Monday, February 26, 2018

For A Monday

What a day it's been!

Beleaguered former leader of the provincial Tories, Patrick Brown, has finally salvaged what tattered dignity he has and dropped out of the race to replace himself:

Patrick Brown is giving up his quest to reclaim the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

He confirmed the news on Twitter Monday with a lengthy statement saying he was leaving the race to protect family and friends from "attacks," to avoid being a distraction, and to focus on holding CTV News "accountable" for the story that first caused him to resign as PC leader.

Also leaving, Eric Hoskins:

Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced Monday he is resigning his post and won't be running in the June provincial election.  

"In leaving Queen's Park, I am determined to continue building better healthcare for all Canadians," said Hoskins in a statement. "That path and journey will become clearer in the days ahead."

Two sources close to the announcement tell CBC News that Hoskins is resigning to become the head of a federal commission to investigate options for a national Pharmacare program.  

Hoskins is a doctor and an officer of the Order of Canada. He was first elected an MPP in 2009 in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's. He ran for the Ontario Liberal Party leadership in 2013. Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed him economic development minister in her first cabinet, then made him her health minister after the 2014 election. 

His departure will be a blow to Wynne's cabinet, as he is the fourth senior minister to announce he will not run in the election.
A politician at the end of his run or a rat fleeing a sinking ship? Discuss.

The proposed gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville that were then cancelled cost the Ontario taxpayer $950 million. The following deletion of e-mails and cover-up of those deleted e-mails exhibited a shocking display of corruption on the part of the Ontario Liberals.

Let that sink in for a moment:

The sentencing hearing for a former top Ontario political aide caught up in the province’s gas plants scandal heard glowing accounts of his character on Monday, with supporters describing him as a man of integrity and moral fibre.

About 60 people appeared in Ontario court or wrote letters to show their support for David Livingston, who was being sentenced on one count of illegal use of a computer.

The conviction — a second guilty finding was stayed Monday — was for Livingston’s illegal destruction of documents related to the Liberal government’s costly decision to cancel two gas plants before the 2011 provincial election.

Among relatives, business and political associates offering support for the former chief of staff to ex-premier Dalton McGuinty were Livingston’s wife and daughter.

All praised his honesty and selfless dedication to the numerous public and private enterprises with which he has been associated over the decades. ...
Judge Timothy Lipson found Livingston guilty last month of two counts: illegal use of a computer and attempted mischief to data.

However, Monday’s proceedings began with Lipson staying the guilty finding on the attempted mischief charge at the defence’s request and with the agreement of the prosecution. The reason, defence lawyer Brian Gover explained, is that all the essential elements of the offence are included in the illegal use of a computer count.

The upshot is that Livingston will be convicted of one of the three charges police laid in 2013 against him and his deputy Laura Miller, who was acquitted last month.

I am reminded of the Italian poet, Dante:

With flames as manifold resplendent all
Was the eighth Bolgia, as I grew aware
As soon as I was where the depth appeared.
And such as he who with the bears avenged him
Beheld Elijah's chariot at departing,
What time the steeds to heaven erect uprose,
For with his eye he could not follow it
So as to see aught else than flame alone,
Even as a little cloud ascending upward,
Thus each along the gorge of the intrenchment
Was moving; for not one reveals the theft,
And every flame a sinner steals away

Oh, dear:

While the Progressive Conservatives appear stuck in endless mayhem, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government has been laying low and presumably enjoying the spectacle despite the PCs soaring even higher in the polls.

But a recently leaked third-party report of dysfunctionality in Yasir Naqvi’s Ministry of the Attorney General is a good reminder of the rotting turmoil in Wynne’s government.

(Sidebar: this Yasir Naqvi.)

Naqvi’s carefully nurtured and cultivated public image is one of selfless devotion to the public interest. All of which is rounded out by ear-to-ear smiles and endless Naqvi photo ops. He’s the kind of politician who’d call a press conference for opening an envelope.

You’d think given his lust for media coverage, he’d be out there bravely facing the report’s findings. Not a chance. The report’s been kept secret and Naqvi’s issued a platitudinous boiler plate statement that “Everyone has a right to feel safe and respected in their workplace…all employees are respected.”

He was last seen hiding under his desk.

According to a report concluded in the summer of 2017 called “Turning the Ship Around,” Naqvi’s ministry is a bloody mess. It doesn’t surprise me that the AG’s office is in such a disarray. Over the last few years, I’ve had many Crowns approach me about how bad things had become. Some grin and bear it. Others have taken early retirement.

Tories in the House of Commons did not receive enough for support for an emergency meeting on one of the more embarrassing aspects of Justin's family vacation to India:

A Conservative bid for an emergency meeting on the Jaspal Atwal affair has fizzled, but political fireworks erupted anew Monday in Parliament over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s much-maligned trip to India.

The party’s public safety critic, Pierre Paul-Hus, had wanted the House of Commons committee on national security to meet urgently about the Privy Council Office’s screening practices after Atwal — a B.C. man convicted of attempted murder — wound up at a prime ministerial event in India.

Committee chairman John McKay said in an interview that Paul-Hus did not receive the required notices of support from at least four MPs to initiate an emergency meeting.

Atwal was convicted of attempting to kill Indian cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986. He was also charged, but not convicted, in connection with a 1985 attack on Ujjal Dosanjh, a staunch opponent of the Sikh separatist movement, who later became B.C. premier and a federal Liberal cabinet minister.

It was just as well seeing as Justin didn't bother showing up for work today.

The lazy @$$hole spent the day hiding.

From the most "transparent" government in the country's history:

The Trudeau Liberals are getting serious about their plans to regulate companies like Facebook and appear to be in the early stages of an action plan.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly brought up the issue recently in person to Facebook Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg, the actual work would fall to Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould.

“Minister Gould has repeatedly stated that while social media companies are taking initial steps to ensure that their platforms are not being used as tools for foreign disinformation campaigns to undermine Canada’s democratic institutions, there still remains a great deal of work to be done,” wrote Nicky Cayer, spokesperson for Gould, in an email to the Sun. “This is a challenge that is being faced by democracies around the world. We are studying other countries’ approaches to see what works and what does not, what would be appropriate in a Canadian context and what — like censoring Canadians’ speech — would be unacceptable.”
Read: anything considered to be criticism by a private individual of Justin's government could be considered "fake news" and deleted accordingly.

There is a reason why M-103 exists and why Section 13 might be resurrected.

Speaking of censorship:

Acadia University has launched a formal investigation into complaints against a professor over controversial comments he made on social media and in the classroom.

Heather Hemming, vice-president academic at the Wolfville, N.S., school, said in a letter to professor Rick Mehta that the university has received complaints from students, faculty and others with concerns about his views. ...

Mehta has been outspoken both on campus and on social media about a range of contentious issues including decolonization, immigration, and gender politics, garnering both supporters and opposition.

He has come under fire for saying multiculturalism is a scam, there’s no wage gap between men and women, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has created a victim narrative to prompt “endless apologies and compensation.”

Mehta bills himself as a free-speech advocate trying to build bridges across political divides, but critics say he perpetuates harmful stereotypes and is simply seeking attention.

“He’s just sort of parroting the much more popular Jordan Peterson. He’s very clearly just trying to piggyback on that to gain a certain notoriety,” said Matthew Sears, associate professor of classics and ancient history at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

Spoken like a true vendor of sour grapes.

Whether Professor Mehta's opinions are popular or not is irrelevant. Either the alleged adults who attend and run Acadia University can deal with or even hear different opinions or they need to be relegated to brightly coloured rooms with plush toys and soft music.

I believe that is kindergarten.

Promises always look good on paper:

In December, the government delivered a report to the United Nations outlining its progress on reaching targets agreed to in the Paris Accord to fight climate change. Canada has promised to reduce those emissions to the equivalent of 517 megatonnes of carbon dioxide.

In 2016, Ottawa made a similar report to the UN acknowledging that both its current and planned policies would likely leave the country 44 megatonnes short of its target.

But in the recent report, Canada notes the gap between its commitments and the likely result of its policies has grown to 66 megatonnes — a 50% increase in only 18 months.

Because there is an election in 2019:

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says if his party forms government in 2019, it will follow Donald Trump’s lead and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Scheer’s declaration comes in the form of a pledge posted to the Conservative party website designed to gather signatures from members of the public.

“Canada’s Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when we form government in 2019,” the pledge says, describing the party as “a strong voice for Israel and the Canadian Jewish community.”

It marks Scheer’s first definitive statement on the issue since it became a renewed matter of public debate late last year.

Some may hold you to that promise, Andy.


An Iraqi criminal court on Sunday sentenced 15 Turkish women to death by hanging after finding them guilty of belonging to the Islamic State or Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a judicial official said. Aged between 20 and 50, the women said they had entered Iraq illegally to join their husbands who were heading to fight for the self-proclaimed "caliphate" straddling vast areas of Iraq and Syria, the official added.

Four of the women, all of whom were dressed in black, were accompanied by young children in the courtroom, he said.

Another Turkish woman accused of joining the jihadist group was given a life sentence, the official said, adding they had all acknowledged the charges against them. One of them told the judge she had taken part in fighting against Iraqi forces alongside the jihadists, he said.

To wit:

Yet radicalized women in France are increasingly willing to give their lives for the cause, says Matthieu Suc, author of Femmes de Djihadistes—or Wives of Jihadis. “In different jihadist records, you can see, you can hear, women—often young—regretting not to be able to commit terrorist attacks,” he says. “Theoretically, women want—just like men—to take part in the jihad. That’s the way it goes. That’s the order of things.”


In a recent interview conducted by text message, Umm Haritha said she moved to Canada as a child and lived there for 14 years before deciding to move to Syria. She was a university student and said her upbringing was “normal” and “middle class.”

While she wouldn’t disclose where in Canada she lived, she said her decision to join the jihad in Syria was motivated by a desire to “live a life of honour” under Islamic law rather than the laws of the “kuffar,” or unbelievers.

It's communism, a return to Maoism. No one should be surprised:

Almost exactly five years ago, a newly anointed President Xi Jinping met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and declared they shared similar “personalities.”

The comments, reported by the Kremlin news service but not by Chinese state media, went largely unnoticed at the time. But on Sunday, the parallels between the two leaders were too stark to ignore.

China’s Communist Party is to abolish a two-term limit on the presidency, state media announced, potentially opening the door for Xi to rule for life.

In that simple step, the Communist Party showed that it has forgotten one of the main lessons of the despotic rule of Mao Zedong, wrote Chinese legal expert and New York University professor Jerome Cohen in a blog post.

The two-term limit was inserted into the constitution after the brutal and chaotic Cultural Revolution to prevent a return of one-man dictatorship. “Its abolition signals the likelihood of another long period of severe repression,” Cohen wrote.

But that has been China since 1949, so ...

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