Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tuesday Post

Moving on....

Saving money would be to have never brought them here in the first place:

The federal government spent more than $15 million on hotels alone to house Syrian refugees after announcing last December its ambitious plan to resettle 25,000 displaced Syrians.

The total sum disclosed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada this week comes to $25.6 million in external contracts from mid-December to the end of March.

From Dec. 21 to the end of March, the immigration department housed refugees in at least 17 different hotels in major cities across the country.

The largest bill was from the Quality Hotel and Suites Toronto Airport East, which received $2.96 million, followed by the $2.53 million paid to the Quality Hotel Dorval.

The Sheraton Guildford Hotel received $1.995 million; the Travelodge $2.147 million; and Travelodge Aeroport de Dorval, $1.945 million.

With critics suggesting the federal government simply did not have the capability to undertake the massive resettlement, the department engaged defence contractor Logistik Unicorp Inc. on Dec. 7 – a contract worth $5.274 million.

The department  spent a total of $7 million on transportation, including flights, taxis and bus service, and $3 million on furniture for the refugees – for a total of $25.6 million.

I'm sure that this is nothing:

Roland Paris, the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser on foreign affairs, says he is resigning after an “extraordinary journey.”

“For someone like me, who cares deeply about Canada playing a positive and effective role in global affairs, there is no greater reward than having contributed in a small way to renewing our country’s energetic leadership and good name in the world,” he said in a statement. “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for affording me this opportunity.”

Mr. Paris began working for Justin Trudeau as the Liberals crafted their campaign platform, and said in the statement that he even assisted with debate prep. He said he will return to his old job as a professor at the University of Ottawa, from which he had been on leave.

“Great working w @rolandparis. Lucky students at @uOttawa. Thanks for everything, my friend. Glad you’ll be close,” Mr. Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts said in a tweet.

There is a foul odour to all of this.

You know - the Mafia used to have "voluntary" charges and donations, too:

The Liberals are getting heat from the opposition this week after a Conservative MP accused the party of trying to make money off of planned democratic reform town halls.

The issue was first raised by Conservative MP Andrew Scheer on Monday. Scheer drew attention to a Liberal electoral reform event that had been asking for attendees to buy tickets in order to attend. 

“I am surprised to be made aware of this development. We will be looking into this matter,” said Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef when asked about the event in question period.

Smoke and mirrors is what Liberals specialise in:

It goes without saying that the most challenging aspect of a good cabinet shuffle is matching the most capable person to the right ministry. Take, for example, the Treasury Board, which has been assigned to former education minister Liz Sandals. During her three years on the education file, Sandals skilfully finagled “net-zero” deals with teachers’ unions that turned out to not actually be “net-zero;” she oversaw millions of dollars in secret payouts to teachers unions, which were only discovered following an investigation by the Globe and Mail; and she literally ran from reporters when the auditor general revealed that the cost to re-open negotiations with teachers in 2013 was $468 million. Those experiences will indeed come in handy for Sandals’ new role as president of the Treasury Board, which is tasked with “leading the government’s efforts on accountability, openness and modernization.” Bring your running shoes, Liz!

Moving on, former citizenship and immigration minister Michael Chan has moved to the new Ministry of International Trade, less than a week after he defended China’s human rights record following a visit by that country’s foreign minister, who berated a Canadian reporter for asking a question about it. As minister of international trade, Chan will be expected to look past all sorts of human rights abuses to see to Wynne’s $2.5 billion worth of agreements with Beijing, all while telling Chinese media that, “the inner meaning of human rights is very broad.” Indeed, we should all take a moment to ponder whether imprisoning dissidents really is a human rights abuse, or if it’s not actually that bad because, as Chan says, China has come a long way compared to where it used to be.

The purpose of a Sunshine List is to inform the taxpayer how much he is paying X public servant. What he does with that information involves some actual legwork. So I would argue that, yes, the Sunshine List is needed in conjunction with getting off of one's @$$ and making the overpaid public servant accountable:

A political scientist says history shows that releasing the names and salaries of top government employees is an ineffective tool for reducing the size and cost of the civil service. If anything it could prove to be counter-productive.

Ontario premier Mike Harris tried that strategy when he made the Sunshine List part of his "common sense revolution" 20 years ago. And did it work?

"No." That's the short answer from  Zachary Spicer, assistant professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. "Here, the (number of names on) the Sunshine List has increased every single year since."

Spicer said the Ontario Conservatives introduced their Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act because they believed shining a light on what they believed were excessively high government salaries would outrage the public, who would in turn call for restraint.

"Over time the government would have some rationale for reducing the size of the public service," he told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

But in this case political theory never did line up with fiscal reality. In 2014 the number of people who made Ontario's Sunshine List jumped almost 14 per cent from the year before. There were 111,440 names in all.

If one wants action from a Canadian taxpayer, tell the taxpayer that there will be a 200% tax on donuts.

Shaking fists in the streets. 

Transit police are searching for three suspects believed to be involved in the assault of a Good Samaritan, who intervened in a sexual harassment on SkyTrain in Vancouver.

Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan says on Thursday, shortly before 11:30 p.m., a man boarded the SkyTrain at Commercial and Broadway Station, heading eastbound.

She said he noticed three young men board the train at Sperling Station and call out to a female passenger that they were going to follow her home. One of the men sat beside another woman and made jokes to his two friends about raping her, Drennan added. That’s when a man, described by police as a Good Samaritan, told the suspect to stop.

Police allege the suspect became aggressive, swearing at the man and threatening to follow him off the train. At Lougheed Station, the man got off the train and was followed by two of the suspects who punched him in the face and upper body, before getting back on the train, according to police.

The victim boarded on a separate car, held the door open and pushed the emergency strip inside the train. The three suspects again got off the train and one of the suspects punched the victim in the face.
Metro Vancouver Transit police officers arrived and broadcast the suspect descriptions, however they were not found.

Drennan said the victim was taken to hospital with a bleeding nose and a sore left forearm. He was treated and later released.

He said it:

Omar Mateen will not lack for emulators. While we see him as a sick and crazed mass murderer, some will see him, as he surely saw himself, as a warrior for Islam and Muslim martyr who earned paradise.

Yet, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seemed either unable to recognize the roots of Mateen’s malice, or they were inhibited from identifying those roots by the commands of political correctness.

Which is why history is going to repeat itself.

A man who swore allegiance to Islamic State filmed the murder of a senior policeman and his partner and posted it on Facebook, officials have said.

Police say Larossi Abballa repeatedly stabbed 42-year-old policeman Jean-Baptiste Salvaing outside his home in Magnanville, about 35 miles (55km) west of Paris.

He then took the policeman's partner hostage, together with the couple's three-year-old son.

The woman, who worked at a local police station, was also killed, and their son was "in shock but unharmed", a prosecutor said. 

Abballa, 25, was killed during a three-hour police operation. 

French officials said the attacker posted a 12-minute video of the killings on Facebook Live, the social media site's live feed. His account has been suspended.

One official says that at one point during the attack, Abballa puzzled over the fate of the couple's three-year-old child.

"I don't know what to do with him," he says in the footage, indicating the child sitting behind him on a couch.

The French prosecutor said Abballa attacker had a 'hit list' of VIPs, police and rappers.

And now,  archeology:

Archaeologists have discovered a massive monumental structure at the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan.


Cities buried beneath the jungle ground — it sounds like something out of an Indiana Jones film.

Yet Australian archaeologist Damian Evans has spent the past several years searching for them in the dense jungleland near Angkor Wat in Cambodia. During a phone interview early Monday morning, Evans told The Washington Post he and his team have mapped out more than 1180 square kilometres of land, including “basically every modern temple complex in the entire country to some degree.”

The findings offer new insight not only into the Khmer Empire, which reigned in what is now called Cambodia from around the 9th to the 15th centuries, but into the populations that lived in the area long before then.

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