Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Canada's Long Gun Registry: The Left Fights For It

Well, I think I may have talked about this issue a few times as a periphery. Things are starting to heat up though. This piece of legislation and bureaucracy was brought into the Canadian political landscape by the Federal Liberal Party under Jean Chretien. There were howls of outrage and protest from the legal gun owners. We were told by the Liberals that the license fee would pay and support the gun registry. Well, turns out that after it got going it cost more then expected. Big surprise. Instead of millions it cost billions.

Well all the police chiefs said that it was working and a new RCMP report comes to the same conclusion. I am going to have to sit down and sift through this myself sometime today and check out what yard stick they are using to measure with.

The biggest problem I have with the whole thing is that most gun crimes I read or hear about seem to revolve around handguns. Handguns have been prohibited weapons since at least the 1930's and require reams of paperwork just to be allowed to own one legally. The majority of handgun crimes are done with stolen or illegal weapons.

Well off to the news articles and a few selected snips and quotes:

Gun registry effective but misunderstood, says RCMP:

OTTAWA—Canada’s gun registry is a cost-effective crime-fighting tool but misunderstood by many Canadians, the RCMP says in a long-awaited report.

The RCMP evaluation of the Canadian Firearms Program was released late Monday after accusations that the federal Conservative government had been deliberately sitting on a report it knew it would give ammunition to advocates of the registry.

With Parliament set to vote on the fate of the long gun registry next month, the RCMP report argues that the “full registry” be maintained, calling it a valuable tool that has helped reduce gun deaths nationwide.

“A high level of compliance of the long gun registry is necessary to provide the enhanced value to investigators utilizing the firearms registry. It is important for officer and public safety and is a legislated requirement for all firearm owners,” the report notes.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jack Layton is proposing a last-minute compromise he hopes will save the registry while addressing some of the concerns that gun owners and native groups have, but the NDP’s proposed bill appears to stand little chance of going anywhere given the division in Parliament.[snip]

And what does the Federal Liberal party have to say about this upcoming vote?

Support long-gun registry or NDP has “no darn principles,” Ignatieff tells Layton:

BADDECK, N.S.—Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says the NDP will stand for “no darn principles” if leader Jack Layton and the New Democrats fail to support the long-gun registry in a crucial vote this fall in Parliament.

In a speech to open the Liberals’ big, summer-end retreat at this scenic resort in Nova Scotia, Ignatieff turned his fire on the New Democrats, urging Layton to rally his party fully behind the gun registry that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government wants to dismantle.

Quoting a man he spoke to recently in Manitoba, Ignatieff said: “The problem with the NDP, know what it means? Know what it stands for? No darn principles . . . On this gun registry stuff, they’ve got to step up or they’ve got no darn principles.”

The Liberal leader has lined up his entire caucus to vote for keeping the long-gun registry when the Conservative private members’ bill to abolish it comes up for a vote in the House on Sept. 22. Ignatieff has managed to get all his dissenting MPs on side with a compromise bid to decriminalize any offences for failing to register long guns.

But on Monday, Layton said he was treating it as a free vote, meaning that his 12 New Democrat MPs who voted against the registry last time will probably do so again.

The Liberals obviously intend to use the next month to ratchet up the pressure on Layton and the NDP — putting the onus on the New Democrats to face the choice of propping up Harper’s Conservatives this fall.

This was what Ignatieff tried to do at last summer’s caucus retreat as well, when he said that Harper’s “time was up” in government and that Liberals would no longer prop up the Conservatives in power.

The idea last year was to put pressure on the NDP and the Bloc to choose whether to plunge Canada into a general election campaign. But the strategy backfired when Liberals opponents painted the move as over-eagerness by Ignatieff to send Canadians to the polls. [snip]

By the way, every time I see the term "decriminalize" in relation to anything I think of opportunities for police forces to pump cash into the system. Like parking fees or other items. The Liberals don't want this baby to die on them.

Now here's an interesting editorial from the Toronto Star.

The one paragraph I have issue with is this one:

Harper, who has consistently put politics ahead of public safety, is unlikely to be swayed. So it will be up Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP Leader Jack Layton to act on Blair’s appeal by ensuring that none of their MPs vote with the Conservatives to kill the registry, as 12 New Democrats and 8 Liberals did last time.

Once again it's all about ideology with the Star. One reason I think crimes are down with rifles and shotguns is not because of the registry, or rather because of the registry.

It boils down to costs. Not government costs, but costs for the long gun owner. You have to take a mandatory firearm safety course, apply for a permit, pay for a permit, purchase government approved storage, and THEN you purchase a firearm. Most storage devices are pretty expensive. So I think most people that want to get a firearm now have to really budget for it.

Is the Firearm registry really working and necessary? Who knows really. What we are going to get is a lot of hype from the left and the RCMP that manage it. Personally I think the only reason why the RCMP is fighting for it is the amount of jobs it guarantees them. We will see what happens when the vote goes down.

Look Out Ontario, Things Look Rocky

On the way to work this morning I caught a headline in the local Toronto (Red) Star.

Public sector wage freeze could lead to strikes: CAW

It looks like we could be in for another series of work slow downs and/or strikes again. We haven't seen any really since the Harris years when then premier Mike Harris fought long and hard against the public sector unions about wages and benefits. I do know that the teachers unions fought the McGuinty government as well over contract negotiatians. In fact I think the teachers union fought the Bob Rae (NDP), Mike Harris (Progressive Conservative), and the McGuinty (Liberal) governments.

Anyway, it's a recession and the government is in a deep deficit (19+ billion) and needs to reign in spending. 55% of the provincial budget goes towards public sector employees. Sounds like a "no duh" move right? Wrong!
As the Star first reported last week, the initial round of talks fell apart after the CAW stormed out on the second day, followed by the Canadian Association of University Teachers and the Service Employees International Union, on behalf of 46,000 workers in long-term care homes.

“It wasn’t bargaining, it wasn’t negotiations,” Lewenza said of the government’s freeze agenda.

Ignoring a gag order imposed on the talks, he said they were full of “discrepancies,” such as the government’s position it can protect public services while capping wages of workers who perform them.

“It’s inconsistent,” Lewenza added from a charity golf tournament in nearby Woodstock. He said the CAW is open to “sit down and talk” with the government and employers about finding ways to improve services.

Oh, and to my American readers, yes the SEIU up here is just as ruthless as their American counterparts.

Now these were just one batch of unions. The university teachers, Canadian Auto Workers, and SEIU. There's more unions out there...

A third phase is set to take place Sept. 20 to Oct. 3 with teacher unions, the Power Workers Union, GO Transit workers in the Amalgamated Transit Union.

At the Monday session, CUPE leaders representing 230,000 workers challenged the government’s assertion that wages are taking a rising share of spending, but said his members “do not have their heads in the sand” when it comes to the province’s financial challenges.

It’s too early to say whether the talks could result in strikes, said CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.

“I don’t have a crystal ball,” he told the Star. “We’re interested in engaging the government in a real discussion. . . . We’re not interested in walking away.”

McGuinty said he hopes deals can be reached co-operatively as the government plays a facilitator between the many unions and public sector employers involved.

I think the only deal that the unions want is where the government gives them whatever they want. Damn the taxpayers, we are just money bags to the unions and the government.

So, what's going to happen? Well Mr Lewenza had this to say.

Lewenza credited McGuinty for “jumping through hoops” in a bid to get framework agreements with hundreds of unions and employers — in contrast to the cuts imposed by Harris — but predicted the effort will fail.

“I don’t believe he’s gonna get it done. . . . This is too big.”

Lewenza noted the recession has already put a damper on private-sector contracts so the same is likely to happen in the public sector.

“Just let the bargaining process play itself out.”

Notice the Star's dig at former premier Mike Harris? I saw my taxes go down, balanced budget legislation passed, and a whole bunch of other good governing practices initiated. All tossed the minute the Liberals got back into power.

What do I predict? Wailing, crying, gnashing of teeth from both sides of the negotiating table. End result? Both the provincial government and Public Sector Unions will bend the Ontario taxpayer over the barganing table and have their way. If we are lucky, we will be kissed first.

Update: Welcome readers of Lumpy, Grumpy, and Frumpy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mexico's Crime Problem

Well, skimming through the world news I found this article:

Car bomb explodes in Mexico where 72 bodies found

I read it and thought about linking it on one of the blogs I follow on a daily basis. The American Southwest is experiencing a large illegal immigrant problem. This has been in the news as Arizona passed a bill that called for crack downs on illegal immigrants that were causing problems on their borders and in their cities. Unfortunately the American federal government isn't doing their job and has actually sued the state government over this law. Too many details to get into at the moment, but there are many reasons for what's happening down there.

We do have an illegal immigrant situation up here in Canada as well. Not as bad mind you since we have two oceans and a large country to our south. Illegal immigrants still manage to slip in here though. Aided no doubt my such groups as "No One's Illegal".

The reason why I decided to bring this up was one of the paragraphs near the end:

Others at the shelter were stunned by the massacre but undeterred — like 35-year-old Belizean Wilber Cuellar, who said he has been deported six times from the United States and once from Canada, where he worked at a chicken packing plant.

This border jumper has been deported SEVEN times and still keeps coming back. What does it take to seal borders against people like this?

Part of the issue in the story was that the Mexican drug cartels are trying to recruit these illegal immigrants for running drugs. As well they attack police, politicians, and anyone else that tries to stand up to them. Mexico is starting to fall apart, and it's going to be interesting when it does.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Liberals are at it again

Well, if all else fails, attack, attack, attack. The federal Liberal party is on the attack against the Harper minority government again. I can't summarize it properly since it's the usual screed from the left.

Opening paragraphs:

The Harper government has adopted a deliberate strategy of hiding information from Canadians in order to advance a right-wing social and justice agenda, Liberals charge.

Liberal MP John McCallum pointed Thursday to two recent examples to prove the point: The government's decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census and its refusal to release a favourable report on the effectiveness of the long-gun registry.

So, the Conservatives are trying to advance a right wing agenda? Big surprise, they are CONSERVATIVE! The Liberals did the exact same thing when they were in power, except a lot worse for the rest of us.

Next point they bring up about the "Mandatory Long Census Form":

McCallum said the decision to turn the compulsory long-form census into a voluntary survey is "one of the most visible examples of one of the most fundamental shortcomings" of the Harper governemnt[sic].

He said it's aimed at robbing federal, provincial and municipal governments of the reliable data they need to deliver progressive social programs, skewing "the picture of what Canada really looks like" because low-income and minority Canadians will be less likely to fill out a voluntary form.

The move to a voluntary survey has been widely denounced by some 300 groups, including statisticians, social scientists, economists, religious groups, educators, doctors and town councils.

Notice who's complaining about it the most? These groups gain more from the census then anyone else. They get all this info packaged up for them nice and simply with out a single penny out of their pocket. They are screaming that they are losing their crutch to foment their agendas. Now if they don't like the info from the census they would probably have to pay for it. Good luck with that. Lefty loves free stuff.

Now about the long gun registry:

Opposition parties maintain the government has been sitting on the report for six months and wants to keep it hidden until after a crucial Sept. 22 vote on Tory backbencher Candice Hoeppner's private member's bill to scrap the controversial registry.

According to the CBC, the report concludes the registry is cost effective, efficient and "an important tool for law enforcement."

"Clearly the Conservatives want to prevent parliamentarians and Canadians from seeing important information about the cost and effectiveness of the long-gun registry before an important vote," McCallum said.

This was a registry that was supposed to, originally, be paid for by the licensing fees paid by the long gun owners that ended up costing billions rather then the millions the Liberal government promised us. I don't know how it is effective in reducing crime since most firearm offenses are being done by handguns. Liberals love to spin and spin and spin.

Besides, how open was the Chretien government when the Liberals were in power?

Toronto City Council: Two Rules

Well, here's some interesting tidbits from Toronto Council.

First, What they expect from Rob Ford:
Ford unsure if he can pay back donations:

Rob Ford used council stationary to solicit donations for a charity he manages. Now council, without debate, has decided that he has to pay pack $3,000 to the donors.

Second, what they give to their own people:

Council flouts court to pay councillors’ legal expenses:


Paul Moloney Urban Affairs Reporter

Toronto City Council has decided to pay almost $140,000 to cover the legal expenses of councillors Adrian Heaps and Giorgio Mammoliti despite a recent court decision that they’re not entitled to reimbursement from the public purse.

Council also decided Wednesday night to appeal the Divisional Court ruling that found council exceeded its authority in voting to pay the money in 2008 to cover legal fees the councillors incurred defending themselves against lawsuits for alleged transgression of spending rules during the 2006 municipal elections.

Councillor Doug Holyday, who had pursued the case in Divisional Court at his own expense, said he would be speaking to his lawyer Thursday about the council decision to make “grants” to Heaps and Mammoliti “in the amount of the legal expenses they incurred.”

“The sense of entitlement here is mindboggling,” Holyday said after the closed-door vote. “To say it’s a grant now after the fact is wrong.”

However, Mayor David Miller defended the reimbursement, saying the court decision faulted council for not declaring the public purpose in making the original payments back in 2006.[snip]

Leftists. They need to go, and go now. My tax dollars shouldn't be paying for their largesse.

Update:
Joe Warmington from the Toronto Sun has a list of other councillors that have used City money for their pet projects. Where's their censures?

Leftists in Action: Municipal Edition

How many people out there trust politicians? Hmmmm it looks like not many do at all. It's a given I guess. Most of the people I talk to think all politicians lie, scheme, manipulate to get ahead or to line their own pockets. I know this is just a generalization. The trick to voting is trying to find the politician that is lieing the least, and doesn't look upon you as a rubber stamp for their election.

The Mayoral race here in Toronto has been rather interesting this year. You have the usual collection of leftists, socialists, and other freaks. There's one candidate that's fighting against the typical flow of council. Rob Ford is the current leader of the race. He's said some rather politically incorrect statements. He's fought the council on a number of issues. One being the councillors spending of their budgets. He's been attacked, slimed, smeared, and become the lefts recent boogey man.

Well it turns out that if (hopefully when) he's elected in November there are certain councilors that have a plan to declaw and remove his fangs.

Councillors take shots at 'Mayor Ford':

By DON PEAT, Toronto Sun

Some left-leaning Toronto city councillors weren’t pulling their punches when asked how they feel about the thought of Councillor Rob Ford becoming Toronto’s next mayor.

“In my opinion, if Mayor Ford is elected, city council will have a caucus meeting and they will choose their own mayor and (Ford) will be the mayor in name,” retiring Councillor Kyle Rae said Wednesday during the last city council meeting before the Oct. 25 vote.

“I hope that the citizens of Toronto wake up ... I can’t believe Toronto is prepared to do it.”

Rae stressed Ford has no track record of bringing items to council and getting them passed.

“All he has done is attack and vilify other members’ work, he has got nothing he can point to,” he said.

But would councillors really rebel against an elected mayor?

Rae — who Ford keeps slamming for holding a $12,000-taxpayer-funded goodbye party — says it is a real possibility.

“Most thinking people in Toronto would be so embarrassed by him being mayor that there would be an obligation on council to do something,” he said.

Councillor Howard Moscoe was a little more descriptive in how he sees a Mayor Ford interacting with council.

“He won’t be able to pass gas without the permission of council,” Moscoe said.

When asked if he thinks Ford will be able to work with council, he added: “Depends how often he wants to pass gas.”

Councillor Maria Augimeri said Rae may be right about council having to go rogue against a Mayor Ford.[snip]

Typical leftist thought process and procedure. Since they don't like what the Mayor will think, and if the PEOPLE of Toronto elect him, they will do what they must to minimize his power. So much for a democratic system. The council is willing to not listen to the people of Toronto.

Time to get a list of these councilors and start attacking them. Let's show them the true will of the people and replace these dinosaurs.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Final Task: Complete

I know I normally rant and rave about all sorts of items here. I thought I would take the time to share a good story for once. Read the whole thing.

Finishing what a fallen soldier couldn't:

By DON PEAT, Toronto Sun

Before Pte. Kevin McKay left for basic training, he started building a studio for his mom to work on her quilting and stained glass.

He built it while his parents, Fred and Beth, were on vacation and surprised them when they got home.

As time went on, the studio started slowly coming together but McKay didn’t have time to finish it. First came basic training. Next he was off to Afghanistan.

When he died in Afghanistan in May, days before his tour was over, the studio became one of those things the 24-year-old would never finish.

When his dad’s fellow Toronto firefighters came up to the family’s Horseshoe Valley home to pay their respects, they noticed the unfinished studio and vowed to help the fallen soldier finish his last mission.

Firefighter Dan Hjelholt, an electrician by trade, noticed the studio behind the family’s house.

“I didn’t want an unfinished project that he started for his mom to be a loose end,” Hjelholt said Wednesday. “(Kevin) had planned to take care of it.

“I wanted it to be done right so Kevin would have been proud of it.”

He said the project made sense because it honoured a fallen soldier, helped McKay’s father — Hjelholt’s first fire captain nine years ago — and gave McKay’s mom a special place to spend time.[snip]

Rest well Pte McKay, your service is done.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Cost of Illegal Immigration: Tamil Edition

Well it looks like the figures are out and the cost to taxpayers, Ontario ones at the least, is going to be in the millions.

Tamil migrants could cost Ontario taxpayers millions:

By TOM GODFREY, Toronto Sun
Ontario taxpayers may get hit with millions of dollars worth of welfare and legal aid payments for the Tamil migrants who arrived in B.C. by ship, lawyers and aid workers say.

Members of the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) said about half of the 490 migrants have family members in Toronto and want to be near their community for legal and social support as they pursue refugee claims.

Congress lawyers are trying to have the refugee cases heard in Toronto.

The claimants will be eligible for work permits, welfare payments, partial health and dental coverage and subsidized housing while their claims are being heard, Toronto lawyers said.

Carole Simone-Dahan, of Ontario Legal Aid, said the Tamils can apply for aid if they’re claimants in Ontario and are financially eligible.

Some immigration lawyers estimated it could cost taxpayers about $22 million in legal aid for lawyers to represent the migrants.[snip]

Yep, come to Canada. Jump the line, and get everything paid for while you just wait to get your hearing. Lawyers? No problem. Need money and a place to live? Not a problem. Are you paying attention yet Canada? This is what happens when our Immigration Board doesn't do their job. How come it takes years for a immigration/refugee hearing to be resolved? Why does someone that isn't even a citizen or worker qualify for welfare payment?

And what are the over papers saying about this whole mess?
Opinion piece from the Toronto Star: Tamil boat not a crisis.
Um, yeah sure.

The Globe and Mail editorial: Consider each Tamil refugee case on merit.
First merit: they tried to bypass the normal procedures....

The National Post editorial: Our broken refugee system.

All I am going to say on this today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ford: City Council Corrupt. Miller: Prove it....

Well, well, well. Councilor Rob Ford, front runner in the mayoral race, has slammed the city council as corrupt. Gee, really? You could have fooled me.

Miller slams 'irresponsible' Ford:

Paul Moloney
Urban Affairs Reporter

Rob Ford took a tongue-lashing Thursday from outgoing mayor David Miller and a chorus of councillors and candidates, who chastised him for his unsupported allegations that city hall is corrupt.

“If there’s a single piece of evidence or even a hint of something that Councillor Ford thinks is improper,” he should take it to the city’s auditor general and integrity commissioner, Miller told reporters. “And if there is a problem, I want to know about it,” he added. “I want to run a clean city hall. That’s why we have all the integrity officials there.”

Ford was quoted in a local newspaper as saying that the recent award of an untendered 20-year contract to Boardwalk Pub operator Tuggs Inc. “stinks to high heaven.”

He referred specifically to closed-doors discussions, called “in camera” meetings: “These in camera meetings, there’s more corruption and skullduggery going on in there than I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Miller has stayed out of the campaign fray on principle but said he made an exception Thursday because Ford’s comments were “about the integrity of this council.”[snip]

Rob Ford has been the watch dog on council for a few years. He has gone through council budgets and highlighted all sorts of mis-spending by other councilors.

The one thing Ford brings up is the Beaches contract for "The Boardwalk Pub", great place, great view, been there a few times in the summer. There appears to be a little skullduggery involved with the way that the contract was awarded.

Now here's a story I heard years ago when I was working in the Beaches. It's all rumour, hearsay, and gossip. I have no facts to back this up, just observations and tales from a few people I knew that lived in the area a long time.

The pub I worked at was opened sometime in the late 80's early 90's. Not sure about the exact date. The owner was approached by the local councilor and asked if he would like to make a "donation" to his campaign fund. The owner told him not only no, but hell no. That's when all the problems started. He had liscencing issues with the city. When those were cleared up other issues arose. One issue involved a noise complaint. There was a store beside a patio with an apartment that overlooked the area. Two people moved in and within days there were numerous noise complaints about the patio. The noise the tenants were complaining about was about the bar patrons chatting loudly. This patio had no speaker set up so there wasn't any noise from that. This is also in the summer by the way, when most Beaches pubs and restaraunts make their coin.

Well the city issued an injunction on the patio saying that it had to be shut down at 11:00 PM from Sunday to Thursday. There was another patio on the east side that was also closed down at 11:00 PM 7 days a week due to the fact it fronted onto a residential street. So here we go. 5 days a week both patios have to be shut down at 11:00 PM, that means all the patrons must go inside to the seating and bar area. Depending on the night and the temperature it hampers peoples relaxation.

Well the owner fought the injunction and was still fighting it when I was working there. He even went as far as to hire sound engineers to record sound levels in all areas of his property.

Oh and those tenants that originally complained? Funny about that, as soon as the injunction was levelled on the bar, they moved out.

So is there corruption in the city council? You bet. Most of them know how to cover their asses and get away with it.

This year I urge all my fellow Torontonians to vote. Vote Ford for mayor, because we need a lot of fixing done after what Miller and his stooges have done to our city.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canada's Latest Illegal Immigrant Problem

Well, things are getting interesting out there. Either that or I have been ignoring the news cycle for awhile. Take your pick. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. A ship landed in Victoria harbour the other day with a bonus load of Tamil "refugees". Apparently they are fleeing the country of Sri Lanka after they lost their civil war. That's right, they are coming to Canada which has, apparently, the largest population of Tamils outside of Sri Lanka.

Here's the news story from the National Post, as a warning to Canada.

Ship heading to B.C. with Tamil refugees is just the beginning: expert

David Carrigg and Susan Lazaruk, Postmedia News · Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

VANCOUVER — Up to 500 Tamil refugees are expected to arrive in British Columbia waters within the next few days. And an international expert fears more may be on the way.

Canadian Tamil Congress spokeswoman Manjula Selvarajah said those on board the MV Sun Sea are fleeing Sri Lanka after the end of a war of independence between the Tamil Tigers army and the Sri Lankan government.

The Tamil Tigers are considered a terrorist organization by Canada and its members are banned from entering the country.

“We know from authorities there are possibly 200 people, including women and children, onboard. We’re preparing for them this weekend,” Ms. Selvarajah said.

Rohan Gunaratna, who heads the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism in Singapore, said there were Tamil Tiger leaders among the group that arrived on the Ocean Lady and even more onboard the MV Sun Sea.

“The ship carries not just refugees, but is staffed by a Tamil Tiger crew,” said Mr. Gunaratna, who has studied the Tamil Tigers and their 25-year war, since 1984. The Tamils lost their fight for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka’s north in May 2009.

“Canadian laws are exceptionally weak when it comes to terrorism. Canada’s response to the Ocean Lady determined the MVSun Sea’s voyage because it was a weak response,” said Mr. Gunaratna, adding sources have told him there are two more ships carrying a mix of Tamil Tigers and refugees coming to B.C.

Read more:[snip]

We have an immigration problem here in Canada. These queue jumpers get in, get housing, sometimes welfare, and a leisurely period to have their claim processed. It's been happening more and more often. The immigration policies of the Liberal governments is starting to come back and haunt us. In fact it took a Conservative government to label the LTTE, Tamil Tigers, a terrorist organization.

Then there was the incident last year where the Toronto Tamils staged a huge protest that shut down the Gardener Expressway. Why do they come here? Well we are a soft touch apparently. Personally I think that any ships carrying large numbers of refugees like this should be shipped back. I know it sounds wrong, even to me. Where do we draw the line? I have known a few political refugees in my time. Most of them were legitimate. I think part of the issue is that these people run here, and get handed everything on a silver platter.

Part of the process is the Immigration Hearings. Why do they take so long to get heard and resolved? I think that this is something that the Conservative government should take an extremely close look on and attempt to fix.

Oh and for grins and giggles, read the comments. Rather illuminating.

The Omar Khadr Trial

Well the Omar Khadr trial has started and there was an opening statement by his defense lawyer.

Omar Khadr no war criminal, defence says:

By The Canadian Press

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - Omar Khadr's lawyer has told his trial that the Canadian was a scared, bleeding and blinded child who is not a war criminal.

In his opening statement, Lt.-Col. Jon Jackson said Khadr never threw the grenade that killed an American soldier in Afghanistan.

He said the 15-year-old was only in the compound that fateful day in July 2002 because his father had sent him there.

Khadr, Jackson said, has waited eight years to tell his story.

The lawyer said the defence will show Khadr only confessed to throwing the grenade because he was scared to death of his interrogators.

The government in its statement described Khadr as a trained al- Qaida terrorist.

Well, let the left wing apologists sing forth about poor Omar Khadr. Personally I think the whole family are unabashed terrorist supporters. Canadian citizens by convenience only. Why do I say that? Like I have said before, I don't like using Wikipedia that often. Usually because of wrong facts, how some articles are edited to make certain people better sounding.

For example this article on the family. Specifically this statement:
In their 2008 report concerning Mahmoud Jaballah, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) mistakenly stated that Omar and Abdulkareem attended "training camps", which they did not.[18]

Unfortunately the link to the CSIS pdf report is no longer available online. There is also no documentation supporting that statement. The youngest son as well is a real piece of work.

The Khadr family, keeps repeating like a bad pizza.

Time To Plan An Albertan Vacation.

Environmental groups tick me off. Why? Mostly because of their sanctimonious attitudes. Holier then thou beliefs and how they are living "greener". What did they do this time? Well they are targeting Alberta over the Oil Sands Project.

Controversial oilsands ad could hurt tourism:

By Renata D'aliesio
Desire to travel to Alberta plummeted after potential tourists watched a short video depicting jarring images of toxic tailing ponds, oil-covered ducks, and aboriginals worried about their health as result of oilsands activity, a new survey reveals.

The controversial Rethink Alberta video, created by coalition of mostly U.S. environmental groups, was shown to nearly 4,000 people in Canada, the United States and Britain as part of an Angus Reid survey.

Before watching the video on YouTube, 49 per cent of American respondents and 54 per cent of Britons said they would definitely or probably consider travelling to Alberta destinations such as Calgary, Edmonton or the Rockies for a holiday.

After viewing the advertising campaign, however, only about one-quarter of Americans and Britons said they would still consider visiting Alberta.

"The findings are devastating," said pollster Mario Canseco of Angus Reid. "If enough people use ... social media networks to get the campaign going, it could certainly affect the way people in the U.S. and the U.K. feel about Alberta and hurt the tourism industry."

The Rethink Alberta initiative was launched in mid-July with a video, website, and billboards in four American cities. The group's YouTube posting has been viewed more than 18,000 times. The antioilsands campaign is expected to expand into the United Kingdom.

The Alberta government maintains the ads are riddled with misinformation about the oilsands' environmental record.

Premier Ed Stelmach has gone on a public relations offensive to counter the ads' damaging claims, unleashing a $268,000 marketing effort -- paid for by Alberta taxpayers. He also played up the bitumen bounty's nationwide economic benefits at last week's meeting of premiers and territorial leaders in Winnipeg. [snip]

Personally I think you can tell the way the author of this article leans with the empasised part in the last paragraph. Emphasised by me that is. Of course the government is going to pay for tourism ads. It's what most governments do. There's a lot of disinformation about the oil sands. Almost all of it from the environmental groups that scream about it.

Where are the oil sands? Northern Alberta near Fort McMurray. Here's the Wikipedia article on the oil sands(yeah I know, it's Wikipedia. Have your salt shaker ready for some of the claims). The map of the area showing the extant of the oil sands deposit is illuminating. Also keep in mind that this stuff is just sitting there underground easily reached by digging with backhoes. Therefore it would be considered an environmental hazard all on it's lonesome even if we didn't try to exploit it.

Anyway. There's a video at the link that the environmental groups put out targeting Alberta. If I could afford to, and hadn't already used up my vacation time, That's where I would be headed. It's a great province, great people, and amazing scenery. Also it's one of the few provinces in Canada, if not only one, that has zero to a minor deficit. With no HST or PST. Gotta love it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reason Eleventy why the western provinces hate Quebec

One big thing up here in Canada are "Equalization Payments" from the federal government to provincial governments. It was supposed to balance out provincial budgets from "have" provinces to "have not" provinces. For some strange reason the one province that seems to benefit the most from this is Quebec. Quebec has gotten a lot of federal service contracts, and other plum jobs.

Here's how it breaks down now according to this editorial by L. Ian MacDonald:

Quebec feasts on equalization payments:

We need new rules on equalization, and the proof of it is in the Quebec model.

Equalization is supposed to allow the six recipient provinces to provide “comparable services” to the four donor provinces.

But Quebec, which received $8.3 billion or 60% of all equalization transfers in the last fiscal year, provides services as a have-not province that are nowhere available among the haves.

There is no other province where publicly funded daycare is available for $7 a day, when its total cost is seven times that, $49 a day.

This is why Quebec, with only 20% of the daycare-age kids in the country, has about half the daycare spaces in the country. Thanks, Alberta.

There is no other province where university tuition fees are $1,800 a year for undergraduates, allowing Quebec residents to attend McGill, the country’s most renowned university, for about half what it would cost to attend the University of Alberta, the biggest donor province.

Quebec tuition fees have been frozen since 1995, which was in another century. Thanks, Alberta.

There is no other province where half the cost of private secondary schooling is subsidized by the provincial government, which is kind of Quebec’s little secret. The rest of Canada hasn’t heard of that one yet. But when my daughter attended Sacred Heart School for girls in Montreal for five years, the $7,000 annual tuition fees were matched by the government. This is why about 25% of Quebec secondary students attend private schools, as opposed to a national average around 10%. Thanks, Alberta.[snip]

Why does he keep on saying "Thanks, Alberta"? Well Alberta used to be a "have not" province until the big oil fields started really producing. It's the only province in the past decade that hasn't had a out of control deficit. They don't have a provincial sales tax. As well over the past few years the provincial government has been mailing out money to it's citizens as cash bonuses due to all the oil tax revenue it's been pulling in.

Quebec has always screamed for special rights. In fact some of them are enshrined in our constitution. Of course they don't seem to get enough and want more and more and more.

Quebec is also one of the only provinces that have a secessionist party that's ruled the province and at one time the Bloc Quebecois, the federal secessionist party, was the official opposition in the parliament. I think enough is enough and they need to be removed from the public teat that is the rest of Canada.

Homegrown Needs Some Weed Killer

Well as I previously talked about Homegrown last Friday, it opened yesterday. There's been a bit of controversy about it. Not just being sympathetic to a CONVICTED terrorist, the play also recieved about $6,000 dollars of federal funding.

Well here are three articles

First: Audience raves for play about convicted terrorist

It was two thumbs up from theatre goers for the debut of a controversial play based on the Toronto 18 terror ring.

About 150 people packed the Theatre Passe Muraille on Ryerson Ave., Thursday night to check out Homegrown, a 70-minute play based on one of the suspects.

Patrons didn’t express concerns with the terror content of the play and cheered the actors after the show.

“It was a fantastic show,” said Richard Troy. “It was a good production that had an honesty about it.”

Paul Weinberg said he was interested in the people in the play.

“I wasn’t interested in the relationship that much,” Weinberg said. “I would have liked to know more about the characters.”

The autobiographical play chronicles playwright Catherine Frid’s 18-months worth of visits with Shareef Abdelhaleem as he awaited trial.

Abdelhaleem was found guilty earlier this year of two terrorism-related charges in connection with the plot to bomb downtown Toronto.

Jonathan Kolber said the show made him want to learn more about the people arrested in June 2006 as part of the largest terrorism-bust in Canadian history.

“The play sheds light on the situation and makes me want to question certain things,” Kolber said.[snip]

Question certain things? 150 people gave a standing ovation? Well, It was opening night so I should expect things like this. Probably all useful idiots that think the convicted terrorists are really something like freedom fighters.

Second: 9/11 victim's daughter slams terror play
TORONTO - Last night, I attended the opening of Homegrown, a play about Toronto 18 terrorist Shareef Abdelhaleem.

That Catherine Frid wants to stand up for the underdog is admirable.

That she thinks Abdelhaleem is an underdog worth standing up for is appalling.

To be fair, it would take one heck of a piece of theatre for this gal to show an ounce of sympathy toward a convicted terrorist.

This didn't come close.

In one scene, the script referenced the playwright as a character (Frid visited Abdelhaleem in jail over 18 months) talking about the post 9/11 world.

But I couldn't help thinking: What did she know about the post 9/11 world?

I've been living a post 9/11 world ever since 9/11.

My father, Ken, died on 9/11.

When blowing up people, places and things becomes part of your list of acceptable activities, for whatever reason, I don't tend to feel sorry for you. Ever.

So Frid never really had a chance in that respect.

What she did have a chance to explain is why Abdelhaleem was worth writing a play about, a question that still lacks a satisfactory answer as far as I am concerned, having seen the performance.

You see, Abdelhaleem, though he may have suffered under anti-terrorism legislation, was still at the wrong end of a plot to bomb Toronto.

I don't care that he never meant to hurt anybody.

I don't care that he had a small cell and worried constantly about his cats.

I don't care that he spent too long in solitary confinement.

All I could think of at the beginning of the play, during a sequence about the time he spent in solitary, was that that's nothing compared to what my dad suffered when he was in the Twin Towers and they filled with smoke.

Nothing.

It's a life sentence for the victims.

You want drama? The 9/11 families have been through hell and back.

Their stories are 50 times more compelling than this dingbat's story.

Somewhere, in his head, bombing Toronto was OK. Even for just a moment.

That is just not something I will side with. Ever.

Frid's script never delivers the answers I was looking for, that's for sure.

And because it doesn't, she doesn't deserve my sympathy either.

Homegrown was not a good show.
(I had to quote that one in full)

Third: Homegrown a play worth missing: Editorial

We have no sympathy for this devil.

No matter how playwright Catherine Frid wants to portray Shareef Abdelhaleem, in our view, in the world's view and in the court's view, he's a terrorist.

He's been convicted for his part in the 2006 plot to detonate a massive truck bomb in this city's downtown core. He didn't even mount a defence, other than arguing he felt entrapped -- an argument practically laughed out of court by the judge.

And he's the object of Frid's affection in her new play, Homegrown, that debuted Thursday night -- underwhelmingly, to say the least -- in front of a full house at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, as part of the SummerWorks Theatre Festival.

Abdelhaleem can try to minimize his role in the terror plot but there's no disputing the fact he tried to make a killing off killing, by betting the stock market would crash after the Toronto 18 terrorist attack.

He intended to profit from the death and destruction the planned potassium nitrate bombs would cause when set off during the morning rush hour in the heart of downtown Toronto's financial district.

Certainly he was a middleman. Certainly he was a terrorist. Certainly he's sitting exactly where he should be -- behind bars.

And certainly it's insulting that taxpayers are helping to fund a positive portrayal of this terrorist.[snip]

Here's the thing. Abelhaleem hasn't even been sentenced yet. Already there's a play out there showing him as a VICTIM!!! I am sorry, but he's no victim. If he and his group had gotten away with their plot the whole Toronto downtown financial district would have been full of victims from their bombs.

We have people like Catherine Frid, Jack Layton, and numerous other apologists for barbarians like the Toronto 18 or other terrorist groups. Why are they given a pass for actions like this? They are conspirators and criminals. The only reason why they got caught was that our law enforcement officers got lucky. I just hope that there aren't other groups like this out there plotting, planning, and staying quiet.

To answer one of the people interviewed in the first article yes this whole incident makes we want to ask questions. I don't think my questions will be the same as yours though.

G20 Protest: It's Not Over Yet

Well, it's been over a month since the whole G20 debacle here in Toronto. The accusations have been flying left and right about who was in the right, who was in the wrong (hint: the police), and what's been going on. Well one protester is stepping into the whole mess and will be filing a class action law suit:

G20 Protester to launch class action

A woman who was part of a peaceful demonstration that was surrounded and detained by riot police for hours at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on the G20 weekend is launching a class-action lawsuit, with the help of two high-profile Toronto lawyers. Lawyer Murray Klippenstein, working with Eric Gillespie to head the suit, said the woman in question will reveal her identity and speak at a news conference announcing the suit today at Queen's Park. A statement yesterday said the woman will "act as a representative plaintiff for more than 800 individuals who were allegedly wrongfully arrested during the G20 Summit at various locations, and never charged with any wrongdoing." More than 1,000 people were arrested on June 26 to 27 in Toronto.


I think this is going too far. I did hear someone talking about this a few weeks ago as well. We know how the whole mess went down, what happened, violence, vandalism, destruction. Personally I hope this suit goes to court and the protesters lose big time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Military Deserters No Longer Welcome

Hurray, hallelujah, rejoice. Finally a government has stepped forward and made a decision about military deserters. Oh, I am sorry. I mean "Conscientious Objectors". There are a few Americans, according to one group 40, that are in Canada fighting for refugee status. I say send the cowards back to face justice. Apparently the Conservative government feels the same way.

Ottawa to make Canada less inviting for U.S. deserters:
OTTAWA — The Conservative government has given immigration officers tough new marching orders for dealing with military deserters seeking refuge in Canada, painting them as criminals who may be inadmissible.

The Immigration Department is leaning on officers to give a more critical assessment in new cases and telling them to report more often about existing files.

The department recently issued a bulletin to field officers saying flight from military service in another country may make certain refugee claimants inadmissible.

The new directive points to existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act -- sections that bar refugees from Canada on the "grounds of serious criminality" -- in order to make the case.

"Desertion is an offence in Canada under the National Defence Act," says the notice, issued July 22.

"The maximum punishment for desertion under section 88 of the (National Defence Act) is life imprisonment, if the person committed the offence on active service or under orders for active service. Consequently, persons who have deserted the military in their country of origin may be inadmissible to Canada."

The bulletin stops short of imposing a flat ban on deserters entering the country and instructs immigration officers to seek guidance from regional advisers when dealing with deserters applying for permanent residence. It also tells them to notify the department's case management branch when any new refugee claims are filed or high-profile ones are updated.

Critics charged the Conservatives were singling out deserters and discriminating against them.

Officials in Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office were not available to comment, but a department spokesman denied deserters are being treated any differently and other cases also merit close scrutiny. [snip]

There's a lot more in there to read. Unfortunately there's a few parties in government that want to let these cowards stay. Pay attention folks, these are the people that we don't want here or governing us.

Those Wacky Khadr's

Well, Omar isn't the only Khadr family member to run up against jail time. I seemed to have missed his elder brother, Abdullah, who was facing extradition to the United States on the usual family charge. That's right terrorism. Unfortunately Abdullah Khadr has been released and the extradition charges have been stayed. From the Toronto Star (yes they are left leaning, but they gave more information then the Toronto Sun):

Court rejects Abdullah Khadr extradition request
“Exceptional case on many levels."

An Ontario court has denied a U.S. request to send Abdullah Khadr to a Boston court to face terrorism charges.

Extradition orders to the U.S. are rarely denied, but Superior Court Justice Christopher Speyer ruled Wednesday that "this was an exceptional case on many levels."

The ruling comes just days before Khadr’s younger brother Omar goes on trial for war crimes in Guantanamo.

Reading passages from his 62-page decision, Speyer told a Toronto court that setting aside the extradition order was a "remedy of last resort" required in this case due to the fact that Khadr was illegally held and interrogated.

Khadr's lawyers Nathan Whitling and Dennis Edney had argued that extraditing Khadr would mean Canada supports countries that violate international law.[snip]

I had to stop there at the end of this quote. I guess they are saying the Americans don't follow international law. Well, the article goes into further detail about the Al-Qaeda connection with the families past. I have also mentioned this history previously.

As well Omar is still fighting his military tribunal in the states.

Khadr's lawyer attempts to delay trial

OTTAWA – The court-appointed lawyer for Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr wants the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Khadr’s soon-to-be started trial for several war crimes.

U.S. Army lawyer Lt. Col. Jon Jackson argued that the military commissions set up at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Station in Cuba to try Khadr and other suspected terrorists is unconstitutional and unfair.

He asked the Supreme Court Monday to suspend Khadr’s military commission trial – set to begin as early as Aug. 10.

A U.S. Appeals Court was first asked to rule on the constitutionality of the military commissions back in April, but has not yet done so.

Jackson told the Supreme Court it needs to step in or Khadr “will suffer very significant harm” if the trial proceeds without the appeals court delivering its ruling.

The legal manoeuvre is Jackson’s first since he became Khadr’s court-appointed counsel after Khadr fired his civilian lawyers last month and told military commission judge Col. Patrick Parrish that he would boycott the proceedings and represent himself.

I am still trying to figure out why they are arguing the constitutional basis of this trial. I know the military lawyer has to deal with the cards he has been dealt. I wonder how long he will last since Omar has fired all his previous lawyers.

Anyway. I hope the federal government continues to pursue the extradition of Abdullah. We don't need any more welfare sucking terrorists in this country.

David Suzuki Spouts Off

Well, I remember when David Suzuki's "The Nature of Things" was required viewing for anything science and nature related back in the day. I don't doubt that he is a good geneticist. When it comes to the environment though I tend to have my doubts. His latest article for Science Matters is an ongoing attack against Climate Change Deniers. He attacks big oil, "bad science", and other talking points on why Anthropogenic Global Warming exists.

He states the usual global warming boogey men like rising sea levels, shrinking arctic ice and glaciers, extreme weather events. The usual fear mongering from the cult of AGW.

Lets check out the rising sea levels shall we? Here's a good debunking on sea level rise from the web site Watts Up With That? In that post he has an animation that merges two pictures from modern era and 1861 in La Jolla California. Minor changes, but no rise in sea level.

Now how about those receding glaciers? One major example that has been used is the location of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya. With all sorts of great animations as it is one of the most photographed mountains in Africa. Yes the glaciers have receded. Is it due to global warming? Actually no. The glaciers have been receding due to the deforestation on the mountain slopes. Once again back to Watts Up With That? for a article all about the issue on using Mt. Kilimanjaro as an example of global warming.

Okay, so I am using one web site at the moment to debunk Dr. Suzukis slanders. The main reason is that Anthony Watt uses sources to prove his points and documents and reviews. He will also admit when he has made a mistake.

Now let's look at the golden standard all AGW scientists use for panicking about global warming. The IPCC . Now what's wrong with this? How about the last paper they put out on the "catastrophe" of global warming. Well there seems to be a lot of mistakes and errors. Not just one or two, but pages and pages of improper science and reviews. So much for peer reviewed scientists only contributing to the IPCC research.

Now, I am not a denier of global warming. It does happen, and has happened. How many people know that grapes were grown by the Roman Legions in England just south of Hadrians Wall? How many people know about the Medieval Warming Period? Then there are the little ice ages like the Maunder Minimum. Mann's Hockey Stick graph has been proven to be a fraud. It ignored documented history from the past like the MWP and the Maunder Minimum and tried to show a static climate until the 20th Century. Anyone here remember the fears from the mid to late 70's of the coming ice age? Or the colder then normal years during the early 40's?

Climate change happens. Blaming mankind for the current round of temperatures though seems to be hubris written large. Blaming "big oil" for all our modern problems is just foolish. Saying that the "deniers" are being funded by big oil is just as bad. There's a lot more to this climate change drive then we can see. I may go into more detail later on. Or I may not. We must question science all the time. No science is ever settled.