Wednesday, November 14, 2018


   The Liberals have allocated less than half of the budget spending from a controversial $7-billion fund that outraged opposition MPs, who argued it fundamentally undermined how Parliament scrutinizes government spending. They say the pace of the roll-out shows the revamped system didn’t justify the lost oversight.
   The government transferred $2.89-billion, or 41 per cent, to departments since the $7.04-billion fund passed the House in June as part a process to reform the main spending estimates to get them aligned with the budget for the first time. Vote 40 created a central fund for the Treasury Board to manage programs identified in the budget that weren’t yet fleshed out, but given the amount spent to date critics say there’s no reason the government couldn’t have asked for the bulk of funding the traditional way: through supplementary estimates. The first of two this year were tabled Oct. 24.
   “What that number shows is that there really wasn’t any good reason to ask Parliament to authorize that spending because those projects aren’t ready to go,” said NDP MP Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood-Transcona, Man.).


  British Prime Minister Theresa May said that she won her Cabinet’s backing for a draft divorce deal with the European Union after a “long, detailed and impassioned” marathon meeting Wednesday.
  The breakthrough came as pro-Brexit lawmakers raged against a draft agreement they said would make the U.K. subservient to the bloc indefinitely.
   May’s Cabinet debated whether to support the deal after negotiators from Britain and the European Union broke a months-long logjam and reached agreement on divorce terms.


  The supply of oil going to Quebec refineries has undergone a dramatic transformation in less than six years.
   While the province got most of its oil from overseas in 2012, the situation had flipped by 2017, with most of the supply now coming from North American producers. On top of that, Western Canada is now the Central Canadian province's top source of crude.
    The shift away from overseas imports is partly due to a 2015 reversal in the direction oil is delivered through Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline, according to a new analysis by the National Bank of Canada. The analysis, first reported by Radio-Canada, also attributed the shift to increased production of U.S. shale oil.
  For those of you that want to see pipeline maps, have at 'er.


  Three used icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard will cost 30 per cent more than the federal government previously said — an increase that officials have blamed on tariffs and fees, but one expert says is proof of a lack of planning.
   In August, the government gave the cost of the three icebreakers as $610 million when it announced its plan to buy them from Quebec-based Davie Shipyard without a competition to temporarily augment the coast guard's aging fleet.
  The additional $217 million is needed to cover tariffs for importing the Norwegian-made ships as well as brokerage fees, engineering work and other costs to get them up and running, said coast-guard spokesman Benoit Mayrand.
   For its part, Davie welcomed news of the additional funds on Tuesday.
Sans aucun doute.


   The Ontario government is raising the number of seats in the legislature required to achieve official party status, just months after the provincial election that saw the Liberals slip below the current threshold.
  Progressive Conservative House Leader Todd Smith said Tuesday the new minimum — to be laid out in the fall economic statement later this week — will be 10 per cent of the house, or 12 seats, up from eight.
  "When we saw the legislature shrink in size in 1999, the number of seats needed for official party status shrunk as well. We saw the size of the legislature increase from 107 seats to 124 seats for the last election and the number didn't change, so what we're doing is making it clear to all involved that 10 per cent is the number from here on out," he said.
   "It'll take the politics out of this."


  Just a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out in Paris in support of a free press — an institution he said needs to be "free-thinking, independent, rigorous, robust, respected" — Canada's finance minister gave a key speech in Beijing behind closed doors.
   Journalists were barred from listening to Finance Minister Bill Morneau's speech Monday because "the Chinese officials speaking at the dinner have asked that it not be open to media," said Sarah Kutulakos, executive director of the Canada China Business Council (CCBC), the host organization for the event.


    A Newfoundland farmer is on the lookout for an escaped cow that hopped his farm’s fence last Thursday.
    He is asking the public not to approach the 450-kilogram black cow as the search continues.
  “She’s not a little pup or anything, she’s a fairly big animal,” Scott said. One man was hurt in a tussle with Coco on Saturday afternoon as he tried to catch her.


   CALGARY — The results are in, and a majority of Calgarians are saying “no thanks” to a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
   The city conducted a non-binding plebiscite today to gauge public opinion on whether or not there is sufficient interest to submit a bid. Out of 767,734 eligible voters in Calgary, 56 per cent (171,750 of 304,774 total votes) said they don’t want the city to throw in its hat for the games.
    The plebiscite’s result is non-binding on city council, which has the final say on whether Calgary will proceed with a bid.


   One of the largest foreign holders of Canadian energy stocks says investors are turning away from the country, frustrated over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s failure to get pipelines built to ease a record discount for oil-sands crude.
   In a letter to the prime minister, Darren Peers, an analyst and investor at Los Angeles-based Capital Group Cos., warns investors and companies will continue to avoid the Canadian energy sector unless more is done to improve market access.
   “Capital Group’s energy investments are increasingly shifting to other jurisdictions and that is likely to continue without strong government action,” Peers wrote in a letter dated Oct. 19. “I hope that your government will be even more proactive in securing market access which will assure the competitiveness of Canadian energy companies.”


   Over the past several weeks, Canadians have been treated to the spectacle of the Government of Canada in a legal sparring match with the counsel for Admiral Mark Norman over his charges on breach of trust. He is accused of passing cabinet confidences to reporters in order to shape government decision-making over the lease of a naval supply ship from Davie Shipbuilding. The admiral’s court filings suggest that some Liberal cabinet members attempted to reopen the contract to support the politically well-connected Irving Shipyards.
   Boiled down to their essence, Norman’s legal counsel is alleging the Liberal government has put their partisan interests in front of Canada’s national security, and the charges are an effort to punish him for revealing this uncomfortable fact.
   While these counter-accusations are yet to be tested in court, an appraisal of the government’s relationship with Canada’s military shows a pattern of similar behaviour

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


    U.S. President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize France, directly mocking President Emmanuel Macron and once again bringing up his demand that NATO allies "pay up."
   Trump's tweets on November 13 came after Macron appeared to indirectly criticize Trump in Paris during World War I commemorations on November 11 and earlier suggested that Europe develop an army to protect itself from traditional rivals Russia and China -- and possibly against the United States, its longtime ally.
President Trump makes valid points:  check out the defense expenditures of NATO countries.


   California Gov. Jerry Brown said all climate-change deniers are "definitely contributing" to the fatal wind-whipped wildfires that have pummeled northern and southern parts of the state over the past few days, as well as blazes "in the coming years."
    The Camp Fire in Butte County, north of Sacramento in California's Gold Rush country, has claimed the lives of at least 29 people, according to Cal Fire incident stats this evening. The blaze, which started Thursday, has destroyed 6,453 residences and 260 commercial buildings, making it the most destructive fire in the state's history as it ripped through Paradise, Calif., at a speed of 80 acres per minute, and was 25 percent contained at 111,000 acres. The cause is still under investigation.
   Brown said in response that "the scientists and the engineers and the firefighters all tell us forest management is one element, it's only one."
   "And we have to take care of the whole range of threats and conditions and actions that are part of our living with fire, living with fire threats. And while we do more forest management -- both the federal government, which has more land than the state government, and by private people in the state -- we have to all do more," the governor continued. "But managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change. And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing and will continue to witness in the coming years."


   Ontario drops the watchdog probes into police officers who try to save overdose victims.
   Police officers in Ontario will no longer face investigations by the provincewide watchdog if someone dies after they administer naloxone, an anti-overdose medication, the provincial government has announced -- and it's welcome news to London police officials.
   “No one should face unfair repercussions just because they are doing their job and trying to save a life,” Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s minister of community safety and correctional services, said in a statement. “This amendment will enable police officers to carry out their duties without fear of facing a criminal investigation, but more importantly, it will also help save countless lives.”


   Georgia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams filed a lawsuit in federal court Sunday in the hopes she could legally force a runoff election in her race against rival Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.
  Abrams, who has not conceded to Kemp despite him gaining 50.3 percent of the vote with 100 percent of precincts reporting as of Monday afternoon, filed a lawsuit Sunday to block two counties from rejecting provisional and absentee ballots with slight errors, the Washington Post reported.


  Broward County, Florida election official Brenda Snipes — who is continuing to find new ballots in the recent statewide midterm elections for Governor and the U.S. Senate — was previously accused of finding ballots after an election in 2012.
   Snipes was recently assisted by two organizations financed by billionaire activist George Soros in response to a lawsuit from a conservative group accusing her of maintaining inaccurate voter rolls.


        There are too many polar bears in parts of Nunavut and climate change hasn't yet affected any of them, says a draft management plan from the territorial government that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking.
    The proposed plan downplays one of the scientific community's main concerns. "Although there is growing scientific evidence linking the impacts of climate change to reduced body condition of bears and projections of population declines, no declines have currently been attributed to climate change," it reads. "[Inuit knowledge] acknowledges that polar bears are exposed to the effects of climate change, but suggests that they are adaptable."
   Environment Canada's response says that's "not in alignment with scientific evidence." It cites two studies suggesting the opposite.


   Kathleen Wynne made a commitment to herself: show up to the Ontario Legislature at least two days a week.
   When she’s at Queen’s Park, Ms. Wynne has a front-row seat – albeit, from the corner – to Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government in action. And a lot of his moves involve undoing what the Liberals did over the past 15 years, at warp speed.
   Defiant, yet almost in tears over her party’s loss, Ms. Wynne at once defends her government’s record while acknowledging that her personal unpopularity caused her to take the extraordinary step of announcing days before the June election that she would not win.


Beckwith, Ont., municipal officials told dozens of displeased residents Monday there's nothing they can do to stop a cannabis farm from setting up in the township.

"The problem is the federal government's made it legal, the province has said they can grow it and our zoning is proper … So we don't have too much say in the matter," Kidd said. 


   The federal government is planning to overhaul an immigration program designed to help newcomers find work and adjust to life in Canada which, despite having its budget nearly tripled in 2015, is being used by fewer than 10 per cent of immigrants.
   The changes come after an audit earlier this year pointed to problems with the pre-arrival services program, including ineffective promotion and low uptake, since the government expanded funding to 27 service providers in 2015, up from just three. That number has since dropped to 23.
   Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is now planning to further scale back the number of organizations that offer pre-arrival services, which have served as few as 13 clients in a single year, at a cost per client of up to nearly $28,000.


    One weekend consensus was that nationhood, at least Canadian nationhood, is good. But the weekend’s other message was that nationalism is bad. In fact, French President Emmanuel Macron argued, in logic so ingenious it can only be categorized as French, nationalism subverts the nation. Why? Because by putting national interests first we betray “the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values.” In other words, not Vive la France! but Vive les valeurs françaises! — a rallying cry you don’t actually hear very much in France. And hey, isn’t that our schtick, “promoting Canadian values?”
   The nationalism Macron decries is Trump nationalism. Mr. Trump is in most ways deficient but his declared foreign policy principles, as opposed to his strange weakness for dictators, is difficult to fault. He wants the United States to consider its own interests first and he wants other countries to pay more for the collective defence — which, despite campaign braggadocio about leaving NATO, he has not abandoned. It is hard to see how either idea offends moral values. In fact, the second bit, that other countries should bear more of the burden, merely reminds U.S. allies of what supposedly are among their strongest moral values, their internationalism and their willingness to contribute to the common good, traits many of them regard (self-regardingly) as defining.
     As for putting national interests first, which national leader among the 60 who marched Sunday in Paris doesn’t do that? Ours certainly does. As he should. A 2010 report by a self-appointed group of worthies including Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s chief counsellor, put it best: “The prime objective of our diplomacy must be the well-being of Canadians.” Also: “Moralism is not a policy” and “we often seem to prefer the gauzy candescence of ‘values discussions’ to the hard reality of producing a more prosperous and secure future.”


   Much was made recently about the next federal election being less than a year away. A lingering issue for the Trudeau government, in particular the prime minister and the minister of finance, is their ability to soundly manage the country’s finances.
   While much of the attention has rightly focused on the government’s ongoing inability to balance its budget, more focus is needed on spending, which is the underlying reason why the government can’t match spending with revenues. Indeed, the government’s philosophy on spending seems to be to spend as much as possible given current revenues and its ability (both economically and politically) to borrow.
   Upon winning the fall election, the Liberals immediately increased spending. Their first budget as government (released in the spring of 2016) projected program spending in 2016-17 to increase to $291.4 billion, an increase of $28.2 billion or 10.7 per cent in one year. Almost all the new spending was to be financed by borrowing, with the annual deficit projected to reach $29.4 billion in 2016-17.

Monday, November 12, 2018


The disease has been relatively slow moving, arriving in Canada in the 1890s and gradually spreading through the Maritimes, Quebec and now Ontario.


   On the electricity file, the Ontario PC’s have made some positive first steps in cancelling early-stage renewal energy projects and scrapping the Green Energy Act. However, as a recent Fraser Institute study notes, while these moves will prevent some future electricity price increases, they would not actually undo the past price increases.
   “The next logical step,” write the Fraser economists, “would therefore be to use legislative measures to cancel Ontario’s funding commitments to renewable energy sources under the FIT [Feed-in-Tariff] contracts” in order to reduce the global adjustment “by almost 40%, resulting in an approximately 24% reduction in residential electricity prices.”
     Additional reforms to the global adjustment, according to the Fraser economists, could increase the potential reduction of residential electricity prices to 27%. This would surely be welcome relief to Ontario residents given the 71% increase in electricity prices from 2008 to 2016. This was by far the largest increase of any province; for example, electricity prices increased only 10% in neighbouring Quebec and 31% in Manitoba.


   Ten European states have created a new defense coalition. It was launched on June 25 and held its first historic meeting in Paris on Nov.7 to start thrashing out details of how the force will operate and welcome Finland as the tenth participant. All founding nations are EU members, including Great Britain, which is to leave the bloc in March, 2019.
   Led by France, the European Initiative Intervention (EII) comprises the UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Finland to cooperate in the planning, analysis of new military and humanitarian crises, and possible joint activities in response to contingencies. It is planned to have a common budget.
   An independent military bloc will weaken NATO and reduce the Europe’s dependence on the United States. From this point of view, it will benefit Europe because its interests often do not coincide with that of the US. For instance, America cares little about the immigration, which is a far-flung problem for Washington, but keeping new migrants waves away is a matter of make it or break it for EU. In their turn, Europeans have nothing to do in Iraq and Afghanistan and have sent forces there only to demonstrate the transatlantic solidarity.


  As American LNG costs continue to fall, and as Europe looks to untangle itself from Gazprom, U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are quickly becoming a welcome alternative to Russian gas supplies. The United States is all too happy to help Europe increase its energy security by diversifying its natural gas supplies - in which Gazprom holds more than a third of the market
   These were the key messages from U.S. officials and LNG developers at this week’s gas conference in Berlin.
  Germany is the end-point of the controversial Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which will follow the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea. The U.S. opposes the project, as do EU institutions and some EU members such as Poland and Lithuania. Germany, however, supports Nord Stream 2 and sees the project as a private commercial venture that will help it to meet rising natural gas demand.


  Rex Murphy:  “Madame Clarkson is universally acknowledged to have transformed the office during her six years at Rideau Hall and to have left an indelible mark on Canada’s history.”
   Now, for example, were a pirate reading this, this is the point at which he would let rip — “Well, shiver me timbers, that’s a bit much” — for even an unschooled marine brigand would lift an eyepatch at so generous a self-assessment. And even beyond the pirate class, mere ordinary citizens would likely call a halt at the same spot, and sadly conclude that Madame Clarkson was reading her career at Rideau Hall with too powerful or kindly a magnifying glass.
    Canadians feel, and feel correctly, that there is a certain class of dignitaries, cultural figures and pseudo-celebrities who assign themselves an importance to our public life, who see themselves as “significant” to how the country runs, in a way that is all out of proportion with the actual facts of the case.


   French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism during an Armistice Day centennial observance in Paris on Sunday.
   “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is treason,” Macron said, according to a Euronews translator.
    “I would say I’m a patriot,” he said, but added: “I’m not a believer in a sort of globalism without any differentiation. I think it doesn’t — it’s very inconsistent, and it’s extremely — it makes our people very nervous. But I’m not a nationalist, which is very different for me from being a patriot.”

   Clear as merde.


    The vote tally irregularities seem insufficient to undo the election results (except perhaps in Arizona) despite the best effort of the election-supervising hacks, the aim seems to be to force a redo of the elections and to delay the seating of the elected Republicans.
    This vote theft is a long-established Democratic trick.
   According to FairVote there have been 27 contested state elections (recounts) since 2000 and regardless of who had the lead going in Democrats have won… all 27. C’est un miracle! [snip] So if you’re worried about the Democrats stealing elections in Florida and Arizona you have good reason. We’re certainly not dealing with amateurs here. And they will continue counting all the Democratic votes “not yet counted” and all the provisional votes fit to count in every Democrat leaning stronghold until they get the right answer. Or until they’re thrown out of the casino for cheating.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


   Broward County has reportedly approved recounts in four Florida races, according to CNN, while the Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has ordered them in tight races for Senate, Governor and Attorney General Commissioner, and has ordered a statewide machine recount.
   After a Florida Judge ordered Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes to allow for the immediate inspection of tens of thousands of ballots suddenly found after Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson lost to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, Snipes failed to abide by a 7 PM deadline set at the emergency hearing. Instead, workers were filmed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) shuffling boxes into a truck, before he was forcibly removed by a police officer.
   Snipes has a sordid history in her 15-years on the job. In May 2018 a judge ruled that she violated federal and state laws by destroying ballots. She has opened mail-in ballots in secret, and has accidentally posted election results before polls closed.


   The “Indigenous Solutions for Environmental Challenges” conference will feature luminaries such as David Suzuki, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame and former chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine.
   They plan to discuss a long running court case out of Ecuador and its impact on Indigenous rights and the environment around the world.
   Eventually, the case landed before the United States Court of Appeals, which determined the $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron was corrupt, that the claims of environmental damage had been inflated and the judgment had been achieved through “coercion, bribery, money laundering and other misconduct.”


   An American trucker passing through Ottawa treated a busload of Canadian veterans to dinner to honour their service.
   He said, ‘I want to pay for the meals for all the veterans.’
   Meiring told CTV Ottawa that the idea came from a personal place. His son serves in Afghanistan with the U.S. military, and he wanted to show the veterans that he appreciated all that they’ve done -- no matter which country they served.


   In the summer of 1918, it wasn’t clear the First World War was coming to an end.
   Throughout the spring of 1918, the Germans had launched a series of attacks along the front in France and Belgium. By early August, German military leaders were massing troops and ships for further land and sea battles designed to break the resolve of war-weary democracies such as Britain and France.


Of the 345,000 Canadian soldiers who made it from Canada to France or Belgium in the Great War, more than seven in ten were killed, wounded, or captured. That number includes many soldiers who served well behind the front lines, and the casualty rate among infantry was much higher, perhaps as much as 80 percent. If there was an almost mathematical certainty of death or wounding, why did soldiers keep fighting?


   A hundred years later, their words can still pierce hearts. Fighters writing home from opposing front lines of World War I, a Chinese labourer marvelling at the war’s end, a woman dreaming of reuniting with her soldier love.
   At a Paris ceremony Sunday marking the centennial of the armistice ending the first global war, eight teenagers born in the 21st century were to read from letters and notes written on the day the bloodshed stopped, Nov. 11, 1918.
  Here are excerpts from the readings.


   Georgia Republican Brian Kemp’s campaign on Saturday lambasted Democrat rival Stacey Abrams over her refusal to concede in the state’s gubernatorial race.
   “Stacey Abrams’ antics are a disgrace to democracy and completely ignore the will of the people,” campaign communications director Ryan Mahoney said in a statement. “Georgia voters have spoken. It’s time for Abrams to listen and concede immediately.”
   In response to Kemp’s criticism, the Democrat candidate posted a statement to Instagram, saying she is refusing to throw in the towel because she is “fighting to make sure our democracy works.”

Saturday, November 10, 2018


But almost no Canadians know anything about the Hundred Days of 1918 when the Canadian Corps, led by Lt.-Gen. Sir Arthur Currie, fought the most significant battles in Canadian military history. From Aug. 8 to the signing of the Armistice on Nov. 11, the 100,000 men of the four Canadian infantry divisions defeated one-quarter of the German army on the Western Front in a great succession of terrible struggles.
Beginning at Amiens, France, the Canadians, Australians, British and French smashed through the German lines, gaining up to 14 kilometres on the first day. The Canadians, the “shock troops of the British Army,” as historian Shane Schreiber dubbed them, had been moved some 60 kilometres in secrecy to the Amiens front, each soldier ordered to “Keep Your Mouth Shut!” Then with tanks, artillery, aircraft and infantry working together in a near-perfect combined arms attack that featured both disinformation and surprise, the Canadians attacked.


   Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien, also said that while his office met six times over the past year with Statscan for discussions that included the agency’s general plans to obtain “administrative data” from private companies, the specific plan to compel banks to hand over the records of 500,000 Canadian households was not raised with him.
   Former Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian told senators that she is strongly opposed to Statscan’s plan. She said the technology exists for banks to remove the names of individuals before transferring the data and that option should be looked at more closely.
   The hearings highlighted a key point of tension faced by the banks. As private-sector companies, they are governed by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, a federal law approved in 2000 that requires private companies to obtain an individual’s consent when they collect, use or disclose that individual’s personal information.
   However, Statistics Canada appears to be of the view that its powers in the Statistics Act – which dates to 1985 – trump the privacy laws governing the private sector.


   The Canadian oil industry reacted with frustration and bitterness Friday after a U.S. judge ordered a halt to the Keystone XL pipeline project until it passes further environmental review.
   The decision on Thursday means longer delays in finding a way to drain a glut of oil in Western Canada that has driven price discounts to multi-year highs and stalled investment, said Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
"It's a vulnerability that we can't control and will cost us hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars as a nation and thousands of jobs," he said Friday.
"And the only reason it does have such a massive impact on us is self-inflicted wounds here at home on projects that could have given us resilience against this sort of ruling."


  The European Union is facing an existential crisis as there is now a populist, eurosceptic Nigel Farage-type figure in every country, warned the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
   The Frenchman told delegates at the European People’s Party (EPP) group conference in Helsinki on Thursday that the European Project is “under threat” from the forces of populism, and the bloc must band together ahead of May 2019’s European Parliament elections to defeat it.
   “We have to fight against those who want to demolish Europe with their fear, their populist deceit, their attacks against the European project.
   The Telegraph said that Nigel Farage responded with “undisguised glee” that the leading Brexiteer’s threat of influence amongst populist circles weighed so heavily on the Eurocrat, saying: “I thank Mr Barnier for the compliment.”

Friday, November 9, 2018


    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s effort to portray himself as just another average Canadian, possessed of an ordinary everyday outlook and bedrock Canadian values, was never very convincing. Great effort has been devoted to it by his handlers — the selfies, the photo bombs, the corny family photos — all carefully staged to look absolutely unstaged and typical.
    Of course, that was before the trip to the Aga Khan’s private island, the visit to India dressed like an extra in a Bollywood romance, and the odd reaction to revelations he’d been accused of groping a young reporter at an event years ago. 
  The latest puzzling example of the Trudeau crowd’s inability to perceive the obvious followed news that Terri-Lynne McClintic, jailed for the brutal killing of eight-year-old Tori Stafford, had been transferred to a Saskatchewan healing lodge.


Building a sixth Arctic patrol ship to add to the five originally commissioned from Irving Shipbuilding for the Royal Canadian Navy will cost taxpayers $800 million — double the price-tag of each of the other vessels. The Liberal government announced the construction of the sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, or AOPS, last week after a push by Irving and its employees for additional work. The construction of the sixth vessel shows the government’s commitment “to maximizing stable employment” for Irving while providing equipment to the navy, Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, said in a statement. Each Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, or AOPS, costs $400 million. But the decision to build another such vessel comes with additional costs since the federal government is stretching out construction of that ship and a number of others to allow Irving employees to retain their jobs until a new fleet of larger warships, called Canadian Surface Combatants, is ready for construction.


   “They went over to the other side of the world. It was part of the United Nations, they called it a police action, but it a war by all definitions of the word. We had 26,000 Canadians serve on land, at sea and in the air during this conflict. We all know with recent news about North and South Korea still have a lot of tensions and such but on July 27, 1953, there was an armistice signed and it stopped the everyday shooting and bombing.” 
   “At the beginning of the Korean War, North Korea had invaded the South and they had pushed almost all the way to the very southern edge of the peninsula,” said Banman. “So whenever the United Nations forces intervened, they did a lot because they restored peace and freedom to South Korea, so it was a very important war and an important outcome to the people of South Korea because they were able to develop into the free and democratic and wealthy society they have now.” 


   On Tuesday, Clement resigned from his role as his party’s justice critic and from his committee duties, after admitting to sending sexually explicit images and a video to someone he thought was a consenting woman who he says tried to extort him.
   Initially party leader Andrew Scheer did not ask him to leave caucus, saying he believed Clement’s claim that the exchange that led to the extortion attempt was isolated.
   Scheer’s stance shifted Wednesday afternoon after he learned of more allegations from women posting about Clement’s behaviour on social media.


     A convicted child killer who became the subject of national outrage when it was learned she’d been transferred to an Indigenous healing lodge is back in prison, the father of her young victim said Thursday. Rodney Stafford issued a brief, celebratory Facebook post announcing that Terri-Lynne McClintic, who pleaded guilty in the brutal death of his eight-year-old daughter Tori, was no longer at the Saskatchewan lodge run by Corrections Canada. “It’s official!!! Terri-Lynne is back behind bars,” he wrote in the online post. Stafford later told a Toronto media outlet that McClintic had been relocated to a prison in Edmonton overnight, noting that Corrections Canada officials told him of the move Thursday morning.
  A reminder from October 3, 2018:  MPs were asked to vote on a Conservative motion denouncing the fact that McClintic has been moved from a secure prison facility to a healing lodge with no fence and with children present.
  Trudeau couldn’t do it. In fact, when the time came for MPs to vote, Trudeau bailed.


Ontario’s animal welfare agency plans to pull back from investigating cruelty cases involving livestock and horses as part of a restructure that insiders say may eventually see all its resources go toward shelters and rescue programs.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, whose officers have police powers and can lay both provincial offence and criminal animal cruelty charges, said lack of funding and years of financial losses had led to the decision.
   OSPCA CEO Kate MacDonald said discussions included farming out animal cruelty protection of large farm animals to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
That was news to the Progressive Conservative government, which pays the OSPCA $5.75 million each year under an agreement that stipulates the agency is responsible for running a call centre to respond to animal cruelty tips, a major case team to investigate complex cases, a registry of zoos and aquariums and specialists to investigate those facilities, as well as animal cruelty coverage of First Nations and northern Ontario.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


  Bombardier has announced measures that will result in 5,000 job losses, half of which will be in Quebec, over the next 12 to 18 months.
  The Montreal-based company said Thursday morning the measures will result in $250 million in annual savings. It also announced it will sell its Q Series turboprop aircraft program to Longview Aviation Capital for $300 million.
   The carrier reached another agreement to sell its business aircraft flight and technical training unit, which is run out of Montreal, Quebec City and Dallas, to another Montreal multinational, CAE.


  Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has called for a “true European army” to defend the continent against Russia, China and even the U.S.
   Macron said the continent could no longer rely on protection from America, citing the recent decision of Trump to withdraw from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, and he even suggested its old ally posed a potential threat.Photo caption from Robin Banks in the comments:

  Macron inspects France's "Tip of the Spear" Rapid Response Battalion


    The performance of the United Nations Human Rights Council in subjecting China to one of its periodic reviews in Geneva this week was everything critics have long pointed out about the UN system generally, and the UN’s human rights function specifically. It was a carnival of technocratic surrealism, polite uselessness and outrageous lies.
   When the day began, Canada’s contribution stood out not for its candour, but for its weirdness. While most western countries each submitted numerous advance questions on China’s human rights compliance that were fairly elaborate and detailed, touching on China’s multiplying and worsening outrages against several UN human rights charters and covenants, Canada submitted a single, one-sentence question. “What steps is China taking to grant equal marriage and family protections to LGBTI couples in its new Civil Code?”


   Billions of dollars in Western foreign aid to Afghanistan, including from Canada, has been lost to widespread waste, lax oversight and endemic corruption, a U.S. watchdog agency says.
    The U.S. Special Inspector-General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in a report to Congress that aid money has gone to build medical clinics without electricity or water, schools without children and buildings that literally melted away in the rain. Also, corrupt local officials who were in charge of paying workers with some of the funds created what the audits called “ghost workers,” civilian bureaucrats, police and soldiers who did not exist, then kept or diverted money recorded as being paid to them.
    Former Canadian diplomat David Mulroney, who was the deputy minister in charge of overseeing all aspects of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, said Ottawa was under heavy pressure from the UN and Europe to cut big cheques to the two funds. In effect, he said, Canada contracted out its management responsibility for spending taxpayers’ money in a country “devastated by three decades of war, and with a system of governance more medieval than modern.”


   French Jews have reacted in horror at reports President Emmanuel Macron will honor Marshal Philippe Pétain, the disgraced Nazi collaborator who authorised the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews to death camps.
  Marshal Petain’s name appears alongside seven other military chiefs to be honored Saturday in a ceremony at the Invalides monument, site of Napoleon’s tomb, to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1.
  Petain led the French army to victory in Verdun in 1916, but gained lasting infamy and a conviction for treason for his leadership of Nazi-sanctioned Vichy France during World War II.


Comparing the performance of different countries' health-care systems provides an opportunity for policy makers and the general public to determine how well Canada's health-care system is performing relative to its international peers. Overall, the data examined suggest that, although Canada's is among the most expensive universal-access health-care systems in the OECD, its performance is modest to poor.
This study uses a “value for money approach” to compare the cost and performance of 28 universal health-care systems in high-income countries. The level of health-care expenditure is measured using two indicators, while the performance of each country's health-care system is measured using 40 indicators, representing the four broad categories: [1] availability of resources; [2] use of resources; [3] access to resources; [4] quality and clinical performance.


   A real threat to freedom of the press occurs as a mob attacks Tucker Carlson's home while CNN whines about Acosta the accoster losing his White House access.
   In what looks to me like a terroristic threat, a mob of about 20 Antifa thugs pounded on the door of Tucker Carlson’s house, cracking it, and issued verbal threats intended to intimidate him into silence.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


   A British Army veteran who cleared IEDs in Syria has been reunited with the stray dog he found cowering in the rubble of Raqqa after the four-month battle to liberate the city from Isil.
   Sean Laidlaw, 30, a former lance corporal in the Royal Engineers, found Barrie, an Asian Shepherd cross puppy, in February 2018 when he was working as a private contractor removing unexploded ordnance and booby traps for the US State Department.
   Mr Laidlaw, from Hornchurch in Essex, has now been reunited with Barrie after seven months apart thanks to the efforts of a military charity which arranged for the dog to be brought 3,000 miles to the UK earlier this month.


  For the second year in a row, the Speaker of the House of Commons has chastised Finance Minister Bill Morneau for stuffing measures into a bill that were never mentioned in his budget.
  Speaker Geoff Regan ruled Tuesday that measures in Mr. Morneau’s 854-page budget bill – which Mr. Regan called “massive” – related to new federal labour laws were not mentioned in the 2018 budget and will therefore be voted on separately by MPs.
  The House of Commons has given the Speaker the power to order separate votes on bills – part of a Liberal Party campaign pledge to stop the misuse of omnibus bills.


  Veterans advocates say the government’s Pensions for Life program will create three different classes of veterans as some new applicants will receive less benefits than those who applied over the past 12 years and substantially less than those who applied earlier than that.
   The Liberal government came to power in 2015 pledging to correct the unfairness that veterans say resulted with the adoption of the New Veterans Charter of 2006. But veterans advocates say the lifetime pensions, which were introduced last December, have not met that goal and have actually injected more inequality into an already unequal system.
  The government is promising no veteran who is currently receiving benefits will see their compensation reduced as a result of the Pensions For Life program. But those who enter the system on or after April 1, 2019, when the new lifetime pensions take effect, will not be eligible for some benefits that are now available.


  While the Jewish people have enjoyed a long and meaningful history in Canada, we have not always been welcome in this country — especially in our darkest hour. In the days leading up to the Second World War, more than 900 Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis were given a rare opportunity to find safe harbour in Canada — but were ultimately refused by the Liberal government of McKenzie King. Over a quarter of them subsequently perished at the hands of the Nazis.
   Even after the Holocaust, discrimination against Jews continued with quotas in academia, restrictive covenants against the purchase of land and common exclusion from various public and private forums, all examples of ingrained societal anti-Semitism in Canada. My father still vividly recalls seeing signs that appeared on Canadian beachfronts, screaming, “No dogs or Jews allowed.”
   On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will apologize for the MS St. Louis. While the past cannot be changed, a sincere apology could be meaningful if Trudeau not only recognizes the widespread anti-Semitism of Canada’s past but also speaks to how our government plans to deal with anti-Semitism today.


   In a predicament that would surely elicit sympathy from Little Miss Muffet, 50 federal government employees were frightened away from their Ottawa office building not once, but twice, after someone spotted a potentially dangerous spider.
Without waiting for the spider to be identified, which came later that same day, managers again decided to send employees home for two days while the building was fumigated and its ducts cleaned — this time costing taxpayers $18,000.
   Catherine Scott, an arachnologist and PhD student at the University of Toronto, said the evacuations were a massive overreaction.
   "This is totally absurd and a giant waste of money," she said. "Fumigating the office with chemicals is probably more dangerous to the people working in that office than a spider would have been, even if it had been a brown recluse spider."


  A political operative’s utterance of the word “dick” during a live news show did not violate broadcast standards, a watchdog has ruled, in a decision that found the crude euphemism for the male appendage is on par with words like “idiot” or “goofball.”
  David Herle, then the Ontario Liberal Party’s campaign co-chair, made the remark on
Toronto’s CP24 news channel during an April panel discussion about the upcoming provincial election. At one point the moderator asked Herle whether voters trusted Ontario Progressive Conservative leader and eventual election-winner Doug Ford more than his late brother Rob, formerly the city’s mayor.
  “No,” Herle replied. “I think people liked Rob Ford and I think people think Doug Ford’s a bit of a dick, to be honest.”
   Had the same remark been made about a Liberal candidate, I imagine the reaction of  CP24 and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council would have been somewhat different.


    McParland:   The Democrats were supposed to produce a cakewalk to House control, a “blue wave” that might grow to a “blue tsunami.” In that they failed — TV talking heads discussed whether the end result was best termed a puddle or a ripple. Trump, meanwhile, couldn’t help but be cheered, having boasted that it was all a referendum on him.
    His opponents still don’t grasp what it is about the president that appeals to the 40% or more of Americans who appear willing to stand by him no matter what he says or does, who he insults or how many aides, assistants or cabinet heavies head for the exits. To a great degree it reflects the solidity and narrowness of his fans: whites, particularly males, and especially those lacking higher education. The Democrat “base” in contrast, is no base at all: blacks; hispanics; educated white women; urban elites on opposite coasts; a broad host of environmental, gender, educational, aspirational and income-related camps of disparate ardour, all jostling for position.

Monday’s victory won’t solve the rivalry over the party’s future. Having survived Tuesday’s verdict, Trump can spend two years preparing a bid to continue running the country. Democrats, meanwhile, still have to sort out who’s running the party.


   The deficit-plagued Ontario government still plans to go ahead with a tax credit for minimum wage workers, Premier Doug Ford says.
   "So anyone earning minimum wages will be paying zero tax,” Ford said Monday.
    The PC promise was an alternative to the Liberal government’s plan of increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour as of January 1 2019 from the current $14 an hour.


  Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer has accepted the resignation of Parry Sound–Muskoka MP Tony Clement, claiming he was the subject of an extortion attempt involving sexually-explicit messages.
   A statement issued Tuesday from the conservative politician said he stepped down after finding out a nearly month-long sexting relationship turned out to be an attempt to extort him for money.
  “Over the last three weeks, I have shared sexually explicit images and a video of myself to someone who I believed was a consenting female recipient,” Clement said in the statement.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


  A 94-year-old former enlisted SS man went on trial Tuesday in Germany, charged with being an accessory to murder for crimes committed during the years he served as a guard at the Nazis' Stutthof concentration camp.
  Johann Rehbogen is accused of working as a guard at the camp east of Danzig, which is today the Polish city of Gdansk, from June 1942 to about the beginning of September 1944.
  There is no evidence linking him to a specific crime, but more than 60,000 people were killed at Stutthof and prosecutors argue that as a guard, he was an accessory to at least hundreds of those deaths


   Premier Ford and his inner circle had the cojones to act on allegations of sexual misconduct — which according to a party insider, happened as a result of severe intoxication — against Economic Development and Trade minister Jim Wilson.
   As for the Premier’s executive director of issues management and legislative affairs, Andrew Kimber–who was just married to Wilson’s chief of staff in September– was also asked to resign Friday after allegedly texting several sexually inappropriate messages to another female staffer at Queen’s Park.
  In this age of #MeToo, there is no tolerance for excuses or cover-ups, most especially after the saga of former leader Patrick Brown.


  Goodale defended Bill C-21 on Monday — a pack of amendments to the Customs Act that will monitor Canadians crossing the border to or from the United States.  The bill will close a “significant security loophole” in how Canada protects its border from international threats. A thorough travel history will make it easier for border officials to identify which travellers pose a security threat to Canada, he said.
  However, privacy experts say Bill C-21 could deprive Canadians who’ve been out of the country too long of benefits like Old Age Security (OAS), Employment Insurance (EI) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
  The entry/exit system will show whether or not individuals on EI are actually still in the country or not. Under the current regulation, EI beneficiaries are supposed to stay within the country to show they are actively searching for new employment. If Bill C-21 is passed, Boisjoly estimated the department will be able to save $5 million in overpayments to people on EI who do not actually require the additional money.
   The same will go for those on OAS claims. Low income seniors can be eligible for a guaranteed income supplement and pensions for people over 65. For the pensions part, they’re payable to all Canadians who have lived in Canada for at least 20 years after their 18th birthday — so the Customs Act amendments will measure just how many Canadians will actually be eligible for OAS.


 At one point, a quarter of the German Army was running from Canadians.
The Last Hundred Days began on August 8, 1918 with an all-out attack on German positions in Amiens. By day’s end, Canadian soldiers had obliterated German defences and advanced an incredible 13 kilometres. It was the most jaw-dropping victory ever seen in the First World War up to that point. For context, it had taken months of fighting and 500,000 dead to gain only eight kilometres of ground at Passchendaele. Up until this point, many First World War battles had followed a predictable pattern: A lengthy artillery barrage followed by fixed-bayonet human wave attacks across no-man’s-land. At Amiens, Canada rolled out a strategy that prioritized speed and unpredictability above all else: Tanks, motorized machine guns, cavalry, storm troopers and intricately timed artillery barrages all thrown at the enemy in a dizzying tidal wave of force.Erich Ludendorff, who by this time had become the effective military dictator of Germany, referred to August 8 as the “black day” of the German army. As the Canadian breakout continued relentlessly into the autumn, Canadian Corps commander Arthur Currie would estimate that one quarter of all Germans on the Western Front were being shot at by Canadians. When German troops would sweep back into France in 1940, their new strategy of Blitzkrieg would be an eerily close carbon copy of the tactics that Canadians had used to evict them from France 21 years earlier.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remained tight-lipped Monday about the mysterious mission of Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio.
Di Iorio has not been seen in Ottawa since Parliament resumed sitting Sept. 17.
On Monday, the prime minister dodged reporters' questions about the prolonged absence of the MP, who also has an active law practice in Montreal.


  Federal Liberal fundraisers are urging supporters to build up Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign war chest for looming social media attacks by Ontario Proud, “founded and directed by alumni of Stephen Harper’s government” known for “lowering the bar for political discourse.”
   But to anyone familiar with Ontario politics, the Trudeau Liberals’ manufactured panic over what amounts to yet another political advocacy group, is laughable and reeks of hypocrisy.
After all, Ontario Proud, founded by Jeff Ballingall — breathlessly described by CP as “a digitally savvy former Harper-era Conservative staffer and erstwhile employee of the short-lived Sun News Network” — only arrived on the scene for the 2018 Ontario election, where limits were finally placed on how much money third-party advocacy groups could spend.
  Prior to that, the union-financed Working Families Coalition and other unions spent millions of dollars in the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2014 Ontario election, running vicious attack ads that “lowered the bar for political discourse” against PC leaders Ernie Eves in 2003, John Tory in 2007 and Tim Hudak in 2011 and 2014.


   As Rideau Hall prepares a “thorough review” of the lifetime expense program for former governors general, the National Post has learned Adrienne Clarkson’s expense claims since leaving office are substantially higher than revealed by the public accounts, in some years reaching the program’s annual spending limit of $206,000.
    There is no allegation that Clarkson has ever broken any rules. However, she has taken full advantage of the little-known program that funds the activities of former governors general, and sources told the Post that over the years Clarkson has been the strongest opponent of reforming it, and that Clarkson had specifically resisted the possibility of her expenses being disclosed publicly.
  The current annual limit on the program is $206,000, according to one source, and Clarkson has spent to that limit in multiple years since she left Rideau Hall in 2005. That means her total expenses since then are well over the $1.1 million currently revealed via the public accounts.


Robyn Luff left in a huff, shocking her caucus and dealing a rare blow to Premier Rachel Notley’s image as a benign and cheery leader.  By 9:50 Monday evening, the NDP caucus had voted to kick her out, saying other NDP MLAs “have lost confidence in her ability to participate as a productive and trustworthy member of the government caucus.”
   She railed against what she calls “a culture of fear and intimidation that leads to MLAs being unable to properly represent their constituents in the legislature.
“I have felt bullied by the NDP for over three and a half years and it must stop.
“Under Rachel Notley’s leadership, every power that MLAs are supposed to have to be able to represent their constituents in the legislature has been taken away or denied from the start.”


  The federal government spent $23 million buying more than 600 brand-new cars for use at this year’s G7 summit — and is now struggling to sell them off second-hand.
   According to figures the Royal Canadian Mounted Police provided to the National Post, 431 vehicles were to purchased to be used for “motorcade” purposes, and another 200 for “administrative” purposes at the Group of Seven summit last June in Charlevoix, Que., where the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and Italy met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Only 51 are being repurposed for use within the government.
  “It’s good that they’re trying to recoup something from this but the fact that they’re keeping less than 10 per cent of the cars they bought suggests they bought way too many cars in the first place,” said Aaron Wudrick, executive director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Canadian taxpayers just paid for 500 new cars that we don’t need, that even if they sell them, I’m sure we’re going to take a haircut on. This is a straight-up waste of millions of dollars.

Monday, November 5, 2018


At least seven licensed Canadian cannabis producers have set up shop in Colombia, investing more than $100 million in the conflict-hit country that has become a new frontier in the legal marijuana business, according to a review of company filings.


   The Saskatchewan throne speech last month included a reference to changing trespassing laws to 'better address the appropriate balance between the rights of rural landowners and members of the public'
   The province has already sought public input on whether access to rural property should require prior permission from a landowner, regardless of the activity, and if not doing so should be illegal.  
     A lawyer representing the family of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man fatally shot by farmer Gerald Stanley in August 2016, said she is worried the Saskatchewan Party government is engaged in political posturing which could stoke racial fear.


    A conservative political advocacy group that was instrumental in taking down the Liberals in Ontario is going national, aiming to do to Justin Trudeau what it did to Kathleen Wynne.
"We don't take orders from anyone," Ballingall said in an interview.
   He insisted Ontario Proud, which has sister organizations in British Columbia and Alberta, is pro-Conservative only to the extent that it is "the lesser of evils."
   "Obviously, we have our own proclivity for smaller government, more responsible government, for stronger national defence," he said.
   "So obviously that aligns more with the Conservatives but it's not like we're rah-rah pro-Conservative; we're just mostly (saying), 'We need to stop Justin Trudeau because he's bad for Canada.'"


   The carbon-tax plan would start at $10 a tonne, rising to $50 a tonne in 2022. That corresponds to gasoline and diesel price increases of two cents per litre, rising to 11 cents. But federal, provincial and municipal taxes already make up 44 cents of the Canadian average pump price of $1.34 per litre. The reality is that the typical Canadian driver already pays the equivalent of a carbon tax of $200 a tonne, costing more than $28 for a 64-litre fillup and generating government revenues of $24 billion in 2018.
   Both carbon-tax proponents and opponents agree that carbon taxes would have to rise by much more than $50 a tonne to make a perceptible difference in demand. A leaked federal-government briefing document obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers’ Association states that another $300 per tonne, equivalent to 68 cents per litre, would have to be added to reach Canada’s greenhouse-gas-emission targets.
   Inverse elasticity of price and demand is a fundamental economic premise. So why doesn’t it apply for fossil fuels? Because we can’t do without them, so raising the price just forces people to allocate a larger portion of their income to getting it.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


   In a recent Question Period, the Trudeau Liberals were given four opportunities to say the carbon tax wouldn’t go over $50 a tonne.
   Each time, they refused.
  As a result, they’ve left the door open to even more massive increases to the hated carbon tax, further increasing the devastating impact of the tax on Canadians.


US troops at the US-Mexico border are laying down approximately 1,000 feet of razor wire fending along the Texas side of the Rio Grande river underneath the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge, as three separate caravans of Central Americans make their way north in the hopes of claiming asylum.
Soldiers participating in "Operation Faithful Patriot" are working with US Customs and Border Patrol officers to install the fending, according to the Department of Defense.


Brooklyn-based Ali Kourani faces trial for multiple charges related to his work as a double agent for the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hezbollah; specifically for its “External Security Organization” known as “Unit 910.” Kourani’s federal trial is tentatively set for March 2019.


   The majority of American women say Senate Democrats used sexual assault accusations against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for political gain, a new poll reveals.
   The latest Harvard/Harris Poll finds that the majority of American women and men say Democrats were not genuinely concerned with the accusations of sexual assault made by Christine Blasey Ford, but instead were using the allegations and the accuser to score political points.


    Breitbart News has obtained photographs of members of the New Black Panther Party wielding weapons and holding signs supporting Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a leftist who hopes to be the first black female governor in Georgia.
   Ryan Mahoney, Kemp for Governor spokesman, has no doubt about the origin of the images. He said:
It’s no surprise that militant Black Panthers are armed and patrolling the streets of Georgia for Stacey Abrams. The Black Panthers are a radical hate group with a racist and anti-semitic agenda. They are dangerous and encourage violence against our men and women in uniform. Stacey Abrams should immediately denounce the Black Panthers and their hateful record of racism. She should stand against and condemn their attempts to intimidate hardworking Georgia voters just days before the election.


   Seven days after mailing off his dried blood sample, the results came back suggesting Stukus was sensitive to sesame, sunflower, black walnuts, cashews, watermelon, yogurt, carrots, cottage cheese, asparagus, tarragon, safflower, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, chicken, barley, soy beans, baker’s yeast, white potatoes, cow’s milk, cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Twenty-two foods.
   “It even broke down mozzarella versus cheddar cheese, which is just ridiculous,” said Stukus, a pediatric allergist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
    In a live Twitter video, Stukus shared his experience with the IgG test, which identifies immunoglobulin G, the most common antibody found in blood and other bodily fluids. It plays an important role in the body’s immune system, but IgG tests claim to be able to identify food sensitivities associated with headaches, lethargy, brain fog, memory problems, depression, insomnia, ADHD, bloating, puffiness and an astonishing array of other symptoms. Once the “reactive” food is eliminated from someone’s diet, unpleasant symptoms are supposed to disappear.
  Except, according to allergy and immunology groups the world over, the test is a marketing gimmick wrapped in pseudoscience and has never been scientifically proven to be able to accomplish what it claims to do.


  It was one of the sweetest energy deals ever cut. Also one of the most foolhardy. But the country’s top court has ruled the Churchill Falls-Quebec hydro contract is ironclad and cannot be undone.
  For the third time Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a controversial 1969 contract that sees massive amounts of Churchill Falls hydroelectricity sold at enormous profit to Quebec with relatively little benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador.
   The contract has poured more than $27 billion into Quebec coffers in the past 50 years and only $2 billion to Newfoundland and Labrador.
  The terms of that contract are now set to govern until 2041.


   You see, children, the anger and aggression typically comes from those other pieces of sh— er … from those other people. The government — this government especially — makes proper decorum a priority. Indeed, the prime minister himself is present in question period every Wednesday so that he may directly offer the vacuous platitudes prepared in response to important questions.
  It is with reverence to the institution that he deflects questions about Statistics Canada trying to collect Canadians' private banking data without their consent, or about his government's role in the breach of trust case involving Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, or about his own ethical lapses. This is the mark of a "serious and respectful" government, one that knows where the buck ultimately stops: with the previous government.


   While many Pakistanis expressed relief that relative calm had returned after days of unrest, the stunning capitulation drew widespread condemnation Saturday. Many critics called it a dangerous surrender to the forces of religious extremism and hatred against minorities, who are often targeted on trumped-up charges of blasphemy against Islam.
   Faisal Siddiqi, a lawyer writing in Dawn newspaper, said the court ruling had set the tone “for a much larger, existential issue facing the country: whether Pakistan is actually becoming a theocratic state in which vigilantism prevails,” or whether the ruling is a “watershed moment” that will allow the Muslim-majority country to move ahead as a “modern constitutional state.”
  “The boundaries of hate have continued to expand in Pakistan without any pushback from the state or society,” Babar Sattar, a lawyer in Islamabad, wrote in the News International newspaper Saturday. “Clerics see this verdict as the state interfering in their exclusive domain.”


  Canada’s chief statistician says he is open to delaying the January launch of a plan to obtain the banking records of 500,000 Canadians in light of concerns from the public, but Anil Arora insists the move is ultimately required to ensure Canada is governed by facts rather than anecdotes and “fake news."
  In an interview with The Globe and Mail Friday, Mr. Arora said January is a tentative target for launching the controversial pilot project, but added that the agency is willing to be flexible on the timing.
  “This is not the kind of reaction that we were hoping for in the middle of the planning of a project. We were obviously caught off guard by the kind of reaction that we’ve had from various stakeholders and the public and so there are lessons learned there for us,” he said. The federal Privacy Commissioner has begun an investigation into the Statscan project.