Saturday, June 30, 2018


Political assassinations, murders, and violence continue to escalate as Mexico’s elections approach. In the 10 months since the election cycle started, nearly 130 political candidates were murdered.


Treasury Board secretary Peter Wallace told members of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on June 14 that he felt the barriers to firing public servants over mistakes like the Phoenix scandal were too high, and that the government should look at making it easier to fire executives.
“We do need to look at the capacity of the Government of Canada for removals,” he said.
“The barriers for cause right now are very, very high. It may be appropriate to look at legislative change to facilitate more rapid removal of executives who have failed to perform. There also may be an opportunity to look at the potential to recover any performance pay, or in particular, pay at risk that may have been granted in error.”


  Hillary Clinton, in an interview with a British newspaper this week, appeared to compare herself to wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill while responding to a question about being a polarizing figure.
   “I’m sure they said that about Churchill between the wars, didn’t they?” she told The Guardian when asked if she should withdraw from public life to help heal divisions in the U.S., given her reputation.
   The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee then immediately claimed she wasn't actually comparing herself to Churchill, before going on to elaborate on the analogy.


   Reuters Global editor Rob Cox has issued a four-part apology for a now-deleted tweet blaming Donald Trump for Thursday's Annapolis newsroom shooting which left five dead and two wounded.
  Cox tweeted "This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul."

Friday, June 29, 2018


   Cornwall has been put on notice it should be ready to house asylum seekers should it become necessary.
    Representatives of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) quietly met with Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy at city hall on Wednesday, and the Nav Centre’s executive-director Kim Coe-Turner confirmed that, while nothing has been confirmed, the facility has been asked to be prepared to accept people this year.
   “There are discussions ongoing with the IRCC and nothing has been formalized fully as yet,” said Coe-Turner. “But the centre has low occupancy this summer, so we do have the capacity to assist. And the centre is always on the forefront of helping the provincial and federal departments with any emergency preparedness or large-scale project event like this.”
   This is an about-face for the IRCC, which told the Standard-Freeholder in late April that “we do not plan on using the Nav Centre this year.”


   Breitbart;  The 28 leaders agreed to consider setting up “disembarkation platforms” outside the bloc, most likely in north Africa, in a bid to discourage migrants boarding EU-bound smuggler boats. 
   Member countries could also set up migrant processing centres — but only on a voluntary basis — to determine whether they returned home as economic migrants or admitted as refugees in willing states.
   But the leaders failed to agree on long-stalled plans to overhaul the bloc’s asylum rules, which say that migrants must be dealt with by the first country in which they arrive.  The plans include a permanent scheme to share migrants arriving in Italy and Greece around all other EU countries.  Former communist countries in Eastern Europe, particularly the authoritarian governments of Hungary and Poland, implacably oppose the plan.


  NP:    OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada is committed to meeting its promise to protect about one-sixth of its land and waterways by 2020, but won’t say if the government has yet identified how it will get there.
   It has been eight years since Canada committed under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to protect 17 per cent of its land and fresh water by 2020. A year ago, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society warned Canada was lagging behind most of the rest of the world in meeting that goal.
   Canada still has to find a way to protect about 650,000 square kilometres of land — an area roughly the size of Saskatchewan — and the process to set aside protected lands can be lengthy and complicated.


    NP:   ST. JOHN’S — A Newfoundland First Nation has dropped its legal challenge of the federal government’s controversial decision to award a lucrative fishing licence to an Indigenous partnership in Atlantic Canada, saying government documents prove the licence was granted fairly.
     The move is an about-face for the Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi First Nation, which has been a vocal critic of a decision that has raised the ire of Indigenous groups, the Newfoundland government and the federal Conservatives and has led to a federal ethics watchdog investigation.
    Nothing to see here folks, move along.  

Thursday, June 28, 2018


    The Canadian navy’s new supply ships are being constructed of U.S. steel even as President Donald Trump punishes Canadian producers of the same product with a 25-per-cent tariff.
     The supply ships are being built at the Vancouver shipyards of Seaspan, which is owned by a U.S. company. The Department of National Defence confirmed the steel is being purchased from a mill in Alabama, a solidly Republican state that voted 62 per cent for Trump.


   Ottawa Citizen:  Dubé’s office got about 21,000 complaints about government failures last year, a typical number. They could settle almost two-thirds of them with just a phone call or two, letting bureaucrats know that somebody was paying attention.
   Do everything in your power to make sure you aren’t at the government’s mercy, is the message shooting through the Ontario ombudsman’s latest report on Wednesday.
  Paul Dubé doesn’t make the same racket as his predecessor André Marin did but when he tells us what he’s been up to, the accounts are no less damning.


  Ottawa Citizen:  Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance has ordered the permanent removal of Vice Admiral Mark Norman from his job as vice chief of the defence staff.
   Norman was technically still vice chief even though Vance suspended him from that job in January 2017 after a series of allegations, still unproven, were made by the RCMP against the senior naval officer.
  The vice admiral has never been interviewed by the RCMP.
  Norman has requested financial assistance from a special government fund that covers legal fees for federal employees.
  But the Department of National Defence declined that request, claiming Norman has already been found guilty of disclosing confidential information.
  That determination of guilt was made by a small group of military officers and bureaucrats. They did not conduct any investigation and the DND has declined to say how this determination of guilt was arrived at.


   But, hey, we were all young once. Let he whose actions have not prompted an editorial alleging groping cast the first stone. (Picks up stone…)
   OK, it was a long time ago. And the allegation appeared in a dinky local paper. But what does the feminist prime minister have to say about it now? We don’t know. To date, no reporter has seemingly asked Trudeau directly. The best we have is a statement from his office:
“(The prime minister) remembers being in Creston for the Avalanche Foundation but doesn’t think he had any negative interactions there.”
   Yikes. I’ve written enough statements to know this exquisite serving of fudge from Trudeau’s office was crafted with lawyerly precision. “Doesn’t think” and “negative interactions” aren’t the confident words of a feminist hero. They’re weasel words meant to dull a story into going away.
   “Doesn’t think”? Can one forget an incident that prompts a personal apology and a newspaper editorial? And what, exactly, is a “negative interaction”? Would an incident of “groping” that prompts a personal apology and an editorial in a newspaper qualify?


   Biologists finished moving the “bluesnest” early Wednesday morning, dragging it metre by painstaking metre to a new location out of harm’s way at the rear of the festival’s main stage. The move, which began Tuesday night and resumed at dawn Wednesday, was “textbook perfect,” according to Monika Melichar, executive director of the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary in Minden, Ont.
   “Moving the nest was great. It’s been attempted for other species, but no one’s ever attempted it for killdeer before,” Melichar said.
  I can rest easy now.


    Thursday June 28 marks day 12 in the radical left wing and anarchist occupation and blockade of ICE headquarters in Portland, Oregon, organized by a group called Occupy ICE PDX. The direct action to shut down operations of the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and investigative agency began with a small group of demonstrators on June 17. Within two days, scores of radicals, including families with children, had set up a sprawling tent city on the sidewalks and streets surrounding the building, effectively shutting it down. By week’s end, hundreds of “comrades” had been lured by social media to join the campaign, as it served to inspire similar provocative illegal actions around the country. According to Willamette Week, “The Portland occupation, the first nationwide, is an attempt to disrupt President Donald Trump's ‘zero tolerance’ policy that has treated refugees seeking asylum as criminals and separated small children from their parents.”
    The radical left wing Democrat mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, is in sync with the occupiers and has ordered Portland police to stand down and not enforce the laws against such actions. Other Portland political leaders are even more dedicated to kowtowing to the occupiers and shutting down ICE in the city.
   Among the “dozens of cities nationwide” where groups of radicals have occupied or blocked ICE buildings are San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago, and Pittsburgh.


     Here in the States, the Trump administration is riding high with the Supreme Court's upholding of the "Muslim ban," and the increasing aggressiveness of ICE's enforcement actions. Meanwhile, in Austria, Sebastian Kurz, has announced new policies to deal with the unwanted presence of large numbers of radical Muslims within the Gates of Vienna.  Italy wants the Libyan coast guard to conduct rescues and return 1000 migrants being carried on seven boats back to North Africa.
    The Hungarians are taking their age-old duties as Christian defenders of Europe's eastern borders very seriously, and are determined they and the other members of the Visegrád Group are not to fall for the "refugee" scam, nor to have their manifest Christianity challenged by bogus claims of "tolerance" and "compassion" for people who, over the centuries, have shown them neither.
    Their resolve is now paying off: with no stake in the future, the communist-raised, childless Merkel is a spent political force. She rode the wave of post-World War II German self-loathing, and imported an army of technologically backward layabouts into a country whose workforce has long been distinguished by its high level of education and its willingness to work hard. The results have been entirely predictable -- and now, thankfully, Merkel is finished.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


   VIENNA — By 24, Sebastian Kurz was a member of the Austrian cabinet. By 27, he was his country’s foreign minister. And by 31, the debonair university dropout with the slicked-back mane and the Hollywood grin became the world’s youngest leader.
   Now, just six months into his term as chancellor, Kurz is seizing a febrile moment in European politics to make himself into one of the continent’s true power players.
   In so doing, he may help bring down his neighboring chancellor, Germany’s Angela Merkel, the most consequential European leader of the past decade.
   The 63-year-old, four-term Merkel could see her government collapse as soon as this weekend. If it does, she will have mutinous members of her own conservative bloc to blame. But equally important will be the role of Kurz, who has repeatedly appeared in public with the German rebels to bolster their zero-tolerance immigration stance and not so subtly take aim at Merkel.


   The Swedish government will spend 2.2 billion Kronor (£187.3 million) per year to combat “segregation” in some of the country’s most “vulnerable” areas.
    The plan is the first of its kind and will see large amounts of cash pumped into suburbs and areas across the country which suffer from high rates of crime, high unemployment, and other socio-economic factors, according to a press release put out by the government on Tuesday.
   “The strategy aims at reducing the gap in society in the long run and creating a safe Sweden that stays together,” the government release said and added five main areas the money will go towards improving: housing, education, the labour market, democracy and civil society, and crime.


   Even as diplomacy moves at a dizzying pace with North Korea, many rights activists and others take issue with what’s missing. So far, the talks have cautiously avoided a direct spotlight on the North’s staggering record of abuses and political repression in apparent attempts to keep the outreach with Kim Jong Un from unraveling.
    Also little discussed in the high-level dialogue is Beijing’s role in shipping back defectors snared by Chinese security forces. Any comprehensive peace deal with Kim must deeply involve China, the political and economic big brother of the North. But a full reckoning on rights abuses will also touch on China’s practice of declaring the defectors to be economic migrants rather than people fleeing oppression – and deporting them.
   “Sadly, through thick and thin in the bilateral relationship, one of the things Pyongyang and Beijing continually agree on is they don’t want North Koreans seeking freedom by fleeing across China,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “There is no sugarcoating the fact North Korea systematically tortures every North Korean sent back by China.”


   The portion of the lawsuit against the Senate hinges on Mike Duffy's arguments that senators acted unconstitutionally and violated his charter rights when they decided to suspend him without pay in 2013.
   The Senate will argue that the court has no jurisdiction to judge the decision senators made to suspend Duffy without pay for almost two years, citing the shield of parliamentary privilege -- a centuries-old right designed to protect legislators in the course of doing their jobs.
  Senators who supported Duffy's suspension stuck fast to the argument that the Senate could govern its internal affairs and dole out administrative penalties without any worry about judicial review.
  Duffy's lawyer will argue otherwise. Lawrence Greenspon has previously said parliamentary privilege applies to decisions and debates regarding legislation, not when punishing a fellow senator.


  The elephant taking 70 percent of the government’s fiscal room is the $9.6 billion in pay and benefits for 123,000 civil servants and Crown funded agencies. Every one percent increase in public wages costs the Manitoba government $100 million.
   The unions claim Bill 28 violates the charter by “forcing public servants to work under terms and conditions of employment that were coerced, dictated and imposed by the state.” Funny thing, that sounds a lot like the taxes that Manitobans pay to enable the government to pay public servants.
    With Bill 28 an exception, it has always been easier for government to say “yes” to their unionized workers than to say “no” for the sake of taxpayers paying the bills. Imagine if it was not the government that union negotiators had to face, but a panel of taxpayers with their interests in mind. Imagine further that those negotiators had the power to declare no taxes would be paid until taxpayer demands were met. Workers with the right to strike would finally have their match.


   The Liberal government appears to have written off a taxpayer loan to the auto industry in March, but is refusing to say how much the loan was for or to provide any other details.
   Ottawa has been carrying large, stagnant loans to the auto sector on its books, and repayments have been past due since at least 2010. That was the year that followed a federal bailout of GM and Chrysler that was made in co-ordination with a much larger cash injection by Washington.
   The most-recent public valuation of commercial loans that remain in arrears shows a total of $1.15 billion still owed to the federal government as of March 2017.


  SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. judge who held a hearing about climate change that received widespread attention ruled Monday that Congress and the president were best suited to address the contribution of fossil fuels to global warming, throwing out lawsuits that sought to hold big oil companies liable for the Earth’s changing environment.
   Noting that the world has also benefited significantly from oil and other fossil fuel, Judge William Alsup said questions about how to balance the “worldwide positives of the energy” against its role in global warming “demand the expertise of our environmental agencies, our diplomats, our Executive, and at least the Senate.”
   Alsup’s ruling came in lawsuits brought by San Francisco and neighboring Oakland that accused Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell of long knowing that fossil fuels posed serious risks to the environment, but still promoting them as environmentally responsible.


  Malcolm, Toronto Sun:  It looks like the game is up and the Liberal carbon tax racket is coming apart at the seams.
   As recently as early 2018, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the Liberals would impose their carbon tax from coast to coast. The Trudeau government mandated the tax hike but ordered the provinces to impose and administer the tax.
   It’s crafty politics, since the provincial governments, not Trudeau and his team of climate zealots, would carry the burden of imposing the largest tax increase in a generation.


   It took some poking and prodding and (finally) committee testimony, but now we know what the bill will be for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax. In a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Calgary economics professor Jennifer Winter revealed the bottom line of the Trudeau Carbon Price.
   Using energy-consumption data from Statistics Canada, and imputing prices from average household expenditure on transportation fuels and provincial gasoline prices, Winter calculated the impact of the carbon tax on a typical Canadian household across different provinces. Far from being painless as advertised, the costs to households will be significant.
    Three provinces — Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia — will be hit with more than $1,000 of carbon tax per year to comply with the $50-per-tonne carbon tax Ottawa has mandated for 2022. Nova Scotia ($1,120) and Alberta ($1,111) will have the highest bills, followed by Saskatchewan ($1,032), New Brunswick ($963), Newfoundland ($859) and Prince Edward Island ($788). The average household in Ontario will pay $707 a year to comply with the carbon tax once its fully implemented.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


   A North Stormont community group has gone to the Environmental Review Board to stop the wind project due to spring up in their community.  Spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont, Berwick resident Margaret Benke, said that the appeal filed in late May was an effort to at least dial the project back if it can’t be stopped.
   The Nation Rise wind project, a 33-turbine wind farm in North Stormont, 45 minutes southeast of Ottawa, was approved just days before the provincial parliament was dissolved before the election. Most of the turbines, 31, will sit on the area’s highly vulnerable aquifer, so designated by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
   Premier-elect Doug Ford pledged on the campaign trail to declare a moratorium on new wind projects and scrap the Green Energy Act, whose highly lucrative contracts have been often blamed for Ontario’s rising hydro prices. The Nation Rise project, however, has already been approved, leaving the government with limited options if it’s even willing to intervene.


  Reuters:  Biofuel groups have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Washington to review legality of the waivers - arguing the EPA is “methodically destroying the demand for renewable fuels” - and to force the EPA to disclose them.
   The waivers save refineries money by freeing them from their obligation to blend ethanol into their gasoline or to purchase compliance credits from those who do. The broad use of waivers lately has angered the powerful corn lobby, which argues they threaten corn demand.
  The Renewable Fuels Association, which represents U.S. ethanol makers, last month estimated that the waivers have reduced the amount of ethanol refiners are required to blend by 1.6 billion gallons. The law currently requires refiners to blend 15 billion gallons of the biofuel per year.


   NP: Is it just coincidence that relations with western Canada become so badly frayed when people named Trudeau happen to be prime minister, or is it possible there’s more to it than that?
   You’d have a hard time convincing many Albertans that Justin Trudeau is any sort of improvement over his deeply disliked father. The Trudeau Liberals’ epic mishandling of the pipeline crisis — which wasn’t really a crisis until they turned it into one — already had backs up across the province when Albertans discovered they’d been hoodwinked by a surprise federal move to cement the widely-disliked equalization program in place for another five years.
    What’s notable about the situation is how comprehensively the Liberals have created the problems for themselves. If Trudeau and his top honchos had deliberately set out to create a pipeline problem, they couldn’t have done any better. Trudeau claimed to support the Keystone XL project in the U.S. but paid little beyond lip service. When President Barack Obama killed it, he offered barely a murmur of complaint, noting he was “disappointed … but respect(s) the right of the United States to make the decision.” The Liberals blocked Northern Gateway, introduced a regulatory regime certain to confound future projects, watched Energy East die, and all but issued a veto to anti-oil activists by jabbering blithely about the importance of “social licence,” a term you don’t often hear from the embattled prime minister any more. Ottawa only got serious about Kinder Morgan when the company forced the issue; now Canadians are stuck with the costs, and a B.C. government that’s just as adamant as ever about ensuring it never gets built.


   NP: A proposed class-action lawsuit seeking a whopping $1.1 billion in damages from the RCMP says the leaders of Canada’s national police force failed to address a culture of workplace bullying and instead allowed a toxic work environment to fester “characterized by abuse of power and fear of reprisal.”
   The RCMP’s paramilitary structure has resulted in grievances “of any kind” to be treated as “an affront to the chain of command,” the plaintiffs allege.
  Filed Friday in Federal Court, the proposed class-action is intended for all past and present employees, including civilians, volunteers and students, with grievances that weren’t addressed in earlier litigation.


   The Liberals are facing calls to revoke funding granted through the Canada Summer Jobs program to an Islamic organization whose leader Conservatives have accused of spreading “hatred” by calling for Israeli soldiers in Gaza to be sent home in “body bags.”
   Over the last two years, the Liberals have approved the Islamic Humanitarian Service for more than $50,000 in federal grants.
   “Sheikh Shafiq Hudda’s comments are despicable. We should have zero tolerance for anti–Semitism and incitement of violence,” Poilievre said.
   “If he had made these comments while I was Employment Minister, I would have banned any group associated with him from receiving Canada Summer Jobs funding. What’s disturbing is that Justin Trudeau is now aware of these comments and refuses to strip away summer jobs funding from Sheikh Shafiq Hudda.”


  MADRID — A police dog in Spain apparently has been trained to perform CPR.
  In a video of a demonstration posted on Facebook by police in Madrid, Poncho sprang into action when his partner fell to the ground and pretended to be unresponsive. The dog’s actions mimic cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Monday, June 25, 2018


   OTTAWA - A United Nations housing watchdog is taking the Liberals to task over what she sees as the government's about-face on a promise to put a human rights lens on its housing strategy.
   In a scathing letter, Leilani Farha, the UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, says her backing for the strategy is waning, based on indications that the Liberals "may not recognize the right to housing" in legislation expected in the fall that would enshrine the 10-year, $40-billion program into law.
   A Liberal point man on the housing file told the Commons last week that the government didn't want to declare a right that creates a belief that people can "prosecute their way into housing" and that they need landlords, not lawyers. Farha called the government's position "discriminatory and patronizing" in her letter made public Friday.


   Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) openly called for people to form a mob and physically confront members of Donald Trump's administration if they see them out in public after controversy over separated migrant families erupted two weeks ago.
   Waters, who doesn't live in the district she represents and paid her daughter $750,000 for Democratic fundraising activities, said to a crowd at a "Keep Families Together" rally on Saturday: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."


   Of course, the truth is a bit more nuanced than that, as Trump himself elsewhere seemed to acknowledge, and which ultimately led to the president reportedly shutting down the CIA's covert Syrian regime change program in the summer of 2017 while complaining to aides about the shocking brutality of the CIA-trained "rebels".
    Meanwhile, mainstream media has been content to float the falsehood that President Obama's legacy is that he "stayed out" of Syria, instead merely approving some negligible level of aid to so-called "moderate" rebels who were fighting both Assad and(supposedly) the Islamic State. Rhodes has himself in prior interviews attempted to portray Obama as wisely staying "on the sidelines" in Syria.
   But as we've pointed out many times over the years, this narrative ignores and seeks to whitewash possibly the largest CIA covert program in history, started by Obama, which armed and funded a jihadist insurgency bent of overthrowing Assad to the tune of $1 billion a year (one-fifteenth of the CIA’s publicly known budget according to leaked Edward Snowden documents revealed by the Washington Post).
  It also ignores the well established fact, documented in both US intelligence reports and authenticated battlefield footage, that ISIS and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) jointly fought under a single US-backed command structure during the early years of the war in Syria, even as late as throughout 2013


In our preview of Sunday's now-concluded emergency EU meeting on refugee policy which the FT dubbed "The summit to save Merkel", we said that the German chancellor fate could be decided as soon as today should a newly populist Italy present a set of insurmountable demands on how to deal with Europe's migrant problem. And judging by the opening salvo, the odds of Merkel's political career just slumped after Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conti demanded the EU rip up its system for dealing with migrants, laying bare seemingly insurmountable divisions in the bloc over migration policy.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


  On a winter day in 2015, Erin Maranan logged on to her computer at a police detachment in Toronto's northwest corner, a trove of confidential information at her fingertips.
   A temporary civilian employee, Maranan had access to information classified by police as "highly restricted." The job represented a sharp turn on her vocational path, which had included stints as a model, a personal trainer and a yoga instructor.
   The petite woman with long, black hair keyed in the name "Victor Oliveira." Up came a summary of a recent Highway Traffic Act ticket, which provided personal information including the licence plate number and description of his vehicle.
   Seven months later, Oliveira was fatally shot as he sat in his white Range Rover outside a restaurant near Pearson Airport.


   Calgary Sun: OKOTOKS — Supporters crowded into the Okotoks courthouse cheered and wept with joy Friday morning as all charges were dropped against Edouard (Eddie) Maurice, the local rancher who fired a warning shot at trespassers on his property.
   In court, the Crown said there was “compelling” evidence in a forensic report from the incident that would not lead to a conviction for Maurice.
   Police say the 33-year-old property owner shot at two trespassers on his rural property near Okotoks in the early morning hours of Feb. 24. The RCMP said a man and woman were “rummaging” through a vehicle when the shots were fired.


  Vancouver Sun: Record numbers of so-called birth tourists, mainly from China, are expected at Richmond Hospital this year. Yet the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has no plans to deter women from having their babies at the hospital to give them Canadian citizenship, despite suing a woman for nonpayment of $313,000 for her delivery.
   There has been a steady increase in the number of babies born to non-resident mothers at Richmond Hospital, to 384 in 2016-17 from 18 in 2010. Halfway through the 2017-18 fiscal year, there were 189 non-resident births, according to VCH spokeswoman Carrie Stefanson.
   While all pregnant women are asked to register well in advance of giving birth so that hospital resources can be planned, there have been no measures taken by the hospital to deter birth tourism, which now accounts for 20 per cent of its deliveries. That is believed to be the highest proportion in the province, if not Canada. B.C. Women’s Hospital discourages birth tourism through various policies and practices. At times, Richmond Hospital has to send local women in labour to other hospitals when it is too busy.


  CALGARY — The National Energy Board says it has approved modified plans for the Burnaby Terminal of the Trans Mountain pipeline project, clearing a final regulatory hurdle for construction to start.
  The regulator says the approved variance application will significantly improve safety at the terminal, which is the end point for the controversial pipeline the federal government has agreed to buy as part of a $4.5-billion acquisition of Kinder Morgan Canada’s core assets.
   Burnaby, in a submission to the NEB, said the company failed to consult with the city, and that the modified plans don’t address its significant concerns on boil-over, vapour cloud explosion, and other risks.


   The scare began in Washington, DC, on this day in 1988 when testimony by a then little-known scientist called James Hansen before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources caught headlines across the world.
   Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, declared that the four hottest years ever recorded had all been in the 1980s, rising to a peak in 1987, and that 1988 would be hotter still – “the warmest year on record.”
   This triggered the first of many thousands of headlines over three decades warning that “man-made global warming” – “climate change” as it later became known – was the most urgent crisis of the age.
  But – like the scare itself – the claims were dishonest, hysterical, misleading, unscientific, needlessly alarmist, and cynically stage-managed.


   The Mueller special counsel investigation purportedly was instigated to discover possible illicit Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election but now is backing away from the only indictments aimed at Russian entities, leaving only alleged process crimes (such as General Flynn's alleged false statement to the FBI) and alleged crimes that occurred long before the Trump candidacy (such as Paul Manafort's Ukrainian connection).
   Special counsel Robert Mueller looks likely to face a huge humiliation in court and a massive public relations disaster. And it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. Unless a Trump-appointed judge bails him out and grants an exception to federal law, trampling on the rights of the defendants he indicted, Mueller will have to go into court to try a case he doesn't seem to think he can win – or else face the humiliation of dropping the charges he brought against 13 Russian entities (some of which did not exist at the time of the alleged crime) with great fanfare.

Saturday, June 23, 2018


 Calgary Herald:   Resurrect Energy East. Review government regulations. Find new customers for Canadian resources.
   With NAFTA under threat by the “whims of a wildly unpredictable president,” it’s time the country examine its own economic options and develop a new strategy, says the head of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
   In a blunt speech that laid out the stakes of “the ratcheting up of tensions” between Canada and the United States, chamber CEO Perrin Beatty asserted this country can no longer sit back and worry about the next incoming salvo from Washington.


   Reuters:  The U.S. military will face a difficult task in identifying the remains of soldiers missing from the Korean War as the Pentagon prepares to receive them from North Korea in coming days, officials and experts said.
   U.S. President Donald Trump, who met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an historic summit in Singapore this month, said on Thursday that Pyongyang was in the process of returning the remains of U.S. troops missing from the 1950-1953 conflict.
   The Pentagon has said North Korean officials have indicated in the past they have the remains of as many as 200 U.S. troops, and Trump himself has mentioned that figure.
  About 7,700 U.S. military personnel still remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War, U.S. military data show. More than 36,500 U.S. troops died in the conflict.


   OTTAWA -- Cities, provinces and territories building new roads, bridges, water and transit systems funded with federal dollars will have to let Indigenous Peoples, veterans and recent immigrants have a hand in those projects under new rules being unveiled today.
   The idea of so-called community benefits will be a mandatory requirement for major infrastructure projects the federal government will help pay for through its $33-billion spending envelope.
   Provinces and territories will have some leeway to decide what projects are to be subject to the rules. Those projects that are will have to explain publicly how far they have come in meeting the government's goals.


   Toronto Sun:  Former Order of Canada recipient Dr. Ranjit Kumar Chandra — who fleeced OHIP for $2 million — has lost his licence to practice in Ontario.
   The ruling found Chandra recruited approximately 300 people to his scheme and more than $2 million in OHIP fees were paid to him over a four-year period while he performed little to no medical services.
  He billed OHIP almost $200,000 for services while he was in Europe, the Middle East or India, the decision stated.


  Toronto Sun:  The Ontario Medical Association has accepted an offer by the incoming Doug Ford government to resume compensation negotiations.
  The two are seeking to reset the rocky relationship between the provincial government and Ontario doctors, who last successfully negotiated an agreement in 2012.
   “Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals created a toxic relationship with our doctors by making unilateral decisions and not consulting or working with them,” Jefferies said in an email. “Doug Ford is committed to respecting Ontario’s physicians and fixing the relationship. These discussions are an important first step.”


    Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Carpenter v. United States, reversing and remanding Mr. Carpenter's conviction for armed robbery. That conviction had been obtained in part by using detailed Cell Site Location Information (ACSLI), which the police acquired without a warrant and which showed Mr. Carpenter's whereabouts at the time of various crimes. This procedure, which allows law enforcement ready access to the whereabouts of every American with a cell phone every minute of his life, was authorized by Congress in the Stored Communications Act of 1986.


  On May 10, 2013, ten days after the meeting, Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups. Lerner only made the admission to preempt the Treasury inspector general's impending report confirming the targeting.
  That report revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
   Judicial Watch uncovered evidence in April 2014 that Lerner was under intense pressure "from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting."

Friday, June 22, 2018


Hard to pick a side...
    FP:  Tucked into the recent financial statements of Canada’s biggest banks — past their mountains of assets and impressive profits — is a hint of tax trouble.
   Though the banks stress they are in the right, their statements disclose a series of disagreements with the Canada Revenue Agency. At least some of those disputes could trace back to a seemingly simple pledge made nearly 30 years ago in the House of Commons.
The $2.8-billion tax battle has been decades in the making.  


  NP:  OTTAWA — A sweeping overhaul of Canada’s impaired driving laws was given Royal Assent on Thursday, meaning the new rules are starting to come into effect and drivers should be prepared.
   Bill C-46 made reforms to both alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving, and police now have powerful new tools to detect and charge drivers. The bill also made many technical changes to help the courts deal with impaired driving cases more quickly.
  There are three big — and controversial — changes Canadians will need to know about.


   Controversial professor and author Jordan Peterson is suing an Ontario university and three of its staff for defamation over remarks allegedly made when a teaching assistant was disciplined for showing a video of him to her class.
   Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor who has gained international attention for his views on free speech and political correctness, is asking for $1.5 million in damages for comments that were allegedly made "falsely and maliciously" by employees of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont.
   The suit alleges professors Nathan Rambukkana and Herbert Pimlott, and Laurier Equity Office staffer Adria Joel compared Peterson to Adolf Hitler and accused him of being a "charlatan," among other things, during a private meeting with teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd, who showed a video of Peterson discussing gender-neutral pronouns to her class.


  Ottawa has quietly renewed the equalization formula to keep it in its current form to 2024, but the move seems to have caught those looking for changes to the sometimes contentious federal program off-guard.
   Provinces such as Saskatchewan and Alberta – “have” provinces under equalization still suffering lingering economic effects as a result of a sharp downturn in oil and gas sector activity – said this week they are looking for modifications to the program.
  This year, Quebec will receive the lion’s share of equalization payments, at $11.7 billion. The “have” provinces that receive no equalization payments are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.
   “Have” provinces with economies strongly linked to resource extraction have expressed concerned that while their citizens have contributed billions through federal taxes to the program, the provinces themselves haven’t benefited properly as their economies have weakened in recent years. Resentment over the structure of the program has grown as major energy infrastructure projects such as the Energy East pipeline and the Trans Mountain expansion have been hindered by opposition from municipal and provincial governments, or protests, in other parts of the country.


   An Italian aerospace firm dropped a lawsuit against Canada over what it claimed was a rigged aircraft purchase shortly before the federal government awarded it a new sole-source deal potentially worth billions of dollars.
   But the Canadian Forces and officials with Italian defence company, Leonardo, say the ending of the legal action in May had nothing to do with the company being picked for a new project the same month.
  Leonardo has been selected by the Royal Canadian Air Force to upgrade its Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters and provide seven additional aircraft.
  It is estimated the project will cost taxpayers between $1 billion and $5 billion, a price tag that includes the purchase of simulators and support equipment.


   Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which has put down strong roots in Canada, is now encountering more trouble in other G7 countries, with a German lawsuit this week alleging that the Shenzhen company has stolen state-of-the-art technology, and Congressional pressure on Google to cut ties with the firm.
   This week, Israel’s SolarEdge Technologies filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Huawei in German court, seeking compensation for damages as well as recall of all Huawei products that have been built with allegedly purloined intellectual property.
   And U.S. lawmakers, who have already urged a probe of Huawei Technologies’ research activities at American universities, are now urging American internet giant Google to reconsider its partnership with the company.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


But several years ago I had lunch with a couple of FBI agents who were the very epitome of the kind of agent Barack Obama and James Comey wanted: extremely young, spottily educated, politically correct, secure and condescending in their ignorance, deeply concerned about the “right-wing” threat, and not at all preoccupied with the global jihad threat except insofar as it might put them on the trail of some “Islamophobes.” Over a reasonably cordial lunch, I told them about active jihadis who contact me from time to time, thinking that my website Jihad Watch is actually a pro-jihad site; they agreed to accept information about these people, but spent most of their time warning me somewhat ludicrously that if I had any contact with them, I could be charged as an accessory to terrorist activity – a prospect that seemed to bring a light to their eyes.


   The database, called Tuscan, is provided to every Canadian border guard and immigration officer, and empowers them to detain, interrogate, arrest and deny entry to anyone found on it.
   Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by the Guardian through Canada’s access to information system reveal the fullest picture yet of a database that, although employed in Canada, is maintained exclusively by the US. It contains the personal information of as many as 680,000 people believed by US authorities to be linked with terrorism, and functions effectively as a second no-fly list that is cloaked in secrecy.


   Another of Canada's largest business groups is warning that Ottawa needs to act now to lower corporate taxes or risk a continued exodus of investment and jobs to the United States.
   The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, which represents 2,500 companies, released a report this week that paints a bleak picture of the business landscape in this country: declining investment in new equipment and technology, a sharp drop in foreign investment in Canada.
  At the same time, investment in the U.S. is booming, fueled in part by the uncertainty President Donald Trump is creating over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement — and in part by his tax plan, released in December, that cuts the top corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 20 per cent beginning this year.


The United States has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced the Trump administration’s decision at the State Department Tuesday afternoon. “We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” Ambassador Haley said at a press conference announcing the decision. Secretary of State Pompeo added succinctly, “The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


  Less than a day after Parliament adopted landmark legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party has started using its passage to raise funds.
  In a series of Facebook ads, the Liberal Party points out it kept its campaign promise to legalize recreational cannabis use.
  "It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits," say the ads that began appearing Wednesday. "We're keeping our promise to change that, with our plan to legalize and regulate marijuana. Make a donation now and support the progress we're making together."


   Toronto Sun:  OTTAWA — New documents suggest the bills for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s troubled trip to India in February exceed $1.5 million.
   The latest figures released by the government include $323,000 for hotel stays, $485,070 to fly and staff the VIP Airbus for 43.7 hours over the nine-day trip, $5,235 for cell phone fees, $5,100 to buy Canadian wines for use at official events and $17,044.21 to fly Vancouver Chef Vikram Vij to India, where he cooked a dinner for a meeting and an official reception at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi.


  Toronto Star:  Ontario is getting ready to hit the brakes on rebates of up to $14,000 for motorists buying electric vehicles like the new Honda Clarity and Chrysler Pacifica hybrid.
   The purchase incentives, which were established years ago by the recently defeated Liberal government to kick-start a shift to low-emission cars, have been funded in part by the cap-and-trade program the incoming Progressive Conservatives are scrapping.
   “Doug Ford has been clear that he is cancelling cap and trade and Kathleen Wynne’s climate change action plan,” Jeff Silverstein, spokesman for the premier-designate, said Wednesday when asked about the future of the incentives.


   CALGARY — Solar industry participants say they expect more investment to flow to Alberta and the United States in the wake of premier-designate Doug Ford's vow to axe Ontario's cap-and-trade system and the Green Ontario Fund consumer rebate program it fuels.
   Exhibitors at the Solar Canada conference in Calgary — which is being held outside of Ontario for the first time in its 20-plus-year history — say the decision means they expect to do less solar energy-related business in Ontario.
   The industry in Ontario is strong enough and the cost of solar power has declined to the point that it will be able to survive without government aid, said Thomas Timmins, chairman of the conference host Canadian Solar Industries Association.
  Uh huh.


Three MPs from the two parties — all representing auto-dependent Ontario ridings — pushed Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland for answers on the government's strategy.  
  Freeland, who was testifying before House of Commons trade committee, wouldn't tip the government's hand, but she committed to hitting back hard with retaliation similar to Canada's $16.6 billion response to the new U.S. metal tariffs. "We absolutely understand the centrality of the automotive sector to our economy, to our relationship with the U.S. and to NAFTA," Freeland said.
But Conservative MP Colin Carrie, who represents Oshawa, pushed for more.
"We know all that, and respectfully I thank you for your work on that, but what we don't know is: what is the plan?"


  The Doug Ford Tories wasted no time in mowing down the ousted Liberal government’s Green Ontario Fund.
   The fund was paid for with cap-and-trade proceeds, and Ford has vowed to scrap the carbon pricing “slush fund” and fight any attempt by the Justin Trudeau government to replace it.
   “We will use every single tool at our disposal to make sure that the federal government doesn’t put a burden of the carbon tax on the backs of families, the backs of businesses, backs of industries,” Ford said Tuesday to loud applause at the first official meeting of the new PC caucus. “It is absolutely the worst tax anyone could put on the workers and families of Ontario.”


   The Senate has voted 52-29 to accept the latest version of the government’s long-debated legal marijuana legislation, paving the way for the bill to pass into Canadian law.
   Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, the final step in the legislative process. That could occur within days at the government’s discretion. The government’s desire to see home grown marijuana permitted across Canada eventually prevailed, and a proposal from the Senate to allow provinces and territories to ban them has been stripped from the final bill.
  More than half of Canadian businesses are concerned or “very concerned” with the upcoming legalization of cannabis, a new report by the Conference Board of Canada claims.
  The findings state that employers’ top concerns include workplace safety, impairment or intoxication and increased use of cannabis in the workplace.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


   NP:  OTTAWA — A Somalian man found guilty in the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
   Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith handed down the sentence for Ali Omar Ader today.
    Smith ruled in December that Ader, a 40-year-old Somalian national, was a “willing participant” in the 2008 hostage-taking of Lindhout, who was working as a freelance journalist near Mogadishu at the time.
  The judge found much of Ader’s testimony unbelievable and did not support his claim that he was forced into serving as a negotiator and translator on behalf of a gang which threatened to harm him and his family.


  WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Trade Representative to prepare new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports Monday as the two nations moved closer to a potential trade war.
  The tariffs, which Trump wants set at a 10 per cent rate, would be the latest round of punitive measures in an escalating dispute over the large trade imbalance between the two countries. Trump recently ordered tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods in retaliation for what the U.S. said is intellectual properly theft. The tariffs were quickly matched by China on U.S. exports.
    “China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology,” Trump said in a statement Monday announcing the new action. “Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong.”


    The Conservatives have stolen a Quebec riding away from Justin Trudeau's ruling Liberals, in the first test of Andrew Scheer's effort to recreate the nationalist-conservative coalition that helped federal Tories dominate the province in the 1980s.
   Conservative candidate Richard Martel captured 52.7 per cent of the vote in a federal byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord — more than 5,000 votes ahead of Liberal Lina Boivin, who took 29.5 per cent.


  A former Liberal MP may have used his connections with municipal officials in a popular vacation town northwest of Toronto — including his sister, the mayor — to secure a $756,000 consulting fee that was hidden from taxpayers, police documents reveal.
   On Aug. 27, 2012, town council, including Bonwick's sister, Mayor Sandra Cooper, voted 8 to 1 in favour of the sole-source deal, but neither Bonwick's role in securing the contract, nor his company's commission were disclosed publicly.
   Details of the payment are contained in Ontario Provincial Police materials filed in court in 2014, as fraud investigators sought a court order to search the bank records of Paul Bonwick, a former parliamentary secretary in the Paul Martin government whose riding included the town of Collingwood.


  Finance Minister Bill Morneau wasn't in a conflict of interest when he introduced a pension bill in the House of Commons while he still owned shares in his family's pension services company, according to the ethics commissioner.
  The ethics commissioner's decision to give Morneau a clean bill of health points to a loophole in the ethics laws — the "general application" clause that can let ministers off the hook for decisions they make that affect their own assets — said a spokesperson for the activist group Democracy Watch.
   "Now that this huge loophole is exposed, the question is whether the Trudeau Liberals will finally close it so that the now 'Almost Impossible to be in a Conflict of Interest Act' will finally become an effective law," said Duff Conacher.

Monday, June 18, 2018


     Americans are in an uproar about illegal immigrant parents and children separated at the border. The level of hysteria surrounding this topic has reached a fever pitch with senators like Chuck Schumer mugging distraught for the cameras at every opportunity. While the shrill voices shriek loudly about the rights of Mexicans and other assorted border jumpers, American parental rights are being stripped from them, unconstitutionally, every single day. (Chuck Schumer has yet to freak out about it on national television.) American parents have lost their due process and Fourth Amendment rights, and most of them don't even know it. Most anyone who has been visited by Child Protective Services can testify to the absolute terror that the state can inflict on a family for very little or no reason at all.


   G&M:  While Mr. Ford’s decision to end to the provincial cap-and-trade system could provoke lawsuits from companies that purchased allowances, the province is also set to join Saskatchewan’s legal fight over the federal government’s right to impose its carbon tax where provinces have not levied their own carbon price, whether by direct tax or cap-and-trade system.
   “They’re going to be quite happy that they won’t pay in the future; it’s putting money back into businesses’ pockets and families’ pockets, [and] I think people will be pleased,” he said. Asked whether the province is facing lawsuits, he said: “I don’t believe so; we’ve looked into that and we don’t see a problem with that.”
  The province is also scheduled to make a payment of US$311,055.40 to help fund the Western Climate Initiative on June 30, the day after Mr. Ford is sworn in as premier.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


   Alberta’s auditor general recently produced a report that highlighted risks to Alberta’s long-term fiscal sustainability. The report highlights a number of problems with Alberta’s approach to fiscal policy in recent years, including the province’s rapid spending growth and the closely-related issue of the province’s heavy reliance on natural resource revenue to fund day-to-day spending.
   Let’s start by considering Alberta’s unsustainable approach to public spending.
   Our studies have repeatedly shown that Alberta’s fiscal problems stem from successive governments increasing spending at a significantly faster rate than that would have been necessary to offset cost pressures from inflation and population growth. For many years, when oil prices were high, successive governments spent freely as though the good times would never end. When oil prices fell in late 2014, the government found itself spending at unaffordable levels, facing a very large budget deficit. Since then, the government’s decision to continue to increase spending has caused those deficits to grow even bigger along with the provincial debt.


  For the first time a major political party has gone into an election with an anti-green platform and won big time. Specifically the Conservative Party platform for the Ontario election on 7th June promised:
This means no carbon tax or cap-and-trade schemes.
Stop sweetheart deals by scrapping the Green Energy Act.
    The Conservatives made some other promises too but what was interesting about dropping the carbon tax etc. was the lack of agonizing over the science, the planet, polar bears, the Great Barrier Reef or anything else. While the Trump administration recently hired a climate agonizer to head NASA, and the head of the EPA hasn’t moved against the endangerment finding on CO2, Ontario voters in a record turnout voted to make global warming a non-problem by forgetting about it, and getting on with their lives.


   Toronto Sun:  According to the National Post, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna was advised by experts in her department after taking office that reaching Trudeau’s goal of reducing Canada’s emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 would require a national carbon price of $100 by 2020 (not $50 by 2022).
   In that context, Winter’s estimates of the annual cost of a $100 carbon price on the average Canadian household are:
   Ontario, $1,414; Alberta $2,223; British Columbia $1,206; Quebec $1,324; Saskatchewan $2,065; Nova Scotia $2,240; New Brunswick $1,929; Newfoundland and Labrador $1,718; Prince Edward Island $1,577; Manitoba $1,367.


    So far in 2018 Toronto has seen 41 homicides. And the killers don’t care if it happens in a playground, in Yonge-Dundas Square, or at a bowling alley.
    This is why Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack tweeted “it’s time for leadership” to stop the insanity.
   It was called opportunism, but what he tweeted was the truth. The truth hurts. That police are not allowed to properly conduct street checks is a deadly truth. It means they don’t have the same street intelligence they once enjoyed. It gives the bad guys a real advantage.
  Time to take that back.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


   The U.S. Trade Representative’s final list of tariffs on $50 billion of  Chinese imports includes 1,102 product lines, mainly focused on China’s Made In 2025 plan to become dominant in high-technology industries such as robotics, aerospace, industrial machinery and automobiles. Consumer goods including mobile phones and televisions aren’t being subjected to the tariffs.
   Hours after the U.S. announcement -- China’s Finance Ministry issued a list of 545 product categories, also covering about $34 billion in exports from the U.S., to be subject to an additional 25 percent tariff starting July 6. They included a variety of agricultural products, including soybeans, corn and wheat along with beef, pork and poultry, plus automobiles. A second set of tariffs to begin at a later date covered other goods including coal, crude oil, gasoline and medical equipment.
   The U.S. imported $506 billion of goods from China last year and exported about $130 billion, leaving a 2017 deficit of $376 billion, according to government figures.


   UPDATE President Donald Trump officially announces 25 per cent tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese imports and pledges additional tariffs if China retaliates
   U.S. proposals to smack tariffs on US$50 billion of Chinese imports are just the start, economists and China-watchers said as they await an impending announcement.
   The Trump administration is preparing to release a refined list of Chinese products to be hit with tariffs that focus on technologies where China wants to establish itself as a leader, according to people familiar with the matter. The White House has said the duties will be implemented “shortly” after the release of Friday’s list, though no date has been set.


   Toronto Sun: It’s a theme I’ve been hearing repeatedly as of late — namely that areas of downtown Toronto around the safe injection sites and low barrier shelters are turning into a disgusting, unwelcoming “s***hole.”
   I heard residents lament the deterioration of the Collier-Asquith neighbourhood Tuesday night at a fiery meeting about the lawlessness they’ve experienced since the 21 Park Rd. transient shelter opened last November.
   I heard it again at Wednesday’s community services committee from residents living in Cabbagetown and around Moss Park.


  On Friday, Ford announced that his first priority is to eliminate the Liberals’ cap-and-trade carbon-pricing scheme. He plans to do it right away, when he reconvenes the legislature in a few weeks for a special summer session.
  But within hours of Ford’s announcement, Climate Change and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s office unleashed threats against the province: “Ontario’s current pollution pricing system meets the federal standard. If the new government changes or eliminates its system, that assessment may change and the federal price on pollution would apply.”
  Whatever they try, Ford will have none of it. He’s already said he’s prepared to take this all the way up to the Supreme Court, and he’ll have Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to join him. Plus, by that time, Jason Kenney could well be premier of Alberta. The three carbon tax amigos.


  We know some of what Mueller was doing. The same official who paved the way for raiding the president’s lawyer, who illegally seized material from the Trump transition team and whose case is based in no small part on illegal eavesdropping, fought alongside Comey against surveilling terrorists. Materials involving the Muslim Brotherhood were purged. Toward the dawn of the second Obama term, Mueller met with CAIR and other Islamist groups and a green curtain fell over national security.
  But the surveillance wasn’t going anywhere. Instead it was being redirected to new targets.
  Those targets were not, despite the wave of hysterical conspiracy theories convulsing the media, the Russians. Mueller’s boss was still quite fond of them. Barack Obama did have foreign enemies that he wanted to spy on. And there were plenty of domestic enemies who could be caught up in that trap.


  The city of Montreal has filed a lawsuit against six people and an engineering firm, claiming they should pay the city more than $4.5 million they obtained through a fraudulent system of bidding for city contracts.
   The lawsuit, filed Friday morning, names the engineering firm AECOM — formerly Tecsult — and six politicians, civil servants and AECOM executives the city alleges were involved in the collusion scheme.
  “My message is very clear: this money was taken away from Montrealers, and we want to have this money back,” said Mayor Valérie Plante.


    France:  A suspected Islamic extremist arrested in Cologne succeeded in making ricin and was planning a “biological weapon attack” in Germany, prosecutors said on Thursday.
   Sief Allah Hammami, a 29-year-old Tunisian, was held on Wednesday along with his German wife after police found large quantities of the deadly toxin his apartment.
   It is believed to be the first time Islamic extremists in Europe have succeeded in manufacturing ricin, which is one of deadliest biological agents known to man.
   “This is the biggest potential threat ever found in Europe,” Bild newspaper quoted a source close to the investigation as saying.


  The Trudeau Liberals call Bill C-48 the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.
  But it’s not a tanker ban at all. It’s a product blockade. And most of the blocked products are from Alberta.
  “This bill is an attempt to further restrict the oilsands,” says Alberta Sen. Doug Black, who promises a major fight on second reading in the fall.
  “Bill C-48 is a direct aim at the oilsands and at Alberta’s ability to refine products and ship them. Right to the heart!”


  A U.S. drone strike killed the head of the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan’s eastern Konar province, Afghan officials said Friday, eliminating a notorious insurgent commander who had ordered attacks on schoolchildren in Pakistan, including future Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
  In a telephone interview, Mohammad Radmanish said Fazlullah and two other insurgents were killed early Thursday morning, just hours before Afghanistan’s Taliban began a three-day cease fire to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
   In Yousafzai’s hometown of Mingora in the Swat Valley, residents welcomed reports of Fazlullah’s death with one resident saying many feared he would return one day to re-impose his violent rule. A ruthless leader, Fazlullah ordered the bombing and beheadings of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan’s picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them in 2009.

Friday, June 15, 2018


  Ivison, NP:  “It’s all about finding blame. Nobody ever says government department X did a great job.
   All public servants go to work with a shadow on their shoulder. The blame game permeates the whole system, he said.
   Certainly, Canada’s public service is better than most in the world when it comes to nepotism, corruption and partisanship, as Wernick said.
   But as Savoie pointed out, anyone raving about government efficiency should try calling the Canada Revenue Agency sometime. The feeling among many citizens, far too often, is that public servants aren’t there to do, they’re there to explain why it can’t be done.


   G & M:  The bill includes a new law called the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which sets a national carbon price regime that will apply in provinces and territories that have not established an equivalent carbon tax or cap-and-trade policy.
   Another section will limit access to the small-business corporate income tax rate for businesses with passive investment income of more than $50,000 a year. It was the final part of a package of small-business changes that Finance Minister Bill Morneau first announced in the summer of 2017 and later modified in response to strong opposition from small-business owners. 
    Another area of controversy raised during Senate hearings related to changes to the Bank Act that would expand the ability of banks to enter into partnerships with financial technology companies, or fintechs. Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien told senators the provisions failed to strike the right balance between promoting innovation and protecting the privacy of consumers.


   Mark Steyn comments on the Inspector General's long awaited report on Comey, Strzok, Page and the FBI's treatment of the Clinton investigation.


   Returning to Boise, Idaho from a tournament in California, the victorious Black Knights saw an SUV flip off the road in front of them.  
    The coach immediately pulled over and the team members, all of whom were 13 years or younger, rushed to rescue the couple who was trapped inside the car.


   Toronto Star:  MONTREAL—Ontario’s partners in a North American emissions-trading market are hoping to convince Premier-elect Doug Ford to scrap an election pledge to pull out of the program.
   Quebec Environment Minister Isabelle Melançon said she is anxiously awaiting the swearing-in of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative cabinet so that she can take up the defence of the trading scheme through which companies that pollute beyond an ever-decreasing threshold can buy credits, the proceeds of which go toward emissions-reduction programs.
   While an Ontario pull out would carry little in the way of concrete negative impacts for the other two partners in the carbon market — Quebec and California were in it alone before Ontario signed on — Quebec’s Melançon said it would be a setback for the environment.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


   The Taliban complained that the U.S. violated their free speech rights by launching airstrikes against one of their propaganda outlets.
   Ghazni provincial police said six Taliban militants were killed in the Sunday night airstrikes delivered by the Afghan security forces.
   The target was Radio Shariat, a station that had been airing Taliban programming and recruitment messages for about four months.
  Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid blamed the U.S. in a statement of taking out the "Voice of Shariah."


   Europe has another political crisis on its hands, and this one could be a big one as it is right in the middle of Europe's growth dynamo "ground zero."
   A rebellion over immigration in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc is threatening the stability of her fragile coalition. Merkel’s weekend decision to veto a plan by her interior minister aimed at controlling and reducing illegal migration, and the minister’s refusal to back down, has already shattered an uneasy truce between conservative backers and opponents of her liberal asylum policy, just months after a tenuous coalition government was formed.
   Specifically, Merkel is facing a rebellion from her hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who demands that German border police be given the right to turn back migrants without identity papers or who are already registered elsewhere in the European Union. The chancellor fears that such a move would be seen as further antagonizing already stretched nationalist tentions across the EU and be seen as Germany going it alone, hurting over-burdened frontline Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece, and has urged a negotiated EU response instead.


  Fears for the safety of Tommy Robinson are mounting after it was revealed that he has been moved to a heavily Muslim-populated prison in the United Kingdom and has already been on the receiving end of death threats.
   Robinson was jailed last month for a “breach of the peace” while live streaming a trial involving a Muslim rape gang outside Leeds Crown Court.
   He was initially held in a low security prison with a low Muslim population.
  However, today it was revealed by Robinson’s manager Caolan Robertson that the activist has now been moved to another prison that has a large Muslim prison population.


   She told a crowd of diplomats, academics and politicians blocks from the White House that she realizes that some Americans no longer think that world order is of any benefit to them, even though they helped create it and wrote “the biggest cheques” to support it.
   “We see this most plainly in the U.S. administration’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum,” Freeland said in her acceptance speech for winning the Foreign Policy journal’s diplomat of the year award.
    “They are a naked example of the United States putting its thumb on the scale, in violation of the very rules it helped to write.”


   TORONTO – A university teaching assistant who gained prominence after being disciplined for showing students a TV clip of a controversial professor discussing gender-neutral pronouns is suing the school, claiming Wilfrid Laurier University behaved negligently, leaving her unemployable in academia.
After the outcry erupted, the university’s president apologized to her, saying there had been an “institutional failure,” that Shepherd had done nothing wrong, and the school was taking steps to ensure similar events did not recur.
   However, Shepherd maintains she has received no redress, and in fact has been subjected to “continuing abuse and a toxic climate from the university and its representatives,” according to her statement of claim.
The suit alleges the school failed to follow its own policies, and that attacks on her by “predators” amounted to harassment, intentional infliction of nervous shock, and constructive dismissal.


Premier-designate Doug Ford will recall the legislature next month for a brief summer session to end the York University strike and begin fulfilling campaign promises like lowering gasoline prices, sources told the Star.