Sunday, June 25, 2017

INCREASING RATE OF ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

Antibiotic resistance is killing over 700,000 people a year, experts state. In 2000, there was a zero percentage of children in the world with antibiotic resistance.
Three years ago it was 5 per cent. This year it’s at 9 per cent.
There were 58,000 babies who died in India last year, whose mothers were resistant to antibiotics and passed that on to their newborn offspring. That’s projected to reach 250,000 infant deaths a year in just India.
There are currently 20,000 patients in Canadian hospitals resistant to antibiotics. Over 6,000 older people died in the United States last year after normal surgeries, such as hip replacements, and antibiotics didn’t work.

CLEANING UP THE DIRTY EPA

President Trump’s budget guidance exposed decades-old EPA abuses. The evidence exposes EPA’s lack of mission, commitment and integrity. If EPA would use honest, evidence-based science to protect the nation’s health, it would be a welcome and long overdue change – perhaps a miracle.

LEAKING AMERICA'S SECRET INTELLIGENCE

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the "worship" of leakers like Edward Snowden.
"In some ways, I do think it's accelerated," Pompeo told MSNBC in an interview that aired Saturday. "I think there is a phenomenon, the worship of Edward Snowden, and those who steal American secrets for the purpose of self-aggrandizement or money or for whatever their motivation may be, does seem to be on the increase."
Pompeo said the United States needs to redouble its efforts to stem leaks of classified information.
 

OPEC BEWILDERED BY THE OIL MARKET

It may be too soon to write OPEC's obituary, but the oil producer club appears in urgent need of late-life care. It shows little understanding of where it is, how it got there or where it's going.
Having failed to use the good times to invest for a future of low oil prices, OPEC is facing a crisis of old age. It is falling apart internally, confounded by the world and increasingly irrelevant.

FBI INVESTIGATING SANDERS

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane have lawyer'd up amid an FBI investigation into a loan obtained to expand Burlington College while she was its president.
As we noted just over a year ago, Burlington College, a small Vermont private school once led by the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, said Monday it will close later this month, citing "the crushing weight" of debt incurred during the presidency of Jane Sanders who was in charge of the college until 2011

CNN RETRACTS FAKE NEWS

The network President Trump has identified as a "very fake news" outlet is under fire from all sides as it was forced to retract a blatantly inaccurate hit piece on President Trump and his associates.

CANUCK THE CROW

Canada Post has stopped delivering mail to an east Vancouver neighbourhood after a mail carrier was bitten several times by a local man’s feisty crow.
Canuck the crow lives in east Vancouver and is regularly seen with his caretaker Shawn Bergman during the day.

YOU CAN'T DISCONNECT TERRORISM FROM ISLAM

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is facing criticism from Muslim community leaders after saying there is a link between Islam and terrorism. 
"Unfortunately, you cannot disconnect this type of event — terrorism — from Islam in general," Couillard said.

NO ONE ON THE BRIDGE

The deadly collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship June 17 took place while the freighter was on autopilot, according to Navy officials.
The Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal was under control of a computerized navigation system that was steering and guiding the container vessel, according to officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation.
The destroyer was severely damaged when the protruding undersea bow of the cargo ship struck Fitzgerald on the right side. Seven sailors died as a result and the captain and two others were injured. It was the Navy's worst accident at sea.

CLARK'S LAST GASP IN POWER

VICTORIA — B.C.’s Liberal government delivered what is likely its last gasp in power Thursday, with a throne speech that borrowed heavily on ideas from opponents and pledged “humility” to voters.
But it won’t be enough to stave off the party’s defeat next week in the legislature, after the NDP and Greens reconfirmed their commitment to topple the Liberals on a confidence vote in the legislature.
The speech from Premier Christy Clark’s government was packed with more than two dozen policy reversals and new policies not contained in her party’s May election platform. It included major items the Liberals had campaigned against, such as a referendum on electoral reform and scrapping bridge tolls in Metro Vancouver

SO...HOW'S THAT GREENBELT WORKING OUT FOR YA?

Our 13 years of monitoring house price to income ratios in the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey in now 90 major metropolitan areas in 9 nations leads to the conclusion that urban growth boundaries (and similar land restrictions) are housing affordability’s “killer app.” Wherever there is severely unaffordable housing, urban growth boundaries, greenbelts or similar land rationing policies will be found.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

DEFICITS OF ALBERTA & ONTARIO

Alberta entered 2015/16 with no net debt at all. However, due to the size of current budget deficits and the resulting rate of debt accumulation, Alberta’s debt levels are rapidly converging with Ontario’s. In 2014/15, Ontario’s net debt per person was $24,256 larger than Alberta’s. In 2018/19, that gap is expected to have shrunk to $14,597 (both in 2015 dollars). In other words, about 40 percent of the per-capita debt gap between Alberta and highly indebted Ontario will have been wiped out in just five years.

CANADA'S PRIME MINISTER

On Thursday, the headline of a viral Twitter moment summed it perfectly: “Trudeau’s sock game is strong.”

BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTERS W-T-F

A transgender activist from St. John's is continuing the fight for a gender neutral birth certificate, after a provincial department deferred the request.

​Hickey doesn't identify as either male or female, which are currently the only two options on the change of sex designation form

TRUDEAU LIBERALS' POOR MANAGEMENT

For a moment, the Senate threatened a summer cliffhanger: Would it refuse to pass the government’s budget bill? And though the threat fizzled as Senate threats often do – with an agreement to break for summer – it underlined the Liberals’ frustrations in Parliament.
The drama ended with the Senate sending an unprecedented message to the House of Commons – proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s representative in the Senate, Peter Harder – asserting that the Red Chamber has every right to amend the government’s budget bills. That was a response to a blunt message sent up a day earlier from the Commons – put forward by Government House Leader Bardish Chagger – asserting that the Senate has no business touching such bills.
 

BETTER BRUSH UP ON THE "OLD WAYS"

The northern Manitoba town of Churchill is in a “crisis” and its people are “being held hostage” by a rail company that won’t repair flood damage to tracks that bring in critical supplies, says the town’s mayor.

He says soaring prices for food, building materials, fuel and propane, which now must be flown in at sometimes five or six times normal costs, are crippling local businesses and residents. The rail’s owner, Denver-based Omnitrax, says it won’t make repairs before next spring.

ONTARIO FIRST NATIONS DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

Over the summer, Wapekeka notified Health Canada that they had become aware some girls had entered into a suicide pact and asked for about C$380,000 (£225,000; $286,000) to create a youth suicide prevention programme.
Leaders of the village also met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to talk about the community's suicide crisis.
Health Canada said it would send the funds but Wakepeka says it has so far only received $95,000 - a quarter of what was promised.

TALE OF THE SOURTOE COCKTAIL

The strange tradition began after a captain found a solitary human toe preserved in a jar in an abandoned cabin -- or so the legend goes. The toe is believed to have come from a rum-runner who had to amputate his toe after accidentally soaking it in icy water in the winter.

Friday, June 23, 2017

THIS WILL NOT END WELL FOR CANADIAN TAXPAYERS

In a stunning development involving Canada's largest alternative lender which as recently as a month ago was facing virtually certain insolvency after a furious depositor run drained it of liquidity, overnight Home Capital Group announced that billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will indirectly acquire C$400 million ($300 million) of the firm’s shares in a private placement through its Columbia Insurance unit, for about a 38.4% stake, and will aso provide a new C$2 billion ($1.50 billion) line of credit to its unit Home Trust Co, ending the Canadian lender's strategic review process.

CANADA'S PRIME MINISTER

Also known as PM Pull Ups...in case you missed the video.

USA WAR AGAINST ISIS IN SYRIA

It’s time to have a sane discussion regarding what is going on in Syria. Things have escalated exponentially over the past month or so, and they continue to escalate. The U.S. just shot down yet another Iranian-made drone within Syrian territory on Tuesday, even as authorities insist they “do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS.”

GULF ARAB CRISIS

Four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism have sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television and reducing ties to their regional adversary Iran, an official of one of the four countries said..
Doha's independent-minded approach, including a dovish line on Iran and support for Islamist groups, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, has incensed some of its neighbors who see political Islamism as a threat to their dynastic rule.

CANADA'S TOOTHLESS TERRORIST WATCHDOGS

What the sweeping new security legislation tabled this week does, in fact, is limit the supposedly rule-bending powers allowed by the previous Stephen Harper government that permitted Canada’s spy and protection agencies to proactively massage boundaries to disrupt terrorist plots while still in their infancy.
But what does one expect from a soft-bellied progressive government that refuses to negate the Canadian citizenship of dual-nationals born elsewhere who are convicted of terrorism?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

THE FARCICAL CANADIAN COURTS

NP:   Lance Blanchard is the career criminal who became infamous only recently, when the CBC revealed that his accuser, the victim of his violent sexual assault, was jailed in order to have her available to testify and was shackled in court.
The young woman’s egregious treatment in the Alberta provincial court was so awful it was almost farcical.

AGGRESSIVE ORCAS SHAKING DOWN FISHING BOATS

NP:  The orcas will wait all day for a fisher to accumulate a catch of halibut, and then deftly rob them blind. They will relentlessly stalk individual fishing boats, sometimes forcing them back into port.
Most chilling of all, this is new: After decades of relatively peaceful coexistence with cod and halibut fishers off the coast of Alaska, the region’s orcas appear to be turning on them in greater numbers.
“We’ve been chased out of the Bering Sea,” said Paul Clampitt, Washington State-based co-owner of the F/V Augustine.

GUTLESS SENATORS

Canada's Liberal government avoided a battle over its budget bill on Thursday as the Senate backed down over proposed changes, but standoffs with the unelected upper house may become the new normal.

THE PILOSI MILLSTONE

Democrats' embarrassing special-election loss in Georgia, after the liberal media built up unrealistic expectations, has provoked a wave of bitter blowback that targets House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

TEACHING JUNIOR THE STRUCTURE OF PARLIAMENT

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, House leader Bardish Chagger and various Liberal MPs pulled aside a number of Senate Liberals and Independent senators on their way into the chamber, hoping to bend their ears before they cast votes on whether to back a Conservative amendment to remove yearly, automatic hikes to the excise duties on alcohol.
"I've never seen this in the eight and half years that I have been here in the Senate: Liberal MPs and ministers hovering in front of the Senate door, and accosting senators. Imagine," Conservative Senator Leo Housakos,

CANADA'S WORLD CLASS SNIPER

A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at a staggering distance of 3,450 metres.

USA WARNS CANADA: BE MORE VIGILANT

The head of the House Armed Services Committee in Washington is urging Ottawa to be “more vigilant” in its national-security process when Chinese investors want to buy Canadian high-tech firms that specialize in sophisticated military hardware.
“The United States cannot stop Canada from allowing the Chinese takeover of Norsat,” Mr. Jones told The Globe.
“We can and should, however, re-evaluate any business dealing that potentially affects our defence initiatives.” This is the second warning from the U.S. capital that Ottawa is taking a laissez-faire approach to investment from China and jeopardizing U.S. national security interests.
 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

SANCTIONING IRAN

Overwhelming support in Congress for tougher measures against the Iranian regime comes at a time where there’s general consensus that Tehran is at the heart of the crises that are engulfing the Middle East.
“In 2017, ISIS is not a threat to regional stability,” James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Iraq, told Bloomberg last month. “The threat now is Iran.”

DEMOCRATS SERVED A STUNNING DEFEAT

After months of Democrats boasting that Georgia's special election in the 6th district would be a startling referendum on Trump's agenda, they just got served up another stunning defeat, as most networks have now called the race for Republican Karen Handel.  In fact, rather than losing ground since Trump moved into the White House, Republicans actually performed better.

ILLINOIS IN FINANCIAL MELTDOWN

Illinois is grappling with a full-fledged financial crisis and not even the lottery is safe – with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner warning the state is entering "banana republic" territory.
 But the problems are years in the making, caused in large in part by the state’s poorly funded pension system— which led Moody’s Investors Services to downgrade the credit rating to the lowest of any state. The state currently has $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations, and a backlog of unpaid bills worth $13 billion.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BIG PHARMA

Ten of Canada’s largest pharmaceutical companies have revealed that together they spent at least $48.3-million on payments to physicians and health-care organizations last year, a voluntary disclosure that critics of Big Pharma say falls well short of genuine transparency.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE. MOVE ALONG

An immigration consulting firm that experts say may have engaged in fraudulent behaviour is linked to a high-profile development project the Saskatchewan government is heavily promoting.

LOOSE LIPS

The RCMP claims Norman leaked sensitive information about the government’s shipbuilding program. It has not charged the senior naval officer, who maintains he is innocent. But the federal police force was warned on April 21 its claims that Norman improperly released information from a Liberal government cabinet meeting could be on shaky ground.
The RCMP alleges that an employee in the federal government’s procurement department, one who has no links to the military’s now-suspended former second-in-command, leaked sensitive information about Canada’s troubled shipbuilding program

ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE FROM TRUDEAU

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is accusing the prime minister of a “con job” for breaking another campaign pledge, this time on Canada’s access-to-information law.
Mulcair hammered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in question period Tuesday for backtracking on a promise to ensure the Access to Information Act applies to the Prime Minister’s Office and those of his ministers. Such a change would make the offices subject to requests for information from Canadians.

UPPITY SENATORS

A Senate committee voted Tuesday to delete a so-called escalator tax on alcohol from the federal government's budget, defying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's insistence that only the elected House of Commons has authority over budgetary matters.

Monday, June 19, 2017

MEANWHILE IN GERMANY

Middle Eastern crime syndicates have established themselves across Germany, where they engage in racketeering, extortion, money laundering, pimping and trafficking in humans, weapons and drugs.

CRISIS AHEAD?

China's "ghost collateral" problem has jumped across the Pacific and is threatening the Canadian banking system.

OH CANIBUS!

Ottawa is seeking a pledge from the provinces that they will keep marijuana taxes low after legalization to help drive criminals and black market dealers out of business.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau intends to push for a low-tax commitment from his provincial counterparts in meetings Sunday and Monday in Ottawa.

GIDDYUP WYNNE

Three years ago, a group of Ontario racehorse breeders took Kathleen Wynne’s government to court over claims the province made a “bad faith” decision in 2012 to abruptly end a lucrative revenue-sharing agreement with the horse racing industry. The standardbred breeders allege cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program damaged their livelihoods.

YOUR CHOICE OF HELLHOLES

The United Nations has presented Canada with a long list of peacekeeping requests that not only include fronting a dangerous mission in Mali, but separate military and police training deployments, including one in the volatile Central African Republic.
The list paints the clearest picture yet of the expectations of the international community following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's declaration that "Canada is back" on the world stage.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

QUILTING WARS

It started with political chat and ended up with abusive messages, calls for boycotts and an online civil war between liberals and conservatives. A familiar story, perhaps - only this time it happened in the world of quilting.

BIRD WATCHING SPIES

NP:  VARDO, Norway — The population of the Arctic island of Vardo has shrunk to half of what it was 20 years ago, and the fishing industry that sustained its residents for generations has mostly collapsed.
But the local power company, citing a mysterious surge in electricity demand, began work last month to increase energy supplies, laying a thick new cable in a tunnel under the icy waters that separate the island from the Norwegian mainland.
The new electricity cable, along with the recent appearance of earth-moving equipment atop a rocky plateau overlooking Russia across the sea, points to one business that is flourishing in this part of the Arctic: snooping on Russia’s expanding fleet of nuclear submarines armed with ballistic missiles in the Barents Sea.

FAST & LOOSE WITH THE GUN REGISTRY

Did the Mounties defy Parliament and keep gun registry data intact even after being ordered, by law, to delete it in 2012? And did Deputy Commissioner Peter Henschel subsequently lie to a Parliamentary committee in June of 2015 by claiming registry data had been erased when, in fact, it hadn’t?
Why is this still an issue? Because the Trudeau government intends to pass a law before Parliament’s summer recess giving Quebec a copy of the remaining data on gun owners so that province can establish its own provincial long-gun registry.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

TOO STUPID TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGER

A Vancouver satellite firm at the centre of a controversy over the Trudeau government’s handling of Chinese investment in sensitive sectors is now facing matching bids from both China and the United States.
And Norsat International is telling shareholders that it wants to accept the acquisition offer from Hytera Communications Corp. of Shenzen, China, rather than Atlanta-based Privet Fund Management LLC.
 

SNC "TRIGGERED"

Members of the Navan Landowners Committee say they've been characterized by South Nation Conservation🐢 as possible vandals and "hooligans" — all because of their concerns the conservation authority's wetland project could reduce property values and limit what they could do with their land.

THE OPPOSITION HOWLED

OTTAWA — The laughter from the opposition benches was enough to silence Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and force the intervention of House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan.
It was Question Period on Tuesday and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair had just asked Trudeau if the PM would support an NDP proposal to improve the process by which the government fills positions as mundane as a port authority board member to those as lofty as a chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Trudeau rose to reply. “Mr. Speaker, when we came to office, we did improve the nomination process ….”

Friday, June 16, 2017

CRAZY CAT LADY TRUDEAU

According to a documents obtained by the Canadian Press through Access to Information, the flood of asylum claims – through legal refugee channels and queue-jumping at unmanned border crossings – could eventually create an 11-year wait for claimant processing and almost $3 billion in federal social support.

TENT CATERPILLAR INFESTATION

As tent caterpillars thrive in and around the national capital in 2017, Ottawa naturalist Dan Brunton describes an infestation across the Prairies of “biblical” proportions.
“I just completed a drive from Ottawa to Victoria … and was absolutely blown away by the impact of tent caterpillar populations across southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” Brunton said.
The deciduous trees along the TCH (except Manitoba maple) were absolutely bare,” he wrote. “The weather was lousy and cool for the drive so at first I thought the bare trees might be some bizarre expression of late spring. I soon realized, however, it was the worst stripping of leaves by tent caterpillars I’ve ever witnessed.”

LORETTA LYNCH, PORTRAIT OF CORRUPTION

She barely served two years as attorney general during Obama’s tenure but during that time, Loretta Lynch distinguished herself as arguably the most corrupt attorney general in the history of the United States. That’s a tall order considering that her predecessor was Eric Holder, who was notorious for politicizing his office and cited for contempt of Congress for stonewalling in the infamous Fast and Furious fiasco. Nevertheless, when it comes to outright corruption, it’s hard to find a better candidate than Loretta Lynch.

GREEN PARASITES WORRIED

Greens are complaining that lack of US financial support is impacting progress. But a closer look at Green Climate Fund documents in my opinion opens serious questions about how that money was being spent.

HOW TO FIGHT LIKE A CANADIAN

NP:  “Bill was a short old man,” Ferris recalls. “The first time I was introduced to him he came right over, and it was as if he wanted me to know that it didn’t matter that I was young — I still didn’t stand a chance against him. And then he put me down, hard and fast, and I remember saying, ‘Bill, that really hurts,” and Bill said to me: “Don’t worry. Nothing is going to break.””

UNION THUGS IN MONTREAL

NP:    The documents say members of the Local 301 executive who opposed decisions made by Racette’s team faced threats and intimidation, with at least two suffering serious health effects as a result.“People who opposed the team in charge suffered acts of sabotage on their cars that could have had monumental consequences for their safety and those of the cars’ occupants,” the court documents say, specifying that wheel nuts were loosened.
Racette had GPS devices secretly placed on the cars of some of her executive members for surveillance purposes, the documents say.

LIBERALS FORCED TO SWALLOW HUMBLE PIE

The great parliamentary reform uprising is over, and the government’s forces have been routed.
Bardish Chagger introduced a package of rule changes for the House of Commons three months ago, with a misplaced sense of imperiousness. The measures unveiled by the Government House Leader included an end to Friday sittings; the introduction of electronic voting; limits on politically motivated prorogation; the creation of a Prime Minister’s Question Period; and the use of U.K.-style time allocation as an alternative to filibustering.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

EMPIRE BUILDING FAIL!

The South Nation Conservation Authority 🐢has cancelled a plan to build a wetland and boardwalk on city land in Navan, caving to an opposition group of residents who feared restrictions to property rights.

RIGHT ON! ANN COULTER

The explosion of violence against conservatives across the country is being intentionally ginned up by Democrats, reporters, TV hosts, late-night comedians and celebrities, who compete with one another to come up with the most vile epithets for Trump and his supporters. 

IMPROVING CANADA'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

NP:  Blatchford:  It is with this recent anecdote that I segue to the long report released Wednesday by the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
It’s this committee’s final report on the crisis of delay, and what the Supreme Court of Canada famously called the “culture of complacency” that infects Canadian courts.

THE LEGACY OF PLAN 2014

As part of an emergency measure to begin Wednesday, more water from Lake Ontario will flow into the St. Lawrence River than ever before, as officials put into effect a flood-reducing strategy expected to delay shipping schedules and keep captains and others affected by high water levels on anxious watch.

WYNNE'S EXPENSIVE VOTE BUYING

The election is a year away, yet the Liberals have pledged so much spending it makes one wonder what more they could possibly have to offer once the formal campaign begins. How far into deficit can they go while still pretending to “balance” a budget that depends so heavily on borrowing?
The Ontario Liberals just offered the unions such a sweet deal even the workers couldn’t believe it

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ALBERTA'S BOTTOM LINE

Presenting the nation’s balance sheet in digestible bits to the rest of the country is what Premier Rachel Notley should do if she really wants people to “mark” her words and to gain some social licence to have pipelines built that benefit everyone in this country.
The economic numbers, after all, tell a compelling story about how desperately this country needs Alberta and the energy industry that has done so much to fuel economic and social health and growth from sea to sea to sea.
 Oddly, Alberta Finance no longer publishes a document called Fiscal Spotlight that shows Alberta’s net contribution to Canada. Statistics Canada, however, still does. In short, there are only four provinces that are net contributors to Canada’s bottom line — B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

SESSIONS COUNTERS COMEY

Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeated disagreements with ex-FBI Director James Comey’s account of the two’s interaction in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday.

SHIP OF FOOLS

A global warming research study in Canada has been cancelled because of “unprecedented” thick summer ice.
Naturally, the scientist in charge has blamed it on ‘climate change.’

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PRAIRES HAUNTED BY 2016 CROP PROBLEMS

Alberta cereal crops from 2016 that remained in the field over winter are gradually being dealt with.
The low quality of that material has prompted Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. to introduce a temporary Salvage Grade factor to deal with the high volume of low quality cereals.

THE VIMY OAKS

Two oak saplings to be planted at the University of Guelph this week have roots in a Great War conflict considered by many to mark a coming of age for Canada.
Descended from a handful of acorns pocketed by a Canadian soldier after the Battle of Vimy Ridge in spring of 1917, the Vimy oaks will be placed near War Memorial Hall and the John McCrae Trail in U of G’s Arboretum.

DEEP SIXING DEEP PANUKE

Nova Scotia's offshore natural gas industry is about to take another hit, as Encana Corp. prepares to close its Deep Panuke project.
The Calgary-based energy producer published an expression of interest last month seeking companies to plug its five subsea wells. The request for bids closed June 8.

RAMIFICATIONS OF CHINESE TAKEOVER OF NORSAT

The Trudeau government’s decision to greenlight a Chinese takeover of a Canadian high-tech firm that sells satellite-communication systems to the American military jeopardizes U.S. national security, a congressional commission warned Monday and urged the Pentagon to “immediately review” its dealings with Vancouver-based Norsat International.

Monday, June 12, 2017

MORNEAU'S AUTOMATIC TAX HIKES

Most taxpayers probably breathed a sigh of relief that Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s spring budget didn’t include any headline-grabbing tax hikes, such as increases in income taxes or business taxes.
  But buried in the proposed legislation is a troubling provision that matters much more than the five-cent tax hike: an automatic “tax escalator” which would see those same booze taxes rise every year at the rate of inflation.
In other words, it isn’t a one-time tax hike. It’s one that will be hitting beer drinkers over and over again. Every year. Forever.

CANADA'S TERROR FUNDING PROBLEM

There’s one big “root cause” of terrorism that doesn’t get as much attention as it should in Canada. That’s money.

IT'S TRUDEAU'S FAULT

But ultimately, the BC Premier has few legal powers over an approved pipeline. If Horgan can stop it, he wins. If construction goes ahead, it’s not his fault.
It’ll be Trudeau’s fault – alone. Had Christy Clark been re-elected, Trudeau could have slid away from responsibility by redirecting environmentalist rage at her by reminding BC voters that their Premier had endorsed the project. Not now.
When construction starts and BC’s anti-pipeline activists confront it, their picket signs and placards will squarely, completely and rightly focus blame one single politician – Justin Trudeau, the bait-and-switch politician who, against their Premier, pushed through a pipeline that risks the BC coastline.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

PETA'S BREATH-TAKING NEW LOW

np:  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were intending to anonymously release this disturbing video on YouTube this week, to draw attention to animal cruelty. But there’s a problem: The video was faked. The cat is CGI. And a PR company working on PETA’s behalf asked a media organization to help them make the video go viral – without revealing that Rufus wasn’t real.

FREELAND'S BULLSH!T

Early last week, and out of the blue, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stood up in the House of Commons to deliver a speech on the supposedly more modern political reality that Canada could no longer count on America to have its back.
The reason, at least in the eyes of the governing Liberals, was that the United States now had an America First president in Donald Trump who would more likely sit in the Oval Office and do nothing should Canada be suddenly invaded by hostiles.

EARTH TO WYNNE

At some point in the life of every government there comes a moment when it jumps the shark.
When its rhetoric becomes completely detached from the reality of people’s daily lives.
For many Ontarians, that moment must have come when Finance Minister Charles Sousa asked Ontarians in his April 27 budget speech to, “imagine what we can do now” that the Wynne government has a balanced budget.

AMERICAN POLITICS AN EMBARRASSING MESS

NP,  Rex Murphy: It’s not all Trump, you know. American politics, post-election, is an embarrassing mess, a degrading and degraded spectacle, driven by rivers of frantic speculations, feeding on leaks, misreporting, and hyper-partisan narratives, and ultimately powered by the self-serving certitude of the side that lost to that clown, that they couldn’t have lost, didn’t really lose, and if they did lose was because — apart from a million lesser causes beyond their control — Vladimir Putin was out to get Hillary Clinton.

CANADA'S WAR AGAINST MERIT

Kirsty Duncan, Justin Trudeau’s Science Minister, is on the rampage against Canada’s leading universities. She’s told them to improve diversity – or else. Unless they meet their gender quotas for new research chairs, the federal government will yank their funding. Despite a decade of concerted hectoring, Canada’s most prestigious researchers are still too non-Indigenous, too white, too abled and, especially, too male. “Frankly, our country cannot reach its full potential if more than half of its people do not feel welcomed into the lab where their ideas, their talent and their ambition is needed,” she sermonized.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

HACKING STATS CAN AND CRA

Statistics Canada's busy website was partially disabled for much longer than previously reported, as technicians struggled for more than three weeks to bring all of its functions back.
The long, slow road to web restoration is documented in a series of emails obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act — emails that raise fresh questions about the performance of Shared Services Canada, the government's controversial IT agency.

NOT REQUIRED: EXPERIENCE AND COMPETENCE

Joly was appointed to cabinet before she had served a day in the Commons. Like many of her colleagues she was a political rookie. It would be tempting to put the episode down to ministerial inexperience and/or incompetence.
Except that if she is walking wounded today, it is, in no small part, the result of the nonchalance of the prime minister.
 

FIGHTING BACK IN BRITAIN

They say they’re doing everything they can. They tell us to just carry on. Some even try to tell us terrorism has become a part of everyday life.
Looks like the Lion of London Bridge didn’t get that memo. Because when the three London terrorists charged into the pub Roy Larner was drinking at, the 47-year-old wasn’t just going to sit there and let it happen.

LORETTA LYNCH, SWAMP THING

Arguably, the most interesting part of the testimony of James Comey, the cowardly lion of the criminal justice system, before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday is not that President Trump was cleared of even a smidgeon of corruption and obstruction of justice but that President Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, is up to her eyeballs in both.

Friday, June 9, 2017

WOO-HOO!

That’s why we call it Tax Freedom Day, because today—June 9—is the day you finally start working for yourself.

COMEY NO CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS

Besides being a grandiose waste of taxpayer money, Comey’s testimony vindicated and validated Trump’s humiliating dismissal of him.

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM FORT MCMURRAY FIRE

Last year's massive Fort McMurray wildfire caught officials off guard, and the resulting battle to save the city was disorganized because regional and provincial authorities failed to share information in the earliest, most critical days, according to a report obtained by CBC News.
The report — submitted to the government in March but not yet released to the public — included a dire warning: unless Alberta learns to be better prepared and more wildfire resilient, the public "can expect similar or worse outcomes on a more frequent basis."

FAIL: ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

"If you want to truly change a whole culture in a very large bureaucracy, you're going to have to make a concerted effort. There are going to have to be clear messages from the prime minister, the responsible ministers, the clerk of the Privy Council," she said.
"Sadly, champions for transparency are absent."

NO DOUBT SHE'LL BE BACK

Madeleine Meilleur has taken herself out of the running for the position of Canada’s next commissioner of official languages amid accusations that her nomination by the Liberal government was blatantly partisan.
Opposition leaders said the government failed to meet its legal obligations to consult with the other parties in the Commons before nominating Ms. Meilleur. Instead of an opportunity for input, they said they received a letter before the announcement of her nomination telling them the choice had been made and asking for comments.

UK ELECTION TURMOIL

British Prime Minister Theresa May will ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government on Friday after an election debacle that saw her Conservative Party lose its parliamentary majority days before talks on Britain's EU departure are due to begin.
Confident of securing a sweeping victory, May had called the snap election to strengthen her hand in the European Union divorce talks. But in one of the most sensational nights in British electoral history, a resurgent Labour Party denied her an outright win, throwing the country into political turmoil as no clear winner emerged.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

EMPIRE BUILDING

From John Mesman's perspective, this is going to be a beautiful project. Mesman is with South Nation Conservation, the group working with the city of Ottawa to turn a dry wetland in Navan into an enhanced wetland with a man-made pond and a boardwalk at a cost of about $300-thousand dollars. 
But the plan is meeting with some stiff opposition from residents.

LIBERALS WAIVE SECURITY REVIEW

The Trudeau government is allowing Chinese investors to buy a Vancouver high-tech firm without a formal national security review even though Canada and many of its allies use the company’s patented satellite communications technology for security, public safety and defence.
Hytera Communications of Shenzhen, China, is acquiring Vancouver-based Norsat International Inc., a company with military customers including the Pentagon that is also delivering a satellite communication system this year for the Canadian Coast Guard.
 

FREELAND'S "FACTS"

NP:  As an exercise in eloquently sugarcoating the facts of the shattered world order and Canada’s precarious place within the ruins, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s speech in the House of Commons on Tuesday was a masterwork of tact and sobriety. Running in excess of 4,000 words, here’s the short version: We’ve had a good run. Everything we’ve taken for granted for the past 70 years is gone. Don’t panic.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

LIVERPOOL HOUSE SUMMIT

The meeting is now being called the "Liverpool House Summit", although it would make for a pretty boring wikipedia entry, since we don't really know what they were talking about. 
I like to imagine they talked about food and how good the Wonder Woman was.

TERRORISTS RAID IRAN PARLIAMENT

Terrorist attackers raided Iran’s parliament and opened fire at the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini a few kilometers south of the capital on Wednesday morning, in near simultaneous assaults that killed up to seven people, Reuters reported citing local media. 

THE UK ELECTION

Britain is going to the polls, again.
This Thursday, the British public will vote for its next government. And since the campaign began, the country has had to re-imagine what this race is about. Where once analysts were predicting a comfortable landslide, many now suggest a far closer race with an unpredictable outcome.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

OUT OF CONTROL BUREAUCRACY

The National Capital Commission is allowing children to open a lemonade stand on Sunday Bikedays in Ottawa this summer, provided that the kids and their parents get a permit and agree to 15 separate conditions.

IN RESPONSE TO A SINGLE COMPLAINT

Ontario’s human rights tribunal is considering hearing a complaint that seeks to bar the Cleveland Indians from being able to use their team name or wear specific logos at major league baseball games played in Toronto.

DANCES WITH WOLVES

A 6,000-hectare swath of land near Montebello, Que., will now fall under the protection of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. 
The purchase announced Monday is a partnership between the governments of Canada and the United States, as well as private donors including companies, foundations and individuals.

THE MONEY CAME IN SUITCASES

The FT has unveiled what its believes is the key trigger behind the shocking overnight collapse in diplomatic relations between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors. According to the FT, the catalyst that forced the Saudis and their allies to unveil the cut in diplomatic and economic ties, is that Qatar allegedly paid up to $1 billion to Iran and al-Qaeda affiliates "to release members of the Gulf state’s royal family who were kidnapped in Iraq while on a hunting trip, according to people involved in the hostage deal"; the secret deal was allegedly one of the triggers behind Gulf states’ dramatic decision to cut ties with Doha.

PM PLANK

"I will say I have one daughter, and there is something very special about imagining a woman prime minister," Trudeau said. "I think it's long overdue, I just don't think we have to wait that long. I think it should be sooner than that."

Monday, June 5, 2017

CUTTING TIES TO QATAR

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.
Iran -- long at odds with Saudi Arabia and a behind-the-scenes target of the move -- immediately blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTERS W-T-F

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton and former prime minister Jean Chrétien will hold a summit in Montreal on Oct. 4 to underline the importance and strength of the friendship between Canada and the U.S., just as that relationship has become strained with the arrival of Donald Trump in Washington.

LEAMINGTON'S UNDERGROUND ECONOMY

Leamington’s underground economy runs on fajitas, burritos and empanadas.
Illegal caterers delivering hundreds of meals daily to migrant workers are doing a bustling trade. They threaten the livelihood of legitimate operators — the ones who pay taxes and pass health inspections.

CENSORING RIGHT-WING AUTHORS

Citizens of a free society should never take their freedom for granted. Unless they remain vigilant and are prepared to resist the political and corporate forces that erode the freedoms of speech and expression, liberty will inevitably recede.
A controversy swirling around Ottawa author Lowell Green’s latest non-fiction book is yet another skirmish in the struggle against censorship in Canada. The battle pits the scrappy former radio broadcaster against the forces of political correctness and corporate power.

BILINGUALISM POST: IT STINKS

After losing their bid to become Canada's next official languages commissioner, former candidates say the nomination process has divided official language minority communities and undermines the office of the bilingualism watchdog.
"Unfortunately, it's become too political at this point," said Michel Doucet, a law professor at the Université de Moncton. "I'm certainly preoccupied that this might have caused irreparable harm to the official languages commissioner's position."

NEW KING MAKER VS TRUDEAU

The wheels fell off for Justin Trudeau this week. Just when he thought this pipeline mess had finally been resolved, along came Andrew Weaver to mess it up again. Mr. Weaver, the leader of B.C.’s Green Party, is the new kingmaker in Canadian politics. B.C.’s shaky new government-in-waiting will only survive with his support. And his support emphatically does not include a pipeline. Blocking the Trans Mountain project, he declared, would be a “triumph of democracy.”

LONDON TERROR ATTACK

The attack came out of the blue and out of the night. Beneath the shadow of The Shard, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, terror hit Britain’s streets again.
At shortly after 10pm, a white B&Q van being driven at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour mounted the pavement at London Bridge and ploughed into pedestrians, knocking them down like skittles. Reports suggested some victims were thrown into the water of the Thames below. Others may have jumped in in an attempt to avoid the speeding vehicle.
The van came to a halt on the south side of the bridge but it wasn’t the end of the carnage. Three men wielding knives 10 inches long began attacking passersby, even entering at least one restaurant to attack Saturday night diners.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

38 MILLION RENO PRICE TAG

The renovation of the prime minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive is drawing significant interest from across the country, including at least two proposals by producers wanting to turn it into a reality TV show.

LOSING SLEEP OVER WYNNE'S OPINION

Kathleen Wynne says the U.S. president's rejection of the 190-country agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is appalling and shows he is abandoning his responsibility to fight the biggest threat currently confronting the world.
Wynne's criticism on Friday comes after the federal environment minister called Trump's decision disappointing and suggested the president was costing the U.S. a key opportunity to profit from the inevitable growth of clean-tech initiatives around the globe.

CHINA'S GHOST COLLATERAL

Back in 2014, a scandal erupted when media reports confirmed what many had previously speculated about China's banking system: namely that much of China's staggering loan issuance had been built (literally) upon air and that billions (or trillions) in loan collateral had been "rehypothecated" between two, three or many more debtors - or never even existed - forcing banks to accept that they would never recover much if any of the pledged collateral - in most cases various commodities - if the economy were to suffer a hard-landing resulting in mass defaults. The most famous example involved collateral fraud at China's 3rd largest port, Qingdao, where numerous borrowers were found to have "pledged" the same collateral of steel and copper to obtain funding from various banks.

SALUT! PARIS CLIMATE INSANITY

Simply put, the Paris climate treaty was a terrible deal for the United States: all pain, no gain, no jobs, no future for the vast majority of Americans – with benefits flowing only to politicians, bureaucrats and crony capitalists. President Trump refused to ignore the realities of this economic suicide pact, this attempted global government control of American lives, livelihoods and living standards.
That is why he formally declared that the United States is withdrawing from the treaty. He could now submit it for advice, consent – and rejection – by the Senate. He could also withdraw the United States from the underlying UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or negotiate that reflects empirical science and is fair to America and its families and workers. But what is really important now is this:
We are out of Paris! President Trump is leading the world back from the climate insanity precipice.

Friday, June 2, 2017

MEANWHILE IN GERMANY

Honor violence - ranging from emotional abuse to physical and sexual violence to murder - is usually carried out by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought shame upon a family or clan.
Offenses include refusing to agree to an arranged marriage, entering into a relationship with a non-Muslim or someone not approved by the family, refusing to stay in an abusive marriage or living an excessively Western lifestyle. In practice, however, the lines between crimes of honor and crimes of passion are often blurred and any challenge to male authority can elicit retribution, which is sometimes staggeringly brutal.

LOST JOBS; LOWER WAGES, SHUTTERED FACTORIES

It was simple and it was brilliant. Here was Trump talking to his voter base, feeling American workers’ pain and telling them [he didn’t actually say this but this was the message]: “I won’t abandon you. I won’t sell you down the river, whatever the global elite may want and however much they try to bully me. You people come before all this green crap.”

TORY VS WYNNE

It’s the centrepiece of the Liberal government’s economic strategy.
The promise to make “historic” investments in transit, bridges and roads “will create good, well-paying jobs that can help strengthen and grow the middle class today, while building Canada’s economy for the future,” the government claims.
Except, according to Toronto Mayor John Tory, the law of unintended consequences is kicking in and new projects in Canada’s biggest city are at risk of being stranded because Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario government is not committing the necessary funds.
I predict she'll find the funds at a date closer to election time...

HE DOESN'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK, MCKENNA

President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate-change agreement is disappointing, but the world is marching inexorably towards a greener future with or without the United States, says Canada's environment minister.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

BLIND EYE TO WIND TURBINES

Documents released through Ontario’s Freedom of Information Act and obtained by Global News reveal officials from the Ministry of Environment chose not to investigate or deferred responding to – meaning they did not make immediate plans to investigate – roughly 68 per cent of all noise and health complaints lodged against wind turbine operators in the province between 2006 and 2014. This represents nearly 2,200 individual complaints.

H CLINTON: 'I WAS THE VICTIM'

Earlier today Hillary Clinton offered up what some have described as one of the most delusional interviews of all time at Recode's CodeCon conference, in which she blamed everything and everyone, including but certainly not limited to: FBI Director Comey, "1,000s of Russian agents", right-wing media outlets, Russia, sexism, WikiLeaks, Russia, a funding deficit at the DNC, the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, the New York Times (yes, the NYT) ...oh, and Russia, for her 2016 election loss.  And while she certainly "takes responsibility" for every decision she made, Hillary desperately wants you to understand that's not why she lost...because, you know, Russia.

VENEZUELA DEVALUES CURRENCY

Crisis-hit Venezuela devalued its currency by 64 percent in a dollar auction that aimed to stabilize its foreign exchange market, officials said Wednesday.

GOODBYE TO "AMERICA LAST"

The president is expected to formally announce this week that the U.S. will exit the Paris climate agreement, a move that will have negligible impact on the environment but will have major benefits for the U.S. economy.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE. MOVE ALONG

Both the Tories and the NDP have complained about the partisan Liberal background of Ms. Meilleur, who, as an officer of Parliament, would be expected to operate independently of the government and would report directly to the House of Commons or the Senate
   The revelations are likely to ramp up criticisms from the Conservatives and New Democrats that the selection of Ms. Meilleur as bilingualism watchdog is partisan. Both parties are attempting to block the appointment of the long-time Ottawa MPP, one of the eight officers of Parliament who are expected to operate independently of the government. The parties also claim they were not consulted before her nomination, as is required by law.
 

LIBERAL LAMENT OF LONG GUN REGISTRY DESTRUCTION

Firearm-marking regulations are the Sasquatch of Canada's gun safety policies: much talked about, but no one has ever seen them in action.
Parliament passed legislation in 2004, but it has never been enacted.
Its purpose was to help police trace guns used in crimes and to bring Canada into compliance with several international conventions, including the United Nations Firearms Protocol.