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It's bad enough when the government manages to burn through our hard-earned tax dollars at an amazing rate but now it's allowing private business to due the same with un-earned dollars:
The CRTC said yesterday that Canadian telephone customers have been overbilled to the tune of $652.7-million over the past few years, but the money will not be going back to them.So here we have a government (old Liberal government to be specific) that has a priority to expand broadband access in rural communities but instead of ponying up the cash to do it the CRTC gets private business to do it's dirty work for it.
The federal regulator ruled instead that telecommunications companies such as Bell Canada and Telus Corp. should use most of the money -- equivalent to about $50 a customer -- to expand offerings in underserved markets, primarily rural and remote communities.
CRTC chair Charles Dalfen told reporters yesterday that expanding broadband services, also known as high-speed Internet, is an important social and economic goal.
It has been a federal government priority for at least five years, although Ottawa has yet to allocate enough money to provide access in most rural and remote communities. "We think this is in the broader interests of the consumers," Mr. Dalfen said.
Could this be any more unbelievable? When exactly did Canadians give $650-million to the CRTC to piss away?
And on a different but related topic, why exactly is broadband access considered an important social goal? Since when did our government decide that online porn and gambling should become national priorities? Is this other one of those Liberal schemes (i.e. handouts) that are supposed to define us as Canadians?
When the leaders of Muslim countries say things like this you'd expect Europeans to be listening:
In his first public statement after the braking out of the scandal with the cartoons with Prophet Muhammad the Libyan Leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi announced that one day the Islam will disseminate its power over the European countries, the web edition of Libya Today reports.My opinion is that many Muslims have a totally different view of what constitutes discrimination than most Europeans do. To many Muslim (primarily in Europe) the fact that they don't dominate in politics and society is all the proof they need that they are being discriminated against.
In his statement Gaddafi calls those who had published the cartoons “slanderers who disseminate religious hatred”. He went on criticizing European schools that teach the children that the Muslim Prophet was not a messenger of Allah but a liar.
According to Gaddafi the riots in the poor suburbs of Paris last year were “only the beginning of the armed struggle of the Muslims against discrimination in Europe”. “Probably one day Europe will be subordinated to the Islam”, Col. Gaddapi claimed, cited by the publication.
While Europeans consider discrimination to be based on racial, social, or economic matters, many Muslims view discrimination from a totally different perspective as shown by Gaddapi's (the most recent spelling apparently) remarks.
As Gaddapi says, it's only the beginning...
If anyone happened to be trolling around here today they may have noticed a bunch of test posts going up and soon later being taken down. I sincerely apologize but I was testing the backlink feature to make sure it didn't break the canadiancomment template.
As far as I can tell everything looks fine.
So going forward consider yourselves warned... if you write about us, we'll know.
Poor Paul Martin has got his undies in a bunch over the defection of David Emerson:
Former prime minister Paul Martin yesterday spoke out for the first time about David Emerson's defection to the Conservatives, saying the about-face "astonished" him since the ex-Liberal had publicly condemned Stephen Harper only days before switching.People can have legitimate questions over Emerson's defection but when Paul Martin starts to become all richeous I can't do anything except roll my eyes in disbelief.
Mr. Martin issued a 365-word statement from Europe, where he is travelling, that amounted to a public excoriation of the man Liberals once called a "dream" candidate.
"As the person who recruited Mr. Emerson to public life, and given the lack of any articulated principle behind his decision, I certainly share the disappointment of so many Canadians in both Mr. Harper and Mr. Emerson," he said.
The former prime minister said Mr. Emerson's switch was "without precedent," in part because the Vancouver MP crossed the floor so quickly after being elected a Liberal last month.
This is the same guy who convinced Belinda Stronach to switch parties just before a confidence vote. This is also the same guy who personally ensured that select candidates were dropped into ridings to run for the Liberals even against the wishes of the local party members.
Sad Paul... really... really... sad.
Since Indigo/Chapters have decided that they do not value their Christian customers as much as they do people of other faiths, I have decided that I'll be taking my business elsewhere.
Here is the email I sent to the corporation explaining why:
Due to your decision to not display the upcoming issue of the Western Standard containing the cartoons of Muhammad I have decided that in the future my family and I will not be shopping at your stores.If you think it is worthwhile you can email Indigo/Chapters here.
Since Indigo does not have a problem displaying works that offend Christians I can only conclude that your corporation does not value your Christian patrons as much as you do the others.
My family regularly shopped at your Barrhaven and Kanata locations here in the Ottawa area. Due to this decision you can be sure that we won't be returning.
So some of you out there think I should help pay for institutionalized daycare. I don't bloody well think so:
It was a beautiful winter day to spend outdoors for the children at Le Petit Bourg daycare centre. For most of them, it probably felt a lot warmer than the -2 recorded that day in Quebec City, even with the slight breeze that grazed their faces.And how did the daycare respond to the parents concerns:
But the decision to leave 13-month-old Ludovick outdoors to nap for almost four hours has called into question the judgment of the daycare workers who thought it best to let the boy sleep, cuddled in a plastic car seat, rather than awaken him to take him indoors.
He and the baby's mother, Claire Ferland, immediately demanded a meeting with the daycare's administrator. Ms. Ferland told Le Soleil newspaper that she couldn't believe the explanations she was given as justification for letting her son nap outdoors in winter for so long.The only comment I have to make on this story is that in case any of you didn't know... Quebec already has institutionalized daycare.
"We were told things like: 'He has the warmest boots of everyone in the group,' or 'He breathes better outdoors.' They trivialized the incident and wouldn't even offer an apology," she said.
The parents filed a complaint with the province's child-protection authorities when it became obvious that the daycare found nothing abnormal about the incident.
So for all you pro-government-daycare folks, sleep well at night and don't let fear for little Sally's life affect your productivity while at work.
That after all would be bad for the economy... and we can't have that.
Since I'm trying to get myself back into a habit of writing I figure one of the first topics I should touch on is that of an MP switching parties in the manner of Belinda Stronack and David Emerson.
Andrew Coyne touches on the subject. He concludes:
And that's as it should be. Integrity in those we elect is not an issue like the rest, to be weighed against their positions on health care or fiscal policy. It is, or should be, a basic condition of office, a prerequisite. If at any time that comes into doubt, the doubt must be resolved immediately.Now, I'm not going to pick on Andrew since many people have similar opinions. The only reason I quote Andrew here is because his position is quite common and because I just happened to read it five minutes ago and it's fresh in my mind.
So I'm certainly comfortable with a law requiring MPs who cross from opposition to cabinet, or who are elevated to cabinet within x number of months of having crossed, to first obtain the voters' approval (that used to be the requirement, remember, for all cabinet appointees). Whether the same stricture should apply more broadly I leave open.
The problem I have with Andrew's opinion is twofold. First, he is openly admitting that for the most part, an MP is elected due to his party affiliation and not due to personal abilities or beliefs. Second, and most importantly, Andrew is essentially of the opinion that our government and our laws should be used to prevent people from voting their conscience.
In making that last statement I am in no way claiming that people who switch party allegiences are doing so out of some sort of moral conviction.
The problem in Andrew's approach though is that he wants to create a mess of laws dictating when an MP can vote against his party or switch party allegiances, and the consequences of doing so. Andrew... the last thing we need in this country are laws dictating how an MP should vote.
If an MP breaks his trust with his constituents then it is the constituents and them alone who are responsible in determining if the MPs actions were justifiable. How should the MPs constituents do this? Should we allow an MP to be recalled? Perhaps, I'm somewhat neutral on the subject.
In short, just because some people are justifiably upset when an MP switches parties, we have to be careful that we don't go to far in addresses these peoples anger. We have to be careful that the cure isn't worse than the disease and in this case, Andrew's cure is simply a poison pill.
Rarely do I have anything good to say about Jack Layton and his NDP party but today is one of those days. During the past federal election I was baffled when the NDP did not respond more forcefully to Liberal requests that NDP supporters should abandon their party in order to prevent a Conservative victory.
Well it seems today that the NDP have grown themselves a backbone:
The NDP has expelled Buzz Hargrove, the country's most prominent labour leader, for actively promoting strategic voting and Liberal candidates in last month's federal election.The NDP certainly made the right, as well as the principled, decision on this one. Though Hargrove is a huge financial and stategic contributor to the NDP they gave him the boot since he promoted the idea that the NDP should never be a governing party.
The Ontario NDP provincial executive voted yesterday to pull the membership of Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, for violating the party's constitution regarding provisions against endorsing other candidates. It also automatically revokes his membership in the federal party.
Don't get me wrong, I'ld be horrified to see the NDP heading up our government but we must give them credit where credit is due.
Way to go Jack!
crossposted to The Shotgun
... that is the question.