Wednesday, January 28, 2009

UPDATE: On Chalk River

It seems the Atomic Energy of Canada misled the govt. on the severity of the spills. Interesting, if true, that the govt. didn't really know.

From Sun Media:
Canada's nuclear agency misled the Prime Minister's Office over the nature and extent of a radioactive spill at the troubled Chalk River in December, a senior government official said yesterday.

Lisa Raitt, the natural resources minister responsible for the leaky reactor, told Sun Media yesterday she has ordered a full report on the radioactive spill from the nuclear safety commission.

Raitt said she and her departmental officials received an "e-mail briefing" on the leak the day after it occurred.

"There are some aspects that came out today that we weren't fully aware of," the minister said yesterday.

"I've asked my officials at the (safety commission) to get to the bottom of it, and I'm looking forward to getting a full report."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nuclear Spill at Chalk River

From the Ottawa Sun:

An internal report to federal nuclear regulators shows radioactive tritium was released into the air during the incident at the Chalk River reactor on Dec. 5.

Meanwhile, another part of the reactor has sprung a water leak from a 2.4-inch crack in a weld. That leak has not been repaired since it was first reported more than six weeks ago.

Instead, technicians are simply pumping water into the unit to replace the estimated 7,000 litres a day spewing from the cracked seam.

In answer to written questions from Sun Media, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said the leaking water from the failed weld has "a very low level of radioactivity" and is not a safety concern.

The water is being dumped into the Ottawa River.



Linda Keen was fired for stopping isotope production at this facility, in Dec. of 2007, due to dangerous conditions & yet the problems still haven't been taken care of. The Con govt. legislated the nuclear facility back to work. What is it going to take? A nuclear meltdown?

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Brazeau hanky panky?

Sure looks like it. This time from Health Canada with demands that the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, led by soon-to-be Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, return monies that were to be used for aboriginal health issues.

From the Globe & Mail:

"Health Canada launched an audit in late 2007 to find out what happened to $472,900 it transferred to the congress for projects aimed at improving aboriginal health in areas such as early childhood development and diabetes.

The audit findings identified concerns with CAP's internal financial controls including approximately $260,000 of ineligible expenses in consulting fees, travel and meeting costs and per diems for CAP employees during 2005-06," according to a statement from Health Canada released to The Globe and Mail.

The audit found most of the department's money was spent on board meetings, yet the minutes of those meetings were either non-existent or made "little reference about the health programs."


Can Harper seriously allow Brazeau to be installed as a Senator in the wake of the scandals surrounding this man? Two allegations of sexual misconduct among them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Justify This!

So now the Israeli's have shelled UN Headquarters in Gaza. They are saying "It was a mistake". How so? Seeing as it was ground forces. Sounds like indiscriminate shelling to me.

From CBC News:

The developments in the 20-day-old military conflict came as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was in Israel trying to promote a ceasefire. Speaking in Jerusalem, the UN chief expressed "strong protest and outrage" over the attack and immediately demanded an investigation.

Ban said Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has told him it was a "grave mistake."

Ban also said the death toll in Gaza has reached an "unbearable" level.


As diplomatic efforts continued on Wednesday, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza said that the death toll in Gaza topped 1,000, and that civilians accounted for half the fatalities.

The Gaza casualty reports are nearly impossible for media organizations to confirm as Israel has barred foreign journalists from entering the coastal territory.

Thirteen Israelis, among them 10 soldiers, have been killed since the military campaign started on Dec. 27


And this: At least 15 rockets were fired by Gaza militants into southern Israel.

It appears no one was hurt by the rockets. But how can this be justified? Any of it. The death, injury & destruction is overwhelming & yet to comment on this war in a way that is not pro-Israel a person is suddenly pronounced to be anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas/terrorist. That is not the case at all. It's the ravaging of a people that is wrong. Anywhere. Anytime. Did you support the Iraq War? I did not. The deaths of the Iraqi people, the destruction of the country is overwhelmingly horrible. Afghanistan the same. So how is this any different?

If you are able to justify it please tell me.

Oh, & I no longer allow anonymous comments.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Very Interesting

There's been some, or maybe a lot, of talk in the blogosphere & in the MSM that Ignatieff is more right-leaning & closer to Harper's views on some things - think the I/P conflict. Now comes this news from the Globe & Mail.

Sources confirmed late Tuesday that Kevin Chan, executive assistant and director to top federal bureaucrat Kevin Lynch, has joined Mr. Ignatieff's team.

Chan is straight out of the CPC PCO. This could be viewed 2 ways. He will have insider info on how Harper runs things, plans, etc. & use it to help the Libs or he will be adding more "right Con" influence into the Liberal Party. Hmmmmm...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bush asserts U.S. sea power over Arctic straits

From CanWest News:

Key elements of Bush's policy challenge the ambitious Arctic sovereignty agenda put forth by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that includes bolstering Canada's military presence and fostering economic and social development. The Bush directive reiterates that the Northwest Passage is an international waterway - a rebuttal of Canada's claim of sovereignty over what is emerging as a major global shipping route because of the shrinking polar ice cap - and it highlights the boundary dispute in the resource-rich Beaufort Sea.

Harper's office had no immediate comment.

Yes, Bush is leaving in 7 days but this signed directive/policy is legal in the U.S. & I wonder if Obama will want to change it. I highly doubt it.

Fight! Fight!

From the Globe & Mail:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is pushing ahead with the creation of a long-debated national securities regulator, igniting a battle with Quebec and Alberta just as Ottawa is seeking the provinces' help in reviving Canada's flagging economy.

Incensed at the very suggestion, Quebec and Alberta responded to the report by threatening a Supreme Court challenge of Mr. Flaherty's authority to establish a national commission.

Unmoved, the Finance Minister vowed to establish a national regulator with willing provinces, something Mr. Hockin said could be done without Alberta and Quebec.


So more conflict to arise with our present, charming govt. at a time when we are in dire economic circumstances. Whether a securities regulator is a good idea or not I need to research more. Although I don't see it as being particularly negative. Too much free rein & not knowing what's being done is not good. But even so, if the regulator reports only to the govt., behind closed doors, then the govt./finance dept. can do whatever it likes & we will continue to be left in the dark.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Audit Finds DND projects lack oversight

The audit was commissioned by the Defence Dept.

The report from the department's Chief of Review Services was originally to examine a multimillion-dollar program to purchase chemical, biological and nuclear defence equipment and warning devices, but the comments were on the overall state of management oversight on equipment programs.

To deal with the shortages [personnel], the Defence Department is using private consultants as deputy project managers, but they do not have the authority to make decisions, according the CRS report.

Read the article at the Ottawa Citizen.

Some things never seem to change with this Conservative govt. There are billions of dollars involved. And this in a time of economic crisis. Gah!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cons give MORE money to the U.S.

Peter MacKay announced yesterday that Canada's Govt. has awarded a contract to a U.S. company named Navistar for 1,300 logistic trucks for the military.

So much for economic stimulus here in Canada. We need the jobs. The U.S. gets them.

Here's the article from National Post.

And here's another article, from the Aerospace industry on not landing any military contracts from the Conservative Govt. either.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gaza War Spreading?

From BBC News:
Lebanon fired 3 rockets into northern Israel today, one hitting a nursing home & causing 2 minor injuries, according to reports. Israel fired 5 artillery shells in response. Is this war in Gaza spreading? I hope not. I am not condemning Israel for their action in reply & it appears no one was hurt. But let's not let this conflict widen.

In the same article, at the beginning, is a report from the International Red Cross that asserts that Israel has been denying them access to the wounded for days at a time.

The International Committee of the Red Cross accused Israel of failing in its international obligations after its staff were met with "shocking" scenes.

One medical team found 12 bodies in a shelled house, and alongside them four very young children, too weak to stand, waiting by their dead mothers, the ICRC said.

Aid workers had been denied access to the site for days, it added.

Heavy-handed Harper



From the Globe & Mail:

He [Harper] is also planning to fill Senate seats as they become vacant and will not stop until next January when his Tories will finally have the majority in the upper chamber, according to two senior government officials.

Reversing his promise not to name senators until the chamber is reformed, Mr. Harper made 18 appointments last month. Now senior government officials say he is expected to appoint two more in March, when the next vacancies occur. He will make 10 more by the end of the year, keeping with his new strategy to control the Red Chamber to make reforms.


He will have HIS way no matter what, or so he thinks. I am sick of this tyrant pushing his Reform/Alliance agenda on Canadians. Please, let's get rid of him even if it takes the Coalition to do it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

UPDATE...on Canadians in Gaza

In a previous post I talked about how "our" Conservative govt., led by Stephen Harper, was slow in moving on getting Canadians out of Gaza. Here is an article from TheStar with more information on that situation.

"Thirty-nine Canadians, still stranded in war-wracked Gaza yesterday, could have safely departed the territory last Friday – if only Canadian diplomats had known it."

"Had the Canadians shown up at the border on Friday, they likely would have been permitted to cross, said Maj. Peter Lerner, spokesperson for the Israeli agency that handle's this country's activities in the territory."

"But it was only on Friday that Canadian diplomats first provided the Israelis with a list of names of Canadians who wanted to leave the territory, and no attempt was made to contact them that day, to tell them to get to the border right away, because it was open."

Again, as I said, what is wrong with "our" govt.?

What the...?

"Hamas terrorists ultimately control the fate of several dozen Canadians and other civilians trapped in Gaza, the Harper government made clear yesterday as the civilian death toll rose."

"[Peter] Kent said the Canadians in Gaza would only be moved to safety if the rocket attacks "stop permanently." Asked whether that could trap them for days or months, Kent replied: "It is a war."

The above statements made by Tory MP Peter Kent in this article from the Montreal Gazette.

Huh? It's the Israeli's who aren't allowing people to flee the horrors going on in Gaza. They have closed all corriders for a long, long time now & have only just now agreed to a 3 hr. ceasefire, daily & starting today, to allow aid into Gaza. Read here at CBC. And this is the official position of Harper's govt.? That it's ALL the fault of Hamas? Yes, as I've stated before, this whole mess is two-sided & that Hamas has it's large share of the blame, but to blame them for not allowing people out of Gaza Canadian or otherwise, including the Palestinian residents is ridiculous.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's Wrong With "Our" Govt.?

Here's the headline in the G&M:

Canada lagged in getting citizens out of Gaza.

"Canada only asked Israel for help in getting its stranded citizens out of Gaza after hundreds of other foreign nationals were able to depart, and as a ground assault was preparing to roll in."

And:
“Canadian diplomats approached us on the third 3rd of January,” he said. “On Saturday, they said 36 people. Later, they raised it to 39.”

And this:
"During the 2006 Lebanon war, Canadian officials were criticized for the slow pace of their efforts to evacuate about 13,000 citizens from Beirut, as they struggled to arrange safe passage for ships for days after the United States and several European countries began ferrying out their nationals."

So, I ask, what is wrong with this Conservative govt.? Did they not learn from the Lebanon war that speed is necessary? They are too busy trying to save their butts with the upcoming budget & most likely trying to figure out ways in which to demolish the Liberals out of existence rather than take care of Canadian citizens in a war zone. A pox on their Party!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Israeli troops clash with Hamas"

"The UN secretary general has called for an immediate halt to operations.

But an emergency Security Council meeting failed to agree a united approach to the Gaza conflict.

Diplomatic sources said it was the United States that blocked an agreement. US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff suggested that an official statement that criticised both Israel and Hamas would not have been helpful."


Go here to read more & watch video from BBC News.

Of course, as usual, it's Hamas who is mentioned but it is the people of Gaza who are being killed & injured.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Statistics: Gaza/Israel

What is being done in Gaza by the Israelis is an abomination. Some would call it genocide. Both sides are wrong but the decimation of a people is beyond the pale. Heart & gut-wrenching.

Below are some statistics to look at & here is the site you can go to for charts & to read more.

Israeli and Palestinian Children Killed
September 29, 2000 - Present

123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,050 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Source)

Israelis and Palestinians Killed
September 29, 2000 - Present

1,062 Israelis and at least 4,876 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000. (View Source)

Israelis and Palestinians Injured
September 29, 2000 - Present

8,341 Israelis and 33,034 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000. (View Source)

Daily U.S. Taxes to Israel and the Palestinians
Fiscal Year 2007

During Fiscal Year 2007, the U.S. gave more than $6.8 million per day to Israel and $0.3 million per day to the Palestinians. (View Source)

UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians
1955 - 1992

Israel has been targeted by at least 65 UN resolutions and the Palestinians have been targeted by none. (View Source)

Current Number of Political Prisoners and Detainees

1 Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 10,756 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel. (View Source)

Demolitions of Israeli and Palestinian Homes
1967 - Present

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 18,147 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967. (View Source)

Current Israeli and Palestinian Unemployment Rates

The Israeli unemployment rate is 7.3%, while the Palestinian unemployment is estimated at 23%. (View Source)

Current Illegal Settlements on the Other’s Land

Israel currently has 223 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land. (View Source)

h/t to *mattes* at Marisacat's

UPDATE: From BBC World News: Gaza facing 'critical emergency'

"The UN has warned that Palestinians in Gaza are facing a serious health and food crisis, as Israeli air strikes continued for a seventh day."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009!

Well here we are. Day 1 of a new year. And let's hope this year is better, in many ways, than the last one.

I don't do resolutions. What's the point. Each & every day is a brand new one so there's no need to "wipe the slate clean" & start fresh just because it has become another day with a different number attached to it. Every day is a new beginning so I walk in that - fresh & new. As long as I can adhere, hold fast, to what I believe to be right, true, & honest then that's all I need for personal resolve. Just another day in the neighbourhood - global as well as personal.

But Happy New Year to all of you out there! May it be a thoughtful, insightful, & peaceful year - on all fronts!