Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hmmm... What's Going On Here? Another Reform-a-Tory Scandal?

The well-fed (at the trough) arm of the Reform-a-tory propaganda machine tried to score another victory by what may constitute (and is being alleged by some as) some heavy-handedness over supposedly "independent" media...

Business as usual at Harper Central?

Ah yes... the knew politics of money.  Moving Canada to the right, bit by bit.  When they're done with Canada, we certainly WON'T recognize it...

Look for news at 11... Too bad it's the Summer Silly Season...

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Liberal Investment Leadership Pays Off For Saskatchewan

Goodale Commentary:  Liberal Investment Leadership In BioTech And Alternative Fuels...



It was a real pleasure to be among several hundred people in Foam Lake last week to celebrate the opening of Milligan Bio-Tech – a world-class facility for processing canola into bio-diesel fuel and other innovative by-products.


This is agricultural diversification and value-added development at its best.


It was nearly 15 years ago that a group of visionary farmers in the Foam Lake Marketing Club first considered the idea of a bio-diesel plant in their area.  It was a way to create a new market for canola – especially off-grade supplies, not suitable for food products.


Bio-diesel is a renewable source of energy that’s environmentally-friendly and increases Canada’s range of clean energy alternatives.


It was a long road for the Milligan company, pursuing all the necessary science and research, product development work, the design and engineering of their plant, their marketing plan, and of course financing.  But they now have the capacity to produce 10 million litres of bio-diesel per year.  By 2012, they’re planning for 150 million litres.


I’ve been an out-spoken advocate for bio-fuels for a very long time – especially bio-diesel and cellulosic ethanol.


Through three portfolios in the federal Cabinet (Agriculture, Natural Resources and Finance) stretching back to 1993, it was my pleasure to lead the push for federal government support for this fledgling industry.


Successive Liberal governments provided pioneering investments in the scientific research, production incentives, and measures to stimulate consumption. 


Along the way, we forged strong partnerships with producer groups and universities.  We also created new federal institutions – like the Sustainable Development Technology Foundation (SDTF) – to ensure on-going progress into the future. 


I’m happy to say that SDTF was established when I was Natural Resources Minister.  Last week, it paid-off (again) for Saskatchewan, making a crucial investment of $7 million in the exciting future of Milligan Bio-Tech.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Vision Of Canada As The World's Greatest Food Producer

Another great - and as usual, positive - Ralph Goodale Weekly Message:


Last week, I reported on some of the goals that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff would want Canada to achieve by this country’s 150th anniversary – eight years from now in 2017. 

Canadians should be the best educated and healthiest people in the world. 

We should be the smartest developers of our valuable natural resources, and particularly savvy in how we produce and consume energy. 

And we should lead the world in fiscal responsibility, productivity growth, innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

All these goals are essential if Canadians are to maintain a top-notch standard of living in the knowledge-based, technology-driven and highly-skilled global economy into which we’ll emerge after the current recession.

I would add another – one for which Canada is uniquely suited.

This country should aim to become the world’s pre-eminent producer of food.

Food is going to become an increasingly serious global issue.  Already, 800 million people in this world are severely malnourished.  By the year 2050, global population will jump by 50-percent.  Before everyone became pre-occupied with the onset of the recession, food shortages were a major international concern.

That problem hasn’t gone away.  The recession may have obscured it, but the trouble is only getting worse.

Turbulence, conflict and uncertainty affect big portions of the globe.  Vast tracts of arable farmland are disappearing due to urbanization, pollution and erosion (desertification) brought on by climate change.  World-wide supplies of fresh water are seriously limited.  So there are only a few nations with the capacity to undertake a major expansion in food production.

Canada is probably the best placed, especially given our precious soil and water resources, the skill and expertise of Canadian farmers, and our access to new science and technology.

Being the world’s greatest food producer would be a high Canadian calling.

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Great Political Quotes...

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin

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Jason Kenney Must Resign...

What he said...  Read WK's post, and you'll get it.

Canada's VISA changes for Mexico and the Czech Republic (targeting the Roma People) are basically xenophobic measures aimed at brown people.  There's no simpler way to put it.

As with any national humiliation of minorities, mockery of "ethnics", fetching of "curry in a hurry", discussion with "hot-headed Sikhs", or general degradation of immigrants, Jason Kenney is at the center of it all.  

Time for this pompous ass to step down.  More likely, time for a certain segment of we Canadians to... ahem... wake the fuck up, and send this veiled xenophobe neoCon, "Reform-a-tory" so-called government back to Calgary (since it's not very likely that anyone in Calgary - the hate-crime capital of Canada - is about to "de-elect" Kenney anytime soon).

No, really... it's time we wake the fuck up.  Before Canada is FUBAR...  The Reformers got rid of the "squeaky nerd" (Manning), replaced him with the talking marshmallow (Harper), took their ideas further right, slapped gags on their MPs in exchange for political "gifts", and now it seems we actually ACCEPT this group of hate-mongering, divisive, juvenile, amateur clowns?

Wake T F up people!  This is what happens when your media is in the hands of a bunch of right wingers with agendas.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Time To Curtail The Funding That Pays For The Conservative Untruths

There is a common root to the Conservative lies and "truth distortions"... It is the money that is disproportionately spent by political parties in Canada. It is the money that is - perhaps illegally - spent by some parties (one in particular). It is the taxpayer funded political ads run by one party (the 10%ers).

We recently posted in the "Musings from the Political Youth Corner" that there has to be a level playing field. The CFL, NHL, NFL, and NBA all have spending/salary caps. Why? So the teams compete on a level playing field. So there is no competitive advantage. So a new team coming into the league doesn't get turfed on its' butt because they are at a disadvantage to the older, more established teams...

Quite simply, Canadian political parties should be limited to how much they can spend on advertising in a given year. It must be carefully regulated, and it MUST include controls on thinly veiled partisan ads funded by taxpayers. It must curtail advertising in the "off season", or allow for a fixed yearly amount. Now, this amount may not be reachable by all parties, but it should be a reasonable amount. Excess funds should be utilized by the party for internal events (BBQs, meetings, conventions, etc.), to a certain limit/percentage, and the rest going into a "Building Canadian Democracy" Fund, which sustains the teaching of civics and Political Science in our schools, and subsidizes democratic exercises (like model Parliaments).

The root cause of the failure of many democracies is the failure of government to effectively represent the people. The skewing and swaying of opinion, resulting from inordinately high spending by some parties, when others cannot do the same, DOES sway opinion, and DOES unfairly impact elections. It must be stopped, for our democratic institutions to survive - and maintain some semblance of respect and integrity. One party should not be able to buy it's way into power. That simply sustains the rich - and related interest groups.

Prime Minister Chretien (and our party) started Canada on the route to fairer elections. Unfortunately "loopholes" and VERY generous interpretations of the rules have allowed anyone with money to circumvent our democratic process. This is WRONG and MUST be challenged.

This current minority Parliament enables the majority of the House to speak for the people of Canada. We MUST take this opportunity - not to defeat this government, or to keep them afloat - but to ensure that democracy in Canada continues to work, and remains on an even-handed and fair level for all parties. If not, we're destined to the same horrible "2 parties, one opinion" politics of the USA. We like to think that people are informed, intelligent, and prepared to vote, but most of us, who have knocked a lot of doors in our lives realize that this simply isn't always true. What the media says will impact a LOT of people's choices, and that media opinion (in the "private realm") is typically bought and paid for.

The time to act is NOW. In THIS Parliament. Anyone who opposes the idea would be looked on as "undemocratic", and this would certainly help assauge the recent barbs the Reform-a-tories have shot out about the "undemocratic opposition parties/coalitions, etc."

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Harper "Stands Up" - Against The Global Environment...

Avaaz.org just sent out this invite to sign an important petition to help fight climate change and global warming...  We urge everyone to sign it.  Harper could well be embarrassed globally...

Dear friends,
The G8's climate goal could be scrapped, as Canada, Russia, and Japan try to block a commitment to cap warming below 2 degrees. With street stunts and top-level meetings, Avaaz will bring a global voice to the summit in Italy, calling for climate action -- 

Sign The Petition!

The world has just months left to agree on a binding global climate treaty-- humanity's best shot at preventing catastrophic global warming of more than 2 degrees celsius.

This week at the Italian-hosted G8 summit, Stephen Harper is trying to veto the 2-degree limit -- and an immediate nationwide outcry is needed to stop him.

Click below to sign the petition to Harper and other G8 leaders -- an Avaaz team in Italy will deliver it directly in meetings and through spectacular stunts on Thursday, bringing global media attention to shame the climate-wreckers and press them to back down. We urgently need at least 100,000 signatures -- click to sign:


Scientists say that if global warming rises past two degrees centigrade, the world's climate systems are very likely to spin out of control -- with searing droughts, sudden floods, and rising seas that spread poverty and force hundreds of millions to relocate. 

In fact, such climate effects have already begun -- but we may be able to avert the worst, if urgent UN negotiations succeed this year in reaching a binding treaty. The UN talks, culminating in Copenhagen just six months from now, could launch a historic shift towards a clean-energy, green-recovery future that leaves the climate safe for future generations. But a few nations -- now led by Canada, Russia, and Japan -- have blocked-up the climate talks, endangering the treaty and our future.

The G8 leaders -- joined by eleven other heads of government at a parallel "Major Economies" meeting next door -- represent more than 80% of climate emissions. And this is the leaders' last in-person negotiation before the make-or-break Copenhagen summit

We know last-moment pressure can change their policies: Avaaz members and other citizen groups flipped Canada and Japan's position in the closing hours of the Bali UN climate summit in 2007, and campaigners won promises to double aid to Africa at the Gleneagles G8 meeting in 2005. (Of course, Italy's Berlusconi and others have betrayed those promises -- a reminder that we must insist on a legally bindingtreaty on climate.) Canada's Harper, Japan's Aso, and other leaders could face elections in coming weeks and months -- they can't afford global embarrassment at this summit. Sign the petition, send it to friends, and help rescue the climate target now:


From time to time in history, the forces align that make possible a fundamental shift in the conduct of human affairs. This year could be such a time. If we seize this moment -- if we choose, this year, to remake our economies and rebuild our relationship to the fragile ecosystems that sustain us -- we will leave our grandchildren a legacy etched in the burgeoning of glaciers and the currents of the sea.

Humanity's choice will be the sum of the decisions made by each of us, in our private lives and in our political actions. Together, let's choose the future.

With hope, 

Ben, Taren, Iain, Alice W, Luis, Ricken, Pascal, Paula, Graziela, Paul, Brett, Milena, Margaret, Alice, Raluca, Raj, and the whole Avaaz team. post signature


Friday, July 03, 2009

Passionate Agricultural Advocate In Sask Passes...

Ralph Goodale's Weekly Update:

Last week, we lost several high profile celebrities.
A much-loved former Governor General, Romeo Leblanc. Actress Farrah Fawcett. Singer Michael Jackson. They all touched many lives, and are now being mourned by families, friends and admirers in a very public way.
At about the same time, there was another passing. Maybe not as high profile as these others, but just as profound – especially to those who believe in the importance of farming, farm families, smaller communities and the rural way of life.
It was a tragic farming accident that suddenly took the life of Paul Beingessner.
The keenest sense of loss is felt by his wife Faye and their five children. People from all across Saskatchewan have extended heartfelt sympathy and condolences.
That’s because Paul’s life was that of a dedicated, passionate advocate for agriculture and the well-being of rural Canada.
He was not passive. He was intensely engaged in the on-going debate about every dimension of farming. And he sought to make things better, not only for himself and his family, but for his neighbours and for many others he would never know.
On topics like farm income, marketing, producer cars and short-line rails, he was a knowledgeable expert. He lived these issues every day. He wrote about them in weekly newspapers across the prairies. And he made a difference.
Oh yes, he could be controversial, but was always respected. He could be very tough in advancing his arguments, but always likeable and totally sincere.
He operated a third-generation mixed farm near Truax. He wanted family farms to be successful, and he wanted the small towns of rural Saskatchewan to thrive.
A good and decent man, Paul Beingessner worked continuously – with creative ideas, concrete action and a strong voice – to help achieve both. And he will be missed.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Quasi-legal (Illegal?) Use of 10%ers By Conservatives Needs Public Review

This kind of bs has to stop. It is (if legal) tainting the very nature of forthright and sincere politics in Canada (if there is much of that left).

This is hot-button politics of the worst kind... And you know what? What do we suppose the Conservatives are saying to people on the doorstep, if they can say ludicrously hateful and completely false things like this IN PUBLIC WITH YOUR AND MY TAX DOLLARS???

This could well be a MAJOR issue going forward into the next election... and we may be about to make it one... Can't wait to see the "abuse of power" ads...

Lie, Conceal, Fabricate... The Harper "Reform-a-Tory" theme...

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On The MOST Important Holiday of All...

Happy Canada Day everyone!

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