Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dryden Jersey Retirement

Here are just some of the pics I shot last night from the Bell Centre. What a night! Go 29!

CPC's so-called attack ads

I just saw the supposed attack ad - were we supposed to be worried?

Barbaro: RIP

This is so sad. That was one of the most dreadful sports accidents I've ever seen. I'm just sorry his growth from colt to stallion was spent in pain.

Monday, January 29, 2007

# 29

Well the big day has finally arrived. The Habs will retire Ken Dryden's number tonight at the Bell Centre. Check this space tomorrow for pictures of this momentous event.
We all know that Ken is awesome - a word I don't use lightly - but Red Fisher says it best.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

If I lived in Niagara Falls....

I would support James Curran for the Liberal nomination in that riding. Since I don't, though, I thought I would strongly encourage LPCO members to give James the nod. And some not-so-gentle prodding.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

CPC Trashing Canada's International Reputation


Peter MacKay's Levantine Misadventures.

Despite Harper's best efforts to make an optical ideological shift in many quarters, the Minister of Foreign Affairs's cool reception by Mahmoud Abbas is just further evidence that the damage has been done. Decades of global goodwill and international respect as a balanced middle power destroyed in just under a year.

From the article:

'In any event, Mr. Abbas's top aide suggested beforehand that there was little riding on the talks. He suggested that Canada's decision to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won control of it in elections last year, and its refusal to allow diplomats to meet with PA officials, has diminished whatever influence Canada once had in the region.'

To make matters worse, the CBC has just reported that on a visit to a West Bank refugee camp, directly in the shadow of the security barrier, MacKay refused to comment on the conditions in the West Bank, refused to comment on the wall and refused all questions from the journalists following him through the camp. To his dubious credit, he did visit a UN-run girls school to remark on the importance of education.

This is deeply disturbing.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Power: It's All About What You Do With It

Yet another excellent profile on M. Dion can be found here. It's lengthy, but definitely worth the time on a wintry Saturday morning. For those not familiar with the bid to run Dion out of parliament, I'll include this short excerpt.

That was not enough for Paul Martin. When he took over from Mr. Chrétien in 2003, the new prime minister dumped Mr. Dion from the cabinet. Led by David Herle, the coterie of advisers that surrounded Mr. Martin considered Mr. Dion a liability in Quebec. The prime minister's Quebec lieutenant, Jean Lapierre, called the Clarity Act a “useless” piece of legislation.

“That was very hard for Stéphane,” says Pierre Pettigrew. “He was someone who had gone into politics for all the right reasons.”

Then a rival, Martin-backed candidate started selling Liberal memberships in Saint-Laurent—Cartierville. “When they tried to take away his riding, that is the moment he became a politician,” Ms. Krieber declares. “It was not an ideological debate. It was a power struggle.

“They could have asked me how to get rid of him and I would have told them: ‘Leave him alone, ignore him.' Instead they provoked him. . . . You know, my husband is a romantic knight.”

Does anyone else find it dignified how Stephane has treated those who have previously sought to marginalise him? Either that or he's even more Machiavellian than we all suspected. This is a good thing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

ADQ: More Insidious Than PQ

The PQ has been a sworn enemy of mine since I first donned a Non Merci macaron as a Grade 3 student in the spring of 1980. I never thought Quebecers would see a more dishonest, morally corrupt party than the PQ - notwithstanding, of course, the defunct Union National. I was wrong: way, way wrong. Mario Dumont's ADQ has bypassed the PQ in garnering my scorn.

While the Oui forces of 1995 lied to Quebecers through a dishonest signage campaign; repeated falsehoods on what parts of 'Canada' Quebec would get to keep, culminating with the barely controlled racist rant of Jacques Parizeau on the night of the defeat, at least we know where the PQ stands. They are separatists; they want out of Canada; they blame federalism for everything that's wrong with this province. Yes, we've heard it all before countless times.

What we haven't heard is any degree of clarity on the ADQ - an ostensibly federalist option. Much has been made of Dumont's call for less leniency for minorities. He suggests the PQ and the BQ are being 'politically correct' in their leniency towards minorities. I will admit to being sceptical about the separatists outreach to cultural communities, particularly because the movement has always had an unpleasant tinge of ethnic nationalism. I chalked it up to Realpolitik and the manipulation of the immigrant integration system in this fair province. On the surface, though, the optics are good because it appears as if the separatist movement in Quebec is finally reaching out, perhaps in order to reassure cultural communities in a separate Quebec. But I digress.

The thing that is the most irksome about Dumont is that he's a federalist of convenience. Canada is fine, as long as it is hollowed out and meaningless. I'm not a betting woman, but I'd be willing to wager that Dumont took quite a bit of Schumpeter with him when he left Concordia's School of Community and Public Affairs - his approach to federalism and the role of the state reeks of it. In Dumont's mind, Canada is only useful as far as equalisation and other transfer payments go - a place for Quebec to 'autonomously' assert its uniqueness. It's enough to make one sick: Dumont proposes a constitution for a province that would essentially contradict the federal government's focus on multiculturalism and leave the door open for further discrimination of minorities in this province. One could easily envisage cultural laws akin to those that banned the use of English under the PQ.

A visit to the ADQ's website - not for unilingual anglos as key platform and positions have not been translated, though they are looking for volunteers - will confirm that they intend for autonomous Quebec to remain in Canada. One can only conclude - given his electoral base and his centre-right ideology - that Dumont seeks to appeal to so-called 'traditional' small-c conservative Quebecers who are suspicious of and/or dislike anglos and ethnic and religious minorities, but are too conservative to disrupt the staus quo and face the unknowns of separation. With Dumont's proposal, they'd have the best of both worlds: the security of the Canadian safety net and an entrenched coccoon that would protect the 'de souche' from any unpleasantness arising from other cultures and their 'weird ways'. Hence the fundamental dishonesty and narrow-mindedness that is the 'federalist' ADQ. They are the worst Quebec has to offer.

FAQ: Professeur Dion

This great piece by Benoit Aubin should answer a lot of those questions. It also provides a very nice profile of Prof. Krieber, one of my former professors. Well done!