Archive for April, 2006

Day of Wrath Update

Well we have added the latest instalment for Day of Wrath, our serial fiction story.

You can view the latest pages by visiting the story directory.

Or you can just go directly to Page 381.

We have also set up a brand new Chapter Notes subscription page. The old list is toast unfortunately so those who have subscribed will need to re-subscribe to the newsletter.

Dryden Declares

Ken Dryden, the Montreal Canadian goaltender and architect of the Liberal Day Care program entered officially the leadership race for the Liberal Party. ( CBC Story )

Personally I am rather happy to see him take a stab at becoming leader.

Being a goaltender isn’t exactly leadership material but for those who recall his days as the net minder might think a bit differently. When the battle in front of him was intense, when tempers flared he stood in his net, his hand on the stick and watched with a keen eye. His solid nerve in facing real snipers of hockey fame is legendary and perhaps in some ways it does give him leadership qualities.

However what excites me more is his ability to articulate the issues and to not simply yell and stomp and scream. His quiet resolve is impressive and how he managed to get 10 Premiers to agree on a national plan as important as day care is amazing. That is something you don’t often see.

Why is it impressive?

Simple really. For a man coming to the Premiers without a definate mandate nationally, and to secure an agreement in principle in such a short time is amazing. He didn’t negotiate from any position of strength really and yet in the agreement, there is no sell out to the provinces either. It is, as many of the Premiers said, a fair compromise agreement.

If only he was in charge of the softwood lumber negotiations things might be a lot different than they are now. The sell out of our economy by Stephen Harper has begun. It continues with Mr Harpers day care program.

The universal approach of Harper’s plan is a joke. It simply tosses pittance at the problem by giving every parent with a child under 6 $100 per month. Course the part of it being ‘taxable’ income really isn’t touted but let’s be totally frank here. $1200 a year is not going to help a single mother on welfare. It is not going to help a single parent working at minimum wage.

The Dryden plan at least put more money towards those who needed the help the most. Something the Harper plan does NOT DO. In addition, Dryden admits its not the ideal plan, but its a compromise that will address many of the needs. The Harper plan isn’t even considered a plan by virtually all economists including his own conservative think tanks.

Will Ken Dryden make a good Prime Minister?

Darned if I know but he has the qualities to be one of our best. The question is going to be what is his platform and how well can he articulate it. I am hopefully by his opening statement where he talks about his interest in Canada. He has a vision it seems, now can he make us see it too?

How Is It A Good Deal?

Stephen Harper was out hiding today instead of being in Parliament defending his acceptance of the new softwood lumber deal he orchastrated with henchmen Michael Wilson. Once more George Bush has won a round by taking a pound of flesh that will come back to haunt us later on.

See, the USA bullied Canada. It has been that way now for some time actually, ever since Bush Sr. was President and no, Clinton was no better. Now junior is reaping the benefits and what does Canada get? NOTHING!

If you want to fight a bully, you don’t cave in when the going gets tough. You keep after them and keep standing your ground no matter how painful it is. We need to energize our softwood industry, whether it be in Ontario or British Columbia. Unfortunately what this agreement does is to make it easier for the profit rich US firms to buy out Canadian Interests.

I mean they owe us $5 Billion dollars but will only pay $4 Billion. This money goes back to the companies who have already paid the illegal tarriffs. So they are out the $1 Billion dollars in a growing economic slowdown. So who is gonna make up for it? You and Me? No One?

Stephen Harper claims to be an economist, so how can he accept a deal that costs us $1 Billion dollars and offers no guarantees that such a tarriff won’t be re-instated later on? I mean let’s get real, the whole tarriffs were tacked on when an existing deal was in place. So for them to say, oh we’ll sign this now and expect they won’t do it again is rather lame. Specially when they walked away with $1 Billion dollars. Hell if I were them, I’d sure as hell try it again and hope for another Billion Dollar windfall.

We are bloodied and bruised from this 4 year battle, but you know, I’d much rather keep on fighting than surrender. Speaking of that, it makes one also wonder why more hasnt been done to find other buyers. The USA isn’t the only user, and maybe if Paul Martin in the past, and Stephen Harper now had looked further abroad, this whole mess would be ending a lot differently.

Oh wait, I know why Paul Martin didn’t do it, wasn’t the guy in charge someone named Emerson? The current TORY man in charge? You know, the guy who switched parties to keep his cabinet post?

Trudeau told us back in the early 1970’s that the more we depended on the USA for buying our goods, the less independence we would have. We are seeing his words come true as the election of Stephen Harper isn’t a change from corruption, or even simple screw ups. Instead we are seeing the dismantling of a nation, piece by piece beginning with this softwood lumber surrender.

Remember this sell out come the next election. Or we’ll be voting for President not Prime Minister.

Shame On Stephen Harper

Well we have the sell out of the softwood lumber industry, and now Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, refuses to allow the flag over parliament to be lowered to half mast in honor of the fallen soldiers from Afghanistan.

SHAME ON YOU STEPHEN HARPER!

These Men & Women serve this nation willingly. They have a heroic record in the world of unstinting committment to peace and honour that is unrivaled by any other nation. Canadian peacekeepers have for decades been the only line of defence from violent wars between many different factions and have paid dearly for that reputation.

I AM PROUD OF OUR MILITARY, TOO BAD YOU AREN’T HARPER!

When these men & women don the uniform and go abroad, they represent the finest this country has. They have performed with grace, with honour, with integrity in the face of advertisity everywhere. From Greece to Serbia, our troops have done this country proud.

It is only fitting that when they fall, we respect and honour that amazing sacrifice. It is only RIGHT that our flag over our parliament dip in salute to those who have given so freely of their lives for our security and for the peace of the world. This isn’t political, this is simply doing what is right.

For Stephen Harper to refuse to show parliament’s respect to those parliament has sent to defend us, is not only a travesty, but is a disgrace. To not let the flag fly at half mast is not just disrepectful to them, but to every single Canadian citizen. We owe our freedom to these people, how dare our Prime Minister not show his respect, his appreciation to them on our behalf.

When the next election comes around, there should be no need to ask Stephen Harper if he loves Canada. He has clearly shown that not only does he not love this country, but that he has no respect for it or its citizens.

FOR SHAME STEPHEN HARPER !

For a man who cries ethics, for a man who claims the high moral ground so much, this shows that you will say anything you can to get elected. It shows clearly that your ethics are those of a snake. To disrespect our fallen soldiers is not something I thought any Prime Minister would ever do.

No More Broken Promises, No More Lies from You Stephen Harper.

Let us hope that Parliament will now have your measure and that your days as Prime Minister begin to be counted. Time for you to go, because as much as I hated the Liberal scandals, I hate your callous and indifferent attitude to fallen Canadians even more. Money we can always replace, dead soldiers we take a generation to gain back. They deserved your respect Mr Harper.

They Earned It.

A Sell Out…

So I am pretty steamed about now. Not sure how many have heard that Michael Wilson has reached a tentative deal with the United States on the Softwood Lumber dispute. Frankly given the terms of the agreement, Sell Out is really about as mild as I can get without the blood pressure shooting through the roof. ( CBC Story )

To begin with:

Canada will also collect an export tax on softwood lumber shipped to the United States if the price drops below $355 per thousand board feet. The tax would be at least five per cent of the price per thousand board feet. ( CBC Story )

So let me see, if we produce more, are able to cut our expenses so our prices are less or if say the exchange rate changes drastically, our own government will now collect a tax that started this whole bullshit dispute?

And Harper Agrees To This?

I am sorry, but it really isn’t about making deals. I mean let’s be honest here. If you have someone who does you favours, covers your back and is basically your friend, well you let things slide at times. I mean its a give n take type of thing. Problem is, I see the United States doing a whole lot of taking, but frankly, I sure as hell don’t see them giving us much back, if anything.

Now we have won all the major rulings needed, with one exception. That being the WTO, an organization bought and paid for by the United States, but that aside, we won all the disputes. That $5 Billion dollars isn’t a gift, it is monies our businesses have already paid out to the United States on an illegal tariff.

Under this agreement we only get back 78% of those funds.

So, Mr Harper as you are a supposed economist, can you explain how this will benefit the Canadian companies you represent?

Could you please Mr Harper inform us how companies like Canfor will survive $80 million losses and still be able to maintain its viability with the stock holders and employees?

Perhaps our employment rate is too high, so this might help add a few thousand to the unemployed ranks. Maybe that’s your grand economic plan for Canada Mr Harper? I mean it certainly was Michael Wilson’s goal when he was finance minister under Mulroney. He did give us the GST and unbelievable deficits, so perhaps this is just one more attempt to bankrupt our country?

I mean it would be easier to sell us becoming a part of the United States if we were bankrupt. Then we would naturally rush to have Uncle Sam come up and rescue us, and naturally take all of our resources and pollute it and ruin our natural forests. I mean is that your economic strategy Mr Harper?

Cause it sure as hell looks like it from here!

Also look at how this government ignores the basic principle of economics, or did Mr Harper forget that funds paid out in 2002 currency is not the same today? That exchange rates have fluctuated as the loonie continues to grow despite his election?

“Why would you give 22 per cent to your competition?” Atkinson said, referring to the 78 per cent figure. “I’ve never heard of it, where you have your competition making record profits south of the border and Canada has to give 22 per cent. This money belongs to the companies and their shareholders, and the Canadian government is giving it away.” ( CBC Story )

Our industry, no matter where is exists, has been under attack from a foreign power. The Liberals stood firm in demanding our money back, a deal was about to be reached and now we have a sell out. A complete sellout no, but 22% when you are talking about Billions is not a small scale descrepiency.

Should take note in that quote too that the US softwood lumber companies are having record years in sales, and yet it was their claim of poverty that brought about this illegal tax in the first place. I mean if you are having record profits how can you claim you can’t compete with our product? Kind of shows you, the USA is out to ruin our economy to either take it over or make us the poor cousins they would prefer.

After all a strong and vibrant Canada is obviously not easy pickings for things like oil resources, hydro electric power, or other natural resources. A weakened Canada on the other hand is.

Yet this is what Michael Wilson has agreed to on behalf of Canada.

Kind of makes me think back to the election, when Mr Harper was asked if he loved his country and he refused to answer. I think now that his refusal to lay claim to love of country was no mistake. This sell out helps shed some light on why he refused to say he loved Canada.

He Doesn’t.