Friday, February 15, 2019

For a Friday

(Insert own pithy comment here)




Justin is stuck in a loop:

Jody Wilson-Raybould would still be justice minister if it wasn’t for the resignation of former Treasury Board president Scott Brison, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday, downplaying suggestions she was moved for not giving into political arm-twisting.

Trudeau said Brison’s decision to leave politics resulted in having to “move things around” on the team, including shuffling Wilson-Raybould into the veterans affairs portfolio.

“One of the seniors members of our team stepped down and we had to move things around on the team,” Trudeau said. “If Scott Brison had not stepped down from cabinet, Jody Wilson-Raybould would still be minister of justice and attorney general.”

Trudeau was also asked directly if the decision to move Wilson-Raybould out of justice had anything to do with SNC-Lavalin.

“Any time, one makes a decision to shift members of cabinet, there are always a wide range of factors that go into making that decision,” he said.

Yes, about that:

I recall skimming an unusually lengthy statement published by recently-demoted attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould on Jan. 15.

The statement was largely a congratulatory pat on the back in which Wilson-Raybould reflected on her many accomplishments as AG and waxed poetically about the challenges still to come in her continuing service as a Liberal MP and her new role as Minister of Veterans Affairs.
 
The PMO had allegedly pressured Wilson-Raybould — then attorney general —  to enter into a “remediation agreement” with SNC-Lavalin; essentially encouraging the AG to cut a deal. Wilson-Raybould is said to have refused, citing the obvious impropriety of an Attorney General, at the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office, interceding in the normal course of a prosecution being handled by the Public Prosecution Service. Then Wilson-Raybould got fired as AG.

**

I am surprised and disappointed and to be honest don’t entirely understand why Jody Wilson-Raybould made the decision that she did. Because if anyone, particularly the attorney general, felt that we were not doing our job fully, responsibly and according to all the rules, as a government, it was her responsibility to come forward to me this past fall and highlight that directly to me. She did not. Nobody did. And that’s why I continue to be puzzled and disappointed by her decision to step down from cabinet.”

** 

During a conversation in the fall, Trudeau said Wilson-Raybould asked if he would be directing her to take a particular decision, stressing that he replied, “No.” Trudeau said Friday he told Wilson-Raybould any decision on SNC-Lavalin was hers alone.

It was her decision to make and I expected her to make it,” he said. “I had full confidence in her role as attorney general to make the decision.”

So, which is it, Justin? 


Also:

While talking about the demotion of former attorney general Jody Wilson Raybould, Housefather told host Elias Makos the cabinet shuffle may have had to do with her lack of French.

“There are a lot of justice issues this year, including the Charter of Values being proposed by Quebec, that are going to require a justice minister who is very able to communicate with Quebecers,” Housefather told CJAD.

Wilson-Raybould was Justin Trudeau’s justice minister and attorney general and was able to shepherd some major legislation for the government including medically assisted dying and the legalization of marijuana.

And she did all that without speaking French.

There were no complaints about her performance until she apparently refused to cut a deal to allow SNC-Lavalin, the Montreal based construction giant, to avoid prosecution over bribery, fraud and corruption charges.

Housefather chaired the justice committee meeting on Wednesday that blocked attempts by the Conservatives and NDP to call Wilson-Raybould and top advisors to the PM to testify.

Just pile it on, lackeys.




Meanwhile:

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says he wants the federal government to settle with engineering firm SNC-Lavalin “as soon as possible” in order to protect jobs and the company’s corporate headquarters in Montreal.

I'll just leave this right here:

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) (lit. Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund, also referred to in English-language media as the Caisse) is an institutional investor that manages several public and parapublic pension plans and insurance programs in Quebec. It was founded in 1965 by an act of the National Assembly under the government of Jean Lesage. It is the second largest pension fund in Canada, after the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

**

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has raised its stake in SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., as the pension fund keeps its faith in the beleaguered engineering and construction company.

The Caisse, already SNC’s top shareholder, bought 1.81 million shares on March 12 and 13 for a total investment of $73.7 million, according to March 16 filing with the Ontario Securities Commission’s System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders, or SEDI.

The pension fund bought 721,800 shares at $40.56 each and an additional 1,087,300 at $40.88 over the two-day period, taking its total stake to 17.27 million shares, or 11.3% of the company.



(Merci)




So it begins:

A rural Manitoba school division says it is investigating after a gym teacher posted a photo to Facebook showing him holding a sign insulting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The photo was taken after an event attended by Conservative MP Candice Bergen at the kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Miami, Man.

In an interview with CTV Winnipeg, physical education teacher Brent Unrau says he asked for a photo with Bergen and in it, the two hold signs that together read: “Trudeau is just the worst.”

Well, he is.

If the school division finds any partisan content in the classroom to be offensive, I trust it will be as equally punitive to others teachers.

Right?



Basic income is just another form of welfare:

An Ontario court has denied a request that it quash the provincial government’s decision to cancel a basic income pilot project.

In a decision released Thursday, a panel of three Superior Court judges ruled the court has “no power” to reverse the move made by the Progressive Conservative government last summer.

The Tories announced in July they were cancelling the project, which provided a guaranteed annual income to participants in three Ontario cities: Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay.



Good:

Britain’s Home Secretary has warned he’ll block the return of Britons who travelled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group.

Sajid Javid’s comments come amid a furious debate about Shamima Begum, who ran away to join extremists when she was 15. Begum, who is now nine months pregnant, told The Times newspaper that she wants to come home.

Javid told the newspaper on Friday that he “will not hesitate” to prevent the return of Britons who “supported terrorist organizations abroad.” Others have appealed for mercy, noting Begum’s age when she fled.




And I thought North Korea was on the ropes:

North Korea possesses the capabilities to track and target satellites, posing a challenge to other militaries, the US Department of Defense said in a recent report.

According to the report published Monday by the US Defense Intelligence Agency, “Challenges to Security in Space,” North Korea is among countries that pose a challenge to militaries using space-enabled services.



Will this issue be addressed during the summit?:

North Korea has informed Japan that Minoru Tanaka, a Hyogo Prefecture native who vanished in 1978, is living in Pyongyang with his wife and children, Kyodo News reported Friday, quoting an unnamed source in the Japanese government.

The government claims Tanaka was kidnapped by North Korean agents while staying in Europe.
Since 2014, North Korea has told Japan about Tanaka’s situation several times, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pyongyang also reportedly told Tokyo that Tatsumitsu Kaneda, one of his coworkers at a noodle shop, is also living in Pyongyang with his wife and children.

Japanese officials were told that neither Tanaka nor Kaneda intends to return to Japan, according to Kyodo News. ...

Japan officially lists 17 citizens as having been kidnapped by North Korean agents and suspects the North’s involvement in many more abductions. Of the 17, five were repatriated in 2002.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

(Insert Title Here)

Merry Saint Valentine's Day!



Justin's experienced team of liars didn't just quash a probe into prime ministerial interference in a corruption case; it sent a clear message to every lackey in the party - if Jody Hyphenated Name can be taken out, they all can be:

The frightened rabbits on the government side were not about to investigate their masters in the Prime Minister’s Office, let alone on such an explosive question as whether they had attempted to tamper with a criminal prosecution.

But what form would the stonewall take? Would they flatly reject any such inquiry? That would presumably have been too crude. Would they hold hearings, call witnesses, but with the understanding that none of them would say anything: cabinet confidentiality, solicitor-client privilege, extensive memory loss, whatever? That, too, would have looked a little too plead-the-fifthish for comfort.

So instead the five Liberal MPs voted for an investigation — such transparency! — only with a list of witnesses that mysteriously excluded anyone who was actually involved.

**

Multiple caucus sources told CBC News that Trudeau convened an extraordinary caucus meeting by telephone Tuesday evening to reassure them that nothing untoward had taken place in his office's interactions with Wilson-Raybould over the SNC-Lavalin case when she was justice minister.

But unlike the party's normal caucus meetings, this was a one-way call — with Trudeau doing the talking. Caucus members were not able to ask Trudeau questions. MPs were told to follow up with the PMO or regional offices.
 

That's transparency for you:

At the Justice Committee, Liberal Randy Boissonnault called the whole thing a “witch hunt,” revealing a totally dismissive and arrogant attitude towards what is a real and serious scandal.

@$$hole.



Further:

The committee is “not an investigative body,” said Boissonnault. “We don’t have the tools, the budget or the mechanisms to go on the type of fishing expedition or witch-hunt the Conservatives would like to see.”

It was as cynical a subversion of the public interest to narrow partisan concerns as Parliament Hill has seen since the public accounts committee descended into farce during the sponsorship scandal a decade and a half ago.

Did everyone forget that?

Of course they did:

The program, which Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s government had established after the narrow federalist victory in the Quebec sovereignty referendum of 1995, was designed to promote Canada in that province and showcase the benefits of federalism. But whatever the intentions of the federal sponsorship program were, Fraser’s report uncovered outrageous misuses of public funds in its day-to-day operations. She found that at least $100-million had been handed over to public relations and communications agencies in Quebec with close ties to the Liberal Party. Much of this money was never actually used for the purposes originally in-tended for it; instead, it had given these firms large commissions, with very little in the way of concrete results to show for it.


Herein lies the problem.

This scandal should have been the last straw for the Liberal Party, a group so obnoxious that even the thought of keeping it in standing should have been brushed aside.

But this spurning did not occur. Canadians have proven themselves to be so personally and morally lazy. The puppet Justin's antics and heavy-handed tactics have become a running joke that they are willing to tolerate. Who are Canadians to point their fingers at other countries or even their compatriots if they themselves regard corruption as a simple matter-of-course, nothing to be worked up over?

Notice how the question is clearly asked in English, then Trudeau points at someone (Gerald Butts?) and asks whether they want him to answer it in English.

Then he says under his breath, “I’m just trying to remember,” then reels off his canned lines while going into an attack on Jody Wilson-Raybould putting all the blame on her.

That's your puppet-leader, Canada.



Given that your government totally disregarded sound warnings from professionals about Huawei, I'm not going to listen to anything you say, Mr. Sixty ISIS Terrorists:

Canada’s foreign signals intelligence agency says government networks have weathered a lot of cyber security “incidents” but no successful attacks in the last two years.



She was sentenced to seven years but she'll be out in two:

A woman convicted of terror charges for attacking workers at a Canadian Tire store in Toronto was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday after a judge found her mental illness played a key role in her crimes.

Of course.


Also - leave. her. there:

When the London teenager Shamima Begum fled Britain with two other schoolgirls in 2015 to join the Islamic State, it shocked a nation. Now, she wants to come home.

Begum, 19, is nine months pregnant and living in a Syrian refugee camp. She says she doesn’t regret leaving Britain but now wants to return to give birth to her child.

“Now all I want to do is come home to Britain,” she said in an extraordinary interview with the Times of London. ...
She also said that she didn’t regret going to Syria and wasn’t fazed when she saw the severed head of one of ISIS’s victims.



The relics of Saint Valentine:

One of the more impressive tokens he was gifted was the remains of Saint Valentine by Pope Gregory XVI, which had recently been uncovered during grave restorations. Sprat brought the Reliquary containing the relics to his Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin, where they remained popular until the death of their popular procurer. With the death of Sprat, the relics went into storage and were not venerated until the church went through restorations in the 1950’s/1960’s. Both an altar and shrine were created and are now watched over by a statue depicting the saint holding a crocus (carved by Irene Broe).

Today the shrine is popular with couples who come to pray for St. Valentine to watch over their lives together, and to celebrate the feast day of February 14th which includes the Blessings of the Rings for those about to marry. The reliquary is placed on the high altar and venerated at the Masses.



Whoever you are and whatever you do, have a Happy Bacon Day:





Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Mid-Week Post

On this eve of Saint Valentine's Day ...



Quelle surprise:

The Canadian parliament's justice committee on Wednesday rejected an opposition bid to question senior officials about allegations of political interference that are becoming a problem for Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Former Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould quit unexpectedly on Tuesday amid allegations she had been pressured by Trudeau's team to go easy on SNC-Lavalin Group Inc last year when she was justice minister and attorney general.

The committee, dominated by Liberal legislators, defeated an opposition proposal to question Wilson-Raybould as well as two top aides in the prime minister's office.

"It's a cover-up and it's becoming clearer by the day," Conservative lawmaker Michael Cooper told the committee after the vote.

Liberals on the committee, who said it was not clear there had been any wrongdoing, said they wanted to discuss the matter further behind closed doors next week.

Oh, I'll bet the most "transparent" government in the country's history will.

Justin's chief advisor, Gerald Butts, and his chief of staff, Katie Telford, will not testify. Only the justice minister, David Lametti (who assured everyone that a probe was not needed), and Michael Wernick will deliver their rehearsed lines behind closed doors.

As long as Justin can muddle along, this business will be behind everyone:

At one point during his appearance a reporter asked him what reasons Wilson-Raybould gave him as to why she resigned from cabinet.

“Do you want me to answer that question in English?” asked the Prime Minister.

“Um, uh. I’m just trying to remember,” said Justin Trudeau, before proceeding to talk about something off topic.


The opinion pages and panels of talking heads in English-Canadian media have largely focused on the question of whether a refusal to bow to undue “pressure” from Trudeau’s office led to Wilson-Raybould’s demotion to the veterans affairs file last month and ultimately her resignation on Tuesday.

In Quebec, par contre, the commentariat is more critical of Wilson-Raybould. They are more concerned about why the then-justice minister wouldn’t push the Director of Public Prosecutions to allow SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement — a way for the firm to make amends for corruption charges incurred doing business in Libya without risking a long-term freeze on its ability to take public contracts. Liberals had inserted provisions for that kind of arrangement in the 2018 federal budget. Why then wouldn’t the provision be used, Quebec columnists wonder?

A province known for its rampant corruption knows which side its pain is buttered. I'm sure its inhabitants are wondering what the furor is over allegations against SNC-Lavalin or why remediation legislation hasn't already been passed to avoid this beastly annoyance with corporate corruption.



Well, prove him wrong:

Premier Doug Ford accused student unions of getting up to “crazy Marxist nonsense” as he appealed for donations to his Progressive Conservative party in a fundraising email sent Monday.

Ford’s claim was made as he highlighted his government’s move to make some fees paid by Ontario college and university students optional instead of mandatory.

“Students were forced into unions and forced to pay for those unions,” Ford said in the email sent by the Progressive Conservatives. “I think we all know what kind of crazy Marxist nonsense student unions get up to.”

These are the same universities who feel that they are entitled to their entitlements, whether its fees for things no one uses or free expression it must quash. Anything else is subject to a vote at the next indignation meeting.


Also:

The Ontario deficit is projected to be $1-billion lower than forecast — $13.5 billion in 2018-19 — as the economy outperforms expectations, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli says.



The province of Saskatchewan presents its case against the enforced carbon tax:

Saskatchewan's legal counsel opened a two-day Appeal Court hearing by arguing that the province's constitutional challenge of a federal carbon levy is not about climate change, but the divisions of power.

"This is not a case about whether climate change is real or not," Mitch McAdam said. "The government of Saskatchewan is not made up of a bunch of climate change deniers."

He said the question is whether provinces are "sovereign and autonomous within the areas of their jurisdiction" under the Constitution Act.

"Or under our Constitution can the federal government step in whenever it thinks provinces aren't ... exercising their jurisdiction appropriately and act for them?

"That's really what this case is about."


Had she been Canadian, she would get a cheque for $10.5 million:

A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence specialist who defected to Iran despite warnings from the FBI has been charged with revealing classified information to the Tehran government, including the code name and secret mission of a Pentagon program, prosecutors said Wednesday.



ISIS claims it killed forty-two people in an attack against a Nigerian governor's convoy:

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack on the convoy of a state governor who was headed to a rally in northeastern Nigeria ahead of Saturday’s presidential election.
The group said in a statement on its Aamaq news agency that 42 people were killed in Tuesday’s attack on Borno state’s governor. Official sources told Reuters earlier on Wednesday between three and 10 people were killed, and that some of them may have been beheaded.

Boko Haram has waged a decade-long insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast which has killed around 30,000 people and forced about 2 million to leave their homes. Islamic State West Africa Province, which split from Boko Haram in 2016, has carried out a series of attack on military targets in the last few months.



The mermaid of Warsaw is way cooler than the mermaid of Copenhagen:

The legend of the Warsaw mermaid, or “syrenka” in Polish, is a relatively simple one. She originated from the Baltic Sea, where (according to some versions of the story) she had a twin sister, the famous Little Mermaid of Copenhagen. The syrenka swam up the Vistula River until she was at what is now Warsaw’s old town. There, she saw some fishermen catching fish and decided to meddle with their nets and free the catch. 

The fishermen were angry at the meddlesome creature and tried to catch it, but once they saw the mermaid and heard her siren song they could not harbor any hate for her any longer. Later, the mermaid was captured by a rich merchant who wanted to haul her off as some kind of prize. But the fishermen would not have it and freed her from the greedy man’s clutches. The mermaid was thankful and promised to protect the fishermen and their homes from then on. From that moment, she became the city’s guardian and protector in times of need.



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

But Wait! There's More!

(SEE: grave, shovel, digging, stop):

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went on the offensive Tuesday evening after former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould’s sudden resignation from cabinet.

In his strongest statement to date, Trudeau repeatedly said he was “surprised and disappointed” by Wilson-Raybould’s decision, which came amid allegations she was pressured by the Prime Minister’s Office to help construction giant SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

Trudeau claimed her resignation was “not consistent” with conversations they had recently.

(Sidebar: yes, about that ...)


That is not all Justin would like hidden from the public eye:

The Liberal platform was equally clear: “Stephen Harper has also used omnibus bills to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating his proposals. We will … bring an end to this undemocratic practice.”

Apparently, the prime minister’s view changed. Last year, the 556-page Budget Implementation Act included a change to the Criminal Code to allow for the possibility of remediation agreements instead of prosecutions for companies accused of corruption.

Only a few were alert enough to see the problem.

“Because this is an omnibus bill, no experts have given evidence about the Criminal Code amendments,” wrote defence lawyer Michael Spratt. “(A separate bill) would allow every MP to know what the heck is in the government’s legislation … And it would probably result in a better law.” ...

Essentially, the Trudeau government snuck in a loophole to help corporations evade criminal prosecutions and deliberately shielded the measure from the scrutiny of elected officials.

**

A substantive amendment was made to the criminal code that can significantly alter how large Canadian corporations are treated under the law when they’re charged with crimes like fraud and bribery. Yet the change was rushed through Parliament with very little scrutiny and in a highly irregular and inappropriate manner.

The federal government did do some low-key public consultations in late 2017 as part of a larger “corporate wrongdoing” review. But it was mostly businesses and other non-government organizations that participated. Not too many ordinary Canadians were involved. The 22-page report from that was released Feb. 22, 2018 with no indication government planned to make any immediate changes. In fact, the report said it would continue to consult and assess whether any changes should be made. But a month later, the so-called deferred prosecution agreement provision was introduced in Parliament, buried deep in a budget bill. Which means government had likely been working on the legislative text for some time.


The question is, what was the rush? There was no need to make this change right away, or at all. However, we also know SNC-Lavalin had its criminal prosecution delayed last fall in anticipation of these changes.

So, why is government rushing important criminal code changes through Parliament, hidden in a budget bill, that appear to be geared towards satisfying the needs of a particular corporation?

This particular corporation:

Quebec prosecutors are working with the RCMP on the possibility of new criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin tied to a contract to refurbish Montreal's Jacques Cartier Bridge, court documents show.



In other news ...



The province of Saskatchewan expects to take its fight against the carbon tax to the judicial activists Supreme Court:

Saskatchewan’s attorney general says he has no doubt the province's constitutional challenge of Ottawa's imposition of a carbon tax will end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Don Morgan notes both the province and Canada have the right to appeal a ruling from the Saskatchewan Appeal Court, which is to hear two days of arguments starting Wednesday.

Morgan said the provincial government will urge Ottawa to hold off on imposing the levy while the issue is before the courts, but will not seek an injunction to stop it.  

The federal carbon tax is set to take effect in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba in April.

"We think it's the right thing to do," he said Tuesday of the constitutional challenge.  

"We think the proper position for our province to take is not to have a carbon tax that singles out our province."

The Saskatchewan Party government argues a federally imposed carbon tax is unconstitutional because it will not apply evenly across all of the provinces.

Also:

A new survey shows that small and medium-sized companies are concerned that they won’t be able to pass on the cost of the tax to consumers through price increases, meaning that slashing jobs and wages is all they’ll have left.

According to BNN Bloomberg, a survey of 3,527 members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found “About 80 per cent of the respondents said they didn’t think it would be easy for them to forward costs on to their customers. The poll found 55 per cent of those surveyed didn’t expect to pass on any of the additional costs, while 25 per cent said they would only be able to pass on less than 25 per cent of the extra costs.”

The CFIB pointed out the obvious consequence of that:

“These findings should be deeply worrisome to public policy makers. It means small firms will be forced to find the resources to pay the tax from the business itself, which means it may come at the expense of wages, jobs or future business growth.”



Leave that worthless cow there:

A Canadian ISIS bride is desperate to come home and is begging not to be “judged too harshly.”
The woman — who goes by the name Kimberley — told ITV News she was in the dark about “all the politics” when she travelled to Syria on what she calls a “humanitarian” mission.

The 46-year-old claims she was imprisoned by the death cult and recently escaped their remaining sliver of territory in Baghouz.

“I knew that they were fighting but I didn’t know all the politics,” she told ITV. “I came as a humanitarian, I came wanting to help, to offer the skills that I had to help mainly women and children here.”

Is she stupid because she didn't know what was happening in the Middle East or is she stupid because she thinks that people are gullible enough to rescue her?  

You decide.




Last year, Justin sought more trade opportunities with a country he openly admitted that he admired and has since put him in the dog-house for not releasing Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou:

As automation curbs the hunt for cheap labour, Asian countries consume more of what they produce and manufacturers locate closer to their customers, Canada’s best trade opportunities are likely to be found outside China’s vast economy — and in some instances, much closer to home, according to researchers at the McKinsey Global Institute.

“Our data certainly shows that China won’t provide as much opportunity to Canada as other parts of the world,” said Susan Lund, a partner at the institute and one of the researchers on the report. “China has a very competitive and vibrant set of companies that are now satisfying the needs of its domestic value chains. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of other opportunities for Canada. There are.”



 Speaking of cheap labour:

Jim Rogers, a renowned investor and chairman of Rogers Holdings, plans to visit North Korea next month at the invitation of Chairman Kim Jong-un, according to sources Tuesday.

The Singapore-based investor, who once said he would “put all of my money” in North Korea if he could, received the US government’s approval for the trip with his wife. 

Yes, you do that. Exploit that cheap North Korean labour and lose as much cash as the South Koreans did at Kaesong.




Now Trump has something else to address during the summit later on this month

North Korea is believed to have produced up to seven nuclear weapons worth of fissile materials even while the regime engaged in denuclearization negotiations with the United States last year, an American scientist said.

What can one expect from a country that runs death camps?


Also:

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for a further increase in South Korea's share of the cost of stationing American troops on the peninsula.

Trump's remarks came only days after the allies signed a preliminary agreement renewing their cost-sharing deal for the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea.
"As you know, South Korea -- we defend them and lose a tremendous amount of money," the U.S. president said at a Cabinet meeting, repeating a signature refrain.
"Billions of dollars a year defending them. They agreed, at my request. And working with Secretary (of State) Pompeo and (National Security Adviser) John Bolton, they agreed to pay, yesterday, (US)$500 million more toward their defense," he claimed. "Five-hundred million, with a couple of phone calls. I said, 'Why didn't you do this before?' They said, 'Nobody asked.' So -- it's got to go up. It's got to go up."
The cited numbers don't align with the formal announcement that South Korea agreed to increase its contribution by 8.2 percent to some 1.04 trillion won ($920 million) under a one-year deal.


(Kamsahamnida)




Oh, dear:

A fire broke out at a warehouse in Tokyo’s Ota Ward on Tuesday afternoon leaving three men dead and another man injured, while some flights at nearby Haneda airport were also disrupted by the incident.

Firefighters received an emergency call at around 1:25 p.m. reporting a fire at a warehouse of a subsidiary of major seafood company Maruha Nichiro Corp.

The warehouse, located in an industrial area along Tokyo Bay, has been used by Maruha Nichiro Logistics Inc. for storing frozen food products, according to its parent company.

Four other people were rescued from the roof by helicopter, the Tokyo Fire Department said. More than 50 fire engines and other vehicles arrived at the scene to extinguish the blaze, which appeared to have started on the fifth floor of the building.



A resurgence of the Church in Iceland:

On a dark, bitterly cold night in Reykjavik this winter, worshippers were scattered in pews for evening Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King, an eye-catching local landmark in the western section of Iceland’s capital. Iceland’s Catholic Church is booming as fast as the domestic economy, and on the vigil of All Saints, one of the curiosities — and the most obvious characteristics of that growth — is how the young outnumber older people in the pews.


Because Transparency

I knew something like this would happen:

Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is quitting the federal cabinet days after allegations became public the Prime Minister's Office pressured the former justice minister to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

http://jwilson-raybould.liberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/1565/2019/02/DOC120219-12022019103907.png
(source)

In a letter published on her website Tuesday, Wilson-Raybould says she has hired former Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell to tell her what she can say about "matters that have been in the media over the last week."

(Sidebar: this Thomas Cromwell.)

Wilson-Raybould's letter does not say exactly why she's quitting. It does say she will continue to serve as MP for the riding of Vancouver-Granville.

(Sidebar: so, not quitting entirely out of principle. Right ...)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office says Wilson-Raybould told the prime minister Monday night of her intention to resign from cabinet. Trudeau informed the rest of his cabinet Tuesday morning about her decision.
 

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs is slamming the anonymous comments by Liberals demonizing Jody Wilson-Raybould.

In what appears to be a coordinated effort (probably run by the PMO), the Liberals have been sending out anonymous MPs to say that Wilson-Raybould was always a ‘problem,’ and not trustworthy.
Here’s what the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said about that in a statement:
“They perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women cannot be powerful, forthright and steadfast in positions of power, but rather confrontational, meddling and egotistic.”
They also called the comments “cowardly low blows.”
Additionally, they said Trudeau should “take responsibility for your behaviour and that of your government.”

Awfully supportive bunch.

Keep in mind, this woman was happy to play the Liberal Party game and more than happy to disparage a jury that didn't deliver a verdict that would make her happy.

That Big Aboriginal plays the victim cards that Liberal hypocrites play is several different kinds of rich:





Jody Hyphenated Name may not ever incriminate her boss or SNC-Lavalin (this SNC-Lavalin and the new attorney-general) or, if the wizards of smear do their jobs correctly, be considered credible enough to testify against them.

One must also consider that this isn't Justin's first illegal rodeo.


Can you say banana republic?




Monday, February 11, 2019

For a Monday

A lot going on ...



The story so far:

Distilled to their bare bones, the allegations swirling around Ottawa are as follows: Quebec company SNC-Lavalin was under investigation by the RCMP for possibly paying bribes to win construction contracts in Libya. SNC-Lavalin’s lobbyists had been making regular visits to senior members of the PMO.
The PMO had allegedly pressured Wilson-Raybould — then attorney general —  to enter into a “remediation agreement” with SNC-Lavalin; essentially encouraging the AG to cut a deal. Wilson-Raybould is said to have refused, citing the obvious impropriety of an Attorney General, at the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office, interceding in the normal course of a prosecution being handled by the Public Prosecution Service. Then Wilson-Raybould got fired as AG.

Connect the dots. ...

“The role of the Attorney General of Canada carries with it unique responsibilities to uphold the rule of law and the administration of justice, and as such demands a measure of principled independence.”

Principled independence? Sure. But from whom? ...

“As such, it has always been my view that the Attorney General of Canada must be non-partisan, more transparent in the principles that are the basis of decisions, and, in this respect, always willing to speak truth to power.”

Non-partisan? You don’t move to Ottawa to be non-partisan. Speak truth to power? You’re the Attorney General of Canada. You ARE the power. Unless you’re speaking to the Prime Minister or his designate…

Jody Hyphenated Name refused to comment on her role and what she did or did not do or say, citing privilege.


Justin has been avoiding answering any questions pertaining to SNC-Lavalin, a CEO for which gave money to his dad's foundation.


People are not happy:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was heckled and protested during a campaign stop in Burnaby South ahead of the February 25 byelection.

Trudeau, who was campaigning for Liberal candidate Richard Lee, was called criminal by some protesters in the wake of the recent SNC-Lavalin fiasco.

One of the 200 in attendance was anti-pipeline activist Uni Urchin.

“You have broken the law. You’re a criminal. Shame on you,” Urchin was caught on camera yelling

**

The allegations levelled last week against Justin Trudeau and his office are grievous and strike at the very heart of our rule of law.

For the last three years, SNC-Lavalin has aggressively lobbied key government officials for a special deal that would see it avoid criminal prosecution on bribery charges.

The government responded last year, when it wedged into the budget bill a new legal provision that would give SNC-Lavalin exactly what it wanted.

The use of that provision is at the discretion of the Director of Public Prosecutions and last October, that office informed SNC-Lavalin no special deal was coming.

That should have been the end of it. It was only the beginning.

Unhappy with that result, the Prime Minister’s Office allegedly pressured the Attorney General to overrule due legal process by granting this Liberal-friendly corporate giant the special deal it had long sought after and then firing her when she courageously refused to do so. ...

(Sidebar: I'm not buying that she "courageously" did anything of the sort. She probably didn't know which direction she should bend. She paid the price for it, nonetheless, and this Liberal lackey is getting what has been dished out to others before her.)

However, given the stonewall treatment we’ve encountered thus far, his blithe contempt for past pledges of transparency, and the willingness of his new Attorney General to protect him, I’m not optimistic he will do so.

Which naturally begs the question of what Trudeau is trying to hide.

**

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s legal team has raised questions about the independence of federal prosecutors after the Crown and lawyers from the department that supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke several times last year about “trial strategy.”

Partially censored copies of notes taken by the Crown during those talks with lawyers from the Privy Council Office were submitted in court Monday, as Norman’s lawyers resumed their fight for access to thousands of government documents.

Lead prosecutor Barbara Mercier explained to Norman’s lawyer Christine Mainville in an email also filed in court that the handwritten notes were redacted because they dealt with “trial strategy.”

Mainville told the court on Monday that prosecutors should not be talking strategy with the Privy Council Office, which she called the “right arm” to the Prime Minister’s Office and first launched the investigation that led to Norman being charged.

The PCO supports the prime minister. They implement what the Prime Minister’s Office wants. They execute on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office,” Mainville said.

So it seems what we are being told is the prosecution service is devising their trial strategy with … the body that reports to and executes the directions of the Prime Minister’s Office.”


(Sidebar: they're not the only ones ...)


Enough with the games, it is time to call in the police to investigate the allegations of interference and obstruction of justice facing the Prime Minister’s Office.

(Sidebar: the cops who answer to Justin? Those cops?)


Now, to shut everybody up, the ethics commissioner, who also answers to Justin, will launch an inquiry into this matter:

Federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion will investigate allegations that the Prime Minister's Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

Because Canadians have been happy to never have any sort of checks or balances or accountability for their highly-paid elected officials, this matter can be resolved only by letting Justin get away with this or a massive coup.

The latter is not likely.




Convoy!:

Protesters from duelling convoys to Ottawa that split only weeks ago have once again joined forces, days ahead of a cross-Canada trip to the nation’s capital to air political grievances with the federal government.



How could this go wrong?:

Richard Lee – the Federal Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South by-election – has called for the United Nations to have control over the internet through a global regulatory body.

Also:

A year and a half after it accused one of its MPs of leaking a list of Conservative Party members to a firearms rights group, the party has changed course and now says Brad Trost had nothing to do with the leak.



Be careful! The last time a Tory MP pressed for a motion to send a convicted murderess back to prison, Justin called them "ambulance-chasers" and the Liberals voted against the motion:

A Conservative MP is hoping to increase the amount of time convicted killers must spend behind bars before they can apply for parole, just as serial killer Bruce McArthur awaits his sentence.

James Bezan’s private member’s bill would give judges and juries the ability to increase parole ineligibility for certain convicted killers to 40 years, up from the current 25 years, if their crimes involved kidnapping, sexually assaulting and murdering a person in Canada.


Also:

An Ontario court has dismissed an appeal from a man convicted of trying to join a Somali-based terrorist organization, saying stiff penalties are necessary in such cases to deter similar would-be criminals.

Former Toronto security guard Mohamed Hersi was convicted in 2014 of attempting to participate in the activities of a terrorist group and providing counsel to a person to participate in terrorist activity.

Court heard he was en route to Somalia to join Islamic terrorist group al-Shabab when he was arrested, and a Superior Court judge sentenced him to consecutive five-year prison terms for the two charges he was convicted on.

Hersi appealed both the conviction and the sentence, which lawyers said was the maximum possible and described as excessive.

A panel of three judges at the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld both the conviction and sentence in a decision released Monday.



I'll just leave this here:

Levin, who was a world-renowned educator before his shocking fall from grace, was jailed in May 2015 for creating and possessing child pornography and counselling others to commit a sexual assault. ...

In one case, Levin sent photographs to a New Zealand police officer, one showing a “close-up of the face of a crying child, her face smeared with black makeup.” Levin suggested to her the image was “hot,” according to parole board documents. Another photo he sent showed a young female bound and leashed, with a gag in her mouth and Levin commented, “Mmm, so hot to imagine a mother doing that to her girl to please her lover.”

This is the same Ben Levin who created this:

Ontario government lawyers say the repeal of a modernized sex-ed curriculum does not discriminate against an 11-year-old transgender girl challenging the move, arguing teachers can still address topics like gender identity even though such issues are no longer a mandatory part of the lesson plan.

Government lawyers said in closing arguments Friday that the case before Ontario’s human rights tribunal does not prove the province is discriminating against certain students.
If teaching kids this un-scientific nonsense is more important than teaching them math, these "educators" aren't just incompetent; they are evil.


Also -  if universities were really committed to free speech, they would let Jordan Peterson speak just to prove it:

Note that freedom of expression comes last, and is so hedged in by diversity, equity, inclusion, awareness and consideration as to render it nugatory. At Ryerson and Laurier, you are free to say anything so long as it is seen not to impair these higher, social goals. Nevertheless, both universities decline (again in identical words) to censor — not for the sake of free expression, mind you, but for fear of setting a precedent ...

These caveats are specially couched to appear to be open to free expression but, in truth, hinder and emotionally blackmail the weak-willed to agree to it all.




You know it's bad when even the usual anti-Semites in the Democratic Party are cringing at you:

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., apologized Monday afternoon for what many saw as anti-Semitic comments perpetuating the tired stereotype that Jews control politics with money.

Omar’s mea culpa came shortly after House Democratic leaders called the first-term representative’s comments “deeply offensive” and urged her to apologize.

In a tweet, the Minnesota congresswoman said “anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on this painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

In a statement issued Monday, the Democratic leadership said that legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies and its treatment of Palestinians is protected by free speech, but Omar’s use of “anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and that they’ve agreed “to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.”




During the 2015 election, Justin promised to look Russian president Vladimir Putin right in the face and tell him off:

Recent Russian moves in the Arctic have renewed debate over that country’s intentions and Canada’s own status at the top of the world.

The newspaper Izvestia reported late last month that Russia’s military will resume fighter patrols to the North Pole for the first time in 30 years. The patrols will be in addition to regular bomber flights up to the edge of U.S. and Canadian airspace.

“It’s clearly sending strategic messaging,” said Whitney Lackenbauer, an Arctic expert and history professor at the University of Waterloo. “This is the next step.”

When Justin is done running away from the nearly-thwarted SNC-Lavalin inquiry, he might possibly consider thinking about maybe getting his underlings to write an obliquely worded letter to someone who knows Putin and could possibly pass it on if he's got a moment.




Curse your evil hide, global warming!:

An extremely powerful winter storm is pulling away from Hawaii after unleashing damaging winds, massive waves, coastal flooding, and snow in unusual places.
Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature
(source)


Also - the polar bears are going extinct ... or something:

Officials in the Arkhangelsk region, where the archipelago lies, on Saturday declared a state of emergency because of the marauding mammals. Polar bears are typically born on land but live mostly on sea ice, where they hunt and feed on seals. But as arctic ice thins, which is linked to the acceleration of climate change, the animals move ashore, ravenous. They scavenge, sometimes coming into contact with human populations.

At least 52 bears were massed near Belushya Guba, the main settlement on the island territory, which is still used as a military garrison, with restricted access to the public. The town had a population of about 2,000 as of the 2010 Census.
(source)


 
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Albert Finney.



(Merci beaucoup)