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2013.09.

17

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QUORUM
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIRES Tuesday, September 17, 2013 / mardi, 17 septembre 2013

News / Nouvelles
Ottawa to make info on sex offenders public in bid to foil travelling predators .......................................................................................... 1 Ottawa lancera la traque aux dlinquants sexuels ........................................................................................................................................ 2 Throne Speech to crown the consumer ........................................................................................................................................................ 2 Une priode de questions sur Twitter .......................................................................................................................................................... 3 Trudeau talks marijuana, prorogation in appearance with Freeland ............................................................................................................ 4 Charte des valeurs - Le NPD participera toute contestation judiciaire...................................................................................................... 4 Poll finds two solitudes on accommodating minorities ............................................................................................................................... 6 Wireless firms reject greater surveillance practices ..................................................................................................................................... 6 Wireless firms urge Ottawa to give up on fourth player ........................................................................................................................... 7 Spectrum bids expected to surprise.............................................................................................................................................................. 8 How Harper met politics .............................................................................................................................................................................. 9 Fire alarm clears Centre Block .................................................................................................................................................................. 11 New poll suggests Economic Action Plan TV-radio ads stirring little interest .......................................................................................... 11 Manley presses Harper on EU free trade talks ........................................................................................................................................... 12 Pipeline push on way ................................................................................................................................................................................. 13 At a 'critical juncture,' a pitch for new pipelines ........................................................................................................................................ 13 UN on chemical attack: 'This is a war crime. The results are .................................................................................................................... 14 Scientists protest federal cuts, muzzling of researchers ............................................................................................................................. 15 Feds appeal labour board ruling upholding PAFSO complaint ................................................................................................................. 16 RCMP hid $1M cost estimate of gun registry data destruction, documents show ..................................................................................... 17 DND seeks private contractor to keep Cold War-era northern surveillance running................................................................................. 18 Intrigues Ottawa-Qubec la Francophonie .............................................................................................................................................. 19 Coup de pouce de 12 millions$ pour les producteurs laitiers .................................................................................................................... 20 Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux becomes gunslinging 'Lawman' on weekends ..................................................................................... 20 Ottawa seeks preparatory studies for new Champlain Bridge ................................................................................................................... 21 Quebec MP sends letter to N.B. voters ...................................................................................................................................................... 21 Ministers had 'productive discussions' ....................................................................................................................................................... 21 Minister orders prison security review following escape of Hells Angels member................................................................................... 22 Mine plan under scrutiny ........................................................................................................................................................................... 23 Harper pressed to intervene as detainees begin hunger strike .................................................................................................................... 23 Officials place 11 more countries under biometrics requirements ............................................................................................................. 23 Algrie ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 24 Baird makes nice with Algeria ................................................................................................................................................................... 24

ii John Baird croit en la solution politique ................................................................................................................................................ 25 PS unions brace for divisive bargaining .................................................................................................................................................... 25 Federal retirees ready to challenge cuts to benefits ................................................................................................................................... 26 Battleground set in Toronto Centre............................................................................................................................................................ 27 Roots of a Rebel (1959-1978) .................................................................................................................................................................... 28 Public Works gives up trying to collect millions of dollars lost to fraudster ............................................................................................. 30 Military feared spy was hacking its networks ............................................................................................................................................ 31 Mexico 'really mad' at Canada over imposed travel visa, says ambassador............................................................................................... 32 Les Roms de Roumanie redouts ............................................................................................................................................................... 33 Out of sight, officials tell firms to let them monitor devices, data ............................................................................................................. 34 Stephen Harper draws Canada's first prime minister into marijuana debate .............................................................................................. 35 Trudeau: I am confused ............................................................................................................................................................................. 36 Wallin: 'I will not resign as a senator' ........................................................................................................................................................ 36 Mourani a voulu partir, dit Daniel Paill ................................................................................................................................................... 37 Mourani remet en question sa foi en la souverainet ................................................................................................................................. 38 Jet firm says backing out of F-35 deal will cost Canada............................................................................................................................ 39 Canadian Taxpayers Federation plans to honour former budget watchdog ............................................................................................... 39 Une filiale de SNC force de verser des millions Ottawa ....................................................................................................................... 40 NCC head should be picked openly, Ottawa MP says ............................................................................................................................... 40 Boys forgotten victims in human trafficking: MP ..................................................................................................................................... 41

Comments / Commentaires
A healthy democracy demands youth engagement .................................................................................................................................... 42 Harper and Baird showed their skill .......................................................................................................................................................... 43 The case for missile defence ...................................................................................................................................................................... 44 Marcher en rangs ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 45 The best of Canada, the worst of the PQ.................................................................................................................................................... 46 Un phare qui s'teint .................................................................................................................................................................................. 47 Harper faces pressure on pipeline and trade files ...................................................................................................................................... 48 Partisan ads flop ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 49 Mulcairs tax plan tradeoff .......................................................................................................................................................................... 50 EI premium freeze reveals the Tories' economic cupboard is bare ............................................................................................................ 51 Cool news on the climate front .................................................................................................................................................................. 52 Proroguing the Commons shows disrespect for democracy ...................................................................................................................... 53

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iii A tip for the PM's new image fixer ............................................................................................................................................................ 53 Pre-election phase portends a minority ...................................................................................................................................................... 54 PM has election in mind with sex offender strategy .................................................................................................................................. 55

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1 detailed information on their itinerary - and authorities in their destination country will be informed of their arrival. The proposed legislation comes in the wake of a Toronto Star investigation which revealed that Canada's pursuit, prosecution and punishment of travelling sex offenders has been feeble, despite its public commitment to protecting children abroad. The Star series focused on the case of James McTurk, a now 78-year-old retired postal worker with two previous child pornography convictions in Canada. McTurk travelled to Cuba 31 times between 2009 and 2012 to have sex with young girls. Earlier this year, he became the first person in Toronto to be convicted under Canada's child sex tourism legislation. "This is definitely a step in the right direction and it's refreshing to hear the government is going to take steps to protect children in other countries from our own homegrown predators," said Det.-Sgt. Kim Gross, head of Toronto Police's Child Exploitation Unit which investigated McTurk. "Just having the legislation in place may put a huge dent in this happening because it's a huge deterrent. We've prosecuted people for this, but your articles have clearly raised awareness that wasn't there before." Among the deficiencies exposed by The Star's investigation was a near-complete lack of communication among agencies responsible for monitoring sex offenders, and few resources for intensive on-the-ground investigations overseas. "We're pleased, but it's long overdue," said Mark Hecht, a law professor at the University of Sherbrooke and co-founder of Beyond Borders, a child rights advocacy group which has long lobbied for tougher laws. "It's frustrating it took so long, because who knows how many predators took advantage of the loopholes in the past." Currently, sex offenders are essentially free to come and go when they please; the Sex Offender Information Registration Act says only that someone on the registry must notify authorities of absences from home only if they are away more than seven days. That means that offenders who intend to travel for short periods of time, perhaps to countries closer to home - such as Cuba, which a confidential Royal Canadian Mounted Police report, obtained by The Star, identified as a new destination for Canadian sex offenders - are able to do so without telling anyone. And the act doesn't say when offenders must notify authorities, so it is currently legal to report in, and then board a plane - or to give notice once they have left the country, "within seven days after the date of their departure." Crucially, sex offenders are not required to say where they are going, something Harper said would change: "Canadian officials must warn destination countries that a dangerous offender is heading their way."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 TORONTO STAR (ONT REPLATE) NEWS, Page: A1

Ottawa to make info on sex offenders public in bid to foil travelling predators
Proposed legislation unveiled Monday by the PM includes: Creation of a 'publicly accessible' national database of high-risk Canadian child sex offenders A requirement that forces offenders to provide details on travel plans to allow destination countries to be notified
Robert Cribb, Jennifer Quinn and Julian Sher Toronto Star A three-part Star series in March revealed Canada's inadequacies in pursuing, prosecuting and punishing sex offenders who travel overseas to prey on children The federal government is promising unprecedented reforms to protect foreign children from Canadian child sex offenders, including creating a "publicly accessible" registry of high-risk predators. Currently, only law enforcement officials can access information in the country's sex offender registry. Asked for clarity on how much detail the public would be able to access about people listed in the national database, a Public Safety spokesman said details on the legislation would be available when it is tabled this fall. "Public means public," the spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney added. "The sex offender registry is already available to law enforcement." In the U.S., convicted sex offenders have long been searchable by name, address, county, city or zip code, complete with mug shots. A public registry would signal a major departure for Canada, where such information has always remained a tightly guarded secret due to privacy concerns. Even Canadian border officials are currently prevented from easy access to the information - a fact that experts say has allowed child predators to routinely exit and re-enter the country undetected. "Gaps in information sharing and collection, as well as gaps in enforcement, mean child predators can slip over our borders unmonitored," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday. "That is going to change." Under the proposed legislation, all Canadians would be privy to details on those with a history of sex offences against children. The Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act would also force sex offenders with travel plans outside Canada to provide Library of Parliament
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2 Information-sharing between law enforcement authorities and the Canadian Border Services Agency will also be addressed by the proposed legislation, Harper said. At the moment, front-line officers from the Canada Border Services Agency do not have access to the names of the 30,000 Canadians on the National Sex Offender Registry or the 16,000 on the Ontario sex offender database. And because of privacy laws, use of the Sex Offender Registry is limited to law enforcement officers who are investigating sex offences. 2013 Torstar Corporation groupe de jeunes au Michigan en 2007. La mme anne, une femme est morte au Tennessee dans l'incendie de sa maison dclench par deux voisins parce que son conjoint figurait dans un registre. En 2006, un homme de Nouvelle-cosse s'est rendu aux tats-Unis dans le but d'assassiner 34 dlinquants inscrits au registre du Maine. Il en a tu deux avant d'tre arrt. "Chasse aux sorcires" La prsidente de l'Association des avocats de la dfense, Jolle Roy, se demande d'ailleurs quel but sera poursuivi. " Les gens vont se faire justice eux-mmes. Est-ce qu'on saura si c'est pour avoir touch le sein d'une fille ou une agression sexuelle complte que la personne y figure ? C'est dangereux. " Elle se demande si on pourra voir la nature du crime commis, la date de perptration, les thrapies suivies par la suite. " Qui va s'en servir et quelles fins ", s'interroge Me Roy, qui craint que ce soit surtout pour " pter des pneus ou des vitres ". Les critiques proviennent aussi d'allis. Le Bureau international des droits des enfants, un organisme fond par l'ex-juge Andre Ruffo qui lutte contre le tourisme sexuel, applaudit aux nouvelles obligations imposes aux agresseurs voyageurs. " Je suis trs contente en principe ", indique la directrice gnrale Nadja Pollaert. Mais elle insiste sur le fait que des ressources supplmentaires seront ncessaires pour contrler les sorties du Canada, ce qui n'est pas fait l'heure actuelle. A dfaut de quoi ces rgles n'auront aucun impact : un dlinquant pourra sortir sans s'tre acquitt de ses obligations de divulgation. Toute enthousiaste soit-elle propos de cette mesure, Mme Pollaert n'appuie pas du tout la base de donnes publique. " Les gens vont flipper pour rien ! ", pense-t-elle, disant craindre une " chasse aux sorcires ". Avec La Presse canadienne

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 ACTUALITS, Page: A2

Ottawa lancera la traque aux dlinquants sexuels


Hlne Buzzetti Ottawa -- Ce n'est encore que de l'ordre du projet, mais dj les mises en garde, tout comme les flicitations, se multiplient. Le gouvernement conservateur entend mettre en place une base de donnes publique fichant les agresseurs sexuels d'enfants risque lev. Certains y voient un outil pour scuriser les communauts, d'autres une invitation la pratique de l'autojustice. Le premier ministre Stephen Harper a annonc qu'il dposera, lorsque les travaux parlementaires - prorogs reprendront, deux projets de loi pour contrer les agressions sexuelles visant les enfants. Les dtails ne sont pas encore connus. Le premier obligera les dlinquants sexuels dj inscrits au Registre national des dlinquants sexuels (un registre non public qui existe depuis 2004) avertir les services frontaliers canadiens et leur fournir un itinraire dtaill lorsqu'ils voyagent l'tranger. " De la mme manire que nous protgeons les enfants canadiens, nous devrions faire tout en notre possible pour protger les enfants l'tranger ", a expliqu M. Harper. Le second projet de loi crera une base de donnes nationale accessible au public contenant les informations propos des agresseurs sexuels risque lev. On ignore quelles informations seront diffuses. Cette seconde proposition s'attire des critiques muscles. Malgr les objectifs peut-tre louables, " l'envers de la mdaille, c'est que, souvent, a mne des ractions de vigiles, o des citoyens prennent en main eux-mmes la justice, tentent de repousser ailleurs les dlinquants par un syndrome du "pas dans ma cour"", note le criminaliste Jean-Claude Hbert. Drapages aux tats-Unis De fait, de telles bases de donnes aux tats-Unis ont donn lieu des drapages. Une tude de l'American Public Health Association a recens le cas d'un homme ayant agress sexuellement une adolescente qui a t dcapit et brl par un Library of Parliament
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 NATIONAL POST (NATIONAL) NEWS, Page: A1 / FRONT

Throne Speech to crown the consumer


John Ivison, National Post The Harper government's Throne Speech will contain details of a "consumers first" agenda that is likely to pit the Conservatives against some of Canada's largest airlines, telecom companies and financial institutions. A Conservative source says the fall policy agenda that will be unveiled in the Throne Speech when Parliament reconvenes next month is likely to contain several initiatives aimed at appealing to consumers angry at poor airline service, perceived price gouging by wireless firms and finance companies that use complicated language to bamboozle customers. Specific Bibliothque du Parlement
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3 initiatives are said to include an airline passenger bill of rights, measures to limit cellphone price disparities between Canada and the U.S. and a new financial consumer code. Ken Whitehurst, executive director of the Consumer Council of Canada, said he is not surprised the government plans to take action. "We have similar problems across all these industries. It sometimes seems like the real competition is to see who can make the most complex sales agreements. Consumers are busy, under financial pressure...and they not happy about everybody making it more complicated to do business," he said. "It's just a price manipulation game and the public is getting fed up with it. But what's their choice, especially in the airline industry? No one is prepared to lead the industry out of the wilderness and offer simple, understandable propositions to the consumer." No one in the Prime Minister's Office was available to comment on the Oct. 16 speech. But in an interview last week on CTV Power Play, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt hinted at action on a passenger bill of rights. "There are a lot of unhappy citizens out there with the service that is being presented to them.... It certainly caught my attention over the summer. I heard from the travelling public about what they think should be their rights." A bill of rights could oblige airlines to provide minimal standards of information disclosure, onboard quality and service provision, as well as a more transparent pricing regime. Telecom sources say they also expect more government intervention after their recent public relations scrap with the Conservatives over Verizon's possible entry into the Canadian market. (Verizon walked away in the end, but BCE and Telus Corp. are still engaged in legal action against Ottawa.) The recent announcement that the telecom regulator is now investigating roaming fees is no coincidence, said one telecom executive. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission unveiled a national code for the wireless industry over the summer that will cap data roaming charges at $100. Since then, it has asked carriers about the wholesale rates they pay or charge competitors to use their networks in Canada and abroad. There is speculation in the industry that the government may now regulate rates, in addition to capping them. On the financial side, the government is likely to provide an update on a measure announced in the March budget, when it said it plans to develop a comprehensive financial code to better protect consumers. Government sources say there may also be more clarity on the issue of credit card payments, which was the focus of a landmark decision by the Competition Tribunal in July in which the agency dismissed a complaint against Visa and MasterCard over $5-billion in credit card merchant fees. Retailers had been seeking to add a surcharge on purchases Library of Parliament
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charged to credit cards to recoup the fees they pay to the card issuers. In the wake of the decision, Jim Flaherty, the minister of finance, called the payments advisory committee to meet and discuss the next steps, which could include government regulation. jivison@nationalpost.com Twitter.com/IvisonJ

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 POLITIQUE, Page: A20

Une priode de questions sur Twitter


Hugo De Grandpr Les dputs devaient recommencer siger la Chambre des communes hier, mais la prorogation du Parlement rclame par le premier ministre Stephen Harper vendredi a report la reprise des travaux au 16 octobre, lorsque le gouverneur gnral lira le prochain discours du Trne. M. Harper souhaite ainsi donner un second souffle son gouvernement en vue de la deuxime moiti de son mandat. Mais les partis de l'opposition ont dnonc sa dcision et ont trouv des moyens inhabituels d'exprimer leur mcontentement. Priode de questions virtuelle Le Nouveau Parti dmocratique (NPD) a tenu une priode de questions virtuelle, hier, en posant des questions au gouvernement sur Twitter entre 14h15 et 15h et il compte rpter l'exercice chaque jour de la semaine pendant un mois. Le chef no-dmocrate Thomas Mulcair a ouvert la marche avec une question sur le Snat: "Le 5 juin, le premier ministre Harper a dit la Chambre que personne d'autre que Nigel Wright dans son bureau n'tait au courant des 90 000 dollars. Est-ce que le PM maintient cette position?", a-t-il demand en anglais. D'autres dputs du parti ont eux aussi pos des questions, sur la tragdie de Lac-Mgantic notamment. Le gouvernement n'a pas offert de rponse. Signe des temps: Twitter prend de plus en plus de place en politique fdrale. L't dernier, le premier ministre Harper a dvoil la composition de son nouveau Conseil des ministres sur le rseau social. Caucus libral demain Le chef du Parti libral du Canada (PLC), Justin Trudeau, avait promis que les snateurs et les dputs de sa formation retourneraient au Parlement comme prvu durant la semaine du 16 septembre. Le PLC tiendra en effet une runion de son caucus demain, comme il le fait chaque semaine lorsque la Chambre sige Ottawa. M. Trudeau tiendra quant lui un point de presse au parlement aujourd'hui. Les impacts d'une prorogation Quels sont les impacts d'une prorogation? D'abord, la Chambre des communes et le Snat ne sigent plus, donc il n'y a plus de Bibliothque du Parlement
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4 priodes de questions, de votes ou d'adoption de lois. Les projets de loi du gouvernement meurent au feuilleton, mais ils peuvent tre "ressuscits" par une motion dbattue la Chambre des communes. L'tude des projets de loi manant de dputs reprend au stade o elle se trouvait avant la prorogation. Ces projets sont donc peu touchs par la prorogation. L'un des impacts les plus importants concerne sans doute les comits, qui sont dissous. Les tudes en cours prennent fin. Dans un contexte de gouvernement majoritaire, il peut donc tre plus difficile pour les partis de l'opposition d'y imposer leur ordre du jour. Ils ont dit... "Pour nous, c'est trs grave, ce qui se passe aujourd'hui. On croit que les lus du peuple doivent avoir droit de cit selon un calendrier prtabli du Parlement pour faire le travail qu'on nous a command de faire. Stephen Harper est en train de nous dire qu'il veut tellement rien savoir du Parlement, tellement pas rpondre des questions claires de notre part qu'il utilise mme la technique de billonner et de fermer la porte double tour." - Thomas Mulcair, lors d'un point de presse devant les portes closes de la Chambre des communes, hier. "Ouais... Je conduis." - Rponse du ministre de l'Industrie, James Moore, une question de la dpute no-dmocrate Chris Charlton sur Twitter. "The current approach means that it's easier for kids to get their hands on a joint than its for them to get their hands on a bottle of beer. So the only way we can actually prevent them from having access to it is by legalizing and controlling it." Satisfied, the students moved on to the Harper government's immigration policies. "One of the issues we have with this current government is every time they talk about immigration or immigrants it's couched in negative terms: it's cracking down on marriage fraudquicker deportations, or its cracking down on illegal refugees or smugglers," he said. "Yes, those may be legitimate and indeed are legitimate things to be preoccupied with. But when the only thing they talk about are negatives in relation to immigration, it's no wonder that Canadians' hearts are starting to harden." The only question Freeland was asked came from one of her campaign staffers. When it came time for Trudeau to take questions from reporters, the first was on prorogation. "Listen, it's unfortunate that this government has chosen to extend another four weeks the amount of time they get to dodge difficult questions on their lack of judgement and the scandal that is centered around the Prime Minister's Office," he said. "I understand that a government that has ran out of ideas halfway through its mandate is going to need to set the reset button, but there's no need that they couldn't have actually been working on the throne speech throughout the summer and presenting it today instead of delaying another four weeks." The only tense moment came when a Sun News reporter asked Trudeau about his mother's views on marijuana and mental illness. "I am extraordinarily proud of my mother and the amazing work she has done as an advocate for mental health and the work she's done across the country in sharing her story and destigmatizing mental health. And I remain incredibly proud of her and I love her very much." "And that's all I'm going to say about that."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16

Trudeau talks marijuana, prorogation in appearance with Freeland


BJ Siekierski Liberal leader Justin Trudeau didn't waste any time in hitting the hustings with his party's newest candidate. As the NDP did their best to draw attention to prorogation on Monday, Trudeau was at Ryerson University in Toronto campaigning with Chrystia Freeland before a predictably student-heavy audience. But the students weren't interested in prorogation that had to wait for his scrum. They weren't really interested in Freeland, either. Top of the agenda was getting him to repeat his position on marijuana legalization, which he did. "The current prohibition that Mr. Harper is continuing to push doesn't work to keep to marijuana out of the hands of our teenagers. The developing brain is more vulnerable and impacted negatively to a greater degree by the use of marijuana. And we need to make sure that kids don't get their hands on it," he said. Library of Parliament
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 ACTUALITS, Page: A1

Charte des valeurs - Le NPD participera toute contestation judiciaire


Harper prdit l'chec de la proposition pquiste
Marie Vastel Ottawa -- Thomas Mulcair a l'intention de se battre contre la Charte des valeurs qubcoises du gouvernement Marois jusqu'au bout. Et son parti appuiera toute contestation Bibliothque du Parlement
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5 judiciaire citoyenne qui pourrait tre lance. Le chef du Nouveau Parti dmocratique s'est vivement oppos au projet de Charte pquiste lorsque celui-ci a t dvoil la semaine dernire, en accusant le gouvernement de Pauline Marois d'riger une " discrimination tatique en fonction de la religion ". En point de presse Ottawa lundi, il a hauss le ton en annonant que son parti " aura un rle actif dans la dfense de quiconque pourrait s'apprter tre sanctionn en vertu de cette loi propose ". Quitte ce que son parti finance mme ses propres coffres des contestations judiciaires qui pourraient s'ensuivre. A la suite de la prsentation de la Charte du Parti qubcois, M. Mulcair a dit avoir discut avec son " collgue et ami de longue date ", l'avocat spcialiste des droits de la personne Julius Grey. " Il est d'accord pour prendre toute cause de toute personne qui serait ventuellement affecte par a ", a fait savoir le leader nodmocrate, hier. Le parti financerait-il ces contestations judiciaires ? " Oui, sans aucune hsitation ", a tranch M. Mulcair. L'avocat montralais est trs prs du NPD - il est membre du parti depuis 1963 - et de M. Mulcair, qui le dcrit comme l'un de ses " proches conseillers ". Il tait ses cts lorsqu'il s'est lanc dans la course la succession de Jack Layton, se disant mme prt porter les couleurs du NPD en 2015 si M. Mulcair remportait la chefferie. Tout dpend " du cas " qu'il pourrait dfendre devant les tribunaux, mais en entretien tlphonique Me Grey a reconnu qu'il offrirait " trs probablement " ses services bnvolement et donc cot presque nul pour le NPD. Me Grey n'en est pas sa premire dfense des minorits visibles au Qubec. Il avait notamment men jusqu'en Cour suprme - et gagn - la cause d'un jeune sikh qui une cole montralaise avait interdit de porter son kirpan. " J'ai toujours cru que ce qui compte, c'est la conscience individuelle, a de nouveau dfendu l'avocat au Devoir. Si quelqu'un doit choisir entre son emploi et son droit de porter une kippa, son turban ou son hidjab, je pense qu'il y a une question de conscience " - une libert dfendue par la Charte canadienne des droits et liberts. " Pour nous, c'est inadmissible de dire qu'une femme qui porte un simple foulard sur sa tte, en signe religieux, va perdre son emploi d'ducatrice dans un centre de la petite enfance, a reproch M. Mulcair. C'est une discrimination d'tat contre des gens qui pratiquent leur religion. " M. Mulcair, qui s'est fait reprocher d'avoir tard s'exprimer sur ce dossier en attendant de voir le texte de la Charte, se targue maintenant d'tre le vrai dfenseur des minorits dans ce dossier. Ses rivaux politiques n'agissent pas, accuse-t-il. " Les conservateurs disent " si, si, si, peut-tre ". Les libraux disent " non ". " Les conservateurs ont en fait annonc, la semaine dernire, qu'ils tudieraient la Charte pquiste si celle-ci devient loi. Et si elle viole les protections constitutionnelles prvues la Charte canadienne des droits et liberts, le gouvernement Library of Parliament
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fdral a promis d'en contester lui-mme la validit devant les tribunaux. Ottawa doute que la Charte voie le jour Mais le premier ministre ne craint pas de devoir aller de l'avant. " Malgr, videmment, le dsir du gouvernement pquiste d'avoir des confrontations dans la socit, avec Ottawa, avec d'autres provinces, la ralit est que trois des quatre partis de l'Assemble nationale s'opposent cette Charte. [...] Et avec un gouvernement minoritaire, c'est impossible de faire adopter une telle Charte dans une telle situation ", a soulign Stephen Harper, qui commentait pour la premire fois le controvers texte lors d'un passage Vancouver lundi. Me Grey est du mme avis, se disant " convaincu que le gouvernement va avoir des discussions, des auditions l'Assemble nationale, qu'il va y avoir des modifications ". L'avocat montralais est d'accord pour limiter le port de signes religieux ostentatoires pour les juges, ou encore le port de signes qu'il estime " trs extrmes, comme le voile intgral ". Mais il s'oppose l'interdiction des signes religieux ostentatoires pour les fonctionnaires ou les policiers, car il s'agit de postes vers lesquels les immigrants ont tendance s'orienter et il ne voudrait " pas les priver de leur emploi ". Quant au personnel hospitalier, Me Grey a not que deux rsidents avaient assist son dernier rendez-vous chez le mdecin ; l'une avec un hidjab, l'autre avec une kippa. " Je ne pensais pas qu'il fallait enlever ces choses-l pour prendre ma tension ", a relat l'avocat, avec un rire dans la voix. Justin Trudeau a quant lui critiqu au premier jour des rumeurs le projet du gouvernement Marois, l'accusant de vouloir crer une " seconde classe " de citoyens qui n'auraient plus accs certains postes des sphres publiques et parapubliques. Le chef libral doute lui aussi que la proposition voie le jour. La reprsentation des minorits visibles au sein de la fonction publique qubcoise se limite environ 2 % - autour de 1360 personnes sur 68 000 employs. Il n'existe pas de statistique sur le nombre de fonctionnaires qui portent un signe religieux ostentatoire, mais celle-ci sera en de de ce chiffre. Avec La Presse canadienne

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6 The national online survey of 2,025 randomly selected people was conducted between Sept. 6 and Sept. 10. Of the 2,025 participants, 1,011 were from Quebec and 1,014 were from the rest of Canada. mhurley@ottawacitizen.com twitter.com/meghan_hurley

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 OTTAWA CITIZEN (EARLY) CANADA, Page: A4

Poll finds two solitudes on accommodating minorities


Quebecers far likelier to believe they are doing too much for new arrivals
Meghan Hurley, Ottawa Citizen Two out of three Quebecers believe they're too accommodating of differences in culture and religion, according to a survey on the province's proposed charter of values. The survey, conducted by Angus Reid Global, showed that 64 per cent of Quebecers believed they are doing too much to accommodate. The view of Canadians outside Quebec, however, was much different. About half of the survey participants outside Quebec said their province hasn't done enough to accommodate different cultures and religions. Only 17 per cent of survey participants outside Quebec agreed their province has done too much. "Quebecers have a very different perception of what they're doing around religious and cultural accommodation compared to what the rest of Canada perceives them to be doing," said Shachi Kurl, Angus Reid Global vice president. "It's just a very, very different mirror view." Two-thirds of Quebecers said they believed that "laws and norms should not be modified to accommodate minorities," the survey showed. The opinion in the rest of Canada on the same subject was varied. Almost half of survey respondents outside Quebec said they were against modifying laws, while just over 40 per cent said it made sense to do so in some cases. Quebecers and Canadians in the rest of the country also disagreed on the effect accommodating differences in culture and religion has on their province. Almost 80 per cent of Quebec residents said accommodating religious and cultural differences puts their province's values at risk. Outside of Quebec, 66 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they believed accommodation actually enriched their province. What Quebec and survey participants in the rest of Canada did agree on was the need to limit accommodation in certain circumstances, such as separating boys and girls in a swimming pool or requiring a male driving instructor for a man taking a driving test.
Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) NATIONAL NEWS, Page: A4

Wireless firms reject greater surveillance practices


COLIN FREEZE, RITA TRICHUR Canada's mobile-phone companies have fended off changes to surveillance practices proposed by the federal government, because of fears that more sprawling spying could drastically increase their cost of intercepting data for police. These proposed changes arose in the context of a consultation process between government and industry that started last year. Critics complain that the wider public - and privacy values - are being left out of key debates about how 21st-century wiretapping is evolving in Canada. Parliament's inability to agree on new "lawful access" surveillance laws over the past decade is having consequences. Because technology continues to evolve, bureaucrats and police and industry officials are often left to figure out themselves how antiquated laws should apply to emerging technologies. "The problem is that it is done outside of the public's eye and the public doesn't have a say in it," said Charmaine Borg, the NDP MP who serves as the digital-issues opposition critic. In an interview, she pointed out how privacy concerns led "a huge mass of Canadians" to speak out last year, as the government tried - and failed - to pass Bill C-30, the latest attempt at legislation governing how police should access corporate repositories of telecommunications data. Ms. Borg said she now fears officials will try to achieve through regulation what they could not push through Parliament. "For me, it opens up a whole box," she said. "Is C30 going to come back?" On Monday, The Globe and Mail revealed the contents of the Solicitor General's Enforcement Standards (SGES), an accord that, since 1996, has specified the surveillance capabilities that mobile-phone companies are obliged to have ready for police. While not enshrined in law, this accord is a condition of licensing for the telecom carriers who bid on federally controlled airwaves. Because the government is now preparing to auction off a new patch of spectrum, it has been seeking to update these rules.

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7 The SGES accord specifies just how carriers are to help police intercept voice conversations, SMS texts and geolocation information on mobile phones. Yet it is completely silent on how authorities are to capture Internet data moving through smart-phone Web browsers. Police can regard such grey areas as glaring holes in surveillance practices. Federal regulators at Industry Canada last year floated a consultation document that said the government wanted to open up mobile-phone surveillance beyond "circuit-switched voice telephony" - the old means of moving predominantly voice communications - to more modern protocols. While Ottawa officials suggested the change was only a matter of updating antiquated language, mobile-phone companies were alarmed. For them, the altered clause could have had the effect of putting them on the hook for capturing all manner of Internet communications - a vastly more difficult proposition than traditional wiretapping. The industry lobbied against the changes. "Cost was our primary concern. Not so much the cost, it was in the recovery of costs," recalled Marc Choma, spokesman for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, in a telephone interview. "Because if such [changes] demanded all kinds of technology to be implemented in your systems in order for the lawful access to take place, that can cost a lot of money." Industry Canada officials point out the government listened to the concerns and made changes. "Most respondents who commented on this issue disagreed with the proposed changes. . . . The CWTA also noted that such changes would be more appropriately made through federal legislation," reads a document on the Industry Canada website. The government says it never actually had designs on vastly expanding surveillance. In Canada, the SGES standards govern the kinds of phonetapping that transpires after judges sign off on police or intelligence investigations against "target" individuals. This sort of surveillance is fundamentally different than the dragnet surveillance employed by intelligence agencies lately in the news, such as the U.S. National Security Agency's indiscriminate "warrantless wiretapping" programs.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 Business

Wireless firms urge Ottawa to give up on fourth player


Executives at Parliament Hill roundtable suggest more focus on improving rural service
BILL CURRY - OTTAWA Canadas big three wireless service providers met with federal Liberal Party lawmakers on Monday in an effort to push Ottawa to abandon efforts to attract a fourth national player through upcoming wireless spectrum auctions and focus instead on improving service for rural Canadians. After waging a publicity campaign against federal auction rules aimed at bringing in competition from the U.S., senior officials from Canadas wireless sector representing both big and small players debated on Parliament Hill about how Ottawa should proceed with its wireless policy. Organized by Liberal MP Judy Sgro, the more than two-hour roundtable debate was not an official House of Commons committee meeting. Parliament is currently prorogued until Oct. 16, when the Conservative government will release a Speech from the Throne. Ted Woodhead, a senior vice-president with Telus Corp., suggested the Conservative government should abandon its search for the unicorn fourth player in every market and recognize that telecommunications firms worldwide need size in order to compete. These are scale industries that require size, he said. The gathering of Canadas major wireless players comes just two weeks after Verizon Communications announced that it would not enter the Canadian market, in spite of strong efforts by the Conservative government to entice a firm such as Verizon into participating in an upcoming auction of wireless spectrum. Verizons decision leaves a high degree of uncertainty over what the Conservative government will do next as it attempts to deliver on pledges to foster improvements for consumers dissatisfied with prices and service offered by the big three. Mirko Bibic, executive vice-president with Bell, pointed out that his company, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc. each have fewer than 10 million subscribers, while Verizon has 100 million. The relatively modest size of the Canadian players makes it difficult to address all of their customers demands. What does that mean? It means that when Bell, Rogers and Telus want handsets, when they go see Samsung and when they go see iPhone, you take what they give you, said Mr. Bibic. You cant say I want an iPhone, but its gotta work on this spectrum, because this is the spectrum I have. They say go away. Bibliothque du Parlement
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8 The discussion also involved groups representing independent wireless firms, who argued small firms can be competitive particularly if they focus on regional service and are charged fair fees when their customers roam on networks owned by their rivals. Its just a question of opportunity for the smaller carriers, said Jonathan Holmes, executive director of the Independent Telecommunications Providers Association. Bernard Lord, President of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, said Ottawas current approach wont increase service for rural Canadians. This is one of the things that has been repeated by certain government officials that this next auction will help rural Canada. Well, not with the rules that are in place, he said. Geoffrey White, counsel with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, said the data used to inform Ottawas wireless policies arent objective enough. Get the Library of Parliament researchers looking at these issues rather than taking the data from the people who have the most to lose, rather than looking at consumers who have the most to gain by getting affordable access to wireless, Mr. White said. Rick French, a former vice-president of the CRTC and former minister of communications in Quebec, said the government has been clumsy and improvisational in setting rules for spectrum auctions. Its a third world type political behaviour where you attract investment on the basis of one set of rules and then you change the rules in midstream, he said. It doesnt create that stable environment and respect of principle that youre supposed to be perusing in telecom policy. -30 2013 All material Copyright (c) Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Verizon Communications Inc., the U.S. carrier that prompted this summer's furor over Ottawa's policy on the sector and its rules for the auction, said two weeks ago it does not plan to come to Canada. But other large foreign players-and even Verizon-could still put their names down, particularly considering that the fully refundable 5% deposit amounts to about $16-million to bid nationally on two of the four blocks of available radio waves, known as spectrum. "Anybody could be on the list for optionality's sake," Dvai Ghose, head of research at Canaccord Genuity, said in an interview. If foreigners such as AT&T Inc., U.K.-based Vodafone Group Plc or Norway's Telenor Group do register to take part in the auction of spectrum in the 700-megahertz frequency band, the share prices of bCe Inc., Telus Corp. and rogers Communications Inc. will likely take at least a short-term hit, he said. That prospect has been enough to drive a recent wave of short positions in the incumbents' stocks as more investors have borrowed shares to sell with a view to repurchasing them at a lower price, returning them and profiting off the difference. Bets against BCE jumped to the highest level since February last week, according to Bloomberg News and financialservices firm Markit, with short positions in Telus reaching their highest level since April. Short positions in rogers increased two weeks ago by one-third before declining. "I think it's realistic to assume that this could occur," Greg MacDonald, a telecom analyst with macquarie Capital markets, said of the likelihood of a foreign company registering to bid, which he places at higher than 25% but less than 50%. If the names AT&T or Verizon show up on the list, the fear will be greater for Canada's incumbent players than if one of the European carriers signals its interest, Mr. Ghose said. "Those U.S. behemoths can leverage off their U.S. assets - a Norwegian behemoth can't in the same way, even with its international investments," he said. "Contiguity to the united States is a very important differential." However, he added, "being on the list and actually bidding and winning spectrum is a very different game." The real test will not come until Jan. 14, when the auction gets underway in earnest and Canada's dominant players must evaluate how aggressively to spend. "Any investor - whether strategic or portfolio - has some valuation at which they're not prepared to pay more for the spectrum. I think that number is probably higher for bell, Telus and Rogers than it would be for a new entrant because [they] have to defend their cash flows and their existing turf," Mr. Ghose said. "If you look at it pragmatically, this can be an auction that's either highly contentious or not contentious at all. I don't think there's going to be a middle ground here," Mr. macdonald said. Bibliothque du Parlement
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 NATIONAL POST (ALL_BUT_TORONTO) FINANCIAL POST, Page: FP3

Spectrum bids expected to surprise


Large foreign players could enter derby
Christine Dobby, Financial Post, Bloomberg News The state of Canada's wireless industry has been a battleground for months and the initial deadline for the target of much of this summer's rhetoric - next year's public auction of a swath of valuable airwaves- is finally here. Interested bidders must place a deposit by Tuesday at noon ET, and although the government won't publicly disclose who's in until next monday, analysts say there could be some big names on the list. Library of Parliament
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9 "If you have a global telco in here, then the incumbents are going to bid aggressively and all the premium blocks are going to go up in value." Ottawa hopes to take in at least $900-million, which is the total amount for minimum bids in the auction, but the sale is likely to attract much more than that. The last auction in 2008 raised $4.3-billion. Apart from foreign operators, the incumbents will face competition from regional players such as Quebecor Inc.owned Videotron and Eastlink in the Maritimes and private equity names are also likely to crop up. Startup carrier Wind Mobile, whose foreign owner VimpelCom Ltd. has been looking for a buyer for its Canadian asset, said Monday evening it will take part in the auction. Fellow new entrant Public Mobile was recently recapitalized with backing from Thomvest Ventures, an investment vehicle of the wealthy Thomson family, and a New York private equity firm and its new investors said in June they would fund its participation in the auction. Analysts place a low probability on cash-strapped Mobilicity taking part. Meanwhile, BCE announced monday that it is cutting the rates on its U.S. roaming plans by half, a move that could be a bid to stave off any further regulation of the wireless sector. At the end of August, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission made a formal request for information from carriers on the wholesale rates they pay to or charge competitors for roaming on each others' networks both inside and outside Canada. The commission said it has no plans to abandon its current practice of not regulating wireless rates - whether at the wholesale or retail level - but some analysts have raised that as a possibility. "If the CRTC is going to be regulating these rates, it's better to try and pre-empt it," Mr. Ghose said, noting that new plans from Telus and rogers will likely follow. cdobby@nationalpost.com

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 NATIONAL POST (NATIONAL) ISSUES & IDEAS, Page: A15

How Harper met politics


Ten years after he became a party leader, StephenHarper remains an enigma to many Canadians.Today, the National Post recounts how our Prime Minister first became interested in the business of government
Mark Kennedy, Postmedia News Cynthia Williams remembers the day in 1982 she and her boyfriend, "Steve" Harper, went to their first political meeting: a town hall held by Calgary West Conservative MP JimHawkes. "What he really thought he was going to do is go work for the United Nations or for a global international company," said Williams, a journalism student at the time, who would becomeHarper's fiance for a year. In the University of Calgary's economics program, Harper aced his courses. "From day one, he couldn't get less than an A+ if his life depended on it," according to Williams. "So he constantly had people giving him suggestions as to where he should go with his career." One counsellor suggested Harper get involved in the community. So when he and Williams spotted an ad for the Hawkes town hall, they showed up, sitting near the front of the room. "(Harper) would stand up and ask challenging questions, and Jim would look him in the eye and answer them," recalled Williams. Stephen Harper had stumbled into politics. "He never, ever intended to be a politician," said Williams, who became a young Conservative activist with Harper. "He used to make fun of people who thought they were future prime ministers. "But where Steve found a home in politics was the policy. He latched on to that." They had met for the first time in late 1981. She was an attractive blond with an infectious, outgoing nature. Harper spotted her in the university cafeteria and asked her out - to a SteveMartin movie. They quickly became a couple. Williams was drawn to what she calls his genuine nature. "He's very honest, and he's very, very loyal. You can never question that. If you are somebody that he cares about, he will be there for you." She also found him funny, like the TV character Frasier Crane. The pair loved to watch hockey - he was an Edmonton Oilers fan - and often went to the Calgary Zoo.

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10 "We liked going for long, long walks. We would read. We went to movies," Williams said. "We worked well in the sense of I'm very social and I'm more of an extrovert. He's more of an introvert." Harper did not work a room. Instead, he would plant himself in a corner, to be drawn into "long conversations," said Williams. But that introverted character trait wasn't shyness, she said. "He's somebody who, when he knows he wants something, he goes and gets it." Harper became president of the Progressive Conservative Youth Club in Calgary West. When Hawkes was re-elected in the 1984 election that put Brian Mulroney's Tories in government,Harper was elated. Although raised in Toronto, he had become a proud Albertan and was furious at how Pierre Trudeau's National Energy Program (NEP) in 1980 held oil prices low and devastated Alberta's economy. It instilled in him a visceral dislike of Trudeau and a distrust of Liberal policy. Rod Love, an Alberta political operative who knew Harper in later years, said the NEP helped convince the young economics student the West was being mistreated. "The whole basis of this western alienation was the feeling of Albertans that we were simply a feeder fund for Ottawa so that they could lavish complex social programs on Canadians and appease Quebec," said Love. Years later, within days of Pierre Trudeau's death in 2000, Harper penned a sharply worded newspaper op-ed. "Under his stewardship, the country created huge deficits, a mammoth national debt, high taxes, bloated bureaucracy, rising unemployment, record inflation, curtailed trade and declining competitiveness," wrote Harper, lambasting Trudeau for his "radical, interventionist" energy program. "The lives of honest, hard-working Albertans were upended and I came to know many of those who lost their jobs and their homes," he wrote. The memory would help define his philosophical approach. In 1985, Harper moved to Ottawa as Hawkes's legislative assistant. He kept a low profile among the bustling retinue of aides and made few, if any, friends. Williams occasionally visited, and the two walked in the nearby GatineauHills. But after a year, Harper grew disenchanted with the slow pace of change, even with Mulroney's Tories in power. He returned to Alberta to study. "He told me he was so fed up with what he saw in Ottawa and the way politics was carried out," said Gordon Shaw, a family friend. "He said, 'It didn't really matter if you're a Conservative or a Liberal. It's all topdown. Things are decided and you really don't have any influence.' "Hawkes said Harper reached a clear conclusion: He did not want to ever be elected, with all its cyclical uncertainty about winning or losing elections. "But he did want to influence public policy," saidHawkes. Library of Parliament
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The road to that was a doctorate. By June 1986, Harper was back at the University of Calgary to earn his masters in economics. He broke up with Williams, although they remained friends. She would later arrange a lunch encounter between Harper and her friend, Laureen Teskey-whomHarper married. "We were growing apart," Williams recalled. "We kept in touch a little bit. It wasn't a bad breakup." Harper studied philosophy and read Adam Smith, the 18thcentury thinker who wrote of the "invisible hand" of the marketplace. He also became re-acquainted with John Weissenberger, a Montreal native studying geology at the University of Calgary, whom he had known from the PC Youth. Their deep friendship, which endures to this day, was fed by a common interest in history, policy, politics and a growing discontent with the federal Conservatives and their neglect of the west. "There didn't seem to be the political will to change the atmosphere and the way things were done in Ottawa,"Weissenberger said. Harper andWeissenberger began meeting regularly, often over Chinese food dinners near the university. They pored through the work of Friedrich Hayek, whose "Austrian school" of economics promoted the benefits of a free market. They studied the success of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Their plan was to establish a "network" of true conservatives within the Progressive Conservative party. Then, in early 1987, Harper met an Albertan with bigger plans: Preston Manning. The meeting was arranged by University of Calgary economics professor Robert Mansell, who was already enjoying long debates in campus hallways with Harper. Harper "was wise beyond his years," recalled Mansell. "He had a very practical but visionary sense of what Canada could be." Manning was forming a conservative political movement to counter Mulroney's Tories and needed a policy chief. "We had very little money so I had to figure out where can I get a policy guy and not have to pay him very much," Manning recalled. "I immediately thought of graduate students." On May 2, 1987, Manning spoke to several hundred conservatives in Vancouver. He wowed his audience with a pitch for a new party. Also present, keeping a low profile, was Harper. He had come bearing an 11-point manifesto for change, entitled "A Taxpayers Reform Agenda" that he andWeissenberger had prepared. Harper left a stack of copies on a table at the back of the hall. It went largely unnoticed. He was 28 years old - in the political world, just a kid. Yet here, in 277 words, was the foundation for a principled philosophy he hoped would shake up politics. Among the proposals: Offer strong "conservative principles" as an alternative to the "NDP-Liberal -Red Tory philosophy" so that Canada would be a democracy of "real debate, not 'sacred Bibliothque du Parlement
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11 trusts.' " Create a party controlled by "private citizens, independent of its politicians and political insiders." Replace the "carnival atmosphere of political conventions" with "solid candidates" and policy - "not image and personality." Unveil the "mysteries of party solidarity" by publicly revealing how MPs voted in caucus before a unanimous position is taken in the Commons. Ensure the "termination of patronage appointments and positions, as well as of the public funding of special interest groups." Implement a "new economics" of "smaller government, regional diversification ... privatization (and) fair trade." Oppose the recent Meech Lake accord that promised constitutional changes to assuage Quebec. The idealism of Harper's words foreshadowed how he would seek to change Canada a quarter-century later. But it also stood in partial contrast to the politics Harper eventually practised defined at times by compromise, secrecy and hard-edged partisanship. To this day, Weissenberger says that although Harper compromised on some ideas once in power, his core beliefs have not changed. "There's a difference between having principles and compromising them with your eyes open, as compared to having no principles and just blowing whichever way the wind is blowing." On a cold Halloween weekend in 1987, at Winnipeg's Convention Centre, Harper and Weissenberger attended the founding assembly of the Reform party, where Manning was chosen as leader. Harper delivered a speech highlighting a "political culture" that was biased againstWestern Canada. He blasted three things: a "National Policy" dating back to Sir John A. Macdonald that ravaged the western economy to feed central Canadian interests; a "Welfare State" that had "taken its logic to a modern extreme"; and a "Quebec Question" in which the province was given "special treatment," including the transfer of funds from western taxpayers. "Whatever the merits of many government programs, they are not, and never were, acts of God. The welfare state is not the politicians' 'sacred trust'; it is the taxpayers' burden - a burden which has been disproportionately borne by western Canadians." Harper received a standing ovation. He had become a rising Reform star, and was made the party's chief policy officer. He would eventually run for Reform against his old mentor, Hawkes, unsuccessfully in 1988, then successfully in 1993. At the time of Reform's birth, Harper received some prophetic advice from Williams's father, Cyril, with whom he had developed a close rapport. The older man could see the danger of the new Reform party splitting Canada's conservative vote, making it easier for Liberals to win majority governments. "Dad told him, 'If you do this, you are ensuring that the Liberal Library of Parliament
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government will be in power for the next 10 years,' "said Cynthia Williams. Many years after, Harper sent her father a note. It said simply, with no explanation: "Cy, you were right." mkennedy@postmedia.com twitter.com/Mark_Kennedy_

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16

Fire alarm clears Centre Block


Ian Shelton A fire alarm prompted the evacuation of the Centre Block on Parliament Hill Monday morning, forcing several hundred people including staffers, MPs and media to evacuate the building. The alarm rang around 10:20 a.m., and three fire trucks arrived outside Centre Block shortly after. Hill security were tightlipped about the cause, but confirmed the alarm was not part of a planned drill.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16

New poll suggests Economic Action Plan TV-radio ads stirring little interest
OTTAWA _ Canadians tuned out another series of slick, taxpayer-funded Economic Action Plan ads that filled the airwaves in the spring, a new survey suggests. Radio and TV spots appeared in late March to coincide with the release of the 2013 federal budget, but an internal poll of 2,009 adults indicates the action plan brand remains tarnished. The Harris-Decima survey found 38 per cent were happy with the Conservative government's performance, the lowest level among the 10 such polls conducted since April 2009, when the first wave of action plan ads was released. The number of people who did something as a result of seeing the ads registered at seven per cent, little changed from the six per cent for the winter ad campaign. The levels are sharply down from a peak of 25 per cent in 2009, when a popular home-renovation tax credit caught the attention of homeowners across the country. The Finance Department's key yardstick for measuring success is to count how many viewers and listeners visited www.ActionPlan.gc.ca, the web portal that's promoted at the end of the 30-second ads. Harris-Decima found six people who did so, double the number from its winter polling. No one called the toll-free number also listed in the latest ads, which ran from March 21 to April 4.

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12 At the same time, the pollster found another 22 people who ''felt/expressed displeasure/complained to others,'' up from nine in the earlier winter survey completed in April. The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the June 19 survey report under the Access to Information Act. Finance Canada paid $29,373 for the telephone poll, conducted April 29-May 11, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The Harper government has spent well in excess of $100 million on Economic Action Plan promotion over the last four years. A Finance Department spokeswoman declined to provide the cost of the spring TV-radio campaign, saying the numbers would be published eventually. Stephanie Rubec also did not indicate whether Canadians can expect to see more such ads this year, saying plans have ''yet to be finalized.'' Rubec added that traffic to the web portal increased to almost 15,000 visits daily during the spring TV-radio campaign, from a ''baseline'' of 2,300 visits. A political scientist at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., questioned why governments engage in self-promotional advertising when there's little evidence it improves their standing among voters. ''I ask the question, and I actually still don't know the answer to this question, is why governments advertise,'' Simon Kiss said in an interview. ''Why are they doing this when it's just not effective?'' One answer is that the Conservatives want to keep the focus on the economy in the run-up to the 2015 election and the ads help reinforce that message, says a conservative commentator and communications specialist. ''I don't think the Conservatives are losing sleep that no one is visiting the website,'' Gerry Nicholls, formerly with the National Citizens Coalition when Stephen Harper was its president, said in an interview from Oakville, Ont. ''I think the message behind the Economic Action Plan was primarily political, that is, to show Canadians that the government is doing a good job with the economy.'' Nicholls says the Harper government will likely tweak the spots to make them appear fresher in the next two years, but the ads will continue ''to work at a more subconscious level: Conservatives-economy-good.'' And he says Canadians who are particularly offended by the ads likely would never vote Conservative anyway. Rubec said the campaign simply responds to the expectations of Canadians. ''Public opinion research consistently reveals that Canadians want governments to inform them of the nature, availability and ways to access benefits and programs,'' she said in an email. Library of Parliament
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One of the most heavily promoted programs currently on the Economic Action Plan website, the Canada Job Grant, has not yet been negotiated with the provinces and is not accessible to any Canadian worker. On the web, the 30-second action-plan TV ad: www.youtube.com/watch?v L0vOLw2MdbpDdkrJNxwZCycjHEfCo496G

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 OTTAWA CITIZEN (EARLY) BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY, Page: D2

Manley presses Harper on EU free trade talks


Canadian CEOs also pushing for pipeline deal
Jason Fekete, Postmedia News Chief executives of Canada's largest companies are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to quickly conclude CanadaEU free-trade negotiations that are at a "make-or-break point," and continue lobbying U.S. President Barack Obama on a Keystone XL pipeline that may need an environmental olive branch. Canadian Council of Chief Executives president John Manley is also calling on the Conservative government to introduce a national price on carbon and says "everybody is ready" for the government's longdelayed greenhouse gas regulations for the oil and gas industry. His comments came as Harper acknowledged Monday he had sent a letter to Obama, in which he "reiterated the government's strong support" for the Keystone XL pipeline. Harper also says he's open to working with the U.S. on greenhouse gas regulations for integrated industries. In a new letter to Harper released Monday, Manley pushes the prime minister to address in the upcoming throne speech a handful of policy concerns, notably ongoing Canada-EU trade talks, the Keystone XL project, Canada-China relations, and supply management in the dairy and poultry sector. The council of chief executives - which represents CEOs from 150 of Canada's largest companies - is the latest major business group calling for the Conservative government to step up its efforts and complete trade negotiations with the European Union. Last week, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said it's time for the prime minister to "fish or cut bait" on the trade talks. In the letter to Harper, Manley said Canada's international trade reputation will be severely damaged if the Conservative government is unable to conclude Canada-EU trade talks, with the Canadian economy taking a significant hit.

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13 "Our country is at a make-orbreak point in negotiations on the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union," Manley said in the letter. "Unless both sides move quickly to make the necessary concessions, we fear that the CETA may slip out of reach and, with it, Canada's opportunity to secure preferential access to one of the world's largest markets." Manley said the council of chief executives was concerned with Harper's assessment earlier this month at the G20 summit that "very significant gaps" remain between the two sides on CETA. Failure to finalize a Canada-EU deal soon would only hurt Canada's chances at concluding other negotiations in the AsiaPacific region and elsewhere, such as completing the TransPacific Partnership of 12 Pacific Rim nations. "The credibility of our country's trade agenda, a cornerstone of your government's strategy for jobs and growth, is at stake," added Manley, a former Liberal deputy prime minister. Reports have indicated Harper sent a letter in late August to Obama proposing "joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector" if it will help win approval of the Keystone XL oilsands pipeline. "On the Keystone pipeline, I reiterated the government's strong support," Harper told reporters at an event in Vancouver, when asked about the letter. The prime minister also sidestepped a question about a letter he sent to U.S. President Barack Obama last month about the Keystone XL pipeline, which would connect the oilsands to Gulf Coast refineries. In the August letter, Harper reportedly called for Canada and the U.S. to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, if that would help win Obama's approval for Keystone. "As you know, we are not the evaluator of the project," said Harper. "The State Department has done a comprehensive analysis and has already said what we all know, that the project is in the economic interest of both countries, that the project will enhance energy security for North America and that the environmental impacts are manageable and not significant. And, so, I reiterate that the project should be approved on its merits." He says he's still open to working with the United States on a continental approach to reducing industrial emissions of carbon dioxide or other gases in the hopes of preventing feared global warming. Speaking in New York City, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said he didn't expect American approval of Keystone this year. "I certainly believe that if all the facts are taken into consideration, it will be approved," Oliver said. "But I'm not going to handicap the odds at this point." He is set to deliver the keynote speech at the Global Energy Summit in New York City on Tuesday to promote Canada as an energy exporter that can increase energy security. The U.S. State Department is still working on its environmental review of Keystone XL. Experts have predicted delays in that report will push a final decision on the project to next year.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 THE TORONTO SUN (FINAL) NEWS, Page: 12

Pipeline push on way


DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS NATIONAL BUREAU OTTAWA--Prime Minister Stephen Harper soft-pedalled his promotion of Pacific Coast oil pipelines during a visit to Vancouver. "The government is not a proponent of particular pipeline projects," Harper said Monday. "We've established independent, complete, scientific evaluations of projects and the government will respond to those projects when those reports are released." Several media reports have suggested that Harper has dispatched a handful of ministers to meet with aboriginal groups in B.C. opposed to the proposed Northern Gateway proposal to connect Alberta's oilsands with a new tanker terminal on the north coast of B.C. Asked about the strategy, Harper would only say that "consultations with First Nations communities are part of the process and the government does fund that."
Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) REPORT ON BUSINESS, Page: B4

At a 'critical juncture,' a pitch for new pipelines


SHAWN MCCARTHY GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTER Canada's largest business organization has launched a public campaign to persuade Canadians of the importance of building new oil and gas pipelines to connect the country to global markets, saying the lack of such infrastructure is costing billions of dollars each year. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is releasing a report Tuesday that supports arguments made by the oil industry and federal government that a growing oil and gas industry benefits the entire country.

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14 In producing the report, the Ottawa-based chamber received financial support from the biggest companies in the oil industry, including TransCanada Corp. and Enbridge Inc. , the two companies that are proposing to build major new oil pipelines across the country. The report notes that huge discounts, or price differentials compared with U.S. and international oil, for Canadian crude over the past winter meant lost revenue of up to $50-million a day, and says that without access to new markets, future price discounting will cost both the industry and governments in Canada billions of dollars annually. The chamber's effort buttresses a major advertising campaign by the federal government, which proclaims that Canada is pursuing "responsible resource development," and a heightened effort by the industry itself, including a series of eye-catching television ads from Cenovus Energy Inc. Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty said the organization is encouraging its members across the country to support the oil and gas industry as he embarks on a speaking tour to promote the report. B.C. Premier Christy Clark, who has opposed Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across her province, will be the featured speaker at the chamber's annual meeting in Kelowna later this month. In an interview, Mr. Beatty said it is important for Canadians to understand what is at stake as the industry prepares for a massive building program that would see new oil and gas pipelines heading both west and east to diversify the industry's customer base away from the U.S. Midwest and seek international prices for the resources. "We are at a critical juncture," said Mr. Beatty, who served as a cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government. "The dynamics of the global energy market for Canadian energy are changing dramatically. We can either be very successful in global markets if we're able to reach tidewater and get global prices for our energy, or we will be landlocked within North America selling to one customer whose need for Canadian energy may be on the decline because they are rapidly developing their own reserves." Environmentalists argue it is foolhardy for Canada to depend for its prosperity on an oil industry that will be producing some of the most expensive crude in the world, and will be a major source of growth in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at a time when the world is trying to cut its carbon diet. But Mr. Beatty said that the world will be relying on fossil fuels for at least several decades, and that the oil sands represents only a small slice of the global production of GHGs. However, it appears unlikely Canada will meet its international commitment to reduce GHGs by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 if the oil sands grow as projected. Mr. Beatty said his organization, which has 450 local chambers and boards of trade, is well suited to carry the message nationally. "It is very easy to pit region against region in Canada," he said. "It is important to us as a national organization to point out that Alberta's success is Canada's success. It's not a win-lose proposition - it's something that all Canadians benefit from."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) INTERNATIONAL NEWS, Page: A8

UN on chemical attack: 'This is a war crime. The results are


overwhelming and indisputable'
LOUIS CHARBONNEAU, MICHELLE NICHOLS, United Nations chemical investigators have confirmed the use of sarin nerve agent in an Aug. 21 poison gas attack outside the Syrian capital in a long-awaited report that the United States, Canada, Britain and France said proved government forces were responsible. "This is the most significant confirmed use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein used them in Halabja [Iraq] in 1988," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The international community has pledged to prevent any such horror from recurring, yet it has happened again." The UN team was investigating only whether chemical weapons were used in a deadly assault on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta. The report does not say who launched the attack. "On the basis of the evidence obtained during the investigation of the Ghouta incident, the conclusion is that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale," said the report by chief UN investigator Ake Sellstrom of Sweden. "In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used," it said. The weather conditions on Aug. 21 ensured that as many people as possible were injured or killed, the report said. Temperatures were falling between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., it said, which meant that air was moving downward, toward the ground. "Chemical weapons use in such meteorological conditions maximizes their potential impact as the heavy gas can stay close to the ground and penetrate into lower levels of buildings and constructions where many people were seeking shelter," it said. Bibliothque du Parlement
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15 The results of Mr. Sellstrom's investigation are not surprising. Several weeks ago U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that sarin had been used in the chemical attack on the Ghouta region. The United States has said that 1,400 people were killed, including more than 400 children. "This is a war crime," Mr. Ban told the Security Council when he presented the report. "The results are overwhelming and indisputable. The facts speak for themselves." On Friday, Mr. Ban said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "has committed many crimes against humanity," though he did not specifically blame him for the Ghouta attack. He added that Mr. al-Assad would be held to account for his crimes. Syria and Russia have blamed the Aug. 21 attack on the rebels. The rebels, the United States and other Western powers blame forces loyal to Mr. al-Assad for the Ghouta attack. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement that the UN report provides additional evidence that supports the view that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime. "Anything less than full compliance by Assad is completely unacceptable and should be dealt with in a serious and firm manner," he said. British, French and U.S. envoys told reporters the UN report left no doubt that Mr. al-Assad's government was responsible for the chemical attack. The opposition Syrian Coalition said the report "clearly shows that only the Syrian regime could have carried out these attacks." Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin countered that there was no scientific proof government forces were responsible for the attack. "We need to not jump to any conclusions," Churkin said. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power provided some details. "We have associated one type of munition cited in the UN report - 122 mm rockets - with previous regime attacks," she said. "We have reviewed thousands of open source videos related to the current conflict in Syria and have not observed the opposition manufacturing or using this style of rocket." British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant said the rocket samples examined had a payload of 350 litres, 35 times the amount used in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack. "Mr Sellstrom confirmed that the quality of the sarin was superior both to that used in the Tokyo subway but also to that used by Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war," he told reporters. "This does not point to a cottage industry chemical," said Mr. Lyall Grant, taking a swipe at earlier comments by Mr. Churkin, who said in July that a Moscow analysis found "cottage industry" quality sarin gas was used in an alleged March 19 attack that he blamed on the rebels. U.S. President Barack Obama signed an order Monday waiving a part of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act to permit U.S. authorities to supply protective equipment to Syrian Library of Parliament
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opposition members to guard against chemical weapons. The order also extends to international organizations. The UN investigators studied five impact sites and were able to determine the likely trajectory of the projectiles at two sites: Moadamiyah and Ein Tarma. Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the name of Brown Moses and has been tracking videos of weapons used in the Syria conflict, wrote that he has not seen the opposition using the munitions identified in the report: a variant of the M14 artillery rocket and a 330 mm calibre artillery rocket. Rebels have seized all kinds of weapons from military depots across the country in the 21/2-year civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people, according to the United Nations. But Amy Smithson, a chemical weapons expert at Monterey Institute, said the Aug. 21 attack bore "so many hallmarks of a military trained in chemical warfare doctrine" and not an untrained force. She said the army has chemical delivery systems the rebels lack. The UN confirmation of sarin gas use on Aug. 21 came as France, Britain and the U.S. agreed in Paris to seek a "strong and robust" UN resolution that sets binding deadlines on removal of chemical weapons. Those talks followed a weekend deal on Syria's chemical weapons reached by the U.S. and Russia that could avert U.S. military action to punish the Syrian government for Aug. 21. Mr. Ban urged the Security Council to consider ways to ensure enforcement and compliance with the U.S.-Russia plan. "I agree there should be consequences for non-compliance. Any use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, is a crime," he said.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 OTTAWA CITIZEN (EARLY) CANADA, Page: A3

Scientists protest federal cuts, muzzling of researchers


Government plan 'Orwellian', says professor
Jessica Barrett, Postmedia News The organizers of a nationwide protest against cuts to Canada's public science programs said the situation for federal researchers has only declined in the year since they first raised the alarm. On Monday, hundreds of scientists and supporters rallied at Parliament Hill to take part in the Stand Up For Science protests, held in 18 cities across Canada. The events, organized by a group called Evidence For Democracy, built on last year's mock funeral for the "death of evidence," which took aim at the perceived "muzzling" of Bibliothque du Parlement
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16 Canadian scientists and cuts to research programs by the federal government. Dr. Katie Gibbs, organizer and executive director of a newly formed advocacy group called Evidence for Democracy, said conditions have continued to deteriorate for Canada's public scientists. At least one federal department - Fisheries and Oceans - has, in the past year, implemented a policy forbidding scientists to publish in peer-reviewed journals without managerial approval, she said. "It requires a government manager to have an additional sign-off, even after a paper has been accepted by peer review and accepted by a journal," she said. "So it gives an extra power to the government to withhold science that might be inconvenient for them." Earlier this year the government shifted the National Research Council's mandate, directing it to carry out work that stands to benefit industry and away from basic scientific inquiry, which scientists say is essential to foster innovation. Additionally, Gibbs said, strict communication policies limiting scientists' contact with media remain in place and have grown stronger. Dr. Jeremy Kerr, a biology professor at the University of Ottawa, told the crowd the government's "Orwellian plan" and shifting mandate has had serious ramifications on Canadian policy and on Canada's reputation in the international scientific community. He noted that in 2006 the National Research Council published nearly 2,000 peer-reviewed publications and 53 patents. In 2012, the agency's publication output had dropped by 80 per cent and the patent rate by 95 per cent, to just three. "Telling scientists they are not able to communicate their work to the people who paid them to do it is a pretty striking statement on the condition of Canada's democracy," he said. Minister of State for Science Greg Rickford was not available for an interview Monday but insisted in an emailed statement there were no problems with the government policies. "Our government is committed to science, technology, innovation and taking ideas to the marketplace," he said. "Canada is ranked No. 1 in the G7 for our higher education research and development. We are building on these successes to improve the quality of life for Canadians and to create jobs, growth and longterm prosperity." While science in the name of commercial application is valuable to society, it is basic science - the kind that is curiosity-driven and not often supported by commercial research and development budgets - that has led to some of the greatest scientific discoveries, said Dr. Kapil Khatter. The Ottawa-based physician pointed out that governmentfunded science was responsible for the development of MRI technology, as well the discovery of the health threats posed by asbestos and tobacco. "A strong economy relies on strong, publicly funded science," he said. NDP science and technology critic Kennedy Stewart said he hoped Rickford would heed public concern and consider an NDP motion to remove communication restrictions on government scientists. "I think the government is eventually going to have to admit that what they're doing isn't working," he said at the Ottawa rally.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16

Feds appeal labour board ruling upholding PAFSO complaint


Michelle Zilio The federal government has appealed a Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) ruling upholding a bad faith bargaining complaint made by the striking foreign service workers union against Treasury Board. According to the application for judicial review, the Attorney General of Canada submitted the notice to appeal Friday, listing the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) as the respondent. Earlier that day, the PSLRB issued a decision upholding the union's bad faith bargaining complaint against Treasury Board, which was filed in late July. In an email to iPolitics, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander's office said it was disappointed with the PSLRB decision Friday. The statement, provided by Alexander's press secretary, Alexis Pavlich, read: "We are disappointed with the Public Service Labour Relations Board's (PSLRB) decision. We are currently reviewing the decision and will determine our next steps accordingly. We have filed a notice of appeal, to preserve all available options." "As we have repeatedly stated, the Government is committed to finding a fair and reasonable settlement for both employees and Canadian taxpayers. That commitment remains unchanged." When asked Monday why Alexander's office and not Clement's office responded to the PSLRB ruling Friday, a spokesperson from Clement's office said, "Minister Alexander's office was expressing the Government's position." The spokesperson also pointed to Clement's tweets Saturday following the board's decision: [View the story "Tony Clement's Twitter reaction to PSLRB ruling" on Storify] In a phone interview Monday, NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar said it is Clement's responsibility to provide the initial response to the decision, not Alexander's. Bibliothque du Parlement
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17 "It's strange to have CIC responding. The question is where was Tony Clement on this when the report came out? He's often quick to respond but not when it actually matters," said Dewar. Dewar said the government's "delayed" and disengaged response to the union's job action is partly driven by Clement's personality. "I thinks it's driven, one, by the personality of Tony Clement, who's a bit of a cowboy when it comes to dealing with labour relations and with public servants," said Dewar. "Your job as an employer is to sit down at the table and bargain fairly with your employees." In last week's ruling, PSLRB panel member Margaret Shannon declared Treasury Board "violated its duty to bargain in good faith and make every reasonable effort to enter into a collective agreement" when Clement sought to impose preconditions on a proposed arbitration process. The parties never entered binding arbitration because they could not come to an agreement on the preconditions. While binding arbitration would have been preferable to the union, Shannon did not order any remedial action. Rather, she called for both parties to "renew attempts at arriving at a mutually agreeable process under which final and binding determination can be used to break their impasse, in the event that their inability to resolve their differences at the bargaining table continues." Both the union and Clement say they are willing to bargain but it is not clear when the parties will meet again at the negotiating table. PAFSO President Tim Edwards said in a statement Monday that the government's appeal has brought the parties "no closer to a settlement," and is simply wasting more time. According to a spokesperson for the Federal Court of Appeal, the appeal process could take anywhere from weeks months to unfold, depending on how long both parties take to submit their files. Following the government's filing of affidavits Monday, the union will have 30 days to file any supporting affidavits and documentary exhibits. After that, both parties can request a cross examination within 20 days if they wish. Following the completion of the optional cross examination, the government will have 20 days to file their memorandum and then within another 20 days, the union will file theirs. In the mean time, job action, including pickets at Canadian missions and visa processing centres around the world, will continue until either the parties enter binding arbitration or a negotiated agreement is reached. However, Edwards said members will temporarily suspend job action on the days in which they are at the negotiating table with Treasury Board. The union, which represents 1,350 members around the world, has been in a legal strike position since April 2 and without a contract since June 2011. It is asking for a pay raise because some junior diplomats earn up to $14,000 less than economists, Library of Parliament
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lawyers and commerce officers doing the same work in Ottawa. However, Treasury Board argues the jobs are not comparable and the foreign service is a "highly sought after posting" offering six-figure salaries and "generous benefits." Edwards said this is one of the longest strikes in the history of the Canadian public service, potentially costing the Canadian economy up to $1 billion if a resolution is not reached soon. He said he expects the strike to also hit the government's immigration targets hard, as visa applicants are facing backlogs of up to 65 per cent at targeted missions. twitter.com/michellezilio michellezilio@ipolitics.ca

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16

RCMP hid $1M cost estimate of gun registry data destruction, documents show
OTTAWA _ The RCMP repeatedly stonewalled media inquiries for months about the price tag for destroying the federal long gun registry data, even though the federal police force had a full cost estimate in hand. The Mounties had a detailed breakdown more than a year ago that showed fulfilling the long-time Conservative promise to kill the registry would cost about $1 million. A PowerPoint presentation laying out the plan and its costs was provided to The Canadian Press under an Access to Information request following an 11-month delay. In the meantime, RCMP officials refused to answer direct questions about whether any such costing had been done, saying only that any spending related to the registry's destruction would come out of the force's own budget. NDP justice critic Francoise Boivin says the RCMP's handling of the file calls into question whether its communications can be trusted on bigger issues _ including the current Senate investigation of improper expense claims. ''They should have volunteered this (information) showing how much it cost. Instead, by stonewalling they make us think the worst,'' Boivin said in an interview. There seems to be ''some type of unwritten law of silence'' across the Harper government, but secrecy on routine matters by the Mounties is particularly damaging, Boivin said. ''It's sad when it comes from an agency like the RCMP that is there to uphold the law. They're supposed to be leaders in this society on how to behave well,'' she said. ''How can we trust them with bigger files? Can we trust that they will do the inquiry well on the Senate, on any other thing? It's understandable that we have doubts.'' The RCMP did not respond to a request for comment but a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney reiterated Bibliothque du Parlement
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18 in an emailed response that the data destruction ''involved no additional costs to the taxpayers.'' When asked if the money spent on the data destruction was coming from other RCMP priorities, Jean-Christophe de Le Rue responded in another email that ''I don't think we are hiding anything here. Let me be clear: money allocated for administrative work cannot be spent on programming.'' The government says it can't provide a hard figure on the actual cost of the destruction. Because the funding came out of the RCMP's existing budget, it didn't keep records. The initial estimate forecast $425,000 on changes to the firearms information system and online databases, $300,000 to ''manually review all paper files and purge (destroy) any records on non-restricted registration,'' $50,000 to change policy manuals and forms, and $150,000 on communications materials. The Harper government, which came to power in 2006 with a promise to repeal the long-gun registry, has long played fast and loose with financial numbers surrounding the program. Government ministers and Conservative MPs repeatedly cited the long-gun registry's lifetime cost as $2 billion, a total favoured by sport shooting lobbyists but refuted by auditor general reports and the Canadian Firearms Centre's own annual accounting. Internal government figures, released to the Toronto Star through an access request only after the registry was finally voted out of existence in February 2012, showed the actual savings of killing the registry totalled about $2 million annually. The file has always been politically sensitive for the government, and an Access to Information request on data destruction by The Canadian Press was flagged by the RCMP to the public safety minister's office. An email dated Nov. 9, 2012, included the access question, noted it was the only ''firearms-related'' ATIP that week and stated the ''catalyst could be the recent inquiries (Oct. 16, 17, 22) to RCMP media relations'' by a Canadian Press reporter named in the email. The email appears to have been sent to at least 116 individuals within government.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17

DND seeks private contractor to keep Cold War-era northern surveillance running
Alex Boutilier The Department of National Defence is planning to spend $150 million over the next five years to contract out its Cold Warera northern aerospace surveillance program. DND is looking for a private contractor to monitor its system of 47 short- and long-ranged "North Warning System" surveillance stations along the country's northern reaches. The unmanned stations are currently monitored from CFB North Bay in Ontario by the Nasittuq Corporation, a joint venture between ATCO Structures and Logistics Ltd. and the Pan Arctic Inuit Logistics Corp. "The mission of the NWS is to maintain continuous radar surveillance of, and a measure of control over, the northern approaches to North America, contributing to North American defence and Canadian sovereignty," reads department documents released this month. "The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces are required by international and domestic obligation to ensure that the NWS is successful and properly maintained. The ability of the facility to be selfpreserving or survivable in an unattended mode with minimal human intervention is critical to mission success." The NWS is a joint venture between Canada and the United States, built between 1986 and 1990 as part of the North American Aerospace Defence (NORAD) agreement. The system cost $1.2 billion to establish, with costs split 60-40 between the U.S. and Canada, respectively. It was intended to be a modernized version of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, a series of surveillance stations constructed in the 1950s and designed to alert North America in the event of Soviet incursions. According to the department, the NWS was the first major military defence asset contracted out to the private sector entirely. "Today the operations and maintenance concept has evolved to care, custody and control of the entire NWS and its components," reads a department document explaining the modern mandate of the NWS. "This means, at the working level, responsibility for all NWS (operation and maintenance) activities, ensuring adherence and compliance with all regulatory requirements and responsibility for developing and implementing an effective sustainment program. In return, the contractor is given control over prime mission equipment, supporting equipment and site infrastructure while Canada maintains overall configuration authority and project implementation approval." Bibliothque du Parlement
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19 Dan Middlemiss, who recently retired from Dalhousie's Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, said the decades-old surveillance program has lost some of its relevance now that threats are more likely to arise internally than from Russian bombing runs through the north. "Post-9/11, the tripwire function that they used to have against Soviet incursions became more oriented to internal patterns as well. But they're not ideally set-up (for that) because most of them are in the far north," said Middlemiss. Unlike other Cold War-era surveillance equipment such as submarine detectors repurposed for environmental research the NWS is capable of aerospace detection only. But Middlemiss said the $150 million price tag is "peanuts" when it comes to the monitoring of sovereign Canadian air space. "I think most Canadians, if it was explained to them, would far more opt for this than maintaining expensive F-35s," Middlemiss said. In an emailed response, DND spokeswoman Melinda Miller said contracting out the NWS is a more efficient option than maintaining it in-house. "Contracted service delivery is cost effective and supportive of the northern regions," Miller wrote. "The critical sensor data generated at the radar sites is transmitted to military operators at the Canadian Air Defence Sector, located at 22 Wing, CFB North Bay, Ontario." The contract with the NWS's new operator will expire in 2019. M. Charest avait galement un oeil sur ce poste, et il jouissait aussi de l'amiti de Sarkozy. Mais le prsident franais avait d'autres ambitions pour lui. Il le voyait plutt la prsidence d'une nouvelle organisation internationale sur l'environnement, dont la France a prn la cration jusqu'au G8 Deauville en 2011. Monarchie et Francophonie Le nom de Mme Jean a recommenc circuler en prparation du prochain Sommet de la Francophonie, qui se tiendra Dakar au Sngal, le pays d'origine de M. Diouf. En vertu des rgles non crites de l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), les candidats au poste de secrtaire gnral doivent avoir t chef d'tat ou de gouvernement. Mme Jean serait donc admissible, puisque le gouverneur gnral est le chef d'tat du Canada. Chancelire de l'Universit d'Ottawa et envoye spciale de l'UNESCO en Hati, Mme Jean jouit galement de l'amiti d'Abdou Diouf, qui l'a dsigne Grand Tmoin de la Francophonie aux Jeux olympiques de 2012. Le choix de Mme Jean risque toutefois de se heurter l'opposition du gouvernement Marois, qui verrait mal une ancienne reprsentante de la monarchie britannique diriger la Francophonie. De plus, les souverainistes qui rvent l'lection d'un gouvernement majoritaire et la tenue d'un troisime rfrendum sur l'avenir du Qubec chercheront un candidat plus sympathique leur cause la tte de l'OIF. A titre d'anciens premiers ministres, Lucien Bouchard et Bernard Landry pourraient se qualifier, mais ils se heurteraient au veto du gouvernement Harper. Un appui de la France de telles candidatures est d'ailleurs hautement improbable, parce qu'il constituerait un affront diplomatique grave l'endroit du Canada. La course est lance Dans les milieux concerns, on prdit que Michalle Jean entreprendra sous peu une tourne des pays africains, afin d'y chercher des appuis. Mme Jean est en Hati jusqu' demain, aux cts de la directrice gnrale de l'UNESCO. Personne Qubec ou Ottawa ne s'est encore prononc officiellement sur sa candidature, mais elle devra tre parraine par l'une des deux capitales pour dposer officiellement sa candidature. A Qubec, Jean-Franois Lise ne s'est pas encore prononc. Mais on pense que le ministre, qui est rentr hier soir d'un voyage en Afrique la tte d'une dlgation de gens d'affaires, en a profit pour sonder les leaders africains sur leurs intentions. On pense galement que Pauline Marois profitera de sa rencontre de demain avec Abdou Diouf pour tablir les priorits du Qubec au sein de l'espace francophone, avec tout ce que cela implique... M. Diouf sera la sixime personne dans l'histoire de l'Assemble nationale avoir le privilge de prononcer un discours dans l'enceinte du Salon bleu. A Ottawa, on prdit que Stephen Harper ne voudra pas se commettre derrire Mme Jean, tant qu'il n'aura pas l'assurance de sa victoire. Aprs l'chec de la candidature canadienne au Bibliothque du Parlement
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 ACTUALITS, Page: 6 / FRONT

Intrigues Ottawa-Qubec la Francophonie


Gilbert Lavoie Un vritable nid d'intrigues Ottawa-Qubec sur la succession d'Abdou Diouf attend la visite, demain, du secrtaire gnral de la Francophonie, a appris Le Soleil. La candidature non officielle de Michalle Jean, l'ancienne gouverneure gnrale du Canada, est au centre de ces jeux de coulisses. lu la tte de la Francophonie en 2002, M. Diouf a vu son mandat reconduit pour une deuxime fois au Sommet de Montreux, en Suisse, en 2010. Le gouvernement canadien songeait alors la candidature de Michalle Jean, qui terminait son mandat Rideau Hall. On avait mme song reconduire Abdou Diouf pour deux ans, afin de donner Mme Jean, le temps de se mettre en lice. Elle jouissait alors de l'amiti de Nicolas Sarkozy, un atout considrable dans ce genre de discussion. Mais Jean Charest a pris Ottawa de vitesse et propos la reconduction du mandat d'Abdou Diouf jusqu'en 2014.

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20 Conseil de scurit des Nations Unies, le gouvernement fdral ne veut surtout pas subir une autre humiliation de ce genre, surtout pas au sein de la Francophonie, et encore moins aux mains d'un gouvernement souverainiste. Que fera le gouvernement Marois s'il n'y a pas entente autour d'une candidature acceptable? L'un des scnarios serait de prolonger nouveau le mandat de M. Diouf, mais pour une priode de deux ans. L'autre hypothse serait l'appui un Africain. Cela permettrait Clment Duhaime, qui a oeuvr dans les cabinets pquistes avant d'tre le numro deux l'OIF, de conserver son poste et d'y exercer son influence. Mais les candidatures africaines srieuses se font rares. L'ancien prsident Tour du Mali serait bien vu, mais les auteurs du coup d'tat qui l'ont dpos ne le parraineront jamais. videmment, l'opinion actuelle de Pauline Marois sur cette question n'aura de poids vritable que si elle est encore premire ministre en 2014, dans les mois prcdant le Sommet de Dakar. Si elle devait perdre le pouvoir aux mains d'un Philippe Couillard, c'est la candidature de Jean Charest qui prendrait du poids. Le choix du secrtaire gnral de l'OIF se fait huis clos, et rsulte gnralement d'un consensus prpar au pralable. Il pourrait toutefois mener jusqu' un vote en bonne et due forme si un tel consensus s'avre impossible. Cette subvention permettra de runir des gens de l'industrie laitire, des chercheurs et des universitaires afin de peaufiner les techniques de production et de trouver des solutions aux maladies animales. Pilier de l'conomie "L'industrie laitire est l'un des principaux piliers de l'conomie canadienne, avec la cration au pays de milliers d'emplois et avec la fourniture aux familles de produits alimentaires de qualit suprieure hautement nutritifs. L'octroi de fonds annonc renforcera la capacit de l'industrie laitire d'effectuer une recherche d'avant-garde dans le but de rester concurrentielle durant de nombreuses annes", a dclar le ministre Gerry Ritz. Les Producteurs laitiers du Canada ont galement dcid d'allonger une somme de 6 millions pour le projet de recherche. "Les producteurs laitiers considrent toujours la recherche comme un investissement stratgique de premire importance. Nos activits de recherche visent principalement faciliter l'adoption de pratiques novatrices et l'augmentation de la productivit la ferme, tout en contribuant la sauvegarde de la sant des Canadiens et leur mieux-tre", estime le prsident du regroupement, Wally Smith.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 ACTUALITS, Page: 15

Coup de pouce de 12 millions$ pour les producteurs laitiers


Samuel Blais-Gauthier Le gouvernement fdral investi dans la recherche et l'innovation en matire de production laitire. Le ministre de l'Agriculture et de l'Agroalimentaire, Gerry Ritz, tait de passage hier Embrun, dans l'Est ontarien, pour annoncer l'octroi d'un financement de 12 millions$ afin d'augmenter la productivit et amliorer la comptitivit des producteurs laitiers du pays. Pour la rgion de l'Est de l'Ontario, cette nouvelle aura moyen terme des rpercussions positives, estime le dput de Glengarry-Prescott et Russell, Pierre Lemieux, puisque l'industrie laitire reprsente l'une des plus importantes exploitations chez les agriculteurs de la rgion. "Le secteur de la production laitire est trs fort chez nous. En investissant dans la recherche et dans l'innovation, nous allons contribuer amliorer le rendement de nos cultivateurs. Le fruit de ces recherches permettra de minimiser les cots et maximiser le rendement de nos producteurs", note le dput Lemieux.

Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux becomes gunslinging 'Lawman' on weekends


CHENEY, Ont. _ Tory MP Pierre Lemieux is a mild-mannered politician in the House of Commons on regular work days, but some weekends he is transformed into a gunslinging lawman of the Wild West. Lemieux recently joined fellow chap-wearing dudes in the sport of 'cowboy action shooting,' coolly emptying the barrels of his Ruger six-shooter into a target. He calls himself ''The Lawman.'' ''Cowboy shooting has a theme, so although it's competitive shooting it's more than competitive shooting,'' Lemieux said in an interview. ''I enjoy the shooting aspect of it.'' For four years, Lemieux has competed in the sport, in which competitors dress as gunslingers, take on cowboy aliases and shoot Wild West-era guns at targets. Competitors are cast in cowboy-themed scenarios, and are scored on speed and accuracy. ''It is a lot of fun, and it's very satisfying,'' says Lemieux. ''You get that nice ringing confirmation that you've hit the target.'' Lemieux says his real-life occupation was an inspiration for his cowboy pseudonym. Bibliothque du Parlement
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21 ''Aliases are never easy, but because I'm a legislator I thought 'The Lawman' was quite apropos,'' he said. His cowboy arsenal includes two Ruger six shooters, a leveraction rifle and a shotgun, all models used by the real lawmen and desperadoes of the Wild West. The Eastern Ontario Handgun Club, where cowboy action shooting events take place, has an outdoor range located in Lemieux's riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, which lies just west of the capital. ''There are several people who go to the range who are in my riding,'' he says. ''It's a good place to be.'' Lemieux considers the sport a great way to escape. ''It absorbs you and requires your concentration and so you focus on the day and what you're doing there. Anything else that was on your mind when you arrived disappears.'' ''The Stranger,'' a fellow cowboy action shooter who asked to be identified only by his cowboy alias, says competitors come from many backgrounds. ''Doctors, lawyers, dentists _ it really is just everybody,'' he says. ''They live on your street, they could be anywhere. This is what they like to do: they like to dress up and come out with us and shoot old time guns in an old time atmosphere.''

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 A, Page: A5

Quebec MP sends letter to N.B. voters


Eric Lewis Times & Transcript Staff Some Metro Moncton residents may have been puzzled recently to receive a letter from a Quebec Member of Parliament. Letters sent from the office of Philip Toone, the New Democratic Party MP for Gaspsie-les-de-Madeleine, arrived in the mailboxes of some Metro residents in the last few weeks. The letter was sent on behalf of NDP leader Tom Mulcair. One might expect NDP-related mailouts in New Brunswick would come from Yvon Godin, the province's sole NDP MP, based in Acadie-Bathurst. But Godin said that isn't necessarily the case. Members of Parliament are able to send newsletters to constituents for free. These mail privileges are often referred to as "franking" privileges. Some MPs may have more franked envelopes than others at times, so the party pools resources and members may send their own envelopes outside of their constituency. An NDP spokesperson said it is common practice for all parties. "Maybe it would look better if an MP from the province did use his frank (envelopes) in the province," Godin said in an interview. But the NDP MP said ultimately he is not concerned because the content of the recent mailouts from Toone is a message from NDP leader Tom Mulcair, not Godin himself. Godin said ultimately he wants people across the country to know more about what the NDP stands for, and his own franked envelopes are occasionally sent to other jurisdictions as well. 2013 Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 MONTREAL GAZETTE (EARLY) NEWS, Page: A9

Ottawa seeks preparatory studies for new Champlain Bridge


The Gazette Denis Lebel, federal minister of infrastructure, communities and intergovernmental affairs, announced Monday the government is requesting proposals for preparatory studies for the new span to replace the Champlain Bridge. "Building a new bridge for the St. Lawrence continues to be a priority, and the preliminary construction work is on schedule," Lebel said. The preparatory studies will identify options for intelligent transportation systems, electrical and lighting systems, and electronic tolling systems, Lebel said. Transport Canada also announced it has awarded a $290,000 contract for aerial photography and land surveying to Consortium Perron, Hudon, Blanger and Consultants SM. In October 2011, the government announced plans to replace the Champlain Bridge, one of the busiest in Canada. Annual traffic on the bridge represents $20 billion in international trade.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 YUKON, Page: 2 / FRONT

Ministers had 'productive discussions'


Bernier
Ainslie Cruickshank The Yukon hosted the first meeting of federal, provincial, and territorial tourism ministers North of 60 last week at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre.

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22 Maxime Bernier, the federal minister of state for Small Business and Tourism, was in the city for the event. "Over the past couple of days, my provincial and territorial colleagues and I had very productive discussions on tourism in Canada," he said during a closing press conference. It was held Friday morning against the backdrop of the rushing Yukon River. "I think I speak for everyone when I say we'll all be returning home with renewed energy ready to build momentum on the ultimate goal of welcoming more and more visitors to explore everything our beautiful country has to offer," said Bernier. "As you know, the tourism industry is an important driver of our economy, creating jobs and growth in every region in our country, including right here in larger-than-life Yukon. "More important, tourism is a unique industry because it reflects our very identity, celebrating our people and our places while welcoming the world to share those treasures with us," said Bernier. Discussion over the two days covered such topics as: how to capitalize on international market opportunities; how to facilitate access to Canada for visitors by land and air; and updates on progress on the Beyond the Border initiative with the U.S. Yukon Tourism Minister Mike Nixon added that travel trends, the importance of affordable and reliable air travel, and general discussions about what tourists are looking for to the list of topics covered. "Canada's tourism sector as a whole accounts for more than 600,000 jobs supporting all Canadian regions and most communities," said Nixon. "Approximately two per cent of Canada's GDP is attributed to tourism, and we're talking numbers of about $82 billion," Nixon said during his closing speech. "At the same time, global competition for tourism revenues has intensified, prompting us to strive harder to make Canada stand out in that market, and stand out as an attractive travel destination. "It is important that we as political leaders in support of Canada's tourism sector get together on an annual basis to reflect, review, and exchange ideas in support of Canada's tourism sector." Naomi Yamamoto, B.C.'s minister of state for Tourism and Small business, met with key industry representatives last Thursday evening at the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon offices. "For me to have the opportunity to meet folks who actually hire people or invest money into the community is really important," Yamamoto said Friday afternoon. A key theme stemming from the meetings over the two days was that none of the jurisdictions can reach their tourism potential alone, Yamamoto said. That message was reiterated by the business representatives she met with last Thursday, particularly the partnering opportunities between the Yukon and B.C. One such partnership in the works is between the Clayoquot Wilderness Retreat and Justin Ferbey from the Carcross-Tagish Management Corp. Yamamoto said her only regret was that she couldn't take a few extra days to stay a bit longer in the territory. "People will remember, maybe, where they stayed, what they had for dinner or breakfast, but more importantly they'll remember how people made them feel, and I think our brand in Canada is a safe and welcoming place, but we can always do better, and I think we can learn so much from communities that have gone out of their way to create a special visitor experience," Yamamoto said. "The smaller the community, the nicer the people, and I think that's what you have in your favour." The ministers also recognized the importance of aboriginal tourism and explored options for sharing information on best practices to further develop this segment. The ministers will meet again in Prince Edward Island next year. "It has been a pleasure hosting my tourism colleagues here in Whitehorse (last) week," said Nixon.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16

Minister orders prison security review following escape of Hells Angels member
OTTAWA _ The federal public safety minister has ordered a security review following a murderer's escape from a Quebec prison. Steven Blaney is directing the Correctional Service to review security classification for violent and dangerous inmates to ensure they're appropriately imprisoned. Rene Charlebois, 48, was discovered missing Saturday night during a head count by staff at a minimum-security prison in Laval, Que. Charlebois was convicted on murder charges during the 2003 megatrial against the Hells Angels biker gang. Quebec provincial police are asking for help to help track him down. Charlebois is five feet, eight inches tall with brown eyes and brown hair and has his first name tattooed on his left arm.

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23 15 days, said a friend, Justin Podur. The two will drink only fruit juice. "We can only imagine the anguish that John and Tarek feel after realizing that their detention could be extended for so long in what can only be described as an arbitrary process that lacks any credibility," Mr. Greyson's sister, Cecilia Greyson, said in a statement. While the Canadian government has expressed disappointment that the detention has been extended, friends and family of the pair are now calling on Mr. Harper to pick up the phone and make a direct appeal for them to be released. "We're hoping that Prime Minister Harper will contact the Egyptian Prime Minister," Mr. Podur said. The Canadian government has repeatedly summoned Egyptian Ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has contacted his Egyptian counterpart, Nabil Fahmy. The two Canadians were arrested Aug. 16 when they were out in the Cairo streets after the curfew imposed by emergency law, and have been held without charge for a month. The Canadian government has said it believes the two were simply in "the wrong place at the wrong time." On Sunday, Lynne Yelich, the junior minister for foreign affairs who is responsible for consular cases, said that the Canadian government was "disappointed" to learn over the weekend that the two men will remain in custody.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 CITY NEWS

Mine plan under scrutiny


NORTH SHORE BUREAU The Harper government may outwardly have a pro-mining stance, but that apparently isn't preventing federal departments from scrutinizing proposals for new mines in minute detail. Natural Resources Canada (NRC) is among five federal and provincial agencies that have critiqued Stillwater Canada's environmental impact statement for its proposed copper/palladium mine on the outskirts of Marathon. Detailed technical questions about how to deal with issues like waste rock and water quality led to a government-appointed review panel last month to declare the lengthy EIS document "deficient" for the second time since Stillwater produced it about a year ago. Long-awaited public hearings into the mine proposal can't be held until the panel decides the EIS has adequately addressed all potential environmental and economic impacts. For its part, NRC says it's not out to unduly delay the start of the mine, expected to create more than 350 direct jobs. "The government is committed to the responsible development of Canada's natural resources and believes that projects must be reviewed independently and decided upon on the basis of good science, within a reasonable timeframe," an NRC spokesman said in an email. "Natural Resources Canada is one of the (federal) departments that are providing its best available science advice, specifically in the earth sciences and mining-related environmental technologies." Two years has been set aside for the review process. Stillwater has said the mine could go into production by 2016 if necessary provincial permits are obtained.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 TORONTO STAR (ONT) NEWS, Page: A4

Officials place 11 more countries under biometrics requirements


Nicholas Keung Toronto Star Starting Oct. 23, travellers from 11 countries must submit their fingerprints and photos when applying for a Canadian visitor, student or work visa. They include those from Albania, Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Tunisia. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released a country list, following the imposition of the biometrics requirement earlier this month on Colombia, Haiti and Jamaica. Visitors from these countries must pay an extra $85 for Ottawa to collect their fingerprints and photos in their visa applications - as part of Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act passed last year to tighten border entry to the country. Officials said the countries were selected for their volumes or rates of visa refusals, removal orders, refugee claims, and nationals arriving without proper documentation or attempting

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) NATIONAL NEWS, Page: A3

Harper pressed to intervene as detainees begin hunger strike


CAMPBELL CLARK Two Canadians detained in Egypt have launched a hunger strike and their friends and family are asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to personally intervene. Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson planned to stop eating on Monday to protest the extension of their detention for another Library of Parliament
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24 to travel under false identities, as well as their relevance to Canada's foreign and trade policy objectives. About 20 per cent of the 300,000 visa-required applicants visitors, students or temporary foreign workers - would have to submit their biometric information in the first year. Children, the elderly and diplomats are exempted. The applicants must present themselves at a biometric collection service point, a third-party visa application centre contracted by Ottawa, to provide "all available fingerprints and have a photograph taken." Starting Dec. 11, visitors from 16 other countries also face the biometrics requirements, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Sri Lanka, Syria, Vietnam and Yemen. Meanwhile, Ottawa has filed an appeal with the federal court challenging a ruling by the Public Service Labour Relations Board Friday that found the government had negotiated in bad faith with its striking foreign affairs officers, including many tasked with visa processing. The appeal will prolong the six-month labour dispute with the officers and further delay the processing of all types of visas in and outside of Canada.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 THE BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER (FINAL) NEWS, Page: B1

Baird makes nice with Algeria


DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU OTTAWA -- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is making nice with Algeria's government, after a diplomatic dust-up in January over the role Canadian citizens played in a gas plant hostage taking. During his visit to Algeria on Sunday, Baird issued a statement saying he wanted "to thank the Algerian government for their co-operation in the aftermath of the In Amenas gas plant attack." When Algeria's prime minister first claimed Canadians were involved in a hostage taking near the Libyan border, Baird publicly called him out for not providing proof. "We haven't been able to get any additional information from the Algerian government," Baird said at the time. Foreign Affairs officials also sat down with Algeria's ambassador in Ottawa to demand more information. It took several months and the presence of RCMP and likely CSIS in Algeria to finally confirm that two young men from London, Ont., were among dozens of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists killed during an Algerian military in January. Dozens of hostages were also killed. Baird isn't just saying thanks, he's also promising more than $1.2 million to help deal with Islamist terrorism. "Canada is committed to working with Algeria to strengthen security and counterterrorism efforts in North Africa and the Sahel," Baird said. Most of the money will go through the International Civil Aviation Organization to help Algeria, Morocco, Mali and other countries tighten up passport control systems and close security gaps. About a half-million dollars will help countries in the region beef up their ability to bring terrorist cases to trial and process extradition requests. daniel.proussalidis@sunmedia.ca

Published | Publi: 2013-09-15

Algrie
le ministre John Baird prend ses distances de la firme SNC-Lavalin
ALGER, Algrie _ Le ministre des Affaires trangres, John Baird, a pris ses distances de la firme de gnie-conseil SNCLavalin, qui fait l'objet d'une enqute aprs avoir t accuse de corruption en Algrie. De passage Alger dimanche, le ministre Baird a dclar, pendant une confrence de presse conjointe avec son homologue algrien, que l'entreprise n'tait pas reprsentative de toutes les entreprises canadiennes, qui accordent, a-t-il dit, une "norme importance" au respect de l'thique. Il a ajout qu'il est vident que l'entreprise "devrait rpondre de ses actes devant les tribunaux". La firme SNC-Lavalin est souponne d'avoir vers des potsde-vin pour dcrocher des contrats en Algrie. Le ministre Baird a affirm que le Canada tait dtermin combattre la corruption, en soulignant que le Parlement avait adopt des mesures lgislatives cet gard. En juin, une srie d'amendements la Loi sur la corruption d'agents publics trangers a reu la sanction royale. Notamment, les peines de prison en cas de non-respect de cette loi seront plus svres.

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25 expected to be one of the most divisive and politically charged in years. The government makes no secret of some of the concessions it wants from employees at the round of bargaining that begins in 2014, and at the top of the list is overhauling sick leave and replacing it with a short-term disability plan. At least 17 of the 27 collective agreements the Treasury Board negotiates with federal unions expire next year. The nature of the meeting is unprecedented for the 18 federal unions, but several union leaders say they also have to be ready for the Conservative Party's broader assault on labour at its upcoming convention with resolutions that would blunt unions' power, limit their involvement in political activity and strike at the heart of their survival - mandatory union dues. The closed-door session will be held in Montreal on Tuesday as union leaders converge for the annual meeting of the joint union and management National Joint Council (NJC) that begins the following day. Ron Cochrane, a NJC co-chair, said such a meeting is unusual but the government has rarely been as "open and blatant" about some of the reforms it wants to bring public service pay and benefits in line with the private sector. "They are very direct about what they want so I think it's time we sat down as a group and planned our strategy," he said. Federal unions have rarely felt so under siege and their relationship with a government rarely been so strained. The largest unions chided Treasury Board President Tony Clement in a July letter for "public service bashing," and accused him of "managing to demean, demoralize and discredit" when announcing reforms while failing to inform or consult unions. Government officials counter unions aren't blameless in the deteriorating relationship. The Public Service Alliance led an aggressive "Harper Hates Me" campaign, including several controversial ads, that fanned hostilities between the parties. Clement's office argues the Treasury Board has been "consulting with unions and attempting to work with them on a number of important files throughout the summer." Lisa Blais, president of the Association of Justice Counsel, said the government's getting tough on unions and public servants will be a part of the Conservatives election campaign when Canadians go to the polls in 2015 so unions have to be "more united than ever." "We worry as the election nears because seem to be punching bags for this government when they need to divert attention from really pressing issues," she said. "In our view, it was no coincidence that Treasury Board made a series of announcements (affecting public servants) when the Senate scandal was at its peak."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 LE JOURNAL DE QUBEC (FINAL) NOUVELLES, Page: 33

John Baird croit en la solution politique


AFP -- (AFP) Le ministre canadien des Affaires trangres, John Baird, a prsent la solution politique comme tant la seule faon de rsoudre la crise syrienne, en marge d'une visite Alger hier. La solution politique est la seule faon d'avoir la paix en Syrie et de mettre fin aux souffrances du peuple syrien, a-t-il dclar lors d'une confrence de presse conjointe avec son homologue Ramtane Lamamra, ajoutant que l'utilisation des armes chimiques par le gouvernement de Bachar al-Assad contre les enfants du peuple syrien est un crime contre l'humanit . La tragdie de l'utilisation des armes chimiques quel qu'en soit l'auteur (...) est condamnable, a dclar de son ct M. Lamamra. Le chef de la diplomatie algrienne a estim que la solution ne peut tre que pacifique et politique, qualifiant de positive , l'accession de la Syrie la Convention sur les armes chimiques. L'Algrie, allie traditionnelle de Damas, a salu l'accord entre les tats- Unis et la Russie sur le dmantlement de l'arsenal d'armes chimiques de la Syrie, qui a loign une menace immdiate de frappes amricaines, envisages par Washington et ses allis pour punir le rgime de Bachar al-Assad, accus d'avoir men une attaque l'arme chimique prsume le 21 aot dans la banlieue de Damas. L'Algrie a ratifi en 1993 la Convention interdisant les armes chimiques, a prcis l'AFP le porte-parole du ministre des Affaires trangres Amar Belani.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 OTTAWA CITIZEN (EARLY) NEWS, Page: A1 / FRONT

PS unions brace for divisive bargaining


At least 17 of 27 federal collective agreements due to expire within next year
Kathryn May, Ottawa Citizen Leaders of 18 unions representing Canada's public servants will meet in a day-long summit this week to develop a common strategy as they prepare to face off with the Conservative government in collective bargaining that's

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26 She argues the tone for the next round of bargaining has been set by the long and intractable strike of foreign service officers. Both sides have dug in on their positions and the government recently got its knuckles rapped by the Public Service Labour Relations Board for "bad faith bargaining" with the striking diplomats. The agenda is packed, but the top hot-button issues that will be divided up among a group of working committees include: ..Getting rid of the existing sick leave provisions and replacing it with a fixed number of sick days and introducing a new short-term disability plan; ..The newly announced employee performance review, the legislation, Treasury Board's new directive and the impact on collective agreements; ..Modernization of the pay system, including a controversial plan to introduce a new pay in arrears system that would claw back four per cent of public service payroll from employees cheques beginning in January 2014; ..Treasury Board's proposal to double the premiums for retirees who belong to the public service health care plan and also change the eligibility so retired public servants can't join the plan unless they worked 10 years in the bureaucracy. "We don't want to get caught off guard. We want facts in our hands, an analysis of all the existing plans in Canada and share information with other bargaining agents. So we can proactive and not reactive," said Claude Poirier, president of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees.(CAPE) Federal unions represent a broad range of employees who have very different jobs, education, interests and expectations from the workplace. They represent dockyard workers, prison and custom guards and clerks, as well as scientists and other professionals who traditionally don't embrace militant union tactics or the broader labour movement. "We have to get everyone on the same page, discussing and agreeing where we need to go and how to get there together," said Gary Corbett, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, which represents professional employees. The unions also don't want to be caught off guard like they were in the last round of bargaining when the government took away severance pay for voluntary departures with little warning and struck a trade-off package with the largest union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, that divided PSAC and all the other unions. Unions are braced for the possibility the government will approach negotiations for revamping sick leave similar to the special round of bargaining it called several years ago to get rid of severance pay. In that case, the government targeted the largest union, PSAC, struck a deal and then offered the same take-it-or-leave deal to all the other unions. Many objected and took it to arbitration but arbitrators sided with the government because the largest union accepted it. Union leaders say that "divide and conquer" approach won't happen this time. PSAC president Robyn Benson has already drawn a line in the sand and refuses to budge on sick leave. She argues the existing sick leave plan can be fixed and any problems are a "management failures" caused by managers who failed to enforce existing rules and guidelines. "There's no secret sick leave is on the agenda. Clement has come out swinging and so have I so that is a discussion we will have," Benson said. "And I certainly think that when look at the government of the day, it has an agenda and we are looking to protecting the rights of our members ... heading into collective bargaining in 2014."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 OTTAWA CITIZEN (EARLY) NEWS, Page: A2

Federal retirees ready to challenge cuts to benefits


Campaign takes aim at Clement proposal
Kathryn May, Ottawa Citizen Canada's retired public servants are mobilizing across the country to challenge any attempt by the Conservative government to reduce their retirement benefits. The newly launched campaign is taking aim at Treasury Board Tony Clement's proposal to double the premiums that retired public servants pay for the public service health care plan while also limiting their eligibility to join the plan. The proposal was unveiled in June at a closed meeting of the joint committee of unions, management and retirees who oversee the health care plan. The largest association representing retired public servants recently took up the cause to stop the plan with what promises to be its biggest and most visible campaign but also retirees' their first social media crusade. The National Association of Federal Retirees (known as FSNA) has launched a website, www.honouryourpromise.ca, organized an online petition that is approaching 7,000 signatures, conducting a letter-writing blitz on Clement's office and using Twitter and Facebook to drum up the support of 500,000 retirees and public servants across the country who belong to the health plan. FSNA, which has about 185,000 members, wouldn't talk about the campaign or the proposal. The country's largest concentration of retirees is in OttawaGatineau where nearly 100,000 live - about half FSNA members - and thousands have already deluged local MP offices with letters and complaints. NDP MPs say they can't keep up with volume of letters they've received.

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27 The health plan is negotiated is by the union-management National Joint Council, and anyone who collects a public service pension can join. Under the pension legislation, anyone who contributed to the pension plan for two consecutive years is eligible for a pension. But with the new proposal, the government wants retirees to pick up 50 per cent of the cost of contributions rather than the 25 per cent they pay now. It also argues that working two years in the public service is too short a time to get access to the bureaucracy's health plan and wants that extended to 10 years. So far, the campaign is focused on the doubling of premiums. It appeals to the government to "honour their promises" and pay retirees what they were promised during their working careers. On its website, FSNA argues the $40-a-month increase is unfair and a "daunting and critical" concern for the most "vulnerable" of retirees or their survivors on small and fixed pensions with serious health problems who could be forced to chose between health premiums and basics like rent food and heat. Matthew Conway, spokesman for Clement, said the government is committed to ensuring retired bureaucrats continue to receive benefits under the health plan but it must "ensure retirees' health benefits remain fair and sustainable." The retirees have also wrapped their campaign around the broader push to improve pensions for all Canadians rather than roll back those of public servants. Public servants have faced as steady attack from groups like Canadian Federation of Independent Business which argue they are overpaid and their pensions are too rich and unaffordable for taxpayers. Mathieu Ravignat, the NDP's Treasury Board critic, said some fear the proposal to change the eligibility for the health plan is signalling another move to further reduce public servants' pension benefits. "It's like opening a Pandora's box. I don't think the negative consequences have been thought out nor has there been a consultation process in place or even acknowledged," he said. "This president of the Treasury Board dislikes public servants so much that he's willing to go ahead with something so malicious. Maybe it's just a case of (a proposal that is) illthought or ill-conceived. We'll see." He said some are worried that the move to extend the vesting period for the health plan to 10 years from two could set the stage to change pension legislation so that bureaucrats can't collect pensions unless they have worked in the public service and contributed to the pension plan for 10 years. Such a move could not only have a major impact on the number of pensions paid by the government, but it could dramatically change the nature and composition of a public service that has relied on generous pension and benefits as a recruitment tool. The government has given no indication it would go that far, but the Conservatives have vowed to bring public servants' Library of Parliament
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benefits in line with the private sector, which many argue means everything is on the table for possible reform. The government did announce in the last budget intentions to review retirees' benefits. Other than pensions and health care, retiree benefits include membership in a dental plan as well as supplementary death benefits, which is a life insurance plan they pay for while working and can continue after retiring. About 500,000 retirees and public servants belong to the various plans.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 TORONTO STAR (ONT) NEWS, Page: A2

Battleground set in Toronto Centre


Ex-journalists win NDP, Liberal nominations for high-profile byelection
Susan Delacourt and Susan Pigg Toronto Star Toronto, no stranger to newspaper wars, now has a whole new kind of media war looming in the Toronto Centre byelection the battle of the former journalists. On Sunday afternoon, only blocks away from each other in downtown Toronto, the Liberals and NDP chose to hand prized candidacies to two women who made the leap from journalism to politics this summer. Linda McQuaig, a former Star columnist, and Chrystia Freeland, an international journalist most recently based in New York, promise to give the residents of Toronto Centre some lively debates, especially on the issue of income inequality and the decline of the middle class. Even the Green Party is running an ex-reporter: John Deverell, who reported on labour, business and politics for the Star for 25 years. Toronto Centre is seen as a Liberal stronghold and leader Justin Trudeau, who is billing himself as a champion of the middle class, encouraged Freeland to run after reading her 2012 book, Plutocrats, which documents the rising, worldwide gap between rich and poor. On Monday, Trudeau will be in Toronto to appear at his star candidate's side - a sign of how much the party is investing in a byelection that hasn't even been called yet. The seat became vacant when former Ontario premier and interim Liberal leader Bob Rae called it quits in July. Freeland told Liberals on Sunday that Canada and the Liberal party are at a "tipping point" in history and the byelection in Toronto Centre is the beginning of a big shift in the fortunes of both. "In Justin Trudeau, the Liberal party has found a leader who can communicate that vision . . . and we as Liberals are willing and able and ready to rally," Freeland said. Bibliothque du Parlement
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28 McQuaig, whose most recent book is The Trouble With Billionaires, left no doubt that she had Freeland in her sights when she made her speech to Toronto New Democrats. "Freeland presents herself as a progressive, but her writings reveal that she regards income inequality as inevitable - as something we really can't do anything about," McQuaig said. "I strongly disagree with that and in my writings, I've demonstrated that rising inequality is not inevitable. Rather it's the direct result of the right-wing economic policies embraced by the Conservatives and the Liberals." Freeland, however, wasn't ready to reply in kind - at least not yet. She repeatedly told reporters after her victory that it wasn't the time to wade into the fray with McQuaig, so soon after results were known. She congratulated the future NDP candidate and avoided questions about where the two diverged on the subject of income inequality. "Let's get ready for hard work tomorrow," Freeland told her fellow Liberals. About 500 Liberals cast ballots at the Toronto Reference Library on Sunday afternoon, roughly the same number that turned out for the NDP contest. Freeland's two rivals for the nomination, community organizer Todd Ross and former bank executive Diana Burke, stood on stage to endorse the result and Freeland said the Liberals, in a break with their past reputation for infighting, would stand united in Toronto Centre. With a byelection possible as soon as October, McQuaig stressed to about 500 people packing an auditorium of the downtown YMCA that Toronto Centre will be "ground zero" in any efforts by the NDP to defeat the Stephen Harper Conservatives and win a majority over the Trudeau Liberals. McQuaig won against two other candidates: one of them also a former journalist - former TV reporter Jennifer Hollett - as well as transgender activist Susan Gapka. The riding is seen as a bellwether for the NDP and the Liberals, with the New Democrats keenly eyeing a chance to grow their own caucus at the expense, yet again, of the Liberals. NDP candidate Susan Wallace came within about 10 percentage points of taking the riding during the 2011 election, when Rae saw his support drop by about 18 per cent, to 41 per cent of the vote. There was a sense of great optimism after Sunday's first-ballot victory that McQuaig, a well-known author and intellectual, could push the NDP to victory in the riding come the next election. Her central focus, apart from helping the party try to defeat the "fading" Stephen Harper government, is income disparity across the country which, she says, is only being worsened by the Harper government. But, "the stench of corruption hangs over them, making them wonderfully vulnerable," McQuaig told the cheering crowd after her nomination win. Library of Parliament
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 NATIONAL POST (NATIONAL) ISSUES & IDEAS, Page: A12

Roots of a Rebel (1959-1978)


Ten years after he became a party leader, Stephen Harper remains an enigma to many Canadians. This week, the National Post explores our PM's roots, his evolving political philosophy and his imprint on Canadian life
Mark Kennedy, National Post On the morning of Tues-day, May 21,2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper walked into room 237-C at the heart of Parliament Hill's Centre block to speak to members of the Conservative caucus. He was met with a stand-ing ovation from the MPs and senators jammed inside, many anxiously hoping their leader would work his magic - and make a political hurri-cane disappear. Forty-eight hours earlier, Harper had reluctantly an-nounced the resignation of his chief of staff, Nigel Wright, who had given $90,172 of his own money to Sen. Mike Duffy. The money was meant to repay Duffy's ineligible Senate hous-ing expenses, and those present at the caucus meeting expected some explanations. For years, Harper - long an advocate of Senate reform - had promised never to appoint anyone to the Senate. yet, by 2013, he had appointed doz-ens. On one day alone, he made 18 appointments - includ-ing Duffy, former broadcaster Pamela Wallin, and aboriginal leader Patrick Brazeau. Now all three were en-meshed in controversy over their expense claims - and thanks to Wright's cheque, the prime minister's office had been drawn in. Harper walked to the po-dium that looked out over his caucus. Against a backdrop of four Canadian flags, he spoke. "I don't think any of you are going to be surprised to hear that I am not happy," he began. From their leather-backed seats in the room, its towering walls bedecked with historic murals from the 1920s, MPs and senators listened intently. Crowded at the back of the room, after receiving a rare invitation to attend a caucus speech, stood reporters, pho-tographers and television-cam-era operators. "I'm very upset with some conduct we have witnessed conduct of some parliamen-tarians and the conduct of my own office," Harper continued. Then, abruptly, he changed the subject - reiterating old pledges about ethical govern-ment and Senate reform and telling Conservatives they must not let "distractions" push them off their political agenda. And he took his seat at a table at the front of the room.

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29 The vagueness of Harper's remarks, at such a critical moment, left journalists incredulous. "What about the cheque?" some shouted. "What about Nigel Wright?" "What did you know?" Harper, his frozen smile followed by an almost blank expression, ignored them. Cau-cus members tried to drown out the questions with cheers, and one former Harper aide ironically, a senator he had ap-pointed - moved in to shield him from TV cameras as party officials shooed the media out. The speech, for many, was a turning point. It was proof of something they had feared for a long time: that Harper, once a principled conservative, was now just like other politicians dodging scandal, declining to explain, refusing to accept responsibility. He came to office determined to follow a conservative roadmap of transparency, ac-countability, smaller govern-ment and balanced budgets. Yet, within a month of Wright's resignation, the RC-MP would launch a criminal investigation into the Senate affair, and Harper's fellow Al-berta Conservative MP, Brent Rathgeber, would quit cau-cus, saying he could no longer stomach how the government was avoiding questions and compromising its principles on policies "in the name of polit-ical expediency." What had happened to Stephen Harper - the prime minister of such conservative promise, who helped found the Reform party, re-unite the right, and vanquish the once-mighty Liberals? Harper had steered the country through a global recession, worked relentlessly on free-trade agreements, confronted the economic impera-tives of an aging population, and had even been willing to tackle the often-intractable problems faced by aboriginals. His principles in some areas of governing - such as foreign policy, justice and social policy - remained unshaken. But although he had once railed against deficits, polit-ical patronage, the appoint-ment of senators, corporate bailouts, and granting unique status to Quebec, he had gone on to commit all of these sup-posed sins. Now, at the midterm of his majority government, Harper was swept up in accusations that he had somehow lost his path. Are such perceptions fair? It's clear Harper is a man of contradictions. Surprising compromises live alongside unflinching convictions. In-cremental change appears to take priority over revolution-ary gestures. To some, he seems cold, aloof and cruelly partisan. To others, he is decent, loyal, compassion-ate, even funny. As Stephen Harper marks the 10th year since he helped recreate the Conservative party, and the 20th anniver-sary of his arrival in Parliament as a Reform MP, two questions loom: How has Harper changed Canadian politics, and how has politics changed Harper? Harper declined an interview for this Postmedia News pro-ject. But dozens of others were interviewed - his friends, pol-itical associates and critics - to help shed light on this complex, cautious conservative. Library of Parliament
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A curious - and tragic - event in family history before Stephen Harper's birth may have laid the foundation for his basic values. On the afternoon of Jan. 21, 1950, his grandfather, Harris Harper, a schoolteacher and principal in Moncton, N.B., mysteriously disappeared. Harris had paid a quick visit to his doctor's office for an injection of vitamin B, and a witness said he looked disoriented as he left the build-ing. He did not return home, where his wife and two sons lived, and where a paycheque lay on his dresser. Police launched a search with the help of 1,000 volun-teers, and issued cross-Canada alerts and missing-person fly- ers. Someone bearing his de-scription was seen later that weekend at the Saint John Sal-vation Army Hostel. But Harris Harper was never found, and was eventually declared dead. The disappearance led to gossip. Had he committed suicide? Was it a horrible case of amnesia? Harris's sons could only have been deeply scarred by that event. One son was Joseph Harper - Joe to his friends. He be-came a chartered accountant, moved to Toronto, met and married Margaret Johnson, and started a family with three sons of his own: Ste-phen, Grant and Robert. Joseph Harper never forgot the lesson of his father's disappearance. "It made [my father] appre-ciate that all the good things in life, all of the best things in life, in work and play, in friendships and family, are still just passing things," Stephen Harper said in 2003, in the eulogy at Joseph Harper's funeral at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Calgary. "And it made him deeply cherish these things all the more and, especially, to be thankful for the eternal God that provides them." Young Stephen grew up with a deep appreciation for his own family. In later years, as a con-servative politician, he would emphasize the importance of family as a "building block of our society." For the young Harper, family meant comfort, loyalty and responsibility. He was particularly close to his father: in the eulogy he said, "There is no adequate way of saying goodbye to the most import-ant man in your life." A year later, nearing the end of his first election campaign as Conservative leader, Harper spoke to a Toronto Star inter-viewer about the bond with his father - of how, for instance, they would sit by the railway tracks and watch the trains. He spoke of going through the campaign "without the advice and counsel" of his father. "He was a person of scrupulous integrity," Harper told the interviewer. "He was a stick-ler for following the letter and spirit of all rules." Gordon Shaw, who worked with Joseph at Imperial Oil and later helped found the Reform party with Stephen Harper, said, Bibliothque du Parlement
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30 "In a way, Stephen was similar to his father. He did not have a lot of friends. "I appreciated [Joe's] intelligence and he was a very interesting guy to talk to." Joseph Harper was a big fan of jazz, particularly Duke Ellington, and son Stephen took piano lessons - a skill he kept from even his political advisers until he took the stage at the National Arts Centre in 2009 to sing a Beatles tune. Joseph Harper loved mil-itary history. When his son later worked in Ottawa, Jo-seph would sometimes troop to nearby museums and ar-chives for research on mil-itary insignia. Much later, as prime min-ister, Stephen Harper would place priority on rebuilding the military and creating a better sense of history among Can-adians about their past wars. For his first 12 years, Harper was raised in a red-brick, twostorey home in Leaside, a mid-dle-class Toronto neighbourhood of tree-lined streets and crescents. He attended North-lea Public School, two blocks from his home. "When I was a boy here, you felt safe, you knew people were looking out for you," he told a gathering of residents in April 2013 who were marking the 100th anniversary of Leaside. "You felt you could knock, and did in fact knock on any door at any time if you were in trouble or you needed something." "People were personally responsible and civically minded." Harper's first "real vivid pol-itical memory" was the great flag debate in 1964 prompted by the Pearson government's proposal for a new ensign. Leasiders were deeply div-ided - a fact confirmed by a five-year-old Harper, who con-ducted a survey of neighbours on his street, Bessborough Drive. He found half the street wanted the old flag; the other half, including his parents, wanted a new flag (although the Harpers were more par-tial to a proposed ensign with three maple leaves and blue borders). "Emotions ran very high," Stephen Harper recalled at the anniversary gathering. "Many neighbours stopped speaking to one another, so intense were the differences." A couple of years after the family moved across town in 1971 to a large ranch-style bun-galow in Etobicoke, Harper en-rolled in nearby Richview Col-legiate Institute. The teenager known as "Steve" excelled in every sub-ject; in 1978, he was one of four students chosen to represent the school on CBC TV's quiz show, Reach for the Top. Bob Scott, who taught him medieval history in Grade 11 and American history in Grade 13, said Harper was the school's top student. But Scott didn't recall Harper show-ing much interest in politics. "I didn't see any conservative streak in him." "He was very smart, very well respected by his peers. He was reserved, but he was not geeky. He was not pushy. De-spite his obviously superior in-telligence and ability, he never flaunted. He was just quietly competent in everything." In fact, he was a kid who "got along with everybody," said Scott. Library of Parliament
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Years later, Joseph Harper had a long conversation dur-ing a late-night flight with Ray Speaker, a one-time Reform MP. "We got talking about Ste-phen and his dad said to me, 'My son was a good student in school and he knew he could make 90 per cent. He studied all night to make 100 per cent the next day,'" said Speaker. Larry Moate, a friend and classmate throughout high school, said the two were both "keeners" who studied Latin together. Students had their cliques: athletic "jocks"; party animals (alcohol, not drugs, was more popular); and academic kids perceived as "geeks." "Both Stephen and I were a little bit more in the geek camp and a little bit in the ath-letic camp." Both joined the school's cross-country team. Tall and skinny, Harper practised and ran with steady determina-tion, despite occasional bouts of asthma that persisted in later years. "Running is a sport where you have to be disciplined," said Moate. "You have to be commit-ted. That reflected his mindset then and I think you can see characteristics of that now." Harper graduated with a 94.7% average, taking the gold medal for the highest grade in the graduating class. That Sep-tember, armed with a scholar-ship, he entered the University of Toronto's Trinity College. His future appeared clear - but then the unexpected hap-pened. Within two months, Harper dropped out, appar-ently telling his anxious par-ents he wanted something different: to get a job, figure out his life, and return to aca-demia in a couple of years. Harper's reasons for drop-ping out have never been pub-licly explained, though his mother was worried he would never return to school. Harper left the security of his family and moved to Ed-monton to work in the com-puter room at Imperial Oil, which employed his father back in Ontario. But his mind was racing with ideas, and within two years he was studying econom-ics at the University of Calgary. It was there that he would meet a young woman who discovered politics with him and who would become his fiancee for a year. It was there, in Alberta, that his political awakening would occur. Postmedia News mkennedy@postmedia.com Twitter.com/Mark_Kennedy_

Published | Publi: 2013-09-15

Public Works gives up trying to collect millions of dollars lost to fraudster


OTTAWA _ The federal government has quietly abandoned any hope of getting back millions of dollars misappropriated by a former public servant, newly released documents show.

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31 A Public Works employee stationed in the German city of Koblenz transferred $3.3 million of government money into three personal bank accounts. The employee made 18 transfers to banks in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium between April and June of 2004. Details of the multimillion-dollar fraud from nearly a decade ago are only now coming to light after The Canadian Press obtained briefing notes, memos and other documents under the Access to Information Act. Public Works identifies its former employee as Sean Banks, who was the senior accounts payable clerk in Koblenz. He turned himself in to German police in June 2004 and spent part of a six-year prison sentence there before being deported to the United States in 2007. ''It was discovered that payments were processed without authorization and that the mandatory financial procedures had been by-passed,'' Public Works spokesman Pierre-Alain Bujold said in an email. An accomplice, Manfred Josef Hendriks, spent two years in a German jail, the documents say. Claus Burg, a suspected third accomplice, was never found. Public Works opened an office in Koblenz, which serves as its European headquarters, in 1957. The office mostly deals with military procurement for National Defence. Each year, it issues some 900 contract documents and does about $170 million in business. Since Banks was caught, Public Works has made changes to the Koblenz office. ''To prevent such frauds, the department has since implemented administrative changes such as moving payroll functions from the Koblenz office to Canada,'' Bujold wrote. The documents do not describe how Banks managed to transfer millions of dollars into European bank accounts over a threemonth span, nor do they explain the role of any accomplices. Public Works says Banks used a false identity to open bank accounts. ''The judgment in Mr. Banks' criminal trial indicated the identification used to open accounts in the name of Claus Burg was fictitious,'' Bujold said in an email. The chief public prosecutor in Koblenz, Harald Kruse, said German law prevents him from releasing Banks' court file. He did, however, provide some information about Banks' conviction and subsequent deportation to the United States. ''Mr. Banks has been convicted for breach of trust in 18 cases,'' Kruse said in an email. ''He therefore was convicted to serve a time in prison for six years. On Nov. 27, 2007, Mr. Banks was deported from Germany. According to our file he was flown to New York.'' The federal government launched civil suits against Banks in 2004 and Hendriks in 2007. So far, the government has managed to recover only $358,000 _ or around 10 per cent _ of the misappropriated money. Public Works hired a debt-collection agency in January 2011 to track down Banks in the United States. After more than a year, the collection agency found him but determined Banks had few assets. The collection agency told Public Works that Banks lived with his partner in a home valued at US$43,000. Searches failed to turn up any money stashed in domestic and offshore bank accounts, nor did the agency find any cash in places such as Germany, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Saudi Arabia. Banks did not appear to have a valid driver's licence or a job, the documents say. Based on Banks' meagre assets, Public Works stopped trying to collect money from him. ''The department has also taken all necessary measures to inquire about the financial situation of Mr. Banks and about the possible collection measures that could be taken against his assets,'' says a memo to the deputy minister. ''The department has been informed that the total value of Mr. Banks' personal assets is very small (i.e. less than US$45,000). Taking costly collection measures in the U.S. against such lowvalue assets is not justified. ''For all of these reasons, we submit that due process has been followed by the department for this file. No further actions will be taken.''

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 TORONTO STAR (ONT) NEWS, Page: A1

Military feared spy was hacking its networks


Forces scrambled to plug security 'deficiencies' after learning officer was passing intelligence to Russia
Bruce Campion-Smith Toronto Star chief The discovery of a Russian spy in the ranks of Canada's military sparked a cyber search to discover whether he had sabotaged government computers with a virus, the Star has learned. And in the wake of the serious spy incident that cost Canada credibility with its allies, top officers concluded that the Defence Department's security program needed an overhaul. The arrest of sub-lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle on espionage charges in January 2012 set off a scramble within the military to learn how much sensitive intelligence had been spilled and to plug other potential security leaks, according to documents obtained under Access to Information. Bibliothque du Parlement
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32 At the time of his arrest, Delisle was at HMCS Trinity, the Halifax base that serves as communications and intelligence hub for the navy's East Coast operations. In that post, he had access to intelligence about Canadian Forces operations as well as data concerning "allies and countries of interest to Canada," according to the documents. During his prosecution, Delisle told the court he gave away "a lot" to his Russian handlers, a comment confirmed by one memo titled "possible compromise of allied documents." It says that classified documents "proprietary" to an unnamed agency or nation were accessed by Delisle and "therefore suspected of having been compromised." Delisle was picked up by the RCMP in early 2012 after authorities were tipped that the junior naval officer was spying for the Russians. Within two weeks of his arrest, a top general established a high-level committee that touched on many branches of the military to deal with the fallout. But as officers struggled to understand what may have leaked, they dealt with another worry, too: that Delisle and his Russian handlers may have sabotaged Defence Department computers. There were urgent inspections to "ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability" of work spaces and infrastructure. A forensic analysis of computer drives turned up "no evidence (of) cyber exploit or malware detected based on current analysis capabilities." "We have not found evidence of a network compromise related to the activities of SLt. Delisle and network operations have returned to Normal," said a Jan. 27, 2012 briefing note. Several months later, a special "security issue management action team" issued a report assessing the impact of Delisle's espionage and actions needed to prevent a repeat of it. That report says there were "extensive efforts to contain, resolve and otherwise mitigate extant and potential vulnerabilities within the security and intelligence apparatus." The team's sensitive findings were heavily censored before release to the Star but make clear that other potential gaps existed. It concluded that the Delisle case laid bare "several deficiencies" in the department security program, which it said needed "transformation." A separate report from a so-called "Tiger Team" concluded that work was needed to plug potential weak spots and suggests that military shouldn't rely entirely on other agencies. "Resources are required to fill security gaps. Non-DND security service providers (eg. CSIS, RCMP) do not have an in-depth knowledge of military strategic issues," says the report from the director of defence security. The documents, including a briefing note to the defence minister, reveal that the department has faced other security breaches, including one involving Operation Athena, Canada's mission in Afghanistan. While providing no details of the Library of Parliament
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breach itself, the comments suggest it was serious, requiring "containment and sanitization." A task force was established to undertake "specific, concerted actions to localize, contain and mitigate the effects of a security pertaining to that operation," the department said. In another incident, a top-level department official had secret paperwork, including cabinet documents, stolen from a private vehicle where they had been "inappropriately secured." Though the documents were recovered quickly and apparently had not been "compromised," their disappearance underscored broader problems in the department, the defence minister was told. The incidents highlight the "prevalence of poor security practices over the years and the requirement for dramatically improved security awareness, education and training in DND in order to improve the overall security culture," the note said. As a result of the breaches, the military would create the Defence Security Agency to consolidate all aspects of security in the department into one organization, said the note, dated April, 2012. In February, Delisle was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $111,817, equal to the amount the father of four collected for his espionage work. He had pleaded guilty in October to charges under the Security of Information Act, as well as breach of trust under the Criminal Code.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-15

Mexico 'really mad' at Canada over imposed travel visa, says ambassador
OTTAWA _ The Mexican ambassador to Canada says his country is ''really mad'' at the Harper government for the continued imposition of a visa on its travellers here. Ambassador Francisco Suarez told The Canadian Press in an exclusive interview that Mexico is so upset that if the issue isn't resolved by next year, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto might have to postpone a planned visit to Canada. That would cast a shadow over the festivities that Mexico and Canada are planning for 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. ''We're now saying it's a major irritant,'' said Suarez, who assumed his new post in Ottawa three months ago. ''We're now really mad. a Canada has the most stringent visa system for Mexicans of any country in the world.'' While Mexico's relations with Canada are generally very good, the visa issue could become an obstacle to deepening economic co-operation in areas such as energy and natural resources, the envoy said. Bibliothque du Parlement
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33 Canada imposed a visa on Mexican travellers in 2009 to curb abuses by a growing number of bogus refugee claimants. Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself has said he would like to see it lifted but says Canada has to reform its own backlogged refugee system first. The visiting Mexican foreign minister, Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena, said little in Ottawa this summer standing next to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird when Baird was unable to give a timeline for lifting the visa. Suarez said the time has come to carve out a ''roadmap'' that will keep the issue from dragging on for months and years. If that's not in place by the time Harper is expected to travel to Mexico in the late months of this year or in January, the visit will not be productive, the envoy said. ''If Harper goes to Mexico, and there's no solution, either a clear solution or a clear path, a roadmap, with a solution that does not take two years _ that's the point _ he's going to get a very bad atmosphere.'' Pena Nieto's planned trip to Ottawa in the second quarter of 2014 won't go ahead either if the issue isn't close to being resolved, said Suarez. ''President Pena Nieto cannot come here if the topic is not solved,'' he said. ''It will have to be delayed.'' Pena Nieto visited Harper in Ottawa last November just days before he was officially sworn in as president. The thenpresident elect appeared friendly and conciliatory about the work that still needed to be done to lift the visa. Suarez said the two leaders, who have met at other international gatherings since then, have developed an ''outstanding'' rapport, while the tone between senior cabinet counterparts is also positive. ''The relationship is so good, the opportunities are so good. The agenda is so high level with things to celebrate and to expand that it's really a great pity that there's this thorn, an irritant.'' Suarez said Mexico supports Canadian efforts to persuade the United States to approve the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport Alberta oilsands bitumen to the U.S. Gulf Coast. He said Keystone would be an integral part of a broader North American energy grid that would make the continent a bigger international player in oil and gas. He said he expects that to be a topic of discussion at the next North American leaders summit, set for February, between Harper, Pena Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama. TransCanada, the Canadian firm behind the pipeline, would be a welcome investor in Mexico, which needs to expand its pipeline system, he added. Mexico is also keen to see other Canadian firms such as Bombardier and Goldcorp possibly invest in future infrastructure and mining projects in Mexico. But at the moment, Suarez said, Canadian popularity is plummeting in Mexico. Suarez said Mexicans have an easier time getting visas to the United States, which has serious border and immigration issues with its southern neighbour, and face no such restrictions in European Union countries. ''The Canadians require 10 times more information than the Americans.'' Stories of Mexican visa woes make headlines in his country, while other incidents have affected high-ranking officials, himself included, said Suarez. The chairman of the board of a large Mexican museum cancelled plans last year to expand an art exhibit beyond Toronto to several Canadian cities because he had to reapply after being issued only a single-entry visa. He was angry because the museum's curator received a multiple-entry visa, said Suarez. Another former politician gave up his time-share apartment in Whistler, B.C., because he didn't want to be subjected to the ''indignities'' of long visa forms that asked the date his parents died 20 years ago. Suarez said he found the Canadian visa forms personally offensive when he filled them out for a visit to Canada in recent years, prior to his return to the foreign service, when he was the vice-president of a Mexican foreign relations thinktank. ''I had to put the date that my mother and father died, 15 and 20 years ago. What's the use of putting the date of your mother and father (who) died 15 and 20 years ago?''

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 ACTUALITS, Page: A6 / FRONT

Les Roms de Roumanie redouts


Vincent Larouche L'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada (ASFC) s'inquite du haut taux de criminalit chez les demandeurs d'asile de la minorit rom venus de Roumanie, qui "place le public canadien risque", selon un rapport obtenu par La Presse et dont l'existence mme suscite la controverse. Le rapport sur la "migration irrgulire" en provenance de Roumanie a t publi en novembre dernier, alors que les autorits constataient une augmentation marque des passages clandestins de la frontire entre le Qubec et le Vermont par des Roms souhaitant prsenter une demande d'asile au Canada. Se disant victimes de perscution chez eux, les migrants s'envolaient vers le Mexique ou le Guatemala avec l'aide d'un rseau qui les aidait remonter clandestinement jusqu'au Canada. Un groupe de criminels, dont d'anciens Montralais,

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34 coordonnait le tout partir du ghetto rom de Craiova, en Roumanie. "Les migrants irrguliers roumains d'origine rom cheminent de plus en plus vers le Canada, en contournant le processus lgal d'immigration, pour accder aux gnreux programmes d'accueil des rfugis, de services sociaux et de soins de sant", affirme le rapport de l'ASFC. "Ce mouvement illicite non seulement sape le rgime d'immigration du Canada, mais il place le public canadien risque tant donn les activits criminelles auxquelles se livrent la majorit des migrants leur arrive au Canada", poursuit le document. Selon les chiffres de l'Agence, en 2011, un demandeur d'asile rom adulte sur trois a t accus d'un crime. Le pourcentage passe 67% pour le dernier chantillon analys, soit ceux entrs au Qubec en avril 2012. Les personnes arrtes s'taient tournes vers le crime "soit par choix, ou pour rembourser des dettes relies leur passage clandestin au Canada", expliquent les auteurs. "Depuis 1998, il y a eu une volution et une diversification des activits criminelles entreprises par les groupes roms d'origine roumaine au Canada. Alors qu'ils se spcialisaient initialement dans la fraude de cartes de crdit et les vols par distraction, ils se lancent maintenant dans d'autres formes d'activits illicites, comme le trafic de drogue et le passage clandestin d'humains entre le Canada et les tats-Unis", affirme l'ASFC. L'Agence a aussi remarqu que des leaders du rseau de passeurs s'taient tablis de nouveau Craiova aprs avoir t reconnus comme rfugis au Canada parce qu'ils craignaient prtendument la perscution en Roumanie. En avril dernier, une quipe de La Presse s'tait rendue Craiova et avait pu constater quel point certains individus lis au rseau vivent dans l'opulence, habitant de grandes villas et roulant au volant de voitures de luxe immatricules au Qubec. Dans son tude des causes de ce vaste mouvement migratoire, l'ASFC remarque que "l'chec de l'intgration des Roms de Roumanie au sein de l'Union europenne [...] les a pousss tenter de s'tablir au sein de pays qu'ils voient comme plus tolrants, tel le Canada". Un document critiqu Mais l'ide mme de compiler des statistiques sur la criminalit d'un groupe ethnique prcis sme la controverse. Selon l'avocat Stphane Handfield, qui a reprsent plusieurs Roms devant le tribunal de l'immigration, les autorits canadiennes font un amalgame dangereux avec ce rapport. "On mlange deux choses: la criminalit et l'obligation du Canada envers les demandeurs d'asile. Le Canada a l'obligation d'offrir la protection ceux qui en ont besoin. On n'a pas mlanger la criminalit l-dedans. Si des gens font des crimes, on les arrte et on les punit, c'est tout. On ne doit pas utiliser l'immigration pour pallier le systme criminel", martle-t-il. Library of Parliament
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Pour Dafina Savic, directrice gnrale de l'organisme montralais Romanipe, toute l'approche de l'ASFC dmontre une mauvaise comprhension de sa communaut. "Ce que nous esprons pour le futur, c'est un rapport qui tente de prsenter la situation avec prcision et objectivit. Un rapport qui reprsente aussi le fait que plusieurs Roms viennent ici pour trouver un travail honnte pour subvenir aux besoins de leurs familles. Nous esprons un rapport qui ne prsente pas les Roms comme des trafiquants illgaux et criminels, mais comme des tres humains, qui tentent de fuir la perscution, qui tentent de sauver les vies des gens qui ils tiennent", ditelle. - Avec la collaboration de William Leclerc

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) NEWS BUSINESS, Page: A1

Out of sight, officials tell firms to let them monitor devices, data
COLIN FREEZE, RITA TRICHUR When wireless companies apply this week to bid on newly available public airwaves, they will also be committing - again - to an unpublicized accord that governs how they will help police and intelligence agencies monitor suspects. For nearly two decades, Ottawa officials have told telecommunications companies that one of the conditions of obtaining a licence to use wireless spectrum is to provide government with the capability to monitor the devices that use the spectrum. The Sept. 17 kickoff of the auction-countdown process will underscore that commitment, made out of sight of most Canadians because it is deemed too sensitive by the government. Documents show that court-approved surveillance in Canada is governed by 23 specific technical surveillance standards known as the Solicitor General's Enforcement Standards (SGES). Any firm taking part in a wireless auction can obtain a copy, but contents are not available to the general public. But The Globe and Mail has obtained past and current versions of the accord, which governs the way that mobile-phone companies help police pursue suspects by monitoring telecommunications - including eavesdropping, reading SMS texts, pinpointing users' whereabouts, and even unscrambling some encrypted communications. Wireless carriers are told they must be ready to hand over such data should police or intelligence agencies compel the release of the information through judicially authorized warrants. Such information goes well beyond traditional wiretaps, and also includes phone logs and keystrokes.

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35 Police and intelligence officials say the surveillance is crucial, given that it can help them gather evidence, make arrests and locate missing persons. Canadian carriers say they support the need to supply surveillance information. "Telus fully supports law enforcement's need to carry out interception of communications with a properly executed court warrant," said company spokesman Shawn Hall, before adding that Telus "will challenge court orders we think overreach." Mark Langton, a spokesman for BCE Inc., also said his company only provides police access to its systems if it sees a court-approved warrant. "The standards are public and are a requirement for a wireless licence - they would for example be made available to anyone taking part in a spectrum auction," he said. While the SGES accord is a linchpin of today's lawful surveillance, it is hardly known to anyone, outside of government and industry circles. "This document contains sensitive content and is not publicly available," said Jean-Paul Duval, a Public Safety Canada spokesman, in an e-mail declining an interview. (This federal department, which oversees the SGES accord through its National Security Technology Division, succeeded the old Solicitor-General's ministry.) Recent leaks revealed how U.S. security agencies, working with U.S. corporations, are monitoring global telecommunications. Practices are different in Canada, where the SGES accord spells out how corporations can lawfully help police target individuals. Still, federal privacy officials say they are concerned by the lack of transparency. "We would suggest that a piece that governs the behaviour of telecom providers licensed to operate in Canada ought to be available for public discussion by parliamentarians, academics and security researchers," said Scott Hutchinson, spokesman for the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. "Real-time, fulltime" eavesdropping on conversations is just one of the capabilities sought by police, according to the standards. Authorities also want records of call logs, texts, keystrokes and other data, including "the most accurate geographical location known." Once surveillance is up and running, the telcos are told to pass along what data they can in a fraction of a second. "Callassociated data will be made available within milliseconds . . . 100ms-500ms is the desirable target," say the directives, which add that the intercepts are to be relayed via secure lines to a "law enforcement monitoring facility." Companies are told to help authorities screen out calls between suspects and lawyers. Carriers that help customers scramble communications must decrypt them. "Law enforcement requires that any type of encryption algorithm that is initiated by the service provider must be provided to the lawenforcement agency unencrypted."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14

Stephen Harper draws Canada's first prime minister into marijuana debate
WEST KELOWNA, B.C. _ Prime Minister Stephen Harper called upon the ghost of Sir John A. Macdonald during a comic but partisan foray into British Columbia's marijuana debate. Harper cracked some jokes Friday evening during a barbecue attended by about 600 people at the Quails' Gate winery in West Kelowna, not far from where Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced in late July that he supported the legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana. A debate on marijuana legalization is currently taking place in the province. Pot activist Dana Larsen is trying to use initiative legislation to propose a law that would decriminalize marijuana by preventing police from enforcing simple possession laws. Just minutes into his speech, Harper referred to Macdonald who, according to the Parliament of Canada's website, was elected to represent Victoria, B.C., in Ottawa in September 1878. ''Sir John A. spoke to British Columbians about the things that matter, about jobs and prosperity, about a Canada united and strong, about economic growth not grow-ops, about a national dream, not a pipe dream.'' The crack drew applause and laughter from the crowd. Yet, Macdonald's reputation was far from pure, as anecdotes abounded in the 19th Century of the politician swilling gin in the Commons and vomiting on the hustings. ''Better John A. drunk than George Brown sober'' was a political slogan of his day. Still, Harper thanked fellow Conservatives who were behind a bill that will allow him to bring B.C. wine back to Ottawa. ''Now of course, I don't, you know, I don't drink alcohol, but I have lots of friends who do,'' said Harper. The barbecue wasn't the first time Harper has entered the marijuana debate. In late August he hammered Trudeau, accusing the federal Liberals of promoting pot use among children. ''Do I seem like I smoke marijuana?'' Harper asked in response to a reporter's question during a media scrum. Trudeau, however, has said he has received ''almost universal'' praise for his admission that he smoked pot after being elected to Parliament. ''The conversations I've had with Canadians have almost universally been about people pleased with the level of openness and transparency that a Canadian politician is demonstrating,'' Trudeau said in late August.

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36 The push for decriminalization has gained steam in B.C. over the past few years, with several prominent former politicians, including former provincial Liberal attorney general Geoff Plant and former NDP premier Ujjal Dosanjh, calling for the legalization and regulation of marijuana. Their group, the Stop The Violence B.C. Coalition, has pointed to opinion polls that suggest a majority of British Columbians agree with them. But the provincial Liberal government has largely opted to ignore marijuana reform, pointing out that drug laws are in the federal government's jurisdiction. During the most-recent provincial election campaign, Premier Christy Clark ridiculed her NDP opponent for even taking a position on the issue. Meantime, Elections BC announced in July that Larsen could begin collecting signatures for his Sensible BC campaign on Sept. 9. To succeed, Larsen must collect the signatures of 10 per cent of registered voters in each of the province's 85 ridings by November. That would either force a vote in the legislature or a provincewide, non-binding referendum. His exaggerated numbers play into his narrative of the Harper government having launched an American-style war on drugs that is "ruining (Canadian) lives."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) NATIONAL NEWS, Page: A6

Wallin: 'I will not resign as a senator'


Saskatchewan senator has repaid expense claims she had charged Red Chamber for travel, but insists she has done nothing wrong
KIM MACKRAEL An unrepentant Senator Pamela Wallin has repaid the muchcriticized expense claims that landed her in hot water, but is refusing to resign her seat over the matter. A spokeswoman for the Senate confirmed that the Saskatchewan senator reimbursed the government for $100,600.98 in expenses and $13,938.19 in interest. Those payments were in addition to a $38,369 repayment Ms. Wallin made before an audit of her expenses was complete. Ms. Wallin was ordered to return the money after independent auditors found she had charged the Red Chamber for travel that was not related to her job as a senator. She is one of four senators who were told to give back portions of the money they had claimed after their expenses were audited earlier this year. In a written statement issued on Friday afternoon, Ms. Wallin said she fundamentally disagrees with the way the audit was handled, but was repaying the money because, "I do not want to burden the people of Canada and, in particular the people of Saskatchewan, by engaging in a protracted legal debate about the matter." Ms. Wallin said she believes new rules were applied to her claims retroactively and that evidence that "casts doubt on the correctness of the amounts owing" was ignored or disregarded during the review. The independent audit, conducted by Deloitte, listed dozens of travel claims Ms. Wallin made for trips auditors said were related to personal and partisan events. The auditors also pointed out that Ms. Wallin's Microsoft Outlook calendar was "inconsistent" with previously archived versions, with dozens of meetings added, changed or deleted. The Senate internal economy committee, which ordered the audit, referred the Deloitte report to the RCMP. On Friday, Ms. Wallin said she would welcome an "independent and objective review" by police and would cooperate fully with any investigation. "I have not done anything wrong. I am not guilty of any misconduct," she wrote, adding, "Accordingly I will not resign as a senator."

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 THE EDMONTON SUN (FINAL) NEWS, Page: 18

Trudeau: I am confused
JESSICA HUME, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU OTTAWA -- Liberal leader Justin Trudeau admits he is confused by the difference between police-reported drug "incidents", convictions and arrests for marijuana possession. Trudeau has repeatedly claimed almost half-a-million Canadians have been convicted of marijuana possession since Stephen Harper took power in 2006. In fact, police say very few people are convicted of possession as an unrelated charge, though Trudeau has yet to concede that point. "There have been an awful lot of studies and numbers that have been thrown around over the years," he explained Thursday. "The bottom line is our current approach on marijuana simply doesn't work and prohibitionists like Mr. Harper are going to have to justify given facts and data why the current approach -- which doesn't keep our kids safe -- is worth continuing." Trudeau has said he won't reveal any platform ideas ahead of the 2015 election, other than his desire to legalize marijuana.

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37 She said she submitted her expense claims "in good faith" and believed at the time that they were appropriate. "If mistakes were made, I am responsible for those, but there was never a deliberate attempt to thwart the travel policy that was in place at the time the claims were submitted," Ms. Wallin wrote. Ms. Wallin said the Senate committee in charge of the audit "succumbed to a 'lynch mob' mentality" in handling the audit. "There was no regard to procedural or substantive fairness. I am disappointed and angry about the way in which this matter was handled, and any implication that I behaved dishonestly," Ms. Wallin wrote. Earlier this summer, Ms. Wallin listed her 500-square-foot studio apartment in New York City for sale. She bought the condo in 2005, when she was Canada's consul-general in New York, and the listing shows that she "entered into contract," as of Aug. 14, indicating a tentative deal to sell the property. The Senate had given Ms. Wallin until Sept. 16 to repay the remaining money she owed or risk having it docked from her pay. A former broadcast journalist who was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Ms. Wallin resigned from the Conservative caucus in May. With a report from Josh Wingrove Bloc avait dcid en caucus (et non en congrs avec les militants, prcise-t-il) d'interdire le port de symboles religieux par les fonctionnaires en position d'autorit. Le communiqu de presse de mardi reprend cette position en disant accueillir favorablement la discussion que Qubec veut entamer. A aucun moment le Bloc qubcois n'a-t-il dclar qu'il appuyait dsormais un largissement de l'interdit tous les fonctionnaires de l'tat. Alors, les critiques avaient-ils raison de dire que le Bloc qubcois est tide envers les propositions pquistes ? Non plus, assure M. Paill. " Je ne peux pas dire la gang de Trudeau, de Mulcair et de Harper de ne pas se mler de notre dossier, et nous [au Bloc qubcois], arriver comme dputs fdraux et dire : "Voil ce qu'il faut faire !" " Selon lui, le rle du Bloc qubcois est de dfendre Ottawa les dcisions que prend l'Assemble nationale. Un dput bloquiste peut donc difficilement partir en guerre contre les propositions qubcoises. Daniel Paill a tenu refaire la chronologie des vnements. Selon lui, Mme Mourani l'avait inform ds la semaine dernire qu'elle faisait partie d'un groupe qui publierait un document sur la question - les Indpendantistes pour une lacit inclusive. " J'ai accept sans voir le texte ", raconte-t-il, Mme Mourani ayant refus de le lui montrer. Il avait seulement pos comme condition qu'elle s'exprime en son nom personnel et non en tant qu'lue bloquiste. Quand, mercredi, il a enfin lu la lettre et constat qu'elle la signait en tant que dpute, M. Paill l'a place devant un choix : ou bien elle n'tait plus porte-parole de ce mouvement, ou alors elle se retirait temporairement du caucus jusqu' ce que le dbat soit clos du ct de Qubec. " C'est elle qui m'a dit qu'il y avait une troisime option : qu'elle se retire dfinitivement du caucus. " M. Paill raconte avoir demand un peu de temps pour consulter son quipe. Au lieu de quoi, dplore-t-il, Mme Mourani a multipli les entrevues " incendiaires ". " Je n'avais plus le choix. " Est-ce dire que la divergence d'opinions n'est pas possible dans les rangs bloquistes ? Pas du tout, assure-t-il, mais il rappelle que Qubec convie les citoyens une discussion. " Or, Mme Mourani arrive avec un document assez raide, et parle de nationalisme ethnique. a ne favorise pas la discussion. " Et ceux qui estiment que le dpart de Mme Mourani, rpute difficile grer, fait l'affaire du parti, M. Paill rpond : " Mme Mourani a son caractre, mais au sein du caucus, quand elle discute, elle fait voluer la pense. Elle discute. Et on va s'en ennuyer. "

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 ACTUALITS, Page: A4

Mourani a voulu partir, dit Daniel Paill


Hlne Buzzetti Le chef du Bloc qubcois, Daniel Paill, estime que Maria Mourani ne raconte pas toute l'histoire lorsqu'elle soutient que sa formation a chang d'avis propos des symboles religieux sans consultation. Il affirme mme que c'est sa dpute qui a propos de quitter les rangs dfinitivement. En entrevue avec Le Devoir, Daniel Paill a voulu corriger un certain nombre d'affirmations faites par son ex-dpute vendredi. Il soutient que Mme Mourani, tout comme les quatre autres lus bloquistes, s'tait fait envoyer par courriel ds mardi matin le communiqu de presse que le parti diffuserait pour commenter la Charte des valeurs qubcoises dpose ce jour-l. " Pensez-vous que j'ai fait a en vase clos ? [...] Elle savait que c'est ce que je publierais. Oui ", assure M. Paill. Les dputs taient invits mettre des commentaires. M. Paill dit ne plus se souvenir si Mme Mourani a rpondu ou cherch modifier le contenu du communiqu de presse. Dcision de 2007 En outre, quand Mme Mourani se plaint que la position du Bloc qubcois sur l'enjeu des accommodements religieux a chang, M. Paill rpond que tel n'est pas le cas. En 2007, le Library of Parliament
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38 qubcois aurait d laisser couler de l'eau sous les ponts avant de s'en prendre sa dpute. " On aurait d attendre avant d'agir contre Maria. Parce que l, Maria, elle est devenue sainte Maria. Et ses propos ont une grande influence. " Plusieurs autres militants souverainistes ont fait cho aux propos de M. Leblanc. Jean Dorion, ex-dput du BQ et initiateur du groupe des Indpendantistes pour une lacit inclusive, salue la dcision de Mme Mourani. " Ce qui lui est arriv cette semaine, sa dclaration d'aujourd'hui, c'est des points tournants dans ce dbat-l ", dclare celui qui se qualifie dsormais d'indpendantiste " un peu dsespr ". De la mme faon, l'ex-dpute pquiste Lisette Lapointe qualifie Mme Mourani de " courageuse ". " Ce que je dfends au sujet de Maria Mourani, c'est son droit de s'exprimer. Je trouve inconvenant que les dputs n'aient pas cette libert-l. [...] Les lignes de parti pour des choses fondamentales comme a, a n'a pas de sens. " Vendredi soir, plus d'une centaine de personnes avaient par ailleurs appuy une ptition mise en ligne pour dnoncer l'expulsion de la dpute d'Ahuntsic. " Exclure Maria Mourani du caucus du Bloc qubcois ne fait qu'attiser les tensions en cette priode charnire pour le peuple qubcois ", indique notamment le libell de la ptition. Intrt chez Qubec solidaire Dans les coulisses, on pense que Mme Mourani a fait un calcul politique. " Sa circonscription a t redcoupe pour la prochaine lection et si on applique le vote de 2011 sa nouvelle circonscription, elle perd par 4000 ou 5000 voix. [...] Elle tait cuite. On lui a ajout la communaut hatienne, qui vote 97 % libral. " Mme Mourani n'a jamais remport son sige facilement. Elle a gagn par 708 voix en 2011, 423 en 2008 et 834 en 2006. Selon cette source, Mme Mourani est proche de Qubec solidaire, ayant toujours, par exemple, refus que le Bloc qubcois endosse officiellement le Parti qubcois lors des lections provinciales, prfrant inviter les souverainistes voter pour le parti indpendantiste de leur choix. " C'est trs stratgique, cette sortie. a lui procure une belle visibilit et elle pourra plonger avec Franoise David. " La prdiction est que Mme Mourani se prsenterait alors pour Qubec solidaire dans la circonscription montralaise de Sainte-Marie -SaintJacques, actuellement reprsente par l'ex-ministre Daniel Breton. Cette circonscription est situe directement sous celles de Franoise David et d'Amir Khadir, les deux dputs solidaires. QS y est arriv en seconde position en 2012, Manon Mass y rcoltant un peu plus de 25 % des voix. Chose certaine, des militants de QS souhaiteraient attirer Maria Mourani dans les rangs du parti. Lorsqu'on la questionne ce sujet, la coporte-parole Franoise David clate de rire et affirme qu'on n'en est pas l, pour l'instant." J'ai laiss un message sur le rpondeur de Mme Mourani hier [jeudi] pour lui exprimer ma sympathie, mon affection et mon estime, raconte-t-elle. Mais si Maria Mourani voulait adhrer Qubec Bibliothque du Parlement
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 ACTUALITS, Page: A1

Mourani remet en question sa foi en la souverainet


La nouvelle dpute indpendante d'Ahuntsic pourrait grossir les rangs de Qubec solidaire
Hlne Buzzetti; Karl Rettino-Parazelli En claquant la porte du Bloc qubcois sur fond de dsaccord au sujet de la Charte des valeurs, la dpute Maria Mourani a sem le dsarroi dans le mouvement souverainiste. " Blesse " par ce dbat dchirant, la dpute d'Ahuntsic remet en question sa foi souverainiste. Elle affirme que l'initiative du gouvernement Marois nuit au mouvement souverainiste et que le chef bloquiste Daniel Paill a commis une erreur importante en lui montrant la porte du caucus. C'est une Maria Mourani passablement mue qui s'est prsente devant les mdias vendredi matin. " Est-ce que j'ai encore ma place dans ce mouvement indpendantiste l ? Estce que les gens comme moi qui viennent d'ailleurs, qui s'intgrent au Qubec, qui deviennent des citoyens part entire, est-ce qu'ils ont leur place dans le mouvement ? Je n'ai pas de rponse. " Reprenant soudainement son aplomb, elle a affirm ne pas regretter ses critiques du projet de Charte des valeurs qubcoises. " Vous savez, quand je parle, c'est mrement rflchi, et je pense que ce qui se passe actuellement est vraiment inacceptable pour le mouvement souverainiste. " " J'ai voulu envoyer un message aux indpendantistes du Qubec en leur disant : attention, l'indpendance, vous ne la verrez pas avant longtemps si vous pensez qu'on peut la faire sans Montral. " La dpute d'Ahuntsic s'est jointe mercredi un groupe de militants indpendantistes pour dcrier l'initiative du gouvernement Marois, notamment en ce qui concerne le port de signes religieux. Le Bloc qubcois (BQ) s'est d'abord dissoci des propos de sa dpute, avant d'annoncer son expulsion du caucus le lendemain. Elle a annonc vendredi qu'elle poursuivra son travail de dpute fdrale comme indpendante jusqu'en 2015. Franois Leblanc est l'ex-chef de cabinet de Gilles Duceppe. Il dplore la gestion de crise faite par l'quipe bloquiste actuelle. " Je n'en reviens pas que mon parti fasse a. On joue avec les motions des gens ", dit-il au Devoir. Il reconnat que Mme Mourani a une personnalit forte. " Je sais qu'il faut beaucoup discuter. On devait ngocier continuellement. Mais elle tait finalement reste avec nous. Je ne sais pas quel point on a voulu rgler un contentieux en utilisant ce prtexte ", dit-il. Selon M. Leblanc, le Bloc Library of Parliament
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39 solidaire. Si elle voulait devenir un jour candidate pour Qubec solidaire, je ne vous cache pas qu'elle serait trs bien accueillie chez nous. " Une personnalit forte Une source bien place au Bloc qubcois rappelle, sans vouloir la noircir, que Mme Mourani a une personnalit bien elle qui tait parfois difficile grer au sein du parti. " Maria charrie constamment. Elle a fait virer fou Gilles Duceppe une dizaine de fois. Il fallait qu'on aille tenter de la calmer. On appelait mme son mari, qui est un chic type, pour qu'il lui parle. Il la calmait. Elle revenait. [...] C'est une femme brillante, mais qui est incapable de travailler en quipe ", soutient cette source. Le franc-parler de la dpute s'est d'ailleurs manifest en 2006 dans une entrevue au Devoir. De retour d'un voyage d'observation au Moyen-Orient, elle n'a pas hsit qualifier de " crimes de guerre " les interventions militaires menes par Isral au Liban, son pays d'origine. Elle s'est rtracte le lendemain, par voie de communiqu. aging CF-18 Hornets. It was a rare U-turn for a government that only infrequently acknowledges it is wrong - but the Conservatives had been dogged for months by a damning Auditor-General's report that said they selected the F-35 without due regard for price and availability. A defence expert called the Lockheed Martin move a hardball tactic. "They're making it crystal clear that if we don't buy the F-35, we get almost no more money out of the project," said Mark Collins, a research fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. Canadian firms already have $488-million (U.S.) in F-35related contracts. Mr. Carvalho said on Friday that Lockheed estimates Canadian industry could receive $11-billion in contracts over 25 to 40 years as 3,000 planes are assembled for air forces around the world. Mr. Collins said Lockheed has incentive to prod Canada for a decision because U.S. government budget cuts threaten to reduce that country's order for F-35s.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) NATIONAL NEWS, Page: A4 Published | Publi: 2013-09-13

Jet firm says backing out of F-35 deal will cost Canada
STEVEN CHASE The U.S. company that makes the controversial F-35 fighter is publicly warning that Canadian industry stands to lose as much as $10.5-billion in spinoff contracts if the federal government ends up not buying the warplane. Orlando Carvalho, executive vice-president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, delivered this cautionary message in Montreal on Friday. He said Canadian companies can keep the roughly $500-million in fighter-related contracts they have, but no more F-35 work would be likely for this country if Ottawa does not embrace the Lockheed plane. "If, in fact, the Canadian government were to decide not to select the F-35, we will certainly honour the contracts that we have here with the Canadian industry, but our approach in the future would be to try to do business with the industries that are in the countries that are buying the airplane," Mr. Carvalho said while opening an engine overhaul facility in Montreal. It is a sharp and high-profile reminder for the Harper government - which has tried to dampen controversy about its fighter-jet plans by launching a review of rival aircraft - that Canada will suffer if it does not buy the cutting-edge Lockheed plane. Last year, the Harper government walked away from a commitment to buy 65 F-35 jets as a replacement for Canada's Library of Parliament
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Canadian Taxpayers Federation plans to honour former budget watchdog


OTTAWA _ The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is giving its TaxFighter Award to Kevin Page, the former parliamentary budget officer. Gregory Thomas, the federal director, says Page won the respect of taxpayers by defending the independence of his office. Page was a veteran public servant and economist when he was named the first parliamentary budget officer in 2008. His five-year term was marked by rancorous exchanges with the government over some of his reports. The federation, however, said Page's groundbreaking work on military procurement, personnel costs and macroeconomic forecasting won praise from the International Monetary Fund and legislative budget officers around the world. The TaxFighter Award has previously gone to tax-cutting former provincial premiers such as Ralph Klein of Alberta and Mike Harris of Ontario, as well as academics such as Michael Walker, the founding director of the Fraser Institute. The budget office was created by the Conservatives as part of their accountability drive, but they soon found themselves at loggerheads with Page. When his term ended last spring, he was not reappointed. His replacement, Jean-Denis Frechette, was named over the summer. Bibliothque du Parlement
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40 Thomas said Page deserves recognition. ''In defending the independence of his office and upholding his duty to provide elected MPs with a more accurate understanding of how the federal government spends our tax dollars, Kevin Page won the respect of taxpayers, public servants and political leaders of all partisan persuasions,'' he said. He also said the federation will continue to urge that the budget office become truly independent. It now is an arm of the parliamentary library. vrifications. Ce sont ces dernires dmarches qui ont men au remboursement de plus de deux millions. Peu de dtails En plus des sommes en jeux, le gouvernement et l'entreprise ont refus d'indiquer quels problmes prcis avaient t trouvs, la taille de l'chantillon, l'objet de la vrification, la nature des autres vrifications menes, le cas chant, et si celles-ci avaient aussi forc d'autres remboursements. Une note d'information au ministre, classe "secrte" et obtenue par La Presse en vertu de la Loi sur l'accs l'information, indique que ce remboursement de deux millions de dollars s'inscrit dans la foule d'une valuation interne mene par l'entreprise elle-mme, et vrifie par la firme comptable Deloitte et par le Ministre. Elle portait sur "un certain nombre de dpenses inacceptables lies certains salaires au sein de SNC", peut-on lire en anglais. La porte-parole de l'entreprise, Leslie Quinton, n'a pas donn beaucoup plus de dtails. Elle a expliqu que dans certains cas, la msentente entre SNC O&M et le gouvernement portait sur le mode de paiement (fixe ou horaire) de certains soustraitants. "Nous avons accept de rembourser ledit montant au client de bon gr, malgr certains dsaccords que nous avions avec la mthode de calcul de l'auditeur", a-t-elle dclar. L'opposition officielle s'est dite proccupe par ce dossier. "Il ne devrait pas y avoir de clause de confidentialit lorsqu'il est question d'argent public. Point la ligne", a tranch Alexandre Boulerice dput du NPD de Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie. "On devrait savoir exactement pourquoi SNC a d rembourser le gouvernement, sur quelle opration, sur quel contrat, c'est quoi les dtails de ces facturations-l, c'est quoi les erreurs qui ont t commises." - Avec la collaboration de William Leclerc

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 POLITIQUE, Page: A17

Une filiale de SNC force de verser des millions Ottawa


Hugo de Grandpr Une filiale de SNC-Lavalin a d rembourser au moins 2 millions de dollars au gouvernement canadien pour des irrgularits dtectes dans le cadre d'un important contrat de gestion des immeubles fdraux, a appris La Presse. Le ministre des Travaux publics, qui gre le contrat, a refus de divulguer le montant exact des remboursements, parce qu'il s'est engag garder l'information secrte en vertu d'une entente de confidentialit conclue avec l'entreprise dans le cadre d'un processus de mdiation. Ottawa a nanmoins dcid de prolonger le contrat d'une anne supplmentaire, soit jusqu' mars 2015. A cette date, SNC Opration&Maintenance (SNC O&M, anciennement Profac) devrait avoir empoch environ 6 milliards de dollars pour grer l'ensemble des immeubles fdraux partout au pays pendant 10 ans. Le Ministre a expliqu sa dcision en faisant valoir que l'entente avait gnr "des conomies d'environ 171,9 millions de dollars durant les cinq premires annes". La Presse a rvl en 2010 certaines sommes que l'entreprise a factures au gouvernement, dont des frais de 1000$ pour l'installation d'une sonnette, de 2000$ pour l'achat de deux plantes vertes et de 5000$ pour la pose de six luminaires encastrs. Le PDG de SNC de l'poque, Pierre Duhaime, avait critiqu le reportage. La ministre des Travaux publics, Rona Ambrose, avait qualifi ces dpenses d'inacceptables et avait command deux vrifications juricomptables la firme PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Ces deux vrifications, portant sur un chantillon d'environ 80 oprations, avaient men au remboursement de quelques dizaines de milliers de dollars en raison d'irrgularits et cas de surfacturation dcouverts. PwC avait aussi recommand une srie d'autres

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 OTTAWA CITIZEN (EARLY) CITY, Page: E4

NCC head should be picked openly, Ottawa MP says


Secrecy of search violates spirit of Tories' accountability legislation: Dewar
Elizabeth Payne, Ott Awa Citizen The Conservative government is breaking the spirit of its accountability legislation by conducting a closed-door search for a new National Capital Commission CEO, says Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar. "This is the old way of doing business - appointing someone without looking at their merits and being open about it."

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41 Dewar said appointment of the top job at the NCC - a post that has been vacant since Marie Lemay left 14 months ago - "goes to the heart" of federal government accountability legislation that was a foundation of Conservative policy when the party took power. A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, whose office is responsible for the NCC, said a new CEO would be appointed "in short order. "There is a process underway and it is nearing its conclusion," said Baird's director of communications, Rick Roth. Dewar said the fact the process has been neither open nor transparent is troubling. As part of its accountability legislation, the federal government set up a public appointments commission, which was to have made the process of appointments more open and accountable. No head was ever appointed, though, and that office was closed in May. That would have been the ideal means of appointing a new NCC head, said Dewar. But without such an office, he would like to see appointments vetted by a parliamentary committee to "bring some transparency to the process." Dewar said the position should be based on merit. "It shouldn't just be a friend of the Conservative party." Dewar said the NDP would like to see the appointments commission re-established - with a commissioner this time. The NDP long pushed for changes to make the NCC more open, some of which have been put in place, including holding public board meetings. The lack of transparency around the appointment of a new CEO goes against that openness and accountability. Dewar said there are concerns "we are going to see someone there more to serve the Conservative agenda than to serve the mandate of the NCC, that is to promote the national capital for all Canadians." Ottawa Conservative strategist Bob Plamondon, who was behind a campaign to rename the Ottawa River Parkway the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the job, something he would not confirm. epayne@ottawacitizen.com

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 THE LONDON FREE PRESS (FINAL) NEWS, Page: B3

Boys forgotten victims in human trafficking: MP


DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS QMI PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU OTTA WA -- Female victims of sex trafficking get most of the headlines, but boys are victims too, says anti-human trafficking crusader and Conservative MP Joy Smith. "Absolutely it's a problem here," Smith said. "I've worked with five cases these last three years that involved boys." Around the world, the 2012 UN Global Report on Trafficking in Persons found up to 10% of human trafficking cases around the world involved boys. In Canada, said Smith, the sex trafficking of boys is usually a domestic crime. "There are a few that are brought from other countries, but this is born-and-bred Canadians trafficking Canadians," she said. She says a particularly heinous case involved a boy who was shipped like human cargo from paedophile to paedophile. "We had a case in Montreal where an eight-year-old boy was actually trafficked by his father," said Smith. "His father had addictions and he was trafficked all across the country for sexual exploitation. His father made money off him and that's the definition of human trafficking." She says the trafficker in that case was never brought to justice -- a common problem among boy victims who don't testify or come forward because they're embarrassed or don't trust police. Cpl. Nilu Singh, with the RCMP's Human Trafficking National Co-ordination Centre, says the Mounties aren't aware of any boy victims of sex trafficking in Canada. She says that could be because "the victims themselves ... may not self-identify as a victim of human trafficking." Singh says there's also the risk of police not recognizing victims even when they find them. In its 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report, the U.S. State Department warned that police investigators "look primarily for female victims and often miss male victims they encounter." "When male victims are not identified, they risk being treated as irregular migrants instead of exploited individuals and are vulnerable to deportation or being charged with crimes committed as a result of being trafficked, such as visa violations," officials said in the report issued last July.

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42 Smith predicts that will change as police become better trained and more accustomed to enforcing Canada's recently toughened laws to fight human trafficking. A Liberal government passed Canada's first law against human trafficking in 2005. Smith led Conservative efforts in 2010 and 2011 to add mandatory minimum sentences for those who traffic children and make it easier for prosecutors to show the courts how victims have been exploited. daniel.proussalidis@sunmedia.ca survey also found that young people who had taken a civics course in high school were more likely to vote than those who had not. These findings highlight the critical importance of families and schools in helping young people become informed and engaged citizens - and they point to potential solutions to the long-term trend of declining youth voter turnout in Canada. It is tempting to say that political scandals and allegations of wrongdoing promote cynicism among young people that is turning them off of politics. That viewpoint is overly simplistic. Both our study and the firsthand observations of teachers across the country demonstrate that discussion of contemporary issues stimulates and engages young Canadians, taps into the pride they have for their country, and ultimately makes them more likely to participate by casting their votes. So when the opportunity to have a conversation arises, what are the messages we will be giving? To be cynical, or to care and be engaged? To give up, or to be informed and do what they can to create the system they want to be a part of? We need to support them in acquiring the knowledge, interest and skills they need to hold their representatives and institutions to account. Challenge them. Stimulate them. We are all connected to our democracy. Those realities are at the heart of Canada's Democracy Week Sept. 16 to 23 - and its theme, Connect with Democracy. Canada's Democracy Week is a civic education initiative inspired by the United Nations' International Day of Democracy. Now in its third year, it aims to encourage Canadians, particularly young Canadians, to learn more about democracy and voting, and become more involved in the democratic process. Canada's Democracy Week gives young people an opportunity to talk about the issues and learn how to get involved in their communities and democratic institutions. Elections Canada and our partners in this initiative organizations that include the Forum for Young Canadians, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, and the Michalle Jean Foundation - are committed to strengthening civic education by creating a focal point for positive discussion about the issues that matter to them and stir their passion. We encourage young Canadians to participate in events like the National Democracy Challenge, share their views with their teachers and peers inside the classroom, exchange ideas with friends on social media, and initiate conversations at home with their family members. During Canada's Democracy Week, I call on every Canadian to do their part in keeping our democracy vital. Use current news stories, good and bad, to stimulate political conversations at the dinner table. Talk to your children about disappointments or frustrations with the political system, as well as about your dreams for the country. Show them that their voices are part of the national conversation; show them how they can effect changes peacefully; and show them the importance of voting.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 VANCOUVER SUN (FINAL) ISSUES & IDEAS, Page: A11

A healthy democracy demands youth engagement


Marc Mayrand, Vancouver Sun Canadians could be excused for thinking the past year has been open season on the democratic ideals they treasure. Throughout the country, at every level of government, events and allegations of abuse of power have made headlines and cast a shadow on politicians and institutions alike. It is too easy to assume, as many do, that Canadians have tuned out of politics. The very fact that Canadians are paying attention and responding so strongly to recent events by demanding accountability, transparency and measured action shows their passion for both this country and the core values of democracy. It also illustrates the strength and resiliency of our system and its capacity to reform and adjust when needed. Only in a truly democratic system can citizens expect and demand accountability from their elected officials and democratic institutions - including Elections Canada - in a public forum. So let me argue that these challenging times offer an opportunity. An opportunity to channel these powerful responses in ways that create positive change and encourage active, engaged citizenship. In this context, the involvement of young Canadians is particularly important. We need to have more conversations with our children, students, family members and friends, and we need to show them that participating as a citizen, a community member, and a voter helps ensure our democracy stays resilient and strong. After the 2011 federal election, Elections Canada's National Youth Survey polled more than 2,500 young Canadians to get a better understanding of why they did or did not vote. It found that young people who discussed politics with their family or friends reported voting at rates that were significantly higher up to 31 percentage points - than those who did not. The Library of Parliament
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43 And so, when looking at the political issues and allegations unfolding around us, do not be discouraged. The very fact that we are talking about them, investigating them and holding our political leaders to account shows that we care very much about and have tremendous pride for this country. If this results in a more inquisitive and active electorate, then that, I argue, bodes well for the health of our democracy. Marc Mayrand is Canada's chief electoral officer. an end to the Syrian war. It is a debacle that no amount of narrative re-casting by the White House will gloss over. There are two ancillary players here, however, who, come what may, have emerged with their foreignpolicy street cred strengthened. That would be Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the reluctant warrior Obama's faithful corner man and new BFF, and John R. Baird, Canada's belligerently non-belligerent foreign minister. This was not Harper and Baird's first rodeo, and it showed. To begin, they sidestepped the call to arms in the initial round of international phone calls between Obama, Kerry and foreign leaders and foreign ministers, that came in the immediate aftermath of the chemical attack in Damascus on Aug. 21. At that point a strike appeared inevitable. Britain and France quickly joined in the war drumming. The government of Canada just as quickly made a categorical statement that it would not be joining any military effort. That disarmed the opposition Liberals and New Democrats, who otherwise would have held up the spectre of Iraq and Afghanistan, the mixed results in Libya, and the Conservative government's past bellicosity vis--vis Iran, as evidence of a headlong rush to war. Baird and people close to him have insisted that Canada was never asked to participate militarily, because we don't own any missiles - to which we must respond, yes, of course, whatever. Had there been a desire to participate, we would have done so symbolically. But at the same time, Harper and Baird took pains to avoid the tactical mistake of withholding political support in Obama's time of need. Their rhetoric was as bellicose as Kerry's, at times even more so. At the G20 in St. Petersburg, Russia, Harper forcefully denounced Assad and called for a strong international response. In effect they helped Obama rattle his sabre, without rattling their own. Relationships between states are relationships between the individuals who control those states; Harper's relationship with Obama has grown frayed over the Keystone XL pipeline and was in need of refurbishment, especially given that Obama's yea or nay on the pipeline is still pending. Finally, the government of Canada has been clear-eyed, since the advent of the Russian gambit, about the enormous obstacles in the way of any effective plan to destroy Assad's chemical weapons. According to a senior government source, foreign affairs analysts believe the proposed disarmament will cost billions, and require thousands of people to implement. Assad's chemical weapons are believed to be widely dispersed across more than 40 sites, and Syria's highways are dangerousto-impassable due to the war. It remains unclear to what extent the dictator's forces, not to mention the rebels, will co-operate with the disarmament effort. Baird's skepticism is entirely warranted. Since Harper's ham-fisted response to the war in Lebanon in 2006, the opposition have sought to portray him as a foreignpolicy neanderthal. That became more difficult after his change Bibliothque du Parlement
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 OTTAWA CITIZEN (EARLY) WORLD, Page: A5

Harper and Baird showed their skill


Both adroitly steered through the Syria crisis
Michael Den Tandt, Post Media News In the very near term at least, it looks as though U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have managed to temporarily and partially extricate themselves from the shambles of their Syria manoeuvring, in the process setting a new standard for the conduct of realpolitik by the Great Powers. Call it the Inspector Clouseau approach: Stumble and trip over your own feet enough times and perhaps you'll eventually roll out with just a few scratches, the way a drunk sometimes does after a car crash. Already Sunday morning, with the ink not dry on a U.S.Russia accord struck the previous day, calling for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons by next year, Obama was declaring victory, in his half-hearted way. "Keep in mind that my entire goal throughout this exercise has been to make sure that what happened on Aug. 21st does not happen again." the American president told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "Are you confident that won't happen again?" the interviewer asked. "Well I think we have the possibility of making sure it doesn't happen again," responded Obama. As magisterial assertions of unshakable will by the world's most powerful human go, that leaves something to be desired. But facing defeat in Congress over a military strike Americans overwhelmingly did not want, and also the near-certainty that his proposed limited, targeted, unbelievablysmall-yet-not-apinprick bombing campaign would only exacerbate the chaos in Syria, Obama took the best face-saving exit he could find, kindly offered by the great humanitarian Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is certain that relieving Syrian dictator Bashar Assad of his 1000 tonnes of sarin, mustard gas and other poisons will prove more complex and costly, if it is even possible, than envisioned in the U.S.-Russian communiqu. It remains to be seen how Obama's diminished international stature, and Putin's enhanced standing, will complicate those efforts, let alone prospects for

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44 of heart on the Afghan mission. His handling of this crisis, which I suspect most Canadians would quietly applaud, will make it more difficult yet. a missile defence role in service. Many more ships are in service among our allies. So it is unlikely that Washington will be calling on Canada for support in this area. But the U.S. would still welcome Canadian support and input in the decisionmaking and planning processes for North American defence. We're certainly already at the table in NORAD. We have more than a hundred military personnel deployed to its headquarters at Colorado Springs and we staff and operate the backup facility at North Bay. Canadian military officers have traditionally occupied the secondhighest NORAD command position currently that is Lt. Gen. Alain Parent. Parent acts in concert with U.S. General Charles Jacoby Jr., who is the Commander of NORAD and NORTHCOM, which includes ballistic missile defence among it responsibilities. If a hostile force sends bombers at North America, Canada has input into the NORAD response. If it's a missile attack that may well involve potential damage to Canadian territory, we're out of the picture. General Jacoby and his American team are on their own. There's no reason for this bizarre disconnect. Seven years ago there were arguments against participating that were at least coated with a thin veneer of reason. One argument was that missile defence would inevitably lead to nuclear weapons in space. But that hasn't happened. All of the weapons included in the defence system are conventional there are no nuclear warheads on America's antimissile missiles, and all of those missiles are still right here on Earth, on land or sea. Another argument was that the initiative would incite the Russians to bulk up their nuclear arsenal. But despite some occasional grumbling from Moscow, nothing has happened certainly nothing as destabilizing as new arms race. Seven years ago, refusing America's invitation to join the missile defence program was good politics especially in Quebec. Saying no to George W. Bush, then the president, was easy for a Canadian prime minister. But that's no longer the case. Bush has left office, and Canada's Conservatives have made much of their commitment to not only get along better with Washington, but bolster our national defences. Rogue nations are a remote, but very real, threat. Any Canadian involvement in the plan would involve only modest investments. There's no longer any reason to say no. Why won't Prime Minister Harper tell President Obama we've changed our minds? kennyco@sen.parl.gc.ca Colin Kenny is former chair of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 NATIONAL POST (ALL_BUT_TORONTO) EDITORIALS, Page: A8

The case for missile defence


Colin Kenny, National Post Canada may not be as big as our continental neighbour, but we do our part to keep North America safe. Just look at the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), which has guarded both Americans and Canadians against manned bombing raids for more than half a century. But we still chart our own course. Prime minister Jean Chretien famously refused to send Canadian troops into Iraq in 2003, and history has proven that choice a wise one. Less wise was prime minister Paul Martin's decision to refuse to join with the U.S. on developing ballistic missile defences to protect North America, designed to defend against unmanned missiles that rogue states like North Korea or Iran may decide to fire at Western countries. Fortunately, this is a mistake we can still correct. The shield the Americans have built without us will never be capable of defending against massive missile attacks from major nuclear powers countries like Russia or China. Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" never got off the ground, so nuclear deterrence through the threat of mutually assured destruction is still the only real defence against a massive nuclear attack. On a smaller scale, however, there is an increasing risk that minor powers like North Korea or Iran may do something unpredictable. Washington doesn't appear to be counting on Canada to contribute a lot of resources to shielding against such wild card attacks. Their primary interest seems to be wanting us onboard with a group of many likeminded nations, including Britain, Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Romania and Turkey. Some of these countries have simply agreed to host radar facilities. A few others have acquired ships capable of launching defensive missiles. But all agree that the threat is real and worth addressing. Most facilities needed to defend North America are already in place. The U.S. already has antimissile launching bases at Clear Air Force Base in Alaska and Beale Air Force Base in California, with plans in the works for another somewhere in the northeast part of the country probably Maine. Massive radar facilities are in place in Alaska and Thule, Greenland and Fylingdales in the U.K. The Americans already have 28 Aegis missilelaunching cruisers and destroyers ships ideally suited to Library of Parliament
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45 lectoraliste identitaire ", et elle l'a fait encore vendredi, sans rpondre directement. Et lorsqu'elle parle de nationalisme ethnique, elle ne fait que rapporter les propos de certains membres des communauts culturelles qu'elle ctoie. Ce ne sont pas les siens. Le chef du Bloc, qui disait vouloir une discussion sans contrainte, a demand sa dpute de cesser d'agir comme porte-parole des Indpendantistes pour une lacit inclusive et de mener le dbat au sein du caucus, ce qu'elle a refus. M. Paill prtend que la dissidence est permise au Bloc. Ce n'est pas le message que son geste envoie. Les arguments invoqus par le chef bloquiste n'expliquent pas une expulsion qui prive son parti de son dernier dput Montral, de la seule femme membre de son caucus et de la dernire reprsentante de cette cohorte de candidats et dputs issus des communauts culturelles que Gilles Duceppe, avec l'aide de Mme Mourani et d'autres, avait russi rallier la cause. Le mouvement souverainiste a toujours eu de la difficult btir des ponts avec ces communauts o nationalisme et indpendance effraient. Sous M. Duceppe, cependant, le Bloc s'tait donn pour mission de crer des liens en entreprenant, d'abord, une rflexion en profondeur sur l'identit qubcoise. Il avait fait des perces. En 2004, plusieurs personnalits issues des communauts culturelles avaient suivi l'exemple de la Ligue des Noirs du Qubec et appuy le Bloc. En 2006, Gilles Duceppe avait obtenu l'appui de plusieurs reprsentants de la communaut arabe, certains se mlant de politique pour la premire fois. Et ce ne sont que deux exemples. *** Avec sa dcision, le chef actuel du Bloc vient d'branler les piliers de ce pont bti au prix d'annes d'efforts, accentuant les fissures causes par le projet de Charte. Maria Mourani reprsente une circonscription multiethnique. Elle sait de quoi elle parle quand elle fait tat des sentiments des membres des communauts culturelles et quand elle dit que le lien de confiance avec eux a t bris cette semaine. Si une militante indpendantiste de longue date comme Mme Mourani se demande si elle et, par ricochet, les immigrants comme elle ont une place au sein du mouvement indpendantiste, on ne voit pas comment, en l'expulsant, le Bloc et mme le PQ pourront convaincre d'autres noQubcois de se battre pour la cause. Quel gaspillage ! Dans toute cette affaire, le Parti qubcois semble avoir oubli son objectif ultime, la souverainet. Car comme l'a dit Mme Mourani vendredi, la souverainet ne pourra pas se faire sans Montral et ses multiples communauts. Le Qubec moderne, c'est a aussi.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 PERSPECTIVES, Page: B2

Marcher en rangs
Manon Cornellier Mardi dernier, peu aprs le dvoilement du projet de Charte des valeurs qubcoises par le ministre Bernard Drainville, le chef du Bloc qubcois, Daniel Paill, publiait un communiqu o il saluait l'invitation " la rflexion, au dialogue, l'coute " et disait que le Bloc ne se dfilerait pas. Il rappelait aussitt la position prise par le Bloc qubcois en 2007 devant la commission Bouchard-Taylor l'appui d'une interdiction des signes religieux qui se limiteraient aux personnes en position d'autorit. Il ajoutait qu'il pouvait toutefois y avoir matire discussion. " Tous les Qubcoises et Qubcois, sans exception, fdralistes, nationalistes, souverainistes, ou autres, sont concerns et peuvent, sans contrainte, participer la discussion ", poursuivait-il. Mercredi, alors que sa dpute Maria Mourani multipliait les dclarations condamnant ce projet et en particulier l'interdiction mur mur du port de signes religieux ostentatoires dans la fonction publique et parapublique, M. Paill publiait un autre communiqu, cette fois pour donner le " plein appui " du Bloc la dmarche du gouvernement Marois. Il ne soufflait mot des signes religieux. On aurait pu croire, sur le coup, qu'il mnageait la fois ses allis pquistes et sa dpute. Mais l'expulsion de cette dernire le jour suivant est venue confirmer qu'il se rangeait compltement derrire la position du gouvernement Marois. Et la position du Bloc se rsumait soudainement ceci : " Nous souscrivons la primaut de la langue franaise, l'galit homme femme, la ncessit d'un tat laque et l'encadrement formel des accommodements qui pourront tre consentis. Il s'agit l de la seule position du Bloc qubcois. " Pas un mot sur les signes religieux. Que s'est-il pass pour qu'il entre ainsi dans le rang et exige que sa dpute en fasse autant ? Mme Mourani se le demande encore, mais en agissant ainsi, Daniel Paill a port un coup extrmement dur son parti, au mouvement souverainiste et sa cause. *** Il a d'abord, sans le dire, reni la position prise en 2007, aprs mre rflexion, consultations et votes par les instances de son parti. Une position, soit dit en passant, que Mme Mourani dfend toujours. M. Paill affirme que son ancienne collgue est alle trop loin en parlant de " dmarche lectoraliste ", de " grave erreur stratgique du mouvement souverainiste " ou de " manifestation de nationalisme ethnique ". Mme Mourani s'est en effet demande si on n'tait pas en prsence d'une " stratgie Library of Parliament
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46 Kenney even made certain to be photographed wearing the sort of head covering Marois' cabal wish to render illegal. So far, so good. What will happen next? Early indications are that things are not going swimmingly for the Parti Quebecois. A Bloc Qubcois MP denounced the plan, and then was expelled from the party exposing a nasty rift within separatist ranks along the way. Public enthusiasm for the proposal has seemingly dissipated in Quebec. Premiers in British Columbia and Ontario have said they welcome all people, of all ethnicities. Municipal leaders have made appeals for Quebecers to move to Alberta and Ontario. Meanwhile, in the rest of Canada, folks have responded in clever, effective ways. A former Dalton McGuinty staffer developed a popular ad campaign for an Ontario hospital, advising Quebec medical professionals that Ontarians value what is in one's head, not what is on it. The battle for a diverse, united Canada never really ends. But it has been encouraging to see our leaders (and our citizens) respond with one voice to racism and bigotry.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 THE EDMONTON SUN (FINAL) EDITORIAL/OPINION, Page: 15

The best of Canada, the worst of the PQ


WARREN KINSELLA Politicians don't get credit for very much most days. So, credit where credit's due: Federal leaders have acquitted themselves well in the days since the Parti Quebecois unleashed its bigoted "charter." They could have remained quiet. They could have maintained what Brian Mulroney once amusingly called "a courageous silence." But they didn't. Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was the first to denounce the PQ's scheme, which will see the wearing of religious symbols outlawed in public places. Despite the fact he has been dismissed as a policy lightweight -- despite the fact he represents a francophone Quebec riding, where the broad outlines of the charter arguably remain popular -- Trudeau roundly condemned the hateful proposal. He even met with Quebec's loathsome premier, Pauline Marois, to express his opposition face-to-face. NDP boss Thomas Mulcair at first seemed intent on avoiding any comment on the charter. When pressed, Mulcair -- who, like Trudeau, knows a deep vein of nativism runs through Quebec politics -- would only say the charter was a "trial balloon." But when the foul document was unveiled, Mulcair did not hide. Speaking from a New Democrat caucus meeting in Saskatchewan, Mulcair roundly condemned the PQ plan. Calling it "worse than we feared," Mulcair, whose caucus is made up with more than a few who have voted for sovereignty in the past, said he, too, would oppose the Parti Quebecois charter. And Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada? Initially, he was completely mute on the subject, which has the potential to preoccupy national politics for months. Harper admitted he was being cautious, because "the separatist government in Quebec would love to pick fights with Ottawa." He went on: "Our job is making all groups that come to this country -- whatever their background, whatever their race, whatever their ethnicity, whatever their religion -- feel at home in this country and be Canadians. That's our job." Indeed it is. After the full putrescence of the PQ's ethn i c jihad became clear, Harper sent out one of his key ministers, Jason Kenney, to warn a constitutional challenge -- which Ottawa would win easily -- is likely. Kenney went even further, calling the PQ plan something out of Monty Python. And, amusingly, Library of Parliament
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47 Mais les partis politiques n'ont-ils pas besoin, justement, d'empcheurs de tourner en rond, d'objecteurs de conscience, de personnalits fortes, ou prfrent-ils une arme de petits soldats dfendant servilement la ligne de parti, au mpris, parfois, de leurs propres convictions? Et le mouvement souverainiste n'a-t-il pas besoin de reprsentants des communauts culturelles, de femmes, ce qui est encore plus rare, surtout si elles cumulent notorit, exprience et rseaux? Maria Mourani tait peut-tre "difficile grer", comme disent les chefs de cabinet propos des moutons noirs des caucus, mais elle tait, jusqu' jeudi, la seule et dernire dpute du Bloc, la seule Montral, une trs rare lue souverainiste immigrante et le visage le plus connu du Bloc parmi la population, la seule avoir ce qu'on appelle un "profil mdia". En outre, Mme Mourani est la seule souverainiste avoir fait des gains tangibles et avoir tabli un rseau et des liens avec des communauts gnralement acquises aux libraux, notamment les Libanais et les Armniens du centre-nord de Montral. Elle tait rgulirement reue ou vue en compagnie du consul du Liban et elle a mme t reue en grande pompe par le gouvernement libanais Beyrouth il y a quelques annes. Ces "relations diplomatiques" d'une dpute souverainiste dplaisaient d'ailleurs fortement au gouvernement fdral, Ottawa. Il s'agit sans contredit d'un recul, un moment dlicat, pour le mouvement souverainiste. Un recul qui rappelle, de triste mmoire, le discours de Jacques Parizeau le soir du rfrendum de 1995 et ses effets nfastes sur les relations entre souverainistes et immigrants. Bernard Landry ne s'y est pas tromp en parlant d'une dcision "catastrophique" du chef du Bloc. M. Landry l'a souvent dit: l'approche et le travail de persuasion des souverainistes auprs des no-Qubcois sont une mission de longue haleine laquelle d'anciens compagnons d'armes, comme Grald Godin, ont consacr beaucoup de temps, sans toujours obtenir beaucoup de rsultats. Or, la courbe dmographique tant ce qu'elle est au Qubec (dnatalit et vieillissement de la population "de souche" et augmentation de la population immigrante), une victoire rfrendaire sans un certain appui des "no" devient chaque dcennie un peu plus illusoire. L'expulsion de Maria Mourani relance, dans la famille souverainiste, le dbat entre "Nous" et "Eux" et, en juger par ses propos, l'ex-dpute du Bloc croit que le projet du gouvernement Marois nous loigne d'eux. Et rciproquement. Pour joindre notre chroniqueur: vmarissal@lapresse.ca

Published | Publi: 2013-09-14 ACTUALITS, Page: A7 / FRONT

Un phare qui s'teint


Vincent Marissal A une poque pas si lointaine, le Bloc qubcois tait devenu un phare dans la qute incessante du mouvement souverainiste auprs des no-Qubcois, mais on dirait bien que la lumire vient de s'teindre avec l'expulsion de Maria Mourani du caucus bloquiste. Il y avait eu d'abord, en 1993, l'lection d'Osvaldo Nunez, dans Bourassa, devant un certain Denis Coderre. Le dput d'origine chilienne reprsentait une rare prise des souverainistes et son arrive aux Communes n'tait pas passe inaperue. Une dcennie plus tard, l'lection de Maka Kotto, en 2004, puis celle de Maria Mourani, en 2006, sous la bannire du Bloc avaient cr une certaine onde de choc chez les fdralistes qubcois, notamment les libraux, qui craignaient une perce, timide certes, mais durable du mouvement souverainiste auprs d'un lectorat ce jour trs hostile. Les souverainistes, de leur ct, parlaient firement d'une avance historique. Les clbrations auront t de courte dure. Aprs de modestes gains auprs de certaines communauts culturelles, le dbat entourant la Charte des "valeurs qubcoises" risque de ramener les souverainistes la case dpart. Quant l'indpendance du Bloc qubcois, longtemps surnomm la "succursale du PQ" par ses dtracteurs Ottawa, elle vient de voler en clats. Sous la poigne de fer de Lucien Bouchard et sous la direction sans partage de Gilles Duceppe, une poque o le Bloc comptait plus de 50 dputs, ce parti avait une existence propre, mais depuis la dbcle de 2011, il a des airs de lointain poste avanc, survivant tant bien que mal en attendant les ordres des gnraux, Qubec. La prcipitation de Daniel Paill se dbarrasser de Maria Mourani, avant mme d'avoir labor des explications et des "lignes de presse" cohrentes, cache peut-tre autre chose. Dans les rangs bloquistes, Mme Mourani est perue depuis toujours comme une forte tte, une "grande gueule", difficile contrler et assez peu intimide par la ligne de parti. Bref, une "emmerdeuse de premire", comme m'a dj dit un ancien conseiller de Gilles Duceppe, il y a de a dj plusieurs annes. J'ai moi-mme eu au moins un accrochage avec Mme Mourani (qui est ma dpute, au demeurant) propos d'une lettre envoye dans les foyers d'Ahuntsic. Rien de bien grave, de mmoire, mais j'avais constat que la dame a tout un caractre! Pendant la course la direction du Bloc, l'an dernier, Maria Mourani et Daniel Paill, tous deux candidats, n'avaient pas, de toute vidence, beaucoup d'atomes crochus.

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48 Harper is providing the "cover" Obama will need to approve the project, but the prime minister, usually a master negotiator, has put himself in a weak negotiating position. The most immediate push for success in one of the three jewels has now shifted to the West Coast. Cynics will see a blitz of First Nations in British Columbia as Ottawa grudgingly dispensing its constitutional obligation to "consult and accommodate'' - or as the federal government interprets the duty as "consult and, where appropriate, accommodate" - with aboriginals before pushing ahead with the project regardless. But maybe not. One federal source put it simply: "Nothing is dead until it is dead.'' A federal Joint Review Panel is to render a final decision on Northern Gateway in December: a yes, a no, or a yes with conditions. A final decision still rests with the federal cabinet. Oliver is trying to build trust with First Nations, something Enbridge fumbled, and he has met with natives who have maintained an open mind as well as those who have closed the door to a pipeline that traverses hunting and fishing habitat. There appears to be a change in tone, according to one chief who recently met with Oliver. Doug Kelly, chief of the Sto:lo Tribal Council says he noticed a change in tone from the government and a sincere understanding from Oliver of the government's obligation to First Nations. "I was pleasantly surprised,'' Kelly said. "First Nations cannot duck, bob and weave with a government that wants to consult.'' Still, Harper will have to draw an ace to win the Northern Gateway battle because he must also win agreement from the provincial Liberal government, a strong environmental movement, and voters who would punish his party if he tried to override West Coast public opinion. "You have a good, meaningful, ethical engagement,'' Kelly says. "But sometimes the only answer to a project is 'no.' " The government has misjudged the politics surrounding the Keystone decision south of the border, it misplayed its hand with British Columbians on Northern Gateway and it appears to have underestimated the difficulty of negotiating a trade deal with the Europeans. Those early missteps have only made the Conservatives' climb on any of these three files that much more slippery and steep. The clock is ticking. Tim Harper is a national affairs writer. His column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. tharper@thestar.ca Twitter:@nutgraf1

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 TORONTO STAR (ONT) NEWS, Page: A4

Harper faces pressure on pipeline and trade files


Tim Harper The three jewels in Stephen Harper's long-sought economic crown - two pipelines and a European trade deal - have lingered, unfulfilled for a combined 17 years. But the clock is ticking for the prime minister and his deadlines are both political and pragmatic. The Northern Gateway pipeline, which would transport bitumen from landlocked Alberta to the West Coast and then to Asian markets, was first proposed by Enbridge in 2005. This week marks the fifth anniversary of TransCanada's Keystone XL application with the U.S. State Department. Canada-EU trade negotiations were launched in May 2009 and are now in their fifth year. Harper promised a deal by the end of 2012. All three are stalled, but not dead. Should Harper somehow triumph on all three fronts, he will be able to boast that Canada under his watch has become an energy superpower and a signatory to the largest trade deal this country has ever inked. Failure risks the country's economic future, relations with the U.S. and the support of the country's top business leaders. Harper's political capital would be greatly diminished heading into a 2015 election. Already, business leaders have expressed frustration over the lack of progress in the trade deal, which they say has been hung up on provincial hobby horses. The danger is that if a deal is not soon reached, the EU will pivot and put all its focus on a pending deal with the U.S., swamping Canadian interests. Harper may have to take what he can get, likely by the end of the year, or watch the deal unravel. A decision on the $7-billion Keystone pipeline, which would transport bitumen from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, is expected early next year, and if Harper wins approval from U.S. President Barack Obama, the question will be at what price? According to the CBC, Harper has offered to work jointly with Obama to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil-and-gas sector, something that has been characterized by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver as simple co-operation, but by Conservative opponents as an outsourcing of our environmental policy. How far will Obama push?

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49 Now that Canadians aren't buying their message, one might think the Tories would stop. The bang they're getting for their advertising buck amounts to a pop gun. But that doesn't matter. Expect the Conservatives to keep spending big on selfpromotion and for just one reason: the dollars they waste aren't their own - they're the taxpayers'. 2013 Torstar Corporation

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 TORONTO STAR (ONT) EDITORIAL, Page: A12

Partisan ads flop


It's bad enough that Ottawa's annoying "Economic Action Plan" ads are thinly disguised Conservative propaganda. As it turns out, they're not even effective at that. What a colossal waste of taxpayers' money. Well over $100 million has been flushed away since the federal government began promoting its recession-fighting "action plan" on television, radio, in print and online in the wake of the 2009 budget. But the government's own polling now shows this effort has left many Canadians tuned out, turned off and suspicious of Ottawa's motives. A fresh spate of TV and radio ads, touting the action plan, aired at the end of March in conjunction with the last federal budget. The polling firm Harris-Decima was hired by Finance Canada to assess the impact of that push. And, after surveying more than 2,000 people, the pollster reported disappointing results. Only six respondents bothered to visit a special website set up to tout the action planned, and none called a toll-free number that was highlighted in the government's pitch. What's worse, several people reported outright displeasure, or complained, on seeing the ads. These findings come courtesy of The Canadian Press, which obtained a copy of the federal survey under the Access to Information Act. The less-than-stellar result of this advertising is in line with other polling commissioned to assess the ongoing impact of the Economic Action Plan campaign. It was more effective when it was launched four years ago, with Canadians especially interested in learning more about a home renovation tax credit. Since then, however, the public has gradually grown bored with the government's repetitive, vacuous and self-serving message. According to Ottawa, the action plan publicity drive is meant to keep Canadians abreast of the important work their government is doing on jobs and the economy. But there's isn't much substance in these ads - just sentimental words and scenic pictures meant to convey a feel-good message that the country is in good shape and in good hands. There's a politically motivated subtext here is that's both obvious and unconscionable. Public funds should never be used to promote partisan interests, but that's precisely what's going on with the federal government's action plan advertising. Sadly, ethical concerns have never much troubled the ruling Conservatives.

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50 Since the U.S. rate is around 39.5%, that means Mr. Mulcair has 13% to play with. (The average provincial rate of 11.5% bumps the combined Canadian rate to 26.5%). It is conceivable that even a 10 percentage point increase in the corporate rate would allow him to pay for his increased social spending without implementing a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system that rebates its proceeds to Ottawa. Jack Mintz from the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, and one of Canada's foremost experts on taxation, noted that the higher federal rate would increase our effective tax rate on capital, currently the lowest in the G7, and hurt investment. "Profit shifting will result in less taxable profits in Canada, with little revenue gain," he said. Mr. Mintz has long advocated that revenue shifts are minimal when corporate tax rates are cut or hiked. The facts bear him out corporate tax revenues when the Tories came to power, and the rate was 21%, were $31.7billion; revenues in 201112, when the rate was 16.5%, were $34billion (they were, of course, lower as a percentage of GDP because the economy grew). Forbes magazine has ranked Canada as the best country in the world in which to do business, in large part because of its falling tax rate. But Canada is only at the forefront of a global trend nine of 15 OECD countries lowered corporate rates between 20052010. Someone has to pay for tax increases and there is voluminous research out there to show that workers end up bearing the brunt of the cost in lower wages and lost jobs. It may be a much easier political sell to hammer banks and oil companies than imposing a carbon tax that will add 10^ to the price of gas for hardpressed commuters. But those corporations don't pay tax people do. Mr. Mulcair should be frank and tell Canadians how much he expects them to fork over. jivison@nationalpost.com Twitter. com/IvisonJ

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 NATIONAL POST (ALL_BUT_TORONTO) NEWS, Page: A1 / FRONT

Mulcairs tax plan tradeoff


NDP leader may swap carbon for corporate
John Ivison, National Post Is the NDP backing away from its "$21billion jobkilling carbon tax that will increase the price of everything"? The Conservative attack ad machine has treated the New Democrats' plan for a capandtrade system in the same manner that it approached Stephane Dion's attempt to become prime minister with scorn and added vitriol. "Canada's NDP has a new leader but can we afford him groceries, heating, electricity, gas will go up by 10^. Under Mulcair, you'll pay more for everything," the Conservatives said in radio ads that ran last year. And that's just the preelection aperitif. Yet, as with the Dion assault, the carbon tax ads work because there is more than a kernel of truth in them. In the last election, the NDP platform promised $60billion in new spending over four years, paid for by increases in the corporate tax rate ($34billion in the same time period) and the introduction of a cap-and-trade system on greenhouse gas emissions ($21billion). Since 2011, the climate-change caravan has moved on. The NDP says it is still committed to cap-and-trade but U.S. President Barack Obama has abandoned attempts to get a similar model through Congress; the European Union's price system has been mired in problems; and many provinces are more interested in the carbon tax/technology fund model that Alberta has implemented. Mr. Mulcair is a canny strategist and must be concerned that any hint at carbon pricing imposed by Ottawa will be an electoral Achilles Heel. We haven't heard much from the NDP leader on capandtrade in recent times but he's still hot on the idea of increasing corporate taxes, according to what he told the faithful in Saskatchewan last week. In the last election, the NDP pledged to raise the corporate rate back to 19.5% from 16.5%, raising $34billion to spend on things ranging from social housing to new doctors. However, since then the federal rate has fallen to 15% and Mr. Mulcair has talked about increasing it to the level it was at before the Conservatives started cutting, which was 21%. Karl Belanger, Mr. Mulcair's principal secretary, said in an email his leader has "not been declarative" about the corporate rate but said there is "a lot of room" to increase the level and still remain "several points" below the U.S. rate. Library of Parliament
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51 key metrics as productivity and business spending on research and development. The World Economic Forum recently ranked Canada 14th in global competitiveness, not good for a country that was once a consistent Top 10 performer. Given all that, the EI premium freeze is a convenient talking point - a surrogate for other economic policies. The government can claim that it's doing something to foster job creation or, at a minimum, that it's not doing anything to impede jobs. Mr. Flaherty said the change will leave money "in the pockets of job creators and Canadian workers," and help small businesses grow. But, really, Ottawa had no choice. Raising EI rates now would have left it open to accusations from business groups that it's getting a windfall in premiums it doesn't need. The government's just-released EI actuarial report shows that the EI operating account's deficit is shrinking much faster than anyone expected as EI claims drop. Chief actuary Michel Millette said the cumulative deficit would fall to less than $2-billion by the end of next year. Just a few months ago, the budget had predicted a $4.5-billion deficit. In 2014, EI premiums will bring $23.5-billion while benefit payouts would be just $19.6-billion, according to the actuary. If the trend continues, Ottawa could be in a position to cut EI premiums in 2015 and beyond. Ottawa is apparently confident it will meet its target to eliminate the deficit in 2015-16. It does not need to pocket surplus EI premiums to get there faster. The Conservatives have long promised that they intend to cut taxes once the budget is balanced. The EI premium freeze is Mr. Flaherty's down payment on that promise - a prelude to the next phase of the government's jobs and growth agenda.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) REPORT ON BUSINESS, Page: B1

EI premium freeze reveals the Tories' economic cupboard is bare


BARRIE MCKENNA bmckenna@globeandmail.com For the federal Conservatives, who have made jobs and growth their mantra, the current economic landscape is an awkward reality. The economy is barely growing and unemployment is stuck stubbornly above prerecession levels - 7.1 per cent in August versus 6.1 per cent five years earlier. Enter Finance Minister Jim Flaherty with the surprise announcement last week that he's freezing employment insurance premiums - not just for 2014, but for 2015 and 2016 as well. The move will leave roughly $3-billion over three years in the hands of employers and workers - relief from an erstwhile tax hike. "This is the government saying, 'Here's our new jobs strategy,' " said Peter Devries, a former director of fiscal policy with the Finance Department. "What else can they do? This is very public and it's something that many people see as a job killer." It's also a tacit acknowledgment by Ottawa that its economic toolbox is empty. The slogan "jobs and growth" has been on every budget since 2010. But the government doesn't have much to show for its work on austerity, trade, pipelines and innovation. Deficit reduction, for example, wins kudos in financial markets. But in the absence of jobs and growth, balancing the books by 2015-16 isn't likely to be a seductive campaign slogan in the next election. As Mr. Devries points out, eliminating the deficit alone won't be enough to demonstrate good stewardship of the economy in 2015. Likewise, aggressive promotion of free trade is proving to be more long-term project than quick fix. A free-trade deal with Europe has been stalled for months and the ambitious TransPacific Partnership remains a long way from fruition. Other trade deals may be even further away. The government's push to secure better access to markets for western crude is also slow moving. There is no guarantee that the Obama administration will approve TransCanada Corp. 's Keystone XL project, which would ship Alberta oil to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. A host of other domestic pipeline proposals face steep economic and political hurdles. And finally, for all the fuss about innovation by this government, Canada continues to be a poor performer on such Library of Parliament
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52 going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere. And there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release." Well, Mr. President, maybe that carbon contribution won't really matter anyway. And if it doesn't, vetoing a project which has the support of 67 per cent of Americans would be a bad idea. It also would alienate one of America's remaining allies at a time when Obama, internationally speaking, needs all the friends he can find. For Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, for whom the approval of Keystone is electorally and economically crucial, the IPCC report is political gold. Harper already pitched Obama on a deal to reduce climate emissions this past August. In light of the diplomatic effort and the IPCC findings, should Obama reject Keystone Harper could say that Canada not only tried to meet U.S. demands, but that those demands were not based on sound science to begin with. The report also could help the Tories fight the NDP, who oppose Keystone. More importantly, it could help them fight the Liberals. While Justin Trudeau supports the pipeline, he also repeatedly accuses the Tories of adopting policies that aren't "evidence-based". But now that the evidence is in Harper's favour, he might just take the opportunity to embrace science after all and take an arrow out of Trudeau's quiver in the process. Hot stuff, indeed. Tasha Kheiriddin is a well-known political writer and broadcaster who frequently comments in both English and French. In her student days, Tasha was active in youth politics in her hometown of Montreal, eventually serving as national policy director and then president of the Progressive Conservative Youth Federation of Canada. After practising law and a stint in the government of Mike Harris, Tasha became the Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and co-wrote the 2005 bestseller, Rescuing Canada's Right: Blueprint for a Conservative Revolution. Tasha moved back to Montreal in 2006 and served as vicepresident of the Montreal Economic Institute, and later director for Quebec of the Fraser Institute, while also lecturing on conservative politics at McGill University. Tasha now lives in Whitby, Ontario with her daughter Zara, born in 2009. The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author's alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16

Cool news on the climate front


Tasha Kheiriddin More from Tasha Kheiriddin available here. Hold off on buying that air conditioner. In a report to be released to the world's governments on September 27, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says humanity is no longer barbecuing the planet. Apparently, we're slowcooking it instead. In a leaked draft of the document, the IPCC revised its forecast of temperature increases down half a degree. It's now predicting that a doubling of atmospheric carbon over the next seventy years eventually will increase mean global temperatures by between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius, rather than the previous range of 2 to 4.5 degrees. This tiny change has big implications, because the most serious impacts of climate change (which would not be felt until the next century) are only supposed to kick in at the 2 degree mark. The report further finds that the actual temperature change expected in 2083 is "likely" to be 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius and "extremely unlikely" to be greater than 3 degrees. The effects of climate change could actually be beneficial to the planet, writes House of Lords member Matt Ridley in the Wall Street Journal: "Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places)." Why the new view? Because the data show that global warming actually has paused since 1998. You would be forgiven for not knowing this, as in the last fifteen years climate alarmism has heated up. Thanks to multiple schoolimposed viewings of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, an entire generation has been brainwashed into believing that unless we stop taking long showers and driving anything but a hybrid, we're going to create a global Sahara. What does the new IPCC forecast mean for Canada? Plenty and it's all good. Apart from the possible benefits cited by Ridley, it means that our chief source of carbon emissions the oilsands aren't the monstrosity Neil Young and company say they are. The IPCC report could not come at a better time, as embattled U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his decision on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline this fall. This summer, in an interview to the New York Times, Obama poohpoohed the pipeline's impact on job creation and said: "I'm Library of Parliament
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53 - a deliberate campaign to mislead voters and deprive them of their fundamental right to vote. He also found that the "CIMS database maintained and controlled by the CPC [Conservative Party of Canada]" was the source of the information used to place those calls. Given the seriousness of the accusation, one might expect the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to root out such a scourge. Not so. Judge Mosley actually found that the Conservatives "engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent [the] case from coming to a hearing on the merits." One might also expect the prime minister to try and make sure this could never happen again. But no. The Commons agreed unanimously in March 2012 to a motion by NDP MP David Christopherson demanding the government bring in legislation within six months to fix the loopholes that made the robocall voter suppression campaign possible - but 18 months later the Conservative government still hasn't acted. Is it possible that the Conservatives just don't want the problem to be fixed in time for the next election? Is their faith in democracy so paper-thin that they would risk allowing the worst electoral fraud in modern Canadian history to repeat itself? By refusing to bring this legislation forward and proroguing the House to avoid accountability, the government is showing Canadians - especially young people - that they simply aren't committed to fixing what's broken about our democratic system. Canadians deserve better from their Prime Minister. Craig Scott is the Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth riding. He is a member of the New Democratic Party and the official opposition critic for democratic and parliamentary reform.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 OPINION | TORONTO STAR

Proroguing the Commons shows disrespect for democracy


Craig Scott Today - Monday, Sept. 16 - kicks off Canada's Democracy Week( http://democracydemocratie.ca/content.asp?document=home ). Canadians, especially young Canadians, are being invited to celebrate our democracy and take action to improve it. Coincidentally, Monday also marks the day that Members of Parliament had agreed to kick off the 2013 fall session in Ottawa. After hearing from Canadians throughout the summer, New Democrat MPs were eager to debate the affairs of the country - a still-struggling economy, stubbornly high household debt, youth employment and income inequality; the ongoing crisis in Syria; a grotesquely overdue plan to tackle climate change; Conservative ethical scandals; and serious challenges facing Canada's democracy. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided he didn't want to hear( http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/08/20/proroguing_p arliament_stephen_harper_retooling_to_slay_budget_deficit_a head_of_2015_election_insiders_say.html ) from Canadians or their representatives. He ignored the democratic will of the majority of Parliamentarians who, in 2010, supported a motion from late NDP Leader Jack Layton that any prorogation longer than a week must be approved by the House of Commons. In so doing, the prime minister gave his tired government a month-long accountability holiday: no probing questions about misspending by Conservative and Liberal Senators or the ensuing cover-up. No need to explain how the government managed to more than double taxes on credit unions, by mistake. And no prying into the government's lack of commitment to democracy. Demonstrating the Conservatives' disdain for democracy isn't hard - here are some examples to refresh your memory. There was the in-and-out scandal; Conservative dirty tricks playbook for derailing the work of parliamentary committees; muzzling independent watchdogs; stonewalling Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, in blatant disregard for the law; increasing abuse of in camera rules to avoid public scrutiny; the recordbreaking use of closure and time allocation to ram legislation through Parliament, and of course the regular use of prorogation to run away from accountability. But let us not overlook one of the most pernicious attempts to undermine Canadian democracy. Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley found that during the 2011 election there was "widespread" and "orchestrated" fraud Library of Parliament
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Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 GLOBE AND MAIL (METRO) COMMENT COLUMN, Page: A13

A tip for the PM's new image fixer


LAWRENCE MARTIN lmartin@globeandmail.com For exceptional political putdowns, how about the one visited upon former U.S. presidential candidate George Romney? In 1967, his candidacy collapsed after he claimed to have been "brainwashed" into supporting the Vietnam War. Senator Eugene McCarthy, never overly impressed by the heft of Mr. Romney's mental equipment, referenced the brainwashing comment in a rather unkindly way. With George, he said, "a light rinse would have been sufficient." The anecdote is recounted in This Town , Marc Leibovich's merciless, sarcastic, ego-crushing takedown of Washington's Bibliothque du Parlement
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54 political class. Everyone on the vanity train is a target: the pols, the flacks, the lobbyists and the journalists - especially the journalists. New-media queen Arianna Huffington, as the author won't let us forget, was once described as "the Sir Edmund Hillary of social climbers." Journalism, says Mr. Leibovich, citing Richard Ben Cramer, has been overtaken - ouch! - "by a biblical plague of dickheads." We in the business use social media to erect platforms for ourselves. Instead of humbly reporting and commenting on the news, we all want - ouch again! - to be floats in the parade. Jason MacDonald should read the Leibovich book. He's just been appointed as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new communications director. He is the seventh such brain-rinser to serve in the post. A reputedly fine, highly skilled fellow, no fan of enemies' lists, he should read This Town because its overriding message applies to his town. To wit, powermongering has reached an egregious scale. Everyone is in it for themselves. Everyone wants to be Moses. They gotta lighten up. In Ottawa, the notion of altruistic public service, which did in fact exist in certain periods of Canadian history, has become a joke. Voters can see this. It's why they're so cynical. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has impressive, scalpel-like courtroom skills. But with his overly aggressive countenance, he comes across like a contestant in The Hunger Games . Mr. Harper, who eased his way into the control-freak hall of fame some time ago, is at his best when he drops his taxidermist aura and shows a lighter side. The problem is that he does it only semi-annually. Mr. MacDonald should have the Prime Minister out there showing flashes of wit and humour as often as possible. In politics, the guy in the good mood wins. Mr. Harper was in that zone a few days ago, taking digs at Justin Trudeau on the marijuana issue. Sir John A. Macdonald, he said, spoke about the things that matter - "about economic growth, not grow-ops; about a national dream, not a pipe dream." Mr. Leibovich refers to Washington as Suck-Up City. Ottawa has some of that, too. But for the comely art to flourish, there needs to be a big social whirl. In Ottawa, the social whirl is such that everyone changes into their pyjamas before the nightly news. The Ottawa of recent years is better likened to a city in a straitjacket. The anti-intellectual fire-breathers took partisanship and paranoia to unseen levels. Conservatives were told to avoid contact with people from other parties. They might get a disease. Mr. MacDonald has to try to get Mr. Harper, whose approval numbers have been tanking, out of his straitjacket. Through the years, other communications directors have tried to do so, but scored only sparingly. They've all left after a year or so, saying what a wonderful experience they'd had. Library of Parliament
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Mr. Harper has a hockey book coming out soon, which ought to help make him look more like a regular Joe. He has been moderating his policy book of late - check his prudent stance on Syria - and that could help, too. But we're heading closer to election season, which means Mr. Harper's more dominant instincts - secrecy, control, bullying could kick in. This town being Dour Town, the big challenge for his new propaganda guy will be to dampen those tendencies.

Published | Publi: 2013-09-16 GUELPH MERCURY (FIRST) EDITORIAL, Page: A9

Pre-election phase portends a minority


Prorogation signals election campaign
Geoffrey Stevens Visitors to Ottawa can be excused for being bewildered these days. They arrive expecting to find a bustling, vibrant national capital, filled with eager politicians seized with the great issues of the moment. Instead, they find a Potemkin village, a cardboard capital in which, if you exclude a few groundskeepers and lunch-bound deputy ministers, nothing moves. Where are all the elected members? Shouldn't they be raising Cain and rushing off to emergency debates on chemical weapons in Syria, or the national debt, or Quebec's charter of values, or the melting of the Arctic ice cap? Where are all the opposition leaders? Shouldn't they be roasting the prime minister over a pyre of Senate expense reports? Where are they? Well, they are back home (again). When they last met, in mid-June, they decided they deserved a proper summer holiday: 86 days. Then last week the prime minister, motivated solely by concern for members' wellbeing, of course, decided they needed more R&R; so he prorogued Parliament (again) and extended the summer break by 34 days, for a total of 120 days. Even a university professor would be envious. MPs are now due to reassemble on Oct. 16. By then, they will have been absent so long that some may need a GPS to locate Parliament Hill. In truth, Parliament is not Stephen Harper's favourite place. Given his druthers, he would govern without it. He's not alone in feeling that way. Most of his predecessors as PM lost their affection for the institution about six weeks after they moved over from the opposition benches. Prorogation means the government loses the bills it had MPs working on before the summer recess. They will have to start over again, but the government does not seem concerned. When Parliament reconvenes next month, the Conservatives Bibliothque du Parlement
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55 will have moved into a new phase. Legislation will take a back seat to election preparation. With the next general election not due until October 2015, it seems awfully early to be getting ready, but these days in Canada, as in the United States, campaigns seem to be a seamless continuum. The Tories know that after seven years of Harper government they look tired and shopworn. Lacking the capacity to inspire or excite the electorate, they face two years of uphill slogging to get back to majority-government territory. The polls suggest they need to start slogging. Although it may be abating somewhat now, the Justin Trudeau tide has lifted the Liberal boat enough to scare the Conservatives. The polls show the Liberals are slightly ahead of, or slightly behind, the Conservatives, with the NDP running a strong third. It looks as though the federal landscape is returning to its pre-2011 configuration. The difference is the New Democrats are eight or nine points stronger than they used to be, while the Conservatives and Liberals are correspondingly weaker. At this early point, seat projections suggest a minority government, probably a weak one. With 338 seats in the enlarged Commons, a party will need 170 seats for a bare working majority (assuming the speaker is elected from government ranks). Professor Barry Kay, in a projection published last week by the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy, reported that no party is remotely close to majority status. His model showed the Conservatives with a minority government at 126 seats, with the Liberals at 121. (If so, it would be the closest federal election since 1972 when Pierre Trudeau's Liberals defeated Robert Stanfield's Progressive Conservatives by two seats.) Kay put the NDP at 83 seats, the Bloc Qubcois at seven, with Elizabeth May retaining the Greens' single seat. Poking around in the poll and seat projection numbers, it seems to me the public is still unsure about Justin Trudeau. It has come to regard NDP leader Thomas Mulcair as more Ed Broadbent (solid, responsible, intelligent) than Jack Layton (charismatic, exciting). And Stephen Harper is, well, Stephen Harper (familiar but not comfortable). 2013 Torstar Corporation

Published | Publi: 2013-09-17 THE SAULT STAR (FINAL) EDITORIAL/OPINION, Page: A7

PM has election in mind with sex offender strategy


FRED RINNE While PM Stephen Harper has prorogued Parliament until Oct. 16, some new government legislative plans are coming to the fore. This week, Harper said his government is planning to table legislation for more accessible technology to make communities aware of convicted and high-risk child sex predators potentially in their midst. Essentially, it would be a searchable database, easily available to anyone with access to the Internet. For the past generation, the technical ability to more widely and efficiently publicize the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders has made news. South of the border, various states and counties have the legislative ability to be ultra-aggressive in this area. Some go as far as erecting billboards with the offender's pictures and personal information, aimed at driving them away, arguably also creating a mob mentality. Small-l liberals argue that any chance of rehabilitation of offenders is essentially destroyed by this activity; that an offender, once released, has to perpetually abide by certain societal probations and provide DNA samples for a registry, does not meet nearly as much opposition as the idea of constant bombardment of public notice every time an offender wanders through one's community. It makes political sense for Harper to be tougher on all aspects of crime' especially where children are involved. It also dovetails with his promise to get tougher on the punitive side of the law. Consecutively served -- as opposed to concurrent -sentences, increase in sentences for child sex offenders, harsher penalties for condition breeches are all new ground. What it comes down to is a societal debate on rights: the rights of victims, society and communities and of the convicted, who -- like it or not -- have paid their court-ordered debt to society. Harper's strategy here seems three-fold: Stiffer penalties might lessen opportunity to re-offend. And by offering communities transparency, it lessens the fodder for political critics to say a Conservative government is soft on crime. Finally, with the next campaign poised to pit Harper against Grit Justin Trudeau, a person known for pushing civil liberties in many aspects of our lives, it looks like a tangible drawing of battle lines. We'll see come October.

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