Friday, May 19, 2017

For a Friday

Just in time for the week-end ...

Thirty-nine percent of Canadian voters voted for this:

Very little of the new “infrastructure” spending over the next decade is earmarked for projects that will actually improve Canada’s core infrastructure. In fact, a mere 10.6 per cent of the nearly $100 billion in new infrastructure spending is earmarked for trade and transportation.

Most of the spending is going to projects that many Canadians would never call “infrastructure.” For instance, 56.8 per cent of the nearly $100 billion spending is for so-called “green” and “social” infrastructure. These loosely defined categories amount to spending on projects such as parks, cultural institutions, and recreational centres.

Although some communities may appreciate these initiatives, let’s be clear—they won’t help move people or products. And there’s certainly no robust evidence that such spending will increase the economy’s long-term potential.

There is, however, a fundamental problem with Ottawa’s infrastructure spending plan. The government has included numerous items that most experts and many Canadians would not consider infrastructure. Indeed, it has broadened the term to include many services and activities, rending the definition of “infrastructure” unclear.

For instance, the government is calling the $7 billion over 10 years for subsidizing daycare “infrastructure.” Putting aside the pros and cons of daycare subsidies, it’s a stretch to call such spending “infrastructure.”

Or consider the $2.1 billion in spending over 10 years to reduce homelessness by tackling addiction and mental illness. This is a laudable goal no doubt, but by most reasonable standards, this is spending on social services—not infrastructure.

In addition, the Trudeau government’s infrastructure spending plan also includes $77 million to develop regulations and establish pilot programs related to the adoption of driverless cars and unmanned air vehicles. Again, regulating emerging technologies may or may not be a worthwhile pursuit, but it’s hard to argue such spending is “infrastructure.”

Even data collection and research is now considered infrastructure spending by the Trudeau government including $241 million over 11 years for a government agency to improve data collection and analytics related to housing. Another $50 million of supposed “infrastructure” spending is earmarked for a new government centre to collect and publically provide data on transportation in Canada.

Simply calling a project “infrastructure” does not automatically make it infrastructure nor does it mean it’s an economically worthwhile endeavor.

Which would one expect the federal government to fund and immediately act on: a Global Centre for Pluralism or bridges and pipelines?

Great intellectual of our time, Catherine McKenna declares that Ottawa can impose a carbon tax on the provinces if it wants:

Ottawa is completely within its rights to impose a carbon tax on any province because protecting the environment falls under federal jurisdiction, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Thursday.

"Let me be very clear," McKenna said in the foyer outside the House of Commons. "It is well within the federal government's right to take action to protect the environment."

McKenna's comments seemed to be aimed directly at Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, the only premier holding out against any form of carbon pricing, which he says will hurt his province's recovering economy.

Wall reiterated Thursday his plan to take Ottawa to court to keep it from imposing a carbon tax next year.

"This federal government white paper is frankly more like a ransom note," he said in Regina.

Then it's time to scrap the stupid Charter, return to the Bill of Rights and amend it accordingly.

One who cannot distinguish between a penguin and a puffin can tell me what to do.


McKenna insisted that all the money collected through the federal backstop will return to the provinces. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will return to provincial governments. The government is considering sending rebates to individuals and businesses, she said, though details haven’t been worked out.

“Not a single dollar goes to Ottawa,” she told reporters Thursday. “We’re evaluating how best to return the revenue — for example, by giving it directly back to individuals and businesses in the province.”

That seems to contradict comments made by public safety minister Ralph Goodale in October, when he said “every single penny” from a carbon price imposed on Saskatchewan would remain “under Saskatchewan’s control.”


The understanding was that Notley’s good work and good faith would earn her province the right to economically function. Poor innocent Premier Notley. Just in the last few days a new regulatory regime has been sketched out by a fulsomely politically correct federal panel, one that would throw out the NEB — and presumably shelve or defer many of its decisions and resolutions to date. Secondly, the same panel identified Alberta — Calgary in particular — as an unworthy headquarters site for future regulatory determinations. Calgary was “seen” as biased. 

How could it not be? It has all this cumbersome experience and knowledge of the oil industry, which leaves it dangerously over-informed on the subject under review, it is the home of the resource, and the most to work it. Knowledge, experience and proximity to the resource in question: notorious dis-qualifiers all.

Best to move NEB 2.0 to Ottawa, the very nesting ground of the Owl of Minerva, home seat of all of Canada’s collective wisdom and playpen of lobbyists, party fundraisers, career politicians and every other emblem of judicious disinterest and lack of bias. Ottawa is that tabula rasa spoke of by the philosophers of old, a table naked of every interest and influence. Calgary, by contrast, why Calgary is a bourse, a trading house run by Big Oil, where honour is in exile and fair dealing a forgotten rumour.
Once more, the political betters exercise their oligarchical rule over all.

Stick it in your ear, Hair-Boy:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to ask Pope Francis for a formal apology for the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system when the two meet during a private audience later this month.

Why don't you apologise for being a rotten person, Justin?

Are you kidding me?

Five months after nearly freezing to death on a treacherous walk across the Canada-U.S. border, and still learning to get along without the 10 fingers and thumbs he lost to frostbite, Seidu Mohammed is happy.

He gets to stay in Canada.

The Immigration and Refugee Board has granted Mohammed refugee status on the basis that the 24-year-old bisexual professional soccer player from Ghana would face persecution if returned to his home country.

Yep, checked all the boxes.

No, I'm pretty sure they don't function at all:

Journalists’ brains function at a subpar level because they consume too much alcohol, caffeine and sugar, but their love of their work helps them fight through the difficult times, according to a study by neuroscientist Tara Swart.

Case in point:

In this sense, and as I said to Craig Oliver and others, the media, by their malice and dishonesty, are, as Trump called them, “enemies of the people.” They are trying to illicitly subvert the president’s mandate. The brilliant appointment of Robert Mueller as special investigator — but not an old-time Watergate-Iran Contra, Whitewater lynch-mob-leading special prosecutor — slices the Democrats and the jackal media off at the knees. Trump lured his enemies to make and amplify hysterical charges. They will now be revealed by the mechanism whose installation they demanded, a special counsel, as unfounded and maliciously false.

Remember - this is same water-carrying popular press that had no issues with either Clinton or Obama.

One cannot have everything both ways. If favours (perceived or otherwise) four foreign countries are wrong, put everyone in an orange jumpsuit.


And then what? The decades-long routine continues? I think that it is time that North Korea crumbles. Who cares what China or Moon Jae-In thinks?

North Korea's deputy U.N. envoy said on Friday that the United States needed to roll back its "hostile policy" toward the country before there could be talks between the pair.

"As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured (toward) dialogue," North Korea's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong told reporters on Friday. "But what is important is not words, but actions."

"The rolling back of the hostile policy toward DPRK is the prerequisite for solving all the problems in the Korean Peninsula," he said. "Therefore, the urgent issue to be settled on Korean Peninsula is to put a definite end to the U.S. hostile policy toward DPRK, the root cause of all problems."

This is the same country that denies it ever killed Armenians:

New video surfaced on Thursday that shows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey looking on as armed members of his security team violently charge a group of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence.

The confrontation on Tuesday came after President Donald Trump had welcomed Erdogan to the White House and praised him as a stalwart ally in the battle against Islamic extremism. Trump did not speak of Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown on his own people.

It's time to put Sweden out of its misery and nuke it from orbit:

When a politician in a small town in northern Sweden recently suggested that it subsidize one-hour sex breaks for local employees, Swedes – and people around the world – reacted with a mixture of astonishment, glee and derision.

The politician, Per-Erik Muskos, 42, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party, said his proposal could help lift the town’s birthrate. Sexologists argued that state-funded sexual interludes could spice up marriages. As news of the idea spread, the scenic town of Overtornea was suddenly portrayed as the latest emblem of Scandinavia’s liberal values and generous welfare state.

This week, however, the town’s 31-member council overwhelmingly rejected the proposal on the grounds that if sexual intercourse should be subsidized, then so should many other personal activities, such as gardening or cleaning. The proposal had suggested that an hour of the workweek already devoted to fitness activities could be used by workers to go home and have sex with a spouse or partner instead.

“If sexual congress is considered a valid activity, then other activities should be approved, such as cleaning,” the council’s decision, initially published Monday, concluded.

And now, Japanese beer is pretty and colourful:



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