issue is because he used a dirty word. He got caught on tape using the word ‘faggot’ and it got put on TV and so, really, what people were upset about wasn’t the fact that the man is homophobic, because that should have been common knowledge already. What people were concerned about is the fact that he was being impolite about his homophobia.”

Seckinger says there’s no doubt that the Conservative Party panders to homophobic voting bases. But when the media lend coverage to, say, Harper’s new homophobic speechwriter or to the blatantly homophobic remarks of an individual politician, the pressing health and safety concerns of the queer community get ignored.

And the general homophobic discourse in government, which cuts across party lines, sneaks under the radar.

“A question to ask yourself is, ‘how often do queer specific concerns get put forward in the form of bills?’” says Seckinger. “The mental health problems for the GLBT community are epidemic in Canada. Why is that not being dealt with? Even the left-wing parties aren’t talking about that.”

Jenn Ruddy

This article was published in:
-Planet S
-Prairie Dog (no link)

Saturday, November 07, 2009 

Four Federal By-Elections On Monday

"There are four byelections coming up on Monday — two in Quebec, one in Nova Scotia and another in British Columbia — and the Liberals could come in third in all four of them. In both languages and on both coasts."
-High-stakes Byelections

-Tory candidate invisible in New Westminster-Coquitlam byelection

Fin Donnelly
(Click on graphic above for profile)

Jean-Claude Rocheleau
(Click on graphic above for profile)

Mark Austin
(Click on graphic above for profile)

François Lapointe
(Click on graphic above for profile)

Friday, November 06, 2009 

Phony Conservative MP 'Hates Taxes' Yet Takes His Pay From Taxpayers!

Tax-averse MP content to spend public's money
By Howard Klein
The StarPhoenix
November 5, 2009

Following is the viewpoint of the writer, a Saskatoon resident.

"Saskatoon-Humboldt Conservative MP Brad Trost receives a six-figure income provided through money from taxpayers, yet on the front page of a newsletter to constituents he avers: "I don't like taxes."

He asserts that "tax and spend governments restrict freedom," and declares that "taxation is ... a form of slavery to the state." Yet, on the second page of his newsletter, he reveals that taxes have economic and patriotic benefits. In a box, replete with a photo, he announces a joint federal/provincial investment of $65,000 to help a Humboldt company get accreditation to add armour to transport vehicles, but refuses to give credit for the gift as coming from "we, taxpayer slaves."

Certainly someone who does not like taxes would have cause to wonder why a free enterprise company seeking to do business with government is unable to achieve accreditation without federal-provincial investments to make its competitive role possible.

Trost earned an annual base salary in 2008 of at least $155,400 for his 27 weeks on the job in Ottawa, with a raise in 2009. In addition, available to him is an annual expense allowance of at least $25,500 and 64 free return airline tickets available during the year for travel between his riding and Ottawa, or anywhere else in Canada. Spouses and dependants, too, have access to flights.

To perform his role as MP in Ottawa, he shares well over $120 million in tax money divided proportionately among the 301 members of Parliament for office expenses that include staff, rent and phones, as well as travel.

While Trost may be perceived to be a slave to his party leader, the taxes he pays have not made him society's slave. Indeed, his own taxes, in a small way, are returned to him in payment for services he renders the public. A quick calculation would reveal how little time it takes for his gross salary to accumulate to $1 million, and continue onward and upward as long as he chooses to run and is elected.

How many of his supporters can make a similar claim to being in the top one per cent of Canada's salary earners? Should taxpayers be embarrassed by the way Trost depreciates their role, my role and his? Does he or anyone else have a better way to pay his salary than through taxes? Does he ever rebel against the way he is being used by his party, as if it were the sole owner of the Canadian treasury that is constantly filled with tax revenue expended by his leader, Stephen Harper, who himself declared in July to a Globe and Mail reporter: "There are no good taxes."

Trost adds insult to injury by insisting that taxation is a restraint on freedom, but leaves it to the reader to decide how taxation restrains his freedom as an MP and ours as Canadian citizens. If he were true to his beliefs, he would argue that Canadians would be better off without Parliament because it a socialistic establishment, totally subsidized by taxes.

Instead, his July newsletter revealed him bestowing a federal cheque for a water improvement project, with his name printed at the bottom as if it was written on his bank account. Hardly honourable behaviour.

Trost, in these times of trouble, asserts: "Taxes and government spending need to go down, not just for a more prosperous Canada, but for a freer one as well." He never tells his constituents how that might happen. Rather, successive newsletters he distributes deal only with his thoughts about marriage, guns, crime and gangs. Missing are "shock" analyses of the spending motions in the House, which are leading to a $50 billion-plus anticipated 2009 deficit.

Trost chooses to restrict his newsletters' intellectual contributions to ridiculing taxes and to maligning all of us who pay them (including himself and his boss), yet his life differs from that of most of his constituents for he lives off "this slavery of the state," as does Harper.

© Copyright - The StarPhoenix


Senator Mike Duffy IS A Fake Parliamentarian

Progressive Bloggers

Whether Conservatives or Liberals like it or not, New Democrat, Peter Stoffer was ELECTED by thousands of Canadian citizens to represent them in the House of Commons! Senator Mike Duffy was SELECTED by only one person, Stephen Harper, to sit in the fat cat club known as the Senate of Canada.

Both the Conservatives and the Liberals have used this historic unelected institution to ply patronage and to put to pasture old politicans from their ranks who would otherwise continue to interfere with the day to day operation of their respective party.

A plague on the Senate and those who support and endorse it. A plague on Senator Mike Duffy, who owes an apology to Peter Stoffer.

Don't hold your breath ....

CBC News

Mike has an email address .... feel free .....

Thursday, November 05, 2009 

Minister Responsible For Policing In Saskatchewan Threatens Opposition MLA With Police Investigation For Asking Questions In Question Period!

Saskatchewan's minister responsible for policing says he's sorry for asking an opposition MLA whether police had come to visit him yet.
"I apologize for that remark," Yogi Huyghebaert told the legislature Thursday, a day after he said he was just joking when he asked New Democrat Kevin Yates about a possible police visit.

Huyghebaert, also the minister responsible for corrections and public safety, said Thursday he does not have any influence over police investigations, as his comment suggested. On Wednesday, Huyghebaert said he wasn't trying to threaten Yates and was just "giving back" some of what he was receiving. He was also upset that Yates called him a liar the day before.

At the root of the dispute was a debate the two men have been having about the mistaken early release of a sex offender, with Yates asking why the minister didn't tell the public about it."

CBC Saskatchewan


"Yates in turn accused Corrections, Public Safety and Policing Minister Yogi Huyghebaert of suggesting to him in heckles that he is "under police investigation for asking these questions," adding that Huyghebaert had made a gesture to him of holding his hands together as if in cuffs.

"These things are an attempt to intimidate somebody not to ask questions and in this environment you can imagine there is a great deal of acrimony." After the NDP had raised in the house the case of a prisoner who had been released early from the Regina Correctional Centre, Huyghebaert ordered an internal investigation into how information had leaked from the department.

Huyghebaert initially told reporters that Yates was "totally incorrect" but then said he had spoken of police while heckling. "I've been getting a lot of push from the other side in relation to this story and I'm getting stuff said to me on a continuing basis. I think my pushback to him was ... 'Have you got a visit from the police yet?' I think that was my exact comment,' " he said.

Huyghebaert, a veteran MLA who was appointed to cabinet in May, defended his heckle as being "in the heat of the house" and that it "was not publicly said." He said he did not intend to threaten Yates and denied he had ever made the handcuff gesture, but in response to reporters' questions he did say it was probably not an appropriate comment.

Regina Leader-Post


Saskatoon Star Phoenix SLAMS Government Minister For Hypocrisy And Inapproprate Attack In Sask Legislature

"The indignant attempt by Corrections and Public Safety Minister Yogi Hughebaert to castigate the NDP for using leaked information to publicize the mistaken early release of a dangerous sexual offender only draws attention to the hypocrisy of the Saskatchewan Party in government. [...]

So what happened to the principles of the Saskatchewan Party that, when it sat in Opposition, felt safeguarding the public was so important that it introduced its own whistleblower protection bill in 2004 to protect employees being fired, demoted, or otherwise punished for raising concerns about a provincial government agency or department, Crown corporation, health authority, municipality, university or school division?

In government, the Saskatchewan Party not only has shown zero interest in resurrecting the bill or living up to its principles, but we now have Mr. Hughebaert threatening a witchhunt for the whistleblower.

Could this be the same party that in Opposition had few qualms about sitting on secretly obtained Regina police documents for a year and then using the information about fraud by an NDP caucus worker as a way to embarrass the former government? Personal information on others contained therein be damned, the party actually posted the documents on its website for the world to see until the police asked for their removal?"

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Wednesday, November 04, 2009 

Federal Government Knows That GlazoSmithKline Are Shipping Bulk Quantities Of H1N1 Vaccine Out Of Canada

A lot of Canadians would like to get a shot of H1N1 vaccine, but the Federal Government has screwed things up so badly that frustrations continue to rise across the nation:

Extra Canadian flu vaccine sent abroad
"Extra vaccine for the H1N1 virus has been exported out of Canada to other countries because producers are making more vaccine than can be stored in bottles, officials say. Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, said Tuesday that GlaxoSmithKline has shipped bulk quantities of the antigen, the main ingredient of the vaccine, out of the country.

Speaking in British Columbia, Butler-Jones said the bulk exports were allowed because Canada had enough for its purposes.

CBC News
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Huh?? Tell that to the people standing in lineups across Canada today - waiting for a shot of H1N1 vaccine.

... meanwhile .. those who generally come to Harper's defence from the MSM would have you believe that there is no crisis and everything is fine ....
"The task now should not be to point fingers, but to learn so we can all do a better job the next time, when the stakes may be very much higher."

Progressive Bloggers


The VISITORS - Buckdog's Ongoing Coverage Of The Royal Tour Of Prince Charles In Canada - Day 3

57 people turned out to greet Prince Charles in Cupids, Newfoundland yesterday.

He's going to Ontario today.

ABC introduced a new sci-fi television series last night called 'The Visitors'. The pilot aired on prime time, featuring the arrival of Alien travellers from another world.

Seems to me that we have our own Canadian version of that plot underway across the nation.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 

Auditor General Says 'Public Safety Canada Is A Disaster'!

OTTAWA — The federal department charged with disaster planning is itself a disaster when it comes to preparing for emergencies as varied as the swine flu pandemic, floods and terrorist attacks, says Auditor General Sheila Fraser.

"We found that Public Safety Canada has not exercised the leadership necessary to co-ordinate emergency management activities," Fraser concluded in her latest report, tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Her department did not study the current H1N1 crisis, but Fraser believes that had Public Safety Canada put pandemic management plans in place, there would have been less confusion.

"Certainly an approved plan would have clearly indicated what the role was for Public Safety Canada, what the roles of the other departments and the federal government would be, and would also have brought in the co-ordination with the provinces, municipalities and territories," Fraser told reporters. "So it's important — very important — that the role and responsibilities of Public Safety Canada be agreed to and endorsed in these emergencies."


Buckdog's Ongoing Coverage Of The Royal Tour Of Prince Charles In Canada - Day 2

Prince Charles is in Canada. A huge majority of Canadians don't care what is on his agenda for today.

Monday, November 02, 2009 

If We Let Harper Put The Conservative Logo On EACH Dose Of H1N1 Vaccine - There Would Be Millions In Short Order

-Conservatives Blame The Public For Vaccine Shortage

-Conservatives Slammed For Poor Planning On H1N1 vaccine demand - Hill Times

Progressive Bloggers


The Royal Visit - Idiocy On Parade

OTTAWA -- When Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in St. John's, N.L., today it will be the beginning of a trip royal watchers hope will sell Canadians on the idea of a future King Charles. "There's a disconnect between Charles and Canadians and this visit is the opportunity for us to reacquaint ourselves with the future king, and also, a chance for him to really cement his role as the future head of state," says Robert Finch, CEO of The Monarchist League of Canada
Ottawa Sun

Imagine that ... there's a 'disconnect' between the heir to the throne of a FOREIGN nation and Canada.

Canada's ongoing connection to the British monarchy is insulting, idiotic and lacks both logic and reality.

Why Canadians would want anything to do with the elitist royal family of another nation defies common sense.

Like the majority of Canadian citizens, I don't have one drop of English/British blood flowing in my veins and constitutional attachments to our former imperial masters is utterly irrelevant in the 21st century. We operate with a Governor General as the constitutional head of our style of democracy. People,(!) we can elect a governor general and still call her/him by that title.

The idiocy of parading the future King of England around Canada, pretending that it is in any way relevant, defies all common sense. The MSM should stop all reporting of this nonsense. The entire bill for the costs of this idiotic tour should be sent to Buckingham Palace.

Abolish the Monarchy!!!

-Only 23% of Canadians want Charles to become King of Canada

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