May 5, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports today that, "(Nova Scotia) is expected to go to the polls June 9, almost exactly three years since the last vote, after a visit to the Lieutenant-Governor today by Premier Rodney MacDonald. Mr. MacDonald's minority Progressive Conservative government fell yesterday evening on a finance bill..."

A Corporate Research Associates poll from two months ago has raised hopes of the first NDP government in Nova Scotia. "The results show the NDP leading with 36 per cent and the Liberals and Tories essentially tied at 31 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively."

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports that, "The Tories launched a Risky NDP campaign in February, claiming the New Democrats have wild spending plans in store. Fisheries Minister Ron Chisholm has also predicted that rural Nova Scotia could 'kiss their ass goodbye because she’s all over' if the New Democrats are elected."

The Globe adds, "As of last night, standings in the 52-seat legislature were: Conservatives, 21; NDP 20; Liberals nine; one Independent and one vacant seat."

May 5, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports today that, "An all-party Commons committee called yesterday for Abousfian Abdelrazik, the Canadian citizen labelled a national security threat by Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, to appear before it."

NDP MP Paul Dewar, who put forward the motion to the committee, says, "I'm convinced that this motion should allow Mr. Abdelrazik to return home, sooner rather than later. Passing this motion means that Mr. Abdelrazik will finally be able to come home. It is critical that the government not block his return, to do so would be blocking the will of Parliament."

On April 25, the following message was sent on our chapter list serve and posted to the campaign blog:

"Along with the Council of Canadians action alert demanding that Abousfian Abdelrazik be allowed to return to Canada at, please see below an urgent action alert from the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG). As you may know, the Council of Canadians is a member of the ICLMG."

May 5, 2009

Former deputy prime minister John Manley and former US ambassador to Canada Gordon Giffin write in the Globe and Mail today that, "We do not...agree that the trilateral framework suggested by NAFTA should be automatically transferred to all aspects of North American relations."

Manley and Giffin write, "The Security and Prosperity Partnership is a trilateral framework established in 2006. Few would cite this as a formula for progress. In fact, if the two borders are dysfunctional, as our friends suggest, it is evidence of the difficulty in making progress with three parties at the table, rather than two."

May 4, 2009

Columnist Paul Wells writes in this week’s issue of Maclean’s magazine (which has a weekly circulation of about 350,000 readers) that, “the (Canada-EU) negotiations involve way more than simply lowering customs tariffs, which is why the Europeans are exasperated that Canadians keep calling this a ‘free trade’ deal. ‘This is so much more than free trade,’ Anya Oram, the European Commission’s head of economic and commercial affairs in Ottawa, told me. But in Canada ever since the 1988 election, ‘free trade’ has been a handy synonym for ‘big deal,’ and this is certainly that. These negotiations will touch on trade in services, investment, government procurement rules, mutual recognition of professional credential and more.”

May 4, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports today that, "Groundwater beneath Ontario's Tiny Township (120 kilometres north of Toronto) has been called the cleanest in the world, as pristine as if it were drawn from ancient ice buried deep in an Arctic glacier."

"If all goes according to plan, some time this year trucks will begin dumping municipal trash into a provincially approved landfill atop the unspoiled water, which won its reputation as the cleanest in the world after testing at a German university in 2006 found that samples had some of the lowest levels of trace metals ever observed."

"The province says the location of the dump is nothing to worry about, but Ontario's Environmental Commissioner (Gordon Miller) is decrying the selection of the site. So are prominent conservationists, including Maude Barlow, the UN's water adviser and head of the Council of Canadians, who calls the dump a 'travesty.' She has vowed to 'sit in front of bulldozers if necessary' to stop it. Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May also wants the dump shelved. (Mr. Miller has asked the province to review its approval, but the request was ignored.)"