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In remembrance

No political barbs today…

…just a post remembering all those who have served Canada in past and present conflicts. Personally, I’m very lucky to have 2 grandfathers who are still alive who served in World War 2. I’ll be remembering them today for their service.

‘Free speech for me, but not for thee’.

Conservative bloggers/Conservative-supporting bloggers are a funny bunch. Many want to remove hate speech provisions out of the Canadian Human Rights Code and the ability to prosecute anyone who currently falls in violation of that code, all in the name of ‘free speech’.

Yet, many of these same bloggers do not even allow comment sections on their own blog (or heavily censor them when opposing viewpoints make their way onto them) and even more hypocritically, when someone who blogs that they dislike is given a link on a prominent national website, they freak out and demand that blogs removal… not because of any hate speech, but because he’s a partisan and […]

Well said.

I said this briefly at the end of my piece a couple of blogposts ago, but Stephen Hume of the Vancouver Sun can’t be any more unequivocal: Scrapping the registry is bad policy and not what the majority of Canadians want:

Scrapping long-gun registry is pandering to vocal minority

The biggest risk for Harper’s Conservatives will be how women react, since women are predominantly victims of murder by long gun, a fact conveniently overlooked in mostly male anger over the registry. Yet an Ipsos Reid poll in 2006 found three out of four Canadians want stricter, not more permissive, gun controls. Most agree the gun registry is flawed. They want […]

More Conservative pork-barrel/partisan politics over economic stimulus.

Yet again today, we have more examples/evidence of the Conservatives deciding to use stimulus funds for partisan gain.

First, more studies from independent media researchers that continue to show that Conservative ridings are getting disproportionate funding advantages over opposition held ridings:

The investigation — a two-week project by The Chronicle Herald, the Ottawa Citizen and journalism students from Ottawa’s Algonquin College — found that across the country, Conservative ridings received $4.7 billion, more than half of the $8.5 billion announced under the federal government’s Building Canada infrastructure program…The analysis found that the federal government has announced, on average, $32.8 million in infrastructure spending in each Conservative riding, $9.2 million […]

Upcoming strategy needed for defending the long-gun registry.

A lot of commentary in the media about the gun registry and what to do going forward. I note Jim Travers is in the Star today complaining that the Liberals (and to a lesser extent, the NDP) haven’t had a very good strategy so far:

If they had started sooner and thought harder, Liberals could have offered a more creative solution than the simplistic ruling party plan to scrap the registry. Or they could have turned a Conservative wedge issue to Liberal advantage by taking a principled position appealing to the 80 per cent of us living in cities…Instead of making a firm proposal to bridge the gap between urban […]

Spending some stimulus money in non-Conservative ridings might help…

That’s my suggestion for Harper’s Conservatives, in the light of this news:

Canada’s unemployment rate jumped two notches to 8.6 per cent last month as employers unexpectedly shed jobs, suggesting the country is still struggling for a sustained recovery. Employers cut 43,200 positions in October, with all the losses in part-time work, Statistics Canada said Friday. Economists had expected about 10,000 new jobs following two months of gains.

The job numbers might have been worse then what is being shown:

Not only did 43,200 jobs vanish into thin air in October – the result would have been worse without the pick-up of 27,500 in self-employment during the month. That meant […]

Peter Van Loan decided to not release this RCMP report on the gun registry…

..until after the vote last night, and for obvious reasons, as Susan Delacourt of the Star points out at her blog:

Less than 24 hours after the Commons voted in principle to scrap the long-gun registry, here’s the newly released performance report on the Canadian Firearms Centre. It’s spending less, attracting more registrants and police are using the registry more — almost 4,000 times last year. Yep, that’s an argument to kill it. Full report available if you click here..

…and here’s “public safety Minister” Peter Van Loan trying to lamely explain why he didn’t release it.. and the media aren’t impressed:

UPDATE: More police support of the registry […]

Amendments and the ‘chamber of sober second thought’ still await Bill C-391.

Bill C-391 is of course the “private members bill” to scrap the long-gun registry that passed 2nd reading last night in the House. I will reiterate that I never believed this to be a true “private members bill” to begin with (I’ve read from news reports that the PMO was handing out talking points to every Conservative MP on Wednesday – when was the last time with a private member’s bill that a Prime Minister’s Office was issuing standard talking points to its MP’s on it? Never, I would assert), and that Ignatieff and Layton on the opposition side should have recognized that and whipped their caucus on this vote. […]

The Auditor-General is a Liberal hack and/or over-politicizing a crisis!

Will there be any of that today from our media or Conservative supporters over Auditor-General Sheila Fraser’s report that says the opposition parties are correct in being critical of the Federal Conservative government’s pandemic approach – or lack thereof ? I’m guessing not, and note the title of this story:

Opposition joins AG in criticizing government’s pandemic planning

“Certainly an approved plan would have clearly indicated what the role was for Public Safety Canada, what the roles of the other departments and the federal government would be, and would also have brought in the co-ordination with the provinces, municipalities and territories,” Fraser told reporters.

The federal department charged with disaster […]

Valid points for debating the Conservative Government’s handling of H1N1.

Apparently, the Conservatives and some media (note I said some, not most) are trying to claim that criticism of how the Conservative government has handled the H1N1 pandemic is over-politicizing a health issue, or something. If the government hasn’t handled this properly, why should their actions not be scrutinized? For example, here is a list of things the Liberals sent out to the press/media about the Conservative government’s mis-handling of the H1N1 pandemic:

While the Conservative government is blaming the provinces and the vaccine manufacturer for H1N1 vaccine delays, the facts show that the federal government delayed ordering the vaccine when compared to other countries.

The facts:

• Health authorities […]

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