Sunday, March 30, 2008

CTV: Dion's advisers want Ignatieff demoted.

Some of Stephane Dion's top advisers are planning to press the Liberal leader in the coming days to dump Michael Ignatieff as deputy leader, CTV News has learned..... (read the rest here or watch video clip here)

All of this and now with Bob Rae about to get a seat somewhere on the Liberal front bench, I am sure we can expect it to be an interesting week.

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Update: The week starts with with Dion replacing defence critic Denis Coderre, a known supporter of Iggy during the leadership campaign, with Bryon Wilfert.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Conservatives set record for settling native land claims.

The Harper Government is quietly getting more things done in Ottawa, while the opposition Liberals led by Stephane Dion are too concerned with their own fortunes and internal strife to even bother with their jobs by voting on issues before the house.

From the Globe and Mail:
OTTAWA The Conservative government resolved a record number of native land-claim disputes this year in a bid to improve relations with Canada's aboriginals and spur economic development on reserves.

Former Indian Affairs minister Jim Prentice caused a stir in his department last year when he quietly ordered public servants to conclude at least 50 specific land-claim disputes for the fiscal year ending Monday.

Meeting that target was left to his successor, Chuck Strahl, who confirmed yesterday that 54 claims have been resolved, of which 37 involved financial settlements.

"It was a big, all-out effort to do that," said Mr. Strahl, who took over the department last August.

The 34-year historical record of the specific claims process shows the ambitiousness of the target. On average, only 14 claims are concluded each year. The average annual amount paid out in settlements is $63.7-million.

The most productive year previously on record was 1993-1994, when the government paid out 30 specific claims settlements at a total cost of $263-million. The final tab for this year's record number of settlements will be about $70-million, Mr. Strahl said, which is only slightly higher than an average year. Mr. Strahl acknowledges that the department likely went after some of the simplest disputes to meet the demands of their political bosses.

"You want to do the low-hanging fruit first, that's for sure," he said. "I certainly gave no instruction that way, but it wouldn't surprise me."

Sources told The Globe and Mail that some native leaders expressed concern to Mr. Prentice that the bureaucracy would stop negotiating while the federal government established a new specific claims tribunal. To assuage those concerns, Mr. Prentice made the 50-claim promise.

The bill establishing the tribunal, C-30, was introduced last November and is still in the House of Commons. The new tribunal would have the power to make $250-million in settlement payments a year for 10 years with the aim of reducing the backlog of nearly 800 claims. Mr. Strahl expressed frustration that the bill has yet to become law, given that it has broad support.

"I am starting to get concerned about it. It's always possible an election could interrupt the process," he said.

There are two main types of land claims. Specific claims involve native communities arguing that their land or money has been stolen or misused. Common examples include reserve land used for highways or rail lines without compensation. From 1927 to 1951, it was illegal for lawyers to take on native clients for claims against the Crown.

The second type, called comprehensive claims, are usually larger and more expensive. These claims resolve land disputes with natives who never signed treaties with the government or establish self-government arrangements outside of the Indian Act.

Alberta lawyer Ron Maurice represents natives in land-claim disputes and worked with Mr. Prentice at the Indian Claims Commission and in private practice.

According to his contacts, Mr. Maurice said, not all public servants welcomed Mr. Prentice's 50-claim target.

"It's fair to say though that there are probably other people within the [specific claims] branch that saw it as being unrealistic or too onerous," he said.

Mr. Maurice said the focus on resolving land claims highlights a "sea change" in aboriginal policy.

In contrast to the 2005 Liberal plan signed in Kelowna, B.C., that would have spent $5-billion on programs for aboriginals, Mr. Maurice said Conservatives are spending money to resolve land claims in the hope that communities can raise their own revenue to meet social needs.

"I would think it's probably just a matter of course before the government expects first nations to look at their own source of revenues and the settlement of these land claims as one means of funding other aspects of band governance," he said.

Herman Crain, a band councillor with Saskatchewan's Muskoday First Nation, says a recent $10-million settlement will buy urban reserve land in Prince Albert.

He said the community could set up an on-reserve urban convenience store to sell tax-free cigarettes to status Indians living in the city.

"I think doors have started to open now," he said.

With a report from Brian Laghi.


Getting things done while the Dion led opposition run.


Here is a nice little update to the story. Inuit to name Island after PM Harper.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper could end up with a remote Quebec island named after him following a land-claim deal with the Inuit of the province's northern Nunavik region.

After almost three decades of on-and-off negotiation, the people of Nunavik will get a new national park, new resource rights, administrative controls, and $54 million over nine years...."


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Human Rights Commission: UN Edition

Being that most of you are familiar with what is going on in Canada with some of our various Human Rights Commissions, I thought it might be of interest to take a look at what has been going on at the UN and their Human Rights Council.

The top U.N. rights body on Thursday passed a resolution proposed by Islamic countries saying it is deeply concerned about the defamation of religions and urging governments to prohibit it. Although the text refers frequently to protecting all religions, the only religion specified as being attacked is Islam, to which eight paragraphs refer.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted Thursday the resolution-- proposed by Islamic countries-- on a 21-10 vote over the opposition of Europe and Canada. (Thank you Mr. Harper)

Speaking for the EU, Slovenian Ambassador Andrej Logar said the 27-nation body was committed to tolerance, nondiscrimination and freedom of religion. But instead of a one-sided approach, it would be better to engage in dialogue with mutual respect.

The Saudi delegation said, "Maybe Islam is one of the most obvious victims of aggressions under the pretext of freedom of expression." "It is regrettable that there are false translations and interpretations of the freedom of expression," the Saudi delegation told the council, adding that no culture should incite to religious hatred by attacking sacred teachings."

source source. highlighting mine.

Just business as usual for those that claim to be working
at home and abroad to protect your rights .

I found this quote of interest:"It is regrettable that there are false translations and interpretations of the freedom of expression.." Sounds like something Warren Kinsella might say doesn't it?

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Edit to title (thanks Red) and my new tag line.

Free speech now, spelling later!





Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dion may lose LPC membership. Not by choice.

Some quotes from the Ottawa Sun: "Federal Liberals from Quebec will move to show Stephane Dion the door if he doesn't give up leadership of the party on his own, Sun Media has learned"

"Should Dion fail to heed this warning, Bellerose has threatened to invoke Article 3.7.1 of the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal party's statutes and regulations to force him to resign.
The provisions of this article give the Quebec wing the right to strip a party member of his membership."

and this little tidbit that will be sure to get Cherniak's blood boiling "He said his strategy is supported by a number of influential members of the party, along with a dozen riding association presidents and a few elected MPs from across Quebec."

Open revolt or just a small number of Quebec Liberals who see what everyone else in this country sees outside of the GTA about the leadership of Dion?




Monday, March 24, 2008

This week in the Battle for free speech.

Good news from the Ost front this week as Tuesday's human rights tribunal hearing in Ottawa gets set to go. I am going to be watching this one closely as a little light starts to shine into the dark recesses of the HRC and the way it does business. It is sure to be the big news throughout the blogosphere this week, and that in itself will should cause the MSM to cover it.

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Warren "the decider" Kinsella gets even more pathetic.

"ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET...AN OFFER

Before I forget: for anyone attending the Heritage Front/Maclean's hearing at the CHRC in Ottawa tomorrow, I will pay $100 for a clear photo of Lemire and Steyn together, ideally shaking hands. I'll pay more for actual footage.

Given how palsy the two conservative stalwarts have become, I would imagine that none of this should be objectionable to either Mark."

Any guesses as to how he would spin such a picture on his blog?

This is all he has folks. No real arguments that can stand on their own merit, but rather weak and cheap attempts to tie those who disagree with him on free speech to somehow equate this view as support for organizations like the Heritage Front or any other neo nutball groups out there. Could this guy stoop any lower?

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Christian Conservative got the pot boiling earlier tonight with his thoughts on a comment made on another blog. While I agree the 'joke' was not in good taste, and perhaps was made in reference to other events rather than as an intended slam of Warren's late father, I will always support the rights of Mr.West to make such comments. It kind of goes with the territory, just as I think Kinsella can say what he wants, even if he is wrong.

Here is what I said in a comment on CC's blog on the subject of censors.

"What makes anyone out there think that they should ever be able to arbitrate what I may or may not say, think or express? Who the (insert foul comment here) are YOU to decide that?

When Kinsella and the like who try to defend the indefensible and emulate George Bush and want to be the "decider" for what I have to say. Well than sorry, I ain't hopping on that bus as I don't trust the driver."


Coincidently the blog post by Clive was about our misguided friend Warren trying to spin World War 2 to his benefit. Hey Warren, how does that exploitation, err I mean explanation as to why Canadian men fought in WW2 explain that little declaration of war thing by Canada against Japan?


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This is going to be an interesting week as the battle for free speech continues.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Take the following awareness test, and let us know how you scored.

I hear conservatives do better than Liberals do with this one.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Breaking: Liberal infighting continues. Iggy compares Rae to...

This just in from AWM (Anteater Worldwide Media™).


Michael Ignatieff, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, former leadership contender, and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada shocked the camp of newly elected MP Bob Rae earlier this week when he compared Mr. Rae to that of the late great comedian Bob Hope. On his blog, Mr. Ignatieff made the following curious entry dated March 15th.

From michaelignatieff.ca:

I'm in rainy Vancouver knocking on doors in Quadra for Joyce Murray.
On election day I'll be in Willowdale for Martha and in Toronto Centre for Bob Hope. ....

Absolutely shocking, if you ask this reporter!!
What exactly was Mr. Ignatieff implying, and when did he first feel that the words joke and Bob Rae belong together?

Liberal insiders are saying that this may just be a case the current big dog on the hill for the LPC just spraying a little bit in the direction of the new pup, but our source close to the Rae campaign had something a little more ominous to say when we caught up with her earlier today.

"What do you mean he said Bob Rae was funny?
What do you mean, you mean the way he talks? What?
Funny how? What's funny about it?
You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little #%$&@ up maybe, but Rae is funny how, I mean funny like he is a clown, and he amuses Iggy? He makes him laugh, that Rae is here to &#%@' amuse him? What do you mean funny, funny how? How is he funny?"

The interview ended there as our source stormed out of the Starbucks almost spilling her extra large frothy coffee beverage, and she was heard mumbling under her breath something about calling Rae being a really good fellow and that Mr.A from across the river would not be happy when he hears of this. When pressed later in a telephone inquiry about the meaning of her last muttering, our source denied making the statement and asked if we knew of a good travel agent.

This all after reports of even more dissension coming from within the top ranks of the Liberal Party of Canada. Speculation that there is an active campaign against Stephane Dion from within as party leader continues to grow as the story made Canada's top political program.

Where will this all end up? Stay tuned for further updates.

Please note that we are currently having some labour unrest here at Anteater Worldwide Media™ Our edtitors have walked off the job so we expect some issues with typos, punctuation, etc, to arise over the next few days in our unbiased reporting, while negotiations between the money grubbing union and senior management forge ahead. We the management of AWM thank you for your patience.

Update March 22nd, 2008. Our crack team of management editors has spotted our error of the missed period. We apologize for our error, and would like to remind everyone out there that there really is nothing at all funny about Bob Rae.

Thank you.

Late update: Bob Hope and some political humour ht John West in the comments at SDA.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Farhan Chak & Stephane Dion in happier times

Ezra's recent post on the inner workings of the Alberta Human Rights Commission has brought back some memories of Farhan Chak, the former candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in Edmonton Millwoods Beaumont. So as we stroll down memory lane I thought it might be nice to repost this picture of Farhan Chak with Stephane Dion. Ah good times, good times.



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cherniak channels JFK

Shorter Jason Cherniak: Ask not what the Liberal Party have done for you, ask what you have done for the Liberal Party.

Jason wants Libloggers to tow the party line and thinks that all of this whining is not good for the Liberal party, not that anyone is really paying attention mind you, but if they are, this is not helping.

Some select quotes:

"Liberals in Ottawa tell us we're not ready for an election yet. What does that mean? Nobody except the decision makers can be sure. However, as I argued yesterday, I don't think that should matter to a grassroots Liberal."

"Liberal bloggers need to add one more question to that mix. Is your blog helping the cause or hurting it? If you want an election, are you more likely to get it by complaining in public? Or are you more likely to get it by showing your support for St├ęphane Dion?"

"The media have reported often enough that Mr. Dion wants an election, so why not support his apparent preference? First and foremost, has Mr. Dion ever said that he wants an election? Or is the media basing their reports on anonymous sources who might have ulterior motives?"

and lastly he has this little gem to finish his post with. "If you want an election, then do what you can to help make our party ready. Don't moan and whine while you sit at home on your computer. That simply isn't helping."

Ouch, I think there may be a lot of hurt feelings in parents basements all over Canada from that last comment.


Update: at least 1 Liblogger has called it quits while some others are speaking out on the idea of towing the line for Dion.

Could a merger be in the cards?

"Where are the Greens"? My new and non Liberal blogging friend Idealistic Pragmatist asks that very timely and probing question, and gives some thoughtful analysis & opinion on the Greens silence for Liberals lack of support for the recent NDP non confidence motion on the environment.

I agree with almost everything she wrote and have to wonder as well, just how far does that deal between Elizabeth May and Stephane Dion really go. They said it was limited only for their own 2 ridings, but in truth it looks to have gone much farther than that. As IP noted there seems to be NO criticism from the Green Party on anything to do with Dion and the Liberals. You would think it obvious by the way many Libloggers are going after their own leadership under Dion, that a competing political party would at the very least be raising some questions of their own. Yet there is silence from the Green Party.Is this lack of criticism part of the deal or perhaps,

Could a full fledged merger be in the works between the Liberals and Green Party?

The Greens already look to be going out of their way to play extra nice with their leaders Liberal friends, and since May has already endorsed Dion to be Prime Minister, I don't see it as out of the range of possibility that they take it a step further and try merging the 2 parties.

It is a risky proposition but given the recent setbacks of the Liberals it could be a possible strategy. If you take a look to the polls (take your pick) the differences in support between the CPC and LPC has been relatively consistent since the election. Now if the Liberals could manage to add on the Greens numbers to that of their own, they easily become top dog in the race.


While I do not see the numbers going that way if a merger did indeed happen, just the thought of it occurring might just be enough for the desperate Dion led Liberals to make the attempt.
I think we should be keeping on this one, because you just never know what will happen.

After all, the Libs have nothing else and the clock is ticking on the Liberal self destruct timer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Perhaps this may help answering that age old question.

Who would you rather be marooned on a deserted island with, Ginger or Mary Ann?

It is one of the most perplexing questions of the last 40 years, and has been the cause of many a heated argument among friends and acquaintances. But there may yet be hope if perhaps this recent bit of news may finally sway the consensus to one over the other and this question can finally be answered.

DRIGGS, Idaho (AP) — Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island," is serving six months' unsupervised probation after allegedly being caught with marijuana in her car....

Choices, choices. What say you?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

It's 3 am.....

It's 3 am and your children are safely asleep, but there is a phone at 24 Sussex and it is ringing, something is happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call......





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Is this the type of election advertising we might see when, or if, Dion figures the weather is going to good enough to pull the plug and force an election? If I were a Liberal supporter I would be very uncomfortable with how this type of ad might play with Canadians; considering everything we have seen so far from Dion as "leader".

Friday, March 07, 2008

Liberal Strategists where are you?

Can someone from the Liberal side of the spectrum please explain to me just what the Liberal motion of non confidence in the Bloc and NDP is, or was, intended to do? I have looked at this motion in the current circumstances and have no idea how this motion helps the LPC cause in anyway what so ever.

The reaction from the sometimes loyal to a fault Libloggers is not even mixed; it is, at the point of writing this, 100% opposed and or confused by this little example of LPC strategy under the so called leadership of Stephane Dion. That in itself says something when even the most loyal members of your base think this is a stupid idea.

You can read for yourself some of the Libloggers views on this motion which can be found at these links. A few more links added.

Correction: As pointed out in the comments: Idealistic Pragmatist is not a Liblogs member. I have corrected my error and do apologize to IP for labeling her* as a Liberal. Sorry IP, I know being called a Liberal was a low blow and not deserved.

* It looks like I screwed up again. Correction made.

Now that the crow has been served lets get back to my original question. Any Liberals out there have an idea what this motion is intended to do?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The PM's secret and other such oddities from yesterday.

.

I see that there is breaking news that the PM Harper may be influencing the Democratic nomination. Unfreaking believable! I mean if it was to sabotage Obama, the only possible conclusion would be that PM Harper is keeping a dirty little secret. He is a Hillary supporter.

Come clean Mr.Harper, and reveal your secret agenda. Are you indeed a Hillary supporter, and when did you know it? Also why, after so clearly leaning towards Edwards early on, have you decided to switch teams now? The Canadian public supports honesty, time to be honest with the Canadian public sir.

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The day gets more strange as after discovering that my PM supports Hillary Clinton, I then learn that my Conservative MP supports Jack Layton. From The Phantom Observer "Does Mike Lake support the NDP" When will this madness end!!

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Oddities of science from Global TV reporter Mike Drolet as he told us on the Global National News of March 5, 2008 that "..there is still six weeks left until spring", also noting near the end of his story that "..with more than a month left of winter chances are good we are not out of the woods yet."

Hmm, maybe something has changed but.....

Link to the Global story : note link is time sensitive. Story titled "Stormy Weather"


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And some political oddness as Jack Layton tables the NDP non confidence motion . Why the NDP want to force Canadians into an election at a time their numbers bleed makes little sense, but I think Jack is putting the heat to Dion with this motion. Anyone with any type of political instinct should see that, but it is the Liberals we are talking about here.

Still on the motion(s)

Have you read some of this stuff in the motions?


.. this government’s budgetary policies have been marked by an unbalanced approach of corporate giveaways to the big banks and big polluters and have failed to address the priorities ordinary Canadians care about, such as health care, housing, infrastructure, manufacturing and forestry, climate change, child care, Aboriginals, women, seniors, poverty..

..this government has failed to introduce policies which will diminish the inequality between men and women, in particular by its refusal to provide adequate resources and policies governing child care; legal assistance; long-term care; home care; health care; support for women's equality seeking groups; support for seniors; support for Aboriginal and minority women; pay equity; reform of employment insurance; support for preventing violence against women; public housing and transportation and other services so vital to the hard working women of this country.


It is nice to know that I can always count on Jack Layton to bring me back to reality from such a day of strange happenings. I can always count on the fact that Jack Layton is and will always be a socialist.

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Latest update: Huh? The Liberals have a non confidence motion of their own against the Bloc and NDP! Dion seems to have lost it completely.

I haven't seen anyone comment on this yet on Liblogs, but I await the attempt to spin this as Dion somehow showing leadership. Good luck with that one btw.

Some comments on the motion from our liberal friends at liblogs. If this is any indication of how the devoted feel, Stephane and his impotent leadership is in even more trouble than many think.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

15 years of Liberal domination ended for Edmonton Millwoods

Congratulations to Carl Benito for his win in Edmonton Millwoods over incumbent Liberal MLA Weslyn Mather. Carl worked very hard and seemed to be everywhere in the riding during the campaign and in the end his hard work paid off as Millwoods has elected their first PC MLA in 15 years.

As a quick side note, Carl Benito has again pledged to give his salary this year to a scholarship program to help area youths. That is approx $75,000 out of his own pocket.

Well done Mr. Benito.


And Weslyn, if the way that you treated myself with a total lack of response to emails sent to both of your MLA offices was representative of the way you dealt with your other constituents; the loss was well deserved.

Zytaruk wrong. There was only 1 meeting.

Statement from Mr. Dan Wallace (Chuck Cadman's assistant)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 2, 2008

Today Mr. Wallace issued the following statement:


“The May meeting date included in a soon to be released book about Chuck Cadman is inaccurate. Unfortunately, because of that error, some media are now reporting that there were two meetings, one on May 17 and another on May 19, 2005, between party officials - Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan - and Chuck Cadman. For the record, there was only the one meeting between my former employer, Chuck Cadman, with Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan and it took place in his private office on May 19th. As I have stated publicly last week, I was outside that room and not privy to the details.”

Monday, March 03, 2008

It's a Scandal!!

Liberal Strategy 101: When you got nothing else, or you need to take the eyes of the nation away from internal Liberal woes, cry scandal.

Cadscam is just another such example. This story is still developing and I will update as more facts come up, but are there any takers on how this one will turn out?

No, I do not claim to have the spooky Kreskin like powers of Rick Mercer and know the future, but it feels like I have seen this movie before. In fact I think I have seen this same plot line many times over the last 2 years in MSM/LPC productions.

A short history of Liberals crying scandal with related items.

Day 1, Feb 2006.
The original scandal as Emerson crosses. Some facts, and the end result.


Oct 2006.
Libs go after Darrel Reid, Rona Ambrose's chief of staff. End result, eating crow


Feb 2007. A short break from crying scandal but ramping up on the rhetoric and The Campaign of Fear™.


March 2007.
Dion promises to take the high road. Results, still unfolding...

The Big Box Scandal. So good the Liberals called out the cameras. Video here. Time line and end result.


April 2007.
Afghan Prisoners, part 1 of many. Result and some background. Related on the mission itself.


May 2007.
The Harper Hockey scandal. Result, Denis Coderre shines.


Oct 2007.
In and Out or "by far, the largest political scandal in Canadian history." Related info and why the story went nowhere.


Nov2007 until present.
Mulroney-Schreiber, or the little scandal that couldn't. But the LPC are still trying. Related, this should be a much bigger story than it is, but in Liberal Land talking about killing someone is not as bad as slurring an ex girl friend.


Dec 2007.
James Moore's laptop porn scandal. Result, after some initial confusion we get apologies.


Feb 2008, a very busy month for scandal and smear.
Porn redux. Result, Cherniak looks foolish yet again.

The Facebook Scandal. This is so bad a retraction and apology was issued by Cherniak.


Not a complete list, but I think you can see the theme quite clearly which brings us back to present day March 2008.
Cadscam. Result = (place your bets*)

*Non monetary cyber bets of course; don't want to start a scandal by using the blog for illegal gambling.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Supreme Court backs mandatory sentences

The SCOC has issued a landmark ruling defending Parliament's right to create mandatory minimum criminal sentences, and to have those measures enforced by reluctant judges.

It couldn't have come at a better time as the unanimous decision, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, comes only a day after the Harper government's new crime law -- which includes higher mandatory prison terms for certain gun crimes -- received royal assent from the Governor-General.