Showing posts from May, 2007

Iacobucci Inquiry

If I were the lawyers for the three I would seriously consider not participating in the inquiry at all. There is no chance for them to question or even see most of the evidence that will be brought forth by the intelligence agencies. As Iacobucci notes in his rulings, he sees the inquiry as primarily inquisitorial not one where lawyers are in a combatorial role. There are no sides apparently but just the GRAND INQUISITOR Iacobucci from Torys LLP and TorStar impartially uncovering the TRUTH.
The whole of Iacobucci's decision is available in PDF format at the inquiry website.

Torture probe lawyers barred from hearings
May 31, 2007 08:12 PM
Jim Bronskill
canadian press

OTTAWA – Lawyers for three Canadians accused of terrorist ties will not be privy to closed-door hearings into their clients' arrest and imprisonment abroad.

The idea of giving special security clearances to counsel was rejected Thursday by former Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci, who has been appointed to examine…

New Release: Iacobucci Inquiry

As expected Iacobucci ,in keeping with the description of the inquiry as primarily private and internal in the terms of reference, has decided that most of the hearings will be in private (in camera and ex parte). However, he also has turned down the lawyers for the three: Almaki, El-Maati, and Nureddin that they (the lawyers) be security cleared and allowed to attend the hearings. They will only be able to present documents and suggest questions etc. It is not clear what information they will be given about the hearings if any. In fact I just wonder what if anything the public will hear as the hearings are ongoing. All in all the hearings may be transparent to the elite group from Torys LLP who will be present at the hearings but to no one else. Just trust the creme de la creme to inform us of all the shit that goes on in our intelligence services.

Attention News Editors:

Commissioner Frank Iacobucci Issues Key Ruling on Inquiry's Proceedings
OTTAWA, May 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The …

N.B. volunteer banned from US for five years

This seems to be an over-reaction. Why did they not just turn them away as one person suggested and have the one person who was volunteering get the proper documentation? I am to the point now where I do not even want to go to the US. I went to the Philippines through Chicago and coming back was a problem. Unlike Japan where to transfer planes one just goes from one part of the airport to another in Chicago you must go through customs and reclaim your baggage. There was a huge lineup and the computer broke down so by the time I got and rechecked my bags my flight to Winnipeg was gone. I ended up staying overnight because of thunderstorms! I understand why it is cheaper to fly via a US connection!

N.B. volunteer receives 5-year ban from U.S. at border
Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2007 | 11:38 AM AT
CBC News
A Fredericton volunteer worker and two of his friends feel they've been unfairly banned from entering the United States for five years after trying to cross the Houlton-Woods…

Lawsuit filed against government for breach of Kyoto agreements

The rest of the article is at the CBC website. I wonder if the suit is accepted and the Friends of the Earth win what the court will require!

Group plans lawsuit against Tories over Kyoto
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 | 3:43 PM ET
CBC News
John Baird defended his handling of the environment portfolio Tuesday as a leading environmental group filed a lawsuit aimed at forcing the Conservative government to live up to its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

Facing an at-times hostile parliamentary environment committee on Tuesday, Baird said the Tories' plan was an "ambitious policy package" that balanced Canadians' demands for action on climate change with the need to safeguard the country's economy.

"No one else is doing as much as we are," Baird said of the Tories' Turning the Corner plan, which sees Canada reaching its Kyoto emissions targets between 2020 and 2025, instead of 2012, the year laid out in the international plan to curb climate chan…

The Stephen Harper Effect

I have no idea why Cameron is optimistic about Stephan Dion. He was after all an important figure in the Martin govt. The Liberal party is almost equally a home for big capital as the Conservatives. The most one could hope for is that a coalition NDP and Liberal government would be somewhat less reactionary than a continuing Harper government.
I am sure that military suppliers do not see the expenditures in Afghanistan in terms of the alternative uses to which the money could be put. Harper's govt. is a great boon for those for whom the present minister of defence used to lobby.

The Stephen Harper effect

People who do not like to see their money wasted are not going to like it when they find out the costs of the Afghanistan adventure are going to exceed $20 billion, before the day in 2009 the mission is supposed to end.

>by Duncan Cameron
May 30, 2007

First rule of electoral politics: Governments are defeated, not elected.

Second rule of electoral politics: when your politica…

Labour Congress complains about high Canadian dollar

It looks as if we are returning to our traditional role of hewers of wood and drawers of water. At least the US would dearly love to get more of our water!
The Conservatives are probably happy enough to serve Alberta and the USA by concentrating on energy exports.

economics and public policyTue 29 May 2007
Bank of Canada sends wrong signal, labour says
Posted by Andrew Jackson under monetary policy

May 29, 2007

OTTAWA – The leaders of Canada’s most important unions and of all the provincial and territorial federations of labour, meeting in Ottawa today as the Executive Council of the Canadian Labour Congress, adopted and issued the following statement:

“The soaring Canadian dollar is one of the major factors behind the loss of 250,000 reasonably well-paid manufacturing jobs since 2002. At the current level of about 92 cents US, the job carnage will only increase.

“The high dollar is leading to a major loss of the Canadian domestic market to Asian imports (since China, Japan and other Asian cu…

Provincial versus Federal Tories

I noticed to my surprise that Conservative signs in the recent Manitoba election had the initials PC on them. PC stands for Progressive Conservatives. I thought that with the formation of the federal Conservative party that the Progressive Conservative Party had gone the way of the dodo. Apparently not. In the PEI election as well I observed the Tories had PC on their signs. It did not help much in either PEI or Manitoba. The Conservatives by any other name smell just as bad. Well maybe there is an exception in that from what I hear the Conservative Party in Saskatchewan now called the Saskatchewan Party is likely to defeat the NDP if there is an election.
The federal Conservative party adopts the initials CP. These initials already referred to the Communist Party but the communists do not have enough influence to protect their letter brand. They should just issue news releases saying that the CP supports same sex marriage, increased minimum wages, withdrawal from Afghanistan that…

Mounties face more questions.

Of course the Tories are resisting any new inquiries. Arar was bad enough and now the Iacobucci inquiry may also reveal shortcomings in the intelligence community. Air India and the pension scandal has not helped. Of course the RCMP was involved in the sponsorship scandal as well when Zaccardelli was at the helm.
People must be naive who claim that the mounties can just come forth to their superiors etc. with their complaints. You can imagine some poor mountie protesting transfers as punishment finding himself banished to the hinterlands--perhaps rural Manitoba where I am ;-) Maybe they banish them to high crime areas in cities!

RCMP facing new list of scandals
At least six Mounties want to testify against the force
OTTAWA (May 29, 2007)

The RCMP is about to be struck with a new wave of allegations of wrongdoing, including a coverup of government corruption and criminal acts by senior members of the national police force.

At least six, and as many as 12 current and former…

The future of Manitoba Political leaders

Conservatives are typically hard on their leaders so it would not be too surprising if in time there is an attempt to replace McFadyen. Gerrard can hardly be faulted for the poor result of the Liberals. The political climate was simply against him and it is hard for a third party to break through. Next time if the public is fed up with both NDP and COnservatives they could come back big time but that is not too likely. If Doer tried for a fourth term it would probably result in a defeat unless his performance improves a great deal or the Conservatives are really bad! Let us hope that Doer goes for an early walk, maybe even before the snow comes!

On the Ledge
May 28, 2007
Doer’s walk in the snow
Filed under: Uncategorized — Mia Rabson @ 3:58 pm
Don’t worry. My title above has nothing to do with the weather. Which as an aside totally sucks right now.

I’ve just been thinking how odd it is that following the provincial election last week not one, not two, but all three leaders of Manitoba’s m…

Different treatment for different alleged terrorists.

I had not noticed this article when it was first published. I have noted the same discrepancy concerning treatment with respect to one of the Khadr family in Guantanamo. This case seems below the radar of the press generally. This is the first article I have seen. There may be a difference as well in that China does not recognise Celil's Canadian citizenship where I expect Afghanistan recognises the Canadian citizenship of Qureshi.

Don Martin: This is not Canadian justice
By Don Martin, National Post
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This is the story of two alleged Canadian terrorists, young Muslims in similarly dire straits afforded wildly different treatment by Ottawa.

One has not been charged with anything, yet languishes in an Kabul jail while his case is studiously avoided by the Prime Minister in talks with the President of Afghanistan.

The other has been tried, convicted and imprisoned for life in Beijing as a terrorist, yet his treatment has destabilized trade relations wi…

Canada to have Taxpayer's Ombudsman

I imagine this move will have the support of all parties! Although Revenue Canada seems honest enough even assuring interest when they have kept my money or owed me money.However,they are sometimes difficult tocontact. I have been having an issue over the GST. We are poor enough to get a rebate but Revenue Canada denies this. I have phoned their free line for days with only busy signals. I have sent them our returns to show that our family income is not as they claim above the cut off but all to no avail. They just sent me another bill wanting their payments back! I filed a complaint on line but that too has produced nothing but silence so far.
Every year for about the last five years I get audited for the same deduction I claim. Every year I duly send them the documentation and they allow it. On the other hand I have had occasions when the service has noted errors I have made and corrected them even though it is to my benefit not theirs.

Ottawa creates a 'taxpayers' ombudsm…

Canada's National Energy Policy: Provide cheap energy for the US!

Laxer is wrong about Canada having no national energy policy. Our policy is to provide cheap energy for the US. This fits in well with Harper's admiration for the US and his contempt for Canadians. We are not to imitate the US in respect to nationalism and securing our own energy needs rather we are- to use Maoist rhetoric- to be running dogs of the US, helping them out with their foreign imperialist adventures and ensuring their own energy needs are less dependent upon "unreliable" sources. We are the reliable suppliers, and visitors to Disneyland espcially now that the US dollar is almost at par!
The Conservatives did not want to hear Laxer so they just shut down the committee. Instead of news about these events we will hear endlessly about the Senators, the murder of a Toronto highschooler, and the burial of one more Canadian casualty in Afghanistan.
Laxer was at one time a chair of the Waffle group a leftist grouping within the NDP a generation or so ago!


Liberals win large majority in Prince Edward Island

This is from the Charlottetown Guardian. From earlier statements I thought this was supposed to be a close race but the Conservatives only retained four of twenty seven seats! However, parties usually win by large majorities in PEI when they do win. This was the Liberal leader's second try.

Robert Ghiz wins P.E.I. election, ending 11-year run by Pat Binns 16

The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN (CP) - Fourteen years after his father left office, Robert Ghiz has followed his career path into the premier's chair in Prince Edward Island.

Ghiz, 33, easily defeated Conservative Premier Pat Binns, who had been seeking a fourth term as Canada's longest-serving premier.
The Liberals, who entered the month-long campaign with just four seats in the 27-seat legislature, led in ridings across the province as Island voters heeded Ghiz's call for political change.

Ghiz's late father, Joe Ghiz, was Liberal premier from 1986 to 1993. He died of cancer in 1996.

P.E.I. Liber…

Prince Edward Island Election Today

Not any info about the issues or platforms just the bare minimum. PEI is basically a two party province although the NDP always fields candidates.

Prince Edward Islanders go to the polls
Last Updated: Monday, May 28, 2007 | 10:54 AM AT
CBC News
Prince Edward Islanders are heading to the polls on Monday, deciding whether to hand Pat Binns' Progressive Conservatives a historic fourth term of office or give Robert Ghiz's Liberals a shot at government.

Polling stations are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the first results should be available shortly afterward.

There are 97,810 registered voters, and many of them have already voted. A record-breaking 15 per cent of Islanders cast ballots at advance polls. Voter turnout on P.E.I. is typically high, hitting more than 80 per cent in the past six elections.

Chief electoral officer Lowell Croken said any Islanders looking to vote Monday will have the opportunity, whether they are on the voters list or not.

"All you have to do is to show …

Ex-top spy breaks silence

What a lot of nonsense! The sexy sexist story about the ugly girl in effect says nothing more than what in officialese would add up to the claim that the service needs to obtain intelligence from countries that torture. I guess his addition is that you chose the one that will torture least-the least ugly girl. Of
course that is pure crap! They do not care if anyone is tortured; they want verification of their own theories, verification being confessions or "info" extracted often through torture, In Arar's case this classified info was then leaked to the press to blacken his name.If they wanted a country that tortured least they would not pick Syria.
Hooper's remarks about O'Connor are also completely off base. O'Connor did not suggest there should be less intelligence sharing. Exactly the opposite: he recognises its necessity. What he wants is to put caveats on the use of intelligence and to make sure that the intelligence is properly evaluated and filtered…

CSIS keen to polish image.

The aim seems not only to polish its image but to garner support for its activities and no doubt market them so as to gain support for more funding for their activities. There is not a word about accountability.

CSIS keen to polish image

Andrew Mayeda, CanWest News Service
Published: Monday, May 14, 2007 Article tools
* OTTAWA -- Eager to burnish its image in the age of 24-hour news and probing public inquiries, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has launched an aggressive outreach strategy to educate key stakeholders about the service’s role, and even “influence” public debate on national security.

Known as the “citizen engagement strategy,” the initiative targets a wide range of groups, including ethnic communities, elected politicians and senior bureaucrats, law-enforcement partners such as the RCMP, judicial councils and legal associations, academics and think tanks, businesspeople and human-rights NGOs.

The strategy grew out of a meeting of senior managers in the sum…

Andrew Coyne on Postal Service and Reply

Coyne is just a privatizing poodle pundit fronting as a political commentator for the National Post. The Post is itself a typical front for pushing a right wing pro-free market capitalist agenda.
In many areas there is already competition with Canada Post. Federal Express, United Parcel Express, and many couriers compete with Canada Post.
If the role of the government is to redistribute income then one way it can do that is through Canada post. They also do it through price supports for farmers where again that poor single mother in wherever subsidizes that rich Cadillac driving snowbird in Alberta! Coyne is predictable as a Harper automaton. Provincial govts. such as the NDP govt. in Manitoba subsidize the rural constituencies that usually vote Conservative by paying for infrastructure such as roads equalizing hydro rates etc. etc. Wow. Now the poor welfare mom in Winnipeg is supporting that reactionary in the boondocks who hates big government and closes up his grain farm every…

Iacobucci Inquiry: The government's national security dodge

While Iacobucci has not ruled as yet it is clear that most of the inquiry will not be in public. The only public hearings so far have been on who would get standing and on process and scope questions. It is almost a month since the last hearings and there has been absolute silence from the Inquiry website.
Even what Iacobucci has said makes it clear that it is not a public inquiry but what the website itself calls an internal inquiry. It would not surprise me one bit if most of the inquiry is in secret. It remains to be seen if lawyers for the three will even be allowed into the closed sessions. One Arar inquiry a century is more than enough for any government even though it resulted in no one being reprimanded and no attempt to hold those responsible for mistakes (and many of the mistakes were probably not mistakes at all) to be held to account. National security dodges in official newspeak are national security interests that of course protect us against terrorists and enable us …

Most women ever elected in Manitoba

There are a lot of good new women MLAs in Winnipeg. Even the Tories managed to elect five women including in a rural riding near us Minnedosa. The Brandon West constituency is still not definitely decided but it looks as if the Conservative Borotsik won.

Women win more seats than ever
Manitoba beats all other provinces

Thu May 24 2007

By Mia Rabson

NELLIE McClung would be proud.
When the Manitoba legislature reconvenes next month, almost one in every three MLAs taking their seats in the house will be female, more than in any other provincial or territorial legislature in Canada.
"Wow," said Raylene Lang-Dion, chairwoman of Equal Voice, a national organization dedicated to getting more women elected to all levels of government.

"That's where you really want to be, where you have a critical mass."

It has been 91 years since women could run for office in Manitoba, and 88 years since the first woman was elected to the Manitoba legislature.

The roster of one-third of Ma…

Immigration depresses wages in Canada and US.

I wonder if the immigration of skilled workers actually reduced the wages or if it is the effect of global competition. Many companies export work to low wage countries and this puts pressure on workers and companies in Canada in the same area of business to reduce labor costs. Even if no immigrants who would work for lower wages had entered Canada the global competition would probably still have forced wages downward. Perhaps both the immigration and the competition work in tandem to reduce wages or at least put pressure on them. Unions seem to be unsucessful on the whole in finding ways to counteract these global effects.
In some areas where there are very powerful professional organisations immigration may not cause downward pressure on wages. The medical profession would be a good example I should think. THere are plenty of doctors who are immigrants but I doubt this caused remuneration of the doctors to be lowered.

Immigration depresses wages in Canada and U.S: report

Eric Beauch…