Yes. Things are a bit early this week. I'll be away and I wanted to get something out. There might not be a post next week, but I'll try to get something out.
Wasn't Stephen Harper's biggest promise that he was a "steady hand on the tiller" and a "prudent fiscal manager"? Well, our prudent fiscal managers really have things humming along! The TSX hits some lows and real estate is not looking very good. A terrible jobs report too. Way to go guys!
In other "prudent fiscal management" news, here are some details on the billions of dollars that Canada will have to pay out as government employees are let go. The debt continues to skyrocket and they spend boatloads of money on their pet projects (throwing people in jail, buying the best shit to blow other shit up with, etc). We'll probably end up re-hiring many of these positions in a few years time.
The Liberals are starting to poll well. I can only imagine the reaction this will bring. They've already developed some anti-Trudeau attack ads.
Thankfully, they've found the "mastermind" behind the whole robo-calls scandal, and charged him. Amazingly, a junior employee on a local campaign with no authority or access to any information was behind the whole thing! His lawyer points out that this doesn't make much sense. From the Tyee we have this gem of a cartoon:
Update: So. Internet voting is supposed to raise voter turnout, right? Somehow, I don't think the Conservatives are interested in getting more people out to vote. And magically, Elections Canada sees their budget hit and they have to scrap internet voting.
The Federal Information Commissioner is investigating why Stephen Harper is muzzling scientists.
Parliament voted to give themselves (and the Senate) a pay raise.
As well, they seem to think it is okay to accept huge amounts of, I'm going to say it, bribes in the form of "travel expenses" from businesses, foreign trade organizations, etc. MP's should either travel on official business that the government pays for, or they shouldn't travel at all (vacations excepted). Why are they allowed on junkets? How can they remain impartial on something after accepting a free trip and bringing along their wife/husband?
People wonder why BC citizens aren't too pumped on a new pipeline. Another one ruptures in Arkansas. I'm sure there will be lots of people explaining why this one ruptured but why a BC pipeline never will.
And here it is (somewhat). The National Post is up in arms over the slander committed by journalists pointing out that it was Canadian oil spilled in Arkansas. "But it was an American pipeline!" they scream. Correct. It doesn't matter where the oil came from. But it also doesn't really matter where the pipeline was or who operated it. It was a pipeline. It leaked. It causes problems. This (and the countless other pipeline leaks) kills the arguments that pipelines are 100% safe and we shouldn't be afraid of environmental catastrophe.
Exxon has been given authority over a no fly zone above the spill. Which seems really, really odd.
You know, if I, say, own a restaurant in, say, Northern Alberta. It would be pretty silly if I expanded my restaurant capacity far beyond what was locally necessary and then complained that I couldn't get decent prices for my restaurant food and pointed out that restaurant food cost a lot more money in New York City, so you had better approve my proposal to build a dumbwaiter from Northern Alberta to New York City because I was losing too much money selling my food at a loss in Northern Alberta. It just wouldn't make business sense to keep building up my capacity if I was unable to sell my product for a decent price. So, why is it okay to just build and build and build in Northern Alberta, yank out a non-renewable resource as fast as possible, sell it at a loss, and then complain that people aren't doing enough to help you make as much money as possible? This is insane. As well, this Tyee article points out (again) that this whole oil price difference thing is a bit of a myth.
Okay. So maybe trains aren't the answer over pipelines.
A mine clean-up in the Northwest Territories has ballooned to almost a billion dollars. Which is a quarter of the entire budget set aside to clean-up over 6,700 toxic sites. So, there might be a budget shortfall for the program, I'm thinking. Why is the owner not responsible for the clean-up? To Wikipedia! Hmmm...that doesn't really clear things up. Anyhow, this suggests that we should collect money for clean-up ahead of the fact. Before the mine is sold and the owners skip town. Seems like it is not just mines that are an issue either. Pipelines are in the same boat.
The two Canadians involved in the attack on the gas plant in Algeria have been outed and seem to have inspired a new round of anti-Islamiscism in Canada. Even though one of them was a suburban white kid with a Greek Orthodox upbringing. Too foreign!
John Baird thinks Iraq is ripe for some commerce!
Patrick Brazeau announces his resignation. On April Fool's Day. In the evening. Which is just about the stupidest April Fool's Day prank ever. This guy is a gigantic idiot. Others think so too.
More from the Senate. The husband of a Liberal Senator has used his offshore bank account to avoid taxation during a dispute with Revenue Canada.
I'm going to need a separate Senate section soon. Pamela Wallin steps down from some Senate Committees she is involved with. But remains a Senator. So...stops doing work, keeps cashing massive paycheque. And don't forget that travel!
I was having a bad day and thought I'd totally ruin it by reading an NP article (and comments) about a homosexual couple in small town Manitoba forced to close their restaurant due to the discrimination they faced. Unfortunately...comments closed. The story is depressing enough. Said another local restaurant owner, "A lot of people don’t like it, You don’t know what they’re doing in the kitchen." Hooray for Canada.
For the past few years I've been wondering why nobody in BC remembers "Music 91". It makes me very happy that this Tyee article compares "Music 91" to the Times of India Film Awards. Very happy. But there's still no reference anywhere on the Internet to Music 91. I would love to see a full listing of who played where.