Archives for the month of: April, 2012

Harper gets editorial treatment from Cuba’s former leader, Fidel Castro.

In it, Castro writes of his respect for Canada and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and his dislike for the development of the oil sands.
Here is the complete text in English:
During the second half of the twentieth century, I had the privilege of living through years of intensive erudition and I realized that Canadians, located in the northernmost region of this hemisphere, were always respectful towards our country. They invested in areas of their interest and traded with Cuba, but they did not interfere in the internal affairs of our State.

The revolutionary process that began on January 1st, 1959, did not
introduce any measure that affected their interests, which were taken into account by the Revolution in maintaining normal and constructive relations with the authorities of that country where a significant effort was being made in the interest of its own development. Thus, they were not accomplices of the economic blockade, the war and the mercenary invasion that the United States launched against Cuba.

In May of 1948, the year that witnessed the foundation of the OAS, an
institution with a shameful history which did away with what little was left from the dreams of the Liberators of the Americas, Canada was from belonging to it. It kept that same status for more than 40 years, until 1990. Some of its leaders visited us. One of them was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a brilliant and courageous politician who died prematurely. We attended his burial on behalf of Cuba.

The OAS is supposed to be a regional organization made up by the sovereign States of this hemisphere. Such an assertion, like many others which are made everyday, involves a great number of lies. The least we can do is to be aware of them, if we are to preserve the spirit of struggle and our confidence on a more decent world.

The OAS is supposed to be a pan-American organization. Any country in
Europe, Africa, Asia or Oceania could not belong to the OAS just because it has a colony, as it is the case of France in Guadeloupe; or the Netherlands in Curaçao. But the British colonialism could not define the status of Canada and explain whether it was a colony, a republic or a kingdom.

The Head of State of Canada is Queen Elizabeth II, although she vests her powers upon a Governor-General appointed by her. Therefore, we could ask whether the United Kingdom is also part of the OAS.

Likewise, the Honorable Foreign Minister of Canada does not dare to say whether or not he supports Argentina in the thorny issue of the Malvinas Islands. He has only expressed beatific wishes for peace to prevail between the two countries. But Great Britain has there its biggest military base outside its territory in violation of Argentina’s sovereignty. It did not apologize for having sunk the ‘General Belgrano’ cruiser which was sailing outside the jurisdictional waters that they themselves established which led to the futile sacrifice of hundreds of youths who were doing their military service. We should ask Obama and Harper what stand they will take in the face of the fairest claim by Argentina to be given back the sovereignty over the islands so that it is no longer deprived of the energy and fishing resources it so much needs to develop the country.

I was really amazed after I made a much deeper analysis of the activities carried out by Canadian transnationals in Latin America. I knew about the damage caused by the Yankees to the people of Canada. They forced the country to look for oil by extracting it from huge extensions of sand that are impregnated with that fluid, thus causing an irreparable damage to the environment of that beautiful and extensive country.

The incredible damage was the one caused to millions of persons by the Canadian companies specialized in the mining of gold, precious metals and radioactive materials.

An article published by the website Alainet a week ago, signed by an
Engineer on Environmental Quality, which provides further details about an issue that has been identified innumerable times as one of the main scourges that affect millions of persons, stated that mining companies, 60 per cent of which are financed with Canadian capital, worked following the logic of maximum yield at a low cost and in a short time; and that these conditions turn out to be all the more advantageous if in the places where they are stationed, tax revenues are minimal and there are very few environmental and social commitments…

According to the article, the mining laws in our countries […] do not
include any obligation or methodology to control environmental or social impacts; the tax revenues that mining companies pay to the countries of the region are, as an average, no more than 1.5 per cent of the revenues received.

The article adds that the social struggle against mining, particularly metal mining, has been growing as long as entire generations are becoming aware of the environmental and social impacts it causes.

It states that Guatemala has put up an admirable resistance against mining projects, thanks to the indigenous populations’ awareness of the value of their territories and their natural resources, which they consider a priceless ancestral heritage. However, in the last 10 years, the consequences of that struggle have been felt in the assassination of 120 human rights’ activists and advocators.

This article also describes the current situation in El Salvador,
Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with figures that make us meditate very deeply about the seriousness and harshness of the ruthless pillaging that is being carried out against the natural resources of our countries, thus mortgaging the future of Latin Americans.

The presence of Dilma Rousseff, who made a stopover in Washington while traveling back to her country, will serve to persuade Obama that although there are some who take great delight in making slushy speeches, Latin America is far from being a choir of countries begging for alms.

The guayabera shirts to be worn by Obama in Cartagena has become one of the main issues covered by the news agencies: “Edgar Gómez […] has designed one for the US President, Barack Obama, who will be wearing it during the Summit of the Americas”, said the daughter of the designer, who added: “It is a white, sober guayabera, with a handiwork that is more striking that usual…”

Immediately after that, the news agency added that the Caribbean shirt was first made by the banks of the Yayabo River in Cuba; that is why they were originally called yayaberas.

The curious thing about this, dear readers, is that Cuba has been
forbidden to attend that meeting, but not the guayaberas. Who could hold back from laughing? We must hurry up and tell Harper.

Fidel Castro Ruz
April 8, 2012
8:24 p.m.

The global economic crisis is making it harder for young people to develop careers and adult lives. Highly affected by recession

To avoid becoming a casualty of the recession, many of Canada’s young plunged into graduate school. Ironically, higher education may be hurting Canada’s young adults rather than helping them

Read more….

Related topic:
Youth want pensions
Finding happiness at work

UK: Job creation alone ‘will not solve unemployment’
The UK creates over five million jobs every year, but only boosting demand for labour will get the unemployed into jobs, economist Jonathan Portes tells the Channel 4 Jobs Report.

This is a superbly clear and relevant article on the Channel 4 news blog from Jonathan Portes, head of thr NIESR – it focuses on the unemployment problem facing the UK economy and outlines some policy options for cutting the jobless total.

It doesn’t take much to trigger this whopping 20 per cent fine off income that many are simply unaware of. What not to forget >>

Most people know that if they file their personal tax return after the deadline, they’ll be assessed a penalty – five per cent of the amount owing, along with one per cent a month in interest. If they don’t owe any tax, there’s no penalty. But each year, tens of thousands of Canadians are hit by something they may not have known even existed – the “repeated failure to report income” penalty.

Read more …

Accountability – Conservative Ad

Stephen Harper Seniors Ad (2006 Election)
Conservative Party of Canada ad from December 2005

Harper Speech on Seniors in Guelph on December 9, 2005 (Partial Video)

Stephen Harper sounds like Bush

Minister of Defence Peter MacKay has no intention to resign over the F-35 fighter jet acquisition scandal that has rocked the Conservative government over the last week, he told CTV’s Question Period Sunday.

“I’ve acted in good faith, always with an eye to providing the men and women in uniform with the best equipment that we can possibly get,” he said from his riding of New Glasgow, N.S.

“The additional $10 billion was money that you could describe as sunk costs,” he said.

“The government knows they have a boondoggle here,” Liberal defence critic Ralph Goodale said on CTV’s Question Period as well.

“It’s gross incompetence and it’s dishonesty,” he said.


>> Was the F35 program mismanaged?
>> Is an F-35 more valuable than 1,000 troops?
>> Should Govt contracts over 1B be independently tendered?
>> Which fighter should Canada go with: Super Hornet or F-35?
>> More importantly, do we really need them? What are we going to do with them? Can we afford them?
>> Instead of F35s, would UAVs be a better choice?
>> Is Our Military Worth Investing In?
>> Should a Minister resign over the F-35 controversy?
>> If you had to vote today, who should lead Canada?
[] Harper
[] Rae
[] Mulcair
[] Green Party
[] Other
>> Does PM Harper lie to Canadians to win elections?
>> Whose governments were more corrupt:
[] Harper
[] Chretien
[] Mulroney
[] Martin
>> Do you believe the Cabinet knew the $25B price?
>> Does Canada need “Stealth” with no enemies?
>> Which of these is the most unforgiveable?
[] F-35 Program
[] Bill C-30
[] Robocall
[] None are too bad
>> Is prosecuting election fraud culprits important?
>> Should RCMP look into the F-35 contract process?
>> Is main stream media protecting Harper from election fraud ?


Rex Murphy: Peter MacKay and the F-35 Controversy
The F-35 controversy reveals a new definition of ministerial responsibility — it now means the ability to assign blame downwards, says Rex.

Is anyone in charge? Or is Peter MacKay a kind of Honorary Defence Minister? The beauty of honorary positions is that you get the rank and the privileges of High Office – staff, limos, entourage, lodges – but you’re not really responsible for anything.

The helicopters pick you up, you go to all the big-buzz meetings (lovely group photos), but if something falls apart, or looks like it is about to – well, you’re just an honorary, a seat-warmer with status, like Peter MacKay.

He’s Canada’s Defence Minister – he’s a big man at the cabinet table, he’s next to being as powerful as Stephen Harper himself. Except when anything goes wrong. Like F-35 costs, procurement, projections or anything to do with any of these. Then he’s just Peter MacKay – Honorary Defence Minister — an ornament, not an engine. Do I need to point out that a real minister would resign after this week’s sad comedy?

There’s another aspect to this sorry affair. The Harper Conservatives seem to have been very much superior – in handling issues, presenting a case, or just plain getting things done – when they were in a minority. Since their triumphant majority they fall apart in a new and ingenious ways almost every day.

They accuse rivals of acting like child pornographers, can’t outline their big legislation and on something like a potentially $25-billion (and questionable) purchase, their Defence Minister – I think that’s Peter MacKay – seems to have been in another room, possibly another dimension, the whole time it was talked about.

Now, in the Commons they’re jabbering on about ‘working to improve the process.’ Hey, buying the jets, planning to spend $25-billion IS the process.

When a cost-cutting, deficit-slashing, fiscally-responsible government, one that is cutting 20-thousand jobs, contemplates spending $25-billion, the process should already be so “improved” that there is no way to improve it further.

To save 5-billion they’ll squeeze the turnip ‘til it can recite the Order Paper in Latin. But, to push 25-billion out the door – well, they’re going to work to ‘improve the process.’

Incidentally what part of improving the process would letting the House and citizens know the cost, fall under? The Auditor General made it clear today that the costs ‘would have been known throughout government’, that the Defence Department’s $16-billion estimate was moonshine and most importantly, that this was known before the last election.

If Stephen Harper were in Opposition now and it was Liberals who bought about this mess he would be heaving thunderbolts and breathing righteous fire about ‘arrogant and incompetent Liberals.’ and he would be right. But, you know Liberals and Conservatives are more like twins in this stuff than either of them can bear to acknowledge.

Mal-administration, stonewalling and feigned ignorance – a trinity of evasion such as the Auditor General revealed this week – would demand a resignation from any government with a conscience. Or, where ministers were more than just ornaments.

Gold diggers, prepare to travel.
The company argues sugar daddy dating “is a fast growing trend and lifestyle in Canada.”

10. Winnipeg
Winnipeg has 0.63 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $2,704, ranking it 10th in generosity.
9. Halifax
Halifax has 0.91 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $2,741, ranking it ninth in generosity.
8. Victoria, B.C.
Victoria has 0.93 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $4,947, ranking it first in generosity.
7. Montreal
Montreal has one sugar daddy registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $3,867, ranking it sixth in generosity.
6. Ottawa
Ottawa has 1.02 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $4,038, ranking it fifth in generosity.
5. Edmonton
Edmonton has 1.13 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $2,861, ranking it eighth in generosity.
4. London, Ont.
London has 1.47 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $3,716, ranking it seventh in generosity.
3. Vancouver
Vancouver has 1.51 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $4,113, ranking it third in generosity.
2. Calgary
Calgary has 1.71 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $4,209, ranking it second in generosity.
1. Toronto
Toronto has 1.98 sugar daddies registered with for every 1,000 men. The average monthly budget spent by a sugar daddy is $4,027, ranking it fourth in generosity.

Four in ten of the Canadian sugar daddies on the website are married, according to a survey of its customers that the site recently carried out. They have an average income of just under $250,000 a year, and an average net worth of $5.3 million. They typically throw down about $4,000 a month on their sugar babies.

The company says the men who become sugar daddies are growing younger. In 2007, shortly after the site launched, the average age for a sugar daddy in Canada was 44; it’s now down to 40.

Sadly for the gold diggers, this means sugar daddies’ average income is dropping as well — from $291,000 in 2007 to $247,000 today.

About one-fifth of them are high-level executives; about an eighth are business owners. Bankers represent 12 per cent of the sugar daddies active on the site, lawyers 7 per cent, and doctors 6 per cent.

Though the company bills itself as a dating site that builds “mutually beneficial relationships,” there is plenty of evidence to suggest that many sugar babies see it as a job. University students, for instance, use the site to pay for tuition.

But you don’t have to be a woman to be a sugar baby; or a man to be a sugar daddy. The website says one in 25 of its relationships are same-sex.

1 in 8 people in the world don’t have clean, safe drinking water.
You can help.
Charity: Water – Facts

Water Changes Everything

Almost a billion people live without clean drinking water. We call this the water crisis. It’s a crisis because it only starts with water — but water affects everything in life.

Health. Education. Food security. And the lives of women and children, especially.

We can end the water crisis in our lifetime. But first we have to let everyone know it’s happening. Learn how water changes everything — and share this with everyone you know.

Written by charity: water + Jonathan Jarvis
Animation by Jonathan Jarvis
Voiceover by Kristen Bell
Score and sound effects by Douglas Kaufman
Charity Water Ad

TORONTO, ON – Ontario government and NDP negotiators looking for a way out of their budget impasse should pay attention to results of a new poll conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, which shows voters would rather increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy than have public service reductions and cutbacks.

“This poll is encouraging for anyone worried about the budget, because it shows voters want the government to boost revenue with targeted tax measures for corporations and the most wealthy, so they can avoid any cuts to services and jobs,” said CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, commenting on the poll.

“If this budget is not changed,” Rennick says, “we will see hospital bed closures and staff cuts, school closures and layoffs, and the closing of childcare centres in many communities. This poll confirms there is real support by voters for alternate ways to balance the budget.”

The poll, conducted by Angus-Reid Public Opinion for CUPE Ontario, surveyed 1,500 Ontarian adults online between April 2-3, 2012. The margin of error was +/- 2.5% 19 times out of 20. CUPE Ontario represents more than 230,000 workers in school boards, health care, municipalities, social services and universities.

Selected poll results:

Federal New Democrats are introducing their new leader to Canadians with the biggest non-election advertising campaign ever launched by the party.

A French television ad featuring Thomas Mulcair begins airing today; English ads are to follow after the Easter break.

The 15-second French ad shows Mulcair rolling up his shirt sleeves, looking directly into the camera and stating simply: “We continue.”

“A government that listens to Quebecers, an economy greener and more prosperous for everyone. It’s possible,” he says.

He exhorts Quebecers to “build the future together.”

NDP national director Chantal Vallerand says Mulcair and “his positive message of fighting for people” will be aired in every region of Quebec, on the web and during popular TV shows such as Tout le monde en parle.

“Unlike with past Opposition leaders, the New Democrats aren’t just sitting and waiting for Conservative attacks,” she says.

Publicité télé du NPD – “Notre engagement”

Long-Gun Registry: Tory MP John Williamson Quotes Martin Luther King In Speech Celebrating Destruction Of Records
Conservative MP channels Martin Luther King on the ending of the long gun registry

The Tories are celebrating the end of the long-gun registry on Thursday (though not in Quebec), but one MP’s speech on the issue is raising questions of poor taste.

John Williamson, Conservative MP for New Brunswick-Southwest, took to the floor of the House of Commons on Thursday to denounce the registry. He raised eyebrows when he channeled Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech.

“Free at last, free at last, law-abiding Canadians are finally free at last,” Williamson bellowed. Surrounding MPs can be heard in the video echoing his declaration.

The famous phrasing comes straight from the end of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech (which King borrowed from an African-American spiritual).

This MLK reference is definitely in poor taste!