Friday, January 29, 2010

UFOs over Canada

Darlene Stewart of Harbour Mille, Newfoundland was outside taking pictures of the sunset last Monday when she saw this flying through the sky:

She called some neighbors who also saw it. They reported it to the RCMP who asked them to phone Public Safety Canada who then referred her back to the RCMP.

Various statements were made about the nature of the object:
-RCMP says: "there is no debris or any other evidence that would allow the Mounties to investigate the matter."
-Public Safety Canada says: "that the federal government was aware of media reports of public sightings of unidentified objects off Newfoundland but said the RCMP was investigating."
-The Military says: "they were aware of the reports and have confirmed there have been no planned missile exercises off the seaboard."
-VOCM radio in St. John’s said: "that France had conducted a ballistic missile test in the Atlantic Ocean."
-The French Embassy said: "Nothing"
-The office of the Prime Minister of Canada said: "There is no indication that there was ever a rocket launch."
-In slight contradiction the PMO also said: "people on Newfoundland's south coast like to launch model rockets."
-Oh yeah and the military also added: "There's no threat to the security of Canada."

So it's not a Canadian missile, it's not a French missile... so far it's still unidentified. But there's no threat to the security of Canada? When something like this flies through our airspace the government can tell me with a straight face that everything is okay? This coming from a government that won't let me take carry-on luggage on a plane anymore because they're afraid that we're all terrorists? They get nervous about my laptop at the airport, but they don't get nervous about missile shaped objects flying through the sky?

Thank you PMO and all the other Canadian agencies involved in this for fueling conspiracy theories and fear. As a tax payer I really appreciate it.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

News flash! I agree with Flaherty on Something.....

For the first time in recent memory I actually agree with Canada's finance minister Jim Flaherty. He is calling on Haiti's creditors to cancel their debt and forgive Haiti's outstanding balances.

“Haiti's future must be focused on the priorities of its people, not on the liabilities of its past.” Beautiful words I would never expect from the Conservative minister. I must say that they are music to my ears.

Canada has pledged to match all donations by all Canadians up until February 12th and so far Canadians have donated over 82million dollars. That is on top of Ottawa's pledge for 100million in grants for Haiti and on top of our emergency personal and equipment that is continuing to be distributed in Haiti.

Flaherty is calling specifically on two nations Taiwan and Venezuela. Incidentally Venezuela has been a huge critic (along with ALBA whatever that is) of the way other nations have tried to help Haiti. Meanwhile they plan on keeping Haiti in a financial choke-hold while the rest of the CAPITALIST world works together to help out those in need.

All that to say, I really want to shake Flaherty's hand right now and maybe (just maybe) he's not the asshole I always thought he was.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Enough of this shit...

So today I'm reading an article from Cubasi that talks about ALBA and its plans for recovery in Haiti. Where Hugo Chavez (surprise!) is saying that Venezuela's aid can't get in because the ports are "in the hands of the Yanks." Also at this "summit" they are to discuss the "Bolivarian counterattack against right wing actions on progressive movements in the region.”

Which right wing actions would those be? Would those be the sending of American troops to secure and stabilize a port and an airport to allow over 180 flights per day to come in and out of Haiti? Or the thousand of NGO volunteers from Europe, Canada, the US and the world that are present on the ground? Seriously!

This shit kills me! Today in Montreal there was a conference with 14 nations and many organizations (including the UN) to talk about help and reconstruction in Haiti. One of the key people at this conference was the Haitian prime minister... was he at the ALBA conference as well? I don't think so.

Where was Cuba that bitched so hard at the Americans for sending troops? Where was Venezuela and its accusatory finger pointing? They weren't here in my hometown. They were somewhere warm complaining about the Americans. I'm sure the Americans have a political agenda in Haiti, everyone does, even if it's something simple like boosting a country's image. But at least we here at our conference didn't talk of an attack on Bolivarian left wing initiatives in the region. I believe Chavez and his minions are the ones with the actual agenda here. Not the rest of us.

The only agenda we had was this comprehensive 6 point plan to help rebuild Haiti:

1. Ownership – Respect for Haitian sovereignty will see foreign aid aligned with the priorities of the government of Haiti.

2. Co-ordination – The United Nations will play a key co-ordinating role, under the leadership of the Haitian government. The UN will co-ordinate efforts with donor countries.

3. Sustainability – Donor countries will commit an initial 10-year reconstruction period.

4. Effectiveness – Recognized principles of aid effectiveness and humanitarian donorship will be followed.

5. Inclusiveness – The Haitian diaspora and the private sector will play a role in Haiti’s reconstruction, along with the government of Haiti, foreign governments, the UN, donor countries and non-governmental organizations.

6. Accountability – Mutual transparency and accountability on the part of the government and Haiti and the international community will see performance reviews become an ongoing joint effort.

Wow... this really sounds like "right wing actions on progressive movements in the region" and must be stopped this instant.

Once again, I am shocked that anyone would swallow Chavez's garbage and hate mongering.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Canadians take to the street

Today, I'm a proud Canadian.
It's been a little while since I've said that, especially when it comes to the collective conscience of the electorate.

The masses took to the street all over the country to protest the Conservatives' prorogation of parliament. For those of you not from Canada , parliament has been shut down until after the Vancouver Olympics. Why? In large part because of the questions surrounding the mistreatment of Afghan detainees (which I've written about here and here). It is most likely an effort for the Conservatives to save face and to avoid answering embarrassing question while the whole world is watching Canada.

Considering our dismal turnouts for many of our most recent federal election, I am truly surprised at the number of Canadians that took to the streets. Expatriates living in London and New York did the same.

The prorogation of parliament is seen by many as an assault on the democracy that shapes this country. This is the second time in as many years that Mr Harper and his Conservatives have shut down parliament, the first time was in 2008 when they closed it down to put together a budget that would keep them in power and avoid an election.

When prorogation occurs both the senate and the house of commons are dismissed so any bill that was tabled to be voted or become law gets axed and will need to be introduced again at the new session of parliament. This prorogation cost us 36 bills and the Globe and Mail provides us with a comprehensive list. Among the bills that died were:

-BILL C-45
Protects foreign nationals from exploitation through human trafficking
-BILL C-58
Requires Internet service providers to report tips about child pornography
-BILL C-36
Eliminates faint-hope clause that allows those with life sentences to apply for parole after 15 years
-BILL C-34
Strengthens the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank

Prorogation should not be a tool to remain in power, it shouldn't be a "timeout" to rally your troops and certainly shouldn't be used to avoid dealing with issues that could potentially set off an election. Canadians will not forget how Mr Harper has manipulated the system to avoid elections and avoid hard hitting questions concerning the mistreatment of Afghan detainees. I hope that the election results will show this next time around.

Well Mr Harper... you can brush off the Opposition parties, but you can't brush of the thousands of Canadian voters, many of them Conservative voters, who took to the streets yesterday in an effort to make you hear their voices. Remember that you are a Public Servant and that is a wonderful title of trust and prestige that is bestowed upon by the people; as such you have obligations and responsibilities to public you are paid to serve. Those obligations do not include shutting down Government because you feel like it. Think about it.

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