I liked you better as a Minister

This is a post about the change of demeanor I’ve seen in The Honorable Michelle Rempel since the election. Michelle was the minster for Western Economic Diversification from 2013 until the election in 2015. The mandate of this department is to:

“Promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and to advance the interests of the West in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation.”

Her job was to diversify the western economy. That roughly translates to creating businesses that don’t deal in oil. To do this, she create the WINN, a $100 million fund available to small and medium enterprises. From the website:

Over the next five years, WINN will provide up to $100 million in repayable assistance to SMEs working to commercialize their products, processes, and services.

$20 million a year that a company would have to repay at some point. An loan basically. As a SME, a kickstarter campaign might get you more traction. That criticism aside, I enjoyed Michelle’s work. She was my local MP, and I enjoyed her (usually) straight talk and approachable manner. She routinely visited non-standard Albertan industries and opened some new facilities. All this changed when she became an opposition MP. Watch this video in this link.

To recap, her job from 2013 until 2015 was to diversify the western economy to remove it’s reliance on a single industry or commodity.

In the video, she says “The bottom line is that there are over 100,000 people out of work in my Province” Somehow completely skipping over the part where it was her job to provide opportunities for their employment.

“This is a major concern for the national economy” Yes it is. It was your mandate for two years to diversity the western economy to be more resilient, but you didn’t.

“We’ve got this industry that’s in crisis..” It was your job to make sure if a crisis happened, there would be other industries to keep us afloat. That’s what diversification means.

“We have to care about the people who are out of work, not just in Alberta but the ripple effect this is going to have across the country” Probably should have done something about shoring up the economy while you were the minster in charge. Take advantage of a sunny day to build a better foundation perhaps? Michelle, you were in charge of the economic safe guards to thwart unemployment in this very situation.

You get the idea. She is becoming a master at this type of Orwellian doublespeak. Pointing fingers and the very same problem she created.

 

There is no spin! Those are the facts! The Conservatives did nothing to protect Canada against falling oil prices. They are now pointing the finger at the Liberal government for not bolstering the very same industry that got us into this mess.

Yes, we need the Energy East pipeline. We should absolutely use Canadian resources for Canada. The application was filled in October 2014. These applications take time. In the meantime it would be nice to fall back on a few secondary industries… but someone didn’t create enough incentives for them to grow. In the interest of politics, Michelle is attacking with all her ammunition, regardless if her guns are pointed at the department she use to run.

Michelle, I liked you better as a minister. Please go back to positive politics. Work with the Liberals in creating real change and stop worrying about your reelection. Your country needs you.

Our boxing PM and his criminal opponent

[cryout-button-color url=”#” color=”#47AFFF”][/cryout-button-color]Now that Justin Trudeau is our PM, international news outlets are showing pictures of him, including pics from his boxing match with Patrick Brazeau. While it’s all fun and games to post topless pictures of politicians, but I think it’s important to reminisce a little on this boxing match. I’m sure Justin hasn’t forgotten it. At the time he was a junior MP, pitted against a physically stronger Conservative Senate member. The parallels are numerous.
patrickbrazeau

To recap, Justin and Patrick were paired to fight in a boxing match to raise money for cancer. Tickets were $250, and Patrick was the favorite going into the fight. When the dust settled, Justin was the winner, Capital hill was all a buzz, and life went on. Justin was later elected the Liberal Leader and Brazeau started assaulting people outside the ring.

I don’t think anyone much cared about Brazeau after this boxing match. Then he went and committed a few crimes. He was charged with assault and sexual assault, and pleaded guilt to assault and possession of cocaine. He also has a fraud case scheduled to go before the courts in 2016. The way I see it, He’s a scum bag and has no business being in the Government. Now, my big issue here, is why isn’t he in jail? The Conservatives have a strong anti drug stance, so why don’t they make an example of this guy and put him in jail? The guy has prior convictions, and other court cases in his future, but he walks free.

As far as Senators on trail, Brazeau isn’t alone. There’s Duffy, Wallin, Harb… the list goes on.

There are plenty of arguments to be made.

The takeaway I want to leave you with, is Justin is now the leader of the country, and there is a lot of talk about the Senate. When he speaks to Parliament about the Senate, remember he’s not afraid to put on his[cryout-button-dark url=”#”][/cryout-button-dark] gloves and go toe to toe in an actual ring with these guys.

The Terrorists Win

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about the threat of terrorism, and how Canada can protect its populace against it. I’m here to tell you, if you want to win the war on terror, ignore it.

I’ll say that again, ignore terrorism.

You see, terrorism is a military tactic to get political change through threats of violence. You don’t actually have to commit violence for it to work. And it turns out Canadians are not victims of violence from terrorists activities. Before you read on, take a guess on how many Canadians were killed as a result of terrorists activities. And then think about if that number constitutes a risk to the average Canadian.

The number of  Canadian deaths attributed never rises above 5 people a year going back as far as 1970. 5 people a year hardly seems like a threat to the Country. Highway 63 in Alberta has seen 46 deaths in 5 years, why isn’t infrastructure the higher priority?  The average Canadian is under no statistical risk due to terrorism, so why is it such a big topic? It’s not even a risk to US citizens; in 2010, 8 US civilians died due to terrorism, and 29 died by lighting.

Yes, I realise that destabilization is a concern for the Global safety, and that deaths, globally, are on the rise. But, we are the ones destabilising these regions. Canada may have killed 27 Iraqi civilians in Jan of 2015 during an airstrike. So, Canada has potentially killed half the amount people in one incident that Canada has lost to terror in 40 years. Some estimates from the 2001 Afghan war say that 91,000 deaths are directly related to combat, including 26,000 civilians. Canadians would be wise not to forget the Somalia Affair, where Canadian forces tortured and killed a boy.

So, this begs the question, who is the terrorist in this scenario? Why are we spending our time, money, and effort to kill other people in the name of safeguarding Canadians, for a risk that statistically doesn’t merit mentioning?

Fear, that’s why. And because we harbour that fear, the terrorists win.

 

Russell Brand vs. Jeremy Paxman

Russell Brand is a very intelligent man. I believe that many of his actions that have been attributed to his comedy are outbursts of extreme intelligence that we don’t understand. Watch this video below.

It’s a fantastic interview where a passionate man tries to instill the same passion unto someone else. Jeremy is so use to the way things are, he doesn’t understand what’s going on. Russell outlines the goals of his revolution, and Jeremy is concerned about how the gears work, rather than where the machine is going. It’s a contrast between how the media frames a story and how Russell sees the world. They don’t line up, and Russell comes out looking better because of it.

 

Syndicate Wars

The plot is that the world is no longer run by governments, but by mega-corporation. Agents of these corporation battle for control over the minds of the worlds citizen and the worlds resources. It’s a world not unlike the one shown in Snow Crash; with more iron fist in an even thinning velvet glove. Profits come before people and the success of business is the goal. Humans are reduced to cogs in the machine; simple means.

Unfortunately, this is the world we live in, and Canada is a key player. It’s called foreign intelligence gathering activities. Canada is using money that we were told was to be used to fight terrorism and using it to spy on foreign industries for Canadian corporate benefit. These Canadian companies then use this information to win bids in foreign land where they are free to commit human rights abuses that would land them in jail if they did it on Canadian soil. These companies have a long history of doing so, and now they have the backing of the Canadian intelligence agencies to feed them information and to keep growing the Canadian GDP at the expense of the developing world.

Canada is now the enemy; we are the terrorists. We are using military resources to further our economic growth, ignoring the human cost. This leads us down a dark path. It grows resentment around the world for us. We will no longer be welcome in parts of the world. Our reputation is tarnished because we allow this to happen. A $50,000 dollar salary puts you in the top 0.56% of the world. Canada is using it’s power to force the other 99% of the world’s population to provide for us.

We are clearly, shamefully and indisputably in the wrong.

Bill C-425

Devinder Shory, a Member of the Canadian Parliament has submitted a private members bill, C-425. He is pushing to have it’s contents enacted into law. Basically, if you are convicted of terrorism, the bill aims to remove your Canadian Citizenship. You blow up a building, you are no longer a Canadian. His website has lots of graphs about how popular this bill is. Over 80% of Canadians agree! Well, 80% of the 1000 they asked. I applaud him on his expert manipulation of data for political gain. However, the implications of this bill are so tyrannical and obtuse, it’s hard for me to see past the glaring deficiencies in his argument.

I would like to point out, that I have a hard time finding his arguments. I see lots of rhetoric and heroic speeches, but very little substance. Anyway, here he is, in his own words.

The real rub I have here, is this statement from his website:

Do you agree or disagree that Canadian citizens who are found guilty of committing acts of treason against Canada – such as an act of war against Canadian troops – should be stripped of their citizenship?

If you are committing acts of war, you are at war. If you are in a state of war, you are trying to kill the other side. That’s what war is. The Canadian Armed Forces exist to force our will on others, or avoid their will to be forced on us. They do this with deadly force. Their job is to “close with, and destroy the enemy” This bureaucratic Political Correctness is silly and is insulting the men and women who sever in our Army.

The word terrorism is a post 9/11 buzz word. It’s basically meaningless. Terrorism is the use of force and terror to accomplish a goal. Basically what an Army does. The Honorable Mr Shory is trying to put our Army of a pillar of ethical justice while claiming that anyone on the other side of the moral line he draws in the sand should be stripped of citizenship. It’s a path that leads to anyone who disagrees with the state to be labeled a terrorist and have all their rights removed. That’s some Guantanamo Bay shit right there. This bill would have changed the outcome of the Oka Crisis, with the government claiming the Mohawk people Terrorists. An act of terrorism against Canada can mean ANYTHING. It translates roughly to “anyone who does something we don’t like”.

I’m not defending terrorism here, but understand that Canada commits acts of terrorism daily in military operations overseas, selling weapons to armies for profit and keeping policies that increase international unrest. Mr Shory is throwing stones around a glass house and doesn’t realize it. War is hell; don’t misunderstand that fact for one second.

Ever.

 

 

Comments about the “bigoted Wildrose”

Twitter is great and all, but sometimes you need more than 140 characters to flesh out an idea. Earlier this afternoon I came across a tweet that peaked my interest. People yelling “bigot” to each other across the internet is usually entertaining. I took issue with it because the provincial government was trying to make a political statement, generalizing comments on the the internet. Follow the link to read the statement.

wiildrose_bigoted

 

So, here’s what happened.

The Wildrose Facebook page posted pictures of Danielle Smith, their leader, at a Sikh parade wearing a head covering. There is a screen shot showing comments that include some remarks that were offensive. MLA Manmeet Bhullar is upset by these comments, and there is a press release from the PCs saying “Danielle Smith needs to issue an immediate apology for the reprehensible behavior of her party’s supporters.”

If I’m getting this right, there is a call from the PCs, for the Leader of the Wildrose to condemn the actions of her supporters for making comments such as “If you emulate the Muslim faith, I will NEVER vote for you.” towards the Leader of the Wildrose. The PCs are observers during this entire exchange.

Here’s the thing about the internet, you don’t know who these people are. Did you check each and every one against the voter registry to see if they were in fact Wildrose supporters? Did you ask them? They could have voted PC in the last election. Maybe they aren’t Canadians… who knows. Mr Bhullar has every right to be upset about the comments being made, just as those who wrote the comments have every right to be upset if there is a public figure emulating a culture they don’t agree with. The Wildrose didn’t endorse these comments, they aren’t party policy.

So why create a public announcement that you are upset about people chatting on a public forum? Have you ever been to /b/? Comments made by individuals are not endorsed by the owners of the forum. It reminded me of the story where Gerry Rogers was removed from the House of Assembly for being added to a Facebook group without her knowledge.

I’m assuming that Alison Redford, Danielle Smith and Manmeet Bhullar all work together and see each other regularly.  Why not just stop Danielle in the hallway and say “Hey, I’m offended by the comments on your Facebook page that were made by some individuals. Can you take them down? I don’t want out government to be seen in that light”

Rather than handle it appropriately  the PC party wants to use this as political leverage. THAT is my issue here, that the PCs are claiming the high road while smearing blame when it could have been solved quickly and easily without creating a fuss.

I want politics to be about policy, not cheap shots and partisan fighting.

Justin wants our questions

If you take a walk, skip and a jump over to the Liberal website, you will see something interesting. Justin Trudeau is asking Canadians what questions they would as the Prime Minister. This is exactly the sort of activity the internet was made for! Long Live Direct Democracy! It has yet to be seen if the questions will be asked, or how many they will get or how well this experiment will work in general. But in a twitter world, my hope is that this will become more common place until it’s the norm.

For what it’s worth, here’s my question. As a space enthusiast and future Mars Colonist, I’d love to know the answer to this.

Mr Speaker, our military needs to be equipped and able to fight along side our allies for the safety of all Canadians. The F-35 program is intended to help keep pace with our allies and enemies and providing the Canadian military with new capability.
The program unfortunately reinforces the brain drain trend where Canadian talent leaves to where the opportunity is. Not only does this increase costs while putting quality control out of Canadian hands, but also puts Canada at a disadvantage to compete in emerging industries such as private space flight. Judging by the popularity of Cmdr Hadfield’s online presences there is a generation of Canadian’s who are interested in space and the Canadian Space Agency.
How does the government plan to use the momentum created by Cmdr Hadfield to increase the Canadian presence in the private space industry, there by remove the military’s reliance on international engineering and lowering the cost of military procurement?

Playground Politics and the Bully

Justin Trudeau is the new leader of the Liberal Party. As a Canadian, this is a big deal since we don’t do legacy politics. South of the boarder there are the Kennedy and Bush families that have generations in politics. It’s a new concept for Canadians. This fact has been picked up by international news outlets as well. It’s an exciting new era of politics. How did Justin’s view of his father influence his policies and understanding of Canada? How can the country benefit from this experience? Unfortunately, the conversation here at home is more about bickering than issues.

This isn’t policy

The Conservatives launched an add campaign against Justin as soon as he was named Leader. They even have a website specifically set up to mock him. http://www.justinoverhishead.ca/ This sort of behavior doesn’t benefit Canadians at all. The site isn’t about policy discussion, but rather name calling. The Conservatives don’t see it that way. Here’s a quote from Jenni Byrne, the National Campaign Manager for 2011:

On Monday, we launched three new ads informing Canadians that Justin Trudeau is in way over his head.

Unsurprisingly, some members of the media are criticizing our new TV ads. They are circling the wagons.

But here’s the truth — these ads have spread farther and faster than any ads we’ve ever done. We are communicating directly with Canadians rather than passing through the media’s “filter”.

Ah yes, the truth. The truth is that these ads have spread because they are a ridiculous hyperbole wrapped in contempt. The Conservatives hate dissenting opinions so much that they resort to childish behavior like the school yard bully. This behavior is truly revolting when in context with the recent suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons. I’d like to be able to say that this is an isolated incident, but it’s not.

Double Standard

But the Conservatives march on. They are planing on mailing out information designed to undermine the credibility of Mr Trudeau to Canadian households. This isn’t even an election! They want Canadians to distrust the Liberal Leader instead of hearing him out. They don’t want to listen to opinion, they want to tell you what to think. We need open and honest policy debate in this country to face very real global issues. The Conservatives are demonstrating they do not want honest debate.

In over his head? Let the man speak so we can deiced that for ourselves! Let’s have debates on policy, not back and forth name calling. This isn’t government, this is playground bullying; the Conservatives condemn it with one breath, and commit it with the other. You can do better than this, you are embarrassing us.

 

‘an impediment to peace’

An impediment? Without exaggeration, Israel and Palestine have been discussing peace for as long as I can remember. The impediment in the process that Canada, the US and Israel are referring to is the willingness of the Palestinians to be subjugated. I really don’t see how any action on the part of Palestine could make matters worse. They have no capacity for war, and the only recourse they have against the creeping hostile takeover of their territory is to launch rockets and throw rocks at tanks.
This isn’t a religious or ideological debate as so many people would have you believe. In North America, any negative opinion is labeled as antisemitism. The Jewish people have the capacity to do wrong. Previous suffering and historical caricatures do not vindicate them from evils they are committing today. Both sides have committed violence and continue to. Rational thinking requires us to ignore the hype and rise above placing blame for who is to blame for the most recent attacks.
In 1947, the West Bank and Gaza was set aside for an Arab state. The 1947 UN resolution also created the state of Israel. In 1967 Israel took the West Bank and Gaza by forced and occupied it. What stands out here, is that Israel is an occupying force that has taken territories by force. The people who live in these territories want to throw off their oppressive occupiers and live freely in their own country.
Yes Mr Baird, the creation of a country for the Palestinians to call home will create tension. Manly because it will end at decades old occupation that the international community has white washed and ignored. The Palestinian people don’t want to negotiate until Israel stops building homes for their citizens in Palestinian territory. By opposing the vote Canada shows the world that we don’t want the two sides to have equal footing. The policies of Israel create the tension that leads to violence. By siding with the politics of the current Israeli government we oppose a peaceful resolution.
I want Canada to stand on the side of freedom, not oppression.