September 29, 2006

Sept. 29, 2006: Various

Harper renews calls for Darfur aid at Francophonie summit , Allan Woods, CanWest, September 29, 2006

[....] Harper described Canada as a leader in the world, saying the country is the third-largest contributor to the Sudan peacekeeping mission, has been working to build democracy in Haiti for 10 years and is delivering reconstruction and aid dollars to rebuild parts of southern Lebanon that were destroyed in this summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. [....]

Harper, apparently, has been well received at the francophonie in Bucharest, Romania.

Hard-headed on the native file -- "Grandiose statements of principles, such as that offered by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, only complicate this project by substituting utopian rhetoric for practicable compromise."

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples....Canada, whose previous governments took a major role in drawing up the declaration, was one of just two UNHRC member states to vote against it. [....]

Mr. Prentice and the Prime Minister know the score: Unless Canadian legislators actively oppose the UN's innocuous-sounding motherhood statements, they become the seeds of Canadian law.

We must consider, therefore, whether we can assent to everything in the declaration. Article 3, for instance, contains a broad statement that "indigenous peoples have the right of self-determination" and that "by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status." Aboriginal self-government already aspires, in some cases, nearly to the level of outright secession from the Canadian state. In the hands of more radical bands or associations, Article 3 could potentially have explosive effects on Canadian sovereignty. [....]

What had the Liberals been trying to do to this country? I believe that France has designs on at least the eastern part of Canada, hence the push on the French language over many years, aided by an elite that would rather be part of France than of Canada. Toward that end and for other reasons, powerful Liberals, particularly from Quebec along with other francophones, had primed native groups for more language rights and assorted linguists were primed for expansion of their departments. A cynic might suggest that Liberals were after native votes but the France factor is also a part of this, I think, since weakening Canada would be one result. I have posted several times bits and pieces which lead me to this conclusion.

18-month investigation culminates in dozens of arrests of biker gang members -- Project Tandem , CanWest, September 29, 2006

Quebec trying to choke off access to Ontario energy market: N.L. premier, Tara Brautigam, CP, Sep 27, 2006

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. (CP) - It's in Canada's best interest to support development of Labrador's Lower Churchill Falls project [Newfoundland Labrador] over hydroelectric projects in Quebec [Hydro-Quebec's 1,500-megawatt Romaine project], Premier Danny Williams said Wednesday.

The country's reliance on energy from Quebec should be reduced because of the province's unstable politics, he said.

[....] trying to tie up basically the capacity [....]

Do you suppose PM Charest will demand an apology?

Organized crime at work at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International airport, CBC, Sept. 26, 06

Members of criminal organizations are intimidating customs workers at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International airport, a study conducted for the union that represents customs officers suggests, Radio-Canada reports.

CBC's French language network reported Monday that the study shows private investigators discovered that alleged mobsters had given money to workers in exchange for their help in some cases.

[....] The alleged mobsters intimidated the customs officers and stopped them from searching some aircraft, Radio-Canada reported.

[....] Jean-Pierre Fortin, vice-president of the customs officers' union, told Radio-Canada that customs officers received instructions from people not in uniform, whom they did not know and who held no positions at the airport. [....]

Fastow points finger at RBC, TD as he's jailed , Sinclair Stewart, G & Mail, Sept. 27, 06

In one of his final acts before heading to prison Tuesday, former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow personally implicated a handful of financial institutions —including Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank — in the massive accounting fraud that precipitated the energy trader's collapse.

[....] “Fastow's co-operation will help us hold the banks accountable and further our ultimate goal of a substantial recovery for Enron investors.”

These investors have already received more than $7.3-billion from numerous settlements, including a record $2.4-billion agreement last year with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Six banks, however, have refused to settle [....]

Search: Barclays Bank PLC , Merrill Lynch & Co., Credit Suisse First Boston, Royal Bank of Scotland , paid $49-million

Very interesting.

Do not miss this one: A guide to ... Canada's nuttiest professors -- From the conspiracy kooks to the commies, the radicals to the revolutionaries, meet the profs that students (and their parents) will want to keep far away from this school year.

Better together: Pension income-splitting is consistent with some features of Canada's tax system , Jack M. Mintz, Financial Post, Sept. 27, 06

Garth Turner, certainly one of the more knowledgeable MPs about taxation, is pushing to give Canadians the right to split pension income for tax purposes. Seniors will applaud him with their votes if it comes to fruition. However, it is far from clear that the government will act.

Pension income-splitting would provide a substantial tax cut for many taxpayers. [....]

Next week, a pension income-splitting summit will push the idea on a perhaps less than excited Minister of Finance -- he might see this as an expensive tax cut that could start a trend toward family taxation rather than individual taxation. Pension income-splitting, however, would not be the only instance of "families" being recognized under the Canadian tax system. Already, plenty of "family tax" examples apply, such as spousal transfers of credits and the pooling of charitable donations and medical expenses. [....]

Anything that helps families is a positive. Along with this, I don't think women should have to go to work when they have babies, at least until the child goes to school. Even then, a parent, usually but not necessarily, the mother, who actually does the job of keeping up a home and a secure family is worth it in helping to prevent added costs to society later from inadequate parental time and supervision.

Help teach kids to read -- About 42% of adult Canadians don't have "the minimum literacy skills for coping with everyday life and work," according to ABC Canada Literacy Foundation. , Windsor Star/NatPost, Sept. 29, 06

UN, Israeli tanks in brief face-off in south Lebanon , Sep 28, 12:04 PM ET

UN and Israeli tanks have been involved in a brief face-off on a road in southern Lebanon where the Israeli army has been setting up checkpoints.

Four French Leclerc tanks with UN peacekeepers moved up the hill to stand 500 meters (yards) from the entrance to the border village of Marwaheen, as two Israeli Merkava tanks operated nearby on Lebanese soil. [....]

Search: UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), confiscated the identity cards of photographers , Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah

Another post on the same website: Iraq terror leader recruits scientists


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