Monday, October 31, 2005

Liberal On Life Support

Canadians will have to keep dying on the waiting lists to keep the Liberals alive a little longer through the storm from the Gomery report:

(Health Minister) Ujjal Dosanjh will meet today with NDP health critic Jean Crowder. He is expected to say he is amenable to tightening regulations that restrict for-profit health care.

Mr. Dosanjh intends to make it clear the provinces will not be permitted to turn over federal cash transfers to doctors who deliver the same services in both the insured public system and in the private sector for higher fees, a senior adviser to the Department of Health said yesterday.

Just a few days ago, the Liberals sent Jack Layton away empty-handed. Now they're bending over backwards to accomodate him. And it only costs the lives and health of ordinary Canadian people.

Source: Globe and Mail

White Man's Money

Paul Martin and his advisors have had their sneak peak at the Gomery inquiry report today, read the tea leaves, and are handing out the emergency pre-election bribes to all the usual suspects, starting with the Indians:

Ottawa will commit between $3-billion and $4-billion when the Prime Minister meets with the premiers and aboriginal leaders later this month, The Canadian Press has learned.

The money will be promised over five years when the first ministers meet Nov. 24 in Kelowna.

“After nearly two years of ongoing work with the national aboriginal leadership, we're very excited about the prospects of long-term change,” said a senior government source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sources say the money will be used to improve education, housing, health and economic development programs.

Ottawa will also formalize its promise to draft rules to set standards for drinking-water quality on reserves.

Not one Indian will be lifted out of poverty, addiction or criminality after the band chiefs and their friends in the professional Indian grievance industry have taken the lion's share.

Indians will still continue to be sold the lie that their future is forever tied to the isolated reserves and traditional hunting and fishing rights that no longer can sustain them. The chiefs and their cronies will still lord it over them with the power that the reserve system and control over the land allows them to.

But Paul Martin gets to look like the benevolent Great White Father, and the Indian vote will be locked up for another election.

Source: Globe and Mail

Polls, Schmolls

When the Gomery inquiry report comes out tomorrow, the ground will shift beneath Paul Martin's feet, and so will the votes, according to the latest SES poll:

Almost one in five people surveyed by SES Research for the Toronto Star said they were unsure how their vote would go once they have seen the findings of Justice John Gomery's exhaustive inquiry into abuse of the federal advertising and sponsorship program by the federal Liberals.

The report will land in Prime Minister Paul Minister's lap tonight at 6, about the same time he's opening the doors at 24 Sussex Drive to greet Halloween ghosts and goblins.

Gomery's report, this new poll shows, will probably be the biggest spectre on the minds of Martin and his shaky minority government. The report becomes fully public tomorrow.

Nationally, 22 per cent of poll respondents said their votes would probably move to the Conservatives, New Democrats or Bloc Québécois because of the Gomery report.

But not all the vote-shifting was bad for the Liberals. SES reported 7 per cent saying they would change their vote to support the governing party.

In Ontario, 10 per cent said they'd switch to the Liberals, though 10 per cent also said they'd change their vote to the Tories and 9 per cent said they'd go to the NDP.

When broken down by region, 19 per cent of Quebecers predict their vote will move to the Bloc because of Gomery's findings, the poll found.

"The report and the reaction will be a critical juncture in determining the outcome of the next election," says Nik Nanos, president of SES.

Across Canada, 9 per cent of respondents said they would change their vote to support the Conservative candidate in their riding because of the way the advertising and sponsorship scandal was hired. Another 9 per cent said their vote would move to the NDP.

The poll was conducted by SES from Oct. 21 to 27 through telephone surveys with 1,059 Canadians across the country. Its national findings are considered accurate within 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

By rough estimate, these post-Gomery poll numbers would work out to 34% Conservative, 32% Liberal, 20% NDP and 14% Bloc.

But once again, Ontario plays the joker in the pack:

Moreover Nanos is finding that a lot of movement is taking place in Ontario, where the NDP's numbers are declining at the expense of Liberals and Conservatives. Liberal support now stands at 49 per cent in Ontario, compared to 35 per cent for the Tories and just 12 per cent for the NDP.

The only interpretation I can place on this finding is that there are a significant number of left-leaning Ontario voters who are so afraid of the Conservatives forming government that they will still vote Liberal, in full knowledge of the party's corruption and venality.

If you wonder why Jack Layton will do anything to prop up the Liberals, that's why.

The prospect of a pile of new NDP seats in British Columbia is meaningless to Layton if he has to lose his own in the bargain.

Source: Toronto Star

Borrowing Trouble

Immigration Minister Joe Volpe's proposal to allow 300,000 reliable Liberal voters new immigrants into Canada every year by 2010 has Canadians worrying that we'll also be importing their old ethnic hatreds as well, according to this latest poll:

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians think our peaceable country is increasingly threatened by ethnic problems imported by immigrant groups. Even more support tougher immigration standards to screen out terrorists.

But we also worry that measures to combat terrorism could violate the rights of innocent Arab and Islamic Canadians.

Those are some key findings of a wide-ranging public opinion survey called The World in Canada: Demographics and Diversity in Canadian Foreign Policy. It was commissioned for the annual Ottawa conference of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute today and tomorrow at the National Arts Centre.


Among those surveyed, 63 per cent agree that Canada is having increasing trouble with ethnic groups bringing problems from their home countries to Canada. First-generation Canadians -- those born here to immigrant parents -- were the most concerned, with 70 per cent holding that view.

Though 19th-century groups like the Irish Fenians carried their old-world conflicts with them to Canada, Mr. Bercuson says the import of ethnic disputes is new to recent Canadian experience. "In the post-9/11 world, it strikes a lot of people as being somewhat dangerous."

The World in Canada poll found a whopping 83 per cent of Canadians think the country needs stricter immigration standards to control the presence of known terrorists.

"The survey shows a hardening of Canadians' stance towards new Canadians in the context of public fears, largely unjustified, that increased levels of immigration represent a security risk," says Mr. Griffiths.

But with ethnic voters gaining ever greater influence, Mr. Bercuson predicts political parties will be reluctant to act. "Politicians will walk there only with great trepidation."

If Canada's official policy of multiculturalism encourage immigrants to hold on to all aspects of their native culture without taking on any of ours, should we be surprised that they will continue to hold on to old ethnic hatreds and political grudges?

The problem is not just limited to immigrants from Islamic countries looking to impose sharia law and continue the jihad against the infidel in Canada. Jamaican immigrants have brought their country's bloody gang wars to the streets of Toronto, and will keep doing so with impunity, secure in the knowledge that the authorities are too afraid of being accused of racism to confront them.

It is naive to think that new Canadians will always keep the folk dances and cuisine while dropping the old prejudices.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Trick Or Treat: The Nanny State

Are parents in Ontario so bereft of common sense that they need the provincial government to issue a press release to remind them of basic safety tips before sending them out to trick or treat?


Next they'll be reminding us to make sure the little snots don't gorge themselves sick on all that junk.

Or worse yet, lecturing us to give them fruit and sunflower seeds because they're too fat as it is.

There are no limits to the nanny state's intrusiveness.

When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?

Little Green Footballs brings us the latest act of insane truckling subservience to Islamic sensitivies, this time from Australia, where police are being advised to go gently on Muslim men who beat their wives:

POLICE are being advised to treat Muslim domestic violence cases differently out of respect for Islamic traditions and habits.

Officers are also being urged to work with Muslim leaders, who will try to keep the families together.

Women’s groups are concerned the politically correct policing could give comfort to wife bashers and keep their victims in a cycle of violence.

The instructions come in a religious diversity handbook given to Victorian police officers that also recommends special treatment for suspects of Aboriginal, Hindu and Buddhist background.

Some police officers have claimed the directives hinder enforcing the law equally.

Police are told: “In incidents such as domestic violence, police need to have an understanding of the traditions, ways of life and habits of Muslims.”

They are told it would be appreciated in cases of domestic violence if police consult the local Muslim religious leader who will work against “fragmenting the family unit”.

If a cop answering a domestic assault call himself told the battered wife to shut up and take it for the sake of family harmony, he'd find himself before a disciplinary panel before sundown.

Yet if he calls in the local imam and the imam gives the same advice, he'll be off the hook, as will the imam, and the husband will have carte blanche to keep punching her up.

Indirectly, the police will be acting as enforcers of sharia law, as stated in the Qu'ran (Surah 4:34, The Women):

Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

And Muslim women will now have no hope of assistance from the civil authorities against violent husbands.

Had the proposal to allow sharia tribunals settle family law disputes been approved in Ontario, this same practice by the police would certainly have followed.

But feminist groups will remain silent in Australia and elsewhere, for the needs of poor Muslim immigrant women are unimportant in their minds when compared to the wants of well-off educated white women.

Fireside Theatre

Here is the complete text of FDR's Paul Martin's very first fireside chat with the Canadian people:

Hello there -- greetings from Ottawa.

You’ve probably been reading and hearing about a dispute that Canada is having with the United States.

It’s about softwood lumber, but it’s really about much more than that. It’s about fairness.

For years now, the Americans have been wrongly taxing the lumber that we sell to them.

That’s hurt our lumber mills, the people who work in them and the families and communities that rely on them - right across the country.

More than a decade ago, we negotiated a free trade agreement here in North America so that we could ensure fair and secure trade back and forth – to create jobs and boost incomes for our people.

It’s worked pretty well.

Under the terms of that agreement, we agreed that we would send any disputes to a panel of judges – and that we'd accept their ruling.

Time after time on softwood lumber, these panels have ruled in favour of Canada.

They have told the U.S. government to refund the money they’ve collected and to treat our lumber industry fairly.

But the Americans have refused to do so.

I went to New York earlier this month, and I told business people there that this kind of thing is nonsense.

I said the same thing to the U.S. administration.

Our two nations share a deep friendship. We also have a trading relationship that means good jobs for people in both countries.

But that relationship only works when both sides live up to their agreements.

We’re going to continue to press our case with the United States.

We'll do so respectfully but we’re not going to let up.

If we have to go to court to get what’s rightfully ours, we will.

If we have to keep pressuring the Americans, we will.

It’s just too important to do otherwise.

Thank you. I look forward to talking again with you soon.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Listeners who didn't know anything about the softwood lumber dispute before hearing Paul Martin's two-minute spiel now know nothing more about it except the standard Liberal talking point: the Americans took money from us that they weren't entitled to.

It is a masterful piece of propaganda which gives the public an instant proper opinion on the subject to hold, without a single detail or number to back it up, in language even a grade three student can understand. And yet it sounds so convincing.

It was even better for the Liberals to buy airtime on private stations instead of commandeering the CBC, because he gets to reach an audience that is not only larger than the CBC's, but also is not just preaching to the converted.

They're even more effective for not being readily apparent as paid party advertising. Most people will think that whatever Martin says must be important, or else he wouldn't be holding these radio addresses. And that perception will give them more credibility.

The Tory communications team had better be preparing something to counter them with, because these fireside chats have the potential to seduce the electorate in a way none of Paul Martin's other media tactics have.

Source: The Official Librano Family Homepage

La Grande Armee du Quebec

The Quebec separatist movement has laboured under many delusions about how to achieve Quebec independence and how to keep Quebec a strong and prosperous country thereafter.

One of the greatest delusions, sovereignty-association, presumed that the rest of Canada would only be too happy to keep sharing the fruits of a unified Canadian economy with an independent Quebec, including a common currency and free trade, and perhaps even a common citizenship and pasport.

Yet another was the delusion that Canada would roll over and play dead once Quebec voted 50%+1 in favour of some sort of vague new arrangement whose details would be determined later.

Given that the Quebec separatist movement is heavily dominated by left-wing pacificists, it's no surprise that many of them thought that Quebec could do without military forces of any kind.

Gilles Duceppe, perhaps the least delusional of all the separatist movement's leaders, and therefore its most effective, has advised otherwise:

Breaking a long-standing taboo of the separatist movement, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe argued in favour Saturday of an army for an independent Quebec.

Bloc delegates are gathered in Montreal to draft policy for a Quebec independent of Canada, including proposals for an army, a free trade deal with Europe and Mexico, an immigration policy and diplomatic ties with Washington.

"Why would it be ridiculous that Quebec has an army?" Duceppe said at a news conference.

"It doesn't mean that you're going to war because you have an army," said Duceppe, who faces a leadership review during the three-day policy convention.

He has used the event to inspire the party faithful to prepare for a third referendum on separation and convince voters of the benefits of independence.

After intense discussions on whether such a force was viable or necessary, the some 1,000 delegates rejected the idea using the more politically palatable term "national guard" instead of army.

They also agreed it could be created by taking over Canadian military facilities.

The provincial Parti Quebecois has wrestled for years with the question of a military force for a sovereign Quebec. Past general meetings of the PQ have included emotional pleas against a Quebec armed forces.

Give Duceppe credit for clear thinking about what independence really means.

If Quebec can't even put up the pretense of being able to defend its sovereignty, other countries are not likely to recognize it as a sovereign state.

Canada is not going to let Quebec freeload off its military the way that we have been freeloading off the United States.

Moreover, Quebec will need its own military to defend against a delusion that has grown up in the rest of Canada: the delusion that Quebec will quietly hand over any territory annexed post-Confederation as the price of a peaceful secession.

Any Quebec government that even hinted at handing over the James Bay hydro-electric plants or any seriously populated part of Quebec would be vilified for selling out its own people.

The separatist movement's utopian visions, while inspiring much support, have also held them back from acheiving their goal. Duceppe is a far more pragmatic man and his leadership has cleared out a lot of the woolly-headed dreamers.

Quebec independence is a more likely prospect now than ever before, because of Gilles Duceppe.

When he talks, listen.

Source: Canadian Press

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Oedipus Rex

This couple does not yet have anyone publicly championing their right to get married under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


But it will happen eventually:

KITCHENER -- A Cambridge woman and her 25-year-old son were sentenced for incest and forgery yesterday for a five-year relationship that led to three more children in the family.

The 42-year-old woman was sentenced to 43 months behind bars while her son was given a 19-month conditional sentence.

They were found guilty in August of posing as husband and wife and having sex with each other between 1996 and 2001.

They cannot be named to protect the identity of their two children, who are now in foster care.


Justice Pat Flynn called the woman a "monster" during sentencing yesterday.

"I've never encountered a more bizarre case in my quarter-century in the law," Flynn said.

The couple actually got married and the man claimed to be his mother's husband. He even made up a new name, giving himself the title of prince. He donned a pair of glasses and adopted an English accent.

"Monster?" How judgmental. How bigoted. How phobic.

The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, don't you know? Two consenting adults, nobody getting hurt, etc., etc.

Their offspring? Who cares about children so long as adults have their Charter-given right to screw whoever they want upheld?

Source: Toronto Sun

Land Of Broken Promises

Every year, thousands of people emigrate to Canada in search of a better life for themselves and their families.

Many of these immigrants came here because of a cruel bait-and-switch trick that the federal government plays on them. Immigration officers promise well-paid employment to professionally qualified immigrants, who then come here only to find out that their qualifications aren't recognized and won't be unless they repeat years of study of what they already know by heart. And even if they are, they often find it harder to get work because employers demand Canadian work experience.

And so we have surgeons driving taxis and engineers cleaning toilets, their skills being wasted while jobs go begging for want of qualified applicants.

Rempelia Prime has found Not, a website dedicated to warning people prospective immigrants not to fall for our government's false promises of professional prosperity.

A related site, Canada Immigrant Job Issues, points the finger right at the Liberal government's institutionalized corruption:

The Canadian government persists in giving away millions of dollars to bureaucrats, subcontractors, and “non-profit” agencies that have only done one thing right; being government-friendly beneficiaries of this lavish cronyism.

The government’s lack of leadership is solved by keeping its thick bureaucracy happy - just to lessen the public outcry. And of course, by being nice to their close friends who plunder the treasury, declare bankruptcy, or otherwise benefit from rich government contracts that pay well.

But in terms of immigration policy, taxation and the economy, who pays for this lack of vision? The ones who bring billions of dollars, not only in cash, but also in skills to Canada; independent/skilled immigrants. The government is directly responsible of this multibillion dollar fiasco, and so it has to be accountable for the de-skilling process and decapitalization that each foreign professional suffers as soon as he arrives here.

The Liberal Party has no more respect for immigrants than its has for native-born Canadians. Immigrants are simply another group to exploit with false promises and bribes in exchange for eternal gratitude to the Liberal Party, to be duly expressed in the polling booth at election time.

They're here to do the dirty work, and they'd better be happy about it.

But immigrant communities will not be fooled forever. As word gets back to their home countries of the Canadian government's duplicity, professionally qualified people are either going to stay home or go elsewhere.

They've had enough of being poster children for the Trudeaupian multiculturalist myth, being trotted out whenever the Liberals need to pat themselves on the back for their tolerance, then being shoved out of sight when they complain.

If the government really wants immigrants to run forklifts and clean hotel rooms, it should be upfront about it. We'll get the people who aspire to doing just that while laying the foundations for their children to do better. And we won't have Canada's reputation sullied as a nation of liars.

Two Minutes Hate

Paul Martin will begin giving a weekly two-minute radio address on matters of public importance, following the current practice by recent U.S. Presidents.

Unlike the presidential radio addresses, however, there will be no reply from the opposition, and the audio files will appear not on the Prime Minister's official website , but on the Liberal Party website.

The Liberals demonstrate again that there is no separation in their minds between the government and the Liberal Party as institutions.

L'etat, c'est lui.

Source: Sun Media

Hudson's Bay To The USA?

While news of a Canadian retail chain being sold to American investors is usually a matter of indifference to most people except hard-core Council of Canadians types, the possibility that Hudson's Bay Company might pass entirely out of Canadian ownership is a poignant one.

For HBC is not just another faceless retail chain, but one of the most significant actors in Canadian history for more than three centuries.

Without the Hudson's Bay Company, Canada as we know it today might never have existed, because control of the fur trade and the Canadian West and North would likely have ended up in French, and then American, hands instead.

During the recent CBC lockout, the cognoscenti kept telling us ad nauseum that Canada's national identity depends on CBC's existence.

Without HBC, there would have been no Canada, and thus no CBC.

I think the Hudson's Bay Company matters a little more to Canadian history and identity than some jumped-up left-wing broadcaster, don't you?

Read more about the proposed takeover at CTV .

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rally Round The Flag

What if they gave a patriotic rally and nobody came?

Yesterday's commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the pre-referendum Save Canada rally was underwhelming, to say the least.

But who remembers such things even a year after such ephemeral events as referenda and championship victories, when the events that sparked them have passed and passions cooled? You don't see them holding rallies in Boston this week for the one-year anniversary of the World Series win.

I was in journalism school during the 1995 referendum. I was offered the chance to take a free bus ride to the rally in Montreal, and turned it down.

I thought the rally was undignified, desperate and pathetic, like a battered wife's tearful plea to her drunken husband not to leave her.

Confident nations and people do not grovel for anyone's continued loyalty, especially not for the loyalty of those who have never given it except grudgingly, after continued threats to leave if their constantly rising demands are not met.

Even though the federalists won, I still believed that the rally was an embarrassing spectacle that did more harm than good to the federalist cause. And seeing how it indirectly led to the sponsorship scandal, maybe I was right.

Source: National Post

Rally Monkeys

Nothing gets a crowd in the streets and worked up for blood in Iran quite like Jerusalem Day, the Iranian version of Hate Week, held every year on the last Friday in Ramadan:

These images could be coming to your local satellite TV provider if Hizbullah has its way:

On October 10, the Iranian Student News Agency, ISNA, reported that Iran 's Hizbullah is planning to operate a new satellite TV channel, named Kheibar. [1]

According to ISNA, the Spokesman of Iran's Hizbullah, Mojtaba Bigdeli, said: "We are presently holding talks with satellite TV channels for airing our programs. So far, we have received proposals and members of Hizbullah's Central Council will announce their final decision in the near future."

Bigdeli also said the satellite TV channel Kheibar will become operational "in the next couple of months" and that Kheibar's programs will be "mainly broadcast in North America and Europe … Currently we are procuring the hardware."

The report goes on to say that "Bigdeli said the secretary of Iran's Hizbullah, Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Kharrazi, has recommended that team launching Kheibar satellite TV should prepare the ground for collaboration among Muslim states, forge Islamic solidarity, eliminate Zionism and create consensus among political, cultural, and social forces."

It should be noted that Kheibar was a rich and fertile oasis north of Al-Madina, inhabited by Jews, and destroyed by Prophet Mohammad in 628. The fate of the Kheibar Jews today is used by Hamas as a symbol to the fight against the Jews and Israel.

Only the refusal of cable and satellite companies to commit to onerous content monitoring prevented Al-Jazeera from being broadcast in Canada. Even so, people who want to watch this garbage will do so on grey-market dishes anyway. Too bad that they won't be simulcast in English so that everyone can see these bastards for who they are, without the spin and distortion from the anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-Islamist CBC.

A Fool For A Client

Increasingly, that's what Canadians have when they go to court:

In recent years more than half of those appearing in family court have represented themselves.

In civil cases, about 25 per cent of cases are lawyer-less.

Ernest Drapeau, the chief justice of New Brunswick, calls it "an alarming statistic."

Why it's happening is not easy to answer. But Drapeau thinks it may be tied to cost.

"The cost of litigation has sky-rocketed over the past few decades," he says.

Judges with Canada's Judicial Council say legal aid is underfunded and often accessible only if a defendant is faced with jail time.

Watching a self-represented litigant in court is like watching someone perform amateur heart surgery. It's painful to watch because you know the poor guy just doesn't have a clue about what he's doing and is going to injure himself and others in the process.

After three years of law school, even I don't know what to do in court half the time.

Yet it's not surprising that one-quarter of civil case litigants are self-represented. Small claims court matters are almost always money losers for lawyers: at a $10,000 cap for damages including costs plus interest, even at just $200 an hour, it isn't worth it for client or lawyer. So they hand them to articling students for the experience.

Many of these self-represented litigants in civil cases are recreational litigants who sue at the drop of a hat and tie up time and expense in frivolous and vexatious motions. They know enough civil procedure to annoy opposing counsel and courts, but not enough to advance their case.

Or they're especially aggrieved people who just won't let go of a bad case and settle before trial like the other 95% of litigants.

They aren't thinking about the costs consequences if they lose at trial after turning down reasonable settlement offers. Getting hit with tens of thousands of dollars of the other side's costs is a prospect they don't often consider.

As for the family law litigants, I wonder how many of these people are just dragging each other into court for simple vengeance against their ex-spouses, against the advice of the lawyers they've fired.

Representing oneself in court remains a right best left unexercised.

Source: CBC


Did you know that not only is moving a Canada goose off your property is a criminal offence, but that one can get up to six months in jail for each bird you move?

This Alberta golf course groundskeeper found out the hard way:

Peter Francis, a maintenance foreman at the Leduc Golf and Country Club, pleaded guilty yesterday to the rare federal offence of moving migratory birds without a permit. The maximum sentence includes a $300,000 fine and six months in jail per bird.

Mr. Francis later said he gulped when Crown attorney Erin Eacott read out in court the maximum possible consequences for his waterfowl-related crime.

He had moved 80 geese, which were molting and looking after their young at the time, to a nearby lake last June after rounding them up using a rope and herding them into a trailer.

The presiding judge could have sent Mr. Francis to jail for 40 years.

"I didn't know that this law brought so much prison time," Mr. Francis said outside the courthouse in Leduc, which is about half an hour south of Edmonton.

Instead, the judge slapped him with a $500 fine and said that the publicity of the case has likely deterred others from doing the same.

Fine him? Hell, they should have paid him!

The Canada goose, like the Canadian Tire guy and Margaret Atwood, is one of the more annoying symbols of our country.

Yet in a way, it is a perfect symbol of our Canadian (Liberal) values.

It squats in huge flockson private property with no respect to the owners, strips the land bare, keeps shitting all over it, honks and pecks at anyone who gets in their way, then moves on once it's finished ruining the land.

It is all a man can do to keep from grabbing a machine gun and turning a flock of Canada geese into a pile of bloody geese guts. You'd do the same, if you had the opportunity.

Source: Globe and Mail

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'll Start With You

Maclean's asks and answers the question that has been uppermost in Canadians' minds for years: why do we hate the Canadian Tire guy?

There have been many irritating advertising campaigns in the past, but none have raised the same visceral hatred that Canadian Tire's smooth, middle-aged, middle-class bearded pitchman and his quietly arrogant and condescending display of his garage full of Canadian Tire tools have.

Underneath the facade of the friendly neighbour helping people with their projects lies an overbearing attitude of superiority earned not by anything he's done but from the work of others. He shows off his miracle tools but never lets others actually use them. He keeps his neighbours dependent on his unearned and overrated reputation.

We hate the Canadian Tire guy because he is what we have become as a country: smug, shallow, and self-righteous. He is the perfect embodiment of the Liberal Party's ideal Canadian in general, and the Ontario suburbanite Liberal voterin particular.

When we see the Canadian Tire Guy, we see what we most hate about ourselves.

ADDENDUM: Although The Annekenstein Monster article on the Canadian Tire Guy is nearly a year old, the responses to it had me laughing to the point of tears. "Uglier than a can of smashed assholes" is the crudest, yet most descriptive, comparison I have seen to date in the blogosphere.

Classless Act

Some people become teachers because they remain emotional adolescents and naturally find their level with others of the same mentality. We've all had teachers like that. First we thought they were cool, then we thought they were pathetic.

This Windsor man is one such teacher who never grew up, and now he's about to pay the professional price:

William Fabel is alleged to have dished out insults equally: Girls ("I'm a leg man; I have cameras hidden under all the girls' desks!"); boys ("How many of you guys would sleep with these girls for a million dollars?"); gays ("There's no room in the world for them"); Catholics ("That nun isn't getting any"); fellow teachers ("Go check them out at the strip club going down the pole"); the school principal ("If you want to laugh, picture the principal naked!"); and blacks ("Watch your back; I have a n----- friend who could fight anybody.").

But wait! There's more!

After the Columbine shooting, he entered the class pretending to be a gunman, causing students to cower under their desks.

To the mother of two students at the start of a parent-teacher interview, he asked: "Who do you want to talk about first? Dumb or Dumber?"

He told one student his mother was a "M.I.L.F." — meaning a "mother I'd like to f---."

To a female Grade 10 student, Fabel said: "I was looking at Playboy magazine and saw someone who looked just like you."

He spoke about his own sexual activities and offered tips to male students on "how to get into girls' pants."

He mimicked an Italian accent and said Italians are fat and hairy and can only pursue careers in cement.

He referred to a student as "a retard from the sticks."

I had a high school English and history teacher who was head and shoulders above the rest of the faculty intellectually, and miles beneath them emotionally.

He was full of colourful insults to students; he used to call us "rapscallions", "scalawags" and "worse than crawling things."

On the blackboard he'd write down some of cryptic acronyms such as AIBMWYFC (avoid incest but mate with your first cousin) and SYGLM (shut your grubby little mouths.)

He tacked a photograph of the principal on the P.A. loudspeaker and at the end of announcements would say something like "Big Brother has spoken" or "The word of the Lord."

To show his disdain for the canned computerized comments on our report cards, he'd select the most irrelevant ones such as "Finds it difficult to type without looking at the keyboard" and "Good in written work, poor in oral work" right below "Good in oral work, poor in written work".

He wasn't above making sexual cracks and passes at girls either; eventually it did get him a suspension but he's still teaching.

Random anecdotes on this blog would hardly do him justice; what made him an entertaining teacher unfortunately also made him an eternal teenager. Yet he also introduced me to a broader intellectual spectrum of studies and, perhaps above all else, the Byfields' Western Report

Had he not been a capable teacher, he'd almost certainly have been fired.

Fabel, on the other hand, seems to be merely a crude boor. And boors have no place in the classroom.

Source: Toronto Star


Last night's Lotto 6/49 jackpot just made someone in Alberta $54 million richer.

No word yet whether the feds will force the winner to share their windfall with somebody in Quebec for the sake of national unity, or whether they'll just shut down Lotto 6/49 in Alberta.

Can't have these Alberta rednecks hogging all that unearned wealth for themselves, you know.

Source: CBC

The Poisoned Well

When people started getting sick and dying of E. coli in Walkerton a few years back, the media quickly turned the incident into a condemnation of the Mike Harris government and its privatization policies.

The media has not been as quick to lay blame on any level of government for the disaster on Kashesechewan Reserve, even though the likely outcome of the E. coli outbreak there will be far more disastrous than Walkerton's:

The Ontario government ordered the evacuation Tuesday after national controversy over conditions on the reserve, with Queen's Park and Ottawa blaming each other for lack of action.

The remote reserve on the shore of James Bay suffers from severe water contamination, including potentially deadly E. coli because of longstanding problems with the local water treatment plant.

It was built downstream from sewage lagoons.

Almost 1,000 people suffer from skin problems due to the high level of chlorination necessary to disinfect the water. Both schools on the reserve — an elementary school and a high school — have been closed for over a week because of the water contamination.


Reserve residents hope getting away from the poverty-stricken comuunity, even for a few weeks, will help rid themselves of the nagging stomach problems and assorted skin ailments, and allow them access to intensive medical care for more serious conditions, such as diabetes.

The long-term effects of the Walkerton disaster were far less devastating for the town and its people than what's happening on this reserve, yet Walkerton got round-the-clock media coverage and a public inquiry.

The people of Kashesechewan Reserve have been forced to boil their water for years and live with irritating stomach and skin conditions, yet only now does anyone seem to care.

The reserve's band administration has apparently been failing for years to provide a clean water supply to its people, and has been poisoning its own people and leaving the reserve a ghost town.

Yet somehow we just accept that this sort of thing just happens on reserves, even though we would never accept it anywhere else in Canada.

If a town of 2,000 people in southern Ontario had to be abandoned because the municipal government decided that dumping sickening amounts of chlorine into the water supply was better than actually fixing the treatment systems, the media would have been condeming the municipal government for gross negligence.

But Indians are somehow just expected to suck it up and wait for the Great White Father to fix it, and their band councils do nothing because they know they'll get bailed out and never have to take real responsibility for their actions.

And no matter where these people are moved too, if attitudes don't change at the band council office, the same thing will happen again to the water supply there, or some other essential service.

Source: Toronto Star

Gomery Taking Chretien Down?

The first part of the Gomery inquiry report into Adscam hasn't been released yet, but it looks like someone in PMO has been arranging for a couple of well-timed leaks to make Paul Martin look innocent and Jean Chretien look even guiltier than he is.

The first one last week allegedly exonerated Paul Martin from any knowledge or involvement, although you'd think that looking incompetent is almost as bad as looking complicit.

This most recent leak allegedly has Gomery laying serious blame on Jean Chretien:

Lawyers for Jean Chrétien requested a private meeting with Mr. Justice John Gomery after the former prime minister received a letter saying the head of the sponsorship inquiry was considering making an allegation of misconduct against him, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Mr. Chrétien was combative after receiving the letter last spring, and his lawyers felt it did not contain enough details to allow them to prepare their final submission to Judge Gomery's inquiry in June, sources said.

Judge Gomery met with Mr. Chrétien's lawyers in Montreal in June but refused to provide further details, the sources said.

"The request was presented behind closed doors, and it was rejected," one source said.

Read between the lines: Gomery is going to drop the hammer on Chretien, Chretien knew that, and tried to get Gomery to take the blame off him and maybe throw more of it on Martin.

The Chretien-Martin civil war is still raging two years after it should have been over, and the Gomery inquiry is just another battlefield.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Roll Up The Rim To Win

Whoever worked the drive-thru window at this Tim Hortons got more than they were looking for:

A southwestern Ontario man who drove up to a Tim Hortons drive-through while stark naked and masturbating has pleaded guilty to committing an indecent act, saying "fantasy" got the best of him.

A female employee at the restaurant in Thamesford took an order for a large coffee just past midnight on Oct. 3, prosecutor Michael Carnegie told court yesterday.

When the car pulled up to the window, the employee saw a man alone in the vehicle, completely nude and masturbating, Carnegie said.

He handed money to the employee with his unoccupied left hand, court heard. The employee wrote down the car's licence plate number and called police.

When the 38-year-old man met with police after the incident, he admitted to doing "a bad thing" and suggested he did it "for the thrill," court heard.

It's always fresh at Tim Hortons. And that's just the customers.

Source: Toronto Sun

The Ground Shifts Beneath Layton's Feet

Paul Martin seems to have finally grown a pair and told Jack Layton that he won't give in to the NDP's latest blackmail demand:

NDP Leader Jack Layton left 24 Sussex Dr. empty-handed yesterday as Prime Minister Paul Martin rejected the New Democrats' call for a new law against private health care.

The two sides agreed to a meeting between Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and NDP health critic Jean Crowder, and Mr. Layton said he hopes a deal can be reached.

But the gulf of opinion between the two leaders indicates Mr. Layton is unlikely to repeat the success his party enjoyed in the spring when it extracted $4.6-billion in spending from the Liberals in exchange for keeping the government afloat.

While Mr. Layton said he is disappointed with the Prime Minister's response, he refused to speculate on whether he will attempt to defeat the government.

If the chiefs can't reach agreement, their underlings certainly won't.

The Canadian public is no longer as reflexively hostile towards allowing private health care into Canada as it was even just a few years ago. The waiting lines have become too long and too many people have family and friends who have suffered because of that fact.

Defending the public health care monopoly at election time is going to look less like a passionate defence of Canadian sovereignty and values, and more like indifference towards people's suffering.

The Liberals have accepted that reality and are prepared to campaign on it.

Is the Conservative Party? I wonder if the news has reached party headquarters, because I fear that we're going to find ourselves running to the left of the Liberals, right alongside the NDP, on this issue.

Doing so would be terribly misguided, not only as a betrayal of our base, but also because it would be conceding a winning plank in the platform.

They used to run against us as defenders of the status quo and win big, as we were kept on the defensive about two-tier, "American" health care.

Now they can run against us as champions of health care choice, and call us indifferent to people's suffering on waiting lines.

If we don't get out in front of the parade, the Grits will lead it and trample us right under it.

Source: Globe and Mail

Honour Declined

Separatist poet Raymond Levesque has turned down the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for poetry because he thinks Michaelle Jean has betrayed the cause:

"There are two nations in Canada, and I found it insulting that she doesn't recognize that we're a distinct people," Mr. Lévesque, 77, said yesterday in an interview. "We can remain in Canada, but at least we should be recognized as distinct. I found it very vexing."

Mr. Lévesque also accused Ms. Jean of "betraying" the sovereignty movement, echoing the view of hard-line sovereigntists who insist that Ms. Jean and her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, moved in separatist circles and sympathized with their aspirations. Ms. Jean has denied this assertion.

"I'm not going to bow to someone who renounced us as sovereigntists," Mr. Lévesque said.


Mr. Lévesque, who has a severe hearing impairment, said he only received word of Ms. Jean's Sept. 27 inaugural speech after he accepted the honour.

And he said he only belatedly understood that Ms. Jean is commander-in-chief of Canada's armed forces, which he holds accountable for carrying out the arrest and detention of hundreds of Quebeckers when the War Measures Act was enacted in 1970.

Mr. Lévesque said he has also become convinced, after reading a new book on the subject, that the federal government misused public funds to "steal" the 1995 sovereignty referendum from the Yes side.

Had Mme. Jean been a candidate for an elected ceremonial presidency, she would have had to publicly explain the nature and depth of her involvement and commitment to the Quebec separatist movement to the electorate. We could have then judged her accordingly.

But so long as the governor generalship exists in its current form, we will continue to have appointments made by a process more secretive than a papal election conclave producing candidates who become embarrassments to both solitudes in Canada, and whose claims to stand above politics as head of state will always be in doubt.

Mme. Jean is showing herself to be neither federalist enough for English Canada nor nationalist enough for Quebec. A perfect Liberal muddle of a vice-regent from a perfect Liberal muddle of an appointment process.

Source: Globe and Mail

Blame America

When doing something about our problems ourselves is just too difficult, we can always just blame the Americans:

Federal and provincial justice ministers will consider a proposal next month to sue U.S. gun manufacturers as part of a plan to stem the flow of illegal handguns across the border, federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said yesterday.

"If, by doing it, we would hold accountable gun manufacturers and thereby more effectively combat cross-border smuggling, then that would be the reason for doing it," Mr. Cotler said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Paul Martin indicated it was among the issues he intended to raise with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Word that Canadian governments could sue gun makers came as a spate of weekend violence in Toronto continued, with at least two more daylight shootings in Canada's largest city.

Mr. Martin said at a news conference up to half of all gun crimes in Canada are committed by individuals using firearms that have been smuggled into the country.

Anyone who's been following the news about the latest shooting sprees in Toronto knows who's behind them and why: Jamaican gangs fighting turf wars over drugs.

Yet every level of government has its own reasons to ignore the truth and throw the blame on Uncle Sam.

The city of Toronto dare not admit that its image as the model city of Trudeaupian multiculturalism is that of a Potemkin village, whose inhabitants barely tolerate each other when they are not actively at each other's throats. Nor dare it admit that the current city government's hostility towards its own police force is endangering its citizens far beyond what the police's recent work-to-rule job actions have been.

And the federal Liberals dare not admit that the federal gun registry has been shown up to be a complete failure. Suing American gun manufacturers also allows them to shore up their leftist anti-American supporters, whose despise firearms as much as they despise the United States, and tend to conflate the two.

It also never hurts the Liberals to run against the Americans in an election campaign in defence of those nebulous "Canadian values", of which an unarmed citizenry defenceless against the predations of criminals and its own government is apparently one.

Needless to say, everyone involved is so afraid of being called racist that they won't lay the blame on the Jamaican gangs by name and actually do something about them, such as deporting them, or even cutting off immigration from Jamaica as a defensive measure.

And so more people will die as more illegal handguns flood the streets while millions of dollars get wasted on lawsuits that will be thrown out of court at the first opportunity.

Source: National Post

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Feta Compli

Thus saith the European Union: if it's not from Greece, it's not feta cheese.

Before you know it, hamburgers not made in Hamburg and wieners not made in Vienna will have to be called some else.

And the British sausage, that great grey flavourless breakfast staple, will have to be called an emulsified high-fat offal tube

Wouldn't the Grits love to be able to stop Americans from calling their back bacon Canadian bacon?

Cuba Libre

The members of the Cuban choir who defected in Toronto undoubtedly sought a better life in a free country.

They will soon be disillusioned to find out that they've exchanged one corrupt oligarchy with repressive speech laws and a crumbling socialized medicine monopoly for another, only gentler in its repressions and much colder in winter.

Source: Toronto Sun

Naked Aggression

Nudists are complaining that social workers are harassing them because they like to run around buck naked in front of their children:

Stephane Deschenes, president of the Federation of Canadian Naturists, said he wrote an article for the latest issue of Going Natural magazine after being contacted time and time again by parents being investigated, supposedly only because of their naturalist lifestyle.

"When we did dig into it we realized there was - in some cases - some real abuses of power. So we tried to work with the Children's Aid Societies in Ontario to try to formulate policies to clarify the situation because naturism is legal, (as is) casual non-sexual nudity in the home," he said.

"All the scholarly research out there says it's good for children. But there was no interest in working with us, no priority and so we decided we had to go to the public," said Deschenes, who is the father of two young children.

There are many things that children should not be exposed to, and nudism is one of them. Not just because it teaches them to become obsessed with their bodies above all else, but also because the people who participate in it are usually the last people who should be seen naked, anywhere, at any time.

Despite what nudists claim, there is a strong sexual component to their activites, and their activities naturally attract perverts of all stripes.

They're setting their children up for trouble down the road.

Source: Canoe

Kill Them Or I'll Kill You: Layton

Jack Layton is off to 24 Sussex Drive with an ultimatum for Paul Martin: stop the advance of private healthcare or I'll pull the plug:

"We're going to this meeting to try to convince the Prime Minister and the Health Minister that they've got to do something to stop the growth of private, for-profit medicine," Mr. Layton said yesterday.

"The first step has got to be for them to agree that we actually have the growth of private, for-profit medicare and medicine in this country which clearly we do."

Mr. Layton refused to say how strong a commitment he would need from Prime Minister Paul Martin -- or how soon he would need to see action. But he stressed that he expected to see some compliance from the Liberals in the very near future.

Too bad for Layton that the public will no longer rush to the defence of the public healthcare monopoly with the same zeal that they did even just a couple of years ago. Too many people have had too many personal experiences with family members or friends deteriorating or dying while they waited for treatment to believe that the status quo must be protected at all costs.

And that would make an effective negative Tory campaign ad, would it not? "Since Paul Martin pulled the plug on healthcare reform, X number of Canadians have died waiting for treatment that could have saved their lives. They died so Paul Martin's government could live a little longer. That's what it means to die for your country in Paul Martin's Canada."

Source: Globe and Mail

Monday, October 24, 2005

Citizenship Week

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Joe Volpe has declared that this year's Citizenship Week, which concluded today, was a smashing success.

So successful, in fact, that I bet this is the first time you've ever heard of it.

Read more about this incredible event here.

Greetings From Iran

According to Sitemeter, my blog has just received a visit from a most curious visitor indeed: someone at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

What does he want, I wonder?

Break The Bank

Two British banks have stopped giving out piggy banks to children because they apparently offend their Muslim customers.

Charging interest presumably offends their Muslim customers, too, but apparently the banks are not rushing to accomodate this particular cultural sensitivity.

Fortunately for them, this bank does. If piggy banks are so offensive to Muslims, why not just take their business there instead of demanding everyone else to bend to their whims?

Canadian Quagmire

Our sons are being sacrificed by a heartless government that only cares about its friends' profits! We're going to be bogged down for years in an expensive and bloody quagmire! The local insurgents will slaughter whole divisions! We can't impose democracy on them because they're not suited for it! Even if the old regime murdered thousands of innocents, it was still better than the alternative!

But where are the moonbat protestors in the streets to protest our country's latest imperialist military adventure?

Insurgents who have attacked Canadians in Afghanistan with rockets and bombs in recent weeks won't be eliminated overnight, Gen. Rick Hillier says.

Fresh from visiting Canada's troops in Kabul and Kandahar, the country's top general warns that allied nations are in for a long fight to suppress the uprising — a signal that Canada could be embroiled in the Central Asian country for years to come.

"It's going to take time," said Canada's chief of defence staff.

"You're not going to stamp it out in one easy go. People can hide in the mountains. They can hide in the population and they can spring up and strike," he said in an interview.

When Canadian soldiers die--and they will, such being the nature of war--will the streets fill with the usual gangs of radical left-wing protestors demanding that Canada stop toadying to U.S. imperialism?

Will CBC lead the propaganda campaign against Paul Martin's government for needlessly leaving men to die on Afghanistan's plains?

Or will they respond with the same deafening silence that marked their response to the Kosovo misadventure?

Is the anti-war crowd merely against right-wing governments' wars?

Source: Toronto Star

Waiting In Line

Paul Martin's promise to fix healthcare for a generation has produced its first result: an agreement to set deadlines for waiting times by the end of the year. Though not to actually do anything about them except throw more money at the problem:

Provincial and territorial ministers committed in a health accord signed last year to establish scientifically based benchmarks for waiting times in five treatment areas -- cancer care, heart treatment, diagnostic imaging, sight restoration and joint replacement -- by Dec. 31. In return, the federal government agreed to give them an extra $41-billion over 10 years.

But the health ministers have interpreted that as meaning they must set a benchmark waiting time for at least one type of treatment in each of those areas. If, for instance, they set a target waiting time for lung cancer treatment, they will not necessarily set targets for any other type of cancer treatment by the deadline.

So, in theory, they could set benchmarking times for five treatments by Dec. 31 and say the requirements of the accord have been met. More benchmarks would then be added as scientific evidence becomes available.

How typically Liberal an approach to healthcare reform: set vague guidelines open to the loosest interpretation, throw in a big wad of cash, and claim that the problem has been solved.

Setting theoretical waiting time deadlines will not speed up treatments for patients who must still wait in line in the public system.

But it will at least let them know how long the government expects them to suffer to protect the sacred principle of one-tier healthcare.

Source: Globe and Mail

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Holiday Programming

While Christmas holiday TV programming here in Canada usually consists of anodyne Ross Petty specials and countless re-runs of A Christmas Carol and It's A Wonderful Life, Ramadan holiday specials in Jordan would make even the most hardened man wish for a Nutcracker on Ice marathon.

Al-Shatat brings wholesome family programming this Ramadan with a very special series on the Global Jewish Government.

Because there's no better way for the family to celebrate the Islamic holy season than to watch shows about the blood libel and how the Jews planned the Holocaust.

Probably only copyright concerns are keeping them from producing a Dr. Seuss knockoff about How The Jews Stole Ramadan.

Source: Middle East Media Research Institute

Accidental Science

The unanticipated discovery of glowing white quantum dots may soon put an end to the age-old jokes about how many ____________ it takes to screw in a light bulb:

Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, was just trying to make really small quantum dots, which are crystals generally only a few nanometers big. That's less than 1/1000th the width of a human hair.

Quantum dots contain anywhere from 100 to 1,000 electrons. They're easily excited bundles of energy, and the smaller they are, the more excited they get. Each dot in Bower's particular batch was exceptionally small, containing only 33 or 34 pairs of atoms.

When you shine a light on quantum dots or apply electricity to them, they react by producing their own light, normally a bright, vibrant color. But when Bowers shined a laser on his batch of dots, something unexpected happened.

"I was surprised when a white glow covered the table," Bowers said. "The quantum dots were supposed to emit blue light, but instead they were giving off a beautiful white glow."

Then Bowers and another student got the idea to stir the dots into polyurethane and coat a blue LED light bulb with the mix. The lumpy bulb wasn't pretty, but it produced white light similar to a regular light bulb.

The new device gives off a warm, yellowish-white light that shines twice as bright and lasts 50 times longer than the standard 60 watt light bulb.

Another triumph for the unintended byproducts of scientific research, along with vulcanized rubber, penicillin and superglue!

Sometimes man's best work is done just by farting around in the garage or lab.

Source: Yahoo

33 Years

Larry Bird has been an inspiration to many of his fans, but no fan has been more inspired by #33 than this man:

A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to — all because of Celtics great Larry Bird.

The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.

"He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird's jersey," Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott said Wednesday. "We accommodated his request and he was just as happy as he could be.

"I've never seen anything like this in 26 years in the courthouse. But, I know the DA is happy about it."

Now if he'd only been a Wayne Gretzky fan!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Future Imperfect

If Toronto is the future for Paris, it's lights out for the City of Light:

To Azouz Begag, minister for the promotion of equal opportunity in the French government, Toronto is like the North Star, pointing the way on issues of tolerance and social inclusion.

"I'm here to learn," the 48-year-old novelist-turned-politician said. "We are convinced that Toronto is the capital of diversity. It's the incarnation of modernity. You have already reached the future we are trying to implement."

Begag, the first member of a visible minority ever appointed to the French cabinet, was in Toronto this week to participate in the International Metropolis Conference on immigration and cities.

Toronto's civic elites pride themselves on the city's very disconnection from anything resembling a common culture, history or identity. The city's founding and early history, being the work of WASPy British imperialists, is generally considered an embarrassment best left forgotten.

For that matter, the whole history of Toronto before about 1965 seems to have been consigned to the memory hole. Toronto the Good, that symbol of starchy WASP rectitude, is now as one with Nineveh and Tyre.

In its place, we have a pack of heremtically sealed ethnic townships surrounding several blocks of office towers and an ever-growing mob of addicts, lunatics and other wretched of the earth left in the streets to shift for themselves.

New York, London, Paris--all genuine world-class cities confident in their identity.

Toronto is but merely a pretender.

Source: Toronto Star


The technical difficulties and busy work schedule which had both combined to keep me off the scene for a week have both been resolved.

Regular commentary will resume late tonight or tomorrow.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Running The Meter At City Hall

Is everybody screwing around at Toronto City Hall these days?

No sooner have licensing chief Pam Coburn and her high-flying married boyfriend Joseph Carnevale been fired than we find a report of a taxi enforcement officer using his powers to help his girlfriend's taxi company beat its closest competitor:

At the centre of the city probe are allegations that Colin MacLeod was involved in a personal relationship with the owner of East End Taxi, Kim Jacobs. Its rival — Crown Taxi — was allegedly targeted by MacLeod's inspectors last year.

Senior city officials first learned of the concerns in July, when an industry insider working for an East End Taxi rival company alleged MacLeod was personally involved with Jacobs while directing his enforcement officers to target a competitor.


After hearing the allegations, both the city's licensing department and the city auditor launched investigations into discrepancies in enforcement actions against cab companies, the Toronto Star has learned.


Crown Taxi, which is a direct competitor of East End Taxi operating largely in the city's east end, was the "target" of a sudden and unprecedented spike in enforcement actions over a seven-month period last year, said company general manager Ernie Grzincic.

"Charges laid (by city inspectors) against my operation cumulatively over 18 years might be 10," Grzincic said. "Last year it was 80.... Certainly I feel I was targeted. Some of the tickets were warranted. A lot of them were really unnecessary and they just seemed to come as a wave."

One licensing inspector with the city, who asked not to be named, said MacLeod directed him and his colleagues to do targeted inspection checks of Crown Taxi's global positioning system (GPS). In addition to checking the tires and interiors of city cabs to ensure they meet safety stands, inspectors also have the authority to test the operation of cabs equipped with GPS — a system that constantly tracks the location of a company's cabs.

You read it right, folks. The person who ordered the investigation of an underling using his office to help his girlfriend was the woman using her office to help her boyfriend: Pam Coburn!

Even without this strange coincidence, the taxi business in Toronto suffers from its own unique problems.

Most taxi licence owners don't drive cabs themselves: they rent the licences to cab drivers who sometimes pay as much as $1,000 a month.

Licence owners also used to be able to pass them down to family members or sell them on the open market, sometimes for over $100,000, while drivers used to wait 15 or 20 years to get their own licences.

Although more licences are getting issued through the Ambassador program, cab drivers' real incomes have been falling over the past 10 years as more cabs chase fewer dollars and gas prices keep rising.

Having a boyfriend in City Hall harass the competition is probably the least of the dirty tricks in the taxi business. Cab companies' relations with City Hall are strained even at the best of times. Crown Taxi will almost certainly sue, whether this guy's head rolls or not. And every cab company is going to wonder which enforcement officers are in bed with their competitors, figuratively, if not literally.

Source: Toronto Star

Prison Break

While ordinary law-abiding Canadian taxpayers get denied legitimate requests for information under the Access to Information Act, prisoners are being given all the information they need to plan escapes or have guards killed:

Federal inmates are using the Access to Information Act in a bid to obtain information on prison security systems, the names and work hours of corrections employees, and details on drug testing, according to newly released documents obtained by Conservative MP Randy White.

And some prisoners are regularly claiming -- and often receiving -- hundreds of tax dollars as compensation for lost or damaged TVs, missing or stolen pornographic magazines, and even a "purple polka dot comforter" that staff tossed in the garbage after its owner bled on it due to a self-inflicted wound.


or example, one inmate requested in 2003 a list of all full- and part-time corrections employees in Quebec, while another requested a copy of the security manual used by CSC staff. Both requests were "disclosed in part."

Another offender at a maximum security prison made a request last year asking for "all documents or records related to the use, policies and procedures" of drug scanners used to check visitors, as well as records "relating to drug dogs." The response: "All disclosed."

A Correctional Service Canada spokesman said yesterday that freedom of information legislation isn't being dangerously exploited.

"We're not releasing any kind of personal or security information," Guy Campeau said.

"All information we are releasing under Access to Information is totally analyzed to make sure that personal and security-related information is blacked out and not accessible to requesters."

As a group, prisoners are a cunning lot. They have all the time in the world on their hands to plot escapes, arrange smuggling, make weapons and brew, and generally just play the corrections system.

The Corrections Museum outside Kingston Penitentiary (both institutions I've visited--though not as an inmate) is filled with displays testifying to the creativity and ingenuity of prisoners.

It's got police sirens with lights, radios, stills, even guns made out of stuff lying around prison workshops. Not to mention shivs made out of anything that can keep a sharp edge.

One inmate even hollowed out a hiding place in a stack of glued-together food trays and got wheeled out of prison in it.

Just by looking around and listening to the prison grapevine, they can read between the blacked-out lines in a report on prison security procedures. Letting them get any sensitive information through Access to Information is tantamount to handing them the warden's keys.

Source: National Post

All In The Family

Who decides whether David Dingwall gets more than two weeks and a pack of Chiclets for severance from the Royal Canadian Mint?

John McCallum, ably assisted by his communications advisor, Leigh Anne Dingwall.

Would it be good PR for the boss to give dear old Dad his big payoff?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Smoke Signals

Nova Scotia's proposed ban on smoking in all public places, indoors and outside, has run into serious opposition from Micmacs who don't want the ban hurting business in bars and restaurants on reserve:

The province's justice minister said Friday he believes the ban would apply to reserves, even though native land falls under federal jurisdiction.

"These are considered laws of general application," said Michael Baker, who is also responsible for aboriginal affairs.

"These laws are applicable anywhere in the province."

But Baker admitted the limits of the province's power by saying the government will have to negotiate with individual bands about how the law is implemented and enforced.

Paul said he's open to negotiation, but will not sacrifice the economic gains made over the last few years by native business owners.

We gave them liquor and all its problems, and they gave us tobacco and all its related ailments.

Smoking on reserve also opens up another business bonanza for the Micmacs to go along with the tax-free cigarettes at the truck house.

I suppose telling the white man to stick it is justice, in a strange sort of way.


Adscam: Kick The Tires

Sponsorship program boss Chuck Guité and adman beneficiary Jean Brault were doing big business with each other even after Guité retired from the public service, according to Gomery inquiry testimony unsealed today:

After Mr. Guité retired from the civil service in August, 1999, he set up a private consulting firm, Oro Communications. The inquiry has already heard that lobbyists and ad executives once involved in the sponsorship program paid for Mr. Guité's post-retirement services, to a total of $1-million.

Now it can reported that Mr. Brault was among those who paid Mr. Guité.

The sums Mr. Brault gave Mr. Guité included $136,532 in retainer, from 1999 to 2002.

Also, in 1997, after Mr. Guité purchased a red Ford Mustang, Mr. Brault arranged for him to get fancier tires for his new sports car from Pirelli, one of his clients. The cost of the tires was expensed as a sponsorship invoice for $1,356.

Eventually, Mr. Brault, also a car aficionado who owned a Porsche, bought Mr. Guité's Mustang for $35,000.

Another perk for Mr. Guité was that while he visited Montreal, he would use a parking spot at Groupaction's offices, then located in a chic downtown area.

In addition, in April, 2001, Mr. Brault loaned Mr. Guité $25,000 to help him buy a boat.

A set of fancy whitewalls isn't the most egregiously fraudulent expense claimed against the taxpayers in this whole sorry mess. Neither was David Dingwall's pack of gum.

But it's the little things that upset people most of all because they can relate to them.

Few people without a forensic accounting background would understand exactly why to be outraged by the creative bookkeeping in Adscam, other than that taxpayers' money ended up in the wrong peoples' pockets. Nor would they much care about possible violations of lobbying regulations.

But most people have bought tires for their car, and have felt the pinch in their pocketbook. They'd be upset to find out that they also paid to pimp Chuck Guité's ride.

Source: Globe and Mail

Darting Off

DART will be sent to Pakistan to rescue victims of the recent earthquake.

The speed with which the feds have responded to the Pakistan earthquake stands in sharp contrast to the dithering and delay with which they responded to Hurricane Katrina.

To the Liberals, all natural disasters have to be seen in light of the most catastrophic disaster of all: losing power.

It won't do to be too quick with a kind word or helping hand to evil old imperialist Uncle Sam, but shoring up the Pakistani vote is an emergency.

Euthanasia: No Mercy

Although Bloc MP Francine Lalonde's private members' bill to legalize assisted suicide is not expected to pass the House, there is no cause for complacency:

The Justice Minister (Irwin Cotler) told a Commons committee last November that Parliament would benefit from a debate on the issue, but there has been no activity on it until now.

Mr. Cotler's spokeswoman, Mylène Dupéré, said the minister welcomes the debate on the private member's bill in the spirit of his call last year for MPs to examine both sides in the context of several court rulings in recent years on assisted suicide.

Ms. Dupéré said the minister will hear the debates before deciding how to vote on the bill. Private member's bills are normally treated as free votes by the four political parties in the House.

She added that Mr. Cotler's mother died two weeks ago after a long illness.

"He was confronted with this type of moral debate and he understands the file very well . . . as a justice minister and as a human being as well," she said.

Cotler wasn't afraid to take the lead on homosexual marriage and push it through Parliament.

Yet on euthanasia, another issue on which the Liberals would normally rush to take the "progressive" approach, they've suddenly lost their courage, preferring instead to hide behind Francine Lalonde's skirts.

One wonders whether this private members' bill is being used to test the waters before they advance euthanasia legislation of their own.

Cotler's vote on the bill may well signal the Liberals' intentions.

But they may still remain hesitant, even if he votes in favour.

Unlike with homosexual marriage, whose very novelty has so far meant a lack of direct statistical and anecdotal evidence on its negative effects, there has been a long period of widespread practice of euthanasia.

The practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands provides no comfort even for its advocates: widespread involuntary euthanasia, even of newborn children has become standard practice there.

Slippery slope arguments against euthanasia are not simple logical progressions, as they have been with homosexual marriage: they are fact.

The Liberals will have a harder time convincing opponents of euthanasia that Canada will not slide down the same slippery slope.

Source: Globe and Mail

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Burqa Ban

The Netherlands is about to ban the burqa, thanks to the no-nonsense approach of their integration minister, Rita Verdonk:

Mrs Verdonk gave warning that the “time of cosy tea-drinking” with Muslim groups had passed and that natives and immigrants should have the courage to be critical of each other. She recently cancelled a meeting with Muslim leaders who refused to shake her hand because she was a woman.

The proposals are likely to win the support of Parliament because of the expected backing by right-wing parties. But they have caused outrage among Muslim and human rights groups, who say that the Government is pandering to the far Right.

Mrs Verdonk admitted that a complete ban on the garment would be legally tricky because of freedom of religion legislation. However, she said that she would prohibit the garments “in specific situations” on grounds of public safety. The ban is likely to be enforced in shops, public buildings, cinemas, train and bus stations and airports, as well as on trains and buses.

The hijab, chador, abaya and burqa are not simple religious symbols, nor are they worn to express the desirable and all too rare virtue of feminine modesty.

They have been political symbols, as much as the Communist red flag and the Nazi swastika, for a totalitarian political ideology that offers its opponents the choice of submission or death, and regards women as chattel.

Mrs. Verdonk is wise to use public safety as the grounds on which to base the ban. It's still too risky for politicians to come out and say that Islam itself is a political menace; the human rights crowd would rise up in the streets five minutes after the announcement of legislation aimed directly at the spread of Islam.

But no one could possibly object to a public safety ban on the burqa. No one wants to see a woman get killed in traffic because she couldn't see properly out of one, or get entangled in a revolving door.

The public safety approach silences human rights objections in advance.

And it still puts the Muslim fanatics on notice that they can't use their women as walking political billboards.

Sometimes a head scarf is not just a head scarf.

Source: Times Online

Parrish Stomps Out

Carolyn Parrish, the shrieking virago who has been misrepresenting the good folk of Mississauga-Erindale since 1993, will not be seeking re-election to Parliament

If she doesn't run to succeed Hazel McCallion as mayor of Mississauga, maybe she'll be joining Cindy Sheehan on her Hate Across America caravan tour.

Or the government can reward her distinguished public service by appointing her ambassador to some tin-pot Islamic dictatorship.

No woman has done more to make the revival of the cucking-stool for common scolds a reasonable law reform proposal.

Au revoir, Carolyn.

Source: CTV

On Time Or It's Free

Yesterday's speech from the throne in Ontario promised a bold and radical concept in public service delivery: delivery on time or your money back!

Most of the attention focused on a surprise scheme to refund the $25-40 fees Ontarians pay when they apply for birth certificates on the Internet if they do not receive the documents within 15 working days.

The system for issuing birth certificates has been heavily criticized in the past, with claims of some people waiting months as the government dealt with a backlog. The government has said it should take no more than eight weeks, so its money-back guarantee is more ambitious than its past performance.

"Hard-working taxpayers deserve a high level of service," the speech said.

Speaking to reporters later, (Dalton) McGuinty acknowledged the headline-grabbing guarantee was "in part, a symbol."

"But it reflects a determination on our part to tell the people of Ontario that they can, in fact, get value for their money.

This is one of the few good ideas to have come out of the McGuinty government, but one that also sets a dangerous precedent.

If people can get their money back because their birth certificates were late arriving, they'll demand it for all the other Ontario government documents.

They might even demand their money back for slow or no service from the government, period.

I wish I could get my money back from the province. Don't you?

Tools Of The Trade

Another plank in the Tory platform has been hammered in:

Stephen Harper will promise a financial boost for training and for employers, and also tax breaks for the tools tradespeople use.

The Conservative leader will make the announcement in Hamilton on Thursday, and the proposals will form part of the party's forthcoming election platform.


Mr. Harper will promise to more than double — to $500 — the value of tools that can be claimed as tax-deductible each year, sources said.

Mr. Stairs would not offer further details. But other sources said the plan will include incentives for young people entering trade schools and for the businesses that hire them.

“The goal here is to get more people into the trades and to help those that are already in the trades get ahead,” Mr. Stairs said.

The Canadian Construction Association says it has spent years demanding better tax breaks for the purchase of tools, because the current $200 annual limit hasn't changed since 1976.

Skilled trades have unfairly suffered something of a stigma in recent years as somehow being less valuable than post-secondary education.

Far from it. A plumber or mechanic not only has more valuable skills than a peace and conflict studies grad, but also uses his brains more on the job than you think.

Tradesmen have to be good diagnosticians and problem-solvers and master ever-changing technologies quickly; that's more intellectually demanding than regurgitating back progressive propaganda in a liberal arts course.

I'd trust my plumber's common sense before I'd trust most liberal arts grads.

They deserve the tax breaks they're being promised.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Smurf Ad Bombs

Even though everybody on the Internet has probably seen the Unicef Smurf bombing video about eight dozen times, it's still funny as hell to see the little blue bastards get bombed to kingdom come. And judging by the blogosphere buzz, I'm far from the only person who thinks that way.

If the advertisement was supposed to get people thinking about the horrors of war and the need to prevent them, it has failed spectacularly, because most people are treating it as satire.

The Smurfs are only slightly less annoying than Barney, and if that fruity purple dinosaur got blown to bits on a Unicef commercial, we'd all be laughing that up too.

Don Alfonso Returns

Alfonso Gagliano isn't letting the public disgrace of Adscam keep him out of the political arena. Fortunately for us (but not for them), it's the Italian one:

Some longtime friends recently came calling with a new challenge.

They came on behalf of Italy's Union of Christian Democrats - a moderate centre-right partner in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coalition government.

They asked the former public works minister, who hails from Italy, to become the Christian Democrats' campaign chairman for Canada.

"So I said, 'yes,' " said Gagliano, who is working as a volunteer.

"I know politics, I know Quebec, I know the Italian community. . . and I'm giving them a hand."

A total of 18 seats have been opened up in Italy's upper and lower houses of parliament for candidates from abroad.

Italians living in North America will have a chance to elect two members to the lower-house chamber of deputies and one member to the senate.

"This is a historic occasion and I'm giving my contribution," Gagliano said.

He plans to help two Italian-language journalists from Toronto get elected in a race against fellow Italian citizens from across Canada, the United States and Mexico.

However, the race in Canada isn't officially under way yet. Unlike the U.S. and a handful of other countries, Canada has not yet formally agreed to allow its residents to participate.

If Gagliano, as a former minister of the Crown and life member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, wants to get involved in Italian partisan politics, he should renounce his Canadian citizenship and take up Italian citizenship again.

I also wonder why Italy has these extra-territorial legislative seats. Can you imagine the uproar if Canada tried to create parliamentary seats for Canadian citizens resident abroad, especially in the United States?

Diplomats and soldiers stationed abroad still have to claim a Canadian residence in order to vote in elections. Why should Canadians living abroad of their own free will have the privilege of representation in Parliament when their only ties to the country may be on paper alone?

Source: Yahoo

Sinclair Stevens: Sore Loser

Two years after the new Conservative Party of Canada's founding was announced, Sinclair Stevens is still refusing to surrender, demanding that the Federal Court of Appeal undo the hard work of thousands of members across Canada:

In arguments Wednesday before a three-judge panel, Stevens' lawyer Peter Rosenthal ratcheted up the rhetoric - at one point comparing the political battle to one of the most infamous military assaults in history.

It was Dec. 7, 2003 - the anniversary of the Pearl Harbour attack - that Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley officially approved the registration of the new Conservatives, noted Rosenthal.

"It was like Pearl Harbour in a way," he told the court. "It was a surprise attack."

Rosenthal contended that Kingsley was wrong to bow to the urging of then-Alliance leader Stephen Harper and then-PC leader Peter MacKay.

The registration decision was rushed through on a Sunday afternoon to head off efforts by Stevens and other PC dissidents to challenge it, he said.

I feel sorry in a way for both Sinclair Stevens and his lawyer.

Sorry for Stevens, because he has forfeited what little claim he might have had to respect as an elder party statesman to become a pathetic laughingstock, reduced to fighting long-forgotten battles long after they've been won.

If he wants to use Japanese military analogies, his position is not unlike that of the Japanese soldiers who were still fighting in the jungles of the Philippines thirty years after the war ended.

Sorry for Rosenthal too, because he has to argue a hopeless appeal which, even if it had some legal merit, would surely be denied because of the court's unwillingness to interfere with internal party and parliamentary affairs:

Justice Robert Decary observed that, if the old PCs are resurrected and given official status once again, the Alliance would presumably have to be revived as well.

Justice Allen Linden wondered who would form the official Opposition in the House of Commons under those circumstances.

Justice Gilles Letourneau wanted to know whether all the MPs elected under the Conservative banner in the last election would now have to sit as Independents.

I bet that it wasn't Stevens' intention to revive the Alliance along with the PCs, but he can't really have one without the other. But with no one but a few aging Red Tory malcontents interested in bringing back the PCs to life, Stevens can only hope to find himself with a paper shell of a Progressive Conservative Party to fight against another paper shell Alliance.

In any event, Stevens' quixotic mission is doomed to failure, but not before wasting the party's time and money having to defend the original action and respond to the appeal.

The Court of Appeal should hit him with the Conservative Party's costs, as a lesson to those who would pursue political aims through vexatious litigation.

Source: Yahoo

A Quebec Wing And A Prayer

Gloria Galloway's jihad against Stephen Harper's leadership continues with this latest broadside from another disgruntled Quebec member:

Federal Conservatives in Quebec say the party has dithered so long in sanctioning a special wing in that province that it will be impossible to organize in time for the next election -- a gap they say will further the cause of separation.

Frustrated party members established a new Quebec wing just before the party's first policy convention in March. But the national council and the office of Tory Leader Stephen Harper have so far refused to officially acknowledge or fund the regional organization, party members said yesterday.

"Without it I am afraid the party ultimately could never win the province of Quebec and could also never win the government," said Pierre Gaudreault, who recently stepped down as the party's candidate in the Quebec City-area riding of Beauport-Limoilou.


Senator Pierre-Claude Nolin, a leading agitator for the establishment of a Quebec wing of the party, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Lawrence Cannon, the Conservative candidate in Pontiac, near Hull, who was named deputy chief of staff to Mr. Harper last month as the party tried to appease discontented Quebec members, was also unavailable.

Was this story so urgent that Ms. Galloway simply could not wait to get comment from a couple of actual serious Quebec organizers? Surely the problems in Quebec would still have been the same after they speak.

A formal Quebec wing would be a never-ending source of trouble for the party. It would not likely be more than a shell, and most of its members would be opportunistic former Liberals scrambling to stay on the gravy train. Such an organization would almost certainly wield influence far out of proportion to its actual size and capability, and would be constantly agitating to push the party leftwards, especially on social issues.

And it still wouldn't win us any seats in Quebec.

Why borrow trouble for so little return?

Source: Globe and Mail