Tuesday, February 27, 2007

News Roundup

1. Titanic director James Cameron has brought a whole new meaning to "King of the World" with his upcoming DaVinci-esque documentary to air on the Discovery Channel (talk about a jackpot for the Discovery Channel). I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that there might be some controversy around this one.

2. The latest poll from Quebec has Charest out in front:

Lib 37
PQ 28
ADQ 24

3. It appears the extension to parts of the anti-terror legislation will be voted down tonight.

4. Ed Stelmach and David Suzuki are going at it over oilsands development.

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  • Charest Charest Charest

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1:55 p.m.  

  • This will hopefully set the bloc and PQ back on thier ass' for at least a decade.

    By Blogger WC aka Joe Calgary, at 2:30 p.m.  

  • Charest may yet lose. Keep in mind that Mario Dumont is only a two-point swing behind Boisclair. Shouls Dumont be seen as the only challenger able to beat Charest, he may siphon off enough PQ support for a win, or a minority parliament.

    The ADQ holds a strong lead among second choice preferences, and has actually made considerable inroads among allophone and anglophone voters (compared to last time).

    As for the PQ, so long as over 40% of Quebec wants to separate, they will have a base. A defeat in this election will only free up strong candidates and political capital to work for the Bloc in the next federal election (though, perhaps Duceppe will switch to the provincial scene).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:40 p.m.  

  • Ill take a 9 point lead

    Pollster jean Marc Leger said if these numbers hold,it will be a majority for Charest

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3:14 p.m.  

  • This will hopefully set the bloc and PQ back on thier ass' for at least a decade.

    Hopefully, it will do it for a lot longer than that.

    By Blogger Brian in Calgary, at 3:27 p.m.  

  • Let's not count our chickens quite yet... The campaign is just getting started, and Charest still has very high negatives, meaning he has to campaign well, especially down the stretch.

    By Blogger Andrew Smith, at 3:30 p.m.  

  • It's not easy to say this, but Suzuki has possibly started causing more pointless harm than constructive benefit. I hold his life's work in the highest esteem, I admire him, but I'm the first to say that this GHG-emitting bus tour is an embarrassment. Because of freaking engine insurance? If Suzuki of all people can't go the extra distance, then why in hell should ordinary Canadians? Way to lead by example.

    He should stop this tour, or else pull over and figure out a way to set a better example than hypocritical finger pointing.

    And another thing - why is the Alberta oilsands so "evil"? Just who the **** does everyone thing is using all that oil? Albertans aren't racking up that many kilometres. They're only supplying what the rest of us are demanding, for god's sake. Start some reforms on the way we consume energy, and then you'll see a difference.

    And god almighty, what's with this who-blinks-first chicken game on the ATA? I thought Harper put forward a good compromise yesterday - why can't it be accepted? This looks like a bomb Dion is setting off in his own lap. I understand that I may not have the most detailed analysis at hand of the issue, but a three-month compromise seems workable to me - what part of the picture am I missing?

    Strength and standing firm are admirable, of course - but I think Dion is pushing it on this.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:11 p.m.  

  • I think the real concern with the Oilsands development is valid - namely that measures to ensure that we can reclaim the mined-out areas and settling ponds (and other waste accumulations) are arguably inadequate.

    This is one of those areas where public interest is distinctly at odds with the "unbridled market", and some degree of measured control is justified.

    Unfortunately, Suzuki has been more than just a bit over the top in recent weeks - but then again, perhaps that's necessary to draw attention to the issues.

    By Blogger Grog, at 4:32 p.m.  

  • To be honest, Grog, I'm of perplexed and contradictory thoughts on the oilsands. I'm strongly for the environment, but I find that I've developed a preference for oil that doesn't come from dictatorships (insert favourite Stephen Harper joke in here, guys). Democratic-originated oil is something we need more of.

    So, I don't really know what I think - but surely there are reasonable and fair regulations and standards we can set for oil development all over Canada, I think.

    But I mean, if Suzuki can't find a greener way to travel, what the heck is going to inspire others???

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:31 p.m.  

  • I'm becoming more and more optimistic about the Quebec election, but I can't escape the feeling that there's still plenty of time for Charest to shoot himself in both feet, like he always seems to find a way to.

    I'm still predicting a Liberal minority.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 5:37 p.m.  

  • I agree, IL. I'm too cautious to be optimistic...

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:10 p.m.  

  • How would a Liberal minority be pessimistic?

    The Liberals in Quebec were elected on a promise to reengineer the Quebec model.

    They have failed utterly at that - albeit due to intimidation tactics deployed by the unions.

    Working in concert with the ADQ is better than an outright majority.

    The only pessimistic outcome is a PQ win. And that my friends, will take a Moses-sized miracle.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 7:31 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 7:43 p.m.  

  • I see the oilsands as environmental exploitation without conscience.

    Any other industry would be forced to clean up. For example, if an industry operated in an industrial park near you and generated the same untreated water slews, what would be the public reaction?

    Now we have an agreement involvling the Foreign Ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    The purpose of which is to send Mexicans to work in the Oil Sands, so we can increase production to meet the growing needs of the United States.

    At the same time we will use vast amounts of natural gas to produce this oil and use massive quantities of water, which after use, will be rendered unusable for any other purpose.

    At the same time, Canadians subsidize the process through accelerated capital cost allowances and Albertans receive rock bottom royalty rates.

    It all seems wrong to me.

    Who is going to clean up this mess and return the land to its original condition?

    It seems that a huge liability is being created without any thought to the cost of cleaning up afterwards.

    We will increase the greenhouse gases generated to boot.

    I would be very surprised if the majority of Canadians support a "development at any cost" philosophy.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 7:47 p.m.  

  • The issue isn't whether there are problems with the oil patch, the issue is why we only discuss the oil patch. What about urban sprawl and subsidizing the auto industry and auto emmissions in Ontario? Each suburban driver is subsidized by the government to the tune of about eight thousand dollars a year. Who is in favour of making drivers pay the whole cost of roads in tolls, as Ontario's contribution to being green?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 8:30 p.m.  

  • Given many of the problems associated with the oilsands' rapid expansion and the fact that the oil isn't going anywhere, I don't see a problem with proceeding with caution.

    But Nuna is right that other industries should be looked at just as closely.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:15 p.m.  

  • Proceed with caution is absolutely what I mean when I say there must surely be reasonable and fair regulations and standards - you are right.

    And Ontario is a major factor in the equation, as Nuna D. says. Again, who do we think is using all that oil? Suburban drivers are my sworn enemies (though I'm sure they are very nice people): toll roads is a fine idea, and I also support a charge or fee to drive into downtown, or even "the city" (a bigger border than "downtown") as well.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:52 p.m.  

  • The effect of the oilsands seems not unlike the sort of resource extraction that has left much of the area around Sudbury a barren wasteland of slag and rocks. Perhaps it won't quite come to that, but the twin effects of local environmental degradation and high inflation combined with inadequate infrastructure don't seem all that positive.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 10:07 p.m.  

  • Dion made a huge mistake in the house today....being soft on terror is playing right into Harpers hand. If you read Johnathan Kayes explosive column in the National Post today, he has got Dion pegged...and it is not pretty!

    By Blogger islandconservative, at 11:37 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Demiurge, at 1:46 a.m.  

  • I read that Kay article off of a link last night, and it shocked me.

    I've heard rumours about the Montreal Convention, which I'd earlier brushed off as fanciful paranoia.

    But I think now that there are very legitimate questions that Dion, and other contenders, will have to answer. If these allegations prove true, then Dion must resign, and there must be an entirely new race, for an entirely new leader.

    I'm deeply troubled by what is being suggested. If the story is true, then this is worse than Watergate - far worse - and there are only a few options open to Liberals to maintain credibility. If true, then Liberals are fortunate that Ed Broadbent isn't NDP leader, or the party would risk massive, generational damage.

    We need the air cleared - I hope the press/media will embark on a serious investigation into the Convention.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 8:34 a.m.  

  • You are right, Josh - this is an important consideration. Absolutely.

    (Seems I left this up without pressing Publish - oops)

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:06 a.m.  

  • I was at the convention and know some people.

    Not aware of anything untoward.

    Post a link and I can follow up.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:01 a.m.  

  • No doubt environmental issues have to be addressed as a series of directed strategies in a wide range of areas.

    I'm saying what the federal Conservatives have done so far is nothing, not even implement the regulations prepared by Dion as Minister.

    Now the western governors have proposed a comprehensive strategy and the BC government has announced that it intends to even exceed the targets proposed by the western governors ( but no details yet).

    Our federal government seems to be saying one thing and doing another.

    The tar sands initiative is one to watch.

    This is very clearly the wrong direction.

    Yes there must be a comprehensive package.

    We are still waiting to see what that looks like.

    But if the tar sands is any indication, we will be lacking leadership, regulation and direction on this issue.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:10 a.m.  

  • You're right, LA, the Western governors and Gordon Campbell sure seem to be climbing onto the horse - I'm very interested in following their progress. I'm very optimistic they will succeed and blaze a trail for the rest of us, showing that it can be done effectively without great hardship.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 11:28 a.m.  

  • I stress I don't take this story as fact, but only think there has grown enough grounds for legitimate questions for Dion and Kennedy and Ignatieff to answer, that is all.

    Innocent or culpable, it's important for Liberals and Canadians to know the truth of the story.

    Here is the Kay article another commenter posted. There are many blog postings dating back a week or two that I haven't kept track of, but left-ish WernerPatels.com/musing and rightish JoJourn.blogspot.com have followed it in their archives.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 11:33 a.m.  

  • Kay is a hack who supported the Iraq war when everyone who was paying attention saw what was going on.

    Anyways, no one I know wants to see an investigation of the Liberal party on how they conducted their convention. That would only be something a partisan Con would want. Most Canadians dont care how a party picks its leader, hence why people didn't care that McKay broke a written agreement and sunk the oldest party in Canadian history.

    Dion is doing OK right now I think. Not spectacular but the Libs are coming off as more statesmanlike than the Cons who are getting dirty, i read in the NP that one Con MP actually said the Liberal caucas had terrorist sympathizers and extremists in it. Thats pretty low.

    Civil liberties are also one of the selling points of the Liberals and its good to see them remember that.

    By Blogger Demiurge, at 12:23 p.m.  

  • There are several dozen articles a day written by partisan journalists.

    I'm not sure that responding to innuendo is a good thing.

    Maybe resorting to the courts and winning settlements for libel is the best route to take.

    We live in a democracy and people are entitled to their opinions.

    The right to express an opinion sometimes results in innuendo and often obsures the facts.

    Experienced journalists writing columns need to be clear whether they are reporting facts or expressing their opinion on what could be possible.

    Unfortunately there is no standard other than the legal standard compelling this to happen.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:06 p.m.  

  • I'm not suggesting a criminal investigation, just a journalistic one. The allegations trouble me quite a lot. Some of them are far-fetched, but others make me wonder, and I'd like the matter put to rest.

    I've never heard of Jonathon Kay before this week, no clue of his history or general attitude. I certainly take you at your word about him.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:15 p.m.  

  • JBG, you take the word of an blog commentor over someone published under the by-line of a national newspaper?

    See Lance w/ questioning look.


    By Blogger lance, at 10:31 p.m.  

  • That Kay supported the Iraq war for years is well documented fact. That he is a partisan hack is my opinion but like 'l a' said he certainly isn't the only one out there.

    I doubt Kay will be worrying about getting sued, he used enough weasel words to cover himself. The whole article is littered with them, just look at one paragraph:

    "But Harper MAY PROVE the long-run winner. Even if Bains' father-in-law has nothing to do with Dion's decision to oppose national security legislation that his own party drafted just five years ago, there is LITTLE DOUBT that certain ethnopolitical special interests are calling the shots here. AMONG VETERAN LIBERAL INSIDERS, IT IS BELIEVED that the several hundred Sikh convention delegates Bains and his allies led into the Dion camp (via Gerard Kennedy) came with a price: an end to the investigative powers contained in the Anti-Terrorism Act, which was opposed for predictable reasons by various Sikh, Tamil and Muslim organizations."

    So yeah someone may yet prove there is little doubt that certain anonymous Liberal insiders believe foul play is involved..

    Anyways I think its a tempest in a teapot, most Canadians don't care how parties pick their leaders which is why they don't participate in the process. Just like in the last election most Canadians didn't want another election about 'how scary Harper is', the 'how corrupt are the Liberals' meme is losing currency. The Cons should be trying to show they can cooperate enough to govern in a minority situation not taking cheap shots at the opposition.

    By Blogger Demiurge, at 11:12 p.m.  

  • More commentators are beginning to wake up to the fact that the Conservatives are focussed on partisanship and have accomplished very little.

    Remember the four pillars ?

    And the new Conservative program on the environment is said to include significant growth in greenhouse gases.

    Should go over like a lead balloon.

    Anyone heard of Rona Ambrose lately? What's happening in Intergovernmental Affairs.

    Not one heck of a lot, I suspect.

    We'll see how this develops.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 8:17 a.m.  

  • Stephane Dion has responded to Jonathan Kay's previous article today in the National Post.

    Here is an excerpt

    "I would have also told Mr. Kay that the sunsetting of these two provisions was never discussed at any time with any leadership contender as a condition of support at the leadership convention. And far from extracting any kind of price for their support, Liberal MPs such as Navdeep Bains and Omar Alghabra encouraged members of newer Canadian cultural communities to get democratically engaged in politics for the candidate they believed in, not even seeking traditional campaign titles for themselves in return."

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 4:12 p.m.  

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