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Saturday, March 28, 2009

David Frum on modern-day conservatism

The print edition of the National Post carries a piece by Canadian conservative author and commenter, David Frum. The piece is entitled, Frum on Frum—A veteranDavid Frum conservative ponders his alienation from the movement he joined 30 years ago, and deals with Mr. Frum’s sense of what conservatism means to him and how this differs from that of the present Republican Party.

Mr. Frum quotes Andrew Coyne as describing him thus:

“Things have come to a pretty pass in the Republican Party when David Frum is the mushy moderate of the piece.”

If this is an accurate measure of Mr. Frum’s conservatism, then I guess I’m a “mushy moderate” too for I find myself in agreement with everything he has to say in this essay.

I became a conservative in the 1970s because, like Mr. Frum, I believed that conservatives had the answers to runaway inflation, stalled economic growth and a social order that seemed to be breaking down. Moreover, the western democracies seemed to have lost their nerve and confidence and liberals seemed unable to restore it—or to show they even noticed much less cared.

For us who held free speech, self-reliance and individual choice dear, who believed in free markets and entrepreneurship and who championed free trade, conservatism was the way.

Conservatives wanted to “cut taxes, reduce government, repeal price controls, print less money, jail criminals, trust individuals, rebuild armed forces, strike back against terrorists and hostage-takers,” to use Mr. Frum’s words.

And the fact is that conservatives—under leaders like Thatcher, Regan and Mulroney—did do all those things. Yet the conservative dream was largely unfulfilled.

Mr. Frum writes that “Conservatives stopped taking governance seriously—and so Americans ceased to trust conservatives in government.” This is less true in Canada, but moderately so.

Those of us who hold to fundamental conservative principles find little to champion in much of our current federal government’s actions and policies. Our remaining consolation is that things would be worse under the Grits.

According to Mr. Frum:

“The Obama administration is careening toward a more expensive and interventionist government, toward reckless spending and destructive taxation.”

The really sad part about this is that the Republican Party so sullied the conservative brand that Americans wanted no further part of it. And their final insult to the American people was that they offered a tired old man and his neophyte political lightweight running mate as an alternative to a man who offered hope for a better America.

On a personal note, I’ll add that, as with prudent fiscal conservatism, social conservatism is also in retreat. At least social conservatism that is not so badly skewed to the right and bound up in religious dogma as to be almost unrecognizable as a reasonable path to good social order.

I’ll end by quoting Mr. Frum’s final paragraph:

“I don’t think of myself as having gone squishy. I think of myself as having grown sober. And my conservative critics? On them, I think the most apt verdict was delivered by Niccolo Machiavelli, 500 years ago: ‘This is the tragedy of man. Circumstances change, and he does not’.”

 

[Source material]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cut the Fat on-line campaign

The Cut the Fat on-line campaign seems to be gaining traction. This campaign is sponsored by the National Citizens Coalition, which has set up an on-line petition calling for members of parliament, senators, cabinet ministers and the prime minister to take an immediate 5 per cent cut in pay.

Furthermore, the petition asks for a freeze in the civil service and an examination of all federal expenditures, presumably so that they too can be pared back.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me, given the sacrifices so many Canadians are being called upon to make in these hard economic times. It’s an excellent opportunity for our politicians to show leadership in a tangible, personal way.

Go to the Web site; sign the petition.

Ezra Levant on Coren TV show

For anyone who did not see civil rights activist, journalist and right-wing commentator, Mr. Ezra Levant on last night’s Michael Coren Show, Mr. Levant offers a second chance to see segments of the show on his blog. Do yourselves a favour and watch these.

Coren’s show is usually a mixed bag of run of the mill ideologues and political party hacks and true intellectuals. Unfortunately, the former outnumber the latter by a wide margin. It’s also true that the show allows an exchange of ideas and debate on a pretty wide range of topics and is not biased towards left-wing views—a refreshing change for Toronto-area MSM.

Last night’s show was several cuts above the recent average. Mr. Levant is promoting his new book, Shakedown, which chronicles his three-year battle with the human rights commission. This is pretty disturbing stuff, made all the more so since it took place in our country while a Conservative government help power.

If Mr. Levant’s book is anywhere close to being as entertaining as he is on TV, it’ll be worth a read. And even if it isn’t, I still plan to buy the book as a small gesture of support to a man who has shown the sort of grit and determination I admire.

The book, Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights, is available at Amazon.

The more light we can shine on the activities on these rogue government agencies that pretend to protect our “human” rights, the less damage they are likely to do. Hats off to Mr. Levant, and I hope his book sells well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shameful bit of Liberal skullduggery

The Grits are at it again. Apparently—see the Angry in the
Great White North
blog—the Grits have devised a plan/scam to circumvent federal political party contribution rules.

Basically, ticket purchases for an upcoming Leader’s Dinner will be credited to Michael Ignatieff’s leadership campaign fund, even though he is already the de facto leader and is un-opposed. And:

“…within 60 days of Michael Ignatieff's acclamation as Liberal Party leader, and the official closure of the bogus Liberal Party leadership campaign, all this money will be transferred to the Liberal Party.”

This effectively doubles individual donations to the party: once to the Ignatieff Leadership campaign fund and a second donation made directly to the Liberal Party. All this despite the fact Ignatieff is already leader and there is no one opposing him.

So an un-opposed, already-appointed leader needs donations? Of course not, this is virtually a scam: a thumbing of the Liberal nose at our law, and the upturned rude middle finger to the Canadian people—plus, I suppose, a nudge, nudge, wink, wink, to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Technically legal perhaps, but, nevertheless, shameful and so typical of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Canada: the joke really is on us

The recent outrage expressed over the Fox News Network program Red Eye, is pathetic. I mean really pathetic. Have we become a nation of over-sensitive wimps and whiners? So Fox News made some lame jokes about our country and our military—so what. Canadians routinely make much worse public comments about Americans and especially their presidents.

We need to grow up as a nation and stop taking such offence at silly, immature, out-of-date jokes made by people who are paid for fairly tame attempts at “shock” humour.

What we Canadians should be outraged about is the long-standing policy of Liberal governments and some past Progressive Conservative governments that systematically starved our military of sufficient funds to properly discharge our international obligations and commitments. This is what has made us the brunt of bad jokes.

The Fox News program was accurate in its observation that Canada has relied on our proximity to the United States to save on our military expenditures over the past several decades. We rely on the fact that our southern neighbour would always come to our defence if necessary. We have made ourselves an international joke and should not blame others from laughing at us.

Canada ranks 6th in defence expenditures among the 26 members of the NATO alliance. However, our ranking drops to 20th, when military outlays are calculated as a percentage of our country’s gross domestic product. This is shameful.

For Pete’s sake, we are a nation of over 33 million people and our military is stretched to its limit to keep a paltry 2,800 fighters in the field in Afghanistan—about 5 per cent of allied forces there. We sent over 26,000 Canadians to serve in the Korean War. Of these, 1,558 became casualties, including 516 deaths, most due to combat. And at that time Canada’s population was less than half its current level—that’s commitment!

Spending on our military has dropped from almost six per cent of the GDP in 1956 to 1.1 per cent in 2005. By contrast, Australia spends more than twice that at 2.4 per cent (2006). We are ranked 132 in the world in this regard—a real joke when we consider ourselves worthy of being a member of the G8 group of nations.

This is what is shameful and worthy of our outrage, not the inept humour of some second-tier entertainers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Canada: say goodbye to NATO in 2011

The recent news that our Defense Minister Peter Mackay said Sunday that he is more interested in keeping his job than becoming NATO’s next secretary-general is welcome news indeed.

I am at the point where I seriously doubt that there is enough value in membership in NATO to justify the cost to our country and to the young men and women who serve in our armed forces present and past.

Canadians were there at the birth of NATO. We were key drafters of NATO Articles 4 and 5, dealing with consultation and obligations. Article 2, moreover, was the result of Canadian insistence and perseverance, summoning alliance members to improve themselves and each other politically, socially and economically.

Canada’s early enthusiasm for the alliance it helped to form was not to last, however. After an initial burst of commitment that carried its military to Europe in the early 1950s, Canada’s enthusiasm waned, as it seemed to prefer to regard NATO as a political arrangement, while doing only as much militarily as was necessary to maintain some credibility inside the alliance. In fact, in 1969 Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau withdraw half of the Canadian force from NATO Europe.

Despite our lack luster support, since 1949 Canada has been the sixth largest contributor to NATO’s military and civil budgets. In 2005-06, Canada contributed some $160 million and 114 personnel. Moreover, Canada is the third largest financial supporter and contributor of personnel to the NATO Airborne Early Warning System and Control—a system that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications to NATO air defence forces. Canada also provides low-level flying and mechanized battle group training grounds for its NATO partners at several Canadian Forces bases.

Perhaps most importantly, Canada currently has approximately 2,500 Canadian Forces personnel deployed in Afghanistan in support of NATO operations there. This results from our response to Article 5 obligations following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty stipulates that an external attack against one of the Allies is an attack against all the members of the Alliance. Consequently, after the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Canada immediately fulfilled its NATO obligations to support its ally. Since 2001, over 18,000 Canadian Forces personnel have deployed overseas as part of its role in the campaign against international terrorism—Canada’s contribution included naval forces in the Indian Ocean and an army battle group, which was deployed to Kandahar as part of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom.

Canada has now done its part for Europe and NATO. Tens of thousands of Canadian lives were sacrificed in the first half of the Twentieth Century for European freedom. And dozens of lives and billions of dollars are now being lost in Afghanistan, at least, in part because some Europeans will not come to our support there.

We are committed until 2011, and I suppose we must live up to that obligation. But after that, we must seriously reconsider membership in an alliance which does not seem to believe in mutual assistance. Europe owes Canada far more than it can ever repay, so why continue to accrue debts that will forever be unpaid?

[Sources include: The Canadian Encyclopedia, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada]

Burlington PC Riding Assoc.: is anybody home?

The upcoming race for leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party should be an excellent opportunity for individual riding associations to drum up some local interest and increase membership—or so I would have thought.

Looking at the Burlington PC Riding Association’s Web site, however, no one would even know that such a contest was in the offing. What a pity. What a missed opportunity.

For many of us in Burlington, the first place we look for timely information is the Internet, and to publish a Web site so completely out of date is a disgrace and an insult to those of us who have supported the PC Party in this riding for over 30 years.

As of a few minutes ago (Mar. 22, 2009 at 9:20 a.m.) the riding association’s home page has a single item: a letter from the president, dated May 4, 2008.

In the “Latest Events” section, one item listed:

May 14, 2008 – The Burlington Provincial PC Riding Association requests the pleasure of your company at out 2nd annual Joyce Savoline MPP Cocktail Reception.

On the “Events” page, four items are listed—three with 2007 dates and one with a 2008 date. Incredible!

To make matters even worse, the “Contact Us” page is out of date, listing the president as Kathy Reid, a past president—the current president is Rene Papin. And, of course, no where on the Web site are other members of the board even mentioned.

I could go on, but it does not get any better.

In stark contrast is the Liberal Party’s Burlington riding Web site, which is up-to-date and provides contact information for the entire executive and the membership director.

Joyce Savoline is the MPP for Burlington. Ms. Savoline is a seasoned politician who has held the Burlington seat for the PCs since early 2007, and before that served for 12 years as Chairman of Halton Region.

The most recent item in the “Latest News” section of Ms. Savoline’s MPP Web site is dated Nov. 4, 2008—over four months old—so no help there.

I recently wrote an e-mail to Ms. Savoline back on Mar 9, 2009 using the contact form on one of those Web sites. Here’s what I wrote:

Is the Burlington PC Riding Assoc. still active? I've checked http://www.burlingtonpca.com/ and the Web site is almost one year out of date and no activities since last May.

Similarly, this Web site is pretty much dormant with no updates in the past months.

Also, there does not seem to be a way to make e-mail contact with the president of the Riding Assoc.

The current board isn't even identified on their Web site.

I've lived in Burlington for about 33 years and joined the PC riding association within a couple of weeks of moving here. I have been a member until recently. Both my wife and I have been on the board of directors and one or the other of us worked as a PC volunteer in every provincial election since about 1972.

For all those years, Burlington had one of the most active riding associations in Ontario.

Inactive riding association = inactive members = election loss in 2011, in my opinion anyway.

Regards,
Russ Campbell

Since I did write to Ms. Savoline several months ago and never received a reply, it did not surprise me that I did not receive even an acknowledgement of this most recent e-mail.

Ms. Savoline is no run-of-the-mill back-bencher at Queen’s Park. Rather, she is the PC Party’s Education Critic and member of the Standing Committee on General Government.

Is this the level of responsiveness and organization we can expect from a PC-led government, should that day ever come? The thought makes me shudder.

I can only hope that Interim Leader Bob Runciman can find a way to educate Ms. Savoline about the value using modern communication techniques—e-mail and up-to-date Web sites—to get the PC message out to the residents of Burlington.

Or perhaps a nearby riding association could help. Both Ted Chudleigh and Tim Hudak, who use their riding Web sites intelligently, could certainly help and I hope they do so soon.

On the other hand, recognizing that the ultimate goal of the riding association and its Web site is to elect its member to the legislature, if the member in question does not plan to run in 2011, does any of this matter to her? Unfortunately, it may not, but it certainly should to others in the party who want to see Burlington continue to be represented by the PC Party.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tell David Dodge to mind his own business and leave public policy to those charged with its responsibility

The former Bank of Canada governor, David Dodge, said forecasts by the country’s central bank and Prime Minister Stephen Harper that call for a quick economic rebound are unrealistic, the Globe and Mail reported.

Reportedly, Mr. Dodge told the Globe in an interview one year after he stepped down as bank governor that, it will be years before bank lending revives, slowing any rebound in the Canadian and global economies.

Mr Dodge also said Prime Minister Harper’s prediction for a rebound that will bring Canada’s budget into surplus by 2013 is “totally unrealistic.”

What purpose can this naysaying serve except to further undermine consumer confidence? I believe this yesterday’s man should keep his big mouth shut. He is no longer the governor of the BOC, and as such is not responsible for setting our government and current BOC straight with his superior wisdom.

The Bank of Canada forecasted recently that Canada’s economy will return to growth later this year, although current Governor Mark Carney said on March 15 that the global economy was deteriorating faster than he anticipated. Add to this the recent positive comments PM Harper has made.

These are the men responsible for piloting us through the current economic storm, and they don’t need to be publicly undermined by some publicity-seeking, know-it-all former civil servant.

If the Tamil Tigers are terrorists, why are we not arresting their Canadian supporters?

One of the few negatives of immigration is the habit of some of bringing their political beefs with them to our country. Why can’t these people leave their bitterness and biases behind in their homelands and make a new beginning in Canada? A case in point is the recent traffic-snarling demonstration at Toronto in support of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam—a terrorist organization outlawed in 2006 under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act. [Source]

When our government outlawed the separatist Sri Lankan group, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, it made it illegal for anyone in Canada to support or participate in the group’s activities. How then do we have thousands marching on our streets in open defiance of our laws and without legal consequences for the demonstrators?

Back in 2006, federal minister Stockwell Day is quoted as saying that,

“Human rights watch and other groups have reported very clearly that there has been intimidation going on within the Tamil community in Canada.

“The decision to list the LTTE is long overdue and something the previous government did not take seriously enough to act upon. [Apparently nor does the current government.]

“Our government is clearly determined to take decisive steps to ensure the safety of Canadians against terrorism.”

It is my understanding that our federal government’s listing of the Tamil Tigers under the Criminal Code means that any groups or individuals associated with them are also vulnerable to prosecution. It also means it is a criminal offence to participate in the activities of the Tigers, with a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.

Unfortunately, our authorities—including our politicians—seem too spineless to enforce the law.

We cannot be expected to have respect for any of our laws if our authorities are going to pick and choose which ones to enforce. This is especially galling to many of us who came to Canada as immigrants, and who are now Canadians first, law-abiding citizens and hard-working people who pay our taxes and raise families without resorting to unlawfully supporting terrorists groups.

Friday, March 13, 2009

GM yes, Chrysler no

I am not a no-government-intervention sort of conservative, and generally support a reasonable amount of government regulation and other minimal/judicial intervention in the economy. However, for the life of me I cannot see the benefit of doling out billions to Chrysler Canada Inc.

Any money we give Chrysler Canada, including loans, will be lost. Chrysler was in deep trouble long before the current recession hit. Way back in early 2007, Daimler-Chrysler, the former parent company tried to unload the Chrysler portion of their operations.

Obviously Daimler saw that Chrysler was not likely to turn the corner as they did the last time they had to be rescued by the United States government with USD $1.5 billion in loan guarantees to avoid bankruptcy.

Daimler knew that this time, there was not then and is not now a Lee Iacocca sitting in the wings ready to lead a rescue and return the company to profitability. And so Daimler sold off some 80% of it holdings in Chrysler. Then, in Oct. 2008, Daimler announced that its stake (about 20%) in Chrysler had a book value of zero dollars after write offs and charges.

Chrysler reported losses of USD $1.5 billion in 2006. It then began to lay off thousands employees from 2007 on. None of this has turned their operations around.

Chrysler is a goner. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s and Premier Dalton McGuinty’s governments should put the money aside to assist directly those families and individuals who are all going to lose their jobs rather than wasting it trying to save this company.

And as far as Chrysler’s recent attempt to blackmail our province and country—tell them to get stuffed!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome bit of optimism from our PM

The prime minister delivered a welcome dose of optimism in a speech he made to the board of trade at Brampton, Ontario on Tuesday. What a breath of fresh air. I’m so tired of the doom and gloom we are fed hourly by the mainstream media and by our politicians, both provincial and federal.

All the pessimism might be good for selling newspapers and getting eyeballs glued to screens, but it does nothing good for our economy. In fact, it helps to further erode the already damaged confidence of our consumers.

Unlike the labour unionist and academics we have leading the opposition parties, Prime Minister Harper is an economist who seems to understand that we only hurt ourselves when we keep on telling each other how terrible things are. It seems to me well proven by now that when we tell ourselves repeatedly how bad the economy is getting, it generally gets worse.

The PM told his audience that:

“Canada was the last advanced country to fall into this recession. …

“We will make sure its [recession’s] effects here are the least severe, and we will come out of this faster than anyone and stronger than ever.”

And added that our current economic crisis is an “opportunity to position ourselves so that when the recovery comes, we’re among the first to catch the wave.”

The prime minister also cautioned that “We will not turn the corner on this global recession until the American financial sector is fixed.”

No if can only move some of this optimism into our stock market strategies…

Monday, March 9, 2009

Who will lead us out of the wilderness?

The obvious question for most Ontario PCs these days is: who will be our next leader? Consensus seems to be that Tim Hudak, MPP Niagara West-Glanbrook, will be the front-runner should he enter the race.

Witmer and Hudak
MPP Tim Hudak and MPP Elizabeth Witmer 

Mr. Hudak, who is 41 years old, was first elected in 1995 and held several portfolios in Mike Harris’s cabinets.

Some would like to see either or both of federal members, Industry Minister John Baird or Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, come back to enter the race. I am not one of these. I don’t think either can lead our party to victory.

Potential candidates from within the provincial caucus are John Yakabuski, the energy critic and Randy Hillier, the MPP for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. I've also seen member for the Nepean-Carleton, Lisa MacLeod’s, name mentioned.

From the old guard there are veterans Elizabeth Witmer and Frank Klees. And Christine Elliott’s name has been raised, but I gather there is a concern within the party that it would be awkward to have a leader who is married to Finance Minister Flaherty.

Frankly, I not a “Klees for leader” fan, although I’d gladly vote for him as an MPP.

At this point, I favour Elizabeth Witmer and Tim Hudak, so hope both will enter the race.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Horwath gets 60 per cent on third ballot

Yesterday in Hamilton, Andrea Horwath became the first woman to lead the Ontario New Democrats, beating out three other caucus members on the third ballot with 60.4 per cent of the vote.

Ms. Horwath’s closest rival was Peter Tabuns, a former Greenpeace director considered to be the establishment candidate. Mr. Tabuns had 39.6 per cent support. Gilles Bisson, who after losing in the second round with almost 25 per cent of the vote, crossed the floor to support Horwath. Michael Prue dropped off the ballot in the first round with just 11 per cent of the vote and threw his support behind Bisson.

Here’s a brief biography of Ms. Horwath as found here:

Andrea Horwath was born at Stoney Creek 45 years ago and worked her way through McMaster University to earn her B.A. in Labour Studies. After earning her degree, Ms horwathndpHorwath worked with the Hamilton Labour movement for several years, and later worked in the Co-op Housing movement in Welland, Ontario.

In the early 1990s she accepted a job at a Community Legal Clinic and was chosen to be the “Community Co-chair” of Hamilton’s Days of Action campaign in 1996, working with the Labour movement against the Progressive Conservative government’s cutbacks.

After serving as a Hamilton City Councillor for seven years, Ms. Horwath entered provincial politics in 2004 as a member of the Ontario Legislature, representing the Hamilton Centre riding.

Seems to me, this Ontario NDP leadership race and especially the convention this past weekend was very lightly covered. I couldn’t find live coverage on any of the networks or cable channels—unless I missed something.

After watching Ms. Horwath and her rivals “debate” on Steve Paikin’s The Agenda, she seemed to me the most likely to emerge as the winner. She’ll replace Howard Hampton (MPP Kenora-Rainy River), of course, who was leader from 1996.

The way I see it, Mr. Hampton has never particularly impressed me as a possible premier, and I doubt Ms. Horwath will attain that post either. She could, however, increase the NDP’s caucus and make that party a more relevant player in the province’s politics.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Multiculturalism

I have never been in favour of government-encouraged multiculturalism, which seems to have reached tsunami proportions since the Trudeau era. Can’t we achieve cultural enrichment and diversity without diluting our identity as a people? Why would any nation aspire to be an extension of everybody else’s cultural identity?

The way I see it, we should strive to develop and enhance a unique identity that embodies the core values that we cherish, most of which are spelled out in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And beyond our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there are those characteristics that have traditionally defined us as Canadian: belief in democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, pluralism and peaceful coexistence with our neighbours to name a few.

This can be achieved with a sensible set of immigration policies, which would encourage like-minded individuals from around the world to come and help use fulfill our dreams. And newcomers to our country need not belong to any specific religion, or be of any particular colour, race, national or ethnic origin or gender.

They should, however, be like-minded—they need to share our dreams and values. And, so that they can understand us and participate fully in our society, they should be fluent in one of our two official languages within three years of coming to live with us.

Immigrants should be officially encouraged to maintain their traditional cultures so long as doing so does not interfere with them being able to integrate themselves into our society. They should be officially encouraged not to form distinct cultural groups that do not interact with the mainstream. This takes us back to a concept that prevailed up to about the 1970s. Integration, not separation, should be our model. Living side-by-side, not in ghettos apart from the mainstream, should be our goal.

To be “Canadian” should mean something beyond not being like the Americans. There should be a set of shared values and beliefs that define us. And those who wish to become Canadian should be informed of what these shared values and beliefs are so that they know ahead of time what they can expect here and what other Canadians will expect of them.

For many, a major element of culture is religion. In Canada we believe in freedom of religion, and many—perhaps most—of us also believe in separation of religion and state; or perhaps more importantly, we believe in secular law. This is not easily understood (or accepted) by those who live in societies where religion and state are inexorably bound together.

Some think of Canada as a “Christian” society and sometimes generalize by referring to us as Christians. Canada undoubtedly was founded on Judaic-Christian moral values and principles. But, although many individual Canadians are adherents of those faiths, it is incorrect to assume that collectively we are either Judaic or Christian. But why does this even matter?

Separation of religion and state matters profoundly. Canadian law is secular law and is made by representatives elected democratically under the principles of universal suffrage. Our law applies equally to all who live in our country. In Canada, when there is a difference between the law and anyone’s religious law, it is the law that takes precedence.

This brings me full circle, for here is my 1,000 pound gorilla in the room, i.e., how this might affect our Muslim community.

I question whether some followers of Islam can ever reconcile themselves to the concept of an integrated Canadian society, where Sharia law must be subordinate to Canadian secular law, where being a “non-believer” is acceptable and where intolerance and militancy are unacceptable. For most Muslims I doubt this will ever be an issue, but for some there could be tragic consequences.

For the record, I am an immigrant with triple-citizenship, who chose Canada and who believes all Canadians and landed immigrants should focus their loyalty on Canada first and foremost and only secondarily on their country of birth.

When I ask myself the question: If Canada went to war with my birthplace, where would I stand? I know my answer is: I stand for Canada first last and always.

Monday, March 2, 2009

More evidence of global cooling?

Excellent article by Lorne Gunter in today’s National Post casting further doubt about the sweeping claims being made by those doom and gloomers who keep warning us about global warming, aka climate change, and the shrinking polar ice caps.

actic

Apparently, the Arctic ice cap is now only a fraction smaller than in 1980, when it was at its largest.

Say what? How can that be, when almost daily we are told that the polar ice caps are shrinking at an alarming pace.

Gunter writes:

“The Earth has been cooling for a decade. While it may be true (or not, depending on whose figures one uses) that 1998 was the second-warmest year on record, and that seven or eight of the years since were in the top 10, no year since has been warmer than 1998 and nearly every one has been cooler than the one before it. [emphasis added]

“The trend is decidedly downward. Indeed, the drop in temperatures since late-2007 has been so precipitous—nearly a full degree Celsius—that almost all of the global warming that has occurred since the late-1970s has disappeared.”

Hmm, and the Liberals under Stéphane Dion were quite prepared to tax us silly to help forestall global warming.

“One of the criticisms of global warming predictions is that models cannot even reproduce climate for which we already have detailed records.”

- Lorne Gunter

According to Gunter, only last spring, did scientists manage—for the first time—to use their computer models to reproduce the climate of the past half-century—years for which we have records to confirm the accuracy of their assumptions.

I wander what the next ultra-left boondoggle to finance the re-engineering of our social structure is going to be now that the billions of tax dollars they were expecting from global warming/climate change are becoming less likely to materialize?

[Source]

Barbara Hall believes she’s more knowledgeable than Supreme Court

Former Toronto mayor, Barbara Hall, is to human rights what Elizabeth May is to the environment: self-styled, ultra-left-wing, morally superior twits with grossly inflated views of their expertise in their respective areas. Both are, as they say, legends in their own minds.

Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, believes her “… commission can offer the [Superior] court assistance and expertise in the area of accommodation particularly in relation to discrimination based on creed or religious belief.”

The hearing stems from a ruling by provincial court Justice Norris Weisman, who ruled that a female witness must remove the veil that covers everything but her eyes while testifying at the hearing of two men accused of sexually assaulting her.

The prosecution’s rebuttal was that the veil is an article of “religious dress” and she should be allowed to wear it if that is her preference.

Judge Weisman noted that the witness had a driver’s licence with a photo of her without a niqab and that “numerous males in modern society” might see the non-veiled picture.

Hall’s commission says it can assist the court in interpreting the Ontario Human Rights Code and help explain issues of human rights.

Can you believe the incredible hubris of this woman?

[Source]

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