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Blogging is light til Sunday afternoon, as I am paying a long-delayed visit to my parent’s. Pardon this blogentry being a bit light on political talk as well.

Some points in brief.

a) The books on some of the extended family line and all the old photos from relatives my mom retreived from my grandfather are a virtual treasure trove of info. Some photos are over 120 years old. Some documents over that.

b) My grandfather is sadly failing fast – at least memory wise. My step-grandmother seems to be failing along with him, if not quite as fast. All we can do is make sure both are safe until […]


Environmental groups praise revised Bill C-30, urge Conservatives to respect the will of Parliament.

Adding to the pressure that the Conservatives now find themselves in over the amended Bill C-30 petard they hoisted themselves on in not expecting the opposition to unite and come up with an amended bill before their own regulations came out, environmental groups have come out and publicly supported the amended Bill C-30 (now known as the Clean Air and Climate Change Act) and urged the Tories to pass it. After all, they’re the ones who sent it to committee for it to be amended in the first place:

The Climate Action Network, Pembina Institute and Sierra Club of Canada said the bill, now called the clean air and climate change act, is much stronger now than it was when it was first tabled in the House of Commons in October. “We expect that the government will respect the bill, put it before Parliament and respect the will of the people,” John Bennett, executive director of the Climate Action Network, said in Ottawa. “This is a moment of truth for government….This is a government bill. This is their bill. They agreed to have it brought to a committee. Two-thirds of Canadians voted for MPs who made these amendments,” he said.

Exactly. The government sent this bill to get amended to avoid it getting defeated entirely when it was panned in October, and the Committee has done that. The key words in that quote above are, respect the will of the people. As NDP MP Nathan Cullen and Liberal Leader Stepahne Dion says, the government should stop being a crybaby and deal with it:


A 2nd poll shows Harper has no guaranteed majority

Well.. another poll – this one by Ipsos-Reid – shows that the Conservatives have fallen back below the magic 40% level that this poll had them at last week. In fact, the numbers are almost virtually identical to the Decima results released a couple of days ago.

The Conservatives, after surging to the “magic” majority number of 40 per cent in the immediate aftermath of last week’s budget, have dropped four points to 36 per cent – the same level of support they secured when they won a minority victory in the Jan. 23, 2006 election. The Liberals were up two points to 31 per cent since last week’s poll, […]


Harper plays politics with patriotism

People smarter then I have described Harper as being one of the most partisan Prime Ministers in recent memory.

Paul Wells account here of the fact that none of the opposition leaders or a Senator whose father fought at Vimy Ridge were invited by the PM to attend the unveiling a new memorial at a 90th remembrance ceremony on Vimy Ridge is just another example of this over-the-top partisanship that Harper displays. This is as disgusting as his smearing of Liberal MP’s in Parliament or accusing Liberals of hating cops, albeit its a more subtle snub this time.

Remember, Prime Minister Martin invited all 3 opposition leaders to attend […]


How the Conservatives will justify falling on amended Bill C-30. Its a “money” bill.

I wondered how the Conservatives would possibly try and justify declaring the newly revised Bill C-30 as a motion of non-confidence. Well, I think we have a hint of it tonight… the Conservatives may claim this is now is a money bill.. because, well…its supposedly a tax on industry.. and therefore money is involved.. very brilliant logic:

At least one Tory MP slammed the revised clean air act as a multibillion-dollar tax on industry, potentially making it a money bill that would spark a confidence vote.

That’s pretty convoluted logic… but the Tories need something to justify falling on this.

I want to give kudos to all 3 opposition parties for finally working together and finally adding teeth to this bill. All 3 opposition parties have amendments in this new bill. Let’s see what the new Clean Air Act does:


Serve and volley

The environmental ball is back in Stephen Harper’s court:

Bill C-30, Canada’s clean air act, introduced by the governing Conservatives in October, is due to be submitted to the House of Commons Friday…Opposition members, who form a majority on the committee, have completely revamped the bill so that it barely resembles its original form. It now contains short-term, mid-term and long- term targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It includes a commitment to a system of international emissions carbon trading. And it provides for what is being called a green investment bank where companies that fail to meet targets pay penalties instead. The opposition introduced more than 50 amendments to […]


Proposal to reform the gambling business in Canada.

I don’t often see an article in the Sports section that is even usually remotely related to the politics spectrum, but there was one today by Dave Perkins of the Toronto Star arguing that in lieu of all that is happening with the scandal at the Ontario Lotto Gaming Corporation, now would be a great time for governments to get out of the gambling business and hand them over to private hands and impose taxes on them to maintain their revenue:

Here’s the solution: First, legalize Internet gambling and register and tax the participants. Britain did it three years ago and reaped 1.4 billion in tax revenues the first year. Internet bookmakers would gladly go legal, advertise and pay taxes. Customers would be foolish to use non-licenced operators and companies would compete for our business, always a good thing for the consumer. Next, we set up betting shops, like William Hill or Ladbrokes (and others) that operate all over the United Kingdom. You want to bet, you go to your local bet shop. You bet the football match, horse races, buy lottery tickets, play a slots machine, whatever you like. Winners get paid, losers yell at the television set….Let’s grow up and make the public’s gambling habit a controlled, regulated and taxed experience. Let’s do it now.

He makes a pretty good case for it. I recommend reading the whole article.


Senate Report: Worry about Canada’s coastlines, not the Arctic

A Senate report released today says the government is wasting time and money trying to “defend” the Arctic:

“Disagreements over Canada’s sovereignty in these (Arctic) waters are not going to be settled through the use of gunboats,’ says the 124-page report. “They will be settled through the use of diplomacy or in the courts. Canada’s Navy is not trained or equipped for icebreaking, nor is it the right agency to exert Canadian sovereignty in the North. Draining the navy’s already inadequate budget to play such an inappropriate role makes no military sense.”

I think the key part of the Senate Report is this question and statement it makes here:

“The […]


So much for a Tory budget bounce

Hat-tip to Far and Wide for pointing out the new Decima poll that was released today:

Conclusion? If the Tories had an initial bounce as the first couple of polls from polling companies showed, it disappeared at the end of the week if this poll is accurate:

The Decima survey, provided to The Canadian Press, puts the Tories at 35 per cent support nationally, with the Liberals at 31 per cent. The Conservatives would likely need at least 40 per cent support to secure a majority. The results, gathered Thursday through Sunday, indicate no bump for the party in the wake of last week’s federal budget.

I’d say if you […]


The Toronto Star’s archaic views killed Zerbs Blog, not Zerb.

I’ve a link to Antonia Zerbisias in my blogroll – the Toronto Star’s media columnist. The blog has been inactive since Christmas 2006, and I presumed it was because Zerb had experienced blog burnout from some of her inane commentators at her blog.

It turns out however, that she didnt pull the plug on it at all – it was the Toronto Star who did:

“The current management doesn’t see the economic value in it,” she explains, noting the paper’s bigwigs want to focus on the printed newspaper over the electronic one — a bizarro business strategy given Zerbisias is read by practically everyone who cares to stay informed about […]

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