Author Archive

Health Canada warns of dangers of recycling

- June 14th, 2010

Those busy folks at Health Canada, ever mindful of food safety, have issued a warning about yet another source of potential contamination:

June 14, 2010
For immediate release

OTTAWA - Health Canada is reminding Canadians to take steps to prevent cross-contamination of foods when shopping using reusable grocery bags and bins.

As an environmental choice, many Canadians are now shopping with reusable bins, reusable plastic bags and cloth bags to reduce the amount of plastic they are using. Health Canada supports the proper use of these products, but it is important that Canadians use them safely to prevent cross-contamination of food with bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

Because these bags and plastic bins are reused frequently, they can pick up bacteria from the foods they carry, or from their environment (the ground, the back of your car or the items stored in them between grocery trips).

The department then goes on to offer up tips on how you can prevent the evils of contamination. (See:

Liberals take to the road this summer

- June 14th, 2010

The Liberals have officially announced their summer bus tour – with a few swipes at the Tories’ media strategy. Here’s their press release:

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2010

“Liberal Express” hits the road this summer
OTTAWA – The Liberal caucus is hitting the road this summer in an unprecedented cross-country tour to showcase the Liberal Party of Canada as the progressive, compassionate, responsible alternative to the Harper Conservatives – and the only party that can replace them in government.

The centrepiece of the cross-country tour will be grassroots, multi-day “Liberal Express” bus tours with Leader Michael Ignatieff and members of the Liberal Team in regions across Canada.

“The contrast this summer could not be greater,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “While the Conservatives are throwing away taxpayers’ dollars on an epic scale, we’ll be on the road on the cheap – connecting with Canadians where they live in towns and cities across this country.  The Liberal Team will be holding town halls, participating in key community events, listening, learning and sharing our positive vision of Canada.

“We’ll be making the case for a bright, hopeful, exciting Canadian future, based on our priorities of learning, care and renewed Canadian global leadership, versus the Conservative priorities of $6 billion in tax cuts for Canada’s largest corporations and the wasteful squandering at the G20.

“Starting at the Calgary Stampede, through every province and territory, and ending in Cape Breton for the Liberal Summer Caucus, we’ll be meeting Canadians were they live to talk about the real issues of their day-to-day lives – health and home care, jobs and training, pensions, and clean energy. Those are the issues Canadians care deeply about.”

Mr. Ignatieff will barnstorm every province and territory this summer.  The following are the tentative dates, with the multi-day Liberal Express bus tours highlighted in bold:

  • July 10: Alberta
  • Week of July 11: Ontario (Liberal Express Bus Tour)
  • Week of July 18: Saskatchewan
  • Week of July 18: Quebec (Liberal Express Bus Tour)
  • Week of July 25: Ontario (Liberal Express Bus Tour)
  • Week of August 1: New Brunswick – Prince Edward Island (Liberal Express Bus Tour)
  • Week of August 1: Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Week of August 8: Nunavut, Northwest Territories
  • Weeks of August 8 and 15: Manitoba – Ontario (Liberal Express Bus Tour)
  • Week of August 15: Yukon
  • Weeks of August 15 and 22:  British Columbia (Liberal Express Bus Tour)
  • Week of August 22: Quebec (Liberal Express Bus Tour)
  • Week of August 29: Nova Scotia (Liberal Express Bus Tour)

“We invite the working women and men of Canada’s media to come along for the ride on the Liberal Express,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “Instead of staying cooped up in the Ottawa bubble during the summer, join us on the road to meet real Canadians and talk real issues. Unlike the Harper Conservatives, we won’t push you around or try to intimidate or micromanage you.

“Real leadership is about being out there, taking risks, reaching out,” concluded Mr. Ignatieff.  “That’s what the Liberal Express is all about – all aboard!”

A soccer challenge from Mr. Soudas

- June 13th, 2010

SoudasDimitri Soudas, the communications director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, appears to have a devilish sense of humour.

In an email today to the press gallery, he invites journalists to take on MPs in a soccer game Wednesday on the lawn of Parliament Hill.  While Soudas suggests MPs wear neutral white, his invitation proposes the media wear blue. Hmmm … isn’t that colour commonly associated with the Conservatives? (Red, orange and green might be equally fraught with unintended meaning …)

Soudas also adds this postscript: “political staff welcome to play provided they know how to and are there to win against the media.” An allusion, perhaps, to the absence of political staffers at committee meetings of late?

Here’s that Liberal “fake lake” YouTube ad

- June 13th, 2010

The fake lake ads

Click on the link above for the G8-G20 YouTube advertisement the Liberals are “floating” today.

Elections by the numbers

- June 11th, 2010

I reported yesterday that Canadian taxpayers doled out almost $30 million to reimburse political parties for their election expenses without the chief electoral officer being able to truly verify that the expense claims were valid. Marc Maynard’s report on the 40th general election contains all sort of other interesting tidbits too. For example, here are some other numbers:

236,380: Number of election workers hired in 2008 election

1,520,838: Number of electors who chose to vote at the advance polls.

11%: Percentage of total votes cast that this represented.

188.2: Average number of voters at polling stations on election day.

376.4: Average number of voters at advance polling stations.