Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dominion Day

WHEREAS the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom:

And whereas such a Union would conduce to the Welfare of the Provinces and promote the Interests of the British Empire:

And whereas on the Establishment of the Union by the Authority of Parliament it is expedient, not only that the Constitution of the Legislative Authority in the Dominion be provided for, but also that the Nature of the Executive Government therein be declared:

And whereas it is expedient that Provision be made for the eventual Admission into the Union of other Parts of British North America:

It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, to declare by Proclamation that, on and after a Day therein appointed, not being more than Six Months after the passing of this Act, the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall form and be One Dominion under the Name of Canada; and on and after that Day those Three Provinces shall form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Casey At The Bat

Bill Casey is not cut from the same cloth as Garth Turner, but let's not kid ourselves into believing that he has sacrificed his political career to the dictates of conscience.

Casey's plans to retire at the next election have been an open secret for months; to grandstand on a budget vote costs him nothing except ending his career with a brief stint outside caucus.

Nor does his vote against a confidence motion make him a martyr for the cause of freer votes in Parliament: not even the most enthusiastic boosters of free range MPs have ever suggested that a government MP should be free to vote no confidence in his own government. Were it to be so, not even a majority government could survive without endlessly brokering side deals with its own caucus.

Had Bill Casey simply not shown up that night, few would have cared about his abstention after the vote, and he could have got the point across without being turfed from caucus.

Nothing turned on his vote and nothing will turn on it.

The offshore deal will fail, as have all other such deals, because the dynamic of federal-provincial relations between Ottawa and Atlantic Canada, that of grudging charity to an incessantly whining supplicant, will not change any time soon.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bland Blue Machine

Shell shocked by massive defeat in 2003, the Ontario PCs came to believe the media line that everything that even remotely appeared to have a connection to the Mike Harris years had to be purged to save the party.

Thus the election of John Tory as leader, the quintessential red Tory Toronto establishment man, with nary an idea to disturb the status quo or a word to ruffle anyone's feathers.

Randall Denley would like him to offer some. Not too disturbing, mind you. Just something to show that he's doing something other than not being Dalton McGuinty.

But Tory has no ideas of his own. He's never had to. All the positions he has held--principal secretary to Bill Davis, partner at Torys LLP, CFL commissioner, CEO of Rogers Cable--have all offered him the opportunity to show visionary leadership, and he's gotten by with being a bland if reasonably efficient manager of the status quo.

This will show on the campaign trail, to his detriment. People want a steady hand on the wheel. They also want someone who can navigate rough waters. Tory hasn't shown that he can do that. And unless he can, he'll be another nice guy who couldn't quite measure up.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Chicken Run

You knew that everybody just had to be blustering about forcing an election in Quebec three months after the last one. You just knew, because there was no way you could believe it possible:

The Quebec budget passed in the legislature on Friday, saving Quebecers from heading back to the polls this summer.

Premier Jean Charest's minority Liberal government remains intact after a 46-44 vote in the national assembly.

All Liberals in the legislature voted for the budget, while the 41 Action democratique du Quebec MLAs rejected it.

In a symbolic protest, three of the PQ's 36 MLAs showed up Friday to express the party's opposition to the budget, with the remainder abstaining from the vote.

So Jean Charest lives for now, but only at the grace and favour of the PQ. What's more, with the concerted opposition of the party ideologically closest to it. As soon as the PQ can finish coronating Pauline Marois, Charest's career as the golden boy of Canadian politics is done. Forever.

Would that he had stayed in federal politics, where he might be Harper's Quebec lieutenant today, instead a saviour for a cause that no longer needed (or had passed beyond) saving.

Source: CTV

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Quebec Syndrome

The Quebec syndrome strikes every federal government almost from its inception. Otherwise rational and responsible men are suddenly seized with the overwhelming urge to spend taxpayers' money in the vain hope that this project or that program will stir within Quebecois hearts the loyalty and passion towards Canada which has hitherto lain dormant.

In its worst manifestations, it produces Adscam and CF-18 contracts.

Its milder outbreaks, however, are no less dangerous to the health of the Canadian body politic.

Sometimes it's a little illegal referendum spending to save the country, for what are mere campaign finance laws when the unity of the Dominion is in peril?

Sometimes it's promises of jobs, jobs, jobs, even when said jobs are merely being moved over the Ottawa River without the jobholders' spending following along.

No government, Liberal or Conservative, is immune therefrom.

The only cure would a radical Quebecectomy, but even that might be worse than the disease.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The 950 Million Dollar Man

If you were wondering just why Jean Charest could be so foolish as to try to force an election three months after the last one over a tax cut even Mario Dumont says Quebec can't afford, here's why:

Under Quebec parliamentary rules the budget can't be amended in the course of debate. But a complementary financial statement could be added, giving in to the PQ insistence on increased funding for special education, seniors' care and regional development.

While PQ leader-in-waiting Marois was holding the hard line on the weekend, interim PQ leader Francois Gendron said anything that could prevent another election merits consideration. "There haven't been any discussions so far, but I'm open."

So what will be given with the right hand, will be taken back with the left.

And the most useless election call in Quebec history will be avoided, three months after the last one.

Source: Montreal Gazette

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jerked Around

Some jerk with a beef at Toronto mayor David Miller threw a piece of beef jerky at him at City Hall yesterday.

This tragic event clearly underscores the need for a national dried meat registry.

Source: National Post


You always get more of what you reward.

A year of letting the goons at Caledonia squat on their neighbours' land and a couple of railway blockades allowed to continue in defiance of court orders has only encouraged the Assembly of First Nations--presumably not the most radical of Indian organizations--to side with the lawbreakers:

Canada's native chiefs will pressure the national railways to close down for the Assembly of First Nations' "day of action" on June 29, backing it up with a veiled threat they will probably face blockades from individual native bands if they refuse.

The carrot-and-stick approach was adopted nearly unanimously by chiefs at a special conference of the AFN, where chiefs who prefer more diplomatic political efforts were pushed to adopt tougher tactics by those who want to threaten economic disruptions to pressure the government.

This is indirect extortion against the railways--shut themselves down and cost the people millions of dollars, or be shut down and cost them even more.

Not one land claim will be settled, not one job created, not one child fed, because of these threats and blockades.

But outside sympathy for the cause will be lost.

Source: Globe and Mail