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Found 84 results

  1. WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Ottawa has launched legal challenges of U.S. duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday. The duties are “unfair, unwarranted and troubling,” harm Canadian lumber producers and raise U.S. home-building costs, Freeland said in a statement. Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, ManitobaEditing by Chizu Nomiyama Personal Comment: That's the problem with doing whatever you want regarding pre existing treaties...you can't.
  2. by CHRIS TOMLINSON31 Aug 2017713 The western Canadian city of Vancouver has banned an “anti-Sharia” float at this year’s pride parade saying that the sentiment expressed by the Middle Eastern men behind it is “Islamophobic”. The float, which is run by a gay activist group of Middle Eastern origin men and transgenders named Cirque de So Gay, took part in the Vancouver pride parade in 2011. The activists applied for a place in this year’s pride parade but were denied by organisers, who told them that the float could be seen as “culturally insensitive”, the Vancouver Sunreports. Shawn Shirazi, an Iranian born gay man, is one of the activists involved with Cirque de So Gay and has expressed anger at the decision to prohibit the float this year. He said the rejection was “hypocrisy” for people to claim to support universal human rights yet also defend the cultural sensitivities of various religions and cultures. Co-executive director of the Vancouver Pride Society Andrea Arnot defended the move saying: “Many women choose to wear burkas. It’s part of their identity, their religion and their culture,” but added: “Of course, there are places where it’s enforced.” She said Muslims she spoke to on the issue claimed the float was “offensive” and said: “I definitely wanted to be sensitive to what is happening in our communities right now.” In the UK, a similar controversy occurred in London in July when former Muslims carried signs reading: “Allah is Gay.” A formal complaint was lodged with the event organisers by the East London Mosque who said the signs incited hatred. (Photo: ex-muslim.org.uk) The issue of Islamisation and the role of Islam in Canadian public life has been hotly debated in Canada since the last federal election in 2015 when former Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to ban the full face veil for employees of public companies. Since then, the country has been divided on the issue with the federal government under Justin Trudeau passing motion M103 which seeks to combat Islamophobia in reaction to a shooting at a Quebec mosque earlier this year which Trudeau deemed a terrorist attack. Trudeau, who is a frequent attendee at pride parades, was also seen sporting Ramadan-themed socks at the Toronto pride parade earlier this year. Some governments have gone the opposite way to Trudeau’s Liberal party like the provincial government of Quebec who recently passed an amendment to a bill which could see the niqab banned on public transit across the province. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/08/31/vancouver-bans-anti-sharia-gay-pride-float-islamophobia/
  3. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39510351 Any thoughts on this? I would be happy, I could go to Scotland without a passport.
  4. [IMG]http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.3328607!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_620/image.jpg[/IMG] A University of Victoria student project on white supremacy has sparked an emotional debate about free speech. The project, funded by the [URL='https://uvss.ca/']UVic Student Society[/URL] and created by a group called [URL='https://uvicthirdspace.com/']The Third Space[/URL], is a large white wall intended for students to write their thoughts on white supremacy. The wall was erected Wednesday and asked passersby “How do you challenge white supremacy?” It attracted dozens of messages like “Don’t build walls, raise the ground,” and “Black Lives Matter.” [IMG]https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17353338_1465890140097320_6558955548666698874_n.png?oh=4adb23b4afd039c055a1fa61fb839b9e&oe=59723954[/IMG] But students arriving on campus Thursday morning noticed large spray-painted words covering much of the wall: “WHITIE GET OUT.” Some students were visibly upset, including Xanja Free, who covered up part of the message with a blanket. “I feel like it’s saying that certain people are not welcome here, and that is not fair. Education is a right for everyone, regardless of what you believe or what you think,” she said. “I don’t think these kind of words should be allowed to be on such a huge board for everyone to see. It’s embarrassing for the UVic community.” “I don’t particularly know what it means,” said Calvin Simpson. “If we’re trying to have a more inclusive campus here I just don’t really get the point of such jarring rhetoric like that.” The group behind the wall declined to speak with CTV News on camera Thursday, instead issuing a statement. “The purpose of this art installation is to be an interactive object that generates discussion about the mostly covert and protected framework of white supremacy in the west,” the group said in a statement. One board director with the UVic Student Society says he thinks some of the messages have crossed the line. “I’m not personally about to go do anything about it, but you can clearly tell by all the students out here talking that this is definitely something that should be brought back to the table,” said Jordan Quitzau. Other students think the message may have been left by a person who intended to sabotage the project. “That, I’m pretty sure was someone who isn’t a person of colour,” said Kevin Henry. “I’m pretty sure it was done to delegitimize students of colour here, because before it was just a simple message, but now it’s been defaced.” Administration at UVic is allowing the wall to stand for now, but said it does not tolerate harassment and discrimination. By mid-afternoon, the message had been painted over, but The Third Space said it wasn’t because of complaint but rather because the board was getting too full. [URL]http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/debate-or-hate-controversy-surrounds-uvic-art-project-on-white-supremacy-1.3328594[/URL] Personal Comment: @Ser_Fergus A perfect ending to a stupid art project.
  5. A glance at some of Seeking Arrangement's Alberta user profiles shows many claim they are attending university and looking for financial aid. Some suggest they're hoping a relationship develops; others explicitly imply a sexual relationship is on offer in exchange for support. Facing staggering debt, hundreds of Alberta post-secondary students are logging on to a website connecting them with “sugar daddies” who can provide them with a monthly allowance and gifts in exchange for negotiated relationships. But student advocates warn such arrangements can be fraught with peril, exposing them to potential exploitation or abuse with few avenues to disentangle themselves from a bad situation. Matchmaking website Seeking Arrangement this week released its rankings of Canadian universities that have had students sign up in search of financial aid. Equating relationships to a business deal, the company said clients hammer out financial arrangements with benefactors ahead of time, leaving the expectations of such an accord between them. In 2016, the University of Alberta topped the list for new sign-ups in Canada, with 138 new students logging on. The boom in new members at the Edmonton school brings its total number of members (determined by those using their university emails) to 422, ranked the seventh most of all Canadian post-secondary institutions. Calgary’s two universities have significantly fewer members, with 90 registered at Mount Royal University and just 47 at the University of Calgary. Data was not available for Alberta’s other post-secondary institutions. Fahim Rahman, president of the University of Alberta’s Students’ Union, said it’s troubling that so many students are concerned enough about covering their tuition, books and other expenses that they have to find wealthy benefactors willing to pay for their schooling, usually with the expectation of sexual relationships. “I’m not surprised more students are signing up,” he said. “The really interesting thing is how the website is actively recruiting students from post-secondary schools, knowing many will unlikely be able to afford all the costs.” According to Statistics Canada, the average tuition fees for an undergraduate student in Alberta were $5,730 in 2015. For those studying medicine or dentistry, those annual fees can triple or even quadruple. Books and course materials can add another $1,000 to the tally, and covering housing, food and other costs adds thousands more. Raham said while it’s understandable some students consider such transactions as a potential solution to financial struggles, it could come with unintended consequences. “I’m concerned about power dynamics in relationships like this,” he said. “When you’re a student, you’re definitely more vulnerable and you’re getting involved with someone who might be a bit more established in their life and career, and (the student) might be negatively impacted.” The company says it actively polices the site to weed out escorts, often with the help of the “sugar daddies” themselves, who aren’t looking for those relationships, it says. Alexis German, a spokeswoman for Seeking Arrangement, noted the average monthly “allowance” agreed upon by clients (gleaned via user surveys) is about $2,700, not including gifts or other boons. “That number varies. Some sugar babies are getting much larger allowances than that,” she said. “It all just depends on what’s negotiated.” German said the dating service, which has 631,678 registered users in Canada (of which 412,528 are female “sugar babies”), has been successful because it allows users to transparently and explicitly outline their expectations in advance, minimizing unexpected assumptions about the relationship in the future. About one-third of those users are post-secondary students, which German said is a reflection of the financial difficulty facing those attending colleges and universities. “It’s really just like any other dating site. The difference here is somebody goes on and says ‘I’m looking for someone who is willing to potentially assist me financially,’ ” she said, adding there’s nothing illegal about the service. “It’s all up front, so they know right away they’re not being chased by a gold digger.” German noted the company actively polices the site to weed out escorts, often with the help of the “sugar daddies” themselves, who aren’t looking for those relationships. A glance at some of Seeking Arrangement’s Alberta user profiles shows many claim they are currently attending university and looking for financial aid. Some suggest they’re hoping a relationship develops; others explicitly imply a sexual relationship is on offer in exchange for support, with several posting racy pictures and promising to provide private ones as well. A number of women don’t show their faces on their public profiles, with some suggesting they want to keep their identity concealed so it doesn’t potentially harm their future employment prospects. Rebecca Sullivan is the director of the women’s studies program at the U of C, and noted that however such arrangements are painted, in almost every case it ultimately boils down to cash for sex, which creates not only a stigma for the women involved, but may also limit their future prospects. “This is sex work. It may not be just providing (sexual acts), but they’re providing intimate relationships for a fee,” Sullivan said, adding she is in favour of legalizing and regulating prostitution to help remove the stigma that surrounds sex workers. “There is a high level of stigma. Even though it might be conducted in secret, it can cause personal and professional consequences. “Young people aren’t really the best at anticipating risk and negotiating the best deal for themselves.” Sullivan noted women who sign up in search of a sugar daddy are essentially entering a business contract, but unlike most workers they lack the rights and recourse should those terms be violated. Even though the U of C’s total numbers are relatively low, the fact they nearly doubled from just 23 in 2015 suggests a troubling trend in the view of Tristan Bray, vice-president external for the school’s Students’ Union. “We’re not shocked by the number of sign-ups,” he said. “With the downturn in the economy, we know students were finding less degree-relevant jobs over the summer. It comes back to the difficult choices many post-secondary students have to make.” Bray said the student leadership is always available to outline financial options for students, including access to loans, scholarships and bursaries, and even part-time employment, but ultimately the choice is up to the students. The financial struggles faced by post-secondary students, particularly when it comes to daily living expenses, are stark, Sullivan said, but those looking at entering financial arrangements should approach them as business deals, not as a romantic relationship. “Make sure you get business advice, make sure you have legal advice, and make sure somebody knows what you’re doing so you have someone to call if things aren’t going well,” she said, noting students can take advantage of free and confidential legal advice at the U of C. “If you’re going to do this, treat it like any other job — educate yourself and know the risks.” Personal Comment: Shame on you UVIC. Oh shit I realized my sister was one of these ayyy http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/hundreds-of-university-students-find-sugar-daddies-online-negotiate-average-2700-a-month-allowance
  6. When a government breaks an election promise it usually attracts a fair bit of controversy. Witness the hubbub in the aftermath of the Trudeau Liberals abandoning electoral reform. With the federal budget coming soon, it is also worth recalling that the Liberals promised to run deficits of no more than $10 billion for a maximum of three years, but the government’s latest projections peg its annual deficits at almost $30 billion with no timeline for returning to a balanced budget. While these broken promises have garnered some attention, yet another broken promise has managed to fly under the radar. The Liberals campaigned on the promise to cut taxes for Canada’s middle class. Yet since forming government, they have announced several tax hikes and more may be on the way. The latest potential tax hike could be higher user fees for a range of federal services (including fish licenses, campsites, and passports). That’s according to a CBC news report that suggests the federal government is eyeing an increase to these fees. If implemented, this would be the latest in the government’s onslaught of tax increases on Canadians. Let’s take stock of the tax increases announced to date. First there was the new top personal income tax rate on highly skilled and educated workers—now 33 per cent, up from 29 per cent. This tax hike will discourage economic activity and make it more difficult for Canada to attract and retain knowledge-based workers. Of course, the government reduced the second lowest personal income tax rate from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent, but that reduction is being completely wiped out by the higher payroll taxes working Canadians will have to pay for expansion of the Canada Pension Plan—a combined 2 per cent hike on eligible earnings up to the current limit and an additional 8 per cent above, up to a maximum. Keep in mind that Canadians with incomes below $45,000 will be particularly hard hit, as they will not receive any benefit from the income tax rate reduction but they will have to pay higher payroll taxes. And let’s not forget about the widely-used tax credits that the government is eliminating. This includes income splitting for couples with children, the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, the Children’s Arts Tax Credit, the Education Tax Credit, and the Textbook Tax Credit (other tax credits may be on the chopping block, too, as the government wraps up its review of the tax code). While tax credits create distortions with little economic gain and require higher marginal rates, Canadians who use these credits will see their total tax bill rise from their elimination. A more subtle tax hike came from the government scaling back the maximum amount Canadians can contribute each year to their Tax-Free Savings Accounts (now $5,500, down from $10,000). This reduction in contribution room is effectively a tax hike for those who are unable to shelter additional investments from taxation. And then there’s Ottawa’s plan to impose carbon pricing on all the provinces, with the rate per tonne reaching $50. This tax will directly raise the cost of many consumer goods including gasoline and natural gas and indirectly for many others due to higher production and transportation costs. All of this doesn’t even begin to account for the potential for higher taxes to service and repay the substantial run up in federal debt that has taken place already and that is planned for the future. Taken together, it’s clear that the Trudeau government is breaking yet another campaign promise. So much for cutting taxes on middle class Canadians. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/higher-taxes-on-the-middle-class-another-broken-election-promise-from-the-trudeau-liberals
  7. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to change the law to equalize the age of consent for anal sex. At present in Canada, the federal age of consent is 16 – but for anal intercourse outside of marriage, the age of consent is 18. Canada also still technically criminalizes anal intercourse if more than two people are present, unlike other forms of sexual activity where no such restriction applies. The law affects couples both straight and gay, however indirectly discriminates against same-sex couples, as a gay male couple cannot have vaginal sex. But in an interview with Canadian LGBT outlet Daily Xtra, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said it was already being reviewed and he would change the law soon to eliminate the inequality. Mr Trudeau, a strong supporter of LGBT rights who came to power last year, promised: “Yes. That’s something we very much look forward to moving on in short order.” Elsewhere, he promised to put LGBT rights at the heart of Canada’s global diplomacy and foreign policy – saying that he was already “very outspoken” and had raised LGBT equality at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta earlier this year. He told the outlet: “When I was at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Malta just a number of months ago, I brought up LGBT rights around the table. “I am very outspoken about human rights, about respecting people’s fundamental rights including, and especially, LGBT rights.” He added: “I’m going to continue to be present, to be outspoken and to bring it up anytime we’re talking about development aid or economic growth or opportunities. “The cost for countries of wanting to engage with Canada is going to be receive pressure that they do have changes to make. “I recently just had a sit-down with our heads of mission, our ambassadors from around the world, and emphasized that part of their job was going to be, to be outspoken on Canadian values and the fundamental human rights that we stand for. “It’s not just the head of government, it’s all of our representatives, challenging our representatives to look for ways not just to put pressure on the individual governments, but to be active on social media, to talk to civil society, to get out and engage with the communities in a way that is diplomatically respectful.” He also promised to enact a law that in some way pardons men convicted under historic gay sex laws. Addressing Canada’s history of criminalizing homosexuality, he said: “We need to make sure that as a country we’re living up to our values and making sure we acknowledge where we went wrong in the past so that we never do again. “We do need to recognize the terrible mistakes made in the past that we need to make sure we learn from, that we reflect on and that we make amends for. “And however that comes and whatever form that takes will be something that we’ll have to reflect on, and discuss on and exchange on.” http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/06/29/canadian-pm-justin-trudeau-promises-anal-sex-equality/ Personal Comment: Canada's really gotta figure out its equality problems, like this is for sure more important than native equality problems. -_-
  8. OTTAWA—After soaring in public approval for more than a year, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals tumbled last month in a new poll that reflects a prime minister and key ministers struggling to balance ambitious electoral promises and the hard realities of governing. A new Forum Research poll conducted at the beginning of the week shows the Liberals dropped from 51 per cent a month ago to 42 per cent nationally. Much of the erosion for the federal Liberals appears to have come in B.C. and Ontario, where the Liberals and the Conservatives find themselves nearly tied for support. In the past month, the Conservatives’ national approval rating under interim leader Rona Ambrose ticked up to 34 per cent from 28. That narrows a recent gap between the Liberals and the Conservatives — who do not yet have a permanent replacement for Stephen Harper — from 23 percentage points to just eight points. There was no significant change for the New Democratic Party, which stands stalled at 12 per cent, nor for the Greens at 6 or the Bloc Québécois at 5 per cent. The Liberals would still win a smaller but comfortable 10-seat majority government with those numbers. And regardless of party preference, when those surveyed were asked how good a job they think the three main party leaders are doing, Justin Trudeau has the approval of 51 per cent. More than a year in, he enjoys sky-high approval among Liberal voters and nearly half of NDP voters approve of the job he’s doing as prime minister. But it is nevertheless a fall to earth politically after a 13-month post-election honeymoon high that had seen partisans of all stripes enthusiastically embrace the young prime minister and his gender-balanced government. “I think the Trudeaumania, whatever you want to call it, last year that pulled some Tory supporters onto the Liberal bandwagon, that’s probably done now,” said Forum president Lorne Bozinoff. The poll comes as Trudeau and his ministers have endured a barrage inside and outside the Commons over tone and substance on a range of questions including its approval of two major oil pipelines and how it would handle protests, its dismissal of a parliamentary report urging electoral reform, and its response to the death of former Cuban president Fidel Castro. The poll, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, plumbed public reaction to those issues: On pipelines: The poll found 47 per cent agreed with Trudeau’s approvals of an expanded Trans Mountain Edmonton-Burnaby, B.C. pipeline, and of an Alberta-to-Wisconsin pipeline extension known as Line 3, as well as Trudeau’s rejection of the Northern Gateway Alberta-to-northern B.C. coast pipeline project. Another 20 per cent of those surveyed said they didn’t know whether they agreed or disagreed with the decisions, while 33 per cent opposed. On electoral reform: The poll found strong support for a referendum and for a change from the current “first-past-the-post” voting system. The survey shows 64 per cent support the idea of a referendum before changes are made to the way we elect MPs. Opposition to a referendum was just 23 per cent and 14 per cent said they didn’t know. Even a majority of Liberal supporters — 55 per cent — supported a referendum. On Trudeau’s statement about Fidel Castro: Most Canadians appear untroubled by Trudeau’s somewhat controversial statement on the death of the former Cuban leader days after the prime minister visited Cuba. The poll found 41 per cent approved, and 21 per cent said they did not know, while 38 per cent disapproved. Predictably, the highest opposition was among Conservative supporters — 69 per cent disapproved. Most Liberals (59 per cent) and nearly half NDP supporters (46 per cent) approved Trudeau’s reaction. Trudeau was blasted on social media by Conservatives and some Liberal supporters after expressing “deep sorrow” at the death of Cuba’s “larger-than-life” though “controversial” former president. Castro, a Communist leader who executed some opponents, jailed critics, and cracked down on homosexuals and press freedom, died Nov. 25 eight years after handing over power to his brother, Raul Castro. Trudeau’s reaction prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, of Cuban descent, to call the statement “shameful and embarrassing.” Yet when asked a second question — if they felt “embarrassed” — 52 per cent surveyed said no. That indifference was even stronger among older Canadians who might be more familiar with Castro’s abysmal human rights record. Only 29 per cent expressed embarrassment while 18 per cent said they didn’t know, and unsurprisingly, there were more Conservatives who were embarrassed than among the other parties’ supporters. Bozinoff said neither of the latter issues, electoral reform (“it’s an inside beltway thing”) or the Castro statement, are big drivers of public opinion. Yet he said there was a sense the government had “fumbled” its responses. The more cleaving question is the pipeline debate in B.C., where the population is deeply divided and the issue is a “no-win” for the federal government, he said. And in Ontario, he suggested, the drop in federal support may be tied to the “severe unpopularity” of the provincial Liberal government under Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is mired at 13 per cent in public opinion. In Ottawa, some Liberals privately concede the federal Liberal government has hit a rough patch and is struggling to clearly articulate its messages in Parliament. But a government official refused to comment on a poll, pointing to another “metric” — the number of enthusiastic people who continue to turn out in droves to see or hear the prime minister speak. Senior Conservatives, on the other hand, concede that Trudeau is still a strong draw and potent symbol for the Liberal government, but as one said: “One thing he does not do well is Parliament. That’s why it’s an advantage for us the longer we sit.” The firm surveyed 1,304 randomly selected Canadians by telephone using an interactive voice response poll. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage point, 19 times out of 20. Where appropriate, results of the survey have been statistically weighted by age, region, and other variables to ensure the sample reflects the actual population according to the latest census data. Forum houses its complete results in the data library of the University of Toronto’s political science department. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/10/support-for-federal-liberals-plummets-new-poll-shows.html Personal Comments: JWing what my fellow Canadians think of JT now after approximately 1 year in office.
  9. Back in January 2012 at the Liberal Party of Canada's convention in Ottawa. Back in my hotel room where I was staying with 5 members of my team (we were hired by the outgoing Liberal president to create live content for the live stream broadcast), we had between us maybe a half-ounce of marijuana. For us -- writers, designers and technical support people -- it was pretty much the same thing as having a case of beer. We spent that weekend interviewing much of the LPC upper brass, including former leaders Michael Ignatieff, Stephane Dion and former Prime Minister Paul Martin. Along with a fairly typical list of prepared questions, I had one inquiry I thought was most important, so I made sure I asked all of them the following question: Should marijuana be legalized in Canada? At that time roughly 30 per cent of Liberal delegates supported ending marijuana prohibition. A few months before the convention, the party executive had contracted me to reach out to party delegates and supporters through third party marijuana advocacy groups. Our mission was to firebomb Liberal delegates with tweets and emails requesting they help pass a policy resolution to legalize marijuana. By the time the convention commenced, my team had successfully executed our plan, making the marijuana resolution the most popular on the Liberal Party web site. We were hoping the 30 per cent support for legalization would balloon to at least 70 per cent, forcing the party's leadership to make legalization a main plank in the party's next election platform. Bob Rae, then the interim Liberal leader, did not support legalization, nor did Dion. What many people might not know is that Trudeau, who would become leader just over a year after this convention, was also not for legalization. As he said to me during our interview, "I don't know that it's entirely consistent with the kind of society we're trying to build." When the legalization policy initiative was voted on, 77 per cent of delegates chose legalization. 18 months later Trudeau announced in British Columbia, considered the Mecca of marijuana to potheads worldwide, that he and the Liberal Party would pursue legalization as one of their platform initiatives. And, mostly because I'm a freelance journalist and not part of a major media company, not many people knew he had flip-flopped on that issue. But let's give credit where credit is due: Trudeau flipped to the right side of the issue. The illegalization of marijuana, a substance far less harmful than alcohol, has destroyed the lives of countless citizens, especially non whites who are busted more often than whites, and often sentenced longer for the same types of marijuana offences. When Trudeau's Liberals won the 2015 election, many of us who were excited to be a country that would no longer foster a reefer madness policy towards pot users waited with baited breath for our new, hip PM to triumphantly declare an end to pot prohibition. Also, and this is more key today than when he first made the admission, Trudeau himself had smoked pot since becoming an elected public servant. So when the Trudeau government finally announced, on April 20th no less, that the government would introduce legislation in the spring of 2017, many people breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, the ball was rolling. But what about the way law enforcement approaches pot laws until the legislation is passed? Surely, given Trudeau's own personal admission of smoking weed, there must be a decriminalization policy in the meantime, right? Nope. Trudeau, in a stunning piece of political theatre, , a refusal that will result in a continuation of unnecessary criminal records for a crime that won't even be a crime in a couple years. This is especially hypocritical given Trudeau's past comments relating to his late brother Michel, who, at the time of his tragic death in 2003, was facing drug possession charges after police found a small amount of marijuana in his car after a traffic accident. Trudeau cited this incident as one of the factors that pushed him towards legalization, according to an interview he gave to the Huffington Post in 2013. Clearly Trudeau felt that his brother should not have been subjected to a criminal record for such a benign offence, but for the thousands of soon-to-be offenders, he seems content with allowing their futures to be put at risk. Trudeau has yet to explain this contradiction, mostly because our media seems unwilling to part ways with the types of stories people want to click on, like quantum computing sound bites, or clips of him at a boxing gym. So, if you are a reporter for a major media outlet, let me offer up the right question for the next time you are part of a Trudeau press conference. "Prime Minister Trudeau, you once said your late brother's pending drug charges played a role in your decision to pursue an end to prohibition. Given that admission, and seeing as you yourself have smoked pot since becoming an elected official, how can you defend the decision to not decriminalize marijuana now, before your legalization legislation is adopted?" Easy peasy. Full disclosure, I had weed in my pocket when I interviewed Justin Trudeau in 2012. Given our mutual experiences in flouting the law and speaking out in support of decriminalization, I think Trudeau needs to rethink his current position, and once again flip flop in the right direction. Hell, I'll even send him something to help him brainstorm a way forward, if he needs it. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/james-di-fiore/justin-trudeau-marijuana-hypocrisy_b_9944286.html Personal Comment: I just want to grow my pot freely in my garden.
  10. http://www.macleans.ca/ The Canadian Press May 3rd, 2016 FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – The entire population of the Alberta oilsands city of Fort McMurray was under a mandatory evacuation order Tuesday as a raging wildfire destroyed buildings, pushed billowing dark clouds of thick smoke into the air and spit ash down on residents. An earlier order that had applied to almost 30,000 people, mostly on the city’s south side, was extended to tens of thousands more as hungry flames continued to eat their way into the city. The wildfire, whipped by unpredictable winds on a day when the temperature reached 32 C, worsened dramatically in a short time and many residents had little notice to flee. Towers of bright-orange flames cut through the clouds and skipped over tinder-dry forest. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the province was doing all it could to ensure everyone’s safety. She said she was looking into the possibility of an airlift for residents with medical issues. “As frustrating and as scary as it is to leave your home, it’s not as frustrating and scary as to find that you’re trapped,” Notley said in a late-afternoon update. “It is absolutely important that people follow instructions and evacuate as requested.” Scott Long of Alberta Emergency Management said the flames had burned a number of structures, but he couldn’t say how many. Carol Christian’s home was in one of the neighbourhoods under the order to leave. She said it was scary as she drove to an evacuation centre with her son and cat. “When you leave … it’s an overwhelming feeling to think that you’ll never see your house again,” she said, her voice breaking. “It was absolutely horrifying when we were sitting there in traffic. You look up and then you watch all the trees candle-topping … up the hills where you live and you’re thinking, ‘Oh my God. We got out just in time.” Work camps associated with oilsands projects well north of the city were being re-purposed to house evacuees. “We’ve made our work camp available to staff and their families who have been evacuated and need a place to stay,” said Cameron Yost of Shell Canada. Resident Mark Durocher, 25, described the air as “thick.” “If you just walk outside, you feel it (ash) falling on you. You see it floating in the air. I can take a broom and brush it off my deck,” said Durocher. “You can taste it and feel it when you’re walking around. It feels really heavy and you can taste just how ‘woody’ it is in the air.” A local radio reporter said a trailer park that had been evacuated on Monday was on fire and flames were advancing toward businesses. “It’s chaos on the roads. People are panicking. It’s gridlock on the roads. Flames are right next to a gas station,” said Carina Van Heerde with radio station KAOS. Highway 63, the main way into Fort McMurray from the south, was closed after flames jumped the road. Coun. Keith McGrath described the situation as “dire.” Another radio reporter, J.D. Deraadt, said the fire flared up suddenly. “I’m feeling nervous. It’s a bit of a surreal thing to see it go from nothing to big. It’s very disheartening.” Pictures posted on Twitter showed long lines of traffic and skies darkened by thick smoke as flames licked the edges of roads. Fort McMurray is the capital of Alberta’s oilsands region and sits about 435 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, had an overall population of 125,000 in 2015. That included a temporary “shadow” population — many of whom live in work camps — of 43,000. It’s five years ago this month that wildfires destroyed about one-third of the community of Slave Lake, Alta. More than 500 homes and buildings were damaged at a cost of almost $1 billion. Crews had seemed to be making progress controlling the Fort McMurray blaze, burning since the weekend, but the situation worsened quickly. Sandra Hickey, who lives in a neighbourhood under an evacuation order, said the situation changed quite suddenly. “When I got in the shower earlier today the sky was blue. When I got out, the sky was black,” said Hickey, who had to leave her home. “It was fast. The wind picked up and changed direction.” Fire officials had already warned earlier in the day that rising temperatures and low humidity could help the fire grow. “Don’t get into a false sense of security,” fire chief Darby Allen said during a media briefing before things worsened. “We are in for a rough day.” Crews were busy cutting down a line of unburned trees in the path of the flames to deny the fire fuel. Air tankers were dropping carpets of fire retardant while other aircraft released water. Unseasonably hot temperatures combined with dry conditions have transformed the boreal forest in much of Alberta into a tinder box. The wildfire threat ranging from very high to extreme. Forestry spokesman Bruce Mayer said a cold front was expected to come through the region by mid- to late-day Wednesday, which would bring with it shifting winds gusting to 50 km/h. He said to expect “a more intense burning day.” Person Comment: There is 32 wildfires in Alberta right now, this one has now forced about 80,000 people from their homes. We're supposed to be in a blizzard around this time, we're in for a long summer. Some more pictures... '
  11. BY LEONARD GREENE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 12:00 PM Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dead at 46 NY Daily News Rob Ford, Toronto’s cartoon character former mayor, whose scandal-stained legacy included smoking crack, urinating in public and drinking to excess, has died after a strenuous battle with cancer. He was 46. Ford had a tumor removed from his abdomen in May, and then announced in October that doctors found two more tumors on his bladder. "With heavy hearts and profound sadness, the Ford family announces the passing of their beloved son, brother, husband, and father, Councillor Rob Ford earlier today at the age of 46," according to a statement from the former mayor's office released Tuesday. CHRIS YOUNG/AP Rob Ford, the scandal-scarred former mayor of Toronto, died at 46. "A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto," the statement continued, adding that Ford's family did not intend to make further statements to the media. Despite the scandals, Ford had been preparing to run for reelection as mayor in 2014, until he was hit with some of the health issues. Instead, he ran for and won the city council seat he held before he was elected mayor. COPYRIGHT: THE GLOBE AND MAIL Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught on video smoking crack. During a Twitter exchange in January, Ford said he was planning a comeback. “I’ll be on the ballot running for Mayor in 2018,” Ford tweeted. Ford earned international notoriety in May 2013, when reports emerged of a video showing the politician smoking crack. Ford initially denied the allegations, but was forced to admit that he had smoked crack – probably during a “drunken stupor.” Yet he refused to resign. MARK BLINCH/REUTERS Ford kisses with his Renata Ford as children Doug and Stephanie while watching the municipal election results in Toronto. MARK BLINCH/REUTERS Despite the scandals, Ford had been preparing to run for reelection as mayor in 2014 until he was hit with some of the health issues. In October 2013, Ford was spotted urinating in public behind a public school. The following month, during a raucous debate, Ford barreled over an elderly city council member, Pam McConnell, knocking her to the ground. Ford took a leave of absence to enter drug rehabilitation. Ford registered for re-election in 2014, but in September he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with an abdominal tumor. Authorities said he died surrounded by his family. After Ford’s death was announced, family and friends weighed in on social media, calling the lifelong politician a passionate public servant. Personal Comment: Such a shame that the Canadian Charlie Sheen/Chris Farley passed away. He will definitely be missed.
  12. [SIZE=6][B]Mayors blast ‘pro-rape’ men’s meetings planned for Canadian cities[/B][/SIZE] TORONTO – Mayors of several major cities across the country are joining the growing chorus of voices decrying men’s rights activist “tribal meetings” planned for Saturday. Supporters of controversial blogger Roosh V. and his website Return of Kings, a self-proclaimed “blog for heterosexual, masculine men” are promoting an International Meetup Day on Feb. 6, with 10 Canadian cities on the agenda. Roosh. V, whose real name is Daryush Valizadeh, has previously courted controversy for blogs saying rape should be declared legal if it occurs in private, and that a woman’s value lies primarily in her beauty and fertility. The website describes Saturday’s meetings as “tribal gatherings,” reserved strictly for heterosexual “masculine men to bond and converse.” The website says meetings are taking place in 43 countries, all scheduled for 8 p.m. local time. In Canada, meetings are planned for Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Surrey, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Windsor and Winnipeg. However, several “host” mayors are publicly condemning the plans and telling men’s rights activists they’re not welcome. Your pro-rape, misogynistic, homophobic garbage is not welcome in Ottawa. Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi, Edmonton’s Don Iveson and Toronto’s John Tory took up the call as well. No place for intolerance, hatred & misogyny in Toronto. Not acceptable in[URL='https://twitter.com/hashtag/Edmonton?src=hash']#Edmonton[/URL]. Nor, I suspect, anywhere in this country in this day and age.[URL='https://twitter.com/hashtag/TurnAwayReturnOfKings?src=hash']#TurnAwayReturnOfKings[/URL][URL]https://t.co/wnV6RcCkEe[/URL] “It is sort of funny that I think they’re meeting in a mall after the mall is closed,” Mayor Nenshi told reporters Tuesday. “I’m not quite sure how that works…but I’m pretty sure no one is going to show up either.” Calgary police said Wednesday officers are aware of the group’s planned meeting, and will “provide any resources as necessary.” Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman added that local police will be monitoring the group’s activities. [URL='https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wpg?src=hash']#Wpg[/URL] has no place for the violent views espoused by[URL='https://twitter.com/ReturnOfKings']@ReturnOfKings[/URL]. Deeply disturbed by Mr Valizadeh's statements[URL='https://twitter.com/hashtag/TurnAwayReturnOfKings?src=hash']#TurnAwayReturnOfKings[/URL] Watson later tweeted that he is asking venues to turn away any tribal meetings. The meeting plans are highly structured, including a Cold War-esque password system: “tribesmen” arriving at the designated meeting spot are told to ask “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?”and to await a specific answer for the all-clear. Valizadeh also encourages attendees to record anyone attempting to disrupt the gatherings so he can “exact furious retribution” upon them. If a “pretty girl” asks to attend, congregants are instructed to “get her number and then tell her to buzz off.” The planned meetings are meeting a similar reception abroad. Scottish politician Deidre Brock released a statement decrying Valizadeh’s “dangerously idiotic” views. “While I think he deserves ridicule and contempt more than publicity, there are safety concerns about the advertised gathering of his supporters on Saturday – should he actually have any supporters,” she said. “Given his pro-rape statements I have raised my concerns about the legality of the event with the police. I hope that the men of Edinburgh show their disdain for his hateful views by simply not turning up.” Valizadeh himself claims he’ll be attending a meeting in Sydney, Australia [URL]http://globalnews.ca/news/2493330/mayors-blast-pro-rape-mens-rights-activist-meetings-planned-for-canadian-cities/[/URL] Personal comment: @Feanor what have you done
  13. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Leonardo DiCaprio to tone down his "inflammatory rhetoric" on climate change saying it was not helping those who have lost their oil-industry jobs. The movie star had told the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain town of Davos on Wednesday that corporate greed was causing climate change and "enough is enough." At a dinner later in the day, Trudeau, elected in October as the head of a Liberal government, took the 41-year-old actor to task. "I pointed out that both Alberta and Canada have new governments over the past year that are committed to action on climate change...and that there are families suffering, out of work, who need to be supported, and inflammatory rhetoric doesn't necessarily help those families or help Canada," Trudeau said as he recounted his remarks to reporters on Friday. "He actually said if we took concrete action on climate change he would be the first to come up and celebrate with us." (Reporting by Ben Hirschler in Davos; Writing by Randall Palmer in Ottawa; Editing by Alan Crosby) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-politics-dicaprio-idUSKCN0V02MA Personal Comment From Bors: Stop yelling so loud, it's harder to ignore you!
  14. Edmonton Journal December 15th, 2015 http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/protests-continue-against-albertas-farm-safety-bill-the-ndp-and-carbon-tax The fourth rally on the steps of the Alberta legislature Tuesday was as much against the province’s farm safety bill as it was against the NDP, with organizers gathering signatures on petitions against Bill 6 and a new provincial carbon tax. Between 250 and 300 people gathered in the cold Tuesday, days after the NDP government passed third reading of its contentious Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers legislation. Along with the usual “Kill Bill 6” signs were placards spelling out the NDP acronym as “Notley Destroys Province.” Along the edge were signs questioning climate change: “Science is not settled,” read one. “Don’t force your climate religion on us,” read another. Someone wrote out a Christmas wish list to get rid of the NDP, the carbon tax and Bill 6, make Wildrose Leader Brian Jean the new premier and have Liberal Leader David Swann step down. Swann has spoken in support of the safety legislation that makes Workers’ Compensation Board coverage mandatory for paid non-family farm employees starting Jan. 1. Farms with paid employees will also have to follow basic occupational health and safety rules, with farm-specific ones to be worked out over the next 18 months during consultations. Kim Keely, who has a cow-calf operation west of Nanton as well as an oilfield, welding and fabricating business in Stavely, south of Nanton in southern Alberta, said trust is long gone. She said the NDP didn’t listen to farmers and ranchers at consultation meetings and had little information to offer them. “It’s not even about the bill anymore. It’s about the Alberta advantage. Where did we lose track of that along the way?” Keely said at the rally. “Everybody knew safety legislation was coming, but nobody asked us what we thought about it.” Even though the legislature session is finished, Keely said the government needs to hear the voices of farmers and ranchers. She said while her workers have WCB coverage, many others have private insurance that offers more perks, such as pensions and gym memberships. “I realize it’s not the NDP’s fault oil prices are low. I realize it is not their fault that things in Alberta have changed,” Keely said. “But we are not stopping.” Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon came on a bus from Ponoka with about 35 of his constituents to stand with them against the legislation. “It’s sending a message to the premier and the NDP, particularly in rural Alberta, that in the agriculture community this issue is not over just because you passed the bill,” Nixon said before addressing the crowd with several other Wildrose and Progressive Conservative MLAs. “We’ve made it very clear we’re going to replace the NDP government in 2019 and at that point we’ll fix what is wrong with this bill.” Laci Pighin, who grew up on a farm, lives among farmers in the Nanton area and organized the rally, said she doesn’t want Bill 6 to exist. “There isn’t a soul in this country that works in this industry that likes Bill 6,” Pighin said. “We do understand nobody is in the house, but with any or all of the bills that are moving forward in the future, it’s just so important that Albertans are to be heard. It’s such a touchy subject for everybody in Alberta and it’s pretty heartfelt for everybody. If we don’t continue to try and make our voices heard that it’s only going to get worse.”
  15. A Canadian whale-watching tour boat with 27 passengers on board sank off the coast of British Columbia on Sunday, killing five people with one missing, rescue officials said. Twenty-one people had been rescued when the search was called off late at night, Melissa Kai, a spokeswoman for the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), said. A military rescue helicopter and plane had been sent to the waters off the coast of Tofino after the vessel sent a distress signal around 5 p.m. local time, according to the JRCC. Several other coast guard vessels were involved in the search off the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island. The case had now been turned over to Canadian police as a missing persons case, Kai said. Eighteen people were taken to Tofino General Hospital, of which three were transferred to other island health facilities, Island Health spokeswoman Val Wilson told Reuters. All were in a stable condition. Some at the Tofino hospital had already been discharged, she said. Earlier in the evening, military planes and coast guard vessels lit up the area where the vessel remained partially submerged, eight nautical miles northwest of Tofino. The manager of the Shelter Restaurant in Tofino said fishermen and fishing charter companies had joined the rescue effort, with about 15-20 boats leaving the tourist town. "Practically anyone who can go will go," said Matthew, who did not give his last name. "People here get together to help when things like this happen." Tofino, a community of roughly 2,000 people on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is a popular tourist destination for surfers, hikers and whale watchers from around the world. "All our attention now is on our passengers and crew so we'll be providing information as soon as the time is appropriate," said a staff member with Jamie's Whaling Station and Adventure Centres, which operated the vessel, the Leviathan II. In 1998, a boat operated by the same company sank near Tofino, killing the ship's captain and a German tourist. John Forde, who works at another eco-adventure company, said passengers on a vessel like the Leviathan II, a three-deck 65-foot cruiser that can carry up to 46 people, would not have to wear life jackets. The boat, like ferries, would only be required to have life jackets on board. "The sea was three to four metres, a fairly big sea, but not much wind or too unusual for the conditions we deal with on a regular basis out here," Forde, who took part in the rescue for several hours, told Global television. (Additional reporting by Nicole Mordant and Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Writing by Amran Abocar and Nicole Mordant; Editing by Christian Plumb and Nick Macfie) http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/26/us-canada-boat-idUSKCN0SK02M20151026 Personal Comment From Bors: Nodle...what did you do.
  16. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/federal-election-2015/ The current majority seating is Liberal with 144 seats already elected, Conservatives 79, NDP 14, bloc 6, 1 green (My riding). Theres around 70 seats to go left but the outcome is clear already. What are Diplo's thoughts to the descendant of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's son coming into power? He's promised to legalize marijuana atleast of all things and has nice hair.
  17. SATURDAY, MARCH 08, 2014 BY CATHERINE GRIWKOWSKY, EDMONTON SUN Photos of a crestfallen Mayor Don Iveson after finding out there was no new money for Edmonton’s LRT in the provincial budget have made their rounds on the Internet. A photo by Mack Male, a popular personality on social media, tweeted at the announcement in which the mayor’s sigh spoke louder than words. Then Dana DiTomaso, a digital marketer, Tweeted an image macro — the photo with text a text overlay. The photo was swiftly picked up and before long was a meme, and #saddoniveson was trending in Edmonton. The Mayor’s face was superimposed onto a picture of Keanu Reeves eating a sandwich on a park bench, a meme known as “Sad Keanu”. Iveson himself got in on the fun, tweet a picture of a pint of Pinocchio vanilla bean ice cream, saying “I’m totally stress eating tonight. #ABbudget #saddoniveson #EatLocal.” Iveson later tweeted that the meme had lifted his spirits but not before Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi put his two cents in as well. Nenshi included a hashtag directed at him shortly after the Calgary floods last year: “you can’t quote your own meme hastag. That’s so uncool:self-referential. Or maybe I’m just tired and grumpy and need #nap4nenshi.”
  18. The homepage of the Ashley Madison website is displayed on an iPad, in this photo illustration taken in Ottawa, Canada July 21, 2015. REUTERS/CHRIS WATTIE Hackers have followed through on a threat to release online a huge cache of data, including customer information, that was stolen a month ago from cheating spouses website AshleyMadison.com, several tech websites reported on Tuesday. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the posting. The data was posted onto the dark web, meaning it is only accessible using a specialized browser, although lists of email addresses have since sprouted up on other sites. A group calling itself Impact Team had leaked snippets of the compromised data in July and threatened to publish names and salacious details about clients unless Ashley Madison and EstablishedMen.com, another site owned by Toronto-based parent company Avid Life Media, were taken down. Tech website Wired said 9.7 gigabytes of data was posted, and appeared to include member account and credit card details. "Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men," Wired quoted Impact Team as saying in a statement accompanying the online dump. "We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM (Avid Life Media) and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data," the hackers said, according to Wired. Avid Life, which uses the slogan "Life is short. Have an affair", did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Alan Crosby) http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/18/us-ashleymadison-cybersecurity-idUSKCN0QN2BN20150818 Personal Comment From Bors:
  19. As Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stood to address a packed House of Commons, I sat in the gallery with my non-partisan colleagues in anticipation of what we assumed would be a routine fiscal update. It most certainly would not be. By the time Flaherty took his seat, he had promised to suspend the ability of civil servants to strike and eliminate the per-vote subsidy on which all parties relied for funding. And no stimulus plan was included in the fiscal update, despite the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Justin Trudeau rules out coalition with NDP, says ‘immediate action’ needed on climate change Liberal leader Justin Trudeau ruled out a coalition government, called climate change a serious threat and promised a national inquiry into murdered and missing women in a wide-ranging, year-end interview with Postmedia’s Mark Kennedy in his Parliament Hill office on Friday. Here is what he said: Coalition with the NDP There is constant political speculation about what Mr. Trudeau will do if Mr. Harper is re-elected with a minority government. Will Mr. Trudeau topple the Tories in Parliament and form a coalition government with the NDP’s Tom Mulcair? Continue reading… It was Nov. 27, 2008 — six weeks following a sleepy fall election that had returned a second minority government for Stephen Harper. As I shuffled out of the Commons gallery with my fellow parliamentary interns, we exchanged confused glances, uncertain as to what we had observed and whether it would have ramifications for the new Parliament. We did not have to wait long for the answer. Within hours, all three opposition parties had united, setting the wheels in motion to topple the Harper Conservatives and form a coalition government. Within days, they had signed a formal agreement. And just weeks later, by the time we returned to Ottawa after the holiday break, Stephen Harper’s stunning prorogation of Parliament had allowed him to escape political demise — and the vitality of the progressive coalition had withered. Fast forward to 2015. Political circumstances have changed such that the next federal election offers the first real opportunity to revisit the plausibility and desirability of a coalition government in Canada. But why did the proposed coalition government of 2008 fail in the first place? There are three key reasons: First, the coalition’s integrity was dependent on parliamentary support from the separatist Bloc Québécois. This enabled the Harper Conservatives to paint the coalition as a threat to national unity. Second, the coalition crisis hit Ottawa in the midst of a severe recession. With economic insecurities pervasive among Canadians, economists and political analysts warned that a left-leaning coalition government would threaten a fragile Canadian economy. Third, the coalition was ultimately a victim of feeble leadership in the Liberal Party. Having just been rejected by voters six weeks prior, Stéphane Dion was not a credible candidate to lead a government. Related John Ivison: Latest NDP defection speaks volumes about which direction the party’s fortunes are heading NDP’s Thomas Mulcair open to coalition with Liberals but Trudeau rejects idea Today, none of these circumstances persist. The Bloc Québécois is a marginalized fourth party with grim electoral prospects, the global and national financial recoveries are largely on track, and charismatic Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has the overwhelming support of his party. Furthermore, with the NDP’s support stalled in third place and the Trudeau Liberals losing some ground in recent months, it’s appearing increasingly likely that neither party will be able to defeat the Conservatives outright in 2015 So a 2015 coalition is more plausible. Is it desirable? For progressives, a coalition government would first and foremost serve as a direct means of dislodging Harper. And from a progressive standpoint, it would be a net positive for Canada in public policy terms. Major government social and tax policies could be fundamentally overhauled by a coalition government — particularly on issues where Liberals and New Democrats see eye to eye. For example, one could reasonably envision a Trudeau-Mulcair team swiftly reversing the current government’s regressive policy on income splitting, introducing a vastly different approach to handling international diplomacy and tackling global climate change and child-care issues. It would instantly bestow a sense of common purpose to progressive parliamentarians. The Liberals and New Democrats would be expected to table a legislative agenda and fiscal plan in short order that balanced the policy priorities and cultures of both parties. Of necessity, they would find innovative ways to co-operate. Pundits aren’t the only ones reaching for a coalition as a solution to a decade of Conservative rule. An recent EKOS Research poll suggests Canadians are now open to the idea of coalition government too, with 54% supporting a hypothetical Liberal-NDP coalition over a Conservative minority government. Assuming Liberals and New Democrats could lower their swords after election night, a number of barriers would still need to be overcome for a coalition government to be viable: The Harper Conservatives would of course have to lose their majority in the next general election. Political progressives, parliamentary traditionalists, and those with democratic imagination would have to overcome cynical Conservative messaging about what constitutes a legitimate government. But almost six years to the day of the 2008 fiscal update, I found myself sitting in the Commons gallery once again — this time watching over dozens of Liberal and NDP MPs aggressively questioning the government on cuts to veterans’ mental health services. It struck me that they could just as easily be working together in opposition or in government. If it came to pass, the results could fundamentally alter the way in which we view parliamentary democracy. National Post http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/andrew-perez-in-2015-a-coalition-government-is-totally-plausible-but-is-it-desirable Personal Comment: Truth be told, I have had some frustrating political arguments over this with my family. My 92 year old Oma told me that the NDP is bad and that she had head some "Stories" about them, I followed up by asking what stories but in her senility changed the topic immedietely feeling no need to explain. Talked to my Mother, she wants to vote liberal in a currently held Green Party seat (To me that makes no fucking sense at all, considering she voted in the green last time) and my Father will vote NDP because he labels the "Canadian Two Party System" (Libs and Conservs) needs to be brought down. When all I could wish for is a coalition to oust the Neo Conservatives in Canada once and for all. Truth be told i'm at a loss of who to vote for or what would be the best decision for the majority of left wing Canadians.
  20. Global Canada April 4st, 2015 EDMONTON — Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers in the Alberta budget released Thursday: Winners Corporations and oil companies: No changes to the 10 per cent corporate income tax rate and no changes to oil royalties. The government said raising them could tip the province into recession. The working poor: Any family making less than $41,220 annually will be eligible for the Alberta Working Family Supplement, which provides a refundable tax credit of up to $2,750 depending on the number of children in the family. Losers The wealthy: The province is ending its 10 per cent flat income tax system and phasing in two new tax brackets for anyone making more than $100,000 a year. The middle class: The budget contains a health levy to be paid by individuals making more than $50,000. It is tied to income and capped at $1,000 annually. There are also a host of fee increases. In total, a single person making $60,000 a year can expect to pay $161 more annually. A two-income family making $120,000 a year with two children can expect to pay $288 more. Drivers: The gasoline tax is going up by four cents a litre starting Friday. Fees to register vehicles are going up by $9. Traffic fines are being increased by an average of 35 per cent. Smokers and drinkers: A bottle of wine will cost 16 cents more while 12 beers will cost an extra 90 cents. The tax on a carton of smokes is going up $5 to $45. Charities: The Charitable Donation Tax Credit is being reduced to 12.75 per cent from 21 per cent for donations more than $200. EDMONTON – At the stroke of midnight Friday, sin taxes and gas taxes are going up in Alberta. If you drink, smoke or drive, it’s going to cost you more. The changes are part of the government’s plan to help pay for its $48.3-billion budget and cover a $5-billion deficit – the biggest in modern Alberta history. User fees Daily trial fees for civic matters will cost $250 a day instead of costing nothing. Other court fees are also going up. It will even cost you more to get married, be born, and die. Licences for all three services are going up by $10. Personal Comment: Starting to charge people for healthcare and hiking up every single public fee is not the way to win an election. Alberta, the Conservative stronghold of Western Canada, is now looking to the Wildrose Party (Far conservative, think American Conservatives without the dumb moral debates) and the NDP (Far social credit) in an unprecedented three way tie in the province. 44 years in a row the Conservatives have been the governement in Alberta...weird times are ahead.
  21. The Huffington Post Alberta http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ April 24th, 2015 A new poll shows Alberta's NDP are pulling ahead of the pack, with almost 38 per cent of Albertans planning to cast their vote for the underdog party on election day. The Forum Research poll, conducted the night before and the night of the provincial party leaders' debate, also found the governing Progressive Conservatives trailing behind the Wildrose Party, with one-quarter saying they would vote Wildrose and one-fifth PC. The polling firm says the most recent findings are a "dramatic shift" away from their April 10 poll, which found the three main parties were neck-and-neck: Wildrose with 30 per cent, NDP with 28 per cent, and the PCs with 27 per cent. The Forum Poll surveyed 801 randomly selected Albertans and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent, 19 times out 20. NDP Leader Rachel Notley's strong performance in Thursday night's debate may have helped edge along her party's lead, according to another poll. A Mainstreet Technologies survey found 44 per cent of Albertans chose Notley as the winner of the debate, while 25 per cent chose PC Leader Jim Prentice. Notley won hands-down,” Mainstreet president Quito Maggi told the Calgary Herald. "She went toe-to-toe with the premier (Prentice) a number of times and more than held her own.” However, when asked to choose which party will likely win the election, 37 per cent said the PCs and 26 per cent said NDP, reports the Herald. The poll surveyed 2,322 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Political pundits across the province agreed Notley came out on top during the debate, which largely centered around Notley and Prentice, often leaving out Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann. Herald columnist Don Braid called Notley "a tough target" for Premier Prentice, and that she was "aggressive without being unpleasant, constantly interjecting without seeming rude, throwing even Premier Jim Prentice off his game." "In fact, Notley was so good she drew most of Premier Prentice’s attention," wrote Calgary Sun columnist Rick Bell. "I’m sure the premier would have liked to try and pulverize the heavily-scripted Wildrose boss Brian Jean. But Prentice, looking for a much-needed debate win, needed to constantly deal with Notley and her jabs." Prentice did not do himself any favours when, at one point in the debate, he told Notley he knows “math is difficult,” while talking about the NDP's plan to raise corporate taxes. Prentice misstated that the NDP wanted to raise Alberta's 10 per cent corporate tax rate to 20 per cent instead of the 12 per cent outlined in the NDP budget plan. "What are you talking about, our proposed corporate tax rate is 12 per cent. I am not sure who is briefing you," Notley interjected. "I know that math is difficult," Prentice said as the two leaders talked over one another. "Ten per cent to 12 per cent is a 20 per cent increase." Prentice insisted to the Canadian Press that he didn't intend to come off as condescending, but the social media firestorm generated by the comment told a different story.
  22. March 19th, 2015 Chris Selley www.nationalpost.com It would be foolish for either the NDP or Liberals to rule out a coalition. So, of course, Trudeau is doing exactly that. Not since The Madness of ’08 has a federal political party been as enthusiastic about coalition governance as the New Democrats are nowadays. Twice in the space of two weeks, leader Thomas Mulcair has reaffirmed his long-stated belief in the possibility. “We’re a progressive party. We want to get results,” he says. “My first priority is to get rid of Stephen Harper,” he says. And do you know, a helpful party apparatchik explained to Huffington Post, it might even be good politics. “It’s a strategy designed to ward off voters who think they need to vote Liberal in order to avoid another Stephen Harper Conservative government, an NDP strategist said,” Althia Raj reported. “The message is designed to make potential New Democrat voters more comfortable with the idea of casting a ballot for the NDP, the adviser explained.” Not one of them top-secret strategies, then. Telegraphing desperation is generally best avoided in politics, but this all makes perfect sense for the NDP. The current federal seat projection at threehundredeight.com, which is based on aggregated polls, has the New Democrats finishing third, with 66 seats; the Liberals second with 123; and the Conservatives first with 143. Scientifically, this result would be a disaster for the New Democrats only in comparison to the 2011 result, which exceeded the expectations even of those who envisioned and cultivated the party’s breakthrough in Quebec. Politically, however, the disaster would be real. The need for silver linings would be acute. At NDP headquarters on election night 2011, partisans whipsawed between elation and despair: “Wow — 103 seats! Official opposition! A Conservative majority. Good God, what have we done?” These are people who despise Stephen Harper and his party so much that they openly wondered whether the greatest day in their party’s history was worth it. Conversely, in the above-mentioned result, Dippers would take solace at regaining some access to the levers of power. But surely, after four additional years of loathing the Harper gang, they would be ready to talk turkey with the Liberals about getting rid of them. Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Mulcair would be a pretty good consolation prize. Having said all that, no voter has yet laid a finger on the NDP. When the writ dropped in 2011, the Dippers were at 18% in the polls — three points lower than they are now. We all know what happened next. Mr. Mulcair isn’t Jack Layton and Justin Trudeau isn’t Michael Ignatieff, true enough. Then again, Mr. Mulcair is a much more logical receptacle for centrist voters, whether they’re leery of Mr. Trudeau or sick to death of Mr. Harper or both, than Jack Layton was. Mr. Layton was a reformed socialist. Mr. Mulcair is reformed Quebec Liberal cabinet minister under Jean Charest.
  23. Hey Diplo just so you all know I work in a small towns archives and found a splendid article from 1912 to show you all. Awful Death The Result Gone to the Realms Where Dynamite is Not Used. Wong Gim, a Chinaman known locally among the residents of Sidney as “Kip,” met with a Sudden and awful death on Thursday evening last week. It seems that the unfortunate man had rammed home two big charges of blasting powder, and fired the fuses. One charge exploded in time, but the other hung fire. The unfortunate man went to the stump to be shattered, and in the dark groped around to find out the cause of the non-explosion. He had not waited long enough before investigating and the explosion met him full in the face carrying off the head of the poor fellow, which cannot be found. The body, with the exception of a small portion of flesh torn from the left hand, was unhurt, but the clothes were torn very badly in some places. It is said that several more charges yet remain to be fired, and, therefore the Chinese residents of Sidney declined to go near the scene of the disaster. The body was recovered by a party of men sent out by the provincial constable. The body was taken to the nearby railway depot, and shipped to the friends of the unfortunate man in Victoria for interment. The occurrence caused a great deal of excitement, and the members of the fatigue party was compelled to partake of refreshments several times during their strenuous exertions of recovering the body from the water and taking it to the station.
  24. www.cbc.ca Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Oct 23rd, 2014 Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in an evening address that Canada would not be intimidated by Wednesday's "brutal and violent attack" in Ottawa, in which an armed attacker shot and fatally wounded a Canadian Forces member at the National War Memorial before being shot dead in Parliament's Centre Block. Moments after Cirillo was shot at his post by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, MPs and other witnesses reported 30 to 50 shots fired inside the main Parliament building. It was confirmed later that the gunman was shot dead inside the building, felled by the House of Commons sergeant-at-arms and RCMP, according to MPs' accounts. CBC News has confirmed the dead shooting suspect is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982. CBC News has learned that Zehaf-Bibeau has a criminal record in Quebec dating back 10 years on some drug-related charges. Court documents from that time show that he lived at an address in Montreal. He also has a criminal record in B.C., where he was convicted in 2012 of uttering threats and served one day in jail. In his brief address, Harper offered condolences for Cirillo's family, and for the family of Patrice Vincent, another soldier who was killed in an attack earlier this week. "For the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil," he said. "But let there be no misunderstanding — we will not be intimidated, Canada will never be intimidated." NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeaudelivered their own statements, condemning the attacks and pledging support for the government. Harper, who was on Parliament Hill at the time of the shooting and was safely whisked away, met with members of his cabinet before making his address. He then met with the Conservative caucus, who had been in lockdown on the Hill until after 8 p.m. ET. Harper's spokesman Carl Vallée said on Twitter that Harper also spoke briefly to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday afternoon. Harper also spoke with Mulcair and Trudeau, the Prime Minister's Office said. Hundreds of people, including children at a daycare, waited hours to be evacuated from Parliament Hill as the area remained under lockdown. Late Wednesday OC Transpo buses began taking people away from the Hill as the lockdown eased. Personal Comment: Here we go...
  25. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29722094 Experts say that terror-related incidents such as that on Monday are rare in Canada Canada has raised its terror threat level from low to medium but has stressed there is no specific threat. A government official said the move was in response to an increase in online "general chatter" from radical groups including Islamic State and al-Qaeda. On Tuesday a Muslim convert was killed by Quebec police after deliberately hitting two soldiers in his car, killing one and injuring another. A minister said it was a "terrible act of violence against our country". Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the attack was "clearly linked to terrorist ideology." Ministry spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said on Tuesday that the increased level "means that intelligence has indicated that an individual or group within Canada or abroad has the intent and capability to commit an act of terrorism". Poppies have been placed in the car park at St-Jean-sur-Richelieu from where the attack against the two soldiers was launched The murdered soldier, Patrice Vincent, was a 28-year veteran of the Canadian military Police spent much of Tuesday investigating the scene of the crime The dead soldier was identified on Tuesday as Warrant Ofc Patrice Vincent, a 28-year veteran of the Canadian armed services. He was struck by Martin Couture-Rouleau, 25, one of 90 suspected militants who are being tracked by the Canadian authorities. After striking the officers, Couture-Rouleau fled and was chased by police at high speed for about 4km (2.5 miles), until the car drove off the road and rolled over several times. He then left the car brandishing a knife, and police opened fire. Couture-Rouleau was taken to hospital where he died some hours later. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Bob Paulson said that the authorities had been tracking the 90 suspected militants - including Couture-Rouleau - because they may have intended to go abroad to join militant groups. RCMP Supt Martine Fontaine said authorities seized Couture-Rouleau's passport in July when he tried to travel to Turkey. He was arrested but police lacked evidence to charge him with a crime. Supt Fontaine said authorities had met him several times, most recently on 9 October, and had met his parents and the imam at his mosque in an effort to get him to change his views. The attack took place following a vote in parliament this month that authorised Canadian warplanes to bomb Islamic State militants in Iraq. Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said the soldier's death was "a senseless act" which only strengthened Canadian resolve to take on militant groups such as IS. The US has also condemned the attack. PERSONAL COMMENT: Combined with this; http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29724907 I think we're looking at something to spur more involvement in syria. Or it'll just blow over. One of the two.
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