Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hi-Jinks on the Hill

Even during the summer, the games at Parliament Hill don't stop.
The Conservatives recalled the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, in an effort to push through their agenda.
The committee had agreed to meet in September to proceed with their work, but the Chairman (ahem, read Harper and/or Prentice) decided that he didn't want to wait that long. So, they pulled the 12 members back to Ottawa from across the country, to make a scene.
The work in question concerns Bill c-44, which seeks to repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. All political parties favour the Bill, but they differ on it's implementation. The Conservatives want to push it through now as is, while all of the opposition parties favour pushing it back, in order to provide First Nations people a chance for further consultation.
Every single group that has come before the committee, has asked for this consultation, but the Conservatives are sticking to their line, that the time for talk is over.
Long story longer, the meeting was full of all the nonsense that we witnessed in the House last Spring. The Chairman calling the meeting in the first place was ridiculous, but then the conservatives consistently distorted the position of all the opposition parties, suggested frequently that the Liberals do not want to extend Human Rights to First Nations, etc., etc. In the end, Anita Neville put forward a motion that was adopted, that essentially changed the agenda. It was adopted and the meeting was adjourned, to huge applause from the gallery.
So why did they do this? Are they out of announcements and want to claim that they have passed another "historic" bill? Are they trying to quell the damage that has been done in that community by not abiding by the Kelowna Accord? Or, do they simply want the opportunity to continue to distort the facts and suggest that the Lib's don't care about the Human Rights of our Aboriginal people?
More here and here.
Update: Kady O'Malley's blog.
h/t to Steve Thinks About Stuff and the anon in comments who alerted me.


Anonymous said...

Kate O'Mally of McLean's has an interesting "blog" on this. "Steve thinks about stuff" has it.


knb said...

Thanks anon. I'll add it to the post.

From what I saw today, she's bang on.

Steve V said...

Reading that blow by blow is interesting. What a pathetic frame, "why are you against human rights?"? Gong!

knb said...

Precisely Steve. The only thing she got wrong, was the conservative MP, Storeth, saying he was an ordinary person. He actually said "normal", which brought much commentary from the opposition.

The "normal" people in question, disagree for instance.

She also didn't go into any detail about what was said....but she certainly caught the mood. In fact, she echoed my thoughts often, lol.

So, the question is why did they do it?

Steve V said...

"So, the question is why did they do it?"

Remember the recent bad press over the Tories opposition to the UN aboriginal rights declaration? This move might have been hatched in the aftermath of that flak, trying to turn the tables on others, with some delusional thinking that they could get credibility by embarrassing the opposition. It was clear that the Conservatives had their orchestrated talking points, there was a stategy.

Someone came up with this idea, and no one was shrewd enough to see the obvious potential for blowback. What genius thought this was a political winner, they knew ahead of time that the opposition would resist? Arrogance is once again their undoing. Didn't one of the Liberal MP's make the comment "only they know best"?

Anonymous said...

KNB i hope you don't mind if i talk a little about the environment!
Now the environmentalist
keep reminding us that
we should not have nuclear power,coal power because they say that it's harmful to the environment. Now i thought that wind power
they would be happy with it! I know there is hydro power but not everyone as
lucky as Quebec when it comes to hydro.I've seen
this article in the National Post:

Renewable energy projects harmful, scientist says
Hydro Dams, Wind Farms Seen As Doing More Harm Than Good
Charles Mandel, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2007

An American scientist claims that mass construction of "boutique fuels" such as wind and solar farms will harm the environment more than it will help it.

Jesse Ausubel of New York's Rockefeller University contends that the different forms of renewable energy create a devastating environmental impact, adding sprawling amounts of infrastructure to the landscape. His paper, Renewable and Nuclear Heresies, has implications for Canada, where such governments as P.E.I. are concentrating on green energy.

"Renewables have very serious consequences for the environment," Mr. Ausubel, director of Rockefeller's program for the human environment, said in a telephone interview yesterday. "People wish for magic cures. What can I say? I love Harry Potter myself."

He says nuclear energy measured in watts per square metre of land used is greener than other forms of renewables, including for dams and biomass production. Mr. Ausubel says he didn't receive any funding from the nuclear industry for his research.

One comparison he gives in his paper is hypothetically flooding the entire province of Ontario, contrasting the electrical power produced from a mega-dam with nuclear energy.

Mr. Ausubel asks readers to imagine collecting the province's entire annual rainfall of 680,000 billion litres and storing it behind a dam 60 metres in height. "Doing so might inundate half the province and thus win the support of the majority of Canadians, who resent the [political] force of Ontario,'' he writes.

More to the point, the energy generated from the mega-dam would be only 80% of the total power output of Canada's 25 nuclear stations, he writes, for a total of 11,000 megawatts. That's just 0.012 watts per square metre. "In my flood Ontario scenario, a square kilometre would provide the electricity for about 12 Canadians," Mr. Ausubel argues.

Mr. Ausubel builds similar arguments for wind and solar power and for dams and biomass production.

For instance, he writes that for a line of wind turbines strung across the Rocky Mountains from Vancouver to Calgary -- a distance of approximately 1,200 kilometres -- the power output would be the same as one of the four Darlington Candu units.

"I want to spare land for nature and on a scale that will matter for the well-being and prosperity of humanity,'' Mr. Ausubel said. "All the renewables are extremely invasive of nature."

He criticized wind and solar farms for the amount of infrastructure they require and called wind farms big industrial facilities. His message to Canadian

provinces that are aggressively pursuing renewable policies: "I think they're wasting their money. They'll end up with stranded assets."

Mark Whitfield, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Toronto's York University, said renewable energy doesn't disturb land, and in most instances makes use of already existing infrastructure. Wind farms incorporate farmer's access roads, while solar panels are mounted on the roofs of buildings rather than spread over the land.

He criticized what he called Mr. Ausubel's simple joule-per-square-kilometre approach and said that such a reductionist view doesn't take into account other trade-offs such as security, weapons proliferation and severe accident risks that come with nuclear power. "Those are all considerations you'd have to build into a meaningful policy decision-making framework."

What do we what do we supposed to do ? Go back
using candles ? Any comments ?


Anonymous said...


" What do we what do we supposed to do ? Go back
using candles ? Any comments ?"

I meant to say what do they want us to do go back using candles?


red canuck said...


Good Lord, man. Are you congenitally unable to stay on-topic?

When KNB posted on Ed Mirvish, you jumped in with irrelevant political poll data.

When she posted on the environment minister, your went on about riding association theft.

Now she posts about Bill C-44, and you respond with a diatribe about the environment.

Her blog, her rules, I know. But it would be nice if you could join discussions once in a while, rather than hijacking them.

Red Tory said...

Totally O/T, but I ran across this and thought you might find it interesting:

Upload your own stuff!

Red Tory said...

Why doesn't Anonymous John get his own frickin' blog so he can prattle on about anything he wants to any time he wants instead of clogging up your comment threads with his inane drivel?

Anonymous said...

red tory you no like
tough cookie!! The only one
who can tell me to stop posting on this blog is KNB
herself is that ok with you
red tory ?


Anonymous said...

I'm doing my job because I'm getting under your skin RED TORY ;)


knb said...

To be honest John, I don't mind the occasional O/T short comment, but I'd prefer not to completely change the subject of the post.

knb said...

Fun RT! Thanks.