Saturday, March 10, 2018

Saturday Special

Don't forget to turn one's clocks an hour forward.

Spring forward. Fall back.

They're just jobs:

The economy added 15,400 net new jobs last month and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.8% — but the gains were due to a surge in part-time work that offset a heavy decline in full-time positions.

Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey, released Friday, also found that the job gains in February were driven by an increase of 50,300 in public-sector jobs.

The country lost 39,300 full-time jobs and generated 54,700 part-time positions last month, the report said.

No reason to think that a rise in the minimum wage or a bloated and reckless government could be the reasons for this.


Israel is the only stable democracy in the Middle East, so stable that even Arabs would rather seek citizenship there. This makes Opposition leader Andrew Scheer's promise to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital a sane and logical one even if it angers those who are perennially furious ever everything:

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has admirably committed his party to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel if it wins the 2019 federal election.

As the Tories logically state on their website: “Canada’s Conservatives recognize the obvious fact that Israel, like every other sovereign nation, has a right to determine where its capital is located.”

Predictably, Scheer has been condemned by all the usual suspects in Canada and abroad who seek to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state of Israel at every opportunity.

This simply demonstrates that Israel, once again, is being judged by a different standard than every other nation on earth.

Because if sovereign nations don’t have the right to determine where their capital city is due to the fact it sits on disputed territory, then by the same standard, Canada has no right to call Ottawa its capital.

Here's the tactic that will swing things into Wynne's favour:

The Ontario government is denying rumours it plans to axe Grade 3 testing and eliminate requirements for Grade 10 students to pass a literacy test to graduate high school.

There’s been persistent chatter from education bureaucrats that Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are planning to scale back province-wide student testing, which the Liberals deny.

“That is incorrect,” was the clear and unequivocal reply from an education ministry spokesman when asked whether rumours about provincial review of standardized testing changes were accurate.

However, Dave Cooke, who serves his last day Saturday as head of Ontario’s independent Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), is one of many who have heard those very suggestions.

“We have heard there are major recommendations coming affecting education, and significant restructuring around the Grade 3 tests,” Cooke told the Sun.

“And we would suggest changes like that will have a very negative impact on the data we can collect and the information we can give government,” Cooke said. “You can either fly blind or you can make informed decisions.’

I would suggest that Kathleen Wynne is lying and that this is a very viable option for the flagging Liberals and the teachers' unions on which they heavily rely.

Chris Murphy is part of a coroner's inquest examining the death of an Indigenous man who died following a police chase in Saskatoon.

Some provinces have fatality inquiries headed by provincial court judges. But others — including Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia — have coroner inquests with juries.

And in Saskatchewan, if a deceased is Indigenous, a coroner's jury is often part Aboriginal too.
"I felt that we had been engaged in a very fair process," Murphy said.

"They had literally two separate piles from which names were randomly drawn and we alternated between Indigenous and non-Indigenous jurors."

In January, Murphy watched as a jury with no visibly Indigenous members was selected for the murder trial of white farmer Gerald Stanley in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.



Almost half of the prospective jurors in the Colten Boushie case were Aboriginal persons, according to one member of the jury pool. ...

As the prospective jury describes, some of the remaining 45 or so were vocal in expressing their bias and signalling to everyone in the room they were unfit to serve on the jury.

“You could audibly hear some of them talking amongst themselves, discussing how they were going to hang Stanley, or they were going to make sure he gets hung, or that if they don’t get the results they want, that they were going to handle it themselves,” the person said of the Aboriginal people who remained. This account comes from one individual who spoke with the Sun, and has not yet been corroborated by other witnesses.

So there's that.

The promises are enormous. In the next two years, the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women says it will hold up to 21 institutional and expert hearings to investigate issues ranging from human trafficking and sexual exploitation to health care and addiction services. It will commission external reports about the criminal justice system, colonial violence, advocacy and the media. It will conduct original research into the Indian Act and certain sections of the Constitution. It will continue to hear from the hundreds of survivors and family members who still want a chance to tell their stories.

That’s if the national inquiry is granted the two-year extension it requested on Tuesday, which would extend its mandate through to the end of 2020 — and the up to $50 million in additional funding it says it needs to pay for it, money that would nearly double its existing budget.

Big Aboriginal is having a very busy year.

New Brunswick's new climate plan has already been labelled a charade at the tax-revenue end, and now it's being called equally illusory at the spending end as well.
Green Party Leader David Coon says spending estimates by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure reveal most of the money from the carbon tax will merely replace existing spending, in the same amounts, on the very same things.

"There's no new money in the climate change fund to do anything," Coon said. "The government was pretending that there was something new here by creating this climate change fund, and all it is is an empty accounting exercise." ...

The only difference is that in 2018-19, the money will be listed as coming from the climate fund, collected through the Gallant Liberals' carbon-pricing scheme.

Coon said it appears the Gallant Liberals simply chose a range of programs that fit within the $37.4 million it will collect in 2018-19.

Starting April 1, 2.3 cents of the 15.5-cent per litre provincial gas tax will be redefined as a carbon price and moved into the climate fund, generating $37.4 million in revenue.

"It actually comes to some large percentage of what the climate change fund contains, and so 'that's what we're going to call our spending from the climate change fund,'" Coon said.

The new "carbon share" of the gas tax will rise each year to reach 11.64 cents in 2022-23, when it will rake in $180 million ostensibly dedicated to climate-change programs.

Can you say: money-grab? 

If people were truly serious about fighting actual pollution, why not go after China?

As China’s rubber-stamp legislature prepares to approve constitutional changes abolishing term limits for the president on Sunday, signs of dissent and biting satire have been all but snuffed out. The stifling censorship leaves intellectuals, young white-collar workers and retired veterans of past political campaigns using roundabout ways to voice their concerns. For many, it’s a foreshadowing of greater political repression ahead.

The result has been a surreal political atmosphere laced with fear, confusion, and even moments of dark comedy that undermines the picture of swelling popular support for the measure being peddled relentlessly by state media.

Just like old times.

There is a reason why no one in the West should not trust it:

Having issued battle orders for a steel and aluminium trade fight in front of some hard-hatted metal workers assembled at the White House, President Donald Trump is now likely to move onto the real battle front — allegations of Chinese intellectual property (IP) theft. 

And the Chinese octopus won't stop there:

China is dreamy-eyed about the prospects of shipping goods from Asia to Europe across the top of Russia, with visions of transpolar shipping dominating its brand-new Arctic strategy. Some specialized tankers are making headlines by crossing the Arctic alone – in the dead of winter, something that was almost impossible before.

And Russia is convinced that the melting Arctic will open up a new economic frontier rich in oil, natural gas, and lucrative transport routes between the world’s workshop and the world’s consumers. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government plans to invest tens of billions of dollars by 2030 to develop ships, shipbuilders, navigational aids, and ports along the Northern Sea Route, last week reiterated his conviction that polar shipping is the next big thing.

Is Sock-Boy worried about this?

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday North Korea had agreed to not conduct another missile test until after proposed meetings with its leader, Kim Jong Un, had taken place, as he sought to rally international support for a potential summit.  

Sure he will.

Some of Sydney's most affluent suburbs have lower than average rates of child immunisation, according to a new report.

The latest New South Wales Annual Immunisation Coverage Report showed an overall increase in children being fully immunised for all key milestone ages — 12 months, 24 months and five years — in 2016.

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