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The Commons: ‘Ask my brother-in-law’

A loud and furious afternoon of openly wondering and shouted theories


 

The Scene. If the House has been struck with one thing these past few weeks it has been a rather simple question: why is it that this government does what it does? The government, you see, isn’t much for explaining itself, its motivations or its thought processes. And when, on rare occasion, it does attempt to explain, its explanations are often said by its exacting critics to escape logic.

And so perhaps today’s reckoning—a loud and furious afternoon of openly wondering and shouted theories—was inevitable.

The Bloc, for instance, was quite perplexed. Or perhaps apoplectic is a better adjective. They were befuddled (to use another word) by the government’s approach to women’s groups and advocacy. Was the government, wondered Nicole Demers, guided by religion? Was it faithful to ideology?

Nay, said Bev Oda, the besieged Minister of International Cooperation.

“This is not about ideology,” she testified. “This is not about entitlement. This is about how we best use taxpayers’ dollars so that we can make a difference in developing countries.”

The Bloc was unpersuaded. But then Jack Layton was up, apparently hoping to set something else straight.

“Mr. Speaker, let me get this straight,” the NDP leader said, speaking quietly and evenly, choosing to withhold his indignation for the time being. “There are some very serious allegations from a very credible third party, and we have to believe the Bank of Montreal is a more credible third party than a private investigator, suggesting that the Conservative member of Parliament from Calgary Northeast is linked to what is believed to be, at $100 million, the largest bank fraud in Canadian history.”

This was, to this point, a review of the circumstances surrounding government backbencher Devinder Shory. But then the hook.

“What is the difference between him and member for Simcoe-Grey?” Mr. Layton asked, raising the matter of the recently exiled Helena Guergis. “Why did the government not call in the RCMP? Why is the member still sitting in the Conservative caucus?”

The government turned to its solidly built house leader, Jay Hill, to sort this one out.

“Mr. Speaker, despite the honourable member’s penchant for always believing the banks about everything,” he began, apparently joking, “clearly this is a personal, civil matter concerning the member for Calgary Northeast and has absolutely nothing to do with the business of the Government of Canada.”

So apparently there is some distinction to be made between personal and civil allegations and whatever the heck Ms. Guergis is still, quite inconclusively accused of doing. Mind you, it was just a few days ago that Mr. Harper was here and stressing that Ms. Guergis’s alleged troubles didn’t have anything to do with “government business” either. In any event, perhaps it is safe to assume that if Ms. Guergis is cleared of her undefined wrongdoing well enough ahead of the next election, she’ll be happily welcomed back to take a spot beside Mr. Shory on the Conservative side. Indeed, if Parliament is right and just and fair it will put off an election as long as it takes to achieve closure in this regard. Or perhaps that is to misunderstand whatever it is Mr. Hill has said here.

Happily, this was not quite the closest the House came to clarity this day. Indeed there was one identifiable revelation this afternoon—one that seems to break new ground in the understanding of Mr. Harper’s administration.

Earlier, Michael Ignatieff had risen and raised the support of various police associations and the survivors of the massacre at l’École Polytechnique to make the case for firearms registration.

“There is a reasonable difference of opinion,” John Baird responded, quite reasonably, “in that we believe the billions of dollars spent on the long gun registry have been a waste and that we can make better criminal justice reform, such as has been implemented by the Minister of Justice in this Parliament, that this House can be proud of.”

Mr. Ignatieff was unmoved and he even had a fact to present.

“Mr. Speaker, just as a point of fact, that is one of the Top 10 myths of the Canadian firearms program. It actually costs $4.1 million a year to operate. It is good value and it keeps Canadians safe,” he ventured.

“We stand with the survivors of the École Polytechnique massacre. We stand with the chiefs of police. We stand with the officers. We stand with legitimate gun owners who stand behind the gun registry in order to keep our communities safe,” he continued, raising his voice several levels to be heard over the noise raised across the way. “Why is the government ignoring all of these voices of reason?”

Mr. Baird stood again to explain who the government wishes to stand with. “Mr. Speaker, I will take the word of the Auditor General who certainly did not call it value for money when more than $1 billion was wasted on the creation of the long gun registry,” he recalled. “We stand with victims. We stand with Canadians. We stand with all of those who want to make our communities safer.”

Once more to the Liberal leader, now deftly employing his hand chop and that bit where he puts his thumb and fingers together to signal he’s making a specific point. “Why will the government not do the right thing and stand with police officers, stand with chiefs of police, stand with legitimate gun owners who believe that the gun registry is an essential measure of public safety, stand with those police officers who know they need a gun registry in order to keep officers safe?” he begged. “Why will the government not listen to these voices of reason?”

Amid these queries from Mr. Ignatieff and much shouting from the government benches, an identifiable cry came from the further reaches of the Conservative side.

“Ask my brother-in-law!” the voice advised.

So there. And so apparently we now know upon whose advice this government is acting. So does everything perhaps make sense.

The Stats. Firearms, seven questions. Shutting the f— up, six questions. Ethics, five questions. Guergis, four questions. Omar Khadr, three questions. Taxation, employment, health care, nuclear weapons and Afghanistan, two questions each. Multiple Sclerosis, fisheries and crime, one question each.

John Baird, 11 answers. Bev Oda, Denis Lebel, Leona Aglukkaq and Deepak Obhrai, three answers each. Vic Toews, Jim Flaherty, Ed Komarnicki and Peter Kent, two answers each. Rona Ambrose, Stockwell Day, Laurie Hawn, Steven Fletcher, Gail Shea and Rob Nicholson, one answer each.


 

The Commons: ‘Ask my brother-in-law’

  1. Once more to the Liberal leader, now deftly employing his hand chop and that bit where he puts his thumb and fingers together to signal he's making a specific point.

    It's good to know that there's at least one thing that the Liberal leader is deft at. ;-)

    • It sure ain't much else. He should hang his head in shame instead of arrogantly standing up pushing his propaganda day after day. Oh, I forgot he has no policies. He only talks about so called corruption. He needs to look behind him. There are several of his Quebec caucus who are sitting there because of money the Liberal party stole from taxpayers and was funneled to Liberal ridings in Quebec.

      • You do realize it's up to the government to come up with policies. If you guys want policies so bad, why don't you try making some..

        ..and lperhaps even consider etting them get all the way through before proroguing for once.

        • Harper recycles. He hasn't come up with any new policies or ideas ever. He prorogues and then comes back with the same old same old.

          Ignatieff has announced some policies, but the media are more interested in Guergis.

          • Nobody pays attention to his policies because there is nothing new. Its a rehash of the same old b.s. the Liberal party has been trying to buy votes with for years. Problem is Canadians are no longer buying their crap. The other thing is that Iffy and the Liberal party has no credibility and so the media just move on.

            The problem with introducing Conservative policy is that there are three left wing parties in the House and their sole intent is to ensure that Harper accomplishes nothing and so they will tie everything up and not much will get done.

            So there are not many weeks until the Summer break. There probably will be an election in the Fall and Iffy will be defeated. The question is how badly.

            I thoroughly enjoyed Baird's performance in the House yesterday. The Libs were embarassed if they ever can be and anytime that happens its a good day in Canada.

          • You partisan hack. Is your own hypocrisy even visible to you anymore?

            How is proroguing the government the fault of the three left wing parties in the House? Every time a conservative bill gets near completion, Harper prorogues or calls an election.

            But let's look at what you want. You want a minority party in opposition to come up with policy because apparantly the minority party that's nearly double the size doesn't have the ability to do anything.

            You also want the smaller party, that's had a major change in leadership only a couple years ago to not just come out with policy reflective of their traditional stance, but to come up with new and innovative policy, while the governing party which has had a continuity of leadership for nearly 8 years, hasn't changed its policy in all of that time and that's just fine with you.

            At the same time, you also are wanting an election to defeat the very party you want to draw up policy, despite the fact that they're already defeated (hence why they're in opposition).

            And yet, you really don't want the opposition party to come out with anything good at all because you prefer it if they're embarrassed. So on one hand, you want them to come out with good, new policies because they're doing a poor job if they don't, and on the other hand, you want them to do a poor job. Meanwhile, your party of choice gets a pass on all of the above because.. well.. because they're your party of choice.

            Again.. you partisan hack.

            At least the trolls don't believe the tripe they spew.

          • If it makes you feel better go ahead and call me names. It is so mature. The fact remains you cannot defend your party. It has become an embarassment and the public is reacting negatively to the leadership of Iffy. So go ahead release your frustration by name calling.

            The fact remains I want to see the Liberals introduce a platform and the government to release policies so that a debate can be had and the one who convinces Canadians they have the best plan will win.

            Instead the opposition parties continually criticize the government for its tactics and strategies. Very little criticism about policies.

            What do we get each day is smears, lies and fabrication from the opposition parties so much so that the public is becoming more cynical each day. Its is as if they hope if they cry fire enough that Canadians will somehow catch on and learn the errors of their ways.

            Has the government been perfect? Not by a long shot. However, the Libs will never win government until they get a credible leader and come out with some ideas that Canadians can relate to. Period full stop.

            So as I say you can call me names but that does not change the facts on the ground.

          • "there are three left wing parties in the House "
            ===
            No, dammit. There are 3 parties to the left of the Harper Conservatives which is NOT the same as being left wing. Not even close. The Liberals under Michael Ignatieff are certainly no further left than the dead centre which is the traditional Liberal ground.

          • "I thoroughly enjoyed Baird's performance in the House yesterday. The Libs were embarassed if they ever can be and anytime that happens its a good day in Canada."

            And therein lies the soul of the STFU party – with the most serious issues facing this government, their greatest achievement is smirking at the opposition.

    • I thumbed up you…people are so serious!

  2. "he urged Deepak to sit down and/or take the plane back to where he came from"

    Surely, this was in reference to 'Where's Deepak?" :This guy puts the 'jet' in 'set' Always off on 'a mission', our Deepak. Which mission for what purposes? Shrugs all around. Also, he's the only 'junior' cabinet member who smugly denies there is any such thing. The man's a blowhard. A self-important, ineffectual, scarf-wearing hack and an embarrassment to boot. Exhibit 'A' in 'Depth of the Bench'.

    • Mr. Mark Warawa (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC):
      Mr. Speaker, in the years that I have been here representing my constituency, this is the first time I have raised a point of order on an inappropriate comment that I think I heard. Over the years, I have seen inappropriate gestures and have heard inappropriate comments and have not risen to this point, but this is so serious that I must.

      When a question was raised by the member for Toronto Centre and the member for Calgary East stood to answer, I listened to what he was saying and I think I heard him say, “Sit down. Sit down. You don't know what you're saying. Sit down. Go back on a plane”.

      If indeed he said that, it would be a very inappropriate racist comment and I would ask him to clarify whether he said that and, if he did, he needs to apologize to this House.

      Aaron, you were there…Perhaps you could comment on if you heard such a thing?

  3. "…This is about how we best use taxpayers' dollars…".

    Just like you used $5 million of them to advertise your Economic Action Plan during the 2010 Olympics, $10 million of them to send out 10 percenters and want to use millions more to add 30 new MPs?

    Right. I'm glad that Ms. Oda is concerned about taxpayers money. None of her comrades seem to be.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

  4. Yawn – funny how these neocon Reform Bots forget that the startup costs of the Registry increased exponentially because a certain party advocated to its supporters -and the few other gun owners across the country – that a strategy of citizen disobedience – that is breaking the law – or at least – by persistently submitting incorrect info. – that the system would grind to a halt or cost so much that the government of the day would have to abandon it!
    Same group who advocate for Law and Order right now. Ha! Bunch of hypocrites – the lot of them!

    • if you took every gun that is legal and on legal gun that is in this country right now and locked them up in a large vault there will be guns on the street tomorrow and not one of them will be owned by a legit hunter sport shooter or any one else with an FAC but drug dealers killers and just about any other moron with a small piece of brain. so you tell me where would that WASTED money that was spent on the registry be better spent on this useless peice of law that will not save one life or on more boarder guards and more police.

      just so you know i DO NOT have any guns

      have a good day

      • A great example of a someone who likes to think he understands what the gun registry is for, but clearly doesn't.

        Instead of using "ifs" why don't you do some research on what the registry actually DOES (and it's main objective is security and information, not taking away guns) then maybe you could form a valid opinion on the topic.

  5. also in QP today:

    "This raises a number of questions about the Liberal Party," Baird said.
    "Who is the Liberal Party's member of Parliament (Derek Lee)lobbying for?
    When he advises government bodies on cross-border tax collection, when he lobbies government on policy issues, when he calls a minister's office, who is he fighting for?
    Is he fighting for his constituents or some foreign, well-paid interest?"

    Baird's counter-attack seemed to catch Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and other Liberal MPs by surprise and Ignatieff was clearly not pleased with the revelations. He did not speak to reporters Thursday.

    (read Blogging Tories Iffy, and then you would have know about it 2 weeks ago!
    Ted Betts, you should have warned them….)

    • Are you talking about that red herring? Maybe it took them by surprise because t was not a legitimate accusation.

      Though why anyone on the opposition benches would think the Harper government would say anything legitimate in the House is beyond me.

      • Oh Gayle you must be embarassed today. Your beloved Libs were caught with their pants down. Looked good on them. The website said what it said. How many clients did that law firm get because of the way Derek Lee was described on their website. We need to know. Of course if it had been a Conservative there would be hell to pay. It would be a headline in all media and on TV. They would have had a parliamentary investigation etc. Except this guy is a Liberal and they must be proteced by the media at all costs from that "nasty" Mr. Harper. You guys are so desperate it is laughable and Canadians are not finding the Libs funny these days.

        • Wow, you are sure hyper today. Perhaps you are worried, and perhaps you believe posting the same nonsense over and over again actually helps your party???

          I suggest rather than these diatribes, you contact your party and ask them who was lobbied by Derek Lee, because if they are going to accuse him of criminal behaviour, they probably should have the facts to back that up, right?

          Anyway…

  6. It's too bad Rona didn't get a chance to speak with the engineers who attended the C-391 hearings.

    She could have answered her question with even more authority on 'what women want'.

    • Heh, she could have been followed by Bev Oda's expert opinion on how to "best use taxpayers' dollars so that we can make a difference in developing countries."

      Just a couple of "experts" in control of public policy.

  7. Gee whiz Aaron, for the life of me I just can't figure out why the Tories would treat a cabinet minister different from a backbencher. Why-o-why would they not think cocaine, blackmail & illegal lobbying are the equivalent of negligent paperwork.

    • 100 million dollars worth of negligence? I'm sorry, was the MP in a coma while signing these documents?

      • Are you being intentionaly disingenoius? Because the statement of claim made by BMO is not alleging that he was involved in the fraud, or that his involvment extends beyond a few applications. This is typical of law firms when suing. Just like the insurance company suing the 12 yeatr old baby sitter for the house catching fire. I guess if the babysitter was a card carrying liberal you'd describe her as being an arsonist.

    • I'd like to see you equate, in monetary damage to innocent people, the cocaine, blackmail & illegal lobbying to $100 000 000 worth of negligent paperwork.

  8. I must have been watching a different Question Period.
    You missed Bob Raes little outburst, as he urged Deepak to sit down and/or take the plane back to where he came from.
    You missed all of the heckling and catcalls from the liberal benches.
    You missed the part about liberals advertising their services as lobbyists.
    You missed the part about Marlene Jennings and Wayne Easter trying to outdo each other in trying to see who would be the first to pop a vein.
    But most of all you missed Bairds gleeful romp over the liberal hypocrites.

    • And we all know that Aaron wants to be fair and balanced…not (sarcasm intended). The Libs looked foolish today and Iffy is now caught in his own rhetoric. The Libs will have to support the enhanced Lobbyist registration being proposed by the government. The NDP are supporting it so if the Libs don't you know what that will mean.

    • It goes without saying that Baird's wit and finesse put him in a league far beyond most MPs. It doubtlessly gets tiresome for Wherry to report – yet again – that the slayer of hypocrisy, the embodiment of calm, polite eloquence has once again laid waste to his opponents. It's like reporting that the sun rose in the east.

    • Bairds gleeful romps these days amount to "Oh ya. Well you're a poopy head."

      I haven't seen any reasonable question, directed toward the government, given a straight answer in the past several months.

      • I haven't seen any reasonable question…………………………..

        BINGO

      • You got the first part correct, "I haven't seen any reasonable question, directed toward the government, …………………………………… in the past several months".

    • Cough – are you for real? Rae apparently did not say that and it's going to be looked into. You don't know what he said, you're believing the Con BS again.

  9. “Mr. Speaker, I will take the word of the Auditor General who certainly did not call it value for money when more than $1 billion was wasted on the creation of the long gun registry”

    Ah yes Mr. Baird, and we get that money back when we toss out the long gun registry. Just like I get my money back when I destroy my TV with a baseball bat.

    That's the way it works… right?

    • no you do not get your money back but if you still run hydro through it then shame on you.
      this money could have payed for a lot of guards on the boarder or even better yet more cops on the street
      do you think some one that is going to use a gun for a crime is going to care if it is registered or not. there has been a registry for hand gun since the 1930 or there abouts and how many hand guns are used in crimes.
      if you think the registry will do any good well lets not get into that
      but if some one is going to shoot me i would rather have a cop around than stand there and asking if the rifle is registered

      have a good day

      • Well isn't this just a wonderful post. dondid gives me a breakdown of why he thinks the registry is bad, but then politely asks me not to get into why I think it's good. No capitals, scattered punctuation, and the lovely idea that we should have a discussion, but that I shouldn't present my point of view makes me absolutely love this post – and he even tells me to have a good day (I will! You as well!).

        Anyway, as Iggy pointed out, the maintenance costs of the project are on the scale of $5 million a year. The salary, benefits, and costs to equip a police officer mean that if we scrapped the registry and spent all that money on police officers (unlikely because the registry is a federal expense and most police officers are funded by provinces and municipalities, so that money saved wouldn't be likely to go to the police services), we'd get about 40 – over the whole nation. Contrast that against the 67000+ officers we currently have – it's a gain of less than one tenth of one percent of the police force.

        Yeah, the registry likely wasn't worth the start-up costs. But we paid that already. The question is now whether the maintenance costs are worth it. At this point I'd explain why I think it's worth it, but of course, you asked so nicely that I not do so.

    • The money spent was disgraceful but it is no longer about the money. It is bad publc policy and any policeman who relys on the registry for accurate information is asking for a load of hurt. Its pure propaganda. Another dime spent is a waste and the vast majority of Canadians believe it should be eliminated.

      • Why do you hate our police chiefs?

  10. I believe the gap between Iffy and Harper will slowly and surely continue to grow. Iggy has proven himself completely out of his league and is a disgrace as a party leader. He cries "democracy" and then whips the vote on the gun bill, he cries for cooperation and consultation and then when he gets it tries to capitalize by calling a press conference re: the GG., he cries for accountability regarding lobbying but only for everyone else. How could the Government ever think this guy could share our countries sensitive documents without trying to make political hay? Most importantly, how much longer before the Liberal rank and file admit they have screwed up royally and they will be permanent guests of the opposition side of the house as long as Iffy is their exhalted leader?

  11. Iggy Says the police think the registry is a valuable tool.. Well, here are 47 pages of comments about the registry from REAL FRONT LINE POLICE OFFICERS. Not the pencil pushing political police lobby groups whom Iggy refers to as front line police officers
    http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/2010/

  12. How we use taxpayer's dollars …

    How about the $450,000 to Wycliffe Bible translators? Why are we subsidizing evangelical missions to convert indigenous cultures to a narrow belief system that denies the value of other religons? And isn't that double dipping, if we first allow a tax exemption for churches and then also pay them to do their proselytizing?

      • Most of the ongoing subsidies seem to be to niche magazines. But doesn't every Canadian magazine get a subsidy? Are the Liberals saying we should slash culture subsidies instead?

        • I wouldn't know, as I'm not a Liberal. But in general, I'd like to see magazine subsidies go.

          Funding Bible translation is not just needless, it violates a healthy separation of church and state, in my opinion.

          • Yes, missionaries are truly horrible people underserving of any state support. But this group, while translating the Bible into indigenous languages, also translates other useful material, provides literacy classes and other support for indgenous languages. They might actually merit their $500K grant to supply materials to a public school – maybe even as much as the Aga Khan foundation and the Catholic Outreach group on CIDA's list merit their several million dollars in grants… http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/contribution
            http://www.wycliffe.ca/transform/communities.html
            Kenya's 75,000 Pokomo people..received their own New Testament translation in 2005. Church ..the Pokomo team has produced various materials, including reading primers, health books on AIDS, cultural books and Bible studies…The overall vision for the Pokomo people is to bring about high quality mother tongue literacy and education for both adults and children in rural areas.

          • Yes, missionaries are truly horrible people underserving of any state support. But this group, while translating the Bible into indigenous languages, also translates other useful material, provides literacy classes and other support for indgenous languages. They might actually merit their $500K grant to supply materials to a public school – maybe even as much as the Aga Khan foundation and the Catholic Outreach group on CIDA's list merit their several million dollars in grants… http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/contribution
            http://www.wycliffe.ca/transform/communities.html
            Kenya's 75,000 Pokomo people..received their own New Testament translation in 2005. Church ..the Pokomo team has produced various materials, including reading primers, health books on AIDS, cultural books and Bible studies…The overall vision for the Pokomo people is to bring about high quality mother tongue literacy and education for both adults and children in rural areas.

          • "Yes, missionaries are truly horrible people"

            How on earth did you get that out of my advocation for separating church and state?

            Anyway, the bottom line is that Wycliffe is primarily in the business of propaganda-spreading, window dressed with tenuous side benefits to justify their funding. I have no problem with what they do, just with public money funding it.

          • What's wrong with funding the window dressing of this group? There are a lot of church and religious groups involved in development work. Supporting their development work with public money seems perfectly sensible. It would violate the separation of church and state if the state required people to follow a particular church in order to receive state funding, but not if a particular church receives state funding for public services.

          • If the money they're using is going to fund, promote, or be associated with the advancement of a religious group, that's a clear violation of separation of church and state. Even if the money is being spent in productive ways, if those receiving the help that money provides have religion pushed on them by those providing the help, then government money is indirectly funding the promotion of religion, and that's unacceptable in a society that is supposed to function apart from religion, such as ours.

          • Well put.

          • A lay society can fund religious groups to provide public services. And our society guarentees funding for a religious group in our Constitution (the Catholic church, though its schools). If a church or religous group is doing good work, why shouldn't our government support that work? Why would you want to ban a group from getting any public money just because it, separately, advocates or provides things you don't support?

          • No, the 1867 Constitution Act guarantees funding for separate school boards in three provinces andd one territory. Separate can also apply to Protestant faiths. It's something of an historic artifact, and the courts have explicitly said it does not imply or extend rights or precedents to other domains.

            So, it doesn't exactly pave the way for the state to fund Bible translations.

            Also, please stop turning this into an anti-religious thing. Understanding the need to keep church and state separate doesn't imply antagonism toward religious organizations

          • Yes, I understand how section 93 came to be (although I had forgotten that Protestant schools were protected in Quebec) and I guess you could argue that it'san exception to Canada's otherwise ardent opposition to funding religious organzations, but I just don't think that fits with our history.

            I'm not convinced that the fact that an organization translates Bibles means the organization is not eligible for state funding for some of its activities. If you look at their annual report from 2004, you'll see a decent description of the projects CIDA was funding then. http://www.wycliffe.ca/home/pdf/2004_annual_repor

          • I agree that there's some good things being done. But you have admit the document is just dripping with desire to convert/bribe the destitute into Christian beliefs. I see no evidence of a program that simply helps people without very overt missionary strings attached.

            I'm not saying they're bad people for doing this, just that they're in the business of conversion first, and aid secondarily. That doesn't fit my concept of a state separate from religion.

          • They're preserving local languages and increasing literacy. That;s worth funding. I disagree that the separation of church and state means that religious groups should be ineligible for state funding. My impression is that this is about ensuring freedom of conscience – the ability of people to practice their own religious beleifs. I'm also not convinced that these people are out there bribing destitute heathens to convert, rather than protecting minority populations who are already Christian.

          • I think we've hit our polite moment of disagreement. :)

            (p.s.: next time, use the fact that religious organizations count as charitable organizations for tax deductions like any other, which sets a fairly strong precedent for public monies funding them!)

          • Yes, but that's not in the Constitution so it's not woven into the fabric of Canada and could actually be fixed.

          • The same logic could be applied to the funding of people promoting women's health in poor countries.
            They might be funding abortions (something some people don't like, like paying for translating bibles) but the end result is healthier, more informed women (something everybody wants, like when evangelicals educate children.

          • I think that's right. We're not violating anyone's freedom of conscience in either case, we're funding a contentious activity that has public benefits.

          • Being against abortion and maintaining a separation of church and state are the same thing? Not even close.

          • That's not what I meant, I mean that if someone defends Evanlegical missions by saying that they have a positive side effect (preaching which leads to better education) then the same logic goes for funding abortions (murder of unborn children leads to better living conditions).

            Basically it's my way of saying that if someone defends funding religious groups (which like you said, goes against the separation of church and state) because of the good things they do, they can't deny the funding for operations they don't agree with (because of ideology, just like separation of church and state is an ideology) since they also have positive side effect.

            A polite of way of calling someone a hypocrite really.

      • Oh well that changes everything!

        My point was that people who talk about having precious resources to allocate shouldn't be underwriting proselyitizing. I really don't care what colour banner its done under.

        • Search the link for CIDA and you'll see what this group actually does with the money. Supporting minority groups, who may happen to be Christian, seems like an okay use of aid money.

          • "who may happen to be Christian"

            Which came first the Christians or the missionaries?

            They could support "the minority groups" as you put it with math and history and geography texts in Indigenous languages but they do it with bibles because they are a self-described Evangelical Mission.

          • "the Upper Pokomo, who make up 75% of the population, and the Lower Pokomo. The Upper Pokomo people are mainly Muslim, and have been so since the first half of the 20th century. The Lower Pokomo, who live along the lower part of the Tana, were receptive to the teachings of the Christian missionaries who arrived in the area in the late 1870s, and, by 1914, were almost exclusively Christian. "

            It's true, somebody else could help this group in another way. If we were living in a world where the Pokomo were fighting off people trying to raise their literacy and preserve their language, I guess that would be a great point.

  13. I keep hearing the opposition mps stating that in spite of what their constituents want, they support the various chiefs of police associations in keeping the long gun registry. An online poll by CTV last week indicated that 94% of Canadians did not support the registry. I guess these mps are hoping that the chiefs of police will vote for them because it appears that they are the only ones being represented in Ottawa by these clowns.

    • On-line polls simply reflect what self-selected respondents think. They are in no way representative of the general population, and thus are utterly worthless as evidence to support a position.

      • Rightwingers have a habit of freeping on-line polls; then by some magical means, they twist their minds into believing that a freeped poll means something.

        • But I'm liar, remember?

        • But I'm liar, remember?

  14. Here's my current favourite silly CIDA grant:
    Zip Zap Circus School Trust – for circus training- $96,260.00 – June 2009.

    Do the Conservatives appreciate just how many children are scared of clowns? Why do the Tories hate children?

    • So you support the ~ $50,000 to twitter about the benefits of the seal hunt?

      • Do you support clown training as a development priority?

  15. Spacing helps a bit too, it's tough reading a wall of text like that.

    Anyway, I think I understand where you're coming from, and really don't have much objection to that line of reasoning. However, I support maintaining the gun registry. The police chiefs want them and, since I really don't know that much about our law enforcement system, but I assume they do, I go with their word – they seem to think it's worth having it rather than $5 million for whatever else they need. I think, ultimately, our disagreement is just on a matter of value for results, which in the grand scheme of things, is a pretty minor one considering it's "only" $5 million.

  16. Truths and Myths about the gun registry:

    "…Of the 16 police officer shooting deaths since 1998, 14 were committed with a long gun. In 2007, about 15% of known firearm homicides in Canada were committed with a long gun…"
    http://www.truthsandmyths.ca/top-10-myths.html

  17. Glen Pearson is absolutely eloquent:

    "…So, this is what's it's come down to: farmers and hunters against police and women. It's stupid of course because in many ways it's a false dichotomy forced on Canadians by a government of divide and conquer. They're doing their utmost to fully embarrass and malign all rural opposition candidates who say they'll support the registry when the vote comes along, and in so doing they have made words, lies and slogans as lethal to democracy as bullets…"
    http://glenpearson.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/shoot

    • Next thing you know, someone will go after the Liberal candidates who vote against abortion. How will democracy survive if people start supporting candidates based on their party's platform?

  18. "…Registry provides relief to local family
    Police received a call from family members requesting attendance at the family residence to take the father's firearms away, as he was very depressed and despondent. Before the officers left with a quantity of long guns, they queried CFRO and determined there were 21 more firearms registered to the father, that no family members were aware of. The officers remained on site until they obtained a search warrant, proceeded with the search, and found the additional 21 firearms hidden in various parts of the house, along with 45,000 rounds of ammunition…"
    http://www.truthsandmyths.ca/how-the-firearms-reg

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