The Boxer: IRA in Belfast

Once in a while, IFC justifies the 2$ or so a month that I pay for it. Tonight I watched The Boxer (1997). A truly excellent film.

The film isn't about boxing, it is about an IRA prisoner let out after 14 years who tries to adjust to life in Norther Ireland in the 90s.

Perhaps it is because I briefly lived in Belfast in 1999 or that I'm the same age as the main character, but I really enjoyed this film.

In 99, Belfast still had the watch towers, the walls, the violent murals. More importantly, there were also all those young men limping around (after getting their knee caps knocked out). Belfast is a crazy place. There is a Protestant ghetto and a Catholic ghetto. Everybody seems to get along well enough in the rest of the city but in those two ghettos, it is civil war. In the ghettos there are no buses and there actually is a wall with a door between the two neighborhoods.

All this in the context that Dublin and London are not that far away and much more prosperous. You'd think the locals were trapped in Belfast. Many of the husbands are. In some areas, one household in three had a member in jail.

The events this week about the released prisoner trying to blow up the NI parliament makes this movie current.

Monday, the Canadian Parliament will be recognising Quebec as a nation. Far better than the Irish and British ways of doing things if you ask me.


Oh, the irony: Adscam and Rae Blogger

Disclaimer: I am unemployed and have not and will not receive direct compensation or promise of employment for writing this blog. However, I do get a few dollars from advertisements on this blog, including regular Adsense ads from the Gerard Kennedy campaign.

The following is from the Google Cache of dissension-delivered.blogspot.com. The author, "Skip", was outed today by the Globe and Mail.

[link added by me]

Michael Ignatieff's Calamity of Errors...
"Oops, I did it again." A fellow blogger once used this famous Brittany Spears line to describe Ignatieff's communications strategy. I am increasingly in agreement. I mean, this guy can't seem to help himself - not even with all eight of his communications assistants working their buns off.

Which brings me to the latest reason for discussing Mr. Ignatieff's ability (or lack thereof) to communicate with the media.

When the Globe and Mail somehow links your blog to Adscam, I'd guess you have a "communication" problem. Skip's solution was to delete his blog. Even more ironic, both the Globe and Mail and "Skip" (author of dissension-delivered.blogspot.com.) quoted Shoshana Berman!

-Complaint by Shoshana Berman;
-Crazy people and blogs;
-Banned from Liblogs for living in Toronto. ;
-The CRTC Should Regulate the Internet: Gerard Kennedy ;
-Gerard Kennedy and "la grande seduction"
-I Still Support Michael Ignatieff ;
-New Liberalism in the First International Country of the 21st Century. Werner Patels and Gerard Kennedy Make Me Laugh. ;
-From the Teleprompter of Gerard Kennedy ;
-Canadian PMs and Part of the Former Ottoman Empire ;
-Reasons 6 to 9 of 995 Not to Vote for Gerard Kennedy ;
-I Am Not Anti-Israel, I Even Sleep With a Jew ;
-Gerard Kennedy Avoiding Francophone Media ;
-Gerard Kennedy Campaigned Against the Federal Liberals ;
-Gerard Kennedy is Advertising on Blogs! ;
-Gerard Kennedy Campaigned Against the Federal Liberals ;
-The Government is reading this blog ;
-Rona Ambrose Does Not Exist ;
-MySpace may be worth $15 billion .



Will Quebec Being a Nation Affect the Price of Beer?

That's what Norm Peterson of Cheers would ask, and that is what the rest of us should ask too. Seriously, how is a Nation resolution going to affect anybody? I don't understand the people who are in favour of the resolution, and I don't understand the people who are against it. As far as I can tell, just like the distinct society resolution 10 years ago (that Harper voted against), the nation resolution will have no consequences whatsoever.

There are relatively large French speaking populations in Switzerland and Belgium. Does that make France less of a nation? There are French Canadians outside Quebec and there are English speaking people in Quebec. Calling Quebec a nation won't change that. Quebec separating won't change that.

Beer and Nations
I live in Edmundston, New Brunswick, located on the border with Maine and very near the Province of Quebec. Even though beer is significantly cheaper on the other side of the bridge in Maine, I don't buy it there because I'd be supposed to declare it on my way back. If I didn't, and my car was searched by Canadians for the first time ever, I'd have my beer confiscated. More to the point, I'd have a file, so every time I went through Canada Customs (see page 26 of 28) I'd be under suspicion.

Buying beer in Quebec and importing it into New Brunswick is technically illegal. I'm not sure what the law is, so don't ask me what the penalties are. Beer in Quebec is much cheaper than in New Brunswick. Partly that is because of lower taxes, but mostly that is because beer in Quebec is sold in convenience and grocery stores. You sometime have to shop around, but generally the prices are much lower in Quebec.

The law against cross border beer purchases isn't really meant for individuals. If you were doing it for reselling, then maybe you might get arrested. I know in the Maine-New Hampshire-Massachusetts border area, police occasionally hold sting operations. In one case I read about, the local police charged the out of state police force with loitering!

Anyway, calling Quebec a nation doesn't change a fundamental fact: there are no custom agents at the Quebec-New Brunswick border and the RCMP (New Brunswick's police force) doesn't have beer buying sting operations. So this nation thing won't affect the price I pay for beer. So why should I care? Why should you care?


Complaint by Shoshana Berman

Sometimes reality is better than fiction. Well, Shoshana Berman's reality anyway. To paraphrase that guy on Weeds last night (HBO in USA, Showcase in Canada), "Crazy women are sexy".

From: "Jason Cherniak"

To: "liblogs"

Subject: Notice re: Complaint by Shoshana Berman
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2006 18:03:57 -0500

Dear Libloggers,
A former member of Liblogs, Shoshana
Berman, recently told me that there is"a publication ban on a personal matter
regarding [her] son". I have notyet been provided with a copy of this
order. Although I do not know whetherher claim is legitimate, I feel that
it is only fair for me to warn of youthis claim.
Ms. Berman has threatened to
take legal action against Liblogs, mepersonally and any blogger who contravenes
the court order by publishinginformation relating to her assault trial. I
reject any suggestion thatLiblogs has any legal liability in this matter at all,
but I will protectthe good name of the corporation if necessary.
Ms. Berman
has also contacted individual members with complaints. I do notknow at
this time whether her complaints have any legal legitimacy. Youwill have
to use your own judgement - and hire a lawyer if you feel itnecessary - if you
receive such a notice. I do not believe that Liblogs hasany legal
responsibilities in this regard. To be safe, though, I ask eachmember not
to search for and post copies of any articles that are out there,including any
articles already printed by the Guelph Examiner, since theLiblogs aggregator
would automatically link to the post on Liblogs.
I am really sorry to bother
you with this, but I don't think it would beright for me to not inform the
membership of this situation.
Blogger Support Services: a non-profit
corporation operating as<http://www.liblogs.ca/>

per: Jason R. Cherniak

-education of shoshana berman;
-shoshana berman;
-Crazy people and blogs ;

I'm Feeling Lucky with Gerard Kennedy

I've been pretty critical of Gerard Kennedy, but I feel he deserves it. Still, the following may be a tad unjust:

Go to Google.ca in English or Google.com, write "horrible French" with or without the quotations and click on "I'm Feeling Lucky".

Try it! It lands you on one of this blog's pages complaining about Gerard Kennedy's horrible French. To my surprise, there are only 9,120 "horrible French" on the Internet. Seems rather low.
Update (2006-11-24): No longer works as "horrible French" in Google now puts my site in 11th place.
To my surprise, the French version of Gerard Kennedy's web site has been updated. No, the "dans la médias" template error has not been corrected, but now there is more "content" on the "ressources" page. Now, under Matériel graphique pour blogueurs is "En construction"! That's better than the heading for "Trousse de communication": Share the message Kit (sic, in English!).

Some times, I think the Kennedy camp should have done like Martha Hall Finlay and pretended francophone Canadians don't exist (her website is in English only).


Americans Blog in Canada

L-Girl has an excellent post about the "deep integration" nonsense that has been circulating thanks to "vivelecanada" et. al. The only point I disagree with is:

More importantly, they [the Conservative Party of Canada] are not going to cruise to majority government. No one can predict the future, but that outcome seems highly unlikely.

I wouldn't bet the house either way, but I'd certainly bet with L-Girl if she gave me odds.

The Idealistic Pragmatist has an interesting post comparing Steven Harper to Hillary Clinton. I disagree with his conclusions about the people, but she does make good points about their respective parties.

I strongly disagree with L-Girl's post on Scottish, United Kingdom MP George Galloway:

When Galloway speaks tonight, I hope the Liberals will be listening.
George Galloway supported Saddam Hussein. "You are doing a great job" he said to Hussein after the Gulf War. Galloway was one of the people who got kick backs from the oil for food program. He says he didn't ask for them... Regardless, the fact that he supported the genocidal Iraq leader is beyond comprehension. Galloway should be ignored, not listened to. Who is sponsoring the speaking tour? Some Syrian association. No, Liberals will NOT be listening to Galloway.


Banned from Liblogs for living in Toronto.

Frankly, I could accept that as a legitimate reason for being banned from from Liblogs. But what really irritates me is that I don't live in Toronto. I live in Edmundston, New Brunswick. Sean Liddle of Belleville, Ontario, (aka Gorthos or Gortrix) posted that, based on my IP adress, I was in Toronto. UFO enthusiast Sean Liddle then complained to Jason Cherniack, Liblogs Administrator, about an e-mail I sent him. Cherniack must thinks he is also the e-mail police as he then "banned me" from Liblogs.   
From: "Jason Cherniak"
Subject: RE: You blog
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006 17:01:05 -0500
(...) You also lie about your location.  You are out.
He actually only removed my blog from the blog agragator. If my blog has been "banned", shouldn't it also be removed from the Liblogs list?
Altavistagoogle, The Canadian Republic.



Ça prend du courage de dire oui. De vouloir que le Québec soit un pays.

On ne veut pas briser le Canada, le diviser ou le détruire. Être souverainiste, séparatiste, indépendantiste, c'est positif.

Les frontières du Canada ont été modifié considérablement depuis 1867. En 1867, le Canada ne comportait que 4 provinces. Six nouvelles provinces ce sont ajoutés. La dernière, Terre-Neuve, a joint le Canada en 1949. Le Nunavut a été créé en 1999.

À sa création, le Canada n'avait qu' environ 3,5 millions d'habitants. Le Québec aujourd'hui a plus de 7,5 millions d'habitants.

Le Canada s'est séparé du Royaume-Uni, n'obtenant le pouvoir de modifier sa constitution qu'en 1982!

Plus d'une centaine de pays ont été créé au cours du vingtième siècle. Dites OUI pour que le Québec soit un des nouveaux pays du 21ième du siècle.

L'Action nationale
Bloc Québécois
Génération Québec
Impératif français
Institut de recherche sur le Québec
Le Québécois
Le RIQ (Rassemblement pour l'indépendance du Québec)
Mouvement national des Québécois
SPQ Libre !
Parti Québécois
Opération Québec
Québec, un pays !
RPS Québec
Société St-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal
IPSO - Les intellectuels pour la souveraineté
Union des Forces Progressistes
Souveraineté La Solution
Groupe Le Québec, un pays ! - Outaouais
La Table Ronde de l'Indépendance
Le Conseil de la souveraineté du Québec


Est-ce qu'on peut etre separatiste et Liberal?

En décembre dernier, j'ai esseyé de donner 100$ au Bloc Québécois, mais j'ai été refusé parce-que je n'habitais pas au Québec (je voulais surtout le reçu afin d'écoeurer un cousin).

Paul Martin a perdu et je peux maintenant être partisan du parti Libéral à 100%. Mais des fois, je suis 55% souverainiste. Des fois c'est juste 45% et alors cela ne crée pas de problèmes.

Mais quand je suis souverainiste à 55%, est-ce que je peux continuer d'être partisan à 100% du parti Libéral du Canada? La souveraineté du Québec ne fait pas partie des sujets qui me préoccupent le plus. Je n'habite pas au Québec, et à moins que les salaires y augmentent considérablement, je ne compte pas y vivre bientôt.

La plupart du temps, je trouve le Bloc Québécois inutile. Un peu comme un parti Rinoséroce glorifié. Des fois ils nous font sourire, on les apprécie. Mais dans le fond, qu'est-ce que ça donne?

Mais est-ce que je peux être favorable à la souveraineté du Québec, favorable à ce que le Québec soit un pays, tout en étant partisan du parti Libéral du Canada?

Les jours des drapeaux gratuits à la Sheila Copps et des affiches "Canada" au 20ième étage sont terminé. Du moins, je l'espère. Les affiches sont encore là, mais s'ils tombent, sûrement qu'on ne les remplacera pas.

Mais dois-je me cacher derrière mon blog? Est-ce que je pourrais dire haut et fort, mon nom est Sam Tremblay*, je suis membre du parti Libéral et je suis souverainiste. Oui, je sais que je pourrais le dire, mais que seraient les conséquences?

*Ce n'est pas mon vrai nom


National Defence Should be a Provincial Jurisdiction

To most people, myself included, the idea of downloading Canadian defence responsibilities to the provinces is absurd. However, it isn't that outrageous. After all, the United States have "national guards" that fall under the responsibility of their respective States. And those national guards aren't ceremonial, many members are currently serving in Iraq.

Still, I think some responsibilites are better left to the national government. Education is not one of them. Education has always been a provincial jurisdiction, and it should stay that way. Gerard Kennedy has not convinced me, not that he tried very hard. Towns, cities, water, sewars, sidewalks, none of them should have anything to do with the federal government.

Other Blogs:
We Need Dion More Than Ever
Oh Jason, How Naïve is Thee?


Time to Bring Back the Charlottetown Accord

The Toronto Star reports that Steven Harper is looking at a way to limit the federal government's power to spend on provincial jurisdictions. Liberals are arguing over a potential "nation" clause in the Constitution .

The Charlottetown Accord was negotiated in the summer of 1992 at the Prime Minister's official cottage at Meech Lake. To avoid the moniker of Meech II, people called it the Harrington Lake negotiations. Harrington Lake is really more of a bay of Meech lake, so to drive home the difference, the accord was signed in Charlottetown and has ever since been known as the Charlottetown Accord.

I turned 18 in the Summer of 1992. I was a life guard that Summer. My pool season finished early so in August I did some replacement work at Meech Lake. I was working one day with a gorgeous blond and we talked about politics. She was English Canadian from the other side of the Ottawa River. Meech Lake is part of the Gatineau Park that encompasses much of the Gatineau Hills. The Gatineau River Valley below is not part of the park. Just the hills. Nearby towns in the valley like Chelsea and Wakefield had always had an English Speaking majority so was no surprise that most users of Meech Lake were English speaking. I don't even remember if my colleague spoke any French. I do remember that we spoke in English.

She said something that really shocked me. To her, Lord Durham, who wrote that Quebeckers should be assimilated, was correct. I had learned that Durham was the devil incarnate. To her, it was too bad that Quebec had not been assimilated.

Being in the Gatineau Hills, Meech Lake can be chilly in July, in August, there were few swimmers. At one point in our discussion, she looked around, all the people on the beach had left and we were life guarding our selves pro bono, well after the end of our shift.

We rushed to put away the equipment because, in addition to now working for free, she was late for a party over in Ottawa. She biked daily between Ottawa and Meech and man did it show. So it was very embarrassing when I dropped the life guard boat on my foot. It was even more embarrassing that I needed her help to get the boat off my foot. It hurt so bad that I had to take my sneaker off to make sure all my ten toes were still attached to my foot. I was relieved they were, but when I looked at my colleague, I realised there was no way I was going to be invited to this party she was late for.

The only positive of the foot incident was that I had an excuse for letting her peddle ahead without me. I was used to biking to work all Summer as well, but in the Ottawa Valley to my pool, not in the Gatineau Hills. Clearly, life guarding a pool or biking on flat ground is not a good way to stay in shape.

So it was with my soar foot, my bruised ego and the disbilief that there were English Canadians in Ottawa who wanted to assimilate French Canadians, that I biked back home to Hull. As I struggled up the first hill, I had plenty of time to ponder all this as five stretched limos zoomed past me.

I was a political junky then as much as I am today. I was disappointed that the significance of the event was taken away from Meech and sent over to Charlottetown, but that didn't stop me from voting in favour of the accord. My history teacher did his best to talk us out of voting in favour of it. But I knew the accord backwards and forwards and I was voting "Oui". Frankly, I was amazed the country was still together after the failure of Meech, the original. This surely was the last chance.

That referendum was the first time I ever voted. It was the first time I ever could vote as I'd just turned 18 a few months before. It seemed most of the good people were voting Yes (or Oui). Only losers like Preston Manning and Lucien Bouchard were voting against it. I knew evil people like the gorgeous lifeguard and my history teacher would be against it.

I was incredulous that the No side won. Young Quebec Liberals had been demanding a referendum on Quebec sovereignty only a few months earlier. Liberals!

Trudeau won. His vision of Canada, his Constitution. His Charter has proven more powerful than ever expected.

I hope it was Trudeau that won. Because some times I think it was that gorgeous life guard who might have won. She thought Lord Durham's message of assimilating Quebeckers was still valid. Maybe it was Preston Manning who won.He complained Ottawa was to bilingual. Maybe it was Lucien Bouchard that won. His inflammatory demagogary makes me cringe, even today.

Preston Manning encouraged Western Canadians to vote "no" in the Charlottetown Accord referendum because recognising Quebec as a distinct society "wasn't fair". Quebec wanted it for its language law because using the notwithstanding clause to allow the language law was embarrassing for people like Robert Bourassa, the then Premier of Quebec. And who knew what other laws could be challenged and ruled unconstitutional by the anglophone majority on the Supreme Court.

Three short years later I voted "Non", contrary to the vast majority of my University of Montreal colleagues, in the referendum on Quebec's independence from Canada.

At that point in my life, I had only lived in Quebec. In the 11 short years since Quebec's independence referendum, the Liberal government of Jean Chretien ran federal affairs like the Meech Lake Constitutional amendment had passed. Quebec gained control over immigration, opted out of man power training and even has its own parental leave program, opting out of the federal program.

In the last 11 years, I've spent most of my time outside Quebec. I'm happy to report that the evil life guard is in the minority. I've only been called a "frog" by an employer twice, and one of those times was in England. Still, I'm surprised by all the educated people who think that everybody in Quebec should speak English even thought they don't speak a word of French. I had a colleague with a masters degree who couldn't believe that a mechanic in Lévis couldn't speak any English. My colleague couldn't speak any French, but the mechanic in Lévis should, according to him, speak at least a bit of English.

I'm not so sure, as I once was, that Quebec's language law is such a bad idea. At least two cities in Eastern Ontario, Clarence-Rockland and Casselman, have made bilingual signs mandatory for businesses. And frankly, there are way to many businesses here in Edmundston that have signs in English only, despite the fact that 95% of the population of the county has French as a first language. Businesses on the west island of Montreal often have signs in French only, even though the local population speaks English and bilingual signs are allowed as long as the French is bigger. Businesses are lazy. They go Coca-Cola and treat the world like a homogeneous group. At one point in time the island of Montreal was considered English, so businesses put up signs in English. Now it is part of French Quebec, so they put up signs in French only. No nuance.

Small businesses are worse. Many signs here in Edmunsdston are bilingual. You have to be bilingual to read them. They don't make sense unless you understand both languages! According to the 2001 census, 63% of the population say they can understand English and French. That is one of the highest levels in the country. But that still leave 37% of the population who say they don't understand one of English or French. You would think that businesses would recognise that a good chunk of the local population, never mind locals in nearby Quebec or Maine, can't understand their signs. There is a language law for food labels. Why can't there be one for signs that respects the constitution?

Obviously, to encourage bilingual signs, cities should allow them to be twice as big. But no city in Canada has such a by-law because they are all afraid of a constitutional challenge. In fact, many people, including myself, assumed Clarence-Rockland and Casselmen's new by-laws, and the new Ontario law that "allow" them, would have been challenged. But no court challenge yet.

What brought on the by-law in Clarence-Rockland was the new super sized Canadian Tire. The City went to a lot of trouble to accommodate the new store: official plan amendment, re-zoning, new road, new swer and water line, etc... Getting a Canadian Tire was big. One less reason to venture into Ottawa. And what did the franchise owner do? He posted a big sign saying "Grand Opening", in English only. English only. 85% of the population of Clarence-Rockland has French as a first language. The concentration is even higher up the road, presumably part of the customer base.

The owner says he didn't know! The City Council reacted. From then on, people would know that Clarence-Rockland wasn't in French Quebec and it wasn't in English Ontario. People would know that it was a French City in an English province. The vast majority of the population supported the idea. Those who didn't were mostly English speaking and they had a hard time justifying their opposition to the mostly French speaking population.

All this legislative accommodation had me thinking that maybe Trudeau won in 92 after all. That maybe his Constitution was the best option.

Then came Gerard Kennedy. Then came his supporters. Kennedy wants national standards for education. I don't know about you, but I'm quite happy with my education. I've used what I learned by working in three provinces and I haven't noticed any shortfalls yet. I'm not sure what the advantages of national education standards would be. I really don't. Based on Kennedy's French, Manitoba isn't doing to good at teaching French as a second language. But I'm not sure national standards would do any good, even in that subject.

What if the people who think everybody in Quebec should be bilingual so they don't have to learn French, get into power in Ottawa. Worse, what about that life guard I worked with when I was 18, the one who still thinks Lord Durham was right, that Quebeckers should be assimilated, what if she gets into power in Ottawa.

Belinda Stronach thought she could be Prime Minister of Canada without speaking French. So did Preston Manning, the man who voted no to Charlottown, who though Ottawa was too bilingual.

Maybe Trudeau didn't win the 1992 referendum. Maybe it was Lucien Bouchard and Preston Manning that won.

I say it was a tie. Time for a tiebreaker.

I recently took a look at the Charlottetown Accord. Still looks good. A compromise document for most people, but I don't think we could get a better one today. Canadians of 1992 were wrong to say no. Let's give Canadians of 2006 a chance to say yes.


An Elected Senate is a Bad Idea

An elected Senate is a bad idea. Take Maine for example, they just elected Democrats to Congress and a Republican to the Senate. How does that make any sense?

Senators in Canada have a small role: review of legislation. They look at it and occasionally send it back to the House of Commons. But they rarely if ever hold back legislation for very long, even when they disagree with it.

Senators in the USA essentially have the same role. However, since they have to get elected every 6 years, they tend to be more active. But they shouldn't be. Their role is to look at legislation approved by the house and make sure there aren't any obvious flaws with it. Bad legislation does get through. A senate is expensive but so is bad legislation that results in court cases. A Senate slows things down, but that can be a good thing in a democracy. We need a sober second thought process.

Canada's Senators may be at times too sober. But I think that is better than being drunk with power.

Une nation sans la monarchie

In English

Si ça vaut la peine de demander la reconnaissance de la nation québécoise dans la constitution canadienne, pourquoi ne pas demander la fin de la monarchie au Canada?

Sans rapport? Au contraire. Le reine, qui préside l'Église anglicanne, est symbole de l'oppression anglo-protestante au Canada. Cette oppression qui a déporté 20 000 acadiens, qui a interdit l'enseignement du français en Ontario et qui avait comme objectif avoué d'assimiler les Québécois dans la langue anglaise.

Nous avons un drapeau canadien. Il est temps d'avoir un chef d'état canadien.

Nous sommes habitué à Elisabeth, mais Charles, non-merci. Il pourrait être un pédophile pis on serait pogné avec. Ça n'a pas d'allure!

Les Irlandais du Nord et les Écossais n'endurent pas la reine sur leur argent, pourquoi nous?


Jeanette Arsenault-Kennedy Needs Your Money!

Jeanette Arsenault-Kennedy, Gerard Kennedy's spouse, needs your money to attend the Montreal Liberal leadership convention. No joke, check out the web site !

From site:

Jeanette Arsenault-Kennedy


RIDING : York South-Weston

I am excited to let you know that I've recently been elected as a Gerard Kennedy delegate for the upcoming Liberal Leadership convention in Montreal, Nov.27th - Dec.2nd, 2006.

Attending the convention, however, is an expensive proposition. The overall cost of the trip will vary, but at a minimum it will include: a $995 convention fee <$495 if a youth>; transportation to Montreal; and accommodation for the week of the convention.

According to campaign rules the maximum donation to delegates must not exceed $5,400, no matter how many delegates you choose to support.

Donations made towards the $995 convention fees are tax deductible in accordance to political tax rules.

To help me pay my delegate fees please donate via credit card below.

I found her by looking for francophones.
Below are some that I found. Clearly, my prediction that there would be less than 6 Francophone Gerard Kennedy delegates was off by at least 13. I am shocked. Using the names, I have no way of knowing for sure if they are French-Speaking or not. But most probably they do speak French as a first language learned and still understood (Statistics Canada's definition of a francophone).
What I really wanted to find out were the names of the Quebec delegates. I'm missing the ones in Chicoutimi-Le-Fjord and Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean. The 9 others are accounted for.
-Maurice , Lamontagne : Ottawa-Orléans
- Suzanne , Blanchard : Ottawa Orléans (OWLC)
-Suzanne , Dupuis : Ottawa-Orléans
-Jean , Hébert : Ottawa-Orléans
-Rollande , Chénier : Ottawa-Orléans
-Alexandre , Maheu : Ottawa-Orléans


- Reta , Parent : Saint Jean (in the Montérégie region, east of Montreal)
- Jacques , Faille : Pierrefonds-Dollard

- Richard , Plante : Wetaskiwin
-Maurice , Foster : Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing

- Gerard , Kennedy : AMOUNT TO RAISE : $995 RAISED TO DATE : 0 RIDING : Parkdale-High Park

-Julien , Arsenault : Egmont (PEI).
-Leonce , Bernard : Egmont (PEI)
- Anne , Bertrand : Fredericton (Capital of New Brunswick. No, it is not Moncton)
-Jean Pierre , Cadieux : Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
- Jean Marc , Lalonde : Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
- Jean-Guy , Richard : Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe
-Claude , Tétrault : Winnipeg North

Quebeckers (language unknown):
-Joseph W. , Allen : Pierrefonds-Dollard
-Diane , Martin : Pierrefonds-Dollard
-Mary , Samborsky : Pierrefonds-Dollard
-Hannah , Cowen : Westmount-Ville-Marie (the subway isn't free you know)

Possible francophones:
-Joel , Attis : Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe
-Armand , Brun : Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe
- Justin , Cormier : Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe

- Betty , Lavigne : Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe

Just Say No to Traffic Calming

Blast furnace suggests Hamilton needs traffic calming in order to prevent horrible pedestrian deaths such as the one he mentions. However, he is wrong.

Traffic calming, such as taking out a lane of traffic from each
direction, chicanes and rumble strips, and replacing some of the more
dangerous intersections with roundabouts.

All of these would force cars to slow down.

Yes, but it would make the road more dangerous. Cars would indeed slow down, but that is because the risks are higher. There is no net safety gain (but you do have slower cars).

Hamilton, like the city of Ottawa and kind of like the city of Oshawa, has a series of wide one way streets that allow you to get through downtown pretty quick. The street lights are synchronised to around 50 km/hr, the posted speed limit. During rush hour, they work very well. The problem is out of rush hour when the lights stay green for longer and there is no traffic preventing cars from drag racing between blocks.

Roundabouts do reduce the injury rate of other vehicle occupants at high risk intersections, but they increase the total number of collisions (most are minor) and also are MORE DANGEROUS for pedestrians. After spinning around the intersection, cars have to suddenly stop at a random white line in order to let pedestrians the chance to cross the street. Roundabouts are actually more appropriate on rural roads where speeds are high, traffic is lite and pedestrians are virtually non-existent.

The most appropriate solution to slow cars down is enforcement. If the city can't/wont pay for enough police, then Ontario should consider Alberta's solution of traffic cameras. Making the road more dangerous with "traffic calming" techniques is not the solution.


Toronto Debate Question (in French): Should the federal government regulate the content offered on the Internet? Gerard Kennedy (in French): Yes.

1:11:00 into the debate. (Google the error message if you can't open it).

The YouTube link I posted earlier missed the best part (the question):

In French (my translation):
Question: Should the federal government continue to regulate the contents of the electronic press? Should the federal government regulate the content offered on the Internet? Should foreign ownership rules continue to apply?

Gerard Kennedy: Yes. The short answer is yes. A federal government presence is necessary to regulate the contents of the Internet and new forms of communication. Switched to English (see English version).

Original quote:
La réponse simple est oui. Il est necessaire d'avoir une presence du gouvernement fédéral, de réglementer le contenu de l'Internet et des nouvelles technologies.

Earlier post: The CRTC Should Regulate the Internet: Gerard Kennedy

The CRTC Should Regulate the Internet: Gerard Kennedy

When I listened to this the first time, I'd didn't catch it. But I'm pretty sure Gerard Kennedy said he thinks the CRTC should regulate the Internet!

He also wants to give LESS funding to the CBC and MORE funding to others (perhaps on the Internet).

Will this blog one day be sponsored by the federal government? Hey, regional voices are important. Kennedy said so. I feel my New Brunswick voice is being buried under all that Toronto Internet content. Gerard Kennedy to the rescue!

I still can't believe Kennedy said the Internet should be regulated by the CRTC for Canadian content.

Update: I'm pretty sure that Kennedy didn't say, in French: "Yes, the government should rule the Internet". I think that is a case of Kennedy's mediocre French being misunderstood by the translator. Also, I'm no longer sure what Kennedy's position on the CBC is.

"There should be a box that people can access". That part has me confused.
Update II (2006-11-07, 23:12 Atlantic)

Well, I stand corrected. Accurate translation. Just in case there was any possible confusion, to the question "should the contents of the Internet be regulated", Gerard Kennedy said "the short answer is yes".


1:11:00 into the debate. (Google the error message if you can't open it).

Question: Should the federal government continue to regulate the contents of the electronic press? Should the federal government regulate the content offered on the Internet? Should foreign ownership rules continue to apply?

Gerard Kennedy: Yes. The short answer is yes. A federal government presence is necessary, to regulate the contents of the Internet and new forms of communication. Switched to English.

La réponse simple est oui. Il est necessaire d'avoir une presence du gouvernement fédéral, de réglementer le contenu de l'Internet et des nouvelles technologies.


Education of Shoshana Berman

I'm starting to understand why former Education Minister Gerard Kennedy is so adamant we need national education standards: After dealing with Ontario teachers, he must be completely freaked out.

Confirmed Ontario (Waterloo County Board of Education) teacher Shoshana Berman recently posted what follows:

Remember the sample size is one quarter of all delegates, which is
massive. Normal political polls are 1000 out of 20 million voting Canadians
this poll was over 1100 out of approximately 5000. I really think the margin
of error of 2.5% is exagerated. It's a standard margin of error for a
poll of 1000 people; but not for a total population of 5000. Anyways,
the poll is going to be bang on. This is like polling the electoral College in the US,
not the electorate.

In the comment section she adds:

Remember curiosity this is not your average poll. An average poll asks 1000
people out of 20 million what their opinion is on voting preferences. This
poll is like polling 5 million Canadians aboout their voing prefences. A full one
quarter of delegates were polled. This is absolutely massive. you can't compare
it to other political polls at all. This is more like polling the electoral
college in the US, if they had more than one vote. These numbers are solid to
say the least.

If you agree with her, please don't teach my kids anything to do with numbers.

"Gerard Kennedy's French Not Good Enough" LeSoleil

Quebec City's newspaper LeSoleil interviewed Gerard Kennedy last week (Kennedy's first newspaper interview in the province!) and called Gerard Kennedy's French "acceptable one on one, but the quality was not good enough for a debate or a TV interview":

M. Kennedy s'exprime dans un français acceptable dans un tête-à-tête. Mais malgré un séjour d'immersion d'un mois au Québec cet été, la qualité de sa langue ne franchit pas encore la rampe dans un débat public ou une entrevue télévisée.

Gerard Kennedy was referred to in the article as "Mr. 1 percent" because of his performance in the delegate selection in Quebec where he finished in sixth place.

Kennedy says he "remains unknown" [in Quebec] but gave no signs of being discouraged.

As far as I know, this is only the second in depth interview Gerard Kennedy has given in French in the entire campaign! So if he remains unknown in Quebec, he has nobody to blame but himself.

The gist of the article is that Kennedy says that English Canadians are not ready for Quebec to be recognised as a nation but that there should be some kind of recognition of Quebec. "We need to find the right expression".

Gerard Kennedy had called Quebec a nation in the last Montreal debate but then briefly explained to a CP reporter a couple of days later that "Quebec was a nation only in French".


The Process of Becoming Anti-Quebec

Ignore Quebec.
You wouldn't think that Liberal Party members would be anti-Quebec. But then again, Gerard Kennedy did finish in sixth place in Quebec, so perhaps we can forgive Gerard Kennedy supporters for being a tad irritable when it comes to Quebeckers. Why Kennedy supporters continue to support him and think he can win, however, is beyond me.

New Yorkers in Toronto
If you have time to read, I recommend the blog We Move To Canada about a couple who decides to move from an apartment in New York City (Brooklyn) to a house in Toronto(Mississauga). I've been banned for life from commenting on the blog for calling them " the stupidest couple on the face of the earth". Apparently, they are a tad thin skinned, but I digress.

Canada's Green Grass
Following George Bush's re-election, they came down with a major case of the green grass syndrome.

Now I love New York City, and it has always been my dream to live there. I also hate Toronto (don't even get me started on Mississauga). So this blog captivated me from the get go. When the author writes in New York City, she is what Canadians would call a Social-Democrat and what Americans would call a Liberal. In New York City, she is very tolerant towards all minorities, including French Canadians.

For example:
At January 10, 2005 9:58 AM , L-girl said...
I did know that French
Canadians were an oppressed minority (for lack of a better expression). It seems
every minority everywhere is/was such. Not long ago, it was a crime for Irish
people to speak Gaelic, now they are taught it in school. Same for Cajun
speakers in Louisiana - who of course are descendants of French speakers forced
out of Canada.
( Nobody speaks 'Cajun' in Louisiana, but some speak French. In Ireland they speak Irish, a form of Gaelic)
In that same post, she also writes in favour of Quebec Independence, if that is what Quebeckers want.

Blame Quebec
But after her move, she starts disliking Quebeckers. The Bloc Québécois helping the Conservatives stay in power is a major source of irritation.

Then, in September 2006, almost a year after moving to Ontario, she writes about the Conservative cuts :
"Funny how few, if any, of these budget cuts effect social programs in Quebec, where the Conservatives most need votes."

Now she is blaming Quebec and Quebeckers for cuts to national programs! It is completely unjustified, of course, as the programs the Conservatives cut benefited all Canadians.

How do you go, in a year's time, from being open minded about Quebec, to anti-Quebec?

So I ask you English Canadian Liberals out there, when you vote on the nation question in Montreal, will you be thinking like an open minded New Yorker, or a like a bitter minded Mississaugan?

-Will American Refugees move back to the USA?

-Gerard Kennedy is the Only Top 4 Candidate Against Quebec Being Called a Nation

-Gerard Kennedy Finished in Sixth Place in Quebec

Doogie Howser is Gay! (not that there is anything wrong with that)

Category: TV

I've neglected one of my categories so here goes:

Neil Patrick Harris has acknowledged he is gay! This is a shock to me. I never was a fan of him as Doogie Howser, but I like him in "How I met Your Mother". More importantly, he showed up this Summer on Big Brother as a "huge fan" and I was happy that I wasn't the only straight man in North America who enjoyed the show.

Not only isn't he attracted to women, turns out he has no medical training whatsoever. This guy is a good actor.

Does Gerard Kennedy Support NATO?

Questioning Canada's participation in NATO would be quite legitimate. Canada is the only oil rich member. Being part of NATO means that Canada has to occasionally defend members who get into conflict over oil. Oil is why the USA supports Saudi Arabia. American support of the Saudi Arabian regime is why Al-Queda attacked the USA.

Canada doesn't need the Suez canal and it certainly doesn't need Saudi Arabian oil. Of course, Canada does need the USA. If the USA's economy tanks, so will Canada's. But the USA's addiction to oil is more related to lifestyle transportation choices than to economic fundamentals. So the long term advantages of defending the USA's addiction are questionable.

Back to Gerard Kennedy. He advocates leaving Afghanistan. NATO is a military alliance. We don't get to opt out of conflicts because we are not satisfied with members' diplomacy and foreign aid efforts. Canada can certainly increase both in Afghanistan. But we shouldn't cut and run.

Other related blogs:

-Why Gerard Kennedy Should Be Leader: Number Four
-NATO Commander Supports Kennedy
-Gerard Kennedy, man of ideas
-GERARD KENNEDY, THE LEADER I am supporting Gerard
-Kennedy is not my style
-I applaud Gerard Kennedy on Afghanistan
-You say 'cut and run' like it's a BAD thing

Ontario Government Fixes Gerard Kennedy Mistake

Gerard Kennedy, as Minister of Education, tried to link dropping out of school with a driving license. I don't know if this was his idea or not, but he certainly defended it.

Eleven months later, the Ontario Government has admitted it was a bad idea.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that piece of legislation was one of the few that came out of Kennedy's office. The only other thing Kennedy did in his 2 and a half years in office was put his nose where it didn't belong in negotiations between school boards and unions.

-Sixth Place in Quebec University Dropout Gerard Kennedy Losing at PR

I'm Stuck in Blogging Tories and I Can't Get Out

How well are the blog rolls maintained? I requested "La république canadienne" (this blog) be removed from Blogging Tories a few days ago, but it is still there. Liblogs has quite a few " parasites" that don't link back to Liblogs. How hard is it for the administrator to delete them?

Going through the Liblogs the other day for my wall of shame was one of the more tedious things I've done in a long time. So I can understand that blog roll administrators would have better things to do. I was going to make a parasite list of Blogging Tories, but I gave up after a dozen visits.

Unlike Progressive Bloggers and Liblogs, having the Java script generated list is mandatory with Blogging Tories. Still, I found one obvious exception: Garth Turner. I figure about 10 to 20% of Blogging Tories are parasites that don't have the member list.

http://onplanetearth2.blogspot.com/ has a cool list of the Progressive Bloggers that were modified in the last 12 hours. Freshness is clearly one of the main marks of quality of a blog.

Nobody is forcing you to belong to an automatically generated blog roll. You had to have the list/link to join, keep it to stay a member. If you don't want to be a member, send the administrator an e-mail. Otherwise, you are a scum of the earth parasite just like those people who double park or who cheat on their taxes.

And blog roll administrators, keep up the (good?) work. We appreciate it.


Will American Refugees move back to the USA?

You got to feel sorry for people like L-Girl over at We Moved to Canada who left New York City for Mississauga a year ago for "political reasons".

A year later, the Conservative Party is firmly in control of Canada and the leading Liberal leadership candidate, Michael Ignatieff, has opinions with regards to military intervention that are similar to those of President George Bush.

Back in the USA, the Democratic Party will probably take back both houses as well as many state assemblies and governorships. The anti-gay are coming out of the closet and the peace movement is becoming cool again.

Of course, the mayor of Mississauga is almost dead, Toronto's mayor is a socialist and the Liberals seem to be doing well provincially in Ontario. So all is not lost for left leaning refugees established in Canada's largest city; or, for that matter, in New Brunswick, where the liberals won the provincial elections this summer.

It took L-Girl about a year to get accepted into Canada. So maybe Canadians should start applying to the USA right away.The USA might be quite appealing in a year's time...

Update: Seems I struck a nerve (All in good fun). What I didn't realise, was that L-Girl dislikes Michael Ignatieff so much, she was writing about him in April of 2005, 6 months before she immigrated to Canada to escape Bush!

I found this on her blog while researching a post:

I didn't blog about Michael Ignatieff's recent speech,
because I seldom (never?) agree with anything he says, and I don't know
enough about the current Canadian political situation to put his remarks in

How about: next Canadian Prime Minister. Does that clear things up for you? LOL.


Time For a Capital Gains Tax On Homes

Mulroney took away the capital gains exemption on rental property. Ever since, there has been a fundamental unfairness in the income tax system.

Some people become millionaires thanks to their homes and don't pay one red penny in income tax. Those people are not in Atlantic Canada, Manitoba or Quebec. Those people are in Ontario, Alberta and BC.

The USA has a capital gains tax on homes. There is a huge exemption ($250,000 per person), but at least people don't become millionaires tax free.

On the other hand, thanks to Mulroney, every dollar in increased value of rental property is subject to income tax.

I haven't crunched the numbers, but I'm guessing that the capital gains tax exemption on homes is a larger regional subsidy to Ontario, Alberta and BC than the equalisation payments that the Federal Government dishes out to the other "have not" provinces.

-If I Ran Canada
-Liblogs Parasites

Blogger is Worse than MySpace

MySpace is so buggy it is often useless. But lately, Blogger is even more buggy. And as far as I know, there are no Swedish adult teenagers on Blogger. So fix Blogger soon billion dollar Google, or I'm going back to Usenet.
This blog was posted using Gmail (still in Beta).


Liblogs Parasites

I don't know about you, but I despise parasites.

Cherniak says he sent an e-mail on October 18. A copy is on his blog:

All members must have a link to the new site with the standard size graphic.
While you do not have to include the list of links to all others, I strongly
suggest that you do. This is a simply matter of ethics ? is it fair to accept
links from others if you will not return the favour?

The vast majority of the blogs in my parasite list do not yet have the new link. Many do not have the graphic.

I'll be reviewing the list of shame to reflect the new rule that makes the Java generated member list optional. Let me know if your blog is now compliant.

Here is a list of Liblog parasites:

-A Big Canada (No list, no graphic, old link)
-A Canadian Publius **DRYDEN**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Adam's Adventures in England (No list, no graphic, old link)
-Alter Boys (No list, old link)
-BC Undecided (No list, old link)
-Black Wolfs Blog (No list, old link)
-blevkog (No list, old link)
-Blog Rae (No list, old link)
-Bowie Call (No list, old link)
-Brison Blogs (No list, old link)
-Calgary Grit (No list, old link)
-Canada2 (No list, no graphic, old link)
-Canehdian Liberal **BRISON**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Carolyn Bennett **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Centre Block (No list, old link)
-Colin's Commentary (No list, old link)
-Confined No More (No list, no graphic, old link)
-Curiously Liberal (No list, old link)
-Dave 2.0 **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Daveberta **Kennedy**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Davey's Politics (No list, old link)
-DLiberal **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Doucheblog **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Echo Dion **DION**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Flights of Fancy **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-For liberalism and Democracy in Québec and Canada (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-fragmunt (SPAM Blog)
-Fuddle Duddle (No list, old link, and what's up with the small print?)
-Gauntlet.ca - the politics of .ca (No list, old link)
-Gerard's Online Community **KENNEDY**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Go Brison! (No list, old link)
-Harper's Deceptions and the Liberal Leadership Race (No list, old link)
-Hit & Miss Political Commentary (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-iggynation.ca **IGNATIEFF**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-In the Footsteps of Chrétien (No list, old link)
-Inside Ottawa, from a student's perspective (No list, old link)
-Jon Gerrard's Blog (No list, old link)
-Jordan Glass Times **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-La ruche (No list, old link)
-Le monde politique et judiciaire **IGNATIEFF**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-liberal catnip (No list, no graphic, old link)
-Liberal For Life (an agragator of agragragators!)
-Liberal Lite (No list, old link)
-Liberal Outsider (No list, old link)
-Liberal Party Leadership SPAM
-Liberal Red Tory Blog **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Liberals 4 evr (No list, old link)
-Libnews.ca (No list, old link)
-Little Red Leaf (No list, old link)
-Lobster Thermidor (No list, old link)
-Michael Ignatieff's Campaign Blog **IGNATIEFF**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Michelle's World **RAE**(Double Parasite, no list, graphic but no link!)
-Moderate Post **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Murphy's Pit (No list, old link)
-Musings of a Westmount Liberal (No list, old link)
-Nav Purewal (No list, old link)
-Nicole Martel **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Nobleton Clear (No list, old link)
-Northern Light **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-nottawa **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-OffalNews (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Ottlib (No list, old link)
-PersonallyPenny (No list, old link)
-Peter Allan Ker (No list, old link)
-Peter's Politics (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Politiks Can (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Revelation 22.22 (No list, old link)
-Ryan's World (Triple Parasite, no list, no link, no blog!)
-SHO (No list, old link)
-Sinestra (No list, old link)
-Smart Canucks SPAM, but does have list
-Social Lib (No list, no graphic, old link)
-Stafferblog (No list, old link)
-susan.com (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Tarek Fatah (No list, old link)
-The Battle of the Grits (No list, old link)
-The Centre Block (No list, old link)
-The Chronicles of Gorthos **?**(Double Parasite, no list or link)
-The Digital Memoirs Of An Old Soul (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-The Holmes Blog (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-The John Lennard Experience (No list, old link)
-The Liberal Factor (No list, old link)
-The Liberal Leadership Campaign (No list, old link)
-The Rest of the Story (No list, old link)
-The Sir Robert Bond Papers (No list, old link)
-The Steel City Grit (No list, old link)
-The What do I Know Grit (No list, old link)
-Thought and Style (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-Trogdor the Burninator (No list, old link)
-University of Ottawa Young Liberals (No list, old link)
-Views from the Waters's Edge (No list, old link)
-Vijay Sappani (No list, old graphic modified, old link)
-where'd that bug go (No list, old link)
-Whig (Double Parasite, no list or link)
-While the Earth Burns (No list, old link)
-Yappa Ding Ding (No graphic)
-Yes Another Liberal Blog (Old list)
-Youth of the Youth (No list, old link)

All the others are in compliance.


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