Monday, November 30, 2009

Conservative Economic Mismanagement Hilighted...

Ralph Goodale's latest commentary speaks volumes on the Conservative ineptitude in managing Canada's economy.

One wonders, just HOW does a party that believes in "no government" actually go about planning to "manage" an economy.

Answer: They simply don't.

Call it the "Harper Auto-pilot"... The "sleep-walking government"... Asleep at the wheel...


Because of collapsing potash revenues, the Saskatchewan economy has dropped into a sudden slump.

Nationally, while the Harper government boasts about “recovery” from a painful year of recession, Employment Insurance claims have recently shot up again, personal bankruptcies remain high, the country is running a trade deficit for the first time in 30 years, and any new economic growth is sluggish at best.

Public opinion polls say most Canadians think this country is now in long-term decline. Their personal prospects seem mediocre. They’re more worried about falling behind than they are excited about getting ahead.

These negative feelings are justified. One of Canada’s most respected independent financial analysts, Mr. Dale Orr, calculated last week that the standard of living across Canada dropped by more than 4% since 2007.

It’s significant to note the year in which that decline began – 2007 – long before the onset of any recession (which started late in 2008).

In others words, after steady national growth all through the tenure of Liberal governments (1993 – 2006), the country began to slip economically after only two years of Conservative rule.

The Harper regime seems oblivious to this hard reality. Finance Minister Flaherty says he plans no new government action in the year ahead – except for a whopping $13 billion increase in “payroll taxes” (i.e., much higher employment insurance premiums hitting both employers and employees).

But what about the massive insecurity surrounding pensions and retirement incomes?

What about heavy household debt and rising bankruptcies?

What about big gaps in child care and elder care across this country? What about unaffordable education costs? What about the stunning lack of real investment in innovation, science and technology? What about the steady degradation of our natural environment?

It’s no wonder a lot of middle-income Canadians are increasingly uneasy.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Please... Oh Please...

Please let some of the aura rub off on me (and his intelligence, and wit, and decency, and his popularity... and his... ). Please... oh please! Pretty please!

Harper - climate change denier-in-chief - decides if China and Obama are going, he'd look the fool if he didn't join in.

Look for some meaningless statements from Harper: "We've tried so hard to solve this problem... but the (insert nation/group/target here) just weren't willing to come to the table..." Or... "This was a key step in the path to a solution" (that Canada did not even come close to leading on...)...

Canada has been dubbed in international pariah by nations serious about solving global warming/climate change. Let's hope the Harper Conservatives are shamed into acting by the Obama-effect/aura. Wishful thinking really. Harper (and more importantly - his base) have their lips firmly affixed to the base of every oil rig in Alberta.

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National Colors - National Pride

Are you as tired as we are, of seeing the slow, gradual elimination of Canada's national colors from Government of Canada events, notes, messaging, and photo-ops?

Our colors. Our pride.

Bring it back.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We Don't Just Pose...

While most federal Conservative MPs pretend to have some degree of education or talent, most Liberals don't have to pretend...

We've seen over the past four years what lack of intellect and thought-provoking policy has done to "Canada's New Government". We have Prime Minister who is a simp when compared to ANY of our past PMs. A man who is a mental midget with a one-track policy-mind. A man who looks like the boorish embarrassing uncle that isn't exactly worldy... The Boris Yeltsin (minus the education) of Canada.

It's what you get when you elect the party of "little thinkers". A party that prefers the lowest common denominator over mental stimulation and nation-building. A party that prefers dark-age revisionism over challenging and taking on the problems of today.

We may be at last election levels in the polls, but we have NOTHING to be embarrassed about. We have nothing to worry about either, because WHEN we get our collective shit together - and it won't be long (the pieces are being placed) - we will be annihilating the conservative scourge. They know it, and they fear it.

Liberals have always been the representatives of the forward thinking groups in societies. No matter in which nation, or in which time period, Liberal thought has been the engine of change and growth. Liberals have talent. Liberals have skills. Liberals have the ability to view issues through many different perspectives.

What led us into this early AM blog-ramble? Kinsella's painting. Seriously. We've got talent. It never amazes what hidden talents so many Liberals have. It's what differentiates us from the neanderthals of the political world. That painting shows us another thing: A liberal is a person who can perceive the world in varying perspectives. The true representation of the term Liberal, or "libra"... The balanced person.

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Harper: Anything For Golden Temple Photo Opp...

Stephen Harper went to India... Because the Liberals (Ignatieff, in particular) have been talking about how the Harper Cons have abandoned relationships with India and China, and squandered the hard work of the "Team Canada" trade missions led by Chretien and Martin (which generated literally hundreds of signed business deals)...

In his very brief visit Harper paid lip-service to bi-lateral relations, talked up the "terrorist" angle, and committed to nothing of consequence.

One thing Harper DID manage is an affront to Sikhs everywhere: his photo-op at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Apparently, greedy for the "big score" photo-op, Harper's entourage drove directly from the airport to the temple (along with throngs of security) for the pics. At the temple, Harper REFUSED TO PARTAKE IN THE SIKH PARSHAD (equivalent of Holy Communion), and REFUSED TO PARTAKE IN THE LANGAR (free kitchen).

The langar part is the biggest insult to the community. One is never to attend a temple/gurdawara, and not have the free lunch. The lunch is symbolic as a means of bringing people of all backgrounds and stations in life together. Of course, something like that would mean nothing to Harper - "Great dis-uniter" that he is.

For hundreds of years the Gurdawara kitchens have been open to the hungry and the homeless - as well as the Sikh community at large. The simple act of partaking in the lunch (vegetarian Indian food) would have gone miles to show respect for the culture, as well as some semblance of understanding - or at least the wish to understand the votes he is so eagerly and callously attempting to buy.

What an insult to Canadians of South Asian heritage. While Liberal governments in the past made honest efforts to work with and advance South Asian communities, Harper's shock troops have chosen a different path. They have insulted Sikhs and South Asians (look back through comments about "new Canadians and ghettoes", "hot-headed Sikhs", etc.), then appointed the Minister of the "hot-headed" comment to the portfolio.. so he can shamelessly talk about "curry-in-a-hurry", and think he can buy votes with nothing but some lip service and an awkward smile...

C'mon now... What exactly does a right-wing, fundamentalist Christian from the Prairies REALLY want with these South Asian "heathen" he is so eager to befriend? What could it be??? Hmmm???

Smile and be nice to me, while you work to remove any measures ever put in to help me become a more equal citizen in this great land...


edit: Apparently there were quite a few ruffled feathers over at the SGPC (the body that operates all Sikh Temples worldwide, and has a larger budget than the Indian State of Punjab - where the Golden Temple is located). The Harpoon squad had many people removed from the temple - not for security reasons, but simply because they were not wanted.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Conservative Hate Mail - Trying To Draw Racial/Religious Divides

Ralph Goodale's great commentary on Conservative's using tax-payers' money for partisan propaganda... Conservative hate-mail...


What do you think of Stephen Harper using your tax dollars on partisan junk-mail – some of it outright hate-mail – pumped into millions of homes across Canada?

Never before has a Canadian political party stooped so low to slander their opponents and then send taxpayers the bill.

Financial reports published last week by the House of Commons exposed Conservative M.P.’s severely abusing their Parliamentary mailing privileges. They have racked up $6.3 million in postage costs (on top of their regular office budgets) to stuff millions of vile pamphlets into mail-boxes in Opposition-held constituencies.

These mailings are riddled with personal attacks, falsehoods, smears and innuendoes. The Speaker of the House has already ruled some of them out of order. Others have been so bad, the Conservatives themselves have had to stand up and apologize.

The worst example is probably a Conservative flyer recently sent to thousands of Jewish homes accusing non-Conservatives of anti-Semitism.

It was absolutely outrageous, provoking prominent Jewish Canadians to condemn such propaganda. They don’t want to be considered the “property” of any one political party; nor do they condone such dishonest tactics that sew division and hatred.

First elected to the House of Commons in 1974, I have never seen a more bitter and abusive atmosphere around Parliament Hill than that which exists today. It’s toxic!

In an adversarial political system, like ours, there will always be conflicts. But Mr. Harper and his brand of neo-conservatives have carried junk-yard dog behaviour to extraordinary lengths.

Self righteous and sanctimonious in the extreme, the Harper Conservatives actually believe they are morally superior to everybody else. So (they think) it’s “OK” to treat all others like dirt.

That nasty attitude erodes the tolerance, fairness, accommodation and generosity which have always been fundamental to the basic decency that defines our country.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Off To Whistler... LPCBC "Team BC" Convention

Will be enjoying the fresh Whistler snowfall... and the Sea-To-Sky drive up there...

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Conservative Policy On Passenger Bill of Rights: "(We) don't want us to be forced into regulating passenger protection issues."

Hmmm... Lie, Conceal, Fabricate... The Conservative way...

Dear media: Do the Canadian people know the Cons tried to kill the "Passenger Bill of Rights" for air travel?

Transport minister tried to kill passenger rights bill despite publicly supporting it

Sarah Schmidt,
Canwest News Service
November 16, 2009

OTTAWA -- The federal transport minister's office privately pleaded with Canada's big airlines to step up their lobby campaign to kill a proposed passenger bill of rights even as the minister publicly rallied behind the popular initiative, according to internal documents obtained by Canwest News Service.

The motion by Newfoundland Liberal MP Gerry Byrne, calling on the government to bring forward a bill to entrench a passenger bill of rights into law, passed in the House of Commons unanimously last year, but only after a high-ranking political operative in then-transport minister Lawrence Cannon's office tried to scuttle the whole thing.

The effort to kill the motion is revealed in correspondence sent from the minister's office to top executives and lobbyists at Air Canada, WestJet Airlines and Air Transat. The government intended the block the release of these passages and others in response to an Access to Information request, but the full, uncensored documents were sent to Canwest News Service -- apparently by mistake.

"Gentleman, you're going to have to do some lobbying to stop this motion in its tracks," the minister's senior policy adviser at the time, Paul Fitzgerald, told officials at Canada's largest airlines in March 2008.

"If you don't lobby the Grits and the Block (sic), we're going to find ourselves in a position where we are outvoted by the opposition parties."

Mr. Fitzgerald added, "I don't want us to be forced into regulating passenger protection issues."

A few months later, Mr. Cannon and John Baird, the current transport minister, were among Conservative cabinet ministers and MPs who voted for the motion.

The initiative, popular among consumers, was guaranteed to pass with the support of the three opposition parties, which outnumber Tory MPs.

At the time of the June 2008 vote, opposition MPs were skeptical the Conservative government would carry through on the motion calling for legislation to strengthen the rights of airline passengers.

Other private correspondence intended to be blacked out but released to Canwest News Service -- coming from both the minister's office and a senior bureaucrat at Transport Canada's civil aviation branch -- indicate the skepticism was well-founded.

In a two-page critique for senior bureaucrats about why a passenger bill of rights, modelled on rules in the European Union, was not necessary or desirable, Fitzgerald said the European rights focus on denied boarding, cancelled flights and delays "in an industry known for regularly overbooking passengers, cancelling undersold flights and making refunds difficult."

But he said the "motion would do almost nothing in terms of advancing the cause of passenger rights" because Canada's airline tariffs provide better protection for Canadian passengers than those found in the European bill of rights.

In response, the director general of air policy at Transport Canada, Brigita Gravitis-Beck, wrote to the assistant deputy minister of policy to explain the bureaucracy had no appetite for any legislation to codify the rights of airline passengers in Canada.

"We are on the same page" as the minister's office, Ms. Gravitis-Beck said. "I am quite concerned that in a minority government, this may pass for political reasons that have nothing to do with logic."

Since the motion passed last year, the Conservative government has not moved forward with legislation to strengthen the rights of airline passengers.

A private member's bill, modelled on the European Union's 2005 Airline Passenger Bill of Rights and authored by Manitoba NDP MP Jim Maloway, cleared an important legislative hurdle last spring when it passed second reading in the House ofCommons with Bloc and Liberal MPs supporting the bill, which is currently being studied by the transport committee.

The government is also dragging its feet on legislation, which passed in the Senate more than two years ago, requiring airlines to advertise the full price of airfares.

The bill to update key sections of the Canada Transportation Act received royal assent on June 22, 2007. A last-minute amendment in the Senate to delay implementation of the airfare advertising provision was slipped in so consultations could be held to sort out how to move forward without harming domestic airlines.

No formal consultations have been held as yet, and it is now up to the federal cabinet to set an implementation date.

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Harper Travels To India, China, Against His "Policy Wishes"

Too little, too late. When Harper is disinterested in something, or if he dislikes something, he pays it some lip-service, feigns interest, and tries to dupe we the Canadian people into believing he is doing something. Here is Ralph Goodale's take on the current China trip, and what Harper's dislike for China has done to Saskatchewan's economy...

Remember: Harper is the PM who basically said, "screw the world, we're going to focus on the Americas"...


With much fanfare, Stephen Harper is travelling to Asia this fall, most especially to China. It’s about time!

He’s only four years late! And now, he’s very much on the defensive, struggling to do damage control, instead of pushing Canada ahead.

For four years, Mr. Harper’s attitude toward China has been openly hostile. Driven by extreme ideology and an amateur’s approach to diplomacy, he tried to influence China’s human rights record by long-distance lectures and calculated insults (including his personal boycott of the Beijing Olympics).

Such tactics have damaged Canada’s credibility. And Saskatchewan feels the consequences.

One of our key exports to China is potash. That market has been in trouble for months. And the trouble is hitting the finances of the Saskatchewan government. Provincial revenues are down. Programs and services for people in Saskatchewan are being cut back because potash sales to China have not been going well.

So what has Mr. Harper been doing to help? In a word – nothing!

Copying the highly successful “Team Canada” trade missions, which begun under Liberal governments, this Prime Minister should have been in China a long time ago – with Premiers and business leaders – strengthening the personal, governmental and business relationships upon which trade with China depends.

Specifically, Stephen Harper should have been playing a direct, personal role in correcting the potash problem for Saskatchewan.

But he was in no position to do so. To repair the damage done by his ineffectual petulance, he now has to mend fences and play catch-up, just to get Canada back into the game.

Mr. Harper’s timing couldn’t be worse. His belated visit comes when China has the upper hand in bargaining, and the Chinese are preoccupied with the more impressive visit of Barack Obama.

Just another case of Stephen Harper squandering Canada’s advantage!

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Conservatives Ignore Law - Look To Ignore Supreme Court Khadr Decision

Harper's little spokes-"man" - Little PeePee Polliviere (sp?) stated that the Harper government believes THEIR opinion is more important than The Supreme Court's decisions.

We would like to begin with some comparisons to Central Western Europe in the 1930s, but will resist that easy measure.

This is dispicable on the part of this OUTLAW GOVERNMENT.

What type of example are they setting for law-abiding citizens? That it is OK to flout the law? That a court's decisions mean nothing? Of course, that is what they are implying. Don't like a woman's right to choose? Ignore the courts. Don't like gay rights? Ignore the courts and basic human rights principles. Don't like international human rights declarations on the child soldier? According to the Harperites, "screw the courts". Just don't cry when it's a white child soldier fighting some ethnic/religious war in some far off land (maybe in Eastern Europe, etc.).

Since day one, the Harper government has thumbed its' collective nose at the law. While talking of being "tough on crime", they feed the masses senseless bullshit about what we like to call "visible crime" (the kind of crime that makes front page news) - even though crime has been dropping to historic lows over the past 10 years - all the time attempting to subvert courts.

Liberals - THIS is your battle call. Your call to arms. We need to better explain to Canadians what the implications of Conservative anti-court statements and actions are all about. We need to explain to Canadians just what the Conservative "tearing apart of Canada and Canadian institutions" is all about.

Harper wants to change this country so no-one will recognize it. The changes can be made from behind the scenes. They talk about this and that being "wasteful", or a waste of "your taxes". They will talk about tax cuts. Easy retail politics. Sure. But NOT the politics of nation building. Not even close.

We must not allow the discussion to slant in Harper's favor. We must present a bookend to EVERY Harper policy. We must do it loud. We must do it with vigor. We must put it on paper. Let Canadians see it, read it, feel it.

Let us not hold back the attacks. Time to fight for our turf, or our turf will shift from below our feet, and over to the right... The slow shift has already begun: The "debate" is occuring on the right. With a vacant NDP Party, not standing for anything on the "left"... With a frightened Bloc... There is no "bookend" to the Conservative argument.

Run from the Center Left, govern from the Center/Center Right. It's always worked for us.

Time to get our game on.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Goodale: Hat's Off To Our Veterans

War is hell.

War is wrong. We need to ensure the words "never again" ring true... That was the whole purpose of Remembrance Day...

Here's Ralph Goodale's take on Remembrance Day:

For the week beginning November 9th, 2009


In an era of so many so-called “super heroes” on television, at the movies or on the internet, you get a distorted picture of what heroism really is.

But during “Veterans Week” every year, we have an opportunity to pay tribute to the real thing – to those courageous Canadian men and women who have actually gone into mortal combat to defend our way of life on battlefields from Vimy Ridge to Juno Beach and Panmunjom; and from Suez to Kosovo and Kandahar.

These are real Canadian heroes.

They know what it is to fight for your life – to put everything you’ve got “on the line” for your home and country, and for countless people you could not possibly know. The extraordinary valour of Canadian veterans has secured our freedom, advanced democracy, protected human rights and given peace a chance.

Two years ago, I learned of a special family of veterans, originally from New Brunswick, but now in Regina. It was the Ryan family, including no fewer than eight brothers who had all enlisted and fought for Canada in WW2 or Korea or both.

Working with the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I prepared a special citation for the Ryans to acknowledge their remarkable service. Through the Royal Canadian Legion, the citation was presented to the last surviving Ryan brother last year.

When news of that presentation circulated, I discovered another local family in similar circumstances – the Wallaces from the Milestone district – eight brothers (Blair, Thomas, Donald, Robin, Malcolm, Hugh, John and James) all of whom responded to their country’s call.

Again, with the help of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Legion, the Wallace family is receiving their special citation during this Veterans Week. The original eight have all passed away now, but their memory endures.

A grateful nation remembers. And says thank you.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

What It Will Take For Right-minded Parliamentarians To Enact Another Gun Law...

It took a massacre at a Montreal University campus to create the very helpful gun registry (don't quote us - ask the Police how many times they use the registry - and you will hear this during the committees).

Seriously though, just what will it take before we "grow up" on this issue? Another massacre? More senseless and needless deaths? Just how much is even ONE human life worth saving?

What indeed.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

To Any Liberal MP Thinking of Being A Turncoat/Traitor:

Let us be diplomatic about this...

Why aren't you crossing the floor?

Opposing a civilized idea like the long gun registry is NOT a Liberal/liberal value. If you think it is, you are not a liberal (or Liberal).

If you "choose" to support the Conservative Bill, here's what you can count on from real Liberals:

1) We will not attend your events

2) We will not attend events that you are attending (we'll be starting a Facebook group, etc., to encourage boycotting said events)

3) We will ensure someone runs against you in your riding

4) We will ensure a mailing campaign begins to oppose every statement you make in the house.

Perhaps that's an extreme measure. We're not really that extreme. But, face it. If you're "for" killing the registry (and dozens of Canadians in the process), because of the whims of your constituency, then you may as well follow all those "whims": right to choose, same sex marriage, etc. We know your riding probably opposes those liberal ideals as well.

Bottom line: You're "liberal's of convenience"/opportunists...


Lifelong "true" Liberals.

ps: That's (above) what He thinks of you too.

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Politicize THIS, PM El Slobbo...!

Looks like there are some new code words for when you "lead" a government, and don't have an explanation (or excuse) for screwing up (badly, in most cases):

You just say the opposition is "politicizing" the issue.

No worries that it is the oppositions DUTY to question the government. No worries about actually working towards a solution. Nope. Just jump up and down, and cry that the opposition is "getting political".

How long will the media and people of Canada sit and watch this amateur buffoonery? How long will we watch the troglodytic, and quite grotesque PM defile the office?

Time to get more "political" and REALLY get under their skin!

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Saw Bill Gates Last Wednesday...

Bill was in town (Vancouver) for the U2 Concert.

Great concert (as can be expected from Bono and company). Political messaging abound: from Gandhi, MLK, Bishop Tutu, An Sohng SuXi, the "Red Campaign" (to fight HIV, which U2 and Billy Gates are key sponsors of), etc.

Loved Bono's message urging the 60000+ crowd that WE are the people who have fought for peace and change, be it in North Ireland, the Middle East, Africa, or now, in Iran...

Bono referred to a computer term, and used "Mac" phraseology... I'm sure Bill Gates noticed. He had to - he was sitting right there.

Which brings me to Windows Vista, Windows 7, and just Windows in general...

Why, Bill? Why don't your OS's work? I had half a mind to ask you myself last week... Your box was... right... there... so close... I would love to bring a KISS philosophy to MS. There is so much potential for such a great company, with so many great causes it supports...

I started my IT life on the Timex/Sinclair OS, then the IBM PS2 OS, moving to Windows in the 90s. Windows 98 was perhaps the best of the bunch. ME was "scary" at best. XP? How many cracks or SPs does one need? Vista?


I spent the better part of a day troubleshooting a client PC that won't "boot" into Vista. Looking on the web, and I see that it is a common problem. I mean REALLY common. So common that PC techs were dual booting into XP (that "great, stable" OS of the past). Tried at least a dozen fixes, and still nothing... Can't even get to restore, and unable to reinstall the OS (not that one would want to - I'm going to advise Ubuntu)...

Is it really too much to ask that someone create a bullet-proof OS that does what everyone needs? We pay so much for authentic copies of these OS's (mind you, we know MS thrives on the "illegal" copies that young compu-rats scam for their home-jobber PC builds).

Seems this argument worked it's way through my mind a couple of years ago. After spending university years working with PCs, I was able to work with Macs during a college stint at the phone company. I went on to do post grad work in software, and using C++, VB, Java, Oracle, etc. Sticking to the PC world, I was able to spend time working in a large tech support/IT department for a few years.

Back in the business world, and self-employed, I was in the market for a new "PC". Sick of fixing my - and everyone else's - PC, I went Mac. I bought my current Macbook, and haven't looked back. I'll soon be buying an iMac and/or MacMini. My business works better with these machines. I "Time-machine" to back up regularly, and have yet to have any issues (had this Macbook two years now)... If I really miss the aches, pains and hardships of Vista, I can "dual boot" my Intel Mac, and run a copy of whatever OS I feel (although, why bother, since I can do anything on my Mac - and then some - far better for photo editing, video, graphic content, etc.).

Isn't it great when companies can make gadgets that actually WORK, and LAST? C'mon Bill, we know you're a genius. Instead of trying to immitate the Mac OS (Windows 7), why not just go visit Steve and see if you can license his OS?

Say it with me... "Snow Leopard", "Snow Leopard..."

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We MUST Oppose C-391 Vigorously

For the good of civilized society... For the good of "a just society"... For the good of our party and party traditions, and all we stand for... We must stand and vigorously oppose the so-called "Private Member's Bill" C-391. The dregs and neanderthals of society would have us go back to a more primitive time. They would have us bid farewell to common sense and decency in favor of "appearances" and political expediency (in certain ridings).

Canadians want tighter gun control that works. A Liberal Party that does not wholly, angrily, and tactfully oppose this measure is NOT a liberal party.

Let's not give up all the glorious history our party has compiled, for the benefit of a handful of MPs who feel this is the only issue that will hold their seat. This party has had it's greatest success when we question the "common thought", and challenge it with new and civilized ideas... If we don't bring a debate to Canadians, there won't be a debate, and we keep sliding down the slippery slope of a nation that thinks it is "America light", replete with gun-totin' "rights", private everything, and a lust for all things violent and egocentric.

Keep this in mind, as it bears constant repetition: This party has had it's greatest success when we question the "common thought", and challenge it with new and civilized ideas.

It is what we - the Liberal Party - have always been about.

Let's open and lead the national debate. Let's fight the "idiot nation" of the NeoCon mindset.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Harper Conservatives Bear Full Responsibility For Swine Flu Vaccine Debacle

Another great Goodale Weekly Update. Harper spent his millions on partisan political ads about his bogus "Action Plan", while Canadians died with little info about the flu, and less vaccine available than the US:


The federal response to the H1N1 flu pandemic has been botched. And the health of Canadians has been jeopardized as a consequence.

The confusion and worry across the country are reflected almost every night on national television newscasts. Anxious people have been standing in line-ups for hours, even days, at vaccination stations. Provincial health care workers are under siege.

And sadly, some people have died – including otherwise healthy teenage hockey players and others – before they could be vaccinated.

How could there possibly be delays and shortages in vaccine supplies now, after so many months of unmistakable warnings?

The first H1N1 outbreak occurred last March in Mexico. The World Health Organization immediately went on pandemic alert. The Liberal Official Opposition began asking pointed questions in Parliament in April. We were repeatedly told not to worry; everything was totally under control.

In early May, Canadian scientists beat the rest of the world in “mapping the genetic code” of the H1N1 virus, paving the way to the right vaccine.

But it was the United States, not Canada, that placed the world’s first order for the mass production of vaccine supplies. That was in late May. Many other countries followed suit.

Shockingly, the Conservative did not place an order for Canada until August. That was three months after our genetic mapping breakthrough. We dropped tragically behind the rest of the world, and the Canadian roll-out of vaccine supplies has been late, hesitant and confusing.

People naturally wonder “what might have been”, IF Canada had placed its first vaccine order back in May, like the Americans did.

Provincial authorities and health care workers are doing their best to cope. But they’ve been badly let down by a federal government that falsely assured everyone that everything was just fine – when clearly, it was not!

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