Tuesday, July 31, 2018


   From the moment a protester grabbed a counter-protester’s megaphone and hurled it into the fountain of the Markham Civic Centre, Saturday’s demonstration against illegal border crossings and their effect on suburban Toronto degenerated quickly into violence and anger.
   Police arrived to separate men who had thrown a few punches, and others who seemed about to, including one man who was pushing another as he held up a sign reading “Not In My Back Yard,” according to video captured by Ming Pao Daily News.
   It was a small rally of a few dozen mainly Chinese-Canadian protesters in Markham, a city northeast of Toronto, and hundreds of kilometres from any land border with the United States. Nevertheless, as the demonstration was met by a smaller group of pro-refugee protesters, it became a flashpoint in the North American refugee crisis, with Markham’s mayor, Frank Scarpitti, as the unlikely main target.


NP, McParland:  I can’t say for absolute certain, but I’m pretty sure the overwhelming majority of people who voted for Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives in June are pretty pleased with their choice right now.
    Ontario’s rookie premier ensured that when, out of a clear blue sky, he revealed he was taking the city’s municipal elections and dumping them by the side of the road. Plans for the vote were well under way, candidates lining up, forms being filled, money raised. Then Ford announced that, instead of 47 squabbling, money-draining, time-wasting city councillors, he would chop the number to 25.
   Naturally, great squawking ensued. The beating heart of left-wing Toronto, having long ago decided Ford was the Canadian version of That Awful Man in Washington, is more than ever convinced that Canada’s biggest province has been abandoned to philistines. Elsewhere, outside the great, bumbling, unwieldy, self-absorbed world that is Toronto’s grossly inefficient municipal government, people rolled their eyes, cried “Hallelujah!” and wondered how it could possibly have taken so long.


   This weekend on WHAS Radio, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said border wall funding would “probably” have to wait until after midterms.
   Sunday President Donald Trump’s tweet threatening a government shutdown if a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was not funded.


NP:  WASHINGTON, D.C. — American officials have taken the “highly unusual” step of rejecting Canada’s bid to take part in senior-level NAFTA talks between the U.S. and Mexico later this week, sources familiar with the trade negotiations said Monday.
    One person said attempts by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to get a seat at the table in Washington Thursday were either ignored, or spurned outright by the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
    A third source briefed on the negotiations said the U.S. side, fueled in part by Lighthizer’s dislike of Freeland, has decided to not even let Canada back into the process until it makes some kind of substantive concession.


Part One, "The Premise": The Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
      Doesn't anyone find it strange that the FBI indicted 12 Russians for hacking computers that the DNC and Hillary refused to let agents see? James Comey, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, "The bureau requested, but was denied direct access to the Democratic National Committee's email servers and other hacked devices as part of its probe of Russian hacking."

Part Two, "The Mystery": If the FBI couldn't get access to the computers, then how did agents decide that the Russians were responsible for the hacking?

Monday, July 30, 2018


   Toronto Sun, Levy:  I’d laugh if it didn’t make me want to cry.
   Proving they really need to be shrunk from 47 to 25 councillors — and that most care little about anything but saving their political skins — the politicians at Toronto City Hall spent 6.5 hours altogether railing against Premier Doug Ford’s decision to downsize Toronto council.
   Of course most on council would not see the irony of the time spent, or their behaviour in the council chamber both last Friday and Monday afternoon to protest the proposed legislation or of the mayor’s attempts to run out the clock to keep everything status quo (and the left happy) before Oct. 22.


  After a week of virtual silence, Prime Minister Trudeau visited the makeshift memorial in Toronto’s Greektown set up to pay tribute to the victims of the Danforth attack.
  Not everyone appreciated his presence there, however.
  After he laid flowers at the site and was speaking with media, a heckler began letting Trudeau know what he thought of him on a whole host of issues.


  Thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow on Sunday to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin over a proposed increase to the country’s retirement age.
   According to Reuters, protesters organized by the opposition Libertarian Party chanted slogans such as “Putin is a thief” and “away with the tsar” after the Kremlin proposed raising the retirement age from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 63 for women, meaning many will not live to enjoy their pension in a country where life expectancy is just 71.


   What rejoicing there must be in the twin towers at National Defence HQ at the news Canada’s auditor general is going to investigate the fighter jet “capability gap” claim used as justification for sole sourcing the purchase of 18 shiny, new Boeing Super Hornets.
   At last, the prospect of vindication against allegations made by out of touch former air force commanders and cynical pundits that the entire “capability gap” excuse was a load of trumped up codswallop designed to push off the purchase of the next generation of fighters until after the next election, thereby living up to the campaign commitment not to buy Lockheed Martin’s F35 Lightning stealth jet.
    Harjit Sajjan, the defence minister, and Jonathan Vance, the chief of the defence staff, are going to enjoy a dish of cold revenge, a full two years after their claims that the country faced an urgent shortage of fighter jets and was unable to fulfill its commitments to both NATO and NORAD.
  Unless, of course, the auditor Michael Ferguson finds that the entire tangled web was woven in the minister’s office, with the connivance of the military, in order to deceive the public and avoid political embarrassment.


   NP: The RCMP tried a few years ago to wrestle away control of organized crime investigations being pursued by the Canada Border Services Agency, newly released records show.
   The proposal did not sit well with the border agency and never went ahead. But even as both agencies insist they have since struck a collaborative relationship, security experts say the failed proposal illustrates ongoing tensions between the two agencies, which share the responsibility of ensuring the border’s integrity.
   In an email Sunday, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who still retains oversight over both agencies, said: “The RCMP and the CBSA manage our borders in a manner that is seamless, cooperative and in the best interests of public safety. ‎Operationally, each of the organizations brings its expertise and resources to bear — the combined weight of which is stronger and more effective than either would be on their own.”


   Canada will join Mexico and other European and Asian auto-producing countries this week to plot strategy ahead of the potential imposition of tariffs on vehicles and auto parts exported to the United 
   Japan and the European Union organized the meeting for Tuesday in Geneva, where vice and deputy ministers from Canada, the EU, Japan and South Korea will gather to talk about the punishing levies threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump.
  The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association has warned that "dollar-for-dollar" retaliatory levies would have a much more significant effect on Canada's auto sector than counter-tariffs on aluminum and steel.
  Critics warn the potential tariffs of up to 25 per cent, plus retaliatory measures, could add thousands of dollars to the price of a vehicle, kill jobs and cause significant harm to the global auto industry.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


   Although investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson has strong forensic evidence that her home computer was remotely accessed by government entities, nothing has been done about it. The Department of Justice should be paying attention, because Attkisson believes she wasn't the only person who was improperly spied on during the Obama years.
   Attkisson shared her story during a House Oversight and Reform hearing on Tuesday about H.R. 4382, the Free Flow of Information Act, which would enshrine journalist-source protection into federal law.
   Attkisson was reporting on the Benghazi scandal for CBS News in late 2012 when her computer records were surveilled by a government entity on multiple occasions.
She told Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) at the hearing on Tuesday that there was no doubt in her mind that the government had intruded into her computer.


  Italy’s new Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has made a shock intervention in the Brexit negotiations, warning the British that there is “no good faith” on the EU’s side.
  The political firebrand, who leads one half of Italy’s new populist coalition government, warned Theresa May that “There is no objectivity or good faith from the European side” of the negotiations, and that repeatedly giving in to EU demands would not improve matters.
  “My experience in the European Parliament tells me you either impose yourself or they swindle you,” he advised.


  Chronicle Herald:  I, and others, live with the fear that we may be attacked out of the blue while doing everyday things at any time. Then the unthinkable happens — news of the horrific Danforth Street shooting spree in Toronto this past week!
I was also particularly fearful about the identity of the shooter. For me as a Muslim — and I’m sure for many others — fear and anxiety doubles the minute there’s a shooting incident or attack of any kind. I immediately start praying that the gunman or attacker does not have a Muslim name, and more fervently that he is not connected with some crazy and murderous group whose adherents disguise themselves as followers of Islam. In reality, these groups are the furthest from it — and their only desire is to spread fear, terror and cause divisions among good people.
   We Maritimer Muslims work very hard to do as much good as possible, according to our teachings, and so do many other Muslims all over Canada. Yet it seems that no matter how much good we do, the minute one person with a Muslim name commits a crime, he becomes the face of Islam. As a result, all of us are cast in a bad light; hate and anger increase and more attacks take place against Muslims and immigrants perceived as such.


    Toronto Sun:  The Sun learned Toronto Police had multiple contacts with Hussain dating as far back as 2010 when he was a student at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute and told a teacher “it would be really cool to kill someone.”
   Sources have also said the RCMP had spoken to Hussain about visiting pro-Islamic State websites.
  The source said the feds, police chief and others have been “playing with words” and “deceiving the public.”


   It was supposed to be an election for change, but in the end, it reinforced the status quo.
   Incumbent Perry Bellegarde was challenged by four candidates whose platforms called for change and the modernization of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).
   The opposition candidates complained of the close relationship between Bellegarde and the Liberal government, particularly the Prime Minister and the two ministers with responsibility for Indigenous Affairs.


   Vancouver Sun:  Canadian negotiators are not budging on a request by their American counterparts to reduce an electricity entitlement under a treaty that the United States says is worth as much as $200 million a year.
   The Columbia River Treaty, which expires in six years, was ratified in 1964 to address flooding concerns in the United States and the growing demand for energy.
   American negotiators have said they want to add environmental measures to the agreement that would empower it to request Canada release more water to improve salmon habitats. Katrine Conroy, a British Columbia cabinet minister and one of Canada’s lead representatives on the file says that won’t necessarily mean giving the United States more power to increase water flow from Canada, which could leave those B.C. communities in the basin dry.


   NP:  Another supply teacher — I’ll call her Marcia, with decades of experience in Special Ed — that I know well and can trust, has told me numerous stories of her travails with students. In one class, a violent eight-year old (!) pushed her, punched her, bit her and threw a chair at her. His “punishment” was to cool down in an office where a computer was available to play games on. The administration refused to deal further with the child, her union rep did nothing, but Marcia was given a 10-point “behaviour modification plan” — for her! “Don’t raise your voice, give him choices, don’t crowd him,” etc.
 Appeasement and fear of students by administration is a common thread in all the stories I have heard.Shop teacher Rob Ball attributed escalating discipline breakdown to Kathleen Wynne’s 2013 Progressive Discipline Policy, embraced by “equity-obsessed TDSB education director Dr. John Malloy.” So I wouldn’t have bothered writing this column if Wynne were still in office. But I am emboldened because Doug Ford’s people just might listen to my proposals, namely: i) Return authority to teachers; ii) prioritize safety for children who want to learn and teachers who want to teach over bad-apple “rights” and iii) Institute compulsory boot camps for chronic offenders.


    The head of Kinder Morgan Canada says work is to resume next month to prepare a route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
   "The project has been in a suspended mode for a good number of months," said Anderson. "We're ramping up hard and we're evaluating schedule.
  "The most important thing for me at this point is to get started to demonstrate to Canadians and to our prospective new owner that this project can be executed in a manner that serves the interests of everybody."

Saturday, July 28, 2018


  Toronto Sun:  Leftist former chief planner — Jennifer Keesmaat — told the media after signing up to take on John Tory for the mayor’s chair that she will provide “bold leadership” to the city.
   Let me remind you of some of those “bold ideas” Keesmaat foisted on Toronto during her five-year tenure.
   Keesmaat is the author of the infamous Bloor St. bike lanes and many other bike lane projects on major arterial roads. She was also strongly behind Toronto’s mini-Central Park — the $1.7-billion Rail Deck downtown park, which I’m betting will never get built. There’s the lovely $1.5-million King St. (streetcar) pilot, now in its eighth month, which has virtually turned the main thoroughfare into a Ghost Town and driven much of the business along the study area down by as much as 30%


   The unsinkable Patrick Brown has surfaced in the Brampton mayoral race.
  Just hours after Premier Doug Ford officially announced that he was cancelling regional chair elections in Peel, York, Niagara and Muskoka, Brown registered to run against incumbent Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey.
  Brown, who had planned to seek the regional chair position in Peel, said that he wants a Brampton where citizens can have good jobs and feel safe.


Toronto Sun:  It appears the last mentally ill “lone wolf” who went on a 2016 rampage in Toronto will be free in no time.
   In a shocking decision, Ayanle Hassan Ali — a man with schizophrenia found not criminally responsible for the attempted murder of three soldiers at the Canadian Forces recruiting centre in North York — has already been cleared to leave the secure unit of his Hamilton hospital this year on passes into the community, including forays that aren’t even directly supervised.
   This follows Ali’s first hearing before the Ontario Review Board earlier this month after a court found him NCR due to his mental disorder, but acquitted him on terrorism charges. The federal Crown is currently appealing that decision, still arguing that a “lone wolf” falls under Canada’s anti-terror laws.


    NP: Toronto has held up well in the aftermath of Sunday night’s horrific attack, the second mass-casualty incident in the city in recent months. Within minutes of the investigators’ police tape coming down along the normally bustling Danforth Avenue, the scene of the rampage, Torontonians were back, filling local businesses (which scrambled to reopen) and returning life to the streets. It was heartening.
    The behaviour of Toronto’s city council, sadly, has proved far less inspiring.
   Politicians are going to politic, of course. And that’s especially true after a tragedy, when the desire to be seen to be doing something seems overpowering. So before much was even known about Faisal Hussain, the shooter, or where he’d obtained his pistol (illegally, it turns out), city council was passing motion after motion hammering the usual suspects: gun stores, firing ranges and lawful gun owners generally. A motion seeking to ban the legal sale of handguns in Toronto (and nationally) was also approved by council, with the mayor’s support.


Blatchford, NP:  The sound of heads exploding, the righteous pops of indignation, the howls of shock — my good God, I can’t remember a better morning.
   I refer, of course, to the surprise announcement Friday from Premier Doug Ford that the Ontario    government will soon propose legislation to cut the size of Toronto city council by almost half. Word of the change leaked out Thursday night , so before Ford had even made it official, Toronto Mayor John Tory and various city councilors, provincial politicians and reporters were showing up on TV screens, sputtering and muttering about the alleged affront to democracy.
    Anyone who has suffered the interminable, unbearable nonsense that passes for municipal government in the country’s biggest city knows an affront to democracy when she sees one, and it ain’t what Ford did.

Friday, July 27, 2018


On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Cuomo Primetime,” Trump legal team member Rudy Giuliani reacted to reports that Michael Cohen is willing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that President Trump knew about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians prior to the meeting and approved of the meeting by saying that Cohen has no credibility and has “been lying for years.”


Populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered that benefits for asylum seekers be substantially reduced, saying the money saved will be given to police working overtime shifts instead.


Calgary Herald:  It’s official. Facebook Inc. just had the biggest stock-market wipeout in American history. Shares tumbled 19 per cent on Thursday to close at US$176.26 after sales and user growth disappointed investors the day before. The drop translates to a US$119.4 billion decline in market capitalization, the largest-ever loss of value in one day for a U.S. traded company.


The Ontario Premier plans to introduce legislation to cut the number of Toronto city councilors from 47 to 25 before the fall municipal election. Doug Ford says he believes it will make the municipal government more efficient.
  It's time to do the same in Ottawa.


   FP: Ottawa has been peddling the notion that lots of companies have been looking at Trans Mountain, and that it may have snapped up “a bargain,” but despite the offer of government indemnities against political risk, nobody has stepped in. Any investor who would do so would be rash indeed, for the more funds the government had to pay out to cover all costs caused by court delays and civil disobedience, the more the investor would be pilloried as an incompetent corporate-welfare bum. Certainly all sorts of investors would be interested in buying the system once — or rather if — the expansion were completed.
    It is difficult to imagine how Trans Mountain will not remain an albatross until the next election, although the Liberals obviously made the political calculation that buying it was better than simply having the project die immediately due to their startlingly muddled policies on energy and the environment.


   NP: Canadian Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Bill Morneau, the finance minister, and Jim Carr, the new trade minister, are in Mexico City seeking reassurance that the incoming administration of Obrador is on the same page on NAFTA as that of outgoing president Enrique Pena Nieto, who retains negotiating authority until the handover of power in December.
  The answer appears to be a resounding “yes.”
  Trump has said repeatedly he would prefer to strike bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico, rather than renew the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement.

Thursday, July 26, 2018


But even before the results of the first ballot was announced, candidate Russ Diabo was sounding the alarm on Crown-Indigenous relations Minister Carolyn Bennett meeting with the Alberta caucus of chiefs and proxies early Wednesday.

“That federal minister coming into our annual assembly and interfering with our vote by meeting with specific groups over this pipeline issue. They have been dividing our people since the beginning of this debate,” said Richardson in reference to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that has divided nations and led to mass arrests of people who oppose it.

Both Diabo and North were critical of Bellegarde’s relationship with the Liberal government Tuesday in speeches to the chiefs and proxies.
Bellegarde defended his record and said the AFN helped influence federal budgets that have seen $17 billion in funding directed to Indigenous people since Justin Trudeau was elected in late 2015.
The AFN’s budget under Trudeau also nearly tripled from $13 million to $32 million in the last fiscal year ending March 2018.


   Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government expects to spend up to $5 million to compensate companies that bought into the province’s cap-and-trade system, the provincial environment minister said Wednesday before moving to repeal the carbon pricing program.
   Rod Phillips introduced a bill that, if passed, will lay out the legal framework to wind down cap and trade, as well as the criteria for companies seeking to be reimbursed for costs incurred through the program.
   While the program’s 272 participants bought close to $3 billion in allowances, Phillips said only those that purchased more than they used while the program was still active, and were not able to recover those costs from consumers, will be eligible for compensation.


   U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Russia to end its annexation of Crimea in a declaration Wednesday, reaffirming a long-held U.S. position a week after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
   “The United States calls on Russia to respect the principles to which it has long claimed to adhere and to end its occupation of Crimea,” Pompeo said in the declaration. “Through its actions, Russia has acted in a manner unworthy of a great nation and has chosen to isolate itself from the international community.”


    NP:  The American wife of former overseas hostage Joshua Boyle has reportedly left Canada and returned to the U.S. with the couple’s children, nearly six years after being abducted while backpacking in Afghanistan.
   Caitlan Coleman returned home to the U.S. on Monday with the three children, all of whom were born while she and Boyle were held for five years in captivity by a group with links to the Taliban, according to a report by ABC News.
   Boyle did not accompany his wife and children and remains in Canada awaiting trial after Ottawa police charged him in December with multiple offences, including assault, sexual assault, unlawful confinement and causing someone to take a noxious substance.


  House GOP members led by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (NC) have filed formal articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
   News of the resolution comes after weeks of frustration by Congressional investigators, who have repeatedly accused Rosenstein and the DOJ of "slow walking" documents related to their investigations. Lawmakers say they've been given the runaround - while Rosenstein and the rest of the DOJ have maintained that handing over vital documents would compromise ongoing investigations.


  After acknowledging the children in the audience,  California Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, ripped into President Trump during a Sunday appearance at First AME Church in Los Angeles.
  Waters ended her remarks by claiming God has sent her on her mission against Trump.
  “You’ve gotta know that I’m here to do the work that I was sent to do, and as pastor said to me when I came in this morning, when God sends you to do something, you just do it!


   G&M:  Critics have complained that the thousands coming into Canada at a makeshift crossing at Roxham Road in Lacolle, Que., represent chaos. But on Tuesday Mr. Blair told the Commons immigration committee he’d just been there and everything is proceeding in an orderly fashion.
  “What I observed is the exact opposite of chaos,” Mr. Blair told the committee. “It was exceptionally orderly and well-planned.”
  Mr. Blair’s job is to take security issues that make folks worry and tell us, in his cop-like way, that the authorities have it under control. He’s the Minister of Law and Orderly.
   For more than a year now, Mr. Trudeau’s government has argued that it is making efforts to discourage potential asylum-seekers by warning that Roxham Road is not a “free ticket” to Canada. Recently, they have touted the fact that the numbers have declined since Easter. But they’re not expecting this issue to go away. Mr. Blair’s appointment is proof of that. His job isn’t to make the problem go away; it’s to tell Canadians it’s under control.


  As Donald Trump's administration moves towards easing U.S. fuel emission standards for vehicles, the Liberal government says Canada's standards need to become "stronger," and it will conduct its own assessment after the American review.
  The current rules were adopted jointly by former prime minister Stephen Harper and former U.S. president Barack Obama in 2014 with the aim of increasing fuel efficiency for vehicles sold between 2022 and 2025 and reducing greenhouse gas from cars and light trucks.
  In Canada, officials in Environment Minister Catherine McKenna's office say they're watching the U.S. developments closely, but they add that Canada's standards need to become stronger over time, because transportation accounts for nearly one-quarter of Canada's greenhouse gas pollution.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


  Two rival motorcycle gangs have had at least five violent clashes in New Brunswick over the last year and a half, according to new information from a Nova Scotia police unit that investigates outlaw motorcycle gangs.
  But police won't comment on the nature of the alleged violence between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws, bitter rivals competing for territory in an eastern expansion.
  Both clubs have spent the last few years establishing roots in Atlantic Canada, starting with the Hells Angels, the largest and most powerful motorcycle gang in Canada.


 Toronto Sun:  The City of Toronto is seeking federal authority to outlaw the sale of handguns and their ammunition within the 416 area.
   City Council will also ask the federal government to ban handguns, assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons across the country except for police, military and security uses.
  The debate seesawed between violence prevention and enforcement, from a gun repository to programs to combat racism and youth unemployment to an under-15 midnight curfew to a citywide handgun ban.
  “Enforcement is the only way to deal with this issue,” said Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti who proposed the curfew, easier evictions from Toronto Community Housing, a study on the contribution of “lack of parenting“ to crime, the hiring of 100 new police officers and an appeal for more investigative resources for police.


  Condoms, lubricant and dental dams are available to prisoners for free across the country and it's all paid for by taxpayers.  And if you sell sex products, right now you can compete to sell thousands of items in Saskatchewan.
  The government this week posted an open tender looking for a toiletry supplier for the three federal institutions in that province. Along with the personal items you may expect to see on a list — soap and toothbrushes, for example — Correctional Service of Canada estimates it will need 11,000 condoms, 3,500 single-use lubricants and 2,000 dental dams over the next year.


Furey, Toronto Sun:  The man who has presented himself as the point of contact for the family of Faisal Hussain is a professional activist who has reportedly committed himself to “framing a new narrative of Muslims in Canada” and creating a “national political movement.”
  Another bio from the 2017 Muslim Awards of Excellence continues this description of Hashim as something of a spin doctor, noting that “his talking points and media advocacy are changing how Muslims are seen in the Canadian identity.”

Some reporters do not believe the professional activist's bullsh!t, and have been doing their jobs:
   Warmington, Toronto Sun:  Hussain apparently had been spoken to by authorities about his online activities. Sources say Toronto Police, the OPP and the RCMP have all had an interest in the now-deceased shooter.
   What law enforcement is saying is that the attack was planned, and Hussain was “well known to Toronto Police” for investigations into past crimes “involving weapons and violence.”


   The Conservative immigration critic grilled Bill Blair during his appearance before the Common Immigration committee which is holding three back-to-back hearings on Tuesday into the influx of irregular migrants into Canada. There has been confusion over Blair’s new ministry since his appointment last week and that prompted questioning by Michelle Rempel, who was seeking some clarity.
  “Will minister Goodale be reporting to you?” she asked.
   “No,” Blair replied.
  “Will the CBSA be reporting to you?”
  “No. I have not received my mandate letters from the prime minister just yet so I cannot speculate on what my role will be.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Blatchford, NP:  There is never a legitimate excuse to mow down people in a public space.


  TORONTO – Firefighters were battling 55 forest fires as of late Monday in northeast Ontario, of which 21 were not yet under control.
   The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said one of the fires dubbed Cochrane 14 northeast of Timmins had grown to 4,899 hectares and remained out of a control.
   A larger blaze called Parry Sound 33 measured 5,612 hectares as of late Monday and was being fought with planes and helicopters.


   The shooter was identified by investigators as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain.
  According to a source who has met the family, Hussain was the son of Canadian parents of Pakistani origin who have been struggling through major challenges.
  They had no idea Hussain had acquired a gun, the source said.


   A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed against five Canadian pharmaceutical companies alleging the firms may have been negligent in their manufacturing of the drugs and in quality control testing of raw material from their supplier in China.
   On July 10, Health Canada recalled 28 blood pressure medications from five generic brands that use the ingredient valsartan. The Chinese firm that produces valsartan reported a contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified as a probable human cancer causing agent.
   Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, the Chinese company involved in the contamination, did not respond to a request for comment from CTV News.


   In the Border Patrol sector that covers 480 kilometres of border with New York, Vermont and New Hampshire, agents have apprehended 324 people who crossed illegally from Canada so far this fiscal year, compared with 165 in all of 2017. Last month, agents apprehended 85 people across the three states, compared with 17 in June 2017 and 19 in June 2016, statistics show.
   Visa-less entry into Canada for countries like Mexico and Romania, another nationality noted by Nolan and Border Patrol agents as contributing to a spike in apprehensions, play a role by making the northern border more attractive for people seeking to enter the U.S. illegally, Nolan said. A plane ticket from Mexico City to Montreal or Toronto can cost less than $350.
   The Canadian government in late 2016 lifted its requirement that Mexican citizens apply for visas to enter the country as part of broader efforts to strengthen ties with Mexico. A similar requirement for Romanian citizens took effect in late 2017.


   HALIFAX -- A four-year-old Nova Scotia girl was hospitalized after eating 15 pieces of an edible marijuana product she thought was a chocolate bar; the recommended daily consumption limit for that particular product is one piece -- for an adult.
   The girl's father realized the cannabis bar was missing from the console of his vehicle on Saturday, and then noticed the four-year-old was looking very pale, the Mounties said.
   He called 911, and police were dispatched to the family's home in East Petpeswick, a rural community east of Halifax. The girl was taken to hospital for treatment and since released.

Monday, July 23, 2018


  Calgary Herald:  STANDOFF, Alta. — A dispute between two families over land on Canada’s largest reserve is heading to court in part to question whether First Nations members have any right to the ground beneath their feet.
   “Do Indians have property rights? That’s what we need to know,” former Blood Tribe chief Harley Frank says of his decision to take his battle to the Federal Court of Canada.
   The former chief of the Blood Tribe says he has already been in a physical fight over the land on southwestern Alberta’s sprawling Blood Indian Reserve, which is home to 12,500 people.


   HuffPost:  The country's annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 per cent in June as consumer prices grew at their fastest pace in more than six years, Statistics Canada said in a report Friday.
   The federal agency's latest inflation number received a boost from higher energy prices, especially gasoline, fuel oil and other fuels. It followed a 2.2 per cent reading for May.
  Other big contributors behind last month's stronger inflation figure were pricier airline tickets, restaurants and mortgage interest costs. The downward pressure on prices last month was led by cheaper costs for telephone services, travel tours and digital equipment and devices.


  With wildfire activity flaring up across the B.C. interior, the BC Wildfire Service has recalled 204 firefighters on loan to Ontario and Quebec.
  The crews were deployed through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre to the eastern provinces in several waves earlier this month.
  Sixty of the firefighters are currently helping in Ontario, while 140 are assisting in Quebec.


  If you ever find yourself in Europe and notice a giant white wale hurtling through the sky, you're not going crazy. That would be the latest cargo plane from French airline Airbus.
   Airbus just debuted the next generation of its "Beluga" transport airplanes, this time built six meters longer, one meter wider and at 30 percent more capacity to meet growing demand


  Toronto Sun:  You’d have a better chance of finding Waldo in a crowd then former Premier Kathleen Wynne in the legislative assembly.
  Wynne’s always built her brand on her toughness. Campaign slogans such as “run don’t walk” and election commercials featuring her running up hills everyday allegedly at 5 a.m., obsessing with how to make our lives better were part of a carefully crafted persona she developed over the years.
  But she snubbed the speech from the throne and skipped every question period since July 11. The two times we heard from Wynne since the election was when she grovelled for party status that she lost at the election, coming short one seat. And when she asked that her portrait be erected in the halls of parliament, like former premiers. And she wanted it done pronto.


   Toronto Sun:  JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said Sunday it had rescued members of a Syrian volunteer civil organization from the volatile frontier area and evacuated them to a third country, the first such Israeli intervention in Syria’s lengthy civil war.
   Jordan confirmed that 800 Syrian citizens have entered its territory to be resettled in Western countries, including Canada. The volunteers, known as White Helmets, had been stranded along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights following the latest Syrian government offensive in southwestern Syria.
   The officials said the White Helmets, who have enjoyed backing from the United States and other Western nations for years, were likely to be targeted by Syrian forces as they retook control of the southwest. Evacuation plans were accelerated after last week’s NATO summit in Brussels.


   The federal government is set to become the official owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after failing to quickly flip the project to another private-sector buyer.
  Pipeline owner Kinder Morgan had been working with the government to identify another buyer before July 22.
  But with that date set to pass without a deal, it was expected the pipeline company will now take Ottawa's $4.5-billion offer to purchase the project to its shareholders.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


  Anthony Parisi Sanchez dumped socks full of change into TD Bank's Penny Arcade coin-counting machine every week for six years, turning hundreds of dollars' worth of pennies, nickels and dimes into what he assumed would be the same amount in cash.
  But media reports found the bank was undercounting the change. And this year TD Bank settled a class action case alleging that the machines had shorted consumers across the United States.
A Canadian class-action lawsuit filed in 2016 on behalf of people who allegedly were short-changed by the TD Bank coin-counting machines over a three-year period has yet to be resolved.
   The suit alleges that the bank had learned of many accuracy problems with its coin-counting machines in the United States, but still proceeded with a national rollout of the machines across Canada in January 2013.


   Former President Barack Obama delivered a lengthy speech to an audience of around 15,000 people at the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday. Obama leavened his standard rhetoric with effusive praise of Nelson Mandela, who, Obama said, was “one of history’s true giants” and someone whose “progressive, democratic vision” was a model for the world. Obama also praised South Africa’s current President Ramaphosa who, according to Obama, “you can see is inspiring new hope in this great country.” Obama evidently believes that “inspiring new hope” includes government expropriation of land without compensation and plans “to accelerate the land redistribution programme.”


   Dr. Tim Ball: I provided a few facts about changes in sea level, scientifically called eustasy, and all the other mechanisms that could explain that change.
   Let’s start with the automatic assumption by the public and the media that any major environmental issue, like global warming, glaciers melting, or sea level rising, is due to human activity. It reflects that bias, but also how little they know about all the natural causes of change. The simple assumption is that sea level rise is due to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) causing increased melting of glaciers adding more water to the oceans. In reality, just as with climate change, there is a multitude of causes, and few people know very little about any of them, and even those that do know have a quite limited understanding


   Iran has less than four months before the U.S.'s "historical" sanctions come into play.
   Iran has two options going forward, since it does not have the power to play with various options: negotiating and accepting conditions that will have heavy repercussions or trying in vain to counter sanctions.
   Iran cannot ignore the growing waves of protests inside the country. This is what it rightly fears most of all, and it will be the power of the people that will eventually bring the whole establishment to its demise.


   NP:  Five men accused in an alleged multimillion-dollar fraud scheme have had all charges against them stayed because of a shortage of judges in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice.
  Ontario currently has 14 vacancies in the Superior Court, according to July figures from the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.
  The Canadian Bar Association recently wrote an open letter to the federal government, indicating such shortages are not confined to Ontario and calling on Ottawa to ramp up efforts to fill the more than 50 vacancies in Superior Courts across the country.


   Socialist democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — running for Congress in New York’s 14th District — invoked the United States ending slavery and the role that Kansas played while campaigning for Democrat candidate James Thompson in the state at a rally with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
  In a campaign speech, Ocasio-Cortez seemed to compare Kansas helping to end slavery across the U.S. to voters electing Democrats like Thompson to Congress.


   Chicago has earned the distinction of being the number one “rat capital” in the country, according to a recent study.
  A study conducted by the apartment search service “Rent Hop” noted that the Windy City received a whopping 50,963 rat complaints in 2017—more than any other city in the United States.

Saturday, July 21, 2018


  Democrats have abandoned the center of American politics, ceding that ground to Republicans, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM Patriot 125. McCarthy said he no longer refers to them as the Democratic Party, but as the “The New Socialist Democratic Party.”
    McCarthy’s comments, laying out the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, come in the wake of a historic vote this week on the floor of the House of Representatives in which only 18 Democrats voted in support of a measure that admonishes efforts to “Abolish ICE” and destroy the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency that handles interior immigration enforcement.
   On the floor of the House, Democrats split three separate ways on the resolution which was offered by Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) and championed by McCarthy. Eighteen voted for it, 34 voted against it, and 133 Democrats voted “present”—effectively ensuring the measure’s passage because the procedure through which it was brought to the floor, a “suspension calendar,” requires two-thirds of the members voting one way or another on the resolution to support it for it to pass. Nonetheless, the fact that 167 Democrats in total either voted against supporting ICE—thereby voting to abolish ICE—or voted present, and thereby casting their lot with those in opposition, is astonishing when it comes to Congress standing with a federal law enforcement agency.


  TULSA, Okla. — In one video, a fan at a youth soccer game bellows profanities and violently kicks a ball that slams into a teenage referee standing nearby. She disagreed with a penalty called.
  Another captures parents at a youth basketball game charging the court to hurl punches at the referee. And yet another shows parents berating game officials as they walk to their cars after a soccer game. The players were 8-year-olds.
  The videos were posted on a Facebook page, Offside, created in frustration by an Oklahoma youth soccer referee, Brian Barlow, who offers a $100 bounty for each clip in order to shame the rising tide of unruly parents and spectators at youth sports events.
  “I do it to hold people accountable — to identify and call out the small percentage of parents who nonetheless create a toxic environment at youth sports,” Barlow, 44, said. “It’s a very visual deterrent, and not just to the person caught on video but to others who ask themselves: Do I look like that jerk?”


   NP:  “Andrew doesn’t owe her any favours,” one of the party’s leading organizers told me over lunch. It was early summer, and no sooner had Andrew Scheer won the Conservative leadership than Gallant once again made headlines, becoming the only MP in the House to vote against a motion reaffirming Canada’s support for the Paris climate accord.
  The move was typical Cheryl Gallant. Surely, I thought, the riding was ready for someone new.


Four years ago, in one of its taxpayer subsidized research papers, the San Fran Fed asked "is it still worth going to college", looking at the tradeoff between the "investment" of tens of thousands of dollars in student loans relative to the pick up in earnings potential over one's lifetime. It founds that the answer is "yes" because "the value of a college degree remains high, and the average college graduate can recover the costs of attending in less than 20 years." In other words by the time one is 42, one's student loans will be paid off, assuming of course that one can still find a job. And, staying in this idealized world, the difference between earnings continues to grow "such that the average college graduate earns over $800,000 more than the average high school graduate by retirement age."
Four years later, the New York decided to rerun the same analysis, which it described in a recent blog post "The College Boost: Is the Return on a Degree Fading?", and came to a starkly bleaker conclusion.

Friday, July 20, 2018


The federal government has sent a blunt warning to the Trump administration — if it slaps Canada with auto tariffs, Canada will hit back.
Canada's deputy ambassador to the U.S. delivered the message Thursday in Washington during testimony at U.S. Commerce Department hearings. The department is investigating whether duties should be applied based on the premise auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.
Putting levies on the highly integrated, economically critical North American auto industry and its supply chains would lead to large-scale layoffs on both sides of the border, numerous experts have argued.


   Today a U.S. District Judge threw out New York City’s lawsuit against five major energy companies alleging damages relating to climate change.
   Judge John Keenan wrote in his opinion that, “Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government,” not the judiciary, according to Bloomberg.
   This major blow marks the third climate case to be thrown out—litigation in San Francisco and Oakland was dismissed by a federal judge last month on similar grounds. Both of these cases were dismissed by U.S. District Court judges after the suits were ordered to be heard in federal court rather than state court, where they were initially filed.


    About a quarter of Canadians involved in terrorist activity have criminal histories, according to a declassified Canadian Security Intelligence Service report. They had “engaged in a wide spectrum of illicit activities,” most commonly low-level crimes and assaults.
   Criminals are attracted to terrorism because it offers violence, status and adventure, the report said. They may also see it as way to atone or to reframe their actions “in a more positive light,” it added.
   The criminal-terrorist link surfaced in Alberta as recently as May, when a judge approved the extradition of Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi, alleged by the U.S. to have held up an Edmonton jewelry store to bankroll the activities of associates fighting in Syria.


   The Afghanistan war veteran from Brandon who accused Quebec NDP MP Christine Moore of inappropriate conduct five years ago is denouncing an investigator’s report that absolved of her any wrongdoing.
   Glen Kirkland, a realtor from Brandon who served in the Canadian Forces for nine years, said the investigation into allegations that Moore sexually harassed him was not independent, but rather led by the NDP.
   He called the investigation "a complete joke" and said their report has not even been made public.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


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


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


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

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


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


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


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


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


WWII bomber touches down in St. Hubert, Quebec

Monday, July 16, 2018


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Sunday, July 15, 2018


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


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


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


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


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