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Warning: strpos() [function.strpos]: needle is not a string or an integer in /nfs/c05/h04/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/oldsite/index.php on line 61 Warren Kinsella - THE DESERTERS
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Ms. Hebert's column is about the Green Shift, and is well worth reading, but her commentary therein about Stephane Dion being the author of The Clarity Act moved me to post the yarn below. It is the first published reference to "The Clarity Act" that I could find. All of the coverage from that period is the same: Clarity was Chretien's.
In that first December 1999 story, the legislation is referred to as "Jean Chretien's bill." The name of no Chretien cabinet minister is to be found. (The comments by Messrs. Clark, MacKay, Klein and Lord are amusing. Mr. Manning was the only guy right on the money from the start.)
In politics, wins have a thousand fathers, and losses are orphans. But, really, folks: The Clarity Act was Chretien's. Sorry.
An avalanche of anger but PM wins praise, too Laura Eggertson and Valerie Lawton REUTERS PHOTO; OTTAWA BUREAU 806 words 11 December 1999 The Toronto Star 1 English Copyright (c) 1999 The Toronto Star
OTTAWA - Reform Leader Preston Manning has pledged his support for the Liberal government's draft referendum bill, calling it "better than nothing."
Manning said yesterday his party will back Prime Minister Jean Chretien's bill because Reform has long advocated the need for a clear referendum question to spell out the consequences of leaving Canada.
"We'll support this. It's more clarity than we've had heretofore," Manning told a news conference. "It's better than nothing."
All the opposition parties have been sharply critical of Chretien in recent weeks for reviving the unity debate at a time when the separation issue seemed quiescent.
But the Liberal strategy of introducing the so-called clarity act muted at least some of that criticism.
Both Reform and the Conservatives found it difficult to object to the bill's stipulation that any province leaving the country would have to negotiate with Canada over assuming part of the debt, possible partition, protection of minority rights and aboriginal claims.
The New Democratic Party refused to discuss the legislation at all, and the Bloc Quebecois was predictably enraged. The Conservatives will oppose the bill.
Ontario Premier Mike Harris, who is generally reluctant to talk about national unity issues, refused yesterday to disrupt his "private day" to weigh into the referendum bill debate.
"We will review the legislation and comment in due course," his press secretary said.
Other provincial premiers generally praised Chretien's strategy, but some questioned his timing.
Manning had suggested earlier this month Reform would oppose similar legislation unless it was accompanied by a plan to modernize Confederation in ways that would encourage Quebecers to stay in Canada.
But while the Reform leader said yesterday he quarrels with Chretien's timing and will propose some amendments, "everything we're advocating is contained" in the bill.
The Liberals appeared to catch other opposition parties off-guard, despite weeks of speculation and leaked reports about what was in the bill and when they would table it.
Because procedural issues will keep the legislation from being introduced until Monday, the Liberals ended speculation and released a draft bill yesterday.
Bloc Quebecois members were furious.
The Bloc caucus held an emergency strategy session yesterday afternoon. As he left, MP Daniel Turp quipped in French: "It's war, yes sir," a reference to Roch Carrier's novel, La Guerre, Yes Sir!
The party promises a parliamentary war.
Leader Gilles Duceppe said he'll use every weapon at his disposal to bog down the legislative process.
"Starting Monday, every means will be used in the House. We saw what Reform did; we can do the same thing," Duceppe declared.
Reform held up House proceedings for three days this week in protest over the Nisga'a land claims treaty.
Duceppe also plans to create a "common front" of unions and other Quebec organizations to fight the bill.
"It is a provocation, clearly a provocation."
He argued that Quebecers, not the House of Commons and its MPs from "Manitoba, from Newfoundland, from Vancouver and so on," should decide whether a referendum question is clear.
"Quebec is no longer master of its destiny. Ottawa is making itself judge. I find that deplorable and sad," he said.
"The process should be determined by Quebec."
NDP Leader Alexa McDonough made a terse statement about the legislation, but refused to take questions.
"I want to say, as a committed federalist, I have no intentions of participating in this irresponsible approach," McDonough said.
"The Prime Minister has been utterly contemptuous of his parliamentary allies. He's been contemptuous of the parliamentary process and we have no intention of participating in this madness."
A spokesperson explained later that McDonough believes Chretien should have consulted with other federalists before acting.
Conservative Leader Joe Clark termed the bill dangerous, arguing that "instead of drawing Canadians together it provides a road map to secession. My party and I will oppose it."
An uncomfortable Peter MacKay, the Tory house leader, had earlier said his party supports the substance of the bill. But he denounced Chretien's timing. "Why talk about getting a divorce if things are going quite well in your marriage?"
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord also questioned the timing of the bill.
Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said he had no problem with the Prime Minister's approach.
"I personally believe you fix the fence when the weather's nice and doing it now is appropriate," Doer said.
With files from Richard Brennan and Canadian Press
SALUTING BOSS: Prime Minister Jean Chretien receives applause in House of Commons yesterday after release of his draft referendum bill. Reform pledged its support while Bloc Quebecois members were furious, promising to make bill bog down.
AND WHO IS DUBYA'S FAVOURITE MEMBER OF PUBLIC ENEMY?
Monday, July 7, 2008, 07:21 AM
Chuck D. or Flava Flav? I'm betting it's Flav.
Bush to PM: 'Yo, Harper' ( G8-Bush-Harper) Source: The Canadian Press Jul 7, 2008 7:11
RUSUTSU, Japan - First it was `Yo, Blair,' and now it's `Yo, Harper.'
U.S. President George W. Bush's penchant for street slang was again on display on the first day of the Group of Eight summit in Japan.
A televised feed of the event showed Bush casually wrapping an arm around Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua and calling for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's attention. `Yo, Harper. The president of Nigeria.'
Bush famously offered the same colloquial greeting to former British prime minister Tony Blair at the 2006 G8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
It's also not the first time he's given such a chummy greeting to Harper. At last year's summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, Bush referred to the prime minister as `Steve.'
That no Eastern politicians shall henceforth be permitted to attend the Calgary Stampede wearing cowboy gear. It's just wrong.
And I move this resolution as a proud member of the Calgarian diaspora, who - whenever physically in Calgary in the last week of June - would get the Hell out of Cowtown, because there are only so many drunken, dribbling businessmen dressed up as Howdy Doody one can take before one goes postal.
I have just finished going through Stewart Bell's new book about the ill-fated invasion of Dominica by a motley crew of Canadian and American white supremacists and mercenaries back in the early Eighties.
As a someone who has written about terrorism and organized racists myself, I can heartily recommend Stewart's book. It is a fine piece of investigative journalism, and a fun read. I'm not wild about the edit - some of his prose has been rendered too choppy, for my liking - but that's a stylistic thing.
Make sure to get it when it comes out. The content is fascinating.