Archive for January 8th, 2013

OPP gun shy around aboriginal protests?

- January 8th, 2013

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Despite a judge’s criticism for the decision not to try to break up Saturday’s illegal aboriginal rail line blockade east of Belleville, Ont., provincial police say they will always use “proper police discretion.”

“We’ve learned from our mistakes from the past, particularly the Ipperwash situation that happened back in ’95,” said Sgt. Pierre Chamberland, referring to the police shooting of native protester Dudley George at a provincial park. Read more…

Canada will stand with Mali: Ambassador

- January 8th, 2013

OTTAWA – Violent jihadist terrorists groups that have gained a foothold in northern Mali are “an international menace,” says the West African country’s ambassador to Canada.

But Traore Ami Diallo is confident Canada will pitch in to the global effort to roust Islamist militants – including al-Qaida – that have imposed a brutal interpretation of Sharia law on part of the beleaguered nation.

“Canada has always helped Mali, whether before or after the current problems,” she told QMI Agency Monday. “When Canada is ready we know it will stand with Mali.”

The Conservative government is eyeing how it can help after the UN Security Council authorized sending 3,300 troops into Mali to beat back the insurgency.

“It’s global security that is threatened by these people,” Diallo said. “That’s the biggest concern.”

The feds say they won’t send troops to Mali but Defence Minister Peter MacKay recently hinted the government was open to a training mission.

Human Rights Watch has documented brutalities by the militants and rebel groups in the north.

A recent report details public executions, floggings, stoning and amputations being used as penalties for smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, listening to popular music, and for women who fail to adhere to a strict dress code.

Diallo is scathing in her assessment of the insurgents, saying “they do not believe in God.”

“Imagine a country where two-thirds are in the hands of terrorists. Where 80% of the country is Muslim. We don’t need to be transformed into jihadists, we were already Muslim.”

On Tuesday, the head of the African Union and president of Benin, Thomas Boni Yayi will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa.

“If Africa comes up during the visit, it’s certain (the president) will raise the issue of Mali,” Diallo said.
Yayi was a driving forces behind the security council authorizing a military mission.

Andrew Grant, with Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., said he expects any request to be relatively modest.
“It’ll be a request to provide training, perhaps other logistical support. It could be things like vehicles, troop carriers. They’re not going to come out and say we need weapons,” he said.

Mali is one of Canada’s main recipients of foreign aid but funds were frozen in the wake of a military coup last spring. The Canadian Forces have also been involved in training missions there.

Read more…

If that’s conservatism…

- January 8th, 2013

If conservatism is resurgent, as progressive commentators sometimes claim, or if it is in power politically, as partisan labels sometimes claim, why is it that the public agenda remains so relentlessly progressive? As for instance with Britain’s conservative prime minister, the Telegraph reports, hammering stay-at-home moms with tax changes?

Justin Trudeau has a lot of money

- January 8th, 2013

No, not that. I mean, he’s raised a lot of money for his campaign. From Le Devoir: (in French)

Ottawa — Justin Trudeau a amassé près de 600 000 $ au cours des trois premiers mois de sa campagne à la chefferie du Parti libéral du Canada (PLC).

Cette cagnotte inclut 125 000 $ en dons d’environ 1400 individus au cours des trois derniers jours de 2012.

La directrice de la campagne Katie Telford a souligné dans un courriel aux membres de l’équipe de M. Trudeau qu’un collecteur de fonds avait reçu plus de 20 000 $ le lendemain de Noël uniquement.

Bien que la capacité d’un candidat à amasser des fonds ne soit pas un gage de succès, il s’agit d’une mesure fiable de la capacité d’un candidat à se bâtir une base partisane suffisamment imposante pour lui permettre d’obtenir le soutien nécessaire pour l’emporter dans un scrutin où chaque membre a un vote.

Durant la course à la direction du Parti néodémocrate l’an dernier, Thomas Mulcair avait amassé le plus de dons – un peu plus de 443 000 $ en cinq mois – en route vers la victoire.

The other candidates haven’t released any numbers yet. But as the Devoir article notes, none is very likely to raise similar amounts.