Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bhutto Killed Because of CIA Comments???

A thank you goes out to my friend on the West Coast for this little gem. Conspiracy theories are abundant. Here's another bunch of interesting facts.

"Al-Qaida" is already being blamed for Bhutto's assassination.

Watch this video with Sir David Frost, Benazir Bhutto reveals that Omar Sheik, the former MI6 agent now in a Pakistani prison killed Osama bin Ladin. She makes the revelation in an off-hand remark at about 6m12s and thereafter into the interview.

Is this why she was killed? Because she exposed the CIA fairytale of Osama Bin Ladin's videos and attributed quotes.

Further down the rabbit hole :
Retired Brigadier supervising Benazir's security was Osama's handler, says expert

Friday October 19, 04:54 PM

Chennai, Oct.19 (ANI): The retired brigadier who was given the responsibility of securing former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's car journey through Karachi on Thursday, used to be the handling officer of Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Mulla Omar when he was attached with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Disclosing this information in an article for the rediff website, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, B.Raman says that Brigadier (retired) Ejaz Shah, whose resignation is being demanded by Benazir Bhutto, is a close confidante of President General Pervez Musharraf.

Raman says that after Musharraf seized power on October 12, 1999, he had Shah posted as the Home Secretary of Punjab. He also says that Omar Sheikh, who orchestrated the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, surrendered before Shah because Omar Sheikh knew him before and was confident that Ejaz Shah would see that he was not tortured.

So close are the links between Shah and Musharraf that when several allegations were filed against him, Musharraf sought to send him as Ambassador to Australia or Indonesia. Both countries reportedly refused to accept him. Musharraf then made him the Director General of the Intelligence Bureau and he saw to it that the death sentence against Omar Sheikh for his role in the Pearl case was not executed.

The courts have been repeatedly postponing hearings on the appeal filed by Omar Sheikh against the death sentence.

Shah, according to Raman, also played an active role in the campaign to discredit Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Caudhury after he started calling for the files of a large number of missing persons who were taken into custody by the police and the intelligence agencies.

Shah is also a close personal friend of many Punjabi leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid), which is opposed to Benazir's return.

According to these sources, the suicide bomber or bombers managed to penetrate the security cordon of the police and IB officers without being frisked, but could not penetrate the inner cordon of security guards of the PPP. When stopped on Thursday night, they blew themselves up at a distance from her vehicle. At the time of the
explosion, Bhutto had gone inside the vehicle to rest for a while. This seems to have contributed to her miraculous escape. Had she been standing on top she might have been injured, if not killed? (ANI)

>> ********************************
The rabbit hole deepens...... Bhutto fingered as Bin Laden's executor Omar Sheikh, who had given himself up to Shah, who was in charge of her security at the time she was killed and who had been Osama bin Laden's handler. Hmm! I guess Shah (amongst others) was feeling the icy cold breeze of being exposed and arrested if Bhutto became Prime Minister.

Letters For David Orchard

The momentum continues. I can't tell you just how overwhelmingly positive the response has been for my friend David Orchard's campaign. Lots and lots of letters and emails. Here's another letter from the left coast.

December 29, 2007

Dear Mr. Dion,

I am writing to you regarding the recent press reports regarding the candidacy for the Liberal Party of Canada of David Orchard in Saskatchewan. It is true one cannot always believe what is written in the press but if there is any truth to the report that you are possibly thinking of appointing a provincial NDP woman to run in his desired riding I wish to comment.

I was your very enthusiastic delegate from Victoria a year ago at the leadership convention. During that time I stayed at the apartment hotel in Montreal along with about 150 of your delegates who were inspired by David Orchard. His brother Grant had looked after all the bookings for us. Each day in the morning and evening David Orchard would invite us to gather and discuss how we could best get you elected. He was/is without doubt one of your greatest advocates and supporters. He is also a very proud, committed and loyal Canadian, deeply concerned about the environment as well as the country. It is for this reason that I am shocked to think you would consider replacing him as candidate. I realize that one must remain open to running a " winnable" candidate in a riding but this is certainly not the case with David Orchard. He is well known and respected and has a long and admirable history in this Saskatchewan riding. Somewhere in this picture there must be a place for loyalty. Mr. Orchard has demonstrated great loyalty to you Mr. Dion and I am encouraging you to return that to him as well. Without his 150 delegates it is very possible that you would not be leader to-day.

I have been acquainted with David Orchard for several years now and know of no greater Canadian. He deserves a seat in the House of Commons and will be an outstanding member of parliament for Canada and in Saskatchewan. I encourage you to offer him your full support on getting there.

I look forward to working hard in the next election to ensure that you become our next prime minister. My comments are written in the utmost concern and with great respect. Wishing you and your family a very happy and successful year in 2008.

Most Sincerely,
Patricia Houston
Victoria B.C.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Prince Albert Mayor writes for David Orchard

The former Mayor of Prince Albert (3 times a PM has been elected from that riding, Laurier, Mackenzie King and Dief) has written to Ottawa in regards to the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River nomination. I enclose it for you to absorb.

December 27, 2007

M. Stephane Dion
Leader of the Opposition
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Sir,

It was with utter amazement that I read the story in the Globe and Mail on December 19, 2007. It had been said that there are some Liberals in this province that put self interest and the maintenance of personal influence ahead winning seats for the Liberal party. Please examine over the years the success of those in this Province who claim control over the Liberal Party apparatus in expanding the fortunes of the Liberal Party. There is a reason that those who exercise this control have been so singularly unsuccessful in enhancing the success of the Liberal Party in this province. Even when we have successful candidates their tenure is short lived. Self interest has been served well and the level of success achieved is by design.

I will assume that the matter of the appointment has been put to rest. I understand now that the Saskatchewan election committee is trying to circumvent the fair use of the rules by declaring an electoral emergency and having the nomination pushed forward. It has been related to me that, Mr. Dorion, the candidate in opposition to Mr. Orchard, has gone on Holidays to California declaring to some that “I (Mr. Dorion) have it in the bag”. The same forces that pushed for the appointment are pushing for an early nomination.

How possibly could certain Liberals in Saskatchewan convince the National elected people that this would be good for the party? Early nomination meetings have their place when an election is commenced and a candidate has not been nominated in a timely fashion. Early nominations should not be made to circumvent a proper nomination so that the powers that be in Saskatchewan can pick their candidate, especially one with doubtful electoral expectations, so they can maintain their power. This will lead to a huge demoralization of workers and supporters in a general election who support Mr. Orchard. The divisions caused by the sneakily manipulated nomination meeting will ensure electoral defeat. Those who are pushing for this eleventh hour change to the nomination would know that. This only serves the interest of those who cling to personal power ahead of service to people. This type of manipulation has been played over and over again in this riding by these same power brokers because the riding is winnable. The manipulation has been designed to create divisions and to keep our candidates weak or defeated. The history should be examined and the involvement of those to the south of here in the destruction is demonstrable. Someone has to bring it to an end. I told Mr. Orchard what would happen and he didn’t believe me. He believes me now. It is my hope that it will not take a defeat in a general election in this riding to convince you. Let the nomination run its course at the end of January 2008. The nomination will be when you want it to be. Two candidates working the North for an extra month will enhance the visibility of the party.

At the start of the candidacy of Mr. Orchard, it was felt by many that he was too far behind to be successful and the other candidate seeking the nomination was supported by the power brokers. The people in many places in the North and Rural communities have rallied behind Mr. Orchard and I would imagine the urgency and desperation of those opposing his candidacy have spectacularly increased in recent weeks in proportion to Mr. Orchard’s success. When this success became apparent the other candidate for the nomination was dropped like a hot potato and the appointment push began in earnest. Then when reports must have come back that indicated the falsity of what was being conveyed to you, namely that Mr. Orchard supported the appointment and so did the riding, then the backup plan for the early nomination was thrust upon Mr. Orchard.

The optics of this are terrible. It makes it appear that the National party and its representatives have capitulated to regional power brokers. What confidence does this give to Canadians that we have the strength to run the country again when we give in to the pouting of some who see their influence slipping away? It appears weak. It also appears disloyal. People will naturally ask themselves why they would put a big effort in when those efforts are so easily brushed aside. Regrettably, in politics, the ideals are often subservient to personal treatment.

I have represented large portions of this riding in 1993-1997 and was Mayor of Prince Albert for five years before that. I currently practice law in the City of Prince Albert . I understand the dynamics of the riding and the candidate picked by power players will not win the seat even if he wins the nomination fairly. If the nomination is stolen for him, he will lose even more handily. Someone must bring an end to the very destructive cycle initiated by those to the south of here. They have no business sticking their noses in the riding. If the riding is lost, of course those from the south will accept no responsibility but will blame others for yet another fiasco which was orchestrated by themselves.

We must see through the manipulations and see clearly the “real politick” behind the color and light of the push for the early nomination. I am personally very upset by this turn of events. I will tell you right now that if this early nomination is held we will win one seat in this province. If Mr. Orchard runs we will have our best chance at two. And two seats give us all more choices. And choices are good things.

There is no need for a response and I will observe the outcome with interest.

Best wishes,

Gordon Kirkby

Thursday, December 27, 2007

4 Dead at Nawal Sharif's Rally

Violence persisted in Pakistan today. Assassinated candidate Benazir Bhutto's rival, Nawal Sharif held a rally today that ended with gunfire. Reports say that even the police withdrew from the area as the gunfire lasted for over 30 minutes. Amazingly, only four have been reported dead.

Unfortunately I think this is merely the beginning.

Bhutto Dies

When Benazir Bhutto arrived back in Pakistan, I suspected hundreds, even thousands, would die due to politically motivated acts of violence. I also felt that sooner or later Ms. Bhutto would flee the country again for her own safety.

I didn't really ever think the end result would be her death.

Metis for David Orchard

If you were wondering just how much support David Orchard has from the aboriginal leaders in his bid to run as a candidate in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, I've decided to post an open letter to Stephane Dion.

I'm again asking for more support from all of you out there that stop by this little ole blog to help in our larger-by-the-day Liberals for David Orchard campign. Write a letter, send an email, join his facebook group.

December 23, 2007

The Hon. Stéphane Dion
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada
Liberal Party of Canada
81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6M8

Dear Stéphane Dion,

I write to you with a heavy heart and mixed emotions today. Perhaps it is best to begin with an introduction.

My name is Jim Durocher, although often people call me simply Jimmy D.

I’ve been involved in the Métis movement in Saskatchewan for almost thirty years. I twice served as an executive member of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan and for eight years as its president. I’m a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and a life long active Liberal. I am proud of my record on both fronts.

In 1983, I stood as the federal Liberal candidate in Battlefords-Meadow Lake and as the provincial Liberal candidate in 1985. I currently serve as CEO of Saskatchewan Native Rentals, the largest Aboriginal property management company in the province.

My partner, Wanda McCaslin, is a legal research officer at the Native Law Centre of Canada and among other things editor of Justice As Healing, Indigenous Ways; Writings on Community Peace Making and Restorative Justice.

I was born and raised in northern Saskatchewan and know the area like the back of my hand, which brings me to the purpose of my letter to you.

I’m appalled — and there is no other expression I can use — at what I observe unfolding in my beloved northern homeland of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River.

By way of background, the North has been for decades on the receiving end of colonial attitudes and unforgiveable arrogance coming from the south and centre of our country. In my life I have seen many examples. We have had candidates selected and foisted upon the riding. We have had nomination meetings held outside the riding itself. I could go on, but I’m sure you are an intelligent man and understand something of colonialism and racism.

The central point is that the people of this riding resent, and I personally resent mightily, the attitude of certain southerners that they know what’s best for our riding.

I’ve followed with keen interest the race unfolding for Gary Merasty’s old seat for several months. In fact, this year I was asked to chair our major, annual Remembrance Day celebration held in Ile-a-laCrosse on November 11th. During the social event afterwards, I introduced the two candidates running for the Liberal nomination, John Dorion and David Orchard. I also chaired a Métis veterans’ event in Prince Albert about a month ago which featured David Orchard as a guest speaker. I observed the reaction to his presentation and afterwards interviewed him in my office.

I have noted with interest the number of memberships being sold in the party and the grassroots’ interest being kindled, not to mention that being expressed by chiefs, mayors and residents alike. Significantly, the vast majority of these memberships appear to be purchased by Métis and First Nations people. One can almost start to feel a rebirth stirring in the Liberal party in Saskatchewan and, heaven knows, it is long overdue.

So, I was stunned to read in my local paper that all of this is about to be shoved aside in Desnethé and a candidate imposed by the elite powerbrokers of our party.

To say that I am angry is an understatement, to say I am insulted conveys only a part of what I wish to say.

My people know in their bones about colonialism and I believe that you as a French-Canadian Québecer should be able to understand something of that.

I really do object to the idea that Ralph Goodale, sitting in Regina, can attempt to impose a sitting NDP MLA on our riding and expect the people to swallow that and play along.

There is an Indian Affairs mindset and this is it to the core, the old Indian Agent mentality we all know too much about. The idea that “we” know better than “you,” the people, what is good for you. It would be too much to expect those poor people who shelled out their precious $25 to join the Liberal party to be able to select their candidate. Mr. Goodale will choose one for us.

Let me tell you something bluntly. If you impose Joan Beatty, the Liberals will lose this riding. How do you think Ms. Beatty will be able to draw votes from the roughly 50% of the voting population that inhabits the white farm belt? How do you expect her to fare on the west side of the riding?

If I may ask, who exactly is it that you get your information about our riding from? This is a riding that is winnable by the Liberal party. It cannot be won by imposing a candidate in the middle of a functioning democratic process. The resulting controversy will blow her right out of the race and hand the riding to Mr. Harper.

If the democratic process is short circuited — and for no good reason other than the ambition of one provincial politician — then I can assure you that our people will stay home, they will give up on the hopeful process we have watched unfold here in the past months. They will simply not show up to vote.

Last time the riding was won by Gary Merasty by 67 votes and this with an all out united effort by the Métis and First Nations alike. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that many constituents were not happy that all their effort ended up for nought after a few short months when Gary Merasty stepped down to take a job in the corporate sector. Our riding for many years has not had a strong voice helping us deal with the overwhelming array of issues our people face every day.

If this travesty occurs in Desnethé, if you, Sir, lose sight of the basic proposition that the people of the north, be they my people, white, or First Nation, have the basic right to select their own candidate, unless some emergency, I personally will not vote Liberal. For those who know my history that is a significant statement. I suspect many others will in fact vote Conservative or stay home.

If you allow yourself to be led around by politicians with their own axes to grind, you will, I believe, live to regret it profoundly. I suspect how you handle this situation could have a major influence on your leadership, your career and the future of our party.

I urge you to recall words you yourself have been quoted as uttering about integrity, about citizens’ rights, about respect for our democratic processes and institutions and then act accordingly.

I strongly believe heads should roll in your inner circle over this, but I am writing in the hope that we don’t have to lose this seat for you to find that out.

In closing, may I say that I regret this letter and I regret the necessity for it.

I would appreciate an early reply.

I am, sincerely yours,

Jim Durocher (Jimmy D.)
CEO Saskatchewan Native Rentals
1940 Ave C North
Saskatoon, SK
S7L 1M1
Tel 306-653-0384 (Office)
Cell 306-222-4144

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bad News for Niagara NDPers

One of Niagara's favourite daughters has been named Deputy Leader of the Provincial Green Party. Miss Mullen gained the Greenies 11.4% of the vote here in Niagara during the recent provincial election, eclipsing the NDP candidate by more than 2000 votes.

With Miss Mullen's new appointment, the NDP will be hard-pressed to find a candidate to battle her here for third place. Mullen hasn't decided if she'll run in the next federal election. The NDP certainly hopes not.

Melanie recently attended the environmental conference in Bali where Conswervative Minister John Baird embarrassed our country like no other ever has.

David Orchard for Liberal MP

With the call of four by-elections by the soon-to-be ex-PM Stephen Harper, we need to face the reality that David Orchard is our best hope to win Gary Merasty's seat in the House back for the Liberals.

Call the nomination Sask Liberal Party. Call it today. I'm betting Ms. Beatty wouldn't dare enter the race at this late stage. We need organized, seasoned veterans ready to fight in the trenches. David Orchard is that person.

Friday, December 21, 2007

David Orchard - From the Outside In

Having been a part of Dion's delegate accumulation during his leadership bid, I can attest to the fact that David Orchard can mobilize the troops better than anyone. Here's a nice little reflection on David.


Orchard's strategic influence

Randy Burton
The StarPhoenix

Thursday, December 07, 2006

If delivering support to the winning candidate means anything in politics, then David Orchard's star must surely be on the rise in the Liberal party.

The longtime critic of free trade, two-time candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party and new Liberal can be credited for playing a significant role in Stephane Dion's rise to the Liberal leadership.

Exact totals are unclear at the moment, but Orchard's organization managed to deliver close to 150 delegate votes at the Montreal convention -- 32 of which came from Saskatchewan.

In fact, every Dion delegate from Saskatchewan but one was part of the Orchard camp.

Some were prior Liberals, but many were personal supporters of Orchard from past campaigns. The Orchard camp helped many of them raise the money to go and most of them stayed together at the same hotel, where they had booked a block of rooms.

If Dion was the outsider from within the Liberal establishment, then it seems somehow fitting he should have the support of a consummate outsider like Orchard.

Their partnership could not have been more successful. As the record shows, Dion garnered 854 votes on the first ballot, beating out rival Gerard Kennedy by just two votes on the first ballot. As a result of their prior agreement, Kennedy wound up throwing his support to Dion, which sealed his win. Had the first ballot gone the other way, Kennedy might be the leader today.

There were many reasons why Dion won, but he obviously would not have had the horses to overtake Kennedy without Orchard's support.

Once again, the man many dismiss as a political gadfly has proven it's a mistake to underestimate his influence.

Through organizations dating back to the mid-1980s, from the free trade wars to two runs for the Progressive Conservative leadership, Orchard has built a huge list of contacts. His chief organizer, Marjaleena Repo, estimates they now have some 39,000 names in their databank.

There may have been other people supporting Dion with this kind of reach, but certainly no one who reaches the variety of people who tend to support Orchard. Some are environmentalists seeking pesticide bans; others want to promote organic farming and the Canadian Wheat Board. Still others believe Canadian foreign policy is tilted too far in favour of Israel.

What they have in common is that they see Orchard as a means of empowering ordinary people. In an era where party affiliation means little, Orchard has managed to construct a portable power base that has now influenced the outcome of three different national leadership campaigns.

This turn of events raises some very interesting questions about Orchard's future. There's no doubt he intends to remain active in Liberal politics, and there are a number of issues he intends to press.

The Canadian Wheat Board issue is one of those, as is tighter controls on pesticides and the ongoing problem of low farm income. At the convention, Orchard was rubbing shoulders with former agriculture minister Eugene Whelan, and he's now in conversation with John Turner's former ag minister, Ralph Ferguson, who wants his help on farm policy issues.

If Dion should eventually become prime minister -- and every elected Liberal leader since 1896 has -- Orchard will be well-positioned to play a role in a Liberal government.

How intoxicating the prospect must seem for him. The perpetual outsider who had so much diffi culty gaining the respect of the Progressive Conservative hierarchy now fi nds his opinion sought out by players in the Liberal party.

Should he decide to run for the Liberals and actually win a seat, he might even have a shot at a cabinet post.

Many will blanch at this prospect, but stranger things have happened.

Orchard is noncommittal at this point, but admits he's considering running.

In an interview this week, he said he has had invitations to run for the Liberals in a variety of ridings across the country.

"I have to take a look at all of them and decide where to go," he said.

However, his farm and his history are in Saskatoon Wanuskewin, where he recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of his family's farm.

Wanuskewin remains firmly in the grip of Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, but Orchard is clearly tempted by the prospect of running against him.

Whether it's the Conservatives' efforts to undermine the wheat board, or Vellacott's "whole-hearted support for the bombing of Lebanon," Orchard says his current MP leaves plenty to be desired.

As other high-profile candidates such as Chris Axworthy have learned, Vellacott is not easy to beat. But there's a certain symmetry to the idea. Who better to take on the ideologically driven Vellacott than the equally hard-nosed Orchard? It would pit Vellacott's disciplined group of evangelicals and pro-lifers against Orchard's coalition of greens, anti-free traders and social democrats.

In many ways it would be a microcosm of the national campaign, right here on our own doorstep.

You could sell tickets to a contest like that.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My David Orchard Line in the Sand

Let me get this straight. Ralph Goodale - who I happen to like a great deal - doesn't want a proven grassroots organizer that could put us on the map in western Canada to run for the Liberal Party of Canada. In addition, he asks Senator Smith for support on the notion.

The same Senator Smith that lead the Liberal Party to three consecutive majority governments, including an almost perfect victory in Ontario once. Surely David Smith fully understands the importance of grassroots campaigns and how profitable they can be to a party.

My memory doesn't fail me often but, until Gary Merasty, wasn't Ralphie a one hit wonder in Sask? The Liberals are good for one whole seat in the province. And it's been that way forever in that province.

In David we have a grassroots, environmentally and aboriginal friendly, money-raising, people-organizing machine. Imagine what he can do for us in Western Canada. he's already won 1.5 leadership contests federally. Just maybe he can be a huge catalyst for Liberal membership in those western provinces.

Here's another article in today's paper.

David Orchard, Dion's dilemma

Randy Burton
The StarPhoenix

Thursday, December 20, 2007

After three federal leadership races, you would think the federal political structure would begin to get the idea.

When you sign on with David Orchard, you're not forming a partnership with a guy who is prepared to lie down and be run over if the leader thinks it advisable.

What you get is a practised grassroots politician with a flair for organization. You also get a committed activist who expects to be treated with some respect for his abilities. It sounds simple enough, but for some reason, this equation does not seem to compute easily in Ottawa.

The scene now unfolding in Liberal circles bears all the hallmarks of a movie Orchard has seen before. The script goes something like this:

Ambitious politician seeking his party's leadership sees an opportunity for a come-from-behind victory by running a low-cost, network-heavy campaign. In order to succeed, he enlists the help of a nationally known political maverick long on principles but short on compromise. After achieving an unlikely victory with the maverick's help, the candidate turns his back on his unlikely helpmate, freezing him out of the inner circle he yearns for.

If this sounds familiar it should. Orchard played the maverick's role opposite Peter MacKay in the old Progressive Conservative party and he seems to be repeating the role in Stephane Dion's Liberal party.

This is what's happening.

For the past six weeks, Orchard has been campaigning for the Liberal nomination in the northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, which was vacated by former Liberal MP Gary Merasty last September. Unless a general election is called first, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call a byelection for Churchill River within the next couple of months.

With his typical work ethic, Orchard has already sold hundreds of Liberal memberships at $25 apiece, no small feat in the poorest federal riding in the province. However, it may all be for naught.

Anxious to increase the number of women running for the Liberals in the next federal election, Dion is considering appointing former provincial NDP cabinet minister Joan Beatty to be the party's candidate in the northern riding.

So far, she hasn't said anything about this one way or the other beyond the fact that both the NDP and the Liberals want her as a candidate. I suppose it would be hopelessly old-fashioned to suggest she has an obligation to the voters who just re-elected her to the legislature, but that's another issue.

However, it's pretty clear that unless she's appointed, she doesn't have a snowball's chance in Phoenix of becoming the Liberal candidate in northern Saskatchewan.

That's not to say Orchard would be the obvious winner of a contested nomination, given that he would first have to get by local consultant and educator John Dorion. But there is no doubt he would have an insurmountable head start over Beatty should she choose to run.

What's particularly interesting about this is that the only reason Beatty is a consideration is because Saskatchewan Liberal heavyweight Ralph Goodale does not want Orchard as a candidate. He is also said to have made this crystal clear to Liberal campaign co-chair David Smith, a senator from Toronto.

Exactly why remains a mystery.

It may be that Goodale doesn't want the Liberal brand to be confused with Orchards' long-standing concerns about free trade and what that might do to the Liberals' chances with the business community. It may be that Orchard represents something of a wild card in terms of public messaging. Not all of his issues are necessarily Liberal issues, and he is unlikely to express his views in Goodale's trademark opaque manner. It may also be that Goodale doesn't want to be supplanted as the province's most influential Liberal should Orchard wind up getting elected to Parliament.

Whatever the reason, this turn of events puts Dion in a bit of a pickle, given that neither of his options are particularly attractive. He can accede to the demands of his parliamentary House leader and short-circuit Orchard's run for the nomination. But to do so would be to poke a stick in the eye of the man who played a crucial role in his successful run for the leadership last year. It's clear that without the 150 delegates Orchard delivered, Dion could not have won.

If he cared about that, Dion would stay strictly out of the nomination and let the chips fall where they may. But if he does, he runs the risk of alienating Goodale, the only Liberal MP in Saskatchewan who actually has a winning record.

The ultimate choice he makes will say a lot about whether Dion represents generational change in the Liberals or merely new management.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What on God's Green Earth!!! Is this a Joke???

Imagine my total disbelief when I read this article this evening. As many, many of you know, I am a very strong supporter of Mr. David Orchard. I'm also a very strong supporter of seeing David get to Ottawa as a Liberal MP.

To that end, this blog will become an unofficial campaign blog for Mr. Orchard's nomination campaign...and there better be a campaign dammit. Peter MacKay screwed David Orchard, and I'll be damned if it happens to him in our party.

So, let the games begin shall we.

Here is a letter from a new member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He joined because he believes in Mr. Orchard. Understandable.

Following is a letter sent from a well-known member of the Canoe Lake First Nations (and well-known family in the North), and supporter of David's candidacy in the riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River. He sent this letter which he entitled, "Liberals beware", to the Liberal Party to warn them on hearing that the incomprehensible was about to take place (as you read in this morning's Globe).

Canoe Lake
December 16, 2007

My name is Joseph D. Iron. I live in Canoe Lake with my wife Dianne and family. When I heard that Gary Merasty was stepping down I was worried. It was a very close election last time. Gary won by only 60 some votes, I think, and we don’t like Harper and the Conservatives.

When I heard Dave Orchard was running I felt good. I said I’d help right away. I joined the Liberal party with my wife and two boys. I paid 40 dollars for a family membership. This is the first time I paid for a membership in a political party. It’s the first time I’ll be voting in a federal election.

Each of my girls also paid for their memberships. This is the first time I ever saw that. It’s the first time they took any interest in politics. They did that because Dave is well known and because we know him in the north.

We had a blockade in 1992 when they were clear-cutting our forest. Two hundred police were coming in that time with guns and dogs and everything. The police put a perimeter, a 50 mile radius all around our camp, so nobody could come in to help us. The elders phoned Dave to ask if he would help us. He came up from his farm in his truck and got through 3 police roadblocks to our camp. They arrested 31 of us, my wife and I included, and put us in a bus, handcuffed behind our backs. We were almost all Aboriginal. Dave stood with us. Two of the women arrested were pregnant. Dave told the police to take the handcuffs off at least the pregnant women. In the end, they moved the handcuffs from behind their backs to the front so it was a little less painful. At the police station in Meadow Lake they took all the Aboriginal people off the bus and left Dave alone and handcuffed inside. Then about 8RCMP took out their sticks and went to the bus for Dave. We all thought he was going to get a bad beating but a head RCMP ran out from the office and the police talked a while. Then they just threw Dave into the cells with the rest of us for the night.

The next day they let us out. They later dropped the charges. Dave and his adopted brother Tyrone Tootoosis contacted David Suzuki and the three of them came up in an airplane to support us. There was lots of media there that time. We have the photo of David Suzuki, myself, Dave Orchard, Tyrone Tootoosis, Irene Durocher and others. Quite a few families in Canoe have that photo.

Our elders say that we were right. The courts have now ordered that there is a duty to consult First Nations. We were protecting our forest, our land, our rights and Mother Earth.

My oldest daughter was 17 then, she remembers Dave coming. My other girls were 6, 7 and 9 and my boys 2 and 3, but everyone still talks about that. One of the pregnant women was Irene Durocher. After her baby was born she and her husband Joe named him Tyrone David because of Dave. He is now 15 and his whole family bought memberships to help Dave. The people here still talk about how the RCMP treated Dave that time.

When we heard about two months ago that Dave was running, our community put on a soup and bannock for him and lots of people bought memberships. They paid from their own pocket. Forty dollars for every family is not easy to find on the reserves. Joe Iron Sr. was there. He is about 93. He bought a membership. Leon Iron is about 80. He was the first one at the hall. He was there before Dave got there. He took out his money and bought the first membership.

Now lots of young people want to buy memberships for Dave. Some cannot afford 10 dollars. They are asking if they can put in one or two dollars, as much as they have, and pay more as they get it.

My wife said to me “what other white person would have went to jail with us?”

I saw one of the chiefs from north of Meadow Lake the other day. He gave me forty dollars. He told me to give it to Dave to pay for a membership for him and his family. He is a long time chief, very well liked. He told me “we’re going to send a white guy to Ottawa this time. He knows our issues, he’s a strong voice and he is a fighter.” Several of his councillors bought memberships too. “We like that white boy,” one told me.

On that chief’s reserve they remember that Dave came up over 10 years ago to warn them about the plan to bury American nuclear waste in our territory. Dave came and spoke in their band hall that time. That plan was stopped. And they want to take memberships to help him now.

The other day I heard people saying that some big people in the Liberal party are going to try to stop Dave, that they are going to appoint an NDP woman who I never heard of over top of Dave. We were in a restaurant in Meadow Lake. I said Dion is not stupid. One other guy said, Dion appointed his friend in Montreal and he lost. If they do this and they hurt Dave I won’t bother with the Liberals anymore. I will go with the NDP. And my family too. I think the chiefs will have something to say
about this too. And that is without even talking about democracy.

If the NDP woman wants to run she should sell memberships just like everybody else.

The people bought memberships because we believe in Dave. If they block him I think we will organize for a refund of our money.

But right now, this just makes me want to go out and sell memberships for Dave. Lots of people want to buy them now. We sold 11 memberships this afternoon.

Joseph D. Iron
Dianne Iron

Ignatieff to Fight McGuinty?


It never ceases to amaze me how writers at national newspapers continue to underestimate STEPHANE DION. In this article, Ian Urquhart of The (sun, the moon and the)Star goes above and beyond the realm of fiction.

In real time news today, Dion is set to take on his new job as Prime Minister.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Baird Needs his Head Read?


Does Baird know what he's saying?

The Toronto Star
Tue 18 Dec 2007
Page: AA08
Section: Opinion
Byline: Mark Abley
Source: Special to The Star

Poor John Baird. I know it's getting close to Christmas, when we should all show charity, but perhaps the federal environment minister needs to spend the festive season in a secure psychiatric institution.

I say this because of the radical disconnect between what Baird appears to see and what the rest of the world sees. That kind of disconnect gives psychiatrists a major part of their income.

The minister spent last week in Bali, at the United Nations conference on climate change. Business leaders, diplomats, environmentalists and politicians all knew where Canada stood. Along with Russia and Japan, we lined up behind the U.S. in opposing binding commitments on greenhouse gas emissions for developed nations.

The Americans at least had the lucidity to grasp their own position. Baird, however, seems to believe in calling a spade an important agricultural breakthrough.

Last Thursday, when he addressed the gathering, he declared that "Canada is committed to developing a new international framework, driven by the science." "Let me be clear," he said. "Canada is determined to honour our commitments."

Poor man. Just like someone watching the traffic inch toward the Gardiner and muttering that the zebras are moving at high speed, he uttered words that are wildly at odds with reality. Under the Conservatives, Canada has no intention of honouring the commitment it made when it ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.

The power and pace of climate change are now beyond debate. For Baird to claim that science was shaping Canada's position is on a moral and intellectual par with Japanese whalers announcing that their work is motivated by compassion for humpbacks.

If science were really driving the framework (Baird's incoherent metaphor, not mine), then the 2007 assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would have provided a basis for the final accord. That report made the need for prompt action blindingly clear. But in Bali, the European Union's attempt to establish binding targets for emissions was shot down.

And, in fact, the IPCC report may already be outdated. It predicted that Arctic sea ice would probably vanish by the summers of the late 21st century. A newer report, from scientists at the Naval Postgraduate School in the U.S., suggested this may occur as early as 2013.

While Baird was blathering on ("Canada is committed to the United Nations process and these discussions"), his delegation was fighting hard to keep verifiable targets for developed nations out of the Bali agreement. We won the battle, even if we helped ruin our children's lives.

Emilie Moorhouse, of the Sierra Club of Canada, was in Bali last week. Describing this country's stance in her blog, she used the following adjectives: "extreme ... undiplomatic ... absurd ... disruptive ... ridiculous . .. shameful ... embarrassing."

"Canada is committed to action," said Baird. True, if stalling and polluting can be defined as action.

Or perhaps Baird meant that Canada is committed to sabotage. That was the verdict of Hans Verolme, global climate-change director of the World Wide Fund for Nature. "The U.S. government," Verolme stated, "aided by a small group of nations including Canada and Japan, has ... thrown up several roadblocks in the negotiations."

Of course, it's also possible that Baird isn't mentally ill at all. It's possible the minister was lying through his teeth. But that wouldn't be a charitable thing to say at Christmastime, would it?

Montreal journalist and author Mark Abley appears fortnightly.

markabley @

The Next Niagara Falls MP

Joyce Morocco takes a moment with Stephane Dion and Rev. Marya Buckingham at a breakfast in Niagara Falls.

Joyce Morocco has been selected as the candidate here in Niagara Falls to take on Conswervative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson in the next federal election. Joyce has been a constant community activist for many charitable organizations and, recently, oversaw the building of the new ambulatory care centre at Greater Niagara General Hospital as chair of the GNGH Foundation.

A past city councillor, Joyce is more than ready, willing and able to take on Mr. Nicholson and return Niagara Falls to its favourite Ottawa colour - RED.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Harper Toast in the New Year

Another short session in the House has come to an end. So too has the second year of this Stale Conservative government's mandate. The New Year will spell the end of Harper and his cronies and their lack of governing ability.

It's quite clear that Stevie Harpo has lost his sense of control over all things political. The Mulroney debacle is making life very different for his right honourable dictatorness. And if any of you think this Schreibergate thing isn't going to affect the Conservative Party and that Canadians are tuning out, you'd be sadly mistaken.

Not to mention the fact that this government has done nothing in two years of their mandate to address global warming. Mr. Baird have embarrassed this country beyond belief this week. When has Canada ever been referred to a "minion of the US" in the past?

The end of the month will also mark the beginning of the Liberal climb in the polls.
You see Mr. Harper has to call a by-election (or two, or three, or four) for Toronto Centre. I can assure you Mr. Rae is quite ready to take his spot in the House.

I can also tell you, my friends that the Liberal Party will make up for all that shitty press they received in the Outremont debacle by soundly crushing the NDP and the CONS in Toronto Centre and Willowdale. Harper's only chance to stay in front in the polls would be to have these by-elections occur as part of a general election. If he can't achieve that, the Liberals ride sweet, huge victories into a general election.

And, of course, the Mulroney fiasco will be perpetuated as the public inquiry will be spelled out in January. The Liberals will be blessed with an election win right in the middle of that inquiry a la the same strategy as the Conswervatives used during the ADSCAM/Gomery farce. All the links will be established by then between the current government and the Mulroney government. McKay, Bernier, Nicholson to name three.

Anywho, we here in the Liberal Party have some good reasons to ring in the new year in a loud and celebratory fashion.


Friday, December 14, 2007

I Couldn't Agree More

Below is an article that appeared in the Owen Sound
Sun Times.

Tories leading us to climate disaster
Posted 1 day ago

Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls the tune. His ministers dance. His
back-bench MPs? It's hard to imagine them having much say about anything, at
any time.

But perhaps the current Conservative caucus - including Bruce-Grey-Owen
Sound MP Larry Miller - will begin to speak with a louder voice, now that
their jobs are all at risk.

For that is precisely the case. The Harper government's intransigence at the
UN climate-change conference in Bali this week is striking. It puts the
Conservatives on a collision course with Canadian public opinion, on the
most important issue of our time. It hands the opposition parties a lever
that, if handled skillfully, could topple this government.

Here's what's happening in Bali, in a nutshell. European nations are
pressing hard for a commitment to binding, greenhouse-gas emissions cuts of
between 25 and 40 per cent by 2020. Canada, the United States and Japan are
resisting that effort. Canada used to bill itself internationally as an
environmental do-gooder. No longer. Nowadays, we wear the black hats.

Why are we playing this role? Harper's environment minister, John Baird,
says it makes no sense for anyone to cut emissions until the world's biggest
economies - the United States, China, India, to name three - do so as well.
Harper and company want a binding global climate-change deal, they claim,
but one that's fair.

This doesn't hold up, for this reason: The Tory government is doing little
or nothing, within our own borders, to combat climate change. This country
could be leaping ahead, technologically. Instead, we're taking baby steps
for the cameras. A bit of money here, a bit of money there, a photo op, a
speech. But major, concrete action? No.

There is no federal consumer carbon tax to make it more expensive for
urbanites to buy those big, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles. There is no
ambitious federal plan to induce consumers to hybridize their vehicles.

There is no project to build large, industrial wind farms on the Great Lakes
(as the British, for example, are doing now off their coasts).

There is no plan to build a fast, modern train for the Montreal-to-Windsor
corridor, a train that could be designed to carry the massive numbers of
transport containers now being hauled by trucks.

There is no great national project to build a series of newer, more
effective nuclear power plants.

In short, there is no leadership in Canada on this file. Therefore, we have
no moral or political authority to preach solutions to anyone, anywhere.
We're among the wealthiest people on earth, in relative terms, and we're not
taking climate change seriously. Why should the Indians and the Chinese do
so, when they're still struggling to pull hundreds of millions of people out
of poverty?

Here's what might achieve results: Canada, the United States, Europe, Japan,
Australia, acting in concert, agree to slash emissions by 40 per cent by
2020. We then exert moral, and economic pressure on the Chinese and the
Indians to do the same. As a sweetener we offer them access to our own
mass-produced, efficient, clean-energy technology - cars, generating
stations, wind turbines. Yes, that might work. But thanks to Stephen Harper
and his government, it looks as though we're not about to find out. So far,
Canada's obstructionist role at Bali has been critical: We've provided
political cover for the United States to continue to resist any global move
forward. The Chinese and the Indians will in turn, use that to justify their
own stands. And around we go. Without strong pressure from government,
industry has little incentive to mass-produce Green power. So we will
continue to stumble toward disaster - not for ourselves, so much as for our
children and grandchildren.

John Baird's performance at Bali has been worse than shameful. Every single
Conservative Member of Parliament should be made to answer for it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bloggers are Citizen Reporters

Well, we have certainly come a long way. The Niagara Falls Review writes a front page story today on Citizen Reporters and how the public and media perceive their presence.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'll Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Gonna try with a little help from my friends.

With a little help from my friends.

With a little help from my friends.

Thank you to the hundreds of you that have dropped me a line today. It was all of you that have kept this calm and cool for me.

UPDATE: And this friend too.

Remembering the Pearl

FDR's Speech

To the Congress of the United States:

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Peter MacKay, LLPOF

Minister Peter MacKay stood up in the House of Commons yesterday and stated, " I was all but 21 or 22 years old when I took that job in Germany." Then, in a Clintonesque move, declared "I had never met that man in person" (referring to Karlheinz Schreiber).

Above is a picture of Karlheinz with Petey's dad and Brian Mulroney. So how did Petey get that job in Germany?

UPDATE: Peter MacKay, in fact, says he was all but 26 or 27. The actual hansard notes are contained in the comment section below.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dion Goes Where Harper Can't

The Conswervative government, appealing to it's 20% of the population of the country that support the death penalty, suddenly decided we no longer appeal for Canadians who are on death row.

So, since they won't, the Leader of the Opposition has. Good on Mr. Dion for continuing a policy Canada has instituted and maintained over the past 30 years.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jason Kenney Convicts Karlheinz Schreiber

Not once, but twice.

The mouth of the Conservative Party flew off the handle again today on Mike Duffy Live.

While in a heated discussion with Joe Comartin and Robert Thibault, the mouth of the west stated twice that Karlheinz Schreiber had been "convicted" of some crimes. After some google-searching and such, I haven't found any references to Mr. Schreiber being convicted of a crime. Charged YES. Convicted NO. Hence the need for the Germans to get him back to Germany.

Here's what run-of-the-mouth had to say:

"Maybe Joe could call up the German Ambassador and tell him why we're not going to extradite a guy who's convicted over there of various several various serious offenses"...


"It's sad that the Liberal Party of Canada is reduced to putting all of its capital on a convicted fraudster....

Wow. Jason Kenney. Judge and Jury. In two countries no less. Expect another letter from Schreiber's lawyer some time soon.

"Liberals are Unreasonable People"

Yep. That's what Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said in the House of Commons today...

The same Rob Nicholson who was a Parliamentary Secretary under Brian Mulroney.

The same Rob Nicholson who stopped the investigation into the Schreiber allegations shortly after becoming Justice Minister.

The same Rob Nicholson who claimed he never received any correspondence from Mr. Schreiber, even though the PMO wrote a letter to Schreiber stating they were forwarding said letter to the Justice Minister's office.

The same Rob Nicholson who received a memo stating he never received a memo about the Schreiber letter.

That same Rob Nicholson thinks "liberals are unreasonable Canadians".

Let me ask you folks, is there anyone in the current Conservative "clean" Government that would know more about the dealings of the Mulroney Government better than Rob Nicholson? Anyone?

Imagine that 51% of Canadians surveyed by SES have stated that they think this Harper government is covering something up in this Schreiber Affair. And Rahim Jaffer stated on Politics With Don Newman today that this government is "CLEAN". They are NON-TRANSPARENT maybe, but certainly not clean.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It Seems Harper has a Little More to Hide

We learn that, over the weekend (when news is usually slow), Harper's stale government had to give a settlement to their former candidate Allan Riddell. Remember him? He was the guy that Harper said the Conservatives didn't have a deal with to let the Whistle blower guy run.

As per usual, the Conservative party released a one line response. This from a government (the first in history) that declared in a Throne Speech the "it was clean".

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembering Our Men and Women in the Services

Oh! sleep in peace where poppies grow;
The torch your falling hands let go
Was caught by us, again held high,
A beacon light in Flanders sky
That dims the stars to those below.
You are our dead, you held the foe,
And ere the poppies cease to blow,
We'll prove our faith in you who lie
In Flanders Fields.

Oh! rest in peace, we quickly go
To you who bravely died, and know
In other fields was heard the cry,
For freedom's cause, of you who lie,
So still asleep where poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.

As in rumbling sound, to and fro,
The lightning flashes, sky aglow,
The mighty hosts appear, and high
Above the din of battle cry,
Scarces heard amidst the guns below,
Are fearless hearts who fight the foe,
And guard the place where poppies grow.
Oh! sleep in peace, all you who lie
In Flanders Fields.

And still the poppies gently blow,
Between the crosses, row by row.
The larks, still bravely soaring high,
Are singing now their lullaby
To you who sleep where poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

~~By John Mitchell.~~

Saturday, November 10, 2007

MacKay tied to Schreiber

Oh Boy!!! What a tangled web we weave.

It just keeps getting more and more interesting. I bet you can't wait to see the action next week in the House of Commons eh!

Jane Taber continues to be an overwhelmingly good source for new, enlightening information on this soon to be bigger-than-Harper-thinks scandal.

Here's her Globe article today that links Schreiber to the MacKay's. Leads me to believe that this current Government new a lot more about this scandal - and a lot sooner - than they would be leading us all to believe. We thank the Globe for always being on top of scandalous things.


From Saturday's Globe and Mail

November 10, 2007 at 12:20 AM EST

Brian Mulroney is taboo.

The decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ban his government members from speaking to the former prime minister goes to the heart of the significance of yesterday's announcement.

Mr. Harper has been previously proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Mulroney, the former Conservative prime minister, declaring him “indispensable.”

At a lavish dinner in Ottawa last year, honouring Mr. Mulroney as Canada's “greenest prime minister,” Mr. Harper credited Mr. Mulroney with having worked behind the scenes to help broker the deal that led to the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party.

He also said Mr. Mulroney played a “private” but “indispensable” role as a friend and political confidant, joking that it's lonely being a Conservative leader and even lonelier as a Conservative prime minister.

But that all changed yesterday: And whether their separation becomes permanent now depends on the findings of the third-party probe.

During his dramatic news conference announcing he was appointing a fact finder to look into the dealings between Airbus lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber and Mr. Mulroney, Mr. Harper cautioned his cabinet ministers and others in government from speaking to Mr. Mulroney.
“I've not discussed this course of action with Mr. Mulroney,” he said after being asked whether he had consulted with the former prime minister. “And I think it will be incumbent upon myself and also upon members of the government not to have dealings with Mr. Mulroney until this issue is resolved.”

For some in the Harper government this will be difficult. Although Mr. Harper has not surrounded himself entirely with former Mulroney-ites, there are a few key people in his government with very long and strong ties to the former prime minister.

For example, Marjory LeBreton, Government Leader in the Senate, served in senior roles in the Mulroney PMO. The 67-year-old cabinet minister was appointed to the Senate by Mr. Mulroney in 1993, shortly before he retired. It is said that as a senator she is Mr. Mulroney's eyes and ears on Parliament Hill. The two speak almost daily.

And Peter MacKay, 42, the Defence Minister, and his father, Elmer, remain close to Mr. Mulroney. The senior Mr. MacKay served in the Mulroney cabinet; he also gave up his seat so that Mr. Mulroney could have a seat in the Commons when he was elected opposition leader. The elder Mr. MacKay has also been a supporter of Mr. Schreiber, acting as a surety for the businessman's bail applications.

Meanwhile, the younger Mr. MacKay, who served as the federal Progressive Conservative leader, is a friend of Mr. Mulroney, speaks to him regularly and is also close to the Mulroney boys, Ben and Mark.

As well, Mr. MacKay was supported in his leadership by Fred Doucet. Mr. Doucet is the adviser to the former prime minister who, Mr. Schreiber alleges in his affidavit, asked him to transfer funds to Mr. Mulroney's lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland. During Mr. MacKay's leadership bid in 2003, Mr. Doucet helped to broker a deal between Mr. MacKay and his opponent, David Orchard, in return for Mr. Orchard's support. The controversial deal specified that the free-trade agreement, which the Mulroney government fought an election over, would be reviewed by a blue-ribbon party committee. Mr. Orchard was against free trade.

So, you have the Minister of Defence that knows a few things about Mr. Schreiber. How much deeper could it be? The Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson happened to be a part of Mulroney's caucus, and later a cabinet member under Kim Campbell. Did he know anything?...we know that he received a memo saying he never received a memo.

Let me get this straight. The Minister of Defence's father is the surety for a wanted man?

Yep. Should be interesting stuff. I almost wish I was important enough to have my blog read by the thousands like say, Stephen Taylor, Steve Janke, Warren Kinsella, Jason Cherniak, Small Dead Animals, Red Tory. I'd really get this story out there. Yep. I would.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More on the Mulroney Affair

Did I mention that you should stay tuned for more trouble in the Conservative camp? Yep. I did. Over and over and over again.

Brian Mulroney has some splainin' to do.

Stephen Harper agrees his mentor is in some trouble.

Who is this Third Party that will be looking at documents that Parliament should be having a discussion about?

Rahim Jaffer just said on Duffy Live that "this has nothing to do with Parliament. This is something that happened over a decade ago." Really Mr. Jaffer?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Harper and Kenney Obviously Failed Math Class

Yesterday his royal dictatorship, Stephen Harper, once again lied to the people of Canada. In Harper's speech he said, "these crime bills were stalled for a thousand days". Kenney then insisted on Duffy Live that this was, in fact, true.

Refresh my memory. Isn't there still just 365 days in a year - 366 in leap years? Didn't the Conservatives just get elected January 2006? Weren't there a few recesses in Parliament since then - especially the recent 4 month recess Harper just gave the government.

I'm no mathematician but I'd say Harper and Kenney are a tad off on the 1000 day thing, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Another Reason Jack Layton is Irrelevant

As you all know by now, Mr. Layton suddenly rolled out his election platform on Sunday. You know, the one with the referendum on the abolition of the Senate of Canada. That one.

Well, during Smilin' Jack's earth-shaking announcement, he states: The referendum would not be costly, Layton said, because it could be held in conjunction with the next federal election.

More proof the man has no clue about the economics of government.

Ontario just had a referendum on another ridiculous change to the way we form governments in this country. The cost of that referendum in one little ole province? $8.48 Million. That's Eight point Four Eight Million Dollars (CDN)!. Now, I'm not going to try and play mathematician, but that would be somewhere around what, 34-36 Million Dollars for the whole country to participate in a referendum...simultaneously with the election I might add.

Apparently Jack feels $33 million is "NOT COSTLY".

Base Jumping...From My Blog to the Winnipeg Press

Interestingly enough, the Winnipeg Free Press has like-minded thinking on the post I wrote last night on this little old blog.

I submit this article for your viewing pleasure and thank the Winnipeg Free Press in advance for their participation in the dialogue.

Desperate Tories reach out to their far right
Winnipeg Free Press
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Page: A15
Section: Focus
Byline: Frances Russell

CONVENTIONAL wisdom is that the Liberals are terrified of an election, the New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois would be happy with one, but it's the Conservatives who are really panting to go to the polls.

Unconventional wisdom might say the Conservatives are almost as afraid of an election as the Liberals. Ask yourself this: If Stéphane Dion's Liberals are really on the mat, why spend millions of dollars on another set of attack ads that are so crude and amateurish as to be embarrassing?

But the most telling evidence of Conservative fear is their abrupt decision last Thursday to revisit the death penalty by declaring they will no longer seek clemency for Canadians sentenced to death in other democratic countries.

The only conclusion? They're worried about their base vote, a worry Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed.

"The reality in this particular case (Alberta-born Ronald Allen Smith, a confessed and convicted murderer facing death by lethal injection in Montana) is that were we to intervene it would very quickly become a question of whether we are prepared to patriate a double murderer to Canada," Harper said.

"In light of this government's strong initiatives on tackling violent crime, I think that would send a wrong signal to the Canadian population."

Which segment of the Canadian population worries the prime minister?

Certainly not the 80 per cent of Canadians who now oppose the death penalty according to the government's own poll taken this summer.

The overwhelming majority of Canadians are appalled at the swelling list of the wrongfully convicted who could be dead now but for Canada's abolition of the death penalty in 1976 -- Steven Truscott, David Milgaard, Donald Marshall Jr., Romeo Phillion, Thomas Sophonow, Guy Paul Morin, James Driskell, William Mullins-Johnson and possibly many more to come, including Kyle Unger and Wilbert Coffin, hanged in the 1950s.

The population Harper is pandering to is his base of right-wing social conservatives, a base that reaches up into his cabinet. Several senior Conservative ministers support the death penalty, including Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

The death penalty gambit is even more perplexing when two more factors are considered. Harper says he trusts the U.S. legal system because it is a democracy. As Canada's own history proves, being a democracy is no protection against wrongful convictions.

The justice system is imperfect because it is human. The human element means that not even DNA and other forensic evidence is dependable. It can be wrongly interpreted or deliberately distorted, as was the case with the former Ontario medical examiner whose errors of interpretation railroaded Mullins-Johnson.

Democracy doesn't prevent the miscarriage of justice, and error is the ultimate argument against capital punishment.

Nor is it enough to say, as in Smith's case, he confessed. His lawyer says he confessed to get out of intolerable prison conditions.

Harper's faith in U.S. justice will come as a shock to the American Civil Liberties Union. It has devoted decades to documenting how poverty, racism and underpaid and incompetent public defenders have sent hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people to their awful deaths by hanging, firing squad, electric chair, gas and now, the needle.

Documented instances that this latest "humane" form of execution can take up to half an hour to kill forced even the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to it on the grounds it violates the U.S. Bill of Rights' protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Just when the U.S., one of the last democracies still to impose the death penalty, is rethinking it, why is Canada re-engaging?

It might be that Harper's Conservatives are running Liberal attack ads -- and revisiting the death penalty by proxy -- because their poll numbers are stagnant, if not slipping.

They know that, historically, governments lose, not gain, support during election campaigns.

And they're already below the 36.3 per cent that won them 124 seats in 2006.

Since mid-October, there have been eight polls: two by Harris-Decima Research, one by Angus Reid Strategies, one by Environics Research, one by The Strategic Counsel and three by IpsosReid.

All but Ipsos-Reid have almost identical numbers showing Conservatives and Liberals in a margin of error tie: 32 per cent to 34 per cent to 28 per cent to 29 per cent. Only IpsosReid has the Conservatives at or near the majority territory of 39 per cent to 40 per cent.

IpsosReid was the outlier in the 2006 election. Its pre-election poll projected Conservative support at 38 per cent, yielding a clear majority of 157 seats.

Sad, really, for Harper's Conservatives. They have all this cash -- in party coffers and in tax cuts. But it isn't buying them a majority -- yet.

© 2007 The Winnipeg Free Press. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Harper's 20% Policy...Another Embarrassment

Stephen Harper continues to embarrass this country on the world stage. His recent hiccup? The abolishment of Canada's long-standing commitment to the UN's anti-death penalty resolution for a global moratorium on the issue.

The Conservatives must firmly believe that the 20% of Canadians who agreed with the implementation of the death penalty in a recent survey must know more than the other 80% of us that disagree.

Let me ask you a question. Do you think that our Canadian in Montana's family has a possible lawsuit over the government's inaction on an appeal for him? Shouldn't the rest of Canada been notified that we now believe in the death penalty being applied to our citizens convicted abroad?

A few names come to mind when I think of what might have been if we supported the death penalty. Milgard. Truscott. Hurricane Carter. All three convicted of crimes they didn't commit. All three may have been wrongfully put to death. Of course, there is a much longer list of names of wrongfully convicted people, but I'd be hear all night typing the names.

I think we should have been notified of the apparent shift to the total right-wing agenda. An agenda 80% of us don't support. My point is that this is a backassward direction that the CONS are taking this country and they are reversing decades of great diplomacy we have enjoyed in the eyes of the world.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hang 'em High

As I've warned for quite some time and wrote about over the past few days, this government has a hidden agenda. The death penalty may never get tabled in the House, but you can bet that they thought about it.

You have the security guy, Stock Day, that voted for the death penalty in 1994. And, you have Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, then in the Mulroney caucus, that voted for it in 1987.

Just what did you think they would be doing?

Jack Layton...Mr. Irrelevant

Yes Jack. We'll all just hurry for a referendum on the Senate. While we're at it we'll just throw away the entire Constitution.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Justice Minister Supports Death Penalty

I wrote about this almost a year ago. At that time Rob Nicholson was just becoming the Justice Minister. The Niagara Falls Review asked Mr. Nicholson then and there "would this Conservative government be trying to bring back the death penalty?" In 1987, the Justice Minister, then with the Mulroney Government, voted FOR the death penalty.

This week the true Alliance/Reform/Conservative reared its ugly head when they decided not to appeal for a Canadian citizen on death row in Montana. Strangely, the Justice Minister wasn't allowed to talk to the media.

Anyone see the writing on the wall here?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Liberals Now Ready for An Election

With Conservative Scandals mounting daily and the Old Stale Conservative Harper Group refusing to expose Mulroney any further, it is clearly time for us to go to the polls the next opportunity we get.

Harper's new TV ads targeting the Dion leadership is his last grasp at goading our great leader on. Harper knows full well the momentum is swinging fast. Not only that, he realizes he's got to call four by-elections soon that will give the Liberals further momentum after they sweep all four ridings.

Bye bye Stevie boy. We're ready, willing and able to fight now. I read Kinsella's book you know. He's right. Elections are won on issues like this.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Imagine Getting a 2.1 Million Dollar Apology from your Friends

As I've been saying over and over and over again. Stay tuned for more CONservative scandals. Mulroney was not so forthright it appears. As I've said before, he'll never have an airport named after him.

As for my friend the Justice Minister, Mr. Nicholson? I seem to remember he was a member of that Mulroney caucus waaaaay back then in the 80's and 90's. I think he's gonna have some splainin' to do.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hapercrite Lies Again...and, Again

Remember this statement last election?

John Reynolds, co-chair of the Conservative campaign in B.C., believes the Tory team is a good representation of the province's diversity. He argued his party does not appoint candidates or parachute them into ridings, as the Liberals have done, and therefore the people who are running under the Tory banner have been chosen by residents of their ridings -- not by national party strategists.

Reynolds also said that in the 2004 federal election, the Conservatives elected more visible minority MPs from across Canada than any other party.

Let's see. Turner kicked out for speaking the truth and blogging. Bill Casey was kicked out for doing what he was elected to do...represent his constituents.

Now these two gentlemen get kicked out by the Conswervatives. One for mentioning AIDS and one for not canvassing. One was a minority. One wasn't.

Thanks to CBC for the story.

Two former federal Conservative candidates said Wednesday they've been unfairly pushed aside by the party despite being acclaimed for the next election.

In fact last year's Conservative platform said the party would ensure nomination races are fair and transparent, but the recent decisions by the Tories' national office has left the two former contenders questioning the process.

Mark Warner, the once-acclaimed Tory candidate for Toronto Centre, was slated to run against former Ontario premier and federal Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae. The seat was left vacant by the retirement of former interim Liberal leader and cabinet member Bill Graham in July.

But the 43-year-old Warner said the Conservatives party's national office informed him he was no longer their pick because of continued differences of opinion and strategy, as well his penchant for speaking out about subjects that didn't receive party authorization, such as education, affordable housing and HIV/AIDS issues.

"Frankly, I felt there was a lot of micromanagement … and I don't think it was legitimate," Warner, an international trade lawyer, told the CBC on Wednesday. "I was going off-message."

Warner said references to his attendance at an international AIDS conference in Toronto in 2006 were removed from his bio when he sent it to Ottawa for approval.

Continue Article

"It does seem to be something that bothers people and I don't exactly know why," he said.

Conference organizers criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper for failing to attend the event, which featured high-profile speakers, including former UN envoy Stephen Lewis, former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

But Conservative party officials said Warner was a difficult candidate because he didn't follow advice or take direction.

Warner said he was ousted in part for giving an interview to a national magazine about working with a former Liberal cabinet minister.

"I was told that when a reporter comes up like that, you say no comment," said Warner. "I am offended by it, I think it's important to use the modern means of communication to reach people."

Rae issued a release on Wednesday praising Warner as a "as a thoughtful and hardworking person" and said his treatment by Tory leaders was a "national disgrace."

Guelph businessman ousted
In the riding of Guelph, businessman Brent Barr had won the party's nomination in March, but was told on Oct. 19 that party headquarters had rejected him without any warning.

"They told me what happened, and I'm still surprised by what happened," he told on Wednesday.

"I would have imagined someone would have taken me aside and said, 'Brent, we have some questions.' They didn't do that."

Barr came in second in the riding in the 2006 election to the Liberal incumbent Brenda Chamberlain. He said the party brass told him he was being dropped because he wasn't campaigning hard enough to build up the party locally, despite his holding four community events a week and inviting potential voters into his home for coffee chats.

"That's a completely false statement," he said of the charge of lax campaigning. "If I had actually done anything the embarrass or denigrate the party, I would sit down right and accept it. But I didn't."

Barr said he suspected the party has pushed him aside in favour of a star candidate, something Prime Minister Stephen Harper has blasted Liberals for doing while campaigning for the 2004 federal election.

At the time, Harper said: "We want to clean up internal party politics, beginning with grassroots democratic control of the nomination process."

Conservative Party president Don Plett would not reveal the precise reasons for dropping the two candidates, citing privacy issues. He would only say there were certain concerns and because of those concerns the party needed to take action.

Barr said his loyalty to the party made him unsure about running as an independent whenever another federal election is called.

"By removing me, it's a slap in the face of democracy and i suspect that will come back and hurt them in the next election," he said.

"I'm a Conservative; I've always been a Conservative. But as far as what happens in the next election, I really can't say at this point."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Here a Budget, There a Budget, Everywhere a Budget

There's no end to the recklessness of this government. None whatsoever. Mon Dieu. What it won't do to try to get an election.

How many budgets can a person have in 12 months? My guess? 3.

Creative tax cutting 101. On your first annual budget, increase the Liberal personal income tax rate from 15% to 15.5%. Then, in your fiscal update, make it sound like another budget in the same year as the first budget. Then, announce a personal income tax cut in your fiscal update to 15% from 15.5%...the same as it was in 2005 under the previous government and call it genius.

As for the GST cut? Well, I'm quite certain the thousands of economists around the country are already in disagreement. $5.4 billion a year could have went a long way for municipalities, health care, child care, the environment, etc. Oh well. I'm sure the CONS have some kind of smoke screen for those issues.

The corporate big brothers and the upper class continue to open the gap on poverty in the country.

I for one will be reaping the benefits of my extra $18 per month to support my Starbucks addiction.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Harper Meets Dalai Lama Because Poll Said He Should

Jason Kenney and Mike Duffy were beyond embarrassing today on Duffy Live.

Here's the video which is just over 6 minutes long.

The clip starts off with an interview by CTV's Roger Smith with the Dalai Lama. The reporter asks his holiness about Afghanistan. Kenney can be heard trying to interfere with the question. His holiness responds "Non-violence is the best way to solve problem. Using violence to counter violence sometimes it create more complicated."

Duffy then says. "Jason, he seems to be saying that sometimes violence is necessary when you are speaking for freedom if I understand him correctly."

WHAT?!?!? WTF!!! Was Duffy watching a different video clip?

Jason later says Harpercrite did the right thing meeting the Dalai Lama because "there was a poll indicating over 80% of Canadians think the Prime Minister should meet with him"

"HIM" being the holiest of Holy. Yes, "HIM" Jason.

Embarrassing. Just embarrassing.

MSM Finally Catching on to Conservative Scandals?

From Page 25 of the Toronto Star. Page 25!!!

Furor over campaign funds heats up; Elections Canada probing Tory advertising scheme that claimed rebates for 'in and out' transactions The Toronto Star Saturday, October 27, 2007
Page: A25
Section: News
Byline: Richard Brennan
Source: Toronto Star

The Conservatives have been under fire for two weeks now over an advertising scheme in the last election that could cost taxpayers close to a million dollars.

Flush with cash in the 2006 election and facing an $18.3 million spending cap, the Conservatives' central campaign was looking for other places to spend money.

So, it transferred a total of $1.3 million to local campaigns.

Elections Canada has said the candidates immediately sent the money back to the party's head office to pay for television and radio advertisements.

The ads were identical to national television and radio spots, except for print in the final frame that either listed ridings or the names of candidates.

At least 66 Conservative campaigns participated in this "in and out" transaction and then sent these expenses off to Elections Canada for a 60 per cent taxpayer-paid-for rebate totalling some $780,000.

All federal political parties depend on this rebate to help finance the next election.

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand put the brakes on the campaign filings, saying the candidates could not prove that local television and radio advertising expenses were for their local campaigns.

Despite suggestions otherwise by some critics, there is no suggestion of criminal wrongdoing, only violations of the Elections Act.

Insisting they did nothing wrong, the Conservatives have taken the case to Federal Court, looking to get the decision overturned and payment made of the money the party believes it has coming to it.

The opposition Liberals can smell blood.

Ever since Parliament resumed Oct. 17, they have been hammering the Conservatives over what they compared in the House of Commons to "a money laundering scam."

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has consistently asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper how much he knew about the scheme, and when did he know it.

The only time Harper responded, he challenged the Liberals to make their accusations outside the chamber where they were not protected from parliamentary privilege.

"We happen to believe that our election financing activities are entirely legal. We know they are because they are what the law permits and they are in fact consistent with the practices of other political parties in Canada," government House Leader Peter Van Loan told the House of Commons this week.

Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff disputed this during question period, calling it a plot to recycle party money: "It's a scam."

Asked by the Toronto Star if the Conservative party had transferred money like this in previous elections, Van Loan stated: "Everything that we do conforms with the Elections Finances Act ... the law allows transfers."

Ann O'Grady, the Conservative Party's chief financial officer, could not be reached for comment.

Liberal MP Garth Turner recalls that when he was still with the Conservatives, the riding association in Hull-Aylmer in March 2006 talked openly about a money transfer.

"I was asked to be the guest speaker ... but before I gave my speech the treasurer gave their report for the annual meeting and they had more than $40, 000, which was transferred into their bank account and then the same day they wrote a cheque back to the central party. And by transferring $40,000 into their bank account during the campaign they got a 60 per cent rebate," said Turner, who was kicked out of the Tory caucus earlier this year.

Actually the amount transferred to the western Quebec riding across from Ottawa was $48,558.55 and it was transferred back four days later. But Elections Canada is withholding the rebate along with several others until the outcome of the Federal Court decision

"Of course they didn't spend it on the campaign, they just gave it back, labelled it as advertising and then booked it as an expense ... that's at least $24,000 that the taxpayers gave the Hull-Aylmer Conservative Riding for doing (nothing) - for writing a cheque."

The most vocal critic of the Conservative scheme is MP Dominic LeBlanc (Beausejour), the Liberals' intergovernmental affairs critics.

LeBlanc ratcheted things up this week by issuing a list of former Conservative candidates and officials implicated in the "scandal" who were given federal appointments or hired for so-called high-profile jobs. "One has to wonder if there is a connection between their willingness to participate and employment by this Conservative government," he said in a press release.

That prompted a warning letter from the Conservatives' lawyer McFarlane Lepsoe: "This letter is ... intended to serve as a notice that it is defamatory to suggest or imply that the positions that these individuals have or have had on ministers' staffs are 'rewards' for having engaged in illegal conduct."

© 2007 Torstar Corporation

Harper Accountable? Hardly!

And so we have broken promise number 2,368 from the Hapercrite government. Back to the old "tell them what they wanted to hear, but don't keep a single promise" strategy for campaigning.

AS I've said a million or so times already, the Canadian public will be in full outrage shortly over this dictator Harper's sham of a government. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

And the Conswervatives Break Another Promise

And the truth shall set you free!

Another of the 2006 Conswervative programs has gone up in flames. AS I've said repeatedly, the Canadian public is going to find out quite quickly how fraudulent this stale government really is.

Harpercrite cancelled a national daycare program to implement his bogus child credit strategy, thereby undoing everything Ken Dryden and 10 Premiers worked on for ages. So now what do we have? Total failurefor the Harpie. And, try as they may, the CONS just couldn't keep that a secret.

Thank you Ms. Galloway!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Harper: Don't Believe us? We'll Sue You!

This is only the beginning. Over the next few months, Canadians will be finding out just how DIRTY Canada's "Clean" Government is. This, my friends, is only the tip of the iceberg.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stephane Dion...The Next Prime Minister

From La Presse
My Vision of Quebec Within Canada
October 24, 2007

I want to become Prime Minister of Canada to help our country become richer, fairer and greener.

My intent is to strengthen our economy by eradicating our productivity and innovation deficit, investing in research and development and infrastructures, and making our tax system more competitive.

I will launch an unprecedented offensive to combat poverty by helping one million children escape its bonds, taking steps to ensure that our aging society provides better care for our most disadvantaged seniors, eliminating the barriers that prevent too many women, Aboriginal people and newcomers from unleashing their full potential.

I will do all I can to help a greener Canada tackle the most important task of our era, which is to adjust our lifestyle to what our natural environment is able to support. We must meet the challenges of sustainable development and become champions of the fight against climate change.

These are ambitious objectives, which we can meet thanks to a united Liberal Party of Canada, and with significant support from every part of the country, including - and I dare say especially - Quebec. Almost all the great and influential achievements in the history of Canada happened because many Quebecers invested their energy, talents and culture within the Liberal Party of Canada.

For our country to become truly richer, fairer and greener, there has to be a meeting of minds and hearts between Quebecers and the leadership I represent. I will not miss my "rendez-vous" with Quebecers.

As a child of the quiet revolution, with the deep roots I have in Quebec, I have always been deeply attached to our culture and self-made institutions. I defended Canadian unity but refused to diminish provincial autonomy. It is perfectly possible and coherent to believe that Canada must remain decentralized to function well. That is why, like so many other Quebecers, I supported the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. I was a passionate advocate for provincial powers In Cabinet, as many of my Cabinet colleagues have attested.

One of my major accomplishments as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs was the Clarity Act. This is meant to prevent a separatist government from attempting to secede by making believe that this is what Quebecers want even though there is no such will. The Act is in the best interests of all Quebecers, including sincere and convinced separatists. An action as serious as secession must not be undertaken in a state of confusion. When Ms. Marois says that she will only hold a referendum after Quebecers are convinced they are ready for independence, she respects the spirit of the Clarity Act. Of course, she will never admit that.

At a time when there is heated debate in Quebec about the place of religion in public institutions, it is worth remembering that in 1997, I guided the constitutional reforms that made it possible to secularize Quebec school boards. Lise Bissonnette, who was editor in chief of Le Devoir at the time, wrote that the only thing that made these reforms possible was my determination. Here again I cared deeply about Quebec's interests, and my view of the situation was the same as that of the vast majority of Quebecers.

I believe, as many do, that federal spending power plays a useful role in social progress but that it needs to be framed so as to respect the provinces and promote partnership with them. In 1999, I was instrumental in establishing the rule according to which the federal government can transfer funds to provincial governments in their areas of sole jurisdiction: this can only be done based on jointly decided objectives to which a majority of the provinces have agreed, and on the understanding that a province that has already met these objectives can spend the federal transfer in a related field. This right to withdraw with full compensation is applicable to all federal transfers to provincial governments in their areas of jurisdiction. It goes much farther than the feeble commitment made by the Conservatives in their recent Speech from the Throne, which would apply only to cost-shared programs, which are becoming obsolete.

Indeed, no federal politician has ever placed tighter restrictions on the federal spending power than I have. And I managed to do so without reducing its usefulness as a force for social progress. For example, the governments of our federation had agreed in 2005 to create a federal child care transfer. Because Quebec already had a more highly developed network of child care centres than elsewhere in Canada, the Quebec government decided to use the funds in areas related to early childhood. Unfortunately, Mr. Harper cancelled the agreement, depriving Quebec and the other provinces of hundreds of millions of dollars that would otherwise have gone to our children and our families.

I have always advocated strong Equalization, a solidarity principle enshrined in the Constitution that gives the less wealthy provinces, including Quebec, the opportunity to provide their people with services comparable to those in the wealthier provinces. All Mr. Harper has done is to implement a reform that was initiated by the Martin government; but in implementing it, he broke a promise he had made to a number of provinces. I have always kept my word. I will always say the same thing to every province. I respect them too much to do otherwise.

I have always been a passionate advocate for the cause of French - in Quebec, elsewhere in Canada, and around the world. A long time ago, I wrote that Bill 101 was a great Canadian statute, a statement for which I am still being criticized in certain circles, but in which I still believe. I drafted a plan to promote official languages, which is still called the Dion Plan in Francophone communities outside Quebec. As Prime Minister, I promise to come up with another Dion plan.

For many years, I have maintained that we Quebecers are a nation, by which I mean a community that is proud of its own identity. Mr. Harper's office consulted me before a resolution was put forward in the House of Commons last November to recognize Quebec as a nation. I voted in favour of the resolution, but my vote was accompanied by a proviso warning people about some aspects of Mr. Harper's political manoeuvring.

The English version of his resolution said "the Québécois form a nation". This suggests an ethnic definition of a nation, that does not include all inhabitants of Quebec, whereas the French wording does not mean the same. It was clearly a attempt to allow Conservative and Bloc politicians to interpret the resolution and comment on it in their own different ways, which of course they did. This kind of political manoeuvring is not in the interest of Canadians and it deserves our disapproval. My Quebec nation includes all inhabitants of Quebec.

We Quebecers, together with other Canadians, have succeeded in building a federation that is the envy of many countries experiencing ethnic, religious, linguistic or other forms of conflict. In 1999, I established the Forum of Federations to enable federations around the world to understand and help one another. I am proud of the contribution of Quebecers like Gil Rémillard, who contributed significantly to making the Forum of Federations a success.

Those who know me well know that I have held these positions for a long time. I am firmly attached to Quebec's identity and to Canada's unity. I believe that there is a Quebec nation, but also think that politicians need to stop playing with words to mislead citizens about what this means. And I believe that all governments in our federation need to work together, while showing full respect for each other's respective areas of jurisdiction.

These are unequivocal positions that closely match the clear interests of the vast majority of Canadians, including our interests as Quebecers. For Canada to truly become richer, fairer and greener, I as a proud Quebecer know just how important it is for Quebecers to be included. We will succeed in this, for ourselves, our children and future generations. I will do everything in my power to achieve it.