Friday, December 31, 2010

Better Warnings

Canada is to beef up the graphic warnings on cigarette boxes. The new labels, like the one found below will cover 75% of packages. It also includes the phone number of a quit smoking hotline. This is a good initiative from the Conservative government to improve the health of our nation. Cigarettes harm the different systems of the human body. Smokers eventually have to go to publicly funded hospitals for their problems. The cost then falls on all of Canada to pay. While the new labels might not be that efficient in encouraging smokers of a long time to quit, I can see this marketing scheme discouraging people from taking a first smoke.

The Liberals and NDP have accused the Tories of backing down in the face of lobbying from the tobacco industry against these labels. They say that this announcement is just "damage control" from when Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq postponed the creation of the new labels and the quit hotline. Maybe they are right. Maybe they are not. There is no proof to support these claims. Therefore, I do not care whatsoever. The plan is laid out and ready to be set in action.

Read more at the Toronto Star.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Popular High Speed Rail

A survey done for the American Public Transportation Association shows that 62% of adults would use high speed rail if it were available to them. Only 11% would not use it. Again, another poll comes out assuring support in large numbers. Barack Obama has listened to these polls and to the experts and has proceeded to invest money in high speed rail. Stephen Harper has not. However, Ontario and Quebec have and there is a chance that they might use United States money to build high speed rail. However, that is speculation and would only happen if Democrats take back the House and retain control of the Senate. Building high speed rail would be a great achievement for Canada and the Conservatives would be able to garner support if they build this project.
Today U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the distribution of $2.5 billion for high-speed rail projects nationwide, and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released the results of a large travel survey which shows that nearly two-thirds of adults (62 percent) said they would definitely or probably use high-speed rail service for leisure or business travel if it were an option. The survey, among 24, 711 adults, was conducted for APTA by Synovate.
Read the full results of the survey here.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Redistricting the U.S

Redistricting is a process that happens every 10 years after the census report. This is the problem most of the states that grew or that lost have a Republican governor or a Republican house or both means that this could be a problem for the democrats at least in the short term. See historically in the past few decades states that are up north are losing population or are growing less then the average of the country while states in the south with the major exception of Louisiana are growing population. Texas grew 4 new congressional seats this year that is a big boost now Texas will have 38 electoral votes 4 more than last year. that means in a election a Republican would get 4 more electoral votes for him. this is of course a gain for the republicans. See because if your party controls the state senate and house than you can change how the map looks like knowing where people live. Meaning in a district that is 50/50 Democrats and Republicans you can actually put in that district a bunch of more democrats from other district that are leaning towards the Democrats and for the price of not getting one seats you can get 4 more seats to vote Republican as there Democratic population was all shoved into one district. If the Republicans are the governors of this state they can veto any new map that a democratic house and senate passed. The Republicans will benefit from this in the next election and probably the election after that, but I think by 2016 it will all blow up in there faces. See if people are moving from the northern states that tend to be Democratic territory and go to south states like Georgia and Texas and of course Florida than those states are going to be more leaning towards the left. In Texas especially there Hispanic population is growing and Hispanic people tend to vote at least right now for the Democrats , So in Texas where Hispanic population and Democratic population is growing I can say that by 2016 Texas could be the new swing state that will decide the election.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Canada's Trainwreck

It has been almost fifty years since Japan has launched its Shinkansen, the first high speed rail line in the world and Canada now finds itself the only country in the G8 without a high speed rail network of some sort. This would allow for a two hour trip between Montreal and Toronto, instead of the present five to eight hours.
In 2009, EKOS found out that 88% of Canadians support high speed rail coming to Canada. That is because the benefits are clear. Besides providing more jobs and enriching the economy, high speed rail is ridiculously safe and punctual, with many countries offering a refund if a train is more than five minutes late. It provides a rival to polluting cars and airplanes, reducing transportaiton emissions. Investing in high speed rail would be a good thing for Canada. The studies are done, the benefits are clear. It's time to start building.
Dedicated high-speed rail lines are ridiculously efficient -- at least in Japan. Officials there point out that trains are punctual down-to-the-minute, even with 300 million riders a year.

They're safe. There has not been a single fatality in either the Japanese or French system. An average of seven Canadians die in road accidents every day.

Environmentally, there is no better way to move a large amount of people, unless someone builds a really, big bike.
Read more at CTV.

Monday, December 27, 2010

No Majority for Years to Come.

With there being now three consecutive minority Government and that there are now expected to have another minority government if an election would be held now some might be thinking when a majority might come along. Well the last majority we had was in the 2000 election. The problem is that in that election the Liberals got 40%, but that even today will not be enough. In that election there was still a divide in the right wing vote between the PC and the CA. Which split the right wing vote enough to allow a majority government. This is the only reason the Liberals I believe got a majority three times in a row. Now a new problem also emerged that made even getting 40% not allow you to have a Majority. The problem is the Bloc Quebecois. They keep grabbing the majority of the seats away from the other parties. The Conservatives couldn't get the 12 something seats in the last election to get the majority. The Liberals before the Bloc and before Mulroney dominated the province now they can't get those seats again. The NDP is the last addition to this recipe that won't allow a majority. With there new found growth they keep some rural seats away from the conservatives while taking some urban seats away from the Liberals. How then will anyone get a majority.Well besides a coalition or a merger the other solution is to have a new more popular leader on either side's. Either of these things are very unlike;y, but will probably happen after some odd number of years of gridlock and talks of coalition all around years of minority Governments. There is still hope that if the NDP get lower were they were a few weeks ago at 12% and with the Conservatives hitting 40% again the conservatives might be able to squeeze out a majority that will be very weak and unstable. This shows that for years to come unless a drastic events happen no majority will come for years.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tar Sands Need to be Checked.

A new report showed that the Tar sands haven't really been checked on what it is doing. The Tar sands in Alberta has been seen the most dirties oil in the world. This is true! The oil sands aren't being monitored, and they should be. We can't just give oil companies a free licence to do whatever they want like Stephen Harper does. I am not saying that the tar sands should be destroyed. Absolutely not, but I say that if we use the this resource we should put to good use. First mandatory monitoring on the Oil sands, and enforce changes on the oil sands that must be complied with. Next insure that any new development in the oil sands have to be done clean and environmentally friendly, but of course the oil sands will never be truly green. That doesn't mean we should destroy the whole industry. What we need to do is that considering many countries need and run on our oil, so we tell countries who want our great oil resource that they need to ensure us that they will have some sort of plan to reduce there oil demand. Considering our oil has so  much influence let's use it for a force of good to make everyone else reduce there oil consumption. Last enforce a carbon tax to reduce our oil consumption.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2012 Predictions.

In 2012 it may be to early to predict the presidential election, but there is one problem.  The senate will be the real problem. First the Democrats only have 51 senators and 2 independents that support there party. This means in order for the Republicans only need to pick up 4 seats to claim a majority in the senate. In the the next election out of the 33 Senate seats that are up in the election 23 Senate seat are held by democrats only 10 are held by Republicans. With a possibly somewhat not as popular as they were in 2008 mode on the Democrats Republicans will have an easy time grabbing the senate. They already have the House and odds are they will keep it in 2012. Meaning a Republican president would control all 3 chambers, and have the supreme court still undercontrol by Republican president nominees. Even if Obama does win reelection there is no way he will keep the senate or grab the House back, but if he stays one more term he could appoint one justice to the supreme court and make the supreme court have more democrats appointed in the court than Republicans. Democrats woun't have a great 2012 even if they relect Obama the senate will turn red alomst for sure, and the Republicans will keep the majority of the house.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lame Duck session a sucess?

It seems to me like more things got done in the past two months than got done in the last year. Don't ask don't tell was repealed, the start treaty was signed, the tax cut extensions were passed and a 9/11 health care bill passed. This you could think is some sort of a success in a lame duck session, but wait the real lame duck session is about to happen when congress comes back. With an overweeningly republican House and a weak democratic lead in the senate. Republicans have the upper hand here,and this so called bipartisanship I guess it will have to continue. Obama has nothing to argue with, because now he needs tremendous amount of compromise. He can't pass a bill in the senate without having 7 Republicans vote with them. This is assuming Obama gets all his senators to support him. In the house 25 Republicans need to go along. Republicans are really good at joining together and voting together, so 25 may sound simple, but Obama may not even get one without the support of the leader of he house or senate. This isn't good at all. With the Republicans controlling the House and Senate and with the need to compromise or nothing gets done Obama's agenda will be pushed hard towards the right. Meaning no clear plan on climate change, deficit cutting will be very hard to pass and the U.S could start to move backwards when it comes to the environment and a sustainable economy.
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Prentice the Good Guy?

According to wikileaked documents, former Environment Minister Jim Prentice thought that Harper's response to criticism of the tar sands was too slow. He was ready to to step in, and start real regulation of the tar sands, not the voluntary measures Canada has now. It has been shown time and time again that corporations do not adopt non-mandatory monitoring as they would have to pay more money for it and lose a portion of profits. Apparently, there will be improvements to a flawed monitoring system for the water pollution of the tar sands. The next step would be to install more and better greenhouse gas monitoring and finally, a carbon tax that would penalize those who pollute and reduce everyone's income tax.
Former environment minister Jim Prentice privately told U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson more than a year ago that he was prepared to impose new regulations on the oil sands if the industry and province did not improve their environmental performance, newly released Wikileaks documents reveal.
Read more at the Globe and Mail.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Loaded Gun Brought on Plane

You know there is something wrong with the airport security system when a loaded handgun passes unnoticed through the carry-on screening process. Yet, that is exactly what happened last year, when a Houston businessman forgot to remove it from his bag. This makes me wonder why we are investing in the fancy naked body scanners that invade our privacy, when someone could walk onto an airplane with a gun. And it's not an isolated incident, according to a whistleblower. The failure rate for screening at some airports is70%! If this is true, then it is time to stop trying to invade people's privacy and get back to the basics: making sure that no dangerous items, such as a gun, are brought aboard a plane.



Read more at ABC.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fox News: Misinformation

A study has come out by the University of Maryland on how misinformed voters are in the United States. It also recorded which were the primary news sources of each respondent. There were some instances where viewers of more left-wing news channels were misinformed, but many more were found on Fox News. Viewers of this so-called "fair and balanced" channel seem to believe false truths about Democrats.  Among others, they were 30 percentage points more likely to believe that "most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring" and 31% more likely to believe that it is not clear whether Obama was born in the United States. And it was not a function of partisanship as Democrats who watched Fox News also were misinformed. True, spinning to the end, the senior vice president for news editorial said,
“The latest Princeton Review ranked the University of Maryland among the top schools for having ‘Students Who Study The Least’ and being the ‘Best Party School’ – given these fine academic distinctions, we’ll regard the study with the same level of veracity it was ‘researched’ with.”
And the Princeton Review then remarked that the University of Maryland was among the "Best Northeastern Colleges" and was actually nineteenth on the list of "Best Party Schools." No wonder Fox News viewers are misinformed. We do not need this in Canada.
News organizations can educate voters about public policy and economic conditions, but they can also misinform voters. As if to prove the point, a study released Friday found that “substantial levels of misinformation” seeped out to the electorate of the United States at the time of the midterm elections this year.
Read more at the New York Times. 
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No More Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Yesterday, the United States Senate voted to kill the ban on gays and lesbians openly serving in the military. It was basically a government-sponsored discrimination. This law should have been gone long before the end of 2010 and now, it finally is. These people who risk their lives for their country should not have to hide who they are, as Senator Ron Wyden said,
“I don’t care who you love,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said as the debate opened. “If you love this country enough to risk your life for it, you shouldn’t have to hide who you are.”
I still cannot believe some of the opposition arguments. Apparently, repealing this policy will harm the battle effectiveness of the military. It mocks itself! Fourteen thousand soldiers had to leave the army because of this policy. I do not see how a loss of this many people can be effective. It's really amazing how much Republicans will do to try to stop discrimination. Some even hinted that they might block an arms treaty with Russia. The US has finally joined the many other countries, some not as rich as it, that allow gays to serve openly in the military. Congratulations!
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Saturday struck down the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, bringing to a close a 17-year struggle over a policy that forced thousands of Americans from the ranks and caused others to keep secret their sexual orientation.
Read more at the New York Times.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bad News From EKOS

Polls have been wacky in the past few weeks. This one adds to the different results, with both the Liberals and Conservatives down. It's even worse news for the Liberals though, because support is now at 26%, similar to the 2008 election. Conservatives are at 32%, not a very good showing either. This loss for both major parties gives more to the Bloc, NDP and Green parties. According to threehundredeight.com, the Conservatives would get 130 seats, Liberals 89, Bloc 55, NDP 34. No one would really gain anything worthwhile except the Bloc. Parties will probably not want an election for some months and neither do the voters. It's very possible there could be an election in 2011, but also very possible in 2012. I will be going with the latter as all polls show no one really would want an election. But all this is speculation.
His end-of-the-year survey, released Thursday night, has the Tories with 32 per cent support. The Liberals are at 26.5 per cent compared to 17.1 per cent for the NDP, 10.9 per cent for the Greens and 10.6 per cent for the Bloc Quebecois.
Read more at the Globe and Mail. 
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Republicans: Stimulus No! 850 Billion on Tax Cuts Yes!

The Republicans when Obama came to office opposed the legalisation to put 900 billion dollars into the economy a cost that was a one time government spending. Meaning that the cost of the stimulus would end in 1-2 years. The Republicans are opposed increasing the deficit by 900 billion. Which could sound reasonable, but When they all of a sudden support a tax bill that would increase the deficit by 850 and they said would like to keep permanent just doesn't make any sense. There not okay with 900 billion for the economy, because of the deficit, but almost the same amount of money on tax cuts that didn't work to help the economy and put the U.S back in deficit is perfectly fine.Here is the Republicans idea: spending a one time 900 billion that will leave in 1-2 years is a no-no as it would increase the deficit. Spending extra 850 billion for tax cuts that they would like to stay permanent. Now you might say that the deal would extend Bush Tax cuts only for 2 years. Yeah, but would Republicans want to increase taxes. In fact many Republican wanted to make all Bush Taxes permanent. The Republicans aren't against spending there just against the spending that helps the economy and that will end and go off the deficit. They want spending that will keep the country in deficit forever and eventually cause taxes to increase just to pay off the interest on the debt. This is the Republican ideology.

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010: Not a Good Year for the Tories

Nor the Liberals. Or the Bloc, NDP and Green Party. In fact, the political landscape hasn't really changed that much. But one thing is for sure: the Harper government continued to make bad policies. It started with proroguing Parliament to get away from the Afghan detainee scandal under the excuse of having to "recalibrate" its agenda. This year has been marked by far by wastes of money: the double summit in Toronto, the F-35 contract, pork-barrel spending and continued tax cuts to wealthy corporations. This is not counting the billions of dollars spent on being "tough on crime" which really increases the chance for repeat offenders. Because of the landscape not changing, I predict the next election being in 2012.
OTTAWA — The past year in Parliament was dominated by "empty rhetoric and wasteful spending" from the Conservative government, according to the Liberals who said Wednesday their party will be a clear and compelling alternative in the next election.
At a news conference called to review the past year in federal politics, Liberal deputy leader Ralph Goodale and house leader David McGuinty laid heaps of blame on the Conservatives and accused them of ignoring the priorities of Canadians.
Read more at the Calgary Herald.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yeah! No More Discrimination.

In the U.S the House of representatives just passed a bill that would now allow Gay people to openly serve in the military. This means that now the bill must move onto the senate. Now the problem is the Republicans are more worried about the millionaires having to pay a bit more in taxes then giving the well deserved people who are Gay in this country to have equal rights. I don't see how the party of Freedom and American values or so they say doesn't want to support this bill. Isn't it the American value according to Thomas Jefferson " Equal rights for all special privileges for none." Yet the Republicans believe equal rights for all unless you are a gay person who is willing to fight and die for your country. The Republicans in the Senate are voting against the bill even though four Republican senators said they would vote for it. All the Republican senator want to continue discriminating gay people who are willing to fight for the country these senators so call "represent"just to make sure taxes don't go up for the people who are rich. A study showed that allowing openly gay people in the millitary would have minimal effects on the military. Republicans in the senate have a choice on whether to actually stick to the American value or continue deaning people freedom from big brother who tells gay people what they can't and can't do.
Washington (CNN) -- The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to overturn the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving in the U.S. military, passing legislation repealing the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The bill -- a so-called "stand alone" measure not tied to any other legislative items -- passed 250 to 175 on mostly partisan lines. It now advances to the Senate.
Read more at CNN.

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Tied Again

A New Harris-Decima poll shows the Liberals and Conservatives at a basic tie, at 29% and 31% respectively. This does not really shed much light on the current situation as different pollsters have been showing different levels. Some have the Conservatives with a huge lead and others have the Libs and Cons at a basic tie. There is one thing in common between all these polls: the Liberals are below thirty perent. There should be more work on the behalf of the Liberals to regain support. However, no polls have actually put Stephen Harper in firm majority territory. There will be no majorities for a long time. The rise of the NDP, Bloc and Green Party will continue to make it very hard for anyone to get a majority. I see minorities continuing in Canada for a long, long time. I also do not think that the next election will be any time soon. Neither Harper nor Ignatieff will gain in the race.
OTTAWA—The Conservatives and Liberals appear to be ending the year the same way they started it — in a dead heat.
A new poll by The Canadian Press Harris-Decima suggests the Tories have the support of 31 per cent of Canadians, statistically tied with the Liberals at 29 per cent.
Read more at the Toronto Star.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I ♥ CBC

I found this petition at Let Freedom Rain. It calls for Stephen Harper to raise funding for the CBC to forty dollars for every citizen, as recommended by the committee for Canadian Heritage. The CBC is a true Canadian channel that runs Canadian shows promoting Canadian culture. It is important to keep it afloat. With the culture war from the Tories, always blaming and bashing the CBC. With Sun Media and its parent company, Quebecor Media going out of its way to attack CBC, we need more support for our national broadcaster. Please add your name to the petition below.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  



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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ooh Glen Beck.

Glen beck a commentator who gives his rather colorful opinions on the air to the U.S. Him like much of Fox News's reporting report stuff that make absolutely no sense and with no facts. I think Glen Beck makes up a lot of his stuff. In fact Fareed Zakaria took Beck's idea's to the test. Needless to say Glen Beck's arguments didn't hold any water what so ever. He said that 10% of all Muslims in the world are terrorist. This may be easy for Beck to say, but is it true? Fareed Zakaria did something Beck probably doesn't do very often. He did the math saying that there are 1.57 trillion Muslims in the world If 10% are terrorist that means that there are 157 million Muslims terrorist. Which by the way is half the population in the U.S. Fareed than showed that there was only 11,000 terrorist attacks in the world. He even said that for every terrorist attack it took 100 people to make it so in total there are 1.1 million terrorist. Now not all terrorist are Muslim in fact Muslims terrorist attacks are one of the least active terrorist attack in the U.S and Europe, but to be greenest to Glen Back let's say all of them are Muslim. That would mean that 146 million Muslim terrorist aren't active. Only 1 in every 150 terrorist are active. That sounds way to far fetch. Glen Beck makes his numbers from thin air and has no fact to support him. I am glad we have people on what some might call the "left wing media" actually look at facts.

watch Fareed Zakaria here 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cancun: a Failure

No matter how much the three main Canadian parties may say that the deal reached in Cancun is a "breakthrough," the facts remain that it was a failure. Most of the agreement was already decided in Copenhagen and there still is no binding agreement on lowering emissions. This is necessary to stop climate change and its consequences. With the Republicans in power in the United States and the Conservatives ruling in Canada, it doesn't seem like there will be any accord any time soon. It would take a miracle to produce an agreement. We will have to wait for next year in South Africa.
The verdicts are in, and all parties are calling the Cancun climate talks a success although the meeting concluded with no binding agreement for reducing greenhouse gases.
The NDP’s environment critic Linda Duncan arrived in Ottawa early Sunday morning, just hours after the environmental summit had wrapped up, calling the agreement that was reached a “breakthrough.”
Read more at the Globe and Mail. 

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Label Wordle

I created a wordle out of all the labels used in The Happy Wanderer. Enjoy!

Is Harper out of his Mind?

What is Stephen Harper saying? At a press conference, he said that his government would support any binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gases. He also called for countries who aren't interested in coming to an agreement, to discuss with the others. This group would include Canada. The Conservatives don't care for climate change. I do not understand how Harper can say this, as if he cares for a binding agreement. Canada is one of the countries that does the most to obstruct these talks. Last year, we got multiple fossil of the day awards, given to the countries that do the most to stop progress on coming to an agreement and the Colossal Fossil award. Unless Harper is about to do an about-face on this issue, which would be a pleasant, but very unlikely surprise, I do not know how he can say this with a straight face. Oh yeah, he cannot.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pictured at an event in Nova Scotia on Friday, says he wants to see the world achieve a legally binding agreement to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (CBC)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada would support a binding international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases.
 Read more at CBC.
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Millianaires before Soliders.

A vote to start debating on whether gay people should be allowed to serve openly in the military was stopped by the Republicans in the senate. In fact some were actually in agreement that gay people should have the right to openly serve, but they think it's more important to make sure the millionaires in the U.S get to keep there tax cuts that the U.S can't afford. Oh yes the old Republican value respect our millionaires then our troops. Some Republicans believe that it is more important to keep the U.S in debt then to stop the injustice that gay people can't serve openly in the military. The U.S is so far behind when it comes to equality. Many other countries allow gay people to openly serve. Here is a list Albania, Argentine, Austria, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, U.K and Uruguay. Here is a list of Countries that the U.S is following: Brazil, Cuba, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Jamaica, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela and Yemen.

No China Tax

After mass debating with my blogger freind I soon started to question my stance on the whole China Tax. Although I still believe that China is to delebratly changing it's currency and should stop doing it I see that this China tax can't work without hearting consumers. I still believe we should help make our bussness more competative against China and that countries together should make the Chinesse currency stop being too minipulated. A China tax was only meant to be an idea to help Canadian bussness not a solution. I still believe that we should think about small subsidies or tax breaks for comapnies that employ here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New EKOS Poll

A new EKOS poll has come out confirming the same thing we have been seeing for the past few months: Conservatives with 33%, Liberals with 29%. This would probably give the Conservatives a narrow minority. Only 39.9% of people felt the government was going in the right direction. This poll continues to show the deadlock in Canadian politics. With five major parties, I think the votes will be split enough to ensure that there won't be majority governments for a long time. An interesting part of the poll showed that if only youths under 25 voted, the Green Party would get a whopping 34.8% support! The Liberals are in second place with 20.9%. The problem is youths don't vote in great numbers. It will only be a good thing if progressives can get young people to vote. This will mean more trouble for the Conservatives.

Read more at CBC.
EKOS Dec. 9 2010                                                                                                                            

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Obama Cracks on Tax Cuts.

Obama was taken over by the Republicans who by the way right now only can filibuster in the senate, so because of them the U.S will not reduce the deficit and will continue giving tax cuts to the richest and poorest Americans. This means that all Bush tax cuts will continue for 2 years.The president who I thought was going to make the change now and was going to stop kicking the tough legislation down the road is apparently misleading on his promise. Obama should use something that is called leadership and end the terrible tax cuts. The U.S should start doing stuff now. Two years of adding to the deficit will not help battle the deficit. I say Eliminate it clearly it didn't work if the greatest recession happened during them. Tax cuts aren't the answer. The U.S will eventually have no choice, but to increase taxes eventually just maybe to pay off the interest on the debt. The interest on the debt is a bigger budget item then the federal pensions. CBO projections say that at the year 2015 the interest on the debt will be 487 billion per year. Double what the government spends on income security in 2015 according to the CBO projections. The Obama compromise to extend tax cuts for two years fell in the house I hope gridlock stays on this issue until it is to late to do anything, and all tax rates go back to were they should be.
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Australia names a Forest after Jean Charest

Well, at least people like Jean Charest on the other side of the world.. In Australia, a forest outside of Adelaide is to be named the Jean Charest urban forest. He has won an annual prize given by the state of Southern Australia. Apparently, the decision to name the forest after Quebec's premier was unanimous. Charest received the prize based on Quebec's reduction of GHGs and Charest's "leadership." It's true that the Quebec's emissions did go down about one percent. But, some policies of the Quebec Liberals go against their pledge to reduce emissions. The MTQ plan to redesign the Turcot is one example of this brainless policy. The Quebec Liberals need to act on their pledge.

CANCUN, Mexico — While Canada is being raked over the coals at the UN Climate Summit, Quebec is picking up accolades: a forest in Australia is being named for the province's premier.
The Jean Charest urban forest, on the outskirts of Adelaide, is to highlight the premier's commitment to fighting climate change.
Read more at CTV. 


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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Lottery Of Life

There are many people in the world some are luckier then others. In fact I think many people should appreciate how lucky they are. In fact if you were living in the U.S in the projects it would be like winning a lottery. You are one of the luckiest people in the world in fact. Why you might ask? See not everyone can be born in the great Projects of the U.S. In fact it's kind of like a lottery. The lottery of life. See we don't decide were we are born. Every day 360,000 children are born in the world. If you were born in the projects of the U.S you would be very lucky person compared to the kid who was born in Ethiopia , the kid born in India or the kid born in Bangladesh. If let's say you could have a second chance at the lottery of life were would you be born? Odds are you would be born in a country not like your own. In facts odds are you won't be born in the great projects of the U.S and instead in the slums in India with no Government assistance. This brings a whole new definition to "someone else always has it worse", So if you could be born somewhere else where would you be born. Click here
I am sure you will be very thankful of living in this free democratic fair country of Canada, and appreciate how great you have it even if you live in the projects.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tories Continue War Against Gun Control

The Tories have once again continued their war against gun control, secretly this time. They quietly delayed implementation of gun tracing legislation that police say is vital to trace guns used in crimes. The former Liberal government was going to implement this legislation in April 2006, but the Conservatives delayed the regulations not once or even twice, but three times! These regulations are now delayed until December. The law would require firearms to have a marking that indicates the origin of the gum and the year it was imported. It`s not even an inconvenient type of gun control. I don`t really see how engraving this information on a gun can actually hurt anyone. It helps police be more efficient and solve crimes.
The Harper government has once again delayed implementation of regulations that police say they need to quickly trace guns used in crimes.
The government quietly posted a notice last Tuesday — one day before the firearms marking regulations were to have come into force — disclosing that implementation has been postponed until Dec. 1, 2012.
Read more at the Globe and Mail.

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Plane Stupid

A new advertisement by Plane Stupid sets out to show us the damage done by the aviation industry. Taking the plane emits more greenhouse gases than any other type of transport, except maybe the space shuttle. Congratulations to them on this fantastic commercial that won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

http://planestupid.com
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Monday, December 06, 2010

The China Tax.

Donald Trump is known for his show called the apprentice, but he also put his two cents on the economy and how to fix it. His plan is to have a tax on all Chinese made goods. This is a brilliant idea. When China is cheating by manipulating it's currency there is no way we should just say okay. No all Government's in the world should place a 25% tax on all Chinese made goods. Then use the money you get from the 25% tax and subsidise Canadian made goods, And if China doesn't stop manipulating it's currency then the tax should continue increasing. Some would say that this is protectionism, but the reality is that China is cheating and being protectionism. I say punish China for cheating and help people in Canada get jobs not China. If all countries did this not only would China see that they would actually get more money if they stop manipulating there currency, but the unemployment rate in Canada would lower as business here are making more money.(UPDATE) Maybe this was unclear, but the tax would be placed on the companies exporting the goods from China to Canada.

Republican's stubborn on taxes.

A vote to keep taxes for families making less than 250,000 or less than 1,000,000 both failed in the senate, but of course Republicans were keeping sure that the rich in the U.S don't pay taxes.  Republicans wanted to keep taxes for all people, and yet they have to understand that it was because of the tax cuts the surplus Clinton gave them disappeared. The only way for the U.S to go back to surplus soon is to be "Fiscally responsible" as some republicans say , but raising taxes is a no-no. Apparently the republicans haven't haered the quote by Georg Wilhelm "We learn from history that we do not learn from history." The republicans don't learn at all that taxes have to go back to the same levels as they were in the surplus years of the 1990's. Even with Obama cutting the tax break for the rich it won't matter, because the government won't make enough revenue to reduce the deficit enough to actually be in shooting distance of a surplus. In order to make the country viable for it's debts the country must go throw many sacrifices like increasing retirement age ,creating a national sales tax, cutting subsidies to fossil fuels, creating massive reforms in health, reducing it's military strgnth and eliminating the Bush tax cuts, and for the U.S to be able to go throw these changes properly give one last relief to the states and one last stimulus to the country that has no pork and actually give money to companies that produce jobs in America.


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Reagan is a Communist!

According to some Obama is a socialist for trying to increase taxes for the highest earners to 40%. If Americans call 40% Socialist then Regan was a communist. During the Reagan presidency taxes fell to 50%! That right 50%. Seems that Obama is more of a low tax tea party president than Regan. Taxes only went below 40% when Geroge H.W Bush came to power. Until the "Tax And Spend Liberal" Bill Clinton put the taxes as high as 40%. Clinton was also more Conservative than Reagan.  Until Bush the son put the taxes down to 35%. Now Obama wants to put the taxes up to 40% for the highest earners (I think all taxes should go back to Clinton era), But If republicans want to go back to the great Reagan taxes I say go ahead. I am sure they will be happy with the great savings they will get rather than Obama's "Socialsim" and get Reagans"communism". I think that some people are over doing this whole"socialism" In fact Obama even if he gets the taxes up to 40% and eliminates all bush tax cuts he would still be more conservative in taxes than Harper, because here in Canada we have the GST or HST that can get as high as 14% in the U.S there is no Goverment sales tax. Harper even put the GST on tourist items. This why I don't understand why Conservatives don't love Obama. he is way more to the right than Harper and Regan. American politics is very confusing.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Arctic is Hot

This year, Canada has experienced high average temperatures, especially in the Arctic. If the trend continues, it will be one of the hottest on record since 1850, just behind 1998 and 2005. We have to take caution here not to fall into the trap that so many do. Some people would take this and say, "temperatures are lower now than in 1998." But the reality is that it's the overall trend that matters and temperature has been increasing since the industrial age.

It's very important to make sure the Arctic doesn't melt along with its permafrost. Inside the permafrost there are gas bubbles composed of methane. This will do much more to raise temperatures than carbon dioxide. We should commit to reducing our emissions and preventing ourselves from sliding down a slippery slope.
In a report released Thursday at the climate summit in Cancun, the United Nations agency said the global average temperature in 2010 was tracking to be one of the three warmest since readings began to be taken in 1850, just behind 1998 and 2005.
Read more at the Globe and Mail.
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Friday, December 03, 2010

Snakes on Bus

Fares are going to be raised in Montreal once again. It won't be a lot, but they have been raised non-stop since 2002 at three times the rate of inflation. The one thing an outside analyst proposed when he examined our transit system was to get more money from advertising. Some people propose renaming stations or metro lines, but I think that's going too far. The STM's plan to have companies sponsor lines in exchange for a small logo on maps should be examined, but there's another option that hasn't really been discussed.

Full-body advertisements on buses like this one in Copenhagen would bring in a lot more money. This money saved could go towards improvements so that we would not need to pay as much for them. I've seen a few of these types of advertisements, but not many. I'd like to see more and save more. In other news, vote for the design of the new Montreal metro cars.
The Copenhagen ad agency, working for the city zoo, took “very high res pictures” of all sides of a “normal city bus” and melded them with a picture of a very large boa constrictor, said Schack.
Read more at the Toronto Star.
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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Quebecor Soldiers

Norman Spector wrote today about whether the journalists working for Quebecor their "soldiers" or not, whether they would take an unbiased view against everything. In one anecdote, it was one journalist's boss who was forced to do write articles in the commercial interests of Quebecor. If this is so, then we should be ready to accept the same things from Sun TV News. It will be biased and it will serve the commercial interests of it and its boss Piere Karl Peladeau.
At that point, his JdeM colleagues advised him to “choose his fights carefully and to make pretend.” And he did just that by pretending to phone the protagonists, and later to tell his editors that he’d come up with nothing….
Read more at the Globe and Mail.
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Bush tax cuts up for debate.

Obama old plan was to extend tax cuts for the people making 250,000 or less, but the Republicans want to keep the tax rate for everyone. Now it seems that middle class tax payers aren't going to have to worry about a tax increase considering that there seems to be a general consesses, but what I find confusing is that the Republicans want to spend billions on Bush tax cuts for the rich, and want to cut spending on what some Tea party cadidate calls useless. Like spending money on education, science, Uneployment benifits, Health care, Social security. When will they realize that in order to make the country reduce it's enormouse deficit you need to actually stop all Bush era taxes, stop corporation loopholes, make minor cuts and make reforms like a real uneviresal health care and a national Phramacare system. With Republicans in the house and having major fillibuster power in the senate non of this is going to get done, and I can see in 2012 some Republican candidate saying that Obama didn't cut enough. The U.S looks right now very hard to fix, but I still remain hopeful that at some time taxes will eventually rise for everyone, and better now than at a point when taxes will need to rise just to pay off the intrest on the debt.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Limits on CSIS are Good

I agree with Ignatieff when he says that the limits put on CSIS when combatting terrorism. These agencies should not be able to invade our personal freedoms. The intelligence agency should not be able to do all it wants. If there were no limits, CSIS would probably torture people for information and listen in to our private conversations. Ignatieff is right about this one. Our freedom must be protected and that's why there are so many limits on what CSIS can do.
“I’ll just say this: I’m proud of our Charter, I’m proud of our courts. I’m proud of the fact that there are limits on what agencies and our government can do,” Ignatieff said. “That’s always been our position. We’re a country of freedom. We’re a country of democracy.”
Read more at the Toronto Star.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Free Speech Shield

Pearl Eliadis exposes the right's argument of free speech. There should be some exceptions to free speech, such as hate speech or defamation. It's obvious why defamation is not legal: because it's not fair to people when false claims are made against them. Hate speech too. It incites violence against certain groups. Speech like this should not be tolerated and that's why we have the courts: to remove the  "rights shield" for hate speech and defamation. And it's not censoring: these are fair limitations on free speech. As long as you don't accuse someone without any basis and with false information or promote violence against a certain group, you're free. That's fine with me.
This does not make the Superior Court of Justice a "censor." What it does is to remove the "rights-shield" from defamatory speech, thus protecting Vigna's rights and, for that matter, the rights of anyone similarly situated. The point, to borrow a phrase, is that people's reputations and rights should not become roadkill on the path to free speech.
Read more at the Ottawa Citizen.

Let's Follow the U.S. Baird Tells Us.

Are new environment minister John Baird told Canadians that he wants to make are environmental regulation equal to the U.S. Which is kind of saying we are going try follow the diet plan of the guy who goes to a fast food chain every single day of the week. Canada is going way behind compared to other countries in Europe. The U.S and Canada are doing terrible when it comes to the environment, but at least Obama is trying to do something. Harper is just going to follow whatever the U.S does, but if Obama imposes a carbon or a Cap and trade system I wonder if Harper will follow. The thing is Harper knows that the U.S congress doesn't have enough support to do any major changes, so he will just make the U.S lack of action as an excuse. This is stupid don't wait for the U.S to do something do something by yourself. Harper be a little creative or Canada will find someone who can.

Mr. Baird noted that the new regulations apply only to new plants and major expansions. To be effective, regulations will have to require that existing plants start to adapt to the best available technology, he said.




It now appears that efforts to pass a U.S. bill that would create a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse-gas emissions are doomed, so the Obama administration has taken steps toward regulating polluters with its own executive power, through the Environmental Protection Agency.


Read more here

By-Election Results

I didn't predict this one. Then again, I'm no expert predictor. At this time in the polls, I'm going to call it. The Tories have won in their safe seat. Kevin Lamoureux won in Winnepeg-North and Julian Fantino won in Vaughan. I don't think many of us saw this coming. Of course, I don't think that much weight should be put on these by-elections, but this could dampen the morale of the NDP. They were ousted in a safe seat. Then again, also were the Liberals. The real winner in this is Julian Fantino and the Tories. For the Liberals and the NDP, I do not know what to make of this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

By-Elections

Today, three by-elections will be held. One in Ontario and two in Manitoba. The two in Manitoba seem like they will stay Conservative and NDP. However, the one in Vaughan could go either way. Of course, I'm no fan of Julian Fantino who has run a peek-a-boo campaign, not showing up for public debates. With so little data on this level, it will be hard to predict the outcome. I wouldn't be surprised if either side, Liberal or Conservative wins by a big margin. I would caution against taking the outcome of these by-elections as a test of the leadership skills of the leaders of each party. I think the campaign mostly focused on the candidates rather than the leaders. I will watch for the results of the three by-elections.
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Conservatives Complain

The Calgary Herald reports that Sarah Palin complained of bias in the media when they reported on her telling radio listeners to "stand with our North Korean allies."She said that newspapers did not need to make it into a big headline. Well, of course they do, just as they do to any other well-known person. It seems to be very often that the Tories complain of media bias. Whenever something bad happens to them it's "Communist CBC's" fault. Sure media has some bias, but how many times Conservatives complain of it, you'd think that we were living in a left-wing state. It's time for them to take responsibility for their actions.
U.S. conservative standard bearer Sarah Palin has accused critics of unfairly singling her out after a slip of the tongue reignited debate over her grasp of world affairs.
Read more at the Calgary Herald.

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Biofue vs. Regualr gasoline.


Biofuel and regular gasoline are both two types of energy used for fueling cars. Energy is the ability to do work. In this case energy is the ability to move a car. Regular Gasoline is a non-renewable resource that many people tend to use for their car fuel. Biofuel is a renewable resource that comes from corn that farmers produced. Currently there have been many discussions about the two on which one is a better car fuel.

Biofuel has been seen as the solution for future car fuel, but in order to make biofuel you need energy. Meaning in order to make more Corn for biofuel you need to use energy to process the corn into a fuel, and currently most of the energy used to make this fuel is coal and natural gas which are non-renewable resources. The highest amount of corn based biofuel used in a car can only go up to 85% biofuel and 15% gasoline. Biofuel has a EROEI ratio of 1.34. (EROEI is the ratio of how much energy is invested to how much energy you get out) This means that for every unit of energy used to make the fuel you only get 1.34 unit of biofuel, so if you wanted to be really be green in using biofuel as the energy to make the biofuel rather than coal or natural gas you would be keeping ¾ of the biofuel you made this year into making more for the next year. Only ¼ of the biofuel you made would actually go to be made as a fuel. This shows that using biofuel as car fuel can’t work as it takes too much energy just to make it without using nonrenewable resources. Some would say that oil isn’t a renewable resource and we can’t keep using it. Yes that is true there will not be enough oil eventually to continue being a fuel or an energy source, but even if you convert every single field in the in the U.S into a corn field for biofuel you will not have enough biofuel to run the U.S. Oil may not be able to be an energy source in the future, but corn can’t even be the source of energy today.



Biofuel made from corn has been seen to be the solution to global warming. The theory is that if you use biofuel you will have a zero CO2 output in total even if a car running on biofuel emits CO2, but any CO2 realest when used is taken away because the CO2 was sucked up when the biofuel was a plant. This argument doesn’t hold water. When you actually put it to the test in the real world you see in order to have Biofuel you need to plant more crops, but where? If you take Grassland in the U.S, and change it into a field of Corn for biofuel CO2 even before you start planting will be released. Grass and trees stores Carbon in them in fact the amount of Carbon in Plants across the world stores 3 times the amount of Carbon in the atmosphere , so when plants are cut there Carbon goes out and is transformed into CO2 that goes out into the atmosphere. Meaning when you change grassland to a field of corn 134 Metric tons of CO2 will be released per hector. In order to actually pay off this 134 metric tons of CO2 it will take 93 years of using that land for Biofuel and nothing else. Changing jungles or rain forest into corn fields will take centuries to pay off the carbon debt. By this time there won’t be any oil left to mix the oil with biofuel. This proves that biofuel isn’t as green as it claims to be. Some would say that Oil is no greener. True, but if we instead plant more trees rather than making more corn fields we could have more forest sucking up more CO2 than the amount Cars create running on Oil.

In the future we should look at different sources of biofuel like cellulose a biofuel that comes from waste products, but having looked at the impacts that corn made biofuel can do environmentally, and seeing how inefficiently it is corn based biofuel is defiantly not the answer to Global warming or a proper alternative to regular gasoline.




Sunday, November 28, 2010

I See Bias All Around.

Unlike my partner Doggy and Owner I think that there is nothing wrong with having SUN TV come to Canada, Because every publication every news channel every radio network that I know has some sort of bias. That is why rather than trying to find perfect robots to do the news why not just have a sample of all kinds of news. Meaning Sun TV should come to Canada, but since Sun TV will be subsidised by Quebecor's. I think like the CBC they should try to be non biased. Anyways Sun TV isn't even on the air, so how do we know it is really all that biased. I say "don't judge a book by it's cover" let it go on the air, and watch it. If it is too biased for your taste don't watch it or make your own YouTube account about Sun TV biases like Liberal Viewer's. We should be given all around opinions, because there is more than just one side to a story.I know people who think Libertarians are insane, but to them you are crazy. Tell me honestly what's wrong with SUN TV .I do think that there should be some sort of limit on how Biased you can be if the broadcast is subsidized by tax payers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Australia Thinking About the Future

In the Last Australian election just months ago the Labor party was tied in the election results with the Liberals, and after some co operation the Green party and some other ind pendants decided to support Ms. Gillard to create a Government. Since then People have been motioning that in order to keep the Green party with her she needs to put a carbon tax in place. Now I like that idea very much, because it is way better than the former Prime Minister's plan Kevin Rudd who was trying for a carbon trading system with a latter on addition of a carbon Tax. Now the Labor party is looking into the idea of a carbon tax, and might be going for it. This i find great now in a long while a another country could join the Carbon tax countries. Countries like India, South Korea, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Costa Rica and in States or provinces like Maryland, California, Colorado, British Columbia and Quebec. I hope to Australia on that list shortly.

New Ads in Vaughan

The Liberal Party of Canada has released a new Italian-language attack ad in Vaughan. Notice that there isn't many personal attacks in it except for calling the Conservatives arrogant. It then goes on to prove it by showing how much money the Tories spent on prisons and the G20 summit among other things.When compared to the Conservative attack ads, the Liberal ones attack what the Conservatives do, instead of personal attacks.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fox News North Approved!

SunTV news has been approved by the CRTC. The right wing propaganda will continue to be spread throughout the country. We can already see this being done in the United States where Fox News warps, twists and takes out of context words that Democrats say, while projecting Republicans in a good light. Here, I can expect that SunTV News will praise the Conservatives while attacking the other parties. Likewise, it will accuse other media of "left-wing bias," a Conservative favorite.
Sun TV is now set to launch in mid-March, said Luc Lavoie, the head of the project. The launch was originally set for Jan. 1, but technical delays including later-than-expected equipment deliveries have slowed things down somewhat, he said.
The upcoming channel has been surrounded by some controversy, including an online activist group that objected to its launch.
Read more at the Globe and Mail.
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Most Americans don't mind body scaners.

A new poll done by USA Today has shown that 71% of Americans said that they wouldn't be angry or would be bothered going throw the scanner. 71% of Americans also believe that the scanners are worth to prevent terrorist attacks. Clearly we need to keep the scanners. They help protect us and all passanger. Although they may be a bother it helps keep us safe. In fact national opt out day was a plan in the U.S to try and make havoc by making people on the business airplane travel day opt out of the scanners and to the pat downs to stall flights. In fact barely anyone did this, and it was seen as a total failure. I understand that we think that the scanners are bothersome, but the best way to go about it is just go throw the scanners and get on with are lives.

Despite heavy coverage by the media and calls for a boycott against the procedures, a USA Today/Gallup survey indicates that 71 percent of Americans who consider themselves air travelers say that a potential loss of personal privacy from such screening is worth it as a method to prevent terrorist acts, with 27 percent disagreeing.



According to the poll, 18 percent of people who say they've flown at least twice in the past year say going through a full body scan would make them angry, with 24 percent saying they would be bothered but not angry and 57 percent saying they would not be angered.
Read more here

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Coca-Cola Metro?

The STM has said it will open bidding on sponsoring metro lines shortly. Some people have said that there is already enough advertising in the metro. However, the STM is always running a deficit year to year and the bill is always paid by taxpayers. With more advertising, will come more money that can be spent on better service, having a cellular network underground and screen with real-time information on the next departure. This is also the area in which a foreign analysis of our metro said we had to work on: putting more advertising in the metros. I would stop short of renaming whole metro lines and stations, but the city's proposal sounds like a good idea. I would also like to see more metro cars and buses with full-body advertising.
Montreal’s métro lines will be not be renamed after corporations or change their colours, and stations will not be plastered with advertising if the Société de transport de Montréal allows the private sector to “sponsor” lines, the STM said Tuesday.
“It will have to be discreet or we won’t do it,” STM executive director Yves Devin told reporters.
Read more at the Montreal Gazette.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No Action From Harper On Climate Change.

Harper is now being accused of lobbying for weaker targets at the next climate summit. We all know Stephen Harper doesn't care for the environment. In Copenhagen  Harper got the fossil of the year award, because he was the the person who did the most to try and stop a treaty from being signed. Now Harper is doing it again. He will want to make sure that no agreement is meet. He wants to make sure that we continue to wait for the next meeting to even start talking about a treaty. Harper is hopeless on the environment he has no plan no platform on the environment. Stephen Harper has to get kicked out of office, so we can actually have a government that will at least do something about the environment, and not give Canada the fossil of the year award again.

Read more here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Long Gun Registry is Cheap

The long gun registry doesn't actually cost as much as the Tories say it does. If we kill the long gun registry, there would be savings of only 1.5 million dollars annually. That's just over four cents per person per year! It's pretty obvious that we can afford to give up four cents in exchange for more safety. The numbers show that we only spend 11 million dollars each year on maintaining the whole firearms registry. In fact, licensing took up about 5/6 of the Canadian Firearms Centre's budget. Of course, the truth is now revealed. The gun registry does not actually cost billions of dollars to maintain, but only a bit over ten million. I think that is a fair price to pay for enhanced safety.
An independent cost-benefit analysis of Conservative legislation to kill the federal long-gun registry has found the public savings could amount to just over $1.5-million annually – and that there are only two good reasons to scrap the program.
One is a reduced burden on gun owners. The other is a lighter load for taxpayers.
Read more at the Globe and Mail.