Wednesday, February 28, 2018


 Los Angeles times:   Federal agents arrested more than 150 people suspected of violating immigration laws during a three-day sweep across Northern California, authorities said Tuesday.
  About half of those arrested have criminal convictions. A top Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said he thought others were able to elude arrest after the Oakland mayor alerted the public about the upcoming raids.
  "The Oakland mayor's decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens — making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold," Homan said in a statement.


 The federal government is going to scrap a “flawed” and “unacceptable” pay system that struggled to deliver pay to public servants, despite a price tag that will likely exceed $1 billion, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced in his new budget tabled Tuesday in Parliament.
  Taxpayers have already spent more than $460 million on the troubled Phoenix pay system, introduced in 2016, according to the new budget. The pay system for public servants was part of a plan first launched by former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government in 2009.


  DICK’s Sporting Goods announced their decision to stop selling all “assault-style” weapons in their stores and banning sales to anyone under 21.
  The corporate statement was sent in response to the teen-aged gun control activists after the Parkland high school shooting.
 “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones. But thoughts and prayers are not enough,” the statement read.


  It’s all out in the open now. The Conservatives have put it to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons, and Trudeau’s response will no doubt be followed by frantic telephone calls to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, begging for forbearance and understanding. In any case, it is difficult to see much distance remaining in the career trajectory of Daniel Jean, Trudeau’s hand-picked National Security and Intelligence Advisor. Not after this.
  As everyone in Ottawa knows, Daniel Jean was the anonymous “senior security source” who showed up in the news media out of nowhere last week with a preposterous conspiracy theory to explain why the former Khalistani terror-group member, convicted would-be assassin and Liberal Party fixture Jaspal Atwal was showing up in India on Trudeau gala guest lists.
  On Parliament Hill today, Conservatives were saying Jean’s name out loud, and peppering Trudeau in the House of Commons. Without many other options, Trudeau responded by defending Jean as a sensible, non-partisan civil servant, but going further, suggesting that when a official of Jean’s rank says something, “it’s because they know it to be true.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


  Toronto Sun:  The word gender appears 358 times. Choose another big issue, say, terrorism — that word doesn’t appear once. It tells you something about priorities.
   At least they’ve managed to do all of this virtue-signalling without blowing past their previous financial projections. The fall economic update from last year predicted that this year’s deficit would be $18.5 billion. It actually clocks in at a more responsible $18.1 billion.
  Then again, if you’re looking at the big picture that’s still almost double the $10 billion Justin Trudeau originally campaigned on. There is also no path to balance at all in the long-term projections, leading us to assume we’re still on track for deficits until the 2040s, as a finance report declared, if we keep on this path.


  Former President Barack Obama denied that his administration had any scandals that embarrassed him or his team.
  “There were mistakes,” he admitted. “We’d screw up, but there wasn’t anything venal during eight years. I know that seems like a low bar, but you look at the presidency; that’s no small thing.”
  Conservatives remember the Obama years differently, citing the Fast and Furious scandal, the IRS scandal, wiretapping journalists, the terror attacks in Benghazi, delivering pallets of cash to Iran, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private email server for government emails.


  The Trudeau Liberals are getting serious about their plans to regulate companies like Facebook and appear to be in the early stages of an action plan.
  “Minister Gould has repeatedly stated that while social media companies are taking initial steps to ensure that their platforms are not being used as tools for foreign disinformation campaigns to undermine Canada’s democratic institutions, there still remains a great deal of work to be done,” wrote Nicky Cayer, spokesperson for Gould, in an email to the Sun. “This is a challenge that is being faced by democracies around the world. We are studying other countries’ approaches to see what works and what does not, what would be appropriate in a Canadian context and what — like censoring Canadians’ speech — would be unacceptable.”
  Meanwhile, legislation put forward by Conservative Senator Linda Frum designed to tackle foreign funding to registered third-parties during election season has been languishing for nine months due to inaction on the part of Liberal-appointed Senators.


   Following approval from Germany's conservatives to cooperate with the Social Democrats (SPD) on several political impasses, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sat down with Germany's RTL Aktuell where she discussed a number of policy positions - including an acknowledgement of Germany's growing "no-go" zones, and the need to do something about them.
   Amid a spike in crime attributed to refugees, German officials been slowly acknowledging the negative impact of the flood of migrants taken in after the destabilization of Libya and similar regions - even going so far as to offer thousands of Euros to rejected asylum seekers. 


  General Rezai is a cold-blooded killer, but he is also a survivor. He remains a top Godfather of the Islamic regime.
  Last week, he vowed to “level Tel Aviv to the ground,”
  It would be unwise to sweep away as idle threats comments such as those he made last week. He knows Iran is a nuclear-weapons capable state, because he was present at the creation. With the Iran nuclear deal safely guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear programs will not be challenged, General Rezai and other regime leaders can now brandish them as a deterrent.


China is not rushing headlong into the Arctic but rather laying the conceptual framework to justify and garner support for its ambitions. Notably, it does not appear willing to settle for being a non-Arctic regional participant or observer. Instead, it seeks to be a leading player in Arctic economic development. Calls by Beijing to “seize upon this historic opportunity” are not oppositional to the interests of the Arctic states and major regional forums, per se. But the ambitious scope of Beijing’s efforts – for a non-Arctic state to play a leadership role – raises legitimate concerns on the degree to which it really accepts the current status quo in the Arctic, and whether it wants to change it politically and institutionally.


  A source in his campaign said Patrick Brown and his loved ones have faced a barrage of death threats and other harassment from those angry that he had joined the election.
  “I can no longer stand as a candidate in our party’s leadership race,” Brown said in the message posted on his Twitter account
  He said his situation also posed too much of a distraction from the party’s push to replace the Liberal government with a “pragmatic, moderate, fiscally responsible alternative.”

Monday, February 26, 2018


   NBC's ratings for the Olympics were a dud, down 24 percent from the Sochi games four years ago. If I didn't know better, I'd think the Russians had hacked NBC to make their 2014 Sochi games have better ratings in comparison. I'm sure somewhere there is a CNN panel discussing this very possibility.
  What happened? Part of the explanation is social media. Fans can watch events and learn results in real time rather than waiting for the NBC prime-time evening broadcasts. But there is more.
  Once upon a time, the Olympics were about sport. "Faster, higher, stronger" is the Olympic motto. But this year, the motto reflects skin color, gender, and politics – "Darker, more confused, and NeverTrump."


   In the event, broadcast live on state television, the young girl dressed as a soldier seems to catch the attention of Mr Erdogan, who then invites her to the stage.
   "Look what you see here! Girl, what are you doing here? We have our maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry," he told her, referring to the beret worn by the Turkish Special Operations Forces.
  "She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too... If she's martyred, they'll lay a flag on her, God willing," he said during the congress in the southern town of Kahramanmaras on Saturday.


  Toronto Sun: — A sentencing hearing for a former top Ontario political aide began Monday with a stay of one of two findings of guilt.
  That means David Livingston will be convicted and sentenced on one count of illegally destroying documents related to the province’s so-called gas plants scandal.
  The judge agreed to stay the second guilty finding — attempt to commit mischief to data.


  G&M:  The federal government has clearly signalled that it will offer only a limited financial package for the media industry in Tuesday's budget, prompting a major lobby group to take its campaign for assistance to the provincial level.
  Federal officials, who spoke about the coming budget on the condition of anonymity, said there will be no measures designed to extract revenues from major foreign-based internet companies or any changes to the treatment of advertising under the Income Tax Act.
  A senior federal official said the government is looking to provide $10-million a year over five years to fund local journalism through an arms-length organization in a bid to preserve journalistic independence. In particular, sources said that the government wants to promote journalism in local and community news organizations.


   Later, after Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had obfuscated on a number of questions relating to his own and his deputies’ actions, Tapper asked him, “Are you really not taking any responsibility for the multiple red flags that were brought to the attention of the Broward Sheriff's Office about this shooter before the incident, whether it was people near him, close to him calling the police?”
   “Jake,” Israel said weakly, “I can only -- Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I have given amazing leadership to this agency.”
   It was a lame performance. While Sheriff Israel was hailed as a hero at CNN’s town hall, to the wider world he has been revealed as a dimwit, one who is ill equipped to weather the maelstrom he has entered. He is sadly typical of the modern police executive: neither especially bright nor innovative, but willing to adapt his principles or abandon them altogether so as to deflect blame onto to others and remain in the good graces of his political patrons. In Sheriff Israel’s case, his political patrons will soon realize he has become an embarrassment, and in due course he will be cast adrift. May it happen quickly.


  Lost in the hyper-focus on British Columbia and its persistent obstruction of energy infrastructure development is the East Coast, where two liquefied natural gas projects are quietly moving forward in Nova Scotia.
  Both Bear Head LNG to be located on the north bank of the Strait of Canso and Pieridae Energy in Goldboro are at different phases of their progress, but unlike what’s going on in B.C. there is a marked absence of opposition
  “There is tremendous support for business and industrial development in the area where the project is located,” said Paul McLean, strategic and regulatory affairs adviser for Bear Head, who said the company benefited from an integrated review process between federal and provincial authorities.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


  In an announcement that was already expected by the general public and largely a forgone conclusion, China's Communist Party has officially cleared the way for President Xi Jinping to rule as emperor for life by announcing on Sunday that it intends to abolish a two-term constitutional limit on the presidency.
  The change to the country's constitution follows the decision during last October's National People's Congress to enshrine Xi's name in the country's constitution, making him the first living leader to be granted such an honor.


  A prime ministerial visit to a foreign country for a week with a thin official component is always fraught with danger. In addition, moving the official meetings to the very end of the trip indicated that the government meetings were an after-thought. Most foreign leaders who throw in other events almost always front-load the official meetings, and then go on to business or tourism events.
  Here, it was clear from the start that Trudeau came to India to score with his Sikh constituency back home — four out of the six cabinet ministers who travelled with him were Sikh, as were an overwhelming number of MPs who also travelled with him. Until the media barrage in India forced the Canadian side to change tack, Trudeau was not even ready to meet Amarinder Singh, chief minister of Punjab. Even the Canadian high commissioner’s official reception was a celebration of Punjab with the prime minister himself waltzing in on bhangra beats.


  Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry’s latest official plan has been thrown into disarray following a recent Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs review, which reversed longstanding land-use designations in properties across the counties.
  Following a year-long process, filled with back-and-forth negotiations with some local landowners, SDG is now appealing its own official plan because of the ministry’s changes. SDG’s contention is all the changes made by the ministry were done without consultation and were unexpected.
  “What is very disappointing is the ministry was OK with the changes that the counties made in regards to (designations) of the properties, but for some reason, in the last couple of weeks, they turned and changed all of our (designations),” said Coun. Frank Prevost. “It’s been a pretty good document up until Feb. 8. Decisions are being made from a desk in Toronto, and they have no idea what impact they are making on landowners or municipalities, and (we) only have a small window to respond.”


   Trump is weighing options for steel and aluminum tariffs. One would target the entire world, while another would hit a shorter list of countries and spare Canada. The stakes are high for Canada, which is the No. 1 seller of both products to the U.S.
  They are particularly high for the premiers who just visited Washington — Ontario is a major supplier of steel and automobiles while Quebec is a key supplier of aluminum.
  Canada is not yet exempted from the potential hit-list. A news report Friday from Bloomberg said Trump is actually leaning toward the most punitive action possible, which reportedly would be a 24 per cent worldwide tariff on steel and an aluminum tariff as high as 10 per cent.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


   Blatchford, Postmedia:  It may be bearable, if amusing, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been playing Mr. Dressup on his Indian tour, he and the missus and the young ’uns donning more authentic garb than you could find in the average Indian’s tickle trunk.
   What is not is that one of the vast number of MPs travelling with the PM invited a convicted terrorist to a dinner/reception this week at the official residence of the Canadian High Commissioner, apologized for his lousy judgement and that appears to be that.
  How it looks, given Atwal’s tentacles to the party, is that at least some of them knew full well who Jaspal Atwal is and was. They just didn’t care much.


  Quebec City dumped about 46 million litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River over 12 hours in order to do scheduled maintenance work on a pumping station, the city said Friday.
  A spokesperson for the city said everything went as planned.


2017 may have been the worst year for homicide in Mexico since the government began keeping track in the 1990s.
The Interior Ministry said authorities across Mexico opened 29,168 murder cases, saying that it put the country's homicide rate at 20.5 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Experts have cast doubt on the latest figures, saying the homicide rate is likely much higher.


THE FRASER INSTITUTE: The Report Card on Ontario’s Secondary Schools 2018 collects a variety of relevant, objective indicators of school performance into one, easily accessible public document so that anyone can analyze and compare the performance of individual schools. By doing so, the Report Card assists parents when they choose a school for their children and encourages and assists all those seeking to improve their schools.


   Ontario's bizarre Progressive Conservative melodrama has entered a new phase of absurdity.
   Former leader Patrick Brown is considered too disreputable to sit in the Legislature as a Conservative. But he is apparently reputable enough to be the party's leader again.
  He's also the only candidate vying for the leadership who is running as a Red Tory. That's important because the Red Tory blend of sound economic management and moderately progressive social policy is usually the formula for political success in Ontario — for any party.


   Where things get interesting is that Exxon is claiming it is the victim of a “conspiracy” which was as hatched in a meeting in 2012 held in an oceanfront cottage in La Jolla, California. The meeting was hosted by organizations backed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF). Lawyers and scholars gathered to learn from the litigation strategies applied in the fight against the tobacco industry’s misinformation campaigns, and apply them to “address climate change.”
   Exxon is going after individuals involved in the La Jolla meeting and others involved in cases against the company. In a deposition made in January, the company said it wants testimony from 15 municipal lawyers and officials in California to find evidence that could support an “anticipated lawsuit” claiming “civil conspiracy, and violations of ExxonMobil’s constitutional rights.”


  Coming next Tuesday to Toronto’s swanky Yorkville district, it’s the 2018 Polar Bear Showdown, an international display of conflicting views on the state of polar-bear science.
   At one corner in Yorkville, in the ballroom of the upmarket Four Seasons Hotel, Polar Bears International (PBI) will stage a grand, $15,000-a-table gala to raise funds to protect the allegedly threatened Arctic species from the ravages of our addiction to fossil fuels.
  At another corner, exactly one block away, in the Founders’ Room at the down-market Toronto Reference Library, the Global Warming Policy Foundation of London will launch a new report on the state of polar bears by Susan Crockford, adjunct professor at the University of Victoria.


   Last fall, Stanford professor Mark Z. Jacobson sued several researchers and the National Academy of Sciences over the publication of a paper critical of his work. According to Jacobson, the NAS decision to publish a peer-reviewed critique of one of his co-authored papers in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" was defamatory because the critique made what Jacobson asserted were false and misleading claims about his work in the process of dismissing his claim that 100 percent of the United States' electricity needs may be met by renewable energy sources.
  Jacobson apparently had second thoughts after the hearing. Yesterday Jacobson voluntarily dismissed his suit, listing his reasons:
   It became clear, just like in the Mann case, which has been going on for 6 years, that it is possible there could be no end to this case for years, and both the time and cost would be enormous. Even if the motions for dismissal were defeated, the other side would appeal, and that alone would take 6-12 months if not more. Even if I won the appeal, that would be only the beginning. It would mean time-consuming discovery and depositions, followed by a trial. The result of the trial would likely be appealed, etc., etc.

Friday, February 23, 2018


   CALGARY HERALD:   B.C. Premier John Horgan couldn’t spin his own law out of thin air. Now he claims to believe in the rule of law.
  That’s what Alberta is up against in the pipeline dispute with B.C. — blinding illogic, growing fanaticism, a premier who invents a cascade of slippery tactics to stall a pipeline out of existence.
  Horgan will now ask the Supreme Court to rule on his claim that B.C. can regulate what flows through a federally approved pipeline.


  CALGARY HERALD:  In the scrublands of West Texas there’s an oil-drilling operation like few that have come before.
  Encana Corp.’s RAB Davidson well pad is so mammoth, the explorer speaks of it in military terms, describing its efforts here as an occupation. More than 1 million pounds of drilling rigs, bulldozers, tanker trucks and other equipment spread out over a dusty 16-acre expanse. As of November, the 19 wells here collectively pumped almost 20,000 barrels of crude per day, according to company reports.
  Encana calls this “cube development,” and it may be the supersized future of U.S. fracking, says Gabriel Daoud, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst who visited Davidson last year. The technique is designed to tap the multiple layers of petroleum-soaked rock here in Texas’s Permian shale basin all at once, rather than the one-or-two-well, one-layer-at-a-time approach of the past.


4. What I stumbled upon was a Broward County law enforcement system in a state of conflict. The Broward County School Board and District Superintendent, entered into a political agreement with Broward County Law enforcement officials to stop arresting students for crimes.
5. The motive was simple. The school system administrators wanted to "improve their statistics" and gain state and federal grant money for improvements therein.
6. So police officials, the very highest officials of law enforcement (Sheriff and Police Chiefs), entered into a plan.


Molly, a three-year-old Vietnamese potbelly pig, came to the SPCA’s Cowichan & District branch as part of a cruelty investigation. She was taken care of and nursed back to health by the staff and was finally adopted by a couple in Duncan on Jan. 19.


The clip begins with a man filming, seemingly innocently, asking the ’employee’ what he is doing. The reply comes: “Fixing potholes.”
The man behind the camera then asks: “With f*****g coco pops?” to which the ’employee’ says: “It’s came from the top. There’s only £6million in the budget so this is a cheaper alternative.”


Video by Paul Joseph Watson:  How Sweden is committing suicide through political correctness.


  One of the greatest but overlooked (or ignored) fact concerning Islamic aggression and violence around the world is that non-Muslim women tend to be its greatest victims. According to a January report dealing with the Muslim persecution of Christians, “The most significant findings were that Christian women are among the most violated in the world, in maybe a way that we haven’t seen before.” Six women were raped every day simply for being Christian, the report found.
   Much of this traces back to Islamic law. Inherently harsh—its ultimate source is a seventh century Arab man, Muhammad—Sharia is still harsher for women. Men have “authority” over women and may beat them for disobedience. The prophet said women are significantly less intelligent than men — two women are needed to equal one man’s testimony — and the majority of hell’s denizens consist of women, whom Muhammad further likened to donkeys and dogs in their ability to distract a man from his prayer and thereby annul it.


  Merely asking United States residents if they are citizens of the country on the U.S. 2020 Census could “be bad for your health,” a New York Times report claims.
  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to put the question asking if a U.S. resident is a citizen or not back on the Census, a move that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says would ensure electoral “fairness.”
  The New York Times‘ latest report on the citizenship question, though, claims that asking residents if they are citizens could spur a public health crisis


  The latest embarrassing blow to CNN's (already tattered) credibility emerged last night when Colton Haab, the student who first exposed CNN for pushing him to ask a scripted question during Wednesday night's town hall appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to offer even more shocking details about CNN's conduct.
  Yesterday, we noted that Haab, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student and shooting survivor, had come forward to say he decided not to attend Wednesday night's CNN town hall after CNN producers gave him a pre-scripted question for him to ask.
  But Haab told Carlson that the producers didn't just want him to ask one scripted question: They essentially rewrote a list of questions and political points that he wanted to make at the town hall, prompting him to back away from the town hall.


Last June, when looking at the most unstable of China's mega conglomerates Anbang Insurance (the others are HNA, China Evergrande and Dalian Wanda), we said that "Anbang's troubles could soon become systemic."  Half a year later, that's exactly what happened when in a "surprising" twist, the $315 billion insurer was bailed out by Beijing, just days after we pointed out the tremendous surge in the yield on its bonds.


  In other words, where previously we learned that on Feb. 5, 2016 Broward Sheriff's were warned by a neighbor's son that Nikolas Cruz "Planned to shoot up the school on Instagram", we now find out that during the shooting, a deputy could have saved lives but he hid instead as teenagers were killed.
   The shooting lasted approximately six minutes before the suspected gunman, Nikolas Cruz, dropped his rifle and exited the school - blending in with fleeing students.
  The Sheriff also noted that his office was involved in 23 calls regarding suspect Nikolas Cruz and his brother, and has placed BSO Col. Jack Dale and deputies Edward Easton and Guntis Treijis on restrictive duty as investigators look into whether more could have been done to prevent the shooting.


  Toronto Star:    The independent watchdog overseeing MPPs’ finances is demanding to know why Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown has not declared rental income on his upscale lakefront home, the Star has learned.
  Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake wrote to Brown asking for details following a Star story that raised questions about how he could afford the five-bedroom house on Lake Simcoe’s Shanty Bay.


  Canadian Press:  Ontario's Tories have been scrambling ever since Brown's abrupt resignation in January amid sexual misconduct allegations triggered a leadership race. Brown launched a bid to reclaim his post last week, saying he'd been urged on by support from grassroots members.
  But one of his competitors called Thursday for Brown to bow out, saying the leadership contest, which comes months before a spring election, was not the place for Brown to clear his name.
"This is a leadership race for the future of our party and Patrick Brown needs to step aside," Caroline Mulroney said in a statement. "He needs to put the party above himself."


  Vancouver Sun:   The tipster, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, confirmed speaking to an agent from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service on Feb. 17, hoping to alert the Canadian government to Atwal’s criminal history.
  A separate source told Postmedia that some members of the Punjabi-language media in Surrey sent news reports about Atwal’s history to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi on Feb. 20.
  The source said it was widely known that Atwal, a former member of the terrorist International Sikh Youth Federation, was going to India to attend some of the events with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian delegation.


  I understand that he, Trudeau, is also wearing traditional Mojari shoes?
Traditional, meaning we don't wear those kind of shoes every day. I'm wearing some Skechers shoes right now, you know?
  He's been playing the part, but I'm not sure if this is what he should be wearing. He seems to be overdressing, and he seems to be desperate to show that he's "celebrating Indian culture."
He had covered his head right at the airport. And people were like, "Hey guys, chill. The Golden Temple is not at the airport; it's a while away."


   NEW DELHI — A senior Canadian official with knowledge of security issues says Canadian authorities believe it was no accident that a man convicted of an attempted assassination was suddenly allowed into India and able to make his way onto the guest list for two receptions with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week.
   The official said Atwal has, since his conviction, been on a list of people banned by India from getting a visa to visit the country because of their ties to Sikh separatist and extremist groups but that he was suddenly removed from that blacklist last summer — long before Trudeau’s trip was planned.   
  Canada played no part in getting Atwal off the blacklist or getting him a visa to visit India, said the official.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


  It’s one thing to pay respectful homage to a culture, but it’s another thing entirely when your traditional attire starts to veer into costume territory. That’s exactly what some are saying about the Trudeaus.
  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is already ripe for the picking (or trashing) as many have criticized him for his official trip that includes his wife and three children, and that is being questioned on its political relevance. Although the PM announced a $1 billion Canadian-Indian investment deal yesterday, the family’s insistence on consistently donning traditional Indian attire is starting to draw less than flattering attention.
   Described as “too Indian, even for an Indian,” the Trudeaus have commissioned some of India’s most prestigious designers to outfit them for every photo op. What was perhaps most glaring was the juxtaposition between the Canadian political family and the Bollywood stars they met on Feb. 20. Sophie was in a cream-coloured and beaded sari, their children Xavier and Ella-Grace wore a sherwani and lehenga, respectively, and the PM donned a gold sherwani complete with traditional mojari shoes — while the Indian stars wore slacks and jackets.


   G&M: In her last week in office, Canada's information watchdog is accusing the Liberal government of reneging on its promise to bring a new era of openness to Ottawa and of failing to defend the "Charter right" of Canadians to quick and easy access to federal documents and data.

    "The government is sliding into more secrecy and actually not delivering on its promise," Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault said in an interview. "I think it is having a bit of a conflicting reaction, with its open government initiative and its pro-active disclosure on one side, and on the flip side, the way it is administering access to information in a reactive manner. Disclosure rates are down with this government, surprisingly."


    New Delhi (CNN)Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's week-long trip to India has gone from bad to worse.
    Already dogged by bad press and speculation that the prime minister had been "snubbed" by the Indian government, on Thursday Canadian officials were again on the back-foot, after it was revealed a Sikh extremist convicted of attempting to murder an Indian politician had been invited to dine with Trudeau at the Canadian High Commissioner's residence in New Delhi.
   The official invitation, which was later withdrawn, has sparked outrage in India, where the issue of Sikh separatism remains a highly charged and emotive topic.


   Residents on Red Pheasant First Nation’s are living without running water or heat and have raw sewage on the ground. Many of those residents are accusing the Chief and council of neglecting their duties to help. But according to Red Pheasant Chief Clint Wutunee, the poor housing conditions is due to a lack of government funding.
   Several residents invited battlefordsNOW to the reserve, 30 minutes south of the Battlefords, for a tour of the reserve to see just how bad things are. Many of the homes only recently received heat by way of new furnaces, but many homes still have plastic taped over broken windows, allowing the majority of heat to escape.
   The situation is worse for others like Carmen Peyachew, who has been without running water for two months. The single mother is pregnant and has to travel to a well to supply her home with water.


Flooding is affecting thousands in southern Ontario; a 3 year old is missing in the river.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


While speaking on Tuesday, President Trump announced that he signed a memo “directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns.


  CBC:  There's an old school gold rush underway in northern Ontario, but the demand is for a special metal that is used in everything from smart phones to electric cars.
  More than a dozen mining companies are staking out claims in Cobalt, Ont. as price of the mineral with the same name rises, according to the Northern Prospectors Association.
   "The whole situation is a cobalt-style rush, just like an old fashioned staking rush," said Gino Chitaroni, president of the Northern Prospectors Association and a geologist from the area.


  The mysterious deep-sea beasts were captured by a fisherman off northwest Russia, in an area that scientists describe as the ocean's 'twilight zone'.
  Roman Fyodorov has become an online celebrity for the incredible sea creatures that end up in his nets, with the trawlerman frequently posting snaps of his bizarre catches to the internet.
  The latest additions to his collection include a weird shark-like creature with bright red bug eyes which the fisherman dubbed 'fish zombie'.


  Calgary Herald:  OTTAWA — Grappling with a historic level of asylum claims, the Immigration and Refugee Board appears to be officially giving up on following regulations dictating they must hold refugee hearings within a certain time
  Over 47,000 new claims for asylum were referred to the IRB in 2017, a record-setting number, due in part to a surge of asylum seekers at the Canada-U.S. border. Over 18,000 people crossed illegally into Canada last year to claim asylum, according to statistics from the board.
  As of Feb. 1, the projected wait time for claims was 20 months.


  CBC: The soaring number of abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta is overwhelming the industry-backed fund that pays to clean them up — and now there's concern taxpayers could share in that burden if the province's energy regulator loses a crucial appeal at Canada's top court.
  The issue arose at the Supreme Court this month during a hearing that will decide what is the priority when oil companies go bust: creditors or the clean-up of abandoned well sites.
  Lower court rulings have sided with creditors, spurring the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and Orphan Well Association (OWA) to launch appeals, in part due to fears bankrupt energy companies will essentially walk away from polluted sites and dump clean-up costs on the orphan well fund.


   CBC:  Opposition is mounting to a media coalition's plan (backed by big players such as Bell, Rogers, and CBC) proposing that the CRTC create an independent agency to identify blatant piracy websites that internet providers would then be required to block their customers from accessing.
  Executive director of The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, John Lawford, suggested a better solution would be to offer what Canadians want: inexpensive, accessible streaming services as opposed to pricey, multi-channel cable packages.
 "If that's the new business model that keeps people from pirating, then why not change your business model into that?" he said.


  Ottawa Valley MPP Randy Hillier intensified his campaign against former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown on Tuesday, reporting him to the provincial integrity commissioner for alleged ethics violations — just after most of the Tory party’s executive threatened to revolt if Brown isn’t allowed to run to reclaim his place at the top of the party.
  The integrity complaint, which Hillier released publicly at the end of the day, alleges that Brown accepted trips abroad from suppliers to the party and failed to report outside income in routine disclosures to the legislature, and asks questions about how he’s able to afford his home near Barrie.

  Brown himself wasn’t at Queen’s Park on Tuesday to take his seat as the legislature resumed following a winter break. When he left, he was party leader, planted in the middle of the opposition’s front bench. His new place, as an MPP with no party claiming him, is in a back corner tucked behind another former Tory whom Brown himself ejected months ago: Carleton-Mississippi Mills MPP Jack MacLaren.


  G&M:  A gap in transparency has allowed millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded contracts to be awarded to friends and allies of political operatives in Ontario without the checks, balances and disclosures that accompany a public tendering process.
   A Globe and Mail review has found a pattern of payments, about which little information is available, involving a tight circle of advisers that surrounded former premier Dalton McGuinty during his time in office. Among them were payments of more than $50,000 in the same year to two different companies in the name of the former premier's campaign director; money repeatedly directed to a high-profile strategist through his then-wife's business; and more than $300,000 paid to a former chief of staff shortly after he was pushed out of his job.
   During The Globe's review, sources who previously worked as senior political staff said they were offered "top-ups" to their salaries through contracts that would never have to be made public.


   Where does rainbow socks turn now…. India. Except, well,… there’s a problem.
   You see, while Justin from Canada was trying to find his way through the China, ASEAN and TPP trade matrix, POTUS Trump and India’s Prime Minister Modi were hugging it out on trade deals; with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley courting the national Indian crowd.
  Yup, Justin from Canada shows up in India, and the airport -much like the rest of the diplomatic venues- is empty. POTUS Trump arrived early and stole all the trade hugging last year; then used a geopolitical strategy of punching Pakistan in the teeth to elevate his own Indian magnanimity. A bazillion India peeps loves-them-some-Trump now.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


   Trudeau announces Indian companies to invest $1 billion in Canada, creating 5800 jobs.
   CORRECTION: PMO says PM misspoke when he made announcement in front of business audience and said there was $1b of Indian investment coming to Canada. PMO now says the number is $250 million. The rest is Canadian investment going to India. The projected Cdn jobs # unchanged.
  Canadians very skeptical of the term  "misspoke" and call bullsh!t  on the media coverage.


  LOS ANGELES - Fergie is apologizing after trying something different with the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game.
  “I've always been honoured and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA,” the Grammy-winning singer said in a statement Monday. “I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”
  Fergie's slow, bluesy rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday night wasn't particularly well received at Staples Center or on social media before the 67th edition of the NBA's annual showcase.


  Two men alleged to have been the leaders of the Mafia in Montreal were acquitted of criminal charges on Monday after a judge ruled the police illegally wiretapped them in the offices of their lawyer.
  Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito were acquitted of charges of gangsterism and conspiracy to traffic cocaine by Quebec Superior Court Judge Eric Downs after the judge excluded the wiretap evidence gathered by a joint police task force in 2015 as a violation of the constitutional right to solicitor-client privilege. Most of the Crown’s evidence against the pair came from a conversation that was intercepted in a meeting room and in the reception area of the law office.


  MONTREAL — The railway division of Bombardier Inc. says losing out on a large electric train contract in Montreal may force it to lay off workers this fall at its plant in La Pocatière unless it wins some new contracts.
  The company hopes that the next provincial budget, expected to be tabled in March, will contain good news.


  The sound of explosives shook the air just above the Rideau River falls by the Ottawa River on Sunday.
  The annual ice blasting helps to prevent an ice dam from restricting the flow of water which increases as milder weather creates extra run-off into the Rideau River.


  A 15-year-old student’s heroic efforts are being praised for saving the lives of 20 people in the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Wednesday.
  Anthony Borges, a freshman soccer player at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is recovering in the hospital after he was shot five times while using his body as a shield to protect his fellow classmates from the bullets

Monday, February 19, 2018


It's dress-up time again.


  That’s when farmers and other media observers began asking a fair question: Years ago, when a Fond du Lac County farm accidentally released less than 50,000 gallons of cow poop near a stream, it was described in a now-unforgettable headline as “A Tsunami of Manure.” Headlines like these have been the norm for years. However, when 3.7 MILLION gallons of untreated human poop, other bodily waste, drug residues, etc. was dumped into the state’s namesake river, it was essentially treated as a “non-story.”
   The sad truth is a third party entered the picture years ago. Noticeably silent in the aftermath of the Wausau incident were Wisconsin’s leading “environmental” organizations — Sierra Club, Clean Water Alliance, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Saratoga Concerned, etc. Not a peep was heard from any of them. The Wausau event simply didn’t fit their longtime anti-ag narrative (short version: cow manure is bad, human waste is a non-issue).
   Hard as it is to admit, the media climbed into bed with the “environmentalists” a long time ago. Any fidelity that many journalists felt toward objectivity went out the window and, in turn, much like a shunned spouse, farmers were left on the outside looking in, feeling helpless and resentful.


  The delegation of ranchers and farmers in Alberta who travelled to the legislature to demand action on rural crime, described feeling besieged as break-ins, thefts and robberies become more brazen. The United Conservative Party pushed for an emergency debate, saying that in some communities crime rates have jumped more than 250 per cent since 2011.
  The emergency debate didn’t happen, and the delegation went home.
  Now, in the aftermath of Gerald Stanley’s acquittal in the killing of 22-year-old Indigenous man Colten Boushie, rural crime is once again a charged topic, one intertwined with heated debates over race, reconciliation and criminal justice in Canada. Why rural crime is rising in some areas, how to get a handle on it, and the roles played by economics, changing demographics and stereotype are among the questions to emerge since the jury’s verdict.


  After the not-guilty verdict in the Gerald Stanley murder case, a national debate has ensued over the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie on the Stanley farm in August 2016.
  Marches were held and political meetings convened, claiming the jury verdict was “perverse.” It wasn’t — at least if the trial evidence meant anything.
  The rule of law and our Constitution guarantee accused people the right to a fair trial. Guilt or innocence is not decided by the victim’s family, the onlookers or the activists.


Ontario Conservative MPP Randy Hillier:
Patrick Brown is unfit to be in the Progressive Conservative caucus, he is unfit to be the leader of the PC party, and he is unfit to be premier.
There is evidence of financial impropriety, that was undertaken under Brown's direction and leadership that he must answer for.


   A majority of the 37,000 citizens of Sudan and Eritrea living in Israel are being ordered out of the country beginning next month. The Israel government has started distributing notices advising asylum seekers they have 60 days to leave for a "safe" African country with the help of a plane ticket and a few thousand dollars.
   If they don't go voluntarily, they face indefinite imprisonment.
  Canada does not support policies of mass deportations of asylum seekers. The rights of asylum seekers and refugees are laid out in the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, of which Israel is a signatory," said Adam Austen, spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.


 As was reported on Friday, the FBI had been alerted that a particular pasty-faced virgin down in Florida was probably going to shoot up his old school. He had put up social-media posts to that effect, cleverly shielding his identity from the steely-eyed G-men by signing his legal name to those public threats. The epigones of J. Edgar Hoover may not be Sherlock Holmes, but presumably they can read, and some public-minded citizen took some screen shots and sent them to the FBI.
  The FBI of course did what the relevant authorities did in the case of Omar Mateen, the case of Nidal Hasan, the case of Adam Lanza: nothing.
  The Friday press conference on that little oversight was a masterpiece of modern bureaucracy. The FBI has “protocols” for handling specific credible threats of that sort, “protocol” here being a way of saying, “Pick up the phone and call the local field office or, if we really want to get wild, the local police.” “The protocol was not followed,” the FBI bureaucrats explained. Well, no kidding. Why not? No answer — the question wasn’t even asked aloud. Did law enforcement’s ball-dropping mean that a preventable massacre went unprevented because of bureaucratic failure? “I don’t think anybody could say that,” says Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who is leading the investigation. His department had over the years received no fewer than 20 calls related to the shooter. What about that? “Make no mistake about it, America, the only one to blame for this incident is the killer himself,” which is exactly the sort of thing a sanctimonious schmuck says when he doesn’t want to consider the institutional failures right in front of his taxpayer-subsidized nose and the culpable negligence — to say nothing of the sand-pounding stupidity — of his own agency.


   "Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough “friends” at school. Be their parent. Being the “cool mom” means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME."
   The sixth-grade teacher added that when she began her teaching career 20 years ago, she never had to worry about parents getting angry at her or threatening her publicly because she brought up issues with their children’s behavior.
  She said the trend of parents not wanting to take responsibility for their children’s behavior has to change if violence in the classroom is to be stopped.


 KLAVAN:   The left wants us to reel in shock that Donald Trump chased women or praised Russian strong men? Who was it who defended the infidelities and possible rapes of Bill Clinton? Who was it who turned a blind eye to Barack Obama consorting with terrorists and hate-mongers like Farrakhan?
    For fifteen years and more, I have been complaining that the right is silenced in our culture — blacklisted and excluded and ignored in entertainment, mainstream news outlets, and the universities. But the flip side of that is this: the degradation of our culture is almost entirely a leftist achievement. Over the last fifty years, it's the left that has assaulted every moral norm and disdained every religious and cultural restraint.
   The left owns the dismal tide. They don't like the results? They're looking for someone or something to blame? Maybe they should start by hunting up a mirror.


   President Donald Trump shared a cartoon mocking CNN, a news network fueling the notion that the president’s campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
  “The Fake News of big ratings loser CNN,” Trump wrote.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


  The Oxfam scandal is at heart about powerful people abusing trust, whether on the ground with prostitutes in Port-au-Prince, or in the offices of London by attempting to protect their brand above everything else to keep donations flowing.
  It stands as a perfect metaphor for an ideal that has been corrupted by cash, for benevolent institutions that have been corroded by power and, above all, for people with good intentions who arrogantly refuse to recognise an uncomfortable reality.


  The B.C. government has responded to a lawsuit filed by a sasquatch tracker who claims the province has “breached its stewardship responsibility” by failing to recognize and protect the legendary creature.
  In a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in October, Todd Standing accused the provincial government of damaging his livelihood and credibility by “non-recognition of sasquatch.” He asked the court to require a government biologist to accompany him into “known sasquatch habitat” for three months to prove his claims.


  A group of Richmond farmers has launched a campaign to dissuade government from further reducing the maximum allowable size of houses on agricultural land in the city.
  The Richmond Farmland Owners Association, which includes 50 member families with more than 2,500 acres of farmland, is concerned that after the city updated policy on house sizes last spring, “special interest groups” are now pressuring the city to make them even smaller, spokesman Gunraj Gill said.
  Last May, the City of Richmond made bylaw amendments reducing the allowable maximum sizes of houses on farmland to 5,382 sq. ft. on lots up to 0.5 acres and 10,763 sq. ft. on larger properties, after dozens of houses 15,000 sq. ft. and larger had been constructed.


   CALGARY — Two years after a blue-ribbon panel called on the Alberta government to encourage partial upgrading of bitumen from the oilsands to enhance value and free up more pipeline room for exports, the idea remains years away from commercialization.
  Fractal said it has processed more than 225,000 barrels of diluted bitumen trucked to a 1,000-barrel-per-day pilot plant from steam-driven oilsands operations in northern Alberta. The facility succeeded in reducing the need for diluent by up to 53 per cent while improving oil quality through the reduction of olefins and acidity, the company said.
  Fractal CEO Alex Pourbaix:  “We’re seeing some positive indications but I think we’re still in what I would call the R and D stage,” he said. “It isn’t something we’re going to be rolling out on a commercial basis in the short term.”


  Birn, Calgary Herald:  With pipelines running near capacity, the spill and subsequent unplanned outage of the existing Keystone export pipeline late in 2017 caused production to back up into inventories in Western Canada. As inventory levels rose, prices began to fall as producers sought out buyers for trapped production.
   Railroads were called upon to help move crude oil to market, but it was reported the rail industry was constrained in its ability to respond rapidly due to prior and existing commitments, including a backlog of grain.
  The result: Canadian heavy crude oil has become trapped in Western Canada and its value reduced by about $24 million per day, since December.



  Canadian Press:  Wynne said she herself was not made aware of the allegations of sexual assault made by a former political staffer, when they were mailed to her constituency office, but said the government's process for addressing such allegations immediately took effect.
  Wynne said staff reviews the information, engages outside council, and if necessary then hires a third-party investigator to look at the claims.
  Wynne said the latest allegation had not reached the stage in the process at which she would have needed to personally be notified.


Rex Murphy, NP:    The original CTV report that exploded Patrick Brown’s career and leadership has been severely perforated. Acts of journalism that might have been, and surely should have been undertaken earlier, have — at the very least — blunted the edge of some of its sharpest and most distasteful implications. For example, one of the accusers was not, as originally stated, either in high school or underage during the alleged behaviour — a not insignificant detail in conditioning the early public and party response to his reputed behaviour.
   Even more striking, Mr. Brown himself, having so abruptly left the field, and either in shock or shame remained largely silent and invisible, blisteringly returned a few days ago, firing salvos at CTV and promising to sue over its (his view) sloppy or mendacious reporting. He roundly rejected the accusations that were levelled against him without warning or real notice, branded them outright “lies” and declared he is determined to “clear his name.” This is Brown as Ontarians have not seen him: Brown Agonistes.
   And if Brown’s resurgence in a campaign for his good name does not churn the whirlpool into wilder frenzies, how about this for a cap: On Friday afternoon, Mr. Brown brought out the howitzer. He is now joining the four who are hoping to get his recent job, as a candidate for that same job himself. Patrick Brown is running to replace himself. The Tory leadership will now offer more awkwardness and potentially even more crass dialogue (if such be possible) than the wretched Real Housewives of Toronto.


  One of the government’s main selling points for spending $8.1 million on Parliament Hill’s Canada 150 rink, the rink’s donation to a local community, might not be as big a gift as the lucky neighborhood expects.
  Only the rink boards will be donated, enough to make a regular outdoor neighbourhood rink, a source familiar with the project says.


  One of Patrick Brown’s accusers received an award from CTV, the media company that first reported the allegations against the former Ontario PC leader, the Toronto Sun has learned.
  She subsequently went on to work at a newspaper at the same time as Rachel Aiello, one of the two reporters who wrote the original story on Brown that alleged Brown plied the young women with alcohol and, in the case of the accuser who won the CTV award, kissed her without permission and effectively “sexually assaulted” her.
  Brown’s lawyer, Mark Sandler, suggested to the Sun recently that the relationship should have been disclosed in the original story.


  President Donald Trump urged Americans to move beyond the partisan attacks based on Russian attempts to meddle in the election.
 “If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams,” he wrote on Twitter. “They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”


   The Ministry of Community Safety, supported by human rights rulings, brought down the hammer on the previous rules for street checks because, apparently,  the old system of stopping, identifying and keeping records on individuals engaged in suspicious activity was racially-biased and feeding secret caches of information about me, you, the dog and Uncle Mo
   Here’s an honest opinion from a cop on the inside about today’s street-check policies:
“Before we can even decide to have an interaction, we must have a specific reason, and we must tell them why, and that they can walk away no problem, at any time, during the interaction and don’t have to speak to us. After the interaction, we must provide a receipt to them indicating who we are and how to complain about us if they were not happy with the interaction. Further, even if they didn’t say anything, we have to submit a regulated interaction written report indicating how we interacted according to the legislation. All this while speaking to a potential criminal type or gang member who is throwing verbal abuse at us while filming with their video cameras and then calling to complain the next day.”