Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Only in Canada, Eh! (Part 2)

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Ice fishing in Northern Ontario!
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Obama Operatives Infiltrate Canadian Liberals

The North American Union
By Judi McLeod
Monday, February 24, 2014
Canada-The ‘North American Union’ (NAU) is here. The same people who ran Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for president are running Canadian Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s campaign for Canadian Prime Minister.
The dreaded NAU has finally come full circle.
Members of the same team that got Senator Barack Obama elected and left the mighty USA in a gutter of despair are running Canada’s Liberal contender for prime minister—poised to win the 2015 federal election.
Obama’s former economic czar Larry Summers, media described as “now the intellectual guiding light for Mr. Trudeau and his key advisors” was the top speaker at Thursday’s opening night at the Canadian Liberal convention.
“The Liberal camp appears to have bought into Mr. Summers views on “secular stagnation”—the idea that Japanese style economic torpor is the new normal in North America.” (National Post, Feb. 21, 2014)
Trudeau was already a Summers puppet before delivering his well-touted, email to -”Friend “important message for all Canadians” at the convention parroting the fallacy that the $250-billion Canadian budget would “take care of itself”.
Floundering America bought hook, line and sinker into Summers’ economic policies pushed by Obama. A former chief economist to the ever-encroaching World Bank, Summers is an ex-Secretary of the Treasury and has been an economic advisor to two Democratic presidents, Clinton and Obama.
The Summers’ grass did not just grow on the get-me-elected-at-any-price Justin Trudeau. It grew on failed Summers-groomed Liberal Prime Minister candidate Michael Ignatieff back in 2012.
Ignatieff got to know Summers—who was president of Harvard during his stint at the university’s Carr Center.
Liberals in both Canada and the U.S. both train together and hang together.
Ignatieff has even stronger ties to Samantha Power, a senior adviser to Obama during his presidential campaign, a member of his transition team and now US Ambassador to the UN. Power is wife of Cass Sunstein, Obama’s former regulatory czar, and because of his ‘nudge’ for Common Core in the public school system, is considered by many as “the most dangerous man in America.
Summers and his Canadian protégé Justin Trudeau are trying to convince voters that “deficit” and “debt” are no longer dirty words. They can be fully expected to expand it to Obama’s contention that “job” is the dirtiest word in North American lexicon.
“Mr Summers believes that market mechanisms to ensure full employment and strong growth have failed, so governments must adopt what he calls “unconventional policy support”—juicing demand with ‘productive investment”. (National Post)
“To start, this means ending the disastrous trend towards less and less government spending and employment each year and taking advantage of the current period of slack to renew and build out our infrastructure,” he wrote last month.
“Raising demand would mean seeking to spur private spending—for example, governments could use regulation to require rapid replacement of coal-fired power plants, thereby attracting private investment.”
Nor are Obama operatives only feeding at the federal Liberal election trough. The father in law of top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett’s daughter is Bas Balkissoon, Ontario Liberal MPP. David Axelrod, Obama senior strategist, worked for Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty when he was still in Opposition. People in Trudeau’s close circle include Gerald Butts, who also worked for McGuinty at the same time as Axelrod.
You might say that Obama operatives stud both Ontario and federal Canadian Liberal campaigns.
Take notice, Canadians: Up to now your country has been doing better than any other industrialized country. Your banks are secure. Canada’s is a resource-based economy. Be aware of what is happening to America’s resource-based industries, which Obama is regulating out of business. Now the same power brokers who boosted Obama to the presidency in the country next door are out for yours.
And when the NAU is complete it will be with sorrow and frustration that you will realize that all it took was for Larry Summers and other Obama operatives to infiltrate the Liberal Party of Ontario and Canada to take over the country next door.
Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and Glenn Beck.

Judi can be emailed at: judi@canadafreepress.com
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Booted Liberal Senators Aim To Use Independence To Institute Changes
By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Updated: 02/26/2014

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OTTAWA - Liberal senators are using their newfound independence to institute changes aimed at making the maligned Senate more accountable, approachable and transparent.
Starting today, they'll give ordinary folks a direct voice in the upper house, soliciting questions from Canadians that Liberal senators will then pose to the government during the Senate's daily question period.
The move is one of five ways the 32 Liberal senators hope to take advantage of their new freedom from partisan ties to improve the functioning — and the tattered image — of the scandal-plagued chamber.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau last month booted the senators from his party's national caucus in a bid to return the Senate to its intended role as an independent chamber of sober second thought.

The senators also intend to periodically throw open the doors of their weekly caucus meetings, inviting experts and parliamentarians from all parties to discuss issues of national importance that have gotten short shrift from elected MPs in the House of Commons.
As well, there'll be no more whipped votes for Liberal senators; each will be free to vote as he or she sees fit on every motion and bill before the Senate.
And they'll initiate a Senate debate on equalization in a bid to re-establish the chamber as the protector of regional interests, as originally envisioned by the Fathers of Confederation.
The senators, who still sit as Liberals but are no longer answerable to or directed by the leader, are also promising to continue publicly disclosing their expenses, which they began doing last fall at Trudeau's behest. Their expenses were initially posted on the Liberal party website, but that option is no longer available, so they're talking to Senate officials about setting up an alternate system.
James Cowan, the Liberal leader in the Senate, announced the measures this morning.
"We have an historic opportunity to use our new independence to try, insofar as it is within our power as a minority in the Senate, to make Parliament work better for Canadians, to make it respond to the needs of Canadians rather than the needs of political parties and their leaders," Cowan said in a written statement.
The Senate has long been maligned as an unaccountable, unelected body but its reputation has nosedived over the last year as the chamber was engulfed in a scandal over improper expense claims.
The scandal has led to charges of fraud and breach of trust against Sen. Patrick Brazeau and former senator Mac Harb. Two other senators, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, are still under RCMP investigation, as is Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, who gave Duffy $90,000 to reimburse the Senate for his contested living expense claims.
Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin have been suspended from the Senate without pay and more trouble may be in the offing for other senators as the auditor general scrutinizes their expenses.
The scandal prompted Trudeau's surprise decision to expel senators from the Liberal national caucus. The move underscored his contention that practical reforms can be undertaken to improve the Senate without having to reopen the Constitution, as would be required to transform the Senate into an elected chamber or abolish it altogether — the preferred options of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair respectively.
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Justin Trudeau boots all senators from Liberal caucus
The Liberal leader’s surprise move is aimed at reducing partisanship in the Senate and restoring its intended role as an independent chamber.
By: Susan Delacourt, Parliament Hill,


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OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau stunned Parliament Hill Wednesday by expelling 32 senators to sit as Independents, part of a proposed plan to overhaul Senate appointments to ensure it is a non-partisan body.
He has also written to the Speaker of the Senate, Noel Kinsella, to stress that his intention means, no matter how those now-Independent senators wish to identify themselves, they cannot call themselves Liberals in the upper chamber, the Star has learned.

Trudeau sprung the strategic shift on surprised Liberal senators at a pre-caucus meeting Wednesday morning, even before he told MPs. He did not flesh out to them his electoral commitment that he would also overhaul how future senators would be named: with the public input of a non-partisan committee.
Trudeau, in announcing the details to reporters, said he wanted to restore the Senate to its intended role as an independent chamber of sober second thought.
The move was effective immediately. The shocked, newly Independent senators huddled for hours before emerging to proclaim they still viewed themselves as big-L Liberals and party supporters. And they did not publicly voice dissent over the surprise move.
Sen. Serge Joyal, a longtime Liberal advocate of exactly this sort of reform, said while he wholeheartedly backed the proposals, “I am sad to a point” he said. I remain a Liberal, I still have my membership card in my wallet.”
“I had a pit in my stomach,” said Sen. Jim Munson, who said he was still in a bit of shock a couple of hours after the announcement. An entire range of emotions were on display when Trudeau spoke to the senators, Munson added. Some said they felt abandoned.
Munson said he was appointed as a Liberal senator by prime minister Jean Chrétien and he would continue to call himself a Liberal.
Chrétien declined any public comment Wednesday.
Trudeau’s political rivals were clearly taken aback. The move sets apart the Liberal approach from both the Conservatives’ call for an elected, term-limited Senate, and the NDP call for outright abolition of the institution.
The Conservatives’ democratic reform minister, Pierre Poilievre, went quickly to the media to denounce Trudeau’s bombshell as a “smokescreen.” He said it was meant to pre-empt a damaging interim report by the federal auditor general into senate expenses, expected within weeks. Poilievre denied he had advance knowledge of the report.
“I think the reality is Mr. Trudeau defended (retired senator Mac) Harb previously and now he’s looking for a public relations manoeuvre in order to avoid accountability which the auditor general will deliver.”
Poilievre then shifted his attack, saying the move does not strip the now-Independent Liberal senators of their partisan leanings. “The only change is that they wouldn't attend one caucus meeting a week,” Poilievre said. “He's made a proposal that would make the Senate far worse than it already is, if you can imagine such a thing.”
He suggested Trudeau’s proposed change to name senators recommended by a non-partisan committee would merely mean some unelected body would still propose more Liberals to be appointed by a Liberal prime minister to the upper chamber.
NDP leader Tom Mulcair took a similar tack. First he denounced the move as an about-face by Trudeau, whom he noted rejected an NDP suggestion last fall to force all senators to sit as Independents. He strongly suggested — but stopped from explicitly saying — that Trudeau’s move was motivated by the forthcoming report from Ferguson’s office, noting that Trudeau opposed an NDP motion to remove senators from caucus back in October.
Whether in practice Trudeau’s move changes much — with the newly-Independent senators suggesting they still support Liberal policies and may pool their resources to work together — Trudeau’s move shifted the political debate Wednesday.
“If the Senate serves a purpose at all, it is to act as a check on the extraordinary power of the prime minister and his office, especially in a majority government,” Trudeau said.
“The party structure in the Senate interferes with this responsibility. Taken together with patronage (appointments), partisanship within the Senate is a powerful, negative force. It reinforces the prime minister's power instead of checking it.
“At best, this renders the Senate redundant. At worst — and under Mr. Harper we have seen it at its worst — it amplifies the prime minister's power.”
Trudeau challenged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to similarly set free the 57 Conservative senators.
There was just one of three senators once named by Trudeau’s father, Pierre, remaining in the Liberal caucus, with the majority of the 32 having been named by Jean Chrétien, and about a 10 by Paul Martin.
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Trudeau has proposed that if elected prime minister, he would set up a more open transparent process to allow public input before naming “worthy” candidates, pointing to the way Supreme Court of Canada judges and Order of Canada recipients are named.
“I’ve come to believe that the Senate must be non-partisan, composed of merely of thoughtful individuals, representing the very values, perspectives and identities of this great country, independent from any particular political brand.”
The move by Trudeau has no impact on the Supreme Court of Canada reference case. The Conservative government has asked the Supreme Court of Canada to advise whether it can require term limits or set up consultative elections through a unilateral legislative move, or whether it requires a constitutional amendment and the consent of provinces; if so, how many.
The Conservatives have also asked whether outright abolition of the Senate requires provincial consent.
The high court heard the case in November and is expected to rule sometime within the year.
In a letter sent to supporters, Trudeau said his proposals are “the most meaningful action possible without changing the Constitution.”
With files from Alex Boutilier

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Senate Suspension Vote Invalid If Pension Law Is Changed: Lawyer

By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Updated: 01/23/2014
OTTAWA - The suspensions of three senators will be invalidated if the government retroactively changes the law to preclude them from the parliamentary pension plan, Pamela Wallin's lawyer said Friday.
The law is crystal clear, Terrence O'Sullivan said: the time Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau will spend under suspension must count toward the six years of service they need to qualify for a generous pension.
That was the law when senators voted Tuesday to suspend the trio without pay for up to two years. Changing it after the fact would mean senators did not make an informed decision about the fate of their outcast colleagues, O'Sullivan said.
"It's not a little technicality," he told The Canadian Press, referring to government Senate leader Claude Carignan's characterization of the pension issue.
"In fact, the law was there for anyone to read, as we did, before the vote (to suspend the trio) was held.
"So, if they choose not to read the law, that's not my client's problem. And if they move to change the law retroactively, then that makes, in my view, the vote invalid because it took place under a legal regime that's no longer in place."
Carignan has said the spirit and intent of the motion to suspend the trio was to strip them of their pay and all benefits — including pensions — except for health, dental and life insurance.
However, the motion did not mention pensions and the issue did not come up during the two weeks of debate on the proposed suspensions.

It was two days after the vote that the Senate administration announced it is required by law to count the time the trio spend in purgatory as pensionable service.

That prompted Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who is responsible for legislation governing parliamentary pensions, to declare that he'll change the law if necessary to ensure the outcasts do not accumulate pensionable service while they're under suspension.
O'Sullivan said Clement's declaration means "every senator who voted for (suspension) was not informed of this position and didn't have the ability to analyse whether or not they wished to support the motion if the legislation was going to be changed."

Apart from the legality of such a move, O'Sullivan said, changing the law retroactively to deprive the trio of pensionable service is "vindictive, vicious and without precedent."
Wallin, Duffy and Brazeau have been suspended for the duration of the parliamentary session, which could continue until 2015 — the same year all three would ordinarily become eligible to collect a parliamentary pension.
The suspension leaves Wallin with "none of the benefits of being a senator but all of the liabilities," including legal restrictions on employment aimed at preventing conflict of interest, O'Sullivan said.
She is already trying to figure out "how she's supposed to support herself during the next two years," he said. To add to that burden by retroactively precluding her from the pension plan "is more mean-spirited than even I could have imagined."
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Also See:
Only in Canada, Eh!
(Part 1)
12 November 2013
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