Saturday, June 30, 2012 

Regina, Saskatchewan - June 30th ..... 1912 ..... !

100th Anniversary of the Regina Cyclone/Tornado ...


50th Anniversary Of Medicare - July 1, 2012

50th Anniversary of Medicare

Saskatchewan Led Battle For Public Health Care ... this is a Regina Leader-Post feature, however, it should be noted that in 1962, the Regina Leader-Post fought the implementation of Medicare editorially, with lies and fear mongering. It appears that after 50 years, the Regina L-P has quietly come on side with the sanity of public healthcare.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Agrium Inc. and Mosaic Co. Back In US Court Over Charges Of Price Fixing ....

 Postash companies with strong Saskatchewan connection are back in a US court:

"Potash buyers sued in 2008, claiming violations of the U.S. Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, which can extend the reach of American antitrust law to foreign anticompetitive conduct that affects U.S. imports. 

“Markets are increasingly global, and today’s decision helps ensure that U.S. antitrust law and U.S. courts will protect U.S. purchasers who are targeted and injured by global cartels,” W. Joseph Bruckner, a Minneapolis-based attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 

I Guess The Courts Are Saying That It Is Ok For An Adult Man To Beat An 11 Year Old Girl With A Horse Riding Crop As Long As You Quote Bible Verses During The Beating ....

"Queen’s Bench Justice Doug Abra said he was impressed by the "honestly and candour" displayed by the accused in explaining his actions. 

Crown attorney Debbie Buors told court the man quoted Bible verses as he struck the girl, who was put in his family’s care by Child and Family Services after being seized from a distant relative. He was telling her "Spare the rod, spoil the child" and "When you are evil you go to Hell," while dishing out the punishment on the family’s property in eastern Manitoba. 

As she was being struck, the girl told police she repeatedly asked the man why he was hurting her. "She was quoting the scripture back to him," said Buors. "She was telling him 'That’s like putting evil on a child, whipping them with a horse whip.'" Defence lawyer Jay Prober said his client was frustrated over ongoing disciplinary issues with the girl, specifically while she was at school."
Huffingon Post


It Looks Like The British Are Finally Acknowledging What Horrors And Injustice They Have Done To The Irish People

(Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness ...)
In my lifetime, I have seen things that I never thought I would. A British monarch acknowledging the terrible injustice that the British Empire committed against the Irish people over the last few centuries is a prime example. 

I am an Irish Canadian, here in Canada as a direct result of what the British have done in the land of my forefathers and foremothers. 

 I will never accept the British monarch as constitutional head of Canada. Never! But on the other hand ... any moves to normalize relations and to provide recognition of the abuses that have occurred mutually between the British and the Irish, should be acknowledged.

Monday, June 25, 2012 

Sitting In Tornado Alley ...

Storm chasers converging on Saskatchewan hoping to catch sight of tornadoes  
REGINA - A storm chaser says he and others from the southern United States are going to be watching the skies in southern Saskatchewan. Greg Johnson says on his blog that -- quote -- "Tuesday is looking scary in Saskatchewan." He says forecast models show that severe weather is imminent and the risks include large hail, damaging winds, and strong tornadoes. Johnson says he will be in an area north and slightly east of Moose Jaw Tuesday looking for tornadoes and storms, adding the potential is so great that fellow storm chasers from the southern United States are converging on the Regina area with the expectation they'll see some activity.
Winnipeg Free Press

Saturday, June 23, 2012 

Saskatchewan New Democrats Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Medicare At Annual Convention

Saskatchewan New Democrats are meeting in Saskatoon for their annual convention with special time set aside to recognize the implementation of publicly funded healthcare in the province in 1962.

 Federal NDP Leader, Thomas Mulcair addressed the delegates on Friday, the first day of the three day event. 

Saskatchewan New Democrats are also getting ready to start a leadership race that will see a new leader elected in the spring of 2013. Names that are being bounced around for consideration are current MLA's Trent Wotherspoon and Cam Broten, as well as USW economist Erin Weir. Runner up in the last leadership race was Saskatoon physician, Ryan Meili, who to date has not indicated if he will throw his hat in the ring. 

This is a time of generational change in the leadership and directional setting of Saskatchewan New Democrats. It is long past time for such change. The current caucus of 9 MLA's has a huge job dealing with the personal popularity of Saskatchewan Party Leader, and premier, Brad Wall. Although some cracks are now appearing in the Sask Party administration ... whose hatred of organized labour will see them initiate further measures to hobble Saskatchewan's working people to the advantage of Wall's corporate sponsors and buddies. 

The Sask NDP should stand boldly and tell it like it is. Mr. Wall has contrived a new mythology which he is attempting to spoon feed to the voting public. This mythology is based on a whitewash of the devastating effect the Conservative Grant Devine administration had on the province. Wall, himself, was a ministerial staffer in the 1982-1991 administration that oversaw the strategic and deliberate bankrupting of the provincial treasury in an attempt to justify the sale and disposal of Saskatchewan's Crown Corporations. 

Saskatchewan's New Democrats face the same challenge as their federal counterparts. They are up against the weight and influence of unlimited corporate money which is being used to prop up a business owned government. 

The provincial New Dems desperately need to engage Mr. Wall in some hard discussion about economic reality. That simply is NOT happening effectively at the moment. The challenge of Wall's corporate muscle and main stream media pandering is not insurmountable, but it is going to take fearless leadership to remedy. 

Hard economic questions need to be asked of the Sask Party government. The false mythology advanced by pip-squeak, open-mouth show wind bags needs to be challenged. Brad Wall can and will be defeated. But it's going to take some committed and fearless leadership to turn the tide.

Thursday, June 21, 2012 

"Hey there's a movement to draft Erin Weir to run for NDP leader in Saskatchewan! Seconded!" - Andrew Coyne

(Click on image to enlarge ...)

Our Own Erin Weir Would Make a Great Sask NDP Leader! 
Posted by Jim Stanford  June 19th, 2012

I’ve worked closely with Erin for years, being struck by his combination of talent & passion right from the time he entered the PEF’s student essay contest (which he won for the first time exactly a decade ago, awarded at the CEA 2002 meetings in Calgary). Thirty-six other economists and I think he’d make a great contribution to economic policy discourse as NDP leader in his native province, and have released the letter below. Recent debates over the pace and nature of resource development in Canada make it all the more important that Erin’s voice is heard loudly. Good luck Erin!
Here’s the letter:

Dear Saskatchewan New Democrats,
We, the undersigned economists, write to encourage you to nominate Erin Weir for your provincial leadership. He is a committed social democrat with an extensive record of articulating public policies to ensure that all Saskatchewan people benefit from economic development. Having a prominent economist as leader would strengthen the NDP’s credibility on fiscal and economic issues.
We also note that Premier Brad Wall has emerged as a vocal critic of national social programs and of the federal NDP. The province and the country would be well served by a Saskatchewan NDP leader able to engage Wall and advance a progressive western perspective on national economic issues.
About Erin
Erin was born in Saskatoon, grew up in Regina and has been an active New Democrat since 1997. As an elected member of the Saskatchewan NDP legislative advisory committee, he represented the party in government caucus meetings during Roy Romanow’s premiership. Erin also served as president of the Saskatchewan Young New Democrats and as the federal NDP candidate against finance minister Ralph Goodale in 2004.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Great Distinction) from the University of Regina, which awarded him the Jack Boan Medal for the highest graduating average in economics and the 2006 Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Erin completed a Master of Arts at the University of Calgary and a Master of Public Administration at Queen’s University, where he won the Donald Gow Founder’s Medal for the highest academic standing in that program. He was a Saskatchewan nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship.
After university, Erin gained practical experience in government by working in the federal Treasury Board Secretariat, Department of Finance and Privy Council Office through the Accelerated Economist Training Program. He went on to work at the Canadian Labour Congress national office, the International Trade Union Confederation world headquarters in Brussels, and the United Steelworkers Canadian office. He is also a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. As president of the 200-member Progressive Economics Forum, he works with an elected executive to coordinate this organization’s activities across Canada.
Erin is an effective communicator in the national media. Since 2007, his commentary on employment, the cost of living, government budgets, interest rates and other economic issues has been quoted more than 500 times in the print editions of Canadian newspapers. He frequently and ably represents the left in televised panel debates, including with Kevin O’Leary on CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange, Ian Lee on CBC’s Power & Politics, Don Drummond on the Business News Network, Andrew Coyne on TV Ontario, Danielle Smith on The Michael Coren Show, and Brian Lee Crowley on CTV’s National Affairs.
Erin on Policy
Erin has clearly and consistently argued for a fairer return from the extraction of Saskatchewan’s non-renewable resources. In 2002, he wrote “Saskatchewan’s Oil and Gas Royalties: A Critical Appraisal,” published by the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy. This paper correctly envisioned the subsequent run-up in energy prices and contended that the provincial government should raise, rather than lower, royalty rates. Former Premier Allan Blakeney’s memoirs acknowledge Erin’s research contribution to the oil and gas chapter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 

House Of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer Is 'Harper's Boy'!

"As the House of Commons spring session winds to a close, Speaker Andrew Scheer has once again shot down an opposition attempt to pry information from the government. Outwardly, opposition MPs say they are disappointed but not surprised by Tuesday’s ruling, but behind the scenes, some members of Parliament are angry.

They believe Scheer, Parliament’s judge and referee, is favouring the Conservatives. The question is whether this anger will bubble to the surface as it did in Nova Scotia in 2010. Tuesday’s ruling involved Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who tried to use his right as an MP to seek information from the government.

Cotler asked in writing how many groups the Finance Department consulted as it wrote up the budget. The department responded saying it met with “countless” organizations. The response was a non-answer, Cotler said as he asked the Speaker to step in because he said refusing to answer his question breached his rights as an MP.

“If this were allowed as a response, it would make a mockery of our written questions process,” argued Cotler. But Scheer refused to intervene. He ruled the government had provided an answer, said it wasn’t his role to determine how accurate or appropriate the answer was."
Halifaz Chronicle-Herald

Excuse me for saying .... but the Speaker's ruling is complete and utter bullshit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 

Erin Weir - Economist For Canada's United Steelworkers - Has Some Fun At Senate Committee

Erin Weir is an economist with Canada's United Steelworkers. 

Mr. Weir was recently treated in what can only be described as McCarthyist fashion by the Harper Conservatives.

Sunday, June 17, 2012 

Racists, Skinheads And White Supremacists Praise The Conservative's Anti-Human Rights Law

"A Conservative private members’ bill that repeals part of Canada’s hate speech laws has passed the House of Commons with scant media attention, and even less commentary. But it's being cheered by many Canadian conservatives as a victory for freedom of speech. And it's being cheered most vocally by another group: White supremacists. 

Bill C-304, introduced by Conservative backbencher Brian Storseth, repeals Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which bans hate speech transmitted over the Internet or by telephone. It passed third reading in the House of Commons on Thursday and is now headed to the Senate. “This is a huge victory for freedom in Canada,” a poster calling him or herself “CanadaFirst” posted on the website of StormFront, a notorious white supremacist group. “However, we still have other unjust Zionist ‘hate’ laws that need to go.” “Way to go, Harper. I know we can’t get everything we want, but I stand a little taller today as a Canuck,” wrote “OneMan.”  
Huffington Post

Saturday, June 16, 2012 

The Pogues With The Dubliners ...... for no particular reason


If Dalton McGuinty And Ontario Liberals CAN'T Provide Medical Care For One Small Visually Impaired Boy, Then The NDP Should Pull The Plug And Let The Bastards Explain Their Incompetence To Voters!

TORONTO - Always read the fine print. And when dealing with the McGuinty government, always remember that the devil is in the details.At a media event in Scarborough Wednesday, I asked the premier if he’d intervene in the case of Whitby tot Liam Reid, who needs urgent surgery with a specialist in Detroit to save his sight. This, in part, was his response:
“We want to make sure that we’re doing what we can to ensure that Liam and his family can access the best possible quality care here in Ontario,” Dalton McGuinty said.
“If we can’t offer that care here in Ontario, then we’ve got a responsibility to make sure he can access that care elsewhere.”

Some thought that was a victory for Liam and his parents, Kristina and Dave. McGuinty went on: “I think there are a few surgeons who have the level of expertise necessary to do this.”

That’s a devilish detail.

“If we can’t offer that care here in Ontario,” is a major qualifier. And for him to go on to suggest there are other surgeons who can perform the surgery tells me the health ministry is not paying attention to what the Reid family is saying.

Just across the border in Detroit, Dr. Michael Trese is world renowned for performing the kind of operation Liam needs.

The Reids have already spent $45,000 for treatment with Trese.
They’ve received hundreds of offers from people willing to either pay for the surgery outright or put money in a trust fund for Liam.

Kristina says they’re waiting for OHIP to do the right thing and will only take private cash as a last resort. Donations are a Band-Aid. They don’t want to keep going cap in hand to private donors every time Liam needs treatment.

“Long-term, we need the support of our ministry, we need the support of our government. Currently, we’re not getting that support. We can’t continue to rely on the goodwill of the residents of Ontario and Canada,” she told me. Health Minister Deb Matthews insists we have to explore every avenue in this province before Liam can go to Detroit.

“We have world-class expertise at SickKids hospital. We have extraordinarily skilled and talented physicians,” Matthews told reporters Thursday. “I think it’s important when care is available in Ontario, that that’s where care is delivered.”

Except docs at the Hospital for Sick Children operated unsuccessfully on Liam’s right eye and have told the family they can do no more. Tory MPP Christine Elliott says it’s unacceptable Liam’s family is being told to take him back to SickKids for more tests, especially since he has to undergo a general anesthetic for that examination.

“I would suggest that it’s important for HSC to step up and let the government know whether they can or cannot treat Liam,” Elliott said. “He’s not a guinea pig. He’s a child and I don’t see any reason why his family should be put through any more than they’ve gone through on this.
“The records are very clear and there’s no indication at this point that there’s a specialist in Ontario who’s able to treat this child,” she said, pointing out that since another child in the province is getting out-of-country care paid for by OHIP for exactly the same condition Liam has, fairness dictates he get it as well.

Enough’s enough. Liam’s fighting a tough enough battle as it is.

Pitting this lovely little family against a monstrous, uncaring bureaucracy is hideous. Send Liam to Detroit — now.

Friday, June 15, 2012 

“Medicare is so central to our national narrative that how we reform it will determine the future nature of our country,” Former Sask Premier RoyRomanow

“Medicare is so central to our national narrative that how we reform it will determine the future nature of our country,”
Roy Romanow

Medicare needs strong federal vision 

The unifying force medicare has played in Canada is being eroded by Ottawa’s decision to make health care transfer payments to the provinces without overall national goals attached, former premier Roy Romanow says.
“The federal government is out of the picture and this opens the door to huge disparities. I don’t think that’s the way you build a modern day health care plan and for sure it’s not a way to build a more unified, progressive and strong Canada,” Romanow said after speaking to a public policy conference at the University of Saskatchewan on the future of medicare.
Canada needs a national vision for health care to prevent provinces with greater wealth benefiting from enhanced care while poorer provinces receive less, Romanow said.
“This not only makes a disparate national program, but it raises the prospect of a dis-unifying dimension to Canadian unity, which is always a very important aspect of Canada’s life.
A country as spread out and diverse as Canada won’t have identical care everywhere but it should have programs to ensure “roughly similar principles and quality of outcomes as a right of citizenship,” he said.
“I would like to see our premiers generally, take the position of standing up to Mr. Harper and saying, ‘Look, we want a federal-provincial conference. We want to talk about these costs-driver factors. We want to see what the new programs are, which can ease the cost and improve our health care and we want a public debate about it.’
With the federal government “unwilling to take a role for itself” in shaping medicare, premiers are left “scurrying to ‘innovate,’” Romanow said.
“You have 10 premiers, 10 different economies, local circumstances, varying ideologies, how are you going to bring this all together — since the flood of technology and drugs keep coming on stream — in a cohesive, coherent fashion?”
Medicare began 50 years ago with the federal government transferring 50 per cent of health budgets to provinces with conditions that all agree to similar objectives as to what that funding will achieve.
“Medicare is so central to our national narrative that how we reform it will determine the future nature of our country,” Romanow said.
-Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Thursday, June 14, 2012 

Die Hard Liberal Bloggers Try To Convince You To Wait For At Least 7 More Years (Maybe 11) In Hopes Of Grit Revival Under Justin Trudeau

The good news is that progressive Canadians are not going to fall for this last gasp, desperate plea by 'Liberals' who I fear would rather have Conservatives in power than New Democrats. 'Liberal / Tory .. same old story'.

-One Liberal
(Although I may be misjudging my fellow blogger, Jeff Jedras, whose further comments point out that I am assuming he has a preference for the Conservatives over the NDP ... , something that he has not said. Fair ball. I've revised the post title to reflect this).
 -Another Liberal  
(I am assuming he has a preference for the Conservatives over the NDP ... , something that he has not said either way)

Cartoon by kind permission of
Graeme MacKay

Monday, June 11, 2012 

Ontario LIBERAL Premier Dalton McGuinty DENIES Sight Saving Medical Treatment To 3 Year Old Ontario Boy - SHAME!

"Little Liam Reid of Whitby, Ont. is slowly going blind because of a very rare genetic condition called Persistent Fetal Vasculature Syndrome, also known as Norrie's disease. The condition is so rare, only two children in Ontario are known to have it. 

His doctors have told his parents that because his disease has advanced too much, there is no one left in the province who can treat him. An eye doctor in Michigan can help, though. In fact, he is already treating the only other boy in Ontario known to have the condition. 

But for some reason, while that boy's treatment is being covered by Ontario's out-of-country services, the province is refusing to help pay for Liam's treatment, says his mother, Kristina Reid. "We don't really understand what's happening here because there is another child with the same disease and he's being treated out of country by the same physician. So we don't understand why this is happening," 

Reid told CTV's Canada AM Monday After three years of trying to convince the system to help them, Liam's parents are growing desperate. If their son's condition is left untreated for much longer, Liam could lose his sight completely by the age of four."  
CTV online 

Goddam Liberals! You are worse than Conservatives BECAUSE you should know better! 

We expect this kind of cold hearted crap from Conservatives ... but this is just another reason why the death of the Liberal Party (provincial & national wings) simply can't happen FAST ENOUGH!

I may be a bit biased when it comes to children and functioning visual ability ....

Saturday, June 09, 2012 

Liberal -The Farewell Tour!

Its all over except for the crying! 

 Liberal Leadership Alchemy 3.0

Friday, June 01, 2012 

Alberta Provincial Budget Supports NDP Leader Mulcair's Argument On Dutch Disease ... Ooops!

Alberta's Provincial Budget supports New Democratic Party Leader, Tom Mulcair's argument on Dutch Disease:  
"The Canadian dollar remains elevated, buoyed by high commodity prices. And appreciation of the Canadian dollar could hurt exporters. Manufacturing companies will continue to be challenged by a strong Canadian dollar and moderate external demand."
Alberta Budget 2012-13
Alberta Budget 2012-2013

Postscript for my Saskatchewan readers:
Premier Brad Wall has some explaining to do! 
His over the top 'outrage' looks a tad ridiculous now ... doesn't it? Perhaps a bit 'un-premier' like?

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