Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ignatieff Photo Op Tour Stoney Creek Dairy: Production Closing

Liberal Photo op, any mention of hydro rates and business taxes?

"The other guys, the adversaries, think: Just let the market do it," he said. "I believe in a competitive market economy, but I do not believe that compassion just happens. I do not happen to believe that justice just happens. ... It happens because you have compassionate, fiscally responsible government that stands up for the people." - July 31, 2010

Why are the Federal Liberals SILENT on criticizing the high taxes, high hydro rates being charged by the municipal and provincial government? Did the compassionate Liberals miss the fact the same paper that ran his photo op reported the loss of twenty seven jobs and the closing of the production from the dairy on May 20, 2010?

High costs forced Stoney Creek Dairy out Taxes, power bills almost twice what dairy pays in Montreal

Description unavailable
Image by zorbs via Flickr
Michael Ignatieff makes a stop at Stoney Creek Dairy Friday as part of his cross-country bus tour. He gave-out ice cream cones to supporters with Hamilton East Stoney Creek Liberal candidate Michelle Stockwell.  

Gaucher's complaints about the high cost of doing business in Hamilton ring true with Brad Clark, Stoney Creek's member of Hamilton city council.

Forum 2010: Green Growth and EnergyHydro and water rates are heavily subsidized in Quebec, he noted, while the Ontario government has forced municipalities to recover the full cost of the service. In addition, property taxes in Hamilton remain about 11 per cent higher than competing Ontario jurisdictions.

"That's why the vast majority of manufacturing jobs that have been lost in Hamilton have been lost to other jurisdictions," he said. "The cost of doing business in Ontario is still higher and until we do something about that we're going to continue to bleed jobs."

...the production part of the dairy is being closed. The ice-cream parlour has operated separately for the past seven years by Rick Stiles and Cindy Fricke as Hutch's Stoney Creek. That business will continue to rent the front part of the King Street East landmark.- May 20 , 2010

I am curious if those twenty seven production workers were happy to have Ignatieff give out free ice cream to people passing by. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Ignatieff Can't Buy Love

Here’s a reality of federal politics underscored by our exclusive poll released Thursday, conducted by Leger Marketing for QMI Agency. It’s that Stephen Harper won’t be running against God in the next election. He’ll be running against Michael Ignatieff.

Given public attitudes to our prime minister revealed by the poll, if he was running against God, he’d probably lose.
But running against Ignatieff, his chances look good. Not a slam dunk. But good.
Rick Mercer Photo Challenge  by Nick McG

The online poll of 1,526 adults conducted July 19-22, 2010 found Harper comfortably ahead of the federal Liberal leader on many of the character traits Canadians look for in a leader. -Ottawa Sun

h/t Wilson Blue Like You

Ignatieff and the Liberals don't get it, it's the economy stupid. Canadians care about the real issues and have not forgiven them for the political games. No platform and no policies make the alternative unacceptable. The culture of entitlement and view that the political class is royalty confirms the Liberal Party is in it's death throes.

Justin Trudeau supporting Gerard Kennedy at th...
Justin Trudeau next in line?
"We have someone in our midst who someday may be prime minister . . . We are in the presence of royalty," Pearson said. "Thank you for giving us this big boost," he said. (He was talking about Justin Trudeau)

Ontario's employment was up 60,000 in June, the sixth consecutive monthly gain. This brings employment increases in the province to 187,000 (+2.9%) since July 2009. With these gains, Ontario's employment is slightly below its pre-recession level. In June, the unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 8.3%, the lowest since January 2009.

In June, employment increased by 30,000 in Quebec and the unemployment rate dipped 0.2 percentage points to 7.8%. Since July 2009, employment growth in Quebec has been the fastest of all provinces at 3.0% (+117,000).  Statscan

Ignatieff returned to Toronto to further his narrative of his common touch with the Canadians. It has not worked out so well. He is trying to hard fit in and looks uncomfortable on this tour. He fired his team earlier this year for the failure to boost his personal ratings. 

Dan Maclean CH-CH anchor
June 5, 2009 - The search for candidates is heating up now that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is rattling election sabres over the Harper government's handling of the economy. Several star candidates have withdrawn their Liberal candidacy and senior Liberal figures have not put their hat in for the upcoming campaign. Do they don't believe Liberals don't stand any chance to win in 2011?

June 7, 2010 - The Conservatives have candidates in all 13 Hamilton-area ridings. The New Democrats have candidates in the majority of the ridings. The Liberals have candidates in Burlington, Oakville, Halton, Brant, Haldimand-Norfolk, St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls. They once held every seat between Oakville and Niagara Falls, but were shut out completely in the 2008 election

September 28, 2009 ‘If you want to have your way in Quebec, you just have to bypass the Quebec officials in the party, going instead to the inner circle from Toronto," Coderre said Monday at a news conference in his Montreal riding. 

Ignatieff least liked federal leader: Poll

May 18, 2009 - “You really have to ask yourself if there isn’t an Ignatieff drag problem that is plaguing the Liberals,” Gregg said in an interview.

When you have as much disapproval, unfavourable impressions, it isn’t indifference. It’s something deeper than that.”

Gregg said it may be that the Tory portrayal of Ignatieff — as an “out of touch, effete, Central Canadian snob” — has taken hold among voters.

Whatever the reason, he said it’s not normal for an opposition leader to be viewed more negatively than a sitting prime minister, particularly when that prime minister is not hugely popular himself.

Opposition leaders usually do not evoke strong negative feelings, so it’s very unusual,” he said.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, July 30, 2010

Geek Alert: The Mighty Thor

Odin, Thor and Loki

It's official: The hammer of Thor and the shield of Captain America will fly straight at moviegoers in 3-D, which is really no surprise considering the current stereoscopic craze on the studios lots of Hollywood. What is unusual is the eagerness of each film's director to take his case for 3-D directly to the fans at Comic-Con International.‬‪

It's no surprise to learn that back in Ireland, young Kenneth Branagh -- who would grow up to direct film adaptations of "Hamlet," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Henry V" -- fell under the spell of tales about royal family intrigue, ancient rivalry and clanging battlefields. What is unexpected, though, is that epic of obsession was by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, not William Shakespeare.

"Growing up, my single comic book passion was Thor," says the 49-year-old actor and filmmaker who surprised many industry observers by taking on the director's job on the big-budget adaptation of the Marvel Comics thunder god. "From my time in Belfast as a kid, that's the first time I came across that comic, really, exclusively, I don't know why, but it struck a chord. I was drawn to it. I liked all the dynastic drama."

"Thor," due in 2011, is filming now in Santa Fe, N.M., and stars newcomer Chris Hemsworth (who played the doomed father of James T. Kirk in last year's "Star Trek") will carry the magical hammer of Thor in the film, with Natalie Portman playing his mortal love, Jane Foster.  Anthony Hopkins is Odin, Thor's father, and Tom Hiddleston plays the thunder god's duplicitous brother, Loki.
Thor iPad wallpaper
The Mighty Thor

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Inflation in Emerging vs Advanced Economies

Economic Fears Reignite Market SlumpImage by YoTuT via Flickr
The Tale of Two Economies:

We have two different stories regarding inflation in the emerging vs advanced economies. The emerging economies don't share the same pressures that the advanced economies and as a result may have a different agenda for domestic consumption.

Some countries in the advanced economies have deflation as a real threat while the emerging economies they are continuing to experience over five per cent on an annual basis.

Prices of many commodities fell during the financial market shocks in May and early June, reflecting in part expectations for weakened global demand. Prices recovered some ground more recently, as concern about the real spillovers of the financial turbulence has eased. At the same time, waning appetite for risk prompted gold prices to settle higher. In line with futures market developments, the IMF’s baseline petroleum price projection has been revised down to $75.3 a barrel for 2010 and $77.5 a barrel for 2011 (from $80 and $83, respectively, in the April 2010 WEO). Projections for the non fuel commodity price index have remained broadly unchanged, partly reflecting stronger-than-expected market conditions through April. - World Economic Outlook Activity

Several in the G8 or G20 did not experience the same level destruction of economic activity in the global recession.  Each country will act in their own self interest in maximize their own economy. Canada is well positioned to take advantage of the vast natural resources, democratic institutions and a determination to build on the global economic trade with China and Europe.

Related articles by Zemanta
Enhanced by Zemanta

Good News Canada: Bad News Liberal Express

National Gallery of Canada and Environs, Ottawa.Image by Robbie's Photo Art via Flickr

More bumps for the Liberal Express. Can someone page  Peter Donolo for talking points to talk down the good news on the Liberal Express.

When the financial crisis and recession began, Canada was in much better fiscal shape than almost any other industrial country. The federal government and some provinces spent a decade slowly paying down debt. The federal debt-to-GDP ratio declined from 68 per cent in FY1995-96, to just 29 per cent in 2008-09. Most provinces also saw an improvement in the public debt load.

In comparison to the federal outlook, provinces, most notably Ontario, now face a structural fiscal challenge. During good economic times earlier in the decade, many provinces ramped up expenditures on priorities such as health care. In this area, spending increased by an average of 7 per cent annually over the last five years. 

Notwithstanding the structural fiscal challenges of the provinces, Canada is in a much stronger fiscal position than almost every other industrial country. This bodes well for the performance of the Canadian economy as we navigate through stormy global seas. - Canadian Feds Ahead of Plan on Fiscal Re-balancing

This will be another story on the economy that won't get significant attention in our mainstream news. Instead they will look for spinning negative stories to push their own agenda.

The provinces need to reign in their spending.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Energy Companies Ignore Supreme Court and Raise Our Rates

Toronto Hydro Trucks on Queen WestImage via Wikipedia
Are these the companies we want to give "credits" to help us reduce our Carbon footprint? After settling on the class action lawsuit they will seek to recover those losses through raising our hydro rates.

April 1994 A $500-million class-action lawsuit is filed against Toronto Hydro and all municipal electrical utilities over late payment charges.
October 1998 The Supreme Court of Canada rules in a lawsuit against Consumers Gas (now Enbridge Inc.) that late fees charged by utilities must comply with the maximum interest-rate provisions of the Criminal Code.
April 2004 The Supreme Court of Canada finds Enbridge received an "unjust enrichment" from its late fees. This paves the way for settlements of many class-action proceedings against utilities.
February 2008 The Ontario Energy Board rules that Enbridge can pass on to customers the full $25-million cost of settling its class-action lawsuit. The regulator says it is not required to follow the conclusions of the Supreme Court.
January 2010 Toronto Hydro and other municipal electrical utilities in Ontario reach a tentative $17-million settlement of the late fees class-action lawsuit.
March 2010 Toronto Hydro states in its first-quarter financial report it will seek recovery of "all costs" for its estimated $7.75-million share of the settlement.
July 22, 2010 Superior Court Justice Peter Cumming approves the class-action settlement, including a $4.8-million payment to lawyers acting for customers of the utilities. Nearly $12-million will be set aside to establish a fund to help low-income families pay their utility bills.-Customers on hook for Hydro suit

Enhanced by Zemanta

Racial Profiling: Is Quebec Xenophobic?

The incident "involved a black man who did not initially match the owner of the car," the police report states. "Debellefeuille sounds like a Québécois name and not the name of someone of another origin."
In response to what Debellefeuille is calling "racial profiling," he - along with the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations - has filed complaints with the Quebec Human Rights Commission and the police ethics commissioner.
"It was humiliating," Debellefeuille said. "This is not just for myself but for all visible minorities out there who may experience this sort of humiliation like I did.
"It has got to stop."

Will the National media pick this story up and ask for an internal investigation? Will this be minimized, ignored or blamed on the rural city divide?

According to a poll released in 2006, 40 percent of Quebec respondents harboured anti‐Muslim views (Montgomery, 2006: A10). Fears of the Muslim “Other” have certainly played a role in the assertion of a national habitus that distinguishes between “Us” and “Them” primarily on the basis of religious affiliation and secondarily on the basis of language (whereas the post‐1960s national habitus gave pride of place to the linguistic criterion). Fears of the “Other” play into the notion of a “Self” whose very identity is under threat and therefore needs to be protected all the more vigorously. These fears are well summarized in a quote from Solange Fernet‐Gervais, Hérouxville’s oldest citizen: “In Quebec, we didn’t resist the English and fight throughout our history to defend our identity, just to have Muslims dictate to us now how we ought to live!” (quoted in Audibert, 2007: 42, our translation).
Will we Ban any head covering? (Comic-Con 2010)
In a nutshell, multiculturalism has gone too far. Hérouxville’s city councillors instead prefer a more assimilationist stance, declaring that “[w]e would especially like to inform the new arrivals that the lifestyle that they left behind in their birth country cannot be brought here with them and they would have to adapt to their new social identity” (Municipalité Hérouxville, 2007a: 1).- Contesting the Nation: Reasonable Accommodation in Rural Quebec

Quebec is nearly 20% higher in the support of banning the burka than the rest of Canada. Will we allow Storm Troopers and the hundred of adults who like to dress up to wear their masks?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ignatieff Wins Beer Bet?

Victory is mine!
Did the Michael Ignatieff win a bet for his beer?
What would Liberals define as good terms for betting? Media Censorship
  1. No bus breakdown for one week.
  2. No articles on coalition negotiations during Liberal Express.
  3. No questions about Liberal MP's or Candidates facing criminal charges during Liberal Express
  4. No questions why crowds are very small.
  5. No questions about finances, balance sheet, leadership debts of Liberals.

How does this compare with President Obama and our Prime Minister Harper bet over the Final Match Team Canada vs Team USA for Gold Medal games in Vancouver in 2010?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lawyers Want To Keep Rubber Stamp

Seal of the United States Department of State.
Image via Wikipedia
Another example of investigative journalism at work.
Documents obtained by Postmedia News under Access To Information indicate the U.S. Department of State sent a diplomatic note to the Canadian Embassy in Washington last December outlining concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the transfer of offenders.

The contents of the document are largely blacked out, and the U.S. officials are refusing to comment on issues to a specific country.

They U.S. Department seeks a face to face meeting. 

This is where we can have fun and ask specific sources to make stuff up, give us gossip to paint some theoretical argument.

F 35 5th Generation Fighter $ 9- 16 Billion
Is this the nature of  Trade that Liberals support? What other trade deals are Liberals invested in order to prevent a thickening of the border?

That said lawyers on both sides of the border who represent prisoners seeking international transfers and work closely with government officials involved in offender transfers say they’re aware of U.S. attempts to persuade the Conservative government to reconsider its position.

That's right lawyers who represent prisoners are unhappy the Canadian Government has moved to end the official rubber stamp program of returning Canadian prisoners back to Canada.
What are the statistics for this bilateral trade in prisoners? Are Americans prisoners in Canada clamoring to serve their time in the U.S. penal system? The numbers must be staggering and the potential for damage to trade as a result for housing an extra hundred people in the penal system must be a top priority for the OBAMA administration.

Can we imagine an American, Mexican, Chinese national arrested in Canada for murder demanding their lawyer  seek return to their own prisons?

From Conrad Black, Omar Khadr the media seem obsessed with specific individuals.

The Conservatives have tabled legislation to amend  the International Offenders Act to make improvements in the reparations of convicted criminals wishing to return to Canada.

Under the current legislation, the public safety minister can only reject applications on the basis of national security, namely terrorism-related threats, as well as a person’s affiliation with organized crime.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Will the Real Mr Obama Please Stand Up?

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...
President Obama

The US President’s criticism of the “mistake” added to a growing backlash against the Scottish decision to free the biggest mass murderer in British legal history on compassionate grounds.

Hours after the Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh announced its decision to free him, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the only man convicted of the 1988 atrocity, flew home to a hero’s welcome in Tripoli.

Mr Obama said: "We have been in contact with the Scottish government, indicating that we objected to this, and we thought it was a mistake."- August 20, 2009


THE US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be “far preferable” to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya

Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison. July 25, 2010

The US has tried to keep the letter secret, refusing to give permission to the Scottish authorities to publish it on the grounds it would prevent future "frank and open communications" with other governments.- The Australian

If this is correct will the White-House began a search for a LIAR CZAR?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Political Games 1 Canada 0

Census taker visits a family living in a carav...
Image via Wikipedia

The Evil Temptation of Numbers
Census Canada Table 5 Low wages 1993-2004
The whole of social science has been similarly broadsided by the arithmetical mania. It is worth noting that the greatest economic thinkers, from Smith through Hayek, wrote almost entirely without tables and charts, dwelling instead on the consequences of morally loaded ideas, whereas the demographic muse led economists like Malthus into monstrous visions of purely imaginary catastrophes, and wicked speculations about what would be needed to avoid them.
Likewise, the environmentalism of our own age is contaminated throughout by this Malthusian propensity to follow the numbers out the window. Never listen to people who think the cure for human problems is to reduce the number of humans. Their minds are diseased.
Too great precision, in a matter that does not admit of precision, is an evil in itself. And if Aristotle could explain this, with clarity, something like 2,340 years ago, we should have caught on by now. Indeed, it was from that sage that I learned to distrust the motives of those seeking too great precision and realized that much modern science, too, is reduced to scientism by statistical methods.

When did changes to the administration of the Census become the National Anthem for Liberals and central planners?  When did the media become so obsessed with reducing a change in policy by a Federal government into ad hominem attacks.
Culture of Change? 
When did improvements, changes to policy, design become non-negotiable? If you read some articles in the media you would come to the conclusion a coin may have been flipped in regards to the recent announced changes at Census. Did the Census staff develop a history of insulating themselves, resisting change from any direction in their management or collecting information? Many departments in the government  do not want to cooperate with the program review initiated by Stockwell Day.

When a government is being labeled extremist, ideological for every decision they undertake by the media,  opposition political parties and special interest groups does the country benefit from these political games?

Related articles by Zemanta
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Breaking Wind In Denmark

The EU is one of the leading global regions in...Image via Wikipedia
Governments in Western democracies make changes to the level of taxation, elimination or addition of new policies to reflect the political landscape. In countries that do NOT have open elections based in democratic roots, the taxation, elimination of services or new restrictions are not debated in the media or society without peril. 

In Ontario we have recently seen the decision by the Ontario government to back peddle on a new eco-fee that does not make sense.

In British Columbia a large number of citizens have been actively engaged in having the provincial government to stop the implementation of the H.S.T.

Denmark generates the equivalent of about 19% of its electricity demand with wind turbines, but wind power contributes far less than 19% of the Nation’s electricity demand.

The claim that Denmark derives about 20% of its electricity from wind overstates matters. Being highly intermittent, wind power has recently (2006) met as little as 5% of Denmark’s annual electricity consumption with an average over the last five years of 9.7%.

In the absence of large-scale electricity storage, any modern electricity system must continuously balance electricity supply and demand, because even small variations in system voltage and frequency can cause damage to modern electronic equipment and other electrical equipment.

Wind power is stochastic,especially in the very short term (e.g., over any given hour, 30 minute, or 15 minute period). This has created a completely new challenge that transmission system operators (TSOs) all over the World are only now learning how to handle. Some draw from Denmark’s experience. But Denmark’s special circumstances make its experience of limited transferability elsewhere.

Denmark manages to keep the electricity systems balanced due to having the benefit of its particular neighbors and their electricity mix. Norway and Sweden provide Denmark, Germany and Netherlands access to significant amounts of fast, short term balancing reserve, via interconnectors. They effectively act as Denmark’s “electricity storage batteries”. Norwegian and Swedish hydropower can be rapidly turned up and down, and Norway’s lakes effectively “store” some portion of Danish wind power.

Over the last eight years West Denmark has exported (couldn’t use), on average, 57% of the wind power it generated and East Denmark an average of 45%.The correlation between high wind output and net outflows makes the case that there is a large component of wind energy in the outflow indisputable.

The exported wind power, paid for by Danish householders, brings material benefits in the form of cheap electricity and delayed investment in new generation equipment for consumers in Sweden and Norway but nothing for Danish consumers. Taxes and charges on electricity for Danish household consumers make their electricity by far the most expensive in the European Union (EU)1. The total probable value of exported subsidies between 2001 and 2008 was DKK 6.8 billion (€916 million) during this period. A similar amount was probably exported prior to 20122 and larger quantities will be exported following the commissioning of 800 MW of new offshore wind capacity in 2013.

The wind power that is exported from Denmark saves neither fossil fuel consumption nor CO2 emissions in Denmark, where it is all paid for. By necessity, wind power exported to Norway and Sweden supplants largely carbon neutral electricity in the Nordic countries. No coal is used nor are there power-related CO2 emissions in Sweden and Norway.

Critical Analysis or Rebuttal to above here

Recently, a study made by the Danish think tank CEPOS claimed the opposite, i.e. that most of the Danish wind power has been exported in recent years. However, this claim is based on an incorrect interpretation of statistics and a lack of understanding of how the international electricity markets operate. Consequently, the results of the CEPOS study are in general not correct. Moreover, the CEPOS study claims that using wind turbines in Denmark is a very expensive way of reducing CO2 emissions and that this is the reason for the high energy taxes for private consumers in Denmark. These claims are also misleading. The cost of CO2 reduction by use of wind power in the period 2004-2008 was only 20 EUR/ton. Furthermore, the Danish wind turbines are not paid for by energy taxes.
Danish wind turbines are given a subsidy via the electricity price which is paid by the electricity consumers. In the recent years of 2004-2008, such subsidy has increased consumer prices by 0.54 €¢/kWh on average. On the other hand, however, the same electricity consumers also benefitted from the wind turbines since the wind power decreased the electricity market price on Nord Pool. On average during 2004-2008, such effect decreased the consumer prices by 0.27 €¢/kWh and consequently the net influence during this period increased consumer prices by only 0.27 €¢/kWh equal to only 1-3 percent of the final consumer prices. In 2008, the net influence of wind power actually decreased the consumer price slightly by approx. 0.05 €¢/kWh. Consequently, the influence of Danish wind turbines on the consumer electricity price is negligible.

Two sides having a debate about the effectiveness of the cost of windmills. In a Western democracy we have citizens, groups being engaged. In other countries like China, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia the media or its citizens are not free to engage in criticism without peril.

Are the changes to reduce the carbon footprint in Canada going to be based on facts of a business model that makes sense, or it is going to be uses as political football for stakeholders that benefit from taxpayer subsidies?

Enhanced by Zemanta