Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Post

Slowly wanes the month of August... (sigh)...

Alberta faces a deficit of $5.9 million that will worsen because of low oil prices:

Alberta's finance minister says the province is on track for a record $5.9-billion deficit this year as the oil crunch hits families and businesses.

And Joe Ceci says the worst may not be over if low oil prices persist and the province continues in recession.

"If current conditions continue, the final deficit will be in the range of $6.5 billion," Ceci said Monday as he released first-quarter figures for the 2015-16 fiscal year which began April 1.

Alberta is in the hole it's in because the recently elected Premier Rachel Notley imposed stupefying taxes on the oil industry. The impact of the fall of global oil prices was coincidental.

Of course, it's ridiculous:

New Brunswick's restrictions on citizens bringing alcohol into the province from elsewhere in Canada are "ridiculous," Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said on the campaign trail Monday.

Harper was in Ottawa responding to a question about whether Canadians should face legal sanctions for bringing alcohol across provincial borders.

"My personal view and the view of our government is that's ridiculous," he said.

Last week in Campbellton, retiree Gerard Comeau stood trial in provincial court on a charge of violating the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act.

The law limits a person to bringing a maximum of 18 bottles or cans of beer, and one bottle of wine or liquor into New Brunswick from another province.

Comeau was bringing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of alcohol into New Brunswick from Quebec when he was stopped in an RCMP enforcement operation.

Harper said the federal government has brought in legislation to make it easier to move alcohol between provinces.

However, he said similar legislation is required at a provincial level, and while some provinces have done so, he urged all provinces to adopt the legislation.

A decision in Comeau's case is not expected until the spring.

It all boils down to the money the government can steal from one taxes and monopolies. Lower the taxes and cut out the monopolies.

But that would just make sense.

Shelters don't end domestic violence; laws do:

Tom Mulcair has announced measures aimed at ending violence against women.

The NDP leader committed Monday to restore the shelter enhancement program scrapped by the Conservative government, saying it would have sufficient funding to ensure no woman in need is turned away from a shelter.

He also vowed to invest money in affordable housing and homelessness programs to help women fleeing violence to find a new place to live.

And he announced his intention to work with women's groups, indigenous peoples, communities and organizations to create a national action plan to end violence against women and girls, with dedicated funding and benchmarks for progress.

That's on top of Mulcair's previous commitment to call an inquiry into the nearly 1,200 aboriginal women who have been murdered or vanished since 1980. He said he would launch the inquiry within his first 100 days in office.

A report in January from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an arm of the Organization of American States, says aboriginal women in Canada are murdered or disappear at a rate four times higher than their representation in the population.

(Sidebar: yeah, about that...)

Band-aid solutions are just that: short-term wastes of resources that don't address real problems and offer practical solutions. If Mulcair was serious about this problem then he should suggest harsher laws for douchebags who beat their wives.

This seems to be a trend in Manitoba:

The director of a Winnipeg-based child welfare agency says it did not get involved in the protection of a girl who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather, and was sent home twice to recover from abortions, because it wasn't notified of the case.

"It should have been an automatic referral, so I am shocked that we did not receive this one," said Sandie Stoker, executive director of the Child and Family All Nations Emergency Coordinated Response Network (ANCR). "That's very dangerous."

ANCR said Friday after the sentencing hearing for the stepfather that the case only came to its attention after he was later arrested for an unrelated attack on the girl's best friend and her mother. At that point, ANCR got involved.

By then, however, he had repeatedly raped his stepdaughter over 26 months.

Pass that buck! 

Education on sexual matters is too important to be optional, according to Quebec's ministry of education.

The province is rolling out a new pilot project in which sex education, like French and Mathematics, will soon become mandatory for all students from kindergarten to the last year of high school, regardless of the religious or personal convictions of parents across different cultural communities.

No exceptions will be made.

Some wags think that without some government-funded flunkie teaching kids how to put a condom on a bi-gender-queer banana that they can't function as adults. Kids need useful skills. That's where (ostensibly) teachers come in. Who cares about the junk science of gender fluidity when one cannot read a map?

Then there are those pesky parents who insist on being involved in their children's lives.

Good luck with that, Scott Walker. Let me know how that turns out:

The Canadian border got dragged into the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign on Sunday, with a prominent candidate appearing to entertain the notion of building a giant wall on the 49th parallel.

The idea was raised in a talk-show interview with Republican contender Scott Walker, who after being pressed twice by the interviewer appeared to agree it was worth considering.

"Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law-enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town-hall meetings about a week and a half ago," the Wisconsin governor said during an interview with NBC's "Meet The Press."

"So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at."

I won't argue that cross-border malfeasance is never possible. I just think the US has more than enough of its own homegrown problems to worry about than us.

This has nothing to do with Islam:

Police probing Thailand's deadliest bombing raided a second location and widened their search for more suspects on Sunday after a foreigner was arrested and stacks of fake passports and bomb-making materials found at a Bangkok apartment block. 

Authorities said police were monitoring about 1,000 mobile phone numbers and checking photographs used in around 200 seized passports to track down members of an unspecified group they believe orchestrated the Aug. 17 attack on a Hindu shrine in Bangkok. The bombing killed 20 people and stunned Thailand.

Fourteen foreigners, seven from mainland China and Hong Kong, were among those killed in a blast the ruling junta said was intended to cripple an already flagging Thai economy. ...

While scant progress was being made, speculation had focused on groups that could have the motive and capability to carry out the bombing.

These have included southern ethnic Malay insurgents, opponents of the military government, foreign militant groups and sympathizers of Uighur Muslims. Thailand forcibly repatriated more than 100 Uighurs to China last month, prompting international outrage.

Many of the minority Uighurs from China's far west have sought passage to Turkey via Southeast Asia.

And now, languages that are the hardest to learn.

Take up the challenge.

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