Friday, April 30, 2010

Rare Good Analysis of UK Election, Familiar to Canadians

A Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and English election

TEA movement really about the right to consume

A few too many coincidences have been appearing in the rhetoric coming out of the demi-political phantasm now self-identifying as the TEA Party. It becomes readily apparent that the consumption of resources without the bounds of government (US, right?) is a divinely-endowed entitlement that should be unrestricted and guided only by one's own personal responsibility, caveat emptor.

As oil coats the Gulf of Mexico with the results of human greed it seems increasingly important to note that if government was really the problem, corporate independence would likely have ended life on Earth by now. The Ugliest Americans are those that insist that, "Time is Money" and that the ends justify the means. These people aren't patriots, they're gluttons using language that enables their insatiable desire to have more, consume more, and weigh more than the other poor slobs. Or, in other words, these people are just crackers for their TEA.

Myths and Legends Illustrations

- source

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bob Eggleton

Regardless of how familiar you are with the artist you've likely already seen his haunting portraits on the covers of Brian Lumley's Necroscope series of books.

See more at



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Camera Meeting Leaks ≈ ZERO: Ned Franks, Fabulist, HoC Denigrator, Executive Apologist

Given Franks is a political "scientist" and he's always banging on about committee leaks, could someone ask him, re. Leaks from IN CAMERA committee sessions:
- How many? (I know of NONE: Dosanjh = no actual info, just tenor of mtg)
- If any, when? (broken down by decades - how many in recent decades?)
- Percentage of in camera sessions producing (public) leaks? (ie. leaky sessions divided by total number of in camera sessions)
- as above, but broken down by decades.
- Number of leaks from in camera meetings dealing with national security?
- Percentage producing leaks?
- When?

I know of no substantive leaks from in camera sessions, at all. There may have been, but when, in recent decades? Even if one counted all the leaks from in camera sessions from Confederation onwards, the percentage would be infinitessimal. And in recent decades? Since WW2? And on actual matters of war? Were there any during WW2 or Korean War? Or peacekeeping missions? Or NATO missions? Etc.? Not only are members honourable, the political cost of such leaks is a staggering disincentive, and there have been so few, if any, AS TO EQUAL ZERO!


The number of leaks from in camera sessions is zero, or so infinitessimal as to equal zero over Confederation, and probably outright zero in recent decades.

But certainly, on national security matters, the number & percentage is zero, in recent decades, if not before.

I think Franks is full of shit and he keeps repeating this shit over and over, and no-one ever asks, "uh, professor, can you give me examples? How often? How many? When? On national security matters?"

By repeating this crap, Franks the Fabulist denigrates Parliament and makes himself the Executive's apologist.

In his desire to present himself as some sort of all-knowing seer of parliamentary democracy, to promote himself by associating himself with the successes of his more tough-minded onetime students (who knew better than to remain in academia and turn into senile old Queenies), and promoting these dangerous fictions of MPs' untrustworthiness, he harms democracy, Parliament and Canada. Lee & Milliken, who have actually been in politics, know better.

Perhaps worst of all, this supposed scientist of politics, lacking all science, is actually making it MORE difficult to come to an arrangement between Parliament and the Executive re. the unredacted documents. His utterances weaken Parliament's position and provide comfort to an Executive whose demonstrable default is contempt for Parliament, de facto, if not yet de jure. For Milliken's suggestion to have any chance of working, given the Executive's behaviour, Parliament's negotiating position must be as strong as possible.

Franks is wrong on the facts, wrong on the theory, and wrong on the politics.

His behaviour reinforces every negative prejudice one might have about Queens' social "scientists" and what I can only call a sort of pitiful colonial desire to ape their British betters by going even further in their imitation and unconsciously adopting "muddling throughism" as an actual philosophy, seemingly unaware that when the means become the ends, one is no longer muddling through but simply stuck in ever more awful, inextricable muddles (cf. British Empire, UK's extrication therefrom). Their Faculty Council must be engaged in one long, endless meeting, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, year after year, as all the old Queenies disappear into the abyss of their own process.

Stupid, senile old Queenie.

Gainey, Ronald King, the Habs & I vs. The World

I said Habs in five or six- off by one or two. Pas grave. Y a que moi, King, Gainey et les boys qui y ont cru. Quant aux autres, la CBC et surtout, Bergeron le looser et les autres gros tas de merde négatifs sans cesse à télé et à radio, mangez de la marde! Pis, on va donner du crédit à Gainey, l'un de ces jours?! Temps durs pour nos p'tits grincheux mesquins de chez nous.

Ca sent la coupe! ;)

Horror Film Laserdisc Covers

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pokemon Of The Damned

- source

Cons Trusted Daniel Paillé, former Industry Minister, with Sensitive Review of Polling

Stephen Harper & Vic Toews thought Daniel Paillé, former QC Industry Minister, was reliable enough to lead sensitive review of public opinion research practices across government (with some interesting results):

Canada's New Government Appoints Independent Advisor to review public opinion research practices

Canada’s New Government is delivering on its commitment to implement the Federal Accountability Act
For immediate release
April 11, 2007, Ottawa (Ontario) — The Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board announced today the appointment of Mr. Daniel Paillé as an Independent Advisor who will conduct a review of public opinion research (POR) practices across government.
“Public opinion research in an important tool that allows us to better understand the needs and expectations of Canadians to deliver appropriate policies, programs and services,” said Minister Fortier. “Canada’s New Government is listening to Canadians and taking action. Questions have been raised about how the previous government used this research tool and the Independent Advisor will ensure that public opinion research practices are open, transparent, and fair, as well as provide value for Canadian taxpayers.”
“The Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan are helping restore Canadians’ trust in Government and the democratic process,” said the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board. “The appointment of the Independent Advisor is an another important step in the implementation of this important priority to make government more accountable."
The Independent Advisor will review documents related to government public opinion research practices for the period of 1990 to March 31, 2003. More specifically, the review will be conducted on public opinion research contract files; program files and records; public opinion research reports; reviews of public opinion research practices and management carried out by central agencies and departments (i.e., reports, action plans and follow-up reports); and reports of the Auditor General that have been tabled in Parliament. The Independent Advisor will also address issues raised, directly or indirectly, in Chapter 5 of the Auditor General’s November 2003 report, and determine whether further action is required. Appointed for a term of six months, Mr. Paillé will report to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

This announcement is part of the ongoing implementation of the Federal Accountability Act, which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006, and its accompanying Action Plan. Through the Act and Action Plan, Canada’s New Government has brought forward specific measures to strengthen accountability in Government. More information on the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan is available at
Backgrounder and biographical notes for Mr. Daniel Paillé are attached.
- 30 -
Ce texte est également disponible en français.
For further information, media may contact:
Jacques C. Gagnon
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Media Relations
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Mike Storeshaw
Director of Communications
Office of the President of the Treasury Board
Robert Makichuk
Chief, Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Independent Advisor on Public Opinion Research
The Government of Canada uses public opinion research (POR) and advertising to listen to and communicate with Canadians. They are vehicles through which Government captures public awareness and concerns, remains focused on the needs of citizens, and reaches Canadians with information on its programs and services.
As part of its Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan, the Government is appointing an Independent Advisor on Public Opinion Research for a term of six months.
The Independent Advisor is to provide independent advice to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services on public opinion research practices of departments and agencies of the Government of Canada. The mandate is with respect to questions raised, directly or indirectly, by Chapter 5 of the November 2003 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the House of Commons with regard to the Government's public opinion research practices. Without duplicating past or ongoing work of the Auditor General, the Independent Advisor will:

Take into account the relevant policies and directives, review documents related to Government public opinion research practices for the period 1990 to March 31, 2003, including:

public opinion research contract files, program files and records;
public opinion research reports;
reviews of public opinion research practices and management carried out by central agencies and departments (e.g. reports, action plans and follow-up reports);
reports of the Auditor General that have been tabled in Parliament.

Consult with appropriate Government of Canada officials and seek the views as required from private sector public opinion research service providers.

Determine whether issues raised, directly or indirectly, in Chapter 5 of the November 2003 Report of the Auditor General of Canada with regard to the Government's public opinion research practices require further inquiry.

Provide to the Minister, within six months after the date of appointment, a report in both official languages which the Minister will subsequently make public that:

establishes whether there are issues of public interest relating to the Government of Canada's management of public opinion research that remain to be addressed;
advises on whether further action is required;
does not express any conclusion or recommendation regarding civil or criminal liability of any person.

Other measures to improve transparency, fairness and value for money in POR and advertising include:

prohibiting verbal-only POR reports;
requiring that departments and agencies, within six months of completing POR fieldwork, send to Library and Archives Canada a final written report on research findings and require that POR contract information and executive summaries of completed projects be posted on the Internet for ease of public access;
requiring that the bidding process in the contracting of Government advertising and POR be open, fair, transparent, and competitive;
adopting a new definition of advertising to distinguish it from services such as public relations and events management; and
instructing departments and agencies to include advertising and POR activities and processes in their risk-based audits.

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) coordinates and purchases public opinion research on behalf of departments for the Government of Canada. PWGSC’s coordination role is one of support to departments, through assistance and advice for public opinion research requirements.
Daniel Paillé is a guest professor in the finance department at the École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) in Montreal, where he gives some courses on corporate finance, ethics and regulations.
He has a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Quebec at Montreal, a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from HEC Montreal and an honorary degree from the University of Montreal.
Throughout the course of his career, he has worked in both government and corporate environments.
He was Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Canam Group Inc., a public company, from 2001 to 2005; First Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of the Société générale de financement, a government corporation, from 1996 to 2001; Senior Vice-President, Acquisition and Business Development, at Quebecor Inc., a public corporation, from 1992 to 1994; and Executive Vice-President, Private Equity, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, from 1988 to 1992.
Daniel Paillé was Minister of Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology and a member of the Treasury Board in the Government of Quebec from 1994 to 1996. From 1976 to 1988, he was a Tax Expert; Financial Advisor to the Minister; Director of Treasury; Director General, Public Debt and Treasury; and Director General, Financial Management of Government Corporations and the Privatization Program within the Government of Quebec.
Daniel Paillé has been a board member of many corporations and member of audit committees. He was also a member and Chairman of the Board of Directors at l’Accueil Bonneau in Montreal, as well as a Member of the National Assembly for the riding of Prévost from 1994 to 1996.

Serge Ménard, Ret. Navy Lt., was QC Attorney General, Minister of Justice & Public Safety

Serge Ménard lieutenant in the navy: "Joined the navy as an officier-cadet within the framework of the UNDT (University Naval Training Division). Obtained his officer's certificate in 1962. Promoted lieutenant in 1964. He served only during summers in Halifax, Hamilton and Victoria. In Montreal, in 1965, he was Executive Officer of the UNDT. Retired 1968."

Serge Ménard, LAWYER, was also Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Minister of Public Safety for six years.

HoC (Opposition) have OBLIGATION to do their Duty! The Line To Remember from Milliken


Play fair. But play true. You have a fundamental duty. Or you have no meaning.

Good ruling. As expected.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't Fall for #cpcdistraction from Order of Parliament

Better hashtags? I'm sure someone smarter will think of one. I myself have fallen for the #blamefrankgraves & #pitifulezralevant distractions. It's hard not to. But they are throwing the kitchen sink now, even trying to reignite the abortion debate the day before the Speaker's Ruling. They've already tried and are still trying to whip up Guergis-Jaffer further. They know their Graves to committee stunt has no chance: another distraction. Along with further document dumps. Etc. That just goes to show how worried they are. Don't fall for it. Keep your eyes on the ball. Parliament. Democracy. vs. The Control Freak Who Would Be King.

Yo Pundits Fulminating vs. C-232: Check Out Your Lovely Followers

My reply to Silver applies to all of you:
Why, Mr. Silver, look at all the lovely people leaving lovely, Solonic comments. What a surprise, eh? Who could have imagined your post would appeal most to these kinds of lovely people, with their admirable views of the world. I'm sure, like Seinfeld, that we might well find, upon deeper inquiry, that these veritable Pericletans were also prejudiced against dental care professionals, anti-dentites as it were.

Good luck with your Steyn, Levant and anti-dentite posse. They make your argument much more convincing.

Best, EFL

PS. I thought of predicting this when I saw the post appear, but I thought I'd give it a couple of hours, to see if I would be happily disproven. Sadly, unsurprisingly, no.

Paperback Covers

Cdn Tweeters: if #nickcleggsfault then #blamefrankgraves?

Perhaps this might inspire a similar Cdn hashtag, #blamefrankgraves ? h/t gmacofglebe & mikewoollatt

Gardner Agrees With Godin, HoC & CBA On Bilingual SCC

Gardner: "Bilingualism weighs heavily in any appointment, as it should."
Canadian Bar Association: "The CBA adds that bilingualism should be one aspect of merit in selecting candidates for appointment to the Supreme Court."
As for the rest, Gardner might want to timewarp from 1969 to 2010, as Hébert noted, and as Comartin made clear: "I had better put this on the record. I sat through the last four appointments to the Supreme Court. The last two rounds have been the prairie provinces and then the Maritimes. We're sworn to secrecy in sitting on those panels, but the reality is that there were more than enough candidates—I don't think I'm disclosing any surprises here—from both of those jurisdictions to meet that high test of bilingualism. I don't think I can say anything more than that without going into the specifics of their credentials, but there was not a problem with having a significant number of qualified candidates."

Further to that, I recommend the illiterate brush up on their first language skills, or get someone to read to them, and remedy their ignorance by actually doing some research and reading the debates. I conclude by quoting Mauril Bélanger:
I hope we can all agree that our society is not static; we live in a society and a world that is constantly evolving. Everything changes. We hope that it is for the better. Pressure leads to change, and we always hope that it improves the situation. So it is not surprising that our laws reflect this desire to improve our society and to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.

Today we are looking at the results of enacting of Canada's Official Languages Act in 1969, over 40 years ago. In those 40 years, the application of this legislation has continuously evolved, so much so that no one now opposes the notion that Canada has two official languages, French and English. That just shows how our society and our federation are always evolving.

In 1988, the Conservative government at the time, led by the right hon. Brian Mulroney, supported by the official opposition at the time, even made two amendments to this act. Furthermore, in 2005, another amendment was made by the Liberal government of the day, supported by the official opposition, which was led by the current Prime Minister of Canada. This shows that on both sides of the House, whether it is a Liberal government with a Conservative opposition, or a Conservative government with a Liberal opposition, we all seem to agree on the nature of this linguistic duality and its evolving nature.

I encourage all parties in the House to support my colleague's bill, which is fully in line with our country's evolution.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Contempt Ruling Coming - Jugement d'outrage au Parlement bientôt

Absolute Must Read: Blues Clair's "Levant Really Pounds"

I cannot recommend enough the Blues Clair post Levant Really Pounds (I left a couple of comments). If we could get every Canadian to see Levant, official Con Party Spokesperson, in action, and get them to read the adulatory comments by Cons so as to make them understand the bizarro world Cons inhabit, the HarperCons would be done like dinner. The more who see this, the better. Same as Steyn. With enemies like these, who needs friends?

Bilingual SCC? Honesty Requires Research, esp. Reading the Debates

Text: "In addition, any person referred to in subsection (1) may be appointed a judge who understands French and English without the assistance of an interpreter." Canadian Bar Association Says Bilingualism to be Considered Part of Merit Criteria.

Committee 17/06/09, Fraser vs. Major: "Again, I have a great deal of respect for Judge Major, but I'm not sure that somebody who doesn't speak the other language knows what he doesn't know. Donald Rumsfeld once talked about the known knowns and the unknown knowns. I don't know how a unilingual person can evaluate how important language knowledge is as a professional competence. By its very nature, if you don't speak another language, then you don't understand what you would understand if you did speak that other language."

Committee 30/09/09, NB Law Society & Comartin: "I had better put this on the record. I sat through the last four appointments to the Supreme Court. The last two rounds have been the prairie provinces and then the Maritimes. We're sworn to secrecy in sitting on those panels, but the reality is that there were more than enough candidates—I don't think I'm disclosing any surprises here—from both of those jurisdictions to meet that high test of bilingualism. I don't think I can say anything more than that without going into the specifics of their credentials, but there was not a problem with having a significant number of qualified candidates."

Committee 15/06/09- Godin, Fédération des associations de juristes d'expression française de common law inc., Michel Doucet, lawyer & professor at University of Moncton, Christian Michaud, constitutional language rights lawyer with Cox & Palmer. Doucet:
I have had the opportunity to appear before the Supreme Court on at least seven occasions. As I've explained, and the interpreter will certainly remind me of this today, I tend to speak quickly. In the week after I had argued a case before the Supreme Court, I had an opportunity to hear the English version of my arguments on CPAC, and I understood why I had lost the case five to four. The translation did not allow me to understand my own words. I wonder how justices can fully understand the matter at hand when they have to go through translation in which significant aspects of a submission are missing. When you win 9:0, there is no problem, but when you lose 5 to 4, you automatically wonder whether you should not have argued in English. If all unilingual anglophone lawyers in Canada had to argue their cases before one or two unilingual francophone justices on the Supreme Court and therefore have to go through interpretation, I am sure that Mr. Godin's amendment would have been passed long ago.
Final Committee Debate & Vote, 04/11/09, Comartin: "Our role as parliamentarians is to pass laws that are in the interests of our communities and our citizens. They're our absolute, primary, first consideration. It seems to me that every Canadian has the right to expect that if they have a case that ends up in front of the Supreme Court, it will be heard by judges who understand fully what is being said."
Murphy: "Mr. Lemay makes the good point that one can learn the language in the course of their legal career. Let's talk about the top nine jurists or legal people in the country. Surely they have the acumen to at least learn to understand the language. For a Supreme Court judge to be on the bench, it is not a case of proficiency in oral capability, but in understanding."

Senate Introduction 20/04/10, Tardif - "Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec, stated his position and emphasized the following:
Our laws are a consolidation of who we are in all aspects of our lives in terms of our culture, our values and our choice of society. They also reflect our history. The law is a synthesis, in a way, of what we are. We have to make a connection between law and language. And knowledge of language is more than just knowing a few words. Rather, it is more like knowing . . . an interpretation or a translation. To know a language is to know a culture, a reality. Those who are called upon to interpret that reality and to make decisions that will have a very significant impact on our lives must know that reality through our language. That is what creates very good judges right from the outset, more than their knowledge of the law, the sections of the Criminal Code or the articles of the Civil Code. That is what we expect of those who sit on that bench and make decisions that will have a very significant impact on our lives.
House 2nd Reading 23/03/09, Godin: "Make history by joining me and the following organizations, as well as all Canadians who have come out in favour of such a measure: the Canadian Bar Association, the Association des juristes d'expression française du Canada, the Young Bar Association of Montreal, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, the Quebec Community Groups Network, the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Fédération franco-ténoise, the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, the Société nationale de l'Acadie, the Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, the National Assembly of Quebec, the Premier of Quebec and the Bloc Québécois, which wrote me to say it will support this bill. I certainly appreciate that gesture." (NB. And Canadian Parents for French, among others)

House 2nd Reading, cont. 26/05/09 Murphy: "That is the first and best reason why we should follow this bill. There is another reason though and it is the best evidence rule. This is a common law-created rule which suggests that from the 18th century forward, the best evidence is to be used. What does that mean? It means that the best the nature of the case will allow is the quote from the 1745 decision of the English courts. What better evidence can there be before a judge of the highest appellate court in this country, who wants to interpret what is being said, other than to understand exactly what is being said? It goes to the very nature of advocacy before our highest court."

House Vote at 2nd Reading to Refer to Committee
Passed 140-133 (Opposition For, Cons Against)

House Debate at 3rd Reading 19/03/10 D'Amours: "We are not talking about introducing a fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh language at the Supreme Court. We are talking about this country's two official languages: French and English. Both French and English-speaking people in my riding expect me to address them in their own language. People expect that much of a private member. They expect it even more when they go before the highest court in the land. They expect that they will be addressed in their own language and that the final judgment will be made on the basis of the message that was conveyed."

House Debate at Third Reading Cont. 29/03/10 Bélanger:
I hope we can all agree that our society is not static; we live in a society and a world that is constantly evolving. Everything changes. We hope that it is for the better. Pressure leads to change, and we always hope that it improves the situation. So it is not surprising that our laws reflect this desire to improve our society and to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.

Today we are looking at the results of enacting of Canada's Official Languages Act in 1969, over 40 years ago. In those 40 years, the application of this legislation has continuously evolved, so much so that no one now opposes the notion that Canada has two official languages, French and English. That just shows how our society and our federation are always evolving.

In 1988, the Conservative government at the time, led by the right hon. Brian Mulroney, supported by the official opposition at the time, even made two amendments to this act. Furthermore, in 2005, another amendment was made by the Liberal government of the day, supported by the official opposition, which was led by the current Prime Minister of Canada. This shows that on both sides of the House, whether it is a Liberal government with a Conservative opposition, or a Conservative government with a Liberal opposition, we all seem to agree on the nature of this linguistic duality and its evolving nature.

I encourage all parties in the House to support my colleague's bill, which is fully in line with our country's evolution.
House Vote on Third Reading, 31/03/10 Passed 140-137 (Opposition For, Cons Against)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great News C-232 Opponents! Mark Steyn Is Fervently On Your Side!

Y'all must be delighted to have the fervent support of Mark Steyn, eh? Now if you can only get Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, Karla Homolka, Clifford Olson and Sarah Palin to come out with similarly supportive fervent columns, you'll be set. No, please, anything but that. As a supporter of C-232, I cannot tell you how much I fear the persuasive effects of columns by these five individuals. They can only buttress  the enormous credibility your cause has been given by Steyn's advocacy. Please don't get any similar endorsements. They really are our worst nightmare. I repeat, have mercy, don't let Bush, Laden, Homolka, Olson & Palin join Steyn in giving your view unassailable credibility. I am so worried, I am going to repeat my pitiful desperate plea of mercy, just to show how defeatist I now feel: Please don't let Bush, Laden, Homolka, Olson & Palin join Steyn in giving your argument unassailable credibility. Please don't let Bush, Laden, Homolka, Olson & Palin join Steyn in giving your argument unassailable credibility. Please don't let Bush, Laden, Homolka, Olson & Palin join Steyn in giving your argument unassailable credibility.  etc.. (edited post so as to make space for archives)

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Star Editorial Board: Failed By Ontario's Education System, Ignorant of Shakespeare?

Reading the Star's editorial, and other ignorant diatribes, makes me reconsider my frequent criticism of QC's education system. I'm starting to wonder about the accuracy of interprovincial rankings, since apparently the other provinces' education systems have resulted in a terrible epidemic of first language illiteracy and diminished cognitive abilities, judging from the ignorant and illogical comments made by some supposedly educated media. If people would take the time to educate themselves about what the bill actually says and read up on the House debates, they might realise how misplaced their views are. Since I assume that like all serious Canadian commentators of public policy the Star's editorial writers already know of Legisinfo and have taken the time to research the question to the best of their ability before writing, I can only assume that those abilities are extremely limited. Like Carpay, they may be functionally illiterate in their first language, and cognitively-challenged, and of course, this being the case, unaware of their own gibbering imbecility. Of course, the other possibility is that they are closet separatists, and are being dishonest so as to advance the cause, since upholding institutional bilingualism as a sine qua non of Canada's existence in theory, and then refusing to be coherent on the question in fact, can only be a position designed to alienate the most hardened QC federalist.

Surely the Star and others can't be so ignorant as not to know that every other national court, whether Appeal, Federal or Tax, has had bilingual justices for many years now, and in fact the SCC was actually an integral part of this state of affairs. Surely they would then understand that their logic (I use the term loosely) would imply that this should not be the case, as many of these other courts are also the final court of appeal, in certain matters. Surely they would understand that if not a bilingual SCC, and logically, not any bilingual Federal Courts, then it would follow that bilingualism is not essential for all other similarly placed positions of final judgment, whether administrative (clerk of the privy council, deputy ministers, CDS, etc.) or political (PM) or other, etc.. And this would imply, given Canadian demographics and political realities, a preference for QC independence, as well as that of Acadia and parts of Eastern & Northern Ontario too.

Many are overstating the reach of the bill. As pointed out by Max Yalden already, C-232 does NOT require fluency in both Official Languages, only that "In addition, any person referred to in subsection (1), who understands French and English without the assistance of an interpreter, may be appointed a judge." As Yalden remarked, that "is a quite different, and less demanding, criterion." Drastically less demanding. And I'm sure they know that simply understanding speech is quite different from the requirement to be fully bilingual, or be able to speak or write fluently. And are too canny to confuse the difference between interpreters and translators. The bill has the very mild aim that the Supreme Court meet the same basic standard as all other courts, the Federal Court, Tax Court, Court of Appeal, etc., which have all had the same requirement for years now, with no noticeable problem. It is a standard the Supreme Court has itself approved and advanced, for all other Federal courts and institutions. And eight of the nine current Supreme Court justices currently meet that mild criterion of oral understanding, and it was nine of nine until recently, and I know of no-one that has accused those courts' composition as evidence of lower legal standards.

This bill is quite mild in its reach and helpful in ensuring that justice be done and be seen to be done, as no lawyer would wonder if some nuance of his oral arguments had been lost by the interpreters, especially if they lost a close 5-4 vote, and that the justices could have their internal discussions in either official language, neither one nor the other becoming the superior default language; otherwise, for example, if eight justices are bilingual in oral understanding and one is unilingual, inevitably, all discussions will be held in the language of the one unilingual, which is not something any fair-minded Canadian would want.

On the off chance that the Star & others are not functional illiterates and imbeciles, but only lazy journalists, as hard to believe as that might be, I am sure that should they take the time to actually research the question and think deeply on these matters, while reflecting on how best to achieve legal excellence within the context of a fair and officially bilingual society, they will revise their views, following the examples set by by Prime Ministers and leaders of all parties, such as Pearson, Stanfield, Trudeau, Clark, Turner, Mulroney, Campbell, Chrétien, Charest, and Martin, and by numerous groups, legal bodies, the Quebec National Assembly (unanimously) and the Canadian Bar Association: CBA says bilingualism to be considered part of merit criteria.

It makes one wonder whether many supposedly pro-bilingualism anglo federalists are so uneducated or undereducated as not to realise there is a rather well-known expression, from a reasonably well-considered writer, to describe their hypocrisy, namely that in their cases, bilingualism is more to be honoured in the breach than in the observance.

Prof. Nelson Wiseman re. Order of Parliament: Don't Back Down

Wiseman: "If the Opposition parties back down, this will imply that they are complicit in Parliament's decline." And democracy's.

Looking for WMD in the Vatican

If nearly two thousand years of deception, murder, rape, and the wanton plunder of billions of souls doesn't warrant a UN resolution leading to the invasion of Vatican City, maybe violation of international law will.

Where are the CIA and NSA on this deal? Crimes are being committed against children in Confessionals, for Christ's sake. Cheney, take these monsters down! Xe, where are those bullets with John 3:16 etched on them?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Santé : Attention Québécois, le légendaire Tom Kent aurait la réponse

Tom Kent. le futé
   The commonly suggested remedy is user fees. At rates sufficient to be effective, they would destroy the purpose of medicare. There is an equitable alternative, suggested by some of us when thinking about health policy 50 years ago. Then tax recovery of social benefits was an unconventional idea, but people have since become accustomed to it, notably in the case of Old Age Security.
   It would now be practicable to report the total cost of the public-health services received by an individual or family during the year. But, unlike other T4 forms, only a small part of the money, up to a maximum of 10 per cent of other income, would count as taxable.
   For example, someone with $50,000 income otherwise, who got medicare benefits costing $2,000, would next year pay back (at the present 15 per cent rate) $300 of it. If serious illness resulted in costs of $5,000 or more, the payback would be, at most, $750. For high-income people, the proportionate recovery would be somewhat greater of course; at the other extreme, people with too little money to be taxable would not be affected.

"Best" (Hilariously Bad) Spin Ever: Plaid Cymru, David Cameron's Objective Allies

This nice lady had the most hilariously bad spin I've ever seen or heard, post-debate, given she was speaking to all of Wales & Britain, and knowing what they're like: "A hung parliament would be good because it would make Britain more like Germany and let us Welsh nationalists, along with the Scottish and Irish nationalists, negotiate special deals for ourselves". Umm, nice lady, have you ever met your own people? Things Brits don't like:
a. Germans.
b. Imitating European wankers with all their wonky ways.
c. Praising Europeans as compared to the UK.
d. Especially praising Germans.
e. Especially imitating Germans.
f. Unfairness
g. Unfair "queue jumping" behaviour, ie. behaviour perceived as unfairly benefiting small groups, whether footballers, the rich, the poor, the middle class, well everyone really, as the UK is notorious for its resentments, everyone thinking they're being treated unfairly by everyone else.
h. Grasping behaviour / not being a team player

i. Nationalism (though everyone is nationalist, in their own way)
j. "Small" nationalisms.
k. The Welsh (even the Welsh don't like the Welsh, it often seems. I do. But many don't.)
l. Wetness (often perceived as a Welsh trait, wrongly)
m. Indecisive politics & politicians.
n. Hung parliaments.

Whence the great boost for the Conservatives from a change-enthusiastic electorate if they could parade this lady and all Plaid Cymru, SNP & Sinn Fein types around the country, saying: "Listen to these oiks! Do you want them with the balance of power? Just listen to them - "Let's all become Germans! Germany is so much better than the UK! A hung parliament will let us cut special deals and funnel money back to our fellow creepy crawlies in our rubbish grungy regions!" - Is that what you want? Pro-German, Anti-British, poncey nationalists holding the balance of power? If you're like us, fair, honest, tough Brits, you'll vote Conservative, for a strong government that can clean up Gordon Brown's & New Labour's messes without these tossers and those Lib-Dem weirdos messing about. Vote for Britain. Vote Conservative."

NB. I am all for the Lib-Dems and a hung parliament. But this lady, and her fellow nationalists, may be nice personally, but remain clueless twerps. I mean, in God's name, who does post-debate spin calling for making UK more like Germany so one's own little nationalist party can cut special deals? That will be a loser in Wales too, as all Brits hate to be accused of being so wet as to be offered or receiving special treatment, even though they all want it, although in their individual cases, it's just fairness, of course. Crikey. Hilarious. I can't wait for the next French campaign when Bayrou-MoDem decides to call for cohabitation so France can adopt the superior English cuisine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Aide mémoire II pour les pervertis cinglés : "Bouchard Had No Answer"

"Bouchard Had No Answer" by Pierre Elliot Trudeau, February 17, 1996, Montreal Gazette (c'est la version anglaise de la VOF « Je ne vous souhaite pas de réussir, mais je vous dis : Dieu vous garde! », publiée le même jour dans La Presse.)

So I have written a whole page in The Gazette accusing Lucien Bouchard of having, on many occasions, "betrayed the population of Quebec during last October's referendum campaign." And the current premier of Quebec has filled a whole page in the same newspaper without refuting even one of my accusations.

True, Mr. Bouchard dug up a few of my old pearls of wisdom. True also, he vilified Jean Chrétien and praised Brian Mulroney. He certainly wrote at length on Quebec's indivisibility and neglected to mention Canada's divisibility. And he placed the responsibility for invoking the War Measures Act squarely on my shoulders without recalling that this was done at the express and written request of both the premier of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal.

In short, he has hidden behind historical relativism to avoid having to reply to my accusations. He wrote: "There will never be a single, definitive reading of the history of relations between Quebec and Canada over the past 30 years." It doubtless follows that he does not have to correct the historical falsehoods of which he has been guilty.

This relativism sometimes leads to strange conclusions. In one instance he describes as "Quebec's historical claims" the three contradictory programs of the three political parties existing in Quebec in 1969: "equality or independence," the "distinct status" and "sovereignty-association." It is not surprising that the refrain "What does Quebec want" was uttered so frequently in those days.

Elsewhere, to avoid having to reply to a precise accusation, Mr. Bouchard distorts it. About the events of Nov. 4, 1981, I wrote that "René Lévesque had betrayed his allies of the Gang of Eight by accepting my proposal for a referendum," a fact which was confirmed by the newspapers of the day. Mr. Bouchard turns this into "Here is what René Lévesque is being accused of: wanting for Canadians and Quebecers to express themselves through a referendum."

Toward the end, Mr. Bouchard waxes lyrical: "In Quebec, leaders such as Jean Lesage and René Lévesque, Daniel Johnson senior and junior, Jacques Parizeau, Claude Ryan and Brian Mulroney . . . all of them, at one time or another, have been repudiated, scorned, accused by Pierre Elliott Trudeau. ... I have been admitted into that club of democrats. With them, and with all Quebecers, I plead guilty."

Mr. Bouchard, you misread me - I never accused you of being a democrat. What you must understand, however, is that all those people you named, and with whom you identify, were political adversaries in one way or another, and that words can sometimes be harsh between political adversaries.

I say "adversaries in one way or another," but I should explain: I have the nerve to possess a deeper confidence than these adversaries in the strength and the abilities of French Canadians from Quebec and elsewhere.

That is why I have always opposed the notions of special status and distinct society. With the Quiet Revolution, Quebec became an adult and its inhabitants have no need of favors or privileges to face life's challenges and to take their rightful place within Canada and in the world at large.

They should not look for their "identity" and their "distinctness" in the constitution but rather in their confidence in themselves and in the full exercise of their rights as citizens equal to all other citizens of Canada.

I do not doubt for one instant that they would be capable of making Quebec an independent country. But I have always believed that they have the stature to face a more difficult and nobler challenge - that of participating in the construction of a Canadian nation founded on democratic pluralism, institutional bilingualism and the sense of sharing.

In the era of the global village, the very notion of sovereignty is becoming obsolete, and it is to protect what is left of it that large-scale amalgamations are being formed.

But Canada already occupies half a continent. To weaken it by dividing it would be a historic blunder of infinite proportion. We must not rend the fabric of this still-young country, we must give it the chance to grow and to prosper.

This, premier, is what I had to tell you. I still have sufficient respect for political involvement to recognize that, in your own way, you believe that you are working for the good of Quebec. Because I do not believe your way to be the right one, I do not wish you success. But I say to you, all the same, "God bless."

Aide mémoire pour les pervertis cinglés : « J'accuse Lucien Bouchard! »

« J'accuse Lucien Bouchard! », Pierre Elliot Trudeau, La Presse samedi 3 février 1996

J'accuse Lucien Bouchard d'avoir trompé la population du Québec durant la campagne référendaire d'octobre dernier. En dénaturant l'histoire politique de sa province et de son pays, en semant la discorde entre les citoyens par son discours démagogique, en prêchant le mépris pour les Canadiens qui ne partagent pas ses opinions, Lucien Bouchard a outrepassé les bornes de l'honnête débat démocratique.

Pour réhabiliter la démocratie au Québec, il importe de rétablir la vérité : c'est ce que je ferai en examinant quelques-unes des déclarations que M. Bouchard a faites entre le 14 octobre et le 27 octobre 1995.
I - Les échecs et leur cause

L'affirmation de Lucien Bouchard :

«Depuis trente ans, il y a eu je ne sais combien de dizaines de négociations entre le Québec et le reste du Canada: dans tous les cas on a échoué... On a profité de notre faiblesse politique... » (Le 14 octobre 1995, Centre communautaire de Saint-Justin, Rosemont.)

Les faits:

En 1964, en 1971, comme en 1981, ce fut toujours le gouvernement du Québec qui fit échouer les négociations, en revenant sur sa parole donnée. Le cas de Meech, en 1990, est différent et j'y reviendrai plus loin.

1. En 1962, le premier ministre Jean Lesage - fortement secondé par son ministre René Lévesque - avait négocié et signé l'accord Fulton-Favreau pour rapatrier la Constitution canadienne.

En 1964, M. Lesage changea d'idée et répudia l'accord.

2. En 1971, le premier ministre Robert Bourassa avait négocié une entente constitutionnelle qui donnait un droit de veto au Québec, avec plusieurs autres avantages d'ordre linguistique et judiciaire. Le gouvernement canadien avait convaincu les premiers ministres des autres provinces d'accepter cet accord. Le moment venu de signer cette «Charte de Victoria», M. Bourassa annonça à ses collègues qu'il avait de nouvelles demandes à formuler et qu'il avait besoin d'un court délai pour des raisons tactiques.

Quelques jours plus tard, il annonçait qu'il ne voulait plus signer ce qu'il avait lui-même négocié et proposé.

3. Le 16 avril 1981, le premier ministre René Lévesque signa avec sept autres provinces un « Accord constitutionnel aux termes duquel il reconnaissait que le Québec était une province comme les autres et n'avait pas un droit de veto constitutionnel: «This amending formula ... recognizes the constitutional equality of each of Canada's provinces.» Le but de ce pacte était de forcer le gouvernement fédéral à reprendre les négociations en lui opposant un bloc solide de huit provinces.

Cette tactique constitua un obstacle quasi incontournable au rapatriement dès lors que la Cour Suprême du Canada déclarait en septembre 1981 que - selon les conventions - le gouvernement canadien ne pouvait pas rapatrier la Constitution sans «un degré appréciable de consentement provincial ».

La solidarité du groupe des Huit fut rompue le 4 novembre 1981, lorsque M. Lévesque, en pleine assemblée de négociations et sans prévenir ses collègues, accepta une proposition du premier ministre du Canada pour résoudre l'impasse constitutionnelle par un référendum. En reniant ainsi sa parole donnée à ses sept alliés, M. Lévesque les forçait à se regrouper pour recomposer le front commun sans lui.
II - Les revendications et leur effet

L'affirmation de Lucien Bouchard :

«Durant 30 ans, la raison profonde pour laquelle... on n'a jamais réussi à convaincre le Canada anglais (de concéder) la moindre revendication historique du Québec, ce n'est pas parce qu'on a envoyé des gens qui n'étaient pas des bons négociateurs - On avait les meilleurs. On avait René Lévesque». ( Le 18 octobre 1995, à Saint-Léonard.)

Les faits :

Examinons d'abord la question des revendications, ensuite celle des négociateurs.

1. Les revendications véritablement «historiques» des Canadiens français consistaient essentiellement en une chose: le respect du fait français au Canada, principalement en matière de langue dans les instances fédérales et d'éducation dans les provinces où les francophones étaient en minorité. Ainsi, les deux premières revendications du premier ministre Jean Lesage, énoncées début de la Révolution tranquille étaient: premièrement, la reprise immédiate des pourparlers sur le rapatriement et 1a formule d'amendement de la Constitution ; et deuxièmement, l'adoption dans la Constitution d'une charte des droits fondamentaux, incluant les droits linguistiques et éducationnels des minorités francophones hors Québec.

Or, n'en déplaise à M. Bouchard, la formule Fulton-Favreau satisfaisait à la première demande, et la Charte de Victoria satisfaisait à la première et partiellement à la seconde, tandis que l'Acte constitutionnel de 1982 satisfaisait pleinement aux deux demandes à la fois. Dans les trois cas, ce sont les gouvernements du Québec qui - en manquant à leur parole - ont abandonné ces revendications traditionnelles.

2. Parlons maintenant des négociateurs, dont «on avait les meilleurs», selon M. Bouchard. Comment expliquer, en particulier, que M. Lévesque - qui n'avait qu'à tenir bon quelques heures de plus pour tourner à son avantage l'énorme entreprise de révision constitutionnelle qui avait commencé en 1967 et qui devait se terminer le 4 novembre 1981 - comment expliquer que M. Lévesque, ce meilleur des négociateurs, ait trahi subitement l'Accord des Huit pour accepter mon offre d'une consultation du peuple par voie de référendum? On ne connaîtra sans doute jamais la réponse à cette question, mais je hasarde l'hypothèse suivante. Aurait-il craint que je capitule devant le front des Huit, et que pour réussir 1e rapatriement, j'accepte de me rallier à ce que les Huit proposaient ? M. Lévesque aurait alors été pris à son propre jeu, car en signant l'Accord des Huit il avait souscrit à une formule de rapatriement sans société distincte ni droit de veto pour le Québec.

Mais alors comment expliquer qu'il se dédise ensuite de ma proposition de référendum qu'il avait acceptée quelques heures plus tôt? Négociait-il de bonne foi, ou cherchait-il à faire échouer toute entreprise de coopération fédérale-provinciale destinée à résoudre le problème constitutionnel ?
III - La nuit des longs couteaux: une fabrication

L'affirmation de Lucien Bouchard:

«Alors qu'il y avait une alliance avec René Lévesque pour faire une entente qui avait du bon sens, ces sept provinces anglophones... l'ont laissé tomber, une seule, nuit.» ( Le 23 octobre 1995, Cégep de Limoilou. )

Notons d'abord que, quand M. Bouchard parle d'«une entente qui avait du bon sens», il ne sait pas ce qu'il dit. En effet, cette entente rejetait explicitement les notions de société distincte et de droit de veto, notions que par ailleurs M. Bouchard ne cesse de réclamer pour le Québec.

Les faits :

«La nuit » en question, c'est évidemment celle dite «des longs couteaux», appellation honteusement empruntée â l'histoire du nazisme par la gent séparatiste aux prises avec une paranoïa aiguë. Que s'est-il donc passé ?

Alors que René Lévesque avait trahi ses alliés du groupe des Huit en acceptant ma proposition d'un référendum, il perdit sa crédibilité auprès d'eux. Les sept premiers ministres anglophones se trouvèrent en désarroi et la séance constitutionnelle fut ajournée au lendemain, 5 novembre.

Mais il importe de souligner que ce ne sont pas les «sept provinces anglophones (qui) ont laissé tomber» M. Lévesque, comme l'affirme M. Bouchard. C'est M. Lévesque qui a trahi ses sept alliés. Le couteau, c'est M. Lévesque qui l'a plongé dans le coeur de l'Accord des Huit qu'il avait pourtant signé moins de sept mois plus tôt.

Et quand M. Bouchard affirme dans son discours à la nation, le 25 octobre, que les «supposés alliés (de Lévesque)... allèrent la nuit trouver Jean Chrétien dans un hôtel d'Ottawa», il colporte tout simplement une fausseté historique.

Les journaux de l'époque firent rapport des événements comme suit :
Dès l'ajournement de la séance, vers midi le 4 novembre, M. Lévesque déclarait : «Ça (... la proposition Trudeau) nous parait une façon respectable et extraordinairement intéressante de sortir de cet imbroglio». Son ministre, Claude Charron, renchérissait : «C'est la solution idéale pour nous». Le Devoir rapportait que « ce moment-là, la délégation québécoise jubilait et, au risque de déplaire à ses partenaires du Front Commun, n'hésitait pas un instant à monter dans le train proposé par Ottawa». (Le Devoir, le 5 novembre 1981)

Le «risque de déplaire à ses partenaires» n'était pas imaginaire. La délégation québécoise finit par s'en apercevoir dans l'après-midi du 4 novembre, ce qui amena René Lévesque à répudier ma proposition de référendum, sans autre explication que de dire que c'était du «chinois». Le journaliste du Devoir, Michel Vastel, écrivit: «En fin de journée, le torchon brûlait entre Lévesque et ses anciens alliés». Et Vastel ajouta que, plus tard, alors que chacun soupçonnait que des ententes se discutaient, «un haut fonctionnaire québécois devant qui on s'étonnait qu'il ne tente pas une dernière tentative de tenir les provinces ensemble, répondait désabusé : «Nous n'avons plus aucune crédibilité après ce qui s'est passé ce matin.» (Le Devoir, le 6 novembre 1981.)

Pour plus de détails sur les commentaires de presse, voir Max Nemni, «Le Désaccord du Lac Meech», dans Le Québec et la Restructuration du Canada, pp. 177-179, et William Johnson, A Canadian Myth, pp. 180-183.
IV - La langue, l'éducation et le veto

L'affirmation de Lucien Bouchard:

La Constitution de 1982 «a réduit les pouvoirs du Québec dans le domaine de la langue et de l'éducation... René Lévesque l'a refusée. Claude Ryan l'a refusée. L'Assemblée nationale du Québec l'a refusée». (Le 25 octobre 1995, 19hOO, télévision de Radio-Canada.)

Les faits :

1. Dans le domaine de la langue et de l'éducation, la Constitution de 1982 consacrait précisément «les demandes traditionnelles du Québec». Voici d'ailleurs ce que Claude Ryan en disait, le lendemain de la déclaration susdite de Lucien Bouchard : «La loi (constitutionnelle) de 82 qu'a fait adopter M. Trudeau, ce n'est pas du tout l'épouvantail qu'on prétend. C'est une loi très raisonnable qui a donné une Charte des droits à tous les Canadiens, les Québécois comme les autres, qui a renforcé la protection des droits linguistiques des francophones à travers tout le Canada. Et ailleurs: «J'entendais M. Bouchard dire, hier soir, que (la Constitution de 1982) avait enlevé au Québec des droits importants en matière de langue et d'éducation. A mon humble point de vue, ce n'est pas vrai, ce n'est pas vrai.» Tout en désapprouvant «qu'on adopte cette loi sans que le Québec soit un des signataires», Claude Ryan reconnaît que «objectivement, les changements qu'a apportés la loi de 82, sauf la formule d'amendement, étaient de très bons changements». (Le 26 octobre 1995, entrevue avec Bernard Derome, Radio-Canada et Château Frontenac, RDI.)

2. Moi-même, je partageais les réserves de M. Ryan à propos de la formule d'amendement. Mais on se souviendra que la formule retenue par la Constitution de 1982 était basée sur la formule mise de l'avant par M. Lévesque et les sept provinces anglophones qui formaient le groupe des Huit. Cette formule n'accordait pas un veto au Québec, alors que la formule d'amendement proposée par mon gouvernement en incluait un.

Ainsi, le 2 décembre 1981, Le Devoir publiait ma réponse à une lettre du premier ministre Lévesque datée du 25 novembre 1981 et qui invoquait un droit de veto québécois. Je répondais en partie: «Entre l'année 1971 et le 5 novembre 1981, tous les gouvernements que j'ai dirigés ont préconisé une formule d'amendement qui aurait assuré un veto au Québec. Nous n'avons abandonné ce principe qu'après que vous l'aviez fait vous-même» en signant l'Accord des Huit, et après «que vous aviez de nouveau préconisé (cet accord) au cours de nos séances des 2, 3, 4 et 5 novembre.

3. Par ailleurs, à défaut de veto, l'Accord des Huit accordait aux provinces un droit de retrait qui a été consigné dans la loi constitutionnelle de 1982 à l'article 38(3). Ce droit permet à chaque province de refuser tout changement constitutionnel qui diminuerait sa «Compétence législative» ou ses «droits et privilèges».

M. Bouchard révèle donc son ignorance de la constitution de 1982 quand il accuse le gouvernement Chrétien de «vouloir perpétuer par un NON la situation actuelle qui met entre les mains de l'appareil fédéral et des provinces anglophones un droit de veto total, même le pouvoir d'imposer n'importe quoi qu'il pourrait souhaiter au Québec». (Le 17 octobre 1995, 19h25, à l'Hôtel Westin à Montréal.)

Des sottises de ce genre, et il y en avait beaucoup, relèvent plutôt de l'hallucination que de la science politique.
V - Le rapatriement de 1982

L'affirmation de Lucien Bouchard:

«On a rapatrié la Constitution en 1982 contre notre volonté... parce que les intérêts du Canada anglais étaient tels qu'il fallait qu'ils fassent cela.» (Le 27 octobre 1995, 19h3O, télévision de Radio-Canada.)

Les faits:

M. Bouchard interprète singulièrement notre histoire constitutionnelle! Ne sont-ce pas plutôt les Canadiens français qui, traditionnellement, voulaient relâcher les liens coloniaux avec la Grande-Bretagne en rapatriant de Londres la Constitution canadienne ? Mais pour ce qui est des « intérêts », les provinces anglophones avaient généralement les mêmes que le Québec: troquer leur consentement au rapatriement contre une augmentation des pouvoirs provinciaux.

Depuis 1927, tous les gouvernements canadiens avaient tenté en vain de convaincre les provinces de mettre fin à ce vestige de colonialisme, depuis celui de Mackenzie-King en passant par ceux de Bennett, Saint-Laurent, Diefenbaker et Pearson. Tous avaient échoué et le Canada était le seul pays au monde qui possédât pour constitution une loi située dans un autre pays et, pour l'essentiel, amendable seulement par celui-ci. Or, en 1982, nous sortions d'une très longue période de discussions constitutionnelles inaugurée par les provinces en 1967. Les citoyens en avaient assez et il fallait en finir - cent quinze ans après sa fondation comme pays, le Canada dépendait toujours de Londres pour amender sa Constitution. Le Canada pouvait-il accepter encore une fois l'échec, alors que la seule opposition venait d'un gouvernement décidé à détruire le Canada? Devions-nous nous arrêter devant un adversaire qui demandait la souveraineté pour sa province mais qui ne la permettrait pas pour notre pays ?

La Cour Suprême (à qui trois provinces dont le Québec avaient demandé de définir la règle du jeu constitutionnel) statua que le rapatriement ne pouvait se faire qu'avec un «degré appréciable de consentement provincial»; or cette exigence était largement satisfaite (9 provinces sur 10).

Le premier ministre de la province de Québec était opposé au rapatriement mais en vertu de la règle du jeu sus-dite il n'avait pas de veto; d'ailleurs il y avait explicitement renoncé en signant l'Accord des Huit. De toute évidence, son gouvernement ne voulait rien savoir de ce qui aurait pu être à l'avantage de la Fédération canadienne.

Par ailleurs, 70 des 75 députés élus au Parlement fédéral par le Québec avaient voté en faveur du rapatriement, tandis qu'à l'Assemblée nationale 38 députés (M. Ryan en tête) sur 108 avaient voté -- le ler décembre 1981 -- contre une résolution qui à toutes fins pratiques, claquait la porte aux efforts en cours pour chercher des compromis. Ainsi, moins de 40 pour 100 des députés élus au fédéral et au provincial par les citoyens du Québec s'opposaient irréductiblement à l'entente constitutionnelle. On peut certes contester cette analyse arithmétique en prétendant que seul le gouvernement du Québec peut parler pour les Québécois. Mais cette prétention constitue l'essence même du séparatisme. Si l'on croit au Canada, on croit également que, sur la question constitutionnelle, les députés québécois au Parlement canadien représentaient l'électorat du Québec tout autant que les députés de l'Assemblée nationale.

Du reste, les sondages ont démontré que le rapatriement n'était pas répudié par la volonté populaire. En mars 1982, un sondage CROP indiquait que 48 pour 100 de la population québécoise blâmait le gouvernement Lévesque pour son refus de signer l'accord, alors que seulement 32 pour 100 approuvait son attitude. Et en juin 1982, selon Gallup, 49 pour 100 des Québécois considéraient la loi constitutionnelle comme une bonne chose et 16 pour 100 seulement en désapprouvaient la teneur.
VI - Qui a dit non à Meech

L'affirmation de Lucien Bouchard:

«Ils (le Canada anglais) ont repoussé la main du Québec en 1990... Il n'y a personne qui est venu faire de manifestation à Montréal pour nous dire: «On vous aime.» Ils ont tout simplement dit non à Meech.» (Le 27 octobre 1995, 19h3O, télévision de Radio-Canada)

Les faits:

Les séparatistes auraient évidemment préféré que quelques hurluberlus anglophones eussent piétiné le drapeau québécois l'avant-veille du référendum. Mais c'est pour le moins manquer d'élégance que de se moquer des dizaines de milliers de personnes qui ont afflué des autres provinces, le 27 octobre 1995, pour témoigner leur sympathie envers le Québec. Et de fait, qui avait dit non à Meech ?

1. Le 3 juin 1987, le gouvernement canadien et les neuf provinces anglophones ont dit OUI à Meech et ont signé l'accord qui portait ce nom.

A travers le Canada, la presse anglophone y était généralement favorable et, au Québec, la presse anglophone et Alliance Québec, porte-parole des Québécois anglophones, ont, dès le début, dit OUI à Meech.

2. Au Québec, les leaders d'opinion francophones disaient généralement NON à Meech. Devant la Commission parlementaire créée par le gouvernement Bourassa, en avril 1987, seulement 18 pour 100 des experts étaient en faveur de Meech et 70 pour 100 étaient contre. Quant aux associations et groupes, 19 pour 100 étaient en faveur de Meech et 81 pour 100 étaient contre. Or tous ces «contre», qui disaient NON à Meech comprenaient les organisations essentiellement francophones, tels que les trois grandes centrales syndicales du Québec (CSN, FTQ, CEQ), l'Alliance des professeurs de Montréal, l'Union des écrivains, l'Union des artistes, l'Union des producteurs agricoles. (Voir Nemni. op. cit.)

3. Quant aux classes politiques du Québec, le Parti québécois et le NPD se prononcèrent fermement contre l'Accord du Lac Meech. Mais, ô surprise !, le premier ministre Bourassa - tout en soutenant qu'il devait signer l'Accord -- tenait néanmoins à exprimer des réserves. En effet, dès le 12 mai 1987, avant même l'adoption de l'Accord, il déclarait à l'Assemblée nationale que son gouvernement venait «de faire un autre pas en avant vers la solution temporaire du problème constitutionnel... Il y aurait d'autres demandes et d'autres discussions par la suite, ou une deuxième ronde ou d'autres rondes de réforme constitutionnelle». Le 18 juin 1987, M. Bourassa jugeait utile de parler à l'Assemblée nationale «du droit à l'autodétermination du Québec» et de rappeler que cela fait partie du programme constitutionnel du Parti libéral. Enfin, le 23 juin 1987, il concluait le débat à l'Assemblée nationale en disant: «Le chef de l'Opposition (M. P.-M. Johnson) se réfère constamment aux sujets qui n'ont pas encore été complètement réglés sur le plan constitutionnel: oublie-t-il qu'il y a une deuxième ronde?»

4. M. Bourassa, lui, ne l'oubliait pas: en février 1990, soit plus de quatre mois avant l'expiration du délai pour la ratification finale de Meech, son parti adoptait la résolution «de mettre sur pied un comité constitutionnel (le Comité Allaire) chargé de la préparation du contenu politique de la deuxième ronde de négociations devant débuter après la ratification de l'Accord». On y ajoutait cependant une petite menace : le comité devait aussi préparer des scénarios «afin de parer à l'éventualité d'un échec de l'Accord du lac Meech».

Ainsi donc, M. Bourassa ressortait sa tactique de 1971 à Victoria: négocier un accord, mais avant même qu'il soit ratifié, annoncer que cet accord ne satisfaisait pas le Québec et que de nouvelles demandes allaient suivre. (Il ferait encore de même pour l'Accord de Charlottetown, en 1992, lorsqu'il compara le référendum à une loterie.)

5. On aurait pu croire que de telles actions auraient désillusionné les braves gens qui pensaient que l'acceptation de Meech allait satisfaire le Québec et apporter la paix constitutionnelle au pays. Mais non! Chose étonnante, le 23 juin 1990, après tant de déclarations vexatoires et de positions équivoques de la part du Québec, y compris l'utilisation du «nonobstant» pour empêcher l'affichage en langue anglaise, sept provinces anglophones et le gouvernement canadien appuyaient toujours Meech, tandis que les deux autres législatures provinciales n'avaient pas pu prendre de position définitive, à cause de l'hésitation d'un premier ministre provincial et de l'opposition d'un député amérindien.

Comment peut-on sérieusement conclure, comme Lucien Bouchard le fait, que c'est le «Canada anglais» qui a «repoussé la main du Québec en 1990» et qui a «tout simplement dit non à Meech»?

J'accuse Lucien Bouchard

Appelant des faussetés et des contrevérités au soutien d'une démagogie hargneuse, Lucien Bouchard a trompé l'électorat lors du référendum d'octobre dernier. Il a par ce fait même souillé la bonne réputation démocratique de la province du Québec, et ne mérite pas la confiance des honnêtes citoyens de sa province.

The Blue Fairy Book Cover

Ayoye Gourde! PCC : Bye bye, nos cowboys (sauf à sado-maso bizarro Québec, peut-être)

PCC «Québec bashing» : Quelle partie de ce qu'a dit M. Bernier serait applaudie par tous ces Québécois? «L'ensemble de son discours; l'ensemble du constat des 40 dernières années du Québec», a soutenu M. Gourde.

1970-2010, TOUT FAUX?

Milliken, as Servant of the House, Has an Easy, Cut & Dry, Decision

It's a pretty simple and easy decision. It shouldn't have taken him this long to rule. He should have ruled the very day of the last arguments, or the next day. It's cut and dry and there's no justifiable faux-compromise out there. Lee is right on every point. For Milliken to rule other than Lee argued would be betraying his role as Speaker, which is not the same as the GG. Y'all need to go back and read up on the importance of the Speaker - read up on Charles I vs. Parliament. The Speaker is more important than the PM, institutionally:
"May it please Your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak in this place, but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here; and I humbly beg Your Majesty’s pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this to what Your Majesty is pleased to demand of me. "

Carpay Needs To Work On His First Language Skills: False Premises = False Conclusion, Inevitably

Carpay should work on his first language skills before raving incoherently about bilingualism. As pointed out by Yalden already, C-232 does NOT require fluency in both Official Languages, only that "In addition, any person referred to in subsection (1) may be appointed a judge who understands French and English without the assistance of an interpreter.". As Yalden remarked, that "is a quite different, and less demanding, criterion." Drastically less demanding. And Carpay further betrays his poor first language skills when he confuses interpreters and translators. I hope Carpay's linguistic & cognitive deficiencies are not indicative of all unilingual lawyers - all the more reason to expect SCC judges to have the most minimal of bilingual abilities, the basic ability to understand what someone is saying in both official languages.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cda-Colombia FTA: Thank God Iggy Wasn't In Charge During South African Apartheid

I can't ignore this. The Iggy LPC's behaviour over C-2 has been shameful & shambolic. It has rewarded the Cons for two parliamentary outrages, prorogation, and a closure motion denounced as dubious by Goodale and voted against by the LPC no later than last Friday. Reading the LPC contributions to the yesterday's debates made me feel sick. Rae, Brison, J. Trudeau, MHF, Oliphant, were all either uniformly stupid, or of bad faith, or both. The factual and logical inconsistencies in their positions were pointed out by the Bloc & NDP, again and again, and all they had was some vapid, dishonourable crap about "the LPC being for windows, not walls" - uh, what? I guess they don't realise that even THEIR OWN METAPHOR ADMITS WE'LL STILL BE STUCK ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, IMPOTENT AS EVER. So we should feel better because we'll wrap a ribbon around the human rights reporting DFAIT ALREADY DOES?! I have never read Rae speaking so badly, nor any of the others, although my expectations are lower for them, especially Airhead Brison. God I'm glad I supported Dion in 2006, and not Rae. And never Rae again, judging from his pile of poo on C-2. That Brison amendment is worth squat. To pretend otherwise is imbecilic, dishonest or both.

Fellow Liberals, when we last had a democratically elected leader, we had a truly productive position, that called for a REAL human rights assessments before signing any such deal, and REAL protections afterwards, should we sign a deal. I am going to quote all the NDP & Bloc interventions on this vile Iffy flip-flop to make the point abundantly clear to all Liberals, who claim to be liberals, and not allow them to claim ignorance. I also include some unclear mewling from some LPC members in response to the question of allowing all interested parties to appear before committee. No honest, sentient MP who listens to the testimony on C-2 re. human rights, from those in the know, can deny the overwhelming consensus on the matter. No-one who claims to care about human rights in any substantial way can deny it. I conclude on an optimistic note, as I cite the examples of Szabo & othres who seem to remain sentient, coherent and truly concerned about human rights, trying to push for at least proper respect for the committee and witnesses.

Relevant Debate:

On Iggy-Brison Flip-Flop Against Human Rights

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, certainly the Liberal flip-flop on this issue is akin to the sheriff having joined the rustlers, because in 2008, less than two years ago, at the Standing Committee on International Trade, the Liberals were pushing for an impartial human rights assessment before any agreement was signed. That is what they wanted to do two years ago under their previous leader and the previous critic.

They had a change in the Liberal Party, a new leader and a new critic, and now they have flipped right over directly in line with the Conservative position, a total flip-flop on the issue.

I would like to ask the member whether she agrees with that analysis.

Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
Mr. Speaker, I agree completely with his analysis and I do not understand this flip-flop. Is it because the Liberals want to befriend the big Canadian mining companies? That is possible. I just do not understand: the party that defended human rights has done a complete about-face today and does not care in the least. I would ask the Liberal members to question their leader about this.

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, we were concerned in the House about the Liberal flip-flop on this particular issue. Two years ago the member and the Liberal Party appeared before the Standing Committee on International Trade. At that time they were supporting an impartial human rights assessment. There is nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, that is the proper way to approach this issue. Trade with Colombia continues with or without this agreement. That is where the Liberals were under their previous leader and their previous critic.

Then there was a coup in the Liberal Party. A new leader and a new critic took over and all of a sudden, the Liberals have moved to the extreme right. They flipped overnight. Now they are in lockstep with the Conservatives. However, those members who were for the independent human rights assessment are still sitting there and are now being forced by their new leader to get onside with the Conservatives.

I am just asking the member how he can feel comfortable with flip-flopping so fast on this issue.

Ms. Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l'Île, BQ):
Mr. Speaker, I must say that I have been dying to speak. I am shocked by the comments I have just heard about free trade promoting human rights, and by the Liberal flip-flop on the free trade agreement.

I am truly dumbfounded by the debate on this bill.

I invite my hon. colleges who are standing with their parties to take a close look at the balance of power underlying this agreement. It is not about trying to improve things through trade across borders that is beneficial to both parties, even though a free trade agreement normally tries to improve the situation for both parties.

I will close by saying that I read in the report that the Standing Committee on International Trade has expressed countless reservations about this free trade agreement, that it even went to Colombia and unfortunately learned that the government had proposed this free trade agreement before the committee could make any recommendations.

As the members have probably guessed, I do not support the bill.

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member. She made an excellent presentation. Obviously, the happiest ones in this country right now are the mining companies. They probably had a pretty easy job of getting to the leadership of the Liberal Party to have it flip to where it is now, joined up with the Conservatives on this issue.

It has been a big gift for the Conservatives, because something is being done here that they could not get done on their own. They are in a minority situation and will never get a majority government. They could try to pass this agreement as often as they want, but they would never get it through the House. That was a stroke of luck for them.

The mining companies probably put pressure on the Liberals. It did not take much to pressure the new Liberal leader to get in line with the corporate agenda. Now we find all the Liberals happily jumping in line behind their leader, except the member for Mississauga South and a couple of other members over there who are still reluctant to go down that route.

I want to ask the member if she would like to make any further comments about that, because I think she really is on the right track.

On Iggy-Rae Equivocation on Parliamentary Democracy & Witnesses
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, given the dirty tricks that happened in the House last Friday, every single Liberal member of Parliament should be standing up this evening and voting against this agreement on that basis alone. The reason why the Conservatives are bringing in dirty tricks is that the public is clearly not on their side.

As the member well knows, in Toronto just a week and a half ago, there was another standing-room-only crowd coming forward. Many of his constituents and constituents from other Liberal-held ridings in Toronto were saying no to this agreement. The reality is that there is not a single independent human rights organization on the planet that agrees with the Liberal Party.

My question is very simple. I do not want any skating from the member, even though he has said in the past that he likes to skate. Given this amendment that is being put forward and given the fact that so many organizations are saying they want to come forward to the trade committee and have their voice heard on the amendment and on the agreement themselves, will the member say publicly that the Liberal Party will support full and comprehensive hearings at the trade committee, if it takes weeks or months, so everybody's voice is heard?

Hon. Bob Rae: previous intervention next intervention
Mr. Speaker, I am sure we will have a full and ample discussion at the committee. There is no question about that. There is no reason to insult anybody who either appears or does not want to appear in front of the committee. We very much look forward to a full and open discussion.

On Optimism: Szabo & Others Being Still Skeptical & Wanting Proper Committee Work and Full Witness Lists
Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, I think the member has crafted a speech that raises all the concerns members have had at second reading. However, the member will well know that, at second reading, we are talking to ourselves.

I think the important part here is that we express our concerns about human rights. I think virtually every speaker, unanimously, in the House has expressed concern about human rights abuses in Colombia and with any of the people we trade with. There are a lot of countries around the world that have very poor human rights records as well.

The question then becomes whether or not it is our responsibility to see this bill go to committee after second reading so that we can hear from the expert witnesses, the human rights advocates and those who will try to explain to the committee whether or not trade will, in fact, have a beneficial impact on the human rights situation in a country like Colombia. If not, that kind of evidence and testimony would certainly give parliamentarians a better perspective from which to craft a strategy for dealing with trade with those countries who have problems with humanitarian rights.

Would the member like to see some of these human rights groups come to committee and make the case to support some of her arguments, or does she just want to ignore what the international bodies are saying and decide right now that we are not going to be able to carry this any further? Should we not hear from those witnesses?

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP):
The mining companies probably put pressure on the Liberals. It did not take much to pressure the new Liberal leader to get in line with the corporate agenda. Now we find all the Liberals happily jumping in line behind their leader, except the member for Mississauga South and a couple of other members over there who are still reluctant to go down that route.


[Szabo spoke in response to] Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
I am very surprised to learn that the Liberal Party supports this free trade agreement. I began my political career on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, which, at the time, was chaired by a Liberal member. The Liberals were always very careful—and it was to their advantage—not only to defend democracy, but also to set the record straight in terms of international affairs and human rights.

I simply cannot fathom the fact that the Conservative government is going to ratify an agreement that most Canadians, union members, the UN, Amnesty International and various human rights organizations are all criticizing. I cannot believe that the Liberal Party would be an accomplice to signing that agreement. I am surprised and disappointed. Some members in the House say it does not matter, because Canada will be doing business. That is not true; it will be the mining companies that do business. It will not be Canada doing business.

I still hope that my colleagues on both sides of the House will side with the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to prevent the signing of this free trade agreement. It is a bad agreement and one that takes no account of the human beings affected.

[And subsequent response to Szabo question] Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member has posed a very good question.

I do not agree with him when he says that all members have expressed concerns about human rights. I have been listening to the debate for a very long time. If he takes a look at this morning's debates in particular, he will realize that members of his own party have nothing but praise for this free trade agreement, which truly surprises me.

I do agree with him when he states that other countries have a very poor human rights record, but not as poor as that of Colombia. It is Colombia's underground wealth that is coveted by mining companies. Colombia is one of Canada's very minor trading partners. There is very little, except for some grains.

This morning, members opposite said that it would help exports. However, that is just not true. Our exports to Colombia are practically nil. He ought to do some deeper thinking.

At second reading, it is possible that it is effective. I hope that, if this bill is adopted at second reading, members of the Liberal Party will ask questions and try to understand the crux of the matter—