Thursday, April 30, 2009

LPoC Convention Signals Sea-change In Canadian Politics

As we bask in the glorious sunlight on the beautiful Vancouver waterfront, we Liberals are beginning to realize the momentous changes we are about to witness close-up. While the pre-eminent political movement in Canadian history ( the Liberal Party, in case you're wondering) meets this weekend, it will decide to modernize it's voting process by chosing a "weighted one member-one vote" system. Many of the very same Liberals choosing OMOV will also be choosing BC-STV - a sea-change in Canadian politics.

The changes being discussed here in Vancouver this weekend, and over the next week or so, will likely change Canadian politics forever. While many of the uninformed will say this is a "convention about nothing", the events of this weekend will resonate through Canadian politics for years to come. A sleeping giant is awakened... And about to roll over... Look out Stephen Harper! A solvent, recharged, re-energized, reinvigorated, and inspired Liberal Party has evolved.

Canadian politics just won't be the same anymore.

-- Post From My iPhone

More Liberal Hospitality From Wednesday Night

Justin Trudeau engages Young Liberals at an impromptu John Lennard pub night at the Lion's Head last night...

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Convention Hospitality Suite Roundup - Wed (Day 1)

Best suite:  Cherniak's "Blogger Suite".  Why?  The party got busted early, and some interesting fireworks resulted...  Busted.

Best suite where one could actually have a drink, and conversation with rabid Liberals, and way, WAY too much food:  James Morton's.  This was also busted, but about an hour after Cherniak.

Best Party of the night?  John Lennard's impromptu get-together at the Lion's Head pub...  No getting kicked out, and the staff nicely asked us to vacate sections of the pub - until we were at the door.  Some Senators and MPs were there (Justin Trudeau being one)...  Score a nice bright John Lennard t-shirt, if you can get your hands on one:  they come in 3 colors: Green, Orange, and Blue (according to John, the 3 colors we need to work on, as we grow the Liberal Party)...

Best Non-Liberal Party (With Open Bar):  WesternGrit would like to thank the nice folks at the drugstore chain "Pharmasave", who were having some sort of sales and purchasing conference.  Large ballroom, live band, and open bar.  Some of them even showed up at John Lennard's shindig.  Would have to say, "We were Pharma-saved last night" while looking for a watering hole. 

Gotta get some sleep.  More hospitality suite reviews tomorrow... 

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

James Morton's Suite

We left Cherniak's suite for Jim's Council of Presidents Suite... And security came right over...

3:56am edit...  James said, "Will security close us down and haul us off to jail? (Not too likely)"  - Famous last words...

Security was on a TEAR.  Advice to anyone running a hospitality suite at the Pan Pacific:  DON'T.  Or... rent 3 rooms and play "musical rooms" every time security has a "noise issue".  As you can tell, WesternGrit's done a suite, or two...

-- Post From My iPhone


At Cherniak's hospitality suite... As it got busted by security... Jason tries to sort things out...

-- Post From My iPhone

LiBlogs Suite

Headin over to the Pan Pacific for some LiBlogs suite action around 10:30ish... Look for picposts...

-- Post From My iPhone

Lunch With Justin - Live

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodale: Harper Continues To Make Parliament "Playground For Juvenile Brawls"

Great sound-byte from Ralph's latest weekly update.
Ralph does focus on the strengths of, and benefits to, the Liberal Party, as a result of Harper's actions - but I just couldn't resist that line...

Here's the rest of Ralph Goodale's Report (unedited). If you wish to comment or subscribe to it, email Ralph at the address below):


A weekly commentary by the Member of Parliament for Wascana

For the week beginning April 27th, 2009


This weekend, at a national Liberal convention in Vancouver, Michael Ignatieff will be installed officially as Leader of the Liberal Party and soon-to-be Prime Minister of Canada.

Mr. Ignatieff became “interim” party leader last December, in the middle of a serious parliamentary flap over Stephen Harper’s refusal to take Canada’s deepening recession seriously.

At that time, the Liberal Party was just beginning a lengthy process to select a successor to Stephane Dion. And Mr. Harper was already threatening to force another quick election, barely seven weeks after the last one.

Liberals responded by asking Mr. Ignatieff to act as their Interim Leader immediately, subject to final ratification at this upcoming convention.

While it wasn’t Mr. Harper’s intention to give Liberals a boost, that’s what his maneuvering last December actually did. It ended Liberal leadership uncertainty. It saved the party a pot full of money. It pulled Liberals together across old internal divisions. And it installed a person of great quality to take charge.

Liberal strength has been growing ever since. In poll after poll, Michael Ignatieff gets increasingly favourable ratings. His momentum is steadily building.

Why is he doing so well?

First, because of his competent, mature approach. He doesn’t threaten parliamentary show-downs at every turn or treat the House of Commons like some playground for juvenile brawls. And that’s a refreshing change from Stephen Harper.

Secondly, he is unmistakably strong and determined. He will not be intimidated by the nasty abuse the Conservatives dish out on a daily basis.

Most importantly, he is a uniter, not a divider. Michael Ignatieff appeals to the better nature of Canadians – to trust and respect not partisanship and fear, to inclusion not intolerance, to confidence not doubt, to excellence not mediocrity.

In growing numbers, Canadians want a new Prime Minister like that.

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Liberal T-Shirts!

Now available...  Just in time for the Convention!  

Liberal T-shirts!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Conservatives Continue To Lie To Canadians About CBC - Morrison

Been hearing a lot from Conservative friends about how they've done so much for the CBC...  Here's the truth from the "Friends of the CBC":

Something very troubling has arisen amid the deep cuts to the CBC's creative staff and programs.

Under intense questioning in Parliament and in response to messages from tens of thousands of CBC supporters,the Prime Minister and many of his MPs have made false statements.

Prime Minister Harper stated falsely in the House of Commons on March 25, that this year's Budget provides CBC with "record financing... in the order of $1.1 billion".

Many people who wrote to their Conservative MPs have shared the responses with us.  These replies are modeled on statements the Prime Minister has made in Parliament.

Here is a typical example:

"As far as funding is concerned, the CBC is currently receiving the highest funding package in its history. This year the CBC will receive $1.1 billion of taxpayers' money."

This statement is false! 

This development goes to the heart of integrity in public life.  We should be able to expect our Prime Minister and his followers to tell us the truth.

The real story from the government's Main Estimates (their spending plan for the coming year) tabled on February 26 is that the government has cut CBC's funding in 2009/10 by $63 million – that's equivalent to a $79 million reduction in purchasing power when inflation is considered.  And, since they were first elected, the Conservatives have cut the purchasing power of CBC's grant by $119 million (when inflation is taken into account).

I believe this is an indicator of the pressure being felt by the government, especially by those Conservative MPs who won by narrow margins in last autumn's election and who are hearing our message loud and clear.

We must work hard to maintain and increase that pressure.  There is a golden opportunity to fight for the CBC this Wednesday (April 29) when Heritage Minister James Moore will be appearing before the House of Commons Heritage Committee. 

This is an important occasion.  It will be the first time MPs have had a chance to grill the Minister in detail since the CBC announced its cuts.

So I urge you to send a message to Minister Moore.

Please ask him to just tell the truth when he appears before the Heritage Committee.  Telling the truth is the first step toward ensuring the CBC is given the funding that it needs.

Your message will be automatically copied to members of the Heritage Committee, your own MP, the Prime Minister and the other Party leaders. 

After thousands of people have demanded that the CBC be adequately funded, the Conservative government is feeling the pressure.  There is hope for a sustainable future for CBC.  We can turn this hope into reality if we act together now.

Please send your message to Heritage Minister James Moore now!

Yours sincerely,

Ian Morrison

FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting 

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Liberal T-shirts And Other Swag Now Available...

As promised, we now have an online store for liberal swag and "GritWear"... Check it out!

Victory Tour T-shirt (above) has Canadian centers from coast to coast listed across the front...

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Major Endorsement For John Lennard YLC Campaign

The University of Montreal/Young Liberals just came forward with a ringing endorsement for John Lennard - one of the candidates for the YLC Presidency...

The members of the Young Liberals of the University of Montreal are proud to give their full support to John Lennard, candidate in the election to the presidency of the Young Liberal Party of Canada. John is a young and dynamic leader. Throughout his campaign, he has proposed new and innovative ideas, essential to the advancement of the youth within the party. His vision is based on the idea that change needs to come to the Young Liberals of Canada. For his cooperative spirit, for his support for Quebec, for his great sense of diplomacy, for his leadership skills, the Club of the University of Montreal fully supports John Lennard as candidate for the presidency of the Young Liberals of Canada. The members of the Young Liberals of University of Montreal shall work actively in assuring success in his campaign.

Alexis Devroede-Languirand
President, Young Liberals of the University of Montreal

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Harper - Like BFF Bush - An Enemy of Human Rights


Definition: When world leaders (for example GW Bush, or Stephen Harper) rail against detention and imprisonment of adult "political prisoners" in China, or Iraq, or parts of Africa and Eastern Europe, but then turn around and fight FOR the continued detention of a CHILD SOLDIER!

Today, that Canadian "chicken-hawk" - Stephen Harper - had the moral ineptitude to stand up to a Supreme Court of Canada decision demanding the release and repatriation from illegal detention, of Omar Khadr.

To use an old Conservative attack meme (remember the attack ads on Martin?) - does Stephen Harper support child abuse? How do we mean? Well, according to the United Nations (of which we are a part) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration Of Rights of The Child (both of which we and the US are signatories), there are specific regulations and guidelines that the CIVILIZED NATIONS OF EARTH have decided to dictate in cases of capture of child soldiers. Torture, imprisonment, and general abuse of children is an atrocious crime worldwide. We often speak out about the fate of child soldiers in places like Bosnia, Somalia, Niger, or Congo, yet, when we have one of our own citizens captured by a foreign government - a government willing to release him into our custody - he balk, stonewall, and KNOWING FULL WELL THAT TORTURE HAS TAKEN PLACE, fight to leave him in the gulag he's been sent to.

Supporting the continued illegal detention of child soldiers - even when your own Supreme Court says it is illegal to do so - is certainly abuse of that individual. In this case, a Canadian child.

There are many examples in Western public life, of former child soldiers making good - including this young chap in the UK. Several child soldiers live normal (as normal as they can be) lives in Canada - rescued from lives of hate, fear, and abuse in Africa.

Khadr - no matter what attrocities his horrible father involved him in - was a child soldier, and a victim of his familial loyalties. Any good kid, who faithfully follows the dictates of his parents can be brainwashed into a similar situation - be it combat, minor crimes at home, etc. Khadr is the victim of a family which should never have put him at peril (and if he was brought home when he was first detained Child Services of Ontario should have removed him from the family home), but also the victim of a pair of angry conservative governments (Bush and Harper) who decided it was better to torture a child, and continue to rouse the rabble in Canada and USA. They succeeded for about 6 years, but eventually, denying the UN Human Rights Charter does have it's consequences. Now, having been in prison most of his teen formative years, we will have a troubling personality to deal with. Harper and Bush created more problems than solutions with their "war on terror", and this is just one example.

Saddam Hussein met his fate for his war crimes and crimes against humanity. We still need to capture the supreme nutjob (Bin Laden), but Bush, et al should also have to pay for their crimes - including civilian deaths, capture and torture of child soldiers, and torture of "enemy combatants" in general. Outspokenly complicit "leaders" like Harper should also be called to task. It's really no wonder the US continues to run from the International Criminal Courts. Hopefully Barack Obama can bring "hope" and "change" to this buccaneering policy as well...

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Young Quebec Liberal Speaks To Liberal Canada

Very interesting write-up by this young man...

Understanding, openness and pragmatism

A proposal for federal political leaders who wish to succeed in Quebec.

By Simon Bégin

Former President, Youth Commission of the Liberal Party of Quebec, 2004 - 2006

In Quebec politics, the « chant of the Sirens » is no longer as seductive as it once was. Many people – myself included – were once seduced by the chant of the conservatives. They had promised a renewal of Canadian federalism and a special openness towards Quebec. Shortly thereafter, great progress was made, including the recognition of Quebec as a nation and the signing of an agreement to secure Quebec’s presence at the UNESCO. These changes deserve to be applauded. However, it is important to acknowledge that they do not truly reflect an openness to Quebec's underlying priorities and needs. Recent confrontations between federal and provincial governments surrounding the regulation of securities, the harmonization of the GST and the QST or the difference between public spending devoted to the Ontario auto industry and the Quebec forest industry, to name a few, clearly show the government's current lack of understanding and open-mindedness in regards to Quebec's specificity.

I attended two meetings with Michael Ignatieff. Our first encounter was back when he was deputy leader of the opposition under Stephane Dion. The second took place more recently, just after he was named leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. I was surprised by his understanding of Quebec. I found it very inspirational to hear the leader of the official opposition – an English speaking son of Russian immigrants and an Ontario MP – explain that without Quebec, Canada would not be the country it is today. Michael Ignatieff admitted to the audience that without Quebec, he wouldn’t feel any different from the Americans – or any other traditional western civilization, for that matter. He truly believes that Quebec's openness to economic progress, social justice, environmental protection and to sustainable development, as well as multiculturalism, all contribute to making Canada a special and better place. It was especially touching to listen to him say that although the French were defeated on the Plains of Abraham, they can call themselves conquerors today because Quebec is a land of prosperity where people can live, work and prosper in French.

Our encounters also made me realize that everything I had previously read about Michael Ignatieff was true. He is a dynamic and charismatic intellectual who ignites respect in each and every one of us. He has lived and traveled the world; a leader of the 21st century, a modern politician. He is the man too bright to be a teacher, but a teacher we would like to take out for a drink after class!

We can only hope that Michael Ignatieff’s open-mindedness and understanding of Quebec will spread to all of the Liberal Party of Canada. In all honesty, it is important to note that the Liberal Party of Canada has never really made a point to open itself to Quebec while in power all those years. Perhaps it was the abuse of power or the influence of some centralizing federalists that contributed to distorting the Liberal Party’s image. All of it changed somewhat when Paul Martin co-signed an agreement with Jean Charest on the financing of healthcare, which clearly indicated the potential for an asymmetrical federalism. This event, along with a few statements made by federal political leaders, allow us to believe that the Liberal Party of Canada is not in itself closed to Quebec. Michael Ignatieff’s understanding of Quebec’s differences gives the province hope for a respectful and pragmatic leadership on the federal front.

The French elected Nicolas Sarkozy, a man who lead his country into reform and who regained a level of European leadership not seen for decades. The Americans elected Barack Obama, a president with undeniable leadership skills who promises change and a new era for international cooperation. It is now time for Canadians to elect an internationally respected leader such as Michael Ignatieff.

When I spoke to John Lennard, presidential candidate for the Young Liberals of Canada, I felt that same understanding and open-mindedness towards Quebec. Furthermore, his action plan for rebuilding the Liberal Party of Canada, and in particular, his focus on rebuilding the party in the eyes of Quebec youth, appears pragmatic.

In Canadian politics, whether dealing with governments or political parties, Quebec must be treated differently. Not because we are better than the others, but because we are different. We are one of the three founding peoples of this country. We are a distinct society and are recognized as a nation. But what does this mean concretely, in terms of policy? It does not necessarily entail transferring additional funds to the provincial government, or increasing federal spending in Quebec as opposed to other provinces. More than anything, it means giving Quebec the opportunity to put into practice distinct programmes that reflect the reality of our experiences. Even better, it means finding a solution that marries our specificity with the goals and aims of the federal government. Take, for example, the federal government's desire to create a new regulatory scheme for securities. The federal government, along with the government of Ontario, is in favour of creating a single national regulator, whereas Quebec and some other provinces are opposed. The best argument from those wishing to create a centralized scheme seems to be that preventing fraud requires us to have a single regulatory system. Those opposed would argue that the provinces are in the best position to enforce regulations given their proximity to the marketplace. Thus, a respectful federalist compromise may be to adopt a system within which federal regulations are applied by provincial authorities, who would be able to coordinate their efforts within an organization in which they would be key players. We would thus weave together a respect for provincial jurisdiction, as required by the Canadian constitution, with the new imperatives of a dynamic marketplace.

In order to find, apply and promote solutions and respectful engagements of Quebec’s uniqueness on the federal font, we will need strong, pragmatic leaders that understand Quebec. Judging by his most recent remarks, Michael Ignatieff has proven himself to be one of those leaders. John Lennard is also a leader the Young Liberals so desperately need. His desire to give Quebec a strong voice in his organization’s debates and his confidence in Michael Ignatieff’s policies prove this fact. I wish John the best of luck in his race for the presidency and will wholeheartedly support him throughout.

The youth of Quebec who wish to see federal politics better represent their true values must not hesitate to join the ranks of a federal party. Certainly, if we wish to teach politics in a way that shows that we value progress, social justice, individual freedom, equality between generations and, most importantly, open-mindedness and respect of Quebec, it is our duty to engage ourselves. If we avoid doing so, we will continue to have federal parties that are not open to Quebec. This would be unfortunate for the country in the long run.

Simon Bégin

Quebec, April 20th 2009.

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Happy Earth Day!

Make a point of doing something for the environment today. I hand cleared weeds from around my fruit trees, turned the TV off, and killed some lights at my restaurant... (we've also been completely on recycled paper products for almost 2 years now).

Do something for Mother Earth today... Happy Earth Day, fellow Liberals!

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Join The Liberal Victory Tour!

Come out to beautiful Vancouver for our Biennial Convention... Sun, surf, ski, enjoy fresh produce, and the finest local wines!

The Liberal Victory Tour (2009) begins right here in the Lower Mainland of BC!

Join us (only a couple of days left to register folks)!

ps: You can get that great t-shirt (image above) HERE.

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GritWear Available Now!

Just in time for the Vancouver Convention, check out these great tees. Something for everyone in the family!

You pick the shirt to print it on: Men's, women's, infant/toddlers...

See you in Vancouver!

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Thanks to Canada's Liberal Laws, Crime Rates Go Down, Down, Down...

While Canadian crime rates sink, and the large cities on the West Coast and in the East continue to be the safest places to live (with the Prairies being the most dangerous), Conservative MPs continue to live in denial.  Desperate to have their so-called "law and order agenda" accepted as "the gospel", Conservatives have chosen to live in denial.  Instead of saying THE CANADIAN SYSTEM WORKS, they want to create an American style commercial prison farm system up here, eventually leading to private police, security, and prisons.

Here's just one quote from a Conservative MP in denial:

"StatsCan's numbers mean little to people who are worried about crime, Progressive Conservative MPP Randy Hillier said."

Yes Mr. Hillier.  Keep using victims and their families as your crutch.  Exploit the hurt, anger, and misery, and "reach out" to them by convincing them it was the system that took their loved ones.

Ever think that it's a culture that glorifies violence that's to blame, huh, Cons?  The gun culture imported from the US?  Violence as an answer to everything?  If a US President can invade another country unprovoked, maybe people who look up to him also feel they can take what they want?  If a corporate media/movies/TV celebrate gun play, what do our young people learn?  No sustained anti-gun messaging on prime-time TV, yet there are tons of drinking and driving ads, or "public service" messaging about drugs.  Why not anti-gun violence ads too?

The basic Conservative premise/ideology actually promotes crime.  Conservative regimes the world over make money by promoting violence and selling weapons to others to do violence in a convoluted and irrational "freedom and self-defense" argument.

The most forward thinking liberal democracies have it right on crime, and this explains lower crime stats in all those countries.  The countries with "Wild West" mentalities on crime suffer the greatest crime (USA, Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, several African nations, etc.).

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

GritSwag - Now Available

Just in time for the Convention, GritWear is here!!!

Check out our designs... select a t-shirt, hoodie, baby outfit (creepers, onesies, etc.), and check out... It's THAT easy!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Tidbits Heard Around Political Circles Today...

Stephen Harper continues to change his position on... EVERYTHING... Funny thing is, with the way they've lied about "accountability", income trusts, the deficit, the recession, the wasteful spending leading to the death of a $12 Billion contingency fund (set up by the last Liberal gov't), Conservative election spending, bank bailouts, etc., etc., etc., WHO IS GOING TO BELIEVE THEM???

... I mean, seriously, if you told someone that Stephen Harper (of the Reform-Alliance-Conservative Party) was pro-environment (but "no" to the agreement the whole world signed in Kyoto), anti-war (Calling Afghanistan "unwinnable", demoralizing our troops in the process), pro-Cuba and Venezuela (was that Harper wanting to get in on the group hug between Obama and Chavez?), pro-spending to get out of a recession (spending in the wrong places according to most economists in the land, and denying the recession, but, still...), pro-Senate (appointing more Senators in a shorter period of time than practically ANY PM), pro-gun registry (that's right, NeoCons, Harper is pro-registry - that is why he's done NOTHING substantial to kill it, but talk...)... If you had told anyone, just 2 years ago that Harper's political personality - carefully cultivated for 30+ years - would take such an "about-face" when he was in jeopardy of losing his current mailing address at 24 Sussex, they would have called you crazy. Seems like the only crazy ones are the (shrinking) Conservative support base...

Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to win peace and forward the cause of reason and conciliation...

Liberals continue to lead federally - and grow the gap between party and Harper Cons...

BC Liberals enjoy large lead over stumbling NDP... NDP changes their life-long environmental stance... NDP candidate steps down over ill-advised images on Facebook (although this may be internal NDP wrangling over the environmental fiasco)

Young Liberals race for presidency continues to be highlight of convention (if you include YLC "debate" about FPTP)... John Lennard was in BC meeting with young Liberals from across the province. He's kept at it - and with the convention only a couple of weeks away, we have to say his efforts have been very sincere...

BC-STV???  Looks like REAL CHANGE just might be happening in BC...  Stay tuned...

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Ralph Goodale Hits The Nail On The Head... Once Again...

One of many reasons why this man is one of my political heroes... Ralph has always been a "straight-shooter"... from his leadership of the Saskatchewan Provincial Liberals, where he warned the Devine Conservatives against running massive deficits (back when deficits were everywhere), to his magnificent handling of Agriculture, Public Works and Finance (especially Finance, where he created the $12 Billion contingency fund the Conservatives have since flushed down the toilet) portfolios.

There is a real good reason why Harper and his Reform-a-tories have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Ralph in Regina Wascana (including questionable 3rd party ads), and Ralph continues to enjoy the support of an overwhelming majority of his constituents... Part of that is what I just mentioned, and the other parts are: immense talent (highly educated and finishing at the top of the Province in high school board exams, then going on to become a provincial leader, and - at the time - the youngest MP in Trudeau's Commons), and a drive to reach out to constituents (Ralph spends practically every day back in Regina IN THE RIDING knocking doors, talking to constituents, and attending local events.

From one of the most respected names in Western Canadian politics, here is this week's update (Ouch - this one cuts Conservatives deep...):


A weekly commentary by the Member of Parliament for Wascana

For the week beginning April 20th, 2009


Here’s a little quiz!

Before Stephen Harper was handed a $13 billion surplus from the previous Liberal administration, when was the last time a federal Conservative government actually balanced its books?

Answer: 1912! After Borden inherited a big surplus from Laurier.

Hard-nosed, right-wing governments have a bad record on economic management.

Whether it was Margaret Thatcher in Britain. Or the two Bushes in the United States. Or Brian Mulroney, Grant Devine or Mike Harris in Canada. They all left legacies of weakened economies and fiscal chaos.

And here we go again with Stephen Harper.

In 2006, he inherited the strongest economy Canadians had enjoyed in several generations. Federal fiscal fundamentals were rock solid with 10 consecutive surplus budgets. Debt and taxes were dropping faster than ever before.

Confidence was high – 3.5 million new jobs had been created. With $100 billion in financial flexibility to work with, the Canadian government was in the best position among all the G-8 group of world-leading countries.

And Mr. Harper blew it!

He cannot blame any global recession. Long before that trouble began looming, he was wildly over-spending in a frenzied attempt to curry favour with antsy voters. Mr. Harper earned the dubious title of biggest spending Prime Minister in Canadian history.

At the same time, he eroded the federal tax base and eliminated all the prudence factors that had protected Canadians from unexpected external shocks. So when the recession hit with full force last fall, there was nothing left to cushion the blow.

Even then, Mr. Harper was in full denial. In September he said a recession was unlikely. In October, he said a collapsing stock market would just create “good buying opportunities”. In November, he claimed he would have four more surplus budgets.

Obviously, managing the economy is not his strength.

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Bipolar Harper?

So what makes Harper think he can cozy up to Obama now (after his people tried to sabotage his nomination during the DNC). Imagine Harper wanting DIALOGUE with Chavez! He and his best friend Bush wanted nothing of the sort only a few months ago!

PM Hypocrite has lost all reason for being... but it is nice to watch the World's #1 "arch-NeoConservative" grovel at Obama's (and Chavez') feet. It's almost like Harper has no idea what US policy will be (probably due to being snubbed by the Obama White House), and is just going with "what he said". Harper's rep in USA is BAD among Dems. Ask Al Gore...

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, April 17, 2009

Conservative "Intelligentsia" At It's Finest

The Kansas Tea-bagging organizer receiving "welfare" whining about a "socialist welfare state" sealed it for me.


How STUPID can Republi-Con-Idiots be??? Does ignorance and conservatism walk hand in hand? Is the "Idiot Nation" a prophetic piece?

We've all had the chance to hear them rant about US Democrats being "communists", "socialists", and even "Nazis" in the same breath, which really illustrates how far the "state of stupid" has gone in the NeoCon movement in North America. Now, I may just being an "elitist intellectual" here, but someone just HAS to say something like: "stop the insanity", and "enough 'stupid' already! That "awe shucks persona is NOT cute. Really. It's not!"

How anyone with a GRADE SCHOOL education can possibly believe that Nazis and communists are somehow "related", that dinosaurs walked the earth with humans, that nations can operate without taxes, that evolution didn't happen, is just beyond the comprehension of any - even slightly - educated person...

Watching the conservative "tea-baggers" in little Republican get-togethers all over the US was entertainment at it's finest. To think, some of these people actually have jobs, and might be functioning members of a modern society (I fear some may be teaching kids out there). It was great watching people on welfare cry about "socialism". Not that they'd know what socialism is... just that they'd heard it on some Fox TV show - between NASCAR racing and the Monster Truck derby...

Some quotes from "tea-baggers" couldn't be more telling:

""I love what teabagging is doing for conservatives," said television host Sean Hannity. "It tells you everything you need to know about us: that we're not just going to lie there and take it, but instead we're going to be aggressive and not stop until we get what we want.""

""I feel great, but I'm ready to relax," said Mary A. Johnson after the Des Moines rally. "That's why my girlfriends and I are going to finish our day of teabagging with a group facial.""

"These immigrants come here to take our land, our food, and our livelihoods," said Robert Knobs, a Pittsburgh native who moved to Phoenix to take a job as a Wal-Mart manager. "They are destroying small-town America as we know it."

"The idea of two men doing what Randy and I do in our most private moments...well, it gets me pretty hot and bothered," said Mary A. Johnson, Mr. Johnson's wife of 38 years. "Marriage is about family values, like raising children or baking pies or watching our favorite shows like Wife Swap, which Randy and I just love."

Mr. Johnson added, "The left is trying to get us to swallow this homosexual agenda, and I for one am going to spit it back in their faces."

This one's just "precious": ""I was just online one night, searching about teabagging," said Harry Peters of Seattle, Washington, "and after a few visits to other sites, I happened to click on a link about a teabagging party right here in Seattle." The teabagging party Peters attended took place outside of a men's restroom near the Space Needle. A dozen men gathered around the entrance, with pairs of men occasionally ducking into the restroom to "get hot water" for their teabags. "It's disgusting what the government is ramming down our throats," said Mr. Peters as he waited for his turn. "We have to get off handouts and stop begging the government to fulfill our every need. People need to be more independent." Mr. Peters, who attended Washington State University on the G.I. Bill after serving in the U.S. Army, is a contract manager at the Boeing Company."

DailyKOS says it best (check the link for a more detailed read):

"Nobody is trying to stop you from holding your "tea parties." Please stop saying you're oppressed when you're clearly not oppressed. You want to have a tea party? Go ahead! Get to it! Take to the streets, pleasantly aromatic baggies in hand!

We've had a president who decided that he could revoke the citizenship of Americans based on his own say-so -- and no conservatives were worried about their loss of rights. We've had a government assert that it could spy on any communications, without warrant or cause -- and no conservatives took to the streets, alarmed at the threat to their Constitutional protections. We found out we went to war over a weapons program that didn't exist -- oops. We found out that we subjected innocent, though brown, people to imprisonment without recourse, and others to torture so cruel that it rendered them mentally incompetent. We buried the nation in a mountain of debt -- well, them's the breaks. We forked over billions of dollars in giveaways to oil companies that were already making larger profits than any other companies in the history of the world -- hell, gotta keep John Galt in caviar. None of it raised a peep from any of you, you were all fine with it. The government could do no wrong -- except not going far enough.

But if returning to the tax policies that existed before Bush is the thing that's got a bee in your bonnet, claiming the end of the republic is at hand -- go for it. If you've suddenly decided that preventing government efforts to stave off a second Great Depression is the thing you're going to hang your collective hats on, or that saving one of the prime manufacturing sectors still left in the country is a bridge too far, by all means protest. Who's stopping you? Who's intimidating you?"

This "trend" in conservatism is closely mimicked by the "monkey-see, monkey-do" Canadian Conservatives. You hear their 'ignorant-ness' up here whining about their "right to bear arms" (be a citizen of Canada much lately?). About how taxes are bad (notwithstanding the fact that Canada was developed and BUILT on taxes).

You would assume that these people don't like roads, hospitals, police, schools, etc. Here's a great idea. Let's divide up the country for the Reformers. Let's make it like a Fox-TV reality show: We can give the "tax/government-haters" a barren chunk of land in Northern Canada. They can all move there and figure out how they can "pay-per-use" and build their own roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, airports, etc. I bet not a single Connie would take us up on this generous offer of free land in the Canadian North. We won't charge them for it, because the few dollars of taxes they paid should just about cover the cost of the land and all the resources underneath (probably not quite on the resources part, but... what the hey).

You can imagine the "suburban commando" NeoCon back out of his driveway onto a mud trail. Driving the 1/2 block to the trading post (because they prefer SUVs to walking), to sell pelts for a little cement to start paving the 20 feet of road in front of his house... He goes home to his candle-lit house (no utilities yet - not enough money in the bank to buy the solar panels - forget a grid - that takes tax money). He grabs a copy of "Guns and Ammo" and heads to the outhouse (Yup, taxes pay for sewers too). He returns to his "cottage" thinking he has to empty the latrine one of these days... the smell is starting to attract vermin... Heading into his house he realizes his truck is missing. Better call the volunteer "posse" (yup, taxes pay for police too). There'll be no going trapping tomorrow...

We probably ALL would love to see a little "homeland" carved out of parts of rural Alberta and Sask., maybe linked to parts of rural Montana and Idaho... Love to see these "gun-lovin'" zealots go it alone, and watch the "Animal Farm" society that develops from the chaos. Oh, but there wouldn't be any taxes. Crime, yes. War, yes. Disease, yes. But no, no, no taxes. Taxes are a sin...

The worst part of all this is how they have more gullible "average folk" all up in arms about taxes. The very people who benefit MOST from taxes seem to be the same beer-swilling, ATV-riding, gun-totin' folks who scream about "socialism" the most... It's all part of the NeoCon strategem, of course. How can you take a movement of the rich (which is what conservatism - small "c" IS), and make it populist? Well, you make it appeal to the Tim Horton's beer-swilling crowd. How to do that? You resort to "hot-button" politics. You flood your corporate-owned media with anti-tax messages, without really providing a reason (besides the "me" before everyone else argument). Nothing like telling people you can put money back in their pockets to get them onside.

One fatal little flaw with the "axe the tax" panderers: they tend not to think about building a nation - only their own rec-room. Thing is... if our nation is to have any real growth and change, TAXES are the most efficient way to promote this. A Northern nation like ours' has huge expanses which need public monies to cross. Joe Farmer from Saskatchewan isn't about to build the highway out to his farm from Balgonie. Try as they might, the people of Regina would never have the tax money to build and maintain an airport by themselves. Large projects such as this took millions, and billions, of dollars.

Money tends to centralize in the areas of greater population, but using the taxes of all. In this manner, the small town of Indian Head Sask. has a hospital, but the hamlet of Odessa (nearby) doesn't. Certainly TAXES from Odessa went into the Indian Head hospital - as did taxes from around the province and across the country.

Perhaps the deficit in learning here has more to do with a lack of civics courses. It seems that a LOT of average Canadians don't understand how their own country works. They might be able to name "Bagram AFB" in Afghanistan, or who the "Republican Guards" were (all said crap gathered from American "pop culture" media), but they can't name our head of state, figure out how Parliament is supposed to work, or realize what taxes are useful for.

It's a shame, really, that fully-grown adults - who preportedly attended grade school - jump on the anti-tax bandwagon with such reckless abandon. It is this type of mentality which led to the recent economic collapse, and the "boom and bust" cycles common to "gung-ho", "no-holds-barred" free enterprise unchecked.

... and most hard-right Canadian NeoCons are no different from their "tea-bagging" US cousins...

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Trashtalking Calgary, Part 2... And More BCer vs. SaskBoy

And the (tongue-in-cheek) flame war continues... Spurred on by the NHL playoffs (although I have no idea how Saskatchewan the NHL-less got involved in this...), Liberal bloggers are spouting off, back and forth, defending their favorite province...

As for us, at WesternGrit, we'll be "praising" both BC and Sask., while pooping (in the spirit of Albertan pigeon poop) all over Calgary, home of the Reform-Party mentality...

Speaking of Calgary:

You know you're a Calgarian when:

"He needed killin' " is a valid defense.

You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.

You know which leaves make good toilet paper.

You find -2C "bikini on the Bow River weather." (and you swim in that filthy, talings-filled gully)

There is a discount gun shop and liquor store on every corner.

Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite past-time known as "goin wal-martin"or off to "Wally World.

A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola, or pop ... it's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor

What Calgarians do:

If you forget a Calgarian's name, refer to him (or her) as "Buddy" (or "Hoss") with the words sounding like a question (Hey buddy?). You have a 75% chance of being right.

If you do run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in the cab of a four wheel drive with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them. Just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

If it can't be fried in bacon grease, it ain't worth cooking, let alone eating.

There is nothing sillier than a Torontonian imitating a Calgary accent, unless it is a Calgarian imitating a Toronto accent.

Get used to hearing, "You ain't from around here, are you?"

How to spot a true Calgarian:

Only a true Calgarian knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption, and that you don't "HAVE" them, -- you "PITCH" them.

Only a true Calgarian knows how to "procure" Prairie "oysters" (hint: they say it involved biting down and tearing).

Only a true Calgarian can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder", or tell you just what a "smidgeon" is.

Only true Calgarians grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 km or 20.

Only a true Calgarian both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good "shit", and "reglur" trash (and other varieties of Reform-conservative).

No true Calgarian would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

Calgarians HUNTING

Two Calgarian hunters were dragging their dead deer back to their car. Another Calgarian approached pulling his along too. 'Hey, I don't want to tell you how to do something, but I can tell you that it's much easier if you drag the deer in the other direction. Then the antlers won't dig into the ground.'

After the third hunter left, the two decided to try it.

A little while later one Calgarian said to the other, 'You know, that guy was right. This is a lot easier!'

The other added 'Yeah, but we're getting farther and farther away from the truck!'

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Now Jason Kenney is Attacking Mexicans...

Canada's Rush Limbaugh - Jason Kenny - STILL hasn't resigned... I guess we'll just have to wait for the election to FIRE HIM as Minister of Immigration...

In the meantime, join the Facebook Group, "Jason Kenney Should Resign". Maybe we can move the lead NeoCon Windbag out of his post a little sooner?

Does this undereducated punk from Calgary (via Saskatchewan) have ANY respect for minorities and immigrants? Today, he's attacking hard-working Mexican immigrants. Why? Because his hyper-conservative NeoCon base wants it... and because he seems to feel the same way as they do on the issue.

Kenney once (while being a Conservative attack-dog against same-sex marriage) criticized Don Boudria for failing to register his own domain name. For a good chuckle check out Rick Mercer's site,

Jason Kenney... another reason NOT to vote Conservative (Reform-a-Tory)...

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

SaskBoy And BCer Smacktalkin'

As a transplanted "ex-Saskatchewanian", I don't know whether to laugh or cry at BCer's "shots"... I'll say this: As a place to live, Sask. was GREAT. I have a lot of good friends there, and there was nothing quite like my memories of small town Sask. Christmases. The Riders are effectively "Canada's Team" (Go Riders!). Great place to be FROM.

Now Saskboy: Lol... You're asking for trouble there Saskboy... Vancouver has err... a "few" points better than the flatland... Scenery being the main one. Lack of giant, helicopter-sized mosquitoes, and blackflys. For Sask, being indistinguishable from most of Alberta is a bit of a curse too... especially when you have similar politics... lol...

Life out here - from what I've experienced - doesn't seem to revolve around dog-eared copies of "Guns and Ammo", "Renegade RVer", and "Animal Husbandry for Dummies"...

My average Spring/Summer day off in Vancouver, so far, has consisted of: Waking up to a great cappuccino, walking to Granville Island for some freshly baked muffins, picking up some fresh veggies and organic meats for dinner, strolling along the seawall, taking in a late leisurely lunch by the beach, before hitting some local mountains for a little nature photography.

My typical Sask Spring/Summer day: Douse myself in DEET, and sprint to my car. Crank up the AC to sooth the bites from the mosquitoes that don't seem to mind DEET. Get to ball-park (everyone plays "slo-pitch" out there). Cry that we can't bat first - and get relagated to the field. Swat mosquitoes for 1/2 inning. Run to car for AC, or huddle close to nearest smoker (smoke repels mosquitoes). Decide to call the game due to mosquito "delay". Go home and watch a rental movie in my cool "root cellar", along with the pickled beets. It's either that, or join the local "popular kids" shooting at highway signs, or playing "who wants to be a meth junkie?" at some high school party...

Honestly though - and I say this without joking - people in Metro Vancouver tend to be more conscious of their environment, about recycling, about people's rights, about animal rights, about the rest of the world (they seem to have more of an interest in the world beyond Vancouver, or BC - probably mainly to do with the number of people here FROM around the world). This is not to say this doesn't exist in Sask. There are a LOT of "balanced" "moderate", and quite outspoken folks in Saskatchewan. A lot of them were friends and associates. While the province may be returning Conservatives of the "crazy" variety to Ottawa, there really is a strong social consciousness that prevades thought. Upwards of 1/2 the population is actually "progressive", but vote splitting between Liberals and NDP/Green often lead to Cons winning in the cities. Provincial politics better displays the urban/rural split in Sask. Basically (but not unequivocally), the more educated, more worldly, and more "plugged in" denizens of the cities are the more progressive ones. The rural populations tend to be more conservative in their approach - wanting to keep "the old ways", and longing for "the old times".

Being a citizen of the West, I can speak highly of all 3 "Western Provinces" (although decidedly less so of Alberta)... Living in Alberta for 7 years certainly didn't change my opinion of that very dry Province (yeah, Calgary Grit - I'm calling you out... and YOU, DaveBerta)... May as well make this a 3 province flame-war... Speaking of Flames... that Johnny-come-lately nothing of a hockey team (who just lost in Chicago). How can your team be the Flames (didn't change after leaving Atlanta), but your jersey has a horse head, and a freakin' DOG for a mascot?

Calgary often speaks about Banff and their location in the "Foothills"... Foothills is right. One still has to drive hours to get to the mountains... They love their oil industry... the same industry that's drying out the Bow River and killing the Bow Glacier. Their idea of "communist" voters is Calgary South (a Conservative stronghold for millenia), or the West part of the Wildrose constituency (which includes Canmore/Banff).

Calgary doesn't have freeways. They have one "trail" that passes from North to South, and STILL has stoplights. I guess, if your city sucks so much you want to stop "visitors". Most Calgarians think Tim Horton's is "gourmet" coffee. Most Calgarians think a pickup truck is a "sub-compact". Calgary is about the only city I know that could elect a public drunk as mayor, then make him a national conservative icon. Calgary elected Stephen Harper... and took him from Toronto (who wouldn't have him). Calgary's Stampeder Cheerleaders are called the "Outriders". They should be called the "outliers" - ever see a picture? In Vancouver I can go downtown and grab dinner 24 hrs - at an award-winning restaurant... In Calgary, you don't go downtown... but there's always MacDonalds (til 3am, on MacLeod Trail South). Calgary is the only city I know that has a "Heritage Park" Wild West Village, where people dress like the 1800s, and ride horses... that isn't really necessary, since all Calgarians dress like the 1800s (and think it is too). Calgary is the number one destination for "boot-cut Wranglers". Calgary was jealous of Toronto, so they built a tower... only a few hundred feet shorter... (they can't even compete right). When any other party would have won an overwhelming majority after the "sponsorship scandal", Calgary's Reform-a-Tory Party barely won a minority. When they couldn't win outright, they decided to use that old West poker trick - cheating. Oh, the weather in Calgary: just take the worst weather in Sask and BC, rub it together, and voila! Snow in August, hail every month, and the "best" part of the year is when you get a Chinook in February, so it isn't always -20C. The best part of Calgary is the airport - particularly the "departures" area.

Alberta (especially Calgary) is so full of Big Oil hot air, you can't even ride the C-Train without almost gagging from the wannabe oil-tycoons criticizing anyone and everyone who isn't "Calgary". Toronto bashing is their all-time fave. I actually went out and BOUGHT a Toronto Maple Leafs hat JUST to piss off Calgarians. In 7 years of living there, there wasn't a meeting, public event, or party that I attended that wasn't laden with derrogatory comments about Toronto or Vancouver. Talk about a "Napoleon Complex". Sometimes when something is a little "lacking", you compensate by attacking others...

Calgarians often talk about how "great" and "changing" their city is (I hear this a lot from my Liberal Calgarian friends). Sure... it may slowly be changing - but, so is the rest of Canada. If Calgary really is to change, we need to change the things that make it the hate crime capital of Canada. Things like that need to be changed (and that involves an aweful lot of education), before people there will even begin to start voting more moderately.

CalgaryGrit... Daveberta? Defend yourselves... (this should be fun)...

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ralph Goodale Discusses Conservative Failures In Forestry & Agriculture

They're two of the biggest industries in the Conservative's "fabled West", yet over the past 3 years the Conservative Party - and PM Harper in particular - have done NOTHING to defend them. Worse still, YOUR elected Western Conservative MPs have done NOTHING to save forestry, or to stand up for agriculture. It seems the only Agri-policy the Conservatives have is getting rid of the Wheat Board...

Makes you wonder whether people even pay attention to the very things that affect them anymore...? I guess the new Wii, iPod, or RV is more important that finding out what your government is doing with your money, or your jobs!

I don't know about your opinion on this matter, but every million the Harper government has to repay the US in fines/penalties is money that ISN'T producing jobs for Canadians.

Shame on Stephen Harper.

Great bulletin from Ralph Goodale today:


While Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and the Wall government provincially get good marks from livestock producers for trying to help the beef and pork sectors in Saskatchewan, the federal government is mostly "AWOL".

Despite appeals from the Premier, Stephen Harper ignores the painful difficulties confronting livestock producers.

Billions are lavished on others to fight a national recession, but there was nothing of any consequence in the Conservatives’ January budget for agriculture.

While Mr. Harper brags about his "relationship" with Barack Obama, he allows trade protectionism to prevail in the form of U.S. "country of origin labelling" which will clobber Canadian producers.

And so-called "business risk management programs" remain incredibly slow and flawed, despite now-stale Conservative promises to fix them to reflect the realities of the livestock sector.

In frustration, Mr. Bjornerud is going to take over the administration of these programs, and he has to carry the full load of trying to top them up – because the government in Ottawa is not a reliable partner willing to help.

The Saskatchewan forestry sector is another sad story.

First the Harper government negotiated a bad softwood lumber deal with the Americans which surrendered market share and a billion dollars in illegal duties.

But, they claimed, their softwood deal would avoid new trade penalties and years of litigation.

last week, however, we learned the law suits have been on-going. The Conservatives have been losing. And the Americans have imposed a new $50 million penalty.

Not only that, the Harper government was so inept when it paid that penalty that it did so in a way the U.S. considered to be another subsidy, so softwood exporters (including those from Saskatchewan) will have to pay that amount all over again.

In other words, Canada ends up paying twice! How brilliant is that?

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Avaaz Delivers CBC Petition To Parliament

Great work being done by to save the CBC...

You can also join the Facebook Group:

Save The CBC, Cut The Conservatives!

Dear friends across Canada,

In the last several days, an amazing 125,000 of us have come together to Save the CBC and Radio-Canada from damaging budget cuts. Our petition was delivered on Friday by Canadian celebrity Wendy Crewson and MPs from all 3 opposition parties to Parliament, while planes overhead flew large banners in English and French. Here's a picture of the petition delivery and press briefing at the House of Commons:


Our spectacular petition delivery drew reporters and TV cameras from all the major networks, but while major media like La Presse in Quebec ran the story, we had to wonder why editors at all the other corporate media outlets (and CBC competitors) didn't.

In a bid to break into the corporate media, on Saturday Avaaz volunteers passed out 2500 Save the CBC buttons to celebrities attending the Genie Awards, and encouraged a few of them, including Crewson, to speak out on stage for the cause. It worked! Some major newspapers mentioned the Save the CBC campaign for the first time (see below).

Next week opposition politicians will deliver our petition to Prime Minister Harper when Parliament returns to session, so let's still keep building our numbers by forwarding this email and asking people to sign up at this link:

This tremendous response from Canadians is the beginning of the restoration of the CBC as a strong public service institution in our country. But there's a long way to go -- as feared, the Harper government is considering plans to bailout big media corporations like CanWest and CTV, while insisting on starving the CBC of funds. This is a terrible abuse of taxpayer money to support political friends and partisan media while strangling the independent public broadcaster.

Our members of parliament are all back in their constituency offices right now, and available to listen to us. If you know the name of your MP, click below to find their phone number and give them a call politely asking them to stand up for Canada's public broadcasters.

Or to send a message to your MP, use this action tool at the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting website:

For a long time, the CBC has been forced to rely on advertizing for an increasing percentage of its revenue, making it carry American rather than Canadian shows, and focus on commercial rather than cultural content. This is part of a long term strategy to eventually privatize and sell off the CBC. But this aggressive strategy is now backfiring, and we are seeing a movement of Canadians come together to restore and protect the long term health of this national treasure. Let's keep up the pressure.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Lisa-Marie, Laryn and the Avaaz Canada team

PS - here's the La Presse story (in French) that covered the petition delivery: And here's a Globe and Mail story about the Crewson and the CBC at the Genies: ----------------------------

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Friday, April 10, 2009

John Lennard In Greater Vancouver - Today & Saturday!

John Lennard will be in Greater Vancouver today and tomorrow...

John Lennard to touch down In B.C. this weekend
Campaign Announces Final Leg of Cross Country Tour

With little under a month to go before the Liberal Party Biennial Convention, YLC presidential candidate John Lennard has announced the final leg of his cross country tour.

"The past few weeks have been working intensely to meet Young Liberals from across Canada" John said, "I have been from Halifax to Edmonton, from Laval to Guelph, and now I'm excited to once again be meeting Young Liberals from British Columbia."

John will be on Vancouver Island Thursday April 9th and in the Lower Mainland on Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th before flying home to Montreal for final exams.

To schedule a face to face meeting with John please contact the following:

In Victoria:

In Vancouver:

And remember to follow the tour on John's Twitter account

A Party Built for Everyone
April 8, 2009

John Lennard Campaign Newsletter BC Tour Dates Announced

John Lennard to touch down In B.C. this weekend
Campaign Announces Final Leg of Cross Country Tour

With little under a month to go before the Liberal Party Biennial Convention, YLC presidential candidate John Lennard has announced the final leg of his cross country tour.

"The past few weeks have been working intensely to meet Young Liberals from across Canada" John said, "I have been from Halifax to Edmonton, from Laval to Guelph, and now I'm excited to once again be meeting Young Liberals from British Columbia."

John will be on Vancouver Island Thursday April 9th and in the Lower Mainland on Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th before flying home to Montreal for final exams.

To schedule a face to face meeting with John please contact the following:
In Victoria:

In Vancouver:

And remember to follow the tour on John's Twitter account

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Standard Talking Point For Liberal MPs

Hey Liberal MPs... Clip n' save:

Response to Conservative questions about Mr. Ignatieff's past (or Liberal past) - 20-some years ago...

"Mr. Speaker, I could talk about Mr. Harper's:

- Claim that the Atlantic suffers from a culture of defeatism

- Or, his thoughts on where minorities live in the West... (ghettos)

- Or his ideas about building firewalls around AB

- Or his feelings that Canada is a "Northern European Welfare state"...

- Or his friendship with Mr. Mulroney...

But I won't, Mr. Speaker.

... Rather, I will address the ISSUES... and the current issue is JOBS for CANADIANS!

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Conservatives Continue Crusade To End CBC/Radio Canada

The Conservatives are hell bent upon killing the CBC. It is a sad time for Canadian "culture", and journalism...

We have to unite behind one of Canada's greatest cultural institutions. Good to know the group below will be mobilizing in ridings where Conservatives won very slim victories...

Today, from the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, I received this email:

Dear Supporter ,

As you know, the CBC is in crisis. Eight hundred of its creative people – 10% of all its staff – are being laid off in order to deal with a $171 million shortfall which CBC's president, hand-picked by Stephen Harper, announced suddenly just weeks ago.

These cuts will decimate programming on radio and television, and will be particularly devastating in small and medium sized communities throughout Canada.

FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is fighting these cuts by delivering a strong message to Harper and Ottawa that the government must invest in pubic broadcasting and not allow it to wither and die.

But we can't do it without your help.

That's why I am asking you to join with me and many thousands of other proud Canadians to invest in a campaign to maintain and build the CBC at a time when our country needs it most.

We are calling on the federal government to adopt the 2008 recommendation of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to increase CBC's parliamentary grant from the present $33 per capita to $40. This would give CBC the money it needs to maintain and grow its services. It's a good first step.

The average per capita investment in public broadcasting in Western democracies is $80, so adopting the Heritage Committee's plan would bring us Canadians to only half that average.

So, how do we plan to get this message through to Harper, his caucus and the opposition parties?

For starters, over the next ten days, the House of Commons is not sitting. MP's are back in their ridings where they are more accessible than usual to their constituents. We are organizing a massive campaign to get the message out to all MP's through email, telephone and direct contact.

But we are also focusing on eighteen ridings where Conservative MP's won the last election with extremely slim margins over their opponents. These are MP's who will likely be especially sensitive to public opinion, and to facing angry constituents at the doorstep in the forthcoming election wearing responsibility for the evisceration of public broadcasting.

Imagine for a moment that Harper & Co. are thinking about a rescue for private TV broadcasters while leaving Canada's national treasure, the CBC, to wither and die. Canadians are justifiably angry about this turn of events. We must act now to focus our energy where it will do the most good.

Please take a moment right now to make an investment in our campaign for the future of the CBC.

Public broadcasting in Canada is at a tipping point. If we all join together we can turn this around and bequeath a strong CBC to our children and their children.

Whatever you can spare –$500, $250, $100, $50 or even $20 will make a huge contribution.

So, thanks, and please!

Best regards!

Ian Morrison

Ian Morrison
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting

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