Omar Khadr returns

Omar Khadr has returned to Canada. Here are government and Liberal Party statements:

Statement by Liberal Leader Bob Rae on the Repatriation of Omar Khadr
 
OTTAWA– Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on the repatriation of Omar Khadr:
 
“Omar Khadr’s return to Canada is long overdue. Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was a child soldier. It is extremely unfortunate that it took the Conservative government this long to fulfil its responsibility to bring him back to Canada.
 
Now Mr. Khadr will serve the remainder of his sentence under the supervision of the Canadian correctional system, and we can ensure that he receives proper treatment and rehabilitation.”

Harsh words are reserved for the Conservative government. Khadr portrayed as victim, as a child soldier in need of “treatment and rehabilitation”. Here is the Conservative government’s statement regarding the repatriation of Omar Khadr.

Early this morning, convicted terrorist Omar Khadr was transferred to Canadian authorities at CFB Trenton.
 
This was done pursuant to a decision I made earlier this week.
 
He arrived at 07:40 ET aboard a U.S. Government aircraft travelling from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
 
He has been transferred from CFB Trenton to Millhaven maximum security prison at Bath, Ontario.
 
Omar Khadr is a known supporter of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network and a convicted terrorist.
 
He pleaded guilty to the murder of Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, an American Army medic, who was mortally wounded in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002 and died on August 6, 2002.
 
Omar Khadr also pleaded guilty to:
• Providing material support for terrorism;
• Attempted murder in violation of the law of war;
• Conspiracy and spying
 
Omar Khadr was born in Canada and is a Canadian citizen. As a Canadian citizen, he has a right to enter Canada after the completion of his sentence.
 
This transfer occurs following a process initiated by the United States Government and determined in accordance with Canadian law.
 
The remainder of his prison sentence will be administered by the Correctional Service of Canada.
 
I am satisfied the Correctional Service of Canada can administer Omar Khadr’s sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected during incarceration.
 
Any decisions related to his future will be determined by the independent Parole Board of Canada in accordance with Canadian law.

The government portrays Khadr as a convicted terrorist and an admitted murderer. The victim is cited as Christopher Speer. The statement suggests need for recognition of Khadr’s “serious” crimes and calls for incarceration to protect the public.

Two distinct tones in these statements. Each one finds blame and each one finds a victim. Which one do you think properly represents reality as it exists?

A Real Partnership

Global News today reports that the freeze on MP pay raises will be lifted,

The freeze on MP salaries, which hasn’t given them a pay raise since 2010, will be removed, with future increases tied to the average increase in public sector wages, Global News has learned.
 
The move will alleviate some of the financial pain MPs will feel as the government is about to unveil changes to their pension plan scheme.

And, as it often goes in this town, life often imitates art as another episode of Yes (Prime) Minister plays out. From the Wikipedia plot summary of S01E05 “A Real Partnership”,

[PM] Jim Hacker goes back to his apartment above 10 Downing Street after a Cabinet meeting that has not gone well. He explains to Annie, his wife, that there is a financial crisis looming and every department must cut expenditure. Furthermore, he is about to receive a deputation of MPs to whom he has promised a pay rise—and he has no sympathy for them.
 

 
After [a later] meeting, Sir Humphrey presents the PM with his new pay proposal: an apparent rise of around 6% (provided it is not examined too closely). He also recommends that MPs should be graded in line with civil servants, so that every time the latter get an increase, the former would as well. He suggests that Hacker be equivalent to a Permanent Secretary, causing the PM to remark that they are indeed a partnership.

h/t: @MikeBrownECE

Student entitlement tour coming to a city near you

Looks like the Quebec student protesters want to reach out and disrupt a class near you. From rabble.ca, we learn of a cross-country speaking tour featuring CLASSE activists. Yes, here comes the whine and the fanciful marxist bleatings.

rabble.ca is very pleased to announce a cross-Canada speaking tour which will start at the end of this month and continue into the first week of October. We’re also incredibly thankful to the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union (CEP), Ryerson’s Social Justice Week and LeadNow for their support.
 
It will feature Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the former spokesperson for CLASSE. The most public and visible representative of a leaderless movement, Nadeau-Dubois has been at the eye of the hurricane since the beginning of the strike. He will be joined by Cloé Zawadzki-Turcotte, a former member of CLASSE’s Executive and a key organizer behind the strike who is in fact currently on a tour in the Maritimes, and yours truly.
 
We’ll be talking about what happened in Quebec, but also how the hard-earned lessons of the longest student strike in Canadian history can be applied to organizing across the country. We hope to be able to build bridges of solidarity with movements in other parts of Canada, ties that are critical to mounting a truly national movement against Stephen Harper and austerity.
 
The dates which have been confirmed are as follows — with likely at least a couple more locations to confirm in the next few days — but it will depend on local partners and our ability to raise funds.
September 29th – London, ON
 
September 30th – Toronto
 
October 1st – Ryerson (Toronto) – Nadeau-Dubois will be joining the closing panel of Social Justice Week
 
October 2nd – Saskatoon and Regina
 
October 3rd – Winnipeg
 
October 4th – Victoria and Vancouver Island
 
October 5th – Vancouver
 
We hope you’ll join us at one of these locations, to hear war stories and learn about CLASSE’s tactics and strategies, to understand the real story behind the media spin that came out of Quebec this year, and to meet these two incredible young people who I truly believe represent some of the best and brightest their generation has to offer.

Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy

I note that Kai Nagata of “I’m-not-a-CTV-corporate-whore” fame has released a new video this morning on behalf of The Tyee and the Tides Foundation accusing Ezra Levant and Kathryn Marshall of “pimping” Canada out for money as it sells oil to the US and China.

Here it is:

Whatever you think of the video, Kai is being an activist for his organization, and he’s raising awareness for his arguments. The pimp charge is quite something, as Kai himself is “pimping” (by his own definition) for the interests on the other side of the development/environment debate.

Cue media “pimping” from Glen McGregor of the Ottawa Citizen who promotes the video:

McGregor, according to a deep Infomart search, has never written about the Tides Foundation and their connection to the Tyee.

Meanwhile, McGregor took interest in another video made by those “pimps” for smaller government over at the National Citizens Coalition:

He didn’t exactly gush over our video though. Instead, he went on the attack, focusing his attention on the messenger who would dare hold Bob Rae to account for his record (we didn’t call him a pimp or a ho — perhaps this was the problem?). McGregor wrote,

While there is amazing synchronicity between the NCC and the CPC, the notion that the Tories would fund a home-made YouTube clip does not compute, given that the NCC has no trouble raising money on its own.
 
During the spring election campaign, the NCC raised $168,960 in contributions to advertisements, according to its third-party advertising return filed with Elections Canada.
 
But the NCC appears to have held on to the bulk of this money for, uh, later use. The return shows the NCC spent only about 29 per cent of the money it took in. So, Election 41 was something of a cash bonanza for the NCC.

Now, I actually like Nagata and McGregor well enough personally. However, if advocacy is pimping… declare it up front.

Conservatives insist Liberals must ban scofflaw candidates

The Liberal Party of Canada has formally announced its rules for their upcoming leadership contest today. Yesterday, I was given a preview of what we should expect regarding the convention and voting while Jane Taber revealed some details regarding the Liberal Party’s rules on candidates and debt — a problem many of them faced during the 2006 leadership race.

I noted yesterday,

Also, regarding Hall-Finley’s debt and ability to accumulate future debt, I’m told that there’s no provision in law or by any Liberal rule that prevents her from seeking the Liberal leadership.

The Conservative Party disagrees with my Liberal source. They are calling on the Liberal Party to ban candidates that are in violation of the law. Here’s what they have communicated to reporters today,

It is outrageous that six years after their 2006 leadership campaign, four senior Liberals remain in violation of the law for refusing to pay back large donations disguised as loans.
 
After nearly six years of leniency from Elections Canada, the Ontario Superior Court ruled in July that these Liberals broke the law when they failed to repay their loans.
 
Liberals in violation of the law include sitting Member of Parliament Hedy Fry and rumoured leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay.
 
If the Liberals are really serious about staying on the right side of the law this time, they will ban the candidacy of the four senior Liberals who have been in violation of the law these past six years.

The Liberal leadership show will span two weekends

I’ve learned that the upcoming leadership process will span two weekends instead of one. In contrast with the NDP process which selected Thomas Mulcair over one weekend in Toronto, Liberals will congregate for one convention weekend to hear candidate speeches and will vote and hear results during the subsequent weekend. According to the logic conveyed to me today, the Liberals want to avoid a situation whereby 80% of the party’s supporters have voted by the time any candidate has made their final pitch. The voting irregularities of the NDP contest only compounded the chaos of the limited time schedule of their leadership convention.

On the second weekend, the Liberal Party envisions that candidates may vote in the ridings of their choosing but will congregate at a centralized location for the announcement of results.

Also, regarding Hall-Finley’s debt and ability to accumulate future debt, I’m told that there’s no provision in law or by any Liberal rule that prevents her from seeking the Liberal leadership.

Regarding the money details, Jane Taber has some interesting information on how the upcoming federal Liberal leadership race will be governed.

In particular, a debt ceiling of $75,000 for candidates will be instituted to prevent a recurrence of previous troubles of leadership candidates still paying off debts now 6 years after the previous contested Liberal leadership election. Martha Hall Finley, is still grappling with more than $45,000 of debt from her ill-fated run for the Grit’s top job in 2006.