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Novembre 2, 2010

Your two cents: What should the Dominion cover in November?

Dominion Stories

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Dirty Federal Bye-election in Swan River-Dauphin-Marquette

 Inky Mark the former MP was a long-time maverick in the CP,  but a much-loved and very clever politician in the riding. He had joined the ginger group of Reformers who quit the party and joined the CPCs in protest of Stockwell Day's policies. The ginger group rejoined the party after the reform alliance was formed. Among other things he supported the Wheat Board during Harper's  vicious attacks on it's right to exist. Following that Inky was delegated to the back benches. Harper runs a tight ship. One could call it dictatorial.  I believe Harper, as he had with many other MPs, put pressure on Inky to quit. The alternative being the possibility of one of the bagfull of nasty King Steven's dirty tricks.

 Inky resigned, figuring he could return to his Dauphin base as Mayor. He considered it a safe haven as he had been a very popular mayor. On leaving he gave a subtle dig at the party. See parts of his National Post interview here and here ( the comments are also interesting).

 The riding nominations were called for in the summer of this year. There was not the usual process of mailing out a nomination kit which one would imagine would give a closing date for nominations. Inky's preferred candidate Wayne Matheson stated that early on he was told by the national office to hold off putting himself forward until the bye-election was called. One would imagine that other potential candidates were also told this.
The riding nomination committee was not formed until the day before nominations closed in late summer, the busiest time of year for farmers. The potential candidates were supposedly informed by an automated telephone service. There was only one acclaimed candidate, Robert Sopuck, altho others had expressed interest in running.
Inky protested to many former PC MPs about the the nomination process, without getting any support. The fix was on and and none of them dared oppose Harper and the national council. The President of the riding Brian Chita launched an appeal of the process on behalf of the local Conservative board.and sent a long letter  to riding members stating “a process that failed to follow our party's candidate nomination rules, thereby limiting your opportunity to take part in the process.” It was of course rejected by the national council.

It's interesting to note that Brian Chita, who admittedly ran for mayor of Dauphin in the previous election, ran as a mayoralty candidate against Inky. One would imagine that the riding president of Inkys long-time held riding would have deferred to him in the mayorality contest. One must wonder whether the Harper SS exerted pressure on him to run. Inky lost by 40 votes.

Robert Supock is/was a paid staffer of the Frontier Center for Public policy, a harder-right subsiduary of the Frazer Institute which is funded by many of the large corporations, especially the oil-patch industry.
" They also support Tim Ball a noted antienvironmentalist and friend of big oil.

 FCPP is an active player in the climate change debunker movement, and likely linked to the "Calgary School" of Harper and many of his advisors, folllowers of the Plutocrat Leo Straus. Strauss was the ideological underpinning for most of the neocons and upper elite of the GW Bush administration.

 Sopuck will certainly not step out of line with Harper's devious policies,  nor support The Wheat Board's continuance which impedes Harpers plans to turn the nations agriculture over to big business. Indeed he will urge  for policies even more right-wing, such as weakening our Medicare, cutting welfare expenditures, and of course even weaker environmental laws.

 I don't buy the common conception that Swan River-Marquette is a PC shoo-in even with the gerrymandering some years back which brought in to the riding the prosperous regions of Neepawa-Minnidosa. We are still, if I remember correctly, the 4th poorest federal riding in Canada and one of the largest. Inky was the glue which held it together for the conservatives. There were Liberal MPs before Inky and even an NDP MP. The riding is also surrounded by provincial NDP ridings and of course the Swan River riding is held by Rosanne Wowchuck the present Treasurer.

 There must be many dissaffected Conservatives especially if the electorate is informed on Sopucks affiliations and his real positions. He even has the audacity of presenting himself as an enviromentalist when his main interest there is his hunting background. This guy must be defeated because if he gets elected this gives him credence which will carry over to the next election.

 Inky, understandably, is pissed off and is now mobilizing behind the Green Party candidate Kate Storey. This could seriously split the CP support in the south of voters who would never vote NDP. The Liberals are no threat but do reduce CP support.

 Denise Harder, the NDP candidate is very credible and competent, a Cupe staffer and chairman of the midmanitoba health authority. She was born in Ste Rose du Lac, but now lives in Portage La Prairie, just outside the riding (which of course the CPers are making much of). Jack and Olivia were supposed to be at a rally in Dauphin today, but the roads out here are virtually impassable because of a blizzard the last few days. This seat is winnable with more support from the NDP National Council. Keep a close eye on this riding. Harper and the CP might be in for a big surprise.

so many dang court decisions...

'Judge orders natives to halt blockades at Brantford construction sites' from The Spec:

"Ontario Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell has upheld a Brantford bylaw prohibiting such activities at designated construction sites and ordered protesters and their supporters to “cease and desist from stopping work in any manner whatsoever.”"

"Ottawa says Six Nations has no claim to the site and surrendered the land in 1844."

and another...

"An agency of the United Nations has ruled a ban on farm unions violates the human rights of Ontario’s 100,000 migrant and domestic farm workers..."

2 more for the FiR

The International Criminal Court announced an investigation into possible commissions of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity following the June 2009 coup d'etat in Honduras.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association released a report documenting 267 jail and police-involved deaths in B.C. between 1992 and 2007. Despite only having a third of Ontario's population, B.C. has more than twice as many jail and police-involved deaths, amounting to one every three weeks over the last 15 years.

[I wrote the blurbs, so they could be lifted straight into the FiR. just sayin'.]

Haiti's (s)elections

Lots of good stuff by Wadner Pierre in the Dominion weblogs.

court decisions: First Nations vs resource companies

Both concern consultation (& lack thereof).

"In a decision dated Friday, Federal Court Justice Michael L. Phelan cancelled North Arrow Minerals Inc.'s land-use permit because the company and the federal government failed to consult with the Lutselk'e Dene First Nation and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation about the proposed exploration work." (CBC)
"The blockade of a Slocan Valley logging road by the Sinixt First Nation is expected to come down after a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled Monday that no logging or road building should take place until a constitutional challenge is resolved." (Nelson Star)
[not suggesting the quotes be plagiarized, of course - just giving an idea of what it's about.]

Minister Blackburn Ignores 41 Years of Young Farmers in Canada

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - The current federal government is demonstrating its concern for the future of the agricultural industry by forming the National Future Farmers Network.  The inaugural meeting of the NFFN will be taking place November 15th and 16th in Ottawa.  Surprisingly, the National Farmers Union has been left out of the network after a 41 year history of working for farmers across the country.
“We don’t have a firm grasp on what the reasoning is to leave our voices out of this network.” stated Kalissa Regier, Youth President of the National Farmers Union.  “The federal government held roundtable discussions in 2009 which appeared to have a strong presence from industry and stakeholders of large agri-business.  They also seemed to neglect the voices of young farmers who concentrate on alternative production and marketing models and small-scale, locally focused producers.”  Regier, 31, operates a 1400 acre certified organic grain farm in Saskatchewan.
The National Farmers Union represents thousands of family farms across Canada and was established in 1969 by the amalgamation of the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Farmers Unions.  In the past 41 years, the NFU has always included a space that increases the participation of youth and women in forming its policies.
Cammie Harbottle, NFU Youth Vice President says “The NFU is the only farm organization in Canada that allows room for alternative policies and thinking outside the status quo.  It focuses on a strong need for social, economic and environmental sustainability as the foundation for a solid future.”  Harbottle farms near Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.
Young farmers and youth members of the National Farmers Union have been gathering together to exchange ideas and create positive change in agriculture for over four decades.  This year’s Annual National Convention will take place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from December 2-4 and will include the 41st annual youth caucus meeting.
“The federal government has been experimenting with a new definition of democracy,” Regier concluded, “the evidence for this has been seen in many sectors, agriculture included.  Continuing this trend of ignorance will undoubtedly have it’s consequences on our food, our environment and our rural societies.  It’s an unfortunate side effect of current politics.”  For now, the young farmers of the National Farmers Union will have to be content with their continued work behind the scenes, building up family farm and rural resilience to counter the inevitable challenges in a time of global trade, climate change and an aging farming population.
For More Information, Contact:
Kalissa Regier, NFU Youth President  - (306) 232-7591
Cammie Harbottle, NFU Youth Vice-President - (902) 657-2532
National Farmers Union National Office - (306) 652-9465

Sisters in Spirit

This organization is devoted to killed and missing First Nation's women maintaining a data base.  The recent policy descions of the Conservative government has put them out in the cold.  For more info - let me know!

Rememberance Day: G20 Policing Public Hearings

On November 10th and 11th, 2010, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the National Union of Public and General Employees will be co-hosting two days of public hearings to examine police activity during the recent G20 Summit in Toronto.

contact Graeme Norton at

for details:

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