Monday, June 17, 2019

For a Monday

Quite a bit going on today ...

Happening now, the same population that doesn't give a sh-- that its government is planning on resurrecting the execrable Section 13, shutting down social media in time for the election and can't define genocide if their lives depended on it also can't prioritise important events over stupid basketball games nor can it keep track of its children and stop shooting one another:

Lost children and dehydrated fans are some of the issues first responders say they are dealing with as a sea of fans awaits the arrival of the Raptors in downtown Toronto.

Fire district chief Stephan Powell says firefighters are dealing with about a dozen calls for dehydration in the packed Nathan Phillips Square outside city hall.

Powell says fans gathered to celebrate the new NBA champions should stay hydrated and leave the crowded areas if they are not feeling well.

Toronto police Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu says several children have been separated from their parents during the parade.


On a day of celebration in Toronto for the Raptors NBA victory, police in the city have alerted the public about a shooting at Nathan Phillips Square, with multiple people injured, at the heart of the event.

When the Roman Empire fell, the people at that time were just as dull.

From the most "transparent" government in the country's history:

The Senate’s defence committee will finally get an answer on Monday over whether Vice-Admiral Mark Norman will agree to testify over the circumstances around his controversial prosecution.

But it may be too late, as the Senate committee is facing a deadline crunch with the chamber set to rise for its summer break later this week. The Conservative deputy chair of the committee has said it is no longer possible to conduct the study as originally envisioned, in part because the government side won’t agree to extend meetings past this week.


Embattled Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido continues to claim he has never been involved in a controversial legal service known as a bare trust agreement and that he did not participate in a secretive transaction completed by his law firm in 2011 that might have helped an alleged “drug boss” from China launder money in a Coquitlam, B.C., condo deal.

But Global News has identified another 2011 bare trust land deal in Surrey, B.C., that directly connects Peschisolido’s legal services to another client from China named in a “transnational money laundering” investigation at a Richmond casino, according to legal filings and B.C. Lottery Corp. documents.

How the rule of law works in Canada:

The BC Prosecution Service says it won't pursue a charge of uttering threats against the man who sparked a political firestorm when he attended an event during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's state visit to India last year.

The prosecution service says it has directed a stay of proceedings for Jaspal Atwal on a charge unrelated to Trudeau's state visit.

Atwal's lawyer Marvin Stern said in May 2018 that a charge of uttering threats was laid against his client following an alleged argument in April.

Atwal was convicted of trying to kill an Indian cabinet minister during a visit to Vancouver Island in 1986, but has said he has since renounced terrorism.

It's just an economy:

With each passing day that the new NAFTA deal isn’t ratified by the governments of the three participating countries, Canadian businesses grow more nervous — and with good reason.

Business doesn’t like uncertainty, and uncertainty hovers over this new deal.

Appearing on Global News’ The West Block this past weekend, Goldy Hyder, president of the Business Council of Canada, told host Mercedes Stephenson that because of the political partisanship that is sure to engulf Canada and the United States on the eve of elections in both countries, there is an ongoing concern the deal may not be ratified.

Yes, NDP, you punish those cancer patients:

The NDP says it's willing to withhold federal healthcare funding for provinces with barriers to abortion.

"In order for the provinces to get money they need to comply with the Canada Health Act," said party spokesperson Melanie Richer.

"The NDP will enforce the Canada's Health Act to make sure that the provinces make medical and surgical abortion available in all parts of the country, without barriers."

The pledge came out of the NDP's 2019 election platform, released on Sunday during the Ontario NDP's convention in Hamilton.

That's some nice chemotherapy you have there. It would be a shame if someone deprived you of it because someone was a petty lunatic with an abortion fixation.

Why are we trading with this country?:

China is murdering members of the Falun Gong spiritual group and harvesting their organs for transplant, a panel of lawyers and experts on Monday as they invited further investigations into a potential genocide.

Members said they had heard clear evidence forced organ harvesting had taken place over at least 20 years in a final judgement from the China Tribunal, an independent panel set up by a campaign group to examine the issue.


Three decades ago, days after the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square, Vancouver-based immigrant-services organization SUCCESS issued a joint statement with other community groups condemning the violence. It called on China to follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and engage in peaceful negotiation.
Recently, on the 30th anniversary of the massacre, the non-profit — which has a $50 million budget and become one of the largest social-service agencies in Canada, providing help with settlement, language training, employment, seniors care and housing — did nothing to mark the occasion.
Its silence did not go unnoticed.

Kenneth Tung, a former chair of SUCCESS and member of the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement, said he would like to have seen the organization tap into its roots and put out a “simple” statement urging China to allow its citizens to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy in Canada.

“In the last few years, there’s been more (human rights) violations — going backwards,” he said. “I wish the board of SUCCESS sees that too.”

China redoubled its support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday after days of protests against a planned extradition bill, and a source close to Lam said Beijing was unlikely to let her go even if she tried to resign.

Lam's attempts to pass a bill that would allow people in Hong Kong to be extradited to China for trial triggered the biggest and most violent protests in decades in the former British colony, now under Chinese rule.

As the crisis entered its second week, demonstrators and opposition politicians braved intermittent rain to gather near the government's offices and urge her to kill the bill and quit.

The upheaval comes at a delicate time for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is grappling with a deepening U.S. trade war, slowing economic growth and regional strategic tension.

(Sidebar: this trade war.)


International students from China and Hong Kong in South Korea are clashing over print posters supporting the extradition protests in Hong Kong.

Commenters on an online forum for Chinese-speaking students say mainland Chinese students pulled down posters from bulletin boards at Sogang University in Seoul, the Korea Times reported Thursday. 

The move, if confirmed, could be a violation of free speech principles observed on Korean campuses.


A decade after leaving her family behind to flee North Korea, the defector was overwhelmed with excitement when she spoke to her 22-year-old son on the phone for the first time in May after he too escaped into China.  

While speaking to him again on the phone days later, however, she listened in horror as the safe house where her son and four other North Korean escapees were hiding was raided by Chinese authorities. 

“I heard voices, someone saying ‘shut up’ in Chinese,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect her son’s safety. “Then the line was cut off, and I heard later he was caught.” 

The woman, now living in South Korea, said she heard rumors her son is being held in a Chinese prison near the North Korean border, but has had no official news of his whereabouts. 

At least 30 North Korean escapees have been rounded up in a string of raids across China since mid-April, according to family members and activist groups. 

It is not clear whether this is part of a larger crackdown by China, but activists say the raids have disrupted parts of the informal network of brokers, charities, and middlemen who have been dubbed the North Korean “Underground Railroad”.

This North Korea:

A biography of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has revealed fresh details of the privileged but cloistered childhood that paved the way to his tyrannical rule.

According to The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un by Washington Post journalist Anna Fifield, Kim’s lonely early years were spent in walled luxury compounds with 15ft iron gates in the capital Pyongyang and at the family beach home in the coastal city of Wonsan.

His father, Kim Jong-il, then the regime’s leader, ensured he had Super Mario video games, pinball machines and more gadgets than any European toy store. He watched Ben-Hur, and Dracula and James Bond films in private cinemas.

Young Kim was obsessed with model planes and ships but also had a real car his father had modified for him to drive when he was seven — and a Colt.45 pistol that he wore on his hip when he was 11.

“The boy grew up thinking he was special,” said Fifield. His eighth birthday was spent in a black suit and bow tie as deferential high-level officials offered him bouquets of flowers.


Poland has every right to be "defensive":

U.S. agreement with Poland to send 1,000 extra troops to the country is a defensive measure needed for its security, the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw said on Monday, replying to accusations from neighbouring Russia that the move is aggressive.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge last week to dispatch the troops to Poland was a step sought by President Andrzej Duda because of past Russian aggression against Poland and to help solidify his country’s ties to the West.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agency RIA last week that Washington’s move probably reflected “aggressive” intentions.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Fathers' Day!


A Happy Fathers' Day to all those guardians, drivers, swim coaches and barbecue chefs we call Dad.

This is how pathetic "dads" have become. Dads are meant to be useful, helpful and knowledgeable. These "dads" ... I can only look away from them in disgust:

Are dads’ essential DIY skills in decline? According to new research, millennial dads are less capable than their own dads when it comes to everyday DIY fixes, preferring to rely on professional help instead.

A new poll of 1,000 millennial dads and 1,000 baby boomer dads found that when a DIY task needs to be done at home, more than half of millennials prefer to call a professional.

And when it comes to emergency “handiness” scenarios, millennial dads fall short in almost every category.

Millennial dads are less likely than their boomer counterparts to be able to change a car tire on the side of the road, unblock a toilet or sink, reset a tripped circuit breaker or even open a stuck pickle jar with their hands.

And, just because, country names' literal translations:


Sunday Post

A lot going on today ...

From the most "transparent" government in the country's history:

Canada’s spy service destroyed a Cold War dossier on Pierre Trudeau in 1989 instead of turning it over to the national archives, The Canadian Press has learned.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the secret file on the former prime minister was scrapped because it fell short of the legal threshold for retention by either the service or the archives. ...

Bull. Sh--. 

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has long worked closely with the Mounties, kept watch on Trudeau for more than 30 years, charting his path from globetrotting public intellectual who visited the Soviet Union in the early 1950s through his time as a Liberal prime minister.

The bureau’s heavily censored, 151-page dossier was released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act just months after Trudeau’s death in September 2000, in keeping with American disclosure practices.

The Canadian Press recently requested the former prime minister’s RCMP file under the access law from Library and Archives Canada and CSIS prior to the 20th anniversary of his passing next year, given that it can take many months to process such applications.

That doesn't meet the legal threshold for retention? Why did CSIS even ask for it then?


The House of Commons’ Justice Committee took bold, decisive action this week. At the committee’s May 28 meeting, Conservative MP Michael Cooper had assailed witness Faisal Khan Suri, president of the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council, for what he saw as blaming “conservative commentators” for atrocities like the Quebec City mosque massacre. Cooper’s disastrously conceived rebuttal involved naming the Christchurch mosque attacker and reading passages of his manifesto into the committee record.

It was bad. So the committee will now pretend it didn’t happen — or rather, it will pretend to pretend. By a 6-0 vote on Wednesday, with the two Conservative members abstaining, members expunged Cooper’s statements from both the audio recording and its transcript. Their reasons are as varied as they are baffling:

1. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer relieved Cooper of his committee duties. That constituted a recognition “that this should not have happened,” NDP member Tracey Ramsey argued, and that bestowed upon members an “obligation to remove (his testimony).”

“Cooper is no longer sitting at this committee,” she admonished Conservative members Dave MacKenzie and Michael Barrett, who called the move a “stunt.” “So to sit here and say that we shouldn’t strike this from the record, this is extremely serious.”

First of all, Cooper did not "assail" anyone but pointed out - and rather calmly, too - that Suri's statement on conservative commentators and the New Zealand shooter was inflammatory and incorrect.

Secondly, even if Cooper was mistaken or outright lying, the genie, being out of the bottle, cannot be returned it. Cooper said it publicly and it is an act of lunacy to pretend that he never did.

Were we always at war with Eastasia?

Thirdly, Scheer's willingness to throw his colleague under the proverbial bus proves his lack of intestinal fortitude.


A recent example can be seen in how the Conservatives were attacked by the press for saying Elections Canada is biased.

There were articles published in multiple outlets question ‘why are the Conservatives going after Elections Canada.’


How about because former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro went to jail for allegedly overspending his own campaign money, but nobody got in trouble when SNC-Lavalin ran what seems to have been an illegal donation scheme – with most of the illegal funds going to the Liberals. Elections Canada didn’t send anyone to jail for that, and didn’t even reveal it to the public. It was hidden for years.

The double standard is clear: One set of rules for regular Canadians like Dean Del Mastro, and another set of rules for well-connected Liberal elites.

Clearly, the system is totally corrupt, yet instead of focusing on that corruption, the establishment press is attacking the Conservatives for bringing up the corruption in the first place.

We have certainly taken a page out China's playbook, the "basic dictatorship" of which Justin finds most appealing:

Hong Kong’s leader suspended efforts to pass a bill allowing extraditions to China, in a dramatic reversal that she said was necessary to restore order in the Asian financial hub and avoid further violence and mass protests.

Suspended, not stopped.

Somewhat related - seeing as North Koreans end up there at some point:

Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Sunday sought cooperation from Mongolia over efforts to settle the issue of past abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea, as Ulaanbaatar maintains friendly ties with Pyongyang.

During talks between Kono and his Mongolian counterpart, Damdin Tsogtbaatar, in the Mongolian capital, the two agreed on the importance of fully implementing U.N. sanctions against North Korea to push the country toward denuclearization, according to Japanese officials.

Kono said the two countries are strategic partners sharing universal values and that he hopes to further develop their relationship. Tsogtbaatar agreed to deepen ties.

Tokyo, which has no diplomatic ties with North Korea, has often looked to Mongolia to act as a mediator. It is the first time in about nine years that a Japanese foreign minister has visited the country.

"Help us, Genghis Khan! You're our only hope!"

Not included in the plan - protection of the money-growing orchard needed to pay for everything:

Signalling its determination not to be outflanked on the left this time around, the federal NDP has unveiled its platform months ahead of the fall election, including commitments to dramatically expand health care and to impose a wealth tax on the super-rich and a plan to run deficits for the foreseeable future.

The party released a 109-page platform during an Ontario NDP policy convention in Hamilton on Sunday, titled “A New Deal for People” (note the acronym), bucking the standard practice of federal parties releasing their platforms only once the writ has dropped. The commitments aren’t fully costed, nor are there firm timelines on many of the more ambitious promises, but the party plans to use revenue from increasing taxes on the wealthy and closing tax loopholes to pay for massive commitments in health care, affordable housing and to fight climate change.

On the heels of a new report prepared for the Liberal government that recommends Ottawa implement a universal, single-payer pharmacare plan to cover the costs of prescription drugs for all Canadians, the NDP is promising to enact universal pharmacare in 2020 and to go several steps further. The party aims to publicly fund dental care, vision care, mental health care and fertility treatments within 10 years, according to officials who briefed reporters on Sunday, though it has no estimates of how much that might cost.

Is there any money for the children, Jagmeet?:

The U.K. is rolling out a program in which all seriously ill children without a diagnosis will be able to get a full genetic work-up for themselves and their parents, for free. The blood test, called whole-genome sequencing, yields a Human Genome Project’s worth of information about an individual person.

It’s especially useful for children born with mysterious — but likely genetic — abnormalities that severely affect their development and quality of life.

Whole-genome sequencing is not available in Canada yet under any provincial health plan. But Ontario’s health-care quality agency is currently reviewing a proposal to cover it for children with unexplained developmental delay, said Wendy Ungar, director of technology assessment at Toronto’s SickKids hospital, a major Canadian centre for this area of research.

 Also in "God, this country is filled with stupid people" news:

Most Canadians agree that the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls amount to genocide, a new poll suggests.

But the Leger poll also suggests there’s disagreement about when it occurred and who is responsible.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents agreed with the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, which last week concluded that the tragedy is part of an “ongoing genocide” that has been centuries in the making. Another 34 per cent disagreed.

Let's take this in stages.

The legal definition of genocide:

The crime of destroying or conspiring to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.

Genocide can be committed in a number of ways, including killing members of a group or causing them serious mental or bodily harm, deliberately inflicting conditions that will bring about a group's physical destruction, imposing measures on a group to prevent births, and forcefully transferring children from one group to another.

One could argue that initially European settlers did war with aboriginal nomads, just as they themselves nearly wiped out other tribes.

The introduction of diseases like tuberculosis and smallpox - which killed or deformed people in equal measure - was a lamentable but not deliberate. If anything, victims of smallpox were isolated and helped in whatever ways they could be.

One could also argue that sterilisation programs, like the ones championed by Tommy Douglas, were used against aboriginal people just as they were used against non-aboriginal people (with the support of Emily Murphy).

These things did happen.

However, how many genocides result in population explosions?:

A high fertility rate and a growing sense of self are fuelling an explosion in the ranks of Indigenous Peoples, according to fresh census numbers that lay bare the demographic challenges facing one of the most vulnerable and poverty-stricken segments in Canada.

Nearly 1.7 million people identified as Aboriginal in the 2016 census, Statistics Canada says – a 4.9 per cent share of the total population and a breathtaking 42.5 per cent increase since 2006, a growth rate more than four times that of their non-Indigenous counterparts.

How many genocides result in the publicly-funded support of aboriginal language and culture?:

Making all 60 Indigenous languages in Canada official, along with English and French, is entirely doable, according to a University of Victoria expert.

(Sidebar: there is a reason why India chose two official languages with more than a million speakers but I digress ...)

The survey above also omits these pertinent facts here:

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has confirmed assertions by Canada's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs that 70 per cent of the aboriginal women who are murdered in Canada meet their fate at the hands of someone of their own race.

June 11, 2005. Phoenix dies after a final violent beating on the basement’s concrete floor. McKay and Kematch bury her near the reserve’s landfill. They continue to pretend she is alive and collect welfare benefits with her listed as a dependent.

How many genocides result in people killing each other off?

Genocides such as the Holocaust and the Killing Fields do not resemble what the poll above states.

In 1933, the year the Nazis began their murderous campaign against Jews, the disabled and other Europeans, the Jewish population in Europe was listed as 9.5 million. Six million Jews had been killed in extermination camps, their communities displaced or destroyed and their culture nearly obliterated in deliberate attacks and suppression.

After the Khmer Rouge seized control of Cambodia on April 17th, 1975, they frog-marched two million people out of capital city of Phnom Penh. Twenty thousand people were killed in the journey into the countryside. From then until 1979, two million people were killed through acts of brutality, starvation and disease. All religions - Theravada Buddhism, Christianity and Cham Islam - were nearly expunged during this time.

So, how does the "genocide" of aboriginals measure up to the verified genocides of the Holocaust and the Killing Fields?

It doesn't.

It's very clear that neither the parents nor the schools in Canada actually teach critical thinking skills or what constitutes genocide.

When the majority of people celebrate Christmas, you make the best with the time you have for your holidays:

It’s a problem many immigrants, newcomers, and Canadians from religious and cultural minorities face in the country. How do they fit their holidays into hectic schedules, when the country’s statutory calendar — which is largely focused on Christian celebrations — often doesn’t leave room?

The answers range among communities, families, and individuals.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says he is concerned by numbers in a new poll that suggest a majority of Canadians believe the federal government should limit the number of immigrants it accepts.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents to a recent Leger poll said the government should prioritize limiting immigration levels, while just 37 per cent said the priority should be on increasing the number of immigrants to meet economic demands.

Hussen says the result is concerning because he has heard directly from employers who are in desperate need of workers, and immigration is key to meeting those needs.

Shut up, Mr. Un-Canadian.

Pope Francis calls for carbon taxes:

Pope Francis said on Friday that carbon pricing is “essential” to stem global warming — his clearest statement yet in support of penalizing polluters — and appealed to climate change deniers to listen to science.

In an address to energy executives at the end of a two-day meeting, he also called for “open, transparent, science-based and standardized” reporting of climate risk and a “radical energy transition” away from carbon to save the planet.

Yes, about that, Your Holiness:

The strategy of buying and selling ‘carbon credits’ can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors (171).

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Franco Zeffirelli:

Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, who delighted audiences around the world with his romantic vision and often extravagant productions, most famously captured in his cinematic “Romeo and Juliet,” has died in Rome at 96.

Friday, June 14, 2019

And the Rest of It

A lot happening in this world ...

From the most "transparent" government in the country's history:

As reported by Global News, “A Toronto-area organization that was suspended by charities regulators and fined $550,000 over concerns it may have funded armed militants in Pakistan has been awarded a federal summer jobs grant. 

Although the Islamic Society of North America-Canada is serving a one-year suspension imposed by the Canada Revenue Agency, it was approved for 2019 Canada Summer Jobs  funding.

The Trudeau government is giving them $25,787.

CRA suspended the group because of concerns with money that was transferred to the Kashmir region. The result was that ISNA-Canada “may have, knowingly or unknowingly, provided the benefits of its status as a registered charity to support the efforts of a political party and its armed wing,” according to the report.

The money may have ended up in the hands of Hizbul Mujahideen, which is listed as a terrorist group by both India and the European Union.

Only two former charities in Canada are suspended. ISNA-Canada is one of them.

Yet, the Trudeau Liberals have no problem giving them thousands of taxpayer dollars.


Samer Majzoub initiated Petition e-411 in June, 2016, and gathered close to 70,000 signatures before it was presented in Parliament in early October. It passed, but not unanimously, the first time it was read, because some Conservative members shouted “Nay.” However, on October 26, 2017, with only 79 Members of Parliament present (out of a total of 338), the motion was unanimously adopted. 

Samer Majzoub is the long-time public face of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), which receives financial support from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Ever since its creation, MAC has presented itself as a disciple of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, and its president, Wael Haddara, was one of the principal advisers to Muslim Brotherhood head and President of Egypt Morsi in 2012 to 2013. As documented by the website Point de Bascule, MAC openly defended Hamas (2004) and hosted a promoter of suicide attacks (2009). Between 2001 and 2010, MAC transferred $296,514 (Canadian dollars) to the charity IRFAN-Canada. In April, 2011, the Canada Revenue Agency revoked IRFAN’s charitable status for transferring $14.6 million to Hamas from 2005 to 2009 alone. 

On April 24, 2011, IRFAN itself was added to the list of banned terrorist organizations.

It is frightening that MAC and its leaders represent mainstream Islam in Canada. Samer Majzoub is the recipient of a 60th Jubilee medal celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne and is frequently called upon by the media. Politicians make a point of attending the annual banquet of the Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF), of which he is president and which has been promoting action against Islamophobia since at least 2010. As president of CMF, he has condemned “bigotry” as a crime, and “hate speech” as not being “freedom of expression but evil.” Frighteningly, in celebrating the unanimous passage of Petition e-411, he wrote that the “next step is for the federal government to set up policies and orientations to address and deal profoundly at all levels, social, economical, and political, with Islamophobia symptoms that present themselves strongly in our society.”

And that next step seems to be Motion M-103, a private member’s motion tabled on December 1, 2016, fast on the heels of the Parliamentary endorsement of Petition e-411, by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid. ...

Iqra Khalid was born in Pakistan and was president of the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) at York University in Toronto while she was a student there. Iqra Khalid’s father, Dr. Hafiz Khalid, is a long-time supporter of the Islamic Society of North America and a vocal supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist group in Pakistan. Both the MSA and ISNA are Muslim Brotherhood organizations. On February 8, 2017, Iqra Khalid tweeted that she was “delighted to reconnect with Muslim community leaders in Ottawa today” and included the hashtag #motion103. The community leaders she reconnected with included the executive director and other members of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), an organization formerly known as CAIR-CAN, or the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations. This Muslim Brotherhood group was found to be an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial in Texas, in which the HLF was found guilty of having funneled millions of dollars to Hamas. NCCM renamed itself in 2013, presumably because the CAIR brand had started to lose its shine. 

But unlike Petition e-411, Motion M-103 did not quietly slip under the radar. There was concerted opposition to it, MPs were visited by concerned constituents and received over 900,000 emails against it, anti-M-103 rallies were held and electronic petitions circulated (receiving over 150,000 signatures opposing it), and opinion columns were written (both for and against). The motion was debated on February 15, with several Conservative MPs speaking against it, and the vote was put off. The next day, the House debated a Conservative party counter-motion to M-103. It was similar to M-103, but did not use the word “Islamophobia” and instead condemned discrimination against “Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities.” Virtually every non-Liberal Member of Parliament voted for the Conservative counter-motion, but all Liberals voted against it. 

The delayed vote for M-103 would normally have sent it to the bottom of the order paper (i.e., to the end of the queue) for a vote in April. Presumably in an attempt to pass M-103 before it got more publicity, the vote was advanced to March 23 (by trading places with another private member’s bill). It passed by a vote of 201 Yeas against 91 Nays. All of the Nays were cast by the Conservative party and the Bloc Québécois, the federal separatist party in a province less afraid than most in asserting its cultural identity. In contrast, every Liberal and New Democrat (NDP) and the lone Green Party member supported the motion. While Canadians were assured that M-103 is just a motion, not a bill, Liberal MP Raj Grewal suggested what the intent of the motion might be: “One of the most important things about the motion that Canadians should understand is that it encourages a committee to collect data and to present that data in a contextualized manner so we, as members of Parliament elected to this chamber, can study it and propose laws. ” 

On April 15, 2017, Iqra Khalid was awarded a special “thanks and appreciation” plaque at the annual Gala of the Palestine House marking Land Day (symbolizing the commitment to “liberate” Palestine). Could it have been for successfully getting Parliament to pass Motion M-103? Palestine House had for many years received federal money for services to the Palestinian community in Toronto, but was de-funded by the Conservative government in 2012 for its “pattern of support for extremism.”


NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus and fellow Vancouver-area NDP MPs sent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a letter on Thursday following a Global News investigation that revealed the law firm of Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido brokered a secretive and controversial real estate deal with an alleged organized crime kingpin.

It's clear that these unaccountable MPs are using their position to further whatever it is that they want.

Canada is a banana republic without the bananas.

Stone Age cultures never had spas. That might be why people don't want this cultural fantasy in their backyards.

Oh, and the crime:

Residents in southwest Scarborough say an Indigenous healing lodge planned for their neighbourhood is a bad fit for the area, and is being forced on their community without proper consultation.

"It's related to crime and I don't want the crime rate to go up in my community," Tak Wan, one of the residents who's opposing the project said Monday. "I don't feel it's safe for that kind of facility to be here."

Let's see how well the crumbled infrastructure of Canada's "universal" healthcare remains without plastic:

Syringes, IV tubing, saline bags, plastic-wrapped drugs, catheters — hospitals couldn’t function without plastics. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021 may have noble intentions, not all plastics are evil, experts say.

“It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of plastics in modern society,” Dr. Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society wrote recently in the Montreal Gazette. Medical equipment, cars, airplanes, computers and communication systems “all rely on a variety of plastics.”

“Just think what our world would be like if we didn’t have garbage bags,” he said in an interview.

 “It’s not a frivolous use — it’s absolutely necessary for sanitation.“

Railroaded Vice-admiral Mark Norman gets applauded:

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, whose status has been up in the air since a breach-of-trust-case against him was dropped last month, was welcomed with a greeting of "mate" from the chief of the defence staff and applause from the crowd at a navy ceremony Wednesday.

Questions have swirled around the future of Norman, the former second-in-command of Canada's Armed Forces who has expressed a desire to return to duty after the criminal case against him was dropped.

Norman was on hand in uniform for the colourful change of command ceremony in Halifax, and defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance mentioned him at the beginning of his remarks.

"Great to have you here mate," Vance said to warm applause. "The family's all together again. It feels good."

Also - a rejection of douchebaggery:

A controversial proposal to ask the Canadian military to fund Remembrance Day ceremonies in Victoria died at Thursday’s city council meeting.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and her fellow councillors declined to bring the amendment to a vote, while apologizing to the veterans who had gathered at the meeting to voice their outrage at the request.

Ben Isitt, the councillor who introduced the motion, was silent as Helps and the rest of council apologized while committing to cover policing costs for Remembrance Day and other special events in the capital.

“Councillors who voted in favour of asking Veterans Affairs to fund Remembrance Day changed their minds — so much so that it didn’t even make it to the floor this evening,” Helps said.

“My biggest hope this week is that … we would send a signal that we support the people who are serving in the Canadian Armed Forces and who have served.”

The proposal, which called on staff to request the Department of National Defence (DND) to pay for policing costs during Remembrance Day and other military commemorative events, was initially approved during a committee of the whole meeting last Thursday despite Helps and two other councillors voting against it.

It's like Stockholm syndrome but with more child rapists:

Accounts of the wrenching scene, given by both Rasho and the girls, point to a new challenge confronting members of the Yazidi community as they try to trace nearly 3,000 Yazidis who remain unaccounted for after the territorial defeat of the militants. Perhaps hundreds of them are children, who are still being hidden by ISIL families in camps or homes, Rasho said.

Snatched from their families at a young and vulnerable age, these children now must undergo the trauma of new separations and new adjustments, after spending some of the most formative years of their lives with the militants. The children were given new names, new families and a new faith. Many forgot their native Kurdish language and now speak only Arabic.

They barely remember the circumstances of their earlier lives, and many have embraced the ultra-extremist form of Islam at the heart of ISIL’s ideology.

If only Canada had taken more of these children in instead of having parkas tossed at them or just being ignored by a Liberal douchebag.

If only ...

It's like there is a pattern:

I was honest with Planned Parenthood workers about the age gaps between me and my partners—gaps that put my relationships in violation of my state’s statutory rape laws. No Planned Parenthood worker ever asked me if I felt safe in these relationships (the answer would have been no) or reported them as a mandatory reporter. Nor did any of the practitioners tell me about the risks of having multiple partners. In failing to do so, they shirked their responsibility to me, a woman in need.

Also - that poor little fellow never had a chance:

The baby cut out of his mom’s womb during an attack in Chicago died Friday after living for two months on life support.

“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of baby Yovanny Jadiel Lopez. He passed away this Friday, June 14, 2019, from his severe brain injury,” a family spokesperson wrote in a statement on Facebook.

Can crimes be adorable?:

A woman in southern Alberta has been charged after she allegedly tried to mail a puppy and a kitten via Canada Post.


The Correlation Between Incompetence and Voter Confidence

To wit:

The Senate passed an amended version of the Liberal government’s oil tanker ban late on Thursday, while rejecting some last-minute Conservative amendments that sought to emphasize Indigenous land rights as a way to skirt the controversial moratorium.

Bill C-48 passed third reading just before midnight, including an amendment put forward by Independent Sen. Murray Sinclair that would effectively launch a five-year review of the oil tanker ban.

The amended version of the bill will now be passed back to the House of Commons for review, similar to C-69 — another contentious natural resources bill that was heavily amended by the Senate, and widely opposed in oil-rich regions.


Finance Minister Bill Morneau says in a letter to six right-leaning premiers Friday it’s “unhelpful to threaten national unity” if their demands to change two bills on the verge of being passed in Parliament aren’t met.

(Sidebar: "right-leaning"? The bribed press is sure doing its job!)

The premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories wrote to the prime minister Monday urging him to amend or abandon bills restricting tanker traffic on part of B.C.’s coast and overhauling the federal environmental-assessment system for major construction projects.

The premiers said changes to the bills are needed to “avoid further alienating provinces” and “focus on uniting the country.”

(Sidebar: I wouldn't get too uppity, Bill -  A House of Commons committee has unanimously asked Finance Minister Bill Morneau to fix a funding shortfall that the Auditor General’s office says is causing cutbacks to its audits on government performance.)

The Parliamentary Budget Office says that if the Liberals actually want to hit their Paris Climate target, they will need to impose another larger carbon tax on top of the current tax.

Not only that, but they will also need to keep raising the current one – as is currently planned.

(Sidebar: oh, people will love you!)

Catherine McKenna has announced that the Trudeau Carbon Tax will be imposed on Alberta – against the wishes of the province, and against the obvious democratic choice Albertans made by electing the anti-carbon tax United Conservative Party.


While Canada debates whether to stop using our resources, most countries are eagerly making more use of theirs. Even as the Obama administration in the U.S. tried getting coal-fired electricity replaced by natural gas and renewables, it was not afraid to let U.S. oil production double and even eliminated the ban on U.S. oil exports to enable production growth.

Norway, considered a climate leader par excellence, has been busily developing its offshore oil and gas reserves. Whether it is Guyanese, African or Middle Eastern oil, Chinese coal or Australian LNG, resource development is proceeding apace everywhere except in Canada.

Other countries understand that global fossil fuel demand, currently at 100 million barrels per day, will not disappear entirely at least for several decades, if at all. Petrochemicals are critical for many products we consume today and technology is not yet available to provide a substitute for oil as a fuel for industrial uses, long-haul transportation, shipping and aviation. ...

It would make sense for Canada to have a carbon policy consistent with its major trading partners, most obviously the United States. However, it does not make sense for Canada to impose high-cost policies on our economy that will drive resource businesses to other jurisdictions where development can still take place.

If Canada decides to go it alone in stopping oil and gas developments, resource provinces will get badly hurt — and so will Canada as a whole. We need a resource policy that allows for responsible development, just like other countries have. That’s not the direction we appear headed in now.

For some reason, none of this inspires people to support Justin whole-heartedly:

According to the new poll, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s approval rating is at its lowest point since he was elected in 2015. Just 32 per cent of respondents said they believe the Trudeau government has done a good job and deserves re-election, compared to 68 per cent who think it’s time for another party to take power.

(Sidebar: clearly thirty-two percent of polled voters aren't poor enough.) 


If polls are any indication, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading for the exit this fall but many of his Liberal MPs have already announced they are leaving or won’t run for re-election.

The departures began even before the SNC-Lavalin scandal erupted this year. In September, Ontario Liberal (and former Air Force officer) Leona Alleslev crossed the floor to join the Conservatives because of disagreements with the government’s handling of the economy and foreign affairs.

“Here at home, we see large amounts of capital investment leaving Canada while tax structures, federal infrastructure problems and politics prevent us from getting goods to market, and deter companies from expanding and undermine our competitiveness. For the first time in many years, Canadians don’t believe that tomorrow will be better than today and that their children’s future will be than theirs,” she said in a statement after crossing the floor.

“Beyond our borders, our position remains vastly diminished. Our foreign policy is disconnected from our trade relationships and our ability to deliver on our defence commitments is undermined by politics,” she added. “We must recognize that foreign policy, trade, defence, and our economy all depend on each other and can’t be viewed separately.”
Read the whole thing.

Trudeau seems to have decided that “attacks on national unity,” which consisted entirely of speaking in its defence, were a promising wedge issue. The “Will X at long last rise to his feet and denounce Y?” rhetorical trope is usually reserved for situations in which Y is some hate group or nefarious cult, and maybe that is how Trudeau regards the gang of six letter-signers.

A different prime minister might have felt more comfortable than Trudeau simply rejecting the use of the term, as Conservative leader Andrew Scheer did when he agreed that horrible things had happened, but that they didn’t constitute a genocide. You can agree with Scheer’s position or not, but it’s coherent and defensible. 

Trudeau’s? Not so much. You don’t need to grasp quantum computing to realize you simply can’t be the country’s leading champion of reconciliation and the self-confessed overseer of an ongoing genocide at the same time.

It still baffles one how someone incredibly stupid got into his dad's office in the first place.


The Snubbery

Remember - Justin said that his favourite country was China and we all heard it:

Beijing ignored a personal attempt by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this year to arrange a conversation with China’s premier in order to intervene on behalf of Canadians detained in China, CBC News has learned.”

The spiraling diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing "lies entirely with Canada," the Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday — suggesting for the first time that its leadership won't speak with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau until Canada drops extradition proceedings against a Chinese telecom executive. 

Not to worry. Chrystia Freeland is "firmly" rejecting China's demands to free Meng Wanzhou.

Maybe that is why the Chinese are taking her so seriously.

Oh, wait ...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Mid-Week Post

The next level in consciousness ... or something ...

Justin accuses six premiers of wanting to destroy national unity:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, bent on re-election, is already playing a divisive, dangerous game with the country he claims to lead.

On Tuesday, six premiers including Jason Kenney sent him a letter warning that Bill C-69 in its original form, as well as Bill C-48, will damage the economy from coast to coast.

On Bill C-48, which bans the shipment of Alberta petroleum products off B.C.’s north shore, the letter said: “We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole . . .

“Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.”

Shockingly, Trudeau took this caution as virtually treasonous. Here’s what the PM said as he entered the Commons Wednesday: “I think it’s absolutely irresponsible for conservative premiers to be threatening our national unity if they don’t get their way.

“The fundamental job of any Canadian prime minister is to hold this country together, to gather us together and move forward in the right way,” he said. “And anybody who wants to be Prime Minister, like (Conservative Leader) Andrew Scheer, needs to condemn those attacks on national unity.”

But, but . . . what attacks?

The premiers did not threaten unity in their letter. They said exactly the opposite — that Liberal legislation, by discriminating against resource industries, is what harms the country.

They urge the Liberals to accept all Senate amendments to Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act, and kill C-48, the so-called Tanker Moratorium.

But to Trudeau, it’s apparently a national unity threat even to challenge federal legislation, point out its flaws and warn of negative impacts.

His response bends the truth back on itself. It paints six premiers who represent more than half of Canada’s population as active dangers to Confederation.

Let's break this down.

Here is the letter sent to Justin with portions highlighted for clarity:

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Collectively, our five provinces and territory represent 59 per cent of the Canadian population and 63 per cent of Canada’s GDP. We are central to Canada’s economy and prosperity, and it is of the utmost importance that you consider our concerns with bills C-69 and C-48. 

The federal government is rejecting most of the amendments proposed by Conservative senators to Bill C-69.

A senior government official speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said after going through every amendment — there were 187 by one count — the government has concluded most of the proposals by Conservative senators were designed to weaken the bill.

About 90 per cent of the Conservative amendments will not be agreed to, he said, including allowing the new Impact Assessment Agency flexibility to decide whether to take into account a project’s effect on Indigenous rights or climate change.

More on the letter:

Canadians across the country are unified in their concern about the economic impacts of the legislation such as it was proposed by the House of Commons.  In this form, the damage it would do to the economy, jobs and investment will echo from one coast to the other. 

With a federal cabinet decision looming on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the pro-energy industry advocacy group Canada Action convened the rally, perhaps 4,000 people strong, to show support for the project and lay into two pieces of legislation that have become the focal points for the anger roiling the West. 

The letter:

Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be respected. Provinces and territories have clear and sole jurisdiction over the development of their non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and the generation and production of electricity. Bill C-69 upsets the balance struck by the constitutional division of powers by ignoring the exclusive provincial powers over projects relating to these resources. The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a Constitutional crisis. 

Note than none of the six premiers threatened that they would upset or dissolve Confederation but argued that Bill C-69 overrides provincial and territorial rights and the passage of such would cause a crisis that would cause disunity.

Bill C-69, as originally drafted, would make it virtually impossible to develop critical infrastructure, depriving Canada of much needed investment. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource sector projects in Canada plunged by $100 billion –an amount equivalent to 4.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. To protect Canada’s economic future, we, collectively, cannot afford to overlook the uncertainty and risk to future investment created by Bill C-69.

Our five provinces and territory stand united and strongly urge the government to accept Bill C-69 as amended by the Senate, in order to minimize the damage to the Canadian economy. We would encourage the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to accept the full slate of amendments to the bill. The Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources heard 38 days of testimony from 277 witnesses including indigenous communities, industry, Premiers, and independent experts. Based on that comprehensive testimony, the committee recommended significant amendments to the bill, which were accepted by the Senate as a whole. We urge you to respect that process, the committee’s expertise, and the Senate’s vote. 

If the Senate’s amendments are not respected, the bill should be rejected, as it will present insurmountable roadblocks for major infrastructure projects across the country and will further jeopardize jobs, growth and investor confidence.

No threats to separate there, only the results of what will happen if C-69 and C-48 become law.

Similarly, Bill C-48 threatens investor confidence, and the tanker moratorium discriminates against western Canadian crude products.  We were very disappointed that the Senate did not accept the recommendation to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that the bill not be reported. We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole

Our governments are deeply concerned with the federal government’s disregard, so far, of the concerns raised by our provinces and territory related to these bills. As it stands, the federal government appears indifferent to the economic hardships faced by provinces and territories. Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.

Who is doing the alienating?:

Heading into the House for Question Period on Tuesday, the prime minister stopped to tell reporters, “I think it’s absolutely irresponsible for conservative premiers to be threatening our national unity if they don’t get their way. The fundamental job of any Canadian prime minister is to hold this country together. … Anyone who wants to be prime minister, like Andrew Scheer, needs to condemn those attacks on national unity.” With that, he nodded, pivoted and was off. Once in the House, he made a similar comment: “We will not … accept the premiers saying ‘there’s a threat to national unity’ if we don’t get our way.”

He said it twice. He’d obviously considered it. It’s not a slip of the tongue or a verbal flub. This is a talking point.

Nowhere in the letter (posted in its entirety) do the premiers threaten to separate. Nowhere. They make it abundantly clear that jobs will be lost but they do no make ultimatums. They don't even hint at it.

Justin, however, was far less subtle:

It started with a French-language interview published on Feb. 13, 2012.

“If at a certain point, I believe that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper — that we were going against abortion, and we were going against gay marriage and we were going backwards in 10,000 different ways — maybe I would think about wanting to make Quebec a country,” Trudeau said.

Who threatened to stamp his feet and walk away if he didn't get his way?

He would destroy Confederation for a province (one that doesn't think too much of him, by the way) because Harper was handling an economy well and Justin didn't get his precious abortions.

And all Ford, Higgs, Kenney, McLeod, Moe and Pallister want are jobs.

Premier Jason Kenney is in talks to have the private sector assume control over the crude-by-rail contracts:

(Sidebar: deemed safer than pipelines according to people who have never heard of Lac Megantic.)

The Alberta government has started talks with the private sector about Canadian oil producers taking over crude-by-rail contracts signed by the previous government, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said on Tuesday.

The talks follow newly elected Kenney's campaign promise to scrap the former New Democratic Party government's C$3.7 billion ($2.78 billion) crude-by-rail deals, which he has slammed as poor value for taxpayers.

"There are confidential conversations going on between our government and private sector actors.

Our strong preference is that the private sector take over those contracts," Kenney told reporters in Calgary.

Although talks are underway, the crude-by-rail programme will not start up in July as originally planned by the NDP, said a government source with knowledge of the situation, who is not authorised to speak about the matter.

Alberta is Canada's main crude-producing province and home to the country's vast oil sands but a lack of pipeline capacity leaves oil bottlenecked in Alberta, adding to the price discount, or differential, on Canadian barrels versus U.S. oil.

That discount hit record levels in late 2018, prompting the NDP government to curtail oil production. Earlier this year the NDP also inked deals to lease 4,400 rail cars that would transport Alberta crude to market, before being ousted in an April election.

The two largest contracts signed were with Canadian National Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd to move the rail cars. The programme was meant to start transporting 20,000 barrels per day next month, ramping up to 120,000 bpd by mid-2020.

"Those contracts were signed in the last days of the NDP government and pay above the market rate," the source said.

"The sticking point is whether the railways are willing to come to the table to offer commercial terms that would be attractive to producers to ship their oil, and whether some or most of the oil producers can agree to conditions under which they can contract directly with the railways," he added.

Alberta is so far encouraged by suggestions that CN and CP would be willing to discuss the contracts, the source said.

Called it!:

A new public opinion poll by Forum Research shows that Canadians are divided in support for the Liberal government’s carbon tax and that two thirds of them say it will affect how they vote this October. These results are hardly surprising given the mixed reactions to the controversial tax but what the numbers also reveal is how one side of the debate is much more passionate than the other.

The telephone poll of 1,633 Canadian voters found that 45% are opposed to the tax, 28% are in favour of it and 27% say they are neither for nor against it. This tells us that public opinion is more on the side of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who is against the tax alongside premiers, such as Ontario’s Doug Ford and Alberta’s Jason Kenney.

It’s not just the raw numbers though that work to Scheer’s favour and against Trudeau’s much coveted tax. Forum also looked at how motivated voters are on the issue and found those opposed feel much more strongly than those in favour.

A majority of respondents, 65%, say the carbon tax will in some way influence their vote in October, with 40% saying it is “very likely” to affect their vote and 25% saying it’s “somewhat likely.” Those opposed to the carbon tax, though, are much more likely to vote based on this issue than those in support of it. That’s where things get really difficult for Trudeau and the Liberals.

Among those who say they oppose the carbon tax, 84% told Forum that it’s going to play a role in informing their vote. In contrast, only 53% of those who support the tax feel similarly passionate.

The Liberals also appear to be trailing when it comes to getting out their base on the issue. While 80% of Conservative supporters feel motivated on the issue (presumably in opposition to it), only 48% of Liberal voters are excited to vote based on their support of the tax.

“The carbon tax looks like it’s motivating its opponents in far greater numbers than its proponents,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research. “Additionally, Conservative supporters are far more opposed than Liberals are in favour. If the Conservatives can consolidate the opposition around this issue, and make it the focal point of the campaign, the Liberals’ re-election prospects are severely diminished.”

To wit:

Ahead of a climate policy announcement from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, the Tories are going all-in on attacking the Liberal government for its projected failure to meet emissions reduction targets, according to an internal memo obtained by the National Post.

Yep, a party will do that.

At least it makes more sense than banning straws for some stupid reason.

Handing one's drug plan to a government is as sane as handing one's healthcare plan, kids' education and pension to the government. That is to say it's a bloody stupid thing to do because nothing this government ever works:

The federal government should work with provinces and territories to create a national pharmacare program that works like public health care, in that it is "universal, comprehensive, accessible, portable and public."

Oh, this healthcare plan?:
Valuing only hours lost during the average work week, the estimated cost of waiting for care in Canada for patients who were in the queue in 2018 was about $2.1 billion. This works out to an average of about $1,924 for each of the estimated 1,082,541 Canadians waiting for treatment in 2018.

Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 19.8 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment—shorter than the wait of 21.2 weeks reported in 2017. This year’s wait time is 113% longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks.

The data examined in this report suggest that there is an imbalance between the value Canadians receive and the relatively high amount of money they spend on their health-care system. Although Canada ranks among the most expensive universal-access health-care systems in the OECD, its performance for availability and access to resources is generally below that of the average OECD country, while its performance for use of resources and quality and clinical performance is mixed.

Sure. How could any of that go wrong?

There is a pattern here:

The 15-year-old girl was seeking refuge when she came to Janet and Joe Holm’s house in the mid-2000s. The couple lived in a big white farmhouse on a sprawling property just minutes outside Bloomfield, Ont., a village in Prince Edward County dotted with well-manicured homes from the 1800s.

M.K. had been previously sexually abused when she arrived at the Holms’ as a foster child, hoping to find a safe, stable home. Instead, her stay turned into a nightmare. The couple groomed her under the guise of trying to heal her. They dressed her up, made her watch porn, and eventually she was sexually assaulted by Joe. ...

Despite claiming to come from a fairly stable family, she stayed with the Holms for about five years. M.R. said she chose to live with the couple rather than her mother, who fought the whole time to get her back, because the Holms made her believe she was better off with them. M.R. also claims the Children’s Aid Society never made an effort to reconnect her with her family.

According to court documents from their sentencing hearing, between 2001 to 2010, Joe and Janet had 25 teens come through their home. The teens were allowed to drink, talk openly about sex and have sex with each other, but were still encouraged to have strong academics and participate in family activities. 

As M.K. described it, sexuality was deliberately woven into the fabric of the family.


The province failed a 12-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by her stepfather, and given an abortion in 2011 without the proper counselling and screening for abuse, says Newfoundland and Labrador child and youth advocate Jacqueline Lake Kavanagh.


June 11, 2005. Phoenix dies after a final violent beating on the basement’s concrete floor. McKay and Kematch bury her near the reserve’s landfill. They continue to pretend she is alive and collect welfare benefits with her listed as a dependent.

One might be tempted to think that leaving children in a minefield would be better than leaving them in the care of  the Canadian social services system.

Police use tear gas against protester in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong stormed key city roads in the face of tear gas and rubber bullets Wednesday after days of heightened tensions over the government’s plan to push forward a bill that would allow extraditions to China.

It is the second time in five years that Hong Kong’s main roads have been occupied in defiance of Beijing’s tightening control on the semiautonomous city. Hong Kong’s Harcourt Road, a major thoroughfare tying the city together, was the scene of major street battles between the young protesters and police throughout the afternoon.

The protesters, many of them young people dressed in black, started surrounding the building that houses Hong Kong’s main government offices, the Legislative Council, late Tuesday night. Some pitched tents in a nearby park and on sidewalks, spending the night despite sporadic rain showers.

Throughout the day, the protesters, many wearing goggles and yellow construction helmets, pushed against police lines to force them back until police deployed tear gas in the middle of the afternoon, causing many protesters to retreat.

They soon regrouped however and by late afternoon the whole area had descended into a street battle with protesters throwing bottles and helmets at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.


Donald, are you mad?: 

U.S. President Donald Trump took a public stance against the use of CIA informants to spy on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, saying it would not happen on his watch and possibly taking away a valuable tool of the U.S. intelligence community.

Trump’s remarks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House represented a fresh attempt by the president to cozy up to the North Korean leader, a policy that has drawn criticism for seeming to overlook Kim’s autocratic rule.

This North Korea:
A South Korean NGO says it has identified 318 sites in North Korea that have been used by the government to carry out public executions.

The Transitional Justice Working Group interviewed 610 North Korean defectors over four years for its report.

It documented decades of killings, for offences ranging from stealing a cow to watching South Korean TV.

Public executions took place near rivers, fields, markets, schools, and sports grounds, the rights group said.

Crowds of 1,000 or more would gather to watch these executions, the NGO said in its report, "Mapping the fate of the dead", released on Tuesday.

 The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea estimates that North Korea holds as many as 120,000 people in its system of concentration and detention camps, and that 400,000 people have died in these camps from torture, starvation, disease, and execution. These reports, in the context of estimates that North Korea has allowed between 600,000 and 2,500,000 of its people to starve to death while its government squandered the nation’s resources on weapons and luxuries for its ruling elite, suggest that North Korea’s oppression and politically targeted starvation of its people collectively constitute the world’s greatest ongoing atrocity, and almost certainly the most catastrophic anywhere on earth since the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

If Trump thinks he can treat Kim as a legitimate leader, he is not just mistaken. He is bordering on Neville Chamberlain foolishness.

(Merci beaucoup and kamsahamnida)