Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bush for president

aliveinbaghdad.org

Another day of furrowed brows in PMO press office

McGregor and Naumetz strike again. This one is a sizzler. And, in other news, the Canadian political system gets a sudden overhaul while you slept.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In other news

Maybe we should pay more attention to this?

Could this

stalemate continue until after the provincial election?

What a difference

a day makes. Twenty-four little hours.

One consuming flame

The combatants collided like thunderbolts and all was one consuming flame
Frederich Holderlin, Hyperion

I first walked into Centre Block on Parliament Hill in 2004, the first autumn of the Martin minority government and the neo-gothic spires rang with the shouts of partisan war. The ground beneath my feet shifted on the hour, the half hour and sometimes every minute. The plotters in the backrooms played the game like teenagers around a Risk board. One moment blue moved in from Europe to crush red in Africa but orange moved its pieces to strike blue's remnants in Europe from Iceland. The dice clattered like snare drums in a military parade as the pundits debated the exact measurements of each leader's body bag.

This time, however, it appears the frenzy of those days will be eclipsed by the mad cacophony that will shake the limestone walls of power and the dust from opening skirmishes already clouds the reddening horizon. The parties will fight like starving dogs for the bits of percentage points still scattered around the bowl of voter intentions for that is all that is up for grabs
.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Perception out there

URGENT! JUDGE ILLEGALLY ORDERS ALGONQUINS TO BE

INVADED WED. AUG. 29TH. Brothers, Sisters, Friends, Allies,

Supporters, and Environmentalists needed!

MNN. August 28, 2007. Judge Gordon Thompson has ordered the

Algonquins who are blocking access to a proposed uranium mine

north of Sharbot Lake to leave immediately. The people have been

told to expect the police on Wednesday, August 29th. All supporters

are asked to come to the site to help maintain the peace. This is only

the beginning of things to come under the conservative regime with

the help of the liberals at Queen’s Park Toronto. The Bush

administration in Washington DC needs uranium for their military

industrial schemes.

(The rest)

In my thoughts

today

Best Journalism of the summer

This, I think, is the third story they have unleashed on this topic. Brilliant. Two of the best in the biz....

Election watchdog 'examining' disputed Tory ad expenses
Elections Canada referred case to commissioner

Tim Naumetz and Glen McGregor
The Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Federal election watchdog William Corbett is "examining" disputed advertising expenses claimed by Conservative candidates in the last election.

Elections Canada confirmed yesterday that it referred the issue last April to Mr. Corbett, who as Commissioner of Canada Elections has the power to pass on cases to prosecutors.

"The Chief Electoral Officer has asked the Commissioner of Canada Elections to examine the circumstances surrounding the media-buy program," said Serge Fleylel, an Elections Canada spokesman.

Mr. Corbett's involvement indicates the potentially serious nature of the dispute between Elections Canada and the Conservatives over $1 million in advertising costs its candidates paid the party, after the party transferred the money to them.

Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc says the decision to send the case to the commissioner raises the stakes for the Conservatives.

"For a whole file to be referred to the commissioner, separate and apart from the normal Elections Canada bureaucracy, kicks it up to another level," he said.

Violations of the Elections Act that Mr. Corbett enforces are subject to fines and imprisonment.

There could also be political consequences for the Conservatives if it were proved they broke the rules during an election campaign they ran largely on ethics.

The Conservative party would not comment on Mr. Corbett's involvement. The party says it is in full compliance with the Elections Act.

The month after Mr. Corbett was asked to examine the media buy, 34 official agents for Tory candidates took Elections Canada to Federal Court. They are challenging Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand's refusal to approve some candidate claims for radio and television advertising from the 2006 campaign.

If the court upholds Mr. Mayrand's decision, the party could be forced to list the cost of the advertising under its national campaign, pushing it over its allowed expense limit, in violation of the Elections Act.

Elections Canada disallowed some Conservative candidates from claiming the advertising expenses, saying the candidates failed to provide "clear evidence" that they incurred the advertising costs.

"The need for such evidence became imperative when doubts arose as to whether the expense was incurred by the candidates and whether these candidates and their agents had in fact contracted for the purchase of the advertising," wrote Barbara McIsaac, lawyer for Elections Canada, in a letter filed in Federal Court.

The ads were funded through what some officials referred to as an "in-and-out," whereby the party transferred money to candidates who bought the ads, Ms. McIsaac wrote.

Transfers from political parties to candidates are common among all parties and legal, the Conservative party says.

The "regional" ads in question promoted the candidates who paid for them, as indicated by the "tag lines" that referred to their official agents, the party says. Payments were processed via the party as an "administrative convenience," the party says.

A letter to Elections Canada from the media placement agency that handled the Tory ads says the 2005-06 campaign media buy for the party was divided into four sections: party ads for Quebec, ads for the rest of Canada, and two separate buys for participating candidates inside and outside Quebec.

"Appropriate invoices reflecting goods and services rendered were separately issued to participating Conservative candidates and to the registered party based on the four segments identified," said the letter from Retail Media, the company the Tories used. The letter is part of the court record.

Several Conservative candidates have separately told Elections Canada and the Citizen that they believed the money they paid was for national campaign advertising.

Yesterday, one former Conservative candidate said he was surprised to learn that his official agent was among the 34 named as applicants in the Federal Court case.

Gary Caldwell, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in the Sherbrooke, Que.-area riding of Compton-Stanstead, said he did not know his riding was involved in the litigation.

"I assumed we weren't in that because I never authorized that," he said. He said he was content with Elections Canada's decision to disallow the expense claim for ads he bought through the party and had considered the matter closed.

In an amended financial statement, the expense was listed instead as an amount not included in campaign expenses and became ineligible for the 60-per- cent rebate Elections Canada pays for allowed costs.

"It is rather a strange position that we find ourselves in," Mr. Caldwell said. "Technically, I'm contesting it and verbally I'm saying we're not."

Mr. Caldwell is running as candidate for the Green party in the next federal election. He said he left the Conservatives because he was dissatisfied with the government's efforts on environmental issues and with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's failure to strengthen the role of MPs in the House of Commons.

The Conservatives say candidates were not consulted about the case because the ads were bought by their official agents.

Once approved by a judge, the name of Mr. Caldwell's agent and several others will be dropped from the case.

Lawyers for both sides have agreed to let the names of only two agents stand in the case. In the election, the agents represented losing Conservative candidates in Dartmouth, N. S., and London, Ont.

Whatever decision the court makes in those cases will likely set a precedent for the other candidates' returns.
© The Ottawa Citizen 2007

Who moves next?

Algonquin on 'red alert' after order to end blockade
The Ottawa Citizen
Tue 28 Aug 2007
Page: C1 / FRONT
Section: City
Byline: Ciara Byrne
Source: The Ottawa Citizen

An order demanding the Algonquin community quit its blockade at Sharbot Lake immediately has put members on "red alert."

"We're filling this place up," said Paula Sherman, co-chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, who said she's surprised the events have turned sour so quickly. The community now awaits a possible confrontation in what they said they hoped would be a peaceful protest.

Since June, the Ardoch community and Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquin First Nation have been battling Frontenac Ventures over a proposed uranium mine. The company's plans to drill core samples ended when the First Nations people moved in and blocked the area on June 28.

Last Thursday, Christopher Reid, a lawyer for the Ardoch, said his clients had pulled out of the case, in which Frontenac sought a permanent injunction to remove the blockade.

A judge said the Algonquins should remove all signs and vehicles, but he did not mention removal of the protesters.

Then last night, Mr. Reid received notification from Justice Gordon Thomson of the Ontario Superior court of an interim injunction. The injunction stated that any representative or supporters would have to leave immediately. It also stated that Frontenac would have "unfettered and unobstructed access" to the property.

The OPP had expressed reluctance to get involved. But the injunction gives them authority to arrest and remove any person who contravenes the order.

"This is the result of what happened in the court after we left," said Mr. Reid. "As far as the Ardoch are concerned, there's no change."

Ms. Sherman added: "The bottom line is we won't be leaving here. We will continue to secure this entire area. People have already begun to flood in here when the news went out."

Ms. Sherman said the court was warned the increasingly tense situation could turn ugly.

"We said if this was to transpire and to escalate, hundreds of people would pour into this site and that's exactly what's happening."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fight night

The Ottawa Sun
© Copyright 2006, Sun Media Corporation
PUGILISTS LOOK FOR A SHOT AT GLORY BY SLUGGING IT OUT ON A STORMY SATURDAY
AT THE LAC LEAMY CASINO Sunday, February 26, 2006
Tag: 0603261222Edition: Final
Section: News Length: 88 linePage: 7

BY JORGE BARRERA, OTTAWA SUN

Left. Right. Left. Left. Right. Left.
Leather smacks leather. Grunt. Breathe.
In a small room off the back corridors of the Lac Leamy Casino theatre, super-lightweight World Boxing Council champion Hermann "Black Panther" Ngoudjo prepares for his title fight against a Chilean. The room was designed for tamer performers. The two mirrors, facing each other, are framed by light bulbs and the lack of ventilation allows for the smell of sweat to quickly dominate.
Left. Left. Right.
Smack.
The boxing ring is a built extension to the usual stage where the play-by-play commentators for TVA watch and narrate the battle on canvas to half a million viewers in Quebec. Around 800 people gathered in the theatre to watch the fight card yesterday. Emerging from the fluorescently lit back corridors, the boxers are met by backstage dimness. A soft, cascading light falls from a small spotlight in the ceiling. The vaseline on Chilean Juan Carlos Alderete's face glistens, the pronounced cheek bones. He will enter first. The fog machine hums and Alderete's manager coughs. Antonio Bajas twirls a towel and complains about the smoke in Spanish.
KILLED WITH A PUNCH
Alderete, Mundo Hispanio WBC champion, enters the ring through a side doorway that leads between rows of tables, each with a number tag attached to a thin stick standing upright. Tin tubs with Bud beer bottles sit in the middle of the majority of tables peopled by mostly men, some women. There are a few who have been here since early afternoon; it is now early evening and bottles find the floor more frequently.
On the first table, the one next to the doorway, there is no beer. Here sits boxing legend Gaetan Hart, 52. A man once died as a result of a Hart punch.
Boxing has changed, he said.
"Too much technical, not enough fight, blood," said Hart, who lives in Hull. "In my time, I liked boxing so much I wanted to give people what they paid for."
Hart believes Canadian super-middleweight champ Jean Pascal, a 23-year-old boxer from Laval, Que., has the stuff.
"He is going to be a real world champion," said Hart, whose nose bears contours fashioned by leather bound fists. "He likes to put on a spectacle and that is what people want, a spectacle."
Pascal fought a 32-year-old from Tennessee nicknamed "Hurricane" whose manager was turned back at the border. Eric Howard made the trip to fight Pascal on a day's notice. He asked former world champ Otis Grant, the top contender for the WBC super-middleweight belt, to help out with the managerial duties.
Midway through the first round, a promoter with GYM pulled Grant out of the corner. Pascal and Grant fight for the same team. Grant could not help the enemy.
'HE WAS SCARED'
The fight ended on a technical knockout in the second round. It was a hollow victory for Pascal who was training to face former WBA light-middleweight champ Carl Daniels.
Fear kept Daniels at home, said Pascal.
"Last minute he pulled out, maybe he was scared," said Pascal. "Why not, I'm Jean Pascal."
Grant, 38, no longer fears death. Shortly after losing to boxing great Roy Jones Jr. in the 10th round, Grant was in a car accident that put him into a coma. Grant will get a title shot if he wins an upcoming April fight.
"I am doing it differently this time," said Grant, who started fighting at
11. "I got more aggressive, I think I am a lot smarter. I train a bit
different. I train a lot more scientifically."
But today, Grant is helping Ngoudjo prepare for his title defence and in the backroom he is fiddling with water bottles in a tin tub of ice. CCR is playing softly.
"Being too nervous is not good," said Ngoudjo, 26. "You lose control."
In the 12th round, Ngoudjo nails Alderete with a right hook. The fight ends in a TKO win for Ngoudjo. In the dressing room, Alderete is told by a boxing official he is suspended from boxing for a month based on the ring-side doctor's assessment and the likelihood of concussion.
Alderete, who holds the Chilean championship, walks into Ngoudjo's dressing and, after handing the champ a flag of his home town of Castro, says in Spanish he only trains a couple of hours a day. But Ngoudjo and his handlers don't understand Spanish. They think it could be an insult and turn to me asking anxiously, "what did he say? what did he say?"
I translate.
"I don't believe him," said Ngoudjo, after Alderete leaves.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Klan claims to be growing in Sask.
Veronica Rhodes
Saskatchewan News Network

REGINA -- Roughly 70 years ago, the Ku Klux Klan was one of the largest organizations in the province, with only the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool claiming more members.

Now, the controversial group aimed at asserting white pride claims to be once again growing in Saskatchewan.

Regina resident Christian Waters is a high-ranking officer with the Canadian branch of the Brotherhood of Klans (BOK), considered to be the largest Klan group in North America. Waters' membership with the group was confirmed in an e-mail and phone call by Jeremy Parker, imperial wizard of the Ohio-based BOK.

Waters, who writes under an alias on the group's website, claims that over the past two years, the BOK's membership in Saskatchewan has gone from one (himself) to roughly 250 members, and around 3,500 Canada-wide. Of the Saskatchewan members, he said that while there is a strong base in Regina, many live in rural areas.

"It is actually growing faster than I would have ever predicted it to, which in some ways is alarming to me because it shows there is a lot of people who are getting real tired of what is going on in Canada," he said in a face-to-face interview.

"As years have shown, the Klan has always surfaced in times of trouble, in times of people being very unhappy with their government, with what is going on around them."

Waters became a member of the group six years ago, after spending time chatting with other BOK members online. The group's concerns surround what its members deem as the "open door" immigration policy, which results in too many immigrants -- legal and illegal -- entering Canada and making it a "haven for terrorism," Waters said.

What the group sees as unfair advantages provided to First Nations people, such as what Waters calls "free" education, government grants and employment and education positions reserved solely for minorities, also raises the ire of members. The group wants a level playing field, which Waters believes doesn't exist.

"Through the multiculturalism of Canada, it seems the white race has been unfortunately the one race that has been shuffled underneath the carpet," he explains.

"I ask, where is our white pride days?"

Waters claims he doesn't have a problem with anyone who represents their race and culture with pride, but he says he does not always see that in the neighbourhood he lives in -- the Core area.

"Unfortunately it is the majority of one race that is making up the major majority of the problems with drug abuse and the penitentiary occupation in Saskatchewan. They say we're not doing enough for them, we're not giving them enough, we're not this and that. Myself, as a middle-aged white Christian man, I look at it and think, 'We've given them quite enough,' " he says.

Myke Agecoutay, tribal vice-chair of the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council, says anyone who believes First Nations people receive any sort of special treatment is obviously not familiar with the social issues facing aboriginal people.

"We know our people live in Third World conditions. We know that our children have no food at home, our children don't make it to school, our parents don't have the proper life skills to raise their children. We know that reality is out there," he said.

Agecoutay admits to being alarmed at the apparent increase in KKK membership and that First Nations people are considered a concerning issue for the group.

"The traditional image of a KKK member is not that of a peaceful front. It has a history of being violent and full of hatred, so that is always going to stick in the minds of anybody who hears the word 'KKK' -- that this is a group filled with hatred and racial tendencies throughout everything they do," Agecoutay said.

Waters insists the BOK is a Christian-based organization that is not hate-based and does not tolerate violent or criminal acts. The BOK is not associated with skinhead or neo-Nazi groups, Waters said, adding that it is a "disgrace" to fly a Nazi flag.

"I take offence if someone calls me a racist because it is not racist to be in love with my race," he said.

But Waters acknowledges the KKK has a violent past around the time of the civil rights movement, a period he believes falls far away from the group's intentions when it was created in Tennessee in 1865 during the first era of the Klan.

"During the 1960s and the civil rights movement when unfortunately there was the lynchings of blacks and things like that, there was all sorts of groups popping up all over that would use the Klan's name but weren't necessarily functioning as the Klan . . . There were a few bad apples that has cost us over 40-some years of misconceptions in the world," Waters said.

Ron Bourgeault, a sociologist at the University of Regina, said he is not surprised to hear of a rising interest in the KKK in Saskatchewan.

"In fact, I'm wondering why it hasn't been sooner," he said.

Bourgeault suggests members of the group may be right-wing political supporters who have become disenchanted with the Conservative party, especially in rural areas.

"They see (the Conservatives) as gone too establishment, they no longer reflect their interests about Indians and immigrants and things like that. They would drift away and are probably being attracted to (Waters)," he said.

The KKK is known as the "invisible empire" because of the secrecy surrounding its members. Waters explains group members do have occasional private gatherings, but most of their interaction is through the Internet.

Waters says the group is considering holding a public rally, possibly as soon as this fall. If the rally was to be held, the imperial officers who would speak at the gathering would be cloaked in the white ceremonial robes and hoods, he said.

RCMP spokesperson Heather Russell said no inquiries or complaints have been received about the group and nothing on BOK Canada's website is considered illegal. If its members were to hold a public rally, it is expected the RCMP would monitor the event.

Bourgeault calls Waters "adventuristic," adding that such an overt gathering may only result in further alienating people, not picking up support.

"He's basically waving the flag and people will reject that. He's not going to win a lot of converts; he may pick up a few disenchanted people who aren't sophisticated," Bourgeault said.

"But people who . . . may complain and gripe and be politically incorrect about Indian people . . . will just turn around and say, 'These guys are too extreme.' They don't reflect what is going on in a lot of peoples' minds."

The Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism's Bob Hughes said views similar to those held by Waters have long been obvious in other people's attitudes, but may be growing in light of the increasing focus on immigrants and First Nations people.

"It's interesting that people have to hide around. Come on out if you're proud of what you believe in. Speak out. Have a public meeting," Hughes said.

In the U.S., the BOK promotes local political involvement for its members, which the Canadian branch may follow. Waters said the group plans to lobby government in the future regarding certain legislative changes, which may include tightening of immigration policies and stricter punishments for gun crimes and sexual offenders.

"We are going to prove to Canada and the Canadian people that we are going to achieve our agenda, but it is going to be through peaceful, law-abiding ways," he said.

(REGINA LEADER-POST)

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Blue Apartments

(A continuation of an earlier post exploring how I ended up on the wrong end of a termination letter)

I am not sure if the blue apartments continue their existence in Kenora. They were the first place I looked for lodging when I moved to this small city by Lake of the Woods to work for the now defunct Kenora Enterprise weekly newspaper. The landlord took me to the basement and down a narrow, dimly lit hallway. Pipes lined the ceiling. The air moved like water in a lagoon. A baby cried through the walls, the television. A squat woman with glassy eyes stood in one doorway, her black hair hung like wet yarn to her shoulders. The landlord opened the door to the apartment advertised on the front door. It had no windows and smelled like years-old sweat.

Later I stood in the window of one the apartments, which was more of a simple room with a sink and no toilet. A 16 year-old from one of the northern fly in communities lived there and he was in the middle of a drug transaction with some friends. From the window I saw one of his friends leave the front door and walk to a building cross the street. A few minutes later another young man emerged from that building and disappeared around the corner. Not long after, while we chatted, there was a knock on the door. The drugs had arrived. "You wanna smoke" said one of the guys. The 16-year-old said he didn't do crack. Two others left. One came back, face and eyes blown behind tears.

Max

Things began to go wrong for me at the Kenora Daily Miner and News during the Max Kakigamic case. I had move to the competing daily from the Enterprise three months after my arrival in Kenora. The editor of the Enterprise called me an "asshole" when I quit, taking a pay cut to work for the daily. Not long after he sold his newspaper to Sun Media-owned Bowes, which also owned the Miner and News.

I knew I had to soon find another job after the editor of the Miner received a call from Kenora police chief George Curtis urging him to remove me from the police beat. My editor complied and put me onto city hall. The phone call had been triggered by my confrontation with the lawyer representing the man accused of Kakigamic's murder. There was a publication ban on the trial. I had included every detail already published about the case in my coverage. The accused's lawyer did not like this. During one court hearing the lawyer asked the judge to repeat his publication ban order. I took this as a threat. I was the only reporter at the hearing. After the judge left I confronted the lawyer and challenged him to cite any story that even came close to breaching the ban. He said a story I had written describing the nightmares Kakigamic's mother was having about her son's killer was inflammatory against his client. Curtis had been on the stand that day and heard our argument and used it as an example of why his force wouldn't deal with me. I was a "loose cannon" he said.

There were two other reasons.

A Kenora police officer had drowned during a private dive and the Winnipeg Sun wanted the story. I wanted to work for the Sun. I had always romanticized the Sun tabloids. I pushed hard to get details. I went down to the police station to maybe talk to some of his colleagues. Curtis confronted me at the station, roared I was a scavenger and kicked me off the property.

The second came after the OPP investigated a false claim I had sifted through files at the OPP's courthouse office. I have no idea how this was sparked and I wasn't even aware of it until my editor informed me about it while he explained why I would be removed from the cops beat.

Mongering little shit disturbing asshole

While covering city hall I reported on a late 1990s city council motion restricting the use of pesticides on municipal property. I remembered there were little signs on the front lawn of the police station advising that the grass had been sprayed and wrote a story. Curtis phoned me. The moment I answered the phone he attacked. " You mongering little shit disturbing asshole." I would not call him names, I said. My editor heard this exchange, walked over and hung up the telephone. Curtis later phoned to apologize.

But the damage was done.

I will buy you flowers, someday

I have one regret from Kenora. Kakigamic's mother asked me to lay flowers at the place where her son was found beaten to death, the imprint of a heavy boot tattooed on his neck.

I never bought the flowers.

The Shawn Brant effect

Algonquins staying put: lawyer; Protesters threaten violence if attempts are made to remove them from uranium mine site

Frank Armstrong

Friday, August 24, 2007 - 00:00

Local News - Attempts to forcibly remove a group of Algonquins who are blocking access to a uranium exploration site near Sharbot Lake will be met with violence, one of the group's lawyers warned yesterday.

"If there's an attack on that camp by the OPP or anyone else, there are thousands of volunteers on short notice ready to pour into that site," Chris Reid, lawyer for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, told a court in Kingston.

Native groups across North America are monitoring the situation and will join the Algonquins if there's any attempt to force them off the land, Reid said.

"If that happens, there will be violence, but it will not be started by our people," he said.

Members of the Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations have been camped out since June at the entrance to an area of land between Clarendon Station and Mississippi Station that is being prospected for uranium by Frontenac Ventures.

The Algonquins say the land is theirs because, in 1873, the British government signed an agreement proclaiming land not sold to or surrendered to the Crown belongs to their native allies.

Because it's their land, the Algonquins say the provincial government shouldn't have given Frontenac Ventures the right to prospect there and should have consulted them first. They say they're afraid a uranium mine could destroy the local water table and that they won't budge until the provincial government talks to them.

Oakville-based Frontenac Ventures claims it will be in serious financial trouble if it can't soon continue its work. The company is suing the Algonquins for $77 million and has asked the court to remove the Algonquins from the land.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Gordon Thomson issued an order last week that appeared to demand an end to the native occupation, but the OPP refused to co-operate with that order and both Reid and Frontenac Ventures lawyer Neal Smitheman had trouble interpreting it.

Thomson pulled Reid, Smitheman and lawyers representing the OPP and the Ontario attorney general into court yesterday to clarify his order, but a half day of debate didn't shed much more light on his directions and sparked frustration on all sides.

"It dumbfounds me frankly that there's confusion here," Thomson said. "If we went down to the corner of Princess and King streets ... any member of the public would understand exactly."

For the first time in several days of court appearances, however, the lawyers seemed to agree with one another: None of them completely understood the order.

In it, Thomson asks the OPP to control access to the land with a combination lock.

It also says that all signs, vehicles, buildings and other material erected by the protesters must be removed.

The carefully worded 20-page document, says the order isn't intended to prevent "legitimate protest," except that which includes occupation or denial of access to the land.

"It is my view that the public interest requires that the courts do their best not to intervene unless and until there is no other resort available," Thomson writes.

The order was issued last week, but the Algonquins are still camped out on the site.

Frontenac Ventures staff went by the site on Saturday, the day after the deadline for the protesters to leave, but at least two protesters were still there along with three camping trailers, a number of tents, portable toilets, firewood and several flags.

Frontenac Ventures project manager Jamie Fairchild said outside the court that he brought a lock for the gate to the Sharbot Lake OPP detachment, but it was refused.

OPP lawyer Chris Diana told the court that the provincial police force doesn't want to play "gatekeeper" because it would appear as if they were taking sides on the issue.

"That would make it difficult for the OPP to defuse tensions," Diana said.

Because the OPP generally doesn't enforce civil orders, the police force would have to receive court authorization to remove the protesters before it could act, he said, citing the federal Courts of Justice Act.

"They need to know if they are authorized to remove the protesters and if the protesters are allowed to stay on the site," he said. "It appears the protesters will not leave voluntarily."

He added that the OPP were not requesting authorization.

Thomson suggested the protesters might have to move a few metres to put their camp firmly on Crown land and off of private property, but he said they wouldn't necessarily have to leave their camp.

On the other hand, all of their equipment does have to go, as described in the order, the judge said.

After the hearing, Smitheman told reporters outside the courthouse that he thought Thomson had ordered the Algonquins to abandon their blockade, but he found out yesterday that wasn't the case. He said he was "dumbfounded" by the judge's interpretation of the order yesterday.

"What he seems to have said in his order is that access to the property will be restricted, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the people who are occupying the property have to leave right away," Smitheman said.

If the protesters aren't forced to leave the site and the OPP end up locking the site, the protesters will be locked inside, he pointed out.

"What is clear, and his honour made this clear today, is that all the placards and the paraphernalia, vehicles and material are supposed to be removed, but Mr. Reid made it clear that's not going to happen either, so it's an unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in today."

Although a judge will begin hearing the application for a permanent injunction on Sept. 20, Smitheman said his clients don't know what to do from here on in.

"Even if we were to attempt to enforce that order, it still doesn't provide my client with access to the property to do the things that need to be done," he said.

It also doesn't give them an opportunity to sit down and resolve the situation, he said.

"We're not going to spend money and involve ourselves in a violent situation for nothing," he said.

Smitheman described yesterday as a "sad day" because it became apparent that the rule of law isn't going to be obeyed.

Reid insisted at the beginning of yesterday's hearing that his clients do respect the laws of Canada.

He pointed out that none of the Algonquin protesters or their non-native supporters had attended court for the first time and said they no longer want to participate.

"They mean no disrespect to the court at all. They respect Canadian law for the most part," he said. "They don't get much respect in return, but they said they can't be here and ... hear themselves and their elders described as criminals."

With the local Algonquins dropping out of the hearing, a 6,000-person group of Algonquins decided they should step in to represent the interests of this First Nation group regarding the affected land.

Bob Potts, the main negotiator representing a different Algonquin group that has been negotiating with the federal government since 1992 over a land claim that encompasses 14, 000 square miles of land, including the Parliament buildings and the City of Ottawa, made his first court appearance yesterday.

farmstrong@thewhig.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summer in Ottawa ends this October

(A shorter fall sitting could make it difficult for the Conservatives to pass this promised legislation.)


MPs back Oct. 16
Harper will delay recall of Parliament until after the Ontario election
L. IAN MACDONALD, Freelance
Published: 6 hours ago

Any day now, the Harper government will announce a new session of Parliament, beginning with a Throne Speech on Oct. 16.

This is no October surprise, and the date is no coincidence. Not only does it fall after Thanksgiving on Oct 8, but after the Ontario election on Oct. 10. The Conservatives in Ottawa want to stay off television and out of the news to give John Tory and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives a clear shot at defeating Dalton McGuinty's Liberals at Queen's Park.

Er, on second thought

Mayor dropped call for police probe
O'Brien didn't instigate OPP investigation into Kilrea allegations, despite public claim

Gary Dimmock
The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On Jan. 13, a day after Mayor Larry O'Brien learned he had been accused of offering to cover a rival's expenses if the rival withdrew from last year's mayoral race, he called the police and asked for a full investigation to clear his name. But the Citizen has learned that the next day, when told he needed to file a formal complaint, he declined to do so.

The investigation was over before it began.

The current police probe was only launched after the Citizen reported the allegations, two months later.

But last month, the mayor told CFRA radio that the current investigation was at his request.

In an interview with Citizen columnist and radio host Mark Sutcliffe, Mr. O'Brien claimed responsibility for instigating the probe: "As soon as I became aware of this last January, I immediately went to our police chief and I immediately went to the OPP, months and months before this became public, and asked for a full investigation.

"That investigation commenced and I think the investigation covers an awful lot more issues than simply what Larry O'Brien has been doing. So I'm very comfortable with the way this is unfolding ... We have been completely, 100-per-cent co-operative (with the police) in every way, shape or form, providing them every ounce of information needed and I am quite comfortable that as this thing rolls out over the next four or five weeks and comes to a conclusion that the City of Ottawa will be very comfortable."

The mayor expressed confidence in the OPP and said: "I ... like the way they're moving on this. They're going to be very, very, very thorough, and for that I'm appreciative."

After telling Mr. Sutcliffe he did not intend to follow through on a threat to sue the Citizen over the story, the mayor concluded: "I'll just be happy when this is over and we can all go forward and live happily ever after."

On Jan. 12, the mayor learned in an interview with the Citizen that one of his rivals in the last election, Terry Kilrea, had alleged that Mr. O'Brien had offered him $30,000 to cover his campaign expenses and help him get a federal appointment if he withdrew from the race.

At the request and expense of the Citizen, Mr. Kilrea swore to his allegations in an affidavit. He also passed a polygraph test, again at the expense of the Citizen, about the contents of the affidavit. Mr. Kilrea's allegations have not been proven in court and Mr. O'Brien has not been charged with any crime.

Mr. O'Brien asked then-Ottawa police chief Vince Bevan to investigate Mr. Kilrea's allegations. The Ottawa police turned the file over to the Ontario Provincial Police to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

For the OPP to launch an investigation, Mr. O'Brien would need to file a formal complaint.

On Jan. 14, he declined to do so.

On Feb. 10, the Citizen reported on the allegations and the existence of the affidavit. The current OPP investigation was launched on March 27 after the Ottawa and District Labour Council lodged a complaint based on the affidavit by Mr. Kilrea.

The labour council did not obtain the affidavit from the Citizen.

In the Jan. 12 interview, Mr. O'Brien denied making the offer, but acknowledged two meetings with Mr. Kilrea took place. He also acknowledged that he spoke to his lawyer after talking to Mr. Kilrea about campaign expenses.

Mr. Kilrea, a court-enforcement officer, says while he was tempted by the alleged offer, he turned it down 25 days later at a meeting with Mr. O'Brien in the parking lot behind a Tim Hortons.

The Kilrea affidavit details two meetings with Mr. O'Brien. Mr. Kilrea swears in the affidavit that the mayor not only offered to cover his campaign expenses up to $30,000, but also alleges that, citing help of a top federal Tory, he explored the idea of getting Mr. Kilrea an appointment to the National Parole Board.

John Reynolds, the co-chair of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 2006 campaign, has firmly denied any link to the alleged offer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Caledonia redux

Algonquins to continue uranium site blockade

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | 10:56 AM ET

CBC News

Two First Nations communities plan to continue blocking access to a potential uranium mining site in eastern Ontario despite a judge's order.

"Our plans at the site are to continue to secure the gate and not permit entry into our lands without our permission," Bob Lovelace, former chief of the Ardoch First Nation, said Tuesday. "And certainly the exploration company will not be permitted to do any test drilling."

He was responding to Ontario Superior Court Judge Gordon Thomson's 20-page interim decision, issued quietly last week, that bans entry to the property near Sharbot Lake by anyone except "the owner with the valid registered deed."

The ruling also orders the removal of all "signs, vehicles, buildings and other paraphernalia" erected at the site by either the Algonquins or the mining exploration company Frontenac Ventures since July 1, 2007, the Kingston Whig-Standard reported.

However, it allows for a qualified archeologist to search the property for sacred indigenous burial sites.

Protesters from the Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquin First Nations have been blocking the entrance to the site, about 60 kilometres north of Kingston, since June.

The mining exploration company Frontenac Ventures Corp., which wants to do some test drilling for uranium, is suing the Algonquins for $77 million and seeking a judicial order to remove First Nations protesters from the site.

The interim decision came the same week the Algonquins sent a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty announcing that they were pulling out of the court process and asking the Ontario government to intervene in the dispute.

The Algonquins say they are concerned that uranium mining would contaminate water and cause other environmental damage on property that comprises ancestral lands they never properly surrendered.

Lawyers for the various parties are to discuss the order in court on Thursday.

A decision on the requested injunction, which would grant Frontenac Ventures full access to the site, is to be made in September.

The site includes privately owned property, but is mainly land that Ontario considers to be owned by the Crown. The Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation is in land-claim negotiations with the federal and provincial governments.

With files from the Canadian Press

Algonquins put out the call

Just received this. I coincidentally blogged about this situation earlier today and wondered what Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty will do on this with an election looming this fall.

Paula Sherman is co- Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.

We issued a statement saying we were not going to participate in the injunction process in the courts any longer . The same day we issued this the judge released his decision telling us to leave the site. We are of course refusing to do that since Algonquin law requires us to be here protecting our lands from uranium exploration and mining. Frontenac Ventures has asked for an emergency teleconference with the judge for Monday or Tuesday to say that we are refusing to leave and to ask for a full injunction to be issued against us in his favour allowing him to come back with full access to the site. The judge has asked all the lawyers to show up on Thursday, so we are not sure whether or not the judge will issue a full injunction on Monday or Tuesday after the teleconference or wait until Thursday when the lawyers will all be there.....................but since we stated that we were no longer participating in the court, the judge will probably rule in favour of Frontenac and issue a full injunction wherein Frontenac will ask the OPP to enforce it (which is not in the current order) so then we will have to see what happens.

We need to have as many people as possible show up during the week to make it a risk to public safety to come in and hall us all out. They don't have to come inside the blockade, but can be outside it..................................we just need a large amount of people to be here..................

Miigwech
Paula

Thinking of Vick I recalled this afternoon in Caracas

Saturday afternoon at the cock fights and the place smells like chicken shit. The man leaning over flimsly metal railing overlooking the fight pit asks me which rooster I think will win. He is swigging a Polar. The roosters have been placed in a transparent Plexiglas box divided into two compartments. One side is carved with the word "Chávez." I pick that rooster. The man wants me to bet, but I say no, fearing this is some sort of con.

The box is attached to a rope slung over a pulley hanging from a beam above. Slowly, it rises. The awkward dance begins tentatively at first, then, feathers flared, one leaps, spurs and beaks flash across blood-stained industrial grey carpet littered with bits of feather, flesh. Men shout and bang.

Feathers and dust float on beans of sun pouring through gaps in the tin roof.

Bangs and shouts.

They fight to the death or for 30 minute when it ends with the single ring of the judge’s hand-held bell. The judge sits behind a door with a sign reading "juez" along boards ringing the fight pit. The first row of chairs around the pit are cushioned, the seating in the remaining three or four rows are a mix of dented folding metal chairs and concrete steps. Above, other men lean over the railing along the balcony, swigging beers and betting 5,000 to 10,000 (around $2.50 to $5) bolivars a fight.

"It’s my obsession," says Edgar, who raises roosters in Caracas. "You have to feed them three times every day. At 6 a.m., even if you are hung-over you have to get up. At noon, even if your woman has no food, you feed the roosters. And again in the evening."

The pit is about the circumference of a mid-sized above-ground swimming pool. Polar beer banners are strung from the rafters. The marker-scrawled betting board hangs above the betting cage near the entrance.

The roosters are armed with spurs made from turtle shells honed into 2.5 centimeter claws. Before the fight the rooster’s leg is wrapped in boxing tape with a hole cut where the natural spur once jutted, now shaved. The new spur is fastened with silicone and thick thread before it is again wrapped with tape.

The rooster’s beak is sharpened with a file. Dagger-like.

After about 10 minutes, my pick has drawn blood, slicing the neck of its opponent now a mess of twitching feathers sprawled on the carpet. The stronger animal pounces on its prostrate opponent and begins picking at the head, pulling out an eye-ball before the judge ends the fight. The feathers of the beaten chicken are drenched a deep dark crimson. Its owner crouches over the body and lifts up gently, cooing soft words as blood pool in a teardrop at the tip of its honed beak, its body weakly expanding from short gasping breaths.

Of four fights that afternoon, two end this way. One fight runs the full 30 minutes. The judge brings out a white rooster and teases the combatants. He does this three times. If the roosters react and snap back at least once it’s called a draw. If one of the rooster cowers, or fails to react, it loses. The fight is a draw.

The cock fight arena, or gallero, sits in a back corner of El Silencio, a run down central Caracas neighborhood that once housed government offices. Now, the homeless sleep on the sidewalks and the edges buildings are crumbling from the erosion of neglect. I have been told the place is a nest of thieves, ready to slice a stranger’s throat or pump a bullet in their chest for a gold necklace.

A few blocks away sits the National Electoral Council building and beyond that the National Assembly. Nearby is Miraflores, the presidential palace.

Former AFN national chief Ovid Mercredi on Strahl

"He sounds like a minister who doesn't want to listen to the people he's affecting," Mr. Mercredi said.

With an election looming what will McGuinty do if the Algonquins refuse to leave?

Sides explore mine ruling; Lawyers seek clarity on edict over standoff

Rob Tripp


Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 00:00

Local News - A judge has ordered an end to a two-month-old native occupation that has prevented a prospecting company from digging for uranium on land near Sharbot Lake, according to a lawyer for the firm.

"The first thing that his honour ordered is for the occupation to cease, I mean that's what I read, and then that only certain people [be] allowed on the property and only under certain conditions," said Neal Smitheman, who represents Frontenac Ventures Corporation. The company wants to drill samples to see if it's feasible to operate a uranium mine on land roughly 60 kilometres north of Kingston. The site includes private property and Crown land.

Two native groups, the Ardoch Algonquins and the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations, have occupied the site and blocked the firm, claiming the land is part of disputed territory subject to ongoing land claim negotiations.

They also cite concerns about environmental damage and damage to native heritage.

Frontenac Ventures went to court, seeking an injunction to stop the occupation and also seeking millions in damages from the protesters. Last week, a Superior Court judge in Kingston issued a 20-page interim decision.

"Under no circumstances shall there be entry onto the subject property by anyone else other than an owner with a valid registered deed," Justice Gordon Thomson wrote.

The decision also orders the removal of all "signs, vehicles, buildings and other paraphernalia erected" there by any of the parties to the court case since July 1, 2007.

The parties can't agree how to interpret the decision, so they'll be back in court Thursday.

"It's somewhat vague in parts and nobody's exactly sure what it means," Chris Reid, a Toronto lawyer acting for the Ardoch First Nation, said in an interview yesterday.

Reid believes the decision does not order an end to the occupation. "Nowhere does the order say to the OPP, 'This is an illegal demonstration, you should arrest these people,' " he said.

Smitheman said the OPP, who have been keeping watch over the standoff, have taken the position that it's not clear what the judge meant.

"So they're not about to agree to an order, let alone enforcing an order, until that can be clarified," Smitheman said. "They are, I suppose, approaching with extreme caution."

The lawyers agree that the judge ordered that an archeologist be brought onto the property to conduct an investigation.

The sides can't agree on who chooses the archeologist and who pays. The company offered to appear at the property with an archeologist yesterday, Reid said, but his clients weren't consulted about the person hired.

"No real steps have been taken since then, it's safe to say," he said.

The dispute may become more complicated this week because the native groups are expected to appear in court and tell the judge they will refuse to participate in the legal proceedings.

The groups sent a three-page letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty last week, asking him to intervene and help broker a deal.

In the letter, they state that they appreciate the challenge the court faces, but the adversarial system, contrary to traditional Algonquin-style dispute resolution, damages the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown.

"While we respect the Ontario Court system and the rule of law, we cannot inure to the Court in this case and will not be proceeding any further with the Court process as it relates to Frontenac Venture's motion for an injunction against us," states the letter, signed by Doreen Davis, chief of the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation and Paula Sherman, co-chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.

"There's been no response yet to that letter," Reid said.

A copy of the letter was filed with the court.

"I don't know what the judge's response will be to me standing up and saying, with all due respect, we're not participating any further in this," Reid said.

Clarifying the judge's order may be irrelevant, he said.

"This occupation is going to remain unless there's a negotiated agreement," Reid said.

In an interview last week, McGuinty said the situation may also involve the federal government.

"If we have a role to play, we will play the part," he said.

The premier's office declined to provide comment yesterday.

A rotating group of native protesters, typically numbering 20 to 30, are camping out at the site around the clock.

A full hearing on Frontenac Venture's application for an injunction is scheduled for Sept. 20.

rtripp@thewhig.com

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sad Sad Sad Sad so Sad

MONTEBELLO, Que. — As riot police fired tear gas and pepper spray to hold back demonstrators outside the Montebello summit Monday,

Stephen Harper shook hands with George W. Bush and dismissed the protest as a “sad” spectacle.

The prime minister welcomed Bush to the North American Leaders’ Summit as the U.S. president stepped off his helicopter on to the lush grounds of the posh — and heavily guarded — Chateau Montebello.

“I’ve heard it’s nothing,” the prime minister said when asked whether he’d seen the protesters. “A couple hundred? It’s sad.

(So sad)


Those attending demonstration not "civilized human beings": Thomas D'Aquino

But Thomas D'Aquino, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said getting access to political leaders is not the only way to be heard.

"I do not say to myself, 'If I don't get an hour with the prime minister in the next six months, I'm going to go out and protest and reject the system outright,' " he told CBC News.

"I don't do that because civilized human beings — those who believe in democracy — don't do that."

"I do not say to myself, 'If I don't get an hour with the prime minister in the next six months, I'm going to go out and protest and reject the system outright,' " he told CBC News.

"I don't do that because civilized human beings — those who believe in democracy — don't do that."

"I do not say to myself, 'If I don't get an hour with the prime minister in the next six months, I'm going to go out and protest and reject the system outright,' " he told CBC News.

"I don't do that because civilized human beings — those who believe in democracy — don't do that."

"I do not say to myself, 'If I don't get an hour with the prime minister in the next six months, I'm going to go out and protest and reject the system outright,' " he told CBC News.

"I don't do that because civilized human beings — those who believe in democracy — don't do that."

Exclusive: PMO poised to replace Sandra Buckler

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Correction

Really?

Peter's red herring

Despite the mass migration of half of Canada to Alberta the sober and enlightened heads still take Alberta separatism seriously.

"Before a potentially destructive constitutional reference to the Supreme Court occurs, cooler heads should prevail. Alberta should strengthen its existing laws to control greenhouse-gas emissions. In turn, federal opposition politicians should realize they could win their battle for Kyoto and lose the war for national unity. Political compromises should be struck. Mr. Lougheed deserves gratitude for his timely intervention."

With Lamborghini-driving Albertans roaring around Calgary and instability in the Middle East for the next several hundred generations I fail to see how anything could seriously damage Alberta's petroleum economy. If foreign oil firms continue to work in Venezuela regardless of the constantly changing regulatory landscape, what makes anyone think these same firms would abandon Alberta over tougher environmental regulations?

The feds make bad soup

Plight of Afghan prisoners echoes Chief Rickard case

George Beaver

Thursday, August 16, 2007 - 07:00

Local News - The Expositor's recent front page story, "Afghan detainees case secret," was not just about the prisoners who were turned over to the Afghans allegedly to be tortured.

It also was about the unusual provisions of the Canadian Evidence Act, which forbade anyone to reveal that a court application to release documents had even been made.

Under these provisions, the court registry must keep these files separate from the other court files and not tell anyone about them. This sets up a great way for the prime minister or any other minister to deny that someone had made an application to challenge the refusal of the federal government to release certain records related to the handling of suspected Taliban prisoners.

This repressive provision reminded me of a similar provision in the Indian Act.

In the 1920s and 1930s, it was illegal for Indians to take the federal government to court or even to collect money in order to pay a lawyer to sue the government.

This loophole in the legal system led to injustice in many forms to a lot of First Nations people.

An example is what happened to the Tuscarora Chief Clinton Rickard. In 1928, Chief Rickard got the U.S. Congress to pass a bill reaffirming the Jay Treaty and supporting Canadian-born aboriginal people's right to cross the border.

This was especially important to the Six Nations people, who have relatives on both sides of the border.

In 1930, Chief Rickard was asked by the Algonquin Chiefs to come to their first Grand Council at Maniwaki, Que. Sixteen Algonquins had taken part in the first Border Crossing Celebration in 1928 at Niagara Falls.

falsely charged

At Maniwaki, Chief Rickard made two speeches. In one he talked about the type of education given at the Tuscarora reservation.

He noted that they had no more than half an hour of religious instruction in any one day.

The commissioner of education thought this was a good idea and said he was issuing similar orders to the schools in his charge.

The Algonquins were pleased with his visit and invited him back to the Second Grand Council the next year.

In 1931, as the chief and his first wife walked about taking pictures before the first session at which he was scheduled to speak, he saw two men also taking pictures.

During intermission, they came up and asked the chief if he would like to go on a sightseeing tour.

They did not tell him they were undercover RCMP officers. When he and his wife agreed, they were driven by car straight to the local Indian agent's office and shown an arrest warrant already prepared for him.

He was falsely charged under Section 141 of the Indian Act with soliciting money at Barriere, Que., between April 16, 1931, and Sept. 15, 1931, to sue the Canadian government.

He had only arrived in Quebec on Sept. 14, 1931, and had never been to Barriere, which was north of Maniwaki.

He was immediately thrown into jail and the next day was taken to Hull, Que., 136 kilometres away. He was constantly interrogated. He was not allowed to see his wife or brother and not allowed to write or call anyone.

After six days of refusing to plead guilty to the false charge, he was fed soup, which made him violently ill.

For four days he lay ill without medical care.

At last, he was taken before a judge and released on his own recognizance. He was so sick he could hardly walk.

This shameful episode is recounted in the book Fighting Tuscarora, The Autobiography of Chief Clinton Rickard, edited by Professor Barbara Graymont, head of the Department of History and Economics at Nyack College, Nyack, N.Y.

The plaintiff in this strange case, which had no hearing and no trial, was later shown to be the Department of Indian Affairs.

Now that god is dead

here,

we must search

follow the dj

t>




Not a lone voice









CBC.ca Homepage

Mi'kmaq chief keeping wary eye on Strahl

New Indian Affairs minister remembered as Reform hardliner

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | 4:45 PM AT

CBC News

A Mi'kmaq chief in Nova Scotia is wondering whether the new minister of Indian Affairs will live up to his reputation as a Reform hardliner.

Millbrook Chief Lawrence Paul described Chuck Strahl, named to the portfolio Wednesday, as a "die-hard Reformer." Strahl, 50, had been agriculture minister.

"We don't know what his policy is going to be," Paul said. "I do know that if he takes a hard line against the aboriginal people of Canada, there's going to be a lot more protests.

"In reality, the one who's running the show is Primer Minister [Stephen] Harper, and all his cabinet ministers and MPs have to kind of follow his lead. So, I guess that's where it rests at the present time."

As a Reform MP in 1999, Strahl spoke out against native fishing rights in Atlantic Canada.

His party was then asking the governing Liberals and the Supreme Court of Canada to suspend a decision upholding the rights of some First Nations to fish out of season.

Strahl, a former logging contractor, said then that the federal government should extend year-round fishing rights to non-native fishermen, too.

Paul hopes to meet with the new minister soon to talk about economic development.

A spokeswoman for Strahl said he was getting settled in his new office and was not available for comment

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fall election

A man, who soon will shape the minds of our twisted, cyborg youth believes a federal election will come this fall.

I have my doubts. Watch this if you are bored.

Mercury

A poison stronger than love.

Peace, order and slightly corrupt government

The flies continue to swarm, delirious in the bursting stench of corruption that emanates from the putrefying legacies of two of our recent millionaire prime ministers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not Vic

Not Vic. Chuck Strahl appears to be going to Indian Affairs

Strahl's department was also sitting on top of a cover-up involving North American's largest standardbred race track that was knowingly publishing questionable information in betting programs they sold.

If Jim Prentice leaves Indian Affairs

could we see a Robert Nault-type take the helm?

Imagine Vic ?

A mother's story


as in the case

former prime minister

I admire deeply

no attempt to minimize


a mother's story

Sunday, August 12, 2007

[iggy remix] REVISION-V-3 Lib Conv Victory08-draft

A prudent leader will save democracies from the worst, but prudent leaders will not inspire a democracy to give its best. Democratic peoples should always be looking for something more than prudence in a leader: daring, vision and — what goes with both — a willingness to risk failure. Daring leaders can be trusted as long as they give some inkling of knowing what it is to fail. They must be men of sorrow acquainted with grief, as the prophet Isaiah says, men and women who have not led charmed lives, who understand us as we really are, who have never given up hope and who know they are in politics to make their country better. These are the leaders whose judgment, even if sometimes wrong, will still prove worthy of trust.


In politics, you mean what you say, you never say what you mean

So it's Sunday and there are church bells. As I continue to ponder the Riddell affair and Ottawa's mayor Larry O'Brien's criminal investigation thoughts of Grewal begin to emerge. Remember Gurmant Grewal, the B.C. Tory MP who launched a sting operation against the Liberals when the Paul Martin kingdom teetered oh so precariously? Remember the transcripts of the "negotiations" with Martin's chief of staff Tim Murphy and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh as they tryed to seduce Grewal's budget vote?

The art of the political deal hinges on emphasizing what is understood rather than what is said so when questions arise everyone can tuck and bend the corners of truth, a sort of origami.

The transcripts tug lightly at the black curtains.

Meeting with Mr.Ujjal Dosanjh and Mr.Tim Murphy in the Confederation Building
At 1:00 PM on Tuesday May 17th, 2005

(Noise)
GG - Hello, how are you?
UD - Fine, how are you? I didn't know last night (about Belinda).
GG - No, no, you knew that.
UD - Honestly I didn't know this was.
GG - You indicated last night, I thought you knew it.
UD - I was told that someone was coming but I did not know who it was.
GG - It seems there might be some more...
UD - Those from Newfoundland are suspected.

--snip--

GG - We have to rush through because of the Question Period.
UD - Today, Question Period is at 2 PM
GG - Don't you have to prepare for it?
UD - No, I can just prepare in 5 minutes in the car.
I think Belinda has made it easier for you, because you got what you wanted.
GG - That's true. It's easier. From two perspectives it's clear. Nobody can say anything to us. You want the Parliament to work. Parliament has a shortage of Members.
UD - In fact, cabinet can be arranged right away. For the other, you don't want to lose the advantage. If you do right away, you lose the advantage of numbers. Those are the issues.
GG - Anyway, let's talk
UD - I talked to the PM moments ago. He said he is going to Regina right now and he said he will be happy to talk to you over the phone tonight or in person if you want to move. I think you should have thorough conversation with Tim.
GG - OK
UD -Tim is the Chief of Staff, it's just like talking to the Prime Minister
GG - Right.
UD - About right away, no one, cabinet right away is difficult to lose the number.
GG - I understand, on the other side what is the situation in Senate, there are rumours of many vacancies to be...
UD - There is only one in BC
GG - but more in other provinces 16 or 17, all have not been filled yet, only 6-7 filled.
UD - Some have been filled in.
GG -
(TV voice in the background)
UD - It is delayed.
GG Now number is very crucial, 151 to 151
UD - In Senate, there is a big majority
GG - Yes, that's true.
UD - I think you should actually think long term
Page 1
GG - Hu.. hu
UD - Obviously, you would only do it if it is right for you. It is always right thing for us.
GG - Yes, personally, I understand.
UD - But you will do the right thing. I will push as far as I can. At the end, I don't control those things. That is why it is important for you to meet him after the PM. He just told me now that he will talk to you after the discussion if everything is alright.
GG - Ask who?
UD - If it appears there is some understanding. If there is no understanding, there is no use to talk to him.
GG - inaudible (Punjabi name) was prepared to be a leadership candidate...for us it.. any difference because we represent the ethnic minority.
UD - That's right, it is easier for you to use the same kind of language. This is the time to keep the country together, you can't line up with the Bloc. You should go out on a high principle. Go out on high principles. In a sense people might say "inaudible" That is not a bad thing for you. Like one of your former Leaders. She was leader in your party.
GG -She was a leadership candidate, right.
UD - she was one of the leaders in the party.
UD - Did you talk to Nina?
GG - Yes, but we are not decided, we have not made up our minds yet, we are still dwindling. It depends. If Cabinet is quick we'll go ahead with it. If Cabinet takes its time we probably won't.
UD - Under this circumstance, it is difficult. Cabinet is quick
GG - A day here or there doesn't matter --very understandable.
UD - You lose the numbers
GG - You get the numbers immediately and if one goes to the Senate it might be better.
UD - Next 6 months, if one goes to Senate, you lose the numbers. This is the game of numbers. (indistinct)
GG - Yes, I agree, that's why you wanted to do it.
UD - It is not an easy thing. I wouldn't. You really have to think. My own thinking is it might be possible. Nobody will make you totally blunt promise, because that is not done in politics, usually, Cabinet right away may be possible... You might be better off for yourself, about saying all you're looking for is for your wife rather than for you cause you'll have a pension of something you can go right away...you can ask for both but that might be the only thing that might be feasible. I haven't talked to him, that's just my way of thinking... I'm talking to you for your own welfare. I think you should tell Tim what you have in your mind. They way of approaching it isn't the way it's done. Then that is not good for you. I know that you might not be ready to do it right now but you certainly be looking for a significant appointment for her, not for you. How old are you now.
GG - 47
UD - Your pension?
GG - After 8 years. At 55
UD - You will get after 8 years.
Page 2
(Tim Murphy Walks In.)

--snip--

GG - Fine, thanks.A fantastic news for you today!
TM - Ya! it cannot have been an easy decision... but I think obviously it is a good news story for us.
TM - Something is going on strange inside, so
UD - I told him, I didn't know until this morning. He called me around 9:35 or something
TM -Yeah.
GG - Hu Hu
TM - Absolutely, not surprisingly, we were sworn to secrecy. It is the first time I have been involved in politics where I have media sitting in that room, emailing me as to what is going on.
GG - Media knew it before you?
TM - Usually in this town you know everything leaks, everything leaks. It was pretty tightly held.
UD - the Pundits were sitting...laughs
TM - What's going on!
TM - As you know with this its still the balance of power hangs with the 2 independents, right.
GG - Hu..Hu
TM - Assuming Carolyn Perrish, which I think she will vote with us it will be 151 to 151
GG - No 152 to 152
TM - Well, because of pairing 151 to 151 because of Stinson and Efford. There're two independents. We need one of two to vote with us to avoid and election, unless other thing happen. Right as this point, I don't what is going to happen. My sense is that David Kilgour is unlikely to vote for us, but he is an unpredictable man. As far as I know he has been member of three parties now. And then Chuck Cadman. I think actually Chuck Cadman is an honest man. He has not made up his mind and he's goiung to wait and see

Page 3
what his riding wants and what the right thing to do is and so I truthfully think with Cadman we won't know until Thursday.
--snip--

GG - And they...always a long term-impact. This will the talk of the town, not of the town, not of the country, of the world. People will know in India, they will talk in India too, it will be a big thing for many people. So it will depend on what what we talk
UD - Have you spoken to your wife and you are speaking on behalf of both of you?
GG - Hu Hu
TM - As you may know Ujjal and I have spoken last night and again this morning and talked to the PM. And I think that the way Ujjal described it to me, and I think it's a sensible one and I'm thinking about how Ujjal came into cabinet the importance of honesty, faith and trust in the relationship and that at that one level Ujjal take risk, on an other that his faith was rewarded and there is an element of trust underlying that, obviously, and I accept that can be difficult and sometimes difficult burden to bear in politics ummm ummm because it feels sometimes like it is a career and hobby that does not operate on trust very much. That's why I wanted to come 2 reasons - one is, PM was quite happy to do this, but literally he is going to get a plane to meet the Queen, but he is prepared, depending on how the conversations go, to talk to you directly both by phone and subsequently in person as you, as we see it fit. But obviously we're obviously at a point where 2 votes don't vote with govt then the budget passes - so um 2 votes from the Conservative side of the ledger can make a difference, a significant difference. One doesn't, two do. I think that, as you say, you may have seen the PM say we are not, you know he's said it, I'm not offering and I'm making no offers. And I think that is a narrative we have to stick to it, and I don't want to make the PM a liar. That's not to say that's what we are doing, but I think it is important that we can be honest about it. But there also, we understand that those people who take risk, ought to be rewarded for the risks they take and, you know, that as you look through the process of, you know, making a difficult decision, thinking about implications for you personally and then what that means that as we get out from under this, the gold fish bowl of right now and into a calmer temperature over the summer, that then I think our flexibility to do things in that clamer period of times goes up considerably. And you know that I can help people out in transitions, you know, even in that environment, you know as someone says, I've got a comfort problem within a party I am part of, given the difficult choices facing me and that may mean I have to move to an independent status and then out of that independent status, in truth, then flexibility also increases, right? to do some things that well and independent MP can make, you know, can make a contribution that someone whose shown and stood up for a vision of the country and a personal set of beliefs that they believe that matter to them. They can do that in way, they can articulate that point of view saying hang on. I have a principled point of view that I'm bringing to the table here. I'm a person of principle. Am I being offered anything, I can say "no", right, because it's a point of principle that kind of principled stand is the kind of principled stand that people look to and say "that ought to be rewarded." Does that sound right to you?
UD - Yes it sounds right to me and then at the end, in two or three months, if both of them felt that way they want to come and join,
TM - Absolutely
UD - it will be more credible at that point for you.

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TM - Yeah, no sorry, I did not want to in any way preclude that, I mean obviously you'll have to feel what you are comfortable doing and what, where your personal space is and what both you and your wife, let me make one thing absolutely clear that we are, umm, we're a welcoming party and we will do everything we can do to be welcoming, you know obviously for us continuing to expand our base in BC and in prominent communities in this country is a political priority for us so it's a welcome mat that has a lot of nice comfy fur on it. Laughs
UD -I think what Tim is saying about trust is that most of these things do happen with trust and you have to feel comfortable with that and at the end, of course if Chief of Staff stated that certain conduct ought to be rewarded in due time that trust can be interpreted 99.9% of the time. Sometimes you can't do it because the circumstances will kill you. I told him about my conversations with the PM when I came
(Tea is served to all)
TM-Let me put one more little fact that I hope we can keep this one fact in this room. You should understand from my perspective, you know, I have two things I'm going to say--one of which is, David Peterson, in terms of Belinda Stronach. David Peterson was the conduit. DP called me on Friday and obviously we had a conversation through him as an intermediary on a basis of trust and not surprisingly, if it did not work out, then Belinda Stronach did not want to be in the position of being hurt by the discussion and so we did that on the basis of trust. Between us, it almost didn't happen, but it was on the basis of trust. Ujal Dosanjh is a crucially important minister in this government, and yet I could not tell him because I had given a promise, until today. Right? And so, that I think is lesson about two things. One of which is, we live up to our commitments and secondly this conversation no matter what happens, is something that happens with us, that is it Ok?
GG - Sure
TM - And the fact that no one knew that Belinda was doing this is proof that keep to those commitments no matter what happen. Ok. So I want you to know that and have that comfort
GG - Since there is no decision from either side, so we have to keep it at that.
TM - Absolutely.
GG - If it is positive or negative decision, whatever, we will respect it
TM - The second thing is and I want you to know this and again that remains in this room that this discussion we only have. I don't even know if Ujal knows this, there are others in your caucus who have asked “I will do this if you will do this or that or the other thing,” and we have said no, period. Right? In truth, I don't think that actually serves us or that individual well, right. Because, it has been a kind of, you know, they have asked for a reward outside of politics and I just don't think that's--the Prime Minister does not think--that's the right thing to do. I want you to know, you might say there is an element of trust in what's been happening here, but there's a reason for that, because frankly it's better for us to be honest with you, frankly it's better for someone like you to work on that basis. I don't know if you agree with that, Ujjal. I don't even know if you knew that, and I ask that you not talk to your other caucus members about that. That there, some of them are getting close to retirement or less interested in battle and are looking for a way out and we have said no to them.
GG - Hu..hu

Page 6
UD - Today in politics you don't leverage, if you do this thing, I'll do that.... it doesn't happen that way... and, out of that trust, as it grows, there are rewards. That's part of that trust relationship. As you know, it's never a bargain.
TM - There are some days I think Ujjal doesn't think it's that big a reward. But...
[Laughter]
UD - Somebody said this morning, Belinda... I said she's going to be Minister of Health...and somebody said "hey, I'm Minister of Health".
[Laughter]
GG - Another thing which will facilitate for us to talk is, if I may be blunt
TM - Absolutely
GG -..in this room. I am unnecessarily being targeted by Joe Volpe. It may be his duty to do certain things up to certain limits but beyond that, he crossed that line. He twisted the fact to the extent that he has to stick labels on me, put words in my mouth, to come to the point what he is alleging. I honestly was talking to Ujjal, I deserve an apology from him. I have stated in the committee, that I am asking people to sign letters of intent to post a bond. No one has ever gone to, for getting visitor Visa, no one has ever gone to or sent to a lawyer. No one has ever signed a bond. No one has ever paid a fee to the lawyer to make that thing happen. No one was given a cheque; money has not been a factor. Why would he go out and say that I was profiteering from it. He has put out a figure of $1.5 to 2 million.
TM - He said that in public?
GG - Yes in public, he is libel actually and I can easily sue him for that
TM - I will talk to him.
UD - What I told Gurmant is that on the Ethics issue, there is nothing we can do. It's a matter before the Ethics Commissioner.
GG - I agree.
UD - But on the other hand, if we can work something - if there is an arrangement or understanding that we arrive at, we can certainly make that part of the package.
TM - Yep
GG - For me to agree to anything that will be a prerequisite otherwise I'll look stupid...
TM - Yes, I can understand that.
GG - ...that I'm talking something and on the other hand I'm being accused of something, the Minister needs to verify the facts, if he agrees that he twisted the facts and went overboard, he crossed the line then he owes me an apology - He stated on CPAC that my office was like a cash cow. Two months have passed, not a single individual has come forward because there is no one existing who has signed any bond. The Ethics Commissioner is investigating and I am pretty sure I will be coming clean. I am confident, because I have done nothing wrong. What have I done, I have told them. And they can verify that.
TM - When are you expecting the Ethics Commissioner's Report?
GG - I don't know, but timing is important. I can not have any control. I told the Ethics Commissioner --
TM - [Inaudible]
GG - ... yeah, I know -- Judy took so long as I told the Ethics Commissioner that timing is crucial. Damage is being done in the meantime, but the damage will stop by doing the right thing and the right thing is that the Minister can withdraw his comments --he
Page 7

partially withdrawn his comments in the House. That withdrawal is so partial, it doesn't look like a withdrawal. He has issued two apologies recently; the third one can blend with the other two, it won't make a big difference, but it will at least make my way clear and my conscience clear too.
TM - Yeah...
UD - I think that can be...let me think it out loud for a moment on that score. On the rest of the understanding can be reached at. On that score, I think it would be pretty easy for --I would suggest to my colleague Joe, its pretty easy for him to say, "I have spoken to Mr. Grewal, he has explained the situation to me. I do believe that he has not received any money pursuant to any of those letters of intent for bond."
GG - And that he apologizes for making those comments. He regrets the inconvenience Caused.
UD - He regrets...
TM - It would be really nice if we could get the Ethics Commissioner to give an interim report or something else to take the cloud off, that would be helpful.
GG - They are investigating as we speak, so
TM - Yes
GM - So...
UD - The ethics issue is about the bonds, right?
GG - The ethics issue is about two things. One am I contravening any rules of Immigration? Second, that - did I take any money? So...
UD - Did you take any money?
GG - I did not take any money, which can be cleared. Contradicting any provisions of the Immigration Act, that can be determined by the Ethics Commissioner or other experts. But according to me, when people come to you and me or any other MP for asking favours visitor visas, we ask them, "are you sure the individual will go back, right"? Only then will we intervene for a visitor's visa. Whether this is a verbal commitment or a written commitment, what difference does it make? Visitor visas are intended for visitors to come and visit our country and return to the country of origin. If they have stated to me verbally or in writing, what difference does it make. Don't they tell the same thing at the embassy?
UD - I think that is an issue that we can work on.
TM - I agree.
GG - Mmmm
UD - That's a minor issue. I know it is important to you.
GG - Ya.
UD - You look silly doing this - that is an understanding
GG - We don't have much time.. if the apology...-work it out today, for example, Tomorrow I may be talking to the big guy and the road will be clear for us to make any decisions.
TM - Have you um,
UD - Both of those things happen together in sequence. There may be a little gap.
TM - Have you...
GG - Sorry ?
TM - Sorry...go ahead
Page 8
GG - No no you go ahead
TM - I was just saying, have you done or has any polling been done in your riding as to what your riding things about the need for an election, or is it much like Cadman's: 60 plus percent?
GG - Ok? So, that makes my job easier
GG -We do not have any scientific polling done. But, talking to people, even some of my own staunch Conservatives, they are double-minded OK? So to be honest my constituents, the majority of them would not look forward to an election.
TM - Right
GG - Ok? So that makes my job easier.
TM - Ya
GG - I have sent my householder...that will come in due course to confirm what I'm observing at the moment.
TM - Right
GG - My perception would be confirmed. On the other hand we have mixed reaction... some people say "get them out" and they don't deserve 'blah blah blah' so you use the wording, you know, and the others say 'no, no, no' don't do it.
TM - My guess is your householder will probably bias towards wanting an election because people who are angry are more likely to send a reply
GG - Right. I agree
UD - I think you should really focus on - my sense usually is and Tim correct me if I'm wrong, that much of the discussion is carried on generally with you, and then when you see the big guy that we are close to an understanding.
TM - Ya, that's right. The Belinda thing was all done [inaudible]
GG - Mmmmm
UD - You should chat with him, figure out where you're at
GG - Ok
TM - Let me ask you this
UD - And if you are inclided to then do it and you say you will do it
TM - Can I ask you - how free are you in talking to Joe Volpe in trying to clear this hurdle out of the way. How much, if anything can I tell him?
GG - You can tell Joe Volpe that look, Joe was my friend, we were working together in the gym almost every single day in the past. If I had something to do in the party, I did ask him sometimes - we were going so well. I had his private number, as well at one time.
TM - Ya
GG - The problem is that after this bump in our relationship, he is doing it for one single reason, that the candidate who is running against me from your side is his personal friend. Joe Sukh Dhaliwal, Joe stayed out of 36 days campaign, 6 days in Surrey at his residence. Joe told me he was feeling like home, that they had given him so much warm welcome. Okay? Then a few comments were made during the campaign which are on the record, for example, Judy Sgro came there twice during the campaign, and she said, for any immigration work to go to Suhk Dhaliwal, not to Gurmant Grewal. If a minister states that on the record, it could be potentially harmful for her. Second, she was given some money, people are bragging about it - Sukh's people - [inaudible] thousand dollars which she didn't report anywhere, ok?
TM - RightPage 9
GG - I told Judy that I knew, and she should stop saying that. If I had used another avenue to make the same statement, she would have been in trouble.
TM - Right, right
GG - Ah thirdly, for this visa thing. He's simply exaggerating in the Indo-Canadian media more than anywhere else because of his relationship with him.
TM – rightUD I think what Tim was asking you is can he talk Joe about the apology
GG - I was coming, so if you tell him, look in knowing him and knowing the purpose, let's forget the purpose, Gurmant thinks that we can come back to normal, but I can take very serious offence to Volpe's false statements being repeated continually. He can take an action with the Ethics Commissioner that can be completed soon. But my conversation with you is that he must apologize and I will not accept less than that. Otherwise I am going to take legal action against him. My party is pushing for that. He has stated that I have asked people to sign bonds personally on my name, or my party's name or on the Leader's name. He has said it in the House. Either he can prove it or he can pay the price for it. He has said my office is a cash cow., He has to prove it or he will be liable. If he says I was profiteering from it, he is liable. As he said, that I have made $1.5 or 2 million dollars out of it, which I did not - he is liable for that. I can sue him for these slanderous and defamation.
UD - You get angry about it don't you? I have another question that Tim was asking you. When he's talking to Joe, he has to then tell Joe, why he is talking to Joe. How much can he tell Joe about this conversation?
GG - No don't tell him anything, please
TM - That will be a challenge
GG - I believe that this information remain here, but. But..
UD - Then we only to talk to him once this decision is made, before you go out.
GG - No, no, that will not be the right thing to do, I tell you why. When I am going out and making the statement, this thing has to be clear - reasonably well in advance.
UD - It will be.
GG - Let me answer this - what you can tell him is that look something is happening and we want you to apologize, issue an apology, probably in the House or in writing. I want it in writing but he can also do it in the House with the understanding that something is happening and if it too much, then I will take legal action and it will jeopardize what we are doing.
UD - May I say this? I never bargain about these things, you guys. I am not a good negotiator. But that we would be able to prevail upon him to do that if we know we have an understanding and you're coming. Then I think Tim or I or anyone else will talk to him and say do this, we need it.
TM - Yeah
UD - He'll do it, because there is a follow-up get together and say 'Joe we need it' and he'll do it before you announce.
GG - Let me put it this way,
UD - There will have to be an understanding in place before we do it.
GG - I understand your point of view, my viewpoint is that we are here together and taking the risk, we're taking the risk, I am here for the reason, Ok? So second, if we have to get that thing out of it and it won't have any side effect or it does not negatively impact
--snip--

TM - Sorry, I'm just going to be very clear, what I 'm proposing is one of two things - there is one or two ways to go. One of them is you do what essentially you need to do, and we do what we need...we come to an agreement based on something is going to happen, based on the fact that you know, and I know that Ujjal knows something is going to happen. I go to Joe Volpe and I say "don't ask me why, but at 10:30 am tomorrow you're issuing this statement.
GG - That's fine.
TM - But, I do that, I force him to, based on the fact that we have a deal, if I don't have what I am saying is the best I can get him to is to say "I'm not gong to say anything more, people say excessive things, I'll wait for the Ethics Commissioner and be bound by the results' So those are the only....
--snip--

TM - "..no deals." So I think we should, I know we're shorthanding you here, but let's not because I don't think it's good for either of us. But I think we all understand what we are talking about..

UD I think that suits us. Do you want to spell it out. Are you happy with the kind of understanding Tim has given you?
Page 12
GG - If you ask about happy, no, but I do understand what he is saying. Happy I will be when I know, not exactly but some sort of nature of what kind of things will happen after that -- what the time frame, what will happen, those kind of things you know. I will sit not with the Independents for very long then it will be in my best interest to be there where I wanted to be, ok?
TM - Ya
GG - It will be in your best interest too.
TM - Ya
GG - Sitting independently, neither I'm yours or I'm theirs, I don't think that I will stay there comfortably.
TM - But you know and that makes sense
UD - Actually, Belinda has given you an opportunity to not go independently, if you choose
GG - Ya, exactly, if we have to do it, lets do it properly
UD - I don't have a problem
GG - I don't want to do anything half-heartedly. I have not done so ever and I won't do it.
TM -Ya that's fair.
UD -That's fair. I think Belinda has opened that door, because you are going to do it without Belinda. The other scenario for your credibility would have been better.
GG - Tim, I was telling Ujjal that Belinda being leadership candidate gave you some high profile. My situation, two of us are the only Sikh people, Sikh's are very active, ethnic communities - BC-wise, Ontario-wise..it will have an impact on other ridings too.
TM - Yes I hear you... I know that a little bit.
GG - The benefit is much much much different than Belinda
TM - Yes, I agree with you. I know that a little bit and you may not know this and I'm not even sure UD knew but when I used to be a liberal party organizer in my history-and in 1990 in the leadership for our party between Martin and Cretien and I mean obviously one of the communities that was very active was the Sikh community and I got to know a little bit about the connections that were across the county in the community. So I accept what you're saying
GG -If I go anywhere in Canada and they talk about us, people will give you some reflection (talk over)
UD-Maybe you can talk, you want me to leave for a few minutes
TM - No that doesn't, it's up to you (talk over)
UD - He wants things spelled out but it's pretty difficult to do
GG - I will not talk with the Big Boss like that, but Tim can. Ujjal I'm contradicting your advice a little bit OK? The understanding that, if possible, my wife would be the preference for that adjustment, possibly in the Senate. So that's the understanding, but Ujjal told me not to mention it like this. I understand why he is doing that. That's nothing, but clarity is always better, it doesn't harm any - either of us
TM - That's right
GG With you that understanding - how you talk and how you communicate will be up to you. I don't want to be either left in the dark or perceiving something which may not

Page 13
be the situation actually. So what we know what we are doing, where we are - it makes it more comfortable to say yes or no.
TM - And for you?
GG - For me, whatever you think is reasonably appropriate. I may be eligible for a pension soon, in about 8 years/9years. This is something that my investor has been informed of (inaudible) since I got elected, until recently, so that gives you some indication.

TM-Well I have to - there is a challenge around the Senate, per se that is not to say other options are not possible. I mean in truth we have a single BC vacancy with someone potentially appointed and we don't literally have a vacancy after that for a year and a half I think (UD..) in that range, anyways it's Jack Austin, the next retiree, I think, and our problem is that we have already talked to someone about the existing vacancy, we have not appointed the person because it felt a little unseemly to do so when literally the government could fall, it just felt like the wrong time so we did not proceed, but it's... Now I understand what you are saying in terms of wanting some sense of security for your wife and that is understandable. So that - so security is the kind of thing you can look at.
GG - I do not what to be rude or anything, but I thought it is a sense of security. It could be a question in my decision making
TM - No, I understand
UD - (inaudible) That will be considered
TM - I understand what you are saying, security matters.
GG -The reason is - is that in my part we have only two seats ethnic minority, women from B.C. So the work I have done I have not done I have not burned any bridges in my party. My party does appreciate the work I have done. My leader does appreciate, he took the bullet for me on this cases which normally the leaders don't. You know that
TM - Ya
GG In Joe Volpe's case, my leader told me to be quiet and he'll take the bullet for me and he did. It normally doesn't happen that way. So I'm having a brighter future, if we have a government you know, that - so I think that if I'm doing it then it's a kind offer but I must be accomplishing a bit where I stay, if I stay where I am. So if I cross the floor then have some sense of permanent/(equivalent) security
TM - Yes
GG - Anyways, so we'll leave it there.
UD - His wife is not going to win the next seat if she's a Liberal
TM - Yeah, No. I understand that.
GG -I may, she may not.
TM - Ya
GG - If I'm a Liberal in my riding I will win easily.
UD - If he decides to run, if he decides to run.
TM - Yes
GG - Let's say, hypothetically, if I'm in cabinet and I'm running as a Liberal in the next election - not a problem.
TM - Right
GG - Anyways, so we'll leave it there
TM - Ok
Page 14
GG - I'll leave it there. I'll leave it up to you, but I think that Joe Volpe thing needs time sensitive I should say
TM - I understand
GG If it done sooner than tomorrow when we are, if we were to make an announcement tomorrow, I'm prepared because it is done the day before.
UD - So you want to talk with - are you comfortable with what Tim has said to you then?
GG - What's that ?
YD - You agree security matters, he agrees security matters
GG - Right, we can resolve that
UD - That will be resolved subsequently
GG - You see, trust is one thing but knowing what we are trusting is another thing. We may have to trust not to get this information out. We agree. For the rewarding , trust is there, but we have to be clear what we are trusting
TM - Right
--snip---