October 28, 2006

Oct. 28, 2006: Various

Harper meets new Mexican leader


[....] "I think we've said repeatedly as a country in our relations with the United States that we share the Americans' concerns for safe and secure borders," Harper said. "We believe that is ultimately in all our economic interests, as well. We're prepared to work with the United States on that.

[....] "It is deplorable to go ahead with this decision of the wall at the border," Calderon said after a morning meeting on Parliament Hill. "The wall will not solve any problem. [....]

Search further: Eduardo del Buey of the Canadian Foundation of the Americas

Harper forced to tiptoe around fence -- PM cautious about U.S. move to erect barrier at Mexican border


[....] There were over 400 deaths [at the border] last year and this will increase the number of fatalities," [Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president-elect] said.

[....] It's unclear how far Canada will go to back Mexico. The Organization of American States said this week that 28 countries opposed the proposed barrier -- every country in the hemisphere except Canada and the U.S. The Prime Minister's Office confirmed last night that Canada would not formally join with the other OAS countries.

[....] a bilateral trading relationship worth $20-billion a year [....]

Mexico is pushing to have the agricultural "guest-worker" program in Canada expanded to include such industries as construction and fast food. Harper said he would be prepared to work with Mexico in areas where there are labour shortages in Canada. This is crucial for Calderon, who says he can't imagine a true free trade and free investment market in North America without free movement of labour.[....]

"keeping secret a list of passengers"

Tories won't reveal who flew on DND jet , Glen McGregor, CanWest, October 27, 2006


OTTAWA - [....] the passenger list was not released because the Conservative party paid for the cost of the flight.

"The trip in February was not a government event, and the government of Canada has been fully reimbursed,"
she wrote in an e-mail. "Therefore, as the trip was not paid for by the government of Canada (taxpayer), it was blacked out." [....]

The flight to Halifax is the second known time the Conservative party has paid for flights aboard the executive jets.

Who cares? Is this intended to create suspicion? The one who pays for the cab owes nobody an explanation for the names of the passengers. It is the same with a jet. Do the MSM not understand that most people pay for what they use or do, themselves--that it is normal, not something suspicious?

Actually, it is the Liberal-appointed Senate which is stalling legislation

Opposition parties blame Tories for stalling parliament , Alexander Panetta


OTTAWA (CP) - The Conservatives' weakening grip on the minority Parliament was laid bare Thursday as they resorted to opposition-style stall tactics to stop their foes from setting the country's legislative agenda.

The Tories have managed to pass only four bills since taking office this year - three money bills and the expansion of agricultural marketing programs.

Their efforts to kill the long-gun registry, pass a series of law-and-order bills, and introduce a controversial environmental plan are being thwarted. [....]

Prime Minister Stephen Harper accused the Liberal-dominated Senate of intentionally slowing down the passage of his federal accountability act. [....]

"weakening grip"? PM Harper has not lost his grip on his own party ... so why the editorializing? Legislation must go through the Senate ........... where it is stalled. Would that have anything to do with the Liberal appointees left in place to obstruct at every turn?

The senate, the courts, the civil service, the agencies, foundations, boards, et cetera were filled with those whose loyalties are to the former Liberal government -- left to work against any change in the system which served corruptos so well. Have you ever heard of the Liberal party paying for a plane trip because it wasn't for government business?

I caught Bill Graham's hissy-fit in the House; unfortunately, he never sounds genuine. He appears to be acting, but I must be unfair in this assessment. Maybe TV brings out the histrionics. Is it because of the need for TV sound bites? Is television becoming a detriment to good governance? I am beginning to think so. I suspect it wastes time that could be better spent if Canadians would read Hansard or at least, a newspaper -- and if there were less concentration of ownership with the need to survive on advertising -- hence the hype over non-news.

Chirac's Chinese trip nets $10B in business -- Airbus snags huge order as EU urged to lift arms embargo , Tim Hepher and Elizabeth Pineau, Reuters, October 27, 2006


BEIJING - Jacques Chirac called on Europe to lift its arms embargo on China yesterday as Beijing rolled out the red carpet for the French President and French firms landed deals with the Chinese government worth more than US$10-billion.

The deals -- dominated by a record-matching order for 150 Airbus jets worth US$9.9-billion at list prices -- came during a pomp-filled state visit to a country whose growth Mr. Chirac said will "change the face of the world."

Mr. Chirac was welcomed by Chinese President Hu Jintao and a 21-gun military salute at Tiananmen Square, where protests triggered a bloody crackdown in 1989 that led to a EU ban on arms exports to China that Mr. Chirac is campaigning to have lifted. [....]

Search: Airbus and Boeing , first non-European assembly plant in Tianjin , French engineer Alstom , supply 500 locomotives , develop nuclear power plants , a 1-billion 30-year water services deal

Unfair trade, desertification, blamed for increase in world hunger in 2005, cnews.com , Oct. 27, 06


UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A UN rights advocate said Thursday millions more of the world's poor suffered malnutrition last year, charging trade practices of wealthy countries and desert encroachment aggravated the problem.

Jean Ziegler, a UN expert on food rights, said some 852 million people were "gravely, permanently undernourished on this planet" at the end of 2005, an increase of 11 million from the year earlier. [....]

A prelude to a global tax ... to be administered by the UN ... for the good of ... the usual recipients.

Interview with Mark Steyn

The man who likes to poke the world in the eye -- Journalist Mark Steyn says being offensive has its merits, Linda Frum, National Post, October 14, 2006

[....] LF Is there a quick answer as to why you live in New Hampshire of all places?

MS Long ago I was on an Amtrak overnight train from Montreal to New York and it broke down halfway, and they tossed us all off the train in the middle of the night. They sent a little bus to take us to a neighbouring inn, and I woke up the following morning and thought, "Actually, it's quite nice around here." I like New Hampshire because it doesn't have a state income tax or a state sales tax, and it has a very limited government done at a very local level, which is my preference. On the other hand, there are great disadvantages. If you want to get a decent dinner, your best bet is to drive an hour and a quarter up

I-91 and eat in almost any small Quebec town.

LF Let no one say you are a self-hating Canadian. What a terrific endorsement for our cuisine.

MS I love Quebec. I'm not opposed to Quebec independence. I think it would be a huge laugh. The fact of the matter is they have a ridiculous independence movement, and they're never going to go. Even if you threw a sovereign state at them, they'd refuse to take it. They're no different from the Palestinians in that respect. [....]


Now, the Harper Conservative government is attempting to ameliorate the situation, to tighten security, protect whistleblowers, etc. and it is being stymied by stalling. Would some people prefer that our security not be improved?

Security: Pearson Airport Q4_2003


Daniele Cappa, 42, of Maple, Ont., has pleaded guilty in a Virginia court to strapping $180,000 (U.S.) to his body on three occasions and secretly carrying the cash through customs and security checkpoints while working as a supervisor at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. [....]

Between February and August of 1998, individuals involved with the ring smuggled money from Canada to the U.S. by car on three occasions and three more through Pearson, with events unfolding in a similar pattern. The cocaine was transported from Florida to Canada, where it was sold. The cash proceeds were then smuggled back to Florida to purchase more cocaine. The scheme began to fall apart on July 28, 1998, when Mark Matheys, the brother of Brench and one of the cocaine couriers, was arrested after his train stopped briefly at Union Station in Washington, D.C., and police discovered 10 kilograms of cocaine in his bags. Meanwhile, the RCMP in Toronto were already closing in on Fonseca, who they said did not belong to a larger organized crime group. A two-year joint investigation between the RCMP and the FBI was then undertaken, which culminated on January 12, 2000 with the arrest of six people involved in the cash and cocaine smuggling operation.

Drug squad officers at both the RCMP and Toronto Police Service said cases like this one probably represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to drug-related corruption among Pearson employees. They said the problem is difficult to detect and even harder to prevent because of one simple factor.

Police are concerned that if drug smugglers can pierce the airport security through corrupt airport employees, the same can be used by terrorists to smuggle aboard an explosive device. "It's high time Transport Canada recognizes it has serious problems at our airports that are compromising national security and that this is a multi-faceted threat," said Staff Inspector Dan Hayes, who heads the Toronto Police drug squad. "They're sticking their heads in the sand and sooner or later this is going to blow up. It's a question of when, not if." [....]


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