Friday, May 25, 2018

For a Friday

The last Friday of May ....

(sigh)




A bombing at a Toronto Indian restaurant is somehow not terrorism despite the carnage it created:

Raj Sapkota, a waiter at Bombay Bhel Indian restaurant in Mississauga, Ont., was in the kitchen preparing desserts when two men concealing their faces came in, set down a bomb in the reception area, then turned and ran.

It was 10:32 p.m. on Thursday. Many of the staff had already gone home. Two dinner parties, both about a dozen people, were still in the restaurant, one seated by the front window, the other in the middle of the room. One was a little boy’s birthday party, with balloons. Both sets of customers were longtime regulars, Sapkota said.

Between 10 and 15 seconds later, there was a loud bang. The blast shattered a set of interior glass doors and ripped open the ceiling. People started crying and shouting as the extent of their injuries became apparent. Blood ran onto the floor. There was not a lot of smoke, though there was a lingering smell like gasoline.

Sapkota said he saw “so many nails” from the bomb’s shrapnel, including one embedded in a woman’s leg. One person was bleeding from the stomach. “I think one is the birthday boy’s dad,” Sapkota said. “He was the most injured.”

“Everybody was screaming, panicking. They don’t know what to do. Everyone wanted to get out from the inside after the blast,” Sapkota said. “It was a very scary scene and people were like running around, like what to do.”

Somehow, not a terrorist attack.




Well, John this is something you have to own, so ... :

Toronto Mayor John Tory says that despite frequent appeals for help dealing with a totally overwhelmed shelter system, “We just haven’t had any indication of any help at all. Zero.”

According to a report, ‘“I just don’t think that’s fair,” he said of a growing crisis that is expected to cost municipal taxpayers at least $64.5 million in 2017 and 2018.

Tory said the city has a “crisis on our hands” as college dorm rooms are transformed into shelter spaces and public buildings like community centres might be next.”



Speaking of which:

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says officials will attempt to correct misinformation being circulated in New York state offering instructions to asylum seekers on how to illegally cross the border into Canada as political pressure mounts for government to do more to address the influx of irregular migrants from the United States.

What information would that be?


From the pamphlet:

Yes, about those things:

Canada and the U.S. signed an agreement 15 years ago effectively forcing refugee claimants to request protection in the first safe country they land. The agreement prevents claimants who were refused in one country from hopping the border to try in the other, or from claiming in both.

The Safe Third Country Agreement applies only to refugee claimants trying to get into Canada from the U.S. either through land-border crossings, by train or at airports.


**


The far bigger problem, though, is the Trudeau government’s incoherent policy regarding border crossings. If these migrants showed up at the official port of entry at Lacolle claiming Canada’s protection, they would be turned back, because Ottawa considers the U.S. a “safe third country” (i.e. a safe place for individuals to claim refugee status). Yet, confusingly, migrants are not being turned back when they pass through a well-known, unofficial crossing mere kilometres from the official port of entry at Lacolle. These illegal crossings occur right in front of RCMP officers. This inconsistency is the result of an odd loophole in the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement: it only applies at official crossings, not unofficial ones. The signatory governments assumed it would be too difficult to confirm the journey of people who crossed illegally and proceeded to lodge refugee claims in Canadian cities.

Canada’s immigration minister Ahmed Hussen has reminded potential refugee claimants that entering through unofficial crossings is illegal, and has said they should instead submit their refugee claims in the U.S. Yet, words are meaningless if they’re not backed up by consequences.

In these circumstances, the RCMP is doing its best to give the impression that laws are being enforced. Its officers arrest the migrants for crossing illegally, but quickly release them so that they can proceed with their refugee claims. Potential claimants coming from the U.S. are fully aware of this game. Many Canadians have seen images of the absurd way illegal migrants are being handled on the old Roxham Road several kilometres from the official Lacolle crossing. If this is allowed to continue, it will almost certainly undermine public confidence in our immigration system.
**

It is a 25-mile cab ride to a new life, for which the going rate is $50 to $75. But one cabdriver was keeping the meter off and charging $100 to $300 in cash, depending on his mood. And his passengers were not in a position to complain.

**

Evidence exclusively obtained by the Toronto Sun suggests that the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) is co-operating with the RCMP in dealing with the flood of migrants entering Canada illegally. This is significant given that CBSA deals exclusively with legal border crossings, while the RCMP is responsible for illegal crossing. 

Working together suggests a blurring of responsibility, and raises further questions about why our immigration laws are not being enforced at unofficial crossings. 
**



Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen assured everyone that he reached out to the pamphlet designers to make certain that the correct information on how to enter the country illegally and stay as long as possible is being printed.




The NDP will take and run anyone. It takes a special kind of ignoramus to vote for that party even without the promises of so-called free things and the thread of Nazism running through it:

The Ontario PCs held a news conference on Friday to point out a strange 2013 Facebook post from Tasleem Riaz, the NDP candidate in Scarborough-Agincourt. It appears to be a motivational quote from Hitler: “If you don’t like a rule…just follow it…reach on top…and change the rule,” the meme quotes Hitler saying, along with a photo of him giving the Nazi salute.



It's just money:

It was open rebellion from the opposition as the House of Commons erupted in yelling and desk-slamming Friday morning with MPs protesting the Speaker’s decision to cut off a point of order about the Liberal government’s alleged “slush” fund.

The extremely loud and unusual ruckus began as opposition MPs rose in solidarity with NDP MP Daniel Blaikie, who was outlining procedural arguments against the government asking Parliament to approve $7 billion of spending all at once in this year’s main estimates. The government says the money will be used on budget promises.

Speaker Geoff Regan had cut Blaikie off after about 15 minutes, citing his right to move on after he’s heard “enough” on a topic. He then interrupted procedural arguments against that move from Blaikie, Conservative House leader Candice Bergen and Tory finance critic Pierre Poilièvre, before trying to move on to ordinary House business.

MPs did not take it well.

Because that is collusion.

Seven billion dollars of other people's money may seem like a small matter to Justin and his friends. The only thing that seems transparent from this cover-up is how quickly the Liberals and the speaker, apparently, want everyone to shut up about it.




It is not surprising that Trump finally walked away from talks that would have Kim Jong-Un ostensibly denuclearise. The Kim dynasty and its Chinese financiers have played the game long enough to know how to win or at least walk away with some sort of prize. There is no victor but a stalemate that has gone on since 1953.

The popular press is quick to point out North Korea's uncharacteristic "patience" with the bombastic Trump but the decidedly forget with who they are dealing.

Cases in point:

As North Korea makes increasingly aggressive calls for the return of a group of restaurant workers in China who defected en masse to South Korea in 2016, it has come to light that the regime is also making efforts to persuade other defectors in South Korea to return to the North. 

“Anti-espionage agents from the provincial Ministry of State Security offices are calling up defectors in South Korea in an effort to get them to return to the country,” said a Ryanggang Province-based source to Daily NK on May 23.

“The agents tell the defectors point-blank that they will be met by agents in China and even give them telephone numbers to call once the defectors arrive in China. They are trying to bring them back to the country."
 
 
It's not like the US' erstwhile ally, South Korea, under Moon's leadership, is making matters easier:

When North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un suggested in a New Year address that his country might be open to participating in the Winter Olympics, South Korea’s president and top aides quickly convened to craft a friendly response. 

U.S. officials, however, weren’t included in those consultations and, to their consternation, were notified just hours before Seoul announced its proposal to Pyongyang for negotiations.

North Korea’s surprise outreach and South Korea’s opening to its northern rival have stirred tensions between Seoul and Washington—despite professed unity in public statements—as the allies work to present a common front in dealing with Pyongyang, according to senior U.S. and South Korean officials.

This blind side served to set up Trump as the sole reason for the inevitable failure of the talks, talks that surely won't continue despite hopes. Moon hopes to escape whipping.


But all of this side-steps what most South Koreans fear:

According to a 2014 government estimate it would cost US$77.3 billion just to rebuild North Korea's decrepit railway network, to say nothing of bullet trains. Road rebuilding projects also cost an arm and a leg. Back in 2005, the government estimated that it would cost W3.2 trillion to supply 2 million KW of electricity to the North over five years, and W3.5 trillion to build just one light-water reactor (US$1=W1,069). North Korea's power grid is so decrepit that the power shortage rate stands at 70 percent. The mind boggles at the cost of rebuilding it. 

But Pompeo insisted those picking up the tab "won't be U.S. taxpayers." Bolton also said there will be no U.S. government assistance for North Korea. U.S. President Donald Trump is already asked Mexico to pay for his harebrained scheme of a wall along their border and views the U.S. troop presence in South Korea as essentially a cost problem. In other words, there will be no U.S. government support for North Korea along the lines of the publicly funded Marshall Plan that helped Europe back on its feet after World War II. 

Instead Washington could turn to the International Monetary Fund, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or Asian Development Bank to share the cost of rebuilding North Korea and ask another country to guarantee the loans. South Korea ended up having to guarantee a considerable portion of loans after the 1994 Geneva Accords. South Korean taxpayers had to pay 70 percent of the cost of building an abortive light-water reactor in North Korea.

But the longer North Korea remains a communist dictatorship unwilling to join the modern market, the more expensive it will be for the South Koreans to bring that country up to speed.


Also:

Thae Yong-ho, a high-profile North Korean defector, has offered to quit a think tank affiliated with South Korea's spy agency, its official said Thursday. 

The former London-based diplomat who defected to the South in 2016 expressed an intent to resign from an advisory post at the Institute for National Security Strategy late Wednesday, according to the official. He has worked for the institute since January 2017.

Thae made the decision voluntarily in consideration of the current growing momentum for the reconciliatory mood and cooperation between the two Koreas, the official said. 

His departure came about a week after he published a controversial memoir focusing on the inner working of the North Korean regime and criticism of its leader Kim Jong-un, which drew harsh words from the North.

Quitting will only embolden Kim, Mr. Thae.


And:

A planned demonstration of the Korean martial art taekwondo by a joint Korean team has been unilaterally canceled by the North, according to sources Friday. 

The International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), an international organization led by the North, notified the South Korean-led World Taekwondo (WT) of the cancellation on Thursday.

In the brief letter, the North Korean taekwondo federation reportedly cited the Max Thunder military exercise between South Korea and the U.S. as the major reason for the pullout from the planned demonstration. 

The joint team, comprising South and North Korean taekwondo practitioners, had planned to give the performance at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on May 30 in front of dignitaries including Pope Francis.

The joint event had been suggested by Vatican representatives when they visited South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. After the Olympics ended, the Vatican officially proposed the two organizations stage the performance in the run up to the WT's Taekwondo Grand Prix event slated for June 1-3 in Rome.


A bit of good news from the Korean Peninsula:

Actress Park Ha-sun is volunteering her time to promote the government's efforts to recover and identify the remains of soldiers who were killed during the Korean War. 

Park appears in brochures and posters to promote the Defense Ministry's operation to recover war remains. They promise a reward of up to W700,000 for those who find remains, and offer detailed information including a telephone hotline and instructions on how to collect DNA samples from remains (US$1=W1,079).

(Kamsahamnida)




Taiwan on alert after Chinese bombers fly over it:

The South China Morning Post notes that the bomber flight occurred just a few hours after Burkina Faso cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan under pressure from China, the latest successful operation in Beijing’s campaign to isolate the island nation:

In the latest flight by People’s Liberation Army aircraft around Taiwan, two H-6 bombers passed through the Bashi Channel which separates Taiwan from the Philippines in the early hours of Friday and then rounded Taiwan via Japan’s Miyako Strait, to Taiwan’s northeast, the island’s defense ministry said.

This China




Putin claims to want to step down after his current term is finished:

Vladimir Putin said on Friday he would respect the Russian constitution which bans anyone from serving two consecutive presidential terms, meaning he will step down from his post in 2024 when his current term expires.

Sure, he will.




Does anyone want to hear Captain Picard's voice in the transit system? Make it so! :

If Mayor Don Iveson had his way, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise would be the voice of Edmonton's transit system.

Iveson voiced his desire to have English actor Patrick Stewart call out the stops on city trains after Wednesday's council meeting. ...

While there are no concrete plans to bring in a celebrity voice in Edmonton, Iveson suggested that the Star Trek commander's dulcet tones would be perfect for helping commuters navigate the transit system.



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mid-Week Post





Your mid-week spot of joy ...




Justin does everything in his power to prove that he is an arrogant prick with all the gravity of a cotton-ball:


After Scheer demands Trudeau apologize for his statementthat refused to condemn Hamas, Trudeau says Conservatives are “politicizing” support for Israel.


Would this be the same Israel that found itself without the Canadian support it enjoyed under Harper's government? The same Israel that routinely finds itself under siege from Hamas? That Israel?


Also - there is nothing genuine about the Liberals other than their craven lust for money and power:

The source of that inauthenticity is not that the apologizers do not mean it. Rather, it comes from the pose the government takes by apologizing for things the current office holders did not do, with the presumption that these injustices are no longer happening. The message seems to be that the time has come to at least forgive the long dead offenders, if not forget their crimes and the lingering effects. Harper, for example, called the Chinese head tax “a product of a profoundly different time.”

“It’s a little bit problematic because if we’re thinking about asking for authentic or genuine gestures of forgiveness, then we need to think about how to relate these apologies so that they speak to the people who are essentially giving forgiveness,” Wong said. “But in the reproduction of this phraseology of “this has been a dark chapter in Canadian history,” it kind of reads to me that they’re a regurgitation, or at least a reproduction process that puts all of these historical injustices in the same realm of recognition or acknowledgment, which is that they are things that happened in the past, there is no contemporary or current present continuation of these injustices.”

Au contraire.

As citizens of Chinese extraction are no longer paying head taxes but are, in fact, encouraged to purchase property, claiming that the wrong is an ongoing thing is disingenuous, politically and morally. One apologises for a past wrong.

Should these apologies be made? What is the time limit or breadth of regret?

Well, one cannot keep apologising and making financial recompense to grand-children of past victims. At that point, it is no longer an expression of sincere regret and compensation where possible but a form of social bribery made under threat of disgust or revolt. Those reasons are enough for any politician to make imaginary amends.
 
Currying temporary favour with X tribe identity group may buy a few votes but it is rather like feeding an insatiable crocodile who pops by each year asking for bribes.

Greedy, is my point.

Furthermore, if Justin was truly remorseful, he would admit that he is a fascist douchebag and resign as prime minister of the country.





Bob Rae, Canada's special envoy to Myanmar, called on the government last month to set aside $600 million over the next four years to help the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims affected by the violence.

Freeland and Bibeau, however, announced during a news conference that Canada would contribute $300 million over the next three years, which will go towards emergency assistance as well as education and reproductive health programs.

(Sidebar: just change the wording for the last bit. Euphemisms and code-changes are great for momentarily hiding the fact that mum and dad can't get their acts together and are fighting for custody and that the Canadian taxpayer must pay for abortion, the new birth control.)
 


 
Knowing damn well that they can't get away with handing China everything,  Justin's government (read: band of thieves and cronies) blocks China's bid to take over Aecon:

The federal government has rejected the $1.5-billion sale of Aecon Group Inc. to a state-backed Chinese buyer, effectively bowing to fierce opposition to the deal as Canada navigates sensitive trade talks with the U.S.

In a brief statement seen by the National Post Wednesday, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains said Ottawa would block the deal for security reasons, adding that Canada is “open to international investment that creates jobs and increases prosperity, but not at the expense of national security.”

Aecon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The decision comes after months of intense opposition to the transaction by Members of Parliament, business groups and domestic construction companies, who argued the deal could give China access to sensitive Canadian IP, and would make local firms less competitive in future project bids. Aecon has contracts to carry out refurbishment and maintenance work on various nuclear facilities, as well as build and maintain several telecommunications lines.

The financial holding division of China Communications Construction Co., Ltd. (CCCC) proposed to buy the Canadian construction firm last year. The Chinese state-owned enterprise is 64 per cent owned by the Chinese government.

China observers have said that state-owned enterprises effectively operate as an arm of the Chinese government, exposing Canada to potential risks if given access to sensitive assets.



No, Toronto, you can own this. It's all yours:

The city has activated a contingency plan to open up at least 800 more shelter beds to accommodate growing numbers of asylum seekers from the U.S., Toronto’s office of emergency management said Wednesday.

Beginning Thursday, the city will begin temporarily housing refugee claimants in 400 beds at Centennial College’s residence and conference centre in Scarborough. As of June 1, 400 additional beds at Humber College’s Etobicoke campus will also be made available.

The 800 beds will only be open until early August and comes at a cost of $6.3 million.

“We have 2,700 refugees in our shelter system, we’ve exhausted our capacity and our resources,” said Paul Raftis, general manager of shelter, support and housing administration at a press conference.

“Over the last month, we’ve seen on average, 10 people a day come in to the shelter system, so over 350 new people in last month and we expect that to continue going forward. Our concern is: if it continues at that rate, or speeds up, there will be nowhere to put individuals and they will end up on the street.”



Oh, this doesn't look good:

A second Ontario Progressive Conservative candidate accused of having used stolen customer lists from a private toll highway said Wednesday he never received the 407 data, and would have no need for it anyway.

Harjit Jaswal also denied working with a controversial political organizer, prompting that man to produce a written agreement contradicting him.

In an exclusive interview set up by party officials, Jaswal said he recruited members to support his bid for the PC nomination in Brampton Centre by old-fashioned door-knocking and networking, not employing an outside database.

He also denied playing any part in a smear campaign against one of his rivals for the nomination using a leaked police arrest report.



Trump was elected to support American interests. He is doing that. Justin landed his father's former job. He doesn't care about Canadian interests, even when it comes back to bite him:

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to impose new tariffs on imported vehicles, invoking a national security law used to impose tariffs on aluminium and steel, an administration official and three industry officials briefed on the matter said.

Another administration official said the move was aimed partly at pressuring Canada and Mexico to make concessions in talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement that have languished in part over auto provisions, as well as pressuring Japan and the European Union, which also export large numbers of vehicles to the United States.



Kim's smoke and mirrors closure of a collapsed nuclear test site still does not change his regime's true intentions:

Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this week to observe the closing of the country’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site in a much-touted display of goodwill before leader Kim Jong Un’s planned summit with President Donald Trump next month.

Expect good imagery, but not much else.

The public display of the closure of the facility on Mount Mantap will likely be heavy on spectacle and light on substance. And the media will be spending much of their time in an unrelated tourism zone that North Korea hopes will be the next big thing for its economy if Kim’s diplomatic overtures pay off in the months ahead.

Who needs a regime change when one can smooth over the war talk and open a third-rate resort for wealthy Chinese?


Also - returned North Korean spies who ventured into South Korea to undermine its government and kidnap its citizens will only live their lives in poverty and obscurity if they are lucky:

He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a prison where he was tortured by South Korean guards before being released to a life of poverty and police surveillance. Now, 89 years old and bedridden with illness, former North Korean spy Seo Ok-yeol just wants to go home.

"People have a need to die in a place where they are respected," Seo said, though he worries it could be too late to finally be reunited with the wife and children he left behind.

Seo is among 19 Cold War-era North Korean spies and guerrillas who have served their time in South Korean prisons and are pushing to return to the North. Though they are officially free now, Seoul has refused to let them return as it seeks commitments from Pyongyang for the return of hundreds of South Koreans thought held there.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

For a Tuesday

A post-Victoria Day entry ...



Forget it, Donald:

President Donald Trump expressed confidence Tuesday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is “serious” about negotiating over denuclearization, but he acknowledged a “substantial chance” that a summit planned for June 12 in Singapore could fall through.

“We’re moving along. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters at the White House, after welcoming South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a meeting. “If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later.”

Later Trump said: “It may not work out for June 12.”

The uncertainty comes after recent hard line rhetoric from Pyongyang, which has alarmed Trump administration officials and complicated the summit planning. A high-ranking Kim aide last week blasted national security adviser John Bolton, who had suggested the North Koreans would be expected to fully relinquish their nuclear weapons program before receiving reciprocal benefits from the United States.

In the past, any time North Korea appeared conciliatory and co-operative, it was to lift sanctions. This time is not vastly different. Because Trump had ratcheted up the pressure on both China and North Korea, the predictable outcome - the one where Kim would walk away from peace talks and resume its previous behaviour - only took longer to unfold.

Case in point:

The North at the same time demands that the U.S. lower the bar for denuclearization and accuses it of provoking hostilities with joint aerial exercises with South Korea.

On Saturday, the North demanded that South Korea return a group of restaurant workers who defected from China in 2016 in an operation Pyongyang has denounced as an "abduction." North Korea has been demanding their return since 2016, but the demand has recently been fueled by a tendentious program on a cable channel here which gave the false impression that the women want to go home. 

(Sidebar: for the story of these defectors, please see here.)

The North Korean Red Cross, which is unconnected to the international organization, warned in a statement, "How the mass abduction is handled will have a major impact on determining the outlook of humanitarian issues between the North and South." It was a thinly veiled threat to call off reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, which Pyongyang had previously agreed to without preconditions. 

A day earlier the North also rejected a roster of South Korean reporters who were to cover the dismantling event in Punggye-ri.

These reporters:

North Korea declined to accept the list of South Korean journalists chosen to cover the dismantling of its nuclear test site Tuesday, making it technically hard for the South Korean media to join the event scheduled for this week.

"We tried to convey the list through the Panmunjom communication channel at 9 a.m. today, but the North declined to accept it," a unification ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

As the North declined to accept the list, South Korean media is highly likely to be excluded from covering the event that the North is planning to hold this week. 

"It appears to be technically difficult (for the South Korean reporters) to make a trip to the North today," a government official said. "It is regrettable."

(Sidebar: regrettable, my @$$!)


One may be quick to blame Trump for this debacle but he only shares part of the blame, chiefly for not realising what liars Kim and China are. If anything, both China and Kim Jong-Un were simply doing what they've always done and let one not forget Moon Jae-In's well-rehearsed "optimism".
 
 
US President Donald Trump says that Kim Jong Un’s safety will be guaranteed if a deal to denuclearize the Korean peninsula takes place.
 
Kim Jong-Un murders his own people. He should be safe from nothing.




Duterte is now concerned that China is taking liberties in Filipino waters:

The Philippines expressed "serious concerns" over the presence of China's strategic bombers in the disputed South China Sea and its foreign ministry has taken "appropriate diplomatic action", the spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.

China's air force said bombers such as the H-6K had landed and taken off from islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of training exercises last week, drawing angry reactions from opposition lawmakers in Manila. The United States also sent ships to the disputed areas.

The Philippines could not independently verify the presence of Chinese bombers in the South China Sea, said presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

"But we take note of the reports that appeared and we express our serious concerns anew on its impact to efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region," Roque told a regular media briefing at the presidential palace.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines said it was monitoring developments.

That's not what you said before, Rodrigo! :

In a statement, the Chinese foreign ministry cited Xi as telling Duterte their emotional foundation of friendly good neighbourliness was unchanged, and difficult topics of discussion "could be shelved temporarily".

Duterte called the meeting "historic", it added. ...

China, he said earlier, was "good". "It has never invaded a piece of my country all these generations."

It will soon. 



China is planning to scrap all limits on the number of children a family can have, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be a historic end to a policy that spurred countless human-rights abuses and left the world’s second-largest economy short of workers.



Not sending a new ambassador to Venezuela is as effective in combating tyranny as funding Hamas is in ceasing the violence in Gaza:

The Canadian government took steps Monday to apply further pressure on Venezuela by announcing it won't seek to replace its ambassador in Caracas following a presidential election that has attracted widespread international condemnation.

On Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called Sunday's elections, which will keep President Nicolas Maduro in power, "illegitimate and anti-democratic."

Freeland said that in response, Canada would "downgrade" its diplomatic ties with the South American country, effective immediately. 

(Sidebar: well, that will teach Maduro!)


But it's never about doing the morally upright thing.




Whither the love? :


According to a survey by Forum Research, Justin Trudeau’s net approval rating has fallen to -21, with a clear majority of Canadians disapproving of him.

Here are the key numbers:

35% approve of Trudeau, 56% disapprove, 9% say they don’t know.

By contrast, Andrew Scheer has a much better net approval rating. 31% approve of Scheer, while 34% disapprove, giving him a net rating of -3.

Jagmeet Singh has the approval of 27% of Canadians, while 35% disapprove of him.
 
If there is even one person approving of Justin's job performance, one can conclude that either the poll is false or the person is stupid.


Also:

Francis Drouin, who represents the eastern Ontario riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, said in a statement Tuesday that Halifax police have determined the matter is closed.

“I am pleased it has been resolved based on the facts. I have no further comment,” Drouin said in the statement.

Last month, police confirmed they were investigating a report that a woman had been sexually assaulted at the Halifax Alehouse on April 21, but did not specifically name Drouin.

Police said Tuesday that the matter was investigated by its sexual assault unit and no charges were laid.



Frustrated by the act of talking, Justin shuts down debate:

Both the Conservatives and NDP are ripping the Trudeau government for planning to use time-allocation to shut down debate on Bill C-76, legislation that makes big changes to elections in Canada.
According to the Globe & Mail, “The government has given notice of a process called time allocation and it could invoke the procedure as soon as Tuesday, when MPs return to Ottawa. The motion would set a time limit for second reading of the bill in the House of Commons, forcing a vote to send the bill to committee for further study.”
The report notes that the Opposition critic on the elections file – Conservative MP Blake Richards – says the time allocation move means that there will be just “a couple of hours of debate on this,” which is almost no time at all to review a bill that will have a huge impact on the legitimacy (or lack thereof), of the next election.
Bill C-76 fails to close the loopholes that let foreign organizations interfere in our elections, while expanding the amount of money third-party groups (like the kind that usually benefit the Liberals) can spend.

Meanwhile, the legislation limits how much can be spent by actual political parties, which will disproportionately damage the Conservatives, who have been the most successful at raising money from grassroots Canadians.

Once again, the most "transparent" government in the country's history is stacking the deck in its favour.




British Columbia attempts to sue Alberta for stopping the flow of oil west:

The British Columbia government has launched a lawsuit and is prepared to ask for an injunction and damages against Alberta over that province's recently passed fuel restriction law.

B.C. Attorney General David Eby says the government filed a statement of claim in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench challenging the constitutionality of Alberta's Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act.

The legal action says Alberta's law is unconstitutional because it is intended to punish B.C. by limiting exports of fuel products.

The court action comes amid increasing tension over B.C.'s opposition to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline project from Alberta to the West Coast.

Also:

When they announced their widely-criticized pipeline ‘plan,’ the Trudeau government claimed that if Kinder Morgan decided not to go forward with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the government would find someone else willing to take it over.

But now, those inside the energy industry are sharing serious doubts about whether that is really the case.

As noted by Reuters, “The Canadian government’s optimism that outside investors would be interested in taking over the Kinder Morgan Canada Trans Mountain oil pipeline project if the company pulls out might be misplaced, said energy industry sources and analysts.”



God help us all:

According to a new Ipsos poll, 37% of Ontario voters say they will vote NDP, while 36% say they’ll vote PC.

The Liberals are at 23%.

This:

The narrowing gap further reduces the differences between the two left-wing parties. Essentially, Horwath’s case is that she has all the same spending impulses as Wynne, but isn’t as disliked or tainted by the past. If her budget consists of fairy dust and rosy projections — the possibility of recession never enters the picture — so have recent federal projections and 15 years of Ontario Liberals. People are used to it.

They may not grow concerned until it’s far too late. That works to Horwath’s advantage. Just as it worked for Wynne’s until recently.

I ask all the candidates: where are you going to get the money for all of your whacky promises?




What? No-fault divorce wasn't injurious enough to children? :

Bill C-78, which was tabled Tuesday in the House of Commons, also takes steps to address family violence and child poverty. It's the first major revamp of divorce law in more than 20 years.

The bill adopts neutral terminology, dropping terms like "custody" and "access" in favour of "parenting orders" and "parenting time." The changes aim to put an end to the adversarial win-or-lose approach to legal decisions on parenting arrangements, according to background material from the Department of Justice.