Sunday, August 31, 2008

MORE self-policing by food industry

On Fri. there was an article in the Ottawa citizen that seemed to drop off the radar right afterwards & wasn't picked up by any other MSM. The CFIA is in the midst of rolling out self-inspection to the abattoir industry - after already doing a test-run for 3 months earlier this year.

"Meanwhile, government veterinarians stationed at hog slaughterhouses are no longer responsible for inspecting stool samples; this responsibility has been transferred to plant staff under a program known as HIP-HOG, with vets required to check twice over an eight-hour shift to see if company employees are doing it properly.
These incremental changes to the way food inspection is done in Canada, quietly made during the past year, are being implemented as the country wrestles with a food-borne outbreak traced to the listeria bacterium at a federally regulated meat-processing plant in Toronto."

So it seems even more has been implemented by the Con govt. than has been revealed since the Listeria outbreak. Disgusting! Read the complete article for yourself. It's more proof of the underhanded way this Harper led govt. is "cost-cutting" in favour of big business. Privatizing parts of it in a sense.

In even more news on the LISTERIA outbreak the Fed. govt. & the Ont. govt. knew back in mid-July about the Listeria problem but kept it to themselves, no notification to the public until at least a month later.

" When Canadian public health officials first twigged to a listeria problem in mid-July, they weren't so forthcoming with the public. It would be another month of testing, conference calls and quiet deliberation before Canadians would know anything about it. Officials now say there was miscommunication between levels of government that delayed the message.
All the while, Canadians continued to consume deli meat we now know to be potentially deadly."

This is a travesty of epic proportions. As we continued to consume all these tainted meat products & more people became sick, with some dying, it would have been possible to stop this sooner - causing less danger to the public. The incubation period for Listeria is 3 months, so we are looking ahead to seeing more sickness & possible deaths. Read about it here.

This focus on changing rules to the CFIA without consultation in Parliament, or with the public, shows the utter contempt Harper & his Cabinet, etc., have with democracy. He governs as though he has a majority & makes changes in secret because he has a minority. No one gets in HIS way.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Conservative "Ugh"ly's

There's some interesting news out there today on a few different events involving our "wonderful" Conservative govt.


For starters it seems the Con govt. lobbied the U.S., in Apr. 2006, to relax their tougher rules to prevent listeria. A quote from the G&M this morning:

"The Canadian government strongly opposed tougher U.S. rules to prevent listeria and lobbied the United States to accept Canada's more lenient standards, internal documents reveal.
Briefing notes prepared by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for an April 7, 2006, meeting with the board of directors of the Canadian Meat Council outline how both industry and the Canadian government were frustrated with the increased precautions the United States was demanding."
Read the complete article here. More obfuscating on the truth of not changing CFIA rules & standards. Looks like they had it planned out quite some time ago.


Two officials in the Con govt. are now seeking exemption from the new lobbying law that went into effect on July 1st of this year. This law states that anyone leaving a govt. position has to wait 5 years before they can take a position to lobby the govt. You can read about it in the Ottawa Citizen here. Well that didn't take long - not even 2 months & already the Cons want out. And they are using the Cons ethics law to make their pitch! And remember this? From the article:

"While they were in opposition and during the last election campaign, the Conservatives denounced what they called a revolving door between ministers' offices and the lobbying industry during Liberal governments."


It seems the RCMP have been investigating a real-estate deal that Couillard was lobbying for. And that same deal was cancelled by the Con govt. only YESTERDAY! Amazing what can happen when you want an election. Here's
the info at the G& M.

ABORTION: deal still on the table!

Private member Bill C-484, from Ken Epps, is still alive & kicking! A group of Con MP's have issued a press release supporting it. Read Big City Lib's good post on this. They just won't let it go & this seems contrary to what Justice Minister Rob Nicholson stated just a couple of days ago:

"In place of C-484, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said he would bring a new bill that would make it an aggravating factor for the judge to consider when sentencing those who attack pregnant women. He told reporters the bill "leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights."

I'm not sure this is really "contrary" to what Nicholson wants, but, of course, it's election planning to not rock the boat in the eyes of the voter, & whatever Nicholson really has in mind won't be known until after an election & only if the Cons are re-elected. Heaven forbid! Interesting to see a small faction of MP's going against the stated backtracking on this bill because Dion questioned where Harper really stood on the abortion issue. Next thing we know Bill C484 was scrapped immediately.


A judge has ORDERED Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to reconsider his decision to block a prisoners request to serve out his sentence back home here in Canada. From The Gazette:

"Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day's crackdown on transferring Canadians from U.S. prisons has been dealt a blow by a judge who has ordered the minister to reconsider his "wholly unreasonable"decision to block a convicted child molester's request to serve out his sentence in his home country."

Here is what Day wrote in a newspaper column in 2006:

"B.C. dope dealers busted in the U.S. are demanding to be transferred back to cosier Canadian jails and reduced prison times," he wrote. "Memo to drug dealer: I'm no dope. . . . Enjoy the U.S."

There have been many instances of requests for a transfer home from prisoners out of the country & most all have been denied. Even those who have not been found guilty of anything at the time of their request but incarcerated without hearings. Think of the woman in Mexico, remember Brenda Martin, who had been imprisoned for more than 2 yrs., without trial, hearings, etc. The Cons did nothing about her situation until a big stink was made about it in the media. It got so bad the Harperites had no choice but to lobby for her release & it was finally done. Here's some info.
Also, Liberal MP Dan McTeague had been trying to bring her case to the attention of all & sundry & was virtually ignored by the govt., until the MSM began running with it.

We all know there will be so much more upcoming & I can hardly wait!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Isotope Shortage!

All 5 global nuclear reactors that supply isotopes used in cancer treatments & diagnostic tests have shut down - all at the same time, creating a crisis. And all shutdown for different reasons.

The one here in Canada, Chalk River, is not scheduled to be back online until Aug. 29th. & was shut down for maintenance. The shortage will affect cancer patients world-wide causing delays & who knows possibly death.

A quote from the article says this:

"...distribution of the medical isotopes from Chalk River is entirely up to private companies, and Canadian government officials admit there may well be shortages in some regions of the country. "

Private companies are out to make money, & lots of it. What this means is that once up & running again isotopes will go to the highest bidder - not necessarily Canadian & most likely to very few, if any, regions in our country. This is wrong. And it's also wrong that all should be out of production at the same time. It's a disaster waiting to happen. And I'm sure
the Con govt. will not step in & insist that the isotopes produced be used/distributed here 1st. After all they are for big business first above anything else.

Our Health Minister, Tony Clement, is out of the country, in the U.S., observing the Democratic National Convention. This at a time when we have a serious outbreak of Listeria that is killing & sickening people here. Guess what Harper's priorities are - why an upcoming election! & let's learn as much as we can there so we can manipulate the people here so we can win a majority.

Read the article here:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hissy-Fit Harper

As we all know our PM started election talk when he said that Parliament was "dysfunctional" in a speech he gave around the middle of Aug. After lots of bashing done by the media & in op-ed pieces Harper backed off a bit but then started ratcheting up the rhetoric even more.

Then he stated he wanted to meet with the leaders of the opposition before Parliament resumes sitting on Sept. 15th. He gave no particular time-frame other than that one. Now he is DEMANDING to meet the leaders before Sept. 8th, the day of the by-elections in 3 ridings. Both Liberal leader Dion, & Bloc leader Duceppe have stated which days they would be available. Well that's not good enough for Steve who, it seems to me, has really gone off the deep end. The latest salvo from Harper is here:

This is totally unbelievable!!! The control freak is out of control as far as I can see & I only hope the electorate really gets a good look at how this bully of a man operates. I am disgusted.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On Budget Surpluses & Boats

Well ships really. Navy ships. The govt. has cut their plan, of which they made a big deal about at the time, to get new ships for the navy. These ships were supposed to be deployed to the Arctic. In their usual underhanded way of trying not to make it known to the public they released the announcement to the press on Fri. at 8:30 p.m.

You can read about it here:

And then we have this article with David Emerson very concerned about Russia's "plans" for the Arctic:
It's almost like these 2 items are at odds with one another.

Now let's skip to Jim Flaherty who has just come out touting a budget surplus after stating there was a deficit of $500 million in the 1st trimester of this year. You can read that here: now where did this surplus suddenly appear from? Maybe knowing that the spending for the ships would not be taken out of the budget coffers?

Just connecting some dots here...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meat Recall - & the Ag Dept.

First, here is a link to the list of meat recalls:

This comes just a few days after there were 2 hearings at the Ag Committee on a leaked document that had the Cons specifying cuts to the Food Inspection Agency.

For more info you can go here:

and here:

This document was so-called "leaked" by scientist & food safety inspector Luc Pomerleau, who actually brought it to the attention of his union boss. The document had been left on the CFIA's computer network that many people had access too. M. Pomerleau was subsequently fired from his job for his action. Here is a link to more on that:

Last week at the hearings the opposition was asking to see the document as it still has not been released. And it still hasn't.
You can read about the 2 hearings at Kady O'Malley's (ITQ) Liveblogging the events.
Meeting 1:
Meeting 2:
They both make for interesting reading, for some it may be boring, but it's just another look at how the disruptive Cons work.

After the horrifying events that happened in Walkerton, ON. under the cuts to the Food Inspection Agency here under the Mike Harris govt., it just re-inforces the danger of making cuts on the federal level as well.
And in Steve's cabinet are 3 Ministers who were also ministers at that time in Harris's govt.: Jim Flaherty, John Baird, & Tony Clement. This is like deja vu all over again.

In the next election, which will be happening soon according to Steve's threats of one, it is time to demolish the Cons before they demolish us.

Update: There are now more than 200 meat recalls. Here is the updated list:

Another update: Here is an interesting article on the changes that the govt. made to the CFIA.

Now these changes have not yet been made public nor made available to the opposition. Done in secret AGAIN. Here is one quote from the article:

"A leaked cabinet document that outlined plans for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to give the food industry a greater role in the inspection process raised the ire of opposition politicians last week.
However, some of the plans have been in place since March 31, according to a CFIA manager and an official from the union that represents the federal inspectors."

So some of these changes have ALREADY been implemented without anyone knowing - other than the govt. & the CFIA. There is something very, very wrong with this "behind-closed-doors" attitude of the Con govt. & this is only one area where changes are being slowly being revealed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Big Oils' Best-est Buddy

On July 2nd of this year access to the "Registry of Lobbyists" became open to the public under the Federal Accountability Act. This is where we get to see who's been lobbying Steve & the PMO. So, in the month of July, when gas prices at the pump were rising phenomenally & hurting everyone in their pocketbooks, TEN, yes 10 lobbyists from various energy companies & their associated industries had separate meetings with senior Harp advisors. This is almost 1/2 of the entire lobbying that went on for July.

You can read about it & a list of who lobbied (not just the oil industry) here:

As I stated in a previous post, Steve is a front man for big oil. That our PM comes from Alberta, whose economy is totally oil-based, it makes sense to me. This is the same Steve who wrote, a few years ago, that "a fire-wall should be built around Alberta" to keep the rest of the country away from all their money. After all Cons don't share. They are incapable of it.

In the same article Kory Tenycke, the PM's Communication spokesman stated: "The environmental regulations we're bringing out will be very tough on industry." Yeah, sure Kory. Just like I believe everything the Cons have said they will do. It's been a constant say-one-thing-but-do-another from them. And if they do get tougher on the industry we all know who will pay for it. The consumer. The costs will be passed/shafted onto us with no relief of any sort in the way of tax reduction or tax credits, unlike the Liberals "The Green Shift" plan.

You can go here to read about the Green Shift plan:

It will be interesting to see who will be lobbying the PMO in the future & to see if there is a predominance in any particular sector. Now that the information is available to all perhaps Steve & boys will put a brake on tipping any lobbying in any one area. We shall see.

You can access the Registry of Lobbyists here:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The other day Steve (our PM) was hinting that he would end this Parliament, even though he set, in law, a fixed election date for every 4 yrs. His reason? - this govt. was, in his words, "dysfunctional". That business could not be done due to the antics, basically, of the Libs. Oh yeah?

Well, when he started getting lots of bad press & op-ed pieces on who within the govt. actually was "dysfunctional", his Party, he has suddenly done a 90 degree turnabout.

You can read the 1st article here:

And the 2nd one here:

Now which one does he want us to believe? Both. The 1st when it suited his agenda. The 2nd when he got called on it & thus "changed" the message.

We are going to be seeing a lot of this as election fever hits us, so get ready for plenty of sore necks from all the whiplash we will be subject to.

Enough Already!

After watching last weeks Ethics Committee hearings on the In & Out scandal by the Conservatives in the last election I was horrified to see the antics of the Cons.

Running on a platform of accountability & transparency, a little more than 2 1/2 yrs. ago, they were definitely "transparent" in what they were doing & who they really are. And it was stunning!

They lied, manipulated witnesses into not appearing, interrupted constantly with "points of order" but instead made statements that were unrelated & not a point of order. In questioning witnesses they, again, made statements instead of asking questions. By prefacing with a statement they were able to "frame" the content of their question in such a way as to lead the witness into their desired answer.

There are too many events that occured during these hearings for me to list at the moment but suffice it to say that we need to make everyone aware of the Cons agenda for this country. And it is a dangerous one.

In the time they have "governed" they have cut numerous programs, especially those that aid the poorer citizens, disrupted committees & the nations' business by stonewalling, filibustering & on & on - with a handbook compiled for all Con MP's on just how to paralyze these committees.

They did away with the Kelowna Accord, lied on the Income Trusts, thus hurting seniors & others who had relied on this for their retirement incomes, lied, or hid actually, reports on the torture of detainees in Afghanistan that had been handed over to the Afghan govt., & extended the mission in Afghanistan (albeit with the help of the Liberals), have done nothing on the Environment front even though they have touted a plan which they did not give any details of until recently. And now when speaking of it they still twist & hide the truth as to how much it will impact Canadians without helping us with tax-breaks, etc. like The Green Shift does. They have no plans to lessen the impact. After all, they are a front for big business & especially the oil sector.

And one more thing: we are now in a DEFICIT. Yes, a small one to start but if you witness what the Harris PC Govt. did to Ontario it will soon be in the billions. Flaherty (Finance Minister), Baird (Environmental Minister), & Clement (Health Minister) were all an integral part of the Harris govt. & now they are decimating the country.

These are just a few things they have done along with many scandals which we are unable to get to the bottom of yet. Like Cadman, Bernier, Nafta, & In & Out. And there are many other nefarious doings by the CPoC.

They refuse to give out info when requested & when they do most is blacked out using "security reasons" as an excuse. Even in minor situations. So much for accountability.

None of this is new to anyone who follows politics closely but if the general public really knew what was going on these creeps would be booted out pronto.

I'm angry. Very angry, & will be posting as much as I can on the ongoing devastation that is being imposed on us & with links as well as I go deeper into issues.