Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chalk River to be shutdown for at least a year

From Greg Weston at The Sun:

"Canada's only medical isotope reactor will be out of service for the rest of the year and possibly forever, leaving thousands of desperate cancer and heart patients across the country with a shortage of nuclear scans and treatments, Sun Media has learned."

And now Harper wants to sell Chalk River?
From the G&M:

"The federal government will announce today a plan to seek buyers for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s nuclear reactor business, and bring in private-sector management for AECL's problem-plagued Chalk River facility.

After a two-year review of Ottawa's flagship nuclear company, Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt will launch a sale process with the aim of finding a major international partner for AECL to help boost global sales of its Candu reactors."

Now that it's out of commission what a great time to sell it. Sure going to get a lot for the govt. coffers on this one. It's too old & has needed major repairs for a very long time.

And as an interesting aside there's this by Steve Rennie from the Canadian Press, dated May 20th:

"Clinics are paying two to three times more for medical isotopes after a supplier abruptly hiked its prices this month - just before the Chalk River reactor shut down and caused an isotope shortage."

"Lantheus Medical Imaging, a Massachusetts-based company that supplies clinics with 'generators' used in medical imaging, notified its customers last week of the price increase."

"Lantheus's supplier buys raw isotopes from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. The supplier then sells those Mo-99 isotopes to Lantheus, which makes the lead-lined generators that hospitals receive.

...a government document obtained by The Canadian Press shows Ottawa-based MDS Nordion was - until Wednesday - Lantheus' sole supplier of Mo-99 isotopes.

Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for AECL also confirmed that MDS Nordion is Lantheus's only supplier of isotopes. "That would be MDS," Dale Coffin said.

Coffin also confirmed that AECL has not raised the price of the isotopes it supplies to MDS Nordion."

Hmmm - so MDS Nordion was doing some gouging before the leak happened? Interesting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Breaking: Arrests...

As just reported on CBC Newsworld 2 people have been arrested in the disappearance of Tori Stafford. A male & a female have been arrested - neither one is a parent of Tori. No other details at this time.

UPDATE: There is to be a joint news conference sometime today with the OPP & the Woodstock Police. I heard possibly 2 p.m. but that is not confirmed.

UPDATE: 10:50 a.m. The 2 arrested have been charged with murder, kidnapping, & aiding & abetting. This means Tori is dead. News conference at 3 p.m.

Monday, May 18, 2009

MacKay:Afghan mission may extend past 2011

Gee, what a surpise. Knew it all along. Harper & the Cons, if they get their way, will extend the mission in Afhganistan. These people have no morals, no ethics, no integrity & lie about everything. They cannot be trusted to do the right thing nor to do the will of the people nor the will of Parliament. It's time to throw these thugs out. Don't believe what he says about the mission changing to more of an aide one - it will, in increments, but I believe they still want to do the raid, attack, & killing part.

From an article by Colin Freeze in the G&M:

"Canada may well stay in Afghanistan beyond its 2011 military mandate, said Defence Minister Peter MacKay today, as he left a NATO base in Afghanistan where Ottawa is planning to buy up hundreds more beds for next year."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Canada: A Police State

Two interesting stories in the news today. One on legislation tabled by Harper's Justice Minister Rob Nicholson & the other on an event involving police in Montreal.

Nicholson's legislation would allow police to fingerprint & photograph anyone who's been arrested but not yet charged.
From Steven Chase at the G&M:

"The Harper government unveiled legislation yesterday that would change criminal law procedure so police can fingerprint and photograph people whom they've arrested but not yet charged – a measure that raises civil-rights concerns for opposition parties and defence lawyers.

The Identification of Criminals Act does not currently authorize police officers to fingerprint or photograph someone in custody until they are charged or convicted."

This will only give police, the RCMP, & Govt. Agencies, like CSIS, more information on anyone arrested even if innocent of any wrongdoing. A nice, convenient list where they can all keep tabs on Canadian citizens or anyone living here or even visiting.

The other story, out of Montreal, is of a woman arrested & fined for not holding onto an escalator handrail. What??!!??

From Les Perreaux, also in the G&M:

"Bela Kosoian, a 38-year-old mother of two, says when she didn't hold the handrail Wednesday she was cuffed, dragged into a small holding cell and fined."

"Ms. Kosoian, who studies at the Université du Québec à Montreal, was riding an escalator down to catch a 5:30 p.m. subway from the suburb of Laval to an evening class downtown when she started rifling through her backpack looking for a fare."

Under the proposed new legislation just tabled this woman would have had her fingerprints & photograph taken for not holding onto a handrail. This is insane. The events surrounding this incident are also insane - & dangerous. What is happening to Canada? Things under the Harper Conservatives appear to be devolving into a totalitarian state. One in which I, for one, do not want to live.
It's time to throw Harper & his thugs out & put in a Govt. that actually cares about it's people & their rights, & one that will clean up the messes in our police dept.'s the RCMP & CSIS & any other Canadian agency that has these powers, including the Govt. itself.

UPDATE: For more on this go read Impolitical.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Less than 5 per cent of stimulus doled out so far

From an article by Paul Vieira in the Business section of The Ottawa Citizen:

"The federal government has spent just under five per cent of the $40 billion in fiscal stimulus it pledged to combat a recession that now appears to be easing, government documents indicate.

The documents, released Thursday, reveal the bulk of the nearly $2 billion spent has gone toward rebuilding or refurbishing facilities at Canadian colleges and universities."

The article also lists a few other places where the money has gone &, interestingly, there are a few Crown agencies in this list. It's not a complete rundown & I shall try to find out more.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Phosphorous Bombs used in Afghanistan

From a post by MoS at The Disaffected Lib:

"It's time to say "no" to Stephen Harper. There's a move afoot to send a squadron of CF-18 fighter-bombers to Afghanistan."

And from Reuters:

"White phosphorus can be used legally in war to provide light, create smokescreens or burn buildings, so it is not banned under international treaties that forbid using chemicals as weapons.

Colonel Gregory Julian, a spokesman for the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, confirmed that Western forces in the country use the chemical."

Is this what we want our Canadian Forces possibly engaged in doing? Dropping phosphorous bombs in Afghanistan? I hope not, but you never know with this government we have.

Go here to sign/send a letter:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Harper to Muzzle Page

From columnist Greg Weston in The Ottawa Sun:

"Stephen Harper's government of public accountability is apparently about to defang, muzzle and generally neuter its own watchdog of budget honesty.

A Conservative cabinet minister says most of the fun folks in his party "can't wait" to put a choker on the parliamentary budget office and its dogged bloodhound, Kevin Page.

The only thing yet to be decided, the minister says, is whether to eliminate the office, or put Page on a short enough regulatory leash to render him harmless."

Once again Harper is about to do away with another watchdog & possibly do away with the Budget Office as well, the one that he created. He just can't take criticism or the truth. Secrecy is of tantamount importance to the man who ran, & was elected, on accountability. What a joke. Unfortunately we are the ones who pay for this in not knowing what's going on. The only watchdog who appears to be safe, for now, is Auditor General Sheila Fraser. Who knows how much longer she will last. The tyrant has no shame.

Shocker: Newman Retiring!

Don Newman of the Politics show on CBC Newsworld is retiring. He's decided to take a retirement package & what happens to the show after that is an unknown at this point.

I, for one, will miss him. He's been on CBC for what feels like a lifetime to me. Good luck, Mr. Newman, in any other ventures you may decide to pursue & Happy Retirement!