Friday, June 03, 2011

Here for all Canadians

You can read the first Stephen Harper majority government throne speech here. But you probably don't need to.

After all, there are few surprises in it, which is in line with Harper's "stability" message repeated every day during the election campaign. The throne speech's proposals for Senate reform, new House of Commons seats, and crime bills were already known. I'm not happy about Harper's pledge to scrap the gun registry and the wheat board, but we all knew that was coming.

And in honour of the new era of civility, let me give Harper credit for his pledge to sign free trade deals with the EU by 2012 and India by 2013. And for his push for a national securities regular. Again, not new and not sexy, but things that will benefit Canada.

Monday is budget day. Once again, don't expect the earth to move - all indications are it will be a rehash of Flaherty's March budget, with a few trinkets like the axing of the political party public subsidy thrown in.

14 Comments:

  • I'm a never-touched-a-gun-in-his-life urban dweller. But for the life of me, I can't see what the long gun registry achieves given that in order to buy a long gun, one must already have a firearms license. So, anyone that shows up in the registration database, would have to show up in the license database (assuming they're different DBs, which they possibly aren't), so what's the point of the former?

    Can one of you kindly explain the reasoning here? Am I missing something? Because to me it looks like a triumph of politics over rational thought.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 9:27 PM  

  • Non-gun owner as well.

    The Libs saw this as a wedge issue, to allow them to coast into government on a cushion of moral outrage, rather than a bloated bureaucracy that did nothing of value.

    Unfortunately, they chose to support the fat edge of the wedge.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 5:19 PM  

  • I thought they previously pledged the free trade deal with the EU by 2010.

    By Blogger Bailey, at 5:22 PM  

  • Just read the India free trade pledge (thanks CG for bringing it to my attention).

    This is just outright crazy. If it is signed off, whatever manufacturing is left in Canada, will disappear within 5 years. This is just outright crazy!

    I'm looking at opening a factory in Asia - China is becoming too expensive (on my way there on Monday for my 4th visit this year) - and will now have to seriously consider India. All I can say is WOW!

    There are $Bs to be made and Ms of Canadian jobs to be lost with this pledge.

    Harper's MPs should be getting phone calls ASAP. McGuinty/federal NDP have an issue that they can sink their teeth into. The federal Liberals can sink into more irrelevance (down to 15%) while deciding on a leader.

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 5:31 PM  

  • Perimeter security deal with the US was mentioned in the throne speech, but I'm surprised that this blog doesn't mention it (along will all blogs/media reports, it seems).

    I thought this would get much more attention, considering the sensitivity of Can/US relations, and also that a major announcement on this very issue is planned for the summer.

    IMO it's monumental, up there with EU/India free trade.

    By Anonymous Mike514, at 9:57 PM  

  • All i remember from last week's throne speech is a young woman from Manitoba Brigitte Depape.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 PM  

  • @Jim R: Read!!! the long gun registry is a helpful tool for the police forces who requested it in the first place and still support it. It tracks down the guns and their owners as well as where they live and uses them during 911 calls and thefts of firearms etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 PM  

  • Wikileaks has said, the N.A.U. is on the way. That's why nothing new nor, outstanding was in the budget. There will be many changes, as we will see, won't make any sense to us, but, will tie in with the H.A.U.

    The American people are furious about the N.A.U. They do not want to merge, with Mexico and Canada. They fear being overrun by Mexicans, and said Canada could be overrun as well. Canada is already being overrun with Chinese.

    They were just waiting for Harper's majority, to begin the merge, with small increments firstly.

    The U.S. people say, Harper's election win, was rigged. That i do believe. They said, there is a petition out with Presscore, to prosecute Harper and Peter MacKay, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. I found that too.

    We will be the Mexcanericans, our currency will be, the Amero dollar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 PM  

  • ANON 4:04 YOU HAVE TO START AT THE BEGINNING.

    1. THE US GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY REPTILES FROM BEYOND THE MOON
    2. THEY WANT TO STEAL CANADA'S WATER TO TRANSPORT BACK TO THEIR HOME-WORLD
    3. IN THE 1950s THEY STARTED MIND-CONTROLLING CANADIANS WITH FLUORIDE IN THE WATER SUPPLY
    4. MIND CONTROL MADE DIEF CANCEL THE ARROW, DEEPENING INTEGRATION AND SETTING BACK AVRO'S OTHER PROJECTS, LIKE THE AVROCAR - A FLYING SAUCER THAT COULD HAVE DISCOVERED THE REPTILES.
    5. DIEF GOT WISE TO 'EM AND SWITCHED TO WHISKEY, BUT KENNEDY SENT THE CIA TO RIG THE 1963 ELECTION.
    6. THEN PAUL HELLYER FOUND OUT ABOUT THE ALIENS, BUT WAS FORCED OUT OF POLITICS BY THEIR SERVANTS IN THE LIBERAL AND PC PARTIES. EVEN THE NDP IS IN ON IT. THEY STOPPED HIS EFFORTS TO MERGE THE CANADIAN ACTION PARTY WITH THE NDP, FORMING ONE BIG PARTY TO SAVE CANADA.
    7. WITH FREE TRADE THEY GOT DEEP INTEGRATION. CANADIAN-STYLE HEALTHCARE CEASED TO EXIST.
    8. SO FAR, HARPER HAS SERVED THE REPTILIAN AGENDA. HIS ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES WILL HELP MAKE THE PLANET HOTTER.
    9. THEN THEY CAUSED THE SUBPRIME CRISIS, GIVING HARPER AN EXCUSE TO BUILD HIGHWAYS... OR I SHOULD SAY: THE NAFTA SUPER-HIGHWAY.
    10. FREE TRADE WITH THE EU IS JUST A FRONT. BEV ODA WILL JUST CROSS OUT THE WORDS "FREE TRADE" AND WRITE IN "ANNEXATION BY", AND THEN REPLACE "EUROPE" WITH "THE NORTH AMERICAN UNION".

    ONLY ONE MAN CAN STOP THEM NOW: DAVID ORCHARD.

    By Anonymous D. Orchard, at 6:42 PM  

  • Mike - I missed the perimeter deal. Do they actually have a deal yet? It's hard to know what to think about it until we see the details.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:55 AM  

  • @Anonymous/12.52 PM - With respect to 911 calls, the long gun registry seems redundant as any long gun owner must have a firearms license. So the police would already know that a person with a firearms license lives at the address associated with the 911 call. And, since the only reason to have a firearms license is to own a firearm, one can say with an extremely high degree of certainty that such an address will have firearms in it - and the police can thus take whatever added precautions are needed. So no need for a long gun registry in this use case.

    With respect to firearms thefts, I would expect that there is already a "paper trail" that traces the sale of a gun through proper channels. There must be paper work that goes back to the government when a gun store sells a gun to someone. And I would expect that even in a private transaction there is also supposed to be government paperwork involved. So, it's not obvious to me what added benefit the long gun registry brings to the table. Additionally, it's not obvious to me how being able to trace a stolen gun makes my, or anyone's, life any safer
    except possibly in some corner cases that may or may not justify the added costs involved. If someone can explain *specifically* how the long gun registry helps in this use case, and why it is important for the public's safety, it would be helpful.

    Said it before and will say it again - go after gangsters/criminals with guns - these folks represent real, immediate dangers to society. Yet, it seems that when one of them is caught in possession of an illegal handgun, the charge is dropped because they can't prove the gun in the car or home belongs to the gangster in question, or the gangster gets a slap on the wrist.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 12:47 PM  

  • Firearms license doesnot equal registration for individual firearms then how is it redundant? thats like saying you have a driver's license so you must have a vehicle, so no need to register the vehicle. These things are based on years of research by law enforcement as to what tools they need in order to do their work more efficiently. Police needs every firearm that is out there, in their database, that saves lives of police officers and individuals during raids and when they get those calls and have to make a decision who to dispatch. It saves valuable resources and reduces the cost of fighting crime rather than going through lengthy investigations to find out the source of that firearm. Just like the long form census tories and those supporting their position think they know better than the statisticians and law enforcement experts.

    A firearm itself doesnot follow a license it can be transferred, sold, stolen etc. if its not registered its just like any other illegal gun untraceable, unregistered and unaccounted for. Many crimes commited with long guns in the past have been solved with the help of the gun registry. As for the cost, the money was spent to set up the registry there is relatively little money that goes into maintaining it. In contrast the same tory government spent more than the entire cost of setting up the registry on a single 72 hour event i.e the G8 summit. Now they want to dismantle the registry that works fine. Fortunately they elected a whole bunch of new MPs in the GTA and are now saying it would be modified not scrapped...lets see.

    Also, the gun registry is not aimed at fighting gangs. Tories lose any rational thinking person when they start linking other crime to the gun registry. That is a totally separate issue but for tories and gun lovers anything that deviates from the American style NRA pro gun stand is an issue they desparately need to hang on to. Illegal guns and the non traceability of those guns is a direct result of no registration, free for all gun market in the US, where 90% of the illegal firearms present here originate. Also, most people can't understand why a legal gun owner who is also a law abiding citizen would have a problem registring their guns when it can be done without much hassle nowadays.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:05 AM  

  • @Anonymous/3:05 AM

    It is true that "Firearms license doesnot equal registration for individual firearms". However, it is also true that the pool of people with firearms licenses forms a superset of the pool of people who legally posses a firearm. So when dispatching police, the simplifying assumption can be made that a firearms license holder possesses a firearm. Worst case scenario is that there's a false positive and the individual in question has no firearms; but in this worst case, no harm no foul. And realistically, the people with a "Possession-Only License" (POL) or a "Possession and Acquisition License" (PAL) who don't own a firearm are going to be very, very few. That's why the firearms license makes the long gun registry redundant in this use case. [I would also hazard that any police officer dispatched to the residence of a person with a firearms license, but no registered guns, is going to ignore the registry and take precautions consistent with firearms being present]

    The statement "Many crimes commited with long guns in the past have been solved with the help of the gun registry" is made. Can specific references be provided? I would like to understand just how the LGR did this in these cases.

    "Also, the gun registry is not aimed at fighting gangs." It is *painfully* obvious that the LGR is not aimed at fighting gangs. That was my point. The Liberals took the bait and wasted considerable capital on fighting for a registry that would produce little, if any, improved safety for Canadians, IMO. What they could have done (instead, or even in parallel) was come up with policies aimed at the very real problem of criminals with handguns. Liberals took what I consider to be the lazy and politically expedient approach. Too bad.

    A couple of years ago, while sitting in my living room, I heard what sounded like fire crackers. Turns out it was the sound of a gangster assassin killing another gangster 1/2 block from where I live at a time of the evening when my kids could have been out. A couple of years prior to that, while driving home from work in downtown Vancouver, I witnessed one drug dealer kill (with a handgun) another drug dealer.

    So, anyone is certainly free to think I'm irrational in my concern about criminals and handguns, but AFAIAC, any urban dwellers who are more concerned about farmers, hunters, and other long gun owners having to have to register their rifles than they are concerned about handgun toting criminals are the irrational ones. And the fact that the Liberal party could not be bothered to at least acknowledge this issue with a policy or two (all the while going on and on about the LGR) was just plain offensive. I personally don't care much whether the LGR lives or dies - it's not a big deal either way. I do care about violent (urban) crime.

    BTW, I'm not a Tory; I'm not a Tory supporter. I am not, and have never been, affiliated with any political party. In fact, I was one of the small minority of people who voted Liberal in the last federal election (despite a number of misgivings).

    Now for kicks, here are my brief takes on a few totally irrelevant, or only marginally relevant, topics that were raised:
    - Long form census - really don't understand why it was toasted; seemed politically motivated. Having said that, doesn't seem like an end-of-the-world issue.
    - G8/G20 - as a taxpayer, I weep at the cost. As a citizen, I am outraged that peaceful protestors had their civil rights trampled on (provincial Liberal government to blame for this, I believe) while vandalizing hooligans were given a free pass in one of those only-in-Canada moments.
    - US NRA - their view that the right to bear arms trumps virtually everything else is totally unreasonable (to put it in extremely euphemistic terms).

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 8:17 PM  

  • Again a legal firearm not registered is not traceable unless you go and find out the source and that takes lengthy investigation and may take years and lots of money in case of a crime, that should explain the need for the registry to a lay person. Police needs all the tools they can get. Many domestic shootings involve legal long guns and in many others in rural Canada the registry had a strong role in solving the crimes. They don't work on the premise of false positives when they have limited resources(which they also need to fight gangs and other crime). One thing i don't get is why are all the law and order types against the police associations on this, where does the tough on crime thing go then and where does republicanism creep up from?

    Gangs area a totally separate issue and category of crime. If one can't differentiate between the types of crimes then its not worth arguing. Even on gangs tory policy is to build more prisons but not target youth at risk or more resources at the border, so that guns and drugs don't go in and out, infact they reduced the budget. Besides your chance of getting caught up in a gang war are less than winning a lottery or being struck by lightning never mind the media sensationalism that goes into it ESPECIALLY(trust me i speak with experience from elsewhere as well) in the lower mainland. US has utterly failed to tackle gangs through this approach. For the last time any legal gun owner should have NO problem registering their firearm unless they are influenced by the NRA ideology period which in itself should make any urban dweller worried about crime ask them some serious questions. I have family members in the fraser valley that own long guns and are avid hunters but have NO problem whatsoever with the registry and they always vote Liberal. Its the conservative types that have a real issue with this and they don't vote liberal if their life depended on it. They think that their position in this society is somehow weakened if they are asked to follow the rules like anyone else and in this case a rule that affects them more than others since a vast majority in this country doesnot own any firearms.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:08 PM  

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