Friday, December 01, 2017

Friday Post

On the second day of Advent, my true love sent to me ...

From the most "transparent" government in the country:

Tempers flared Thursday in parliament as Finance Minister Bill Morneau, furious about his father being dragged into the controversy over his personal finances, accused opposition MPs of stooping to new depths and slandering his family.

Question period became so raucous as accusations were flung across the aisle that Conservative MP Blake Richards — who was heckling Morneau — was ejected by Speaker Geoff Regan and escorted out by the sergeant-at-arms. It marks the first time in 15 years an MP has been temporarily booted out of the House of Commons.


Regulatory filings show that William F. Morneau Sr. sold 100,000 shares of Morneau Sheppell Inc. (MSI) at a price of $15.20 per share on Nov. 23, 2015, and sold another 100,000 shares on Dec 3, 2015, at a price of $15 a share.

On Dec. 7, 2015, Morneau, the finance minister, tabled documents in the House of Commons which  announced his government’s intention to change tax rules that would increase taxes on wealthy Canadians as of Jan. 1. 2016.

According to historical share price data published by Yahoo Finance, MSI shares dropped from $14.90 a share on market open of the morning of Dec. 7 to $14.09 a week later, on the morning of the Dec. 14. That represents a drop in value of just over 5.4 per cent.


In the Kabuki theatre of Parliament Hill, the fact Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called Wednesday for Finance Minister Bill Morneau to resign means hell could freeze over before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will fire him.

Because that’s the issue, since Morneau has no intention of resigning.


No one likes to pay taxes. Not you, not me, certainly not Justin Trudeau or Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who use various legal means to minimize their tax bill and maximize their bequest to their families and beneficiaries. So it is hypocritical for them to criticize people who minimize their tax bill, even as governments increase the incentives to engage in these strategies.


Some of those surveyed said a pact with China could kill Canadian jobs, including in manufacturing, and reduce the ability to compete against lax labour standards, lower environmental requirements and Chinese state subsidies.


Culture matters.

Cases in point:

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed Friday that it has filed an appeal in the case, which sparked outrage — and prompted a group of protesters to picket outside the Ottawa courthouse last month. ...

Last month, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith said the Crown failed to prove that the husband had formed the required criminal intent — mens rea — to sexually assault his wife.

“I find that the accused probably had sex with his wife on many occasions without her specific consent, as both he and she believed that he had the right to do so,” Smith said. ...

The man was part of an arranged marriage which took place in Gaza, court heard. His wife, a Palestinian who grew up in Kuwait, lived in Ottawa.

She testified that during their 20-year marriage, she considered it her obligation to have sex with her husband.

The couple separated in January 2013. Court heard that it was during a subsequent dispute over child access — after speaking to a police officer — that the woman came to understand she had the right to refuse sex with her husband. She subsequently complained to Ottawa police about a 2002 incident.

The husband told court the incident never happened as he had sworn off sex at the time because of a hair transplant.

His wife alleged that he grabbed her by the wrist, dragged her onto the couch, pulled down her pants and had sex with her even though she asked him three times to stop. The woman testified that she closed her eyes and prayed for it to end.

The judge said she was a credible witness who gave straightforward answers, while he called the husband argumentative, evasive and not believable.

Nevertheless, the judge said he could not find him guilty of a crime since the timing of the charges — they came to light during a combative phase in their relationship — also raised doubt in the case.

(Sidebar: if the timing was an issue, why wasn't the case thrown out earlier?)

At home in Ontario and Alberta, the two young Canadian girls felt they had no choice: perform sexual acts on camera — in one case involving a pet dog — or face terrible consequences.

They were convinced a man they met online would hurt them or their families or humiliate them over the internet if they failed to do his bidding. What they didn’t know is their tormentor was on another continent.

But on Thursday that Swedish man was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting the girls in Canada and two other foreign countries entirely over the internet, a unique prosecution that involved no physical contact between the assailant and his victims.

Bjorn Samstrom, 41, was sentenced in Upsalla Thursday to 10 years in prison — Sweden’s stiffest sex-crime penalty — after forcing 27 teenagers here, in Scotland and the United States to perform sex acts on camera.

(Sidebar: Canadian children apparently have no parents which is why a Swedish man can ask them to perform vulgar acts so easily. His stiff sentence could have been avoided if he said he was an Afghani national and streamed his crimes online.)


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not speak to the guide when pressed about the issue in question period Wednesday, but said he is committed to ending the "barbaric practice" around the world.

(Sidebar: is that so? 
For example when, in 2011, as a Liberal MP, Trudeau attacked the Conservative government for including in its Discover Canada guide for immigrants that, “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings’, female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.”

Trudeau berated the Conservatives for using the term “barbaric” saying it fell short of “responsible neutrality.”)


Islamic State terrorists are back in Canada, and the Trudeau government doesn’t seem to have a clue how to handle the situation. This cluelessness was on display in Question Period last week when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how many ISIS jihadists were back in Canada. 

In one of his worst performances in the House of Commons (and that’s a low bar), Trudeau responded by reading a prepared statement.

Since his words were likely written by someone with expertise on the file, you would expect a thoughtful and coherent response. 

Instead, Trudeau provided a half-hearted explanation about the various government programs related to terrorism, including a reintegration program for returned jihadists. 

How on earth does the federal government expect to “reintegrate” members of a maniacal death cult? 

(Sidebar: like this - Then two older boys – who appeared to be in their late teens – stepped forward and chopped off his arms with giant swords.

One of the boys then decapitated the victim with a hunting knife before the smaller lad placed his tiny boot on the man's head and delivered his clearly coached speech.)

Oh, it gets better:

Despite being led by a politically correct upper brass, police on the ground asked these illegal migrants simple questions about Canadian values.

 Naturally, the Media Party and the Liberals were outraged:

They didn't just demand that police cease questioning the migrants; they also forced them to delete the intelligence they had already collected.

And who complies with that sort of order?


Radio-Canada has learned the province is speeding up immigration requests for extended families of the five men who were shot and for the six women who were widowed in the mosque attack on Jan. 29, 2017.

But Mattel doesn’t explain the crucial facts about places where hijab is required apparel.

In those countries, regions or neighbourhoods, the future for girls is narrowly circumscribed. As they grow from childhood to maturity they often find it hard to get an education, a job or a personal bank account. A woman realizes eventually that she’s not to be seen in public with an adult male, unless he’s her husband or a close relative. A girl’s husband may be chosen by her family. Women may have their own ambitions but the key choices in their lives are not theirs to make.

Do people who use unregistered firearms to commit crimes believe as these people do?

Survivors and family members of victims of shooting massacres in Canada gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa today, and accused the federal government of dragging its heels on promised tougher gun control laws.

Expressing bitter disappointment, representatives of those affected by the École Polytechnique, Dawson College and Quebec mosque mass shootings called on the Liberals to provide a precise timetable for a new bill.
The representatives said they are losing hope that the government will table legislation by the end of 2017 as promised, and outlined the human costs of what they called "weak" laws related to possession permits, gun sales and the availability of assault weapons, which include most of the models used in recent mass shootings south of the border.

There is only a legal system in Canada, not a justice one:

Two decades after 14-year-old Reena Virk was savagely beaten and drowned near a bridge in the Victoria area, her killer has been granted conditional approval for day parole.

Kelly Ellard, 35, wiped away tears on Thursday as a two-member panel granted her day parole for six months. She’ll first have to complete a residential treatment program for substance abuse during that term.

Panel member Colleen Zuk said Ellard was largely responsible for Virk’s death in a crime she described as “heinous.”

“It’s very problematic in your case that there have been years and years of deception, of lying about the facts,” Zuk said. “Today we found that you continued to somewhat minimize.”

However, she said she found Ellard to be more transparent than in the past, including admitting she planned to harm Virk and saying she wanted to “get rid of her” after the beating.


Lawyers and paralegals in Ontario will be required to adopt and abide by a controversial statement of principles in order to remain licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada.


Ontario will no longer criminally prosecute HIV-positive people who don’t disclose their status to sexual partners if there is no realistic possibility of transmission, the province announced on Friday as it marked World AIDS Day.

China, furious that Trump has little regard for its protection of North Korea, praises a has-been for policies that will soon be undone:

Chinese President Xi Jinping praised Barack Obama's efforts to develop relations between the nations when he was president of the United States, Chinese state media reported Thursday.

But he's not running things anymore, is he, Xi?

South Korean president Moon Jae-In, who has been known to rattle North Korean defectors, commends joint security area troops during the dramatic defection of a North Korean soldier:

President Moon Jae-in on Friday met with a group of South Korean and US soldiers guarding the border with North Korea to commend them on the way they handled the recent defection of a North Korean soldier through the heavily fortified border.

"I invited you here because I wished to personally express my gratitude as the president of the Republic of Korea," Moon said during a 30-minute meeting at Cheong Wa Dae with the South Korean and US troops stationed at the Joint Security Area, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.

"At the time of the defection, you managed the situation very correctly and calmly. Thanks to you, the incident did not develop into a more dangerous situation," he added.

The JSA, also known as Panmunjom, is one of the very few places where South and North Korean troops stand face to face without a fence dividing them. The already perilous area recently become a hotspot when a man believed to be a North Korean soldier defected to South Korea through a painted inter-Korean border at the JSA on Nov. 13.

Moon's remarks come amid opposition criticism that the troops stationed there should have returned fire when North Korean guards fired upon the defector even after he had crossed the border to the South.

Apparently, this is happening:

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, officials say, a highly charged declaration that risks inflaming tensions across the Middle East but would be a way to offset a likely decision delaying his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy there.

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