Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Alberta News - Bill 19 and Bill 36

Bill 36: Alberta Land Stewardship Act
A proposal which is stated to "compensate landowners whose property values are affected by conservation and stewardship restrictions under regional plans." Yet, it is also said to "open up sub surface rights to government expropriation without compensation." ( According to the Stelmach Government's Website the aim of the legislation is to:

* gives the Lieutenant Governor in Council authority to direct the development of, and subsequently approve, regional plans as legally binding documents under the Act;
* outlines what must be included in regional plans, plus what may be included to respond to regional needs and circumstances;
* allows the appointment of regional advisory councils to provide advice to government on developing regional plans;
* provides for reviews of regional plans at least every 10 years, or more often if needed to respond to changing circumstances;
* creates a secretariat to support regional planning; and
* requires provincial departments, regulatory agencies, municipalities and other local government authorities to align their decisions, plans and bylaws with regional plans.

The bill is related to Bill 19 which is entitled the Land Assembly Project Act.

Some reading on the bills and reactions to them.

Edmonton Journal

General Information on Bill 19

Projects in the Works

I haven't given much time to blogging lately. My apologies. I was sick and got behind. I have a couple of pet projects which I am looking at. The first is the Gun Registry Program and exactly what should be done about it. In effect, I wonder if the program should be overhauled or scrapped entirely. I have gotten some (inadequate and evasive) information from the RCMP and I am awaiting replies from Canadian police forces - whom I hope will reply. The other area which I am researching is Native land claims. I have written a portion of a blog entry which I originally intended to post a week back. But, I have decided to expand my original response and learn more about the subject. Any resources are appreciated.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rubber Ducky You're the One...

Remember that song from the old Sesame Street Show? Well now the beloved rubber ducky may no longer be a friend to many little children.

Health Canada moved Friday to ban the use of harmful chemical additives called phthalates in children's soft vinyl toys.

There is a great deal of debate in the comments on CTV. Thoughts?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Links of the Day

NDP Vote Scandal

H/T Craig on Blogging Tories

Why Bailouts Don't Work Video

Sexism in America Michelle Obama's First Fashion Misttep

I could care less about what she wears. Why must the first lady be treated as a fashion icon instead of a intelligent (or unintelligent) woman in her own right. First Ladies are all about some pet "pretty" cause that makes them look good, but when do you ever hear about their political views? To me that would be far more interested and important than some ugly skirt.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gun Registry: Scrap or Overhaul?

Today in the HoC, a petition was issued to scrap the gun registry program (I neglected to note from whom the request came). The Gun Registry Program has been under fire for its scandalous rendezvous with the Liberal government around 2006 following Governor General Fraser's report. But, is the program completely worthless or is the process of registering guns beneficial?

background information on the scandal

I have attempted to search for data regarding the amount of murders of gun related crimes in which the perpetrator has been caught through the use of gun registry. That search would include perpetrators who used their own (or a family member's) registered gun, or other cases in which the program has led to a direct arrest of the criminal. In addition any statistics or what have you that provide credentials to the claim that the program aids cops by informing them of possible weapons in a suspect's house (on scene before they enter). I am unsure whether in the latter situation, the gun registry actually aids instead of gives the cops a false sense of security. Any information would be beneficial. In my opinion, I do not think that a criminal would be foolish enough to use a gun registered to him to commit a crime, but that is only my own supposition.

From what I have so far gathered, crime rates have decreased from prior to 1995, when the program was introduced. However, there is no direct correlation between those statistics and the gun registry program. (See Stats Canada 2002 Death Involving Firearms. 3,7).

In April 2009 a bill from the Senate was introduce to repeal the Firearms Act. It would remove the need for a registration certificate for non-restricted firearms; however, it would not remove the requirements nor the license required in order to own or use a firearm.

Now, as a one who does not own or come into frequent contact with guns I cannot give too much of an uniformed opinion on a possible alternative. But from my vantage point the bill (found here) is far better than the current Gun Registry Program.

Now A Part of Blogging Tories

I am proud to say I'm now on the blogroll for Blogging Tories.

A short read to start your day:

Weather Malarkey

Monday, June 8, 2009

Truth in Sentencing Act

Following the passing of the bill on mandatory minimums for drug sentencing, the Tories have put forth another bill aimed at improving the justice system. Bill C-25 seeks to "specify the extent to which a court may take into account time spent in custody by an offender before sentencing."(Bill C-25 summary) You can find the text of the bill at if you feel like reading through it. If not here is a brief summary:

From what I understand a court may reduce a sentence if the convicted has spent time pre-sentence in custody as a result of the offence. The amendment says that the credit for that time is a maximum of one day for each day spent in custody. It's a small thing, but to me a good addition. Now if someone could clarify what constitutes "time spent in custody" that would be beneficial.

Links of the Day

I was sick for a couple days so pardon the lateness of these articles. They were written last week. I'll plan catch up tonight.

Got your Permit to Study the Bible?

On April 10 (Good Friday), a county code enforcement officer visited the home of David and Mary Jones after receiving a complaint about their Christian gatherings. The Jones' attorney Dean Broyles, president of The Western Center for Law & Policy, conveyed in disbelief, "The county asked [Mrs. Jones], 'Do you have a regular meeting in your home?' She said, 'Yes.' 'Do you say amen?' 'Yes.' 'Do you pray?' 'Yes.' 'Do you say praise the Lord?' 'Yes.'"

The officer then warned the family to "cease and desist" the "religious assemblies" or they would face fines up to $1,000 weekly (or more). Two days later, the county delivered a citation claiming that the Joneses were guilty of "unlawful use of land," mandating them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit."

The Peril of Buying American

What I've been saying all along. Protectionist measures during a recession do not work!

Foreign and domestic companies that employ hundreds of workers in this country cannot bid for government projects because they cannot guarantee the American provenance of all the steel, iron and manufactured goods in their supply chain, as the provision requires. Others are scrambling to figure out whether American-made alternatives exist to replace their foreign inputs.

The steel company Duferco Farrell, for example, has cut about 600 jobs in Pennsylvania after it lost orders from its biggest customer because some of its goods are partly produced abroad. The Westlake Chemical Corporation of Houston has lost sales to a Canadian vinyl pipe maker that is cutting back production because it can’t bid for some American jobs.

The Global Agenda (PDF)

A poll - taken with a few grains of salt of course - about the "global agenda" or, rather what are people worried about. A few highlights:

- 54% believe government should restrict imports
- 66% believe that “massive government spending” indicates a lack of clear direction
- Worldwide the most important concern is Jobs, while global warming is at the bottom (Ipsos Reid 2009)

It's worth the look.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sexual Education

An article on CBC states that sexual education should begin in Kindergarten in an "age appropriate" manner. What age-appropriate is, I cannot say, but I have been thinking about the subject. My preference is to have parents teach kids the basics of sex ed and puberty. I remember getting a book detailing puberty when I reached the age of eleven or twelve. It didn't talk about sex, but talked about the changes in the body and what to expect as a young female. That knowledge was not taught to me in school at all. We had a brief two week course on sex ed, which I only remember vaguely as a couple of videos that basically said you put one body part into the other. (I ended up skipping out of those classes). I am hesitant to put sexual education into the hands of the Education system.

First of all I think Kindergarten is too young. Children should be taught (and I would hope by parents) that people don't have a right to touch them in their "private areas," but beyond that they are too young from my standpoint. If they ask questions - as children are wont to do - I see no harm in explaining things to thing in basics. And, the proposal, in some ways sounds good: educate teens about sexual relations. A lack of information isn't a good thing after all.

Interviewer David Anokye said teens want to hear about more than HIV/AIDS, pregnancy and birth control, which are covered in Ontario's sex ed curriculum.

"A lot of people talk about more the scare tactics and not much the pleasure part of it," Anokye said. "I mean, we know people are being sexually active, and we know people are out there doing these things, but no one's really teaching us about it."

I do not agree with his proposal. While I personally believe that sex should be saved until marriage - as I myself am doing - that doesn't mean everyone believes such. It may be unfortunate, but, it is fact. I think educating teens about STDS, birth control and safe sex is necessary. However, to teach them different techniques and tricks about sex is too much for me. It is one thing to keep them safe from STDS, but it is not the responsibility of public schools to teach the techniques of sex. It seems like general teaching would change from "sex is bad don't do it" to "sex is good, here is how you do it." I disagree with both approaches. If a teen wants to have sex, that is their (perhaps unwise) choice. But, I would hope they would at least be safe about it. But to say that sex is natural, should be done and to go as far as one individual in the comments said that it is "bad to not have sex" is not right. It should be taught that having sex is a choice and that people can abstain.

To condone sexual activity and condemn abstinence is just as bad as or worse as not informing teens about sex at all! The information provided to teens -and I admit to being ignorant in what is currently taught - should be factual. It should tell them how to be safe IF they CHOOSE to have sex, and that abstinence is perfectly fine. I do understand the difficulty in teaching about sex. Some teachers may believe that sex should wait until marriage and (more likely) others may believe that it should be done by teens. Both of these beliefs shouldn't be taught in the classroom. Those beliefs are something teens should decide on for themselves through facts about sex, and their own religious (or non religious) backgrounds and parental influence. The school system should not do so for them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Think Adscam is History?

Here is an update at The Star and more information at CTV

Former federal Liberal executive Benoit Corbeil is the first political figure to plead guilty in the federal sponsorship scandal and he's suggesting he might name other figures involved in his influence-peddling plot.

He may name other people who profited from the scam. This could get interesting.

H/T to The Canadian Sentinel