Thursday, July 19, 2018

NDP: WEARING A BULLETPROOF VEST IS RACIST

   Ontario’s new Minister of Community Safety started his on-the-job training touring the Jane-Finch community wearing a bulletproof vest.
  “Personally, I went out to Jane and Finch, put on a bulletproof vest and spent 7 o’clock to 1 o’clock in the morning visiting sites that had previously had bullet-ridden people killed in the middle of the night,” Michael Tibollo said.
  “Conservative minister Michael Tibollo’s comment this morning about wearing a bulletproof vest at Jane and Finch is inexcusably racist,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath tweeted.

PROGRESSIVE PRETENSION VS ECONOMIC REALITY

  FP:  The Trudeau Liberals, like the old comic-strip character, Pogo, are discovering that when it comes to pipeline policy, the real enemy is themselves. Their acquisition of the Trans Mountain pipeline is yet another example of their progressive pretension colliding with economic reality. The contradictions of their climate and energy policies have put them in a mighty pickle, after they effectively killed all other domestic alternatives to bring oil to tidewater.
   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bland declaration in 2015 that “The Great Bear Rainforest is no place for a pipeline” has returned to haunt him in the form of a much more valid criticism: that a pipeline is no place for a government. But that is almost a peripheral issue. At some stage — assuming TransMountain survives endless court challenges and the diehard opposition of the B.C. government — push will come to shove. In the case of protestors hurling their bodies in the pipeline’s path, quite literally

DEATH OF TRUDEAU'S CARBON TAX

    FP:  How quickly things have changed. It seems hard to believe now, but just over a year ago, nine provinces agreed to Trudeau’s plan to usurp provincial jurisdiction and mandate a national carbon tax. At the time, only Saskatchewan opposed the Trudeau carbon-tax grab. Saskatchewan has since filed a reference case to its provincial court of appeal challenging a federally imposed carbon tax on constitutional grounds, arguing that the matter falls under provincial jurisdiction.
   This week, going into the meeting of the premiers, the number of provinces supporting the Trudeau carbon tax looks like it’s down to five — or maybe even four. Soon it could be down to three.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

RIGHT BACK AT YA, CLIMATE BARBIE

"I'm disappointed to see the new government in Ontario has no plan to help families, schools and businesses reduce emissions, save money and create good jobs,"  Federal Environment Minister Catherine  McKenna said in a statement after the meeting. "Climate change doesn't stop with a change in government."
Phillips said he offered to discuss the Tory government's opposition to carbon pricing but said the federal minister would not address the subject.
"I was hoping that she would be open to discussion, to listening to our plans around climate change, and of course our intention to get rid of the carbon tax," he said. 
"I was disappointed. The minister was not open to that discussion, and unfortunately made it clear that only the Trudeau carbon tax solution is the solution that government is going to be interested in."

TRUDEAU'S CABINET SHUFFLE

  Toronto Sun:   As he emerged from his cabinet shuffle to speak to reporters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pulled out the old line that this was all about the middle class and those working hard to join it.
   Don’t buy it.
   This cabinet shuffle is about winning seats in the Greater Toronto Area in the next election and pushing back against Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

ONTARIO'S ENERGY DISASTER LEGACY FROM WYNNE

   Toronto Sun:  Plunging into so-called “green energy’ without understanding what they were doing, while the likes of Al Gore cheered them on, former premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne have saddled Ontarians with an energy disaster.
   According to Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, by 2015 they had overpaid $9.2 billion for wind and solar power because they ignored the advice of their own energy experts on how to price green energy.
   Instead, they locked electricity ratepayers into paying absurdly expensive, 20-year contracts to wind and solar developers, at twice the average cost paid for wind in the U.S., and 3.5 times the average cost for solar power.

REMEMBER CAROLYN DOLL-STOMPER PARRISH?

   Toronto Sun:  This time Parrish is stomping all over one of Peel Region’s top cops.
   A report issued last week found in Parrish in violation of the Peel Code of Conduct over racially charged remarks.
  That is why the report last week found that Parrish’s texts “discredit and disparage the character and ability of Deputy Chief Berkeley-Brown.” The report also found Parrish to have impugned the reputation of the police services board, violate the Human Rights Act and the Peel Code of Conduct.

COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INVESTIGATING LIBERALS' SPENDING

   Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government has appointed a former British Columbia premier to lead an independent inquiry into the previous Liberal government’s spending.
   Premier Doug Ford says Gordon Campbell will head the Commission of Inquiry, which will issue a public report on its findings by Aug. 30.
   The premier has pledged that the Commission of Inquiry would build on the work of the province’s auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, who has suggested the government understated its deficit by billions.

FAR-LEFT CRYBULLIES WHINING

    Far-left boycott group Sleeping Giants, which specializes in harassing the advertisers of conservative media organizations, is now complaining to Twitter about alleged harassment after its anonymous leader, Matt Rivitz, was revealed.
   Sleeping Giants, along with other far-left groups like Media Matters for America, aims to drive conservative media off the web through social media campaigns directed at their advertisers. By scaring advertisers with phony allegations of “hate” and “bigotry” against conservative media, Sleeping Giants hopes to scare advertising revenue away from targeted websites. The group was founded by Matt Rivitz shortly after President Trump was elected in 2016.

ATTENTION-SEEKING MUSK APOLOGISES

The Tesla CEO issued an apology to the British diver Vern Unsworth whom Musk labeled a pedophile over the weekend in a now-deleted Twitter post, following the rescue of a dozen Thai schoolboys and their football coach from a cave in northern Thailand.
“My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub,” Musk, 47, said on Twitter in response to another user.
There may have been another, more ulterior motive to Musk's apology: Unsworth, who played a leading role in the rescue, said on Tuesday that he had been approached by British and American lawyers and would seek legal advice after Musk directed abuse at him on Twitter.

TRUMP MISSPOKE ON RUSSIA MEDDLING

   Blistered by bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed away from his public undermining of American intelligence agencies, saying he simply misspoke when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.
   Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern pushback from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. president sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

TIME FOR REVIEW IS OVER; STOP THE ILLEGALS FLOW

  NP:  With tensions over asylum seekers mounting between Ottawa and Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s new PC government, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel wants to give provincial immigration ministers another chance to air their grievances — and Lisa MacLeod says she’d happily do so.
  At Monday’s emergency meeting of the House of Commons immigration committee, opposition members will try to put some political pressure on the government by urging their Liberal counterparts to examine the problem, as well as the pressure it is putting on provinces.
   Rempel will introduce a motion calling on the committee to “undertake a study to review the adequacy of the federal government’s response to the impact of increased asylum seekers crossing into Canada from the United States.”

HEFTY COST OF NATIONAL PHARMA CARE

   Last fall, an analysis by the parliamentary budget officer estimated national pharma care would carry a hefty cost in the neighbourhood of $20 billion a year. That's about one percentage point of Canada's gross domestic product and twice Ottawa's annual deficit projections in each of the next few years.
   Page said there's a solid argument to be made for national pharma care because it would help Canadians save significantly on their out-of-pocket drug expenses and create more consistency in terms of health costs across the country. The 2017 parliamentary budget office study estimated such a plan would save Canadians more than $4 billion every year on prescriptions.
   But Page said Ottawa's books are already facing a difficult fiscal situation and warned the federal balance sheet would become unsustainable if it assumed the full cost of such a program.

SCARCE PROGRESS ON INTER-PROVINCIAL TRADE

   One year after the trade deal took effect on Canada's 150th birthday, July 1, 2017, has any tangible progress been made?
   The president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Dan Kelly, said, "It's slow-going." The process lacks concrete timelines. He's still waiting for the inter-provincial trade committee to set priorities, let alone roll back barriers.
   "I don't think there's anything that has changed, other than a commitment to start some work," he said, laughing a bit when asked to identify which specific irritants have been settled between provinces in the deal's first year of operations.

ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD AT CITY OF TORONTO

   Blatchford, NP:  The City of Toronto’s records in its Facilities Management division, where fake fire inspectors regularly won contracts to make sure municipal buildings were safe, are so bad that Toronto Police can’t even launch a fraud investigation.
   The schmozzle in the department came to light when city auditor general Beverly Romeo-Beehler received serious allegations about a trio of companies – York Fire Protection, Advance Fire Control and Advanced Detection Technologies Corp. – which had been doing business with the city for about a decade.
   The same man, Rauf Ahmad, is the “directing mind” behind all three.
  The allegations included double-billing, overcharging for work not done, phony double-bidding for city contracts, the company using multiple false identities (including employees who would change shirts, now wearing one with a York logo and then one with the Advance Fire logo, depending on where they were working), shifting company names and suspect addresses (the headquarters for one of Ahmad’s companies was a Birchmount Road mosque) and its long history of poor performance and shoddy work for the city somehow failing to prevent it getting new or even enriched contracts.

B29 SUPER FORTRESS TOURING CANADA

WWII bomber touches down in St. Hubert, Quebec

Monday, July 16, 2018

MOSSAD EXPOSES IRAN'S LIES

   The Israeli team secretly reached the warehouse holding the materials and broke in during a tight time window when it knew the building would be unguarded, the officials said. To avoid drawing attention to the nondescript facility, Iran hadn’t posted full-time guards, they said, but rather relied on alarm systems that the Israeli agents disabled.
  The Israeli operation was first revealed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an April press conference in which he declared that the stolen documents proved Iran had lied for years in claiming it didn’t have a nuclear-weapons program.
  In a lengthy briefing at a security facility here last week, senior Israeli intelligence officials disclosed additional details about the operation. Those include specifics on how the documents were removed from Iran; the existence within the documents of the warhead designs, for which Israel said Iran got unspecified foreign assistance; the operation of a secret explosives-testing facility that international inspectors had long searched for in vain; and a scramble by Iranian officials to keep their nuclear program alive after international inspectors concluded it had been suspended.

BRENNAN BLASTS TRUMP: "TREASONOUS"

   The neocons, not to mention members of military-industrial complex, are furious at the thought of losing Russia as the biggest global bogeyman responsible for tens of billions in bottom line profits to US defense corporations.
  Former Obama-era CIA Director - and ubiquitous tweeter of anti-Trump rhetoric - John Brennan just unleashed the most aggressive comment yet on the Trump-Putin Summit, claiming it was an act of treason.
  "Donald Trump's press performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors,'" Brennan tweeted. "It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

RE: WTO: EU WHINES & CHINA MAKES PROMISES

  European Council President Donald Tusk appealed to governments to "bravely and responsibly" reform the World Trade Organization, the global trade regulator, by updating its rules to address technology policy and state-owned industries — areas in which Beijing has conflicts with its trading partners. Trump has criticized the WTO as outdated and has gone outside the body to impose import controls, prompting warnings he was undermining the global system.
  "There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos," said Tusk. "Today, we are facing a dilemma — whether to play a tough game such as tariff wars and conflict in places like Ukraine and Syria, or to look for common solutions based on fair rules."
   Last week, Tusk lambasted Trump's criticism of European allies and urged him to remember who his friends are when he met Putin.

LIBERALS QUIT MONITORING SYRIAN REFUGEES

  Vancouver Sun:  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election promise to welcome ­25,000 refugees from Syria was aimed at showing voters his compassion. The followup photo opportunities he arranged in 2015 with smiling Syrian refugees, such as doctors, drew international headlines.
   Once in power, Trudeau’s Liberals switched the name of the Immigration Department to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, to highlight their concern for those forced to leave chaotic home countries, especially Syria.
  Given the grand gestures, you would be forgiven for believing the federal Liberals and the department responsible for refugees would be tracking the fate of the tens of the thousands of struggling Syrians that Canada has recently taken in.
  But, after more than two weeks of inquiries by Postmedia, a media relations officer acknowledged the department has not produced any report in almost two years on the about 50,000 Syrian refugees now in Canada.

9 YEARS OF FEEDING OFF THE NORTEL ESTATE

   Calgary Herald:  Nortel started the bankruptcy process with more than $2 billion in cash, the lion’s share of which went to lawyers, accountants, consultants and other professionals who represented Nortel and the myriad other players in this legal drama. The professionals were paid upfront, 100 cents on the dollar.
   “There were far too many lawyers in court both in Toronto and Delaware,” former Ontario Superior Court judge Frank Newbould wrote in a decision last year, “That situation breeds disrespect for the legal system in general and particularly so in a case in which thousands of pensioners and disability claimants have had to wait for far too long for this proceeding to end.”
  Ernst & Young, the consultants in charge of Nortel’s nine-year long bankruptcy proceedings, began distributing cheques to approved creditors a year ago this month. Since then, according to a recent E&Y update, cheques totalling $4.1 billion have gone to more than 15,000 creditors representing former Nortel employees, suppliers, lenders, pensioners and survivors. (All figures U.S.).

A BRIBE OF DRIED MOOSE MEAT

   National Post: When Everett Gottfried, an incumbent candidate in a northern Alberta municipal election, offered to give a free bag of dry moose meat to anyone who voted for him, the responses on Facebook were good-natured.
   No one in Wabasca, southwest of Fort McMurray, really seemed to take him seriously. No one, that is, except for John Garry Gullion, who is Gottfried's second cousin.  Gullion also ran in the election, but lost.
  The way Gullion saw it, was that this was bribery which, under Alberta law, carries potential fines as high as $5,000, two years imprisonment, a forfeit of the elected office, and a two-election ban on running again.

STUDENTS OUT OF CONTROL IN ONTARIO SCHOOLS

    Toronto Sun:  He’s seen kids punched in the face and head and dumped in garbage cans by other kids, bullying in the schoolyard, fights in the halls and in the lunchroom and has had to deal with kids rolling around on the floor, throwing books, throwing chairs and going in and out of his own classroom without permission.
  He places the blame squarely on the former Kathleen Wynne government’s “progressive discipline” policy that “utilizes a continuum of interventions, supports and consequences to address inappropriate student behaviour…but must take into account the needs of the individual student by showing sensitivity to diversity … (blah, blah, and more blah.)”
   “This liberal attitude of touchy feely… we’re doing nothing…our standards are falling in the classroom for the bright kids,” he said. “The entire school system is broken and nobody is doing anything about it.”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

GREEN PROJECTS ON FORD'S CHOPPING BLOCK

Ontario's Large Renewable Procurement and Feed-In Tariff Contracts
July 13, 2018 6:43 P.M.
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
  The following lists are the projects identified for wind-down. The projects on these lists are Large Renewable Projects that have not achieved their Key Development Milestones, and Feed-In Tariff projects that have not received Notice To Proceed.

COURAGE & SKILL OF RESCUE DIVERS IN THAI CAVE

"We'll get them all out, but there’s a good chance some will die.’
That was the grim warning by British cave diver Jason Mallinson and his colleagues to the Thai authorities as they prepared to rescue 12 frightened and weakened schoolboys trapped two and a half miles deep inside a dark, flooded cave.
But it was thanks to their incredible courage and skill this gloomy prophecy never materialized.

HOLDING MUNICIPAL POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE

   Chatham, Ontario:  John Cryderman has found so much government waste at the municipal level, he’s making local politicians and bureaucracy nervous. He figures he could save taxpayers across the province billions of dollars. “Municipalities are the worst offenders of wasting taxpayer dollars,” he insists.
   In his own municipality of Chatham-Kent, Cryderman found that expenses are routinely not explained and sometimes approved behind closed doors. He said that the Police Services Act requires its meetings to be public but in Chatham-Kent an in-camera meeting approved the police chief ramping up his car allowance to pay for a $73,000 SUV, an increase from $37,000. In another case, the municipality almost approved a plan to “save” taxpayers money until Cryderman figured it was actually going to waste millions of dollars and persuaded some councillors to vote against it.
   Ineffective municipal politics are a province-wide problem, Cryderman said. Idealistic individuals run for office to change the world and when they are elected, it seems they learn about how much personal gain they can achieve by staying in office and too many firebrands become compromised.

PM MAY'S "ASTONISHINGLY DISHONEST CLAIM"

    Reuters:  British Prime Minister, Theresa May, called on Sunday for the country to back her plan for “friction-free movement of goods”, saying it was the only option to avoid undermining the peace in Northern Ireland and preserving the unity of the United Kingdom.
   After hours of talks at her Chequers country residence she appeared to have won over her cabinet, but just two days later David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary, followed by her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, the next day.
   Davis, writing in the Sunday Times, said it was an “astonishingly dishonest claim” to say there is no worked-out alternative to May’s plan. He said her plan would allow EU regulations to harm British manufacturers.
   “Be in no doubt: under the government’s proposal our fingers would still be caught in this mangle and the EU would use it ruthlessly to punish us for leaving and handicap our future competitiveness,” Davis said.

DATABASE SURVEILLANCE & EXPLOITATION

    The prior use of FBI and NSA networks for metadata exploitation and political surveillance is what underlines all of the current activity taking place within the current political battle.  Peel all of the layers of investigative schemes, intelligence deception, false and distracting media narratives -including Mueller- and what lies beneath it all is the weaponized use of database-collected material for political surveillance and exploitation.
    Every motive and every action and reaction is directly connected to the need to hide what was taking place in 2015 and 2016 between officials within the DOJ, FBI and U.S. intelligence community, and outside government “contractors” (Fusion GPS, Crowdstrike etc.) who were political operatives.   Everything boils down to the common denominator of the abuse of the intelligence apparatus for political power.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

ABOLISH ICE!!! ...UM....OR... MAYBE NOT

  After Republicans promised to bring the "abolish ICE" bill to the floor for a vote in the House, Democrats now appear to have gotten cold feet.
  Several of the lawmakers who introduced the bill now say they will vote "no" if it comes up for a vote. In truth, the proposal to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was never serious and was simply an exercise in tossing raw meat to their rabid, far-left base.
  But Republicans have called them out for their political stupidity and they are backtracking as fast as they can.

UP NEXT FOR IMPEACHMENT: ROSENSTEIN

   House conservatives have begun planning the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to reports.
  Leading Freedom Caucus members Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) are laying the groundwork to bring articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, as House investigators accuse the Justice Department of stonewalling their requests for documents related to the agency’s surveillance of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

TRUMP MAKES SENSE REGARDING NATO

   Although President Donald Trump’s critics point out that his open and unedited criticisms of NATO are a threat to U.S. commitment to the all-important Article V of the treaty, which commits each member to come directly to the aid of any other member that is attacked, it seems that this concern about undermining Article V is mere carping. It is carping because treaty obligations do not supersede a country’s sovereign responsibilities to its citizens. Those responsibilities are financial as well as military. The existence of a treaty does not amount to an abrogation of the member state’s sovereignty. Even if a member of NATO were attacked, would our planes just take off and start bombing the attacker? Would our troops just be loaded automatically into planes and ships to fight and die in the victim state’s land? Similarly, does our membership imply that we just pay and pay disproportionately forever, irrespective of the other members’ abilities to pay, and the financial stresses we as a country are experiencing? Such a view is not only untenable, but pathetic. Treaty obligations cannot be treated as though they are an abrogation of sovereignty.

INCREASE IN FATAL TRANSPORT TRUCK COLLISIONS

  ORILLIA, Ont. – Ontario provincial police say fatal transport truck collisions are up in all but two of the force’s six regions this year, with collisions in the North East Region up by 800 per cent from 2017.
 The OPP says officers have responded to 33 transport truck-related collisions so far this year – a 37.5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year – and 41 people have died in the crashes.

ONTARIO SCHOOLS NEED $15B IN REPAIRS

  NP:  The headlines were alarming. “Ford government cancels $100M school repair fund,” read the Toronto Star. The headline on the CBC’s website was virtually identical (with “Ontario government” replacing “Ford government”). The implication was clear: Ontario’s newly sworn-in premier is already cutting — and one of his first targets is kids.
   But those click-bait headlines actually miss the bigger, more troubling picture: that $100 million a year to, among other things, fit schools with solar panels is nothing compared to the $15-billion backlog in necessary upkeep at Ontario’s schools. That’s not a typo: the Ministry of Education says schools are awaiting $15 billion (with a “b”) in total repairs. The $100 million a year represents less than 0.7 per cent of that total.

BLESSED GREEN INVESTMENT

  FP:  It was half a world away, but what the General Synod of the Church of England decided one week back about investing and climate change brought a smile to the executives at Genus Capital, a Vancouver-based money manager.
  The church, which employs managers to invest US$12 billion in assets, passed a two-part motion: It will continue to engage with companies rather than prematurely disinvesting from them and assess their progress by 2023; after that it will disinvest from any companies not on track to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement.
  “Synod’s vote makes clear that the Church must play a leading role and exercise its moral leadership on the urgent issue of climate change,” the church said.

TRUDEAU WAVES TO NON-EXISTENT CROWD

  A while back, photos emerged of Justin Trudeau waving to a non-existent crowd on an empty airport tarmac.
  For many, the photos were a perfect demonstration of Trudeau’s fake image and narcissism.
  Well, it’s happened again.
  In the video below, you can see Trudeau walking to a plane alone with nobody around. He then walks up the steps, and waves to a crowd that doesn’t exist (unless you count his official photographer).

"IRRESPONSIBLE, DIVISIVE, NOT CANADIAN"

  A meeting between Canada's federal and provincial immigration ministers ended bitterly Friday, with federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen openly criticizing the Ontario government for what he called a dangerous and un-Canadian approach to the issue of asylum seekers.
  Hussen criticized Ontario's Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod — who is also responsible for the immigration file — for walking away from discussions between the other immigration ministers and for refusing to sign the official communique issued after the meetings.
  The ministers responsible for immigration from the governments of Ontario and Saskatchewan refused to sign the meeting's communique on Friday, stating that the inflow of asylum seekers to Canada is the result of "federal policy decisions."
   MacLeod: "I have a large provincial ministry to run that includes children with autism, it includes children in care, it includes women fleeing domestic violence, It includes human trafficking," she said.   "It keeps me up at night when I think of the resources that I have to expend elsewhere and I can't help those people as well. I am simply asking them to fix the problems that they have created with their federal policies."

FORD CUTS 758 GREEN CONTRACTS; $790M SAVED

  "We clearly promised we would cancel these unnecessary and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for families, farmers and small businesses," said Rickford. "In the past few weeks, we have taken significant steps toward keeping that promise."
  The cuts will include 758 renewable energy contracts across the province, whose projects have not yet reached critical development milestones, the news statement explained. Cancelling them now, in the early stages, will maximize their benefit for hydro ratepayers.
    The provincial Progressive Conservative government, led by Premier Doug Ford, will soon introduce a legislative amendment aimed at protecting Ontario consumers from any costs incurred as a result of the contract cancellations. Rickford confirmed that even with those costs accounted for, the $790-million savings figure is accurate.

RULING: NO HEALTH DATA FOR TOBACCO COMPANY

   British Columbia does not have to give a tobacco company access to detailed provincial health databases to help it mount a defence in a multibillion-dollar damages trial, the Supreme Court of Canada says in a ruling that will have a countrywide ripple effect.
   In a unanimous decision Friday, the high court said the province cannot legally allow Philip Morris International to see raw data from the information banks.
   The ruling is the latest development in a 17-year-old effort by B.C. to recoup smoking-related health-care expenditures from tobacco companies.
   It helps clarify a key legal point of national interest, as all 10 provinces have filed suits seeking a total of more than $120 billion in damages from tobacco firms.

MARCH MADNESS SPENDING OF GOVERNMENT

   March Madness keeps much of Ottawa up at night. No, not the sports tournament! I’m talking about the spending binge that happens every March as federal government departments urgently try to get money out the door before the start of the new fiscal year on April 1.
  March Madness has long been criticized. Spending money for the sake of spending money is not a productive or transparent way of using Canadians’ money — just because you have the money in your budget does not mean it needs to be spent on superfluous items.
But what is March Madness? Does it actually happen? Can it be proved?
   A CBC article in April 2018 lamented the “return of [the] ‘March Madness’ budget rush” as the government placed a rush order for 31,000 smartphones. It defined March Madness as a “long-observed phenomenon in Ottawa which sees federal departments quickly spend all of their remaining annual budgets in the last month of the fiscal year to avoid losing the cash altogether in the following budget — a use-it-or-lose-it strategy.”

Friday, July 13, 2018

NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

   A professor of History at Oxford University has claimed he is the first person in a thousand years to count the number of penises in the Bayeux Tapestry.
  He said the famous depiction of the events from 1066 contains 93 penises - and the horse of William the Conqueror has the largest.

TRUMP CALLS OUT LONDON MAYOR

   Donald Trump today claims Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is responsible for the terror attacks on the British capital.
    The Labour heavyweight has “done a very bad job on terrorism” by allowing so many migrants to come to the city, the President controversially argues.
    The feud began more than two years ago during Trump’s US presidential election campaign when Mr Khan attacked his vow to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering America.
   Deepening the duo’s bitter war of words again, Mr Trump told The Sun in an exclusive interview ahead of his arrival in Britain: “I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad.

ITALY WILL NOT RATIFY CETA

   FP : Italy will not ratify the European Union’s free trade agreement with Canada, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday, potentially scuppering the EU’s biggest accord in years.
    “Soon CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) will arrive in parliament and this majority will reject it and it will not ratify it,” Di Maio said at a farmers’ association gathering in Rome.
  “If so much as one Italian official … continues to defend treaties like CETA, they will be removed,” added Di Maio, who leads the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which governs with the right-wing League.

CALLING BULLSH!T ON TRUDEAU'S CLAIM

   NP:   Following his first official meeting with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained publicly with a condescending smile that his provincial counterpart does not understand Canada’s obligations under the Refugee Convention. Just prior to the meeting, Ford’s team claimed the federal government was to blame for the large number of refugee claimants who have arrived in Ontario and pushed Toronto’s housing services to their limits. While he may have felt ambushed by the new Ontario premier, Trudeau should not lecture others about the Refugee Convention. He is misrepresenting the obligations found in this historic treaty.

TEETERING ON THE EDGE OF FINANCIAL DISASTER

   Bloomberg:   With a hotly-anticipated Bank of Canada rate decision looming on Wednesday, one of the country's top bankruptcy firms is warning a "staggering" number of Canadians are on the brink of financial disaster. 
   Twenty-eight per cent of respondents to a new survey, which was conducted on behalf of MNP from June 15 to June 19, said another rate increase will propel them toward bankruptcy, while 42 per cent say if rates rise much more they'd fear for their financial well-being. While both readings were down modestly from the previous quarterly survey, that's not lessening the alarm.

EPA CONTINUES TO CUT REGULATIONS

   Good news, America, the anti-Trump media may have succeeded in wearing down Scott Pruitt but the agency he headed will continue President Trump's objective of rolling back regulations.
   Reuters reports that the goals at the Environmental Protection Agency remain unchanged:
   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acting chief said on Wednesday he would carry out the Trump administration’s push to cut regulations on industry, while also seeking to improve air and water quality, echoing the policies of former head Scott Pruitt who stepped down last week.

STRZOK CLAIMS HE'S UNBIASED

Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok told House Judiciary and House Oversight Committee members Thursday he has never acted in a biased manner or recused himself from an investigation.

TRUMP HOLDING NO PUNCHES IN UK

   President Trump just dropped the Mother of all Brexit Bombs on Theresa May.
  His Sun interview – warning that if the UK Prime Minister goes ahead with her watered-down Brexit plans then she probably won’t get a trade deal with the US – has poured nitroglycerine on an already explosive political issue which threatens to destroy May and possibly even bring down her government.

BRILLIANT MINDS OF LIBERALS & CONSULTANTS

  The federal Liberal government embarked on an exhaustive creative process and spent $24,000 to hire a consultant to help rebrand its new investment promotion body to grab the attention of foreign investors.
   In the end, they changed the name of their "Invest in Canada Hub" to "Invest in Canada."
   The government's "rigorous business naming process" started in 2017 to deal with internal concerns that the official title would fail to give the organization a fresh start at its launch, according to a briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

PM MAY DISRESPECTING REFERENDUM RESULT

   Tory MPs lashed Theresa May's Brexit blueprint for recreating the 'worst parts of the EU' today as it was published for the first time.
   A 98-page report setting out the Government's demands to Brussels would mean EU workers will still be allowed rights to travel to Britain temporarily.
  Tourists, young people and business trips would also be allowed in without visas.
  EU judges will get to advise a new joint committee of UK and EU officials tasked with resolving disputes after Brexit.
  And it confirms the Prime Minister's plan to have Britain follow EU rules on goods without any say on how they are drafted.
 Brexiteer ringleader Jacob Rees-Mogg declared the plan 'does not respect the referendum result' while Tory MPs lined up to condemn the plans in Parliament.

FORD JAMMING THE BLADES

   Cancelling an eastern Ontario green energy project that has been under development for nearly a decade could cost more than $100 million, the president of the company said Wednesday, warning that the dispute could be headed to the courts.
   Ontario's governing Progressive Conservatives said this week that one of their first priorities during the legislature's summer sitting would be to cancel the contract for the White Pines Project in Prince Edward County.
   Ian MacRae, president of WPD Canada, the company behind the project, said he was stunned by the news given that the project is weeks away from completion.

THE FACTS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA

   Denley, Ottawa Citizen: It’s disturbing to see Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of immigration, trying to turn the refugee situation into an opportunity to imply that conservative politicians are against people coming from other countries. He chastised Ford for calling the would-be refugees “illegal border crossers,” instead of the preferred euphemism of “irregular migrants.”
   In fact, crossing the border except at official points of entry is illegal, but once a person makes a refugee claim, the charge is stayed until the claim is adjudicated.
   Simply stating the facts does not make conservatives anti-refugee and it certainly doesn’t make them anti-immigrant. Canada plans to admit nearly one million immigrants between now and 2020. This is not a point of popular contention.
   When it comes to refugees, the issue is not whether we welcome them, but whether we can handle the numbers and the way they are entering the country.

POTUS. TRUMP DEEMS NATO "UNACCEPTABLE"

   Ottawa Citizen: BRUSSELS — President Donald Trump’s demands that NATO member nations dramatically increase their spending on defense led leaders of the military alliance to meet in an emergency session on Thursday, officials said.
   Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.
   He continued the attack Thursday, complaining that “Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia.”

HYDRO's $6M MAN AND DIRECTORS OUT THE DOOR

   Ottawa Citizen: Premier Doug Ford says he has made good on a key campaign promise, announcing the immediate retirement of the CEO of Hydro One and the resignation of the utility’s entire board of directors.
  Ford, who promised that if he was elected he would fire Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt, dubbing him the “Six-Million-Dollar Man” during the spring election campaign, hailed it as a “great day” for the province.
   According to a statement from Hydro One, Schmidt will not be entitled to severance, and will instead receive a $400,000 lump sum payment in lieu of all post-retirement benefits.
  As part of the deal, Hydro One also said it has agreed to consult with the province on “future matters of executive compensation.”  
Remember this cute move by this board?

CONSULTING PARENTS - WHAT A NOVEL IDEA!

   Toronto Sun:  Ontario schools will go back to teaching the same sex-ed curriculum they did in the late 1990s this fall after the province’s new government announced Wednesday it was revoking an updated version brought in by the previous regime.
   The older curriculum will remain in effect until the government completes a “fulsome consultation respecting parents” on how to modernize the material, she said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

OTTAWA-ONTARIO BATTLE CONTINUES

G&M:   The photograph on Doug Ford’s Facebook page of last week’s meeting with Justin Trudeau said it all. On one side of the table sits the new Ontario Premier and his aides, grinning confidently. On the other side, the Prime Minister and his aides look seriously unimpressed.
Brace yourself for a chapter like no other in the epic tale of conflict between Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill. Such battles are as old as Confederation, but this one could be a doozy.
There is an assumption out there that Ontario is the “good” province, that Ontarians place the national interest above parochial concerns. History tells a different tale.

DISCOUNT ON HEAVY OIL IS RIDICULOUS

   Calgary Herald:  You know Canada has a profound problem building major energy infrastructure when even the president of OPEC laments the country’s long-standing pipeline conundrum.
But a lack of sufficient infrastructure — from pipelines to liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities — is apparent both at home and abroad, and must be tackled as the country struggles to attract foreign investment into the energy sector.
During an interview in Calgary, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei spoke Monday about his country’s major investments in Alberta, the state of energy markets, as well as the need for LNG and pipelines to stem the price discount facing Canadian oil and natural gas.

CANADA'S MILITARY SPENDING FALLING

 Even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to defend against U.S. President Donald Trump's demands that Canada invest more in defense, a new NATO report suggests Canadian military spending as a percentage of GDP will fall sharply this year.
Canada is expected to spend an estimated 1.23 per cent of its GDP on defense in 2018 — down from 1.36 per cent last year, says the annual report, which looks at military investments for all member states. 

URGENT BUSINESS FOR ONTARIO LEGISLATURE

The new Ontario PC government is bringing back the legislature mid-summer to end the York University strike, the cap-and-trade program and a wind farm project proposed for Prince Edward County.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

PRANKING DAD

Have a laugh.  Language warning.

HOT CAR EXHAUST CAUSES GRASS FIRE

  Firefighters in Niagara-on-the-Lake say 34 cars went up in flames Sunday after a grass fire started in a field that was being used as a parking lot.
   Niagara-on-the-Lake Fire & Emergency Services told CP24 that the fire broke out on Niagara Stone Road where a lavender festival was being held this weekend. A field across the street from the festival was being used as a parking lot to accommodate visitors
  At around 3:40 p.m., a fire started under a vehicle from exhaust to the dry straw. The fire quickly spread, fully igniting 19 vehicles and partially damaging 15 others

BRITISH PM MAY'S ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

   Reuters:  The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, may have stilled the waters over a possible leadership contest, but some Conservative Brexit supporters are still incensed over what they see as her decision to break her promise for a clean break with the EU.
   “It is the ultimate betrayal of our democracy and people’s belief in it. It’s not even an accidental betrayal, it was planned and plotted well in advance,” said Conservative lawmaker Andrew Bridgen.
   “Never have so many campaigned for so long and so hard for so little,” he told Reuters.

LESBIANS ATTACKING TRANSGENDERISM

   We told you it would happen, and it finally has. Conservatives long predicted that feminism and transgenderism were ultimately incompatible, but for a long time it seemed like the LGBT movement might just hold them together. Well, on Saturday that movement burst open, as lesbians led the parade in attacking transgenderism.
  "Transactivism Erases Lesbians!" read a banner that temporarily led the Pride in London march in the heart of Britain's capital.
  So, why do Jennie Rigg and Sadie Khan consider "Take the L Out" so "transphobic"? They disagree with transgender activism, but with an interesting twist. They're not just the run-of-the-mill feminists complaining about biological males usurping the title of feminism. No, they accuse transgender activists of promoting conversion therapy and rape culture.
   According to their website, "Get the L Out is a group of lesbian and feminist individuals and organizations, opposing the increasingly anti-lesbian and misogynistic LGBT movement and the erasure of lesbians."

LIBERAL MELTDOWN ERUPTS OVER SCOTUS PICK

    Following President Trump's Monday evening nomination of judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy's now-vacant seat, hundreds of protesters outside the Supreme Court broke open boxes of pre-printed "Stop Kavanaugh" signs - wasting a tremendous amount of paper as the other Supreme Court nominees' pre-printed protest banners went unused
    In other words, it didn't matter who Trump picked - this was always going to be the response.
    And sure enough, the 'resistance' really sprang into action from billionaire Tom Steyer to Bill de Blasio and Kamala Harris- with one voice decrying this terrible human being:

ALL FREED FROM THAI CAVE

Trapped cave football team are FREE: All 12 boys and their coach have been removed from flooded tunnels in Thailand after daring rescue mission

PRIORITIES OF THE IMMIGRATION MINISTER

   The federal minister of immigration objected Monday to the new Ontario Tory government's references to people claiming refugee status as "illegal border crossers."
   On Monday, an emailed statement sent to The Canadian Press from Ford's office repeated the "illegal border crossers" terminology.
   Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, told a news conference Monday he believes Ford's vocabulary is inaccurate.
   "I'm very concerned by Premier Ford and (provincial) minister (Lisa) MacLeod really making statements that are difficult to understand when it comes to how they're describing asylum seekers," Hussen told reporters in Halifax.

Monday, July 9, 2018

CANADIAN TAXPAYERS PAID $24K FOR 86 CUSHIONS

  Global Affairs Canada spent $24,638 on 86 leather cushions destined to pad chairs at its embassy in Mexico City, new documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation reveal.
   The eye-watering price amounts to approximately $286 per cushion. The Canadian-made products were purchased in the fall of 2016 from a Regina-based company and sent to Mexico City, where they have presumably been making diplomats and visitors more comfortable ever since.
   The company that made the cushions was Circa Office Interiors Ltd., a First Nations-owned furniture supply company based in Regina. The business is now listed as permanently closed, and calls to the company’s offices went to voicemail.

THAILAND CAVE RESCUE UPDATE

   Four more boys have today been rescued from the cave complex in northern Thailand where a youth football team became trapped two weeks ago, leaving just four teammates and their coach stuck underground for at least another day.
As rescuers in Thailand continue working to extract the remaining  boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave complex, the children’s health -- both physical and mental -- is a major concern.
   One illness they may be at risk of developing is histoplasmosis.
   Also known as “cave disease” and “spelunker’s lung,” histoplasmosis is a disease that is caused by breathing in spores of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum.

MAY & CABAL STRANGLED BREXIT

   Delingpole: Brexit is dead – strangled at the weekend by Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabal of Remainer cronies.
   It was a brilliant coup, masterfully conducted with a sadist’s attention to detail.
   All the ministers in the Cabinet were hauled up to Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country residence, where their phones were confiscated, as though they were naughty children. Then the stubbornly pro-Brexit ones who were rightly disgusted by the shaming sell-out deal May had cobbled together with her virulently Remainer civil servants were given the same choice Rommel was in 1944: cyanide pill or slow career death.

DOUG FORD'S DEREGULATION & EFFICIENCIES

   Financial Post:  Ford critics widely deride his pledge to find $6 billion in “efficiencies” in the province’s $160-billion budget, treating it as draconian. It is in fact a trivial target for a businesslike cost-cutter, requiring just four per cent less government spending, equivalent to where government spending was two years ago. Ending corporate welfare alone, according to an Ontario government study, would save about $5 billion. The remaining billion — assuming Ford wants to stop at a mere $6 billion — is well on its way to being accomplished in his first week in office. He’s already instituted a hiring freeze on civil servants and cancelled the Green Ontario Fund, a $377-million boondoggle. Literally dozens of other government programs similarly deserve the dustbin.
   Deregulation doesn’t just save money for governments; it spares grief for citizens and companies alike, by eliminating bureaucratic busy-work and the expense involved.

IMMIGRATION WORM HAS TURNED IN GERMANY

   The American presence preserved the peace and, eventually, was critical in the West's victory in the Cold War. But it was bad for Germany in that it gave the Germans the luxury to take the "high moral ground" and abjure their own self-defense while they poured money into social programs. Having been effectively a ward of NATO and America, the Germans unhappily combined their war guilt with the mistaken moral superiority of their newfound pacifism.
   The result was that they were completely unprepared for the consequences of their Ossi-raised chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow free entry to the "Syrian" "refugees" in 2015, a vast trekking horde of mostly male Muslims of military age from as far away as Afghanistan, who marched on the rich countries of the West, passing through Greece and Hungary and Italy on their way to the greener pastures of France, England, and Germany. Proudly proclaiming a "welcoming culture" and mouthing Merkel's slogan, "Wir shaffen das" (We can handle this), Germany opened its arms to the "diversity" delusion.
   What the Germans expected to welcome were people fleeing oppression, and who would abide by German norms of social civility, which include peace and (especially) quiet, who would quickly learn to converse and interact on a sophisticated level -- who would become, in short, exactly like most Germans. What they got was an Islamic rabble wholly uninterested in Germany except how to exploit its hospitality while loudly complaining about it. The molestation of more than a thousand German girls in Cologne by Muslim "refugees" on New Year's Eve in 2015 was the first indication that North African sexual norms were coming to roost in Germany. And while the government has downplayed "migrant" crimes against the local women, the word still gets out and around.

CA TEACHERS SUE UNIONS TO RECOUP FEES

    Justice is coming for unions that forced non-members to pay "non-political" agency fees that went to prop up Democratic candidates. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that forcing workers who disagree with a union to make these payments anyway violates the workers' First Amendment rights.
   Less than a week after that ruling, Janus v. Association of Federal, State, City, and Municipal Employees (FSCME), seven California teachers have filed a class-action lawsuit to recoup unjustly forced fees.
   "This lawsuit will enable teachers like me to recover the agency fees that we were wrongly forced to pay against our will," Scott Wilford, the plaintiff in the new lawsuit, told Education Week. Wilford filed the lawsuit in the Central District of California's federal court on Tuesday.

MEDIA APPROVED VIOLENCE AGAINST TRUMP SUPPORTERS

   When not calling Trump supporters “Nazis” as a means to dehumanize us, the establishment media like to whine about the lack of civility in American politics, even as they cover up, ignore, downplay, or straight-up approve of the wave of violence and public harassment we are seeing against supporters of President Trump.
    It is open season on Trump supporters, and the media is only fomenting, encouraging, excusing, and hoping for more… The media are now openly calling Trump supporters “Nazis” and are blaming Trump for a mass murder he had nothing to do with. This, of course, is a form of harassment because it incites and justifies mob violence.
   Here is the list, so far, and remember that if any one of these things happened to a Democrat, the media would use the story to blot out the sun for weeks. But what we have when it comes to Trump supporters is a media eager to normalize harassment and violence.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

FIRST 2 BOYS RESCUED FROM THAI CAVE

  The first two schoolboys have reportedly been brought out 'alive and well' after divers executed a carefully constructed rescue mission.
  The starved and exhausted pair are receiving treatment at the cave entrance before being taken to hospital, according to a local police chief.

THE WELL-BEING OF FIRST NATIONS

Ottawa's $5.7 billion in "specific claim" settlements has failed to improve First Nations living standards.

OVERHAULING ALBERTA'S TRUCKING LICENCING

   Calgary Herald:  Alberta’s transportation minister says the province is still working on an overhaul of Alberta’s trucking licensing regulations in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
    At a press conference on Friday, Transportation Minister Brian Mason said the province had been looking at mandatory driver training requirements long before the April 6 collision which killed 16 people and left another 13 injured.
   The statement came just hours after RCMP in Saskatchewan announced charges have been laid against Jaskirat Sidhu, a 29-year-old man from Calgary, who police say was behind the wheel of a tandem big rig when it collided with the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus at the intersection of Highway 335 and Highway 35 near Nipawin, Sask.

DOJ & FBI STALLING ON DISCLOSURE

  The Justice Department and the FBI have failed to meet deadlines for the delivery of specific documents about FBI activities prior to the official investigation into Russian meddling, reports Fox News citing a "source close to the discussions."
   If DOJ records reveal that the FBI was actively working against the Trump campaign prior to events which officially precipitated Operation Crossfire Hurricane - especially during the period in which they engaged informant Stefan Halper to conduct espionage on multiple Trump aides, it will have wide ranging implications on the FBI's version of how the counterintelligence operation began. Without the documents, congressional investigators won't be able to piece together the timeline of events, or whether the FBI followed agency protocols during that period.
   While FBI headquarters authorized the official counterintelligence operation on July 31, 2016 - John Solomon of The Hill reported in June that efforts to spy on and possibly entrap Trump campaign aides began much earlier.

BC COMMUNITIES RECOVERING FROM WILDFIRES

   Vancouver Sun:  Communities are still recovering from British Columbia’s worst wildfire season on record, one year after a fateful two-day period in July 2017 that sparked more than 100 fires and prompted the province to declare a state of emergency.
   The province commissioned an independent review of its response to fires and flooding last year. The report published in May made 108 recommendations and called for an overhaul of disaster response practices, and the government said it would produce a comprehensive plan this fall.
   No one died in the flames, but people in B.C.’s Interior are still struggling to rebuild their homes, restore the environment and revive local economies.

TORONTO'S RED FLAGS OF FRAUD

   Blatchford, NP: A shocking report by the City of Toronto’s Auditor-General paints an “alarming” picture of how private firm duplicity and galling bureaucratic indifference allowed the city to put at risk the safety of employees, firefighters and visitors to thousands of city buildings such as City Hall, Metro Hall, Union Station, daycares, long-term care homes and recreation centres.
   Dated June 28, the 114-page report is the result of a fraud investigation AG Beverly Romeo-Beehler started last summer when a complainant called the city’s fraud and waste hotline.
   Ironically, while the AG found many red flag indications of fraud – chiefly, shifting company names, fake bids for city tenders and $900,000 worth of city contracts signed by non-existent people — and believes, “based on the totality of the evidence” that there is “a high-risk situation for fraud”, she couldn’t prove it because of the lack of an audit trail and missing documentation.

CATHOLIC CHURCH USED AS A PAWN

   The Catholic church is being used as a pawn in a well-orchestrated plan to radically alter the Christian identity of European nations through mass migration, said Bishop Athanasius Schneider in a bombshell interview last week.
   Schneider, who serves as auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, told the Italian daily Il Giornale that the current migrant crisis “represents a plan orchestrated and prepared for a long time by international powers to radically alter the Christian and national identity of the peoples of Europe.”
    The interview was released in the midst of a series of initiatives by Pope Francis to bring about a “change in mindset” regarding immigration by focusing on the positive contributions of immigrants rather than the negative fallout from mass migration.

"EPA HEAD MUST BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE"

   Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said on Thursday following President Donald Trump’s tweet announcing that Scott Pruitt was stepping down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change should not head the agency.
   Warren also slammed Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt’s deputy who will now serve as acting administrator, saying he is “a longtime Washington insider and corporate lawyer who’s done the bidding of fossil fuel companies for decades.”
   Then Warren went on to trash other members of Trump’s cabinet, calling them by name and saying they have “no business” heading federal agencies.

TRUMP'S PLANS FOR DOMESTIC SECURITY

   The major – perhaps only – redeeming virtue of the Donald’s ersatz campaign platform was his clear intent to seek a rapprochement with Russia, revamp America’s commitments to NATO and other cold war relics and to discard "Regime Change" as the core tenant of foreign policy. In essence, "America First" was to become the new route to domestic security and safety.
   Clearly he means to withdraw America’s 29,000 military hostages now stationed in South Korea in return for some sort of peace treaty, economic normalization and denuclearization arrangement with Kim Jong-un.
   Likewise, he has sensibly suggested that demonizing Russia and Putin has accomplished nothing, and that they should be invited back into the G-8. And as soon as Robert Mueller finishes his RussiaGate farce, Trump can get rid of the present asinine sanctions on various Russian officials and Putin cronies, too.
   We also now know – owing to the sullen reporting of the Washington Post – that Trump has been hounding the national security bureaucracy about another utterly ridiculous artifact of the Empire. Namely, the fact that 73 years after Hitler descended into Hades from his bunker and 27 years after the Soviet Union slithered off the pages of history, there are still 35,000 US troops in Germany:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

ONTARIO WIND FARM CONTRACTS CAN BE CANCELLED

   In a just released review of the energy landscape in Ontario under the new Ford government, Mike Richmond, wind power contract specialist with law firm McMillan LLP, says the contracts between government and wind power developers can be cancelled in certain situations.
   Wind Concerns Ontario has long maintained this to be true, even recommending to the Wynne government that an effective way to reduce electricity bills for Ontario consumers — or at least, not have them go higher — was to cancel the $1.3B of new wind power contracts and to cancel any others where significant milestones have not been met.

FUNDING ONTARIO'S ILLEGAL ASYLUM SEEKERS

    TORONTO — Just a week after Doug Ford took office, the rift between his new Tory government and Justin Trudeau's federal Liberals appears to be growing as they verbally spar over funding for refugees and asylum seekers in the province.
     On Friday, the Ontario government said it faces a "looming crisis" next month if Ottawa doesn't help find space for refugees and asylum seekers currently sheltered in college dorms.
     But Ottawa appeared to show signs Friday it may not hand over the millions in funding if Ontario isn't a "willing partner" on the immigration file.
    "That money was earmarked to deal with immediate housing pressures," said Mathieu Genest, press Secretary for federal Minister Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen. "We will need to make sure that Ontario's a willing partner before that money flows just to make sure that that money is actually going to support the things we need it to support."

PATRICK BROWN VS CTV

    TORONTO — Lawyers for CTV News say the network did nothing wrong in reporting allegations of sexual misconduct against the former leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative party.
    In a statement of defence served to Patrick Brown, CTV denies allegations laid out in a defamation lawsuit the former Tory leader launched in April. The statement was first published Saturday by the website Canadaland.
   In his statement of claim, Brown alleged the network and several journalists involved in the story acted maliciously and irresponsibly in publishing what he characterizes as false accusations brought forward by two women.

Friday, July 6, 2018

CALLING FOR MAYOR TORY TO STEP ASIDE

   An email from within the Toronto Police Service (TPS) criticizing mayor John Tory over the recent rash of shootings in the city has reached the mayor’s office.
  It is addressed to “Mr. Tory” and calls him a “direct contributor” to the shootings by supporting “the cancellation of the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) program.”
 “You flip-flopped on carding and supported its demise. You forced budget and staffing cuts on the Toronto police,” read the email.
 It’s signed by Mark Hayward, who also happens to be a veteran sergeant with the TPS.

TUNE IN FOR MORE DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY

   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set today to address the battle brewing between Ottawa and the Ontario government over a recent surge in asylum seekers, one day after Premier Doug Ford criticized the federal government's approach to the issue.
   The two leaders met face to face on Thursday for the first time since Ford and his Progressive Conservatives were sworn in. Minutes before the meeting in Toronto, Ford's team released a statement that blamed the federal government's policies "100 per cent" for the influx of asylum seekers at the border.
   Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of children, community and social services, also suggested in comments to reporters that Trudeau's own rhetoric has encouraged people to attempt illegal border crossings.

PM TRUDEAU, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF

  On Thursday, up popped a picture of Justin Trudeau during the 2015 election campaign stop in the Montreal riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie where he was photographed rubbing the blossoming tummy of his eight-months pregnant candidate, Christine Poirier.
   Now, that’s pretty handsy, a little too touchy-feely for many, as well as a little too presumptive.
   Most women don’t appreciate having their pregnant bellies patted without permission, but Trudeau apparently had no qualms whatsoever.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

MORE WEASEL WORDS FROM PM TRUDEAU

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his most detailed response yet Thursday to an 18-year-old allegation he groped a female reporter, confirming he had apologized to the woman at the time but saying he didn’t feel he had acted “in any way untoward.”
   Facing reporters at Queen’s Park after his first meeting with new Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Trudeau offered a more elaborate reflection on the allegation for the first time since it resurfaced in the past months.
  “I’ve been reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident almost 20 years ago,” he said. “I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way. But I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently.”Trudeau did not specifically respond to a question Thursday as to whether he should be subject to an independent investigation, as other Liberal members of caucus have been. He instead connected the incident to the broader societal conversations struck by the #MeToo movement in the past year.

DOUG FORD UNDERSTANDS PERFECTLY

  TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is suggesting Ontario’s new premier doesn’t fully understand Canada’s international obligations when it comes to dealing with refugee claimants.
   Trudeau met with Doug Ford in Toronto this afternoon, and said afterwards he spent some time explaining to the premier how the asylum-seeking system works.
   A spokesman for Ford said the federal government has encouraged people to cross into Canada illegally and continues to usher people across the U.S.-Quebec border into Ontario.
   “This mess was 100 per cent the result of the federal government, and the federal government should foot 100 per cent of the bills,” Simon Jeffries said in a statement.

PRUITT RESIGNS AS EPA CHIEF; WHEELER TAKES OVER

   Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned from his position amid a spate of misconduct accusations.
  President Donald Trump announced Thursday afternoon that he had accepted Pruitt’s resignation and Pruitt’s Deputy Andrew Wheeler will be taking over Pruitt’s responsibilities as the Acting EPA Administrator starting Monday.
    Andrew Wheeler, the EPA's deputy administrator, will take over as acting administrator. "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda," President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday.

CANADA IS BIGGER LOSER IN TRADE WAR WITH USA

   Canada and the U.S. share the largest and most comprehensive bilateral trade relationship on earth, according to the U.S. State Department. Both the U.S. and Canadian government claim that trade between the two countries generates over $1 trillion worth of commerce and investment annually, and is responsible for millions of jobs on both sides of the border.
   But the trade relationship is far from equal. Publicly available data from the U.S. and Canadian governments, along with trade statistics from the UN, show just how critical business with the U.S. is to Canada’s economy. The U.S., on the other hand, is both less reliant on international trade than Canada and far less reliant on Canada as a trade partner than we are on the USA.
  Check out the interactive animated maps.

ANNIHILATING WATERMELONS

    Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles and possible future presidential candidate, posted a clip of what could happen if you stick a small firework inside a watermelon.
  The public service announcement was anything but a deterrent for Americans who have a fascination with exploding fruit.
“Mayor, you have to admit that blowing up a watermelon with fireworks is pretty [f**king] awesome, though,”

ONTARIO OPEN FOR BUSINESS

  Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s new finance minister, appeared on BNN Bloomberg on Wednesday to talk about the changes that are coming. Fedeli said that he has been receiving calls from business leaders talking about their renewed confidence for the business climate under the new Ford administration.
  After living under a government that only wanted taxes to go up, it is refreshing to hear about taxes going down.
“We are lowering corporate taxes, we are lowering small business taxes, we are lowering hydro costs, eliminating cap-and-trade,” Fedeli told BNN Bloomberg. “Those are all key signals to the business community that Ontario is open for business.”

PM TRUDEAU FEELING BELEAGUERED

    A critical NATO summit lies a week distant. Donald Trump, the volatile U.S. President with whom you’re locked in an escalating war on trade, is now sending caustic letters about your defense spending, or lack thereof. Even worse, the mad tweeter has a point, a fact Trump will surely moan about when he meets with Vladimir Putin—the man who wants NATO to die—without notetakers present.
   Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is revoking the province’s cap-and-trade regulation, putting your vaunted pan-Canadian climate change framework at risk. The auto industry is panicking at the prospect of Trump’s musings of new tariffs. The Kinder Morgan pipeline is missing precious months of summer construction time, despite being in federal hands. And you’ve just lost a seat in Quebec to the opposition Conservatives in a by-election.
   Oh, and then there’s the small matter of an 18-year old allegation of “groping”—the so-called “Kokanee Grope” —coming to a boil in the press, including with members of the heretofore glowing international press corps, threatening your hard-won reputation as the world’s top feminist.

DISMANTLING WYNNE'S LEGACY

   G&M:   Newly-elected Progressive-Conservative Premier Doug Ford has begun chipping away at the previous Liberal government’s legacy after only a few days in office, freezing new measures on police oversight, ticket scalping and vaping, as well as firing Ontario’s new chief scientist.
   The new Premier has moved quickly to put his stamp on the public service and halt a number of incoming initiatives since he and his cabinet were sworn in on Friday. The Liberals had held office for nearly 15 years before the party suffered a catastrophic election loss in June. Now, the Tories say they want to consult widely on a number of new rules introduced by former premier Kathleen Wynne in her government’s final year in office.

LIBERALS' GUN LAW CHANGES

   In fact, during a recent conference on guns and gangs, Lynn Barr-Telford, director general of health, justice and special surveys at Statistics Canada, said the origin of firearms involved in Canadian gun crime is largely unknown.
   "At the height of the long-gun registry, Stats Canada documented that nine per cent of the firearms involved in homicides were registered," said Gary Mauser, a professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University who runs a blog called Justice for Gun Owners.
  "Other than police claims based on a secret, bloated definition, there's no support for the change in the source of crime guns. According to StatsCan, lawful owners cannot be a major source of crime guns. According to StatsCan, PAL holders are much less apt to commit murder than other Canadians."

TALKING NONSENSE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

   Goldstein, Toronto Sun:  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a plan that won’t work and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer doesn’t have a plan.
   It would be more honest for Trudeau to admit that his carbon pricing plan is mostly symbolic, based on the argument it’s better to do something rather than nothing, and that it will not meet his commitments to the UN.
  It would be more honest for Scheer to either admit the Conservatives don’t believe man-made climate change is real, in which case Canadians shouldn’t be financially penalized for it, or that it is real but the cost of fighting it is too high, when the rest of the world hasn’t bought in.

HYPOCRISY & SANCTIMONY OF HORGAN & TRUDEAU

   Toronto Sun:  But here, for me, is the real kicker: Approximately one-third of all U.S. coal exports go through Vancouver’s Westshore Terminals and not one lump of it is subjected to federal or B.C. carbon tax. 
   Coal is dirtier than oil, even oilsands oil. Burning it produces more pollution and more carbon emissions, especially in less-sophisticated overseas power plants. Yet there is B.C. Premier John Horgan, in the name of climate change, attempting to block his neighbouring province, Alberta, from building a pipeline to the West Coast. Meanwhile, he is welcoming tens of millions of tonnes of the global-warming-est coal around to slip in his province’s backdoor and out through the Port of Vancouver.
  Then there is our sanctimonious P.M., who is about to beggar Canada with a massive federal carbon tax — again in the name of saving the planet — and yet he permits million and millions of tonnes of coal to pass through Canada every year without charging a penny of his Earth-saving tax.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

ONTARIO's CRIPPLING ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES

    (April 1, 2018),  “Ontario’s debt, which currently stands at $311.7 billion, is the most held by any sub-sovereign government in the world. It has also grown precipitously under the current Liberal government, who first took government when Ontario’s debt stood at $138.8 billion.”
   Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris:   To fix the province’s woes, new Conservative Premier Doug Ford must first understand the causes of the problems. A major issue has been crippling energy and environmental policies.
   The real rot in Ontario began in 1992, when then-premier Bob Rae appointed businessman and former UN Under-Secretary-General Maurice Strong to be the Chairman of Ontario Hydro, the province’s publicly owned electricity utility.

CANADIAN FARM DEBT: $100 BILLION AND RISING

   Canadian farm debt has risen past the $100 billion mark. According to recently released Statistics Canada data, farm debt in 2017 was $102.3 billion—nearly double the level in 2000. (All figures and comparisons adjusted for inflation.)
   Some analysts and government officials characterize the period since 2007 as “better times” for farmers. But during that period (2007-2017, inclusive) total farm debt increased by $37 billion—rising by more than $3 billion per year
   Although our farm sector has many strengths and is setting production records, the sector remains in a crisis that began in the mid-1980s. And what began as a farm income crisis has metastasized into a farm debt crisis.