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Lying to Parliament is OK? To Congress, not so much…

OK. Can someone explain to me why our southern neighbour takes lying to legislative authorities so much more seriously than we do up here in the GW North?

Really. Former pitcher Roger Clemens could be in for some hard jail time if found guilty of lying to Congress about his alleged steroid use. Americans apparently put value on saying things under oath to elected officials.

Not so here in Canada. Here, a Minister of the Crown can go before a Parliamentary Committee, be asked point blank about certain conversations, lie about what transpired, be shown irrefutably to have lied, and suffer not a single consequence for his actions. What gives? Are Parliamentarians granted some kind of immunity while before a Committee that allows them to say whatever they damn well please?


So mixed martial “arts” are coming to Ontario – thanks to yet another reversal by the McGuinty government. This decision has been framed as a good-for-the-economy type of thing. Mayorlarry is looking forward to it!

What a bunch of b.s.

The Libs in Ontario are doing exactly what the Harperites have done in Ottawa- pander to the lowest common denominator in a pathetic attempt to buy votes.

These spectacles of sub-human testosterone spraying are a single step above Gladiator matches and should be censured everywhere. We don’t need our kids growing up thinking that acting out the fantasies of a Mad Max addict is appropriate behaviour in a civilized society.  I used to respect Dalton (he IS my MPP), but after this, and cowering to the religious right on the sex education changes AND fumbling, then backing off completely the perfectly fine Eco fees… well, the respect is gone. Poof!

Though I still hold a great deal of admiration for his brother David and hope that he one day takes the reins of the Federal Grit stagecoach.

The sacking of a couple of high level officials by the Reformatories shouldn’t surprise anyone.

OK – so the RCMP dude in charge of the Gun Registry wasn’t technically “sacked”, but he did suddenly need to go on language training right before delivering a report that praised rather than buried the value of the Gun Registry… not what the ReformCons want to hear…  whatta joke!

And now the Minister responsible for Veterans Affairs has pissed off a significant core of Con support…

Anyone that has read any of my posts before knows that I’m a major Peacenik, but J P Blackburn has dissed all vets by defending a compensation system that puts dollars and cents ahead of injured soldiers’ long term financial well-being.

While the treatment of Canada’s wounded should be improving with the climbing casualties from the decade-long deployment to Afghanistan, it has actually gotten worse in some respects.

Paul Franklin, who lost both legs in a January 2006 suicide bombing, was actually one of the lucky ones.

Back in Canada, he was offered a choice between the outgoing system for disability payments – $4,000 a month for the remainder of his life – or compensation under the new system, a $250,000 lump sum payment.

“I did the math real quick and $4,000 a month works out to $2 million if I live 40 more years,” he said. “It was a no-brainer.”

Michael Barnewell, 29, injured just 10 months later, never had Franklin’s easy choice.

“With a lump sum payment, the problem is that it’s not enough. You either try to use it now and then it’s gone so you don’t have it for the future, or you try to invest it for the future and what do you do now?” he said. “Under that old system, when you get those payments, you’re just taken care of. It’s just such security. It’s always there. It just comes.’’

But that security has been eroded by tight-fisted officials and a Conservative government that promised to honour the country’s soldiers and veterans but has left them feeling abandoned, Stogran said.

Stogran chose against an outright attack on his elected political masters, but did circulate a 2002 Canadian Alliance political pamphlet in which then-leader Stephen Harper promises to defend Canadian soldiers the way that they have defended the country.

Speaking in Mississauga, the prime minister sidestepped the strident criticism from Storgan in recent days and said the government is open to suggestions that could improve future programs.

But like other federal watchdogs who have either been fired or undermined by the government, the Tories may just bide their time until Stogran’s term expires in November and his pulpit evaporates.

Does this government have no shame? Even a Peacenik like me has heaps more respect for these guys than do the Harperites. There has been some attempt by the right to deflect the blame on to the public service staff and away from the politicians. But let me be clear – bureaucrats take their directions form the government of the day. And especially with the Soviet style of government practiced by the PMO, you can be damned sure that senior bureaucrats MUST do as told… and if they cannot do so, then resign with honour.


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One Comment

  1. re: Lying. I read your linked article, I don’t see anything about a lie. If you mean this:

    “Liberal MP Bob Rae says that when Industry Minister Tony Clement announced plans to make the long-form census voluntary, he claimed Statistics Canada said the new system could work.

    But Rae says government documents released Tuesday show that’s not true.

    The papers reveal that the head of StatsCan advised that a voluntary survey would not be as useful as the current mandatory form.”

    I counter that the paper or Bob Rae are misrepresenting the facts. Saying “a voluntary survey would not be as useful as the current mandatory form” is not the same as saying the proposed changes won’t work. If that is what StatsCan said then the MP was well within the boundaries of truth to say “StatsCan said it would work”. StatsCan did not say it would not work. They said it would work, just not as well as they’d like.

    Despite all the bollocks surrounding the census issue, there have been very few compelling reasons presented with regard to why certain questions must be asked at all. I maintain that the whole census issue would go away if certain questions were removed from the long form, and if people’s answers were never, ever associated with identifying information.

    “Never” doesn’t mean “we get rid of the identifying info as soon as we can”, it means “individually identifying information does not show up on the form at all, so there’s no need to get rid of it as soon as it can be removed.”

    Perhaps nobody has been jailed, but they have at least threatened fines, as I have experienced it personally. I’d like to know how many people have actually been fined or otherwise harassed for Census answers.

    re: Mixed Martial Arts

    I was hoping we’d be moving toward banning boxing, not adding mixed martial arts. Bread and circuses I guess…

    And this speaks to poor math skills:
    “Back in Canada, he was offered a choice between the outgoing system for disability payments – $4,000 a month for the remainder of his life – or compensation under the new system, a $250,000 lump sum payment.
    “I did the math real quick and $4,000 a month works out to $2 million if I live 40 more years,” he said. “It was a no-brainer.”

    Yes, do the math. $250000 invested now works out to just over $2 million over 40 years at a modest 5%. So if he wants to compare apples to apples, it’s a no-brainer alright… in terms of money over 40 years, he’s better off taking the lump sum. This is almost certainly the same basic calculation that was used to determine the lump sum.

    What he should have said is that despite the equality of outcome over 40 years, how can he live now on the money. $4k/mo lets him blow the $2 million as it’s needed, the lump sum makes him wait.

    The Barnewell guy is on the right track. The changes are ill thought out because they don’t help NOW, even if the future financial outcome is equivalent. They should have ignored that first guy, his opinion is a non-sequitur.

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