Archive for July 19th, 2012

Supporting the right of Israel to defend itself and its citizens

- July 19th, 2012

John Baird explains:

OTTAWA – While Israel threatened to “react powerfully” against Iran after a deadly terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, Canada’s foreign affairs minister stood behind its mideast ally’s right to defend itself.

“In Canada, it’s never the whole future of the state that is in question or the future of the Canadian people that’s in question. Whereas in Israel, it’s very, very different,” John Baird told Ottawa radio station CFRA on Thursday morning. “So obviously our first choice is to see these people that have perpetrated these crimes brought to justice. But at the same time, we understand that Israel has the right to defend the country and its people.”

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the attack, which killed eight people and injured dozens more, was “clearly a terrorist attack initiated by probably Hezbollah, Hamas, Jihad or any other group under the terror auspices of either Iran or other radical Muslim groups. We are in a continued fight against them, we are determined to identify who sent them, who executed it, and to settle the account.”

That sentiment was echoed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed on Thursday that Israel would “react powerfully against Iranian terror”.

Bulgarian media have identified the suspect as Mehdi Ghezali, a Swedish citizen of Algerian and Finnish descent who was reportedly held at Guantanamo Bay between 2002 and 2004.

Remind me how gun control works

- July 19th, 2012

Today’s Ottawa Sun reports a man shot dead in Toronto after a soccer game just two days after a horrible mass shooting on Monday night and other recent incidents. The Sun also reports a car chase involving gunfire in Ottawa. All this with handguns, long tightly restricted in Canada.

Someone please explain to me again how gun control stops crime and is smart and sophisticated whereas targeting criminals doesn’t work and is crude and primitive.

Of course you still have a crisis

- July 19th, 2012

Theresa Spence

Duh! Your reserve is a mess, Chief, and that’s nobody’s fault but yours.

TORONTO - Attawapiskat’s state of emergency is still in effect months after the northern Ontario reserve made headlines last winter, says its chief.

“We still have a crisis with our housing situation in Attawapiskat,” said Chief Theresa Spence in an exclusive interview QMI Agency at the Assembly of First Nations annual general meeting in Toronto.

Spence also believes Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has unfairly painted a “nasty” picture of her administration by suggesting her band can’t manage its own affairs.

“I was shocked the way they respond to us declaring the emergency. They mislead a lot of people … the whole country about First Nations, about mismanaging the funding, which was not true,” she said. “What (Harper) did was really wrongful … he got away with it.”

From weird to weirder

- July 19th, 2012

Helena Guergis

If you cross politics with a soap opera, you get something that looks like this.

OTTAWA - The lawyer representing Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday a lawsuit filed by former Conservative MP Helena Guergis “is just plain bad.”

Government lawyers argued Wednesday why the lawsuit brought against Harper and others should be tossed.

Lawyer Robert Staley, representing Harper, said Guergis’ claim contains “very few material facts,” conflicting allegations and is generally based on guesses and assumptions.

“This is just plain bad,” Staley said of the claim.

The civil suit, which Guergis filed in December, makes allegations of conspiracy, misfeasance, defamation, negligence and infliction of mental suffering against the prime minister, the Conservative Party, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and Conservative MP Shelley Glover, among others.

Harper filed a motion in May to have the lawsuit dismissed. The motion argued Guergis had “no reasonable cause of action” because nothing in her claim was subject to judicial process.

Harper’s lawyer made a similar argument Wednesday, explaining that decisions of who becomes a cabinet member and who doesn’t are made at the sole discretion of the prime minister and protected by Crown prerogative and parliamentary privilege.

You don’t have a right to keep your job as minister. Ministers serve at the pleasure of the prime minister, and that’s all there is to it. It’s not a perfect system. But it sure beats having courts second-guess every cabinet shuffle.