Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Erasing Ourselves From History notices another problem with Stats Canada's new long census form:

Yesterday, Statistics Canada acknowledged that it has changed the Canadian Census, removing historically critical sections of the census form like ethnicity, education, employment, income, housing and disability. This information will now be gathered from a new, voluntary, National Household Survey, and will never be released publicly.

That is indeed what the stories this morning were saying, although to be fair, Tony Clement (the Minister responsible) suggests otherwise here. As for me, I'm far more worried that the response rate will fall precipitously as people look at the thing and decide that, if its not required, they're not going to bother (and that those who do bother will make for a biased sample).

And, by the way, if you look at the website for, who may be one of the driving forces behind the census change, it appears to have been designed by nutters. Furthermore, their head guy, Don Rogers, runs a website dedicated to curbing illegal partying and rowdy behavior within the Queen’s student housing area.

Please, please don't tell me this guy has a line to Tony Clement and the PMO.

Against Knowledge

A door to Canada's past has slammed shut, leaving future Canadians with little information about their own families and the country's history, in a move the government says was prompted by privacy concerns.

Statistics Canada has quietly made major changes to the country's census in time for the forthcoming round of national sampling in 2011. The long census questionnaire that provided information on a broad range of topics such as ethnicity, education, employment, income, housing and disability has been eliminated. Instead, those questions will be asked on a new, voluntary National Household Survey (NHS) and the results will never be released, in contrast with the treasure trove of census data that become public after 92 years.

Everyone hates filling out the long form, and the only reason you do it is because its illegal not to. So expect to see the response rate to StatsCan's new voluntary survey fall towards nil, which in effect means that the nation has taken a scalpel to its own brain and removed that part devoted to memory.

A truly stupid decision, probably the dumbest since Brian Mulroney decided to try turn Stats Canada's publications into revenue generators back in the 1980s. If you wondering why so much U.S. data is floating free about the Internet to be played with in interesting ways, whereas in Canada you have to pay $1 for every digit, blame him.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On The Point Of Black Bloc Tactics

Many have expressed puzzlement at the motivations of that small group of Toronto protesters employing "black bloc" tactics. Dan Dolderman, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto who got caught up in and arrested during Sunday's demonstrations, puts it as follows:

The third thing I learned is that pretty much nobody seems to really understand what the protesters using “black bloc” tactics are ultimately trying to accomplish. Nobody seems to believe that they have any sort of real objective or philosophy. Instead, people unanimously believe (literally, every single person I talked to today, and I asked pretty much everyone I talked to for any length of time, including many police), that the violent protesters are simply society’s disenfranchised, with no agenda except to feel powerful and simply cause chaos and vent their anger at “the system” that they feel is responsible for their shitty lives.

Well, I have a theory about that. What the "anarchists" are trying to accomplish is illustrated here:

They are in the noise making business, in other words. Now, you may hear it argued that what they are drowning out is the voices of the legitimate protesters and that's true, but not really relevant. Their intent, what they are trying to do, is squelch the official message of the G8/G20 leaders, so that all the summit appears to amount to is their own violence and the police crackdown that inevitably follows.

And in T.O. they did a pretty good job, aided by the fact that this particular meeting was so content-free as to be positively Seinfeldian. What was in that final statement? Something vague about deficits? Something about banks? Ah but here's a picture of a burning police car, and here's a clip of cops charging a line of peaceful demonstrators. Checkmate, mateys! G8/20 leaders (esp. Mr. Harper) are made to appear impotent; the police look like thugs.

As to police behavior over the weekend, well, I would feel better about it if something useful had actually been accomplished, but we seem be to witnessing just another episode of the same show that gets put on whenever these summits are held. Given that the anarchists communicate with each other the same way everyone else does these days--facebook, twitter feeds, text messages--all of which are easily monitored, I don't see why something can't be done between summits to put a dent in these guys' activities.

...something to break a cycle that is now well into its second decade and is, frankly, getting old.

Fox News North: It Really IS Affirmative Action For Conservatives

Next year, all-news services CBC NN and CTV News Channel will lose their must-carry status, so that cable and satellite distributors no longer have to offer the channels. The news services will instead have to negotiate with distributors for carriage like most specialty channels.

But Quebecor’s Sun TV News, spearheaded by the company’s new vice-president of development, Kory Teneycke, has applied for a three-year, Category A licence, which are intended for non-competitive markets.

Let me say it once, clearly: I'd be more than happy to see these clowns get their TV channel, to pour millions into it and discover that the number of Canadians who would actually pay to watch a bunch of puffy white guys talk crap wouldn't fill a wading pool. My only fear is that it doesn't go under before I stop finding it hilarious.

But they should make their own way like an honest these guys, for example. They should not be awarded "must carry" status (and, frankly, they should be ashamed for even asking for it, rabid free-marketers that they must assuredly be).

And, by the way Al Jazeera English went through an extensive series of negotiations with both the CJC and B'nai Brith to ensure that its Canadian offerings didn't include the kind of anti-Semitic ranting that occasionally appears on the Arab language station. Since, left unchecked, SunTV is likely to offend any ethnic/religious minority that isn't Israeli, will they accept the same kind of scrutiny/oversight?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Next Time, Let Calgary Host The Damn Thing

I'm safe in Ottawa, by the way. Wonderful city; I've dropped about $100 at bookstores I never know existed (Argosy, All About Books), and found that bar that served the wonderful raspberry beer (The Clock Tower).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Radical Commie Confronts THE MAN

Read James Laxer's subversive rantings here.

Meanwhile, Jim missed this dangerous protest, where police were forced to "don riot gear" to stop radical samba bands from playing Latin music that didn't involve Carlos Santana.

Or was it all an elaborate charade to sneak Jim through the lines where he might convince this foreign leader to fly straight and ditch a couple of the wives?

Ezra Levant: In Court And Loving It

This defamation suit is expected to wrap up Friday, but [Giacomo] Vigna — who has filed 15 complaints with the Alberta law society against Levant — served him another libel notice this week for a different blog post.

If I'm counting right, that means Ezra is now facing six (6) defamation suits.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

T.O. Earthquake!

About two minutes ago. Rattled the whole building for about fifteen seconds. Wife also felt it out in Scarborough (about ten miles away). Just in time for the G20!

From the comments: felt as far away as Montreal.

PS. Still not up on U.S. Geologicao Survey website, but I am hearing around 5 or 5.1.

PPS. Details here. 5.5, epicenter North of Cumberland, Ontario. Out of country visitors to this blog (I've had about 1,000 total in the last half hour) may feel free to blame Canada.

Somewhat Counterintuitive

You would think that, given the disaster in The Gulf, it would be clear sailing for the Keystone XL pipeline, that would import up to 900,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. You would, however, be wrong, as this letter from 50 congressional representatives makes clear:

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in asking Secretary Clinton to consider the climate change impacts when determining whether it is in our national interest to increase the amount of tar sands oil imported into the United States.

All but two signatories (Price and Moran) are Democrats, for what that's worth.

And an interesting justification:

As members of Congress, we are bound to protect the national interest of this country and its citizens. Building this pipeline has the potential to undermine America’s clean energy future and international leadership on climate change; we ask that the Department of State exercise due diligence in its permitting process for Keystone XL, carefully weighing all impacts of the project.

As I've argued before, if Canada cannot force an oil sands clean-up, then let the yanks do it for us, even if their environmental concern is a mere guise for protectionism. After all, the Americans are immune to Western rumblings about building fire-walls and separating.

IPCC 5 Authors Announced

Its like the world cup of climate science! Read the line-up here.

PS. Glancing at the result, it looks like the blacklist worked!

Fake Lake, Free Booze!

“It’s really pathetic,” said one staffer. “It’s almost like a wading pool for kids — and not a very good one.”

The good news is the canoes surrounding “Piggies Cove” are beautiful.

And, even better, is news the bar that’s been set up for the fine people of the media — all ready to serve local Ontario beer and wine to journalists, for free of course — is spectacular.

Free Booze + journalists + proximity to water = seeds of tragedy. Hopefully, everyone will pass out face-up.

Also, I think maybe I've tried one variety of Ontario wine and found it highly chewable. Stick with the Streamwhistle, media folk.

PS. You wouldn't believe how many images google kicks up when you search for "drunk journalists".

PPS. Shania Twain will be singing at the G20: that's definitely a "drink until the darkness claims you" moment.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Because Cops Need Jobs Too

Normally, on a warm summer weekend, I would spend my time cruising downtown TO's used bookstore-strips, now in tragic decline due to the Internet and a general increase in stupidity, and then reading my new-bought treasures at some local sports-bar, dressed pretty much like this guy here (except that I would be wearing one of my many, many pairs of sports sandals, because way back when when everyone wore sandals and stuck flowers in their hair was a Golden Age and you youth of today, with your green hair and nose rings and your tattoos and that shitty music.... all suck magnificently).

But not this weekend, with the G8/G20 lock-down in force. The wife and I are off to Ottawa because she's allergic to the smell of tear-gas and they've got book-stores in Ottawa and its a nice cultural center that's less than a plane-ride away. (Wish they had better restaurants, though)

Anyone around over the weekend that wants to quaff a few beers, email me at and we'll see what might transpire. I think I've rigged up something Sunday afternoon with Balbulican, Marie Eve, and Dr. Dawg himself, who will, for a small fee, actually let you touch that crazy mustache. I won't reveal the location until later, and privately, to avoid assassins and unwanted press attention, but it will be somewhere near the market.


Iggy On Oil

His promise to uphold and formalize a B.C. oil-tanker-traffic moratorium, a stance endorsed by environmentalists and about 80% of the B.C. populace, is damn smart politics, esp. if you see it as a natural counter-balance to his support for continued oil sands development.

That is: some in Alberta, like Ezra Levant, see the Northern Gateway Project as a means of getting tar-sands oil to other markets should the Obama administration impose clean-up measures, like a carbon tax, upon it. Make us live up, and we will send our oil overland to Kitimat and sell it to the Chinese Communists, is the message.

Except that Iggy's move would effectively kill the Gateway Project; so in effect the LPoC position is that the oil-sands must be developed but must not be allowed to escape (literally) their environmental responsibilities.

And while the measure may not play that well in Alberta, its B.C land through which the pipe-line must run, and B.C. waters that a spill would pollute. So it isn't really up to them, is it?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yo! Mark Holland!

Kady writes:

Liberal MP Mark Holland heads back to the National Press Theatre for yet another press conference on "Conservative waste" at the G8/20 summits, although at this point, it's not clear whether he has any new tidbits to share or simply wants to keep the $1 billion security cost in the news cycle for another day.

And, as Imp notes this is the kind of security a $1,000,000,000 buys you:

1. The G8 security team moves fast! Exposed as a major security breach, a "doozy" was one word used, in reference to the Deerhurst Inn's floor plans being available online. They're still up after being on the national news last night (fast forward to 7:00 min mark). Good work security team!

I see synergy!

PS. Presumably the lake the lakeside rooms are beside is a real, and not a fake, lake.

Tory MPP Bill Murdoch On Dictatorships

In this country we elect our dictators, other countries just appoint them.

I don't know if he is referring specifically to the ancient Roman practice of having Senators appoint a leader to rule during emergencies, or whether he's just being stupid. But I have suspicions.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How To Misquote A Scientist

Here's Andrew Bolt interviewing (or, more accurately, sand-bagging) Australian scientist Tim Flannery, the point being to "expose" Flannery's "alarmist" statements re AGW:

Bolt: Should we also have nuclear power plants?

Flannery: In Australia I don't think so. We've got such a great load of assets in the renewable area that I don't think there's an argument here that they are ever going to be economic.

Bolt: Four years ago you did. What changed your mind?

Flannery: No, I never did. I've always had the same argument.

Bolt: No, no, no. Here's your quote: "Over the next two decades Australians could use nuclear power to replace all our coal-fired power plants. We would then have a power infrastructure like France and in doing so we would have done something great for the world." That was your quote.

Flannery: I don't recall saying that at all.

Bolt: You wrote it. You wrote it in The Age. There it is, highlighted.

Flannery: Well ,very good.

Bolt: That's the point, you know, you make these claims and when people confront you, you walk away from them.

Well, since the article in question is from 2006, it isn't surprising that Mr. Flannery should have forgotten his own words. In any case, here's the quote in context; its quite consistent with Flannery's current position:

Australians are the worst per capita emitters of polluting greenhouse gases on Earth, and Victoria is home to the most polluting coal-fired power station in the world. Fifty-six per cent of the greenhouse gases you generated this morning boiling the jug or taking the kids to school will still be in the atmosphere in a century's time, blighting the lives of our children's children. That's quite a moral issue.

Over the next two decades, Australians could use nuclear power to replace all our coal-fired power plants. We would then have a power infrastructure like that of France, and in doing so we would have done something great for the world, for whatever risks go with a domestic nuclear power industry are local, while greenhouse gas pollution is global in its impact.

This, I fear, is not what is intended. Instead, many will want Australia to have its cake and eat it too, which will mean keeping the coal-fired power plants and supplementing them with a bit of nuclear. And exports of both coal and uranium would, of course, be pursued as vigorously as possible.

Where would such a policy lead us? Within a few decades, we could be living in a world undergoing substantial destabilisation of its environmental and political structures. And that world would be awash with Australian uranium capable of making the most destructive weapons ever devised.

What's the way out of this predicament? It's simple, and it begins with asking a question: is it right to enrich ourselves by degrading our children's future? If your answer is no, then certain actions must follow.

First, you would burn as little fossil fuel as possible. That might mean buying a smaller car, or asking your electricity provider for green power. It might mean buying a solar hot-water heater, or even learning more about how electricity is generated and how we use it. If everyone from the Prime Minister down acted in this way, we would need no more power plants - coal or nuclear - because the demand for electricity would drop. So would our petrol use, and our politicians would, of course, take the lead in emergency efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution internationally.

But in Bolt's hands, with a few snips, no becomes yes, up becomes down.

Machetegate To Date

This is old news (May 25th), but its about the latest I've heard re the alleged assault upon Carleton University students Mark Klibanov, a native of Israel, and Nick Bergamini, a self professed Zionist:

Arrests have yet to be made in the case of an anti-Semitic assault with a machete against two Carelton University students in Ottawa, but one of the victims of the April 5 early morning attack says that he expects more progress to be made in the investigation when students return to campus this fall.

So everyone, it appears, has gone home for summer break, and the investigation waits for their return when, presumably, our two victims get another chance at identifying the assailant that they claim to have seen around the Carlton campus. Klibanov's account here more or less jibes with the original one on Bergamini's facebook page. Neither mentions the third person that accompanied Klibanov and Bergamini that night, who has been made note of in the police accounts and alluded to by Klibanov here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meet Claude Haridge

One of the guys arrested in the Ottawa RBC fire bombing, 50 year old Claude Haridge of Sittsville, Ontario, has a fairly extensive Internet presence. Here's how they arrested him:

Crazy day today at work. This guy Claude Haridge works for the company I work for. When he got to work today a full tactical squad with automatic rifles and shotguns arrested him in the parking lot, I guess they had followed him from his house.

As it turns out, Haridge is an Electro-Mechanical Engineer for Terrapoint Canada Inc .

Here's him demanding justice for Mohamed Harkat.

And here he is singing the praises of an "activism course", entitled Science and Society, that he took at the University of Ottawa, and which has been mentioned in several MSM articles on the topic.

And here's a long .pdf relating to said activism course--a defense of it and Denis Rancourt, its teacher--which ran into trouble over various issues (see below), and which the university at one point looked set to discontinue (and may indeed have discontinued). Note several emails from Haridge, and also a letter of support from Sabrina Bowman, Office of Pat Martin, M.P. (Winnipeg Centre) on page 28. A short excerpt:

If you, as university administrators, are interested in helping shape students into critical and independent thinkers, leaders in their local and global communities that push creative and
innovative solutions to global problems, you will not only allow this course to continue, you will give it the resources it requires and work with Professor Rancourt rather than against him. However, if you would like to mould students into a single prototype that does not ask too many questions or "cause too much trouble," by all means, continue fighting against the course.

Note also on page 32 and forward, the accusations of anti-semitism against the professor running the course, Denis Rancourt, which resulted in the professor's filing a notice of grievance, and which may have been behind the move to discontinue.

The course is being taught as "a course where you bring in a person to basically bash George Bush [and] the Jews in Isra‘l; it's not what the course was meant to be,"[ said Alain St-Amant, head of the chemistry department]. According to St-Amant, the course has included "anti-Semitic crap."

Of course, innocent until proven guilty, and all that. But definitely more unneeded trouble for University of Ottawa.

PS. haven't really had time to grind through the .pdf. If anyone finds anything interesting in it that I've missed, please note in the comments.

Update: Here's another of the suspects, Matthew Morgan-Brown, defending the "activism" course. Thanks Otis in comments.

Who Got The Snowflake?

A full list of Order of Canada recipients here.

Incidentally, I would have no problem with Don Cherry being so honoured; he qualifies as a Canadian treasure, if only for his outfits (and believe me some have been given the award for less). However, the notion of Mark Steyn getting any kind of prize (except maybe for gayest facial hair) is repulsive. I know he doesn't live in the country anymore, but can't we deport him in advance as a precautionary measure?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Come Sail Away...

Meet spaceship IKAROS , its sail deployed, and off to the other side of the Sun by way of Venus. Its 20 meters across diagonally. This is the first picture of the first working solar-sail driven spacecraft ever taken.

The Onion Ring

VS. far more popular than Sun TV. Facebook doesn't lie. On the other hand, we now have an idea of Sun's potential audience, although I think 793 viewers will prove to be on the high-side. Some of them will undoubtedly drop their channel changer under the couch and pass out face-down trying to find it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Checkmate On Bill C-232

From l'Association canadiennefrancaise de l'Alberta

Alberta francophones disagree with the government of Alberta's position on Bill C-232 as laid out in Justice Minister Alison Redford's column. We feel that the rights of citizens to a full defence before Canada's highest court trumps the rights of unilingual lawyers and judges to patronage appointments.

Well said. The Senate should pass this one.

In Politics, A Week Is A Long Time

That was then, crap is now.
Actually, the hairface has an unusually lucid post on this at Macleans today.

Something You'll Probably See Alot Of Over The Next Little While

On June 16, 2010, the following post appeared on under the new thread title "Apology to Richard Warman"

"In 2007, I published on the Internet material that attacked the personal and professional reputation of Richard Warman. These attacks were unjustified and I retract and apologize for them without reservation."

“Andrew Spencer (Droid1963)”

Its the kind of thing you do when, I suspect, your lawyer tells you the defamation case against you will crush you soul and you will lose. Something the NP figured out a couple of months ago.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Karla Homolka Pardon Story All Bullshit?

Lawyer James Morton thinks so:

The radio says Karla Homolka is seeking a pardon.

I'm not so sure -- she has, apparently, changed her name and become a Dutch citizen. A pardon would do her very little benefit and would force her to disclose her current location, name and the like. More to the point, she would be most unlikely to get a pardon.

My guess is that the Homolka pardon is being suggested by those who want to tighten parole restrictions.

And since the original story quoted "unnamed sources" (government sources??), and served as the backdrop for some high silliness on the part of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, I am inclined to believe Mr. Morton.

Yin & Yang At G20 Summit

On the one hand, the Harper Tories have demanded a vast shrubbery as their signature green initiative at the G-20 summit; on the other hand, they're removing trees, for security reasons, in the city core.

Fox News North: News On The Cheap?

At The Toronto Sun Family Blog, they notice things:

Repeats after 9 p.m.? Does that mean no coverage of breaking news throughout the night?

Sounds like Toronto Sun news deadlines.


Will Sun News have the manpower and the budget to go live after 9 p.m. to provide coverage of major breaking news?

And Chris Selley, he notices things too:

Production values are also going to be key. Whatever else you might think of CBC News, it puts on a slick show. And the aesthetics behind an impossibly terrible promotional video released yesterday on aren't going to come close to cutting it.

And of course everyone's seen how they bungled their own launch by mis-spelling the name of star investigative reporter Brian Lilley in about eight different places on their website.

And, actually, Chris Selley says something else that's interesting:

There's a huge amount of valuable tonal real estate between CTV/CBC and the in-your-face Fox News model that kinder, gentler Canadians love to hate.

...because I think just the opposite: the ideological space SunTV to work in is quite limited. If they just going to be Conservative, then that's CTV. The only way to distinguish themselves is to embrace teh crazy (hire Ezra). But to do that risks alienating everyone else.

Sun TV therefore has the same problem as the CPoC; they are hamstrung between pleasing the true believers and pissing off the remainder of the country; that's why the government's poll numbers have kept within such a narrow range the past couple of years. That's why Sun TV's audience will be inherently limited.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fox North Update: Off To A Bad Start!

They're calling it Sun TV News and they can't even spell the name of their "stars" correctly (it's Lilley).

Hopefully, these guys don't crash and burn until after I've run out of mockery.
Update: They've got his name right in about 1/2 the places now. Keep trying, folks!
Another Update: One to go, fellas!

Fox North update: Did Kory Teneycke Punish Greg Weston For Telling Truth?

As you may know, Sun columnist Greg Weston has written several excellent pieces re government over-spending on the upcoming G-8/G-20. As you may also know, Kory Teneycke, the former Stephen Harper spokesperson and man behind Fox News North, is now Greg's boss over at Quebecor. Yesterday, a rumour circulated to the effect that Greg was in the dog-house with his new chief over the excessive truth content in his recent columns:

There was concern in the Parliamentary Press Gallery last week that the sudden appointment of Kory Teneycke, Mr. Harper's former communications director, to oversee journalists at the Quebecor Media Inc. Parliament Hill bureau, may have been related to controversial stories about the summit spending. Several of the most controversial reports were broken by a member of the bureau, Sun Media columnist Greg Weston.

It appears something happened. One source said Mr. Weston's column "is gone," and there were possible talks about a position in Washington, D.C.

A bit obscure, perhaps. But the folks at the Toronto Sun Family Blog are on the case:

A check by TSF revealed Greg's recent summit cost columns are archived under his name at, but there are no Weston column links on Sun Media's Eye on the Hill site.

Meanwhile, as we wait for Kory et al to launch their media Titanic, here's Bill Brioux dumping on the venture in a most entertaining manner:

It is interesting that CNN is proportionally way more popular in Canada than it is in the States, where ratings have dropped off to historic lows. To be fair, part of that can be attributed to an uneven playing field. Canadians have had 20 years to get used to CNN at channel 33 (as it is on Rogers Toronto). Fox News is buried way up the dial and off most cable plus packages.Which is presumably where the new Quebecor news channel will land.


Quebecor has a ways to go to prove it can compete in English Canadian TV. When they took over Toronto1, for example, competing ad sales guys started calling it Toronto zero-point-one to help illustrate its hold on the ratings.

While Canadian viewers have always had a sizable news appetite, not so much these days (check the latest CBC National News numbers) and especially not so much for for specialty news channels. CNN does draw more than the CBC or CTV news networks in Canada but it really is a race among turtles compared to overall viewing. Canadians tend to like their network newscasts to be dull and predictable, with CTV's Lloyd Robertson the big draw at 11 ever since he was pulled off pyramid duty.

Wise Words

Shorter Jeff Simpson: assuming that the next election produces another minority Harper will be gone.

And probably Layton, and probably May, and probably Duceppe. Patience, Liberals.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The OTHER Toronto Mayor's Poll

You may have read, and possibly been appalled, by this poll from NANOS. This one, on the other hand, which also came out today, hasn't received nearly as much media attention (who the heck is Forum Research?), but it seems less obviously an indication of the coming of the end-times:

Smitherman - 29%
Ford - 26%
Thompson - 14%
Pantalone - 12%
Rossi - 10%
Mammoliti - 4%
Someone else - 2%

And the most interesting bit--look what happens when you put John Tory's name into play:

Tory - 38%
Smitherman - 19%
Thompson - 14%
Ford - 13%
Pantalone - 10%
Rossi - 4%
Mammoliti - 2%

One can still dream, I suppose.

The problem with Ford is less the ideological bluster than personality. Not even the right wing of council particularly likes him, and City staff think he's an ogre. If he gets in look forward to another garbage strike, gridlock on council, and much bellowing about how "The Left" won't let him get stuff done.

Hate Crimes Up In Canada

According to a StatsCanada report released this morning, hate crimes in 2008 were up 35% from the previous year, to 1,036 incidents.

As far as victims go, there is nothing particularly surprising that I can see: once again, Jews are the religious group, blacks the ethnicity, most often targeted.

Hate crimes pertaining to sexual orientation rose a whopping 124% to 159 incidents, though that's still a small portion of the overall total.

On 42% of occasions, the crimes committed were threats and assaults, with vandalism and such like offenses constituting another 49% of occasions.

From a geographical perspective, the report contains a few interesting numbers:
When it comes to crimes per 100,000 population, Vancouver tops the chart at 6.3%, that rate almost doubling from last year. But you don't read much about racial tensions in that city. And Calgary, where the Aryan Guard has had two years of fairly heavy press coverage, nevertheless ranks in the middle of the pack.

Affirmative Action For Fox News North?

Dan Leger thinks the CRTC, under pressure from Stephen Harper's Conservative government, will "find a way" to put make Fox News North part of the basic cable package, thus giving the new tv station a guaranteed revenue stream out of the pockets of unwitting and unwilling Canadian cable subscribers. My opinion: if FNN is willing to fight for its audience--like Al Jazeera, for example--then let 'em come. But I would strongly oppose handouts for what appears to be a line-up of has-beens from the Reform Party era. And since this application will come under enormous public scrutiny, I suspect Stephen Harper will keep a mile away from the process, and will accept whatever decision the CRTC makes with uncharacteristic grace.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yup. There's A Public Need For That

Paul Tuns, editor in chief at The Interim, "Canada's pro-life, pro-family on-line newspaper", on what SoCons will demand from Fox North:

"Social conservatives should not settle for freedom of expression and freedom of religion being the issues that get covered," he added. "They should insist that the pro-life, pro-family view be at the table and articulated."

Picture Ezra Levant, foaming at the mouth, waving pictures of dead babies.

Kory Teneycke, Fox North's No. 1, has wisely chosen to remain silent on this topic:

Teneycke has avoided commenting, and did not respond to LifeSiteNews' request by press time...

Smart fella.

My Weekend

Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of Toronto's annual naked bike ride, at Yonge and Wellesley. It was awful. I ran screaming into the subway station, and I shall say no more about it than that. Today I am off to see Sex in The City II. I made the wife go see Iron Man II last week (not bad--a bit silly--Mickey Rourke is awesome), and this is payback.

Does anyone know of a brand of probiotic yogurt that contains a testosterone supplement? By Monday I'm going to need a top-up.

Friday, June 11, 2010

NDPers--The Feeling You're Getting... the feeling you get when, at long last, you have to take political responsibility. Something Liberals (and Conservatives, I might add) have had to deal with for decades, but which falls to you only now. Good luck in making the right choice. The world will be watching.

Gulf Oil Spill: Containment Cap Coming Apart?

This is funny

This maybe not so much:
You can wait a week for the MSM to pick up on this, or read The Oil Drum today. Don't know if this is a dangerous development or no.

In Search Of The Fox North Superstars

In response to my argument that Conservative media talent in this nation consists of a bunch of puffy, middle age white guys, Alison has suggested that Fox North might hire Conservababe Rachel Marsden.

Well...that might work, but then Fox North could never get Ezra to stop masturbating.

Another possible downside: Rachel's also apparently got a knack for career self-immolation, and a mouth like a sailor.

Fox North: Doomed To Failure

Wells is heralding the arrival of the apocalypse--he's even shown up here to tsk tsk me in the comments for belittling it--and there are a few others who also seem to think that a right-wing, 24 hour news station in Canada constitutes an existential threat to the nation. On my part, I think that if anyone wants to flush a few hundred million down the tubes chasing a pale Fox knockoff, then at least that money isn't being spent on something that might really damage the fabric of the country.

The biggest problem for a "Fox North", other than the fact that they probably won't get their “mandatory distribution" license--lies simply in the demographics of the nation they wish to entertain. Look at it this way: the Conservative Party of Canada trundles along with the support of a little less than 1/3 of the nation by trying to convince people they are not Conservative. Strip that number down to the hard-core believers, and you have about 10% of the population (look at the Reform party support figures from over the years here). That's the potential size of an audience for a "robustly right" 24 hour news station. And, put bluntly, its about the same size you might need to run a specialty channel--a gay porn station, for example.

Now, most of the gay porn stations I've ever watched actually have a news-cast, which is typically done naked (they also have a cooking show). And unless David Akin is going to shed a few pounds, I can assure you the gay porn station's news-cast will be far, far better than anything on Fox North.

Which segues nicely into the whole notion of "pale" imitations. Considering who Fox-North "stars" might be, you realize how terribly short the Canadian right is on the charisma front. Wells has already ruled himself out, and FN will be hard pressed to find another bald guy of his stature. Monte Solberg is entertaining in 12 second sound bites, but terribly whiny over the long haul. Gerry Nicholls is suitably bald, but again--can he be entertaining enough for long enough to make it work? Adler? Have you seen Adler? A marshmallow in a suit! Ezra Levant? SERIOUSLY?? They'll be drowning in law-suits before the first broadcast! Plus, Ezra is less a pundit than the leader of a small death cult. Normal people--normal Conservative people--hate his guts! I once had a Tory loyalist inform me that if Ezra came out for Liberty, he would have to stand against it.

And that's my 2nd final point. Given the paucity of Canadian Conservative star-power, and the fact that you can still watch the real Fox News in Canada, why would anyone choose the fake version?

Believe me: this sucker is going to be the National Post of the air-waves. It will never make a single penny.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Iggy, Dancing

Don't know who the guy behind him is, but he appears to be doing The Zombie. More here.

Tory MP Rodney Weston Says Word "Coalition" Without Sneering

From an interview on Halifax radio station CJNI-FM:

Well one thing I will agree with Tom from your introductory remarks was that Mr. Ignatieff said that coalitions are legitimate. There can be legitimacy to coalitions, and we have seen legitimate coalitions rule this world, and we are seeing one today in Britain.

“If a coalition was required, I mean, the Conservative Party of Canada would have that opportunity to form that coalition.

“They are, certainly they are legitimate … legitimate coalition governments, Tom and… you know we see a parliament with as many parties as we see today it becomes a more distinct possibility, no question.”

Apparently, there's a seat in the HOC even further away from the floor than Helena Guergis': tomorrow, Rodney Weston will be sitting in that seat.

Also, the debate over possible merger only looks like a gong show. In reality its a secret Liberal plot to address the issue so thoroughly that, when it comes time to vote, the public is comfortable with...nay, bored by...the whole idea, thus pulling the sting in advance from any CPoC attack ads. I'll swear an affidavit to that effect if I can use a fake name.

And it doesn't seem to be harming Iggy and Co. in the polls. If anything, it may be helping. If we can get some eye-gouging and hair pulling going, a majority will surely be ours.

Sarah Palin's Snowy Globes & The Globe Itself: Are Both Getting Hotter?

Gawker's investigation of the Sarah Palin breast implant story (did she have 'em installed? Is she still au naturel?) manages to be both professional and host several photos of Sarah looking flamingly, gawdawfully hot in a series of tight tops.

The conclusion:

Sarah's rack is within the realm of natural possibilities. But if it were a plastic intervention, I would not be surprised. The kind of woman who wears t-shirts advertising her suppleness as a teen is also the kind who ends up fighting slow southward sag of the middle age with breasts lifts and other acts of plastic violence. [Wonkette]

...which somehow reminded me of various controversies around the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, and especially how difficult it can sometimes be to distinguish natural variability from external forcings: solar & CO2 & cloud cover and so forth for AGW; in Ms. Palin's case, presumably silicone. Funny how the mind works.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Contra the Hill Times, there is nothing I can see at Whois that suggests the Liberal party of Canada has registered I've reproduced its Whois record below. Also Contra The Hill Times, does not redirect you to the official LPoC site, in any sense of the term "redirect" that I am familiar with.
Try the links yourself and tell me if I'm wrong. But for the time-being this seems to a case of fraudulinking to promote a bullshit rumour.

Polls Starting To Move On Long-Gun Registry?

Even when the ROC was tilting towards abandoning the registry, Quebec was always strongly pro. This latest survey, though puts support at a huge 74%. Be interesting, now that some of the organizations invested in the registry have started to take their case to the public, whether support in the rest of Canada hasn't begun to shift as well. Might explain some of the recent NDP maneuvering.

Ballad of Fake Lake

Of all the bad poetry generated by the upcoming G-8/G-20 summit, Jimbobby's is the baddest. Here's a sample, sung to the tune of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald:

With a Muskoka chairs and canoes in the air
The fake lake was meant to thrill writers
A pleasant surprise, there ain't no blackflies,
No mosquitoes or other skin biters.

Fake Lake was the pride of the Conservative side
With fake loon songs and JumboTron pictures
Of real lakes and woods and handcrafted goods
And all the outdoors you could wish for.

All together now...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Kory Teneycke Retreats To Mordor

Conservative pundit Kory Teneycke has quit CBC after they demanded that he get a rabies shot. Now he's "vice-president of development" at Quebecor, owner of the Toronto Sun and other tabloids. Given the state of the Sun and other papers in the chain, it probably means he gets to fire people...or perhaps club them to death with live baby seals.

Things move forward, as they must: the Right self-immolates; Gaia heals his big gay self.

More Summit Madness? $1,000s For Wooden Fence

Greg Weston writes:

Down the hall from Loonie Lake in the Toronto media centre, taxpayers are being hit up yet again, this time for something called “The Living Wall.”

Summit organizers are contracting a massive wall of pre-cultivated plants that come with their own irrigation system.

This, we are told in government documents, will be the G20 summit’s “signature environmental project.”

“Leaving an environmental legacy is an important component of the overall environmental strategy for the G20 summit.”

(Speaking of legacy, Toronto taxpayers will have to take care of this vertical flowerbed for the next century).

How much The Living Wall will end up costing Canadian taxpayers is anyone’s guess.

With two weeks to go before the structure has to be in full bloom, the summit management office sent us a note saying it still had no cost estimates for the project.

Likely translation: The bill for this thing is too outrageous for publication.

Actually, Living Wall is a T.O.based company. That's a picture of one of their product at the top of the post (there' a wood frame under the foliage). And while the "pricing" section of their website says "coming soon...", we can find preliminary cost info in one of the company brochures:

Don't know how long this fence is supposed to be, and I'm a bit unsure as whether Living Wall is is actually building the living wall (the project was put out to tender), but we can safely put its cost well into the $10,000s, I think.

I will leave it to my readers to decide whether the cost is worth it.

Toronto Mayor's Race

...latest poll from Environics, which I have not seen reported upon elsewhere:

Bad news for Rocco Rossi. People I know who've met him always come away impressed, but he's got to raise his profile somehow. And those commercials on the Q just aren't doing it.

For news on T.O. mayor and council races, this place looks like the gold standard.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Fake Lake Fucks Tories!

Actually, the new Nanos poll looks like random drift to me. But feel free to overinterpret away. Personally, if forced to, I would say that half the 1.6% Tory decline is due to the G-8/G-20 boondoggle, half due to the their Opus Dei friendly maternal health care initiative.

Bill C-391 Stalled?

Looks like it. You can read the story through the link for a sense of the whole procedural song and dance, but bottom line is that Mark Holland's motion seems to have thrown a spanner into the works:

If Holland's motion is defeated, the bill is referred to report stage and then amendments can be introduced. After that, the bill goes on to third reading.

"Everything hinges on this concurrence motion," [Tory MP] Dave MacKenzie said. "Nothing can happen until that vote occurs."

And MacKenzie said it's unlikely the vote will occur before summer recess.

Go Mark Holland.

Although, if this rumor is true and we are heading for a government-triggered fall election, it would make sense for the Tories to stall their own bill so as to run on it again.

Why Not Call It "Big Fake Lake"

Toronto- The Council of Canadians has applied to the Geographical Names Board of Canada to have an artificial lake currently under construction at the Direct Media Centre in Toronto named after Prime Minister Stephen Harper. At a reported cost of $1.9 million, the lake is intended to resemble those found in the Muskoka region with a fake dock, fake canoes and a Jumbotron display showing cottage country photos to the international media in Toronto for the G20.

"We have sent an official request to the Geographical Names Board of Canada to have Canada's newest lake named "Harper's Folly" in honour of the Prime Minister" said Mark Calzavara, the Ontario/Quebec Organizer for the Council of Canadians. "We believe that all Canadians-regardless of their political views- will agree that the only thing more outrageous than spending $1.1 billion on a three day meeting is thinking that an indoor lake next to a big television could possibly compare to the spectacular beauty of cottage country."

Info on how to support the to CoC campaign lies through the link.

PS. As for this whole spending scandal, I suggest we start referring to it as Fake Watergate.

Coalition Math

As whomped up by some guy on the Blogging Tories forum and not checked by me. But in line with other estimates I've re the performance of a merged NDP/Liberal political entity. I've bolded the caveats.

Using Elections Data from the last elections and my rudimentary Excel skills, it seems like even a merged Liberal/NDP entity, running a single slate of candidates, cannot get to a majority, although a Liberal+NDP+Green combination potentially could.

The usual caveats apply, namely a 1:1 transfer of votes from the legacy parties to the merged party and no changes in voter turnout.

HoC seat distribution as of June 2010: Conservatives = 144, Liberals = 77, NDP = 36, Bloc = 48, Ind = 2, Vacant = 1.

EDAs where Liberal+NDP+Green vote >55% = 135
EDAs where Liberal+NDP vote >55% = 97

EDAs where Liberal+NDP+Green vote >50% = 166
EDAs where Liberal+NDP vote >50% = 129

Potential Liberal+NDP+Green Wins = 62
Potential Liberal+NDP Wins = 39

Drop the first caveat, and the merged entity performs even worse. Who knows how much of the Green Party vote would swing Tory?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Israel As A Western Security Problem

“The depth of America’s moral commitment does not justify or excuse actions by an Israeli government that unnecessarily make Israel a strategic liability when it should remain an asset,” Mr. [Anthony] Cordesman wrote, in commentary for the centrist Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he is the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in strategy. “It is time Israel realized that it has obligations to the United States, as well as the United States to Israel, and that it become far more careful about the extent to which it tests the limits of U.S. patience and exploits the support of American Jews.”

Same applies to Canada, writ small.

Someone should tell the Mr. Netanyahu that at some point stupidity itself becomes immoral.

More Merger Talk

You've probably already read this one, but Dan Arnold's plea for a LPoC/CPoC merger is probably the best and funniest thing written on the topic this week:

Believe me, I too see how bleak the future looks for the Liberals. After all, we have been out of power for four years, while Harper sits with a towering 34% in the polls. I cannot imagine a more hopeless situation.

My own opinion, similar to Dan's, is here. And another reason it ain't gonna happen (I mean a merger of Canadian progressive parties)--at least not before the next election--is: you can't go dancing without a partner, and I have not heard a single NDP blogger/politician in favour of a merger. And why should they be? How could the NDP faction within a Liberal-New Democrat coalition be anything but the juniorist of Jr. partners. Look what's happened to the old Progressive Conservatives within the new CPoC. Poof! Gone without a trace...except for a few brave souls up in the Senate!

So let's put aside the unseemly panic, shall we?

Update: X Sask. NDP Preem Roy Romanow is down with a coalition. Missed that previously. And a fairly authoritative figure too, in my book.

What Are The NDP Up To?

Lets see...on the foreign affairs front, they're rallying behind the cause of Bolivian fishermen...Oh no wait! It's Columbian miners. Meanwhile, back at home, Jack Layton has decided to stand with the gun nuts and kill the long-gun registry.

Quick, Jack! There's a cute little frog in Dominica that needs the NDP to come to its rescue. Because its sooo easy to be progressive over shit going on a 1,000 miles away, right?
Closer to home, there's one animal that will never go extinct as long as Jack and the gang are in the HOC:

Friday, June 04, 2010

Your Daily Nazi: Another FreeD Anony IDed

And guess what? He's a Neo-Nazi. A big wheel, too:

OdinPatrick (who also appears to post on Free Dominion as "Padriagh" and is one of the individuals named in the Warman defamation suit), is Dan Martin from Nanaimo, B.C. He is the senior Canadian moderator on Stormfront (a well-known hate site)....

Some background here. Have a nice day, "dangerous" Dan.

C-391 Voting Scenarios

Derek Firebrandt's crunched the numbers:
I met Derek, incidentally, during my 2nd appearance on the Coren show. Nice guy. Very artfully maintained hair. "Bottle blonde", I think is the term.

Monckton Gets Political

Swivel-eyed lunatic and AGW denier Viscount Monckton of Brenchley has been appointed joint deputy leader of UKIP (UK Independence Party). His immediate goals:

My first task will be to build on the Initiative Referendum Bill already tabled in the House of Lords by Lord Pearson and Lord Willoughby de Broke by drafting new, radically democratic constitutions for Britain and for Europe. After 1000 years of inexorable progress towards democracy, in the last 30 years pernicious peculation by Parliament’s political pygmies has thrown Britain’s democracy away.
From its wiki entry, UKIP sounds like a Conservative splinter party. Although their main goal is a U.K. withdrawal from European Union, they have a handful of seats in the Euro-Parliament, as well as two in the House of Lords. Note: Monckton will not add to their ranks in the latter chamber, despite the fact he datelines his writings "House of Lords". UKIP describes itself as "non-racist", but the 2010 election smoked out a few loons.

Monckton himself is deeply, deeply crazy. Having once argued that AIDs victims should be segregated from the general population, he now claims to be working on a cure for the disease. And in February he suggested that NASA blew up one of its satellites so it wouldn't provide the hard data needed to disprove the great global warming hoax.

Good luck Mr. Monckton! Good luck UKIP!

Tories Limp On Crime

From the Young Liberals Of Canada, who've already given similar treatment to the NDP.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Helena Guergis: Tragedy Has Made Her Less Blonde


A sad time for our nation.

A Billion Bucks Worth Of Fresh Paint...

Excerpts From Claude Nolin's Speech On Senate Reform

Here are my favorite bits from the rebel Tory Senator's speech opposing Bill S-8, the Harper government's latest attempt at an elected upper chamber:

An election identifies the people's choice. It is the culmination of a competition that produces the most popular candidate. This house should be made up, if possible, of popular people, but more importantly, of competent people. That is why the Fathers of Confederation devised a system in which the Prime Minister retains full responsibility for recommending to the Governor General the nominees best qualified to serve as senators.

Under the guise of bowing to popular democracy, Bill S-8 is contrary to what the Fathers of Confederation had in mind.

The popularity shown by an election is certainly something appropriate, but it should not be viewed as a fundamental consideration for determining whether or not an individual Canadian should be nominated to this place.

In recent history, this chamber has seen its work influenced by a number of senators. Senator Keon retired just a little while ago; a few years ago, it was Senator Beaudoin. I will name only these two, given the time I am allotted. I know Senator Beaudoin very well and I got to know Senator Keon. Senator Keon told us that he would never have run in an election because he did not feel the need to be popular in order to be efficient. He would have opposed the passage of Bill S-8.

We have here several French-speaking senators from outside Quebec, including Senator Mockler from New Brunswick. Do you think that the people of New Brunswick, most of whom are English-speaking, would have voted for Senator Mockler, an Acadian?


Why are there more Aboriginal senators than Aboriginal members of the other place? Because they are in the minority. All across Canada, except in the territories, Aboriginal Canadians from various reserves and of various origins are in the minority. Do you think that in a popularity contest, people would be willing to put the names of Aboriginal candidates and then vote for them? The answer is no. Should we have Aboriginal senators in this chamber? Yes!

I do not agree with giving up the "E" for effective for the sake of the "E" for elected. That is not what we are here for. We are not here to replace the House of Commons, but to complement it, to add effective second thought to the legislative process initiated in the other place. We are not here to replace the work of the members of Parliament, but to complete it.

Honourable senators, this much-sought-after effectiveness takes aim at the so called legitimacy that being elected could provide us, because electing senators does not guarantee effectiveness. The only thing "E" for elected will get us is popularity. Popularity is what they have in the House of Commons. We are not the House of Commons. The Senate of Canada offers Canadians effective work.

This effectiveness results from our individual and collective expression of the independence that the current process allows us. Any honourable senator may act in good conscience in the interest of Canadians, independently of pressure exerted by the House of Commons and of his or her political affiliations. Any independence resulting from electing candidates to the Senate is certainly not going to make the Senate more effective.


Senator Brown: Does the honourable senator know why the Canadian media unanimously have called this place illegitimate for over 100 years?

Senator Nolin: Senator Brown, we do not have much time so I will be brief.

First, I do not agree that all media and the entire population have said that. Recently, I saw numbers to indicate that the split is 50/50 between those who want an elected Senate and those who do not. The key question is not about legitimacy coming from an election. At the end of day, senators will be judged on their effectiveness, and not in terms of whether or not the media like the Senate. Effectiveness is the key word. Can senators be effective only when they are elected? I doubt it. Elected senators can be effective, but being elected should not be a prerequisite. Independence from the other place is the tool that provides efficiency and effectiveness to senators. What the media thinks, I do not really care.


Senator Segal: Honourable senators, I am fascinated by Senator Nolin's citation of the original intent of the Fathers of Confederation. I want to get a sense from the honourable senator of how far that original intent should constrain our ability in this chamber to try to improve the legislative framework which, at the present time, has one third of our national legislators unelected, Senator Brown notwithstanding.

Senator Nolin: Honourable senators, my answer will be brief. I am not saying that this is the last word or that it is the end of the world. I am only saying that it is there, and I do not think Bill S-8 adds to that.

The intent is sober second thought, as expressed by the framer Sir John A. Macdonald. I do not think being elected will add to the principle of sober second thought. Quite to the contrary, I think it would create havoc between this house and the other house because we would try to be more popular and more democratic.

That is not what the population in 1867 needed, and it is not what the population needs now. The population needs a second chamber that will add to the quality of the work of the first chamber by giving sober second thought to the work done by the first house, without concern for glamour, popularity or beauty contests. We have a job to do, and we are free and independent. We can do it without being pushed by the people in the other place. Let us use that. We are not using it. We must be independent; then we will be effective.

Here, on the other hand, is a link to John Baird shrieking. Which makes you feel more proud to be a Canadian?