The Long March takes a Great Leap Forward

Mao Dear Diary:

Well, it’s official now. The stunningly successful Long March of the Left through Canadian institutions – aided and abetted by the world’s most compliant media establishment – has taken another Great Leap Forward. In doing so it has placed the nation’s intellectual leadership into the hands of Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis – both of whom have, as journalists, been bringing you objective reporting on world events for years now.

Forget that the difference between the Leap Manifesto adopted by the NDP at its Edmonton convention this week contrasts rather dramatically with Mao’s Leap agenda in that, unlike their beloved Chairman (right), today’s progressives favour the de-industrialization of society and a return to what appears to be a more agrarian existence. And forget that the adoption of the same brings an end to the the NDP’s long history of looking out for the working man.

Naomi Klein

Every major union in the country is now fully committed to an agenda – and will use their memberships’ dues to pursuit it – that calls for “shifting to an economy in balance with earth’s limits.”

They do not care that under the guidance of Klein and Lewis (yes, the former CBC and Al-Jazeera man and son of Stephen son of David: the ailment appears to be genetic) the jobs of every auto worker, shipyard worker, airport worker, miner, auto mechanic, pipe fitter, refinery worker, oil & gas worker and oh so many others need to disappear. Now.

(Update: the Leap Manifesto is not official party policy yet – it was approved to take forward to constituency associations, etc. for more debate/approval. We were working from media reporters that stated “NDP adopts Leap Manifesto.” We should have learned not to trust media (insert face palm emoticon) and apologize to any of Barrelstrength’s many left of centre readers for any distress we may have caused them resulting in a need for the urgent establishment of ideologically safe spaces. Nevertheless, the manifesto did receive the support of a sizeable percentage of the delegates on hand.)

Oh, and because “the time for energy democracy has come; we believe not just in changes to our energy sources, but that wherever possible communities should collectively control these new energy systems,” the era of private industry and entrepreneurship is coming (we all apparently hope) as well.

Avi Lewis

To be fair the Leap Manifesto, while prioritizing Caring for the Earth, does mention “and Caring for each other.” But it sure doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about caring for one of its own. Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley, who’s passionate plea to that it was time to look more charitably upon Alberta and it’s 100,000-plus laid off workers (yes, workers – anyone remember them?) was completely ignored because “Canada’s record on climate change is a crime against humanity’s future.”

To say ignored is to understate. Lewis and Klein want an end to pipelines and tanker traffic. Right now. And they want resources left in the ground. Right now. The Leap Manifesto, implemented, kills Canada’s resources industries to put an end to these “crimes.” Notley, who recently stopped wearing her Che Guevara watch, is now trying to live life as a grownup.

The folks in the Hague are certainly going to be busy prosecuting those who have been creating happy, prosperous lives for humanity because, if Canada’s 2% contribution to global emissions constitutes a “crime against humanity,” President Obama and a lot of other world leaders – including those in the Persian Gulf who used to pay young Avi’s salary at Al-Jazeera, better start lawyering up.

Speaking of throwing people under the bus, the convention also dumped leader Thomas Mulcair. So, this should be fun. Except that this one’s in the bag. Nathan Cullen, the camera-ready eco-indigenous-Great Spirit Bear-worshipping MP from Skeena-Bulkley Valley who won the hearts but not the minds of NDP delegates at the last leadership convention, has this one in the bag.

Our first reaction, Dear Diary, is that this will drive the Green vote and the who cares about money when the world is filled with unicorns vote that fled to our current PM last October, back to the NDP. But, on second thought, it’s more likely said PM will just yoga harder to outleap The Leap. So, say goodbye to reason, say goodbye to pipelines and say goodbye to Alberta and Saskatchewan as part of Confederation.

We say the latter because compared to the intellectual insanities listed above, Hillary Clinton qualifies as a right-wing kook and could be president of the United States come next year.

Failing that and given her absolutely dismal appeal as a campaigner to anyone outside the Dem0cratric National Committee, we are of the view that a truly happy scenario involves Ted Cruz – what’s not to love about a son of a pastor, climate change-denying Harvard Law School grad? – becoming POTUS.

If that happens, the Keystone pipeline will be approved, Alberta and Saskatchewan will have the salt water access they need and they will merrily tell Avi, Naomi, Seth and others whose embrace of the climate change agenda reveals its true purpose to go Leap themselves.

On yet another cheerful note, for the first time in five years we slept in something other than the fetal position following a Canadian election last Monday night despite staying up past midnight to follow every fart and piddle of the Saskatchewan election.

Who every thought following down to the wire races in Saskatoon Fairview and Regina Pasqua could be so inspiring?

And who among us wouldn’t fit better in the riding of Estevan (oil country) where Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party took 5,386 votes. The NDP candidate, who edged out the PCer (yes, a handful still exist in some sort of post-apocalyptic mutation) by 17 votes, finished second with 627 votes.

As Wall said on election night, “God bless this Province.”

Yes, people still say this things. In Canada. Out loud.

This past weekend, April 9 marked the 99th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge – often considered the moment when Canada emerged from its adolescence and asserted its true independence from Britain by taking matters into its own hand and not taking orders from upper class twits. On that day, 3,598 young Canadian men died and 7,000 others were wounded.

Ninety nine years later, students on this continent cry themselves to sleep worrying about gender-neutral bathrooms and demand “safe spaces” when someone writes “Trump 2016” in chalk on a sidewalk.

Nothing is more illustrative of the wisdom once bestowed upon us that while civilization may be thousands of years old, it is never more than one generation deep. Something has gone terribly wrong.


Sailing the oily seas of everyone’s wars on the West

oil tankers


Dear Diary:

We are often critical of mainstream media, but today we begin with a chapeau for Ryan Jespersen of Edmonton’s AM 630 CHED radio for his interview with the Prime Minister last week.

Following a listener’s puff ball question about whether or not the anointed one uses French’s ketchup (Sophie apparently prefers something exotic and organic) and an excruciating dodge to a query as to why it’s OK for eastern Canada to import oil from disgraceful dictatorships but not from Alberta, Jespersen asked, at the 4:40 mark  about the ban on northwest coast tanker traffic. Apparently, the answer is not only that the region is environmentally sensitive, it is that 20,000 British Columbians earn their living in that region in the fishing and tourism industries.

But then Jespersen asks about why, if that is so, there is also not a ban on east coast tanker traffic and the answer is gobbledigook. Which got us thinking: do people not fish or work in the tourism industries on Canada’s east coast? Are the pristine beaches of PEI, the beluga habitats of the St. Lawrence, the world-renowned tidal waters of the Bay of Fundy and the fjords of Newfoundland not “environmentally sensitive?”

Well, apparently there are no fishers or tour guides or sensitive areas anywhere there or, if there are, it is certainly not a matter of concern for anyone in high office in Ottawa these days as the government’s own statistics  show there is 16 times more tanker traffic -3,890 vs 246vessels – in Canada’s Atlantic waters than there are plying our Pacific waters. Further, while 2.2 million tonnes of oil are annually shipped out of Vancouver, 12 times as much oil and petroleum products move through Quebec’s ports alone.

The amount of oil moving in and out of ports in the Atlantic provinces is 82 million tonnes, roughly 40 times more than the entire B.C. volume.

So, we ask again on behalf of Mr. Jespersen: if tourism and fishing and environmental sensitive are reasons for no tankers on the west coast, why aren’t those same reasons applied to the east coast? Oh, never mind – we know the answer and so do you.

Say a prayer for British author Ian McEwan from whom apologies are being demanded for his “hurtful” and dangerous assertion that “call me old fashioned but I tend to think of people with penises as men.”

This shocking comment followed his lecture to the Royal Institution on the “nature of the self” where he expressed concern for the bothersome levels of political correctness and “strange sense of victimhood” sweeping university campuses.

“Such self-authorship takes us to the heart of the identity politics currently animating and troubling American campuses and some in Britain too,” he said. “The self, like a consumer desirable, may be plucked from the shelves of a personal identity supermarket, a ready to wear little black number.

 “For example some men in full possession of a penis are now identifying as women and demanding entry to women-only colleges and the right to change in women’s dressing rooms . . . Others, outwardly capable both mentally and physically identify as disabled, and there has been a recent celebrated case of a white woman identifying as black.”

Pretty dangerous stuff, wot?

Speaking of penises, if you have access to one, you’d best keep it enthusiastic. Indeed, the details of a research paper reported many weeks ago have been confirmed and we can, dear diary, state with confidence that the more sexually active a man is, the lower his risk of developing prostate cancer – the most common cancer among men.

And if you want to know how busy you need to be, the bar has been confirmed at 21 ejaculations monthly. Cowboy up.

It turns out a Belgian journalist (another rare chapeau) of Moroccan origin did a thorough report on how the district of Molenbeek had become a Jihadi hotbed years ago and she was, predictably, dismissed as suffering from a psychological pathology known as Islamophobia.

Her book Undercover in Little Morocco, was published in 2006 and was completely ignored.

 “Everyone said I was exaggerating. I was accused of being Islamophobic, racist. Some people said I had psychological problems and that I was a Muslim traumatised by Islam.”

And now, people are dead. It is worth wondering just who is suffering from a pathology.


We are all aware by now of the attempt by police in Cologne to coverup the wave of sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve and many will be aware of the efforts by Swedish police (Sweden is now the rape capital of Europe) to do the same regarding sexual assaults at a music festival.

None of this appeared to be of consequence to Canada’s Louise Arbour, a woman with a distinguished legal career and a leader in having rape recognized as an instrument of war, when she participated in Friday’s Munk debate regarding the global refugee crisis. There, she and teammate Simon Schama were soundly defeated by Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage who managed to turn 22% of the crowd’s votes in their favour. The full debate can be viewed via a link on Steyn’s website and is recommended viewing for those inclined.

Arbour maintained that refugees and migrants will eventually adapt to Canada but also noted that they will, in turn, change us and that’s OK.
While expressing some bitterness at how religion had suppressed women (she’s from Quebec), Arbour did not seem worried at all that those changes go a little beyond the opportunity to enjoy a nice curry or pad thai. Here are some recent examples of – and remember this is pretty early stages – the way societies are being changed in Europe:

Sylvi Listhaug
Sylvi Listhaug

The good news is not just the victory by Farage and Steyn, it’s that Norway is declaring it’s not all that cool with being changed into a medieval caliphate and, having closed their border with Russia to stem the tide of migrants (Finland has done the same) using the Arctic route, is determined not to wind up “like Sweden.”

Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug announced a series of asylum and immigration reforms because :

“We have foreign fighters who have left Norway and [we have] radical environments. We should not stick our heads in the sand and say that everything is good here. But fortunately we are a long way from the conditions we see in some other countries, for example Sweden,” she told NTB.

This, following Denmark’s action in January, hints at some revival of European culture’s will to live.


How eco-activists really inspired ISIS

tunisiaDear Diary:

One day, when archeologists sort through the remnants of western society and wonder “what the hell were they thinking?” they will determine that it was in Canada, roughly about 2016, where it first became obvious the world had lost the capacity for rational thought.

Canada, as no one in Canada knows, is about to entrench its status as the world’s most socially left-wing nation. Here, unlike anywhere in Europe or the Commonwealth abroad, abortion is available right up until the moment a “cluster of cells” enters the birth canal and it is just fine to do so because you have determined said cluster is not of the preferred gender. Here, a 12-year-old boy may declare himself a girl, play on the girls’ sports teams and use washrooms designated for use only by an outdated construct once known as females. Here, the rights of minorities are deemed so pervasive that anyone who disagrees with anything stated by any member of those communities is banished from the public square and deemed to be suffering from some fantastical pathology. Here, unlike any other nation in the world, marijuana sale, possession and use will be entirely legal. Here, unlike any country in the world, the mentally ill and children will soon not only be able to acquire assistance for their suicides, people and institutions holding the crazy belief that killing is wrong will be forced by the state to end other people’s lives.

And here, the people – because they were bored with competence – enthusiastically elected a government that will plunge them into an additional $100 billion in debt just because being a grownup sucks.

Which brings us to Global Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and his quite remarkable mid-week speech at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile States conference in Ottawa. There, no doubt to an enthralled audience of believers, he explained that climate change and global warming are among the root causes of the rise of Islamic terrorism in Syria and Iraq.

He correctly points to food shortages and riots as accelerants for the phenomena known as the Arab Spring which led to the fall of numerous North African despots and widespread rebellion in Syria. He neglects to point out how excited the West – led by the United States – was about these developments at the time. He of course ignored all kinds of other facts such as, for instance that this Arab Spring only occurred in nations led by corrupt, unpopular governments. Others – Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kuwait, etc – did not participate in the glorious spring. Most of all, he ignored the fact that it is people who hold to his own slavish beliefs who were ultimately responsible for the food shortages which fuelled the uprisings which led to the Arab Spring which destabilized Syria which led to the rise of ISIS (which is his argument).

What actually happened was that in 2010, US President Barack Obama, as part of his agenda to reduce carbon emissions and halt climate change, announced a massive funding program to encourage Middle America to use its farms to grow crops for use in clean renewable bio fuel energy. And, never mind for the moment that the whole thing wound up wasting $150 billion, the good farmers of Iowa did just that, selling their corn as fuel instead of food. This, as Time magazine pointed out a year later, was the single most important factor in causing the enormous rise in food prices that followed. (that led to the shortages, riots, Arab Spring . . . .)

So, Mr. Minister, it wasn’t actually a changing climate that led to the events you describe. It was the American President’s unblinking faith in eco-extremism to fight climate change that did that because he believed it was more important to feed that ideology than it was to feed people. And, through him, it was you. Thanks.

Speaking of religion, we were touched by the Prime Minister’s moving image of Gaia worship during Earth Hour, which he apparently spontaneously tweeted from his home.Earth hour

This moving performance, complete with a burning log on the fire and a lit candle, each of which created more emissions than if the silly lad and a woman who appears to be imitating Mary Magdalene had simply turned on the lights, was remarkable for its spiritual imagery. We note that the following week there was no photo of the family attending mass for Easter. We admit to some surprise that the PMO did issue a statement concerning Easter but our suspicions were confirmed when we realized that statement did not refer to Christian values as “values we all share.” He does of course state that anytime he refers to Islam.

Keeping with the theme of renewable energy, we note that while according to the CBC hundreds of schools  have, quite emotionally, signed up to be powered by wind energy, the inconvenient truth is that the “schools do not directly use energy generated from the wind farm. However, the turbines contribute electricity to the system from which they are supplied.”

And, while proponents still declare this makes sense because it’s “cost-effective” that view doesn’t appear to be shared by the operators of the nation’s oldest wind farm, who are shutting it down, dismantling it and selling it for scrap. Yet another, um, awkward truth.

The PM, before hustling off to Wahington last week, managed to swing out to Alberta where, showing his party’s historic ability to rub westerners the wrong way, he explained that rather than being upset the federal budget contained absolutely nothing for their battered economy those who didn’t qualify should “be pleased” their home addresses didn’t meet the standard for extended employment insurance
The good news from this is that it means there will be at least four fewer Liberals following the next election although from all reports many selfies were taken (that’s gotta be getting a little old). And, if we can just get that “why should I sell your oil?” question to cross the lips of the golden child, man, it’ll be just like the 1970s. Groovy.





Great moments in Canadian journalism

Rosemary Barton with, apparently, her BFF
Rosemary Barton with, apparently, her BFF, published proudly on her Twitter feed

Dear Diary:

We have emerged from the fetal position and ceased rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth . . . . after last week’s orgiastic display of professional and intellectual nihilism by many of the nation’s leading journalists.

The image above is clearly worth 1,000 words regarding Canada’s freshly-polished PM’s visit to Washington and we have already, for the most part, covered that.

But a final couple of thoughts beyond what we have already expressed on what real journalists might have covered beyond the menu at the state dinner hosted by the Obamas.
– Was Keystone discussed at all? Softwood lumber? Syrian refugees?
– What is the economic impact of the new agreement to limit methane emissions and what will its impact be on global emission levels.
– What did the US President think of Canada’s plan to legalize marijuana and will that lead to additional screening of Canadians wishing to enter the USA?

We confess we may have missed it, having chosen instead to watch something more professional – APTN evening news – than incontinent cloyings about how America is gaga over Margaret Junior. Nevertheless the above is what real journalists would have done instead of disseminating information about menus and style, taking selfies and generally prostrating themselves before our Leader in a fashion most reminiscent of North Korea’s state broadcaster. Oh, and either completely ignoring or dismissing as irrelevant the monstrous faux pas the PM executed by toasting the President “on behalf of 36 million Americans”– which we all know would have been the subject of endless ridicule had it involved a conservative politician because it is well-established that Liberals are smart so that’s just a mistake. If a Conservative did such a thing it would simply be revealing the inherent stupidity of the genre. And, for sure, we have never had a smarter PM than the one we have now. Right?

We did take the time to test the further assumed wisdom that all anyone in the USA was talking about last week was Justin. Certainly the Washington Post appeared fully erect but we admit we were a little heart-broken when we checked the American breakfast shows Friday morning. As it turned out – who knew – they were much more interested in the Republican debate although CBS, 18 minutes into its broadcast, did do a full two-minute report on the visit.

Alas, similar to ABC and NBC (we did not check Fox because as we all know they are right-wing kooks and not real journalists) the big news was that the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, had made a stunning debut at their first state dinner.

At the end of the day, we are satisfied that Canada’s mainstream media has simply engaged in another bout of diminishing its own trustworthiness and, therefore, the next step in its much-anticipated suicide.

Donald Trump is distastefully crude and vulgar. Just so, and despite the occasional “I’d like to punch him in the face,” imprudence, we remain compelled by the manner in which he has given voice to millions abandoned by the elites governing their political institutions.

1968 Democratic convention
1968 Democratic convention

So we are of the view that the incidents of violence that have occurred at recent events are primarily courtesy of his opponents – a large number of whom are journalists, pundits and commentators who through their own irresponsible use of language are every bit as guilty of inspiring misconduct.

Our social media streams are rife with commentary comparing Trump with Hitler, Mussolini et al (oddly, not the beloved Uncle Joe Stalin who we all know was much loved by his proletariat) and media coverage that turns out to be completely bogus. These people know nothing about Hitler. Nor do they know anything of what a proper political knees-up looks like because alas they are too young to remember the Chicago Democratic convention when we and our Baby Boomer colleagues really knew how to throw a party.

Telling people they have a Hitler on their hands frightens them. Fear turns to anger which turns to action which turns to violence swiftly. The very statement is an incitement to violence. No one will, of course, write that.

Speaking of angry and frightened people, the newly-launched Alberta Freedom Party dedicated to that province’s independence now has about 4,000 followers on Facebook. Expect that to pick up steam.

We also note that the federal government’s recent transfer of $250 million to that province – which is suffering from the perfect storm of low commodity prices and a federal government determined to kill Canada’s major source of prosperity – is widely considered to be a matter of humiliation and condescension. Indeed, it was referred to by Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt as a “ quiet, but substantive blow to the dignity of our province and it isn’t worth the cost.”

 To provinces that have fed at the federal trough, this is an unimaginable view. Yet for those that have stood on their own two feet, it is fairly standard and, for the past 60 years, there’s only been one of those.

It will be sad to lose it but given that Calgary’s unemployment rate is now higher than that experienced by Haligonians and Ottawa’s response appears to be one of thinly-concealed delight in returning Canada’s power axis to its natural state, we expect this will all get very interesting indeed in the months ahead.

As for the future, we noted that Canada will be hosting both the US and Mexican Presidents in June when, our leader says, they will continue to try to stop the weather from changing. Not only that, according to the Globe and Mail, “indigenous peoples can play a role in the global struggle to slow down the warming planet.”

Clearly this man and these people’s powers are unparalleled. Who knew that, in concert, they were able not only to limit its warming but also to actually slow the planet?

It should come as no surprise then that when the PM says “we could do worse than draw on the cultural teachings and historical knowledge that indigenous communities have about how to create a proper balance with the land” he knows what he’s talking about.

And that, surely, includes traditional methods of sewage disposal, reforestation and the reduction of emissions from the burning of non-renewable resources. Looking forward to it.

Finally, we note that the much loved Premier Kathleen Wynne has formally apologized to francophones for Ontario’s 1912 ban on French in public schools. Thank heavens this was finally done.

No doubt this will play well with the hundreds of thousands of Quebec anglophones who were quietly cleansed from their homeland when their language was banned not only from public schools but also from pretty much every sign in that nation/province/jurisdiction during the pogroms of the 1980s.

One suggestion: While she’s busily engaged in the apology business, maybe she can talk the Iroquois and Mohawk people on a”nation to nation” basis about apologizing to the Huron people for their conquest, their slaughter and the “colonization” of their land in the Beaver Wars and finally admit they are living on “unceded” land.

Now,, back to the fetal position and rocking, rocking . . .


Barrel Strength: your trusted source for breaking news

48 hours after you read it here first, Susan Delacourt picks up what you first read in our Trubama blog. Some might have written a headline that said “For two years, Obama’s friends worked to topple Stephen Harper” and wondered how much involvement a foreign president/government had taken in manipulating Canada’s internal affairs, but hey it’s the Star and this is Canada and when it comes to progressives conspiring to ensuring a sitting government’s defeat, it’s all good with our media – defenders of democracy that they are – right?

Cheers and stroking on the Washington trail with Trubama

Dear Diary:

Left undisciplined and off the leash now by the absence of thoughtful people in power – anywhere – our nation’s scribes and bingo-callers have returned, affectionately, to their preferred, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest state of being.

Exhausted from 10 years of being held to account but alas left unreformed, unrepentant and unredeemed, CBC News Network gushed all weekend over the Prime Minister’s interview (when does that boy find time to work?) on the U.S. stalwart program, 60 Minutes. We think, Dear Diary, that all Canadians should be ashamed when the nation’s publicly-funded broadcaster clearly reveals our dirty little secret – a soft, mushy, lefty inferiority complex – occasional rebellious but always, always yearning for daddy’s attention and approval. Nevermind that the CBS program was unable to distinguish the PM’s mother, Margaret Trudeau, from one of the PM’s father’s dates, actress Kim Cattrell – facts these days are the sole preserve of knuckle-draggers.

This continued through Monday morning when CBCNN’s infotainment specialist, Heather Hiscox, led the morning with “reaction” to the PM’s 60 Minutes appearance. Digging hard, her program grabbed a handful of tweets in a tepid effort to give journalistic justification to what was pure propaganda. So, OK, to be fair some of the propaganda was to promote that CBC itself would be heading to Washington for the PM’s visit there and what it cloyingly referred to as his “coveted” invitation to a State Dinner hosted by the much-loved President Obama.

Which brings us to Rosie Barton, who without so much as a blush continued to use our money to breathlessly thump the PM’s tub, pointing out this would be the first time – in almost 20 years! – that a Canadian would be “honored” with a state dinner in Washington. Digging deep, she provided viewers not only with the complete list of previous occasions: Power & Politics displayed its investigative journalism skills to let us know what was on the menu for each occasion. The people, after all, have a right to know.

What she failed to do – and we expect this will continue all week – was notice what was immediately obvious. Here is the list and see if you can’t figure it out in, oh, maybe, 10 seconds: Truman hosts King; Eisenhower hosts Diefenbaker; Nixon hosts Trudeau senior; Carter hosts Trudeau senior; Reagan hosts Mulroney (twice) and Clinton hosts Chretien.

Yup, you got it – of the seven previous state dinners with one exception (Nixon), all involved either Republicans hosting Conservatives or Democrats hosting Liberals. And when was the last time that dynamic was in place? About 20 years ago. This, friends, is what the CBC is trying to pass off as a rare honor being bestowed upon the boy king. This, friends, is what the CBC is trying to pass off as journalism.

What Barton also might have done is point out the connection between Jennifer O’Malley Dillon , (past executive with the Democratic National Committee and deputy campaign director of Barack Obama’s campaign) and team Trudeau. A summary of her work as “lead American consultant for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada” can be found by clicking here. So, while the people may have a right to know what past prime ministers had for dinner in Washington, Barton, Hiscox et al obviously feel there is no need for the people who pay their salaries to know How The Democrats Worked to Defeat Canada’s Conservative Government, which would be a helluva yarn. And, yes, she might have asked how that might have something to do with our Prime Minister’s “coveted” invitation to dinner. Surely, as one of the most connected people in Ottawa, Barton would know this.

Further, while we recognize that useful context for viewers might have interfered with CBCNN staff’s pitch to have their travel request approved, this will actually be – according to the U.S. government – the 98th visit by a Canadian prime minister to the USA. And, because we know you are curious, our most recent prime minister visited 13 times. The most by any PM was 19 by Mackenzie King (14 of which were between 1940-45 when there was plenty to talk about), followed by Trudeau senior and Brian Mulroney at 14 each.


Speaking of crimes against that craft, the usually calm Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail this weekend tore a strip off Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall for failing to kow-tow to Ottawa’s demand that he impose a carbon tax on his people.

Wall, Mason said, was being irresponsible and failing to take responsibility for the fact that, since 1990, Saskatchewan’s emissions have grown by 66%. That, of course is true. But by stating a single truth and ignoring others, Mason misinformed his readers – an old trick more closely associated with advocacy than journalism. The facts  are that under Wall’s watch, emissions in Saskatchewan have grown by only 7.6% since he took the reins of a jurisdiction that was depopulating, wallowing in economic and cultural despair and shepherded it into a land of pride and prosperity – a “have” province. Saskatchewan, he might also have pointed out, is responsible for about 0.15% of global emissions.

Saskatchewan, he might have pointed out, did not do like Ontario and waste billions and billions on failed wind projects. Saskatchewan, he might have pointed out, instead created the world’s first clean coal commercial power plant. But he didn’t.

Speaking of resources, yet another train transporting oil literally went off the rails in northern Ontario this weekend. One wonders how often this needs to occur; One wonders how many times lives need to be put at risk; One wonders just how thick people can remain before they realize they are allowing this to occur because their ideology won’t allow them to admit pipelines are the clearly superior – in every way – method of transporting oil. One wonders why no media made the connection, preferring to see the issue as one of railway safety only.

The nation, our government tells us, needs investment to have a healthy economy. But it’s clear it prefers that to be public money drawn from the pockets of its peasantry rather than private money raised and invested in industrial infrastructure. How else to explain the fussing over the “upstream” impact on global warming of pipelines – most notably Energy East – carrying oil that is already carried on trains and therefore is either a fantasy or a deliberate attempt to hobble the nation’s largest industry. Energy East alone is a $9 billion project.

But, hey, while all this environmental politicking has been going on, everyone seems to have forgotten that the LNG project proposed for British Columbia is worth $36 billion and is about to buy the farm.

We read today that its major partner, Petronas of Malaysia, has pretty much had a bellyful of Canada.. Exhausted by dealing with aboriginal demands, environmental demands and years of insatiable bureaucratic nagging, it has given young Trudeau until the end of the month or, we are told, it is cutting its losses and leaving town. Maybe it’s a bluff. If it isn’t, you can kiss it goodbye. Burn, baby, burn.

A final note of condolence to Power & Politics panelist Alise Mills who – bless her heart – burst her banks on Monday’s show. When it came to the PM’s above-noted “coveted” and “extremely rare” visit to Washington and his relentless efforts to stifle Canada’s economy she noted to her fellow panelists and host that instead of analysing issues “you guys are stroking his hair.” She was, of course, dismissed out of hand amid hoots of derision. For what it’s worth, Ms. Mills, you were too kind. Some might – but surely not us – have indicated that more than his hair is being stroked by the self-styled guardians of democracy these days.



The awesome power of Crony Capitalism

Kathleen pink
Kathleen Wynne shows her delight at being captured in a photo op gone terribly wrong. This has nothing to do with the post and is a cheap gimmick to attract your attention

Dear Diary:

For many years, we struggled to understand Quebec politics, eventually deciding that the process of moral turpitude required to do so would so imperil our immortal soul that, in the end, it just wasn’t worth the risk.

So, we will not try to understand how what is done there makes sense to people there because it for sure makes no sense to people elsewhere. What we do know, is that having presciently stated less than 48 hours ago that Real Change in Canada was likely to result in more regional divisions in less than five months than had been apparent in the previous 10 years under a government notorious for its dislike of terrorists, nos chers amis have Westerners looking for – and finding – the keys to their rhetorical gun cabinets.

That’s because Quebec decided to file a court injunction against the Energy East pipeline because, it said, TransCanada Corp, which recently added 40 jobs to its Montreal office, was refusing to comply with its environmental review process regarding the extension of its Energy East pipeline. This came as a surprise to TransCanada, which said it was preparing to show up at the hearings, which begin Monday.
This resulted in outrage from a sadly isolated Brad Wall who threatened trade reprisals but also, notably, from Alberta’s increasingly crenelated Premier Rachel Notley who decided to hold fire for now but, as she put it, keep her holster handy.

But you can read about that elsewhere. What we found most compelling was that at the same time Quebec’s Environment Minister David Heurtel was saying this was a simple matter of “fairness toward all companies that wish to do business in Quebec,” his government was tabling legislation to ensure there would be no environmental review whatsoever for the McInnis Cement Project in Port-Daniel-Gascons in the Gaspe region.

McInnis cement is owned by the Beaudoin and Bombardier families. You may remember them as the same folks who are in the process of – having already dipped into Quebec taxpayers pockets for $1 billion likely thanks to the $9 billion in annual transfer payments from oil-producing provinces – getting another $1 billion from the federal government to help them recover from some bad business decisions they made operating their aircraft company, Bombardier.

We will not try to comprehend. We just stand, slack-jawed, in awe at the power of crony capitalism.

Ever curious and having recently diarized regarding carbon taxes, we asked ourselves the question “do they even work?”

Proponents often say that the best way to reduce the use of something society needs less of is to tax it. They point to tobacco, booze and other sinful behaviours as examples. They do not point to earning an income or buying things or operating a business as activities that are taxed in order to reduce their occurrence. But they do like to tax them. We digress

Many point to British Columbia as an area where emissions fell following the implementation of its carbon tax without having a negative impact on economic growth which appears to be the case.

Most of this is due to the fact that gasoline became so expensive in the Lower Mainland area (where it is also subject to a public transportation tax) that a great many people left the car in the garage and hopped on the bus, or train or their bicycle instead.

This seems sensible and productive provided you live in a dense urban area that has buses and trains and within a climate with minimal snowfall like on the west coast where you can ride a bicycle or skateboard – dude – and wear flips flops 12 months of the year.

We do think, however that some thought should be given not only to the fact that many Canadians do not have bicycle and public transportation alternatives but also to the reality that when B.C. taxed carbon it did so in a revenue neutral fashion, matching it with an income tax cut. The latter put more cash into consumers’ hands and avoided the sort of economic drag Ontario and Alberta are imposing with their save-the-planet taxes. And, hey, it proved that what turned out to be a net tax cut improves economic growth. Who knew?

Snooping around on the topic, we also found this study by Annagrete Bruvoll and Bodil Merethe Larsen of Statistics Norway (and nothing goes untaxed in Norway) which indicated that the impact of carbon taxes is, well, meh – at least when it comes to reducing consumption.

So, if the Prime Minister and his eco-henchmen insist on having carbon priced from coast to coast to coast they might at least tell us what they think it will achieve. Or – and, here’s an idea – media might ask them: “How will putting a price on carbon make Canada better?” Because as we know better is always possible. Right?

When it comes right down to it, you could wipe Canada off the map, return to the apparently idyllic economies enjoyed by its Indian/Inuit/First Nations/aboriginal/indigenous people for thousands of years despite the lack of things like, uh, the wheel and its carbon emissions would continue to rise and the planet (and if you hadn’t heard this is history’s only fact established by consensus) will die.

This country is responsible for precisely 1.6% of global emissions , rounded up here  to 2%. That’s it. Of that, the biggest criminal is transportation which we assume has something to do with the fact it’s a really big friggin’ country. Yes, you will if you wish find charts indicating that on a per capita basis Canada ranks very high but let’s be clear – that is nonsense. With the exemption of a very few areas, Canada is also a really friggin’ cold country where if you don’t have heated shelter you will die.


CAPP carbon graphic GHGcropLarge2 (1)

Finally, on a lighter note Dear Diary, we have discovered that there are subversives within the education system.

There is, in Edmonton, someone holding a teacher’s license who actually thinks it is wrong to let students fail to produce assignments without consequence and who says things like :

“We are the last chance our kids have of not becoming entitled, materialistic, spoiled monsters.”

As if there’s something wrong with that.

This, folks, is how someone who used to be thought of as a sensible, responsible person gets labelled an “iconoclastic rebel” in the media.
Read it here.


Say hello to carbon – the new government growth industry

Dear Diary:

Carbon here, carbon there; carbon, carbon everywhere.

If you are looking for an endless source of revenue for pet projects that will grow and sustain your government in power forever by ensuring its capacity to enrich your friends, pet projects and supporters, there’s nothing quite like it.

Heck, we’re made of the stuff. Every time we exhale, we produce it – 2.3 pounds of it daily for the sedentary and up to eight times more from the very active such as joggers. Based on the human average of 30 farts daily (that does seem a lot,, doesn’t it?) we each contribute 750 cc to the world’s emissions total. And if you really want to save the planet, kill a cow. They are emissions machines – American ones produce 10 times as much of the stuff as could have been accredited to all that “dirty” Canadian oil that people once thought might flow through the Keystone pipeline.

Every time you turn on a light, drive your car, catch a bus, turn on the heat or air conditioning, you consume it.

Sure, there’s methane and nitrogen and other stuff in there but that was long ago bundled into something called CO2 equivalent so, because we believe in science, it’s all carbon now, baby. And it is the ultimate consumption tax: ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.

Which is why Canada’s new Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna is determined to make sure there’s a price on it everywhere and why sensible people like Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall (one out of 10 premiers) thinks it’s a bad idea because, really what nonsense must be going through your head to make you think withdrawing money from an economy during a recession is a good idea?

But never mind that – it’s also why Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne smacked a 4 cent a litre tax onto gasoline (hey, why not, the price is low and who’s going to notice?) and scooped up any loose change Ontarians might have had laying around following the federal government’s middle class tax cut.

This has anthropogenic global warming believers (who, let’s not forget, believe with a fervour once reserved for Pentecostals speaking in tongues) in an orgasmic trance.

And while we all wish we could more occasionally enjoy such a condition, none of this will have the slightest impact on global warming. What it might do and what we suspect it will do, is eventually take all the money we currently spend going back and forth to work and heating/cooling ourselves and stick it in Her Majesty’s treasury while convincing us we have achieved a state of moral grace while, unemployed, we freeze in the dark.

Speaking of herds, Canadian media continue to mill about in a fashion reminiscent of cattle making their way to an abbatoir. Their response to their plight, typically, is to convince each other that, despite a distinct lack of evidence to support this claim, they are vital to democracy.

Apparently satisfied that, having said it, it must be true because they said it, they continue to moo and mill and be not very good at being journalists. To wit, on the weekend when the 25,000th refugee from Syria arrived, both CTV Newsnet and CBC Newsnet led their broadcasts with the announcement that “Canada had met its target” without giving the slightest thought to even inset the word “revised” in between “its” and “target.”

Nor have any of them paid the slightest bit of attention to the words of Martin Bolduc of Canadian Border Services who, when appearing before the Commons Public Safety Committee recently, made it clear that of the Syrian folks that have  come “very, very few came out of camps.” So, pretty much all of them (and it doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to be here) were living in apartments and can’t be considered to be among the most desperate from the refugee camps our politicians are so fond of visiting.

In other words, they did not tell the whole truth, which some of us think makes them not very vital to democracy – we’ve already got plenty of fudgers and liars thank you very much.

If there is something actually vital to democracy, it is the Internet and the things you learn on there that are things that – no doubt for their own reasons – the aforementioned mainstream media decline to tell you about the aforementioned carbon tax issue.

In any list of countries with the largest oil reserves, Canada is No. 3 in the world, trailing only the delightful societies of Venezeula and Saudi Arabia. Sucking our potential emissions exhaust and filling out the top 10 are the oh-i-gotta-move-there states of, in order, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Libya and Nigeria.

Guess how many of those have “put a price on carbon?” Oh, you are so clever. Your are correct: the answer, of course, is zero. But, what possible reason could there be for media to inform you of such facts?

Finally, a belated tip of the hat to our new Prime Minister. Following 10-15 years of relative calm between the regions, the new “sunny ways” have proven to be highly effective at creating fractures.

First, there was the ill-conceived and even more ill-received announcement of $750 million in assistance to Alberta which, they being sensible people rightly suspicious since the province’s founding of Ottawa’s intentions, figured out pretty quickly was just a moving forward of money already designated. And then of course there is the certainty of a $1 billion bailout to protect the 7,000 or so jobs dependent on bad business decisions by Quebec’s Bombardier family – which would be new cash and compares oddly to the response to 100,000 jobs lost in Alberta.

Now, Irwin Cotler is upping the pressure on the Sunny Ways gang to cancel the $15 billion deal to sell combat vehicles to the Saudis which, if successful, would eliminate about 3,500 jobs near London, ON.

And, the previous government’s Nova Scotia shipbuilding contract  for warships is “under review”  no doubt befuddling Maritimers who were pretty excited about it.

So, in just a couple of months it looks like a possible to-do list of a) deny, for ideological reasons, $9 billion pipeline investment that would aid an industry suffering massive job losses; 2) Deny, for ideological reasons, $15 billion in investment in struggling Ontario manufacturing section; 3) create uncertainty and delay over $26 billion infrastructure investment in struggling east coast region 4) Write large cheque to company in home province.

In other words: fill air with gas fumes; light match.

Just like the old days when Dad was in charge, isn’t it? Can’t wait for the “why should I sell your oil?” line, resplendently delivered with a toss of the hair and a Gallic shrug.


Canada embraces the sanctity of death

While social media appears to have nothing much to talk about other than Donald Trump, Canada is about to become the first nation in the world in which the sanctity of life no longer exists as a moral or philosophical concept – unless of course it applies to mass murderers once subjected to capital punishment.

The absence of any law whatsoever regarding the termination of pregnancies has long since granted us membership in a very small club of nations: China, for sure, North Korea, Cuba and large parts of the USA. Here, you can terminate any pregnancy right up to the day before the entity that exists within the womb without the state so much as raising an eyebrow. This view is considered so thoroughly sacred under its current leadership that one cannot hold any form of alternative view and be a sitting member of Canada’s governing party.

Such are our sunny ways – the once sacred is now profane.

It doesn’t matter that throughout the rest of western civilization other highly progressive and liberal  nations long ago recognized science indicates there is a point beyond which pregnancy should be legally terminated only in extremis. In France, it’s 12 weeks, Sweden 16, Netherlands 22, ditto Britain (although there was talk recently due to new understanding of the viability of life of lowering it to 16). Our point here is not to beat any sort of drum but simply to illustrate that in most of the world similar to ours people have thoughtfully wrestled with the concept of life and brought in laws that best represent the compromise of conscience these matters entail as matters of public policy.

Here, we are so radicalized that we can’t even think about it. Here, we can’t even reasonably place motions before the House of Commons indicating that we think the popular Asian practice of aborting females just because they are females (proactive genocide) is objectionable. Instead, when it was tried, people called for the removal of Rona Ambrose as minister because she supported the idea that women should have the equal right to be born – or not. (This practice had become so widespread in B.C. that the health care system there will no longer provide routine ultrasounds at the request of pregnant mothers; instead, they go now to private clinics which will tell them it’s a girl and then they can go from there.)

Wanna talk about equal pay for work of equal value? We’re all in. Wanna talk about equal representation of women in cabinet? Hey, it’s 2015. But wanna talk about getting terminated Because I’m a Girl? Heavens, no.

The intellectual incoherence is breathtaking.

It is against this backdrop – one which indicates we now live in a land where most of us clearly lack the vocabulary to have a debate of conscience – that Canada is about to introduce legislation outlining how we can not only kill ourselves, but how we can get things set up so that other people can kill us.

There is no hope we will get it right – not because people aren’t well motivated but because when it comes to contrasting philosophical and moral issues, no one knows what they are talking about anymore.

Well, almost no one. Andrew Coyne – who often acts as a corrective influence within mainstream media by raising issues within it that few others have the courage to raise – wrote a thoughtful piece in National Post over a year ago in which he forecast where we are today – on the cusp of establishing a eugenics regime. One hopes he will weigh in again.

Former Montreal Gazette editor Peter Stockland penned a wistfull blog on the matter more recently but that’s about it.

In the meantime, this is a society that – based on the eminently compassionate belief that those of us facing the last moments of an agonizing death should be given access to a self-eject button of some variety – is now heading down a path of no return which goes far beyond that initial concept and can’t seem to even address questions such as:

– What motivation will remain within the health care system to invest in palliative care given the scarcity of financial resources and that a far cheaper alternative is now available?

– If the answer to the above is “not much” do we really want to narrow our options to dying in pain v dying right now and not getting one last grandchild’s birthday or Christmas with family?

– Does this mean Catholic and other hospitals that remain unflinching in their belief in the sanctity of life will be forced to bend to the will of the state’s moral code?

– How do we ensure there are not abuses such as have occurred elsewhere?

– Do we really want to dismiss the reality of other jurisdictions like Belgium for instance where half of nurses admit to participating in what, in a master of euphemism, is referred to as euthanasia without consent?  There used to another word for that, but it eludes me. Anyone? Anyone?

We could go on.

Suffice to say there are many questions – all of which demand free and open debate by principled leaders well-equipped intellectually. There is little reason, at this stage, to believe that will happen.

Instead, public policy makers have finally found a solution to the financial tsunami the aging Baby Boom represents to the health care system. They can just ask us to take a needle for the team or face a tortuous death. Maybe we deserve it.

And a one, and a two and a three more free Canadians

Dear Diary:

A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian and, hey, if you’re inclined to get involved in mass murder inspired by terrorism what better country can there possibly be in which to ply your trade than right here in Canada, Canada, Canada.

So, with a one, a two and a three, here’s the rundown.


1) Remember Saad Gaya? In case you don’t, he and his Al Qaeda-inspired homeboys in Toronto were planning on killing a whole bunch of people – hopefully hundreds – in Toronto just a few years back by exploding three tonnes of fertilizer in trucks outside CSIS headquarters, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Canadian Broadcasting Centre while mowing down people with automatic weapons fire in the aftermath. Maybe as a precursor, too. Then, just for fun, they figured they’d storm Parliament, take hostages and behead the prime minister and anyone else who had an appealing nape of the neck. Alas for them, Allah was not willing and they were busted, convicted and jailed. Our pal Saad pleaded guilty and got 18 years. But heck, here in Canada, Canada, Canada, five is the new 18 and he’s been out for a couple of months now – even though he obviously still kinda makes people nervous because he’s not allowed to look at the Internet.


2) Next on the list is our old buddy Inderjit Singh Reyat – the only Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian ever convicted in the Air India bombing that killed 329 men, women and children some 30 years ago when it was a lot less hip to plot mass murder than it is these days. He’s not remorseful, took one for the team on a perjury charge and is still considered a “relatively high risk for future group-based violence.” In most places, he’d never have seen the light of day again but here in Canada, Canada, Canada he’s in a halfway house.


3) Et la premiere etoile of Jihadi Night in Canada – the leader of the Toronto 18 – is about to get Canadian citizenship bestowed upon him. Yes siree, welcome back, Zakaria Amara. It’s just super to have you as a fellow citizen again, lo these many months after that dreadful Mr. Harper and his henchmen came up with the whacky idea that if you hold dual citizenship and are convicted of terrorism, Canada’s going to cut you loose to make sure that once you’re swiftly returned to the street (see above) you’ll be deported.

Well, there’ll be no more of that monkey business, which turns out to be good news for a few other dudes who wanted to attack Canadian military bases and at least one Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian serving time for planning to decapitate employees of a Danish newspaper and toss their heads into the street. (Dear Diary: who doesn’t, really?)

Amara, who was actually baptized as an Orthodox Christian in Jordan before moving to Saudi Arabia (where that whole Christian thing is clearly not cool) and converting to Islam, arrived in Canada when he was 13 in 1997 and quickly adapted to our homegrown Jihadi lifestyle. In less than nine years he’d tried his darnedest to kill hundreds of his fellow citizens in a case the trial judge described as “spine-chilling.” He’s serving a life sentence – until he’s not, anyway – but he’ll get his citizenship back.

Conrad Black, of course, will never see his again.

Gosh and golly, hasn’t everyone’s favorite commie just got herself in a pickle lately? Having been pilloried for banning Rebel Media (first revealed at the end here) from government press conferences after mainstream media shifted off its ample arse, Rachel Notley upped her floundering this week.

First, the irascible Wildrose Party (who remind us ever so much of the Pinkertons in pursuit of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) demanded to know what the heck she was thinking when it was discovered she’d been flown by comrade Andrea Horvath to Toronto to add a little sex appeal to the latter’s $10,000-a-plate dinner. The Premier of Albertastan assured the proletariat back home, though, that she’d been pre-cleared by that province’s ethics commissioner who’d said there is absolutely nothing wrong with, in effect, help Horvath raise a coupla hundred grand to continue to block the approval of pipelines and further crush Canada’s largest industry, which is on the verge of collapse and everyone is OK with that because the planet is in peril.

Thinking quickly, Notley’s motley strategists tried a “quick, look over there” and, once their candidate was in place but others weren’t, called a snap byelection for March 22 in Calgary-Greenaway (as an aside: this caused some predictably comic mismanagement by the Progressive Conservatives).

Showing all the suave Machiavellian sense of her PCAA predecessors, Madam Premier then made an announcement concerning funding for something green for the city formerly known as Calgary. This is an unseemly practise she pilloried while in opposition and even eschewed as recently as September when she righteously announced she’d have nothing to do with that sort of monkey business.

To be fair, she was probably expecting no one would notice her sneaking into Lucifer’s pawn shop because just the day before she’d trotted out her rather dazed finance minister, Joe Ceci. Qualified through his years of experience as a social activist on Calgary city council, Ceci announced that not only would his once wealthy province be posting something like a $6.4 billion deficit this year, the NDP were going all in for a $10.4 billion deficit next year and, well, they couldn’t really see balancing the budget ever again because, well, it’s hard and being a grownup sucks. The good news appears to be that no one holding a public sector union job need ever fear for their security, which will at least make Mr. Notley, who is a union executive, happy.