Friday, February 16, 2007

Closing For Relocation

This blogger is on the move to somewhere other than the Centre of the Universe.

This blog will also be on the move to somewhere other than the Centre of the Blogosphere.

In preparation for both moves, both blog and blogger will be taking the next few weeks off, unless a federal election call should intervene, to return no later than March 15, 2007 for this blog's second anniversary.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dinner With Lise

Being the lieutenant-governor of Quebec is like being imprisoned in a luxury resort: nobody wants you around but you get all sorts of perks anyway.

Unfortunately, the current incumbent has been enjoying herself too much as taxpayer expense, perhaps to compensate for the fact that the vast majority of Quebecois don't want anything around to remind them of the queen of the maudits anglais :

Quebec Lieutenant-Governor Lise Thibault, whose spending practices have been questioned, will be replaced after the next provincial election, the Prime Minister's Office said yesterday.

The PMO said the decision to replace Ms. Thibault was made before reports surfaced about reported lavish expenses.


According to documents obtained by Le Journal de Montréal, federal authorities repeatedly questioned Ms. Thibault's spending practices between 2000 and 2004. A $59,000 garden party and a $30,000 Christmas party were among the expenditures that raised eyebrows.

In one case, Ms. Thibault's office refused to release the names of restaurant guests who had dined on the public dime.

The $30,000 Christmas party in 2001 had 67 guests, at a cost of $445 a person. The party included costs of $14,000 for food at the Sheraton in Montreal, $6,000 in gifts, $720 to hire three chefs and free parking for guests.

Ms. Thibault's expenses also include a 2002 bill from the Sheraton for $8,800 in food and $9,300 in beverages, including 172 bottles of wine and 59 Brazilian and Spanish coffees.

Bureaucrats raised questions about a $266.36 restaurant bill near Quebec City in April, 2004, given that there was a $286.21 food charge for the same day at a hotel in Montreal. A civil servant at Canadian Heritage told her colleagues there was "no real explanation for this one" from Ms. Thibault's office.

Well, at least Mme. Thibault has both the air of regal reserve appropriate to the vice-regal position and the evasiveness and spendthrifiness appropriate to a federal Liberal appointee to any job in Quebec.

But it's also a sign of how the vice-regal position, ostensibly the guardian of the constitutional order in Canada and the provinces, has been reduced to a chief social hostess position.

As long as you can make polite small talk at garden parties, you don't need any other qualification.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fuelling Hatred

Power and prosperity always make the possessors thereof constant targets of envy and resentment from those without either. Thus the claims that America somehow deserves to have its citizens killed by terrorists anywhere, anytime, for any reason, or for no reason.

We can see a milder form of this envy and resentment expressed everyday in the media towards Alberta, whose crime has been to have oil and to attract Canadians from all over to work there for their share of the wealth.

So should Al-Qaeda's threat to attack Alberta's oil and gas facilities come to pass, the chattering classes will consider it fair punishment for Alberta's sins:

Al-Qaeda has called for terrorist strikes against Canada's oil and natural gas facilities to "choke the U.S. economy."

An online message, posted by The Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula, declares "we should strike petroleum interests in all areas which supply the United States ... like Canada," the No. 1 supplier of both fuels to the U.S.

"The biggest party hurt will be the industrial nations, and on top of them, the United States," it said.

The group, the Saudi arm of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, claimed responsibility for a thwarted February 2006 suicide attack on the world's largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq in Saudi Arabia's eastern province. The group also is believed responsible for other attacks against the Saudi energy sector.


Since 2000, he said, Canada's proven oil reserves have risen from about five billion barrels of oil to more than 180 billion barrels. That puts Canada in the No. 2 position as an oil reserve country, second only to Saudi Arabia and significantly ahead of other states such as Iraq, Kuwait or Iran.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called attention to the growing role of his home province of Alberta by telling international audiences that Canada is emerging as an "energy superpower" with the sole politically stable source of growing oil production on the planet.

Industry installations in Alberta include airport tower-like control rooms for pipelines that deliver about 15 per cent of the natural gas and 10 per cent of the oil consumed in the U.S. as well as most Canadian supplies.

Such attacks would damage the U.S. economy, but they would cripple Canada's even more, and drive Alberta's into recession if not outright depression. Even if the physical damage could be readily repaired, the psychological damage to Canada would be far slower in healing--and that, more than anything, can prolong an economic downturn.

But no doubt the chattering classes would alternate between breast-beating over what we did to deserve such attacks and schadenfreude over those Alberta rednecks getting their comeuppance.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sur L'Attaque

While the Liberals and the media have been whining that the Conservative ads attacking Stephane Dion as not being a leader are unfair, they have been having an effect in the polls. Dion has been coming across as an even bigger whiner, if that's possible.

The Quebec ads have taken a different approach, tying Chretien and his old scandalous crew as millstones round Dion's neck. I am less certain that they will be as effective as the English ads, as they don't use Dion's own words and voice against him, and seem to be more backward-looking than forward as regards the scandals of yesteryear.

Judge for yourself.


In a devastating setback for the advocates of legalization of marijuana, Margaret Trudeau admits she's been doing pot for decades.

So much for marijuana being a harmless recreational drug and cure for all of life's ills.

Monday, February 12, 2007


According to this very fancy, very high-tech, very expensive clock it is now three years to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver-Whistler.

The IOC could market each Winter Olympics as the last one ever because of global warming, repeat it every four years, and everybody would be foolish enough to pay even more jacked-up prices for tickets just to say they went to the last Winter Olympics before the apocalypse.

And if global warming switches to global cooling, they can take the same tack with the Summer Olympics by branding each one the last games before the next ice age.

Isn't climate change hysteria wonderful, folks?

Judgment Calls

Horror of horrors!

The Globe and Mail is shocked, SHOCKED, that people with ties to the Conservative Party are now helping decide who gets appointed to the judiciary!

What's worse, even some honest-to-Gaia social conservatives are being appointed to these advisory boards as well!

The Conservative government has loaded the committees that determine who can become a judge, selecting a series of Tories including former politicians, aides to ministers, riding association officials and defeated candidates.

The influential but little-known judicial advisory committees were created in 1988 to take partisan politics out of the appointment of judges. But half -- at least 16 out of 33 -- of the people chosen by the federal justice minister as his nominees are conservative partisans, a review by The Globe and Mail has found.

And many of the non-partisans chosen by Ottawa seem to share Prime Minister Stephen Harper's oft-expressed desire to change the face of Canada's judiciary -- which he has described as a group that holds a liberal bias, oversteps its role to make social policy, and is too soft on crime.


The non-partisans include Rob Martin, a former University of Western Ontario law professor who argues the courts have veered from the law to impose their social preferences on issues such as abortion, assisted suicide and homosexuality.


Jude Gosselin, a 27-year-old social studies teacher appointed to Manitoba's judicial advisory committee, said he thinks he was chosen because of his social views, not because he is on the executive of the Conservative riding association in Saint Boniface.

Mr. Gosselin, the former youth pastoral co-ordinator for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Boniface, said he was approached by a friend who worked for Mr. Toews, then the justice minister, probably because they wanted someone with "a more traditional way of looking at things."

"It's been argued by many that sometimes the judiciary seems to be possibly moving into the legislative responsibility, interpreting laws beyond what they were meant to be interpreted," he said.

Although many have spoken of a judicial conspiracy to undermine Canadian society, the reality is that the judges haven't had to conspire in their social engineering. They've all gone to the same law schools, sat on all the same law society and bar association committees, joined all the right organizations as lawyers, and therefore have almost all to a man come to share the same world view.

What's threatening to the modern-day Family Compact is that the so-cons and advocates of traditional judicial restraint have figured out how the soc-libs on the bench did it, and are using their own methods against them.

Just consider the hysteria that surrounded the appointment of David Brown to the Superior Court in Ontario--one judge as far from the mould of social liberalism as can be imagined--just one judge.

Expect the same people who once defended the entire closed-door process of judicial appointment to demand that Parliament start vetting potential judges for their ideological reliability.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hello Constable!

The Toronto Police might not be able to anything about gang shootings and home invasions, but they'll have the most colour coordinated offices and uniforms of any police force anywhere:

Toronto police were in the heart of the city's gay village Saturday afternoon hoping to further expand the force's diversity portfolio through one of many recruiting sessions aimed at members of the gay community.

The police service has made efforts to diversify its force by recruiting officers who reflect a variety of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds found across the city.

Const. Gail Steed from the police employment unit said the information sessions for the gay community are a natural extension of that outreach.

"Our service wants to reflect our diverse communities in the city,'' she said. "We don't ask anybody to tell us their sexual preference, we just strive to get an accurate representation of the city.''

Criminals beware: some cops are going to be very enthusiastic about conducting body cavity strip searches.

Motorists beware: if you're pulled over and asked to blow into something, it better damn well be a breathalyzer.

Source: CTV News

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Debtor's Prison

Mankind does not become better so much as he exchanges one manner of barbarities and superstitions for another.

And sometimes he brings back old ones in a different form:

Ex-spouses who cheat on their support payments could swiftly find themselves behind bars, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled yesterday.

In a 9-0 decision, the court said that an Ontario lower court judge had acted within the law when he imposed a 45-day jail sentence on a wealthy plastic surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Dickie, who fled to the Bahamas to avoid paying support payments.

Family law experts said yesterday that the ruling gives judges a powerful tool to use against ex-spouses who try to stall or wriggle out of paying support.

Dr. Dickie's three children and his ex-spouse, Leaka Dickie, may ultimately gain little from the ruling, since Dr. Dickie lives beyond the reach of Canadian law. However, experts said that numerous other aggrieved spouses will reap the benefits of her battle.

To think that debtor's prisons had been abolished as a relic of the Victorian age!

Source: Globe and Mail

Friday, February 09, 2007

Affirmative Action

Give Stephane Dion credit for this much; whenever he sets himself impossible targets that can only be met with devastating consequences, he still barrels ahead to meet them:

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion is prepared to take "extraordinary measures" to boost the ranks of women candidates, including barring men from seeking nominations in some ridings.

During last year's leadership race, Dion promised that under his watch at least a third of the party's candidates in the next election would be women.

But campaign organizers conclude that will be impossible without intervention to secure nominations for women.

So-called green-light committees, set up to run the party's nomination process in each province, have been empowered to ensure the 33 per cent target is met. Among other things, the committees can approve or reject nomination papers from would-be candidates.

Where necessary, the committees will be able to simply refuse to allow men to run for nominations in some ridings.

What a condescending way to treat women in the party, as delicate creatures unable to compete in the rough-and-tumble of intra-party politics against men. Yet after the nomination process, they'll be expected to fight a campaign on the same terms as any other man. There'll be no special consideration for feminine weakness on the campaign trail.

At a micro level, these quotas for women represent the same problem that Dion's obsession with Kyoto emissions targets represent at a macro level: a fixation on abstract goals without consideration of concrete effects.

Source: Toronto Star

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Elephants Graveyard

Without global warming, Canada will be full of bored and depressed elephants, ready to burst forth from their cages in a desperate bloody rampage through our streets.

Please, think of the elephants.

Election Forecast

Hysteria about climate change has now firmly entrenched itself in the public mind. If the weather outside is a little warmer or colder than usual, instead of accepting it as part of nature's usual volatility, people are now terrified that it's a portent of disaster.

If not natural disaster, then political:

A whiff of spring election is in the air, and both the Liberals and Conservatives have caught the scent.

Conservative Party workers say subtle messages drifting from the Prime Minister's Office suggest the government wants to engineer its own demise in May to pave the way for a June vote.

The rank-and-file Tories worry that a long and very hot summer, especially one that brings drought and other severe weather events, could prompt Canadians to think even harder about the environment — and could give Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion more time to establish himself as its protector.


One Conservative campaign organizer in Ontario, who asked not to be identified, said his party would have liked to have been into an election earlier than June “but the Quebec election was in the way.” On the other hand, he said, delaying the election until the fall would give Mr. Dion time to work the summer barbecue circuit and allow the opposition to suggest that Mr. Harper is somehow responsible for whatever weather befalls Canada over the warm summer months.

“There are some weather predictions that say we are going to go through the summer from hell here, that it is going to be hotter than Hades,” he said. “And if that happens, following after a winter that has been unusually warm, then people are going to go nuts over the summer and say ‘look, we're choking on this stuff.'”

The unnamed organizer may have failed to notice from his centrally heated office that the mild, snowless winter predicted at the beginning of January has turned bitterly cold.

Who's to say what weather will come in spring or summer?

If the temperature or precipitation varies by even a fraction of a degree or millimetre from the statistical norm, the Liberals and the media will blame the Conservatives anyway.

We can't do anything about the weather, so let's keep it out of election timing calculations.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Real Dr. Evil

It isn't just the Liberals who are congratulating themselves on bringing a dangerous new recruit on board to launch incendiary attacks against the enemy:

US officials and Israel intelligence sources believe Imad Mugniyeh, the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations, has taken charge of plotting Iran’s retaliation against western targets should President George W Bush order a strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

Mugniyeh is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list for his role in a series of high-profile attacks against the West, including the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jet and murder of one of its passengers, a US navy diver.

Now in his mid-forties, Mugniyeh is reported to have travelled with Ahmadinejad in January this year from Tehran to Damascus, where the Iranian president met leaders of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

The meeting has been dubbed a “terror summit” because of the presence of so many groups behind attacks on Israel, which Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe from the map.

"Bad-ass mofo" is not an official intelligence term of art, but nothing else quite defines Mugniyeh. He's been everywhere--the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, hijacking a TWA flight, kidnapping Westerners in Lebanon, bombing the Israeli embassy and Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires, the USS Cole bombing-- and is wanted by everybody.

In reality, he's been more of a presence in terrorist activity than Osama bin Laden.

Iran means business if it's been talking to Mugniyeh.

Source: Times Online

Smoke On The Water

Further evidence of election readiness in case the budget goes down to defeat:

The Conservative government has unveiled a new tax break targeted at a select few tobacco processors in a politically vulnerable region of Southern Ontario.

Sources said the break -- worth about $500,000 -- is aimed at the constituency of Immigration Minister Diane Finley, who is thought to be in some danger of losing the next election.

One tobacco processor that should benefit from the tax change -- Simcoe Leaf Tobacco Co. Ltd. -- is in Ms. Finley's riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. It was unclear whether any firms outside her riding would benefit.

One industry expert said Simcoe Leaf appears to be the only company that would be eligible for the tax break.


The tax break will go to processors who sort, grade, dry and pack leaf tobacco and must pay manufacturers' surtax on their product. The Conservatives say independent processors who are not affiliated with cigarette makers should be exempted from the tax because they aren't involved in manufacturing the end product.

"It's an issue of tax fairness," said Dan Miles, communications director for Mr. Flaherty.

There are only a handful of processors that might qualify for this reduction. It's unclear whether firms outside of Ms. Finley's riding would benefit.

Diane Finley is probably in little danger of being defeated: Haldimand-Norfolk is part of the core Tory blue belt. But it doesn't hurt to give her something to show the local tobacco farmers, the honest folk who depend on a much-maligned industry for their livelihood.

Watch for more targeted tax breaks in the weeks to come, especially in Quebec.

Source: Globe and Mail

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Garth's Grit

Garth Turner is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

And now he's about to share all of those great attributes for which he is known--modesty, thoughtfulness, loyalty and discretion--with the Liberal caucus.

The Liberals have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from their previous defectors from Conservative ranks. They always pick up the troublemakers and the weakest links and trumpet their new caucus members as proof that the Conservative Party has no room for progressive, tolerant, open-minded thinkers.

And every time, the new Liberal proves to be more of a problem inside their tent than he or she was outside of it.

Let them have Garth Turner. At best, he'll be a temporary distraction from Stephane Dion's disastrously incoherent performance before the Ottawa Citizen editorial board. At worst, he'll be attacking his new boss with the same vigour that he attacked the old boss.

Despite Wajid Khan's problems, I'd still say the Tories got the better end of the trade. And that's saying something.

Quebec Votes For Sale

In our curious political astrology, when a budget in the House of Commons aligns with a provincial election in Quebec, bribery is in the ascendant:

Premier Jean Charest is turning to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to deal Quebec a favourable budget next month at the height of a probable provincial election campaign to help seal a Liberal victory.

With a federal budget expected on March 20 and a Quebec election anticipated on March 26, insiders say Mr. Charest is devising a strategy with the input of Mr. Harper's Conservative minority government to demonstrate that federalism remains the most profitable option for Quebeckers.

Ottawa has already announced that changes to the equalization-payment formula will inject close to $1-billion more into Quebec's coffers during the next fiscal year. Mr. Harper has also promised to solve the so-called fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and the provinces in the next federal budget that would give Quebec billions more in additional revenues over the course of a second provincial Liberal mandate.

A spokesperson for the Premier's office said yesterday that Mr. Charest talked at least once to Mr. Harper last week, but refused to say whether the budget was discussed.

Shades of Robert Bourassa's federalisme rentable all over again. Wonder what other goodies will be in the budget bag for Quebec?

Source: Globe and Mail

Monday, February 05, 2007


Once is a tragedy.

Twice is a coincidence.

Three times is a conspiracy.

The media is dancing around the first word that comes to mind when you think of Wopbridge Woodbridge natives getting whacked. One wonders whether it's for fear of a libel suit or finding a horse's head in their bed the next morning.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Mazel tov to Mossad for making the world a little bit safer for us all today:

A PRIZE-WINNING Iranian nuclear scientist has died in mysterious circumstances, according to Radio Farda, which is funded by the US State Department and broadcasts to Iran.

An intelligence source suggested that Ardeshire Hassanpour, 44, a nuclear physicist, had been assassinated by Mossad, the Israeli security service.

Hassanpour worked at a plant in Isfahan where uranium hexafluoride gas is produced. The gas is needed to enrich uranium in another plant at Natanz which has become the focus of concerns that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons.

But Mossad can't stop Iran from building the bomb by targeted assassinations alone. The longer Iran's nuclear program goes unchecked, the harsher our response will have to be to stop it.

Source: Times Online

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Alpha Course

Toronto's obsession with being a "world-class city," is symptomatic of the city's peculiar combination of narcissism and inferiority complex.

Now it is not sufficient to be merely a world-class city, but to be an alpha city, the biggest, leanest, meanest, son-of-a-bitch on the block.

As if it mattered to anyone else but Toronto.

Being Canada's financial capital should be a sufficient accomplishment in itself. But not to Torontonians, who want the world to love them as much as they love themselves.

Friday, February 02, 2007

National Energy Program: Part Deux

Mark Holland has accidentally let slip Stephane Dion's hidden agenda

Perhaps Kyoto began as an honest, if misguided, attempt to deal with the effects of climate change.

Now it's become the trojan horse of the economic dirigistes and the transnational progressive elites.

Can nationalization of the Alberta oil sands to prevent their development be far behind under a Dion government?

Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil and Wiarton Willie join the IPCC consensus: winter will end, forever, starting today.

If Phil and Willie ever see their shadows again, they'll be shot on the spot for being global warming deniers.

Trust Threat

Receiving death threats is one of the occupational hazards of being a prominent politician. Almost all of them come from crackpots armed with nothing more deadly than their big mouths. But there's no telling which one of them will back their words up:

While the governor of the Bank of Canada said Thursday the Tory government's decision on changing the tax system for income trusts was the right move to make, Global National has learned that the politician who made the announcement has now been issued a protective detail after receiving death threats.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who made the income trust announcement on Oct. 31, 2006, has now been assigned a protective detail to provide personal security, but the government is providing little other information into Flaherty's new arrangements, and refuses to provide specifics as to when the MP began receiving the threats.

As a result of the new tax structure, individual investors are said to have lost over $20 billion, the largest ever financial loss attributed to a change in government policy.

No doubt some people had their retirement plans shattered because they put all their eggs in the income trust basket and are casting about for someone else to blame.

Their threats to kill Flaherty probably amount to little more than venting anger.

But that would be cold comfort if something did happen.

Source: Calgary Herald

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Send In The Troops

The Liberals warned us last year that Stephen Harper would deploy soldiers in our cities. Soldiers with guns. In our cities. In Canada. They did not make this up:

The Harper government plans to increase the Canadian Forces presence across the country with new units in 14 cities as well as shifting 5,000 regular force personnel from support and desk jobs to training and front-line missions.

Between now and 2016, the army will establish "territorial response battalions" in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Niagara-Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, Halifax and St. John's. The units would be designed to react to domestic emergencies such as natural disasters or a terrorist attack.

The details are outlined in the Conservative government's "Canada First" defence strategy, which has been leaked to the Citizen. No date has been set for the strategy to be released publicly. The report outlines the direction the military will follow over the next 15 years.

It's refreshing to see national defence being taken seriously again. As in defence of the national territory and interest, as opposed to sending undermanned, underequipped forces on pointless peacekeeping exercises to appear to be doing something.

Unfortunately, as with all long-term plans, carrying it out depends on the next government committing to it. I shudder to think what a Dion government will do with this plan.

Source: Ottawa Citizen