Happy birthday, Conservative government

Tease the day: What’s above the fold, plus stories that will be (mostly missed)


Adrian Wyld/CP

Two years ago, the country granted the Conservatives a majority government. This morning, these are the top headlines on everyone’s chosen news aggregator, National Newswatch:

Grim report warns Canada vulnerable to an aboriginal insurrection

Disgruntled Arab states look to strip Canada of UN agency

Aaron Wherry, in his corner on this site, posed a question:

Do you know where your $3.1 billion went?

The sensationally forecast aboriginal insurrection, which came out of a paper published by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, is not the top story of the week. Nor are the Qatar-led efforts to move the International Civil Aviation Organization out of Montreal. Wherry’s question is probably the biggest of the week. If you’re unfamiliar, the story so far is this: the government can’t really account for $3.1 billion of anti-terror funding earmarked between 2001 and 2009. There’s no suggestion that money was misspent, or hoarded, or anything so untoward. But plenty of questions remain about what did actually happen to that money.

The government’s no further along in providing a coherent response to all of that, and its ministers are still busy putting out all those little fires set by Auditor General Michael Ferguson when he released his spring report.

What a great week to celebrate that big majority win, amirite?

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with a Qatar-led campaign to wrench the International Civil Aviation Organization’s headquarters from Montreal. The National Post fronts Andrew Coyne’s suggestion that government should spend less, not better. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Premier Kathleen Wynne’s intention to campaign on an “NDP-style” budget, if the government falls. The Ottawa Citizen leads with doubts inside the RCMP about how effectively the force can investigate white-collar crime. iPolitics fronts today’s tabling of the Ontario budget at Queen’s Park. CBC.ca leads with four questions about the Ontario budget. National Newswatch showcases John Ivison’s column in the National Post that muses about the future of aboriginal relations in Canada.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Mental health. Charles Matiru’s family says the military offered little help when Matiru, a veteran of four tours in Afghanistan, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and died of suicide. 2. RCMP. The national police force was cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of a Canadian Forces veteran who served in Bosnia and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.
3. Charbonneau. Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau, among other public figures, was used by political organizer and engineer Gilles Cloutier to secure lucrative construction contracts. 4. University. Four small schools in eastern Canada—St. Francis Xavier, Acadia, Mount Allison, and Bishop’s—are partnering with each other to enhance student experience and save money.

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Happy birthday, Conservative government

  1. “Grim report warns Canada vulnerable to an aboriginal insurrection”
    and then the report goes on about how we are vulnerable because we have such long roads on which goods must travel……………..meaning that Native protest have a lot of opportunity to disrupt the essential delivery of goods.

    So, what’s the point of an assessment like that? That because we have many roads and railroad tracks, that it is therefore easy to sabotage our economy?

    I would say that if we have an effective police force, it doesn’t matter much what the report believes to be grim or not; I believe that an effective police force can beat out the ‘grim’ in this report in no time, anytime!

    • Take a good look at just where and how widely dispersed Aboriginal communities are in this country. They sit on pretty well all the choke points.And they’re tough people.
      I’m not endorsing this report[ i haven’t read it yet]. But to claim our police forces can contain this easily is ludicrous. Just one stand off at oka pretty well tied up a chunk of our military. Confrontation with FNs is one fight we can’t win, even if it came to it. Which no responsible govt should ever allow to come to a head anyway
      Harper’s ideological approach to FN’s issues isn’t helping. Sooner or later we have to address land claims and related sovereignty issues…just not with this govt.

      • Oka was tied up for such a long time because law enforcement did not do its job!

        This government is working on land claim settlements. Ask Atleo why the parties haven’t met. Many land claim settlements much be agreed to on a one on one basis, not a speedy process by any means.

        But, sure, let the Natives protest and let the Natives disrupt resource development. My bet is that such Native action will be a win-win for this government. Not because this government is instigating Native protest, but because the Native community has to be held responsible, just like any other Canadian is being held responsible.

        • So you think they should have gone in at Oka do you? We’ve seen that movie before when your crowd[ Harris] tried to play cowboy to the indians…a man was murdered as a result.

          • Don’t forget Fantino – he wanted forces to move in on Mohawk blockades at Tyendinaga. It would have been a bloodbath, which I would argue is NOT the job of law enforcement.

    • “I would say that if we have an effective police force”

      You presume that isn’t a big if.

      You would do well to read Douglas Bland’s “Uprising”. The ending is a wee hyperbolic, but points out that a lot of Canada’s resources are isolated and vulnerable.

      E.g. the James Bay Project. Provides power to approx 7.5 million homes. Located in Radisson PQ, separated from any major centre by 1400 km of nothingness and just one road. Home to a lot of aboriginals and a tiny police detachment. If that police station were to be overtaken and the hydro dams overtaken, it would be two days before the police/military could even get people up there. Much longer should they take out the bridges also. And meanwhile a good chunk of the eastern seaboard is suddenly without power.

  2. “Happy Birthday, Conservative Government”

    Are we going to see a party at, say, the ACC, with a Marilyn Monroe equivalent to serenade the PM?

  3. “Hence, he concludes Ottawa must reinforce the security guarantee in and
    near First Nations by safeguarding critical transportation
    infrastructure, beefing up policing on reserves and cracking down on
    illegal drugs.”

    I’m not against up holding the law as regards FNs, or weeding out the dangerous radicals. But this would need the cooperation of the community leaders; and given the scale of the problems, the minority feasibility reports recommendations[ and ivison’s view – likely the editorial position of the post also] are getting awfully close to a form of provocation, or risking the perception of it. Without fixing major points of contention or implementing the main recommendations, but instead hinting or suggesting that the majority of elders or traditional chiefs and elected leaders might themselves be a risk factor for an insurrection is just irresponsible in the extreme. As is beefing up security around or near reserves, thereby sending the message that their govt feels they are potential terrorists.
    Fix the bloody problems and the feasibility will fade away. But this would require some real leadership from the federal govt. A laying down of the law to the provinces, many of whom have only paid lip service to the law, as stated in section 35 of the charter. Hell, we don’t even have a govt that fully recognizes the legitimacy of the charter itself.

  4. Dang! I missed annual Pierre Poutine day yesterday!

    • Mmmmm, poutine.

      • I actually had poutine last weekend (my own garden potatoes, gravy from a rib roast cooked two weeks ago, curds from the market). I HAVE HORRIBLE TIMING!

        • Mmmm, briguyhfx’s poutine.

          I confess, I make poutine whenever we have had a roast and have leftover gravy. Had poutine in Levis Quebec a few years ago with chunks of roasted chicken on it, and I make it that way now — great with roast beef, pork or chicken.

          • I will have to try that. I also want to try it more with roasted potato wedges than fries, but that may disqualify it as poutine.

          • Roasted potato wedges would be great. And you could tell yourself it’s not as bad for you since rather than being deep fried, they were roasted in oil and butter — so much healthier.

  5. do ppl realize that during the 9 year life of the program the Tories were only in power 3 of those years? maybe the libs did something with the money and hid it?????

    • Do you realize that no data has been made available after 2009?

      Rather than speculate about how to pin this on the Liberals, it might be worth your time to demand accountability from the current government – the least they could do is make the data available to the Auditor General.

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