Archive for January, 2013

Am I going Toyshuga?

January 28, 2013

What’s wrong with me for thinking there’s something wrong with the largest automaker in the world receiving Canadian tax dollars?

Toyota surpasses GM as world’s biggest car seller

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/01/14/business-toyota-gm-sales.html Jan. 14, 2013

PM announces Auto Innovation Fund investment in Southwestern Ontario
January 23, 2013
Cambridge, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced an Automotive Innovation Fund investment in Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) for an initiative that is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The Prime Minister made the announcement at TMMC’s Cambridge facilities. He was accompanied by Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology)(Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, and Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Innovation.

“Our Government is committed to helping Canada’s automotive sector remain globally competitive and prosperous,” said the Prime Minister. “Today’s support will allow Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada to produce a hybrid version of the Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle in Cambridge, the first hybrid model ever built in Canada. This milestone initiative to build greener more fuel efficient cars will advance Canadian innovation and increase our ability to compete internationally resulting in more high-paying, stable jobs.”

The project will generate approximately 400 jobs at TMMC’s Cambridge facility, and will involve building a new blended assembly line that will permit increased production of the current Lexus model. Production of the RX 450h hybrid is expected to begin in 2014.
Federal funding for the project is provided through the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF), a $250-million, five year program that supports strategic, large-scale research and development projects in the automotive sector. Introduced in 2008, and renewed for another five years in January 2013, the AIF is designed to help automotive firms strengthen their capacity for innovation and to position them to compete successfully in the global economy.

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Supreme Court decision assinine

January 26, 2013

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“…the law is an ass – an idiot,” said Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, 1838.

When Canadian law, its judges, and lawyers are more powerful (and get paid more) than asses, it is well to consider judicial reform. Recently, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Section 585 of Quebec’s Civil Code violates s. 15, the equality provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 585 states:

585. Married or civil union spouses, and relatives in the direct line in the first degree, owe each other support.

 A majority of Supreme Court justices said this portion of Quebec’s Civil Code violates the Canadian Charter because it does not provide support for common-law spouses. Some of these spouses may have been living together for 50 years, may have produced 1 or more children together, and may share every aspect of life as a couple.

 In the majority of the court’s opinions (as four different opinions were given), they said that this section violates the equality provision of the charter. Yet, a slim majority also said that this inequality is acceptable. To whom? Not to the woman who has been left with three children, children whose father is wealthy beyond comprehension. Not to the lawyers, who argued on behalf of this woman. And not to many Quebecois and Quebecoises who now face, in the word of Justice Rosalie Abella, a “catastrophic” situation.

One Quebec scoundrel has been able to avoid support through the machinations of a corrupted judicial system, but this province faces the likelihood of many more scoundrels avoiding responsibility to their common-law spouses. It is assinine.

 

Protect the rich, says Supreme Court

January 25, 2013
Justice LeBel wrote minority opinion

Justice Louis LeBel wrote the majority opinion in today’s supremely short-sighted decision.

It is ironic that judges who earn in the top 1 percentile of Canadians, would deny a Quebec mother the right to be supported by the anonymous Quebec F_cker who impregnated her three times.  The children will receive ample support, but their mother may be forced to apply for welfare. That is poutine justice, sloppy and ill-considered.

In a split decision today the Supreme Court said that Quebec is a distinct place: free to violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because it is Quebec’s way.  It is Quebec’s way to protect the right of the rich who do not want to be responsible for their freedom to conjoin.

As vulgar as the decision was, the fact that the courts of Canada have hidden the identity of its litigants is also repugnant to the notion of freedom of communication and the notion of open public courts. We, the peons of Quebec, will receive no support from the courts, and no information about who is shafting whom.

To read the pap from the Supreme Court go HERE. I recommend reading it if you have insomnia.

A Hole Has Been Opened

January 24, 2013

 Harper

A Hole has been opened. Now that I have The Right Honourable Stephen J. Harper’s phone number(see Thanks Barack), I should make a list of things we should talk about, you know, priorities items. Well, that is a daunting prospect, as I have criticised him over many things in the last 20 years. Where shall I start?

  1. Why does the Prime Minister not list a phone number on his website? Are you shy?
  2. Why should the Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court receive a 24% raise this year? Are you trying to curry favour with the C.J.?
  3. Why is the government opposed to repatriating Canadian Ron Smith from Montana’s death row? Do you not care?
  4. Why has the government not laid charges in the deaths of 3 Montrealers by a VIA Rail train on Oct. 30, 2010?
  5. Why are applications for oil-well drilling in the Beaufort Sea not available to the public for review? What have you got against Beluga whales?
  6. Was it your idea that Government of Canada communications be started with the words, “Harper Government”? Don’t you think it is tacky?
  7. Is it true that you want Senate Reform, or Senate Conservative?
  8. Why did the Railway Safety Act remove the legislative obligation of Corporate Responsibilty for ensuring safety?

I think that is a good list to begin with but I am not sure that the Prime Minister will be able to chat for 15 minutes. He wasn’t able to give Chief Theresa 5 minutes, so I am not sure if he will give me the time of day? Anyway, a hole has been opened, I only hope the orifice won’t shut closed before business has been conducted.

Harper celebrates Year of the Snake

January 19, 2013

I  am never astounded by the Prime Minister of  Canada, Steve Harper, and my old friend Jason Kenney.

Special Message: Stephen HarperToday they will both celebrate the Vietnamese Year of the Snake.   from http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=1&featureId=6&pageId=26&id=5246

PM to attend Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration

19 January 2013
Mississauga, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate today in a celebration hosted by the Vietnamese Association of Toronto marking the Vietnamese Lunar New Year…. “The Vietnamese New Year, also known as Tết, is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on the year that has just passed, and to look forward to the year ahead. In 2013, Tết officially begins on February 10, and marks the start of the Year of the Snake.

Chief Justice receives a $71,800 raise

January 17, 2013

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, will receive a $71,800 raise this year bringing her salary to $370,300.  Hot damn!

The raise was included in Bill C-45, the Canadian government’s omnibus budget bill, sponsored by Minister of Finance James Flaherty, passed into law last December.

Canada's Chief Justice to receive $370,300 this year. Photo Agência Brasil/Gervásio Baptista

Canada’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. Photo Agência Brasil/Gervásio Baptista

The raise alone amounts to approximately the same as the after tax income received by a family of two Canadians.

More on this story can be read HERE.

Chief Injustice

January 16, 2013

Bill C-45, the Canadian government’s omnibus budget bill, subtitled the Jobs and Growth Act, authorized the Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, to receive a $370,300 salary this year. Yes, $370,300. 

Canada's Chief Justice to receive $370,300 this year. Photo Agência Brasil/Gervásio Baptista

Canada’s Chief Justice to receive $370,300 this year. Photo Agência Brasil/Gervásio Baptista

In a time of purported national financial uncertainty, the Chief Justice of Canada will receive 65%* more money than the head of the US Supreme Court. US Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will receive $223,500 this year. He’s not had a raise in the past four years.

John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice US Supreme Court earned $223,500 in 2012.

The Canadian government approved this amount in a section of Bill C-45, titled The Judges Act. The Bill was swiftly put through Parliament and made into law on December 14, 2012. With nary a mention of this in the media, it seriously raises the question of the media’s ability and efficacy.

Recently, cries of “corrupt Indians” rang loudly and prominently through the newspapers, television, online, and on radio when the Government of Canada disclosed that the Attawapiskat First Nation in previous years was not handling their financial accounting in a proper manner.

As Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation languishes on a hunger strike, wanting to discuss some fundamental changes with the government and Bill C-45, she may receive some consolation to know that one Canadian Chief is receiving a healthy salary without the people clamouring.

* This figure has been updated to reflect the actual percentage.

Thanks Barack

January 14, 2013

 

White House File Photo/Pete Sousa

White House File Photo/Pete Sousa

Hello. May I please speak to President Barack Obama?

“May I ask what this is about?” answers the professionally-trained operator at the White House.

“Well, it is about open, transparent government,” I answer, pausing for a moment before adding, “in Canada.”

“I’m sorry, but you’ve got the wrong country,” the operator gently answers.

“Yes, I know that,” I acknowledge, “but unfortunately, our Prime Minister, Stephen Joseph Harper, does not list his phone number on his website, and I thought that President Obama might be willing to share it.”

“You’re kidding, I hope. The Prime Minister of Canada does not provide a phone number with which people can call him?”

“No, he does not,” I respond.

“Just a minute, I’ll see if I can find it for you on his website, I’ll just be a moment,” the operator says.

One minute passes, then two, before the operator’s voice returns.

“I checked the website at http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/contact.asp,” the exasperated operator huffs. “His website says, ‘The Prime Minister greatly values the thoughts and suggestions of Canadians. You may write, e-mail or fax his office.’ ”

“Jesus, you are right. There is NO phone number listed. That is shameful. Just one minute and I’ll patch you through to the president’s office.”

And that is how I received the Prime Minister of Canada’s phone number.

Harper must miss the good ol’ days

January 12, 2013

Chief Theresa Spence has some inherent wisdom.

On the day Prime Minister Harper met with a delegation of First Nations Chiefs, the office of  the Right Honourable issued an official statement that expresses exactly where he stands: “Today, we honour a founding father of our country – our very first Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald….As a result of his efforts by the time he died in 1891, Canada extended across the entire North American continent and included the Atlantic provinces, the prairies as well as British Columbia.”

Chief Spence smartly avoided the working session with the Prime Minister, but what I cannot understand is why she would want to meet with him in the first place??

No Justice

January 10, 2013

The Federal Court decision that ruled that Metis are Indians under the law, is a case that points to the inefficiencies and deficiencies in Canada’s justice system.

 The 173 page decision in Daniels et al. v. Canada, written by Federal Court Judge Michael L. Phelan, is a case study in a judiciary that has lost control. The case only took a dozen years to come to trial. The lead plaintiff Harry Daniels is no longer around to see this Pyrrhic victory.

 The cost of bringing this simple question to court, Are Metis to be considered Indians under the constitution, was somewhere between $2 million and $6 million.  In addition, the appeals have not yet begun. This is shameful, and it tells average Canadians that we have a dysfunctional court sytem, compounded by a dysfunctional federal government.

 At nearly every turn since Confederation, the federal government has been in active denial mode, pinching pennies while denying generations of Metis their legal rights. I am appalled.