Thursday, January 31, 2019


   Somehow the federal government thinks it has a firm handle on the issue of fake news. Enough so that on Wednesday morning several Liberal cabinet ministers convened a press conference to announce what they’re doing to do combat “fake news,” disinformation and foreign interference in the upcoming federal election.
   The plan includes $7 million to fund workshops that aim to teach Canadians how to sort through potential disinformation as well as “critically assess online news reporting and editorials.”
   This is a dangerous path to head down, to put it mildly. The very notion of the party in power coming up with the framework for how to police information during a campaign in which they’ll be seeking re-election is already a massive conflict of interest.


   The long-awaited first report on ending hallway health care is more of a diagnosis of the problem than the offer of a cure.
   The Premier’s Council on Improving Health Care and Ending Hallway Medicine issued a 35-page report Thursday outlining problems many already know about Ontario’s ailing health-care system.
   “The entire health-care system is too complicated to navigate, people are waiting too long to receive care and too often are receiving care in the wrong place; as a result, our hospitals are crowded,” Dr. Rueben Devlin writes in the report.


As the “Yellow Vest,” or Gilet Jaunes, protest in France continues to perplex and concern the French government and European elites, a new “counter-protest” has emerged in response to the popular protest movement now entering its 12th week.
Protesters branding themselves as the “Red Scarves,” or Foulards Rouge, descended on Paris this past Sunday in order to protest the “violence” of some Gilet Jaunes protesters and a desire to see the country return to “normalcy.” The French government, which has sought to weaken and disperse the Yellow Vests movement since its inception, stated that the Red Scarves numbered around 10,500 in Paris, while other reports claimed that the demonstration was significantly smaller than the government-supplied figure.
Given their relatively sudden appearance and sympathetic media coverage within France and throughout the Western world, the Red Scarves have drawn skeptical scrutiny from Yellow Vest members, some of whom have described them as “pro-Macron stooges.” While it is difficult to know if the origins of the Red Scarves are as organic as has been portrayed in mainstream reports, there are certain aspects of the movement that have raised suspicion among journalists reporting from France and other observers.


   The unholy alliance that exists between this particular federal government and Indigenous leaders – aided and abetted by the legal profession and a compliant judiciary – has created a Victim Industry that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. This new industry is thoroughly corrupt and out of control. The prime mover driving this new industry is the federal government itself – a government that seems perfectly prepared to squander vast sums of the hard earned money of the people they claim to represent to satisfy its own apparently insatiable virtue signalling compulsion.
  The real victim in all of this is the taxpayer


   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recounted an Aesop's Fable to regional chiefs from the Assembly of First Nations during a closed-door meeting in Ottawa earlier this month, according to a memo from the talks.
It says B.C. AFN regional Chief Terry Teegee raised the issue of the previous week's RCMP action against the Wet'suwet'en camps set up to prevent access to the area by Coastal GasLink pipeline workers.
In response, Trudeau brought up the Aesop's Fable about the sun and the wind wagering on who was strongest by knocking the coat off a traveller.
   In an interview with CBC News, Peters said he found the the prime minister's telling of the Aesop's Fable somewhat strange.


Deadly US deep freeze.
Extreme cold warnings in Canada.


Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion says she will not be accepting the role of an adviser to Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario government after all.

“I would like to thank Minister Steve Clark and Premier Doug Ford for the appointment to work with them and to share the experience I have gained from 44 years in local government,” the statement said.

“Unfortunately, due to my extensive commitments, I am unable to accommodate the extensive time required for such an appointment at this point in time. As a result, I will not be accepting the formal appointment and the per diem that goes along with it.”


New Brunswick has abandoned plans to host the 2021 Francophonie Games, throwing the international event into turmoil and escalating a feud with the federal government.
Premier Blaine Higgs blamed a lack of financial support from Ottawa on Wednesday, but some federal and provincial politicians say his minority Progressive Conservative government never intended to allow the Games to proceed.
Cost estimates ballooned to $130 million from the original bid of $17 million, and Higgs said the province will withdraw because Ottawa's funding formula was inadequate.
New Brunswick has a net debt of $13.9 billion and the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to get finances under control.


 Blatchford:  That raised the spectre of a deliberate attempt by the Department of National Defence (DND) to thwart proper requests for information by using code names.
 Only then, Vance said, did the penny drop that it was all those damn military acronyms and nicknames (for instance, for Norman, the list includes C34, because he’s the 34th navy commander, and “The Boss” and “The Substantive VCDS or Vice CDS) which were confusing things.
  Why there wasn’t, he told Henein, anything “sinister” about those names. Heck, he said, “I’ve been aware of this list my whole life.”
  This wasn’t the institution “using code words to avoid having to respond” to ATI requests, heavens no. This was just military folks, speaking in jargon, being their impenetrable selves.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


   Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra dropped a bombshell on Twitter Tuesday: The Russian Boeing 777 that had landed in Caracas the day before was there to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the country’s central bank.
   Just another outlandish comment from a lawmaker trying to draw attention to the plight of crisis-torn Venezuela? Perhaps not. For one thing, Guerra is a former central bank economist who remains in touch with old colleagues there. For another, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News Tuesday that 20 tons of gold have been set aside in the central bank for loading. Worth some $840 million, the gold represents about 20 per cent of its holdings of the metal in Venezuela, the person said. He provided no further information on plans for those bars.
   With strongman President Nicolas Maduro losing control of the country’s already-scant finances and reserves thanks to U.S. sanctions, who can put his hands on the nation’s estimated 200 tons of gold at home and abroad has become a key question. The nation owes billions to its patrons Russia and China as well as bondholders, and also needs hard currency to buy food for its starving people.


The author, Eric Li, is the president of Huawei Technologies Canada.

Let's be clear: Huawei is no threat to Canada or Canadians
Huawei Canada operates in Canada and we adhere to Canadian law. We have no access to personal consumer data and our networks’ security is developed in tandem with these partners


   Fifth-generation networks, or 5G, are essentially a faster and more reliable version of wireless connectivity. They come after four generations of past improvements. 2G brought us text messaging, while 4G introduced video streaming and other capabilities, which gave us access to a host of new mobile services like Uber and Spotify.
   5G marks a massive leap forward in such wireless technology. Unlike earlier networks, which essentially connected devices through one-way interactions, 5G would have countless points of connectivity, creating something that could be thought of as a grid pattern, or what experts call a “network of networks.”
  It will also be much faster. Users will be able to download a two-hour movie in less than four seconds, down from around six minutes today (or 26 hours under 3G technology).


  The Liberal Party of Canada is refusing to release details of a fundraiser held by MP Raj Grewal that amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time Grewal was struggling with millions in gambling debts.
  With tickets priced at $500 a person, Grewal said the event for the Brampton East Liberal riding association last April attracted 1,200 people, an unusually large crowd for a local fundraiser that featured no party luminaries.
  Grewal left the Liberal caucus in November after revealing he had accumulated huge debts to feed a runaway casino-betting problem, with sources and other media reports indicating he is under RCMP investigation. The MP says money he received from unidentified friends and family have enabled him to repay those debts, and that he received none of the fundraiser revenue.


   The federal government is writing off more than $163 million in outstanding student-loan payments that officials will never be able to collect.
   New spending documents show the government is giving up on debts from 31,658 students after “reasonable efforts to collect the amounts owed.”
   It is the fourth time in the last five years that the government has written off outstanding student loans.


   Scott Brison, the veteran Nova Scotia MP and former Treasury Board president who resigned from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet earlier this month, has brought his own lawyer to a hearing in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s criminal case in a bid to protect his privacy and his reputation.
   Although the Department of Justice has been coordinating a massive effort to collect subpoenaed documents, Brison declined to disclose his personal emails to the government. Instead, Brison’s lawyer informed the government in December that he preferred to disclose such documents to the court independently.
  He is also seeking to protect his reputation, the application says, particularly against the accusation that he is close to the Irving family that controls the shipbuilding firm. The defence has disclosed evidence that one witness told the RCMP that Brison was “Irving’s boy.”
  Christie Blatchford weighs in, on the troubling conduct of the Crown.


    The B.C. government and legislature have lost a legal battle in which they claimed the right of officials such as the suspended clerk Craig James to be beyond judicial scrutiny.
   B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson dismissed Victoria’s attempt to end a lawsuit over alleged commitments James made to the former representative of children and youth by drawing down the curtain of parliamentary privilege.
  He was not impressed by the arguments.
“The Legislative Assembly did not explain exactly how judicial scrutiny of whether it has fulfilled contractual terms regarding remuneration and benefits would interfere with its legislative and deliberative functions, offend its dignity, or violate the separation of powers,” Hinkson said.


   Yet, more than a week after his self-imposed resignation date, there Di Iorio was, standing in the House of Commons, raging at his critics. Principal among them is NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who had the temerity to raise a point of privilege over Di Iorio’s failure to darken Parliament’s towels these past months.
   Whatever the “circumstances of life” that prevented Di Iorio from seeing out his mandate, they did not prevent him earning a lucrative living as a partner at Montreal law firm Langlois, where he was active enough to be named on a list of one of the best lawyers in Canada.
   In a Toronto Star article on moonlighting MPs last year, Di Iorio said he sleeps just five hours a night, allowing him time to also teach classes at a local university, volunteer for three non-profit organizations and write a book on labour law.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


   Incidents such as the alleged attempt to withhold records in the Vice-Admiral Mark Norman case and another where senior military officers are accused of hiding documents requested under the law are simply mistakes and should not be seen as an indictment of Canadian Forces or Defence department values, those organizations say.
   The ongoing problem, military sources say, is that there appears to be no consequences to breaking the Access to Information law at the DND and in the Canadian Forces. They pointed out that instead of complaining to the Information Commissioner and military police about the allegations, the military officer who testified at the Norman court hearing in December took his concerns directly to the vice-admiral’s lawyers.
  The statement comes as Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance and former deputy defence minister John Forster are in an Ottawa court to answer questions from Norman’s lawyers about how the Canadian Forces and Department of National Defence handle information requested under the Access to Information law. Those proceedings start Tuesday.


   There is a good recipe for creating public outrage — tell citizens you’re going to introduce an elaborate new social program, bankroll the proposition with deficit spending, and then punt the inevitable tax hikes down the line into the hands of a successive government.
  This is exactly what happened with the previous Liberal government’s changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Just before an election, in a last-ditch attempt to buy the votes of young Ontarians with their own money, the Liberals made elaborate changes to OSAP that set the program on an unsustainable track. Besides squandering any semblance of sustainability in OSAP’s outlook, the government raised student expectations to dizzying heights, promising a steady flow of fat handouts to anyone who applied to post-secondary education.
  Unsurprisingly, the inevitable happened in 2018 when Ontario’s auditor-general published a scathing report, highlighting that the Liberals’ OSAP tinkering would cost a staggering 50 per cent more than the government promised and that Ontario taxpayers would be on the hook for over $2 billion a year by 2020 in order to administer the program.


  The mayor of a small town in Manitoba has apologized for telling a yellow vest protest that he’d like to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau duct-taped to the front of a pipeline pig.
   On Jan. 5, in advance of a truck convoy, one of many that have popped up around the country in the past couple months, Mayor Murray Wright of Virden spoke from the back of a flatbed to the assembled crowd, the Virden Empire-Advance reported.
  “I know what I’d like to do with Mr. Trudeau but I’d be in jail if I did that,” said Wright. “I’m sure that the first pig we run through the pipeline when we get it built out west that he’s duct-taped to the front of it with that pig behind his ass when it goes.”
  Sounds like the lyrics for a country song....


Close to 90 percent of American voters say they oppose plans to grant amnesty to illegal aliens in exchange for securing a fifth of border wall funds.

Despite being touted as a bipartisan effort, American voters — by an overwhelming majority — are revolting against plans to give amnesty to illegal aliens enrolled and eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in exchange for about $5.7 billion in funds to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border


   Readers, listeners and viewers used to be the media’s customer base. The man on the street who paid fifty cents for the paper was the audience all those thousands of reporters were serving. Now the media serves a dizzying assortment of lefty special interests, spinning their stories and doing their PR.
   And then the media acts outraged when the public won’t pay it or share its stories on social media.
  The Newseum white elephant at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue isn’t just narcissistic idolatry, it celebrates an idea of journalism that doesn’t exist. Journalism now is a bunch of millennial social justice activists playing dress-up. They’re not a profession or an industry. They don’t report. They don’t know anything. And they don’t serve the public. It’s not our fault that the people they really work for, won’t pay them.


   The U.S. Justice Department unveiled charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei, two of its affiliates, and its chief financial officer Monday.
   A 13-count indictment was unsealed Monday in New York. The charges include bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
  A separate criminal case filed in Washington state charges Huawei with stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile.

Monday, January 28, 2019


  Chinese investment in Canada nearly halved in 2018, as Beijing’s restrictions on capital outflows combined with rising Western scrutiny of its state-owned firms and heightened diplomatic tensions to put a damper on its global dealmaking ambitions.
 At 47 per cent, the drop in investment in Canadian firms was slightly deeper than the global decline, which came in at 40 per cent. Total investment fell to $4.43 billion from $8.45 billion in 2017.
The slump — evident in nearly all the sectors that traditionally attract interest from Chinese firms — is partially the result of capital controls imposed by Beijing in 2016 and 2017. China is attempting to stabilize its currency — down 10 per cent at its weakest point last year — by preventing money from fleeing the country via overseas investments.
  But a host of other factors are also likely at play, Houlden said, including Chinese investor caution due to poorly performing Canadian energy investments and an overall chill cast by a year of fraught relations between Ottawa and Beijing.


   China has long strived to influence and monitor Chinese-Canadians, Chinese citizens who study here and Canadian society as a whole — and done the same in many other countries. In recent years, however, that project appears to have surged in importance.
   Since rising to prominence in 2012, the country’s paramount leader, Xi Jinping, has overseen what one leading academic expert calls a “massive expansion” in China’s use of soft power overseas, much of it under the auspices of the United Front Work Department, a shadowy offshoot of the Chinese communist party.
“United Front work has taken on a level of significance not seen since the years before 1949,” Anne-Marie Brady, a political scientist at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, told a U.S. conference last year. “(China) is increasingly able to use its soft-power ‘magic weapons’ to help influence the decision-making of foreign governments and societies.”
  Working partly through officials in foreign missions, its activities include influencing the Chinese diaspora to back China, co-opting foreign political and economic elites, promoting Beijing’s agenda worldwide and forming a China-centred economic bloc, the political science professor says.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


 Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told an interviewer in Davos this week that once the U.S. drops its steel and aluminum tariffs, Canada will too, "30 seconds later."
   Until that day comes, the extra taxation is pretty lucrative for the federal government. Finance Canada says $839 million was collected in the six months leading up to Dec. 31 from retaliatory tariffs on imported American steel, aluminum and other products.
   The new revenue is on track to hit the $1-billion mark by the time Finance Minister Bill Morneau tables his final pre-election budget this spring.
   And this figure doesn't include the 25 per cent surtax now collected on seven categories of steel imports from countries beyond the U.S. (Countries with whom Canada has a free trade agreement in place are mostly exempted, although some categories of Mexican steel were included.)


The head of a federal investment-promotion agency — and former national director of the Liberal Party of Canada — resigned last week from the board of a holding company specializing in cannabis after he received an order from Canada’s ethics czar.

The order was issued against Ian McKay under the Conflict of Interest Act on Jan. 15. Conflict of Interest Commissioner Mario Dion alleges McKay failed to disclose all of his outside activities within 60 days of being named CEO of Invest in Canada.

Dion’s order says McKay’s role as a director with the Nesta Holdings Co., a private equity firm that invests in the cannabis sector, was no longer allowed after the Trudeau government appointed him to lead Invest in Canada in March 2018.


Former veteran NDP MP Svend Robinson, who wants to make a federal political comeback, says it is inappropriate for ex-leader Tom Mulcair to take public swipes at NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, especially when the party is taking a political beating. 
“I have great respect for Tom Mulcair. … I would respectfully suggest to Tom Mulcair that he button it up when it comes to comments about his successor as leader,” said Mr. Robinson, who served in the House from 1979 to 2004, in a recent interview with The Hill Times. “It’s not helpful, and I think it’s inappropriate frankly that, as leader, he should be making comments, issuing commentary on the current leader.”


    Here’s the bottom line. The Black Hebrew Israelite members of the House of Israel who started the confrontation last week in Washington, D.C. are the real preachers of hate worthy of condemnation. They are the ones who spewed racist, sexist, and homophobic vitriol as well as their anti-Catholic insults. Yet the left, which claims to stand up for certain allegedly victimized groups attacked by the House of Israel militants, such as Native Americans, women and gays, have largely given these hate-mongers a pass. They have done so to keep the spotlight on the Covington Catholic High School students as poster boys for the left’s white privilege, toxic masculinity, anti-Trump and anti-Catholic narratives. The left is willing to excuse the House of Israel black supremacists for their hateful rhetoric as supposedly justifiable payback for the horrible "oppression" their distant ancestors were said to have experienced. Once again, we see a vivid demonstration of what I have called the Progressives’ Republic of Virtue.


   On Fox News' "America's Newsroom" Friday, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said the indictment of former Trump adviser Roger Stone is a "typical Mueller indictment," full of "stories" of Russian collusion, but with actual charges being the result of the investigation.
   Stone was arrested during an early morning FBI raid at his house in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and indicted on charges of obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
   "This is typical of Mueller. He has found almost no crimes that occurred before he was appointed special counsel," Dershowitz explained, adding that Mueller was appointed to find Russian collusion and has "virtually failed in that respect in every regard."


  The European Union (EU) has launched infringement proceedings that could lead to sanctions against Austria over a controversial new reform to benefit payments for children living abroad.
  The European Commission began infringement procedures this week following Austria’s new policy, which will see benefits for children abroad adjusted to the cost of living in the country they reside in, Le Figaro reports.
  EU Social Affairs Commissioner Marianne Thyssen announced the infringement procedure at a press conference slamming Austria’s conservative-populist government, saying there were no “second-class children” in the European Union.


  A cultured type from the city told us the rusty-looking tall thingies weren’t rusty-looking tall thingies at all.
  They were sentinels. Ahh …
And the rocks weren’t, like, rocks. They were very special stones.
The rocks … er 5 very special stones were not just set in the rusty-looking tall thingies.
They were floating in the cribs of the sentinels.


   This is an absolute bombshell story. It’s foreign interference in our country, manipulating our elections and trying to destroy a core Canadian industry.
   So, it is now clear that anti-oil sands campaigns in Canada are not grassroots efforts on the part of Canadian Citizens, but are in fact being orchestrated and funded by groups linked to U.S. billionaires and corporate elites seeking to wipe out Canada’s energy industry.
  Vivian Krause deserves immense credit for finding this information, and she is doing an amazing service to Canada and the Canadian people by exposing the efforts to devastate our Canadian Oil Industry.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


 Britain’s Telegraph newspaper has apologized and paid damages to U.S. First Lady Melania Trump after publishing an article it says contains many false statements.
  The Telegraph said it falsely characterized Mrs. Trump’s father’s personality, falsely reported the reasons she left an architecture program, and falsely reported her career as a model was unsuccessful before she met Donald Trump.
   “We accept that Mrs. Trump was a successful professional model in her own right before she met her husband and obtained her own modelling work without his assistance,” the newspaper said, also acknowledging it had incorrectly reported the year when the couple first met.


   John McCallum has resigned as ambassador to China at the request of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the wake of comments he made about a Huawei executive detained in Canada.
   The prime minister did not immediately issue an explanation, but the move came just hours after McCallum was quoted in a Vancouver newspaper as saying it would be “great for Canada” if the United States dropped its extradition request for Meng Wanzhou.
   Trudeau initially came to McCallum’s defense, after the first set of controversial remarks became public but before Friday’s comments. The prime minister said earlier this week that his government’s focus was on getting detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor home safely from China and ensuring their rights are respected — and recalling McCallum wouldn’t achieve that.


   If you’ve ever watched a hockey game, you’ve seen one in action. Doesn’t matter if it’s shinny at the local community centre, a figure skating competition or an NHL playoff game, they’ll have one circling the ice every so often. Its official name is an “ice resurfacer” but with all those un-sexy syllables most just know it as a Zamboni.
   Think of an ice resurfacer as a giant shaver complete with warm aftershave. That’s essentially how it works. First, the ice is pre-washed with cool water called conditioner. This removes contaminants and grit from the ice. Then a massive blade digs down and shaves the top 1.5 millimetres of the ice. The blade itself weighs 25 kilograms, and is sharper than a kitchen knife. Aligning the blade is very important and a delicate task. Shaving the ice produces ice shavings, or “snow”, and this snow is removed from the ice via three screw-augers. Two of the augers spin horizontally at each other to push the ice shavings into the middle of the machine where a third vertical auger carries the snow upwards, dumping it into a large tank. That tank is the top part of the Zamboni that looks like the hood of a car. In the ’50s, one had to shovel out the tank manually, but today the snow tanks dump forward via hydraulic arms at the end of an ice-resurfacing session.


    Lilley:  Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussein accused the Conservatives of having no plan on immigration before turning immediately to reveal their plan to “militarize the border.”
Of course, the Conservatives have no such plan.
    Their call to apply the safe third country agreement across the whole border would simply see a loophole closed in the agreement signed in 2002 between the governments of Jean Chretien and George W. Bush.
  The agreement says neither country will accept refugees from the other since both Canada and U.S. are safe and welcoming destinations for refugees. But if you cross between official border points, the agreement does not apply.
  The Conservative proposal is a sensible way to deal with a problem that the Liberals created but barely want to acknowledge exists.


  A pair of financial institutions, named in a B.C. civil forfeiture suit that alleges a Richmond man laundered money in real estate, would not answer questions about how a man with a lengthy criminal record and no “legitimate” income could obtain mortgages and a home equity line of credit.
   In a civil claim filed on Jan. 4, Stephen Hai Peng Chen, also known as Hoy Pang Chan, is accused of using money obtained from drug trafficking to pay for properties in Vancouver and Richmond.
  The B.C. civil forfeiture office lawsuit lists two transactions that involved TD bank mortgages and and a separate National Bank home equity line of credit, known as a HELOC, used to purchase a Vancouver property.


  At lunch on Thursday, Premier Rachel Notley gave Edmonton’s Chamber of Commerce a taste of the upcoming election campaign. She will focus on three dead Tories, a party that no longer exists and that evil Mr. Kenney.
  Notley intends to praise Peter Lougheed and claim she is his rightful heir. (That’s Dead Tory #1) She hopes to convince Alberta voters that Ralph Klein (Dead Tory #2) was in fact a dastardly destroyer of all things good in this province. Remind people of the wanton entitlement of Jim Prentice’s short-lived tenure (Dead Tory #3) and confuse the now-defunct Progressive Conservatives with the new UCP.
   Oh, yes. And the premier intends to peddle the line that Alberta is recovering from the oil recession and is now in much better shape than she and her party found it three-and-a-half years ago.


   Former longterm and high-ranking legislature employees told the speaker they pointed out financial wrongdoing and were then fired without cause, says the speaker's chief of staff Alan Mullen who is helping to investigate allegations of mismanagement of taxpayers' money.
  Over the last several months, “an alarming number” of former legislature employees have contacted Speaker Darryl Plecas to say they were improperly fired after voicing concerns about “corruption” involving taxpayers’ money, says the Speaker’s chief of staff.
  “They have described corruption, they have also described being terminated for what is alleged to be asking questions,” Alan Mullen said in an exclusive interview with Postmedia this week.
  “They allege and quote being instructed: ‘Don’t ask questions. If you do, you’re gone.’ Questions about financial records, expenses, trips. … (They were) told to delete documents.”

Friday, January 25, 2019


  The RCMP's national security team has arrested and charged an Ontario youth with a terrorism-related offence, the police force said Friday following an investigation in Kingston, Ont.
   Police have laid two charges against the young person, who is accused of knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and counselling another person to "deliver, place, discharge or detonate an explosive or other lethal device ... against a place of public use with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury."
   During a press conference Friday, the RCMP said it received a "credible" tip from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in late December 2018 that there were individuals in Kingston planning a terrorist attack, which led to the police raids at two homes in the area Thursday.


  Rex Murphy:  Certainly the decision to extradite must first go to the courts. But to oblige the court’s decision, should that be negative for Ms. Meng, will not be the province of a judge but that of the justice minister acting with the discretionary powers that are the minister’s in this case. Which is to underline that this is both a legal and a political matter. It is a contest between states. It’s rule of law when in the courts; politics when it leaves.
   And when two Canadian citizens are staring at incarceration in a Chinese jail, and another is facing near-imminent execution, might it not occur to some at the highest levels of government that to hint that the rigorous talk of “rule of law” is not all; that another dimension for resolution is, at least, a candle at the far end of the tunnel?
  Who would be the vehicle for such a thought? Certainly not the prime minister or foreign minister. Perhaps an ambassador. Could he have been encouraged to float that alternative, or even instructed to offer a little creative ambiguity that might thaw the current impasse? Too subtle a theory? Very likely. But we are told so often that diplomacy is all subtlety and vague signals, cryptic smoke signals and hushed whispers. And theatrical walk-backs when needed or convenient.


  The RCMP have arrested two people following raids on two homes in Kingston, Ont., in what officials are calling an anti-terrorism investigation involving multiple police forces.
   The arrests included a minor and involved both Kingston police and the help of the FBI in the U.S.
  The RCMP will hold a news conference Friday in Kingston to update the public on their investigation.


   Canada's ambassador to China now says he regrets making comments earlier this week that suggested Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive detained in Canada on a U.S. extradition request, has a strong case that her arrest was politically motivated.
  "I regret that my comments with respect to the legal proceedings of Ms. Meng have created confusion. I misspoke. These comments do not accurately represent my position on this issue," John McCallum said in a statement.
  "As the government has consistently made clear, there has been no political involvement in this process."


  The frauds in the mainstream media propped up far left Native American activist Nathan Phillips as an ‘Elder’ and ‘Vietnam Vet.’
  The media piled on the Covington Catholic teens for ‘disrespecting’ and ‘mobbing’ the poor Vietnam Vet — how dare these boys be so disrespectful to a man who served in one of America’s nastiest wars!
  Except he didn't.


  The federal government will announce up to $40 million for Finnish telecom giant Nokia on Thursday to conduct research on 5G wireless technology in Canada.
   The funding comes as Ottawa is in the middle of a comprehensive national-security review of the potential involvement of Nokia's Chinese rival, Huawei, in Canada's eventual fifth generation mobile network.
   Huawei, Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson are among the top contenders to help Canada's telecom companies, including BCE and Telus, build the country's 5G mobile networks.


  This week, the city of Victoria, B.C. announced plans to launch a class action lawsuit against the oil and gas sector. The idea is to tally up the various damages done to the city by climate change and send the bill to the likes of Suncor or CNRL.
   It’s the latest salvo of a movement that seeks to singularly blame the oil industry for climate change while conveniently ignoring the millions of daily consumer choices, often made by activists themselves, that contribute to Canada’s fossil fuel addiction.
   Below, a quick primer on how some of Canada’s most anti-oil, anti-pipeline corners seem to have no problem burning oceans of oil when it’s for stuff they like.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


   Blatchford:  Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! He paid for his own suit out of his own pocket! What a splendid fellow he is.
  Such are the standards by which the modern man is judged that the report of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia — Darryl Plecas, the man who paid for his suit — has left politicians and citizens reeling.
   It is a most curious report the Speaker has produced.
   On the one hand, it appears to show an astonishing culture of greed and entitlement in the offices of the Clerk of the House (Craig James) and the Sergeant-at-Arms (Gary Lenz) as they frolicked about the globe on dubious “business” trips, feathered their nests at home with the expensing of personal purchases, and enjoyed inappropriate cash payouts in lieu of vacation — not to mention a total failure of systemic oversight.


Facing a lawsuit after she spread defamatory falsehoods on Twitter, Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday deleted a tweet without explanation or apology.
In her tweet, Omar had actually defended the racist, homophobic Black Hebrew Israelites who taunted the Covington Catholic High School students in Washington, D.C., last Friday for two full hours.


Multiple media outlets are having to make fresh corrections to stories featuring Native American leftist activist Nathan Phillips, after new information revealed that he is not a Vietnam vet as originally reported.
Phillips is the Native American elder who led a group of activists from the American Indian Movement to confront a group of teenagers from Covington Catholic High School in Washington, D.C., on Friday. The students were in D.C. for the March for Life, and the ensuing controversy has gripped the nation.


   Library and Archives Canada has procured a rare book, once owned by Adolf Hitler, that compiles population statistics on Canadian and American Jewish communities.
   Those who procured it say the information within the book would have likely been the "building blocks" for Hitler to carry out his "Final Solution" plan for eradication of all Jewish people in North America had the Nazis won the Second World War.
   The book was compiled in 1944 and contains the Hitler bookplate meaning it was part of his personal library. It is 137 pages long and was written in German, but many of the names of cities are in English. It details how many Jewish people were living in both major and smaller cities, the language they spoke, their ethnic backgrounds, and key Jewish organizations in these communities.


   Canada’s ambassador to China caused a furor Wednesday for speculating on how a Chinese executive detained in Canada could avoid extradition to the United States.

John McCallum, a former immigration minister, opined in a meeting with Chinese-Canadian journalists on Tuesday in a Toronto suburb that Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou has a good defence.

His description of the “strong arguments” Meng’s lawyers could make represent a marked departure from the Canadian official position to allow the case to proceed without political interference and caused some to question whether he should remain as ambassador.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


  The U.S. government’s hunch that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou had passports beyond the seven it listed to oppose her release on bail appears to be true.
  What it actually means is unclear, as no one would say whether she handed over the special Chinese passport over, let alone whether it could be used to leave the country.
  The Hong Kong Companies Registry has confirmed to StarMetro that Meng has a special public affairs passport issued by the Chinese government. It was not included in a December court submission by U.S. federal attorney Richard Donoghue, who warned that it was “entirely possible” she had more than the seven passports she had previously used to travel to the U.S.


  Defense department officials tried to blame a clerk for failing to challenge the military’s top legal officials who had claimed a report requested under the Access to Information law didn’t exist even though it did.
   The department’s decision to assign blame to the unidentified clerk came even though Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Jon Vance and police investigators were in possession of documents clearly showing senior Judge Advocate General staff discussed withholding the records and acknowledging what was being done was illegal. Postmedia revealed last week the July 2017 attempt to stymie the request made under the Access to Information law for the document, a report highlighting problems with the court martial system.
   Judge Advocate General Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez, who oversees the military justice system and is the top legal advisor to the Canadian Forces, endorsed a recommendation by one of her staff to tell the Department of National Defense’s access to information officials the documents didn’t exist, according to the briefing document for Vance’s office. The JAG organization sent a “nil” response to the DND Access branch, known by its acronym as DAIP, in response to two requests for the draft report of the court martial system review.


   At a technical briefing in advance of today’s release of Canada’s updated food guide, Dr. Hasan Hutchinson was asked why anything dairy appeared to be largely absent from the composite plate and snapshots of “healthy eating.”
   “Certainly in the picture of the composite plate you’ve got, ah, yogurt — that’s right there in the protein group,” Hutchinson, director general of Health Canada’s office of nutrition policy and promotion, told reporters. And, while it may be hard to see, there is milk in a bowl of porridge and berries.
   As expected, “milk and alternatives” — along with “meat and alternatives” — has been scrubbed as a standalone food group in the latest iteration of Canada’s iconic food guide.


    The B.C. legislature’s suspended clerk and sergeant-at-arms are being accused of hundreds of thousands of dollars in “flagrant overspending” in a report produced Monday by Speaker Darryl Plecas. Clerk Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz claimed inappropriate expenses, went on lavish foreign trips during which little work was done, and handed out questionable retirement and pay benefits, according to the report. Here are five of the wildest expenses claimed in the 76-page report.
    The report states that several hundred thousands of dollars were paid out to James and Lenz in allegedly unused and rolled-over vacation days. The department has policies against rolling over more than five days per year and using fewer than 15 vacation days per year. In 2015, James used just six of his allotted 35 vacation days. He was paid out for 29 days. In 2018, Lenz was paid out 49 days, which included rolled-over days, and was allotted 35. The report estimates the payouts have amounted to 20 per cent of their salaries in some years.
  They bought “uniforms” (read: suits and shirts) at a shop in London called Ede & Ravenscroft on Aug. 3. James bought a charcoal suit, bookmarks and two other items totalling $1,327.29. “Black court suit” is handwritten on the receipt. Lenz purchased an onyx and silver stud set, a mother-of-pearl stud set, mother-of-pearl cufflinks, and a Marcella wing shirt at a total cost of $666.11. James made reimbursement claims for several purchases at a gift shop which the report says are hard to justify as business expenses. They include: diaries, notebooks, chocolate bars, Royal Wedding memorabilia, books, card games and cufflinks. The items totalled more than $13,000 over almost 10 days.


  CBC reporter apologizes:
 The viral video of the standoff between Covington Catholic High School students and Indigenous Americans ought to be one hell of a wake-up call.
   It should rattle every journalist. Many of the people who are supposed to be fact-finders — skeptical investigators — accepted the narrative that a group of teen boys in MAGA hats catalyzed a confrontation with Indigenous Americans outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Friday, based on a two-minute-long video clip.
  I shared the clip, uncritically, on my own Twitter feed. We were wrong to jump the gun. I was wrong. We goofed, badly.
And then, she blows it:
  The optics of seemingly privileged white boys facing off with an Indigenous elder made it easier to classify the event as another example of the kind of straightforward racism and bigotry some have come to expect from those wearing MAGA hats.


  Just as disturbing is that fact the judge believed there was a need to protect the witness from reprisals from federal officials and those at National Defense headquarters. To do that, the judge ordered a publication ban so the name of the military witness – for now anyways – would not be revealed publicly.
  This is a military member who knew what the right thing to do was and came forward on his own. He didn’t trust the Canadian Forces system to protect him. He didn’t trust the senior military and defence leadership, which had already determined that Norman was guilty of wrongdoing, even though no internal investigation into the vice admiral’s actions were conducted.
  The witness didn’t go to the National Investigation Service, the internal DND police force that often finds it challenging to gather evidence that might implicate senior leaders. He didn’t go to the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, a troubled organization which is considered a joke among whistleblowers. And he didn’t go to the Information Commissioner of Canada, the organization that oversees the Access to Information law but on that is gaining an increasing reputation among those who use the process as being too cozy with the senior bureaucracy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


  Two senior B.C. Legislature officials who were suspended two months ago are being investigated for allegedly fraudulent and flagrant overspending, "lavish" trips overseas, inappropriate expense claims, cash payouts and misappropriating liquor from the legislature, according to Speaker of the House Darryl Plecas.
  Plecas' 76-page report was released Monday after it was reviewed by members of the legislature's management committee.
  One part of the report describes the purchase of a wood splitter for $3,200, to prepare for a crisis scenario in which a tree fell on the legislature grounds. However the wood splitter was delivered to James's home, where Lenz and James used it to split firewood, the report says.
  The report also alleges that James instructed three Legislative employees to load alcohol leftover from an event into his truck, and details that $5,000 dollars worth of digital subscriptions to magazines like Arizona Highways and Electric Bike Action were expensed.


  Canada's tax agency has quietly tested a new way for Canadians to log in to their online accounts that should make it easier for Canadians to access government services while keeping would-be crooks out.
  The new system could also be pushed into the private sector as the government and banks look to reduce the chances of identity fraud.
  The online security company SecureKey and the CRA spent five months last year testing a service called Verified.Me that will allow government agencies and banks to share information securely and allow them to verify your identity quickly when you try to log in to their sites.
  Alexandre Igolkine said the agency is still working with the federal Treasury Board, which oversees the rules around government services, to see if Verified.Me can be used to ease logins and share information among governments and institutions for other government services, such as employment insurance.


  Chinese telecom giant Huawei isn't the only company that can build Canada's next-generation wireless networks, the Trudeau government said Monday as China muted its threat to retaliate if Canada bans the company.
  Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains offered a sharp retort to China's ambassador to Canada, who warned last week of repercussions if the federal government bars Huawei from supplying equipment for faster, more resilient communications systems than cellphone users have now.
  When asked about the government's ongoing national-security review of Huawei's potential involvement, Goodale said there are other suppliers besides Huawei that can set up Canada's 5G networks.


   Manitoba Premier Pallister says Quebec Premier Legault thinks he is a king-maker, but Canada doesn't need kings.
   He noted Quebec's opposition to the Energy East pipeline and its restrictions on immigration and says he doesn't know why those positions should be rewarded by Ottawa.
   "Quebec has taken approaches that run counter to the benefits of the country on several issues," Pallister said at the legislature.
  "For Quebec to be appeased by a federal political party of whatever stripe would be fundamentally wrong and against the best interests of our country as a whole, and so I have to speak against this approach and I have to speak against federal politicians who would actually bow down to that kind of politics."


Now that the Alpha Dog has bared his teeth to the Red Dragon, others are finding the courage to demand fairness in their China trade.  There is no other way to look at the situation but to conclude that China's free ride is rapidly ending.  This will force Chinese President Xi Jinping and the rest of his communist leadership to focus more on how to manage their country's astronomical debt, capital outflow, poverty, and upside-down demographic than trying to take America's position in the world.


   Mark Steyn:   I mentioned the strange need of the right to virtue-signal to their detractors - as in the stampede of Congressional Republicans to distance themselves from their colleague Steve King over an infelicitous interview with The New York Times. Democrats never do this; Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam declare that the Jews are pushing defective marijuana on black men in order to turn them gay - which would appear to be a prima facie slur on at least four Democrat constituencies: blacks, gays, Jews and potheads. Yet Clinton, Obama et al speak not a word against Calypso Louie.
   There was another conservative virtue-signaling stampede over the weekend. A short video from the Lincoln Memorial went "viral" (notwithstanding its ubiquity, I'm keeping the word in scare-quotes because, like any other virus, this one should be contained): it purported to show a group of Catholic schoolboys in MAGA hats harassing an elderly Native American drummer. The lads were instantly identified as students from Covington Catholic High School, which I'd never heard of but is clearly the kind of tony white-privilege joint where they book Brett Kavanaugh to spike the punch at the gang-rape prom. So naturally social media instantly convicted them and moved on to the usual doxing and death threats. The school itself leapt to dissociate itself from its own pupils and threatened to expel them.


  Premier Doug Ford ratcheted up his rhetoric on Ottawa’s climate change plan Monday, warning that the federal government’s carbon tax will plunge the country into recession.
  During a speech at the Economic Club of Canada, the Ontario premier said there are warning already signs of difficult economic times ahead and a carbon tax will kill jobs and hurt productivity.
   “I’m here today to ring the warning bell that the risk of a carbon tax recession is very, very real,” he said.

Monday, January 21, 2019


Full-time residents of the town are baffled by why anyone traveling to Davos would choose to wear leather shoes, leaving them prone to slip and fall on the ice, instead of snow boots.
Here are some more details about how these titans of industry with hearts oh so bleeding for the environment and the carbon content of earth's atmosphere - as long as their own carbon footprint is ignored of course - travel


  In an interview, a former senior official with CSIS, said that while he thinks the government is handling the detentions of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — who have been held by the Chinese government since last month — the best it can, Canada’s failure to ban Huawei when its allies did has only made those cases harder to resolve.
   While Trudeau has repeatedly made closer ties with China a focus of his foreign policy, he has received criticism for doing so amid escalating crackdowns on human rights, dissidents, media and minorities by the authoritarian regime, as well as its aggression against regional neighbours.
 Since the arrest of Meng, however, those priorities have come under unprecedented scrutiny and raised questions about whether the government will yield to threats stemming from the arrest and let Huawei bid on building the country’s 5G telecommunications infrastructure.


  The left has been working itself up into paroxysms of self-righteousness over the story about a bunch of Catholic kids in MAGA hats allegedly mocking a Native American at a rally in Washington, DC.
  But the story just isn’t true. It’s a leftist media fabrication which already has had terrible repercussions for the boys involved — who are now being threatened with expulsion by their school.


 Dozens of Zimbabweans have been shot. Others say they have been hunted down in their homes at night, with soldiers and masked people in plainclothes dragging them away, severely beating them and leaving them for dead.
  Such accounts have quickly undermined the faith of many Zimbabweans in the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was briefly cheered when he took over after the ouster of longtime, repressive leader Robert Mugabe in late 2017. Since then, the country’s already staggering economy has weakened even more.
  Growing frustration over rising inflation, a severe currency crisis and fuel lines that stretch for miles finally snapped after Mnangagwa announced a week ago that fuel prices would more than double, making gasoline in Zimbabwe the most expensive in the world.


  Documents that say money laundering in British Columbia now reaches into the billions of dollars are startling to the province’s attorney general who says the figures have finally drawn the attention of the federal government.
   David Eby said he’s shocked and frustrated because the higher dollar estimates appear to have been known by the federal government and the RCMP, but weren’t provided to the B.C. government.
   “It is estimated that a clandestine banking operation laundered over $1 billion (Canadian) per year through an underground banking network, involving legal and illegal casinos, money value transfer services and asset procurement,” stated the report. “One portion of the money laundering network’s illegal activities was the use of drug money, illegal gambling money and money derived from extortion to supply cash to Chinese gamblers in Canada.”


  The Vatican received information in 2015 and 2017 that an Argentine bishop close to Pope Francis had taken naked selfies, exhibited “obscene” behavior and had been accused of misconduct with seminarians, his former vicar general told The Associated Press, undermining Vatican claims that allegations of sexual abuse were only made a few months ago.
    Francis accepted Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta’s resignation in August 2017, after priests in the remote northern Argentine diocese of Oran complained about his authoritarian rule and a former vicar, seminary rector and another prelate provided reports to the Vatican alleging abuses of power, inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment of adult seminarians, said the former vicar, the Rev. Juan Jose Manzano.
  The scandal over Zanchetta, 54, is the latest to implicate Francis as he and the Catholic hierarchy as a whole face an unprecedented crisis of confidence over their mishandling of cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors and misconduct with adults. Francis has summoned church leaders to a summit next month to chart the course forward for the universal church, but his own actions in individual cases are increasingly in the spotlight.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


   The Morley farm at Stittsville, Ontario, owned by Joni Sabourin, has had issues with fire. Teenagers from the neighbouring suburbs nearly burnt a tree down on her back lot and unauthorized bonfires aren’t uncommon.
   But these days, she’s more worried about water. A substantial piece of her 185-acre farm, just west of urban Ottawa, that she rents to an area farmer, is about to be zoned as a provincially significant wetland. Water has crept onto her property, killing parts of her hayfields and some of the trees.
  Sabourin is concerned that if the designation goes through, the land covered by the designation and the 120-metre buffer zones surrounding it will lose much of its value.


To understand what's going on in the U.K. after the defeat of Theresa May in the Commons, one needs some background not only on what motivated the Brits to vote to leave the European Union, but more importantly what it is about the E.U. that they particularly dislike.
The first part of it is easy.  The English, and it was they who provided the bulk of the "leave" votes, were simply tired of being told what to do by a European Commission that had not been elected by them or anybody else, for that matter.  It was a simple matter of sovereignty, especially after the European Commission turned out to be nothing more than a proxy for a new German diktat after Merkel, without consulting anyone, opened the borders of the E.U. to two million Muslim migrants in 2015.
This may have been the proximate cause of the Brexit outcome, but the deeper reasons involve long held fundamental grievances that had been simmering over many years and finally boiled over.  That had to do with the direction in which the E.U. is taking Europe.  To put it simply, that direction is an unmistakably left-wing course aiming at the creation of a new union of European nations that lack individual sovereignty and are told what to do by their betters – a kind of democratic Soviet Union, which history tells us is not possible.


   Saturday was National Popcorn Day, but I’ve been nibbling on popcorn all week as Nancy Pelosi learned a lesson about presidential power and the media was gut checked by the special prosecutor. I haven’t had this much fun since election night 2016.
   While she might have thought otherwise, the power of the commander-in-chief is far greater than that of the speaker of the House, and the humiliating way this was brought home to the congressional equivalent of Maerose Prizzi (h/t Michael Walsh) was something. She anticipated that she and her posse of cronies and their families (reports of a ninety-some entourage in all) would hop a military plane for a free trip to Brussels, Afghanistan, and Egypt, doubtless with fawning media coverage, leaving the president to sit alone in the White House hoping fruitlessly they’d toddle in there to negotiate an end to the shutdown. Reports vary as to whether she was on the tarmac or on her way there when the president cancelled the flight as incompatible during a shutdown when federal workers were not being paid and illegal aliens were continuing to invade.


Why Climate Change Would Have Alarmed Dr. Martin Luther King

As Dr. Martin Luther King’s National Day of Service approaches, I had an interesting thought as a scientist, writer, and human being. Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity, and its impacts stretch far beyond science. Climate change is often discussed from the lens of agriculture, energy, public health, national security, or weather disasters. However, the most recent U.S. National Climate Assessment report affirms previous studies that climate change disproportionately impacts marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged populations of all races. The question that came to mind is “would Dr. King have been concerned about climate change?”

I think the answer is resoundingly “yes.” There are clues in his writing and speeches that suggest that would he have been very concerned. A common misperception about Dr. King is that he fought for a specific group of people. Dr. King, like most great humanitarians, fought for anyone facing injustice. He likely would have been an activist for the planet once he saw who was most vulnerable (more on that shortly).


   This spring will be the 10th anniversary of Horwath becoming NDP leader. The Hamilton MPP has led them into three general elections.
  The question for provincial lefties now is do they want her to lead them into a fourth? The answer, surely, is no.
   The June election was Horwath’s to lose. True to form, she fumbled it — again. She went into the election with strong polling numbers. At one point, she was in a statistical dead heat with Doug Ford’s Tories.


  A former Liberal candidate who came within a five percentage point-margin of unseating Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt in the 2015 election is accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of manipulating a nomination contest to make way for their preferred candidate, Olympic gold medalist Adam van Koeverden, for the 2019 election.
   In a press release, businessman Azim Rizvee said he was “forced” by the party to withdraw from the nomination for Milton, Ont., after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) personally told him and his wife that Mr. van Koeverden, an Olympic gold medalist in sprint kayaking, is his preferred candidate.
   “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, personally told me and my wife very aggressively that Adam van Koeverden is his preferred candidate for the Milton riding: ‘I am little worried for you guys but I will keep pushing Adam van Koeverden, He is a good man and we need him in Ottawa,'” Mr. Rizvee wrote in the press release. “We felt threatened, harassed and bullied.”

Saturday, January 19, 2019


  Alberta’s election commissioner is considering a $5,500 fine against Rebel Media for violating rules set out for third-party advertisers, a move Rebel founder Ezra Levant describes as “thuggish behaviour.”
  Election commissioner Lorne Gibson also recently fined the Canadian Taxpayers Federation $6,000 for failing to apply for registration as a third-party advertiser. The details of that investigation haven’t been released beyond a line item as an administrative penalty on the commissioner’s website.
  Levant, who tweeted about the commissioner’s decision Friday, slammed the province for what he characterized as censorship. The Rebel posted the commissioner’s letter and its lawyer’s response online.


   The federal government is likely to own the Trans Mountain pipeline until the political risks facing the project are safely past — certainly until after the coming election, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told CBC News.
  Meanwhile, Indigenous groups in Canada say they are serious about buying the pipeline and they want Ottawa to start getting serious about it too.
  "We still need some love from the minister of finance, but I'm certain we'll get it through co-operation and communication," said Chief Mike LeBourdais in an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House.


  She waited, knocked a couple of times, then opened the door, where she saw another nurse sitting on the toilet with an ampoule of the painkiller Hydromorphone sideways in her mouth, as if she had just injected herself.
  This was among the earliest pieces of proof that the nurse, identified in legal records only as DS, had for two years been stealing opioids for her own use and falsifying medical records in order to conceal the thefts.
  Now, in a decision that has ignited debate over whether addiction truly is a medical disease, a labour arbitrator has ordered the Regional Municipality of Waterloo to give DS her job back, and to compensate her financially for her unfair dismissal, including general damages for “injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.”


   Blatchford: It never occurred to me that traditional masculinity could be harmful, as the American Psychological Association recently proclaimed, or toxic, as movements such as #MeToo and ads like the controversial Gillette commercial released this week suggest.
   The commercial shows two sorts of boys and men — those behaving badly (by bullying, resorting to physical violence and sexist behaviour) and those behaving well (by intervening, by being gentle, by calling out other men).
   Well, my late father was of course many things, but what he was mostly was a preposterously gentle man.
  He was truly of his generation, the so-called “Greatest Generation,” in that he subsumed his personal needs pretty much his whole life for those of family, friends, country. He’d disagree with that description, of course, because it never felt like sacrifice to him and he had tremendous capacity for joy.


   Justin Trudeau’s government is still conducting its security review of 5G telecommunications systems and is months away from a decision on whether to restrict Huawei Technologies Co., people familiar with the plans say.
   Canadian security agencies continue to study the issue, including what potential security vulnerabilities exist, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly. That review could lead to a particular company, such as Huawei, being restricted or banned.
   The people are divided on how soon a decision will come. One said it’s expected before Trudeau seeks a second mandate in October’s election, while another said they expected it by the end of March. Another ruled out anything in the coming weeks, while several stressed that the timing remains fluid.


  Canadians may never know the details of an elaborate scheme orchestrated by engineering giant SNC Lavalin to funnel more than $117,000 to two federal political parties after one of the key players quietly pleaded guilty a few weeks ago.
  Normand Morin, the 76-year-old former vice-president of the company, took advantage of a routine court appearance in late November to plead guilty to two of five charges of contravening Canada's election financing rules. The prosecution dropped the remaining three charges.
  Morin was given 60 days to pay $2,000 in fines.
   SNC Lavalin has been involved in corruption for many years, around the world.


  Those giant piles of ice shavings outside local skating rinks may seem inviting on a warm, snow-barren day — but, in fact, they're full of nasty human excretions.
  The leftover snow from Zambonis is a biohazard that may contain, among other things, human blood, saliva, mucus, bile, sweat, vomit and urine, says the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association.
  The non-profit network of recreation centres is asking its members across the province to put up fencing and warning signs near the piles, which folks have a tendancy to use for decorating, playing, or even cooling food.


  Two men in West Africa are accused of posing as a woman online to blackmail former Conservative MP Tony Clement with sexually explicit photos he sent them.
  Clement, who is married with three children, admitted in November to sending explicit images and video to someone he believed was a consenting woman but turned out to be what he called a "foreign actor."
  Government officials in the Ivory Coast allege that the two men created fake profiles on Instagram and LinkedIn pretending to be a white woman named “Brianna Dounia.” They allegedly used the accounts to correspond with Clement and a French citizen.
  Once in possession of the explicit images, the suspects allegedly demanded $50,000 Euros -- equivalent to $75,000 -- and threatened to release the content if Clement didn’t pay up


Rex Murphy:  Environmentalist opposition and obstruction is what created the political and public atmosphere that enabled or gave plausible justification for the blizzard of regulations, endless hearings, court challenges and judgments that led to the cancellation or abandonment of pipeline projects and contributed to Fort McMurray’s precarious state after both the fire and the price decline. All of these elements combined to rob Alberta and Canada of billions of dollars of needed revenue and tens of thousands of jobs, incited dangerous tensions in the Confederation, and stimulated foreign donations to professional anti-oil activists in their campaign to kill the oilsands and impede and obstruct any element of energy development.


  Canadian drug trafficker Stephen Tello, known as “Catboy,” came within a whisker of being murdered on the orders of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who suspected the former real estate agent was stealing from him.
  To do the hit, Guzman’s team singled out the Hells Angels.
  That’s according to stunning court testimony this week from Hildebrando Alexander Cifuentes-Villa, or “Alex,” who took the stand against his old boss El Chapo and outlined extensive links between Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel, Colombia’s Cifuentes-Villa crime family, and major Canadian cities.

Friday, January 18, 2019


  Canada's most populous province has launched a sweeping review of a law protecting endangered species in order to find "efficiencies for businesses."
   Ontario Premier Doug Ford's government announced the review of the provincial Endangered Species Act through a new discussion paper released Friday afternoon by the provincial Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
  Environment Minister Rod Phillips said in a statement that this would improve the "effectiveness" of environmental protections and find a "balanced approach" to boost the environment and the economy.