Archive for March, 2006

Yaa for the BloggingTories

March 22nd, 2006
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Earlier in the week I posted about an apparent removal of one blogger from the blogging Tories, due to having other partisan blogrolls on her blog. This decision has been reversed and was originally made, apparently under the influence of week old Chinese food, so we can see how it can happen. This was posted on the comments section of Allie’s post on this issue by Stephen Taylor grand poobah of the Blogging Tories:

The decision has been appealed. The wise council of Blogging Tory elders has reversed its decision regarding your application and subsequently voted never to eat week-old Chinese takeout again (at least not while making important decisions).

Seriously though, we’d be happy to have a true conservative voice compliment our blogroll.

On behalf of the Blogging Tories council of elders (and our conservative masters in Ottawa and Washington), I’d like to welcome you to Blogging Tories if you’ll have us.

Glad that’s settled. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Blog.


How Not to Solve an Energy Crisis…

March 22nd, 2006

Premier Dalton was in my town yesterday announcing a plan for the province to buy back energy produced off grid by consumers. Have a windmill in your backyard? You now can sell the power produced from it to Ontario hydro. From CBC:

Ontario is offering to subsidize homeowners and businesses that switch to renewable power sources like solar panels or wind turbines.

It’s the first program of its type in the country and Premier Dalton McGuinty says he hopes the plan will see a quarter of a million homes powered by renewable energy within a decade…

“We’re taking a bold new step that will allow hundreds of small, local renewable energy producers to get into the energy market,” he said.

In typical Dalton McGuinty fashion, they are over-paying for the home made power:

The government will pay an inflated price for the energy for 20 years to help make the project attractive: 42 cents a kilowatt-hour for solar and 11 cents for wind, biomass, or small hydroelectric projects.

Which is good news to me. What wasn’t reported in the news is that after his visit here in Cambridge, he stopped by the Hespeler Towers to witness first hand my pet project:

Basil Powered11 cents a kilowatt hour eh?

Honey! Pack your bags, we just won the lottery…


Apparently the media has run out of ideas. Or at least, viable questions.

March 22nd, 2006

Note to readers: This is Ron’s first post. He is not set up to direct post yet, so I have post it for him.

Should Stephen Harper slim down to set a good example for Canadians?

And here I was thinking that equipping the military and fixing health
service and reducing crime were the things to be asking about. And all
along it was about his paunch and the example that he sets for Canadians.
Obviously, since he has a spare tire everybody is going to want one too.

Everybody knows that politicians are the trendsetters for today’s youth. As
I look around I can see can see it. The baggy pants, the eyeshadow, the
toques in summer and all the tattoos and piercings.

It’s just like it is on Parliament Hill.


Birthday, Happy Birthday

March 21st, 2006

He’s no Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery, but he was once Bond, and for that he deserves a happy 60th birthday.

Happy Birthday Timothy Dalton.


Stephen Harper Failing to Clean Up the Bureaucracy

March 21st, 2006

When I sit here and write something about the political parties I disagree with, I try to be fair. I am biased for sure, but I do try to think about where they are coming from, and present that point, then I call them, liars and cheats.

I offer the above by way of introduction to this article, which is so completely void of fairness that it ought never have been allowed to be printed:

The Dingwall case is not the only example of how the new government has yet to cut its way through a thicket of bureaucratic practices that Information Commissioner John Reid says are denying the public essential knowledge.

It was six weeks ago yesterday the government of Stephen Harper was sworn in, an they have spent no (zero, nil, nata) days sitting in Parliament as a government. Here’s a quote from the story:

But last night, she (Sandra Buckler, Mr. Harper’s director of communications) said there was nothing the PMO could do because it would be “deemed as political interference.”

Riddle me this. If Sandra Buckler had interfered with the bureaucrats, do you think the story would have been a positive one? Or would they be excoriating Stephen Harper for interfering? That’s why this piece is patently unfair, they have written the government into a no win situation. Look at the lead in the story:

The new Conservative government has been caught in the potentially embarrassing situation of withholding information about the sudden “resignation” last year of former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall from his post as president of the Royal Canadian Mint.

But the story goes on to say:

The request had been working its way through the bureaucracy since before the election.

The PCO censorship process, and the eventual release of a file that contains almost nothing of substance, appears to have caught political officials in Mr. Harper’s office unaware

.The Conservatives have been withholding information on a report that started under the Liberal’s and that they knew nothing about. I’ll be the first to lambast them when, in two years time, things haven’t improved. I’ll jump right on the bandwagon of complaint if they stall, cover up and use the access to information act as a political barrier. But for God’s sake, give them time. At least a sitting of Parliament to enact a law or two. Then, if Jack Layton hasn’t called an investigation into every attempt to improve the access to information act, if the Liberal leader de jour hasn’t blocked all legislation involving the access to information act, I will happily go at Stephen Harper for not keeping this promise. But for now, there is no way The Conservatives could have improved the situation legally.

I don’t know why I’m surprised that the Globe and Mail gave us this piece, it is the paper that brought us Stevie Cameron, but I do expect better of our media. The Globe and Mail should be embarrassed.

And a big boo hiss to Bourque, who ran with the headline “HARPER’S PCO MUZZLES DINGWALL FILE.” There has been much criticism of Bourque recently, very much deserved it appears.


No Ethics Violation in Emerson Floor Crossing

March 20th, 2006

Ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro has cleared Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of International Trade David Emerson of ethics violations when Emerson was appointed to cabinet and crossed the floor from the Liberal’s to the Conservative’s. From the report:

Each individual, on appointment to Cabinet, receives additional salary and benefits associated with the office (e.g. car, driver and ministerial staff). The increase in salary and benefits alone cannot be considered as an improper inducement. If it was, the appointment of any person to Cabinet could be considered suspect. However, what is important is the intent and the purpose associated with an offer to join Cabinet…

I am satisfied … that the Prime Minister designate’’s decision to select Mr. Emerson was based on his belief that Mr. Emerson would be an important addition to his Cabinet….

..It is quite clear from the facts of this case that Mr. Harper was acting in his executive capacity as Prime Minister designate…


Given these facts and the relatively straight forward findings reported above, there was, in my view, no need to proceed further than the preliminary inquiry which has now been completed.

So Stephen Harper, as Prime Minister, has discretion in choosing members for cabinet. Yet, there was one line in there that was very interesting:

Clearly, if the Prime Minister were to approach a member with an offer of a Cabinet position with the sole intent and specific purpose of acquiring that member’’s vote directly linked to a parliamentary proceeding existing at that time, such conduct would be inappropriate and unacceptable.

Who does that sound like? So if that is true, why was the Belinda Stronach crossing not investigated at the time?

None the less, the significant point is that this investigation doesn’t even get past the preliminary stages, talk about a lot of hot air over nothing.


I lIke Stephen Harper More and More

March 20th, 2006
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From CBC:

French actress Brigitte Bardot won’t be getting a warm welcome from politicians when she travels to Canada this week to protest the seal hunt.

Both Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn have refused to meet with Bardot on her visit to Ottawa Wednesday.

And why would they meet her? Unlike the last PM, who was willing to sell his soul to Bono for a front page picture in the Toronto Star, Stephen Harper see’s the futility in meeting people like this. The Canadian government is not about to change policy because of the demands of a washed up has been who hasn’t worked in 20 years, and hasn’t done 2 projects in the last 30 years.

And when she does show up, everybody knows what she is going to say. There really is no upside to a meeting with Mme. Bardot, just as there was no upside to meeting with Paul McCartney last month. So good on Stephen Harper for resisiting the temptation to shoot for an easy photo-op.

It’s nice to have a Prime Minister who seems to take his job seriously.


The ex-Blogging Tory?

March 20th, 2006

According to Allie over at Summer’s Daydream, The Blogging Tories are enforcing an heretofore unknown policy that members may not have another partisan blogrolls on their blog:

…we have a strict policy on multiple Canadian partisan blogrolls. If you’d like to be included on the Blogging Tories blogroll, we don’t accept blogs that also have the green bloggers / progressive bloggers / blogging dipper blogrolls on their blogs. We add conservative blogs. If your blog is indeed conservative please consider dropping the other blogrolls.”

Sorry to hear it, as I have Liblogs and the Blogging Dippers on mine. I probably get more visitors from the Blogginng Tories than from any other single source. But I didn’t start this blog so other’s could tell me what to do, and it ain’t happenin’ now. If I had to shut it down I would, but all three blogrolls are staying put.

No point debating the issues if you can’t find the other side.

h/t Steve at Angry in the Great White North.


The Liberal’s Want To Bring Down The Government For This?

March 19th, 2006
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When you pay $7.00 a day for daycare…

Don’t complain when you get $7.00 worth of daycare.

Or when you get no daycare.


Picture of the Day – Air Iccarus

March 18th, 2006
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College Strike Protest

March 17th, 2006
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If these students are protesting by suggesting their pawns in the college dispute…

… what course is the guy with the knight on his head taking?


Happy St Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2006
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A greeting to all my Irish friends (and aren’t we all Irish today). I have dug up a few Irish links for everybody to enjoy today.

If your thinking green beer, think again. There is only one colour your beer should be today – black. And drink it cold, only the English drink their beer warm, and the Irish hate anything English.

If beer isn’t your drink, and you still think you might want to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, try Irish Alcoholic Treasures for lots of Irish drink recipes.

Before you go out boozin’ fill your belly with some Irish Food.

Not sure where to take your celebration, Find an Irish pub near you. Even in Canada. Even here in Cambridge.

And while your out at the pub, drinkin’ your Guinness, give the kids something to do.

Enjoy your day, I’ll be in Ottawa tonight, try and spot me there.


Who Ate All The Strawberries?

March 17th, 2006
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I know a little lady who would have been on the side of the street in her robe dipping fruit:

More than 50 firefighters had a tough time battling a big blaze at … the Miesse Candies factory along the 700 block of Lafayette Street.

Firefighters had their hands full as they said chocolate was literally running in the street.

Too bad about that promise to give up choclate for Lent, eh sweetie?

Oh, by the way, the most important line in the story: “No one was hurt” – In the fire – dozens were crushed in the stampede!


Sophist’s Saga for Friday MArch 17th, 2006

March 17th, 2006
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The Sophist’s Saga:

St Patrick’s Day

Top O’ The Mornin’ To Ya’.

Being of Irish ancestry, I allow myself a little celebration on this fine day. There are many ways modern Canadian’s celebrate the life of the patron Saint of Ireland, including wearing green, drinking green beer and dressing as Leprechauns and marching in parade’s. I eschew them all for a more traditional celebration: I drink to many Guinness and begin a fight with the rest of the bar.

The Sophist’s Saga updates every Tuesday and Friday.
Please forward the Sophist’s Saga to all who you think may enjoy it.

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Next Sophist’s Saga: Tuesday March 21st, 2006.

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Changing the Canadian Values

March 16th, 2006
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Stephen Harper’s speech to the troops provides an interesting look at what may be his most significant work while Prime Minister. As Andrew Coyne has already mentioned, Stephen Harper is attempting to change the definition of Canadian values. In this speech he clearly attempts to begin a redefinition of the term, for so long used by the Liberal/NDP cabal and their friends in media, to mean healthcare, taxation, the CBC and Canadian socialism.:

You have put yourself on the line to:

– Defend our national interests;
– Protect Canada and the world from terror;
– Help the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country…

Your work is important because it is in our national interest to see Afghanistan become a free, democratic, and peaceful country…

Your work is about more than just defending Canada’s interest. It’s also about demonstrating an international leadership role for our country. Not carping from the sidelines, but taking a stand on the big issues that matter.

You can’t lead from the bleachers. I want Canada to be a leader. And I know you want to serve your country. A country that really leads, not a country that just follows…

…- the very best of the Canadian tradition:
– Providing leadership on global issues;
– Stepping up to the plate;
– Doing good when good is required…

These are important victories for the people of Afghanistan, and the represent things worth standing up for.

Standing up for Canadian Values

Of course, standing up for these core Canadian values may not always be easy at times. It’s never easy for the men and women on the front lines. And there may be some who want to cut and run.

But cutting and running is not your way.

It’s not my way.

And it’s not the Canadian way.

We don’t make a commitment and then run away at the first sign of trouble…

In what may be a very astute move by Prime Minister Harper, he seems to be trying to reposition Canadian values. If he can accomplish this, it will be a real coup for Canadian conservatives. Then the Liberal’s/NDP will have to come to the plate with real ideas, instead of labeling any conservative ones as “anti-Canadian.”