What about an Order of Canada

Another story that grabbed my attention because of the outrage expressed by the media. Saskatchewan Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, generously gave Queen's Diamond Jubilee medals to two anti-abortion activists who have been jailed repeatedly.

One of the 30 medals Vellacott was allotted to give away as a Conservative backbencher, one went to someone called Mary Wagner, whose actions at abortion clinics have landed her behind bars time and time again. He also gave one to Linda Gibbons,who is currently in jail in Toronto awaiting trial after she attempted to force her way into a Toronto clinic’s private treatment area.

Should we be giving these things to criminals? Do we care? What if the shoe was on the other foot?

Although I have never been convicted of a crime I have had my share of confrontations with police and have been arrested, and jailed as a result of my actions on picket lines. Should I now be disqualified?

Thinking of the issue in that light I am not so sure. I have been an activist too.

* Just a quick note to my MP Tom Lukiwski: I am still waiting for my medal in recognition of a lifetime working in the trenches fighting for the rights of working peoples.
OK Tom,  you were probably right in not offering me that one. A medal from the Queen wouldn't really be appropriate for me but, all things considered, I would accept an Order of Canada.
And after all if Conrad Black still has his and...never mind, I feel a rant coming on. I should just quit.

Letters to the editor

I wouldn't want anyone to think that this blog is in any way shape or form acting as a letters to the editor aggregator but from time to time, I think it is fun to pass on a couple of things that have caught my eye and that you might have missed. I like the letters from readers. They often oick up points that the papers' editor's miss.

First a couple of gems from Globe & Mail readers:

  • Cathleen Kneen writes that she noted that there have been suggestions that \canada should irradiate meat coming from places like XL Foods that way any plants, fecal matter or other contaminants that made their way into our meat wouldn't be harmful to consumers. Ms Kneen certainly echos my feelings when she says, "Sorry, I don't want to eat poop, even if it is irradiated Why not just set up smaller plants where workers have enough time to ensure the the meat stays clean in the first place?" 
  • Also in the G&M a reader from Winnipeg, Burton Ayles notes the difference between attitudes in Italy as compared with Canada. In Italy they recently convicted and jailed a group of scientists who failed to predict a fatal earthquake. Admittedly an impossible task. He compared it to Canada under Stephen Harper where "...government scientists repeatedly warned about environmental issues - acid rain, contaminants etc..." and when they do happen, the scientists get laid off and the programs get axed. 

Keep those letters coming

Gerry Ritz is predictable in nothing else. Known for making it up as he goes along and never accepting responsibility for anything unless it makes him look good, has done it again.

The Regina Leader Post reports the former ostrich farmer turned Agriculture Minister who, should by rights have resigned over the XL Foods tainted meat scandal, is now blaming the Federal inspectors at XL for being "too nice" Not tough enough?

No mention from Gerry that, under his watch, the number of inspector on the floor in meat packing plants was substantially cut. The message from the Harper Conservatives has always been clear, "Things work better when industry polices itself."  Under the guise of "cutting red tape" these guys put Canadians at risk daily.

Who has the guts or the time to be "tough enough" under Gerry's watch. Conscientious inspectors very likely would be accused with threatening meat packers' profits.

So no word that Gerry Ritz has learned any lessons from all this;
  • No promise to get more inspectors on the floor, 
  • no word that Gerry has listened to the workers on the floor who complain that the speeded productions  lines are a risk, 
  • no sign that Gerry who visited the plant soon after the American inspectors found the problem his department had missed, ever visited the citizens who were made sick by his incompetence, 
  • and actually no word that Gerry gives a fiddlers fart about anything but his own survival.
Get used to it folks. There are years to go before we gt another kick at the cat.


Election Night in Regina

We had an election in our town last night. In fact most, if not all people in Saskatchewan municipalities went to the polls yesterday to elect their civic leadership.

In Regina nine candidates ran for outgoing mayor Pat Fiacco's soon to be vacant spot. It was a bit of a dog's breakfast to be honest. A lot of people were obviously very unhappy with the current administration and it was nice to see so many throw their hats into the ring to attempt at least to draw attention to the shortcomings of those running our city.

Problem is of course, the die was cast for the one status quo candidate. He must have been ecstatic. And why not. It worked wonders for him.  As a bonus, we the voters got a real chance to see our flawed democracy at work. You would think that those in opposition to the way things were being run, would have thought of what would happen as they split the vote.

. Those opposition candidates got 58% of the vote.Instead all nine stayed in the race and the vote was split every which way. Had the only two credible candidates in opposition got together and run one candidate, that person most likely would be mayor today. The second and third candidates combined,earned more votes than the winner who was elected with 42% of ballots cast.

So in the end Regina's new mayor is Michael Fougere elected with about 21,000 votes in a city with a population of close to 210,000.

Democracy at work.

Not something I'd crow about.