Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Harper was right to speak out on Iran

Harper was right to speak out on Iran
The (media) criticism levelled at former prime minister Stephen Harper for speaking to a “Free Iran” rally near Paris last Saturday is unfair. At that rally, Harper thanked the tens of thousands of participants for their “long battle for a free and democratic Iran,” without endorsing any political party.
Harper wasn’t alone at the rally. Canada’s delegation at the event included the former prime minister, Liberal MP Judy Sgro, former Conservative foreign minister John Baird, former Liberal MP Raymonde Folco, former Conservative MP Paul Forseth, Liberal supporter David Matas, Conservative MP Candice Bergen, and me, a former Liberal cabinet minister.  It was entirely appropriate to attend.
The European Union removed the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (or PMOI) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2009, noting that it had been placed on the list purely to appease the mullahs in Iran. In 2010, the European Parliament passed a declaration calling on the United States to remove it from the American list. The resolution became official when more than half the members of the 736-seat chamber signed it, but support was nearly unanimous. The resolution also called on Iraq to cease its blockade of Camp Ashraf, a settlement of more than 3,000 Iranian dissidents near the border between the two countries.
The PMOI had been on the U.S. list since 1997, when the Bill Clinton administration added it, seeking to secure closer cooperation with Tehran. The U.S. finally removed the PMOI in September, 2012. The State Department said its decision had been taken in view of the PMOI’s public renunciation of its former military role and its co-operation in the closure of its paramilitary base in Iraq. 
Following the lead of the U.S. and the European Union, the Harper government in December 2012 dropped the PMOI from Canada’s list.  As co-chair of the NGO Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran, I wrote to then prime minister Harper in 2009: “We are writing to urge you and your government to take a principled stand against the regime in Tehran for its brutal suppression of the Iranian people in their renewed uprising for human dignity, freedom and democracy … Iranians spoke loudly and clearly again when they poured into the streets in Tehran and all major cities across the country in recent days to show the world that they are ready to risk their lives to bring about democratic change in Iran.”
Struan Stevenson, who represented Scotland in the European Parliament for 15 years and is now co-ordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, noted after last week’s Paris event: “The nationwide protests (currently underway) covered all 31 Iranian provinces and 142 cities. The 80 million Iranian citizens, over half of whom are under-30, have made it clear that they are fed up with fundamentalist rule. They are fed up with living in poverty as the venally corrupt mullahs siphon off the country’s wealth to fill their pockets and to finance conflict and terror throughout the Middle East.”
The Iranian regime has earned the title of the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism.   Since the Paris event, an intercepted plot to bomb the hall near the Charles De Gaulle airport where last weekend’s rally was held has been exposed. Three suspects were arrested in France and Germany last weekend. A diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna was also arrested in Germany over the terror threat that was discovered by Belgian authorities.
The Iranian regime has earned the title of the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism.   Staff at the Iranian embassy in Vienna said their ambassador was not immediately available for comment, but a PMOI official alleged the individual arrested in Germany had been station chief of Iran’s ministry of intelligence and security (MOIS) in Vienna since 2014.
The Paris event attracted tens of thousands from across the world to hear National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) president-elect Maryam Rajavi. The NCRI is an umbrella bloc of opposition groups in exile that seeks an end to Shi’ite Muslim clerical rule in Iran. Rajavi seeks to restore peace, freedom, democracy and human rights, stopping torture and the death penalty and ending foreign meddling.   Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan also calls for a new constitution based on gender equality, separation of religion and state, and a non-nuclear Iran.
David Kilgour is the former Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa (1997-2002) and Asia-Pacific (2002-2003) in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. He represented south-east Edmonton in the House of Commons from 1979 to 2006. He is co-chair of the NGO Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran.


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Conservatives Win

Conservatives win a By-election Monday June 18, 2018. The media did not see it coming at the start, and now are swallowing hard, that Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer is getting stronger in the national polls each week.   It could have been predicted, as the Conservatives have been receiving financial contributions from average voters at a greater rate than the Liberals for quite some time.   Giving money to a political Party, means deep commitment.   This week was a real test at the ballot box.

Conservative candidate Richard Martel captured 52.7 percent of the vote (more than all others combined) in a federal byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord - Quebec, more than 5,000 votes ahead of Liberal Lina Boivin, who took 29.5 percent.   The New Democrat Party and Bloc Québécois candidates were not in contention, capturing just 8.7 percent and 5.6 percent, while the Green candidate brought 3.1 percent.  The typical By-election turnout was 36 percent.   The byelection was caused by the resignation of Liberal MP Denis Lemieux.   The Conservatives, benefited from the collapse in support for the Bloc and NDP, as they rose from fourth place last time into first.

It seems that Quebecers are tired of the Liberal big-deficit and high-tax agenda.   Conservatives believe in responsible spending and in lowering taxes, to make life more affordable for Canadians.   Chicoutimi-Le Fjord marks the Liberals' first byelection defeat in a riding they held, since Trudeau became Liberal Leader.  

Monday's result is also dismal news for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose efforts to lead his Party has shown to be very lackluster.  It also might not be good for the NDP in the next Quebec by-election, once Tom Mulcair resigns his Montreal seat of Outremont at the end of June.  

The results in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord is a measure of how much public opinion has shifted in Quebec.   Voters recently would shy away from the Conservatives, but this time Quebecers are turning away from the left-wing socialist formula that was previously popular.   The NDP finished a distant third in the riding, that it had won in the Quebec orange surge of the 2011 election.   The separatist Bloc Quebecois came fourth, which is good for everyone.

In frustration, Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau returned to his old formula, of reminding voters of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, trying to counter the current Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.   The Trudeau tactic seemed stale, as a recent Ipsos poll showed that the federal Conservatives could replace the Liberals and form the government, if all Canadians were able to vote last week.   The national political mood is moving toward the Conservatives.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Trudeau Government Fails

The senior annalists in the PCO and specialists within federal ministries must be pulling their hair in exasperation.  These politically neutral professionals can't speak publicly about the Trudeau chaos they live in. 

Canada arrived at nationalization of K-M incrementally through a series of Liberal mistakes, where they ignored the warnings of the experts, whom we all pay for.  Canada has some great talent at the senior levels of the Public Service.  Trudeau seems to be wasting it, otherwise Canada would not have spiralled downward into a $4.5 billion penalty to get a pipeline built. 

Once the decision was made way back when, and the nature of the opposition to K-M was known, they should have delivered the strongest message to the nation, that no matter what, the project was going ahead.  However, they waffled and hid, which emboldened the radicals into thinking that they were winning, rather than just driving up the cost for all citizens. 

Trudeau did not have the courage or wisdom to expend political capital early, by announcing additional investments in federal prosecution services, extra RCMP assignments, and sending a fully engaged legal team to Courts everywhere that there was an issue for hearing.  He should have raised the prospect to use the Army if needed as a last resort, to preserve "peace-order-and good government', as many were publicly urging.  He needed to outline how this national project was not up for veto by anyone.  He should not have abandoned K-M to defend themselves at Court to protect the legal conduct of their business. 

Moreover, instead of playing small-minded politics, by shamelessly trying to blame the Conservatives, he should have worked out a deal with them in Parliament, for both to support additional enabling legislation on the project.  The Conservatives are fully in support.  He could have led the nation with both national parties working together to get it done, thereby giving sufficient confidence and predictability for the private sector to complete their enterprise.  

However, his anemic partisan behaviour didn't work, and the situation descended.   Then as a last gasp, Trudeau had to buy his way out of his blunders.  Now Canada is on the hook with public money to just keep the operation viable, without counting what additional billions are needed to actually build the additional capacity pipeline. 

In summary, if Trudeau had listened with respect to the esteemed Public Service, enlisted the help of the Conservatives, and had led in a strong direction when it really counted, he could have prevented this whole scenario and preserved what the private sector does best, without having to resort to a public bail-out.  The failure to keep "peace-order-and good government", means we all have to pay for the Trudeau style of leadership.

·         *   *   *  

Kinder Morgan says: We are one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America. We own an interest in or operate approximately 85,000 miles of pipelines and 152 terminals. Our pipelines transport natural gas, refined petroleum products, crude oil, carbon dioxide (CO2) and more. Our terminals store and handle petroleum products, chemicals and other products.

We are a market leader in each of our businesses – Natural Gas Pipelines, Products Pipelines, CO2, Terminals and Kinder Morgan Canada. We have an unparalleled, large footprint of diversified and strategically located assets that are core to North American energy infrastructure and help deliver needed energy products to high-demand markets. For example, Kinder Morgan is the:

Largest natural gas network with approximately 70,000 miles of natural gas pipelines. We are connected to every important U.S. natural gas resource play, including the Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Utica, Uinta, Haynesville, Fayetteville and Barnett. We move about 40 percent of the natural gas consumed in America.

Largest independent transporter of petroleum products, transporting about 2.1 million barrels of product per day. We move gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, crude, natural gas liquids and more.

Largest transporter of carbon dioxide (CO2), transporting about 1.3 billion cubic feet per day. Most of the CO2 is used in enhanced oil recovery projects in the Permian Basin of West Texas.

Largest independent terminal operator. Our liquids terminals store refined petroleum products, chemicals, ethanol and more, and have a capacity of 152 million barrels. Our dry bulk terminals store and handle such materials as coal, petroleum coke and steel, and we handle over 53 million tons per year. We also have a strong Jones Act shipping position with twelve vessels in service and four more to be delivered in 2017.

Only oilsands pipeline serving the West Coast. We currently transport 300,000 barrels per day to Vancouver/Washington State and our proposed expansion will increase that capacity to 890,000 barrels per day.

Our customers include major oil companies, energy producers and shippers, local distribution companies and businesses across many industries. In most of our businesses, we operate like a giant toll road and receive a fee for our services, generally avoiding commodity price risk. In our CO2 business, where exposure to commodity prices does exist, we employ a hedging strategy to partially mitigate that risk. For 2017, approximately 91 percent of our cash flows are fee-based and 97 percent of our cash flows are fee-based or hedged.

The revolutionary shale plays across the United States are creating a tremendous need for more energy infrastructure, which bodes well for us. We invest billions of dollars each year to grow the company by building new and expanding existing assets to help ensure that a variety of energy products get delivered into the marketplace.

Kinder Morgan strives for financial and operational excellence, and we are committed to being a good corporate citizen and conducting ourselves in an ethical and responsible manner. In addition to delivering value to our shareholders and meeting our customers' needs, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on integrity management and maintenance programs to operate our assets safely and to protect the public, our employees, contractors and the environment.

We pride ourselves on being a different kind of energy company. What makes us different? It starts at the top with Executive Chairman Rich Kinder, who earns a salary of $1 per year and does not receive a bonus, stock options or restricted stock grants. President and CEO Steve Kean also receives an annual salary of $1. We work hard to align managements’ and shareholders’ incentives by eliminating unnecessary expenses such as corporate aircraft, sports tickets and executive perks. In addition, we tie financial incentives for our employees directly to the performance of the company and their own personal performances.

Kinder Morgan has been conducting its business transparently long before it became a corporate buzz word. We are one of the only S&P 500 companies that publishes its annual budget on its web site, which enables investors and others to follow our progress throughout the year. We also post our operational performance on our website and continue to perform better than our industry peers relative to environmental, health and safety measures.

We do not have a Political Action Committee. Any political contributions made by executives or employees are made individually as private citizens with their own personal money.

Kinder Morgan has approximately 11,000 employees and is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

USA Embassy Jerusalem

The USA moved its Embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem from TelAviv.  In response, the people in Gaza started violent demonstrations, and crashing the no-go barriers at the Israel border.  This planned provocation had predictable deadly consequences.
Prime Minister Trudeau failed to acknowledge that it is Hamas - not Israel - that is responsible for the violence on the Gaza-Israel border.   It’s unacceptable.
It also contradicts Canada’s long-stated position, that as an ally and fellow liberal democracy, Israel could count on Canada’s support when security was threatened.
It is painful to see yet more suffering in Gaza.  Every human being is valuable and of equal worth.   The situation in Gaza is grim and cannot be ignored.   Sadly, the world knows that Hamas' goal is not to improve life in Gaza, but instead to make life more miserable for Israelis - even if it hurts and even murders Gazans in a deadly political agenda. 
The Canadian Government should have said the truth.  Instead, they ignored the grave threat these terrorists pose to Israel, making no mention of the detailed instructions Hamas makes to kidnappers and murderers, or their weapons carried by terrorists attempting to breach the border.  Trudeau completely overlooked the Palestinian leadership's cynical strategy that includes using human shields, forcing school children to the frontline, and blocking aid from entering the Gaza Strip.
“The arguments about the President’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem have already been made. They are by now well known. The decision was in accordance to U.S. law dating back to 1995, and its position has been repeatedly endorsed by the American people ever since. The decision does not prejudge any final status issues, including Jerusalem’s boundaries. The decision does not preclude a two-state solution, if the parties agree to that. The decision does nothing to harm peace efforts. Rather, the President’s decision reflects the will of the American people and our right as a nation to choose the location of our embassy.  America will put our embassy in Jerusalem.  That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do.  No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.”   Nikki Haley’s Speech to UN
Based on CIJA files.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

92nd birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

On the occasion of the 92nd birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada:
Millions of people in Canada celebrate the 92nd birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.
Her Majesty has dedicated her life in service to the Commonwealth.   Since acceding to the throne in 1952, she has served with grace, strength, and wisdom.   Canadians feel a warm affection for the Queen and a deep appreciation for her devotion to duty.
Commonwealth Leaders from around the world met with her this past week.   It was clear that the affection and admiration so many ‎feel is equally shared by people from every corner of the world.
So today, we celebrate the many milestones of Canadian history, in which the Queen played an important role.   These include the 100th anniversary of the Fathers of Confederation’s meeting in Charlottetown in 1964, Canada’s centennial ceremonies in Ottawa in 1967, and the signing of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act on Parliament Hill in 1982.   Through change and transformation, Her Majesty has stood with Canadians, unwavering in her commitment to Canada’s future.   Her role as protector of the realm has been magnificently fulfilled.
We wish Her Majesty a happy 92nd birthday.   

Monday, 9 April 2018

Protesters Challenge Canada

April 9, 2018   I observe that we live in a dangerous world.   It is in our national news every day.   But do we realize we have dangerous elements at home, that threaten our basic well being?    Carefully observe the pipeline protesters.   They are placing our democracy and economic order in peril.   The RCMP say they have arrested about 200 people demonstrating around the Trans Mountain facilities since mid-March, and while most face charges for civil contempt, officers have also made arrests for mischief, obstruction, and assault of a police officer.
We also have a BC Premier who is implementing a policy for the fringe radicals.   His words about defending BC interests, are bogus.   Most BCers see through his rhetoric.  Sadly, he has boxed himself into a corner, and he believes he must play out his maneuvers for political reasons.   There is no legitimate claim that his actions are related to environmental protection.  The protesters are wrong on technical-safety grounds, and moreover on any legal basis.
The BC Kinder-Morgan pipeline is appropriate at this time in our history.  The years of analysis, exhaustive review, and approvals have all been done.  The time for dissent is over.   At this point, individuals have a right in our society to express an opinion, that they don’t like the final decision.  However, they don’t have a right to obstruct or delay by one day, any progress on the project.
The Trans Mountain project would twin an existing pipeline, tripling the flow of oil flowing to the B.C. coast from Alberta.   To date, the company says it has spent about $1.1 billion.  However, the announcement on April 8/18 that Kinder Morgan is halting all "non-essential activities and related spending" on the project, leaving the future of the $7.4 billion project up in the air, is a problem for all of Canada.  Bad behaviour by a minority has its consequences.
If the company cannot reach an agreement with the various stakeholders by the May 31 deadline, Kinder Morgan chairman Steve Kean says it is "difficult to conceive of any scenario in which we would proceed with the project."   “We can’t move the seasons in Canada. There are certain seasons during which you can do certain things”.
Alberta Premier Notley said the pipeline “must be built” and threatened government action against B.C. if the Horgan government continued to oppose the project.   She called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act in defense of the project and be more active.   “Albertans have been clear: Get this pipeline built.  And Albertans are right.”   “Never count Alberta out.  This pipeline will be built.  Tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the economy.  Better public schools.  Better public hospitals.  That’s what this pipeline means for us and for our country as a whole.  We have won a series of important and decisive legal victories.  The courts threw out B.C.’s last case without even hearing it.  And I am confident we will continue to win.  We are also calling on the federal government to act in the defense of Alberta and working people in Western Canada in the way they have in the past for other parts of this country.   A federal approval of a project must be worth more than the paper it’s written on.” 
B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson criticized the BC NDP government.  “The premier has let his activist environment minister ignore the rule of law, as this government picks winners and losers by willfully ignoring the constitution”.   “Investors, large and small, interested in our Province need to know the Provincial Government will treat everyone fairly and equally.”   “This is a project that has received federal approval and falls under federal jurisdiction, yet the NDP used it to pick a trade war with Alberta and start a confrontation with the federal government.”
In conclusion, it is not in the interests of B.C. for investors to calculate that B.C. is not a good place to invest.   There are broad ripple-effect consequences.   For a society not to be able to have orderly decision making, cuts deeply into nationhood.   Rule by the rabble is a mockery, in view of all the blood that was spilled to defend Canadian values and build a peaceful orderly society.   The problem is much bigger than just some misguided folk digging in with their personal decision to trump and overrule the official decision represented by the majority of Canadians.   The issue goes to the core of Canada, and its ability to live as a viable democracy under the rule of law, and to face-down those who don’t like Canada’s success.   We live in a dangerous adversarial world.   I hope Canada is able to respond to that challenge.
(sources from varied public media)

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Justin Trudeau - sensing a flake

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau actively sought the female vote in the last election, and was somewhat successful.   Now he is significantly losing it; women are sensing a flake (a person who too easily pronounces, yet fails to follow through).   He is clearly falling out of favour in the polls with Canadian women.

Resentments have piled up and the last straw is being reached.   As voters, women are not much different from men – that means they are interested in NATO, Ukraine independence, trade with China, the F-35s, Canada’s military role in Mali, the relationship to Iran, to name just a few foreign policy issues.   Women are not restricted to the category of “women’s issues”.

Recall that Trudeau had few foreign policies in his election platform.  He hadn’t planned much about leading Canada within the international community.   Then he proceeded to make legalizing marijuana a priority.   For all the serious issues facing Canada, this became a focus.

We all observed Trudeau’s flashy socks, his so-called "good looks” and the tears he could summon for an occasion.   Some voters thought he was going to be a breath of fresh air after the stodgy Conservative administration, but the lack of substance is showing.   He is revealed as ‘a poseur’ (a person who is trendy or fashionable in a superficial way).

The self-absorbed sins have been piling up.   They include his sheer blunders of naivety when it comes to the legal principle of the Constitutional separation of the ‘Judiciary’ from the ‘Executive’ in government.   He prejudicially scorned his own Cabinet Minister Kent Hehr, simply because a woman made an unproven allegation that Hehr had said something actually innocuous to her in an Edmonton elevator more than ten years ago.   He improperly weighed in on the verdict in the Colten Boushie murder trial, saying “We have to do better,” which implied the accused man was guilty, even though a jury trial had decided otherwise.   The jury heard all the evidence, but Trudeau only heard some protesters.

The recent India trip was a disaster, larger than the media were willing to report.   One might think that Trudeau believes himself, not so much as a Prime Minister, but more of a Social Engineer, by his obsession with everything “gender-neutral”.  His supposed joke about “people-kind” instead of “mankind” shows a misplaced perspective on life.

Over time, voters are pretty good at spotting a flake.   Trudeau’s ruminating on ultra-feminist jargon is embarrassing, acting like he’s leading the radical sisterhood club that keeps everyone out who does not share ‘the belief’.   Cabinet appointments should be given on competence, not his bias of gender, race, and religion.

The unconstitutional fiasco about service organizations having to be ‘pro-choice’ to qualify for the Canada Summer Jobs program, was the very last straw for many fair-minded folks.   Citizens and Organizations are entitled to their opinions on abortion, and those standards have nothing to do with whether a student gets a federally funded job helping the disabled or guiding kids in summer camp.   All taxpayers of every political bent, help pay for these work experience programs, and personal private values of freedom and care, are irrelevant to the federal job scheme.

In contrast, what are the values that give rise to the vacuousness over North Korea or Iran?  Apparently, Trudeau does not lead Canada, as his extreme ideology appears to run him, which is then dumped on the country.   It appears that Trudeau never grew up, for he seems to be a juvenile personality in an adult body.   To properly lead, means that one has to inspire to a worthy direction.   Actually, he is an "unserious leader”, says a former Liberal MP.  

Canada needs intelligent, focussed, responsible leadership, positioned close to the political centre, with the goal of bringing all Canadians back to the collective decision-making table.   There is the boring stuff of real work to govern.   However, Trudeau’s 'gaffes' keep coming, such as irresponsible spending, breaking ethics laws, poor trade negotiations, electoral reform confusion, the payout to a convicted terrorist, reintegrating ISIS fighters, inciting illegal migration across the border, unfilled judicial positions causing serious criminal cases to be dismissed, and on and on.  He was just not ready.  His record clearly meets the definition of a flake.

(based on notes and an article by Naomi Lakritz – Calgary Herald)

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Conservative Part of Canada

In the past, Conservatives overcame the odds and achieved a string of incredible election victories.   More importantly, we put Canada on a path to prosperity by creating well over one million net new jobs, expanding access to global markets, and cutting taxes for everyone.   That effort goes to the heart of basic personal freedom.

We took a strong stand against the terrorists of the so-called Islamic State, and stood up to bullies and thugs on the world stage.   We governed on principle, because we listened to average Canadians.   We can be proud of our time in government.   

We note that the next election is in October of 2019, and reports indicate the Liberals have kicked their fundraising and campaigning into high gear.   Unfortunately, so much of the progress we made is being undone by the Trudeau Liberals, therefore they must be replaced next time.   The Prime Minister has been crisscrossing the country and holding campaign-style events to regain the support he’s lost.   It’s obvious the Liberals are in campaign mode.

By making wise choices and strategic decisions, we left behind a balanced budget.   Today, Canada is running huge deficits, and financial analysts project our country will be in the red until sometime in the 2050s!   We also passed tough new laws to keep Canadians safe, and took the fight to terrorists who wanted to do us harm.   Today, the Liberals welcome ISIS fighters returning to Canada.   They even awarded a multi-million-dollar cash payment to a convicted terrorist.   We worked every day to make life more affordable for everyday Canadians.   Under the Trudeau, the cost of living continues to rise.   What’s more, the Liberals have forced a punishing new carbon tax onto the provinces.   That means Canadian families will pay more to get to work, heat their homes and feed their families.

As a Conservative Government, we supported small businesses and made it easier for them to hire.  The Liberals made an assault on small businesses by imposing crippling new taxes that punish hard-working entrepreneurs.   No government is perfect, but when we were in office, we did our best to respect taxpayer’s money.   We eliminated wasteful spending and worked hard to keep government expenses in check.   Today, the costs of administering the Prime Minister’s Office alone has risen by 20 % and taxpayers are on the hook for luxurious foreign vacations.

There’s a lot more that could be said in contrasting the Conservative record with the Liberals, and it is time for Canada to change course.   The Liberals have done a lot of damage, but it can be repaired.   If the Trudeau Liberals are re-elected, there’s no telling how much more harm they could do.   A generation of Canadians could be robbed of their earned prosperity if we don’t replace them next year.   However, for that to happen, Conservatives must form a government in 2019.   Sadly, our nation is not being well served.   The Liberal Government in office today is much more ideological and dangerous than the one of 1993-2006.   We simply can't afford to let the backward left-wing policies take root and permanently entrench themselves in the bureaucracy.   Canada needs a Conservative government in 2019.

The faithful Party Members elected Andrew Scheer as the Leader.   He is an experienced true conservative.   We can trust him to make sure we stay true to our values.   He has strong undivided Party support.   One can learn a lot about someone, by paying attention to how they’re treated by their colleagues.   In Andrew’s case, he was elected by his fellow MPs to be Speaker of the House of Commons in 2011.   The MPs from all Parties saw in Andrew the traits of integrity, fairness, and intelligence.   As the campaign unfolds, more and more Canadians are seeing those traits as he travels the country.

Andrew Scheer has what it takes to succeed as Prime Minister.   He understands that leading means representing everyday Canadians, not just the Ottawa insiders and special interests.   Most importantly, he has a positive vision for Canada’s future and a burning desire to see our country succeed.

To become Prime Minister, Andrew will need your support.  
Conservative Party of Canada   www.conservative.ca

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Billy Graham, Christian Pastor to the world, dies at 99 years.

Mr. Graham continued to preach well into his later years. In November 2004, he appeared with his son Franklin before a large crowd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Mr. Graham named Franklin to succeed him as head of his evangelical organization.    Picture Credit  Monica Almeida/The New York Times
       *       *       *       *       *       *       *
Billy Graham, 99, Dies; Pastor Filled Stadiums and Counseled Presidents
The Rev. Billy Graham, a North Carolina farmer’s son who preached to millions in stadium events he called crusades, becoming a pastor to presidents and the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist for more than 60 years, died on Wednesday at his home in Montreat, N.C. He was 99.  His death was confirmed by Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Mr. Graham spread his influence across the country and around the world through a combination of religious conviction, commanding stage presence and shrewd use of radio, television and advanced communication technologies.
A central achievement was his encouraging evangelical Protestants to regain the social influence they had once wielded. But in his later years, Mr. Graham kept his distance from the evangelical political movement he had helped engender, refusing to endorse candidates and avoiding the volatile issues dear to religious conservatives.
“If I get on these other subjects, it divides the audience on an issue that is not the issue I’m promoting,” he said in an interview at his home in North Carolina in 2005 while preparing for his last American crusade, in New York City. “I’m just promoting the Gospel.”
Mr. Graham took the role of evangelist to a new level, lifting it from the sawdust floors of canvas tents in small-town America, to the podiums of packed stadiums in the world’s major cities. He wrote some 30 books and was among the first to use new communication technologies for religious purposes. During his “global crusade” from Puerto Rico in 1995, his sermons were translated simultaneously into 48 languages and transmitted to 185 countries by satellite.
Mr. Graham’s standing as a religious leader was unusual: Unlike the pope or the Dalai Lama, he spoke for neither a particular church (though he was a Southern Baptist) nor a particular people.
At times, he seemed to fill the role of national clergyman. He read from Scripture at President Richard M. Nixon’s funeral in California in 1994, offered prayers at a service in the National Cathedral for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and, despite his failing health, traveled to New Orleans in 2006 to preach to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
His reach was global, and he was welcomed even by repressive leaders like Kim Il-sung of North Korea, who invited him to preach in Pyongyang’s officially sanctioned churches.
In his younger days, Mr. Graham became a role model for aspiring evangelists, prompting countless young men to copy his cadences, his gestures and even the way he combed his wavy blond hair. He was not without critics. Early in his career, some mainline Protestant leaders and theologians accused him of preaching a simplistic message of personal salvation that ignored the complexities of societal problems like racism and poverty. Later, critics said he had shown political naïveté in maintaining a close public association with Nixon after Nixon had been implicated in the cover-up of the Watergate break-in.
In the last few decades, a new generation of evangelists, including Mr. Graham’s elder son, Franklin Graham, began developing their own followings. In November 1995, on his 77th birthday, Mr. Graham named Franklin to succeed him as head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His daughter Anne Graham Lotz and his grandsons Will Graham and William Graham Tullian Tchividjian are also in ministry.
Mr. Graham retained the respect of vast numbers of Americans, enough to earn him dozens of appearances on Gallup’s annual list of the world’s 10 most admired men and women. With a warm, courtly manner that was readily apparent both to stadium crowds and to those who met him face to face, Mr. Graham could be a riveting presence. At 6-foot-2, with a handsomely rugged profile fit for Hollywood westerns, he would hold his Bible aloft and declare that Scripture offered “the answer to every human longing.”
Mr. Graham drew his essential message from the mainstream of evangelical Protestant belief. Repent of your sins, he told his listeners, accept Jesus as your Savior and be born again. In a typical exhortation, he declared: “Are you frustrated, bewildered, dejected, breaking under the strains of life? Then listen for a moment to me: Say yes to the Savior tonight, and in a moment, you will know such comfort as you have never known. It comes to you quickly, as swiftly as I snap my fingers, just like that.”
Mr. Graham always closed by asking his listeners to “come forward” and commit to a life of Christian faith. When they did so, his organization would match new believers with nearby churches. Many thousands of people say they were first brought to church by a Billy Graham crusade.
At the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., in June 2007, former President Bill Clinton said of Mr. Graham, “When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel like he is praying for you, not the president.”
Mr. Graham was by no means unique in American history as a popular evangelist. George Whitefield in the mid-18th century, Charles G. Finney and Dwight L. Moody in the 19th century, and Billy Sunday at the turn of the 20th were all capable of drawing vast crowds.
But none of them combined the talent for organization and the reach of Mr. Graham, who had the advantages of jet travel and electronic media to convey his message. In 2007, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association estimated that he had preached the Gospel to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories since beginning his crusades in October 1947 in Grand Rapids, Mich. He reached hundreds of millions more on television, through video and in film. “This is not mass evangelism,” Mr. Graham liked to say, “but personal evangelism on a mass scale.”
William Franklin Graham Jr. — Billy Frank to his family and friends as a boy — was born near Charlotte on Nov. 7, 1918, the first of four children of William Franklin Graham and Morrow Coffey Graham. He was descended on both sides from pre-Revolution Scottish settlers.
Though the Grahams were Reformed Presbyterians, and though his father insisted on daily readings of the Bible, Billy Frank was an unenthusiastic Christian. He was more interested in reading history, playing baseball and dreaming of becoming a professional ballplayer. His worldliness, his father thought, was mischievous and devilish.
It was the Rev. Mordecai Ham, an itinerant preacher from Kentucky, who was credited with “saving” Billy Graham, in the autumn of 1934, when Billy was 16. After attending Mr. Ham’s revival sessions on a Charlotte street corner several nights in a row, Billy walked up to Mr. Ham to make a “decision for Christ.” “I can’t say that I felt anything spectacular,” Mr. Graham recalled years later. “I felt very little emotion. I shed no tears. In fact, when I saw others had tears in their eyes, I felt like a hypocrite, and this disturbed me a little. I’m sure I had a tremendous sense of conviction: The Lord did speak to me about certain things in my life, I’m certain of that.”
After he graduated from high school in 1936, Mr. Graham spent the summer selling Fuller brushes door to door before spending an unhappy semester at Bob Jones College, then an unaccredited, fundamentalist school in Cleveland, Tenn.  (It is now Bob Jones University, in Greenville, S.C.)  He then went to another unaccredited but less restrictive institution, the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College), near Tampa. It was there, he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, “Just as I Am,” that he felt God calling him to the ministry. The call came, he said, during a late-night walk on a golf course. “I got down on my knees at the edge of one of the greens,” he wrote. “Then I prostrated myself on the dewy turf. ‘Oh God,’ I sobbed, ‘if you want me to serve you, I will.’ ”
“All the surroundings stayed the same,” he continued. “No sign in the heavens. No voice from above. But in my spirit, I knew I had been called to the ministry. And I knew my answer was yes.”
After graduating from the Bible Institute, Mr. Graham went to Wheaton College in Illinois, among the nation’s most respected evangelical colleges. At Wheaton, from which he received a degree in anthropology in 1943, he met Ruth McCue Bell, a fellow student whose father was Dr. L. Nelson Bell, a prominent Presbyterian missionary surgeon who had spent many years in China.
Soon after marrying Ms. Bell in 1943, Mr. Graham accepted the pulpit of the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, Ill., a Chicago suburb. (It later changed its name to the Village Church.) He imbued his sermons with the brand of interdenominational appeal that was to be his hallmark.
It was also in 1943 that he was invited to take over “Songs in the Night,” a Sunday hour of sermonizing and gospel singing broadcast by a Chicago radio station. The program introduced him to electronic evangelism. Its principal singer, the baritone George Beverly Shea, who died in 2013, would earn fame as a member of the “Billy Graham team.”
In the mid-1940s, Mr. Graham became the chief preacher for the Youth for Christ rallies organized by the Rev. Torrey M. Johnson, a radio evangelist, and George W. Wilson, the owner of a religious bookstore in Minneapolis and a lay leader of the First Baptist Church there. With them, he established the Graham Youth for Christ, which found moderate success holding “crusades” across North America and in Britain.
Mr. Graham’s fortunes took a career-building turn in 1949, thanks in no small measure to the power of the Hearst press. He was holding a three-week “mammoth tent crusade” in downtown Los Angeles inside a 6,000-seat “canvas cathedral” pitched on a vacant lot. The newspaper ads proclaimed him “America’s sensational young evangelist.” But what really caught the attention of the aged newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst was that Mr. Graham was preaching a fiery brand of anti-Communism.
From his retreat in San Simeon, Calif., Mr. Hearst is said to have issued a terse directive: “Puff Graham.” “The Hearst newspapers gave me enormous publicity, and the others soon followed,” Mr. Graham said years later. “Suddenly, what a clergyman was saying was in the headlines everywhere, and so was the box score of commitments to Christ each night.” Time, Newsweek and Life magazines followed suit.
Mr. Graham began taking his “Crusade for Christ” on the road. In 1957, he drew more than two million people to a series of rallies, extended to 16 weeks, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The crusades became international. One in West Germany, was televised live in 10 other European countries. In 1966, he preached to nearly one million people in London.
As Mr. Graham’s popularity grew, so did his stature with Christian critics who had dismissed his interpretation of Scripture as overly literal. He told his audiences, for example, that heaven was a physical place, though not necessarily in this solar system.
Early on, he abandoned the practice, common among Southern fundamentalists, of speaking only before racially segregated audiences. He refused to “preach Jim Crow,” as he put it, and in the turbulent 1960s he made several “visits of racial conciliation” to the South.
Mr. Graham pledged to local church sponsors that all donations would be used for crusade expenses, with any excess going to his Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His own compensation, he said, would be limited to his expenses plus “the salary of a fairly well-paid local minister,” or about $50,000 in 1980 (the equivalent of almost $160,000 today). The association’s books were always open to inspection.
By maintaining fiscal integrity and personal probity — he stuck to his rule never to be alone with a woman other than his wife — Mr. Graham kept himself untarnished by the kind of scandal that brought down evangelists and religious broadcasters.
The Grahams lived on a 200-acre mountain retreat in Montreat, N.C. His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007. He is survived by his sons, the Rev. William Franklin III and the Rev. Nelson Graham, known as Ned; three daughters, Virginia Tchividjian (known as Gigi), Anne Graham Lotz and Ruth Graham McIntyre; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Recognizing his influence, presidents made a point of seeking friendly relations with Mr. Graham; Lyndon B. Johnson did so assiduously. Mr. Graham was a frequent guest of Ronald Reagan, and in January 1991, George H. W. Bush invited him to spend the night at the White House. Mr. Clinton asked Mr. Graham to offer prayers at his inauguration in 1993.
President George W. Bush said that it was after a walk with Mr. Graham at the Bush family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Me., that Mr. Bush, as a younger man, decided to become more serious about his faith and quit drinking. President Barack Obama visited Mr. Graham at his North Carolina home in 2010.
Former President Jimmy Carter released a statement on Wednesday saying that he had counted Mr. Graham among his advisers and friends, adding that the minister had “had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life.” And President Trump tweeted: “The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.”
Of the presidents, Mr. Graham was most closely associated with Nixon. The two had met in the early 1950s, when Nixon was a senator from California. As vice president, Nixon addressed a capacity crowd at Yankee Stadium for the closing meeting of Mr. Graham’s New York crusade in 1957.
In the 1960 presidential campaign, Mr. Graham, was strongly sympathetic to Nixon, a Republican, and offered him advice in his campaign against Senator John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic. At one point, concerned that a Kennedy administration would be influenced by the Vatican. He went on to endorse Nixon in the 1968 presidential race and allowed that endorsement to be used in television commercials. He gave the invocation at Nixon’s 1969 inauguration and came to be described as Nixon’s unofficial White House chaplain.
Mr. Graham said he had been “innocently unaware” of the storm gathering over Watergate.
In 1982, Mr. Graham displeased the Reagan administration when, after a visit to the Soviet Union, he spoke in favor of universal nuclear disarmament. He also visited Russian churches, and his comment that he had seen no evidence of religious repression by the Soviet authorities created a furor among conservative church members in the United States.
It was during this period, in his sixth decade as an evangelist, that Mr. Graham and his organization experimented with new technologies. In 1986, in Paris, he used direct satellite transmissions to carry his sermons to about 30 other French cities. With his crusade in San Juan, P.R., in 1995, he expanded his satellite reach more than six-fold.
Mr. Graham also broke ground by going to places where religious activity was officially restricted, including China and North Korea.
The first of his 30 books was “Peace With God,” published in 1953; his last was “Nearing Home,” in 2011. Mr. Graham, like most conservative preachers of his age and era, regarded same-sex relationships as “sinful.” But unlike the culture warriors who succeeded him, Mr. Graham rarely spoke about homosexuality, and condemning it was not part of his preaching.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association continues to organize crusades. It also produced Mr. Graham’s “Hour of Decision” global radio program and prime-time television specials, trains thousands of evangelists and missionaries, and publishes Decision magazine. A rapid-response team deploys chaplains to disaster areas.
Why it all came about remained a puzzle to Mr. Graham. In his autobiography, he wrote: “I have often said that the first thing I am going to do when I get to Heaven is ask: ‘Why me, Lord? Why did You choose a farm boy from North Carolina to preach to so many people, to have such a wonderful team of associates, and to have a part in what You were doing in the latter half of the 20th century?’ ”
“I have thought about that question a great deal,” he added, “but I know also that only God knows the answer.”

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Veteran soldier confronts Trudeau

Justin Trudeau embarrassed himself again, this time when under fire for saying some vets want more than government can provide. 
Trudeau lied when he said that if elected, veterans would no longer have to fight the government in court for fair compensation.  He promised to re-instate lifelong disability pensions for the injured, which were replaced by a lump-sum payment, rehabilitation programs, and targeted-income support.   But upon taking power, he continued to fight a lawsuit anyway. 
Of course, Conservative Andrew Scheer questioned the government’s misplaced priorities.  So, Trudeau had his Veterans Minister try and answer. 
There is a long sordid list of Liberal expenditures that flies in the face of what can be given to vets.  Trudeau seems to have plenty of money for: 
Temporary skating rink: $8,100,000
Vacation to a billionaire’s private island: $215,000, which was a conflict of interest violation. 
2016 trip to Davos: $855,000
Cover artwork for the Liberal budget book: $212,000
Bombardier bailout: $372,500,000 which they said they did not need.
Omar Khadr: $10,500,000
Fighting First Nations girl over a dental procedure: $110,000
Health Minister’s Twitter: $100,000 / year
Liberal staffer moving expenses: $220,000
Cost of running Trudeau’s office (2016-2017): $8,300,000
Snapchat filters: $22,000
Veterans aren’t asking for more than our government can give. They are just asking for what Trudeau promised.  Our veterans put their lives on the line to give Canadians the freedom we enjoy, and they deserve better.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Canadians loose some freedom

Canadians loose freedom, as the Liberals raise taxes on nearly everyone.  Economic freedom is a Canadian fundamental.  After taxing for the necessities, additional ideological taxation damages the nation instead of building it.  Liberals have lost the balance for the private worker serving the state through taxation.  There are consequences from changes to Federal Income Tax and CPP Payroll Tax

— Published on January 11, 2018

Report Summary

Since coming into office, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has repeatedly claimed to have reduced taxes for middle-class Canadian families—a claim based solely on the federal government’s reduction to the second lowest personal income tax rate from 22 to 20.5 percent. However, a recent study found that when all the Trudeau government’s major changes to the personal income tax system are properly accounted for (including the elimina­tion of income splitting and other tax credits), income taxes have been raised, not lowered, on the vast majority (81 percent) of middle income Canadian families.

In addition to enacting changes to the personal income tax system, the federal gov­ernment has also announced other significant tax changes that will take effect in the com­ing years. For instance, payroll taxes will be increased to fund an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), with the first increase tak­ing place in January 2019. The dramatic in­crease in the CPP payroll tax, which was a joint venture with the provinces but initiated largely by the federal government, will be fully imple­mented in 2025. This raises the prospect of even more middle-income families in Canada paying higher taxes beyond what the changes to the federal income tax system would alone indicate.

This report measures the impact of the fed­eral government’s personal income tax chang­es and the fully implemented CPP payroll tax increase on the amount of taxes that Canadian families will pay. (A family is defined as a parent or parents with a child or children under age 18.) It finds that once fully implemented, virtually all (98.8 percent) of middle-income Canadian fami­lies with children (with incomes ranging from $77,839 to $110,201) will pay higher taxes. And they will pay, on average, $2,260 more tax each year.

In fact, when looking at all 2.988 million families with children in Canada (excluding those in Quebec), 2.756 million, or 92.2 percent, will pay higher taxes—$2,218 more, on average, each year. Indeed, once the increase in CPP pay­roll taxes is fully implemented, nearly all Cana­dian families—regardless of where they stand in the income distribution—will pay higher taxes.

Full Report


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Iranian Protests Are Different From 2009

These Iranian Protests Are Different From 2009
By Maryam Rajavi   January 9th, 2018
The protests in Iran send a cogent message: The clerical regime stands on shaky ground, and the Iranian people are unwavering in their quest to bring it down. Slogans against velayat-e faqih, or absolute clerical rule, called for a real republic and explicitly targeted the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. This dispels the myth, still harbored by some governments, that Iranians distinguish between moderates and hard-liners in Tehran. It also undercuts flawed arguments depicting a stable regime.
Millions of Iranians live in poverty. Yet Tehran has spent upward of $100 billion on the massacre in Syria, according to reports obtained by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The chants of “Death to Hezbollah” and “Leave Syria, think about us instead” clearly demonstrate the people’s opposition to the regime’s belligerent regional schemes.
The country’s official budget this year allocates more than $26.8 billion to military and security affairs and the export of terrorism. This is in addition to the $27.5 billion in military spending from institutions controlled by Mr. Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The budget for health care is a mere $16.3 billion. Weak and vulnerable, the regime spends such astronomical sums on regional meddling as part of its strategy for survival.
Skeptics might point out that Iran has faced protests before. What makes the current uprising different from the 2009 protests?
The 2009 protests were sparked by rifts at the top of the regime. The current protests—which began in Iran’s second-largest city of Mashhad and quickly spread across the country—were motivated by rising prices, economic ruin, widespread corruption and resentment toward the regime. This systemic economic mismanagement has its roots in the political system, and it grows worse every day. That is why the demand for regime change surfaced almost immediately. It seems to be the only conceivable outcome.
Another major difference: The 2009 uprising was initially led by the upper middle class, with university students at its core and Tehran as its center. The recent demonstrations span a much broader swath of the population—the middle class, the underprivileged, workers, students, women and young people. Nearly all of society has been represented on the picket line.
Nor is the current uprising tied to any of the regime’s internal factions or groupings. There are no illusions about reform or gradual change from within. One of the popular slogans in Tehran is “Hard-liners, reformers, the game is now over.” This is yet another sign of the certainty of overthrow. As an Iranian expression goes: Maybe sooner or later, but definitely certain.
The final differentiating factor is the pace of events. In less than 24 hours, the protesters’ slogans shifted from economic woes to a rejection of the entire regime. The establishment has been caught off guard and is scrambling to find a unified solution. The IRGC declared victory over the protests on Sunday, but this reflects its hopes more than the reality on the ground.
The regime has issued strong warnings against joining the leading opposition group, Mujahedin-e Khalq. One after another, low-ranking and senior officials, joined by the Friday prayer leaders across the country who toe the regime’s line, blame the MEK for the protests. The torrent of statements by regime officials reflect their panic at the expansion of the nationwide uprising and the rising popularity of the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
The religious dictatorship has resorted to extensive suppression to confront protesters. The IRCG has killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds. By the end of the ninth day of protests, at least 3,000 had been arrested, according to our sources in the country. Numerous reports indicate that security forces literally knock on people’s doors and warn them against attending demonstrations. The net of suppression has been cast as wide as possible.
In light of this brutal repression, the international community must not remain silent. The United Nations Security Council must adopt punitive measures against the regime’s crimes. This has long been the demand of the Iranian people and opposition. We must not forget that the perpetrators of the horrific 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners are still in power today, holding senior executive and judicial positions while engaging in the murder of protesters in the streets.
Perhaps the final difference between the 2009 protests and the recent uprising will be that the latter succeeds in overthrowing the reviled theocracy in Iran. The people of Iran fervently hope so.
Mrs. M. Rajavi