Wednesday, March 31, 2010 

Saskatchewan's Provincial Auditor Says Budget Is NOT Balanced!

"REGINA — Not surprisingly, Provincial Auditor Fred Wendel isn’t impressed with Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer’s characterization of Wednesday’s provincial budget as ‘balanced.’

In fact, Wendel believes calling the budget balanced is a misuse of accounting language to disguise what is really going on with the province’s finances.

“It’s very difficult for people — other than the few people who understand all the little things they do — to understand where we’re at… “

Of course, Wendel, a chartered accountant, knows where the province’s finances are at. That’s his job. And he knows that the provincial government is actually projecting a deficit — a deficit of $623 million in 2010-11, to be exact.

That’s on top of a deficit of $667 million in 2009-10, which was also called a ‘balanced budget’ by the Saskatchewan Party government.

Those deficit numbers are contained in the summary financial statements, which look at all government revenues and spending, including Crown Investments Corp. (CIC) crowns, like SaskTel and SaskPower.

Gantefoer, like Saskatchewan finance ministers before him, uses the General Revenue Fund, which only reports revenues and expenditures of government ministries and Treasury Board crowns. Gantefoer also uses the Growth and Financial Security Fund (GFSF), the province’s rainy day fund, to cover any deficit in the GRF and produce a surplus.

Wendel believes that the confusion over whether the budget is balanced or not helps the government persuade the public, as well as out-of-province financial institutions, that things are better than they actually are."

Saskatoon Star Phoenix


Saskatchewan First Nations And Metis Citizens Paying For Brad Wall's Financial Mismanagement

A hallmark of Right wing administrations in Saskatchewan is a legacy of free-spending, irresponsible management of the province's finances. Last week, the Brad Wall government brought down another deficit budget requiring a major dip into the surplus that was left as a legacy by the former New Democratic government.

If you happen to be an Aboriginal or Northern citizen of the Province of Saskatchewan, government programs that existed to bridge the economic disparity between you and non-aboriginal persons were hacked and slashed:

· The First Nations and Métis Business Development Program has been eliminated – a loss of $750,000

· The Aboriginal Employment Development Program has been eliminated – a loss of $786,000. This program has also traditionally leveraged approximately $1 million per year in federal funding which has been lost.

· First Nations and Métis Pre K-12 Education has been cut by $237,000.

· Support for Aboriginal Organizations cut by $440,000.

· The Northern Saskatchewan Trappers Association Grant has been eliminated.

· The Aboriginal Urban Management Program has been eliminated.

· The First Nations Access Road Pilot Project has been deferred ($5 million).

· Aboriginal Relations in the Environment Department has been cut by $180,000.

· $30 Million has been cut from Forest Fire Management

-New Democrat Opposition Identifies Massive Cuts To Aboriginal and Northern Expenditures

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 

Exec Assistant To MP Helena Guergis Caught Writing 'Letters To The Editior' Praising Her Boss!

"COLLINGWOOD, Ont. - The executive assistant for Simcoe-Grey MP Helena Guergis has written letters to several Ontario newspapers that are highly complimentary of her boss - and written under a different name, QMI Agency has learned.

Several newspapers in the riding, located north of Toronto, have received letters from a Jessica Morgan over the last year. Morgan is the married name of Guergis’ executive assistant Jessica Craven.

The letters don't identify the writer as an employee of the member of Parliament, and are sent from a Yahoo e-mail address. QMI Agency confirmed a phone number provided with the letters is in Craven’s name.

After trying to deflect questions when contacted by QMI on Tuesday, Craven later admitted that she was the writer. She denied any conflict of interest."

Toronto Sun


The Harper Government MUST Reinstate Funding To The First Nations University Of Canada

Saskatchewan has 60,000 First Nations and Metis youth enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes throughout the province. That represents fully 6% of Saskatchewan's population. Without a doubt, economic disparity continues to exist for Saskatchewan's Aboriginal citizens. One thing that works to make a difference and bridge the gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people is education.

Saskatchewan is home to the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC). Thousands of Aboriginal students have graduated with degrees from this institution. Many people probably don't know that hundreds of Aboriginal people from Central and South America have also attended the FNUC, bringing relevant education back to their home countries.

The Harper government recently cut it's funding to the First Nations University of Canada claiming disagreement with governance issues at the FNUC. The province of Saskatchewan had also asked for and received satisfactory action on the local governance issues and has reinstated provincial funding. Harper, however, will not move to reinstate federal funding.

The total amount of federal funds previously allocated to FNUC is $7.2 million - just a drop in the bucket of total federal contributions for education.

The Harper administration has billions of stimulation tax dollars for banks, car companies and other corporate welfare bums but they don't have a small amount for aboriginal post secondary education.

Right wing ideology in Canada reeks of subtle racism - based on archaic concepts of 'unfettered free markets' ... blah blah blah!

If the Harper regime does not immediately reinstate funding for the First Nations University of Canada, then they should be labeled as short sighted, mean spirited and out of touch with the reality of being Aboriginal in Canada.

It is becoming very clear that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's apology to First Nations people in June, 2008 was hollow and phony. It is time for the Conservative government to put 'our' money where 'their' mouths are!

-Statement by Chuck Strahl On First Nations University of Canada


-Federal Gov't coughs up at least enough money for students to finish year ....

Photo courtesy CBC ....

Monday, March 29, 2010 

United Nations Agency Condemns Brad Wall's Sask Party Gov't For Violating International Labour Agreements - Updated

Progressive Bloggers

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, 16 provincial unions and 5 national unions filed a complaint with a United Nations body - The International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2008. The submission which named the right wing Saskatchewan Party government of Premier Brad Wall, specifies a number of serious violations of international labour agreements that Canada is a signatory to. The complainants allege that the Public Service Essential Services Act and the recently amended Trade Union Act impede workers from exercising their fundamental right to freedom of association by making it more difficult for workers to join unions, engage in free collective bargaining and exercise their right to strike.

In a ruling dated March 24th, 2010, the ILO indicated that the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is in violation of significant obligations and commitments that the nation of Canada entered into by international agreement. The government of Saskatchewan has been ordered to comply with at least the minimum standards set out in conventions of the United Nations and it's agency the International Labour Organization. The decision states:

The Committee’s recommendations:
384. In the light of its foregoing conclusions, the Committee invites the Governing Body to approve the following recommendations:
(a) The Committee expects that the Government will ensure that the provincial authorities hold full and specific consultations with the relevant workers’ and employers’ organizations in the future at an early stage of considering the process of adoption of any legislation in the field of labour law so as to restore the confidence of the parties and truly permit the attainment of mutually acceptable solutions where possible.
(b) The Committee requests the Government to ensure that the provincial authorities take the necessary measures, in consultation with the social partners, to amend the Public Service Essential Services Act so as to ensure that the LRB may examine all aspects relating to the determination of an essential service, in particular, the determination of the sectors in question, classification, number and names of workers who must provide services and act rapidly in the event of a challenge arising in the midst of a broader labour dispute. The Committee further requests that the Public Service Essential Services Regulations, which sets out a list of prescribed essential services, be amended in consultation with the social partners. It requests the Government to provide information on the measures taken or envisaged in this respect.
(c) The Committee requests the Government to ensure that the provincial authorities take the necessary measures so that compensatory guarantees are made available to workers whose right to strike may be restricted or prohibited and to keep it informed in this respect.
(d) The Committee requests the Government to ensure that the provincial authorities take the necessary measures to amend the Trade Union Act so as to lower the requirement, set at 45 per cent, for the minimum number of employees expressing support for a trade union in order to begin the process of a certification election. It requests the Government to keep it informed in this respect.
(e) The Committee requests the Government to encourage the provincial authorities to endeavour, in consultation with the social partners, to find an appropriate means of ensuring that the LRB enjoys the confidence of all the parties concerned.
(f) The Committee draws the legislative aspects of this case to the attention of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the tripartite UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states in common action to promote decent work throughout the world. The ILO is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency in that it brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in incorporating 'real world' knowledge about employment and work.

-National Union of Public and General Employees reports ...

-Regina Leader-Post

-NewsTalkRadio has more ...


Saskatchewan Government Will Ignore International Labour Ruling!
Reported By Patrick Book
Posted March 29, 2010 - 5:36pm

"This is non-binding and certainly I don't think this is some of the best work from the ILO."

It's a pithy response from the province's Labour Minister today. Rob Norris says recommendations about Saskatchewan's essential services laws made by a United Nations body will not force a change in the legislation. The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and other labour groups filed a complaint with the International Labour Organization last year, insisting Bills 5 and 6 violate the Charter rights of workers. In a ruling (viewable via the link above) the ILO supports the Federation of Labour's claims and makes six recommendations suggesting changes the province should make.

But Norris insists it isn't a legally binding decision. "The ILO has offered an opinon that's non-binding," he stresses. "The analysis is incomplete. Certainly from where we stand we have every confidence in both our essential services legislation and the amendments to the Trade Union Act."

He also accuses SFL President Larry Hubich of "fear-mongering" for comments he made Monday pertaining to a past finding of the ILO. Hubich claimed a similar ruling was made in a B.C. case that eventually ended with the Supreme Court ruling in favour of the union complainants and a $100 million worth of penalties for the government.

Norris confirms the government is prepared to take the case to the Supreme Court should the dispute elevate that high.


First Nations University Of Canada 32nd Annual Pow Wow Was GREAT!

Here's a big tip of the hat to the First Nations University of Canada for putting on a great event this past weekend in Regina. The FNUC Pow Wow generally kicks off pow wow season on the prairies annually.

This year marked the 25th time I have attended this great Intertribal Pow Wow. If you have never attended this event, you are missing an incredible feast for the eyes, ears, mind and spirit.

P.S. - While there this weekend, I was able to find a DVD/CD of my favorite drum group, Iron Swing from Sturgeon Lake, Saskatchewan.

-Regina Leader-Post Coverage

-LP Photo Gallery

First Nations University 2010 Pow Wow

Photo courtesy Troy Fleece - Regina Leader-Post

Sunday, March 28, 2010 

Learn To Speak 'Tea Bag'

Die Massenpsychologie des Faschismus


Racist Teabagger Extremists

Die Massenpsychologie des Faschismus

"Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock.

Preceding the president's speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse.

A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spat on by a protestor. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a 'ni--er.' And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a "faggot," as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president's speech, shrugged off the incident.

But Clyburn was downright incredulous, saying he had not witnessed such treatment since he was leading civil rights protests in South Carolina in the 1960s.

"It was absolutely shocking to me," Clyburn said, in response to a question from the Huffington Post. "Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday... I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."

"It doesn't make me nervous as all," the congressman said, when asked how the mob-like atmosphere made him feel. "In fact, as I said to one heckler, I am the hardest person in the world to intimidate, so they better go somewhere else."

Asked if he wanted an apology from the group of Republican lawmakers who had addressed the crowd and, in many ways, played on their worst fears of health care legislation, the Democratic Party, and the president, Clyburn replied: "A lot of us have been saying for a long time that much of this, much of this is not about health care a all. And I think a lot of those people today demonstrated that this is not about health care... it is about trying to extend a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful."

Huffington Post

Saturday, March 27, 2010 

Saskatchewan Party Finance Minister Lets Slip Plan For Harmonized Sales Tax -HST

"The harmonization genie got out of the bottle this week, and the Saskatchewan Party government is scrambling to put it back in. At a speech to the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Friday, Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer said "there should be a good and wholesome debate (on sales tax harmonization) in Saskatchewan, beginning now, if the business community sees fit ... I expect it would welcome the debate going into the next election."

Gantefoer also suggested the government would listen to arguments for and against harmonization. "Certainly, if we see there is merit ... that's a conversation we have to have with the Saskatchewan people," he said. While not endorsing a harmonized sales tax, Gantefoer said it would have some advantages for business. "It would be simpler for business, in that they would have one set of reporting mechanisms instead of two," he said. [...]

Yet no sooner had Gantefoer's words appeared on the StarPhoenix website, Saskatchewan Party handlers were burning up the phone lines to get the story changed.

Gantefoer phoned the SP reporter and suggested that his words, while not misquoted or misspoken, were perhaps stronger that he would have liked. Then, later that afternoon, the Saskatchewan Party government pumped out a press release headlined: "Finance Minister Says No to Harmonized Sales Tax.

Gantefoer was quoted as saying: "I wasn't clear enough about the government's position. It hasn't changed in two years of being government, and it isn't changing now. We will not be harmonizing the provincial sales tax with the GST.'' Period. End of story. But is it really? Do the spin doctors in the Saskatchewan Party really believe that issuing press releases, like the one Friday, will make the harmonization issue go away? If they do, they're dreaming in Technicolor."

Regina Leader-Post

-Gantefore 'wishy-washy' on Harmonized Sales Tax for Saskatchewan

Thursday, March 25, 2010 

American Conservative Terrorists Continue Death Threats On Democrats

Watch CBS News Videos Online
Die Massenpsychologie des Faschismus

"Death threats plague Democrats who supported Barack Obama's health care bill
Democrats who supported sweeping changes to America's health care system have been subjected to death threats and vandalism as the tide of anger and outrage over the bill grows."

Republican Leadership Warns Democrats Not To Use Threats Of Violence For Political Purposes
Republicans and Tea Party activists condemned the threats and violent actions directed at a host of lawmakers this week in the wake of the passage of health care reform, but warned Democrats not to make a political issue out of it. Top Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said on Wednesday that they do not condone the violence, which has included broken windows at campaign offices, threatening phone calls and faxes, and a severed gas line at the home of a lawmaker's brother. "I do not condone violence," Cantor said on Capitol Hill on Thursday. "There are no leaders in the building, no rank and file members that condone violence, period." But Cantor admonished Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) for "dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon."
Huffington Post

-The Moderate Voice has a good take on Republican/conservative radicalism ..

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 

Brad Wall's Saskatchewan 'Fudget' Budget

Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government will once again spend more than it takes in as revenue during the next fiscal year. In fact expenditures will exceed projected revenues by $622 Million. By dipping into the province's surplus left by the previous New Democratic government, Wall claims that he will have a $20 Million surplus at end of the 2010-11 fiscal year.

-An increase to tuition for the province's university students will not be very welcome.
-Downsizing the provincial civil service by 529 this year is also reason for concern. Wall's target is to eliminate 1800 civil service jobs in the next 4 years from a current compliment of 12,000 jobs.
-Literacy initiatives, Early learning and child care, funds for victims of crimes and a provincial Seniors supplement are all experiencing cuts.
-The promise of a 1% increase to municipalities has been broken and will likely result in property tax increases.
-Capital funding for schools and post-secondary institutions have also seen cuts.
-Programs for Aboriginal and Metis people, and northern development will also see cuts
-The province's co-pay for Chiropractic care has now ended except for a small number of persons on provincial assistance

One area of government that DID see an increase in budget was .... The Office of Premier Brad Wall!

The biggest concern however, relates to changes in a number of accounting practices that the Wall government is using to try and improve the appearance of the financial mess they are making.

Just recently, the Saskatchewan Provincial Auditor wrote:

"Because the government uses inappropriate accounting policies, the GRF financial statements (for 2008-09) report net debt and annual surplus inaccurately. If the government had accounted for all transactions properly, the statements would have recorded net debt of $8.07 billion instead of $3.85 billion on March 31, 2009, and recorded a surplus of $1.62 billion instead of $2.39 billion for the year ended March 31, 2009."
Report of the Provincial Auditor on the 2008-09 Government Accounts

"Because the errors significantly impair the usefulness of these financial statements, we have qualified our auditor's report on the GRF (general revenue fund) financial statements published in Public accounts 2008-09 Volume 1. 'Qualified' audit reports are not normal and should cause concern for legislators and the public. Our audit report advises readers of the errors in the financial statement."
Report of the Provincial Auditor on the 2008-09 Government Accounts

CBC Budget Coverage

-My friend Scott, at Canadian Political Viewpoints, has more ....


The Political Game Has Changed Folks - It's Time To Start Shouting Down The Lunatic Right

Progressives pride themselves in being civilized, thoughtful and lacking in base human emotion when discussing or advancing our vision for a healthy society. However, the lunatic Right has been ranting, raving and shrieking their equivalent world view from the rooftops in a cacophony of blinding ignorance for quite some time now. The sheer volume of their antics has made it seem that their numbers are large. They are not. When the debate does not go their way, they merely turn up the volume levels.

In recent months, there have been two times when progressives stood firm and shouted down the Right. The first was the reaction from progressives to Stephen Harper's idiotic prorogation of Parliament. He and his minions were totally caught off guard by the huge reaction of progressives to his dictatorial disregard for our democracy. It hurt him ... big time.

The second recent example of shutting the Right up by shouting them down occurred last night at the University of Ottawa when a large number of progressive thinkers turned their anger into action and shouted down the vile, racist crap that vomits out of the mouth of Ms. Coulter.

Progressives generally are not comfortable bringing loud screaming emotional outbursts into the debate as is the norm from the Right. Unfortunately, it is the only thing that works.

Look, the Right has changed the game. Logical debate is no longer the method that they use to advance their views. They are only capable of game playing and shock tactics. The lunatic Right in Canada got a taste of their own medicine last night.

Shout them down. Every chance you get. It is the only thing that they respond to.


Dear Liberal Party of Canada - Would You Please Just Decide What The Hell You Are - Or Something??

"Liberal attempts to ignite muffled anti-abortion sentiment on Conservative benches and foster doubts about the social policies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper have been foiled from within. A motion by Liberal MP Bob Rae demanding that the government’s maternal and child health initiative for the world’s poorest regions include “the full range of reproductive health options” was defeated by a vote of 144-138 yesterday when three Liberal MPs – all long-time opponents of abortion – voted against it."
The Globe & Mail

A supposed 'whipped' Liberal vote in the House of Commons last night failed because the Liberal Party of Canada has both no idea what they are doing in the House and in more general terms, they have no idea what they are doing as a political party.

Federal Libs should be bloody glad that the whole Ann Coulter 'thing' is happening today because it distracts from how idiotic, amateurish and LOST you actually are.

There is merit in an outsider asking Liberals exactly WTF it is that you are? Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.

-Liberals Have Lost Their Way - Their Identiy - Their Reason For Being ...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 

Did Calgary Conservative MP Lobby His Own Government For Bailout ?

There is an interesting post on concerning Lee Richardson, Conservative MP from Calgary and funds that his company received from the Federal government that he is a member of.

-Libs Probe Grant To Tory MP - March 25th ....
-Oilweek Magazine has more ...


Sask Party Gov't Reinstates Funding For First Nations University Of Canada

Unlike most partisan right wing blogs who only know how to attack, this blog gives credit when credit is due to my political opponents.

In this spirit, I want to acknowledge (with no small surprise), the reinstatement of funding for the First Nations University of Saskatchewan by the Brad Wall government. I don't know the details but at first glance it appears that Minister Rob Norris has done a fair bit of work to reach this deal.

CBC Saskatchewan


Saskatchewan Party Government Flip-Flops On All Party Agreement For Chief Electoral Officer

The governing Saskatchewan Party has some explaining to do to all of the other political parties in the province. The Liberal Party of Saskatchewan, The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan, The Sask New Democratic Party and The Green Party all want to know why the previously agreed to candidate for Chief Electoral Officer has now been overturned.

It seems that the agreed to candidate for the office (who is currently the deputy Chief Returning Officer - acting in the position of CRO) has been vetoed by the Saskatchewan Party Caucus!

CBC is reporting that a Member of the Saskatchewan Party Caucus may be under investigation by the office of the Chief Electoral Office and is asking if the flip-flop is connected.

"Four of Saskatchewan's political parties are asking why the Saskatchewan Party government has rejected a candidate for chief electoral officer who was recommended by a bipartisan committee of the legislature. Earlier this year, the legislature's board of internal economy — which has NDP and Saskatchewan Party members — recommended that Dave Wilkie, the acting chief electoral officer, get the job on a permanent basis.

However, the board's recommendation was later rejected by the Saskatchewan Party caucus. No one has yet been appointed to the job. In the legislature Monday, NDP MLA Frank Quennell asked Justice Minister Don Morgan why the Saskatchewan Party changed its mind. Quennell suggested it might be because an unnamed government MLA is being investigated by Wilkie about spending."

CBC Sask

-Accidental Deliberations has more .....

Monday, March 22, 2010 

Exposing The Inner Workings Of A 'Teabaggers' Mind

Die Massenpsychologie des Faschismus

I think my favorite part may be at 2:09 when the Teabagger tells us how the Obama administration will mail out $50 suicide pills to you rather than provide health care!


Preston Manning For Governor General ?? Give Me A Break!

It's bad enough that Canada has a Governor General but the fact that Preston Manning is being touted to fill the position this coming September is repulsive. Mr. Manning advocates an extreme form of right wing ideology through his 'Manning Center' organization. Publicly funded health care? Old Age Security? Public education? Mr. Manning and his organization and allies have opposed all of these.

In an article published in the Winnipeg Free Press, in 2004, Frances Russel wrote, "Earlier this month, the (Fraser) institute held its 30th anniversary dinner attended by luminaries of the Canadian Right like Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, former Reform Leader Preston Manning and former Ontario Premier Mike Harris. Founder and president Michael Walker mapped out an ambitious plan for the future. Having won the battles against universality, deficits and debt, Mr. Walker said the institute will be turning its sights on privatising health and education. With millions of dollars in its coffers donated annually by the Who's Who of business, get ready for more Fraser, more of the time" (Wpg Free Press - 29/10/04)

"Where I think we're headed is a system of universal care, where everybody is covered ... with two tracks for delivery, and two tracks for payment. It's not a question of private versus public, but what mix of the two is appropriate.”
Preston Manning

Manning clearly advocates that the rich go to the front of the line for health care - why .. because in Preston's world, having more more money makes you more important - a 'better' person deserving of better care and better service.

Preston Manning was born in Edmonton, Alberta. He follows in his father's right wing footsteps - he was the son of Ernest Manning, Social Credit Party Premier of Alberta between 1943 and 1968. During those years, the Alberta government pursued a policy of forced sterilization based on 'Eugenics' concepts.

Preston Manning founded the Reform Party of Canada. After numerous unsuccessful attempts at forming a Federal government, the Reform Party began a process of co-opting the Progressive Conservative Party. The end result is the current 'Conservative Party of Canada' led for former Reform Party MP, Stephen Harper.

Canada does not need Preston Manning as our Governor General. Period!

Sunday, March 21, 2010 

Teabaggers = Domestic Terrorists

Teabaggers making death threats! ... (oh and by the way, this evening, the Power of Good defeated the power of stupid by a vote of 219 - 212)
-BBC World

Domestic terrorists


Scratch a teabagger .....

.... and the racism just ooooozes out!


Friday, March 19, 2010 

Brad Wall's House In the USA Displays Critical Double Standard

During the leadership race for the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party last year, Brad Wall and his crew mercilessly tried to pound on Dwain Lingenfelter, claiming that he owned a 'house' in Alberta.

Well, guess what ? ... the chickens came home to roost at Brad Wall's HOUSE in the United States of America!

Globe & Mail

The following is a 'Statement by Member' from the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly delivered by NDP MLA, Buckley Belanger on March 18, 2010:

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Well the
Premier claims people everywhere want to move or to invest in
Saskatchewan. Where does he choose to invest? Phoenix,
Arizona. Just a few months after becoming Premier, where does
he choose to make his first investment? Phoenix, Arizona.
Rather than show a commitment to his home province by
buying his vacation home here, he buys a home in the United
States. Even the Premier now admits with his actions that
there's a lack of affordable housing in this province. How many
Saskatchewan families can fork over more than $100,000 in
cash to pay for a vacation home in Phoenix?

The Premier has tried to criticize the Leader of the Opposition
for investing and living in Alberta during the years he worked
in the private sector, but now he's investing in another country
while sitting in the Premier's office.
What's wrong with
Cypress Hills? What's wrong with La Plonge? What's wrong
with Duck Mountain or the dozens of other Saskatchewan resort
areas where thousands of Saskatchewan families have invested?

Mr. Speaker, the Premier likes to talk about Saskatchewan first,
but doesn't practice what he preaches. It is obvious his
long-term plan does not include living and investing into
Saskatchewan. I hope he enjoys his retirement in Arizona in 18

Progressive Bloggers


Yens Pedersen Illustrates Generational Change Occurring In Sask New Democrats

Yens Pedersen is a Regina lawyer who sought the leadership of the Saskatchewan New Democrats last year. He brought a breath of fresh air into the race and has certainly made his mark in the ranks of the provincial party. Yens today announced that he is seeking the NDP nomination for the constituency of Regina South currently held by Bill Hutchinson of the Saskatchewan Party.

During my interview of Dwain Lingenfelter, days after he won the leadership of the Saskatchewan NDP, I expressed my concern about the need for generational transition in the provincial wing of the party. Mr. Lingenfelter heartily agreed.

The by-election victory of Danielle Chartier from Saskatoon Riversdale as well as the election of Cam Broten and Trent Wotherspoon in 2007 proves that generational renewal is alive and well in the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party.

Further proof of this can also be found in the candidacy of Noah Evanchuk for the Federal seat of Palliser and in the candidacy for the vice-presidency of the party by Kent Peterson.

The disgraced Saskatchewan Party government of Brad Wall is desperately trying to spin that they are 'competent'. Truth is that they are a tired old hodgepodge of former Reformers, camouflaged Progressive Conservatives, right wing Liberal turncoats, 'red scare' wing nuts, and the flotsam and jetsam of Saskatchewan's extreme Right.

-Accidental Deliberations has more ...
-Giant Political Mouse has more ...

Photo courtesy F. Needham ...

Thursday, March 18, 2010 

Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party Gov't Wants To Cut Public Service By 16%

"For all its reputation for being attuned to business, the Saskatchewan Party government of Premier Brad Wall has a terrible track record at budget forecasting."
Canadian Business Magazine

As a result of massive budgetary problems due to unprecedented fiscal incompetence, the Saskatchewan government is planning to cut the public service by 4% in each of the next 4 years for a total 16% reduction.

This attack on the public service fits nicely into the hard Right ideology of Walls disastrous government!

Regina Leader-Post

Progressive Bloggers

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A lovey, older Irish woman returned home from her annual physical doctor's appointment and reported to her husband that all was well with herself. He inquired, "what about your big Irish arse?"
"Well, your name wasn't mentioned at all my dear" she replied.

To all my family and friends, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 


"Three MPs -- Libby Davies of the New Democratic Party, Ujjal Dosanjh of the Liberals and Scott Reid of the Conservatives -- presented a petition asking Justice Minister Rob Nicholson not to sign extradition papers that would send Mr. Emery south to serve a five-year sentence for selling marijuana seeds online in 2005. More than 12,000 Canadians signed the petition. [...]

Canadian courts have established a person convicted of selling marijuana seeds should face a fine of $200. In the U.S., a person could be sentenced to life in prison for the same crime. Mr. Emery, 52, and two employees were arrested in 2005 by Canadian police acting as agents for the U.S. department of justice. He is not facing a charge in Canada."

The Province

Progressive Bloggers


Things Are Heating Up In Advance Of The Upcoming Saskatchewan Provincial Budget

In Canada's parliamentary system, Question Period consists of a fixed daily period of time in the Chamber when the Opposition can ask questions of the Government in an attempt to seek rationale for Ministerial actions and policy. Generally, the Opposition asks the questions and the Government is supposed to provide the answers.

Occasionally someone in the Government slips a question in, trying to make a point. That can sometimes go badly for the Government. Here is a brief exchange from the Saskatchewan Legislature - March 15, 2010 between Saskatchewan Finance Minister, Rod Gantefoer and Opposition Finance Critic, Trent Wotherspoon:

Hon. Mr. Gantefoer:Mr.Speaker, I ’m not sure what part of previous budget that the member opposite is unhappy with [...]

Mr. Wotherspoon: — The minister who’s supposed to be answering questions is asking questions, so I respond. What don’t we like about the last budget? The $1 billion dollar deficit; the 110 per cent miss on potash revenue projections; the double-digit, runaway, out-of-control spending of this government; the fact that this government, in just two years, has taken this province from $2.3 billion of surplus and a booming economy to a $1 billion dollar deficit.That ’s shameful. The fact that when this game started here this year, we had a $3 billion revenue projection; now we ’re making cheques back to the potash companies to the tune of $200 million.That’s a chronology of failure. We ask that . . .

The Speaker: Order . . . [inaudible interjection] . . . I agree.
But I want to make sure the member ’s aware of the fact that
what we ’ve agreed to in regards to placing of questions.I would
ask the member to place his question directly.

Mr. Wotherspoon: — With respect to this chronology of
failure, I ask the minister, what’s your plan?

Monday, March 15, 2010 

Helena Guergis Threatens To Sue Air Canada Employees? DUMP HER FROM CABINET!

Progressive Bloggers

If there were ever a minister that deserves to be dumped from the Harper Cabinet, it is Helena Guergis.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 

For Those Who Don't Think That Texas Is 'Right Wing' Enough ...

The Governor of Texas is a Republican. Both Texas senators are Republicans. Of the 31 federal House Representatives, 20 are Republican and 11 are Democrat.

Well, the far Right legislators in that state have now rewritten the school curriculum for all students. What they have eliminated and what they have inserted is pretty shocking:

-Study of Thomas Jefferson is removed and lengthy study of religious right icon John Calvin has been inserted.

-The State Curriculum Board refused to require that "students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others."

-Included are new subjects on "American exceptionalism" and the 'U.S. free enterprise system', teaching that the system thrives best when free from any government intervention.

-The names or references to important Hispanic Texans throughout history also were denied, includng one Democrat amendment that would have taught that Tejanos (Texans of Mexican ancestry) died at the Alamo alongside Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.

-Another amendment deleted a requirement that sociology students learn how institutional racism was practiced or is evident in American society.

-Huffington Post


Canadian Actor's Belongings Sold On Ebay In Order To Pay For Travel and Funeral

I don't know much about Canadian actor, Corey Haim. I don't think I ever saw any of his movies. I do know that he was 38 when he passed away this week and that he died broke. I guess I find it unfortunate that his mother has bundled up his belongings and is selling them on Ebay in order to raise sufficient funds to bring his body back to Canada and have a funeral.

Now that's kinda tragic.


Christie Blatchford Defends Poor Old Rahim Jaffer - Claiming He's Persecuted ONLY Because He Is A Conservative!

If you have a couple of minutes of your life that you are willing to toss away and waste, you could read Christie Blatchford's idiotic defense of Rahim Jaffer ...

-One of the dumbest articles in cyberspace today.

Progressive Bloggers

Friday, March 12, 2010 

Former Grand Chief of the Federation of Sask. Indian Nations Seeks New Democrat Federal Nomination

I have to say that I am happy to hear that Chief Lawrence Joseph is seeking the NDP nomination for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River. The riding is currently held by Conservative MP Rob Clarke.

(Photo courtesy Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations - FSIN)

Thursday, March 11, 2010 

New York Fire Department (FDNY) Says Saskatchewan Party Poster Is Offensive

"The FDNY (Fire Department of New York) hopes that no one ever forgets what happened on September 11th. However, we do think that the use of images of the attacks for political or monetary gain, like the image on this poster, is in bad taste."
Frank Dwyer
FDNY spokesperson
Digital Journal

"It was inappropriate without a doubt.” They wanted me to talk about September 11 and they bundled it with a fundraiser and with a pig roast. It wasn’t too bright on someone’s part.”
Chief Picciotto

-And the New York Post BLASTS the Saskatchewan Party as unapologetic 'small town politicos"!

-As well ... New York Magazine weighs in with some advice for the Saskatchewan Party

-And it looks like American Right Wing News thinks that their ideological Canadian cousins wrote the book on Supid Ideas 101 ...

-Not to mention the many other American Conservative Blogs that are simply stunned at the lack of good judgment found in the Saskatchewan Party

-The Edmonton Journal shakes it's editorial head

-Local media outline how the Saskatchewan Party has brought negative impression of the province to Americans

-And the Indo-Asian News Service informed the sub-continent of India about the American reaction to the Saskatchewan Party poster - shown here on their Blog ....

-Globe & Mail has more

Background ....


Even Right Wing FOX News Does NOT Like Saskatchewan Party 'Pig Roast' - 911 Poster

The Saskatchewan Party seems to have even ticked off FOX News with it's idiotic poster advertising a pig roast dinner and exploiting the September 11th tragedy.

FOX News

New York Fire Department Finds Saskatchewan Party Poster Offensive!

"The FDNY (Fire Department of New York) hopes that no one ever forgets what happened on September 11th. However, we do think that the use of images of the attacks for political or monetary gain, like the image on this poster, is in bad taste."
Frank Dwyer
FDNY spokesperson


CIDA’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund Raised Millions From Canadians - Hasn't Spent A Cent Yet!

Canada's International Development Agency gladly took millions in donations from Canadians with the promise that funds received by February 12, 2010 would be matched by the Federal Government. Yet to date ... over two months since the disastrous Haitian earthquake ... not one cent of your donated money has been spent as it was intended!

"I called the agency yesterday with questions about the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. You probably remember this. It’s where the Canadian government promises to match funds Canadians donate to Haiti to help with, among other things, “early recovery” and reconstruction. I had heard from a contact who does relief work in Haiti that no one who has applied for money from this fund had heard back from CIDA. Seemed a little strange. It’s been two months since the quake and one month since the donation window closed on February 12. So I called CIDA to find out how much money has been raised, how much has been disbursed, where it’s been disbursed, and, if nothing has been disbursed, as my contact told me, when it will be. [...]

I asked how much of the money raised through the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund has been spent. CIDA’s response included a paragraph about where Canada has spent money that doesn’t come from the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, before adding the line: “Funds from the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund will be disbursed in the near future.” In other words, they haven’t spent a penny.


Cartoon by kind permission of
Graeme MacKay

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 

Sidney Crosby's Missing Hockey Gear Located

"CALGARY — The case of the missing Sidney Crosby gold medal hockey gear has been solved. Hockey Canada says it’s recovered the stick and one of the gloves Crosby used during the men’s Olympic gold medal hockey game."
Regina Leader-Post

Hockey fans can relax ....

Progressive Bloggers
(Vote for this post)

(Photo courtesy The Edmonton Journal)


'Memory Lane' - Former Conservative MP, Rahim Jaffer's Anti-Drug Ad

In the final days of the last Federal Election, former Conservative MP, Rahim Jaffer ran a radio ad in Edmonton slamming the New Democrats as being 'pro-drug'.

-The New Democrats went on to defeat Rahim Jaffer for his Federal Riding.
-Jaffer went on to be arrested for drunk driving and possession of cocaine.

"Jack Layton and the Ottawa NDP have publicly supported the legalization of marijuana. In fact when asked about marijuana Jack Layton called it a wonderful substance which Canadians should be free to smoke at home or in a cafe. Edmontonians understand how difficult it is to make sure our children make the right choices especially on serious issues like drug use. The Conservative Party supports drug free schools and getting tough with drug dealers who sell illegal drugs to children. Don't let our schools go up in smoke..on October 14th vote Conservative."
Rahim Jaffer
Link to Radio Ad

(From the 2008 Federal Election)

Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 

Get Ready For Harper's HUGE Public Asset SELL OFF!

Progressive Bloggers

You knew that Stephen Harper couldn't resist at least one huge 'sell off' of public assets while he was PM! (Don't look now but his old 'Reform' roots are showing ...)

“There are some opportunities there for some privatizations of businesses that one questions why the government is in them anymore. So we’ll look at those and I expect that in the next year we’ll be able to make some announcements” he said in an interview posted to the website Friday. “It’s actually an asset review. Why does the government own A or B or C? Why are we in that business? Do taxpayers really need to own this?”
Jim Flaherty,
Conservative Finance Minister
Montreal Gazette


Why Is The Saskatchewan Party Exploiting 9/11 To Fundraise??

Progressive Bloggers

I want to add my voice to those of other bloggers who are shaking their heads in wonder at a poster being circulated for a Saskatchewan Party 'pig roast dinner' fundraiser:
-Accidental Deliberations
-Humble Opinion

This poster is from the constituency represented by Saskatchewan's current Environment Minister, Nancy Heppner.

-Even FOX News does not like the Saskatchewan Party 'pig roast supper' poster ....

And... Fire Department of New York finds Saskatchewan Party poster offensive!
"The FDNY (Fire Department of New York) hopes that no one ever forgets what happened on September 11th. However, we do think that the use of images of the attacks for political or monetary gain, like the image on this poster, is in bad taste."
Frank Dwyer
FDNY spokesperson

... And the New York Post BLASTS the Saskatchewan Party as unapologetic 'small town politicos"!

(Click on pic to enlarge ... )

Monday, March 08, 2010 

TORTURE - It seemed like a good idea at the time ....

Look ... in the early days of the Harper government, the new Conservative administration was simply not prepared to let Dick Cheney and the Bushites have all the fun torturing evil types in the name of truth, justice and the American (er... Canadian) way.

I mean ... if the Americans could thumb their nose at civilized behavior and international law, why couldn't we get in on some of the action?

Well the facts of what happened in the early days of the Conservative government are starting to leak out. It looks more and more like the Harper administration had knowledge at the highest levels. Mr. Harper ... Canadians are going to find out what happened one way or another - no matter what you do to obstruct reality.

-The Globe & Mail

Singing from the same songsheet

Sunday, March 07, 2010 

"Saskatchewan Party Lacks Vision For Province" - Saskatoon Star Phoenix Editorial Board

When the editorial board of the province's largest MSM daily paper issues a headline like the one above, you know that the governing party is in big trouble. Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party is holding their annual provincial convention this weekend, but you have to wonder ... why? The empty tables pretty much tell you how exciting the affair must have been.

"There are a total of five resolutions put forward by local Saskatchewan Party constituency organizations. They range from a suggested amendment to the human rights code to include the protection of property to a simplistic call to prevent a future shortage of Level 3 and Level 4 beds in long-term care facilities.

A resolution out of Regina Lakeview suggests people involved in family law proceedings should be advised of the option of collaborative law and mediation. There is also a far-fetched proposal to dissolve school boards as they currently exist and hand the responsibility of maintaining school services and facilities to municipalities. How this resolution even made it on to the agenda is a mystery."

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Update - And just for the record ... what happens in the Saskatchewan Party if you are the guy who screwed up the Budget to the tune of a $1.9 Billion miscalculation of Revenue?

-Accidental Deliberations has more on the 'Bear Pit' Session that ended the Convention.

Friday, March 05, 2010 

Were Wall Government And Potash Corp Of Saskatchewan Trying To Portray False Picture Of Company Fortunes?

Regina Leader-Post political columnist, Murray Mandryk, recently did a good piece on the disastrous Saskatchewan Party 2009-10 provincial budget. In it, he asks some very sobering questions about the motives behind grossly overestimated royalty revenues from projected postash sales by the privately owned, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

"In short, the industry already paid taxes or royalties in last year's budget on potash that it didn't wind up selling. The government is desperately attempting to portray it as an unfortunate set of circumstances that have conspired in a slight overpayment. Well, the problem here is much, much more than that.

What the Sask. Party government has done in the past couple of years is abdicate virtually any responsibility for independently determining potash sales or royalty revenue, leaving that critical task to the industry players, who might have a vested interest in hyping the numbers. After all, high prices keep both potash prices and stock prices high, which in turn happens to also benefit executive compensation numbers."

Murray Mandryk
'Now we're paying The potash companies'
Regina, Leader-Post

In view of the gross overestimation of both sales and potential royalties, hard questions should be asked.

Thursday, March 04, 2010 

Conservatives Hate Open Debate And Fear Real Democracy

“Debate is not a sin, a mistake, an error or something to be put up with in parliament, debate is the essence of parliament.”
Stanley Knowles, MP
House of Commons Procedure and Practice - page 677

Globe & Mail

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 

Harper Suspended Canada's Democratically Elected Parliament For 'This'!!

The padlocks placed on Canada's parliament by Conservative Leader, Stephen Harper, were removed today. Allegedly, Canada's democratically elected Parliament was Suspended on December 30th in order for the Conservatives to roll up their sleeves and bring forward the best plan and Speech from the Throne that this nation has EVER seen!

What a load of crap! Even the advance 'spin' by Tory apologists (before the Speech was even delivered) is pretty thin gruel as a reason for suspending Parliament.

Canadians have not been fooled. Not by the 'reason' for the parliamentary suspension and certainly not by the symbolic rhetoric that Canadians were subjected to today.


Brad Wall's Fiscal Mismanagement Of Saskatchewan Is Getting Ridiculous

"Yep, the great free-enterprisers who've railed on for decades about Tommy Douglas driving out the oil companies are now giving away every penny of our potash royalties this year to the potash companies. How can something like this happen, you ask? [...] Whatever it is, it's incompetence well beyond anything voters should ever have to tolerate."
Regina Leader Post

The Brad Wall government presented a provincial budget for 2009/10 that predicted royalty revenues from the potash industry in the amount of $1.9 Billion.

Whoops!! Turns out they were wrong by the entire $1.9 Billion ... in fact they were wrong by a whopping $2.1 Billion (if you include the $200 Million in advance royalties they received and must now pay back to the potash producers).

Saskatchewan's Provincial Auditor is running out of red ink making his frantic appeals to the Wall administration to rein in their incompetent fiscal ways.

It's a good thing that the former government left a couple of Billion in the provincial treasury to save Saskatchewan's fiscal ass. One thing that Saskatchewan voters will not tolerate is a return to the financial insanity that we saw during our disastrous Conservative years here - 1982 to 1991 ... the same Conservative government that Brad Wall served in as a Ministerial Assistant.

Globe & Mail

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

-Saskatchewan Party Government Admits to 'Massive Miscalculation'

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 

Alberta Government To Include 'Importance Of Oil Industry' Class Into School Curriculum

"Buried among all the budget cuts and discontinued programs in the recent provincial budget there was an announcement of two new programs in the Department of Energy. The first of these would see the energy department "work within Alberta’s education system to facilitate a flow of age-suitable information about the energy industry, its importance and its future." The second would see the department "develop and deliver education supports to raise awareness of carbon capture and storage technology and its important contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation objectives."

In case there was any doubt about what these two new strategies actually mean, Energy Minister Ron Liepert eliminated it when he told the Calgary Herald that the program is designed to highlight the importance of the energy industry to Alberta, the environmental successes of the Alberta government, and to combat the wide-spread "misinformation" about both."

"Good morning class. Today's lesson is the oilsands, or as we like to refer to it in Alberta, "God's oil spill." Oilsands are made up of bitumen, a sticky substance that oozes naturally from the banks of the Athabasca River. First Nations people once used bitumen to patch their canoes. Today, we use it to heat our homes, power our vehicles and make all kinds of wonderful products such as balloons, soccer balls and even some candy. We all like candy, don't we?

Some people, like David Suzuki -- or as we like to refer to him in Alberta, Satan -- will try to tell you that the oilsands are bad. This is not true. Oil is used to make bicycle tires, and bicycles help reduce carbon from greenhouse gas emissions, which is the stuff that results from the burning of oil products, such as gasoline. Some scientists say that these gases cause global warming. So, by making bicycle tires, we help stop global warming. Therefore, oil is good for the environment."

Calgary Herald

The only question I have about this concept is whether or not they will also try to tell these school kids that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

Monday, March 01, 2010 

Stephen Harper Brought His Own Official Photographer To Gold Medal Game In Hopes Of Snapping Perfect Propaganda Pic

"Steve Harper wants to make sure you see him celebrating that goal!"

"The Prime Minister and his son Ben took in Sunday's gripping men's final with the hockey legend in Vancouver. Having brought along his official photographer, Mr. Harper managed to capture for posterity his reaction to the heartbreaking U.S. equalizer, the moment of victory in overtime and even his trip to the locker room to congratulate the champions."
The Globe & Mail

(Photo: courtesy Jason Ransom/PMO)

(Please at least TRY to enjoy this pic ... you did pay for it after all!)

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