"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Friday, December 11, 2009

What is the Sask Party's position on workplace safety?

Am I the only one starting to see a pattern?

October 15, 2009:

Brad Wall wants to privatize safety inspections?

"The licensing and inspections branch of the ministry of corrections, public safety and policing is proposing to move safety inspections from the public service to a delegated authority. This new authority would be governed by a board of directors that would include industry representation," SGEU says. This will mean lower standards and less accountability, it adds.

November 4, 2009:

A crane at a construction site west of Regina shouldn't have been operating in Saskatchewan until it was properly certified in the province, the NDP charged in the legislature Tuesday.

During question period, Opposition labour critic Andy Iwanchuk asked how an out-of-province crane was still in use even after Occupational Health and Safety concerns were brought forward by a site safety co-ordinator several weeks ago.

December 3, 2009:

Barbara Cape, president of SEIU-West. “After waiting more than a year to see the employer’s initial wage offer, we are disappointed the employer is forcing another delay in discussions about client safety, staff recruitment and retention issues and other workplace concerns.”

December 11, 2009:

An occupational health and safety officer who raised serious concerns about the Saskatoon Correctional Centre said Thursday she was fired by the provincial government for doing her job and the problems at the jail likely still exist.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Brad Wall and His Republican Buddies

From the Globe and Mail:

Lindsey Graham is not your typical South Carolina senator. He thinks global warming is real – hardly a unanimous stand among Republicans – and he wants Canada to join him in his efforts to put in place a North American green economic strategy.
Sounds good so far, right?

Regardless, Mr. Graham's position thrills Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, whose province is not only (for now) the world's biggest miner of uranium used in nuclear reactors, but is also seeking $100-million (U.S.) from Washington to fund a $280-million cross-border carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) pilot project.
Ok, so Wall wants some money. I guess he would given this:

A proposed $270-million Saskatchewan-Montana carbon capture project could become solely a provincial venture if funding from the United States government doesn't come through, Premier Brad Wall said Tuesday on the eve of a trip to Washington, D.C.
But what do Wall and Graham want?

“The bill I'm trying to craft will be very pro-nuclear,” Mr. Graham offered. “We also have to utilize the coal we have and make it clean coal. I'm trying to combine energy independence with the renaissance of nuclear energy and controlling carbon.”

Some environmentalists are skeptical of Mr. Graham's support and note that he has accepted large donations from Scana Corp., which owns several coal-fired plants in South Carolina and is seeking to build two nuclear reactors in the state.

So a pro-nuclear, pro clean coal agenda. Starting to sound familiar? But I guess it makes sense that these two guys would find each other. I mean, they agree on issues so why shouldn't they work together. It's not as if there is anything wrong with that, right? It's not like taxpayers are paying to get the two of them together...

Mr. Graham and Mr. Wall have struck up a working relationship in recent weeks, thanks to the intermediation of former U.S. ambassador to Canada David Wilkins. Saskatchewan has retained Mr. Wilkins's law firm to represent it in the U.S. capital. Mr. Wall insists the $400,000 (U.S.) one-year contract is taxpayers' money well spent, and it's hard to argue with him, considering the access it has bought him on Capitol Hill
I guess we will see if that $400,000 is well spent. No one in their right mind could argue it is well spent on the meeting themselves, but rather how it benefits Saskatchewan.

So I guess if we get the $100 million for the carbon project we can talk about the $400 k being acceptable or not.

If we don't then Brad has some 'spaining to do...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brad Wall on Climate Change

So Brad Wall says that his government is taking climate change seriously? But what is telling Washington?

Wall, unlike Inhofe, is no flat-earther. He accepts the science and recognizes a climate law of some kind is inevitable.But he's here to tell Washington "we need to rag the puck a bit" so that "cap-and-trade doesn't end up taking a pipe wrench to the parts of our economy that are still comparatively strong ..."
So he admits that there is a problem on the climate change front, but he doen't think we should do anything about it.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Star shows no shame.

Toronto Star has mistakenly reported false charges against a teacher. This teacher then promptly kills himself on Saturday. The newspaper responds more callously than anyone could have imagined. I found this rage inducing.

Our law affords no protection from libel to the dead. So we will assume by his actions, and for the purpose of exploring this awful event, that Dewees was guilty as charged

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Drug czar slams Harper gov't

From the province:

The author of Vancouver's ground-breaking Four Pillars drug strategy criticized the federal government's "utterly failed" approach to drug use in his resignation notice this week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SaskParty and Saskatchewan's Energy Future

So Buckdog thinks:

It is becoming very clear that in spite of what they say publicly, Brad Wall and his Saskatchewan Party government have rejected all other possible alternate energy options in favour of nuclear power generation for the province's future energy needs.
And the Jurist concurs:

when it comes to evaluating the full range of energy options which will drive Saskatchewan's economy for the next 60 years, they claim the province should settle for Nine. Freaking. Days. With no public input.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Can't he just use Westjet? That's chock-full of symbolism, right?

From the Globe:

Mr. Ignatieff's search for a campaign plane. Wanting to avoid having to rent an airplane from Air Inuit again for a potential fall election campaign, the Liberals are shopping around for another airline. Remember, the Dion Liberals got caught out and ended up with an old bruiser of a plane for the 2008 campaign.

But even with a few weeks lead time before a possible vote, Mr. Ignatieff may have some trouble. During the 2006 leadership campaign, the Liberal Leader managed to insult 25,000 Air Canada employees when he said on the popular Quebec television show Tout le monde en parle , “What scares me is Air Canada. They are not courteous enough. One thing which unites us, in this country, is our hatred for Air Canada.” Now what would be uniting Air Canada employees?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Good Resource for following the Manitoba Leadership Campaign

Devin Johnston over at devinjohnston.ca has done a couple of very informative posts on the NDP leadership race that is shaping up there.

This seems to to be the status so far:

  • Confirmed In
    • Andrew Swan
  • Officially "Thinking Things Over"
    • Steve Ashton
    • Greg Selinger
  • Unknown
    • Kerri Irvin-Ross
    • Bidhu Jha
  • Confirmed Out
    • Bill Blaikie
    • Judy Wasylycia-Leis
    • Nancy Allan
    • Christine Melnick
    • Gord Mackintosh
    • Pat Martin
    • Stan Struthers
    • Theresa Oswald

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Liberals Claim they are Done Propping up Harper

From the I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it-file:

“Mr. Harper, your time is up,” Mr. Ignatieff told cheering party MPs and senators, gathered in Sudbury, Ont., yesterday for an annual Liberal caucus retreat.

We will see how long this lasts.

My guess?

7 weeks.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Funding Cuts Back on the Table

Remember that stupid thing Harper tried to do in late 2008 the precipitated a huge crisis and almost cost him his government? Yeah, he just ordered his minister to try and push for it again.

Fletcher -- the minister of state for democratic reform -- has been talking about gearing up to take on the vote tax again. He has indicated it is something his government still plans to pursue.

"We believe that political parties should support themselves with people who voluntarily donate to whichever party they wish to support," said Fletcher.

Last November, you might remember, Conservative plans to cut off the per-vote subsidy which parties get led to a near meltdown of Parliament. The opposition parties accused the government of trying to use the threat of a recession to kill off its opponents by bankrupting them. Then the Liberals, NDP and Bloc banded together to form a coalition and were prepared to vote down the government and take over.

This will end well no doubt.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Doer Resignation News Round-Up


Manitoba Premier Gary Doer's announcement to step down has garnered shock and praise from those in Canada's political arena.

Winnipeg Sun:

National Post

Former Tory premier Gary Filmon -- Doer's "nemesis" when Doer was in opposition -- said he expects Mr. Doer will do well outside of politics.

"I welcome him into the club of former premiers," Mr. Filmon said after being told Doer was calling it quits.

Winnipeg Sun (Again)

"He's been a formidable foe in Manitoba," said Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard, who also wished Doer well but was not so shy about what this means to his Liberal party, which has seen its membership grow five-fold in 14 months, from 1,000 last June to 5,000 today.

"We're seeing a resurgence of Liberal support and it couldn't be better-timed," he said. "(Doer's retirement) is clearly going to change the political landscape. It's going to make a huge difference."

Globe and Mail

But if the party is going to try to take advantage of Jack Layton's efforts to professionalize it, it needs a new leader who can make use of that apparatus to take it to the next level. Doer is probably the one high-profile New Democrat in the country who fits the bill.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One of these quotes is not like the other ones

From a recent PA Daily Herald story:

First we have these...

"...I think many people feel that the supply of needles actually drives the demand. It's actually completely the other way around," said Dr. Moira McKinnon, the province's chief medical health officer.

According to a report produced for the Ministry of Health, the best estimate is that needle exchange programs reduce the transmission of HIV by one-third and save $4,000 in health-care costs for every $1,000 spent.

Lana Bear, a former injection drug user. "I think (a needle exchange) is helpful, but I think it's a choice thing, too," she said.

"The use of clean needles and the recognition (by drug users) that they are protecting themselves from disease, enhances the public health side of this equation," said Stephen Lewis, former UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

and then we have this...

"There are issues coming out of the needle exchange from the community and they are valid concerns. The concern (is that) we are finding needles everywhere," said Joceline Schriemer, Saskatchewan Party MLA and Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Health with responsibility for addictions.
Can someone beat this woman with a clue stick already?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ow Canada's new copyright law will affect you

Canada is about to reform its copyright law. Our government is holding a public consultation, and we need to be involved.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can a busy female politician give reliable evidence? A judge says no

From the Globe:

Lisa MacLeod is a young female politician who commutes to her job at Queen's Park from Ottawa and leaves her husband, Joe, and four-year-old daughter, Victoria, at home. Mr. Justice Douglas Cunningham of Ontario Superior Court said this is a big distraction for the 34-year-old woman and as a result he felt he could not accept her evidence as corroboration of the Crown's key witness in the recent high-profile, influence-peddling trial of Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien.

Does anyone think that this would EVER be mentioned by a judge about a male politician? Of course not.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Here's an Idea, don't film your crimes and put them on Youtube


Three young Saskatchewan men were arrested Saturday in connection with a recent YouTube video that showed three males using rifles to shoot ducks on a prairie pond, footage that has caused widespread public outrage.
Brian Petrar, operations manager for Environment Canada's wildlife division, said while charges haven't yet been formally laid, officials will likely charge the individuals with offences under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Act.
But Petrar did say that information from tipsters and the fact there was a sign in the video and images of a blooming canola field in the background also helped officials track down the suspects.
The overwhelming number of tips in this case shows that the public understands the value of the wildlife resources in Canada and isn't willing to put up with animals being slaughtered, he said.

The video sparked widespread public anger and prompted the Toronto-based Humane Society of Canada to post a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of those shown in the Internet posting.

Society executive director Michael O'Sullivan said the organization also got calls from people who wanted to help and they were directed to tip lines in both western provinces. O'Sullivan said he is pleased to hear of the arrests.

"I would like to commend all the members of the public who provided information. Canadians take cruelty to animals very seriously and they want to help out as best as they can," he said.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sure, Blame it on Minimum Wage

Tim Horton's is the latest business to pull the whole "minimum wage increases hurt us so much" card.

Don Schroeder said yesterday price increases could be implemented in certain regions to offset cost pressures from both higher food prices and rising minimum wages.
Yep, that increase in the minimum wage must have really affected the bottom line of the company, right? They must be losing money hand over fist, right?

Yesterday, Hortons reported its net earnings rose to $77.8 million, or 43 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 28. That's an increase from $75 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.
Growth was more modest in Canada at 1.7 per cent, as the company faced a variety of challenges including the economic slowdown

So you grew by 1.7% during the worst recession in decades and your profits were a measly $80 million? Wow, those provinces that have the nerve to insist you pay your staff dollars per hour should be ashamed of themselves!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Saskatchewan Isotope Reactor Schizophrenia

Richard Florizone is the vice-president of finance at the University of Saskatchewan and is heavily involved in the nuclear file. He thinks we should get an isotope reactor.

The accelerators offer a good solution that could come online faster and for less cost, but they don't have the volume,” said Richard Florizone, a nuclear physicist and vice-president of finance at the University of Saskatchewan, which will partner with the province on the reactor. “Together they would offer a diversified supply, so that if one facility went down, you would have others that could back it up.”

The Saskatchewan bid is already one of the early favourites. It promises a low-enriched uranium research reactor capable of half the isotope volume of the Chalk River facility for between $500-million and $750-million.

Sounds good, except the government's Uranium Development Partnership says this:

Key Recommendation NN: "The economics of a standalone isotope reactor are not attractive." (Page 97 of the UDP Final Report).
In other words one of the key recommendation of the UDP report is that a isotope reactor is not a good idea. But really, what does this UDP working group know anyway? It was chaired by some crackpot named Richard Florizone, who is a nuclear physicist and vice-president of finance at the University of Saskatchewan.


(I'm back.)

Update: The Jurist has some good numbers that point out the lunacy of this whole argument.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It should come as no surprise to anyone that I have not been keeping up this blog very well for the last couple of months.

I am going to go away for a bit and not think about blogging for a while.

I will return.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

SNDP Leadership List is now at 4

From the paper:

The NDP leadership is gaining speed, going four on the floor as of Thursday.

Saskatoon family doctor and community activist Ryan Meili has a morning event scheduled at a local restaurant where he will announce his candidacy to succeed Lorne Calvert.

He will join former deputy premier Dwain Lingenfelter, Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Deb Higgins and former party president Yens Pedersen in seeking the leadership.

So the list is now as follows:

** Dr. Ryan Meili **
** Deb Higgins **
** Yens Pedersen **
** Dwain Lingenfelter **

?? Len Taylor

Cam Broten
Andrew Thomson
Nettie Wiebe
Dion Tchorzewski
Frank Quennell
Pat Atkinson

Hopefully Taylor announces soon so we can start the comparison engines.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Field is Shaping up for the SNDP Leadership

A couple of notes from the paper today:

Deb Higgins is throwing her hat into the ring for the leadership of the NDP, making her the first candidate in the race who currently holds a legislature seat.


Saskatoon Meewasin MLA Frank Quennell will be her campaign manager.


Higgins will also be backed by Saskatoon MLAs Pat Atkinson and Cam Broten and Regina's Warren McCall from the Opposition caucus

So we can make a few more updates to the list (to be fair, the Jurist pointed this out in my comment section yesterday, so hat tip to him)

So the list is thus:

** Deb Higgins **
** Yens Pedersen **
** Dwain Lingenfelter **

?? Len Taylor
?? Dr. Ryan Meili

Cam Broten
Andrew Thomson
Nettie Wiebe
Dion Tchorzewski
Frank Quennell
Pat Atkinson

I am not sure what to do with this (also from the same story)

Saskatoon family doctor and community activist Ryan Meili hasn't made it official, but he also has his sights set on the leadership.

"My intention, barring any major catastrophes or complications, is to be in this race," said Meili.

Until now I have waited for official announcements, but this is a pretty strong indication that Meili is running.

Really the only one we are waiting on is Len Taylor. My guess is that he will have to announce one way or the other pretty soon.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Another SaskNDP Leadership Contender Announces

things are starting to heat up!

Deb Higgins is throwing her hat into the ring in the NDP leadership race.

The Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA and former cabinet minister will officially announce her intentions Saturday evening in Moose Jaw.

Higgins is the first member of the Opposition caucus to get in the race and the first female candidate.

So the list is thus:

** Deb Higgins **
** Yens Pedersen **
** Dwain Lingenfelter **

?? Len Taylor
?? Frank Quennell
?? Pat Atkinson
?? Dr. Ryan Meili

Cam Broten
Andrew Thomson
Nettie Wiebe
Dion Tchorzewski

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It is official, there is a Race for SNDP Leader!

Although I was getting ready to post yet another "Hey look who's not running" post based on the recent announcement by Nettie Wiebe:

Nettie Wiebe, a professor at St. Andrew's College at the University of Saskatchewan and former head of the National Farmers Union, said Tuesday she would not run to succeed Lorne Calvert. Since her leadership campaign

But then someone else went and got in the race:

A second person has entered the NDP leadership contest, Regina lawyer and former party President Yens Pederson.

He made the announcement at the University, perhaps as a nod to the youth element, as he's up against former deputy Premier Dwain Lingenfelter.
So now there are two and that updates the list as follows:

** Yens Pedersen **
** Dwain Lingenfelter **

?? Deb Higgins
?? Len Taylor
?? Frank Quennell
?? Pat Atkinson
?? Dr. Ryan Meili

Cam Broten
Andrew Thomson
Nettie Wiebe
Dion Tchorzewski

Bet you anything that the first comment is one of Link's trolls bashing Pedersen.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One More Out, One More Closer

More news on the NDP Leadership Front:

Former finance minister Andrew Thomson, who chose not to run in the 2007
provincial election to pursue a business career, said in an interview he has
decided not to throw his hat in the ring.

But a source close to Regina lawyer Yens Pedersen, who recently stepped down temporarily as party president to contemplate a run, said Pedersen is expected to formally enter the race next week

So the updated list:

Deb Higgins
Cam Broten
Len Taylor
Yens Pedersen
** Dwain Lingenfelter
Andrew Thomson
Frank Quennell
Nettie Wiebe
Dion Tchorzewski
Pat Atkinson
Dr. Ryan Meili

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sask NDP Leadership News Roundup

The Jurist has a good recap

and he points to another rabble post

The media, big and small weigh in

and yet, still not much action.

So the list remains, as usual:

Deb Higgins
Cam Broten
Len Taylor
Yens Pedersen
** Dwain Lingenfelter **
Andrew Thomson
Frank Quennell
Nettie Wiebe
Dion Tchorzewski
Pat Atkinson
Dr. Ryan Meili

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I Guess Backwards is a TYPE of Movement

So another story in the newspaper about the leadership race only to tell us that someone else isn't running:

Regina lawyer Dion Tchorzewski, son of the late NDP stalwart Ed Tchorzewski, had been mulling a run but said Tuesday he's decided not to be a leadership candidate.

However, on the good side:

Meanwhile, Dr. Ryan Meili of Saskatoon, one of the founders of the Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health (SWITCH) program, confirmed he is considering running for the leadership of the party

And finally:

Other MLAs who have said they are considering a run are Frank Quennell, Len Taylor and Deb Higgins. None returned phone calls this week. Former finance minister Andrew Thomson did not return a message. Regina lawyer Yens Pedersen, who has temporarily stepped down as NDP president as he contemplates a run, said he has not yet made a decision.

So this updates our list as follows:

Deb Higgins
Cam Broten
Len Taylor
Yens Pedersen
** Dwain Lingenfelter **
Andrew Thomson
Frank Quennell
Nettie Wiebe
Dion Tchorzewski
Pat Atkinson
Dr. Ryan Meili

And the Jurist thinks something is afoot with Higgins.