Friday, July 23, 2010

Affirmative action

Hooray! The federal government is going to review its affirmative action policies

Cabinet ministers Stockwell Day and Jason Kenney announced the review of the Public Service Employment Act, along with any related practices and policies, on Thursday. “While we support diversity in the public service, we want to ensure that no Canadian is barred from opportunities in the public service based on race or ethnicity,” Mr. Day, the Treasury Board President, said in a statement.

Mr. Kenney, meanwhile, was more blunt in his calls for a meritocracy.

“I strongly agree with the objective of creating a public service that reflects the diversity of Canada, and with fair measures designed to reach that goal. But we must ensure that all Canadians have an equal opportunity to work for their government based on merit, regardless of race or ethnicity,” said the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Affirmative action is useless and unnecessary in this day and age in Canada. And doesn't it kind of violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms if we're putting hiring preferences over another equally qualified individual based on background, disability, and gender? Aren't we all equal?

What we should be looking at is not hiring practices but wage equality.

I work in the private sector and have been on contract with numerous clients, mostly large organizations and I'd say private sector hiring is even more diverse than the public sector. 

This is a welcomed move.

h/t Dr. Roy

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Sense and Cents of the Census

Here's a link to the 2006 long census form.  It's 40 pages and probably takes 30-45 minutes to fill out for a family.  That's not the issue here, the time.

The issue I had with it in 2001, in 2006, and now 2011 is not so much the intrusive personal questions it asks, because many people fill out forms, surveys, polls, etc., but it's that the government can PUT YOU IN JAIL for not filling it out.

And that right there is why I think it's the right decision.

While the majority of Canadians don't care about this issue, because the majority of Canadians don't have to fill out the form, it's pissing off statisticians, bureaucrats, and some Liberals because they won't be able to determine how federal cash should be handed out through the, what, thousands of programs that are out there?

Now what if there was no data to support the need for these programs?  That's right, there'd be no need for these programs.  And without need for these programs, the government can axe the program and either let a province support it, or let it die.  And you wouldn't believe some of the programs out there.

If any of you remember the old "Waste Report" published by then Reform Party MP, John Williams, and compiled by my friend Garry Keller, his executive assistant, you'd recall that it was an incredible piece of literature, listing the various funding programs the federal government supports, including American unions, seniors and sexuality in prisons, and an ongoing list of programs and dollar amounts where common sense really just doesn't apply anymore.  Regardless, estimates are in the $10-20 billion in funding for these so-called programs.

Some argue that charities would suffer.  Well, if I didn't pay as much in taxes, I would easily donate more and it would be MY choice.  And it's not really a charity anymore when the government is supporting it.  It's a social program, plain and simple.  So if we could rid useless programs and lower taxes, Canadians, ON OUR OWN, could support charities, community groups, and local programs.

Now, for this issue, which it really isn't, the long form is NOT being scrapped.  It will now be voluntary.  Statisticians are saying that the data sample then won't be useful.

Exactly.  And therefore, it makes sense to save cents on the census.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Iggy and Karma

I've been away working in Los Angeles but am back in Canada.  During that time, I couldn't help but read online of Michael Ignatieff's gaffes as of late.  So, although I'm late on blogging this, I just HAVE to say something. 

To try and present himself as a commoner, the Liberal leader kicked off his summer tour at the Calgary Stampede by saying that you can smell the sulphur coming off of Stephen Harper, which is a reference to the dark lord satan, as also previously quoted by Columbian president Hugo Chavez in talking about former U.S. president George W. Bush.

The next day, Ignatieff's bus breaks down and it gets repaired at Harper Diesel.  Oh the irony!!!

Then Iggy comments on his own sulphur comment ...

"Oh, c'mon, Evan, I was having a little fun here," Ignatieff later said in an interview from St. Albert, Ont., on Power & Politics with Evan Solomon. "This is about competing visions of Canada. Don't take it too seriously."

So, in Iggyspeak, does that mean, "Seriously if necessary but not necessarily seriously"?

Then we find out that this summer tour is really only a couple weeks, and besides Calgary and Saskatoon, the rest of the stops are in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.  So much for wanting to "breakthrough" in Western Canada.

Then Liberal candidate Bill Prout says,
“I abhor the fact that Canadians have been involved with torture to get information from prisoners” [emphasis mine].

In response, Iggy says,
"No member of the Liberal Party believes that Canadian soldiers have been directly involved in torture. That's not the issue. No one has ever said or will ever say in this party that Canadian soldiers were involved in torture."
But, but ... a Liberal member DID say that!

In Iggyspeak, is that, "Liberal members don't say they believe our soldiers are involved in torture if necessary, but not necessarily say they believe our soldiers are involved in torture"?

Iggy also has his top ten things he can't live without published. No mention of hockey, beer, or anything really related to what a typical Canadian would say, not even Algonquin Park? (h/t Arkvark).

Folks, if you didn't believe in karma before, you can't help but at least laugh at the string of intertwined events, us Conservative bloggers relish at the amount of daily Liberal fodder available, and if you're a Liberal, you HAVE to be shaking your head at the Count.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Federal Budget 2010 bill passes both houses

With Liberals not showing up in both the lower and upper Houses of Parliament, the 2010 budget omnibus bill passes, likely thwarting a fall election.

What does this mean? 

It means that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff thinks there will be an election anyway, so he begins his cross Canada tour kicking it off at the Stampede with smart things to say about our Prime Minister:

Ignatieff showed his true colours right out of the box when, during his Calgary Stampede kickoff, he plagiarized Venezuelan whackjob Hugo Chavez by stating that, when he is near Prime Minister Stephen Harper, "you smell the whiff of sulphur coming off the guy."

Being an acclaimed scholar, one would have thought Ignatieff would have attributed the source of such a truly vile quote, but he didn't.

It comes, of course, from Hugo Chavez who, besides playing Crazy 8s with a euchre deck, referred to U.S. President George W. Bush as the "devil" during a 2006 address to the United Nations.

"The devil came here yesterday," said Chavez. "And it smells of sulphur still today."
I hope this guy stays on as opposition leader for a very, very long time--especially for an MP who cries against prorogation but has the second worst voting record in the House.

It appears the Liberals have succumb to trash politics as a last resort.  Watch as they continue to demean Mr. Harper and Conservatives, making being a Conservative supporter "uncool".  And it's coming from their Toronto bunker, and it will try and grow from there like a short-lived fad.  It's all they have left, because really, what now do they have left to lose?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Senate standing

Prime Minister Harper just appointed former Conservative candidate Salma Ataullahjan to the upper chamber.  She has committed to senate reform as has been done with the other senate appointments.

This appointment makes the current standings in the senate as follows:

52 Conservatives
49 Liberals
4 Independents

And this is when the senate is about to vote on the recent budget passed in the house. But in the senate five Liberal senators and a PC (not Conservative) are wanting to pull out some provisions of the bill and send it back to the house.  The Conservatives are threatening a fall election over this.

A couple provisions are to end Canada Post's monopoly on international mail and to sell off Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL).

Note that the Liberals in the House let the budget bill slide through by having just enough members not show up and now they're using their unelected senators to stall it and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff isn't doing anything about it.

The point here isn't whether you agree or disagree with the budget provisions, it's whether you think unelected legislators should be allowed to change bills that elected ones have already approved.

If the senate were elected and equal and wanted to make changes, then this is an acceptable democratic practice.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Iggy on the GG: then, now, and the future...

Two months ago:

“We’ve considered the question and we think the right way to go here is to reappoint MichaĆ«lle Jean.” 

“I want to congratulate David Johnston for his appointment as Canada’s 28th Governor General.

“David Johnston’s dedication to learning and innovation – which are essential to Canada’s success – combined with his legal expertise the constitutional knowledge makes him an ideal choice for Governor General."
So Mr. Ignatieff, which is it?  The "right way" or "an ideal choice"?

As much as I'm not a fan of summer polls, especially from Ekos (Greens above 11% my ass), is it any wonder Liberal support has dipped below 25%?

Good timing, because of Senators picking apart the budget bill, the Conservatives are now ready to "rock and roll" for a fall election.
[Conservative Senator and campaign manager, Doug] Finley said he's hopeful senators will eventually bow to the will of the elected Commons, which has already approved the bill. But if they don't, he said: "Let's dance."

"We're ready to go to an election if we have to. The buses, the planes, the trains, the money, the boardroom — everything's ready to rock and roll," said Finley.

"We're in good shape for an election."
Now being the Bob Rae/PowerCorp conspirator theorist that I am, I believe the Rae Liberals will help trigger an election somehow, and cut their losses.  Then Ignatieff will step down but stay on as an MP (if he wins). Regardless of that though, he'll continue his abysmal attendance record (307th worst) but then announce he's not running again and will return to Harvard.  It's obvious Ignatieff has no passion for being an MP, only PM.

With Jack Layton's health in question, although he'll likely run come a fall election as there's no time for the Dippers to have a leadership race.  Afterward though, Jack may step down, and some Dippers may be more comfortable with merging with the Liberals.  Then let the Liberal Democrat merger/coalition massively ramp up with Bob Rae being "the great uniter".

Surely many soft Liberals supporters won't stick around and while some will migrate to the Conservatives, don't be surprised at Green numbers rising and a push to oust Elizabeth May who will once again lose against a Conservative cabinet minister, Gary Lunn, in BC.

If the Conservatives win a majority this fall, the Liberal leadership race will take a year or two, and Bob Rae will want that to happen, to ensure he's 'democratically elected', unlike his old roommate, to legitimize his support within the party.  The big question of course will be the merger, because nothing else will really be supported.  If any other Liberal leadership candidate comes forward against a merger, say Dominic LeBlanc, Gerard Kennedy, Martin Couchon, or heck, even a Justin Trudeau, will they be able to unite the Liberals again.

For the NDP, if Thomas Muclair gets reelected, he has a good shot at becoming the next NDP leader. And if he's anti-merger, then nothing will change.  If Muclair doesn't win, then who knows will emerge.  Regardless, the Harper Conservatives will enjoy more time in government while the new opposition party leaders get their feet wet and try to win the trust of Canadians.

All of this news is good for Conservatives and don't think Harper hasn't thought out all of the scenarios in his continued long-game to replace the Liberals as the natural governing party of Canada.