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On the Way to the 2019 Federal Election

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3 hours ago, st27 said:

“there’s much more to the story that needs to be told” but that it can’t come out because “there’s been an attempt to shut down the story”—an attempt she attributed to the Prime Minister and his close advisors.

And that's a fact.

They don't want you to know what activities SNC was actually funding in Libya and Mexico that ran contrary to UN imposed sanctions (travel and asset freezes) that were directly opposed to OUP operational efforts during the campaign. The fact that the government wanted to give them a pass on it would stand as manifestly unlawful bordering on treasonous. That has been my concern all along. Cash bribes paid in the land of bribes are a nothing burger. Be assured that the CBC and other news agency covering those events in Libya paid bribes to effect freedom of movement and access as well. Simple bribes in Libya is how things get done.... this, most definitely, isn't that.  

Edited by Wolfhunter

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Well, look who’s talking tough on border security


  • Calgary Herald
  • 21 Mar 2019
img?regionKey=l5%2b2OIQ%2feC6bHsb1p1FSaA%3d%3dERNEST DOROSZUK/POSTMEDIA NEWS Border Security Minister Bill Blair says he is talking to lawmakers in the United States about closing a loophole in Canada’s border agreement with the U.S.

The federal Liberals have always bristled at the suggestion that tens of thousands of “irregular” border crossers from the United States might constitute a problem. The system, they insist, works just fine. “This process is working to keep us safe,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told The Canadian Press before Christmas, and he accused the Conservatives of deliberately trying to frighten Canadians into believing otherwise. “It’s always easier to try and scare people than to allay fears in a time of anxiety,” he said. In January, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen accused the Conservatives of planning “to militarize the border,” which is certainly not an example of trying to scare people rather than allaying their fears.

One of the ideas the Conservatives have long supported is “closing the loophole” in the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) that allows “irregular” arrivals — those who cross between official border posts — to claim asylum. (There’s no point blaming them: If they tried to arrive “regularly,” they would be turned back.) The idea has long been dismissed as unworkable, if not unconstitutional.

But wouldn’t you know it, in an interview with The Globe and Mail this week, Border Security Minister Bill Blair said he was in negotiations with Washington on precisely this point.

“If, for example, there was an agreement of the United States to accept back those people that are crossing at the end of Roxham Road (in Champlain, N.Y.), then Canadian officials … could theoretically take them back to a regular point of entry … and give effect to (the STCA) regulations at that place,” Blair said — i.e., would-be asylum seekers actually apprehended crossing the border would be sent back.

It’s not clear why the Americans would agree to this: If thousands of non-citizens want to decamp and take their chances in Canada’s refugee determination system, one suspects President Donald Trump would be most inclined to let them. But it’s intriguing enough the Canadian government now wants to be seen pursuing the idea.

“Closing the loophole” might be difficult to negotiate, but unlike everything else the Liberals have tried, it would almost certainly accomplish the goal they can never quite admit to having: To keep these people away. The most resourceful and desperate migrants would try to sneak across the border and claim asylum inland, once it couldn’t be proven how they arrived — a dangerous and potentially deadly undertaking and an invitation to human smugglers, Liberals would argue if they were in opposition. But that’s infinitely more complex an undertaking than packing your suitcases, bundling up the kids and clambering over the border into a waiting RCMP car. The vast majority of people would be dissuaded.

The federal budget’s section on border security, meanwhile, is altogether extraordinary. It claims that “elevated numbers of asylum seekers, including those that have crossed into Canada irregularly, have challenged the fairness and effectiveness of Canada’s asylum system.” It proposes to target “individuals who cross Canadian borders irregularly and try to exploit Canada’s immigration system.” It moots “legislative amendments … to better manage, discourage and prevent irregular migration.”

This is the same government that has sworn blind no one is jumping any queue, that everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the system no matter whence they arrive, that the system is working perfectly — all repudiated in a single paragraph.

It adds up to a $1.18 billion commitment over five years. And the proposals are vague enough that Finance Minister Bill Morneau doesn’t seem to understand what they entail: “If someone comes across the border (and) claims asylum, we want to make sure we process that quickly so they either are moved back to where they came from, if it’s inappropriate, or in the case where they are legitimately seeking asylum, we deal with them in a compassionate and rapid way,” he told reporters on Tuesday. That’s baffling. How do you decide what’s an “appropriate” or “legitimate” claim without adjudicating the damn thing?

Nevertheless, it’s clear enough heading into the election campaign that the Liberals want to be seen fighting irregular border crossers rather than managing them as the legitimate asylum seekers they always insisted they were. The way to do the latter would be to spend scads more money hiring scads more people than they already have to adjudicate asylum claims as normal — only much, much quicker. That was what refugee advocates argued for nearly 20 years ago, when hundreds of people headed north for fear of a post-9/11 immigration crackdown. Refugee advocates lost the argument; the STCA, ratified under Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government, put an end to the northbound queues at border crossings; and most everyone in Canada instantly forgot those people ever existed.

A significant political headache had been expertly healed. It’s both telling and appropriate, as Trudeau’s government rapidly abandons its touchy-feely shtick, that the Liberals would land again on a “get tough” approach at the border.

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Media bailout puts chill in spine

Not appropriate for government in a democracy

  • Calgary Herald
  • 21 Mar 2019

If you weren’t careful, you might have missed it: a brief 160-word item, tucked deep inside the budget, labelled Supporting Canadian Journalism.

Mostly it was a rehash of the measures already announced in November’s Fall Economic Statement: a labour cost subsidy (in the form of a tax credit — presumably this sounds more palatable) for journalism organizations, a tax credit/subsidy for digital news subscribers, and charitable tax status for news organizations that register as non-profits. Only if you turned back further still, to an annex marked Tax Measures: Supplementary Information, would you find the details.

What you would discover, if you did, was how a bad idea in principle was likely to be infinitely worse in practice.

There are any number of objections to the government getting into the game of propping up failing news organizations: that taking money from the people we cover will place us in a permanent and inescapable conflict of interest; that it will produce newspapers concerned less with appealing to readers than to grantsmen; that it will not only leave us dependent on government, but without standing to oppose such dependence in others; that it will solve none of our problems, but only encourage us to put off dealing with them; that it is all so bloody unnecessary.

But the most potent objection is that, as the government cannot possibly bail out everybody — for in the internet age what was formerly a tidy little constellation of newspapers and other outlets has exploded into a vast universe of what could plausibly be called news organizations — it must inevitably get into choosing who should receive its blessing and who should not.

Whether this is done directly by the prime minister or by his designates, whether the preference is based on partisanship, or ideology, or connections, or mere incumbency, it is not an appropriate role for government in a democracy. Subsidizing speech the government likes is not materially different from suppressing speech it doesn’t like, and indeed may have much the same effect.

You might understand that in the abstract, but it’s when you see the details of how they propose to go about it that the chill really sets in.

Henceforth, if this goes ahead, the Canadian journalism business will be divided into two groups: on the one hand, a coterie of government-approved trough-feeders adorned with little merit badges identifying them as Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations, and on the other, everyone else. Eligibility for QCJO status is ostensibly to be decided by an “independent panel” of journalists, but the government has already dictated a list of its own not-so-independent criteria in advance.

Thus, a QCJO would have to be “organized as a corporation, partnership or trust” (no sole proprietorships), incorporated in Canada and 75-per-cent Canadian-owned (no foreign-based or -owned publications); and “primarily engaged,” not only in producing “original news content,” but news content of a particular kind: “matters of general interest and reports of current events, including coverage of democratic institutions and processes,” but not “primarily focused on a particular topic such as industry-specific news, sports, recreation, arts, lifestyle or entertainment.”

So: the government will subsidize department stores, but not boutiques. Why? The same reason the 25-per-cent wage subsidy, like the 15-percent subscription subsidy, is restricted to news organizations that “primarily” produce “written content.” Because that description neatly excludes anyone outside the existing Canadian newspaper industry. And that’s who this policy is designed for: not the future of news but the past; not the scrappy startups who might save the business, but the lumbering dinosaurs who are taking it down.

That’s, as I say, before the independent panel has even been struck. What additional criteria its members will come up with can only be guessed at — the November statement suggested they would also be asked to “define and promote core journalism standards” and “define professional journalism,” which sounds even more ominous.

How independent will the panel be? How will its members be chosen, and by whom? If previous such exercises, for example the Senate selection model, are any guide, they will not be partisan Liberals, as such — just reliably progressive in outlook. Of course they will be. For they will have already selected themselves: not just by their enthusiasm for the idea of a government body picking which news organizations live or die, but by the firm conviction that they are just the sort of person who ought to be a member of that body.

And why not? Membership on the panel, as on the (presumably separate) administrative body that will “evaluate” organizations according to how well they adhere to the panel’s criteria, will carry with it extraordinary power — over businesses, over careers. Possibly news organizations will be prohibited from lobbying panel members, but nothing can prevent them from sucking up to them, whether in the issues they cover or the stances they take.

But then, again, their work would be half-done before they had started: self-selection would have already winnowed the field. What sort of news organization do you think would operate as a non-profit, the kind that charitable tax status would benefit? Would it be likely to be, say, a strong believer in the profit motive? What sort of organization would be most likely to apply for the labour subsidy? The kind that advocates for less government intervention in the economy? And yet, those organizations that refused to apply would find themselves at a competitive disadvantage relative to those that did.

The inevitable result will be to tilt the field, gradually perhaps but irreversibly, in favour of progressives and of progressive views — not necessarily congenial to the government of the day, but certainly to government, and absolutely certainly within the ambit of “acceptable” opinion. The radical, the unorthodox, the unsettling or unappealing — to some, though not to others — need not apply.

You say something like this is already in place, in broadcasting? Yes it is. I’m not sure the CBC is really an advertisement for the wonders of subsidized newsgathering. But that’s not the point. Maybe there’s a place for the CBC, or something like it, as one offering among others. The point is, if this goes through, everything will be subsidized: print, broadcast, the works — a whole industry of CBCs. If you were searching for a way to kill the news business, you couldn’t do a better job.


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A budget of massive spending and not one dollar helping competitiveness

None of the big issues facing Canada — lagging productivity, fiscal imbalances and the urgent need for competitive tax reform — got a lick of attention


As federal budgets go, the 2019–20 pre-election document presented by Minister of Finance Bill Morneau on Tuesday was humdrum affair, with nothing harmful nor helpful for the average voter in putting food on the table. The deficit continues at roughly $20 billion annually over the next two years with federal net debt as a share of GDP holding steady at a bit more than 30 per cent of GDP. Federal gross liabilities, though, are a whopping $1.1 trillion, over one-half of GDP, and that’s ignoring unfunded age-related spending and tax liabilities.

Program spending will rise by five per cent in 2018–19, which is faster than GDP growth. Money is being sprayed onto hundreds of programs to satisfy endless special interest groups. The few new tax measures added are mainly technical in nature and of little interest to the broad public.

What is more interesting is what is not in the budget. The document does lots of trumpeting about increasing job growth. A new, well-designed training credit at least fits into a growth agenda. But other than that, Morneau had little to say about labour productivity, which is key to prosperity. Mostly, the budget just treated us to more tiresome mantras about helping middle-class jobs.

I can understand why the government may not want to discuss productivity, which was emphasized during the Chrétien and Harper years. The Trudeau government’s focus has been on redistribution, to make the rich pay more. And this budget offered yet one more soak-the-rich measure, with a rather odd tax treatment of stock options for highly paid executives. But like most attempts to stick it to the wealthy, people will find ways to avoid it and it won’t stop executives from cashing in.

Of more concern is that growth in output per working hour stalled in 2018 in contrast to a 1.3-per-cent increase in non-farm labour productivity in the U.S., the best in a decade for them. While Canada watches the U.S. boom, we’ve had little by the way of deregulation and tax reform to boost our own fortunes this past year. The federal government introduced accelerated depreciation in the November economic update in the hope of boosting investment critical to labour productivity. Tinkering with tax depreciation schedules won’t address more important competitiveness issues, including our high corporate income tax rate of 27 per cent, just a few points less than the top rate in the OECD.

It is not clear private investment will respond strongly to accelerated depreciation, used in the past for manufacturing without huge success. While business investment grew by seven per cent in the U.S. in 2018, the best in years, Canada struggled in 2018 with non-residential investment declining 4.5 per cent. Much of this due to regulatory impediments that have hurt the oil and gas sector, but the output of goods-producing industries, including manufacturing, has also declined recently, which will ultimately discourage investment. As the budget points out, 2018 did see some improvement in non-oil-and-gas investment in the first half of the year compared to the lacklustre previous two years. But overall, our private investment performance has remained weak since 2015.

The budget thus fails to fully address competitiveness issues facing industry. There are some innovative policies planned with respect to so-called “Regulatory Roadmaps” that specify some specific areas for reform, but it is unclear those will sufficiently address the areas where Canada does worst on international rankings: timely approval of permits, completion of contracts and getting goods to tidewater (not just oil and gas). The finance minister has made clear that he has no plans for future tax reform. And the massive Bill C-69, now before the Senate, is expected to make it more difficult for resource projects to be approved.

Besides productivity, the federal budget has no plan to balance the budget — ever. Forgetting the silly notion that deficits are an “investment” rather than deferred taxes to be paid by future generations, one might argue that a tighter fiscal balance is not appropriate given stagnating GDP growth and current uncertainties. But if we are running a deficit, federal priorities seem out of sync with mounting pressures facing the Canadian economy.

Edited by Jaydee

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Or any announcements for the military....I guess the big acquisition was the used f18s and a coastal defense ship with a 50 cal mounted on it.

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Newsflash: Trudeau’s budget is aimed at Canadians who don’t consume the news


If you are reading this, you are probably not the intended audience of Tuesday’s federal budget. In fact, the primary focus was on demographic groups united by one thing: They don’t read political news.

The 2015 election was decided by three million new voters who previously rarely or never voted, and the preponderance of whom cast ballots for the Liberals. While this group skews young, there were also new voters who were seniors over 75.

This group generally avoids traditional media coverage of politics. But the Liberals reached out to them in places political campaigns don’t usually emphasize like Instagram, e-mail or good old-fashioned door-knocking.

The Liberals added these three million new voters to the 2.7 million Liberal base voters who stuck with Michael Ignatieff in 2011, the one million NDP-Liberal switchers who lent Jack Layton their vote in 2011, and a relatively tiny group of around 300,000 Conservative-Liberal switchers who left Stephen Harper.


Remember that most of those who consume large amounts of news often select their media to reinforce their pre-existing beliefs – and likely won’t be swayed from their political camps.

Also, relatively few people decide directly between the Conservatives and the Liberals. Instead, contemporary elections are about unifying and mobilizing distinct coalitions of voters. The NDP and Liberals fight over a set of swing voters to determine who will be the contender for the government, and the winner tries to energize enough new voters to defeat the Conservatives.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives try to hold together their fractious coalition by playing down social issues and playing up their shared dislike of taxes and deficits. But they are prone to splinter parties or a demotivated base that depresses their vote count.

Looking at the budget through this prism, the election-year budget strategy becomes clear. The Liberals need to energize specific constituencies of new voters, while keeping their base and NDP switchers polarized against the Conservatives.

As the single largest variable in their fortunes, the bulk of the Liberals’ budget appeals to sets of new voters in three ways:

  • The First Time Home Buyer Incentive appeals to millennials shut out of the housing market. Home affordability is an easy message to push through social media to those who otherwise ignore political debate.
  • The Canada Training Credit provides four weeks of EI support every four years to take time off for training. It creates a narrative around opportunity that should resonate with new voters worried about jobs.
  • Older seniors with low incomes are a large part of the new voter segment. The government will pro-actively enroll eligible seniors in CPP and increase the guaranteed income supplement for the vulnerable. And what is more obvious to a person on fixed income than a higher income?

The secondary focus was on NDP-Liberal switchers (who are news consumers seeking clues about how best to stop the Conservatives) and the Liberal base. They got red meat like LGBT and anti-racism initiatives or funding for major health challenges and the arts. Incremental progress on Pharmacare may remove that arrow from Jagmeet Singh’s thinly stocked quiver. There is even government support for journalism.

The NDP’s declining fortunes have made the Green Party a bigger threat for defections, hence incentives for zero-emission vehicles.

But as The Globe’s Campbell Clark noted, the political cornerstone of the budget is the deficit.

It is not 1994, Canada’s balance sheet is strong, and voters in the progressive universe do not prioritize deficit reduction over spending, particularly new voters. But Conservative voters do tend to prioritize deficit reduction over spending.

Andrew Scheer played lip service to deficit reduction between attempts to keep the SNC-Lavalin issue going. But the deficit issue should linger. The Conservative platform will have to show a path to balance. That means reducing program spending. And those reductions are pocketbook issues for the very voters the Conservatives are trying to demotivate by emphasizing the SNC issue.

Furthermore, if the Conservatives don’t emphasize the deficit, they are open to splintering. If Mr. Scheer abandons deficit reduction, he opens the door to Maxime Bernier to run as the only one who will end Liberal spending on liberal priorities. The deficit issue could turn a People’s Party nuisance into a real threat.


By projecting deficits, the Liberals put 300,000 Conservative-Liberal swing voters at modest risk. In exchange, they can motivate three million new voters by giving them a tangible stake in the federal government and also set Mr. Scheer between opposing those benefits or empowering Mr. Bernier.

The strategy may not work. A hyper-negative Conservative campaign could demotivate new voters. The NDP could suddenly capture the zeitgeist. Mr. Bernier could focus on ugly anti-immigrant issues. An economic shock or Donald Trump tweet could change the fundamentals.

But we do know the election will likely come down to how many new voters decide to go to the polls, and this budget is designed to make that number as big as possible.

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'Huge uncertainty' for Canadian farmers: China stops buying canola just weeks before planting begins

'There is a significant concern in all of agriculture because China is a big market but also because the list of trade issues we’re facing is getting long'

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The latest...the lead weight around Trudeau’s neck is sinking the Liberals!:Clap-Hands:



Edited by Jaydee

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Groups that used to be core supporters for Trudeau’s progressive brand are now sharply turning against him. They feel betrayed. They see him as a phoney.

This is the worst place for Trudeau to be. Brand matters for him more than anything else. Once that’s gone, there’s nothing left.”


Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister based in part on a promise to do politics differently. We weren’t sure what that really meant at the time and we weren’t buying it.

But Trudeau kept selling it. And many non-partisan Canadians who had soured on politics in general found the promise appealing. We can’t blame them for that.

They then took Trudeau at his word. Yet now he has broken it.

The PM pledged to allow greater independence for his Members of Parliament, he pledged there would be less secrecy, he committed to listening to women and bringing their voices front and centre and he appeared to wear his heart on his sleeve when it came to Aboriginal issues.

So much for all that. In recent weeks, Trudeau’s progressive persona has fallen to the wayside. And it all came crashing down on Tuesday.

Trudeau didn’t just boot Jody Wilson-Raybould from caucus, but Jane Philpott as well. He claimed the reason was Wilson-Raybould’s recording of a phone conversation with Michael Wernick, as well as how both had displayed a lack of confidence in the government.

What he didn’t acknowledge though was those were just the consequences of other actions, ones done by Trudeau and those around him in the Prime Minister’s Office. He offered no contrition for his handling of the SNC-Lavalin file. Instead, he piled all the blame on these two women.

On Wednesday, dozens of young women attending an event in the House of Commons about women in politics turned their backs on Trudeau. Other women are weighing in that Trudeau’s self-serving expulsion of these two whistle-blowers is an atrocious look on him.

Meanwhile, First Nations voices are increasingly frustrated at the PM on multiple fronts. They’re upset at the banishing of Wilson-Raybould. They’re upset that his record is more talk than action. And they’re irate about Trudeau’s “Thank you for your donation” quip where he mocked a First Nations protester at a fundraiser.

Groups that used to be core supporters for Trudeau’s progressive brand are now sharply turning against him. They feel betrayed. They see him as a phoney.

This is the worst place for Trudeau to be. Brand matters for him more than anything else. Once that’s gone, there’s nothing left.

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Canada loses 7,200 jobs, its first employment drop in seven months

Economists had expected a gain


OTTAWA — The economy shed 7,200 jobs in March, its first employment drop in seven months. 

Statistics Canada’s labour force survey found the unemployment rate held firm last month at 5.8 per cent.

The March decline follows monthly increases of 66,800 net new jobs in January and 55,900 in February — which was the country’s best two-month start to a year since 1981.

Many economists had expected the surprise job-creation surge to lose momentum and the average prediction called for a gain of just 1,000 jobs, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Statistics Canada says the number of employee positions in the private sector fell by 17,300 last month, while public-employee jobs increased by 4,200 and self-employed occupations rose by 6,000.


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On 4/5/2019 at 9:40 AM, Jaydee said:

Groups that used to be core supporters for Trudeau’s progressive brand are now sharply turning against him. They feel betrayed. They see him as a phoney.


I’m clearly not smart enough to understand voters, in particular, Liberal voters. Is he not progressive enough? Not feminist enough? What exactly is it they want, something more like Wynne? Is AOC too much or too little? Or, is this their idea of political discourse?

They wanted idiotic gun control measures…. check. They wanted unfettered immigration without integration…. check. They wanted a carbon tax….. check. They wanted hugely enhanced environmental assessments of pipeline projects (and less pipelines in general).... check. They also want to pretend they are on track with the Paris accord... check (and they think changing lightbulbs will get them there). I can go on here but ya get it, right?

If you are a progressive Liberal voter, it doesn’t get any better than JT. I don’t think they really want what they say they want; unless of course someone else is paying for what they say they think they might maybe want. It doesn’t work like that and budgets don’t balance themselves. What is really needed is for Liberal voters to grow up. There have been no surprises here, Liberal voters should be delighted. If they aren't, I fear they will never be satisfied with a level of foolish more potent than that on offer from JT.

Edited by Wolfhunter
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It seems that ever since BUTTS has left, Justin has no one to look to for advice. He basically just handed Scheer the election as this court case, and the SNC affair will now be dragged out right up to the election. Gotta love stupidity when it works in your favour :Clap-Hands:


“ With Trudeau, there’s always another level of nuts to be realized at his own reputational expense “

Is Trudeau trying to get Scheer elected? Or is he just a stupid thug?

Seriously? Does Trudeau have a political death wish?”

Of all the stupid things that Justin Trudeau has done in his mishandling of the SNC-Lavalin scandal that he created, his threatened libel lawsuit against Conservative leader Andrew Scheer might just take the cake.


Does the prime minister still not get that the most politically damaging aspect of this whole controversy of his own making is in how it has made him look like a bully?

Has it somehow eluded him that his mishandling of this affair that has so especially alienated women and Indigenous peoples has effectively rebranded him as a “fake feminist” who will seemingly resort to any means to silence his legitimate critics?


Since when did he become so infatuated with the rule of law, anyway?

Why does he now suddenly see it as an instrument of trying to suppress the criticism that has only arisen from his own alleged assaults on that same constitutional principle?

Man, and here I thought booting Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott out of caucus was the ultimate definition of batshit crazy.

Nope. With Trudeau, there’s always another level of nuts to be realized at his own reputational expense.


Does Trudeau have a political death wish?

Jesus, he misses Gerald Butts.

What, it’s not bad enough that almost every media outlet in the country is condemning Trudeau’s signature debacle? The one that has so many Canadians turning their backs on his Liberal party, as those Daughter of the Vote delegates did to him last week in Parliament?

But now Trudeau imagines that it will somehow help his tattered reputation by threatening to sue his chief political nemesis?

For what?

For saying things that all the country is saying in so much harsher language in every coffee shop, bar, restaurant, and work site, over his abysmal handling of his LavScam fiasco? 

For supposedly defaming him, after all that he has said and done in disparaging his former attorney general for having the temerity to speak truth to his ethically bankrupt power?

For supposedly slandering him, after all that his apologists have said in smearing even a sitting judge and a past attorney general, in their pathetic effort to somehow try to taint Canada’s now most beloved female politician, the truth teller of noble heritage known as Puglaas?

To what end?

To preserve his “good name” from being further besmirched, after all he has done and seems hellbent on doing to sully both it and his thoroughly discredited administration?

To give the man who hopes to replace him as prime minister yet another podium and political tool to make Scheer look good by comparison?

To put Scheer front and centre, in elevating Trudeau’s unfathomable failings by further branding him as a thug whose attempts at intimidation only make him look weak, scared, ridiculous, and anti-democratic?

To breathe new life into the scandal that just won’t quit by allowing Scheer to say—as Trudeau’s minions so crassly challenged “Jane and Jody"—to just “put up, or shut up?”

To look like an even more ludicrous idiot by threatening to go to court? The very venue that Trudeau has tried so hard to help SNC-Lavalin avoid?

Because the last thing that company wants to do is to have to try clear its name, which has been tainted through past wrongdoings, by defending itself in criminal court from bribery and corruption charges that Trudeau would apparently like to see exchanged for a deferred prosecution agreement?

To imagine that that will put to bed the scandal that has already cost him two senior cabinet ministers, his principal secretary, his top bureaucrat, and untold political damage?

To persuade Canadians that he might use the law as his weapon, after having no qualms about disregarding the Reform Act [that Conservative MP Michael Chong got passed in 2014] by unilaterally booting JWR and Philpott out of caucus without a vote?

Talk about making Scheer’s day!

Maybe someone convinced him that a “good strategy” is to sue Scheer for libel, so that he can then say he can’t talk any more about this scandal that he wants no one to talk about. Because it “is before the courts” and he of all people wouldn’t want to interfere with our judicial system.

Not crazy.

That is, if you’re so zonked out on your newly legalized weed that your paranoia makes you believe it’s a sensible gambit in trying to stop the one person besides yourself who seems to be most out to get you.

Perhaps he thinks this “bold” new strategy will elicit new standing ovations from his disheartened caucus. They so desperately want Trudeau to at last “fight back” in some way that is not overtly unconscionable in its own right.

Hit yourself in the jaw, pleeese. Anything. Just strike back.

Because we’re all so tired of doing nothing, besides the damage we, your loyal caucus, has done to our collective lot by doing just that at every turn. Mostly in Commons committees.

Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May must be just gritting their teeth. They have to be jealous at Scheer’s good fortune.

Who knows? It might be enough to make them second-guess their own judicious restraint in not holding Trudeau to account in ways that might also lead him to serve them with their own legal notice.

And justice for all, please, prime minister! What’s a leader gotta do to get sued these days, for Heaven’s sake?

But really, should we expect anything less from Canada’s embattled prime minister?

Ever the good teacher, he has shown us all how sadly his “sunny ways” can turn to “SLAPP-happy” ways.

Good thing he did it in Ontario, and not in British Columbia.

Thanks to premier John Horgan’s NDP government, strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) suits won’t so easily fly under its new Bill 2, the Protection of Public Participation Act.

All Canadians might now want to colloquially think of that as the “Trudeau SLAPP-back” law.




Edited by Jaydee

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"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living."

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Trudeau used to criticize Harper for meddling with bureaucrats and the independence of the civil service. Once again, he has betrayed his core values for political expediency.


But barring a significant change of tune by the federal government over the next week, this year’s edition will impose an unprecedented policy. Unless certain demands are met, Liberal MPs will be barred from speaking from its stages on April 20, says organizer Moninder Singh.

“We’ve never had to take steps like this,” said the B.C. Gurdwara Council spokesman. “But we can’t be giving platforms where half a million people are out walking around, when we don’t see a genuine relationship being formed with the community.”

The threatened ban was over an issue causing growing consternation in the Sikh community: an annual Public Safety Canada report on terrorism that for the first time this December contained a small section on the alleged threat of Sikh extremism.

From the National Post


The language was changed late Friday to remove any mention of religion, instead discussing the threat posed by “extremists who support violent means to establish an independent state within India.”

The 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada drew the ire of the Sikh community when it was released in December.

For the first time, the report listed Sikh extremism as one of the top five extremist threats in Canada.

Although the objections were largely about the inclusion of Sikhs at all, because of the report’s lack of evidence to back it up, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he would at least ask for a review of the language the report used.

From the Globe and Mail.


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Still in favour of a Carbon tax?  And it’s just starting!!

Regular Gas just hit $1.71.9 in Vancouver. High test $ 192.9

It’s over $1.30 in most of Canada 

And it’s going to continue going up as Trudeau’s carbon tax increases automatically each year. 🤬🤬



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The new Liberal Strategy...turn into Conservatives    :whistling:

Hark! Word comes from Ottawa of the vaunted channel change from SNC-Lavalin!

With everyone busy rubbernecking the multi-car, highway-closing SNC-Lavalin pile up, Finance Minister Bill Morneau went ahead and tabled his budget implementation bill. And buried in that 392-page (!) behemoth was a change to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that would make it harder to claim refugee status in Canada.

To take things in order: 1) yes, there was a federal budget this year; 2) yes, it is being jammed through the House via an omnibus bill (which the Liberals promised never to do); 3) yes, omnibus legislation is how Liberals tucked deferred prosecution agreements into the criminal code for SNC last year; and 4) the Liberals are now massive hypocrites.

Trudeau’s vaunted “Welcome to Canada” poster is now festooned with giant brand-damaging caveats: If you, dear asylum seeker, have opened a claim for refugee protection in another country, have already made an unsuccessful claim in Canada, been deemed inadmissible because of your criminal record, or been granted refugee protection elsewhere, your claim is now ineligible for consideration.

And if all of that sounds like common sense to you, welcome to where federal and provincial Conservatives have been for the past three years. Or, as the Liberals used to call it: being un-Canadian.

READ MORE: Because it’s 2019: A look back at Trudeau’s original cabinet

The budget bill sleight of hand on asylum claims follows the Liberals’ earlier fold on the Safe Third Country Agreement, which they are now looking to revise in negotiations with the United States, another step the Conservatives have been urging for the better part of two years.

“I can tell you we’ve been working very hard over the past several months to significantly reduce the number of people who are crossing our borders irregularly,” Conservative Minister Bill Blair told reporters. “There’s a right way to come to the country to seek asylum and/or to seek to immigrate to this country, and we’re trying to encourage people to use the appropriate channels and to disincentivize people from doing it improperly,” Blair added.

Blair is, of course, a Liberal. He just sounds like a Conservative, based on the volte-faceevidence; 40,000+ “irregular” asylum claims from the United States will do that to you. The Liberals have been thoroughly mugged by the reality of this year’s election.

And what of the mountains of prior Liberal talk of principles, compassion and openness? One presumes they’re buried in the backlog of asylum claims Trudeau said the system was equipped to handle.

The step change in direction on entry to Canada has certainly upset the cast of immigration and asylum advocates who threw themselves at Trudeau’s feet after Trudeau threw open Canada’s doors in the midst of the 2015 refugee crisis in Europe.

Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, anticipates a Charter challenge to Trudeau’s proposed reforms, while Maureen Silcoff, chair of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers’ litigation committee, bemoaned the “degraded” nature of the system being proposed. “This is really a devastating attack on refugee rights,” Dench concluded.

These criticisms—to say nothing of the changes themselves—should terrify the Liberals who, as they never fail to tell us, are the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. One wonders whether the lemmings on the Grit backbench were even made aware of them. It certainly explains why the changes were buried in a budget bill and not debated in the harsh light of day. Opaque ways, my friends.

Refugee advocates will now add their names to the rather long and distinguished list of disappointed Liberal stakeholders: electoral reform advocates, transparency gurus, balanced-budget believers, sticklers for the rule of law, Indigenous rights groups and environmentalists, to name a few.

But the criticism from the asylum crowd is of a different calibre, one that will leave a mark. The Liberals are sawing at a pillar of their core identity, to say nothing of their brand promise. Liberals of the Trudeau vintage didn’t get into politics to be a Tory on asylum and immigration.

Now that the media have spotted the change we shouldn’t be surprised if Trudeau kicks Jody Wilson-Raybould out of caucus again to change the channel. Or, barring that, give another $12 million climate gift to a wealthy grocery retailer with a history of price-fixing a food staple. The point being, the longer the discussion stays on the asylum about-face the more Trudeau will sink.

And with Liberal support continuing to bleed every which way, Trudeau could yet have further to fall. Indeed, bar the carbon tax, it’s not clear what the Liberals propose to stand on in the next election. Well, other than power for power’s sake, which has always been the Liberal proposition.

But it wasn’t Trudeau’s; he promised a different Liberal Party. The fact that Michelle Rempel could now be the Liberal spokesperson on immigration wasn’t a part of the vision he sold to Canadians..

But on asylum, as with Trudeau’s other disappointments, it turns out that #WelcomeToCanada was #OnlyAMarketingSlogan.


Andrew MacDougall is a London (UK) based columnist, commentator and consultant. He was formerly Director of Communications to Stephen Harper.

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In two years, Liberals go from #WelcomeToCanada to deportations without hearings

The refugees that made such useful props for Trudeau in the last election have become an obstacle to his chances in the next. So, over the side they go.


Naturally, they put it in an omnibus bill.

Buried deep inside the 392 pages of Bill C-97, the budget implementation bill, is a package of amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that would turn decades of Canadian refugee policy on its head.

The changes would disqualify from consideration refugee claimants who had previously made claims in “a country other than Canada.” (Also ineligible: those whose claims had already been rejected in Canada, or who had been granted refugee protection elsewhere.) What is more, this would apply even to those already on our soil, seeking asylum.

Ever since the Supreme Court’s landmark 1985 ruling in Singh v. Canada, refugee claimants under the protection of Canadian law cannot be deported without having their case heard before an independent tribunal — a recognition of the serious, possibly fatal consequences of sending a genuine refugee, with a “well-founded fear of persecution,” back to his country of origin. Under the new policy, the best that those affected could hope for would be an interview with an immigration official, as part of a “preremoval risk assessment.”

All this came as a complete surprise to refugee advocates. The only mention of it in the budget the bill claims to be implementing was this cryptic remark on p. 326: “The government proposes to introduce legislative amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to better manage, discourage and prevent irregular migration.”

They could hardly have guessed what this would turn out to mean. The changes not only go far beyond the existing Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, which allows Canada to turn back claimants arriving at official points of entry on our southern border — not once they have already crossed — but would extend it to a number of other countries with whom Canada has immigration “information-sharing” agreements.

Understand: the people whose claims Canada would summarily reject in this fashion would not necessarily have had their claims assessed and rejected by another country – it would be enough that they had made a claim. They would face deportation, what is more, not to the country in which they had earlier made their claim, but to their country of origin, to meet whatever fate awaited them there. All this, without even the right to an independent hearing.

This sort of draconian shift in policy would be shocking coming from any government; among other objections, the courts are almost certain to rule it is a violation of the Charter of Rights. But to find it proposed by the same Liberal government that had long congratulated itself for its commitment to refugee rights, while castigating critics as intolerant, racist and worse, is simply breathtaking.

What is wrong about the new Liberal policy is not that it is hypocritical, but simply that it is wrong


This is not just the most extraordinary about-face yet — from #WelcomeToCanada to deportations without hearings, in the space of two years — from a government that has made a habit of them. It is a fundamental breach of faith.

“We will restore Canada’s reputation,” the Liberals boasted in the refugees section of their 2015 election platform, “and help more people in need through a program that is safe, secure and humane.”

“Canada once welcomed refugees openly,” it goes on, “but that proud history has faded after a decade of mismanagement under Stephen Harper. We will renew and expand our commitment to helping resettle more refugees, and deliver a refugee program that is safe, secure and humane.”

But that was then, and the refugees that made such useful props for Justin Trudeau in the last election have become an obstacle to his chances in the next, in the face of relentless Tory fear-mongering about the “crisis” on our border. So, over the side they go.

That this was accomplished via yet another mammoth omnibus bill compounds the sense of betrayal. The 2015 Liberal platform also denounced the Harper government for its use of omnibus bills “to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating his proposals,” vowing to “bring an end” to “this undemocratic practice.”

CPT109-THE-ASSOCIATED-PRESS.jpg?w=414&quality=60&strip=allA migrant couple approaches an RCMP tent on the border in St. Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., to enter Canada illegally on Aug. 7, 2017. Charles Krupa/AP

When the bill comes to a vote, moreover, Liberal MPs will inevitably be whipped to support it — as a budget bill, after all, it is an automatic confidence matter. This turns yet another Liberal campaign pledge inside out.

The platform had promised that MPs would be free to vote as they pleased on virtually all questions; outside of confidence matters, the whips would be applied only to votes that “implement the Liberal electoral platform” or that touch on “the protections guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” In this case, MPs will be whipped to vote for a bill that contradicts the platform and runs roughshod over Charter guarantees.

Mere hypocrisy or breach of faith, however, would not suffice to condemn the Liberal changes, if they were otherwise well-advised. It would be obtuse to hold a government to the course it had set out on, however disastrous, just for the sake of a foolish consistency. Those Conservatives who are now attacking the Liberals for adopting the very positions for which they had previously attacked the Conservatives – on top of the changes in the omnibus bill, the government was earlier reported to be in negotiations with the United States to extend the Safe Third Country Agreement to the entire border — are entitled, perhaps, to gloat. They are not entitled to claim vindication.

No, what is wrong about the new Liberal policy is not that it is hypocritical, but simply that it is wrong: arbitrary, inhumane, and vastly unnecessary. There is no emergency that could possibly justify rejecting refugee claimants out of hand, solely on the basis of having made a prior claim, — “asylum-shopping,” the Border Security minister, Bill Blair, called it, without apparent sense of shame — still less deporting them without a hearing. The numbers of those crossing the U.S.-Canada border irregularly are falling, not rising.

The emergency, rather, would appear to be in the falling numbers of those telling pollsters they intend to vote Liberal. For what is the risk of sending innocent people to their deaths, when there are marginal seats in peril?



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