Saturday, February 24, 2007
In practical terms, what this means for the men currently detained or under house arrest is simply an extension of their lengthy and very expensive fight to remain in Canada. More taxpayer dollars, paying more lawyers to write another law, that more taxpayer funded lawyers will get to challenge.... and so on. It will likely be 10, or even 15 years before these cases are resolved.
With this in mind, another case caught my eye this morning. Buried in the inside pages of the Ottawa Citizen is a story about a British man who recently pled guilty to a series of mischief charges, and who is likely to be deported very shortly. The original article is behind a subscriber wall.
Clement Jones, 39, of Wellington, Ont., will be deported March 23 after pleading guilty to three counts of mischief following a rampage last summer in which he smashed a barbecue, burned clothes and bedding, destroyed jewelry, and cut phone and electric cords in the house he shared with his wife and in-laws.
The deportation order caps a six-month ordeal that friends and supporters of Mr. Jones are calling a "travesty of justice with very serious consequences," including three weeks in jail with no access to a lawyer, since as a foreign national he was ineligible for legal aid and was unable to access his financial assets from jail.
One factor [in the deportation decision] is that Mr. Jones' visa has expired -- a fact he explains by pointing out that the police confiscated his passport during his six-month legal troubles, preventing him from renewing the visa. His passport was returned to him only this week, he said.
Both Mr. Jones and Ms. Boulay acknowledge their marriage was struggling in the months leading up to the altercation. The trigger point, Mr. Jones said, came last August, when his mother-in-law told him that Ms. Boulay had had an affair with an 18-year-old seven months earlier, while Mr. Jones was in England for his father's funeral.
So Mr. Jones is to be deported a little over six months after the original incident, having been imprisoned without access to a lawyer and denied the opportunity to apply for a visa renewal or extension. His crime is real, although finding out that your wife had been busy with an eighteen year old might anger even the most mild-mannered of us. Let's note he hurt no-one and simply destroyed marital property. On the other hand, Harkat and the others will get endless taxpayer dollars to fight to remain in Canada, for 10... 15... 20 ... who knows how many years. And they stand accused of something a little more serious than planning to destroy a barbeque.
Amnesty International and the Barbara Jackmans of the world aren't about to be there for Mr. Jones. Is this because he's truly less worthy to remain in Canada than Mohammed Harkat? Sadly no. The liberal elites can weave and twist and preach tolerance and equality, but they know and we know that Mr. Jones will be quietly and efficiently deported because he's not a refugee claimaint, he's middle-class and he's white.
One thing only briefly touched on was the idea of an independent Hershey Canada - perhaps a management buyout of the plant... I wonder if anyone's working on this idea.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Let's make sure Hershey understands that consumers won't necessarily be so keen to kiss the Mexican candy.
h/t to My Puny Brain
Support your town and community, and buy some chocolate.
Hershey today confirmed that the Smiths Falls factory will close, with a phased shutdown beginning later this year and some operations continuing into 2008. The company has pledged to work with government to help the workers who will lose their jobs.
While this may seem to pre-empt the need for the planned rally at Hershey this Saturday, it's still worthwhile to show up, to show the workers your support and to demonstrate to Hershey that we don't particularly want to buy Mexican chocolate.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I see nothing at all wrong with Mr. Harper's question. Facts are, there is someone the RCMP wants to interview in relation to Canada's largest ever crime. That someone is a family member of a Liberal MP who is extremely close to the new Liberal leader. That new Liberal leader has chosen to block legal provisions that would allow the RCMP to force the individual to provide information.
It's possible that Dion is opposing these measures on principle - there's always a first time - but it's certainly suspicious and the question of what influence Bains' family connection had on the decision to oppose the measures is perfectly legitimate.
Methinks the Liberal party protests too much - the orchestrated and rehearsed reaction suggests they knew they had a problem here and they wanted to shout Harper down in a bid to hide it.
The age-old mystery of what lies behind the Mona Lisa's smile has fascinated and eluded art enthusiasts for centuries. With this space-age cleaning, however, one critic has been able to determine the true reason for the Mona Lisa's smug looking smile. Hitherto invisible, The Doggerel Party can now reveal that not only was the Mona Lisa cuddling her favorite corgi Leo as she posed, but she was also a founding member of this very Party.
Readers could probably guess, but just to be clear: Angry Kid asks, "Are you for my future, or against it?" We've considered carefully and the verdict is: We're definitely not in favour of Angry Kid's future. I think it's safe to say that the corgis, while normally docile animals, would like to apply a certain amount of toothily extreme prejudice to Angry Kid's future.
Get used to it, Ontario, because if you persist in voting Liberal there's a lot more days like today in your future.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Apparently, erstwhile Liberal leadership candidate and bad-boy fiddler Ashley MacIsaac recently tied the knot with his betrothed. Now, I know we live in a multi-cultural society where minority rights are respected, where everyone is accepted regardless of race, colour, creed, orientation, and so forth. I know all this, and really, I love Canada. I do.
But I do think things are going too far, when a serious and respected newspaper like the Ottawa Citizen plasters a giant picture across the middle of page 3, ready to ambush us unsuspecting readers in the midst of our coffee and cornflakes. Have they no shame? What makes the editor think it's OK to inflict unnecessary Ashley MacIsaac on us?
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I'm not sure that much can be done to influence the company in the decision; their announcement of a new plant in Mexico at the same time as disclosing the potential closure in Smiths Falls suggests that they've had a plan in place for some time. The question is therefore what can be done to maintain the local economy when Hershey leaves. On the face of it, Smiths Falls offers an attractive proposition for a medium sized manufacturing operation. Well served by road and rail links, with plenty of the right kind of real-estate and a local population of skilled factory workers. The problem is not so much about Smiths Falls, as it is about manufacturing industry in Canada and in Ontario.
The McGuinty Liberals have presided over a severe decline in manufacturing in Ontario, and Hershey is but one, minor symptom. Without a change in attitude from provincial government, our municipalities will be hamstrung in looking for a replacement for Hershey. Add in the potential for a federal Liberal government pursuing enviro-lunacy and the future for manufacturing operations in this part of the world looks bleak indeed.
The Ottawa Citizen quoted the example of Cornwall, Ont. as a town that re-invented itself; however much of Cornwall's replacement employment has come in the electronics business, and it grew at the right time - during the technology boom, and subsequently with companies like Nortel divesting their manufacturing operations. There's no sign that a repeat of such a massive expansion is coming any time soon. Smiths Falls will likely have to look to smaller companies and look at warehousing and distribution operations as a more likely bet.
On the other hand, anyone with the financial backing to open a discount chocolate store in the area in the next few months might stand to make a killing....
All of which makes me think back to the 1987 general election in the UK - Margaret Thatcher's government was doing fairly well, but had been long enough in office that support wasn't necessarily all that solid. There definitely was potential for Labour to pull off victory in that campaign. However, the Labour party had adopted a highly fashionable and buzz-driven policy of unilateral nuclear disarmanent, which formed a major plank of their election platform.
The Conservative party realised that this was a policy that was popular on a surface, nice-to-have kind of level, but was disastrous for Britain's national interest when given even a cursory second glance. With a series of ads highlighting the true implications of Labour's defence policy, the Tories easily won the 1987 election.
Kyoto, to me, has all the hallmarks of this same scenario all over again. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in Liberal strategy meetings right now, because I bet there's a fair bit of tension and recrimination going on. Dion's out on a green limb that may not be able to sustain its own weight for too much longer.
On applying to re-join the bank, he was told that hiring procedures have changed and he must now complete an online personality test as a pre-requisite. He apparently failed this test. He does not have the personality required to work at TD Canada Trust. The glowing testimonials from his former manager couldn't even be considered - indeed his application cannot even be accepted at the bank, because this online test is the first step in the hiring process.
This begs some questions, which loyal customers of TD might want to ask their branch managers next time they see them:
Just what is TD Canada Trust Personality? How do I know if I have it? How does it differ, say, from Royal Bank Personality, or CIBC Personality? What does the standardization of employee Personalities at TD mean for customers? Suppose I find I don't like the standard TD Personality? Can I suggest changes or improvements to TD Canada Trust Personality? Will there be a Personality Upgrade Program for existing employees? Is this where my ATM fees are going?
Grandstanding and playing politics is not new ground, but this bill is different in my mind in one important respect. It opens up the Government of Canada to lawsuits if they fail to reach an impossible goal. In their zeal to attack the Conservative Party, what the Liberals and other oppostion parties have actually done is to attack Canada. It doesn't matter what political stripe the government of the day is, it's the Government of Canada and therefore the people of Canada who the Liberals have hung out to dry with this bizarre piece of politicking.
On top of this comes Mr. Dion's insistence that he will vote against his own party's anti-terror legislation, and this despite a sizeable revolt brewing in Liberal ranks. Apart from being another anti-Canadian action, this also doesn't make much sense to me from a political perspective. Where's the upside? The only possible explanation is that M. Dion is in some way beholden to some special interest groups either within or outside the Liberal Party. I may be cynical, but I can't help wondering if his very lukewarm condemnation of the anti-Rae pamphlet disgrace at Convention is linked to his very lukewarm stance against terrorism. Who's pulling M. Dion's strings on the issue of national security, and what does it mean for the future of Canada?
Add to this the sudden Messianic appearance of Michael Ignatieff this week, playing Liberal leader in all but name, and the politics of the Liberal party appear to be riding some kind of weird roller coaster. Margaret Thatcher once described a political opponent as suffering 'that basic incoherence which is the undoing of all who eschew principle in politics'. To my mind, that suits M. Dion perfectly, and even his friends in the media are starting to see it. It's bad enough having someone like this lead what is supposed to be Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Dion as Prime Minister would be the worst nightmare this country has seen for many years.
Posts will follow in quick succession until I either fall asleep or the baby wakes up, whichever happens first.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
And Montague's Nominations here
The usual crowd has gathered 'round
And wait expectant for a sound.
The first one called upon to speak
Of roads and bridges, ditch and creel:
Is Gardiner, reeve for 3 years past
And willing to have his honors last
He needs of course to keep the chair
In order, he says, our roads to repair,
There must be penetrating tar
And miles built on both near and far.
McCreary speaks and now we hear
How Gardiner’s pranks have cost us dear
There is taxes high machinery lost
We need a real man in there most
Committees of roads and bridge too
Are only a farce, between me and you
The price of lots, sweet council war
Two bones must be accounted for.
I don't ask much one year will do
In which to honor Montague
If McLenaghan is elected reeve
He'll have no sly tricks up his sleeve
The councillors number many more
Than we have found for years before
Conlin, Maitland and Halliday
Are with us again from last year’s fray
In a senseless way the business is done
Without Conlin's consent the Council is run
And Maitland who hasn't much to say
May think a lot in his own quiet way
Halladay greets us with intimate smile
Of why not support a man worth while
A man who claims to do his best
For you as well as all the rest
Irvine, Rice and Wm. Shields
Are new aspirants to these fields?
J. Shields, McPherson and J. H. James
Are old time contestants of council fames l
Jim Shields and McPherson having tried
The present reeve to override
And John H. James during his day
Have served us voters well they say.
There still remains two Ormrod men
And now the story begins again
Of council blunders, faults untold
Here Bunny stand, both and bold.
And sorry he is, we did not know
A man likes him long, long ago
He'll show us how to play the game
If we make an x next to his name
It wont be long the day draws near
When voters at the polls appear
'Tis here the mystery tale is told
Beneath the ballots secret fold
We hope our judgment is the best
Don't take this as a careless jest
We want our reeve and councillors four
To help us each year more and more
The only way this can be done
Is in standing by the chosen one
And when Election Day is past
Not let our petty grievance last
Reach out to each a helping hand
United Montague should stand.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Sources close to Stéphane Dion have supplied TDPC with a brown envelope
I call on the Prime Minister to cure cancer by the end of next week. I call on the Prime Minister to provide free daycare spaces to every child in Canada - two each. I call on the Prime Minister to provide a free hydrogen powered car to every family in Canada. I call on the Prime Minister to make Rex Murphy good looking. I call on the Prime Minister to make the CBC unbiased. Er... no, I don't.
I call on the Prime Minister to make eating donuts healthy. I call on the Prime Minister to meet Canada's commitment to a flat earth policy by 2010. I call on the Prime Minister to ensure the last person out of Alberta turns the lights off when they leave. I call on the Prime Minister to make Paul Martin a national monument. I call on the Prime Minister to make Christmas come twice a year.
I call on the Prime Minister to close down 30% of the Canadian economy and put lots of Canadians out of work while at the same time strengthening the economy and providing job opportunities for our children.
I call on the Prime Minister to share these mushrooms with me.
Leaping to Dion's defence, this blogger says that the real problem is Randall Denley's homophobia. Now this could just be non-sequitur - or is Jeff Davidson outing Stéphane Dion here?
I suspect that council was anxious to hold as much of the budget deliberation in public as possible, given their election promises. If that makes them look unprepared, or exposes the warts in the process, then that's unfortunate. The newspaper articles advocate that the initial budget work be done in private - but I think that's naive given the recent election campaign we had in Montague.
I wasn't at the meeting. But what struck me most about the piece in the paper was the extensive and free-ranging commentary given by a member of the township staff. Public sector employees are citizens, of course, and have as much right to hold and express their opinions as the rest of us, but they are also often in positions of responsibility and trust that call for some discretion. The piece in the paper doesn't display a lot of discretion, nor respect for the elected councillors who are the employer of all township staff. If this is how freely information and opinion gushes to a newspaper reporter, what other information, misinformation or gossip might be flowing from the township office?
Friday, February 02, 2007
Celebrant: We will be back!
All: And we will get the job done!
Celebrant: You don't know how hard it is to set priorities!
All: Stephen Harper is fat.
Entrance Hymn : Lo, Dion comes, with CO2 ascending.
The Confession & Absolution
All: Almighty Kyoto, we confess and bewail our exhaust manifold sins. We are heartily sorry and repent of all our SUVs. Look not on the size of our carbon footprint, but on our platitudes and vague pronouncements and grant that we may serve you in elected office when the fat guy leaves. Amen.
Celebrant: Go forth and rejoice in your convictions for fraud (or it may be theft, conspiracy or other white collar crime).
A reading from the profit Suzuki.
An inconvenient sermon may then be given by Al Gore.
The Renewal of Green Vows
Celebrant: Do you renounce fossil fuels and all their emissions?
All: We renounce them. Next year, or maybe the one after.
Celebrant: Are you prepared to turn off the lights and sacrifice your economy?
All: There will be no economic consequences.
Celebrant: Are you willing to save the planet by reducing your 2% contribution to greenhouse gases while the rest of the world may or may not?
All: We are Canada. Somebody notice us, please.
Celebrant: Do you support the establishment of international carbon-trading systems?
The Developing World: Send us your money!
Celebrant: Will you seize control of the oil sands, according to the prophesy of Holland?
All: Alberta can blow me.
All: Our climate, which art changing, give us doomsday and our daily threat. Do not forgive those who emit against thee, while we forgive those who did nothing for 13 years. Lead us not into reality but deliver us from any kind of rational thought. For thine is the panic, the hysteria and the media buzz.
Celebrant: Climate change is this year's avian flu!
All: Dion save the planet!
Celebrant: The carbon exchange be with you!
All: And also with you.
The people shall then exchange carbon credits, while total emissions remain constant or rise.
Celebrant: Go on foot to love and serve your bicycles.
All: For even horses emit greenhouse gases.
Closing Hymn: There Is A Green Party Far Away.