Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Post

This surplus one can blame on the previous government:

The federal government ran a budgetary surplus of $7.5 billion over the first 11 months of its fiscal year — putting Ottawa's books well ahead of its 2015-16 deficit prediction with one month to go.

To wit:

A judge has dismissed charges against a New Brunswick man charged with illegally importing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town, in a ruling defence lawyers say has “huge” ramifications.

Judge Ronald LeBlanc threw out all charges Friday against Gerard Comeau, one of four people facing charges after a police “sting” operation in 2012.

“Essentially, Judge LeBlanc’s decision confirms that what tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of New Brunswickers have been doing for the past 40 years is not a crime,” said Mikael Bernard after the ruling in Campbellton provincial court Friday.

Ontario-based constitutional lawyer Arnold Schwisberg, who was part of Comeau’s defence team, said the ramifications of the victory are national: “A decisive win for all Canadians!” he said in an email.

The New Brunswick Liquor Control Act prohibits anyone in the province from having more than 12 pints of beer that wasn’t purchased through a liquor store in the province.

Comeau’s liquor was seized and he was fined $292.50.

On Friday, Comeau said he was “kind of pleased” with the decision, which came after the judge read his 88-page ruling.

“I was kind of surprised because the decision lasted two hours and 45 minutes, so sometimes it looked good, sometimes it didn’t look good,” he said.

The 62-year-old Tracadie man said the case wasn’t just about dodging a fine.

“The way I look at it, I’m a Canadian citizen,” said Comeau on Friday. “I don’t see any reason why I can’t go buy merchandise anywhere in this country and bring it home. You can buy anything else like cars, clothes, everything. Except for beer.”

Someone wasn't getting taxes from this man. THAT is why he was dragged to court.

Ontario’s Liberal government is under increasing pressure to release a complete list of private companies that were given billions of dollars in grants and loans.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk reported in December that the government had committed $2.36 billion to 374 private business projects between 2004 and May 31, 2015, with $1.87 billion in grants and $489 million in loans.

The province has committed another $118 million in corporate subsidies since the auditor’s report was released.

Lysyk found there was no information on which companies received more than $70 million in funding for 60 different projects.

For months, the Progressive Conservatives have been asking for a list of the companies that received what he calls “corporate welfare,” how much they were given, and what the job targets were.

“It’s time the government clears the air on these grants and comes clean to Ontario taxpayers,” said PC economic development critic Monte McNaughton.


Things just got a whole lot brighter in Canada for the dismal electric-car business. Word has leaked that the country’s largest province is preparing to help buy a plug-in vehicle or hybrid for millions of families across the province — or will at least force those families to buy one. The details of how Ontarians are getting all those green vehicles weren’t clear in the confidential draft version of the Wynne Liberals’ “Climate Change Action Plan” leaked to The Globe and Mail on Wednesday. But the goals are crystal clear: A promise to get 1.7 million low-emission cars on the roads in the next eight years, and pull seven million gas-powered cars off in the next 14.


The situation is sadly reflective of the government’s cynical approach to the issue. In negotiations with other unionized public employees it has bent over backwards to appear co-operative, spending millions on secret payments to cover union bargaining costs for teachers while supposedly seeking “tough” contracts. Disputes with police unions are routinely sent to binding arbitration despite municipal complaints that the process inevitably drives up salaries. Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government seems to reserve its enmity only for a profession that requires years of specialized, and expensive, training but lacks a union to pound tables and make extravagant strike threats.

Big unions win big elections.

Wagging fingers are confused with solid, non-partisan action.

Harper had nothing to gain from criminal charges being laid against Duffy. The decision to do so was made by the RCMP and Crown counsel in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. Anyone who thinks the Conservative prime minister had the ability to manipulate an Ontario ministry that has been in Liberal hands for 13 years is kidding themselves. Staley says he suspected from the start that charges related to Nigel Wright’s $90,000 payment to Duffy would never stick, and warned Harper as much. In other words, Harper knew the charges were probably a losing proposition from the get-go.

Nonetheless, Harper gave explicit instructions that the RCMP should receive full assistance in its investigation. This included access to sensitive documents and emails, and help in arranging any interviews the police requested. Harper also waived lawyer/client privilege to ensure all relevant material was available to investigators. This was a great benefit to Duffy’s defence, and contained great risk for Harper, but he insisted on it anyway. As Staley notes, “it was the right thing to do and was an unequivocal act of integrity and accountability by Mr. Harper.”

His decisions in this regard almost certainly hurt his own interests. Harper couldn’t have spent almost a decade in power if he lacked the political skills to recognize he was handing opponents material to use against him. As Staley writes: “Contrary to the views expressed by some commentators, no one could believe that my client’s interests were served by criminal charges against Mr. Duffy that were certain to play out through the 2015 federal election.”

But... but... Duffy and Harper...!

A Canadian-supported hospital in Syria was destroyed Friday in what an aid agency said was a deliberate air strike that has forced other hospitals in the area to shut down. ...

While Canadian aid agencies and hospitals provide medical supplies, the centre is funded by the French government and the United Nations.

North Korea on Friday sentenced a U.S. citizen of Korean heritage to 10 years in prison with hard labour after convicting him of espionage and subversion, the second American it has put behind bars this year.

Kim Dong Chul was sentenced after a brief trial in Pyongyang by North Korea's Supreme Court, which found him guilty of espionage and subversion under Articles 60 and 64 of the North's criminal code.

North Korea regularly accuses Washington and Seoul of sending spies in an attempt to overthrow its government. Outsiders say North Korea seeks to use its U.S. detainees to wring concessions from Washington.

It's time to put a bounty on Kim Fatty's head. 

North Korea attempted unsuccessfully to launch two suspected powerful intermediate-range missiles on Thursday, South Korean defense officials said, bringing the number of apparent failures in recent weeks to three.

Forget maternity, this woman’s all about MEternity, arguing that women who intend to stay child-free deserve the same perks as their pregnant colleagues.

Meghann Foye became fed up with her co-workers heading off on maternity leave, and decided she wanted a bit of a career break herself.

Dubbing it “meternity” leave, Meghann quit her job as a magazine editor aged 31 to spend 18-months travelling and working on her aptly-named novel, Meternity - about a woman who fakes her pregnancy.
New parents aren't granted leave for a holiday. They have a miniature crying and pooping machine to mind. They have no week-ends off whereas selfish people like the half-wit writer have every week-end off. Lots of "me-ternity". 

Baffled that a good deal of people find mocking Alzheimer's Disease suffers distasteful, Will Ferrell has finally decided to drop out of a project making fun of late US president Ronald Reagan's struggle with the disease:

Will Ferrell has backed out of a planned comedy that depicted Ronald Reagan’s dementia.

The comedian was in talks to play the former president in a political satire that dealt with Reagan’s Alzheimer’s condition, but will no longer be moving forward with the project amid the ensuing controversy.

Hollywood waits for political winds to blow before it makes a decision on what is beyond the pale.

What a vile industry. 

A nine-year-old girl lost in the bush overnight returned home safe and sound thanks to the warmth and protection of her three pet dogs.

“When I started asking her about her night, she indicated that she was there with her three dogs, and that when she laid down all the dogs huddled around her and kept her warm,” said Sgt. Barry Larocque with the Elk Point RCMP, who called this a “heartwarming” end to what was a very scary situation.

“I have no doubt that those dogs kept her safe from maybe some animals that might have been in the area, in addition to laying down beside her, keeping her warm. It shows how dogs can be very loyal to their owners and companions.”

$113.2 billion
$113.2 billion

So -  one could say that it was a three dog night?

Ladies and gentlemen, Three Dog Night.

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