08.24.2010 07:29 AM

Questioning political bits and pieces

  • Cauchon signs up? The former Chretien cabinet minister – who I have always believed would one day make an amazing Prime Minister – has apparently signed on to be the top Quebec guy for Iggy.  If true, it’s a clever move by the Liberal leader.  Cauchon’s got smarts to spare, and few know the Quebec scene like he does.
  • Bevilacqua to run? The loss of Maurizio Bevilacqua will be a big blow to the federal Liberal caucus (as would the rumoured departure of my other friend, Denis Coderre) – big. If he goes for the mayor’s chair in Vaughan, he’d be hard to beat – as would Julian Fantino, who would be running under the Conservative banner to replace Maurizio in Parliament, and who Grits like me admire and like.
  • Rocco running last? If he truly is – and, as I recall, John Tory was at about three per cent for much of the pre-Fall period during the 2003 mayoralty campaign, and then went on to nearly win –  then signing up my friend Bernie Morton was the way to go (and so too keeping on Sachin Aggarwal as policy chief).  Bernie is a campaign manager from the Don Guy/John Rae school – quiet, calm and strategic, and the sort of person you want to have in your corner when the going gets tough.
  • Tea Party North? Yesterday’s Ipsos had TeeDot’s chattering classes in a tizzy: Rob Ford can’t be stopped! He’s scary!  I’m moving to Vaughan, where Bevilacqua will be mayor! Everyone calm down: Ford ain’t mayor yet.  As my brilliant Ipsos chum John Wright would doubtlessly point out, voters are skeptical about scandal stuff – they’ve seen too much of it alleged over the years.  What matters, instead, are the impressions that voters form of a candidate over a longer period of time – not a day or two of bad ink.
  • “The kiss of death?” Oh, spare me.  If Ford thinks his candidacy is assisted by his mouthpiece crapping on the biggest Liberal machine in Canada, he’s a lot dumber than I thought.  McGuinty [full disclosure: whose caucus I’ve given comms advice] work with whomever becomes mayor – that’s the kind of guy he is.  Ford, meanwhile, is telling the many, many Torontonians who vote Liberal that he won’t represent their interests – and that he’ll bite the hand he needs to feed his city.  Not a good way to grow your base, Rush Ford.
  • Harper’s nightmare? If they’re serious about mounting an intense and unrelenting public advocacy campaign, Canada’s police chiefs represent a formidable force – and they are a force that could derail the Reformatory/NDP plan to scrap the long gun registry.  Can you imagine the next campaign, with local police chiefs standing up at all-candidates’ meetings to denounce the Tory/NDP’s unholy alliance, and their willingness to make Canada a lot less safer?  Wow.  That would be something to see.  And that is a campaign I’d volunteer to work on.


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    Brent Sienna says:

    I don’t understand the love of the long gun registry by the police and others. Any situation involving them and the public I would suspect the officer would be watching out for a gun, whether the registry said suspect had one or not. The problem is criminals have this nasty habit of disobeying laws. I don’t see many criminals opting to register. The registry doesn’t make you or the police any safer, it gives an illusion of safety but that is all. To me it is like bag checks at Disneyworld. After 9-11 Disney instituted a bag check on all guests entering the theme parks. You go up and open your bag but 9 times out of 10 the security officer does a lackluster search by simply moving an item or two, if that much. It’s an illusion of safety to make you feel good but in fact does squat all because they aren’t checking your body for hidden items.

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      Ted says:

      Well, cops disagree with you. Quite strongly.

      Saw one interviewed and he gave three real examples, both domestic disputes.

      1. Seemed like an ordinary domestic dispute call, checked the registry, the guy had multiple guns, so the cop heads over with extra back-up, just in case. Turns out it was a good thing because the guy fought back.

      2. Another domestic dispute, the cop asked if the guy had a gun. Said he didn’t. Registry said he did. Could he have a stolen gun or unregistered gun? Sure, but in this case, one woman slept a bit safer because the cops knew about her abuser’s gun and he wasn’t able to use it in a fit of anger.

      3. In another, cop said the gun registration was used to trace the history of a stolen gun and connect two seemingly unrelated crimes (the gun crime he was investigating and the theft of the gun).

      Real facts. Real use. Real enhancement of public safety.

      I’ve been highly skeptical about the merits of the gun registry until I started doing some of my own checking. At $4 million per year, I think it is money well spent.

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      DAVID says:

      http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/edmonton/2010/08/20/15092361.html WHAT ABOUT THIS? lets make it a law that all criminals should register firearms.what a hell of a waste of money we could have had another G-20

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    Dan F says:

    Wasn’t Fantino a Police Chief? How does he feel about the gun registry?

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      Warren says:

      His past comments suggest he supports it. It would certainly be relevant to his candidacy, if he runs.

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    Anonymously Posted says:

    And that is a campaign I’d volunteer to work on.

    Back to the War Room? This will not make Ezra Levant, the diaper-bomber of Canadian politics, happy.

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      Ted says:

      Your just encouraging him to get campaigning when you write stuff like that.

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    Be_rad says:

    My superficial feeling about Fantino isn’t that positive. My impression of him has always been that he is a little too self-promoting for a public servant. And he has been very vocal about public policy areas he has to enforce. I have always felt that servants advise privately but otherwise act publicly on the directions of those we elect to govern us, so long as those directions are lawful and within the authority of those giving them. On the other hand, I am open to other arguments in his favour, I just am not as familiar with him to know them.

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      bigcitylib says:

      I always thought he’d be better suited as the mayor of someplace. Didn’t he consider a shot at T.O? MP would be a step down unless he was put in cabinet.

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    Will M. says:

    I recall in 2008, Stockwell Day said that the illegal importation of firearms across the US border was of more relevance in stopping crime than the long gun registry.

    I believe that’s true. What has the CPC government done to stem that flow of guns? If it’s been a success, why aren’t they trumpeting it?

    As for the LGR, I don’t know if it’s useful in hindering crime but the police seem to think it is.

    If we get rid of the LGR, how are we safer?

    Or is the LGR a question of money? If we’re saying that the cost of the LGR isn’t worth it then why is $10 billion on new prisons worth the cost?

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    Malcolm Barry says:

    When a person offers to help in an election someone better contact this individual and hopefully this has been done.

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    Cam says:

    We can’t recover the money spent on getting the registry up and running and yes, it should have been handled better. But the horse has left the barn on this one and no matter how you frame it the fact every Chief of Police say this is a good thing. Let’s move on and get past the initial, botched start-up of the registry because the operational costs are worth it.

    Mr. Harper spent about 2 billion Canadian tax dollars on security, gifts and accommodations including the Fake Lake, port-a-potties, meeting centres, highway signs, roads, fences etc. for the G8/G20 meetings.

    Why is he debating the fiscal efficiency of a gun registry that actually protects Canadian citizens on a daily basis?

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      Tim from Alberta says:

      The police chiefs strongly endorse the gun registry.92%(2400)front line officers polled(an unofficial straw poll of 2600 front line cops) say that it is a useless crime fighting tool.
      Who should we listen to??
      Four friends,who are police officers(two are mounties),agree with the 92% polled.
      I tend to agree with the front line officers.
      This is really a political battle.
      The Liberals are afraid of looking foolish for setting it up,while the Conservatives have promised to get rid of it.
      Maybe we should ask the criminals…..

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        Gene Rayburn says:

        The problem with straw polls Tim, is that you don’t know what the demographics within the survey sample will have in distorting the response. Also, since you dont know what the questions were, what controlling factors were used to ensure accuracy of the data and what relevance the poll was taken in, it sort of renders it useless.

        Not to mention you didn’t cite where the poll originates nor have you provided a link to back yourself up.

        So the real question is: How long do you think you can defend yourself with anecdotes? Eventually people will want to see proof and the other side is putting up a better article.

        This isnt really a political battle. Harper doesn’t want to get rid of it. It would be like taking your dog’s favourite chew toy away. What will he swing around? If it’s gone how will he whip up donations?

        The Liberals are looking pretty smart to the 85% of Canadians who live in urban areas Tim. Polls can distort that by adding a disproportionately heavy rural response but you dont speak for all of us, or a majority of us for that matter. In fact all of Alberta constitutes about 4.8% of Canada’s population. Not really a majority voice there either.

        So who’s looking foolish (and windbaggy as per Reformatory/NDP usual).

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          Tim from Alberta says:

          I read the article in the Calgary sun this morning from a post by a Brian Weese out of Ottawa.You’re absolutely correct….it is only a straw poll with no demographics.As is all (or most) reported polls done by official pollsters…….we seldom see the question or know who/where they phoned.I like to think that i have a pretty wide circle of acquaintences and I have yet to have one of them say that they were ever contacted by a pollster.
          Maybe this means nothing,but, perhaps polls can be skewed by postal codes used, as well.And maybe they sometimes are.
          Gene,nothing I(or anyone else) can say will change your mind.You agree with your set of arguements and I agree with mine.
          “gun loving rednecks”….same old cliche.Not really true ,but a good comment when one has nothing else to use.
          I do somewhat agree with Smelter Rat……doesn’t harm Canadians,so what’s the harm.
          That’s why I say that it’s mostly a clash of political ideologies.

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        Cam says:


        I will bet my last dollar that the law and order gang looking to abolish the registry were the same folks jumping up and down on their couches when police arrested G20 protesters in Toronto. ‘They deserve it, they shouldn’t be there’ etc – we saw the blogs. Now the Chiefs say the registry is a good thing but Law and Order disagrees. Frankly, they can’t have it both ways. What is it about policing they know that the Chiefs don’t?

        Hey, no one is denying someone else the privilege of owning a long-gun, so far as one abides by rules. The issue reminds me of the 166 complainants that said the long-form census was just too onerous. Give us a break, this is just plain politics but this time plays more to daily security of Canadians.

        We license our cars, trailers, boats and ATVs. There’s truly a ton of regulations if you own a plane because citizens want to know you?re qualified to operate these vehicles. They don’t need a yahoo crashing their plane into offices or homes or parks because the pilot was too lazy or incompetent to follow the rules.

        We should expect no less when dealing with something that is designed to kill. And I don’t believe for a minute that this is about about an invasion of privacy. That dud of an argument was exposed with the senseless census position adopted by the Harper government. This is all about hatred of regulation of any kind.

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        Sandra says:

        Tim – do you think police chiefs jumped out of a tree to get that position? Do you not realize that they were front line officers in every field of policing?

        Do you think they go from high school to be chief of police?

        I have a girlfriend who’s an OPP officer and she think Shelley Glover is lies and is full of herself.

        I would like to see Glover “prove” all those thousands of email she says she’s received.

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      Namesake says:

      Because it’s poison to the Lib. Party and anyone who opposes it in rural ridings, since so many gun-loving rednecks oppose it as an outrageous gov’t intrusion on their freedom… wildly out of proportion to the reality — a million times more than the Census.

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    Ted H. says:

    With regard to the LGR, an Alberta cop on CBC said that the registry does not indicate a person’s intent with a gun, so it is of no use. In response to that, let’s examine the attitude of the military. The military analyses a potential threat or enemy based on capability, not on intent. Intent is sometimes hard to guage and can change. When a police officer is called to a home, he or she needs to know what firearms are in that house, what the “capability” is to do harm. That is a hard fact, intent is not.

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    Michael Reintjes says:

    Still some spin here about blanket claims that the Police support the Registry.They do not, at least from my experience. It is the Chief’s association that supports it.Huge difference. Also I think someone should ask Julian Fantino about the registry….I think you’ll be surprised.

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      Gene Rayburn says:

      Michael, your experience doesn’t count for me or pretty much everyone who reads this blog. See, none of these people that you cite have said anything publically or provided an effective argument against. All you can do is tar and feather them without providing an effective response other than that’s what you believe because of some “perceived” experience.

      Sheesh, Michael. Get out more and develop a better argument against. The difference between an effective argument with proof and conjecture and opinion as provided by you is huge.

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    smelter rat says:

    The registry is not harmful to Canadians. What’s the issue?

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      DAVID says:

      HMMM more than a billion smackeroos but hay it’s all good DOOD

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        smelter rat says:

        So will ending the registry now suddenly bring all that money back? Hmmm? It costs just $4 million per year to operate the registry now. Small potatoes considering the benefit to the police.

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          DAVID says:

          mhttp://www.edmontonsun.com/news/edmonton/2010/08/20/15092361.html this is damage control libs made a major blunder admit it and move on .a proof is a proof

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    Brent Sienna says:

    Fine points, but you present the biggest problem with the Registry in point 2 – What if the suspect has a stolen gun or unregistered one? At this point the Registry fails because if an officer is foolish enough to rely on a piece of software telling him that he can waltz in alone into a domestic dispute and not be prepared for trouble of any kind he is soon to be a Darwin Award winner for dumbest cop ever.

    Honestly, in point #1 the officer shouldn’t have responded alone to begin with so the officer was already risking his own safety. There should be two officers at minimum responding to a domestic dispute call – source Ontario Policing Standards Manual – February 2000. Perhaps this officer in the interview was in another jurisdiction but even then I believe most Police Services set at least 2 officers as a minimum to respond. Obviously there will be times where it is impossible to meet that guideline but it is there for reasons such as an abuser who resists.

    Now suppose in Point #1 that instead of possessing a gun the suspect is armed with a knife? The officer checks the database and sees no weapon registered and goes in alone. Suspect resists and pulls a knife. How did the Registry protect the officer from that? Did it make him safer or did he risk his safety based on a database that only told him half the story?

    In Point #2 how does the Registry prevent the abuser from seeking out another gun illegally or using a knife, baseball bat or his fists again? Great, it took away a registered gun from the abuser but in all honesty it does nothing to let her sleep safer because the abuser still has a ton of options available to him. If he still wants to do harm, he will do it by any means he can think of and the Registry will do nothing to stop him.

    Those are my problems with the Registry, it doesn’t protect you and it only provides a false sense of security. Spend the money on stopping illegal smuggling of guns. Spend the money on more officers and better equipment to keep them safe. Spend it on anything but this waste of a program.

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      lukev says:

      If the gun is stolen, then we can find where it was stolen from, via the registry. The registered owner can then provide leads to the suspect. Sounds useful to me.

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        Brent Sienna says:

        How is the registered owner going to provide details on a suspect that most likely broke into his/her home when they were not home? Unless by some fluke the victim is the Amazing Kreskin and he can relate the entire break in event to the cops via his powers of ESP. Of course if it was Kreskin he would have known about the break in before it happened and had the cops ready for it. Screw the Registry hire the Amazing Kreskin, we could stop crime before it happened. Sadly I think Kreskin would work out better in the long run and probably be a hell of a lot cheaper.

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          lukev says:

          We can use any evidence found at the owners house. The registry helps solve crimes in this way. How else would we know it’s connected?

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    Paul says:

    The long-gun registry is useless. I think the big issue here is that people are confusing registration with licensing, and firearms licensing (with all the required safety courses, references and background checks) is staying in place. Why can’t the police just check the computer, see that so-and-so has a PAL and therefore assume that there are guns in the house?

    I find it annoying that once I jump through all the hoops to get my firearms license, I will then need to pay a fee for EACH firearm I wish to (perfectly legally) own.
    Before people say “well you register your car, don’t you?” True, but if I park that car in the garage and don’t intend to drive it for a year, it need not be registered, and the police will not come to seize it and put me in jail if I fail/forget to do so.

    Registration begets eventual confiscation. Just ask law-abiding gun owners in Britain, or more ominously the countries that Hitler invaded in WWII. All it takes is one tragedy followed by a knee-jerk reaction by craven politicians and the witch-hunt will be on.

    Sadly, I think that’s what the long-term view of registry proponents has been all along.

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      Brad says:

      A car is always registered, no matter how long it sits, you don’t need to renew the plates though. You are confusing licensing and registering a vehicle. When you purchase a car in Ontario, you have 7 days to change the ownership into your name whether you drive it or not. You don’t need to license it unless you drive it.

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      smelter rat says:

      ,Paul. Suddenly we’re face to face with Godwin’s Law.

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      lukev says:

      “Registration begets eventual confiscation”

      so when will my car be confiscated then? it’s been registered for 20 years.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Cauchon is a good man.

    Hopefully, he will begin recruiting in Quebec. We need young organizers. We need nationalist organizers. We need Quebec “red meat” that is not called Bloc. Tall order. Will it be filled? Or will our usual predictable results once again be the norm…?

    Update at eleven?

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    JStanton says:

    Well, here’s the rub from a firearm owners point of view – when approached by cops in my car or at home, for whatever reason, they are inclined to assume, because I have firearms, that I’m a danger to them, and they therefore act accordingly.

    This, despite the fact that to own firearms, I have to be thoroughly checked out for possible criminality, and dubious states of mind. In other words, I’m actually LESS of a risk than the home/car owner who does not have a firearms license but might just as easily have a firearm, but has NOT been checked for criminality or psychosis.

    I support gun control for the obvious, common-sense reasons. But I don’t support the registry – for either non-registered or registered firearms – because its improperly used by poorly trained cops who end up violating my charter rights based on imbecilic assumptions about their own and public safety.

    And this is where Mr. Harper picks up votes – because left wing ideologues (just like right wing ideologues) fail to appreciate nuance, and thus policy execution is heavy-handed and poorly considered.

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      James Smith says:

      See, no, I don’t think that is the case. I get your PoV. But a gun is used for one thing. Shooting stuff. So what do you choose to shoot?
      Like a car or a TV Station, or an Oil Well, or an EFFING DOG, it this THING is not a right, it is a privilege. As one who in the last century used firearms as a kid to KILL gofers & rabbits I know how 12-year-old-boy-cool it is to kill a thing with a fire stick. I also know from friends & family who live on farms that a long gun is a tool, but it is that a tool. A very dangerous tool.
      Your point of supporting control while not supporting the registry is mutually exclusive and illogical despite your genuflection towards the charter. What, pray tell, are your trammelled rights? Have the Jack booted thugs kept you in a circle in the rain for 5 hours for going to get a coffee because you choose to have the privilege of keeping weapons used to kill things?
      Please, methinks m’lady doth protest too much.
      Call me a knee jerk centre wing ideologue who would rather the things were outlawed.

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        JStanton says:

        The debate over whether or not firearms should be available to the general public is not actually the one at hand, so I will avoid your straw-men. Given the extant legality of firearms ownership, the issue at hand is one of how best to control the phenomenon. Successive methods have proven to be less than what was promised, creating instead a situation that actually undermines the objective.

        Regarding your notion that my support for gun control and lack of support for the current gun-control regime are mutually exclusive, let me propose a corollary – while I support the principal of taxation in an advanced socio-economic formation such as ours, I do not however support the current federal government’s tax “innovations”.

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      smelter rat says:

      Uh huh…getting hassled on a regular basis are you? Or did you just make that up?

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        JStanton says:

        You are too clever for me ratty; your methodical, reasoned argument just goes over my head.

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    Michael Reintjes says:

    Well lets start here then…I really don’t want to flood Warrens’ site with polls which you will probably not believe anyway,but having worked in the field myself,I can tell you IN MY EXPERIENCE, that they do not support it.

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      Namesake says:

      “_Start_” here? Come on, you make it sound like you’ve got a dozen of these polls up your sleeve to roll out, but there’s really just the one everyone’s been on about these last few days, that’s been all over the Sun, the CBC & other networks, this thread, & now this press release.

      It was carried out by Constable Randy Kuntz of Edmonton. And the thing about it, as Chief Blair (altho’ admittedly, I wish it were someone else, given his G20 pressers) said about it on Power & Politics Monday, is:

      It’s a highly suspect push-poll, conducted by a someone who moonlights as a hunting guide, and who — until, um, yesterday* — also sold hunting weapons & equipment (and who looks just like Chad Nickelback, BTW).

      Its methodology? Well, Kuntz put an ad in a magazine geared to police, Blue Line, asking people to log into the ‘Police Members Only’ private forum to answer his poll on the gun registry. So the respondents are self-, not randomly-selected, in two very important respects. First, the sample pool doesn’t contain all of the country’s 65,000 or so** front-line law enforcement officers he purports to represent, since not all of them subscribe or have, um, registered on their site. In fact, it appears under 10% have,*** and a lot of them appear to be gun-nuts themselves, BTW.**** Second, only those with a strong enough interest in the topic would bother logging into the relevant private part of their site***** to go respond. And they were probably pushed / pulled there by the wording of the ad, which we haven’t seen, but which may have had the actual (leading?) question, which we haven’t seen, either, but which appears to have contained the phrase, “a useless crime fighting tool.”

      So, even if about a third of the 10% of the country’s cops who frequent that site answered this straw poll, it is _highly_ misleading to describe its results as, “A national survey …[that] reveals that 92 percent of police officers in Canada want Members of Parliament to vote in favour of scrapping the long-gun registry in September.”

      That’s as valid as claiming those (usually badly worded or ill-conceived) “Question of the Day” polls that Power & Politics runs every day actually show that x% of Cndns think this or that. (Um, no, just that % of those that happened to be watching that day &/or who found their way to the website later — maybe cuz they were encouraged to by a lobby group on the issue; and that’s also assuming they actually interpret the q. the same way it was intended). E.g., for the 1,604 (out of 34 million Cndns) who voted on this very issue at: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/08/question-of-the-day-177.html

      And Hoeppner’s genius observation that, “It seems obvious that a survey sample of 2600 is far more reliable than a [Police Association’s] survey of 400” exhibits the same keen knowledge of statistics and proper sampling methodology as the Minister in charge of the denatured Census did (gee, we’ll just get 50% more responses from the middle and leisure classes, and it’ll all even out!). God help us all: this government is being fronted by dolts.

      * http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/canada/2010/08/24/15128486.html

      ** http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/legal05a-eng.htm

      *** a Jan. 2010 comment on one of Blueline’s threads notes, “With 7809 members blueline represents about 11% of the police officers in Canada. That’s only if you assume all members are police officers. Subtract from those 7809 members the folks like me who aren’t really “enforcement” per se [some work in Border Services, e.g; others in the Courts] and all the other members who are not actually employed in any aspect of the judicial system and well…” from: http://forums.blueline.ca/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=17710&start=90#p427475

      **** there’s a whole, We-luvs-them- Firearms section on their discussion lists: http://forums.blueline.ca/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=28d0190ab9cf6ebbae0e157f51e2ac8b

      ***** the ‘Police Officers Private Discussion’ section at http://forums.blueline.ca/index.php

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        Michael Reintjes says:

        Wow…brilliant…I guess you’re right then….

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    Dave in Maple Ridge says:

    Just someone tell me how this issue actually helps the Libs politically.

    I for one don’t see it despite Warren’s game effort on the front page … lets just say the prospects of the CACP campaigning with the Libs next election doesn’t exactly fill me with dread.

    Way too much ideology at work here, and not enough political savvy … and I thought you Libs knew how to win elections.

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    Skinny Dipper says:

    On the Toronto mayoral front, I do suggest that Rocco Rossi stay away from the bike issue. It’s small and petty. Suggest a bike task force to improve cycling in Toronto, then get on with the big issues. Also, don’t pretend that you are a non-politician running for mayor. Anyone who runs is a politician. Be proud of your political advocacy; don’t hide it. Rossi’s potential strength is that he is an all-round candidate that will serve all the citizens of Toronto. Ford has a narrow focus group to support and uses basic slogans to maintain his base of support.

    It’s great that Rossi is meeting small groups of people at community events this summer. When Labour Day comes, it will be time to focus on events that will attract the media. Focus on an issue per day and invite some of the people Rossi has met over the summer. Just stay away from the bike issue.

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      Skinny Dipper says:

      The problem Rocco Rossi had in the beginning was that he seemed to be the Toronto Board of Trade candidate rather than a community candidate. Also, Rossi as a very active supporter of the Becel Ride for Heart campaign sent a contradictory message about bike lanes. He opposes bike lanes on major streets, yet he supports shutting down major highways such as the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway so that people can ride bicycles for fundraising.

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        lukev says:

        It was a case of wedge issue pandering which seems to have backfired. If you play to the wedges, you cut off half the electorate in one go.

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