Most recent entries for July 2010

Question of the Day

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Conservative MP Rob Anders is alleging that China is trying to win influence over Canadian politicians by offering gifts, business deals, and even sexual favours.

This Weekend on The House

What is going on at the RCMP? And what does the future look like after a group of senior officers reportedly complained about the abusive behaviour of their boss -- Commissioner William Elliott? Pretty good questions, no? Our guest host this week, Louise Elliott, asked an expert. Tune in to find out what professor Linda Duxbury thinks about all this.

Also on the show this week, the Liberal Express has been on the road for almost three weeks now. We wanted to find what it was like to travel with Michael Ignatieff. So Louise went straight to the source and sat down with the Liberal leader for a one-on-one interview.

And finally, the census once again was in the news this week, but how much do Canadians really care about the story? We asked three of them to share their thoughts.

Here's the statement from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, as sent out by the PMO earlier:

OTTAWA , July 30th, 2010 - The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, today issued the following statement pertaining to internal management conflicts within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP):

"Our Government's chief priority is to ensure our national security and the safety of all Canadians. This week I announced that Public Safety Canada is undertaking a workplace assessment of the RCMP, which will be led by an independent advisor.

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Reid Morden has been selected to fill this role.
Hit the jump to read the rest.

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In the latest salvo in the battle of talking points for the supremacy of the skies, the Tories are saying a reported confrontation involving two CF-18s and two Russian long-range bombers this week has left Michael Ignatieff "embarrassed" for their opposition to the Joint Strike Fighters purchase.

Last week, the Liberals called on Parliamentary Budget Officer to investigate the government's $9-billion purchase of 65 new F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin without a single competing bid.

But the Tory talking points sent out early Friday (full text below) counter that Ignatieff is trying to take the Canadian Forces back to a new "decade of darkness," and incidents like Wednesday's interception "underscore why our men and women in uniform need modern equipment to do their jobs."

It comes after someone used a Department of Defence computer to alter a Wikipedia page entry about the Joint Strike Fighter jet, removing passages outlining criticism of the jets and the the government's decision to buy them, as well as inserting a line saying Ignatieff has six toes on each foot.

UPDATE: Marc Garneau, the Liberals' science, industry and technology critic, called me up before he boarded a flight at Vancouver International to fire back at the talking points, calling them a "new low in terms of crude and primitive propaganda."

He also says Wednesday's incident is "nothing unusual" and pointed out the CF-18s involved were recently refurbished to be operational until at least 2017.

"The reality is the Russians have been coming over our territory since the Cold War," he says.

The Liberals had to make "tough choices" in the 1990s, including on defence spending, he says. But he counters the Conservatives have started their own "decade of darkness" by creating "fear and paranoia" over the Russian flights, as well as their claims that Canadians have the looming spectre of jail time hanging over them if they don't fill out the mandatory long-form census.

Garneau then pointed to his National Post editorial on industrial benefits for the Canadian aerospace industry and the F-35 procurement process and his previous role in it when he was in the navy, which you can read here instead of me typing it all out for you.

From: Alerte-Info-Alert <Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 07:33:01 -0700To: Alerte-Info-Alert<Subject: Ignatieff Liberals Embarrassed by Russian Bomber Flights Over Arctic

Mere days ago Michael Ignatieff pledged to cancel the new fighter jets the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces urgently need.

Embarrassingly for him, Russian bomber flights over the Arctic -- just two days ago -- underscore why our men and women in uniform need modern equipment to do their jobs.

On Wednesday two CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft quickly responded when two Russian TU-95 Bear aircraft entered the Canadian buffer zone in front of our airspace.

Canadian pilots visually identified the aircraft as Russian and shadowed them until they turned around.

This incident demonstrates why it is vitally important for the Canadian Armed Forces to have the best technology and equipment available. This is true whether we are asserting our Arctic sovereignty, fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan or aiding reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

For too long, the Canadian Armed Forces suffered under Liberal budget cuts and the Liberal failure to adequately equip our men and women in uniform -- a shameful period known as the "Decade of Darkness."

Sadly, Mr. Igantieff is planning to take Canada's Armed Forces back to this disgraceful period by cancelling our government's purchase of the F-35 Next Generation Joint Strike Fighter.

Perhaps because he wasn't in Canada at the time, Mr. Ignatieff is unaware of how past Liberal governments gutted our military.More proof that Michael Ignatieff isn't in it for Canadians. He's just in it for himself.
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What's on tap for pre-long-weekend Friday? Not a heck of a lot. Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Express make a whistle stop in Burlington, Ont., and the prime minister gets one last stretch of peace and quiet before the Conservative caucus meeting next Thursday in Ottawa, where all those pesky Hill reporters' questions over the government's move to snuff the mandatory long-form census lie in wait.

Let's be frank for a minute: Can you imagine a fall election the following ballot question: "Should Canadians have to fill out a form?" It would be one for the ages, no doubt, and finally prove to the world we are epic nerds.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is on P&P this afternoon with Rosemary Barton to discuss an announcement on the heels of his meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on "new border co-operative initiatives."  

Beyond that, we don't even have Scott Brison to try and convince us the PM is lounging around in sweatpants and playing Super Mario Kart until 3 a.m. while the Liberals are Listening. To. Canadians.

What else? Well, we haven't been able to reach Calgary Tory MP Rob Anders since he recently told the Epoch Times that China's efforts to entice, entrap and entrance Canadian politicians goes well beyond what CSIS chief Richard Fadden disclosed earlier this month.

Now that that's done, let's all throw on Jackie Brown and take it eaze for the day. "Got it right here in my Raptor bag..." Golden.
In Chinese philosophy the concept of yin yang is used to describe how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and how they give rise to each other in turn.

Yes I got that from Wikipedia. But the entry does not mention that the concept also applies to politics.

Question of the Day

The number for this column is 4.6 million, which is the amount of money the Department of Foreign Affairs paid to an unnamed "vendor" for services rendered in the lead-up to the G8 and G20 meetings in June.

Oh, come on, that's a late-July-early-August tradition around these parts, even if it is almost unfailingly ignored by the PM of the day. Anyway, as noted in Orders of the Day, Jack Layton will hold a press conference later this morning to excoriate the prime minister for remaining eerily silent throughout the census debate. Check back at 11:30 for full coverage! 

 Berry-friendly text feed available here or hit the jump for the full CoveritLive experience. 
It's fair to say that an eyebrow or two may have arched skyward when the Liberal leader lauded the "publicly funded education that gave [him] his start." 

As the Globe and Mail's Norm Spector points out, "It's a well-known fact that, from the age of 11, Mr. Ignatieff attended Upper Canada College" -- which, he notes, "is about as elite an education as you can get in our country." How, Spector wonders, could Ignatieff have thought for one moment that he could get away with a line like that, given his exhaustively chronicled personal history?

Well, apparently, he didn't -- think he could get away with describing UCC as a "publicly funded education," that is. According to an OLO spokesperson, Ignatieff was actually referring to "one of the greatest publicly funded institutions in the world: the University of Toronto," which he attended "on a scholarship". So, no, he wasn't talking about UCC -- or, worse still, the taxpayer-funded education provided to the children of diplomats abroad, which Spector also raises as a possibility. Case closed? Over to you, commenters. 

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