The Politics of ‘Same Here’

Kelly McParland has a thoughtful column in the print copy of today’s Post regarding Keystone XL.

We already discussed Obama’s dilemma here, but Canada also has some tough decisions to make on the Environmental file depending on which actions the U.S. takes.

As McParland notes, ours is the not-so-subtle policy of matching the US:

…should Obama be inclined to approve the pipeline, he needs something to show environmentalists to justify the decision. As Washington’s ambassador to Canada noted: “Obviously the more that the energy industry — whether it is the oil sands in Canada or the energy industry in the United States, or any place else — the more progress they can make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce their consumption of water, to other environmental consequences, the better off we all are.”

Hence the “same here” policy. How can Americans portray Canada as an environmental villain if Ottawa matches or surpasses Mr. Obama’s own policies?

Do we have a choice if we want Keystone approved?

*   *   *   *

Update

Brad Wall heads to Washington to push for pipelineCBC:

...Wall said Canadians should be alarmed by suggestions that Americans would approve or reject a pipeline not on the merits of the project, but on domestic environmental policies.

“Imagine if this was the Bush White House and the Bush White House was saying ‘Look, our approval for an important Canadian project in our country is contingent on you, Canada, changing your domestic policy in some area,’ ” said Wall. “Heads would explode and rightfully so. People would be apoplectic.”

Indeed.

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126 Responses to The Politics of ‘Same Here’

  1. Martin says:

    I believe Obama is limited to executive action in any climate related initiatives he might consider. Congress remains reluctant to pass any carbon tax or related legislation, Obama said as much in his SOTU address.
    Canada’s record on GHG emissions is at least as good as the US, though in the PR battle this point is not made forcefully enough. Coal burning power plants in the Ohio valley region is an obvious source of GHG though this fact is conveniently ignored by environmentalists. There is little protest to curb some of the coal extraction.
    Canada should not agree to any climate related regulations just to get approval of the pipeline. They should be careful of any proposed legislation, given the congressional record here, we should see the laws passed first before acting.
    The case for the pipeline is good enough in terms of jobs, economic benefits and environmental pluses that Canada should not be required to more to get Presidential approval.

  2. Bubba Brown says:

    I don’t think Obama is in a bind, not really, he has been re-elected.
    A carbon tax would not fly in America we would be really, really shortsighted to fall for that.
    The globe has not warmed.
    There is some good news re coal.
    http://cjunk.blogspot.ca/2013/02/clean-coal-no-really-clean-coal.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/bhARU+(Celestial+Junk)
    Technology and the human race marches on, the folks that shriek the loudest have the biggest carbon footprint.
    We have markets for our non-conflict oil, Obama can get in line, and bow.
    JMO

    • Martin says:

      Problem is Obama read a lot of dubious statements in his SOTU address, suggesting that the planet continued to warm, and that storms like Sandy were a direct result of climate change.
      It seems like he got himself into a political bind with promises to the enviro- fanatics concerning Keystone. Now he wants our help to disengage from those commitments. He should have approved the pipeline on its considerable merits, and should still do so. One of the most obvious benefits is the secure reliable source of energy from a trusted ally. This goal was also mentioned in his address, don’t really see what his concern is.

  3. Gabby in QC says:

    From the Wiki article “Greenhouse_gas_emissions_by_the_United_States”
    “… The White House announced on 2009-11-25 that President Obama is offering a U.S. target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the range of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. …”

    Isn’t that what Canada has also been working towards?
    I think rather than a case of “same-here-itis”, it’s rather a case of the US following in Canada’s footsteps. Don’t forget that it was at PM Harper’s insistence that a global problem requires a global solution; that 192 (?) countries signed on to the Copenhagen Accord, in contrast to the Kyoto Accord that involved only 32 (?) countries AND did not include the biggest emitters, i.e. the US & China.

    The difference is that the US, as usual, needs to crow about its accomplishments, real or imagined, even if they’re modelled after ours. So let them crow … as long as we’re able to get our resources to market.

    BTW … from a quote in the McParland article:
    “Our Government continues to align our measures with the United States,” said Minister Kent.” Since 2005, Canada has reduced its overall GHG emissions by 6.5%.”

    Does anyone have similar data about the US? It’d be interesting to compare. Mind you, with the way the US economy went into the tank since 2008, their emissions probably did go down, but I’d still like to know for sure. Anyone have a link for that info?

  4. Bec says:

    I personally have become a crazed cynic about everything Obama. Having family in the States, listening to them, watching them shake their heads in disbelief is all I need to do.

    This President flies more and has a press following him like none I have seen in my lifetime and yet, nothing is ever said about THAT carbon footprint. However this apparently is the ‘Environmental President’? The ‘Global Warming’ god protecting the USA from progress/jobs VS ‘dirty oil’?
    Nope, he’s a huge hypocrite, a failure as a President but a success as a celebrity and that is who now run the USA. It’s just so scary and frustrating to acknowledge that reality.

    Travelling/buying product from the US right now is on the bottom of the bucket list. I want nothing to do with assisting this President’s country in any way.

    • Jen says:

      In order to ‘save face’ in the eyes of his enviro friends as if he is doing something for the environment, Obama imo attacks Canada on our environment and not his own country california’s tar oil nor the coal generating plants that produces a lot more polluting than our oilsands.
      Nor does USA have very strict regulation like we do here at the oilsands which is considered the heaviest regulated industry in the world.

      What gets me furious is when politicians like E. M, Megan Leslie go to this states to speak against the pipelines and oilsands. at the same time worshipping Obama for speaking out against Canada environment. And as pooliticians, they never once defended Canada-NOT ONCE.

    • Jen says:

      …..but, unfortunately a number of opposition Politicians have gone out of their way to go to Washington and redicule the Government of Canada and our Prime Minister and our ECONOMY. I hope those MP’s are defeated in the next election.

      Here’s what Spin Assassin’s blog has to say:

      Put Aside Partizanship for the Pipeline

      http://spinassassin.blogspot.ca/2013/02/put-aside-partizanship-for-pipeline.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+SpinAssassin+(Spin+Assassin)

      • Martin says:

        Unfortunately the whole oil sands protest is fueled by fashion, rather than any real concern for the environment. A B list of American celebrities read National Geographic and adopted this cause as their number 1 concern. Megan Leslie fits right in, though she should know better. Her home in Halifax must be heated with some kind of fossil fuel and she does not bicycle to Ottawa. All the wind turbines in North America plugged together would not power her hair dryer on a calm day, yet she continues to prattle on about renewable alternatives to oil.
        Not a few of her constituents, or neighbours enjoy good jobs in Alta oilfields, but that is of no concern to her. Speaking out against Canadian jobs and economic development is not usually what the NDP supports, but she continues to be their environmental critic.

  5. old white guy says:

    global warming is a natural occurence. CO2 is not a pollutant. yet here we are still talking about it. the destruction of the wealth of western nations is the only thing that the global warming is about. follow the money and be aware that the money is not being used to help anyone except the already wealthy.

  6. fh says:

    O/T I believe Auditor General Sheila Fraser felt that all members of Parliament should have their expenses scrutinized. I am a Taxpayer, I believe now is the time to have every member of parliament undergo an audit.
    It is still unclear why Olivia Chow and her late husband Jack Layton were alleged to have such high living expenses, unless the report about this was not true, it would be nice for Olivia Chow to have it formally cleared up.

  7. Gabby in QC says:

    Speaking plainly about issues, be it climate change or other issues, may have worked better in the past, I don’t know … but today the old adage, apparently American, about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar works in the case of climate change or whatever cause the left advances.

    As blogger SpinAssassin aptly put it (h/t to Jen’s link above):
    “During the Alberta election debate there was an infamous moment where a question about climate change was asked. Danielle Smith fell into the trap saying “the science isn’t settled.” Oops. Dog whistle. While the science is far from settled, politicians need to realize that this is a religious question and should be treated as one. You don’t go and say there is no Santa just because there isn’t one. You say: “Climate Change is absolutely real and we should do everything we can to deal with it” or something like that. Not a single lie in that statement but most leftards won’t catch on and the ones who do will only sound silly trying to warn the others. Baby steps my friends.”

    Mind you, I would modify (some might say water down) that to something like: “Of course our government is dealing with climate change, for example with the following measures: list, list, list etc.)”. And indeed, the government HAS introduced effective but not EXTREME measures to deal with some effects the world’s population is inevitably having on our planet.

    Yes, it’s a sad commentary on political-speak, i.e. being forced to use vague reactions or explanations to issues … but the reality of gotcha politics is that one’s words should not be able to be used against oneself at some future point. Case in point? Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s words “Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade” were and continue to be misconstrued and used against him to fire up opposition to the Northern Gateway project.

    Another American president’s advice (Teddy Roosevelt) should be followed: “Speak softly and carry a big stick …” the “stick” in this and many instances being the facts.

    • Joanne says:

      Very wise words Gabby. Again I wish you were head of communications for the party. *Sigh*

      • Gabby in QC says:

        I realize some conservatives think using “politically correct” language is practically tantamount to capitulating to the left. They prefer blunt direct language and if it offends some people, well, tough tiddlywinks, as we used to say as children — only the absolute free-speechers would probably use a more “robust” expression.

        Well, see what it got Tom Flanagan to speak his mind so openly? He’s being dropped from many of the positions he held. Not only has he harmed his own reputation and credibility with his comments about viewers of child porn but his thoughts on the subject are now being interpreted by the PM’s enemies as a reflection on the PM’s own character.

  8. ed says:

    O/T: Liberal MP accused of lying to Canada Border Services Agency
    February 26, 2013 — BC Blue

    “Someone will have to explain to me how it is possible for Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis to remain inside the Liberal caucus after the CBCA says he intentionally mislead them about the whereabouts of a Greek band:”

    http://bcblue.wordpress.com/

    Well, he’s not a Conservative so it’s ok.

    As for Keystone, and what Canada ought to do in general, it reminds me of William Gairdner’s brilliant interview with Steve Paikin shown here:

    http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/34604222

    IMO, this video should be shown in all Canadian high schools. Gairdner’s book, “The Trouble With Canada …. Still”, is an amazing work that gives a clear picture where Canada ought to go. PM Stephen Harper should have him as an adviser. PM, are you listening?? :-)

  9. fh says:

    Thank you ed for your timely post.

  10. Richco says:

    Question for you Joanne – where have all of our westerners gone from here? I see Bubba but kind of miss wilson, and the rest who I always look forward to reading for their perspective.

    • Liz J says:

      Yeah Richco, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Haven’t heard from Mary T either. They’re like family, when you don’t hear from them you wonder what’s up.

      • Jen says:

        Imo, when the topic is on and about Ontario there is nothing much Westerners can say. I guess it is a topic for those who live in Ontario.

        • Fay says:

          Agree Jen,
          I am reading comments but don’t feel it is my place to comment on Ontario problems.
          On the other hand I have lots of opinions on the witch hunt of senators and robert fife’s role in it.

          • Richco says:

            This thread isn’t about Ontario politics. It’s about the pipeline.

            That said, I’m pretty sure that how westerners see Ontario politics as relevant to the discussion as any. Sometimes more so.

          • Joanne says:

            On the other hand I have lots of opinions on the witch hunt of senators and robert fife’s role in it.

            O/T comments are fine, Fay; I just don’t want a whole thread to get highjacked. So please let us know what you think about the Senate witch hunt. :)

            If there’s something that intrigues me I’ll put up a new post on the topic.

            And BTW you have every right to comment on Ontario matters. We are a Have-Not province so the ROC subsidizes the dysfunction here.

            • Fay says:

              Although I would be quite happy to see the Senate abolished , Robert Fife’s chasing down “only conservative senators ” is disgusting.

              • Joanne says:

                Robert Fife seems to have a grudge against certain Conservative Senators. It’s clouding his ability to be objective.

                And this just in: Tom Flanagan has totally lost it. I’m in shock.

            • Richco says:

              “And BTW you have every right to comment on Ontario matters. We are a Have-Not province so the ROC subsidizes the dysfunction here.”

              Terrific lines Joanne. Keepers for sure.

      • Sandy says:

        Mary T’s grandson, Jon, died a week ago. I will let her explain when she is ready. She was in touch with me the morning he died and after the funeral which was very beautiful. Jon, in spite of his disabilities, touched many lives.

        • fh says:

          Sandy please pass my deepest sympathies to Mary T on the death of her beloved grandson Jon
          we do not always want to discuss our troubles on this open media but are comforted when needed in a more private form of communication
          I miss Angry and hope we have not lost him.
          His blog was always of interest to me

        • Joanne says:

          I’m very sorry to hear about Mary T’s grandson too, Sandy. Thanks for sharing this with us.

        • Richco says:

          So sorry to hear that Sandy.

          • Bec says:

            I am so appalled that my comment was before the comment thread had ended.

            Oh MaryT, you are a pillar around here and a dear friend. I have felt like a family member and have been honored to be a part of your family.

            I am so sorry to you and your family for your devastating loss. This fantastic ‘Man’ in your life was a joy to read about and how your Family came together, always, an inspiration. God bless you all. XO

      • Bec says:

        Me tooo? LOL

        I have been wondering but more concerned. I think we can find ‘US’ if we send out an APB but on BT, there isn’t a site that it is/was as nationally friendly as Jo’s. The communication here was and is second to none.

  11. Richco says:

    Here’s my contribution to the O/T links of the day. Kelly McParland scores big time with this beauty IMO http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/02/26/ben-afflecks-world-war-two-cia-invades-europe-allows-little-known-corporal-to-claim-credit/

  12. Liz J says:

    With such statements Flannigan has taken himself off to a very dark place. It’s sickening to think any normal, decent human being could watch sexual abuse of children or say there’s no harm in it.

    • Fay says:

      Agree Liz. The university students in Lethbridge reaction to Tom Flanagan’s comments should make all Canadians proud. I say Bravo to those young adults.

    • Bec says:

      I-D-I-O-T! No question……he is done and he can’t plead stupidity because I suspect because the PM fired him, he’s been stupid more than once.

      A person can be intellectually superior but socially inferior. An idiot is still an idiot and he was a complete idiot.

  13. Jen says:

    My deepest sympathy to Mary T and family. I pray that the grandson she loves so dearly sleeps peacefully on God’s Loving Arms.

  14. Gabby in QC says:

    I echo others’ expression of condolences to commenter Mary T. May her family be spared further sorrow.

  15. Jen says:

    Joanne and others, please to this woman Liz May who has the audacity the nerve to say “…… that it was on their(conservatives Michele Remple stephen harper and peter kent) watch are the ones who orchastrated the global recession according to her conclusion.
    Harper’s Conservatives Inaction Towards GHG is “Suicidal

    http://elizabethmaymp.ca/news/publications/press-releases/2013/02/25/harpers-conservatives-inaction-towards-ghg-is-suicidal/

  16. Joanne says:

    So an NDP-er just crossed the floor to the Bloc? Wow!!

    O.K. O/T comments back on. Just talk about whatever you like here. I will intervene if things get too crazy. ;) Just too much going on to try to stay on track.

  17. fh says:

    Crazy day I second your WOW Jo.

  18. Liz J says:

    What is objectionable is how the journalists and of course the opposition, all refer to Flannigan as former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen, Harper inferring he was his advisor when he became Prime Minister, he was not.

    • Joanne says:

      Good point Liz!

      • Richco says:

        They do that because on it’s own, Flanagan, is not known at all to the many at all. It’s not news in other words unless they link Harper to it…..THEN it’s news. They’re counting on people who believe the media party to make the leap to this being some sort of Harper conspiracy connection.
        Should be getting used to it by now.
        Actually, even SNN is all over this and did the same thing.

  19. Gabby in QC says:

    Tom Flanagan’s apology does not fix in any way the original comment. We live in a highly judgmental period, with people jumping to conclusions before doing any fact-checking, and whatever fact-checking IS done is not for the purpose of getting at the unvarnished truth but rather to catch one’s adversary.

    If you watched the video at the HuffPost, the question asked of Flanagan was intended as a set-up. Rather than answer that his Nov 2009 was ill-advised and had nothing to do with the issue at hand, i.e. the one being discussed there yesterday (aboriginal issues), he went on to try & explain his libertarian POV on child porn (a totally aberrant POV on freedom of expression, if you ask me — and I admit to being judgmental as well, coming to my conclusion about his comment without hearing Flanagan’s full explanation of what he meant).

    It is surprising that someone as intelligent as Flanagan would not have realized what repercussions his comment would have. Being forced to apologize just gives “more legs” to the comment, so that the media jackals can have something to talk about for days. And thus another conservative voice has been silenced.

    As to your question about what “the statute of limitations is on ex-strategists and their behaviour vis-a-vis former relationships with politicians” perhaps two seemingly contradictory biblical verses apply [from Wiki.answers.com]:
    • Deuteronomy 24:16 (New International Version)
    “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.”
    versus
    • Exodus 20:5 (New International Version)
    “… for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me “

    • Richco says:

      Well said Gabby.

    • Joanne says:

      Interesting analysis, Gabby. I suspect (or at least hope that) Flanagan was speaking hypothetically but it did look indeed like a setup to a ‘gotcha’ moment. In any case it was a stupid thing to say at the very least, and if he really meant it then it is horrific.

      I like your first Bible verse better. ;)

  20. Martin says:

    The NDP defection is a shocker and not at all good news for Mulcair. It suggests that the BQ or a similar party is not completely dead. It also puts some doubt on the notion that Liberals under Trudeau Jr. would sweep a lot of Quebec seats. The Liberal position on the Quebec question is obviously more pro-federalist than many current NDPers, would be willing to support.
    Of course anglos outside the province, me included have very little insight into what is really happening there. We need some comment from our friends on the ground there.

    • Richco says:

      I’m not surprised actually. We all knew that the NDPQ was a holding tank of sorts for PQ members jumping on a Layton bandwagon. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the defections from the NDP.

      Trudeau just may be the reason why too Martin.

      • Gabby in QC says:

        In a lighter vein … I don’t know if it’s been used before in QP but the NDP today was referred to as “the NDPQ” by the Conservatives. Wasn’t “the NDPQ” a BLY commenter’s invention? So some MPs do read some blogs, eh?

        • Joanne says:

          Well I just did a quick search and it seems the Mary T first used that phrase here in 2011.

          • Gabby in QC says:

            Aha! So Pierre Poilievre, whose quick-witted responses to the histrionics of Charlie Angus and Alexandre Boulerice are getting better & better, could be reading this blog, since he’s the one who used “NDPQ” today.

            While he’s at it, maybe Mr. Poilievre could remind viewers of QP how much Charlie Angus cost the taxpayer from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012: $464,939.77.
            Info from http://parl.gc.ca/PublicDisclosure/Html/2011-2012/MemberExpendituresReport_All-e.pdf. I assume that sum does not include his own MP basic salary ($157,000 ?) + whatever extra stipend Charlie Angus receives for sitting on parliamentary committees.

            If Mr. Angus is truly so incensed about Sen. Duffy’s housing allowance — which, if he is not entitled to receive he should certainly return with interest — then maybe he could look at his own expenses and maybe trim a few dollars from his own claims, eh? What do you say, Mr. Angus? Or is your beef only a tactic against anyone associated with the government?

            • fh says:

              great link Gabby

            • Joanne says:

              That’s an interesting link. Charlie Angus’ expenses do seem quite a bit higher than most of the others.

              • Liz J says:

                Maybe Charlie’s higher expenses are due to extra flights to Attawapiskat he’s become so possessed with since the Conservatives have been in power.
                Poor fella, he’s soooo worried, I’m sure he has trouble sleeping.

                If he had any intent on helping the Indians in that place he should go have a chat with fish broth drama queen Theresa and her financial manager.

      • Martin says:

        Which begs the question, why did Mulcair allow discussion of the Clarity Act and the NDP pmb to come forward at this time?

        If Liberals under Trudeau have such appeal in Quebec, shouldn’t some of these NDP defections be going their way? Some of his supporters should ask this question.

        • Richco says:

          Not it they leaned the PQs way in the first place and rode the Layton Orange Crush to get elected, only to switch back.

  21. ed says:

    Anyone or party that gives Quebec more and more power or supports that view will gain the vote. It’s becoming more difficult for the English to remain in Quebec. The language police have been in the news daily about complaints of an English word here or there. Of course, forcing the English to leave is just what they want. Then they can have their referendum and win it easily. More and more, I’m afraid it’s going to happen. Every time the language police are in the news a few more English decide to move out. On the other hand, it could very well be in the best interests of Canada.

    • Joanne says:

      What about immigrants? Do they assimilate into the Quebec culture and learn the language? Just curious.

      • Liz J says:

        It would be interesting to know just how many immigrants who come through Quebec’s own immigration system actually stay in Quebec.

        If they don’t want to assimilate there’s nothing stopping them from going anywhere else in Canada they choose.

  22. Richco says:

    I like Brad Wall more and more every day.

  23. Liz J says:

    The media continues today with headlines referring to Flannigan as “Ex-Adviser” to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. This is not accurate, he never served as his adviser since he became PM, it serves their agenda to drag the PM into it.

  24. Richco says:

    O/T – Warning – Ontario Politics. Blizzard nails it on this latest example of pure stupidity. http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2013/02/20130228-174421.html

  25. Martin says:

    On the Flanagan story, the worst attempt to link PMSH to this was made by NDP er Robert Chisholm, on CTV Power Play MP pannel. He tried to claim that the story showed Harper’s “poor judgement” One could say the same for CBC where Flanagan has been employed for some time.
    Later on the show Jeffrey Simpson, of all people, pointed out that Flanagan had not been associated with Harper for about 7 years, and that they had actually fallen out
    This surprised me, and one should credit a journalist when they do make an honest effort to set the record straight.

    • Joanne says:

      one should credit a journalist when they do make an honest effort to set the record straight.

      Absolutely – and good for Simpson.

      • Richco says:

        Agree. Although look how much of our time right here is spent on that attention gained by the journalists we don’t like or who stretch the truth, compared to the times we discuss the stories and efforts of those journalists who do truthful work.

        We’re as easily sucked in as the rest IMO.

        • Gabby in QC says:

          “… look how much of our time right here is spent on that attention gained by the journalists we don’t like or who stretch the truth …”
          Maybe because they’re in the majority?
          Also, isn’t that what “discussion” means, i.e. exchanging different POVs? If every commenter agreed with either a journalist or other commenters, we might as well all adopt “Bobble Head” as our monikers.

          If a journalist’s article is filled with inaccuracies, that should be pointed out, IMO — with supporting documentation if possible. Of course, it should go without saying, all differences of opinion, be they with other commenters or with journalists, should be expressed civilly.

          • Richco says:

            “Maybe because they’re in the majority?”
            Could be.
            If they’re in the majority and they’re still in business it tells me that they’re giving people what they want.
            If inaccuracies sell, and prompt those discussions, viewership, and readership then the fable writers have no impetus to stop what they’re doing.
            Terrific to point out inaccuracies but in doing so we become the readership and viewership for whoever wrote or said the inaccuracy. Ratings and sales figures don’t discriminate between those who read and believe the inaccuracies and those who point them out. We all come to that table.

    • Liz J says:

      Perhaps some of the journos are beginning to realize they need to tell the truth, not skew the messages to manipulate opinion if they want to save their own credibility. More and more people are paying attention to this stuff, and blogs are playing a big part in it.

      • Fay says:

        I watched this exchange yesterday between Oliver, Martin, Simpson and also credit Jeff Simpson. Simpson has come out in this governments defence before when debating Craig Oliver on Power play. Craig Oliver on the other hand happily bashes all decisions made by Stephen Harper.

      • Richco says:

        It’s nice to think that that might happen but journos. are all about readership, viewership, ratings and an audience. When the choice of many is to simply not give them what keeps them going then not much will change.

        It’s not right but it is what it is.

    • Joanne says:

      Regarding the attempt to link Flanagan to PMSH check out this tweet:
      https://twitter.com/derekvanstone/status/307194505558360064

      Sweet!

  26. Joanne says:

    I’m occupied with babysitting today but check out the idlenomore hashtag on Twitter. They are taking credit for the Flanagan situation. It looks like it was a gotcha trap and Tom fell right in.

    • Jen says:

      The Trudeau effect

      By Terry Glavin, Ottawa Citizen February 28, 2013

      After allowing its leadership race to degenerate into a sort of cross between a beauty contest and a reality television show, Canada’s very own Liberal Party, for instance, is on the verge of handing its crown to someone it would not be entirely wrong to call a largely talentless and insufferably foppish celebrity drama queen.

      Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Trudeau+effect/8030922/story.html

  27. Jen says:

    And, take a look at BC BLUE blogsite. ‘who is intefering in canada’s business’ (my words)

  28. Liz J says:

    Wonder if Mulcair is a tad nervous after one of his MP’s deserted him.
    Maybe we’ll see a few more who don’t feel comfortable in the NDPQ and will go for the real thing. Tom may be in for an interesting time with his merry band of PQ’ers, some of them got elected even though the voters didn’t know them.

  29. fh says:

    Jo turn off the TV, turn off the computer, enjoy this precious time with your grand children. I am jealous I have no grand children.
    Weather permitting enjoy the outdoor activities.
    The world through the eyes of children is wonderful.

    • Joanne says:

      I only have the one, but he is a joy. He had fun sliding down the little hill in our backyard this morning. Nap time soon.

  30. fh says:

    our Canadian laws protect the rights of Canadians
    Do we have laws protecting the rights of Children?
    What is the age of consent?
    Child pornography is a criminal offence. It is not NOT artistic no matter what any ANY Judge may have ruled.
    A person who takes pleasure in the pictures is aiding and abetting this crime.
    IMHO

    • Joanne says:

      Haven’t had a chance to read either Bears rant or this one by Jonathan Kay yet but looks interesting.

      • Gabby in QC says:

        Better be prepared … you’ll get growls if you disagree or put forward a different POV.

        • Joanne says:

          Yeah it’s a difficult topic to debate. However, I think Flanagan should have to chance to completely explain his side of the story.

          As Jon Kay says, “That’s the very least that every single one of us would ask for in similar circumstances, as we watched our whole life’s work hang in the balance.”

          • Richco says:

            I like Jon Kay’s article way better than the Bear’s Rant offering.

            I find Bear’s Rant almost TOO much of a rant 24/7….nope. Posts are much too long and tend to ramble. Another perspective just the same I guess.

    • fh says:

      warning on Bearsrant opens with music video bottom right just seek it out and turn off if you are agitated by it it is a bit off putting if you are not prepared

    • fh says:

      I found Bear to be right on the money it is mostly about our freedom of speech

  31. fh says:

    O/T common sense approach to Obamacare but could be important for us in Canada
    worth the time if you have time to watch and listen
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB-DoTovS20
    Dr Ben Carson paediatric neurosurgeon

  32. Richco says:

    O/T – Martin – you’ll be happy to know that there’s been an anti-wind turbine protest going on in my town today at the courthouse. A trial’s just wrapping up, that I can link to once it wraps for the day. Momentarily.

  33. ed says:

    “What about immigrants? Do they assimilate into the Quebec culture and learn the language? Just curious.”

    Joanne, yes they do. They have to go to French schools. They need French to get jobs. They have no choice. Many of the recent immigrants to Quebec come from French speaking parts of the world. It’s easier for them to fit in. Yet, recently, I believe I heard that the Quebec government is concerned by the number of immigrants that are leaving the province for other parts of Canada. Liz J, that’s all I know. So it appears the scenario is Quebec determining the type of immigrants they want and then seeing them leave for other parts of the country. That certainly poses a potential problem for those other provinces and territories who have their own set of preferences. BTW, anyone coming to Quebec from elsewhere, including the ROC, must go to French schools period. I believe there may be rare exceptions for those here temporary or have been able to override the restrictions but they are few and far between.

    • Joanne says:

      I would like then that if Quebec were a separate country it would end up being a very tiny one population-wise.

      • Liz J says:

        I agree and if it continues on the path it is it would be tiny, and isolated. It is not a welcoming or comfortable place for English speaking Canadians. Even though they are a perpetually have-not province rich in resources we prop them up through equalization for which they show no shame or appreciation.

        • Joanne says:

          I actually meant to say “I would assume then” rather than “like” but I guess they both work. Freudian slip perhaps? ;)

          In any case I have no patience for the separatists anymore. None.

  34. ed says:

    To the rest of Canada:

    Language issues are the main stories on CTV Montreal News at 6PM, March 1st/2013:

    http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?binId=1.815291

    or, if you’re not able to get the video, go here:

    http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/

    Gives you a good idea what’s been happening here.

  35. fh says:

    I have never been able to understand Quebec
    the world has many languages Switzerland is a country of many cantons and languages
    http://www.about.ch/cantons/index.html
    the Swiss have their problems but they do not want to break up their Country and they accept doing business using English as the universal language
    this does not mean that English is better but it is universal
    Quebec is doing irreparable harm to their citizenry by refusing to allow the schools to teach English
    IMHO
    http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/5831/why-did-english-become-a-universal-language-and-when

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